Noemie Emery Crushes Straw Man, Basks in Victory
July 21, 2011
Noemie Emery's latest story for the Weekly Standard offers a fairly useful summary of the state of conservative thought about liberalism and the welfare state. Here are the first two sentences: The intentions of Democrats are only the best.
Planes, Boats, and Paris Hilton: Why Can’t Democrats Master the Politics of Synecdoche?
July 09, 2011
It’s a choice between “kids’ safety” and “tax breaks for corporate jets” according to President Obama’s clearest explanation of the budget showdown in a press conference last Wednesday. The Republicans’ staggering refusal to consider even the most minimal efforts to close tax loopholes—because it would cross the line of their blood-oath to tax lobbyist Grover Norquist—was boiled down to the tangible phrase, repeated six times, “corporate jets.” The reaction, especially but not exclusively on the right, was disparaging. It was simultaneously “class warfare” and futile.
Why The Big Budget Deal Won't Happen
July 08, 2011
Because conservatives won't go for it: Mr. Obama, seated between Mr. Boehner and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, told the lawmakers he would not sign an interim deal, only one that extended through the 2012 election. Then he surveyed the eight leaders about their preference for three deals of different sizes — the largest being up to $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, according to aides briefed on the discussion. Six of the eight expressed their support for the biggest deal, the aides said.
Obama's Latino Strategy Takes Shape
May 12, 2011
Here are three stories that don't make a ton of sense individually, but make a great deal of sense taken together.
Attention Harry Reid
May 02, 2011
A fair amount of momentum is building among liberals (see Senator Bernie Sanders, or bloggers Scott Lemieux and Steve Benen) for the idea that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should bring the House-passed budget resolution—more popularly known as the Ryan plan—to the floor for a vote. Reid is apparently ready to follow their lead. The theory is that it would be a tough vote for Senate Republicans, who will face pressure from movement conservatives to vote yes but don’t want to be on record endorsing, in the Democrats’ terms, slashing Medicare to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
The Planned Parenthood P.R. Coup
April 08, 2011
All day Friday, there were two big, conflicting narratives floating around Capitol Hill about why there wasn’t yet a budget deal to keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year. The Republican story: We’re still bickering over how much spending to cut. And the Democratic version: False! Both sides have basically agreed on an amount to cut—somewhere in the vicinity of $38 billion. The only holdup is that Republicans still want to slash federal funds for Planned Parenthood, and that’s an absolute no-go for us Dems. Someone had to be lying, right? But who?
April 08, 2011
Phillip Klein reads the tea leaves and thinks the shutdown will not happen: Moments ago, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh.., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., made public statements about the state of negotiations, with a shutdown looming at midnight Friday.
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?
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Shutdown
April 05, 2011
Greg Sargent reports: A senior Senate Democratic aide tells me that in today’s private meeting at the White House, Speaker John Boehner signaled to the President and to Harry Reid that Republicans were not willing to support any budget compromise that can’t garner the votes of 218 Republicans in the House.
The Biggest Losers in the Budget Battle
February 28, 2011
Who's winning the political battle over the budget and federal spending? Damned if I know. Politico's Jonathan Allen says the score is "Republicans 1, Democrats 0." The reason: The temporary agreement that will keep the government running another two weeks includes $4 billion in cuts, which is more or less a pro-rated version of the Republican demand for $60 billion in cuts over the rest of the fiscal year. Democrats, in other words, caved. Or did they? The $4 billion comes from a list of cuts that President Obama himself had endorsed.