Get Your Blog Up

“This administration is populated by people who’ve spent their careers bashing government. They’re not just small-government conservatives—they’re Grover Norquist, strangle-it-in-the-bathtub conservatives. It’s a cognitive disconnect for them to be able to do something well in an arena that they have so derided and reviled all these years.”

Senator Hillary Clinton

Friday, May 26, 2006

Campaign money in CA-45

The latest FEC reports are out, and Mary Bono has unsurprisingly outraised her odds on opponent David Roth in the latest quarter:
Bono, R-Palm Springs, raised nearly $95,000 in this reporting period -— April 1 to May 17 - compared to just $24,000 for Roth.

For the full election cycle, Bono has received more than $562,000; Roth less than half that, at about $272,000.

It's a little disappointing, but I think it's important to note that almost half of Bono's money has come from PACs. Roth'deficiencycy here is two fold - he's yet to win the primary and become the official candidate while the battle for California's 45th is not viewed as a top tier pick up for Democrats. But Roth's ability to raise about 2/3rds of Garcia's total from non-PAC contributions may end up turning some heads and draw more attention to this race.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Arnold holds steady

I've been thinking that the latest round of polls on both Arnold's approval and head to head match ups would see him on the rise and surpassing his opponents. But the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll reveals that all is not going according to Arnold's plan:
Even with $5 billion in surplus revenue, a popular $37 billion public works bond deal, and glowing photos ops at every turn as he signs bills around the state, Schwarzenegger's job approval ratings dropped to 36 percent among 2,000 adults questioned in a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.

The poll, released today, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points and showed a two-point decline for Schwarzenegger since last month. Among 986 likely voters, his approval rating was at 42 percent, down from 46 percent a month ago.

What's more, both Angelides and Westly polled dead even with the Governor, with about a quarter of the state undecided so far. Which makes it all the more important that those 25% don't see Westly and Angelides as hellbent on raising taxes, destroying the environment, or cozying up to big oil, all claims made by one side or the other in the Democratic primary.

It's another reason to look forward to the primary vote on June 6th. Democrats need to stop fighting each other and start taking on a still vulnerable Governor.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Arnold neck and neck

The latest Rasmussen poll shows I'm a bit of a pessimist for now:
The latest Rasmussen Reports election poll shows Schwarzenegger and State Treasurer Phil Angelides each with 45% support. When matched against State Controller Steve Westly, Schwarzenegger trails by two points, 46% to 44%.

But Rasmussen also notes what I've argued here:
Schwarzenegger will doubtless benefit from the spate of spit balls the Democratic candidates are hurling at each other as California's primary election, to be held June 6, approaches.

Until someone can argue that he won't benefit from the campaigns of Westly and Angelides against each other, I'd have to agree. In fact, Arnold's campaign is already gearing up for the eventual Democratic primary winner:
A representative for Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign said after the speech that both Angelides and Westly have a history of promoting taxes and "sound like typical politicians when they say, 'Well, I don't support those taxes anymore.'" The representative, Matt David, added, "California voters should know better than that."

Remember one of the things that doomed Grey Davis to defeat was the automatic increase to the state's car tax and Davis' refusal to lower it. It certainly had everyone I know up in arms and willing to vote for Arnold because of it, although it's possible I just knew the wrong people back then.

Either way, it's safe to say that the people of California dislike taxes more than they like Republicans pretending to be moderates. And that makes me a little nervous for the fall.

Another immigration bill pessimist

First Alabama's Jeff Sessions, now Arizona's Jeff Flake:
Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) told a group of conservative bloggers yesterday that the House was unlikely to act on any Senate-passed version of immigration reform legislation.

"It’s unlikely conferees will be appointed," Flake told the 15 bloggers, who gather weekly on Capitol Hill to meet and strategize. "If conferees are appointed, there’s a better chance we’ll have a bill."

Again, this would be bad news for Republicans seeking re-election. After thrusting Immigration into the spotlight, being seen as unable to do anything about it would be political suicide.

