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Congress Links - SOtU Edition

January 24, 2012 - by David Moore

The U.S. House returns to gridlocked action in D.C. this week. The top story, of course, is (yesterday’s) 9pm ET State of the Union address from President Obama, which the reliable Brian Beutler of TPM-DC argues will present a frame for Election 2012. He writes, “It would be a lot to ask of even a well-functioning Congress to pass the sorts of major economic reforms that would be required to end a decades-long systemic economic problem. And as House GOP Leader Eric Cantor acknowledged Monday, the sorts of issues that underlie that problem will not be resolved until after the election.” And as we know, this is not a well-functioning legislative body. A “populist cry for economic fairness” is how WNYC just described the expected message tonight from the President, though that leaves unclear the definition & rhetoric of populist, of course – viz. middle-class. 

To surf along with what we’re tracking, we recommend the lists feature on a popular micropublishing service: 

… keep in mind you can subscribe to those lists from your own account, though everyone has his or her own social media strategies. This commercial Twitter service (though not as good as an open standard micropublishing client could be) can still offer a brilliant balance, actually, w/ users flipping back-and-forth b/w longtime journalistic observers in select-lists and more-positively-chaotic commenters in the wider fray & discussion. You likely realized this user experience already if you’re on the service, not making a huge point. 

The Hill has a comprehensive view of the landscape in the House & Senate, foregrounding the implications for reproductive freedom if the GOP takes the Senate and/or White House in November. 

Chez WaPo, 2Chambers lists nine bipartisan members planning to sit together. Clearly the drama of seating plans don’t matter much when the House GOP leadership explicitly kills bipartisan jobs legislation coming its way.

Expert observer David Waldman blogs on Congress Matters that today is pretty much all about “Killing time until the State of the Union”. Ezra Klein’s must-read-e’ery-day Wonkblog on WaPo reminds, “Last year, for instance, Obama exhorted Americans to win the future by investing in scientific research, clean energy and infrastructure. But as Glenn Kessler ”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-2011-state-of-the-union-address-an-accounting/2012/01/22/gIQA8bu6IQ_blog.html">details, Obama’s proposals languished in the divided Congress. Instead, Congress spent much of its time almost letting the government shut down, almost defaulting on the national debt, and almost letting the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance expire."

Sunday’s “Up With Chris” had a typically interesting – even “robust” if I may type so – discussion of the upcoming bank settlement re: mortgage fraud w/ former NY Gov. Spitzer. 

More Congress Links to come later this morning. What blog posts are you following today? Let us know: david at opencongress.org. More to come also on the ongoing protests against #PIPA net censorship, which was mortally wounded - thanks to the American Censorship coalition (of which PPF is a founding member) and our sibling organization Fight For the Future, helping with the largest online protest in history - but still is insufficiently perished. As I was quoted saying in Salon last week, ““We’re fundamentally saying, kill PIPA, kill SOPA, nuke the bills, then we’ll talk.” 

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