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For Don Siegelman, DOJ's decision on Ted Stevens just adds insult to injury.

"There seems to be substantial evidence of prosecutorial and other misconduct in my case, that would dwarf the allegations in the Stevens case," the former Alabama governor told TPMmuckraker in an interview moments ago.

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Via Brad Plumer of The New Republic comes this article from the St. Petersburg Times throwing some cold water on the Republican party's allegation that the Democrats are planning to institute a "light-switch tax" that would cost every American household $3,128 annually. The punchline is this: The Times got in touch with John Reilly, one of the authors of the study the GOP cited as the source of that number, and he said, "It's wrong in so many ways it's hard to begin."

As we noted earlier, "light-switch tax" is a tendentious renaming (or misnaming) of "cap-and-trade legislation", which would price and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But where did the GOP come up with that price tag?

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It was probably never gonna happen, but now it's official. Climate change legislation will not be passed through the budget reconciliation process. The Johanns amendment, which explicitly prevents such a move, just passed on a 67-31 vote. We'll get you a roll call when it's available, including the names of the significant number of Democrats who voted with the GOP. Expect to find the usual suspects on that list. And more!

Late update: I should note that the budget resolution isn't law and this amendment applies to this budget resolution and this budget resolution only. You shouldn't draw too many conclusions from that, of course, but it's probably important to note, amidst all of this arcana, that the Senate hasn't foreclosed on the option for all budgets in the future.

Chris Matthews says a lot of things. So it's to be expected that sometimes they're smart and insightful, and sometimes they're embarrassingly wrong.

Just now, the MSNBC anchor, opining on the news that DOJ is dropping the charges in the Ted Stevens case, declared that the decision means "the charges should never have been brought, there should never have been a prosecution."

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As President Obama embarks on his overseas trip to the G-20 summit, a new Gallup poll finds that his approval on foreign affairs is a solid 61%.

One interesting thing is that this number is actually higher than the 54% approval in foreign affairs that Obama registered a month and a half ago, contrary to the usual expectation that these figures would go down as the honeymoon period wore off.

On the other hand, disapproval has also increased, from 22% to 28%. The movement here was not been from approval to disapproval or undecided, but from undecided to approval or disapproval, as Obama has just begun actually doing things in foreign policy.

Here's yet another example of a politician tying himself to President Obama: Here at the TPM office in New York City, I just got a robocall from Bloomberg for Mayor, letting me know that Mayor Mike supports the Obama health care plan.

The call was read by a man with a working-class New York accent, letting me know how well Bloomberg and Obama get along: "Like President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg knows it's time to put politics aside, so we can work together on health care now." (The quote may be off by a word or two as I jotted it down quickly, but you get the idea.)

Bloomberg is of course running for re-election this year in a heavily Democratic city, during a time of Democratic resurgence, but he himself is not a Democrat. He was elected twice as a Republican, and became an independent in 2007.

A bit more on the Charles Millard affair.

Earlier today, we reported that lawmakers had, in a letter, warned Millard, the former head of the government agency that guarantees workers' pensions, that his planned strategy to shift the agency's investments from bonds to stocks to jeopardize its ability to meet its obligations, and had laid out some guidelines he should adhere to ensure a cautious approach. Millard, of course, made the shift anyway, apparently just in time to absorb major losses for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation as the stock market tanked last fall.

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John McCain is taking a page from House Republicans and, in about an hour, will be introducing an alternative budget of his own. It's a move that might just rankle Judd Gregg--who, as chairman of the Budget Committee, and the guy who would normally make these decisions, opted not to go that route.

We should have more details once it comes to the floor, but in the mean time, recall that during his presidential campaign, McCain called for a one year non-military discretionary spending freeze. That's in contrast to the House GOP budget which calls for a five year freeze. Economic conditions in the country have gotten worse since the November election, though, and Republican cries for spending cuts have grown louder, so it's possible that he's has doubled down or more on this idea.

The DNC has now put out their memo/press release analyzing the NY-20 special election: "Murphy's lead following yesterday's balloting shows that the Republican Party has no new ideas, is tied to the failed policies of the past and that it is in disarray and faces an uphill battle in local and state elections in 2009 and 2010."

The DNC also declares it a win for Obama: "This race became a referendum on President Obama and his leadership of the country and handling of the economy. Murphy's showing in an overwhelmingly Republican district is affirmation of the direction the President is leading the country."

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Yesterday, we reported on the unveiling of new House climate change legislation co-authored by Henry Waxman, and Ed Markey. Since then, a bit more info's trickled in, particularly from the Senate.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) told the Washington Post "we don't have 60 votes"--that's no surprise, but it's also an important statement by the Democratic whip, at a time when the party is grappling with the question of budget reconciliation.

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