January 2011

Jan 03, 2011

On the Radar: January 3, 2011

Caught on Tape: Navy Commander's Raunchy Skits
With Martha Raddatz, ABC News
Many questions about how Owen Honors was promoted despite controversial videos.View

Spending showdowns will test new Congress leaders
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
Two early showdowns on spending and debt will signal whether the new Congress can find common ground despite its partisan divisions or whether it's destined for gridlock and brinkmanship that could threaten the nation's economic health. Read more

The upward mobility gap
By Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times
College-educated Americans live in a different country than high school dropouts. The best way to mend the divide is by providing access to a decent education. Read more

Congress Targets Spending
By Patrick O'Connor and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal 
The Republican majority that takes over the House this week plans an ambitious drive to slash government spending by tens of billions of dollars in the next few months, a strategy that ensures that the capital soon will be consumed by intense debate over how and where to reduce the size of government. Read more

Washington: Back to Business
With John Harwood, CNBC
Jobs and the economy are high on the President's agenda. View

U.S. and China: Partners or Rivals?
By James Kitfield, National Journal
Some experts are calling Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington this month the most important meeting between U.S. and Chinese leaders in thirty years.  Read more

Critic of Steele Drops Bid to Replace Him
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Gentry Collins, a former political director of the Republican National Committee who resigned in November after delivering a scathing condemnation of the party’s fund-raising practices, said Sunday that he was withdrawing his candidacy to succeed Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican Party. Read more

Jan 05, 2011

On the Radar: January 6, 2011

Powerful Arguments
by John Dickerson, SLATE Magazine
In the new House, Republicans sound like Democrats — and vice versa. Read more

Health Care Again Tops the Agenda, This Time of GOP
by Naftali Bendavid, Janet Hook and Janet Adamy, The Wall Street Journal
The new Congress prepared to begin business Wednesday much where lawmakers left off before the November election—battling over the merits of the Democrats' health-care overhaul. Read more

Republicans Lower Goal for Cuts to Budget
by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
Many people knowledgeable about the federal budget said House Republicans could not keep their campaign promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending in a single year. Now it appears that Republicans agree. Read more

Obama Can't Count on Support in Senate
by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
The Senate is the Democratic bastion of power in the new Congress, but it will be a sometimes-shaky platform for President Barack Obama's agenda as lawmakers in his own party prepare for their re-election bids next year. Read more

Gibbs to Leave as White House Press Secretary
by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary and close confidante to President Obama, said Wednesday that he will step down and become an outside political adviser to the president and his re-election campaign. Read more

Cheney Is Back, With Heart Pump and New Outlook
by Helene Cooper, Lawrence K. Altman and Michael D. Shear, The New York Times
A few days before Christmas, former Vice President Dick Cheney ended a self-imposed sabbatical from partisan politics to headline a fund-raiser for Maria Cino, a party operative and Bush administration official who is running to replace Michael Steele as head of the Republican National Committee. Read more


Jan 10, 2011

On the Radar: January 10, 2011

The Paucity of Hope: After the Arizona shootings, can Obama—or anyone—bring America back from the brink?
By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Who will be the Daniel Hernandez of this political moment? In the chaos that followed the shots outside an Arizona supermarket on Saturday, the young intern calmly sought out his boss and held her upright, pressing her wound and probably saving the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Read more

Analysis: Tucson shootings put focus on political climate, lawmakers' security
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was doing what every member of Congress does when she went to the Safeway store in Tucson on Saturday. She was meeting her constituents face to face, listening to their requests, their complaints, their grievances. It is the essence of a free society, an act integral to the operations of the people's House - and a reminder of the vulnerability of elected officials all across the country. Read more

In the Shock of the Moment, the Politicking Stops ... Until It Doesn’t
By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times
Aides to Sarah Palin angrily rejected suggestions that she had some responsibility for the angry political climate that served as a backdrop to the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Read more

After rampage, appeals to cool the political tone
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
The nation's caustic political climate has become a suspect of sorts in the rampage that left six dead and a lawmaker critically injured in Arizona. Already, appeals are being heard to tone down the rhetoric. Read more

Lawmakers Worry About Lack of Security
By Naftali Bendavid and Siobhan Hughes, The Wall Street Journal
Despite being part of the most powerful legislature in the world, members of Congress have virtually no security outside the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers, shaken by the shooting of a popular colleague, wonder if that's about to change. Read more

