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Pizza Is Tearing Our Country and Politics Apart

And GOP is the pizza party, lobbying against a nutritional 'nanny state': Paul Krugman

(Newser) - "Pepperoni Turns Partisan" is the name of Paul Krugman's opinion piece in today's New York Times , and that headline leads straight into the point of his article: that the nutrition wars are heating up, and the GOP is the party of "Big Food." To frame... More »

Politics Blinds Us to Pesky Facts: Study

Ezra Klein examines the intellectual abyss of partisanship

(Newser) - Politicians devote a lot of energy to what Ezra Klein calls the "More Information Hypothesis," the theory that voters would agree with them if they understood the issues better. But a 2013 study suggests that's not true, Klein points out at his launched-last-night site Vox . Researchers first... More »

Govs Meet in 'Harmony,' Immediately Start Squabbling

Doesn't take long for things to unravel after White House meeting

(Newser) - The chief executives of the nation's 50 great states emerged from a White House meeting with President Obama today apparently "claiming harmony," as per the AP . So that Kumbaya vibe took mere seconds to descend into a bickerfest held on-camera in front of the West Wing. Lowlights... More »

8 Senators Rejected Cliff Deal

3 Democrats, 5 Republicans said no to bipartisan plan

(Newser) - A deal to neutralize the fiscal cliff cruised through the Senate 89-8 in a late-night session and is headed for the House, whose session today begins at noon . The deal contains the first federal income tax hike in nearly 20 years, but the eight refuseniks weren't all Republicans, the... More »

How the NRA Lost Democrats

But group says it's still adding members

(Newser) - The NRA might be surprised when it sees how few Democrats it has in its corner during the seemingly inevitable coming showdown over gun control. Even before the Newtown massacre, the gun lobby's staunchest Democratic supporters were starting to defect, seeing the group increasingly as an adjunct of the... More »

Forget the 'Grand Bargain'

Paul Krugman doesn't think it's time for Obama to give in to GOP blackmail

(Newser) - Republicans still hold the House (even though Democrats appear to have gotten more votes in this election), so everyone is now wondering how far the triumphant President Obama should go to placate them and avoid the fiscal cliff. "My answer is, not far at all," writes Paul Krugman... More »

If Obama Wins, DC Gridlock Will Get Worse

But another columnist sees the threat as more GOP 'hostage-taking'

(Newser) - If you're tired of the last few years of DC gridlock, brace for more if President Obama wins re-election, writes Ramesh Ponnuru at Bloomberg . Republicans probably will still control Congress, and they're bound to react to a Romney loss by shifting more to the right, argues Ponnuru. Neither... More »

In Epic Statement, Lugar Rips Foe, Congress

Calls opponent Richard Mourdock an 'unrelenting partisan'

(Newser) - Dick Lugar isn't going quietly into the sunset. The newly deposed Indiana senator has released a scathing 1,425-word statement lambasting his party, his opponent, and Congress in general, Politico reports. Lugar says he wants opponent Richard Mourdock to win because he wants to see a GOP majority for... More »

Democracy Is Dead, Welcome to 'Vetocracy'

Thomas Friedman says special interests rule because government can't act

(Newser) - The US isn't a democracy anymore. It's a "vetocracy," with a system designed to prevent anyone from doing much of anything, Thomas Friedman argues in the New York Times . The constitution's system of checks and balances "assumes—indeed requires—a certain minimum level of... More »

Olympia Snowe: I Quit Because Senate Is Hopeless

Maine senator says it's become a depressingly partisan knot

(Newser) - Olympia Snowe has had it with the Senate's intractable partisan gridlock. In a Washington Post op-ed, Snowe explains her impending retirement , and she doesn't mince words. "Simply put, the Senate is not living up to what the Founding Fathers envisioned," she writes. "The greatest deliberative... More »

Congress Is Done for the Year

Don't expect any major legislation in 2012

(Newser) - It's only February, but most lawmakers expect the payroll tax holiday extension be the last major piece of legislation Congress passes all year, as election year politicking brings the 112th Congress —not exactly known for its blistering pace —to a screeching halt. What will Congress do about... More »

How Obama Lost That 'Hopey-Changey' Thing

'New Yorker' piece shows post-partisan hope giving way to reality

(Newser) - In a lengthy New Yorker piece culled from hundreds of pages of internal White House memos, Ryan Lizza paints a detailed picture of President Obama's fall from the idealistic candidate who promised to usher in an era of post-partisanship. A week before his inauguration, Obama enjoyed an amiable dinner... More »

Senate GOP Blocks Obama CFPB Nominee

Richard Cordray won't head consumer protection bureau

(Newser) - As expected, Senate Republicans today blocked President Obama's choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau he created. Few questioned Richard Cordray's credentials for the job, notes the AP , which reports that the former Ohio attorney general fell victim to a "particularly nasty partisan fight." Only... More »

Colin Powell: Tea Party Candidates Can't Win

But Dems, GOP also too partisan, he tells Christiane Amanpour

(Newser) - Colin Powell took aim at Tea Party candidates, Democrats, and Republicans alike today in a plea for compromise on Capitol Hill. Speaking on Christiane Amanpour, the former Bush secretary of state said Tea Party contenders are too hard-line to win next year's presidential election: "The Tea Party point... More »

Dean: What's the Tea Party Smoking?

GOP blames Obama, Dems blame Tea Party for S&P downgrade

(Newser) - If nothing else, the S&P downgrade made for a lively August Sunday on the talk show circuit, with anyone who is anyone booking an appearance to sling some blame for the US' brand new AA+ rating . The Democrats pointed directly at the Tea Party and its refusal to raise... More »

'Corrosive' Partisanship Drives DC's Gridlock

Divided government requires compromise, critic opines

(Newser) - Washington's hyper-partisan gridlock is far worse than the usual political squabbling; in fact, this political breakdown "could be as corrosive to the political system as the possible financial default looming could be to the economy," writes Dan Balz in the Washington Post . Voters have chosen divided government... More »

Obama- Boehner: Breakup of the Summer

President lets loose with 'primal scream' as the bromance ends

(Newser) - "No drama Obama" was nowhere in sight last night as debt ceiling talks broke down and John Boehner left the building. The president's heated half-hour presser—in which he lambasted Republicans' "seeming inability to arrive at any kind of position that compromises any of their ideological preferences"... More »

This Congress Is the Least Productive in Decades

Partisan gridlock leads to few votes, fewer laws: LA Times

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Times takes stock of the accomplishments of the 112th Congress, and it isn't pretty: This Congress "is on pace to be one of the least productive in recent memory—as measured by votes taken, bills made into laws, nominees approved," writes Kathleen Hennessey. It'... More »

What's Up With Our Ridiculous Bill Titles?

Just try to say any of these five times fast

(Newser) - Remember when bills had simple names like the Civil Rights Act or the Highway Beautification Act? Not any more. Lawmakers are increasingly using these titles as a political tool, saddling bills with cumbersome and partisan names like the Reducing Barack Obama's Unsustainable Deficit Act or the Repealing Ineffective and... More »

27% of Senate Press Releases Taunt Other Side

Professor analyzes writings, finds lots of name calling

(Newser) - This could explain why Congress is having such a hard time agreeing on a budget: Its members are too busy taunting one another. A Harvard professor analyzed the writings of Congress members, and found that about 27% of the time, they're just insulting each other. “It’s jarring and... More »

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