The expensive U.S. Afghan nation building effort has had only limited success and may not survive an American withdrawal, according to the findings of a two-year congressional investigation to be released Wednesday.
President Obama hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House, where the two played down their differences on Libya and the economy. During Merkel’s visit, Obama seemed to be trying to be a little more the schmoozer his two predecessors were, and less of the international loner he is.
The White House State Dinner for Merkel was elegant and restrained, reports the Washington Post, devoid of Hollywood types who might steal the show. The guest list, including fundraisers and political connections, looked like the sort you might compile if you were running for reelection. The Post has put up some photos of the event.
Calling Obama a “champion practitioner of class warfare,” Tim Pawlenty presented his plan to reform the tax code, government spending and federal regulations. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin seem increasingly on a collision course, as Bachmann’s campaign chief dissed the former Alaska governor.
Many wondered if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would last, but now he’s a central figure in Obama administration. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said growth is slow and uneven and the government needs to balance its books.
Obama got some flack from his left on the environment, as former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt he is not defending it against attack from business and Republicans.
And in an odd twist, Rep. Anthony Weiner called Bill Clinton to explain himself.