Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Circle that date

January 11, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States accepts your invitation.

The pomp and circumstance that surrounds the president’s annual State of the Union address to Congress has begun with the delivery of the invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to President Barack Obama at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. (It’s still on paper, not an Evite). OBAMA/

Washington Extra – Sound of silence

January 10, 2011

The sound of silence is quite rare in Washington where talk is currency.

So it was perhaps the highest honor that the city can pay to the victims of the Arizona shooting by standing still for a moment of silence. USA/

Washington Extra – It’s my party

January 7, 2011

It’s Friday, when some people start thinking PARTY! Even in Washington.

The first employment report of the year, which was for December, gave the administration something to party about. The unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent. That is the number that resonates with the public, so a four-tenths of a percentage point drop can be politically useful. OBAMA/SPERLING

Washington Extra – It’s genetic

January 6, 2011

Forget about the branch. President Barack Obama offered the whole olive tree to the business community today with the appointment of JP Morgan Chase executive William Daley as White House Chief of Staff.

Washington Extra – hello goodbye

January 5, 2011

She says goodbye and he says hello.

The House Speaker’s (HUGE) gavel changed hands today, symbolizing the transfer of power to Republicans. Outgoing speaker Nancy Pelosi, attacked by Republicans as a symbol of Democratic excesses, took the high road as she repeatedly congratulated new House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican majority.

Washington Extra – New Year state of mind

January 4, 2011

New Year often means out with the old and in with the new.

On Capitol Hill, the new 112th Congress will start its 2-year run that will end after the 2012 presidential election. (For numerologists — that’s an awful lot of 2s).

Washington Extra – Obama has left the building

December 22, 2010

obama1A very non-lame Lame Duck is just about done and President Barack Obama is off to his Christmas vacation in Hawaii. Aloha, Mr. President, and congratulations on December. Let’s take a moment to recap.

Washington Extra – You win some, you lose some

December 22, 2010

capitol_domeDemocrats scored some noteworthy wins today. They pushed the nuclear arms treaty with Russia past a Republican hurdle. They adopted Internet rules that Republicans and some big media companies called unwarranted, excessive and maybe even illegal.

Washington Extra – START not yet finished

December 20, 2010

So far, the U.S. Senate has spent six days debating New START — the strategic nuclear arms limitation treaty with Russia. Not so long, you say? Democrats are rushing it through? Well consider this, Congress has already spent longer on this agreement than it did on START I almost two decades ago — and the original is a much more complex treaty.

Washington Extra – Whose bipartisanship?

December 17, 2010

The feeling appeared mutual when President Barack Obama shook hands with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell after signing the tax cut bill. It looked like the picture of what Obama called a “bipartisan effort.”  OBAMA/TAXES-SIGNS