April 2010

Apr 19, 2010

On the Radar: April 19, 2010

Weekend Reports & Columns

"Reduction Is Theme Of President’s Next Act"
By John Harwood, The New York Times
As President Obama approaches the end of his administration’s opening chapter, his advisers have begun a backstage debate over Chapter 2, which will be fundamentally different in tone, aspiration and political complexity. Continue reading

"The makings of another GOP upset in Massachusetts"
By David S. Broder, The Washington Post
Before there was a Scott Brown, amazing the political world by capturing Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat, there was a Charles D. Baker Jr., challenging the Democratic grip on Beacon Hill by announcing that he would try to deny Barack Obama's favorite governor, Deval Patrick, a second term.  Continue reading  

"Key to success lies with Afghan officials coming through"
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Our V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft touched down next to a field of bright pink opium poppies in Afghanistan's Helmand province, and soon we were hiking across a wheat field, over a muddy irrigation ditch and into the center of Marja, a village U.S. Marines and the Afghan army wrested from the Taliban in February. Continue reading

"Don't be too quick to mistake tea party for Perot movement"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
For those in the movement, "the deficit is a symbol of the mess in Washington." They are "deeply anti-political" and hold "deep antipathy to Congress." They are "anti-government and anti-establishment." Continue reading

Weekly Reporter Stories

"Democrats Seize on Financial Oversight After Goldman Suit"
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
With the Senate scheduled to begin debate on a financial overhaul bill this week, the fraud suit against the Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs has emboldened Democrats to ratchet up pressure on Republicans who oppose the Obama administration’s proposal.  Continue reading   

"Researchers: The Internet Isn’t Polarizing America"
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
For all the remarkable power of the Internet, some journalists and scholars have worried that it is polarizing society because it’s so easy for Americans to confirm their prejudices by relying on Web sites that share their viewpoints  Continue reading

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Risk has taken a beating recently, thanks to the financial crisis. Risk is supposed to be about choice and consequence. You take a chance and you win or you lose. But then banks and insurance companies found ways to pervert this. They devised ever more esoteric ways to pass risk on to others, so there was, in fact, no risk to them at all. In this distortion, insurance techniques, created to limit risk, exposed millions to it. Continue reading  

Apr 20, 2010

On the Radar: April 20, 2010

 "Democrats seek to close partisan divide on Wall Street reform"
By Shailagh Murray & Brady Dennis, The Washington Post
Democratic leaders scrambled Monday to peel away the Republican votes they need to bring a Wall Street reform package to the Senate floor this week -- an effort hampered by sharp partisan divisions. Continue Reading

"Republican party strategy backfiring on business?"
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
While the business community looks to its Senate allies to blunt the White House’s legislative agenda, another threat looms that is much more difficult to control: a Democratic-run bureaucracy.
 Continue Reading

"Biden hails killing of 2 al-Qaida figures in Iraq"
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that the killings of the top two al-Qaida figures in Iraq are "potentially devastating" blows to the terror network there and proof that Iraqi security forces are gaining strength.Continue Reading

"Debate tests members' financial IQs"
By Eamon Javers, POLITICO
Ask White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee about derivatives, and he’ll tell you about free tacos. Continue Reading

"High court reviews privacy of texts on company gear"
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
Supreme Court justices appeared open Monday to a California city's claim that a SWAT team officer should not have expected text messages he sent on a government pager to his wife and a girlfriend to remain private. Continue Reading

Apr 21, 2010

On the Radar: April 21, 2010

 "Kyl Talks About Stopping New START"
By James Kitfield, National Journal (Burn After Reading Blog)
An old saw in arms control circles is that, at any given time, there are probably 20 to 25 senators who instinctively view arms control treaties as unwelcome curbs on U.S. sovereignty and military freedom of action. Continue Reading

 "Republicans soften on Wall Street reform bill"
By Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times
Senate Republicans back off their hard line against Democratic efforts to rein in Wall Street, making it clear that they want to change the financial overhaul bill, not kill it. Continue Reading

"Democrats haunted by corporate ties"
By Eamon Javers,  POLITICO
President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are promising a climactic clash with Wall Street, but there’s a complication in their battle plan: The Democratic Party is closer to corporate America — and to Wall Street in particular — than many Democrats would care to admit.  Continue Reading

