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Jul 31, 2011 8:55:21 AM

Newslinks for Sunday July 31, 2011

9:00pm The latest debt deal details

4:45pm The Republican: Cain tops Perry to take Colorado straw poll

4:00pm Video: Sen. John Thune isn't ruling out a 2012 VP candidacy

3:30m The Republican: So why are all these "extremist" Republicans so obsessed with spending cuts and unwilling to "raise revenue"? This chart will tell you why

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 17.30.27

12:30pm Video: Having voted against the Boehner plan, Sen. Lindsey Graham remains unconvinced by possible debt deal

11:15am Steve Jobs is now more liquid than Uncle Sam

11:00am The Republican: A look at the daily payments needed post August 2

10:45am Sen. John Barrasso: Democrats, if serious about avoiding a rating downgrade, will quickly move past the Reid plan. And the Congress should move forward with a plan that strengthens our financial future

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 17.36.50 10:30am Video: It's moving in the right direction: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy weighs in on the prospective debt deal

9:30am Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Boehner gets some wins in emerging deal, but that won't calm the impatient caucus in the GOP


Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.44.13 After a dramatic day, Washington moves closer to a possible debt deal as negotiations continue

"Shortly after 10 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid said talks between the minority leader and vice president had made significant progress, prompting him to call off a late-night showdown over his own debt-limit measure and postpone the vote until 1 p.m." - Washington Post | New York Times | LA Times | WSJ

  • Senate debt vote delay is sign of hope - Politico
  • "The framework of a tentative deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling calls for up to $2.8 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years." - CNN | Bloomberg
  • Senator Rand Paul: "I care about our country more than I do a debt deal" - Fox News
  • "Saturday's debt-ceiling surprise: GOP and Obama are talking again" - Christian Science Monitor

Yesterday on Video: A plus for the pizza guy: Debt stalemate yields profits for Washington business

Yesterday on The Republican: Want to know what $15 trillion looks like?

Although earlier in the evening, Reid called the Senate to the floor to 'tamp down' McConnell's optimism

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.18.15 "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) it was just plain wrong when McConnell told reporters there was reason for hope in debt-ceiling negotiations. The "Republican leader held a press conference to announce they’re in talks with the president and that a bargain to raise the debt limit is in the works and is close," said Reid, who had recently returned from a nearly two-hour meeting with President Obama. "That's not true… the agreement is not in a meaningful way." "The Speaker and Republican leader should know that merely saying you have an agreement in front of television cameras doesn't make it so," Reid said." - The Hill

Yesterday on The Republican: Senate Republicans slam the Reid plan

Boehner's next test: "Getting votes for a debt bill that’s even less palatable to conservatives"

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.38.10 "For weeks, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) tried to be the kind of speaker he wanted to be, with dreams of negotiating a big budget deal with President Obama. On Friday, he became the kind of speaker he had to be, yielding to rebellious tea party conservatives and altering his bill to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a humiliating defeat. But that was hardly a resolution of the crisis. It was a victory — on his fourth try — that underscored the gap between the parties, as the bill was immediately scuttled in the Senate. On Saturday, the search for a real compromise began, with both sides vowing to try to pass something before Tuesday’s deadline. When a measure returns to the House, Boehner and his lieutenants will face perhaps their most severe test as they attempt to round up votes for a bill certain to be even less palatable to conservatives than the one approved Friday." - Washington Post

  • Pelosi: Boehner 'chose to go to the dark side' - The Hill
  • Editorial: "It is difficult to recall a time when Democrats' chief arguments against a Republican proposal have reached such a level of absurdity as we saw this week during debate on House Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling plan. From both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Democrats marshaled a series of disingenuous arguments in their attempts to avoid admitting that they simply refuse to go along with any genuine effort to bring federal spending under control." - Washington Examiner

Michael Barone: GOP wins when the fight is over cuts not more taxes

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.19.08 "Democrats went into this fight with a precedent in mind, the budget fight between President Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995-96. The conventional wisdom is that Clinton won that fight and Republicans lost. That's not quite right: After shifting to noticeably more moderate policies, Clinton was re-elected in 1996, but Republicans lost few House seats and held onto their congressional majorities at the same time. The difference this time is that Obama has not shifted policies noticeably, but instead has seemed to position himself as a complainer on the sidelines, asking voters to call their congressman. He has presented no specific plan of his own. His chief of staff reports that he hasn't spoken at all to Boehner lately. Just as he left the specifics of the stimulus package and Obamacare to congressional Democrats, so he has left the framing of an alternative to Harry Reid, whose Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget resolution in two years. On Friday the Gallup poll showed Obama's job approval down to 40 percent, the lowest of his presidency. Voters are cross with everybody, but he has the most to lose." - Washington Examiner

Pro-defense lawmakers slam Pentagon cuts in dueling debt plans - The Hill

The controversy over the debt ceiling has added to a list of factors hindering job creation

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.19.58 "Many factors have been holding down job creation this summer — everything from the extremely hot weather in many regions to the weak housing market in just about every city. Another factor dampening job growth has been the political battle over the nation's debt. One example of how the Washington debate is hurting workers involves aviation. Amid the bickering over the debt ceiling earlier in July, Congress failed to pass a short-term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration's budget. As a result, on July 23, the FAA's budget authorization expired and the agency had to lay off some 4,000 workers. Now the disruption is rippling out to contractors at airports around the country. For example, in Las Vegas, construction of a new air traffic control tower at McCarran International Airport is on hold for lack of FAA funding. That disruption has caused a cascade of construction layoffs. Across the country, roughly 70,000 workers are expected to be idled by this FAA budget mess." - NPR

FAA shutdown imperils projects - Washington Post

Slow economic growth fuels recession fears

"The economic recovery is grinding to a halt, raising the risk that the U.S. could fall back into recession and tightening the screws on Washington to resolve the debt-ceiling debate." - WSJ

  • "The resilience of the U.S. economy, which rebounded from wars, terror attacks and a crash in tech stocks in the past quarter century, has been weakened in the aftermath of the housing bust, and shock absorbers that cushioned blows in the past are no longer working." - WSJ
  • Nicole Gelinas: "A free-market fix to the nation's housing hangover" - LA Times

Conservative group calls on Congress to suspend NIH grants after China receives $90 million

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.21.06 "A conservative group is calling on Congress to temporarily suspend funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) after releasing a study that found the agency wasted half a billion dollars in taxpayer money on "bizarre projects," and gave more than $90 million to China, America’s largest creditor, over the last decade for other research. The Traditional Values Coalition, which represents 43,000 churches across the country, sent a letter to Appropriations Committees in both houses of Congress this week urging them to freeze funding for six months while investigating the agency’s research practices that are "striking working families across America as wasteful, illicit, and in many cases outright offensive." As part of its six-month investigation into NIH’s budget, the coalition discovered that the agency awarded more than $90 million to the Chinese government over the last decade, including $30 million in the last two and half years alone to scientists working at Chinese universities and institutions to research medical issues that affect Chinese citizens." - Fox News

US commanders in Afghanistan reluctant to leave as drawdown approaches - Washington Post

Tea party support not a given for Perry

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.33.19 "Rick Perry was with the tea party before the tea party wielded any clout. The Texas governor publicized and attended the 2009 Tax Day "tea parties" that launched the movement created to rein in government, becoming one of the first and most prominent governors to do so. But his early embrace of the movement may not be enough to vault him to the top of the tea party heap if he decides to enter the 2012 presidential race. As a late-announcing candidate, Perry would face a tough fight for tea party supremacy with candidates who have been running for president — or courting national tea party activists — for years." - Houston Chronicle

Sarah Palin says Perry has yet to be 'vetted' - Burns & Haberman on Politico

Bachmann attempts to broaden her appeal

"With the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa drawing near, she attempts to transform herself from a niche candidate favored by a sliver of the GOP electorate into a plausible general election competitor." - LA Times

"In toasty Iowa, Pawlenty pushes hockey jerseys" - Washington Wire in the WSJ

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 13.45.46Other news in brief:

  • "The Assad regime launches major attacks in four cities in its latest bid to crush a growing pro-democracy movement. One source says 24 have been killed so far in Hama." - LA Times
  • "The enduring lesson for a post-Sept. 11 world: America's work force plays a crucial role in preventing potential terrorist attacks." - USA Today
  • Bush, Obama in NYC on Sept. 11 - Politico
  • "The NAACP plans a big push to increase minority turnout in the 2012 elections, hoping to gain political influence." - USA Today

Also in opinion:

  • George Will: "Two libertarian authors predict a revolution" - Washington Post
  • Debra J. Saunders: "In this brave new world, girls disappear" - SF Chronicle

Sunday morning viewing schedule - New York Times' The Caucus blog



Jul 30, 2011 8:46:14 AM

Newslinks for Saturday July 30, 2011

6:00pm Opinion: Stephen Kokx: Washington style honesty

5:30pm Video:

5:00pm A day after the Senate voted down a House-written debt limit increase, the House Republicans return the favor

2:30pm The Republican: Senate Republicans slam the Reid plan

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 18.40.10 1:30pm The Republican: Want to know what $15 trillion looks like?

