The Fix: Master Archives
Yup, that's basically how President Obama feels about Congress right now.
Before signing an executive order on workers' rights and federal contracts Thursday, Obama spoke about the House's decision to move forward with a lawsuit accusing the president of abusing executive orders. "And I said to Speaker Boehner, tell your caucus the best way to avoid me acting on my own is work with me to actually do something," Obama said. "Then you don’t have to worry about it."
And he made this face. Which looked a lot like this face he made with the person who will one day be memorialized in marble with that face, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney.
Obama is NOT IMPRESSED with Congress.
However, maybe he would find it comforting to know that at least he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) can agree on their non-impressedness, if nothing else.
That's a start, right?
Oops, they did it again.
A spending measure designed to address the ongoing crisis of undocumented children entering at the country's southern border was shelved Thursday because the Republican leadership couldn't rally the necessary votes to pass it. That decision raised the specter that the House would adjourn for a five-week summer recess without passing any sort of fix for the border crisis. And, it amounted to yet another defeat for maligned House Speaker John Boehner and other members of the Republican leadership team who not only pushed hard for the bill's passage but also confidently predicted victory earlier Thursday. (At press time, there was some question as to whether some sort of legislation could be cobbled together to gain a majority of Republican votes. Even if that happens, the inability of Republicans to pass the leadership-backed vehicle is a remarkable swing-and-a-miss.)
This post has been corrected.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has three things going for him as he faces a reelection campaign this year. First, he's a Cuomo, and the last name that helped him earn his current position, following in the footsteps of his popular father, former governor Mario Cuomo, likely still works some magic. Second, he's managed to keep potent liberal challengers off the ballot. And third, and most importantly, he's a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state.
In a last-minute twist, the House looked as though it might adjourn Thursday for August recess without passing a bill to address the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. Quelle surprise.
The fact that this Congress isn't getting much done is no secret. And as the great Philip Bump wrote a few weeks back, it's on pace to become the do-nothing-est of all the recent "do-nothing" Congresses.
Ted Cruz is running for president.
No, he hasn't announced it yet. But if you can tell a man by his actions, then expect to see Cruz in Iowa a LOT more over the next year or two. (Cruz will be in the Hawkeye State on Saturday to headline a dinner thrown by Bruce Rastetter, a major GOP fundraiser. And he's going back next week, too!)
Good news, America! According to analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics, spending on lobbying in Washington is about the same as last year — potentially meaning that "the lobbying industry is coming out of its slide." Happy days are here again!
That slide began in earnest in 2010, as spending on lobbying began to taper off. (The actual number of lobbyists had begun to fall in 2007.) But as you can see in this graph, it's been pretty flat for the past two years, and CRP thinks 2014 (which is lower right now because it's only July) could return the industry to positive numbers.
This post has been updated.
The barriers to spending lots of money in political campaigns keep dropping, but they haven't been accompanied by any assurances that spending all that dough will do any good. In 2012, American Crossroads spent nearly $104 million during the general election. Sunlight Foundation found that 1.3 percent of that money went toward the result the super PAC was betting on.
To hear Democrats tell it, Republicans are totally ramping up to impeach the president of the United States. To hear Republicans tell it, Democrats are totally behind the "scam" that is all this impeachment talk.
As with many things in Washington, both sides are guilty of being hugely over-dramatic.
The trial of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is only a few days old, but it already has produced enough fascinating revelations to make it hard to distinguish fact from (romantic) fiction.
And so, we decided to see if you could do exactly that. We took ten bizarre or interesting details from the ongoing trial and paired them with equally interesting fictional details. Can you identify the weirdness we made up from the weirdness that is now public record in a Richmond courtroom? Give it a shot.
Writing at the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, Obama advisor David Plouffe made a prediction: "States like Georgia, Arizona and yes, even Texas, will be purple states very soon. Good for the Democrats." It would be good for the Democrats. But saying those states will be in play "very soon" is overly optimistic.