On the Radar: March 1, 2011

U.S. moves ships, aircraft as Libya fighting rages
By Nancy A. Youssef, Jonathan S. Landay, and Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers
Moammar Gadhafi came under intensified international pressure Monday to halt attacks on anti-regime protesters, with the Pentagon dispatching ships and aircraft to the Mediterranean Sea and the Treasury Department freezing a record $30 billion in assets tied to the embattled dictator and his family. Read more 

U.S. Freezes a Record $30 Billion in Libyan Assets
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times 
The United States has blocked $30 billion in Libyan government assets since President Obama announced his executive order late Friday night imposing unilateral sanctions against Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi and his family, the Treasury Department said Monday. It is the largest amount of foreign assets ever seized in an American sanctions action.  Read more

In U.S.-Libya Nuclear Deal, a Qaddafi Threat Faded Away
By David E. Sanger, The New York Times
In late 2009 the Obama administration was leaning on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his son, Seif, to allow the removal from Libya of the remnants of the country’s nuclear weapons program: casks of highly enriched uranium. Read more

U.S. Moves Military Near Libya, Says Qaddafi Delusional
By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan and Viola Gienger, Bloomberg
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Pentagon is positioning military units near Libya to support humanitarian relief efforts, while the U.S. Treasury announced the freeze of $30 billion in assets of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, his family and the Libyan government. Read more

US Freezes $30 Billion in Libyan Assets: Treasury
By Eamon Javers, CNBC
The US government, which imposed tougher sanctions on the Libyan government on Friday, has so far blocked some $30 billion in cash and securities belonging to Libyan officials. Read more

Poll Shows Support for New Transportation Spending
By James A. Barnes, National Journal
Despite the recent assault by Republican governors on high-speed rail projects, a new survey by Democratic pollster Peter Hart and GOP pollster Bill McInturff for the Rockefeller Foundation argues that there is a bipartisan consensus for greater spending on transportation provided the government changes the ways it funds new projects. Read more

IMF Economists Weigh In on Current-Account Balances Debate
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, sees a teachable moment in the running debate within the Group of 20 leading economies over dangers of large current-account surpluses and deficits, the broadest measures of nations’ trade balances. Read more

Obama Hosts Governors
With John Harwood, CNBC
The story behind President Obama's defense of the rights of public employees and his meeting today with governors from all 50 states. View

House to Vote on Budget Measure Aimed At Preventing Shutdown
By Brian Faler and Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg
The U.S. House plans to vote today on a budget measure aimed at preventing a government shutdown while lawmakers debate spending levels for the rest of this fiscal year. Read more

GOP spending plan would cost 700,000 jobs, new report says
By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday. Read more

Dueling Reports: Will GOP Spending Cuts Help or Hurt?
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Democrats and Republicans are fighting over whether the GOP plan to cut $61 billion in federal spending in the current fiscal year will badly damage the economy or give it a huge boost. Read more

Poll shows support for organized labor
By Brian Montopoli, CBS News
As debate rages in Wisconsin and other states over limiting the power of unions, a new CBS News/New York Times survey finds that many Americans are siding with organized labor. Read more

Poll: Blame for possible government shutdown is divided
By Jon Cohen and Paul Kane, The Washington Post
Americans are divided over who would be to blame for a potential government shutdown, with large numbers saying Republicans and President Obama are playing politics with the issue, according to a new Washington Post poll. Read more

Obama offers states more flexibility in health-care law
By Amy Goldstein and Dan Balz, The Washington Post
President Obama sought to defuse criticism of the new health-care overhaul Monday by saying he is willing to give states an earlier opportunity to opt out of certain key requirements - but only if they can find their own ways to accomplish the law's goals. Read more

'Dynamic' duo of Kagan, Sotomayor add vigor to court
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
After each Supreme Court appointment in recent years, the arguments before the justices have gotten more energetic and forceful. Now, the two newest justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, are changing that dynamic even further — and offering a glimpse of how they could reshape the court's liberal wing. Read more

Posted: Tue, 03/01/2011 - 12:21pm