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Senate Republicans May Eliminate Filibuster For Supreme Court Nominees

Filibuster

For some reason, Republicans want to change filibuster rules even though it’s unclear that they’ll still hold the Senate after 2016.

State Of The Union Ratings Hit 15 Year Low

2014 State Of The Union

Last Tuesday’s State of the Union Address saw the lowest viewership numbers of any of those that President Obama has delivered and the lowest in fifteen years: Television viewership for President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night fell to a 15-year low, according to numbers from Nielsen. The 1-hour, 15-minute speech drew an average […]

I will Believe it When I see it

us-politics

Via WaPo:  Jeb Bush previews 2016 run, promising ‘adult conversations’ on big issues. I would adore such a conversation.  Alas, my experience with US campaigns makes we skeptical.  (And that observation is not aimed at Bush, but is a general observation).

Another Use for Drones

us-politics

Via the BBC:  Drone carrying drugs crashes near US-Mexico border A drone carrying more than six pounds (2.7kg) of methamphetamine has crashed near Mexico’s border with the US. Mexican police in Tijuana say they were alerted to an unidentified object in a car park of a shopping centre. “The drone had packages taped to it […]

Hillary Clinton Leads Potential Republican Rivals By Double Digits

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Advantage: Hillary.

House Republicans Drop Abortion Bill Vote At Last Minute, And It Was Smart Politics To Do So

Fighting Elephants Two

The House was set to vote on a ban on abortion after 20 weeks that never would have become law today but they pulled the bill. Conservatives are annoyed, but it was smart politics in the long run.

Federal Civil Rights Charges Unlikely Against Darren Wilson In Michael Brown Shooting

Protests Continue In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

Not surprisingly, the Federal investigation of the Michael Brown shooting is ending much like the state investigation did.

An ‘Ambitious’ Yet Pointless State Of The Union, And An Utterly Pointless Response

2014 State Of The Union

The State Of The Union Address was more of the same, and the same will be true of Washington going forward.

Feel Free To Skip The State Of The Union Address

sotu-14-02

There’s really no point in watching tonight’s speech.

Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush Top List Of Preferred Candidates Among Republicans

Mitt Romney Jeb Bush

The Tea Party may be the most vocal wing of the GOP but most Republicans seems to favor candidates that aren’t quite so right wing.

Mitt Romney Touts Anti-Poverty Platform

Mitt Romney Tired

Mitt Romney certainly seems to be running for president again. And he’s now on at least his third reinvention.

RNC Tries To Limit The Number Of Presidential Debates

GOP-Google-Debate1-570x407

The Republican National Committee is trying to bring some sanity to the Presidential debate process, but there’s no guarantee it can succeed.

John Kerry Outsources American Foreign Policy To James Taylor

John Kerry JJames Taylor

With some still criticizing the Administration for not sending a higher-ranking officials to Sunday’s unity rally in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry decided it might be a good idea to stop by Paris on the way home from India. And, to show our French friends that America stands beside them in the fight against […]

Why The GOP Is Likely To Cave In The Fight Against Obama’s Immigration Law Changes

border-immigrants-crossing

Even with a House and Senate majority, the GOP is unlikely to get what it wants in its current immigration battle with the President.

Obama’s Missed Opportunity

world-leaders-paris-march

My latest for The National Interest, “Obama’s Paris Blunder: Part of a Much Bigger Problem,” has posted.

Virginia Legislator Wins Special Election Despite Being In Jail

Virginia Flag Map

A former Democratic state legislator in Virginia was re-elected last night despite the fact that he’s in jail.

Once Again, Elizabeth Warren Says She’s Not Running For President And, Once Again, Nobody Will Listen

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren said once again that she’s not running for President, now or in the future. That’s not going to stop the efforts to draft her, though.

