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Edmund L. Andrews writes in the New York Times: "President Obama's plan to reduce the flood of home foreclosures will include a mix of government inducements and new pressure on lenders to reduce monthly payments for borrowers at risk of losing their houses, according to people knowledgeable about the administration's thinking."

Douglass K. Daniel writes for the Associated Press: "Facing a stricter approach to limiting executive bonuses than it had favored, the Obama administration wants to revise that part of the stimulus package even after it becomes law, White House officials said Sunday."

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, in the New York Times, profiles "Lawrence H. Summers, the brash and brainy former Harvard president who, as chief White House economic adviser, is guiding [Obama] through treacherous terrain," and who is "assembling a brain trust of hotshot economists to expand his reach into every realm of policy making, from housing to agriculture."

Nicholas Johnston writes for Bloomberg: "At a time when bipartisanship has all but broken down in Washington," Obama and 76-year-old Republican wise man Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana "are quietly working to restore the notion that politics must end at the water's edge."

David E. Sanger writes in the New York Times: "We're about to find out what the Obama Factor is worth around the world. The Factor is all the good will, popular support and considerable charm that Barack Obama brought to the Oval Office nearly four weeks ago."

Kendra Marr and Neil Irwin wrote in Monday's Washington Post that the Obama administration has elected not to name any individual car czar to oversee the restructuring of U.S. auto companies, instead planning to rely on a range of senior officials.

But Mark Silva blogs for Tribune that Ron Bloom, a key adviser to President Barack Obama's new automotive industry task force is the "car czar without a crown."

Juliet Eilperin writes in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration is legally defending a last-minute rule enacted by President George W. Bush that allows concealed firearms in national parks, even as it is internally reviewing whether the measure meets environmental muster."

Peter Baker writes in the New York Times that Obama will soon "have to decide whether to proceed with some of the priciest aircraft in the world — a new fleet of 28 Marine One helicopters that will each cost more than the last Air Force One."

President Obama said last week that he is considering lifting the ban on photographs and videos at Dover Air Force Base, Del., where the remains of fallen U.S. troops are brought home. Ann Scott Tyson and Mark Berman write in The Washington Post: "For Obama, changing the policy would carry some political risk as he ramps up the war effort in Afghanistan with tens of thousands of fresh troops, increasing the likelihood of combat deaths that could produce photographs of numerous coffins arriving at one time....At the same time, Obama has advocated transparency in government, and continuing to hide the Dover ritual from public view conflicts with that principle as well as with public opinion on the issue, polls indicate."

Laura Isensee writes in the Dallas Morning News that the latest designs for the George W. Bush presidential library call for a structure that "has grown to an estimated 207,000 square feet – akin to an average Wal-Mart Super Center – making it more than twice as large as his father's, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University."

C-SPAN asked 65 presidential historians to rank the 42 former occupants of the White House on ten attributes of leadership. Lincoln, Washington and FDR topped the list. George W. Bush came in seventh from the bottom.


By Dan Froomkin  |  February 17, 2009; 12:57 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Facing a stricter approach to limiting executive bonuses than it had favored, the Obama administration wants to revise that part of the stimulus package even after it becomes law, White House officials said Sunday."

Don't these guys get it? The government holds all the power over Wall Street right now. Wall Street banks will go bankrupt without government assistance. If these fat cats really think they deserve big bonuses then let them go find work at banks willing to pay these losers huge amounts of cash. Seriously where are these jokers going to go? Who is going to hire someone who lost billions of dollars and pay them big bucks to the do the same for them?

WAKE UP OBAMA. TIM GEITHNER IS JUST ANOTHER WALL STREET INSIDER HACK. YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DUMP HIM WHEN HIS TAX PROBLEM SHOWED UP.

Posted by: troyd2009 | February 17, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

". . . the George W. Bush presidential library call for a structure that "has grown to an estimated 207,000 square feet – akin to an average Wal-Mart Super Center . . ."

But not one square inch for documents that might tell inconvenient truths.

An executive order Bush signed in 2001 gives presidents and their families over presidential papers. The order specifically gives Bush the right to "veto requests to open any presidential records.” Librarians quickly realized this means censorship, plain and simple.

“Any presidential library created under this executive order will be a mockery,” said Steven L. Hensen, a past president of the Society of American Archivists and director of technical services for Duke University’s rare books library. “There are records, but they could be embargoed by Laura Bush or Jeb or whoever.”

But it's being run by SMU, right? So is SMU all right with censorship dressed up as if it were scholarship? You bet! To the dismay of SMU faculty such as Professor Benjamin, who says the model agreed to at SMU was “totally different” from the approaches at other universities with presidential libraries.

I remember when SMU was, well, a University. With all the rights, and, yes, responsibilities of a University. That's what the U stood for.

Now SMU will stand for So Much Unmentioned. Or So Many Unfacts. Or Sycophantic Mumbling Utterances.

The censorship has in fact already started even before the building: Bush is keeping the funding secret. Who's contributing the $200 million? Bush won't say. Why not? Well, it might be because, as lobbyist Stephen pay told potential donors, a gift to the Presidential library might just help their lobbyist clients. Yes, just when you thought this couldn't get any uglier.

Posted by: jpk1 | February 17, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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