Posts Tagged ‘Mitch



03
Nov
11

chat away

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AP: Some of the money from President Barack Obama’s health care law is flowing to places you might not expect.

Two Texas public employee programs are among the top 25 beneficiaries of a $5-billion fund to shore up employer coverage for early retirees, despite Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s vow to repeal what Republicans derisively call “Obamacare.”

And records show the Huntsman family business, where GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was once a top executive, received about $1 million.

Some see a gap between dire Republican rhetoric about the health care overhaul and the pragmatic impulse to cash in on a new government benefit.

“Lots of Texans are already benefiting from health care reform,” said Anne Dunkelberg, a health care expert at the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Other than for political theater, there would not be the kind of opposition there is.” The nonpartisan center advocates for the poor.

Full article here

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The Week

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Uggh, he’s at it again:

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

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…. with Spain’s PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

… with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff

…. with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

… with International Labor Organization Director-General Juan Somavia

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CNN: President Barack Obama leads all of his potential Republican challengers in hypothetical 2012 matchups among Pennsylvania adults, according to a new poll.

The Franklin and Marshall College poll released Thursday in the battleground state, shows Obama ahead of potential rivals Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, but the results are closest when the president is paired with Romney.

Obama leads the former Massachusetts governor 35% to 26% and Cain, the former pizza executive, 38% to 24%. He enjoys a 20% lead over Texas Gov. Perry, 40% to 20% and a 13% advantage over former two-term Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum, 38% to 25%.

Full post here

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McClatchy

Thanks amk

11
Oct
11

the gop plan: suffocate the economy

Friend –

The U.S. Senate is supposed to vote on the American Jobs Act as early as tonight. It’s a bill that will put people to work immediately, and it contains proposals that members of both parties have said in the past that they’d support.

But Senate Republicans want to block it. Not because they have a plan that creates jobs right now – not one Republican, in Congress or in the presidential race, does. They only have a political plan.

Their strategy is to suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory. They think that the more folks see Washington taking no action to create jobs, the better their chances in the next election. So they’re doing everything in their power to make sure nothing gets done.

There’s still time for principled Republican senators to declare their independence from this kamikaze political strategy.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, needs to hear what Americans like you think.

You can reach his office at (202) 224-2541. Tell him not to let politics get in the way of creating jobs.

Will you take three minutes and call now? Then click here to let us know how it went.

If Sen. McConnell’s office says he won’t support the American Jobs Act, ask which parts he doesn’t support:

— Making sure that those who served our country can get good jobs at home by providing incentives for businesses to hire unemployed veterans?
— Preventing layoffs of teachers, cops, and firefighters, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more?
— Rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, and airports with a bipartisan, public-private infrastructure bank?
— Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools in rural and urban areas?
— Providing job training for the unemployed, especially young people who have been hit especially hard?

The President has been forceful and clear: Action on jobs is desperately needed, and Congress should pass this bill right away. And he has specifically asked those of us who agree to make sure Republican lawmakers know it.

This bill – and the simple idea that every American who works hard and plays by the rules has a fundamental right to economic security – is a big part of what we stand for as a campaign and as a movement.

There’s no good reason for Congress to delay any more – and if they do, you deserve to know why.

Call Sen. McConnell’s office. Tell him you’re watching, and you expect Republicans in the Senate to do the right thing and move forward on this bill today.

Then let us know how it went here.

Thanks,

Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

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06
Oct
11

ah yes, the liberal media….

Steve Benen: The very first question in this morning’s White House press conference was pretty discouraging:

“On your jobs bill, the American people are sick of games – and you mentioned games in your comments. They want results. Wouldn’t it be more productive to work with Republicans on a plan that you know could pass Congress as opposed to going around the country talking about your bill and singling out – calling out Republicans by name?”

Towards the end of the event, another reporter asked the nearly identical question…. these questions make it seem as if it’s incumbent upon President Obama to change strategies – stop taking a compelling message to the public, stop trying to create conditions that would pressure Congress to do the right thing, and start asking Republicans if they might please consider working with him on some half-measures that probably wouldn’t do much good, at their convenience, if they don’t mind.

