Thomas Jefferson Street

December 2010


Does 2011 Start a New Decade?

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When the clock flips tonight will 2011 start a new decade or merely be the second year of the ’10s? As I wrote here and here, I maintain the former: “since our calendar goes from 1BC to 1AD, without a year zero, this is not technically the last year of the decade.”

When I made that argument a ...

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2011 Brings Less Hope for Obama, All Americans

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Hope less: a way to say what we feel going into 2011, a few years into hard times, the Obama presidency and the toll taken on our nation's people since a new president, full of hope, took the oath of office in the bitter cold.

Hope less: write it on the wind as the takeaway message of the ...

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
White House
Feingold, Russ
Lincoln, Blanche
health care reform
health care
national security terrorism and the military
Pelosi, Nancy
War in Afghanistan (2001-)
Bush, George W.
unemployment

Is Health Reform One of the 5 Biggest Stories of the Decade?

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A year ago I posted my top stories and trends for the decade. Given that the decade is actually coming to an end today (more on that in a second) it seems like a good time to revisit and revise the list.

First the issue of the decade ending. As I noted last year, “since our calendar goes from 1BC to ...

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TAGS:
Gore, Al
Bush, George W.
9/11
national security terrorism and the military
Iraq war (2003-2011)
Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001-)
health care
health care reform
Republican Party
2008 presidential election
Obama, Barack
unemployment
Boehner, John
Clinton, Hillary
Palin, Sarah

Obama, Palin, McConnell New Year's Resolutions

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Since I am incapable of keeping any of the New Year's resolutions I make for myself, I will take this opportunity to make them for other people.

For President Obama: Mix it up with Congress more often. One of the most significant things to happen in 2010 was the success of the president's lobbying ...

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
Congress
McConnell, Mitch
Palin, Sarah
2012 presidential election
tea party
Republican Party
Rove, Karl

U.S. Population, 2011: 310 Million and Growing

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The United States enters 2011 with a population of more than 310.5 million people, according to a U.S. Census Bureau estimate. Note that that’s an estimate (taken from their neat U.S. “population clock”); according to their official, enumerated count, the U.S. population as of April 1, 2010 was ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Pennsylvania
New Jersey
Missouri
Michigan
Massachusetts
Louisiana
Iowa
Illinois
Washington
Utah
South Carolina
Georgia
Arizona
Florida
Wyoming
Ohio
New York
Nevada
Texas
California
United States
population
Census Bureau

Christine O'Donnell, Class A Conspiracy Theorist

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OK, so maybe she’s not a witch. But Christine O’Donnell is revealing herself as a class A conspiracy theorist, aggravating the condition with the remarkably self-centered view that she is the victim of a White House scheme to destroy her.

O’Donnell, the ridiculed and failed GOP Senate candidate ...

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TAGS:
O'Donnell, Christine
Biden, Joe
Delaware
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics
FBI
unemployment
Democratic Party
Republican Party

Under Investigation, Christine O'Donnell Goes Delusional

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Tea Party flash in the pan Christine O’Donnell is back, in classic form: under investigation and spouting delusional, self-aggrandizing nonsense.

O’Donnell, the failed GOP Delaware senate nominee, is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice over allegations that she used ...

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TAGS:
O'Donnell, Christine
tea party
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Delaware
2010 Congressional elections
Congress

Southern Strategy Hurts Barbour, Other Southern GOPers

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LAKEWOOD, Colo.--In my lifetime there have been three native sons of the South who became president: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. There have been two Southern vice presidents: LBJ and Al Gore.

The number of Southern-born Republicans to hold those top two offices? None. And ...

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TAGS:
2012 presidential election
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Barbour, Haley
Johnson, Lyndon
Clinton, Bill
Carter, Jimmy
politics
Reagan, Ronald

Defending the Lame Duck Congress

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Congress had an impressive display of accomplishments in its lame-duck session this year. Lawmakers finally, after 17 years, dispensed with the odious and discriminatory "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy requiring gays in the military to keep their sexual orientations secret. It approved a deeply ...

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Democratic Party
health care reform
Republican Party
energy policy and climate change
national security terrorism and the military
unemployment

Business as Usual Under New Republican Majority

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Remember the song from the Jackson Five “one, two, three, it’s as easy as do, re, mi…?”

Well that’s about how long it took for Republicans to break all three of their promises, or as they call them “pledges,” to the American people. To the people that voted for them in the midterm elections. Those ...

