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Items from Around the Web 11/07/2013 (a.m.)

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NY 26 Special Election Links 11/06/2013 (p.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 11/06/2013 (p.m.)

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NY 26 Special Election Links 11/06/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 11/06/2013 (a.m.)

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NY 26 Special Election Links 11/05/2013 (p.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 11/05/2013 (p.m.)

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“Links” Hiatus

Because of upcoming professional obligations, I am taking a sabbatical from posting links for the next six weeks so I can can focus on some research and writing I must do. I expect to be able to return to regular posting in late May or early June. Although I may put up something occasionally between now and then, I do not plan to be constantly combing the internet for articles in the near term. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause people who rely on my links.

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Items from Around the Web 04/22/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/18/2013 (p.m.)

  • “Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on. I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth about the cowardice these senators demonstrated. I am asking for mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote. I am asking activists to unsubscribe from these senators’ e-mail lists and to stop giving them money. I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences. … Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.”

    An incredibly powerful op-ed from Gabrielle Giffords.

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Filibuster Republican Irresponsibility Giffords 2014

  • “And so while today is clearly a crushing setback for proponents of tougher gun legislation, overall the effort has been a very solid step towards eventual passage. If, that is, the people who strongly supported today’s amendment keep working to reward Senators who supported them, to make life difficult for those who opposed them; and, most of all, to make it a must-support for future candidates.”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Filibuster Republican Irresponsibility 2014

  • “Republicans would thus be forced to choose between agreeing to new taxes and triggering a huge conservative revolt; or exacerbating the public’s sense that their party is pathologically unable to compromise.”

    tags: GLOW Federal Budget Taxes Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “But conservatives may demand a showdown over the debt ceiling, which could put Ryan in a tricky spot. Either he signals a willingness to raise it, which could damage him among conservatives and GOP primary voters, who have been led to believe that staging big standoffs around the debt ceiling is the way to defeat Big Government. Or he holds out against compromise, which could win him plaudits on the right but could make him look uncompromising and ideologically extreme to moderate voters and opinion leaders. In other words, at a time when the prospects for GOP flexibility on fiscal matters already looks remote, with Republicans remaining ideologically tethered to Ryan’s fiscal vision, add his apparent 2016 ambitions into the mix and things could get even worse.”

    tags: GLOW 2016 Ryan Debt Ceiling Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility

  • “If Manchin-Toomey dies, there also will be a lot of chatter to the effect that this was inevitable, that the NRA’s grip on Congress is invincible, and that it was naïve to imagine that anything could happen, even after Newtown. This is all just wrong, and indeed, it lets culpable Senators off the hook. If the proposal goes down, it will be because a few Senators did the wrong thing. It was not at all inevitable that a half dozen Senators who were genuinely undecided voted one way and not the other. The death of this proposal will be on them. Whatever the prospects for future gun reform, it is all but certain that Senators who vote No today will eventually be confronted by another shooting — whether it’s a particularly gristly murder in their state or a high profile massacre that gets national attention. And they will be unable to say they did something to try to slow the carnage when they had the chance. Is that what they really want?”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Newtown Republican Obstruction Republican Irresponsibility

  • “Both these arguments lead back to the same place — namely, that the political debate has been dominated by an imaginary fear. As a result, we’ve endured mass unemployment, a phenomenon with enormous and very long-term consequences.”

    tags: GLOW Deficit Austerity Economy Unemployment Republican Irresponsibility

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Items from Around the Web 04/17/2013 (p.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/16/2013 (p.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/16/2013 (a.m.)

  • “This is who: A shrewd politician intent on doing what’s necessary to emerge from his presidency as a transformational figure — beyond the scope of being the nation’s first non-white president — with a legacy of having changed entire pillars of a country in a period of significant change.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Compromise

  • “Because the accounts from the Sandy Hook families have been so moving and so wrenching, it is common to say that a gun bill is being carried along ‘on a wave of emotion.’ There is nothing wrong with honest emotion, but the implication is that we are acting on guns in a way we would not act if our judgments were based on pure reason or a careful look at the evidence. This has it exactly backward. The truth is that the Newtown slaughter has finally moved the gun debate away from irrational emotions, ridiculous assumptions, manipulative rhetoric — and, on the part of politicians, debilitating terror at the alleged electoral reach of those who see any new gun regulations as a step into totalitarianism. These bills are being taken seriously precisely because we are finally putting emotion aside. We are riding a wave of reason.”

