Four out of five top U.S. newspapers have called for federal gas tax hikes on the editorial page since oil and gas prices began falling significantly June 19, 2014.

In spite of polls that show most Americans oppose it, The Washington PostUSA TodayThe New York Times and the Los Angeles Times newspapers have all published editorials that called for increasing the gas tax.  Gas prices fell from $3.675 on June 19, 2014, to $2.168 on January 9, 2015, according to AAA. The Wall Street Journal was the only publication not to editorialize in favor of higher gas taxes of the five national newspapers.

Drivers in every state except Hawaii are now paying less than $3-per-gallon for regular gasoline on average.

According to AAA, Alaska became the forty-ninth state in which gas prices fell below $3-a-gallon on January 6. On that day, gas dropped to an average $2.999 per gallon in Alaska, as the national average sat at $2.194 nationwide.

Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his Republican Senate Leadership spoke to the media Tuesday after a closed policy luncheon.

The Senate Minority Leader began the event by saying, "I want to make a few observations about the administration's abuse of power," and before opening it up to questions said, "As you continue to file your stories on this subject, ask yourself before you write: how would I be writing this story if this were a Republican administration?"

Taking a break from ongoing coverage of today's Blair House health care summit around 3:15 p.m. EST today, Fox News Channel's Shep Smith scolded Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and congressional Republicans for impeding passage of the Democratic health care agenda (video embedded at right; audio available here):


Why do Republicans want to throw this thing out and start over, senator? Why do they want to do that? Nobody buys that!


Can't we just say, "Look, we [sic] got to do something in this country. This is going to bankrupt us!" And you people up there who are supposed to be representing us are making it perfectly clear, you are going to sit in your corners with your own talking points and we're going to lose! We're going to get nothing. And it's clear we're not.

So when this is over, the president will be able to say, "I tried, we couldn't get anything done, here comes reconciliation." Fifty-one votes, and away we go. Then we got a real mess on our hands, and everybody is just mad at everybody else as the country falls apart. It just doesn't seem fair!

Thune calmly retorted, without missing a beat:

On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" lambasting members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist House Democrats because most of the group's members have pressured more liberal congressional Democrats compromise in their push for public health insurance. After reciting campaign contributions received by some Blue Dog members from the health care industry, he suggested that these Democrats should just be called "dogs." Olbermann: "I could call them all out by name, but I think you get the point. We do not need to call the Democrats holding this up Blue Dogs. That one word 'dogs' is perfectly sufficient."

The MSNBC host also shamelessly tried to use Senator Ted Kennedy's illness to suggeset that Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, a centrist Democrat from Arkansas, should feel guilty about her role in forcing more liberal Democrats to compromise. Olbermann: "Senator Lincoln, by the way, considering how you're obstructing health care reform, how do you feel every time you actually see Senator Kennedy?"

Senators John Ensign (R-Nev.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) participated in a blogger conference call on Monday.

On the agenda was President Obama's 2010 budget proposal which Thune cautioned if enacted in its current form would double the federal debt in five years and triple it in ten.

Those interested can listen to this fascinating discussion here (5.9 mb MP3).

Is there nothing—nothing?—that the MSM won't try to spin against Sarah Palin?  They've turned the matter of her Down syndrome son into a suggestion she will neglect her child.  Twisted the news of her daughter's pregnancy into a "damaging revelation" that will cause her image to "suffer." Now, in perhaps the most acrobatic stunt yet, Andrea Mitchell has suggested that the intensity of Palin's popularity . . . could be a bad thing.

Mitchell's theme-o'-the-day, as announced at the top of her 1 PM MSNBC hour, was that there was something flawed in the process by which Palin was vetted.  She repeatedly hammered at the issue with her guest, Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota.  Of course, suggesting that the vetting of Palin was inadequate is to imply that she was a poor pick.  Voters will ultimately be the judge of that, but the initial evidence—as gauged by that outpouring of GOP enthusiasm [and dollars]—and by the very virulence of the MSM/Dem counterattack, suggests Sarah will prove to be a big plus for the ticket. It was when Mitchell wondered what would have happened if McCain had "gone with his heart" and picked Joe Lieberman that the matter of the intensity of Palin's popularity arose.

When Christopher Hitchens came on today's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough began by inviting him to comment on "last night's" results. Quipped the famously hard-living Hitchens: "I'm still thinking of it as this morning's result. I hope it doesn't show." Unfortunately for Christopher, it did. See screencap.

But whatever price Hitchens was paying for indulgences of the night before did nothing to blunt his acerbic wit. The quondam Englishman turned naturalized American offered acid observations about both Dem contenders. Hillary was first in his sights. He described as "slightly sinister" her listing during last night's victory speech of Florida and Michigan among her primary wins, since by DNC rules those contests counted for nothing. By his lights, her inclusion of the two states portends nasty arm-twisting to come.

Then there was this: "Anyone who like me when they think about the Clintons thinks about zombies, thinks about the undead, thinks about stakes through the heart, silver bullets and so on, has just received confirmation. It's as bad as we thought it was going to be."

View video here.