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13 Feb 2012 16:47


Politics: GOP caves on payroll tax cut; 10-month extension set to pass

  • 10 month extension of the payroll tax cut is likely to pass source
  • » Good news for Democrats:  GOP leadership has indicated that they’ll pass a 10-month extension of the payroll tax without any offsets in spending. Democrats had wanted to balance the tax cut, in part, with higher taxes on the rich; Republicans wanted to do so, in part, with cuts to unemployment benefits. Ultimately, they couldn’t agree, and so it will be passed with no offsets at all. Why is this good news for Democrats? Well, the GOP took a hard-line against the payroll tax cut–which largely benefits the middle-class–last December, making the once-benign policy a partisan issue. Democrats, by and large, were okay passing it sans offsets–the suggestion to pay for it via tax cuts on the rich was more a general effort to increase taxes on the rich–and so the fact that the extension is going to pass is a political and legislative win for Democrats. But the extension expires in ten months–right around the presidential election–so this fight is only over in the short-term.

22 Dec 2011 20:08


Politics: A rare concession: House GOP loses on payroll tax-cut issue

  • The GOP lost one. The tell-tale signs were everywhere. On a day where John Boehner lost support from the GOP establishment on blocking a payroll tax-cut plan — which mind you, was just for two months, and otherwise would’ve been a big GOP victory because of the Democratic concessions made — the political kayfabe finally gave way to inevitability. Here’s how it went down. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, that guy who takes all the GOP politician photos on Flickr)
  • cause For months, Republicans were soft on the idea of extending payroll tax cuts into 2012, a key issue for Democrats, because they thought it didn’t stimulate the economy. Eventually, the Senate passed a limited extension, but the House wouldn’t go for it.
  • reaction For days, House speaker John Boehner faced significant pressure over the House’s stance, and eventually his own party started criticizing the late-December move, which they believed could give the Democrats major leverage in 2012.
  • result Today, Boehner  gave in, with the House speaker allowing for a voice vote on the issue. “We have fought the good fight,” Boehner said. “Why not do the right thing for the American people even though it’s not exactly what we want?” source

04 Oct 2011 15:12


Politics: House GOP triples budget to fight same-sex marriage

  • $1.5 million in funding to prevent gays from marrying source
  • » Don’t forget, this is taxpayer money, allocated by House Republicans to their legal counsel to defend DOMA in court. It was originally capped at $500,000, but that limit has since been tripled.

25 Jul 2011 22:02


Politics: Obama speech light on policy, heavy on politics

  • We were planning on live-blogging the President’s primetime speech on the debt ceiling, but there wasn’t much to live-blog about. He didn’t support or reject any new policies, or endorse a specific strategy for raising the debt limit. Rather, the President doubled-down on the importance of avoiding default, reinforced hard distinctions between him and House Republicans, and make slight adjustments to his political positioning. He warned, in his most explicit language yet, of the consequences default would have for average Americans. He came out hard for progressive taxation, hammering the Republicans for refusing to consider raising taxes on the rich, and explicitly asked constituents to call their representatives in Congress and voice support for the White House’s “balanced.” In general, as was the case in his press conference last Friday, the President ended up sounding a whole lot more partisan than normal, but didn’t deliver any game-changers. source

19 Jul 2011 01:50


Politics: The Best Two Sentences of the Night

  • Responsibility without conviction is weak, but it is sane. Conviction without responsibility, in the current incarnation of the Republican Party, is raving mad.
  • George Packer • On how each party is handling the (possible) debt ceiling increase. source

15 Jul 2011 19:40


Politics: Speaker Boehner, Rep. Ryan to House GOP: we must raise the debt limit

  • He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like ‘Star Wars.’ I don’t think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that.
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais • Relating Speaker John Boehner’s remarks on a potential failure to raise the debt limit, made during a closed-door meeting today. Boehner was joined in this message by Rep. Paul Ryan, always the House GOP’s top dog on economic affairs. Basically, it seems like the leadership laid out exactly how bad the economy would get if the debt limit isn’t raised, and surprisingly enough, it sounds like it paid off to some measure. Said Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack: “It illustrates to us that doing nothing is unacceptable. I think the conference understands this is a defining moment for us. It’s time to put the next election aside.” If this is indicative of any genuine attitude House GOP membership, this could be huge news. source

12 Apr 2011 22:20


Politics: Polling suggests drop in support for House GOP

  • That pendulum always swings: Count us amongst those who were skeptical about the emphasis put on the Republican wave that rolled into Congress last year, at least from a big picture, long-term standpoint — these two parties have been losing and gaining back ground for decades. Just as Barack Obama’s election caused media personalities to jump the gun in declaring the Republican Party dead in the water, so too have they rushed to heap dirt on the Democrats since the 2010 elections. Rest assured, if somebody strenuously tells you either liberalism or conservatism is dead, they may be taking an overly simplistic view of chaotic, real world political events. source

06 Jan 2011 22:43


Politics: After reciting Constitution aloud, House Republicans violate it

  • first After reciting the Constitution on the floor of the House, Republicans got to work attempting to repeal health care reform.
  • but Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), however, missed the official swearing in ceremony (a violation of the Constitution).
  • so That means he’s not technically a Congressman, and all of his votes over the last two days have been invalid. Whoops!
  • nowJohn Boehner has to ask Nancy Pelosi for unanimous consent to retroactively validate Sessions’ votes.
  • We’re having a little fun here. This isn’t actually that big of a deal; it was an honest mistake on the part of Sessions (and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who also missed the swearing in), it will likely be rectified by tomorrow, and Sessions and Fitzpatrick have already been officially sworn in. Still, it’s amusing and slightly ironic that, after making a big show of reading the Constitution aloud on the House floor, two Republicans inadvertently violated it whilst on the House floor. source

10 Nov 2010 10:36


Politics: Republicans fight amongst themselves over killing earmarks

  • agree House Republican leaders want a moratorium on earmarks in the next Congressional cycle. Jim “started the recession” DeMint and other Senators also want them.
  • disagree Many Republicans, however, disagree, arguing that it wouldn’t actually save money. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of those guys. source

26 May 2010 14:04


Politics: Three awful ideas from the House GOP’s new agenda-picking site

  • If you’ve ever used the internet, you could’ve seen this coming from a while away. After House Republicans launched a site looking for democratic input on their new agenda, the site got overloaded with comments that perhaps didn’t show the GOP’s decision-making process in the best light. A few samples to nosh on:
  • one“Require all Muslims in the U.S. to wear ankle bracelet transponders so we know where the terrorists are at all times.”
  • two“Consensual bestiality should not be illegal. No, I am not joking. Everything I’ve said is logically sound.”
  • three “End the idea of Net Neutrality. American’s do not need the government censoring our websites for us.”

And the best answer goes to …

  • We need to train an army of Ninja Cats. Cats are natural born hunters and predators, and it is known that they indeed have 9 lives, many more than the typical human life (being one).
  • An absolute genius • Saying everything that needs to be said about this endeavor. It’s absolutely perfect in its conceit – the world needs stronger counter-terror measures, and how much stronger could you get than ninja cats? You know, seriously. source