    tags: GLOW Newtown Gun Control Republican Irresponsibility

  • “The practical misconception here — and it’s a big one — is the notion that we live in an era of wildly irresponsible money printing, with runaway inflation just around the corner. It’s true that the Federal Reserve and other central banks have greatly expanded their balance sheets — but they’ve done that explicitly as a temporary measure in response to economic crisis. I know, government officials are not to be trusted and all that, but the truth is that Ben Bernanke’s promises that his actions wouldn’t be inflationary have been vindicated year after year, while goldbugs’ dire warnings of inflation keep not coming true. The philosophical misconception, however, seems to me to be even bigger. Goldbugs and bitbugs alike seem to long for a pristine monetary standard, untouched by human frailty. But that’s an impossible dream.”

    tags: GLOW Economy Inflation Bernanke Republican Irresponsibility

  • “This evening, President Obama made a statement about today’s explosions at the Boston Marathon.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama video National Security Terrorism

  • “House Republicans are no longer swayed by public opinion, imperiling the GOP and grinding government to a halt.”

    tags: GLOW Congress Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility Republican Disarray

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Items from Around the Web 04/15/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/12/2013 (p.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/12/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/10/2013 (p.m.)

  • “A bipartisan group of senators has struck a deal to expand gun background checks to all commercial sales — whether at gun shows, via the Internet or in any circumstance involving paid advertising, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks.”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Senate

  • “In a briefing with reporters at the White House on Tuesday, senior administration officials characterized the official adoption of Chained CPI as both a recognition that rounding out a ground bargain will require making concessions to the GOP, and as a final gesture of good faith to Republicans in Congress, who’ve been demanding Obama propose and take ownership of entitlement cuts for years. But the officials also stressed that Chained CPI will never become law unless Republicans respond (in unlikely fashion) by agreeing to limit tax expenditures benefiting high-income earners. If they don’t, it will mark the end of Obama’s two-year quest to secure trillions of dollars in deficit reduction on a bipartisan basis.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Federal Budget Grand Bargain Social Security Taxes Fairness Republican Hypocrisy

  • “But the cuts mostly haven’t begun. They begin rolling out in earnest this month. Unemployment checks for people who’ve been without a job for more than 26 weeks are about to get cut by 11 percent. Military contracts are about to get canceled. Medicare patients are being turned away from cancer clinics. Schools will lay off teachers. Infrastructure projects will stop. There will be much more demand for a compromise than there is now. There will be much more political anger than there is now. This budget sets up that debate. Republicans are, at this point, out of excuses. They can’t say the president isn’t reaching out to them. They can’t say he’s not willing to make painful concessions — or, to rephrase, they can say that, but given all the on-the-record quotes of Republican leaders demanding the White House accept means-testing Medicare and chained-CPI, no one will take them seriously. The White House is calling their bluff. The question is whether, as the pressure mounts, they double down against compromise, or they begin to fold.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Federal Budget Entitlements sequestration Grand Bargain Republican Irresponsibility Republican Disarray

  • “A senior administration official confirmed to TPM that the provision is a fresh addition to Obama’s budget, and intended to close the loophole that allowed Romney to amass upward of $100 million in his individual retirement account. IRAs are intended to allow workers to put away modest sums of money each year in order to help finance a middle class retirement. The savings are tax-deferred, but there’s a legal limit — now $6,000 — on how much an IRA holder can contribute annually. Experts critical of Romney suspect he skirted that limit by making investments in Bain Capital projects through the IRA and dramatically lowballing the value of the stakes. The budget also proposes ending the so-called carried-interest loopholes, that allows financial managers to pay tax on what most would consider labor income at a lower capital gains rate.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Federal Budget Taxes Fairness

