David Kirkpatrick

November 4, 2010

GOP establishment v. Tea Party movement

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:24 pm

Not hard to predict, and now it begins …

From today’s Playbook:

RECRIMINATIONS: WHY REPUBLICANS DON’T CONTROL THE SENATE -Jonathan Martin and Manu Raju: “With tea party-backed candidates going down in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada, depriving Republicans of what would have been a 50-50 Senate, a bloc of prominent senators and operatives said party purists like Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) had foolishly pushed nominees too conservative to win … Movement conservatives pointed the finger right back at the establishment, accusing the National Republican Senatorial Committee of squandering millions on a California race that wasn’t close … ‘Candidates matter,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). ‘It was a good night for Republicans but it could have been a better one. We left some on the table. … If you think what happened in Delaware is “a win” for the Republican Party, then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House. … If you think Delaware was a wake-up call for Republicans, then we have shot at doing well for a long time.’

“Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott put it plainly: ‘We did not nominate our strongest candidates.’ Had Republicans run Castle in Delaware and establishment favorites Sue Lowden in Nevada and Jane Norton in Colorado, Lott said, … ‘we would have won and been sitting at 50.’ … Another high-profile senator [placed] the blame … at the feet of Graham’s South Carolina colleague, DeMint. … ‘It’s like you’re on the five-yard line ready to score and the quarterback calls the play and some member of your team tackles one of your members and keeps you from scoring. … We came tantalizingly close to a majority … I’m completely mystified by it.”http://bit.ly/br1xoW

Update 11/5/10 — Peggy Noonan piles on.

August 29, 2010

The housing market continues to suffer

And the White House is prepping to announce new initiatives to keep homeowners in their houses and forestall a new spate of foreclosures. The real-world effects of this recession are still ongoing, regardless what direction any economic indicators may point, and the help Main Street is getting from DC feels like a trickle here, a trickle there. So much for the “summer of recovery.”

From the link:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan revealed to CNN Friday that the Obama administration plans next week to unveil two new initiatives to deal with the crumbling housing market, and he left the door open to also reviving the expired $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that had been propping up the industry.

“We’re going to be rolling out an FHA refinancing effort to help borrowers who are under water in their homes get above water,” Donovan said in an exclusive interview taped for CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” on Sunday. “And second, we’re launching an emergency homeowners’ loan program for unemployed borrowers to be able to stay in their homes.”

The swift action being pushed by President Obama’s housing chief come in response to awful news in the housing industry this week, starting with Tuesday’s revelation that existing home sales hit their lowest level in over a decade, declining by over 27 percent during the month.

Update: this comes from today’s Playbook — brunch edition:

An administration official e-mails: “These are not new. He said ‘launching’ because they are previously introduced, but have not yet hit the market. The FHA short refi program was announced in March, and will launch in early September. The emergency homeowner emergency loan program, which was included in the Frank-Dodd bill (HUD put out in a release and conf. call two weeks ago), will be launched in October.”

May 11, 2010

Kagan gets to SCOTUS with 65 ayes

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:19 pm

At least according to Mike Allen’s hypothetical Senate vote.

From today’s Playbook:

PLAYBOOK FORECAST: Elena Kagan will be confirmed with 65 votes — 3 fewer than Justice Sotomayor, and 4 more than Kagan got for solicitor general last year. Here’s the math, from someone smarter than us (we welcome your quibbles/rebuttals): For solicitor general, Kagan got 61 ayes and 31 nays. Safe to assume if you were one of the 31 Republicans voting nay then, you can’t vote aye this time? Probably. Of the 61 ayes, seven were Republicans: Collins, Snowe, Gregg, Hatch, Kyl, Lugar and Coburn. After conservatives flexed their muscles in Utah last weekend (the Bennett effect), it’s hard to see Coburn, Hatch or Kyl voting for her this time. So that would theoretically put her at 58. But Specter voted no, and could now be expected to vote yes. So that’s 59. Four Democrats missed the vote. Of these, Boxer, Klobuchar, and Murray would be yes votes. So that’s 62. The fourth missing Democrat was Kennedy. His successor, Brown, might be gettable. (Is the Massachusetts senator really going to vote against the Harvard Law dean?) So that’d be 63. And Franken was not seated yet last time, but would be a yes now. So 64. Three Republicans did not vote: Cochran, Ensign and Graham. Of these, Graham is gettable, but it would be tough to envision either of the other two Republicans voting for her. So that puts her at 65. That’s with every Democrat (including Ben Nelson) voting yes, as well as the two Maine-iacs, Scott Brown, Judd Gregg, Lugar and Graham. Roll call on Kagan for solicitor general.

May 7, 2010

Is Kagan the next SCOTUS judge?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:44 pm

Yes, according to Mike Allen.

From today’s Playbook:

Look for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise. Kagan’s relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions The West Wing may leak the pick to AP’s Ben Feller on the later side Sunday, then confirm it for others for morning editions. For now, aides say POTUS hasn’t decided, to their knowledge. Kagan pic and bio