President Obama on Friday said it was “crazy” and “embarrassing” the way the GOP-led Senate has held up confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was “hopeful” that the obstacle would be addressed next week, clearing the way for her confirmation vote. But an aide to Minority Leader Harry Reid said no deal was in hand.
“What are we doing here?” Obama said. “There are times when the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It’s gone too far. Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed.
Lynch, U.S. attorney for New York’s Eastern District, would succeed Attorney General Eric H. Holder if confirmed.
And it deserves to be amplified. This willingness to take it, to lead a revolution - and revelation, beginning in Beijing in 1995, when she first raised her voice to say the words you’ve heard many times throughout this conference: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.”
When Hillary Clinton stood up in Beijing to speak that truth, her hosts were not the only ones who didn’t necessarily want to hear it. Some of her husband’s advisors also were nervous about the speech, fearful of upsetting relations with China. But she faced down the opposition at home and abroad, and her words continue to hearten women around the world and have reverberated down the decades.
When describing Republican tax proposals, it’s not uncommon to talk about policies that disproportionately benefit the very wealthy. GOP proponents will say a bill benefits all taxpayers, but they’ll brush past the fact that the rich benefit most. This, however, is altogether different - today’s bill, called the “Death Tax Repeal Act,” quite literally benefits multi-millionaires and billionaires exclusively.
It’s not an exaggeration to say House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion giveaway to the top 0.2%. Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.
Wait, it gets worse.
Hillary Clinton’s got a problem with hedge fund managers — or at least with the way they’re taxed.
The expected frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is avoiding policy specifics for now, but the taxation of hedge fund managers — an elite class of investors who will no doubt pour millions into Clinton’s second White House bid — has been an early exception.
“There’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here,” Clinton told a small group of roundtable participants in Monticello, Iowa, this week.
Clinton is expected to outline a more expansive range of policy proposals in the coming months. But by hitting on Wall Street tax breaks within the first few days of hitting the campaign trail, Clinton is embracing a populist agenda. The former secretary of state is keenly aware that progressive activists — some of whom prefer liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren over Clinton — are watching her moves carefully.
What a Rand Paul World Would Look Like: 6 Things You Should Know About the War-Mongering, Faux Libertarian
3. Rand Paul voted against reforming the NSA. One of Paul’s supposed differences with the Washington establishment is his stated opposition to the surveillance state and his support for privacy rights. Rand Paul is indeed vocal in his opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, but the devil is in the details. When Paul had a real opportunity to curtail the NSA’s power in November of last year, he infuriated civil liberties advocates by voting against a bill that would have dramatically scaled back NSA operations on the grounds that the reforms would be part of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act might be modified when it comes up for renewable, but it’s very unlikely to be scrapped entirely. So civil liberties advocates know that the best chance at reforming the NSA will come by making alterations to the law. Which means that when Rand Paul opposes NSA reform on a hardline stance against renewing the Patriot Act, he gets to have his cake and eat it, too: he wins support from privacy-minded voters while ensuring that the establishment knows he’s not a real threat to make even minor changes to how the security state does business.
Meanwhile, despite her reputation as an establishment friend of the security state, Hillary Clinton herself joined with NSA critic Mark Udall in voicing support for the need to makes changes to surveillance law to defend privacy. If Ms. Clinton were to accept restrictions to the NSA as part of a Patriot Act renewal or other related vote, she would do far more to defend privacy than Rand Paul has ever done.
4. Rand Paul opposes marriage quality and reproductive choice.Despite styling himself as a libertarian who favors privacy rights, Rand Paul stridently opposes both abortion rights and gay marriage, sticking the government in your womb and in your bedroom. On abortion Rand Paul goes further than even many of his Republican colleagues, opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Using the federal government’s power to force a 13-year-old to carry her father’s baby to term is hardly the portrait of freedom. When challenged, he tried to dodge the question by saying the issue wasn’t worth talking about. As if that weren’t bad enough, Rand Paul also took the extraordinary step of voting against the Violence Against Women Act.
