This Deal Is Getting Worse All the Time
July 21, 2011

A colleague emailed me about this, and I honestly thought it was a joke. But no, this is in the New York Times: But the president and Mr. Boehner were moving ahead with their plan, aides said, trying to agree on matters like how much new revenue would be raised, how much would go to deficit reduction, how much to lower tax rates and, perhaps most critical, how to enforce the requirement for new tax revenue through painful consequences for both parties should they be unable to overhaul the tax code in 2012. The White House wants a trigger that would raise taxes on the wealthy; Mr.

What Obama Can Give Away, And What He Can't
July 07, 2011

Several news stories broke last night suggesting that President Obama wants to broaden the debt ceiling deal with Congress, reducing deficits by $4 trillion over a decade, rather than the $2 trillion previously believed. Here's Politico, here's the New York Times, and here's the Washington Post. The reports all suggest Obama will agree to cut Social Security and Medicare in return for higher revenue. When assessing any possible deal, it's important to recognize the parameters of the possible. "Perfect" was never going to happen, even given filibuster-proof Democratic majorities.

The Budget Impasse And the Policy Riders
April 08, 2011

The budget impasse seems to hinge as much as anything else on the fate of a series of "riders" -- measures attached the the budget by the House GOP that don't have anything to do with the budget: Top budget staff, after working through the night, returned Thursday morning with a proposed $34.5 billion in cuts, with $3 billion of that to come from the Pentagon. Democrats said Mr.

All the Hill’s a Stage
April 07, 2011

Around 11 a.m. on Thursday morning, Nancy Pelosi fielded a question from a journalist who wanted to know the same thing everyone else wanted to know: How, exactly, are the talks over a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown faring? The former Speaker of the House paused—back when Dems had a majority, after all, she would have been smack in the center of those negotiations. But now?

A Letter to Congress
March 02, 2010

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and Representative Boehner: Thank you again for the time, energy, and preparation you invested in last Thursday’s bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform.

Boehner--Always Looking Out for Democrats' Interests
January 22, 2010

Does this look like a guy you'd trust?  Then why on earth are Democrats heeding his advice?  Here's Boehner in today's New York Times piece about the legislative fate of health care reform: “They are still scheming and scrambling to find a way to pass their government takeover of health care,” Mr. Boehner said. And he warned, “If they jam it through, I think they are going to face a firestorm from the American public.” Amazingly, if you read the rest of the piece, along with pieces like this one in Politico, you find that a lot of Democrats are accepting his analysis at face value.

Mccain's Fragile Candidacy
April 30, 2008

The piece in today's Times about McCain's tentative rapprochement with the House GOP reminded me again how fragile his candidacy is. Conservatives and establishment Republicans are eager to embrace him because he's pretty much the only member of their party who'd have a chance of winning in November. But you get the strong impression that their affinity for his campaign runs no deeper than the strategic rationale for it.