June 2011

Jun 01, 2011

On the Radar: June 1, 2011

Pressing Obama, House Bars Rise for Debt Ceiling
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a measure to increase the government’s debt limit, acting on a vote staged by Republican leaders to pressure President Obama to agree to deep spending cuts. Read more

In Symbolic Vote, House Rejects Raising Debt Limit
By Janet Hook and Matt Phillips, The Wall Street Journal
The House on Tuesday soundly rejected a bill to increase the federal borrowing limit by $2.4 trillion—a symbolic vote that House GOP leaders said demonstrated that Congress will not increase the debt ceiling unless it is linked to a deficit-reduction plan. Read more

What's Behind The Sarah Palin Rebranding Tour
By Gloria Borger, CNN
So Sarah Palin walks into a Pennsylvania coffee shop, virtually unannounced. She sits down with a bunch of guys, gets her picture taken and is asked whether she would declare her candidacy right there. Read more

Palin Rewrites The Rules But Is That Enough?
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Sarah Palin is spending the week breaking the rules again. Everything about her “One Nation” bus trip, except the bus, is the antithesis of how most politicians would do what she’s doing. The question is whether she could ever run for president this way. Read more

Debt-Limit Hike Fails In House
By John Harwood, CNBC
Talks on raising the debt-limit ceiling failed in a House by vote of 318-97, reports CNBC's John Harwood. View

Hoopla, Hype Hover Over Unsettled GOP Field
By Chuck Babington, Associated Press
Sarah Palin draws crowds with her hide-and-seek bus tour. Michele Bachmann says Palin's plans won't dissuade her from her likely presidential bid. Iowa GOP activists travel to New Jersey to implore Gov. Chris Christie to run, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry weighs a campaign. Read more

Pentagon To Consider Cyberattacks Acts Of War
By David Sanger, The New York Times
The Pentagon, trying to create a formal strategy to deter cyberattacks on the United States, plans to issue a new strategy soon declaring that a computer attack from a foreign nation can be considered an act of war that may result in a military response. Read more


Jun 06, 2011

On the Radar: June 6, 2011

Appeals Court To Hear States' Case Against Health Care Law
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
Of the many legal challenges to the Obama-sponsored health care overhaul, the case brought by 26 states to be heard Wednesday by a federal appeals court in Atlanta stands out. Read more

2012 Republican Hopefuls Court Religious Right
By Chuck Babington, Associated Press
A gathering of religious conservatives drew nearly all the GOP presidential hopefuls to a single stage, a claim that a South Carolina debate and a well-publicized forum in New Hampshire couldn't make about their recent events. Read more

Shifting Sands Of Religion And Politics
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Of the 44 U.S. presidents, all but a handful have been affiliated with a relatively narrow list of traditional Protestant denominations. Read more

Steeper Pullout Is Raised As Option For Afghanistan
By David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, The New York Times
President Obama’s national security team is contemplating troop reductions in Afghanistan that would be steeper than those discussed even a few weeks ago, with some officials arguing that such a change is justified by the rising cost of the war and the death of Osama bin Laden, which they called new “strategic considerations.” Read more

Strategy Session: Obama Meets With National Security Team On Afghanistan, Pakistan
By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
President Obama and his senior national security advisors convened Monday to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan, as the administration wrestles with questions about strategy in the region and what role American troops should play there. Read more

White House Preps For Merkel's Tuesday Visit
By Darlene Superville, Associated Press
Angela Merkel has traveled to the U.S. many times since becoming Germany's chancellor six years ago, arriving quietly for meetings with the president or international summits. But she's in for a different kind of welcome Tuesday when she begins an official visit to Washington. Read more

Jun 07, 2011

On the Radar: June 7, 2011

Obama Loses Bin Laden Bounce
By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post
The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of how he is handling the nation’s economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Read more

Fact Check: Santorum Omits Key Details On Deficit
By Chuck Babington, Associated Press
In announcing his Republican presidential bid, former Sen. Rick Santorum blamed President Barack Obama for a federal deficit that has many contributors, and he omitted important details about Obama's comments on America's past. Read more

