The One O’Clock Review of The News

political-newsKey news articles, opinion pieces, and reports to improve our understanding of the political landscape:

Haley picks Scott to replace DeMint

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, who overcame poverty in North Charleston to build a successful business and political career, was appointed today by Gov. Nikki Haley to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Jim DeMint.

Haley made the announcement during a noon news conference at the State House with DeMint and fellow U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham at his side.

Scott, 47, would become the first African American U.S. senator from the South since Blanche Bruce of Mississippi in 1881.

“It is an historic day in South Carolina,” Haley said, but added that, “as a minority female, Congressman Scott earned this seat. He earned this seat for the person he is. He earned this seat for the results he has shown.”

The Lowcountry Republican will succeed DeMint, who announced on Dec. 6 that he was resigning with four years remaining in his second six-year term to head the Heritage Foundation think tank next month.  Click here to continue reading this story.

Michigan Effort Shows G.O.P. Sway in State Contests

As Republican leaders in Washington grappled after the election with their failure to unseat President Obama, Dick DeVos, one of Michigan’s wealthiest men, began dialing up state lawmakers in Lansing.

Although Mr. Obama won Michigan handily, Republicans had kept control of the Legislature. A union-backed ballot measure to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the State Constitution was defeated, thanks to an aggressive campaign against it that was financed in part by $2 million of DeVos family money.

The time had come, Mr. DeVos told Republican lawmakers, for the bold stroke they were considering: a law banning requirements that workers pay union dues or fees, in the state where the modern American labor movement was born. If the lawmakers later found themselves facing recalls or tough re-election fights, Mr. DeVos told them, he would be there to help.  Click here to continue reading this story.

GOP govs could gum up Obamacare

Can the governors do what Congress, the Supreme Court and the election couldn’t do — drive out Obamacare?

Some of the law’s opponents certainly hope so. As one Republican governor after another has refused to set up a state health insurance exchange — telling the feds to do it for them — they’re hoping the rebellion can do enough damage to the law to force the Obama administration back to the negotiating table.

The reality is that the governors’ rebellion won’t deliver a knockout blow — but it can throw a pretty large amount of sand in the gears.

Supporters of the law and exchange experts say the Department of Health and Human Services has the capability to set up exchanges in as many states as it needs to. But the passive resistance of so many governors could gum up the works if the feds have to handle millions of enrollments, questions from confused customers and greater health plan oversight.

As of Friday — the final deadline for states to declare whether they’ll set up exchanges — more than 30 states had refused to set up the marketplaces, which had been expected to become the source of health coverage for as many as 25 million people by the end of the decade. To some of the law’s most vocal opponents, that’s a pretty good way to keep up the fight against Obamacare.  Click here to continue reading this story.

POLITICO ebook: Plenty of 2012 pitfalls for Obama and Romney

President Barack Obama’s stunningly bad performance at the first debate was no surprise to his closest advisers — Obama had stormed out of a debate prep session just days before the disaster in Denver.

Before he flopped, Obama’s team pressured their distracted boss to take Mitt Romney more seriously and bear down during debate practice — and he shot back, accusing them of sending him into battle with a mushy, ill-defined plan of attack.

“This is all great,” he told the team during one of 11 prep sessions he attended, most of them at Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington. “But what am I actually supposed to do when I get onto the stage? You are telling me what not to do. I feel like I’m getting a lot of contradictory advice, guys.”  Click here to continue reading this story.

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