NDN Blog

11/24 Roundup: CitiFAIL, Frenemies, Turkey Execution

CitiFAILLeader: CitiFAIL

- As you may recall, Hank Paulson reassured us all a week ago when he told us that the financial system had been stabilized.  As if on cue, Citigroup burst into a ball of magnificent flames, and demanded government rescue.  Last night, the Treasury, Fed and FDIC announced they had reached a deal, whereby the government will invest another $20 billion in the financial behemoth, and backstop as much as $306 billion of buggered assets. In return, the government will become the proud owner of $7 billion in preferred shares, with more coming, if more public dollars are used to back up the bank.

- Louise Story at the NY Times reports on the bailout, take three.  Will it work better this time?

- Paul Krugman's short take on the deal: It's a bad deal.

- Steve Forbes makes it official: Hank Paulson is the worst Treasury Secretary in modern times.


- Michael Lind at Salon takes up an old rhetorical battle, and asks if it's ok to be "liberal" again, instead of "progressive." I vote yes.

- Hillary is now more or less a lock to head the State Department, and New York's John Heilemann writes on the relationship between Hillary and Barack: The closest of frenemies.

- Virginia is moving closer to abandoning some of its notoriously harsh policies toward illegal immigrants, making the state less hostile and more accepting of the situation's reality.

- Perhaps this is part of a Republican strategy to reverse their  fortune among Hispanics? The Denver Post reports on the blue drift in Hispanic-heavy states, and quotes Simon talking about how Republicans lost serious ground with Hispanics because of their anti-immigrant policies.  Even Texas, he says, could turn blue as a blueberry.


- Brent Scowcroft (a Republican, but a foreign policy realist, not like those crazy neocons) has been speaking regularly with Barack Obama, and is the ideological forbear of many Obama foreign policy advisors, particularly those from the right side of the aisle.

- Obama has also been chatting it up with Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan. Let's hope Obama makes good on his campaign promise to prioritize the conflict there, and get the country under control.

One More Thing

- Students at a Long Island elementary school voted to rename their school after Barack Obama.

- Will spazzy Democrats tip the scales for Al Franken? Perhaps: “Democrats are [thought to be] more creative, free-spirited, so the idea is they’re more likely to make a mistake that the optical scan won’t pick up. But when they recount the hard copy, those votes will be counted for Franken. If you talk to Republicans, they say it will be Franken’s advantage, because Democrats are stupid and will screw up ballots more often.”

- Happy Thanksgiving week!  MSNBC does a "where are they now" on the pardoned turkeys of Thanksgivings past.

- Last, in case you haven't seen this yet, Sarah Palin blathers while innocent birds are systematically executed over her left shoulder. Shudder.


11/21 Roundup: Worries in Spades, Mai Mai Fighters, Pleistocene Republicans

Oops.Leader: Worries in Spades

- Perhaps it isn't news anymore, but every time we reach thrilling new milestones measuring our economic nose-dive, it seems important to return our attention to such matters.  The S&P 500 took another fall, reaching its lowest point since 1997.  If it ends the year at the level it reached last night, 2008 will constitute the largest percentage drop in the index's 80-year history: 52%. As its shares have dropped by half this week, Citigroup has earned the title of panic-inducing bank of the moment. They're pulling out all the stops to halt the bleeding.

- Paul Krugman sanguinely assures us that we needn't worry about the stock market.  Rather, we should be panicking about the credit market. The NY Times Business pages concur.

- The NY Times also points out that Wall Street is not benefitting from the power vaccum in Washington. With one president redefining the term "lame duck," and another president waiting in the wings, it's just not clear who's in charge. Our constitution has left us with a rather serious problem here, as an awful lot can go wrong between election day and inauguration day. NDN's Rob Shapiro is quoted on TAPPED, wondering why President Bush and the Congress won't push through the first part of a stimulus package now.


- What about Defense secretary? CNN gives us the shortlist, and Time weighs the pros and cons of keeping Robert Gates around for a while.

- Hillary remains coy about whether she'll take the job as Secretary of State.  If she does, the WaPo wonders: Whither Bill Richardson?


- In a victory for the environmental movement, and a surprising rebuttal to our usually seniority-obsessed Congress, Rep. Henry Waxman defeated Rep. John Dingell in his challenge for chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Slate's Christopher Beam says this is a boon for President-elect Obama.

