Sep 26, 2011

Cheat Sheet - Obama Fires Up the Base



  Today: Congress Stays for Shutdown Crisis , American Killed at Kabul CIA Office , Obama Boosts Israeli Military
The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet: Morning

September 26, 2011
CAMPAIGN

Gearing up for a 2012 fight, President Obama took some swings at the GOP this weekend. Republicans, he said at a Washington state fundraiser, would "cripple America." In California, Obama swiped his potential challenger Rick Perry, labeling him a "governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change." The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky on how the president is cranking up his base—and how his feisty rhetoric could help him win over swing voters, too.

NOT AGAIN

Congress was supposed to be off this week, but lawmakers remained in Washington as they scramble, once again, to avert a government shutdown. On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on Majority Leader Harry Reid's funding plan, which includes disaster-relief money without an offset spending cut—likely making it D.O.A. with House Republicans. The House GOP had passed a bill including emergency funding last week but paid for it by cutting energy programs popular with Democrats. Disaster aid could run out Tuesday, and the shutdown could begin as soon as this weekend.

AFGHANISTAN

One American citizen was killed and another wounded late Sunday when an Afghan gunman opened fire in the building that is believed to be the CIA's Kabul headquarters. According to The Wall Street Journal, the man "had the trust" of the CIA and may have been an informant. He may also have accessed the roof of the CIA building and fired on the U.S. Embassy before being killed himself. Following the shooting, CIA guards opened fire on an Afghan National Army vehicle, thinking it had attacked them. On Sept. 14, there was a 19-hour siege at the Kabul embassy; U.S. officials have blamed the Pakistani-affiliated Haqqani network for that attack.

DIPLOMACY

President Obama has struggled to win the approval of the pro-Israel crowd, and he hasn't always done himself favors: in 2009, for example, when a Jewish leader asked him why he criticized Israel publicly over settlements, Obama called for then–chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and said, "Rahm understands the politics there, and he explains them to me." Behind the scenes, however, Obama has strengthened Israel's hand, authorizing long-delayed arms deals including "bunker busters" that could be used in any future strike against Iranian nuclear sites. "If you look at the trajectory from Clinton to Bush to Obama, the military relationship has gotten steadily stronger," says Elliott Abrams, who once oversaw Middle East policy at the National Security Council.

MARKETS

Greece, Europe loves you, but you're bringing it down. European officials are trying to avoid falling deeper into a debt crisis on the heels of Greece's catastrophic financial situation. The IMF reportedly has said that a euro-zone rescue plan is now in the works, involving a 50 percent write-down of Greece's debt. The European Union bailout fund is also expected to increase from €440 billion to €2.7 trillion. Over the weekend, the U.S., China, and IMF warned euro-zone officials of a global market meltdown. The groups argue that Europe must increase its rescue fund, and, in his harshest comments yet, Treasury chief Timothy Geithner said the threat of cascading defaults is catastrophic and must be eliminated immediately. The IMF has also said that the European Central Bank is the only thing that can "scare" markets that have hurt Europe. If the crisis moves on to Italy and Spain, officials believe a €2 trillion bailout will be necessary. As if the situation weren't bad enough, the IMF also warned that if the debt crisis spreads, it may not have enough money to assist.


CRACKDOWN
NYPD Pepper-Spraying Caught on Camera
Eighty arrested at Wall Street protests.
NETWORK NEWS
Roger Ailes's Reality Show
Palin "became a bit of a branding issue."
TECH
Netflix to Stream DreamWorks Movies
First time studio has chosen web over TV.
OBITUARY
Kenyan Nobel Laureate Dies
Wangari Maathal was first African woman to win.
ENTERTAINMENT
Comedy Resurgent as Fall TV Begins
"Modern Family" debuts with highest ratings.
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