Will Mitch McConnell, Washington's new top Republican, work with President Obama or get in his way? Expect a bit of both.
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BourbonBlog**** interviews Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) during the Bluegrass Ball.
The Washington Post selects The Bluegrass Ball as inaugural best and BourbonBlog**** attends. We talk to our friends from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers' Association and we talk with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Visit Bourbonblog**** for more.
The Washington Post selects The Bluegrass Ball as inaugural best and BourbonBlog**** attends. We talk with our friends from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers' Association and we talk with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Visit BourbonBlog**** for more
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House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today released a new YouTube video targeting the failure of Washington Democrats trillion-dollar stimulus bill and asking where are the jobs? The tongue-in-cheek web video, inspired by a classic 1984 TV commercial by now-Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), features a job-sniffing GOP bloodhound named Ellie Mae and a down-home voiceover by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).
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In this episode Lesley sees how annoying she can be when she doesn't take no for an answer.
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April 13, 2010 (2:04) Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell says Democrats are using 'backdoor' politics to 'institutionalize' bailouts for big banks. But critics say, McConnell has been involved in his own backroom dealings.
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BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
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As President Obama puts the finishing touches on his State of the Union address - lawmakers and the media are busy picking out corsages.
KSWB-TV: “Tomorrow will be date night for Congress, as Republicans and Democrats will sit together for the annual speech.”
HLN: “Date night in D.C. ... Kind of like boy/girl, boy/girl, Republican/Democrat.”
It’s like prom night on Capitol Hill.
And Democratic Senator Mark Udall is the chairman of the prom committee. He’s proposing Democrats and Republicans sit together at the president’s address as a symbol of civility following the shooting rampage in Arizona earlier this month.
And lawmakers are playing along -- for the most part, anyway.
ABC: SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: “I don't have a date.”
SEN. KENT CONRAD: “Kay, I'm available.” (LAUGHTER) (FLASH)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: “Senator Conrad, have you picked a date?”
SEN. KENT CONRAD: “I just asked Kay.” (LAUGHTER)
Fox News: SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “My new Senate Republican colleague from Illinois Mark Kirk and I will sit together. I'm bringing the popcorn and he is bringing a coke with two straws.”
By Sunday - more than 50 members of Congress had paired off. And according to a new CNN poll - most Americans like the idea - with 72 percent saying they want to see the mixed seating.
The president is set to discuss jobs, the deficit, and the GOP’s health care repeal efforts. But Politico’s Carol Lee and Glenn Thrush are among the commentators who worry - the theatrics of Congressional “date night” could trump substance.
“Still, the event offers the president the largest audience he’ll get all year, one that rivals the viewership for the Academy Awards. Obama’s first State of the Union address, last year, drew 48 million viewers...”
But in guest commentary for The Washington Post - leadership consultant Carol Kinsey Goman says you can joke about the theatrics - but there’s real potential in this idea.
“Congress is right to understand that where they sit sends a signal about their power dynamics and willingness to cooperate... I'm not saying that this symbolic seating arrangement one evening will foster actual, long-term collaboration. But I do think it's at least a scoot in the right direction.”
There IS at least one bi-PARTY-san pooper -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s planning to sit where he’s always sat. Wanna see who’s paired off so far? Check out the link in our transcript section.
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BY ALLIE SPILLYARDS
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Earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan- who’s next? Some experts say it’s the U.S.
“The thing that most worries scientists is a threat of a huge earthquake along the southern end of the San Andreas fault. California faces a 94 percent probability of a magnitude 7 or greater quake in the next 30 years.”
But Americans are calling for more than steel enforced buildings. The media have fixated on the safety of nuclear power plants. A panel on Morning Joe discusses how events in Japan will frame America’s debate over nuclear energy.
“It’s going to be important that the public demand and the media demand that they be forthcoming about what the actual dangers and not sugar coat it and not try to gloss over the truth.”
Cable news shows brought in a slew of political leaders to weigh in on the American effects of the tragedy.
ED MARKEY (D-MA): “Well any plant that’s being considered for a seismically vulnerable area in the United States should be reconsidered right now.”
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): “We ought not make domestic policy based upon an event that happened in Japan.”
Still - a nuclear expert told NBC’s Chuck Todd fears of a meltdown in the states are unfounded.
“All of our power plants whether they’re in California which is a high earthquake area or in the Midwest or other places are required by the nuclear regulatory commission to design to be able to withstand the maximum credible earthquake.”
And before getting too carried away with safety concerns about nuclear energy, a blogger for Yglesias asks, is any energy production safe?
“While nuclear looks bad on safety grounds versus clean energy or efficiency, I don’t see any particular reason to see these safety concerns as more pressing than concerns around the fossil fuels that provide the majority of our energy.”
