The Senate this morning passed a stopgap bill that averts a government shutdown for at least two weeks, so the battle over funding for the rest of this fiscal year has only made it through round one. In other words, drastic cuts to public broadcasting as well as to the implementation of net neutrality rules are still on the table. “Living with the threat of a shutdown every few weeks is not responsible, and it puts our economic progress in jeopardy,” President Obama said in a statement shortly after the Senate vote. He’s calling on congressional leaders to begin meeting immediately with Vice President Joseph Biden, Chief of Staff William Daley and Budget Director Jacob Lew “immediately.” What, they haven’t already been meeting?
Indecision 2012: Jon Stewart kicks off his show’s campaign coverage — all he needs now are the candidates.
Smoke Signals: Fox News announced this a.m. that it has suspended Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, both presidential prospects and paid contributors, until they decide. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, two other prospects, are still on the payroll, so read into it what you will. (FrumForum).
Draft Drew: Libertarians in Ohio are trying to draft “Price Is Right” host Drew Carey to run against Sherrod Brown in Ohio. Carey has longtime ties to the Reason Foundation and maintains a residence in Cleveland. Plus, he’s slimmed down considerably, which seemed to be the metric for measuring Al Gore’s presidential ambitions pre-2008, didn’t it? (Politico)
Open Net Closed: The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has postponed its planned markup today of a resolution to rollback the FCC’s recently passed net neutrality regulations. A new date is to be announced, but Democrats had cried foul over the scheduling of the vote.
More Dodd React: Dianne Feinstein says “Senator Chris Dodd is a longtime friend and colleague and an excellent choice to take the reins” at the MPAA, and adds that she looks forward to “working with Senator Dodd to protect intellectual property, prevent piracy and promote this uniquely Californian industry around the world.” Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): “Chris Dodd is someone who is not simply affable; he’s very intelligent, very knowledgeable and automatically a leader as we saw in the health care bill and financial reform. I think it’s a wonderful combination. And it’s not just the free movie – I’m a senior citizen, I get a discount anyway.” (Politico) There’s lots of snark on Twitter, including many comments honing in on Dodd’s pledges in recent years not to lobby (although imagine what it’d be like if he’d become a banking lobbyist). Technically that is true, as he’ll be restricted from doing direct lobbying of colleague because of the Senate’s “revolving door rules.” But he’ll still be able to oversee what is a lobbying shop.
Today: Mickey Rooney is scheduled to testify before the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, chaired by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.). Rooney, 90, “will testify to the emotional and financial abuse that he has struggled through during the golden years of his extraordinary life.” That includes a recent court battle with his stepson over who controls his legal documents (i.e. driver’s license) and other information.
Tonight: Moby, the Crystal Method and Shepard Fairey appear at “Dance for Equality,” a benefit for the fight against Prop 8. Sponsored by the Courage Campaign and MoveOn, the event will be hosted by Lisa Edelstein and also will feature Heather Graham, Paul Haggis, Ginnfer Goodwin, Patricia Velasquez and Cleve Jones.