shalecaucus

The Rep. Mark Critz-founded Marcellus Shale Caucus had its first meeting today, an informational briefing from the Congressional Research Service.

In the photo above, provided by Critz's office, you can see the man himself front row center and on the right, the back of Rep. Glenn Thompson's head. No sign of caucus member (and potential merged-district primary foe) Rep. Jason Altmire.

Full release is below the jump.

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Obama will be back in Philly Wednesday afternoon for a (closed) town hall on energy issues. From the White House:

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, April 6, President Obama will travel to the Philadelphia area to discuss his long-term plan to protect consumers against rising oil prices and decrease oil imports as well as key components of his broader energy plan to diversify all of our energy sources, ensuring a cleaner, safer, and more secure energy future.  The President will visit Gamesa Technology Corporation in Fairless Hills, where he will hold a town hall discussion with workers about building a 21st century clean energy economy to win the future. Gamesa's Fairless Hills wind-energy turbine manufacturing facility employs approximately 300 workers and was built at a former U.S. Steel industrial site.

This past Wednesday, President Obama outlined his plan for America’s energy security in a speech at Georgetown University.  Today, speaking at a UPS shipping facility in Landover, MD, he highlighted a National Clean Fleet Partnership to assist large companies in reducing diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.

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Did you happen to know that county exec candidate Rich Fitzgerald has many many many many many many children? You will after seeing the first TV ad of the local election season, which the Dem's camp released today. (We told ya this would happen soon. And those good poll numbers for rival Mark Patrick Flaherty, and all the undecideds, predicted an early campaign for the former county council prez too.)

Clip below, and after the jump the commercial's text.

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Animal House scene

As my colleague Dan Malloy notes, you can take Pat Toomey out of the Club For Growth, but you can't take the Club for Growth out of Toomey.

ABC-TV has a spot up today branding Toomey as a "Tea Party Senator" -- which is incorrect, but understandable. Toomey has embraced TP-type ideas, attended the TP caucus curtainraiser (giving a speech about the debt limit, but not officially pledging the percolating fraternity) and -- let's face it -- with his willingness to constantly go on TV and take headline-grabbing positions uncommon for a Senate freshman, does kind of seem like a politically-aggressive Tea Party type. (It's a lazy shorthand the national media has used before for the guy, who was a fiscally conservative congressman long before the Tea Party was a twinkle in Dick Armey's eye.)

Which brings us back to the ABC piece. It's about Toomey not committing to support fellow Republican Senator Olympia Snowe in her reelection bid next year -- a woman he repeatedly led ad campaigns against for her moderate positions (on health care and tax cuts) when he was president of the anti-tax Club.

Rather than support Snowe, he told ABC he'll stay neutral in her race:

"I'm not going to be opposing," Toomey said in an interview aboard the Capitol Subway. "I'm not going to be getting involved in a lot of races."

It's all the more interesting since Toomey got a big lift in 2009 when TP-fave Jim DeMint endorsed him over then-Republican Arlen Specter.

Link to ABC clip below:

toomeyabc

Top: Animal House, 1978.

 

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Here at the Daily Santorum, we like to have as much fun as possible with the likely presidential candidacy of Senator Rick, thus we approached our National Day of Tomfoolery with excitement at the possibilities. Well, our friends at PoliticsPA beat us to the punch, and rather than attempt to come up with our own Onion-style Rick Santorum skewering we will link to theirs -- which deliciously blends Santorum's penchant for outlandish statements with the hapless Pirates:

An “abortion culture” that has “depopulated” the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system is responsible for the Steel City team’s nearly two-decades-long playoff drought, former United States Senator and potential 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Thursday.

“The Pirates’ farm system, in my opinion, is a flawed design, period.  But having said that, the design would work a lot better if the team had more babies who grow up to be like Barry Bonds or Bobby Bonilla,” Santorum said, referring to the team’s vaunted “Killer B’s” nucleus of the late 1980s and early 1990s.  “Unfortunately, the Pirates didn’t have enough minor leaguers to support losses sustained through free agency, lopsided trades, and retirement.”

In not fake Santorum news, he's in South Carolina today for the lucky 13th time. This afternoon he meets with Furman University College Republicans, in Greenville. Tomorrow morning he's in Conway to address the Horry County GOP Convention.

Also, the fine folks at PolitiFact rule Santorum's assertion that one in three pregnancies ends in abortion to be "False." After crunching the numbers, PolitiFact finds that it's less than one in four, and Santorum's assertion about the impact on population trends is misguided because many women have an abortion to prolong child rearing, not prevent it altogether.

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Santorum has officially committed to the first debate of the presidential primary season, hosted by Fox News in Greenville, S.C., on May 5. Still, that is apparently no deadline for his official announcement, which the news release says will come sometime in the next few months. So how does one participate in a presidential debate without being a declared candidate?

"I look forward to participating in the debate process that will allow me to share my views on the issues of the day as well as my vision for the future of our country. And I hope others considering a run will also commit to this important debate in South Carolina," Santorum said in a statement. "I believe this debate will give each of us an opportunity to demonstrate that we are more than just loud critics; we are leaders offering solutions and alternatives to President Obama's failed policies."


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