Archive for January, 2013

With ‘Taxby’ gone, Tea Party tacks new RINO hide to wall

As my colleague Jim Galloway first reported, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss will soon announce that he will not seek re-election in 2014.

Georgia conservatives are already taking credit for the decision, arguing that they pushed “Taxby” into retirement. And they probably did. The senator has a very conservative voting record, but not conservative enough for many in his party. His admission that maybe, just maybe, the Republicans would have to accept higher taxes as a necessary evil made him unacceptable in their eyes, guaranteeing a bitter primary fight.

I doubt Chambliss will admit that internal party dissent played a role in his decision. He might say that by announcing so early, he allows himself to devote the next two years to trying to solve problems in Washington. He’ll probably also tell us that if he had wanted to run again, he’s certain that he would have won.

However, few will believe him, and his departure marks another step in his party’s inexorable march to the …

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GOP battle plan: If you can’t compete, cheat

Taking its cue from the likes of Lance Armstrong, dozens of Atlanta Public School teachers and Bernie Madoff, the Republican Party is embracing a bold new solution to its political problems:

If you can’t compete, cheat.

And cheat big.

In Virginia, for example, Barack Obama has carried the state and its 13 electoral votes in the last two elections, becoming the first Democrat to carry the state back-to-back since Franklin Roosevelt. But rather than work harder to win back the state, or adopt policies more relevant to the needs of its voters, Republicans are advancing another solution.

Under a bill passed out of a state Senate subcommittee this week, Virginia would no longer award its electoral votes to the candidate who won the most votes. Instead, the state’s electoral votes would be allocated by congressional district, which are heavily gerrymandered to favor the GOP.*

Had the bill been law in November, Barack Obama would have been awarded just four of the state’s 13 …

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Would you want Hillary in your foxhole?

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I have to run out for a staff meeting, so discuss among yourselves.

– Jay Bookman

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Barack Obama is not the source of GOP’s problems

House Speaker John Boehner is feeling besieged, and I can’t say I blame him. When Nancy Pelosi handed him the speaker’s gavel two years ago, shortly after the success of the 2010 mid-terms, the prospects for the Republican Party looked bright. Now, by Boehner’s own admission, it is fighting for survival against a president who this week used his inaugural address to lay out an aggressive policy agenda.

As Boehner put it in a speech Tuesday at the Ripon Society in Wisconsin, Republicans face “an environment that is going to be far more hostile than anything that I think we’ve seen for a long, long time.”

“And given what we heard … about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans. So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party.

“And let me just tell you, I do believe that …

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In Louisiana, Jindal slashes aid to the dying

UPDATE: This evening, the Jindal administration announced that it was suspending — through June 30 — its announced plan to cease funding of Medicaid hospice services. As the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

“…. on Wednesday, the administration reversed course. The program will be maintained for the rest of the state’s fiscal year, which ends June 30, with the use of “temporary bridge funding,” according to a news release from the Department of Health and Hospitals. The release referred to that money as grant funding but did not specify where it came from or how reallocating it to hospice care would affect other state programs.”

The longer-term fate of the Medicaid hospice program is uncertain.

———–

How do conservatives propose to cut Medicare and Medicaid spending?

Gov. Bobby Jindal, oft-mentioned as a 2016 presidential contender, is going about it in a number of ways, including an executive order that will end Medicaid coverage of hospice services as of February 1. Each …

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‘President Rand Paul’ would have fired Hillary post-Benghazi

In his discussion with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this morning, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky imagined himself as president of the United States. Had he been in that lofty position, he told Clinton, he would have removed her from office:

“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility. I think that ultimately, with you leaving, that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11. And I really mean that. Had I been president at the time and I had found that you had not read the cables from Benghazi, you had not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable….”

“I think it’s inexcusable that you did not know about this, and that you did not read these cables. I would think by anybody’s estimation Libya has to have been one of the hottest of hot spots around the world. Not to know of the requests for security really, I think, really, cost these people their lives. Their lives could have been …

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With Hillary testifying, GOP gets its Benghazi moment

According to U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Obama administration has conducted a coverup of “massive proportions” regarding the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi last year. Other Republicans have implied that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was so terrified of having to testify before Congress that she faked a major illness (”Benghazi fever”) to avoid the appearance.

Well, today will be the day to put up or shut up. Clinton will testify, alone, before committees in both the House and Senate. If McCain has evidence for his claims, let’s see it. If there’s something so earth-shaking about the Benghazi tragedy that Clinton was quaking in her boots at the prospect of being asked about it, this would be the time to bring that information forward.

GOP presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Marco Rubio also sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, giving them the opportunity to do battle with a potential opponent in 2016, should they choose to do so. …

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Mitch McConnell: “King” Obama out to grab yer guns!

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who faces re-election in 2014, is doing his part to model the new spirit of moderation and bipartisan compromise that the GOP hopes to demonstrate to voters in the days ahead.

Here’s how he begins a new email message sent out to supporters:

Dear Patriot,

You and I are literally surrounded.

The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights.

On your freedom.

Just the other night, President Obama urged them to act. And then he went one step further, spelling out the 23 different Executive Orders he will take to get your guns.

My friend, our freedom is under direct assault.

From those who want take your guns. From those who want to shred our Constitution, and as our good friend Rand Paul from Kentucky says, from those who want to be King.

Let me tell you, Mitch McConnell is ready to lead the fight to protect your rights.

Will you stand with Mitch today? …

Below I’ve …

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The GOP’s unconvincing embrace of ‘compromise’

Apparently, Washington Republicans didn’t much like the president’s speech.

“The words were code for a progressive agenda. I’m hoping that the president will recognize that compromise should have been the words for today, and they clearly weren’t,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), told Politico.

Wait: “Compromise”?

Did Mr. Fast and Furious actually say “compromise”? Somewhere, there’s an irony alarm going off.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, Republican of Texas, had a similar response, complaining that “Instead of ‘hope and change,’ Obama has offered only hopelessness, bitter personal attacks and politics as usual.”

And yes, that is the same Steve Stockman currently trying to gin up a campaign to impeach the president.

“President Obama needs to put an end to the extremism that led to record deficits and millions of unemployed Americans, and instead work with Republicans on bipartisan solutions to the serious problems facing our nation,” according to Rep. Steve …

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Obama II: What will the next four years hold?

The National Mall at sunrise, photo courtesy of blog poster Brosephus

The National Mall at sunrise, photo courtesy of blog poster Brosephus

Barack Obama was officially if informally sworn into office for the second time Sunday, but the formal, public ceremony is taking place today, on a bright, cold Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with Obama taking the oath on bibles owned by King and President Abraham Lincoln.

We’ll be live-blogging the rest of the ceremony ….

11:38 — A nicely done, dignified prayer by civil rights leader Myrlie-Evers Williams, a woman who has seen a lot.

11:41: With Sen. Schumer of New York as inaugural planner, it’s understandable that a Brooklyn choir is doing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” But really, a southern choir would have done it righteously.

11:47 Taking his oath, Biden’s just repeating what Sotomayor is saying. Didn’t he get in trouble for that once?

11:51: Obama takes oath, with one small stumble certain to cause comment among a few. The Capitol looks resplendent.

11:58: A call from Obama to the necessity of …

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