TPMDC Morning Roundup

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FBI: Palin Not Under Investigation
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the FBI has taken the unusual step of affirmatively declaring that Sarah Palin is not under investigation. “We are not investigating her,” said FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez. “Normally we don’t confirm or deny those kind of allegations out there, but by not doing so it just casts her in a very bad light. There is just no truth to those rumors out there in the blogosphere.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Moscow this morning. At 6 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local time), Obama participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Russian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At 6:50 a.m. ET, he met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, with an expanded working meeting at 7:25 a.m. ET. At 10:30 a.m. ET, they will hold a joint press conference. At 11:30 a.m. ET, Obama and the First Lady will meet with U.S. Embassy personnel. At 12:35 p.m. ET, the Obamas will have dinner with President Medvedev and Russian First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden is spending the day in Washington, DC. At 12 p.m. ET, he will host conference calls with mayors and governors from across the country, to discuss stimulus implementation. He will have private meetings for the remainder of the day.

Obama And Medvedev Expected To Negotiate Deal On Arms Control
President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are expected to negotiate a new arms-control framework, to succeed the START I accord that is set to expire December 5. Gary Samore, the President’s coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, said that the White House will look at ways to enforce any agreement by executive order in case it is not ratified in time by the Senate: “We’ll have to look at arrangements to continue some of the inspection provisions, keep them enforced in a provisional basis, while the Senate considers the treaty.”

WaPo: Health Companies Hire Former Lawmakers And Top Staffers To Lobby On Health Care Bill
The Washington Post reports that the major health-care companies are going to great lengths to influence the health debate in Congress, hiring as lobbyists numerous former top staffers to members of Congress and former members themselves. Included on the list are staffers for both Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — the chairman and head Republican on the Finance Committee, respectively. Also, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) are both working for a New Jersey pharmaceutical firm.

CQ: Obama Winning Votes In Congress
CQ reports that the large Democratic majorities in Congress are having a clear payoff for President Obama. On the 26 votes in the House and 37 in the Senate where Obama has taken a clear position, including 20 votes to confirm his nominees, he has had a success rate of 95.2%. If this continues for the rest of the year, this would be the highest score for any year in the time that CQ has been keeping track of this, since President Dwight Eisenhower’s first year in 1953.

McHugh Secures Big Defense Earmarks
The Hill reports that Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), who has been nominated by President Obama to be Secretary of the Army, has done a thorough job securing defense earmarks for his Upstate New York district. In the latest defense authorization bill — for which McHugh was only one of eight Republicans to vote in favor — he secured $44.13 in projects, including $8.2 million for an Army base in his district.

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