President Obama will host dozens of advisers and adversaries at the White House today for a fiscal responsibility summit, “the first meeting toward a strategy to address the long-term fiscal health of the nation.” “I will convene a fiscal summit of independent experts and unions, advocacy groups and members of Congress,” Obama announced in his weekend radio and Internet address.
“Seventy-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say they’re very or somewhat scared about the way things are going in the United States. That’s six points higher than in an October poll.” Nearly eight in 10 say things are going badly in America.
As the number of widows in Iraq has swelled during six years of war, “their presence on city streets begging for food or as potential recruits by insurgents” has begun to symbolize the breakdown of Iraqi self-sufficiency. Government and social service organizations “say the women’s needs have come to exceed available help, posing a threat to the stability of the country?s tenuous social structures.”
A secret task force of more than 70 American military advisers has been training Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary troops “in an effort to root out Qaeda and Taliban operations that threaten American troops in Afghanistan and are increasingly destabilizing Pakistan.” The program, which started with the approval of the Pakistani government last summer, is “a much larger and more ambitious effort than either country has acknowledged.”
President Obama plans to announce the appointment of Earl Devaney, the inspector general of the Interior Dept. and a former Secret Service agent, as chairman of the new Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. Devaney’s investigation led to Steven Griles pleading guilty for lying to Congress in the Jack Abramoff scandal.