The DC Morning – July 29, 2010

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White House advisor demanded–and got–support from JournoListObama wants the FBI be able to look at more things without anybody knowing they are looking at thingsCharlie Rangel’s colleagues cannot wait to sell him down the riverStatepocalypse begins nowAmericans are losing the will to protest their government’s bad decisionsRich people are buying up votes in Florida like real estate

1.) Biden advisor’s message to JournoList swayed coverage of White House policies — In May of 2009, Vice Pres. Joe Biden’s cheif economic advisor Jared Bernstein contacted Ezra Klein to pass a message along to JournoList members: “Calling all Journos,” Bernstein wrote in a message relayed by Klein. “I thought we got too little love from progressive types re our tax changes targeted at businesses with overseas operations. We’re maybe going for another bite at the apple this Monday.” While Greg Anrig of the Century Foundation and Bloomberg’s Ryan Donmoyer panned Bernstein’s claim, at least one blogger took Bernstein’s message to his bleeding heart, reports The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong. “I’ve heard that there’s some disappointment in the administration that they haven’t gotten the level of progressive love they feel they deserve for their ambitious proposals to curb abusive corporate tax loopholes,” wrote influential liberal blogger Matt Yglesias the next day. Yglesias went on to attack opponents of the plan, noting “how absurd some of the abuses the administration is trying to curb are.” Bernstein wasn’t the only political player at work on the list. Jeff Hauser advocated for tainted coverage on JournoList while managing the congressional campaign of Democrat Dennis Shulman. Before the first McCain-Obama debate, Hauser wrote, “Journolist’s greatest challenge is to make sure an actual win by Obama translates into winning the battle for political impact.” Done and done.
Share: 2.) Obama fights for right to bend your civil liberties over a sink — “The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation,” reports the Washington Post. “The administration wants to add just four words — ‘electronic communication transactional records’ — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history.” While said lawyers emphasized that this particular request does not cover the “content of e-mail or other Internet communication,” we should just accept that it eventually will cover our emails–to our friends, our lovers, our bosses, our dog-walkers, and the student loan officer at our alma mater, who has taken to calling late at night, wanting to know where the money is, demanding payment, always right now, never in the morning. A select few will be emails to and from terrorists, and hopefully someone at Top Secret America will notice them before it’s too late. But don’t hold your breath.
Share: 3.) Charlie Rangel is working like he’s never worked before–to save his own ass — “Negotiations between lawyers for Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) and House ethics investigators continued on the eve of a public hearing Thursday that was expected to lay out the charges against him,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Democrats have been privately and publicly urging Mr. Rangel to settle the case, and the 80-year-old lawmaker has said he hoped to do so.” The Wall Street Journal declined to ask Rangel why an innocent man with nothing to hide would rather settle a case behind closed doors than seek public vindication (the last person who tried to do this was MSNBC’s Luke Russert, and he got his balls chopped off). The clock is ticking for Rangel, as “a number of House Democrats privately say that they could go public with their concerns about Mr. Rangel on Friday if they sense that the ethics hearings could turn ugly for Democrats. Republicans have been trying to turn the case into an indictment of Democratic leadership.” Uh oh!
Share: 4.) Corpulent state and local governments to shed half a million jobs — “To cover for lost tax revenues, local governments will fire nearly 500,000 workers in the coming year,” reports the Huffington Post. “The National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 270 local governments planned to collectively lay off 8.6 percent of their workforce from the previous fiscal year to the next one.” Who’s to blame for this? God, who isn’t. State legislators who treat their constituents like piggy banks? Yep. Everyone who bought into the real estate bubble, even when it became clear that it was, well, a bubble? You betcha! Taxpayers, for asking too few questions? Yes, sadly! It is time to return to Thunderdome.
5.) America is tired of caring about health care — According to a recent poll conducted by the Kaiser Foundation, Americans are slowly losing their will to argue against government overhauls. “The July Health Tracking Poll indicates overall public support for the health reform law is steady from June, while unfavorable views of the law have trended downward. Half the public (50%) now expresses a favorable view of the law, while 35 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion (down from 41% in June),” reports the foundation. How soon until opposition to health care is just a blurry memory from the days when Americans cared about the horrible things their government did?
Share: 6.) Jeff Greene is this close to buying the Florida Democratic Senate primary — According to Quinnipiac, billionaire Jeff Greene is finally polling ahead of Kendrick Meek, an actual Florida resident: “In the race for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, businessman Jeff Greene has jumped to a 33 – 23 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, with former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre at 4 percent. But 35 percent are undecided and 54 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind,” writes Quinnipiac. But Greene’s not the only one: Fellow billionaire Rick Scott, a rabid opponent of Obamacare, is also polling ahead of his less wealthy competitor (we cannot even remember his name!) in the Florida gubernatorial Republican primary.