President Obama heads into his second term with political momentum on his side, and leads congressional Republicans when it comes to dealing with the country’s debt limit according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.AP:
More Americans now approve of the way Obama is doing his job than at any point in the past three years, except for a fleeting spike upward after the killing of Osama bin Laden. The number seeing him as a “strong leader” is sharply higher, and a clear majority again sees him as empathetic with the problems they face.
Americans were angrier about last month's horrific school shooting in Connecticut than they were about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
In this town where tragedy relaunched the nation's debate over gun violence, people on all sides of the political divide expressed support Wednesday for President Obama's proposals to ban assault weapons and establish tighter background checks for gun buyers.Bloomberg:
Obama got it right when he said, “We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis.” One way to avoid these tiresome disputes would be for Congress to give the White House power over the debt ceiling, so the U.S. can avoid a sideshow that threatens the “full faith and credit” pledge made to those who buy U.S. debt. Republicans, however, reject this as a power grab by the White House.Jeff Golinkin/The Week:
So here’s another way to end the fight: Tie spending decisions to automatic increases in the debt limit. The premise is simple — when Congress passes a budget resolution or spending bill, it should also authorize a concurrent increase in the statutory debt limit to pay for what it’s authorizing. This would have the added benefit of fostering fiscal restraint by linking spending decisions to the Congress that authorizes the money. If that local airport runway (or, as the case may be, “Bridge to Nowhere”) is in the budget, then the Treasury Department can raise the debt limit to pay for it. No additional congressional action would be necessary.
Why is the GOP trying to commit political suicide?
Congressional Republicans seem intent on behaving like children and, in doing so, making the president look positively reasonable by comparison
Josh Kraushaar/National Journal:
Cuomo, O’Malley: Ready for Prime Time?Evan Thomas/Bloomberg:
Betting on gun control won't be a winning strategy for them in 2016.
The conflict between Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee for U.S. secretary of defense, and his neoconservative detractors feels personal. Hagel once disparaged the neocons as “chicken hawks,” and the neocons call Hagel “an appeaser.”Ron Fournier/National Journal:
But beneath the name calling lies a deeper and more substantive divide in the Republican Party that goes back more than a half-century.
Hagel has told friends that he takes Dwight Eisenhower, a fellow soldier, as his model. Hagel and Eisenhower were different kinds of warriors: Hagel was a noncommissioned officer wounded twice in combat; Eisenhower was a commanding general who never saw combat. But Hagel shares Eisenhower’s strong reluctance to use military force to intervene in foreign crises. Unlike civilians who have never served or commanded in war, Eisenhower had, and Hagel has, a good understanding of everything that can go wrong on the battlefield.
There are fair arguments to be had over Obama's proposals: Redefining the Second Amendment shouldn't be done without a vigorous debate. But to drag the president's daughters into the fight, and to question their need for security, suggests that the NRA is slipping further away from the mainstream. Over-the-top tactics discredit the NRA and its cause.
Gun-rights supporters deserve a better advocate...
"You have to wonder if they've got competent management," said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to be openly gloating.