Archive for April 8th, 2011

08
Apr
11

‘white house reviewing terms of spending deal’

National Journal: The likelihood of a war-time federal government shutdown – the first in American history – diminished dramatically on Friday night as all parties began reviewing, with the goal of approving, a broad array of cuts and a short-term bill to keep the government operating while the details are put into legislative language for full congressional action next week.

While leadership staff insist there is no deal yet, that caution belies significant progress in narrowing long-standing differences and the widening assumption in both parties that a shutdown will be averted and all that remains unknown is the precise procedural steps that will walk everyone back from the abyss.

Numerous GOP and Democratic sources on and off Capitol Hill tell National Journal that the outline of the deal is as follows: up to $39 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget, $514 billion in spending for the defense budget covering the remainder of this fiscal year, a GOP agreement to abandon controversial policy riders dealing with Planned Parenthood and the EPA, and an agreement to pass a “bridge” continuing resolution late Friday night to keep the government operating while the deal is written in bill form.

More here

08
Apr
11

double take

President Barack Obama is reflected in a mirror in the Outer Oval Office as talks with Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, and Vice President Joe Biden in the doorway of the Oval Office, April 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

08
Apr
11

compare & contrast

See here for the C-Span video of Democratic women senators speaking today about Planned Parenthood, etc (Thank you M and Ladyhawke)

Then, compare and contrast:

TPM: Getting worried over the direction of the ‘shutdown’ debate, more than a dozen female Republicans from the House held a snap conference late this afternoon to push back on women’s health, Planned Parenthood front.

It goes really, really badly:

More here (including a quote from Rep. Marsha Blackburn – she said that the Democrats’ spending was “economic child abuse”. Seriously)

08
Apr
11

well, this is embarrassing

CBS (March 2): New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he is confident he could win the 2012 presidential election if he wanted to … “I have people calling me and saying to me, ‘Let me explain to you how you could win.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win,’” he said. “That’s not the issue. The issue is not me sitting here and saying, ‘Geez, it might be too hard. I don’t think I can win.’ I see the opportunity both at the primary level and at the general election level. I see the opportunity.”

Rutgers (April 8): After becoming less positive following introduction of the budget, New Jersey voters remain split on their impression of Gov. Chris Christie, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. While 44 percent of registered voters give the governor a favorable rating, 42 percent view him unfavorably and 14 percent have no opinion….

…President Barack Obama’s favorability rating stands at 55 percent, with 32 percent viewing him unfavorably and 13 percent reporting no opinion….

****

You were saying Chris? 😳

08
Apr
11

need some light relief?

‘Beck Bennett and America’s youth take on the tough questions in news and politics.’

08
Apr
11

‘a single-minded vendetta’

Link

Steve Benen: There was a tidbit on Planned Parenthood’s wiki page that jumped out at me: “Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act….”

Wait, “since 1970”? If this is accurate – and I’ve seen this date referenced elsewhere – this means that every federal budget for more than four decades has provided public funds to Planned Parenthood and the preventative health care services they provide.

That would include, by the way, budgets approved under five Republican presidents – Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush – none of whom saw the need to scrap funding for the health organization.

Indeed, every Republican lawmaker who supported budgets under GOP administrations – a large group of long-time members, including Speaker John Boehner – voted to fund Planned Parenthood, over and over again.

More here

08
Apr
11

‘they’re asking me to sacrifice the health of women …. I won’t do it.’

Greg Sargent: Harry Reid, on the Senate floor moments ago, uncorked a blast at Republicans over Planned Parenthood that suggests Dems think they’ve got John Boehner boxed in big time:

“Republicans want to shut down the government because they think there is nothing more important than keeping women from getting cancer screenings? That is indefensible, and everyone should be outraged – women and men. Republican leaders in the House have only a few hours left to look in the mirror, snap out of it and realize how positively shameful that would be.”

“For months, this conversation has been about billions and trillions of dollars. It has been about weighty issues and difficult decisions. This debate used to be about saving money.

“No longer. We have an agreement on the cuts and savings. And that agreement includes a historic level of cuts…

“The consequences of letting our country’s funding expire would be devastating. It would be devastating to our troops, to our small businesses and to Americans’ everyday lives – people who just want to get a home loan or get their tax refund or get their paycheck. It would damage our image and credibility around the world.

“But Republicans are asking me to sacrifice my wife’s health, my daughter’s health and my nine granddaughters’ health. They’re asking me to sacrifice the health of women in Nevada and across America. I won’t do it.

