Monday, April 27, 2009

The Daily Strike-4/27/09-Science

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Let's run down the day in Washington. As always, please leave us some comments! And make sure you caught this morning's Weekly Strike!

THE WHITE HOUSE: President Obama gave a speech today at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. His speech highlighted the administration's commitment to "sound science." He mentioned his stem-cell research decision, and his proposed legislation to combat global climate change. He also used the event to talk about the swine flu outbreak, telling attendees that the disease is cause for concern, but not cause for alarm. The President must be worried about not only the 20 or so cases of mild swine flu in the US, but his own health after visiting Mexico City two weeks ago. There were even rumors that a man who sat next to the President during a meeting passed away because of the virus. This turned out not to be true. The White House insists that the President is fine.

During the speech, Obama lost his place on the teleprompter, causing an awkward delay. Republicans have tried to use Obama's teleprompter dependency as some sort of criticism (?), so they must be having a field day over at the Drudge Report. Seriously, this is the best they've got.

The President had only one additional public event, during which he recognized the UCONN Huskies women's basketball team's NCAA championship. He mentioned his appreciation of women's sports, and the inspiration female athletes have had on his daughters.

The White House was also forced to apologize today for a seriously botched photo-shoot. Apparently, the FAA wanted to take pictures of Air Force One above New York City. Well, New York residents didn't get the message, and they understandably were uneasy with a plane flying 1000 above downtown Manhattan. Hundreds of New Yorkers called 911 and voluntarily evacuated their buildings. Someone really screwed up on that one.

THE SENATE: The Senate voted to cut off debate on the mortgage fraud bill, setting up a final vote tomorrow. The bill increases protection against mortgage fraud. The cloture vote passed 84-4, with only Republicans DeMint (SC), Coburn (OK), Kyl (AZ) and Inhofe (OK) objecting. The bill is the first of several financial regulation measures to come up in both chambers over the next month. Perhaps Congress is implementing the first of the five pillars (financial regulation) that Obama talked about in his economic speech a couple of weeks ago at Georgetown. Hopefully the other pillars (health care, energy, education and deficit reduction) will be addressed soon as well.

Besides a final vote on this bill, the Senate tomorrow will begin debate on the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. I'm not exactly sure when the vote on her nomination will occur, but it will be subject to a 60 vote threshold. As I mentioned this morning, her nomination is more urgent now that the Department of Health and Human Services is dealing with a possible pandemic.

The House voted today on a few suspension bills today. They'll do the same tomorrow, with serious legislative business on hold probably until Wednesday. I talked about their busy schedule in this morning's Weekly Strike.

That's it for today, see you tomorrow!

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