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Obama agenda: Afghanistan focus

More from Obama's op-ed in the New York Daily News: "I can promise - is that we will do everything within our power to reduce the likelihood of an attack, and that I will not hesitate to do what it takes to defend America. That is why we are providing the necessary resources and strategies to take the fight to the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and who have found safe haven in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

It's one thing to have Nancy Pelosi airing skepticism about Afghanistan; it's another to have Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin.  He wants to hold off sending more combat troops to the country until the U.S. speeds up training/equipping more Afghan forces. The New York Times: "Levin's comments, made in an interview and in the draft of a speech he will deliver Friday, are significant because his stature on military matters gives him the ability to sway fellow lawmakers, and his pivotal committee position provides a platform for vetting Mr. Obama's major decisions on troops."

"Underscoring the increasing unease, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said earlier on Thursday that the president would face opposition if he sought to fulfill an expected request from Gen.  Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, for more American combat troops. 'I don't think there is a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in Congress,' Ms. Pelosi told reporters, emphasizing that she was eager to see a report due from the White House in two weeks on benchmarks to measure the success of the administration's six-month-old strategy."

On health care, Obama huddled with moderate Democratic senators at the White House yesterday. "[I]n a prepared statement released following the meeting, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), one of the Senators in attendance, suggested that the cost of health care reform -- and the need to focus on cost as a matter of political messaging -- were points the group might have raised with Obama. 'We all understand that we want to move toward universal coverage, but I don't think we're focusing enough on costs,' Kohl said. 'Insurance premiums are going up and up and up. This is not sustainable. We need to do a better job of conveying to the American people what we're going to do to reduce costs -- not just to contain costs, but reduce costs and still maintain quality health care, which is totally doable.'"

The Washington Post focuses on the fact that the White House has yet to put details out about the president's health care plan. Right now, it's about three pages.

Also when it comes to health care, it is fascinating that on the issues of abortion and immigration that the opposition is upset because they've decided they don't believe the president and Democrats on this. Remember when the opposition would wait to see policy enacted and then decide whether the president was lying?

"Helping Obama's cause: Two out of three Americans who saw Obama's speech favor his health care plans, according to a CNN poll."

And look who won over David Brooks once again? "On Wednesday night, Barack Obama delivered the finest speech of his presidency."