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Jun 30, 2011 6:42:02 AM

Newslinks for Thursday June 30, 2011

7:00pm The Republican: Democratic bewilderment over Obama's press conference yields this advice: Cancel your vacation, you're in trouble

6:00pm Videos on Cut-Cap-Balance:

5:30pm The Republican: Romney, Bachmann, and Perry are Larry Sabato's three top-tier 2012 contenders

  • The second tier: Pawlenty, Cain, Huntsman
  • The third tier: Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Gary Johnson, Buddy Roemer

Screen shot 2011-06-30 at 4.29.48 PM 4:15pm The Republican: Get ready for Rubio to rumble! Marco previews a Senate speech in which he'll take aim at Obama, a "failed President" who behaves more like a "left-wing strongman" with none of the "magic" so many promised

3:45pm The Republican: Rick Perry takes on California

3:15pm Good new video on why you should care about economic freedom if you care about having a good quality of life

2:30 Opinion: The disquieting truth about our educational systems is that fraud keeps them motoring along

Screen shot 2011-06-30 at 1.27.41 PM

1:00pm The Republican: Today's CBS poll on economic pessimism: It's not just the economy that's got people down, it's the ongoing housing crisis that's taking a toll on 30-somethings

PlanesTaxes 11:15 Videos:

10:15am The Republican: ObamaCare fact of the day: If you work 40 hours a week, you'll pay more for your insurance than if you choose not to work  RyanNotRomney

Two-thirds of conservative Republican voters would vote for Paul Ryan over Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primary

Geithner attacks GOP debt ceiling 'solution' as “radical", "deeply irresponsible,” “futile,”, “unwise", "unworkable", "unacceptably risky", and "unfair to the American people" - WSJ

Two Republican Senators brush aside Geithner's warnings on debt ceiling, insisting that default can be avoided without raising debt ceiling - WSJ

McConnell Senate Republicans announce plans to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget - Washington Examiner

"One GOP source on Capitol Hill told The Daily Caller there’s been a push among the conservative wing of the Republican caucus for McConnell to tie the balanced budget amendment to a vote on the debt ceiling."

  • "Maybe Republican stubbornness on taxes is worse than Democratic stubbornness on entitlement reform: You can certainly make that case. (My current view is that the G.O.P.’s tax intransigence could have more short-term dangers — it would be dumb and reckless if the Republican leadership ultimately refuses a deal on the debt ceiling because it includes some loophole-closing for high earners, for instance — but that the Democrats’ Medicare intransigence is much more dangerous in the long run.) But at the very least, when it comes to America’s looming fiscal liabilities, it’s hard to argue that conservatives  have a monopoly on unrealism." - Ross Douthat
  • "We don't really know whether the federal government can use fiscal policy to engineer a recovery. We do know it can go broke trying." - Steve Chapman for the Chicago Tribune

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Will Cain, drawing attention to the graph above, urges us not to forget PRIVATE debt - CNN

Obama pressured Republicans to accept higher taxes as part of any deficit plan - New York Times

  • Fox concludes that Obama's "scolding" rhetoric has only inflamed tensions between Republicans in Congress and the White House.
  • From NRO: "The speaker said Obama was “sorely mistaken” if he thought a deal to raise the debt ceiling that increases taxes would pass the House. “The votes simply aren’t there,” he said. “And they aren’t going to be there, because the American people know tax hikes destroy jobs.”"
  • Peter Ferrara at Fox warns that higher taxes could cause a double dip recession.
  • "Most Senate Republicans voted two weeks ago to end a tax break for ethanol. Some see that vote as a chink in the armor of anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist and the no-new-taxes pledge he's gotten almost every GOP lawmaker to take." - NPR

Obama calls for leadership but where is his own?

Gloria Borger for CNN wishes Obama would give more leadership on debt: "Imagine my surprise when the president came to his own press conference -- which he called -- without anything much new to say on possible ways get to a deal to raise the national debt ceiling. Plenty of talk about gamesmanship, about deadlines and about how even Sasha and Malia are mature enough to do their schoolwork before it's due."

"The reality is that Mr. Obama has provided very nearly the opposite of leadership. He has not only refused to tackle entitlement reform during his presidency; he has attacked those who do, employing dishonest arguments that are at this stage are almost impossible to keep track of." - Pete Wehner

Obama seeks to paint Republicans as friends of the rich

Obama at lecturn "One of President Barack Obama’s 2012 themes will likely revolve around what his aides call “the contrast” — a portrayal of Obama as a responsible, moderate adult harassed by infantile Republicans who favor the wealthy." - Politico

"Obama yesterday doubled down on his demand for high taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" as part of a budget deal, daring Republicans to choose either protecting the super rich or allowing a devastating US debt crisis." - New York Post

  • E J Dionne at the Washington Post takes up the theme: "Are they really willing to risk the nation’s credit and economic turmoil in order to preserve tax breaks for corporate jets, outlandishly low tax rates for hedge fund managers and loopholes for the oil companies?"
  • David Frum: "The stuff about corporate jets is just … crapola really. It’s the Democratic equivalent of Republicans pretending that the deficit can be closed by cutting PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. If Obama, the supposed grownup in the room, wants to make the case for revenue measures, let him make the case for relevant revenue measures."

Romney leads in fundraising battle

"Supporters of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said they have raised between $25 million and $35 million in support of his presidential ambitions, a total that far outstrips his rivals and could further establish Mr. Romney as the Republican Party's front-runner." - WSJ

  • Mitt Romney will sign DeMint's 'Cut, Cap and Balance' pledge - The Hill
  • Mitt Romney has adapted Margaret Thatcher's 'Labour Isn't Working' slogan, but would he emulate her steely leadership? - Andrew Roberts in the Wall Street Journal
  • Fox News poll gives Romney 18%, Perry 13%, Bachmann 11%, Giuliani 10%, Palin 8%, Paul 7%.

Karl Rove warns the GOP not to confuse tea party sentiment with the tea party groups

Rove "Republicans also must not confuse the tea party movement with the larger, more important tea party sentiment. As important as tea party groups are, and for all the energy and passion they bring, for every person who showed up at a tea party rally there were dozens more who didn't but who share the deep concerns about Mr. Obama's profligate spending, record deficits and monstrous health-care bill. The GOP candidate must stay focused on this broader tea party sentiment, not just the organized groups" - Karl Rove in the WSJ

Why Obama is slow to recognize gay marriage

"Even as gay marriage has gotten significantly more popular in the intervening years, it remains a risky proposition with black and Latino voters, and Obama needs them in 2012." - Chris Cillizza for the Washington Post

Aid is to be extended to workers hurt by globalisation – clearing a key hurdle to trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama - FT ($)

US counter-terrorism strategy to rely on surgical strikes, unmanned drones, rather than large land wars - Chicago Tribune

And finally... Beck says he hates Republicans

Question to Glenn Beck: What do you think of Republicans?

Answer: “I hate them. I think they are as much of a problem as the other side”.

Read more at Politico.



Jun 29, 2011 6:15:54 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday June 29, 2011

4:45pm Video:

Screen shot 2011-06-29 at 21.57.01 3:15pm The Republican: Former assistant says John Lennon was really a Reagan-loving Republican

2:30pm The Republican: GOP Senators say it's time to balance the checkbook

1:30pm Rick Santorum: The courage to balance the budget 

Screen shot 2011-06-29 at 16.59.27 12:15pm The Republican: Less than impressed: Nearly 70% of Republican voters (still) wish there were more candidates running for the GOP nomination

11:45am Rep. Fred Upton: Employment crash demands real change in Washington

11:30am Video:

10:00am The Republican: Off to a strong start among conservatives, Michele Bachmann enters the 2012 race with the highest Positive Intensity Score of confirmed GOP candidates

8:45am Video: Undecided and 'Undefeated': Sarah Palin attends the premiere of the documentary about her term as governor as 2012 questions loom

Poll of grassroots conservatives: Republicans in Washington aren't doing all they can on Medicare and job creation

Boehner insists that an August 2 deadline to reach a debt-ceiling deal is artificial - The Hill

"Lawmakers remain very much at odds over how to shape a compromise, with Republicans on Tuesday calling again for deep cuts in domestic spending and Democrats insisting that the solution include tax increases on big oil, corporate jet owners and higher income earners. Conservative Republicans, including Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, want at least $4 trillion in spending cuts in exchange for a $2 trillion increase in the nation's borrowing capacity that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is likely to request." - Washington Examiner

McConnell II The Washington Times focuses on how tax is blocking a budget deal: "“We’ve had a number of useful meetings,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. “But I must say, I’m perplexed as to why the administration seems now to believe that tax increases … would be a good idea in this economy?”"

  • "Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional." - HuffPo
  • "New House Republicans are buffeted by political forces more diverse than seemed likely when they won, leaving uncertain where the House GOP majority will end up on the defining issue of the moment, the debt limit." - WSJ 
  • "Having been brought together primarily by what they oppose, Tea Party groups have had difficulty agreeing on what they stand for." - New York Times

Top Democrats reject Lieberman/ Coburn plan to cut Medicare spending

Lieberman Joe "Leading congressional Democrats immediately recoiled Tuesday from a new proposal to cut $600 billion in Medicare spending over the next decade — in part by raising the eligibility age. Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Tom Coburn (R-Olka.) unveiled the proposal as part of a bipartisan effort to produce the kind of savings necessary to achieve the $2 trillion in debt reduction both parties say is needed to convince reticent lawmakers to vote to raise the debt ceiling. It would raise Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 and assess higher premiums on wealthier seniors." - Washington Post

Yesterday's Republican: Tom Coburn and Joe Lieberman come together to reform Medicare

Pawlenty speech lays out aggressive foreign policy vision

"Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty attempted to separate himself from his fellow Republican presidential hopefuls Tuesday in a speech that laid out an active and aggressive foreign policy vision. Pawlenty, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, criticized some in his party who have tended toward a more isolationist stance, particularly when it comes to the war in Afghanistan." - Washington Post | USA Today

  • Rubio warns against disengagement from Libya - Weekly Standard
  • Delaware Democrat Tom Carper predicts the Senate will soon pass the Kerry-McCain resolution supporting President Obama on Libya - WSJ
  • There is a middle ground between the Bush-Obama style of warfare and total isolationism - Joe Scarborough for Politico
  • The New York Times highlights the unequal distribution of US and European defense spending... and fighting: "Americans are weary of war — and fear of weakening NATO no longer deters politicians, as the fight over the Libya campaign has made clear. We don’t know how much longer voters here will support an alliance in which the United States shoulders 75 percent of the military spending and a much higher percentage of the fighting."

