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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

Senator John Kerry (D-MA), appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, blamed Republicans and in particular Tea Party intransigence for the unprecedented S&P downgrade of U.S. credit from AAA to AA+.

"I believe this is without question the Tea Party downgrade," he said. "This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered the will of even many of Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal."

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The GOP's large freshmen class appears to be largely supportive of Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) debt bill that would raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion and cut nearly $917 billion over 10 years, signaling that what just a few days ago seemed certain to fail is looking more and more likely to pass.

Boehner was publicly confident that his party would coalesce around his legislation, spiritedly telling TPM that it would be a "Zippity-do-da day" before a closed-door meeting with his conference at the Capitol early Thursday morning. However, moments later he reportedly told his caucus that he didn't have the votes yet.

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DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) strongly chided the GOP today for using a movie clip from the film "The Town," in which two criminals agree to a revenge attack, in order to rally lawmaker support for Speaker Boehner's new debt bill currently being rewritten in the House.

The playing of the clip, organized by members of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) staff, happened in a closed-door caucus meeting on Tuesday. It features Ben Affleck's character asking for a friend's aid in order to "hurt some people."

"Who are they planning to hurt?" demanded Wasserman Schultz, adding: "Unfortunately that short clip from 'The Town' tells you everything you need to know about their approach to the negotiations over the debt ceiling," she said, after showing the clip to the attending media.

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Following Rep. Allen West's (R-FL) Tuesday email to DNC chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in which he attacked her as "vile, despicable, and unprofessional," and "not a Lady," West claimed he apologized. However, now both Wasserman Schultz and West's own spokesperson are saying he didn't.

Roll Call reported the apology earlier in the day, however, DNC aide Brad Woodhouse responded by calling the claim "a complete falsehood." Wasserman Schultz also told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she in fact did not receive an apology.

Then, to complicate this escalating 'he said/ she said' fiasco, Angela Sachitano, a spokesperson for West also came out claiming the apology is "absolutely false." She said that actually, West is waiting for an apology from Wasserman Schultz. Indeed, the signs are that West is actually using the incident for fundraising purposes.

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Senate Democrats today unleashed a torrent of criticism against the GOP's Cut, Cap, and Balance Act which passed the House late last night via a heavily partisan vote, re-branding it as a political scheme that would "kill medicare" and one that would never pass in the Senate.

"Let me make this as simple as I can: the Republican scheme to cap, cut, and kill medicare is dead on arrival in the senate," declared Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at a press conference in Washington. "[It] would wreak havoc on our country's seniors, the middle class, military preparedness, and our country's standing in the world - their plan to cut, cap, and kill medicare is the Ryan plan on steroids."

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Following up on the ongoing concerns over social networking sites' management of their users' personal information, congressional lawmakers on Thursday questioned whether the government's leading agencies tasked with protecting consumers and regulating the nation's communications systems were doing enough to protect individuals' privacy.

"What is the [Federal Trade Commission] doing to oversee Google+ and the new service that apparently there's some problems with?" demanded Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

"What is the FTC doing in regards to Facebook and the facial recognition technology? Does that pose a threat to privacy?"

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Following up on the ongoing privacy concerns over social networking sites' management of their users' personal information, congressional lawmakers today questioned whether the government's leading agencies tasked with regulating the nation's communications systems were doing enough to protect users' private information.

"What is the [Federal Trade Commission] doing to oversee Google+ and the new service that apparently there's some problems with?" demanded Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). "What is the FTC doing in regards to Facebook and the facial recognition technology? Does that pose a threat to privacy?"

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Congressional Democrats introduced a bill today that would take some of the sting out of last year's controversial Citizens United decision by empowering shareholders to weigh in before a corporation makes any political contribution.

The Shareholder Protection Act is a last ditch-effort by Democrats to stem the tide of unlimited political expenditures that corporations will surely use to influence the 2012 election, and one wisely crafted on the conservative premise that shareholders' wallets ought to have the same level of free speech protection as the corporations they helped create.

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Following recent reports that President Obama and congressional Democrats are considering some sort of changes to entitlements as part of a broader debt-limit deal, House Republicans have decided to go for the jugular by again pressing for further cuts in order to "strengthen" - or cut - Social Security, a program forecast to stay solvent until at least 2036.

At a Friday hearing called in response to a delayed Government Accountability Office statement on future Social Security benefit payments, Republicans used the opportunity to whack the Social Security pinata once more, highlighting their unease with its financing even though it doesn't contribute to the deficit at all.

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Boeing Co. raked in millions of dollars from the U.S. Army by marking up spare helicopter parts as much as 177,000 percent, according to a Defense inspector general report first obtained by the Project on Government Oversight.

Boeing, a major defense contractor, overcharged the Army on 18 different parts and collected $23 million dollars instead of the $10 million it should have received in fiscal year 2010. One part, a straight pin that usually valued at $0.04, was sold to the Army for an astronomical $74.01 per unit. A plain stud used on Apache helicopters fetched $3,369.48, even though it usually retails for $190.00 a piece - a 1,673 percent markup.

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