Even with the support of Democrats in the House, the bill still might not see the floor due to Dennis Haestert's "majority of the majority" rule:
In the past, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has blocked bills from coming to the chamber's floor unless they were supported by a majority of Republicans. He has reiterated that he plans to follow the so-called majority of the majority guideline for immigration legislation.

As a result, a compromise that attracted enough backing from a combination of Republicans and Democrats to pass the 435-member House would be kept from the floor if it lacked the support of more than half of the chamber's 231 GOP lawmakers.

"If Speaker Hastert insists on the 'majority of the majority,' [immigration reform] is dead," Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday.

So much for a bipartisan push in the House.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Coburn's plan to curb illegal immigrants

He'll deny them interpreters to get them necessary medical care. And it actual extends beyond illegals to anyone who has a limited grasp on the English language. Including, you know, actual Americans.

Should I mention here, too that those on Medicare and Medical may not be able to afford English language classes? What about those who get ill while they are in the middle of these classes? What if they haven't gotten to the medical terminology lesson yet? I guess immigrants better hope that it's one of the first lessons.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Getting to know David Roth

Come out and meet David Roth in the desert this week:
Thursday, May 25 - 9:30 AM in Coachella :
Senior Center, 1515 Sixth Street (Civic Center) Coachella


Saturday, May 27 - 3:00 PM in Palm Springs
Temple Isaiah, 332 W. Alejo Road, Palm Springs (Warsaw Ballroom)

I have to work both days, but I may take a Saturday to see the next Representative from California's 45th.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


From an article that explains the President's latest tax package actually tripled a tax rates for teenagers saving money for college:
Mr. Bush pledged in 1999 to veto any bill that raised taxes. In response to a question about the tax increase on teenagers in the new legislation, the White House issued a statement Friday that made no reference to the tax increase, but recounted the tax cuts the administration has sponsored and stated that President Bush had "reduced taxes on all people who pay income taxes."

Challenged on that point, the White House modified its statement 21 minutes later to say that Mr. Bush had "reduced taxes on virtually all people who pay income taxes."

Nice of the White House to recognize teenagers are people, too.

Taxes and the Democratic primary for Governor

Initially I thought Phil Angelides would become the next Governor of California. But after watching the campaign unfold, it has become clearer to me that Angelides probably could not win in the general election against Arnold, and probably will not be able to escape the primary against Steve Westly either.

Yesterday, while discussing politics in general, someone asked me which guy was going to raise our taxes. It took me a minute or two to realize that Westly's TV ads which proclaim that Angelides wants to increase tax rates by $10 billion dollars. I tried to explain it was a campaign ad that took some serious liberties with numbers. But it had made it's impact. This was a voter who would not choose Phil Angelides.

At a serious financial disadvantage, it seems Angelides has ignored Southern California and it's Republican leaning ways. On his website, however, his latest ad doesn't exactly defend the claim, but rather claims that Westly will be the one to raise our taxes. It's the perfect lose/lose strategy for Democrats in this election.

Governor Schwarzeneger is now the only one who does not have ads claiming he will raise taxes. And his campaign won't be afraid to use the words of the losing Democratic candidate against the winning one. Whomever escapes the Democratic primary season will be badly damaged and have the tax increase tag to deal with, a tag that should be hard to overcome in times of high gas prices and stagnant wages.

My hopes of a positive Democratic primary campaign were dashed long ago. To see both sides paint each other as tax and spenders has now dashed my hopes for the general election even more.

Another opportunity that may have gone to waste.

Friday, May 19, 2006

All of this for nothing

So Republicans decided to demonize immigrants in this country in an effort to bring out the base, and Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions now says it's all for naught, which would have to be the absolute worst outcome for Republicans nationwide.

They are after all, the ones who tried to make this the issue of 2006. And if they fail to compromise, base voters already upset with provisions in the Senate bill are really going to start screaming if they get nothing done at all.

That said, I can't see them letting this bill fail. They know the stakes involved, and showing incompetence like that would be a death knell come November.