"Treasury, Congress praise GM repayment"
By David Shepardson, Detroit News
The Treasury Department praised General Motors Co.'s decision to repay its outstanding $4.7 billion in government loans ahead of schedule -- as did several members of Congress. Continue Reading

"Pew study showing bleak mood should be a warning to politicians"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The Pew Research Center has produced a report about the mood in America that states the obvious in such a powerful and unambiguous way that no one should ignore its implications. That the mood is bleak has been clear for months. That it will fall heaviest on the Democrats in November is almost a certainty. Continue Reading

Apr 22, 2010

On the Radar: April 22, 2010

John Harwood Interviews President Obama
By John Harwood, CNBC & The New York Times
John Harwood of The New York Times and CNBC interviewed President Obama on economic policy, Wall Street, and new tax legislation. Watch the Video

Prominent Republicans making more endorsements in primary races
By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
You might think that no sensible Republican with presidential ambitions would wander into a blood feud within the party. This year, you would be wrong. The likely contenders for the 2012 GOP nomination have been sprinkling their marquee-worthy endorsements in an unusually large number of bitter primary contests across the country. Continue Reading

Obama Issues Sharp Call for Reforms on Wall Street
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama is traveling to the shadow of Wall Street on Thursday to counter what he calls “the furious efforts of industry lobbyists” trying to weaken or kill new financial regulations that he says are needed to stave off a second Great Depression. Continue Reading

The Wall Street 'bailout' that isn't
By Gloria Borger, CNN
When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decided last week to portray the Democratic version of financial regulation as a Wall Street "bailout," it seemed like a brilliant, albeit cynical, political move. Continue Reading

Apr 23, 2010

On the Radar: April 23, 2010

Republican Response to Obama
By John Harwood, CNBC & The New York Times
Discussing the President's push for major reform for the entire financial industry and a Republican response, with Rep. Mike Pence, (R-IN) and CNBC's John Harwood. Watch the Video

"Senate scrambles to unite on finance reform bill"
 By Janet Hook, Jim Puzzanghera and Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau
A regulatory overhaul vote, set for Monday, is a test for President Obama and bipartisanship.  Continue Reading

"Obama to Wall St.: ‘Join Us, Instead of Fighting Us’
By Peter Baker and David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times
President Obama took his rhetoric of reform on Thursday to the nation’s financial capital in a high-profile foray to chide Wall Street bankers for their “reckless practices” and to press for tighter regulations meant to avert another financial crisis. Continue Reading

"Business, labor eye diverging jobs paths"  
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
Both labor and business leaders see the potential for big job gains if Congress passes a new energy bill, but they differ significantly on what needs to be done to create the jobs and when they will become available.  Continue Reading

"GM ready to hire, rev up work"
By David Shepardson, Detroit News
General Motors Co. is close to hiring lower-paid hourly workers to accelerate production of popular new vehicles that are in short supply, President Mark Reuss said Wednesday. Any hiring depends on further recovery in vehicle sales, but . . . Continue Reading

"'Short list' for court picks shows ties to Obama"
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
As the White House reviews candidates to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, several people with deep connections to President Obama have emerged as potential nominees.  Continue Reading

Apr 26, 2010

On the Radar: April 26, 2010

Weekend Reports & Columns

"After 15 Months in Office, Policy vs. Politics for Obama"
By John Harwood, The New York Times
Inside Washington, President Obama is savoring a springtime resurgence: signs of economic recovery, victory on health care, the upper hand in the financial regulation debate. Outside Washington, not so much.  Continue reading

"Three-ring circus "
By David S. Broder, The Washington Post
Afunny thing happened on the way to Bristol, England, where I expected to dateline this report on the Thursday debate that marked the midway point in the British election campaign. A volcano with an unpronounceable name blew up in Iceland, and the trail of emissions that covered much of Europe canceled my flight and many, many others. So I ended up watching the debate at my desk in Washington rather than in a press room in southwest England. Continue reading  

"Obama and Wall St. — it’s not 1936"
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The Barack Obama who went to Wall Street last week to ask investment bankers to support new financial regulations had little in common with the fire-breathing Franklin D. Roosevelt of 1936 who denounced "financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking," and added pungently, "I welcome their hatred."  Continue reading

