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Newslinks for Friday July 15, 2011

Posted on 07/15/2011

5:30pm Video: Andrew Klavan: If you're calling what Michele Bachmann did a gaffe, what do you call what Obama's been doing?

4:15pm The Republican: Heard House Republicans talk about "Cut, Cap, and Balance"? Here are the details

2:30pm The Republican: So just how much has spending gone out of control under Obama? Here are some useful facts and figures from Paul Ryan's budget office

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 1.21.20 PM 12:30pm Today's House Republican Leadership press conference: OK, so we've set the standard for a serious debate - a plan - which it sure would be nice to see Obama try to do, too

11:45am Video: Bob Corker: I'm not pointing figures, but yes, leaders in both parties are involved in keeping Washington messed up

11:30am The Republican: NINE - That's the number of days the Dalai Lama has been in Washington without Obama meeting with him (Mr. President, John Boehner found time to meet with him, so you can't use the debt talks as your excuse...)

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 11.25.56 AM11:00am Videos:

10:00am The Republican: Rep. James Lankford: Just think of the problems we WOULDN'T have right now if we had passed a balanced budget amendment in 1996

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: We Republicans have backed ourselves into a corner on the debt deal, and now we'll need to rely on the 2012 race to help us win the public argument

Video: Tea Party to the GOP: Hold the line on debt talks

Weighing their options: President Obama, congressional leaders agree to a cease-fire in debt negotiations to review which proposals seem most likely to pass

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.19.37 "President Obama and congressional leaders agreed to a cease-fire in debt negotiations to review which proposals seemed most likely to pass the House and Senate and arrive at consensus by Saturday. Obama planned to hold a news conference at the White House at 11 a.m. EDT Friday as he presses his case for a large deficit-reduction deal to allow a congressional vote to raise the nation's $14.3-trillion debt ceiling and avert a federal default next month. The president told the group on Thursday he still believed a plan to reduce deficits by $2 trillion or more could be achieved if both sides move from hardened positions on disagreements over social programs and taxes." - LA Times

  • Boehner signals options are still open - Politico
  • Editorial: "Debt crisis punctures Social Security trust fund myth" - Washington Examiner
  • Charles Krauthammer: Republicans should force Obama to offer real tax reform - Washington Post
  • Kimberly A. Strassel: "The real GOP choice - do the Republicans want a showdown now, or in 2012?" - WSJ
  • David Brooks: "Much of the budget mess may stem from a deep cultural antipathy toward recognizing our own mortality." - New York Times

> Yesterday on Video: Sen. Marco Rubio shatters the myth that tax increases are a debt solution

Governors Rick Perry and Nikki Haley: Break the spend-and-borrow cycle

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.42.09 "As governors of states whose residents, like all Americans, are desperate for the restoration of fiscal responsibility in Washington, we are proud to have signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” amid the debate over once again raising the federal debt ceiling. We oppose an increase in the federal debt limit unless three common-sense conditions are met: substantial cuts in spending; enforceable spending caps to put the country on a path to a balanced budget; and congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment should include a requirement for a congressional supermajority to approve any increases in taxes." - Washington Post

Michael Gerson: The danger in political pledges - Washington Post

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.43.17 As White House talks falter, Senate works on agreement to raise debt limit - Washington Post | WSJ

"The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is using the stalled debt ceiling negotiations to motivate supporters to give to the DSCC, although the specific email fundraising appeal sent Thursday was for money to help Democrats protect Medicare and Social Security." - Roll Call ($)

"Big issues are piling up in Congress, but halfway through the year, the Senate is on pace for its least productive legislative session since records were first kept, and the House is also operating at a clip well below normal, according to an analysis of floor activity by The Washington Times." - Washington Times

> Yesterday on Video: 'It's a stupid idea': Rep. Jason Chaffetz slams Sen. Mitch McConnell's backup debt plan 

Meanwhile, House Republicans plan to meet today to assess their options

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.44.24 "House Republicans are scheduled to meet early Friday to assess the state of faltering talks about raising federal borrowing. One lawmaker in the 240-member GOP conference predicted a “long” discussion, as leaders set aside additional time for conservatives to present a stand-alone “Cut, Cap and Balance” measure tying a hike in the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. Support among Republicans for a balanced-budget amendment has been growing, and House GOP leaders seem to be warming to it, although it would appear to face a tough climb in the Democratic-controlled Senate. A similar measure has been sponsored in the upper chamber, which gained the backing of nearly two-dozen conservative senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday, an aide confirmed." - The Hill

Behind the debt battle, looms the war over government

"The endgame in the fight to increase the nation’s debt limit has only begun, but intense exchanges this week between the two parties have made it clear that this is not so much a negotiation over dollars and cents as a broader clash between the two parties over the size and role of government. What makes a bipartisan “grand bargain” so elusive is less the budget numbers, on which compromise could be in reach, than each side’s principles, which do not lend themselves to splitting the difference...However this showdown is settled, it seems increasingly likely to define not only the legislative record of this Congress, divided between a Republican-controlled House and a Democratic-controlled Senate, but also the 2012 elections and Mr. Obama’s prospects for a second term." - New York Times

  • Peggy Noonan: "This is no time for games - Ronald Reagan wouldn't be playing 'Targeted Catastrophe.'" - WSJ
  • Bill Kristol: "No more taxes, no more debt, no more Obama" - The Weekly Standard

