Democrats are convinced that the GOP is not negotiating in good faith, as it is in hock to supposedly extreme antitax activists. Republicans are similarly convinced that President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are bad-faith actors, content to drive the nation over the cliff because it will advance the left's long-term agenda of higher taxes and lower defense spending. Similarly, both sides spy incompetence in their opposition: The left believes that Speaker John Boehner cannot control his House caucus, and the right suspects that President Obama lacks the...
Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations.
Political affiliation in the United States has historically been a Republican sandwich of sorts -- blue along the coasts and red throughout the middle. However, in the recent presidential election, there was a splash of blue smack dab in the sea of red. Colorado, a state that was once historically Republican, voted for Barack Obama for president not only in 2008, when every state witnessed an upsurge in Democratic turnout, but in 2012 as well.
There is a reason why Colorado, a state that epitomizes the American West ideology of expansionism and independence, a state heavily influenced by the oil and gas industry, with a strong evangelical community, voted for Barack Obama -- a candidate, purported by the right-wing pundits to be a leftist/ socialist/ terrorist.
The Republicans had the Super PACs in their favor. They had Citizens United in their favor. They even had the weak economy in their favor. But the reason the Republicans ultimately lost in November, and the Democrats won, is largely due to a man named Marshall Ganz and the neighborhood model of organizing.
Back in February of this year, I participated in the class "Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change", taught by Ganz at the Harvard Kennedy School. Ganz, a former student at Harvard, dropped out in 1964 to join the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi, then headed out to California to organize with the United Farm Workers, finally returning to Harvard decades later to complete his undergraduate degree. Shortly after, he became a Harvard professor and worked as a political consultant. In 2008, Ganz was hired by the Obama Campaign and devised the "neighborhood model" used by "Organizing for America" in 2008, and again in 2012.
In the class, Ganz teaches budding organizers from around the world how to organize the resources in their communities, to mobilize power, to create change. The concept is simple and elegant: Identify your "community," clarify the problem that exists, and then work within that community to build resources, to create power, and ultimately affect change.
"Organizing for America" -- the Obama campaign's grassroots arm, provided the ultimate example of the neighborhood model in action as it wove together the work of neighborhoods across the United States and maintained a local feel, on a national scale.
Following are some tricks of the trade of community organizing taught by Ganz, which I witnesses in working for Organizing for America:
Tell your story
One integral component to organizing a community -- according to the Ganz style of organizing -- brings us back to the most basic forms of communication: storytelling. Ganz teaches an entire class on the art of the personal narrative, comprised of three key ingredients -- the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now. This is a winning combination that any good leader will use to inspire and motivate others to action.
The first thing on the agenda at an Obama campaign house party is introductions. Everyone gathers together in someone's living room with crumb cake and hot coffee and tells their story following the same prompt: who are you, why are you here, and why are you supporting Obama.
Storytelling is an integral component of the campaign and through this process, an interesting shift takes place. In discussing one's personal story, linked with the challenges our country faces, perfect strangers with nothing more in common than standing in the same cramped living room, become connected and a bond forms. The practice is inspiring and motivating and often emotional -- leaving many in tears. It not only reaffirms one's commitment to Obama, but forms and strengthens the connection within the group and ultimately, in the community.
Relationships are the foundation of community organizing
According to Ganz, "Movements aren't built by individual people, they are build on relationships" and therefore, relationships are the crux of organizing a community of people.
The beauty of community organizing lies in the neighborhood model. It is working neighbor-to-neighbor and community by community, to create change, from the bottom up. Leaders are identified and resources developed. The Obama campaign strategically decided to focus on the power of one's inner circle to communicate a message, while the Romney campaign tried to rely on the power of paid media, focusing on advertising to get their message across.
The Obama campaign was able to win a state like Colorado because of the power of organizing. In 2008, there were 30 Obama offices in Colorado. In 2012, there were 60. While the Romney campaign was focused on volunteers waving signs at passing vehicles, the Obama campaign had volunteers knocking on doors in rural Colorado. There were "Women for Obama" events, house parties, workshops and potlucks, all designed to include people and empower a community.
I spent an afternoon canvassing with a woman named Jan, in Salida, Colo. While examining our walk packet, Jan found her neighbor Lynn listed. Jan knew she wasn't going to find Lynn at home on this particular afternoon. Instead of going to Lynn's house, we went by the law-office where she works to make sure she had received her mail-in-ballot and to remind her to send it in.
On a typical night at a phone bank in Glenwood Springs, the room would be abuzz with people making calls on their cheap plastic flip phones. The volunteers greeted their familiar names listed in their call list and conversations such as the following would ensue: "Hey Joe, it's Frank, how are you tonight? Great, and how's your wife? Wonderful, well I'm calling you tonight from Obama headquarters in Glenwood and I just wanted to make sure that you knew where you could go in to vote early. It's at the Courthouse. You need a ride? Not a problem! I can pick you up tomorrow and we can go together."
Whatever Organizing for America office I traveled to, I experienced the same phenomenon with the volunteers. Whenever a volunteer would return from a shift they would automatically want to debrief you on the events that occurred during their shift. They will go through their walk packet house by house to tell you about the barking dog, the Romney sign, and the friendly and unfriendly neighbors. They felt obligated to go through their packets because they felt personally responsible for their work. They wanted to debrief the number of new voters they registered, the number of doors they knocked on, and the conversations they had because they were proud of the work they had done and experienced a sense of accomplishment.
Regardless of the dozens of focus groups and hundreds of appearances made by candidates and surrogates, it is clear that the most effective tool in a campaign are the volunteers -- the people in the community who know their community best.
This election served as an important lesson in politics. Even though more money was spent in this election than any other election in history, it proved that Super PACs couldn't buy the election -- or at least entirely. In the United States of America, the president is still decided by the people. This election was an incredible demonstration of the power of community, in a time when people have become more and more distant, and less and less connected to one another.
The Republicans banked on the idea that ads, taxes and the mantra of "it's the economy, stupid" would win the day. They were wrong. What won was the Obama campaign's organizing model -- the ground game of millions of volunteers, staff, and offices that worked in every state in the country day in and day out, around the clock, to make sure swing states like Colorado would go blue. In the end, not only Obama won but Americans won too -- our communities are left stronger and individuals, empowered.
* Charities could be hit by Republican tax plan-White House
* Obama aides meet with executives of largest nonprofits
* Closing loopholes, deductions nets no more than $400 bln - Obama
By Mark Felsenthal and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that Republican tax proposals could threaten the collapse of hospitals and universities benefiting from charitable deductions.
"There's been a lot of talk that somehow we can raise $800 billion or $1 trillion worth of revenue just by closing loopholes and deductions," Obama said in a Bloomberg TV interview. "The only way to do that would be if you completely eliminated, for example, charitable deductions."
Senior administration officials met with representatives of the largest charities in the country at the White House Tuesday to press their case, a White House official said.
The president and congressional Republicans are clashing over how to prevent so-called fiscal cliff year-end tax increases and spending cuts that analysts say could throw the economy into a recession. The two sides are deadlocked over Obama's insistence that tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush expire for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
Republicans oppose any increase in tax rates, but have said they are willing to agree to $800 billion in additional revenues to help ease a massive budget deficit that both sides want to see tamed.
However, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner's proposal would lower tax rates, not raise them, and rely instead on closing loopholes and eliminating deductions.
Obama said on Tuesday he believes that no more than $300 billion to $400 billion in additional revenue can be raised through closing loopholes and cutting deductions.
The president and his aides argued that raising revenues solely by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions could cut deeply into programs that benefit the middle class, such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, and could have a devastating impact on organizations that depend on donations.
"If you eliminated charitable deductions, that means every hospital and university and not-for-profit agency across the country would suddenly find themselves on the verge of collapse," Obama said.
White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling met with non-profit and charity leaders, the official said.
The attendees included American Red Cross chief executive Gail McGovern, United Way Worldwide U.S. President Stacey Stewart, and Catholic Charities USA President the Reverend Larry Snyder. Together, those three organizations draw more than $6 billion in contributions annually.
3:48PM EST December 3. 2012 - As we careen toward the "fiscal cliff," the House GOP faces a problem. Obama won't offer his own detailed plan which will involve big tax increases, until they offer their own plan -- which, Obama says, must contain big tax increases or he won't offer his.That's a mug's game. Some have suggested that the House GOP should just walk away and let the nation go over the fiscal cliff. But I have some better ideas.Truth is, Obama's not really a key player here. All that he can do is sign or veto whatever legislation comes to him. And...
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) opted to wade finally into the the "fiscal cliff" frenzy with an official GOP counter-offer to President Barack Obama's opening bid. His efforts have not been without some of the same intra-party migraines that have traditionally bedeviled his tenure as speaker, however.