  • “Jindal’s plan exploded because it was zero sum. It cut taxes on the rich and raised them on the poor. It had to be zero sum because states have to balance their budgets. But the federal budget doesn’t have to balance, and this fact underpins the entire Republican policy strategy over the last three decades. Before Ronald Reagan, Republicans cared a great deal about controlling the budget deficit and very little about cutting taxes for the rich. In an environment where every dollar into one account had to come from another, giving a lot of the dollars to a tiny number of people is almost invariably unpopular. That’s why the GOP’s makeover into a more plutocratic party occurred simultaneously with its abandonment of old-fashioned fiscal conservatism. Lower taxes for the rich can work politically only if you obscure the fact that eventually the money has to come from somewhere else.”

    tags: GLOW 2016 Jindal Taxes Fairness Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “As badly as Obama wants a budget deal, Boehner seems just as determined to keep him from reaching one. For liberals, this is close to an ideal situation. The Republican Party’s brand continues to worsen. The Democratic president manages to look reasonable without ever actually signing a painful compromise into law. And Medicare and Social Security remain safe.”

    tags: GLOW Grand Bargain Entitlements President Obama Boehner Republican Disarray

  • “The great curse of Republican politics, and the great reason that Democrats have won so many national elections in the last decade, is that GOP politics is now an arms race among extremists who drive each other and drive the GOP further outside mainstream America. Consider the case of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who compete to lead the extremist wing of Republicans, with each one trying to outdo the other to prove who is more out of touch with America. And Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) increasingly looks like a hostage to this GOP arms race toward political extremism.”

    tags: GLOW Cruz Rand Paul McConnell Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “Hmm. So in the mind of the senior senator from Oklahoma, those whose loved ones were killed in a brutal school shooting are detached from the debate over gun violence. And these folks would realize this truth were it not for the rascally president convincing them otherwise. Inhofe, incidentally, is one of the 15 Republican senators who has vowed to block any effort to debate any legislation that changes any gun law in any way.”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Newtown Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility

  • “The distinction between policy flaws and communication problems is at the crux of the GOP’s soul-searching as the Republican National Committee convenes this week in Los Angeles for the first time since the report’s release. And it’s a discussion that won’t end anytime soon as conservatives, moderates and pragmatists struggle for control of the GOP megaphone. The dynamic has been highlighted in the weeks since the chairman’s call for outreach, with succession of conservative party figures voicing positions that may alienate the very voters national party leaders want to capture.”

    tags: GLOW Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “As one of the country’s largest and oldest conservative advocacy groups, the American Conservative Union has long fought to rein in federal spending and limit the size of government. But behind the scenes, the group has formed a partnership with business lobbyists to tame the activists who have pushed Republican leaders in Congress to adopt some of the most austere spending limits in decades.”

    tags: GLOW Austerity Republican Hypocrisy

  • “The Senate will hold the first key procedural vote on a bill to curb gun violence Thursday as more than a half-dozen Republicans announced that they will join with Democrats to stop any attempt to block popular legislation drafted in response to a deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Filibuster Republican Disarray

  • “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new legislation, the Public Trust Act, which would create a new class of public corruption crimes and enhance New York prosecutors’ ability to crack down on public corruption across the state. Currently, the laws defining public corruption in New York are obsolete and far less effective than federal statutes for prosecuting individuals who commit public corruption crimes. The Public Trust Act announced by the Governor today would establish a new class of public corruption crimes and expand the current definitions of public corruption offenses to enable prosecutors to hold accountable those who violate public trust. The law would also impose tougher jail sentences on individuals that misuse public funds and permanently bar those convicted of public corruption offenses from holding any elected or civil office, lobbying, contracting, receiving state funding, or doing business with the state, directly or through an organization.”

    tags: GLOW Andrew Cuomo Albany Reform

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Items from Around the Web 04/09/2013 (p.m.)

