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Tag: Senate

Kathleen Sebelius
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Another Nominee in Tax Trouble

This has gone from coincidence to self-parody to alarming. Another of Barack Obama’s nominees has had to apologize for not paying her full taxes. Kathleen Sebelius, the president’s pick to lead the Health and Human Services Department, has now paid off $7,918, a paltry debt compared with Tom Daschle’s $140,000.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Outrage Over Workers Getting the Shaft?

The AFL-CIO spent $250 million in last year’s elections on behalf of Obama and other Democrats, yet a waffling president and a handful of senators have managed to kill the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, a cruel defeat for labor.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



Senat RP / Polish Senate

EU President Calls Obama Policies ‘the Road to Hell’

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek is currently the EU’s rotating president and, like a drunken sailor on karaoke night, he’s letting everyone know what’s on his mind. On President Obama’s economic policies, for example, he declared: “All of these steps, these combinations and permanency, is the road to hell.”

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / John Regas

Pro-Union Bill in Trouble

Sen. Arlen Specter gave the proposed Employee Free Choice Act the shaft Tuesday, severely wounding legislation that would make forming unions significantly easier. Labor leaders were depending on support from moderates such as Specter, but, facing a primary challenge, the Pennsylvania Republican chickened out.

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 READ MORE


Kill AIG Bonuses With a Tax? It’s a Lousy Idea

Obama needs to stop straddling and to threaten to veto any cockamamie tax scheme that emerges from Congress as retribution for the repulsive bonuses handed out at American International Group.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Geithner Problem

The treasury secretary may indeed be the hardest-working man in Washington. But in order to survive, let alone succeed, he’s going to have to make a more convincing case that he’s part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


The Geezer Gang Is Staying on the Job

Amid the talk of generational conflict in these depressed times, there’s a chance for the boomer generation to make a virtue—or a revolution—out of the necessity of working longer.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Time to Put the Clamps on Tobacco

An idea that has been around for years now has reached that rarest of moments: There is a political environment that should, if reason prevails, produce legislation to require the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


Put Single-Payer on the Table

Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. While single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery, such solutions get almost no space in the debate.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi Has Reason to Smile

It’s “a completely different world,” says the House speaker, delighted by “the fact that we have a Democratic president who ... put forth an agenda for America that contained many of the issues that we have been fighting for over the years.”

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Bernie Sanders
senate.gov

Bernie Sanders Wants Answers, Writes Legislation to Get Them

Fed chief Ben Bernanke may be able to dole out trillions in the blink of an eye, but on Tuesday he ran headlong into Congress’ only independent democratic socialist. Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded to know where all the Fed’s money was going. Bernanke said “no.” Sanders fired back by introducing a bill that would require such information to be posted to the Fed’s Web site.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Redux?

For someone who spent much of the Democratic primary season running against the Clinton era, Obama sounds an awful lot like President Clinton.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Toxins ’R’ Us

The American Chemistry Council assures us that “we make the products that help keep you safe and healthy.” But U.S. consumers are actually exposed to a vast array of harmful chemicals and additives embedded in toys, cosmetics, plastic water bottles and countless other products.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Burris
senate.gov

First Blagojevich, Next Burris?

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich didn’t go down without a big fight (or a full-on media assault), and judging by the comportment of his controversial Senate pick, Roland Burris, we can expect another show of defiance if Burris is put on trial for perjury.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Explaining, Start Packing

Roland Burris, the woefully forgetful Illinois senator, should go home and stay there, and I’d advise taking a vow of silence as well.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


There Was No GOP ‘Victory’

Republicans congratulate themselves for remaining unified in defeat and whine about Obama’s refusal to capitulate—but in fact it is they who have failed in the initial episode of a confrontation that will certainly continue for four years.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
senate.gov

Burris Did More for Blagojevich Than He Let On

Surprise! Roland Burris has no credibility. The man who condemned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—until he was appointed to it—has revealed that, contrary to what he told the United States Congress in sworn testimony, he tried to raise money, as requested, for the governor-turned-auctioneer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Mr. Inside

