Monday, November 23, 2009

The Weekly Strike-11/23-11/29

Good morning and welcome to the Weekly Strike. Washington will take a well-deserved (?) breather this week, as lawmakers go home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. That means they'll be much less for us to talk about, so we'll be cutting down the entries this week. But fear not: the month of December will be so exciting that it will make up for this week's dullness.

THE WHITE HOUSE: The President has returned from his week long trip to Asia, with about as full of a plate facing him as is humanly possible. Besides needing to insert himself into final health care negotiations, the President must:

-make a decision on Afghanistan, announce the decision, and defend it against inevitable criticism.

- help House and Senate Democrats come up with a robust jobs bill to address the issue that threatens to derail the President's agenda: unemployment

-break through impasses on climate change and financial regulation legislation.

This week he'll most likely address none of these issues. With Congress out of town, there's no use in doing much business during the holiday week. Today, the President will hold an event where he will talk about science, technology and mathematics education. This afternoon, he holds his second official meeting with his full cabinet. It's anyone's guess what they'll be talking about, but I could see Obama giving his team a rundown of his Afghanistan strategy, and maybe he'll facilitate some ideas about a jobs bill. This evening, the President delivers remarks and presents the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.

Tomorrow, the President will host Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House. After that, it looks like the President will start his Thanksgiving vacation. He's expected to stay in the area, and hold Thanksgiving dinner at the White House.

CONGRESS: As we mentioned, Congress is out of session this week. They will both return to work next Monday. No word yet about what the House will take up, but in the Senate it will be all health care all the time.

One quick note: Today, moderate Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore from Kansas announced that he is retiring from a right-leaning district in the sunflower state. By itself, this really isn't news, but if more moderates like Moore jump ship instead of trying to run for reelection Republicans will have a much better chance of retaking the House. That's how they did it in 1994; they gained a ton of seats vacated by retiring Democrats. Memo to the House Democratic leadership: Do whatever is necessary to prevent more retirements in swing districts.

That's it for now, see you tonight! Leave comments!

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