Have we not already been through this? The president has pleaded with congressional Republicans to work with him on good faith …. It’s proven to be pointless …. As he said this morning, “I’m also dealing with a Republican Majority Leader who said that his number-one goal was to beat me – not put Americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help small businesses expand, but to defeat me….”

…… And some White House political reporters want to know why Obama isn’t trying to negotiate with those bent on destroying his presidency? Seriously?

Full post here

27
Sep
11

‘the birthing of solyndra’

Dana Milbank: ….Solyndra has become a tool for Republicans to discredit most everything the administration seeks to do … this week, the government faced the prospect of a shutdown because House Republicans added a provision to the spending bill to draw more attention to – what else? – Solyndra.

“…. we have all agreed to add emergency funds we didn’t originally plan in this bill, and Republicans have identified a couple of cuts,” explained Mitch McConnell, including “a cut to a loan-guarantee program that gave us the Solyndra scandal.”

…. What McConnell neglected to mention is that Solyndra was cleared to participate in this loan-guarantee program by President George W. Bush’s administration. He also did not mention that the legislation creating the loan-guarantee program, approved by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2005, received yes votes from – wait for it – DeMint, Hatch and McConnell.

…. the Republican paternity of the program that birthed Solyndra suggests some skepticism is in order when many of those same Republicans use Solyndra as an example of all that is wrong with Obama’s governance.

…. DeMint said the Solyndra case exposed the “unintended results when our government tries to pick winners and losers.” That’s a valid criticism, but it would be more valid if DeMint hadn’t been a supporter of the loan-guarantee legislation in 2005.

But that was before Obama’s presidency, and views back then were different. They were more like the March 2008 press release from Bush’s Energy Department, announcing that it was funding research projects on photovoltaic technology: “These projects are integral to President Bush’s Solar America Initiative, which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015.”

Among the winners listed in the press release? Solyndra.

Full article here

20
Sep
11

snakes

NYT: On the Senate floor and the television airwaves, Senator Mitch McConnell has lambasted the Obama administration over what he has described as its failed efforts to stimulate new jobs through clean-energy projects backed with billions of dollars in federal loans or other assistance.

But Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, is one of several prominent Republicans who have worked to steer federal money to clean-energy projects in their home states, Energy Department documents show.

Mr. McConnell made two personal appeals in 2009, asking Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve as much as $235 million in federal loans for a plant to build electric vehicles in Franklin, Ky. “I hope you will realize the importance of such job creation to Kentucky,” Mr. McConnell said in a July 2009 memo supporting an application from Zap Motor Manufacturing.

Federal lobbying disclosure records show that Mr. McConnell’s support for the project came after Zap Motor hired a Kentucky-based lobbyist, Robert Babbage, who has been a frequent contributor to Mr. McConnell’s campaigns and boasts on his own Internet site about his close ties to Mr. McConnell.

…. Another Republican, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, recently asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to appoint an outside investigator to determine how the Department of Energy distributes clean-energy money. But in 2009, Mr. Smith wrote to Mr. Chu asking him to approve loan guarantees from stimulus money for a Texas project proposed by Tessera Solar, documents show.

Full article here

10
Aug
11

the players

13
Jul
11

groundhog day

President Obama meets with Congressional leaders regarding the debt ceiling, July 13, in the Cabinet Room of the White House

Vice President Joe Biden looks back at the photographers after President Obama kidded him that the VP never gets photographed because he sits at the opposite side of the table

13
Jul
11

so rupert, how are things these days?

Steve Benen: While the right doesn’t seem at all pleased with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed solution to the debt-ceiling crisis, opposition among conservative Republicans is far from unanimous.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, one of the more influential pieces of Republican media real estate, got on board with the McConnell plan this morning. After several hundred words about how much the editorial page doesn’t like President Obama, the WSJ argued ….

… according to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, a “bipartisan deal” on debt reduction would include the spending cuts Republicans want, entitlement cuts Republicans want, and the existing tax rates Republicans want. Democrats, in this “bipartisan deal,” would get nothing.