  • “President Obama’s budget proposal will include $235 million in funding for new mental health programs, focused initiatives to help schools detect early warning signs and train thousands of new mental health professionals. These proposed new commitments come after the Newtown, Conn. shootings increased interest in the relationship between gun violence and mental health.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Newtown Public Safety Public Health

  • “The Senate confirmed Mary Jo White on Monday to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, and she could be behind her desk at the agency as early as Tuesday.”

    tags: GLOW SEC

  • “But, what’s good politics for Republicans in South Dakota or Nebraska or Mississippi is not necessarily a good thing for the GOP’s attempts to rebrand itself. Remember that expanded background checks have the support of roughly nine in ten Americans – a sort of no-brainer issue that typically guarantees congressional action of some sort. If Republicans kill gun control measures that are widely popular via the filibuster they run the very real risk of alienating many of the right-leaning independents and centrists that they badly need to win back in advance of the 2016 presidential election.”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Filibuster Republican Irresponsibility 2016 Republican Disarray

  • “Mr. Biden faces a situation unique in the annals of modern American politics. He is the vice president, the highest-ranking member of his party interested in running for president, yet he is not the heir apparent. While every sitting vice president who sought it in the last half-century captured his party’s nomination, Mr. Biden would start as the underdog if he ran against Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state.”

    tags: GLOW 2016 Vice President Biden Hillary Clinton

  • “Among the areas Cuomo suggested were ripe for reform: the Wilson-Pakula law that allows candidates of one party to run on another party’s line; campaign donation limits; the vestiges of the state’s member-item system, which allowed lawmakers to target pork at their districts; the laggard enforcement and investigative capabilities of the state Board of Elections; and more.”

    tags: GLOW Andrew Cuomo Campaign Finance Reform Albany Reform

  • “‘We’re going to use [the crisis] to push forth a very aggressive reform package. We’re going to put forth electoral reform, campaign reform. We’ve been talking about this for years and years,’ he said. The governor said he wants to help curb or eliminate pay-to-play politics by reducing the large campaign contributions that donors can pump into lawmakers’ campaigns.”

    tags: GLOW Andrew Cuomo Campaign Finance Reform Albany Reform

  • “Mr. Obama, who last visited Connecticut for a raw and emotional memorial shortly after the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, met again with the victims’ relatives before his speech. Afterward about a dozen family members left with him from Connecticut on Air Force One to make their case in Washington to members of Congress this week. Mr. Obama, who was wearing a green Newtown bracelet, made reference in his speech to the brutal cases of recent mass violence from Aurora, Colo., to Virginia Tech. He pushed for a broad agenda that would include universal background checks for gun buyers, restraints on gun trafficking and a ban on assault weapons. But he focused on the background checks, which he said were supported by 90 percent of Americans. ‘There’s only one thing that can stand in the way of change that just about everybody agrees on, and that’s politics in Washington,’ he said. Mr. Obama, who included remarks respectful of gun owners, said ‘common-sense’ gun measures could be enacted that would acknowledge the rights of gun owners and the Second Amendment. But he said that at the very least, Newtown and similar tragedies demanded a vote in Congress on gun control issues.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Gun Control Newtown Filibuster Republican Irresponsibility

  • “New York State’s 2013-14 budget controls spending, is business friendly and focuses on job creation, Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy said Monday. ‘We’re very pleased with the budget,’ he said. Duffy met with the editorial board of The Daily News Monday as part of his effort to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature’s $141.3 billion budget.”

    tags: GLOW State Budget Duffy Genesee County

  • “The American political system is not broken. What’s broken is the Republican Party. And it’s not clear how it will recover.”

    tags: GLOW Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “The basic urge to get power runs up against all the incentives now built into the GOP that make getting power more difficult. Officeholders could change their tune a bit and make the Republican party more popular, but they’re not going to do it if it means they’re more likely to get booted in a primary. So we could find ourselves endlessly trapped in the situation we’re in now. Democrats keep winning presidential elections because the Republican Party is repellent to a majority of Americans. The geographic distribution of the American population nevertheless makes it possible for Republicans to hold on to the House, and at least control enough of the Senate to grind things to a halt by filibustering everything (and Democrats are too frightened to change the filibuster rules). With the exception of the occasional bill here and there that Republicans get intimidated into letting go through, governing pretty much ceases, with the exception of whatever the President can accomplish via regulation and executive agency actions (those agencies that the Republicans don’t manage to hamstring, that is). And there you have it: a government that can’t govern.”

    tags: GLOW Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility

  • “But hold on a second. Why do we hate deficits? ‘Balancing the budget’ sounds really nice, but what reason do we have to believe it’s actually valuable? There are a number of reasons to think it might be good for the debt load to be smaller rather than larger, but almost all of them are controversial among economists, and some more so than others. Here are the common reasons for balancing the budget you hear, and what the evidence says about each.”

