Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Daily Strike-2/7/09-The Plan Settles

Happy Saturday and welcome to the Daily Strike!

SENATE STIMULUS DEAL: The Senate has now digested the amended stimulus package that will be voted on this Monday and Tuesday. Not surprisingly, the Republicans are still complaining that they were left out of the process and that true "bipartisanship" would involve more than a few Republican Senators. It seems like Obama is getting the best of both worlds here. His public efforts to reach out to Republicans have earned him some bipartisan credentials. With this deal, he'll even be able to call the bill bipartisan. The Republicans can't really hope to be seen as the party that rises above partisanship for the good of the country. They now must hope that the stimulus fails. This situation is similar to the one Democrats found themselves in during the dark years of the Iraq War. They benefitted politically from the failure of the President's policies. The difference is that the stimulus will not cause the death of 4,000 (at least let's hope not).

WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS: Obama gave his weekly radio (and YouTube) address today and urged Congress to pass the stimulus package. The address focused on the specifics of the bill, as Obama tries to tell people that this bill is not a bunch of pork. The Republican response was given by new chairman Michael Steele. He, of course, chastised the Democrats and characterized the bill as excessive government spending. I suspect the Sunday talk-shows will be all stimulus package tomorrow.

BIDEN: The Vice President today flew to Germany to speak at the International Conference on Security Policy. Biden articulated that the U.S. has entered a new day. It will emphasize diplomacy above military action and will be "preventative" and not preemptive in its foreign policy decisions. (side note: does Biden know the definition of "preventative?" Wasn't that what the Iraq War was supposed to be?). Biden also reiterated Obama's willingness to sit down with Iran, but said that the U.S. reserves the right to step in and stop Iran's nuclear program. This seems like a good role for the Vice President. He has decades of experience in foreign policy, and seems to be well-liked in the international community. I'm glad that Obama has found some good roles for Joe the former Senator.

That's it for today. See you tomorrow!

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