President Obama, the editorial board, “won’t go along” with this.

He’s obviously history’s greatest monster for rejecting such a “bipartisan deal”.

Full post here

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The Wall Street Journal is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of Fox News’ owner Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation

12
Jul
11

out-smarted

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12
Jul
11

cowardice

Steve Benen: ….. As best as I can tell, McConnell’s proposed scenario, which would avoid default, is an elaborate scheme to pass the buck.

President Obama could raise the debt ceiling, effectively on his own, with McConnell setting up a series of votes going into the 2012 election intended to put Democratic lawmakers on the spot. (McConnell’s top goal, other than defeating the president, is becoming Majority Leader in the next Congress. If he can make vulnerable Dems cast awkward votes, McConnell will do this as often as humanly possible.)

Brian Beutler unwraps the proposed solution.

The plan would require Congress to pass a bill allowing Obama to raise the debt limit on his own contingent on him taking a series of steps: Obama would have to notify Congress of his intent to raise the debt limit — a high-sign to Congress that would be subject to an official censure known as a “resolution of disapproval,” and which Obama could veto. If he vetoed the resolution, and if Congress sustained the veto, then Obama would also have to outline a series of hypothetical spending cuts he’d make, equal to the amount of new debt authority he gives himself.

McConnell proposes extending this process in three tranches, to force Obama to request more borrowing authority, and to force debt limit votes in Congress, repeatedly through election season. […]

The legislation would not give Obama unilateral authority to cut spending or reduce deficits. And as such, it represents a big policy cave by Republicans, who’ve long insisted that they will not raise the debt limit without enacting entitlement cuts, long-sought by the conservative movement, on a bipartisan basis. But, if Dems buy into this option, it will keep the potent debt issue alive, and central to politics, for much of this election season.

Garance Franke-Ruta (the politics editor of The Atlantic) described this as “one of the clearest statements of legislative cowardice I’ve ever seen.”

The right, meanwhile, doesn’t seem fond of the idea – Erick Erickson (at Red State) is equating McConnell with “Pontius Pilate” and said it’s time to “burn” the Senate Minority Leader “in effigy.”

Full post here

Jay Carney’s statement:

“Senator McConnell’s proposal today reaffirmed what leaders of both parties have stated clearly, that defaulting on America’s past due bills is not an option. The President continues to believe that our focus must remain on seizing this unique opportunity to come to agreement on significant, balanced deficit reduction. As the President has said, ‘If not now, when?’ It is time for our leaders to find common ground and reduce our deficit in a way that will strengthen our economy.”

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Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): ….When I read about Mitch McConnell’s debt ceiling proposal, my jaw dropped. The cynicism of the thing was enough to leave my tongue hanging out of my mouth the entire time I was writing the post below….

….McConnell wouldn’t have proposed giving Obama his debt ceiling increase with only political strings attached unless he was convinced that Republicans were losing the PR battle for a more comprehensive deal…

….Obama has been positioning himself all along as the reasonable, centrist guy, willing to agree to trillions in spending cuts as long as Republicans are willing to close a few modest tax loopholes. Last week Republicans derided Obama’s repeated focus on tax breaks for corporate jets as class warfare etc., but you know what? It must have been working. Somewhere down in the bowels of the GOP’s polling operation, they must have discovered that the public was buying Obama’s pitch that “the wealthy need to pitch in too.”

…apparently McConnell had started to realize that shutting down the government over tax breaks for hedge fund billionaires and shorter depreciation schedules for corporate jet owners was really, really, not going to go down well, even among Republicans. So he pushed the eject button and tried to bail out.

It probably won’t work, though. The political cynicism of his proposal is almost certainly too much for some Democrats, and giving up on spending cuts will be too much for most Republicans. Still, it provides a hint about who has the upper hand in the debt ceiling negotiations right now. And it ain’t McConnell.

Full post here

CBS: The Senate’s top Republican said Tuesday that he did not see a way for Republicans and Democrats to come to agreement on meaningful deficit reduction as long as President Obama remains in office.

“After years of discussions and months of negotiations, I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor. More here




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