- The Washington Post writes about the declining influence of the conservative Federalist Society.  Yesterday, in a moment of surprisingly apt metaphor, Attorney General Michael Mukasey keeled over and nearly died while speaking in front of the Society.

- Ron Brownstein of the National Journal writes of Bush's great gift to the Republican Party: An incoherent coalition of the far-right and the far-far-right. 

- The Guardian covers Republican strategizing to reclaim power by winning over Hispanic voters.  The new map used by Democrats to win this year "Should be very scary to Republicans," says Simon.


- A federal district judge ruled yesterday that five Algerian men currently held in Guantanamo Bay were detained illegally.   The tricky question with these men-- and all of the Gitmo detainees-- is what to do with them. Attorney General Mukasey has an Op-Ed in today's WSJ (written before his collapse, presumably), arguing for a uniform, unique set of rules guiding the trial of Guantanamo detainees. Daphne Eviatar, writing for the Windy, questions the premise of an alternative court system.

- The NY Times takes a look at the Mai Mai fighters in the eastern Congo, the third major part of the complex conflict there.

One More Thing

- There is hope for the Republicans yet, as pointed out by the Democratic
Strategist: Scientists draw ever closer to recreating a living Wooly Mammoth. Perhaps, if science can bring back the Pleistocene period, Republicanism would enjoy a revitalization.

- Last, the Astroturf pontificate on stagflation and sing about the Central Banker's Dilemma (So maybe, with consumer prices falling, stagflation isn't the concern of the moment, but the song remains relevant). You can listen to them here on NPR. (Hat Tip: KTW)



If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in. Thanks!

11/20 Roundup: Stocking the Cabinet, Your 401k, Mayhem on the Hill

LeksvikLeader: Stocking the Cabinet

- You might be forgiven for thinking that President-elect Obama was about finished picking his cabinet. In fact, not one official announcement has been made. However! It appears certain that Tom Daschle will be named Secretary of Health and Human Services, and everyone seems to think this is a swell idea. Some are calling Daschle's position a "health care czar," and it is certainly an indication that health care reform will be high on Obama's agenda.

- Likewise, it seems very likely at this point that AZ Governor Janet Napolitano will be the new Director of Homeland Security. She has been lauded for her handling of immigration issues in her home state, and her appointment to the position could signal Obama's intent to get serious about comprehensive immigration reform. 

- With Hillary seeming increasingly inevitable as Secretary of State, and Eric Holder closing in on the top job at Justice,  many are grumbling that Obama has abandoned his commitment to "Change," and is filling his cabinet with former Clinton officials.  Surprise! Even Barack thinks experience matters, and he's picking his cabinet using the same criteria as every other president, ever.


- In another deeply miserable day on Wall Street, stocks plunged five percent, and the Dow closed below 8,000 for the first time since early 2003. Taking pity on us all, Andy Kessler writes in the WSJ that we should just put wax in our ears and ignore the market for a few months-- it's not behaving efficiently right now.  Consider it done, Andy.

- The NY Times is careful to remind readers of the grim danger of deflation, which was the phantom behind the Great Depression. This specter raised its head yesterday on reports that consumer prices had fallen one percent in October-- the biggest drop in history.  While falling prices might seem like good news for consumers, they are an "economist's nightmare."


- The Democratic Steering committee voted yesterday by a three-vote margin to recommend replacing Rep. John Dingell with Rep. Henry Waxman as leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The vote will go to the whole caucus this morning.

- The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear legal challenges to Proposition 8-- the ballot measure prohibiting gay marriage.

- Mike Tomasky looked at the group of old, white men speaking on behalf of the Republican caucus yesterday, and wondered if they felt embarrassed about being a group of old, white men.

- John Alter thinks Barack Obama should keep his personal Blackberry, so as to maintain a connection to the world beyond the White House. Abraham Lincoln did it (albeit sans Blackberry).

- At last, Missouri blew it. The state was officially called for McCain yesterday; this is the first time the notorious bellwether went for the loser since 1956.


- An American drone fired missiles inside Pakistani territory yesterday, reportedly killing five militants.  The Pakistani government has not yet commented, but protests have sprung up already at the invasion of sovereignty.

- Piracy update: The buccaneers want $25 million in exchange for the Saudi oil tanker they've hijacked. States around the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are convening an emergency meeting to figure out what to do about this problem.

