Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

25 Sep 2011 11:04


Politics: House GOP shows weak points after failing to pass shutdown vote

  • While it is widely expected that the parties will eventually reach a compromise to avoid a shutdown, Wednesday’s 230-to-195 vote showed what can happen when the GOP majority operates with no more than minimal Democratic support.
  • Washington Post writers Rosalind S. Helderman and Paul Kane • Correctly pointing out the weak spot in the GOP’s House leadership — that the GOP members aren’t all on the same page, so as a result, the leadership can push for one thing, but have it taken in a different direction by far-right members of the party. (In this case, the bill passed the House only with the addition of some timely anti-environmental-funding rules, then died in the Senate.) And with no help from Democrats, it becomes harder for GOP leaders to push their agenda without making room for compromise. And this isn’t even considering the Senate and president, who provide blockades of their own (unless you’re Obama and you compromise). source

11 Jul 2011 16:41


Politics: President Obama on debt limit: time to “eat our peas”

  • It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder. So, we might as well do it now. Pull off the band-aid. Eat our peas. Now is the time to do it. If not now, when? … I’m prepared to do it. I’m prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done. And I expect the other side should be willing to do the same thing, if they mean what they say that this is important.
  • President Obama • Speaking on the debt limit negotiations. The postures from both sides should seem pretty familiar, as it’s nothing that new for the Democratic/Republican dynamic under the Obama administration. Namely, rigid ideology from the GOP has forced a combination of increasingly desperate overtures and condemnations from the White House. That a compromise needs to be reached isn’t in question — despite talk about invoking the 14th Amendment to raise the limit himself, that strikes us as the sort of thing he’d avoid doing at all costs. Rather, his inclination is towards bipartisanship, which is a noble enough endeavor. Frankly, though, the GOP’s negotiating in this matter has been in starkly bad faith, for just the reason the President details; he’s been willing to offer up cherished Democratic programs to be cut. The GOP, on the other hand, has made it clear they won’t consider any tax revenue increases. Why can’t you Democrats just embrace Republican orthodoxy? That’s a compromise, right? We hope this gets done soon, and fairly. source

14 Apr 2011 13:03


Politics: Report makes GOP’s budget cut deal look a lot lamer

  • $38
    the agreed-upon spending cuts in the budget compromise struck in a shutdown-preventing bipartisan deal late last week
  • $350
    the actual value of the immediate cuts, according to the CBO, since most of the real effect is stretched over future years source
  • » So, what the hell can John Boehner do now? This recent analysis, if it’s both correct and widely disseminated, could have huge implications for the GOP going forward. Since becoming Speaker of the House, the contortions Boehner has made to try to appease the Tea Party contingent have been obvious and striking — it’s clear that his fiscal conservatism is less their sort and more that of establishment Republicanism, by which I mean he doesn’t really care about spending cuts in any significant measure. The $38 billion figure itself was but a minute fraction of the federal deficit, and Boehner looks really ineffective after if these numbers stick. Will the Republican and Tea Party marriage begin to splinter over news like this?

15 Mar 2011 13:33


Politics: He will not be swayed: NRA’s LaPierre snubs President Obama

  • suggestion President Obama penned an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star last Sunday, calling for a look at “common sense” gun control. What he specifically endorses is mild; mostly, he emphasized better enforcement of existing law, and more efficient background checks.
  • rejection NRA leader Wayne LaPierre has refused even to talk to Obama. “Why should I or the NRA go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?” A little soft-sold extremism, anyone? source

08 Mar 2011 14:30


Politics: Political pressure in Wisconsin may force shift from GOP Senators

  • 3 Wisconsin GOP Senators who think Gov. Walker should compromise source
  • » The stonewall may begin to crack: One of the most interesting potential endgames to this continuing Wisconsin kerfuffle is that Gov. Scott Walker could lose critical support from within his own party. Not that this should be viewed as a shift in the Wisconsin GOP’s principles — it seems clear that the collective bargaining rights would have been stripped weeks ago if not for the departure of fourteen Democratic senators — but it seems as if the uncomfortable reality of his non-negotiation is beginning to catch up to Walker. To date, GOP senators Dale Schultz, Rob Cowles, and Luther Olson have indicated compromise may be necessary and appropriate.

