On the Radar: November 29, 2010

U.S. Expands Role of Diplomats in Spying
by Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times
The United States has expanded the role of American diplomats in collecting intelligence overseas and at the United Nations, ordering State Department personnel to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of foreign dignitaries. Read more

Around the World, Distress Over Iran
by David E. Sanger, James Glanz and Jo Becker, The New York Times
In late May 2009, Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, used a visit from a Congressional delegation to send a pointed message to the new American president. Read more

"Do it for Dmitry" doesn't wash
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Obama's attempts to sell the New START treaty to Republicans are becoming increasingly desperate. Read more

Oregon bomb suspect wanted "spectacular show"
by Pete Williams, NBC News
Nineteen-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud is in federal custody, accused of trying to set off what he thought was a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. Watch video

Deficit Reduction from the Left
by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Suddenly, it seems, the conversation inside the Beltway has shifted from whether to attack the deficit to how to conquer it. On the heels of bipartisan budget blueprints from the co-chairman of presidentially appointed panel, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, Read more

Was deficit commission doomed from the start?
by John Maggs, POLITICO
When the politics of an issue overwhelm the abilities of government, presidents appoint commissions. Some, like the Kerner Commission on the urban riots of the 1960s, break through those roadblocks and help address major problems. But many commissions get swamped by the politics that led to their creation and produce very little. Read more

Liberal Groups to Propose Routes to Smaller Deficit
by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
As President Obama’s fiscal commission faces a deadline this week for agreement on a plan to shrink the mounting national debt, liberal organizations will unveil debt-reduction proposals of their own in the next two days...Read more

Democrats Gird for Tax-Relief Battle
by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
Congressional Democrats, under pressure from their liberal wing, are preparing to put up a fight over tax relief for wealthier Americans before they agree to any compromise with Republicans that could extend the Bush-era breaks. Read more

New Political Calculus for Obama, GOP
by John Harwood, The New York Times
President Obama’s relationship with Republican Congressional leaders begins a less predictable phase this week that confronts each side with a new political calculus. Read more

Boehner to Host Ideas Summit for Incoming GOP Governors
by Major Garrett and Billy House, National Journal
House Speaker-designate John Boehner will hold a summit in the Capitol on December 1 with newly elected Republican governors in an effort to solicit ideas on how to reduce federal spending, repeal President Obama’s health care law, and create jobs, National Journal has learned. Read more

American exceptionalism: an old idea and a new political battle
by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Is this a great country or what?  "American exceptionalism" is a phrase that, until recently, was rarely heard outside the confines of think tanks, opinion journals and university history departments. Read more

Suppose neither political party can solve America's problems
by David Broder, The Washington Post
Suppose he is serious. What if Barack Obama is telling the truth about his own beliefs when he says that neither party by itself can realistically hope to solve the challenges facing the United States? Read more

Obama proposes two-year pay freeze for federal workers
by Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times
'Getting this budget under control is going to require some broad sacrifice,' Obama says. The pay freeze, which does not apply to the military, is part of an effort to contain the $1.3-trillion federal deficit, the White House says. Read more

Elbow to Face? Stitches? Let's Play Ball, Obama Say
by Peter Baker, The New York Times
Three days after an elbow to the face resulted in 12 stitches to his lip, Mr. Obama on Monday made his first public appearance since the basketball injury and pre-empted any questions about it with a light-hearted response. Read more

"Do it for Dmitry" doesn't wash
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration has rolled out all the arguments in its attempt to persuade Republican senators to vote for ratification of its pending nuclear arms control treaty with Russia: It's a good treaty; it's a modest treaty; it would enable the United States to resume inspecting Russian arsenals;  Read more

Posted: Mon, 11/29/2010 - 5:01pm