Thomas Jefferson Street

April 2011


Paul Hits Donald Trump's 2012 Republican Credentials

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That actual Republicans are starting to flame Donald Trump is probably a pretty good indication that he is making the transition from being viewed as a farcical 2012 candidate to be pointed and laughed at to a semi-serious candidate to be pointed at and targeted. The latest example came Thursday ...

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TAGS:
Paul, Rand
Paul, Ron
Trump, Donald
Congress
New Hampshire
politics
2012 presidential election
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Reid, Harry

Comparing Donald Trump to the Circus Insults Circuses

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Donald Trump, you're no Phineas Taylor Barnum. Those who dare to compare you to P.T. Barnum—and there is some such chatter—are insulting the memory of a monumental American.

[Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP candidates.]

The consummate 19th century circus creator and showman ...

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TAGS:
politics
Congress
Bachmann, Michele
Ryan, Paul
Boehner, John
Republican Party
2012 presidential election
Trump, Donald
Civil War

Poll: Americans Split on Ryan, Obama Budget Plans

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The usually insightful and informative Gallup Poll is out with numbers Wednesday that really obfuscate the debate over how best to address the nation’s deficit and indebtedness problem.

On the surface the voters appear split right down the middle, with Gallup reporting that 44 percent of the more ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
Congress
Gallup
polls
politics
federal budget
Ryan, Paul

Americans Care About Jobs, Price of Gas Over Deficit, Debt

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It’s the lack of jobs, stupid.

Sorry, James Carville, that’s my take on it. When James Carville stated, “It’s the economy, stupid,” he was right; then and now.

What politicians in Washington aren’t getting is what the American people are saying: Where are the jobs?!

They were saying it before the last ...

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TAGS:
Medicare
Planned Parenthood
NPR
Carville, James
Obama, Barack
Ryan, Paul
deficit and national debt
unemployment
Democratic Party
Republican Party
health care reform
Congress

Donald Trump, the GOP, and Birtherism Are One Big 2012 Joke

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My mother used to say “small things amuse small minds.” Mom’s words of wisdom explain the Republican obsession with President Obama’s birth.

The "long form" the White House released yesterday is just the last in a long line of documents that Barack Obama has released to prove he was born in Hawaii.

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TAGS:
tea party
politics
Romney, Mitt
health care reform
Gingrich, Newt
Republican Party
Bachmann, Michele
Trump, Donald

Obama Birth Certificate Release a Win for Trump and for Obama 2012

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Turning to the pure politics of President Obama's releasing his birth certificate, two winners emerge: Obama and the unendingly ludicrous Donald Trump.

Politico’s Ben Smith gets it exactly right: Both men used the release of the birth certificate to make crucial pivots. Obama used the issue to ...

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TAGS:
Trump, Donald
2012 presidential election
Republican Party
White House
Obama, Barack
Palin, Sarah
politics

Medicare Fights at Town Halls Are Healthcare Fight Replay

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The Medicare fight is looking like the healthcare overhaul battles all over again, with angry people (constituents, maybe, but who knows?) screaming at members of Congress who have been holding town hall meetings to discuss the future of the program.

There are good reasons to question members ...

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
politics
Democratic Party
Congress
Ryan, Paul
deficit and national debt
health care reform
Republican Party

The Inventor of the TelePrompTer Dies

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Political history lost one of its minor but critical role players last week. Hubert “Hub” Schlafly died on April 20 of undisclosed causes. Few will recognize the name, but his contribution to political communications is enduring. Schlafly, you see, invented the TelePrompTer.

From the Washington ...

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TAGS:
politics
Presidential speech transcripts
speeches
Reagan, Ronald
Truman, Harry S
Eisenhower, Dwight D.
Obama, Barack

Poll Shows Obama Is Losing the Debt Ceiling Debate

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The latest national survey from Resurgent Republic shows that President Barack Obama is losing the argument over how best to handle the vote on raising the debt ceiling.

[See editorial cartoons about the budget and deficit.]

“President Obama’s request that Congress pass another increase in the ...

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TAGS:
deficit and national debt
Democratic Party
Republican Party
polls
politics
federal budget
Obama, Barack
Congress

As Trump Hits New Hampshire, Poll Shows Overwhelming Opposition

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Donald Trump makes his maiden (if stealthy) voyage to New Hampshire today but he arrives amid yet more evidence suggesting that he’s the Democrats’ dream candidate for GOP nominee.

[ Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 63 ...

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TAGS:
Trump, Donald
Obama, Barack
politics
2012 presidential election
Palin, Sarah
Romney, Mitt
Huckabee, Mike
New Hampshire
polls
Gallup

Republicans Can't Beat Obama in 2012 Running on Hate

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Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision to skip a run for the presidency next year appears, on its face, to be a huge psychological boost to the Democrats. Barbour, while carrying some political baggage that could complicate a run for the White House, is nonetheless a smart politician—an ...

