By Dana Milbank December 1, 2012 6 a.m.
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."
By Dana Milbank November 24, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank November 17, 2012 6 a.m.
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."
By Dana Milbank November 10, 2012 6 a.m.
It was a victory party fit for the 1 percent.
By Dana Milbank October 27, 2012 6 a.m.
October Surprises just aren't what they used to be.
By Dana Milbank October 20, 2012 6 a.m.
Mitt Romney has done a heckuva job with his jobs plan.
By Dana Milbank October 13, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank October 6, 2012 6 a.m.
DENVER — Fifteen minutes into Wednesday night's debate here, Mitt Romney politely called the president of the United States a liar.
By Dana Milbank September 29, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank September 22, 2012 6 a.m.
'The media wants to beat up Mitt Romney," Sean Hannity told his Fox News viewers this week, "which is driving me nuts."
By Dana Milbank September 15, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank September 8, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank September 1, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank August 25, 2012 6 a.m.
When Todd Akin sneezes, Paul Ryan catches a cold.
By Dana Milbank August 11, 2012 6 a.m.
For once, Harry Reid held his tongue.
By Dana Milbank August 4, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank July 26, 2012 6 a.m.
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."
By Dana Milbank July 21, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank July 14, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank July 7, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank June 30, 2012 6 a.m.
All hail Grover Norquist!
By Dana Milbank June 23, 2012 6 a.m.
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.
By Dana Milbank June 9, 2012 6 a.m.
My daughter is only 8 but, being a child in Washington, D.C., she has already felt the cruel sting of rejection.
By Dana Milbank May 26, 2012 6 a.m.
The Secret Circus may soon be looking for a new ringmaster. The prostitution scandal involving a dozen Secret Service agents in Cartagena, Colombia, is spreading into a broader burlesque for the agency, furthered by a Washington Post report that tolerance of a frat-house culture has induced some employees to come up with the "Secret Circus" name.
By Dana Milbank May 19, 2012 6 a.m.
‘Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer,” Sen. Rand Paul said of President Obama.
By Dana Milbank May 12, 2012 6 a.m.
Almost four years ago, I was watching Sarah Palin rile up a Clearwater, Fla., crowd with anti-Obama broadsides when a spectator let loose a bloodcurdling cry of “kill him!”
By Dana Milbank May 5, 2012 6 a.m.
With “more discipline and more courage to be more outside the mainstream,” Newt Gingrich told USA Today on the eve of ending his presidential bid, “it might have worked better.” Actually, Mr. Moon Colony was plenty outside the mainstream. But discipline? Yes, that might have helped.
By Dana Milbank April 14, 2012 6 a.m.
President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick. “There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”
By Dana Milbank April 7, 2012 6 a.m.
Think the Obama administration has been strangling businesses with red tape? Well, that’s a load of chicken droppings.
By Dana Milbank March 31, 2012 6 a.m.
In Washington, D.C., even the dogs are pundits. My dog, a 2-year-old golden retriever/poodle mix named Z.Z., had her cable news debut last week, on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.” Host Lawrence O’Donnell had us on set to discuss Z.Z.’s membership in Dogs Against Romney.
By Dana Milbank March 24, 2012 6 a.m.
It is typical of Mitt Romney’s luck that, on the morning after he all but secured the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign became embroiled in a controversy over a 1950s plastic toy. On Wednesday, hours after Romney’s 12-point victory over Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary silenced most of the remaining doubters, senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom went on CNN and gave new meaning to the term “game change.”
By Dana Milbank March 17, 2012 6 a.m.
Are Republicans ready to be trusted with the reins of power? If you’re thinking of answering this in the affirmative, you might want to pause long enough to learn what transpired on the third floor of the Capitol on Thursday. There, four prominent Republican lawmakers announced their proposal to abolish Medicare -- “sunset” was their pseudo-verb -- even for those currently on the program or nearing retirement.
By Dana Milbank March 10, 2012 6 a.m.
The Republicans are synthesizing a higher-octane blend in their bid to fuel Americans’ anxiety about higher gas prices. The Republican National Committee sent out talking points instructing party faithful to take up the issue. House Speaker John Boehner urged his caucus to do the same. And, on Wednesday, the House energy committee obliged: The Republican majority called in a bunch of oilmen for a hearing dedicated largely to blaming President Obama for gas prices.
By Dana Milbank March 3, 2012 6 a.m.
