Thomas Jefferson Street

October 2010


Why Negative Ads Backfire

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To listen to the barrage of political ads in the last week of the campaign, one would think that Satan is running for office--many offices, in fact, across the country.

Liars, incompetents, lunatics, worshippers of false Gods--these, according to the industry that creates political ads, are our ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Democratic Party
Conway, Jack
Paul, Rand
Kirk, Mark
Blumenthal, Richard
Republican Party
Delahunt, Bill

Obama Fundamentally Doubts America Is a Good Country

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There are few people today who write as well as columnist Shelby Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and winner of the 1990 National Book Critics Circle Award for the book The Content of Our Character.

Writing in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, Steele tries to explain ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Democratic Party
immigration reform
energy policy and climate change
Obama, Barack
tea party

Round 2 of 'Republicans: Funny or Sad?'

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Two weeks ago, we played America’s hottest new political game, “Funny or Sad,” on the Thomas Jefferson Street blog and the verdict was unanimous--everybody hated it. I had more comments on my Funny or Sad post than any of the other posts I have written and Republicans felt I was making fun of ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Obama, Barack
economic stimulus
deficit and national debt
Reagan, Ronald
Bush, George W.
Bush, George H.W.
Rove, Karl
Democratic Party
national security terrorism and the military

A GOP Sweep Would Be the Best Thing to Happen to Democrats

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Things are looking awfully dismal for the Democrats, who--despite an uptick in some polls and fundraising--appear poised to lose control of the House. If there is an enormous wave and low Democratic turnout, it’s conceivable the GOP will take back the Senate, too. But as dispiriting as that may be ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Democratic Party
health care reform
health care
Obama, Barack
taxes

America Is Waking Up to the Real Tea Party Threat

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Whether it was a headline or a question posed to me on television, I’ve been asked “Is the Tea Party in trouble?” Sorry to answer a question with a question, but maybe we should be asking “Is America finally waking up?” And I think the answer to both is yes.

Although Christine O’Donnell told us how ...

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TAGS:
tea party
O'Donnell, Christine
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
McMahon, Linda
Paul, Rand

The Tea Party's 'Real America' Is a Fantasy

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“Real America” is back. And it’s more disingenuous than ever.

The Tea Party movement, we are told by followers and academics studying the phenomenon, is a backlash against the so-called “New Elite,” those who went to prestigious schools, married others who (surprise!) went to prestigious schools,

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TAGS:
tea party
economy
unemployment
manufacturing
car manufacturers
deficit and national debt
Congress
Obama, Barack
Pelosi, Nancy
Frank, Barney

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid Are Getting Desperate

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Things are getting so desperate for the Democrats that President Barack Obama is trying to provoke a fight. It’s the only possible conclusion, especially after Monday’s speech in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, when he said that members of the GOP “can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."

Talk ...

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TAGS:
Reid, Harry
Pelosi, Nancy
deficit and national debt
economy
unemployment
Obama, Barack
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

The Mean Spirits From the Clarence Thomas Hearings Never Left

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Virginia Lamp Thomas stirred the boiling cauldron of national memory from 19 Novembers ago, with on-cue Halloween timing. The wife of Clarence Thomas, a member of the Supreme Court, called up Anita Hill, unbidden, and demanded an apology for "what you did you my husband." That's a lot like the wife ...

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TAGS:
Byrd, Robert
Biden, Joe
Hatch, Orrin
Specter, Arlen
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Congress
Bush, George H.W.
2000 presidential election
Gore, Al
Bush, George W.
Supreme Court
Thomas, Clarence

Report: $2.4 Trillion in New Tax Hikes Coming

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It’s not enough that the Obama tax increases are heading down the rails like a freight train with a full head of steam. The so-called Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission has a proposal for another $2.4 trillion coming in line once the elections are over.

At least that’s the conclusion of the ...

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
taxes
economy
unemployment
deficit and national debt
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Gregg, Judd

GOP Mud-Slinging in Massachusetts May Alienate Women Voters

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There’s a very dangerous game being played in the campaign for Massachusetts’s 10th District congressional seat (from which Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt is retiring). And the results could have implications for candidates for higher office as female voters assess GOP candidates’ reactions to ...

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Romney, Mitt
tea party
Congress
Massachusetts
National Republican Congressional Committee
Brown, Scott
Delahunt, Bill

Election 2010’s Two Very Different Scenarios

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Here is scenario #1 for the midterm elections--when I raise this, my friends and family call me Mr. Chicken Little, the sky is falling pundit. 

