Stories by Dana
Ladies and gentlemen, Republicans are again voting on new abortion restrictions. The House Judiciary Committee gathered Wednesday to pass another anti-abortion bill, and the nameplates on the majority side told the story:
It's beginning to feel like the late '90s all over again. Then, congressional Republicans howled themselves hoarse about Clinton administration scandals. But the indicators kept pointing to a booming economy, and support for President Bill Clinton climbed steeply through 1998 as House Republicans marched toward impeaching him.
Not 72 hours after Fox News aired former Republican leader Bob Dole's suggestion that the GOP put out a "closed for repairs" sign, Michele Bachmann announced that she's going out of business. Just like that, the Republican conglomerate got an unexpected chance to shutter one of the balkiest shops in its supply chain.
There are various reasons you might not care about the Obama administration's spying on journalist James Rosen and labeling him an "aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" in an espionage case. Liberals may not be particularly bothered because the targeted journalist works for Fox News. Conservatives may not be concerned because of their antipathy toward the news media generally. And the general public certainly doesn't have much patience for journalists' whining.
As the nation's top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows. Why didn't his Justice Department inform The Associated Press, as the law requires, before pawing through reporters' phone records? "I do not know," the attorney general told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, "why that was or was not done. I simply don't have a factual basis to answer that question."
They summoned a whistle-blower to Capitol Hill, but instead they got a virtuoso storyteller. Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 U.S. diplomat in Libya the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, was to be the star witness for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the man leading the probe of the Obama administration's handling of the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.
It's never a good sign for a president when he feels compelled to assure the public he still has a pulse. This is the unenviable position President Obama was in Tuesday morning when he held a news conference and faced questions about the stalled pieces of his legislative program.
Whoever thinks there's no such thing as a free lunch has not been to the Heritage Foundation. After Sen. Mike Lee's speech to the conservative think tank Monday, his listeners didn't rush to the front of the room, where the Utah Republican was greeting well-wishers, but to the back to get in line for sandwiches, cookies and soft drinks provided gratis to the hungry young conservatives who sat through the hour.
The gun bill was going down, but Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who reached a compromise to try to save it, went to the Senate floor Wednesday morning to give it one more try.
The gun-lobby goons were at it again. The National Rifle Association's security guards gained notoriety earlier this year when, escorting NRA officials to a hearing, they were upbraided by Capitol authorities for pushing cameramen.
Imagine how gratifying it must feel to be Anthony Kennedy.
This week's 10th anniversary of the Iraq War passed quietly, and that's not a bad thing. Most Americans have no wish to celebrate the war, fought under false pretenses to a costly and ambiguous end. But in Washington,D.C., this week there are welcome signs that the lessons of Iraq have finally sunk in, among Republicans as well as Democrats.
The nation has moved on, but Ted Cruz has pulled his fellow Republicans right back into 2010. Three years ago next week, the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- became law. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the legislation in an opinion written by the conservative chief justice, John Roberts.
'It is not a white flag of surrender," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.
For a quarter-century, Antonin Scalia has been the reigning bully of the Supreme Court, but finally a couple of justices are willing to face him down. As it happens, the two manning up to take on Nino the Terrible are women: the court's newest members, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Jesse Jackson Jr. arrived in court wearing a leather bracelet, not the gold-plated Rolex watch he bought with $43,350 in federal campaign cash. The former congressman's head was bare, unadorned by the Michael Jackson fedora, purchased with $4,600 from the campaign kitty. His wife, at his side, eschewed the reversible mink parka, procured with $1,200 in campaign money from Edwards-Lowell furrier of Beverly Hills.
There is something entirely appropriate about holding the State of the Union address on the same day as Mardi Gras. One is a display of wretched excess, when giddy and rowdy participants give in to reckless and irresponsible behavior. The other is a street festival in New Orleans.
Republicans have happened upon a felicitous new strategy for reviving their party from its depressed state: They need only think happy thoughts.
Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's chief executive, arrived for his hearing on Capitol Hill in the organization's trademark fashion: violently.
They blamed her mismanagement for the death of Americans in Benghazi, Libya. They accused her of a cover-up. Some even suggested that she faked an illness to avoid testifying about the attack.
If the gun debate gets any more juvenile, the participants will need strollers.
A pair of polls out this week shows the dire state the Republican Party finds itself in -- and a way out of the wilderness, should Republicans choose to take it.
The end-of-term reviews of John Boehner's House speakership are in, and they aren't pretty.
It was a most audacious application of the Emanuel rule. "Never allow a crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel said when he was tapped to be President Obama's chief of staff.
President Obama says we will change our approach to gun violence — some other day.
It was a lonely farewell for Joe Lieberman.
