Most Pentagon budget fights are about things like tanks and fighter jets. But plans to eliminate a small think tank at the Pentagon is attracting stiff opposition from Congress and the national security elite. Josh Rogin and Eli Lake report.
As Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tries to make do with less, he is weighing the possibility of taking away the independence of a small internal Pentagon think tank beloved by many in Washington’s national security elite.U.S. defense officials confirmed this week to the Daily Beast that Hagel is considering moving the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), which now reports directly to him, to the purview of the policy shop at the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The establishment may think the shutdown killed off the Tea Party, but they won’t be in the grave long. James Poulos on why their concerns resonate with Americans in both parties—and are the starting point for a new radical bipartisanship.
With the predictability of Halloween decorations flooding your local CVS, the Tea Party is once again being pronounced dead. Unable to defund Obamacare, unhappy about funding the government, the far right’s nihilist wing has nowhere to go but the grave.Or so we are told. But in a very seasonal irony, it won’t stay buried.Why? Because the American people hunger for brains—the brains to realize that we need a new kind of bipartisanship.Contrary to the hopes and dreams of its antagonists, the Tea Party doesn’t reduce to some throwback, obsolete prejudice.
Republicans in Utah are unhappy about their Senator’s role in the federal shutdown. Jamelle Bouie says Mike Lee’s overreach could inspire a resurgence of moderate Republicans.
Mike Lee wasn’t the consensus choice of Utah Republicans. A creature of the conservative legal movement, Lee was a political novice with limited support among the party establishment when he challenged long-time incumbent senator for the Republican Senate nomination. He edged out Bennett and former congressional candidate Tim Bridgewater in the first ballot of the state Republican convention, but lost on the second and third ballots to the latter, first by a slight margin of 1.
Judges are supposed to be insulated from politics. But the 2010 Citizens United decision is putting the judicial system’s integrity at risk, a new report out Thursday warns. Eleanor Clift reports.
The flood of special interest money into elections is threatening the integrity of the judicial system, says “The New Politics of Judicial Elections,” a report released Thursday. The numbers are stark: $56.4 million was spent on high court elections in the 2011-12 cycle, with $33.7 million going into state Supreme Court campaign TV ads, up 42 percent from the ’08 campaign. “It’s the biggest threat to democracy that nobody’s heard of,” says Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake, the nonpartisan group that partnered on the report with the Brennan Center and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
On Monday, Ohio became the 25th state to expand Medicaid thanks to new provisions in Obamacare. Nick Gillespie on why this is an unfortunate and expensive mistake.
On Monday, the same day President Obama gave a poorly received speech defending the glitchy Obamacare rollout, there was another unfortunate development in health-care reform: Ohio expanded Medicaid.In a controversial (and possibly illegal) move, Ohio’s Controlling Board voted to expand Medicaid coverage in the state to adults that were not previously eligible by way of accepting billions in federal funds. That means 25 states, plus the District of Columbia, have now signed on to take part in an aspect of the Affordable Care Act that is both optional and ill-considered.
Is there no fun to be had with politics anymore? Not on the right, it seems. Comedian Dean Obeidallah on how his Twitter jokes about Ted Cruz drew heavy fire from five—yes, five—publications.
A comedian tweets a political joke that some people don’t agree with: cue instant outrage!We have seen this time and time again. To me, this is part of a war on comedy which has increased in intensity during the current hyper-partisan climate and I fear it will become even more lethal in the future. And in my experience, this war is being waged by the far right. Cue more faux outrage.I was caught in the crosshairs of the war on comedy this past weekend when I tweeted a joke—okay, many jokes—about Ted Cruz.
If the Germans were tapping our president’s phone, Rush Limbaugh would be musing about fire-bombing Dresden. But since we’re doing the spying, the right doesn’t care. That indifference only weakens the U.S., says Peter Beinart.
I spent Wednesday afternoon meandering across the web, looking at how the American media were covering allegations that the National Security Agency had spied on yet another foreign leader. “Don’t Tap My Phone,” screamed the banner headline at Huffington Post, above a grim-faced German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Obama to Merkel: We’re Not Spying On You,” announced the lead story on msnbc.com. Then I tacked right, to see how the websites of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Red State, National Review, and The Weekly Standard were handling the story.
Milton Wolf says his entrance into Kansas’s GOP Senate primary turned Sen. Pat Roberts against former ally Kathleen Sebelius, triggering a wave of calls for her resignation. Ben Jacobs reports.
