Quick Takes

By Dan Froomkin
12:34 PM ET, 04/ 9/2009

Julia Preston writes in the New York Times: "While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country's immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday. Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as 'policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,' said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House."

Juliet Eilperin writes in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration might agree to auction only a portion of the emissions allowances granted at first under a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas pollution, White House science adviser John P. Holdren said yesterday, a move that would please electric utilities and manufacturers but could anger environmentalists."

Slate's Timothy Noah warns readers away from beat-sweeteners, defined as a "gratuitously flattering profile that a reporter writes about a government official in the hope that it will encourage (or, at the very least, not impede) that reporter's access to the official in question." He names names.

The Associated Press reports that Obama "called University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams to congratulate the Tar Heels on their NCAA championship. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says Obama called Williams from Air Force One on Tuesday. Gibbs also says Obama thanked Williams for 'vindicating him in front of the entire country.' Obama picked UNC to win the championship in his much-watched basketball bracket."

Bill Sammon writes for Fox News: "Aides to former President George W. Bush are challenging the veracity of Vice President Joe Biden's claim this week of having privately castigated Bush, who does not remember the incident...'I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office,' Biden told CNN, '"Well, Joe," he said, "I'm a leader." And I said: "Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following."' That exchange never took place, according to numerous Bush aides."

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