Military Seeks To Make Case Against Too-Hasty Reduction Of Troops In Afghanistan
By David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker, The New York Times
With a major internal debate gathering inside the White House over how quickly to reduce the size of the American fighting force in Afghanistan, the military pushed back on Monday against the prospect of a substantial withdrawal, arguing that to leave too early would imperil hard-fought gains. Read more

Gates Insists It's Too Early To End Combat In Afghanistan
By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
Touring bases as he prepares to retire, the Pentagon chief is asked repeatedly by troops whether Osama bin Laden's death means the U.S. can end the war in Afghanistan. Not yet, is his response. Read more

How Anthony Weiner Can Recover From Scandal
By John Dickerson, CBS News
New York Rep. Anthony Weiner is facing a political mess of epic proportions. After admitting Monday that he'd lied about an explicit photo sent via his Twitter account recently -- that it was actually a photo of his own crotch that he'd sent to a woman -- he now faces a possible ethics investigation into his actions. Read more

Weiner Apologizes For Lewd Tweets
By Eamon Javers, CNBC
CNBC's Eamon Javers, Eric Dezenhall, Crisis Management CEO, and Robert Costa, National Review, discuss the latest fallout of the Weinergate saga. He apologized today before the press, but says he will not resign. View

Weiner: 'I Am Not Resigning'
By Susan Davis, National Journal
After 10 days of denial and deceit, Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., said on Monday that he had lied and made “terrible mistakes” that have deeply hurt his wife and others. Weiner confessed to sending a lewd photo of himself to a college student in Washington state. “To be clear, the picture was of me – and I sent it,” he said. Read more

Latest Hacks Could Set The Stage For Cyberwar
By Tom Gjelten, NPR
In March, unidentified hackers penetrated RSA, a top U.S. cybersecurity company, and stole complex security codes. At the same time, intruders broke into Google's Gmail system and stole passwords, enabling them to potentially gain access to sensitive facilities or information. Read more

Senate Approves Donald Verrilli As Solicitor General
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
The Senate on Monday approved Donald Verrilli, a seasoned appellate lawyer who is currently White House deputy counsel, to be the federal government's top lawyer before the Supreme Court. Read more

Goolsbee Leaving As Top Economic Adviser
By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
Austan Goolsbee, a longtime adviser to President Obama and the only economist left on his core economic team, plans to leave as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by September after a year in the job to return to the University of Chicago. Read more

Head Of Private Military Firm Denies Affiliation With Ex-Blackwater Chief
By Mark Mazzetti and Emily B. Hager, The New York Times
The president of a company training foreign mercenary troops for the United Arab Emirates has told the State Department and members of Congress that Erik Prince, the former head of the security firm Blackwater Worldwide, plays no role in operating the business. Read more


Jun 08, 2011

On the Radar: June 8, 2011

Obama and Merkel Tell Qaddafi To Go
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama on Tuesday ramped up his calls for the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, to step down, as NATO warplanes repeatedly dropped bombs on Tripoli in an intensifying campaign. Read more

Yemen Violence Hampers War On Terror
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
Violence forces U.S. troops training Yemini soldiers to suspend mission. View

Obama, Merkel Pledge To Cooperate On Libya, Economy
By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
For two allies passing through rocky times, the leaders of the United States and Germany on Tuesday put on a show of unity at the White House, demanding that Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi relinquish power and pledging to cooperate on issues as diverse as the war in Afghanistan and the global economy. Read more

Rep. Chaffetz: ‘Leaning Towards’ Challenging Sen. Hatch
By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal
Rep. Jason Chaffetz sounds increasingly like a challenger to Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2012, potentially making the Utah Republican matchup one of the marquee intraparty contests next year. Read more

"Rebel" With A Cause -- Michelle Obama's Inspiring Role
By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
I had just finished reading a new article in Newsweek about Michelle Obama titled "White House Rebel," when I found myself in the State Dining Room on Tuesday, listening as the first lady encouraged a small group of local girls from high schools and the Girl Scouts and Girls Inc. to consider careers in diplomacy, public service and politics. Read more

