November 2010

Nov 01, 2010

On the Radar: November 1, 2010

Candidates Advance Final Arguments
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Republicans made their closing argument on Sunday for capturing control of Congress, assailing President Obama as a champion of wasteful and excessive government, as Democrats countered that returning power to Republicans would embolden... Read more 

Dems hope to limit losses in campaign's last hours
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
His congressional majority in peril, President Barack Obama tried to drum up enthusiasm Sunday for two more years of Democratic control while GOP leaders buoyed by polls ahead of Tuesday's elections see voters rejecting his policies. Read more

As Midwest suffers, Democrats may lose a key foothold
By Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane, The Washington Post
On Oct. 6, 2006, Senate candidate Sherrod Brown stood before a crowd of Ohio State University students and predicted the political upheaval that was about to take place. Read more

Next for GOP leaders: Stopping Sarah Palin
by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, POLITICO
Top Republicans in Washington and in the national GOP establishment say the 2010 campaign highlighted an urgent task that they will begin in earnest as soon as the elections are over: Stop Sarah Palin. Read more

2010 debates: Fools to the left, jokers to the right
by John Harris, POLITICO
In Pennsylvania, there was the showdown between two Senate candidates whose talking points had become so robotic that local reporters made up a drinking game, in which participants were required to chug every time the Democrat mentioned... Read more

With Victory, Republicans Would Face Uncertainty
by John Harwood, The New York Times
If voters engineer the Congressional makeover that strategists in both parties now expect, the implications for governance over the next two years, and for America’s political future, remain a mystery. Read more

How Obama might recover
by David Broder, The Washington Post
When the midterm election cycle began, the prevailing opinion was that Barack Obama was cleverer and more inspirational than anyone else on the scene. As it ends, nothing appears to have changed. Read more

Elitism: The Charge That Obama Can’t Shake
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
In the Boston-area home of a wealthy hospital executive one Saturday evening this month, President Obama departed from his usual campaign stump speech and offered an explanation as to why Democrats were seemingly doing so poorly this election season. Read more

Tea Party Kingmaker Becomes Power Unto Himself
by Kate Zernike, The New York Times
On election night last year, South Carolina’s freshman senator, Jim DeMint, convened a conference call with 4,000 supporters to declare the next battle: conservatives had to rally behind... Read more

It's a new ground game in Nevada
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Most of the money is from out of state. Most of the messages are negative. Even the grass-roots part of politics looks and feels like telemarketing. Read more

Wanted: Inexperienced candidates
By Gloria Borger, CNN
Sometimes it seems as if we've seen this movie before: Voters want change, and a candidate's long résumé is not necessarily a plus. Read more

Obama to Make Final Push
By Aamer Madhani, National Journal
President Obama made his last public campaign appearance this cycle at a rally in Cleveland on Sunday night, but Democratic officials plan on keeping him in the spotlight today as they press ahead with one last appeal to voters before Election Day. Read more

Bomb Plot Shows Key Role Played by Intelligence
By Mark Mazzetti, Robert F. Worth, Eric Lipton, The New York Times
In the middle of last week, a woman who claimed her name was Hanan al-Samawi, a 22-year-old engineering student, walked into the U.P.S. office in the upscale Hadda neighborhood of Sana, Yemen’s sprawling capital city. Read more

Cargo Bombs: Small bombs, big impact
By Pete Williams, NBC News
The latest on the cargo plane bomb plot, where officials say small bombs could have done big damage.  Watch video

Suspect In Custody As Bomb Investigation Goes On
By Tom Gjelten, NPR
The investigation into last week's attempted cargo bombing is proceeding Sunday on three continents. Intelligence and law enforcement officials are scrambling in the United States, in Britain and on the Arabian Peninsula to determine who was responsible for the package bombs... Read more

Obama Walks Fine Political Line on Terror Threat
By Helene Cooper and Peter Baker, The New York Times
Trying to manage a terrorism threat in the middle of an election campaign, the Obama administration is walking a political and national security tightrope. Read more


