More than 1,200 at Edwards funeral; protest fizzles

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) - More than 1,200 mourners, including hundreds who loved and admired Elizabeth Edwards from a distance, packed a Raleigh church Saturday to pay respects to the activist and estranged wife of a failed aspirant to the presidency.

The mourners included Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who in 2004 picked Edwards’ husband, John, to be his vice presidential running mate in an unsuccessful bid for the White House. John and Elizabeth Edwards separated earlier this year after the former North Carolina senator admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock while the couple was married.
FULL STORY


CNN Political Ticker

Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral to take place amid possible protests

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) - As mourners gather to commemorate the life of Elizabeth Edwards on Saturday afternoon, picketers from a Kansas-based church - along with counter-protesters - could change the mood outside the funeral.

Edwards, the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a lenghty battle with breast cancer. She was 61.
FULL STORY


CNN Political Ticker

John Will Not Speak at Elizabeth Edwards Funeral

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

At Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral, mourners will hear tributes from her daughter and two close friends — but not her estranged husband, John Edwards, CBS News reports.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Protest Planned at Edwards’ Funeral

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

The Washington Post reports that the Westboro Baptist Church, which has staged protests at the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers, plans to hold a protest at the late Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral on Saturday.

“Westboro’s Web site does not say why it has singled out Edwards’s funeral, but it regularly attends funerals of military personnel.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Rosie O’Donnell Weeps for John Edwards

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

After spewing bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories and praising communism, it’s getting harder for Rosie O’Donnell to push the envelope with her brain-dead brand of obnoxious moonbattery. But she managed on the occasion of Elizabeth Edwards’s death by sympathizing with the scoundrel who started up an illegitimate second family while his wife struggled with the cancer that finally killed her.

“I think the person who probably has suffered the most through all of this is [John Edwards], and there are people who would disagree with me and say, ‘No, it was her, she was the one who was publicly humiliated,’ and blah blah blah blah blah.

“I just think he has to live with himself every day. Not only survivor’s guilt, but you know? He, I’m sure, has guilt, right?”

Wrong, Rosie. John Edwards was not only a Democrat politician but an ambulance-chasing trial lawyer. Countless women have undergone unnecessary cesarean sections as a result of the looting spree whereby he publicly channeled the spirits of brain-damaged babies as he duped idiot juries into stealing massive piles of money from obstetricians to punish them for delivering babies without cutting their mothers open. With this plunder, Edwards funded his thankfully aborted political career. There is no reason to assume he is any more capable of guilt than any other lizard — or than Rosie herself is capable of intelligent opinions.

Feeling pretty.

On tips from G. Fox and BURNING HOT.

Moonbattery

Elizabeth Edwards has passed away at the age of 61

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

A Political Life Filled With Cruel Reversals

Elizabeth Edwards, who as the wife of former Senator John Edwards gave America an intimate look at a candidate’s marriage by sharing his quest for the 2008 presidential nomination as she struggled with incurable cancer and, secretly, with his infidelity, died Tuesday morning at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C. She was 61.
Her family confirmed the death, saying Mrs. Edwards was surrounded by relatives when she died. A family friend said Mr. Edwards was present. On Monday, two family friends said that Mrs. Edwards’s cancer had spread to her liver and that doctors had advised against further medical treatment.

Mrs. Edwards posted a Facebook message to friends on Monday, saying, “I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.” She added: “The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.”

In a life of idyllic successes and crushing reverses, Mrs. Edwards was an accomplished lawyer, the mother of four children and the wife of a wealthy, handsome senator with sights on the White House. But their 16-year-old son was killed in a car crash, cancer struck her at age 55, the political dreams died and, within months, her husband admitted to having had an extramarital affair with a campaign videographer.

The scandal over the affair faded after his disclosure in 2008. But in 2009, Mrs. Edwards resurrected it in a new book and interviews and television appearances, telling how her husband had misrepresented the infidelity to her, rocked their marriage and spurned her advice to abandon his run for the presidency, a decision in which she ultimately acquiesced.