One More Thing

- Barack gave Joe Biden birthday cupcakes yesterday.  He was one day early.

- Guess how many states have all-Republican delegations to congress? Hint: It's not very many.

- Last, Dana Milbank is not only a top-notch reporter, but happens to be a very funny guy, as well.  Here's the latest edition of his Washington Sketch, commenting on the mayhem on the Hill.

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in. Thanks!

11/19 Roundup: Bail Me Out!, Mothership Sinking, Cheney Indicted

WagonerLeader: Bail Me Out!

- The CEOs of Detroit's big auto manufacturers shuffled into congress on their knees yesterday, heads bowed, palms outstretched. Mitt Romney argues in an NY Times Op-Ed that we ought to let Detroit go bankrupt-- controlled bankruptcy, he says, might be the only way for the auto industry to reconfigure itself.

- NDN's Robert Shapiro disagrees. If these were good economic times, bankruptcy might be a good option. However, quoted by CNN, he says: "Demand for everything has collapsed because we're in a deep recession. The movement of the auto industry from dire conditions to near-terminal conditions has been driven by the financial crisis."


- It's turned out that an Obama administration might have more Clinton allies and former officials than a Clinton administration.  Eric Holder is rumored to be Obama's choice for Attorney General, edging out AZ Governor Janet Napolitano.  Holder served in the Justice Department under Clinton, and worked as Obama's campaign co-chairman. 

- Apparently, Alaskans aren't so keen on being represented by a convicted felon after all. Mark Begich has officially dispatched Ted Stevens from the US Senate.

- Joe Lieberman has been welcomed back into the Democratic fold of the Senate.


- Two days after Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker loaded down with $100 million in crude, the Indian Navy sank a pirate "mother ship" after a five hour battle.   Time writes that policing piracy is getting harder as the pirates get more and more audacious.

One More Thing

- A grand jury in south Texas has indicted Alberto Gonzalez and Dick Cheney on charges related to prisoner abuse. If convicted, they may enjoy the opportunity to experience the other side of the equation.

-  In a bald-faced attempt to ruin our country's global image, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice named Ken Griffey Jr. as an official Public Diplomacy Envoy. As a Yankees fan still smarting from 1995 (some wounds never heal, Junior), I'm highly ambivalent about being represented by this guy.

- Last, the President-elect addressed a bipartisan group of governors at the Global Climate Change Summit via video.... and now it's on YouTube! (~4 mins)

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in.  Thanks!

11/18 Roundup: Musical Chairs, Team of Rivals, Somali Pirates Hit the Jackpot (again)

LiebermanLeader: Hill Musical Chairs

- Senator Joe Lieberman, by all accounts, is likely to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee, in closed-door voting today. More likely, he will be lose his chairmanship in two subcommittees. Senator Tom Carper, once a Lieberman ally, says Joe should be punished.

- Senator Ted Stevens turns 85 today, and may have a very unhappy birthday. Republican Senators may vote today to expel him from the caucus. This is all assuming, of course, he can fend off Mark Begich in Alaska, who currently leads in the vote recount.  It's likely, however, that the GOP won't vote on this today.

- In his challenge to Rep. John Dingell's chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Henry Waxman may rely on the votes of younger House members, who post-date Dingell's glory days.  He'll need all the help he can get.  At present, the Blue Dogs, the Conservation groups, and the unions are all backing Dingell. 


- Time reports on the stalling-out of Democratic plans to bail out Detroit. The National Journal collects expert opinions on whether it's a good idea. Politico posits: Paulson Powerless, Pelosi Punts.

- The Washington Post publishes the first half of a profile of Henry Paulson, focusing particularly on the ways his views have changed since coming to Washington from Goldman Sachs.


- There's been a lot of hullabaloo the past few days about President-elect Obama following the Lincoln's model of cabinet building, as described in Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals.  Matthew Pinsker of the LA Times takes a step back and points out that Lincoln's model might be taken more as a cautionary tale, rather than a strategy for success.

- Speaking of which, the Guardian is reporting that Hillary Clinton plans to accept Barack Obama's offer of the Secretary of State job.  But nobody else is, yet.  Politico writes on the feathers this is ruffling in Obamaland.

- Ted Kennedy is back in town, and Teddier than ever: He is presently planning to introduce a bill for universal health care early next year.

- Obamaha it is!