Bachmann 2012 in Brief:

  • "The Club for Growth, the influential fiscal conservative group, released a glowing review Tuesday of Rep. Michelle Bachmann's tenure in Congress and the Minnesota state Senate, saying that the third-term lawmaker and 2012 presidential hopeful has a solid record of supporting pro-growth policies." - Washington Times
  • Why Michele Bachmann is no Sarah Palin - Chris Cillizza for Washington Post
  • What Michele Bachmann Learned From Sarah Palin... She isn’t better than Palin, but maybe she's a little wiser. And she has Palin to thank - Andrea Tantaros for LA Times
  • In New Hampshire, Bachmann mocks Obama, pledges end of teleprompter - LA Times
  • Alec Baldwin Spews Hate on Bachmann: 'Inarticulate and Full of *&$#%' - Fox
  • Tom Petty doesn't want Michele Bachmann using his 1977 song, "American Girl," in her campaign events - Scoop
  • Alaska poll (YES, ALASKA!): Obama 42, Palin 36 - HotAir
  • Mitt Romney still a hot favorite in Nevada - Politico
  • Chris Christie supporters don't take 'no' from N.J. governor - USA Today

Obama's numbers are getting worse and worse

  • "Only 37 percent of registered voters approve of President Obama’s handling of the economy, his lowest rating ever.
  • By nearly 2-1 (61 percent v. 32 percent) voters disapprove of how he’s handling the federal budget deficit.
  • Fifty-eight percent of voters disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, comprising 60 percent of independents, 31 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of Republicans."

Read more from Peter Wehner at Commentary.

Joe Klein at TIME wonders if Obama needs to offer tax cuts to rescue his fortunes and boost the economy.

The Washington Times says Obama hasn't tackled America's underlying problems: "Short-term fixes leave untouched the real problems: the growing fiscal deficit, the high government debt level, the increasing burden of government regulation - all of which crowd out private investment and limit job creation in the private sector. There will be no recovery summer unless the president and Congress get serious about addressing policy problems with solutions that promote consumer confidence and get the government out of the way of American enterprise."

Redistricting makes taking back the House difficult for Dems - Sean Trende for RCP

  • Lynn Woolsey, a leader of the House’s vocal but less-than-powerful contingent of Democratic liberals, has announced she’s retiring from Congress in 2012 - WSJ

California GOP vetoes tax increases - WSJ

Al Gore's reverse Midas touch: Since he championed climate change support for doing anything has collapsed - Walter Russell Mead for the American Interest

Gay marriage is not an increase in liberty

Gay Pride Flag "Gay people are perfectly capable of entering into loving, committed caretaking unions. That does not justify government involvement or coercion of third parties to recognize these non-marital relationships as marriages. Gay marriage is not an increase in liberty; it is a government takeover of an institution that government did not create and should not redefine." - Maggie Gallagher for USA Today

"If only lower-income heterosexuals were as keen to marry as some homosexuals, the United States would be a much stronger country." - Mona Charen for NRO

"Those of us who are gay and want to have the same marriage rights don’t want to destroy marriage or the American society.  What we do want is to be able to do what hetrosexual married persons do — including really mundane things, like visit each other in the hospital. Same-sex marriage is not the end of the world.  It’s just allowing that world to get a little bit bigger." - Dennis Sanders for FrumForum

Mark Steyn at NRO says government regulates everything other than sex: "David Harsanyi draws attention to what ought to be the biggest laugh line of Nannytollah Bloomberg’s career – his rationale for supporting gay marriage: "Government should not tell you what to do unless there’s a compelling public purpose." Thank goodness for Mike Bloomberg. Give me Bloomery or give me death! Because, without that clarion cry for liberty, deranged control-freak mayors might start regulating smoking on private property, or cooking in transfats, or the right of welfare recipients to drink carbonated beverages."



Jun 28, 2011 6:49:24 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday June 28, 2011

5:00pm The Republican: Bachmann leading in new poll, boosted entirely by her support from the most conservative voters

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 2.44.57 PM 2:30pm The Republican: Gang of Two? Tom Coburn and Joe Lieberman ban together to reform and save Medicare

1:30pm Bachmann video round-up:

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 6.44.37 AM

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Michele Bachmann’s biggest obstacle is her lack of experience

President Obama, Republicans narrow the scope of debt talks as August deadline looms

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 10.45.14 "President Barack Obama and Republicans are narrowing the debate on a deficit-cutting plan to a reduction of $1 trillion to $2 trillion, though whether that would settle the issue through the 2012 presidential election remains in doubt, according to budget and debt experts." - SF Chronicle

  • Lawrence B. Lindsey: The deficit Is worse than we think - WSJ
  • Andrew Stiles: Debt talks get urgent - National Review Online

Senator Mitch McConnell: Tax hikes 'politically impossible' - The Hill

  • Editorial: "The Democrats' latest tactic to impose massive tax hikes is to argue that we need a "balanced approach" to debt-reduction. Don't buy it. Our debt crisis is entirely the result of too much spending, not too little taxing." - IBD

> Yesterday on The Republican: As the debt debate continues, politicians must move beyond the pessimism

...although the White House insists Bush-era tax cuts will remain safe (for now)

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.57.33 "The White House, seeking an agreement to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2, on Monday said it would not insist that any deal include an end to former President George W. Bush’s controversial tax rates on the wealthy. President Obama’s tactics are coming into focus as he huddles with congressional leaders to try and break the deadlock on increasing the debt ceiling. Before a meeting Monday between Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), White House officials said the president would push to close tax breaks for major oil and gas companies; end tax loopholes for corporate jets; and impose regular income tax rates on the carried interest earned by investment fund managers." - The Hill

Michael Gerson: Economic events have altered Obama’s prospects

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.17.56 "The next few weeks will bring some must-watch reality television. Can Obama and House Speaker John Boehner work a debt-limit deal involving spending cuts and caps while clearing out some tax preferences and exclusions? Will Boehner be able to sell such an agreement to suspicious House conservatives? Will the speaker need to turn to House Democrats to get the votes he needs? Will Majority Leader Eric Cantor further distance himself from Boehner and take advantage of conservative discontent? Meanwhile, the Obama administration drifts on a sea of economic events, heading toward a lee shore." - Washington Post

David Brooks: "What sort of leader can get things done in an age of austerity? A comparison of three management styles sheds some light." - New York Times

Tea Partiers want a pledge from the Republican Senate Committee

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.19.16 "A group of placard-waving Tea Party activists converged on the headquarters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee early Monday afternoon, demanding that its leaders refrain from supporting incumbents facing primary challenges, and serving as a reminder that the intraparty fight over party purity continues. The activists had marched over from a meeting of about 100 Tea Party leaders at the headquarters of FreedomWorks, the libertarian advocacy group that helped nurture the Tea Party movement. There, activists from Utah had met separately with their state’s new Republican senator, Mike Lee, who ousted the incumbent, Robert Bennett, in one of the biggest Tea Party versus Republican fights of the 2010 midterms." - The Caucus blog on the New York Times

"The House might have sworn off earmarks, but that didn’t stop the chamber from essentially passing one last week that would allow a single drug company to avoid generic competition while saving a powerful law firm from paying out $214 million in a malpractice suit." - Roll Call ($)

"President Barack Obama is considering tapping Rebecca M. Blank, the Commerce Department's top economist to head his Council of Economic Advisers." - Washington Wire in the WSJ

Republicans press the administration on Syria

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.20.13 "Republicans are intensifying pressure on the Obama administration to recall its ambassador to Syria, arguing that the U.S. policy of engagement has done nothing to stop President Bashar al-Assad’s government from cracking down on protesters. On Monday, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, became the latest Republican to call for Ambassador Robert Ford to come home. Sens. John Thune (S.D.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) have also said that Ford should be recalled." - Checkpoint Washington on the Washington Post

> Yesterday on The Republican: House Foreign Affairs Committee chair urges the immediate recall of the US envoy to Syria

> Yesterday on Ideas: Nine non-military ways to show the Assad regime what the US government thinks of their phony excuses

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.27.26 In Iowa, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann officially jumps into the race for the GOP nomination - Washington Times

  • But in mixing up the hometown of a screen legend with a serial killer in her announcement speech, Bachmann adds to growing list of speech gaffes - LA Times
  • "Sarah who? DCCC picks Bachmann as new fundraising bogey-woman" - Washington Examiner
  • Florida shows strong support for Bachmann: "Once written off as a fringe candidate, Michele Bachman has shown she has the moxie, message and money-raising ability to win the Republican nomination in Florida and Iowa." - Miami Herald

> Yesterday on The Republican: It's official! Michele Bachmann confirms her candidacy, becoming the first woman to enter the 2012 presidential race

> Yesterday on Video: ICYMI: Michele Bachmann's 2012 announcement speech

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney preaches unity

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.21.41 "As Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington struggled to find agreement on spending cuts and the debt limit, Mitt Romney struck a conciliatory note in New Hampshire on Monday by lamenting partisan feuding while touting his own record of working with Democrats -- even the Senate’s onetime liberal lion Ted Kennedy." - LA Times

Mitt Romney says Americans would be better served if GOP, Dems found “common ground.” - Washington Post

Tim Pawlenty copes with a 'summer slump'

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.23.11 "Tim Pawlenty’s summer is off to a rough start. His campaign kickoff in late May was well-received and also well-timed, coming just after Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels each decided not to seek the Republican nomination, and around the moment of Newt Gingrich’s foot-in-mouth implosion, all of which placed Pawlenty in a fine position to emerge as the credible alternative to Mitt Romney. But June has delivered little sign of traction for the former Minnesota governor, and maybe even some lost ground." - TIME

Also on the 2012 race:

