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Divided Government

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By Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2010
Elected Maryland's first Republican governor in a generation, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. returned to Annapolis planning to trade on the personal relationships he had developed in his eight years as a minority delegate in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly. He would see those plans foiled by the reality of divided government. Democratic leaders stymied Ehrlich on slots, medical malpractice and other key priorities. By his third year in office, Ehrlich had grown so frustrated that he departed from his prepared State of the State address to lecture lawmakers about the need for "respect," a word he uttered more than a dozen times in six minutes.
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NEWS
By Robert B. Reich | June 12, 2013
Conservative Republicans in our nation's capital have managed to accomplish something they only dreamed of when tea partiers streamed into Congress at the start of 2011. They've basically shut down Congress. Their refusal to compromise is working just as they hoped: No jobs agenda. No budget. No grand bargain on the deficit. No background checks on guns. Nothing on climate change. No tax reform. No hike in the minimum wage. Nothing so far on immigration reform. It's as if an entire branch of the federal government -- the branch that's supposed to deal directly with the nation's problems, not just execute the law or interpret the law but make the law -- has gone out of business, leaving behind only a so-called "sequester" that's cutting deeper and deeper into education, infrastructure, programs for the nation's poor, and national defense.
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NEWS
November 8, 1990
Results from the 1990 mid-term elections, in which Democrats gained nine seats in the House and one in the Senate, virtually assure that party's control of Congress until the end of the century. For President Bush, this portends more of the harshly partisan opposition on domestic issues he encountered in the bruising budget struggle that brought the 101st Congress to a close.If war breaks out in the Persian Gulf before the 102nd Congress convenes in January, the dynamics of the executive-legislative relationship will alter drastically in ways reflecting the tide of battle.
NEWS
Thomas F. Schaller | September 18, 2012
Divided government has become a too-common feature of American national politics. In the six decades following the 1952 election, unified partisan control of the presidency and both chambers of Congress has been rare: the eight years of the Kennedy-Johnson era; all four years of Jimmy Carter's presidency; the first two of Bill Clinton's; the middle four years of the George W. Bush administration; and Barack Obama's first two years. That's 20 years out of 60 - a third of the time.
NEWS
January 5, 1992
In 1992, for the first time in 20 years, the nation's voters will deal with an incumbent president (we presume) and a newly-redistricted House of Representatives.Redistricting laws, and court interpretations of them, have changed significantly since 1972. Congress has said racial considerations must be taken into account in redistricting. This means a number of new districts now represented by whites will probably elect black or Hispanic representatives.The Supreme Court has ruled that partisan gerrymandering is unacceptable.
NEWS
By Steve Chapman | February 3, 2004
CHICAGO - Back in the mid-1960s, the nation was mired in a war with no end in sight, our leaders were creating entitlements with reckless abandon and critics were accusing the president of deceiving the public. Today, the Army says it may keep troops in Iraq through 2006, the price of the new Medicare drug benefit is already soaring and the administration is trying to explain all the things it said about Saddam Hussein that weren't true. It's no accident that the era of Lyndon Johnson, a liberal Democrat, parallels that of George W. Bush, a conservative Republican.
NEWS
November 9, 1994
A Republican tide last night swept the GOP into control of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. The biggest surprise was in an apparent gain of some 40 or more seats projected for the Republicans in the House, a triumph well in excess of even the most optimistic GOP projections.If confirmed by final figures, it will give the Republican Party control of the entire Congress for the first time since 1954 and make Rep. Newt Gingrich, the aggressive Georgia conservative, speaker of the House and Sen. Bob Dole, a presidential hopeful, majority leader of the Senate.
NEWS
November 9, 1994
Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy is coming back, and so is Virginia's Chuck Robb. In California, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein defeated Rep. Michael Huffington in the most expensive Senate race ever. But those pieces of good news for Democrats were not enough. A Republican tide swept the GOP into control of both houses of Congress. The biggest surprise was the gain of some 50 or more seats projected for the Republicans in the House, a triumph far beyond even the most optimistic GOP projections.