Rep. Anthony Weiner Fights For Political Survival
By Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane, The Washington Post
Although he pledged to stay and fight, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner’s political survival was in question Tuesday as the leaders of his own party continued to distance themselves from the disgraced New York lawmaker and as Republicans persisted in calling for his resignation. Read more

Bernanke To Blame For Banks' Slump?
By Eamon Javers, CNBC
CNBC's Eamon Javers discusses whether Fed chief Ben Bernanke is responsible for bank stocks getting slammed today. View

Jun 13, 2011

On the Radar: June 13, 2011

Stage Is Set For GOP Debate In New Hampshire
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
If anyone was still wondering when the slow-starting contest for the Republican presidential nomination would begin in earnest, wonder no more. The past 10 days alone have provided a summer’s worth of developments ahead of the first major debate of the year, Monday night in New Hampshire. Read more

Obama Meets With Immelt Business Panel
By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
President Barack Obama meets today with almost two dozen current and former company leaders including General Electric Co. (GE) Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt to try and convince the business community as well as voters that the slowing economy doesn’t undercut his policies. Read more

Why Newt Gingrich’s Campaign Crashed
By Karen Tumulty, Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post
On one side was an unconventional presidential candidate. He was enthralled with making documentaries to sell his ideas and captivated by the notion that wooing Chinese Americans could be a key to winning Iowa. Read more

Weiner Still Not Stepping Down, Says He Will Seek Treatment
By Major Garrett, National Journal
Top Democratic leaders, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who was joined by the Democratic National Committee chair and head of the party's congressional campaign committee, called on Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., to resign on Saturday as part of a multi-pronged pincer move to shame the seven-term congressman into ending his career on Capitol Hill. Weiner, has so far refused, saying through a spokeswoman that he will seek treatment and a leave of absence from the House "so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well." Read more

Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
ABC's Martha Raddatz reports on the latest on the war in Afghanistan. View

At Term's End, Supreme Court Opinions Anything But Brief
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
Asked what would happen if the Supreme Court began writing shorter opinions, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "We could all leave earlier in the spring, I guess, than in summer." Read more

Will Gates's Comments Convince NATO Members To Reverse Defense Cuts?
By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal
Defense Secretary Robert Gates used his final European trip to issue a blunt warning: NATO, the military alliance which the U.S. founded and has largely underwritten for the past 60 years, faces a "dim, if not dismal" future because of ongoing European defense cutbacks. Read more

An Uphill Battle On Oil Dependency
By John Harwood, The New York Times
Tony Knowles helped make Sarah Palin a political celebrity by losing the Alaska governor’s race to her five years ago. Now he is seeking another legacy. Read more

Jun 14, 2011

On the Radar: June 14, 2011

The 14 Biggest Ideas Of The Year
By Gwen Ifill, Washington Week
As the junior member of The Washington Post’s political team in 1988, I was naturally assigned to cover the candidates least likely to win. That task took me to campaign rallies headlined by two ordained ministers—the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson. These two had little in common. One occupied the left fringe of his party; the other the right of his. Read more

Romney Smiles, For Now
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Mitt Romney walked away emboldened – and untouched – from his first Republican presidential debate, but he said Tuesday that his rivals were not likely to treat him so gently as the campaign intensifies, and he conceded that the criticism over his health care plan was not likely to go away. Read more

Analysis: Mitt Romney leaves GOP Debate Unscathed
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
If Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and other Republican presidential hopefuls feel they need to close the gap on front-runner Mitt Romney, they didn't show it at the New Hampshire debate. Read more

Republican Presidential Candidates Attend New Hampshire Debate
By Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker, The Washington Post
The leading contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination appeared together onstage for the first time Monday. But they used the debate to train their fire on President Obama rather than to define their differences. Read more

