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Posts tagged ‘Democratic’

Sen. Johnson Says He’ll Support Ryan-Murray Budget Deal.


Image: Sen. Johnson Says He'll Support Ryan-Murray Budget Deal

By Lisa Barron

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says he will support the bipartisan budget bill negotiated by fellow Badger State legislator Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

“The budget deal struck by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray is no ‘grand bargain,’ but I credit Paul with understanding that a grand bargain is not possible at this point in time,” the tea party-backed senator said in a statement Sunday, reports the Huffington Post.

“Although I disagree with a number of provisions in the bill, on balance the good outweighs the bad. As long as the Senate does nothing to worsen the bill, I intend to support it,” he added.

The move comes just a few days after Johnson called the bill “more of a Patty Murray budget,” arguing it did not offer long-term solutions.

“The real problem is President Obama and Democrats in the Senate and House, they don’t want to fix the long-term problems,” Johnson told MSNBC last week. “That’s the situation Paul was in, trying to negotiate something. I don’t want to shut down the government. They do enough harm to our economy. We don’t need to do shutdowns to increase the plan,” he said.

Meanwhile, no Senate Democrat has publicly stated opposition to the deal, while GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas, both of whom face challengers in next year’s primaries, have indicatedthey will vote against it, reports The Hill.

The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate Tuesday.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Landrieu Openly Critical of Obama in First Campaign Ad.


Embattled Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is criticizing   President Barack Obama in her first campaign commercial for his handling of the new heathcare law rollout as she begins her re-election fight in Louisiana for a fourth term.

The three-term senator comes out firing in the ad against Obama’s signature healthcare law and his failure to keep his promise that people could keep their current insurance p plans and their doctors under the Affordable Care Act.

“I said to the president that you told them you could keep it,” she says in the 30-second commercial. “This is a promise you made. This is a promise you should keep.”

The ad is aimed at highlighting Landrieu’s own pending legislation aimed at helping people keep their existing plans under Obamacare.

“I’m fixing it and that’s what my bill does, and I have urged the president to fix it,” she says in the ad, which contains news footage primarily from interviews she’s conducted since the disastrous Obamacare website launch Oct. 1.

Under attack conservative outside groups running ads against her, Landrieu’s ad appears to be aimed at blaming the Obamacare woes on the president and at distancing herself and other congressional Democrats from the troubled rollout.

At the same time, her commercial appears to take some credit for Obama’s announcement that states and insurance companies could continue providing existing health insurance plans for another year.

Landrieu’s approval ratings have been falling in the past weeks, and after winning with only 52 percent of the vote in the last two elections she may be facing another tough re-election battle, Politico reports.

Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge doctor, announced in April that he plans to challenge her next year.

“Obamacare is filled with problems that we are all witnessing as it unravels. It’s understandable for Senator Landrieu to try to paint as rosy a picture as she can – she was the deciding vote for the law and continues to champion it,” Cassidy said Wednesday, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune. “Her recent TV ad is simply misleading: to the many Louisianans who have had their current policies canceled and to every other American, who simply know better from reading the news.”

Landrieu does not mention in the ad that she was the pivotal vote on the Affordable Care Act in the Senate, a fact that the negative ads being run against her are highlighting.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Drew MacKenzie

Former Obama Auto Czar: Progressive Dems ‘Scare Me’.


The Democratic Party may be lurching too far to the left for some of its more moderate members, including Morning Joe economic contributor Steve Rattner.

“As a centrist Democrat, I am scared about the progressive wing of my party — I’m scared,” said Rattner, a former member of President Barack Obama’s task force on the auto industry crisis, The National Review reports. 

Rattner and show host Joe Scarborough were pushing back at one-time presidential candidate Howard Dean, who was arguing that a left-leaning Democratic party would not pose a problem for the nation.

“I think [former president] Bill Clinton put our party right back where it belongs,” said Rattner. “We could have been [former candidate] Michael Dukakis for the next 20 years. I want us to stay there.”

See videos below.

The overall exchange got heated between Scarborough and Dean. At one point, Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, accused Dean of spouting “Carl Bernstein nonsense.”

Their argument started over a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by the centrist Democratic group “The Third Way, which claimed proposals from Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York City’s new Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio will prove disastrous for the party.

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Warren, Liberal Faction Gaining Control Among Democrats

And

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Ignorant or deluded,Atiku calls for two–party system 24 days to Nigeria’s exit.