Is President Obama’s Tea Party cousin the reason a number of prominent Republicans are demanding that Kathleen Sebelius resign?In the past few days, a growing number of GOP officials have called on the health and human services secretary to step down. From Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), conservatives have been pushing for Sebelius’s resignation over the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website that was supposed to allow users to browse the federal insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans are furious that Obamacare’s public face won’t show up for a congressional hearing. What’s she so busy doing, anyway? Brandy Zadrozny combs through the secretary’s public schedule.
Members of Congress seeking Kathleen’s Sebelius’s testimony at a hearing on Obamacare’s bungled rollout have been getting the same answer as many prospective enrollees heading to the phones: a busy signal.A spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Secretary cited “schedule conflicts” for her absence from Thursday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing—and the backlash was swift. “Secretary Sebelius must change her mind and appear at this week’s hearing in the House,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.
It’s not ‘moderates’ vs. ‘conservatives. The two opposing Republican sides, if they really are opposing, are ‘radical’ and ‘conservative.’ And only one side is fighting. The other is rolling over, says Michael Tomasky.
The more I think about this Republican “civil war,” the less it looks like war to me. It often gives the appearance of being war because these Tea Party people march into the arena with a lot of fire, brimstone, and kindred pyrotechnics that suggest conflict. But what, really, in hard policy terms, are these two sides arguing about? Practically nothing. It’s a disagreement chiefly over tactics and intensity. That’s a crucial point, and so much of the media don’t understand it.
He’s survived a recall election and an earlier investigation, but the trouble’s not over for the Wisconsin governor. Ben Jacobs reports on the latest probe, made public this week.
Is Scott Walker about to be embroiled in yet another corruption probe?The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that a secret investigation has been launched into possible campaign violations. The Wisconsin governor, who has survived a recall election and a previous probe relating to his conduct while serving as Milwaukee County executive, may be under investigation in connection to activity that has occurred since he was elected governor in 2010, particularly during the 2012 recall election.
From a retired business owner in Arkansas to a young freelance filmmaker in Hollywood, Eleanor Clift highlights a few of the people the media has found who are happy to have Obamacare.
The White House is getting hammered for the rocky rollout of Obamacare, but around the country news outlets are reporting a more positive story as Americans of various ages and from all walks of life look into what the newly launched program has to offer.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells the story of Lissie Stahlman, 60, who credits “a combination of patience, luck and different platforms” for getting her through the system late last week after trying for three weeks.
As the anonymous tweeter @natsecwonk, Jofi Joseph insulted a lot of people—but perhaps none more so than Obama’s close adviser Ben Rhodes, whom he accused of leaking. By Josh Rogin
Jofi Joseph, the National Security Council official fired last week for Tweeting secretly under the moniker @natsecwonk, had publicly, albeit anonymously, accused a senior White House official of leaking classified information related to United States intelligence operations against Iran.Joseph, who was outed in a report Tuesday in The Daily Beast, criticized and insulted dozens of Obama administration officials, lawmakers, Capitol Hill staffers, and journalists during his two-year stint on social media.
A Florida Democrat is under fire for comparing the Tea Party to the KKK in an email blast. That’s wrong, writes Jamelle Bouie—but it’s not like the groups are entirely unrelated.
Florida Democrat Alan Grayson is known for throwing bombs at his Republican colleagues, but he may have gone too far with his latest.In a fundraising email to supporters, Grayson’s campaign compared the Tea Party movement to the Ku Klux Klan—while depicting a burning cross. Republicans are enraged (“There’s no excuse for the hateful words and imagery used by Congressman Grayson,” said Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee) but Grayson is unapologetic, telling Fox News that “[T]here is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation.
In a revelation that shocked the legal community, one of the judges who voted to uphold voter ID laws in Indiana recently admitted he was wrong. Richard L. Hasen on why the about-face is warranted.
Judge Richard A. Posner, the judge who delivered the landmark decision that upheld voter ID laws in Indiana in 2007, has made legal history again.In his new book, Reflections on Judging, Judge Posner includes a single sentence admitting he made a mistake: “I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana’s requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo ID—a law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention.
Saturday was the deadline to fix the site. Did they do it, and if so, does it even matter? The Sunday talk shows look at the practical and political future of Obamacare.
The Senate’s youngest member, Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, held his fellow lawmakers’ feet to the fire on gun control. A year after Newtown, he says he’s not giving up the fight.