Archives for Politics

Obama moving quickly on cabinet selections

President-elect Barack Obama has moved with unusual speed to select officials for his administration, and senior Democratic officials say he intends to name Timothy Geithner as his treasury secretary as soon as Monday.

It was not clear when Obama intended to formally unveil any of his other picks for the administration that takes office at the stroke of noon on Jan. 20. One Democrat said John Podesta, a leader of Obama's transition team, had told Senate aides on Friday that Obama hoped for speedy confirmation so the new administration could get to work quickly thereafter.


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Obama set to tap Clinton for State

In a move that has political insiders shaking their heads and many supporters of the first African-American President elect fuming, Barack Obama is set to tap Democratic primary rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as his Secretary of State.

Senior aides confirm that Obama will name Clinton after Thanksgiving after former President Bill Clinton agreed to curtail his often-controversial activities with his foundation and cut back on his foreign travel and speeches.


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A dumb move for Obama and Clinton

Two questions about the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of State: Why would Barack Obama offer her the job and why would she take it?

Just floating her name showed one of the drawbacks. As always with the Clintons the story quickly became about them. Her supporters fretted whether she was being treated with the proper deference. And would Bill Clinton disclose the donors to his library and accept limits on his overseas activities? He answered that question this week -- "I'll do whatever they want" -- and in doing so put the President-elect in a box. What more could he possibly ask?


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America needs a civic lesson

However you regard the outcome of the November 4 election, it was heartening to watch 125 million Americans cast their ballots at precincts from coast to coast.

Unfortunately, they and the many millions more who skipped the whole thing collectively know frightfully little about the government we just reaffirmed, the principles that under-gird it, and the basic documents in which those ideas are enshrined. Thus, Americans slouch into the 21st Century -- a free and confident people blissfully unaware of how we got here or how we shall continue our 232-year-old tradition of limited self-government.

Consider these staggering data:


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Obama’s false promise of change

President-elect Barack Obama promised the voters change but has started his Cabinet selection process by naming several Washington insiders to top posts.

Obama is enlisting former Senate leader Tom Daschle as his health secretary. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a well-known Washington personality, seemed more likely than ever to be his secretary of state. Clinton is deciding whether to take that post as America's top diplomat, her associates said Wednesday


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Get a grip liberals

When in doubt, blame the media. That used to be an over-used conservative tactic. Now it's being adopted, apparently, by the Kool-Aid imbibing Obama fans who are so blind to the Obamas' flaws that they scramble mightily to find someone other than the Obamas to blame for these flaws.

Let me state for the record I am neither conservative nor liberal, Democrat nor Republican, feminist nor anti-feminist. Philosophical or partisan labels make me nervous and are never entirely accurate if there is a functioning brain inside the person so labeled. We all think for ourselves and have beliefs that differ from doctrinal rigidity -- that is, unless we happen to be a partisan angling for a political appointment (the old, 'What's in it for me' routine.)


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The South: The GOP’s last stand?

In a nation turned blue, the South remains largely red. That's the takeaway from the 2008 election, and the Republicans' best hope for resurrecting their party.

John McCain, for all his political waffling and personal idiosyncrasies, still held on to the South. Except for Virginia and Florida (two states heavily infiltrated by Northerners) and North Carolina (a race so close it couldn't be called until three days after the election), the South remained solidly in the GOP column.

From Florida's Panhandle to Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee, McCain actually garnered a higher percentage of votes than George W. Bush did in 2004.


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Heading for isolation

Inexorably, the cocoon that Barack Obama will live in for the next four or eight years is tightening around him.

Already in Chicago there are concrete barriers around his house. The streets in the immediate neighborhood are closed to outside traffic. Worshippers at a nearby synagogue must go through metal detectors. And would-be renters in the neighborhood have to be cleared by the Secret Service. He no longer goes to the barber; the barber goes to him. And he travels in an armored limousine in a red-light-running motorcade.

And the cocoon will only get tighter.


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Private school may be the only choice

The moment president-elect Barack Obama and our new first lady began to shop around Washington, D.C., for a private school for daughters Malia and Sasha, proponents of school choice already had their eyebrows well prepared for elevation.

Columnist Cal Thomas commends the Obamas for resisting potential pressure from teachers unions to place their kids in one of Washington's "miserable" public schools. But he criticizes them for exercising a choice that -- he says -- they're willing to deny to millions of Americans who don't have enough money to send their own kids to private schools.


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Obama’s chance to really fix something

As America's strategic dialogue with Russia shifts into reverse over our planned missile defense in Eastern Europe, President-elect Obama has an opportunity to curtail this foolish turn of events, but only if he doesn't fear being labeled "soft" by hardliners hell-bent on protecting that astronomically costly boondoggle.

After spending vast sums, America now fields missile defense sites in Alaska and California that even ardent program defenders admit are rudimentary. If the envisioned program is completed deep into the next decade, missile expert Scott Ritter estimates the total cumulative cost could top a trillion dollars.


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