The Mitt Show
By John Dickerson, Slate
Newt Gingrich likes American Idol." Tim Pawlenty is a Coke fan. And Mitt Romney, demeanor notwithstanding, likes it spicy. These tiny gleanings emerged at the first major Republican debate, when moderator John King asked whimsical this-or-that questions before the commercial breaks. The two-hour forum raised a few of those types of questions itself: Current field or Rick Perry? Obamneycare or Minnesota mumbles? Michele Bachmann or Sarah Who? Is it me or is it hot in here? Read more

Romney Survives First Test In Debate With GOP Rivals
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Mitt Romney easily survived his first test of the 2012 campaign here Monday night, cruising through a debate with six Republican rivals who were more interested in attacking President Obama than in turning their fire on the former Massachusetts governor. Read more

Political Insiders Give Debate Nod To Romney, Bachmann
By James A. Barnes, National Journal
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the winner of the first major presidential debate tonight according to a survey of Republican and Democratic political operatives, campaign consultants, and party strategists, in a special National Journal Political Insiders Poll conducted tonight. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann also had a good evening. Read more

Obama Offers Training Plan Designed For High-Tech Jobs
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
Confronting the challenge of running for re-election while the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, President Obama convened a session of his new jobs council on Monday, offering a proposal to train 10,000 American engineering students a year in a program focused on filling high-tech jobs. Read more

Obama Asks Businesses For Help As He Vows To Cut Regulations
By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
President Barack Obama told almost two dozen current and former corporate leaders he’ll work with businesses to reduce hurdles to job creation, including regulations, while asking their help lobbying Congress on measures to boost the recovery. Read more

Debt Talks At Crucial Stage
By Janet Hook and Carole E. Lee, The Wall Street Journal
Deficit-reduction talks led by Vice President Joe Biden face their biggest test starting Tuesday when the group begins three days of politically sensitive discussions, including a proposal for a government spending cap that is bitterly opposed by the White House. Read more

The West Is Still Waiting For Its Libya Gamble To Pay Off
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Hope isn’t a strategy. But it was a major part of NATO’s decision to launch an air war against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi almost three months ago. Read more

Emerging Nations Seek Non-European IMF Chief
By Tom Gjelten, NPR
A new director of the International Monetary Fund is due to be chosen by the end of this month. But while the institution's reputation has been tainted by the scandal that followed the arrest last month of its previous chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in New York in connection with the attempted rape of a hotel maid, there's no shortage of interest in the top job. Read more

Clarence Thomas Takes Hard Line On Defendants
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
Twenty years ago, when a senator asked then-appellate Judge Clarence Thomas why he wanted to be on the Supreme Court, Thomas said he often looked out his courthouse window at arriving prisoners and said to himself, "But for the grace of God, there go I." Read more

Jun 15, 2011

On the Radar: June 15, 2011

Candidates Show G.O.P. Less United On Goals of War
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
The hawkish consensus on national security that has dominated Republican foreign policy for the last decade is giving way to a more nuanced view, with some presidential candidates expressing a desire to withdraw from Afghanistan as quickly as possible and suggesting that the United States has overreached in Libya. Read more

Huntsman Company Pays $33M To Settle Lawsuit
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman was a top executive of a large chemical conglomerate that is paying $33 million to settle a lawsuit alleging price-fixing. Read more

Searching For The Anti-Romney
By John Dickerson and David Weigel, Slate
John Dickerson and David Weigel take your questions about the 2012 election and the GOP's first New Hampshire debate. Read more

GOP Race Scrambled By Romney, Bachmann
By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
It was a supremely confident Mitt Romney who hit the campaign trail here Tuesday morning as the newly solidified front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. His performance in Monday night’s debate poses tough questions for all other current or prospective candidates seeking to derail him next year. Read more

Obama Wants Puerto Rico To Decide Statehood Or Independence
By Roger Runningen and Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
President Barack Obama said he wants to let Puerto Ricans make their own decision on whether to stay a commonwealth, seek statehood or become independent. Read more

In Visit to Puerto Rico, Obama Offers (and Seeks Out) Support
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama came to this United States commonwealth on Tuesday and promised to stand by Puerto Rico no matter what residents decide about its future — statehood, independence or a continuation of the status quo. Read more

