The Week Ahead: The Week of January 7

By January 7, 2008General

In the tug of news headlines between politics — New Hampshire’s primary Tuesday — and economics — President Bush’s speech in Chicago today — we’re guessing politics wins. Otherwise, some foreign policy travels for POTUS. And Metro fares are escalating for commuters today for D.C.-area commuters. About the only escalators you can count on.

The House is gone until Tuesday, January 15th. The Senate continues its presidential thwartery with pro forma sessions this week on Monday and Thursday before returning for full-time labor on Tuesday, January 22. (Senate schedule here.)

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday holds a field briefing on the EPA’s denial of California’s request for a waiver to allow the state to regulate vehicle emissions for greenhouse gases. Testifying are Attorney General Jerry Brown; Mary Nichols of the California Air Resources Board; Fran Pavley from the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Carl Pope, executive director of Sierra Club. Notice that it’s called a “briefing” and not a “hearing.” That means a one-sided, partisan affair designed for PR, not legislative purposes. No wonder EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson declined to appear.

President Bush is in Chicago today to talk about No Child Left Behind during a visit to Horace Greeley Middle School and then give a speech on the economy at the Union League Club of Chicago. The President summarized the state of the economy Friday after visiting with his Working Group on Financial Markets. A big question for the President this week: Will he approve the nearly 9,000 congressional earmarks not actually included in the statutory language of the omnibus spending bill? Conservatives are urging the President to ignore the spending requests.

On Tuesday, POTUS travels to Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Surprise stop in Iraq? Our guess, no. A drop-by would no longer constitute a surprise. (National Security Advisor Hadley’s press briefing on the trip is here.) State of the Union is January 28th.

In New Hampshire, flinty New Englanders will…ah, well, there’s a primary election Tuesday. Flinty is passe…except, perhaps, in Michigan. (The New Hampshire Political Library is a fun and informative website with good archives.)

Finally, there’s a meeting today and tomorrow of the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations, to discuss topics and questions that may be recommended for inclusion on future Joint Board examinations in actuarial mathematics and methodology. Just because actuaries need a little attention, too, sometimes.

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