May 2011

May 02, 2011

On the Radar: May 2, 2011

In Death, Mythology of Bin Laden Falls Apart
By Yochi J. Dreazen and Sara Sorcher, National Journal
Osama bin Laden is hiding in a cave in Pakistan’s lawless tribal regions, far from any major cities. He is guarded by specially chosen bodyguards instructed to shoot the militant leader to ensure he isn’t captured or killed by U.S. forces. After nearly a decade of successfully evading the CIA operatives and military commandos charged with finding him, he is unlikely to ever be found by American counterterror forces. Read more

Detective Work on Courier Led to Breakthrough on Bin Laden
By Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper, The New York Times
After years of dead ends and promising leads gone cold, the big break came last August. Read more

Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says
By Peter Baker, Helene Cooper and Mark Mazzetti, New York Times
Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan on Sunday, President Obama announced. Read more

The Secret Team That Killed bin Laden
By Marc Ambinder, National Journal
From Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan, the modified MH-60 helicopters made their way to the garrison suburb of Abbottabad, about 30 miles from the center of Islamabad. Aboard were Navy SEALs, flown across the border from Afghanistan, along with tactical signals, intelligence collectors, and navigators using highly classified hyperspectral imagers. Read more

In Bin Laden’s Death, a Critical Moment for the Arab World
By David Sanger, New York Times
In the early days of the Arab Spring, President Obama frequently told his aides that the movement sweeping from Cairo to Yemen — one place where Al Qaeda found its intellectual roots, the other where it has taken refuge — created what he called an “alternative narrative” for a disaffected generation. Read more

President’s Vow Fulfilled
By Jeff Zeleny, New York Times
President Obama’s announcement late Sunday that Osama bin Laden had been killed delivered not only a long-awaited prize to the United States, but also a significant victory for Mr. Obama, whose foreign policy has been the subject of persistent criticism by his rivals. Read more

Obama's focus on Osama bin Laden paid off
By John Dickerson, CBS News/Slate
At approximately 11:30 p.m. Sunday, President Obama announced to the nation that on his orders U.S forces had killed Osama Bin Laden. His reputation for lawyerly inaction may never recover. Read more

Step by Step: How the U.S. Killed bin Laden
By Aamer Madhani and Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal
Soon after coming to office, President Obama made it clear that killing or capturing Osama bin Laden was one of his highest national-security priorities. Read more

U.S. Military Team Targeted Bin Laden In Pakistan
By Tom Gjelten and Linda Wertheimer, NPR
U.S. helicopters hit a fortified compound in Pakistan. Intelligence officials discovered the compound last summer while monitoring an al-Qaida courier. Listen

Analysis: Bin Laden death gives US reason to cheer
By Liz Sidoti, Associated Press
At last, something big to celebrate and lift America's mood. A nation surly over rising gas prices, stubbornly high unemployment and nasty partisan politics poured into the streets to wildly cheer President Barack Obama's announcement that Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, had been killed by U.S. forces after a decade-long manhunt. Read more

Osama Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Operation Near Islamabad
By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
The killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces put American and allied officials on guard against possible reprisals as they vowed to maintain the fight against terrorism. Read more

Obama's new players on Afghanistan
By Doyle McManus, The Los Angeles Times
The message the White House tried to send with last week's changes at the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. command in Afghanistan was continuity. This wasn't a change of direction, aides said; it was merely a shuffling of the players necessitated by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' retirement. Read more

NATO doubts claims that strike killed Gadhafi family members
By Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
NATO has found no evidence to support claims by the Libyan government that an airstrike in Tripoli killed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren, two military officials told McClatchy Sunday. Read more

Senate 'Gang' Hashes Out Deficit Plan
By Naftali Bendavid and Damian Paletta, The Wall Street Journal
Sen. Mark Warner brings a buzzer to meetings of the "Gang of Six" senators who are working to craft a grand deficit-cutting deal. If talks get too tense, Mr. Warner, a Virginia Democrat, hits the button, which intones: "Bull— detected. Take precautions." Read more

May 09, 2011

On the Radar: May 9, 2011

U.S. Raises Pressure on Pakistan in Raid’s Wake
By David Sanger, The New York Times
President Obama’s national security adviser demanded Sunday that Pakistan let American investigators interview Osama bin Laden’s three widows, adding new pressure in a relationship now fraught over how Bin Laden could have been hiding near Islamabad for years before he was killed by commandos last week. Read more