1:00pm House Speaker John Boehner: At moments like this, the arrogance of Washington is most evident not in its actions, but in its inaction

11:15am Video: A plus for the pizza guy: Debt stalemate yields profits for Washington business

11:00am Rep. Randy J. Forbes: Cut the debt, but don’t undercut our military

9:15am Republican Weekly Address: Sen. Jon Kyl: It's clear that Democrats in Washington did not view this crisis as an opportunity to rein in spending, but rather an opportunity to impose huge tax increases on American families and small businesses

Video: From 'no' to 'yes': Rep. Jeff Flake explains why he changed his stance on the Boehner plan

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.20.59 The debt battles continues into the weekend as the Senate swiftly blocks the Boehner plan

  • "House Republicans muscled through a revised plan, but it was quickly dispatched by Senate Democrats, setting the stage for an uncertain 72 hours as the deadline approaches." - New York TImes | Washington Post | Roll Call ($)
  • "Boehner was able to bring his caucus together over the debt bill, but some colleagues are angry at the Republican House members who forced the speaker to abandon what they thought was the party's best chance to rein in federal spending." - WSJ
  • Obama: House Republicans wasted 'precious days' with Boehner plan - The Hill
  • Steve Chapman: "The debt ceiling fight has been long and exhausting, but it will have a big payoff. After it's finally resolved — with the Boehner plan or the Reid plan or something else — we will have confronted our budget crisis, made tough choices and forced the federal government to live within its means. That's right. And I'm Katy Perry." - Chicago Tribune

Yesterday on The Republican: Boehner's plan actually cuts more than Reid's, says the CBO, just hours before the Boehner vote

"The decision to add a balanced budget amendment requirement to the House debt ceiling plan may have won over several conservative organizations on Friday, but tea party activists and their beltway cheerleaders remained staunchly opposed." - Roll Call ($)

  • Boehner plan receives 22 GOP 'no's' in the House - The Hill
  • Fred Barnes: "For House speaker John Boehner, Tea Party Republicans weren’t the problem as he sought support for a package of spending cuts attached to an increase in the debt limit. The biggest impediment to a House majority was Republicans fearful a primary opponent would use a vote to boost the debt limit against them." - The Weekly Standard

Reid, McConnell feud prevents Friday night vote on debt ceiling

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.05.50 "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) late Friday night clashed over when to vote on Reid's debt ceiling plan, as McConnell said Republicans would support an immediate vote, but Reid objected to the Republican demand for a 60-vote threshold for passage. Just before Reid filed cloture on his bill, McConnell said House Republicans are planning a 1 p.m. vote Saturday on the Reid proposal, and said he would be "more than happy" to allow the Senate to vote before, on Friday night. In response, Reid said Democrats would be happy to vote Friday if the Senate can approve it by majority vote, "just like the House" voted earlier in the day. Reid here was essentially asking Republicans to drop the threat of filibuster, by which they would force a 60-vote supermajority on cloture and allow the Senate to proceed to the bill." - The Hill

...leaving the Senate with a 1:00 am vote on Sunday

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.13.43 "The Senate is driving toward a climactic and dramatic vote at 1 a.m. Sunday that could determine whether a bipartisan deal to raise the nation’s legal borrowing limit is possible or a government default is likely. What that deal might look was still deeply uncertain Friday, but talks were underway between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate about methods to circumvent some of the chamber’s most cumbersome procedures to allow the Senate to act more quickly if a compromise is reached. Speedier action would require unanimous agreement from all senators, including conservatives who have vowed not to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval of a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, and it wasn’t clear that would be forthcoming." - Washington Post

  • "House Republicans will bring up Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s debt limit package Saturday just to vote it down, an attempt to show that the legislation is dead in the lower chamber, according to GOP leadership sources." - Politico | The Hill
  • Senator McConnell likely holds the key to a deal - WSJ
  • "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has revised his plan to raise the debt limit in a last-ditch bid to attract Republican support. The biggest change is that Reid would give the president almost unilateral power to raise the debt limit, borrowing an idea introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)." - The Hill
  • A look at where common ground exists in debt-ceiling talks - Christian Science Monitor

Democrats revive 14th Amendment option - Washington Post

How the world sees the US debt crisis - CNN

"The absence of leadership in the West is frightening—and also rather familiar" - The Economist

President debt ceiling spam prompts an 'unfollow Friday' on Twitter

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.06.40 "Barack Obama generated a flurry of activity on Twitter Friday when he urged his more than 9 million followers to tweet at their congressional representatives to push for a compromise on the debt ceiling battle. While some responded to the call, many others celebrated "Unfollow Friday." Throughout the day, the @BarackObama account tweeted the account names of Republican Congress members at a rapid pace. In about six hours, the account sent more than 100 tweets. Several Twitter users expressed their annoyance and unfollowed the president's account. The account had lost more than 35,000 followers by 5 p.m. Pacific time. "I'm going to unfollow @BarackObama. You're blowing up my feed, shouldn't you be...idk, running the country or something? #cain2012," wrote Twitter user @Lguyton08." - LA Times

  • Peter Ferrara: "President Obama is no longer tethered to reality" - Forbes
  • Byron York: "Republican lawmakers are frustrated about a lot of things these days. Being unfairly accused of refusing to compromise is probably not at the top of the list, but it's giving the GOP a new lesson -- as if any were needed -- of how the White House fights." - Washington Examiner

Yesterday on Video: Peggy Noonan explains why she thinks Obama has been a "loser" during the debt talks

Unions launch ad war against the GOP

"Three major labor unions and a pro-labor outside group will run attack ads this weekend on Republican House members for blocking a deal to raise the debt ceiling. The campaign is backed by some of the biggest names in organized labor — American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Service Employees International Union; National Education Association; and the activist group Americans United for Change. The ad buy, which falls in the “low six-figures” according a group spokesman, will run Friday through Monday on local networks against Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.), Majority Leader Eric Cantor and six House Republicans, some of whom are top targets for Democrats in 2012." - WSJ

US experienced 'tepid' growth in spring quarter

"The economy inched ahead at a 1.3 percent annual growth rate last spring, held back by soaring gasoline prices and disruptions in manufacturing caused by the March earthquake/tsunami in Japan. The tepid growth rate reported by the Commerce Department Friday morning follows an even more paltry performance of 0.4 percent growth in the first quarter — making the first half of the year the worst since the Great Recession." - Washington Times

> Yesterday on The Republican: Top economic bloggers grow pessimistic, see government's over-involvement in our economy as a big part of our economic malaise

Governor Nikki Haley rejects NAACP push to remove confederate flag

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.07.35 "South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley isn't retreating from her decision to keep the Confederate flag atop the north end of the Statehouse in Columbia despite complaints from the NAACP, whose president this week said the ethnic minority governor is a "contradiction" for allowing the flag to fly. Speaking to a crowd at an NAACP national conference in Los Angeles on Monday, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous attempted to shame Haley into removing the flag by comparing African American slavery to oppression Haley's ancestors in India faced under British rule." - Fox News

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

  • Tim Pawlenty aims for a strong showing in Iowa - USA Today
  • Huntsman takes aim at Obama, Romney for lacking leadership - Politico
  • "Texas Gov. Rick Perry urged conservatives Friday to “push more liberals into the private sector” in the 2012 election - including the president - but the oft-mentioned potential presidential candidate declined to say whether he had decided to enter the race himself." - Washington Times

"California's new district lines would make some constituencies more moderate rather than distinctly red or blue." - LA Times

"The California Citizens Redistricting Commission approved new district lines Friday, setting off what is expected to be more competitive Congressional races than the state has seen in decades." - Roll Call ($)

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.12.08 Judge prohibits Texas from denying driver's licenses to legal immigrants

"A judge this week ruled this week that Texas can no longer deny driver's licenses to legal immigrants with temporary visas and must issue standard licenses instead of non-standard ones approved by a state panel three years ago. Judge Orlinda Naranjo said in a ruling Wednesday that the Texas Department of Public Safety exceeded its legal authority when it adopted a policy in 2008 as part of a crackdown on identity theft and fraud that requires immigrants applying for driver's licenses to prove they're in the country legally." - Fox News

Other news in brief:

  • "Federal prosecutors formally charged an AWOL Army soldier with possession of an unregistered destructive device in an alleged plot to set off two bombs at a popular restaurant in Killeen, Texas, that is frequently patronized by soldiers stationed at nearby Ft. Hood." - LA Times
  • Top Libya rebel shot by 'Islamist militia' - BBC News
  • Judge orders Nixon Watergate testimony 'unsealed' - Washington Post
  • Thomas Joscelyn: Treasury exposes 'secret deal' between Iran and Al Qaeda - The Weekly Standard



Jul 29, 2011 6:56:07 AM

Newslinks for Friday July 29, 2011

Screen shot 2011-07-29 at 7.16.00 PM 7:15pm The Republican: The $917 billion man: Boehner gets his bill, gives Harry Reid his own headaches to deal with, and reminds Democrats we're in a crisis of their making

6:30pm The Republican: Boehner's plan actually cuts more than Reid's, says the CBO, just hours before the Boehner vote

3:15pm The Republican: Obama's approval rating hits a new low: That'll affect how he treats whatever debt bill reaches his desk

2:30pm The Republican: Trying to keep current on what's actually in the new the Boehner bill? Here you go, straight from the GOP Conference...

2:00pm The Republican: Top economic bloggers grow pessimistic, see government's over-involvement in our economy as a big part of our economic malaise

Screen shot 2011-07-29 at 11.47.39 AM11:30am Videos:

11:15am The Republican: Obama the Only Adult in the Room just gave another insincere and cynical speech: Here are three examples why


Ryan Streeter at The Republican: This has been a good week for Republicans in the polls: The GOP is looking older, younger, and more independent (UPDATED 3:45pm)

Boehner still short of votes as hardline GOPers demand deeper cuts

[HotAir is calling it 'Boehnergeddon']

"Boehner faces the biggest test of his speakership Friday morning as he tries to resuscitate a monumental debt-limit bill that was forced from the floor Thursday night because Republican leaders hadn’t lined up enough votes to pass it." - Politico

Tea Party Freshmen are still demanding more deficit reduction and harder limits on future spending than the speaker's bill offers, threatening any possibility that Boehner can turn the GOP conference into a reliable governing majority - WSJ

  • Handy New York Times table comparing the House and Senate plans.
  • Cato: Boehner’s New Plan Doesn’t Cut Spending: "The “cuts” in the Boehner plan are only cuts from the CBO baseline, which is an assumed path of constantly rising spending."

> Last night's Republican: What a Boehner!

In an editorial the Wall Street Journal warns "the unrealistic wing of the conservative movement" that it is overplaying its hand - WSJ editorial

Krauthammer In his Washington Post column Charles Krauthammer warns conservatives that they can't achieve all of their goals until a Republican is elected to the White House.

