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EARLYBIRD

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Obama takes 'fat cat' bankers to task, while Pakistan refuses to extradite five Americans suspected of plotting terror. Plus: Berlusconi recovering from attack.

White House: Black Caucus Still Not Happy About Job Creation

• "Congressional Black Caucus members continued to air their differences with the Obama administration on Sunday," Politico reports. "Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said that the administration hasn't done enough to target the African-American community when drafting economic recovery plans."

• "President Barack Obama is 'seriously angry' about the state dinner party crashers that made their way" past "the Secret Service at a dinner hosted for India," The Hill reports.

 

World: Abu Dhabi Bails Out Dubai

• "Abu Dhabi rescued debt-ridden Dubai today with a $10-billion bailout package that lifted world financial markets but left unclear how the glittering emirate by the sea would recover from nervous investors and a troubled real estate market," the Los Angeles Times reports.

• "A doctor says Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is eating with difficulty and will remain hospitalized at least one more day, after he was attacked in the face by a man at a rally," AP reports.

• "Iran said" today "it would try three Americans jailed since crossing the border from Iraq in July, a step certain to aggravate the U.S. at a time when Tehran is locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear program," AP reports.

 

Energy & Environment: Pressure For Deal Mounts In Copenhagen

• At the U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen, "international negotiators are trying to complete a nonbinding political deal on major climate change issues by the time" Obama "and more than 100 heads of state are expected to arrive by Friday," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports. "There is" a "growing sense that heads of state, including Obama, need to see at least the draft form text of major agreements by tonight."

• "The political script" in Copenhagen has Obama "and other world leaders flying in later this week to christen a new era of global environmental cooperation. In reality, the summit is shaping up as a pivotal economic showdown between the U.S. and China," the Wall Street Journal reports.

• "Energy Secretary Steven Chu will announce" today "an international plan to deploy clean technology in developing countries, a $350 million, five-year effort that will include everything from putting solar lanterns in poor households to promoting advanced energy-efficient appliances worldwide, administration officials said," the Washington Post reports.

The Hill reports on the climate change bill that Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced last week and compares it to other climate bills on the table.

 

Health Care: Lieberman, Nelson Criticize Bill

• "Two key senators criticized the most recent healthcare compromise Sunday, saying the policies replacing the public option are still unacceptable," The Hill reports. "Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) both said a Medicare 'buy-in' option for those aged 55-64 was a deal breaker."

• "The next 48 hours will be critical to the fate of health-care reform in the Senate, as Democratic leaders struggle to settle disputes that stand in the way of holding a final vote this year on the massive package," the Washington Post reports. "By mid-week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) must begin the process of ending debate on the $848 billion bill or risk missing his deadline of final passage by Christmas, pushing the contentious health-care debate into early 2010."

• "Embedded in sweeping health legislation passed by the House and being debated on the Senate floor is a major new federal insurance program for long-term care," the New York Times reports. "Advocates for older Americans and people with disabilities see the program as a long-overdue effort to address needs that will explode as baby boomers age.... But critics say that the program is unsustainable."

• "For critics of the Democrats' $849 billion health care bill, this may be the ultimate irony: millions of dollars set aside so the government can help teach citizens how to handle their own money better," Politico reports. "The funding is part of a broader, $375 million program aimed at promoting responsible lifestyles."

Lobbying: Hospital Groups Aim To Scuttle Medicare 'Buy-In'

• "As Senate Democrats show tentative signs of coalescing around a compromise health care bill that eliminates the controversial public insurance option, some of their allies are wasting no time in trying to sink the new proposal," Roll Call (subscription) reports. "While lawmakers await a Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the proposed substitute, doctor and hospital groups are already trying to scuttle part of the plan that would allow people ages 55 to 64 to enroll in Medicare."

• "The U.S. Supreme Court has put off until next year a ruling that could remake the political landscape for the 2010 midterm elections, and that's making things tricky for those eagerly awaiting the decision, including political professionals, regulators, advocacy groups and even the White House," Politico reports. "The case in question, which was brought by the conservative non-profit group Citizens United against the Federal Election Commission, challenges decades of law limiting corporate and union spending on elections."

• "While the two sides rarely see eye to eye, the energy industry and environmentalists can agree on at least one thing: The White House's decision last week to regulate pollution alters the legislative prospects for a Senate climate change bill that could emerge early next year," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

Roll Call (subscription) reports on recent management and structural changes at various lobbying and advocacy groups, including the American Petroleum Institute and the Specialty Tobacco Council.

Economy: Citigroup To Repay Bailout Funds

• "Citigroup said" today "that it would repay $20 billion in bailout money that it received from the Treasury Department, after trying to persuade regulators that it was sound enough to stand on its own," the New York Times reports.

• "President Obama, who lashed out Sunday at 'fat cat bankers' who 'still don't get it,' plans to gather the heads of major banks at the White House" today "to urge them to make more loans and to accept the necessity of greater regulation," the Washington Post reports.

Politics: Gay Democrat Elected Houston Mayor

• "Annise Danette Parker was elected mayor of Houston on Saturday, winning her seventh consecutive city election and becoming both the first contender in a generation to defeat the hand-picked candidate of Houston's business establishment and the first openly gay person to lead a major U.S. city," the Houston Chronicle reports.

• "In the Republican race to take on Democratic U.S. Sen Barbara Boxer next year, underdog Chuck DeVore lacks the star power of GOP rival Carly Fiorina, but what he does have going for him are impeccable conservative credentials," the Wall Street Journal reports.

National Security: New U.S. Focus On Bioterror

• "The Obama administration's new biological threat strategy has put the U.S. back in the forefront of the international community striving to thwart biological terrorist attacks, after spending years on the fringes, but Congress's role remains to be seen," The Hill reports.

• "A Taliban recruiter first made contact with five young American Muslims from Virginia arrested in Pakistan last week after one of the men, Ahmed Abdullah Minni, repeatedly posted comments on YouTube praising videos showing attacks on American troops, according to a Pakistani police report," the New York Times reports. "The Lahore High Court" today "barred the government from deporting the five Americans until judges review the case."

Transportation: DOT Says Big-Ticket Traffic System Is Flawed

• "The federal government has committed more than $50 million to build a sophisticated highway traffic monitoring system that has produced unreliable data and cannot freely share live reports on highway bottlenecks with the public, an audit by the Transportation Department's inspector general has found," the New York Times reports.

• "Airports have spent $3.5 billion in federal money since 1998 on projects the Federal Aviation Administration rated as low priority because they do little to improve the most pressing needs in the nation's aviation system, a USA TODAY analysis shows," USA Today reports. "The money comes from a program that is supposed to improve aviation safety. Priority goes to projects such as runways, taxiways and beacons."

• "General Motors is in talks to sell parts of Saab Automobile's old technology to a Chinese company and the entire brand to another buyer, a person familiar with the negotiations said Sunday," AP reports.

Technology: Congress, FCC Take Up Telecom Issues

• "The telecommunications policy circuit is chock-full this week, with subjects such as network neutrality, the national broadband plan and the looming spectrum crisis the focus of events at the" Federal Communications Commission "and on Capitol Hill," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "Google Inc. plans to begin selling a cellphone directly to consumers as soon as next year, people familiar with the matter said, escalating the Internet giant's assault on the traditional business model of the wireless industry," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Commentary: The Future Of The Republican Party

• In Earlybird's Pundits & Editorials section, Ross Douthat urges conservatives to embrace their hard stance on crime and prison reform, and in the Wall Street Journal, the Hoover Institution's Michael Petrilli encourages the cultivation of "Whole Foods Republicans."

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