The DC Morning: 3/2/2010

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) Dems still hopeful that health care will pass, Santa is real — For health care to pass via reconciliation, nine House Democrats will have to “court” the ever hilarious “flip-flopper label,” and change their nay votes to Woo hoo! votes, writes the Associated Press. Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs “exactly 216” votes for reconciliation, but “many lawmakers expect defections, especially of members who oppose federal funding for abortion and feel the Senate language is too permissive in that regard.” There are probably objections to other things as well, but all anyone can think about anymore is that poor woman who stole her dead sister’s mouth and the cost of it all. If these concerns sound irritatingly familiar, that’s because the Dems have been checking and rechecking their reconciliation math like a dweeb in a dry-cleaned t-shirt who has been done with the test for like, five minutes already.

2.) Rep. Rangel reportedly hasn’t felt heat like this since he went to the Caribbean for free — “I think that in order to preserve the public trust, which is of the highest priority, Rep. Rangel should, at this point, step aside as chair of the Ways and Means Committee,” Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton told the Hill, in what historians will one day document as the day the first of Rangel’s colleagues “went there.” At issue, of course, is Rangel’s atrocious mishandling of everything related to being an elected official: unreported income, junkets, and “other serious breaches,” which the House Ethics Committee is looking into but won’t talk about because it’s all too damn embarrassing. Thus far, the 20-term Rangel remains either oblivious to the uproar or strategically silent.

3.) Climatologist admits to being nasty little boy, avoiding scientific inquiry — During a hearing conducted by the UK Parliament’s science committee on why the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia “did not make its raw climate data and methodology public,” former CRU Director Phil Jones admitted “I’ve obviously written some really awful e-mails,” adding that he withheld data from known climate skeptics because “people just wanted to find something wrong with it.” If that last bit puzzles you, it’s OK; that simply means you do not “get” “science.”

4.) Shocker: Specter polling the hell out of Toomey — Despite switching parties midstream in order to retain power, Sen. Arlen Specter is polling ahead of any and all contenders. According to the Lebanon Daily News, a Quinnipiac survey shows Specter ahead of Toomey, “the Republican challenger who drove Specter out of the GOP last April,” with 49 percent to 42 percent. And even with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, “Specter maintains a decisive lead over Rep. Joe Sestak in the May 18 Democratic primary.” No one is as shocked as Sen. Specter, who was worried for a minute that his bald attempt at remaining a career politician would be misinterpreted by Pennsylvania voters as desperate, pathetic, and beneath contempt.

5.) Enraged Charlie Crist denies independence — In response to politicos who have suggested that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist–once considered by some to be vice presidential material–will run as an independent if Marco Rubio continues to trounce him in the Senate race, Crist denied yesterday that he’s considering getting off Rubio’s back. “It’s not something I’m thinking about,” Crist said. “The public really doesn’t know the opponent” like Crist, who has made himself a student of Rubio’s every powerful step. Democratic strategists in South Florida are wishing and hoping and thinking and praying for an independent Crist run; anything to hamstring Rubio, who is looking more and more every day like he is made of pure shoe leather and victory and America. The Rubio campaign, on the other hand, is hoping that Crist will pull a Harold Ford Jr. and disappear.

6.) BREAKING: Automakers secretly want to kill us all — GM said yesterday that it “will recall 1.3 million Chevrolet and Pontiac compact cars sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to fix power steering motors that can fail.” The recall isn’t that urgent, the automaker told the AP, claiming “the vehicles are still safe to drive and never lose their steering, but it may be harder to steer them when traveling under 15 mph.” Pedestrians should keep this in mind the next time they find themselves near a shuffleboard court.

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