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Senator John Ensign (R-NV) To Retire

Real Clear Politics is reporting that Nevada Senator John Ensign will announce his retirement from public life this afternoon.  The scandal-tarnished Republican was considered to be one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents of the 2012 election cycle.  His decision to step aside makes US Rep. Dean Heller the front-runner […]
Senator John Ensign (R-NV) To Retire
News

Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich: Vibrating Weirdos

[credit provider=”Pete Souza via Wikimedia” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Newt_Gingrich.jpg”] Washington Post columnist George Will is getting “weirdo” vibes from 2012 GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.  He lets both men have it in his column today.  He ends the column as follows:Let us not mince words. There are at most five […]
Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich: Vibrating Weirdos
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Weekend Reading: Bad News Explained!

[credit provider=”Flickr via <US”>www.flickr.com Army Africa” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/4077957024/”] Thank goodness it’s Friday.  Time for Weekend Reading, a Friday feature for Business Insider readers who find themselves looking for a wider view of what is happening in the news. We offer for your consideration a “book of the week” and a number of […]
Weekend Reading: Bad News Explained!
News

Illinois Pension Obligations Jump 21 per cent

The Illinois State Auditor reported yesterday that Illinois’ government pension systems are even deeper in the red than previously thought.  Using a new accounting method, Auditor General William Holland said that Illinois government employees, downstate teachers and university staff have been promised $139 billion worth of retirement benefits, but that […]
Illinois Pension Obligations Jump 21 per cent
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Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

[credit provider=”AP”] Good morning!  Here’s what you need to know:1. The unemployment rate and the under-employment rate both rose in February, according to a Gallup survey.  The combined rate of 19.9 per cent was identical to the Gallup number of one year ago. 
Politics In 60 Seconds:  What You Need To Know Right Now
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California Lawmakers Shoot Messenger Repeatedly

[credit provider=”AP”] The executive director of the Little Hoover Commission, Stuart Drown, testified yesterday before a joint session of California Assembly and Senate committees that oversee public employee compensation. The purpose of Mr. Drown’s testimony was to review the Little Hoover Commission’s recent report on the state of California’s public employee […]
California Lawmakers Shoot Messenger Repeatedly
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Democrats Likely To Hold US Senate Seat in Hawaii

Nate Silver makes the straightforward point that the retirement of Hawaii US Senator Daniel Akaka (D) probably won’t effect the partisan make-up of the US Senate.  President Obama carried the state in 2008 by an astonishing 45 percentage points.  Democrats ran very well in Hawaii in the otherwise disastrous (for […]
Democrats Likely To Hold US Senate Seat in Hawaii
News

Will The GOP’s Budget Cuts Drive The Economy Into The Ditch?

[credit provider=”Uberto via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubefoto/5280956147/”] For some reason, over the last few days, the claims about the effects of GOP budget cuts keep getting more theatrical.  First I saw Mark Zandi was saying that the cuts would cost 700,000 jobs over the next two years, and shave a half a […]
Will The GOP’s Budget Cuts Drive The Economy Into The Ditch?
News

POLITICS IN 60 SECONDS: What You Need To Know Right Now

[credit provider=”desrunyan via flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackwatersailing/3456958344/”] Good Morning!  Here’s what you need to know:1.  Stratfor reports:  “A Shiite cleric was arrested in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province on Feb. 27 after calling for a constitutional monarchy during a Friday sermon.  The arrest…could end up sparking protests among the kingdom’s Shiite minority […]
POLITICS IN 60 SECONDS: What You Need To Know Right Now
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Unfunded Liabilities: We Need One Set Of Numbers

[credit provider=”AP”] Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran a longish feature on state governments grappling with budget deficits and future obligations. If you believed the underlying numbers, it made you feel better.  The question is: should you believe the numbers?
Unfunded Liabilities: We Need One Set Of Numbers
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Democrats Turn On Public Employee Unions

[credit provider=”AP”] Walter Mead makes the obvious point that no one seems to want to acknowledge:  Republican governors aren’t the only ones looking to break the stranglehold that public employee unions have on state governance.  Democratic governors and mayors are doing the exact same thing.  Not because they want to, […]
Democrats Turn On Public Employee Unions
News

Montana Governor Slams Tea Party

Battle lines are being drawn in Montana between the state’s Democratic Governor and its very conservative State Legislature.  Tea Party state representatives and state senators are pressing for passage of a number of fairly radical legislative initiatives.  The Associated Press reports:
Montana Governor Slams Tea Party
News

Who Really Runs Washington? Millions Of Old People

Washington is a city obsessed with power; who has it, who’s losing it, etc.  If you go to a dinner party in Georgetown, people take note of where you sit and speculate about what that means about you, about them and about everyone else at the party.  It was ever […]
Who Really Runs Washington? Millions Of Old People
News

