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Friday, October 18, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama to Nominate Jeh Johnson for Homeland Security - President Barack Obama will nominate Jeh Johnson, a former Pentagon official, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a White House official confirmed Thursday to POLITICO.

The president will make the announcement at 2 p.m. Friday at the White House.

Obama has chosen Johnson, who served as the Defense Department’s general counsel from 2009 through 2012, “because he is one [of] the most highly qualified and respected national security leaders,” the official said.

While at the Pentagon, Johnson “was known for his sound judgment and counsel” and was “responsible for the prior legal review and approval of every military operation approved by the president and secretary of defense,” the official added. has more here.


Chamber of Commerce Slams Tea Party - After tea party intransigence brought the United States dangerously close to default, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicated that it will take on loyalists to the conservative movement.
Citing a need for serious elected officials, Scott Reed, a senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told Bloomberg in a story published Thursday that it plans to get involved in next year's midterms.

“We are going to get engaged,” Reed said. “The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.” has more here.


Shutdown Leads To Record Fundraising for Senate Democrats - House Democrats' campaign arm raised a record amount in September, and now has more than $20 million cash in the bank for the 2014 elections.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee brought in $8.4 million in September and now has $21.6 million cash on hand. That's more than double what the committee had in the bank at this point last cycle. has more here.


McConnell Criticized for $2.9 Billion Hidden in Debt Bill for Kentucky Project - After Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell helped broker Wednesday’s deal that reopened the government, his critics found something in that agreement they’re using to attack him with -- a $2.9 billion locks and dam project.

A conservative group has pounced on McConnell for what it calls a “Kentucky kickback” – money included in the legislation to finish a troubled infrastructure project on the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky.  NBC News has more here.


Saudi Arabia Declines U.N. Security Council Seat - Saudi Arabia, in an unprecedented show of anger at the failure of the international community to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues, said on Friday it would not take up its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The kingdom condemned what it called international double standards on the Middle East and demanded reforms in the Security Council.

Riyadh's frustration is mostly directed at Washington, its oldest international ally, which has pursued policies since the Arab Spring that Saudi rulers have bitterly opposed and which have severely damaged relations with the United States, Saudi analysts have said.

Saudi Arabia has also been angered by a rapprochement between Iran, its old regional foe, and the United States, which has taken root since President Barack Obama spoke by telephone last month to the new Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, in the highest-level contact between the two countries in more than three decades. has more here.


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