1.) Schumer invites Boehner to the dark orange side — Sen. Chuck Schumer wants Speaker John Boehner to come over to the Democrat side of the Force, reports The Daily Caller’s Chris Moody. “Speaker Boehner wouldn’t have been able to pass this short-term measure without Democratic votes, and he won’t be able to pass a long-term one without Democratic votes either,” Schumer said in reference to the fact that 54 House Republicans, many of them Tea Party-backed freshman, voted against a stopgap measure Tuesday. “It’s time for him to abandon the Tea Party, and forge a bipartisan compromise.” Schumer previously said that Boehner “should consider leaving the Tea Party behind.” And that’s if the Tea Party doesn’t ditch Boehner first.
2.) Haley Barbour goes after defense spending — “Anybody who says you can’t save money at the Pentagon has never been to the Pentagon,” Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday night in Iowa. “We can save money on defense and if we Republicans don’t propose saving money on defense, we’ll have no credibility on anything else,” Barbour added, according to reporter Kasie Hunt. “After the speech, Barbour told reporters that he couldn’t identify specific programs that should be cut from the Pentagon budget, but claimed savings could be found across the board.” He also advocated for reducing troop numbers in Afghanistan on the grounds that “I don’t think our mission should be to think we’re going to make Afghanistan an Ireland or an Italy.”
3.) Trying to appear reasonable, Rand Paul reduces proposed budget cut from $500 billion to $200 billion — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s idea of a compromise is as familiar to the dictionary as it is foreign to Washington. Paul, convinced that not even $100 billion in cuts–and certainly not $61 billion–will save America from itself, has agreed to reduce his own proposal from $500 billion to $200 billion. By definition, this is a compromise. Imagine if a homeowner reduced the price of her home by 60%–you’d call that a steal, wouldn’t you? Or if Groupon offered dinner for two at some place where you got to wash your fingers in little finger bowls for only 40% of the usual price–you’d call that the ultimate Groupon! According to a Paul aide, the senator is pitching “various levels to engage interest to see how much people are willing to cut.” The aide added, “You’ll see the $500 billion proposal again. We’re definitely not abandoning it.” Esperanto supporters say the same thing.
4.) Being broke is the least of Corrine Brown’s troubles — “Rep. Corrine Brown, Florida Democrat, has almost no money in her campaign war chest,” writes TheDC’s Jonathan Strong. “Now it turns out she owes money too, according to a lawsuit filed by a major Democratic fundraising firm to force Brown to pay $44,495 in unpaid bills.” Brown, a 10-term representative from the most gerrymandered district in the State of Florida, owes nearly $50k to the campaign fundraising firm Berger Hirschberg Strategies. According to Strong, “Brown stopped paying the firm, which raised over half a million dollars for her campaign, in July, but didn’t effectively terminate the contract until the end of September. Mysteriously, Brown claimed in reports to the Federal Election Comission (FEC) she did pay the firm $15,000 in July–even while admitting in court filings her campaign didn’t pay Berger Hirschberg that month.”
5.) The TSA swears it is not poisoning you, America — “The Transportation Security Administration is re-analyzing the radiation levels of X-ray body scanners installed in airports nationwide, after testing produced dramatically higher-than-expected results,” reports Wired. But while the test results suggested passengers are being exposed to 10 times the amount of radiation initially reported, it turns out that the company the TSA contracts with is staffed by idiots. “The snafu involves tests conducted on the roughly 250 backscatter X-ray machines produced by Rapiscan of Los Angeles, which has a contract to deliver another 250 machines at a cost of about $180,000 each. Rapiscan technicians in the field are required to test radiation levels 10 times in a row, and divide by 10 to produce an average radiation measurement. Often, the testers failed to divide results by 10, Horowitz said.” It’s almost as if the TSA’s particular brand of stupid is contagious.
6.) Obama preparing for a HAMP redux — The bungle-prone Home Affordable Modification Program may be on its way out, but that won’t stop Obama from coming back with something bigger and worser. “The Obama administration is seeking to force the nation’s five largest mortgage firms to reduce monthly payments for as many as three million distressed homeowners in as little as six months as part of an agreement to settle accusations of improper foreclosures and violations of consumer protection laws,” reports the Huffington Post. Because the best way to deal with the reality of a burst bubble is to start blowing another one.
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