“As a legislator, I’m frustrated. And as an American, I’m appalled. As a husband, a father and a grandfather, I’m personally offended.”

****

Here’s another interview with Harry Reid today:

08
Apr
11

‘why dems keep using tea party as a weapon’

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): …. Democrats have spent an awful lot of time lately hammering John Boehner for taking his marching orders in the budget fight from the Tea Party…

This strategy is all about exploiting the division between the GOP base and independents, who are sharply at odds over whether GOP leaders should shut down the government or reach a budget compromise.

The new Pew poll (see here) adds a crucial data point in understanding this dynanmic – independents have swung sharply against the Tea Party in recent days:

“The rise in negative views of the Tea Party has occurred largely among political independents and Democrats … Today, as many independents disagree as agree with the Tea Party (27% each); the percentage disagreeing with the Tea Party has risen 13 points.”

….the problem for the GOP leadership is that the budget war is forcing them to navigate a sharp divide between the GOP base and indys. Polls show that majorities of Republicans want a shutdown rather than a compromise. By contrast; strong majorities of independents – who helped the GOP’s gains in 2010 and will be crucial to the party heading into 2012 – want a compromise.

The constant invocation of the Tea Party by Schumer and others is a shorthand effort to exacerbate this division — it’s a bid to paint the GOP as hostage to extremists with the explicit goal of wining back independents. And it’s facilitated by the fact that the more independents learn about the Tea Party, the less they like it.

Full post here

08
Apr
11

“we’re not bending on women’s health”

See here for C-Span video of Democratic women senators speaking today about Planned Parenthood, etc – Thank you M and Ladyhawke

Steve Benen: As of last night, the difference in proposed spend cuts between Democrats and Republicans was pretty tiny. At the White House meeting, Harry Reid said he was prepared to approve $34 billion in cuts, while John Boehner wanted $39 billion.

….over the last several days, Democrats have gone from $33 billion to $34.5 billion to $38 billion, all in the hopes of trying to satisfy Republicans. And there’s still no deal.

….this appears to be Reid’s final offer – Dems have compromised even more when it comes cuts, and are expecting Republicans to drop the culture-war riders in exchange.

“The [$38 billion] number we’re not bending on,” Reid told reporters this morning. “We’re not bending on that and we’re not bending on women’s health.” The Senate leader added that “women’s health” is the “only thing left”.

If House Republicans are waiting for an even better deal, they’re not going to get it. Either the GOP wants to avoid a shutdown or it doesn’t. Here’s their chance to answer the question.

…Planned Parenthood is already prohibited from using public funds to terminate pregnancies, and has been for many years. We’re simply talking about women’s health, and whether congressional Republicans find women’s health so offensive, they’re willing to shut down the government to prevent its funding.

More here

****

There’s a great post at The Reid Report about this – here (Thank you Ladyhawke)

****

Steve Benen: Senate Jon Kyl was on the Senate floor this morning, talking about Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, some of his thoughts on the subject were, well, lies.

“Everybody goes to clinics, to doctors, to hospitals, so on,” Kyl said. “Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

That’s not even close to being accurate. Kyl was just making stuff up:

“According to Planned Parenthood officials, more than 90 percent of the health care services provided by the organization is preventive in nature. Each year, it provides more than one million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams, and nearly four million exams, treatments, and tests involving sexually transmitted diseases. The federal funding received by the organization goes strictly toward these basic needs and others, such as birth control and annual exams. In fact, just three percent of its work is related to abortion.”

….if it looks like Republicans shut down the government over women’s health, the GOP will be excoriated, and it would be a public relations disaster.

…Remember, this isn’t about abortion – the organization is already prohibited from using public funds to terminate pregnancies, and has been for many years. What we’re talking about here is Republicans shutting down the government to prohibit working-class and low-income women from accessing contraception, family planning services, pap smears, cancer screenings, and tests for sexually-transmitted diseases….

More here

08
Apr
11

ooops, fox will have to sack their pollsters

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?

Hmm, up nine from December – despite all the crap being thrown at him!

😆

Come on Fox, you need to try harder with your promotion of the Chump.

(The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone  interviews with 914 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 3 to April 5.)

****

Considering their fondness for reversing poll results, I’m half expecting them to report:

“67% OF AMERICANS SAY OBAMA IS AN ALIEN!!”




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