Last January, on the eve of new disclosures in a book by a former political aide, Mr. Edwards admitted he had fathered a child with the videographer. Soon afterward, he and Mrs. Edwards separated legally.

Mrs. Edwards, a savvy political adviser who took on major roles in her husband’s two campaigns for the White House, learned she had a breast tumor the size of a half-dollar on the day after Election Day 2004, when the Democratic ticket — Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Mr. Edwards, his running mate from North Carolina — lost to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Radiation and chemotherapy appeared to put the cancer into remission. In a best-selling memoir, “Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers” (Broadway Books, 2006), Mrs. Edwards chronicled her fight for survival. But in March 2007, with her husband again chasing a presidential nomination, this time against Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards disclosed that her cancer had returned.

They said it was malignant and in an advanced stage, having spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes into her ribs, hip bones and lungs. It was treatable but “no longer curable,” Mr. Edwards explained. But he said he would continue his bid for the presidency, and Mrs. Edwards said that she, too, would go on with the campaign. “I don’t expect my life to be significantly different,” she declared.

Rest of Obituary at link above.

May prayers of comfort come to her children right now and hold them up as they deal with this loss.


Jack & Jill Politics

Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Elizabeth Edwards Funeral

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

A Kansas-based church known for its high-profile protests of service members’ funerals is planning to show up at the memorial service for the late Elizabeth Edwards, the group said Thursday.

The Westboro Baptist Church’s website said the group will hold a protest from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. at a memorial for the Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards, a lawyer and health care advocate, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Elizabeth Edwards 1949-2010]

“They coveted things that were not theirs  - and presumptuously thought they could control God,” the Westboro Baptists said in a news release. The church also said Edwards “meddled in matters of the womb,” an apparent reference to fertility treatments she reportedly received to conceive her two youngest children. The WBC also apparently took issue with Elizabeth Edwards’ books and her struggles with her own faith after the death of her 16-year-old son, Wade, and her own cancer diagnosis.

The fringe church is monitored by anti-hate groups like the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

[H/T CNN]









TPMMuckraker

Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

(CNN) - Members of the Westboro Baptist Church announced Thursday plans to picket Saturday’s funeral for Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Kansas-based Church - monitored by anti-hate groups such as the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center - is known for its extremist opposition to homosexuals, Jews and other groups.

The church members also oppose the War in Iraq.

According to the church’s website, members will hold a protest from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Edwards, the estranged wife of presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a six-year battle with breast cancer.


CNN Political Ticker

Saturday funeral likely for Elizabeth Edwards

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) - Family and trusted friends are huddled together planning details for Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.

One of them tells CNN the service will be in Chapel Hill, likely on Saturday.  The close and trusted family friend said that the former wife of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards mapped out a lot of the details before her passing.

Edwards died on Tuesday after a prolonged battle with breast cancer.  She was 61 years old.

John Moylan worked with both Edwards in the husband’s White House bids in 2004, as a vice presidential nominee, and in 2008.  Amid the Edwards’ brushes with success - and scandal - Moylan remained close with the family.

In talking to CNN about a likely Saturday funeral, Moylan stressed there were not yet firm details.  He also said it’s not yet certain whether any reporters, including a TV crew, would be allowed inside the service.

Moylan was not inside the family home at the exact time of Elizabeth Edwards’ passing. He was there shortly after.  He described to CNN the mood in the house.

“I think there’s understandable sadness over Elizabeth’s death.  But I think it was a remarkable display of strength,” Moylan said.

“Elizabeth did a great job in preparing her children and her family for this day.”

Moylan also said that the Edwards’ two young children, Jack and Emma Claire, were sent to school on Tuesday - after their mother’s death - to maintain a sense of normalcy.

The couple had two other children: Cate, an adult, and Wade, who died in 1996 in a car accident.

Moylan said a photo of Wade was at Elizabeth Edwards’ bedside when she passed.  Though Moylan said it had long been there.

John Edwards was there in the final moments of his former wife’s life.