Nov 02, 2010

On the Radar: November 2, 2010

Republicans Ride Independent Wave — but for How Long?
By Michael Duffy, TIME Magazine
The same independent voters who swept Republicans from power in both 2006 and 2008 are expected to take a broom to dozens of congressional Democrats at the polls on Tuesday. Read more

Democrats bracing for major losses
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The nationwide barrage of last-ditch attack ads and the sniping among the country's political leaders appeared to have little effect on the dynamics of the year. Republicans enter Election Day confident that they will recapture control of the House, while Democrats are preparing themselves for what appears likely to be a significantly smaller majority in the Senate. Read more

After the witches and Aqua Buddhas? A hot shower
By John F Harris and Jonathan Martin, POLITCO
American democracy has never been for the faint of heart. But in 2010 — the year of the Aqua Buddha, debates about witchcraft and a yearning by voters in many states that they had the choice that Nevada offers — “none of these candidates”— to hop on this ride it also helped to have an iron stomach. Read more

Election Day Cheat Sheet
By John Dickerson, CBS News
Get your last bits of election speculation and guessing out now--because starting Tuesday night we will have actual facts. People will vote. Candidates will win. Careers will end. Power in Washington will shift. There are 435 elections in the House, 37 in the Senate, and 37 gubernatorial elections. To help you sift through the returns, here's a reader and viewer's guide to some key things to watch. Read more

Democrats Face Biggest House Midterm Defeat in Years
By Catherine Dodge and Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg News
The Republicans are poised to retake the U.S. House and narrow Democrats’ margin in the Senate, delivering a rebuke to President Barack Obama’s party in a campaign shaped by voter anxiety over jobs and the economy. Read more

Debt Panel Pauses Until After Elections
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
The bipartisan debt-reduction commission that President Obama created eight months ago will begin meeting privately soon after Tuesday’s elections, with just three weeks to try to agree on cutbacks to Americans’ favorite tax breaks and benefit programs. Read more

CFO’s Big Cost Worry: Employee Benefits
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
A new survey of 508 U.S. chief financial officers and senior comptrollers find far more of them (84%) worried about rising employee benefit costs than worried about rising raw material (27%) or energy costs (21%). Read more

Suspected Printer Bomber Has Jihadist History
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
The man who authorities believe prepared the printer bombs and dispatched the so-called "underwear bomber" on Christmas Day in an attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit, may be a recent entrant in the headlines, but he has had a trail of chilling attempts. Read more

Yemen Plot Puts Spotlight On Saudi Bomb-Maker
By Tom Gjelten, NPR
For months, a top target of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Yemen has been Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric and al-Qaida propagandist who allegedly inspired both Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the accused Christmas Day bomber; and Nidal Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the killing of 12 fellow soldiers and a civilian at Fort Hood, Texas. Read more




Nov 03, 2010

On the Radar: November 3, 2010

Republicans Win Control of House
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Republicans swept to control of the U.S. House, reversing four years of Democratic gains and setting up a new balance of power in Washington. Read more

Once again, the electorate demanded a new start
by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
There is no blunter way for voters to send a message. For the third election in a row, Americans kicked a political party out of power. Read more

After midterm wins, GOP vows to block Obama's agenda
by Dan Balz and William Branigin, The Washington Post
Republican leaders, buoyed by recapturing the House and gaining seats in the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, vowed Wednesday to pursue their plans to downsize the federal government and said voters had vindicated their efforts to block President Obama's agenda. Read more

The Elephant in the Room
by John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
We are a nation of swingers. In the last 16 years, each party has had a presidential victory and taken control of Congress in what was heralded as a realignment of American politics. Now it's happened again. House Republicans got the car keys back, to borrow Barack Obama's overused metaphor. But it wasn't a victory. Read more

In Republican Victories, Tide Turns Starkly
by Peter Baker, The New York Times
Somewhere along the way, the apostle of change became its target, engulfed by the same currents that swept him to the White House two years ago. Now, President Obama must find a way to recalibrate with nothing less than his presidency on the line. Read more

Justices challenge ban on violent video games
by Joan Biskupic, USA Today
Several Supreme Court justices challenged a California official's attempt Tuesday to defend a ban on violent video games for minors in one of the more engaging — and amusing — sessions at the high court in years. Read more