Paul Ryan Not Running For President

ryan

Although his name has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for President in 2016, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is making clear he has no intention of running: Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was his party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, announced Monday that he will not run for president in 2016. Ryan, the new […]

Obama’s Absence From Paris Rally: Egregious Diplomatic Error, Or Much Ado About Nothing?

World Leaders Paris

Some are criticizing the President for not going to Paris for yesterday’s rally.

House Vote, Nebraska Court Decision Push Keystone XL Forward But Obama Continues To Dither

Keystone XL Map

President Obama’s decision on Keystone XL is apparently to delay things long enough so he doesn’t have to decide at all.

Cuban Activists Released; US-Cuban Talks Set

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Cuba releases dozens of opposition activists The Cuban authorities have released at least 36 opposition activists since Wednesday, according to dissident organisations. They are believed to be from a list of 53 activists the United States requested to be freed as part of efforts to mend links. More info at the link. […]

Joe Manchin Mulls Leaving Senate To Run For Governor Again

Joe Manchin

West Virginia’s Joe Manchin is reportedly mulling leaving the Senate to run once again for a job where he’d have the ability to actually accomplish something.

Mitt Romney Tells Donors He Is “Seriously Considering” Running For President In 2016

meh-romney

He’s tan. He’s rested. And, apparently, he’s ready. Mitt Romney seems very interested in 2016 all of a sudden.

Barbara Boxer Retiring At End of Term

us-politics

Senator Barbara Boxer has announced she will not run again in 2016. AP (“California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer to Retire“): California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, a tenacious liberal whose election to the Senate in 1992 heralded a new era for women at the upper reaches of political power, announced Thursday she will not seek re-election […]

Will The Paris Terror Attack Undercut Republican Efforts On DHS Budget?

homeland_security_logo_angled

The terror attack in Paris seems likely to undercut GOP efforts to use the DHS budget to attack the President’s immigration policies.

Saxby Chambliss Transforms From Senator To Lobbyist In Less Than A Week

money-scrooge-mcduck-dive-money

It took less than a week for former Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss to land a new job: Congratulations to former Sen. Saxby Chambliss on his new job at K Street lobbying firm DLA Piper. The firm announced today that Chambliss is joining as a partner, a couple of days after he left the “world’s greatest […]

Obama And Congress Headed For First Confrontation Over Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL Map

Just one day into the new Congress, the first confrontation is already set.

FEC Sues Christine O’Donnell Over Campaign Irregularities

O'Donnell

Christine O’Donnell has largely been out of the news since losing the 2010 Delaware Senate race to Senator Chris Coons, but the Federal Election Commission didn’t forget about her: Once upon a time there was a candidate for U.S. Senate who told voters she wasn’t a witch. But her story doesn’t end there. Christine O’Donnell, […]

Boehner Strips Foes of Plum Posts

John-Boehner-Speaker-of-House-of-Representatives

You come at the king, you best not miss.

John Boehner Fends Off Yet Another Quixotic Tea Party Challenge

boehner_gavel

In the end, the Tea Party challenge to John Boehner was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Jeb Bush Takes Another Big Step Toward Running For President

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush’s putative “exploration” of a Presidential run is looking more and more like an actual Presidential campaign: Jeb Bush’s fundraising operation is about to get serious. Allies of the former Florida governor are planning to roll out both a leadership PAC and a super PAC in the coming days in an effort to lock […]

Mike Huckabee Takes Another Step Toward Running For President

Mike Huckabee

Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee took another step that suggests that he is indeed planning on running for President in 2016.

Tea Party Crowd Launching Another Phony “Challenge” To John Boehner

Boehner

Several Tea Party backed Members of Congress claim to be challenging John Boehner in tomorrow’s vote for Speaker. They are, of course, delusional.

