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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Daily Democratic Wire 2-20-2010

George Wenschhof

Republicans criticize Democrats for efforts to use reconciliation to approve health care reform -
the left is urging Democratic Senators to not only use reconciliation to reinsert the "public option" in health care reform but to also approve the bill.

Republicans are saying this is hardly bipartisanship and question the need for the health care summit planned for Thursday. has more

Democrats reaching 51 Senators to approve the "public option" is a long shot and the reality is that procedural rules will still require some 60 vote measures before a 51 vote reconciliation could occur. So, most of this is bluster and being used for posturing purposes to nudge Republicans into acting somewhat reasonable at the health care summit so a true bipartisan health care bill can be passed. Let's hope it works.


Justice Department releases report on torture memos - has a good read today on this issue. Seems the Office of Professional Responsibility found that attorneys; John Yoo and Jay Bybee engaged in professional misconduct only to have Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis overrule the decision in a 69 page memo to Attorney General Eric Holder. This also blocks any state disciplinary action against the two attorneys. has the complete report and more here. Stay tuned...


Governors, Senators and a couple of Generals on the Sunday "Talking Heads" -
General Petraeas and former Secretary of State Colin Powell will most likely discuss their assessment of the u.s. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and also discuss the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military toward gays.

Also appearing will be Governors Tim Pawlenty (R-Mn.), Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calf.), Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) and Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.). Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). Bayh recently announced he would not seek reelection and is unhappy with the lack of partisanship in Congress today. Also appearing will be Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) who is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Expect Van Hollen to be asked how he feels Democrats are positioned in the fall election and if he feels they can retain the majority in the House. has a rundown of the guests and the "Talking Heads" shows they will be on this Sunday


Representative Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) says he was offered job by White House if he did not run against Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) -
Specter was a long term serving Republican Senator who switched to Democrat following his vote in support of the stimulus bill angered many Republicans. Democrats wooed his switch by saying among other things, he would not face a contested primary. Specter gave the Democrats a short lived super majority and filibuster proof 60 in the Senate. has more here.

Specter presently has a 20 point lead over Sestak. However, I look to see Sestak pick up support and this primary race to be close at the end.


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