By Dan Froomkin
12:10 PM ET, 05/ 6/2009
Bernie Becker blogs for the New York Times with more information about Obama's dinner with critics of his bank bailout plan. We already knew Nobel Prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman (who is also a New York Times opinion columnist) were there. Becker writes: "The White House has confirmed the following people also attended the April 27 dinner: Alan S. Blinder, a Princeton professor and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve; Kenneth S. Rogoff, currently a Harvard professor and a former chief economist at the IMF; Jeffrey D. Sachs, the author of 'The End of Poverty' and a professor at Columbia University; and Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who now heads Mr. Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board." Krugman finally publicly acknowledged the dinner yesterday -- but only enough to say he wouldn't have anything more to say about it "because the conversation was off the record."
Philip Rucker writes in The Washington Post about Obama and Biden's surprise trip to an Arlington hamburger joint for lunch yesterday. The two "waited patiently in a single-file line as the lunch crowd gawked -- and as two customers in front of them at the counter pondered the menu leisurely, apparently oblivious to whom they were holding up." Linda Feldmann of the Christian Science Monitor reports that Obama bought burgers for five members of the press pool.
Scott Wilson and Robert Barnes write in The Washington Post: "President Obama's first selection of a Supreme Court justice is being managed by a small group of senior advisers, and the process will last at least into next week before producing a candidate who the administration hopes will inject real-world experience into the nation's highest court....Vice President Biden will be a key part of the process...Running the selection are White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, counsel Gregory B. Craig and deputy counsel Cassandra Q. Butts, a classmate of Obama's at Harvard Law."
Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes in the New York Times: "President Obama asked Congress on Tuesday to spend $63 billion over the next six years on a new, broader global health strategy that would reshape one of the signature foreign policy efforts of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr. Bush made combating global AIDS a centerpiece of his foreign agenda. The program he created — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar — is regarded as one of his most significant achievements. But the plan Mr. Obama outlined Tuesday envisions a more far-reaching approach to global health that would focus not only on AIDS, but also on tropical diseases and other treatable and preventable illnesses that kill millions, many of them children, each year."
Jim Tankersley writes in the Los Angeles Times: "The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed renewable-fuel standards that could reduce the $3 billion a year in federal tax breaks given to producers of corn-based ethanol. The move sets the stage for a major battle between Midwest grain producers and environmentalists who say the gasoline additive actually worsens global warming."
Lori Montgomery writes in The Washington Post: "Key lawmakers from both parties have held tentative talks about overhauling the Social Security system, and Congress could turn its attention to the federal retirement program as soon as this fall if a bipartisan consensus emerges, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said yesterday."
Jocelyn Noveck writes for the Associated Press: "After a visit to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and an appearance on 'Sesame Street,' Mrs. Obama capped her first visit to New York as first lady with an appearance before a glittery crowd at Time magazine's annual Time 100 gala, honoring its 100 'Most Influential People.' There, she mixed sparkle with substance, introducing the administration's proposal to give $50 million to innovative nonprofit groups."