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flpoljunkie

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 25,980

Journal Archives

Norm Ornstein: Obama Can't Be The Green Lantern

The Most Enduring Myth About the Presidency
The Green Lantern theory just won't go away.

By Norm Ornstein
April 22,2104

The LBJ Library recently held a multiday program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and by all accounts, the program was stirring and stimulating, up to and including President Obama's speech.

But there was one downside: the reactivation of one of the most enduring memes and myths about the presidency, and especially the Obama presidency. Like Rasputin (or Whac-A-Mole,) it keeps coming back even after it has been bludgeoned and obliterated by facts and logic. I feel compelled to whack this mole once more.

The meme is what Matthew Yglesias, writing in 2006, referred to as "the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics," and has been refined by Greg Sargent and Brendan Nyhan into the Green Lantern Theory of the presidency. In a nutshell, it attributes heroic powers to a president—if only he would use them. And the holders of this theory have turned it into the meme that if only Obama used his power of persuasion, he could have the kind of success that LBJ enjoyed with the Great Society, that Bill Clinton enjoyed in his alliance with Newt Gingrich that gave us welfare reform and fiscal success, that Ronald Reagan had with Dan Rostenkowski and Bill Bradley to get tax reform, and so on.

If only Obama had dealt with Congress the way LBJ did—persuading, cajoling, threatening, and sweet-talking members to attain his goals—his presidency would not be on the ropes and he would be a hero. If only Obama would schmooze with lawmakers the way Bill Clinton did, he would have much greater success. If only Obama would work with Republicans and not try to steamroll them, he could be a hero and have a fiscal deal that would solve the long-term debt problem.

more, and well worth reading...

http://www.nationaljournal.com/washington-inside-out/the-most-enduring-myth-about-the-presidency-20140422

Luckovich: The prognosis

The Hill: Carter comes out against Keystone XL pipeline

April 16, 2014, 07:36 am
Carter comes out against Keystone XL pipeline
By Rebecca Shabad

Former President Jimmy Carter came out against the Keystone Pipeline on Wednesday with a group of Nobel laureates.

“You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change,” Carter and the others wrote in an open letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Carter becomes the first former president who has publicly opposed the construction of the northern leg of the pipeline, which would run 1,179 miles from Canada into the United States.

Former President George W. Bush once called the proposal a “no-brainer," The Washington Post notes.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/203646-former-president-carter-comes-out-against-keystone-xl

Sheldon Whitehouse and Henry Waxman: Keystone report can't have it both ways

Keystone report can't have it both ways
By Sheldon Whitehouse and Henry A. Waxman
updated 7:46 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014

Large sections of oil pipeline lie next to a family farm in Sumner, Texas.

(CNN) -- For all the noise about the State Department's final environmental review of the Keystone XL Pipeline being a "blow" to pipeline opponents, the report contains more than enough information for Secretary of State John Kerry -- a respected environmental champion -- to conclude that the pipeline is not in the national interest.

Although you have to dig a bit, the report recognizes the dangers associated with the tar sands fuel that the pipeline would transport. Oil from tar sands spews 17% more greenhouse gas than the average crude oil refined in the United States. If the pipeline operates at capacity, that's as much carbon pollution as 5.7 million more cars driving on our roads. This is enough added pollution to erase as much as 70% of the carbon pollution reductions from the Obama administration's recent motor vehicle emission standards.


So how does the report admit the possibility of lasting environmental harm from the tar sands on the one hand while concluding that building the pipeline would not cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions on the other? It presumes that the tar sands fuels are going to get to market anyway, so the environmental damage happens with or without Keystone XL.

We think this presumption is seriously flawed. One key assumption is the report's forecast that crude oil prices will stay above $75 per barrel. Below that price, the report actually finds that Keystone does make a difference in driving tar sands production and greater carbon pollution. Contrary to the report's assumptions, there is a real chance that crude oil prices will fall below that level.


more…

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/15/opinion/white-house-waxman-keystone-pipeline/index.html

Luckovich: Equal Access?

Luckovich: Money Talks

Luckovich: Givers and Takers

AP: Florida overcomes GOP barriers to enroll uninsured

Florida overcomes GOP barriers to enroll uninsured

By KELLI KENNEDY
Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 3:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 3:10 p.m.

MIAMI — Florida’s Republican leaders have fought the Affordable Care Act at every turn, banning navigators from county health departments, offering no state dollars to boost outreach efforts to 3.5 million uninsured and leading the fight to repeal the law. Yet the state has emerged as a tale of what went right with President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

More than 440,000 Florida residents had been enrolled through the federal marketplace through the end of February, putting Florida on pace to exceed the federal government’s initial projections by the time enrollment closes March 31.

The numbers are impressive for a state where Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature. By comparison, Republican-leaning Texas has enrolled 295,000 through the federal site, even though its population is about a third larger than Florida’s.

Florida’s success is due partly to infrastructure created in the swing state by Democratic-affiliated groups during the last three presidential elections, along with continued investment by the Obama administration and nonprofit advocacy groups in the diverse state that will likely be competitive in November’s midterm election.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140326/WIRE/140329572/1040?Title=Florida-overcomes-GOP-barriers-to-enroll-uninsured-

TPM: Why The GOP's 2014 Focus On Obamacare Might Be A Huge Mistake

Why The GOP's 2014 Focus On Obamacare Might Be A Huge Mistake

DYLAN SCOTT
MARCH 26, 2014

The thinking is so ingrained now that it seems superfluous to point it out: Republicans are convinced that Obamacare's unpopularity will propel them to midterm victories in November, enough to take back control of the Senate and therefore Congress. Simple as that.

“I don’t think there’s any serious observer that believes Democrats can take the House, and the Senate is slipping away from them,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said last week. “That’s because Americans are hurting from this law.”

But a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation might bring the GOP's certainty into question: 53 percent of Americans, including 51 percent of independents, say they're tired of debating Obamacare and think that the country should focus on other issues.

Even among Republicans, the numbers are almost evenly split: 47 percent are tired of the debate, while 49 percent think it should continue.

more…

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-2014-obamacare-fatigue-kff-poll

Wonkwire: Poll: Let Obamacare Stay

Poll: Let Obamacare Stay
Posted at 9:55 a.m.

Kaiser Family Foundation Poll: “Reflecting sense that the debate has gone on long enough, more of the public would like to see Congress keep the law in place and work to improve it (49 percent) or keep it as is (10 percent) rather than repeal it and replace it with a Republican-sponsored alternative (11 percent) or repeal it outright (18 percent).”

Poll: Let Obamacare Stay



http://wonkwire.rollcall.com/2014/03/26/poll-let-obamacare-stay/
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