User: flenvcenter Topic: Policy and Governance-Independent
Category: Elections n Elected Officials :: Arizona
Last updated: May 14 2015 06:40 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Pat Toomey Insists He's Not Holding Up A Judicial Nominee He's Holding Up 14.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) insisted Wednesday that he's not blocking one of his own judicial nominees for political reasons -- even as he is still refusing to give the Senate Judiciary Committee the green light to give that nominee a hearing. Toomey has been getting pummeled back home for the Senate's delay in confirming Luis Felipe Restrepo to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. President Barack Obama nominated Restrepo in November with Toomey's strong support, but the nomination hasn't moved since. In the meantime, the vacancy he would fill has been deemed a "judicial emergency," which means the court is drowning in cases. The Republican senator is being blamed because he hasn't turned in his "blue slip," an indicator to the Judiciary Committee chairman that Toomey is ready to move forward with the nominee. The committee won't move forward on any nominee until it has the blessing of both home-state senators. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) turned in his blue slip for Restrepo in ...
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GOP Senator Blames Own Party For Being ‘Incredibly Irresponsible' On Highway Funding 13.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) railed against his own party Wednesday for failing to extend funding for the nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems sooner. "We’re going to kick the can down the road," Corker told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "So, incredibly irresponsible, total failure, abdication of leadership, and again, a definition of conservatism is now becoming spending the same of money but just not paying for it." The Highway Trust Fund, which pays for the nation's transportation infrastructure, expires May 31 and both chambers of Congress have yet to offer a plan forward. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has been in talks with his GOP colleagues for weeks regarding a possible short-term patch for the fund, but the parties have not agreed on a funding source. Other Republicans, like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), want to keep pressure on Congress to get a six-year extension of the funding, but again, disagreement on the precise ...
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New border security bill would roll back public lands protections 12.5.2015 High Country News Most Recent
Sen. John McCain's proposal would give Border Patrol more immediate access to sensitive borderlands.
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HUFFPOST HILL - 'Rand Paul Tongue Guy' Now A Thing 12.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Today we learned whether the GOP hates the Obama administration enough to side with Seymour Hersh on something. It might alarm Hersh that his story about a widespread governmental cover-up got as much play as dadbods and a guy licking a camera. And for those of you looking to up your dadbod game, we might suggest a more parsimonious approach than Chris Christie’s office and its $300,000 food budget. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, May 11th, 2015: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION APPROVES ARCTIC OIL SPILL - "The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out." Kate Sheppard: "The Obama administration on Monday granted conditional approval to Shell to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic, which the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said would be 'subject to rigorous safety standards.' The approval will allow Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. to begin drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea, off the northwest coast of Alaska. Shell's drilling plan proposes up to ...
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Why Carly Fiorina Won't Survive The GOP Presidential Primary 5.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Carly Fiorina is presenting herself as the anti-Hillary Clinton, a Republican businesswoman ideally positioned to take on the Democratic front-runner on women's issues in the general election. But the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who announced her campaign for president on Monday, has in the past held a series of liberal-to-moderate positions that could threaten to derail her bid for the White House before she even makes it out of the GOP primary. Fiorina, who is the first woman to lead a Fortune 100 company , ran for Senate in California in 2009 by pledging to revive a shattered U.S. economy. She lost to incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), but not before staking out moderate positions in an effort to appeal to the state's liberal electorate. Although Fiorina does not support marriage equality, she believes that same-sex couples ought to have the same government benefits as heterosexual couples. She also holds a relatively moderate stance on immigration, similar to that of former Florida Gov. ...
