Sunday, November 23, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST November 23, 2008

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New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Obama Aides Signal Deeper Cuts in Taxes and Spending
President-elect Barack Obama has signaled that he will pursue a far more ambitious plan of spending and tax cuts than anything he outlined on the campaign trail - a plan "big enough to deal with the huge problem we face," a top adviser said Sunday - setting the tone for a recovery effort that could absorb and define much of his term.

-Memo From Islamabad: Ringed by Foes, Pakistanis Fear the U.S., Too
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A redrawn map of South Asia has been making the rounds among Pakistani elites. It shows their country truncated, reduced to an elongated sliver of land with the big bulk of India to the east, and an enlarged Afghanistan to the west.

-New Economic Fears Arise in Michigan
The bad news keeps coming to Michigan, a state long stuck in recession and at ground zero in the national economic downturn. But unlike in months and years past, there are no exceptions to the despair, not even here among the bucolic resort communities along Lake Michigan.

-Op-Ed Columnist: The Pakistan Test
Islamabad, Pakistan. Barack Obama's most difficult international test in the next year will very likely be here in Pakistan. A country with 170 million people and up to 60 nuclear weapons may be collapsing.

-Op-Ed Columnist: We Found the W.M.D.
So, I have a confession and a suggestion. The confession: I go into restaurants these days, look around at the tables often still crowded with young people, and I have this urge to go from table to table and say: "You don't know me, but I have to tell you that you shouldn't be here. You should be saving your money. You should be home eating tuna fish. This financial crisis is so far from over. We are just at the end of the beginning. Please, wrap up that steak in a doggy bag and go home."

Washington Post
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-World Leaders at APEC Anxiously Await Obama Administration
LIMA, Peru, Nov. 23 -- George W. Bush was the U.S. president at an economic summit here this weekend, but many foreign leaders were focused on President-elect Barack Obama instead.

-Obama Sets Expansive Goal for Jobs
Plan Aims to Create or Save 2.5 Million Positions by 2011
President-elect Barack Obama is developing a plan to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs over the next two years by spending billions of dollars to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize public schools, and construct wind farms and other alternative sources of energy.

-BLACKS AND THE GOP: It's My Party, But I Don't Feel Part of It
Election night was a bittersweet night for me. Like most Americans, and especially as an African American, I found it deeply moving to watch President-elect Barack Obama and his family -- soon to be our nation's first African American first family -- stride onstage for his victory speech. I welcome the positive role models they'll present to black families and the American public at large.

-CLOSE-MINDED: Closed-Minded on the Border
The day after the Nov. 4 presidential election, I was chatting with a young immigrant from Sudan as I waited to do a radio interview. He was gushing over the election results. "Can you imagine when he puts his hand on the Bible and says, 'I, Barack Hussein Obama'?" he said, putting the emphasis on the middle name. "It is amazing."

-INNOVATION NATION: Why Detroit Can't Keep Up
It has become conventional wisdom that the reeling U.S. auto industry desperately needs to innovate. The hard part for Detroit is working out how.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Op-Ed Columnist: Time for Him to Go
Thanksgiving is next week, and President Bush could make it a really special holiday by resigning. Seriously. We have an economy that's crashing and a vacuum at the top. Bush - who is currently on a trip to Peru to meet with Asian leaders who no longer care what he thinks - hasn't got the clout, or possibly even the energy, to do anything useful. His most recent contribution to resolving the fiscal crisis was lecturing representatives of the world's most important economies on the glories of free-market capitalism.

-Political Punch: Summers to Be Top White House Economic Adviser at NEC
ABC News has learned that President-elect Obama has decided to name former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers the director of the National Economic Council, essentially the president's senior economic adviser.

-Editorial: The Price of Our Good Name
Americans have watched in horror as President Bush has trampled on the Bill of Rights and the balance of power. The list of abuses that President-elect Barack Obama must address is long: once again require the government to get warrants to eavesdrop on Americans; undo scores of executive orders and bill-signing statements that have undermined the powers of Congress; strip out the unnecessary invasions of privacy embedded in the Patriot Act; block new F.B.I. investigative guidelines straight out of J. Edgar Hoover's playbook.

-Obama aide promotes job plan, warns automakers
President-elect Barack Obama wants the new Congress to approve massive spending and fresh tax cuts in January, "a big number" probably far distancing a $175 billion campaign proposal, so he can sign it after taking office, top aides said Sunday.

-Obama fills out White House communications team
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named longtime spokesman Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary and reached outside his inner circle for the post of White House communications director.

-Obama's win a nightmare for al-Qaida
Just when it seemed the insults hurled at Barack Obama had reached the apex of absurdity, al-Qaida weighs in with a bit of retro name-calling of its own. In a video released last week, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the top deputy to Osama bin Laden, denounced Obama as a "house Negro" and compared him unfavorably to "honorable black Americans" such as the late Malcolm X, the black nationalist who practiced Islam.

-Why the Geithner Pick Is Even Better Than You Think
A few weeks ago, I wrote a profile of Tim Geithner that explored his relationship with Larry Summers during their eight years together at Treasury in the 1990s. The two men had formed such a productive partnership that I wondered if there were some way of reuniting them under Obama. Invariably the answer from sources was "no." Both had achieved "principal" status (Geithner spent the last five years as president of the New York Fed, Summers was Bill Clinton's final Treasury Secretary) and there was, alas, only one top job.

-Reports: Passing Universal Healthcare Could Kill The GOP
Barack Obama's selection of Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary, as well as "health reform czar," signals that the incoming president is serious about passing comprehensive healthcare reform. Over at the think tank Cato, Michael Cannon warns that blocking any such legislation is vital for the GOP's survival (h/t Kos):


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