Blogs > HNN > May 17, 2010: Questioning Kagan, Obama Phones in Support for Arlen Specter

Aug 11, 2010 3:48 pm

May 17, 2010: Questioning Kagan, Obama Phones in Support for Arlen Specter

President Gives an Update on the Response to the Oil Spill



  • Ratings Changes – Reid's Included – Show GOP Momentum: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's persistent vulnerability in his Nevada re-election campaign is the top takeaway from the latest race rating changes by the CQ-Roll Call elections team – the subject of today's and tomorrow's columns.
    But after another strong Democratic year in 2008, the tides have turned sharply in favor of a Republican rebound, this time in reaction to the assertive but politically risky agenda pursued by President Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress. CQPolitics' ratings in recent months have reflected this trend, as the newest changes drive home.
    Headlining the Senate ratings changes summarized below, Reid has been hurt politically by his central role as the Democrats’ point person in a series of highly partisan policy battles. With public polls continuing to show him struggling against much lesser-known candidates competing for the Republican Senate nomination in the June 8 primary, CQPolitics has changed its rating on the Nevada race to Leans Republican from Tossup.... - CQ Politics, 5-14-10
  • Voters Shifting to GOP, Poll Finds: Republicans have solidified support among voters who had drifted from the party in recent elections, putting the GOP in position for a strong comeback in November's mid-term campaign, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
    Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters—all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House. Those voter groups now favor GOP control of Congress.
    A big shift is evident among independents, who at this point in the 2006 campaign favored Democratic control of Congress rather than Republican control, 40% to 24%. In this poll, independents favored the GOP, 38% to 30%.... - WSJ, 5-13-10


  • Kagan's skills well-suited to Senate hearings: Standing before the nine Supreme Court justices, Elena Kagan is forceful, quick on her feet, admits error when necessary, then goes right back at the questioner — blunt yet polite. Her style as solicitor general is likely to serve her in confirmation hearings, but only to an extent, legal and political analysts say. Kagan has exhibited the dexterity necessary to respond to tough questions in a public forum, but a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is a more politically charged setting than the high court."She can't just show that she's a super-duper lawyer for the president," says Ken Duberstein, a chief of staff to President Reagan who handled several Supreme Court nominations."She has to tell a life story and convey a temperament that shows she'll be fair and impartial."... - USA Today, 5-17-10
  • Senator says Kagan broke law at Harvard: While Senate Republicans acknowledge that they are unlikely to derail Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, that hasn't stopped them from testing potential lines of attack against her. Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, accused Kagan of violating the law when she was dean of Harvard Law School between 2003 and 2008. During her tenure, she continued the school's restrictions on campus military recruitment because of the armed forces'"don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans openly gay people from serving. Sessions blasted Kagan on ABC's"This Week" for enforcing the recruitment restrictions during a time of war, which he called"no little-bitty matter."... - WaPo, 5-17-10
  • Obama: Democratic clean up, GOP car crashes: President Barack Obama mocked Republicans with images of cars in ditches and mopping up messes. Determined to rally Democrats, Obama told donors at a fundraiser Thursday night in New York City that his administration and congressional Democrats have tried to repair a battered economy while Republicans have remained on the sidelines."So after (Republicans) drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back," Obama said."You can't drive! We don't want to have to go back into the ditch! We just got the car out!"... - AP, 5-15-10
  • Personal ties bind Obama, Kagan President joins ranks of picking friend for court: If Elena Kagan is confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, President Obama will have something that has become increasingly rare for presidents: a personal friend on the court. Indeed, when Obama introduced Kagan at the White House as his court nominee, it sounded almost as if he were talking about himself: a former Chicago law professor, Harvard graduate, and White Sox fan who eschewed the lucrative world of corporate law to focus on academia and public service. Obama brought her into his administration by nominating her to be solicitor general and now, after slightly more than a year in that job, he wants to elevate her to the Supreme Court. Boston Globe, 5-16-10
  • Pragmatism over partisanship? Kagan described as favoring a consensus-building, analytical style over a passion for her own ideas: Just after Election Day the fall of her senior year at Princeton, Elena Kagan published an opinion piece in the campus newspaper recounting how she had wept and gotten drunk on vodka at a campaign gathering for a liberal Brooklyn congresswoman who had unexpectedly lost a race for the Senate. Ronald Reagan was heading to the White House, and Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman -- a champion for women's causes for whom Ms. Kagan had toiled 14-hour days as a campaign press assistant -- was leaving Capitol Hill. Ms. Kagan, then 20 and imbued with the liberal principles on which she had been raised, said she was flirting with despair that"there was no longer any place for the ideals we held. ... I wonder how all this could possibly have happened and where on earth I'll be able to get a job next year."... - WaPo, 5-16-10
  • 'General Kagan' no newcomer to high court: Six times in the past nine months, Solicitor General Elena Kagan has come to the mahogany lectern in the hushed reverence of the Supreme Court to argue the government's case before the justices she now hopes to join soon.... - AP, 5-15-10
  • Palin Warns NRA Obama Wants to Ban Guns: Palin, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, told National Rifle Association members during their annual meeting that the only thing stopping Obama and his Democratic allies from trying to ban guns is political backlash.
