The Roundup for January 25, 2011
Obviously the day isn’t really over. I’ll be back around 9:00pm ET for the State of the Union liveblog. I’ll embed a live feed of the speech, along with the usual comments from the peanut gallery. I don’t think that this address will leave Washington “agape,” but as a platform for the year’s political battles it’s worth watching. I haven’t found a conservative blogger to be my bipartisan seatmate yet, but I’m hopeful!
• Some early excerpts of the response speeches from Ayn Ryan and Bachmann Tea Party Overdrive.
• It’s not even worth commenting on Harry Reid’s “placeholder” energy bill. It’s just not going to happen, and if it does it’ll be some version of offshore drilling or nuclear guarantees. Let’s just say that Dick Lugar doesn’t have a lot of clout on this issue.
• Internet providers are already violating the weak rules promulgated by the FCC on net neutrality.
• Noam Scheiber claims that the President is “co-opting” the business community rather than giving in to them. Hope springs eternal!
• As we all knew, the Bush-era Office of Political Affairs used taxpayer money to win elections for Republicans. But the penalty for violating the Hatch Act is removal from office, and I don’t think Karl Rove was asked back.
• The anti-government protests in the Muslim world spread to Egypt today. Wait, you mean home-grown freedom movements can gain solidarity from other countries, instead of just bombing Iraq and letting that fire spark revolution? Hezbollah has the votes, meanwhile, for Prime Minister of Lebanon. But you know, this “democracy” thing only goes so far (that’s snark, to be clear).
• So much for that legislation to toss MERS out of Virginia. They basically tabled it in committee today. “What you saw in there was government of the banks, by the banks and for the banks,” said the bill’s sponsor. He’s a Republican.
• I whole-heartedly support a prisons-to-jobs program. I buy my bread from a company called Homeboy which essentially moves gang members into productive jobs. Saves money, adds to productivity – win/win for everyone involved. Cutting back on these programs, like they’re doing in Kansas, is about the stupidest thing you could do.
• Rahm’s back on the ballot, at least for now while the Illinois Supreme Court hears the case. What I don’t understand is why he rented out his house in the first place, which in part led to the problem he’s facing. You telling me he needed the money?
• Vermont’s Congressional delegation introduced a bill that would allow the state to get a waiver to implement a single-payer system.
• Maybe the US Chamber of Commerce, which supports health care repeal, should talk to its local affiliates, who actually don’t want it.
• When you hear about “job-killing regulations,” keep in mind that there’s not even a shred of evidence for that claim.
• Does anyone even know that two key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire at the end of the month? There’s simply no resistance left outside of the ACLU to this stuff.
• I guess an earmark ban will show up in the speech. Earmarks are 100% Constitutional, by the way.
• Austerity seems to be working great for Britain. Their economy contracted last quarter.
• Maybe the foreclosure crisis in our nation’s churches will bring a different set of stakeholders to the issue.
• To save our civil liberties, our nation turns its lonely eyes to Jesse the Body Ventura.
• Jim Talent won’t run the rematch in Missouri for Senate. Ann “My favorite book is my kitchen table” Wagner, former RNC Chair hopeful, may run.
• The Reagan legacy: his son Ron Reagan Jr. will soon lose his health insurance, and so will his wife, stricken with a degenerative ailment.
• The new Solicitor General nominee is a notorious copyright lawyer who worked for the RIAA.
• McClatchy looks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
• The US is helping Alassane Ouattara squeeze out Laurent Gbagbo financially in Ivory Coast.
• Mike DeWine runs down a bicyclist during his first week as Ohio Attorney General.