Target: Bin Laden 
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
Part 1: The mission to Osama bin Laden's compound was months in the making. View

Osama Bin Laden's Files
By Pierre Thomas, ABC News
Pierre Thomas examines Al Qaeda's motives, tactics and doctrine. View

Fear That U.S. Can Grab Nuclear Arsenal Heightens Pakistani Anger
By Yochi Dreazen, National Journal
Last week’s U.S. raid into Pakistan is fueling one of the country’s most enduring—and potentially dangerous—conspiracy theories: that the U.S. has designs on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and is prepared to send highly trained commandos into the country to seize control of the weapons. Read more

Pentagon Releases Videos of Bin Laden found at Pakistan home
By Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
Osama bin Laden's Pakistan home was al Qaida's command and control center where he directed subordinates and proposed attacks against the United States, a senior intelligence official told reporters Saturday. Read more

Is This The Biggest Week of Obama's Presidency?
By John Dickerson, CBS News
CBS News political analyst John Dickerson was joined Friday by New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, Time senior correspondent Michael Crowley and National Journal Group editorial director Ron Brownstein for a politics week in review. The reporters roundtable discussed President Obama and the killing of Osama bin Laden, plus the first Republican presidential debate. View

Obama Can’t Depend On New Poll Numbers
By John Harwood, The New York Times
Politically speaking, President Obama walks taller now that American commandos, on his order, found and killed Osama bin Laden. Read more

Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to China, tests a 2012 presidential candidacy
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Jon Huntsman Jr. was leaving for dinner here early Friday evening when he was greeted on the front porch of his hotel by another guest. “I’m looking forward to supporting you,” the guest said, “but I haven’t heard you yet.” Read more

Big G.O.P. Donors Adopt Wait-and-See 2012 Tack
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The vaunted Republican network of high-dollar donors and fund-raisers, for so long a fear factor for Democrats, has been slow to commit itself to the 2012 presidential candidates, contributing to the faltering start of the party’s drive to unseat President Obama. Read more

Tim Pawlenty's gambit
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The Minnesota Republican is focusing on the issues that helped the GOP win in 2010. Read more

Bachmann Rocks ‘Ruling Class’ With Amens From Tea Party, Presidential Talk
By Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg
Long before she entered national politics, Michele Bachmann knew how to steal the show. Read more

Health Care Law Challenge Gets Appellate Hearing Tuesday
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
The legal battle over the federal health care law shifts to a historic Richmond courthouse Tuesday, in the first appellate hearing on the constitutionality of the Obama-sponsored legislation. Read more

May 10, 2011

On the Radar: May 10, 2011

U.S. Was Braced For Fight With Pakistanis In Bin Laden Raid
By David Sanger, The New York Times
President Obama insisted that the assault force hunting down Osama bin Laden last week be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops, senior administration and military officials said Monday. Read more

Was U.S. Denied Access To Bin Laden Compound?
By Jim Scuitto, ABC News
Tensions between U.S. and Pakistan may inhibit bin Laden intelligence gathering. View

Boehner Raises The Bar For Cuts
By John Harwood, CNBC
CNBC's John Harwood has the highlights on House speaker John Boehner raising the bar for talks about the debt ceiling. View

Boehner Wants To Pass Spending Cuts With GOP Alone
By Chuck Babington, Associated Press
Sometimes in politics and legislation, whether you win is less important than how you win. Read more

GOP Lawmakers Press Agencies To Justify Costs Of Dodd-Frank Rules
By Deborah Solomon, The Wall Street Journal
Republican lawmakers, continuing their focus on the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, want the regulatory agencies writing the rules to justify costs associated with the new regulations. Read more

Boehner Wants Cuts With Debt Increase
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that any increase in the government's debt limit should be accompanied by trillions of dollars in spending cuts, and that those cuts should be greater than the amount of the debt-ceiling increase. Read more

