Politics

February 02, 2009

Daily Round-up, 2/2
12:00 AM

Obama and Baucus have voiced their support for Daschle.   Physicians for a National Health Program and other liberal groups have launched a new single-payer lobbying campaign. Harvard health economist David Cutler is joining the new administration.   Obama will order a full review of the FDA in the wake of the recent peanut scare.   Governor Paterson is taking heat from unions for the health care cost-control measures in his new budget.   Can disruptive innovation create a new business model for health care?   GlaxoSmithKline is preparing to cut 6,000 jobs.

No Slick Response: Obama And Canada's Oil Sands
12:00 AM

Katherine Michonski is a research associate for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is eager for an audience with Barack Obama, and, luckily for him, he'll soon get one when the new president makes his first head-of-state visit to Canada on February 19. Harper is especially anxious to discuss Obama's campaign pledge to wean the United States off "dirty, dwindling and dangerously expensive" oil, which many Canadians interpret as a slight against Alberta's carbon-intensive oil-sands industry.

Entitlement/tax Reform In 2009?
12:00 AM

Is it me, or does the Washington Post have a huge scoop starting in the eleventh paragraph of this story? Key senators in both parties are backing a plan put forward by Conrad and the Budget Committee's senior Republican, Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), that would create a task force of lawmakers and administration officials.

January 31, 2009

Will The Stimulus Face A Quagmire In The Senate?
12:00 AM

The Times has a small but extremely important detail in its stimulus story today: At a strategy session on Thursday with Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, Democrats and the White House agreed to allow full-throated debate on the stimulus in the Senate rather than try to jam the bill through with a small margin of victory. At a minimum, Democrats need at least two Senate Republicans if they are to muster the 60 votes needed to pre-empt any filibuster. It's tough to overstate the significance of this.

Will The Stimulus Face A Quagmire In The Senate?
12:00 AM

The Times has a small but extremely important detail in its stimulus story today: At a strategy session on Thursday with Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, Democrats and the White House agreed to allow full-throated debate on the stimulus in the Senate rather than try to jam the bill through with a small margin of victory. At a minimum, Democrats need at least two Senate Republicans if they are to muster the 60 votes needed to pre-empt any filibuster. It's tough to overstate the significance of this.

January 30, 2009

Border War
12:00 AM

Larry Summers has a cutting sense of humor. For example, when he thinks a proposal calls for government heavy-handedness, he will dismiss it as “Putinesque,” a reference to the statist Russian leader. So maybe it’s fitting that some of Summers’s administration colleagues view the intellectually fierce former Harvard president, now head of the National Economic Council, in similar terms.

Purple Heart
12:00 AM

In the heady days leading up to Barack Obama’s inauguration, Washington was abuzz with speculation about the next great cause his legion of idealistic, tech-savvy supporters would tackle. Would they harness their collective Facebook energies to combat global warming? Or would they turn their Twittering talents toward fighting for universal health care? In the dawn of this new political era, anything seemed possible.

Asking The Right Questions
12:00 AM

From today's White House press briefing: Q    Can you describe the relationship between Senator Gregg and the President?  What is their friendship/relationship?  Do they play basketball together? MR.

Waiting For The Nukes Team
12:00 AM

During the presidential campaign, experts on preventing nuclear terrorism were almost giddy over Barack Obama's grasp of their issue. Not only was Obama attuned to state-level nuclear proliferation in places like Iran and North Korea, but he also appreciated the far less sexy threat of bomb-usable nuclear materials laying around sites like academic research reactors in Eastern Europe. (Repeat this mantra: Getting the nuclear material is the hard part.

Buy America Or Bye America
12:00 AM

  Nothing in the Democrats' stimulus bill has created as much fuss as a provision in the House bill that requires that American steel be used in the infrastructure projects that it funds. Washington business lobbies dominated by multinational corporations have mobilized against it. The Washington Post and The Economist have railed against it, accusing the Democrats of re-enacting Smoot-Hawley legislation, the 1931 tariff that is often blamed for contributing to a world depression in the 1930s. Vice President Joe Biden has come to the defense of the provision, but the President, his press secre

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