November 2010

Nov 22, 2010

On the Radar: November 22, 2010

Consensus is forming on what steps to take in cutting the deficit
By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
After an election dominated by vague demands for less debt and smaller government, the sacrifices necessary to achieve those goals are coming into sharp focus. Big cuts at the Pentagon. Higher taxes, including those on home ownership and health care. Smaller Social Security checks and higher Medicare premiums. Read more

State Tests Limits of Spending Cuts
By Deborah Solomon, The Wall Street Journal
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour hailed the Republican wave at the polls this month as a sign that voters want politicians who can cut spending and reduce taxes. Read more

GOP Ranks Fray on Vote to Raise Debt Limit
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
House Republican leaders appear to be headed for a clash with some of the chamber's newly elected members on a vote early next year to increase the amount the government can borrow. Read more

Deficit Reduction: When and How?
With David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Everybody agrees: The long-term deficit is a problem. Agreement, however, often ends there. The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel sat down with two former Congressional Budget Office directors—Democrat Alice Rivlin and Republican Douglas Holtz-Eakin—to discuss the timing of a potential U.S. austerity program, the odds of Washington reaching an agreement on it and what such a deal might mean for U.S. businesses. Read more

Here come the Republicans
By Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times
Republicans will control the House in the new Congress in January, but they're already making their power felt on Capitol Hill. Read more

For Speaker-to-Be, Role Models to Avoid
By John Harwood, The New York Times
Thanksgiving week has temporarily stilled the capital’s transition of power. For the incoming House speaker, John A. Boehner, that is just fine. Read more

Supreme Court Update
With Joan Biskupic, USA Today
A look at how the Supreme Court has been shaping up in this new session. View

For Obama, a Little Help From His Friends
By Jackie Calmes and Peter Baker, The New York Times
As administration officials said farewell to one another upon returning from a two-day summit in Lisbon on Saturday night, they all but exchanged high-fives. The sense of success went to the top: President Obama, shirt-sleeved and smiling, made a rare, brief visit to the press cabin as Air Force One headed home. Read more


Nov 29, 2010

On the Radar: November 29, 2010

U.S. Expands Role of Diplomats in Spying
by Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times
The United States has expanded the role of American diplomats in collecting intelligence overseas and at the United Nations, ordering State Department personnel to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of foreign dignitaries. Read more

Around the World, Distress Over Iran
by David E. Sanger, James Glanz and Jo Becker, The New York Times
In late May 2009, Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, used a visit from a Congressional delegation to send a pointed message to the new American president. Read more

"Do it for Dmitry" doesn't wash
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Obama's attempts to sell the New START treaty to Republicans are becoming increasingly desperate. Read more

Oregon bomb suspect wanted "spectacular show"
by Pete Williams, NBC News
Nineteen-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud is in federal custody, accused of trying to set off what he thought was a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. Watch video

Deficit Reduction from the Left
by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Suddenly, it seems, the conversation inside the Beltway has shifted from whether to attack the deficit to how to conquer it. On the heels of bipartisan budget blueprints from the co-chairman of presidentially appointed panel, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, Read more

Was deficit commission doomed from the start?
by John Maggs, POLITICO
When the politics of an issue overwhelm the abilities of government, presidents appoint commissions. Some, like the Kerner Commission on the urban riots of the 1960s, break through those roadblocks and help address major problems. But many commissions get swamped by the politics that led to their creation and produce very little. Read more

Liberal Groups to Propose Routes to Smaller Deficit
by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
As President Obama’s fiscal commission faces a deadline this week for agreement on a plan to shrink the mounting national debt, liberal organizations will unveil debt-reduction proposals of their own in the next two days...Read more

Democrats Gird for Tax-Relief Battle
by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
Congressional Democrats, under pressure from their liberal wing, are preparing to put up a fight over tax relief for wealthier Americans before they agree to any compromise with Republicans that could extend the Bush-era breaks. Read more

New Political Calculus for Obama, GOP
by John Harwood, The New York Times
President Obama’s relationship with Republican Congressional leaders begins a less predictable phase this week that confronts each side with a new political calculus. Read more

Boehner to Host Ideas Summit for Incoming GOP Governors
by Major Garrett and Billy House, National Journal
House Speaker-designate John Boehner will hold a summit in the Capitol on December 1 with newly elected Republican governors in an effort to solicit ideas on how to reduce federal spending, repeal President Obama’s health care law, and create jobs, National Journal has learned. Read more

