Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

The impossible dream is just that

‘They had so much hope, so much hype and so much promise for change, this new Congress of 2008 when they swept into power two years ago with Barack Obama at the helm and a trustful nation behind them. Now, with time running out, with so little accomplished and so little consensus, the bitter Congress that can do has become the petty, little legislative body that can’t — a mere shadow of itself running hither and yon as time runs out and the great mantle of hope is reduced to the ashes of political reality. In reality, we expected too
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Don’t think ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ fight is over. It’s not

Advocates of a bill that would overturn the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy say their fight for repeal this year is far from over despite failing to pass the Senate with only days left in the lame-duck session. Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the legislation, which would have lifted the military’s 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. The measure was tucked into a broader defense policy bill and had passed the House last spring. It failed in a 57-40 test vote, falling three votes short of the 60 needed to advance. GOP senators mostly united in defeating the measure
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Obama admits tax plan is far from perfect

President Barack Obama calls his tax-cut agreement with Republicans far from perfect but a good deal overall for Americans, while acknowledging that many fellow Democrats aren’t happy about what he negotiated with the GOP. Pressing for passage by year’s end, he told lawmakers in his radio and Internet address Saturday that “our recovery will be strengthened or weakened based on the choice that now rests with Congress.” The deal would extend for all earners cuts in income tax rates that are set to expire next month. It would renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and trim Social Security taxes
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Democratic mistakes, Tea Party success turn McConnell into power player

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has long been the butt of many Washington jokes, from the more than 200 cartoons that hang on his office wall to the fact that he was the first big-name establishent Republican to suffer defeat at the polls at the hands of the upstart Tea Party. After all, it was Rand Paul who shocked political observers by knocking off McConnell’s hand-picked candidate for Kentuckey’s open Senate seat primary this year. Now Paul is the junior Senator from Kentucky and Paul, wheher he likes it or now, must consider the often off-the-wall Rand a colleague. But Paul
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Obama’s tax bill turns into a Christmas tree

‘ Tis the season and President Barack Obama‘s controversial grab bag of tax cuts, unemployment benefits and other goodies is turning into a typical “Christmas tree” legislation that packs a log of gifts for lawmakers in exchange for help. But the question remains over whether even packing the bill with lard, and bringing in former President Bill Clinton as a closer can seal the deal as the the lame duck session winds down and Republicans lie in wait to turn the next Congress into even more of a zoo. One way or another, a vote must come next week and
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Obama the butt of jokes, anger from his own party

Poor Barack Obama. His critics say he’s the new Ronald Reagan. They joke about him at caucus meetings and call him names openly in front of colleagues. They say he is an embarassment to liberals, a sell-out to his supporters and the biggest Democratic joke since Jimmy Carter. And all this is coming from Democrats. Lately, Obama is garnering more praise from Republicans, conservatives and even a right-wing radio host or two. Democrats? They wonder just h0w in the hell this guy got in the door. “Obama is easily the biggest embarassment to the party since Jimmy Carter went on
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Can Bill Clinton save Obama’s Presidency?

No comment? No way. You don’t stop Bill Clinton when he’s back at the White House with something to say. Well, OK. He and President Barack Obama, two of the most famous men in the world, did need a little help getting a door unlocked first. But then it was on. The former president came before surprised reporters to let it be known that he endorsed the tax deal that Obama cut with the Republican Party, even though many Democrats were raising a fuss about it. That was the news. But it wasn’t the story. What had the West Wing
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Obama still predicting victory on tax compromise

President Barack Obama is predicting congressional approval of the tax-cutting compromise he has reached with Republican leaders, but he’s not ruling out that unhappy Democrats will make some changes in the mammoth legislation. In an interview with NPR released Friday, Obama said that despite a rebellion by many Democrats against his tax deal, it will pass because “nobody — Democrat or Republican — wants to see people’s paychecks smaller on Jan. 1 because Congress didn’t act.” The pact would extend cuts in income tax rates for all earners that would otherwise expire next month, renew long-term jobless benefits and trim
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The FAA has a problem: It doesn’t seem to know who owns more than 100,000 planes

The Federal Aviation Administration is missing key information on who owns one-third of the 357,000 private and commercial aircraft in the U.S. — a gap the agency fears could be exploited by terrorists and drug traffickers. The records are in such disarray that the FAA says it is worried that criminals could buy planes without the government’s knowledge, or use the registration numbers of other aircraft to evade new computer systems designed to track suspicious flights. It has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register their planes in an effort to clean up its files. About 119,000 of the aircraft on
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House Democrats tell Obama to take a hike on tax deal

In a blow to President Barack Obama, his Democratic allies in the House of Representatives voted Thursday to reject a compromise he reached with Republicans to avert a massive New Year’s tax hike. Despite an unrelenting White House charm offensive, House Democrats declared behind closed doors, by voice vote, that the framework deal was unacceptable in its current form, ensuring it could not pass this year absent key changes. “We will continue discussions with the president and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote,”
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