It’s been quite interesting to see Republicans embrace the notion that wealth inequality (or any inequality) is something to worry their pretty little heads about. Over the winter we heard numerous reports of various GOP luminaries expressing serious concern that average Americans were getting the short end of the stick while the wealthy few reaped all the rewards. Ted Cruz might as well have put on a blond wig and called himself “Elizabeth” when he railed against it after the State of the Union:
“We’re facing right now a divided America when it comes to the economy. It is true that the top 1 percent are doing great under Barack Obama. Today, the top 1 percent earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928,”
And here we thought that was supposed to be a good thing. Aren’t they the “job producers”? That’s how weird the GOP’s messaging has gotten lately. Mitt “47 Percent” Romney clutched his very expensive opera-length pearls, wailing that “under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before.” Rand Paul channeled his heretofore unknown inner Bernie Sanders, proclaiming that “income inequality has worsened under this administration. And tonight, President Obama offers more of the same policies — policies that have allowed the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer.” It seemed to many observers at the time that this was a very odd choice of issue for potential Republican presidential aspirants to take up, since every item in the domestic GOP agenda would make wealth inequality even worse. This certainly wasn’t something they lost any sleep over before now.
April 15, 2015 A secretive group that serves as the umbrella operation for leaders and activists within the conservative movement will host two meetings in the coming months, National Journal has learned, the first to vet Republican presidential candidates and the second to discuss coalescing behind one of them.
The Council for National Policy, a shadowy organization of several hundred dues-paying members, typically meets three times a year in various locations around the country. But with the 2016 cycle accelerating, and many conservative leaders intent on rallying behind a single candidate, CNP’s leadership is taking extraordinary measures—scheduling two top-priority meetings outside of Washington—and inviting a large number of nonmembers to both.
The group will host a two-day summit on May 15 and 16 at the Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. The format will be simple: Candidates will have an hour on stage to address the room and answer questions, followed by 30 minutes of meet-and-greet with guests. Organizers say they’ve begun sending invitations to all of the major Republican candidates—“even Chris Christie,” one said—and several candidates have already committed to the event.
The candidates’ performances in May could have enormous implications. That’s because five months later, CNP will reconvene—in the same city, at the same hotel—but with a different agenda: To begin narrowing its list of candidates with the aim of collectively supporting just one.
This sequence of events will be the manifestation of a year’s worth of private meetings around the country, as first detailed by National Journal last October, in which leaders from the faith and tea-party communities have agreed on the importance of rallying their followers behind a single conservative candidate who might stand a chance of defeating the “establishment” favorite in the GOP primary.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign announcement on Sunday may mark the moment that the Democrats officially became the party of family values. Throughout the late 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s, conservatives were remarkably successful at pummeling Democrats as foes of ordinary parents and their children. Progressives occasionally tried to argue that families are protected by economic justice and a stronger social safety net, not abortion bans and anti-gay demagoguery, but while this happens to be true, it often failed to resonate. Too many Americans blamed feminism and the sexual revolution—and, by extension, the left—for social and economic upheavals that had left them reeling. Ozzie and Harriet’s America was always a brief, half-imaginary historical anomaly, but a lot of people longed for it, and the right was able to weaponize that longing.
For a long time, Democrats flailed about trying to respond. Indeed, some of Bill Clinton’s most depressing acts of triangulation—firing Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders for her remarks on masturbation, signing the Defense of Marriage Act, ending Aid to Families With Dependent Children—involved trying to conform to a Republican definition of wholesomeness.
Now, though, we have finally moved past that. The surprisingly moving video announcing Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency shows that Democrats have finally found an authentic version of pro-family politics. Titled “Getting Started,” it features ordinary families preparing for milestones—a woman moving so her daughter can be in a better school district for kindergarten, a couple getting ready for a baby, a stay-at-home mom about to return to work, two men engaged to be married. “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” Clinton says.
The House will vote Tuesday to repeal consumer protections for low-income borrowers in rural America who have seen the promise of affordable housing turned into a financial sinkhole by a mobile home industry that makes pre-manufactured houses far more expensive to buy than they need to be.
The bill is part of the GOP majority’s campaign to chisel away at specific pieces of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul that became law in 2010 but which left many details to be filled in later by regulators. In this case, it was the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that did that filling. After long study of both publicly-available data and proprietary information from the industry itself, the CFPB began enforcing new consumer protections for people who borrow money for a manufactured home.
When Rep. Stephen Fincher’s bill to roll back those regulations passes on Tuesday, the rules will have been in force for barely 15 months.
The opponents were concerned that passing the legislation could have forced the state to uphold child support rulings made in other countries under Islamic law — a contention others said was baseless.
Health officials said Monday that without a revision they stand to lose access to programs that process child support payments and track down scofflaws in addition to $46 million in federal payouts.
The conflict started last week after a House committee narrowly rejected a bill that had sailed through the Senate.
The vote came after state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, a Cottonwood Republican, testified that federal regulations incorporated an international agreement regarding child support payments that would subject the state to Sharia law.