The Daily Five: A Stress Test Transparency Problem

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A daily  afternoon news summary, in five parts; what you need to know; also, a hint of science.  We twitter.

1.The WSJ concludes that Wall Street like what they're hearing about the stress tests....   Washington Post co. revenues dropped 77 percent. .... Sen. Robert Byrd likes the White House czars well enough, but he doesn't like the concept of White House czars. They offend his constitutional rectitude. .... Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)  hires a new chief of staff and communications director .... For what it's worth, the DHS still doesn't think it can meet the 2012 cargo screening deadline. .... Surpreme Court gives government latitude to place private monuments in public spaces, even if they're religious in nature. .... Abuse at Gitmo is worse since Obama took office, according to detainee lawyers. The guards are getting their last jollies in....

2. About the stress tests. The results are going to be kept private. But wait. They don't have to be. And won't banks who're found to be in good shape be eager to brag about their health? ("I'd image they'd want to should that from the mountaintops," a government official told reporters today.") Ok -- so you have a bunch of banks revealing their test results -- presumably, the banks that are healthy will be more open, leaving the banks that are less well capitalized keeping the secret. But won't it then be obvious which banks are in real trouble?

3. On energy and health care, the current thinking at 1600 P. Ave is that President Obama will present broad principles and set Congress to work filling them in, much like he did with the stimulus package, although with more private involvement. With so many proposals floating around -- Ted Kennedy's principles, whatever Rep. Henry Waxman has in his head, the Wyden-Bennett plan, which replaces Medicaid and the employer-based system with state-based private purchasing polls and premium subsidies, the sometimes maddening brilliance of Sen. Max Baucus -- some allies will worry that reform will bog down, or that interest groups will take hold, a la Clintoncare.  On the other hand, as several senators confirmed at an Atlantic briefing this morning, the willingness to get something done and even to make significant incremental progress is there. NB: the role that labor will play in the health care debate cannot be underestimated. My guess is that every major change to the system will have to be approved by unions. And/but -- don't underestimate labor's willingness to compromise if real reform is a prospect.  ...... Without a Tom Daschle to take charge of health care, the White House is increasingly relying on pre-existing relationships between OMB director Peter Orszag and members of Congress. If he can spare the time, Orszag can function quite admirably as White House health care czar. NB: Why was Gary Locke vetted so quickly compared to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius? What are the hang ups? Is the White House having second thoughts? Is she?

 

4. Lesson of the day: be very, very careful when writing "Large Hadron Collider." .... Govs. Sanford, Barbour and Jindal create new website assering that GOP Comeback Begins Now.   .... Rush Limbaugh defends Jindal ......The Los Angeles Times discovers who the real top 10 Twitterers in Washington are... Check out the future of Apple software here.

 

5. Read a very enjoyable snarkdown between Slate's Jack Shafer and ex-LBJ aide Bill Moyers about "homo-hunting."

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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