February 2010

Feb 07, 2010

On the Radar: February 1, 2010

Weekend Reports & Columns

"Obama's Strategy: Blame the other guys"

By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
President Obama made a brief effort to sound bipartisan last week, saying he still hoped to find some ideas that both parties can embrace....Continue Reading

"Sunday Take: The theater in the meeting between Obama and House Republicans"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Friday's encounter between President Obama and House Republicans proved to be riveting political theater. The question is whether it will be remembered as a moment that began to ease the tensions between the two parties -- or an asterisk in this era of polarized politics...Continue Reading

Weekly Reporter Stories

"Republicans Step Up Protests of Civilian Terror Trials"
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Republican lawmakers, seizing on New York City's resistance to hosting a high-profile terrorism trial, are renewing a push to block foreign terrorist suspects from getting trials in U.S. civilian courts...Continue Reading

"$100 Billion Increase in Deficit Is Forecast"
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
The additional tax cuts and public works spending that President Obama has proposed to spur job creation would add $100 billion to this year’s deficit, bringing it to nearly $1.6 trillion, according to an administration official...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 2, 2010

"Deficits May Alter U.S. Politics and Global Power"
By David Sanger, The New York Times
In a federal budget filled with mind-boggling statistics, two numbers stand out as particularly stunning, for the way they may change American politics and American power....Continue Reading

"Budget winners and losers"
By Eamon Javers, POLITICO
President Barack Obama rolled out his fiscal 2011 budget Monday, telling the nation which federal programs he supports and which ones he’s cutting. But the budget says even more about Obama himself — who he is as a politician and how he makes decisions
...Continue Reading

"Obama 2011 budget request: Department of Health and Human Services"
By Ceci Connolly, The Washington Post
Last year President Obama used his budget to lay the groundwork for comprehensive health-care reform, proposing a 10-year, $634 billion reserve fund as a "down payment" on universal coverage...Continue Reading

"Fewer ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Dismissals -- But No Plan Being Offered"
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and Luis Martinez report: The testimony on the Hill tomorrow from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen will be the first time in more than a decade that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has been discussed in such a forum...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 3, 2010

"Obama Continues Policy Outreach to Republicans"
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Emboldened by the response to President Obama’s face-off with House Republicans last week, the White House is intensifying its push to engage Congressional Republicans in policy negotiations as a way to share the burden of governing and put more scrutiny on Republican initiatives...Continue Reading

"Democrats to Unveil Jobs Package; Spending Fight Looms"
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Senate Democrats are preparing to release a roughly $80 billion jobs program this week, but its prospects are uncertain in a political landscape where voters are angry about unemployment yet fuming about federal spending...Continue Reading

"President Obama and U.S. Chamber of Commerce patch it up"
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
After publicly sparring in the fall, the White House and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to make up...Continue Reading

"Douglas Elmendorf: The Numbers Man Whom D.C. Trusts — and Loathes"
By Karen Tumulty, TIME Magazine
Douglas Elmendorf doesn't look like the kind of guy who could intimidate those at the pinnacles of power. A soft-spoken academic who coaches his daughters' soccer team, he is described by virtually everyone who knows him as a genuinely nice guy...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 4, 2010

"Obama Calls for ‘Civility’ at Prayer Breakfast"
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
President Obama urged Democrats and Republicans to not question one another’s motives and to make an effort to move beyond the cynicism and skepticism that has weighed down the politics of Washington, saying: “Civility is not a sign of weakness...Continue Reading

"Obama, at National Prayer Breakfast, calls for civil political debate"
By Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post
President Obama lamented the "erosion of civility" in the nation's political debate, telling an audience Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast that there is a growing sense that "something is broken" in Washington...Continue Reading

"What Happens If Nothing Happens to Health Care?"
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
A month ago, President Barack Obama was on the verge of a victory that eluded all his predecessors, as Congress neared approval of legislation to expand health-insurance coverage to nearly all Americans. Today, this initiative is in critical condition, perhaps even dying...Continue Reading

"Congressional Democrats are nay-saying Obama's budget"
By Janet Hook & Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington - As Congress begins picking through President Obama's vast election-year budget, many Democratic incumbents and candidates seem to be finding something they love -- to campaign against...Continue Reading

