June 2010

Jun 01, 2010

On the Radar: June 1, 2010

Deadline for reviewing oil drilling proposal's impact may be flexible
By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post
Ever since BP's Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, Obama administration officials have argued that their ability to subject drilling operations to extensive environmental reviews has been limited by a tight federally established timeline. That timeline, they say, requires them to reach a decision on the exploration plan proposals put forward by oil companies within 30 days.  Continue Reading...

W.H. lacks slick spokesperson
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
Thad Allen talks “top kill.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visits the Gulf. But sometimes “energy czar” Carol Browner is the one making the rounds of TV news shows. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is often mentioned, but rarely seen. Continue reading...  

Raid Complicates U.S. Ties and Push for Peace
By Helene Cooper and Ethan Bronner, The New York Times
Israel’s deadly commando raid on Monday on a flotilla trying to break a blockade of Gaza complicated President Obama’s efforts to move ahead on Middle East peace negotiations and introduced a new strain into an already tense relationship between the United States and Israel. Continue Reading...

Israeli troops raid aid flotilla headed for Gaza, killing nine 
By Janine Zacharia, The Washington Post
A nighttime Israeli naval operation to seize control of an aid flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip ended in a fatal melee on Monday as passengers battled with helicopter-borne Israeli commandos aboard a ship sailing on international waters. At least nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.  Continue Reading...

The BP spill: Obama's Katrina?
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Is the BP oil spill turning into President Obama's equivalent of Hurricane Katrina, a disaster that will scar the rest of his presidency? Not quite; not yet. In 2005, when Katrina flooded New Orleans, the federal government's tragically inadequate response became a symbol of then-President George W. Bush's inattention to the hard work of managing the nation's domestic business.  Continue Reading...

Voters hate partisan sniping, but fuel its growth
By Charles Babington, Associated Press  
People say they don't like partisan gridlock in Washington. But they're voting in ways almost certain to increase it, by punishing politicians who cooperate with the opposing party and rewarding ideological purity that pushes both sides to the fringes. In the past few weeks, Democratic voters have ousted one of Congress' best-known centrists, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and forced another, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, into a difficult primary runoff  June 8.  Continue Reading...

Jun 02, 2010

On the Radar: June 2, 2010

Administration may have more time to review oil-drilling proposals than it says
By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post
Ever since BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, Obama administration officials have argued that their ability to subject potential drilling operations to extensive environmental reviews has been limited by a federally established deadline.    Continue Reading...

Getting Out of the Box
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
How do we judge a president in crisis? There are those things about the Gulf oil spill for which Obama is blamed but for which he and the administration are not at fault, like the inability to stop the flow of oil. There are those things for which he is responsible but not at fault, like the long nightmare of federal bureaucracy that allowed the technology for deep-water drilling to get so far ahead of the technology to stop a leak or clean it up.  Continue reading...  

U.S. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into Oil Spill
By Helene Cooper and Peter Baker, The New York Times
The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had begun civil and criminal investigations into the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as the deepening crisis threatened to define President Obama’s second year in office. Continue Reading...

Nations decry Israel's blockade of Gaza 
By Janine Zacharia, The Washington Post
Israel's botched and deadly commando raid on an aid flotilla has set off widespread international criticism of the Gaza blockade, with popular opinion in many countries swinging heavily against Israel and even the United States urging its ally to find new ways to allow aid shipments to reach the Palestinians.  Continue Reading...

Supreme Court: Suspects must assert right to silence 
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today 
A divided Supreme Court scaled back the well-known Miranda right Tuesday and enhanced prosecutors' ability to assert that a suspect waived his right to remain silent even when he did not say so. By a 5-4 vote, the justices said that once rights have been read and questioning begun, a suspect must clearly declare that he wants to remain silent and cannot simply be silent.    Continue Reading...

Gores Announce They’re Separating After 40 Years of Marriage  
By Edwin Chen, Bloomberg News  
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, announced yesterday they have made the “mutually supportive” decision to separate after 40 years of marriage.     Continue Reading...

Jun 03, 2010

On the Radar: June 3, 2010

Analysis: Voters reward purists, not pragmatists
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
Two more members of Congress have fallen to strategies that worked before, but not this year: switching parties to avoid defeat and edging to the political center in the early going. Continue Reading...

White House Intervened in Colorado U.S. Senate Race
By Edwin Chen, Bloomberg
The White House said it discussed the possibility of an administration job with a Colorado Democrat in hopes of dissuading him from seeking the party’s nomination for a U.S. Senate seat. President Barack Obama already had endorsed another candidate, incumbent Senator Michael Bennet. Continue Reading...

