JackAbramoff once got paid by an Indian tribe to lobby for the reopening of a casino closed by a previous Abramoff lobbying effort. In the current debate over taxes, the life insurance lobby is pulling a similar stunt: Fighting to preserve tax-free death benefits as key to protecting family businesses while also lobbying to reinstate a 45 percent estate tax. Read More
An odd Financial Services Committee hearing last week highlighted the importance of money in this town, and the increasing need of businessmen to become friendly with politicians. Chairman Barney Frank called a hearing of the committee to discuss new rules for initial public offerings. The timing was odd: It coincided with meetings of the Republican caucus and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. As a result, Rep. Read More
Guantanamo Bay is still open. There is no public option for health insurance. Gay men and women cannot serve openly in the military. Obama has 50,000 troops in Iraq, and more troops in Afghanistan than George W. Bush had on his last day in office. The Patriot Act was renewed with no added oversight of surveillance. You still can't buy reimported prescription drugs. And if Obama's latest deal becomes law, Bush's "tax cuts for the rich" will continue. Read More
When you see bipartisan agreement on energy and transportation policy, it means one thing: truckloads of subsidies for well-connected big businesses touting some unproven high-tech "green" solution. Most green subsidies are mostly harmless (if also useless) -- such as solar and wind subsidies. Read More
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's write-in candidacy is being funded by $100,000 contributions from a handful of Alaska corporations that have been handsomely subsidized by the federal government. These six-figure donors have pulled in billions of taxpayer dollars thanks to special legislative favors from Murkowski and her mentors -- the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R), and Lisa's father, former senator and governor, Frank Murkowski (R). Read More
President Obama has been trying to score political points by charging, in effect, that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is laundering foreign money to steal the election for Republicans.
Trouble is, the chamber doesn't just support Republicans. It has endorsed several House Democrats, vulnerable freshmen who have been buoyed by the chamber's six-figure ad buys. Read More
Once insurgent conservative Joe Miller knocked off moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Senate primary, almost all Beltway Republicans lined up behind Miller. But thanks to Alaska's unique political culture, there is a small cadre -- mostly former staffers for Murkowski and other Alaska lawmakers -- supporting her quixotic write-in race for re-election. Read More
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Gov. Ted Strickland stood to the side of the podium as the CEO who was hosting the press conference introduced him as "a friend of the industry."
The room was full of Democrats, who usually consider "friend of the industry" a dire insult. But the industry in question was renewable energy and conservation. When Strickland stepped behind the podium, wearing a green tie, he was flanked by CEOs from leading solar and wind companies. Read More
WINCHESTER, VA.-- On Thursday night -- sometime around 8 o'clock -- 130 years after Thomas Edison commercialized the incandescent light bulb, Dwayne Madigan helped make the last such bulb Edison's company, General Electric, would make in the United States. Read More
The economy, taxes, spending, health care, and bailouts dominate the headlines and Tea Party rallies this year. But just beneath the surface, another issue is helping shape the midterm elections: abortion.
The Tea Party insurgency catapulting anti-bailout, anti-Obamacare, and anti-tax hike Republican outsiders past their establishment-backed primary rivals is also helping to eliminate pro-choice Republicans. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the pro-choice money is flowing in. Read More