White House: Obama Marks Anniversary Of Stimulus Law
• "President Barack Obama is observing the first anniversary of the signing of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill" today "before meeting with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan," AP reports.
• "Hours after" Obama "meets with his national security team about the war in Afghanistan" today, "he's scheduled to speak with Gen. Ray Odierno and Amb. Chris Hill, the top U.S. military and civilian officials in Iraq," Politico reports.
Economy: Obama Will Create Debt Commission
• Obama "will sign an executive order on Thursday setting up a bipartisan commission to propose ways to tackle the ballooning U.S. deficit, a senior administration official said on Tuesday," Reuters reports. "Obama will name Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, and former Republican Senator Alan Simpson to serve as co-chairs of the body, the official said."
• "American Airlines announced Tuesday it will resume commercial flights into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Friday, making it the first airline to do so," CNN reports. "Commercial flights ended on January 12, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed more than 200,000 people."
Congress: Democrats Seeking To Bypass PAYGO For Job Creation
• "The ink is barely dry on the pay-as-you-go law, and Democrats are seeking to bypass it to enact parts of their job-creation agenda," The Hill reports. "Democratic leaders said extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA healthcare benefits should be emergency spending that isn't subject to the pay-as-you-go statute, which requires new non-discretionary spending to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases."
• "The leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives mourned" Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., "inside a church in his hometown" of Johnstown, Pa., "and a Marine band marched his casket to the nearby cemetery," Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Politics: Reid Enlists Obama For Fundraising Blitz
• CongressDailyPM (subscription) reports on congressional leaders' fundraising activity over this week's recess, especially that of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
• "House Democrats expect the decision of Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., to retire will put a House seat up for grabs, with Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth likely to run for the Senate," CongressDailyPM (subscription) reports. "The party's nominee will be chosen at a state party convention, with Ellsworth emerging as the likely choice."
• "Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., announced Tuesday that he had tapped Sarah Huckabee, daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), to manage his Senate campaign," Roll Call (subscription) reports.
Health Care: Senate Democrats Urge Reid To Restore Public Option
• "Four Senate Democrats wrote" Reid, "asking him to revive the public option in the Senate's healthcare bill," The Hill reports.
• "Just as the worldwide shortage of a radioactive isotope used in millions of medical procedures is about to get worse, officials say a new source for the substance has emerged: a nuclear reactor in Poland," the New York Times reports.
Energy & Environment: Three Corporate Giants Quit Climate Coalition
• "The U.S. Climate Action Partnership has lost three heavyweights from its roster, including oil companies BP and ConocoPhillips and agriculture giant Caterpillar," Roll Call (subscription) reports.
• "In announcing the first nuclear loan guarantee" Tuesday, "President Obama called upon nuclear power supporters, including Republicans, to get on board with comprehensive climate change legislation," NationalJournal.com reports. "But he fell short of explicitly endorsing a price on carbon or any type of cap-and-trade mechanism."
World: Haiti Quake Damage Estimate Climbs
• "The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti last month may have caused billions of dollars more in damage than initially estimated, according to a study released Tuesday by the Inter-American Development Bank," the New York Times reports.
• "Pakistan's capture of the Afghan Taliban's operational commander, in a joint operation with the CIA last week, reflects a markedly changed attitude toward an insurgent force that the country had allowed to operate with relative impunity for the past eight years," the Washington Post reports.
National Security: U.S. Sends New Ambassador To Syria
• "A top US diplomat has met Syria's President Bashar Assad, as part of a US move to improve ties with Damascus," BBC News reports. "The visit of Under-Secretary of State William Burns comes after" Obama "nominated the first US ambassador to Syria in five years.... Analysts say the visit is aimed at loosening Syria's ties with Iran while pushing for a Middle East peace accord."
• "Senior United Nations officials in Afghanistan" today "criticized NATO forces for what one referred to as 'the militarization of humanitarian aid,' and said U.N. agencies would not participate in the military's reconstruction strategy in Marja as part of its current offensive there," the New York Times reports.
Transportation: Toyota President Announces Company's Next Steps
• "Toyota President Akio Toyoda presented a slew of steps" today "aimed at restoring trust in the embattled Japanese automaker, including installing new brake-override systems in all future models and quicker disclosure of defects in its cars. He also said he would consider testifying before the U.S. Congress if a formal request was made," the New York Times reports.
• "A German pilots union said" today "that its members employed by Deutsche Lufthansa AG voted in favor of indefinite strike action in a dispute over pay and job security at Germany's largest airline," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Technology: Study Says Rural And Low-Income Households Lag In Broadband
• "A report released" Tuesday "by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows that while the nation has made progress in the number of households that now get broadband Internet service, minorities, seniors, less-educated, unemployed and low-income households still lag behind other populations," CongressDailyPM (subscription) reports.
• Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday "disclosed several details about his agency's upcoming national broadband plan, including a goal of extending high-speed connectivity -- at 100 megabits per second -- to 100 million households over the next decade," CongressDailyPM (subscription) reports.
• "A war game, sponsored by a nonprofit group and attended by former top-ranking national security officials, laid bare Tuesday that the U.S. government lacks" cyber-crisis skills, the Washington Post reports.
Lobbying: Majority Favors Limits On Campaign Spending
• "Americans of both parties overwhelmingly oppose a Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to spend as much as they want on political campaigns, and most favor new limits on such spending, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll," the Washington Post reports.
• "The continued practice of lobbyist donation bundling shows that Obama's pledge to take on lobbyists and special interests in Washington is one promise that's been... nearly impossible to keep," Politico reports.
Commentary: Finding The Meaning Of Bayh's Retirement
• In Earlybird's Pundits & Editorials section, the Wall Street Journal contends that Bayh's retirement is evidence of failures by liberalism, while Ruth Marcus and the Los Angeles Times see a failure of government.