Podesta Returns to WH, Barry Behaves Like Bill

With John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, returning to the White House to help Barry battle back, Barry suddenly seems to have turned into the Big Dog.  Um, Barry, you know how Michelle feels about healthy foods, so no Danish for you, if you get my drift.

And Britain’s David Cameron was in full Hooray Henry mode, as he and Barry and the Danish took a photo of themselves, behaving like ill-mannered teenagers rather than heads of state at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.  So clueless and classless. Why didn’t we send Biden?  Hell, why didn’t we send Rob Ford and Alec Baldwin?

Poor Barry, it’s a long, long flight home with Michelle.

Rubio Gives Up

If Marco Rubio strikes you as weak, that’s because he really is.  Politics and policy aside, he’s never struck me as tough enough to be prez.  There’s something soft and doughy, cry-baby and scaredy-cat, about him.   You could see it in his eyes when he lunged for that water bottle during his response to the SOTU.  Hell, you can see it in his eyes any time he’s interviewed, even when it’s fawning Sean Hannity, for God’s sake.  We’re talking ciervo-in-the-headlights, people.

Anyway, today Rubio admitted to conservative radio talker Mike Gallagher that the immigration bill Rubio and his fellow Gang of Eight members have drafted doesn’t have a prayer in the House.  Way to get GOP votes in the Senate, Marco, by declaring your bill DOA in the other chamber.

The thing is, if the bill passes the Senate, it could well pass the House with mostly Dem votes if Boehner doesn’t invoke the “Hastert Rule”* and brings it to the floor.

I think Rubio is realizing that the “path to citizenship” and the path to the GOP nomination don’t converge, and he’s trying to avoid that Gang of Eight stench by destroying their work.


*  Only bills supported by a majority of the majority party get a vote.

Someone Needs to File An Amended Report

The Dallas Morning News has uncovered the West Fertilizer Company’s report to the EPA and local officials.

The company checked “No” for the risk of fire or explosion.  It claimed the worse case scenario was a release of ammonia gas lasting ten minutes that would cause no deaths or injuries.


Did Mitt Pay No Taxes in 2009?

Joshua Green over at Businessweek convincingly makes the case* that Mitt may have paid no federal taxes in 2009 because of losses he would have carried forward from the stock market collapse of 2008 combined with the benefits of his offshore tax havens.

Green thinks this is why Mitt doesn’t want to release any returns except for 2010 and 2011.  If he were to go back further, he couldn’t just skip 2009.


*  “What’s Romney Hiding in His Tax Returns?”

Nurse Merkel Offers More Bandaids

At the European Summit, Italy, France, and Spain did their best to gang up on Germany, but didn’t get much in return.  Merkel is still vehemently opposed to euro bonds, and I don’t see that changing, no matter what.

Italy and Spain will find it easier to get aid from the European bailout fund (the European Stability Mechanism or ESM), but the ESM didn’t get any more money.  Its maximum is still about $633 billion, when Italy and Spain owe about five times that amount.

The ESM will put money directly into Spanish banks rather than using the Spanish government as a pass-through.  And private bondholders of Spanish banks won’t be subordinate to government bond holders.

Such tiny steps have failed to satisfy the markets in the past.

By refusing to “go big,” Europe’s leaders are setting up the euro zone to go bust.


Obama’s Bloody Thursday

If I worked at the White House, I’d get in extra early on Thursday, having had valium for breakfast.

The Supreme Court will announce its decision on Obamacare, and the House will vote on whether Eric Holder is in contempt over Fast and Furious.

Some early Fourth of July fireworks will be exploding at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Note to Sasha and Malia — You don’t want to ask for a raise in your allowance on Thursday.

Note to Bo — You don’t want to mess on any carpets on Thursday.

Note to Michelle — You don’t want to make a fuss if the Prez has a cigarette (or half a pack) on Thursday.