Crossing the border

News from Arizona:
A new poll shows the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Jon Kyl and Democratic challenger Jim Pederson, a Valley real estate developer, getting closer.

A new Rocky Mountain Poll out Thursday shows Kyl leading Pederson, 40 percent to 33 percent. That is closer than a number of other polls that have shown Kyl with larger leads.

However, a Zogby International/Wall Street Journal online poll also showed the race with small Kyl lead.

You'd have to think Republicans are getting tired of seeing seats they once thought were safe become competitive.

And Democrats aren't pulling any punches on this one, either. Bill Clinton is coming to host a fundraiser on June 1st. Arizona readers who can afford $500/plate are encouraged to attend. Other who want to help can do so here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Now everyone will speak English except those who don't

And apparently we don't care about them, anyway:
After a emotional debate fraught with symbolism, the Senate yesterday voted to make English the "national language" of the United States, declaring that no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law.


With approval of a triple-layered border fence Wednesday, the capping of the annual number of guest-worker visas at 200,000 and the English-language amendment yesterday, Republicans say the bill is tougher than the original version and comes closer to what is needed to satisfy many conservatives.

And there it is. Making English the "national language" makes Republicans appear tougher than they actually are in an effort to appease the base without actually giving them what they want.

What a waste of time and energy without really accomplishing anything. It's what we've come to expect from the Republican led Senate.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's in the house

While the media may paint the fact that the Senate passed an immigration bill similar to what the President proposed in his speech Monday night as a victory, the fact is that the Senate was already pretty much on board.

It's the House that presents the biggest hurdles for Bush, and it seems that battle remains to be fought and won.

Remember when they would rule forever...

Conservatives are now growing weary that the "nuclear option" to block filibusters in the Senate may not be such a good idea after all as the threat of a Democratic majority in the Senate seems possible.

I wonder how conservobloggers feel now about the "Gang of 14's" effort now.

Monday, May 15, 2006

47 states can't be wrong

The ever shrinking Bush majority.

Bush's speech

Listening to the talking heads, it seems like this one's a dud. NRO's David Frum even thinks the President's numbers will go down because of this one.

From the speech:
We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger or playing on anyone's fears or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain

Too bad this sentiment doesn't apply to other issues, such as the war on terror, national security, gay marriage, health care, welfare...

As if that would be a bad thing

Reuters headline:
US denies post-2012 emissions discussion with EU

Thank goodness an EPA spokesperson could come out and deny this so quickly, because even discussing the idea of reducing emissions is such a bad idea.

Kids in the back

As a soon to be father, this seems like a bad idea to me:
Children younger than 13 would be restricted to the rear of vehicles under legislation gaining traction in the Capitol.

The measure would end riding shotgun for youngsters by prohibiting them from sitting in the passenger seat beside a driver.

Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, said her goal is to increase child safety.

"I think society in general has an interest in reducing the risks," she said.

Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, provides the obvious rebuttal:
"We could ban kids from cars altogether and reduce their car-related deaths," Huff said sarcastically.

The $100 gas rebate in border protection

Remember that $100 dollar rebate that Bill Frist proposed to combat high gas prices. It was seen as a temporary fix to a long term problem while being too little to late, and was pulled days later.

Posting national guard troops on the border is the same policy on a different issue. It's a short term fix and if the President really felt this strongly about immigration, he would have proposed this long ago.

It's little more than a fig leaf to conservatives who are dissatisfied with the President, and I'm not sure how much good it's going to do.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A small sigh of relief

Numbers can change in no time, but it's nice to see seats that Republicans looked to take in Michigan, West Virginia, and Florida that once appeared vulnerable now appear to be easy wins for Democrats.

It should allow the party to focus on winning new seats rather than struggling to keep the old.

