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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Democratic Chatter 1-21-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

Today, President Barack Obama will receive his first daily intelligence brief - as he begins the first first day as President. Now begins the arduous task of governing for the Obama administration. This afternoon, he will meet with the Joint Chiefs to discuss foreign policy issues. The President also plans to meet with his economic advisers today.

In case you missed President Obama's Inauguration Speech, you can watch it here. It was a good and measured speech which focused on the hard times ahead and the need to work together.

I would give a higher rating to several other of his notable speeches including the speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the speech in Philadelphia on race issues after the Reverend Wright controversy erupted during the campaign, and his Democratic Party nomination acceptance speech at "Mile High" stadium in Denver.

However, it set the right tone. Now is the time to go to work at solving the major issues facing Americans today.


The Senate confirmed 7 of his Cabinet nominees yesterday - all were approved by a voice vote when the Senate convened at 3:00 PM ET. The Secretaries confirmed were: Energy - Steven Chu, Education - Arne Duncan, homeland Security - Janet Napolitano, Interior - Ken Salazar, Agriculture - Tom Vilsak, veteran affairs - Eric Shinseki. OMB director Peter Orzag was also approved. Hillary Clinton will face a roll call vote today in the Senate for Secretary of State but is expected to be confirmed easily. has more here.


Congressional Luncheon goes well, Kennedy, Byrd fall ill - Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) suffered a seizure and taken to the hospital. Doctors say the seizure was brought on by fatigue - Kennedy, is battling brain cancer and seizures are common after the surgery and treatment he has received. Senator Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) who has been battling ill health for some time also experience some difficulty but is expected to be ok. has more here.


Obama orders halt to all pending regulations - in a wise move, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel informed all agency heads to halt all pending regulation - often, an outgoing administration will try to push regulations through at the end of their term in office. has more here.


Obama seeks to suspend for 120 days prosecution of Gitmo detainees at Guantanamo Bay - this will allow his administration to review the current process and make recommendations for changes as necessary. It is no secret President Obama intends to close Gitmo, it is just a matter of time. The Washington Post has more here.


Israel withdraws from Gaza - perhaps wanting to make New President Barack Obama's life a little easier, Israel completed their withdraw from the Gaza Strip. Hamas remains defiant so do not expect this situation to go away. The New York Times has more here.


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