Democrats in Congress fail the sales pitch
By Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times
Congress is shattering its longstanding reputation for being a gridlocked, lethargic, "do-nothing" institution, instead compiling a record of landmark policy changes in healthcare, financial industry regulation, economic policy and more. Continue Reading...

Obama Says He’ll Push for Clean Energy Bill
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama said Wednesday that it was time for the United States “to aggressively accelerate” its transition from oil to alternative sources of energy and vowed to push for quick action on climate change legislation despite almost unanimous opposition from Republicans and continued skepticism from some Democrats. Continue Reading...

Jun 04, 2010

On the Radar: June 4, 2010

Obama Cancels Pacific Trip as Spill Concerns Mount
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama canceled his trip to Australia, Indonesia and Guam late Thursday night as oil continued to stream into the Gulf of Mexico in what he has called the worst environmental disaster in American history.  Continue Reading...

White House is feeling weight of controversies surrounding oil spill, elections 
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
At virtually every turn lately, the White House cannot shake the appearance that it is hamstrung and a step behind. From a major crisis such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to smaller and seemingly avoidable controversies over internal Democratic Party politics, President Obama and his team are on the defensive.   Continue Reading...

Firms operating offshore will have to give information about risks, precautions, MMS says
By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post
The federal agency overseeing offshore energy exploration announced Wednesday that it would require companies operating offshore to provide additional information about the potential risks and safety precautions in their drilling plans. Regulators have failed to demand such disclosures even in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to evidence obtained by The Washington Post.   Continue Reading...

The Backward Party
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
The Obama Partisanship Meter took another small jump today. When last we checked the needle, President Obama had tweaked Republicans at a Democratic fundraiser, using pointed language to blame them for doing nothing to help improve the economy. It was an escalation in his rhetoric, but it was delivered to a partisan crowd. Today, in a noncampaign event, Obama made his critique more explicit.   Continue Reading...

Israel's only friend
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times 
The Obama administration's gamble is that by offering Netanyahu support when he needs it most, the U.S. may yet give him the courage to change his path.  Continue Reading...

Israel's Netanyahu maintains defiance amid criticism over Gaza blockade 
By Janine Zacharia, The Washington Post
When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered his angry response to a cascade of international condemnation of Israel on Wednesday, he spoke first in Hebrew to a domestic Israeli audience. Choosing to address his home constituency, rather than the broader world, was a sign of his continued willingness to accept international ire as the price of upholding policies that are broadly supported at home. Continue Reading...

White House defends dealmaking in political races
By Charles Babington, Associated Press 
The White House scrambled Thursday to explain new revelations of political dealmaking, defending attempts to steer state primary races but saying the president was unaware an aide had urged a Colorado Democrat to seek a federal job rather than run.  Continue Reading...

White House Talk Lightens Tone of Dispute on Immigration Law
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama and Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona have not been shy in taking jabs at each other over immigration policy. But their meeting Thursday in the Oval Office appeared to change the tone — if not the substance — of their dispute.  Continue Reading...



Jun 07, 2010

On the Radar: June 7, 2010

Despite adjustments, court harried in June 
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
Supreme Court justices front-loaded their calendar this term, holding more oral arguments in the fall and winter and fewer in the spring, hoping to ease the traditional June crunch. Yet as some of the justices, including John Paul Stevens, have lamented, they entered June — the usual culmination of their nine-month term — a bit behind schedule.   Continue Reading...

Five economic clues to 2010 election
By Eamon Javers,  POLITICO
Yet again, it’s the economy, stupid. Political observers of every stripe agree it will be the deciding factor in November’s midterm elections. And between now and Election Day, there will be key milestones to measure just where the economy is heading — and perhaps more importantly, where voters think it is heading. Continue reading...  

Anti-deficit pressures weigh on Democrats
By Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times
With voter anger about the federal deficit intensifying in this election year, Democrats in Congress are edging away from one of their long-held articles of faith — government spending on social programs such as education and relief for the jobless. Continue Reading...

Democrats Skip Town Halls to Avoid Voter Rage   
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times 
The reception that Representative Frank Kratovil Jr., a Democrat, received here one night last week as he faced a small group of constituents was far more pleasant than his encounters during a Congressional recess last summer.  Continue Reading...

Obama's National Security Strategy 
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The document lays out the president's worldview. Basically, it says on foreign policy, we'll do what we can, as long as it doesn't cost too much.   Continue Reading...

