Politics

December 10, 2008

Top Dog
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- I am normally skeptical of raving movie reviews. I'm also wary of European or American filmmakers who set their stories in the shantytowns of the developing world because they tend to romanticize backwardness and peddle stereotypes. And I am suspicious of soap opera themes because they can be too syrupy.

Daschle (officially) To Be Named Hhs Secretary
12:00 AM

Barack Obama will be holding a press conference in Chicago on Thursday. And it's safe bet that most of the political world will be watching to hear Obama give his first extended remarks about the Rod Blagojevich scandal. But Obama will be making news of another sort, too: He will, according to transition sources, make official the appointment of former Senator Tom Daschle as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. And while that's not exactly news--sources had fingered Daschle as the likely nominee some time ago--Obama's broader statements about health care will be.

Daschle (officially) To Be Named Hhs Secretary
12:00 AM

  Barack Obama will be holding a press conference in Chicago on Thursday. And it's safe bet that most of the political world will be watching to hear Obama give his first extended remarks about the Rod Blagojevich scandal. But Obama will be making news of another sort, too: He will, according to transition sources, make official the appointment of former Senator Tom Daschle as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. And while that's not exactly news--sources had fingered Daschle as the likely nominee some time ago--Obama's broader statements about health care will be.

Daschle To Be Named Hhs Secretary (officially)
12:00 AM

Barack Obama will be holding a press conference in Chicago on Thursday. And it's safe bet that most of the political world will be watching to hear Obama give his first extended remarks about the Rod Blagojevich scandal. But Obama will be making news of another sort, too: He will, according to transition sources, make official the appointment of former Senator Tom Daschle as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. And while that's not exactly news--sources had fingered Daschle as the likely nominee some time ago--Obama's broader statements about health care will be.

Carol Browner Goes Post-czar
12:00 AM

Looks like Carol Browner will be the White House point person for energy and environmental issues. Quick take: It's a very green pick. When Browner was EPA head during the Clinton years, she was known as a fierce defender of federal environmental rules during a period when Newt Gingrich and the GOP were trying to dismantle them en masse, and she generally received high marks from green groups, though industry lobbyists and Republican staffers found her way too aggressive.

Q&a With The Transition
12:00 AM

Pushing its tech and transparency credentials, the transition team announced today a new tool onChange.gov that allows people to ask and vote on questions for the team. (Kind of like what ObamaCTO.org has been doing for weeks, asking people to vote on priorities for the new administration.) My first question: True or false--in light of Jon Favreau's Hillary boob-grabbing Facebook photo, the transition is rethinking how to let its members use social media? (Although, that looks like it might be "flagged as inappropriate" on the site.) --Seyward Darby

Sympathy For The Blago
12:00 AM

There was no shortage of shocking material in the criminal complaint the feds filed against Rod Blagojevich yesterday, but the bit of information that seems to have caused the biggest collective headslap was the revelation that the embattled Illinois governor was actively contemplating a White House run. As more than one person joked (props to TalkBacker waynejm for being, so far as I can tell, the first person to come up with it), at least Blago's presidential ambitions made a potential insanity defense more credible.

Leapcaring
12:00 AM

Thomas Friedman warns that in bailing out Detroit’s automakers, the U.S. government is doing “the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order catalog business on the eve of the birth of E-bay.” I am not crazy about the analogy (I poured some of my hard-earned money into buying on ebay what turned out to be defective fountain pens.) But Friedman’s point is still well taken.

December 09, 2008

Veteran Leadership
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--In naming retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as veterans affairs secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made what may be the most politically and morally significant choice of his transition.Politically, Obama has been moving aggressively to close a wide gap between Democrats and the military--and particularly between the party and the officer corps--that began growing in the Vietnam era.Shinseki's appointment can be seen as one of several steps the incoming president has taken to win respect and trust within the armed forces.

Cooling Down The New Cold War
12:00 AM

When it breached <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Georgia’s border in August, Russia provided the first significant foreign-policy challenge of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Think of that episode as a red-band movie trailer. The former and would-be future superpower plainly aims to occupy a more prominent place among the new president’s many headaches than he’d probably like to give it.

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