Morning Must Reads: Servicers

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President Obama and Australian PM Julia Gillard visit Wakefield High School in Virginia on March 7. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

American Banker gets ahold of a draft settlement state attorneys general are hammering out with the mortgage servicing industry. Felix Salmon is skeptical about its implementation.

–The Senate Gang of Six’s deficit reduction plan, reportedly good for $4 trillion over ten years, begins to take shape.

–Contra Elmendorf’s urgency, Walter Shapiro makes the case for waiting on deficit reduction.

–The anti-tax pledge is conservative orthodoxy nationwide.

–President Obama will promote (I guess?) Gary Locke from Commerce Secretary to Ambassador to China once Jon Huntsman steps down.

–Defense Secretary Gates will be much harder to replace.

–The Anti-Islam movement establishes an organized presence in Washington.

–Nancy Gibbs weighs GOP efforts to cut family planning services:

Maybe abortion opponents should be applauded for standing on principle at great potential cost. But why do it under the guise of cost cutting? Independents who have trended toward the pro-life position may draw the line at efforts that put women’s lives at risk. Deficit hawks may be annoyed by measures that are likely to cost more money in the end. And voters who want to see government get something done may wonder about the wisdom of spending days and nights debating amendments that will die in the Senate or on the President’s desk.

–Though “right to work ” is dead, Indiana Democrats are determined to stay on the run.

–Jon Chait bets on Tim Pawlenty by virtue of process of elimination. Here’s his speech from last night’s forum in Iowa:

Death Hug watch.

–And Obama deficit commission co-chair Alan Simpson’s transformation into Grampa Simpson is almost complete:

“This is a fakery,” Simpson said on Fox News. “If they care at all about their children or grandchildren, and sometimes I doubt that – I think, you know, grandchildren now don’t write a thank-you for the Christmas presents, they’re walking on their pants with the cap on backwards listening to the enema man and Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg, and they don’t like them!”

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