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EARLYBIRD

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BP rivals defend oil spill response plans, and Obama calls for sweeping changes to energy policy. Plus: NRA lends support to new campaign requirements.

White House: Obama Calls For Sweeping Changes To Energy Policy

• "President Obama urged the nation Tuesday to rally behind legislation that would begin changing the way the country consumes and generates energy," the Washington Post reports. "In his first Oval Office address, Obama compared the need to end the country's 'addiction to fossil fuels' to its emergency preparations for World War II and the mission to the moon."

• "Obama also promised a long-term plan to make sure that the gulf states suffering from the oil spill are made whole again," the New York Times reports.

 

• "White House investigators hoping to rein in Medicare fraud are asking Congress for broad new authority to boot offending corporate executives from the insurance program," The Hill reports.

Energy & Environment: BP's Rivals Don't Escape Blame At Hearing

• "Top executives from Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC sought to distance themselves from rival BP PLC before a congressional panel Tuesday, then took tongue-lashings from lawmakers who accused them of relying on sloppy, 'cookie cutter' plans for responding to large-scale oil spills," the Wall Street Journal reports.

• "BP PLC on Tuesday shut down its oil containment and recovery operation in the Gulf of Mexico for several hours as a safety precaution, following a fire aboard the vessel that has been processing the oil," the Wall Street Journal also reports.

 

• "The man appointed Tuesday by" Obama "to oversee offshore oil drilling has no experience with oil and gas issues, but he has a reputation for cleaning up embattled organizations," the Washington Post reports. "Michael Bromwich will need those skills as the new director of the Minerals Management Service."

• "BP's Deepwater Horizon blowout is spewing between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels a day, with up to 18,000 barrels currently being captured, according to" an estimate Tuesday "by the National Incident Command's flow-rate technical group," the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Congress: Senators Contest Claims Of Progress In Afghanistan

• "The Obama administration's Afghan war effort came under blistering bipartisan attack in the Senate Tuesday, in one of the clearest signs yet that uneven progress on the ground risks undermining domestic support in the months leading up to a key December review of war strategy," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) also reports.

• "A Senate panel asked the Securities and Exchange Commission's inspector general to review the agency's 'revolving door,' which shuttles many SEC staffers into jobs with the companies they once regulated," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) also reports.

 

• "Conferees tentatively agreed Tuesday night to strip a provision from the financial regulatory overhaul that would establish a board to assign firms to rate structured securities," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Politics: Nevada's Angle Makes Washington Debut

• "Sharron Angle, Nevada's newly minted Republican Senate nominee, arrived in Washington on Tuesday to court GOP powerbrokers," the Washington Post reports. "But as she made the rounds of the senators she came to see, the anti-Washington candidate seemed to go out of her way not to be seen."

• "Obama's favorability rating, while still strong, has dropped significantly in the last six months as he has grappled with a massive oil spill, a tepid economic recovery and a controversial healthcare reform law," NationalJournal.com reports. "The president's overall favorability has dropped below 60 percent and his unfavorable rating risen above a third of the public in the latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center."

• "To Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), the federal debt represents as much of a threat to the American way of life as terrorism," The Hill reports. "And his willingness to set aside all other issues to deal with the rising deficit has sparked talk that he's testing a 2012 presidential campaign theme, particularly given the fact the economy remains a leading issue for voters."

• "The National Republican Congressional Committee is kicking off its biennial 'Battleground' fundraising effort" today "with a goal of getting party leaders and rank-and-file Members to pony up a total of $20 million over the next three months to fund the effort to regain seats in November," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

National Security: Report Slams Government's Ability To Repel Cyber Attacks

• "The U.S. government's ability to counter cyber attacks against its nonmilitary computer systems is largely ineffective, according to a report from an internal watchdog to be released" today, the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports. "The Homeland Security Department branch that monitors cyber attacks can't force other agencies to protect their systems, is woefully understaffed and its ability to manage responses to cyber attacks has been hindered by constant turnover, said the department's inspector general."

Health Care: USDA Issues New Dietary Guidelines

• "The Department of Agriculture issued new guidelines Tuesday for improving the nation's diet, but the main recommendations are steps Americans have so far largely avoided -- cutting back on salt, sugar and saturated fats, and consuming more fruits and vegetables," the Los Angeles Times reports.

• "Senate Democrats and Republicans traded potshots Tuesday trying to one-up each other's support for the American Medical Association, as the battle over a $140 billion package of spending and tax breaks continued its slow crawl across the floor," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

Technology: San Francisco Lays Groundwork For Cell Phone Radiation Notices

• "San Francisco moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first city in the nation to require that retailers post in their stores notices on the level of radiation emitted by the cell phones they offer," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Lobbying: Democrats Secure NRA's Support For Campaign Disclosure Rules

• "Displaying its remarkable clout, the National Rifle Association agreed on Tuesday to permit House passage of tougher disclosure requirements on campaign advertising and other political activity, one day after Democrats pledged to exempt the gun-owners' group from the bill's key provisions," AP reports.

• "Under pressure from the" Federal Communications Commission, "the communications industry is lobbying Congress to pass narrowly focused legislation to blunt two contentious, game-changing proposals championed by Chairman Julius Genachowski," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports.

• "This appropriations season is even more precarious," for lobbyists "than past years with new earmark bans in place," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

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