And the latest headache comes courtesy of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who rejected Boehner's bid, despite having previously stated that the sort of concessions that Boehner makes in his counteroffer would be absolutely necessary to cutting a deal.
Boehner's counteroffer, such as it is, is fairly Romney-esque, in that its revenue formula is derived from "$800 billion" through reforms in the tax code, specifically "limiting or closing unspecified tax loopholes, deductions, and lowering tax rates." Under Boehner's proposal, the Bush-era tax rates would be extended for all earners. Boehner has claimed that his plan is inspired by Erskine Bowles, but Bowles has basically said, 'Ha, ha: no.'
And today, DeMint piles on with criticism of his own, referring to Boehner's offer as a "tax hike": "Speaker Boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny."
"If neither party leadership is going to put forward a serious plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt," he added, "we should end this charade."
But DeMint has a charade of his own going. Let's cast our minds back to Sept. 21, 2012, and how DeMint saw the endgame at the time. Per Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla:
Last week, one of the Republican Party's most ardent tax-cut advocates said if Obama is re-elected, there's not much point in delaying a compromise on taxes.
"You can't get a deal with Obama without raising taxes on [top income earners]," said South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, a leader of the limited-spending Tea Party movement. "We might as well cut a deal," he said. "If Republicans want to maintain the defense, we're going to have to give tax increases to Obama."
At the time, DeMint "clarified" his statement by saying that "while a tax increase would be necessary to get a deal with Obama, he would personally 'never' support it," thus straining the definition of "clarified."
At any rate, 'Aksdfjkafdgjadljasdfjklsd,' is what I imagine John Boehner said in response to DeMint.
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]
In recent days, some Senate Democrats have suggested that they are going to reign in the filibuster and try to get the Senate back to work. Virtually everyone agrees that the Senate is broken, and the filibuster is a major cause of the dysfunction. From 1840-1900, there were only 16 filibusters whereas in one year, 2009-10, there were 130. Unfortunately, the fixes being discussed by Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren, and now endorsed by the president, would be at most a temporary Band-Aid on a very serious problem. The only way to bring the Senate until the 21st century is to do away with the filibuster altogether.
When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia to discuss the new Constitution, the subject of how laws were to be made was a major topic. They considered whether to have super-majority voting requirements but decided that the checks and balances of the proposed system adequately protected the people from tyranny. All laws had to be passed by majority vote in both Houses of Congress and signed by the president, or if he vetoed the law, it could be passed again with two-thirds vote of each house. The men who met in Philadelphia believed this system would account for different constituencies and maintain a proper separation and shared system of governmental powers. They specifically rejected proposals for super-majority requirements for ordinary legislation but adopted them in six specific important instances such as amending the Constitution, impeaching presidents, and ratifying peace treaties. But for conducting the day-to-day business of the Senate, they were not going to allow a minority of Senators to block what a majority wanted to do (especially with the House and the President serving as backstops to unwise legislation).
The tale of the filibuster is too long to tell here, but for most of our history it has been used by reactionaries to block progressive legislation. More importantly, its use was limited because, prior to 1975, senators had to actually hold the floor and be present to conduct a filibuster. That changed with the amendments to Senate Rule 22, and now the mere threat of a filibuster is enough to stop even debating a bill. Worse, it takes 67 senators to change a "procedural" rule like the one requiring 60 votes to vote on (and now even debate) a bill.
Majority Leader Reid is talking about changing the rules back to the pre-1975 days when senators could filibuster but had to be there in person to do it. No more back-room deals or threats of a filibuster would suffice to stop a law, like the Dream Act, which clearly had majority support but not 60 votes. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, is pledging to shut the Senate down if Reid makes his changes. McConnell seems to favor the lack of democratic transparency that emerges when popular bills can't even be debated if a single senator threatens a filibuster, which is the current practice.
To most Americans, this is all inside baseball, but the Senate's inability to do its job does affect us all. Those in favor of the old style filibusters (virtually no one defends the new kind) suggest that the minority should have the ability to block what the majority in the Senate wants to do and that results in more protection for individual rights and liberty. Ironically, the filibuster has almost never been used to protect rights expanding bills but rather to block rights-granting bills. Federal Anti-Lynching laws and civil rights legislation are two famous examples. It has also been used to impede important judicial nominations of people on both sides of the aisle and obviously qualified candidates, such as Miguel Estrada, have been needlessly blocked.
As noted earlier, the only way a bill can become law in this country is for it to receive majority support in both Houses of Congress and signed by the president or a two-thirds vote of both houses overriding the president's veto. This was the system envisioned by the Founding Fathers and it makes sense. Both the Dream Act and the Disclose Act were popular laws. One was designed to help illegal immigrants who had graduated college and one wanted to help voters seeking information about corporate donors. Both were passed by the House, favored by the president, and a majority of senators, but neither became law solely because of the threat of a filibuster.
Because the Senate does not seem to want to solve these problems (even Reid's changes, though beneficial, are minor), Rep. John Lewis along with other members of the House, Common Cause, and potential Dream Act beneficiaries, have filed suit in federal court in the District of Columbia arguing that the filibuster violates the Constitution because it makes all legislation (with certain narrow exceptions), subject to the same two-thirds requirement the Founding Fathers rejected except for the most important instances. The Senate's official position in their briefs is that procedural rules adopted by the Senate are immune from judicial review in any and all circumstances no matter who brings the lawsuit. That position, if adopted by the court, is a true threat to separation of powers because it would give the Senate complete control over how laws are made even if that process violates the Constitution. I have been assisting with that lawsuit to make sure the court will at least hear the case.
The most important pressure that could be applied to the Senate is from the people who vote for the senators. The filibuster was never a good idea; it was not anticipated by those who wrote the Constitution, and it has been abused over the last few years in ways that would have been unimaginable to most senators prior to 1975. The filibuster needs to go.
WASHINGTON — Republicans have to stop using "political math" and say how much they are willing to raise tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and then specify the spending cuts they want, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in an interview that aired Sunday.
Just four weeks from the proverbial "fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner countered that Republicans have a plan for providing as much as $800 billion in new government revenue over the next decade and would consider the elimination of tax deductions on high-income earners. But when pressed on "Fox News Sunday" for precise details, the Ohio Republican declined to say.
There are "a lot of options in terms of how to get there," Boehner said.
Both Boehner's and Geithner's latest remarks indicate it could be some time before serious negotiations begin between the White House and Republicans on how to avert economic calamity expected in less than a month when President George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire and automatic, across-the-board spending cuts kick in.
Last week, the White House delivered to Capitol Hill its opening plan: $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade, hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending, a possible extension of the temporary Social Security payroll tax cut and enhancing the president's power to raise the national debt limit.
In exchange, the president would back $600 billion in spending cuts, including $350 billion from Medicare and other health programs. But he also wants $200 billion in new spending for jobless benefits, public works projects and aid for struggling homeowners. His proposal for raising the ceiling on government borrowing would make it virtually impossible for Congress to block him.
Republicans said they responded in closed-door meetings with laughter and disbelief.
"I was just flabbergasted," Boehner said. "I looked at him (Geithner) and I said, `You can't be serious.'" Boehner described negotiations as going "nowhere, period," and said "there's clearly a chance" the nation will go over the cliff.
Geithner, the administration's point man for negotiations, was slightly more optimistic while saying the ball was in Boehner's court. But the treasury secretary also said he didn't expect a counteroffer right away, as Republicans work to sort out tensions within the party in the wake of bruising national elections that left Democrats in charge of the White House and the Senate.
Boehner acknowledged in his interview, aired Sunday, that he wasn't happy with public remarks by Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who said he was ready to go along with Obama's plan to renew expiring income tax cuts for the majority of Americans and negotiate the rates on top earners later.
"They're trying to figure out where they go next," Geithner said of Republicans, "and we might need to give them a little time to figure out where they go next."
He called the back-and-forth "normal political theater," saying all that's blocking a timely deal is the GOP's reluctance to accept higher tax rates on the wealthy.
"It's welcome that they're recognizing that revenues are going to have to go up. But they haven't told us anything about how far rates should go up ... (and) who should pay higher taxes," Geithner said.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she will try to force a vote on the Senate-passed bill favored by Democrats to avert a fiscal cliff. But she was unlikely to line up enough Republicans to succeed.
Republican leaders have said they accept higher tax revenue overall, but only through what they call tax reform — closing loopholes and limiting deductions — and only coupled with tough measures to curb the explosive growth of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
"If we gave the president $1.6 trillion of new money, what do you think he'd do with it?" asked Boehner. "He's going to spend it. It's what Washington does."
