Politics Roundup: Lautenberg Death, IRS, Medicare Funding, DC's "Gilded Age"

Monday, June 03, 2013

Inside the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. (O Palsson/flickr)

New Jersey Public Radio's Nancy Solomon discusses the breaking news that NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg died this morning at the age of 89. Plus, Elizabeth Williamson, Wall Street Journal reporter, discusses the latest news from Washington including the ongoing probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups; new estimates of Medicare's long-term funding; the debate over student loan rates; and her reporting on how Washington, DC's local economy is thriving despite the sequester.


Elizabeth Williamson

Comments [25]

Sue from Ocean

I would like to see Gov. Christie appoint Joe Kyrillos as Sen. Lautenburg's replacement. Kyrillos ran an intelligent, positive campaign last year and showed himself to be a moderate, thoughtful candidate. I am a registered Democrat with independent leanings. However, I think it's inevitable that Christie will appoint a Republican to the seat, and a young, balanced, capable, experienced person is just what we need more of in the Senate.

Jun. 03 2013 02:11 PM

Alas, we the non Uberwealthy have lost a champion of what works for the non One Percenters.

Lautenberg understood the need for SocSec and Medicare and would gave worked to protect them from the predations of the Corportists running our government through control of most of both parties.

He will be greatly missed.

One of the last true Democrats.

Jun. 03 2013 02:09 PM


What parts of that story is not applicable to modern America? We still have merchants. We still have a GI bill. People still start businesses. Some of those businesses make people wealthy. Some of those people become politicians.

Jun. 03 2013 11:58 AM
914dino from 914

Brian just said "Campus Center Rathskeller"... it's long gone, but memories of SUNY Albany!

Jun. 03 2013 11:13 AM

More illustrative of how this mighty country has betrayed the American Dream is Senator Lautenberg's own life story....

Born the son of a silk merchant in Paterson, he attended Columbia on the GI Bill and started ADP became a millionaire and moved into politics. [As an aside when did ADP become 'Automatic Data Processing' rather than 'Automated Data Processing'?]

Does anyone think this rags to riches story could happen in the modern America?

Jun. 03 2013 11:11 AM
Larry from Nyack

20 Years ago I was asked by a New City, NY friend to lead an evening "minyan" service for his deceased father at his brother's home in New Jersey. The brothers were lawyers in North Jersey and I was surprised that Sen. Lautenberg came to the service. As a lay "leader" I struggle when leading such a service, but I'll always remeber the Senator who had the grace to thank me for the nice service I led.

Jun. 03 2013 10:55 AM

@john from office

"...look at Nixon. A man hated during his time, now much loved..."

Really??? I thought that the current view of Nixon was that he was a deeply insecure, cynical anti-semite whose fear of his enemies was greater than his enemies. Why else risk everything by bugging an opposing party who is 15 points behind you in the polls?

The recent revelations that Nixon scuttled the 1968 Peace Talks that would have ended American involvement in Southeast Asia six years sooner than it occurred shows me that he was also a traitor who was capable of convincing himself that HE KNEW the way to achieve power in America. Sound familiar?

@MC - Dream on. The President has no IRS scandal that will amount to impeachment. Though who would ever have thought that a President would be impeached for lying about illicit sex in the Oval Office. The IRS 'scrutinizing' cuts both ways - against Progressives and Conservatives but the bigger scandal will be how many of these 501(c)(4)'s will be shown to be violating the law. Prosecutions should follow. Will you whine about selective prosecution, too?

Benghazi...IRS....both are very small potatoes compared to 'crimes and misdemeanors' necessary to impeach a sitting president. Keep it up though, it just makes your thought processes look petty.

Jun. 03 2013 10:46 AM

whats with this senator for life business?
voters should be ashamed

Jun. 03 2013 10:39 AM

Christie should appoint one of the two senior statesmen of the NJ Republican Party: Tom Kean or Christine Whitman. If Christie runs for President, he won't be the darling of the right. Giving the position to Kean or Whitman would show that Christie is -- like Kean and Whitman -- an independent, moderate Republican.

Jun. 03 2013 10:38 AM

@John from NYC

Yeah... not sure whether to laugh or cry. As if being cleared of all guilt by reason of incompetence (even if a lie) is some sort of shining political victory. Forward comrades!

Jun. 03 2013 10:33 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yo, John from NYC, liberal orgs were targeted, though far fewer.
This IRS drama is really much ado about little, driven by the usual hater Republicans and gossipy, wonky journalists.

