Yesterday, the Huffington Post was gracious enough to publish an item contributed by once-promising author turned mediocre blogger Barack Obama. That same day, Barack Obama told House Democrats to “get informed, not by reading the Huffington Post.” This raises not only the question of why Obama does not want Congress to read his own work, but why the Huffington Post continues to employ him at all.
I write frequently about health care. Nobody has ever thought to insinuate that my strong advocacy of Obamacare reflects a personal reliance on the law to insure my own family, which is fortunate enough to have had employer-provided insurance before the law took effect. Even my strongest critics understood that I advocated the law as a generalized good, not as a matter of self-interest. My recent article on political correctness provoked a very different and unusual response.
From posting a Facebook gallery of "Hillary's Loser's" to taunting Marco Rubio on U.S-Cuba relations via Twitter, Rand Paul's online presence can best be described as what would happen if Alex P. Keaton had access to social media. But as a man who spent his college years in a "secret society" that trolled Baylor University so hard that they were threatened with expulsion, Paul is capable of much more. On Thursday the senator stepped up his game by posting a recording, which was apparently produced by his PAC, of a fake phone call between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
Things are looking fairly bleak for Democrats — they're outnumbered in both chambers of Congress and face a new budget battle with Republicans — but President Obama wants them to cheer up. In an address on Thursday night at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Philadelphia, Obama tried to rally his party around his forthcoming budget proposal, saying it will further the nation's economic recovery. He said his plan offers an intelligent way to reverse the automatic cuts known as sequestration, which don't "differentiate between smart government spending and dumb government spending."
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham has made the first official moves toward a 2016 run for the White House, announcing the formation of a political committee that will help him explore presidential options. A new website also touts Graham's "reputation as a conservative problem-solver and one of the strongest proponents of a robust national defense."
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in one of his trademark gestures of narcissistic venality, decided to set up an address to the United States Congress without notifying the executive branch of the American government. The maneuver is so unusual that Netanyahu’s former ally and ambassador to the U.S. called on him to reverse course. Even Fox News has questioned him. Jeffrey Goldberg attempts to understand what Netanyahu might have been thinking. “Why doesn’t Netanyahu understand that alienating Democrats is not in the best interest of his country?” he asks. “From what I can tell, he doubts that Democrats are — or will be shortly — a natural constituency for Israel, and he clearly believes that Obama is a genuine adversary.”
Mitt Romney, the nation's rich but boring ex, wants us to give him another chance, and in a Wednesday night speech at Mississippi State University, he tried to prove he's a changed man. Speaking in the nation's poorest state, Romney said we can end poverty in America by applying "conservative policies that improve America’s education system, promote family formation and create good-paying jobs." He explained part of the solution, according to a Brookings Institution study, is encouraging couples to commit. "We have to make sure our government programs aren't creating incentives for people not to get married," he said. "And they do right now."
The Obama administration’s plan for the federal budget will contain a new line-item that is numerically trivial but philosophically important: $15 million for states to analyze the costs and benefits of their job-licensing requirements. Appropriating a tiny sum of money to study what sounds like a technical issue may sound like a minor and uncontroversial step. In fact, it reframes one of the most interesting new policy debates that has emerged during the Obama era.
Ladies, if you're anything like us, you're always wondering what Mike Huckabee thinks of the things you say, the clothes you wear, and the choices you make about your body. Therefore, you'll be interested to know that the former Arkansas governor may disapprove of your lifestyle even if you haven't dropped an album that focuses heavily on your passion for feminism and banging your husband in limousines. In a Friday radio interview highlighted by Think Progress, the potential 2016 candidate said that while filming his Fox News show, he was shocked to hear his co-workers cursing — even the ladies! "In a business meeting that you might have in the South or in the Midwest there in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the F-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting," Huckabee told host Jan Mickelson. "In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it.
Openly gay Alabama state representative Patricia Todd has had just about enough of her philandering anti-gay colleagues, who pursue extramarital affairs (or maybe even moonlit same-sex trysts) while trampling on her fledgling freedom to marry. Over the weekend, Birmingham representative decided to fight back against such hypocrisy on Facebook, threatening to out colleagues who gave anti-gay speeches after a judge overturned the state's ban on gay marriage Friday. She wrote:
Deep behind a tangle of denial and rebranding initiatives, a GOP resuscitation plan emerges.By Frank Rich
When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.By Jason Zengerle
Jon Favreau’s most enduring riffs.
Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013
For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.By Ezra Klein
Mother Jones Jan. 15, 2013
Our debt dysfunction began with the Constitution, funded Manifest Destiny, and makes the trillion dollar coin look tame.By Tim Murphy
Salon Jan. 15, 2012
Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.By Steve Kornacki
New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010
After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009
Obama drew progressive ire from day one.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008
How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.By Jeff Coplon