National Journal Online

QUICK TAKE: Fed Nears Final Plan for Increased Communications

Officials at the historically opaque Federal Reserve are close to unveiling a plan that would change the way they interact with the public. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Fed is expected to release a plan at the start of 2012 that will be specific on goals for inflation and employment as well as the interest-rate strategy it will use to meet those goals.  

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 10:40am

Reports: Afghanistan Will Need Foreign Aid Through 2025

Afghanistan expects to rely on international economic aid until 2025, The Washington Post reports, according to projections President Hamid Karzai was slated to deliver in Bonn, Germany on Monday.

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 10:40am

Obama Reboots as "TR 2.0"

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. -- In a display case at Sagamore Hill, the historic estate of President Theodore Roosevelt, a polished blue tablet reads, "By the turn of the century, business trusts controlled 65 percent of American wealth and Wall Street dictated the course of the American economy." A century-old editorial cartoon depicts the president firing a gun at a portly man with "The Trusts" scrawled upon the man's ample belly.

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Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 10:40am

QUICK TAKE: Maliki Urges U.S. Cooperation in Building Stable Iraqi Future

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wrote that the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Iraq, “came after negotiations held with respect for each side’s sovereign and political decisions.”

With the deadline for a complete drawdown looming at the end of the month, Maliki said, “solidifying a durable relationship between our two countries is vital.”

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 9:40am

SNL: Tyler Perry, Mark Zuckerberg and Verizon Customer Service More Powerful Than President Obama -- VIDEO

Saturday Night Live's cold open this weekend starred Fred Armisen as a deflated President Obama was is coming to terms with his lack of power.

"I used to think that being president meant you had a lot of power," Armisen's character said, speaking from the Oval Office. "But now I know it's more of a ceremonial position, a majestic figurehead whose main duties are shaking the hands of this year's WNBA champions and nodding and smiling when Chinese dignitaries ask if they can touch your hair."

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Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 9:40am

Should Congress Renew Clean-Energy Tax Credits?

Should Congress renew tax credits for renewable energy and ethanol?
Several clean-energy tax credits will expire at year's end if Congress does not renew them for at least one more year. A Treasury Department grant program for renewable energy such as solar power is set to expire, as well as tax credits for the ethanol industry. A key production tax credit for renewable energy--especially wind power--expires next year unless Congress renews it. Legislation introduced in the Senate would add a new tax credit for natural gas-powered trucks.

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 9:40am

What's Next for the Senate's Detainee Provisions?

Defying a White House veto threat, the Senate adopted controversial detainee provisions within the defense authorization bill last week that would require mandatory military detention for some terrorism suspects. Do you agree with the administration and a slew of law enforcement, intelligence, and Pentagon officials who argue the provisions reduce their flexibility in handling the war on terror? Or do you agree with the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership who insist the provisions merely "codify" existing procedures? Will the White House veto the bill?

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 9:40am

Reid to Introduce New Payroll-Tax Cut Package

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will introduce a new package extending payroll-tax cuts on Monday, according to Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota.

Conrad said the package from Reid would cover the cost of the tax cut “in a way that’s credible and serious,” but declined to give details on exactly how the bill would be paid for.

“It’s a compromise of what was voted on last week, a serious attempt to move this ball forward,” Conrad said on Fox News Sunday.

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 7:40am

Perry Letter Seeks to Woo Cain Supporters

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has wasted no time in trying to lure the supporters of Atlanta businessman Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign yesterday.

Perry's campaign has set up a page on his campaign website telling voters that with Cain gone, he is the only true "Washington outsider" left in the presidential race.

Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 10:40pm

Polls: Putin's Party Headed Toward Smaller Victory

Early polling shows Russian voters were on track to deliver the long-time ruling party of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin something of a rebuke Sunday, with United Russia losing far more seats than expected, according to the New York Times.

Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 7:40pm