Moylan explained to CNN that the former presidential candidate is dealing with the loss - and what his focus is going forward.

“John is focusing all of his energy and attention on the children.  Which I think is the appropriate thing for him to be doing,” Moylan said.


CNN Political Ticker

Cemetery: Elizabeth Edwards to be buried next to son

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) - A funeral for Elizabeth Edwards will be held on Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina at 1 p.m. ET.

A representative for the Brown-Wynne Funeral Homes told CNN it will be held at the Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, where the Edwards family worshipped.

Edwards will then be buried at the Historic Oakwood Cemetery, also in Raleigh, according to office manager Sharon Freed. Freed also told CNN about the proximity of Edwards’ burial to her son Wade - also buried there after dying in a 1996 car crash.

“He is already interred there in a space. And she will be interred there beside him,” Freed said.

Representatives for the Edwards family, who are providing reporters information about funeral services, would not confirm what the Brown-Wynne Funeral Homes and the Historic Oakwood Cemetery told CNN.

The Edwards reps stress that details are being worked out and that major decisions remain - so they are not ready to publicly release them.

Representatives tell CNN they will publicly release fuller details later Wednesday.

A memorial website is now live online as a tribute to Edwards.

It states: “In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wade Edwards Foundation which benefits the Wade Edwards Learning Lab.”

The website states that the learning lab is a computer and learning center in Raleigh that provides services free of charge.


CNN Political Ticker

Details being mapped out for likely Saturday funeral for Elizabeth Edwards

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (CNN) - Family and trusted friends are huddled together planning details for Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.

One of them tells CNN the service will be in Chapel Hill, likely on Saturday. The close and trusted family friend said that the former wife of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards mapped out a lot of the details before her passing.

Edwards died on Tuesday after a prolonged battle with breast cancer. She was 61 years old.

John Moylan worked with both Edwards in the husband’s White House bids in 2004, as a vice presidential nominee, and in 2008. Amid the Edwards’ brushes with success - and scandal - Moylan remained close with the family.

In talking to CNN about a likely Saturday funeral, Moylan stressed there were not yet firm details. He also said it’s not yet certain whether any reporters, including a TV crew, would be allowed inside the service.

Moylan was not inside the family home at the exact time of Elizabeth Edwards’ passing. He was there shortly after. He described to CNN the mood in the house.

“I think there’s understandable sadness over Elizabeth’s death. But I think it was a remarkable display of strength,” Moylan said.

“Elizabeth did a great job in preparing her children and her family for this day.”

Moylan also said that the Edwards’ two young children, Jack and Emma Claire, were sent to school on Tuesday to maintain a sense of normalcy.

The couple had two other children: Cate, an adult, and Wade, who died in 1996 in a car accident.

Moylan said a photo of Wade was at Elizabeth Edwards’ bedside when she passed. Though Moylan said it had long been there.

John Edwards was there in the final moments of his former wife’s life.

Moylan explained to CNN that the former presidential candidate is dealing with the loss - and what his focus is going forward.

“John is focusing all of his energy and attention on the children. Which I think is the appropriate thing for him to be doing,” Moylan said.


CNN Political Ticker

Wonkbook: Remembering Elizabeth Edwards; tax deal fallout

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

elizedeards.jpg

Back in 2008, Democratic voters were presented with a choice between a seasoned veteran of Washington who wasn’t much beloved by the base and wasn’t known for inspiring speeches, but who had the long experience in government and realistic view of the legislative process necessary to succeed at the inside game, and an inspiring newcomer who had little experience with — or evident patience for — Washington’s ways, but seemed a once-in-a-generation communicator, and was beloved by the progressive base. They chose the guy they liked, figuring that what he didn’t know about Washington he could make up by getting the country on his side.

