Politics

Mitch McConnell Pre-Surrendering on Debt Ceiling Just in Case

By on 3.9.15 | 12:52PM

Last week's fold on DHS funding was, apparently, only the first is a series of events designed to erode America's flailing confidence in the new, Republican Congress's ability to achieve any marked change in how business is done in Washington.

As we gear up for discussions on the deb ceiling (the one-year debt ceiling "holiday" expires within the week), we find that Congressional leadership - specifically Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell - fresh off the three-month budget ordeal that netted Republicans exactly nothing, has already planned to forgo any "extraordinary measures" that would give them a better negotiating position on raising the debt ceiling. 

Republicans will raise the government’s borrowing limit without threatening a default, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Sunday, placating the markets but potentially surrendering the party’s leverage as Congress gears up for another debt showdown.

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White House, NYT Really Annoyed George W. Bush Was in Selma

By on 3.9.15 | 12:04PM

The prevailing theory is that no Republicans were in Selma this weekend to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma march that provided a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement.

One quick look at various GOP leaders' Twitter streams and that notion is fairly easily dispelled. Sens. Tim Scott, Jeff Sessions, and Susan Collins were all there, as well as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, RNC chair Reince Priebus, and a number of others, including former President George W. Bush, who walked on the front lines and was given a place of honor on stage during the speeches.

Of course, George W. Bush doesn't have the kind of over-active Twitter feed to demonstrate his commitment to civil rights on, and if you were paying attention to basically any dispatch from the Selma event, you'd never even know he was there. The New York Times, for starters, cropped him and his wife Laura right out of the photo they put on their front page.

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Lindsey Graham Is Confused By This Series of Tubes

By on 3.8.15 | 6:10PM

This weekend, the presumptive Republican Presidential candidates kicked off what will be the longest leg of their pre-campaign careers: the endless slog through farm-centric events in flyover country in a vain effort to win over Iowa's caucus voters who haven't actually selected a viable Presidential candidate in at least the last three contests. 

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“Texts From Hillary” Emails, Avatar Now Missing

By on 3.8.15 | 5:44PM

Remember that iconic "Texts from Hillary" Associated Press photo, where Hillary Clinton is seen scrolling through her Blackberry on a military transport to Libya? I hope it's burned in your mind, because as of this morning, the photo, which was Hillary Clinton's Twitter avatar, has been removed

After getting some heat for her Twitter avatar featuring the iconic photo of her staring at her Blackberry while heading to Libya, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally changed it.

While some were critical of her for keeping it after the email scandal surrounding her, Clinton didn’t say she was changing the avatar because of that, but instead, to draw attention to International Women’s Day.

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White House Knew About Clinton Emails in August

By on 3.6.15 | 12:41PM

You know you're in for a rough time when the White House, which responds to literally nothing that constitutes an actual scandal, is trying to tell you that something needs to be done. 

Last August, the White House found out that Hillary Clinton had been using a homebrew email server to handle all of her State Department communications and warned Clinton that the "oversight" could have a serious impact on her political future. The Clinton team was, of course, already aware of what was going on and didn't think it was a big deal. And so, defeated, the White House gave up and acquiesced to Clinton's wishes

The White House, State Department and Hillary Clinton’s personal office knew in August that House Republicans had received information showing that the former secretary of state conducted official government business through her private email account — and Clinton’s staff made the decision to keep quiet.

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Hillary Clinton Tells State Department to Release (Some Of) Her Emails

By on 3.5.15 | 1:17PM

Hillary Clinton has finally addressed her email problem. In 140 characters. On Twitter. And her apology and commitment to transparency is approximately as believably authentic as Kim Kardashian's platinum blonde Paris Fashion Week locks.

But we're going to play this game anyway, because it's Hillary Clinton and, in the words of the great S.E. Cupp, none of this matters because she's too big to fail. So this is all merely a bump in the road she needs to address and dismiss in order to put it behind her. After all, what, pray tell, is anyone really going to do about it? Announce their support for Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden?

Harf said Wednesday that the personal emails Clinton provided to the department will from now on be subject to every FOIA request it receives.

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The Hillary Watch

If David Petraeus Were Hillary Clinton

By 3.5.15

The news was blunt.

General David Petraeus was in trouble. Big trouble. One of the most distinguished officers in the modern U.S. military, the man who devised and successfully executed the Iraq surge, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and last but not least an occasional mention as a Republican presidential candidate had made a mistake. A big one.

Here is the USA Today headline and beginning of a sad story that is everywhere.

Petraeus reaches plea deal with Justice Dept.

WASHINGTON — Former CIA director David Petraeus reached a plea agreement with the Justice Department, concluding a years-long investigation that shows he gave his mistress secret information, including names of covert officers and war strategy, according to court documents.

Petraeus, a retired four-star general, lied to FBI agents, divulged a massive amount of sensitive data to Paula Broadwell, his mistress and biographer, and fretted about how she handled them in an interview she recorded with him.

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Scott Walker Causing Stir in Wisconsin With Too-Hot Spokeswomen

By on 3.4.15 | 3:41PM

The media has not yet come to learn that Scott Walker is driven by his loyal opposition. Everything they do, Scott Walker gobbles up like he's collecting the souls of the faithful departed. And with each passing "scandal," Scott Walker only grows stronger. Their anger, their fear, their aggression. They are mother's milk to the second term Wisconsin governor.

Unable to pin on him the ludicrous claim that he believes teachers unions and ISIS are one and the same - based on a throwaway comment he made, it seemed, specifically to draw media ire - the local media in Wisconsin have turned to more pressing, nearby matters, such as why Scott Walker's spokeswomen are just so darned hot.

Isthmus, an alternative weekly newspaper out of Madison, raised the allegation in Tell All, a regular advice column.

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Campaign Crawlers

Surviving CPAC: A Cautionary Tale

By 3.4.15

I skipped town before they revealed the results of the annual CPAC straw poll, though I’d dutifully navigated the main hallway through the ten or so lines of bright-eyed college students looking to leave their mark on the tradition by skewing the results toward Rand Paul. Putting the straw poll outpost perpendicular to the waves of people flooding out of CPAC’s main ballroom had the twin effects of inciting a maddening claustrophobia among the crowds (thus, perhaps, encouraging alcohol consumption at the nightly parties), and making everyone hate the concept of trading free t-shirts for a moment of publicity everyone sloughs off anyway.

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Nancy Pelosi “Near Tears” After Netanyahu Speech

By on 3.3.15 | 5:01PM

Benjamin Netanyahu is basically a badass. His speech today, in front of a joint session of Congress, delivered what was expected and, hopefully, has changed the focus of the conversation over Iran from one of whether the speech was appropriate, to whether the administration's actions can possibly have any effect on Iran's nuclear weapons program. The answer to the later is, quite obviously, from Bibi's speech and elsewhere, pretty much "no."

But not everyone was as positively impacted by Bibi's speech. Nancy Pelosi, for example, who sat in the chamber and rolled her eyes through Netanyahu's speech rather than skipping it like some of her colleagues, was "near tears," but not in a good way.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, saying the Israeli prime minister's speech to Congress was an "insult" to the country.

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