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In Letter To Cantor, Schumer, Menendez Demand Answer To Key Repeal Question

As promised, Senate Democrats aren’t going to take the GOP’s health care repeal push lying down.

In a letter delivered to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Sunday, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) demand an answer to a question now at the center of the Republican party’s top legislative priority: Will repealing the health care law force seniors to reimburse the government for the $250 check they received in 2010 to help them pay for prescription drugs?

“We are particularly concerned that repeal would reverse the course of making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors,” Schumer and Menendez write. “The [repeal] legislation approved by the House could require seniors to repay the government.””

Read More: The Top Five Branches Of Health Law GOP Wants To Prune

Report: Bush White House Violated Law By Using Gov’t Resources To Support GOP in ’06 Elections

“George W. Bush’s White House Office of Political Affairs violated the law by giving political briefings to political employees, concludes an Office of Special Counsel report issued Monday, nearly five years after the fact.

The report, titled “Investigation of Political Activities by White House and Federal Agency
Officials During the 2006 Midterm Elections,” finds that the electoral success of the Republican Party and possible strategies for achieving it often were on the agenda at some of 75 political briefings at 20 federal agencies from 2001 to 2007, the Associated Press reported.”

Tim Pawlenty Releases Action Movie Campaign Trailer (VIDEO)

“Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has posted a new Web video, promoting his soon to be presidential campaign. Or should we say, he’s posted a movie trailer.

Just watch it, with its use of various American imagery — including pioneers, Martin Luther King, soldiers returning from war, Olympic athlete Cassius Clay (later to convert to Islam and rename himself Muhammad Ali), astronauts, George Washington on horseback, etc, with Pawlenty’s voiceover.”

Read More: Josh Marshall: Your Thoughts on Rendezvous with Pawlestiny

Lieberman And Hutchison: We Could Have Won If We Weren’t Retiring

“The three senators who have announced their 2012 retirements thus far appeared Sunday on This Week. Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) both maintained that they think they could have won re-election — and the other, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), only commented on why his state has turned against the status quo in Washington.”

Court Boots Rahm Emanuel From Ballot In Chicago

“An appellate court panel in Illinois ruled 2-1 today that Rahm Emanuel should not appear on the Feb. 22 Chicago mayoral ballot.

Appellate judges Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall found that Emanuel does not meet the residency standard to run, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.”

Read More: Emanuel To Appeal Residency Requirement Ruling

George Allen Kicks Off ‘American Comeback’ Campaign For Old Senate Seat (VIDEO)

“Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) has officially launched his campaign to run again for the Senate seat he held from 2001-2007, before he was defeated in a major upset by Democrat Jim Webb in 2006. Allen’s campaign is being pitched as part of an “American comeback.””

VIDEO: Republicans Oppose Government Investments In American Economy

“Previewing his State of the Union speech, President Obama made clear this weekend that he wants to outline a “vision for how we as a people will win the future.” Many reports indicate Obama will focus on how the government can invest in several key sectors in order to improve the country’s economic future, with a recent speech in North Carolina as a template, in which the President pledged to “continue to fight for those investments that will help America win the race for the jobs and industries of the future — and that means investments in education and innovation and infrastructure.”

Leading conservative voices have already gone on the record rejecting Obama’s calls for renewed investment before he has even delivered the address. Republicans have made it clear they view any government spending as unnecessary, and they believe Obama’s calls for “investment” are simply a conspiracy to increase federal spending.”

67 Percent Of Tea Partiers Would Rather Raise Taxes Than Raise The Social Security Retirement Age

“There appears to be some growing consensus among some of the political elite that there should be major regressive changes to Social Security, like cutting back on benefits and/or raising the retirement age. Building on this consensus, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are expected to release legislation soon that would involve raising the retirement age to 69. Yet a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds that one group that does not support these regressive cuts is the American people themselves. The PPP poll found that 77 percent of Americans would rather “pay Social Security taxes on salaries above $106,800,” essentially lifting the income tax cap, instead of seeing their “benefits cut and the retirement age increased to age 69.” Surprisingly, however, even 67 percent of self-identified Tea Partiers said they would rather raise the tax cap than cuts benefits and hike the retirement age.”

Feingold: ‘We Need To Regenerate Progressivism’ To Battle This ‘Gilded Age On Steroids’

“As a part of the Republican victory in Congress following November’s election, a number of long-time Democratic Party lawmakers lost their seats, the victims of a national wave of discontent fed by a struggling economy. One of those who lost was Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), who served four terms in the U.S. Senate before losing to Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson.

Feingold, who will teaching law at Wisconsin’s Marquette University this Spring, sat down with The Nation’s John Nichols for a wide-ranging interview that covered the former senator’s thoughts on his time in the Senate and what he plans to do in the future. At one point, Feingold told Nichols that, while he lost his recent election, the “broader struggle” for social justice has to continue. Nichols followed up by asking Feingold what he meant by the “broader struggle” and what progressives should do now. The senator replied that progressives must confront the fact that “this entire society is being dominated by corporate power” and that progressive must mobilize against what he calls “the Gilded Age on steroids”.”

Democrats Stopped The Clock. Will They Alter Rules?

“The Senate is back in session Tuesday after a break, but it’s still the same legislative day that began Jan. 5. Democrats have ground time to a halt so they can try to change the rules regarding filibusters — but will they succeed?”

Wall Street firms earn high profits while still owing Uncle Sam

“Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street giants that played roles in the subprime mortgage debacle are reporting huge profits and awarding hefty bonuses again even as the government remains on the hook for tens of billions of dollars of their debt.”

Leader Blames Airport Officials After Bloody Attacks

“President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia said on Tuesday that officials must be held responsible for failing to prevent the attack that killed at least 35 on Monday.

Letter From Europe: Inconsistency Backfires on European Union in Africa

“After the fall of the Tunisian government, the European Union’s policy of supporting less-than-democratic regimes in the name of stability has been discredited.”

Satire: Gap Between Rich And Poor Named 8th Wonder Of The World

“At a press conference Tuesday, the World Heritage Committee officially recognized the Gap Between Rich and Poor as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” describing the global wealth divide as the “most colossal and enduring of mankind’s creations.”

“Of all the epic structures the human race has devised, none is more staggering or imposing than the Gap Between Rich and Poor,” committee chairman Henri Jean-Baptiste said. “It is a tremendous, millennia-old expanse that fills us with both wonder and humility.”

“And thanks to careful maintenance through the ages, this massive relic survives intact, instilling in each new generation a sense of awe,” Jean- Baptiste added.”[…]

Records indicate the work likely began around 10,000 years ago, when the world’s first landed elites convinced their subjects that construction of such a monument was the will of a divine authority, a belief still widely held today.

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