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David A. Graham

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Between Two Ferns: The Selling of the President, 2014

March 12, 2014 President Obama stormed the internet Tuesday with his appearance on Zach Galifianakis's beloved series Between Two Ferns. There are (in my opinion) some solidly entertaining moments here, but of course Obama's reason for appearing is to work on selling Healthcare.gov and the Affordable Care Act. And of course, reactions to ...

Obama's New Budget Is All About the Midterm Elections

March 5, 2014 Every budget is a political budget, and President Obama's proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2015 is no different. But there are two kinds of political budgets: Those that set out a negotiating position, and those that try to establish an electoral posture. This year's budget is one of the ...

Is Obamacare a Job-Killer After All?

February 5, 2014 For years, Republicans have insisted that the Affordable Care Act would tank the economy by reducing employment. The idea that Obamacare was a "job killer" was one of Mitt Romney's favorite 2012 talking points. For just as long, Democrats have been saying that's false—and they've had the experts on their ...

Why a Grand Bargain or Anything Else Won't End the Shutdown Soon

October 3, 2013 A confluence of events sent D.C.'s collective heart rate up early Wednesday evening. First, President Obama was meeting at the White House with Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell and House leaders John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. And second, Robert Costa, National Review's Washington editor and scoop machine, reported ...

Analysis: By Joe Biden’s Own Metric, the Obama Administration Is Failing

September 17, 2013 Until the shooting in the Washington Navy Yard cast a pall over the city, Monday was supposed to be a day for President Obama to mark the fifth anniversary of the financial crash and tout his administration's handling of the economic recovery. His argument -- in remarks at the White ...

Commentary: The Best Way to Guarantee Something Will Fail Is to Call It a 'Grand Bargain'

July 31, 2013 It's like clockwork -- which is good, because nothing else about the nation's budgeting process seems to work these days: If it's a late summer in the Obama era, it's time to talk about a "grand bargain" on spending that's almost certain to go nowhere. (Linguistic aside: Perhaps it's telling ...

Forget the Charm, Keep the Offensive: Obama's Aggressive New Strategy

June 5, 2013 No more Mr. Nice President. For a brief few weeks this spring, the president was on what was universally, and rather uncreatively, described as a "charm offensive." But a series of high-profile power plays this week show suggest a White House that has either lost faith in the value of ...

How a 'Vote-a-rama' Could Be the Key to Funding Government

March 22, 2013 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is getting ready for a vote-a-rama this week. That sounds like an old, tired SNL skit, but don't be fooled -- it's actually an old, tired Senate trick. Well, not that tired. Here's the story: Sometimes, the Senate holds flurries of votes on budget resolutions. ...

Joe Biden's 10 Best (Kinda Weird) Pieces of Advice

February 21, 2013 Vice President Biden has some advice. Actually, he has lots of advice, and he parceled some of his wisdom out Tuesday during a Facebook town hall. Asked whether an assault-weapons ban would make it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, he delivered this instant-classic answer: If you want to ...

Why don’t Democrats love Hagel, and who would they prefer at Defense?

January 31, 2013 When Chuck Hagel walks into his hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning, he'll be a favorite (though not a sure thing) to win confirmation as secretary of defense. But he still won't be a favorite of many progressives. By now, high-profile Democratic senators have gotten in line ...