Feb 16, 2010

On The Radar: February 8, 2010

"California's outsize problems won't be easy for Schwarzenegger to solve"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
People in the nation's largest state are in a sour mood. They are unhappy with the economy, unhappy with what has happened to their state, unhappy with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and unhappy with the Democratic-controlled legislature...Continue Reading

"Obama Plans Bipartisan Summit on Health Care "
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
President Obama said Sunday that he would convene a half-day bipartisan health care session at the White House to be televised live this month, a high-profile gambit that will allow Americans to watch as Democrats and Republicans try to break their political impasse....Continue Reading

"Healthcare reform -- a plan in search of a strategy"
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
If President Obama and his Democratic allies are still hoping to eke out a victory this year in their long struggle for healthcare reform, they're going to have to agree on a strategy. Democrats in Congress -- and on Obama's own staff -- are divided over what the next step should be. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and other liberals are pressing for enacting the bill the Senate passed last month with adjustments that would need only a simple majority to pass. But moderates and campaign strategists worry that voters would see that as a shady backroom deal....Continue Reading

"Coming together on climate bill"
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
Defying conventional wisdom that a hardened partisan divide and looming midterm elections will prevent the type of compromises necessary for big reforms, business leaders and environmentalists are redoubling their efforts to advance an energy and climate bill in the Senate...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 10, 2010

"In poll, Republicans gaining political ground on Obama"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Republicans have significantly narrowed the gap with Democrats on who is trusted to deal with the country's problems and have sharply reduced several of President Obama's main political advantages, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll...Continue Reading

"Senate jobs bill a show of bipartisanship"
By Janet Hook & Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington - In a rare move toward bipartisanship, Senate Democrats prepared Tuesday to unveil an $85-billion jobs bill that would include payroll tax breaks for employers who create new jobs, aid to small businesses and other GOP-backed ideas to attack unemployment...Continue Reading

"Obama Urges Setting Aside ‘Petty Politics’"
By Jeff Zeleny, Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama declared today that “a sense of purpose that transcends petty politics” must be forged by Democrats and Republicans to create more jobs, reduce the deficit and find at least some common ground on health care...Continue Reading

"Senate's Gridlock Fuels Frustration "
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal  
The Senate's plodding pace has always distressed those in Washington eager to get things done quickly. Now, with Democrats and Republicans stalemated on everything from major legislation to agency appointments, some are asking whether the institution is broken...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 11, 2010

"Obama Says He Doesn’t Begrudge Bank Executives’ Bonuses"
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama channeled the anti-populist side of his character, telling Bloomberg/BusinessWeek in an interview on Tuesday that he didn’t begrudge Wall Street executives their big bonuses...Continue Reading

"President Obama and civil rights leaders discuss economy and black Americans"
By Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post
President Obama hosted a rare Oval Office meeting with civil rights leaders Wednesday to discuss his plans for improving the dire economic conditions gripping much of black America...Continue Reading

"Geithner Gets Some Credit—But Still No Cheers"
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal  
One year ago, on Feb. 10, 2009, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined the new administration's approach for shoring up U.S. banks. The speech was a flop...Continue Reading

"Good-Time Charlie Wilson"
By Karen Tumulty, TIME Magazine
From Texas comes word that Charlie Wilson's heart--his second--finally gave out. Which wasn't all that surprising, when you considered how much he had lived. If you measured Charlie Wilson's life in years, it came to only 76...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 12, 2010

"Bill Clinton Released From Hospital"
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
Former President Bill Clinton left a New York hospital on Friday morning after undergoing what his cardiologist called a successful procedure to clear a blocked artery...Continue Reading

"Reid plans to push pared-down bill designed to create jobs"
By Shailagh Murray, The Washington Post
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced Thursday that his chamber would move quickly to pass four popular provisions aimed at creating jobs, potentially with the bipartisan backing that has proven elusive in recent months...Continue Reading

"Blizzard Reveals True Power Players"
By Deborah Solomon, The Wall Street Journal  
The most powerful people in Washington, D.C., this week were demanding another juice box and a Sesame Street video...Continue Reading

