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?"'
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?