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GOP Lawmakers Divided On Highway Funding As Trust Fund Expiration Looms 1.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The federal money pot that pays for roads, bridges and mass transit expires in one month, and lawmakers are struggling to build support for legislation that would extend it. Top Senate Republicans have been meeting for weeks on legislation to fund the Transportation Department’s Highway Trust Fund before the current authorization runs out on May 31. With an extension, the Transportation Department says the fund has enough money to pay its bills until roughly July. Come August, however, the money will stop and the department legally cannot pay states and transit agencies. Four states have already halted work on new infrastructure projects, according to a letter Senate Democrats sent to Finance Committee Chairman Orin Hatch (R-Utah) this week. “Congress is running out of time and we have been down this road before,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member on the Finance Committee, wrote with the 11 other Democratic committee members. “We know all too well that our nation’s infrastructure is ...
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Let the Dialogue Resume! 30.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The energy and climate waters, it appears, are finally getting safer for thoughtful conservatives to test and navigate . The complete shut-down of conservative dialogue about climate solutions which followed John McCain's 2008 defeat (reinforced by the 2010 defeat of South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis over his climate leadership) appears to be softening. Indeed, libertarian and conservative intellectuals who opposed policy action on climate even during the 2000-2008 period when many Republican politicians looked for appropriately conservative climate solutions are now calling for such actions. One bellwether event is the launch of a new libertarian think-tank, the Niskanen Center, focusing heavily on climate and energy and led by Jerry Taylor, who served for many years as the Cato Institute's energy maven until he decided to strike out on his own pathway. Taylor (a friend and colleague) never denied or debated climate science. He did argue against action to curb greenhouse gas emissions . His view was ...
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House Panel Approves Fast Track Trade Bill 24.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Legislation to speed trade deals through the U.S. Congress cleared through a key committee on Thursday, but low Democratic support signaled a looming battle over a Pacific trade pact central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia. Democrats and Republicans clashed over proposals to punish countries that manipulate their currencies to gain an export edge and ways to give lawmakers more leverage over trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Despite the partisan wrangling, the vote in the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee marked an important step forward for the legislation, which would prohibit Congress from amending trade deals and allow for just yes-or-no votes. Obama and major U.S. trade partners, including Japan, have said the measure is vital to seal the TPP deal. A companion "fast-track" bill cleared a Senate panel on Wednesday, and both are now ready for action in their respective chambers. Still, the way forward is ...
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Obama To Democratic Trade Critics: 'I Take That Personally' 24.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama fought back on Thursday against the biggest domestic obstacle to the Pacific trade pact he wants to conclude before he leaves office: the trade skeptics in his own Democratic party. Trade unions, environmental groups and high-profile Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have come out swinging against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying it would send American jobs overseas. "When people say that this trade deal is bad for working families, they don't know what they're talking about," Obama told a group of about 200 volunteers and donors with Organizing for Action, an advocacy group formed by his former campaign team. "I take that personally. My entire presidency has been about helping working families. "The Chamber of Commerce didn't elect me twice - working folks did," he said. Obama argued it would be illogical for him to sign a trade deal that would hurt middle-class jobs given his efforts to expand health care insurance, bail out the auto ...
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The Chamber Of Commerce Is Fighting Fiercely To Stop The Scourge Of Corporate Transparency 22.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- This spring, shareholders in more than 100 companies will introduce resolutions calling for greater disclosure of corporations' political and lobbying activity. Six major companies -- Dean Foods, Eastman Chemical, H&R Block, Marathon Oil, U.S. Steel and Valero Energy -- have already reached agreement with New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the third largest pension fund in the nation, to adopt political spending disclosure policies in exchange for the comptroller's office withdrawing its resolutions. But don't consider that a sign that corporate America is learning to live with transparency. Over the past two years, three of the usual suspects -- the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers -- have joined together to try to discredit the purpose of disclosure policies and the advocates calling for them. Aided by the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, the three big business groups have sought to undercut ...