  • Top aide quits the Cain campaign - Politico
  • N.J. Gov. Christie says 'forget it' to VP idea - USA Today
  • "Gov. Rick Scott’s unpopularity in Florida has led political strategists to wonder whether the state’s voters will again lean toward President Obama in 2012." - New York Times
  • Paul, Cain, Huntsman step up online fundraising - USA Today
  • Byron York: Anti-Mormon bias persists, notably among Democrats - Washington Examiner
  • Report: Obama breaks the law, films campaign contest ad inside the White House - Fox News

Justices void Arizona's campaign finance law

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.24.10 "The Supreme Court struck down a key provision of an Arizona campaign-finance law that provided matching funds for publicly funded candidates, further solidifying the court’s record of opposition to election reforms that limit speech." - Washington TimesPolitico

Democrats push ahead with DREAM Act, as ICE offers new guidelines for illegal immigrant cases - Fox News

Out of White House, Rahm Emanuel pushes hard for DREAM Act - LA Times

'Project Gunrunner' whistleblower says ATF sent him termination notice - Fox News

US expands human trafficking blacklist

"The Obama administration on Monday nearly doubled the number of countries that may face U.S. sanctions for not doing enough to combat human trafficking, calling on those and other nations to get serious and take tough steps to eradicate the lucrative illicit practice. In its annual Trafficking in Persons report, the State Department identified 23 nations as failing to meet minimum international standards to curb the scourge, which claims mainly women and children as victims. That's up from 13 in 2010. Another 41 countries were placed on a "watch list" that could lead to sanctions unless their records improve. The report analyzed conditions in 184 nations, including the United States, and ranked them in terms of their effectiveness in fighting what many have termed modern-day slavery. The State Department estimates that as many as 27 million men, women and children are living in such bondage around the worlds." - Fox News

Blagojevich jury reaches verdicts on 18 of 20 counts

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.25.21 "More than two years after his arrest while still in office, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will hear the verdict in his corruption retrial Monday, after jurors informed the judge that they had reached agreement on 18 of the 20 counts against him. Judge James Zagel said the verdicts will be read Monday afternoon. The jury had returned to the federal courthouse Monday morning after nine days of deliberations. They had been talking through the evidence over a three-week period." - NPR

  • “My hands are shaky and my knees are weak,” he told reporters as went to the courthouse. - Washington Post
  • Steve Chapman: "Plenty of Illinois politicians have gone to prison before, without banishing graft from the system. But it seems to be getting harder for public officials to commit crimes with impunity. Maybe the next governor will be deterred by Blagojevich's fate, and maybe lower officials will take heed as well. Otherwise, this will be a victory of no great consequence. It's nice to see one dishonest pol face justice. But what we really need is to reach a tipping point against political corruption." - Chicago Tribune

Jonah Goldberg: Rage against the TSA machine - LA Times

Although "the Transportation Security Administration on Monday denies a report that airport screeners in Florida asked a 95-year-old woman in a wheelchair to remove her adult diaper." - The Hill

...and finally, the $1 billion that nobody wants

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 09.26.04 "A joint inquiry by NPR's Planet Money and Investigations teams found that more than $1 billion worth of golden dollar coins are the wasteful by-products of another failed Congressional effort to get Americans to replace the dollar bill with one-dollar coins in everyday commerce." - NPR6a0133f4f7f710970b013488ec5c53970c-500wi


Jun 27, 2011 6:47:26 AM

Newslinks for Monday June 27, 2011

5:15pm The Republican: House Foreign Affairs Committee chair urges the immediate recall of the US envoy to Syria

4:30pm The Republican: As the debt debate continues, politicians must move beyond the pessimism

4:00pm Rep. Geoff Davis: Needed reform - the REINS Act

3:15pm Video: 'We need to have real teeth' to our actions: Rep. Phil Roe weighs in on Cut, Cap, Balance 

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 19.30.02 2:30pm Ideas: Nine non-military ways to show the Assad regime what the US government thinks of their phony excuses

1:30pm Video: 

12:30pm Rep. Bob Latta: The inconvenient truth for the Obama administration is that they do not know a thing about what spurs the economy, produces jobs and promotes growth

12:00pm Video: ICYMI: Michele Bachmann's 2012 announcement speech

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 19.34.27 10:45pm The Republican: It's official! Michele Bachmann confirms her candidacy, becoming the first woman to enter the 2012 presidential race

10:15am Sen. Marco Rubio: The spending spree is over, it's time for a REFUND

10:00am Video: Gov. Chris Christie on Washington's debt talks: This was a dance, the dancing is over, now it's time to get it done


Rep. Tim Huelskamp on Opinion: America’s Spending on Trial

Video: Michele Bachmann on her presidential qualifications

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.43.04 As debt talks resume, some Republicans are suggesting defense cuts as a potential pathway to a deal

"As President Obama prepares to meet Monday with Senate leaders to try to restart talks about the swollen national debt, some Republicans see a potential path to compromise: significant cuts in military spending. Senior GOP lawmakers and leadership aides said it would be far easier to build support for a debt-reduction package that cuts the Pentagon budget — a key Democratic demand — than one that raises revenue by tinkering with the tax code. Last week, Republicans walked out of talks led by Vice President Biden, insisting that the White House take tax increases off the table." - Washington Post

  • House Democrats are demanding that a deal include measures to raise tax revenue but they argue those proposals shouldn’t be viewed as proposed tax increases. - The Hill
  • Mario Loyola: Raise the debt limit, but only with conditions - NRO's The Corner
  • Clive Crook: "The debt-ceiling talks in Washington have stumbled again. The sticking point, as before, is taxes. Republicans refuse to raise them and Democrats are insisting on it. The drama and the walkouts are part of the show: in all likelihood a deal of some sort will still be struck before the August 2 deadline. Whether it is a good deal for the country is another question." - FT ($)

Meanwhile, Senator Mitch McConnell remains cautious about a budget deal

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.44.21 "Monday’s White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is an important first test for both men, each trying to draw out the other in the face of August’s debt ceiling deadline. Before the Republican walkout last Thursday, budget negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden had made significant progress toward a package promising savings in the range of $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion over 10 years, not counting reduced interest charges...Among GOP leaders, McConnell has been most insistent that the president play a larger role. But the senator from Kentucky is under pressure to spell out more where he stands after leaving the heavy lifting to House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner of Ohio." - Politico

...while House Speaker John Boehner finds himself with a "tricky needle to thread"

"It was always going to come down to this question on the debt limit: Can Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) negotiate a compromise with President Barack Obama that wins the backing of the majority of his Conference while averting a fiscal disaster for the nation?" - Roll Call ($)

Wall Street takes the debt ceiling drama in stride

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.49.17 "Wall Street, focused more on Greek debt woes, is not yet rattled by the drama surrounding budget talks in Washington...Rick Rieder, the top bond executive for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset-management firm said Friday he continues to believe the odds are about 80 percent that the U.S. will avoid a default." - The Hill

Rep. Fred Upton hints at spending bill rider to limit oil releases

"House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is hinting that Republicans upset with the White House decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) could seek to limit future releases with provisions attached to spending legislation. Upton and other senior Republicans say last week’s decision to release 30 million barrels of oil from the SPR is a political move at odds with the emergency purpose of the stockpile." - The Hill

> Friday on The Republican: What they're saying: House freshmen slam President Obama's decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Lawmakers work to prevent need for USPS bailout

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.50.37 "Key lawmakers from both parties, and in both chambers, agree that the United States Postal Service needs to make some serious changes. But the legislative prescriptions to bring stability to the USPS are not all on the same page on several crucial issues, including health care and retirement costs, a potential roadblock to bipartisan efforts to overhaul the struggling agency. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, on Thursday became the latest member of Congress to introduce legislation on the matter, with USPS expected to run a deficit north of $8 billion for a second consecutive year." - The Hill

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 News from the 2012 field:

  • In run-up to campaign announcement, Bachmann stresses Iowa roots - LA Times
  • Fresh scrutiny as Bachmann surges - Washington Post
  • "Though Utah is not a crucial early primary state on the road to the Republican presidential nomination, the 2012 campaign could take an occasional detour through it during the next several months as former Gov. Jon Huntsman and honorary favorite son Mitt Romney battle for the GOP’s White House nod." - Roll Call ($)
  • Can the Reagan legacy bridge the GOP generation gap in 2012? - Ajay Ravichandran, FrumForum

> Yesterday on The Republican: Bachmann gives Romney a run for his money in Iowa

> Yesterday on Video: The Mama Grizzly vs. the Tea Party Titan: Palin and Bachmann head to Iowa

"New York's decision to permit same-sex marriages sets the stage for battles in half a dozen other states and could propel gay rights as a political wedge issue in the 2012 elections." - WSJ

> Yesterday on Video: FNS panel weighs in on the national impact of New York's same-sex marriage law

Conservative group to give grades in five states ahead of the 2012 elections

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.52.57 "The American Conservative Union will begin awarding grades to state lawmakers in five 2012 general election battleground states this year, ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said. The state report cards will represent the first expansion beyond Congress of ACU’s annual assessments of the voting records of lawmakers since the organization began issuing grades for U.S. House and Senate members in 1971. The ACU chose Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia and North Carolina to target for grading." - Washington Times

"Iran moves to build ties with the leaders of three key American allies — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq — highlighting Iranian efforts to increase its role in region as U.S. military withdraws troops." - Fox News

Governor Chris Christie: I was 'damn right' in reaction to question about kids' schooling

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 11.00.29 "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday he was "damn right" to speak curtly to a questioner who asked him about his kids' schooling, arguing that he's "huggable and lovable" but family decisions are a private matter. In the widely seen interview from a week ago, the questioner, "Gail," asked why Christie thought it's fair to cut funding for public schools when he sends his own children to private school. Christie responded at the time that it was "none of your business" where he sends his kids for their education. On Sunday, Christie said he had no problem with the response he gave." - Fox News

> Yesterday on Video: Gov. Chris Christie: I'm huggable and loveable...I'm honest and I wish we had more of that in politics

