ThinkFast: January 20, 2010

Lanny Davis, a former White House counsel under President Clinton, pens an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that “the left” is to blame for the Massachusetts results. “Bottom line: We liberals need to reclaim the Democratic Party with the New Democrat positions of Bill Clinton and the New Politics/bipartisan aspirations of Barack Obama,” he writes.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod told the Huffington Post that Democrats “need to move forward aggressively, continuing on job creation, and on financial regulatory reform.” “We should finish health care because the caricature of that bill is there and everyone who voted for it will have to live with that. The way to deal with that is to pass the bill and let people see…the value of it.”

President Obama reinforced “his support for an independent agency to protect consumers against lending abuses that contributed to the financial crisis” in a meeting yesterday with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who was recently reported to be considering “scrapping the idea of creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.” Obama reportedly told Dodd that the agency was “nonnegotiable.”

President Obama also “plans to create a bipartisan commission to make recommendations to Congress on ways to reduce the federal budget deficit.” The details of exactly how the commission will operate are still being deliberated.


A powerful new 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti this morning, “shaking buildings and sending screaming people running into the streets only eight days after the country’s capital was devastated by an apocalyptic quake.” Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said that so far, “authorities have buried 70,000 bodies, about a third of the estimated final toll.”

53 Haitian orphans “landed in Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning, the first wave to arrive after the United States loosened its policy on visa requirements.” The new policy will affect only 900 children whom the Haitian government had identified as orphans before the policy came into place.

Following the failed Christmas Day bombing, the U.S. has flooded Yemen with intelligence resources and stepped up military strikes from the air against Al Qeada in the Arabian Peninsula, officials said. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will release a report today warning about radicalized American citizens operating in the country.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling for a audit of Fed’s $182.3 billion bailout of American International Group. In a letter yesterday to the Government Accountability Office — which will conduct the audit — Bernanke pledged to provide “all records and personnel necessary.”

The Supreme Court’s much-awaited decision in Citizens United v. FEC is expected to come as early as Wednesday. The ruling “could open the door to a flood of corporate money in political campaigns.”

And finally: Wondering what the White House is up to? There’s now an app for that.

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