Tales from the Trail

Would Congress swing its spending ax at the war in Afghanistan?

January 21, 2011

AFGHANISTAN/You’d think the war in Afghanistan would be the sacred cow of  federal spending. The Republicans now in charge of the House have always embraced “Support Our Troops” and “Defeat Terrorism” as two of the most serious ”Thou Shalts” of their political playbook.

Washington Extra – Braving the weather

January 20, 2011

President Barack Obama quipped that Chinese President Hu Jintao was brave for going to his hometown at this time of year. But what about the visit to Capitol Hill today?

Panda diplomacy: the remix

January 20, 2011

USAThe latest chapter in the long story of panda diplomacy was written at Washington’s National Zoo, where the Chinese government agreed to lengthen the “loan” of popular panda pair Mei Xiang and Tian Tian for another five years. Actually, the loan is conditioned on whether they produce a new heir or heiress to the cuteness of panda-dom in the next two years;  one or both could be exchanged for more fecund substitutes.

Hu’s state dinner menu as American as apple pie – corrected

January 20, 2011

USA-CHINA

The White House usually pays tribute to its state dinner guests by planning menus that pay homage to the visitors’ country.  But the Chinese delegation wanted an American experience — which they are getting in spades on Monday Wednesday night.

2012 possibility? The candidate speaks Mandarin

January 19, 2011

President Barack Obama was asked bluntly about the buzz that his Ambassador to China may turn into a Republican rival for the White House in 2012.

Hillary wants a break, but maybe just a little one

January 19, 2011

RTXUT4X_Comp-150x150Hillary Clinton is committed to remaining U.S. secretary of state through Barack Obama’s first term. What will she want then? The answer seems to be “spare time”. But maybe just a little.

Washington Extra – Modern pursuits

January 18, 2011

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he’s using modern technology like a BlackBerry and Kindle, when he didn’t even have a cellphone at the White House.

Guess who’s not coming to dinner with Hu

January 18, 2011

Usually politicians flock to a high-profile event like moths to a flame.

But we’re learning that isn’t quite the style of the new Speaker of the House.

Obamas volunteer at school to celebrate King holiday

January 17, 2011

President Barack Obama volunteered at a local school on Monday to mark the Martin Luther King Day holiday, testing his talents as a painter while emphasizing the importance of community service in America.

Obamas make rare church visit

By Reuters Staff
January 17, 2011

Margaret Chadbourn of Reuters reports the following on the Obama family’s church visit.