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Obama agenda: An uncertain fate

The New York Times front-pages, "The fate of the 'cash for clunkers' program remained uncertain on Monday even as sales figures from automakers demonstrated that people had flocked to dealers to trade in old gas guzzlers. The White House urged the Senate to add $2 billion to the program, as the House voted to do last Friday before leaving for its August recess. Still, dealers around the country stopped promising the rebates to car shoppers on Monday, because of uncertainty about how much of the $1 billion initially allocated had been used up, or when or whether more money would be available. The Senate begins its recess this Friday."

Video: Why are Congressmen on both sides of the aisle opposed to extending the Cash for Clunkers program? Rachel Maddow is joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH.

The AP: "Senate discussions are expected to continue Tuesday after the Obama administration and backers of the 'cash for clunkers' program picked up support from three lawmakers who wanted the program limited to the purchase of even more fuel-efficient vehicles."

Turning to the economy… "In public appearances this week, President Obama will attempt to regain the initiative on the economy after what one senior administration official called several 'rocky' weeks of declining support for the president and his major policy efforts," the Washington Post says. "He and his Cabinet advisers will fan out across several swing states to declare that the recovery has moved from the rescue stage to rebuilding, even though unemployment continues to increase."

Health care: L.A. Times uncovers just what the Obama admin promised the pharmaceutical industry in return for their support. "For his part, [PHRMA head Billy] Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe. Both proposals could cost the industry billions, undermine its ability to develop new cures and, in the case of imports, possibly compromise safety, industry officials contend."

Video: President Barack Obama's spokesman said Monday that the president remains fully committed to his campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class to help pay for health care reform. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

The fallout from Geithner and Summers' comments on middle-class taxes "reminded White House political aides that breaking the president's promise not to raise the middle class tax burden would be blow to his re-election chances in 2012 and would prove noxious to his party in the 2010 midterm elections," the AP's Elliott writes.

Video: Apparently the new conservative talking point is to push a "town hall gone wild" strategy. Do they really think this is going to get legislators to vote against the health care reform bill? Rachel Maddow is joined by MSNBC political analyst Eugene Robinson.

The New York Times writes about conservatives' rowdy protests at congressional town hall meetings -- organized by the same folks who brought you those tea parties. "The protests, organized by loose-knit coalition of conservative voters and advocacy groups, were a raucous start to what is expected to be weeks of political and ideological clashes over the health care overhaul President Obama is trying to push through Congress. The conservative groups, including FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, are harnessing social networking Web sites to organize their supporters in much the same way Mr. Obama did during his election campaign. Democrats said they expected supporters of the health care overhaul to mobilize against Republican events later in the month."

The Hill: "Lobbyists and special interests spent more than a million dollars during the first six months of 2009 honoring a man who is no fan of K Street: President Barack Obama. Corporate sponsorship paid for Inaugural festivities as well as events after Obama took office. For example, Ford Motor Co. spent $105,000 to help sponsor the NAACP's annual convention last month, at which Obama spoke. Michelle Obama spoke at a March lunch that was sponsored by several companies. The Congressional Club took donations of $27,500 from Lockheed Martin, a major defense contractor, among others, for the event."