    "Don't doubt for a minute that, if they thought they could get away with it, they would ban guns and ban ammunition and gut the Second Amendment," said Palin, a lifelong NRA member who once had a baby shower at a local gun range in Alaska."It's the job of all of us at the NRA and its allies to stop them in their tracks."... - AP, 5-14-10
  • Palin pushes abortion foes to form 'conservative, feminist identity' Network News: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told a group of women who oppose abortion rights that they are responsible for an"emerging, conservative, feminist identity" and have the power to shape politics and elections around the issue. Speaking to a breakfast gathering of the Susan B. Anthony List in downtown Washington on Friday, Palin urged more than 500 audience members to back only those candidates for public office who are uncompromisingly opposed to abortion. Palin, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, delivered calls to action to an audience dominated by women."The mama grizzlies, they rise up," she said, to laughter."You thought pit bulls are tough. You don't want to mess with the mama grizzlies. And I think there are a whole lot of those in this room."... - WaPo, 5-14-10
  • Congressman to launch inquiry on how much oil is gushing into Gulf: A U.S. congressman said he will launch a formal inquiry Friday into how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after learning of independent estimates that are significantly higher than the amount BP officials have provided. Rep. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said he will send a letter to BP and ask for more details from federal agencies about the methods they are using to analyze the oil leak. Markey, who chairs a congressional subcommittee on energy and the environment, said miscalculating the spill's volume may be hampering efforts to stop it."I am concerned that an underestimation of the oil spill's flow may be impeding the ability to solve the leak and handle the management of the disaster," he said in a statement Thursday."If you don't understand the scope of the problem, the capacity to find the answer is severely compromised." BP officials have said 5,000 barrels per day of crude, or 210,000 gallons, have been leaking for the past three weeks.... - CNN, 5-14-10
  • Senate panel approves money for Afghan, Iraq wars: A Senate committee on Thursday approved another $33.5 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq this year, although some members said they did so reluctantly. The action by the Senate Appropriations Committee is the first step toward congressional approval of the extra war spending that President Barack Obama requested in February to support his surge of 30,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan.... Chairman Daniel Inouye said he hoped the Senate would act on the legislation by the end of May. The money comes on top of about $130 billion that Congress already approved for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars through September 30 of this year.... - Reuters,
  • President's visit makes impression at Industrial Support: After President Obama and his White House entourage left, when the television cameras were off, David Sullivan and managers at Industrial Support Inc. gathered in his office late Thursday and cracked open a few beers to celebrate one heck of a day."Unbelievable," said Sullivan, founder and president of Industrial Support."The man is incredible — sharp, funny, personable. People were crying talking to him. The thing couldn't have gone better."... - Buffalo News, 5-13-10
  • Swipe this card; shopping could be cheaper: Striking at a lucrative bank business, the Senate on Thursday voted to force credit card companies to reduce fees for debit card transactions and permit merchants to offer customer discounts based on their payment method. The 64-33 vote inserted the fee requirement in a package of new financial rules the Senate is considering to ward off a repeat of the financial crisis. The vote was a major defeat for banks, which lobbied hard against it. But the measure attracted heavy bipartisan support and surpassed a 60-vote threshold for passage. Seventeen Republicans voted for the amendment; 10 Democrats voted against it. The measure from Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., would force credit card companies to charge businesses less for debit card transactions than for credit card payments.... - AP, 5-13-10
  • Kagan's Link to Marshall Cuts 2 Ways: In the spring of 1988, Justice Thurgood Marshall assigned a clerk, Elena Kagan, to write a first draft of his opinion in a case considering whether a school district could charge a poor family for busing a child to the nearest school, which was 16 miles away....
