Archive for January, 2011

The nation faces a burden of debt and is on course for an economic disaster without action to wrestle the budget deficit under control, according to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan in the Republican response to the State of the Union. (Jan. 25)


Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., delivered a Tea Party response following President Obama’s State of the Union address and Rep. Paul Ryan‘s Republican response.

McConnell keeping his seat for State of Union….

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don’t look for the Senate’s Republican leader to take a different seat during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Democrats and Republicans usually sit with fellow members of their parties during the annual speech in the House chamber.

But with calls for more civility in Congress and less partisanship after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, some lawmakers are pledging to break with tradition during President Barack Obama’s address this year.

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told “Fox News Sunday” that he will take a seat at the leadership table on the Republican side of the aisle, as usual

“If people want to mix it up, they certainly can. We don’t have seating assignments for most of our members,” he said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said “it’s a good thing to do, so why not” rearrange the seating. He said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that it could further help ease the partisan atmosphere in Washington; he plans to sit with Sen. Mark Udall, R-Colo.

He also offered one more suggestion: “It might be nice to cut back on all the jumping up and down” — meaning lawmakers should stay in their seats rather than interrupt the speech with standing applause. McCain said that can detract from a speech that’s intended mainly for the American people.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, noted that in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee he leads, members sit without regard to party. “In other words,” he told ABC’s “This Week,” ”we’re not warring camps facing each other.”

“This is symbolic, but it sends a good message. We’ve really got to do more of this.”

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who appeared with Lieberman and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said he had just asked to sit with Hutchison.

For McConnell, the public is “more interested in actual accomplishments on a bipartisan basis here in the next six to nine months than they are with the seating arrangement at the State of the Union.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was visiting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the hospital when the injured congresswoman opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting. Meanwhile new details are emerging about suspect Jared Loughner. (Jan. 13)

Barack Obama found his voice Wednesday night, the one the country fell in love with in ’08. Gone was the stiff, sober professor, and here was the president we’ve been yearning for, a man who understands the cadences of the heart along with the complexities of the tragedy that brought him to the stadium at the University of Arizona. The memorial service at times seemed more like a pep rally, and as the president invoked the lives of each of the fallen along with the many heroes that emerged from the shooting, smiles soon overtook the tears, and a spirit of unity and optimism took hold.

Obama spoke quietly at first but by the time he saluted Daniel Hernandez, the intern who saved Gabby Giffords’ life, and the petite woman who had wrestled away the ammo from the shooter, the president was smiling and clapping. He had a leather folder with his notes, and as he got comfortable, he seemed to need them less. He paid tribute to everyone involved in the Tucson shooting, finding solace in their stories, and how they represent what is best about America, from the husbands who instinctively shielded their spouses to the medical team tending to Giffords, who had opened her eyes that afternoon for the first time since Saturday.

Obama returned to the One America theme that carried him to the White House, and as a devoted father himself, he made 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green the vehicle to carry his message forward. He alluded to the partisan divisions that had emerged in the wake of the shooting, saying that demanding explanations is part of human nature. But then he imagined Christina, born on 9/11, jumping in puddles in heaven. “I want to live up to her expectations, I want America to be as good as she imagined it,” he said, concluding a speech that was as good as he can give, and right up there with other masters of the genre.

US President Barack Obama revealed that Congresswoman Democratic Rep Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head at close range during a deadly rampage in Arizona last week, opened her eyes for the first time shortly after he and Michelle Obama visited her in hospital. The president made his comments during a memorial service before more than 13,000 people at the University of Arizona basketball arena.

Sarah Palin posted a nearly eight-minute video on her Facebook page early Wednesday, accusing journalists and pundits of inciting hatred and violence in the wake of a deadly Arizona shooting that gravely wounded a U.S. congresswoman. (Jan. 12)