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Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, February 14, 2013, 6:15 PM
Filed Under: POLITICS
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Armed Services Committee's confirmation hearing. Countering the Republican-led opposition to President Barack Obama's nominee for defense secretary is a less flashy but powerful constituency _ military veterans. Longstanding veterans' organizations have praised Hagel, a twice-wounded combat veteran of Vietnam and deputy administrator in President Ronald Reagan's Veterans Administration. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The Valentine’s Day vote in the United States Senate speaks not to the qualifications of Chuck Hagel to serve as secretary of defense, but instead to the insane theatrical performance that the branch of government created under Article 1 of the Constitution has mutated into.

By a single vote -- Harry Reid had to cast a procedural vote against the nomination to reserve the right to bring it to the floor again  -- Republicans chose to delay Chuck Hagel’s nomination.

After the Presidents’ Day recess, Chuck Hagel will be confirmed when 59 votes magically become 61. Both Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander have stated they will then vote to move the nomination to the floor, and it is likely that many more Republicans will follow their lead.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 5:20 PM
Filed Under: POLITICS

Far from a cool drink of water (ok I couldn’t resist), Marco Rubio’s State of the Union response was a failure in that it continued to rest the entire weight of the Republican Party squarely on its Achilles heel.

In 2012 the GOP was doomed to defeat because they could not bear to listen to facts that were not from their own limited echo chamber. And Tuesday night Marco Rubio, who has been elevated as a conservative savior by the same elements of the movement who directed the Romney campaign off a cliff, showed he was pretty comfortable in the confines of Fox News’ messaging womb.

Instead of a launching pad for a new conservative movement, his speech was constructed around seven straw men, many of which were directly contradicted in the Presidents own remarks:

POSTED: Monday, February 11, 2013, 6:38 PM
Filed Under: POLITICS
Roger Ailes, chairman & chief executive officer of FOX News. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images)

Roger Ailes seems to have caught a case of amnesia or a serious projection complex, “kvetching” to Eliza Gray:

“The president likes to divide people into groups,” he huffs into the phone. “He’s too busy getting the middle class to hate rich people, blacks to hate whites. He is busy trying to get everybody to hate each other.” With that off his chest, Ailes gets back on message. “We need to get along.”

That sounds a lot like a mob boss bemoaning a crime wave.

POSTED: Monday, February 11, 2013, 11:43 AM
Filed Under: POLITICS

Out promoting a new book, former Washington, D.C. , school chancellor and current head of the anti-union school reform group Students First Michelle Rhee appeared at Politico’s "Breakfast Club" on Friday. In the course of defending criticism of her organization’s ties to prominent conservatives, she declared that “this is actually the cool thing about what we’re doing — this is bipartisan.”

It’s understandable in our perverted media and policymaking environment that Rhee would want to adopt the bipartisan label. Many in Washington oddly believe that label alone should trump sound policy, effectiveness, or even morality.

As evidence of the bipartisanship, Rhee touts the support of several Democratic mayors -- the political equivalent of the “some of my best friends are . . . “ 

POSTED: Monday, February 4, 2013, 3:27 PM
Filed Under: POLITICS
In this October 2009 file photo, former White House senior adviser Karl Rove answers a question at Penn State University in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/John Beale, File)

The New York Times reported this weekend that Karl Rove’s American Crossroads will be mounting a new effort to engage in Republican primaries to weed out potential embarrassing losses like the ones suffered by Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Murdoch in Indiana.

Steven Law, Crossroads’ president, told The Times: “There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected."

POSTED: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 9:33 AM
Susan P. Crawford. (Photo by Camille Gévaudan, via Wikimedia Commons)

A few weeks ago former Obama administration technology advisor Susan Crawford released her book Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. A wonky book, from an academic publisher, it has attracted a flurry of responses, that if one digs one layer below the surface are from authors whose institutions are connected to the very industry the book critiques.

Across the internet, a seemingly disconnected series of reviews appeared attacking the book, the author, and her premise – that giant telecom companies are bad for consumers and bad for the internet. The reviews were rounded up on the blog of Broadband for America, an advocacy group whose purported aim is “ensuring every American citizen has high quality access to the Internet.”

BFA cited reviews from American Enterprise Institute fellow Nick Schulz in the Wall Street Journal; NetCompetition chairman Scott Cleland in The Daily Caller; Free State Foundation president Randolph May; and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation fellow Richard Bennett.

About this blog
Ari Rabin-Havt is host of The Agenda, a nightly national radio program airing on SiriusXM 127. He is also a senior adviser to Media Matters and was on the faculty of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. He is co-author of "The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine" and has served as an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic National Committee and worked on John Kerry's presidential campaign. Reach Ari at TheAgendaAri@gmail.com.

Ari Rabin-Havt
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