updated 3/16/2009 10:57:43 AM ET 2009-03-16T14:57:43

Happy Friday the 13th!

Hello everybody and welcome to the Shuster "Daily Briefing" for March 13, 2009. Our star intern Corbb O'Connor is handling the entire briefing today. It's going to be a great one, I promise!  So, Corbb...take it away!

Thanks, Shuster. Across the newsroom from you, we're awaiting the President's remarks after his meeting with Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, joins us tonight. We'll get his reaction to some interesting commentaries on fallout from the economic crisis. David Ignatius wrote in The Washington Post yesterday that the administration needs to treat the economic crisis as a war not like any other issue.

Eugene Robinson, also writing in The Washington Post, disagrees with Mr. Ignatius: "A laserlike focus on the financial crisis, to the exclusion of everything else, is unlikely to improve the situation and may actually make things worse."

We'll get Mr. Reich's reactions.

New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo faced off with Bank of America today in New York State Court regarding the company's attempt to keep confidential a wide range of testimony about $3.6 billion of bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch employees. We're hoping for some insight from Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and are also pursuing Rep. Ed Towns,D-N.Y. Our backup plan is to check in with CNBC's Mary Thompson who's at the courthouse today

Several options are on the table for tonight's "Hypocrisy Watch." It might be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not stopping the automatic, cost-of-living pay increases for Congressional salaries. We're also investigating Sarah Palin's behind-the-scenes role in scoring earmarks for her state in the latest omnibus spending bill (that's right, she may not have said "thanks, but no thanks!") Our third option tonight comes to us from California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whose husband served on the board of OneUnited Bank – a bank for which she helped coordinate TARP funds last fall. Tune in for the details.

Donovan Campbell talks with us about his latest book "Joker One," named after his platoon's call sign in Iraq. Mr. Campbell graduated with honors from Princeton University and Harvard Business School, finished first in his class at the Marines' Basic Officer Course, and served three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He's a well-decorated officer with a lot to tell us, especially since we're expecting the President to outline the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan next week.

We'll ask our panel tonight not just about the economy, but about Michael Phelps' use of marijuana too. Politico's Nia-Malika Henderson, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Ed Shultz, and Republican strategist Ron Christie join us.

There's good news in this recession too. It comes to us from Boston, where the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was looking at looming layoffs straight in the eye. The leader, Paul Levy, didn't want to issue pink slips, so he had an idea: keep the lower-wage earners by the higher-wage earners taking pay cuts. And it seems to be working.

Today's "Quote of the Day" comes to us from Eugene V. Debs, an American union leader, who tells us:

"I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the world."

We hope you'll join us tonight as you relax at the end of the week on this oh-so-spooky Friday the 13th! "1600" airs at 6 p.m. in Washington; 5 p.m. in Green Bay; 4 p.m. in Helena;  and 3 p.m. in San Jose.



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