TPMDC Saturday Roundup

Obama: Senate GOP Leaders ‘Holding America’s Small Businesses Hostage To Politics’
In this weekend’s YouTube address, President Obama promoted his administration’s program of aid to the auto industry. And he also blasted Republican leaders for filibustering the small business jobs bill.

“It’s a bill that includes provision after provision authored by both Democrats and Republicans. But yesterday, the Republican leaders in the Senate once again used parliamentary procedures to block it,” said Obama. “Understand, a majority of Senators support the plan. It’s just that the Republican leaders in the Senate won’t even allow it to come up for a vote. That isn’t right. And I’m calling on the Republican leaders in the Senate to stop holding America’s small businesses hostage to politics, and allow an up-or-down vote on this small business jobs bill.”

Johanns Slams Obama For ‘Fiercely Anti-Business Tone’
In this weekend’s Republican address, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) attacked President Obama on the issue of business regulation and paperwork, especially regarding the new health care reform law.

“I begin with a very sincere question for our President. Isn’t it time, Mr. President, to tone down the rhetoric and to govern?” said Johanns. “I’m a relatively new member of the U.S. Senate. But, I’ve had an opportunity to serve in the Cabinet; to govern a state; and to serve as the Mayor of a wonderful community. And I learned early on that to advance an agenda, a leader needs to pull people together. You talk about creating jobs and that sounds good, but your policies just do the opposite – with a fiercely anti-business tone.”

Chelsea Clinton Getting Married Today
Chelsea Clinton will be married today, to hedge fund manger Marc Mezvinsky. The AFP reports on the events in Rhinebeck, New York: Locals were on the lookout for celebrities among the expected 400 to 500 wedding guests. Bill Clinton, looking trim after having been instructed by his daughter to lose weight, arrived in Rhinebeck and briefly met crowds Friday, offering warm words for his future son-in-law. ‘I admire him. Hillary feels the same way,’ he said.”

Calls For Rep. Rangel To Resign On The Rise
The Hill reports: “The calls for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign are piling up as the congressman’s ethics trial threatens to loom large over campaign season. The tally of House Democrats calling on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign his seat in Congress stood at eight as members adjourned for the August recess late Friday. That number includes Rep. Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.), the first Democrat from Rangel’s home state to call for his ouster. And so far, every House Democrat who has called for Rangel’s ouster faces a viable Republican challenger this fall.”

WaPo: Edwin Kneedler A ‘Savvy Choice’ To Argue Suit Against Arizona Immigration Law
The Washington Post profiles Edwin S. Kneedler, the experienced lawyer that the Justice Department has selected to argue the Obama administration’s case against the Arizona illegal-immigration law before the Supreme Court. “The Justice Department wanted to show they were taking this case incredibly seriously, but didn’t want to send Obama’s guy,” said Tom Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who founded Scotusblog. “I’ve never seen any hint of politics in Kneedler. There really isn’t a more respected advocate in the Supreme Court bar.”

Democrats Predict Cooler August This Year
Roll Call reports: “As Democrats return home for an August recess that could make or break their bid to hold the House in November, party leaders expressed confidence that their rank and file will not encounter the kind of public angst at town halls that dominated cable news last summer. ‘I think, frankly, that ran its course,’ Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters late last week. ‘Not totally, you’re still going to have it, but I think people really do want to engage. They understand we have serious challenges, and they want to hear serious discussion about how to solve those problems.'”

Obama Warns Abbas Against Refusing Direct Talks
The AFP reports: “US President Barack Obama has warned Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas that failure to resume direct peace talks with Israel could undermine US-Palestinian ties, Palestinian officials said on Saturday. Obama made the warning in a letter to Abbas but also pledged to rally Arab, European and Russian support for the Palestinians if direct negotiations resume, a Palestinian official told AFP speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘In the letter, President Barack Obama warned president Mahmud Abbas that his refusal to enter into direct negotiations with Israel next month will have consequences for American-Palestinian relations,’ the official said.”