Archive for the 'Election / Politicians' Category
This picture reminds me of how easily people like David Frum divorce themselves from their feverish advocacy of policies after all the death and destruction has been wrought.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, suggested raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour is only logical if you look at the numbers.
“If we started in 1960, and we said [that] as productivity goes up … then the minimum wage was going to go up the same … if that were the case, the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour,” the senator said, at a recent Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on “Keeping up with a Changing Economy: Indexing the Minimum Wage.” (Read more)
This deserves a double face palm.
Yes, the mighty Lobby didn’t get what it wanted, for now. It seems Sen. Schumer gave up ground here in exchange for a leadership position later.
I am not one for admitting I am wrong but sometimes the evidence is so overwhelming that I have to say it. I was wrong.
Specifically I have been repeatedly wrong when I said that the Israel lobby could not be defeated unless and until the President of the United States confronted it directly. In that situation, I always believed the United States would prevail. I did not understand that a deft president could beat the lobby through indirect means — by quietly using his authority to prevail.
But that is what happened when the Obama administration first nominated and then achieved the confirmation of former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.
There of course are those who accept the line put out by the lobby, most notably its main component AIPAC, that it was neutral on Hagel.
That is just silly. If AIPAC was neutral, it could have ended the whole battle against him by issuing a statement that it recognized a president’s right to choose his own cabinet. That might not have stopped Republican groups like Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee ror Israel or Sheldon Adelson’s Republican Jewish Coalition from pursuing their smear campaign against Hagel, but it would have stopped the very mainstream Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee from joining the attack. AIPAC’s public silence on a campaign waged by its closest allies demonstrated what it wanted: Hagel’s defeat.
President Obama outsmarted the lobby by ignoring it. He understood that if he could get Sen. Chuck Schumer to endorse Hagel, then the game would be over. That is because Schumer, a Jewish senator from New York, is the de facto leader of the lobby’s forces in Congress.
Usually a hardliner on all matters relating to the Middle East, Schumer might have been expected to oppose Hagel and thereby give a signal to his fellow Democrats that doing so was the safe pro-Israel position. Had he done that some Democrats would have felt that they had better oppose Hagel.
With most Republicans already on record as opposing his nomination, just a shift of a few Democrats would have killed the nomination. Schumer’s announcement in support of Hagel guaranteed that not a single Democrat would oppose him.
So what convinced Schumer to stand with Obama on Hagel? My friends on Capitol Hill, who without exception correctly predicted Schumer’s position, tell me that it was made clear to him that he could not oppose Obama on Hagel and still expect to become leader of Senate Democrats when Harry Reid retires. (Read more)
the speaker is the author of Family of Secrets.
I hope the 65% of Germans who oppose the Euro support these guys, but I doubt it.
Well, it was probably only a matter of time: a German anti-euro party has just come onto the scene.
Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten reports that the new party will launch in April under the name “Alternative for Germany”. The party appears to be an offspring of “Wahlalternative 2013″ (Election Alternative 2013) – a group consisting mostly of academics but also including Hans-Olaf Henkel, the well-known and outspoken former head of Germany’s employers federation BDI. (Read more)
On Saturday, Dr. Orly Taitz – who has filed several birther lawsuits against Obama – posted on her website that the president has paid more than $5 million in legal fees to national law firm Perkins Coie to keep his personal, and possibly professional, records hidden from the public. The $5 million figure, which was previously thought to be less than $3 million, does not include fees paid to other parties and law firms acting on behalf of Obama.
In addition, Obama appointed a partner at Perkins Coie, Robert Bauer, as White House Counsel ten months after taking office in 2009. Bauer also served as general counsel for the Democratic National Committee and “Obama for America” presidential campaign.
For opponents, the president’s secrecy provides political ammunition given that, in 2008, then-candidate Obama accused his colleagues at the U.S. senate, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, of a lack of transparency for not releasing more IRS tax returns. (Read more)
The anti-Rand Pauls, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, took to the Senate floor this morning to defend killing American citizens at presidential discretion. Graham is doing so live on C-SPAN2 right now, saying that everything you do is a danger to America no matter who or where you are, as long as the U.S. government has decided you have “joined al-Queda,” whatever the hell that means. (Read more)
Sen. Rand Paul took to the floor of the U.S. Senate just before noon Wednesday and vowed to stay there “at length” in order to filibuster John O. Brennan, whom President Obama has nominated to be the next CIA director.
The Kentucky Republican said he will hold up the nomination until he gets more information about the U.S. drone execution program, which has become a major sore point for many lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“I will speak today until the president responds and says, ‘No, we won’t kill Americans in cafes. No, we won’t kill you at home at night,’” Mr. Paul said early on in the filibuster, that began at 11:47 and showed no signs of slowing more than four hours later.
Five hours into the filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came to the floor to try to end it. He asked if Mr. Paul would agree to limit himself to another half-hour of remarks, and then the chamber would vote on the Brennan nomination — which likely has majority support.
Mr. Paul said he would be glad to end his filibuster immediately, but only if the administration would promise not to make Americans in the U.S. the subject of targeted killings.
Mr. Reid said he wasn’t in a position to speak for the administration and stalked off the floor.
“We’re through for the night,” he said, releasing senators who had stuck around thinking they might still vote on the Brennan nomination.
Speaking from his corner desk Mr. Paul, in red tie and gray suit and with a glass of ice water — within reach but rarely touched — spoke about political history and the origins of key constitutional precepts.
One nice thing about most foreign governments, even horribly corrupt ones, is that they don’t subject their people to as much propaganda as the US government does: