8 days … Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America

Wisconsin Republican Alberta Darling is running scared.

 She represents a Republican district and she’s been in office for almost 20 years — She was supposed to win this recall election by a landslide. But she’s not.

 The Republican war on working families has backfired and now Darling is neck-and-neck in the polls against Democrat Sandy Pasch. Winning here would be a huge upset and we’re on the air with a powerful new ad that exposes Darling for voting to give huge tax breaks to big corporations while cutting children’s healthcare programs.

 It’s a powerful ad and there are just eight days left until the recall election.

We’re winning in Wisconsin, but it’s going to be close. Please contribute today and help make the difference.  www.democracyforamerica.com

 Thank you for everything you do.


 Charles Chamberlain, Political Director
 Democracy for America

Politics … Nate Silver

August 1, 2011, 9:44 pm

What the White House Left on the Table


I wrote at length earlier Monday about why I think the proper characterization of the deal that President Obama struck with Republicans is “pretty bad” rather than “terrible.” (That’s from a Democratic point of view. For Republicans, I’d say the deal should be thought of as “quite good” rather than “awesome.”)

It seems as if the results of the House’s vote on Monday tend to back up that assertion. In the end, exactly half of the Democratic caucus members voted for the debt ceiling bill, which makes it hard to classify the deal as “terrible” from their point of view.

But almost three-quarters of Republicans voted in the affirmative. And even the Tea Party came around in the end. By 32-to-28, members of the Tea Party Caucus voted for the bill, despite earlier claims — which now look like a bluff — that they wouldn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances.

These results seem to suggest that Mr. Obama left something on the table. That is, Mr. Obama could have shifted the deal tangibly toward the left and still gotten a bill through without too much of a problem. For instance, even if all members of the Tea Party Caucus had voted against the bill, it would still have passed 237-to-193, and that’s with 95 Democrats voting against it.

Specifically, it seems likely that Mr. Obama could have gotten an extension of the payroll tax cut included in the bill, or unemployment benefits, either of which would have had a stimulative effect. Some Republicans would have complained that the new deal expanded rather than contracted the deficit in 2012, and Mr. Obama would have lost some of their votes. But this stimulus spending wouldn’t have overtly violated their highest-priority goals (no new taxes, and a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar in borrowing authority). And Mr. Obama, evidently, had a few Republican votes he could afford to lose.

With that payroll tax cut, the deal becomes a much easier sell to Democrats — and perhaps also to swing voters, particularly given that nobody spent much time during this debate talking about jobs. Plus, it would have improved growth in 2012 and, depending on how literally you take the economic models, improved Mr. Obama’s re-election chances.

No, we can’t know this for sure. Voting during roll calls can be tactical, and the results may have been skewed by the heartwarming and unexpected return of Representative Gabrielle Giffords to the House chamber. But this is at least a little bit more tangible than simply asserting that Mr. Obama did as well as he could under the circumstances.

It wouldn’t have been a great deal for Democrats — still no tax increases, still lots of spending cuts, still buying into Republicans’ premise that the debt ceiling is an appropriate vehicle for fiscal reform. But it would have been a fair one, and better than what Mr. Obama got.

August 1, 2011, 12:00 pm

The Fine Print on the Debt Deal


If Democrats read the fine print on the debt deal struck by President Obama and Congressional leaders, they’ll find that it’s a little better than it appears at first glance.

That’s not to say that the deal is a good one for them. It concedes a lot to Republicans, and Democrats may be wondering why any of this was necessary in the first place. But the good news, relatively speaking, has to do with the timing and structure of the spending cuts contained in the deal.

First, the timing: the cuts are heavily back-loaded, so the deal is unlikely to have much direct effect on the economy in 2012.

The spending cuts will proceed in two stages. There is an initial round of about $1 trillion in cuts, which will be locked in place when (and if) the deal is signed by the president. Then there is an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts, which will go into effect if Congress is unable to agree to the recommendations of a bipartisan commission (or “Super Congress”) by the end of the year.

