David Kirkpatrick

September 9, 2010

Full expensing of capital equipment in 2011

Now this is a tax break businesses of all sizes can get behind.

From the link:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president will announce a plan to offer businesses the chance to deduct 100 percent of the cost of qualifying capital equipment purchases made in 2011, double the amount allowed in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-343) and proposed for the small business bill (H.R. 5297) that is currently stalled in the Senate.

“We’re saying that for 2011, we believe that 50 [percent] should go to 100 [percent]. It builds off of an effort to get capital off the sidelines and into the economy,” Gibbs told reporters.

From the same link, here’s another excellent pro-business proposal:

The president also is pushing to make the research and development tax credit a permanent feature of the tax code, rather than continue to ask Congress to pass it as a temporary extension every year.

Making the R&D credit permanent and expanding it would cost about $100 billion over 10 years—a key reason Congress has not already done so—but Obama has argued that the change will benefit the economy by reducing business uncertainty about the credit’s future.

Update — here’s more on the R&D tax credit from Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation:

It is welcome news that President Obama will ask Congress to expand and make the research and development (R&D) tax credit permanent. This will better enable the U.S. compete globally and make it clear that the United States has finally gotten off the sidelines in the fight for global economic competitiveness.

While expanding the credit from 14 to 17, as has been reported, makes sense. ITIF thinks an even more generous credit makes even better sense. ITIF estimates that expanding the credit from 14 percent to 20 per¬cent would create 162,000 jobs in the short to moderate run and an additional, but unspecified, number of jobs in the longer run – many of them high-skill, high wage jobs.

May 27, 2010

Sestak-Gate

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:25 pm

This is some real inside baseball, but the issue is beginning to really percolate amongst some of the more fact-challenged areas on the right. The “issue” is did the White House offer Joe Sestak a White House position in exchange for quitting the Pennsylvania US Senate Democratic primary against Arlen Specter (a primary Sestak ended up winning), and if the Obama administration did so was that act illegal.

Jon Chait has been doing a bang-up job covering this “scandal” here, here and here (and I probably missed some older posts, that’s just the last three days.)

From the last link, here’s Chait’s very concise summation on why this is a complete non-starter and is being trumped up by those who are either very fact-challenged, or maybe just simply disingenuous:

I’ll keep saying this: A job offer is not a quid pro quo to get somebody out of a race. It is getting somebody out of a race. Accepting one job means you cannot run for another. It happens all the time — the White House appointed John McHugh Army Secretary in part to get him out of New York’s 23rd Congressional District. It offered Judd Gregg a cabinet slot in order to get him out of the Senate. This is completely routine, neither illegal no immoral nor especially unusual. Can’t we wait to appoint a special prosecutor until there’s at least some possibility of underlying illegal behavior?

The constant hammering on demonstrably false or outright wrong “facts” from quite an embarrassing many on the right is what has really turned me off of the GOP and right wing commentary over the last year or so. We need honest political debate in this country right now, not attacks built on misinformation or lies designed purely to score political points with a dwindling base. I thought the Republican Party was on something of an upswing this year, but clearly it’s still just thrashing about in death throes. Any success this November might be the worst possible thing for the long-term viability of the GOP brand and influence.

May 1, 2009

Obama interrupts Gibbs in briefing room …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:26 pm

… to make a statement that he spoke with Souter and confirmed the Supreme Court justice is going to retire.

Mark Knoller, CBS News White House correspondent, had a great tweet on the event:

It was Obama’s first time making a statement in the White House briefing room. “this is kind of cool,” he said.

Find Mark on Twitter at http://twitter.com/markknoller

February 12, 2009

DC to get a representative?

Looks likely. This is something the GOP has long fought under the assumption any elected official from Washington D.C. will be a Democrat. Of course D.C. residents have long — rightly — claimed they toiled under a taxation without representation condition.

I’m guessing with Democrats in charge of Pennsylvania Avenue and Congress this gets approved.

From the link:

A Senate committee voted 11-1 Wednesday to give the District a full voting seat in Congress, adding momentum to legislation that would end decades of frustration for residents of the nation’s capital. Backers declared that they have enough support pass the measure, while critics expressed concern about its constitutionality.

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, said he is confident that the measure granting the District a House seat will win the 60 votes necessary to override a filibuster.

“This year, the 111th Congress has the opportunity to make history… by passing this legislation,” Mr. Lieberman said.