Boehner Demands ‘Trillions’ In Spending Cuts In Exchange For Lifting Debt Ceiling
By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
House Speaker John A. Boehner defined the GOP’s terms for raising the legal limit on government borrowing Monday, demanding that President Obama reduce spending by more than $2 trillion in exchange for an increase big enough to cover the nation’s bills through the end of next year. Read more

Judges Hear Arguments On Obama Health Care Law
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
Three federal appeals court judges, all appointed by Democratic presidents, will hear arguments Tuesday on the constitutionality of a new federal health care law that requires most Americans to obtain insurance. Read more

The White House Turns Its Attention To The Hispanic Community With Immigration Reform
By Aamer Madhani, National Journal
President Obama will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday to lay out a blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform and attempt to restart the debate on an issue he spoke passionately about as a candidate but has made little headway on during his presidency. Read more

The China Challenge
By Eamon Javers, CNBC
CNBC's Eamon Javers with details on the U.S. and China's third strategic & economic meeting, and the massive trade imbalance between the two nations. View

Getting Bin Laden And Five Other Boosts To Obama's Reelection Bid
By Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor
"Yes We Can” was so 2008. Now President Obama is the incumbent, with a record to defend. More than whom the Republicans nominate to run against him in 2012, how voters perceive Mr. Obama’s accomplishments and liabilities – two highly subjective categories, at times overlapping – will determine whether he gets four more years. Read more

May 12, 2011

On the Radar: May 12, 2011

U.S. Commander: Bin Laden's Death Doesn't End Afghan War
By Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
Osama bin Laden's death hasn't changed the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, and it must continue, the U.S. commander in charge of the country's east said Tuesday. Read more

More From Boehner On Debt Limit
By Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
House Speaker John Boehner (R.,Ohio) meets the press this morning and is expected to give a vigorous defense of his proposal for using the debt limit increase to force another round of major spending cuts. Read more

Obama town hall after show: What did the audience think?
By John Dickerson, CBS News
After CBS News' town hall with President Obama, CBS News political analyst John Dickerson, joined by Money Watch editor Jill Schlesinger, spoke with the live audience on whether they were satisfied with responses to their questions and his remarks on gas prices, jobs and deficit. View

Newt Gingrich Has Ideas. Can He Turn Them Into Presidential Appeal?
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
The tweet finally landed at 4:19 p.m. Wednesday. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a fixture in the Republican Party for three decades, became a candidate for president. Read more

Weighing A White House Bid As Opening A Door To Past Pain
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Cheri Daniels has made no secret of her distaste for politics. She did not campaign for her husband, Mitch Daniels, during two races for governor. She did not fully move into the governor’s mansion after his election. She has never delivered a political speech. Read more

GOP Seeks Leverage In talks Over Debt Ceiling Hike
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
It was a tough-talking House Speaker John Boehner who warned Wall Street this week that Congress won't raise the government's debt ceiling without massive spending cuts that most Democrats oppose. Read more

GOP Freshmen Appeal To Obama For Calm Discussion On Medicare
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
House GOP freshmen, under attack from Democrats on a Republican Medicare proposal, are appealing to President Barack Obama to help tone down the rhetoric and have a calm discussion on the subject. Read more

Insiders Skeptical Of Democrats Retaking House
By Jim Barnes, National Journal
Political operatives in both parties--but especially Republicans--are skeptical that Democrats will be able to regain control of the House of Representatives in the 2012 elections according to the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll. Read more




May 16, 2011

On the Radar: May 16, 2011

Huckabee Bows Out Of Race For US Presidency
By Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg News
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee , a Baptist pastor turned cable news star, announced yesterday he won't run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Read more

N.Y. Race Heats Up: Democrats Test Message On GOP Plan To 'End Medicare'
By Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor
The special congressional election in New York on May 24 should have been a sleepy affair. The 26th District, in the western part of the state, is solidly Republican, and is likely to disappear anyway in the 2012 election due to redistricting. Read more

Frugality Is A Virtue, But Politics Rule The Debt-Limit Fight
By John Harwood, The New York Times
The president needed an increase in the federal debt limit. His partisan adversary, a powerful Ohio congressman, wanted something in return: deep spending cuts. Read more

Obama Administration Wants Assistance Package For Workers Before Moving Trade Deals
By Christi Parsons, The Chicago Tribune
President Obama won't send three pending free trade agreements to Congress for consideration until lawmakers agree to expand a federal assistance program for American workers affected by the trade deals, administration officials said Monday morning. Read more

