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02 Mar 2012 17:45


Politics: Sandra Fluke vs. Rush Limbaugh: What you need to know, in a nutshell

  • cause Last week, a Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke, testified in front of Congress on the Jesuit school’s policy on contraception, an issue which has drawn many emotions of late.
  • reaction Many on the right attacked Fluke for her testimony, but none as harshly as talker Rush Limbaugh, who called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show. Yeah, that’s not cool.
  • result Limbaugh’s comments drew strong reactions from the left especially. Republican House Speaker John Boehner criticized Limbaugh. The president even called her up today. Really. source

29 Feb 2012 01:54


Politics: Is partisanship the problem? Or is our political system the problem?

  • Snowe’s retirement will have many lamenting the endangered moderate and wondering how we can turn back the clock. But we can’t. About that, Snowe is right. Polarization is with us now and will be with us for the foreseeable future. The question is whether we will permit it to paralyze our political system and undermine our country or whether we will accept it and make the necessary accommodations.
  • Ezra Klein • Arguing that the problem with congress isn’t partisanship, or ideological polarization, but rather that the institutions and procedures codified in our political system aren’t well-equipped to handle a polarized congress. Klein’s prime example is the filibuster, which as we’ve seen the past couple of years, is absolutely crippling when the two parties in the Senate don’t agree on anything. “Our system, as any historian will tell you, was built by men who hated parties and anticipated their absence from American politics,” Klein says. “But as the two parties have polarized, we’ve learned that a system built for consensus is not able to properly function amid constant partisan competition.” source

28 Feb 2012 10:42


Politics: Gabrielle Giffords weighs strong on special election for her former seat

  • 671 signatures needed for the special election for Giffords’ old seat
  • 7,110 signatures received by Giffords’ former aide, Ron Barber source
  • » His closest GOP competitor got a fraction of that: Barber, who was encouraged by Giffords to run for the seat, has a major leg up in the April 17 primary for Arizona’s eighth Congressional district. The special election takes place in June. However, while Barber will run uncontested for the primary this time around, Democrats may take him on in the general election in November. A variety of Republicans are running for the seat, which is in a swing district.

22 Feb 2012 11:01


Politics: Corporate tax rates: Where Obama and the GOP agree, and where they differ

  • 32% the current corporate tax rate in the U.S., which many companies lower by using tax loopholes, leading to an extremely complex tax code
  • 28% the rate Obama wants to lower that too, while closing up many of the loopholes in the process, which might lead some companies to pay more
  • 25% the rate the GOP wants to lower it to; closed loopholes would have to be tempered, though, so companies wouldn’t pay any extra source
  • » Revenue-neutral or revenue-raising? The differing views of how the corporate tax policy should be reformed strike at the heart of differing philosophies the two parties have. Both agree on some basics — they’d like to figure out ways to get multinational companies to create jobs in the U.S., for example. “My message is simple: It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America,” Obama said during the State of the Union in January. However, they differ greatly on the ultimate solutions. Do we need to give such big tax breaks to massive oil companies? Democrats say no. Republicans say taxes across the board are too high. We hope they solve this, UFC-style, in “The Octagon.”

21 Feb 2012 01:13


Politics: “Outed” Arizona sheriff won’t quit Congressional race after scandal

  • I’ve never defined myself by anything other than my service, and my duty, and what we should all be judged on in life. We’ve all had relationships, as is clear as day now — now this is national news — that I have had one where he wanted to harm me. And now this is rolled out, and the timing is more than a coincidence.
  • Pinal County, Ariz. Sheriff Paul Babeu • On having to “out” himself in light of a personal scandal. The sheriff, currently running for a Republican Congressional seat in Arizona, had been dogged by rumors that he threatened to deport an ex-lover to Mexico if their relationship a secret wasn’t kept. In order to deny those rumors, Babeu held a press conference and, in turn, announced his sexuality. Babeu, a hard-line conservative who had been a rising GOP star prior to the scandal, recently spoke at CPAC, where he called his primary opponent, Rep. Paul Gosar “most liberal Republican member of Congress.” Babeu thinks political rivals were behind the recent scandal. “I’ve got a record of service. people know me. I want to be judged, as every American should be, on results,” Babeu said. Does Babeu stand a shot at getting elected in the wake of this news? source

01 Feb 2012 10:07


Politics: CBO: What if Congress did nothing this year? Well, we’d cut the deficit

  • positive According to a hypothetical posed by the Congressional Budget Office, if Congress’ deadlock worsened and nothing got done this year, the deficit would shrink heavily as the Bush tax cuts would expire and other spending initiatives would end. Huh.
  • negative However … this comes with a lot of pain. As federal workers lose their jobs, the unemployment rate would rise above 9 percent again, and the economy’s recent gains would get pushed back, according to CBO estimates. Would the cost be worth the benefit, guys? source
  • » The trade-off: “On the one hand, if policymakers leave current laws unchanged, the federal debt will probably recede slowly,” said CBO director Douglas W. Elmendorf. “On the other hand, changing current laws to let current policies continue … would boost the economy and allow people to pay less in taxes and benefit more from government programs in the next few years — but put the nation on an unsustainable fiscal course.” That’s a tough one, kids.

25 Jan 2012 10:43


Politics: Michele Bachmann, after tough presidential bid, running for Congress again

Despite the belief among analysts that her skills might better be suited for Fox News, the Tea Party Caucus leader will stick with Minnesota’s 6th district for now. It’ll be Bachmann’s fourth term if she wins. source

23 Jan 2012 23:31


Politics: Gabrielle Giffords gives her thanks, and gratitude, to fellow survivors

  • It was very touching. I thanked her for her service, wished her well, and she just looked beautiful.
  • Gabrielle Giffords shooting survivor Pat Maisch • Describing her impression of the resigning Congresswoman at her “Congress On Your Corner” event, which Giffords resumed on Monday, over a year after the shooting that nearly killed her. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords thanked the survivors and heroes from that day. Maisch was the one who wrestled the gun away from the shooter. Although Giffords has made incredible strides in her recovery, the Congresswoman has decided to leave office this week — but not before watching Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow; she’ll be there in person.  source

05 Jan 2012 22:53


Politics: Kennedy comeback? A new generation plans a Congressional run

  • A family legacy continues: A Kennedy has held a high position of power in D.C for 63 years – until the passing of Edward Kennedy in 2009 and the retirement of his son Patrick in 2011. Joseph P. Kennedy III has decided to run for Congress to fill the gap. The Spanish-speaking Stanford and Harvard Law graduate hopes to fill the Congressional seat of Barney Frank. He’ll have some big shoes to fill, in more ways than one. source

04 Jan 2012 10:51


Politics: Obama: Forget Congress; Richard Cordray’s my consumer agency chief!

Obama named Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a recess appointment while Congress was out of town. Some feel Cordray’s stalled nomination was less about Congress’ dislike of Cordray but their hatred of Dodd-Frank. source