What ‘The Washington Post’ Doesn’t Understand About the Looming Government Shutdown
September 26, 2011
One of the biggest problems of reporting on our dysfunctional politics has been the reflexive tendency in “mainstream” media to balance, via what is increasingly false equivalence. A glaring example was a front-page, above-the-fold story in Saturday’s Washington Post by Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, titled (in the print edition, though not on the web), “Gloom Grows as Congress Feuds.” The story was about the looming showdown, and possible government shutdown, over disaster relief funding.
Going Soprano on the Fed
September 21, 2011
So now the Republicans want to go all Tony Soprano on the Fed. On Tuesday, the GOP's four congressional leaders sent a formal letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Fed today finishes a critical two-day meeting, during which it will discuss whether to swing into action again, taking steps that could boost economic growth and reduce unemployment. Many and probably most mainstream economists think that's the right thing to do. The Republicans do not. They were not happy the last time the Fed intervened.
Obama Gets It. Do His Followers?
September 16, 2011
A week after introducing his jobs proposal, President Obama has hit a few obstacles. Republican leaders are criticizing the proposal more loudly than before. A failed green energy investment has much of Washington thinking scandal. And the polls still look pretty grim. So what’s Obama doing now? Exactly what he was doing before: Campaigning loudly, and insistently, for the jobs bill. That’s a really good thing – although he's going to need some help. And he's going to need it soon. The speech Obama gave last Thursday was everything it needed to be.
Will More Smog Create Jobs? Republicans Think So.
August 29, 2011
Republicans continue to tout deficit reduction in the form of dramatic, immediate spending cuts as the best way to boost the economy. But with President Obama set to introduce a new jobs agenda after Labor Day, Republicans are now signaling they want to do something else, as well: Get rid of regulations. In a new memo released on Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor produced a list of "Top 10 Job-Destroying Regulations," including new rules on pollution, labor organizing, and health insurance.
Eric Cantor's Chutzpah
August 22, 2011
Eric Cantor's op-ed laying out the Republican agenda is filled with the kind of distortions you'd expect, but this passage deserves special commendation. After decrying a National Labor Relations Board Ruling, he continues: Such behavior, coupled with the president’s insistence on raising the top tax rate paid by individuals and small businesses, has resulted in a lag in growth that has added to the debt crisis, contributing to our nation’s credit downgrade. So Cantor is arguing that S&P downgraded U.S. debt because of President Obama's future plans to increase the top tax rate.
Eric Cantor's Pseudo-Economic Rationale
August 09, 2011
Eric Cantor is circulating a memo to House Republicans urging them to hang tough on their absolute opposition to any deficit reduction plan that includes higher revenue.
Paul Ryan Is Making Things Up Again
August 02, 2011
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, he writes: During the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, President Obama reportedly warned Republican leaders not to call his bluff by sending him a bill without tax increases. Republicans in Congress ignored this threat and passed a bill that cuts more than a dollar in spending for every dollar it increases the debt limit, without raising taxes. Yesterday, Mr. Obama signed this bill into law.
The Very Small Sacrifice That's Not On The Table
July 29, 2011
As Ezra Klein points out, John Boehner is facing the real problem that any passable debt ceiling deal will provoke a rebellion from his own caucus: We’ve now seen the same farce play out four times. Republican leaders get close to a deal and then, just before they can close it, their members revolt and they have to pull back. The first time was when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor walked out of the Biden talks rather than discuss revenue. The second and third time when when Boehner walked out on the various iterations of the $4 trillion deal he had been cutting with Obama.
The general consensus in Washington is that Speaker John Boehner’s career is on the line during the debt limit talks: If he makes a deal that’s seen as selling out the Tea Party and other “real” conservatives, the House Republican conference will dump him and install current Majority Leader Eric Cantor, with whom they are thought to have much better relations, as the new speaker. Certainly, grassroots conservatives have little love for Boehner, and some are already calling for his head on a spike.
Newt Gingrich, America’s Worst Historian
July 22, 2011
Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is finished, although it may be a few months before he admits what nearly everyone who follows politics already knows.