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Morning Briefing: August 17, 2011

By ThinkProgress on August 17, 2011 at 9:00 am

"Morning Briefing: August 17, 2011"

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Latino and “immigrant organizations in six cities in the last two days” have staged demonstrations protesting the Obama administration’s deportation policies, including the Secure Communities program. Cecilia Muñoz, who oversees immigration policy at the White House, called Secure Communities “the best tool we have” to “enforce the law in the best possible way.”

Presidential candidate Herman Cain said it would be “great” to impeach President Obama, saying yesterday that the administration’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act and support for the Affordable Care Act are impeachable offenses.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging super committee members to strike a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit. In a sharply worded letter, the powerful business lobby warns that failure to reach a compromise on $1.5 trillion in deficit savings by the Nov. 23 deadline “will result in higher deficits, more debt, more downgrades, less growth, and fewer jobs.” The Chamber is calling for both entitlement reform and a tax code overhaul.

Criticizing billionaire Warren Buffett, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said on the stump yesterday that “perhaps Mr. Buffett would like to give away his entire fortune above $200,000. That’s what you want to do? Have at it.” ABC News responds, “Bachmann’s own soundbyte is not entirely accurate. Buffett did not suggest no one could make more than $200,000.”

The “U.S. military has lost $360 million intended for combat and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan to the Taliban, criminals and local leaders,” according to a report released by a task force assembled last year by Gen. David Petraeus. Most of the money has been lost to “profiteering, bribery and extortion.”

According to a Defense Department report, the Army doesn’t know if 5 million pieces of body armor met its safety standards. The Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Army improperly tested new bullet-blocking plates for body armor, a critical piece of battlefield equipment. The report focuses on seven contracts, worth $2.5 billion, awarded by the Pentagon between 2004 and 2006.

The AP reports that Obama will deliver “a major speech” early next month “to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class.” A senior administration official emphasized that Obama’s proposals would be new, not a rehash of plans he’s already pitched.

And finally: After wishing Elvis a happy birthday on his death day, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) corrected her gaffe yesterday, acknowledging his “passing” in South Carolina. She also played the song “Promised Land” and began dancing, saying, “Maybe we’ll turn it on at the end and do some shagging up here. If you want to shag a little bit, that’s what we’ll do.” Apparently the shag is a dance.

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