Archives for Politics

Everything new is old again

So far Barack Obama's apparent Cabinet choices give little evidence that his pledge to change the face of Washington is anything more than that -- just a promise. With a few exceptions those reportedly chosen all have been here before from the White House to Congress.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Jimmy Carter ran into trouble when he tried to keep the faith with a presidential campaign that was anti-Washington and became increasingly isolated from the institutions that actually run this community, including Congress. It is better to rely on those who understand the nuts and bolts of this complex society and count on them to get results from the fresh ideas that you propose.

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Obama wants quick economic action

With the economy in crisis, President-elect Barack Obama called on the new Congress to act quickly in passing a costly stimulus package to create jobs as a follow-up to the hundreds of billions of dollars the Bush administration has committed to rescue financial markets.

"The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better," Obama said Monday in a downbeat forecast, delivered 57 days before he takes the oath of office and with Americans heading into the year-end holiday season.

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Obama set to unveil economic team

Eager to calm economic anxieties, President-elect Barack Obama is rolling out an economic vision that will require congressional cooperation even before he settles into his new desk in the White House's Oval Office.

Obama will introduce his new economic leadership team Monday, a key step toward enacting a huge new economic recovery plan that aims to save or create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years.

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Obama taps Richardson for Commerce

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary, adding a prominent Hispanic and one-time Democratic rival to his expanding Cabinet.

Obama planned to announce the nomination after Thanksgiving, according to a Democratic official familiar with the discussions. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations and did so on condition of anonymity.

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An inaugural for the people

Pattie Brew, (right) daughter of a North Carolina sharecropper, had let almost a century go by without casting a vote for president or joining the inaugural crowds only three miles from her home in the nation's capital.

"I never had no interest in it because my vote don't matter anyway, so I never even took the time to fool with it," said the 97-year-old woman known as Mother Brew. "I knew white people had the right of way here, you know."

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Obama outlines plan to create jobs

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday outlined his plan to create 2.5 million jobs in coming years to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

"These aren't just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis; these are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long," Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address. The economic recovery plan being developed by his staff aims to create 2.5 million jobs by January 2011, and he wants to get it through Congress quickly and sign it soon after taking office.

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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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