    Because Ms. Kagan has never been a judge and has produced only a handful of scholarly writings, clues to her philosophy are rare. In that vacuum, liberals and conservatives alike are attributing special significance to her clerkship year with Justice Marshall, who led the civil rights movement’s legal efforts to dismantle segregation before becoming a particularly liberal Supreme Court justice.
    But while Ms. Kagan, a former board member for the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, clearly relished the experience and admired the justice as a historic figure, she appears to have had a far more ambivalent attitude toward his jurisprudence, according to a review of his papers at the Library of Congress, her comments over the years about him and interviews with her fellow clerks and colleagues.... - NYT, 5-13-10
  • Other border states shun Arizona's immigration law They don't see the illegal flow of people as problematic: U.S. Border Patrol vehicles patrol near the San Ysidro port of entry, late Monday in San Diego. Arizona's sweeping new law empowering police to question and arrest anyone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally is finding little support in the other states along the Mexican border....
    Among the reasons given: California, New Mexico and Texas have long-established, politically powerful Latino communities; they have deeper cultural ties to Mexico that influence their attitudes toward immigrants; and they have little appetite for a polarizing battle over immigration like one that played out in California in the 1990s.... - Salt Lake Tribune, 5-12-10
  • Climate change bill has critics from both sides: Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and John Kerry, D-Mass., unveiled their long-delayed climate change bill Wednesday and immediately encountered liberal and conservative critics who said the measure was either an energy bailout or a danger to the American economy.
    "Those who've spent years stalling need to understand something: Killing a Senate bill is not the measure of success or victory, because if Congress can't legislate a solution, the EPA will regulate one," Kerry said, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency."And it will come without the help to America's businesses and consumers that is in this bill."... - Houston Chronicle, 5-13-10
  • Big oil to get more grilling as oil gushes in Gulf: Oil execs to be grilled again by U.S. lawmakers * BP stock value drops $30 billion, underscoring uncertainty * Protests planned in several U.S. cities * Oil starting to wash up on shore, BP says...
    Top oil executives face a second day of grilling by U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday over a deadly well rupture that unleashed a huge oil slick and the specter of environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico... - Reuters, 5-12-10
  • As Clinton Aide, Kagan Recommended Tactical Support for an Abortion Ban: Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, once recommended to President Bill Clinton that he support a Democratic-sponsored ban on some late-term abortions as a way to defeat a stronger measure gaining momentum in the Senate.
    As a White House domestic policy aide, Ms. Kagan sent Mr. Clinton a memorandum urging him to endorse the ban sponsored by Senator Tom Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota. The memo anticipated that the Daschle plan would fail but suggested that it would provide political cover for enough senators to stick by the president when he ultimately vetoed the tougher bill sponsored by Republicans.
    "We recommend that you endorse the Daschle amendment in order to sustain your credibility on HR 1122 and prevent Congress from overriding your veto," Ms. Kagan and her boss, Bruce Reed, said in the memo on May 13, 1997.... - NYT, 5-12-10

ELECTIONS 2010, 2012....

  • GOP Shifts With U.S. Mood: GOP leaders in Washington, responding to an angry and demanding Republican electorate, are adopting more populist economic policies, lambasting a wider swath of Obama administration policies as"government takeovers" and vowing dramatic fiscal changes. They are responding, in part, to primary election voters of both parties who are showing themselves to be in a prickly, anti-incumbent mood. The next sign of the public's feelings about Washington comes Tuesday, with sitting senators facing challenges in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, and a hand-picked Republican establishment candidate in danger of losing in Kentucky. Five months before November's midterm elections, those forces are already reshaping the GOP, altering the tone and focus of its leadership and the composition of its senior ranks.... - WSJ, 5-17-10
  • Palin endorses candidate in 5-way New Mexico race: Sarah Palin had a couple of requests for the hundreds of cheering fans who turned out Sunday morning to see her and Susana Martinez, who is in a five-way race for the GOP nomination for governor. The former Alaska governor asked those in the crowd to join her in supporting Martinez, a southern New Mexico district attorney, and to continue pushing for reforms that will recharge America's economy and put an end to government corruption. With Martinez at her side, Palin said,"You have the winner here: someone who is proudly pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-family, anti-tax, anti-big government."... - AP, 5-16-10
  • Senate-race rivals split on pledge: Rep. Joe Sestak said Sunday that he wouldn't commit to supporting Sen. Arlen Specter if the incumbent won the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, a sign of how bitter their race has become as well as a fresh worry for party leaders hoping to hold the seat in the fall. In contrast, Specter declared that he would endorse Sestak if things did not go his way Tuesday, quickly adding that he was confident of a win. The two combatants spoke back to back on CNN's State of the Union With Candy Crowley less than 48 hours before the polls open, and as both men barnstormed the state to make their final arguments.... - Philadelphia Inquirer, 5-16-10
  • Bill Clinton campaigns in Pa. in Murtha seat race: Former President Bill Clinton sought to soothe the concerns of discontented voters in a tight special election race to replace the late Rep. John Murtha, stressing it was the Democratic nominee who could best bring more jobs to the blue-collar district. Candidate Mark Critz, a top Murtha aide, hopes to parlay an appearance Sunday at the half-hour rally with Clinton into more votes at the polls Tuesday as the campaign against Republican businessman Tim Burns draws to a close. Clinton's campaign stop, on the heels of U.S. Sen. Scott Brown's rally in Washington, Pa., last week with Burns, underscores the importance the national political parties have placed on the western Pennsylvania race as both sides seek momentum going into the fall's congressional midterm election.... - AP, 5-16-10
  • In the Middle in Arkansas, and Hit From Both Sides: Time was, being a moderate Democrat in Arkansas was a safe bet. After all, this is the state that produced Bill Clinton, master of the midstream....
