Thomas Jefferson Street

November 2010


What Happens If the Bush Tax Cuts Expire

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The folks at Americans for Tax Reform, a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases, released Tuesday a helpful reminder of just what is at stake in the debate over extending the current tax rates, which are set to expire at year’s end.

“If Congress doesn’t ...

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TAGS:
tax exemptions
tax returns
alternative minimum tax
Congress
Obama, Barack
health care reform
income tax

Sarah Palin Is No Friend of Women in Politics

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Women lawmakers made zero gains in Congress in this cycle--they will still make up about 17 percent of those chosen by voters to come to Washington. Two notable losses were Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, both moderate Democrats. This palpable lack ...

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TAGS:
Palin, Sarah
Alaska
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Murkowski, Lisa
Angle, Sharron
O'Donnell, Christine
Senate
politics
feminism
Kristol, William
abortion
working women
Clinton, Hillary

Republicans Must Stand With Obama on North Korea Crisis

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The disclosure of heretofore confidential diplomatic cables and other information on the WikiLeaks site, while bad news for the United States, still pales in comparison to recent events on the Korean peninsula.

Tensions in the region are at perhaps their highest point since the armistice that ended ...

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TAGS:
State Department
Obama, Barack
Obama administration
Bush, George W.
Democratic Party
Republican Party
national security terrorism and the military
South Korea
North Korea

Obama Should Not Treat His Enemies Like Future Friends

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The sleekest, fattest turkey in town this Thanksgiving is the victorious Chamber of Commerce taunting those in lean times, including the 44th president who just had his proverbial political head cut off in a tough election.

Here in Washington, the Chamber's stately Roaring '20s building with ...

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Kennedy, Ted
Byrd, Robert
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
health care reform
McConnell, Mitch
Boehner, John
Obama, Barack

Newt Gingrich's 5 Goals for America

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Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who may or may not be running for president, is lately busy explaining to people that the Republicans' decisive win in 2010 is only the first step toward reclaiming liberty in America and that, to be successful, “the conservative movement must move from a ...

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Gingrich, Newt
Republican Party
national security terrorism and the military
deficit and national debt
Islam
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics
2012 presidential election
Obama, Barack
Obama administration
Constitution
China
India
federal budget

How Thorough Will Boehner's Reform of Congress Be?

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Coming into the majority on the heels of its successful “Pledge to America,” the new House Republican leadership is likely to consider making some major reforms to the way the chamber does its business. Incoming Speaker John Boehner has already indicated this is very much on his mind, though how ...

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Boehner, John
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics
House of Representatives
Republican Party
Democratic Party

Jack Kingston Runs for Appropriations Chair

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 U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, long rumored to be a "dark house" candidate for chairmanship of the House Committee on Appropriations, has official thrown his hat into the ring.

In a letter to his GOP colleagues dated November 19, the Georgia Republican opened his bid by stating, "I am writing to announce ...

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Republican Party
Democratic Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Kingston, Jack
Lewis, Jerry
Rogers, Harold
deficit and national debt
Wolf, Frank
Barton, Joe
White House
Armey, Dick
politics

Murkowski's Win Gives Hope for Third Party Solution

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Tea Party movement denizens point to their successes at the polls this month as a display of the will of the people—and they're right. But the same grassroots empowerment is also evident in the apparent loss by one of the movement's favorites, Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Miller stunned ...

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Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Democratic Party
tea party
Murkowski, Lisa
Miller, Joe
Clinton, Hillary
Franken, Al
health care reform
Bush, George W.
politics
Senate

Obama Administration Officials in Republican Sights

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If one thing is clear, it is that, with the House of Representatives under Republican control, the oversight of the Obama administration's activities is going to be a lot more vigorous than it has been over the last two years.