In Parcel Bomb Plot, Two Dark Inside Jokes
by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, The New York Times
The would-be terrorists in Yemen made a sardonic choice when they sent two package bombs to Chicago last week: they addressed the parcels to two historical figures notorious in Middle Eastern lore for the persecution of Muslims. Read more

Nov 04, 2010

On the Radar: November 4, 2010

Tuesday's results are open to (careful) interpretation
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
History is replete with politicians and political parties that misinterpreted the meaning of elections. President Obama and GOP leaders are in danger of doing so, too.  Read more

Democrats Outrun by a 2-Year G.O.P. Comeback Plan
By Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The PowerPoint slides presented to House Republicans in January 2009 seemed incongruously optimistic at a time when the very word “hope” belonged to the newly ascendant Democrats and their incoming president, Barack Obama. Read more

I Don't Feel Your Pain: At his news conference, Obama struggles to show that he "gets it."
By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Every year the president's doctor gives him a physical. In the second year of his term, the voters give him a colonic. Or, as President Obama put it at his news conference Wednesday, "a shellacking." Read more

Election doesn't end major discord for GOP, Obama
By Charles Babington, The Associated Press
Barely an hour after President Barack Obama invited congressional Republicans to post-election talks to work together on major issues, the Senate's GOP leader had a blunt message: His party's main goal is denying Obama re-election. Read more

It's not 1994 again
By Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times
Democrats are apt to prettify recollections of the aftermath of the Republican takeover of the House in 1994. But Obama isn't showing signs of being Clinton, and Boehner's no self-destructing Gingrich. Read more

Election results and President Obama's mistakes
By David Broder, The Washington Post
The message to President Obama from Tuesday's election could not have been plainer: Don't abandon your goals. Change your way of operating. Read more

Republicans target health-care bill, government spending as Obama acknowledges election setback
By Anne E. Kornblut, Paul Kane and Shailagh Murray, The Washington Post
Leaders of the new Republican majority emerged emboldened Wednesday, promising to slash the size of government and setting their sights on repealing President Obama's signature health-care overhaul. Read more

Tea Party Wins House for Republicans, Wants Rewards in Congress
By Lisa Lerer and Alison Fitzgerald, Bloomberg News
While losses by Tea Party-backed candidates may have helped cost Republicans control of the U.S. Senate, the movement furnished the intensity and enthusiasm that enabled the party to seize a majority in the House. Read more

Self-funders strike out big time
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
To get a sense of how badly Meg Whitman miscalculated in investing more than $143 million of her own money in her 13-point loss in the California governor’s race against Democrat Jerry Brown, it’s useful to parse her spending: Her cost per vote: $47. His cost per vote: $6.34. Read more

Fed to Spend $600 Billion to Speed Up Recovery
By David Sanger and Sewell Chan, The New York Times
The Federal Reserve, getting ahead of the battles that will dominate national politics over the next two years, moved Wednesday to jolt the economy into recovery with a bold but risky plan to pump $600 billion into the banking system. Read more

Shift May Push Democrats to Compromise on Tax Cuts
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
President Obama on Wednesday invited Congressional Republican leaders to negotiate about extending the soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts, but he stood his ground by arguing against the Republicans’ demand to keep those cuts for income above $250,000. Read more



Nov 05, 2010

On the Radar: November 5, 2010

Long-time Washington Week panelist Charles R. McDowell Jr. dies at 84

The GOP Blueprint
By Major Garrett and Susan Davis, National Journal
The largest class of House Republican freshmen since 1938 doesn’t have a name, but several immediately spring to mind. Eraser. Restart. Or just BB (as in, Before Barack).
The class will bring its share of inexperienced lawmakers and some who might be fairly characterized as ultraconservative. Read more

Obama Aide Adjusts Course for a Comeback
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
At a time of tumult, the corner office in the West Wing is a center of calm. With the rest of Washington in a frenzy over the “shellacking” President Obama’s party took in this week’s elections, his new chief of staff quietly and methodically plots out a refashioned White House to manage his recovery.  Read more

