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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Democratic Chatter 12-30-2008

George Wenschhof Bio

President-elect Barack Obama continues his family vacation in Hawaii - Yesterday, he and some close friends hit the golf course at Lanikai. The Honolulu Star Bulletin has more here. As he can surely tell from his daily briefings, he will have his hands full when he is sworn in 21 days from now with serious international and domestic issues to address.


Israel air strikes on Gaza continue - the fourth day of targeted air strikes continue as Israel responds to persistent rocket attacks from Hamas. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert alluded to further escalation as he said the air strikes were the first of several stages. The NY Times has more here.


More troubling economic news - Home prices fell 18% from one year ago in 20 major cities and now are at 2004 levels. has more here.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced yesterday an additional 6 Billion in aid to General Motors. has more here.


Rahm Emanuel to resign his Congressional seat Friday - The incoming White House Chief of Staff sent a letter to embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to inform him of his decision. The state constitution requires the Governor to set a date for a special election within 5 days and for it to be held within 115 days. The Chicago Tribune has more here. It appears U.S. Senators are held in higher regard as their vacant positions are filled by appointment by the Governor.


"Blago-watch" continues - U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has asked permission from the court to provide partial recordings of four conversations of Governor Rod Blagojevich. Fitzgerald wants to provide the tapes to the Illinois state committee considering impeachment of the Governor. has more here. Although the committee is not a court of law, this could open up requests by the defense to have all the tapes released. Stay Tuned.


Minnesota Senate race hinges on ruling pertaining to absentee ballots - a recent court ruling said approximately 1500 previously rejected absentee ballots should be counted. The court gave the campaigns of Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken until the end of the month to agree with the state canvassing board on a system to be used in counting the ballots. They have not yet reached agreement and now the Coleman campaign is pushing for additional absentee ballots to be counted. It has been reported Franken holds a narrow 47 vote lead prior to the count of the absentee ballots. The Minneapolis has more here.


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