September 2013

Sep 20, 2013

Lawmakers Scale Back Ambitions as Government Shutdown Looms

By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor rolled out a list of Republican demands this week for raising the federal debt limit, there was a surprising omission: any real plan to tackle the debt.

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Who Voted for the House Short-Term Budget Plan?

By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

The House passed a short-term spending plan Friday morning that would continue funding government operations through mid-December and withhold funding for President Obama’s signature health-care law, the opening act in what promises to be a several-act drama over how to pay for government operations and raise the federal debt limit.

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Sep 19, 2013

Tweeting From the Trail: How to save presidential campaign coverage before 2016.

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

In the 2016 presidential campaign there will be lots of unexpected twists, but one thing is certain: A lot of us are going to find the process frustrating and shallow. That is the trajectory of American elections, and it is getting worse. The rise of Twitter and other instantaneous forms of communication have made the news cycle shorter and its content less meaningful. Rising partisanship means more flash-point moments to excite the devoted but leave everyone else exhausted.

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And what’s right with President Obama?

By Todd S. Purdum and John F. Harris, Politico

The British have a saying about the twin rules of journalism: first simplify, then exaggerate.

Perhaps Barack Obama can comfort himself with the reality that his current travails are both more complicated in their causes and less dire in their consequences than they are being portrayed in the Washington echo chamber.

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House to Vote on Deep Cuts to Food-Stamp Program

By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

The years-long fight over federal funding for food stamps is set for another showdown Thursday when House Republicans plan to vote on a proposal to dramatically curtail aid to needy Americans. Every Democrat is expected to vote against the proposal.

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Would a Government Shutdown Really Be All That Bad for Republicans? Yes

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

Go ahead, shut it down! That's the new cheer from the conservatives pushing to defund Obamacare. To their lily-livered compatriots who worry that the Senate will reject the defunding gambit, resulting in a shutdown when the federal government runs out of money at the end of this month, they claim that wouldn't actually be so bad: Americans, they say, would cheer the Republicans for sticking to their principles and opposing the unpopular health-care legislation.

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Obama Accuses GOP Faction of Trying to 'extort' Him on Healthcare

By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

President Obama on Wednesday accused Republicans of using extortion in trying to kill his signature healthcare plan just days before it is implemented.

Speaking to business leaders, Obama criticized what he called “that faction” of the GOP that is willing to consider shutting down the government or defaulting on the debt to gut the Affordable Care Act.

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Sep 18, 2013

On Foreign Policy, a Consistently Inconsistent President

By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

In the wake of his dizzying reverses over chemical weapons in Syria, President Obama has been blasted as inconsistent, impulsive and amateurish in his conduct of foreign policy. But when you look at his actions rather than his words, there's more consistency than meets the eye. Consider the evidence.

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Officials: Edward Snowden's Leaks Were Masked By Job Duties

By Tom Gjelten, NPR

More than three months after Edward Snowden revealed details of NSA secret surveillance activities, intelligence officials are still assessing the fallout from the former contractor's disclosures. But they already know how the Snowden leaks happened.

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Democrats: Still Not Enough Support for Gun Bills

By Susan Davis, USA Today

The day after a mass shooting in the nation's capital that left 12 Navy Yard workers dead, top Democrats said the tragedy has not changed the political reality in Congress, where any legislation affecting gun owners' rights does not have the support to pass.

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Navy Yard Shooting Unlikely to Jump-Start the Debate Over Tougher Gun Control Laws

By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

The deadly shootings at the Washington Navy Yard have quickly, and predictably, resurrected the debate about tighter federal gun laws, but there is little expectation that the tragic event will generate enough political momentum to produce any new legislation.

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As Budget Fight Looms, Obama Sees Defiance in His Own Party

By Peter Baker and and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times

For four years, President Obama counted on fellow Democrats to rally to his side in a series of epic battles with Republicans over the direction of the country. But now, deep in his fifth year in office, Mr. Obama finds himself frustrated by members of his own party weary of his leadership and increasingly willing to defy him.

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