BUSINESS
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin G. Hall,McClatchy-Tribune | November 9, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Wall Street and business leaders welcome the Democrats' capture of power in Congress as a formula for gridlock that should lead to lower government spending and no significant change in tax law. That's not to say that the Democrats' victory won't have any economic impact. It jeopardizes several trade deals that President Bush has negotiated but Congress hasn't passed. It may well mean an increase in the federal minimum wage. And it's sure to mean tougher scrutiny of Big Oil, and perhaps the first regulation of hedge funds, the investment pools favored by the very wealthy.
NEWS
By Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | July 29, 2012
Next time the president asks you to be attorney general of the United States, it might be best to politely refuse the offer. My reasoning: Modern day attorneys general are regularly torched by the Congressional opposition, particularly when that opposition holds a majority in one or both chambers of Congress. Such is the context for the life and times of Attorney General Eric Holder, a movement progressive who dutifully followed the Obama administration's line when Democrats controlled Congress in 2009-10.
NEWS
December 20, 2010
Like it or not, the 111th Congress has been nothing if not productive. In two years, it has passed the stimulus bill, health care reform and an overhaul of financial industry regulations, along with a host of other bills, dealing with issues ranging from fair pay to hate crimes to credit cards. Perhaps we should not, then, be surprised that its lame duck session is on track, despite the political tumult that accompanied November's election, to be particularly productive as well. Late on Thursday night, the House of Representatives approved a massive tax bill that effectively amounts to a second stimulus, and on Saturday, the Senate voted to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2010
Elected Maryland's first Republican governor in a generation, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. returned to Annapolis planning to trade on the personal relationships he had developed in his eight years as a minority delegate in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly. He would see those plans foiled by the reality of divided government. Democratic leaders stymied Ehrlich on slots, medical malpractice and other key priorities. By his third year in office, Ehrlich had grown so frustrated that he departed from his prepared State of the State address to lecture lawmakers about the need for "respect," a word he uttered more than a dozen times in six minutes.
BUSINESS
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin G. Hall,McClatchy-Tribune | November 9, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Wall Street and business leaders welcome the Democrats' capture of power in Congress as a formula for gridlock that should lead to lower government spending and no significant change in tax law. That's not to say that the Democrats' victory won't have any economic impact. It jeopardizes several trade deals that President Bush has negotiated but Congress hasn't passed. It may well mean an increase in the federal minimum wage. And it's sure to mean tougher scrutiny of Big Oil, and perhaps the first regulation of hedge funds, the investment pools favored by the very wealthy.
NEWS
November 9, 2006
A mandate for end to divisive politics I believe that the 2006 election results are a mandate for a government that is not divisive of its citizens more than it is for the glory of any political party ("A rough road lies ahead for Bush," Nov. 8). Great presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln presided over, inspired and led this nation during events such as the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. They told us that a house divided cannot stand and that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
NEWS
By DAVID NITKIN and DAVID NITKIN,SUN REPORTER | September 28, 2005
Maryland's two oldest living former governors decried the current high level of partisanship in Annapolis during a panel discussion yesterday hosted by a leading state business group. Marvin Mandel and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer said the state capital is far different from when they served as governors from 1969-1979 and 1987-1995, respectively. "Partisan politics is changing Maryland. There's no doubt about it. It's descending on us from Washington," said Mandel, 85, speaking to business leaders and General Assembly members at a breakfast meeting of Maryland Business for Responsive Government.
NEWS
June 21, 2004
AFTER MORE than a decade of increasingly bitter and divided government -- put in place by an increasingly bitter and divided electorate -- the notion of a bipartisan team in the White House has lots of appeal. Even so, it's difficult to believe that John Kerry, the all-but-official Democratic challenger to President Bush, seriously sought to recruit Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain to be his running mate. Adding the popular and highly respected Mr. McCain to his ticket might help Mr. Kerry get elected, but his life would go sharply downhill from there.
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