January 31, 2009

Bush, a wing and a prayer

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:26 pm

Good luck with this ridiculous attempt to assert executive privilege for eternity. There might not be any “there” there, but boy it doesn’t pass any smell test — it does smack of desperately hoping to cover criminal activity.

I’m guessing as a little more time passes there will be many administration insiders with copies of documents coming forward hoping to get in front of any investigation into crimes committed over the last eight years of White House occupancy.

From the link:

Newsweek‘s Michael Isikoff reports that just a few days before leaving the White House, President George W. Bush sent a very interesting letter to former aide Karl Rove:

On Jan. 16, 2009, then White House Counsel Fred Fielding sent a letter (.pdf) to Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin. The message: should his client receive any future subpoenas, Rove “should not appear before Congress” or turn over any documents relating to his time in the White House. The letter told Rove that President Bush was continuing to assert executive privilege over any testimony by Rove—even after he leaves office.

Here’s Yale law professor Jack Balkin’s response:

The fact that Bush sent these letters while he was still president makes no difference. He is no longer president. The claim of absolute immunity he is making (as opposed to executive privilege, which is not absolute) would be controversial even if offered by a sitting president, but it is even more so when offered by a former president.

November 18, 2008

News on Obama’s transition from Ambinder

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:08 am

Sounds like things are really moving apace.

From the link:

The Obama transition office dropped more senior staff appointments this morning. The names are interesting in themselves — an ideologically diverse passel of people — but, again, what’s remarkable, at least for a Democrat, is how early Obama is staffing his White House. Most of Bill Clinton’s senior staff weren’t appointed until a least a month later. Read the press release after the jump.

November 5, 2008

Emanuel offered Chief of Staff

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:22 am

Obama’s first move as president-elect is to offer White House Chief of Staff to Rahm Emanuel. Not quite sure what I think about the move, but here’s two separate takes from the right.

From Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish:

That’s some chief of staff. I think even Rahm’s friends will acknowledge that he is as abrasive as Obama is smooth, and, well, he knows who to be a total asshole when he has to be. But that’s often what you want in a chief of staff: an enforcer. Marc has more on the transition.

And here’s Yuval Levin at the Corner:

Obama’s apparent selectionof Rahm Emanuel for White House chief of staff is an extremely disconcerting (if not wholly surprising) first indication on the “which Obama will we get” question. It suggests both that he wants to be ruthless and partisan and that he does not have a clear sense of how the White House works.

Emanuel was by all accounts a very effective White House staffer in the Clinton administration, and he has certainly been an effective member of the House of Representatives. He is smart and tough. But he has been, in both positions, a vicious graceless partisan: narrow, hectic, unremittingly aggressive, vulgar, and impatient. Those who have worked for and with him come away impressed but not inspired, and generally not loyal.

Given the entire timbre of the Corner these days — insane partisanship and simpering fealty to absolutely any GOP talking point — Levin comes off as a bit frightened of the Emanuel choice, and more than a bit frightened of Obama.

Overall on the right Obama has been characterized as an Elvis Presley type. Elvis was considered a white man who could sing like a black man. Obama has been seen as a black politician who could win the White House like a white polician.

Take this bit from Levin (same link above):

Obama is especially in need of someone who will lead him to decisions, because he appears to be intensely averse to making difficult choices—which is the essence of what the president does. His inclination is to step back and conceptualize the choice out of existence, looking reasonable but doing nothing.

The problem with that attitude from the right is I think they forget Elvis could sing.

August 30, 2008

Notice on Gustav from the White House

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:55 pm

The release:

Statement by the Press Secretary

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Alabama and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Gustav beginning on August 29, 2008, and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all counties within the State.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide, at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.

R. David Paulison, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named W. Michael Moore as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.

Contacts

White House Press Office
1-202-456-2580

 

February 24, 2008

One view of a Clinton White House

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:55 pm

Andrew Sullivan is back, with a vengeance, at the Daily Dish. Here’s a great post on Clinton’s last stand.

In this snippet, Sullivan looks at a possible Clinton White House:

Clinton is a terrible manager of people. Coming into a campaign she had been planning for, what, two decades, she was so not ready on Day One, or even Day 300. Her White House, if we can glean anything from the campaign, would be a secretive nest of well-fed yes-people,  an uncontrollable egomaniac spouse able and willing to bigfoot anyone if he wants to, a phalanx of flunkies who cannot tell the boss when things are wrong, and a drizzle of dreary hacks like Mark Penn. Her only genuine skill is pivoting off the Limbaugh machine (which is now as played out as its enemies). Her new weapon is apparently bursting into tears. I mean: really.

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