Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Half of Congress members are millionaires

    issaThe economic outlook may still be lousy, but Capitol Hill, at least, doesn't seem to be feeling much pain: A new study by the Center for Responsive Politics finds that half of all members of Congress are millionaires.

    The report, based on financial disclosures covering the calendar year 2009, finds that 261 House and Senate members reported a net worth of more than $1 million. Of those, 55 had an average wealth of $10 million or more, and eight lawmakers reported holdings of $100 million or more.

    Who was the richest member of Congress? California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, who made his fortune in car alarms, listed holdings worth at least $304 million. Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, Issa's California colleague, who is married to audio mogul (and Newsweek publisher) Sidney Harman, reported $293 million in holdings.

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  • Palin admits she’s seriously considering a 2012 run

    palin nevada

    Make no mistake about it: Sarah Palin is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2012. In a just-released story for this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Alaska's former governor tells writer Robert Draper that she's talking to her family about whether she should seek the White House and weighing whether she would bring unique qualities to the GOP field.

    "I'm engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here," Palin tells Draper.

    She says there are no meaningful policy differences between her and other potential GOP candidates--but acknowledges she will face more pressure to prove that she has what it takes to be a serious presidential contender. "I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn't have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record," she says. "That's the most frustrating thing for me--the warped and perverted description of my record and what I've accomplished over the last two decades. It's been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven't faced these criticisms the way I have."

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  • Here are the stories we took note of today, but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • Obama's meeting with GOP lawmakers on the Bush tax cuts might be delayed. (Washington Post)

    • Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he may have to strip "Don't ask, don't tell" from the defense appropriations bill. (The Cable)

    • Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will officially seek a pardon for the late Jim Morrison. (St. Petersburg Times)

    • President Obama hung out with robots in Japan — real robots, not other foreign heads of state. (Gizmodo)

    • An Alaska conservationist says Sarah Palin got way too close to those Mama Grizzlies on her reality show. (Newser)

    Read More »from LAST TICKET: Obama’s meeting with Republicans might be delayed; Crist will try to pardon Doors frontman
  • Lieberman, Hutchison face big risks in 2012

    liebEven though it's only been two weeks since Election Day 2010, that doesn't mean people in Washington aren't already fretting about the 2012 campaign. In the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans are bracing themselves for what could be an epic fight for majority control, given the unusually high number of vulnerable incumbents up for re-election in two years.

    Last week, Public Policy Polling released a list of the most vulnerable senators in 2012, ranking them in part by their approval ratings back home. Of the 18 senators up for re-election in two years, six have a negative approval rating among the public. Meanwhile, another six have seen their numbers fall dangerously close to negative territory, even as a majority of voters still view them positively.

    Among the incumbents most at risk, according to PPP: Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman and Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — all of whom have 50 percent disapproval ratings or higher back home. (Click here for the full list.)

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  • Bristol Palin insists tea party isn’t keeping her on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

    bristol dancingBristol Palin is good and sick of people implying that her mom's political supporters are the only reason she hasn't been eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars."

    In an interview with E! News, Palin insisted it's hard work that's kept her in the game and not some tea party conspiracy. "I work my butt off here," Palin said. "I rehearse every day. I am totally out of my element here. I think I deserve to be here."

    Besides, she added, "Think of all the people out there who hate my mom. It can work both ways with me being Sarah Palin's daughter."

    Her comments come as Jezebel's Tracie Egan Morrissey finds more evidence of apparent electronic ballot-stuffing by Sarah Palin's conservative backers — though, in fairness, most rabid DWTS fans find similar ways to boost their favorites on the show. Palin, who posted her highest scores of the season on Monday night's episode, faces an elimination vote tonight.

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  • Top RNC aide quits, trashing Steele’s leadership

    steele gentryHere's something that won't help Michael Steele's bid to win a second term as chairman of the Republican National Committee: A top RNC aide quit Tuesday, accusing Steele of badly mismanaging the party and leaving the GOP in a weakened state ahead of 2012.

    According to Politico's Jonathan Martin, Gentry Collins, the RNC's political director, sent a resignation letter to RNC members laying out in explicit detail all of the drama that has engulfed Steele's RNC tenure. Among other things, he accused Steele of leading the party into enormous debt ahead of the 2012 presidential election, he disputed Steele's claims the RNC had sent that money to the states.

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  • Cheney, noticeably thinner, lauds Bush at library groundbreaking

    cheney bush

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney looked thinner at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday in Dallas for George W. Bush's planned presidential library. It was the first time Cheney has been seen at a major public event since he underwent surgery in July to install a heart pump implant.

    The former VP, on hand to introduce Bush at the ceremony, made no mention of the quarrels Bush wrote of in his recently released memoir, "Decision Points." Rather, he praised Bush as a president who handled his job "with courage, with clarity and with strength of heart."

    Though Cheney looked gaunt and somewhat frail compared with his days in the White House, he was his usual self, even managing to get in a dig at President Obama's stimulus plan at the ceremony. "This may be the only shovel-ready project in America," Cheney joked at one point, looking over his shoulder at Bush. According to the Bush foundation, the estimated $300 million library is already fully funded with private donations.

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  • Harry Reid is reappointed Senate majority leader

    dem leadAs expected, Senate Democrats voted to re-elect Harry Reid as majority leader Tuesday morning. Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was reappointed as assistant majority leader. New York's Charles Schumer, who was  the No. 3 senator in the last Congress, retains his leadership position but, thanks to Reid, will have more power overseeing the party's policy and messaging. (The lesson here: You can never go wrong with a Netflix gift subscription.)

    On the Republican side, the leadership also remained unchanged: Mitch McConnell retained his title of GOP leader, with Jon Kyl of Arizona and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee re-elected as his deputies.

    (Photo of, from left, Schumer, Reid and Durbin: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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  • Still no love lost between Lisa Murkowski and Sarah Palin

    murkowski and palin

    It's no secret that Lisa Murkowski and Sarah Palin simply can't stand each other. One of the biggest political risks the former Alaska Gov. Palin took in the 2010 campaign was trying to oust the senator, her longtime rival. Now looking in good shape to win re-election as a write-in candidate, Murkowski is striking back at Palin, again.

    In an interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Murkowski said she could never support Palin for president because she lacks "those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity" necessary to build good policy.

    "She was my governor for two years, for just about two years there, and I don't think that she enjoyed governing," Murkowski told CBS. "I don't think she liked to get down into the policy. I want somebody who goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about how we're going to deal with our national security issues, how we're going to deal with our economy, how we're going to deal with providing better education."

    You can watch video of the Murkowski interview here.

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  • LAST TICKET: Crist told Dole he’d caucus with the GOP; Gingrich defends Romney

    Here's the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • Charlie Crist won Bob Dole's support in Florida's Senate race by suggesting he'd caucus with Republicans. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

    • Newt Gingrich defends Mitt Romney on health care. (The Brody Report)

    • Speaking of, please quit asking Newt if he's running for president. Pretty please? (Salon)

    • Um, no, Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not watch "Sarah Palin's Alaska." (CNN)

    Read More »from LAST TICKET: Crist told Dole he’d caucus with the GOP; Gingrich defends Romney


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