Obama must lead on Healthcare ……..

Senate Democrats held back from asking President Barack Obama about healthcare reform during a carefully scripted question-and-answer session in front of television cameras.

With the cameras rolling, a group of senators selected in advance by the Democratic leadership asked questions about such topics as partisan gridlock and GOP obstruction.

But once the president left and reporters were escorted out of the room, senators pressed White House officials about healthcare reform, according to those at the meeting.

Democrats expressed their frustration with the lack of a clear plan for passing healthcare reform, according to one person in the room.

One Democratic senator even grew heated in his remarks, according to the source.

“It wasn’t a discussion about how to get from Point A to Point B; it was a discussion about the lack of a plan to get from Point A to Point B,” said a person who attended the meeting. “Many of the members were frustrated, but one person really expressed his frustration.”

Senators did not want to press Obama on healthcare reform in front of television cameras for fear of putting him in an awkward spot.

“There was a vigorous discussion about that afterward with some of his top advisers and others,” Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said regarding the healthcare discussion.

“I think people were probably aware that there was no easy answer and this is being broadcast on live national television and didn’t want to put him on the spot,” Bayh said.

The Dog has been talking about this for a while……

Obama has to sell the Healthcare Bill…which is just too toxic fro Democratic Congressmen  back home……there is no reason for them to put their careers on the line….

……while there probably isn’t too far to go…those last steps are fought with risk for legislators…….


National health spending accounts for the largest share of the U.S. economy since federal auditors began tracking the data in 1960, according to a new report authored by the Office of the Actuary, an independent auditing body at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and published online by the journal Health Affairs.

In 2009, national health spending made up a record 17.3 percent of the gross domestic product, a 1.1 percentage point increase from 2008, the largest-ever one-year increase reported, the CMS actuaries report based on preliminary estimates.

This year, the actuaries expect healthcare spending growth to slow to 3.9 percent and predict the economy will grow by 4 percent, which would ameliorate the consequences of 2009. Those projections, however, assume that Congress will not step in to prevent a 21.3 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, which is not likely. Were lawmakers to block those steep cuts, healthcare spending would grow by 4.7 percent this year.

Private-sector healthcare spending this year will increase by 2.8 percent, according to the actuaries. The chief reasons are expected continuing loss of health coverage due to unemployment and the expiration of the COBRA subsidies enacted by the stimulus bill.

The report does not consider what effect the pending healthcare reform bills would have on national healthcare spending.

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CNN names Mike (The Situation) Sorrentino one of it's 'people of the day'……

'Jersey Shore' star Mike Sorrentino's tweets have been causing quite a stir across the country.

All of this becuase of a commerical with Peyton Manning?.……..

“The Situation” just keeps getting stranger.

Abs-fab “Jersey Shore” star Michael Sorrentino was cited Wednesday as one of CNN‘s most intriguing people of the day, hours after he tweeted about doing a commercial withPeyton Manning.

The 28-year-old Staten Islander first informed his fans of a planned trip to Los Angeles for television appearances with Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres.

“Then its off to MIami to shoot commercial w Peyton MAnning for SUperbowl,” he wrote in a post that was both ungrammatical and unconfirmed.

There was no hint about the product involved, although the possible pairing of four-time NFL MVP and “The Situation” is undeniably an odd couple.

Colts quarterback Manning has endorsed OreosGatorade, Reebok and MasterCard in an assortment of commercials – including spots with A-listers like his brother, Eli, andJustin Timberlake.

At this time last year, Sorrentino was sitting at home watching those commercials.

The success of his MTV reality show has certainly boosted his profile, though CNN’s designation was not the greatest of honors.

Other selected with him were Michael Jackson‘s doctor and suspended NBA gunslingerGilbert Arenas.

This from CNN……..

“The Situation”: That’s Michael Sorrentino’s nickname. Well, the nickname he has given to his famous abdominal muscles. You may have seen his abs and heard his remarkable way with words on the MTV reality show, “Jersey Shore,” which chronicles the charming antics of eight housemates as they search for the meaning of life at various summer drinking parties. The program has also offended some viewers for its portrayal of Italian-American stereotypes.

