Hi quest ,  welcome  |  sign in  |  registered now  |  need help ?

First Thoughts: Scare tactics

Written By Unknown on December 09, 2010 | 6:24 AM

First Read from NBC News

First Thoughts: Scare tactics

From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg

*** Scare tactics: It's far from the previous administration's warnings of a "mushroom cloud," or the inaccurate statement that Saddam Hussein "sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." But yesterday, the Obama administration began to use a little fear to sell its tax-cut agreement. "Failure to pass this bill in the next couple weeks would materially increase the risk that the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip" recession predicted outgoing chief White House economic adviser Larry Summers. And on an OFA conference call yesterday, President Obama said that not passing the agreement would mean that "two million folks would have seen their unemployment insurance run out" and that it would be "damaging to the economy." And the president went even further, suggesting that a million jobs could be lost if no agreement was reached by the end of the year -- something administration officials have said economists have been warning them of privately. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E3D:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

*** A more vigorous sales job: Related or not, this has been the Obama White House's most vigorous and dynamic sales job we've seen in months. For instance, the White House -- from Tuesday to Wednesday night -- blasted out 26 e-mails in 27 hours touting endorsements for the tax compromise, mostly from officials who do not have votes in Congress. As mentioned above, it's stressing what COULD happen if the deal doesn't go through (which sounds to us like Hank Paulson's selling of TARP in '08). And economic adviser Austan Goolsbee is now featured on a "white board" video arguing that the president's priorities in the tax agreement (jobless benefits, payroll-tax holiday, and other targeted tax cuts) are a larger part than extending the Bush tax cuts. Of course, this sales job has to be really frustrating to left, which legitimately can ask: "Where was this during the fight over the public option or getting energy/climate change through the Senate"? By the way, Goolsbee appears on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown," and the show also will interview Sen. Patty Murray in her first TV interview since becoming DSCC chair. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E3E:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

*** Forget about a serious Obama primary challenge: Memo to pundits and political reporters: President Obama is highly unlikely to receive a legitimate primary challenge. Oh, someone out there might challenge him (to get a book deal or a TV show), but right now there's no evidence that the person will be a serious threat. As Politico's Martin and Smith write, "Some angry liberals may want to see President Barack Obama face a primary from his left in 2012, but they have no answer to a basic question: Who? Two of the Democratic Party's most well-known progressives – Howard Dean and Russ Feingold - have both indicated that they won't take on Obama and there are few others who have the stature and willingness to mount a credible campaign against the president." Our guess why this "Is Obama going to get a primary challenge?" talk is gaining traction: Because with the GOP presidential contest getting a late start (compared with 2007-2008), there's a void of other political stories to write about. That said, the more people write about this, the more likely it could become self-fulfilling, serious challenge or not. Remember this: If the two weakest incumbent presidents in modern history, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, would win primary challenges against a Kennedy and a Reagan, it's proof that defeating an incumbent president in a primary is not NEARLY impossible; it IS impossible. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E3F:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

*** Today on Capitol Hill: NBC's Ken Strickland reports that the Senate is scheduled to take a procedural vote to start debate on the DREAM Act today at about 11:00 am ET. Because 60 votes are required to break the filibuster on the bill, it's expected to fail. The legislation passed the House last night by a 216-198 vote. Strick also notes that Senate Majority Leader Reid said he may also call for vote today to start debate on the defense bill which includes the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." No time has been set as Reid continues to negotiate with Susan Collins (R) and Joe Lieberman (I-D).

*** Bush 41 backs START: Look at the latest Republican to support ratification of New START: George H.W. Bush. The New York Times' Baker: "Former President George H.W. Bush, who signed and won Senate approval of the original Start arms control treaty with the Soviet Union in 1991, endorsed the proposed follow-up treaty with Russia on Wednesday, lending another well-known Republican voice to the White House campaign for approval. 'I urge the United States Senate to ratify the Start treaty,' Mr. Bush said in a one-line statement that offered no elaboration." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E40:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

*** Bloomberg = Obama? One man is a Democrat and former community organizer who's the country's first African-American president. The other is a Jewish billionaire businessman who's now New York City's independent mayor. But beyond those differences, it's striking how much Michael Bloomberg sounded like Barack Obama, per the big political speech Bloomberg delivered yesterday. In it, the New York City mayor railed against the partisanship in Washington and stressed that economic solutions don't exist solely on the right or the left -- which are exactly two of the messages that Obama campaigned on in 2008 (and still talks about today, e.g.: the tax-cut debate). So if -- and it's still a big if -- Bloomberg runs for president in 2012 in a third-party bid, it's likely he'd occupy the same ground as Obama: the pragmatic center. Bloomberg appears on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.

