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The DCCC has now released their own fundraising e-mail for the aftermath of the NY-20 special election, preparing for the legal fight ahead. Like the NRCC's e-mail, they too invoke the specter of Al Franken -- but for much different reasons:

We've seen these kinds of tactics before - just look at Al Franken who is still fighting for his seat in the Senate after November's election. We already have a legal team on the ground but we know this is going to be extremely expensive! We need your help again and we wouldn't ask again if it wasn't so critical.

The NRCC referred to Franken as an example of the Democrats stealing an election, in order to bring in some cash. And for the Democrats, Franken is also a useful fundraising theme, as a martyr of the GOP's dirty tricks to keep a rightfully-elected Dem out of office.

Full e-mail after the jump.

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The House Budget Committee Republicans have put out this graph purporting to predict government spending as a percentage of GDP for the next 50 or so years. Unsurprisingly, they presume that spending will skyrocket under Democratic budgets as designed by Democratic presidents and congressional leaders who haven't been elected yet, but that spending will decrease under Republican governance.

This level of detail is remarkable, given that Ryan himself seems to have been unable to say how big near term deficits would be under his plan just two days ago. (Incidentally, Ryan's budget, which we've obtained pegs the 2010 deficit at just under $1 trillion.)

Interestingly, now that the Republican plan has been made into legislation, it can be analyzed by the CBO, so we'll see what they have to say about it. We've just gotten a hold of the GOP's Budget resolution (i.e. the Ryan substitute) and some supplemental information and we'll provide links to PDFs shortly.

Late update: I swapped out the original graph for one that contains a separate "projection" (read arbitrarily drawn line) based on the GOP alternative.

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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It sounds like the decision to drop the charges against Ted Stevens was prompted by a new example of prosecutorial misconduct, which only came to light recently.

Here's the key excerpt from the Justice Department's motion:

The Government recently discovered that a witness interview of Bill Allen took place on April 15, 2008. While no memorandum of interview or agent notes exist for this interview, notes taken by two prosecutors who participated in the April 15 interview reflect that Bill Allen was asked about a note dated October 6, 2002, that was sent from the defendant to Bill Allen. The note was introduced at trial as Government Exhibit 495 and was referred to as the "Torricelli note." The notes of the April 15 interview indicate that Bill Allen said, among other things, in substance and in part, that he (Bill Allen) did not recall talking to Bob Persons regarding giving a bill to the defendant. This statement by Allen during the April 15 interview was inconsistent with Allen's recollection at trial, where he described a conversation with Persons about the Torricelli note. In addition, the April 15 interview notes indicate that Allen estimated that if his workers had performed efficiently, the fair market value of the work his corporation performed on defendant's Girdwood chalet would have been $80,000. Upon the discovery of the interview notes last week, the Government immediately provided a copy to defense counsel.

Defendant Stevens was not informed prior to or during trial of the statements by Bill Allen on April 15, 2008. This information could have been used by the defendant to cross- examine Bill Allen and in arguments to the jury. The Government also acknowledges that the Government's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a New Trial provided an account of the Government's interviews of Bill Allen that is inaccurate.

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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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