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TAGS:
health care
Republican Party
unemployment
deficit and national debt
health care reform
Democratic Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics
Armey, Dick
federal budget

Poll: Sarah Palin Really Unpopular in Alaska

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It’s not good news for Sarah Palin that the people who know her best are among those who like her least. And according to polling data released by Public Policy Polling, Palin’s fellow Alaskans have an especially dim view of their former half-term governor.

PPP, a well-regarded Democratic firm,

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TAGS:
Palin, Sarah
Miller, Joe
Alaska
polls
politics
2012 presidential election
Massachusetts
tea party
Republican Party
Democratic Party

Republicans Admire Obama More Than Glenn Beck

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Maybe Republicans are more perceptive than I have given them credit for. Even with the Tea Party-fication of the GOP, Gallup’s year-end survey of the “most admired” people found that more GOPers list Obama (6 percent) than do talk media blowhard Glenn Beck (4 percent). There must be a conspiracy!

On ...

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TAGS:
Rice, Condoleezza
Obama, Barack
Obama, Michelle
Palin, Sarah
Bush, George W.
Clinton, Bill
Clinton, Hillary
Democratic Party
tea party
Republican Party
polls
Gallup
Beck, Glenn
Carter, Jimmy
Graham, Billy
Gates, Bill
Pope Benedict XVI
Winfrey, Oprah

Obama, Congress, Finish Strong

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As a political consultant it always amazes me how focused my clients become when they are in real political trouble. So congratulations to President Obama for pulling a couple of rabbits out of a couple hats and getting the Senate to ratify the New START Treaty with the Russians and to repeal the ...

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TAGS:
unemployment
Democratic Party
Republican Party
national security terrorism and the military
Obama, Barack
immigration reform
Congress

Scott Brown Showed Courage with New START Vote

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It would be heartening to believe that the overwhelming vote to ratify the New START treaty in the Senate also signifies a new start between President Obama and the incoming, divided Congress. Unfortunately, this is likely not the case, but the ratification of the arms control treaty is a critical ...

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
Brown, Scott
Congress
tea party
Obama, Barack
Obama administration
politics
Senate
nuclear weapons
Russia
Iran

The Republicans' New House Rules

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The Republicans regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives by promising an end to business as usual. On Wednesday they announced a new set of rules governing the chamber’s procedures that are, according to incoming Speaker John Boehner’s office, “expansive in its reach, focused in its ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
unemployment
Boehner, John
Pelosi, Nancy
Congress
politics
House of Representatives

Give to the Needy This Christmas

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I’m going to write nonpolitically this week as it’s Christmas on Saturday. And I won’t get into who and what is the reason for the season, but…

I heard on the radio about a bunch of letters marked “To Santa c/o The North Pole.” Specifically about a group called “Operation Letters to Santa.” This is ...

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TAGS:
holidays
philanthropy

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' McCain, and the Drama of the Lame Duck

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The Senate show goes on, giving the American people some splendid political theater at the end of the year. Better late than never. Here are a few points on Washington's street the week before Christmas--naughty, nice, spiced with streaks of true character "coming out" at last. We are, after all,

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Gore, Al
McConnell, Mitch
McCain, John
Bayh, Evan
Hutchison, Kay Bailey
Palin, Sarah
Senate
politics

New Census Data Hurts Obama in 2012

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Things aren’t looking so good for President Barack Obama.

The tax deal he cut with congressional Republicans has created chaos on his left. His other victories--the stimulus package, the new healthcare law and the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell" policies--are discordant rather than ...

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
Republican Party
health care reform
2012 presidential election
Census Bureau
Congress
national security terrorism and the military
politics

New Census Data Shows Democrats Must Focus on Immigration

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After a brutal election year, Democrats are bracing for further injury, as the U.S. Census releases its big-count summary of how many citizens live in the country, and where they live. By all accounts, internal migration trends over the past decade will benefit GOP-leaning states while depriving ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Rangel, Charles
Slaughter, Louise
Pelosi, Nancy
Frank, Barney
immigration reform
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
2012 presidential election
Arizona
New Mexico
Nevada
Colorado
politics
Hispanics

New START Treaty Is About Stopping Nuclear Terrorism

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There are a whole host of reasons why Republican and Democratic presidents, past secretaries of state and defense, including Condi Rice and Colin Powell and Bill Cohen to name a few, have wholeheartedly endorsed the START Treaty.