It's not just the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, under the ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Congress
Obama, Barack
ethics
Issa, Darrell
health care reform
unemployment
energy policy and climate change
national security terrorism and the military
economy
Sebelius, Kathleen
Holder, Eric
Jackson, Lisa
EPA

Palin, Tea Party Quiet on Joe Miller Power Grab

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Joe Miller, the Alaska Republican Senate nominee who--virtually everyone but him now agrees--lost his bid to Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, is starting to resemble the jilted suitor who refuses to get the message. Thursday he asked a federal judge for an injunction preventing the state ...

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Murkowski, Lisa
Miller, Joe
Palin, Sarah
tea party
Alaska
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Senate
politics

Obama Should End 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Himself

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Mr. President. Don’t ask the lame duck session of Congress to end "don't ask, don't tell." Just tell Congress that you’ll do it yourself.

The president is moving cautiously to avoid kicking up a hornet’s nest by ending the Pentagon’s policy, but in the long run, he is hurting himself more than he is ...

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TAGS:
Mullen, Mike
Gates, Robert
Republican Party
Congress
Obama, Barack
LGBT rights
national security terrorism and the military

Mitch McConnell Sounding the Right Notes for Conservatives

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Criticized by many conservative bloggers over the last two years as a weak sister for his failure to lead confrontationally, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, possibly emboldened by the addition of several new members to his caucus, is increasingly sounding the right notes.

On Wednesday he ...

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McConnell, Mitch
Boehner, John
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
unemployment
energy policy and climate change
politics

Republicans Should Start Respecting the President

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The first power showdown between Republican leaders in Congress and the White House is over what appears to be a relatively petty and insignificant matter: when to have a meeting among President Obama and both GOP and Democratic leaders at the White House to discuss the agenda for the incoming,

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
Ryan, Paul
McConnell, Mitch
health care reform
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics

John Thune's Plan to Cut Spending Is a Good Start

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The GOP is continuing to push back against the Obama-led spending spree from the last two years. It's difficult to do, given that Democrats still have the capacity to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through the next few months—in lieu of the yearly appropriations bills—that ...

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TAGS:
Thune, John
Democratic Party
politics
deficit and national debt
Republican Party
2012 presidential election
federal budget

Why the Republican Earmark Ban Matters

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Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell's surprising declaration Monday in support of an outright ban on earmarks is the first major post-election victory for the Tea Party movement.

Many had believed that McConnell would ultimately oppose the effort. Yet, in a speech delivered on the Senate floor, the GOP

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Congress
McConnell, Mitch
Republican Party
Democratic Party
tea party
deficit and national debt
Boehner, John
DeMint, Jim
Obama, Barack
Coburn, Tom
Axelrod, David

Earmark Ban Won't Get the Federal Deficit Under Control

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The Tea Party movement has scored an early success with the incoming 112th Congress, winning support from Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and others to put a moratorium on earmarks, the reviled appropriations for projects targeted to a specific entity without competition for the funds. But the ...

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Congress
McConnell, Mitch
Republican Party
deficit and national debt
Obama, Barack
national security terrorism and the military
tea party

John McCain's Angry 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Flip Flop

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What's happening here on shedding the shackles of "don't ask, don't tell" for our gay soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen? 

Just as the Army, Navy, and Air Force are in formation to move forward, the chatty new commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, voices his opposition to lifting the ...

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TAGS:
Congress
national security terrorism and the military
energy policy and climate change
McCain, John
Obama, Barack
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Snowe, Olympia
Collins, Susan
Mullen, Mike
Gates, Robert

There's Not Enough Money in Political Campaigns

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Conservative columnist George Will famously observed that America spends more money each year on potato chips than it does on political campaigns.

In an October 2008 column, citing a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, Will calculated that the $5.3 billion spent over the two-year ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2008 presidential election
2008 Congressional elections
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Strickland, Ted
Democratic Party
McCain, John
Feingold, Russ
deficit and national debt
politics

Charlie Rangel Goes Too Far Playing the Victim in Ethics Trial

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There have been moments when Rep. Charlie Rangel, the veteran (literally and metaphorically) Democratic lawmaker accused of breaking ethics rules, has been a legitimate candidate for some sympathy. He’s been in public service for nearly a half century, re-elected this month to a 21st term in

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TAGS:
Rangel, Charles
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
tea party
unemployment
recession
Democratic Party

Polls Show the 2010 Elections Were About Smaller Government

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By the numbers, it’s clear the American people voted for a change in the direction of the country on November 2.

