TheDC Morning: Run, bankers (run)
1.) Everybody wants something from Obama’s SOTU — For two weeks now, yammer-faces and pols have rattled off what they’d like from tonight’s State of the Union address. The only thing they haven’t asked for is the moon. In an interview with The Daily Caller, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner added his own demands to the growing list of things Obama must pay lip service to during his address. “What I hope he says – and I think this will make some folks on my side upset – even if he has an innovation and growth agenda … just growth alone isn’t going to get us out of this problem,” Warner said. “We’re going to have to take on the size and role of government” and “the stuff that’s popular” like entitlement and defense spending. “You’ve got to earn good faith by showing willingness to do spending cuts,” Warner said. “There is some value in short term cuts that will at least show that we’re serious about doing something.” Obama’s more likely to promise the moon.
2.) John Boehner to resuscitate D.C.’s school voucher program — One of Obama’s first moves as president was to look the other way while Congressional Democrats eviscerated a voucher program intended to lift D.C. kids out of poverty. “Democrats pushed successfully in the previous Congress to prevent re-authorization of the program, which provides up to $7,500 yearly toward tuition in private schools, including religious schools,” writes the Washington Post’s Mike Debonis. “As a compromise, legislators approved an Obama proposal to allow about 1,700 children then currently receiving vouchers to continue through high school. But no new students have were admitted to the program for the 2009 and 2010 school years.” But there’s light yet: Shortly after Obama’s SOTU address, Speaker John Boehner will put the president’s promises of bipartisanship to the test: “If the president is sincere about working together on education reform,” reads a letter from Boehner’s office, “we should start by saving this successful, bipartisan program that has helped so many underprivileged children get a quality education.” Surely the president wants Sasha and Malia, who attend the premier private school Sidwell Friends, to see how the other half lives?
3.) Jesse Ventura takes on the TSA — Conspiracy theorist and former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura has filed suit against the federal government for infringing on his Fourth Amendment rights, reports the AP. “The lawsuit, which also names Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole as defendants, argues that [body scanners and full-body pat-downs] are ‘unwarranted and unreasonable intrusions on Governor Ventura’s personal privacy and dignity, and are a justifiable cause for him to be concerned for his personal health and well-being.'” After the TSA implemented new rules in 2010 to detect 2009’s security threats, Ventura, who has a titanium hip, was “exposed…to humiliation and degradation through unwanted touching, gripping and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body.” Of course, even a theoretical need for such measure would escape someone who believes the U.S. government blew up the World Trade Center.
4.) Eco freak ditches White House — “Carol M. Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change policy, will leave the administration shortly,” the New York Times reported Monday night. “An aide to Ms. Browner said she was proud of her White House accomplishments, including helping to coordinate response to the BP oil spill and fashioning a deal under which automobile fuel efficiency will increase by nearly 25 percent over the next five years.” Meanwhile, in the real world, The Truth About Cars reports on the incredible successes automakers have had boosting their mileage with CAFE ratings instead of EPA ratings, and that even when they play by the rules, “automakers are getting better at gaming even the ‘adjusted’ EPA test to deliver a window sticker number that can be nearly impossible to replicate in the real world.”
5.) Hillary supports burning Mexico to the ground — “During a one-day trip south of the border, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday lauded Mexico for battling drug cartels she once compared to an insurgency,” reports the L.A. Times. “She vowed continued U.S. support through equipment and training for Mexican law enforcement, and by targeting the southbound flow of arms and money into Mexico.” One year after questioning Calderon’s approach to battling the cartels, Clinton suggested that the embattled Mexican president was heading in the right direction, what with headless bodies being discovered across the country every day. “This is very hard, and what President Calderon has done is absolutely necessary,” Clinton said. “There is no alternative.”
6.) Canal Street will soon run red with the blood of malfeasant bankers — “The bipartisan panel appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis has concluded that several financial industry figures appear to have broken the law and has referred multiple cases to state or federal authorities for potential prosecution, according to two sources directly involved in the deliberations,” reports HuffPo. “According to the law that created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the panel has a responsibility to refer for prosecution any evidence of lawbreaking. The offices that have received the referrals — the Justice Department, state attorneys general, and perhaps both — must now determine whether to prosecute cases and, if so, whether to pursue criminal or civil charges. Though civil charges appear a more likely outcome should prosecution result, one source familiar with the panel’s deliberations said criminal charges should not be ruled out.”