Jennifer Rubin calls the hardline GOPers "buckets of crazy" and the "burn-the-building-down set" - Washington Post

Bachmann, Paul and Palin lead the opposition

Bachmann still opposes higher debt ceiling - Washington Post

Bachmann opposes Boehner plan because it doesn't repeal Obamacare - American Spectator

"Rep. Ron Paul has blasted top House Republicans for a lack of leadership, and called on supporters to pressure top GOP officials not to “cut a backroom deal with President Obama.”" - Daily Caller

"Without explicitly saying that House Republicans should reject the Boehner plan, Sarah Palin pens a menacing Facebook missive telling first-term lawmakers: "Everyone I talk to still believes in contested primaries." - Politico | Fox

Sharron Angle and Joe Walsh attack McCain for likening hardline Tea Partiers to "hobbits"

Sharron-Angle ""This man campaigned for Tea Party support in his last re-election," Angle said Thursday in a statement. "It is regrettable that a man seeking dialogue, action and cooperation for votes on the floor of the United States Senate has only one strategy to achieve that effort: name-calling. Nice." She added that "as in the fable, it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land." Angle said McCain "brings no new ideas to the Senate floor."" - Quoted by Roll Call

"Folks like Sen. John McCain have been in this town for too long and they're the ones who have gotten us into this mess year after year after year," the Illinois congressman [Joe Walsh] said Thursday on "CNN Newsroom." "Folks like him … have no clue as to the troubles Americans are going through right now. They don't understand this crisis anymore." - CNN

Joe Klein: Republicans are more dangerous than Osama bin Laden ever was - TIME

And why are no House Democrats helping Boehner?

"Let’s start with the House Democrats, who are content to make a political statement and sit on their hands. That means that the Boehner plan must pass with only Republican votes and Democrats don’t care if financial markets melt down tomorrow morning (they will). Add to this list the White House. Are they whipping Democrats to vote for the Boehner plan, move a legislative vehicle to the House, soothe financial markets, and work to a better (in their eyes) legislative outcome in the Senate? No; that’s called governing. Instead, they are pushing a Reid proposal that will never get 60 votes in the Senate." - Douglas Holtz-Eakin for NRO

McConnell II But if you want some optimism?

  • "Unlike the House, which has been enmeshed in intraparty warfare, Democratic leader Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican, have continued to hold back-channel discussions about a possible compromise." - FT ($)
  • 10 things that point to a debt ceiling deal by Toby Harnden for The Telegraph
  • And: Michael Tomasky asks why President Obama won’t do what he needs to do and raise the debt ceiling unilaterally - Daily Beast

What is the public making of the debt ceiling debate?

"Americans don't like the way President Obama or the top leaders in Congress are handling the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. But they're more likely to give positive marks to Obama than to House Speaker John Boehner or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."

HOWEVER, at the Washington Examiner Michael Barone says comparisons between a named President and a group always flatter the President.

Also this from Nate Silver: "The fact that so few Republicans who face competitive general elections have defied Mr. Boehner implies that Republicans perceive public opinion among the broader electorate to be on the side of action to raise the debt ceiling."

John Huntsman 2012 in Brief:

  • GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman lamented what he called the nation’s “heroin-like addiction” to foreign oil imports Thursday, calling for policies that boost alternative-fuel vehicles and energy technology research - The Hill
  • Rick Perry under fire for putting state rights before socially conservative values - LA Times
  • Republican support for same-sex marriage has jumped 8 percent since 2006 - Commentary
  • Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was hospitalized Thursday morning after he complained of difficulty breathing - Washington Times

Peggy Noonan: Hardly anyone loves Obama

Noonan Peggy "At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support." - Peggy Noonan in the WSJ

Pew finds deepening disappointment with Obama: "A majority (54%) disapprove of Obama’s performance for the first time in his presidency. His approval among independents has slipped to 36% from 42% last month and 49% in late May."

Why is the Left so frustrated with Obama?

"The problem for the left is that the very qualities that enabled Obama to win in 2008 have kept him from being the savior they have long dreamed of.  The advantage of having a great filibusterer is that you can’t pin him down; the disadvantage is that he does not like to push his own plans. The stimulus bill was not his plan. Neither was cap-and-trade or the health care bill. He blasted the very tax deal he agreed to last December. This year he submitted a budget, then walked it back, and didn’t replace it with anything. And most recently in the debt ceiling fight, there is no Obama plan. Why? Because Obama doesn’t do plans." - Jay Cost for The Weekly Standard

Congressmen are hosting hundreds of fund-raising events in the weeks surrounding the deficit fight, including some tied specifically to the battle over the debt ceiling - WSJ

The media praises far-left politicians while demonizing advocates of limited government - Reason

New York Times compares life in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan - New York Times

Has NASA killed the global warming industry? - PowerLine

"U.S. intelligence has apparently concluded that Moscow was behind last September's bombing of the U.S. Embassy in the nation of Georgia. But the Obama administration still thinks Russia is our friend." - IBD

And finally... Is Boehner planning revenge on Tea Party hardliner, Jim Jordan?

200px-Jimjordanofficialphoto "House Speaker John Boehner knows how to play hardball. One day after conservative House Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was reamed out by party leadership for working to undermine Boehner's deficit reduction bill, the Speaker's allies back home are fighting back by trying to draw him out of his seat. The Columbus Dispatch reports that two Ohio Republicans close to the redistricting process are now seriously considering altering his district so he'd have to run in a much less-friendly seat." - Hotline



Jul 28, 2011 7:01:53 AM

Newslinks for Thursday July 28, 2011

Screen shot 2011-07-28 at 11.04.55 PM 10:45pm The Republican: What a Boehner! The Speaker cancels the vote tonight as the GOP can't wrangle enough support the debt plan

6:30pm Taking-aim-at-Obama videos:

Screen shot 2011-07-28 at 3.57.56 PM3:45pm The Republican: Now this is interesting: Thinking Republicans like Perry, those who don't think too much like Romney

2:45pm The Republican: Aspiration nation update: The recovery hasn't been kind to the middle class

1:15pm Video: Pence is in: The Tea Party favorite and former RSC chairman announces support for the Boehner plan

12:15pm The Republican: If Boehner loses, the GOP loses

Obama Unhappy10:15am The Republican: More bad news for Obama: Americans really - no, REALLY - don't like his health care law

10:00am The Republican: Mitch Daniels: Support the Boehner plan, don't commit "financial suicide"

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Aspiration Nation: What’s it going to take to make America’s economy something we can be proud of again?

Video: Christie slams Obama's failure to propose his own debt ceiling solution: You Can't Lead From Behind 

Boehner gets tougher with GOP congressmen


  • "In a closed-door Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Boehner demanded his wavering members “get your ass in line” to back his proposal, and some members obliged." - Politico
  • The New York Times reports that he told his caucus that “I didn’t put my neck on the line and go toe to toe with Obama to not have an army behind me.”
  • How Boehner got a fractured GOP to back his plan with face-to-face meetings - NPR

But...the entire Senate Dem caucus vows to oppose Boehner debt plan - The Hill | AllahPundit

  • "House Republicans and Senate Democrats gained substantial support on Wednesday within party ranks for their separate plans to resolve a looming debt crisis, but the momentum seemed to be pushing both sides further from a compromise." - New York Times
  • NRO notes that the language is getting less and less civil: "We began the day with Steny Hoyer accusing Republicans of “shooting” “bullets” and end the day with Debbie Wasserman Schultz talking about the GOP “dictatorship”?"

A reminder of the Boehner plan...

"Mr. Boehner's plan would raise the debt limit by $900 billion now, while cutting $917 billion in spending, and then raise the debt limit by as much as $1.6 trillion next year if lawmakers agree to at least $1.8 trillion in additional spending cuts. President Barack Obama opposes that approach; he wants Congress to raise the debt ceiling once, by an amount large enough to carry the government through 2012, which would avoid another rancorous debate during the election year." - WSJ

Fellow Ohioan Jim Jordan is Boehner's biggest GOP opponent

200px-Jimjordanofficialphoto"Mr. Boehner released his plan Monday to raise the debt ceiling while cutting $3 trillion in spending over 10 years. Mr. Jordan backs an alternative that includes Congress passing a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution as a condition of raising the debt ceiling." - WSJ | Yesterday's Jordan video

  • "Apparently, the same GOP leadership that’s telling conservatives to get their “asses in line” has a problem with conservative activists trying to hold THEIR asses accountable for the Tea Party principles they rode to 2010 midterm victory." - Michelle Malkin
  • But outside Washington some Tea Party feeling is running high and wild: “Boehner must go,” Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said in his blog on Wednesday, calling the speaker a “big government Republican” who “worships at the altar of massive spending.” (Fox has more).
  • Tea Party brings Big Demands, Small Crowd to Hill in bid to maintain pressure - NPR

McCain attacks GOP's budget hardliners

McCain John "John McCain, the Arizona senator and former presidential candidate, berated lawmakers from his own Republican party on Wednesday as an internal feud over the debt ceiling impasse reached new heights.
“What is really amazing about this is that some members are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution in this body with its present representation,” Mr McCain said in a speech on the floor of the upper chamber of Congress. “That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving many of our constituents.”" - FT ($)

Now Senate Democrats' budget plan is marked down by Congressional Budget Office - WSJ

Toby Harnden: Republicans MUST do a debt ceiling deal

"Do Republicans seriously think that most Americans will blame Obama if Congress doesn’t even send him a bill and America defaults? As the WSJ editorial board argues, to fail to produce a bill would be to hand Obama a political victory he does not deserve – and perhaps even help re-elect him." - Toby Harnden in The Telegraph

USA Today: Conservatives have strayed from the Reagan model

REAGAN RONALD What would Reagan do? USA Today answers: "The answer, based on a fair-minded reading of Reagan's record as president, is this: He would raise the debt ceiling. He would agree to tax increases as part of a balanced package to rein in deficits. And all this would be accomplished by compromising with the Democrats after tough but civil negotiations."

