November 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The civil war within the GOP is playing out in Tuesday's special election in Alabama, where mainstream conservatives are working overtime to stop the ascent of a tea-party-style Republican in a primary runoff to fill a vacant congressional seat. The race provides an early look at GOP divisions heading into the 2014 congressional midterm elections as the Republican establishment, frustrated by the dominance of the party's hard-right flank, attempts to reassert its role early in the contests.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2013 |
The 2014 gubernatorial campaign officially began Tuesday, with tea party favorite Tim Donnelly, a Republican assemblyman from the Inland Empire, announcing that he is running for governor. "I want to let Jerry Brown know that … not only are we coming for him, but the people of the state of California are coming for their freedom back," Donnelly said, flanked by his wife, three of their five children and dozens of supporters at a sawdust-covered furniture factory in Baldwin Park.
October 25, 2013 |
Coincidence or not, Ted Cruz's appearances in Iowa this weekend come as Texas' tea party senator and his wife appeared to be trying to humanize the potential 2016 presidential candidate, who is both loved and hated, even among Republicans, for his faux-filibuster and failed government-shutdown strategy. On Friday night, Cruz is scheduled to speak to a crowd of about 600 at the state Republican Party's big Ronald Reagan fundraiser in Des Moines. (The appearance is to be live-streamed at www.desmoinesregister.com )
October 17, 2013 |
If I were an entrepreneur in Washington, I'd be racing to print a bunch of T-shirts that said, "My tea party Republican shut down the government, and all I got was this lousy income verification mandate. " OK, so maybe that's not so snappy. But the point is a good one: After precipitating a government shutdown in a quixotic attempt to derail the 2010 healthcare law (better known as Obamacare), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his fellow tea party Republicans came away with a relatively minor change in the statute ... and nothing else.
October 17, 2013 |
At the last possible moment, the dysfunctional United States Congress voted to end the debilitating government shutdown and avoid a calamitous default on the government debt. It should have been a humiliating defeat for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and the other tea party Republicans who engineered this political debacle, but none of them are showing the slightest sign of remorse. That raises a big question about what happens in January when another government shutdown will loom, and in February when the debt ceiling will need to be raised again.
October 15, 2013 |
When matters become extremely dire and disheartening, as they have been in the blatantly dysfunctional Congress, historians are usually the designated dispensers of perspective. As bad as things are, we like to say, they have been worse and the nation somehow survived. But for the life of me, I cannot recall an occasion when a minority of elected representatives with such an absurdly partisan agenda was capable of stopping the government of the United States in its tracks. To be sure, stoppages have happened before, but not with a looming debt ceiling decision, which has threatened to throw the American economy back into recession, send the global financial markets into free fall and permanently damage America's fiscal reputation.
October 11, 2013 |
A class-action lawsuit claiming damages against Greg Mortenson over "Three Cups of Tea" was rejected Wednesday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The federal appeals court judges upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs were hoping to bring a class-action case against Mortenson, his nonprofit Central Asia Institute and publisher Penguin over Mortenson's memoirs "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones Into Schools. " They alleged the books misrepresented the truth, and that readers who had bought them had been defrauded.
October 10, 2013 |
There is red and there is red . As in fire engine-ruby-crimson-blood-cardinal red. Politically speaking, Utah falls into the latter category. It has been nearly half a century since the state voted Democratic in a presidential election. President Obama received a wincingly small 25% of the vote in Utah in 2012, his worst performance in the country. That was down from a merely awful 35% in 2008. The state's congressional delegation is all Republican, save for Democrat Jim Matheson, who represents a Salt Lake City-area district and enjoys perennial membership in the national GOP's Top Congressional Targets Club.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2013 |
It is an oft-noted truism that the tea party Republicans who have already engineered the partial government shutdown and are now threatening to let the country default on its debts have the full support and enthusiasm of constituents in their carefully drawn, politically homogenous districts. They don't have to worry about getting tossed out on their ears come the 2014 midterm elections, goes the thinking, and so they will pay no political price for their intransigence and the House will remain in Republican hands.
October 7, 2013 |
The government shutdown has revealed the impressive skill of tea party Republicans to say untrue things with sincerity so convincing that they almost sound as if they believe what they are saying. Michele Bachmann, with her toothy grin and startling wide-eyed stare, is especially adept at this. The other day, the queen of the House tea party was standing before the TV cameras at the World War II Memorial with her arm around a frail-looking veteran of that war. A group of ancient vets had come to the capital for an event at the memorial only to find they couldn't get in because of the government shutdown.