01 Mar 2011 13:50


Politics: Republican response to Obama’s individual mandate deal tepid

  • It always seems these symbolic offerings, ostensibly designed to appease Republicans, end up with a catch. Here, it’s that to apply for a waiver, states must first set up systems that mimic the very federal law they are running away from. Gee, thanks.
  • Brendan Buck, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner • Commenting on President Obama’s proposal to allow states to opt-out of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, provided that the state demonstrates they have an alternate plan that will maintain similar coverage rates without raising the deficit. His chagrin is curious, because what he’s really complaining about seems to be the very nature of political compromise (and it’s a bit snarky for a spokesman). Considering the individual mandate was a keystone of the original legislation, this proposal seems at bare minimum like a compromise in which both sides get what they claim they want. The argument against the “federal system,” too, is generally that it’s federal, which many Republicans call unconstitutional. So why the hand-wringing over a state-run alternative? source

15 Feb 2011 15:43


Politics: Another day, another call to compromise from President Obama

  • I expect that all sides will have to do a little bit of posturing on television and speak to their constituencies, and rally the troops and so forth. But ultimately, what we need is a reasonable, responsible, and initially, probably, somewhat quiet and toned-down conversation about… ‘where can we compromise and get something done?’
  • President Barack Obama • Setting the stage for the looming budget kerfuffle breaking out in Washington, the President urged measured and bipartisan conversation with the ultimate goal of compromise. If this ends up looking anything like his previous calls for bipartisan rigor, though, you’re likely to see Republicans get a pretty generous compromise that liberals will be asked to stomach, followed by the Republicans insisting that President Obama is a far-left Spendocrat who didn’t really compromise on anything. Which, it bears mentioning, is infuriating to watch once, let alone over and over again. source

10 Dec 2010 21:10


Politics: Is Obama learning the martial art of Bill Clinton’s triangulation?

  • So, another theory on this whole tax cut thing – Obama’s taking a cue from Bill Clinton on that whole “trangulation” thing he did in the ’90s – where Clinton gave the GOP some of what they wanted but ended up helping himself in the long run. It’s a theory that the White House bristles at, but the video above, where Bill Clinton essentially took over for Obama today, looks kind of symbolic. Beyond the fact that it’s effing hilarious. source

08 Dec 2010 21:00


Politics: One well-known dude in Obama’s compromise corner: John Kerry

  • Obama can count on one influential Democrat in his corner. Problem is, it’s John Kerry, who’s as exciting as vat of ketchup. OK, now that we’ve gotten the veiled insult at his wife out of his way, let’s see what he has to say about the compromise: “The truth is, the President got a lot of things here we’ve been fighting for that we haven’t yet been able to win any other way.” It’s one of a number of messages that the White House has been distributing tonight. We have to emphasize, though, that we’re with Andrew Sullivan on this one: It’s frustrating to see Obama compromise, but he’s playing a pretty good game of handball with the GOP in making this compromise. source

07 Dec 2010 10:52


Politics: Obama’s tax compromise: $600 billion to $800 billion total cost

  • So, fun fact on the Obama compromise: A lot of the stuff here could be considered short-term stimulus. While the Bush tax cut extension itself wouldn’t be, because it’s just extending a current tax rate, about half of the things in it (Social Security and business tax breaks, unemployment benefits, individual tax credits) could be. The overall result, which includes the Bush Tax Cuts would lead to a $600 billion to $800 billion total cost for the government. But hey, lower taxes for everybody! (And the Social Security tax break is, let’s face it, a not-terrible idea. As long as people notice that less money is getting taken out of their paychecks. Which they didn’t before.) source