- Somali pirates have seized a Saudi oil tanker in the Indian Ocean, off the Kenyan coast.  The ship is three times the size of an aircraft carrier, and is loaded down with over $100 million worth of crude oil. The pirates are expected to demand a ransom for the ship, crew, and oil.  

- The NY Times reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has been quietly firing government officials tasked by the United States with ensuring accountability and preventing fraud.

One More Thing

- Freshmen congressmen and women arrive on the Hill... let the hazing begin!

- Last, Paul Krugman goes to town on George Will: 

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in.  Thanks!

11/17 Roundup: Neck Deep, Obama on the Penny, Damnation for your Vote

Awkward MomentLeader: Neck Deep

- The debate rages on within the Republican Party about how in the heck they are going to get out of the hole in which they presently find themselves. Step one, it seems, is to argue over who dug the hole in the first place. Perhaps this is just the natural swinging of the pendulum? Should the party continue to journey rightward, or is that exactly what got them in this mess to begin with?

- Frank Rich observes the circular firing squad currently forming among Republicans.  The real problem, says Rich, is the alarming lack of fresh ideas. Politically, says Politico, Republicans have a whale of a problem in their lack of support among Hispanics. (Hat Tip: DL)

- The real danger for the Republicans is that this recession-- perhaps the biggest of our time-- will be pinned on President Bush, writes Bill Kristol in the Times. Just as Republicans were killed by Herbert Hoover presiding over the beginning of the Great Depression, they could suffer the same fate at the hand of Bush.


- Congress is back this week for a lame-duck session, and the auto industry will top the agenda.  The LA Times reports that, were GM or Chrysler to collapse, the pain would be felt far beyond Detroit. The NY Times points out that foreign auto makers could fill the void relatively quickly, but 100,000 jobs would still be gone (beyond the 100,000 that have already disappeared from the industry this year).


- President-elect Obama will meet with Not-President-elect John McCain today at Transition Central in Chicago. Both men have a lot to gain from working together, and by all accounts they're eager to do so.

- Hillary Clinton appears ever more surely situated atop the list of candidates for Secretary of State.  One potential hangup? Her husband has been acting as an unofficial, self-appointed Secretary of State for nearly eight years now.

- Before the election Obama wrote letters to employees at seven federal agencies, describing to them how he would manage his government. Broadly, the letters suggest Obama will work to "Scale back on contracts to private firms doing government work, to remove censorship from scientific research, and to champion tougher industry regulation to protect workers and the environment.

- Newsweek puts Obama on the penny, and mediates on lessons he could take from that other President from the Land of Lincoln (that would be Lincoln himself).


- The Iraqi cabinet approved an agreement that calls for the full withdrawal of American troops by the end of 2011. This is good news for President-elect Obama, as it will help him build further political capital to begin drawing down forces soon.

- Walter Pincus writes in the Washington Post about the dire need for drastic overhaul of the national security system.

One More Thing

- Some South Carolina Catholics who voted for Barack Obama have been advised by their priest that they ought not take communion anymore.

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in.  Thanks!    

11/14 Roundup: YouTube President, Rumors Abound, The New Brangelina

YouTube PresidentLeader: Welcome to the YouTube Presidency

- Barack Obama will record the weekly Democratic address today, just as has been done every week since god-knows-when.  But something different is happening this week-- rather than only recording a radio address, a video of the address will also be recorded, and posted to YouTube! Welcome, everyone, to the YouTube presidency.

- Over the past several weeks, NDN has been talking a great deal about all the new tools used by the Obama campaign would reinvent the Presidency. Well, this weekend we will be getting a taste of what this new 21st century Presidency might look like. You can hear Simon on the subject here.  


- The FDIC published a plan yesterday to keep people in their homes.  The plan would spend $25 billion to share costs with banks that agreed to let troubled homeowners reduce their mortgage payments.

- The outlook for the auto industry is rather dim-- Republican opposition to a bailout of GM and Chrysler may prove insurmountable, at least until January. Will both manufacturers survive until then?  Hard to say.

- World leaders are descending on the National Building Museum in Washington for a G-20 economic summit. The goal of the summit is to prevent a major global economic meltdown. 


- Hillary might be Secretary of State! Summers might not be Treasury Secretary! Rumors abound, but the truth of the matter is that nobody has a bloody clue.

- Robert Puentes at TNR writes on ways to reform public infrastructure spending. 

