Senate thwarts both left & right to fund government

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, ensuring that the government will not shut down.  Both tea party conservatives AND populist liberals led by Elizabeth Warren opposed the measure.  So did every potential presidential candidate in the Senate of both parties .

(Question:  The Republicans have the tea party, who attack the GOP establishment for its lack of orthodoxy and ties to crony capitalism, to the point of being willing to shut down the government.  What do we call the equivalent on the left, who attack the Democratic establishment and are willing to shut down the government?  The chai party?  Propose something, and maybe it will catch on. [Read more...]

Republicans gain another senator

Incumbent Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her run-off election in Louisiana to Republican Bill Cassidy.  Part of the reason is that she was abandoned by  fellow Democrats, who are now doing to their party what the tea party has done to Republicans, refusing to support the ideologically impure.  Now Republicans will have a majority of 4. [Read more...]

Fixing the Senate

In a column on Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, who–IF he gets re-elected to the Senate and IF Republicans win a majority on that body–could be the next Senate Majority Leader, George Will offers an explanation of why the Senate is paralyzed and how a Republican victory could fix things. [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]

Senate bill would reverse Hobby Lobby ruling

Democrats in the Senate are fast-tracking a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.  The measure would say that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would not apply to contraceptive coverage so that religious organizations would be forced to provide them.

Though the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would surely not pass the bill, the Democratic-controlled Senate probably will, giving more ammunition for the Democratic propaganda that Republicans are engaged in a “war on women.”   [Read more...]

Friend in the Senate

My friend Ben Sasse whom I’ve blogged about, won the Republican primary race for Senate in Nebraska.  Observers are saying he will be a shoo-in for election.  Pundits are calling this a “Tea Party” victory, but Ben is nothing like the angry-rabble of the stereotype.  He’s a scholar of public policy, the president of Midland University, and a former White House official.  (And, of interest to this blog, he is a Lutheran.)

Molly Ball, writing about Ben’s victory in the Atlantic, comments about the way the media keeps trying to make the elections fit the Procrustean bed of “Tea Party” vs. “Establishment.”  In reality, she points out, the best candidate tends to win against “rank incompetents” no matter who endorses them.  She calls Ben a “fusion” candidate that may be a herald of the future. [Read more...]


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