With the federal deficit at “a record $1.4 trillion,” a plan for reducing long-term deficits will be “a key component” of President Obama’s State of the Union address. “It is foremost on his mind and the mind of the economic team,” White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said yesterday.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York — then led by current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — “gave up much of its power” and overpaid AIG’s banking clients to “tear up their contracts” during last fall’s bailout, according to a new report from the special inspector general for the TARP. The report faults the NY Fed for failing to secure a good deal for taxpayers.
Though a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Americans are “deeply divided” over President Obama’s health care reform proposal, “Americans continue to support key elements of the legislation, including a mandate that employers provide health insurance to their workers and access to a government-sponsored insurance plan for those people without insurance.”
For its cover photo on Sarah Palin, Newsweek elected to recycle a picture taken by Runner’s World depicting the former governor in her jogging outfit. Palin has released a statement blasting the photo. “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now,” she said.
After gaining access to the once secret underground nuclear enrichment plant in Qom, IAEA inspectors “voiced strong suspicions” that Iran is concealing other nuclear facilities. The IAEA report appeared “highly skeptical” that Iran did not construct other facilities in case its main centers of fuel production were bombed.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “escaped another censure” yesterday after his chief of staff agreed to “meet with disgruntled Berkeley County Republicans.” The county Republicans tabled a resolution to censure Graham until January, “but the consensus was the censure would resurface if they’re not happy after talking with Graham.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) “will try to block the Obama administration’s first nominee to the federal bench, retaliation for Democratic filibusters to Bush’s choices for federal bench in the previous eight years.” However, his “tactic is likely to fail, as Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) has expressed his support for the nominee.”
The Department of Agriculture reported yesterday that “the number of Americans who lived in households that lacked consistent access to adequate food soared last year, to 49 million, the highest since the government began tracking what it calls ‘food insecurity’ 14 years ago.” “These numbers are a wake-up call for the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
And finally: When asked about the current fights within the Republican Party, former Republican Utah governor and current U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman responded, “It’s a good time to be in Beijing.”
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