TPMDC Sunday Roundup

January 25, 2009 7:59 a.m.
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Poll: Obama Starts With 68% Approval
A new Gallup Poll finds that President Obama starts his administration 68% approval and only 12% disapproval. This is at the high end of other presidents in the history of Gallup polling, better than Clinton’s 58%-20% or Reagan’s 51%-13%, but just short of Kennedy’s 72%-6% record.

No Obama Events Today
President Obama does not have any scheduled events for today.

Biden: I Am Not “Deputy President”
In an appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, Joe Biden explained that his role was not to be a “deputy president” but rather to be a top adviser to President Obama. “The agreement that he and I made is that I would be available for every single major decision that he makes … that I would have all the paper, all the material, all the meetings,” said Biden. “Again, not for me to make decisions, [but] for me to give the best advice that I can give.”

McCain Won’t Support Stimulus Package
In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, John McCain said he won’t vote for President Obama’s stimulus package as it stands now. McCain said there need to be more tax cuts for businesses, payroll tax cuts, and for existing tax cuts to be made permanent: ” Well, the plan was written by the majority in — a Democrat majority in the House, primarily. And so, yeah, I think there has to be major rewrites if we want to stimulate the economy.”

Pelosi: GOP Ideas Will Be Included In Stimulus — If They’re Good
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Nancy Pelosi said that Republicans have had the opportunity to be included in crafting the stimulus bill — even if not many of their ideas have been adopted. “Well, we will take some,” said Pelosi. “We will judge them by their ability to create jobs, to — to help turn the economy around, to stabilize the economy, and to see how much they cost.”

AP: Earmark Prohibition Might Not Stop Lobbyists
The Associated Press says that the ban on earmarks in the new stimulus package won’t stop lobbyists from being able to get money set aside for their local clients throughout the country. Instead of specifying that money spent for a particular project, the same result can be accomplished through manipulation of the supposedly objective formulas and guidelines used to determine where money would go.

NYT: Obama Plans Quick Action On Finance Regulations
The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration is planning quick and significant action on financial regulations. “Officials said that the proposals were aimed at the core regulatory problems and gaps that have been highlighted by the market crisis,” the Times reports, with such problems including lax government oversight, poor risk management, and excessive borrowing by and lending to many homeowners.

WaPo: Gitmo Case Files In Disarray
The Washington Post reports that Obama Administration officials have found that there exist no comprehensive case files for many Guantanamo prisoners, with the information instead scattered throughout the government. Because the Bush Administration relied upon indefinite detention over prosecution, it could take a long time for Obama officials to figure out just what to do about the individuals currently kept there.

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