Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Odds and Ends

I have Christmas parties to attend, but first I'll throw some news at you...

President-elect Obama named many more Cabinet officials this week, including nominees for the Labor Secretary, U.S. trade representative, and Transportation Secretary positions.

One of his picks from earlier in the week-- former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack as the new Agriculture Secretary-- is creating a lot of controversy from people concerned about the future of U.S. agriculture and energy policy.

The WSJ reports that there are "a swath of abortion and other reproductive-health issues under review by the Obama team, which is preparing to reverse a variety of Bush measures." This is, needless to say, much more encouraging news.

On a related note (of getting back to reality-based government), there's also reports that "Speaker Nancy Pelosi is already looking ahead to pumping more science-related spending into the massive economic recovery bill Democrats will begin moving through Congress next month." This may include "investing in renewable fuels, improving the electric grid or investing more in the National Institutes of Health."

Al Franken opens up a lead in the Senate race that will never end.

Cable news debate fiesta!! Earlier this week, Chris Matthews took Iraq war supporter Frank Gaffney to task. Later, Matthews and Christopher Hitchens debate conservative radio host Micheal Smerconish on the merits of U.S. torture policy.

Prime Minister Brown reiterates... the UK is leaving Iraq next year.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the "Iraqi journalist arrested for throwing his shoes at US President George W. Bush has written to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki apologising over the incident." He has been denied bail, and is asking for a pardon. I believe he received a beating instead.

Finally, Watergate hero Mark 'Deep Throat' Felt has passed away. Ben Stein = stoked.

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