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Today’s Headlines – August 12, 2011

Happy Friday!  Today’s headlines include reports about the full roster of the ‘super committee’ and how the GOP field of presidential hopefuls is faring in Iowa. And, since it’s August… Check out the Bay Bridge traffic report, too… just in case you are reading First Edition on the way to the beach!

The New York Times: Pelosi Appoints 3 On Her Team To Complete The Deficit-Reduction Committee
The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, rounded out the membership of a powerful new deficit-reduction panel on Thursday by appointing three of her top lieutenants who have led opposition to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The new appointees are Representatives Xavier Becerra of California, the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the assistant House Democratic leader; and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Budget Committee (Pear and Steinhauer, 8/11).

For more headlines …

The Washington Post: Nancy Pelosi Names Her Picks To ‘Supercommittee,’ Completing 12-Member Debt Panel
Pelosi reiterated her call for Congress to consider “the grand bargain” of major entitlement cuts matched with increased taxes. “We must achieve a ‘grand bargain’ that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Our entire Caucus will work closely with these three appointees toward this goal, which is the goal of the American people,” Pelosi said. “Because the work of this committee will affect all Americans, I called last week for its deliberations to be transparent; the committee should conduct its proceedings in the open” (Kane and Sonmez, 8/11).

Los Angeles Times: Deficit ‘Super Committee’ Reflects Party Leadership
There are no members on the panel who championed the various deficit reduction efforts that took place outside of the leadership’s auspices — no senators from the Gang of Six, for example. None stand out as political mavericks. The resulting committee is less a band of brothers willing to strike a deal on deficit reduction and more an extension of the leadership foursome who will decide whether there is a deal to be struck (Mascaro, 8/11).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: AP Analysis: Special Interests Gave $3 Million To Members Of New Budget Supercommittee
The newly appointed members — six Democrats and six Republicans — have received more than $3 million total during the past five years in donations from political committees with ties to defense contractors, health care providers and labor unions. That money went to their re-election campaigns, according to AP’s review (8/11).

Los Angeles Times: GOP Candidates Debate In Ames, Iowa
Presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney was able to steer clear of the most contentious exchanges, though he was forced to defend his jobs record as governor of Massachusetts and in private business, as well as his state’s healthcare plan. … Pawlenty criticized what he called her “nonexistent” record of accomplishment in Congress and history “of misstating and making false statements.” Bachmann responded that she was “at the tip of the spear” fighting President Obama’s healthcare plan and the debt limit increase, which prompted Pawlenty to remark that “leading and failing is not the objective.” … The former Massachusetts governor, who is not competing in the straw poll and had less at stake than his rivals, also defended the legality of the individual healthcare mandate he signed into law five years ago (West and Mehta, 8/11).

The New York Times: ‘Corporations Are People,’ Romney Tells Iowa Hecklers Angry Over His Tax Policy
Mr. Romney was speaking at the Iowa State Fair’s soapbox on Thursday morning, but when it was time for the question-and-answer session, the mood turned heated, with a small group of angry hecklers calling on Mr. Romney to support raising taxes on the wealthy to help finance social entitlement programs. “We have to make sure that the promises we make in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are promises we can keep, and there are various ways of doing that,” Mr. Romney said. “One is, we can raise taxes on people.” “Corporations!” the protesters shouted, suggesting that Mr. Romney, as president, should raise taxes on large businesses. “Corporations are people, my friend,” Mr. Romney responded (Parker, 8/11).

The Washington Post: Mitt Romney Says ‘Corporations Are People’ At Iowa State Fair
Romney’s appearance at the fair’s soapbox grew unusually testy when a few angry people heckled the Republican presidential candidate over his declaration not to raise taxes. They urged the campaign front-runner to increase taxes on the wealthy to help fund such entitlement programs as Social Security and Medicare (Rucker, 8/11).

Politico: Rand Paul: Massachusetts Health Care Law ‘Foolish’
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul isn’t buying Mitt Romney’s answers on health care reform. The freshman senator attended the Ames debate to boost his father’s presidential campaign. Speaking with reporters after the forum, he declined to criticize Romney for dodging questions on the debt ceiling debate and his record on taxes in Massachusetts (Burns, 8/12).