    tags: GLOW Deficit Republican Hypocrisy Republican Irresponsibility

  • “If this is correct, and Obama underperformed by roughly four points in 2008 and 2012, then there’s a chance that the Democratic brand is stronger than we think.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Race Democrats

  • “This helps explain the idea behind the ubiquitous GOP talking point that we should ‘enforce existing laws before creating new ones.’ It’s based on a gamble that many people can’t imagine that something as uncontroversial and sensible as universal background checks wouldn’t already be required.”

    tags: GLOW Gun Control Republican Extremism Republican Hypocrisy

  • “At the same time, if Republicans genuinely want immigration reform, they’re going to have to accept a certain amount of opposition from their base. Reforming the nation’s immigration system is a huge task, and it’s unreasonable to demand that it come with zero political risks. In other words, these senators need to make a decision. Do they want immigration reform, or do they want the status quo? If it’s the former, then they need to lead and accept the consequences of making a decision, whatever they are.”

    tags: GLOW Immigration Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility Republican Disarray

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Items from Around the Web 04/08/2013 (p.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/07/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/06/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/05/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/04/2013 (a.m.)

  • “Got that? These North Carolina Republicans are arguing, with a straight face, that U.S. courts can’t decide what’s constitutional under the U.S. Constitution. They’re also arguing that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to North Carolina, so they’re free to make their faith the official religion on their state.”

    tags: GLOW Constitution Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility

  • “President Obama plans to return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury in solidarity with federal workers who are going to be furloughed as part of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, an administration official said Wednesday.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama sequestration

  • “There’s no question this hold on the House is a huge short-term advantage for the GOP, giving it the power to thwart a Democratic president even when his agenda has widespread support. (Look no further than the ongoing budget negotiations, in which the president’s preference for trimming the deficit through spending cuts and tax increases far outpolls the GOP’s cuts-only approach.) But the flip side of being so insulated from public opinion is, well, being so insulated from public opinion. Thanks to the relative safety of their seats, most Republican House members feel no particular need to adjust to the political trends that have enormous consequences for anyone who isn’t running in a gerrymandered district—like, say, the party’s presidential nominee. It’s killing the GOP nationally.”

    tags: GLOW Congress Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “The super PAC founded to urge former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to run for president officially launched Tuesday, complete with a new Web site to help the group ramp up its online fundraising operation.”

    tags: GLOW 2016 Hillary Clinton

  • “Schumer said the law would establish rules by which hard cider can be taxed the same way as beer, thus leveling the playing field for producers like Wilson and, hopefully, removing a hurdle for other apple growers in the state who may be apprehensive about the tax implications of launching a hard-cider operation.”

    tags: GLOW Schumer Agriculture Economy

  • “As New York dairy farmers fight high feed costs, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is introducing legislation to change the way farmers are paid for milk, The Associated Press reports.”

    tags: GLOW Gillibrand Agriculture Economy

  • “If Mr. Smith were to lose his seat, it would not change the balance of power in the Senate — the coalition of Republicans and Democrats could still retain control. But his arrest is a public-relations catastrophe for Mr. Klein and his conference; Mr. Klein started the breakaway group, called the Independent Democratic Conference, in 2011 because, he said, he was frustrated with the dysfunction and scandals that had shaken the Senate Democrats. … ‘Raw political ambition gave birth to the I.D.C., and raw political ambition will likely lead to its demise,’ said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Democrat and former assemblyman. ‘It’s a mind-set problem that puts politics over policy.’ The arrest of Mr. Smith seemed likely not only to unsettle the coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats, who just days ago were celebrating the enactment of the state budget as proof that their alliance was succeeding, but also to worsen the reputation of a legislative body that has been tarnished by a procession of scandals.”

    tags: GLOW State Senate Albany Dysfunction Republican Hypocrisy

  • “President Obama has pressed senators from both parties in recent weeks to confirm a new federal judge for one of the country’s most powerful courts, using an aggressive strategy to campaign for a judicial nominee whom White House officials consider a potentially crucial figure in boosting the president’s second-term agenda. The effort reflects a new White House effort to tilt in its favor the conservative-dominated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is one notch below the Supreme Court and considers many challenges to executive actions.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Judiciary Republican Irresponsibility Republican Obstruction