- Time tries to be helpful by listing the 10 worst cabinet members of all time.  And yes, Rummy, Brownie and Gonzo all make the list.

- CNN has an interesting interview with Karen Kornbluh, "Obama's Brain." 


- Shabab may sound like some delicious form of meat on a stick, but in fact it's the name of the militant wing of a Somali Islamist group, and is anything but delicious. Shabab militants continue their march up the Somali coast, getting ever closer to Mogadishu. 

- Everyone on earth has their own bit of foreign policy advice for President-elect Obama, even the Taliban, who urge him to "put an end to all the policies being followed by his Opposition Party, the Republicans, and pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq."

- A Catholic priest in Georgia will be excommunicated for participating in the ordination of a female priest.

One More Thing

- Internet providers cut off a web hosting firm identified as a major purveyor of spam e-mail, and the global volume of spam dropped by two-thirds, instantly!

- Last, hard to say whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, but Barack and Michelle are apparently the new Brangelina:

11/13 Roundup: About Face, Crystal Balls, Humiliating Screen Names

PaulsonLeader: About Face!

- The Treasury officially announced that it would abandon plans to buy troubled assets from shaky banks. This was effectively an acknowledgement that banks were still unwilling to increase lending, and that, instead, a direct cash infusion would be more worthwhile. The Treasury is hoping to put aside $50 billion for a new loan facility that would directly help consumers, rather than the massive institutions.

- In a good piece of news analysis, the LA Times points out that this isn't particularly surprising at all, and that Secretary Paulson had made it clear that things would be going in this direction weeks ago.


- Gail Collins is keeping election fever alive by getting totally obsessed with Minnesota and Alaska, and with good reason:  By last count, Begich leads Stevens by 814 votes (after briefly leading by 3 votes), while Coleman and Franken are within a few hundred votes of each other.

- And though I hate to get self-congratulatory, if the two Democrats pull it out, Simon will have been eerily accurate in his election predictions: 353 electoral votes? Off by one state. 53-46 popular vote split? Bam. 59 seats in the Senate? Bam. +20 in the House? Bam.

- Alex Koppelman at Salon writes about the potential for a permanent Democratic majority, founded particularly on support among Hispanics.  Simon is quoted: "Increased turnout happened because Democrats finally woke up to this Hispanic opportunity ... It's really only in the last few years that Democrats woke up to this new reality. If you're a Hispanic voter, particularly in the Southwest or the West, the Democratic Party sort of woke up and started to speak to you."

-  O! To be a fly on the wall! The Bidens will visit the Cheneys at their VP Manse today, and will presumably get a tour of all the recently-excavated underground caverns and lairs. 


- Several leading Democrats have stated their primary focus during the lame-duck session of Congress next week will be rescuing the auto industry, potentially putting the economic stimulus package on the back burner.

- Bill Saporito at Time wonders if GM is even worth saving.  And the NY Times weighs the competing benefits of bankruptcy vs. a bailout.


- It's been a bad week in the Middle East.  Two ferocious suicide attacks in Afghanistan have left 26 dead. In Iraq, 58 have been killed this week in Baghdad alone.

- For years, Iran has been calling for direct, unconditional talks with the United States.  Now that a president has been elected who has, at least in principle, agreed to such talks, the Iranian leadership isn't quite sure what to do with themselves.

One More Thing

- Humiliation alert! If you apply for a top-level job in the Obama administration, you'll have to tell them all the embarrassing screen names you've ever used. Could this mean the end of Larry "Ca$hDude88" Summers?

- At last, President Bush was able to think of a few things he oughtn't have said

11/12 Roundup: Transition Tidbits, Blatant Socialism, Goosestepping

Warren ChristopherLeader: Transition Tidbits

- Barack Obama has tapped a couple grizzled old hands(see left) to work on the transition: Sam Nunn will be overseeing the festivities at Defense, and Warren Christopher will be running the show at State. Rumor has it that Obama is leaning toward keeping DefSec Robert Gates around for a year, which Spencer Ackerman thinks is a great idea. [UPDATE: Christopher will not be involved, says the Obama team. Kindly ignore photo at left.]

- Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and CIA chief Michael Hayden are expecting to bite the dust soon.  Good riddance, say many Democrats, who frown on their support of torture and domestic spying.

- Robert Gibbs is the "Barack Whisperer," which presumably will be his official title, rather than "Press Secretary."