The ego factor: Can Barack Obama change?
By John F. Harris and Glenn Thrush, POLITICO
In the anthology of Barack Obama quotations, one of the classics came just hours before the event that made him the hottest property in American politics.  Read more

Rivalry Tests Tea-Party Clout
By Naftali Bendavid and Patrick O’Connor, The Wall Street Journal
House Republicans are embroiled in a leadership struggle just days after their sweeping electoral victory, testing how much influence tea-party passions will have on how lawmakers run the chamber. Read more

For G.O.P., Big Ambitions Face Daunting Obstacles
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
Republican leaders in Congress are preparing to take power in two months with ambitious and sometimes contradictory goals for economic and fiscal policies, leaving little common ground with President Obama and much uncertainty about the potential impact on the nation’s problems.  Read more

GOP deciding which direction to go with new authority after midterm victory
by Shailagh Murray and Perry Bacon Jr., The Washington Post
Jubilant over their landslide victory in the House and their pickup of six Senate seats, Republican leaders nevertheless face a dilemma as they debate how to exert their new authority. Read more

For Obama, Foreign Policy May Offer Avenues for Success
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
The elections on Tuesday gutted the Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee, paved the way for a pro-Israel Cuban-American to preside over the House Foreign Affairs Committee and removed the most antiwar Democrat from the leading Senate foreign policy committee. Read more

GOP Faces Test on Budget Cuts
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Let the spending cuts begin. That was, after all, what Republicans campaigned on. Ohio's John Boehner, soon to be House speaker, promised "a new approach that hasn't been tried before in Washington—by either party. Read more

Nov 08, 2010

On the Radar: November 8, 2010

Obama supports U.N. Security Council seat for India
By Christi Parsons, The Los Angeles Times
President Obama said Monday that India should rise to the status of holding a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, a dramatic show of respect to the powerful nation he hopes will play a key role in support of U.S. interests around the world. Read more

Obama's Mid-Course Correction (video)
Featuring John Dickerson, CBS News
Harry Smith talks to CBS News political analyst, John Dickerson, about President Obama's "60 Minutes" interview and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Watch

In Lame-Duck Session, a Hint of the Governing to Come
By John Harwood, The New York Times
Triumphant Republicans will begin moving past the euphoria of midterm election celebrations. Their effort to translate campaign poetry into governing prose will involve negotiations within the Republican Party as well as with Democrats. Read more

Democrats pin losses on Obama's disconnect
By Karen Tumulty and Dan Balz, The Washington Post
President Obama's failure to channel the anxieties of ordinary voters has shaken the faith that many Democrats once had in his political gifts and his team's political skill. Read more

Democrats Divided on Tax Cut Strategy
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats are struggling for a strategy to deal with the soon-to-expire Bush-era tax cuts, each side uncertain whether the other is up for a fight with Republicans in the wake of the Democrats’ election trouncing — or whether they could win, in any event. Read more

GOP comeback strategy factored in lagging recovery
By Liz Sidoti, The Associated Press
All but wiped out in 2008, Republicans groping for a comeback strategy determined there would be no swift return to economic health under incoming President Barack Obama. Read more

President Obama isolated ahead of 2012
By Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei, POLITICO
President Barack Obama has performed his act of contrition. Now comes the hard part, according to Democrats around the country: reckoning with the simple fact that he’s isolated himself from virtually every group that matters in American politics. Read more

A New Battleground
By Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times
Here's one thing last week's congressional election wasn't about: foreign policy. The campaign was long, loud and polarized, but somehow the fact that the United States is at war in Afghanistan and Iraq — and carrying out bombings in Pakistan and Yemen — went almost unmentioned. Read more

Now Appearing: George W. Bush
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
When the hip-hop star Kanye West says he can “connect with” George W. Bush, perhaps it is time to think about whether America has begun to reconsider its 43rd president. Read more

Geopolitical Shift: Old Europe to New Asia?
By James Kitfield,
For many years, analysts have argued that the center of gravity in geopolitics was shifting inexorably from West to East, from Old Europe to New Asia. Certainly the Obama administration's travel schedule would seem to indicate a shift in strategic focus to Asia. On Friday, President Obama left for the longest foreign trip of his presidency, a 10-day, four-country swing through Asia and the subcontinent. Read more




