Hello everybody, and welcome to Shuster "Daily Briefing" for January 28, 2009. This was another "snow day" for D.C. schools. I can attest to the ice out there. It took about 15 minutes this morning to scrape off the glaze on my car. None the less, President Obama spoke of the D.C. decision that kept his girls at home today.
"We're going to have to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town.... folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things." Sheesh. Maybe he can drive around with D.C. officials early tomorrow morning to help them decide on the conditions?
Before I tell you about the top of the show, what did you think of the interview last night with Twin Towers 2 design engineer Ken Gardner? At the half hour tonight, we are going to continue our series on the problems with Ground Zero and the troubled Freedom Tower rebuilding plan. Many 9/11 families have strong opinions on the "Freedom Tower" plan and whether it should be scrapped and replaced with the Twin Tower plan we heard about from Ken Gardner. You will meet one of those families tonight. Also,vote in our poll on what should be done.
We are going to kick off tonight's show with the President's economic plan.
It's the biggest economic stimulus proposal in U.S. history and tonight the House of Representatives will put it to a vote, possibly during our hour. It appears that many Republicans will vote against the bill. But, the politics will be intriguing. The Obama White House has made a point of reaching out to Republicans. And the administration is now in the position of being able to say something like, "we tried and the lack of bi-partisan support is the GOP's fault."
The measure is expected to pass, of course. And then the debate will move to the U.S. Senate. The Obama team has been showing great deference to Senate ideas and revisions to the stimulus. That's wise considering the experience of the Clinton administration. Officials from that administration say their biggest mistakes in Clinton's first term involved not spending more time listening and consulting with U.S. Senators.
In the midst of the government's action, there were more layoffs today in our beleaguer economy. This time they involved Boeing.
We have a terrific panel tonight to go through all of this. We will hear from Democratic Strategist and former Howard Dean Campaign Manager Joe Trippi, Republican Strategist Todd Harris, and CNBC/New York Times correspondent John Harwood.
The Obama administration keeps saying the stimulus plan is just "one leg of a multi-legged stool." Another leg will be legislation that's being considered for the financial industry. The Washington Post pointed out today there are some tough decisions facing the Treasury department.
Our "Hypocrisy Watch" segment will focus on a conference call Bank of America held in October just days after receiving $25 billion in bailout money.
Meanwhile, our "Muckraker of the Day" has been looking at the Obama administration's efforts to close down those secret CIA prisons overseas. It turns out; there are some "exemptions."
That reminds me... President Obama will be talking about the U.S. wars overseas with Pentagon leaders this afternoon. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski will have a readout for us. Plus, there is a growing rift between the Pentagon and the Obama White House over the modernization of U.S. nuclear weapons. Basically, the Pentagon says the weapons need to be upgraded but the Obama white house is resisting. Jim is pulling together some reporting on that as well.
Finally, our "Briefing Room" segment will be one of the more amusing we've done. We have video from musician Jay-Z of President Obama talking to Beyonce about "dance moves." Plus, it appears some Republican lawmakers were twittering away during their meeting with the President yesterday. We will show you what they wrote. And we will play some audio tapes of British lawmakers attempting to seek bribes from people they thought were foreign lobbyists. The lobbyists were actually British newspaper reporters testing the lawmakers' ethics. Oops.
I was struck by a "joke" President Bush 41 told recently.
"Quote of the Day" comes from Harry Houdini:
"No performer should attempt to bite off red-hot iron unless he has a good set of teeth."
Thanks in advance for watching tonight's broadcast! "1600" airs at 11 p.m. in London, 5 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; 4 p.m. in Chicago; 3 p.m. in Butte, MT; and 3 p.m. in San Diego.