Archives for Politics

Obama’s questionable associations

In his life and career in Illinois, President-elect Barack Obama has crossed paths with some notable figures who have drawn scorn and scrutiny. Among them:


GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH: Obama has maintained a cordial but distant relationship with Blagojevich during the governor's tenure.

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Dave Gregory named Meet the Press host

David Gregory's new job as moderator of "Meet the Press" was made official Sunday with an announcement on the long-running NBC interview program that he will take over starting next week.

The 38-year-old chief White House correspondent was introduced by Tom Brokaw, who stepped in as temporary host last June after the death of Tim Russert, the program's moderator since 1991.

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Obama unveils his ‘new deal’

President-elect Barack Obama said on Saturday his plan to create at least 2.5 million new jobs included the largest infrastructure investment since the 1950s and a huge effort to reduce U.S. government energy use.

The United States will also make a big push to expand access to high-speed Internet and modernize school buildings across the country, he said.

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Obama lays groundwork for health care reform

President-elect Barack Obama has begun laying the groundwork for overhauling the troubled U.S. healthcare system, reaching out to interest groups and building grass-roots support for the huge undertaking.

Obama, who takes office on January 20, is using many of the Internet tools employed in his election campaign to engage the public. His Internet site asks people to submit ideas for changing the costly and inefficient system that leaves tens of millions uninsured.

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Obama’s diversity: How much is enough?

Barack Obama, soon to be the first black U.S. president, is on the road to making good his pledge to have a Cabinet and White House staff that are among most diverse ever, although some supporters are asking him to go even further. He added to the minority representation at the top of his administration Wednesday when he named New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Hispanic, as Commerce Secretary.

But some Latinos are grumbling it is not enough after all the support they gave him in the campaign, and gays and Asian-Americans are pushing for some representation in remaining Cabinet announcements. But overall Obama is allaying some early concerns that a black president wouldn't need to put so much importance on diversity of those working under him.

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RNC spent more money on Palin clothes

New campaign reports expected to be filed by the Republican National Committee today will show the Republican National Commitee spent even more money to buy clothes and accessories for controversial vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Previous campaign reports showed the national party spent some $150,000 for clothes for Palen to make the Alaska governor presentable to the American people. The new reports will show additional expenditures over and above the 150 grand.

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Franken drops some ballot challenges

Democrat Al Franken withdrew 633 challenges to ballots Wednesday in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race in what could be a first step toward a quicker conclusion to the recount.

Franken's attorney, Marc Elias, said many more withdrawals are likely. An attorney for Republican Norm Coleman said he may follow suit soon.

Any reduction in the pile of challenged ballots - more than 6,000 so far - will alleviate work for the canvassing board that meets Dec. 16 to begin examining those ballots.

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Richardson: Another tainted appointment?

President-elect Barack Obama will turn to another tained retread from the administration of former President Bill Clinton today when he names New Mexico governor (and former Presidential nomination rival) Bill Richardson as his new Secretary of Commerce.

Richardson wanted to become Secretary of State but settled for the Commerce job after Obama offered the higher-profile position to another rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Obama teams examine agencies

Aptly-named "agency review teams" for President-elect Barack Obama are swooping into federal agencies and asking hard questions about where the bodies are buried and who buried them.

With unprecedented swiftness the teams of at least 10 people, try to identify problems within the agencies and ways to deal with the problems before Obama takes office on Jan. 20, 2009.

And they are doing it, apparently, with the full cooperation of the Bush White House, something also unprecedented for Presidential transition.

Washington watchers say this, as much as anything the President-elect has done to date, signals change is coming.

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