Posts tagged Republicans
I’ve written about the upcoming Congressional fiscal challenges several times before. It’s sort of a tradition by now. I feel obligated to document the play-by-play for the current games so as to keep the story moving along.
We are rapidly approaching the Fiscal Pothole. Much has happened in the last two weeks. We’ve got less than four weeks until the deadline hits. Come the New Year, the Bush-era tax cuts expire, the 2011 Debt Ceiling cutthroat sequester goes into effect, unemployment insurance payments run out, the FICA Tax Holiday once comes to another end, the Medicare Doc Fix needs to be fixed again, and the Alternative Minimum Tax needs its annual goosing. To top it off, America runs back up against the debt ceiling shortly thereafter.
Will we survive this catastrophe? Can disaster be averted? What have the players been doing? Activity comes fast and furious. Who will survive?
President Obama submitted to Congress a plan that tackles all of these issues, quite an ambitious achievement. It includes a four trillion dollar deficit reduction over ten years, extends the Bush tax cuts for everyone in America on the first $250,000 of income, extends the payroll tax credit and bonus depreciation for business investment, makes permanent the Alternative Minimum Tax and Medicare Doc Fixes, along with another package of routinely expiring tax provisions — mostly for businesses — known colloquially as tax extenders. That’s just the beginning. (more…)
[Updated from previous version, errors corrected and new information added. Thanks to commenters for their suggestions.]
It was a good-enough Election Day for House Democrats, although they fell far short of capturing the 25 seats needed to regain the majority.
At this writing, news services have called House seats for 194 Democrats and 233 Republicans, with eight seats still being decided. Of these eight races, seven are led by Democrats, none are led by a Republican, and one will have two Louisiana Republicans (from an open general election ballot) running against each other in a runoff. If the current leads hold, the 113th Congress will have 201 Democrats and 234 Republicans. That would be a gain of nine seats for the Democrats over the 112th Congress (plus replacements for vacant seats once held by two elected Democratic Representatives). The composition of the 112th Congress (which serves through January 2, 2013) is 190 Democrats and 240 Republicans with five vacancies. There are 435 Representatives in the House, so 218 seats make a majority for most votes. (more…)
This is Ballot Watch. Today is the 13th in the series of articles on the upcoming ballot initiatives and some key local elections. Some of these covered topics in common with multiple states, but the remainder look at a state level. With the second of the two-part article on the South which runs next Monday, our series closes.
Of the ten states in this region, the only competitive states for Democratic Presidential candidates are North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Florida (29 electoral votes). I’ll cover those two states (what I call the “Swinging South”) in my last Ballot Watch on Monday October 8.
In the Senate, the South (as depicted here) is represented by four Democrats (Kay Hagen, North Carolina; Mary Landrieu, Louisiana; Mark Pryor, Arkansas; and Bill Nelson, who is retiring both to and from Florida) and 16 Republicans.
The only white Democratic member of the House of Representatives from the South, Georgia Congressional District 12 Representative John Barrow (D-Savannah, GA) is running, but his seat is in danger of flipping to the Republicans. Overall, 65 Republican and 25 Democratic House members represent this region.
How did the Solid South get this way? Simply put, racial politics and gerrymandering. (more…)
From a New York Times article:
Wednesday night is attack night. Elizabeth Warren, who is trying to unseat Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, will offer up her particular brand of Democratic-base appeal, while former President Bill Clinton will play the part of Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate who slammed Mr. Obama in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday night. Expect to hear a broad takedown of the Republican agenda.
Last week, we heard Republicans repeatedly asking the question Reagan posed in 1980: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? In preparation for tonight’s festivities, let’s take a look at where we were in September of 2008. (more…)
Pundits and politicians who oppose the President this year like to mock President Obama’s record. In fact, common wisdom has it that Republicans wanted the Presidential election to be a referendum on President Obama rather than a choice between him and his Republican opponent. Putting aside some of the intentional misrepresentation of that record, what can we say about what the President has been doing? It would be worthwhile to discuss the things President Obama has done, in a series of articles leading up to the election.
Let’s start at the beginning. The very first bill that President Obama signed into law, on January 29, 2009, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill was named after a woman who retired from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 1998, who then sued her former employer for having paid her less, throughout her career, than her male counterparts. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations had expired on her claim; according to what was then the current law, a claimant had to allege discrimination within 180 days of its occurrence. Ms. Ledbetter had been hired many years previously, and the discrimination had been ongoing for many bad years — since 1979 — without legal action.
What does the choice of Paul Ryan as Vice Presidential candidate mean for the campaign of Willard “Mitt” Romney?
A vice presidential running mate is often chosen for a number of reasons — to balance the ticket geographically or ideologically, to satisfy the demands of some branch of the president’s party, to attract a particular group of voters, to fill some perceived weakness in the Presidential candidate. Does Ryan bring any of this to the ticket?
Back in May, many commentators were noting Romney’s need and desire to avoid making the sorts of mistakes Senator John McCain made in his disastrous 2008 campaign. Among them was his choice of then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate. At first glance, the choice of Ryan seems to have met the requirement to be unPalin. But how well does Ryan satisfy this?
In as far as the traditional reasons for choosing a Vice President — ticket balance, party demands, attracting voters, perceived weakness — Ryan is not the usual sort of choice. As regards what is perhaps the most vital need this time around — to not be Romney’s Palin — he fails miserably. (more…)