Newt Gingrich stumbles out of the gate on presidential campaign (Daily Caller)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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Daily Caller – Candidates for the Republican presidential nomination haven’t even held their first debate yet, but former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is already scrambling to recover from a series of embarrassing miscues that threaten the candidacy he is widely expected to launch.

Sarah Palin Is Definitely Not Done Whining About the Press (The Atlantic Wire)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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The Atlantic Wire – Sarah Palin said she was “through whining about a liberal press” last week, but evidently she’s not done whining about the conservative press. The Daily Caller’s Chris Moody contacted Palin for a response to reports that her reality show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, got .2 million in state tax credits. Palin demanded that Moody print her entire 650-word response to the news. And he did–but only on the second page of the article. So Palin took to Facebook to rant about “having to set the record straight on my Facebook page yet again is further proof that the media can’t be trusted even to print a statement in a manner that people can read.”

Gates calls for limited role aiding Libyan rebels (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 31, 2011, before the House Armed Services Committee hearing on military operations in Libya. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)AP – As the U.S. debates its future participation in the Libyan conflict, defense officials slammed the brakes Thursday on any major American role aiding opposition groups and insisted that the Obama administration should not be the one to arm the rebels.

Boehner signals compromise in budget talks (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders comment on  the Senate Democratic leadership and the problems in passing a long-term spending bill, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. He is joined, from left to right by, Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)AP – Despite fresh pressure from tea party conservatives, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that Republicans “can’t impose our will” on the White House and Senate Democrats on legislation to cut tens of billions of dollars in federal spending.

Just the facts, please: Stock performance under Clinton, Bush, and Obama

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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According to most right-wing pundits, President Obama represents the demon seed of socialism. Just today, for example, Rep. Michele Bachmann said he’s intentionally making Americans poorer.

But let’s put aside all the hot air and just look at the facts. Based on this chart of stock market performance under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, can you figure out which adminstration had the anti-growth record?

Stock Market By Presidency

Data source.


Wis. judge halts gov’s union law, at least for now (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2011, file photo Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis. Two officials in Walker's administration say preparations to implement the state's divisive collective bargaining law have been put on hold. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday, March 31, 2011, on the condition of anonymity because the governor hadn't publicly announced his plans. Walker planned to announce his plans on Thursday. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)AP – A Wisconsin judge on Thursday did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn’t, halting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plans — at least temporarily — to cut most public workers’ pay and strip them of most of their union rights.

GOP trying to use tax law to limit abortions (AP)

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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AP – A House panel voted Thursday to limit tax breaks for insurance policies that cover abortions as House Republicans try to chip away at President Barack Obama’s health overhaul.

Nevada polling and the Scott Walker effect

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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You’ve got to hand it to beloved WI Governor Scott Walker– he’s galvanized and united Democrats, reignited interest in unions and the plight of working people, and highlighted what it means not to compromise in the name of extremism (to the point of nearly disobeying a court order before walking the wilfullness back today.) In his honor, let’s call it the Scott Walker effect.

Well, Nevadans are getting it. From Jon Ralston in NV:

Poll: People like public employees, don’t like governor’s unwillingness to compromise, want to tax banks, mining

Those are the findings of a poll conducted within the last week for the public employee advocacy group, Nevadans for Nevada. The survey of 500 registered voters (4.4 percent margin of error) was released in Carson City this morning – I have posted the polling memo and full instrument at right.

First things first: Yes, this was paid for by a union group and Grove is a Democratic pollster. But she is well respected, even by Republicans in the business, and has done extensive work in Nevada. Her findings on tax issues, especially, are not much different from other surveys, including one taken for the conservative Retailers Association of Nevada by GOP expert Glen Bolger.

Let’s look at some of the findings.

First, on Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The polling memo says: “Voters give Governor Sandoval net negative job performance ratings, and disapprove of the Governor’s refusal to compromise on a budget solution that includes raising some taxes…”…

—-Public employees are not hated. Quite the contrary. This is quite the empirical proof of the failure of a certain “newspaper” and conservative think tank to demonize them. Epic fail, as the youngsters say.

Whether it’s DC (where Boehner is reported to be thinking compromise, and the dozens of tea partiers at today’s fizzled rally pale in comparison to WI) or NV, one gets the feeling that in at least parts of the country, the ultraconservative wave has peaked and is receding. And yeah, certain media and think tanks have pushed it, but that doesn’t mean it’s what voters think.

But if you want any one reason why the GOP conservative extremists don’t look so good these days, I think we can all thank the Scott Walker effect for demonstrating in a clear and understandable way what it means to carry through on the rhetoric and the bumper-stickers. It can’t help MI’s Snyder, OH’s Kasich or FL’s Scott to have the extremist program highlighted so clearly on the news. The assault on working people is nationwide, and while there will be ups and downs (see WI), these Governors are not exactly winning the hearts and minds of their subjects constituents.

Thank you, Gov. Walker. You’ve done your country a service. And thanks to your inspiring performance, you’ve brought new meaning to the term “epic fail”.


Boehner channels Bachmann with health reform ‘slush fund’ lie

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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John Boehner

John Boehner (Photo: mcclintock.house.gov)

Speaker John Boehner is getting his crazy on, or maybe trying to mend some shaky GOP caucus fences, by going all Michele Bachmann on the Affordable Care Act. A few weeks ago when she started her whole slush fund in the Affordable Care Act crusade, she didn’t get a whole lot of backing from the non-Tea Party wing of the GOP.

But now Boehner has decided to jump in, and his pants are on fire.

The health care bill provides several pools of money that the HHS Secretary can disburse for purposes designated by the legislation. Is it appropriate to call them “slush funds?” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “slush fund” as “an unregulated fund often used for illicit purposes.” The money vexing Republicans is designated for programs specifically defined by the law, which hardly makes them illicit and unregulated. Congress also has the power to oversee the bill’s implementation, and Republicans have held several hearings on the subject already this year.

Boehner may object to the latitude the health care bill gives HHS. But as speaker, his words carry a lot of weight, and he should choose them wisely. His  “slush fund” label is not only inaccurate, but ridiculous. On the Truth-O-Meter, that rates a Pants on Fire.

The head of the CBO says he’s bonkers, too, though a little more diplomatically.

House Republicans have targeted the law’s long-term appropriations, which they say weren’t uncovered until just last month. Republican lawmakers have labeled the mandatory spending a “slush fund” for the Health and Human Services secretary, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) recently said the lower chamber’s majority will target the mandatory spending as part of its plan to defund and repeal the overhaul.

However, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) chief Doug Elmendorf told lawmakers that the CBO had been aware of the estimated 5 billion tab. When asked by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) whether he had known of healthcare reform programs with long-term appropriations, Elmendorf answered, “Yes, Congressman.”

Mandatory spending is routinely included in legislation, and has been forever, from both parties. Boehner, of course, knows this. So what’s this all about for him? Three guesses.

Boehner tweet

That link takes you to the Freedom Project, where you can “consider supporting Speaker Boehner” with your financial contribution. Nothing gets those campaign dollars rolling in from the rabid base like some good old fashioned lying.


Wis. judge halts governor’s union law plans

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2011-05-2008

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Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 17, 2011. Two officials in Walker's administration say preparations to implement the state's divisive collective bargaining law have been put on hold. A Wisconsin judge did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn’t: He halted a plan to cut most public workers’ pay and strip them of most of their union rights.