TPMDC Morning Roundup


WaPo: Biden In Charge Of Search For SCOTUS Nominee
The Washington Post reports that Vice President Biden has been tasked with with drawing up a list of potential Supreme Court nominees to replace Justice David Souter, whose retirement has not yet been officially announced but is widely reported to be a settled issue. Souter will reportedly step down after this current court term ends in June, effective upon confirmation of his successor. The next term begins in October.

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama will be meeting with his cabinet at 11:15 a.m. ET. AT 12 p.m. ET, he will have lunch with Vice President Biden, and it’s not unreasonable to imagine that the Supreme Court will be a key topic of discussion. At 1 p.m. ET, he and Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano will attend a naturalization ceremony for active-duty service members, with Napolitano swearing them in as citizens and Obama presenting an Outstanding American by Choice Award. At 4:30 p.m. ET, he will attend a ceremonial swearing-in of Commerce Sec. Gary Lock and Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, with Biden delivering the oath of office.NPR: Possible Souter Replacements Include Kagan, Sotomayor, Wood
National Public Radio reports possible nominees to replace Justice David Souter include Solicitor General Elena Kagan, federal appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and federal Judge Diane Wood, who taught at the University of Chicago at the same time as President Obama.

Souter Leaving “Best Job In The Worst City”
The Associated Press points out that Souter could very well enjoy his retirement, having publicly referred to his seat on the bench as “the best job in the worst city.” He never liked Washington, and this past March described his life as a justice as follows: “When the term of court starts I undergo a sort of annual intellectual lobotomy and it lasts until the following summer when I sort of cram what I can into the summertime.”

Senate Defeats Cram-Down Bill
The Senate last night defeated a proposal to give bankruptcy judges the ability to re-adjust the value of mortgages in order to prevent foreclosure. The measure went down 45-51 — with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) voting against it. Said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), a lead sponsor: “The banks that are too big to fail are saying that 8 million Americans facing foreclosure are too little to count in this economy.”

WaPo: Hedge Funds Object To Being Demonized
The Washington Post reports that hedge funds are objecting to the way President Obama has blamed the Chrysler bankruptcy on the demands of bondholders.. Said Ron Geffner, a partner at a law firm that represents hedge funds: “To play the ‘I stand with Chrysler, I stand with families, I stand with the dealers, I stand with the consumers’ — that’s great conceptually, but . . . I stand with the fact that we live in a capitalist society where companies who don’t modify their business plans and stay current die and go by the wayside.”

Gingrich’s Remark About RNC Members Draws Fire From RNC Members
CNN reports that Republican National Committee members are objecting to Newt Gingrich’s defense of Michael Steele, in which Gingrich characterized RNC members as having big egos and that “They all think they’re precious.” Said Tennessee GOP chairwoman Robin Smith: “Forming circular firing squads only gives aid to the Democrats who are doing quite nicely in undercutting the public trust in our government.”

Hispanic Caucus Demands Apology Over Boehner Web Vid
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is crying foul over a Web video from House GOP Leader John Boehner, which attacked President Obama for putting America in greater danger from terrorism — and which so happened to include a still image of Obama during a meeting with the CHC. It’s at the 1:11 mark:

“It’s disrespectful to the hard-working Latinos across the nation, serving in every sector of our economy and on our military’s front lines,” said Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). A spokesman for Boehner described the complaint as “beyond silly.”