No, says the Heritage Foundation's Lee Edwards, Reagan would approve of Cut, Cap and Balance - USA Today

"What would President Reagan do in the debt limit battle? That’s unknowable, but we do know what his goal would be: get the best deal possible under the circumstances. Reagan never let the perfect or the unattainable keep him from achieving the good." - Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard

Millionaires and billionaires pay a higher share of their income in taxes than the middle class - Stephen Moore for the WSJ

Democrats question Obama's "sudden embrace of GOP budget-slashing over his party’s time-honored priorities of job creation and economic equality"

Donkey “We’ve allowed the center to be shifted to the right in terms of the debate that’s taken place,” said Ted Strickland, the former Democratic governor of Ohio who was swept away in the 2010 midterm tea party wave." - Politico

  • E J Dionne: The difference between moderation and centrism in politics - RCP

"The White House is waging an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to reassure core Democratic activists, following weeks of criticism from liberals who fear that President Obama has given too much ground in his debt-ceiling talks with Republicans. Senior aides are holding conference calls to take questions from leaders of black and Hispanic organizations, local elected officials, and other political allies nationwide." - Washington Post | The Hill

2012-RACE 2012 In Brief:

  • Romney accuses Obama of failing to tackle China on currency manipulation and trade - WSJ
  • Sarah Palin to keynote September 'tea party' gathering in Iowa - LA Times
  • Cain is apologizing to Muslim leaders for vitriolic remarks he made about Islam while campaigning for the presidential nomination - USA Today
  • "Romney leads the pack for the GOP nomination with 17% of the Republican vote in the Gallup survey, but Perry is essentially right there with the former Massachusetts governor with 15%. Sarah Palin comes in next, with 12%." - USA Today | Washington Examiner
  • "DeMint said in an interview Monday that he is trying to get conservatives in states that will hold early presidential contests - his home state, Iowa, New Hampshire 'and maybe Florida' - behind one presidential candidate. He said he's urging them to 'hold their endorsements' so they can first screen the candidates and try to get behind the same one." - National Journal
  • Ron Paul supporters know he has little chance of becoming the next president, but they say his third bid for the job is about tilting GOP in libertarian direction - Washington Times
  • "Poor Karl Rove. He masterminded George W. Bush's rise to the White House in 2000, but a decade later, can't seem to find a credible GOP presidential candidate to support. What's a Republican kingmaker to do?" - Guardian

Some foreign policy opinion:

  • Iran and Turkey now have more influence and they are taking advantage of what the U.S. has sacrificed for in Iraq - Marisa Cochrane Sullivan in the WSJ
  • At Shadow Government Will Inboden sets out how the GOP should attack Obama's foreign policy.
  • Will the massacre in Norway weaken extreme sentiments, in the same way the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 weakened extreme anti-government movements in the U.S. in the years that followed? - New York Times

And finally...


The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2011 is headed by a Republican, Amy Cheng



Jul 27, 2011 6:58:58 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday July 27, 2011

6:15pm Video: Rep. Allen West: Boehner's plan works

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 20.52.58 3:45pm Ryan Streeter on The Enterprise Blog: Study on racial wealth gap has a colorblind tale of loss in business equity

3:30pm The Republican: What would voters do?

3:00pm Former Ambassador John Bolton: Finding out what defeat looks like isn't worth the risk - support the Boehner plan

1:45pm Video: Markets believe the US can pay its interest: Steve Forbes weighs in on why there hasn't been fluctuation in response to the ongoing debt gridlock

1:30pm The Republican: Keep Paul Teller in his job: As tempers flare among Republicans, House leaders threaten to alienate the grassroots

12:15pm The Republican: Amid the debt mess, congressional approval reaches a new low

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 20.04.37 12:00pm Video: A vocal critic of the Boehner debt plan, Rep. Jim Jordan explains why he believes 'Cut, Cap, Balance' is the country's only option

11:45am Rep. Mike Turner: I do not wish to see future generations working to pay off the debt of past generations - the time has come to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment

10:15am Video: 

7:45am The Republican: Is Rick Perry doing TOO well in the polls right now?

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: House Republicans stand the best chance of getting what they want by voting for what they don’t want

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 15.14.55 Vote on Boehner plan delayed due to opposition - New York Times

"House Republicans delayed by at least a day a floor vote on their package to raise the debt ceiling, the latest challenge facing Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders as they try to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. The decision to move the vote to Thursday or beyond came after the Congressional Budget Office reported late Tuesday night that the package Boehner crafted would only reduce deficits by $850 billion, $150 billion short of the speaker’s goal of $ 1 trillion in budget and spending cuts. House Republican leadership aides were looking for ways to revise the bill to address the shortfall. This could include either lowering the borrowing authority Congress approves, or recommending additional spending cuts. GOP aides said the first option is more likely. The United States is projected to default on its debt Aug. 2, according to the Treasury Department." - Politico

  • "Judging by their rival plans, both sides appear to have substantially conceded. The big question is whether these concessions constitute reasoned compromises or weary capitulation." - Washington Post
  • GOP freshmen split over debt limit plans - Politico
  • Some GOP 2012ers mum on Boehner deficit plan - Washington Wire on the WSJ
  • Editorial: "Boehner's bill forces the pols to face our enormous debt in an election year. Good." - Chicago Tribune

Yesterday on Video: Senator Rand Paul slams Boehner, Reid debt plans

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.40.37House Speaker John Boehner plans to rework his two-step plan to raise the debt ceiling after the Congressional Budget Office found the bill would not cut as much spending as promised - The Hill | Washington Examiner

Meanwhile, "a question that keeps popping up in the drama over the debt limit is whether the Obama administration has a plan of its own." - Chicago Tribune

Americans swamp lawmakers with calls, emails about the debt limit

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.35.12 "Congressional offices were deluged with feedback Tuesday after President Obama urged Americans to make their voices heard on the gridlocked debt ceiling debate. Moments after dueling prime-time speeches by the president and Republican Speaker of the House John A. Boehner on Monday night, several congressional websites were overloaded with traffic. A day later, some were still slow to load, if they did at all. On Tuesday morning, the Capitol call center said in a memo that House telephone circuits were "near capacity" due to the high volume of incoming calls. A spokesman for the office of the chief administrative officer said that at the peak, House offices received a combined 40,000 calls in an hour — twice the typical volume. Some callers got a busy signal, but the number was not significant, spokesman Dan Weiser said. The sluggishness of some House websites was attributable to outside Internet providers used by some members, he said."- LA TimesUSA Today

Yesterday on The Republican: Unsurprisingly, economic confidence falls sharply among Americans

White House on budget-talk secrecy: ‘That’s how it works’

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.39.30 "The White House is facing questions about the lack of disclosure of President Obama’s budget negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner. Its defense sounds like something that candidate Barack Obama would not have accepted: That’s the way Washington works. “The reason why we’ve approached it this way is precisely to make it — to create the optimum circumstances for a compromise,” White House press secretary  Jay Carney said Tuesday when asked why the White House hadn’t released on paper the plan Mr. Obama was negotiating with Mr. Boehner." - Washington Wire on the WSJ

Editorial: "Demagoguery is not leadership, Mr. President" - Washington Examiner

"President’s address may help tilt lawmakers towards a plan to raise the debt ceiling crafted by Harry Reid, but it will still fuel a perception of weakness" - FT ($) 

Wall Street scrambles as debt deadline nears

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.41.36 "Wall Street has tried to ignore the threat posed by Washington failing to raise the debt ceiling. No more. Business executives stepped up appeals this week for political action, worried that the nation faced a crisis, and prepared contingency plans in case the stalemate persists. At Wall Street banks and investment firms, many traders are putting vacation plans on hold so they can be at their desks Aug. 2. "Trading floors Street-wide are unusually well populated for this time of year," said Peter Kenny, a trader at Knight Capital Group. "You will see very few people on vacation." The Dow Jones industrial average fell for a third day in a row Tuesday, the dollar slumped and gold hit a new high amid increasing jitters that President Obama and Congress won't reach an accord to lift the debt ceiling in time." - LA Times

  • "Experts say it won't be clear how big of a problem a credit downgrade would be until markets react." - NPR
  • "If the United States’ credit rating drops because of a standoff over government spending, experts said borrowing costs, business confidence and job creation could all be affected." - New York Times

3,700 post offices targeted for closure

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.36.24 "The U.S. Postal Service is targeting 3,700 post offices across the country that could be closed, the largest downsizing in the history of the money-losing agency. The unprofitable stations, branches and main offices that could be shuttered starting in January account for about 11 percent of the Postal Service’s retail operations. In the Washington area, 32 post offices could be jettisoned, from those servicing Congress in the U.S. Capitol to ones in Silver Spring and downtown Leesburg. Another 124 elsewhere in Maryland and Virginia are on the list, with the rest are scattered across 47 other states. The local post office with an American flag flying overhead has helped define communities — rural, suburban and urban — in many of these areas for more than two centuries. The Postal Service hopes the contraction will save $200 million a year. That does not come close to recouping the $8 billion the agency is expected to lose for the second year running as it fights plummeting mail volume. But postal officials said they intend to review half of their network of 32,000 post offices for closure in the next decade as they try to slash labor costs." - Washington Post

Editorial: Allow Postal Service to make tough choices - USA Today

Michael Barone: Under Obama, Millennials move into the GOP column

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.50.20 "Instead of allowing Millennials space in which they can choose their own futures, the Obama Democrats' policies have produced a low-growth economy in which their alternatives are limited and they are forced to make do with what they can scrounge. There is little evidence that the Millennials believe their plight can be relieved and opportunities opened up by slapping higher taxes on Bill Gates and Steve Jobs or by restricting deductions for corporate jets, as Barack Obama urged in his Monday night speech calling for tax increases (although Senate Democrats gave up on them) in debt-ceiling legislation. The intended purpose of legislation like the stimulus package and Obamacare was to improve the situations of those least able to take care of themselves -- the young, the less educated, the low-skilled. But it is just such groups that, the Pew Research Center numbers show, have been moving away from the president's party. An instructive achievement, no?" - Washington Examiner

