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Lieberman about to leave

Lieberman about to leave the Faction?

We're getting a flurry of emails telling us that Sen. Lieberman just defended Social Security in an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Late Update: We continue to get live-on-the-scene reports from TPM readers across the country, all of whom provide rough approximations of what Lieberman said. Best email subject heading so far: "Joementum out of the Faction?"

Never too Late for Joe Update: TPM reader LS sends us what she describes as a TIVO-based transcript of the key words: "Lieberman: Social Security protection - don't fool around with it. It's probably the best thing the government has done in 100 years, getting senior citizens out of poverty - Stewart: You're not just saying that 'cuz you're getting older? Lieberman: (laughs) Yes that's one reason I'm saying it, but if we want to add some extra savings opportunities for baby boomers and those younger, let's find another way to do it without messing around with Social Security."

By the way has

By the way, has anyone come up with a good Social Security Democrat to run against Rep. Allen Boyd next year? Certainly Florida's second district has someone willing to mix it up with this dastardly yellowbelly, right?

Im usually pretty leery

I'm usually pretty leery of investing a lot in over-clever wordplay. And even this one could be easily overdone. But this suggestion from TPM reader MR caught my ear: "You're on your ownERSHIP SOCIETY."

Most of you have

Most of you have likely already seen this. But in case not, and especially if you have impressionable young children, you'll want to know that radical cleric James Dobson has revealed that cartoon character "SpongeBob" is a homosexual and now involved in propagandizing America's youth on behalf of his alternative lifestyle.

With a name like SpongeBob we thought sure the guy was straight. But in cases like these we're always the last to know.

Marshall Wittman aka Da

Marshall Wittman (aka 'Da Moose): "The Moose observes that the eloquence of the President's address was only matched by its disconnectedness to reality ... If he were in touch with the reality of America, he would discover that the country has deep doubts about the wisdom of the war in Iraq ... He is oblivious to the notion that he speaks ever so eloquently about advancing freedom abroad while he imposes economic policies that promote plutocracy at home."

The message being sent

The message being sent out from SSA Commissioner Jo Ann Barnhart in response to emails questioning SSA's possible involvement in a pro-phase-out media campaign ...

"Thank you for your inquiry. There has been a lot of misinformation in the media lately and I am glad to have this opportunity to set the record straight. I have never, nor will I ever, ask or direct Social Security employees to promote or advance any specific proposal for Social Security reform. Our job at Social Security is to provide services and benefits and to educate the American public about the programs and finances of Social Security. Again, thank you for your inquiry. We look forward to continuing to serve you."

Meanwhile, in comments to PRWeek, SSA press officer Mark Lassiter says the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding. PRWeek says Lassiter told them that "the plan that's been circulated was never reviewed or approved by the agency. Rather it was posted on the website of one regional office."

Lassiter further says the that the SSA PR plan "hasn't changed in several years."

Finally, the Post's Al Kamen reports on the SSA's 'crisis, crisis, crisis!' phone messages.

Hey, didn't we report that last month?

Sen. Grassley R agrees

Sen. Grassley (R) agrees with Chairman Thomas that the president's Social Security phase-out plan may be in trouble.

From the Des Moines Register ...

Grassley, in a conference call with Iowa reporters, did not criticize Thomas' comments, and said that the "difficult political issue" likely will have to be handled by the Senate first rather than the House, and then in a bipartisan fashion.

That's in contrast to other controversial ideas that the Republican-controlled Congress has been able to approve in recent years, largely along party lines, such as Medicare prescription drug legislation and tax-cut packages.

"I told the president the other day he has been successful with his agenda because he had a Republican House to push it through," Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said, referring to a recent White House meeting.

In addition, budget rules assisted lawmakers, as well as help from some Senate Democrats, Grassley said.

With Social Security, that is not possible and 60 votes - which would mean some Democratic support - will be needed for any plan to be approved in the Senate, he said.

"Understand it's got to be bipartisan and the president has got to encourage that bipartisanship," Grassley said.

Surely, Stephen Moore's going to have <$NoAd$>something to say about this, right?