As Madison Goes, So Goes The Nation

[credit provider=”AP”] There are a lot of story lines to what is happening in Madison, Wisconsin.  There’s a political narrative: Republicans are trying to de-fund the Democratic party’s most reliable source of campaign funds and support.  There’s a fiscal narrative: the government is broke and taxpayers can no longer afford […]
As Madison Goes, So Goes The Nation
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Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

1. Brent crude traded at nearly $120 per barrel earlier this morning. Worries about reduced supplies from Libya and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East have caused the world’s oil benchmark to jump nearly $17 this week.
Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now
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Big Picture: The Battle of Madison

[credit provider=”AP”] Walter Mead continues his analysis of The Battle of Madison, arguing that it is not about a “race to the bottom,” but the beginning of a restructuring of a range of services (from government to education to health care) that is necessary if America is going to compete […]
Big Picture: The Battle of Madison
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Congressional Leaders Talk Down Shutdown

[credit provider=”AP”] Congressional leaders last weekend talked down the possibility of a government shutdown, as a March 4th deadline looms.  March 4th is the day that the current stopgap spending measure expires.  The stopgap spending measure enables the funding that enables the government to continue functioning.House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan […]
Congressional Leaders Talk Down Shutdown
News

Florida Is Making A Mess Of The 2012 Republican Primary Calendar

[credit provider=”Secretlondon via Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ecount-scanner2.jpg”] Republicans in Florida want to go first in the 2012 presidential nominating contests, a decision that threatens to wreak havoc on the primary calendar and cause a major rift between the national party and Republican leaders in the nation’s largest swing state.  Florida’s primary is […]
Florida Is Making A Mess Of The 2012 Republican Primary Calendar
News

Politics in 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

[credit provider=”Wikipedia”] 1.  National, state and local debt in the United States will exceed the debt levels reached just after World War II.  The combined debt presently exceeds the size of the entire economy, according to government estimates.
Politics in 60 Seconds:  What You Need To Know Right Now
News

The 15 Most Powerful Members Of ‘Skull And Bones’

[credit provider=”wikimedia commons” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bones_logo.jpg”] The most famous secret society in America, Skull and Bones was co-founded at Yale in 1832 by the father of a future president and has come to signify everything that attracts and repulses the public about “The Elite.”rumour has it that Yale junior class members are […]
The 15 Most Powerful Members Of ‘Skull And Bones’
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Pelosi Aide Says Government Shutdown Likely

Speaking at a meeting of top aides to Congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill, an aide to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that a government shutdown is likely and that Democrats need to start planning accordingly.  Politico reports:
Pelosi Aide Says Government Shutdown Likely
News

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) To Retire

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is expected to announce his retirement shortly.  Mr. Bingaman will be the fourth Democratic incumbent to decide not to seek re-election next year.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) To Retire
News

Jeb Likes Mitch Daniels

[credit provider=”AP”] President George W. Bush has made it clear to friends and political associates that he is a fan of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.  So too, it turns out, is his brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Mr. Bush told a (no longer) private gathering of business leaders in Jacksonville […]
Jeb Likes Mitch Daniels
News

The Tea Party Princess Will Make Her Debut In The Granite State

[credit provider=”AP”] U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will make her first trip to the Granite State next month to speak at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, the Manchester Union-Leader reports.Although the Rep. Bachmann has been vague about her presidential ambitions, her trip to the first-in-the-nation primary […]
The Tea Party Princess Will Make Her Debut In The Granite State
News

Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

1.  A provincial court in Pakistan gave the Pakistani government three weeks to decide whether or not it will grant diplomatic immunity to Raymond Davis, a former US Special Forces operator who stands accused of “murdering” two Pakistani nationals.  The Davis case has led to a remarkable deterioration in diplomatic […]
Politics In 60 Seconds:  What You Need To Know Right Now
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Speaker John Boehner’s maths

Recently, Speaker of the House John Boehner asserted: “…the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs since President Obama took office.” Other analysts have tried to find the source for this figure, but I thought of interest to see exactly how bad his maths was.
Speaker John Boehner’s maths
News

Daniels Goes For Broke

[credit provider=”AP”] People who know Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) say that he has not yet decided whether to seek the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination.  One senses his reluctance derives from personal considerations; the invasion of his family’s privacy, the disruption of their normalcy, the loneliness of the long distance […]
Daniels Goes For Broke
News

Obama Goes Recruiting

President Obama this week will meet with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Keane, in a bid to convince Mr. Keane to run for the US Senate seat in Virginia being vacated by Sen. Jim Webb (D).  The likely Republican nominee, former Sen. George Allen, is a proven vote-getter in Virginia.  […]
Obama Goes Recruiting
News

