Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Turkey talks

November 22, 2011

The good news? Thanksgiving will not be interrupted by eleventh-hour negotiations by the “super committee” to strike a deal to cut the burgeoning deficit. After months of work, the 11 men and one woman called it quits today. Their statement said “it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement.” No mention of the word on everyone’s tongues: failure.

Meet John Boehner – powerful politician, ‘simple guy’

September 15, 2011

The most powerful Republican in America mows his own lawn, had youthful aspirations of becoming a salesman and quietly convinced two know-it-all lawmakers to vote “yes.”

U.S. House ends historic page program

August 8, 2011

They have been a ubiquitous presence in the U.S. Capitol since the early 1800’s. Some have even gone on to become members of Congress. But as of September 1, there will be no more young, earnest-looking young men and women in blue uniforms delivering messages and documents to members of the House of Representives.

from Environment Forum:

As if 2007 never happened?

July 15, 2011

If four years is a lifetime in politics, it's an eternity in climate change politics. Events in Washington this week might make climate policy watchers wonder if 2007 really happened.

U.S. religious leaders urge moral solution to debt talks

July 14, 2011

Don’t balance the U.S. budget on the backs of the poor and sick, religious leaders said, suggesting that their churches’ charity work is already overstretched and social havoc could result if the government’s social safety net is abandoned.

Washington Extra – Beware of frank

July 7, 2011

When officials in Washington describe talks as “frank,” the usual translation is: “didn’t go my way.”

Washington Extra – Waiting for fireworks

July 1, 2011

Will we see fireworks in the debt talks next week?

So far the White House and lawmakers have been cranky about the state of negotiations, but no one has actually drawn a firm line in the sand – still hoping for a compromise.

Obama draws query by signing Patriot Act extension with auto-pen

May 27, 2011

What’s a president to do when Congress passes a bill just hours before key anti-terrorism surveillance measures are about to expire and he’s 4,000 miles away?  Auto-pen of course.