Big losses all across the board from the senate, to governorships, to Congress, to state legislatures, with a message of “we’re mad as Hell and we’re not ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
national security terrorism and the military
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
unemployment
deficit and national debt
social security
2008 Congressional elections
2008 presidential election
Clinton, Bill
Obama, Barack
Wall Street
car manufacturers
Brown, Scott

A GOP Takeover Might Alter Democrats’ Thinking on Bush’s Tax Cuts

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Though the Democrats have been bullish over the past several days that the November 2010 elections will not turn out as badly for them as most everyone expects, there are some signs that some deal-making may be in the offing.

According to a source tied into the Democrats’ thinking, a package that ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Obama, Barack
Bush, George W.
taxes
social security
unemployment
economy
health care reform
health care
Baucus, Max
deficit and national debt

Obama’s Decision to Resume Deepwater Oil Drilling Is Folly

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With all the election news, nobody paid much attention, which is probably what the administration wanted, but Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced last week that the federal government would allow the oil companies to resume deepwater oil drilling. The secretary made this call even though ...

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
energy policy and climate change
oil
BP
Gulf of Mexico
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Salazar, Ken

Republican Runyan Pushes Back on Fake Tea Party

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For some months suspicions have been high that Democratic operatives and their allies have been trying to split the Tea Party vote in order to increase their chances of holding on to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The strategy, as described to me by one source knowledgeable about the process, is ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
New Jersey
Florida
Grayson, Alan
Adler, John
tea party

Why Democrats Are Gaining on Republicans in the 2010 Elections

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As a liberal Democrat I was delighted to see the latest NPR poll which shows Democrats gaining in the battleground states against Republicans. Although Republicans still hold 47 percent over the Democrats 44 percent, that 3 percent margin is more palatable and beatable  than the 8 percent lead ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
health care
health care reform
unemployment
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Obama, Barack
O'Donnell, Christine
Coons, Chris
Manchin, Joe
Raese, John
Pelosi, Nancy
Bush, George W.
politics

Conway’s Attack Ad on Paul Shows Democrats’ Desperation

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When Kentucky taxpayer advocate Rand Paul defeated the GOP establishment candidate in last summer’s U.S. Senate primary, the Democrats thought blood was in the water. Clearly an unconventional candidate Paul--the son of legendary libertarian Republican Rep. Ron Paul--was immediately written off ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Kentucky
Conway, Jack
Paul, Ron
Paul, Rand
Democratic Party
Matthews, Chris
Republican Party
politics

The 2010 Elections' Shocking Numbers: Spending Up, Turnout Down

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The sad state of American politics is easily summed up in the alarming comparison of two sets of numbers: one, by the Center for Responsive Politics, and the other, by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University.

Let’s start with the excellent work done by the Center ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Democratic Party
economy
unemployment
2010 Congressional elections
deficit and national debt
campaigns
politics

Nancy Pelosi Catches the Anger Once Aimed at Hillary Clinton

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Those with all the rage against Hillary Clinton and her brilliant political career have shifted their focus to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat.

This is the first, maybe not the last, election cycle when Pelosi is the Republicans' favorite whipping post, and not only in ...

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TAGS:
Pelosi, Nancy
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
2008 presidential election
Obama, Barack
Clinton, Hillary
Democratic Party
Republican Party
San Francisco
Baltimore
politics
working women

Democrats’ Sneaky Plans in Florida Redistricting

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A bizarre alliance of so-called “good government groups” working with the usual suspects are trying to engineer an end run around the will of the people in Florida.

Fronted by a woman who used to be the cochair of Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign in the state, the group “Fair Districts ...

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TAGS:
tea party
Obama, Barack
Kerry, John
Florida
Census Bureau
Congress
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2008 presidential election

Sharron Angle Insults Women in Debate With Harry Reid

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The record number of Republican women running for statewide offices this year was an encouraging historical development, marking an important diversification in politics. The Democratic party had long driven the growth of females in elected office, and an influx of GOP women—particularly ...

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TAGS:
Angle, Sharron
Reid, Harry
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Snowe, Olympia
Pelosi, Nancy
Clinton, Hillary
social security
working women

Are Republicans Funny or Are They Sad?

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The great playwrights of ancient Greece believed that tragedy and comedy were opposite sides of the same coin. In that spirit, I have invented a new game, called “Funny or Sad,” that you all can play at home.