These include: reducing the number of nuclear weapons sitting in ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
national security terrorism and the military
nuclear weapons
terrorism

Clinton, Obama Both Get Credit on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

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Maybe it takes a Congress undergoing post-election traumatic syndrome to do the right thing and allow gays and lesbians in the military to do their jobs without the added stress of lying about who they are. Maybe it’s something about the holiday season that led lawmakers to acknowledge that there’s ...

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
Clinton, Bill
Obama, Barack
Obama administration
immigration reform
Congress

John McCain’s Policy Temper Tantrums

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An operating theory of John McCain went like this: His veer to the right in recent years was all about the politics of necessity. He needed to demonstrate his conservative bona fides to the GOP base first to overcome Mitt Romney et al in the 2008 primaries. Then more recently he had to keep ...

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TAGS:
McCain, John
Obama, Barack
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Hayworth, J.D.
2008 presidential election
immigration reform
national security terrorism and the military
energy
energy policy and climate change
Washington Post
Bennett, Robert

Senate Passes Historic 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

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The Senate voted overwhelmingly—65-to-31—Saturday to repeal the 17-year old ban on gays serving openly in the military. Eight Republicans joined 57 Democrats on the right side of history. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law some time before Christmas.

Now it’s up to the military to ...

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TAGS:
Burr, Richard
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Senate
Kirk, Mark
Brown, Scott
Collins, Susan
Snowe, Olympia
Voinovich, George
McCain, John
Ensign, John
Murkowski, Lisa
politics
national security terrorism and the military
LGBT rights
Obama administration
Obama, Barack

Huckabee Dings Kyl on Christmas Week Work

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I noted earlier that Mike Huckabee, appearing on the Daily Show Thursday night to promote his new Christmas book, not only neatly cut off the Kyl Who Politicized Christmas at the knees, but also took a swift shot at the Congress in general-- Democrats and Republicans.

Huckabee, a former ...

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TAGS:
Kyl, Jon
holidays
tea party
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Congress
Huckabee, Mike
Palin, Sarah
Gingrich, Newt
Fox News

The Kyl Who Politicized Christmas

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I wrote my column this week about how the tax cut deal and its attendant festivities have played out like some sort of Washington Christmas story (or, if you’re a progressive activist or House Democrat airing your grievances, a Festivus story). I could have added that the U.S. Congress increasingly ...

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TAGS:
Huckabee, Mike
Barton, Joe
Colbert, Stephen
Stewart, Jon
Congress
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Reid, Harry
Pelosi, Nancy
DeMint, Jim
holidays
Kyl, Jon

Obama Tax Cut Deal Is a Bad Bargain

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There’s a common view in politics and in business that if nearly everyone is unhappy with a negotiated package, it must be good. That is not the case, unfortunately, with the massive tax cut extension the House approved late Thursday night.

The $858 billion package will do lots to increase the

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TAGS:
income tax
federal taxes
taxes
deficit and national debt
unemployment
DeFazio, Peter
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party

How Republicans Won the Tax Cut Message War

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The lame duck Congress is about to become a dead duck and unfortunately, the tax cut deal is about to become a done deal with Senate passage yesterday and House passage imminent. So there’s not much point now in arguing the merits of the bill. But as we head into a new year, there’s plenty of time ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
McConnell, Mitch
Boehner, John
federal taxes
taxes
Obama administration
estate taxes
politics

Poll Shows Voters Prefer Obama Over Republicans

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As Republicans plan their legislative agenda for next year, they should consider an important truth: anger and frustration are not the same as a mandate.

The GOP’s commanding wins in last month’s midterms might understandably give the new House majority and strengthened Senate minority the idea that ...

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
Obama, Barack
Obama administration
health care reform

Bipartisan Hypocrisy on Earmarks

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Things that make you go hmmm…

It’s a cute dance tune from the 80’s, but that’s not what I’m referring to.

I’m referring to Republicans, the party that pledged to give up pet projects which we lovingly refer to as earmarks and then cosponsored a 1,900-plus page omnibus bill which is loaded with ...

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
Bond, Kit
Bennett, Robert
Voinovich, George
McConnell, Mitch
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
deficit and national debt
Democratic Party
Republican Party

Richard Holbrooke, a Passionate Peacemaker

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Determined and passionate people often get described as “abrasive” or someone who “ruffles feathers.” The fact that those descriptions have been applied to veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke only underscores the great loss the country and the world have suffered with Holbrooke’s untimely death this ...

