Daniel Stone

Stories by Daniel Stone

  • Battle of the Televised Policy Summits

    President Obama campaigned on bringing openness and transparency to the grotesque process of policymaking. And now, in his second year, he’s certainly getting it. Frustrated with Republican claims that their ideas aren’t being listened to, Obama called their bluff, inviting them to a televised summit next week—the very thing they had demanded all of last year. He even went to lengths to reserve a neutral setting—the Blair House across the street from the White House—to ensure no one got home-court advantage. With their backs against the wall, Republican leaders did a two-step, at first saying they wouldn’t show up unless the White House published the text of a proposed bill online in advance and then threatening not to come because the White House agreed to publish the text online in advance.Point, Obama.But in a city known for its cloakroom deals and closed-door brokering, lawmakers know that the cameras of C-Span are a powerful thing. Recall the president’s chat with House Repub...
  • Bill Clinton Hospitalized in New York

    President Bill Clinton has been hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian Hospital this afternoon after complaining of chest pains. The former president, who is 63, had checked himself in for a routine opening of a heart stent that was installed during an angioplasty surgery in 2004. He has not since talked publicly of any complications.UPDATE, 5:25 p.m: Douglas Band, an aide to Clinton, said in a statement that "President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest. Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts."
  • America, Meet the OPM Web Site

    Ever wonder if your tax dollars are working for you? Then check out the Office of Personnel Management's Web site, which declares whether the federal government is open for business, or buried under four feet of blizzard snow.Inside the Beltway, this site is a big deal─by which I mean refreshed repeatedly, sometimes neurotically. It dictates the pulse of the federal machine. And since government is Northwest Washington’s biggest industry, most think tanks, policy houses, and nonprofits follow suit. On a day like today, one might imagine, the status is “closed,” leaving the folks who usually dole out your money or process your taxes at home watching movies on Lifetime, or in the streets throwing snowballs at strangers.A breakdown of society, really.
  • Dems Lead Handily in Congressional Fundraising

    There are few places where money speaks louder than it does in electoral politics. And the latest fundraising numbers highlight a clear advantage for House Democrats, who so far have outraised their Republican counterparts nearly six to one.According to numbers released this morning, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee (the electoral arm for the House GOP) raised $4.3 million in January for House races later this year, a substantial uptick from the $3.2 million it took in during December. But sizable as the increase is, House Democrats have still bested Republicans in fundraising over the past year—a point made clear by the bank accounts of both parties' electoral machines last month. Dems started the year with $16.7 million in the bank, compared with Republicans’ $2.6 million.During such a promising year for Republicans, it’s curious why the raking of campaign dough has been so sluggish. "Nobody's happy about the spending disparity,” GOP Rep. Jeb...
  • Forget the Crib Notes, It’s Palin’s Unsavvy That Really Worries Republicans

    Palin 2012 buzz is again in the air, this time after her punchy and oft-replayed address to the national Tea Party Convention on Saturday. The fallout from the speech has been predictable. Her base unified firmly while the left calculates just how big a threat she’ll pose in November and 2012. Meanwhile, the cable and Web echo chambers have honed in on the delectable story of some crib notes that Palin conspicuously wrote on her hand to remind herself of prepared talking points.Embarassing, perhaps, especially after Palin knicked Obama in the same hour for also trying to appear candid by reading from a teleprompter. But it’s far from a fatal gaffe. There was much more included in Palin’s speech and her general self-promoting strategy to pick apart, and Republican politicos aren’t happy with any of the above.Since Palin appeared on the national stage, her strategy has been Palin First, promoting herself and firing up her base without much regard for paying her dues to the rest of the...
  • Photos From the (Tea Party) Revolution

    The revolution may not be televised, but it has been photographed by your humble man on the ground. Photos from the trenches at tea-party HQ.
  • Tea Party Organizers Lash Out at Convention Critics

    In the weeks leading up to this weekend’s National Tea Party gathering, organizers caught flack for the choices they made about how to put on the movement’s first-ever convention. It was at too nice a hotel, said some. Others claimed it was too expensive. The for-profit status posed problems for some speakers, who pulled out last week....
  • Tea Party Advice for Beating the Media

    At one of this mornings breakout sessions at the tea-party convention in Nashville, a gentleman in the audience asked how such a relatively small and blooming movement can overcome big media organizations that he says are telling a different story. He named a few organizations, including NEWSWEEK, as being part of the problem. Author Steve Milloy, a conservative thinker and anti-environmentalist, took the issue head on. Fox News has been very useful, he said. "But the left is well-entrenched. They own almost every university in this country. We have a battle because the left has become entrenched and it's because we let it happen. But we need to get active on the local level and get in schools. Don't let your schools show An Inconvenient Truth unless they show the other side too. We just need to get involved in every institution."
  • Has the Tea Party Gone Global?