Sunday Take: California's possible solution to partisan politics
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post  
California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) minced no words when he talked about changing the polarized politics that he said are killing his state. "The system we have today is taking our Golden State to its knees," he said. "It's frankly embarrassing."   Continue Reading...

Education is a worthwhile federal investment
By David Broder, The Washington Post
Ever since BP's Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, Obama administration officials have argued that their ability to subject drilling operations to extensive environmental reviews has been limited by a tight federally established timeline. That timeline, they say, requires them to reach a decision on the exploration plan proposals put forward by oil companies within 30 days.  Continue Reading...

With oil spill, White House struggles to assert control of the unknown
By Karen Tumulty and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post
In a time of crisis, no resource is so precious, or so perishable, as credibility. Last weekend, the Obama White House discovered that it had sprung another leak.   Continue reading... 

Jun 08, 2010

On the Radar: June 8, 2010

Ladies' Night  
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
In a volatile year in which the rules of politics are being rewritten, Tuesday's elections will render a verdict on an important question facing all candidates: Is it more damaging to be accused of adultery or to advocate paying for health care with chickens? In Nevada, Republican Sue Lowden cast her lot with the chickens and has lost the lead in her party's primary.   Continue Reading...

Voters' support for members of Congress is at an all-time low, poll finds
By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post
As voters head to the polls Tuesday for a crucial set of primary elections, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds antipathy toward their elected officials rising and anti-incumbent sentiment at an all-time high. Continue reading...  

Scientists: Dispersants Compounded Oil Spill
By  Elizabeth Shogren, National Public Radio 
Scientists are gathering more and more data on what they believe are huge plumes of oily water thousands of feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico. The evidence raises fears about the fate of creatures that live in the dark, mysterious environment near the gushing well.  Continue Reading...

Policy and Politics Collide on the President’s Path   
By John Harwood, The New York Times 
President Obama, struggling for balance on a political oil slick, gave a speech last week that seemed to contradict itself. One part was ferociously partisan. He criticized Republicans for obstructionism, ascribing that stance to crass electoral strategy and a “sincere and fundamental belief” that every problem’s solution involved tax cuts for the wealthy and less regulation for corporations.   Continue Reading...

Pushing a Liberal Agenda, With Democrats as Target  
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times 
From the capital to Arkansas, liberals plan to spend this week aiming some not-so-friendly fire at President Obama and Congressional Democrats.    Continue Reading...

Primaries to Watch from Coast to Coast 
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal   
Voters in 11 states cast ballots in primary elections Tuesday, giving new signals about the reach of an anti-Washington, anti-incumbent tide that has left its mark on earlier races this year.   Continue Reading...

National Intelligence Job Comes With Turf Battles
By Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio
President Obama's choice to be the next director of national intelligence will be the fourth man to hold that position in barely five years. James Clapper's nomination is raising questions about whether Clapper -- or anyone -- can effectively lead an intelligence community that includes 16 agencies and spans six Cabinet departments.   Continue Reading... 

Jun 09, 2010

On the Radar: June 9, 2010

Women on Top   
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
Charges of infidelity aren't what they used to be. In South Carolina, GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley was accused of not keeping faith with her marriage vows, and in Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln was accused of not keeping faith with her party. But tonight, both women survived the attacks, as Haley finished first in her primary and Lincoln won her runoff.  Continue Reading...

California women triumph in GOP primary; incumbent Lincoln wins in Arkansas 
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Sen. Blanche Lincoln survived a bitter Democratic runoff Tuesday in Arkansas, fending off a strong challenge from labor-backed Lt. Gov. Bill Halter to avoid becoming the third senator this year to lose a bid for reelection. Continue reading...  

Lincoln Bucks Tide; Business Leaders Win in California
By Jeff Zeleny and Adam Nagourney, The New York Times 
Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas survived a tough challenge from her party’s left wing on Tuesday to capture the Democratic nomination in a runoff primary election, resisting the anti-incumbent wave that has defined the midterm election year.  Continue Reading...

Primaries show off the power of the broom   
By Susan Milligan, The Boston Globe  
Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln barely beat back a Democratic primary challenge last night and Tea Party movement candidate Sharron Angle scored a stunning victory in Nevada’s GOP Senate primary, as voters across the country sent a message that established politicians are endangered this election season.   Continue Reading...

Lincoln Bucks Wave Against Incumbents   
By Naftali Bendavid, Valerie Bauerlein and Stephanie Simon, The Wall Street Journal  
Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln pulled out a narrow victory in the Democratic primary against a liberal challenger on a night when voters across the U.S. showed both the power and limits of this year's anti-establishment tide.   Continue Reading...