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Rapid Rise In Super PACs Dominated By Single Donors 20.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This story was co-published with the Daily Beast . The wealthiest Americans can fly on their own jets, live in gated compounds and watch movies in their own theaters. More of them also are walling off their political contributions from other big and small players. A growing number of political committees known as super PACs have become instruments of single donors, according to a ProPublica analysis of federal records. During the 2014 election cycle, $113 million 2013 16 percent of money raised by all super PACs 2013 went to committees dominated by one donor. That was quadruple their 2012 share. The rise of single-donor groups is a new example of how changes in campaign finance law are giving outsized influence to a handful of funders. The trend may continue into 2016. Last week, National Review reported that Texas Senator Ted Cruz's bid for the Republican presidential nomination would be boosted not by one anointed super PAC but four, each controlled by a single donor or donor family. The Supreme ...
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Appeals Court Rejects Ron Johnson's Obamacare Challenge 15.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
By Jonathan Stempel April 14 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court has rejected Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson's effort to stop members of Congress and their staffs from getting health insurance subsidies under President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said Johnson lacked legal standing to sue because he did not show he had been injured by the "special treatment" he claimed Obamacare gave senators, representatives and their staff. Tuesday's decision by a unanimous three-judge panel upheld a July 2014 ruling by U.S. District Judge William Griesbach in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Johnson, a Republican, said he will review the decision before deciding whether to appeal. "With this decision today, another executive action by the administration will go unchallenged," he said in a statement. Johnson's lawsuit is one of many challenging part or all of Obamacare. The senator had opposed the federal government's authority to make employer contributions even when lawmakers ...
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The Ted Cruz Way 26.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz has announced his candidacy for President of the United States. While critics, including some in his own party, dismiss him, Cruz is a smart, shrewd and brash politician. He is also arrogant, self-confident and power-hungry. Cruz recently told Fox News host Sean Hannity that his critics call him "crazy." Well? In September 2013, Senator Cruz spoke in opposition of the inclusion of the Affordable Care Act in a continuing resolution to fund the government. His faux-filibuster lasted more than 21 hours, and he opened with, "I rise today in opposition to Obamacare." Then, after being recognized, he said he would speak "until I am no longer able to stand." His effort was not a filibuster because the Senate had already scheduled its cloture vote. But the Cruz show went on, including reading from the Dr. Seuss's classic , Green Eggs and Ham. His daughters watched from home on C-Span as he read from the book, "You do not like green eggs and ham?" But Cruz was so angry ...
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Learn An Entire Semester Of Campaign Finance Law In Less Than 4 Minutes 25.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
As American elections become even more outrageously expensive , the advocacy group Public Citizen argues voters deserve to know who is making a financial play for influence in Washington. The think tank is asking President Obama to sign an executive order requiring all federal contractors to disclose their contributions to political candidates and campaigns. Such an order would mean more transparency about how much money politicians get from companies in competition for lucrative government contracts -- a competition that may be decided by the very politicians those companies donate to. But how did campaign finance law become so shady? And what led to elections becoming a billion-dollar industry? It all goes back to Buckley V. Valeo , "the most important case in campaign finance law" in our nation's history, according to Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School. Watch the video above to see Levinson break down 30 hours' worth of her class to HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps in less than four ...
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Sarah Palin: Hillary Clinton Should Face The Same Tough Questions I Did Over Emails 10.3.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) should receive the same scrutiny she did over emails in the aftermath of her 2008 vice presidential campaign. In an op-ed for Fox News published Monday, Palin recalled how she released her emails from her time as governor of Alaska after a slew of requests from the media: First, some background: I know something about how annoying FOIA requests can be for public officials. After I returned home from the 2008 vice presidential campaign, the state of Alaska was flooded with innumerable FOIA requests to see literally every single email I ever wrote while governor. It was an overwhelming request for a small population state with limited resources. But our system of government relies on transparency, and that means public officials must suck it up and let the public see whatever they want. When FOIA requests bombarded us, investigators and our attorney general’s office were given full access to all of my state and private ...