Jun. 03 2013 10:31 AM
John from NYC

Wow, Wow, Wow -- Brain says there's no political etc etc with the IRS thing -- just incompetence -- WERE IS THERE A SINGLE LIBERAL GROUP "TARGETED"???????????

Jun. 03 2013 10:26 AM
JT from LI

@Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

157 times in 4 years does sound like a lot, until you consider that there are 1460 days in 4 years. So that's visiting the WH once every 9 days, not even once a week. Considering how much taxes has been on the agenda over those 4 years that doesn't seem like a big deal. Setting Bush as the standard because there was only ONE visit in 4 years, that's quite a stretch.

Jun. 03 2013 10:26 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Kerfuffle", Brian?
You never disappoint.

Jun. 03 2013 10:26 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL.....criticism of Obama doesn't go down well here with some of the kiddies.

Attacking me means there is nothing to say in Barry's defense.

Jun. 03 2013 10:25 AM
Robert from NYC

Lautenburg what a good liberal and senator and wasn't one of these windbag braggarts that we hear on shows like this touting their "deeds". He served his constituency and us all very well. We have lost a good statesman and human being.

(When I was a kid i thought it was human bean. Bronx accent i guess. lol)

Jun. 03 2013 10:20 AM
john from office

Martin, look at Nixon. A man hated during his time, now much loved, crowds cried at his funeral. No one will remember his critics, as it should be. You will not be remembered, as it should be.

Jun. 03 2013 10:10 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Obama's IRS commisioner (Doug Shulman), it has now been revealed, visited the White House 157 times in 4 years (!!!) while the previous commisioner visited the Bush White House ONCE in 4 years. It has also been revealed that he met with political director Stephanie Cutter on some of those tips.
(You didn't hear about that on the BLS, kiddies.)

This scandal ain't goin' away, folks.
(“But on Thursday, the Daily Caller reported that Shulman had visited the White House 157 times between January 2009 and January 2013, according to the White House logs -- more than the top Cabinet officials in President Barack Obama's White House.”)

Jun. 03 2013 09:51 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Banks via Government, want young debtors. Nothing happens by coincidence.

Politicians don't think that 18 year olds are mature enough to smoke or drink but its quite ok to sign for non-dischargable loans - sometimes in the six figures, decisions that will keep them in debt for most of their working lives?

The system is rigged.

Jun. 03 2013 09:33 AM

College is unaffordable due to decades of deceitful monetary policy. The cost needs to come down. Cheaper loans will only serve to goose the next round of inflation. Deflation is not as evil as the plutocracy has us all programmed to believe. When something becomes overvalued, it should be allowed to find its level.

Jun. 03 2013 09:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"... he will have the last word."
LOL, not if his perfidy is recognized and he is impeached.

Bad news for the ground troops here.... these scandals aren't going away.

Jun. 03 2013 08:34 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Governor Cuomo is rewording and resubmitting the pro-choice abortion bill that was defeated a few weeks ago. It isn't a codification of Roe v. Wade into New York State law (why would that be necessary?), it goes well beyond Roe v. Wade.

Jun. 03 2013 08:12 AM
john from office

Ed and Martin, the twin children of evil and products of their own echo chambers. One so filled with hate, he is blind to the truth, the other so tied to one issue, that he sees that issue as the end all and be all of the world. The third world does not need any more children they cannot feed nor educate.

Martin, when you are dust, Obama will be remembered. He will have the last word.

Jun. 03 2013 08:07 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Gee, here we are at the ONE segment for the whole week that the BLS will grudgingly lift the rock up for a brief peek at the squirming, slimy worms of Obama's abuse of power. Holder's criminality gets one quick gloss over.
What's the point in commenting when so much was ignored in the past 2 weeks? Brian, hands in pockets and averting his eyes, whistling past the graveyard.
Despicable, biased, "pretend" public journalism. I give up.

(The lefty sheep in this listening audience won't be so phlegmatically serene if a President Ted Cruz uses Obama's current immorality as a template.)

Jun. 03 2013 07:03 AM
Ed from Larchmont

At the end of last week was a women's conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Hilary Clinton, Richards, Melinda Gates, Francis Kissling, drug companies, Queen of Denmark, etc.). It was a conference promoting contraception and abortion in the third world, who don't want it. It was called 'Women Deliver'. One sign of evil is that it has no sense of irony or humor, it should have been called 'Women don't deliver'.

The drug companies stand to make huge amounts of money.

Jun. 03 2013 05:58 AM

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