Atiku-Abubakar

From Charles Adegbite, Ado Ekiti
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has called for the re-introduction of two-party system in Nigeria.   Atiku made the call while fielding questions from journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Kayode Fayemi in his office.He said it was not good for the nation’s democracy for one party to be too big and strong while others are weak and small.According to him, the recent merger of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) with the All Progressives Congress (APC) was a welcome development and a sign of growing democracy.According to him “I welcome the merger. It is good for our democracy. I have always supported two-party system. “He also observed that the nation was gradually moving towards true and stronger democracy.  He said “We are eventually moving towards two-party system. In this country, we need two strong parties not one big party with other very small ones. In that

case, we would not have true democracy.”“I belong to democracy. Even during military rule, I stood and fought for democracy. I never got appointment or served under military government. I am a true democrat and I still stand for democracy”, he added.Fayemi, who commended the initiative of the former Vice-President in the drive towards national development, said, “the former President deemed it necessary to pay us a visit in Ekiti, we stand for anything that can deepen democracy in this country. You will find the former VP standing on the side of democracy. There is no doubt that he has consistently stood with the people. He believes in this country. Anyone who is a democrat is my friend”.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Had Nigeria Continued, APC Assures Defecting Lawmakers Automatic 2015 Ticket, Regardless.


APC

Some of the faces at the merger includes Ogbonaya Onu, nPDP chairman, Kawu Baraje, Senator Bukola Saraki, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, chair of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande
It has emerged that under the agreement reached between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and members of the faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), any member of the National Assembly and state assemblies from the ruling party who wishes to cross over to the APC will be given an automatic ticket to re-contest the 2015 elections, if he so desire. Also, the agreement between the APC and the PDP faction showed that the five PDP governors that have joined the APC will be given the powers to control their state structures.
The same offer was also made to other PDP state governors wishing to defect to the APC in the future, while all members of the ruling party who cross over to the APC will be free and eligible to contest for office as members of the executive committees of the opposition party at all levels.
Five of the seven aggrieved governors of the ruling party – Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) – along with other members of the splinter group, had declared their intention to leave the PDP for the APC on Tuesday.
Their decision was the culmination of talks between both sides and the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that spelt out the terms for members of the PDP to join APC.
A senior APC source, who spoke to THISDAY on the details of the MoU, said the terms gave the PDP governors who chose to join APC the right to control their state structures and also guaranteed automatic tickets to members of the federal and state assemblies to contest the 2015 elections.
“Also, with the registration of members of the APC coming up in December and the national convention and state congresses coming up in December and January next year, all the lawmakers wishing to contest will be given automatic tickets, unless they opt out.
“Even in Katsina State, former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, accepted to allow Governor Ibrahim Shema to control the state structure of the APC, if he agrees to cross over to the APC.
“You know this is an open invitation to the PDP state governor, because there is no way the PDP can win Katsina State again,” the APC source said.
But in a bid to rationalise the decision by five of its former aggrieved governors, along with other members of the ruling party to join APC, the PDP yesterday insisted that there was no merger between the faction of the party, stating that what happened was carpeting crossing by its disloyal members.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, PDP said: “What happened was not a merger. You can only talk of a merger where there were two distinct parties. In this case there is only one party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). The so-called New PDP was never a party.
“This was established on October 10, 2013 when a Lagos High Court gave judgment against the New PDP and on October 11, 2013 when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wrote the New PDP to say that the Alhaji Bamanga Turkur-led Peoples Democratic Party was the only recognised party by that name.
“From the above, it is quite clear that there hasn’t been a merger but an opportunistic carpet crossing by disloyal elements into the All Progressives Party.”
Metuh commended President Goodluck Jonathan for advocating and adopting dialogue in the face of anti-party activities by some members of the party, saying: “The fact that the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, agreed to dialogue with this group was because of his magnanimity and large heart as a leader.
“He demonstrated time and time again that he is the epitome of humility and a father to all members of the PDP and indeed all Nigerians who are willing to go the extra mile in engendering reconciliation. It does not mean that this was a group recognised by law”.
According to Metuh, “The repudiation of the action of these fringe elements by some who had associated with them betrays the fact that this was a rushed action motivated by blind ambition and vain glory.
“And lest anyone thinks that the Peoples Democratic Party is diminished because of the departure of people who were in reality fifth columnists, we would like to draw attention to the fact that a tree that has been pruned of its underperforming branches grows better and blossoms with new life. This is the case in biology as well as in politics.
“As for the All Progressives Congress, we congratulate them on their new entrants, but we would also like to recommend to them the wise words of Chinua Achebe from his seminal work ‘Things Fall Apart’. Achebe said: ‘A man who brings home ant-infested faggots should not complain if he is visited by lizards’.
“The Peoples Democratic Party is losing no sleep over this carpet crossing because disloyalty is a habit and it’s only a matter of time before men who are disloyal to their mother would become disloyal to their step mother.”
In a related incident, the Adamawa State governor yesterday disclosed that after due consultations with his supporters, they had unanimously agreed to jettison the ruling PDP for APC.
Nyako, who was speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting of his supporters convened at the Government House, Yola, said by implication, he is now the new leader of the APC in the state.
Nyako said in accordance with the agreement reached with the leadership of APC, he automatically has become the leader of the party by virtue of his position as the incumbent governor of the state.
He said series of meetings and consultations with his political associates were held on Tuesday and he was advised by his supporters to take over the leadership of APC in the state.
Nyako advised his political associates and supporters to register with the APC, particularly those desirous of contesting the 2015 general election under the platform of the party.
The governor also debunked insinuations that his first son, Abdulaziz Nyako, will be contesting in the next election in the state under the APC, stressing that none of his sons would contest any election in 2015.
Meanwhile, despite the decision by one of the aggrieved governors of the PDP, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State not to defect, he has likened the PDP national chairman to the polio virus that has eaten deeply into the fabric of the ruling party and by extension into the veins of all Nigerians.
Lamido was speaking yesterday when he received the former Head of State, General Abdulsami Abubakar, who called on him in his office.
According to the governor, PDP is in a shambles as a result of the focusless leadership style of Tukur who has no idea of how to move the party forward.
He said even his colleagues who had recently moved to APC did so out of frustration.
“Most of them had worked for the advancement of the PDP in their states but instead of the party to show appreciation, it ended up sending people packing unceremoniously,” he said.
Lamido extolled the virtues of Abubakar, describing him as a democrat to the core especially for his role in handing over power to a democratically elected government.
Responding, Abubakar said Nigeria is at crossroads and would need the prayers of all to survive.
The military head of state warned that Nigeria would not survive in an atmosphere dominated by rancour and violence.
He urged all Nigerians to dissipate their energy on peace, because democracy would not thrive without peaceful coexistence among the people.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Supporters Push Obama to Bypass Congress Even More.


