In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Congressional Dems Reach Budget Agreement House and Senate Democratic negotiators agreed Monday night to a budget outline for 2010, including the parliamentary ability to pass health care legislation without the threat of a Republican filibuster. The $3.5 plan also includes funds for clean energy and other domestic programs, and a tax increase for individuals making more than $200,000 or couples making more than $250,000 per year.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet with FBI Director Robert Mueller and other senior officials at FBI Headquarters, at 10:45 a.m. ET. He will then deliver remarks to FBI employees at 11:10 a.m. ET. At 2 p.m. ET, Obama will meet with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. At 3:05 p.m. ET, he will present the National Teacher of the Year Award in the Rose Garden. At 4:30 p.m. ET, he will meet with Defense Sec. Robert Gates, and at 7:30 p.m. ET he and the First Lady will attend a reception for Cabinet secretaries in the Blue Room.

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We noted earlier that MoveOn.org is raising money to fund an ad campaign targeting conservative House Democrats who might stand athwart the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, still in its infancy.

Well they may want to ramp things up a bit. The bill was scheduled to be marked up this week, but Waxman just delayed further action until next week, citing "productive discussions between members". According to the Wall Street Journal, "[t]he delay indicates that the House Democratic leadership is having difficulty rounding up votes to move the bill forward, amid disagreements over which industries and regions of the country should bear the burden for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions."

Democrats from industrial and coal-dependent states have expressed concerns that the climate bill would sharply raise energy costs and hurt the economy in their states.


If you thought the stimulus was a slog, and think health reform will be harder still, just wait for the climate change wars.

A new Gallup poll finds that a narrow majority of Americans favor investigations of interrogation methods -- though it's not a resounding mandate, relative to other issues.

The question as asked is: "Would you favor or oppose a government investigation into the use of harsh interrogation techniques of terrorism suspects?" The result is 51% in favor to 42% against. From the pollster's analysis:

While a slim majority favors an investigation, on a relative basis the percentage is quite low because Americans are generally quite supportive of government probes into potential misconduct by public officials. In recent years, for example, Americans were far more likely to favor investigations into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys (72%), government databases of telephone numbers dialed by Americans (62%), oil company profits (82%), and the government's response to Hurricane Katrina (70%).

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We haven't been following Kathleen's Sebelius' confirmation fight as closely as we have those of some other Obama nominees because, initially, she seemed like a shoe-in. The Senate Finance Committee advanced her nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services by a wide margin just last week. But in the wake of some complaints from anti-abortion groups--including about her April 23 decision to veto the latest in a series of efforts by the Kansas legislature to limit late term abortions--she'll now be subjected to a cloture vote (or, if you don't speak Congress-ese, a filibuster).

Her initially-non-controversial nomination will likely come to a vote tomorrow, though, and she'll likely clear the 60 vote hurdle with the help of Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and possibly others.

But, of course, there's another female Obama nominee who's running into some trouble.

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With President Obama's first 100 days nearly finished, let's take a look at how he's done in the polls, from the honeymoon to the present.



Obama's approval rating remains solid, but has fallen by about ten points as the honeymoon effect has worn off, while disapproval is up by about 15 points due to the loss of soft support and some initial undecideds. And the system appears to have found a temporary equilibrium state, a general range that could potentially hold until future events disrupt it.



The Pollster.com graph tells the story:







One thing to note is that Obama's support has gone down since the initial grace period around inauguration -- but during March, it basically leveled out. The growth in disapproval has been a bit higher than the decrease in approval, probably because the honeymoon had a mixture of people who would normally disapprove instead approving or being up in the air, but have now made up their minds.



Some further analysis after the jump.

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Speaking of the 'bad guys' centrists, the group MoveOn.org is raising money to fund ads intended to run in the districts of Democratic members who may oppose House efforts to advance climate change legislation.

In particular, the ads would target Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Charles Melancon (D-LA), and Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)--all from either oil, coal, or manufacturing states. Boucher used to head the subcommittee with jurisdiction over this issue, but he swapped out this winter with Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who, along with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), co-authored the bill in question.

Today, the New York Times reports that Boucher--a veteran environmentalist foe--wants the Waxman-Markey bill all-but-gutted.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) seems to be emerging now in a very important role for the Republican Party: To be the leading bogeyman for the Democrats, now that folks like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rick Santorum, Jesse Helms, etc., are all long gone and out of office.

The DCCC is now getting in on the Bachmann game, launching BachmannWatch.com:



Rather than focus on the easier target of Bachmann's record of extremism, McCarthyism and talk of revolution, the Dems are instead setting out to pro-actively debunk things she's said that simply aren't true. An example:

$1430 for Everyone in the World?

BACHMANN CLAIMS...

"The amount of money that's been committed by this Democrat government already, the amount of money that they have committed, your tax money to spend, would equal, and I'm not making this up, a check in the amount of $1,430 written to every man, woman, child in the world."

http://minnesotaindependent.com/26721/bachmanns-statements-on-stimulus-raise-a-few-eyebrows

THE FACTS Basic math: dividing the $789 billion recovery package by the estimated world population of 6.7 billion only equals $116.


Check out the press release announcing the site, after the jump.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has sent a letter to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warning that--as we reported Friday--Democrats will give Republicans until mid-October to reach a compromise on comprehensive health care legislation before the Democrats use the budget reconciliation process to circumvent the filibuster and pass reform.

Nearly 46 million Americans - including 15 percent of your constituents in Kentucky - have no health insurance, and the problem grows worse by the day. In Nevada, more than one out of three people under the age of 65 went without health insurance during 2007 and 2008 - and more than three-quarters of them went without health care for six months or longer.

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On Friday, I posted a clip of Newt Gingrich's testimony before the House Energy & Commerce committee, in which the former House Speaker stood by misleading GOP charges that cap-and-trade legislation will cost the average family thousands of dollars a year.



We've been over much of this before--the most famous Republican talking point has its roots in an MIT study, which estimates that the government will initially collect $366 billion in revenue from a cap-and-trade bill every year. Republicans assumed that industry would pass this cost on to consumers, divided that number by an estimate of the number of households in America and--voila--concluded that, on average, each household would be responsible for $3,128 worth of increased energy costs.

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's online petition asking Norm Coleman to finally concede defeat in the Minnesota Senate race has now reached 100,000 signatures, DSCC communications director Eric Schultz has just told me.

"The numbers speak for themselves," said Schultz.

"People across the country want Norm to give up," he explained, "because they want that 59th Democratic Senator to get the Obama agenda passed."

It's worth pointing out that this is probably the same underlying reason that a lot of Republicans want for Norm to not give up.

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