TheSmokingGun.com found records at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicating that there are now two applications to secure a trademark for the anatomical nickname. One comes from Sorrentino’s brother, Mark, who operates Naughty Limited, a Las Vegas purveyor of adult web sites that wants to put “The Situation” on underwear and t-shirts. The Web site reports that the other application was filed by someone from south New Jersey named Matthew Hunter, who is targeting the name for bathing suits, tennis wear, and tracksuits.

TheSmokingGun.com: Trademarks sought for valuable nickname of “Jersey Shore” mook

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Vice President Joe Biden on the Deleware Senate seat……..

From Politico…….

Biden predicts a Coons surprise
By: Alexander Burns
February 2, 2010 03:04 PM EST
Vice President Joe Biden predicted Tuesday that New Castle County Executive Chris Coons will “surprise the devil out of” election watchers in the contest for Biden’s old Senate seat in Delaware.

Coons has emerged as the Democrats’ top recruit for the race since Biden’s son, Beau, decided not to run against Rep. Mike Castle, who has declared his candidacy on the Republican side.

Asked on MSNBC whether Beau had bowed out of a Senate campaign because the political terrain was just too unfavorable for Democrats, the vice president said that’s not how things went down: “He basically made that decision at Thanksgiving. It’s a question of how it got rolled out.”

I hope he’s right…….The Democrats need that seat……

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Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid has plenty of money to spend towards his re-election……

I told Merlin……Harry Reid was a boxer…he’s not ready to take a dive…..he may never be ready…he’s still got a lotta fight in him…….

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, trailing badly in the polls, is pouring money from his prodigious fundraising operation into the state Democratic party organization to bolster his reelection campaign.

Reid has tapped his campaign war chest for dozens of state and local Democratic candidates as well as party organizations representing African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, women, gays and college students. But the bulk of Reid’s largesse is going to the Nevada Democratic Party, which will play a critical role in his race, especially in getting out the vote this November.

Reid helped funnel nearly $660,000 to the state party in 2009 alone, according to Federal Election Commission records. These funds came from Reid’s reelection campaign, his leadership PAC — the Searchlight Leadership Fund — and a joint fundraising committee created by Reid’s campaign and the state party. President Barack Obama, who will be making another trip to Nevada later this month to stump for Reid, was the headliner at a multimillion dollar fundraiser last year that benefited Reid’s reelection campaign and the state party.

Sources close to the Reid campaign said the veteran lawmaker will pump hundreds of thousands of additional dollars into the state party’s coffers throughout the year, even as he looks to raise $25 million or more for his own race. He has already raised more than $15 million.

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Politico launches a 2010 Section…..

Here’s the Link people………

We’re sure to be visiting there a lot………

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There ARE U.S. Troops working in Pakistain……..

[Security officials walked past the crater of a bombing in front of a destroyed school in Timergara, the main town in the Lower Dir district in Pakistan’s restive North West Frontier Province, on Wednesday.]

I remember posting back when…… that the U.S. only had support troops in Pakistan………

I kinda knew that wasn’t true…..because the U.S. military operates just about everywhere these days……

To acknowledge that combat troops are operating in Pakistan is a problem…since the country has a deep mistrust of the United Sates due to the collateral damage from Predator  and Reaper strikes ……that are inevitable………

The Pakistani’s may be against the U.S. presence on the lower level…but the countries government has pushed on with prosecuting the push against Taliban and al Queda bad guys……..

With this as background there was the report that 3 American ‘special operators’ operating as advisors, were blown up in the middle of a motorcade while going to inspect a school in the Lower Dir part of the country……

This from a New York Times piece. that outs the operations……

The deaths of three American soldiers in aTaliban suicide attack on Wednesday lifted the veil on United States military assistance to Pakistan that the authorities here would like to keep quiet and the Americans, as the donors, chafe at not receiving credit for.

