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20 Sep 2011 21:08


Politics: Elizabeth Warren leapfrogs Scott Brown in Massachusetts Senate race

  • ThenIn June, Scott Brown looked invincible. The Senator led every potential challenger by at least nine points, and Elizabeth Warren, perceived to be Democrats’ best shot against him, trailed by fifteen.
  • Now Since Warren declared her candidacy earlier this month, she’s skyrocketed in the polls and now leads Brown by two points. That’s a seventeen-point gain in a little over three months. source
  • » Hey, wha’ happen? Warren’s rise may be due in part to an “announcement boost;” she was long-rumored as a candidate, and her official entry in the race may have fired up a contingent of Democratic voters. Perhaps more significant of a factor, however, is Brown’s plummeting popularity. Back in December, he was the 16th most popular Senator in the country, out of 87 polled. Now, Brown is in 61st place, and his favorability has dropped by 25 points.

13 Sep 2011 15:42


Politics: Elizabeth Warren will run for Senate in Massachusetts, taking on Scott Brown

  • then President Obama decided that Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Despite the CFPB being Warren’s brainchild, it was clear the GOP would not vote for her confirmation in any measure.
  • now Warren’s set her sights on a job for which she doesn’t need Republican approval — she just needs to beat them. Warren is expected to announce her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts tomorrow, running against GOP Sen. Scott Brown. source

06 Sep 2011 11:13


Politics: It’s official: Tammy Baldwin’s running for a Wisconsin Senate seat

  • She would be the first openly-gay senator. OK, so the progressives didn’t get Russ Feingold like they wanted, but Rep. Tammy Baldwin is certainly no spring chicken. “Some people think America’s best days are behind us,” Baldwin says in her announcement clip, “but I’m not one of them.” Do you guys think she has a serious shot at Herb Kohl’s soon-to-be-vacant seat? source

19 Aug 2011 19:26


Politics: Russ Feingold’s out: Wisconsin political institution sits out 2012 races

  • While I may seek elective office again someday, I have decided not to run for public office during 2012.
  • Former Sen. Russ Feingold • Breaking the hearts of many a progressive with a single quote. The Wisconsin institution, who’s currently teaching at Marquette Law School and working on a book about 9/11, says he’s enjoying the stuff he’s currently working on and wants a little bit of a break from the political game. This is not a particularly great sign for Democrats going into 2012, as Feingold was seen as likely to do well in another Senate race. Feingold lost his Senate seat, which he held for three terms, last year. Let the speculation begin: Perhaps he’s holding out for a race with Scott Walker? source

16 Aug 2011 20:35


Politics: Rand Paul: Government should prioritize “national defense”

  • There are a few things the federal government should be doing, and one of them is national defense and the other is taking care of veterans.
  • Sen. Rand Paul • Speaking to a group of veterans regarding the funding set aside for them. Now, obviously, Rand Paul isn’t exactly like his dad, but he shares enough of his views that this makes us scratch our heads just a little. Not so much the second part — it’s clear that if he’s in a room of veterans, he’s going to say that — but the first. Is this a deviation between him and his father, or is he simply emphasizing the need for a limited military streak that involves having a defense mechanism? Wonder what you guys think. source

28 Jul 2011 23:23


Politics: An update on the debt ceiling shenanigans

  • boehner’s bill falls short: After a chaotic day of vote-whipping, vote-delaying, and vote-switching, John Boehner has decided to postpone the vote on his debt ceiling bill. Despite multiple assurances that it would be brought to a vote before tomorrow, at the end of the day, Boehner didn’t have enough votes to ensure the bill’s passage (and he wasn’t going to embarrass himself by introducing a bill that was sure to fail). In an unusual alignment, conservative Tea Partiers and House Democrats all pledged to vote against the bill, albiet for different reasons. While the legislation has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, Boehner’s ability to shepherd it through the House is seen by many as the first real test of his leadership abilities. If he doesn’t eventually pass it, there’s a good chance he’ll (eventually) be deposed as Speaker. But it’s not over yet–sources say Republicans plan to tweak the bill a bit, and re-introduce it tomorrow.  source

15 Jul 2011 21:53


Politics: Republicans Senator: “We’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves”

  • Maybe the debt ceiling was the wrong place to pick a fight, as it related to trying to get our country’s house in order…maybe that was the wrong place to do it.
  • GOP Senator Bob Corker • In a shockingly frank admission that the Republicans overplayed their obstructionist hand. The phrase “pick a fight” implies antagonism for antagonism’s sake which, if one reflects on the Republican party’s behavior over the last three years, would seem an appropriate implication. Another Senate Republican, Lindsey Graham, had a similar confession: “Our problem is we made a big deal about this for three months…we’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves.” Yes, indeed. These confessions bode well for the prospects of a deal passing the Senate, but the House remains another question entirely. source

03 Jul 2011 20:31


Politics: Two Senate Republicans budge on raising revenue. Well, kinda.

  • I think it’s clear that the Republicans are opposed to any tax hikes, particularly during a fragile economic recovery. Now, do we believe tax reform is necessary? I would say absolutely.
  • Sen. John Cornyn • Opening the door for the possibility of raising revenue … very slightly. See, Cornyn is OK with changing the tax code so as to fix loopholes in it. But he won’t willingly offer to raise taxes, no ifs, ands or buts. Sen. John McCain is in the same boat, willing to consider “revenue raisers” — without offering details. Now, this all seems like “whatever,” until you realize that this is the closest any members of the GOP have gotten to the idea of raising taxes — or any revenue at all, that is. How pathetic is it that this as far as the GOP has been willing to compromise on this issue? Why should Democrats have to do all the compromising? This isn’t even a step forward. This is like kicking your foot forward a quarter-inch by accident. This redefines movement. source

30 Jun 2011 16:01


U.S.: David Petraeus unanimously confirmed as new CIA chief

  • 94-0 Senate vote confirming Petraeus as CIA director source
  • » The big shuffle continues: With Robert Gates’ retirement, and Leon Panetta imminently poised to become the new Secretary of Defense, the Senate has voted to confirm General David Petaeus to take Panetta’s old job. Petraeus had been serving as the Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but will be departing to become the number one man of the government agency we all think of when we think about high-level secrecy. Of note in this confirmation — ninety-four to nothing! Even in a thoroughly divided Washington, it’s clear Petraeus is still one of the most politically popular people to stand in support of, no matter the political party.

30 Jun 2011 10:37


Politics: The Senate’s skipping its upcoming recess, working straight through

  • All because of that pesky debt ceiling thing: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the only fireworks members of the Senate would see next week would be strictly of the political kind — all in an effort to solve the pesky debt ceiling issue that’s been dogging Congress for a couple of months. If they can’t figure it out by August, it could have a dire effect on the overall economy, but Republicans want cuts to coincide with any sort of debt ceiling deal. Not every Senator is on board with this recess idea, by the way. We’re feeling less confident about their ability to fix this mess by the day. source