May 19, 2012 |
I doubt that the average American is pondering the political death of Dick Lugar. Heck, most might think "Dick Lugar" sounds like the name of the hero of a spy novel. But what happened to Lugar last week is a sign of the polarization that cripples Washington and is likely to impede rational governance no matter who wins the White House in November. The six-term Republican senator from Indiana was knocked off in a primary for a number of reasons. But what really fueled his landslide defeat at the hands of a tea-party insurgent was this fundamental fact: He occasionally had the temerity to work with Democrats.
May 16, 2012 |
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Rhode Island is working to help former pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company remain viable after it failed to make a scheduled $1.125 million payment to the state's economic development agency. Chafee said Tuesday that the state must do "everything possible" to assist 38 Studios and prevent the state from having to pay the company's debts. The payment to the Economic Development Corp. was due May 1. 38 Studios was lured from Massachusetts in 2010 after Rhode Island offered a $75 million loan guarantee that state officials said would help bring jobs and tax revenue.
March 4, 2012 |
Retirement announcements by Sen. Olympia J. Snowe and other centrists are putting more Senate seats at stake than at any time since 1996 - and the result may be an even more polarized environment. Snowe, a three-term Maine Republican known for voting with Democrats on some high-profile issues, said her decision was driven by frustration over partisanship and a lack of compromise in the Senate. Other departing senators who seek consensus on such issues as debt reduction say they share her view.
June 23, 2005 |
A growing number of Senate Republicans say that John R. Bolton will not be confirmed as U.N. ambassador unless the White House turns over documents that Democrats say they need to assess Bolton's fitness for the post. Although the White House yesterday kept up its demand for an up-or-down vote on Bolton, these Republican senators say their chamber is in a standoff that only President Bush can resolve. "I hope the President will take a very hard look at the documents," Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.
May 8, 2005 |
The outcome of a looming Senate confrontation over judicial nominees rests with a small band of uneasy Republicans who are reluctant to follow their leaders and force up-or-down votes on President Bush's contested federal court candidates. They number fewer than a dozen and make up an odd coalition that's part moderate, part maverick and part traditionalist. They include Senate veterans and relative newcomers, all worried that a clash that's come to be called the "nuclear option" would cause lasting damage to the Senate.
April 21, 2005
WHAT IS it about judges that has certain leaders of the GOP suddenly going off the deep end? At one end of Congress you have House Majority Leader Tom DeNut, oops, sorry, DeLay, assaulting Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy - someone nominated to the high court by Ronald Reagan, no less - for using the Internet to research his opinions, calling it "just incredibly outrageous. " At the other end, you have Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., pimping himself to the Religious Right this Sunday by appearing on a tele-evangelist program aimed at depicting Democrats as religious bigots for using filibusters to block extreme judicial nominations.
December 19, 2002 |
Embattled Senate Republican leader Trent Lott had hoped for some help from Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, but all he got yesterday was more criticism, as Powell voiced disgust with Lott's seeming embrace of past segregation. The rebuke by Powell, the highest-ranking black official in the Bush administration, was one of several developments that increased the likelihood of Lott's ouster as Senate Republican leader. Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, the only black Republican in Congress, backed away from his earlier support and suggested that Lott should consider stepping down.
June 6, 2001 |
This afternoon, in a small, private room on the Senate side of the Capitol, the self-proclaimed Republican moderates, all four of them, will convene for their weekly luncheon. On a normal Wednesday, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania would dine together in the Senate lunchroom, out in the open. It's a lot cheaper, and one table fits all. But this meeting is special. It's their first since James Jeffords of Vermont left the party and the lunch group, diminishing their ranks by 20 percent and leaving them a minority within a minority.
June 5, 2001
WHEN SENATOR Jim Jeffords of Vermont got off his side of the evenly balanced senatorial see-saw he sent his Republican colleagues sprawling and the press scurrying with one question: Who's next? Any answer right now would just be informed (or misinformed) speculation, but we can identify one senator who should seriously think about switching parties: Arlen Specter. Don't laugh, despite Specter's insistence that he's a Republican, the numbers say otherwise. Let's start with Jeffords as our baseline.
January 30, 2001 |
When George W. Bush announced that John Ashcroft was his choice for attorney general, touching off a divisive Senate confirmation battle over his opposition to abortion and conservative pedigree, there was one person whose support carried enormous symbolic value: Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. As a moderate, abortion-rights Republican in a Senate split evenly between the GOP and Democrats, Specter's endorsement of Ashcroft sent an important signal: Ashcroft's opponents would be hard-pressed to peel off centrist Senate Republicans, a coalition with the clout to doom the nomination.