European countries mark President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 11.52.51 "This week, Németh, Hungary's deputy foreign minister, will join celebrations in Budapest and other Eastern European capitals observing Reagan's 100th birthday and his role in bringing down the Iron Curtain. Reagan served two terms as U.S. president from 1981 to 1989. He was born Feb. 6, 1911. Németh says Reagan is admired across Eastern Europe because he told the truth about the oppression of communism and stood up to the Soviet Union despite its nuclear arsenal, hastening its demise. Inspired by Reagan, Németh in 1988 helped found FIDESZ, the Alliance of Young Democrats, now the country's ruling party." - USA Today

 Other news in brief:

  • Investigating access to doctors: The Obama administration is deploying a team to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and see how difficult it is to get care. - New York Times
  • "President Obama recently recently put to use the autopen, signing a bill into law, apparently a first, but the White House hasn't said much about its policy for using it." - Fox News
  • "[The administration] wants 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan by year's end, but the number of troops to depart first and whether any of those will be combat forces will be a decision for commanders on the ground, officials said Sunday." - Fox News

Ross Douthat: Abortion and the tragedy of the world’s missing women - New York Times



Jun 26, 2011 8:24:49 AM

Newslinks for Sunday June 26, 2011

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 22.16.43 5:15pm As Congress debates budget cuts, a CNN investigation reveals congressional staffers received $6.1m in bonus pay

5:00pm Video: 

4:15pm Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Scott DesJarlais: There is plenty of blame to share for how we got into this economic mess, but what is clearer than ever is that deficit spending has to stop

Americans remain divided over looming debt crisis

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 11.20.28 "It might be time for another midnight ride by Paul Revere, this time warning “the creditors are coming.” Americans seem not to have awakened to the fast-looming debt crisis that could summon a new recession, imperil their stock market investments and shatter faith in the world’s most powerful economy. Those are among the implications, both sudden and long-lasting, expected to unfold if the U.S. defaults on debt payments for the first time in history. Facing an August deadline for raising the country’s borrowing limit or setting loose the consequences, politicians and economists are plenty alarmed. The people? Apparently not so much." - Washington Times

  • Saturday's radio addresses by President Obama and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers preview the challenge of restarting stalled debt talksChristian Science Monitor
  • "Sen. Jim DeMint reprised his performance this week as the conservative kingmaker of 2010. The South Carolina Republican told ABC News in an interview that lawmakers who vote to raise the country’s debt limit without backing a balanced budget amendment and heavy spending cuts will be out of a job come 2012." - Washington Wire in the WSJ
  • Biden warns GOP on debt ceiling talks - Forbes

> Yesterday on Video: Rep. Renee Ellmers: You sent us to Washington to focus on jobs, and we must show leadership worthy of your trust

...while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi demands a seat at the table in the latest round of debt-ceiling talks

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 08.36.18 "House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will demand a seat in the table for the final talks on the national debt limit, putting a strong liberal voice in the room. Pelosi and House Democrats were left out of the negotiations between President Obama and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last year that extended nearly all of the Bush tax rates though 2012. Pelosi didn’t participate in the final high-level talks over fiscal 2011 spending levels either.  But now she’s demanding her say at a time when many of her House Democratic colleagues are disappointed in Obama’s level of consultation with their caucus." - The Hill

Doctors group seeks repeal of Medicare cost-control board

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 08.37.19 "The nation's largest doctors group this week formally called for the repeal of a key plank in the Democrats' health care overhaul -- a new board tasked with reining in the growth of Medicare.  The so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board was one of several "defects" in the law that representatives of the American Medical Association voted against at their annual meeting in Chicago. The organization, which offered its qualified support for the health care overhaul before final passage last spring, named the Medicare board at the top of its list of "needed changes" in the law." - Fox News

Good intent, bad policy: "Should health insurers be compelled to cover colorectal cancer screenings? The American Cancer Society has good reasons to say yes. There are better ones to say no." - Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe

Prior to tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, President Obama sent a secret delegation to Saudi Arabia

"President Barack Obama sent a delegation of high-ranking advisers in secret to Saudi Arabia to pave the way for Thursday's surprise release of oil from strategic reserves, administration officials said. Mr. Obama and his top economic and national security advisers began discussing how to cope with the economic impact of higher oil prices in late January, as U.S. gasoline prices began rising above $3 a gallon for the first time since 2008. White House officials became more concerned after civil unrest in Libya disrupted oil shipments from the North African nation in late February." - WSJ

> Friday on The Republican: What they're saying: House freshmen slam President Obama's decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Conservative Justices leave their mark on the latest Supreme Court term

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 13.21.50 "The Supreme Court’s conservative majority made it harder for people to band together to sue the nation’s largest businesses in the two most far-reaching rulings of the term the justices are wrapping up on Monday. The two cases putting new limits on class-action lawsuits were among more than a dozen in which the justices divided 5-4 along familiar ideological lines, with the winning side determined by the vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy." - Washington Post

Newt Gingrich to the Iowa Tea Party: I can still win

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 08.39.26 "Former Speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday continued to explain why the bulk of his staff quit his campaign in recent weeks and insisted his positive, ideas-based strategy would lead his troubled campaign to victory in the Republican primary. Gingrich's trip to Pizza Ranch in Indianola, Iowa as a part of the Iowa Tea Party's bus tour, comes days after his two finance staffers quit last week, the latest in a series of departures from his presidential campaign." - USA Today

Despite a strong anti-spending stance, Michele Bachmann's had her share of government aid

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 10.46.30 "Rep. Michele Bachmann has been propelled into the 2012 presidential contest in part by her insistent calls to reduce federal spending, a pitch in tune with the big-government antipathy gripping many conservatives. But the Minnesota Republican and her family have benefited personally from government aid, an examination of her record and finances shows. A counseling clinic run by her husband has received nearly $30,000 from the state of Minnesota in the last five years, money that in part came from the federal government. A family farm in Wisconsin, in which the congresswoman is a partner, received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies." - LA Times

Mitt Romney's heading to England

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 11.05.33 "Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is heading in a different direction. First, he bucked tradition by announcing he would skip August's Iowa straw poll. Now, while many presidential hopefuls plan July trips to court the Hawkeye State, the widely projected Republican frontrunner and 2008 Iowa straw poll winner is heading East instead of West - to London, England. Romney, in the midst of a money-raising push, is planning to travel across the pond for a July 6 fundraiser, the campaign tells FOX News. Held at the upscale Dartmouth House near Hyde Park, the fundraiser will be co-chaired by financial heavy hitters like Raj Bhattacharyya, managing director at Deutsche Bank, hedge fund manager Louis Bacon, and Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets." - Fox News

"A Texan exceptionalist": George Will weighs in on Rick Perry's possible presidential run - Washington Post

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 08.42.07 More from the fund-raising front:

  • California gold rush: "Golden state voters will play a nominal role in the presidential campaign. But a steady stream of candidates is circling the state, wooing wealthy donors who will probably spend well over $100 million on the 2012 election." - LA Times
  • "Jerry Perenchio, the former chairman of the Spanish-language television network Univision, cut American Crossroads a $2 million check this spring, according the Republican outside group’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission." - Washington Wire in the WSJ
  • "The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hopes to raise nearly $400,000 over the next week in response to Friday’s announcement that Crossroads GPS will spend $20 million attacking President Obama." - The Hill
  • FEC seek to clarify rules for 'Super PACs' - Roll Call ($)

NATO pleads for more times as Gadhafi digs in

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 12.53.29 "As NATO bombs began to rain on Libya in March, President Obama and other Western leaders assured their war-weary publics that the campaign to protect civilians from Moammar Gaddafi’s crackdown would be over within weeks. Now the coalition’s springtime incursion has stretched to summer, and Gaddafi’s resilience has startled the leaders who committed to the operation. Calls are growing to end it even as NATO pleads for more time." - Washington Post

The African Union will attempt Sunday to map a road to peace in Libya, despite a failed effort to end hostilities between Moammar Gadhafi's forces and rebels. - CNN

With 'Courage, New Hampshire,' tea party movement enters the world of entertainment

Screen shot 2011-06-26 at 08.43.39 "Since the inception of the tea party movement, we’ve had tea party candidates, slogans, and rallies. Next up – tea party TV? “Courage, New Hampshire,” is the first effort from a new TV production firm, Colony Bay, formed by a duo of Hollywood tea partyers. The first episode, titled “The Travail of Sarah Pine,” details the struggles of a Colonial American woman to bring to justice the British soldier who fathered her illegitimate child. It was shot on a shoestring budget of some $120,000, and is intended to depict traditional American values espoused by the tea party movement. Their goal, the producers say, is to balance mainstream entertainment which they believe tends to treat conservatives and people of faith unfairly." - Christian Science Monitor

> Yesterday on Video: Tea Partiers get their own TV show

In other news:

  • "Chinese dissident Hu Jia is freed after a three and a half year prison term, imposed for championing human rights and Aids sufferers, his wife says." - BBC News
  • "Labor bill battle reborn with NLRB's new union election rules" - The Hill
  • Gay marriage backers hope for national boost from New York - Politico

Also in opinion:

  • Michael Barone: Like Chauncey Gardiner, Obama is profoundly aloof - Washington Examiner
  • The rise of the third coast: The Gulf, led by Houston, New Orleans and a host of smaller ports, is poised to dominate the nation's trade. - Joel Kotkin on Forbes
  • Steve Chapman on new cigarette labels: Big Brother gets ugly - Chicago Tribune

Sunday morning viewing schedule - The Caucus blog on the New York Times | Politico



Jun 25, 2011 7:52:19 AM

Newslinks for Saturday June 25, 2011

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 22.03.50 5:00pm Video: Tea Partiers get their own TV show

4:45pm The Republican: What they're saying: Conservatives weigh in on Chris Christie's courageous compromise

3:45pm Video:

1:45pm Video: Karl Rove's 2012 prediction: Obama won't be re-elected

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 18.49.47 1:30pm The Republican: A 'conservative problem-solver': Henninger profiles Huntsman

12:15pm Saturday opinion round up:

9:30am Republican Weekly Address: Rep. Renee Ellmers: You sent us to Washington to focus on jobs, and we must show leadership worthy of your trust

ICYMI Students for Paul Ryan is live: If you or someone you know is in college, read this