Senate Vote To Repeal Ethanol Tax Credit Fails, But Some In GOP Break Ranks
By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
A majority of Senate Republicans appeared to break Tuesday with two decades of GOP orthodoxy against higher taxes, voting to advance a plan to abruptly cancel billions of dollars in annual tax credits for ethanol blenders. Read more

Pakistan Arrests C.I.A. Informants In Bin Laden Raid
By Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times
Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials. Read more

Jun 20, 2011

On the Radar: June 20, 2011

Supreme Court Limits Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Case
By Joan Bisupic, USA TODAY
The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a gigantic, long-running sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), the nation's largest private employer. Read more

Supreme Court Sides with Wal-Mart In Discrimination Suit
By Pete Williams, NBC News
Pete Williams has the latest on the Supreme Court's decision in the Wal-Mart discrimination case. View

Obama Wants Big 2012 Campaign Map, GOP Wants Small
By Charles Babington, Associated Press
Republicans hope voters' fears about jobs and the economy will help them reclaim a handful of Mountain West and Southern states that were crucial to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential win. Read more

Blaming Incumbent For The Economy, A Political Tradition
By John Harwood, The New York Times
A recent Republican Party news release about President Obama, Democrats and the economy declared simply: “They own it.” Read more

Texas Leader Calls For Rightward Tilt
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, the latest Republican to muse openly about exploring a Republican presidential candidacy, drew booming applause here on Saturday for not only assailing President Obama but also lecturing some members of his own party on the importance of socially conservative principles. Read more

GOP Splitting Over U.S. Role In Libya And Afghanistan
By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
Republicans are facing a widening fissure over the U.S. role on the world stage as party leaders decide whether to confront President Obama this week over his policy toward Libya. Read more

Risks Of Reversing The Afghanistan Surge
By David Sanger, The New York Times
In the 18 months since President Obama ordered a surge of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan, he has scaled back, time and again, Washington’s goals in a country that the British, the Soviets and ultimately the Americans tried, and failed, to change. Read more

Allyn: Use Of Children In Suicide Attacks Part Of 'Ruthless' Escalation For Taliban
By Yochi Dreazen, National Journal
The Taliban have begun using child suicide bombers in eastern Afghanistan, underscoring the increasingly brutal nature of the fighting in a volatile region that is emerging as the central front of the U.S.-led war. Read more

Qaeda Woes Fuel Talk Of Speeding Afghan Pullback
By Mark Landler and Helene Cooper, The New York Times
As the Obama administration nears a crucial decision on how rapidly to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan, high-ranking officials say that Al Qaeda’s original network in the region has been crippled, providing a rationale for an accelerated reduction of troops. Read more


Jun 21, 2011

On the Radar: June 21, 2011

Obama Expected To Outline Afghanistan Drawdown Plan
By Jonathan S. Landay and Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
President Barack Obama on Wednesday will unveil an Afghanistan drawdown plan that is expected to call for the withdrawal of the 33,000 U.S. troops deployed in last year's surge by the end of 2012, U.S. defense officials said. Read more

As Afghanistan Drawdown Approaches, Obama Faces New Political Landscape
By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal
President Obama’s upcoming announcement about how many troops he'll begin withdrawing from Afghanistan next month will vividly underscore how much the war debate has shifted, inside and outside Washington, since Obama announced the Afghan surge in December 2009. Read more

Obama to Announce Plans For Afghan Surge Pullout
By Mark Landler and Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama plans to announce his decision on the scale and pace of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan in a speech on Wednesday evening, an administration official said Monday. Read more

Obama To Announce Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
Martha Raddatz on the White House's decision on how many troops to bring home. View

Huntsman Joins GOP Race
By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post
Jon M. Huntsman Jr. officially launched his White House bid here Tuesday morning, setting up a campaign for the GOP nomination that, if successful, would lead to a matchup against his former boss. Read more

White House, Lawmakers Speed Up Debt-Reduction Talks
By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post
The White House and congressional leaders are accelerating negotiations over the biggest debt-reduction package in at least two decades amid mounting concern that the effort is running out of time. Read more