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

  • Although a critic of the program, Bachmann benefitted from federal home loan program - Washington Post
  • Huntsman attempts to 'reboot' in New Hampshire - Washington Post
  • Romney to discuss economy at Ohio campaign stop - Boston Globe
  • "A member of Tim Pawlenty's New Hampshire steering committee has abandoned the campaign, complaining the former Minnesota governor hadn't done what's needed to win the first-in-the-nation primary." - CNN's PoliticalTicker blog

"A Texas lawmaker is calling for a congressional investigation of the Houston National Cemetery after he went undercover and determined that cemetery officials are still preventing Christian prayers at the funerals of military veterans." - Fox News

14 female US senators urge Saudi King to overturn driving ban on women

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 11.38.15 "A bipartisan group of 14 female senators are urging the king of Saudi Arabia to lift the country’s ban on women driving amid an international outcry after a woman was detained for posting a video of herself driving. The group, led by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Mary Landrieu, D-La., sent a letter Tuesday that included two Republican women – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine – though no men. In the letter, the senators wrote, "We strongly believe it is time to abolish the prohibition on women driving once and for all, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s role as a newly elected member of the board of U.N. Women – an entity dedicated to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide." - Fox News

Flurry of pressure preceded Representative David Wu’s resignation - Roll Call ($)

"With Rep. David Wu set to resign his post following allegations of sexual misconduct, Democrats were optimistic Tuesday they would keep hold of his Oregon seat in an upcoming special election." - LA Times

> Yesterday on The Republican: In the wake of allegations, Democrat David Wu resigns

Other news in brief:

  • "The mayor of the Afghan city of Kandahar is killed in a suicide attack, a fortnight after the assassination of President Hamid Karzai's half-brother." - BBC News
  • "The White House is preparing to slightly soften its proposal on new fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, after weeks of talks with automakers lobbying for lower standards out of concern for the impact on their business." - LA Times
  • "President Obama's nomination of Matthew Olsen to lead the National Counterterrorism Center, is in jeopardy amid accusations that he misled a member of Congress when he was in charge of the administration’s Guantanamo task force to close the military detention camps in 2009." - Fox News

Editorial: "Government welfare widens the wealth gap" - IBD



Jul 26, 2011 7:01:17 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday July 26, 2011

9:45pm Video: Senator Rand Paul slams Boehner, Reid debt plans

4:30pm The Republican: The White House issues another veto threat (surprise, surprise)

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 21.04.47 4:00pm House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan: The Budget Control Act - a step forward but a long journey remains

2:45pm Rep. Lamar Alexander: Amnesty costs jobs

2:30pm The Republican: The Boehner plan: An early look at likely 'yeas' and 'nays'

2:00pm Video: Washington's 'Spenditol' addiction

1:45pm The Republican: Unsurprisingly, economic confidence falls sharply among Americans

1:30pm Reps. J. Randy Forbes, Michael Turner, Rob Bishop and Mike Conway: On the defense over defense cuts

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 18.55.07 1:15pm 'The president wants a compromise; the American people want a solution': Rep. Joe Walsh sees a larger goal in the debt debate

1:00pm The Republican: In the wake of allegations, Democrat David Wu resigns

10:30am Video:

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: As Washington debates how to increase America’s indebtedness, American families watch their wealth shrink: A lesson for lawmakers

Leaders take the debt debate to primetime as August 2 deadline draws closer - Washington Post | The Hill

David Brooks: "After the dream of a Grand Bargain officially died, the Old Guard in Washington has taken the reins and President Obama has faltered." - New York Times

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.44.54 Boehner on debt talks: 'I gave it my all'

"Seeking to blunt White House efforts to shift blame for a default crisis on Republicans, House Speaker John A. Boehner said that President Obama has failed to lead on cutting government spending and that his party will press ahead with its own plan to raise the debt ceiling. In a televised response to the president's address, Boehner said the GOP-controlled House has already moved through legislation to address the nation's deficit challenge, most recently the so-called "cut, cap and balance" plan. The Ohio Republican also said he "made a sincere effort" to work with Obama to reach an agreement that could pass both chambers of Congress. "I gave it my all," he said. But Obama insisted on a "blank check" for more spending, Boehner contended, saying that Obama's call for a "balanced approach" was just Washington speak that means "we spend more, you pay more."" - LA Times

"For House Republicans, the debt ceiling debate has come down to a simple question: Do they trust Speaker John Boehner?" - Roll Call ($)

Yesterday on The Republican: John Boehner's response to Obama's speech tonight

Prodding Congress to act, Obama warns of 'collateral damage' to nation in debt fight

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.45.38 "President Obama on Monday issued a grave warning against prolonging the current political stalemate and specifically called on the freshmen in the House Republican caucus to bring it to an end. In an evening address to the nation, Obama asked Americans to call their members of Congress and pressure them to raise the legal limit on the federal government's borrowing power so the country can pay its bills a week from now. Americans are fed up with a system in which compromise has become a "dirty word," Obama said, in a portion of his remarks aimed directly at conservative first-term members in the House. The economy will take a dangerous turn in the next few days if Republicans and Democrats don't end the conflict now, he said." - LA Times

Speeches by Obama, Boehner achieve political ends, but little else - Dan Balz on the Washington Post

Yesterday on The Republican: Republicans could do a lot better to talk, first, about jobs, and second, to do so with a moral richness and urgency

"House and Senate plans take tax hikes off the table but differ on amount of debt limit increase." -USA Today

  • GOP lawmaker compares Congress to Amy Winehouse - USA Today
  • Harry Reid's debt ceiling plan faces tough odds - Politico
  • Conservatives denounce Boehner plan - The Hill

Yesterday on The Republican: It looks like we're backing into the McConnell plan after all

"Financial markets began taking seriously the prospect of a downgrade of the U.S.'s triple-A credit rating, which it has held for nearly a century" - WSJ

Governors prepare for economic challenges

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.46.59 "State governments are bracing to be hit with new economic challenges no matter how the Washington debt-ceiling debate ends this week—whether in a U.S. government default, deficit-reduction deal, or debt downgrade. U.S. Treasury Department officials have warned repeatedly that Congress must raise the $14.29 trillion federal borrowing limit by Aug. 2 or the government could run out of cash to pay all its bills, including federal employee salaries, Social Security benefits, military pensions, contractor invoices, and payments to bond-holders." - WSJ

Yesterday on The Republican: Government collects voluntary gifts from citizens to pay down the debt...and then spends it

Report: ATF guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.47.54 "Weapons traced to a failed U.S. law enforcement operation that sought to take down violent Mexican drug cartels have been recovered at more than 48 different crime scenes in Mexico, including bloody kidnappings and gun battles that left more than a dozen Mexican police and cartel members dead last May, according to a new report by Republican congressional investigators. In one of the earliest discoveries, in 2009, authorities found more than three dozen AK-47s along the Southwest border in Sonora only one day after a straw buyer under surveillance by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had purchased the weapons at an Arizona gun shop, the report by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said." - NPR

Report: Republicans may be winning the social media war

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 12.00.03 "Republicans may have pulled ahead of Democrats in the race to dominate the social media landscape, according to a Congressional Management Foundation report released Tuesday. In a survey of 260 Congressional staffers between October and December of 2010, Democrats reported their offices spent too little time in online communications when compared with their Republican colleagues. A quarter to a third of Republican staffers reported their offices spent too little time on Facebook, Twitter and online town hall meetings, among others. But Democrats posted much higher numbers of discontent across the board, ranging from 32 to 42 percent. “In every single category of online activity, Democrats feel…that their office spends too little time on online communications,” Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of CMF, told The Hill." - The Hill

In Florida, Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads state presidential poll

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.43.20 "Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't officially a candidate for president, but the Republican leads a new Florida poll for the GOP nomination. Perry, who is likely to make a decision soon on the White House race, leads Republicans with 16% of the Florida vote, according to the survey by the American Research Group. The Texas governor is followed closely by Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, who both finished with 15%." - USA Today

  • "It increasingly appears likely the Texas governor will launch a White House run." - Politico
  • Perry’s 'Texas turnaround' sets stage for 2012 bid - Roll Call ($)
  • Michael Gerson: "It is Gov. Rick Perry’s main appeal as a presidential candidate that 48 percent of the nation’s job creation during the recovery has come in Texas. But his main message to America is not economic but constitutional." - Washington Post

Yesterday on The Republican: Dear elite media types: Before you write about Rick Perry, here are 8 things you should know

Bachmann skips 40 percent of votes since launching bid

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.42.31 "Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has missed nearly 40 percent of votes in the House since she formally launched her presidential campaign. Bachmann’s absentee rate, which is significantly higher than the two other House members running for president, could be used by her GOP opponents on the campaign trail. Bachmann, the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus who has surged toward the top of the Republican presidential field, has missed 50 of 135 votes since formally announcing her candidacy on June 27 in Waterloo, Iowa. Bachmann is one of three House members seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Both GOP Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) are waging long-shot bids for the party nod." - The Hill

Gingrich's personal finances: Tiffany's 'paid in full' - USA Today

Other news in brief:

  • "The UN World Food Programme is set to start airlifting food aid to Somalia, its director says at crisis talks on East Africa's drought." - BBC News
  • "The Obama administration on Monday lobbed economic sanctions against some of the world's most feared criminal organizations as part of an effort to economically cripple groups that pose a threat to the U.S." - WSJ
  • "The Federal Aviation Administration has stopped work on air travel infrastructure projects across the United States after Congress failed to pass legislation re-authorizing federal ticket taxes. The taxes fund the building airport facilities such as control towers and runways." - NPR

Debra J. Saunders: Norwegian crime and punishment

Screen shot 2011-07-26 at 11.55.53 "When a country's justice system dispenses with the death penalty, then life sentences, it has no mechanism to redress evil. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg actually used the word "evil" at a heartbreaking memorial service. Stoltenberg pledged that his country would respond to the evil with "more democracy, more openness, and more humanity, but never naivete." It's clear where he should start - eliminate the 21-year maximum sentence. In his manifesto, Breivik wrote, "Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike." Oslo police say that when they confronted him, he laid down his weapons and surrendered without a fight." - SF Chronicle



Jul 25, 2011 6:50:38 AM

Newslinks for Monday July 25, 2011

10:00pm John Boehner's response to Obama's speech tonight

5:30pm The Republican: It looks like we're backing into the McConnell plan after all

