TPMDC Morning Roundup

Obama: “Full Recovery Is Still A Ways Off”
During his press conference this morning, President Obama said the world seems to have avoided a total economic collapse, but that “full recovery is still a ways off.” With the end of the G-8 Summit, Obama said leaders have agreed on significant measures for the economy, the environment and national security, with a “widespread consensus we must continue our work to restore economic growth and restore our financial regulatory systems.”

Obama’s Day: Meeting With The Pope
President Obama attended a working breakfast with G-8 and African leaders, at 2:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. local time). At 4:30 a.m. ET, he attended a meeting with G-8 and African leaders, and then at 6:35 a.m. ET he met with South African President Jacob Zuma. He held a press conference at 8 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m. ET, he will meet with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the Vatican, and then at 10:15 a.m. he will have a bilateral meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. The First Family will have an audience with the Pope at 10:40 a.m. ET. At 12 p.m. ET, Obama will leave Rome for Accra, Ghana, arriving there at 4:20 p.m. ET.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden is spending the day in Washington, DC. At 11 a.m. ET, he will hold a roundtable with Sec. of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle, and several small business employers and employees from across the country, to discuss the impact of the rising costs of health care. He will spend the remainder of the day in private meetings.

Obama’s First Meeting With The Pope
President Obama goes into today’s meeting with Pope Benedict XVI with the two having publicly agreed on issues like economic social justice and Middle East peace, but strong disagreement on abortion, stem-cell research and other issues. Speaking to reporters earlier this week, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs played up the positives: “We know the pope has been keenly aware of the president’s outreach to the Muslim world. The pope shares the president’s view on reducing the number of nuclear weapons. So I think there’s certainly a lot of common ground.”

Poll: High Republican Opposition To Sotomayor
A new CNN poll shows an increasing level of partisan polarization surrounding the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, with 47% in favor of it and 40% opposed. Nearly 70% of Democrats are in favor of her confirmation, while almost two-thirds of Republicans are against it — a higher level of opposition from the minority party than has been seen in the past two decades.

Sotomayor Preparing With Mock Hearings
Sonia Sotomayor is preparing for her confirmation hearings through a set of faux hearings, in which she is bombarded with questions from White House staffers impersonating hostile Senators. Those involved in the current mock hearings would not comment, but Ed Gillespie, a former White House counsel for George W. Bush, explained what it’s like: “We made a point during the mock hearings of trying to be even more galling or offensive than even the most galling or offensive senator might dare be to help the nominee have a mindset that no matter how obnoxious a question might be or a questioner might get, just answer the questions and be a judge and demonstrate that judicial temperament.”

GOP Rep. Issa Proposes Lie-Detector Tests In CIA Controversy
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has an interesting proposal for how to deal with the controversies surrounding whether the CIA had misled members of Congress about interrogation/torture programs: requiring lawmakers to take lie-detector tests. “We should have a very high standard for those who are briefed by CIA — to make sure the information isn’t compromised and [lawmakers] who are briefed are telling the truth about what they’ve been told.”