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TAGS:
2012 presidential election
Obama, Barack
health care reform
Clinton, Bill
Bush, George H.W.
Pawlenty, Tim
Barbour, Haley
Daniels, Mitch
Romney, Mitt
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Bachmann, Michele
Trump, Donald
politics

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour Skips 2012 GOP Presidential Race

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Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour announced today that he will not be running for president next year, citing insufficient “fire in the belly” for a run.

Barbour’s surprise departure--he had done campaign-y things like hiring staff and making trips to early primary states--gives a bit ...

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TAGS:
New York Times
politics
Daniels, Mitch
Huckabee, Mike
2012 presidential election
Barbour, Haley

With the GOP in Power the Media No Longer Cares About Civility

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Is it just me or have the calls for civility in the nation’s political discourse died down since the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives last November?

Prior to the election the calls for greater civility were near ubiquitous. Reacting to the activities of the Tea Party movement,

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
politics
tea party
Republican Party
Ryan, Paul
deficit and national debt
Democratic Party
Congress

Washington Post as Spineless as GOP in Debt Ceiling Debate

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Yesterday, The Washington Post editorial page turned into Springfield, circa 1991. Not Springfield, Illinois or Springfield, Massachusetts. That more famous Springfield. The one that’s home to the Simpsons.

You see, 20 years ago Lisa Simpson wished for a world in which every nation laid down its ...

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TAGS:
politics
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
Congress
unemployment
tea party
Washington Post

People, Not Facebook, Twitter, Are Heroes of Revolutions

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I sort of understand why people like Facebook and other so-called social networking sites. They offer a convenient way to keep up with people who live far away, or whom one doesn’t make time to see very often. Perhaps best of all, the sites offer a way to find long-lost friends or connect with ...

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
unemployment
social networking
Facebook
Twitter
politics

On Debt Ceiling, GOP Causing Economic Uncertainty It Once Decried

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Do you remember economic uncertainty? The GOP spent most of the 2010 campaign season issuing dark warnings about the terrible consequences of economic uncertainty. Uncertainty was the great peril stalking the U.S. economy, and the Republicans would not stand for it.

That was then. Or more ...

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TAGS:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
debt
Wall Street
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics
Obama, Barack
Cantor, Eric
Boehner, John
unemployment
deficit and national debt
federal budget

Republicans' 2012 Slogan: It's Anything But the Economy, Stupid

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The GOP has turned one of the most effective slogans in American political history on its head. The Republican rallying cry for 2012 will be “Anything but the economy, stupid.” Let's see how that works out for them next year.

Last year Republican leader John Boehner promised Americans that his ...

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TAGS:
unemployment
Congress
Boehner, John
politics
2012 presidential election
abortion
women's health
employment
marriage
LGBT rights

Why Republicans Are Playing Politics With the Debt Ceiling

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The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wonders how politicians like Michele Bachmann and Pat Toomey can actually advocate for political inaction in the face of the United States hitting its national debt ceiling. Noting that all mainstream economists and political leaders agree that hitting the debt ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
GAO
polls
Washington Post
unemployment
politics
Toomey, Pat
Congress
Bachmann, Michele
deficit and national debt

Donald Trump 2012 and the American Idol-ization of Politics

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We cannot blame Donald Trump for his own absurdity. His behavior and visage have been consistently preposterous for his entire, self-centered public life. The fact that he has been rewarded for that by the media and the public absolves him of some responsibility for his continuing clownish ...

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TAGS:
Trump, Donald
Republican Party
2012 presidential election
White House
national security terrorism and the military
politics

Obama Is Failing the Challenge of the Middle East Protests

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No one can really say whether the recent burst of democratic activism in the Middle East is the result of the Bush Doctrine or not.

It is certainly true that things in Iraq have improved thanks to the U.S. led international intervention against Saddam Hussein. Free elections have been held several ...

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
Libya
Qadhafi, Muammar
al-Qaida in Iraq
Iraq war (2003-2011)
Iraq
unemployment
Bush, George W.
Obama, Barack
United Arab Emirates
Obama administration
politics
foreign policy

Fixing Budget Deficit Means Both Tax Hikes and Spending Cuts

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OK, this is the day everyone hates. You have to pay your taxes. Who wants to write that check? Nobody, probably.

The truth, however, is that Rep. Paul Ryan, the Tea Party, and most politicians are not being honest when they tell us there is no revenue problem, only a spending problem.

[Check out a ...