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Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property? 19.2.2015 Truthout - All Articles
In December, two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, pushed Congress and the president into giving away what could amount to over $130 billion in public property. (Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com ) Do you want media that’s accountable to YOU, not to corporate sponsors? Help publish journalism with real integrity and independence - click here to donate to Truthout! A giant Anglo-Australian mining company is getting the rights to a huge copper reserve - and we don't know what American taxpayers are getting in return. In December, two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, pushed Congress and the president into giving away what could amount to over $130 billion in public property. That's enough to provide every single unemployed American a minimum-wage job for an entire year. That's enough to pay for a year of tuition at a public institution for every college student in the US. And yet the GOP big-shots call themselves "fiscal conservatives"! "Fiscal conservatives," my ...
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Washington Should Stop Slobbering Over Saudi Arabia: Vicious Frenemy Makes World More Dangerous 6.2.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The king has died. Long live the king. Saudi Arabia today is a medieval system whose horrid human rights practices match its antiquated political system. After King Abdullah died King Salman ascended the throne. Official Washington breathed a sigh of relief at the swift and smooth transition. President Barack Obama visited Riyadh to pay his respects -- or, some would say, demonstrate his obeisance. Abdullah's body was still warm when the plaudits began to roll in. A "moderate" and "man of moderation," he was a "shrewd" and "wily" operator and "cautious reformer." Despite his access to great wealth he was "ascetic" and spoke plainly to commoners. Abroad the king talked of encouraging greater "tolerance" and "sincere dialogue" among different religions. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the late monarch "a vocal advocate for peace." Secretary of State John Kerry called the departed king a "man of vision and wisdom." President Barack Obama declared of Abdullah: "he was always candid and had the courage of ...
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Sarah Palin Hits Bill O'Reilly For Saying She And Donald Trump Would Make GOP 2016 Race A 'Reality Show' 28.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took a hit at Fox News host Bill O'Reilly for suggesting conservatives like herself and billionaire Donald Trump would turn the 2016 Republican primary into a "reality show." Palin argued there needs to be "unity" among conservatives in order to put up a fight against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a potential Democratic presidential nominee. She said Republicans are already suffering because "even there on Fox, a quasi- or assumed conservative outlet," hosts like O'Reilly are joking about potential candidates like Palin and Trump. "He's talking about his show tonight, or the commentary on his show, and that would be, 'Oh, all these GOP contenders thinking about running for president like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin' and he names them off. He says, 'Oh, what a reality show that would be, yuck, yuck,'" Palin said. "Well the left doesn't do that. They take this serious, because this is war." "Hopefully the media, even the ...
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From Know-Nothingism to Do-Nothingism in the U.S. Senate 25.1.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The "I am not a scientist" era in the U.S. Senate may be starting to wane. But the "I am opposed to doing anything about climate change" era is still going strong. In votes Wednesday on amendments to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline bill, some Republican Senators finally went on record acknowledging that man-made climate change is real. But it is clear that the Republican leadership and most members of their caucus still have no plans to do something about it. Five Republican Senators agreed that "climate change is real" and "human activity contributes significantly to climate change." Sens. Lamar Alexander (TN), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Susan Collins (ME), Lindsay Graham (SC), and Mark Kirk (IL) joined 45 Democrats voting for a climate science amendment offered by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). Ten additional Republicans could bring themselves to support those two simple propositions only after striking out a rather key word, to wit: "human activity contributes significantly to climate change." Sens. Bob ...
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Sarah Palin 'Seriously Interested' In Running For President In 2016 25.1.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) continued to tease a potential bid for the Republican nomination for president this week leading up to a Saturday address at the Iowa Freedom Summit. Palin characterized herself as having a "servant's heart" in a Thursday interview with ABC News, saying she's "had enough" of seeing a "sign on the Oval Office door saying, 'No Girls Allowed.'" “Of course, when you have a servant’s heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be interested,” she said. The Washington Post followed up with Palin on Friday in Des Moines. “You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested," she told the Post. "As I said yesterday, I’m really interested in the opportunity to serve at some point.” Palin has said many times that she hasn't ruled out a run for the White House, saying she'll "never say never," and that she'd "love to see a woman on both sides of the aisle" pursue the role . The 2008 vice ...
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