    Republicans and conservative Democrats have excoriated Mrs. Lincoln for supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, which is often portrayed around here as a socialist plot. Meanwhile, liberal Democrats have hammered her for opposing a government-run insurance option, cap-and-trade climate legislation and a law that would have made it easier for workers to unionize.
    "It's damned if you do, damned if you don’t," she said Saturday evening before threading her way through potential voters at the annual World Champion Steak Cook-Off in Magnolia, deep in southwestern Arkansas."We are an immediate-gratification society. People want these problems solved immediately, but they also don't want to move too fast." - NYT, 5-17-10
  • Paul: His win in Ky. primary good for tea party: Upstart candidate Rand Paul said a clear-cut victory by him in Kentucky's Republican primary for U.S. Senate would be a strong showing for the tea party movement, which has flexed its muscles already in other races across the country. The mood of the country and the Republican Party strengthen his position heading into Tuesday's race. He said the outcome will carry clear national implications."I think the larger the victory the more the mandate for the tea party," he said... - AP, 5-16-10
  • Rubio says country relying too much on government: Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio says the country is relying too much on the government and called the nation's fastest growing religion statism. Rubio told hundreds of people at the Florida Family Policy Council's annual dinner on Saturday night that America became the greatest country because of strong family and religious values, not just because of the structure of its government.... - AP, 5-15-10
  • Obama makes a call for Specter; Sestak also in Phila.: President Obama phoned into a breakfast meeting of African American religious leaders Friday, urging a final push to get out the vote for Sen. Arlen Specter in Tuesday's Democratic primary. Later, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity, Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and District Attorney Seth Williams all reiterated during a news conference their strong support for Specter, who is in a tight battle with Rep. Joe Sestak for the party's nomination.... - Philadelphia Inquirer, 5-14-10
  • Mass. senator Brown stumps for GOP in Murtha race: Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown went to western Pennsylvania Friday to help a fellow Republican do the same thing he did in January: win control of a federal lawmaker's seat long held by a powerful Democrat. In front of about 125 supporters on the steps of the county courthouse in Washington, Pa., outside Pittsburgh, Brown stumped for Tim Burns, who hopes to win the seat formerly held by U.S. Rep. John Murtha, who died in February.
    "I asked to come and help him because I saw a low of similarities — somebody who was an outsider who was not beholden to any special interests and someone who will be an independent thinker and will be an independent voter in the other Washington," Brown said of Burns.... - AP, 5-14-10
  • In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln's enemy is the runoff She's going to get the most votes on Tuesday. But that doesn't mean she'll win: There are three big contested Democratic Senate primaries on Tuesday, and two of them -- in Pennsylvania and Kentucky -- are looking like tossups. But in Arkansas, where two-term incumbent Blanche Lincoln is being challenged from the left by Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, one candidate seems to have a clear advantage: Lincoln. Lincoln's lead in the most recent polls tends to be in the 10-point ballpark. She was ahead of Halter 46-37 percent in a Research 2000 poll this week and 44-32 in a Mason-Dixon survey two weeks ago. Her real challenge on Tuesday, though, isn't to outpoll Halter -- it's to clear the 50 percent mark, in order to avoid a runoff. (Arkansas is one of 10 states, almost all located in the South, that requires the top two finishers in a primary to go to a runoff if nobody breaks a certain percentge.) In a two-person race, the winner would, naturally, break 50 percent. However, unbeknownst to many national observers, this is a three-person race: The other candidate is D.C. Morrison, who’s been running to Lincoln’s right and employing a variety of Tea Party-ish talking points. Morrison polled at 6 percent in the Research 2000 survey and at 7 in Mason-Dixon's.... -, 5-14-10
  • Race to Replace Pennsylvania’s Murtha May Foreshadow November: The race to replace 18-term Democratic U.S. Representative John Murtha, who died in February, in many ways echoes the nationwide election-year debate over taxes, deficits and the role of government.