One Last Battle: Spinning Bin Laden's Legacy
By Tom Gjelten, NPR
The operation against Osama bin Laden was more than just a military raid. It was also an opportunity to attack bin Laden's image and ideology. Read more

Comparisons In Chief
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama pointedly noted that he “doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills.” Read more

Idea Rebounds: Automatic Cuts to Curb Deficits
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
Among the highest-profile laws of recent decades was a failed one: the 1985 deficit-reduction statute called Gramm-Rudman-Hollings for its Senate sponsors. Intended to force a balanced budget, it spawned budget gimmicks and did little to cut deficits, provoking one of its authors, Senator Ernest F. Hollings, to say, “I’m filing for divorce on grounds of infidelity and irreconcilable differences.” Read more

United Arab Emirates Confirms Hiring Blackwater Founder’s Firm
By Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times
The United Arab Emirates confirmed on Sunday that it had hired a company run by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, to provide “operational, planning and training support” to its military. But it gave no details of the company’s project to build a foreign mercenary battalion for the Emirati government. Read more

As Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Still Far Off
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default. Read more


May 17, 2011

On the Radar: May 17, 2011

Romney Makes Tough Choice On Health Care
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
Republican Mitt Romney faces a deeply unpleasant choice in his all-but-announced bid for the White House. He signaled Thursday that he'd rather be charged with inspiring President Barack Obama's health care overhaul than with switching positions on a fourth big issue that's vital to conservative voters. Read more 

Obama Tells Memphis Graduates Education Key To Beating Odds

By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
President Barack Obama told students at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee, where the graduation rate has jumped in the past four years, that they are a model of success for the U.S. education system. Read more
Donald Trump Announces He Won’t Seek U.S. Presidential Nomination in 2012
By Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg
Donald Trump, the real-estate developer turned reality television star, said today he won’t run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Read more
For Syria's Assad, Will Playing The Israel Card Work?
By Yochi J. Dreazen and Sara Sorcher, National Journal
For decades, Arab autocrats have had a cynical but effective strategy for silencing dissent within their countries: whenever the temperature gets too hot, change the topic to Israel and its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Read more
Rep. Paul Ryan Staying in House, Won't Run For U.S. Senate
By Major Garrett, National Journal
Ryan began informing close friends of his decision Tuesday and is expected to announce later in the day. Three GOP sources tell National Journal as soon as Ryan officially announces he won't run for the Senate, former Wisconsin GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson, is expected to announce his candidacy for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, who recently announced he was retiring. Read more
As the Federal Government Hits Its Debt Limit, Lawmakers Spar Over Solution
By Jackie Calmes and Carl Hulse, The New York Times
The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, officially informed Congress on Monday that the government, as projected, had reached its $14.3 trillion debt limit and had begun taking what he has called “extraordinary measures” to meet obligations while lawmakers and President Obama seek a budget deal to raise the limit. Read more
U.S. Calls for Global Cybersecurity Strategy
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
The Obama administration on Monday proposed creating international computer security standards with penalties for countries and organizations that fell short. Read more
GOP 'Super PAC' Seeks Surplus Cash
By Jeanne Cummings, Politico
Attorney James Bopp Jr. spent much of the last two years trying to get rid of the ban preventing federal officials from raising unlimited contributions, or so-called “soft money.” Read more
Justices OK Some Warrantless Searches
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
The Supreme Court by an 8-1 vote Monday bolstered police authority to break down a door and seize drugs or other evidence of wrongdoing if officers believe it is being destroyed. Read more
Medicare Revamp Exposes Divisions Within the GOP
By Naftali Bendavid and Jonathan Weisman, The Wall Street Journal
Newt Gingrich's dismissal of the House Republican plan to overhaul Medicare provoked a rebuttal from the proposal's author, Rep. Paul Ryan, highlighting a split in the party over how hard to push a priority for the House GOP majority. Read more
We've Seen This Movie Before
By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
Allow me to go out on a limb here and predict that President Obama and Republican leaders will agree to raise the debt ceiling, averting an economic crisis. Read more
Donald Trump Says He Won’t Run For President In 2012
By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
So it turns out Donald Trump got the joke after all. Or maybe he was the one who put one over on everyone else. Read more