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Christine O’Donnell Can't Compare to Sarah Palin

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Christine O’Donnell, You’re No Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is no Jack Kennedy and maybe is not even Dan Quayle. But as shallow and self-promoting as Palin can be with her tweets and her Alaska reality show, O’Donnell can’t even come close to Palin when it comes to political savvy or ...

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TAGS:
Palin, Sarah
Castle, Mike
O'Donnell, Christine
Republican Party
health care reform
unemployment

Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal on the Rocks

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Anyone who expected the deal to keep tax rates from rising to sail through Congress and to the President’s desk may be in for a big surprise.

The deal, announced earlier this week to keep tax rates from rising for another two years, is under fire from the left and from the right.

Liberals, who claim ...

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Megyn Kelly's GQ Photo Spread Enough to Make a Liberal Go Right

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Until recently the only time I ever watched the Fox News Channel was when something bad happened to Republicans or something good happened to Democrats. That way, I could say "take that, Sean Hannity." Needless to say I haven't been watching much FNC lately.

Then I stumbled on the pictures of Fox ...

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TAGS:
media
politics
Obama, Barack
O'Reilly, Bill
Gramm, Phil
Spitzer, Eliot
CNN
Fox News
Beck, Glenn
Democratic Party
Republican Party

Obama's Tax Cut Deal isn't a Cave to the Republicans

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When I first heard that the president cut a deal with the Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including the top 2 percent of earners which the president repeatedly stated he would not, I thought, like many Democrats, that he caved.

Often in my life when I offer someone a job,

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Obama, Barack
Obama administration
unemployment
taxes
federal taxes
social security

Tax Cut Deal Shows Obama Has to Work With GOP

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Washington is buzzing about the tax deal President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced late Monday.

At its core, the deal as presented would extend almost all the current tax rates for two years, bring the death tax back at 35 percent with a $5 million exemption rather than 55 percent ...

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TAGS:
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
2012 presidential election
Democratic Party
Republican Party
unemployment

Obama-GOP Tax Cut Deal a Sign of Politics as Usual

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It would be encouraging to view the deal President Obama brokered with Republicans on extending unaffordable tax cuts as a signal that national leaders are newly willing to compromise. Instead, the move merely solidifies what has become politics as usual in Washington: that the minority rules.

[Read ...

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TAGS:
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Obama, Barack
national security terrorism and the military
income tax

Democrats Are All Wrong on Bush Tax Cuts

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All those Democrats who think their class warfare arguments are carrying the day as far as the ongoing battle on Capitol Hill is concerned are barking up the wrong tree.

First, their premise is all wrong. This isn’t a fight over cutting taxes. It’s a fight over keeping the tax rates as they ...

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
health care reform
deficit and national debt
unemployment
economy
income tax
Obama, Barack
Pelosi, Nancy
Reid, Harry
Schumer, Chuck

Congress Fiddles While the Country Burns

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If there was any hope that things might settle down in the highly-partisan Congress now that the nasty 2010 election season is over, leaders in both parties dashed them this week.

There was hope that the next Congress might finally buckle down and do something about the debt and the deficit. An ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
Boehner, John
unemployment
politics
federal taxes
taxes

Game of Chicken on Bush Tax Cuts Holds Economy Hostage

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Just hours after the still Nancy Pelosi-run U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend the current tax rates for middle- and lower-income Americans--rather than keeping all the tax rates where they are on everyone as the Republicans want--negotiations to bring up similar measures in the U.S.

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TAGS:
Pelosi, Nancy
Reid, Harry
Congress
Democratic Party
Republican Party
unemployment
politics
federal taxes
taxes

Congressional Republicans Look to States for Solutions

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By all indications, the incoming Congressional GOP leadership will be looking to the states to provide answers to some of the nation’s most pressing questions. In the words of incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner, “Washington doesn’t have all the answers, and the best ideas usually come from ...

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TAGS:
Boehner, John
Republican Party
McConnell, Mitch
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
health care
health care reform
unemployment
governors
politics

Senate Republicans Hold Firm Against Obama Tax Hikes

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The split control of Congress produced by the November 2010 elections left some conservatives concerned that Republican senators would be less likely to stand firm on key issues than their counterparts in the incoming majority GOP House of Representatives.

Part of this is process driven. Individual ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
Democratic Party
unemployment
deficit and national debt
federal taxes
taxes
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