Apr
10
2015
1

Nancy Pelosi hangs on because it’s better than falling into the abyss.

John Fund asks “With Harry Reid Gone, Why Is Nancy Pelosi Hanging On?” I assume that that’s because John Fund likes to ask rhetorical questions. Isn’t it obvious?

She may have been a rotating disaster as Speaker of the House, and everything that I’d want in a House Minority Leader, but that’s still an identity, right? – Because the moment Nancy Pelosi retires she becomes just another former politician that nobody has to flatter or defer to. Some people have the strength of character to cleanly retire from politics (for example, George W. Bush). Others do not. And it’s not all that shameful. Power is a heck of a drug, after all.

Feb
05
2015
1

Some necessary pushback on the reporting of Congress’s invite of Pope Francis I.

Quick background: Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Pope Francis I to be the first pope ever to speak to a joint session of Congress… what’s that? “Did he ask permission of the President?”  Umm… no. You see: Democratic agitprop to the contrary, Barack Obama is not actually a king.  In fact, at the moment Obama’s actually just a bit of a troll: and even if he wasn’t Speaker Boehner – and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; don’t forget him – do not actually need permission to do things.  They’re the ones in charge of the legislative branch; Barack Obama runs the executive branch. There’s a well-defined limit to the things that one branch of the government can actually do to the other: we call this concept ‘separation of powers’ in this country, and it is my devout hope and fond dream that by mid-2016 that particular phrase will serve as a trigger warning to outraged progressives.

Anyway… oh, I’m sure ABC News means well, but it’s trying a little bit too hard, here: “As pope, Francis has taken positions on some issues that clash with the views of Republicans who now control the House and Senate.”  Immigration, blah blah blah, financial, yadda yadda, climate change, yeah whatever… but here’s the thing.  All of those positions? They’re derivatives of various principles and beliefs in Catholic theology.  You know what’s absolutely CENTRAL to Catholic theology? (more…)

Jan
19
2015
4

Congress plans to use CRA to make Barack Obama stop pretending to be a centrist.

Live by the regulatory regime, die by it: “GOP lawmakers plan to employ the seldom-used Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives lawmakers the power to formally disapprove of major agency rules, as they seek to ratchet up their attacks on federal red tape.”  Basically, what happens is that Congress can – through a simple majority, that cannot be filibustered – target any rule within 60 days of implementation.  It’s not even remotely a slam dunk – the President can veto Congress on this as usual, and then Congress would have to override the veto – but the plan is to start on the EPA rulings, which everybody hates.   (more…)

Jan
14
2015
3

What this Alternet/Salon oopsie tells us about their essentially patronizing worldviews.

Oh, dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Very short version: National Review Online’s Kevin Williamson caught Alternet (and later, Salon) publishing an article where it was claimed that the five richest Members of Congress each had a net worth greater than countries like Peru, Greece, and Hong Kong*. Once this got caught by horrified pundits across the political spectrum, Alternet and Salon quietly scrubbed this claim (which was based off of a remarkably bad interpretation of a Wikipedia article**) without owning up to it (at least, they haven’t yet, at 1 PM Eastern time). The interesting*** question then becomes How in God’s name did everybody miss that, at either website? (more…)

Jan
05
2015
1

New Congress starts tomorrow.

And the theme of it shall be… mischief.  Everybody wants to start some trouble; and thus, trouble will be started. I’m actually quite looking forward to it, although I should warn people that nobody’s gonna get to cause all the mischief that they might like…

Dec
29
2014
7

Tweet of the Day, The 114th Congress Must Strive For First edition.

Ever get the feeling that these people don’t live in the same world as the rest of us? This is apparently… bad?

Yeah, that was the idea. The top one was the 112th Congress, by the way; so, hey, two good years running. I figure that in the 114th we can really get into taking away the Democrats’ toys…

Via

…whose response pretty much covers everything else I’d say on the subject.

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
Dec
24
2014
4

Dynamic scoring takes another step forward in Congress.

Well, this is a promising first step: “House Republicans are moving to increase the use of dynamic scoring through a rules change that would require long-term estimates of the economic effects of major legislation. The macroeconomic estimates required under the rule would include the projected effects of legislation on economic output, employment and capital stock, resulting in an assessment of how a proposal would cause the economy to expand or contract.” Essentially, this rule would force the Democrats to stop using the CBO to pretend – in at least some cases – that changes to the tax code are a zero-sum game.  Once we can actually project future economic growth from tax reform and simplification, we can maybe get more of a grip on our horrendous spending problem without resorting to the ‘higher taxes’ duckspeaking so beloved of the Democratic leadership.  Which would be nice: and which is why this has been a goal of the GOP leadership for some time.  And now that we have both Houses of Congress, hey, time to do some reform.

