Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Battle lines drawn over liberal court pick

California law professor Goodwin Liu will be a test case of President Barack Obama’s ability to win confirmation for a liberal appeals court nominee. Round One is Friday, when Liu — nominated for a San Francisco-based appeals court — appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee to face Republicans staunchly opposed to his liberal views. The nomination also will test Republican muscle to block Obama’s court picks, now that Democrats no longer have a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes. Republicans have marked Liu as a liberal judicial activist. Democrats describe the former Rhodes Scholar, former Supreme Court clerk and assistant dean
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The hyprocrisy of Congressional pork

It’s early on a Monday in north Alabama’s “space city,” and Sen. Richard Shelby is bashing Washington at a packed town hall meeting in the cavernous U.S. Space and Rocket Center. “We’re spending a lot of money that we don’t have,” the veteran Republican tells hundreds of business leaders, many nodding in agreement over bacon and eggs. Lost in the moment is this irony: Shelby’s anti-spending message is being delivered in a government-built museum to which he frequently steers public money. The admiring crowd is made up of people whose livelihood depends on federal aerospace programs that drive the local
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Republicans promise fight to keep libs off Supreme Court

Republicans are promising a “whale of a fight” during the congressional election campaign if President Barack Obama picks too liberal a nominee to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Eleven days before his 90th birthday, Stevens said Friday he would step down when the court finishes its work for the summer, in hopes that a replacement could be confirmed well before the next term begins in October. Obama said he would quickly name a successor in the mold of Stevens, who he said was a voice for ordinary people rather than powerful interests. A White House official said
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Threats continue to escalate against members of Congress

As public anger over hot-button issues like health care reaches a boiling point, threats against lawmakers continue to rise, prompting some to cancel public appearances and others to take extra measures for security. Threats increased nearly 300 percent over the first three months of 2010 when compared to 2009 and most come from those opposed to the health care bill that pass Congress last month. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi receives the most threats but both Democrats and Republicans have been targeted by those who issue obscenity-laced threats that range from violent retaliation to death. “The incidents range from
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Harry Reid to voters: Please help me

As he embarked on a campaign swing through his home state this week, Sen. Harry Reid didn’t have to look far to see that trouble is coming at him. A leather-clad biker at a pizza shop refused to shake his hand. A protester waved a sign, “Welcome to Harry Reid’s throw Nevada under the bus tour.” A woman confronted him with two pages of statistics that she said showed Washington is ripping off Nevada. To top things off, Reid’s customized bus was lashed by a freakish snow storm on a mountain pass, and the next morning he emerged with blood
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McCain: Maverick? Who, me?

Republican Senator John McCain, whose “maverick” breaks with his party won him media acclaim and powered his 2008 White House run, now rejects the moniker, according to Newsweek magazine. The Arizona lawmaker, looking to thwart a primary challenge from a conservative Republican former congressman, played down his history of working with Democrats on issues like overhauling US immigration policy, curbing big money influence in politics, or fighting climate change. “I never considered myself a maverick,” Newsweek quoted him as saying. “I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities.” McCain embraced the
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Republican unease growing over Steele’s rule at RNC

Signs of growing GOP uneasiness over Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele’s high-flying lifestyle and mismanagement emerged over the weekend as two Congressional leaders voiced their displeasure. “This kind of thing has got to stop or they won’t get any contributions,” noted Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl. Kyl joined California Rep. Kevin McCarthy in voicing concern over the growing list of problems with the RNC under Steele’s leadership. Steele has come under fire for his lavish lifestyle with money contributed to the committee, including extensive use of private jets, luxury hotel suites and bloated expense accounts. The RNC was also rocked
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Heath care defeat gives GOP a reality check

As the Republican party heads into the mid-term elections, some worry that their scorched-earth policy on health care reform could come back and bite them in the ass. Some GOP leaders now admit they may have overplayed their hand and worry that the “repeal the law” strategy promoted by the party’s extreme conservative base could backfire on election day. First, any chance for repeal is remote at best and failure would not sit well with the right-wing grassroots that’s long on emotion and short of political common sense. Second, polls show growing public support for the new health care law
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Drug Lobby: The big winner in health care ‘reform’

Chalk one up for the pharmaceutical lobby. The U.S. drug industry fended off price curbs and other hefty restrictions in President Barack Obama‘s health care law even as it prepares for plenty of new business when an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans gain health coverage. To be sure, the law also levies taxes and imposes other costs on pharmaceutical companies, leaving its final impact on the industry’s bottom line uncertain. A recent analysis by Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street firm, suggests the overhaul could mean “a manageable hit” of tens of billions of dollars over the coming decade while bolstering
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Threats escalate against lawmakers over health care vote

A fax bearing the image of a noose. Profane voice mails. Bricks thrown, a gas line cut. White powder sent to an office. Democrats and a few Republicans revealed mounting numbers and unsettling details of threats against them Thursday in the emotional aftermath of the passage of the health care overhaul. Lawmakers uniformly condemned the harassment, but that’s where the agreement ended. Democrats said Republicans were slow to condemn the vigilantism, while Republicans said Democrats were playing politics with the threats. “By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels,” said House Republican Whip Eric
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