Biden Federal Reserve Nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin Withdraws Nomination

Sarah Bloom Raskin

Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s pick for a key Federal Reserve position, withdrew her nomination Tuesday after receiving bipartisan pushback.

Raskin’s nomination faced fierce opposition by Republican lawmakers and industry groups that argued her previous positions on a range of topics including climate policy disqualified her for the job. Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee led by Ranking Member Pat Toomey have boycotted a vote to pass her nomination and four other nominations to the Senate for a floor vote since February.

“Unfortunately, Senate Republicans are more focused on amplifying these false claims and protecting special interests than taking important steps toward addressing inflation and lowering costs for the American people,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “I am grateful for Sarah’s service to our country and for her willingness to serve again, and I look forward to her future contributions to our country.”

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‘Scientific Malfeasance’: Economists Point Out Flaws in Biden Nominee’s Signature Research

Dr. Lisa D. Cook

President Joe Biden’s latest nominee to the Fed has faced criticism for embellishing her resume, but recently some economists have raised the possibility that her most famous research contains fatal flaws.

Lisa Cook, a professor of international relations and economics at Michigan State University, was nominated to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on Jan 14. Three weeks later, on Feb. 5, an anonymous Twitter account pointed out a mistake in Cook’s 2014 paper, “Violence and economic activity: evidence from African-American patents, 1870-1940.”

The anonymous tweet sparked a flurry of blog posts criticizing Cook’s paper. Andrew Gelman, a statistics professor at Columbia University, compared Cook’s dataset with a more recent dataset from the Brookings Institution and said the results did not match. “Hey—this is a lot different!” wrote Gelman.

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Commentary: The Contentious Battle to Replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Wednesday’s announcement by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer that he would be retiring at the end of the court’s current session has raised the obvious question of how contentious the battle over his replacement will be.

One thing is almost certain to be true: No matter who is nominated by President Joe Biden, there will be no 87-9 favorable vote – the tally when Breyer was nominated by Bill Clinton in 1994. Though there were occasional exceptions in the decade prior to Breyer, his vote totals were not unusual in that era. Antonin Scalia was approved 98-0, Anthony Kennedy 97-0, and Ruther Bader Ginsburg 96-3. However, no Supreme Court nomination since Breyer’s has received fewer than 22 negative votes, the number against Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005.

That was the year Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (now majority leader) urged that senators should vote explicitly on the basis of candidates’ ideology rather than simply their qualifications. In reality, ideology had been the primary driving factor behind the rejection of Robert Bork’s nomination in 1987 and the tough, though ultimately successful, fight over Clarence Thomas’ nomination in 1991, but most opposing senators had attempted to preserve the fiction that judicial temperament or scandals were behind their “no” votes. Schumer opened the door to unabashed ideological and partisan warfare, and subsequent votes on Supreme Court nominations have shown it.

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Biden to Renominate Jerome Powell for Second Term as Federal Reserve Chair

Jerome Powell

President Joe Biden will renominate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term leading the central bank.

The president, who was elected as a moderate, has faced pushback on Powell, who progressives feel is not tough enough on bank regulations or climate change policy.

Also in contention for the top job was Lael Brainard, who Biden will nominate to become the vice chair of the central bank’s board of governors.

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Herschel Walker Miles Ahead in Georgia’s GOP Senate Primary, Poll Shows

Herschel Walker, the former NFL star-turned-Republican Senate candidate in Georgia’s primary, is the clear favorite to win the nomination in 2022, a new poll shows.

Internal polling shows 74% of Georgia GOP primary voters supporting Walker, who announced his bid in August with the vocal support of former President Donald Trump. Walker led his closest opponent, Gary Black, by 68 points, while 16% said they remained undecided.

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Commentary: Media Begins Its Meddling in the 2024 Primary

Paul Ryan wearing a red shirt and waving

In March 2018, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took to the lectern to announce he had received “assurances” that President Trump was not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. “We have a system based upon the rule of law in this country.” A month later, Ryan announced his retirement from Congress. 

In July 2018, Ryan refused to permit an effort to impeach then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for obstructing congressional inquiries into the Russian collusion hoax. Ryan’s protection of Mueller and his untimely retirement helped tip the 2018 midterm elections against his party and Nancy Pelosi has held the speaker’s gavel ever since then. 

Mueller should have been fired and Ryan should have urged Trump to do it. Mueller proved himself to be a fumbling and doddering fool unable to grasp the basics of the investigation he supposedly led. The real directors of the witch hunt, Trump haters led by Andrew Weissman, abused the powers of the special counsel to leak, smear, and harass the sitting president. It was, from the very start, a political operation intended to deny Trump the full freedom and powers an elected president normally would enjoy. It wasn’t quite a coup because power didn’t change hands. But it added to the continuing loss of confidence Americans have in achieving political change through elections. 

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