Plight For Pelicans: Oil Puts Nesting Season At Risk 
By Elizabeth Shogren, National Public Radio    
Deepwater Horizon oil is menacing one of the best wildlife recovery stories: brown pelicans. Biologists are saving as many individual birds as they can, but they say the oil has arrived on Louisiana's coast at the worst possible time.  Continue Reading...

Jun 10, 2010

On the Radar: June 10, 2010

In Arkansas, Lincoln may have studied the wrong Clinton
By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
No other national political figure so dominated Blanche Lincoln's election campaign as that of former president and fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton, whose centrist politics she emulated and who campaigned as her most prominent defender. Continue Reading

Voters send mixed message in primary
Janet Hook & Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
Amid a volatile election cycle dominated by the disgruntled voter, incumbent politicians shared a brief moment of hope as they watched some of their own escape career-ending losses. It was very brief. Continue Reading

President Obama met with Palestinian Authority President 
By Helene Cooper & Isabel Kershner, The New York Times
President Obama urged the Israeli government to loosen its blockade of Gaza on Wednesday, as the United States continued to scramble to find a way out of the stalemate in the Middle East and address the outcry over Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last week. Continue Reading

Increase in inspectors hasn't kept pace with boom in offshore U.S. oil rigs and projects
By Juliet Eilperin & Steven Mufson, The Washington Post
Over the past quarter-century, oil companies have pushed the frontiers of offshore drilling, sharply stepping up the number of deep-water rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Continue Reading

Primaries Analysis: Ladies Dominate Races
By John Dickerson, CBS News
CBS News Political Consultant John Dickerson broke down Tuesday's primaries and the headline of the races were the victories for Blanche Lincoln, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, Nikki Haley and Sharron Angle. Watch the Video

Jun 11, 2010

On the Radar: June 11, 2010

Politics can be risky business for a CEO
By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
As Meg Whitman, California's new Republican gubernatorial nominee, puts it, she and GOP Senate pick Carly Fiorina are the "worst nightmare" of career politicians: "two businesswomen from the real world who know how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things done."  Continue Reading

Independence Day For Wary Incumbents?
By Alexis Semindinger, National Journal
In the wake of Tuesday's primary election results, some Democratic political operatives crowed that the Republicans were even more divided than the Democrats, a boast that took a peculiar sort of comfort from voters' mixed messages to both parties. Continue Reading

Presidential Anger Management 
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
While no one has yet discovered a way to plug the BP oil leak, each day does bring the discovery of yet another fundamental character defect that explains President Obama's helplessness. He's not emotional enough. He lacks crisis experience. He is insufficiently creative. With the leak likely to last into the summer, before long it will be blamed on Obama's bad penmanship or his skinny legs.     Continue Reading

Scientists offer varied estimates, all high, on size of BP oil leak
By Joel Achenbach & Juliet Eilperin,  The Washington Post
Pick a number: 12,600 barrels . . . 20,000 . . . 21,500 . . . 25,000 . . . 30,000 . . . 40,000 . . . 50,000. Scientists put every one of those numbers in play Thursday as they struggled to come up with a solid estimate of how much oil is gushing each day from the black geyser at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Continue Reading

Tea party shaping Republican Party, fall faceoffs
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
The tea party movement shows some growing pains, but it still wields remarkable powers to shape the Republican Party and set up a fall election with unconventional candidates and stark choices for voters.  Continue reading

Beyond Iran Sanctions, Plans B, C, D and ...
By David E. Sanger, The New York Times 
No one in the Obama White House believes that, by themselves, the newest rounds of sanctions against Iran’s military-run businesses, its shipping lines and its financial institutions will force Tehran to halt its 20-year-long drive for a nuclear capability.   Continue reading

Jun 15, 2010

On the Radar: June 15, 2010

Live from the Oval Office
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
President Obama will give his first address from the Oval Office Tuesday. A presidential speech from the Oval Office usually falls into one of two categories: The commander in chief is responding to an immediate crisis, or he is trying to change the dynamic of an ongoing one. In the first category, there is Ronald Reagan speaking after the Challenger explosion, George W. Bush addressing the nation the night of 9/11, and John F. Kennedy announcing that National Guard troops had been sent to the University of Alabama to escort black students to school.   Continue Reading

