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Clinton Administration Keeps Streak Alive: New Attorney General, Like Every Other Obama Appointment, Comes from Clinton Admin
Eric Holder is the name of the man who will refuse to prosecute the Bush Cheney crime syndicate.
Digby has found some info on Holder that makes him sound surprisingly good.
One drawback: the media is focusing on his role in pushing the Marc Rich pardon, which puts Obama in the position of defending crazy pardons or being called a hypocrit -- even though there's a world of difference between pardoning someone who bribed you and pardoning someone for a crime you ordered them to commit.
The full agenda is here: http://www.change.gov/agenda
EXCERPTS ON IRAQ:
dedicate more resources to the fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan
Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month -- which would remove all of them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 -- more than 7 years after the war began.
Under the Obama-Biden plan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. They will not build permanent bases in Iraq, but will continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.
By David Swanson
Not only is President Elect Obama talking about keeping on key Bushies like Robert Gates.
Not only is Bush transforming appointees into career civil servants, in order to prevent Obama from bringing in new people. (Read the WaPo story.)
But -- and this has not, as far as I know, yet been reported -- Bush is firing dozens of employees in various departments who have been whistleblowers or are known to lean left politically, and replacing them with loyal Bushies. Or so I'm told by a very good source. More info coming soon.
Ex-CIA Officials Tied to Rendition Program and Faulty Iraq Intel Tapped to Head Obama's Intelligence Transition Team
John Brennan and Jami Miscik, both former intelligence officials under George Tenet, are leading Barack Obama's review of intelligence agencies and helping make recommendations to the new administration. Brennan has supported warrantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition, and Miscik was involved with the politicized intelligence alleging weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the war on Iraq. We speak with former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
By Paul Rogat Loeb
Remember when the McCain campaign accused Barack Obama of "already measuring the White House drapes." It was more false populism, suggesting that it was the bi-racial son of a single mother who embodied a sense of entitlement, instead of the admiral's son who couldn't remember how many houses he had. But let's take McCain's challenge literally, and ask whether Obama needs to change the White House drapes at all. Or the White House rug or furniture or décor, all of which new presidents traditionally replace when they move in. Obama could replace all this as expected, and no one would deem it exceptional. But suppose instead that he took the opportunity to break with tradition, and make a powerful symbolic stand by instead using the already allocated money to bring back additional solar panels (Bush actually brought back some in 2002 but more could be added), and make the White House more energy efficient.
Obama Owes Diamond Real Change Not Perfection
by Robert Weitzel
On Election Day, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! went to Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem to interview voters. She asked 18-year-old Diamond, a first-time voter, why she voted for Barack Obama: “Because he’s the best . . . Obama’s going to make a change, going to cure everything, make everything perfect. I believe in him.”
Listening to Diamond and her friends, with shouts of “yeah Obama!” in the background, one might have gotten the impression Goodman was interviewing the just-saved at a pay-for-heaven revival instead of young voters in a historic presidential election. Diamond’s palpable enthusiasm and her refreshingly naïve faith in her candidate are, paradoxically, both reassuring and unsettling.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President-elect Barack Obama on Sunday announced several key members of his White House staff ahead of his January 20, 2009 inauguration. Obama in a statement announced that Pete Rouse will serve as senior advisor, while Mona Sutphen and Jim Messina will serve as deputy chief of staff.
NOTE How the possibility of cutting military and war spending is making it into discussions like this one:
Obama Spelled Out Goals in Letters to Federal Employees
Pre-Election Missives Addressed Staff At Seven Agencies, Provided Specifics
By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 17, 2008; A01
In wooing federal employee votes on the eve of the election, Barack Obama wrote a series of letters to workers that offer detailed descriptions of how he intends to add muscle to specific government programs, give new power to bureaucrats and roll back some Bush administration policies.
Hopes for the Future
By Rep. Ron Paul
With the election behind us, our country turns hopeful eyes to the future. I have a few hopes of my own.
