Posts Tagged ‘Obama Administration’

Here’s a good guide from CNN on what will/won’t be affected by the government shutdown.

Update: Also see this guide from the Washington Post about how government agencies will be affected. Their shutdown countdown clock at T-minus 4 hours and counting…

It’s on!

The campaign is expected to file re-election papers with the FEC today. This allows them to start fundraising for the president’s re-election effort, which, given his status of incumbency, should be considerable. According to Jessica Yellin’s sources, the Obama campaign is shooting for a record-breaking $1 billion warchest.

Will be interesting to see how the other Republicans react to this announcement, specifically the ones who haven’t yet declared whether they’re in or out for 2012 – Palin, Trump, Huntsman, Huckabee, and Paul. Will the timing of the president’s announcement force them to tip their hands and commit to the race once and for all?

Let the games begin!

Update: First response from one of the president’s 2012 challengers comes from @MittRomney:

@barackobama I look forward to hearing details on your jobs plan, as are 14m unemployed Americans

Will update this post as other responses come in.

Update II: See this report by CNN’s Jim Acosta on the same issue of how/when the 2012 GOP potentials decide to get in the race.

Update III: Tim Pawlenty responds with this video.

The quote from the candidate: “In order for America to take a new direction, it’s going to take a new president.”

Update IV: The Republican National Committee has launched a new website and a $270,000 money bomb for the next 72 hours – $1,000 for each vote needed in the Electoral College to win the presidency. They also released the following video on their YouTube channel:

Steve Coll makes the case against doing so.

Although not mentioned in this article, Coll has another relevant historical precedent to draw from. In his seminal work “Ghost Wars,” he wrote extensively about how the U.S. provided the mujahedin in Afghanistan with Stinger missiles and other weapons to level the playing field in their fight against the Soviets. According to Coll, the CIA gave between 2,000 and 2,500 missiles to the Afghan rebels during the course of the war.

After the Soviet withdrawal, “the CIA fretted that loose Stingers would be bought by terrorist groups or hostile governments such as Iran’s for use against American civilian passenger planes or military aircraft.” The Bush and Clinton administrations later authorized a highly secret missile buyback program, with each going between $80,000 and $150,000 a piece. The agency estimated that 600 of them were still at large in 1996 (Coll, Ghost Wars p. 11).   The CIA and the Obama administration would not want to see a replay of this scenario in Libya.

Dr. Gupta stays at CNN and Emory Hospital.

money

Government Executive has this story about a new memo from the OMB listing the requirements for disclosing spending from the stimulus bill, contracting, and risk management.

While this, and the new recovery.gov website, are great tools in theory for investigative journalists, watchdog groups, and taxpayers to keep an eye on how all this money is being spent, it sounds a little overwhelming. I also have a feeling that the new transparency and disclosure requirements are going to come back and haunt somebody, either in one of the government agencies or the White House or Congress.

The Hill’s Aaron Blake looks at the short and long-term political implications of the stimulus bill, with an eye on 2010.

The stimulus package has emerged as the first major campaign issue of the 2010 election cycle, and a Republican Party eyeing a return to the majority is going all-in.

The near-universal GOP opposition to the stimulus means that, for 2010 at least, Democrats own the result. Republicans, meanwhile, are in the awkward position of banking on it, at least electorally, to fail.

In the end, only three Republicans voted for the stimulus package — all in the Senate — while 11 Democrats voted against it — all in the House.

The only senator who is up in 2010 to break party ranks was Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who is in the unenviable position of dealing with both a blue-trending state and a conservative backlash over the vote.

Potential primary opponents like former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and businessman Glen Meakem bristled at Specter’s vote and now have new motivation to challenge him next year.

“I really thought he was trying to avoid a primary challenge, and it’s very clear to me from this vote that he is really not anymore,” Meakem said, adding: “I think leading conservatives are going to coalesce around a candidate here in the next month or two.”

Another candidate with plenty riding on the vote is potential Senate candidate Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), who has taken to criticizing Democratic leaders over their conduct.

Shuler drew a sharp rebuke from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) after he said Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “failed” to make the package bipartisan.

Shuler is considered a top potential challenger to Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) in 2010. And even if Shuler stays in the House, he could face a tough race in a very conservative district.

Unlike Shuler, many of those breaking ranks on the stimulus vote are safe, including several Blue Dog Democrats and Republican Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

Blue Dog member Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) is facing a primary challenge from state Sen. Al Lawson, meaning his vote could be a liability. In announcing his intentions Wednesday, Lawson signaled that the vote would be front-and-center in the race.

The Republicans’ strategy is clear: they want the Democrats to own this bill if it fails. But if the economy is in recovery by Election Day, the whole thing will blow up in their face, and the Democrats can label them as obstructionists who voted against the economic recovery. We’ll see who gets the last laugh in about 19 months from now.

Hanna Ingber Win noticed an interesting development and wrote it up for Huffington Post:

The official press of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), requested an interview with President Obama, reports AHN.

The Islamic News Agency’s U.N. representative, Khosro Shayesteh told CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk that they have requested the interview and are waiting for a response from Obama to begin a dialogue. “The Iranian request for an interview with Obama comes at an opportune time for U.S.-Iran relations since both President Obama and Iran’s President have offered to begin negotiations, which were stalled during the eight years of the Bush Administration, and because Obama gave his first official interview as President to Al Arabiya,” said Falk.

You can’t argue with the logic behind Shayesteh’s comment given Obama and Ahmadinejad’s recent public statements. And in all fairness, Ahmadinejad has given interviews to foreign media, including CNN. This could be a very interesting first step in American-Iranian talks during Obama’s presidency.

With the obscene amounts of money being proposed for the economic stimulus, CNN’s Christine Romans effectively states the obvious: billions are no longer enough.

Peter Orszag, Barack Obama’s nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, has given up his duties blogging for his old job as director of the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO blog will continue under acting director Robert Sunshine.

Here’s hoping that Orszag continues his blogging at the White House.

Arizona governor Janet Napolitano gets the nod for Secretary of Homeland Security.

After the election, Kos commissioned a poll for a hypothetical McCain-Napolitano matchup for the Arizona senate race in 2010. Looks like Arizona Democrats are going to have to find another candidate now.

Update: CNN reporting that Obama national finance chair Penny Pritzker will be Commerce Secretary.

Update II: Pritzker tells CNN and other news organizations she is not in the running for the job.