Boehner: Eric Cantor and I are in the same foxhole

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.10.36 "House Speaker John Boehner says he and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are in the same foxhole when it comes to talks on the debt limit, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the one taking shots at them. Tensions are high and the rhetoric is heated as President Obama and congressional leaders try to reach a deal to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and reduce the deficit at the same time with massive spending cuts. Reid, D-Nev., earlier today called Cantor "childish" for walking out of an early set of debt negotiations led by Vice President Biden. Reid suggested Cantor, R-Va., shouldn't even be at the table now. Boehner, R-Ohio, came to the defense of Cantor, someone he occasionally has differences with." - USA Today

"Debt talks shine light on prickly relationship between Obama, Cantor" - The Hill

Standard & Poor: 50 percent chance of US credit rating downgrade within three months - USA Today

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.12.03 News from the states:

  • Deal reached over Minnesota shutdown - Washington Post
  • "ATF Florida gun probe earns congressional scrutiny in [the] wake of 'Fast and Furious'" - Fox News
  • "Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday defended his upcoming Christian prayer gathering as a "simple," non-political event that has come under attack from intolerant atheists." - MSNBC

 FBI to probe '9/11 phone hacking'

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.13.17 "The FBI is investigating reports that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought to hack the phones of victims of the 9/11 attacks. The criminal probe follows calls from a growing number of senators and a senior Republican for an investigation. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr Murdoch defended the company's handling of the crisis. Meanwhile, Mr Murdoch and his son James have agreed to answer UK MPs' questions on the hacking scandal next week." - BBC News

Seized communications reveal Osama bin Laden was planning 9/11 anniversary attack

"Osama bin Laden was working to assemble a team of militants to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to communications Navy SEALs seized from his Pakistani hideout when they killed the al Qaeda leader this spring. Bin Laden and his operations chief, Attiyah Abd al-Rahman, swapped views about the composition of the attack team, with bin Laden repeatedly rejecting names that Mr. Rahman suggested, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence taken from the bin Laden compound. The plans were only in the discussion phase, U.S. officials said. They haven't seen any signs the nascent plot ever went beyond the early planning, the officials said. Still, earlier this month in his first meeting with senior staff at the Central Intelligence Agency, acting Director Michael Morell told his staff that one of their top priorities would be to make sure that neither that plan nor any others were carried out." - WSJ

Libya's government accuses rebels and NATO of a coordinated attack on the strategic oil town of Brega, the same day a government spokesman vows to "die for oil." - CNN

US, allies optimistic that Qadhafi's 'days are numbered' - NPR

Tea Party group plans presidential debate via Twitter

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.14.50 "TheTeaParty.net, a mysterious Arizona-based group, says it will host a presidential debate Wednesday on Twitter...Representatives for Bachmann, Cain and Santorum confirmed that their campaigns are on board. The 90-minute debate, which will begin at 3 p.m., will be conducted entirely via Twitter using the handle @140townhall. The public may submit questions, and the candidates may use as many 140-character tweets as they want to respond. They will also be able to post three-minute videos with opening and closing statements." - Roll Call ($)

> Yesterday on The Republican: Generic' GOP candidate extends lead on Obama

Giuliani's may not be a candidate (yet), but he certainly sounds like one

Screen shot 2011-07-15 at 10.16.09 "Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has been coy about whether he'll jump into the 2012 presidential contest. With one failed race behind him, he has cautiously insisted that he is surveying the field and will make a decision on whether to enter by summer's end. That has relegated him to the category of would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, whose publicity stunts have raised questions about whether they were engaged in self-promotion more than soul-searching about their candidacies. But as Giuliani stepped out Thursday for his fourth trip to New Hampshire this year, he sounded as much like a candidate as any of the other Republicans already in the race.From a luncheon engagement before an audience of Republican women on the coast to a 2nd Amendment discussion with bikers at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Manchester, Giuliani repeatedly assailed President Obama's agenda — calling him 'a very nice man' before going on to declare that another four years of his economic policies would be 'a disaster.'" - LA Times

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

  • Sarah Palin raised $1.6 million for PAC this year - LA Times
  • "Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann may be a rock star on the campaign trail — but not in D.C." - Washington Post
  • "Tim Pawlenty ended June with $1.4 million to spend on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination as his campaign dumps money into Iowa ahead of a crucial August straw poll." - Washington Wire in the WSJ
  • "A Guyana-born American citizen with virtually no political background is asking the Federal Election Commission whether he can run for president of the United States." - Roll Call ($)
  • "Energized by debt fight, a battered Gingrich pushes on" - Washington Examiner

> Yesterday on The Republican: Michele Bachmann pulls a polling 'hat trick' in Iowa

"Newly released emails show the Obama administration communication team privately discussed whether to exclude Fox News from interviews in late 2009, despite claims at the time that the White House did not intend to snub" Fox News

...and finally, "Democrats dominated the Republicans, 8-2, in the 50th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on Thursday, but for just a moment lawmakers got to escape the debate over how to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and instead enjoy its pastime." - Roll Call ($)

> Yesterday on Video: 50 years of baseball: Stories from past and present stars of the Congressional Baseball Game

> Yesterday on The Republican: With nearly two dozen freshmen and one 2012 hopeful, Republicans prepare to take on the Democrats in the 50th Annual Congressional Baseball Game

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