Politics

Entitlement reform must be part of the deal

President Obama’s description of what it means to not increase the debt limit is disingenuous. Here’s what he said at his October 8 press conference: “…raising the debt ceiling is a lousy name… it does not increase our debt. It does not grow our deficit, it does not allow for a single dime of increased spending. All it does is (to) allow the Treasury Department to pay for what Congress has already spent.”

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#rebrand

The word “re-branding” produces acid reflux in the stomachs of conservatives across the spectrum. However, it is a necessary part of the Republicans’ image improvement process they must face in order to survive in the modern age.

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What happened to Virginia’s hallmark of compromise?

Virginia has a strong tradition of bipartisanship, compromise, and negotiation. Democratic governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine worked across the aisle to invest in our higher education system and make the Commonwealth the best state in which to do business. Just this year, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) partnered with Democrats to pass a landmark transportation bill that will ease Northern Virginia’s gridlock. And I know from my local experience as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors that bipartisanship is not impossible.

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Democrats, Republicans and the abyss

Now that Abe has generated a growth spurt in Japan and the waters in the Eurozone have calmed, markets are getting worked up over the U.S.. The U.S. government has been shut down for more than a week.

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Legislative negligence

Is there a tipping point where the governance of this amazing country went from data to mere talking points?  I find the current coverage and debate regarding the shutdown of our government, and the now clearly tied argument about raising the arbitrary debt ceiling, to be surprisingly useless and shallow.

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Terrorist-like tactics are the new normal for Congress

In Washington, D.C., Sunday brunch is the thing. For the past two weeks my regular brunch crew conversation has been monopolized by the government shutdown, debt ceiling crisis, and the quiet rage that is building in America. The discussions always end in the same frustration, “What can we do to stop this craziness? Nothing.”

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The 'Fifty Percent Plus One' solution

New York Rep. Peter King (R) is no liberal, but last week in The New York Times he called fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) a “fraud” who was committing “legislative terrorism” for instigating the federal government shutdown now in its eighth day.

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The big fix for American politics

I arrived a decade ago in Washington, D.C., hoping to have a positive impact. Perhaps it was the furloughs, the shutdown, or simply being too close to politics for too long, but somewhere along the way cynicism crept into my worldview. I do have one surviving big fix idea for American politics.

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Panicking about the shutdown

If nothing else, Congress has behaved irresponsibly by shutting down the government. For starters, the federal programs that sap the most government resources – Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security – have been left untouched. These are mandatory programs with dedicated funding streams. And in Fiscal Year 2012, mandatory spending made up around 63 percent of total federal expenditures.

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