National Journal Online

Tour De France: A Political View

Tomorrow in Rotterdam, perhaps our favorite sporting event -- the Tour de France -- kicks off with an 8 km prologue stage. We've turned to several politicos who will be glued to their TVs for the next 3 weeks to make their predictions and explain how cycling relates to politics.

For the uninitiated, we've asked John Foster, campaign manager to Rep. Walt Minnick (D-ID) and a former semi-pro racer, to make a few parallels. Here's his take:

THE OVERSIGHT:

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 4:45pm

Broadband Advocate Bemoans Loss of $602 Million in Stimulus Funds

The Media Access Project, a public-interest law firm, is urging Congress not to trim $602 million from a $7.2 billion pot of stimulus dollars dedicated to expanding broadband deployment and adoption nationwide. The money, which represents nearly a tenth of the total broadband fund, came into jeopardy with the House's passage of a military supplemental bill last night. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey introduced an amendment to the bill that rescinds $602 million from the broadband program to help offset the $75 billion supplemental.

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 4:00pm

TiVo Tip Sheet

Meet the Press will not air this Sunday due to Wimbledon.

Face the Nation hosts Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), New York Times' Peter Baker, CBS' Jan Crawford and Washington Post's Anne Kornblut.

This Week hosts Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), New York Times' Paul Krugman, Council on Foreign Relations' Dan Senor, Bloomberg's Al Hunt and Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker.

Fox News Sunday hosts Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) and BP Victim Compensation Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg.

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 3:30pm

Steele Clarifies Afghanistan Remarks

Amid a new firestorm over comments suggesting the war in Afghanistan is ill-advised, RNC chair Michael Steele is doing damage control and adding his support for Gen. David Petraeus.

In a statement released this afternoon through the RNC, Steele reiterated his own support for the war effort, and Petraeus, who was confirmed this week as the top US commander in the theater.

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 2:29pm

Feds Announce Latest Round of Broadband Stimulus Projects

President Obama announced today $795 million in USDA and Commerce Department grants and loans under the stimulus to bring high-speed Internet service to unserved or underserved areas. The projects (PDF) are expected to create 5,000 jobs up front and spur economic development in some of the nation's hardest-hit communities, according to a White House news release.

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 2:00pm

Cruel Summer

Today's Hotline spotlight:

There are plenty of pols whose 4th of July holiday is starting off with a thud instead of a bang.

-- Dems: Another weak jobs report is the latest reminder of how tough it's going to be for Obama and Dems to turn around perceptions of their handling of the economy. Despite their "Recovery Summer" push, the Labor Dept. shows another 625K people gave up looking for work, and Gallup puts the number of "underemployed" at 18%

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 1:50pm

The GOP's Expanding Field

Compared to the flak House Min. Leader John Boehner's been taking on his recent comments on financial reform and Social Security, the heat he took over his prediction that the GOP could put 100 seats in play this cycle pales.

It would take a herculean effort to seriously contest 100 Dem seats this cycle. But if recent history of wave elections -- which '10 is certainly shaping up to be -- is any guide, the GOP doesn't need to put that many of seats in play to capture the House, the party's ultimate objective.

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 12:28pm

Senators Urge Obama to Back Planned Cybersecurity Legislation

Seven Senate leaders late Thursday urged President Obama to support planned legislation designed to protect critical information technology systems from attacks. In a letter to Obama, the senators said they plan to produce a comprehensive cybersecurity bill, although they did not specify a timeframe.

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 12:14pm

Hatch Will Vote Against Kagan

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will vote against Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, he announced today.

"Qualifications for judicial service include both legal experience and, more importantly, the appropriate judicial philosophy. The law must control the judge; the judge must not control the law," Hatch said. "I have concluded that, based on evidence rather than blind faith, General Kagan regrettably does not meet this standard and that, therefore, I cannot support her appointment."

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 11:55am

Cahill Pushes Back At "DC Insiders"

MA Treas. Tim Cahill (I) is fighting back against what he calls DC insiders, months after a devastating round of RGA ads seriously undercut the once-popular Cahill's support.

In his first ad, Cahill cites the RGA's round of advertising, which called into question his service as steward of the state's finances. Cahill brings up other, far sunnier aspects of his tenure.

"First commercial of the governor's race, Washington insiders attack me while I was working for you. It's just politics as usual," Cahill says in the spot. "When they attack me, they attack all of us."

Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010 - 11:09am