On the Radar

Check ON THE RADAR regularly each week to read the latest reporting by award-winning WASHINGTON WEEK panelists.

March 27, 2012

Most Oppose at Least Part of Overhaul, Poll Finds

By Dalia Sussman, Helene Cooper, and Kate Phillips, New York Times

Two-thirds of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn some or all of the health care law, even though large majorities support a few of its major aspects, according to a poll by The New York Times and CBS News. At the heart of the opposition is the individual mandate requiring Americans to obtain health insurance, the least popular part of the bill and a crucial piece at the center of the court arguments, which began Monday and will turn to the mandate on Tuesday.
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Obama’s Etch A Sketch Moment? Will 'Space' and 'Flexibility' Haunt Obama on Foreign Policy?

By Major Garrett, National Journal

For a president gearing up to seek reelection in part based on muscular foreign-policy credentials, President Obama Monday gave his critics two words that may reverberate on the campaign trail as much as "Etch A Sketch." “Space” and “flexibility.” The obsessed political world fed for 48 hours on the Etch A Sketch metaphor by Mitt Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom.
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March 26, 2012

Supreme Court Unlikely to Delay Obama Healthcare Ruling

By Joan Biskupic and James Vicini, Reuters

The Supreme Court on Monday appeared prepared to decide the fate of President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law soon, rather than delaying for years a ruling on the mandate that Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty.
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Supreme Court Hears Historic Healthcare Law

By Joan Biskupic and James Vicini, Reuters

President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul on Monday went before the U.S. Supreme Court where the nine justices began hearing arguments in a historic test of the law's validity under the U.S. Constitution. The sweeping law intended to transform healthcare for millions of people in the United States has generated fierce political debate. Republican presidential hopefuls and members of Congress have vowed to roll back the March 23, 2010, law they say will financially burden states, businesses and individuals.
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Supreme Court The US Supreme Court (FlickrCC/S.E.B.)

Obama Says U.S. Reducing Nuclear Arsenal Won’t Harm Security

By Margaret Talev and Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

President Barack Obama committed to further reduce America’s nuclear stockpile, saying his country had more nuclear weapons than it needed and that it wouldn’t compromise national security. Obama, who spoke at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, said the U.S. will seek talks with Russia on steps to reduce their arsenals of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, as well as the number of warheads they have in reserve.
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Employers Monitor Health Care Law Arguments

With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court won't rule on President Obama's health care case until June. Republicans vow to repeal the law if they win big in November. David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to David Greene about how the ruling could affect doctors, hospitals, employers and consumers.

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Santorum Ignores Pressure to Bow Out to Romney

By Jeff Zeleny and Sarah Wheaton, New York Times

Mitt Romney remains his biggest foe, but Rick Santorum is increasingly confronting an even more daunting obstacle: a rising chorus of Republicans calling for the divisive presidential contest to end so the party can turn its full attention to defeating President Obama.
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Twenty Years on, ‘Year of the Woman’ Fades

By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

At a moment when gender politics is thick in the air, it is a good time to reconsider another spring, exactly 20 years ago, when an unprecedented wave of women set their sights on Washington. That was the election that was supposed to change everything. But it didn’t — not on the scale once expected.
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March 23, 2012

Romney Needs the Little Guy, Not Another Big Fish

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

Former Gov. Jeb Bush's endorsement of Mitt Romney on Tuesday, which sent the message that it's time for Republicans to rally behind their likely nominee, also raised a question: Who's next? Speculation immediately centered on South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, one of the most popular leaders in the conservative movement, when word leaked Wednesday that he was meeting with Romney on Capitol Hill.
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Why Supreme Court may uphold healthcare law

By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

Conventional political wisdom holds that the Supreme Court, scheduled to hear a challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law beginning on Monday, is likely to strike it down on partisan lines. The court's Republican appointees enjoy a 5-4 majority. But a review of lower court rulings by conservative judges, subtle signals from individual justices, and interviews with professors and judges across the ideological spectrum suggest that presumption is wrong - and that the court will uphold the law.
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President Obama signs the Health Reform Law in 2010 (CNN)

Afghanistan Shooting Suspect to Be Charged

With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be officially charged with 17 counts of murder.

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Cybersecurity Bill: Vital Need Or Just More Rules?

By Tom Gjelten, NPR

Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.

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GOPs Campaign in Louisiana

With John Harwood, CNBC

CNBC's John Harwood has the story on GOP hopefuls gearing up for the Louisiana primary as some are calling for candidates to drop out.

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March 22, 2012

Obama Plays the Long Game on Gas Prices

By Major Garrett, National Journal

For the White House, the current gas prices wars are not about today's poll numbers. That's a losing proposition and top officials know it. When you're the "in" party when gas prices rise, you suffer. President Bush did in 2008 and so, by extension, did John McCain. When you're the "out" party, you pounce. That's what Sen. Barack Obama did before the Indiana primary against Hillary Clinton in 2008.
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President Obama talks about energy in Maljamar, NM (CNN)

Above the Rules

By John Dickerson, Slate

Now let us talk of Republican National Committee rule No. 40(b). Must we? I'm afraid we must, my friend, they’re printing stories in the press. Some believe it to be a hurdle to Newt Gingrich's march to the nomination. You mean the one where he keeps losing but at the Republican Convention is held aloft by 1,144 delegates as the one true nominee? The very same, my friend.
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Romney’s Day to Relish Is Marred by Aide’s Gaffe

By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

Mitt Romney sought to use the coveted endorsement of Jeb Bush on Wednesday to amplify his call for Republicans to rally behind his candidacy and get on with the mission of ousting President Obama.
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Military Accident Caught on Tape

With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Martha Raddatz on the video of an apache helicopter crashing in Afghanistan.

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Obama Tours Four States to Defend Energy Policy

By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

Against the desert backdrop of the nation’s largest solar energy installation, President Obama on Wednesday assailed Republican critics of his clean energy policies as “the flat earth society” even as he sought to demonstrate his own support for domestic oil and gas production.
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Republicans Want Romney to Close the Deal

By Naureen Khan and Beth Reinhard, National Journal

Hoisting his newest trophies — a landslide win in Illinois and an endorsement from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — Mitt Romney came to this Baltimore suburb on Wednesday for a victory lap aimed at bringing the marathon Republican primary to a close. The rout in the Midwest, followed hours later by the blessing from one of the GOP’s most respected figures, amplified calls by the Romney campaign and its allies for his flagging rivals to bow out.
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March 21, 2012

Democrats Attack Ryan Budget Plan, Again

By Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal

A year ago, Democrats made political mincemeat of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, attacking it for its cuts in Medicare and other programs. They’re hoping Mr. Ryan’s new plan will provide similar political damage. In a statement Tuesday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said the plan “once again fails the test of balance, fairness and shared responsibility.”
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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), center, introduces the GOP budget with Republican House Members (CNN)