The Great Basin
September 02, 2010
In her campaign to displace Harry Reid from the U.S. Senate, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle has hit a few snags. Among the lessons learned: When holding a press conference, take at least one question. When discussing how to deal with electoral defeat, avoid suggesting “Second Amendment remedies.” When you’ve once complained that black football jerseys are satanic, prepare to have someone reveal it.
September 01, 2010
-- Matt Yglesias has me dead to rights here. -- Molly Worthen explains how to defend incivility in politics. -- Jonathan Bernstein says Harry Reid should get credit for hanging on to Joe Lieberman.
Could Reid Resurrect the Renewable Standard?
August 31, 2010
First it looked like the Senate might pass a big comprehensive climate-change bill. Then we found out, no, there weren't 60 votes for any such thing. Well all right, greens muttered, why don't we just settle for a cap on utility emissions and a renewable electricity standard? Nope, not enough votes for that either. Ooookay, well how about a bill that at least regulates the oil industry, what with all that gook bobbing around in the Gulf? No, no, and… no.
Show Me the Judges
August 27, 2010
Last time I visited the question of judicial nominations, there were 50 district court and six court of appeals vacancies for which Barack Obama had not even nominated anyone. That was two months ago. Today? District court vacancies without a nominee have reached 53; circuit court vacancies without a nominee are up to 9. Why? No idea. Yes, Republicans are obstructing judicial (and exec branch) nominations in the Senate. Why shouldn't they? After all, Obama has signaled again and again that he doesn't really care about them.
Can The Energy Bill Come Back After Recess?
August 04, 2010
Hey, it's the U.S. Senate. What did anyone expect? Harry Reid's now yanking even the stripped-down, hyper-modest energy bill from consideration until after the August recess. Republicans, along with a few Democrats like Mary Landrieu, had strongly opposed the part of the bill that would remove the liability cap for oil companies that spilled crude into the sea. But is it possible that energy legislation come back stronger than ever?
Heritage Foundation's One Man, All-Oil Executive Focus Group Agrees With Heritage Stance
August 04, 2010
Congress is fighting over whether to lift the cap on oil liability, making oil companies completely responsible for damages caused by their spill, or whether to continue having the government subsidize oil companies by covering damages above $75 million. The Heritage Foundation thinks the free market is too unfair to oil companies, and thinks the people are with them: Last night after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled his oil spill response bill, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) told reporters: “The key question is, whose side are you on?
No Climate Bill? Then No Nukes, Either.
August 02, 2010
Remember when people were all excited about the coming nuclear renaissance? About how the first new wave of reactors since the 1970s were on their way? It looks like the climate bill's slow death in the Senate is putting all that in peril: Constellation Energy and the French EDF Group say they're committed to building an enormous nuclear-power plant next to the one Constellation already operates at Calvert Cliffs on the Chesapeake Bay. But the $9 billion project looks less and less certain with each month that goes by.
Energy Innovation--Now What?
July 30, 2010
So, the flickering chimera of a climate bill centered on a cap-and-trade system finally flickered out last week--perhaps for a long while. In its wake is left the puny little package of "energy measures" plus oil spill responses cobbled together by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Which is really troubling.
Spill-Liability Fight Could Kill The Energy Bill
July 28, 2010
Is the Senate capable of passing anything these days? It turns out that even Harry Reid's stripped-down, near-skeletal energy bill might not survive a Republican filibuster. Here's The Hill's Darren Goode Republican leaders said Wednesday they cannot support the bill in its current form—mainly due to language retroactively removing a liability cap for oil-and-gas producers—and also want assurances they can offer amendments. What's this liability fight all about? A quick recap.
Is Edujobs Dead?
July 23, 2010
Last night, the Senate passed a pared-down version of a war funding bill that the House passed earlier this month. Billions in domestic spending, which the House had attached to the legislation, got the boot—including all of the money intended to prevent hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs. “Edujobs,” as the provision is known, had been in trouble for months. It was initially a bill unto itself in the Senate, with a $23 billion price tag. But the Senate dropped it, after Republicans and conservative Democrats attacked it as a “bailout” (the nefarious political term of the moment).