Fed Nominee Whom Sen. Shelby Deemed Too Unqualified To Confirm Wins Nobel Prize

October 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
Richard Shelby thinks this Nobel laureate is unqualified to set monetary policy.

Richard Shelby thinks this Nobel laureate is unqualified to set monetary policy.

Earlier today, Federal Reserve Board nominee Peter Diamond won the Nobel Prize in Economics along with two of his colleagues. Yet, despite the fact that President Obama nominated this Nobel laureate to the Fed nearly six months ago, his nomination is currently being blocked by just one senator. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) believes that this year’s winner of the highest honor in the economics profession is unqualified to actually set economic policy:

[U]nder an arcane procedural rule, the Senate sent Mr. Diamond’s nomination back to the White House on Thursday night before starting its summer recess. A leading Republican senator, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, said that Mr. Diamond did not have sufficiently broad macroeconomic experience to help run the central bank. […]

As Mr. Shelby noted, Mr. Diamond is not a specialist in monetary economics — the control of the supply of credit and the setting of interest rates — which is the Fed’s traditional purview. But of the five current governors of the Fed, only two, Mr. Bernanke and the vice chairman, Donald L. Kohn, are academic economists who specialize in monetary economics. The other three include a former community banker, a former Wall Street executive and a legal scholar.

Shelby, of course, has a history of this kind of abuse of the Senate Rules to prevent eminently qualified nominees from being confirmed. Earlier this year, Shelby briefly took over 70 nominees hostage in an attempt to strongarm the administration into awarding a $ 35 billion defense contract to his state — although he later lifted these holds once they became politically embarrassing.

But Shelby, of course, is only able to get away with these kinds of shenanigans because the Senate’s rules are shockingly easy to abuse. Indeed, while it is common wisdom that 60 senators are required to get virtually anything done, the reality is much bleaker — most Senate business now requires all 100 senators to consent.

The reason for this is because dissenting senators can force the Senate to waste hours or even days effectively doing nothing in order to pass a single bill or confirm a single nominee. Indeed, as a recent Center for American Progress white paper explains, there isn’t enough time in two entire presidential terms to confirm all of a new president’s nominees by the time that president leaves office:

TyrannyofTime_webcharts-01

In other words, the entire government can be hollowed out by a tiny group of senators with a vendetta. Today, Sen. Shelby thinks that a Nobel laureate doesn’t know enough about economics, so that nominee must languish without an up or down vote.  Tomorrow, another senator could disapprove of a nominee’s haircut, and that alone may be sufficient to spike the nomination.

Think Progress

Fed Nominee Whom Sen. Shelby Deemed Too Unqualified To Confirm Wins Nobel Prize

October 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
Richard Shelby thinks this Nobel laureate is unqualified to set monetary policy.

Richard Shelby thinks this Nobel laureate is unqualified to set monetary policy.

Earlier today, Federal Reserve Board nominee Peter Diamond won the Nobel Prize in Economics along with two of his colleagues. Yet, despite the fact that President Obama nominated this Nobel laureate to the Fed nearly six months ago, his nomination is currently being blocked by just one senator. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) believes that this year’s winner of the highest honor in the economics profession is unqualified to actually set economic policy:

[U]nder an arcane procedural rule, the Senate sent Mr. Diamond’s nomination back to the White House on Thursday night before starting its summer recess. A leading Republican senator, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, said that Mr. Diamond did not have sufficiently broad macroeconomic experience to help run the central bank. […]

As Mr. Shelby noted, Mr. Diamond is not a specialist in monetary economics — the control of the supply of credit and the setting of interest rates — which is the Fed’s traditional purview. But of the five current governors of the Fed, only two, Mr. Bernanke and the vice chairman, Donald L. Kohn, are academic economists who specialize in monetary economics. The other three include a former community banker, a former Wall Street executive and a legal scholar.

Shelby, of course, has a history of this kind of abuse of the Senate Rules to prevent eminently qualified nominees from being confirmed. Earlier this year, Shelby briefly took over 70 nominees hostage in an attempt to strongarm the administration into awarding a $ 35 billion defense contract to his state — although he later lifted these holds once they became politically embarrassing.

But Shelby, of course, is only able to get away with these kinds of shenanigans because the Senate’s rules are shockingly easy to abuse. Indeed, while it is common wisdom that 60 senators are required to get virtually anything done, the reality is much bleaker — most Senate business now requires all 100 senators to consent.

The reason for this is because dissenting senators can force the Senate to waste hours or even days effectively doing nothing in order to pass a single bill or confirm a single nominee. Indeed, as a recent Center for American Progress white paper explains, there isn’t enough time in two entire presidential terms to confirm all of a new president’s nominees by the time that president leaves office:

TyrannyofTime_webcharts-01

In other words, the entire government can be hollowed out by a tiny group of senators with a vendetta. Today, Sen. Shelby thinks that a Nobel laureate doesn’t know enough about economics, so that nominee must languish without an up or down vote.  Tomorrow, another senator could disapprove of a nominee’s haircut, and that alone may be sufficient to spike the nomination.

Think Progress

Want to know whom Rahm Emanuel hung out with?