Boehner to Obama: Tax hikes in debt deal 'cannot pass'

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 11.54.57 "House Speaker John Boehner ruled out any tax increases as part of a deal to increase the debt limit, warning President Obama today that they would never pass the GOP-controlled House. A day after talks stalled on a debt-reduction deal, Boehner issued a statement reinforcing the GOP position in stark terms. The speaker called on Obama to "lead" and take part in the negotiations." - USA Today

"The deficit talks led by Vice President Biden faced a dispute over whether to include the Pentagon in any spending caps or deficit triggers, but the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Friday that taxes were the only reason the talks collapsed Thursday." - The Hill

> Yesterday on Video: Jon Kyl on why he walked out of budget talks: There is enough agreement on cuts to meet our debt ceiling demands, so the tax increases the Democrats want are irrelevant 

...while "Obama entered the deficit-reduction talks by asking Senate leaders to help break a deadlock" - WSJ

Sen. Sessions challenges Obama to make debt-ceiling talks public - The Hill

> Yesterday on Video: Sen. Jeff Sessions: The "masters of the universe" thought they could fix the budget deficit, but they were obviously wrong

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 11.57.25 House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy tells President Obama to 'get off the golf course' and 'get engaged'

"The No. 3 Republican leader in the House took President Obama to task Friday, claiming he should put the golf clubs down and get directly involved in the budget talks with Congress. "He's got to get off the golf course and he's got to get engaged," Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said. "He has a responsibility as a leader," McCarthy said. Although he referred to the president's golf game, McCarthy did not address the highly publicized golf game Obama recently played with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the GOP leader with whom Obama is expected to soon meet to deal with the budget deficit and debt-limit crises." - The Hill

> Yesterday on The Republican: The Republicans are winning the public argument about reducing the deficit

House rejects Obama's Libya policy but stops short of trying to defund it

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 12.08.09 "In a pair of strikingly different votes, the House on Friday exposed its loud bark and its soft bite on U.S. military efforts in Libya. The chamber voted down a measure that would give President Obama the authority to continue the U.S. military action against the Libyan regime — but it also rejected an attempt to cut off money for those efforts..."Now, make no mistake. I support the removal of the Libya regime. I support the president's authority as the commander-in-chief," said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). "But when the president chooses to challenge the powers of the Congress, I as speaker of the House will defend the constitutional authority of the legislature." But less than two hours later, the chamber voted 238-180 against defunding the Libya action. The measure would have barred U.S. drone attacks and airstrikes in Libya but would have allowed the continuance of actions to support NATO troops." - NPR | Washington Post

  • Editorial: "Our secretary of state questions the patriotism of those criticizing the administration's Libyan policy and disregard of the War Powers Act. Remember when dissent was the highest form of patriotism?" - IBD
  • Rep. Tom Rooney takes blame for failed vote to defund Libya operation - Fox News

GOP targets leeway in immigration cases

"House Republicans are targeting an Obama administration effort to give immigration officials more leeway when it comes to deciding who to deport from the U.S. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to introduce legislation next month that would suspend the Obama administration's ability to exercise executive discretion in immigration cases. Smith's bill, called the HALT Act, would strip the administration's power to defer deportation of immigration violators, grant work authorization or grant temporary protected status to immigrants who are fleeing a disaster." - LA Times

"Sen. Mark Kirk called Friday for the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate allegations Delta Airlines blocked Jewish passengers from flying as part of an agreement with a Saudi Arabian airline." - The Hill | Fox News

Karl Rove-backed Crossroads launches $20-million ad campaign

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 12.12.16 "Crossroads GPS, one of the organizations founded by Karl Rove and other well-established Republicans last year to bolster the fortunes of conservative candidates, is launching on Monday a new television commercial (see video below) attacking President Obama’s economic policies – the first part of a staggering $20-million advertising campaign." - LA Times

...but they will not take sides in the GOP presidential primary - Roll Call ($)

Tea Party Express starts new anti-Obama PAC

"Familiar faces are behind a new effort to challenge President Barack Obama. The Republican operatives who created Tea Party Express, the leading political action committee of the tea party movement, recently launched a separate PAC called the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. By creating the independent group, the organizers can raise more money and be a stronger force in the upcoming presidential race. The new group has the ambitious goal of organizing 1 million people against the president through television ads, online petitions and grass-roots events. More than 46,000 people have signed the group’s online petition “to defeat Barack Obama” since January." - Roll Call ($)

> Yesterday on The Republican: A Tea Party on the Left? Good luck with that

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 News on the 2012 race:

  • Daily Caller, ATR postpone debate due to scheduling conflicts - Politico
  • Obama set $60 million fundraising goal for this quarter - USA Today
  • Palin film to debut in Iowa next week - The Hill
  • "GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is getting ready for her formal campaign launch Monday, with a radio ad saying Iowa 'will always be home.'" - USA Today
  • Byron York: "Huntsman tries McCain model, but he's no John McCain" - Washington Examiner
  • Rick Perry receives a tepid response at Latino convention - Washington Examiner
  • "A small tax-exempt political group with ties to wealthy liberals like billionaire financier George Soros has quietly helped elect 11 reform-minded progressive Democrats as secretaries of state to oversee the election process in battleground states and keep Republican 'political operatives from deciding who can vote and how those votes are counted.'" - Washington Times

> Yesterday on The Republican: Romney's a dissembler, not just a flip-flopper, which is why his frontrunner status is such a paradox

Gov. Christie promotes pension, benefits overhaul on airwaves

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 12.25.09 "Eager to tell the world about the biggest feat of his political career, Gov. Chris Christie took to the airwaves today only hours after state lawmakers approved a historic plan to cut public worker benefits. The nationally televised victory lap began on NBC’s "Today" show, with the host, Matt Lauer, hailing Christie’s overhaul of New Jersey’s pension and health benefits system. The changes are expected to save more than $100 billion in the next 30 years by raising costs for public workers." - The Star Ledger

New York approves same-sex marriage

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 12.36.31 "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage late Friday, shortly after the state Senate voted on the measure, delivering a significant victory to the gay rights movement and making New York the largest state to permit such unions. Given the state’s population, the vote essentially doubles the number of Americans who can gain access to same-sex marriage licenses, which previously have been available in five states and the District of Columbia." - Washington Post

"Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s standing with the public has slid to its lowest level in almost two years of polling on the issue, even as faith in the Federal Reserve holds up." - Bloomberg

Peter Feaver: "Obama's Afghanistan strategy and the right to be wrong"

"While the media attention has been focused on the troops that are leaving Afghanistan in the coming months, I have been thinking of the troops that will remain. They are locked in the fight of their lives, and they (or at least their commanders) probably paid more attention to the president's speech than did most other Americans. Did the president give them a convincing rationale for continuing to risk their lives? Did he convince them that the stakes were worth it, that the prospects for lasting success good enough? Do they believe that their commander in chief is as committed to the war effort as he is asking them to be? Only when those answers are answered satisfactorily will Obama have fulfilled the dictates of democratic civil-military theory. Even then, however, he still may be wrong on the strategic aspects of his decision. From a civil-military perspective, the president has the right to be wrong. He might well be wrong this time, and if so, that may be evident to all by next fall. In that case, democratic theory points to the duty of others: the voters." -'s Shadow Government blog



Jun 24, 2011 6:56:43 AM

Newslinks for Friday June 24, 2011

6:15pm Video:

5:00pm The Republican: Romney's a dissembler, not just a flip-flopper, which is why his frontrunner status is such a paradox

12:45pm The Republican: The Republicans are winning the public argument about reducing the deficit

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 12.40.59 PM 12:00pm Video on the Fair Tax: Sen. Richard Lugar reminds voters that for 16 years he has been advocating the Fair Tax and spells out its advantages

10:30am Sen. John Barrasso on Obama's decision to release oil from our reserves handcuffs developers and shows he is committed to keeping us more dependent than ever on foreign energy

8:45am Video:

Students for Ryan 2012

Students for Paul Ryan is live: If you or someone you know is in college, read this

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: A Tea Party on the Left? Good luck with that

Natalie Gonnella on The Republican: What they're saying: House freshmen slam President Obama's decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

GOP demands to meet with President Obama as debt talks collapse over tax hikes 

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 11.39.10 "White House-led deficit reduction talks unraveled Thursday as a top Republican pulled out, putting pressure on President Obama to help resolve an impasse over the key issue holding up a deal: whether to allow new revenue by ending certain tax breaks." - LA Times | Washington Post

  • "Cantor's exit leaves debt talks up to Boehner, Obama to get deal" - The Hill
  • Why Cantor's move was inevitable - The Fix on the Washington Post
  • Eli Lehrer: GOP must call Democrats' bluff on Medicare cuts - FrumForum

Yesterday on The Republican: Cantor and Kyl's exit from the budget negotiations show just how ideological the Democrats are these days

The 2012 litmus test: Paul Ryan's budget plan

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 11.40.18 "Republicans are already on notice that Democrats plan to use Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal as a key 2012 wedge issue. What they didn’t expect, however, was that Ryan’s blueprint would also turn out to be a polarizing force within GOP primaries. Across the Senate election map, in swing state after swing state, the House Budget Committee chairman’s plan for overhauling the popular entitlement program is emerging as a serious point of tension, a pick-your-poison proposition, forcing GOP candidates to choose between the narrow dictates of conservative primary voters and the imperatives of the broader general election." - Politico

> Yesterday on Video: Paul Ryan: The whole idea of the Republican budget is to reform the welfare state, help people get on their feet, and promote entrepreneurship

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offers plan to move trade deals forward

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 09.13.03 "Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, seeking to spur action on three long-delayed free trade agreements, said on Thursday he was prepared to help the White House renew a retraining program for workers displaced by trade but added a major demand of his own. 'Given the importance of these free trade agreements to our economy and the economic recovery, Senator McConnell is prepared to commit to help get passed an appropriate TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) bill this year that includes a reauthorization of TPA (Trade Promotion Authority),' McConnell spokesman Michael Brumas said in an email. But McConnell wants Congress to vote on the trade deals before considering TAA and TPA, Brumas added." - New York Times

Obama agrees to tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve as oil prices rise