The soldiers were among at least 60 to 100 members of a Special Operations team that trains Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps in counterinsurgency techniques, including intelligence gathering and development assistance. The American service members serve under the overall command of Adm. Eric T. Olson, the head of the Special Operations Command.

At least 12 other American service members have been killed in Pakistan since Sept. 11, 2001, in hotel bombings and a plane crash, according to the United States Central Command, but these were the first killed as part of the Special Operations training, which has been under way for 18 months.

That training has been acknowledged only gingerly by both the Americans and the Pakistanis, but has deliberately been kept low-key so as not to trespass onto Pakistani sensitivities about sovereignty, and not to further inflame high anti-American sentiment.

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Tommy Thompson probably not in the running for Wisconsin…..

From PoliticalWire……

Thompson Signs on with Investment Fund……
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) just signed on as an advisor to the Peak Ridge Capital Group venture capital fund, according to HedgeNews.

It would seem Thomson is no longer weighing a challenge to Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) — even though he was leading in the most recent poll.


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From CD……The TV computer Game's have the Saints's as the winner's….

Well here we are CD!

Merlin……..Xbox and Madden Sports predicts the Saints will win Super Bowl 44, they correctly predicted the outcome of the AFC and NFC Championship games, and have been accurate on the Super Bowl winners 4 out of 5 years:

The Dog agreeds…….

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Merlin points out two Retiring Senator's with a lot on money raised…….

Hello Dog!

Athough Democratic Senators Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) & Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) opted not to seek Reelection this year they did so with HUGE CoH in their Campaign Accounts:

CoH (as of Dec. 31st 2009)

Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT)  $ 3,343,836,87

Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND)  $ 4,226,616,64

WHOA, well you can’t say now Dorgan wasn’t prepared for Hoeven. Still amazing that Dorgan retired with more than 4 Mio. $ in the Bank. Hoeven would have likely had to play catch-up in the Money Race.


Wow! Merlin…..what are gonna do with that money???

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Tiger Woods may be back playing Golf in two weeks…….amen!

Tiger Woods may be headed back to playing in a golf tournament since his sex scandal exploded last year.

Tiger Woods could be out of sex rehab and back on the links in two weeks, an Australian newspaper reported Wednesday.

Woods is “poised to make a shock return to competitive golf” in the upcoming Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, according to the Herald Sun of Melbourne, which did not cite a source.

The top spokesman for the PGA Tour would not confirm the Herald Sun story.

“We have no comment,” Ty Votaw said.

Still, if true, this would mark the first time Woods competed in a golf tournament since the sex scandal that ruined his good-guy reputation exploded around Thanksgiving.

Tiger won the Accenture tournament in 2003, 2004 and 2008.

But Accenture was one of the first corporations to dump Woods as a pitchman following revelations that the golfing great cheated on his wife with a bevy of babes.

After apologizing for his “transgressions,” Woods announced he was taking a break from pro golf and trying to salvage his marriage to Elin Nordegren.

Recently, Woods was spotted at a sex addiction clinic in Mississippi.

Earlier, another golfing legend, Tom Watson, predicted that Woods would return “probably this year” in an interview with an NBC affiliate in Kansas City.

The Dog wishes him well and hopes he and his wife can work something out…and he can conquer the demons that have bedeviled him…

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Senate Fundraising numbers from October 1 to December 31, 2009…..