There are still votes being tallied but, in the main, it is easy to make a very persuasive argument that--however flawed the polls were regarding specific head-to-head races like the Reid

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TAGS:
politics
Carville, James
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Angle, Sharron
Reid, Harry
Obama, Barack
health care reform
health care
taxes
government
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

Kanye West Could Learn a Thing or Two From Bush

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So much is being discussed about the observations former President George W. Bush has made in his new memoir that it’s easy to forget what led up to it. And that’s not just the eight years of his presidency and all of implications for the economy, the federal deficit, and civil liberties. It’s ...

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TAGS:
Bush, George W.
Hurricane Katrina
economy
unemployment
deficit and national debt
health care reform
health care
Obama, Barack
2008 presidential election

Tom Cole’s 10th Amendment Bill Is the Right Idea

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Arguing that “So much of the government overreach we’ve seen the past few years could be prevented just by enforcing the constitutional protections we already have,” Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole is proposing legislation that would help put the teeth back into the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.

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TAGS:
Cole, Tom
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Constitution
government
health care
health care reform
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Pelosi, Nancy

'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' Is a National Shame on Veterans Day

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Sun-dappled trees showing off their autumn canopies make this November day in Washington seem sweet and fleeting with the shorter days.

How awfully bright and warm it is for Veterans Day--on the 11th day of the 11th month. The Armistice ending the "Great War" happened on this day about 90 years ago.

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
Obama, Barack
Iraq war (2003-2011)
War in Afghanistan (2001-)
veterans
Clinton, Bill
Powell, Colin
Gates, Robert
Republican Party
McCain, John
Iraq
Afghanistan
Congress

Deficit Commission Proposals Are a Recipe for More Big Government

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President Barack Obama’s deficit commission has issued its preliminary recommendations and the news is not good.

As James Lucier and Robert Kaminski of Capital Alpha Partners put it, “The report contains kernels of a structural tax reform idea that may have legs, but otherwise it is mostly old ...

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
Republican Party
GDP
Gingrich, Newt
tea party
health care reform
2010 Congressional elections
health care
deficit and national debt
taxes
Democratic Party
social security
Axelrod, David

Women in Congress Lose Ground in 2010 Elections

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It could have been another Year of the Woman in American politics, with an added twist: it was Republican women--in particular, conservative Republican women--who accounted for increases in the number of females running for the House, Senate or statewide office. Whether traditional feminists see ...

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TAGS:
Murkowski, Lisa
Slaughter, Louise
Fallin, Mary
Pelosi, Nancy
Whitman, Meg
O'Donnell, Christine
working women
2010 Congressional elections
House of Representatives
Senate
Congress
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana
Bachmann, Michele
Republican Party
Democratic Party

Investigations, Not Unemployment, Top Republican Agenda

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Based on the outcome of the last election, it’s obvious the American people are angry, fed up. Many of you who voted wanted change and you elected more Republicans to represent you and your needs in Washington. It is my understanding you’ve sent them there to: Create jobs, turn the economy around,

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
McConnell, Mitch
Issa, Darrell
tea party
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Obama, Barack
economy
unemployment
national security terrorism and the military
health care reform
health care
bailout
Bush, George W.
economic stimulus

Conservatives Press Boehner on Committee Chairmanships

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A number of prominent conservatives are pushing the Ohio Republican John Boehner, the presumptive speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to ignore the vaunted seniority system in favor of putting in place committee chairmen who heard the message of 2010.

