POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/4
When Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) “emerged from back surgery on July 1, he tweeted that his ‘little procedure’ — a spinal fusion and nerve decompression designed to treat a recurring injury — had gone ‘as advertised,” the Texas Tribune reports.
However, the possible presidential contender “didn’t reveal that he’d undergone an experimental injection of his own stem cells, a therapy that isn’t FDA approved, has mixed evidence of success, and can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said that Republicans will continue a push to overhaul entitlement programs such as Medicare, saying that promises made by the federal government “are not going to be kept for many” and that younger Americans will have to adjust, Dow Jones reports.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) — who recently said he was “fine” with the new same sex marriage law in New York — now tells the Christian Broadcast Network that he would like a constitutional amendment banning both same-sex marriage and abortion.
Said Perry: “I support the federal marriage amendment and I also support the same with the issue of abortion.”
Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) called on Christians across the country to come to Houston for a prayer event to rescue a “nation in crisis.”
However, CNN reports that organizers of the religious gathering, called “The Response,” say only 8,000 people have registered on-line to attend this weekend’s event at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, a venue with a seating capacity of 71,000.
“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”
— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by the Washington Post, on the debt ceiling negotiations.
Walter Shapiro: “The Iowa Straw Poll is one of the most insidious events in politics. Even though the straw poll is about as scientific as sorcery, political reporters over-hype the results and pretend that they mean something. The upshot is that fringe candidates can get an unwarranted boost and serious candidates can be prematurely eliminated before most Iowa caucus-goers, let alone most Republicans elsewhere, have a chance to decide on their preferences. Yet, despite all of the straw poll’s obvious flaws, and even as some candidates boycott it — John McCain in 2007; Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman this year — nothing, it seems, can dim the prominence of this ersatz election.”
First Read: “While Obama gets back to (non-debt) business, Congress returns home for the rest of August, with little else to show constituents other than the debt deal — and an economy that’s gotten worse since the Republican House pushed its austerity agenda. And guess what takes place in August? Constituent town halls. The question is whether we see town hall madness (like we saw in the summer of ’09), or if we see exhaustion (after the long and frustrating debt debate).”
Former White House economic adviser Larry Summers:
“With growth at less than 1 percent in the first half of this year, the economy is effectively at a stall and facing the prospects of shocks from a European financial crisis that is decidedly not under control, spikes in oil prices and declines in business and household confidence. The indicators suggest that the economy has at least a 1-in-3 chance of falling back into recession if nothing new is done to raise demand and spur growth.”
Sarah Palin’s hair salon will be featured in a two-part special on TLC, AOL TV reports.
“We may disagree a lot, but it’s never, ever personal.”
— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by the Washington Post, on his relationship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
New Jersey politician Louis Magazzu (D) announced his resignation “after nude pictures he sent to a woman he had been corresponding with were posted on a Republican activist’s website,” the New York Daily News reports.
“The tawdry photos – taken in front of a mirror with a smartphone — are similar to those that led to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to call it quits in June. Magazzu, a 53-year-old lawyer who had been an elected county official for more than a decade, apologized to his friends, family and constituents in a statement, but indicated he had been set up.”
Said Magazzu: “I did not know that she was working with an avowed political enemy to distribute these pictures. I have retained counsel to determine what laws may have been broken by the unauthorized distribution of those pictures.”
Bloomberg: “In every general election campaign he has waged, Barack Obama has been the youngest contender on the ballot. He turns 50 tomorrow and the streak appears safe. In the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama is likely to still be the youngest candidate in the field as all of the Republican challengers who have announced a bid for their party’s nomination are older than him.”
Roll Call: “While Congress wrestled with the debt ceiling, plenty of other issues languished — including energy, education reform, consideration of the war in Libya, trade deals and more — to the chagrin of rank-and-file lawmakers who spent much of the past few months waiting for a handful of leaders to hash out a deal.”
Jill Lawrence: “The gut-twisting brinkmanship that Congress inflicted on us and our economy the past few weeks is taking a toll. Lawmakers’ approval rating in one new poll is at an all-time low of 14 percent. But there are ways for Congress to dim memories of the debt ordeal and prove it is a functioning institution. From patent reform and tax amnesty to legalized Internet gambling and an infrastructure bank, 10 potentially bipartisan paths for getting something done.”
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) accused President Obama of “bluffing” during the debt ceiling negotiations by threatening not to sign a bill without new revenues. He ended up doing just that.
“Nevertheless, the president still hasn’t shown us his cards. He still hasn’t put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and his evasiveness is emblematic of the party he leads.”
Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) “is trying to piece together the events surrounding his hasty departure from office more than a year ago, and is making a case to the House Ethics Committee that he is the victim of a devious plot to force his ouster,” the Elmira Star Gazette reports.
Massa resigned on March 8, 2010 “and offered several reasons for his action at the time, including an ethics inquiry, his failing health and a conspiracy by Democrats related to his opposition to their health care plan. His resignation came under a cloud of suspicion from a House ethics investigation that followed him onto cable news programs, where he recounted a tickling incident with a staff member.”
Now, using House staff e-mail messages, Massa “constructs a chain of events that led to his resignation and lays his demise at the feet of his former chief of staff, Joseph Racalto, in documents submitted in March of this year to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in an effort to clear his name.”
“If we were domestic terrorists, I think the president would want to pal around with us. He didn’t have a problem with Bill Ayers.”
The Wall Street Journal reports the Mormon Church “is preparing for the 2012 elections with a campaign message of its own: It has nothing to do with orchestrating or promoting the presidential candidacies of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr., both Mormons.”
CNN has video of a homeless man who jumped the White House fence being “apprehended by uniformed Secret Service officers who approached him with guns drawn,” broadcast live on John King USA.
“After the man jumped the fence, armed officers ordered him to lie down and then handcuffed him before taking him into custody. A backpack thrown over the fence and lying on the ground nearby was being checked by security officers, who locked down the area as a precaution… He will be charged with unlawful entry and contempt of court because he previously had been ordered to stay away from the White House due to past incidents.”
The Hotline reports that Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) won a crowded Republican primary with 59% of the vote, avoiding an August 23 runoff that will most likely be necessary for Democrats Johnny DuPree and Bill Luckett.
Bryant is the presumed favorite in the general election, as Republicans continue to dominate state politics in Mississippi. “A sign of Democrats’ plight in the Magnolia State: they failed to get a single candidate on the ballot for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, or auditor.”
The 13 lawmakers who received campaign donations from Sarah Palin “have one thing in common — none of them got advance notice the checks were coming,” The Hill reports.
In total, Palin’s PAC distributed $65,000 to candidates during the first half of this year.