Cole didn't back down Sunday on his earlier comments that Republicans should agree to Obama's plan for continuing Bush's tax rates for middle-class America and focus the negotiations on the other issues. Doing so, he said, would make the GOP position even stronger.
"The reality is, nobody can look at this budget and think if you don't reform entitlements you can balance it. You can give the president every tax increase he's asked for, you'd still be in the hole," he said.
Geithner appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," NBC's "Meet the Press," CNN's "State of the Union," ABC's "This Week" and "Fox News Sunday." Cole appeared on ABC "This Week."
Associated Press writers Mark S. Smith in Washington and Erik Schelzig in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.
By Mark Felsenthal
HATFIELD, Pa., Nov 30 (Reuters) - With barely a month left before the "fiscal cliff," Republicans and Democrats remained far apart on Friday in talks to avoid the across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts that threaten to throw the country back into recession.
While President Barack Obama visited a Pennsylvania toy factory to muster public support for tax hikes on the rich, portraying Republicans as scrooges at Christmas time, his primary adversary in negotiations, Republican House Speaker John Boehner, continued to describe the situation as a stalemate.
The argument will resume on Sunday when Boehner, along with Obama's Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, and others, take to weekly political talk shows and pick up further steam next week with a possible confrontation in the House of Representatives between Democrats and Republicans over the timing of a vote on tax hikes.
Lawmakers are nervously eyeing the markets as the deadline approaches, with gyrations likely to intensify pressure to bring the drama to a close.
The markets, in turn watching the politicians, fell as Boehner spoke, but recovered afterward. It was a repeat of the pattern earlier in the week when the speaker offered a similarly gloomy assessment.
The latest round of high-stakes gamesmanship focuses on whether to extend the temporary tax cuts that originated under former President George W. Bush beyond their Dec. 31 expiration date for all taxpayers, as Republicans want, or just for those with incomes under $250,000, as Obama and his fellow Democrats want.
After five days of increasingly confrontational exchanges, the work week drew to a close with an announcement by Democrats of a long-shot effort next week to force an early tax-hike vote in the Republican-controlled U.S. House to break the deadlock.
MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would undertake the rarely successful effort unless Boehner agreed by Tuesday to bring a bill to the floor allowing taxes on the wealthy to rise, something Boehner is highly unlikely to do until he is ready.
"The clock is ticking," Pelosi said at a news conference. "The year is ending. It's really important with tax legislation for it to happen now. We're calling upon the Republican leadership in the House to bring this legislation to the floor next week."
While Boehner offered no immediate response to Pelosi's threat, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, recently elected by Republicans to be the fourth-ranking party leader in the House, told Fox News in an interview not to expect any tax vote next week.
Amid the competing statements from the two sides, there were some actual, albeit modest, signs of potential movement.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threw Republican proposals into the mix for reform of Medicare, the government health insurance program for seniors, which has exploded in cost in recent years and is a major contributor to the country's soaring deficit.
McConnell of Kentucky told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that Republicans would agree to more revenue - although not higher tax rates - if Democrats agreed to such changes as raising the eligibility age for Medicare and slowing cost-of-living increases in the Social Security retirement program.
Rodgers, in her Fox News interview, declined to completely rule out a much-discussed potential compromise in which Republicans would accept some increase in tax rates on the rich, but not to the level desired by Obama.
'A LUMP OF COAL'
More House Republicans - although still just a handful -expressed flexibility beyond that of their party leaders about considering an increase in tax rates for the wealthy, as long as they are accompanied by significant spending cuts.
Most House Republicans refuse to back higher rates, preferring to raise revenue through tax reform.
Obama, speaking in Pennsylvania, said he was encouraged by the shifting views of some Republicans, and urged House approval of a bill that has already cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate that would lock in the middle-class tax cuts and raise the rates for the rich.
"If we can get a few House Republicans on board, we can pass the bill. ... I'm ready to sign it," Obama said.
But neither he nor the other principals in the debate budged from their basic positions.
Instead, Obama turned up the pressure on Friday, hitting the road to drum up support for his drive to raise taxes on the wealthy and warning Americans that Republicans were offering them "a lump of coal" for Christmas.
In a visit to the Pennsylvania toy factory, Obama portrayed congressional Republicans as scrooges who risked sending the country over the fiscal cliff rather than strike a deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts that begin in January unless Congress intervenes.
"We already all agree, we say, on making sure middle-class taxes don't go up. So let's get that done. Let's go ahead and take the fear out for the vast majority of American families so they don't have to worry," Obama said at the Rodon Group factory, which makes K'NEX building toy systems as well as Tinkertoys and consumer products.
In Washington, Boehner said Obama's plan to raise taxes on the rich was the wrong approach.
"There is a stalemate. Let's not kid ourselves," the Ohio Republican said. "Right now we are almost nowhere."
DALLAS -- A dilapidated Dallas apartment complex where Lee Harvey Oswald briefly lived before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is being demolished.
After a four-year battle over code violations at the uninhabited 10-unit, two-story apartment complex built in 1925, owner Jane Bryant is in the process of taking the building down per a court order. She's been salvaging building materials and selling off items from Oswald's three-room apartment. The toilet already has a new owner.
Bryant was never able to realize her plans to renovate the building in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas after buying it in 2007, and the next year got caught up in litigation with the city over the state of the building at 600 Elsbeth St.
"We're not just losing a piece of fundamental history to Dallas related to the assassination, we're also losing a piece of fundamental architecture to this area," said Bryant, who concedes that at this point she has no choice but to tear the building down, adding, "There comes a time when you just have to cut your losses."
The apartment, where Oswald lived from November 1962 to March 1963 with his wife, Marina, and young daughter, is mentioned in the Warren Commission report, which investigated the president's death. The report concluded that Oswald acted alone on Nov. 22, 1963, when he fired at Kennedy's motorcade from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository as it passed by Dealey Plaza.
Oswald then killed Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit 45 minutes after Kennedy was shot, according to the report.
Oswald was arrested in the hours after the assassination, but was killed two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
The apartment where Oswald lived had the address of 604 Elsbeth St. in 1963. It was apartment No. 2. The residence was one of several in the area where he lived after returning to the U.S. from Russia in June 1962.
"He can't hold a job for very long. He's moving around quite a bit, can't get settled, breaks off relations with his brother and mother soon after coming back. He goes from Fort Worth to Dallas to New Orleans, back to Dallas, basically," said Max Holland, author of "The Kennedy Assassination Tapes."
David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas, noted that there are more important buildings associated with Oswald than the Elsbeth Street apartment, including the boarding house where he was staying the day of the assassination and the Texas Theatre, where Oswald was arrested.
After leaving the Elsbeth Street apartment, Oswald moved a few blocks away, to Neely Street – where the famous pictures were taken of him posing in the backyard holding the rifle used in the assassination. He was living at a boarding house in the same area but on Beckley Avenue when Kennedy was assassinated.
Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, said Oswald ordered the revolver that killed Tippit in January, when he was living at the Elsbeth apartment, but notes that "the most important parts of the Oswald story are what he did, not where he did them."
"One has to draw the line somewhere at what is or is not historically significant. For those studying Oswald's life, this may be a more important address, but for those who are curious about the Kennedy assassination, what actually happened in Dealey Plaza is of far more significance," Mack said.
Bryant didn't know of the site's link to history until the year after she bought it. After a local television station did a piece the building she had dreams of renovating, people got in contact to let her know of the Oswald connection.
She notes that the building has been a point of interest, adding that she'd had tourists from overseas come by the complex on Thanksgiving.
Bryant faced a court-ordered deadline to have the building completely demolished by Friday, which she was unlikely to meet. Per the court order, the city has the right to demolish it and place a lien on the property for the cost of demolition if the deadline is not met, but the city did not immediately say Friday when they might make that move.
Here's just how stubborn the growth of government is: Even after a Democratic president wins office by campaigning until Election Eve on a "net spending cut," even after he gives his first proposed budget the humblebragging title of "A New Era of Responsibility," even after both Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke describe the country's long-term budget outlook as "unsustainable," even after a populist, anti-government backlash sweeps the land for a year and a half, culminating in the Republican re-taking of the House of...
Democratic and Republican leaders have needled each other this week to make the first move in the staring match over how to avert the looming fiscal cliff. On Thursday, the White House finally jumped, offering a broad, recycled plan for $1.6 trillion in tax increases, additional stimulus spending and a request to permanently raise the government's debt borrowing limit.In exchange, the president offered $400 billion in Medicare savings over a decade, similar to his previous proposal. Republicans rejected the deal, striking a discontented tone that echoed across Capitol Hill."This...