    Probably not. Some of the movement's detractors might argue that it hasn't even gone national in a formidable way. Yet as the debate stirs, there's a bit of surprising news at the national tea-party convention this week in Nashville. This time, it's the news itself. Organizers claim to have credentialed 111 media organizations that requested to cover the event. All of the usual suspects—the networks, national publications, and prominent Web sites—were approved, but also some unlikely candidates.TV stations from France, Brazil, the U.K., Switzerland, Japan, and even Croatia sent reporters to cover the strategy weekend. Lots of the tea-party folks are very proud of their foreign media roster, eager to suppose that their size and impact have been heard, and not just in Washington but far beyond. One activist told me that all of those countries want to be here to capture what a peaceful political uprising actually looks like.It's possible. The reporter from...
  • The Revolution Kicks Off—In Style

    The first-ever National Tea Party Convention is getting underway here in Nashville, where delegates plan to discuss and plan the future of the burgeoning movement. But the first item of import isn’t what’s being discussed but where the event is being held.For a movement that bills itself as grassroots and ultra-inclusive, the choice of the Gaylord Opryland Resort has struck many more than just yours truly as odd. The complex is without dispute the swankiest hotel in Nashville. The most basic room regularly starts at $199, but only the more expensive ones have indoor balconies looking over landscaped gardens and cascading waterfalls. Outside, there’s a full-service outlet mall, a 20-screen movie theater (with an Imax) and an auditorium that hosts Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry. It’s so big, in fact, that the complex is on the outskirts of Nashville, far from the older and quainter downtown row of honky tonks.Then you step inside. It’s not often I write while sitting on a leather...
  • Obama Deconstructs the 'Axis of Evil'

    Of all of the political buzz terms with unusually long half-lives, none has lingered quite so notoriously as President Bush’s “axis of evil,” a construction he used to describe Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as states that sponsor terrorism in his 2002 State of the Union address. It was noticed immediately for its bizarre hyperbole, and it will likely appear in books deconstructing political eras for decades to come.But not without an epilogue to the phrase. Earlier this evening, President Obama sent a brief letter to Congress purporting that one member of the axis, North Korea, might well be delisted. According to the letter, a classified administration report that examined the “conduct of the People’s Republic of Korea [a.k.a. North Korea]” found that the rogue state “does not meet the statutory criteria to again be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.” Phew.That still leaves a lot of open questions, like what the report actually says North Korea is doing, or what kind of...
  • Could Question Time Be Diluted?

    Washington lately has been abuzz with the advent of question time in America. It makes for great TV by teasing out pent-up partisan tension. But it also just makes democracy better. Party leaders can call each other out face-to-face for touting bad ideas or being disingenuous in their attacks, and then there's time to respond. It essentially brings the debates of campaigns into the governing arena, and the best ideas rise to the top.In theory. But what if it becomes so popular, and the stakes become so high for whoever shows up unprepared, that question time turns into merely a partisan exchange of talking points? That is, an opportunity for pols to appear to be engaging in genuine debate, even though the questions and timing are all staged. It's not far from reality. This morning when Obama addressed Senate Dems, CNN's Dana Bash noticed that Majority Leader Harry Reid selected the questioners in advance, and all of them were members facing tough election fights this...
  • White House Signals Pessimism on Cap and Trade

    Numbers abound in the fiscal-year 2011 budget released by the White House this morning. The full package runs just over $3.8 trillion for next year, which includes a 6 percent increase in education spending, an additional $160 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the $300 in tax cuts over the next decade that President Obama foreshadowed in his State of the Union address last week. But also revealing is what’s not included in the budget. Curiously absent, as noticed by enviros, is the lack of revenue expected from a cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Under the basic framework of the program, companies would either be charged a tax for emitting beyond certain levels, or would participate in a trading program that penalizes polluters by rewarding those who comply with federal emissions levels.Under some estimates last year, such a program would bring in nearly $650 billion while encouraging the nation’s biggest polluters to slowly ramp down their...
  • Ralph Lauren Tries to Help You Help Haiti