We could play Monopoly, which has been around a lot longer than Funny or Sad. But with all ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
abortion
California
marijuana
death penalty
Obama, Barack
national security terrorism and the military
government
Rove, Karl
Bush, George W.
Iraq war (2003-2011)

Christine O'Donnell Must Drive Serious Republicans Crazy

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Chris Coons had the best question for GOP opponent Christine O’Donnell in Wednesday night’s Delaware Senate debate: “what is she talking about?”

But if Coons, the Democratic nominee, was frustrated or baffled at O’Connell’s uninformed answers, or just non-answers, one can only imagine how it must ...

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TAGS:
social security
Medicaid
Medicare
deficit and national debt
unemployment
economic stimulus
Delaware
Supreme Court
Ryan, Paul
Lugar, Richard
Sununu, John
Kerry, John
Castle, Mike
Coons, Chris
O'Donnell, Christine
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

What the Chile Miners Tell Us About Attack Politics

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I’ve just finished my nightly national radio show talking about all the negative political ads that are hitting the airwaves with a vengeance as we enter the final weeks before the election. I’ve seen an ad showing Rep. Nick Rahall’s Arab American background. I’ve seen another showing young ...

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TAGS:
Supreme Court
Kerry, John
Reid, Harry
Rahall, Nick
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Chile

Going After Bush and the GOP Is a Bad Strategy for Democrats

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The Democrats are doing all they can to make this upcoming election about the Bush years.

It’s a flawed strategy. George W. Bush is, today, according to a few national surveys, just about as popular as Barack Obama. Moreover, and with no disrespect intended, Bush is the past. America is concerned ...

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Obama, Barack
Bush, George W.
Gillespie, Ed
Rove, Karl
Axelrod, David
Goolsbee, Austan
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano
Johnson, Lyndon
Nixon, Richard M.
Clinton, Bill

Peter Diamond Fed Hold Shows the Senate's an Embarrassment

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As consolation prizes go, it doesn’t get much better than the one awarded to the long-respected, now officially brilliant Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Peter Diamond. Diamond, lauded for his research on the dynamics of the labor market, was given the Nobel Prize in economics for ...

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TAGS:
Shelby, Richard
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
health care
health care reform
Nobel Prize
Federal Reserve
Obama, Barack
unemployment

Candidates Compete to Show They're Not Special

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The race to the bottom has become so heated in congressional campaigns that a U.S. Senate candidate is touting her suitability for elected office by saying “I didn’t go to Yale.”

Unless one is at a Harvard alumni reception, it’s hard to see why this is something GOP candidate Christine O’Donnell ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
O'Donnell, Christine
Yale University
Republican Party
Hodes, Paul
Democratic Party
Ayotte, Kelly

The Enthusiasm Gap Is Killing Democrats in the 2010 Election

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The enthusiasm gap is killing us.

Progressives need to get their butts in gear in the next 26 days to get their friends and family out to vote. There is a tough battle on to maintain Democratic control of the House and Senate.

While the outcome of the contest for control of Congress is in doubt, it ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
tea party
Democratic Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
2012 presidential election
Pelosi, Nancy
energy policy and climate change
unemployment
economy
Obama, Barack

The Tea Party Movement Is a Middle Class Revolt

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Richard Nixon popularized the idea that there existed in America a “silent majority” at odds with the values and vision of the leftist radicals who put the nation through a period of prolonged social upheaval back in the 1960s.

Today the “silent majority” is silent no more. As seen in the Tea Party ...

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TAGS:
Nixon, Richard M.
health care reform
health care
unemployment
small business
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
tea party

Obama-Clinton 2012? Obama-BIden 2012? Why It Doesn't Matter

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Wednesday's will they or won't they boomlet about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was classic Washington. The media was obsessed all day long, with endless commentary that was by definition almost entirely whole cloth speculation (about what might happen a year-and-a-half from now) fueled by horse ...

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TAGS:
Obama administration
Obama, Barack
2012 presidential election
politics
Clinton, Bill
Clinton, Hillary
Biden, Joe
McCain, John
Palin, Sarah
Quayle, Dan
running mates
Vice President

Dumping Biden for Clinton Won't Help Obama in 2012

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If the Sharks hate the Jets and the Jets hate the Sharks, why would anyone assume that starting a new West Side gang with members of each side as leaders would somehow unite the factions in a peaceful new Story?

Yet that is the logic behind purveyors of the rumor that President Obama will dump Vice ...