A few months ago, Sen. Michael Bennet’s staff staged what the Colorado Democrat calls an intervention. He had survived a brutal campaign in 2010 to win his first full term. But after a year of deadlock and partisanship in the Senate, he was wondering whether it had been worth the struggle. “It was right after we managed to end our session with a two-month extension of the payroll tax,” Bennet told me Wednesday. “I got to a point where I was referring to this place as the Land of Flickering Lights, because the standard of success was we kept the lights on for another two months.”
By Dana Milbank February 18, 2012 6 a.m.
You might think that Sen. David Vitter would observe a lifetime moratorium on public moralizing after his phone number was found in the little black book of a prostitution ring’s madam. But there he was in the House TV studio on Wednesday, informing a bank of cameras about President Obama’s inferior conscience, as evidenced by a new rule that requires employers to provide birth-control coverage.
By Dana Milbank February 11, 2012 6 a.m.
It’s nine months until Election Day, but President Obama is already bringing out the big guns. Specifically, he is shouldering the Extreme Marshmallow Cannon. Obama walked into the State Dining Room at midday Tuesday and encountered 14-year-old Joey Hudy and the compressed-air cannon he invented to launch marshmallows as part of a science fair. “The Secret Service is going to be mad at me about this,” the president said, but he didn’t care. He asked Hudy to hand over the gun, told onlookers to step aside, pumped up the compressor — and shot a confection across the room Thomas Jefferson used as his office. Under the watchful gaze of an Abraham Lincoln portrait, the projectile narrowly missed a window and smacked into a wall near the entrance to the Red Room.
By Dana Milbank February 4, 2012 6 a.m.
House freshmen have been on the job for almost exactly a year, and until now they’ve done little more than talk about cutting the national debt. But on Wednesday morning, eight lawmakers finally decided to take action. They scheduled a “major announcement,” invited the media and declared that they had a plan to reduce the deficit by -- are you sitting down? -- $1.435 million.
By Dana Milbank January 7, 2012 6 a.m.
If this is Mitt Romney’s idea of a victory rally, one shudders to think what would have happened if he had lost the Iowa caucuses. The day after his impossibly thin eight-vote victory, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination flew to manchester, N.H., for a town hall meeting at Manchester Central High School, where he was to bask in the endorsement of his 2008 rival, John McCain. But the senator grimaced when he was introduced, and as Romney delivered his own stump speech, McCain looked increasingly impatient. McCain gave his endorsement address without mentioning Romney’s Iowa win until the end. “By the way, we forgot to congratulate him on his landslide victory last night,” he said, laughing. Romney ignored him.
By Dana Milbank December 31, 2011 6 a.m.
Pundits say the darnedest things on TV. Take, for example, the genius who said in January that “the president has a fairly easy” re-election ahead of him. Or the guy who said in June that Newt Gingrich, now the leading challenger to Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, was “finished, whether he knows he is or not.” How about the talking head who said in July that House Speaker John Boehner had suffered a “mortal wound” at the hands of fellow Republicans? Or the one who predicted in August that Rick Perry would “hold his own” in the presidential debates?
By Dana Milbank December 10, 2011 6 a.m.
The first votes of the Republican primary season don’t come until next month, but we already know how it’s going to turn out: Washington, D.C., has won again. It may be Mitt Romney or it may be Newt Gingrich, but from the point of view of this town, it doesn’t matter: Neither poses a threat to our way of life. Our hometown industry — a commission-based economy in which the local citizenry helps the powerful get what they want from a too-big government — will survive.
By Dana Milbank December 3, 2011 6 a.m.
The morning after his retirement announcement, Rep. Barney Frank scored an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, gaining the opportunity to act as an elder statesman in front of a TV audience of millions. Instead, the Massachusetts Democrat chose to quarrel with the interviewer. “You said that your district has been redrawn in a way that would make it more difficult for you to win re-election,” host Savannah Guthrie said. “I didn’t say I wasn’t running because I was afraid I couldn’t win,” Frank retorted.
By Dana Milbank October 29, 2011 6 a.m.
If at first you don’t secede, try the birther movement. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who more than once has dipped his cowboy boot into the secessionist swamp, has found a new outlet for his fringe instincts. The Republican presidential candidate has revived questions about President Obama’s birth certificate. The controversy pretty much died in the spring when Obama released his long-form birth certificate confirming his birth in the United States and, therefore, his eligibility for the presidency. But Perry, in an interview in last Sunday’s Parade magazine, showed that he marches to a different drummer:
By Dana Milbank October 22, 2011 6 a.m.