Speaker John Boehner emerged from his weekly huddle with House Republicans on Wednesday morning to take his place behind a mahogany lectern in front of a brown backdrop. The dark tones provided ideal camouflage for the deeply tanned speaker -- as though he were trying to vanish into the background. Who could blame him?
In the early days of the Obama administration, I sat in a Capitol Hill hearing room and listened to Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower in the Bernie Madoff scandal, bemoan the toothless Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC, which ignored his warnings about Madoff, is "captive to the industry it regulates, and it is afraid of bringing big cases against the largest, most powerful firms," he said. "The SEC continues to roar like a mouse and fight like a flea. … I gift-wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them, and somehow they couldn't be bothered to conduct a thorough and proper investigation."
Some prominent Republicans — among them House Speaker John Boehner, publisher Bill Kristol, and Sen. Bob Corker — have been making noise about the need for the GOP to be flexible about raising taxes.
President Obama had a rare "bring-it-on moment" when ABC News' Jonathan Karl asked him about threats by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham to block confirmation of Susan Rice as secretary of state. "If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me," Obama said last week, defending his U.N. ambassador from charges she misled the public about attacks on Americans in Libya. "For them to go after the U.N. ambassador … and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous. And, you know, we're after an election now."
It was a victory party fit for the 1 percent.
October Surprises just aren't what they used to be.
Mitt Romney has done a heckuva job with his jobs plan.
When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA's cover.
DENVER — Fifteen minutes into Wednesday night's debate here, Mitt Romney politely called the president of the United States a liar.
As heads of government arrived in New York on Monday to attend the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama also made his way to Manhattan -- but to see a different group of world leaders: Barbara, Elisabeth, Joy, Sherri and Whoopi.
'The media wants to beat up Mitt Romney," Sean Hannity told his Fox News viewers this week, "which is driving me nuts."
NBC News reported on Tuesday morning that Mitt Romney's campaign was "throwing the kitchen sink" at President Obama. But the problem with throwing the kitchen sink is you might break a pipe — and then you've got a real mess.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Moments before Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic Party's convention, word bubbled through the Time Warner Cable Arena that President Obama would join him on the podium after his speech. This made official what was already implicit: The sitting president had come to bask in the former president's glow.
TAMPA, Fla. — Delegates were finding their seats on the floor of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday when a commotion broke out in the back corner, near the Maine contingent.
When Todd Akin sneezes, Paul Ryan catches a cold.
For once, Harry Reid held his tongue.
The animal kingdom has been inhospitable to Mitt Romney in this election cycle. First there was the damaging story of Seamus, the Irish setter the Romneys strapped to the roof of their car on a family trip. And now it seems that, when it comes to Romney's political aspirations, Seamus may not be the most dangerous animal in the family menagerie. This past week belonged to Rafalca, the dancing horse.
There have been many mendacious moments in this presidential campaign, but it will be hard to top what Republican Mitt Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference this week: President Barack Obama is seeking "an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with $1 trillion in cuts. Strategy is not driving the president's massive defense cuts. In fact, his own secretary of defense warned that these reductions would be devastating, and he's right. … This is no time for the president's radical cuts in our military."
Ron Paul ran for president three times, served nearly a quarter-century in Congress, spawned a national movement and saw his son elected to the Senate. But in his singular objective -- to "End the Fed," as the title of his book put it -- the libertarian obstetrician from Texas failed. He didn't even make a dent in it. In a valedictory Wednesday before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee, Paul raised the white flag.
Four years ago this week, Ted Kennedy changed history with the sheer force of his will. Senate Democrats, battling the Bush administration, needed one vote to maintain a key provision of Medicare. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, then used a lifeline: He called Kennedy, who was in Boston receiving chemotherapy for brain cancer, and pleaded for the liberal giant to return to Washington, D.C., to provide the clinching vote. When Kennedy walked onto the floor on July 9, 2008, senators on both sides erupted in cheers, and some wept. The Medicare bill passed -- with nine Republican senators switching their previous votes to be on Kennedy's side. Among those cheering the loudest that day was Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, Kennedy's longtime legislative partner, who eulogized him at his memorial.
John Roberts was the first justice to appear from behind the curtains when the buzzer sounded in the Supreme Court chamber at 10 a.m. sharp. He forced a tight grin and scanned the audience, which, on this historic day, included several members of Congress and retired Justice John Paul Stevens. The only hint of what was afoot came from Antonin Scalia, who, taking his place at the chief justice's right, bowed his head, as if in mourning.
All hail Grover Norquist!
There is something charmingly futile about House Republicans' move to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Even if the full House follows the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's vote Wednesday to hold him in contempt, the decision about whether to prosecute him will be left to a Justice Department run by … Eric Holder.
My daughter is only 8 but, being a child in Washington, D.C., she has already felt the cruel sting of rejection.