A BROAD COALITION OF DONORS -- including casino giant MGM, Delta Airlines, a Washington nightclub and thousands of individuals across the country -- together gave nearly $6 million to the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, providing a financial advantage that supporters say was critical to the effort's success.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the main group working for approval of Question 6 on this month's ballot, raised $5.9 million -- more than twice as much as opponents of the measure, according to campaign finance reports filed this week. The money paid, in part, for a stream of television ads credited with helping to build support for the measure.
Voters approved the law 52 percent to 48 percent, and marriage certificates will be issued to same-sex couples in January.
"Donations came from a cacophony of places," said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group that helped in Maryland. "Small donors. Donors via mail. Donors via the Internet. Our opponents do not have that momentum."
Supporters of the measure reported nearly 15,000 checks from individuals and organizations. Opponents drew a fraction of that, with about 2,300 donations. Each side received some six-figure checks, but proponents relied less heavily on large gifts. The average contribution on behalf of gay marriage was $402, while the average check from opponents was $1,037.
The large number of contributions -- on both sides -- distinguishes Question 6 from the gambling expansion measure also on the Maryland ballot. In that case, two huge casino companies with a financial stake in the outcome funded most of a $93 million battle, won by supporters of expansion. It was the most expensive political campaign in Maryland history. Unlike contributions to candidates for office, gifts to ballot campaigns are not limited by law.
All of the state's ballot committees were required to file their final campaign spending reports Tuesday night.
Supporters of the same-sex marriage measure raised almost half their money from Maryland donors -- with thousands of small house parties held nightly in September and October. Opponents relied more heavily on out-of-state giving, with 30 percent of their funds coming from the Free State.
"We knew that we were going to have to do a lot of this on our own," said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. "We went out with an eye on developing the donor base in the state -- reaching out to folks who had a personal interest -- and did very well that way."
Frank Schubert, a consultant who managed the campaign against legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland and three other states, blamed the fundraising gap on what he called a "sustained campaign of intimidation and harassment" against those who support "true marriage."
"It takes no courage to contribute to our opponents -- it's the most politically correct thing imaginable," Schubert said.
Contributors in support of same-sex marriage included Baltimore lawyer Peter Angelos, who gave $50,000. Angelos drew national attention for his contributions in this year's election, donating $1.5 million to support President Barack Obama and other Democratic lawmakers.
MGM Entertainment, which hopes to build a casino in Prince George's County, gave $75,000 to support same-sex marriage in Maryland. A spokesman for the company described the check as a "modest contribution" and noted that MGM has given previously to gay-rights causes.
The 9:30 Club, a concert venue in Washington, contributed $25,000 in support of the measure. The owners also held a fundraiser in September featuring "American Idol" star Adam Lambert.
"Although we historically don't get involved in political causes, I cannot stand by and watch discrimination be disguised as politics," said co-owner Seth Hurwitz.
Delta Airlines gave $1,000. Ebay, the auction website, sent $2,000 -- a spokeswoman said the check was "consistent with our core values of nondiscrimination, diversity and inclusion."
The Maryland-based biotech firm United Therapeutics Corp. gave $100,000. The company's founder, Martine Rothblatt, is transgendered.
Several unions contributed big dollars in support of the measure. The Service Employees International Union gave $200,000. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers gave $100,000 each.
Politicians also offered support, with Rep. Chris Van Hollen giving by far the most. The Montgomery County Democrat wrote a $30,000 check from his Van Hollen for Congress account. Gov. Martin O'Malley, who sponsored the same-sex marriage legislation in Annapolis, gave $1,000 from his new superPAC. Many of the House and Senate co-sponsors of the legislation also donated.
Top Annapolis lobbyists and key staff members contributed, too, underscoring the deep personal support the same-sex measure had from the state's political elite. Checks came from top aides of O'Malley and House Speaker Michael E. Busch and from those of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who voted against the measure in the Senate.
State Sen. Bryan Simonaire was among the few Maryland lawmakers who donated to the effort opposing the measure. The Anne Arundel Republican was a leading opponent of the same-sex marriage measure when it was before the state legislature this year.
National advocacy groups contributed heavily on each side. The Human Rights Campaign donated $1.1 million to the effort to pass the measure. The National Organization for Marriage gave $1.2 million to the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposed Question 6.
Major contributions for opponents came from Roman Catholic groups, including $350,000 from the Knights of Columbus and dioceses in Arlington, Va., and Wheeling, W.Va.
William E. Lori, the Archbishop of Baltimore, gave $2,000 from his personal account. He gave "as a citizen of Maryland, a taxpayer and a believer in upholding marriage as between one man and one woman," said spokesman Sean Caine.
The donations by those who opposed the measure were not enough to get their message out, said the Rev. Derek McCoy, head of the Maryland Marriage Alliance. "A little bit more money, for sure we would have won," he said.
He said the national donor base was spread too thin because of gay marriage-related initiatives in three other states. He said his group's message was drowned out by ads for the other ballot questions in Maryland and that his side faced a formidable opponent in O'Malley.
"The governor was behind it," McCoy said, referring to the campaign in behalf of the law, a top O'Malley priority in Annapolis. "He did fundraising calls. He was calling people."
The total raised -- about $8.3 million by the main groups on both sides of the marriage issue -- paled in comparison with that spent by the opposing sides of the gambling expansion measure. That question attracted more than $93 million, mostly from two warring casino companies. The total is more than was spent on the past four Maryland gubernatorial races combined
MGM put up $41 million to support the gambling expansion proposal, while Penn National Gaming -- which owns a West Virginia casino that stands to lose customers to Maryland -- spent $44 million to oppose it.
Supporters of Maryland's Dream Act, a measure giving illegal immigrants access to lower in-state tuition, raised $1.7 million in their successful effort. The measure, Question 4, passed with nearly 60 percent of the vote and drew no formal opposition.
Contributors in support included Domino Foods, the Baltimore-based sugar company, which gave $100,000.
Stu FitzGibbon, the company's refinery manager, said: "In a nation of immigrants and a company that has grown in that tradition, we believe that an education is the one thing we give our children that cannot be taken away."
Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Dresser contributed to this article.
To search a database of donors on either side of the same-sex marriage debate, go to http://data.baltimoresun.com/marriage-donors/ ___
(c)2012 The Baltimore Sun
Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
President Barack Obama's reelection has awoken great expectations among big sectors of the population, especially among the Hispanics. After the great deception that was Obama's broken promise to spearhead a comprehensive immigration reform during his first administration -- not to mention he had promised to present it during the first year of his administration -- many now believe that due to the enormous support that the Hispanics granted him last 6th of November, there will be no valid excuse for not embarking on the reform.
Beyond the great blow suffered by the Republicans because the minorities, particularly the Hispanics, overwhelmingly favored President Obama -- to the point that now there are many Republican leaders that insist in the need to erase that anti-immigration image left by the bloody battle sustained during the primary elections and the wishy-washy position assumed by its candidate with respect to the illegal immigrants -- truth is that the conditions to obtain a comprehensive immigration reform are now not much better than four years ago. And they aren't because in the current circumstances, President Obama's power is fenced-in.
Obama's triumph on November's elections could not be clearer. According to the Exit Poll conducted by Edison Research, cited in a recent article on the Urbancincy webpage:
"President Obama earned approximately 69.4 percent of the vote in cities with more than 500,000 people, and 58.4 percent of the vote in cities with 50,000 to 500,000 people. Furthermore, with the exception of Jacksonville and Salt Lake City's home counties, President Obama won the plurality of votes in every major American city." And this is not all. According to the same research, "President Obama earned the vote of 92.7 percent of black voters, 70.6 percent of Hispanic voters, 73.2 percent of Asian voters, and 57.7 percent of all other non-white voters."
Mitt Romney bet on the support from the white population and obtained, according to the same source 58.7 percent of their votes. Given the demographic changes that the country has undergone during the last few years, this was not enough for Romney to win to the presidency. But it was enough for his party to obtain the majority in the House of Representatives. According to an article by Emily Bazelon in Slate, "even though Obama won Pennsylvania by 5 points, Republicans took 13 of 18 House districts. In Ohio, Obama won by two and the GOP kept 12 of 16 House seats." And the same happened in other states: Obama won and the Republicans were left not only with the majority in the House of Representatives but in the states legislatures.
Although many voters divided their vote -- the president from one party and the Congressmen from another -- the apparent incongruence is mainly product of the so-called gerrymandering, a practice by which the limits of an electoral district are manipulated to favor a particular party or candidate. And, as is clearly explained in the All About Redistricting blog by professor Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles:
"In most states, the state legislature has primary control of the redistricting process, both for state legislative districts and for congressional districts. 37 state legislatures have primary control of their own district lines, and 42 legislatures have primary control over the congressional lines in their state (including five of the states with just one congressional district)."
