President Barack Obama has authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, after the White House said it has proof the Syrian government had used chemical weapons.» Read More
I can't help noticing the dramatic difference between the political and government parts of my beat these days--complete gridlock in Washington and turbulent action on the 2008 campaign trail. In the capital, Democrats and Republicans are fighting over literally everything--the budget, energy legislation, a fix for the out of control Alternative Minimum Tax.
The Treasury has weighed in on the side of the US Senate in a standoff with the House of Representatives over how to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from spreading to millions of new taxpayers this year.
What does gridlock in Washington mean, to business and to everyone else? It means avoiding the sacred cows of both parties even if that waters down whatever action government takes. It means least-common-denominator solutions--or half-solutions--to whatever problem is on the table at the time.
This is not something you'll hear me say often--I feel some political optimism blossoming in my soul. Yes, I'm a bit on the mature side for political naiveté, but after talking to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat, and the first native born Coloradoan to be elected Governor in decades, I'm feeling a little tingle. Just in my extremities mind you, but it's there.
While political reporters like me are largely focused on the 2008 presidential race, our dysfunctional governmental apparatus in Washington continues laboring, however haltingly, in search of some tangible accomplishments. And some of them would have significant impact on Wall Street and the business community more broadly.
A fresh round of polls has underscored the sense of flux in the 2008 presidential race--in both parties. A Washington Post-ABC News poll of Iowa Democrats shows a three-way race for the Jan 3 caucuses--but with Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, in the lead.
It's getting hot out there on the presidential 2008 trail as voting time draws closer. Here are a few things to remember as you watch the rhetorical and advertising bullets fly: 1. There's NOTHING wrong with drawing contrasts with an opponent--aka "going negative"--if there's a solid basis for it.
Journalists in Washington spend most of their time focusing on warfare between Democrats and Republicans. There's a good reason for that: in the dysfunctional capital city of 2007, warfare is what they do best.
I'm writing this (Friday) from the NBC studio in Burbank and the strikers are out in full force, thrilled that they have a big star visiting--presidential candidate John Edwards. This place is a zoo. It's like the crush of the cameras outside the Oscars but without the red carpet and the organization. (He could have passed for a movie star, a number of writers crushed around me were commenting on his good looks.)
Those of who follow political campaigns often can't discern turning points until the campaigns are over. The 2008 contest may be no different. But just now there's a sense of ferment in both parties' presidential contests--and it's happening awfully close to the Jan 3 kickoff of the nomination process in Iowa.
Democrats enter the 2008 presidential race with powerful political advantages. But they face a tough and unpredictable battle because of the vulnerabilities of front-runner Hillary Clinton. A new Wall Street Journal-NBC poll shows that Americans have turned sharply away from President Bush and toward domestic issues favoring his partisan adversaries
The Writers Guild is marching on, as it's day three of the strike. But they're not alone, as the top three Democratic presidential candidates are coming out in favor of labor. This is not the first time the party has supported workers, but one might argue Hollywood writers are the least blue collar of any guild.
Here's the video of my report today about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama coming out in support of the Hollywood writer's strike. Take a listen.
There are a couple ways to tell that we’ve hit the critical competitive phase of the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination fight. One is the way that all major campaigns are now spending a large chunk of the millions they’ve raised on television ads in Iowa. The state’s Jan. 3 caucuses have traditionally turned on contest may once have turned overwhelmingly on organizational prowess.
What made last night's Democratic debate on MSNBC so significant was not, as advertised ahead of time, that Barack Obama and John Edwards attacked Hillary Clinton. It was that Clinton herself unintentionally affirmed their attacks with her own words.
Barack Obama has signaled that he's finally ready to step up his challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. From his point of view, it's not a minute too soon. Thus far, Obama has been largely passive--an electric and charismatic presence on the stump, to be sure, but a candidate surprisingly loath to take the fight to a rival with formidable advantages.
The FEC is questioning 2008 contenders about contributions that “appear to exceed” legal limits. Hundreds of donors wrote checks for more than the $2,300 per election cap. Some failed to attribute parts of donations from joint bank accounts to their spouses.
Charlie Rangel’s tax reform bill isn't likely to become law anytime soon. Yet its already an active part of the presidential campaign, as Republicans try to reclaim control of the tax issue in advance of the 2008 elections.
In their interview this morning with my colleague Dylan Ratigan, President Bush's economic advisers emphasized all that was going right with the American economy: low inflation, a strong job market, continued growth and booming exports, whether those exports are driven by a weaker dollar or not.
House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel has adopted an unorthodox strategy for his attempt to achieve tax reform. Forget polarization--Rangel is trying to hug the Bush administration as tightly as possible.