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BY STEPHANIE STOUFFER
ANCHOR ALEX HOLLEY
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A younger, sexier, and shorter Statue of Liberty is gracing the new Forever stamps from the U.S. Postal Service -- instead of her older real sister.
“The post office’s new Liberty stamp doesn’t really feature Lady Liberty. The stamp is supposed to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, but it turns out the post office mistakenly used a picture of a replica statue that stands outside a Las Vegas hotel.” (Video: CBS)
Even with such a significant mistake -- the Postal Service says it has no plans to recall the few billion stamps already in circulation. A post office spokesperson told the New York Times...
‘“We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway”’
But the Times goes on to explain, “Mr. Betts did say, however, that the post office regrets the error and is ‘re-examining our processes to prevent this situation from happening in the future.’”
So who caught the detail? A stamp collector -- one of Lady Liberty’s biggest fans -- discovered the differences in her hair and eyes. A writer for The Huffington Post suggests the post office is supporting the faulty stamps because it just doesn’t want to admit the gravity of the mistake.
“To any New Yorker this would seem a truly egregious error, but the Post Office doesn't really care … They love the stamp! Or perhaps, they'd rather not reprint a few billion of them. Or perhaps they just don't see the difference.”
But a blogger for Oh My Gov says the difference is clear -- and should have been caught.
“Look at those things! You would have an easier time convincing people Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell are identical twins separated at birth.”
Finally, LA Weekly has a little fun with the story, suggesting -- it’s Vegas that did it.
“We were already confused enough about where reality ends and fantasy begins in the Fear and Loathing party capital of the universe. ... That's how powerful the Vegas mentality really is: It can trick the U.S. government into falsely identifying one of their most iconic symbols, then make them think that's a good thing.”
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Just hours after House Speaker John Boehner formally announced his support for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday, the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) also endorsed the presumptive nominee.
FORA.tv Politics Season: 2 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argues that Democrats objected to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC because they wanted to go after conservative donors.
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Keith Olbermann calls out Sen. John Thune, Sen. John McCain, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans - whom he argues "owns" the insurance industry - as well as a few Democrats, too - specifically the "Blue Dogs" - in a "Special Comment".
*******www.timesofearth****/Worldnews/?NT=0&nid=14074 - Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan challenges his generals to do more with slightly less than they wanted -- and much, much faster.
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama is sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by the summer of 2010, and plans to start withdrawing American forces a year later. The president laid out his strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan.
After several months of deliberation, President Obama has announced his plan for deploying additional troops to Afghanistan. He unveiled his strategy before an audience of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, late Tuesday and a nation watching on television.
"The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 - the fastest pace possible - so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers," said President Obama.
The added troops will join an estimated 68,000 U.S. service members already in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands of allied forces.
The president spoke as Americans' support for the war continues to erode. A new survey by the Gallup organization shows only 35 percent of Americans surveyed approve of Mr. Obama's handling of the war - 55 percent disapprove.
At West Point, Mr. Obama said Afghanistan is not lost, but has been moving backwards for several years. He said al-Qaida is planning new acts of terror from its safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with the support of the Taliban.
"We must deny al-Qaida a safe haven," said Mr. Obama. " We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government, so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future."
The president appealed to America's allies to contribute more troops to the fight in Afghanistan, and said he is confident that they will.
"Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan," said President Obama. "Now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility - what's at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world."
Mr. Obama said his strategy will allow U.S. troops to begin returning home by the middle of 2011, depending on the conditions on the ground.
"Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011," said Mr. Obama.
The top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said after the speech he supports the president's plan, as long as the withdrawal does not begin until conditions in Afghanistan permit it.
"The president was absolutely right to call for building a sufficient Afghan capacity that will allow our troops to come home, rather than setting a hard withdrawal date that is not based on conditions on the ground or the advice of our generals," said Mitch McConnell.
A large part of the troops' mission will be to train Afghan forces to take over the fight against the Taliban and defend their country's security.
With most of the Taliban now in Pakistan, the president emphasized the need for a continued partnership with the government in Islamabad.
Civilian initiatives will be a large part of the U.S. strategy, especially in developing the region's agriculture, education and economy. Mr. Obama also said the U.S. will require improved performance from the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"We will work with our partners, the UN and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security," said President Obama. "This effort must be based on performance. The days of providing a blank check are over."
The president acknowledged that his new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost the U.S. $30 billion in the coming year, and he said he will work closely with Congress to address that cost, while trying to revive the recession-battered economy.
Over the past few months, Mr. Obama has held about a dozen meetings with his top military and foreign policy advisers, including commanders on the ground in Afghanistan.
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