POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/23

McDonnell Not Pleased with GOP Surprise Move

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said that surprise redistricting effort from the members of his party in the state Senate was something he only learned about right before it happened, the Fredericksburg Star reports.

Said McDonnell: “I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business.”

“He said he has not yet spoken to House leadership about the redistricting issue. The Senate redistricting plan must go to the House next.”

Investors Say Budget Discord is Threat to Economy

A new Bloomberg poll of global investors finds that 47% say Washington’s recurring fiscal showdowns are discouraging them from investing in U.S. financial markets.

House Speaker John Boehner was viewed unfavorably by 46%, while 31% view him favorably. By comparison, President Obama was view favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 41%.

Paul Ryan, Now and Then

“No one is suggesting that what we call our earned entitlements — entitlements you pay for, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security — are putting you in a ‘taker’ category. No one would suggest that whatsoever.”

— Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), criticizing President Obama’s inaugural speech on Laura Ingraham’s radio show today.

“Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. So we’re going to a majority of takers versus makers.”

— Ryan, on Washington Watch in June 2010.

Franken Looks Strong for Re-election

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Minnesota finds Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) with a relatively healthy 52% to 41% approval rating.

One thing that may help Franken’s re-election in 2014: The top choice of Republican voters to take him on is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) with 45% say they would like her to be their candidate with no one else even coming close.

Franken crushes Bachmann in a hypothetical match up, 54% to 40%.

Filibuster Reform is Mostly Dead

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “will present colleagues with options for reforming the Senate’s filibuster rules in a Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday,” The Hillreports.

The proposal “is not expected to include the talking filibuster, which would require senators who want to block action on legislation to actually hold the floor and debate for hours on end. In recent days, Reid has begun to focus on a proposal to tweak the filibuster rule by requiring the minority party to muster 41 votes to stall a bill or nominee. Under current rules, the responsibility is on the majority to round up 60 votes to end a filibuster.”

According to Roll Call, Reid said that he plans “to continue to extend the legislative day of Jan. 3 — the first day of the 113th Congress — until the situation with the chamber’s rules can be resolved.”

David Frum: “In short, we’re getting a very watered down version of what could have been a major step in pushing the Senate down the road to a parliamentary body.”

House GOP Proposes to Ignore Debt Ceiling

House Republicans plan to vote on Wednesday not to raise the federal debt limit — but to ignore it altogether — at least until May 18, the Washington Post reports.

“The House plans to vote Wednesday on a measure that would leave the $16.4 trillion debt limit intact, but declares it ‘shall not apply’ from the date the measure passes until mid-May. This approach — novel in modern times — would let Republicans avoid a potentially disastrous fight over the debt limit without actually voting to let the Treasury borrow more money.”

Battle Rages Over Tech that Got Obama Reelected

The Verge: “The tech team behind the 2012 Obama campaign has probably received more attention than any political programmers in history… But in the aftermath of the election, a stark divide has emerged between political operatives and the techies who worked side-by-side.”

“At issue is the code created during the Obama for America (OFA) 2012 campaign: the digital architecture behind the campaign’s website, its system for collecting donations, its email operation, and its mobile app. When the campaign ended, these programmers wanted to put their work back into the coding community for other developers to study and improve upon. Politicians in the Democratic party felt otherwise, arguing that sharing the tech would give away a key advantage to the Republicans. Three months after the election, the data and software is still tightly controlled by the president and his campaign staff, with the fate of the code still largely undecided. It’s a choice the OFA developers warn could not only squander the digital advantage the Democrats now hold, but also severely impact their ability to recruit top tech talent in the future.”

Obama’s Striking Comments on Gay Rights

First Read: “Maybe the most striking (and memorable) lines of Obama’s inaugural speech were his remarks on gay rights. ‘All of us are created equal’ is the star that guides us still — just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,’ he said. He later added, ‘Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.’ It’s important to remember that Obama was someone who opposed gay marriage in presidential run in ’08, and who later said he was evolving on the subject. Obama’s shift is a reflection of how quickly the politics of gay marriage have changed in this country. (The train was leaving the station, and Obama jumped on board.) And so is the fact that there has been little to no backlash to those remarks — at least so far.”

Hagel is Obama’s First Second Term Test

The New York Times reports President Obama will get the first test of his second term when former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s (R-NE) confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of defense gets underway this week.

Hagel “has begun the uphill task of winning over hostile Republicans… Privately, administration officials figure that Mr. Hagel could get as many as 60 votes, a threshold that would allow him to overcome a filibuster. Even with a few votes shy of 60, Congressional aides said, it is not clear Republicans will try to block his confirmation.”

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