In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The Detroit Bureau reports that an idea seems to be picking up some cachet on the right-wing blogs and in talk radio: Fighting the "Government Motors" bailout by boycotting the company. Most of it so far is limited to relatively little-known writers, but two big names have picked up on it: Hugh Hewitt, who wants to save free enterprise -- and Rush Limbaugh, who wants anything President Obama does to fail, and is urging his listeners to help push towards that goal.

"In the effort to reverse this lurch beyond the farthest left fringe of previous Democratic statist urges, individual Americans have a role to play. They have to say no to GM products and services until such time as the denationalization occurs," says Hugh Hewitt. He acknowledges that this is a serious step that could hurt people currently working for GM: "But there isn't any alternative, every dollar spent with GM is a dollar spent against free enterprise. Every car or truck purchased from Government Motors is one not purchased from a private car company that competes fairly against all other car companies."

Read More →

Two new polls in tomorrow's Democratic primary for Governor of Virginia confirm that state Sen. Creigh Deeds now has the big momentum, charging way ahead of the previous frontrunner, former DNC chairman (and a colorful political figure if there ever was one) Terry McAuliffe.

From Public Policy Polling (D): Deeds 40%, McAuliffe 26%, and former state Del. Brian Moran 24%, with a ±3% margin of error. Last week, the numbers had been Deeds 27%, McAuliffe 24%, Moran 22%, with a ±4.1% margin of error.

And from SurveyUSA: Deeds 42%, McAuliffe 30%, Moran 21%, with a ±4.3% margin of error. Last week, the numbers had been McAuliffe 35%, Deeds 29%, Moran 26%, with a ±4.4% margin of error.

McAuliffe has led in this race for quite a while, thanks to a superior fundraising and advertising effort. Next up in the money race was Moran...and Deeds was the third man in the race. But then Moran began to attack McAuliffe, thus sullying McAuliffe but not actually benefitting himself. Deeds was the true beneficiary -- and right on time, too, with a run of positive ads and big newspaper endorsement in the home stretch.

There's no shortage of Republicans loudly proclaiming that the GOP has to get up to speed using Internet technology, particularly on blogs and the ubiquitous micro-blogging service, Twitter. This isn't necessarily the easiest thing for a party whose officeholders (and voter base) are geared heavily towards the upper age ranges -- just look at Norm Coleman's advice for the GOP to compete on the "ethernet."

But there's one 75-year old U.S. Senator whose aggressive Twittering shows that sometimes the solution can have as many complications as the problem. Fifth-term Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) not only uses his handy Blackberry to Twitter almost non-stop messages, but he's even learned to do so in a whole other language -- the online vernacular of a texting thirteen-year old.

Check out this morning's message:

My carbon footprint is abt 25per cent of Al Gore. I'm greener than Al Gore. Is that enuf?


There is something endearing about the fact that Grassley, a septuagenarian U.S. Senator and truly an elder statesman of Iowa politics, so baldly puts his whims and thoughts out there for the public at large. Quite frankly, if a staffer had done this in a Senator's name, he or she would risk getting fired. But no, the Senator himself does it.

Check out some of Grassley's greatest hits, after the jump.

Read More →

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who had been publicly mulling a 2010 Senate campaign for the seat formerly held by President Obama -- and currently held by Roland Burris -- has put out this YouTube, announcing that she will not be making the race, after all:



Schakowsky said that her polling and travels around the state convinced her that she could have won -- but the pressures of raising enough money would have distracted her from her work in progress on issues like health care. "I feel confident that I could raise the $10 million dollars needed for a primary race -- and the $16 million plus needed for a general election campaign," she said, "but to do it I would have to become a telemarketer five to six hours each day."

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is currently running in the Democratic primary, and businessman Chris Kennedy -- a son of Robert Kennedy -- is expected to get in soon. Roland Burris has not announced whether he will run.

Obama To Speed Up Stimulus Spending President Obama is set to announce today that the administration is ramping up stimulus spending this summer, with a targeted goal of saving or creating more than 600,000 jobs. "We have a long way to go on our road to recovery but we are going the right way," Obama will say, according to prepared remarks.

Obama's Day Ahead: Meeting With The Cabinet President Obama will be meeting with his Cabinet at 11:45 a.m. ET, after the morning's routine briefings with advisers. The big subject of the Cabinet meeting will be implementation of the Recovery Act, after reports over the weekend that Obama was going to ask his administration for specific goals to ramp up stimulus spending.

Read More →

Hillary: Obama Has Passed "3 a.m." Test Appearing on ABC's This Week, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton was asked whether President Obama has passed the "3 a.m." test that she raised in her famous campaign ad against him in the 2008 primaries. "Absolutely," said Clinton. "And, you know, the president in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been strong, thoughtful, decisive, I think he is doing a terrific job. And it's an honor to serve with him."

Hillary: I Initially Rejected Sec. of State Offer Also during her This Week interview, Hillary Clinton said she'd initially turned down the offer from President Obama to be Secretary of State, thinking it was "absurd" and wanting to go back to serving New York in the Senate. "But he was quite persistent and very persuasive. And, you know, ultimately, it came down to my feeling that, number one, when your president asks you to do something for your country, you really need a good reason not to do it," said Clinton. "Number two, if I had won and I had asked him to please help me serve our country, I would have hoped he would say yes."

Read More →

Obama YouTube: Health Care Must Be Fixed In his weekly Presidential YouTube Address, President Obama discussed his proposals for health care -- and the urgency to get a new reform bill passed:



"Simply put, the status quo is broken. We cannot continue this way," said Obama. "If we do nothing, everyone's health care will be put in jeopardy. Within a decade, we'll spend one dollar out of every five we earn on health care - and we'll keep getting less for our money. That's why fixing what's wrong with our health care system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve - it's a necessity we cannot postpone any longer."

Sessions Decries "Empathy Standard" For Judges In this weekend's Republican YouTube, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the lead Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, discussed the pending nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court -- and warned against an "empathy standard" in law:



"I hope that the American people will engage in this nomination process and follow it closely. They should learn about the issues, and listen to both sides of the argument. And, at the end of the day, ask: 'If I must one day go to court, what kind of judge do I want to hear my case?" said Sessions. "'Do I want a judge that allows his or her social, political, or religious views to impact the outcome? Or, do I want a judge that objectively applies the law to the facts, and fairly rules on the merits?' That is the central question around which this entire nomination process will revolve."

Read More →

TPMDC's update on the biggest legislative initiatives on the Hill:

  • Health Care: House progressives responded to their Blue Dog counterparts today, sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pasted below the fold) stating their strong opposition to measures that will weaken health reform efforts, including a "trigger" that would delay, or possibly eliminate, the public health insurance option.


  • War Spending: House Republicans oppose the supplemental war spending bill because, as written, it will increase the spending capacity of the International Monetary Fund. Some liberal Democrats oppose it, too, because it also contains a provision that would allow the Obama administration to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." Taken together, that means the bill might not pass--which leaves Democratic leaders in a bit of a pickle. Either they somehow nix the IMF funding provision, or they nix the FOIA photograph exception, or they nudge their progressive members into voting for it anyhow. Looks like they've picked the latter option.


Late update: Jeffrey Young of The Hill has obtained what appears to be a draft (or a draft of a draft) the HELP committee's as yet unreleased health reform legislation (PDF). If only it were written in parseable English.

Read More →

LiveWire