I congratulate our first African-American president-elect. Martin Luther King, Jr. certainly would be proud to see this day. We are stronger for embracing diversity, and I am hopeful that we can continue working through the tensions and wrongs of the past and become a more just and colorblind society. I hope this new administration will help bring us together, and not further divide us. I have always found that freedom is the best way to break down barriers. A free society emphasizes the importance of individuals, and not because they are part of a certain group. That’s the only way equal justice can be achieved.
Bacevich starts at 3:53 - but Rachel also discusses the G20 summit, White House cuisine, a Laura Bush policy statement, Bush's stature among world leaders and more! Click through for more Bacevich at ADS.
To End All War: Restoring America as a Champion of Peace and Law
By Mary Ellen O'Connell | Jurist
The First World War ended November 11, 1918. It was to be the end of the war to end all wars. But war did not end, and this country, the champion of the new peace order that followed World War I, is currently involved in the unlawful use of force in four countries. On this 90th anniversary of the end of World War I, America’s new president-elect will do the right thing by recommitting this country — if not to end all war - to end all unlawful war.
Pakistani officials told General David Petraeus on his recent visit to Pakistan to stop the lethal U.S. raids on their country. America has been carrying out attacks on Pakistani soil without Pakistan’s consent. The raids violate Pakistan’s sovereignty; they are a serious violation of Pakistan’s rights under international law, which no state interested in remaining independent can tolerate.
A Catholic priest in South Carolina has decided that the democratic act of casting a vote is, in some cases, a mortal sin. Therefore, he has decided that parishioners who voted for Barack Obama are not entitled to the grace of Jesus Christ through communion until they've done penance.
"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law," Rev. Jay Scott Newman wrote in a letter to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville.
The traditional White House radio address is going virtual.
President-elect Barack Obama is taping Saturday's weekly Democratic address not just for listeners, but for YouTube viewers, his office said Friday. And he plans to keep videotaping the radio addresses after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20.
Before then, the videos will be posted on Obama's transition Web site, http://www.change.gov.
Obama is turning the radio address into a "multimedia opportunity" to communicate directly with the American people, his transition team said in a statement.
By Nick Juliano, Raw Story
Less than a month ago, Democrats excoriated President Bush and his administration over the conduct of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and a House panel recommended the office be closed or reorganized.
With Democrat Barack Obama preparing for his move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the calls to reform the office, which coordinates the president's initiatives with key factions of his party, have grown silent, and all indications are that a political apparatus will continue to exist in the White House for the foreseeable future.
On Thursday, Politico noted that Obama had been virtually silent on calls to eliminate the White House's politics office, and Marc Ambinder reported that it was "probably true" that Obama's White House would include the operation.
Remarks to the State Association of County Retirement Systems
By Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.), Costa Mesa, California, November 13, 2008
Last week Americans voted in record numbers for a new president. However you felt about the outcome, you must have been moved, as I was, by how the two candidates reacted to the election results. In defeat, Senator McCain was gracious, sincere, and – as always – put our country ahead of himself. His patriotic call for all of us to "help our new president lead us through the many challenges we face" reminded us why he deserves our respect both as a man and as a public figure.
President-elect Obama's remarks at his victory celebration in Chicago were eloquent and inspiring. Two-and-a third centuries ago, our founders pledged that we would be a nation in which "all men are created equal." We have finally made that proposition an unrefutable reality.
Saturday November 22nd from 3:30 until 5:30 PM.
Busboys and Poets, 14th and V Streets NW, Washington, D.C.
"After the Election" will be a political roundtable discussion exploring Social, Economic, and Political issues surrounding the Election and America's future.
The panelists will be:
Obama acts to drive the lobbyists out of Washington
Strict new rules on the backroom deal-makers; President-elect hopes to succeed where others failed
By Leonard Doyle | Independent UK
The leader of Barack Obama's transition team has delivered some bad news to the hordes of lobbyists plying their trade in the fancy restaurants and faceless offices along Pennsylvania Avenue: they are not welcome.