"The International Energy Agency is releasing 60 million barrels of oil -- half of which will be supplied by the U.S. -- into the world market over the next month, as high gas prices continue to aggravate the lurching economic recovery. The price of oil quickly dropped on Thursday from nearly $95 a barrel to about $91 following the announcement, but any effect that could have at the pump won't be felt for another month -- roughly the time it takes to refine oil into gasoline. Market analysts expect minimal decreases in gas prices, considering global oil consumption stands at 89 million barrels of oil a day." - Washington Examiner

  • Decision to tap SPR has far reaching implications - National Journal
  • Editorial: "What’s confounding about the reserve release is that it doesn’t seem to meet the president’s professed standards. “The reserve should only be used in the event of an emergency,” Obama said in 2005. Unless the administration can make a persuasive case that disaster lurks, we will be compelled to face a situation more corrosive than rising gas prices or the lack of a comprehensive energy policy -- the sense that our leaders are making short-sighted decisions for political gain." - Bloomberg

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 09.27.46 Mullen, Petraeus publicly back Obama's Afghan plan - Washington Post | LA Times

  • "Congressional Democrats are leading the criticism of President Barack Obama's troop withdrawal plan from Afghanistan, arguing his timeline for bringing 33,000 U.S. troops is too slow." - MSNBC
  • Michael Gerson: "Given the difficulty of the undertaking, the weariness of Americans and the erosion of support in both parties, it would take exceptional leadership to achieve a good outcome in Afghanistan. Even limping across the 2014 deadline will require some positive effort of persuasion. For years, our conflicted president has been largely silent in this task. His words were worse." - Washington Post
  • The Tea Party's conundrum: "The anybody-but-Mitt Romney faction may pose a problem for his presidential ambitions." - Politico

Kimberley J. Strassel: The GOP's War Powers opportunism

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 09.17.56 "The GOP's obsessive focus on deficits has already risked losing it the upper hand on the growth-and-jobs argument. Its accountant mentality now risks costing it a clear view on defense. It risks far more. Mr. Boehner said this week he didn't want to do anything to "undermine NATO," but the mere passage of the Republican resolutions will do just that. The GOP can then share responsibility with Mr. Obama for losing in Libya and emboldening a tin-pot dictator. How's that for an electoral pitch?" - WSJ

  • "New U.S. intelligence shows Col. Moammar Gadhafi is "seriously considering" fleeing Tripoli for a more secure location outside the capital." - WSJ
  • Charles Krauthammer: "The power to [declare] war is a relic" - Washington Post

"Bowing to criticism, the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday that it will no longer automatically require pat-downs for children under 12 years old who trigger security concerns." - The Hill

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 09.13.54 Also from Congress:

  • In one of the strangest pairings in Congress, Ron Paul and Barney Frank team up to legalize marijuana - USA Today
  • "Having been cited for irregular record keeping by the Federal Election Commission, the political action committee run by the Congressional Black Caucus has paid a $5,000 fine and recently filed close to two dozen amended campaign finance reports in a bid to clear up its books." - Roll Call($)
  • "The House passed an overhaul of the Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, despite pressure from a host of GOP factions to kill the legislation." - Roll Call ($)

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13Other news from the 2012 field:

  • Congressman Thaddeus McCotter weighs a presidential bid - USA Today
  • Steve Chapman: "Perry has the advantage of being able to claim that his state accounts for more than 37 percent of all the jobs created since the recession officially ended, which could make a vote for him feel more pragmatic than ideological." - Washington Examiner
  • "The Enigma of Jon Huntsman: Will civility, compromise and Chinese experience attract GOP voters?" - Peggy Noonan in the WSJ
  • Romney dominates GOP "cash dash" - Politico

Report says the US is unprepared for WMD attack

"The United States is unprepared for an attack involving weapons of mass destruction, according to a report by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. The report, and the commission’s prediction that it is “more likely than not” that a WMD will be used by terrorists by the end of 2013, were the principal topics at Thursday’s joint subcommittee hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee on the Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011. " - The Hill

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 09.16.43 News from the states:

  • New Jersey passes Chris Christie's benefits reform - Politico
  • "Amid a year of relentless challenges to their power around the country, unions notched a victory this week when New Hampshire Republicans failed to muster enough votes to override the governor's veto of a right-to-work bill." - WSJ
  • Obama avoids US marriage debate - Washington Post

Jeb Bush and Joe Klein: The case for common educational standards

Screen shot 2011-06-24 at 09.20.29 "It is the states' responsibility to foster an education system that leads to rising student achievement. State leaders, educators, teachers and parents are empowered to ensure every student has access to the best curriculum and learning environment. Governors and lawmakers across the country are acting to adopt bold education reform policies. This is the beauty of our federal system. It provides 50 testing sites for reform and innovation. The Common Core State Standards are an example of states recognizing a problem, then working together, sharing what works and what doesn't." - WSJ

Editorial: Obama revs up the patronage machine - LA Times



Jun 23, 2011 7:03:42 AM

Newslinks for Thursday June 23, 2011

Screen shot 2011-06-23 at 6.05.01 PM 6:00pm The Republican: Cantor and Kyl's exit from the budget negotiations show just how ideological the Democrats are these days

5:15pm Rep. Videos:

4:45pm Opinion: Rep. Bob Gibbs: The EPA is doing all it can to raise energy prices for ordinary families by pursuing backdoor cap-and-trade policies

4:00pm The Republican: Screen shot 2011-06-23 at 4.09.01 PM Get ready: Rick Perry is running for President

2:45pm Video: Paul Ryan: The whole idea of the Republican budget is to reform the welfare state, help people get on their feet, and promote entrepreneurship

> Rep. Paul Ryan on NRO: We are near the edge of the credit cliff and must act now

Screen shot 2011-06-23 at 12.39.25 PM 12:45pm The Republican: As much as some want to believe conservative ideology is all that drives voters, electability still matters for something

12:15pm Video & facts: Congressional Budget Office director: Obama's new budget is too vague for any budget analyst to take seriously

11:45am The Republican: David Gergen to Obama: What in the world are you doing in Afghanistan?

11:30am Videos:

Screen shot 2011-06-23 at 11.09.51 AM 10:45am The Republican: Institutional reality check: Remember what Americans think about the military, police, church, and small business compared to everything else

The Republican: The four reasons why Obama is "likely" to lose

Also on The Republican: Can GOP presidential hopefuls do a better job laying out our goals in Afghanistan than Obama did last night?

What do you think about Michele Bachmann and Paul Ryan? Take the latest ConHomeUSA survey.

Bipartisan debt talks in trouble as Republicans dig in on tax increases and Democrats decline to move on reform of entitlements - WSJ

  • Senator Corker warns that bipartisan group's increase in debt-ceiling might be too big for him and other Republicans - The Hill
  • "After days of hype, 47 conservative organizations and more than 20 members of Congress officially announced their support for the “Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge” during a press conference Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill." - Daily Caller
  • Coalition launches to promote “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge - HotAir

Karl Rove: Obama is likely to lose in 2012

"President Barack Obama is likely to be defeated in 2012. The reason is that he faces four serious threats. The economy is very weak and unlikely to experience a robust recovery by Election Day. Key voter groups have soured on him. He's defending unpopular policies. And he's made bad strategic decisions." - WSJ

McConnell II Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks the Republican Party should settle on a 2012 theme: Barack Obama made the country worse - Politico

"In every one of the 14 swing states heading into 2012 — Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — the unemployment rate has risen since October 2008." - Chris Cizsilla in the Washington Post

  • Dems will not shy away from accusing GOP of deliberately sabotaging economy - Washington Post

Pawlenty attacks Obama's Afghanistan pullback; Huntsman gives it thumbs up - New York Times

Huffington Post records how Democrats are largely disappointed by scale of Afghan drawback.

The Weekly Standard asks why the summer of 2012 is the deadline and concludes it's ALL politics.

"On Afghanistan, few dispute that progress has been made. But is that progress reversible if the troop surge that delivered the progress is reduced too quickly? Americans do want to know how the war will conclude, but most seek a definition of success that comes with reassurance that the cancer will not come back, requiring another major U.S. military commitment. The president did not offer that reassurance." - Stephen Yates for Fox

"As President George W. Bush found out when he stood before a “Mission Accomplished” banner, declaring that a war is over does not mean that it is necessarily so. Facts on the ground have a nasty habit of intervening and, as the old military saying goes, it is usually wise to remember that “the enemy has a vote”." - Toby Harnden

  • Why the military worry about Obama's Afghan pullback: "On Afghanistan’s battlefields, the most significant effect of President Obama’s latest orders will be felt at this time next year, when as many as 23,000 American troops who would have been on missions at the peak of the summer fighting season will instead be packing for home. This will make it more difficult, if not impossible, military experts said, for the commanders to carry out one of their major goals for next year. Senior officers said their military campaign plan for 2012 envisioned building on security gains earned by troops who had already flowed into Afghanistan’s south and southwest, with plans to turn some of those areas over to local forces. This would have freed American troops to pivot toward the vulnerable eastern border with Pakistan, but these forces may now be sent home." - New York Times

WSJ attacks GOP tactics on Libya funding: Cutting off funds is what Democrats do to GOP Presidents

Wall Street Journal

"For half a century, and especially since Vietnam, the Republican Party has stood for a strong national defense and the projection of military power to defend U.S. interests and to spread freedom around the world. Running to the left of Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry is not the way to win elections, much less to enhance America's security." - WSJ editorial

  • Background: "House Republican leaders have launched the most serious challenge to the war-making power of the presidency in more than a decade, proposing to cut off funding for U.S. direct military engagement in Libya. The funding cutoff — a stronger rebuke from Republicans than originally planned — reflects a desire among rank-and-file Republicans to take a harder line against a mission they don’t like and a president who they believe has exceeded his authority by flouting the War Powers Act." - Politico

Rubio Marco Rubio joins Joe Lieberman in urging support for the Libyan operation, now it is started: "The deepening confrontation between the White House and Congress over Libya is both counterproductive and unnecessary." - WSJ

George Will, in the Washington Post, on what Reagan would say to McCain and the other foreign policy interventionists: "Regarding Libya, McCain on Sunday said, “I wonder what Ronald Reagan would be saying today.” Wondering is speculation; we know this: When a terrorist attack that killed 241 Marines and other troops taught Reagan the folly of deploying them at Beirut airport with a vague mission and dangerous rules of engagement, he was strong enough to reverse this intervention in a civil war."

