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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Democratic Chatter 2-10-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

President Barack Obama spoke to Americans about the economic crisis during prime time on television last night - some of the pundits are saying if he had done this a week ago, the passage of the Stimulus bill would have gone easier. However, that is doubtful as many questions remain as to how to best solve the economic problems facing the country today. If you missed it last night, you can watch the entire press conference here.

Continuing a message to the people, the President will travel to Ft. Myers, Florida today to attend a town hall meeting at noon. The DNC, now merging with the Obama campaign email list also sent a email to supporters with a message from DNC chair and Governor Tim Kaine (D-Va.). Last weekend 3,587 meetings were organized at the grassroots level to discuss the economic crisis in all 50 states across the country and to hear from voters their experiences and suggestions. To view a short video from Governor Kaine discussing those meetings, click here.

Debate in the Senate on the 838 Billion Stimulus bill concluded last night with just one vote (61-36) over the required 60 needed to end discussion and move the bill to a full vote. The Senate is expected to pass the bill today. It will then go to committee conference for reconciliation with the House version before being sent to the president for signature.


Remember the 700 billion Bailout bill? - Today, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will announce changes that will include public-private partnerships, limits on executive compensation, more monitoring of use of the funds and 100 billion of the remaining 350 Billion targeted on foreclosure relief. Interestingly, the name of the bill is Troubled Assets Relief Plan, (TARP). has more here.

The combined spending of the Bailout and Stimulus bills will exceed 1.5 Trillion. Let's hope they work at strengthening the economy.


William Lynn expect to be confirmed today for deputy defense secretary - this appointment by the President also drew criticism due to Lynn's former work as a Lobbyist for a defense contractor. His appointment required Obama to waive new own ethics guidelines the President had recently instituted. You can read more here.


Elena Kagan expected to be confirmed as Solicitor General - she will be the first woman to fill this position. The Solicitor General represents the government before the Supreme Court and Appeals Courts. She is a former Harvard Law School Dean who has respect from both sides of the aisle. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on her nomination today. The Washington Post has more here.


Iran President says they are ready for talks with the U.S. - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is ready for talks as long as they are based on mutual respect. The U.S. severed ties with Iran in 1979 after the Iranian revolution. has more here.


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