News broke today that President Obama has decided to defy Senate Republicans by appointing Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Some thought this recess appointment would come yesterday, but as Brad Plumer notes in The Washington Post, “recess-appointing Cordray now rather than yesterday means his appointment will last through the end of 2013, rather than through the end of 2012.” What factors determine how long a recess appointee can serve? A 2011 report from the Congressional Research Service gives some insight.
Ever since the Solyndra story broke, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. And … I’m still waiting. The Washington Post unearthed some e-mails suggesting that Obama Administration officials lobbied the Energy Department to expedite approve of a loan for the solar panel company, which eventually went bankrupt. Obviously that was a bad idea. But corruption? Impropriety? No signs of that yet. More damning information could still emerge.
-- Brad Plumer charts the history of a ludicrous political phrase. -- Suzy Khimm on the Democratic plan B for Medicare -- Rick Perry is not much more popular in Texas than Barack Obama.
Should we tax pollution more aggressively? My colleague Brad Plumer makes the case for “yes” over at Ezra Klein’s blog, where he’s a guest poster this week. And I think he makes a compelling case. We need more revenue and we need to reduce carbon emissions. OK, you already knew that part. But did you also know that we do less than most countries to put levies on pollution? I didn’t know that, although I suppose I would have guessed if I had thought about it. Brad supplies a graph that makes the point clearly.
-- Jon Cohn on how the Ryan proposal will affect infrastructure. -- Brad Plumer asks: can anything be done about gas prices? -- Washington mayor Vince Gray makes corrupt cab deal.
-- Brad Plumer had a front row seat today to all the shutdown theatrics. -- David Frum tries to read Romney's mind, surprisingly doesn't flip-flop mid-piece. -- Bruce Bartlett weighs in on Paul Ryan's proposal.
-- Brad Plumer corrects the record on the GAO's report on government waste. -- Michael Kinsley: what's the point of film subsidies? -- Charlie Sheen quotes...now with cats.
-- Brad Plumer reports from CPAC. -- Chris Orr reviews a truly terrible movie. -- Marlon Brando's love letter to a stewardess: "you have something graceful and tender and femenine."
-- Brad Plumer on Michael Steele's doomed re-election bid. -- The history of filibuster reform -- Neil Cavuto gets undermined by Fox's own on-screen graphic.
-- Brad Plumer on how fringe candidates saved the New York gubernatorial debate. -- A GOP 527 has some advice for Latinos: don't vote. -- Sarah Palin makes an odd endorsement in the Pennsylvania Senate race: West Virginia Senate candidate John Raese.