Tales from the Trail

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.

Republicans seek more “skin” to tax

May 10, 2011

When it comes to reaching a deal to reduce the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt, Republicans say they won’t go along with raising taxes — except maybe for the 50 percent of Americans who they say pay no federal income taxes.

from Environment Forum:

John Kerry has had it up to HERE with “The Flat Earth Caucus”

April 12, 2011

ISRAEL/You remember John Kerry, right? Tall, silver-haired, urbane enough to be accused of being French. But there's a feisty side to the senior senator from Massachusetts, and it was on display at a forum on energy and economic growth, where Kerry teed off on congressional Republicans and others who doubt the seriousness of the challenge of climate change.