updated 2/2/2009 1:14:38 PM ET 2009-02-02T18:14:38

Happy Friday!

Hello everybody and welcome to the Shuster briefing for January 30, 2009. We have a terrific show to close out this week. We are very excited to welcome Christopher Ward to tonight's program. He is in charge of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency responsible for Ground Zero.

Chris is ready for the tough questions about the Freedom Tower vs. Twin Tower dispute. If you want to weigh in on-line, we have a poll on Newsvine.

We will begin the show with an intriguing advertising campaign Democrats are now running in the home districts of several Republicans who voted against the stimulus. The ads feature Rush Limbaugh and say Republicans must make a choice about whether he is the leader of their party or not. In fact, the new leader of the GOP was decided late this afternoon, former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele.

The economic picture across our nation continues to get worse. Economists say the contraction is the fastest in 25 years.

President Obama today focused on middle class families. He held an event today with Vice President Joe Biden and described the economic situation as a "disaster."

We will talk about the economy, the politics, and the GOP identity crisis with republican strategist Mike Murphy and former democratic Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.

Our panel will dissect the latest news involving Sarah Palin. She is coming to Washington for the annual Alfalfa Dinner. It's a must attend D.C. event for anybody who wants to run for President or at least be seen as a national political figure.

In "Hypocrisy Watch," we will get to the issue we had to push off yesterday because of the Blagojevich news. The controversy continues over President Obama's pledge not to hire any lobbyists in his administration. The count is now up to 12. All of them are highly qualified. The problem is that the President has yet to retract some things he said about his lobbyist policy during the campaign.

Speaking of Blagojevich, Chicago was an interesting place to be yesterday.  

Every television station was covering him wall to wall. And his on-camera antics outside his home for 20 minutes were remarkable. Today, we have a fun story about the cost in replacing all of those highway signs that say "Governor Blagojevich."

Also tonight, we will go through some of the youngsters who have a ton of responsibility in this new administration.

inally, we will round out the show with some incredible reporting on Wall Street bonus money.  Our "Muckraker of the Day" has some reporting that you will want to hear.

Our "Quote of the Day" comes from federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who has conducted more than a few corruption cases involving corporate execs:

"Officers and directors of publicly traded companies who steer shareholders' money into their pockets should not lie to the board of directors to get permission to do so."

Thanks in advance for watching tonight's show.  "1600" airs at 6 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; 5 p.m. in Chicago; 4 p.m. in Denver; and 3 p.m. in Los Angeles.

Shuster


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