Welcome to the Wednesday daily briefing!
What a day this has been! And that's just my description for the trip I had to New York today. (I'm attending some meetings related to our show... meetings that will eventually involve all of you.) None the less, I was on a shuttle flight that had to sit on the runway at Reagan National for two hours because of a "ground hold." It reminded me of that "passenger bill of rights" that Congress considered a few years ago but remains "grounded." http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-travel-rights24-2008dec24,0,3989720.story
Anyway, the current president and three former presidents had lunch today at the white house with the future president -- Barack Obama. The photo op was interesting on so many levels. We will start the 6 p.m. show with the visuals and comments on camera. I was struck by the positioning of Obama between the Bushes and the body language between Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Clinton and Carter have had their tensions over the years. I'll take you through all of the remarks the presidents made to each other today...
Also, Barack Obama met with the press earlier at his transition headquarters. The President-elect unveiled a new position called "Chief Performance Officer." The idea is to have this person, Nancy Killefer, help the administration eliminate waste and improve efficiency in government spending. That's important, of course, because of the massive economic stimulus package coming. http://change.gov/
Speaking of the economic package, economists now say it may total $1.2 trillion dollars. So, while Obama met with the Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter today... he is actually channeling Franklin Roosevelt. No President since him has ever tried anything this ambitious.
Our muckraker of the day is radio talk show host Ed Schultz.
He’s one of my favorites and has been stirring the pot in the brewing tensions between progressive Democrats and establishment Democrats like Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid.
By the way, Reid today met with Roland Burris about Obama's senate seat. Reid's position is softening, perhaps because he realized the constitution favors Burris on this one.
At the half hour, we are rolling out a new segment called "Mythbuster Wednesday." My old friend Daniel Gross, senior editor for Newsweek, will join us every Wednesday to dispel a popular economic myth that is out there. Today's "myth" involves an argument many conservatives like to make about big economic stimulus packages by pointing to FDR and the Depression.
On a related note, here is Dan's latest Newsweek column.
Our quote of the day comes in the wake of our little presidential golfing segment the other night. Baseball slugger and hall of famer Hank Aaron, who held the home run record for so many years... once famously spoke about his skills on the links:
"It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course."
Thanks in advance for watching. Our show airs at 6pm in Washington, 5pm in Little Rock, 4pm in Boise, and 3pm in Oakland!