Image: Supporters Push Obama to Bypass Congress Even More

By Melanie Batley

Congressional Democrats and activists, frustrated with the gridlock in Washington, are pressing President Barack Obama to bypass Congress and use his executive authority to achieve progress on a number of top liberal issues.

According to The Washington Times, the president has already invoked his powers to change laws on issues ranging from immigration and healthcare to welfare and education laws, and supporters want him to go further.

“In light of Republican obstructionism, it should be no surprise to anyone that the administration is moving more and more toward executive action,” Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist, told the Times.

“The problem, however, is you can do a lot more via the legislative process than you can do through executive orders.”

On healthcare reform, the president has taken a number of unilateral decisions on the application of the law to meet his political objectives.

For example, he single-handedly suspended the employer mandate, made a decision that people could receive subsidies even if they’re not participating in Obamacare’s state-run health exchanges. He also  decided that states have the authority to approve existing insurance plans even if they are not in keeping with the new requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

Obama also made waves when he decided to halt the deportation of “Dreamers,” or immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as minors, even though Congress voted against the policy.

Republicans and legal experts have argued that Obama has far overstepped his authority and run roughshod over the constitutional system.

But supporters say he should go further. More than two dozen House Democrats wrote a letter to Obama saying he should exercise his authority to give amnesty to all illegal immigrants.

And liberal lawmakers also are pressing him to use executive authority for measures to achieve greater income equality.

“The problem with what the president is doing is that he is not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system; he is becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid: that is, the concentration of power in any single branch,” Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University, told the House Judiciary Committee this week, according to the Times.

“We’ve had the radical expansion of presidential powers under by President Bush and President Obama,” Turley added. “We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are now quite large that issue regulations.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Beck: Time Might Be Right to Send GOP the Way of the Whigs.


