National Journal Online

Cantor Pulls Out of Biden Talks Thursday

Following on a decision by House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., to pull out of the White House-led debt and deficit talks on Thursday, the other Republican negotiator, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, has also dropped out of the negotiations and the new GOP position appears to be that they will not negotiate any further until Democrats take tax increases off the table. That position seem to reflect their assessment that there are not the votes in the House to pass any deal that includes tax increases.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:40am

White House Agrees to Let Congress Codify some Cybersecurity Policies

Obama administration officials say they will let Congress make permanent in statute some cybersecurity policies the White House initially had wanted the executive branch to authorize, to more quickly implement the law.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:40am

Five Best Thursday Columns

Elizabeth Dickinson on the New Mafia: Drug Cartels  Drops in the cocaine trade between Mexico and the U.S. "would be excellent news" if it didn't correlate with a rise in drug violence near the border, explains Elizabeth Dickinson at Foreign Policy. Legalizing and regulating the U.S.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:40am

Lieberman and Rubio on Libya Debate: Get Over It and Move On

As the House continues to challenge the administration on the U.S. engagement in Libya, Sens. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., say it’s time to accept reality and move on to ending Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:40am

Palin Uses Jury Duty to Get Out of Bus Tour

On Wednesday morning, Real Clear Politics reported that Sarah Palin's much-hyped bus tour of states that just happened to host the earliest primary votes has been delayed indefinitely. The roadtrip was seen as evidence she was running for president after all, and its apparent cancellation was taken as a sign she wasn't.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:40am

U.S. Releases 30 Million Barrels of Oil From Petroleum Reserve

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.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 9:40am

Iowa Poll Coming Saturday

The first public measure of where the candidates stand will come Saturday, when the Des Moines Register releases its first Iowa Poll of the year.

The Register contracts with Selzer & Co., a highly-regarded Des Moines-based polling firm that has delivered surprisingly accurate predictions of where the Caucus stands in recent years.

That just makes us wonder: Did former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's team know the poll was in the field? Launching a television ad to influence the poll would be a smart move.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 9:40am

Kerry: Pakistan Is Key to Reinforcing Withdrawal

In the absence of a military solution in Afghanistan, it’s time to move on the diplomatic front, according to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

Following President Obama’s announcement Wednesday night of his plan to withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the administration’s policy “appropriate” and said that now it’s time to deal with the politics in the region.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 9:40am

Jobless Claims Higher Than Expected

Weekly jobless claims climbed to 429,000 for the week ending June 18. It was the 11th consecutive week above 400,000, the level claims need to drop below to dent the unemployment rate.

Applications for initial jobless benefits for the week were up from a revised 420,000 the previous week, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The number of claims exceeded consensus predictions for a rise to 415,000 from an initially reported 414,000 for the previous week.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 9:40am

Ron Paul, Barney Frank Introduce Bill to End Pot Prohibition

The unlikely duo of Ron Paul and Barney Frank have unveiled legislation that would end the federal government's prohibition of marijuana and leave the legalization issue up to individual states. As they've said already, "this is not a legalization bill," according to a Frank spokesperson via The Wall Street Journal.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 9:40am