"Even before it disposed of bin Laden, America had lost its appetite for venturing abroad in search of monsters to destroy." - Economist

Jon-huntsman-jr-1 Examining the Huntsman candidacy

  • "Jon Huntsman sketched out a path to the Republican nomination Wednesday that transcends " the conservative base in key early states, an exercise in needle-threading that hinges on his ability to capture a large swath of independent voters." - Politico
  • "I don’t doubt that Jon Huntsman is a talented guy, but his campaign feels like a total consultant and media contrivance." - Rich Lowry for NRO
  • Huntsman can't win the GOP nomination if he rebrands himself as a "true conservative" - Ross Douthat 
  • Huntsman is McCain on a motorbike - Michelle Malkin
  • An email from a consultant to the newest GOP contender casts Jon Huntsman as gay Republicans’ best bet in 2012 - Daily Beast
  • Club for Growth questions Huntsman's spending record - Washington Times

Romney may be the 'Flight to Safety' candidate

"People who were supposed to run haven't, and people who were supposed to be serious forces (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin) haven't been. Dark horses have remained dark. Amid it all stands Mitt Romney, not the high-flying investment lots of Republicans yearned to put their money on, but the unspectacular Treasury bill of Republican candidates, a man whose emphasis on jobs and the economy makes him a safe enough bet at a time like this." - WSJ

Bachmann bets heavily on South Carolina

Bachmann "Next week, after formally announcing her presidential campaign in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa, and after a brief stopover in New Hampshire, Ms. Bachmann plans to crisscross South Carolina. According to a schedule just released by her campaign, Ms. Bachmann is doing one event in Iowa, another in New Hampshire, followed by five events in South Carolina over two days." - WSJ

  • NRO on how Bachmann can reach passionate small donors.

The Executive Editor of the New York Times spills the beans about journalists' bias: Only 10% would vote for Palin: "If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I'm pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea." - Fox

2012 in Brief:

  • Some of Tim Pawlenty’s top aides working for little or no pay, source says - Washington Post
  • "As he continues to mull a White House bid, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has committed to heading to the Granite State in October, further fueling speculation the Republican is inching toward a national run." - National Journal
  • "For the first time in memory, every Republican candidate running for president in 2012 proclaims him or herself to be anti-abortion. But just how anti-abortion are they?" - NPR

Senator Orrin Hatch recasts himself in bid to defeat Tea Party primary threat - Roll Call

"Over the past four years, the National Republican Congressional Committee has toiled in the shadow of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's fundraising dominance, an advantage that arrived with the Democrats' House majority and was solidified by the Obama White House. Since 2007, the DCCC has raised, on average, $18.6 million more each year than its Republican rival, excluding loans and lines of credit. Then came the campaign committees' recent monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. For the first time this year, the NRCC significantly outraised the DCCC in a month, bringing in $4.6 million to the DCCC's $3.8 million in May. The reports also confirm that the Republican committee enjoys double the cash on hand — $10.6 million to $5.3 million — than its Democratic competitor." - Roll Call

Has Al Gore opened the door to a Left-wing backlash against Obama?

Gore Al"Al Gore went public Wednesday with his complaints about President Barack Obama’s environmental record and leadership on climate change — legitimizing a groundswell of grumbling from the left and throwing open the door for more of the same... For Obama to win a second term, he knows he'll need to generate more enthusiasm among a Democratic base that largely sat on the sidelines and watched the Republican wave in the 2010 midterms. But the mood on Obama's left isn't good..." - Politico

  • At The Hill Brent Budowsky calls for Obama to embrace a great reforming majority of voters who want consumers and workers championed, not vested interests.



Jun 22, 2011 7:01:57 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday June 22, 2011

5:45pm The Republican: 'Enough is enough': GOP freshmen respond to the CBO's latest economic outlook

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 21.27.37 4:30pm Video: RSC 'spells out' Cut, Cap, Balance

4:15pm ICYMI: CBO's 2011 long-term budget outlook

4:00pm Rep. Cory Gardner: Why a Colorado congressman cares about drilling in Alaska

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 21.05.15 3:00pm Video:

1:30pm Rep. Phil Roe: Fixing Medicare should not be about political gain, but instead should be about providing quality care for our seniors and protecting that care

12:45pm Opinion: Rep. Peter Roskam: Recovery summer?

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 18.04.03 12:30pm The Republican: CBO report: Without major changes debt crisis likely

10:30am The Republican: Cut, Cap, Balance...or Block: Conservatives pledge to derail a debt limit vote unless it is coupled with plans to curb federal spending

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 20.05.48 10:15am Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Guantanamo is the place to try terrorists

9:15am Video: 2012 "lightning round": Huntsman make the case for his candidacy

The Republican: What they're saying: Conservatives weigh in on Huntsman's 2012 bid

20110622-Burma Rep. Don Manzullo on Opinion: The Lady of Burma speaks to the U.S. Congress

Cracks open in GOP position on debt ceiling

"House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pushed back hard Tuesday against Senate Republican suggestions of a scaled-back, short-term debt deal... “I don’t see how multiple votes on a debt ceiling increase can help get us to where we want to go,” the Virginia Republican told reporters. “It is my preference that we do this thing one time. … Putting off tough decisions is not what people want in this town.”" - Politico

"House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) also shot down a short-term increase. “It doesn’t give you certainty,” Camp said. “Ideally you’d like to get that settled and not have it continually a hanging-over issue.”" - The Hill

  • WSJ background piece: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said Sunday that if lawmakers did not soon reach a broad budget agreement, they might have to agree to a smaller increase in the debt ceiling and revisit the issue again in a few months."

Republican base split on Ryan budget plan, 41% supporting it, 43% opposing - The Hill

Romney Mitt Mitt Romney is sharpening his attack on last year’s overhaul of financial industry regulations

"“Banks are afraid to make loans right now because of the government hanging over them like gargoyles,” Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and business executive, said during the roundtable discussion. Romney said small business owners cannot acquire capital because banks won’t give loans since they are under “extraordinary pressure and scrutiny” from federal regulators." - Washington Post

  • Romney will miss Grover Norquist's big gathering - Hotline 

The Perfect GOP Ticket in 2012 would have Jeb Bush and Rob Portman's names on it

Bush Jeb 470

"Bush and Portman can’t be marginalized as Tea Party extremists but they can spout enough hot rhetoric to stir the base. They are also perfectly acceptable to the social, economic and foreign policy conservatives in the Republican camp. The Bush-Portman ticket would satisfy the William F. Buckley rule for Republican Primary voters — pick the most conservative candidate who can win." - Fox

2012-RACE2012 in Brief:

  • Newt Gingrich's top fundraisers have quit his presidential campaign, weeks after his top aides and strategists in key states such as Iowa and South Carolina resigned en masse - USA Today
  • Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann favored (by liberals) for GOP presidential nomination - LA Times
  • Christie's ratings hit new low in New Jersey; 47% disapproving, 43% approving - USA Today

  Huntsman Can’t Win Over the GOP in 2012 - FrumForum

  • Can Jon Huntsman rev up and prove he's more than the media's White House candidate? - Toby Harnden
  • Huntsman Explains Why He Called Obama a 'Remarkable Leader' - Fox
  • Huntsman brings his kids on campaign trail - WSJ

Huntsman repeats call for massive Afghan drawdown

"Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., perhaps the most prominent Republican advocate of a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, put his position into the broader context of U.S. competitiveness Tuesday. Meeting with reporters on his way back from New Hampshire, Mr. Huntsman again advocated “an aggressive drawdown” that would leave behind a small counterterrorism force." - WSJ

  • "Obama will announce Wednesday the first steps in a gradual plan to extract the U.S. from the Afghanistan war, including an initial withdrawal of as many as 5,000 troops next month." - WSJ
  • "Any large or early withdrawal will handcuff commanders in the field and stir doubts about America's commitment to finish the job." - WSJ editorial
  • Obama seems more hawkish than many in GOP - NPR
  • The New York Times notes USA has spent $1.3 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan over last decade.

Tony Blankley: Opposition to nation-building does not equal isolationism

McCain John "Sen. John McCain, whose life is a continuing exemplar of the American heroic ideal, regrettably has got it quite wrong when he says that growing GOP opposition to the Libyan and Afghan wars is evidence of isolationism... Both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's expressions of doubt regarding continuing Afghanistan and Libyan war policies are completely in line with the pragmatic internationalism of the post-World War II GOP... This is not isolationism; it is a rational effort at judging how best to advance American values and interests in an ever-more witheringly dangerous world. The charge of isolationism should be reserved for the genuine article." - Tony Blankley for RCP

But Tim Pawlenty doesn't like the "drift" in GOP thinking: "On the eve of President Barack Obama’s speech announcing a troop drawdown, Tim Pawlenty cautioned the GOP Tuesday against going wobbly on Afghanistan. “I don’t like the drift of the Republican Party toward what appears to be a retreat or a move more towards isolationism,” the former Minnesota governor told POLITICO reporters in an interview." - Politico

  • "The fact that Jon Huntsman seems to be trying to ride the anti-interventionist wave whereas Tim Pawlenty is more likely to channel John McCain provides a decent reason to wager that a Huntsman administration would tilt more realist-Hamiltonian in its foreign policy, and a Pawlenty administration more neoconservative-Wilsonian." - Ross Douthat
  • Leon E. Panetta was confirmed unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday as the new Secretary of Defense - New York Times

Thomas L Friedman: It's now ONLY the first 100 days that count

"Ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legendary “First 100 Days” in office — which stabilized a country ravaged by the Depression — the first 100 days of every president have been used as a measuring stick for success. That’s over. I’ve said this before, and I believe it even more strongly today: We’ve gone from the first 100 days to the “Only 100 Days.”" - Thomas L Friedman in the New York Times

Which charter schools work, and why? - USA Today

And finally... It's Jon, not John!