Looking to the New Congress

us-politics

NPR has a short piece on the coming Congress that is worth a read:  Some Not-So-Conventional Wisdom About The Next Congress. The piece counters what it perceives as the conventional wisdom on the coming Republican control of both chambers: 1. Republicans are going to have to show they can govern. [...] 2. House Democrats will […]

Meanwhile, on Another Branch of the Family Bush

us-politics

Via USAT:  The dynasty lives on: George P. Bush takes oath of office in Texas George P. Bush — grandson and nephew of presidents and eldest son of a likely 2016 presidential contender —  took his oath of office Friday. As commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, Bush will oversee an agency that manages […]

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo Dies At 82

Mario Cuomo

A man best known, perhaps, for what he didn’t do, has passed away

Obama Approval Improves

us-politics

Gallup’s most recent approval numbers put the president’s approval and disapproval at 48% (his best for both in over a year). Not surprisingly, other polling shows a clear positive trend on consumer confidence:

Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Obama’s Immigration Executive Action

law-gavel-lights

A Federal Judge has dismissed the first lawsuit filed against President Obama’s immigration “executive action.”

Congressman Michael Grimm To Resign

Capitol Daytime

A week after pleading guilty, and just shy of two months of being re-elected despite facing a 20 count indictment, Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm will be resigning Congress: WASHINGTON — Michael G. Grimm, the Republican Party’s lone congressional representative in New York City, announced late Monday night that he would resign effective Jan. 5, […]

If you Have a Few Brain Cells to Spare, Watch This

money-bankruptcy

I understand that the main job of cable news anchors/hosts is to fill time between commercials, but surely they could do better than this (wherein we get speculation about the metric system and the lack of “cowboys attitudes” in non-US pilots): And, of course, the best part is the utter lack of comparative framework insofar […]

2014’s Fickle News Cycle

tv-remote (2)

The news cycle in 2014 seemed to be dominated by a series of real and phony “crises” that grabbed our attention for short periods of time.

Public Opinion on Cuba

travel-suitcase

Via WaPo‘s The Fix: Sixty-eight percent support ending the trade embargo with Cuba — up 11 points from 2009 — and 74 percent support ending travel restrictions to Cuba — a jump of 19 points from five years ago. The main issue over time: More info at the link.

Chart of the Day

us-politics

Via Wonkblog: If anything the chart is amusing because the op/ed it skewers so clearly deserves the skewering. The chart is also amusing because it really underscores the ridiculous nature of the charges the Obama administration has a) socialist in any serious sense of the term or b) been an economic disaster. I am not […]

Supreme Court To Consider Whether To Accept 6th Circuit Marriage Appeals On January 9th

gaymarriage

Shortly after the new year, we could know whether or not the Supreme Court will issue a definitive ruling on same-sex marriage by the end of June.

Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

Capitol Dome

Some eight months after being indicted, Michael Grimm, the only Republican representing a Congressional District inside New York City, has plead guilty to a single count of tax evasion, raising questions about how he can continue in office: A former Marine and agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who first ran for office as […]

Army Investigation Of Bowe Berghdahl Referred To Top General

Afghanistan Captured Soldier

The Army’s investigation of the disappearance five years ago of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been referred to a top General, who will decide if a court martial should be convened.

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio Exchange Barbs Over Cuba Policy Changes

Marco Rubio Rand Paul

Two potential candidates for the Republican nomination in 2016 traded barbs this week over the President’s new policy toward Cuba.

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Same-Sex Marriages In Florida

Same Sex Marriage Supreme Court

More interesting developments from the Supreme Court on what has been one of the biggest legal stories of 2014.

F.C.C. Rejects Petition To Declare ‘Redskins’ An Obscene Word

Washington Redskins Helmet

Not surprisingly, the F.C.C. has rejected a petition to ban the word “Redskins” from the airwaves.

Obama Faults Sony For Pulling ‘The Interview’ From Theaters, Vows Response To North Korea

Obama Makes Statement On U.S.-Cuba Policy

President Obama criticized Sony for backing down, and said that the U.S. would respond to North Korea’s cyber attack “at a place and time we choose,”

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