John Podesta, the transition chief, has revealed a set of draconian new regulations aimed at curbing the excessive influence of lobbyists, as Mr Obama promised throughout his election campaign. They are to be denied their normal role of greasing the wheels of the new administration's costly transition to power by paying for office space and staff between now and the inauguration on 20 January.
Mr Podesta unveiled what he said was "the strictest, the most far-reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history," and declared "that the undue influence of Washington lobbyists and the revolving door of Washington ceases to exist."
By Dave Lindorff
A CBS/Associated Press story yesterday reported that the man who runs the Pentagon’s anti-missile program, Lt. Gen. Henry Obering III, had warned incoming President-elect Barack Obama that any reversal of Bush/Cheney administration plans to install anti-ballistic missile missiles in Poland would “severely hurt” American interests.
It was a classic “stupid” story of the type that we now expect to get from our corporate media—basically a regurgitation of the statement of one self-interested official, backed up by a few supporting quotes from other government officials, and the usual “anonymous” official sources, and lacking any context or opposing viewpoints.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (IPS) - The promotion of Robert M. Gates as President-elect Barack Obama's secretary of defence appears to be the key element in a broad campaign by military officials and their supporters in the political elite and the news media to pressure Obama into dropping his plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in as little as 16 months.
Despite subtle and unsubtle pressures to compromise on his withdrawal plan, however, Obama is likely to pass over Gates and stand firm on his campaign pledge on military withdrawal from Iraq, according to a well-informed source close to the Obama camp.
Don't Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart: Why Americans Shouldn't Go Home
By Tom Engelhardt
On the day that Americans turned out in near record numbers to vote, a record was set halfway around the world. In Afghanistan, a U.S. Air Force strike wiped out about 40 people in a wedding party. This represented at least the sixth wedding party eradicated by American air power in Afghanistan and Iraq since December 2001.
By Dave Lindorff
The word is that Barack Obama, in keeping with his promise of a new post-Bush/Cheney era of “civility in government,” is telling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not to eject the treacherous Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) from the Democratic caucus.
This is a terrible mistake. Joe Lieberman is a wretched example of a man without principle—a back-stabbing slimeball of a politician whose only allegience, apparently, besides to himself, is to Israel.
Now I don’t want anyone to think I’m some rabid anti-semite. My wife and kids are Jewish, we have good friends who are Israeli, and no, I don’t think the Jews run the media or the country. I do, however, think that Joe Lieberman thinks more about what, in his warped and shriveled worldview, is good for Israel, than about what is good for America.
University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee will be U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's choice to lead the White House economic team, sources say.
Without naming sources, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday Goolsbee, 39, is expected to be named head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers when Obama takes office Jan. 20.
Unlike another University of Chicago economist, Milton Friedman, whose Libertarian-style embrace of small government and opposition to regulation greatly influenced the Republican Party, Goolsbee is part the school's new generation of economists who focus on human activity in natural settings and attempt find economic explanations for why people behave the way they do.
As with most Americans, my emotions were on overdrive last Tuesday night as the symbolic and actual enormity of Obama's victory hit home. So much to think about, but for the first few days I felt as if I were wandering through a dream-world and was somewhat fuzzy in the head.
Now, after a week of coming down and ruminating on the meanings to be derived from this tumultuous event, here are five observations that may resonate with (or perhaps even provoke) you.
By Dave Lindorff
The one thing we are not hearing from Congress or from incoming president Barack Obama in the current economic crisis facing the country are the words “anti-trust” and “public ownership.”
From the moment the crisis first struck, with the near collapse of AIG, the mantra has been that companies like AIG, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Citibank, etc.--and more recently General Motors Corp. and Ford--are “too big to fail.” That is, it is argued that these companies are so huge that if they were to collapse into the rubble they deserve to be, it would damage the nation irreparably.
The question is, if that is genuinely the case, why were they allowed to be that big in the first place, and why aren’t we rethinking that policy?