Archive for November, 2012

Georgia’s Tom Price a central figure in D.C. drama


With the election finally behind us, President Obama and Congress will now try to set partisanship aside and cut a major deal on taxes, spending and entitlements.

Good luck on that, right?

The good news — which is also the bad news — is that they have enormous incentive to succeed. Without a new law, taxes are set to jump by $400 billion at the start of the year and federal spending will be slashed by $200 billion. If allowed to take full effect, those steps have the potential to set off another deep recession. So the future looks much like the past, with weeks of drama, confrontation, intrigue and brinksmanship looming between Democrats and Republicans, between the House and Senate and between Congress and the White House.

The same can be said of two Georgia Republicans, U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Marietta Roswell and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Over the next three to six months, they’ll be watching each other very closely, and their interactions have the potential to …

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An early, disguised hint of Petraeus affair?

UPDATE deserving of a “Seriously?!”

From the Washington Post:

“The collapse of the dazzling career of CIA Director David H. Petraeus was triggered when a woman whom he was having an affair with sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him, according to three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode.

The recipient of the e-mails was so frightened that she went to the FBI for protection and help tracking down the sender, according to the officials. The FBI investigation traced the threats to Paula Broadwell, a former military officer and a Petraeus biographer, and uncovered explicit e-mails between Broadwell and Petraeus, the officials said….

The identity of the woman who received the e-mails was not disclosed, and the nature of her relationship with Petraeus is unknown. The law enforcement officials said the e-mails indicated that Broadwell perceived the other woman as a threat to her relationship with Petraeus.”


Back in July, the …

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CIA chief Petraeus quits over admitted affair


Didn’t see this one coming.

CIA Director David Petraeus, who as a four-star general led the “surge” in Iraq that allowed a somewhat graceful American withdrawal from that country, has resigned.

In a letter to CIA employees, Petraeus wrote:

“Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the president to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”

I’m sure that in some quarters, this surprising event will be linked to some sort of conspiracy theory. (And sure enough, Rupert Murdoch steps up to make the claim).


I have no trouble believing that Petraeus withheld the news until after the election, out of respect for the process. But the notion that a man as …

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Time to set politics aside and ROCK!

Well, we made it through that week more or less intact, which means that the time has come to turn to more important things, things that aren’t dependent on politicians and voters and campaign strategists. Things that unite us, not divide us.

Here to kick off the festivities is a young man from Austin, Texas, where they claim to know a thing or two about the blues and blues guitar-playing. His name is Gary Clark Jr., and he’s in the process of pulling off something that hasn’t been done in a long time, which is becoming a more or less mainstream musical star by coming up through the blues scene. He even has a supermodel girlfriend to show for it.

Ladies and gentlemen, liberals and conservatives, I give you Mr. Gary Clark:

– Jay Bookman

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It’s time for Karl Rove to float away in a balloon


Ten years ago, Karl Rove was being celebrated as — was celebrating himself as — the architect of what he called a permanent Republican majority.

Today, not so much.

In the 2012 cycle, Rove spent some $300 million of other people’s money and accomplished not a damn thing with it. These are not people who appreciate spending a lot of money and getting nothing in return. They were led to believe that their money would purchase politicians who would return their phone calls immediately. Even more important, they wanted their investment to instill a good healthy fear in those in Washington who otherwise might cross them.

Instead, they got U.S. Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren.

Frank-Morgan-as-Professor-Marvel-aka-the-Wizard-of-Oz-and-Judy-Garland-as-Dorthey-Gale-in-the-Wizard-of-Oz1Of course, the real Wizard of Oz moment came Election Night on Fox, when Rove performed his epic meltdown over the numbers coming out of Ohio. If that did not permanently damage his reputation more than the losses themselves, it certainly cemented it.

You see, a good political strategist has to be willing to …

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Economic insecurity a challenge to GOP

As might be expected, there’s a lot rethinking under way among conservatives in the wake of Tuesday night. Before the election, for example, I ran a sampling of headlines from National Review’s website, each of them supremely confident in a Romney victory, nay landslide.

As of last night, the terrain has changed:

Our Terrifying Message
People are afraid of the GOP

Why Hispanics Don’t Vote GOP
The “social issues” Hispanic voter is a mirage

Sifting Through the Wreckage
A grim four years lie ahead

The Machine
The numbers beat the numbers guy

Bitterfest 2012
Jay Nordlinger presents his apparently quadrennial notes

How Romney Lost
The bad news: Class warfare works

Under the first headline, about the terrifying GOP, we find this:

“… each of Obama’s core constituencies (single women, African-Americans, and Latinos) is seriously — and disproportionately — economically disadvantaged compared to the classic paradigm of the white, college-educated Republican voter. The rates …

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The GOP’s self-defeating image of minorities as ‘takers’

I’m seeing and hearing a lot of this kind of thing, on this blog and elsewhere, as Republicans attempt to come to grips with Tuesday’s election defeat and try to seek explanations for why they lost.

For those unable to watch video, here’s what O’Reilly had to say on Election Night, as it was becoming apparent that it would be a bad night for Republicans:

“The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

In one sense, you can understand why that kind of rationalization would be appealing. In effect, O’Reilly is telling his listeners that “We lost by being better than they are. It’s not our fault and …

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Boehner: ‘We’re willing to accept new revenue’

It’s a long, torturous road from word to deed, but this could be huge …

“Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue” to tame the soaring national debt and avert an ugly battle over the approaching “fiscal cliff,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday in a speech that offered a potential path to compromise in year-end budget negotiations.

With President Obama reelected and Republicans returned to a slightly smaller majority in the House, Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday’s election amounted to a plea from voters for the parties to lay down their weapons of the past two years and “do what’s best for our country.”

“That is the will of the people. And we answer to them,” Boehner said, according to advance excerpts of a speech he planned to deliver at an afternoon news conference at the Capitol. “For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions.”

We’ll …

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Conservative media betrayed, failed its audience


There’s truth being told in conservative circles today, for those who are willing to hear it.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, for example, appears to be throwing his support behind the so-called DREAM Act, which would allow young immigrants brought here illegally as children to attend college and earn citizenship:

“In the next Congress, I am committed to working on upward mobility policies that will ensure people who work hard and play by the rules can rise above the circumstances of their birth and leave their children better off. The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it, and Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them.”

And Conor Friedersdorf, writing in The Atlantic, asks why so many of his conservative colleagues were shocked and surprised last night, given that the outcome had been predicted for weeks by polls and expert analysis.

His conclusion: …

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Video chat: Picking the carcass of the 2012 election

Kyle Wingfield, Aaron Gould Sheinin and I talk through the implications of last night’s results for Georgia, the nation and the Republican Party.

– Jay Bookman

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