But the presidency of Barack Obama has been more inside game than outside game. The tax cut deal is yet another example. On the face of it, it’s not a bad deal. Republicans gets $ 130 billion in tax breaks for the wealthy, and Democrats get about $ 300 billion in more stimulative, more progressive breaks and unemployment benefits. That’s more than anyone thought Obama likely to get from these negotiations. But it was a deal struck in a back room, without buy-in from the president’s base, and then sold at a press conference were Obama lectured liberals about the compromises required to pass Social Security, Medicare, and the founding of this country, and the dangers of “sanctimony.” As you might imagine, that didn’t go over too well with liberals, and now we’re in another of the occasional flare-ups between Obama and his base.

As of yet, Obama hasn’t proven very effective at building support for liberal legislation. There are lots of reasons of this, only some of them relating to his sales job, but the fact of the matter is that neither stimulus nor health-care reform nor a more activist government are particularly popular right now. But Obama has proven extremely effective at passing liberal legislation: Though the bills are imperfect and filled with difficult compromises, Obama passed health-care reform, has gotten, at this point, well more than a trillion dollars in stimulus, and leads a more activist and engaged government than this country has seen in many years. I don’t think anyone, looking at the Obama campaign in 2008, would expect his presidency to have shown both the strengths and the weaknesses that it has.

But Wonkbook leads today with sadder news: The passing of Elizabeth Edwards. I spent some time with Edwards over the years, and I’ve never known a policy wonk so capable of explaining to people why the country needed to make the choices it needed to make, nor a communicator so able and eager to grasp the specifics of the policies she was talking about. She will be terribly missed.

Remembering Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards has died at 61 following a long battle with cancer: http://wapo.st/ep1S0G

From her final message to supporters: “The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious.”

The team at Think Progress outlines her policy legacy: “During the 2008 presidential campaign, Elizabeth — a regular contributor to the Wonk Room throughout the health care reform debate and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress — took to our blog and challenged conservatives for releasing a health care plan that would have excluded millions of Americans who suffered from pre-existing or chronic conditions. “Why are people like me left out of your health care proposal,” Elizabeth asked Republicans, pointing out that market-based proposals would leave millions of Americans “outside the clinic doors” and allow insurance companies free reign to continue excluding sicker beneficiaries.”

Read an archive of Elizabeth Edwards writings at Wonk Room: http://bit.ly/hQRa5Z

Jonathan Cohn remembers her policy acumen: http://bit.ly/ijgFjZ

James Fallows remembers meeting her during Edwards’ 2004 campaign: “The longer the evening went on, the more people kept deferring to and asking questions of Elizabeth Edwards. By the end, it was like a seminar that she was conducting for the rest. She was talking mainly not about her husband’s campaign but about her assessment of the larger shape of the presidential race. Where Bush and Cheney would be most vulnerable in the general election; what Karl Rove had figured out; how the New Hampshire results would position the Democrats for ‘mini-Tuesday’ the next week and ‘super-Tuesday’ a month later; how Democrats could talk about economic justice without sounding like big-government spendthrifts; what to say and do about Iraq.There was nothing ‘brave’ or tragic about it, just someone who was intelligent, clear-eyed, and tough. I would like to remember that accomplished side of her.”

Jonathan Alter remembers their friendship, and shared struggle with cancer: http://bit.ly/f5ZhVz

Brit-pop interlude Kate Nash plays “Paris” live in Paris.

Economy

Congressional Democrats are resisting the administration’s tax cut deal, report Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) was among those who emerged unconvinced. ‘I’m just staggered by the enormity of this package,’ she said. Others were in full revolt. Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) was one of three senators who interrupted Biden’s presentation. Afterward, he vowed to ‘do everything I can to defeat this proposal,’ including staging a filibuster… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) ignored the deal in a statement that lambasted Republicans, saying they have ‘held the middle class hostage for provisions that benefit only the wealthiest 3 percent.’”

