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Obama agenda: Flip flop?

The Los Angeles Times: "President Obama will announce new plans to drill for oil and natural gas off America's coasts Wednesday but will rule out drilling off California, Oregon and Washington state through 2017, administration officials say. Obama's plans will include opening new areas of coastal Virginia and other parts of the mid-Atlantic region, Alaska and the eastern Gulf of Mexico for drilling. But officials say the president will block drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay, where the George W. Bush administration's drilling plans in 2007 angered environmentalists."

The New York Times adds, "But while Mr. Obama has staked out middle ground on other environmental matters -- supporting nuclear power, for example -- the sheer breadth of the offshore drilling decision will take some of his supporters aback."

"President Obama interrupted a diplomatic love fest with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday to declare Iran will face tougher international sanctions within weeks," the New York Daily News reports. Obama said, "I'm not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place; I'm interested in seeing that regime in place within weeks." 

The Boston Globe: "Governments around the world have long sought Donald Berwick's expertise to help solve stubborn health care problems -- from hospital-acquired infections to medication errors. The 63-year-old pediatrician and Harvard Medical School professor, once considered a rebel for his unconventional ideas about boosting quality care at less cost, is now facing a more daunting challenge: Berwick is President Obama's choice to run the nation's largest health system, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency and the nation's health care system are about to undergo dramatic changes, and the Obama administration is under intense pressure to control costs. A White House spokesman confirmed the nomination, expected to be official soon." 

Here's a 2004 Boston Globe profile of Berwick, then dubbed "The Revolutionary."

"Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will co-chair a committee overseeing at least $3.8 billion in post-quake aid to Haiti, the ravaged country's prime minister said," per the New York Daily News.

"Mayor Bloomberg is taking on President Obama for not getting aboard the crusade against illegal guns," The New York Post reports. "In a harsh March 3 letter, the mayor urged the president to move the gun issue to the top of his agenda or risk responsibility for lives lost to ongoing gun violence. 'Further delay will almost certainly result in the needless loss of innocent lives, including many children,' the mayor wrote in a letter co-signed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. 'Mr. President, the time has come for action.'"