*** Bloomberg's one jab at Obama: By the way, Bloomberg's speech did criticize Obama, at least implicitly. Example, according to his prepared remarks: "Unfortunately, very little of the stimulus package passed in Washington promotes innovation. Very little of the health care bill passed in Washington promotes innovation. And the Obama administration will have to be very careful to make sure that the financial services bill passed this year doesn't hinder innovation." But that's an unfair charge. For starters, the stimulus contained what many experts say is one the most innovative federal education programs ever, "Race to the Top" (which, as it turns out, New York is benefiting from). Also, the health-care law contains numerous pilot programs intended to reduce health costs and efforts to streamline medical technology and paperwork. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E41:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75& and http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E42:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Click here to sign up for First Read emails. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E43:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Text FIRST to 622639, to sign up for First Read alerts to your mobile phone.
Check us out on Facebook and also on Twitter. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E44:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75& and http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E45:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

OBAMA AGENDA: Take this deal or shove it…
"With the Senate steadily falling in line behind President Obama's deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts, the White House yesterday played hardball in the House, where Vice President Joe Biden warned Democrats last night that 'this is the deal, take it or leave it,'" The New York Post writes. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E46:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
"Divided Democrats hurled more insults at each other on Wednesday as the White House warned of a possible double-dip recession if the tax deal falls apart," the New York Daily News writes. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E47:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
The New York Times adds, "One of President Obama's top economic advisers warned on Wednesday that the nation could slip back into recession if Congress did not pass the administration's tax cut deal with Republicans, as the White House sought to press Democrats into backing the plan." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E3D:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
The Boston Globe: "Democrats rip Obama, look to alter tax cut deal."
"The White House said Wednesday that Capitol Hill Democrats are partly to blame for the tax-cut deal they have criticized the president for negotiating," The Hill writes. Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said on liberal radio host's Bill Press' show: "He and the White House, frankly, urged the House and Senate to hold votes on this before the election. But they didn't do that, in part because there's not unanimity in the Democratic Caucus on this." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E49:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Politico's Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith look at some liberals' angst and desire for a primary to President Obama. but there's a problem, they write: "Some angry liberals may want to see President Barack Obama face a primary from his left in 2012, but they have no answer to a basic question: Who?" http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E4A:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
The New York Times says that Obama is trying to reclaim the middle. "As Mr. Obama defends the tax accord, the nation is witnessing a pivot point in his presidency. Gone is the leader who, during a tussle with Republicans over his stimulus package in the earliest days of his administration, boldly declared that 'elections have consequences' and 'I won.' In his place is the post-shellacking, pragmatic Mr. Obama, willing to anger his party's liberal base by joining hands with Republicans and cutting out Congressional Democrats in service of his own legislative goals — not to mention his electoral ambitions." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E4B:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
In addition to the tax questions, we wrote about yesterday, there's more from a new Bloomberg/Selzer poll out today: More than half say they are worse off than they were two year ago (35/51); Two-thirds think the country is on the wrong track (27%/66%). There's this small glimmer for Obama: "By age group, only the young -- those under 35, a core constituency for Obama in his presidential bid -- consider themselves better off than they were two years ago," according to the poll release. The public is also skeptical of the Federal Reserve (54% say the Fed's move to buy $600 billion of longer-term federal debt won't help the economy). http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E4C:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75& and http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E4D:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75& (For more poll data: http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E4E:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Politifact gives President Obama a "false" for saying at his press conference that When Social Security started "it only affected widows and orphans," and that when Medicare began, 'it was a small program." "Obama had a point that Social Security started small and expanded slowly, but he was clearly incorrect that the first groups to be covered were widows and orphans," the site writes. "On Medicare, it's not accurate to say, as the president did, that the program started "small." It was up and running for elderly Americans within one year -- four years faster than it will take the health care exchanges created in Obama's own health care bill. On balance, we rate the item False." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E4F:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
"Corporate chief executives who have been disappointed in the Obama administration are suddenly singing a different tune," The Hill writes. "Ivan Seidenberg, the Verizon CEO who just months ago criticized President Obama's policies as a threat to business, on Wednesday said Obama 'has shown a willingness to learn.'" http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E50:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Womp, womp: "A provision in President Obama's tax proposal to reinstate the estate tax next year is dividing some conservative groups, throwing another wrinkle into the contentious debate," The Hill reports. "The proposal has enraged Democrats, who believe the estate tax should be significantly higher than Obama agreed to, but a parallel debate has erupted among conservatives, who have long pushed for the estate tax -- which they refer to as the 'death tax' -- to be abolished completely." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E51:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