  • “Additions to the coming Farm Bill will encourage diversity and growth in the state’s booming dairy industry, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said Tuesday. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agricultural Committee, aims to increase the price paid to dairy farmers and provide a safety net for smaller producers in the Senate’s version of the five-year agricultural bill.”

    tags: GLOW Gillibrand Agriculture Economy

  • “You can hear bad ideas almost every day. But only occasionally do you hear a colossally bad, ill-conceived idea, one that leaves you wondering who dreamed it up.”

    tags: GLOW Constitution Senate Republican Extremism

  • “A host of conservative legal luminaries are showering praise on President Obama’s nominee to a coveted seat on the second highest court in the land. The conservatives are vouching for Principal U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan, whom President Obama renominated to fill a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that was vacated in 2005 by now-Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Their support would normally bode well for a key judicial pick by a Democratic president. But Senate Republicans have indicated a desire to maintain the court’s notoriously high vacancy rate — at least as long as Obama’s president. Earlier this year, they filibustered a different, widely respected Obama nominee to the same court. And so the broad ideological consensus behind Srinivasan makes it harder for Republicans to oppose his nomination without appearing as though they’re abusing their advise and consent power for partisan purposes.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Judiciary Republican Obstruction Republican Irresponsibility Republican Disarray

  • “Starting in 2014, 15 million uninsured Americans, including 7 million women could be newly eligible for Medicaid coverage should all states accept the federal money included in the Affordable Care Act to support this coverage. These state by state fact sheets provide useful data on how many women could be eligible for coverage and how states stand to gain by accepting the federal money.”

    tags: GLOW Health Care Reform Medicaid Gender

  • “Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester to ceremoniously sign the budget. This is the third year in a row that Governor Cuomo passed New York State’s budget on time.”

    tags: GLOW Andrew Cuomo State Budget

  • “In a nutshell, the far-right believes all hell broke loose after Americans starting electing U.S. senators — as opposed to the original system in which state legislatures chose U.S. senators and voters didn’t have much say in the matter. For conservatives, this meant senators stopped being beholden to state interests, which affected federalist principles in ways the right doesn’t like. And so, every year, new efforts pop up to repeal the 17th Amendment, and every year, people like me shake their heads in disappointment. But the story out of Tennessee is a little different. These state GOP lawmakers realize they can’t scrap the 17th Amendment, but they figure, if the state legislature picks the candidates, that will help ensure that U.S. senators are at least partially in state lawmakers’ debt. Sure, it takes power out of voters’ hands, but for the right, that’s a small price to pay — and besides, the election of senators will remain the electorate’s decision, at least until repealing the 17th becomes more realistic.”

    tags: GLOW Constitution Senate Republican Extremism

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Items from Around the Web 04/03/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 04/02/2013 (a.m.)

  • “Republicans condemn all lower-income programs as welfare because they’re kind of welfare-dependent themselves. After the 1996 reform ended ‘welfare as we know it’ by imposing time limits on cash assistance, Republicans lost a campaign theme they’d come to rely on. They were like a dog chasing a car that suddenly stopped. So they defined welfare down. They began by shifting their ire to food stamps; they experimented with redirecting it to unemployment benefits; and eventually they simply pathologized all means-tested benefits, even though most had never particularly troubled them before. The more Republicans can persuade Democrats to accept needed income-contingent reforms to Medicare and Social Security, the more they can build support to eliminate these ‘welfare’ programs, too. I don’t know how conscious this bait-and-switch is, but does that even matter? The GOP is dominated by ideologues whose every reflex is to shrink government as much as possible.”

    tags: GLOW Positive Government Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility

  • “The preferred plot line for many in the GOP establishment for revitalizing their party goes something like this: They move to a more libertarian stance on key social issues — particularly same-sex marriage — and the Bible-thumping, evangelical wing of the party meekly complies, realizing times have changed. One problem with that scenario, however: The Christian Right, while a diminished force, doesn’t like how that story ends at all.”

    tags: GLOW Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “As Republican leaders openly scrutinize their party after a 2012 election that was disappointing for them, rank-and-file Republicans, independents, and Democrats voice the same primary criticism of the GOP: it is ‘too inflexible’ or ‘unwilling to compromise.'”