    The May 18 special election to fill the rest of his term may set a pattern for the November midterm elections, when every House seat is on the ballot amid widespread voter discontent. If Republican businessman Tim Burns wins, running as a political outsider committed to cutting the federal deficit, “conventional wisdom will come around to a greater than 50-50 chance of Democrats losing the House,” said David Wasserman, who monitors House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington. Democrats have a 254-177 majority in the House with four vacant seats, including Murtha’s.... - Bloomberg, 5-14-10
  • Democratic voters remain skeptical of Arlen Specter: Despite support from Obama and the party's leaders, the former Republican is fighting for his political life.... - LAT, 5-13-10
  • Ex-NFL player, NJ candidate Runyan leaks own dirt: As far as skeletons in the closet go, Wednesday's revelations about ex-NFL lineman and current congressional candidate Jon Runyan aren't campaign-killers: He was late on some property tax payments and has been sued in a couple of business deals.
    "I'm a different type of candidate," said the Republican, who's running in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District."With that, I take a lot of personal responsibility for things I do and say."... - AP, 5-13-10
  • RNC: 130 House seats in play: House Republican leader John Boehner recently said the GOP could pick up 100 seats this November. Now, the Republican National Committee's political director says the party has its eye on 130.
    "Our scoring as of today has us looking at about 130 House seats as potentially competitive," Gentry Collins said Tuesday. He hastened to add:"Just to be clear, I'm making no claim that we are going to pick up 130 House seats."
    Republicans see the potential for significant gains this November as support for President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats slide. The GOP needs to win 40 seats to reclaim control of the House. Currently, Democrats hold 254 seats and Republicans 177 with four vacancies.... - AP, 5-11-10
  • Is Republican John Thune testing the 2012 waters?: Republican Senator John Thune did nothing on Thursday to encourage talk among party loyalists that he might run for president in 2012. On the other hand, he did not discourage such talk either. Republicans at this juncture in the political calendar are looking ahead to anticipated gains in November congressional elections against Democratic majorities. But they are also keeping their options open on who to support for the Republican presidential nomination to face Democratic President Barack Obama in his expected re-election bid in 2012. Thune, 49, was a keynote speaker at a high-profile conference for Republican state party chairs in this city on the outskirts of Washington and he touched many of the themes that appeal to the party's conservative base. He repeatedly invoked the name of the Republicans' iconic president, Ronald Reagan... - Reuters, 5-12-10
  • Ross state Senate win boosts GOP Wrentham candidate takes office vacated by Brown: Giving the state GOP another boost as November elections approach, state Representative Richard Ross, a Wrentham Republican, last night won the state Senate seat recently vacated by US Senator Scott Brown. Ross, 55, bested Needham physician Peter Smulowitz, a political newcomer who narrowly survived a bruising Democratic primary against state Representative Lida Harkins, a former House majority whip. According to unofficial results, Ross garnered 15,893 votes to Smulowitz’s 9,819, giving Ross about 62 percent of the votes. Ross won Needham, seen as a liberal stronghold in the 12-community district, by a vote of 2,717 to 2,495, according to unofficial results. Smulowitz won in the district’s precincts in Wayland, Wellesley, and Natick... - Boston Globe, 5-12-10
  • Veteran House Democrat Loses Seat in Primary: Representative Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia, a veteran Democrat, on Tuesday became the first House incumbent to lose his seat this year when he was handily defeated in a hard-hitting primary by State Senator Mike Oliverio. The defeat comes just days after Senator Robert F. Bennett, a Utah Republican and three-term incumbent, was turned out of office by his party at a state convention and just a week before a handful of high-profile primaries next Tuesday, including Senate races in Arkansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania... - NYT, 5-12-10
  • Race for Ga. congressional seat heads to runoff: A pair of former state legislators, including one backed by the tea party, will face off in a June 8 runoff for a north Georgia congressional seat vacated by Republican Nathan Deal.