According to Bazelon, "Gerrymandering is an American game both parties play because the courts allow it and the voters don't punish them for it." Sometimes it's played by Democrats, other times by Republicans. In this occasion, the turn was for the Republicans, who took advantage of their winnings in the last legislative elections of 2010, "which, happily for them, was also a giant redistricting year because it followed the latest census."
Citing Columbia Law Professor Nathaniel Persily, Bazelon says:
"The upshot, in light of population distribution, is Democrats control the line drawing for 44 congressional seats and 885 state legislative seats, while Republicans control the line drawing for 210 congressional seats and 2,498 state legislative seats. No wonder the House stayed safely in Republican hands even though the presidency and the Senate did not."
And that division of powers has implications that go further than internal politics. According to a recent article by the respected Professor Paul Kennedy, "the foreign policies of the number one power are those of drifting slowly downstream, with little sense of destination." And when venturing into the reasons for this, he asks himself:
"Why not admit that the world's number one power is constitutionally flawed and inadequate when it comes to handling foreign-policy issues? (...) Since the U.S. president comes from one party, and the Congress may often be in the hands of the rival party, how can one expect firm decisions being made on tricky matters such as a policy towards the Palestinians or ways of cutting the defense budget? Often, the president seems less like the commander in chief than a latter-day Gulliver tied down by Lilliputians."
Kennedy states that it's not strange that because of this "most of the Earth's democracies have adopted a parliamentary rather than a presidential form of governance." I do not believe that such a radical change is needed. The more checks and balances, the merrier. But I do believe that it's necessary to pay more attention to the infamous gerrymandering. With things as they are -- and even though there are several districts that will be redefined during the next few years -- it will not be easy for the Republicans to lose their majority in the House, at least during the current administration. And that will make things difficult for President Barack Obama to keep all his promises. Specially the one of a comprehensive immigration reform, unless the Republicans, defeated during the last elections by minorities that are very interested in the issue of immigration, moderate their attitude and consider that said reform has become essential to keep their current bastions of power.
John Boehner will never come as close to experiencing Burning Man as he did today when a group of naked individuals smeared in body paint stormed his office. Democrats are standing firm against cuts that could kill your grandmother, but there's a good chance she'll have to replace her hearing aids with those old-timey ear trumpets. And you'd be forgiven for confusing the Republicans placed in charged of the House's committees with a GOP panel on abortion rights: There are just so many dudes. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
REID AND DURBIN DON'T WANT GRANDMA TO DIE - Good news for children who don't want their grandparents to spend their golden years head-to-toe in the same bed, "Willy Wonka"-style. The senior Illinois senator and Senate majority whip today asserted that Democrats would not allow cuts to Social Security to be part of any agreement to avert the fiscal cliff. Over the past two years, the White House had made it clear in budget negotiations that it was open to Social Security benefit reductions as part of a larger deal that included tax hikes. Yet on Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney appeared to back up Durbin's position, suggesting a "separate track" be used to reform Social Security. "We should address the drivers of the deficit, and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit," he said. And at a press conference on Tuesday, Reid said that President Barack Obama had told the fiscal cliff negotiators at a recent meeting that "Social Security is not going to be part of this." [HuffPost]
Durbin flack must've been a fun job today. In his prepared remarks for his "major address" today at CAP, he called for all entitlements to be off the table in fiscal cliff negotiations. Cue the headlines. Then during Q&A he said he was open to Medicare and Medicaid reforms. Cue the headlines. Durbin later clarified: "What I'm saying is, what I'm talking about now is the immediate -- what takes us to the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff," he said, adding that Medicare and Medicaid should not be part of those talks. "When you're talking about long-term deficit reduction, $4 trillion worth, entitlement reform needs to be part of it." Social Security, too? "No. Social Security you take off the table and put in a separate commission." The progressive wing, reporting for duty!
GRANDMA'S WHEELCHAIR TEMPTINGLY CLOSE TO EDGE OF FISCAL CLIFF - Sabrina Siddiqui: "Unfazed by campaign-season accusations of raiding Medicare, Democrats on the Hill said they are willing to consider reforming the entitlement program to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. 'On Medicare, I don't know of any bipartisan group that has wrestled with this problem that has not said Medicare and other health care costs have to be part of the solution,' Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday, adding that he is not against Medicare being a part of fiscal cliff negotiations. 'They are the fastest growing accounts in the federal government. So clearly if you're going to deal with the long-term fiscal sustainability of our circumstance, health care accounts have to be a part of it.' The openness of Democratic lawmakers to pursue Medicare reform suggests that the party estimates only a limited political price for such a pursuit. 'I think there are things you can do on Medicare that will cut costs and keep people getting the benefits they need,' said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). But the base of the Democratic Party has warned members that cuts to the entitlement program should be minimal, if not entirely off the table, in negotiating a lame-duck grand bargain with Republicans." Rut-roh. [HuffPost]
LABOR AND PROGRESSIVE ACTIVISTS MEET WITH WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS - Greg Sargent: "[R]epresentatives of major unions and progressive groups met privately this morning with senior Obama administration officials at the White House -- and were pleased with what they heard...one person at the meeting -- which included people from the AFLCIO, AFSCME, SEIU, MoveOn and others -- came away convinced that the White House would ultimately prove willing to go over the fiscal cliff if necessary, rather than give ground on core demands, though this is not by any means a desired option and isn't being discussed as a strategic possibility...'Would they if it's between that and compromising their core principles? I was left with the impression that they would.'" [WaPo]
BOEHNER ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE CHAIRS: MORE BORING WHITE GUYS THAN A JIMMY BUFFET CONCERT - Here's the list: Agriculture -- Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK); Appropriations -- Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY); Armed Services -- Rep. Howard 'Buck' McKeon (R-CA); Budget -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); Education and the Workforce -- Rep. John Kline (R-MN); Energy and Commerce -- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI); Financial Services -- Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX); Foreign Affairs -- Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA); Homeland Security -- Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX); Intelligence -- Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Judiciary -- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA); Natural Resources -- Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA); Oversight and Government Reform -- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA); Rules -- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX); Science, Space, and Technology -- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX); Small Business -- Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO); Transportation and Infrastructure -- Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA); Veterans' Affairs -- Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL); Ways and Means -- Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
@samsteinhp: Drudge doing Boehner no favors. Top link to piece on House chairs being all male
Speaking of white dude House members, Scott DesJarlais is having a pretty lousy day. Mike McAuliff: "More good news for Scott DesJarlais. First CREW demanded a Congressional ethics investigation because the pro-life Tennessean lied about tape recording his demands that his patient/mistress get an abortion in 2000. Then he got his first publicly announced would-be challenger for 2014, in the form of Tennessee state Rep. Kevin Brooks (R), the assistant majority leader there. 'I have received a number of calls of support and had many conversations encouraging me to run for Congress in the Fourth congressional district,' Brooks said. 'While I am firmly committed to serving my constituents in the 24th District, I wanted to publicly say that I am exploring what a solutions-based campaign for Congress would look like and how I can best serve the great State of Tennessee.'"
PARANOID SELF-LOATHING GOP LOBBYIST REVEALS HIS MOST PARANOID, SELF-LOATHINGEST SECRET - Our favorite Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist, who is petrified by the fiscal cliff because he is afraid of precipices both real and metaphorical, shared with us a secret that could very well limit his bar privileges at the Capitol Hill Club. The secret is this: PSLGOPL was pulling for Obama all along, because he predicts Obama's second term will make 2014 a good year for Republicans. Nate Silver agrees. "As you white guys know, some of my best buddies hated on Nate Silver, but I wasn't one of them," PSLGOPL writes. "I knew he'd come to the same conclusion I would about 2014. Statistics are stubborn things." Thanks, PSLGOPL!
This is not a new thought. We searched our email and dug up this PSLGOPL gem from March 12, 2012: "I want Obama 2nd term. We'll have 68 senators in 2014."
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - To prevent 2 million people from abruptly losing their economic lifeline at the end of the year, Senate Democrats have begun their push to preserve federal unemployment insurance programs. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is gathering signatures from his Democratic colleagues for a letter to Senate leadership urging an extension of jobless aid. Despite recent declines in the unemployment rate, the letter notes that more than 12 million Americans are still out of work, and that there are more than three unemployed people for every available job. "In light of this unacceptable jobs situation, it is crucial that we focus on ways to get Americans back to work and that we continue unemployment insurance through 2013," the letter says. "Continuation of unemployment insurance has in the past, though often after much unnecessary delay, passed on a bipartisan basis." Every recession since the 1950s has prompted Congress to give the unemployed extra weeks of benefits, but partisan squabbling over unemployment insurance has been a Christmas tradition during each year of President Barack Obama's first term. This year will be no different. [HuffPost]
Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill
SUSAN RICE VISITS HILL, DEEMED UNFIT TO BE THE FOURTH AMIGO - One thing's for sure, she's definitely not invited to their next viewing of Borat." HuffPost's Nick Wing: "Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) said on Tuesday that their highly anticipated meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about the Sept. 11 anniversary attack in Benghazi, Libya, hadn't allayed their concerns about either the administration's explanation of the attack or Rice's qualifications as a potential secretary of state. 'Bottom line, I'm more disturbed now than I was before that the 16th of September explanation about how Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, by Ambassador Rice I think does not do justice to the reality at the time and, in hindsight, clearly was completely wrong,' Graham declared at a press conference after the meeting. Rice acknowledged in their discussion that she had been incorrect in initially suggesting the attack grew out of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video, Graham said. He then questioned the administration's decision to roll out Rice as a point person to discuss the attack if she hadn't known the details." [HuffPost]
From Rice's statement: "In the course of the meeting, we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi. While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved." [United States Mission to the United Nations]
@BuzzFeedAndrew: Earlier today the MSNBC chyron was "Steamed on Rice" now it's "Cooking Rice."
