Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Obama: Sen. Boxer could lose

President Barack Obama delivered Democrat-friendly California a stark message Monday: Liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer might lose her re-election race if her supporters don’t work hard. The president’s stern words in a state where he remains popular and Boxer won her last re-election race in a rout underscored the perilous political environment confronting all Democrats in this midterm election year — and showed Obama is all too aware of the dangers. “I don’t want anyone here taking this for granted,” he said at a reception at the California Science Center, the first of a trio of fundraisers Monday night for Boxer
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Return of the Republican has-beens?

Republicans once saddled with the burden of President George W. Bush‘s unpopularity are now experiencing a boon from another struggling president: Barack Obama. The GOP senses rising fortunes from coast to coast, as one-time lawmakers such as Richard Pombo in California and Charlie Bass in New Hampshire look to capitalize on voter frustration that booted some of them from office in 2006. Others, long retired, see the Democrats’ luster fading and with it a chance for them to return to Washington. The time seems ripe for Republicans, who largely remain unified against Obama’s domestic agenda, including health care overhaul. Both
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Americans just don’t trust government

America’s “Great Compromiser” Henry Clay called government “the great trust,” but most Americans today have little faith in Washington’s ability to deal with the nation’s problems. Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don’t trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America’s ills, the survey found. The survey illustrates the ominous situation President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party face as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall’s
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Massa claims payoff to aide was forgery

Former congressman Eric Massa said Saturday that someone forged a $40,000 salary increase for his chief of staff, who has accused the ex-lawmaker of sexual harassment. The New York Democrat also denied authorizing a check from a campaign account in the same amount to the same official, Joe Racalto, according to a statement released by Massa’s attorney. Racalto’s attorney denied the allegations and said both transactions were done at Massa’s direction. The exchange came one day after Racalto reavealed he had filed a sexual harassment complaint against the former congressman, who announced March 5 that he would resign. “The amount
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Massa gave $40,000 to aide

Former New York Rep. Eric Massa wrote a $40,000 check to his chief of staff shortly before resigning his seat last month amid sexual harassment allegations. The aide is among those pursuing complaints against the Democrat. Federal campaign finance records describe the March 4 check to Joe Racalto from Massa’s campaign account as a “campaign management fee.” Massa had announced a day earlier, on March 3, that he would resign his seat. Racalto’s lawyer, Camilla McKinney, said Friday the check was a “deferred payment” for Racalto’s work this year and last year on Massa’s 2010 re-election campaign and for his
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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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