The first round of cuts include “only” about $22 billion in reductions in 2012 spending — the same as the bill proposed last week by Representative John A. Boehner, which provided some of the outlines for this deal. That would reduce 2012 G.D.P. by just 0.1 percent, other factors being equal.

The second and larger round of cuts, according to the White House’s summary of the deal, would not include any reductions to the fiscal year 2012 budget. Instead, those cuts would kick in during 2013 and last through 2022.

Congress could decide to accept the bipartisan commission’s recommendations, which would override the second round of cuts and identify some new mechanisms to provide for $1.5 trillion in deficit savings, although for reasons I will detail below, this is unlikely. And even if it did, one presumes that Congressional Democrats would insist that the new measures abide by the spirit of the original bill and back-load the cuts. Read more…

Big News for Women’s Health – Birth Control Without Co-Pays Now a Reality

National Women's Law Center
  We Got you Covered!  
  Thank Secretary Sebelius for making contraception without co-pays a reality.  

While we are all focused on the debt ceiling deal in Washington — and we will provide you with more information later today on the painful and unfair cuts and the harm they will do to women’s health and the well-being of their families — we also have big news to report on a victory you’ve helped us secure.

Over 60,000 of you signed our petition to support no-cost birth control, and earlier today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it is adopting expert recommendations to require health insurers to cover contraception, along with a number of other preventive health services for women, without charging women co-payments. We got you covered — birth control without a co-pay will soon be a reality!

  Thank HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for maving women’s health a huge step forward   www.nwlc.org

For many years, the National Women’s Law Center has been working to get contraception covered in all health insurance plans, and without you, we would not have been able to say — we got you covered. Help us mark this important step forward for women’s health — join us in thanking Secretary Sebelius for this landmark decision and urge her to ensure that all women can benefit from it .   www.nwlc.org

This decision is a milestone in the effort to improve the health and lives of women and their families and underscores the real and tangible impact the new health care law will have on women’s lives. At the same time, HHS is unfortunately considering a proposal to exempt some religious employers from providing contraceptive services, and we will work to ensure that all women are guaranteed this vital coverage.

The HHS announcement expands the list of preventive health services that insurance companies will be required to be offer at no cost to the individual. It now will include contraception, yearly well-woman visits, support for breast feeding, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, and screening and counseling for domestic violence, among others.

Thank HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for this huge step moving women’s health forward and urge her to make sure that all women are able to access this vital coverage.

And thank you for all that you do for women and girls.


Congress: the Republican led House – the Senate

10:03 A.M. –
The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn pursuant to section 3 ofH. Res. 375. The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on August 5, 2011. 10:02 A.M. – The House received a message from the Clerk. Pursuant to the permission granted in Clause 2(h) of Rule II of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Clerk notified the House that she had received the following message from the Secretary of the Senate on August 2, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.: That the Senate passed H. R. 2715, without amendment; and passedS. 1466.PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

10:01 A.M. – JOURNAL APPROVED – The Chair announced that pursuant to section 5 ofH. Res. 375, the Journal of the last day’s proceedings was approved. 

10:00 A.M. – Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.The Speaker designated the Honorable Frank R. Wolf to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.

The House convened, starting a new legislative day.


The Senate Convened at 9:30amET August 2, 2011

  • Following Leader remarks, Senator Reid is expected to make a motion to concur in the House amendments and the time until noon will be for debate on the motion to concur, equally divided, between the two Leaders, or their designees.
  • At noon, the Senate will proceed to vote on the Reid motion to concur; the motion to concur will be subject to a 60 vote threshold; no amendments, points of order or other motions will be in order to the message prior to the vote.

At noon today, the Senate will conduct a roll call vote on the Reid motion concur in the House message to accompany S.365, the legislative vehicle for the debt limit compromise with a 60-vote threshold.