Obama chastised liberals for resisting the deal: http://wapo.st/ewgZrz

House Democrats especially object to its estate tax provisions, reports Brian Beutler: “Incoming Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) needs to see some movement as well. ‘I have very serious reservations about this package primarily because of the [estate tax] provision we’re talking about,’ he told reporters. Before the meeting, during a House vote, Pelosi ally Henry Waxman (D-CA) told reporters, ‘They put out this compromise, and I notice Senator Reid says it needs some modifications…. if it’s open to modifications, I’d certainly like to see some as well,’ Waxman said. ‘I particularly am not happy about the estate tax.’ ‘It’s the biggest of the problems,’ Rep. Anthony Wiener (D-NY).”

Jim DeMint and the Club for Growth oppose the deal: http://bit.ly/fHZD5L

Replacing Making Work Pay with a payroll tax cut harms the poor, reports David Kocieniewski: “The proposal does not include an extension of Mr. Obama’s signature tax cut, the Making Work Pay credit, which provided a credit of up to $ 400 for individuals and $ 800 for families of low and moderate income. Instead, the plan creates a one-year reduction in Social Security payroll taxes, which are generally levied on the first $ 106,800 of income. For an individual earning $ 110,000, that provision would reduce payroll taxes by $ 2,136. Although the $ 120 billion payroll tax reduction offers nearly twice the tax savings of the credit it replaces, it will nonetheless lead to higher tax bills for individuals with incomes below $ 20,000 and families that make less than $ 40,000. That is because their payroll tax savings are less than the $ 400 or $ 800 they will lose from the Making Work Pay credit.”

The White House cut a pretty good deal — but lost its base,” writes Ezra Klein: “If you look at the numbers alone, the tax cut deal looks to have robbed Republicans blind. The GOP got around $ 95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $ 30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $ 120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $ 40 billion in refundable tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and education tax credits), $ 56 billion in unemployment insurance, and, depending on how you count it, about $ 180 billion (two-year cost) or $ 30 billion (10-year cost) in new tax incentives for businesses to invest.”

“[But] the White House disappeared into a closed room with the Republicans and cut a deal that they’d made no effort to sell to progressives. When the deal was cut, the president took an oblique shot at their preferences, saying ‘the American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories.’ And this came a mere week or two after the White House announced a federal pay freeze. The pattern, for progressives, seems clear: The White House uses them during elections, but doesn’t listen to, or consult them, while governing. In fact, it insults them, and then tells them to quiet down, they got the best bargain possible, even if it wasn’t the one they’d asked for, or been promised.”

Obama’s tax deal should be viewed as his second stimulus package, writes David Leonhardt: “Tellingly, economists and Democratic policy experts were largely pleased with the deal. Forecasting firms on Tuesday upgraded their estimates for growth and job gains over the next two years. Economists at Goldman Sachs, who have been more negative and more accurate than most Wall Street forecasters lately, called the deal ‘significantly more positive’ than they had anticipated. And left-leaning policy experts said the package did more to create jobs than they had thought possible after the Republicans’ midterm election victories. Robert Greenstein, Lawrence Mishel and John Podesta — who run prominent Washington research groups that range from liberal to staunchly liberal — all offered praise for the package.”

Liberals should back the tax deal, writes Dean Baker: http://bit.ly/esGjjs

The tax cut deal is weak economic policy, writes Steven Pearlstein: “Economists generally agree that extending unemployment insurance and providing tax breaks for business investment are fair and cost-effective ways to add juice to a lackluster economy. But I’m less convinced about the wisdom of additional payroll tax cuts to stimulate spending by American households that, after decades of over-consumption, are finally beginning to save again. Democrats rightfully complained that the tax cuts were the least-effective parts of the original stimulus package, and there is no reason to expect they will work any better this time…The bigger problem with the tax deal is that it represents a big step backward on the road to getting deficits under control.”

The South Korea trade deal could face trouble in the Senate, reports Tom Barkley: “Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont), chairman of the Finance Committee that has jurisdiction over trade, has said he is ‘deeply disappointed’ with the deal and will reserve judgment until further progress is made on opening Korea’s market to U.S. beef. The revised pact contains new protections for U.S. auto makers, but didn’t change the original 2007 pact significantly when it came to beef. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), who will take over as the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee next year, also expressed reservations about some aspects of the deal, but said he would support its passage.”

