It’s called ransom. That’s what Republicans are demanding from the White House and congressional Democrats for not pulling the plug on the government.
You can go around and around, but eventually the maths leads you to one place. To save the state of, say, California, from fiscal catastrophe, existing public pension benefits have to be scaled back.
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 […]
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
President Obama claims he is meeting Republicans “half-way” on Republican plans to reduce the deficit by $61 billion. “Half-way” is $11 billion ($10.5 billion to be more precise). My maths strongly suggests the president needs maths lessons. Please consider Obama offers deeper cuts, appeals for budget deal
The Economist provides the handy chart below assessing the Republican presidential field for 2012.
[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 […]
[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 […]
The ongoing struggle to finish the 2011 budget and implement significant spending cuts is occupying almost all of Congress’ attention – with no end in sight.
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 […]
[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.
From the Associated Press:
[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 […]
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 […]
Which programs were so bad that both parties could set aside their differences and agree to slash?
[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 […]
[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 […]
[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?
[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, […]
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:
The Tea Party is making life very difficult for long-serving Republicans in both the House and Senate.
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 […]
[credit provider=”AP”] Congress is more polarised now than ever before, says The National Journal, which conducts an annual survey of Congressional voting on key pieces of legislation. Ron Brownstein reports:
[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 […]
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.
[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 […]
1. Oil prices rose sharply as turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East continued.
[credit provider=”AP”] Here’s the official statement from Senator John Thune (R-SD):
[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 […]
[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 […]
[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.
[credit provider=”World Economic Forum via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
/4309799402″] In his interview with CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria, George Soros had some lamenting to do.He told Zakaria that Obama “has lost control of the [county’s ecnomic] agenda” and as a result it’s been left “in the hands of the Republican Party,” (via Bloomberg).
[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 […]
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:
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.
[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 […]
[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 […]
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 […]
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.
Joe Scarborough may be a morning talk show host now, but from 1995 to 2001 he was a Republican Representative from Florida, and a very conservative one at that. So when he comes out and takes aim at his former party, it really makes you wonder how far they have […]
[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 […]
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. […]
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.
My proposal to raise the marginal tax to 70 per cent on incomes over $15 million, to 60 per cent on incomes between $5 million and $15 million, and to 50 per cent on incomes between $500,000 and $5 million, has generated considerable debate. Some progressives think it’s pie-in-the-sky. Here, […]
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 […]
[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 […]
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.
President Obama has chosen to fight fire with gasoline.
[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 […]
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.
1. 30-year mortgage rates in the United States are over 5% for the first time since the spring of 2010. This presents a “challenge” for the still-struggling housing market.
Politico is reporting that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will announce today that he will not seek re-election in 2012.
[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 […]
In late 2006 and through the first half of 2007, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent a considerable amount of money putting together the infrastructure and conducting the research necessary to launch an independent presidential candidacy.
[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 […]
Rep. Christopher Lee is a married Republican congressman serving the 26th District of New York. But when he trolls Craigslist’s “Women Seeking Men” forum, he’s Christopher Lee, divorced “lobbyist” and “fit fun classy guy.” One object of his flirtation told us her story.
[credit provider=”AP”] Six-term Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is apparently getting a little bit testy about Tea Party-types.”We don’t need nuts in the United States Senate, we need fiscal conservatives,” Hatch told The Atlantic this morning. “We’ve got some nuts on the other side and every once in a while we […]
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling unless its coupled with a Constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority vote to pass new taxes.
[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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
[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.
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:
Nate Silver has an interesting look at how the 2012 GOP Presidential candidates stack up on two axis: ideology and insider-dom.
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 […]
[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 […]
[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? […]
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 […]
To understand how the presidential primary process actually works, you have to understand the major media budgets for covering the 2012 campaign.
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.
[credit provider=”Jessica Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons”] Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) is counting on “values voters” in Iowa to vault him into contention for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination.
Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (D) faces an uphill battle for re-election in 2012.
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%.
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 […]
While the GOP now tries to blame the crash on government sponsorship of homeownership, it was part of their strategy to turn the country into homebuyers — and Republicans.
New Republican legislation in the House and Senate would force the U.S. government to reroute huge amounts of money to China and other creditors in the event that Congress fails to raise its debt ceiling.
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.
[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 […]
[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 […]
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 […]
The Republican plan to cut the federal budget to 2008 levels translates to massive cuts for cities and states.
In 1975, there was a straw poll in Iowa that was won by a then-unknown former Governor from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. The legendary R.W. “Johnny” Apple of The New York Times was the only national political reporter who covered the story, highlighting Carter’s upset victory.
[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 […]
[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 […]
Yes, the GOP’s new chairman needs to raise money. But his biggest challenge will be rebuilding the ground game, which cost Republicans precious seats last fall.
Joe Scarborough has been branded a turncoat by some in the GOP for taking on extremists. But the Giffords shooting shows he was right in calling for calm, the Morning Joe host tells Howard Kurtz.
The good news is the US budget deficit still looks to be plenty large to support modest top line growth and sustain and stabilise incomes, even if insufficient to generate any kinds of significant gains in employment.
[credit provider=”AP”] New Speaker of the House John Boehner was unable to come up with a single government program he would cut when quized by NBC’s Brian Williams (via Below The Beltway).The exact quote, from the interview (via Reason):
[credit provider=”AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta”] It’s a fact of life that sometimes you have to spend money to save money. We all know this in our personal lives. For example, it may be cheaper to buy a new car than keep spending money repairing an old one, or to invest […]
The Congressional Budget Office is out with its preliminary analysis of the Repeal The Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.
A recent scandal that just kind of erupted in Washington is the high number of hedge fund executives who have donated to “bankroll the GOP victory,” or more specifically, to fend off some of the financial regulations proposed in the new bill.The story is going nuts on Twitter anyway.
Republicans are telling Americans a Big Lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them.
Is it a witchhunt?
What do you think when you hear the word “takeover”?
[credit provider=”Wikimedia”] More than 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan came to Washington intent on reducing taxes on the wealthy and shrinking every aspect of government except defence.The new tax deal embodies the essence of Reaganomics.
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