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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

The FCC is planning to bar LightSquared, which offers a national high-speed wireless network, because in some cases interferes with personal navigation and GPS systems, reports the AP:

The Federal Communications Commission said it will seek public comment as early as Tuesday on revoking LightSquared's permit after a federal agency that coordinates wireless signals, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, concluded that there's no way to mitigate potential interference.

Iran has begun loading fuel rods into its own nuclear reactor in northern Tehran, reports the AP:

The official IRNA news agency said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inserted the first Iranian-made rod into the reactor in northern Tehran, and state TV broadcast live images from the ceremony with Iranian nuclear experts briefing Ahmadinejad on the process.

 

 

The Newt Gingrich campaign has announced a second "Dream Team" - this one focused on faith. The 'Faith Leaders Dream Team' consists of "several fearless Christians" such as Don Wildmon, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, George Barna, JC Watts, Chuck Norris, Mat Staver and others who will back Gingrich as he takes on the Obama administration. Newt's first 'dream team' consisted of conservative leaders.

 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the House GOP's decision to go ahead with a stand-alone payroll tax cut extension bill tomorrow. Pelosi said House Dems would support the GOP's payroll extension bill, but said that it "should not be a substitute" for the remaining issues at hand - the Medicare "Doc Fix" and an unemployment benefits extension.

 

The House has voted twice overwhelmingly to instruct the Conference Committee to complete all of its work by this Friday, February 17.  The House Republican leadership plans to bring to the floor a stand-alone payroll tax cut extension bill tomorrow.  We have long proposed bringing this tax cut to the floor without payfors and House Democrats will support it so that taxes are not raised on 160 million working Americans, but this should not be a substitute for the work of the Conference Committee.

We continue to call upon the conferees to resolve the remaining issues – extending unemployment benefits and ensuring seniors can continue to see their doctors under Medicare – by February 17.  If the Conference Committee is unable to complete its work on a comprehensive bill by that date, the Republican leadership should cancel the recess and remain in Washington next week.  These crucial policies  affect millions of middle class families and seniors and must not expire at the end of this month.

It seems the well has gone dry. Sheldon Adelson, big Newt Gingrich donor and supporter, has decided he has no more money to give to the struggling presidential candidate, reports the Hill:

A tough campaign week may have just gotten worse for Newt Gingrich, withBloomberg News quoting a source close to Sheldon Adelson saying that the casino mogul — who has already funneled $11 million into a super-PAC supporting Gingrich — does not plan to donate further to his campaign.

 

Erick Erickson discussed the state of the presidential race as it relates to the economy at CPAC on Thursday with Ralph Reed. Erickson advised that if Republicans want to defeat Obama, they must stand on something more than the economy, because if the economy recovers, November will be one tough slog. More from Erickson:

"I think the race should be more than the economy. Unfortunately I think Republicans have decided they'll go with electability instead of issues and if electability is your case and the electability is based on I can fix the economy and the economy fixes itself, then why do we necessarily need a nominee that the Obama campaign is going to spend millions and millions of dollars on to be unlikable. There needs to be something more to it. Ralph is right, we need to have more of an agenda. But the Republicans have dropped the ball on telling the story of Barack Obama. They never have. They always thought that they could use the economy. There's a story to be told about Barack Obama. This is a man who if you want to succeed in his America, you have to be on board his campaign. He picks the winners and losers, not the free market. And there's a story to be told there that resonates I think with people in the country. I just think the Republicans are dropping -- I hate to be pessimistic about an election we should win, but it seems like we are setting ourselves up to lose if the economy improves and we should be able to beat a man who to succeed in this society he must pick you as a winner."

Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, who is running to replace an outgoing Sen. James Webb (D-VA), criticized the Obama administration on its new birth control rule, reports the Washington Post. In a radio interview recorded Tuesday for the “HearSay with Cathy Lewis” program on WHRV in Hampton Roads, Kaine said the following:

 “I think the White House made a good decision in including a mandate for contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act insurance policy, but I think they made a bad decision in not allowing a broad enough religious employer exemption,” Kaine said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by his campaign.

Ed. Note: Post updated to reflect that Gov. Tim Kaine's main point of disagreement with the rule is that the exemption for religious groups wasn't broad enough.

Rick Santorum's spectacular victories in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado last night are not only a delight to an oft-forgotten campaign operation which has been outspent by a margin of 10-1, they're also good news for President Obama.

Santorum's fresh momentum is another dagger at the heart of Team Romney, which must once again turn its attention and resources away from the President to strike instead at another upstart before he threatens to spoil the narrative that Mitt Romney is the one candidate best positioned to take the White House in November.

It was clear on Wednesday morning that Santorum is about to feel the full force of the Romney machine. Senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom appeared on MSNBC and sought to tie Santorum to a flagging Newt Gingrich, describing the pair as "two peas in a pod" because of their Washington careers.

Democrats, on the other hand, were happy to pour a copious amount of salt on Mitt Romney's wounds. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took to the airwaves immediately after Santorum's victories in Minnesota and Missouri to pile on Romney's setback.

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