National Journal Online

Economy Adds Few Jobs, Unemployment Edges Up

The private sector added 50,000 jobs in November while the government continued to shed positions as the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning.

Non-farm payrolls increased a total of 39,000 positions, led by gains in the employment service sector and in the health care industry. But retail and manufacturing sectors shed tens of thousands of positions, led by cuts at department stores.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 9:46am

Starting Lineup: Courting Vicki Kennedy

Good Friday morning and welcome back to the Starting Lineup. On the radar today: Bay Staters court Vicki Kennedy to take on Scott Brown; Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney gave big money to Republicans; both Democratic and GOP committees go firmly into the red; American Crossroads is here to stay; Rhode Island gubernatorial runner-up John Robitaille considers a Senate bid and Rep. Tim Bishop's lead grows in the last outstanding House race.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 8:34am

Video: McCain Wants More Evidence; Colbert Bets On Thune For President in 2012

Stephen Colbert thinks Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) has the right look to be Republican nominee in 2012. Jon Stewart goes after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for opposing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because military leaders didn't solicit the views of their subordinates: "I don't know how you can get more specific about their views, then: What would you do if you were showing with a gay guy? Without maybe giving the name of the actual gay guy they'd be showering with. Oh how about this, would you be okay with Roy?

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 8:30am

Hotline Whip Count: Deficit Commission Looks Dead

A presidential deficit commission is struggling to win the votes necessary to pass a sweeping austerity plan as members get set to vote on a final draft today. Despite lobbying efforts by commission chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, five of the 18 members have said they will vote against the plan, effectively scuttling its chances.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 8:14am

House Censures Rangel

In a historic action against one of its own, the House Thursday voted 333 to 79 to censure Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on 11 charges of violating rules of the chamber -- a vote that overwhelming yet clearly wrenching for many of his colleagues.

Following the vote, Rangel walked down to the well of the House to receive his public rebuke, alone and looking somber, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) read a list of the violations.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 7:19pm

Bush Pushed Cheney As Quayle Replacement

It seems George W. Bush really wanted Dick Cheney to be vice president. Anybody's vice president.

In "Decision Points," Bush's memoir, the 43rd president says he tried to help George H.W. Bush shake up his re-election bid in 1992 with a hail mary.

"I told Dad he ought to think about a bold move to shake up the dynamics of the race. One possibility was to replace Vice President Dan Quayle, whom I liked and respected, with a new running mate," the younger Bush writes. "I suggested to Dad that he consider Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney."

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 6:00pm

Republicans Prefer Heller Over Ensign

Wednesday's news that Sen. John Ensign (R) is no longer under investigation by the Department of Justice for possible ethics violations was undoubtedly good news if Ensign decides to run for re-election in 2012.

But -- judging from numerous conversations with Republicans in Washington and Nevada -- don't expect the courtship of Republican Rep. Dean Heller (Nev.) to challenge Ensign for the seat to let up any time soon.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 4:47pm

Romney Outraises Palin, Pawlenty

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has scored an early fundraising victory over potential 2012 foes Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, outraising the former Alaska governor and the outgoing Minnesota governor over the last month and a half -- sort of.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 3:38pm

Hotline Whip Count: The Deficit Commission

With less than 24 hours to go before the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility meets for a final vote on a draft proposal, commission chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are scrambling to secure the 14 votes they need for a formal endorsement. And, despite early skepticism they would ever reach that goal, there is a path, albeit a narrow one, to pull out the political miracle.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 1:06pm

GOP Pollster: No Way Dems Take Back House In '12

Veteran Republican pollster Glen Bolger is up with an interesting analysis Thursday arguing that Democrats won't take back the House in 2012 for two reasons: First, presidential coattails in re-election bids are historically not very long and, second, Republicans have more control over the redistricting process than they've had in 20 years.

"Sorry, Dems," Bolger concludes, "but you are in the House wilderness for at least the next four years."

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 11:51am