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Jul 23, 2013
Obama to Deliver Series of Economic SpeechesBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
President Obama will travel this week to Illinois, Missouri and Florida to deliver speeches about the slowly recovering U.S. economy and to accuse Republicans of playing politics.
Obama will speak Wednesday at Illinois’ Knox College, where he spoke before becoming president, and then travel to the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. By Thursday, the president will be in Jacksonville, Fla.
“The point is to chart a course for where America needs to go – not just in the next three months or even the next three years, but a steady, persistent effort over the long term to restore this country’s basic bargain for the middle class,” White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer explained in a blog post Sunday.Read more
On the Economy, Obama is Faltering Under His Own TermsBy Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post
President Obama thinks “Washington has largely taken its eye off the ball” on economic issues, and he’s planning a batch of speeches this week to make the case for more action. Good. Because by Obama’s own measures, the economy needs a lot of help.Read more
Conservatives Push to Cut Off Some NSA FundingBy Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal
A cadre of conservatives is pushing the House to vote for the first time on reining in a controversial National Security Agency program that collects information about phone calls made by millions of Americans.Read more
Zimmerman Verdict Poll: Stark Reaction By RaceBy Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman has produced dramatically different reactions among blacks and whites, with African Americans overwhelmingly disapproving of the jury’s decision and a bare majority of whites saying they approve of the outcome, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.Read more
Cybercrime May Cost US Economy $100 Billion, Says New StudyBy Eamon Javers, CNBC
Quick—how much money does cybercrime cost the U.S. economy every year? Don't know? Neither does anyone else. Like other illegal activity, cybercrime is very hard to count because the crime mostly happens in secret. Think of the wide-ranging estimates for the drug trade, for example, or even insider trading.Read more
What Helen Thomas Taught UsBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
I was about a year out of college, still writing wedding announcements and features like the “Auntie Litter” column for my hometown newspaper, when Helen Thomas came to San Antonio to give a speech. For the women in the newsroom, it felt like having the pope in town.
By the late 1970s, we had arrived in journalism. But it sometimes felt as though we had landed without a map or a translator. So we were not going to miss an opportunity to actually meet the reporter who more than anyone else seemed to have figured it out.Read more
Jul 22, 2013
2 weeks and counting: What can Congress get done in its final two weeks?By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post
Two weeks ago we outlined a July to-do list for Congress and suggested that the prospect of significant achievements rested on what transpired in the weeks before the August recess.Read more
Obama, from Rev. Wright to Trayvon MartinBy Dan Balz, The Washington Post
President Obama’s comments on Friday about the killing of Trayvon Martin were remarkable in many respects, but not least because of the distance he has traveled since the equally notable speech he delivered in 2008 during the controversy about his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.Read more
“Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me”By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
The essential bet of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign was that the country was ready for an African-American president. He appealed to that same sense of hope again Friday in the White House briefing room. After a week of emotional reactions to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, President Obama made a bet that he could contribute something useful in the aftermath, and that despite all of the partisanship of the last five years and America's tragic history with the issue of race, there would be some portion of the audience that would actually listen to what he said. If it was a renewal of his original promise, it was also fulfillment of it for many. No other president could give that talk.Read more
Even the Aide Who Coined the Hastert Rule Says the Hastert Rule Isn't WorkingBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
House Speaker John Boehner has a tough job -- so tough that Democrats have taken to pitying him. "I feel sorry for the speaker," Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, recently confessed. New York magazine described Boehner as "one of the most beleaguered powerful people in Washington," and quoted one of his closest allies, former Rep. Steve LaTourette, as being unable to fathom what Boehner likes about his job. There's a rumor going around that Boehner's preparing to chuck it all and retire.Read more
Kerry’s Day-and-Night Pursuit Reaps Fragile Mideast TalksBy Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg News
When John Kerry stepped onto his plane in Amman, Jordan, after announcing he had brokered a preliminary deal to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, his staff broke into applause.
The U.S. secretary of state has invested his prestige and much of his time, through day-and-night shuttle diplomacy in six trips over six months, in reviving negotiations that broke off in September 2010. The immediate goal is for Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to meet in Washington “within the next week or so,” Kerry told reporters on July 19.Read more
NSA Growth Fueled by Need to Target TerroristsBy Dana Priest, Washington Post
Twelve years later, the cranes and earthmovers around the National Security Agency are still at work, tearing up pavement and uprooting trees to make room for a larger workforce and more powerful computers. Already bigger than the Pentagon in square footage, the NSA’s footprint will grow by an additional 50 percent when construction is complete in a decade.Read more
Jul 19, 2013
Will George Zimmerman Bring Down a Governor?By Beth Reinhard, National Journal
Rick Scott couldn’t do much worse among black voters than in 2010, when only 6 percent backed him for governor.
Or could he? African-American leaders outraged by the not-guilty verdict in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin are assailing Scott for supporting the “Stand Your Ground” law that arguably helped Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, go free. Students protesters are camping out in the governor’s office, musician Stevie Wonder has announced a boycot,t and Attorney General Eric Holder denounced the law at the NAACP convention in Orlando earlier this week.Read more
With Legacy on the Line, Obama Touts Health-Care ImplementationBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Transforming the nation’s health-care system stands as Barack Obama’s most crucial piece of unfinished business, with much of his presidential legacy riding on whether it is deemed to have succeeded or failed.
While other presidents have managed to overcome intense opposition to major new social initiatives, Obama faces a degree of difficulty with health care that has no historic parallel.Read more
U.S. Worries NSA Leaker's Files Could Be HackedWith Tom Gjelten, NPR
The Russian lawyer for NSA leaker Edward Snowden predicts his client will soon get temporary asylum in Russia. Snowden and his allies say his laptops contain files that could be highly damaging to NSA operations. Security experts say it would be challenging but by no means impossible for Russian (or Chinese) cyber technicians to gain access to the files Snowden has with him, in spite of his promises to safeguard them.Listen here
N.S.A. Imposes Rules to Protect Secret Data Stored on Its NetworksBy David E. Sanger and Eric Schmidt, The New York Times
The National Security Agency has imposed new rules designed to sharply restrict the sharing and downloading of top-secret material from its computer networks after a review of how Edward J. Snowden, a former agency contractor, managed to expose several of the country’s most sensitive surveillance programs, two of the Pentagon’s most senior officials said Thursday.Read more
Syrian Refugees Demand Answers From KerryWith Martha Raddatz, ABC News Watch more
The Cross-Wind ElectionBy Amy Walter, Cook Political Report
Which way will the political winds be blowing in 2014? At this point, it looks more like a cross-wind, with both parties likely to face some resistance, but not the kind of crushing political headwinds faced by Republicans in 2006 or Democrats in 2010.Read more
Jul 18, 2013
Moscow Trip for Obama May Be Off as Snowden Tensions BuildBy Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there, takes its toll on already strained relations between the United States and Russia, officials said Thursday.Read more
Health Law: Obama’s Sales Pitch Has Failed, So FarBy David Wessel, Wall Street Journal
More than three years after it managed to get its Affordable Care Act through Congress, the White House seems to have realized that it has done a lousy job selling it.Read more