CONGRESS: I can DREAM about you…
"The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday gave the green light to a bill giving green cards to undocumented kids who go to college or join the military," the New York Daily News writes. "The Senate is slated to take up the DREAM Act on Thursday, but backers on Wednesday couldn't guarantee the 60 votes they need to pass the immigration bill. The House's narrow tally was 216 to 198." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E52:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
"House Democrats outraged by the $900 billion tax cut deal President Barack Obama negotiated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are trying to build momentum to amend it, but they appear to lack the leverage they need to get very far," Roll Call writes. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E53:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
"The White House-negotiated tax package could result in thousands of job losses in the wind industry because it does not include the extension of a Treasury Department grant program, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) said Wednesday," The Hill writes. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E54:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
"The Senate passed on Wednesday night a one-year, fully paid-for fix to Medicare rates that would avoid a scheduled 25 percent cut to physician payments on Jan. 1," The Hill writes. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E55:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Here's the 2011 congressional calendar: http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E56:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

2012: Evangelicals still looking for Mr./Ms. Right
Newsweek writes in its "Looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right" piece: "Surveying the crop of would-be Republican presidential contenders in 2012, some Christian leaders can't muster much enthusiasm." GOP 12 picks up on Richard Land telling Newsweek about Romney: "He put 'Obamacare Light' in place in Massachusetts. It's going to be awfully difficult for him to surmount that." And the hits kept on coming: On Palin: "Her problem is her very high negatives. Evangelicals want somebody they like, but they also want somebody who can beat Barack Obama." On Gingrich: "Two ex-wives is one ex-wife too many for most evangelicals." On Huckabee: "The problem Mike's got is that he and Sarah Palin are appealing to the same base, and Sarah has stronger appeal to that base." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E57:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75& and http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E58:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
BLOOMBERG: The New York Post's cover on Bloomberg's speech yesterday: "State of the Union." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E59:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
GINGRICH: He said he's in favor of the tax deal, separating him from the likes of Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint who are against it. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5A:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
HUCKABEE: Huckabee was in The Villages in Florida selling his book. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5B:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
PALIN: Drawing her with a Pinocchio nose, the Alaska Dispatch fact-checks several of Sarah Palin's claims about her gubernatorial record that she makes on her Facebook page, finding many of them misleading or inaccurate. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5C:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

Palin, by the way, came out against the tax cuts deal. "Obviously Obama is so very, very wrong on the economy & spins GOP tax cut goals; so fiscal conservatives: we expect you to fight for us & America's solvency," Palin wrote in a series of tweets, per The Hill. She cast her lot with Jim DeMint, who's opposed to it because of the estate tax, and said he would vote against it. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5A:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
Time magazine on Palin: What does she want? http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5D:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
PENCE: In voicing his support for a presidential bid by Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, Washington Post columnist George Will compares him to Sen-elect Pat Toomey and Sen. Jim DeMint, two Republicans who "stuck to their conviction that America had quite enough unfunded entitlements" and voted against President George W. Bush's Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5E:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

ROMNEY: "Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has tentative trips planned early next year to the Middle East and to Europe. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is trying to schedule visits to Israel and to the United Kingdom, primarily to visit former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is one of her political idols. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will make his 15th voyage to Israel in January.
"Most of the likely contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are planning later entries than are typical in the off year, giving them some extra time to burnish their foreign credentials," Real Clear Politics writes. "The overseas trips are attempts to bone up on their knowledge of American interests abroad and project a strong grasp on foreign affairs as they gear up to launch potential campaigns." http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E5F:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
NEW HAMPSHIRE: "Inside the state GOP, there's a melodrama developing over who wants to take over for outgoing Chairman John H. Sununu, who has the credentials and, who may have -- or not have -- Sununu's blessing," the Manchester Union-Leader says. He said Cheshire County GOP chair Juliana Bergeron meets the "criteria" he laid out this week but stopped short of endorsing her. "Veteran GOP operative and former congressional staffer David Tille has become active on behalf of conservative author and potential presidential hopeful Herman Cain," the Union-Leader adds. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E60:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&
2010: Alaska ruling on Friday?
ALASKA: "An Alaska judge will rule by Friday on Republican candidate Joe Miller's lawsuit concerning the counting of write-in ballots for his Senate race, the Associated Press reported Wednesday," per Roll Call.
MINNESOTA: "'Now the real work begins.' So said Democrat Mark Dayton during his first public appearance Wednesday after the Minnesota canvassing board certified him the winner of the 2010 election for governor," the Pioneer Press writes. http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E62:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75&

Read full story:


More from First Read:
Obama agenda: Take this deal or shove it

Congress: I can DREAM about you...

2012: Evangelicals still looking for Mr./Ms. Right

Alaska ruling on Friday?

UPDATE: Senate delays 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' vote



On the Web:

E-mail newsletter:




To remove yourself from the list simply go to
in your browser to unsubscribe.

MSNBC Interactive News - One Microsoft Way - Redmond, WA 98052

MSN Privacy Statement:
http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=23E6C:B2CA5A050EF65E32A8D81A79F1BB9F75& Warung Bebas Videos


Post a Comment