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Archive for February, 2013

Obama’s Big Spending Ways Will Mean More Tax Hikes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 6th, 2013 12:08 am by HL

Obama’s Big Spending Ways Will Mean More Tax Hikes

Why No Liberal Outrage on Drone Assassinations?
Joan Walsh, Salon
Last year Brown University’s Michael Tesler released a fascinating study showing that Americans inclined to racially blinkered views wound up opposing policies they would otherwise support, once they learned those policies were endorsed by President Obama. Their prejudice extended to the breed of the president’s dog, Bo: They were much more likely to say they liked Portuguese water dogs when told Ted Kennedy owned one than when they learned Obama did. But Tesler found that the Obama effect worked the opposite way, too: African-Americans and white liberals who supported…

Democrats Eye Unlikely Georgia as Senate Pickup
Scott Conroy, RCP
Even before Saxby Chambliss announced last month that he would not seek a third term, the 2014 Senate race in Georgia was shaping up to be one of the more intriguing midterm contests.Republican Congressmen Tom Price and Paul Broun had been mulling primary challenges to Chambliss, who recently broke with GOP orthodoxy in seeking bipartisan compromise on fiscal issues. And now that the incumbent has bowed out, the prospect of a particularly messy Republican primary fight has national Democrats taking a second look — albeit with a healthy dose of realism — at a race they had considered an…

There Will Be No Budget Deal
Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast
We’re less than a month away now from the sequester, the beginning of the deep budget cuts that will kick in automatically if President Obama and Congress don’t come to a budget deal. I have a news flash for you: There is not going to be any deal in the next 25 days. And here’s another news flash: In the Republican tug-of-war between those who want to protect the Pentagon and those who want to cut spending and damn the consequences, it’s looking like the latter are winning. If they get their way, it’s also almost certain that the austerity the…

Permanent Democratic Majority Is Not Inevitable
Rick Perlstein, Nation
Following Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney a certain argument became ubiquitous: the argument from demographic inevitability. That the Republican Party, absent deep-seated changes that are all but unimaginable, is in for a generation or more of electoral doom. Indeed the argument was being made long before the votes were even cast. Here was Jonathan Chait in New York magazine, etching the argument sharply almost a year ago:The modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of…

John McCain & Lindsey Graham’s Mideast Idiocy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 4th, 2013 12:08 am by HL

John McCain & Lindsey Graham’s Mideast Idiocy
Andrew McCarthy, NRO
I’m done grumbling about how President Obama is empowering America’s enemies. After all, it is not just Obama. When it comes to abetting the Muslim Brotherhood, Republicans are right there with him.Not all of them, of course. This week, for example, Senator Rand Paul proposed an amendment that would have prohibited our government from transferring F-16 aircraft and Abrams tanks to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government. This lunatic plan is not just an Obama initiative. It is also a GOP brainstorm — of a piece with 2011’s…

On Thought and Our Political Rhetoric
Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better
Catherine Rampell, NYT
In the current listless economy, every generation has a claim to having been most injured. But the Labor Department’s latest jobs snapshot and other recent data reports present a strong case for crowning baby boomers as the greatest victims of the recession and its grim aftermath. These Americans in their 50s and early 60s — those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security — have lost the most earnings power of any age group, with their household incomes 10 percent below what they made when the recovery began three years ago,…

The President Replants the Goal Posts

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on February 2nd, 2013 12:08 am by HL

The President Replants the Goal Posts
Jonathan Alter, Bloomberg
In the summer of 2011, when the “Grand Bargain” on deficit reduction failed, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of “moving the goal posts” — shifting his demands to the left.After Boehner objected, Obama quickly moved the goal posts back and said he wanted to keep talking. But the speaker thought it was too late and the deal collapsed.Goal-post shifting is back in style. Behind the soaring rhetoric of the inaugural address and his announcement of a bold immigration plan, the president is engaged in a carefully calibrated effort to move the…

Schumer Upbeat on Immigration
Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a top Democratic mediator in the immigration reform debate, told reporters Thursday that comprehensive legislation can win approval in Congress this year, and that he expects the upper chamber to pass a bill by early summer. "This will be the year that Congress finally gets some common-sense immigration reform across the finish line," he said.But while talk of reform has been rosy since a bipartisan group of senators introduced a legislative blueprint earlier this week, the terrain on Capitol Hill remains rocky. With no official bill — only a…

Hagel Will Be the Next Sec. of Defense
Chris Cillizza, Washington Post
Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel was, at turns, halting, befuddled and, often, just plain bad during his confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of Defense. And it almost certainly won’t keep him from becoming the next man to lead the Pentagon.Let’s start with what Hagel did wrong.  He appeared to be taken completely aback by the aggressiveness of the questioning from many of his former Republican colleagues on long-hashed over topics like his posture toward Iran and Israel as well as his past statements regarding the surge in Iraq.This exchange with his…

Ben Nelson Cashes In on ObamaCare Vote
Timothy Carney, DC Examiner
Sen. Ben Nelson delivered a crucial vote to pass Obamacare into law in 2009, and now he is cashing out of the Senate to make money off the organizations that benefitted from the legislation.Nelson's trip through the revolving door demonstrates an important truth about Washington's influence industry: The revolving door rewards lawmakers for further entangling business and government, whether through regulations, subsidies or mandates.

Someone Should Tell Obama It’s Still the Economy
Ed Morrissey, TFT
Employer-provided birth control. Binders full of women. Mitt Romney's tax returns. All of the issues that had attracted so much attention in 2012 belied the fact that the US economy had been stagnating ever since the recovery technically began in June 2009.  From that point forward, the workforce declined and jobs failed to materialize in large enough numbers to keep pace with population growth. The disconnect between politics and reality reached its apex in the President's inaugural speech, which mentioned the word “economy” once, and jobs only…