Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

GOP response: Cut spending, then cut some more

The nation faces a crushing burden of debt and is on course for an economic disaster without dramatic action to wrestle the budget deficit under control, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Tuesday in the Republican response to President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union address. And such spending cuts must start immediately as the price of getting GOP conservatives to cast a painful vote to increase the government’s ability to borrow to pay its bills this spring, Ryan said. “Our nation is approaching a tipping point. We are at a moment, where if government’s growth is left unchecked
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How others view the speech

Following is reaction from analysts to U.S. President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union address to Congress, which stressed the need to freeze spending and find common ground to boost growth and create jobs. HIROSHI YOKOTANI, FIXED-INCOME DIRECTOR, ALLIANCE BERNSTEIN, TOKYO: “There are no real surprises in his speech. The spending freeze plan will have only a negligible impact on the economy. But as Obama is shifting his policy toward the center, his focus will be more on economic growth ahead of the next election, which would be positive for stocks and negative for bonds.” JOHN CANALLY, INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, LPL
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Bachmann’s response sounds more like a campaign speech

Rep. Michele Bachmann said her response to President Obama‘s State of the Union was just fulfilling a request to speak from the Tea Party Express. But there’s no mistaking that her six-minute speech, carried on CNN, highlights a divide within the Republican Party and adds to the buzz that the third-term lawmaker is planning to run for the White House. The Des Moines Register reports that Bachmann will make her second trip to Iowa, to speak to a group of evangelical voters — a bloc that’s been key to winning the state’s GOP presidential caucuses. This comes on the heels
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Memo from Tea Party: We’re watching and taking down names

Welcome to Washington, tea partiers. Now that they’re freshmen in a GOP-run House, the political movement’s candidates are running smack into the traditions, partisan divisions and powerful competing interests that make it so hard to redirect the government. Some tea party activists — part of a loose-knit, libertarian-tinged network advocating small government and less federal spending — already are dismayed to see their new lawmakers plunge into familiar patterns of raising political cash, hiring former lobbyists and stopping short of the often-heard vow to “change the way Washington works.” Others are more lenient and patient. “There’s a little bit of
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Amazingly, Giffords’ condition continues to improve

In yet another sign of significant recovery during a remarkable week, the gravely wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was upgraded from critical to serious condition Sunday after a procedure to remove her from a ventilator was successful. Doctors have been positive, and at time almost giddy, in describing her progress since she was shot point blank in the head Jan. 8. Giffords responded from the moment she arrived at the emergency room, at first just squeezing a doctor’s hand. Then she raised two fingers. She opened her unbandaged eye shortly after President Barack Obama‘s bedside visit Wednesday. Then, more milestones
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Bernie Sanders uses shootings to raise campaign funds

An independent U.S. senator from Vermont drew criticism Tuesday from Republicans for citing this past weekend’s shootings in Arizona in a fundraising letter for his 2012 re-election campaign. The e-mail that Sen. Bernie Sanders sent Tuesday begins by mentioning the shooting spree in Tucson that killed six people and left Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others wounded. The letter also mentions issues such as health care, Social Security and taxes. In his discussion of the shooting, Sanders mentions the vandalism that occurred last year at Giffords’ district office after the House passed President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul
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Can DeLay play Texas law to his advatage?

The Texas money laundering law is usually associated with drug dealers or white collar criminals, and Tom DeLay‘s defense attorneys say they will try to keep the former U.S. House majority leader out of prison with an appeal that focuses largely on questions about whether the law was ever intended to apply to election violations. DeLay was sentenced this week to three years in prison and 10 years of probation for scheming to illegally influence Texas elections. Unlike in most money laundering cases, prosecutors argued he stood to benefit not financially but through political power. The creative use of the
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Tom DeLay gets three years in prison

A judge ordered former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison Monday for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Republican who represented the Houston area was once one of the most powerful people in U.S. politics, ascending to the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives. During a several-minute statement to the judge prior to sentencing, DeLay repeated his longstanding claims that the
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Reid: Time to reform the tax code

The U.S. tax code is “ripe” for reform and fixing it will be a top priority for Democrats this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Thursday. Both parties agree the voluminous tax code needs a rewrite and the Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives will begin hearings soon on an overhaul. “I do believe the country is ripe for tax reform,” Reid said at a news conference. “Our tax system is broken and needs to be fixed.” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said his party also backed an overhaul, but that President Barack Obama needed to take
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Reid says improving economy will kill tea party

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is dismissing the tea party as short-lived, saying it will “disappear” once the economy gets better. The Nevada Democrat prevailed last November in a tough re-election race against tea party-backed candidate Sharron Angle. In an interview with NBC‘s “Meet the Press” that’s set to air Sunday, Reid was asked if he believes the tea party will be a lasting political force. Reid says the tea party movement emerged because of the country’s economic problems. But he says the tea party will no longer exist when the economy improves — and he says the economy is
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