Archives for News

Funding deal reached to avoid government shutdown

House and Senate negotiators reached a last-minute deal late Thursday to fund the U.S.government through September 30 of next year — staving off a government shutdown that would have started at midnight Friday. “Houston, we no longer have a problem,” a relieved House aide told Capitol Hill Blue.  “We can go home for Christmas.” Both the House and Senate are scheduled to vote on the funding deal Friday and send it to President Barack Obama for a quick signature. Still pending, however, is a deal on extension of a payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits.  Negotiations continue on a
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Debate, polls leave Gingrich in trouble

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came out of the last GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses bruised and battered but still standing. But the beating he took at the hands of Republican rivals Thursday night, coupled with signs of slippage in polls, suggests the current GOP frontrunner has peaked and now starts the downhill slide that has marked the rise and fall of others who held court at the top of the crowded pack of candidates. The first hour of the Fox News debate proved particularly tough for Gingrich as opponents battered him for fat cat contracts with
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U.S. military mission in Iraq declared over

Eight years after the President George W. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier deck, amid much hoopla and fanfare, under a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished” in the Iraq war, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to a much more subdued ceremony at the U.S. military mission in Baghdad and declared the American role finally at an end. The nine-year war cost more than 4,500 Americans and at least 100,000 Iraqis their lives and the U.S. flag is lowered over a country turn by internal strife, divided by religious differences and rocked by bombings and attacks. The quiet end to a war
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Ron Paul surges in Iowa: Is it now his time?

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is on the move in Iowa, passing former GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney for second in polls and even moving into a statistical tie with current leader Newt Gingrich in one. “Paul is surging right now, there’s no doubt about that,” one GOP strategist tells Capitol Hill Blue. “He could be the dark horse that shocks both Romney and Gingrich. New polls show support for Gingrich slipping slightly in Iowa with three weeks to go before the state caucuses that official open the Presidential primary season. And while the former Speaker of the House leads in surveys,
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Gridlock brings another threat of government shutdown

Capitol Hill gridlock once again threatens the day-to-day operations of government as Republicans and Democrats tangle over unemployment benefits, Social Security taxes and the use of earmarks to benefit campaign contributors. Both sides, while playing politics with the economic well-being of Americans, accuse the other of doing exactly that in a bitter struggle over a payroll tax cut for Americans, extension of aid to the long-term unemployed and a giant spending bill needed to keep the government in business past Friday. “It’s do or die time,” a frustrated House aide told Capitol Hill Blue Tuesday.  “Right now, we’re dying.” The
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Trump to self: ‘You’re fired’ as GOP debate moderator

After the planned Newsmax political carnival debate moderated by Donald Trump failed to draw interest from most of the candidates for the Republican nomination for President, Trump told himself: “You’re fired.” Actually, sources tell Capitol Hill Blue, the owners of the conservative web site Newsmax told Trump to fire himself or he would be dumped. Trump was scheduled to host the Dec. 27th debate but only two of the GOP presidential contenders — frontrunner Newt Gingrich and backbencher Rick Santorum — agreed to participate. Texas Congressman Ron Paul, according to The Ticket’s Chris Moody, called the spectacle of a Trump-moderated
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Gingrich leads GOP contenders, but can’t beat Obama

Good news for Newt Gingrich: The former Speaker of the House holds a solid 10 point lead among candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination for President, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. Bad news for Republicans: If Gingrich gets the nod, he’s not the Republican to beat President Barack Obama in 2012. The poll shows while Gingrich leads former frontrunner Mitt Romney in the race for the nomination, he trails the former Massachussets governor in a head-to-head matchup against Obama. If the election were held today, Obama would beat Gingrich 51-38 percent.  Romney would also lose to Obama but the
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Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich promises, again, to not cheat on his wife

Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House who openly cheated on his first and second wives, has promised to be faithful to the his current wife, a former House committee staff member who slept with him while he was married and criticizing a sitting President for adultery. It’s not the first time Gingrich has promised to not sleep around.  He signed a no-adultery pledge when he married Jackie Battley but broke that pledge by entering into an affair with Marianne Ginther. Gingrich dumped Battley, serving her with divorce papers while she was hospitalized, and married Ginther in
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Is a win in Iowa all that important?

With the Iowa caucuses set to officially open the primary election season just after the first of the year, a perennial debate rages inside Republican political circles:  Is Iowa all that important. The state’s convoluted caucus system, which allows a candidate with the best in-state organization to pack the results, produces a lot of hoopla but the winner in Iowa doesn’t always go on to capture the nomination. Mike Huckabee won Iowa in 2008.  Mike who?  Exactly.  Mitt Romney finished second and Fred Thompson finished in a third place tie with John McCain.  Huckabee, Romney and Thompson faded after Iowa.
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Republicans pack spending bill with perks for donors

Congressional Republicans — supposedly representing the party of less, leaner government — are stuffing the latest spending deal with right-wing leaning “policy riders” and earmarks to gain conservative support going into the 2012 elections. The volume of these riders stuns even the most jaded Congressional cynics as Republican lawmakers stack the bill with legislative initiatives targeted to benefit high-dollar GOP donors. For example, Kentucky GOP Senator Mitch McConnell and House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) have packed in several riders to benefit the coal industry.  McConnell, Rogers and House Speaker John Boehner have received more than $1.1 million in
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