September 2010

Sep 13, 2010

On the Radar: September 13, 2010

High-level doubts on Afghanistan
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Former officials who once supported the war are now questioning it's worth the cost.  Continue reading

As Time Passes, the Goals in Afghanistan Shrink
by Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times
NINE years ago, after an American-led invasion of Afghanistan had dispatched the Taliban from Kabul within weeks, the idea of remaking a tangled mess like Afghanistan didn’t seem, to some, so far-fetched. Continue reading

Fate of tax cuts is key issue as Congress returns
by Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
Congress is returning for a final pre-election legislative session on Monday to confront the thorny issue of potentially raising taxes during an economic downturn, with neither party showing clear consensus on a solution. Continue reading

Congress Returns: What Can It Accomplish?
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Lawmakers return to Washington this week for a four-week legislative push before breaking in early October so they can resume campaigning through Election Day, Nov. 2.  Continue reading

In Chicago, it's not Rahm's for the asking
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
In Washington, the story of the upcoming Chicago mayor's race has been all about Rahm Emanuel. In Chicago, the story is different. There it is far too early for ticker tape parades. Continue reading

Democrats Hoping to Take Advantage of G.O.P. Strength
by John Harwood, The New York Times
With few signs of growth in their own political strength, Democrats set out this week on a two-month quest to leverage Republicans’ might against them. Call it the Jujitsu Campaign. Continue reading

In Ad Wars, Democrats Shy From Ties to Own Party
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Representative Mark Schauer of Michigan does not dwell on the legislation he has voted for during his first term in Congress, which includes the Democratic stimulus plan and health insurance overhaul. But he reminds his constituents what he has fought against..Continue reading

Hostage Situation
by John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
In hostage situations, the negotiator is usually hunkered down in a van somewhere, talking into the wireless. But President Obama conducted his negotiations in the ornate East Room of the White House, using his eighth news conference as his forum. Continue reading

Pentagon Seeks To Buy Up Copies Of Afghan War Book
by Tom Gjelten, NPR
Anthony Shaffer, the author of a new Afghanistan war memoir, figures on selling 10,000 copies of his book before it has even been released. The buyer would be the Pentagon, which objects to some of the material in the book and has offered to buy the entire first print run to keep it out of circulation. Continue reading

When JFK defused the Catholic question
by David S. Broder, The Washington Post

Fifty years ago today, John Kennedy gave one of the best political speeches I ever heard, a plea for religious tolerance that has strange pertinence now when a little-known minister had been threatening to burn copies of the Koran to strike a blow against Muslims.  Continue reading



Sep 14, 2010

On the Radar: September 14, 2010

After Volatile Primary Season, GOP Faces New Test
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
As the long and turbulent primary season of the midterm election campaign drew to a close on Monday, the Republican establishment was placing its confidence on hold and bracing for the prospect that voters in yet another state would send a message of defiance to party leaders in Washington.  Continue reading

Primaries end with establishment on the defensive
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The tumultuous primary season will come to a close on Tuesday with the potential for still more shocks to the political establishment. The question is what the upheaval of the primaries says about the prospects for November. Continue reading

The final sprint
by Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
As the 111th Congress returns, Americans are more pessimistic than ever about the prospects for the nation’s future and that of generations to come. Most of the biggest challenges faced by this Congress and President Barack Obama when they took office two years ago still dominate the headlines today. America is at war, the economy is sputtering and the unemployment rate is still at breathtaking highs. Continue reading

An American Hero
by Martha Raddatz, ABC News
Martha Raddatz profiles Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta. Watch video

Jobless are straining Social Security's disability benefits program
by Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post
The number of former workers seeking Social Security disability benefits has spiked with the nation's economic problems, heightening concern that the jobless are expanding the program beyond its intended purpose of aiding the disabled. Continue reading

Congress Returns, Tax Cuts Loom Large
by John Dickerson, CBS News
Summer's over and DC is back to business. To help break down, what to watch this week, CBS News' Jill Jackson and Marc Ambinder join John Dickerson to discuss the new tax cuts fracas and the Tea Party/Establishment battles in Del. and N.H. Watch video



Sep 15, 2010

On the Radar: September 15, 2010

GOP Insurgents Win in Del. and NY
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The Tea Party movement scored another victory on Tuesday, helping to propel a dissident Republican, Christine O’Donnell, to an upset win over Representative Michael N. Castle in the race for the United States Senate nomination in Delaware. Continue reading

Christine O'DConnell beats Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware Republican Senate primary
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Christine O'Donnell, a "tea party"-backed long-shot candidate, stunned the Republican establishment Tuesday night by defeating nine-term Rep. Michael N. Castle in Delaware's GOP Senate primary, one of the most shocking upsets in an already tumultuous primary season. Continue reading

The Death of a Moderate: How O'Donnell won
by James A. Barnes, National Journal
How did Christine O'Donnell go from being a weak third place finisher in the '06 Delaware Republican Senate primary to slaying the party's top vote getter, Rep. Mike Castle, and becoming the GOP 2010 Senate nominee today? An analysis of the returns from the state's 41 state representative districts shows that ...Continue reading

Dems gamble by shifting fire from Bush to Boehner
by Charles Babington, Associated Press
President Barack Obama has frequently reminded Americans that the nation's economic crisis began under George W. Bush, a largely unpopular and universally known foil. Now all but ignoring Bush, Obama is criticizing a Republican most voters have never heard of: House Minority Leader John Boehner. Continue reading

Bill to AId Small Businesses Advances in Senate
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
The Senate sprinted ahead Tuesday with a bill Democrats say will help small businesses, including a controversial $30 billion fund designed to encourage community banks to lend to small firms. Continue reading