American exceptionalism: an old idea and a new political battle
by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Is this a great country or what?  "American exceptionalism" is a phrase that, until recently, was rarely heard outside the confines of think tanks, opinion journals and university history departments. Read more

Suppose neither political party can solve America's problems
by David Broder, The Washington Post
Suppose he is serious. What if Barack Obama is telling the truth about his own beliefs when he says that neither party by itself can realistically hope to solve the challenges facing the United States? Read more

Obama proposes two-year pay freeze for federal workers
by Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times
'Getting this budget under control is going to require some broad sacrifice,' Obama says. The pay freeze, which does not apply to the military, is part of an effort to contain the $1.3-trillion federal deficit, the White House says. Read more

Elbow to Face? Stitches? Let's Play Ball, Obama Say
by Peter Baker, The New York Times
Three days after an elbow to the face resulted in 12 stitches to his lip, Mr. Obama on Monday made his first public appearance since the basketball injury and pre-empted any questions about it with a light-hearted response. Read more

"Do it for Dmitry" doesn't wash
by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration has rolled out all the arguments in its attempt to persuade Republican senators to vote for ratification of its pending nuclear arms control treaty with Russia: It's a good treaty; it's a modest treaty; it would enable the United States to resume inspecting Russian arsenals;  Read more

Nov 30, 2010

On the Radar: November 30, 2010

Officials may be overstating the danger from WikiLeaks
By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
American officials in recent days have warned repeatedly that the release of documents by WikiLeaks could put people's lives in danger. Read more

North Korea Keeps World Guessing
By David Sanger, The New York Times
With North Korea reeling from economic and succession crises, American and South Korean officials early this year secretly began gaming out what would happen if the North, led by one of the world’s most brutal family dynasties, collapsed. Read more

Pay Freezes & Slurpee Summits
With John Harwood, CNBC and The New York Times
President Obama is set to meet with Congressional leaders today. View

Mr. Obama and the G.O.P. Meet
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The shotgun marriage between President Obama and Congressional Republicans officially begins Tuesday morning, when emboldened Republicans and wounded Democrats take their seats in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for their first face-to-face meeting since the midterm elections changed the balance of power in Washington. Read more

Obama, GOP leaders to work on map for days ahead
By Anne E. Kornblut and Shailagh Murray, The Washington Post
When President Obama sits down with the new Republican congressional leaders for their first face-to-face meeting on Tuesday, the stated mission will be to make progress on ratifying an arms agreement with Russia and reaching a deal on soon-to-expire tax cuts. Read more

Proposing pay freeze, Obama aims to seize initiative on economy
By Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons, The Los Angeles Times
President Obama's proposal on Monday to freeze federal workers' pay was an unexpected announcement that represented the first in a series of White House moves to seize the initiative from Republicans on the economy. Read more

Amid Deficit Fears, Obama Freezes Pay
By Peter Baker and Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
President Obama on Monday announced a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers as he sought to address concerns over high annual deficits and appealed to Republicans to find a common approach to restoring the nation’s economic and fiscal health. Read more

Supreme Court to hear Ariz. campaign finance case
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take up a nationally watched dispute over an Arizona campaign finance law that gives extra public funds to candidates who face well-off, privately financed opponents. Read more

U.S. and South Korea Balk at Talks With North
By Helene Cooper and Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times 
The United States, South Korea and Japan are all balking at China’s request for emergency talks with North Korea over the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, as high-profile military exercises between South Korea and the United States in the Yellow Sea continued on Monday in a show of force. Read more

Attention Deficit
By John Dickerson, SLATE
In 1990, before the age of e-mail, William Schneider called George H.W. Bush "the in-box president." He was a caretaker rather than an ideologue, ready to handle whatever crisis hit his desk. This was seen as a limitation. Voters, the theory went, didn't just want a good steward. They wanted a president with a vision. Read more

Poll Positions
With Eamon Javers, CNBC
Most Americans feel taxes will need to be increased. View

Tax cuts in black and white
By Carrie Budoff Brown and John Maggs, POLITICO
In the complex debate over the Bush-era tax cuts, both parties are guilty of shading the truth. Republicans charge that Democrats oppose any tax cuts for the wealthy and would decimate the small-business sector — neither of which is entirely true. Read more