In order to take the White House in 2016, the GOP must win traditionally blue states like New York and New Jersey to amass the electoral votes necessary to win the presidency. Only a guy like Christie, not Miami's Rubio or Louisiana's Jindal, can achieve this.
When I wake up in the morning and find myself agreeing with U.S. Senator John McCain, and disagreeing with one of my favorite opinion writers, The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, it's time to start looking for that rabbit hole I must have fallen down overnight.
My state has always been a larger than life, much caricatured place, and most Texans take it all in good humor. Texas' problem, though, is that over the last decade, the state and its leaders have taken a dark turn. Texas has been pulled so far to the right that reasonable voices are seldom heard.
At the end of the day, a benign result will turn on whether any deal is actually "balanced" -- not in the same sense Obama has used the word in terms of cuts versus taxes -- but rather in terms of political wins for each side. So far both sides have only have wins that are in large part losses.
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There was no excuse for the president to shout from the rooftops about the dangers of sequester while not doing a thing to prevent it. Americans need jobs, not spin, and leaders, not photo ops.
There are arguments currently underway as to how much of an impact 85 billion dollars in arbitrary spending reductions will have on a still fragile economy. These concerns miss the essential point.
It's a tough place for Obama to be in with the GOP loaded for bear against him, and Democrats ready to do battle hard against him on what they won't accept in a budget deal. It's a problem that's far bigger for Obama than the momentary drop of a few points in an approval poll.
When one considers how completely out of whack our defense budget is in the post 9/11 age of perpetual war, the cuts will still leave us with a military budget that dwarfs all other countries combined.
Frankly, the most important part of this affair is that it's another reminder of why the troupe of old men playing pajama dress up, known as the "Tea Party", are so perpetually angry.
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With gridlock and malicious behavior paralyzing our government, it is now up to we, the people, to become more visible and vocal, to show Congress what needs to be done. Here are some thoughts and ideas on where we need to go from here, and how we can become involved.
Government performs many vital services that are part of everyday life in this country. Take government workers away and someone will have to pick up the slack.
Happy Sequester Month! It's about time we talk about this sequester thing. But, what is it? It's confusin' to all of America... and that's Obama's plan. No one really knows what cuts are goin' to be made, we just know we're cuttin'.
Every time Republicans mention a "spending crisis," we should remind them that our non-military spending is at historic lows (to say nothing of the fact that they were the ones who busted the federal budget with tax breaks for the rich, and who blocked the only path to significant cost savings, single payer health care.) It would help, as well, to be more forceful in driving home the message that the government spends (wastes) a lot more on tax breaks for the rich than assistance for the poor. The federal government spends about twice as much on the mortgage interest deduction, for example, than low income housing, and provides most of the mortgage interest gift to upper income people who don't need it. Is it really necessary to spend federal dollars (via tax expenditures) subsidizing multi-million dollar second homes?