    Gosh, what’s a preppy with a big wallet and a big heart to do to prove to his buddies down at the club that he’s doing his part to stop the suffering in Haiti? Maybe pop the collar on his new Ralph Lauren Haiti Relief Polo Shirt. Pick your color, only 98 bucks. All proceeds to charity. Thanks, Ralph. Helping the needy never looked so chic.
  • Schwarzenegger Has a Meta Moment

    It wasn't so long ago that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the budget-breaking governor of California, used his star power to win the state's top job. He had no experience as a top executive, really, nor as a politician, but everyone knew him as the rock solid man-bot from The Terminator, not to mention the world’s first pregnant man in Junior. It was enough for him to beat 135 other candidates when he first ran in 2003.So it was worth a double take when Schwarzenegger took a good-humored shot yesterday at the very city that gave him rise. Speaking in La Jolla, Calif., to honor a man who had given $700 million for medical research, Schwarzenegger quipped about how that money might be spent in other parts of the state, like, say, Hollywood:"Here we are in the same state, but in San Diego, when someone is putting up $700 million, it goes to charity. I mean, you just go a little bit north—100 miles, in Hollywood—if someone puts up $700 million, it's for a divorce. It's...
  • James Hansen: ‘100 Percent Dividend or Fight!’

    In advance of President Obama's State of the Union Message tonight, NEWSWEEK partnered with YouTube to launch discussions with four experts in their various fields on the most pressing issues facing America: education, national security, the economy, and the climate crisis. This is the third in the series.When the American people elected Barack Obama, they elected someone to go fight big financial and corporate interests. Now is the time to do that, says NASA climatologist James Hansen. He thinks that nowhere is leadership needed more than in addressing the world's climate problems. Will it require a fee to incentivize big business to change its habits? Yes. Might it be time for a third party in Washington to cut through the partisan deadlock? Also yes. Listen in, and
  • 'Dr. Doom' on the Economy: 'Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't'

    Here's NYU economist Nouriel Roubini, also known as "Dr. Doom" for his often bleak economic outlook. Of all the options on how to address a still-sagging economy, Roubini sees no good choices. In tackling the ballooning deficit, the president and members of Congress can't act too quickly, Roubini says, lest there be unintended market effects. But they also can't act too slowly or the economy will fall back into a deep recession. What doesn't help—and come on, we told you he'd pile on the pessimism—is the partisanship in Washington, mainly the Republican strategy not to work with Democrats on any issue, which so far has been working.Listen in, and
  • Gen. Wesley Clark: ‘There’s No Easy Way Out of Afghanistan’

    In advance of President Obama's State of the Union Message tonight, NEWSWEEK partnered with YouTube.com to launch discussions with four experts in their various fields on the most pressing issues facing America: education, national security, the economy, and the climate crisis. Their thoughts are comprehensive, offering a view of what Obama could, or should, discuss tonight. They also took questions from Web users.First is retired Army general Wesley Clark, who assesses the state of U.S. national security─including commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and what must still be done for veterans. But keeping America safe, he cautions, is also a function of how we handle issues like energy and manufacturing here at home.Listen in, and add your thoughts in the comment section below.
  • Obama and Congress Get an 'F' from WMD Commission

    Of all of the balls that President Obama and Congress seem to be juggling, the one that may have fallen is preparation for the threat of a bioweapons attack on the homeland. That’s according to a bipartisan panel on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which gave senior lawmakers a failing grade─literally, an F─for what it claims is the government’s lackluster and incomplete advanced planning. While cautioning that it has no "tactical intelligence" that an attack could be imminent, the panel reported that much more could be done─and gives the price tag of $3.4 billion needed to do it.When asked for comment by NEWSWEEK's Michael Isikoff, a White House spokesperson called the report “absurd” and claimed Congress and the White House have indeed made steps on the nation’s preparedness policy. The White House also said that, by pure coincidence, Obama will be addressing the issue of domestic terror threats in his State of the Union address tomorrow night.For the full story...
  • Without Enough House Votes, Where Does Reform Go From Here?