"Florida waits to see whether Crist will stay Republican or go independent"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has become the star of his own personal soap opera. Will he abandon his faltering bid for the Republican nomination for the Senate and run as an independent? Will he, playing good soldier, quietly step to the sidelines and live to fight another day? Will he stay and fight against Marco Rubio, the charismatic. . . Continue reading

Weekly Reporter Stories

"President Obama Meets Billy Graham"
By Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, TIME 
All the presidents needed the prayer. But they also wanted the picture. When Barack Obama visited Billy Graham on Sunday afternoon, he became the 12th president to meet with the famed evangelist — but the first to do so at Graham's mountaintop home in Montreat, NC, a rambling house built from the remnants of log cabins that Ruth Graham salvaged more than half a century ago, and where Billy Graham has lived ever since.  Continue reading

"In Court Nominees, Is Obama Looking for Empathy by Another Name?"
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
Empathy is out. Understanding ordinary lives is in. Is there a difference? President Obama is about to find out. A year after Mr. Obama made “empathy” one of his main criteria in picking his first Supreme Court justice, he is avoiding the word, which became radioactive, as he picks his second nominee. Instead, he says he wants someone with “a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.” Continue reading    

"Wooing GOP, Geithner Gets an Earful"
By Deborah Solomon, The Wall Street Journal
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is learning that all politics is local.   During more than a dozen private meetings with Republican senators in the past two weeks, Mr. Geithner has made a concerted effort to win their support for the financial-overhaul bill. He has gotten an earful from lawmakers, often about the bill's core substance—but sometimes not.  Continue reading 



Apr 27, 2010

On the Radar: April 27, 2010

"Too Big to Fail"
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
At 5 p.m. Monday, Senate Republicans united to block debate on financial-regulatory reform. Afterward, Republicans and Democrats traded the usual charges and countercharges. The president weighed in with some tough rhetoric: "I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans voted in a block against allowing a public debate on Wall Street reform to begin. Some of these Senators may believe that this obstruction is a good political strategy,  Continue reading 

"Lindsey Graham: Immigration must be tabled
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday professed the administration’s admiration and affection for GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham and added: “I don’t know the degree to which that has complicated his life.”  Continue reading

"Midwest Trip With Political Fortunes on the Line"
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
President Obama is making an appeal to the legions of new voters who sent him to the White House, imploring them to preserve the Democratic majority in Congress. But party leaders have an even more pressing wish: that he help himself before he helps his fellow Democrats.   Continue reading 

"Janet Napolitano Exclusive: Behind-the-Scenes with the Homeland Security Secretary"
By Pierre Thomas, ABC News
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in an exclusive interview she agreed with President Obama's assessment that Arizona's recent rigid immigration law is "misguided" and said that the time for immigration reform -- including fines and a form of biometric registration for illegal aliens as well as mandatory English -- has come. Continue Reading

Supreme Court takes on violent video games
By Pete Williams, NBC News
The justices agree to rule on a case that would ban the sale of violent video games to children.   Watch the report 



Apr 28, 2010

On the Radar: April 28, 2010

"Sen. Graham says border security is a priority"
By Spencer Hsu, The Washington Post
The Republican senator who has been the Obama administration's key negotiating partner on immigration legislation said Tuesday that concerns about border security, fueled largely by Mexico's drug war, must be dealt with before lawmakers take up a broader immigration package.   Continue reading 

"Reid Says Energy Bill Could Move Before Immigration"
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he’s willing to push ahead with an energy bill before tackling an immigration overhaul, since it’s far closer to completion. “Common sense dictates that if you have a bill that’s ready to go, that’s the one I’m going to go to, because on immigration we don’t have a bill yet,” Reid told reporters today.   Continue reading

"In Greeting Iowa Voters, Obama Focuses on Finances"
By Helene Cooper and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
President Obama strongly criticized Senate Republicans on Tuesday for blocking proposed legislation to tighten regulation of the financial system, vowing that he would “not let this effort fall victim to industry lobbyists who want to kill it.”   Continue reading 

"Goldman brass: Don't blame us"
By Eamon Javers, POLITICO
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told a Senate investigative committee that his firm did nothing wrong in the run-up to the financial collapse of 2008, but he faced withering criticism from senators skeptical that Goldman played fair in its transactions.
Continue reading   

"Poll finds Americans in an anti-incumbent mood as midterm elections near"
By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post 
Members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Continue reading