"At the former Utah governor’s presidential kickoff speech on Tuesday, campaign workers distributed — and then confiscated — press credentials misspelling the candidate’s first name as “John” instead of “Jon.”" - Washington Post



Jun 21, 2011 7:01:28 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday June 21, 2011

4:45pm The Republican: "I will not be intimidated": Senator Lindsey Graham responds to the IAM's latest ethics complaint

4:30pm Video: ICYMI: Jon Huntsman's presidential campaign announcement

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 21.59.16 3:15pm Reps. Roe, DesJarlais and Bucshon: GOP Doctors eager to talk health care with Obama

2:00pm Video:

1:00pm The Republican: And the campaign defections continue as Gingrich's top fundraisers quit

12:45pm The Republican: Brand Palin: Former Alaska governor trademarks her name

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 17.48.23 11:30am Video: Sen. John McCain's foreign policy advice for 2012 contenders: "I hope that all of these candidates as the campaign goes on understands what our national security requirements are, that we are the world’s leader, America has to lead"

11:00am Morning opinion round up:

10:30am The Republican: It's official! Jon Huntsman is running for president

9:30am Sen. Marco Rubio: Every day that politicians delay action on important economic issues, Americans feel the pain

Huntsman5QsRyan Streeter on The Republican: Five questions for Jon Huntsman as he launches his campagin

Video: 'Fast and Furious' failure: ATF Special Agent Jay Tobyns says "this is everything against what this agency stands for...they were willing to climb over dead bodies in order to try and catch a cartel"

With time running out lawmakers aim to speed up debt talks

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 09.17.40 "The White House and congressional leaders are accelerating negotiations over the biggest debt-reduction package in at least two decades amid mounting concern that the effort is running out of time. Over the next six weeks, negotiators must strike a bipartisan compromise to slice more than $2 trillion from the federal budget by 2021, reduce the complex plan to writing and persuade a bitterly divided Congress to support it. But one or both chambers is due to be on break for three of those weeks. And when Congress last reached a big debt-reduction deal, it took more than a month just to draft the legislation. That leaves little room for chance — or last-minute negotiating to marshal votes for what is likely to be a politically difficult package of unprecedented cuts to long-sacrosanct federal programs." - Washington Post

"The White House is leaving open the possibility of a short-term debt ceiling vote this summer if lawmakers and administration officials cannot reach a deal for deep spending cuts by the Aug. 2 deadline." - Washington Wire in the WSJ

"Jobs, jobs, jobs": As Congress continues to debate the soaring national debt, a cohort of mayors on Monday descended on the White House to deliver one message to Washington

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 09.58.59 "In the second such meeting with Obama this year, 14 mayors advised the president to resolve the debt limit crisis quickly and focus on the needs of metropolitan economies.  "The clock is ticking" on the debt crisis, [said Los Angeles' Antonio Villaraigosa], who assumed the role of president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors this weekend, told reporters after the meeting. "We have a Congress that's dithering." Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has said that the federal government runs the risk of defaulting on its obligations if it does not increase the debt limit by Aug. 2." - LA Times

  • Editorial: Is 6% unemployment as low as we can go? - IBD
  • Rick Baker: "How a conservative mayor revitalized a central city" - Washington Examiner

> Yesterday on The Republican: Which of the 2012 GOP candidates had the best job creation record as governor?

"Programmatic requests": aka the new earmark

"Cutting the $553 billion base Defense Department budget is made that much harder when House members continue their long-standing habit of slipping into it “little” multimillion-dollar items that once were called earmarks. In the House version fiscal 2012 Defense Authorization Bill they became en banc amendments approved without public discussion in committee (Armed Services) and on the House floor, and financed from a $650 million Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund, which was created by reducing other programs. The House Appropriations Committee has taken a more subtle approach. Instead of its old habit of soliciting earmarks, it now asks members to provide “programmatic requests” ahead of subcommittee markups." - Washington Post

More than semantics in Libya

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 09.19.52 "The White House has officially declared that what’s happening in Libya is not “hostilities.” But at the Pentagon, officials have decided it’s unsafe enough there to give troops extra pay for serving in “imminent danger.” The Defense Department decided in April to pay an extra $225 a month in “imminent danger pay” to service members who fly planes over Libya or serve on ships within 110 nautical miles of its shores." - Washington Post

  • Bruce Ackerman: "The legal acrobatics President Obama has used to justify war without Congressional consent set a dangerous precedent." - New York Times
  • "Speaker John Boehner will use this last week before a July Fourth recess to put the House on the record on Libya. But the Ohio Republican’s developing hallmark of lengthy and open debate will be tested as he seeks to define the House’s position." - Roll Call ($) | The Hill
  • Jonah Goldberg: "President Obama's missteps on the War Powers Act have created a dangerous leadership vacuum at home and abroad." - LA Times
  • "White House won't say if War Powers Resolution is constitutional" - Fox News
  • Editorial: "President must seek Congressional approval for continued US role [in Libya]" - Miami Herald

Yesterday on The Republican: "Now is the time for Congress to exhibit moral leadership (on Libya) despite political pressures to do otherwise"

The new GOP weapon: Conservative freshmen women

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 08.44.30 "Republicans have a new weapon in their messaging arsenal — a growing, influential caucus of younger GOP women intent on fighting back against Democratic claims that the party is anti-woman. The new group doesn’t neatly fit the traditional model of women who run for office — the older, post-career PTA moms with grown children and more time to devote to politics. Four of the nine Republican GOP freshmen are under 50. And they aren’t moderates in the mode of Senate GOP women such as Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe." - Politico

GOP raises $6.2M in May, reduces debt

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 08.45.59 "The Republican National Committee continues to bring down its debt as it gears up to battle President Obama, raising $6.2 million in May. That brings the national GOP's total fundraising for the year to more than $30 million, the RNC reported today. When Reince Priebus took over the party's chairmanship this year, he inherited about $24 million in debt from his predecessor, Michael Steele. The RNC says it has erased more than $6 million in red ink, bringing down its debt to about $18.5 million." - USA Today

...although "the Democratic National Committee raised $10.5 million in May, outpacing its Republican counterpart for the month and generating more money for a joint fund with President Barack Obama's campaign." - MSNBC

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 Updates from the 2012 race:

  • Romney, Huntsman eye same funds - Washington Post
  • "Former N.Y. Governor George Pataki defends Hawkeye caucuses while pushing his "No American Debt" message." - Politico
  • President Barack Obama tried to reassure Jewish supporters Monday night that he is a friend of Israel even though they may have “tactical disagreements” over his policies." - Washington Wire in the WSJ
  • Texas delegation presses Perry to run - The Hill
  • "Bachmann to join forces with conservatives, celebrities for 'Troopathon'" - The Hill
  • "The conservative, anti-incumbent sentiment that dominated the 2010 congressional elections is back, and it's threatening to unseat two veteran Republican senators. The GOP is eager to recapture the Senate majority in the 2012 elections, and party leaders are optimistic about their chances given that 23 Democratic seats are up for grabs and a half-dozen of those races are considered toss-ups" - Washington Examiner
  • Michael Gerson: Herman Cain’s modern-day religious test - Washington Post
  • "The fight for the Republican presidential nomination may not be a heavyweight slugfest after all" - Politico

> Yesterday on  Video: Bill Kristol: My perfect ticket is Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio - they are best able to reach both the Tea Party and the broad electorate

Court blocks states' greenhouse-gas suit

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 11.04.23 "The Supreme Court blocked six states from suing power-plant operators over greenhouse-gas emissions, ruling Monday unanimously that pending federal regulation under the Clean Air Act pre-empts the case. But the justices split 4-4 on related legal questions, leaving open the possibility that states could revive their action if the Obama administration fails to issue a final emissions rule by May 2012. Many scientists say the principal greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere because of human activities—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases—trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming." - WSJ | FT ($)

A split Supreme Court [also] ruled against 1.5 million women employees who brought a massive class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart - Christian Science Monitor

New Jersey Senate passes employee benefits bill

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 09.22.26 "Bucking the state's powerful public employee unions, the New Jersey Senate on Monday passed a bill requiring sharply higher contributions for health benefits and pensions from more than a half-million government workers, while suspending unions' ability to bargain over health care. As a gallery full of raucous union members looked on, the upper chamber moved the legislation with support from Republicans and a few Democrats in a 24-15 vote." - NPR

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 09.57.22 Also from the states:

  • "A federal judge said Monday he would rule before July 1 on a request by civil-liberties groups to block a new Georgia law cracking down on illegal immigration. U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash is weighing a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, who argue the immigration law oversteps state authority and opens the door to racial profiling of Hispanics, Asians and other minorities." - WSJ | Washington Times
  • GOP sees red, not carolina blue, in North Carolina gains - Roll Call ($)

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 10.18.15 Obama to speak Wednesday about the Afghanistan withdrawal plans - LA Times

  • "A day after Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States is in preliminary talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan to quell the violence, experts say don't expect miracle results." - CNN
  • "There are deep divisions in Obama's administration, with military leaders favoring only a gradual reduction in troops but other advisers advocating a significant decrease in the coming months" -Fox News

"New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has officially submitted his letter of resignation, ending -- he hopes -- the sexting scandal that put the brakes on the Democrat’s career." - LA Times

Cal Thomas: Weiner scandal makes lying key to term limits for Congress - Washington Examiner

Dan Gainor: The left's $2 billion newsroom

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 10.19.28 "Sensing the old models haven’t been working, the left has been pouring money into new ones. Sure they have ProPublica with its two Pulitzer prizes or the Think Progress blog or long-standing lefty investigative journalism operations at the Center for Public Integrity or the Center for Investigative Reporting. But the crown jewel of left-wing journalism is the Huffington Post, run by conservative-turned liberal Arianna Huffington herself. Since it was launched in 2005, "HuffPo," as it sometimes called, has risen to become the most prominent left-wing site. Every day is filled with incessant attacks on conservatives, P.R. for Team Obama and enough gossip, humor, entertainment news and goofy videos to package them together and wrap it with a big red bow. That was until February, when AOL purchased Huffington Post for $315 million and gave Arianna control of the combined newsrooms." - Fox News

...but "the media can’t save Barack from the Obama economy" - John Tamny on Forbes



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