Image: Beck: Time Might Be Right to Send GOP the Way of the Whigs

By Greg Richter

Glenn Beck would like to see a revamped GOP, but if need be he wouldn’t mind seeing the party go the way of the Whigs.
Tea party Republicans such as Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have a real chance to send the old guard of the Grand Old Party the way of the dodo, Beck said Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”
There were only 20 Republicans in 1853, Beck said, yet by 1860 they had elected a president, Abraham Lincoln. Beck thinks such overwhelming change can happen even faster today because of the Internet.
“It was Einstein that said, the consciousness that created the problem cannot solve the problem,” Beck said. “So it’s time for a new consciousness.”
Beck repeated the argument he gave in a 2010 CPAC speech that there are progressives in the Republican Party who need to be defeated just as much as those in the Democratic Party.
But to do so, he said, people must “rise to the occasion and be our best selves.”
Any solutions to the problems in Washington, he said, must be based on “eternal principals.”
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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Walkout on Jonathan A ‘Coup,’ Says Bamanga Tukur.


Bamnaga Tukur
By Saharareporters, New York

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, says that last August’s walk-out on President Goodluck Jonathan by dissenting party members during the controversial convention of the party amounted to a coup d’etat.

Tukur made the remark in a response to the assertion of the Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, that Mr. Tukur is a ‘virus’ that must be removed from the party.

A statement signed by Lamido’s Media Adviser, Prince Oliver Okpala, however said that Tukur agreed to being a virus, but described him as a “positive virus” in the party.

“Tukur agreed with Governor Sule Lamido that he is a virus in the party but a necessary virus for the entrenchment of democratic culture, discipline and good governance in the party and the country.

“He hoped that Governor Sule Lamido will soon catch this necessary virus for the good of the PDP and the country.”

The National Chairman remarked that the virus that Lamido identified is a necessary virus in any democratic political structure for sustenance and continuity of the country’s nascent democratic dispensation.

He said if the virus had spread enough the likes of Governor Lamido would not have walked out on the President of the country and other party chieftains during the party’s last convention.

The actions of the governors, he said, amounted to a political coup and secession which should be condemned by every right thinking Nigerian as an insult on the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

GOP Launches Major Push to Capture Blue State Senate Seats.


Republicans are targeting blue states with competitive races in an effort to win back a majority in the SenatePolitico reports

The GOP currently holds 45 seats in the Senate to the Democrats‘ 55, so it needs to win only six of those elections. Seven states currently represented by Democrats were carried by Mitt Romney in 2012, but Republicans want to increase their chances, so they are also targeting other close elections in purple states, and even some blue ones.

Republicans hope to capitalize on anti-Obamacare sentiment as the program has suffered glitches in its website and in trust in a White House that promised people they could keep their insurance and that premiums would not rise.

Even if a GOP hoped-for backlash against Obamacare doesn’t pan out, Politico notes that Democrats could be forced to pull money from bigger races to spend money on less-consequential contests.

Republicans already hold a majority in the House of Representatives.

New York Times statistician Nate Silver has been predicting a possible GOP turnover of the Senate since early this year. Silver’s predictions were made months before the disastrous rollout of Obamacare.

Among the states Politico sees as most likely GOP prospects are Michigan, Iowa, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon and Hawaii.

With Sen. Carl Levin retiring in Michigan, Republicans there have rallied behind state Sen. Terri Lynn Land. In Iowa, Sen. Tom Harkin also announced his retirement. No clear leader has emerged there.

In New Hampshire, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen won in 2008 with only 52 percent. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has now moved his primary residence to the Granite State and has been toying with challenging Shaheen.

In Minnesota, Democrat Al Franken won after a heated recount, which Republicans called a stolen election. Finance executive Mike McFadden appears to be the most likely GOP contender.

Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado has low approval numbers, with only 47 percent saying he should be re-elected. His strongest GOP opponent is Ken Buck.

In Oregon, Sen. Jeff Merkley could face Republican Monica Wehby, a neurosurgeon making her first run at public office.

Hawaii is considered a GOP longshot, but Republicans hope former Rep. Charles Djou could beat the winner of a tough Democratic primary between incumbent Brian Schatz, appointed by the governor to fill the seat of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, and Rep. Colleeen Hanabusa, who is backed by Inouye’s widow.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

White House Discussed Scrapping Entire Obamacare Website.


The abysmal rollout of the Obamacare individual mandate last month exposed a website so badly flawed that White House officials considered junking it altogether, according to a detailed account of the inner workings of the healthcare plan’s debacle.