From RollCall……

Column sequence………

Raised            Spent          Cash on hand


Richard Shelby (R) 1,111,000 97,000 16,341,000


Lisa Murkowski (R) 289,000 72,000 1,737,000


John McCain (R) 812,000 761,000 5,055,000


Blanche Lincoln (D) 1,311,000 419,000 5,021,000

Gilbert Baker (R) 296,000 160,000 639,000

John Boozman (R) 47,000 59,000 292,000

Curtis Coleman (R) 55,000 84,000 3,000

Kim Hendren (R) N/A N/A N/A

Conrad Reynolds (R) 42,000 32,000 53,000


Barbara Boxer (D) 1,859,000 951,000 7,259,000

Chuck DeVore (R) 449,000 367,000 226,000

Carly Fiorina (R) 3,584,000 831,000 2,754,000


Michael Bennet (D) 1,162,000 530,000 3,483,000

Andrew Romanoff (D) N/A N/A N/A

Jane Norton (R) 551,000 447,000 596,000


Richard Blumenthal (D)*** N/A N/A N/A

Linda McMahon (R) 3,036,000 3,398,000 1,088,000

Peter Schiff (R) 1,486,000 399,000 1,087,000

Rob Simmons (R) 634,000 381,000 1,339,000


Mike Castle (R) 1,079,000 233,000 1,699,000


Kendrick Meek (D) 1,200,000 N/A 3,300,000

Charlie Crist (R) 2,110,000 785,000 7,559,000

Marco Rubio (R) 1,763,000 579,000 2,087,000


Johnny Isakson (R) 650,000 384,000 3,908,000


Daniel Inouye (D) 396,000 240,000 3,218,000


Mike Crapo (R) N/A N/A N/A


Alexi Giannoulias (D) 625,000 2,092,000 963,000

David Hoffman (D) 1,283,000 1,381,000 739,000

Cheryle Robinson Jackson (D) N/A N/A 176,000

Patrick Hughes (R) 135,00 451,000 23,000

Mark Kirk (R) 1,865,000 982,000 3,177,000


Evan Bayh (D) 311,000 54,000 12,987,000


Roxanne Conlin (D) 609,000 107,000 503,000

Chuck Grassley (R) N/A N/A N/A


Jerry Moran (R) 404,000 N/A 3,710,000

Todd Tiahrt (R) N/A N/A N/A


Jack Conway (D) 333,000 N/A 1,700,000

Dan Mongiardo (D) 225,000 N/A 783,000

Trey Grayson (R) 446,000 158,000 1,406,000

Bill Johnson (R) 265,000 10,000 258,000

Rand Paul (R) 653,000 261,000 1,304,000


Charlie Melancon (D) 600,000 N/A 2,000,000

David Vitter (R) 1,200,000 N/A 4,500,000


Barbara Mikulski (D) 433,000 110,000 2,073,000

Eric Wargotz (R) 91,000 15,000 157,000


Robin Carnahan (D) 877,000 601,000 2,119,000

Roy Blunt (R) 1,300,000 N/A 2,900,000


Harry Reid (D) 2,020,000 2,061,000 8,691,000

Sharon Angle (R) 551,000 447,000 596,000

John Chachas (R) 513,000 157,000 1,679,000

Sue Lowden (R) 819,000 321,000 498,000

Danny Tarkanian (R) 377,000 326,000 257,000


Paul Hodes (D) 702,000 412,000 1,438,000

Kelly Ayotte (R) 631,000 197,000 997,000

Jim Bender (R) 602,000 57,000 545,000

Bill Binnie (R) 1,581,000 401,000 1,181,000

Ovide Lamontagne (R) 181,000 N/A 154,000


Charles Schumer (D) N/A N/A N/A


Kirsten Gillibrand (D)* N/A N/A N/A


Cal Cunningham (D) 320,000 17,000 303,000

Kenneth Lewis (D) N/A N/A N/A

Elaine Marshall (D) 127,000 80,000 211,000

Richard Burr (R) 1,203,000 347,000 4,303,000


John Hoeven (R)*** N/A N/A N/A


Jennifer Brunner (D) N/A N/A N/A

Lee Fisher (D) 780,000 572,000 1,807,000

Rob Portman (R) 1,423,000 565,000 6,005,000

Tom Ganley (R) 1,477,000 203,000 1,298,000


Tom Coburn (R) 392,000 125,000 1,401,000


Ron Wyden (D) 469,000 171,000 3,122,000


Joe Sestak (D) 652,000 233,000 5,120,000

Arlen Specter (D) 1,155,000 1,197,000 8,669,000

Peg Luksik (R) 163,000 145,000 66,000

Pat Toomey (R) 1,669,000 N/A 2,786,000


Jim DeMint (R) 541,000 173,000 3,229,000


John Thune (R) 898,000 407,000 6,021,000


Bob Bennett (R) 400,000 395,000 797,000

Tim Bridgewater (R) N/A N/A N/A

Cherilyn Eagar (R) N/A N/A N/A


Patrick Leahy (D) 364,000 184,000 2,742,000


Patty Murray (D) 889,000 334,000 5,176,000

Dave Reichert (R) 237,000 93,000 477,000


Russ Feingold (D) 947,000 421,000 3,654,000

Terrence Wall (R) 514,000 157,000 358,000
Source: Federal Election Commission; numbers have been rounded; list includes candidates and possible candidates; N/A = not available; * denotes appointee who must run in a 2010 special election; ** totals are through Jan. 13; *** denotes candidate who entered race due to retirement after reporting period closed.

