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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Uh-oh ... Looks like Rep. Jim McCrey (R) of Louisiana, chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, may be looking over the paperwork to join the Conscience Caucus. The AP says McCrery is now outlining "ideas similar to those supported by many Democrats and said he wants to discuss them with the Bush administration."

I guess that counts as a problem, right?

Maybe the president needs to put in a stop down in Lousiana too.

TPM reader RT did the <$NoAd$>leg work so I'll let him speak for himself ...

From today's LA Times top story, referenced in the Note, an anonymous white house source said:
"White House officials say they are confident that congressional skepticism will dissipate once the president persuades a majority of the public that action is needed to extend the life of the retirement program, a process Bush was scheduled to begin today by taking his Social Security message on the road."
a couple paragraphs later:
"In a significant shift in his rationale for the accounts, Bush dropped his claim that they would help solve Social Security's fiscal problems — a link he sometimes made during last year's presidential campaign. Instead, he said the individual accounts were desirable because they would be "a better deal," providing workers what he said would be a higher rate of return and "greater security in retirement."

A Bush aide, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, was more explicit, saying that the individual accounts would do nothing to solve the system's long-term financial problems."
So, the Bushies claim, "there is a huge crisis and our 'solution' will 'do nothing to solve' it." If this is the same White House source that briefed every other reporter yesterday it is Dan Bartlett.

RT


A bit further down in the piece there's this gem ...

That candid analysis, although widely shared by economists, distressed some Republicans.

"Oh, my God," one GOP political strategist said when he learned of the shift in rhetoric. "The White House has made a lot of Republicans walk the plank on this. Now it sounds as if they are sawing off the board."


Jeeves! Bring me my saw ...

Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates breaks the blacklist and enters the Bamboozlepalooza event as GOP roadies relent at the last minute!

Our favorite local Dakota blog brings you the latest and another phone interview with Coates herself ...

Right out of the box Rep. John Boehner (R), Chairman of House Education and the Workforce Committee, said he was willing and ready to investigate the Armstrong Williams payola affair. Now, it seems, he's decided he'd rather not investigate after all.

More details revealed about the Fargo Forty!

Actually, one detail is that there are apparently 42 of them. But that sort of breaks my rhetorical stride so let's not dwell on that. More interesting is what unites these would-be evildoers who are banned from attending the president's Bamboozlepalooza event today in Fargo.

According to the Fargo Forum: "At least 33 of the 42 people on the list are or have been members of the Fargo-Moorhead Democracy for America Meetup Group." As the Forum describes this cell, "The group is a local progressive organization dedicated to electing fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates in the Fargo/Moorhead area."

No word yet on whether City Commissioner Linda Coates is also a member, public or otherwise, of said "Meetup" organization.

Fargo Forty Update!

This blog reports that Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates is currently in line to get into today's Bamboozlepalooza event with the president, notwithstanding the appearance of her name on the event blacklist. In fact, the author of the blog says he just got off the phone with her. Whether the Patriot Act will need to be invoked to deal with Commissioner Coates is anybody's guess.

But this blog will probably have the story first.

New poll out today says most Mainers believe Social Security has "major problems". But 68% want to keep it in its current form, while only 24.5% support private accounts.

No wonder Conscience Caucus member Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) wouldn't get up out of her seat.

The fearful signs of recidivist faintheartedness, from <$NoAd$> the Hartford Courant ...

[President Bush] described the perils of the current system, how it would be "exhausted and bankrupt" by 2042. From the Democratic side of the chamber came cries of "no" - unusually raucous behavior for this most traditional of forums. And when Bush urged Congress to consider changes, only two Democratic senators - Connecticut's Joe Lieberman and Nebraska's Ben Nelson - stood up and applauded.


A Faction man till the end?

Meanwhile, Rep. Rob Simmons (R) of Connecticut, stays in the Caucus but flirts with losing his Loud and Proud status: “While I am wary of dramatic changes to a program so important to our seniors, I do understand the need to provide alternative retirement opportunities to younger workers. I look forward to this debate in Congress.”

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