Entries Tagged as 'Congress'

Gridlock Forever

January 5th, 2012 at 4:50 pm 28 Comments

Far from yielding an ambiguous electoral outcome, the Iowa caucuses solidly confirmed the Balkanization of the Republican Party, a fact that will lead to potential electoral failure in 2012 unless neutralized soon. These internal divisions hurt the party’s leadership in Congress in 2011; they have already improved Democratic chances to retain the Senate, gain substantial seats in the House, and keep the White House in 2012.

Super-imposed on this chaos is a 2012 Congressional legislative schedule that virtually no one on Capitol Hill believes has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever passing.

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Anger is Not a Policy

David Frum December 28th, 2011 at 9:53 am 109 Comments

Kevin Williamson at National Review posts a powerful piece denouncing self-dealing in Congress and wrongdoing on Wall Street.

[H]edge-fund titans, i-bankers, congressional nabobs, committee chairmen, senators, swindlers, run-of-the-mill politicos, and a few outright thieves (these categories are not necessarily exclusive) all feeding at the same trough, and most of them betting that Mitt Romney won’t do anything more to stop it than Barack Obama did. …

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The GOP’s Followership Problem

David Frum December 26th, 2011 at 8:41 am 27 Comments

Here’s a question to worry about in 2012: Does the inability of Speaker Boehner to lead his House caucus foreshadow the inability of a President Romney to lead a dual-chambered Republican Congress?

One of the dominant factors motivating the decisions of rank-and-file right-wing House Republicans—and not just freshmen—is their lack of trust in Speaker John Boehner. They like him, but they just don’t believe he’s a dependable defender of their interests and beliefs. Those suspicions aren’t entirely groundless. Yes, Boehner has gone out of his way to cultivate the most conservative members of his caucus—every time he has hit an impasse, his first move is to the right, to accommodate them, not to the middle to replace some of them with willing Democrats. But the Speaker has also shown a penchant for compromise that right-wing House members can’t abide.

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Congressional Quagmire

David Frum December 20th, 2011 at 8:37 am 178 Comments

The problem is bigger than the House of Representatives. The prior question is: why did the Senate adjourn having passed such a ridiculous thing as a two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday?

It’s the answer to that question that reveals the true dysfunction in Congress.

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Don’t Be Fooled, Congress isn’t Working

December 15th, 2011 at 5:37 pm 15 Comments

For the seventh time this year alone, Congress appears poised to pass another continuing resolution for spending for a fiscal year that has already begun.

If any fact indicts the dysfunction of both the Executive and Legislative Branches, that fact does.

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Government Gives Up on Basic Tasks

December 6th, 2011 at 12:00 am 39 Comments

All you really need to know about the state of Washington, D.C. are three facts:

A–a majority of Republicans in the Senate defeated a bill to extend the payroll tax holiday that was introduced by their own Senate Minority Leader last week;

B–President Obama has decided that the only real legislative item he wants passed is that very payroll tax holiday–not deficit reduction, not extension of unemployment benefits, not ending the expansion of the Alternative Minimum Tax into the middle class, not preventing a 27 per cent overnight reduction in payments to Medicare providers;

C–Congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as the White House, still have not approved the basic appropriations bills necessary tokeep the government operating.

To extend what should be extended will cost about $200 billion plus. The President doesn’t want to run the risk as a big taxer, so he is watching as Congress wrangles, something that has been thematic about this President–talk and watch.

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And the Super Winners Are…

November 22nd, 2011 at 12:00 pm 42 Comments

“Winners and Losers” headlines abounded after the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC) whimpered to an end.

One of the most interesting analyses was in The Hill, written by Bob Cusak, although we disagree with some of his picks.

Here is our analysis. “and, the winner is…the Democrats!”

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What SOPA Says About Congress

November 17th, 2011 at 1:06 pm 13 Comments

Although I did have a brief and not-so-glorious career with a big IT firm, I probably don’t qualify as an expert on the exact consequences of the new intellectual property bill–called either SOPA or PROTECT IP--that’s currently moving through Congress.

That said, I do think it’s important not so much for what it would do–many of the opponents are probably overheated in their claims about it–but for what it says about Congress.

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How Gingrich (Literally) Cleaned Up Congress

November 15th, 2011 at 1:20 pm 46 Comments

Newt Gingrich’s surge in the polls raises at least an outside chance that the former House Speaker is going to end up topping the GOP ticket next November. Nobody disputes that Gingrich is very smart and a good debater. He also has the sort of high-level political experience (including foreign policy) that Herman Cain and Rick Perry both lack. But it can be said—not unfairly—that he hasn’t really run anything really, really big.

That said, when it came to the biggest thing he has ever run—the House of Representatives—Gignrich did a good job.

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When the Senate Functioned

October 19th, 2011 at 11:59 pm 46 Comments

Once upon a time, legend has it, the United States Senate could work.  While lost in the mists of time, the exact way the Senate worked apparently had to do with something called, “regular order.”

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