From the Los Angeles Times:
For months, as a group of senators known as the “Gang of Six” secretively holed up in the Capitol, their unusual bipartisan meetings frequently included some version of the doomsday speech.
From The Houston Chronicle:
There was U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, in her coveted State of the Union perch along the aisle. Wearing an eye-catching lime-green jacket, she got her brief moment of TV exposure and a handshake from President Barack Obama, as usual, as the president made his way into the august chamber of the House.
This time, though, instead of sitting in a bloc with her fellow Democrats, Lee sat beside a real live Republican, U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Sugar Land.
The two Houston lawmakers were enthusiastic participants in the State of the Union “date night,” a bipartisan gesture prompted by the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., earlier this month.
The pre-speech curiosity was almost Oscar-night giddy — or maybe prom-night giddy — as lawmakers over the past several days paired off.
This week, House Speaker John Boehner raised eyebrows by turning down an offer to ride on Air Force One with President Obama and others headed to a memorial service in Tucson. Instead, he appeared at a reception for Republican operative Maria Cino. Now, on the heels of renewed calls for bipartisanship and toned-down political rhetoric, Boehner is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to another offer to appear at an event with the president – Wednesday’s White House state dinner.
The dinner, honoring the Chinese President Hu Jintao, will pull together leaders on both sides of the aisle, along with celebs, CEOs, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and media bigwigs.
From 44 at The Washington Post:
The Senate turned back an effort by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday to put 6,000 more security troops on the Mexican border, as Democrats instead suggested that President Obama’s proposal for an additional deployment of a temporary, 1,200-person force was sufficient for now.
The McCain measure, which needed 60 votes to be considered approved, fell short on a 51-46 vote as part of the Senate’s broader consideration of a $59 billion spending bill that funds the troop surge into Afghanistan and other emergency measures. The border-security battle has become the most politically contentious issue surrounding what has otherwise become a routine passage of the war supplemental bill.
From E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post:
For those who feared that Barack Obama did not have any Lyndon Johnson in him, the president’s determination to press ahead and get health-care reform done in the face of Republican intransigence came as something of a relief.
Obama’s critics have regularly accused him of not being as tough or wily or forceful as LBJ was in pushing through civil rights and the social programs of his Great Society. Obama seemed willing to let Congress go its own way and was so anxious to look bipartisan that he wouldn’t even take his own side in arguments with Republicans.
(This is a repeat poster from back in August. However, you couldn’t see it from the front page (you would have had to click on keep reading, so maybe you missed it the first time. I remembered it while reading the article. But don’t worry, kids, I wasn’t totally lazy, and there’s a brand new poster down below.)
Original DVD cover