During Tuesday’s session of the Senate, Senator Boxer asked unanimous consent that the Senate pass H.R.2553, the FAA extension with a Rockefeller-Hutchison substitute amendment (which is a clean extension of the program). Senator Coburn then objected to the request.

Senator Coburn then asked unanimous consent the Senate pass H.R.2553 (as passed by the House which includes policy riders). Senator Boxer then objected to Senator Coburn’s request.

12:16pm The Senate began a roll call vote on the Reid motion to concur in the House message to accompany S.365, the debt limit compromise (60-vote threshold); Agreed to: 74-26


Adopted H.Con.Res.70, correcting the enrollment of S.365, which is a title amendment.

Passed S.710, Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act

Passed S.1302, a bill to authorize the Administrator of General Services to convey a parcel of real property in Tracy, California, to the City of Tracy.

Discharged Judiciary and adopted S.Res.104, designating September 2011 as “Campus Fire Safety Month”.

Adopted S.Res.254, Designating August 16, 2011, as “National Airborne Day”

Adopted S.Res.255, Designating October 8, 2011, as “National Chess Day” to enhance awareness and encourage students and adults to engage in a game known to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Discharged Commerce Committee from further consideration and confirmed PN 741, Deborah A.P. Hersman, of Virginia, to be Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board for a term of two years



#114 Sara Lynn Darrow – to be United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois

#115 Richard Brooke Jackson – to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado

#116 Kathleen M. Williams – to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida

#117 Nelva Gonzales Ramos – to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas


#95 David Bruce Shear – to be Ambassador of the United States to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam



# 230 Jennifer A. Di Toro, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the

Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years

# 232 Yvonne M. Williams, of the District of Columbia, to be an Associate Judge of the

Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the term of fifteen years,


#254 David V. Brewer – to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute for a term expiring September 17, 2013


#255 Barbara Jeanne Ells – to be a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development

#256 Deborah Downing Goodman – to be Member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development

#257 Cynthia Chavez Lamar – to be Member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development


#265 Dan Arvizu – to be a Member of the Natinoal Science Board, National Science Foundation

#266 Alan I. Leshner – to be a Member of the National Science Board, National Science Foundation

#267 William Carl Lineberger – to be a Member of the National Science Board, National Science Foundation


#268 Aaron Paul Dworkin – to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts


#269 Eric S. Edelman – to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace


#275 Clayton D. Johnson – to be United States Marshal for the Northern District of Oklahoma


#277 Derek J. Mitchell – to be Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador

#278 Jeffrey DeLaurentis – to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations

#279 Jeffrey DeLaurentis – to be an Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations

#280 David S. Adams – to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Legislative Affairs)

#282 Frankie Annette Reed – to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and the Republic of Kiribati

#283 Paul D. Wohlers – to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Macedonia

#284 William H. Moser – to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Moldova

#285 Earl Anthony Wayne — to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Mexico

#286 Arnold A. Chacon — to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Guatemala


#288 Matthew G. Olsen – to be Director of the National Counterterrorism Center


#291 Madelyn R. Creedon – to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense

#292 Alan F. Estevez – to be an Assistant Secretary of Defense


#293 Gen. William M. Fraser, III – to be General

#294 Col. Donald P. Dunbar – to be Brig. General

#295 Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Hoog – to be Lt. General

#296 Lt. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger – to be Lt. General

#297 Brig. Gen. Verle L. Johnston, Jr. –to be Major General

#298 Brig. Gen. Leonard A. Patrick – to be Major General

#299 Brigadier General Trulan A. Eyre;

Brigadier General Mark R. Johnson;

Brigadier General Bruce W. Prunk;

Brigadier General Harold E. Reed;

Brigadier General Roy E. Uptegraff, III – to be Major General

Colonel Patrick D. Aiello;

Colonel Aaron J. Booher;

Colonel Kevin W. Bradley;

