Monday, June 29, 2009

The Weekly Strike-6/29-7/5

Good morning and welcome to the Weekly Strike. Thanks to the Big Picture for summing up the week nicely last night. Make sure you get a chance to read his entry if you haven't already. Also, thanks to those of you who have left comments. Let's just say that some of these comments have helped me discover new things about myself!

THE WHITE HOUSE: It's a holiday week, meaning Congress is on vacation. Therefore, news will primariliy be coming from the White House. Obama meets this morning with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. You can be sure the two will discuss the volatile situations in North Korea, Iran and Honduras. In Honduras this week, the military ousted the country's President, and the Congress installed a new leader by a "show of hands." Sounds pretty tumultuous to me.

This afternoon, the President holds a reception at the White House in honor of LGBT month. About 300 guests are expected to attend. The LGBT community has been critical of Obama so far for not overturning the ban on gays in the military, and for authoring a court opinion that pushed for continued enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act. It's good that the community has held the President to account on these issues. Even if they lose out on gays in the military, the administration will be more likely to push for passage of the Hate Crimes bill and the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, two major priorities for LGBT activists.

Tonight, the President attends a reception for Democratic National Finance Committee members. He probably won't want to publicize this ritzy fundraiser too much.

The big event this week will be another town hall meeting on health reform., this time in Annandale, Virginia. The forum will include questions from social networking websites. This is a great time to hold a town hall meeting, because Congressional opponents will be out of town and unable to formulate a rapid response. Again, this is another opportunity for the President to earn the public's trust on health care. As The Big Picture wisely noted, he may not be as passionate and empathetic as we'd like in these forums, but he's showing that he knows what he's talking about, that he's trustworthy, and that he has command of the issues.

The President will spend the July 4th weekend in Camp David.

CONGRESS: Even though Congress is out for the week, members will be busier than ever. After a tough vote on the climate bill Friday, members on both sides of the issue will have to defend their positions at home. Republican leaders have sent members a "tip sheet" of talking points against the bill. I'm not sure there is evidence that public opinion is swayed by such talking points, but recess chatter may help shift the debate one way or another.

That's it for this week. Join us tonight for the Daily Strike!

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