Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Obama on health-care: ‘I’m not fighting that war again’

President Barack Obama said on Friday his healthcare overhaul is an important part of efforts to cut the budget deficit and insisted he will not “refight” the battle to pass the law. With emboldened Republicans vowing to repeal or replace the healthcare law he signed last March, Obama reiterated his case that the changes it brings are necessary to help rein in the price of the government-run Medicaid and Medicare insurance programs, a huge chunk of the U.S. budget deficit problem. The Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday the U.S. budget deficit will hit $1.48 trillion for fiscal 2011, up
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Theres this new slogan in town but will it be a winner?

There’s a new slogan in town, and it’s a winner. At least that’s what President Barack Obama has in mind. The president unveiled his “Winning the Future” mantra in his State of the Union address, and now the upbeat but amorphous phrase is part of every speech, policy and pronouncement coming out of the administration. It’s also emerged as a fat target for his Republican critics. What’s next on health care? Where to go on energy and education policy? How to improve the jobs picture? It’s all about winning the future through innovation and determination, Obama and his aides have
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Rules may come and go, but the filibuster lives forever

The filibuster lives on. The Senate voted overwhelmingly late Thursday to reject efforts to change its rules to restrict the blockades that have sown gridlock and discord in recent years on Capitol Hill. Instead, senators settled on a more modest measure to prevent single lawmakers from anonymously holding up legislation and nominations, and the parties’ Senate leaders announced a handshake deal to conduct business in a more efficient and civilized way. The two leaders, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, also endorsed legislation, to be drawn up later, to break the logjam of confirmations of
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Hey buddy! Wannna know a secret? This whole financial crisis thing could have been avoided!

The government-appointed panel investigating the roots of the financial crisis says the meltdown occurred because government officials and Wall Street executives ignored warning signs and failed to manage risks. The crisis could have been avoided, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission determined in a final report released Thursday that was only supported by Democrats on the panel. Instead the country fell into the deepest recession since the 1930s and millions of people lost their jobs, the congressionally appointed panel concluded. The Bush and Clinton administrations, the current and previous Federal Reserve chairmen, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner all bear some responsibility
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And, oh yeah, this whole Social Security thing could have been avoided too

Social Security’s finances are getting worse as the economy struggles to recover and millions of baby boomers stand at the brink of retirement. New congressional projections show Social Security running deficits every year until its trust funds are eventually drained in about 2037. This year alone, Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in retirement, disability and survivor benefits, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That figure swells to $130 billion when a new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included, though Congress has promised to repay any lost revenue
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Say bye bye to color-coded terror warnings

By the end of April, terror threats to the U.S. will no longer be described in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange and red, The Associated Press has learned. The nation’s color-coded terror warning system will be phased out beginning this week, according to government officials familiar with the plan. The officials requested anonymity to speak ahead of an announcement scheduled Thursday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Homeland Security Department and other government agencies have been reviewing the Homeland Security Advisory System‘s usefulness for more than a year. One of the most notable changes to come: The public
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Bachman raises her conservative profile

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann took another leap in her remarkable climb to national attention and tea party prominence with her freelance response to President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union speech. The tea party champion insists she is not positioning herself as a rival to Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. But colleagues marveled Wednesday at her knack for firing up conservatives and her ability to fill a media vacuum from the right, much like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin does. Scores of lawmakers stood before cameras Tuesday night to tell viewers back home what they thought of Obama’s State of the
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Newt wants EPA sent off into thin air

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Tuesday for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, which he wants to replace with a new organization that would work more closely with businesses and be more aggressive in using science and technology. In an interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich said the EPA was rarely innovative and focused only on issuing regulations and litigation. “What you have is a very expensive bureaucracy that across the board makes it harder to solve problems, slows down the development of new innovations,” Gingrich said. Gingrich, who has acknowledged that he’s mulling a run for the
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Social Security: Sick and getting worse

Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037, congressional budget experts said Wednesday in bleaker-than-previous estimates. The massive retirement program has been suffering from the effects of the struggling economy for several years. It first went into deficit last year but had been projected to post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into the red in 2016 This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in retirement, disability and survivors’ benefits than it
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Lessons from the past; promises for the future

President Barack Obama reached back into the past in a State of the Union address that was all about winning the future. He meant victory for America. And, perhaps, himself, too. In style and substance, Obama resurrected themes from his groundbreaking 2008 campaign as he started making the case for his next one. With the world watching, Obama cast himself anew as a post-partisan, pragmatic, reasonable, solutions-oriented leader focused on protecting the American dream and ensuring the country’s dominance. He spoke directly to the fears of Americans everywhere that their county is in decline. And he issued a call to
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