Tom Coburn

Are we headed for a government shutdown? My colleague Noam Scheiber thinks so. And, in his latest dispatch, he makes an awfully good case. 

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And start listening to the silent majority.

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Political Science in the Crosshairs

Republicans defund academic studies whose lessons they don't want to learn

Under the cover of austerity, Republicans defund academic studies whose lessons they don't want to learn.

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Turns out everyone was wrong, and no one bothered to ask.

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Today In Crazy

I've already covered Rick Santorum arguing that gay marriage helped cause the economic crisis. Since then Rick Perry, recently having expressed skepticism of climate science, is also expressing skepticism toward evolution.

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Sen. Tom Coburn is known for his "unpredictable style," as Politico has delicately put it. The right-wing Senator spent months painstakingly crafting a deficit bargain with the bipartisan Gang of Six. Then, as it neared agreement, he suddenly jacked up his demands and then bolted the negotiations.

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Here's something I did not expect at all: supply-siders appear at least open to supporting the Gang of Six budget. Larry Kudlow offers a qualified endorsement as does the Wall Street Journal editorial page: [T]he outline from the three Republicans (including Oklahoma conservative Tom Coburn) and three Democrats is different from most other such offers because it combines spending cuts with reform that would lower tax rates. Most Beltway budget deals combine immediate tax increases with the promise of future spending cuts that somehow never occur.

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The Senate "Gang Of Six" today made a final push for its deficit reduction proposal, announcing that apostate gang member Tom Coburn had rejoined the group, releasing its plan, and unveiling numerous Senatorial endorsements. President Obama praised the group and its plan at his press conference today. The question I have here is the same question I've had all along: How do they think this plan will get through the House of Representatives?

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Despite months of media hype, I've expressed long-standing, deep skepticism that the Senate "Gang of Six" would ever succeed in getting a deficit agreement passed into law. The final stages of the group are just plain sad: In a last-ditch effort to make their deficit-cutting ideas relevant to the debt ceiling debate, the remnants of the Gang of Six will give a presentation on their plan to a bipartisan group of about 50 senators on Tuesday morning, according to several congressional sources. Sens.

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[Guest post by Alex Klein] Senator Tom Coburn just kicked down the door into the debt ceiling debate packing serious heat: a $9 trillion caliber plan to cut the deficit by attacking every special interest group in the United States. Farmers, old folks, teachers, unions, students, corporations, and even veterans: nobody is safe from the Coburn cuts. By fusing almost every unpopular proposal in the debate thus far—from raising the Medicare age to flaunting Grover Norquist and his tax apostles—the senator is probably trying some kind of sum-of-all-fears strategy.

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