Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: chilly winds and hot air

March 3, 2009

There’s a cold wind blowing in Washington on Tuesday morning, one day after a late-winter storm dumped up to a foot of snow on the region. DC residents anticipate a thaw when our national leaders provide their daily dose of hot air. WEATHER-USA/SNOW

The First Draft: another day, another $30 billion

March 2, 2009

It’s not yet 9:00 on a Monday morning, and the federal government has already dumped another $30 billion into the tottering financial system. The money goes to insurer American International Group Inc., which just announced a fourth-quarter loss of $61.7 billion — the largest quarterly loss in corporate history. WEATHER/

The First Draft: More pain ahead

February 20, 2009

Guess what? The economy is still in terrible shape.MARKETS-STOCKS/

The Dow Jones Industrial average plunged to its lowest level in six years yesterday, and all signs point to another lousy day on Wall Street today.

The First Draft: A Beauty Way to Go

February 19, 2009

Good day you hosers!

President Barack Obama takes off to the Great White North today on his first foreign jaunt as president. Trade will top the agenda in Ottawa as Obama seeks to ease concerns about protectionism. He’ll also discuss the war in Afghanistan and clean energy technology with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian Parlaiment, but the one-day trip leaves little time to get into details. Too bad, eh?CANADA-MOUNTIES/

from FaithWorld:

If Hillary goes to Jakarta, can Barack be far behind?

February 18, 2009

Is U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Jakarta a hint that President Barack Obama will pick Indonesia as the first Muslim country he visits in his drive to improve U.S. relations with the Islamic world? There were lots of other suggestions when he first mentioned this back in December, including Egypt (the New York Times pick) and Morocco (judging by what might have been a write-in campaign on our comments page).

The First Draft: Ghost Town

February 17, 2009

On the day that the government gives itself $787 billion to hand out, turns out there’s nobody in Washington to print it up and hand it out.

Clinton goes on charm offensive with French

February 5, 2009

clinton-kouchnerWASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton went on a charm offensive with France’s foreign minister on Thursday, fondly recalling many trips to Paris and heaping praise on the country’s education system as a model for America.
 
Clinton has played up the Transatlantic relationship this week, choosing to meet first with the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France in her second week as new U.S. secretary of state.
 
“I have been to France many times and I always have a good impression. I enjoy visiting in France,” the former first lady and New York senator said at a joint news conference with France’s Bernard Kouchner at the State Department.
 
She recalled meeting Kouchner’s wife “longer ago than Christine or I care to admit” and said she was impressed by the country’s preschool facilities, prompting her to return home to try and get the United States to follow France’s example.
 
“I not only have enjoyed my time in France but I have learned a lot from my visits. I look forward to returning,” she added. “As soon as possible,” gushed Kouchner, beaming at her side.
 
The Bush administration had a prickly relationship with France at the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, to the extent that in congressional cafeteria the words “French fries” were changed to “Freedom fries” on menus.
 For more Reuters political news, click here

Lawmaker seeks to end gubernatorial appointment of U.S. senators

January 26, 2009

capitolWASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold intends to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to end the practice of governors filling vacant Senate seats.

Rice leaves Clinton welcome note, bids staff goodbye

January 16, 2009

condyWASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bid a tearful goodbye to her staff on Friday and left behind a welcome note for Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is set to take over the top diplomatic job on Tuesday.

The First Draft: Nomination hearings today

January 15, 2009

It’s a busy old day on Capitol Hill.

President-elect Barack Obama’s picks to head the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Homeland Security and his nominees for attorney general and ambassador to the United Nations will be on Capitol Hill for their Senate nomination hearings.