Even by the standards of the highly charged immigration issue, what’s been happening among Republicans in recent days is, well, shocking. First came Herman Cain, arguing for an electric fence at the border that would be powerful enough to kill people. Next, the other leading contenders, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, devoted a large portion of Tuesday night’s Republican debate to a so’s-your-mama argument about who was softer on illegal immigrants. Then, Wednesday morning, senators brought Janet Napolitano to testify on Capitol Hill, and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee put the homeland security secretary through a hazing ritual that stopped just short of making her climb an electrified fence. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the committee, accused immigration officials of “deceptive marketing practices,” “funny business” and flouting “the rule of law,” and he suggested that the administration is secretly seeking amnesty for illegal immigrants. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said immigration authorities had “no confidence” in her leadership and suspected her agenda was really “large-scale amnesty legislation.” When Napolitano tried to answer, Sessions began to shout at her. “You should be paying real attention to them, not rolling your eyes at them,” he lectured. “I’m not rolling my eyes,” the witness replied — although by the end of Sessions’ diatribe, her eyes were glistening. After two hours, the jolts ended. “You want to add anything else?” the chairman, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, offered. “I’ve enjoyed being the witness here today,” Napolitano answered.
By Dana Milbank October 15, 2011 6 a.m.
It was a(nother) great day to be a member of the Washington, D.C., elite. On Wednesday afternoon, the House was steamrolling toward passage of a trio of free-trade agreements without a whisper of objection from the Republican side. Finally, hours into the debate, Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., rose to appeal to his fellow Tea Partyers to heed the people who elected them. “Here we have roughly 9.1 percent unemployment in this country, due in no small part to the Washington elite jamming these job-destroying trade agreements down our throats,” Jones pleaded on the House floor. “It’s time we started listening to the will of the American people, doing what’s in the best interest of the American people, not in the best interest of the foreign nationals who desperately want to take our jobs.” It was a passionate speech but useless. Lawmakers, including the overwhelming majority of Tea Party Republicans, voted in support of the three trade deals, which had been at the top of corporate America’s wish list. That was just one of the day’s party favors for corporations. Hours earlier, House Speaker John Boehner made clear he would guard the corporate elite’s interests in avoiding a trade war with China. He refused to take up a bill that would have punished China for its currency manipulation, saying he had “grave concerns.” (The bill would have passed easily if it had the chance). Boehner and his Republican colleagues aren’t necessarily wrong in their desire to expand trade with Colombia, Panama and South Korea or to prevent a tit-for-tat with China. But the Republican support for the free-trade deals, and the leadership’s refusal to consider the China legislation, show where the power still resides in Washington, D.C.
By Dana Milbank October 8, 2011 6 a.m.
By most of the usual measures, President Obama has no business being re-elected. Here’s why he might be anyway. On Wednesday, as Senate Democratic leaders were scrambling to find a way to enact part of Obama’s jobs bill, a dozen Republican lawmakers assembled outside the Capitol to complain about ... health care reform. “Every day I get up, I do at least something to fight Obamacare,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) announced to the cameras. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) proclaimed that the year-and-a-half-old law meant the “socialization of medicine.” Maybe so, gentlemen, but don’t you have something better to do with your time?
By Dana Milbank September 24, 2011 6 a.m.
I am a job creator. I am not a job creator in the sense that I actually create jobs. I have never knowingly created a job, and my long-term business plan, approved unanimously by my board of directors, does not call for the creation of a single one.
By Dana Milbank September 17, 2011 6 a.m.
The applause identified Rick Perry as the crowd favorite when he took the stage in Tampa for Monday night’s Tea Party debate and greeted his lesser rivals as “fellas.” But two hours later, those fellas — and a gal from Minnesota — had made some serious progress toward making the broad-shouldered Texas governor come across as an empty suit. Sometimes they challenged Perry from the left (on Social Security and Medicare) and sometimes from the right (on immigration, taxes and mandatory vaccines), but it all came back to the same thing: The front-runner was befuddled, seemingly stunned that his rivals would question his right to the Republican presidential nomination.
By Dana Milbank September 10, 2011 6 a.m.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — “Maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country,” Rick Perry proposed midway through Wednesday night’s debate. And Perry, the Texas governor, did more than propose. Debating for the first time with his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, he was on a one-man campaign to spread provocative language. The querulous candidate, in his debut, fought with everybody and every thing. Social Security, he declared anew, is “a monstrous lie” and a “Ponzi scheme.” Making economic decisions because of climate-change science is “nonsense,” he announced, likening scientists who believe in global warming to flat-earthers. “Galileo got outvoted for a spell,” he said.