The day before House Democrats defeated President Barack Obama's request for fast-track authority on trade agreements, The New Yorker's William Finnegan examines the strange bedfellows the Trans-Pacific Partnership has led to and asks Why Does Obama Want This Trade Deal So Badly?
There's been a lot of talk in the US media about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the "Grand Bargain" What are they?
The "fiscal cliff" is a confluence of three legal changes taking effect Jan. 1: the expiration of a payroll-tax cut, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and the advent of mandatory spending cuts known as "sequestration."Fiscal Cliff 101: 5 Basic Questions Answered. What's Happening: Fiscal Cliff Explained [more inside]
Obama, telecoms and the Beltway system. Georgia Rep. John Barrow ran ads accusing his party of wanting to "cut and run in Iraq," and was one of the Blue Dogs to send a letter to Pelosi asking to be allowed to vote to give the President warrantless eavesdropping powers and to give lawbreaking telecoms amnesty (previously). Barrow faces a July primary challenge from State Senator Regina Thomas, whose policy positions more closely match Obama's views and the views of the Democratic base in that district. Despite this, Obama has taped a radio ad in support of Barrow.