Nov 09, 2010

On the Radar: November 9, 2010

Obama's passage to India
by John Dickerson, CBS News
John Dickerson talks to senior political producer, Rob Hendin, about President Obama's visit to New Delhi and The Chicago Sun Times' Lynn Sweet on Obama's reception in India and what happens when he returns home. Watch video

Obama defends Fed's steps to aid U.S. economy
by Christi Parsons and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
The president voices support for the central bank's cash-infusion plan as it faces criticism from countries including Russia and China ahead of the Group of 20 summit. Read more

Barack Obama can’t escape economic debate
by John Maggs, POLITICO
Just when President Barack Obama was enjoying a respite from domestic politics, a pointed question at his news conference in New Delhi on Monday was a sobering reminder that the problems he had hoped to leave at home have followed him to Asia. Read more

Tax Cut Timing Is Proving Problematic for Democrats
by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
When one party controls the White House and Congress, it controls the calendar for what gets done and when. So how is it that Democrats ended up in such a fix over what to do about the expiring Bush-era tax cuts? Read more

New Push to Ban Earmarks in Senate |
by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
Lawmakers aligned with the tea party are moving quickly to show their strength by trying to ban budget earmarking in the Senate, where support is still strong for the practice critics deride as pork-barrel spending. Read more

House Democrats Hope for Deal in Leadership Fight
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
House Democrats are urgently hoping for a deal to resolve a leadership race that is aggravating tensions within the party following its election losses Read more

Outside spending redraws 2010 map
by Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
By August, Arizona Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick had raised more than $1.4 million for her campaign. Her opponent, Paul Gosar, had raised just $410,000 and spent all but $41,000 of it after his primary. Should be a slam-dunk for Kirkpatrick, right? Not this year. Read more

Nov 10, 2010

On the Radar: November 10, 2010

Is Obama's Outreach to the Muslims Working?
by Aamer Madhari, National Journal
In his much-anticipated address in Jakarta today, President Obama didn’t offer the rhetorical breadth or ambition of the landmark speech he made to the Muslim world in Cairo last year. Read more

Challenges Await U.S. at Group of 20 Meeting
by David E. Sanger, The New York Times
Anyone wondering what President Obama will face when he arrives in South Korea on Wednesday for a global financial summit meeting need look no further than an announcement by China’s leading state-endorsed rating agency, which downgraded the United States’ credit rating on Tuesday — and provocatively questioned American leadership of the global economy. Read more

Obama officials moving away from 2011 Afghan date
by Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama's pledge that he'd begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy. Read more

Pelosi Steps Into Hoyer-Clyburn Fray, Says She Wants Both at the Table
by Major Garrett, National Journal
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stepped gingerly into an increasingly contentious race for the No. 2 Democratic position between Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., saying today for the first time she wants both at her leadership table. Read more

Republicans Maneuver to Oust Their Leader
by Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Turning their attention to the 2012 presidential election, Republican leaders are digging in for a battle over control of the Republican National Committee, judging that its role in fund-raising, get-out-the-vote operations and other tasks will be critical to the effort to topple President Obama. Read more

House Democrats Hope for Deal in Leadership Fight
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
House Democrats are urgently hoping for a deal to resolve a leadership race that is aggravating tensions within the party following its election losses. Read more

DeMint Gathers Earmarks Ban Support
by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) has rounded up half the 12-member freshman class of Senate Republicans to cosponsor his proposal to ban earmarks, including high-profile tea party allies Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Read more

$25 Billion in Cuts, if the Math Worked
by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
Note to the incoming Republican majority in the House: Eliminating government programs that do not exist does not save money. Read more

Washington Worries About Its New Power Couple
by Peter Baker, The New York Times
At one of those ritualistic Washington dinners where the commander in chief is expected to perform stand-up comedy, President Obama once noted that he had an affinity for Representative John A. Boehner, the Republican leader. Read more

Decision Points: Bush Recalls His Lowest Points in New Memoir
by Martha Raddatz, ABC News
A new memoir from former President George W. Bush reveals some of the most crucial moments in his personal life and eight years in office, particularly his response to Hurricane Katrina. In "Decision Points,"...Read more

