Happy Wednesday everybody!
Welcome to the 1600 Daily Briefing for January 14, 2009. I’m working out of New York again today so that I can attend some staff meetings and etc. Despite the fact that I’ll be anchoring the show most days from Washington, D.C., some key members of our 6 p.m. staff live and work here in New York City.
However, one of my 6 p.m. colleagues used to be a competitive figure skater. And she points out the rink is “very small.” Another colleague calls the place “the most dangerous rink in the world.” It’s an upbeat staff, eh? Anyway, I’ll grant them and you that this rink is not a great place to try double axes and triple toe loops.
The inauguration plans in D.C. are complex, complicated, massive, and amazing. The Mayor will take us through what it’s like to try and coordinate the work of so many different government agencies including D.C. police, fire and rescue, park police, secret service, capitol police, federal marshals, FBI, and etc. Everybody is anticipating the crowd size for inauguration next week will top 2 million people. Where will they all be able to get food, walk around, or even go to the bathroom?
And where will the huge jumbo-trons be posted along the mall for people who don’t have tickets for the West front of the capitol building? I’ll ask the Mayor.
This has been an intriguing day in the ongoing confirmation process for the Obama cabinet. It now appears that the man who will be responsible for collecting taxes, running the IRS, and overseeing the Treasury department had a problem calculating his own taxes for a few years. Timothy Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, acknowledged that he made a mistake a few years ago that needed to be corrected. And he did. None the less, republicans have successfully delayed his confirmation hearing for a few days. We will talk about their efforts and the reasons Geithner will still likely be confirmed without many headaches.
As for the President-elect, he and Vice President-elect Joe Biden made an intriguing visit today to the U.S. Supreme Court. They met with the Justices in their private conference room, got a tour of the building, and spoke with Chief Justice John Roberts. This was essentially a “courtesy call” as we like to say. None the less, it was neat to see the meeting happen. We will show you the pictures and talk about whatever our intrepid reporters pick up from the Court building. Also, President-elect Barack Obama paid a “courtesy call” last night to the home of conservative columnist George Will.
Fellow conservative columnists including Bill Kristol, David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer were also in attendance. It’s a smart move by Obama, just like it’s smart for him to be reaching out to progressive columnists as he is doing today. None the less, we will take you through the reactions, including one from somebody who was at the dinner last night.
Every Wednesday is a “Mythbuster Wednesday” here at 1600. That means our friend Daniel Gross, senior editor of Newsweek, will be with us to take us through a common “economic myth” that is out there in the political world.
Last week, for example, Dan shredded the idea being circulated by some conservatives that Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” spending made the depression worse. Actually, it made things better. As Dan pointed out, though, some conservatives are trying to engage in historical revisionism in order to hammer the coming Obama spending. Tonight Dan will tackle the “myth” that unemployment currently stands at 7.3%. The leading government issued unemployment figure says that.
But, Dan will reveal why the “real nationwide unemployment” is much higher and more frightening.
Have you ever wondered how much a Presidential limo weighs or how thick the armor plated windows are? The secret service has made some of the information public and we will bring it to you.
President Bush this week gave the Medal of Freedom to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2009/01/20090113-7.html |
Uribe’s administration has a controversial human rights record, including thousands of attacks on union and Afro-Colombian leaders. Our “Muckraker of the Day” argues in convincing fashion that Uribe’s medal is an outrage.
Finally, I want to give a special “shout out” to my friend and MSNBC colleague Contessa Brewer and all of her friends and family on her “Facebook” page. To all of you who sign-up for this Daily Briefing, thank you.
And to everybody who receives this daily briefing, thanks in advance for watching the 6 p.m. show tonight. “1600” airs at 6 p.m. in New York, 5 p.m. in Springfield, Illinois, 4 p.m. in Aspen, Colorado, and 3 p.m. in Monterrey, California.