Arnold, again

Arnold makes another move that will lead to re-election:
Gov. Schwarzenegger wants to use the state's projected $5 billion budget surplus to pay down debt and increase education and transportation spending, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The governor will officially unveil his revised budget on Friday, but the Times took an early look at the plan. It calls for paying $3.2 billion of the state's debt a year earlier than planned. It would also take the estimated $800 million in extra sales tax from higher gas prices and set up a special fund for transportation projects.

Another $5 billion will go to education to settle a lawsuit filed by the California Teachers Association and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell against the governor's administration. The agreement is to repay funds mandated by Proposition 98 that were cut from the education budget in recent years.

If Arnold decides to govern this way, it may not be half bad, and he would go a long way in repairing his image here in California. Look for his approval numbers and his head to head numbers to climb even more as these and other stories that are positive for him continue.

If, however, he returns to Republican pander after his re-election, one has to wonder about the public's trust of California's GOP in the future.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Taliban strengthening in Afghanistan

The Taliban's influence has grown in parts of southern Afghanistan over the past year, the top U.S. commander in that country said Wednesday.

Observations from coalition forces, Afghan institutions and others in the country "gives us a sense that the number of Taliban fighters in certain districts [northern Kandahar, northern Helmand and Oruzgan provinces] may have increased over the past several months," Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry told reporters in Washington.

Eikenberry, commanding general of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, said the Taliban isn't "necessarily a strong enemy." But it is strong enough to exploit and coerce weak government institutions.

One of my qualms with the Iraqi invasion was that we left Afghanistan unfinished. Had we stayed to promote stability and peace in the country we probably wouldn't be in the mess that we are in now. We may have even caught that guy responsible for 9/11. You remember Mr. "Wanted Dead or Alive" himself.

Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come in Afghanistan.

NSA blocks wiretapping probe

The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance to probe the matter.

The inquiry headed by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice lawyers’ role in the program.

“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey. Hinchey’s office shared the letter with The Associated Press.

Proving that even if Democrats win in November, the Bush administration will still do what they can to avoid accountability.

Democrats becoming the party of ideas

NY Times, reporting on their latest poll:
Fifty percent said Democrats came closer than Republicans to sharing their moral values, compared with 37 percent who said Republicans shared their values. A majority said Republican members of Congress were more likely to be financially corrupt than Democratic members of Congress, suggesting that Democrats may be making headway in their efforts to portray Republicans as having created a "culture of corruption" in Washington.

By better than two to one, Democrats were seen as having more new ideas than Republicans.

I wonder why that could be...
Republican leaders in Congress have all but abandoned efforts to pass major policy initiatives this year, and are instead focusing their energies on a series of conservative favorites that they hope will rally loyal voters in November's congressional elections.

The House and Senate agendas are packed with bills that, even supporters concede, have no chance of passing but that social and fiscal conservatives clamor for, like constitutional amendments banning flag-burning and gay marriage. By bringing them up, Republicans hope to inspire a constituency that has fractured in its support for President Bush and the party.

Republican's have had this pander plan all along. After a year of doing pretty much nothing, they've decided to go back and pander to the base while accomplishing a whole lot more nothing. And most of the country realizes that this means the GOP is clearly running low on new ideas.

The real question will be how much longer will this GOP ploy dupe their base.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Republican values

The latest GOP tax cuts help the average American, if that average American makes over $1 million dollars:
Middle-income households would receive an average tax cut of just $20 from the agreement, according to the joint Brooking Institution-Urban Institute Tax Policy Center, while the 0.2 percent of households with incomes over $1 million would get average tax cuts of $42,000.

Remember the urgency here is based on Republican fears that they won't be retaining power much longer. The cuts they are hoping to extend won't expire for another two years, and were no doubt intended to boost the GOP in 2008. They never thought, I guess, that they'd need the help right now.

And with that, Arnold was re-elected

SF Gate:
The two leading Democrats in the Legislature pledged to campaign with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger through the fall to win public support for a $37 billion bond package on the November ballot -- setting up a potentially awkward situation for whichever Democratic candidate emerges to challenge the incumbent Republican.