Bad news Democrats -- 2012 could be worse than 2010
by Charles Babington, Associated Press
Last week's election was bad for Democrats. The next one could be worse. Senate Democrats running in 2012 will be trying to hold their jobs in states where Republicans just scored major congressional and gubernatorial victories — Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Virginia. Read more

No comment
by John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
Sarah Palin is fighting elites: the GOP establishment, know-it-alls like Karl Rove, the mainstream media, the Federal Reserve. What unites all fronts in this battle is her conviction that people who claim to know the truth, or what's best for you, do not. Palin doesn't let people tell her to be quiet, and you shouldn't, either. Read more

No Charles in Destruction of CIA Interrogation Tapes
by Mark Mazzetti and Charlie Savage,  The New York Times
Central Intelligence Agency officials will not face criminal charges for the destruction of dozens of videotapes depicting the brutal interrogation of terrorism suspects, the Justice Department said Tuesday.   Read more 




Nov 15, 2010

On the Radar: November 15, 2010

Democrats Face Headwinds in Spending-Plan Initiative
by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
As a lame-duck Congress convenes Monday, Democrats are still hoping to pass a $1 trillion year-end budget bill in spite of the anti-spending fervor that dealt a blow to their party in the midterm elections. Read more

New Developments in Tax Cut Debate
by John Dickerson, CBS News
Harry Smith spoke with political analyst John Dickerson on the tax cut debate and the most recent earmark conversation that's brewing. Watch video

Axelrod Says Plouffe to Replace Him at White House New Year
Aamer Madhani and James Barnes, National Journal
President Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod, will likely be replaced by campaign strategist David Plouffe when he leaves the White House early next year. Read more

Obama Returns, Facing Unpredictable Congress in a Lame-Duck Session
by Jackie Calmes and David Herszenhorn, The New York Times
President Obama returned from Asia on Sunday to face the new post-election reality at home: in an unpredictable lame-duck session of Congress starting Monday, emboldened Republicans are poised to try to force an extension of the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy and block action on a variety of domestic and foreign initiatives. Read more

Pinning down an Afghan timetable
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The White House has pledged to begin troop withdrawals in July 2011, but the Karzai government doesn't expect to be ready until 2014. What does that mean for winding down operations? Read more

U.S. Plan Envisions Path to Ending Afghan Combat
by Peter Baker and Rod Norland, The New York Times

The Obama administration has developed a plan to begin transferring security duties in select areas of Afghanistan to that country’s forces over the next 18 to 24 months, with an eye toward ending the American combat mission there by 2014, officials said Sunday. Read more

Sober suggestions from Obama's debt commission
by David S. Broder, The Washington Post
What Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have given America is the equivalent of a cold shower after a night of heavy drinking. It's sober-up time. Read more

Lots of Republican Toes in the 2012 Waters, but No Rush to Dive In
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Tim Pawlenty, the departing governor of Minnesota, is gearing up for a book tour in January and highlighting his opposition to the new federal health care law. Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi is trying to persuade donors to remain neutral until...Read more

The GOP takeover in the states
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The intense focus on the coming struggles between President Obama and congressional Republicans obscures one of the most important and underreported results of the midterm elections: the GOP takeover in the states. Read more

Nov 16, 2010

On the Radar: November 16, 2010

In sudden reversal, GOP leader McConnell will back ban on earmarks
By Shailagh Murray, The Washington Post
In an abrupt reversal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday endorsed a moratorium on earmarks that GOP conservatives are seeking to send a signal that the Republican Party is serious about curbing federal spending. Read more

Rand Paul: I'm a "Fan" of Divided Government
With John Dickerson, CBS News
With 37 incoming members who also identify themselves as Tea Party politicians, it won't be his affiliation that makes Sen.-Elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unique on Capitol Hill in January. View

Tea Party Wins GOP Vow to Ban Earmarks
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
In a swift victory for tea-party activists, the Senate's top Republican agreed Monday to a plan to ban GOP members from proposing earmarks for spending bills, suggesting that what was once a core part of legislating has now become politically unacceptable. Read more