PEOPLEANXIOUS ABOUT THE FISCAL CLIFF, MY FRIEND - Zach Carter: "A coalition of financial institutions, fossil fuel companies, telecommunications firms and even the cigarette company Altria are teaming up to block a tax increase on dividends -- a policy that overwhelmingly aids the rich...The corporate coalition, known as The Alliance for Savings and Investment, is composed exclusively of corporations and lobbying groups. Major companies include AT&T, Verizon, Coca-Cola and Altria, while lobbying groups include two organizations representing Wall Street, another representing the natural gas industry and another that works on behalf of major electricity companies like Duke Energy, PEPCO and Consolidated Edison." [HuffPost]
CAMPAIGN OBAMA TO REACTIVATE FOR FISCAL CLIFF - The president will take his case on the road, but on behalf of our brothers and sisters in the traveling press corps, we implore his handlers to NOT play "We Take Care Of Our Own." Please. NYT: "Mr. Obama will meet with carefully selected small-business owners, middle-class taxpayers and corporate leaders over the next couple days, then fly to Pennsylvania on Friday to tour a toy manufacturer that he argues will be hurt if automatic tax increases take effect at the end of the year. The White House released its public lobbying plans on Tuesday morning even as it had yet to schedule another meeting between Mr. Obama and Congressional leaders to hash out a deal. The strategy reflects a calculated decision by the president to emphasize public pressure over closed-door negotiations after he felt burned by failed debt talks last year. As White House officials view it, the campaign-style approach has worked for Mr. Obama on several smaller issues over the last year and underscores the president's argument that he won a mandate with his 51 percent of the popular vote in this month's re-election." [NYT]
"As President Barack Obama ushers business leaders into the White House and plans a trip to Pennsylvania to sell America on his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, House Republicans leadership will host small business owners in the Capitol next week. The Dec. 5 meeting will be in Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) office, and will come after a meeting this week with big business CEOs." [Politico]
JEB BUSH CREEPIN' - Because the former Florida governor doesn't support treating undocumented Americans like a bedbug infestation, he is considered a top contender his party's 2016 presidential nomination. National Review: "Former Florida governor Jeb Bush met Monday with a group of his former staffers at the J. W. Marriott hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, just steps from the White House. Bush, a potential 2016 presidential contender, spent an hour in the hotel's Cannon room, reminiscing and entertaining questions about his political future. In an interview with NRO, Bush did not rule out a presidential run. 'I am here to catch up with folks and promote education reform,' he said, smiling. When asked again whether he will issue a Sherman-type statement about his future, Bush remained coy. 'We have an alumni group that I like keeping in touch with,' he said. 'I'm here to focus on educational reform, and that's what I'm going to tell people.' Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney's campaign pollster, was at the meeting, as were several veteran Florida operatives." [National Review]
RICK SANTORUM, GOD LOVE 'EM - It's like his career is the "Cool Hand Luke" boxing scene where he's Luke and Dragline is the increasingly Hispanic, gay and youthful American electorate that wants nothing to do with him. Weekly Standard: "Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum says he is 'open' to another run for president in 2016. Santorum was asked about a possible presidential campaign Monday at THE WEEKLY STANDARD. 'I'm open to it, yeah,' Santorum replied. 'I think there's a fight right now as to what the soul of the Republican party's going to be and the conservative movement, and we have something to say about that. I think from our battle, we're not going to leave the field.' In 2012, Santorum won nearly 4 million votes and 11 GOP primary contests--the same number of states, he pointed out, Ronald Reagan won in his failed 1976 presidential bid." [Weekly Standard]
PEOPLE GET NEKKID FOR JOHN BOEHNER - "Hell no, your cans!" etc. TPM: "Seven naked protesters swarmed the office of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday for some 20 minutes of loud chanting against cuts to AIDS funding. Among their chants: 'Boehner, Boehner, don't be a dick, budget cuts will make us sick.' And: 'Fight AIDS. Act up. Fight back.' And: 'End AIDS with the Robin Hood tax, no more budget cuts on our back.' And: 'Budget cuts are really rude, that's why we have to be so lewd.' The screaming, fully-nude protesters stood still in the center of the office, together in a line but facing in different directions. The room quickly filled up with members of the activist groups they belong to, observers taking photographs, a handful of reporters, and, eventually, police." [TPM]
A decidedly NSFW photo of the protest.
'Tis the season to be ethically vigilant: "The House Ethics Committee circulated memo Tuesday providing advice on holiday gifts and job negotiations for members and staffers. The holiday memo gently reminded lawmakers and staffers that the House gift rule applies "even during the holiday season" before describing procedures to accept certain presents, attend parties and the steps that should be taken if an 'unacceptable' gift is received." [Roll Call]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Dog befriends lamb.
SANDY RAFTING TRIP TO WALMART GOES AWRY - HuffPost DC: "The risk to their lives after Superstorm Sandy was not sufficient to change the minds of two friends who took booze and an inflatable raft on a trip in the raging Monocacy River, according to a Frederick County Sheriff's Office incident report. The men brought a cooler of whiskey sours with them on the trip, and asked EMS personnel to rescue their drips as well as themselves."" [HuffPost]
A SPARKLY PROPOSAL - HuffPost DC: "The Old Town waterfront was even more sparkly than usual on a night just before Thanksgiving when a group of people held up big silver foam letters covered in LED lights that read "MARRY ME KIM."" [HuffPost]
- "Dikembe Mutombo Saves the World," a video game someone actually created. [http://bit.ly/UJXsjq]
- A bunch of people camped outside a dollar store on Black Friday because... of the unemployment rate? We're not sure. [http://bit.ly/V9zOmx]
- Charity single role reversal: "Africa for Norway" features African pop singers raising money for the poor frostbitten Norwegians. [http://bit.ly/U55Mhs]
- Photographs of the Macy's Day Parade from above. You can even see Spider Man's bald spot. [http://bit.ly/TorcmU]
- Cee Lo Green and The Muppets sing a Christmas tune because of course. [http://bit.ly/XXT2gA]
- The Empire State Building was the site of light show last night, its first ever. [http://bit.ly/SaUFBC]
- China's main Communist Party paper fell for The Onion's declaration of Kim Jong Un as the sexiest man alive. [http://nbcnews.to/1158l51]
@igorbobic: The only thing better than taking pictures of naked protesters is Instagramming pictures of naked protesters.
@pourmecoffee: Everyone should get fiscal cliff advent calendars to take part daily in the joy of avoiding economic catastrophe.
@indecision: I may be overreacting, but I've already decided which family members to eat in case we go off the fiscal cliff.
6:00 pm: Will Tim Pawlenty soon be replaced by John Thune as America's most forgotten Midwestern presidential candidate? Time will tell. In the meantime, he stops by the NRSC for a function benefiting his Heartland Values PAC. [NRSC, 425 2nd Street NE]
6:00 pm: Mike Crapo, Idahoan that he is, can only get more conservative over time to ward off primary challenges until he becomes a singularity of climate denialism and tricorne hats. [Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Ave NW]
5:00 pm: If only America could hold a debt retirement session at the National Republican Senatorial Committee's headquarters... but sadly America is not Ted Cruz. [NRSC, 425 2nd Street NE]
6:30 pm: We're very pleased to see that Tom Coburn has lately been dressing like an English professor. We hope he takes his tweedish look to his fundraiser benefiting his TAC PAC. [Trattoria Alberto, 506 8th Street SE]
7:00 pm: Ted Cruz continues to retire his debt, this time with an assist from Mitch McConnell. [The Source by Wolfgang Puck, 575 Pennsylvania Ave]
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ryan Grim (email@example.com) or Arthur Delaney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow us on Twitter @HuffPostHill (twitter.com/HuffPostHill). Sign up here: http://huff.to/an2k2e
Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 2, Episode 9 of Showtime's "Homeland," titled "Two Hats."
