Morning Briefing: August 26, 2011

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is calling on President Obama to stop fixating on the deficit and begin focusing on jobs instead. “I don’t think he’s exercising the leadership that’s necessary right now to move us in the direction that I think we ought to be moving in,” Harkin said of Obama.

Republican lawmakers are warning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke not to announce a third round of quantitative easing at a Fed conference today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The GOP has been viscerally opposed to the Fed’s treasury purchasing program, even though Wall Street investors have been eagerly awaiting “QE 3.”

Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul (R) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D) agreed this week Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should resign. While Yarmuth suspects Geithner “because he came from the same world that caused the problem,” Paul said he will call for Geithner’s resignation “as soon as we get back, because they are not doing any of the things that will help our economy.”

Yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed a bill that would permanently ban “fracking,” the damaging natural-gas drilling technique. Instead, Christie recommended only a one-year moratorium of fracking in New Jersey.


A suicide bomber struck the U.N.’s main office building in Nigeria, killing or injuring scores of personnel. “I saw scattered bodies,” said Michael Ofilaje, a U.N. staffer who works in the building. “Many people are dead.” No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack at this time.

Obesity rates have doubled worldwide in the last three decades, and half of all Americans will be obese by 2030 if trends continue, according to a new study. At that rate, there will be about 7 million more cases of diabetes and heart disease each, ballooning health care costs by an estimated $66 billion a year.

The official dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial has been postponed due to the approach of Hurricane Irene. Scheduled on Sunday to mark the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the dedication was to feature President Obama as one of the speakers and have 250,000 people in attendence.

And finally: Former Vice President Cheney’s dog was banned from the lodge at Camp David after it attacked President Bush’s dog, Cheney reveals in his new memoir. Cheney’s 100-pound yellow lab Dave went after Bush’s terrier, Barney, at breakfast one day, prompting the president to demand, “What’s going on here?” “It was not an unreasonable question,” Cheney writes. Soon after, he was informed by the camp’s commander that Dave was not to return to the lodge.

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