Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - January 28, 2009

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

-Stimulus Plan Would Provide Flood of Aid to Education
The economic stimulus plan that Congress has scheduled for a vote on Wednesday would shower the nation's school districts, child care centers and university campuses with $150 billion in new federal spending, a vast two-year investment that would more than double the Department of Education's current budget.

-Editorial: Caring for the Caregivers
With more jobs being lost all the time across the board - more than 71,000 layoffs in the United States were announced on Monday and Tuesday alone - there should be comfort in the fact that one sector, health care, continues to add jobs. In December, employers added 32,000 health-related positions.

-Op-Ed Columnist: Wall Street's Socialist Jet-Setters
WASHINGTON: As President Obama spreads his New Testament balm over the capital, I'm longing for a bit of Old Testament wrath. Couldn't he throw down his BlackBerry tablet and smash it in anger over the feckless financiers, the gods of gold and their idols - in this case not a gilt calf but an $87,000 area rug, a cache of diamond Tiffany and Cartier watches and a French-made luxury corporate jet?

-Abdullah II: The 5-State Solution
In February 2002, I traveled to Saudi Arabia and interviewed the then crown prince, now king, Abdullah, at his Riyadh horse farm. I asked him why the next Arab summit wouldn't just propose to Israel full peace and normalization of relations, by all 22 Arab states, for full withdrawal from all occupied lands and creation of a Palestinian state. Abdullah said that I had read his mind ("Have you broken into my desk?" he asked me) and that he was about to propose just that, which he later did, giving birth to the "Abdullah peace plan."

-Editorial: Alberto Gonzales, the Sequel
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should have considered himself a lucky man when he was allowed to resign in disgrace in August 2007 without being hauled into Congress on perjury or contempt charges.

-Obama Talks to the Arabs
By Eric Etheridge
Barack Obama sat for his formal formal interview as president with Al Arabiya, an Arabic-language news channel based in Dubai (read The Times' report and see clips from the interview), and online the response has been swift. For some on the right, the only comment necessary was short and to the point: At the American Spectator, Quin Hillyer's brief post was titled "This . . . Blows . . . My . . . Mind." And at Atlas Shruggs, Pamela Geller's one-sentence post invoked the book of Matthew: "By his fruits we shall know him, and so we know the plant."

-Texas Rebellion Gives a Centrist a Lift
On first blush, it is easy to think the Democratic tide that swept President Obama into office barely touched Texas. After all, Republicans still run the state and hold all the top offices and, if Texas voters had had their way, John McCain would be in the Oval Office.

-Clinton Sees an Opportunity for Iran to Return to Diplomacy
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that Iran had a "clear opportunity" to engage with the international community, amplifying the conciliatory tone struck a day earlier by President Obama toward Iran and the rest of the Muslim world.

-Iranian Leader Demands U.S. Apology
TEHRAN - A day after President Obama struck a conciliatory tone toward Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged Washington on Wednesday to apologize for its actions toward his country over the past 60 years and said it was unclear whether the new American administration was merely shifting tactics or wanted real change.

-Aides Say Obama's Afghan Aims Elevate War
President Obama intends to adopt a tougher line toward Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, as part of a new American approach to Afghanistan that will put more emphasis on waging war than on development, senior administration officials said Tuesday.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy
All right, I was weeping too. To be honest, the restoration of science was the least of it, but when Barack Obama proclaimed during his Inaugural Address that he would "restore science to its rightful place," you could feel a dark cloud lifting like a sigh from the shoulders of the scientific community in this country.

-Agent of (Climate) Change
President Obama ends White House inaction -- but there's a better way to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

-Second Thoughts on Trade
By Harold Meyerson
A few months ago, Robert Cassidy found himself pondering whether trade actually benefited the American economy. "I couldn't prove it," he says. "Did it benefit U.S. multinational corporations? Yes. But I cannot prove that it benefits the economy."

-Representation for D.C.
Steny Hoyer shows a welcome impatience in the House. ENOUGH. That, thankfully, was the powerful message from House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) at yesterday's hearing on D.C. voting rights. He is not only correct about the intolerable injustice of American citizens being denied representation in their government but also that the debate has gone on for far too long. So it is welcome to hear his resolve to bring a voting rights bill to a quick vote -- a move that one hopes will spur similar action by the Senate.

-Partnering With Pakistan
By Asif Ali Zardari
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan looks forward to a new beginning in its bilateral relationship with the United States. First, we congratulate Barack Obama and the country that had the character to elect him, and we welcome his decision to name a special envoy to Southwest Asia. Appointing the seasoned diplomat Richard Holbrooke says much about the president's worldview and his understanding of the complexities of peace and stability and the threats of extremism and terrorism. Simply put, we must move beyond rhetoric and tackle the hard problems.

-Democrats Among Stimulus Skeptics
Some See Long-Term Goals Going Unmet
By Alec MacGillis
Republican criticism of the stimulus package that the House will vote on tonight has focused on its soaring price tag, but some Democrats on Capitol Hill and other administration supporters are voicing a separate critique: that the plan may fall short in its broader goal of transforming the American economy over the long term.

-Backlash Against Bush Apparent in RNC
Many Members Seek New Chairman to Steer Party in a Different Direction
By Perry Bacon Jr.
As they begin meeting in Washington today, many members of the Republican National Committee are focusing their ire against what they considered George W. Bush's anti-conservative policies and trying to dump the man he tapped to run the GOP.

Wall Street Journal
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-Bill Clinton Speech Fees Topped $4.7 Million in '08
Former President Bill Clinton earned more than $4.7 million last year in speaking fees from engagements in countries around the world, including Kuwait and China, according to a new disclosure report, creating potential conflicts for his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

-A 40-Year Wish List
You won't believe what's in that stimulus bill.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Democrats Among Stimulus Skeptics
Some See Long-Term Goals Going Unmet
By Alec MacGillis
Republican criticism of the stimulus package that the House will vote on tonight has focused on its soaring price tag, but some Democrats on Capitol Hill and other administration supporters are voicing a separate critique: that the plan may fall short in its broader goal of transforming the American economy over the long term.

-Obama vs. Limbaugh, audacity vs. ideology
Clarence Page
Now that he doesn't have George W. Bush to kick around anymore, President Barack Obama is taking on the talk-show hosts. That's Rush Limbaugh's impression, and he's sticking to it.,0,3693235.column

-House GOP member to Rush: Back off
Rush Limbaugh may command a large following, but his caustic comments Monday about the GOP's congressional leadership have at least one Republican House member defending his colleagues and offering an unusually candid critique of the talk radio powerhouse and his fellow commentators.


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