U.S. Debates Karzai's Place in Fighting Corruption
by Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times
The Obama administration is debating whether to make Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, a more central player in efforts to root out corruption in his own government, including giving him more oversight of graft investigators and notifying him.... Continue reading

Judicial panel weighs courtroom cameras
by Joan Biskupic, USA Today
As the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary face congressional criticism for barring cameras from courtrooms, the U.S. Judicial Conference is considering a small step toward testing cameras at some trials. Continue reading



Sep 27, 2010

On the Radar: September 27, 2010

Third-party candidates could tip close elections
by Charles Babington, Associated Press
Whether they are sore losers or never-say-die patriots, third-party candidates threaten to tip a handful of congressional and gubernatorial races to contenders who otherwise might have lost this fall. Continue reading

Can women save the Democrats?
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Can women save the Democrats? The gender contours of American politics have been clear for many years. Democrats have long enjoyed a decided advantage among female voters, less so among men. Over the next five weeks, Democrats' hopes of holding the House and Senate may depend on their success...Continue reading

Democrats Unleash Ads Focusing on Rivals’ Pasts
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority. Continue reading

Campaigns Try to Make Hay With GOP Pledge
by Neil King, Jr. and Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times
Congressional candidates from both parties scrambled Friday to take advantage of the new Republican legislative blueprint, ahead of midterm elections that are turning in large part into a battle of governing philosophies. Continue reading

The Palin Effect
by John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
Will Sarah Palin's power hold through to the general election?  Continue reading

China's growing military clout and East Asia's future
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
As our economic power declines, how the U.S. deals with the rise of China's status could determine whether East Asia's future is one of peace or war. Continue reading

Morgan Stanley to Curb Corporate Campaign Donations
by Eamon Javers, CNBC
Morgan Stanley is the latest firm to announce that it will not take advantage of a new Supreme Court ruling that allows companies to spend unlimited campaign cash in federal elections. Continue reading


Sep 28, 2010

On the Radar: September 28, 2010

As Laws Shift, Voters Cast Ballots Weeks Before the Polls Close
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
At least one-third of all ballots across the country this year will be cast before Election Day, party officials said, reflecting a steady rise in early voting that is profoundly influencing how political campaigns are conducted in many parts of the country. Continue reading

Democrats go after Gov. Perry in Texas
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
In a surprise move, the Democratic Governors Association has decided to up the ante in Texas, with plans to launch an attack ad against Gov. Rick Perry (R ) that assails him as a career politician who has lost touch with the people of the Lone Star State. Continue reading

In backyards and on campus, Obama rallies Dems
by Charles Babington, Associated Press
Five weeks to Election Day, President Barack Obama is trying to rekindle some of his 2008 campaign magic on college campuses while also devoting more time to a relatively new format of backyard visits that give him time to explain his policies in cozy, unhurried settings. Continue reading

C.I.A. Steps Up Drone Attacks on Taliban in Pakistan
by Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmidt, The New York Times
The C.I.A. has drastically increased its bombing campaign in the mountains of Pakistan in recent weeks, American officials said. The strikes are part of an effort by military and intelligence operatives to try to cripple the Taliban in a stronghold being used to plan attacks against American troops in Afghanistan. Continue reading

Emanuel near decision on mayoral bid
by Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
Rahm Emanuel is nearing a decision on whether to the Obama administration and explore a run for mayor of Chicago, a source close to the White House chief of staff said late Monday. Continue reading

The Significance of the Small Business Bill
The New York Times
The Times’s Michael D. Shear and John Harwood discuss why President Obama’s signature on the small business bill is not expected to change the harsh environment that the Democratic Party has been facing in recent weeks. Watch video

Foreign firms, quit bashing us
by Jeanne Cummings, POLTICO
On the campaign trail, President Barack Obama elicits cheers when he rails against tax loopholes that he says benefit foreign companies that have operations in this country. It’s a sound bite that seems eminently fair to average voters, particularly those suffering through today’s tough economic times. Continue reading

Justice Kagan faces first Supreme Court test Monday
by Joan Biskupic, USA Today
For months before she became a Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan, then the U.S. solicitor general, was nearly as much a fixture in the majestic courtroom as the nine justices. Continue reading 


Sep 29, 2010

On the Radar: September 29, 2010

Ohio Tests Arguments of Midterms
by Jeff Zeleny and Dalia Sussman, The New York Times
Five weeks before the midterm elections, as Republicans seek to ride a wave of disapproval over the direction of the country, two key races in Ohio offer a window into the opportunities and quandaries facing both parties as voters narrow their choices in a climate of dire economic anxiety. Continue reading

The Buck Starts Here
by John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Telling people to "buck up" suggests they are ignorant, inattentive, or lazy. This doesn't seem a promising approach to bringing Democrats out of their fuming repose. Continue reading

Obama's Rescue Mission in
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Will Madison be remembered as the beginning of a Democratic rebound that could save the House and Senate from falling into Republican hands on Nov. 2 or just a fleeting moment of good music and stirring rhetoric in a bleak year for the White House? Continue reading

Parties Heighten Their Pitch to Seniors
By Naftali Bendavid and Amy Merrick, The Wall Street Journal
Democrats and Republicans are waging an intense fight for the loyalties of older voters, who turn out reliably in midterm elections and whose fears have been stoked this year by the battle over health care. Continue reading

Obama says he's Christian 'by choice'
By Christi Parsons and Peter Nicholas, The Los Angeles Times
At a campaign stop in Albuquerque, the president responds to a question about his faith by saying 'the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead.' Continue reading