October 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Sunlight Foundation pulled together all of his video logs and plugged them into sortable data player:

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Rahm EmanuelUnited StatesGovernmentIllinoisFederal
Ezra Klein

Whom Are We at War With?

September 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style=”float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;”> width=”400″ height=”250″> name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/bW2lk1uKvZ8?fs=1&hl=en_US”> name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”> name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”> src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/bW2lk1uKvZ8?fs=1&hl=en_US” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”400″ height=”250″>

On the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans, a new documentary accuses the Obama administration of not facing reality when it comes to terrorism.

href=”http://americaatrisk.com/”>America at Risk: The War With No Name,” presented by Citizens United and hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich, asserts that current U.S. policy and government officials refuse to acknowledge that radical Islam drives terrorist attacks such as the Fort Hood Massacre, Christmas Day bomber and Times Square bomber.

Examples include two top Obama administration figures: White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan and Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Our enemy is not terrorism because terrorism is just a tactic,” said Brennan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Aug. 6, 2009.

Brennan believes moderates in Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut that killed 241 service members, can help reform the organization; he refers to Jerusalem as al-Quds, the Islamist preferred terminology; and he imagines any American backlash against Muslims to be “scapegoating and fear mongering.”

Holder, meanwhile, explains last year’s terrorist attacks this way: “There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions.” When asked directly if radical Islam might have been one of these reasons, Holder said, “I don’t want to say anything negative about a religion.”

All references to “radical Islamism,” and the “war on terror” href=”http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2010/May/20100527164705ptellivremos0.1913568.html”>have been sanitized from our national security documents, abandoned for vague terms like “extremism” and “overseas contingencies operations” to describe our current conflict.

After the premier of “America at Risk,” Gingrich told a reporter, “If you look at the continuous denial of reality, there has got to be a point where someone stands up and says that this is just factually insane.”

The former House speaker is correct. How can we face an enemy whose character and driving ideology we refuse to identify?

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Poll: I don’t know whom I’m voting for!

September 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(CNN) – Talk about being up in the air!

A new poll indicates that more than three-quarters of New York State Democrats are undecided on which candidate they’ll vote for in the primary for attorney general, with the contest just 12 days away.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday, 77 percent said they didn’t know who they’d vote for, with only nine percent saying they are backing one of the five candidates bidding for the Democratic nomination.

New York current attorney general, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, is running for governor this year.

The poll indicates that Cuomo, who’s his party’s presumptive nominee, leads both of his Republican rivals, former Rep. Rick Lazio and businessman Carl Paladino, by more than two to one in hypothetical general election matchups.

According to the survey, Lazio holds a 47 to 35 percent advantage over Paladino among likely Republican primary voters, with nearly one in five undecided and nearly half of those backing one of the candidates saying they may change their mind before the primary.

The incumbent governor, Democrat David Paterson, announced in February that he would not run for a full term in office. Paterson was elevated from lieutenant governor to governor in 2008, when incumbent Eliot Spitzer resigned following a sex scandal.

The “I don’t know factor” is also quite high in the battle for the Republican Senate nomination. The poll indicates that nearly half of likely GOP primary voters are undecided in the battle to face Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, with 28 percent backing former Rep. Joseph DioGuardi, 12 supporting David Malpass and one in ten backing Bruce Blakeman. And three-quarters of those who do name one of the three candidates say they might change their mind.

“Joseph DioGuardi? David Malpass? Bruce Blakeman? Flip a coin. Most voters don’t know much about any of them. The impossible-to-predict spillover from people who go out to vote for governor or in other primaries will make the difference, and there’s no way on earth of foreseeing what that will be,” says Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Director Maurice Carroll.

Gillibrand is her party’s presumptive nominee. A former congresswoman, she was named early last year to replace Sen. Hillary Clinton, who stepped down to become secretary of state.

The Quinnpiac University poll was conducted from August 23-31, with 359 likely New York State Republican primary voters and 866 registered Democratic voters questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for Democratic registered voters and 5.2 percentage points for likely GOP voters.


CNN Political Ticker

Whom Do You Trust?

August 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Consistent with the tide that we see flowing toward Republican and conservative candidates across the country, likely voters now trust Republicans over Democrats on all ten key issues:

TenIssues2096.jpg

Consistent with that trend, Marco Rubio now leads Charlie Crist by ten among likely voters. Rubio will win, I think, not just because there is a Republican tide, but because he is a great candidate. He should be one of the leaders of the conservative movement for years to come. To help make sure that happens, please go here and contribute to his campaign.




Power Line

Video: Ask not for whom the Bell tolls …

August 17, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

As if the city council in Bell didn’t have enough to explain with its high salaries for city officials.  Now the state of California has discovered that Bell paid for those salaries by illegally overtaxing Bell citizens, to the tune of over $ 3 million in the last three years.  (Why, that would have paid their city manager’s salary, and … […] Read the rest »

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Gibbs: You know who’s annoying? The liberals whom we desperately need to turn out for us in November

August 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

When you work in a building where there’s a pity party raging 24/7, some of it’s bound to bleed over eventually in what you say to the press. […] Read the rest »

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