    It’s not that Nancy Pelosi doesn't like the Senate health-care bill (at this point, she'd probably take anything that walks that could reasonably be classified as health-care reform). It's the rest of her party that doesn't—or at least enough of it.Pelosi and House Democrats have a 256–179 majority, but only need 218 votes to approve the Senate bill, thus bypassing any further deliberation of the Senate (now split 59–41). Pelosi announced this morning that she simply doesn’t have the votes, causing several analysts and even some of her liberal colleagues to suggest that the whole idea is dead. Powerful banking committee chair Barney Frank called the road that Democrats have been traveling down for almost a year "no longer appropriate," although he later walked it back and said he was "perhaps overreacting."The Senate bill is, by many accounts, more conservative than the House version, suggesting intuitively that Pelosi could pick up a critical...
  • Does Most of America Even Care About the Massachusetts Election?

    Washington government and media types like to joke about the D.C. bubble and echo chamber, the phenomenon of things happening in Washington only really mattering in Washington. Although it’s really no joke. Stay in the District long enough and the discussion at every happy hour or dinner party you go to eventually gets to health-care negotiations or Congress’s latest waltz with issue X. When one leaves D.C., it can be shocking how little people talk about politics, or how an official’s gaffe or legislative slam-dunk didn’t even register outside the bubble.Take, to borrow a recent example, yesterday’s Senate election in Massachusetts. Did the smackdown of all smackdowns for Democrats—what one politico called “the biggest political upset of my adult life”—permeate at all outside the Northeast? The Davis Enterprise of Davis, Calif., your Gaggler’s local newspaper of record, says it ran a small AP wire story about the election on page A2. Among the top Google searches, Scott Brown’s...
  • Obama's First Year By The Numbers

    From the people who brought you The District—specifically the ace Newsweek video team—comes the definitive multimedia account of President Obama's first year in office. From the stimulus package to the beer summit to the escalation in Afghanistan, it's all covered—with the year’s most significant statistics to boot. To watch the video, click the player below.
  • CBS Poll on Palin Asks the Wrong Question

    With fresh numbers today, CBS released a poll on the popularity of Sarah Palin, one of the most bemusing figures of the past year. Since Palin’s failed bid for vice president on John McCain's ticket, the question has been whether Palin wants to reach higher, perhaps with presidential ambitions. At first she undoubtedly did, regarded as jockeying for a White House bid after resigning as governor. Now she might not, having tasted the sweet juice of a bestselling book and a reported $100,000 per speaking engagement, which would come to a halt as a public servant. But whether she wants to run doesn’t really matter unless voters think she should run.So, trying to take the public’s temperature, CBS pollsters asked voters if Palin should run for president. Seventy-one percent didn’t think author and speaker Palin should become candidate Palin. Only 21 percent thought she should. But those numbers answer a very different question than what pollsters and pundits think is the more...
  • Our Analytical Guide to Mass. Election Analysis

    “What will it all mean?” is the question du jour, as Bay State voters elect a replacement senator. Fortunately, the feeble tubes of the Internet offer a look at what some folks think is the answer. From a demographic breakdown to a classic Daily Show searing and a cross section of America’s tweeters, here’s our suggested reading for making sense of the mayhem in Massachusetts:Lay off Coakley, blame the votersThe Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, usually on the side that leans left, sees a double-digit loss for Coakley. But not because of Democrats' missteps. The Massachusetts rebuke will be caused by blind rage, a confused and fickle electorate. “If America cannot grapple with its deep and real problems after electing a new president with two majorities,” he writes, “then America's problems are too great for Americans to tackle.”Paging the KennedysAs the votes start coming in, Politico offers five key things to watch. One of them is the female vote, especially independent...
  • The Curious Case of the Delayed State of the Union

    You might notice on the dateline above that it’s Jan. 14, almost halfway through the month that usually serves as bookends to presidential years. Usually around this time, members of Congress return groggily from the holiday recess and then settle into their seats for the president’s State of the Union address at the end of the month. But almost halfway through January, the White House says it still has no date for the prime-time speech on the Hill.In principle, setting the timing is the job of congressional leaders, who technically have to invite the president to come speak (they've never not invited him, and he’s never declined the invitation). In reality, though, the date is the result of closed-door agreements between senior White House and congressional aides, who compare schedules and pick the most convenient and strategic Tuesday in the first month of the year.Saying the consideration is strategic may be the best way to explain this year’s delay. The high-profile speech...