In one case, David Keene, chairman of ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Boehner, John
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Pelosi, Nancy
energy policy and climate change
Lewis, Jerry
Rogers, Harold
tea party
Flake, Jeff
Bachus, Spencer
Royce, Ed
Palin, Sarah
health care
health care reform
Obama, Barack
Barton, Joe
Upton, Fred
Jordan, Jim
politics

Tobacco Settlement Could Go to the Supreme Court

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For anti-smoking advocates the 1998 tobacco settlement was a major step forward that brought industry money to their side of the cause and would ultimately reduce the number of people in America who smoke.

Now, thanks to the efforts of a pro-free market organization called the Competitive Enterprise ...

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TAGS:
Congress
economy
unemployment
health care reform
health care
Obama, Barack
Supreme Court
smoking and tobacco

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Suspension--What Was the Point?

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What, exactly, was the point of Keith Olbermann’s brief suspension from MSNBC?

Actually, there’s a bigger mystery to be solved before considering the question of why MSNBC temporarily suspended its acerbic, liberal host of Countdown: Why would Olbermann, whose show is unabashedly liberal and anti-

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TAGS:
Olbermann, Keith
NBC
MSNBC
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
politics

George W. Bush's Book and Proud Republican Ignorance

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Just as we bruised people begin to brush off the dust from the election, the worst visage of the past came back to taunt us: George W. Bush splashed over the small screen, smug as ever about his bloody war for no good reason in Iraq. No worries about leaving a nation once graced with peace and ...

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TAGS:
Bush, George W.
Jackson, Andrew
Bush, Laura
Feingold, Russ
Republican Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Palin, Sarah
O'Donnell, Christine
Angle, Sharron
Bachmann, Michele
tea party
Bloomberg, Michael
unemployment
Iraq
Iraq war (2003-2011)
national security terrorism and the military
deficit and national debt
Democratic Party
federal budget

How Harry Reid Beat Sharron Angle

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There are few people who cover Nevada politics as well as the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston. He’s plugged in to just about everyone, so if anyone has the “inside dope” it’s him.

In a piece published Sunday, Ralston explains in some detail that Harry Reid’s recent re-election was the result of a ...

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politics
Ensign, John
Heller, Dean
Titus, Dina
Daschle, Tom
tea party
Nevada
Angle, Sharron
Reid, Harry
unemployment
economy
Republican Party
Democratic Party
2008 Congressional elections
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

Pelosi's Refusal to Retire Shouldn't Thrill Republicans

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Republicans are thrilled that outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to stay on as leader of her soon-to-be minority caucus. They shouldn’t be.

[See where Pelosi gets her campaign money.]

The GOP is understandably giddy over their huge win in last week’s elections and ascension to majority ...

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
Pelosi, Nancy
Obama, Barack
health care
Republican Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
health care reform
energy policy and climate change

Boehner’s GOP Leadership Team Contests Are On

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The first task ahead for presumptive speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner is to put his leadership team together. This includes not just the members of the elected leadership but the various committee chairmen--who have the front line responsibility for pushing GOP legislative ...

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Congress
deficit and national debt
unemployment
health care
BP
Cantor, Eric
tea party
Ryan, Paul
Price, Tom
Lewis, Jerry
Gingrich, Newt
Barton, Joe
Obama, Barack
Upton, Fred
Boehner, John
Republican Party
economy
health care reform
energy policy and climate change
Gulf of Mexico
McCarthy, Kevin
Bachmann, Michele
Pence, Mike
Mack, Connie
Rogers, Harold
Kingston, Jack
Browner, Carol
Stearns, Cliff

Ken Buck’s Abortion Stance Cost Him a Senate Seat

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LAKEWOOD, Colo.--Two numbers from Colorado's midterm elections: 71 percent and 17 percent. Seventy-one is the percentage by which the anti-choice Amendment 62 lost statewide. The 17 percent is the gender gap favoring Democrat Michael Bennet in the Senate race, according to exit polls from the New ...

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politics
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Bennet, Michael
abortion
Buck, Ken
Colorado
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

Measuring the Size of Election 2010's Republican Sweep

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The GOP scored some important national wins on Tuesday--victories that will help shape the future of the party.

