Hello, I’m Deb Fischer and I’m proud to represent the state of Nebraska in the United States Senate. For the past year and a half, I’ve traveled thousands of miles all across Nebraska visiting with community leaders and citizens to learn about their views and share my positions on issues. During that time, I’ve heard a single, consistent message over and over again: Washington must cut out-of-control spending. I agree and the American people are right to expect more accountability from their government.
Public opinion polls, the experts always tell us, are merely snapshots of American opinion at a moment in time. OK. So, let´s pull together a whole bunch of snapshots and arrange them in an album. See if collectively they perhaps tell us a larger story about the condition of America and Americans 1,724 days into President Obama´s reign of error: Six out of ten Americans now believe their federal government has become too powerful. And that’s just the beginning.
It sure looked like a news conference. There was President Obama standing at the White House Briefing Room podium while, seated in front of him was the usual array of media representatives, 12 of whom got to ask questions Tuesday afternoon. But it wasn´t a news conference. A news conference contains news, something we did not know before. None of the nearly 10,000 words Obama uttered during those 66 minutes were new. He´s all for talking, just not negotiating. [Snip] But what interested us in this Obama non-news news conference was what was not said.
This isn´t another column about the shutdown -- of the American government. It’s about the attempted shutdown of Iran´s economy in a bank-shot bid by President Obama and allies to stop Iran´s nuclear weapons development, which its new president denies having, which no one really believes. The stakes are high since Iran is the region´s major exporter of terrorism. It could provide a nuclear weapon to such groups. Iran´s aggressive acquisition of a weapon of mass destruction would likely set off a regional arms race. And it´s the latest test of Obama´s soft diplomacy. [Snip] In fact, a new study
Conan: Our government will be shutting down this week. So, folks, get ready for absolutely no noticeable difference. Leno: We´ve had 17 government shutdowns since 1976. The longest was those four years during Jimmy Carter´s presidency. Conan: Today was the Obamas’ 21st wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the President forgot. So, tonight he’ll experience a different kind of “shutdown.” Leno: Tonight at midnight all non-essential White House personnel will be sent on leave. So, more bad news for Joe Biden.
The good news is President Obama finally canceled his entire extraneous trip to Asia, which was set to start tomorrow. Not because he´s going to conscientiously immerse himself in solving the ongoing government shutdown like a real president. But because, of course, how it would look otherwise. This keen student of politics apparently realized, or someone tipped him, that the optics of Obama convivially chatting up and negotiating with Asian leaders and a sultan in four faraway countries looked a little funny with his own government paralyzed.
Is this the Change we were waiting for? Really? Even if you voted the other way in 2008, most of the country felt an energy early in 2009, fresh blood in the White House, a clean slate built on an historic choice who promised so much. Even skeptics were hopeful. No more. Just look, if you haven´t just eaten, at the sad spectacle unfolding in Washington these days on both sides -- starting at the top. As the world´s second oldest profession, politics has never been pretty.
On one side of the Oval Office sat Barack Obama making nice with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the other side stood Press Secretary Jay Carney checking the Vegas line on this week´s NFL games. Next to him stood Joe Biden, who is still vice president. He appeared to be in another trance. In between Biden and Carney and Obama and Netanyahu Monday was a jostling pack of reporters and photographers recording the leaders´ warm words and chilly body language.
So far, so good. Just checked the backyard. No pieces of fallen sky yet. Hours into the partial federal government shutdown and it´s difficult to tell there is one. Save for the humorous desperation of TV folks trying to find something, anything that could be labeled calamity and blamed on those political toads in D.C.. So far, the great partial government shutdown of 2013 looks like a full bust. Like that Y2K apocalypse that didn´t happen. Or President Obama´s dire sequester warnings that went Poof! This faux crisis really has little to do with spending.
Conan: Microsoft founder Bill Gates says he regrets dropping out of school and making users hit “control, alt, delete” to log in. Both admissions appear in his new book, “Bill Gates: A Life of Failures.” Fallon: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt said he plans to retire after the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Asked what he´ll do in retirement, Bolt said, “Walk.” Leno: Vladimir Putin lashes out again at the U.S.. This time for giving an Emmy to "The Liberace Story: Behind the Candelabra." Conan: A new Cosmopolitan article explains ObamaCare to women. The article is called, “10 Pre-existing Conditions to Drive
Right now, we have a golden opportunity to fix the problems coming out of Washington. By an overwhelming margin, Americans believe any debt ceiling increase should be coupled with solutions that help solve our debt and grow our economy. Republicans have put forward a plan that does just that. It contains cuts and real reforms to build a 21st century economy from approving the Keystone pipeline and fixing our outdated tax code to delaying the president’s health care law.
Hi, everybody. This Tuesday is an important day for families, businesses and our economy. It’s the day a big part of the Affordable Care Act kicks in, and tens of millions of Americans will finally have the same chance to buy quality, affordable health care as everyone else. It’s also the day that a group of far-right Republicans in Congress might choose to shut down the government and potentially damage the economy just because they don’t like this law.