"Good-Time Charlie Wilson"
By Karen Tumulty, TIME Magazine
From Texas comes word that Charlie Wilson's heart--his second--finally gave out. Which wasn't all that surprising, when you considered how much he had lived. If you measured Charlie Wilson's life in years, it came to only 76...Continue Reading

Feb 17, 2010

On the Radar: February 17, 2010

"Party Gridlock in Washington Feeds Fear of a Debt Crisis "
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
Senator Evan Bayh’s comments this week about a dysfunctional Congress reflected a complaint being directed at Washington with increasing frequency, and there is broad agreement among critics about Exhibit A: The unwillingness of the two parties to compromise to control a national debt that is rising to dangerous heights....Continue Reading

"Senator Evan Bayh's departure sparks debate about partisanship in Congress"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Sen. Evan Bayh's surprise decision not to seek reelection touched off a debate Tuesday among strategists and scholars about whether the Indiana senator's depiction of the "brain dead" politics and hyper-partisanship of Congress is accurate or overblown -- and, if accurate, whether walking away was the right decision...Continue Reading

"White House sells the stimulus"
By Eamon Javers, POLITICO
Barack Obama had no way to know it at the time, but when he signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law on Feb. 17, 2009, it would be the last major legislative achievement he would put his signature to during his first year in office...Continue Reading

"Elections' Stakes: Control of Senate "
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Lawmakers in both parties are contemplating for the first time the possibility that the Republicans might recapture the Senate this year, though it's an uphill climb in which the GOP would have to win states that have recently been inhospitable to the party...Continue Reading

On the Radar: February 16, 2010

Weekend Reports & Columns

"McCain's what he (almost) always is"
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The Arizona Republican with a reputation as a maverick has seemed to go back on earlier stands. In an interview, he says he's unchanged...Continue Reading

"Can Sarah Palin translate celebrity into real political power?"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Sarah Palin has proved that she can draw a crowd. What she has yet to demonstrate is that she can translate the appeal of a phenomenon into a political force that can attract or mobilize sizable numbers of voters...Continue Reading

Weekly Reporter Stories

"Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander"
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials...Continue Reading

"Friendly fire still rains on reform"
By Jeanne Cummings, POLTICO
Plenty of Democrats viewed the Massachusetts Senate upset as a message to move cautiously. But some are convinced Scott Brown’s victory sent just the opposite message, which means the sort of intraparty power struggle that got nasty during the health care debate isn’t likely to go away anytime soon..Continue Reading


Feb 18, 2010

On the Radar: February 18, 2010

"A Stimulus Plan Success Story "
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
The impact of the much-maligned fiscal stimulus, now marking its first birthday, will fade over time...Continue Reading

"Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama"
By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington - President Obama will receive the Dalai Lama on Thursday in the Map Room of the White House instead of the Oval Office, not one-on-one but in a group, and then will leave town without a joint appearance before television cameras...Continue Reading

"Health Care: The White House Readies Its Own Plan?"
By Karen Tumulty, TIME
The signals are growing louder that the Obama White House is readying its own health care plan in advance of next week's summit. Press secretary Robert Gibbs fueled the speculation in his briefing yesterday. Asked about the possibility, Gibbs replied: "Stay tuned."...Continue Reading

Feb 19, 2010

On the Radar: February 19, 2010

"Bipartisan Commission Is Established to Cut Debt "
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
President Obama on Thursday officially established a bipartisan commission to propose ways by December to rein in the growing national debt, despite reluctance in both parties to tackling the politically charged issue in a midterm election year....Continue Reading

"Obama keeps all-Democratic health care option open"
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
The White House signaled Thursday that an aggressive, all-Democratic strategy for overhauling the nation's health care system remains a serious option, even as President Barack Obama invites Republicans to next week's televised summit to seek possible compromises...Continue Reading

"Conservative Group Targets GOP Sen. Bennett"
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
It’s another warning from conservatives to the GOP. FreedomWorks, the conservative group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, today endorsed Mike Lee, the Republican challenger taking on Sen. Bob Bennett (R., Utah)...Continue Reading