What to Expect From Lame Ducks
With John Harwood, CNBC
Will lawmakers be able to accomplish anything in this lame duck session? View

Bachmann Supports Tax Cut Compromise, But Not if Tied to Unemployment Benefits
From ABC News
The leader of the House Tea Party Caucus said she would support a compromise on extending the Bush era tax cuts – but not if they are tied to an extension of the unemployment benefits. View

No clear favorite for 2012 GOP nomination
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The first Republican debate has been announced. The early media handicapping has begun. Anticipation in the political community is running high. By those signs, the curtain is set to rise on the 2012 GOP presidential campaign. But what about the candidates? Read more

Republican operatives hit Ben Bernanke
By John Maggs, POLITICO
One of the last things left that Republicans and Democrats have been able to agree on is that monetary policy, as conducted by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, ought to be insulated from partisan politics. Until now. Read more

Uncle Sam's Backyard
With Eamon Javers, CNBC
The government is in need of revenue, but Uncle Sam may only have to look at its own backyard to find a few billion dollars laying around. Read more

Deficit Commission Calls For Defense Budget Cuts
With Tom Gjelten, NPR
The Pentagon's budget has doubled since September 11, and a growing number of Republicans are joining the calls for cuts. Several newly-elected conservatives say the budget deficit is so large that they're open to slashing the Defense department budget to reduce the debt. Listen

Kagan offers practicality to arguments, settles in as new justice
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
She sits at the far end of the bench and, as the newest justice and first appointee in nearly 40 years without prior judicial experience, Elena Kagan could have found herself on the fringe of the Supreme Court's fast-paced oral arguments. Read more


Nov 17, 2010

On the Radar: November 17, 2010

Obama's bipartisan meeting on tax cuts postoned
By Lori Montgomery and Anne E. Kornblut, The Washington Post
The bipartisan White House meeting President Obama had hoped to hold this week to discuss tax cuts and other matters has been postponed, officials said Tuesday. Read more

Top Republican Official, Breaking With Party Chairman, Resigns
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The political director of the Republican National Committee resigned Tuesday, delivering a scathing condemnation of Michael Steele, the embattled party chairman, whom he criticized as spending too much, raising too little and failing to fully capitalize on the breadth of Republican opportunities in the midterm elections. Read more

GOP governors look to rebrand their party
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
There's nothing subtle about the goal at the Republican Governors Association meeting that begins here on Wednesday - nothing less than an effort to start rebranding a party long known as a bastion of white men. Read more

Peter Roskam: Republicans won't bend on taxes
By Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
President Barack Obama is hoping to get a bipartisan road map for managing the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in January. But if he’s looking for compromise from Republicans, he isn’t going to get it. Read more

Pelosi expected to remain House Democrats' leader
By Charles Babington, The Associated Press
Despite suffering near-historic election losses this month, House Democrats appear ready to keep their leadership team intact, with Nancy Pelosi of California still on top. Read more

Why Democrats don't dump Nancy Pelosi
By Jonathan Allen and John F. Harris, POLITICO
To the outside world, what House Democrats are poised to do later this morning seems to defy logic: Why would politicians who supposedly care above all about public opinion and their own hides stick with an unpopular leader who just carried them through one of the worst election drubbings in decades? Read more

Democrats Air Feelings on Pelosi
By Patrick O'Connor and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
In a tense and somber meeting, Democrats who lost their seats in the midterm election urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon her bid to remain her party's leader in the House. Read more

Geithner Expects a Deal on Tax Cuts
By Danian Paletta and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal 
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday it was "quite likely" the White House and Congress would reach a deal on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts by the end of the year, the clearest indication yet that the two sides will come to an accommodation before rates are set to rise. Read more

Permanently Confusing
By John Dickerson, SLATE
The debate over extending the Bush tax cuts has entered a new phase, at least metaphorically: It used to be a hostage crisis. Now it's a game of chicken. Before the election, President Obama said Republicans were holding middle-class tax cuts hostage: Everyone gets a tax cut or no one does. It was a dramatic analogy, but it had a political flaw: Democrats were watching the windows and blocking the doors. There was enough Democratic support for the GOP position that congressional leaders didn't dare risk a vote. Read more