And, if you’re wondering whether this is a good idea or not, wonder no more: “Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, slammed the proposed rule.”  Van Hollen has gotten steadily more and more cranky* over the last decade, so it’s always instructive (also, entertaining) to see what will really set him off. He’s practically frothing over this particular idea, which is a Christmas gift right there.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Screaming about ‘trickle down economics.’  Man, I was, like, in my teens when that wheeze from the Democrats was new.  What’s next? Calling it grody to the max?

Dec
05
2014
9

Don’t Get Cocky about state legislatures.

I am slightly skeptical about this Cook Political Report article by Amy Walter on the importance of state legislatures, the Democrats’ poor showing in them lately, and how it’s going to be a long term disaster for them.  Specifically: I am slightly skeptical about the third part of that sentence.  Obviously, state legislatures are important, as we’ve been discovering lately; and just as obviously, the Democrats have been getting their clocks cleaned in them for the last few cycles. Those points are not really in dispute.

But what causes me to hesitate here is the idea that we can safely assume that the 2020 redistricting process will allow the GOP the same opportunities for redistricting reform that the 2010 one did.  I mean, let’s face it: in 2010 and 2014 the American electorate came to the collective realization that Barack Obama and their local Democratic state senator were somehow entangled with each other, and the American electorate voted accordingly.  It’s not going to work like that in 2018 and 2020.  To begin with, at the moment the safe bet is that in 2018 we’ll be halfway through the first term of a Republican President.  What if he or she – much like Barack Obama – turns out to be an idiot*?  What happens, in fact, if said President is so much of an idiot that we don’t re-elect him or her in 2020? – One-term Presidents have happened three times in my lifetime, so it’s not that unusual a scenario. (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
Nov
07
2014
8

Democrats now facing a lame-duck session crunch time ENTIRELY OF THEIR OWN MAKING.

Lotta good bits in this:

[Aside from confirming nominees, Harry] Reid also wants to move a package of expiring tax provisions, the annual Defense Department authorization bill and an extension of a tax moratorium on Internet purchases in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That will be a challenge not only because of the tight schedule, but because of expected clashes between Democrats over what should be prioritized before Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) takes over the Senate’s agenda in January.

For example, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is about to lose his chairmanship, is pushing for consideration of a bill reforming the National Security Agency despite opposition from other Democrats.

(more…)

Nov
05
2014
9

Dear Democratic operatives: You. Are. Dead. And. This. Is. HELL*.

And you will never, ever escape.

The last Democrat to challenge Nancy Pelosi for the party’s top House leadership spot—after a devastating loss of majority control in the tea-party wave of 2010—finds himself now completely out of Congress.

Former Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina can be seen on TV today as a side character in a Dish Network commercial featuring fellow former collegiate football greats. Gone from Congress, too, are many of Shuler’s former moderate “Blue Dog” colleagues in the House.

Now, four years later, Pelosi is not even waiting a few days to mull whether she should stay on as her party’s leader after yet another drubbing Tuesday at the polls. Rather, she sent out a “Dear colleague” letter on Wednesday to returning and newly elected House Democrats declaring that she is running again to be their caucus leader.

(more…)

Aug
06
2014
1

Why it doesn’t matter, electorally speaking, that the public hates Congress more than Barack Obama.

Writing stuff like this actually does no favors for Democrats

President Obama has hit another low in another poll, but so have many of his critics in Congress.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gives the president an approval rating of 40%, a record low; Congress has a rating of only 14%, also a low.

…and this is why: it produces a false equivalence.  Democratic incumbents in trouble aren’t going to be happy to see Barack Obama showing up… but Republican incumbents in trouble – yes, there are some – weren’t going to get ‘Congress’ to come out to campaign for them.  They’d get specific (and popular) Republican politicians to do that.  I understand that you can’t really compare Barack Obama’s popularity against every member of Congress and not have the result be utterly cumbersome, but I think framing the discussion this way doesn’t really lead to correct conclusions.

(more…)

Jul
25
2014
2

Wikipedia bans Capitol Hill from making Wikipedia edits.

Of course.

Wikipedia administrators have imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following “persistent disruptive editing”.

The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination.

The biography of former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an “alien lizard”.

Although that one arguably pales in comparison to the nameless Congressional staffer who needed the world to know that Mediate is “sexist transphobic*.”  Or perhaps not; but I’m noting it largely because I’d like the record to show that this is all at best (or worst) a bipartisan exercise in wearing-your-posterior-as-a-head-covering.  And, of course, to make it clear that, to the best of my knowledge, Donald Rumsfeld is NOT an alien lizard.  I mean, sheesh: everybody knows that he’s from a cadet branch of the Merovingian dynasty.  Where do you think he got the money to fund Fang Island in the first place? (more…)

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com