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TAGS:
deficit and national debt
Ryan, Paul
national security terrorism and the military
income tax
tax exemptions
tax deductions
politics
Congress
federal budget

To Fix Budget Reform Tax Entitlement Before Gutting Medicare

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For long-term fiscal health, the nation needs to do entitlement reform. But first, there has to be sense-of-entitlement reform.

Entitlements, of course, are those popular federal programs meant to address basic human needs and maintain basic human dignity. Social Security keeps senior citizens from ...

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TAGS:
health care reform
national security terrorism and the military
Ryan, Paul
unemployment
deficit and national debt
income tax
tax exemptions
tax deductions
Medicare
Medicaid
social security
politics

Donald Trump Rides Birtherism to GOP 2012 Frontrunner Status

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Polls giveth and polls taketh away. On the same day that Gallup released polling numbers showing that President Obama’s job approval has sunk to the lowest point of his tenure, Public Policy Polling unveiled a poll showing that the clear frontrunner to carry the GOP mantel challenging Obama is …

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TAGS:
Palin, Sarah
Trump, Donald
Obama, Barack
gas prices
deficit and national debt
2012 presidential election
Congress
2010 Congressional elections
politics
Medicare
Nevada
Delaware
Angle, Sharron
O'Donnell, Christine
Gallup
polls
Huckabee, Mike

Where Did the National Debt Come From?

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Gallup reported yesterday that a greater percentage of Americans (17 percent) are identifying the issue of the federal budget deficit and the debt as the most pressing favoring the country than at any time in the last 15 years. This is not surprising given the fact that it has been the dominant ...

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TAGS:
Gallup
unemployment
New York Times
Bush, George W.
Congress
debt
deficit and national debt
Obama, Barack
Ryan, Paul
politics

The Numbers Behind the $38.5 Billion (or $352 Million) Budget Deal

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Remember last week’s $38.5 billion budget deal? The one that averted a government shutdown? If you’ve paying attention to the news, you might have noticed that that $38.5 billion is a suddenly slippery figure. Depending upon who you listen to, deal actually only cut $352 million (with an ‘m’) in ...

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
defense spending
Republican Party
tea party
Congressional Budget Office
2010 Congressional elections
Congress
politics
deficit and national debt
federal budget

Obama's Tax-and-Spend Budget Plan Is a Non-Starter in Congress

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Benjamin Franklin once said that nothing in life was certain save for “death and taxes.” With a Democrat in the White House the part about taxes is certainly true.

In his speech Wednesday President Barack Obama outlined his plan for putting the nation’s fiscal house back in order. It comes as little ...

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TAGS:
deficit and national debt
federal taxes
taxes
Congress
Ryan, Paul
Republican Party
Democratic Party
unemployment
federal budget

Washington to English Dictionary for the Debt and Libya

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The late great, William Safire wrote one of the best books ever about American politics. The book, Safire's Political Dictionary took phrases that the political class used routinely and tried to explain the jargon to the public.

It’s not easy to translate Washington into English but if anyone could ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Republican Party
national security terrorism and the military
deficit and national debt
Democratic Party

Maine Gov. Paul LePage's Artless Political Purge

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At first look, Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s order to dismantle a series of painted panels chronicling the advances of the labor movement seems almost comical, akin to former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s to cover the bare breasts of the Spirit of Justice statue in the Great Hall of the Department of ...

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TAGS:
national security terrorism and the military
tea party
Republican Party
unemployment
unions
art
politics
Maine
Germany

The Myths and 2012 Politics of Immigration Reform

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With all the (legitimate) worry about the deficit and debt, the anxiety about the steady but still excruciatingly slow improvement in what was sky-high unemployment, and the embarrassing obsession with the debunked idea that President Obama was not born in the United States, immigration reform

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TAGS:
2012 presidential election
deficit and national debt
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Richardson, Bill
Rubio, Marco
immigration reform
Congress
politics

Bad News, GOP: Birther Donald Trump Now Leads 2012 Field

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Donald Trump … frontrunner? That was the news out of yesterday’s CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey. Fully 19 percent of Republicans identified The Donald as their number one choice as party standard-bearer in the quest to evict Barack Obama from the White House. An equal number supported ...

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TAGS:
Trump, Donald
Obama, Barack
politics
2012 presidential election
Republican Party
Barbour, Haley
Gingrich, Newt
Palin, Sarah
Huckabee, Mike
Romney, Mitt
health care reform

Budget Compromise Shows Conservative Big Government Hypocrisy

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They hate big government, those conservative Republicans—especially a big federal government, trying to meddle in Americans’ lives on everything from healthcare to light bulbs.

Except, of course, when it comes to the District of Columbia, which the GOP-controlled House seems to view as its own ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
deficit and national debt
health care reform
energy policy and climate change
politics
Washington, D.C.
Congress

The Threat of the Tea Party's Budget Terrorism

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Round one of the season’s big budget battle is over, with no real winners. Rounds two and three—the 2012 fiscal year budget and the debt ceiling—are bound to be nastier and more difficult. And it’s not just because budget-cutting is no fun and the Hill is so partisan. It’s that we now have a new ...

