Paul D. Ryan was plucked from Congress to be Mitt Romney's running mate largely on his reputation as the wonkish and charismatic House Budget Committee chairman, but under the evening sun at the county fairgrounds he was debating beer. And ribs. And a regional favorite called Five Way, which is chili over spaghetti noodles topped with cheese, onions and beans. The architect of the Republican Party's tough-love economic platform has proved particularly adept on the campaign trail with another aspect of political life: courting voters with an appealing enthusiasm, while sometimes skimming past thorny budget details.
The best that can be said about the House-Senate budget deal announced late Tuesday is that it includes no tax increases, no new incentives for not working, and some modest entitlement reforms. Oh, and it will avoid another shutdown fiasco, assuming enough Republicans refuse to attempt suicide a second time. The worst part of the two-year deal is that it breaks the 2011 Budget Control Act´s discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The deal breaks the caps by some $63 billion over the two years and then re-establishes the caps starting in 2016 where they are in current
As he was ascending to the pinnacle of power in the Senate Republican conference almost exactly seven years ago, Mitch McConnell planted the seeds of a feud that could conceivably end his career this May. Democrats, capitalizing on the public’s weariness with the Iraq War and outrage at the GOP’s Abramoff-era corruption, had taken control of both houses of Congress. And McConnell had been unanimously elected minority leader. As they are today, Republicans were searching for a way to reconnect with the public. McConnell, for example, canceled an annual lobbyist-funded retreat at the tony Greenbrier resort in West Virginia in favor of
Pope Francis issued his first apostolic exhortation this week, and it has created quite a firestorm. A Google news search on ´Pope´ following the release of exhortation turned up all kinds of stories proclaiming that Pope Francis says Capitalism is ´evil´ from major news sources raning from the Chicago Tribune to ABC News to the Washington Post. Yahoo News ran AP writer Nicole Winfield´s article about the exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, (The Joy of the Gospel), with a headline that initially said something like ´Pope Blasts Capitalism, says rich should share the wealth.´ After 12 hours the headline changed to "Pope issues
Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp. Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation. Ryan’s staff, meanwhile, has been trolling center-right think
In the recent government shutdown fight I found myself in polite (on my part at least!) disagreement with the elements of the right inclined to denounce the “Republican establishment.” No need to rehash all that again. But, I will say that in the wake of the Cuccinelli defeat, I think the critics of the establishment have the better side of the argument. If the folks running the party want the tea partiers to support their preferred candidates — when they’re the nominee, at least — it should work the other way around as well. It now appears that Cuccinelli, a
A campaign strategist for Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said that the national GOP abandoned the campaign in its final days. At the end of the race, Cuccinelli was closing in on Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who eked out a two-point victory on Tuesday despite exit polls that showed McAuliffe was up by seven points. According to the Washington Post, Chris La Civita said that financial support from national Republican sources dried up on October 1. “There are a lot of questions people are going to be asking and that is, was leaving Cuccinelli alone in the first week of October, a smart
Boyd Marcus, the chief of staff for Cantor until 2003—who later teamed with another GOP operative Ray Allen to found the firm Marcus Allen, which Cantor employed until earlier this year—joined the McAuliffe campaign after Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, with whom Marcus campaigned, did not win the GOP nominee in Virginia. “I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done,” Marcus told the Associated Press in August when he joined McAuliffe’s campaign. Cantor employed Marcus Allen until the day before Marcus left the firm to work
When I was a kid, I knew two different Santa Clauses. The first had a fat belly, rosy cheeks, a long white beard, and skin as pink as bubble gum. He was omnipresent, visiting my pre-school and the local mall, visible in all of my favorite Christmas specials. Then there was the Santa in my family’s household, in the form of ornaments, cards, and holiday figurines. A near-carbon copy of the first one—big belly, rosy cheeks, long white beard: check, check, check. But his skin was as dark as mine. Seeing two different Santas was bewildering. Eventually I asked my father what
US President Barack Obama may have moved the masses attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial service with his stirring eulogy, but it was his grinning "selfie" with the Danish and British premiers that set social networks abuzz. In a candid moment captured by a photographer, Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt can be seen holding up her smartphone, with Obama lending a helping hand, as they pose for a picture with David Cameron, all three of them smiling broadly in their seats at Soweto’s World Cup stadium.(Snip)Mashable, the news and technology website, ran the photograph under the headline: ‘‘Dear Obama: Funerals are no place
Johannesburg - A man who provided sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela´s memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake," the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa said on Tuesday. Asked about the claim by The Associated Press, South Africa´s government said it was preparing a statement. Three sign language experts said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages. South African sign language covers all of the country´s 11 official languages, according to the federation. It wasn´t immediately clear if the unidentified man was using a
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) snapped at conservative groups that have come out in opposition to the budget deal reached Wednesday between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). "They´re using the American people for their own purposes. This is ridiculous," Boehner said at a press conference with other members of House Republican leadership on Wednesday. Over the past few days, a number of conservative groups have blasted the deal because it sets discretionary spending levels in the budget higher than previous levels under sequestration. In the past three days, the influential Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Americans
A black fashion student says he was brutally attacked by a gang of Hasidic men who shouted anti-gay slurs at him while he was walking through Williamsburg after a night of partying, the Daily News has learned. Taj Patterson, 22, was headed home to Fort Greene around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 when he says more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jewish men began assaulting him on Flushing Ave. and yelling, “Stay down, f----t!”
A “presidential selfie” featuring President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service began making the rounds this morning, but it’s the person not included in the frame who caught everyone’s attention: As anyone with two eyes and a Twitter account has noticed, Michelle Obama does not appear amused. Of course, though a picture says a thousand words, not all of those words are necessarily true. FLOTUS might not have even known the photo was taking place. Or she could disapprove of funeral selfies. Either way.
President Obama’s job approval among American voters has dropped to negative territory with just 38 percent voicing their approval versus the 58 who says they disapprove, according to a national poll released Tuesday by the independent Quinnipiac University. That is one percent less than the 39% who said they approved of him in last month’s poll. The majority of the 2,692 registered voters the University in early December said that the president is not honest and trustworthy. When asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?,” respondents gave Obama lackluster ratings