TPM: While Republican leaders gathered in Speaker John Boehner’s Capitol office Wednesday morning for a photo op with reporters – hectoring Democrats and making the case that they’re on the right side of the payroll tax fight – an unusual scene played out on the House floor.
In an attempt to illustrate just who’s at fault for the payroll tax stalemate Minority Whip Steny Hoyer showed up to ask for a vote on the Senate’s compromise bill. Republicans could have simply objected and given Hoyer his talking point. Instead they gave him so much more.
Republicans just ignored Hoyer and refused to hear his unanimous consent request. The fill-in Speaker simply walked away.
Greg Sargent: In a speech late yesterday, Mitt Romney accused President Obama of trying to use government to “create equal outcomes.” Romney argued that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society,” in which “everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk.” He made a concerted case that under Obama’s ideal vision, everyone will “get the same rewards.”
This is a Big Lie – it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Obama has ever said, proposed or accomplished. And many liberal writers have noted today that this is Glenn Beck-level craziness, suggesting that Romney is willing to say and do anything to win.
CNN: Most Americans agree with the decision to end the war in Iraq, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday. Almost eight in ten said they support removal of combat troops from that country by the end of this year.
…. President Obama announced the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq by the year’s end in October. Now, two-thirds say they oppose the war and more think the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to Iraq in the first place 53% to 46% over those who do not think it was a mistake.
Steve Benen: It’s not uncommon for the Obama administration to do something worthwhile. Once in a while, though, the administration does something very worthwhile that will have a major impact on society.
Dave Roberts (‘New EPA mercury rules are a bona fide Big Deal’) has a helpful piece today on the EPA’s new national standards for mercury pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants – the first of their kind – which he described as “a Big Deal” and an instance in which “history is being made.”
….. When we talk about separates a Democratic administration from a Republican one, there are no greater reminders about the differences than measures like these.
If recent history is any guide, this encouraging news won’t get quite as much attention as it deserves, and that’s a shame. Obama’s critics on the left expect developments like these, and don’t make a fuss to congratulate the administration for progress they’d like to be routine….
You may know me as the tall guy who followed Barack everywhere he went.
As the President’s body man for the last four years, it’s been my privilege to help him with whatever he needs: making sure he’s on time, finding some food when we’re on the road, or playing a quick game of basketball (he won, mostly).
Of course, this also means I’ve also eaten many, many meals with him.
So first of all, I just want to say thanks for supporting the Obamas and being part of this campaign. It means a lot, not only to the President, but to all of us who’ve worked by his side.
Two: I kind of love this “Dinner with Barack and Michelle” contest. You all have to do this.
Politicususa: Tim Pawlenty was on Fox News Sunday today, but instead of getting softballs tossed his way like Sarah Palin did last week, he was hammered for his economic plan. It looks like Pawlenty is not one of the FNC chosen ones.
At a time when Republicans are introducing non-economic economic plans on a regular basis, Pawlenty’s plan is so ridiculous that it is attracting ridicule from many conservatives, but what a difference a week makes on Fox News Sunday.
Seven days ago, Sarah Palin was on the show and given the fawning drooling treatment by Chris Wallace.
Steve Benen (Washington Monthly): If federal policymakers want to make the economy worse, on purpose, all they have to do is approve the Republican agenda. The Financial Times has this report today:
“The Republican plan to slash government spending by $61bn in 2011 could reduce US economic growth by 1.5 to 2 percentage points in the second and third quarters of the year, a Goldman Sachs economist has warned……”
…Remember, this analysis comes a week after additional research found that the Republican spending cuts could lead to roughly 1 million job losses. (Asked about this, Speaker John Boehner replied last week, “So be it.”)
…We now have independent analyses showing that the Republican spending measure would push the economy back towards a recession and would deliberately make unemployment worse. If Democrats balk, the GOP will shut down the government.
Why this isn’t the lead story in every news outlet in the country remains unclear.
Update: I suppose the next question is why Republicans would pursue a plan they know would slow the economy. Among the possibilities … they have to hurt the country on purpose to undermine President Obama’s re-election chances … I’d love to understand the GOP’s motivations, but just as importantly, I’d love for the media to press the GOP on its motivations.