Now this is the "Homeland" we've been waiting for!
In "Two Hats," arguably the best episode of the season so far, the writers piled intrigue on top of intrigue. You've got Estes, Quinn, Saul and Carrie trying to figure out what Nazir has planned, and whether or not they can trust Brody. Even if Brody is telling the truth, there's the possibility that Nazir is using him to throw the CIA off his trail. Then you've got Carrie, Saul, Virgil and Max trying to figure out who Quinn -- or should I say "John X slash Peter Quinn"? -- is working for and what he has up his sleeve. Meanwhile, Jess seizes the opportunity to seduce Mike Faber in the guest room of the CIA safe house (memo to Jess: They bug the hell out of these places) and prove once and for all that Morena Baccarin didn't add a "no nudity" clause into her Season 2 contract.
The good stuff was so good that even I, a founding member of the Team Dana fan club, wanted to punch the screen every time she and Mike had one of their dopey heart-to-hearts. "Get back to the action!" I felt like shouting. "More shadowy tension, less soul talk!" (Though it was nice to see Mike stand up to her "This is bullshit" bullshit.)
That tension was there from the start, coiled tight as a spring, as Estes, Quinn, Saul and Carrie puzzle over the disappearance of Brody. Carrie has to be the one to say it: "He's dead. If not physically dead, then operationally dead." If he's alive, then Estes' plan to roll up Roya will surely kill him and Carrie can't object for fear of looking like his bleeding-heart girlfriend instead of a guy's-guy super-spy.
Cut to Brody, who is, of course, alive. A clean-shaven Nazir, who apparently is not celebrating Movember, gives Brody a big kiss and says he trusts in him because Allah trusts in him. As soon as Nazir speeds away in his car, Brody runs to a restaurant to ask for a payphone (cue hilarious joke about payphones being so "last century") and, when that fails, a cell phone. He calls Carrie and tells her to move his family somewhere safe, then wait for another call in an hour.
Carrie, who has a vested interest in seeing Jess resume her affair with Uncle Mike, sends him to scoop up the family and spirit them away to some luxurious safe condo where they are free to pursue their passions: Dana emanating gloom from every pore, Chris gazing like a simpleton at all the flat-screen TV's, Jess asking unanswerable questions about Brody's mission, Uncle Mike cooking yet another breakfast with a towel over his shapely shoulder.
But why am I still talking about the most boring part of the episode? Brody calls again and says to Carrie, "Remember where we first met, and I don't mean your office?" She replies, "In the rain?" I'm glad she remembers, because I don't. She goes there and he jumps in the passenger seat. "I thought I was dead, Carrie," he says, which gets the patented Claire Danes waterworks going. She knows just how close he was. She has to haul him in before Estes and the gang, but first ... for all the people who complained last week about the CIA's inability to track that helicopter from last episode: Brody explains that it flew "very low, very fast," which presumably kept it under the radar. Satisfied, folks? Didn't think so, but let's move on.
Brody's testimony is not terribly convincing. His "fuck him" talk about Nazir feels especially forced. And yet, for viewers at home at least, his story is seemingly corroborated by dramatic reenactments. Does that mean he's telling the truth? Or could they be dramatizations of his lies? And how are we to interpret the scene of him praying with Nazir, which he declines to mention for obvious reasons. Personally, it feels like a misdirection tactic in itself: If you're a racist jerk who thinks Islam equals terrorism, then you think he's lying about everything. If you're a liberal who thinks it's a shame that a congressman can't be open about his choice to worship Allah, then you think it's an understandable omission. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between?
Brody says Nazir has decided to "die taking the fight to the enemy." His plan is to blow up 300 returning Special Forces soldiers at a homecoming ceremony with Walden and ... Brody. Brody's mission is to get Walden to let Roya cover the event with her camera van full of explosives.
Carrie thinks Brody's telling the truth. The plan, she says, is "quintessential Nazir." Everyone else is more skeptical. The best part comes when Saul is watching on a closed-circuit TV as Brody pulls some voodoo shit on Carrie about how he only cares what she thinks. Quinn creeps up on him, and Saul says, "Think you're the only one who understands that this fucker needs watching like a hawk?" The anger in his voice! I guess he's tired of seeing his girl Friday get jerked around by the crazy congressman.
Another sign that Brody might be faking: When Carrie admits that it was her idea to send Mike Faber to look after his family, he doesn't say, "Don't you know that's the guy who's been fucking my wife?" He says, "Smart."
He's definitely faking during the scene with Estes and Walden, where he pretends to be debriefed about the plot. "Roya Hamad's a terrorist," Brody exclaims with mock horror in a bit of bad acting that shows just what a good actor Damian Lewis is.
Once Walden's up to speed, Brody calls Roya, who advises him to stand near her and her cameraman when the plane full of Special Forces soldiers lands. "It's a bomb," Saul concludes. She's telling Brody how to stay safe.
(This is the moment where, if this were "Les Misérables," everyone in the cast would bust out in an ensemble rendition of "One Day More.")
Jess and Mike are drinking half-decent CIA wine out of those big yuppie glasses when she hatches a plan to seduce him: "Take the guest room," she says. Next thing you know, she's sneaking out of her own bed and into Mike's room. There's a super-uncomfortable scene where she reaches down Mike's shorts, but I guess that's supposed to let us know that Mike is still a decent fellow -- dude never had a chance. In the morning, Jess has a brief panic attack when she realizes she's slept the night in Mike's bed, but she returns to her own room to find Dana and Chris snoozing peacefully. But yeah, that's going to get ugly at some point.
And then there's this whole crazy thing with Quinn's secret identity. He's figured out a way to keep intruders out of his apartment with a stack of quarters. He has a kid with a police officer in Philly. He works for some weird guy who lives on the bus. It's complicated. All you really need to know is that, in Estes' words, "He's here to kill terrorists, just like the rest of us." And that means that, after the operation goes down and Roya's rolled up, snipers kill her accomplices, and Carrie figures out that the guy in the van dressed up like Nazir is not Nazir ("WE DO NOT HAVE SANDMAN!"), Quinn decides NOT to assassinate Brody in the back seat of a limo in the family driveway. Estes is the man who makes the call, telling Quinn via his earpiece that, since Nazir is still alive, "We still need him."
So that's how it's gonna be! I assume the motive for killing Brody is to prevent him from telling Walden that Estes has been secretly running him as a double agent. It's a good thing I know that Carrie always wins and Estes always loses on this show, or else I'd be worried that the good congressman might actually be in danger!
But what happens now? If Nazir wasn't in the van, where is he? And what does he have planned? We'll have to wait till next episode to find out, but feel free to leave your guesses in the comments.
By the way, anyone else notice that the title of the episode has two meanings? There's Estes' remark about Quinn wearing "two hats" during the mission to take down Roya and Nazir, and there's the fact that Nazir and his double are wearing the same silly golf hat.
Am I right that this was the best episode of the season? Did I miss anything good? Anything preposterous? Let me know in the comments!
"Homeland" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.
Erika Johnsen over at Hot Air is not buying Susan Rice's explanation:She relied "solely and squarely" on info from the intelligence community? That seems a bit odd, considering that the intelligence community suspected terrorism from the very beginning, which means that something doesn't fit here -- and the most obvious possibility for that missing link is that somebody high up in the food chain tweaked the talking points on a very inconvenient situation with only weeks to go before a close presidential election, although the White House has denied having done so.
As members of the Republican Party reflect on their losses at the polls November 6, they should do so with complete honesty and a commitment to play a constructive role in effective governance. Their first step should be to get their house in order.
The Republican Party under Reince Priebus is a failure. His leadership during this past election was characterized by distortion and deception. His incessant reliance on talking points and mean-spirited attacks did not elevate the debate nor inspire his troops. Not only did he miscalculate how Mitt Romney would do Election Day, Romney failed to carry Priebus's home state of Wisconsin.
Supporters credit him with cutting the RNC's debt in half, and increasing the party's donor base. Priebus sent an email to committee members notifying them he intends to run again in January, but barely mentioned Romney's defeat and the loss of Senate seats. Instead, he praised the RNC's get out the vote effort, even though Romney received fewer votes than Senator John McCain did four years earlier.
Preibus has not owned up to his role in voter suppression, an effort that backfired. This tactic was based on the old axiom that if the voter turnout is large, the Democrats win. There were also allegations of voter registration fraud involving Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm the RNC retained for $1.3 million before being forced to terminate their contract. At the time, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said, "It's not hard to connect the dots here -- each of these cases is directly connected to Chair Reince Priebus, who as Chair of the RNC hired the firm headed by Nathan Sproul, a longtime Republican consultant with a known history of alleged voter registration fraud."