May 18, 2011

On the Radar: May 18, 2011

Obama To Offer Blueprint For U.S. Relationship To A Changing Middle East
By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
Five months into a wave of transformation across the Arab world, President Barack Obama plans to offer a fresh blueprint for the U.S. role in the Middle East and North Africa at a moment both defining and uncertain. Read more

AM Report: White House Wants New IMF Chief Now!
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
WSJ's David Wessel reports the White House is pressuring the IMF to name a new director. Dominique Strauss-Kahn remains in a New York jail after being arrested last weekend on attempted rape charges. View

Senate Group On Debt Loses A Key Republican
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
The already weak prospects for a bipartisan debt-reduction deal this year dimmed further on Tuesday when a Republican member of the Senate’s “Gang of Six,” Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, withdrew after months of private negotiations amid differences over changes to Medicare. Read more

Budget Talks By 'Gang' Falter
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
Negotiations among a group of senators seeking a deficit-reduction deal threatened to collapse Tuesday as a key lawmaker pulled out, endangering what many in Washington had considered the best chance for a comprehensive, long-term budget agreement this year. Read more

Sen. Sessions: How Risky Are U.S. Fiscal Problems?
By Deborah Solomon, The Wall Street Journal
A Republican senator asked the Financial Stability Oversight Council to determine whether the nation’s fiscal woes pose a systemic risk to the financial system. Read more

Bond Market Optimism Should Scare Us
By Greg Ip, The Economist
Treasury reached its debt ceiling and began emergency manoeuvres to gain a few months before running out of borrowing room. Read more

‘Gang of Six’ On Verge Of Collapse As Republican Sen. Coburn Withdraws
By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
Since January, six senators have engaged in difficult negotiations and made painful concessions in a politically dangerous quest for something that has long eluded Washington: a bipartisan compromise to control the nation’s mounting debt. Read more

In Rust Belt, Manufacturers Add Jobs, But Factory Pay Isn’t What It Used To Be
By Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post
More than 1,000 applicants began lining up this week outside a former Hoover vacuum plant here in the hopes of joining a surprising trend in this part of the nation’s manufacturing heartland: new jobs. Read more

May 23, 2011

On the Radar: May 23, 2011

Pawlenty Officially Declares For President
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota formally opened his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday with a sharp critique of President Obama’s policies, leadership and character, presenting himself as a candidate who could unify his fractious party and win back the White House. Read more

Obama Presses Israel To Make ‘Hard Choices’
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama struck back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group on Sunday, defending his stance that talks over a Palestinian state should be focused on Israel’s pre-1967 borders, along with negotiated land swaps, and challenging Israel to “make the hard choices” necessary to bring about a stable peace. Read more

Middle East Hopes And Fears
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
President Obama wants to reestablish U.S. relevance and stave off potential disasters. Read more

With Daniels Out, GOP Presidential Field Takes Clearer Shape
By Karen Tumulty & Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s decision not to run for president in 2012, while deflating the hopes of many in the Republican establishment, has helped solidify what has been a fluid GOP field and brings more clarity to the challenges ahead for each of the leading contenders. Read more

Daniels Is Out, In Another Jolt To G.O.P. Field
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The announcement Sunday by Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana that he would not run for the Republican presidential nomination ended one major chapter of uncertainty in the race but ignited new debate over whether the current field contains a candidate capable of beating President Obama next year. Read more

Democrats Meddle In Slow-Starting GOP Primary
By Chuck Babington, Associated Press
Maybe President Barack Obama and his friends got tired of waiting for the 2012 campaign to start. Read more

Decision 2012: The Contenders
By John Harwood, CNBC
CNBC's John Harwood has the story on Mitch Daniels not running for President possibly because of family issues. View

May 24, 2011

On the Radar: May 24, 2011

Supreme Court Stands Firm On Prison Crowding
By Joan Biskupic, USA Today
The Supreme Court declared California prison overcrowding unconstitutional and upheld an order by a 5-4 vote that could force the transfer or release of more than 30,000 convicted felons over the next two years. Read more