Whether the Democrats were fired because of their philosophy or because of their failure to address the issues of joblessness, the economy, and spending, as several of my bloleagues here ...

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politics
Gillespie, Ed
economy
unemployment
Obama, Barack
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

Why Massachusetts Bucked the 2010 Republican Wave

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Republicans gleeful over the upset election of Scott Brown to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy were understandably hopeful that they could weaken the longtime Democratic domination in the Bay State. Capitalizing on voter anger and a fierce anti-establishment mood, the GOP could have taken ...

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Kennedy, Ted
Massachusetts
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Brown, Scott
Frank, Barney
Tsongas, Niki
Delahunt, Bill

Democrats Lost Because of Unemployment, Not Spending

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Tuesday's electoral disaster was not surprising since the best message that Democrats could come up with for the midterms was “voting for us is better than a sharp stick in the eye." Not surprisingly, voters did not flock to our banner. Believe me, I know. As a Democratic strategist and pollster,

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
unemployment
economy
deficit and national debt
health care
health care reform
Gibbs, Robert
Obama, Barack
Clinton, Bill

The 2010 Elections Over, the Real Barney Frank Returns

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Barney Frank is back.

The 70-year-old Democrat is not just back as a congressman, a title he kept Tuesday night with a convincing victory over GOP nominee Sean Bielat. Frank also made it clear during his victory speech that the irascible, arguably downright cranky person whose wit has both ...

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TAGS:
New Jersey
Grayson, Alan
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Frank, Barney
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

Boehner, GOP Need to Bridge the Tea Party-Establishment Gap

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There are a number of votes still to be counted Wednesday morning. Several congressional seats, a U.S. Senate seat or two, and a few down ballot races hang in the balance. “Mighty Casey” did not, as the poem goes, “struck out”--but the GOP experienced some disappointing failures that will ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Obama, Barack
Republican Party
Rubio, Marco
Toomey, Pat
Paul, Rand
Gingrich, Newt
Cuomo, Andrew
Democratic Party
Taylor, Gene
Johnson, Ron
Raese, John
Angle, Sharron
Boehner, John
Hastert, Dennis
Barbour, Haley
Reid, Harry
Bush, George H.W.

The 2010 Election Returns' Worst News for Obama, Democrats

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The most troubling aspect of yesterday's election was the GOP success in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Democrats lost both governors' races and several House incumbents in each state. Both states also elected new Republican U.S. Senators. Barack Obama won both states in 2008 and needs to win them again to ...

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energy policy and climate change
deficit and national debt
2012 presidential election
Pennsylvania
Ohio
Obama administration
Obama, Barack
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Democratic Party
Republican Party
unemployment

Election Returns Are Good for Republicans, Bad for America

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Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord more Dem House seats to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the state of Cali for Barbara and Jerry to take!

As I write this blog, there have been a few surprises: Joe Manchin winning a key Senate seat in West Virginia and Linda McMahon returning ...

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Manchin, Joe
McMahon, Linda
Republican Party
tea party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
O'Donnell, Christine
Cuomo, Andrew
unemployment
immigration reform
health care reform
health care
Democratic Party
Boehner, John
Frank, Barney

Christine O'Donnell, Disconnected From Reality to the End

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Christine O’Donnell might have convinced us that the whole dabbling in witchcraft thing was just schoolgirl fun. And the diatribe against masturbation? Could be that it was just the naïve musings of a young woman still not comfortable with the world of sex. And maybe those creepy campaign ads--the ...

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TAGS:
O'Donnell, Christine
Coons, Chris
Castle, Mike
Delaware
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Palin, Sarah
tea party
Republican Party
Democratic Party

Democrats Need to Reconnect With Lower Income Voters

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The Democrats need to reach out with populist message to white voters at the low end of the economic pyramid. Today's exit polls indicate that the GOP won a big majority (54 percent to 44 percent) of white voters living in households where the income is less than $50,000. FDR must be spinning ...

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2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
politics
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano
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