    tags: GLOW Polling Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “Their slogan, ‘repeal and replace,’ has given way to ‘resist and annoy.’ Unable to get rid of Obamacare, many have settled on a strategy of making it function as poorly as possible. At the national level, House Republicans have refused to appropriate funds for implementation. At the state level, most Republican governors have refused to set up insurance exchanges, and many have refused to expand Medicaid. The question, though, is whether governors who purposefully do a very bad job implementing Obamacare will hurt the law, or just themselves and their states.”

    tags: GLOW Health Care Reform Republican Irresponsibility Republican Disarray

  • “Expanding on ideas from his first term and this year’s State of the Union address, Mr. Obama proposed a series of tax breaks and loans to stimulate private investment. Among other things, new ‘America Fast Forward Bonds’ would help state and local governments borrow money for projects, while foreign pension and retirement funds would have a tax penalty eliminated so they could invest in infrastructure in the United States on a similar basis as American funds. Grant programs that were part of the president’s stimulus program would be expanded by $4 billion. Mr. Obama also promoted an infrastructure bank that would use $10 billion in public money to leverage private investment, a concept he has been pushing without success since 2011.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Infrastructure Stimulus

  • “The campaign marks the beginning of what is expected to be an ambitious push to persuade Albany lawmakers to confront the issue of campaign fund-raising during this year’s legislative session. Organizing for Action, the political operation that grew out of President Obama’s re-election campaign, has signed on to help with the effort.”

    tags: GLOW Campaign Finance New York Reform OFA

  • “Caroline Kennedy is heading to Tokyo to be the U.S. ambassador. Kennedy, whose support for President Obama during his 2008 campaign was seen as crucial, had been widely talked about as a candidate for the plum diplomatic post, but now things have apparently been firmed up.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Foreign Policy

  • “Saying the federal government should ‘lead by example,’ President Obama has ordered federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2020. The man he put in charge of that effort a year ago is Jonathan Powers, a 34-year-old Gulf War veteran. Powers, who holds the office of Federal Environmental Executive, spoke with USA TODAY at his office across from the White House about what his military experience taught him, telecommuting, reducing the government vehicle fleet and solar panels on the White House.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Energy Jon Powers

  • “And if this agenda is successful, it will have national implications. After all, California’s political story — in which a radicalized G.O.P. fell increasingly out of touch with an increasingly diverse and socially liberal electorate, and eventually found itself marginalized — is arguably playing out with a lag on the national scene too.”

    tags: GLOW Economy Positive Government Republican Extremism

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Items from Around the Web 03/27/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 03/26/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 03/25/2013 (a.m.)

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Items from Around the Web 03/24/2013 (a.m.)

  • “People like Bachmann represent everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. She and her colleagues are hyperbolic, reactionary, ill-informed and ill-intentioned, and they have become synonymous with the Republican brand. We don’t need all politicians to be Mensa-worthy, but we do expect them to be cogent and competent. When all the dust settles from the current dustup within the party over who holds the mantle and which direction to take, Republicans will still be left with the problem of what to do with people like Bachmann. And as long as the party has Bachmanns, it has a problem. “

    tags: GLOW Bachmann Republican Extremism Republican Hypocrisy Republican Disarray

  • “It’s one of the great untold stories of the 2012 presidential campaign, a tale of ego and intrigue that nearly upended the Republican primary contest and might even have produced a different nominee: As Mitt Romney struggled in the weeks leading up to the Michigan primary, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum nearly agreed to form a joint ‘Unity Ticket’ to consolidate conservative support and topple Romney. … But the negotiations collapsed in acrimony because Gingrich and Santorum could not agree on who would get to be president.”

    tags: GLOW 2012 Gingrich Santorum Romney Republican Disarray

  • “A lot of Americans don’t know the precise details of how their country works. That’s less a criticism than a fact — people are busy, the way the government is run is complicated and not always transparent, and folks have plenty of other things to worry about, especially these days. And yet I’m always struck by how little the fact-based insider conversations about key budgetary matters seem to penetrate the national consciousness, allowing misperceptions to play a major role in shaping the national policy conversation.”