The treasury secretary will get much better at making his case. I’m confident in that prediction because after watching his debut this week, I don’t see how he could get much worse.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE



A Dubious Equality for Women

What wasn’t predicted was that women might finally reach the goal of equality less because they scaled the heights than because men slipped downward. But here we are.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


The High Cost of Centrism

The Obama administration keeps having to learn that bland centrism is not pragmatic, it’s not helpful in resolving a big crisis, and it certainly doesn’t buy you any love.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Top Gun?

Well, that didn’t work out. In pushing for a new financial industry bailout, Treasury Secretary Geithner came across like a banker trying to do a politician’s job. Obama owes us some hands-on involvement.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE



Dems Bicker Behind the Scenes

It seems Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s stimulus compromise announcement was a tad premature, a fact that reportedly irked the most powerful woman in politics, Nancy Pelosi. “The speaker went through the roof,” a House Democrat told Politico, when she saw Reid’s alleged power play.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Reid
The New York Times / Susan Etheridge

Reid Announces Stimulus Agreement

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Wednesday afternoon that congressional leaders have finally agreed on a $789 billion economic stimulus package, pushing the plan to a final House and Senate vote by Friday at the earliest.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Stimulus Survives Senate Pecking

The Senate passed its own version of the stimulus package Tuesday, slashing funding in areas that would most effectively stimulate the economy, such as aid to low-income Americans and states, while expanding tax cuts. The House and Senate bills must now be reconciled with one another.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Slam the Door on Compromise

Bipartisanship is a cute idea, but with 600,000 Americans losing their jobs in one month, there simply isn’t time to be nice.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


Another Nominee With Tax Problems

What exactly was the point of that endless questionnaire Team Obama famously had prospective worker bees fill out? A fifth Obama nominee has run into some controversy, the fourth due to a failure to pay taxes, although in the case of Labor Secretary-designate Hilda Solis, her husband is to blame.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


In Washington, Public Policy and Private Wealth Are Hopelessly Tangled

Barack Obama in Washington reminds one of Diogenes in Athens, with his lantern in search of an honest man.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Capitol dawn
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senators Hammering Out Workable Stimulus

At long last, it looks like something resembling an agreement might happen soon among members of the Senate who had been previously having trouble finding any middle ground when it came to the proposed stimulus plan.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama and Howard Dean
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Howard Dean Should Have Been Obama’s Pick All Along

Now that Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from the running to be health and human services secretary, President Obama should revisit the idea of nominating former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean for the position, an idea he abandoned last November for all the wrong reasons.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


GOP Revs Up the Spin on Stimulus

Republicans have been winning the media wars over Obama’s central initiative. They have done so largely by defining the proposal by its least significant parts.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Marie Antoinette
Lie Louis Périn-Salbreux

Who Knew Bankers Were This Stupid?

Earth to Wall Street: It’s over, people. You had a terrific run, better than you deserved, but now you’d be wise to pay attention to those citizens outside, the ones with the pitchforks and the torches.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Daschle

Obama Backs Embattled Daschle

Will tax problems sink former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s chances of becoming the next U.S. health secretary? President Obama apparently hopes that this won’t be the case.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Holder
en.afrik.com

Holder on Board as New Attorney General

On Monday, the U.S. Senate gave the nod to Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s pick for attorney general, making Holder the first African-American put in charge of the Justice Department.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

President Obama’s outreach to Republicans is popular, but the coming week will test his resolve. Eventually, he’ll have to say “no” to the GOP, or lose what he’s fighting for.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


The GOP’s Soundproof Room

Unbeknown to the House Republicans who voted unanimously against President Obama’s stimulus package, we are in the midst of a rare fundamental shift in American politics.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Let the Limbaughs Whine

How fortunate for Barack Obama that Rush Limbaugh, big radio personality and leader of the instinctual far right, has yet to retire to a sunny island with his bottles of pills.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich

Blagojevich Pleads His Case

It was just politics as usual, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday of the corruption allegations that seem all but certain to upend his political career.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulus Brings on a Family Feud

President Obama’s visit with House and Senate Republicans this week was useful for setting a new tone and a refreshing break from the Bush administration’s habit of consulting almost no one. But it was a sideshow to the main battle over how to improve the economy, which is among Democrats.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE



cachefly.net

Gore Lectures Congress, but Is It Too Late?

