White House

Honeymoon? What honeymoon?

It is obvious that tens of millions of Americans thought naively that Barack Obama’s election would usher in a new era of civility and bipartisanship, a chance for a divided nation to come together in a spirit of political cooperation to deal with the nation’s pressing needs. They now know better.

Can Obama close the deal?

President Barack Obama faces a barrage of questions on his plans to reinvigorate the economy with a massive stimulus bill and additional billions in bailout money for the financial markets.

Time for action, not talk

A combination of the calendar and perhaps unwarranted optimism provides our only good economic news: If this quarter is, as many economists predict, the worst of the recession, at least we’re almost halfway through it.

Panetta faces a though job

So far, so good for Leon Panetta in confirmation hearings before the Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate.

In the film "Traffic" actor Michael Douglas portrays an esteemed judge nominated by the President to oversee expanded efforts to stem devastating drug flows from Mexico into the U.S. A White House political pro who briefs him stresses the Congressional hearing room is absolutely not the court room. Interrogators are not interested in securing facts but rather on securing face time for themselves on TV news and commentary programs.

A 12-step program for Obama

The Bush administration dug a deep hole for our new president. In the best tradition of self-help programs, here are 12 steps to get back to where we once belonged.

— 1. Admit that we Americans are powerless over globalization.

Globalization comes with rules — not a ruler. We must collectively better manage those rules, not just in their constant extension to new territories and domains, but in their persistent improvement and progressive de-conflicting.

The buck stops with Barack

Harry Truman is credited with saying it first and of putting it on his desk in the Oval Office. But it hasn’t been heard around here for some time. In fact, "the buck stops here," has all but disappeared from presidential usage, replaced by "I can’t think of any (mistakes) at the moment."

Trust is still a problem

After assuming office with most of the country and even the world wishing him well, President Barack Obama is finding that governing in tough times is not much fun. For one reason, Americans no longer trust the country’s big institutions.

Obama needs to prove he can lead

President Barack Obama should learn from his tumultuous struggle to drag his reputed stimulus measure through Congress. Rather than let House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid craft major bills, Obama should offer specific proposals and have his allies push them toward adoption.

Smoke and mirrors

As if to make positively sure no one missed the point that congressional Democrats don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing with the stimulus package, Nancy Pelosi told the press the other day that prompt action was necessary because the United States is losing 500 million jobs a month.

That’s a lot because, if you figure it out, we could then have lost 6 billion jobs by the end of the year, and that’s nothing to sneeze at in a country of 300 million people.

Questions on another nominee

The Senate Intelligence Committee is taking up the last of President Barack Obama’s nominee for a high-profile national security post, the surprising pick of Leon Panetta to head the CIA.

Going into Thursday’s public hearing, the former Democratic congressman from California knows he will have to give up lucrative seats on boards of directors, end his consulting work and do without well-paid speeches while running the spy agency.