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Archive for January 25th, 2009

Meet N.Y.’s New Senator

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Meet N.Y.’s New Senator

Gillibrand

Caroline Kennedy she ain’t. On Friday, New York Gov. David Paterson tapped Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to take over the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

So who exactly is this Gillibrand character? As it happens, Ms. Kennedy isn’t the only one with big political connections to her name. Regarding issues, Gillibrand just changed her tune when it comes to her stance on gay marriage—a shift that might dampen some of the criticism coming from within the Democratic Party.


Bloomberg:

Paterson chose Gillibrand, 42, a Hudson Democrat whose sprawling mostly Republican district is near Albany, bypassing better-known Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The twice-elected congresswoman voted against the assault weapons ban and the $700 billion financial bailout bill—positions at odds with Paterson’s.

Gillibrand was an upset winner in the 2006 congressional elections when she defeated four-term incumbent Republican U.S. Representative John Sweeney, 54. Her appointment takes effect Jan. 25, Paterson said.

“I believe I have found the best candidate to become the next senator from the state of New York,” Paterson said. “She is dynamic, she is articulate, she is perceptive, she is outspoken.”

Gillibrand said she will support women’s rights and same-sex marriages as well as programs that create jobs and bolster manufacturing, technology and health care.

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Congress’s Top Security Officer Admits Major Inaugural Security Breach

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Congress’s Top Security Officer Admits Major Inaugural Security Breach
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, Congress’s top law enforcement official who was in charge of security at President Obama’s swearing-in ceremony, now acknowledges the so-called “purple…

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Behind The Scenes Of The Paterson, Kennedy Senate Drama
In which the most private of persons decides to go public, only to learn that mother always knows best….


Former NY Senate Leader Bruno Indicted

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Former NY Senate Leader Bruno Indicted
Joseph Bruno, the Republican former Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on eight counts of public corruption, reports the Times Union of Albany. Bruno, who as the Senate leader had…





John Thain’s Top Ten Greatest Moments
If there’s one corporate honcho who’s emerging as the poster boy for all the varied Wall Street sins that the financial crisis has exposed — not just greed, but callousness, obliviousness and general incompetence — its Merrill Lynch’s former CEO…


Understanding Opportunity

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2009 5:33 am by HL

Understanding Opportunity
I just want to add a couple of points to the discussion on opportunity, one relating to progressives’ tendency to get distracted by inequality when thinking about opportunity, and one relating to the evidence that is brought to bear when…

The Banks Have Stolen Enough; It’s Time to Take Them Over
Hold onto your wallets. The bankers are coming bank for more money. They burned through the $350 billion that we gave them in the first round of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and they are worried that even the…


Obama?s First 100 Hours: A Clean Break From Bush

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

Obama?s First 100 Hours: A Clean Break From Bush
At 4 pm ET today, it will mark exactly 100 hours since Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. The first week on the job has been a very busy one for the new White House, as the Obama administration has worked quickly to repair the damage done under the last eight […]

bushobamagoodbye.jpg

At 4 pm ET today, it will mark exactly 100 hours since Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. The first week on the job has been a very busy one for the new White House, as the Obama administration has worked quickly to repair the damage done under the last eight years of President Bush.

As President Obama indicated in his inauguration speech, he is seeking to chart a new way forward in domestic and foreign policy. Obama has made a clean break from the Bush legacy in his early going, undertaking a number of actions that the former President would never have considered. ThinkProgress has compiled a report documenting Obama’s record so far:

REGULATIONS

The Bush Record: In his final months, the Bush administration issued a series of “midnight regulations” that gutted safeguards protecting health, safety, the environment, and the public’s general welfare.

Obama’s Clean Break: Hours after his inauguration, Obama ordered a freeze on new regulations at all government agencies and departments and the withdrawal of all final or proposed regulations not yet published in the Federal Register.

IRAQ

The Bush Record: After using false intelligence to launch the war, Bush “surged” 30,000 troops to Iraq in 2007 and vetoed all attempts to end the war.

Obama’s Clean Break: Two days into his presidency, Obama called on U.S. military leaders to start to plan for a responsible withdrawal.

DIPLOMACY

The Bush Record: In his first term, Bush — in contrast to President Bill Clinton — “generally avoided robust efforts” to resolve the Middle East conflict. Bush demeaned diplomacy with “terrorists and radicals,” likening it to the “appeasement” of Nazi Germany.

Obama’s Clean Break: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected the “rigid ideology” of Bush and pledged to exercise “smart power.” Stressing diplomacy, Obama and Clinton “appointed high-level emissaries to handle the Arab-Israeli issue and Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

TORTURE

The Bush Record: Torture began with the drafting of a secret legal memo holding that Bush could authorize interrogators to violate anti-torture laws. Bush’s senior-most officials approved torture that, in some cases, lead to death.

Obama’s Clean Break: Obama signed executive orders ending the CIA’s secret prisons and ending torture by requiring interrogations to abide by the Army Field Manual.

More ?

Conservatives? 40-Minute Tribute To Bush On House Floor: He Was A ?Knowing Lion? Who ?Walked Among Us?
George W. Bush is gone from office…but he is not forgotten, at least not by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Steve King (R-IA). On Thursday, the three men spent almost 40 minutes delivering their final love letters to Bush. Some highlights: – FRANKS: “President Bush often had to walk like a knowing […]

George W. Bush is gone from office…but he is not forgotten, at least not by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Steve King (R-IA). On Thursday, the three men spent almost 40 minutes delivering their final love letters to Bush. Some highlights:

– FRANKS: “President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. … [I]f those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us.”

– PENCE: “I truly believe that this nation owes a debt of gratitude to George W. Bush.”

– KING: “I’m here to say thank you to President Bush for the things that he has done when he’s had his steady hand on the till of leadership, and especially with our national defense.”

At one point, Franks began to tear up when talking about how Bush made the country “brighter” and “more hopeful” for his children. Throughout the 40 minutes, they also compared Bush to Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. Watch some highlights:

(HT: CSPAN Junkie)

Transcript: More ?


Well-Connected Fundraiser Is Key Figure in Ill. Probe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 25th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Well-Connected Fundraiser Is Key Figure in Ill. Probe
For years, Indian-born businessman Raghuveer Nayak wrote generous checks to state and federal politicians, became a top fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and watched his influence grow in his adopted home of Illinois.

Guantanamo Case Files in Disarray
President Obama’s plans to expeditiously determine the fates of about 245 terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and quickly close the military prison there were set back last week when incoming legal and national security officials — barred until the inauguration from examining classi…

To Combat Obama, Al-Qaeda Hurls Insults
Soon after the November election, al-Qaeda’s No. 2 leader took stock of America’s new president-elect and dismissed him with an insulting epithet. “A house Negro,” Ayman al-Zawahiri said.

Obama Details Recovery Plan
President Obama pressed aggressively for his massive economic recovery plan yesterday, laying out the most detailed benchmarks to date of a stimulus package that would cost at least $820 billion and warning that the nation’s economy could become dramatically worse without major federal investment.