Quick Takes

By Dan Froomkin
1:21 PM ET, 03/10/2009

Anthony Faiola writes in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration is aggressively reworking U.S. trade policy to more strongly emphasize domestic and social issues, from the displacement of American workers to climate change. Even as world trade takes its steepest drop in 80 years amid the global economic crisis, the administration is preparing to take a harder line with America's trading partners. It will seek new benchmarks before supporting already-written trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea and is suggesting that it will dig in its heels on global trade talks, demanding that other countries make broader concessions first." Here is the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's new policy statement.

Steven Aftergood blogs for Secrecy News: "Many of the most substantive and significant documents generated by the Obama Administration to date are surprisingly absent from the White House web site...The White House web site does notify Americans that the First Lady visited Miriam's Kitchen last week to help feed the homeless, which is good to know. But its web page about the President's Intelligence Advisory Board does not provide meaningful information about the Board, not even a list of members. In short, the current White House web site does not present a reliable or complete record of Presidential actions or activities. For that, one still has to turn elsewhere."

Michelle Boorstein writes in The Washington Post: "Prayer has become more common at presidential appearances under the Obama administration, including at nonreligious events such as stimulus rallies. The White House is acting in a deliberately inclusive, interfaith way that seems to limit opposition....The policy, first reported in U.S. News & World Report, appears to continue a new White House approach to religion: invite piety and spirituality at every opportunity, but with a new emphasis on interfaith participants and atheists."

In the New York Times, Rachel L. Swarns profiles Jocelyn Frye, "the first lady's policy and projects director, helping Mrs. Obama develop a policy platform and a presence in this city."

And CBS News's Mark Knoller offers a day-by-day look at Obama's first 50 days.

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