In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The NRCC released a memo predicting victory in the NY-20 special election, and claiming a major defeat for the Obama agenda:

While the absentee and military vote count will not occur for several more days, we are confident that Jim Tedisco will ultimately become the next congressman from New York's 20th Congressional District. While a "top White House official" (read: Rahm Emanuel) took time off from his busy schedule of dealing with the economic crisis, the G-20 Summit in London, and managing the day-to-day operations of General Motors to claim that the outstanding absentee count somehow favors the Democrats that sounds an awful lot like wishful thinking.

Both parties are publicly predicting that the absentees will favor their candidate. Obviously, one of them will be proven wrong -- and quite frankly, it's not implausible that both sides are engaged in wishful thinking to some degree.

Some more tidbits from the memo, after the jump.

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Our friends at The Uptake have released this video summing up the issues in the Minnesota recount and litigation since Election Night -- condensing five months of legal morass into 16 minutes:

Al Franken is well known to be a Grateful Dead fan, so it's worth saying this: What a long, strange trip it's been.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Glenn Beck's TV show yesterday, to talk up her proposed constitutional amendment to stop the Obama administration from replacing the dollar with a global currency:

Bachmann boasted that she's picked up 30 cosponsors so far, to which Beck replied: "I can't believe that you've only got 30 cosponsors. I mean -- how is it you could walk around going, "I just -- this is just, hey, save the dollar.' And only 30 people are willing to say, 'Eh that sounds like a good thing, let's give that a shot.'"

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Speaking of Congressional Budget Committee Ranking Members Who Write Op-Eds, Paul Ryan, Judd Gregg's House counterpart, has a piece of his own in the Wall Street Journal. In it, he summarizes the bottom line of the budget (or the counter-part to the non-budget budget) he plans to release today. More on that very soon, but here's what to expect:

  • A budget that nixes all non-military federal discretionary spending for five years amid a recession.
  • A budget that deploys "more clean and renewable energy sources free of greenhouse opening exploration on our nation's oil and gas fields, and by investing the proceeds in a new clean energy trust fund, infrastructure and further deficit reduction.
  • A budget that creates two tax brackets--10 percent for income below $100,000 and 25 percent for every dollar above that--and that cuts corporate income tax rate to 25 percent.
As this budget was supposed to be released a week ago, the House and White House are already well prepared with talking points.

Late update: At the end of his op-ed, Ryan writes, "[i]n the recent past, the Republican Party failed to offer the nation an inspiring vision and a concrete plan to tackle our problems with innovative and principled solutions. We do not intend to repeat that mistake." Hmmm. He wouldn't be talking about this and this, would he?

Judd Gregg (R-NH), Barack Obama's erstwhile Commerce Secretary designate, is also the Senate Budget committee's ranking member, and has taken to the pages of the Washington Post to criticize his former almost-boss for authoring what his headline calls "a budget to beggar us".

Gregg writes, "all American families will get stuck with a new 'light-switch tax' on electricity bills that is in the president's budget." The Post seems to be doubling down on its policy of letting op-ed writers lie in its pages. There is, of course, no such tax in the president's proposal or the budget resolution, and nor could there be. Obama's proposal contemplates revenue from a cap-and-trade bill, and there is a deficit neutral reserve fund for future climate change legislation in the resolution, but even that section was amended last night to provide that any increased energy costs would be offset by cap-and-trade revenue.

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The NRCC has has sent out a fundraising e-mail suggesting a full-scale legal fight in the NY-20 special election, with the subject header, "Don't Let'em Pull A Franken." Key quote:

We need your support to ensure we can overcome the Democrats' legal maneuvers.

Democrats have almost succeeded in stealing the election in Minnesota and seating Al Franken. We cannot allow them to manipulate electoral results to seat another tax-troubled liberal.

We need your support to make sure the will of the residents of New York's 20th district prevails in the final outcome.

Full e-mail after the jump.

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The Baltimore Sun reports that Michael Steele told a GOP fundraising event in his home state of Maryland that the Republican Party needs to stop all the infighting -- and be more like himself.

Steele told the crowd that Republicans should be "unconventional, do from time to time the unexpected."

Steele also noted the flack he's taken as chairman. "Someone told me this whole chairmanship thing would be a cakewalk," he said, adding that he's managed to "tick off" a lot of people.

Both national party chairmen have issued statements predicting victory for their guy in the NY-20 special election, and an affirmation of their party's policies.

Here's last night's statement from DNC chairman Tim Kaine:

"Scott Murphy embraced President Obama's message of change and his plans to fix our economy and create jobs, and as a result he stormed from more than 20 points down to winning a majority of votes cast tonight. Scott's performance tonight in an overwhelmingly Republican district, where Republicans enjoy a registration advantage over Democrats of more than 70,000, represents a repudiation of the failed politics and policies that Republicans continue to embrace. We are confident that when all the ballots are counted, Scott will expand his lead and become an ally to President Obama in Congress who will help the President create jobs and turn our economy around."

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Obama And Brown Point To Unity In Economic Crisis During their joint press conference earlier today, President Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown assured the public that the world would not fall into the trap of protectionism that exacerbated the Great Depression: "That is a mistake that we cannot afford to repeat." Brown also pointed to the G-20 summit itself as a sign of consensus among world leaders: "As President Obama has said, never before has the world come together in this way to deal with an economic crisis."

Obama In London For G-20 President Obama is in London for the G-20 summit. At 3:05 a.m. ET he met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the two held a press conference at 5:15 a.m. ET. At 6:45 a.m. ET he met with Russian leaders. At 8 a.m. ET he met with British Conservative Party Leader David Cameron. At 9 a.m. ET he is meeting with Chinese leaders, and at 12:35 p.m. ET he will meet with the Queen of England. At 1 p.m. ET he will attend a reception for G-20 leaders, and at 3:30 p.m. ET they will hold a working dinner.

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