ThinkFast: February 12, 2010

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “dismissed” efforts to limit filibusters proposed by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Tom Udall (D-NM). Reid said the “chamber’s procedures were designed to prevent the majority party from unilaterally changing the rules.” Harkin’s plan would create a “four-step process that would eventually allow a majority of 51 votes” to achieve cloture, while Udall’s would have the Senate change its filibuster requirement at the beginning of the next session.

Reid introduced a scaled-back jobs bill, complaining that the draft bipartisan proposal had been “watered down” with extraneous provisions. “The jobs bill emerging in the Senate is pathetic, both as a response to joblessness and as an example of legislation deemed capable of winning bipartisan support,” the New York Times writes.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds “three-quarters of Americans say that they support openly gay people serving in the U.S. military.” The level of public support far exceeds the 44 percent who supported allowing gays to serve in 1993.

President Clinton left New York-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital today after undergoing a successful procedure to clear a blocked artery. Doctors inserted two stents into one of Clinton’s coronary arteries “after a bypass graft from an operation nearly six years ago became obstructed.” “President Clinton is in good spirits,” an adviser to the former president said. 

A new survey commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and Credo Action finds that a majority of Minnesotans — 56 percent — are embarrassed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Only 29 percent answered that they were “proud” of her, and 15 percent were “not sure.”

The Obama administration projected yesterday that “the unemployment rate would fall this year by only a little, if at all, and would remain well over 6 percent until 2015.” The report projects that “an average of 95,000 jobs would be added to the payrolls each month this year — barely enough to keep up with the normal number of jobs the economy would have to create to meet the growth in the labor force.”

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) announced yesterday that he won’t be seeking a ninth term, leaving the Kennedy family “without a member in Washington for the first time in more than six decades.” Three Republican congressman have also announced retirement in the past 10 days, leaving the GOP with 18 open seats to defend in November compared to Democrats’ 14.

And finally: A fun correction from the Los Angeles Times: “In some editions of Sunday’s Section A, an article about Sarah Palin’s speech to the National Tea Party Convention quoted her as saying, ‘How’s that hopey, changing stuff working out for you?’ She said, ‘How’s that hopey, changey stuff working out for you?‘”

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