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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 06:52 PM ET, 07/15/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

* John Boehner tweets that Obama was wrong to say the public is “sold” on solving the deficit through a mix of revenue hikes and spending cuts, claiming that “Americans would beg to differ.”

And it’s true that the 80 percent figure Obama cited at today’s presser is inflated. But polls from Pew, Quinnipiac, Gallup, and the Washington Post all find that large majorities do in fact favor a mix of increases and cuts. So while Obama overstated the case, the plain fact is that on the question of whether revenue hikes should be part of the deficit compromise, Americans don’t “beg to differ” at all.

* A Dem poll finds that Wisconsin GOP state senator Alberta Darling is in a dead heat with her recall challenger. If accurate, that’s big: She was considered less vulnerable and this would make it more likely Dems will take back the senate.

* Atrios responds to Obama’s response to the left: No, you can’t take the deficit off the table as an issue.

* Joan Walsh says that when Clinton tried cutting first to spend more later, it didn’t work, because you can never kill the GOP’s “big spending liberal” zombie.

* Word leaks that Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are set to unveil the new debt ceiling escape hatch proposal next week, another clear sign that this is emerging as the only way out of the impasse.

* Joan McCarter finds one reason for optimism about the McConnell scheme’s plan to target entitlements later: “it puts the onus on members of Congress to actually vote to cut Social Security and Medicare, which they hate to do.”

* Obama is now officially open to “modifications” in Medicare and Social Security benefits, opening the door to cost-shifting to seniors.

* The Progressive Change Campaign Committee responds:

“Today, for the first time, President Obama made clear that he’s considering benefit cuts even for Americans who currently depend on Social Security and Medicare. This is something Paul Ryan didn’t even embrace publicly. ”

* Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton becomes the first Rupert Murdoch executive in the United States to resign, and the phone-hacking scandal only seems to be growing by the day.

* Nate Silver leans towards thinking Republicans will take the blame for default and economic calamity, but concludes ominously that this is all unprecedented and a big unknown.

* Nearly 250 “bundlers” have raised $50,000 or more for Obama in the campaign’s first three months, with more than two dozen raising over half a million, signaling that the bad economy and low approval numbers are not slowing what’s already shaping up as an astonishingly successful fundraising juggernaut.

* Jonathan Cohn says Eric Cantor’s opposition to a proposal to force drug companies to discount drugs for poor Medicare recipients shows he’s prioritizing the drug industry over deficit reduction.

* Interesting Rachel Maddow segment on how the Wisconsin recall wars are prompting a state-level revival of the bare-knuckled populism national Dems tend to avoid. (Starts at the 7:20 mark.)

* And Andy Kroll reports that Michele Bachmann is winning the Koch primary — she’s the first 2012 GOPer to haul in Koch brothers cash.

What else is going on?

By  |  06:52 PM ET, 07/15/2011

 
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