Kerry Finalized as Secretary of State Nominee

By: Friday December 21, 2012 9:42 am

Former Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will become the next nominee for Secretary of State, replacing Hillary Clinton and creating another Senate vacancy.

President Obama will formally announce the nomination today at the White House, according to sources. He is not expected to face much resistance in the Senate for confirmation. Kerry will likely recuse himself from the confirmation hearings, since they would take place at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he chairs. But there’s no word on when or if Kerry will step down from the Senate, the timing of which triggers a series of vacancy laws in Massachusetts.


Report: John Kerry to Be Named Secretary of State

By: Saturday December 15, 2012 1:00 pm

Former Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry has been chosen to serve as Secretary of State, according to a Chicago Sun-Times columnist who heard it from an unidentified White House source.

This doesn’t exactly come from left field. Kerry, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was rumored to be on the short list for the job, along with UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Rice took herself out of the running this week.

Michigan Passes Right to Work; What Are Labor’s Next Options?

By: Wednesday December 12, 2012 10:30 am

Labor has not really attempted to overturn the Indiana “right to work” law, where they had less options at their disposal. But there are tools available in Michigan, as well as a relatively dense unionized labor force ready to fight back.

Michigan House Gives Final Approval on Right to Work

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 11:28 am

Despite large protests and thousands of demonstrators, lawmakers in Michigan, as expected, granted final approval to right to work legislation, which will ban closed shop unions and allow workers to opt out of union dues despite having their employment covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Right To Work Passes Both Houses in Michigan Quickly

By: Thursday December 6, 2012 5:51 pm

Within a matter of hours, both houses of the Michigan legislature passed right to work legislation, while arrests and lockdowns occurred inside and outside the chamber. In the end, Michigan Democrats staged a walkout to protest the closed Capitol. But eventually, the votes were taken, through a gut-and-amend process with a substitute bill that was supposed to create a commission to deal with labor disputes. The main bill then passed the House by a 58-52 vote, and the Senate 22-16.

Health Care Law Faces Sprint After Election

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 4:05 pm

One signature consequence, perhaps the leading consequence, of last night’s electoral victory for Democrats is that the implementation of Obamacare will now proceed unfettered. At least at the federal level. But as we’ve noted for many months, the law’s facility will rise or fall on the willingness of the states to carry it out. After the Supreme Court ruling in June, states can now decide on whether or not to expand Medicaid to their populations. There are now 30 Republican governors, one more than before last night (North Carolina flipped to the Republicans), which in my book means 30 potential land mines for the Medicaid expansion.

California Nabs 2/3 Majority as Voter Universe Changes

By: Wednesday November 7, 2012 8:24 am

Just to pick up on what happened in my neck of the woods out here in California. It turned out to be a great night.

The tax revolt is dead, or at least not a binding religious totem, the way it was described here for the last 35 years. Prop 30, which temporarily raises income taxes on wealthy earners and 1/4 cent sales taxes on everyone, passed with 54% of the vote. Schools will not be shut down an additional 20 days. Public safety budgets will swell. Most polls had this topping out at 48% support leading up to the vote, so it defied expectations. In addition, Prop 39, which repeals a corporate tax break worth $1 billion, passed easily. Three strikes was reformed with Prop 36, which will save money.

Some Texas Counties Weigh Picking Up Medicaid Expansion Themselves

By: Monday August 27, 2012 8:30 am

Texas was one of the first states to reject the extension of additional Medicaidcoverage, which would have covered an additional 1.8 million residents of the Lone Star State. But Texas may not have the last word on that. Several counties in the state may band together to offer the expansion to their constituents. This looks a little more like shifting costs onto the federal government than expanding the rolls of covered citizens, however, because these counties have a number of existing programs in place.

Arizona Immigration Ruling Has Major Implications for Other States

By: Tuesday June 26, 2012 8:40 am

The Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona immigration law may have its greatest impact on how it affects copycat laws across the country. The harshest of the ones already passed, in Alabama, faces some challenges after the court ruling.

ALEC Retreats on Non-Economic Legislation

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 12:50 pm

In what at first glance looks like a major concession, ALEC, the embattled right-wing legislation factory for state and local government, announced they would refocus their efforts solely on economic issues, and eliminate a task force they had devoted to social and cultural issues, like guns and voter ID laws and abortion.

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