- Lobbyists have been banished from Obama's transition team.  

- Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett talked about plans to establish an Office of Urban Policy, which sounds like a swell idea to me.


- Administration officials announced yesterday a scaled-back plan to keep people in their homes. The effort would allow homeowners who had missed three or more consecutive payments to adjust their mortgage payments to 38% of their monthly income. Critics say the plan would do nothing for the 80% of distressed homeowners who have borrowed from someone other than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

- Democratic leaders in congress are pushing to help Detroit, and send aid to the big three automakers. Isn't it funny that both the stories in the "Economy" section are on government initiatives? Socialism!


- The hype about this being a realigning election is.... quite real, actually, says DemFromCT at Kos. Can Republican governors rebuild their party? Time says it's up to them. P.J. O'Rourke at the Weekly Standard says: We blew it.

- Mike Madden at Salon praises Howard Dean and his 50-state strategy, and points out the debt that Obama owes Dean for his different approach.

- In a radical shift, Americans are optimistic about the next four years.


- Obama is considering a new approach to the Afghanistan war, including dialogue with Iran and talks between the Afghan government and friendlier wings of the Taliban.

- Islamist insurgents in Somalia have completely taken over a key port town

One More Thing

- The NY Times has a super-fun (super-politics-nerdy?) interactive feature where you can choose your own cabinet. Write in Sam duPont for Secretary of State!

- Rep. Ron Braun of Georgia is pretty sure Barack Obama is either a fascist or a Marxist. Either way, we'll all surely be goosestepping soon.

- Gun sales have exploded since Obama's election.  Look what he's doing for the economy already!

11/11 Roundup: The Long Road Back, Important Acts You've Never Heard Of

Sad ElephantLeader: The Long Road Back

- Conservatives have fallen hard, and they're looking at a long, hard journey back to power.  Op-Ed pages are plastered with explanations of the fall, and prescriptions for a return.  David Brooks wrote yesterday in the NY Times that conservatives have broken into two camps: Traditionalists and Reformers, and in the near term, the Traditionalists will win.

-  In the LA Times, Jonah Goldberg sees a similar divide in the Republican party.  To him, the problem is George Bush, who stands in the middle and prevents younger reformers from seeing eye-to-eye with older, more traditional conservatives. The South, the base region of those traditionalists, is losing its power over national politics.

- As evidence of this divide, the WaPo reports on New England, where Chris Shays, the last remaining Republican representative, has been purged. Moderate Republican New Englanders have been alienated by the far-right agenda of the national party.  Stan Greenberg puts the Reagan Democrats to bed on the NY Times op-ed page, showing that the racial politics used by the last generation of Republicans doesn't carry the weight they once did.


-  So much for bailouts.  Fannie Mae and AIG are still struggling, post-takeover. The LA Times wonders... will $700 billion be enough?

- In their reportedly cordial meeting yesterday, President-elect Obama suggested that President Bush provide aid to American auto manufacturers.

- The NY Times Editorial staff returns to the theme of Keeping People in Their Homes, calling on our government to solve the foreclosure crisis, post-haste.


- Peter Canellos of The Boston Globe reports on the importance of immigrants, and, more historically, of the Immigration Act of 1965 in last week's election.  Simon is quoted, calling the Act "the most important piece of legislation that no one's ever heard of... By adding so many Asians, Latinos, and African immigrants, the act changed the racial narrative in America from one of oppression - the white-black divide dating to slavery - to one of diversity. That change was strongly echoed in the Obama campaign, which emphasized the candidate's mixed-race background as making him representative of a new generation of Americans."

- Wired and the San Jose Mercury News both run stories on the importance of technology and the internet as political tools.  Quoted in Wired, Simon says: "Just like the advent of radio changed the relationship between those that govern and their voters, President (elect) Obama will start to re-invent the relationship of American citizens to their president using the new and modern internet-based tools."


- Writing in Foriegn Policy, Robert Hutchings and Frederick Kempe say that, given the massive global problems confronting Obama, he has a binary choice: Go big or go home.

- The Pakistani military is engaged in a serious battle to root out Taliban insurgents who've dug in deep near the Afghan border.

One More Thing

- If you happen to live in the DC area, you might get a plum deal renting out your house on Inauguration weekend. Hotel rooms have all been snatched up...

- Happy Veterans' Day!

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