Adorable animals being festive interlude: 40 cats with Santa beards.

Still to come: Congressional Democrats are in revolt over the tax cut deal; health care reform is leading to cuts to children’s hospitals; the FCC’s net neutrality proposal could hurt online video; Rep. Fred Upton will chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and cats with Santa beards.

Health Care

Children’s hospitals are losing money for “orphan drugs”, reports Robert Pear: “Over the last 18 years, Congress has required drug manufacturers to provide discounts to a variety of health care providers, including community health centers, AIDS clinics and hospitals that care for large numbers of low-income people. Several years ago, Congress broadened the program to include children’s hospitals. But this year Congress, in revising the drug discount program as part of the new health care law, blocked these hospitals from continuing to receive price cuts on orphan drugs intended for treatment of diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States…Children’s hospitals say the change is costing them hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Republican support for anti-health care reform lawsuits is hypocritical, writes Michael Kinsley: “If there is one thing your typical Republican politician does not care for (I have always been given to understand), it is an ‘activist judge.’…If there is one more thing your typical Republican politician does not care for, it is frivolous lawsuits that clog the courts and unfairly burden innocent doctors and small-business persons as they go about trying to create jobs…So it is puzzling to learn that 32 Republican senators have filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking a U.S. District Court judge to invalidate President Barack Obama’s health care reform.”

Domestic Policy

The FCC’s Internet rules could hamper online video, reports Cecilia Kang: “As details emerge about the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial proposal for regulating Internet providers, a provision that would allow companies to bill customers for how much they surf the Web is drawing special scrutiny. Analysts say pay-as-you-go Internet access could put the brakes on the burgeoning online video industry, handing a victory to cable and satellite TV providers. The practice is legal, but had been discouraged by the FCC and by protests from consumers and public interest groups. But wireless companies are moving rapidly in that direction - all major cellphone providers offer subscribers tiered data plans for Internet service.”

GAO has adjusted its report on for-profit schools: http://wapo.st/dSYdAx

Democrats may pair the DREAM Act with an agricultural jobs bill, report Jonathan Allen and Scott Wong: “In an attempt to round up more votes on the DREAM Act immigration bill, House leaders are looking at adding an agriculture jobs bill that would ease rules for farm laborers. Several senior Democratic aides said the two bills were discussed in conjunction with each other at a leadership meeting Tuesday afternoon, though no final decision had been made…The House is expected to vote on the DREAM Act Wednesday, with the Senate holding a test vote on the measure later in the day. The agriculture bill, known as AgJobs, is designed to lure the votes of more rural members of the House.”

Harry Reid wants to use the tax cut package to legalize online poker: http://politi.co/h7vxqN

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions are teaming up to fight an Arizona immigration law, reports Jess Bravin: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is in an unusual alliance with liberal groups in Wednesday’s Supreme Court case challenging an Arizona law that penalizes employers who hire illegal immigrants. The chamber has teamed up against the Legal Arizona Workers Act with allies including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Service Employees International Union and a Latino group that Justice Sonia Sotomayor once helped lead. The Obama administration is sending the government’s top litigator to assist the chamber’s lawyer. ‘It’s a rather compelling story to have all these groups that usually are on opposite sides come together,’ said Robin Conrad, who heads the chamber’s litigation arm.”

Cocktail party prep interlude: Scientific party tricks.

Energy

Rep. Fred Upton will chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, reports Felicia Sonmez: “Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) will be the next leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee…among the slate of new committee chairs elected by the 34-member steering committee, according to House GOP aides. The full House Republican Conference is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to ratify the panel’s recommendations, a step that is largely a formality…Upton…won out over Reps. Joe L. Barton (Tex.), John Shimkus (Ill.) and Cliff Stearns (Fla.) for the Energy and Commerce chairmanship.”

