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Judd Gregg's Attempt to Grab Control Over Census Foiled... by HuffPo

Friday, February 13, 2009

By Paul Abrams
Huffington Post


Do not believe for a moment that Judd Gregg withdrew his nomination because of the stimulus bill, or the firestorm that arose because of his not voting on the stimulus bill.

Remember, Gregg approached the White House for the job, not conversely, when the substance of the stimulus package was well-known, especially to Gregg who is ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Moreover, Gregg supported the basic concept of stimulus on CNBC, but said it was inappropriate for him to cast a vote while he was under consideration for the Commerce Secretary's post. He flummoxed Larry Kudlow by asserting that the federal government was the consumer-of-last-resort in a contracting economy, and Kudlow came back later pleading with Gregg to remain true to Kudlow's principles.

Gregg also told Kudlow that deficits (for which Gregg maintained his hawkishness) would actually be worse if the stimulus did not pass due to decreased tax revenues and increased unemployment and Medicaid payments than the money they were spending.

So, Gregg was fully on-board not just with joining the Administration, but with the stimulus policy. The President had expressed, and Gregg was there to provide in internal councils, a need to reform major entitlement programs.

Do not, therefore, believe the baloney that Gregg withdrew because of disagreements on the stimulus or profound differences on other economic matters....(Click for remainder).

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"Diaper" David Vitter Says Obama Adopts Judicial Standards Of A "Dictatorship"

By Stephanie Mencimer
Mother Jones


Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter made a trip to DC's Chinatown on Thursday to nibble on kung pao chicken and rally the conservative troops. Addressing the DC lawyers chapter of the conservative legal group, the Federalist Society, Vitter got right down to red meat. After quoting comments from President Obama suggesting that he'd like his judicial nominees to be able to empathize with the downtrodden, Vitter declared that demanding empathy in a judge was something you'd expect in a "dictatorship." How empathy equates with repressive rule, Vitter didn't really explain, except to say that it had little to do with ensuring checks and balances on an imperial government. (Vitter also claimed--and it was hard to tell if he was joking or not--that he routinely walks from the Senate to the House of Representatives to use the apparently more populist House water fountains, instead of imbibing the stuff the Senate is drinking these days.)

But Vitter didn't really come to Tony Cheng's to discuss judges or the Constitution. His talk, entitled "Defending Conservative Principles in the Senate," was mostly a complaint about the economic stimulus bill that his Senate colleagues were poised to pass without his vote or the votes of most Republicans. According to Vitter, his party was having a come-to-Jesus moment over the stimulus package, which had provided the minority party an opportunity to rediscover its mantra of smaller government and lower taxes....(Click for remainder).

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Goldberg revives claim that "left-wingers" "threw Oreo cookies" at Steele

By Media Matters for America

On the February 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bernard Goldberg revived the claim that, in 2002, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, an African-American, had Oreo cookies thrown at him. In fact, Steele, who was running for Maryland lieutenant governor at the time of the alleged incident, Robert Erlich, Steele's then-running mate, and Paul Schurick, Erlich's then-spokesman, have recounted several different -- sometimes contradictory -- versions of the alleged incident. Indeed, in November 2002, Steele reportedly speculated that Oreos allegedly present at the debate may just have been "someone having their snack."

Amid attacks against Media Matters for America -- for highlighting Factor host Bill O'Reilly's comparison of Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas to "the Wicked Witch of the East" -- Goldberg claimed that "left-wingers ... didn't say a word when their fellow left-wingers ... threw Oreo cookies at Michael Steele, because he had the nerve to be a conservative black man."

As Media Matters has noted, the Oreo incident allegedly happened during a September 2002 gubernatorial debate between Republican Ehrlich and Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. However, The Baltimore Sun's initial reporting on the debate did not mention Oreos. According to Nexis, the first media mention of Oreos appearing at the debate came on October 1, 2002, when the Sun reported that Schurick "said Democrats in the audience ... distributed Oreo cookies" at the debate. Subsequently, on October 21, 2002, the Associated Press and the Sun both reported that the day before, Ehrlich had told an audience assembled at a Jewish day school that "Townsend supporters at the debate threw Oreo cookies" at Steele.

In 2005, when Steele announced his bid for the U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, Schurick also reportedly claimed cookies were thrown during the debate. The Sun reported in a November 13, 2005, article that Schurick said "he saw people passing out packages of the cookies ... before the debate and that when Steele entered the auditorium about 15 minutes before the start, people let fly with the cookies." The article quoted Schurick saying, "It was raining Oreos. ... They were thick in the air like locusts. I was there. It was very real. It wasn't subtle."...(Click for remainder).

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Conservatives Deny Reality, Claim Increasingly Popular Recovery Plan Is Losing Support

Desperate much?

By Matt Corley
Think Progress


In his Wall Street Journal column today, former Bush adviser Karl Rove claims that House Republicans “are playing their hand extraordinarily well.” “House Republicans have used the stimulus bill to redefine their party, present ideas on how to revive the economy, and force congressional Democrats and the president to take ownership of the spending programs soon to be signed into law,” writes Rove.

As proof of their success, Rove claimed that “support for the stimulus is failing“:
The payoff is that support for the stimulus bill is falling. CBS News polling reveals a 12-point drop in support of the bill over the past month. Pew Research and Rasmussen have turned in similar numbers. The more Americans learn about the bill, the less they like it.
On Fox News this afternoon, Deputy Managing Editor Bill Sammon pushed the same message, saying that “public support has gradually declined as more and more details of this stimulus bill have come to light.” Later, during an interview with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Fox’s Trace Gallagher said the American people “support what the president is doing,” but “they don’t support this plan.” Watch it:



(Click for remainder).

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Ed Stein: Pavlov's Banker

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