Group Targets GOP Senate Candidates In Rerun Of 2010
By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal
The Club for Growth has begun a series of attacks against top Republican Senate contenders that suggest the party could face divisive primaries in 2012 similar to those in 2010. Read more

Internet Governing Body Makes Major Change
By Tom Gjelten, NPR
The world's main Internet governing body Monday approved what may be the biggest change in the online world for many years. Soon, we may see website addresses that end with almost any word. It won't be just dot-com or dot-org or dot-net. We could have dot-NewYork or dot-Toyota. Companies, cities, even individuals, could have Web addresses all to themselves. Read more

Conservationists Cheer Grand Canyon Mining Plan
By Coral Davenport, National Journal
In a move hailed as a major victory by environmentalists, the Obama administration on Monday set in motion a plan to ban uranium mining on more than one million acres around the Grand Canyon in Arizona for 20 years. Read more

Jun 22, 2011

On the Radar: June 22, 2011

Homebound? Military Awaits Obama's Decision On Troop Reduction in Afghanistan
By Martha Raddatz and Enjoli Francis, ABC News
"First thing I'm going to do is hug my sister," said Lance Cpl. Michael Acquaviva of the U.S. Marine Corps. This is what a drawdown means in human terms: more reunions, more sisters, fathers and children on a crowded, joyous search for a loved one. Read more

Obama Navigates Math And Politics With Afghan Troop Withdrawal
By Jim Sciutto and Mary Bruce, ABC News
When President Obama was contemplating a new Afghan war strategy in late 2009, he faced sharp divisions within his own administration between those recommending 40,000 or more troops and a full counterinsurgency and those advocating half as many and a focus on counterterrorism. He chose a middle road: 30,000 troops and a mix of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, or COIN, in the military lingo. Read more

Cost Of Wars a Rising Issue As Obama Weighs Troop Levels
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
President Obama will talk about troop numbers in Afghanistan when he makes a prime-time speech from the White House on Wednesday night. But behind his words will be an acute awareness of what $1.3 trillion in spending on two wars in the past decade has meant at home: a ballooning budget deficit and a soaring national debt at a time when the economy is still struggling to get back on its feet. Read more

In G.O.P. Presidential Race, A Focus On Cash Over Votes
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
With their first major fund-raising deadline nine days away, the Republican presidential candidates are in a cutthroat, coast-to-coast scramble to sign up top party donors to gain a financial edge — and, just as crucial, to block them from helping a rival campaign. Read more

Sotomayor Opens Up About Her Diabetes
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
The parents of Sonia Sotomayor, the future Supreme Court justice, knew something was wrong when their daughter, 7 years old at the time, was always thirsty, began wetting the bed and fainted in church. Read more

Senate Budget Chairman Says $2 Trillion Not Enough
By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post
The debt-reduction package emerging in talks between the White House and congressional leaders would not “fundamentally change” the alarming rate of growth in the national debt, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said Tuesday. Read more

House GOP Digs In On Debt Ceiling
By Janet Hook and Corey Coles, The Wall Street Journal
Two top House Republicans rejected the idea of pursuing a series of piecemeal deficit-cutting agreements in exchange for gradual increases in the government's borrowing limit, putting more pressure on negotiators to start cutting deals on a broader package within days. Read more

Obama Gets 30% Certain To Support Re-Election In Economy Poll
By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg
Americans are growing more dissatisfied with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and say it will be hard to vote to re-elect him without seeing significant progress over the next year and a half. Read more

Jun 23, 2011

On the Radar: June 23, 2011

President Announces Afghanistan Troop Pullout
By Martha Raddatz, ABC News
Martha Raddatz reports on Obama's decision to begin bringing soldiers home. View

Plan Was Compromise; White House Wanted Troops Out by Early 2012
By Yochi J. Dreazen and Marc Ambinder, National Journal
President Obama's announcement on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan reflected little of the heated debates between the White House and the military in crafting a plan. Read more