Al Gore went back to his old stomping grounds Wednesday to present the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a mini version of his famous climate lecture. But even if those politicians somehow get their act together, the damage we’ve already caused will be with us until the year 3000 or later, according to a new report.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Obama Pitches Stimulus Plan to GOP

President Barack Obama visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to angle for support for his proposed stimulus plan ... from Republicans. Though he wasn’t likely to win them all over, Obama huddled with members of the House and Senate. He emerged in one piece and “optimistic” after the exchanges.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Maybe the Only Crime Was by Blago’s Barber

Is Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about to be impeached on grounds of loopiness, obnoxiousness and a bad haircut? It is unclear to me what else Blagojevich has done that a duly constituted jury would find illegal.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Timothy Geithner
Wikimedia Commons / Presidencia de la Nación Argentina

Senate Sends Geithner to Treasury

Timothy Geithner may be a tax dodger who helped funnel taxpayer funds to his banking buddies, but we need that kind of cunning right now. That’s the thinking on Capitol Hill, anyway. The Senate confirmed President Obama’s pick to head Treasury on Monday, over the grumbles of 34 senators.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Oprah
canada.com

Oprah for Senator?

Say what you want about Rod Blagojevich, but the man knows how to cause a public ruckus. After hitting the airwaves with various startling pronouncements, like his self-comparisons to Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, the beleaguered Illinois governor revealed on “Good Morning America” on Monday that he had considered offering Oprah Winfrey the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

Illinois Senate Takes Up Blagojevich’s Case

He’s been airing his side of the story to the press; now it’s time for the Illinois Senate to actually decide Rod Blagojevich’s fate. On Monday, the impeached Illinois governor went on trial, and his prospects aren’t looking good.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / hthg1983

Biden Says Banks May Get More, More, More

The vice president let it slip Sunday that the $700 billion TARP bailout bill could have a sequel. Also, Nancy Pelosi indicated that Congress might dole out more funds to financial institutions. Let’s see, that’s $700 billion on TARP, $850 billion for the still-pending stimulus package, plus the mysterious billions they’re tossing around at the Federal Reserve. ... Here’s hoping China doesn’t cut up our national credit card.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Gillibrand
United States Congress

Meet N.Y.’s New Senator

Caroline Kennedy she ain’t. On Friday, New York Gov. David Paterson tapped Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to take over the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


George Mitchell
senate.gov

Pursuing Peace in the Middle East, Obama Style

President Obama didn’t wait long to tackle one of the most intractable items in his in box: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On a whirlwind Thursday, Obama spoke to leaders in the region (minus Hamas), called for an end to the Gaza blockade and appointed George Mitchell (above), the man who brokered a truce in Northern Ireland, as Mideast envoy.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Coleman
coleman.senate.gov

Coleman’s New Gig

While he’s enduring his umpteenth go-round with arch-rival Al Franken over Minnesota’s now-vacant Senate seat, Norm Coleman has found himself some gainful employment to keep him busy.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


Kennedy waves
AP photo / Kevin Rivoli

Kennedy Bows Out for ‘Personal Reasons’

It’s official: Caroline Kennedy will not continue her quest for the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Kennedy reportedly told New York Gov. David Paterson on Wednesday that she was dropping out, and although he asked her to think it over for 24 hours she sent out an e-mail minutes after midnight saying she had withdrawn. Updated

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


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