The Republican Leadership Commits Huge Gaffe And NPR Doesn’t Notice

Before the Pennsylvania primary in the 2008 presidential election, then Senator Barack Obama made a speech at a fundraiser in which he referred to working class whites as being “bitter.” This was referred to as a “gaffe” and became a central theme in news reporting over the next two weeks.
News

AP Disses Iowa Caucuses

The Associated Press reports that the Iowa caucuses may play a less important role in the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination process than it has in the past.  The AP’s Mike Glover reports that “some” are  “wondering if the Iowa Republican party’s shift to the right is scaring off some hopefuls […]
AP Disses Iowa Caucuses
News

Romney Doomed by Romney-care?

[credit provider=”Jessica Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons”] Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney finished a respectable second in the CPAC straw poll and is viewed by many in the mainstream media as the “front-runner” for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.  There’s only one, giant problem:  the Massachusetts state health care insurance plan […]
Romney Doomed by Romney-care?
News

Sarah Palin Has A Campaign Manager

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has hired a new chief of staff to manage her loose-knit political operation.  His name is Michael Glassner, an attorney who served as an advisor to former Sen. Robert Dole (R-KA), the GOP’s 1996 Presidential nominee.  CNN broke the news on Friday.
Sarah Palin Has A Campaign Manager
News

GOP Cuts Budget With An Axe Instead Of A Scalpel

[credit provider=”flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference/4056826266/sizes/l/”] One of the biggest problems we have in dealing with the budget is the gross level of budgetary ignorance on the part of the public that I detailed last week.But an even bigger problem is that Republicans in Congress appear to be just as ignorant about the […]
GOP Cuts Budget With An Axe Instead Of A Scalpel
News

Recovering Gabby Giffords Mentioned As Possible 2012 AZ Senate Candidate

The National Journal reports today that in the wake of Senator John Kyl’s (R-AZ) retirement, political hot stove league chatter about possible replacements is in full swing.  Among those mentioned: Rep. Gabby Giffords (D), who was shot through the head at a constituency event in early January. 
Recovering Gabby Giffords Mentioned As Possible 2012 AZ Senate Candidate
News

DONALD TRUMP: I Am Now “Seriously Considering” Running For President

[credit provider=”Illustration by Business Insider”] Donald Trump is letting it be known that he is “seriously considering” running for president in 2012 and that he will make a final decision on this new venture by June of this year. While Americans breathlessly wait for the Donald’s final decision, they can tune […]
DONALD TRUMP: I Am Now “Seriously Considering” Running For President
News

Politics in 60 Seconds: What You Need to Know Right Now

[credit provider=”AP”] 1.  The New York Stock Exchange is close to an agreement to be acquired by Deutsche Borse AG, a “merger” that would create the world’s largest financial exchange.  The sale of the NYSE to the Germans will become a political issue.2.  German Bundesbank President Axel Weber has withdrawn […]
Politics in 60 Seconds: What You Need to Know Right Now
News

2012 UPDATE: Sorry GOP, Jeb’s Not Running

[credit provider=”AP”] Emboldened by the National Review’s plug for Jeb Bush, opinion makers are turning up the heat on their campaign to get the former Florida governor to make a 2012 presidential bid. Conservatives are getting worried about beating Obama next year and think Mr. Bush might be their best […]
2012 UPDATE: Sorry GOP, Jeb’s Not Running
News

Will One Man Decide The Future of US Health Care?

Many people in Washington believe that after all the appeals are exhausted, the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law will be decided by the US Supreme Court. These same people speculate that four justices will vote with President Obama and four justices will vote against him.  So the future […]
Will One Man Decide The Future of US Health Care?
Markets

Are Republicans Or Democrats Better For The Economy?

Barry Ritholz’s The Big Picture carries a link to Presimetrics in the Reads to start your week section of his blog and Mike has been asked by Barry to post a chapter in the book section. Dan says: Mike’s book is one that people need to study and not skim […]
News

Today’s Politics Headlines in 60 Seconds

[credit provider=”ap”] Here’s what you need to know this morning:1. The Muslim Brotherhood on Monday said it was reconsidering its participation in talks with Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s vice president. The banned group and other members of the opposition complained that the regime shows no real interest in reform.
Today’s Politics Headlines in 60 Seconds
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Sarah Palin’s Problem in One Paragraph

At an event honouring Ronald Reagan, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) criticised President Obama’s handling of the US response to the crisis in Egypt.  Asked by David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network what she would have done differently, Ms. Palin responded as follows:
Sarah Palin’s Problem in One Paragraph
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Weekend Reading: A New Weekly Feature

