Every week on Representative Steve Scalise’s calendar, there’s a meeting with an unusual name: “Jedi Council.” Scalise, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), is the newest member of a group of House Republicans who are helping to craft the GOP’s strategy on budget fights. About two-and-a-half years ago, representatives Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, Tom Price, and Jim Jordan began meeting once a week when Congress was in session, usually in Hensarling’s Capitol office — he was then No. 4 in the House leadership — and usually first thing in the morning. When Scalise was elected RSC chairman in
Recently on this blog, Larry Bartels drew attention to an astonishing fact: the public is as conservative as it has been in 50 years. To highlight this point, Professor Bartels presented the public’s policy mood — James Stimson’s measure of public support for government programs—from 1950 to 2012. In a recent article, Julianna Koch and I generated measures of policy mood for each state from the 1950s to 2010 (our measures our here). What we found is that the conservative opinion shift Professor Bartels highlighted repeats itself in every state. The figure below presents one illustration of this pattern. Here we
Speaker John Boehner has said he will not bring up any bill that does not have majority support from at least 118 Republicans. Republicans will insist on securing the border and maintaining respect for the law, and most will refuse liberals’ calls for pathways to citizenship. But, with over 100 open to legalization, and still others who have not explicitly opposed it, a path to legalization might not be far away. A full list of the representatives is below. Some may have since changed their minds, but all spoke positively of legalizing immigrants within the last year.
A newly published memoir by Rep. Luis Gutierrez takes President Barack Obama to task on immigration, saying the White House tried to stifle the congressman´s reform campaign, broke a promise to press the issue and took action only after being "outflanked by Marco Rubio." In "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," Gutierrez complains that deportations increased after his fellow Chicago Democrat took over the White House. And Gutierrez, who endorsed Obama twice for president, describes his frustration over what he viewed as Obama´s unmet pledge to push for
We are less than one and a half weeks from the Showdown at the CR (Continuing Resolution) Corral, and establishment politicians, of both parties, are panicking. The latest turn of the screw came last week, when opposition from 43 apparently non-establishment Republicans forced Speaker Boehner to cancel a vote on a CR because that CR would have continued to fund Obamacare. Fox News Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume concisely captured one source of GOP panic over the weekend, on Fox News Sunday: [T]he axiom in Washington that when the government shuts down, it doesn´t matter who causes it, Republicans get blamed, is
Bobby Jindal is outraged over a Department of Justice lawsuit against a Louisiana school voucher program. The suit, which he (repeatedly) calls “cynical, immoral, and hypocritical” and the “worst misuse” of federal desegregation laws, aims to stop a program that allows poor students in failing schools to enter a lottery for a voucher to attend a better school. The program is an integral part of Jindal’s education agenda, which he’s been implementing in Louisiana since he was first elected governor in 2007.
De-funding Obamacare is tough politically. It is not complicated, though, even though some want you to think that. De-funding is a simple idea surrounded by political jargon and double-speak. If voters are convinced that the task is too complex, they might forgive politicians for not going all-out to de-fund it. De-funding in turn is still second-best to outright repeal. So here is an “Idiot’s Guide to De-Funding Obamacare.” The title isn’t intended to call anyone a dummy, but to stress that this is not rocket science. Anyone who understands how a checking account works can understand how to stop Obamacare
Suffice it to say, it’s hard to do a deal when the only thing the other guy wants is the one thing you can’t give him. This null set scenario is, unfortunately, precisely where we find ourselves in the debate over funding the government beyond September 30th. House Republicans are insisting that any funding measure simultaneously de-fund Obamacare, while Democrats have rightly proclaimed this idea preposterous. And there appears to be no wiggle room in the GOP position. According to The Wall Street Journal, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked House Speaker John Boehner what else on the entire
You know things are bad for President Obama when even Warren Buffett has soured on Obamacare and says that "we need something else." Money Morning writes: "Healthcare costs in the United States are like a tapeworm eating at our economic body. "Those words come from famed investor Warren Buffett, who said he would scrap Obamacare and start all over. "´We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,´ he added. ´And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need
The tendency of “Conservative” institutions to gutlessly defend a big-government statis-quo program like ObamaCare can often leave much to be desired. It’s like sending up The Bat Signal and having Ben Afflek respond. It’s like watching The Washington Redskins’ Defense attempt to stop a NFL offense from putting up 30+ points. At times I’m left thinking that National Review could shorten their name a wee-tad for the sake of brevity, and continue peddling boilerplate Leftism under the masthead “The Nation.” Give or take an occasional copyright infringement suit, I’m not sure readers of this NRO article by Avik Roy would
On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged House Republicans to not shut down the federal government. “I hope my colleagues in the House who believe we need to shut down the government will understand that that’s not want the American people want,” McCain said on CNN. “They hate government, but they don’t want it to stop functioning.” President Barack Obama and Republicans have to agree on another resolution to fund the government before the current resolution expires on September 30. As The Hill notes, at least a third of House Republicans want the Republican leadership to use the next round of budget
In the midst of the Navy Yard attack, former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum took advantage of the chaos to attack gun rights advocates. Gun control is a repeated hobbyhorse for Frum, who blamed the "gun lobby" for the atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary in December. His reaction to Navy Yard placed him in common company with a newly-adrenalized Russian diplomat, who used the event to mock America. A few days before, Frum´s ideological ally, David Brooks, took to the airwaves on PBS´ Newshour to attack what he called "the rise of Ted Cruz-ism," his term for the efforts of
A confirmed atheist when he was 15, C.S. Lewis came around to believing in God when he was 31. "I knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England," he wrote in his autobiography, "Surprised by Joy." Soon he embraced Christianity. A lecturer at English universities, Lewis became a superstar author by explaining his faith and weaving it creatively into novels. Books including "Mere Christianity," "The Screwtape Letters," "That Hideous Strength" and the series "The Chronicles of Narnia" have sold a total of 200 million copies, but he wasn´t always popular.
