The Morning Meeting: Obama’s Budget Troubles…Silver Linings On The Economy…Alzheimer’s Summit…and Race Against Time In North Dakota

By Thomas Nagorski

Mar 25, 2009 10:31am

There’s more variety in the news world today than we’ve had in some time — in part because the news is not so dominated by the economy this morning.

The President finds himself at loggerheads on the budget — not only with the GOP, but with many influential members of his own party as well. That’s no trifling difference of opinion, of course — it’s a three-and-a-half-trillion-dollar budget. And there is a rising chorus of opposition — focused primarily on the feeling that the President’s budget is an exercise in fiscal overreach.

And before we leave the economy, two glimmers of good news this morning: durable goods orders are up, and so are new home sales. We continue to examine whether these are significant or fleeting indicators. In the meantime, stocks are up more than 150 points at this hour…

As for the other news:

There’s an extraordinary gathering in Washington today, of well-known figures whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s Disease. "My father," Maria Shriver tells a Senate panel, "knew every Senator and Congressman by name…today he doesn’t know by name, or who I am." Shriver joins Sandra Day O’Connor, Newt Gingrich and others speaking about the disease on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Study Group, which is leading the search for a cure.

The state of North Dakota faces emergencies in and around Fargo and Bismarck today, as flood waters and a blizzard lead to evacuations; our correspondent reports a race to sandbag in low-lying areas.

Israel’s would-be next Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (it would be a second time for him), promises to resume peace talks with the Palestinians. Many people — in Israel and around the world — doubt how seriously Mr. Netanyahu will pursue that goal. At the same time, Israel is riven by allegations that some of its soldiers brutalized civilians during the war in Gaza earlier this year.

Other news — Hillary Clinton travels to the suddenly crisis-riven nation of Mexico; the head of the European Union blasts President Obama’s stimulus plans ("a way to hell," he calls them); Lance Armstrong goes under the knife for collarbone surgery following that crash in a Spanish race; and Charlie Gibson takes a ride in a NASA moon rover.

Stay tuned…

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