Anyone watching Texas Republican Ted Cruz et al talk about ObamaCare for 21+ hours on national TV Tuesday and Wednesday was treated to a masterful performance of political discourse, theater, populism, self-promotion and public persuasion. Cruz also provided a primer on social media for the old toads of Congress who can’t grasp Twitter as electronic sidewalk café. Hopefully, Cruz´s performance, with supporting roles from Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, Jim Imhofe and Marco Rubio, raised the blood pressure of most of their veteran colleagues. Welcome to the New Politics, folks.
The federal government has spent $634million on the Obamacare website--more than it cost to build Facebook or Twitter, it was revealed today. Despite the massive bill to taxpayers, the Healthcare.gov still doesn´t work properly ten days after it was launched - allowing only a handful of Americans to sign up for plans on the insurance exchange market. And experts warn that the site is likely to continue to experience significant glitches for months to come as engineers work out the bugs they failed to to spot before the site went live on October 1. The price tag for the broken
On Friday, after blaming conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the Obama administration´s mishandling of military death benefits, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Cruz simply did not represent the GOP. Fox News host Martha MacCallum mentioned that Cruz would be visiting President Barack Obama along with other Republican senators like Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) at the White House on Friday. She asked McCain, "How do you feel about him representing you there?" In response, McCain smirked before saying, "First of of all, Martha, please, he´s not representing us there." Also in the interview,
President Obama’s meeting with certain House Republicans, Carney said, would not be a negotiation: “he’s not going to pay ransom to the Tea Party so that the government opens or the government doesn’t default.” Carney blamed divisions among Republicans for the government shutdown, particularly blaming the Tea Party: “The President invited all members of Congress because he believes all of them shoulder the responsibilities…When it comes specifically to the House of Representatives and the House Republican conference, I think the president extended the invitation to all members because we have seen that it is a very diverse and fractious conference…a subsection
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer continued his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday, asking “where is he now?” “How exactly was he going to achieve abolition of Obamacare? Explain that to me. Has he ever explained it? And where is he now?” Krauthammer said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” Krauthammer, who has previously hit Cruz (R-Texas) on the strategy of shutdown to defund Obamacare, included Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in his questioning and said the two went home to “have lunch.” “I mean his sidekick, Senator [Mike] Lee said, ‘Oh, we’re past Obamacare. We moved on.’ These are the generals
Throw the bums out. That’s the message 60 percent of Americans are sending to Washington in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, saying if they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would. Just 35 percent say they would not.(snip) The 60 percent figure is the highest-ever in that question recorded in the poll, registered in the wake of the government shutdown and threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time in history.
I pointed out the other day that President Obama has unquestionably been hurt by the government shutdown, but Republicans have been hurt more. How bad is it for the GOP? The most recent Gallup poll shows the GOP is viewed favorably by 28 percent of Americans–down 10 points since September and the lowest number for either party since Gallup began asking the question in 1992. “The Republican Party is clearly taking a bigger political hit from Americans thus far in the unfolding saga,” according to the Gallup analysis. Then there’s a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which (as Rod Dreher helpfully summarizes)
One of the TV´s priciest daytime experiments soon could be coming to an end. Stations throughout the U.S. are contracted to carry Katie Couric´s syndicated talk show through summer 2014, but the decision on whether Katie will score a third season likely will be made this month -- and renewal seems a long shot. In fall 2012, Disney/ABC TV rolled out the red carpet for Couric, 56, giving her plum time slots on the best stations, fat license fees and loads of promotion. The initial annual budget was $50 million, according to a show source -- including $20 million for Couric
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has destroyed an entire press run of a stamp series over safety concerns about the images on three out of the 15 stamps in the series. The stamps, which were aimed at getting children to be more active, featured kids cannonballing into a pool, skateboarding without kneepads, and performing a headstand without a helmet. Postalnews, a blog run by Brian Sheehan, a retired postal employee from Massachusetts, reports that USPS Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe asked First Lady Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. Upon
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- From county chairmen to national party luminaries, veteran Republicans across the country are accusing tea party lawmakers of staining the GOP with their refusal to bend in the budget impasse in Washington. The Republican establishment also is signaling a willingness to strike back at the tea party in next fall´s elections. "It´s time for someone to act like a grown-up in this process," former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu argues, faulting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and tea party Republicans in the House as much as President Barack Obama for taking an uncompromising stance. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
Best-selling conservative author Ann Coulter, who has used her nine books to launch vicious attacks on Democrats, is turning her guns on Republicans in a new book out Monday, calling Florida Sen. Marco Rubio a hypocrite, urging donors freeze contributions to the GOP, and demanding that only governors or senators run for the party’s presidential nomination. Her point in “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 -- Especially a Republican” is to shake the party out of its doldrums in time for the 2014 and 2016 elections. “Elections matter. We’re trying to make the country a better place. But if our candidates don’t
The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level. By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96.Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about
This morning I was watching the Today Show and caught a segment on why Europeans are better at life than Americans. Examples they gave were cheese and vacation time. Then they struggled to think of something Americans could do better than Europeans. The discussion was accompanied by a chryon that read "American Exceptionalism." Someone, I think Matt Lauer, suggested binge TV watching. Another sarcastically said fast food. Al Roker said we actually have some pretty good cheese. Savannah Guthrie then sarcastically said, "Like Velveeta?" Al tried to insist that Americans did have good cheese, but it fell on deaf ears.