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Obama agenda: Holder vs. McConnell

The New York Times: “Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, traded barbs on Thursday about whether terrorism suspects captured on American soil should be prosecuted in regular civilian court or sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to face trial before a military commission.”

This was a rough story to read if you’re the White House. “It was supposed to be the White House’s latest make-nice session with corporate America — a visit by Chief of Staff William M. Daley to a meeting with hundreds of manufacturing executives in town to press lawmakers for looser regulations,” the Washington Post says. “But the outreach soon turned into a rare public dressing down of the president’s policies with his highest-ranking aide.”

Per NBC’s Libby Leist, Vice President Biden yesterday emerged from an afternoon of deficit talks on the Hill in positive spirits -- even heaping high praise on Republican negotiators Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl. Biden said the group has hit "the whole waterfront" in the federal budget and everyone is committed to an agreement that saves $4 trillion over a decade or so. He told reporters that the "tough stuff" is still left to go -- such as big ticket items like changes in Medicare. "There are differences that are going to have to be bridged and wont occur until the end," he said.

Biden “described in general some of the tentative horse-trading involved, saying that the two sides have started cutting smaller deals that are contingent on reaching a larger deal on tougher items, like revenue,” Roll Call writes. Things like, “Now we’re getting down to the real hard stuff,” he said. “I’ll trade you my bicycle for your golf clubs.”