Senate Republicans should replace their leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He has consistently put partisan politics ahead of working on a bipartisan basis with President Barack Obama. Prior to the 2010-midterm elections, Senator McConnell famously threw down the gauntlet. In an interview with the National Journal, the senator said, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." If Congress actually accomplished something, he reasoned, it would make the president look good.
Republicans became the party of roadblocks. Republicans have had effective control of the Senate since the beginning of President Obama's first term. While they did not have a majority in the Senate, they had enough seats to keep Democrats from getting the required 60 votes needed to end a filibuster. And, under Senator McConnell's leadership, Republicans shattered all previous records for using filibusters. According to the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, "There were more filibusters between 2009 and 2010 than there were in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's combined." In the election earlier this month Republicans lost seats to the Democrats, although not enough to end a filibuster by that party.
A mandate is in the eye of the beholder. Democrats say the election gave the president a mandate, especially for raising taxes on the rich, while Republicans disagree. No matter, Americans voted for a divided government, where Democrats again control the White House and have a majority of the seats in the Senate, and Republicans control the House of Representatives. It was as if the voters were saying, "Alright guys, enough with the gridlock, get back in there and get something done."
Meanwhile, the country is on the edge of a fiscal cliff, which Congress created. If no action is taken by the end of the year, automatic spending reductions will kick in, and all of the Bush tax cuts will expire. That will mean the tax bill for the average household will increase by several thousand dollars, which will snuff out America's already anemic economic recovery.
So the second thing Republicans should do is move to the high ground in the debate on the impending fiscal crisis. They should agree to the president's proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy, while putting in place some tax reforms. Republicans should show they are willing to compromise for the good of the country. To do otherwise would garner blame for a Republican party that is already flat on its back from a staggering defeat on Election Day.
It is time for the Republican Party to end its failed era of obstructionism. Elections do have consequences.
Now that the numbers have been crunched and the final balloon has dropped, it's clear that the Latino community made history in elections across the country and turned out to vote. What's more is that it appears to have been the Latina vote that tipped the scales, when we joined with other American women and mobilized to make sure that candidates who are supportive of women's health made it to state capitols, D.C. and the White House.
The numbers speak for themselves. Three out of every four Hispanic women voted for Obama. Of course, issues such as the economy, job creation and immigration played an important role in our participation, but it's undeniable that the protection of the Affordable Care Act, reproductive health and rights and accessibility to health care services were also key. In the same manner, we rejected the extremist and dangerous rhetoric from politicians like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, whose offensive comments cost them the elections and demonstrated a lack of respect toward women and their well-being, and a dangerous perspective on policy.
In the race for the presidency, the decision between Mitt Romney and President Obama was an easy one. Romney promised to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, which plays such an important role in providing health care services at affordable prices for our communities, and he proudly vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having an inkling of a plan to take its place.
Our work is not over. It's estimated that every month another 50,000 Latinos become eligible to vote, which is why educating our families, children and friends on the issues that are vital to our health must continue. We also saw firsthand how important it is to continue to support organizations that are truly invested in and aware of our needs and will use their resources to protect them, organizations like Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood health centers have always been a part of the Latino community and saw approximately 630,000 Latinos last year alone. Many times, these health centers provide the only option for health care, including cervical cancer screenings, clinical breast exams, birth control and family planning and other essential health care services. Having this health care provided at an affordable price not only helps improve the health of women and our communities but also provides the economic relief that in today's economy so many families need.
Latinas have always been a powerful force, but the 2012 elections demonstrated to the rest of the country our capacity to alter the course of an election and American history. The message remains clear: Latinas are watching, and we do vote.
(CBS News) WASHINGTON - CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to "al Qaeda" and "terrorism" from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack - with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes.There has been considerable discussion about who made the changes to the talking points that Rice stuck to in her television appearances on Sept. 16 (video), five days after the attack that killed American...
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Middle East in hopes that she can help mediate an end to bloody conflict in the region.
A deputy White House national security adviser says Clinton will depart Tuesday from Cambodia, where she had accompanied Obama on a visit to Southeast Asia.
Clinton will begin her Mideast diplomacy by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. She also will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah before heading to Cairo to meet with leaders in Egypt.
Israel has been firing rockets into the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory.
The U.S. says Israel has a right to defend itself.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is preparing to expand the fiscal cliff fight beyond the confines of Washington, travelling the country and leaning on Democratic activist groups to help apply political pressure.
The goal, organizers said, is to keep engaged the activists and followers who have stood with Obama through two campaigns, and to begin applying external pressure to the president's negotiations with congressional Republicans.
And so, top Obama operatives are gaming out ways to squeeze political capital out of the 2012 elections, aiming to affect the lame-duck session in Congress. Obama previewed the strategy in a conference call with activists after the election, saying that a second term that will include some barnstorming across the country.
"One of my pledges for a second term is to get out of Washington more often," Obama said.
On that same call, one of president's top campaign aides, Mitch Stewart, alerted listeners that they would be asked to help support the White House as it deals with the expiring Bush tax cuts and looming $1 trillion in sequestration-related cuts. Stewart added that some campaign operatives would remain in Chicago "going through what worked in 2012 and what didn't work in 2012 and trying to figure out how we as an organization can get better." He concluded by pointing the 30,000 call participants to a newly developed initiative called TheAction.org.
The organization is a loose coalition of 26 progressive-leaning groups in various states (Innovation Ohio, Progress Texas, Better Georgia) as well as Washington (Small Business Majority and Protect Your Care.)
The veterans of the 2012 campaign as well as the Obama White House will work to back the elimination of the Bush tax cuts on people with incomes of more than $250,000. The coalition is still in its nascent stages, as shown by the relatively calm Twitter account it operates. A "tool kit" being distributed by the group includes letterhead, Twitter backgrounds, and Facebook cover photos. One organizer said the coalition would spearhead rallies, encourage op-eds and letters to the editor and, if an infusion of cash comes around, launch media campaigns. More broadly, TheAction.org is designed to harness the post-election energy of Obama supporters into real grassroots pressure on Congress.
"Coming out of the first election it felt like almost a celebration," said one group operative who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak on behalf of all the coalition members. "You didn't really have this budget fight that people were hanging onto. It feels very different right now. People know this budget fight is coming up and these Bush tax cuts are set to expire and that it's a huge deal to the middle class. Everyone knows what the issue is at hand now. And there are all these people asking what to do next. We happen to be the folks that put it together."
The record of efforts like this is mixed. Progressive grassroots movements have been effective in the past, but usually in opposition to a policy or agenda -- President George W. Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security, for example. During the first Obama term, they were organized infrequently, in part because groups often weren't united over the administration's agenda. (It was tough to rally support for a public option for health care when the president wasn't strongly advocating one.) Also, the White House had decided to play more of an inside game.
Circumstances have changed, Obama officials said. And lessons have been learned. Increasingly, signs point to a robust outside-game operation to help the president move his agenda during the lame-duck session and beyond. On Sunday night, Obama's 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, sent out a survey asking recipients to provide specifics on their volunteerism in addition to their legislative priorities. The idea was to collect data and to make the campaign apparatus more effective for the years ahead.
We want to know "what from their perspective worked and what from their perspective, more importantly, did not work," explained one top Obama aide.
Robert Lieberman, the maker of the critically acclaimed documentary, They Call It Myanmar "“ Lifting the Curtain, tells a story that exposes some of the cynical reality behind President Obama's historic visit to politically imprisoned Myanmar today. Shortly after Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize-winning democracy activist, was released from two decades of house arrest in November of 2010, Lieberman was invited to show his film at a Yangon festival that Suu Kyi was organizing called "The Art of Freedom." Thoughtfully, he informed the U.S. Embassy of...
Democrat Ron Barber has won a full term representing Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, the AP reports.
Martha McSally, Barber's Republican challenger, had filed a motion on Tuesday for one county's election director to stop counting certain provisional ballots, many of them from a majority-Latino precinct near the border.
The AP reports:
Democrat Ron Barber has won a full term representing Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, squeaking out a win over Republican Martha McSally and giving Democrats a sweep of the state's three competitive races for U.S. House seats.
Voters decisively picked Barber to fill out the remainder of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords term in a special election in June, but last week's election was for a full term and was so tight it took until Saturday before a winner was clear. Barber and McSally each held leads since election night, with a difference of only a few dozen votes at times, before Barber steadily began pulling ahead.
By late Friday, Barber had a 1,402-vote margin with more than 285,000 votes cast in the race. Only about 15,000 provisional ballots remain to be counted in Pima County, although not all are in the 2nd District. An Associated Press analysis determined Barber's lead could not be overcome.
McSally planned a 2 p.m. Saturday press conference. Her campaign manager, Bruce Harvie, declined to confirm if she planned to concede.