While President Barack Obama touted publicly that “interest way exceeded expectations, and that’s the good news” during the first weekend of the rollout, White House officials were considering another question, The New York Times reports in a front page article Sunday — “Should we just take the website down altogether for a time so it can be fixed?”

The question was dismissed by Todd Park, the administration’s chief technology officer, because, he said, HealthCare.com had to be up and running for one simple reason — “To see where the problems are,” the Times reports.

“One senior White House official said they briefly considered scrapping the system altogether. They decided it was fixable.”

The site was taken down that first weekend, Oct. 4-6, for technology repairs during off-peak hours.

As time ticked down on Saturday’s deadline for having HealthCare.gov operating smoothly for millions of Americans, the Times details major missteps by the Obama administration as the Oct. 1 rollout approached.

They included the fact that the website, which covers 36 states that lack their own health exchanges, “had never been fully tested,” and that HealthCare.gov “was flailing in part because of the Medicare agency’s decision not to hire a ‘systems integrator’ who could coordinate its complex parts.

“The White House would also have to hold together a fragile alliance of Democratic lawmakers and insurance executives,” the newspaper reports.

“If we don’t do that,” one senior White House adviser told the Times, “it’s a very serious threat to the success of the legislation and a very serious threat to him,” referring to Obama. “We get that.”

The article further discloses how the effort to improve HealthCare.gov “exposed a deeply dysfunctional relationship between the Department of Health and Human Services and its technology contractors, and tensions between the White House chief of staff and senior health department officials.

“It strained relations between the Obama administration and the insurance industry, helped revive a Republican Party battered after the two-week government shutdown and frustrated, even infuriated, Congressional Democrats,” the Times reports.

HealthCare.gov continues be attacked by Republicans for its technological and accessibility problems.

In addition, more than 5 million Americans have seen their existing insurance policies cancelled since the rollout began, despite President Obama’s promise that they could keep their health plans and their doctors if they chose to — and the GOP-controlled House voted to let Americans keep their health insurance policies for another year.

The day before the Nov. 15 House vote, Obama announced that he would grant by executive order a one-year reprieve for Americans whose health policies have been canceled.

He had hoped to stem Democratic defections, the Times reports.

A total of 39 Democrats voted for the bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, “far fewer than the White House had feared,” the Times reports.

According to the Times, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was “ebullient” the day before the Obamacare rollout. HealthCare.gov’s development was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which falls under her department.

“We’re about to make some history,” Sebelius said. White House officials were just as excited about the high traffic on the first day, the Times reports.

“The traffic is really high,” the article quotes White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as saying.

But another reality was unfolding at the offices of CGI Federal in Northern Virginia, according to the account. The company is the U.S. subsidiary of a Montreal-based information technology firm that built most of HealthCare.gov.

“Technicians were frantic,” the Times reports. “They were beginning to realize what the White House did not: that the exchange’s problems involved much more than delays caused by high traffic.

“Errors were popping up everywhere. Software that assigned identities to enrollees and ensured that they saw only their own personal data, known internally as the EIdM, was being quickly overwhelmed. Customers could not log in to create accounts.”

The article later says: “As engineers tried to come to grips with repeated crashes, a host of problems were becoming apparent: inadequate capacity in its data center and sloppy computer code, partly the result of rushed work amid the rapidly changing specifications issued by the government.

“The website had barely been tested before it went live, so a large number of software and hardware defects had not been uncovered,” the Times reports. “Fixing the account creation software simply exposed other problems; people still could not register to buy insurance.

“A system intended to handle 50,000 simultaneous users was fundamentally unstable, unable to handle even a tiny fraction of that. As few as 500 users crippled it, according to people involved.

“These are not glitches,” one insurance executive told the Times during the early days of the debacle. “The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our calls, people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’ ”

Despite Obama’s promise that HealthCare.gov will be working better by December, White House officials continue to fear a rush of visitors to the site, according to the Times.

“The immediate goal in recent days has been to double HealthCare.gov’s capacity, so that 50,000 people will be able to log on simultaneously and 800,000 can visit in a single day,” the article says. Technology officials also are creating an overflow “waiting room.”

But “it remains unclear whether the enrollment data being transmitted to insurers is completely accurate,” the Times reports. “In a worst-case scenario, insurance executives fear that some people may not actually get enrolled in the plans they think they have chosen, or that some people may receive wrong information about the subsidies for which they are eligible.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Todd Beamon

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