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Obama agenda: Warning the insurers

The New York Times: “President Obama, whose vilification of insurers helped push a landmark health care overhaul through Congress, plans to sternly warn industry executives at a White House meeting on Tuesday against imposing hefty rate increases in anticipation of tightening regulation under the new law, administration officials said Monday. The White House is concerned that health insurers will blame the new law for increases in premiums that are intended to maximize profits rather than covering claims. The administration is also closely watching investigations by a number of states into the actuarial soundness of double-digit rate increases.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan was summoned to Washington for a White House meeting after apologizing Tuesday for flippant and dismissive remarks about top Obama administration officials involved in Afghanistan policy,” the Washington Post reports.

The L.A. Times adds, “In a new magazine profile, the top commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and his advisors appear to ridicule Vice President Joe Biden and are portrayed as dismissive of civilian oversight of the war.”

The article, in Rolling Stone, said McChrystal's staff frequently derided top civilian leaders, including special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry.

"Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's arguments as solicitor general in several cases on government secrecy were at odds with a promise of transparency made by her boss and top client, President Barack Obama," the AP reports. "In four of five cases she dealt with involving the Freedom of Information Act, Kagan argued in favor of secrecy, Justice Department documents show. In those four lawsuits, the Supreme Court took her side and let lower court rulings in the government's favor stand."

As expected, "White House budget director Peter Orszag, a top lieutenant on President Obama's economic team, will be leaving his post next month, administration officials said Monday," the New York Daily News writes.

NPR's Scott Horsley notes: "Orszag's 1 1/2-year tenure is typical for a White House budget director. By leaving this summer, he would give his successor time to lead the preparation of next year's budget, which is due out next winter." On NPR this morning, Horsley described Orszag's "exploits" during his tenure that got covered in People magazine, including fathering a child out of wedlock and his intention to marry a television correspondent. Horsley described him as a "slide-rule sex symbol."