Giffords Shows Encouraging Responses
By Laura Meckler and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head at point-blank range, showed encouraging responses following emergency brain surgery, doctors said Sunday. Read more

In New Role, Boehner Plays It Close to the Emotional Vest
By Major Garrett, National Journal
Nobody would have blamed Speaker John Boehner for crying this morning. All of the Capitol is dazed and hamstrung with a kind of piercing grief because the abstract -- countless non-specific threats to members of both parties -- has now become hideously specific. Read more

Giffords Shooting Raises Questions about Security for Lawmakers
By Yochi J. Dreazen and Marc Ambinder, National Journal
The shooting of Democratic Congressman Gabrielle Giffords outside a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona highlights a little-noticed aspect of life in today's Congress: despite record numbers of threats and a toxic political environment, most lawmakers are almost completely unprotected when they venture outside the secure bubble of Capitol Hill. Read more

A retooled White House
By Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times
Barack Obama's White House is looking more like Bill Clinton's every day. Last week, for example, President Obama named William M. Daley as White House chief of staff and Gene Sperling as economic policy czar. Daley is a former Clinton Cabinet secretary and Chicago banker who plants himself squarely in the center of the political spectrum. Sperling was a top Clinton advisor for all eight years of that tumultuous presidency. Read more

Biden makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan
By Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post
Vice President Biden flew into Kabul on Monday night for a round of high-level meetings as the Obama administration seeks assurance that its Afghanistan strategy is taking hold. Biden's unannounced visit brings him to the Afghan capital at a time of uncertainty in the war. Military commanders claim progress against the Taliban in the areas where they've concentrated U.S. troops, particularly in the southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar and Helmand. And President Obama last month called the war effort "on track." Read more

Jan 11, 2011

On the Radar: January 11, 2011

Alleged Arizon Gunman: What Drove Him to Kill?
by Pierre Thomas, ABC News
Why did Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire on Rep. Giffords outside a Tuscon, Arizona grocery store?  Pierre Thomas reports Watch video

Tucson Tragedy: Gun Laws
by Pete Williams, NBC News
The deadly shooting in Tucson, Arizona has renewed calls to change the nation's gun laws.  Pete Williams reports  Watch video

What will change as a result of Tucson tragedy?  Experience suggests, not much
by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Again and again, this country has asked itself: How can this happen?  We investigate. We ultimately get answers. And they almost always present themselves as a variation on a familiar recipe of poisons: mental illness that has gone untreated, a culture that... Read more

Palin caught in crosshairs map controversy after Tucson shooting
by Dan Balz, The Washington Post
In her more than two years on the national stage, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has proven to be a master of attention-grabbing quotes and vivid images. As a result, she finds herself at the center of a political and media controversy - Read more

Obama Avoiding Fingerpointing
by Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama is, so far, keeping his distance from the debate over whether vitriolic political discourse contributed to the attack in Arizona that killed six people and wounded 14 people, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Read more

A real test for our political leaders
by Gloria Borger, CNN
It is probably some form of poetic justice that, in reacting to the attempted murder of a congresswoman and the murder of a judge, some of the political discourse has devolved into an unhelpful and unenlightening argument that goes something like this: Read more

Personality, pugnacity have made Giffords a rising Democratic star
by Paul Kane and Shailagh Murray, The Washington Post
By 11:32 a.m. Friday, the House began its final roll-call vote of a tumultuous first week of the 112th Congress. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made her usual break for the airport and, a touch more than 61/2 hours later, landed in Tucson. Read more



Jan 19, 2011

On the Radar: January 19, 2011

China's President Meets with U.S. CEOs
by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Why China's President Hu Jintao is meeting today with CEOs from Boeing, Microsoft and General Electric. Watch video

With Eye On Domestic Politics, Superpowers Meet
by Tom Gjelten, NPR
The Washington visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao brings together the leaders of the world's two superpowers. Analysts say it could be among the most pivotal state visits in U.S. history.  Read more

For Chinese Leader’s Visit, U.S. to Take a Bolder Tack
by Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Hu Jintao of China is coming to town Tuesday, and American officials say President Obama will be taking a far more assertive stance as he greets his biggest global economic rival. Read more

