National Journal Online

K Street Paradox

This week's advocacy and lobbying stories in National Journal: (subscription) "K Street Paradox:" In this week's special report on lobbying: President Obama's fight against special interests boomerangs as lobbying firms just get richer. "Q & A With Obama's Ethics Gate Keeper:" Norman Eisen, special counsel for ethics and government reform, answers the president's critics. "Top Lobbying Firms and Spenders:" A list of top lobbying firms and top spending organizations in 2009.

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 10:00am

Hotline After Dark -- Abort The Mission?

"World News" led with highway safety improvements. "Evening News" led with updates from Afghanistan. "Nightly News" led with the closing of half of Kansas City's schools.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat down for an interview with MSNBC's Maddow that aired on the "Rachel Maddow Show" 3/11 p.m.

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 9:34am

Conservative Group Targets Reid

From this morning's Earlybird: • "The American Future Fund, a conservative advocacy group, has placed a new $250,000 television ad buy targeting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over Democrats' procedural maneuvering on the health care bill," Roll Call reports. • "As lawmakers imposed another restriction Thursday on congressional earmarks, private companies and lobbyists defended their work in securing federal money for what they deemed worthy projects," the Washington Post reports.

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 9:30am

Chinese Minister Threatens Google

From this morning's Earlybird: • "A Chinese minister made the government's strongest statement yet on Google Inc.'s future in the country, warning that the U.S. Internet company 'will have to bear the consequences'" if it "follows through on its pledge to stop censoring its Chinese search site," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 9:30am

Friday's Starting Lineup

Good Friday morning. Best wishes to Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid's wife and daughter, who were in a car accident yesterday, for a speedy recovery.

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who will make headlines this grey and rainy Friday:

Posted: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 8:44am

It's Critz V. Burns In PA-12

GOP delegates have tabbed businessman Tim Burns (R) to be their nominee in the special election to fill the remainder of late-Rep. John Murtha's (D) term. He'll face ex-Murtha staffer Mark Critz (D) in the 5/18 contest.

Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 10:18pm

Report: More Countries Moved To Restrict Net in '09

While technology has helped people all over the world gain greater access to more information, many governments last year devoted increased attention and resources to curtailing access to those technologies and information, the State Department said Thursday in its annual Human Rights report.

Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 7:06pm

Chamber Ads Divide Small Biz

(Credit: Richard A. Bloom) Updated with U.S. Chamber comment at 12:09 p.m. on March 12. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it's fighting for small businesses, but not all small-business owners appreciate the effort. After the chamber's launched its $4 million ad campaign against the health care bill Tuesday, the progressive Main Street Alliance pushed back, saying its members were being misrepresented and left without voice in the reform debate.

Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 5:56pm

House Mulls Options On Campaign Finance Reform

House Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski, D-Penn., said at a hearing this morning that we may be on the way to a Constitutional Convention due to repeated Supreme Court decisions scaling back campaign finance law in the name of the First Amendment. Such an event, however, could actually wind up harming the Constitution by paring it down, he said.

Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 5:48pm

Comcast-NBC Deal Review Focuses On Consumers

Federal regulators reviewing the proposed $30 billion merger of Comcast and NBC Universal pledged Thursday to closely scrutinize the transaction's impact on consumers and the marketplace. "Senator, I can assure you there is no rubber stamp at the Department of Justice," Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, who heads the antitrust division, said during an exchange with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. "The interests of consumers will be heard in our review of this transaction -- they have to be.

Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 5:41pm