November 11, 2008
Where Should The Press Camp Out?
At a packed press briefing in Washington today, transition co-chair John Podesta announced ethics rules for the next nine weeks and took questions on topics ranging from a reported spat with the White House to how Obama's team will participate--behind the scenes, because "we have one president at a time"--at the Bush administration's upcoming financial summit. You can read about it here. What seemed to weigh on the minds of reporters, though, many of whom were still exhausted from the campaign trail, was the perennial anxiety about access.
A Mormon-evangelical Rapprochement?
Marc Ambinder notices something that I'd been meaning to point out myself: By bankrolling opposition to same-sex marriage in California, the LDS church has earned some serious cred in social conservative circles.And the Prop 8 protesters -- those who are now protesting the church -- are only fueling the impression that when it comes to standing up for "traditional marriage," the Mormon Church is where it's at.This development has fascinating implications for 2012. When you think about Mitt Romney's problems in '08, it seemed as if the biggest one was his inability to convert the enthusiasm so
November 10, 2008
Jihadists for Obama
The election of Barack Obama has filled the cable networks with images of Kenyans dancing in the street and Australians breaking down into tears of joy. But there's one group of foreigners whose reactions haven't received much attention: the ones that seek our destruction.It's hard to figure out exactly what al Qaeda believes about the president elect--it's not easy to score terrorist-on-the-street interviews to figure out what the average suicide bomber thinks.
More than a little bit tiresome. A party for the dictator, the liberation theologian, a Maoist member of the Politburo of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal, an Egyptian heavy thinker and on and on, some wearing Birkenstocks, others guayaberas, whatever that is. This is the World Meeting of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humanity. No less. Dateline: Caracas, Venezuela. Read all about it in the Tuesday New York Times. By the way, President Chavez was seen smoking cigarettes.
The Washington Post has a rather stunning piece on its front page today. It turns out that, amid all the frenzied bailout back-and-forth in September, the Treasury Department unilaterally lifted a ban on a rather egregious tax shelter that conservatives have been lobbying to eliminate for 20 years. The move will cost taxpayers over $100 billion per year, and very few people think Treasury had the legal authority to execute it.
For fans of formality, you can read statements about the White House meeting from both the Bush and Obama camps here via Politico. --Seyward Darby
President Bush meets with president-elect Obama at the White House. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) Let the caption-writing begin! --Seyward Darby
Obama At The White House
Line of the day? Obama's take on the current first couple's attire: "You both look autumnal." You can read about the meeting here. --Seyward Darby
Wheelin' And Dealin'
As Obama has made clear, bailing out the auto industry is a key priority in his economic recovery agenda. There’s already $25 billion in low-cost loans approved for Detroit, but that money is tagged specifically to help the industry retool to meet higher fuel-efficiency standards. So Democrats have been pushing the White House to tap the $700 billion bailout package for more. The case for some sort of bailout is strong: GM may not have enough cash to make it through next year, and Chrysler may be running out of cash as well.
What About A Seme?
It was Thursday, barely 36 hours since Barack Obama was recognized to have won the American presidency, that some editorialist at the London Financial Times sat down to do his Friday leader. It was the paper's first instructions to Obama. The previous day's commentary was a cliche: a reminder, as if neither he nor his party grasped the truism, that Obama needed to be president of the "whole" country.So on what subject did the editors of the FT choose to exhort the president-elect?