TPMDC Saturday Roundup

Obama: ‘These Reforms Would Put An End — Once And For All — To Taxpayer Bailouts’
In this weekend’s presidential YouTube address, President Obama touted progress in the recovery of the auto industry, and also promoted his proposed reforms to the financial sector.

“In the absence of common-sense rules, Wall Street firms took enormous, irresponsible risks that imperiled our financial system – and hurt just about every sector of our economy. Some people simply forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is family looking to buy a house, pay for an education, open a business, or save for retirement,” said Obama. “That’s why I went to New York City this week and addressed an audience that included leaders in the financial industry. And I once again called for reforms to hold Wall Street accountable and to protect consumers. These reforms would put an end – once and for all – to taxpayer bailouts. They would bring greater transparency to complex financial dealings. And they will empower ordinary consumers and shareholders in our financial system.”

Hutchison: ‘The White House Is Attacking Republican Leaders To Score Political Points’
In this weekend’s Republican address, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) alleged that the Democrats’ financial reform bill would continue to provide for taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street. and she accused the Democrats of using the issue to score political points.

“Getting our economy back on track is too important to allow political games to sidetrack these efforts. Both parties agree that any financial regulation should do one essential thing: no company should be considered ‘too big to fail’. And never again should taxpayers be expected to bail out those who made risky financial bets with other peoples’ money,” said Hutchison. “Unfortunately, the White House is attacking Republican leaders to score political points. Americans are troubled by the way Democrats forced their health care bill on the public that overwhelmingly opposed it. The Democrats are trying to do it again. But, they underestimate Americans’ understanding.

McCain: Obama Should Send Troops To Border If He Doesn’t Like New Arizona Law
Speaking at a news conference in Phoenix on Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) countered President Obama’s objections to his home state’s controversial new anti-illegal immigration law. “If the president doesn’t like what the Arizona Legislature and governor may be doing, then I call on the president to immediately call for the dispatch of 3,000 National Guard troops to our border and mandate that 3,000 additional Border Patrol (officers) be sent to our border as well,” said McCain. “And that way, then the state of Arizona will not have to enact legislation which they have to do because of the federal government’s failure to carry out its responsibilities, which is to secure the borders.”

Obama Cites ‘Devastating Chapter’ In Armenia’s Past
President Obama issued a statement commemorating the mass killing of Armenians during World War I — but did not specifically call it a genocide, a term that has been disputed by the Turkish government. Obama referred to it as “a devastating chapter in the history of the Armenian people, and we must keep its memory alive in honor of those who were murdered and so that we do not repeat the grave mistakes of the past.”

Obama’s Supreme Court Point-Man Bauer Tough But Low-Key
The Associated Press profiles White House counsel Bob Bauer, who is in charge of the Obama administration’s search for the upcoming Supreme Court nominee. “When he comes up to the Hill and he says something, he has automatic credibility,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who also added: “The only thing that would throw the nominee off that schedule is if there is a sudden surprise, and Bob’s not a person who comes up with sudden surprises.”

Allies Aim To Start Handover Of Power To Afghans
The United States and NATO allies have agreed to start transferring control of Afghanistan back to that country’s leaders by year’s end, though achieving stability will take decades. “We believe that with sufficient attention, training and mentoring, the Afghans themselves are perfectly capable of defending themselves against insurgents,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Does that mean it will be smooth sailing? I don’t think so. Look at Iraq.”

GOP Asks SCOTUS To Overturn Soft Money Ban
The Republican Party has formally asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ban on “soft money,” or unlimited contributions to political parties. “In Citizens United, the court made clear that the only constitutionally adequate basis for prohibiting political speech is the prevention of actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption — arrangements that exchange dollars for political favors,” the filing says.

Palin: I Eat Organic Food — And I Shoot It
Speaking at a Republican fundraising event in the Democratic stronghold of Eugene, Oregon, Sarah Palin joked that she took offense at a common description of the area as “granola-eating hippies.” “I eat granola. I eat a lot of organic food,” said Palin. “I have to shoot and catch a lot of my organic food before I eat it.”