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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stories to Watch: 1/29/14

The GOP is already working on a way to cave on the debt ceiling. Right now, the puzzle seems to be how to cave without sending the base into a panic. Frankly, I could care less whether they can pull that one off or not. I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep worrying whether Republicans can avoid stepping on their own landmines. Serves them right for laying them in the first place.

Is GOP Rep. Michael Grimm -- the guy who threatened to beat up a reporter last night after the SOTU -- abusing steroids?

Republican leadership is none too pleased with Rand Paul's response to the State of the Union last night. According the HuffPo's Jon Ward, "A Republican leadership aide, speaking without authorization, said that leadership offices were in fact 'unhappy' with Paul for 'such a blatant, self-promoting move' that lent itself easily to stories that the party remains divided."

Rising ocean levels force Fijian villagers to relocate -- see, because global warming, melting ice caps, and swelling seas are just a big hoax and all.

Former Bush speechwriter and current rightwing hack Marc Thiessen accuses Pres. Obama of plagiarizing his 2014 SOTU address from Dubya's 2007 address. Saying the words seemed "eerily familiar," he told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that Obama lifted whole passages from Bush. The problem? It's all bullshit. "A quick text compare shows that no lines were directly lifted from Bush’s 2007 speech in the one Obama gave on Tuesday," the report tells us.What Thiessen's complaining about is that Obama spoke with the same vague optimism as Bush -- and every president who ever gave a speech anywhere -- used. Thiessen's hackishness has no bottom.

The new frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination: Mike Huckabee. After his bizarre comments about women's libidos and contraception, liberals and the media piled on Huckabee. And there's nothing the wingnut base loves more than a victim, unless it's a troll. By offending women everywhere and then getting beat up because of it, the former Arkansas governor qualifies as both.

Paul Ryan spells out a possible Republican version of immigration reform that does not include a path to citizenship -- but doesn't rule out citizenship, either. Greg Sargent explains how this proposal demonstrates the pickle the GOP finds themselves in on the issue.

The House passes a farm bill with $8 billion in cuts to food assistance. This very bad idea is expected to pass the Senate easily and be signed by the President.

Fox's Neil Cavuto speaks conservative heresy by criticizing the Republican response to the State of the Union. "[Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers] did a horrible job,” Cavuto told guest Rick Santorum. “She did a horrible job, you know it. And she’s a wonderful person, but it was horrible."

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is in a lot of hot water over his state's terrible response to a winter storm that basically shut the place down. Seriously, it was bad. Thousands of people -- including kids in school buses -- were trapped on icy roadways overnight, because Deal simply did not take the threat at all seriously. When your state is the home to both CNN and the Weather Channel, it's a good idea to deal with bad weather competently. Otherwise, you're guaranteed hour after hour after hour of bad press. On more levels than one, Deal is getting criticism he both deserves and invited.

Finally, Michele Bachmann is a ridiculous clown. You probably already knew that, but it pays to remind everyone from time to time.

[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]

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