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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Daily Democratic Wire 8-4-2009

George Wenschhof

President Barack Obama turns 48 today - he will get to celebrate with all the Senate Democrats as he has invited them to lunch at the White House. Do you think they will be talking health care reform? The Washington Post has more here.


Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) signals reconciliation may be used to pass health care legislation - talks have bogged down in the Senate Finance Committee as Republican committee members continue to oppose reform. Schumer says if an agreement is not reached by September 15, he will consider using the procedure known as reconciliation to pass the bill in the Senate. Only 51 votes are needed for passage. has more here.


Bill Clinton in North Korea for talks on captured U.S. Journalists - the two women journalists were captured after entering North Korea. They were later tried, found guilty and sentenced to hard labor. They were journalists for Current TV, a company co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. The White House id not commenting on the trip by former President Bill Clinton, saying only it is a private mission. The NY Times has more here.


Sotomayor Confirmation discussion begins today in the Senate - it appears the most of the Senators from the Party of "No" will be voting against Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation as Supreme Court Justice. However, about a half dozen Republicans have publicly stated their support. She is expected to be confirmed by the end of the week. You can read more here.


Mixed Economic News - on one side, consumer spending increased for the second month in a row. On the other hand, personal income dropped at the highest level in over four years. has more here.

The biggest problem facing government is the drop in tax revenue - the estimated drop this year is 18% which will be the largest drop in tax revenue since the Great Depression. You can read more here.


Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) makes run for Senate official today - he will be a primary challenger to new Democratic Senator Arlen Specter. Specter, was talked into becoming a Democrat after some Republicans indicated they would target him in the 2010 republican primary. Specter was told he would receive support from Democratic leadership, including the White House if he switched. Seems Sestak wasn't listening. While Sestak obviously has the odds against him, I am glad he is running for the seat.

Sestak will visit Folsom, Pittsburgh and Johnston today as he kicks off his campaign. Tonight at 7:00 PM ET, he will appear on MSNBC with Chris Matthews on his show "Hardball".


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