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 2.23.09 PM3:30pm The Republican: Republicans could do a lot better to talk, first, about jobs, and second, to do so with a moral richness and urgency

2:15pm The Republican: Government collects voluntary gifts from citizens to pay down the debt...and then spends it

1:00pm Maybe we need an UNbalanced budget amendment rather than a balanced budget amendment

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 1.00.54 PM 12:30pm Video:

11:45am The Republican: Dear elite media types: Before you write about Rick Perry, here are 8 things you should know

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Romney and Perry smile as Pawlenty and Bachmann feud

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 11.22.40 Strategies diverge as debt negotiations hit another hurdle - Washington Post

  • "As Sunday wore on, no deal emerged to avoid federal default and alarm in financial markets, and the two sides met separately - to discuss strategy instead of a tentative agreement." - LA Times
  • Obama has a few events on his public schedule, but none related to the debt ceiling negotiations. - 44 blog on Politico
  • Echoes of New York in 1975 as views harden - FT ($)
  • Clive Crook: "The debt-ceiling impasse is representative of the dysfunction in Washington where many areas of policymaking have all but shut down" - FT ($)
  • Geithner: ‘Grand bargain’ still possible - Political Intelligence blog on the Boston Globe

> Yesterday on Video: Sen. Mike Crapo 'beyond disappointed' at Senators for blocking 'Cut, Cap, Balance'

Democrats cool to Boehner's two-step debt-ceiling plan

"House Speaker John A. Boehner said he was still trying to unveil a bipartisan debt-limit deal Sunday afternoon, but acknowledged he didn't have Democrats onboard with a two-step proposal he has offered.  “We’re not there yet,” the Republican said in a morning interview on “Fox News Sunday.” Boehner and Democrats in Congress are stuck on the structure of the deficit-reduction plan needed to persuade rank-and-file Republicans to raise the debt limit.  If the limit isn’t raised by Aug. 2 the government will not be able to pay its bills. Boehner said Saturday that he wanted to announce a breakthrough in talks before the financial markets opened in Asia on Sunday." - LA Times

  • Boehner's office: Two-step process to raise debt ceiling now 'inevitable' - The Hill
  • Reid to offer $2.7T deficit cutting plan - The Hill

Yesterday on Video: Speaker Boehner weighs in on GOP debt plans: I would prefer to have a bipartisan approach to solve this problem. If that is not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 11.35.28 "Top officials intensified discussions about how they would handle the chaos in financial markets that could ensue if the debt ceiling weren't raised by Aug. 2." - WSJ

"With the debt limit talks at a stalemate, Wall Street and Washington have turned their attention to a critical question: How long will investors give them?" - New York Times

Tea Party bill would force Obama to pay Social Security, military if US defaults

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 11.24.07 "Tea Party conservatives hope to make a push on the House floor to force President Obama to avoid a national default if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. Members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus have met with House freshmen to discuss a plan to pressure House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring the Full Faith and Credit Act to the floor.  The legislation would direct Obama to prioritize federal payments to the nation’s creditors, Social Security recipients and soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bill has been revised since it was introduced earlier this year. The previous version simply required the Treasury Department to pay the principal and interest on the debt held by the public over other obligations incurred by the federal government.  The challenge for conservatives is to persuade Boehner to bring it up for a vote in the ten days remaining before the Aug. 2 deadline." - The Hill

Meanwhile, Americans take action

"As President Obama and Congress struggle to tame the nation’s runaway borrowing, a stream of checks, cash and even gold coins is pouring into a post office box in West Virginia where, for years, people who want to help pay down the national debt have been able to send gifts. “I love my country. I don’t want it in debt like this. I don’t want it having a financial crisis,” said Jane Olive, a retired teacher in Las Vegas who sent $100 to the PO box this month. But the contributions don’t specifically go to pay off existing debt. The government deposits them in the Treasury Department’s general fund, in essence the government’s main checking account." - Washington Post

  • Voters’ renewed anger at Washington spurs formation of third-party advocate groups - Chris Cillizza on the Washington Post
  • "The traveling public could unwittingly play a role in closing the budget deficit, as lawmakers weigh whether to hike airline fees as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling." - Fox News

Supporters see path to pass trade pacts soon

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 11.26.53 "Supporters of pending free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea are holding out hope that Congress might pass the measures before adjourning for the August recess, even as Capitol Hill remains fixated on the looming Aug. 2 deadline when the government bumps against its debt limit. Sens.Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Rob Portman (Ohio) told reporters Friday that they have satisfied President Barack Obama’s demand for assurance that the Senate would approve federal assistance for workers whose jobs disappear as a result of the trade deals. The two Republicans produced a letter with the names of a dozen GOP Senators who have committed to voting with the Democrats to kill any filibuster of such legislation. Passage of the free-trade agreements has been stymied by a disagreement between Obama and Congressional Republicans over the appropriation of money to assist displaced workers, called Trade Adjustment Assistance." - Roll Call ($)

Editorial: Possible showdown today on congressional oversight

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 11.30.56 "Those up-and-down negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on a debt-ceiling agreement aren't the only drama unfolding in the nation's capital. Monday morning, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of that panel's oversight subcommittee, will learn if Obama's senior appointees in the Office of Management and Budget are blinking or digging in for a pitched battle." - Washington Examiner

Dodd-Frank's winners: Revolving-door regulators - Washington Examiner

Campaign committees raise money off debt impasse

"While President Obama and members of Congress from both parties discuss a possible debt deal, their campaign committees are busy trying to raise money off the budget battle." - USA Today

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

  • Michele Bachmann finally strikes back at Tim Pawlenty - LA Times
  • "Republican Mitt Romney bills himself as a business-savvy job creator, but his presidential campaign will have to contend with the fact that Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation during his tenure as governor." - WSJ | Washington Times
  • McCotter goes it alone - Roll Call ($)

Yesterday on The Republican: With 75 in person appearances ahead of the Ames Straw Poll, Pawlenty and Santorum significantly outpace the rest of the GOP field when it comes to campaign outreach in Iowa

> Yesterday on Video: 2012 hopeful Tim Pawlenty discusses how he'd fix the economy by instituting a "flatter tax"

"A minute's silence is held in Norway to remember the people killed on Friday, as the attacker, Anders Behring Breivik, prepares to appear in court." - BBC News 

  • Ross Douthat: What does the right-wing ideology of the Norwegian man charged with mass murder mean for European politics? - New York Times
  • "The terror attacks that killed 93 in Oslo Friday, apparently carried out by an ultranationalist, has stunned Norway. Now the country wonders what security changes will be made." - Christian Science Monitor

Other news in brief:

  • "A Pentagon program to rush 21 helicopters to Afghan military forces in time for this summer’s fighting season was derailed by the Obama administration’s conciliatory policy toward Russia and by Army procurement missteps amid allegations of corruption, according to current and former defense officials and military contractors." - Washington Times
  • US invites N. Korean official to New York for talks - Washington Post

John E. Sununu: If you have to protect 3 million people from a brand-new law, it probably wasn’t very well written in the first place.

Screen shot 2011-07-25 at 11.28.27 "At one point during recent debt negotiations, President Obama laid down a list of “untouchable” budget items. Topping that list was anything having to do with implementing or enforcing the Health Care Reform Act. Ironically, the hard line came only after the Department of Health and Human Services regulators had issued waivers exempting 1,400 companies from the harsh effects of ObamaCare. Everyone knows that regulators write the rules. But the real power comes with the power to tell states, industries, or, as in this case, individual companies that they don’t have to comply. At about the same time, HHS began shutting down the waiver program - an action it announced on a Friday afternoon, the customary way to bury bad news in Washington. Companies now face a September deadline to apply for protection. After that, they’re out of luck. According to the administration, without the special treatment, health care premiums for 3 million workers would have gone up by 10 percent or more. A note to social engineers of all parties: If you have to protect 3 million people from a brand-new law, it probably wasn’t very well written in the first place." - Boston Globe



Jul 24, 2011 8:56:56 AM

Newslinks for Sunday July 24, 2011

10:15pm Video: Sen. Mike Crapo 'beyond disappointed' at Senators for blocking 'Cut, Cap, Balance'

6:15pm Ideas: A long term strategy for the future of NASA

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 22.42.17 5:00pm Video:

12:15pm The Republican: With 75 in person appearances ahead of the Ames Straw Poll, Pawlenty and Santorum significantly outpace the rest of the GOP field when it comes to campaign outreach in Iowa

10:45am Paul Goodman on ConHome UK: We are not all guilty of Norway's murders

10:30am Opinion: Rep. Raúl Labrador: Why a balanced budget amendment is necessary to save our nation

9:15am Video: Ron Paul weighs in on the debt ceiling 'blame game,' stressing that he is very 'annoyed' by President Obama's economic decisions Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.55.36

Congress ditches Obama as negotiators begin effort to salvage debt deal

"First came the Biden talks. When those blew up, the Obama-Boehner talks took center stage. And when that failed, the McConnell-Reid talks looked promising. And after they faltered, the Obama-Boehner talks tried to find a new life. Now it’s all come down to the Boehner-Reid-Pelosi-McConnell talks to solve the debt crisis. Notably absent? The president.That’s not to say Saturday’s congressional takeover went well. In a frantic bid to avoid causing a worldwide economic disruption, debt negotiations have shifted wholly to Capitol Hill, as a frustrated President Barack Obama has taken a step back and allowed House and Senate leaders to try to find a way out of the debt-ceiling debacle. After congressional leaders told Obama at the White House Saturday morning they would attempt to stave off the crisis before Asian markets open Sunday evening, leadership aides raced to put together a framework that both parties could support...In an extraordinary Saturday evening session in the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sat around negotiating, on their own turf, without White House aides present." - PoliticoLA Times | USA Today

  • "The two parties' leaders remained deadlocked Saturday night on the debt limit, with a two-tier proposal from Republicans failing to win Democratic backing and no clear path to averting the nation's first ever debt default." - Roll Call ($)
  • Acrimony engulfs Washington amid breakdown - FT ($)
  • "Republicans in House majority leader’s district deliver a mixed list of outcomes they hope for from debt talks." - Washington Post

