12:21 PM, Apr 17, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
President Obama appears to be the best there ever was when it comes to raising cash. But that’s because he works so hard at it. As James Oliphant of Government Executive reports:
After two separate recent events in Houston, President Obama has attended 373 fundraisers during his five-plus years in office. That's just about one every five days or so. Assuming he speaks for close to 15 minutes at each event, that's well more than 5,000 presidential minutes consumed by the dirty business of asking people for money. And that doesn't include the prep, the glad-handing and hobnobbing, the photos, the private asides, the travel.
This puts him ahead of the pack, given that:
At this point in his presidency, George W. Bush, a true grip-and-grin guy if there's ever been one, had attended just 200 such events … [Obama] is, in fact, way ahead of the second-term fundraising efforts of not only Bush but also of Bill Clinton, another man who could work a room.
There would be a point, one thinks, at which all this demagoguing for dough becomes unseemly and we can surely expect the mainstream media to alert us when, and if, President Obama approaches it. Meanwhile, there is this to think about.
The president came into office pledged to heal the nation’s suppurating political wounds. To pacify its angry heart and so on and so forth.
But you don’t do that when you are out raising political money. That is an exercise that calls for throwing lots of red meat to the hungry partisans and getting them to believe that unless they write those checks, the barbarians will be soon inside the gates.
President Obama has raised a lot of money but in doing so he has also raised, considerably, the nation’s political fevers.
11:01 AM, Apr 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
What we usually hear about when the subject is climate change is stuff meant to scare you out of your socks. Rising oceans, violent storms, draughts, famines, plagues of locusts … and so forth. The implied alternative is austerity so severe – no cars, rationed electricity, smaller houses, once-a-week cold showers, etc.
11:35 AM, Mar 5, 2014 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
"Bitcoin" is the most widespread, cryptographically-secure Internet currency. It was created in 2009 by someone (or someones) who referred to themselves as "Satoshi Nakamoto." Once it was released into the wild, the bitcoin currency ecosystem operated on a public, inalterable schedule.
10:01 AM, Jan 31, 2014 • By JAY COST
Another poll shows Hillary Clinton leading the pack of would-be Democratic nominees by an outsized margin. This one is courtesy of ABC News-Washington Post, which has her at 73 percent support among would-be Democratic voters—with Joe Biden trailing at just 12 percent.
What to make of this?
8:47 AM, Jan 27, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In a stunning admission, a recently released government document reveals that the original contract for Healthcare.gov contained no "specific concurrent user performance requirement." The federal government's online marketplace was plagued from the outset, in part due to the lack of ability to handle the amount of traffic to the site.
3:01 PM, Dec 11, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Tough times in the lobbying industry and the news is sure to be greeted with an outpouring of sympathy from across the land. As Kevin Bogardus and Megan R. Wilson of the Hill report:
9:00 AM, Nov 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Washington, D.C. is booming. That's in large part because of a massive growth in lobbying expenditures and federal contracts.
4:02 PM, Oct 10, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Just because the government is shut down (sort of), that does not mean that members of Congress are magically relieved of the need for money to finance the next campaign during which they will spend the money to persuade constituents to return them to Washington to continue in their good work.
12:44 PM, Oct 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Cory Booker is this political season's designated superman. The stuff of legend. Kind of guy who hangs out with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Does all the cool digital stuff, like tweeting. (Can you believe it?) A natural. And so forth.
12:50 PM, Sep 23, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The question at the core of most of today’s debates in American politics is whether all people have an unalienable right to keep the fruits of their own labor—as the Founders believed and the Declaration of Independence (properly understood) asserts—or whether the government should funnel vast sums of money to the nation’s capital and then magnanimously redistribute it back to the tributaries. Well, the stats are in, and it seems that neither of these two notions is really being fulfilled. To be sure, Americans’ money is flowing to the nation’s capital. But it’s not flowin
8:14 AM, Sep 20, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
In 2009, the Obama administration made news with an $18 million, five year contract to redesign Recovery.gov, the website the government set up to allow taxpayers to track the stimulus spending enacted by the president and Congress soon after President Obama took office.