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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Iraq War Ends -
in a much quieter ceremony than the bluster associated with the start of the nine year war. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in Baghdad yesterday, officially declared the end of the war. The Washington Post has more here.


Jobless Claims Drop To 31/2 Year Low -
the lowest level since May 2008. Economist had predicted 390,000 for the week ending December 10 and the figure was 366,000. has more here.


Payroll Tax Extension and Omnibus Spending Bills Still in Limbo -
the threat of a government shutdown has become common place with the current Congress. Democratic Leaders met with President Obama last night with early reports indicating they were will to drop their demand for a millionaire tax surcharge to pay for the payroll tax extension.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are blocking approval of a 1 Trillion Omnibus Spending bill until agreement is reached on the payroll tax extension. has more here.

Congressional Leaders met this morning, signaling a compromise is in the works. has more here.


Another GOP Debate Tonight -
beginning at 9:00 PM ET, it is sponsored by Fox News and the Iowa Republican Party. Newt Gingrich is the new national front runner in the polls. The Iowa caucuses will be held January 3, 2012. Fox News has more here.

For political geeks, keep in mind the voting in caucus states is totally different than traditional secret balloting. Voting takes place in the open in some one's home, a school, or community building. Voters actually go to separate areas in the room to signal which candidate they support. They are able to change their vote afterward and prior to the vote being recorded. Makes for interesting maneuvering by candidate campaigns - with second or third place finishers possible having their supporters vote for another candidate after the initial look see. Interesting votes can result which do not mirror polling. Stay tuned....


Putin Rules Out Another Election -
in spite of widespread demonstrations and allegations of vote fraud, Vladimir Putin says the election will stand. The recently held parliamentary elections resulted in a bare majority of Putin's "United Russia" Party. has more here.


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