Pawlenty Declares Candidacy And Takes On Politically Popular Programs
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota formally opened his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday and presented himself as a candidate willing to confront tough political choices, pledging to reinvent or dismantle programs like ethanol subsidies, Medicare and Social Security to address the nation’s fiscal burdens. Read more

Awaiting The Rapture
By John Dickerson, Slate
The Republican presidential narrative is taking shape, and it's the story of a child's birthday party when the magician doesn't show. The audience is glum. Now it's someone's frantic job to find entertainment from the limited resources at hand and then convince everyone they're having a good time. Read more

Analysis: Romney Is The Guy To Catch In GOP Field
By Chuck Babington, Associated Press
Mitt Romney is emerging as the man to catch in the narrowing Republican presidential field, grabbing a clear head start in fundraising, organization and experience despite vulnerabilities that still might undo him. Read more

Second GOP Senator Opposes Medicare Plan
By Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal
A GOP plan to overhaul Medicare faces its first vote in the Senate this week, presenting a test of just how risky Republicans view one of the party's signature proposals. Read more

Republican Senator Brown Cites Medicare In Deciding To Oppose Ryan Budget
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Bloomberg
Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts split with his party and came out against a budget plan to privatize Medicare, saying the U.S. health program for the elderly could be cut without changing it “as we know it.” Read more

Obama Promises Full Federal Response To Midwest Storms, Will Visit Missouri On Sunday
By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
President Obama on Tuesday morning expressed his sorrow about the tornado damage in Missouri, Minnesota and around the Midwest, calling the devastation "incomparable" and promising a full federal response to help in the recovery. Read more

Pakistan’s Military Faces New Questions After Raid
By David Sanger, The New York Times
Pakistani military officials struggled unsuccessfully on Monday to explain how a small team of insurgents managed to scale the back wall of one of the country’s premier naval air stations and destroy two American-provided surveillance planes. Read more

May 31, 2011

On the Radar: May 31, 2011

GOP Presidential Contenders Drift To The Right
By Charles Babington, The Associated Press
In the first presidential election since the tea party's emergence, Republican candidates are drifting rightward on a range of issues, even though more centrist stands might play well in the 2012 general election. Read more

Seeing The Advantage In Delaying A Solution
By John Harwood, The New York Times
Soon enough, Democrats will have to identify new Medicare cuts they can support. But don’t expect them to come this spring, not after the Medicare plan put forward by House Republicans became the centerpiece of the Democrats’ strategy to recover from disastrous 2010 midterm elections. Last week’s Democratic victory in a special House election in Buffalo ensured that. Read more

In Showdown Over Debt Ceiling, Neither Party Is Blinking
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
In a bit of political stagecraft, House Republicans plan to bring to a vote on Tuesday evening a measure that President Obama and the Democrats were demanding not so long ago: a clean increase in the national debt ceiling, unencumbered by any requirement that spending be cut. Read more

Romney Bets His Candidacy On The Economy
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Republican Mitt Romney will formally launch his second campaign for the White House on Thursday with an operation leaner and wiser than it was four years ago and a message singularly focused on what he sees as President Obama’s greatest area of vulnerability: jobs and the economy. Read more

Iowa Republicans Worry About Their Relevance In The 2012 Presidential Election
By Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker, The Washington Post
Politically speaking, this state is in something of an existential crisis.
For the past nine presidential elections, Iowa has reveled in the attention it gets with its position at the front of the presidential nominating contest. This time around, the question is not just who will win the Iowa caucuses but also whether it will matter. Read more

Newt Takes His Shot
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker running for the GOP presidential nomination, is trying to put some distance these days between himself and, well, himself. Read more

Memorial Day: Maj. Gen. John Campbell On Final Battlefield Tour Of Afghanistan
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
This is Maj. Gen. John Campbell's last circle of the Afghan battlefields. For one year, Campbell has commanded the deadly and dangerous 450 miles of Afghanistan that borders Pakistan, which means he has responsibility for 30,000 soldiers working at more than 150 combat outposts, many of them routinely attacked. Read more

Policy Adviser Tapped To Become U.S. Ambassador To Russia
By Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama has decided to send the architect of his so-called Russia reset policy to Moscow as the next United States ambassador there, seeking to further bolster an improved relationship as both countries head into a potentially volatile election season. Read more