Obama, Visiting Gulf, Tries to Lift Economy and Mood
By Helene Cooper and Henry Fountain, The New York Times
President Obama on Monday stepped up his efforts to limit the economic fallout from the oil spill, announcing steps to assure consumers that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe and promoting tourism in the region as BP, under pressure from the White House, agreed to accelerate the cleanup.  Continue Reading

Obama stand on oil spill is tough and temperate 
By Charles Babington, Associated Press 
President Barack Obama took a fist-and-olive-branch approach to the Gulf oil spill Saturday, giving BP a deadline to accelerate cleanup efforts while also reassuring Britons he's not pointing a finger at them or their national institutions.  Continue Reading

Setbacks Cloud U.S. Plans to Get Out of Afghanistan 
By Peter Baker and Mark Landler, The New York Times
Six months after President Obama decided to send more forces to Afghanistan, the halting progress in the war has crystallized longstanding tensions within the government over the viability of his plan to turn around the country and begin pulling out by July 2011.  Continue Reading

Computer Access Leads to Lower Test Scores, Study Suggests
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal 
Giving laptop computers to students in fifth through eight grades to take home seems like an appealing idea. But economists Jacob Vigdor and Helen Ladd of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy says it seems to reduce their scores on math and reading tests.   Continue reading

Jun 16, 2010

On the Radar: June 16, 2010

Deflection Point 
By John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
The Gulf oil crisis, say White House aides, is at an "inflection point." That's why President Obama chose this moment to deliver his first Oval Office address. If you've forgotten this term from calculus, it means "turning point." But it's not a dramatic change in direction where the tires squeal—if you're driving an S, it's the moment when the steering wheel is straight. It means the situation is less bad than it used to be.  Continue Reading

In Oval Office Speech, Obama Calls for New Focus on Energy Policy
By Helene Cooper and Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
President Obama summoned Americans on Tuesday to a “national mission” to move away from reliance on oil and develop alternative sources of energy, casting the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an imperative for Congress to act quickly to overcome “a lack of political courage and candor.”  Continue Reading

Obama Seeks to Shift Arc of Oil Crisis 
By Peter Baker, The New York Times  
Fifty-six days, millions of gallons of oil and countless hours of cable television second-guessing later, President Obama finally addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday night to declare war.    Continue Reading

Obama, the PowerPoint Warrior  
By Gloria Borger, CNN 
We're not used to seeing President Obama in the Oval Office, and that's for a good reason: He's never spoken to us from there. Yet Tuesday night, he chose to address the nation from behind the desk on the stage that yells a few things before a word is even spoken -- importance of topic, urgency of task and, of course, commander in chief.  Continue Reading

Lawmakers Grill Oil Executives On Spill, Clean Energy   
By Elizabeth Shogren, National Public Radio  
Top executives from the five biggest oil companies testified before the House Energy and Commerce committee on Tuesday for a grilling on the Gulf oil spill and prospects for clean energy in the future.    Continue reading

President Obama taps Michael Bromwich as watchdog for offshore oil drilling   
By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post   
The man appointed Tuesday by President Obama to oversee offshore oil drilling has no experience with oil and gas issues, but he has a reputation for cleaning up embattled organizations.  Continue reading


Jun 17, 2010

On the Radar: June 17, 2010

BP Chief to Express Contrition in Remarks to Panel
By Jackie Calmes and Helene Cooper, The New York Times
BP’s embattled chief executive, Tony Hayward, prepared to tell Congress on Thursday that he was “deeply sorry” for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, seeking to demonstrate that he and the oil giant understood the enormity of the spill’s environmental, economic and human toll.  Continue Reading

Obama's Gulf Coast restoration plan is short on details
By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post 
President Obama made an ambitious promise Tuesday to bring the Gulf Coast's habitat back to health. How and when that will happen is another matter. Continue Reading

Red ink, not oil, is the best focus for Obama 
By David S. Broder, The Washington Post   
Far be it from me to tell the crew of public relations officials who now occupy those West Wing offices as a reward for running one of the best presidential campaigns anyone has ever seen, but . . .     Continue Reading

Obama's Mixed Afghanistan Message   
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times 
The news from Afghanistan has been bad lately. The military campaign to win control of Kandahar, the country's second-largest city, has slowed to a crawl. Taliban insurgents have filtered back into parts of southern Afghanistan that U.S. Marines had cleared in the spring.  Continue Reading

Rethinking Part of the American Dream    
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal   
It's time to have a serious conversation about the American approach to home ownership and mortgages. A system once celebrated for putting so many families into their own homes and for making mortgages so widely available has become, as one housing economist puts it, "a case study in failure."  Continue reading