    tags: GLOW Deficit Republican Hypocrisy

  • “But the public already has rejected the priorities and governing vision at the heart of the Ryan blueprint, and generally agrees with Democrats on basic questions about the size and role of the welfare state — and the need for higher taxes to pay for it and solve the country’s fiscal problems. Republicans have decided they don’t need to address this as part of their grand makeover — even as they admit they need to do a better job ditching their image as the party of the rich. Their big gamble is that they can deal with this problem by speaking only to the public’s desire for spending cuts in the abstract. But that puts them back in the position of being the austerity-only party, which even some Republicans admit won’t be enough going forward.”

    tags: GLOW Ryan Plan Austerity Republican Disarray

  • “Republicans who oppose the medical device tax have an easy way of squaring the circle — it’s not that they care about the deficit as much as they want to dismantle the social safety net, of which Obamacare is (now) an integral part. Increasing the deficit is a small price to pay, it seems, for chipping away at the president’s signature accomplishment.”

    tags: GLOW Health Care Reform Deficit Republican Hypocrisy Republican Obstruction

  • “Three years ago today, I signed into law the principle that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick. The Affordable Care Act will give hard-working, middle class families the health care security they deserve and protect every American from the worst insurance company abuses. Already, millions of seniors are saving $600 a year on their prescription drugs. Millions of young people have been able to stay on their family’s health plan until age 26. Preventive care, like mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors, is covered free of charge. Most importantly, for the sake of our fiscal future, the growth of health care costs is beginning to slow. In fact, last year, Medicaid costs fell for the first time in decades. Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will no longer have unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men. And soon, no American will ever again be denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition, like cancer or even asthma.”

    tags: GLOW Health Care Reform President Obama

  • “Instead, the Fox chief is like the crazy rich uncle who owns the fancy beach house where the dysfunctional family reunion is taking place; nobody wants to disparage the patriarch. Or, to mix metaphors, Ailes is the elephant in the elephant’s room. So all week long there’s been a running conversation among Republicans about their messaging, yet there’s been virtually no public discussion about Ailes and Fox News, which own the GOP’s messaging.”

    tags: GLOW Media Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “Three months after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama says that the Senate has taken important steps forward to help protect our kids by reducing gun violence. The American people made their voices heard, and the Senate made progress to make it harder for criminals and people with serious mental illnesses to get guns, to crack down on anyone trying to funnel guns to criminals, and to reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons. Each of these ideas deserves a vote. The President urges Congress to pass these commonsense measures while affirming our nation’s tradition of responsible gun ownership.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Gun Control video

  • “President Obama brokered a diplomatic reconciliation between key Middle East allies Israel and Turkey at the end of his visit to the Holy Land, thawing tensions that have complicated U.S. efforts to cope with regional issues including Syria’s civil war.”

    tags: GLOW President Obama Foreign Policy

  • “But to an almost surprising degree, the Republican National Committee’s plan is entirely secular. The ‘Growth and Opportunity’ report uses the word ‘Reagan’ six times, but there are literally zero references to God, Christianity, and/or the Bible. For a party that has spent several decades claiming to be the arbiter of morality and ‘family values,’ the RNC’s secularism was unexpected. And for the religious right, disappointing.”

    tags: GLOW Republican Extremism Republican Disarray

  • “A More Secure Future: What the New Health Law Means for You and Your Family.”

    tags: GLOW Health Care Reform

  • “I see little reason to believe that the staunch conservative bloc will wither away or splinter; it will remain a dominant force in the GOP and on the national stage. At the same time, however, I see no indication that its ideas about policy, governance and social issues will gain new adherents. They are far beyond the mainstream. Any Republican efforts at reinvention face this dilemma: While staunch conservatives help keep GOP lawmakers in office, they also help keep the party out of the White House. Quite simply, the Republican Party has to appeal to a broader cross section of the electorate to succeed in presidential elections.”

    This is an important look at the extreme rightward lurch of the GOP.

    tags: GLOW Republican Extremism Republican Irresponsibility Race Media

  • “The 50-49 vote in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, sets up contentious — and potentially fruitless — negotiations with the Republican-controlled House in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.”

    tags: GLOW Senate Federal Budget

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