G.O.P. Opposition Dims Hope for Arms Treaty With Russia
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama’s hopes of ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia by the end of the year appeared to come undone on Tuesday as the chief Senate Republican negotiator moved to block a vote on the pact, one of the White House’s top foreign policy goals, in the lame-duck session of Congress. Read more

Obama Sails Trade Sea, Where Friends Are Foes
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
Conventional wisdom in Washington says that trade policy is one of the few areas where President Obama and Congressional Republicans can work together in the next two years. But making progress will require Mr. Obama to navigate opposition from within his own party, and could test how far he is willing to go in compromising and building new coalitions in the wake of the Republican victories. Read more




Nov 19, 2010

On the Radar: November 19, 2010

Obama Forces Showdown With G.O.P. on Arms Pact
by Peter Baker, The New York Times
Just two weeks after an election that left him struggling to find his way forward, President Obama has decided to confront Senate Republicans in a make-or-break battle over arms control that could be an early test of his mettle heading into the final two years of his term. Read more

Obama arrives in Portugal to meet with NATO allies
by Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
President Obama arrived here this morning for two days of meetings with NATO allies as they craft a new plan for the war in Afghanistan and seek a new mission statement that will keep them relevant in the 21st century. Read more

Jobless-Benefits Rejected
by Janet Hook and Martin Vaughan, The Wall Street Journal
House Republicans Thursday torpedoed a bill to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed, pressing their demand that the $12 billion cost of continuing the program be offset rather than adding to the deficit. Read more

Obama, Democrats fail to agree on plan for expiring tax cuts
by Lori Montgomery and Shailgh Murray, The Washington Post
President Obama and congressional Democrats failed to agree on a strategy Thursday for extending an array of expiring tax breaks, with the party badly divided over whether to temporarily extend the cuts for all taxpayers or stick with their pledge to protect only the middle class. Read more

Tax Extension Not Necessary, Clyburn Says
by Major Garrett, National Journal
Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the new No. 3 leader of House Democrats in the 112th Congress, said it’s not “essential” for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts because if all income taxes go up as scheduled on January 1, “you’ve got a big deficit reduction taking place, which is also a good thing.” Read more

Another 1995-style government shutdown?
by Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO
The head of the influential Americans for Tax Reform is encouraging the new House Republican majority to adopt a take-no-prisoners approach to federal spending — and if that leads to a 1995-style government shutdown, so be it. Read more

Boehner Warns GOP on Debt Ceiling
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Raising the debt ceiling is shaping up as a difficult early vote for the new House GOP majority. Many of the new Republican lawmakers harshly criticized their Democratic opponents during the campaign for voting to raise the limit in the past,  Read more

Give the People What We Want
by John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
If either party does half of what it says it's going to do about the budget deficit, the public is going to be furious. That's the clear message, if there is one, from all the recent public-opinion polls. Read more

Democrats clueless as GOP panders
by Gloria Borger, CNN 
It's hard, when you've run something, to come back and realize you're not going to be in charge anymore. Democrats have been demoted to minority status in the House, and it's probably not much fun.  Read more

The home loan modification mess
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Often, loan servicers have little incentive to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. With reform stalled in the Senate, the best hope for fixing the broken mortgage modification system may lie with the 50 state attorneys general. Read more

Spending Cuts, For Real?
by John Harwood, CNBC
Americans voted for a change of power in this month's midterms, and they may get the cuts they voted for, whether they want them or not,  Watch video

Worm Was Perfect for Sabotaging Centrifuges
by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, The New York Times
Experts dissecting the computer worm suspected of being aimed at Iran’s nuclear program have determined that it was precisely calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control. Read more

Bernanke Translated
by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
In remarks prepared for delivery in Frankfurt Friday morning, and released by the Federal Reserve Thursday night in Washington, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke mounted his most detailed defense against charges that the Fed...Read more

For 3 Midwest governors, public employee compensation takes center stage
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Rick Snyder, the former Gateway executive who was just elected governor of Michigan, calls it the next big national issue, on a scale with health care in its importance to the economic vitality of the country. But unlike health care, this battle... Read more