    Unofficial results showed Tom Graves, who has tea party support, and fellow Republican Lee Hawkins as the top finishers in Tuesday's special election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Graves had 35 percent of the vote while Hawkins earned 20 percent.
    Graves, a 40-year-old developer from Ranger, ran with the backing of anti-tax groups. Hawkins, a 59-year-old dentist from Gainesville, had cast himself as a mainstream conservative.... - AP, 5-11-10


  • Weekly Address: President Obama"Wall Street Reform Will Bring Greater Security to Folks on Main Street" Remarks of President Barack Obama Saturday, May 15, 2010 Weekly Address Washington, DC: The way the system is currently set up, these banks are at a disadvantage because while they are often playing by the rules, many of their less scrupulous competitors are not. So, what reform will do is help level the playing field by making sure all our lenders – not just community banks – are subject to tough oversight. That’s good news for our community banks, which is why we’ve received letters from some of these banks in support of reform....
    That's why Wall Street reform is so important. With reform, we’ll make our financial system more transparent by bringing the kinds of complex, backroom deals that helped trigger this crisis into the light of day. We'll prevent banks from taking on so much risk that they could collapse and threaten our whole economy. And we'll give shareholders more of a say on pay to help change the perverse incentives that encouraged reckless risk-taking in the first place. Put simply, Wall Street reform will bring greater security to folks on Main Street....
    Next week, we have a chance to help lay a cornerstone in that foundation. The reform bill being debated in the Senate will not solve every problem in our financial system – no bill could. But what this strong bill will do is important, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible, so we can secure America’s economic future in the 21st century.... - WH, 5-15-10
  • Obama pushes Wall Street reform with populism: President Barack Obama on Saturday called for swift Senate action on a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street rules to"secure America's economic future" as a reform bill moves into the decisive stage next week. With months to go before November's pivotal congressional elections, Obama pressed a populist theme of helping the"folks on Main Street" as he urged approval of tighter regulations to prevent a repeat of the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
    Obama's Democrats and opposition Republicans are continuing to haggle over a slew of amendments, but the bill could come up for a vote in the U.S. Senate by the end of next week and is widely expected to pass.
    "The reform bill being debated in the Senate will not solve every problem in our financial system -- no bill could," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address."But what this strong bill will do is important, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible, so we can secure America's economic future in the 21st century."... - Reuters, 5-15-10
  • Palin to Obama: 'Do your job, secure our border': Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin joined the national battle over Arizona's controversial new immigration law Saturday, appearing with Gov. Jan Brewer in Phoenix to denounce the Obama administration's criticism of the law."It's time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say 'We're all Arizonans now and, in clear unity, we say Mr. President, do your job, secure our border,'" Palin said, standing beside Brewer at a Saturday afternoon press conference.... - CNN, 5-16-10
  • Sarah Palin speaks in Rosemont: Only moments after taking the stage Wednesday at the Rosemont Theatre, former Alaska governor and conservative firebrand Sarah Palin took on officials of Highland Park High School for cancelling a trip to Arizona for its girls basketball team because of opposition to the state's controversial new immigration law."Keeping the girls basketball team off the court for political reasons? Those are fighting words," Palin said. Noting the school has allowed student trips to China, Palin questioned whether school officials knew"how they treat women in China."
    "An economic and political boycott of one of our sister states is not a way to secure our borders," Palin said, using the title of her first book to encourage the team members to"go rogue, girls."... - Chicago Tribune, 5-12-10


  • Matthew Dallek"History warns Obama on primaries": President Barack Obama is deeply enmeshed in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary....
    Obama is entangled in other Democratic primaries, as well. His White House has endorsed incumbent moderate Democrats in a handful of key midterm races. It has actively intervened in support of Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
    Obama's political team has pressured potential rivals to bow out of some races. The president has raised funds for his preferred candidates. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs argued, for example, that Lincoln is the president's favored candidate because she’s the incumbent.
    Obama is not the first president to be involved in intraparty fights during midterms. Ideology and political disputes have sparked squabbling in Democratic primaries throughout the past century.
    While Obama's efforts seem motivated by a desire to retain Democratic majorities in Congress, his predecessors often had larger policy issues that spurred them to purge their Democratic foes. But in virtually every case, the results were never good for the president... - Politico, 5-11-10

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