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TAGS:
deficit and national debt
Congress
Democratic Party
Republican Party
2012 presidential election
national security terrorism and the military
politics
tea party

Sarah Palin Says 'More Power To' Donald Trump's Birther Crusade

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Asked Saturday about real estate developer-cum- GOP presidential aspirant Donald Trump’s embrace of birtherism, former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that while she thinks President Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, “more power to” the Donald, because golly, the president must be hiding

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TAGS:
Obama, Barack
Hawaii
politics
2012 presidential election
Republican Party
Trump, Donald
Palin, Sarah

Why Democrats Are Winning the Government Shutdown Messaging War

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Republicans and Democrats have been working mightily to put their frame on a prospective government shutdown in the hopes of directing voter wrath at the other party if worse comes to worst. I think Democrats have the stronger position.

[See editorial cartoons about the budget and the deficit.]

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TAGS:
Democratic Party
federal budget
Boehner, John
tea party
Republican Party
politics
deficit and national debt
Congress
women's health

Really Congress? A Government Shutdown?

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Late-night notes from civil war Washington, girded for a shutdown of the biggest game in town and country, as I write. "Really, Congress?" as a 25-year-old friend summed up our American house divided.

On one side of the Capitol, senators speak and plead words of reason, while on the other, newly ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Democratic Party
Republican Party
deficit and national debt
Ryan, Paul
politics
Obama, Barack
Albright, Madeleine K.
Powell, Colin
Baker, James

Donald Trump's Birther Talk Drives His GOP 2012 Support Up

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I noted yesterday that a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll found that self-promoter and real estate developer Donald Trump has risen to second place among GOP 2012 primary voters. I suggested that while part of this is no doubt a function of name recognition, his rise is also more evidence ...

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TAGS:
polls
2012 presidential election
politics
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Trump, Donald

Obama Ready, Willing to Cause Government Shutdown

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For weeks the Congress has been working on a plan to keep the government up and running through the end of the current fiscal year. Sort of. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a long term continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of September but the Senate ...

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TAGS:
deficit and national debt
Congress
Boehner, John
Obama, Barack
Democratic Party
Republican Party
national security terrorism and the military
Obama administration
politics
federal budget

Looming Government Shutdown Reminds Us Congress Is Not a Business

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It’s become common to bash large public institutions with the phrase, "if I ran my business the way they run [government/public schools/whatever], I’d be bankrupt."

Maybe so. But Congress and law making are not businesses (the high-cost business of campaigning and lobbying aside). And public schools ...

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TAGS:
Bloomberg, Michael
New York City
unemployment
deficit and national debt
Congress

How to Solve the Budget Deficit Crisis Without Really Trying

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Most of the fiscal debate sparked by Rep. Paul Ryan’s unveiling his budget proposal Tuesday--with his grave warning that dealing with the deficit is a “moral imperative”--has omitted a couple of key facts about the budget imbalance. To wit that Congress could solve the crisis by doing nothing ...

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TAGS:
Republican Party
economic stimulus
Congress
Ryan, Paul
Bush, George W.
politics
deficit and national debt
taxes
federal taxes
federal budget

3 Lessons From Tea Party Budgeting

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Three lessons I’ve learned from Tea Party budgeting:

1. Charles Lightroller was a chump.

Lightroller was the second mate on the Titanic. Legend holds that no one enforced the command to allow women and children to board the lifeboats first more rigorously than he did. Some call him a hero. But not ...

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TAGS:
politics
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Rehberg, Denny
tea party
unemployment
health care reform
Congress
Ryan, Paul
deficit and national debt

Poll: Birther Donald Trump Vaults to Second in GOP 2012 Field

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Donald Trumps TV ratings might be slumping, but his GOP ratings are shooting up, presumably fueled by his recent, vocal embrace of birtherism. According to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, the Donald has vaulted into second place nationally among likely GOP 2012 presidential ...

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TAGS:
Wall Street Journal
NBC
politics
Gingrich, Newt
Huckabee, Mike
Romney, Mitt
Palin, Sarah
Trump, Donald
Republican Party
2012 presidential election

Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the Government Shutdown Football

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Remember that wonderful cartoon every year with Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football? She would place it down so nicely, Charlie Brown would run up to kick it and BAM! poor Charlie Brown would land on his backside, Lucy having pulled the football away.

Poor Speaker Boehner--I am not sure if he is ...

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TAGS:
Congress
Boehner, John
tea party
deficit and national debt
Republican Party
Democratic Party
national security terrorism and the military
unemployment
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