Business Insider Politics is going home for the weekend, but we leave you with some links to articles that we think make for good weekend reading.  This will be a weekly feature and will be housed in the “sub-vertical” known as “Big Think.”  We’ll be recommending one book and a […]
Weekend Reading:  A New Weekly Feature
Markets

Hysterically, Republican Budget Cuts Are Still Shrinking, And May Go As Low As $32 Billion

[credit provider=”flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference/4056826266/sizes/l/”] The idea the the U.S. Congress is about to institute serious austerity cuts is beginning to lose steam, and what once was meant to be $100 billion in cuts may fall to $32 billion, according to Rudy Narvas of Societe Generale.The Republican’s who were elected on a […]
Hysterically, Republican Budget Cuts Are Still Shrinking, And May Go As Low As $32 Billion
News

Today’s Political Headlines In 60 Seconds

[credit provider=”Sarah Palin” url=”http://vimeo.com/18698532″] 1.  A “day of departure” is drawing huge crowds in Egypt.  2.  The Obama Administration is working on a plan to remove Mubarak from office as quickly as possible.  A transitional government would be anchored by the Egyptian military.3.  What’s happening in the Egyptian power struggle?   […]
Today’s Political Headlines In 60 Seconds
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Sarah Palin to CPAC: How About Never? How Does Never Work For You?

For the fourth consecutive year, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has declined the invitation of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) to speak at their annual convention in Washington, DC.  The late, great political strategist Lee Atwater once described the CPAC convention as “a great place to catch up with […]
Sarah Palin to CPAC:  How About Never?  How Does Never Work For You?
News

Haley Barbour Floats A Presidential Strategy That Will Never Work

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a long-shot candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is floating a “favourite son” strategy to give GOP governors across the country more leverage over who is the party’s eventual nominee.  David Broder has the story.
Haley Barbour Floats A Presidential Strategy That Will Never Work
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How To Not Run For President

New polling numbers released yesterday show South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint leading potential GOP presidential candidates in his home state, a key early primary state for Republicans next year. DeMint snagged 24% of the vote, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 20%.
How To Not Run For President
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The Tea Party’s New Best Friend: Orrin Hatch

Having watched his Senate colleague Robert Bennett defeated by a Tea Party insurrection at last year’s Utah Republican Party nominating convention, veteran Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is taking no chances.  He’s working the Tea Party network in Utah hard, arguing that he shares their views on fiscal issues (mostly) and […]
The Tea Party’s New Best Friend: Orrin Hatch
Markets

Are Republicans Begging For A Municipal Bond Crisis?

I’ve been talking about the municipal bond crisis scenario since 2009, after Vallejo California declared bankruptcy in 2008. The city has yet to emerge, and is still reeling from unfunded pensions and plummeting property tax revenue.
Are Republicans Begging For A Municipal Bond Crisis?
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Three Guys You’ve Never Heard Of Weigh W.H. Bids

[credit provider=”AP”] U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota will decide soon whether he is running in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, Politico reports. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Politico he thinks Thune should seek the GOP nomination.Jon Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to China, is “leaning towards” running […]
Three Guys You’ve Never Heard Of Weigh W.H. Bids
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Tea Party Targets: Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar

[credit provider=”Wikipedia” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_2012″] Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) were elected to the United States Senate in 1976, both from solidly Republican states.  They quickly became Washington fixtures and, like clockwork, were easily re-elected every six years thereafter. Ordinarily, their re-election campaigns this year would be a formality; Democrats wouldn’t […]
Tea Party Targets:  Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar
Markets

Barack Obama And Paul Ryan Prove That Neither Understands The Monetary System

Between Paul Ryan’s misguided economic commentary and President Obama’s deficit fear mongering we confirmed that our most important leaders still have no idea how the US monetary system works.  In tonight’s State of the Union President Obama compared the US government to a household even though the two are operationally […]
Barack Obama And Paul Ryan Prove That Neither Understands The Monetary System
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The 10 Weirdest Cuts In The GOP Spending Plan

[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons”] Most of the cuts outlined in the Republican plan to shrink the federal budget are standard GOP fare, targeting things like federal unions and family planning. Unsurprisingly, NPR is on the chopping block, as are the National Endowment for the Arts and any U.S. contribution to the […]
The 10 Weirdest Cuts In The GOP Spending Plan
Markets

20 Huge Spending Cuts Republicans Want To Make Right Now

[credit provider=”AP”] Conservative House Republicans unveiled a proposal to slash federal spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years, taking aim at rail transit, goat farmers and a lot of programs in between.The keystone of the plan is the reduction of non-security, non-veteran spending to 2008 FY levels when […]
20 Huge Spending Cuts Republicans Want To Make Right Now
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