The White House Looks for Work
by Peter Baker, The Washington Post
Three days before Christmas, President Obama gathered his economic team in the West Wing’s Roosevelt Room to review themes for his State of the Union address. The edge-of-the-cliff crisis he inherited had passed, but with more than 14 million Americans still out of work, he was looking for bold ways to bring down unemployment. Read more

Obama Asks for Review of Rules Stifling Jobs
by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
President Obama on Tuesday ordered “a governmentwide review” of federal regulations to root out those “that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive,” but he exempted many agencies that most vex corporate America. Read more

House begins debate on health-care repeal with a collegial tone
by Shailagh Murray and N.C. Aizenman, The Washington Post
This time around, there were no frightening warnings about "death panels" for the elderly or a "holocaust" of uninsured Americans. Read more

Lawmakers Rejoin Health-Care Fray With Gusto—and an Eye on Civility
by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
The House plunged back into an inflammatory debate on health care Tuesday, as lawmakers sought to convey their passions about the Obama administration's overhaul without overstepping the vague lines of civility drawn in the wake of the shootings in Arizona. Read more

Lieberman Will Not Run in 2012
By Dan Balz and Paul Kane, The Washington Post
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee who won reelection to the Senate in 2006 as an independent, plans to announce Wednesday that he will retire at the end of his term, according to an aide. Read more



Jan 24, 2011

On The Radar: January 24, 2011

State of the Union 2011: Jobs and More Jobs
By John Dickerson, CBS News
With an unemployment rate stubbornly stuck above 9 percent, President Barack Obama says the main theme of his State of the Union speech Tuesday will be creating jobs. Read more

The State of the Military
With Martha Raddatz, ABC News 

Obama Will Spotlight Beginning of the End in Afghanistan
By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal
When he addresses the nation on Tuesday night, President Obama will argue that his retooled Afghan war strategy is beginning to show results and stress that his administration remains committed to beginning a gradual military withdrawal from the country later this year. Read more

Obama to Press Centrist Agenda in His Address
By Jackie Calmes and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
President Obama will outline an agenda for “winning the future” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, striking a theme of national unity and renewal as he stresses the need for government spending in key areas and an attack on the budget deficit. Read more

Odd Couples Created in Seating for Speech
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address is fast approaching, and this year everyone is scrambling for a date. Read more

President, Rebounding, Gives Opponents Pause
By John Harwood, The New York Times 
Suddenly, Republicans face an unanticipated problem: less than three months after their midterm triumphs, President Obama has regained political momentum. Read more

Who can win the 2012 GOP nomination?
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said last week on CNBC that he is "absolutely" open to considering another presidential run in 2012. That tells you all you need to know about the fluidity of the GOP's coming nomination contest. Read more

Why America is growing tired of Palin
By Gloria Borger, CNN
OK, you've got Palin fatigue. Not to worry. So does much of the country: The latest CNN poll shows that 56 percent of Americans view her unfavorably. Read more

Reducing the deficit and growing the economy will be the hot topics in 2011
By Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
The debate that will define this year and is likely to set the terms for the 2012 elections began in earnest over the weekend, with President Obama and Republican leaders presenting competing visions for reducing the deficit and expanding the economy. Read more

The case against Loughner
With Pete Williams, NBC News

Jan 25, 2011

On the Radar: January 25, 2011

Obama to Call for Bold Action on Economy
by Aamer Madhani, National Journal
President Obama will take the podium tonight to deliver his State of the Union address, a speech in which he intends to make the case to the American public that the nation needs to take bolder action to pull itself out of its long economic malaise. Read more

The State of the Union doesn't always to according to script
by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
Here's a side of the State of the Union speech you don't get to see on television: Every year, early on the day of the address, lawmakers begin staking out seats along the center aisle of the House chamber. Read more

Put Me In, Coach
by John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Before every State of the Union address, aides to the president say that their man will avoid a dull laundry-list speech that ticks off everything he's done and plans to do. But interest groups, not to mention Cabinet members, like to hear their projects mentioned. Read more

Obama won't endorse raising retirement age or reducing Social Security benefits
by Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
More than two months after his deficit commission first laid out a plan for reining in the national debt, President Obama has yet to embrace any of its controversial provisions - and he is unlikely to break that silence Tuesday night. Read more

Cantor opposes allowing states to declare bankruptcy
by Michael A. Fletcher, The Washington Post
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that he opposes changing the law that would allow fiscally pressed states to seek bankruptcy protection, an idea that has been raised by some conservatives. Read more