Archives for FUBAR

Right-wing issues warning on debt deal

Conservatives are warning of lasting political consequences as the Republican presidential field offers conflicting positions on the debt-ceiling compromise. Some activists likened the political impact of the high-stakes fight over the nation’s borrowing limit to the debate preceding the invasion of Iraq. And interest groups promised that each presidential contender’s position would be remembered, particularly among conservative activists in early voting states. “Whoever the nominees are, they are going to define themselves by how they voted or by what their response was to this deal,” said Kevin Smith, executive director of New Hampshire Cornerstone, one of the first-in-the-nation primary state’s
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Debt deal really doesn’t reduce deficit all that much

The compromise debt limit deal may have resolved this year’s most clamorous political battle between President Barack Obama and Congress, but it takes only a modest swipe at the heart of the matter: the government’s relentlessly huge budget deficits. The legislation, due a Senate vote Tuesday following Monday’s House passage, would save at least $2.1 trillion over the coming decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which tallies the price tags of bills for lawmakers. That’s real money, even by Washington standards. But it’s just a slice of the nearly $7 trillion in red ink expected over the next
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Voters played key role in debt-limit deal

Dear voter: Want to know why Democrats and Republicans in Congress find it so hard to work together to solve tough problems like the debt ceiling, health care and Social Security? Look in the mirror. Americans gripe about cowardly, self-serving politicians, and Congress doubtlessly has its feckless moments and members. But voters are quick to overlook their own role in legislative impasses that keep the nation from resolving big, obvious, festering problems such as immigration, the long-term stability of Medicare, and now, the debt ceiling. Here’s the truth: The overwhelming majority of senators and House members do what their constituents
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Debt deal brings temporary relief from government-stalling partisanship

The debt limit deal is breaking the partisan cold snap on Capitol Hill, at least for now. The Senate’s top party leaders, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Mitch McConnell, rushed to the Senate floor Sunday evening to announce that they had struck a tentative agreement with House leaders and President Barack Obama two days before an Aug. 2 default deadline. Then they took off their microphones, stepped into the aisle between their desks, grinned and shook hands. McConnell grasped Reid’s elbow. Reid left the floor with his second-in-command, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, whispering and clearly relieved. Out in the hallway,
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Jim DeMint relishes tea party role

He calls himself Sen. Tea Party. That almost says it all about Sen. Jim DeMint’s role on the nation’s political scene in these nervous days of debt limit warfare and pre-election posturing. But unlike the fractious movement as a whole, DeMint is specific and focused on what change, exactly, he wants: passage — not just a vote — of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Without it, he says, no consideration should be given to raising the nation’s borrowing limit. Even, he says, if the country runs out of money for paying all its bills after Aug. 2. The larger
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Tea party extremism; buyer’s remorse

House Republicans rode the tea party tiger to power last fall. Now it’s turning on them, forcing party leaders to endure embarrassing delays and unwanted revisions to crucial debt-ceiling legislation. This tiger did not change it stripes. When tea partyers emerged as a political phenomenon in 2009, they vowed to stand on principle and change the way Washington works. They’ve kept that promise despite some doubters’ predictions they would succumb to the get-along, go-along crowd once they reached Capitol Hill. That fidelity is now threatening GOP unity and causing headaches for party leaders as they try to negotiate with Democrats
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The debt-limit fiasco: Boehner versus Obama

The fight over the debt ceiling has turned into a dramatic leadership test for President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, opponents in a divided government who’ve gone from negotiating in secret to facing off in public at a watershed moment for the country and their own political careers. As the standoff enters its uncertain endgame, it’s unclear which of them will come out ahead — or if the two leaders will rise or fall together with days left to strike a deal and stave off a potentially catastrophic default on U.S. financial obligations. After Boehner succeeded in maneuvering
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Iraq deadlier now than a year ago

Frequent bombings, assassinations and a resurgence in violence by Shiite militias have made Iraq more dangerous now than it was just a year ago, a U.S. government watchdog concludes in a report released Saturday. The findings come during what U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr. called “a summer of uncertainty” in Baghdad over whether American forces will stay past a year-end withdrawal deadline and continue military aid for the unstable nation. “Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work,” Bowen concluded in his 172-page quarterly report to Congress and the Obama administration on progress —
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Senate Democrats overestimate deficit cuts

Senate Democrats‘ legislation to reduce the U.S. deficit and increase borrowing authority would cut $2.2 trillion from deficits, about $500 billion less than Democrats claimed, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The non-partisan budget scorekeeper for Congress also confirmed that about half of the Democrats’ proposed savings would come from reduced costs as the United States withdraws from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tuesday, the CBO said the Republican plan proposed by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner would cut spending by $850 billion over 10 years, rather than the $1.2 trillion as the bill promised. The CBO estimate
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Dysfunctional Republicans spotlight Capitol Hill chaos

Demoralized House Republicans are trying for a third straight day to pass a debt-ceiling bill that has almost no chance of surviving the Senate, even as the clock ticks closer to next week’s deadline for avoiding a potentially calamitous government default. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, suffered a stinging setback Thursday when, for a second consecutive day, he had to postpone a vote on his proposal to extend the nation’s borrowing authority while cutting federal spending by nearly $1 trillion. “Obviously, we didn’t have the votes,” Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., said after Boehner and the GOP leadership had spent hours
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