Hello everybody and welcome to the Shuster "Daily Briefing" for March 11, 2009. We have a terrific show lined up for tonight! I've been glancing at a hearing throughout the day on the bank bailout funds.
Members of Congress are really, really fired up. A short time ago, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.,said to the banks that got the TARP funds, "You don't like our rules? Screw you! Give it back." We will be talking with Rep. Cummings about the hearing today and where things stand with the TARP money.
Also tonight, President Obama called out the hypocrisy in Congress over those earmarks in the spending bill he just signed. Several senators urged President Obama to "veto" the measure because it was "bloated." Never mind, of course, that many of these senators stuffed their own pet projects and pork into the bill. We will bring you the list.
One of the senators who was consistent in his vote was Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo. We will chat with him about the spending bill and the reasons he bolted his GOP caucus on this.
In "Hypocrisy Watch," we are taking a closer look tonight at Sen. David Vitter,R-La. He is promoting an interesting energy proposal that promises to save taxpayer money. That's a fine idea. But, the way Vitter sold his proposal today and complained about the waste of taxpayer money, was amazing when you consider that he stuffed more earmarks in the spending bill last night than more than 90 of his colleagues.
Nearly every Wednesday is "Mythbuster Wednesday" here at "1600." Newsweek's Daniel Gross will join us to talk about the claim that President Obama has declared war on the rich.
Our panel which features Republican strategist John Feehery, former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr, and Politico reporter Jeanne Cummings,will then join in. I'll be asking them about the "myths" and also about the GOP complaint that President Obama is trying to do too much at once.
As we track some of the foreign policy challenges facing the Obama administration, there was big news in Zimbabwe today involving opposition party leader Roy Bennett. We will bring you those developments.
Plus, several of us on the "1600" staff were struck today by a Boston Herald story detailing the new efforts the Obama administration is considering regarding Iran. It may not make our show tonight but it's intriguing none the less.
Finally, we will ask our panel to review some of the videos and questions you've brought to our attention via Twitter.
Our "Quote of the Day" is from Robertson Davies:
"The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past."
Special thanks today to one of our terrific new interns – Yang Wang. She did a terrific job in helping us put together this briefing.
Thanks to all of you 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.