Colonel David T. Buckalew;

Colonel Peter J. Byrne;

Colonel Paul D. Cummings;

Colonel Vyas Deshpande;

Colonel Brian T. Dravis;

Colonel Brent J. Feick;

Colonel Mark K. Foreman;

Colonel David R. Fountain;

Colonel Timothy L. Frye;

Colonel Paul D. Gruver;

Colonel Michael A. Hudson;

Colonel Salvatore J. Lombardi;

Colonel Stephen E. Markovich;

Colonel Richard L. Martin;

Colonel Brian A. Miller;

Colonel William W. Pond;

Colonel Jonathan T. Wall;

Colonel Jennifer L. Walter – to be Brig. General


#300 Gen. Martin E. Dempsey – to be General

#301 Gen. Raymond T. Odierno – to be General

#302 Maj. Gen. Keith C. Walker – to be Lt. General

#303 Maj. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland – to be Lt. General

#304 Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter – to be Lt. General

#305 Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr. – to be Lt. General

#306 Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins – to be Lt. General

#307 Col. Brian R. Copes – to be Brig. General

#308 Brig. Gen. Bert K. Mizusawa – to be Major General

#309 Col. Fred W. Allen – Brig. General

#310 Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. – to be General

#311 Brigadier General Stephen E. Bogle;

Brigadier General Dominic A. Cariello;

Brigadier General David J. Elicerio;

Brigadier General Sheryl E. Gordon;

Brigadier General Ronald W. Huff;

Brigadier General Gerald W. Ketchum;

Brigadier General William L. Seekins;

Brigadier General Richard E. Swan;

Brigadier General Joe M. Wells – to be Major General

Colonel Matthew P. Beevers

Colonel Joel E. Best

Colonel Michael E. Bobeck

Colonel Joseph M. Bongiovanni

Colonel Brent E. Bracewell

Colonel Allen E. Brewer

Colonel Leon M. Bridges

Colonel Eric C. Bush

Colonel Scott A. Campbell

Colonel William R. Coats

Colonel Albert L. Cox

Colonel Sylvia R. Crockett

Colonel Terry A. Ethridge

Colonel Kevin R. Griese

Colonel John J. Jansen

Colonel Donald O. Lagace, Jr.

Colonel Louis J. Landreth

Colonel William S. Lee

Colonel Jerry H. Martin

Colonel Robert A. Mason

Colonel Craig M. McGalliard

Colonel Christopher J. Morgan

Colonel Todd M. Nehls

Colonel Kevin L. Neumann

Colonel Michael J. Osburn

Colonel Lannie D. Runck

Colonel George M. Schwartz

Colonel Terence P. Sullivan

Colonel Alicia A. Tate-Nadeau

Colonel Thomas P. Wilkinson

Colonel Wilbur E. Wolf, III

Colonel David C. Wood – to be Brig. General

#312 Brigadier General David B. Enyeart – to be Major General

Colonel Randy A. Alewel

Colonel Karen D. Gattis

Colonel Catherine F. Jorgensen

Colonel Blake C. Ortner

Colonel Timothy P. Williams

Colonel David E. Wilmot – to be Brig. General

#313 Col. Gina D. Seiler – to be Brig. General

#314 Col. Michael A. Calhoun –to be Brig. General

#315 Col. Kaffia Jones – to be Brig. General


#316 Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert – to be Admiral

#317 Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr. – to be Admiral

#318 Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk – to be Vice Admiral

#319 Vice Adm. Mark E. Ferguson, III – to be Admiral

#320 Rear Adm. Scott H. Swift – to be Vice Admiral

#321 Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr. – to be Vice Admiral

#322 Vice Adm. Michael A. LeFever – to be Vice Admiral

#323 Capt. Luke M. McCollum – to be Rear Admiral (lower half)

And nominations placed on the Secretary’s Desk in the Air Force, Army, Foreign Service, Marine Corps, and Navy;