First-Quarter Fundraising ChartSecond-Quarter Fundraising Chart
Third-Quarter Fundraising Chart

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Toyota's Stock declines…..after Transportation Secretary's comments……

NEW YORK—Toyota Motor Corp. shares pared earlier declines after U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he had misspoke when he had advised in congressional testimony that people stop driving cars involved in Toyota’s recall, advice that had initially caused a steep drop in Toyota’s shares.


I told you so……

Testifying before the House appropriations committee, Mr. LaHood was asked what advice he would give to owners of Toyotas subject to the recall. “My advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it, take it to the Toyota dealer because they believe they have the fix for it,” Mr. LaHood said.

His staff immediately sought to clarify the comments, and after the hearing Mr. LaHood said the remark was an “obvious misstatement.” He said that he intended to urge Toyota owners to take their vehicles to dealers to have them examined and, if necessary, fixed.

I told you so…..

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Adams said in an email, “The DOT is advising owners of recalled vehicles to contact their local dealerships to arrange for fixes as soon as possible.”

Toyota said on Monday it has the fix for the problem and would begin shipping the new parts to auto dealers. The Japanese auto maker said in a statement on its Web site that it “appreciated” Mr. LaHood’s clarification.

“We want to make sure our customers understand that this situation is rare and generally does not occur suddenly. In the rare instances where it does occur, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes,” the statement read. “If you are not experiencing any issues with your pedal, we are confident that your vehicle is safe to drive.”

I told you so…….

Toyota shares had been hovering closer to $75 after the opening bell but started falling more sharply after Mr. LaHood spoke. Some of the decline eased after the clarification; Toyota shares were down about 5.2% at $74.14 in afternoon trading.

Since the recalls were announced, Toyota shares have declined 20%, wiping out more than $30 billion in market capitalization.

I told you so……

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The FBI's special unit for interrogation's is not used again……

Back a while ago..The Dog made a point that the political band-aid  of the ‘special unit ‘ for interrorgations offered up by the White House doesn’t really exist……

The unfolding of the NW 25 would be bomber is proving the Dogs point……While the Republicans take the White House to task for the band -aid announcement…. the fact is the case is being handled as a criminal case by the FBI and Justice Department…..The CIA and State Depatmenet it appears are helping out…but this case is a criminal case with an intelligence sideline……

There is only mention of FBI inital Q & A’s by Chicago field agents…and subsequent follow-up questioning by counterrorist FBI agents with CIA agents present……The two people who went to Nigeria to find the family members and enlist their help where counterintelligence agents from the FBI….not CIA agents …who provided assistance along with the Sate Department……

Their efforts seem to be paying off in that  Abdlmutallab, a kid really, is cooperating…..There will be a plea bargain in the case for sure…since the suspect was questioned extensively before being Mirandized……

Here’s the links to the story……



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A little more about Dan Coats…. who's running agianst Sen. Evan Bayh in Indiana……….

From  desmoinesdem over @Mydd.Com…….