The White House is open to counting nuclear power as “clean energy”, reports Patrick Reis: “The Obama administration may consider caving to GOP demands to include nuclear and some coal production in a ‘clean energy standard,’ Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday. A national ‘clean’ or ‘renewable’ energy standard would require utilities to purchase a percentage of their electricity from nonfossil fuel sources and is seen as one of the administration’s few options for a broad energy policy after the death of the cap-and-trade bill…Senate coalition championed by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) has pushed for a standard focused on renewable sources favored by environmental groups, including wind, solar and geothermal, and the Obama administration and House Democrats are on board as well.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller wants to strip the EPA’s climate regulating power in the omnibus spending bill: http://bit.ly/hSL05s

Ralph Hall, a climate skeptic, will chair the House Science Committee, reports Robin Bravender: “Ralph Hall is poised to become the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee after fending off a challenge from California Republican Dana Rohrabacher…Hall told POLITICO in a recent interview he’s not a climate skeptic. ‘If they quote me correctly, I’ve never said it’s outrageous to even think about global warming. I want some proof,’ he said. ‘If I get the chair and have the gavel, I’m going to subpoena people from both sides and try to put them under oath and try to find out what the real facts are.’ But he said he does want to question all sides of the issue, including the scientists at the center of the so-called ‘Climategate’ controversy surrounding e-mails stolen from climate researchers last year in England.

Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews, Mike Shepard, and Michelle Williams. Photo credit: Susan Biddle / The Washington Post







Ezra Klein

Sarah Palin and Elizabeth Edwards, sisters under the skin?

December 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Elizabeth-and-john-edwards
“New York Magazine’s excerpt from the book Game Change about John and Elizabeth Edwards, ‘Saint Elizabeth and the Ego Monster,’ makes this the perfect time to stroll down memory lane,” wrote The Nose on Your Face a few months back. Elizabeth Edwards died today, a life full of promise thwarted by something lacking at the center?

By Sissy Willis of sisu

“I’m sensing a profound sistah connection between Elizabeth Edwards and Sarah Palin,” we twittered this afternoon:

The difference? Left vs right political philosophy?”

That and the luck of the marriage draw, perhaps? For Sarah, it seems, the family is the font of all good things, husband and wife equally pulling their weight. For Elizabeth a toxic mixture of power-crazed politics and reckless infidelity seems to have waylaid the golden girl on her path to fulfillment, she and her husband pulling in opposite directions that eventually derailed their utopian project to save the world …

Read full post here.

Liberty Pundits Blog

Elizabeth Edwards RIP

December 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Fallows' tribute here.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

In 2007 Elizabeth Edwards Spoke Out For Gay Marriage And Against DADT

December 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Post image for In 2007 Elizabeth Edwards Spoke Out For Gay Marriage And Against DADT

“We need a universal understanding of what it means to be gay in America today.”

In July, 2007, Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away just this morning of breast cancer, spoke at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in San Francisco, on a variety of topics. Edwards, wife of former presidential-candidate John Edwards, spoke out in support of same-sex marriage, against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and in favor of a national hate crimes bill. It is believed she is the first presidential-candidate’s wife to take these positions, as did her husband.

Rattling them off as if they were the names of a mother’s children, Elizabeth Edwards said she and John were fighting for, “the reform of 1100 federal laws that discriminate against same-sex couples, the end of the foolish “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy — the Department of Defense -  this is, I have to say, a policy that didn’t become wrong, it was always wrong.”

Edwards likened the hate crime death of Satendar Singh to that of Matthew Shepard, and said that “I believe that violence was possible because first there were words of hate.”

Mrs. Edwards also spoke eloquently of the vicious hate that came from Ann Coulter.

Watch the entire video. Please.

Our thoughts tonight are with the entire Edwards family.






President Obama issued this statement:

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards.  This afternoon I spoke to Cate Edwards and John Edwards, and offered our family’s condolences.  I came to know and admire Elizabeth over the course of the presidential campaign.  She was a tenacious advocate for fixing our health care system and fighting poverty, and our country has benefited from the voice she gave to the cause of building a society that lifts up all those left behind.

“In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain.  Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up.  But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”



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