10:39 AM, Mar 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Senate remained in session through Monday night and into this morning. The yield of this all-nighter was … nothing. Which was predictable. There never was any legislative point to the exercise. It was for show. The kindest possible description would be that the senators wanted to raise awareness of global warming/climate change which, of course, has hardly been mentioned at all in the great ongoing public conversation. The least kind description would be that the purpose of the all-nighter was to raise cash.
As Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post reports, Majority Leader Harry Reid said, in his remarks:
“We have the capability and the responsibility to act. But we must do so before it is too late," adding that the issue is "a question of our own survival.”
Curious, then, that Reid hasn’t introduced any climate-related legislation since he and the Democrats took over the Senate. Maybe he just isn’t that in to surviving.
Of course, it is easier being a Democrat speaking out about climate change when you aren’t running for reelection. Which would explain the absence, during the all-nighter, of such conspicuous Senate Democrats as:
Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.),
Still, those who did make it through the night hope their stamina will be rewarded and:
… believe that focusing on the issue will help them. They cite national polling that shows Americans are increasingly concerned with the issue and generally believe that changes in the globe's temperatures and weather patterns are man-made. The party is also receiving an injection of cash being spent by outside groups backed by wealthy environmental activists.
One of those activists, billionaire businessman Thomas Steyer, thanked Democratic senators for hosting "a real conversation on this critical issue."
"The dangers of climate change are real, and our country can no longer afford to be held hostage by politicians who deny basic science."
Steyer has committed $50 million of his own fortune and plans to raise another $50 million to help Democratic candidates in this year's congressional elections -- support that Democrats are eager to have as conservative political groups are already spending millions of dollars attacking them on television in battleground states.
Such, these days, are the ways of the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.
3:01 PM, Mar 7, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with editor Bill Kristol on the Democrats' no good, very bad week:
1:42 PM, Mar 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In Vermont, where he has been running for something for as long as anyone can remember, the senator is known, simply, as “Bernie.” His national profile is not quite so well established but there are people who have floated the possibility that he might run for president representing the left flank of the Democratic party. He, in fact, among them. So Time magazine interviewed him, raising the prospect, and he made the usual coy noises. However, on the question of Hillary Clinton’s suitability for the job, he was more emphatic.
1:28 PM, Mar 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
When you spend in the trillions and run deficits in the (many) billions, then you look for the millions where you can find them.
8:04 AM, Mar 5, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Wednesday to reduce the fine/“tax” for violating Obamacare’s individual mandate this year to $0. It will be interesting to see how Democrats in both the House and Senate react. President Obama has plainly violated the law—and the constitutional separation of powers—by unilaterally delaying the individual mandate for some people (those who liked their health plan but got a cancellation notice) and by unilaterally delaying the employer mandate.
12:26 PM, Mar 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is not slowing down the president. Barack Obama will travel to Boston on Wednesday for Democratic National Committee events, the White House announced today.
President Obama to Travel to Boston
9:31 AM, Mar 2, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama spoke to the Democrat National Committee's winter meeting in Washington, D.C. on Friday and addressed the minimum wage increase that he recently proposed, comparing it to the minimum wage in Ronald Reagan's time.
2:42 PM, Feb 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A Capitol Hill source source says that Senate Democrats will not produce a budget this year. The news is expected to come from Senator Patty Murray's office at 3 p.m. today, as part of a Friday afternoon news dump. Murray is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama released this statement. "Senate Democrats are required by law to produce a budget," wrote Sessions.
6:33 PM, Feb 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama told Democratic governors that "we know how to win national elections." But, he said, Democrats need to win state elections and focus on this year's mid-term elections.
"But all too often it's during these mid-terms where we end up getting ourselves into trouble because, I guess we don't think it's sexy or something," Obama said.
Obama was speaking the governors at a Democratic fundraiser at the St. Regis hotel in Washington.
Via the pool report:
Same as the old farm bill.Feb 24, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 23 • By DAVE JUDAY
The president just signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014, a multiyear, comprehensive agricultural, rural, and nutrition policy measure. As legislation goes, it was rather unremarkable. What was remarkable was the path it followed to approval. Unlike most farm bill debates, which tend to be festivals of bipartisanship and comity, this one split lawmakers—rural from urban, House from Senate, Republican from Democrat—along every political fault including between the Tea Party caucus and the rest of the GOP.
2:01 PM, Feb 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Democrats are fundraising off the threat that President Barack Obama will be impeached. It would seem, according to the Democratic Party, that the threat of impeachment is coming from Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia.
Today, the Democratic party sent an email to supporters (from this address:email@example.com) with the subject line: "Impeachment." Inside the email, were these images:
10:49 AM, Feb 5, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Remember back when the Democrats tried to sell Obamacare to a skeptical citizenry as health care “reform” that would cost “only” $848 billion—far less than a trillion—over a decade? Indeed, that was the alleged 10-year gross cost of Obamacare’s coverage provisions, according to the Congressional Budget Office (see Table 3), when Harry Reid, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, Al Franken, Mark Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Begich, Mark Warner, and the rest of the Democrats rammed President Obama’s signature legislation through the Senate on Christmas Eve without a single Republican vote. That 12-digit price-tag was widely cited by the New York Times and other sympathetic outlets, who treated it as gospel, even as conservatives observed that it was clearly a sham number.
'Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny.'7:24 AM, Feb 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with Vulture.com, Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels concedes that mocking Republicans is easier than going after Democrats.
"Republicans are easier for us than Democrats," says Michaels. "Democrats tend to take it personally; Republicans think it’s funny."
9:02 AM, Jan 31, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
First Lady Michelle Obama tells rich donors to keep the checks coming. "You can write a check. Or another one. Write a big fat check. Write the biggest check you could possibly write," the first lady said at a high-dollar Democratic fundraiser last night in San Francisco.
"Some of you might be tired being always asked for money,'' Obama added. "I know that writing those checks is the single most impactful thing you can do right now."
Via the pool report:
8:18 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama called for a minimum wage hike in his State of the Union Address, but to hear Washington state Democrats tell it, wages aren't the main concern: The real problem is the modern American workplace itself. The minimum wage in Washington state is already $9.32 an hour, more than two dollars an hour higher than the current federal minimum wage.