Democratic State Senate Pro Tem Don Perata of Oakland and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez of Los Angeles appeared at Schwarzenegger's side Monday in Oakland and pledged continuing support for the bond issue to finance schools, roads, bridges, levee repairs and affordable housing.

Moderate Arnold returns, at least until November 2006. After that will be anyones guess.

He's on the rebound, I swear!

How long until someone begins to talk about the President's move in the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp (up two points, within the margin of error) as a sign that the President is on his way back to staggering popularity, or at the very least a number with a 4 in front of it?

Just curious.

*UPDATE* Here's one that questions all poll rating in general, and asks:
Then comes this result: 53% say that the war with Iraq has made the US is less safe from terrorism. What?! We have not been attacked since 9/11. So how are we less safe?

Based on this argument, September 10th, 2001 we were pretty safe because we hadn't sustained an attack in a while. And every day since Sept. 11th we get safer and safer simply because the amount of time that has passed since the last attack, and even if no one does anything to improve our ports and national security system.

So why is Congress wasting all this money on Homeland Security? Times the best weapon to keep us safe!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Tax cuts for everyone (except those who aren't wealthy)

Republican lawmakers, facing the prospect that their power to cut taxes may soon be curbed, plan to extend breaks that mostly benefit the wealthy and Wall Street at the expense of reductions for middle-income households.

Six months before elections that may return a Democratic majority in at least one house of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois are focusing on extending the 15 percent rate on investments and repealing the estate tax. They won't push extensions of lower rates for all taxpayers and expanded breaks for married couples and families with children, which expire after 2010.

"In politics, timing is everything; you do what you can when you can, and this is what's queued up right now," says Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, the No. 4 Republican in the Senate. Given the federal budget deficit, it would "be hard to generate public support overnight" for making permanent the other tax cuts, he says.

First off, if there is another reason that Kyl needs to go down in defeat this fall, I'm not sure what it is. Garnering support for the middle class tax cuts would not be difficult at all. In fact, I'm sure a large majority of the middle class would support them.

But Republicans understand that Democrats would likely push those tax cuts anyway. Here they can pander to their wealthy base and know that, win or lose, Democrats will more than likely support extending the middle class tax cuts. So for Republicans, it's not about doing what's right for a majority of Americans, it's about helping themselves for as long as they can.

No wonder people are tired of their leadership.

(By the way, if you'd like to help defeat Jon Kyl, support his opponent Democrat Jim Pederson).

Talkin' bout investigations

Matthew Yglesias responds to John Dickerson, who seemed to agree with me that Nancy Pelosi should not be out trumpeting investigations if Democrats win. Matt writes:
Perhaps more to the point, what could possibly be served by denying that Dole is, in some sense, correct about this? Everyone knows that a Democratic congress will mean subpoena power. What's at issue are two different ways of characterizing this. Dole wants people to think of partisan witch-hunts, Pelosi wants people to think of sober-minded oversight. Simply resting silent on the issue isn't going to stop Dole and whomever else from saying what they want. The only way to challenge Dole's characterization is for Pelosi to offer one of her own, which is exactly what she did.

The American public disapproves of President Bush and the Congress. They are dissatisfied with the direction that the country is headed. And Democrats talking about investigations rather than what they can do to help the country isn't going to appeal to that majority.

I understand that the Democratic base wants to see investigations. There's nothing wrong with that, and if Democrats pull off the upset and win back the House and/or Senate, then they are going to happen whether it's spoken about or not.

The non base wants action that takes us in a different direction. And talking above the partisan politics and appealing to their desires on wage issues and health care should be the focus of the Democrats strategy. Let the subpoenas take care of themselves. Even talking about the issue in those terms is better than having the appearance of bragging about being able to investigate the President.

And my initial argument remains. Democrats affirming a GOP talking point will only help Republicans appeal to their base.

I will say, as I re-read the article in the Post, that the characterization of how Pelosi brought up investigations is in the eye of the reader. Dickerson and I clearly saw it as a bit bragadocious, and I would hope even Matt would agree this isn't the way it should be brought up.