Megyn Kelly blew out Rachel Maddow in the key demo on Tuesday after losing to her the night before. "I have never seen it in all my years of cable," says Phil Griffin.Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, says there's something fishy about Tuesday's ratings for the Fox News Channel, which were up significantly from a day earlier when Fox News debuted its new schedule. And he wants an investigation."Monday we had a really good day in the key demographic. On the night that Fox News debuted their three shows, we either tied or beat them in those hours," Griffin said at a briefing, according to TVNewser
The rights of a transgendered Colorado high school student are being put ahead of girls the boy harasses in the girls bathroom. A male student at Florence (CO) High School who claims to be transgendered has caused controversy by harassing female students in the girls room, but will not face any discipline – this despite vocal protests from the girls’ parents. ‘The boy’s rights as a transgender trump their daughters’ privacy rights,’ the school has told concerned parents, according to CBN. Unidentified because all involved are minors, the students are being threatened with removal from sports teams or even hate crime charges
Jen Senko is a filmmaker who watched in horror as her father slowly came to believe the extreme right-wing lies of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media mavens. Now she’s making a documentary about it calledThe Brainwashing of My Dad. Senko’s first documentary, Road Map Warrior Women, won recognition with several festival awards. Her most recent film, The Vanishing City, co-directed with Fiore DeRosa, exposes the economic policies that have made New York a city for the rich. The Vanishing City won Best Feature Documentary in the Williamsburg International Film Festival, Best Short Documentary in the Harlem International Film Festival, and
On health care, the president´s pile of broken promises keeps getting higher. Consider this gem from Aug. 20, 2009: “Let´s be clear about the fact that nobody has proposed anything close to a government takeover of health care.” Well, yes, somebody did. President Obama is now well on his way to orchestrating the federal government´s takeover of Americans´ health care. Commandeering the resources of major federal departments, particularly the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS, the administration and its allies in Congress have created numerous federal bureaus, commissions and programs and have issued thousands of pages of rules, regulations,
The Los Angeles Times headline said it all: "Rep. Paul Ryan Fails to Close Republican Divide." When this became Ryan´s job, or whether his now "controversial" Wall Street Journal op-ed was even an attempt at doing that, is anyone´s guess. But once again, Republicans have decided to cannibalize themselves viciously and needlessly instead of uniting over common goals. To be clear, the divide on the right isn´t over policy. No Republican I´ve met thinks Obamacare is good legislation. No one is suggesting capitulation on the debt ceiling. Everyone wants spending cuts, entitlement reform and deficit reduction. Where we´re divided is over tactics. Incidentally, Ryan
It’s a buyer’s market for President Barack Obama. With House and Senate Republicans preparing competing proposals to end the government shutdown and avert a default on the nation’s debt, Obama hasn’t shown any inclination to jump at the first offer. The plan House Republicans presented to the White House on Thursday night wasn’t enticing enough, and there is a sense in Washington that the GOP’s scramble to avoid further political pain from this latest fiscal crisis will give Obama plenty of opportunity to define the terms of a settlement. At this point, White House officials won’t even describe
Good morning. Over the past few days, I’ve met with Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress in an effort to reopen your government and remove the dangers of default from our economy. It’s a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country’s commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together. We’ve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years. Now let’s create more. We’ve cut our deficits in half over
Boston – A possible glitch in a computer system upgrade was causing major problems nationwide with the Electronic Benefits Transfer System on Saturday, as a countless number of shoppers found themselves stranded at the register. Reports from around the country began pouring in around 9 a.m. on Saturday that customers’ EBT cards were not working in stores. The glitch, however, did not appear to be part of the government shutdown. At 2 p.m., an EBT customer service representative told CBS Boston that the system was currently down for a computer system upgrade. The representative said the glitch is affecting people
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) attended a rally protesting the closure of the World War II Memorial, according to reports. The lawmakers and the former governor – and 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee – joined a crowd that removed barricades at the memorial and chanted “tear down these walls,” according to Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP. (Snip) The presence of a Confederate flag at the protest, which later moved to the White House, sparked an uproar on Twitter.
Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too. A new report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sherriff’s Department (LASD) has uncovered a vast increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs since 2004. And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.The data was published in a new report by the Police Assessment Resource Centre (Parc), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation, devoted to “advancing effective
House Republicans were furious with Senate Republicans and President Obama on Saturday for trying to cut a debt ceiling deal that leaves them out in the cold. Members emerged from a conference meeting saying Obama had double-crossed them by breaking off talks in order to shop for a better deal from the Senate GOP. They said the deal, formulated by centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), would never get House GOP approval. “They are trying to jam us with the Senate and we are not going to roll over and take that,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said after a GOP
Elizabeth Smart is making the rounds, flogging her new book My Story (written with Congressman Chris Stewart). Smart is, of course, the beautiful Mormon girl who in 2002 at 14 years old was abducted for nine months by evil lunatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife. Then, miraculously, she was found and reunited with her family. Today, she’s married and says she “couldn’t be happier.” She does good work fighting human trafficking and speaking to sexual abuse survivors. I’ve always been kind of fascinated with Smart. (Snip) Her kidnappers dragged her around the country, chaining her up like an animal