Yesterday on The Republican: Want to know why the Boehner-Obama talks fell apart? Keith Hennessey explains

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.28.22 Boehner aims to release new debt plan Sunday afternoon - The Hill

"House Speaker John Boehner told his GOP colleagues Saturday that he hopes to roll out a two-step plan within the next 24 hours for raising the federal debt ceiling to avoid roiling Asian financial markets when they open Sunday." - Washington Post

...but GOP leaders find agreement alusive - Washington Post

Yesterday on Video: Herman Cain: Obama chose to let this crisis happen and is now pinning the blame on Boehner

Wall Street braces for credit downgrade

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.29.16 "Wall Street’s top concern is no longer that the United States will fail to increase the federal limit on borrowing by Aug. 2 but that political leaders will fall short in their negotiations over an ambitious plan for taming the nation’s debt, according to financial analysts. If President Obama and Congress are unable to reach such an agreement for reducing the debt, credit-rating firms — in particular, Standard & Poor’s — could cut the top-notch U.S. debt rating, sending a shock across U.S. financial markets." - Washington Post

"A failure to get debt reduction talks back on track "would be very harmful to an already fragile U.S. economy," the head of the world's largest bond management firm says." - CNN

> Yesterday on Video: S&P: Yes, we might downgrade you BEFORE August 2, and debt as a size of the economy is a big part of that

Michael Barone: To get a mandate, GOP must win another election

"Obama promised to fundamentally transform America and he and his party have managed to increase the federal government's share of gross domestic product from 21 percent to 25 percent -- a huge policy change. They are striving now to keep it at that level, permanently. Republicans want to reverse that enormous policy change, and many are ready to denounce any debt limit deal that leaves them short of that goal. Before doing so, they ought to consult the Constitution. To achieve the changes they want and that voters endorsed in 2010, they need to win again in 2012. The deal that gets them closer to that is what they ought to be seeking now." - Washington Examiner

Amid budget cuts, mayors speak as one

"Mayors from 50 cities gathered to vent about the impact that a sour economy and years of budget cuts—as well as possible cuts to federal funding if the debt ceiling isn't raised—is having on their cities." - WSJ

States try to squeeze taxes out of online travel sites - Moneyland blog on TIME

Gov. Perry: Gay marriage is states' rights issue - USA Today

After long wait, same-sex couples marry in New York - New York Times

GOP committee picks 9 Republican presidential candidates for ballot for 2011 Iowa Straw Poll

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.30.31 "Nine Republican presidential candidates will appear on the ballot for the Iowa Straw Poll, a party fundraiser where thousands of GOP activists weigh in on the presidential field. It’s considered an early indicator of support in the state with the nation’s leadoff presidential caucuses. The Iowa GOP State Central Committee announced Saturday that the six candidates who reserved space at the Aug. 13 event at Iowa State University were guaranteed spots. They are Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Georgia businessman Herman Cain, Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The committee also selected three others: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. There will be a space for write-ins." - Washington Post

Palin, Perry not listed on Iowa straw poll ballot - The Hill

Jeb Bush: Current Republican candidates 'capable' of a win in 2012

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he is optimistic about the chances of the current field of Republican presidential candidates. "The notion that somehow these aren’t folks that are capable of winning, I think, is ridiculous,” Bush said. “I think we have qualified candidates.” Polls over the past week have placed Mitt Romney at the front of the pack with a strong lead over the rest of the candidates. However, polls also indicate a general lack of enthusiasm for any one candidate among likely Republican voters." - The Hill

Yesterday on Video: Jeb Bush: The reason I'm not running is not a political calculation, it really does boil down to making sure I'm a good husband and father...and making some money for a change

Huntsman to get tough on Obama, GOP rivals - Washington Post

Debra J. Saunders: Pawlenty promises not to embarass the GOP

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.39.07 "Pawlenty's dilemma: He's not polarizing, and polarizing generates buzz, which boosts poll numbers during the early name-recognition phase of a primary. So he has to find a way to tell GOP voters: Unlike the showboats in the field - no need to name Bachmann, Newt Gingrich or businessman Herman Cain - I am the Republican who won't embarrass you. (Trust me. Republicans are sick of going to parties where Democrats buttonhole them so that they can rant about Sarah Palin. No need to double down on that.) Despite the early poll success of the firebrands, as the election approaches, GOP primary voters tend to be highly pragmatic. Their first concern will be whether a candidate can beat President Obama in November 2012. They know that a polarizing nominee cannot win. They know that a nominee who is light on experience cannot win." - SF Chronicle

FAA shutdown leads to widespread job loss, cheaper airline tickets

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.40.01 "Nearly 4,000 people are temporarily out of work and federal airline ticket taxes have been suspended after efforts to avert a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration failed Friday amid political wrangling over a $16.5 million cut in subsidies to 13 rural communities." - Fox News

"The man charged with the attacks in Oslo that killed at least 92 people left behind a detailed manifesto calling for a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination, officials said." - New York Times

Jeff Jacoby: A president with migraines? Ask Thomas Jefferson - Boston Globe

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



Jul 23, 2011 8:40:47 AM

Newslinks for Saturday July 23, 2011

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 6.36.18 PM

6:30pm Boehner tells Obama: According to the Constitution, Congress writes the laws and you decide what to sign"

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 6.15.45 PM5:30pm Video: Jeb Bush: The reason I'm not running is not a political calculation, it really does boil down to making sure I'm a good husband and father...and making some money for a change

4:30pm Video: Herman Cain: Obama chose to let this crisis happen and is now pinning the blame on Boehner

1:45pm The Republican: Meanwhile, America, just as we're piling up even more debt we don't know how to pay off, we may not have been as rich as we thought we were

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 1.35.23 PM 1:15pm Video: S&P: Yes, we might downgrade you BEFORE August 2, and debt as a size of the economy is a big part of that

Noon updates on The Republican:

Video highlights:

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 7.49.01 AM

Boehner walks as Obama “moves the goal posts,” demands new tax increases, breaks previous agreements

"'I've been left at the altar now a couple of times' by Boehner, Obama said. 'The question is: What can you say yes to?' In his own subsequent press conference from the Capitol, Boehner said the White House had 'moved the goalposts' in a dispute over new tax revenues. 'There was an agreement with the White House at $800 billion in revenue. It’s the president who walked away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute,' he said." - The Hill

  • "Boehner’s aides say the reason he didn’t [return Obama’s calls Friday] was simple: They didn’t have anything more to discuss. Obama had pressed for more revenue in the package, and Republicans just weren’t going to go for it, Boehner said Friday." - Politico
  • "The talks broke down, however, as the two sides tried to reach agreement on the magnitude of the tax and entitlement changes and how to force Congress to meet the goals of the plan." - Washington Post
  • "Mr. Boehner said talks broke down because Mr. Obama came back at the last minute and asked for $400 billion in additional revenues on top of the $800 billion he thought they had agreed to. "Dealing with this White House is like dealing with a bowl of Jell-O," Mr. Boehner said." - Wall Street Journal
  • The inside story on why the talks broke down. - TIME
  • Boehner’s letter to Republican colleagues on why he ended the talks and his plans to initiate talks with the Senate. - WSJ (pdf)

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 7.02.24 AM Early commentary on the debt talk breakdown:

  • It was the White House that added $400 billion in new taxes, walked away from previously agreed-to tax reforms, and reneged on earlier claims about Social Security reform. - Andrew Stiles at The Corner
  • Republicans find themselves facing a horrible choice between yielding on their exorbitant demands or pushing the United States into financial upheaval. - David Frum at Frum Forum
  • House Republicans have the upper hand but their leadership is prepared to abandon it in order to get a deal. - Erick Erickson at RedState
  • A grand bargain requires dealing with health care costs, which Obama will not do. So the GOP should pass a bill outlining which payments the government should make as the debt ceiling deadline passes and leave it to Obama to propose a ceiling increase plan. - Jeffrey Anderson at the Weekly Standard
  • So is the left cheering the collapse of the debt talks now? - Richard Pollock at PJM
  • Charles Krauthammer: “This is Obama at his most sanctimonious, demagogic, self-righteous and arrogant.” - The Daily Caller

It’s looking more and more like that Gang of Six deal came at the worst possible time

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 8.45.13 AM "And hours after the Senate's "Gang of Six," a group of bipartisan senators, announced the outlines of big deficit-reduction deal they'd been hashing out for months, Mr. Obama made a spur of the moment decision to go to the White House press room and embrace the deal, without even reading it. He didn't give advance notice even to the plan's authors, let alone Democratic leaders." - Wall Street Journal

Death toll rises to 91 in Norway bomber-shooter tragedy - USA Today

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 8.19.50 AM “The words "far-right Islamophobe" cast exactly as much light upon darkness as "radical jihadi" and seem to give quite a number of people the same kind of pleasure in exactly the same way. So now we have two dimwitted camps standing off in what is to both sides an obviously enjoyable war of political cliches--this before these kids have even been buried.” - Claire Berlinski at Ricochet

Rick Perry, prompted by his wife to run, will decide in three to four weeks

In a polar opposite scenario from that of Mitch Daniels, Perry “said he believes being Texas governor is ‘the best job in America’ but that his wife has encouraged him to aim for the presidency. ‘And she says, “You need to get out of your comfort zone. Your country is in trouble and you need to do your duty.” I listen to my wife,’ Perry said.” - AP via Politico

If Romney looks like he’s not trying too hard in Iowa, that’s on purpose

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 8.21.56 AM The former Massachusetts governor, widely considered the national front-runner for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, is waging a stealth campaign in the nation’s first caucus state. Personally scorned by his exhaustive efforts here in 2008 only to see his campaign sputter after coming in second, Romney this time is trying to strike a balance between paying enough attention to Iowa to not ignore it altogether, while not appearing to be competing too hard. - Washington Post

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 8.40.14 AM More on 2012:

  • Obama’s $46 million vs. Romney’s $18 million – an interactive chart on 2012 fundraising at NYT
  • Romney wins Ohio stroll poll with 25% of the vote; Pawlenty 16%; Bachmann 15%; Perry 14%; Ron Paul 9%; Cain and Santorum 5% each; Gingrich 3%; Huntsman 2% (Perry, it should be noted, was a write-in) - Politico
  • Chris Cillizza ranks the 2012 GOP contenders at The Fix
  • While he opposes gay marriage, Rick Perry says it’s a states rights issue and that what New York did was “their business.” - AP via Breitbart
  • Huntsman will try to revive his campaign by getting tough on Obama and showing his conservative credentials. - Washington Post

Let’s replace the health mandate with health savings - Capital Hill

Andrew Klavan: Bill Maher and the Left are getting uglier as Obama fails

Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 8.43.05 AM “[Bill Maher’s and others’] ugliness seems to be escalating day by day, and with it the dishonesty, distortions, and bullying anger of their mainstream-media fellow travelers. There’s a reason for this, I think. It’s the increasingly apparent failure of Barack Obama…[Their behavior] the dismay of yet another generation of leftists waking from yet another utopian daydream to find themselves in a disaster of their own making.” - City Journal



Jul 22, 2011 7:00:08 AM

Newslinks for Friday July 22 ,2011

6:30pm The Republican: A great example of the Left's lows: HuffPo can't resist itself and compares Michele Bachmann to Tammy Faye Bakker - but what about Arianna's eyelashes?