*UPDATE* I think this backs up my case:
Whenever journalists like Russert attribute some belief to the passive voice -- the subject-less formulation of "the impression is out there that . . ." -- they are just voicing their own views, and here, Russert's views couldn't be clearer. There is no reason whatsoever to exploit control over the House to conduct investigations into various corruption and lawbreaking scandals. The only possible reason Democrats would do that is a petty, vindictive desire for -- to use Russert's word -- "payback."

Of course, Russert's an idiot here, and Greenwald points out reasons why investigations are warranted. But the media makes the meme, and they seem to have their heart focused on vindictive Democrats taking down President Bush. And Democrats talking about it is only going to aid this meme.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Updates from the 45th

Another Democrat throws his hat into the ring:
Marty Schwimmer, a deputy public defender for Riverside County, has entered the congressional race to unseat U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs, in the November election.

Schwimmer, a Democrat, is running against David Roth, in the Democratic primary on June 6.

Schwimmer announced his candidacy at a fund-raising reception Saturday at the Cathedral City home of Gregory Johnson and Meanie Roe.

Schwimmer, the article notes, refers to the Roth campaign as a "hollow effort" by the Democratic Party. Facts aside, it's a shame that Schwimmer wants to raise his chances by trying to bring down a fellow Democrat. If Schwimmer thinks he'll be that much better than Bono and Roth, then good for him. But please don't give Mary Bono any ammunition to use against Roth if he manages to win the Democratic primary. She simply doesn't need the help.

Meanwhile, Roth has earned the Press-Enterprise's endorsement for the Democratic primary. And the Roth campaign has announced that internal polling has them over Mary Bono:
According to an independent and confidential poll just taken for business clients of a well-known pollster, once voters in the sample were presented with my vs. Bono's personal and professional characteristics, the results show that if the election were held today I would be 7 percentage points ahead!

I'd be interested to see what characteristics are attributed to each candidate to get these results.

Bad idea

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said in an interview last week that a Democratic House would launch a series of investigations of the Bush administration, beginning with the White House's first-term energy task force and probably including the use of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Pelosi denied Republican allegations that a Democratic House would move quickly to impeach President Bush. But, she said of the planned investigations, "You never know where it leads to."

Most Democrats already understand that if Democrats take control of the House or Senate that they will investigate a lot of what this President has done. And that's fine. But when the main complaints of the public are high gas prices and uncertainty about Iraq, voters on the fence are not going to be wooed by investigations but by solutions.

And Howard Dean seems to get it:
In an exclusive Sunday interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Dean dismissed the idea that Democrats would seek to impeach President Bush if they won back control of Congress - a possibility floated by Republicans looking to galvanize their base.

This should be a standard claim. There are no plans to impeach the President. None. And there shouldn't be, honestly, because there is no way to know what's going to turn up if investigations get under way.

If there is something out there that suggests Republicans can rally the base by claiming Democrats will impeach the President, you should not be out there suggesting that their claim is true, especially when turnout will have a big impact on the outcome.

Democrats already have a reason to go out and vote. Republicans are searching for theirs. Don't say anything that will aid their cause.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Worth the wait

Sorry folks, but those of you waiting for my special brand of bloggy goodness are going to have to wait a little longer. Circumstances beyond my control and all that. Check back next week at the latest for new stuff.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Brave Sir Frist

Standing up to big oil:
Senate Republicans on Monday hurriedly abandoned a broad tax proposal opposed by the oil industry and business leaders, another sign of their struggle to come up with an acceptable political and legislative answer to high gasoline prices.

Sen. Bill Frist, the majority leader, said he had decided to jettison the provision, which would have generated billions of dollars by changing the way businesses treat inventories for tax purposes. Instead, he said the Senate Finance Committee would hold hearings on the plan "later this year, so the pluses and minuses of the provision can become well known."

*UPDATE* Just watching MSNBC, and in a hard hitting interview, they ignore this entirely. Good work, guys.