These are my links for March 30th from 18:06 to 18:20:
- Budget Negotiators Reach Tentative Deal To Avert Government Shutdown – Sources tell me that budget negotiators on Capitol Hill have tentatively agreed on a deal that would involve at least $33 billion in spending cuts from this year’s budget. That’s $23 billion dollars more than Democrats have previously agreed to in short-term continuing resolutions, and $28 billion less than Republicans previously passed in the House.
Members of the House Appropriations Committee will begin discussing how to hit that number with their Senate counterparts as soon as tonight, and Vice President Biden is heading to Capitol Hill for a 6pm meeting with the Senate Democratic leadership.
The deal could still fall apart over the composition of the cuts, or policy “riders” previously passed by the House. These include issues like de-funding Planned Parenthood and President Obama’s health care legislation. It’s also not clear that this compromise will fly with rank-and-file House Republicans, which means that the $33 billion goal could still climb by a few billion. But this is most significant progress since the beginning of negotiations.
Update: Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Speaker of the House, tells me "“There is no agreement on a number for the spending cuts. Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.”
OK for this year but only with a balance budget amendment.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as ‘The Governator’ – He’s been a famous body builder. He’s been a killer cyborg from the future. He’s been Governor of California. And now, in this week’s exclusive cover scoop, Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals his plans for the next phase of his extraordinary career: He’s going be a cartoon superhero, known as The Governator. “When I ran for governor back in 2003 and I started hearing people talking about ‘the Governator,’ I thought the word was so cool,” Schwarzenegger, 63, tells EW in his first press interview since leaving office last January. (Watch an EW-exclusive video of Schwarzenegger talking about the project.) “The word Governator combined two worlds: the world of politics and the movie world. And [this cartoon] brings everything together. It combines the governor, the Terminator, the bodybuilding world, the True Lies…”
The animated TV show and comic book, being co-developed by no less a superhero authority than Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee (pictured, right), won’t be out until next year,…
Hope the cartoon ends up better than his Governorship which was horrible.
- Barack Obama authorizes secret help for Libya rebels – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to government sources familiar with the matter.
Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a necessary legal step before such action can take place but does not mean that it will.
Read it all.
- Barack Obama’s jaw-dropping hypocrisy on energy – McConnell gave a speech on the Senate floor this morning that including these zingers:
Over the past two years, the administration has undertaken what can only be described as a war on American energy. It’s cancelled dozens of drilling leases. It’s declared a moratorium on drilling off the Gulf Coast. It’s increased permit fees. It has prolonged public comment periods. In short, it’s done just about everything it can to keep our own energy sector from growing. As a result, thousands of U.S. workers have lost their jobs, as companies have been forced to look elsewhere for a better business climate.
Consider this: just three of the areas we could tap in Alaska are thought to hold enough oil to replace our crude imports from the Persian Gulf for nearly 65 years. So the problem isn’t that we need to look elsewhere for our energy. The problem is that Democrats don’t want us to use the energy we have. It’s enough to make you wonder whether anybody in the White House has driven by a gas station lately.
Well, at least he made a speech on energy – finally.
The Democrats will do nothing to end American dependence on foreign oil by domestic exploration and drilling.