updated 1/28/2009 12:39:57 PM ET 2009-01-28T17:39:57

Happy Tuesday, everybody!

Welcome to the Shuster "Daily Briefing" for January 27, 2009. To all of you in the greater D.C. area, how's the snow day going?Schools are closed, roads are a bit icy, and some drivers are really out of their league.

Spotted this morning: A driver downtown who was going so slowly and seemed so freaked out by the snow that he shouldn't be on the roads to begin with. By the way, the car had an "Ohio State" bumper sticker.  

I'll refrain from making any Buckeye jokes, especially given 5 straight Michigan losses in the "big game." But good grief!

Tonight in our 6 p.m. show, we are pleased to present our second installment of our interview series on the problems at Ground Zero in New York. Seven years after 9/11, the site remains mostly empty and a symbol of incompetence.  The Freedom Tower plan, as you heard last night, is a disaster. Tonight, we will talk with a building engineer who has spent years working on a plan to rebuild the Twin Towers. Ken Gardner has detailed blue prints, design plans, and cost estimates on stronger, taller, safer Twin Towers.

Also, his plan would leave "footprints" where the original Towers stood and keep the plan for a 9/11 memorial. It's not too late to scrap the Freedom Tower plan and start rebuilding Twin Towers. Ken's plan is impressive and is getting a lot of support from many  9/11 families, NY fire/police organizations, and even a few politicians who are quietly showing their support. If you want to weigh in, we have an intriguing poll for you on Newsvine.

At the top of our show tonight, we are going to focus on two big stories today in the world of politics – President Obama's effort to get Republican support for his $825 billion economic stimulus plan; and the impeachment trial of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

First, on President Obama:   He met today with House and Senate Republican leaders to talk about the plan. Our Capitol Hill correspondent Mike Viqueira reports that Obama told lawmakers something to the effect of, "there will be a time to beat me up and play politics.  I understand that and I will watch you on Fox News and feel bad about myself... but now is not the time given the economic crisis confronting us." A number of GOP lawmakers fear the plan involves "pork barrel projects..." and point to local communities/cities lobbying for various types of help/relief in the bill.

Ironically, even before the Obama/GOP meeting today, the House Republican leadership told caucus members to vote against the bill. So much for the GOP's stated desire to be "part of the process."  It's hard to argue for being part of the process when you are undercutting meetings that haven't happened yet.

You may be thinking, "Hey Shuster, that's a good 'Hypocrisy Watch' segment." Maybe so.  But, we are on a roll with the bank CEO's who are obtaining billions of dollars for their troubled institutions as they "cut costs," and then turn around and waste money on all kinds of extravagance. More on that in tonight's ‘Hypocrisy Watch."

Oh, I still need to tell you about Blagojevich.  This was day two of his impeachment trial. And today, lawmakers played some of the audio tapes of his recorded phone conversations where he appears to be discussing ways of benefiting financially from President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. Blagojevich, of course, is not in Springfield, Illinois for the impeachment trial. Instead, he continues to make the media rounds, reaching as many potential jurors as possible before he gets indicted in the next few months by prosecutors.

Eugene Robinson has a great op-ed on Blago in today's Washington Post.

We love Eugene Robinson and will have him on tonight.  We also love NBC correspondent Richard Engel. Richard will join us this evening from Baghdad to talk about that intriguing interview President Obama did yesterday with the Muslim broadcaster Al-Arabiya. It was the President's first interview since taking office.  

Richard will bring us the view of Obama these days in Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the Muslim world.

Finally, we have some fun briefing room surprises for you, including a "ring tone" for your cell phone that will certainly impress and amuse your friends.

Our Quote of the Day is from Thomas Edison:

"The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary."

Thanks in advance for watching "1600."  Our show airs at 6 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; 5 p.m. in Chesterfield, Missouri; 4 p.m. in Great Falls, Montana, and 3 p.m. in Tacoma, Washington.



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