TPMDC Sunday Roundup

Tony Blair: ‘You Can’t Not Have Regrets About The Lives Lost’
Appearing on This Week, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked whether he had regrets about the Iraq War. “You can’t not have regrets about the lives lost,” said Blair. “I mean, you would be inhuman if you didn’t regret the death of so many extraordinary, brave and committed soldiers, of civilians that have died in Iraq, or die still now in Afghanistan. And of course you feel an enormous responsibility for that, not just regret. And I say in the book the concept responsibility for me has its present and future tense, not just its past tense.”

Blair: Radical Islam’s Narrative ‘Stretches Far Further Than We Think’
Also during his appearance on This Week, Blair addressed what he said were the complexities of the international situation. “What I think we understand more clearly now is — and this is something I didn’t understand fully at the time of 9/11 — in a sense, at that point you think there were 3,000 people killed in the streets of New York in a single day. And I still think it’s important just to hold that thought in our mind, because I always say about this, the important thing is, if these people could have killed 30,000 or 300,000, they would have,” said Blair. “And that really changed the calculus of risk all together. But what I understand less clearly at that time was how deep this ideological movement is. — this is actually more like the phenomenon of revolutionary communism. It’s the religious or cultural equivalent of it, and its roots are deep, its tentacles are long, and its narrative about Islam stretches far further than we think into even parts of mainstream opinion who abhor the extremism, but sort of buy some of the rhetoric that goes with it.”Graham: ‘If We Voted Tomorrow We Would Do Very Well’
Appearing on Meet The Press, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted a strong November for the Republicans, while also saying that this would mainly be a rejection of the Democrats. “I think if we voted tomorrow we would do very well. But the truth of the matter is that most of this is a rejection of a Democratic agenda that did not meet the expectations that President Obama created about a new way of doing business,” said Graham. “The healthcare bill not only is a monstrosity in terms of growing the government and cutting out the private sector, the way it was passed was sleazy. Every old Washington trick was used to pass the healthcare bill. But, from a Republican point of view, we need to bring checks and balances, tell the American people if we get back in control, we’re going to check this Obama agenda that has no limits and we’re going to bring about balance by controlling spending, relooking at the healthcare bill, and trying to be more fiscally responsible. But a lot of this has to do without people saying–with people saying no to the Democrats, not saying yes to the Republicans.”

Plouffe: If GOP Had Their Way, Unemployment Would Be 20 Percent
Appearing on Meet The Press, former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe defended the administration’s economic record — and compared it with the policies of the opposition: “We would have been unemployment rate probably in the high teens. Some economists even say over 20 percent, by the way. So the Recovery Act that the Republicans are attacking, if they had their way, we wouldn’t have done anything like that. We probably would have unemployment rate–if the Republican ideas and policies had been in place that drove us into this economic calamity in the first place, we’d be sitting here with unemployment almost double what it is, with no positive growth, no glimmers that we’re coming out of this.”

McCain: People In Southern Arizona ‘Do Not Have A Secure Environment’
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) criticized the federal government on border security, painting a bleak portrait of the situation in his home state regarding the Mexican drug war. “The people who live in the southern part of my state do not have a secure environment. To wit, there are signs that the government put up that say, ‘Warning. You are in a drug smuggling area and a human smuggling area,'” said McCain. “The police chief of Nogales, Arizona, has been told that his police officers will be murdered if they interfere with the drug cartels. And that funnel is coming up through the state of Arizona.”

NSBA Head Endorses Obama Jobs Bill
Appearing on State of the Union, National Small Business Association President Todd McCracken endorsed the jobs bill being offered by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. “Putting money in the pockets of both consumers and small business people so they can take advantage of the opportunities when they come along is crucial.” At the same time, he criticized the administration for not acting sooner. “We are talking about small business lending now…this should have been on the table a year and a half ago,” McCracken said. “And now they are also talking about a payroll tax holiday-we were talking about that also a year and a half ago, and we think something like that should have been in the first stimulus package.”

NSBA Head Calls For Tax Cut Extension
In addition, McCracken called for an extension of the Bush tax cuts. “We think that Congress should at least temporarily extend these tax cuts,” McCracken said. “The companies that do pay this tax, and there is a minority of small companies for sure, but the ones that do are the most successful ones who are most likely to be growing jobs and the ones that we want to continue to be successful.”