FROM Matt Kibbe
The Debt Ceiling and the 2012 Presidential Playing Field The deficit reduction deal isn't over yet and it might play a role in next year's presidential campaign. Tea-Party favorite Michele Bachmann opposed any debt ceiling increase; moderate Jon Huntsman said one was needed. Other Republican presidential contenders had little to say while the debate was on, but now that it's over, Mitt Romney calls it a bad deal. Rick Perry , who's not yet announced, is still silent. What does that tell us about how the Republican nomination campaign is shaping up? Did the President give up so much he looks like a weak leader?
The Debt Ceiling, the President and Next Year's Campaign Republicans claim they made deficit reduction the price the President had to pay for increasing the debt ceiling so the US could pay its bills. Does that make Barack Obama look like a weak leader? Did he give up too much to hold on to his base or the right amount to appeal to centrist voters? Tea-Party favorite Michele Bachmann opposed any debt-ceiling increase; moderate Jon Huntsman said one was needed. Other GOP presidential contenders had little to say while the debate was on, but now that it's over, Mitt Romney calls it a bad deal. Rick Perry , who's not yet announced, is still silent. What does that tell us about how Republican nomination campaign is shaping up? Will the new bipartisan "super committee" roil the political waters all over again? Will Tea Partiers be able to extend their influence from Congress to the race for the White House?
The Bailout That Wasn't and What Might Be Next The Wall Street rescue would have cost $700 billion taxpayer dollars. Its failure in Congress cost $1.2 trillion in private investment in just one day. President Bush warns that millions of Americans face " the real prospect of financial hardship " if the government doesn't take action. More important than stocks is the tightening of credit. A lot of the votes against the rescue came from members of Congress who feel vulnerable in next month's election. They were swamped with phone calls, letters and e-mails from both the Left and the Right. Are the interests of Wall Street and Main Street fundamentally different or really the same? Would any government action be better than none? Are we seeing " a political version of climate change " and a "new era of class warfare?"'
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?