President Barack Obama proposed a five-year freeze on some government spending and struck a centrist tone in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, hoping to prove he has fiscal discipline and can work with resurgent Republicans.
Tales from the Trail
President Barack Obama may grab all the headlines with his State of the Union address. But Democrats want the GOP’s chosen responder, Paul Ryan, to share the spotlight — as poster boy for politically unpopular ideas that could be used against Republicans in 2012.
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.
The 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.
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.