Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More Odds and Ends

Here's another collection of important news I wish I had more time to blog about...

We're officially in recession and the news keeps getting grimmer: "Private employers slashed an unexpectedly high 250,000 jobs in November, the most in seven years, while the service sector that powers most of the economy posted its worst slump on record."

Is Obama still planning to go forward with middle class tax cuts? Signs point to yes.

But is he flip-flopping on his promise of a windfall profits tax on Big Oil? Seems likely.

But wait... more bad news: "The rising cost of college — even before the recession — threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans, according to the biennial report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education."

Meanwhile, Barack Obama officially nominates Bill Richardson for Commerce Secretary.

And here's interesting Cabinet buzz... a possible pick for Labor Secretary is Mary Beth Maxwell. She's a community organizer, labor leader, and founding executive director of American Rights at Work. She would also be the first openly gay Cabinet member.

Barack Obama has also given all of President Bush's ambassadors their walking papers.

Lots of people were puzzled by Obama's retention of Bob Gates as Defense Secretary, but here is a hopeful sign that Gates understands that he is there to carry out the policies of the new President: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled a willingness to forge ahead with two key priorities for the incoming Obama administration: accelerating the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center."

Meanwhile, India points to Pakistani militants as the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks.

Coming back to U.S. politics, the odious Saxby Chambliss won the Georgia Senate runoff race yesterday amidst low turnout. In Minnesota, Al Franken still hopes to defy the odds.

Finally... videos! Liberal blogger Chris Bowers debates with Chris Matthews how Obama presented the slant of his agenda during the campaign. Also on 'Hardball', Christopher Hitchens and Joan Walsh get into a feisty argument over the appointment of Hillary Clinton to DoS. Keith Olbermann discusses Obama's meetings with the nation's governors. And Al Gore is interviewed by Fareed Zakaria about the election results.

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