Bill Paxon

Buffalo—Democrat Kathy Hochul bounded to the stage of a union hall in Amherst, just northeast of Buffalo, late Tuesday as the newly elected congresswoman from the ruby red congressional district that brought us Jack Kemp, Bill Paxon, and Tom Reynolds. After all the requisite hugs and thank yous, she mentioned her plans to fight to close corporate tax loopholes and make millionaires pay their fair share. “We can do all that,” she said, “and not decimate Medicare.” Hearing that single word, the crowd erupted with the mantra of the Hochul campaign. “Medicare! Medicare!

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It has been fascinating to watch the Republican House hurtling toward a government shutdown. Republican leaders remember well the 1995-1996 shutdown, and understand that it was a devastating setback. And yet they seem unable to avert a recurrence. From a sheer strategic standpoint, it's captivating. It's as if the American military was preparing in 1980 to send troops back to Vietnam. Why are they doing this? The primary driving force is obviously the Republican base.

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The Executive

In the last four months, House Speaker Newt Gingrich has compared himself to a variety of Capitol Hill forebears: Nicholas Longworth, House speaker during the 1920s; Henry Clay; and the leaders of the Radical Republicans who dominated Congress after the Civil War. His press secretary, Tony Blankley, has likened him to Churchill, de Gaulle, Eisenhower, even Gandhi. (“I knew there would be snickering,” Blankley says.) Beneath the hyperbole, however, is an undeniable fact: undeniable by conservatives and liberals alike. The surprise of the 104th Congress is how effective an executive Newt Gingric

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The Executive

 In the last four months, House Speaker Newt Gingrich has compared himself to a variety of Capitol Hill forebears: Nicholas Longworth, House speaker during the 1920s; Henry Clay; and the leaders of the Radical Republicans who dominated Congress after the Civil War. His press secretary, Tony Blankley, has likened him to Churchill, de Gaulle, Eisenhower, even Gandhi. (“I knew there would be snickering,” Blankley says.) Beneath the hyperbole, however, is an undeniable fact: undeniable by conservatives and liberals alike. The surprise of the 104th Congress is how effective an executive Newt Gingri

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The Executive

Fred Barnes on the rise and rise of Newt Gingrich.

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