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 7.13.44 PM 5:30pm Videos:

4:00pm The Republican: New Pew poll: Republicans getting whiter (is that possible?), younger, poorer

2:00pm The Republican: Jim Jordan and the House conservatives want a win matter what

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 12.50.51 PM12:00pm Videos:

10:45am The Republican: Bill Kristol takes stock of the real adults in the room: House Republicans who have been the only people willing to put forward a plan they can stand by

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: The best news for America amidst all the doom and gloom: Barack Obama looks more vulnerable than ever

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 12.10.20 Debt deal bill requested by House GOP

"Private talks between Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama have left GOP lawmakers on edge — frustrated about an information gap, ill prepared for quick review of any potential mega-deal and, perhaps most worrisome for Boehner, wary of anything their party leaders tell them. Rapidly shifting developments on deficit talks Thursday left House Republicans surprised when they learned that Boehner and Obama had returned to discussions of a large deal, just a day after they voted en masse to send their Cut, Cap, and Balance bill to the Senate, where it is dead on arrival. House Republicans say they don’t know what they can support other than what has already gotten their vote, leaving the contours of a passable deal an open question." - Politico

  • Amid debt talks, House budget plan faces Senate - The Associated Pres
  • Reid calls House 'untoward' for taking weekend off - MSNBC
  • "The next 96 hours could determine the future of the Republican Party. If the Tea Party is coronating its own third-party candidate next summer, the moment of schism will likely be traced back to this week of debate on raising the debt ceiling." - TIME

> Yesterday on The Republican: 

Obama, Boehner advance towards $3-trillion debt package

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.39.10 "President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are continuing to work on a deal that would allow a debt-ceiling increase, even as both sides denied reports Thursday that an agreement was imminent. According to a Democratic congressional aide, discussions have centered on a version of the so-called grand bargain the two leaders have sought -- minus a key element, new tax revenues, that has been rejected by Republicans. The White House told congressional Democrats about this proposal during the last 24 hours. The deal would amount to as much as $3 trillion in spending cuts, and would likely be deeply opposed by rank-and-file Democrats who have insisted that any package that includes cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security must also include new tax revenue." - LA Times | WSJ

  • "Each "Groundhog Day" of talks has brought a slightly different performance from the president." - NPR
  • Charles Krauthammer: The best debt ceiling fix - 'the half trillion plan' - Washington Post
  • David Brooks: "Even though the coming compromise to reduce the federal debt won’t please everyone, we all need to embrace it. The other options are worse." - New York Times

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.40.17 "No sooner did influential anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist appear to open the door Thursday to allowing upper-income tax breaks to expire as part of a sweeping deficit reduction bill than both he and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) quickly shut it, saying such a move would be an unacceptable tax hike." - LA Times

  • Democrats erupt over latest plan on debt ceiling: Many worry that Obama might retreat from his demand that revenue increases, opposed by Republicans, be part of any plan to slash the federal deficit. - LA Times | Washington Post
  • Grover Norquist: Read my lips - no new taxes - New York Times

Debt limit uncertainty puts states at risk

"States that rely on the federal government for assistance with Medicaid, unemployment and highway construction may be faced with tough choices if there is no agreement on the debt ceiling." - New York Times

Meanwhile, 2012 hopefuls offer few details

"Candidates enjoy a luxury that those who actually hold office don’t have: They can take a stand without taking a position. Eager to establish themselves as fiscal disciplinarians, the Republican candidates for president are all offering tough rhetoric in the debate over the federal debt ceiling. But they have carefully avoided offering any messy — and divisive — details on how they would get the country out of the fix it will be in early next month if the government hits the limit of its borrowing authority." - Washington Post

‘Gang of Six’ to meet with Senate leadership

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.41.58 "Members of the Senate’s bipartisan “gang of six” will meet with the chamber’s leaders Friday morning to discuss the possibility of moving their deficit reduction proposal through Congress. The meeting was originally planned for Thursday afternoon, but it was postponed after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) were called to the White House for an evening meeting with President Barack Obama and House Democratic leaders, according to Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad. The North Dakota Democrat and Durbin are members of the gang of six, which put forward a plan this week to cut about $4 trillion from the deficit over 10 years." - Roll Call ($)

  • Capital gains tax break threatened by bipartisan Senate plan - Bloomberg
  • "Senate budget chairman: Short-term extension is best answer" - Washington Times
  • Matthew Continetti: Say 'no' to the 'Gang of Six' - The Weekly Standard
  • George Will: "Tea Party would defeat Obama by supporting McConnell plan on debt" - Washington Post
  • Peggy Noonan: T"he Gang of Six puts forward some ideas worth pursuing." - WSJ

Yesterday on Video: Sen. Sessions: Gang of Six have met all year, and now at the 11th hour, we get not a plan but a bunch of talking points that raise taxes and do little else

GOP House votes to limit new consumer protection bureau - The Hill

Rep. Allen West stand by his email to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.45.57 "Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said Thursday he was sticking by the harsh personal comments he made earlier this week in an email to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). West said he had been "patient" with the congresswoman, who heads up the Democratic National Committee, for some time before lashing out in the incident this week, and had no intentions of apologizing for his words. In an email Tuesday, West called Wasserman Schultz "vile," "despicable" and "not a Lady." "I have taken a lot of this," he said, noting that "the people back in my district know that I have been very patient." Making the media rounds on Thursday, West described the incident triggering the email — an apparent reference to West that Wasserman Schultz made in a speech on the House floor — as the latest segment of "a very ugly history" between himself and the Democrat." - The Hill

  • Editorial: "One apology that's not in order" - IBD
  • "From charges of sexism to “vile” words, the spat between representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Allen West has gone on for months and shows no signs of letting up."- Miami Herald

Jon Huntsman's campaign manager resigns

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.47.23 "As presidential candidate Jon Huntsman seeks to gain some traction in the GOP race, he’s shaking up his campaign team. His campaign manager, Susie Wiles, resigned Thursday. The campaign said Huntsman’s candidacy was moving into a more aggressive phase. "Susie has served the campaign well and was vital in getting it off the ground in such a short time frame,” said John Weaver, a senior advisor to Huntsman. 'In just under three months, Governor Huntsman has returned from China, launched a campaign and created a strong infrastructure in the three early primary states. He's built important relationships with donors, as well as political, policy and grass-roots leaders that other candidates have been courting for half a decade.'" - LA Times

Ex-La. governor Buddy Roemer launches presidential bid - USA Today

Despite massive media efforts,Tim Pawlenty struggles in Iowa

"Rep. Michele Bachmann's swift ascent in the polls has overshadowed Tim Pawlenty's presidential bid and raised questions about his viability in Iowa, site of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, and beyond." - WSJ

Yesterday on Video: New Pawlenty ice-hockey-themed video admits "the experts" are against him, says his proven record of opposing the unions and shutting down the government overshadows the "rhetoric" of others

Without running, Palin stays near top of GOP field - Washington Examiner

Margaret Hoover: How the GOP can win young voters

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.48.20 "In order to win this generation over, Republicans need to minimize their emphasis on social issues and focus instead on jobs, jobs and jobs. The party should also showcase its significant ethnic and gender diversity in the wake of the 2010 elections, when the GOP put three female governors and two Hispanic governors in office. It also has two Indian-American governors, and it has fielded female and African-American presidential candidates. The Republican Party, in other words, is no longer a party of elderly white men. With a focus on positive, pragmatic alternatives to the tried-and-failed policies of the Obama administration, Republicans have a chance to win back the youth vote. But the party will have to make a persuasive case that it offers the hope and change millennials have been waiting for." - WSJ

"The Pentagon will announce [today] that it is ready to certify the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the controversial 1993 law that banned gays from serving openly in the military." - Fox News

Screen shot 2011-07-22 at 11.49.06 Also in the news:

  • FEC rules John Edwards must pay government $2.3M - USA Today
  • "A vaccine campaign designed to get bin Laden family DNA has stirred suspicion in Pakistan." - Washington Post
  • Gay spouses face tax issues - USA Today
  • Rep. David Rivera disputs report of FBI and IRS investigations - Roll Call ($)
  • "A bill with bipartisan support in Congress would require most of BP oil spill fines be used for restoration projects in Florida and other Gulf states." - Miami Herald

Also in opinion:

  • Editorial: Getting Gadhafi to leave is Libya's best option - LA Times
  • Michael Gerson: Cameron's headache - Washington Post
  • Senators Joe Lieberman and Kelly Ayotte: Send terror suspects to Gitmo - not New York - Washington Post
  • Kimberley A. Strassel: The Senate's 'lawsuit factory ' - WSJ



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