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana dodged a bullet recently when Representative Mike Pence decided against challenging him, but today former U.S. Senator Dan Coats, who retired in 1998, will announce plans to run for this seat. Chris Cillizza handicaps the race:

While Coats give Republicans a very credible challenger to Bayh, the Democratic Senator is no slouch. Bayh’s obvious strength is his financial prowess as he ended 2009 with $13 million in the bank and his sterling electoral record that includes two terms as governor and two terms in the Senate.Bayh’s biggest potential weakness is the fact that he hasn’t run a truly competitive race in decades and may not have the fire in the belly to do so now given that he weighed retirement earlier in this cycle.

Coats will also have to answer a few basic questions. He does not currently live in the state (GOP sources say he and his wife had long planned to move back), is a federally registered lobbyist and, for someone who left office expressing a disdain for fundraising, will have to do lots of it to get competitive with Bayh.

Cillizza doesn’t mention a few other problems for Coats, like how he minimized the threat from Al-Qaeda. When President Bill Clinton ordered air strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Coats said, “The president has been consumed with matters regarding his personal life. It raises questions about whether or not he had the time to devote to this issue, or give the kind of judgment that needed to be given to this issue to call for military action.”

Jonathan Singer also noted on his Twitter feed that Coats was in charge of getting the unqualified Harriet Myers confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. That effort didn’t go well, and President George W. Bush ended up withdrawing Myers’ nomination (which is how we got Samuel Alito).

The Dog pointed out the Meirs connection on 2/1/10……(Mydd spelled it wrong it’s Meirs…not Myers )

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Merlin on the Deleware Senate race……

Hello Dog!

There are some good News for Democrats but these a rare.

At least they catched a break in Delaware as New Castle County Executive Christopher A. “Chris” Coons (D-DE) made his Senate Bid OFFICIAL against Republican Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-DE)

Full Statement:

I’m running for Senate because it’s time for new leaders to assume responsibility in Washington.

In these challenging economic times, I believe we need leaders who will fight for our families and stand up for what is right, even when it’s not easy or popular. That means putting the needs of Main Street first by fighting for better jobs, affordable health care, quality schools and a new energy future.

Delaware deserves better. It’s time for a change.

Official Campaign Website:



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Stop Driving Toyota's!…..U.S. Transportation Secrtreaty Announces……

His direct quote before a House Appropriations panel was……Mr. LaHood said his advice to owners of recalled Toyotas was to “stop driving it, take it to a Toyota dealer because they believe they have a fix for it.”

Holy Smokes!!!…..Is this guy trying to put Toyota out of Business????

“We need to fix the problem so people don’t have to worry about disengaging the engine or slamming the brakes on or put it in neutral,” Mr. LaHood said in response to questions.

His comments at the hearing, which appeared to be off the cuff, came shortly after he told reporters that he planned to call the president of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, about the recalls and after the Japanese government told the carmaker to examine the brakes on its hybrid Prius. Drivers in Japan and the United States have complained that the brakes momentarily stopped working when driving at low speeds.

“I’m going to take the initiative to have a conversation with Mr. Toyoda very soon, to talk to him about how serious this is, and to make sure that he understands,” Mr. LaHood said. “I think he understands, but I’ve never talked to him. I just feel like I need to have a conversation with him.”

Mr. LaHood’s comments Wednesday were the latest in an aggressive campaign by his department over the Toyota situation. Last week, Mr. LaHood took credit for the company’s decision to stop building and selling eight models involved in a recall over accelerator pedals that could potentially stick, saying Toyota did not take the step until urged to do so by the department.

Some safety advocates said however that Mr. LaHood might be trying to protect federal safety regulators from potential liability issues over their role in investigating defects.

Folks…..This storg just got real serious…and REAL BIG……..

The Dog has both of his front paws in his ears……Because by the end of the Day some sort of clarification is coming…or better be for everyone’s sake……

This is a safety, legal, money and political story …now…..

The Dog isn’t saying the problem isn’t dangerous…..But…what are all the millions of Toyota owners here in America, and around the world gonna do?….walk?

Here’s the link……

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