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TAGS:
unemployment
national security terrorism and the military
terrorism
politics
Obama, Barack
Clinton, Hillary
Biden, Joe
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2012 presidential election

4 Things Wrong With Christine O'Donnell's 'I'm Not a Witch' Ad

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I just saw Christine O’Donnell’s new television ad and I can honestly say now I’ve seen everything. It seems Ms. O’Donnell wants to set the record straight about a few things:

  1. She’s not a witch
  2. She’s tired of the politicians in Washington spending as a way to stay in office
  3. She’s going to go to ...
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    TAGS:
    O'Donnell, Christine
    2010 Congressional elections
    Congress
    immigration reform
    health care reform
    unemployment
    health care
    politics

    Newt Gingrich: 2010 Election Is About Paychecks v. Food Stamps

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    The upcoming election is about choices.

    Big choices. About the size and scope of government. About the reach of the federal government’s authority. About whether or not the choices the voters made in 2008 should be confirmed or whether they made a mistake.

    Right now things don’t look good for the

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    TAGS:
    Congress
    2010 Congressional elections
    2008 presidential election
    Obama, Barack
    Democratic Party
    Republican Party
    taxes
    deficit and national debt
    unemployment
    Gingrich, Newt
    Pelosi, Nancy
    Reid, Harry

    John Boehner's Reformer History--And Future

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    If the latest Gallup Poll is right, Ohio Republican John Boehner’s next job will be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Whether or not he gets to keep it for more than two years has a lot to do with how he handles things as the country gets to know him.

    [See where Boehner gets his campaign ...

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    TAGS:
    Congress
    2010 Congressional elections
    Republican Party
    Democratic Party
    deficit and national debt
    health care reform
    health care
    Obama, Barack
    Boehner, John
    Pelosi, Nancy
    tea party

    Democrats Hammer Republicans on Minimum Wage

    By |

    With the midterm elections looming like a dark cloud, Democrats are scrambling around for an issue or issues with which to stem the coming GOP tide. Some of the GOP's more radically conservative candidates might have given the Democrats such an issue with their pronouncements questioning the ...

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    TAGS:
    Raese, John
    Rossi, Dino
    Murray, Patty
    Blumenthal, Richard
    McMahon, Linda
    2010 Congressional elections
    Congress
    labor
    minimum wage
    Democratic Party
    Republican Party
    Paul, Rand
    Miller, Joe
    national security terrorism and the military
    unemployment

    Republican Overreach Fueling Democrats' Comeback

    By |

    Are things actually looking up for the distressed Democrats?

    Left for dead by a parade of pundits, the Democrats seem to be perking up. Tens of thousands showed up in Washington over the weekend for a progressive rally meant to counter the “Restoring Honor” march and rally conservative commentator ...

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    TAGS:
    Congress
    2010 Congressional elections
    Republican Party
    Democratic Party
    2008 presidential election
    Beck, Glenn
    Barbour, Haley
    Obama, Barack
    O'Donnell, Christine
    tea party

    The Iraq War Came and Went But Facebook Is Here to Stay

    By |

    OK, my friends, I went to see The Social Network in Georgetown Saturday afternoon all alone, and I didn't even mind. Quite an admission, I know--and maybe a metaphor for the times. You tell me.

    What movie could be more relevant to American life today? It's a sizzling and delicious legal romp telling ...

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    TAGS:
    Facebook
    Zuckerberg, Mark
    social networking
    national security terrorism and the military
    Iraq war (2003-2011)

    People Are Angry at Obama for the Same Reasons They Were at Bush

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    Over the last two years the various Tea Party-type rallies have brought hundreds of thousands of outraged but quite ordinary Americans to the nation’s capital to protest of out of control spending, ruinous economic policies, rising unemployment and the one-sided approach to governing that House ...

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    TAGS:
    tea party
    Reid, Harry
    Pelosi, Nancy
    Obama administration
    Obama, Barack
    Republican Party
    Democratic Party
    2010 Congressional elections
    Congress
    unemployment
    Bush, George W.

    5 Others Who Should Follow Rahm Emanuel Out of the Administration

    By |

    In sharp contrast to the relative stability of the Bush White House, President Barack Obama has started to burn through his senior staff at a rate fast enough to be interesting.

    It really doesn’t matter whether the departing members of his administration were pushed or if they jumped; the turnover ...

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    TAGS:
    Obama, Barack
    Emanuel, Rahm
    2012 presidential election
    Salazar, Ken
    Clinton, Hillary
    Republican Party
    Democratic Party
    Congress
    2010 Congressional elections
    Geithner, Tim
    Gulf of Mexico
    BP
    oil
    Sebelius, Kathleen
    health care
    health care reform
    LaHood, Ray
    Toyota
    Daley, Richard M.
    tea party
    economic stimulus