Drawing Down, With A Vigilant Eye On Pakistan
By David E. Sanger, The New York Times
Hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pakistan’s leaders were given an ultimatum by the Bush administration: Because the looming war in Afghanistan could not be won without Pakistan’s help, Islamabad would have to choose between continuing its alliance with the Taliban or joining forces with the United States. Read more

Doyle McManus: A pivot point in Afghanistan
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
In 1966, as President Lyndon B. Johnson was becoming ever more enmeshed in the war in Vietnam, a Republican senator from Vermont named George D. Aiken proposed an audacious alternative strategy. The United States, Aiken said, should declare victory and withdraw. Read more

As Politics Of War Shift, Risks For Obama Ease
By Jeff Zeleny and Jackie Calmes, The New York Times
When President Obama expanded the Afghanistan war a year after taking office, Republicans fiercely criticized his deadline to bring troops home. But his decision on Wednesday to accelerate their withdrawal came with few reprisals, a sign of a remarkable shift in the politics of war. Read more

GOP Hopefuls Stake Out Afghanistan Positions
By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post
As President Obama called Wednesday night for scaling down troop numbers in Afghanistan over the next year, differences over how to approach the conflict emerged among GOP presidential hopefuls, with some calling for a faster withdrawal and others arguing for a more conditions-based drawdown. Read more

Cantor Pulls Out Of Biden-Led Budget Talks
By Janet Hook and Corey Boles, The Wall Street Journal
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Thursday said he was pulling out of the bipartisan budget talks headed by Vice President Joe Biden for now because the group has reached an impasse over taxes that only President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) could resolve. Read more

U.S. Releases 30 Million Barrels Of Oil From Petroleum Reserve
By Coral Davenport, National Journal
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Thursday that the U.S. and its partners in the International Energy Agency will release 60 million barrels of oil onto the world market over the next 30 days to offset the disruption in the oil supply caused by unrest in the Middle East. The U.S. will release 30 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The SPR is currently at a historically high level with 727 million barrels, according to the Energy Department. Read more

Jun 27, 2011

On the Radar: June 27, 2011

Supreme Court Rejects Ban On Violent Video Games
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down California's ban on the sale of violent video games to minors, in a 7-2 decision emphasizing the free speech interests of young people and giving video games the same protection of books and movies. Read more

Bachmann Is In, Officially
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota formally opened her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday, presenting herself as a forceful conservative who will confront the party’s establishment and not compromise on principles to capture grass-roots enthusiasm that has risen up in opposition to President Obama. Read more

Iowa poll: Bachmann, Romney lead GOP race
By John Dickerson, CBS News
With a new poll in Iowa showing the tight race between Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney, Jan Crawford and John Dickerson report on where the candidates stand in the GOP race. View

Inside Nancy Pelosi’s Drive To Win The House Majority Back For Democrats
By Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane, The Washington Post
Nancy Pelosi no longer has a balcony with the grandest view in Washington. The size of her staff has been cut by a third. And it took months, she said, to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke from the second-floor suite she received in her swap with now-House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). Read more

GOP Compromise On Debt: Cut Military Spending?
By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, The Washington Post
As President Obama prepares to meet Monday with Senate leaders to try to restart talks about the swollen national debt, some Republicans see a potential path to compromise: significant cuts in military spending. Read more

What Would Milton Friedman Have Done?
By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal
Another entry in figuring out what the late monetary scholar Milton Friedman, the Nobel laureate, would have done in response to the global financial crisis comes from Edward Nelson, chief of the monetary studies section of the Fed’s monetary affairs division. Read more

U.S. To Begin 'Thinning Out' Its Afghan Forces
By Yochi J. Dreazen and Sara Sorcher, National Journal
President Obama’s announcement last week that 10,000 troops would leave Afghanistan this year set off a political firestorm, with Democrats accusing Obama of withdrawing too few troops and Republicans accusing him of withdrawing too many. Read more

McManus: Obama's Popular In Europe, Where It Doesn't Count
By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
His fame there doesn't do him much good at home, where voters are no longer in thrall to the uniqueness of the half-Kenyan, half-Kansan politician. Read more