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Igor Bobic

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Igor

Speaking at a campaign event in Michigan on Tuesday, Mitt Romney criticized President Obama for using a fictional woman, Julia, in an infographic, to compare his policies with that of Romney.

"What does it say about the president's policies, when he has to use a cartoon character rather than real people to justify his record?" Romney asked, to applause.

RNC’s Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclan said at a pen and pad session with reporters earlier on Tuesday that she cannot comment on Mitt Romney’s position on immigration because Romney is "still deciding" on what that position is.

Now, however, Inclan tweets that she "misspoke," linking to Mitt Romney's campaign website:

 

Mitt Romney released the following statement today on Rick Santorum's endorsement late last night:

“Senator Santorum ran a spirited race and his commitment to conservatism energized millions of Republicans around the country.  The race for the Republican presidential nomination has always been about restoring the promise of America. Senator Santorum and I share an absolute commitment to that goal, just as we share an absolute commitment to reversing the failing policies of the Obama Administration, from its assault on freedom of conscience to its feckless foreign policy.  Ann and I extend our sincere gratitude to Karen and Rick for his endorsement, and our continued prayers for the health of their daughter Bella.”

President Obama will travel to Albany, New York today to call upon Congress to act on a package of initiatives the administration supports, or a "To Do List":


Read the full list here:

1.      Reward American Jobs, Eliminate Tax Incentives To Ship Jobs Overseas: Congress needs to attract and keep good jobs in the United States by passing legislation that gives companies a new 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving their operations back to the U.S. and pay for it by eliminating tax incentives that allow companies to deduct the costs of moving their business abroad.

2.      Cut Red Tape So Responsible Homeowners Can Refinance: Congress needs to pass legislation to cut red tape in the mortgage market so that responsible families who have been paying their mortgages on time can feel secure in their home by refinancing at today’s lower rates.

3.      Invest in a New Hire Tax Credit For Small Businesses: Congress needs to invest in small businesses and jumpstart new hiring by passing legislation that gives a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012 and that extends 100 percent expensing in 2012 for all businesses.

4.      Create Jobs By Investing In Affordable Clean Energy: Congress needs to help put America in control of its energy future by passing legislation that will extend the Production Tax Credit to support American jobs and manufacturing alongside an expansion of the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing (48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit)

5.      Put Returning Veterans to Work Using Skills Developed in the Military: Congress needs to honor our commitment to returning veterans by passing legislation that creates a Veterans Job Corps to help Afghanistan and Iraq veterans get jobs as cops, firefighters, and serving their communities.

 

The CIA has thwarted an underwear bomb plot organized by al-Qaida, according to the Associated Press:

U.S. officials say the plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also built to be used in a passenger's underwear but contained a more refined detonation system.

The would-be suicide bomber was told to buy a ticket on the airliner of his choosing and decide the timing of the attack. It's not immediately clear what happened to the would-be bomber.

At a town hall in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, Mitt Romney took a question about the Supreme Court by a woman in the audience who in her preceding remarks said Obama is "operating outside the structure of our Constitution," and should be "tried for treason."

Romney didn't dispute the woman's suggestion that Obama should be tried for treason, but instead continued with his answer, saying he would respect the different branches of government if elected president.

"I happen to believe that the Constitution was not just brilliant, but that it was inspired, and so was the Declaration of Independence," Romney said.

He then took a follow-up question from the same woman regarding the rights of citizens to protest and the Secret Service.

“I will be happy to look at what he has done about the Secret Service with respect to protests," Romney said.

Update: Washington Post reporter Phillip Rucker tweets that following the event, Romney said he doesn't agree with the woman's belief that Obama should be tried for treason:

 

Watch the video:

 

The California Republican Party, dubbed the "Party of No" for years by Democratic lawmakers, sought to rebrand its image at a Thursday press conference in Sacramento by calling themselves the "Party of Yes."

"So often, we have to rely on others to say what we believe and who we are and what we think," Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway said, reports Southern California Public Radio. "And I always prefer to do that for myself."

The press conference kicked off a statewide tour ahead of next month's GOP primary as well as a push to counter a new $9 billion tax initiative, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), which is intended to help close California's notorious budget deficit. Republican lawmakers appeared before a "Party of Yes" banner (image here) and touted their affirmative support for jobs, fiscal responsibility and tax relief, but then called for a "no" vote on the new tax measure.

"Jerry Brown is turning in his signatures as we speak to make that (top tax rate) the highest rate in the country," said California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro of the initiative, the Sacramento Bee reports. "We think that's the wrong way to go."

To their credit, however, California's Republicans haven't always said "no" to everything. Back in February, they turned the tables on Democrats and supported Brown's 12-point plan to overhaul public pensions -- a key Democratic interest.

The number of people registered to vote among Hispanics and blacks has dropped significantly, reports the Washington Post:

That figure fell 5 percent across the country, to about 11 million, according to the Census Bureau. But in some politically important swing states, the decline among Hispanics, who are considered critical in the 2012 presidential contest, is much higher: just over 28 percent in New Mexico, for example, and about 10 percent in Florida.

Adam Yauch of the hip hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 48, reports Rolling Stone:


Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 48, Rolling Stone has learned. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.

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