"Obama Sticks to Deadline on Iraq"
By Peter Baker and Rod Nordland, The New York Times
When President Obama approved a plan to withdraw combat forces from Iraq this summer, it was based on the assumption that a newly elected government would be in place by the time Americans headed home. Fourteen months later, that assumption is exploding but the plan remains the same.  Continue reading 

"Wing Nuts"
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
True story, submitted by Slate reader KB: A man tries to cut to the front of a line of delayed passengers at San Diego airport. When the ticket agent tells him to get to the back of the line, he says—you guessed it—"Don't you know who I am?" In response to the inquiry, the agent picks up the public-address microphone. "Excuse me for the disturbance," she says. "But we have a gentleman here who does not know who he is. If anyone recognizes this man . . . Continue reading

Apr 29, 2010

On the Radar: April 29, 2010

"Civil Rights Leader Is Eulogized by Obama"
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama eulogized civil rights leader Dorothy Height on Thursday as a “drum major for freedom,” describing the civil rights and women’s rights leader as an American icon who pursued justice tirelessly.   Continue reading

"Bill Clinton: U.S. needs immigrants"
By Eamon Javers, POLITICO
Bill Clinton on Wednesday tackled two of the hottest-button issues on President Barack Obama’s agenda lately: immigration and financial reform.  Continue reading 

"Why Democrats shouldn't toy with Lindsey Graham"
By Gloria Borger, CNN
Sen. Lindsey Graham is the new John McCain. Scratch that. Actually, he's the old John McCain.
Continue reading   

"Republicans hope to win three symbolic Senate seats"
By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Every now and then, there comes a congressional race so fraught with history and symbolism that it becomes as much about sending a message as winning a seat. Continue reading

"The Unhuggables"
By John Dickerson, SLATE
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is widely expected to announce tomorrow that he will drop out of the Republican Senate primary to run as an independent. Crist's decision to go his own way raises a set of interesting political questions: Can he win? Will Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate, benefit? Will this intraparty feud in Florida affect the Republican Party nationally?  Continue reading 

"Gordon Brown's 'bigoted' comment threatens to shake up campaign"
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The headlines here Thursday morning told it all. "Day of Disaster," read the Telegraph. "A Hypocrite Who Shames Britain," screamed the Daily Express. The subhead in the Times added context: "Brown's 'Bigot' Blunder Plunges Labor Campaign into Crisis." . . . Continue reading

Apr 30, 2010

On the Radar: April 30, 2010

"Climate Impasse Won't Stop Regulations"
By Margaret Kriz Hobson, National Journal 
Climate change will be the dominant environmental issue in Washington for the rest of 2010, whether or not Congress adopts legislation to control green-house-gas emissions. Last weekend, Senate efforts to pass an energy and climate-change bill hit a wall when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., withdrew his support for the proposal that he had spent months crafting with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn. In a letter to supporters of the broad goals of the legislation, Graham said he was stepping away because of "what appears to be a decision by the Obama administration and Senate Democratic leadership to move immigration instead of energy." Continue reading

"Florida's Crist leaves Republican Party to run as independent in Senate race"
By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday declared himself a man without a party, launching a desperate bid to save his once seemingly invincible Senate campaign.  Continue reading

"Bill Nelson wants drilling plans postponed"
By Josh Gerstein & Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill menacing Louisiana’s coast and beaches is now threatening to muck up the White House’s plans to expand offshore drilling along the East and West coasts, as President Barack Obama and his top advisers spoke with increasing alarm Thursday about the incident. Aides warned that the oil slick could come ashore in Louisiana Friday and oil could continue to spew. . .
Continue reading 

"News Hub: First Quarter GDP Grows by 3.2%"
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
David Wessel and Evan Newmark discuss the government's announcement that First Quarter GDP grew by a 3.2 percent annual rate.  Watch the video   

"The evolution of D.C.'s premier event"
By Todd S. Purdum, POLITICO
If, as Russell Baker once memorably suggested, Washington is a superannuated version of high school, the White House Correspondents’ Association is a combination of the student council and the prom committee, and its annual dinner has become — for better and for worse — the premier event of Washington’s politico-media calendar. It is the party that (almost) everyone loves to complain about but that (almost) everyone clamors to get into anyway.  Continue reading