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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Democratic Chatter 1-7-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

President-elect Barack Obama will hold a press conference this morning - he will be discussing the need for fiscal restraint in addition to the massive stimulus program that is needed to get the economy back on track. He is expected to also name a new White House position, the chief performance officer. This position would help to set performance standards for government agencies which would hold managers accountable. has more here. Those of us who live in Maryland, have seen a similar system put in place by Governor Martin O'Malley.

Obama will also have lunch today at the White House today with President George W. Bush, and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.


Blagojevich pick of Burris to fill vacant Illinois Obama Senate seat may stand - the initial move by Senate Democratic Leaders to block the swearing in of Burris yesterday may be losing support. has more here. It is unfortunate that a Governor who has been arrested picked Mr. Burris but there has been no indictment by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who recently requested a 90 day extension before issuing an indictment. California Senator Diane Feinstein (D) also said yesterday that Burris should be seated. Today, Burris is meeting with democratic senate Leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). One rumor has it that if Burris would agree to serve the remaining two years of the term and not run for reelection in 2010, he would be seated. Looks like the pendulum is swinging and Burris may not have to agree to any compromise.


In Minnesota, Coleman files suit challenging the election - the state canvassing board certified Democrat Al Franken the winner by 225 votes over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. However, Minnesota law allows a candidate to file suit challenging the election within seven days of the certification. The Coleman campaign's move to file suit means the Senate seat will remain vacant until the suit is decided. It is anticipated it will take weeks and possibly months before an outcome. has more here.


Dr. Sanjay Gupta under consideration for U.S. Surgeon General - we know him as the medical correspondent for CNN. He is also a practicing neurosurgeon. His impressive medical experience along with his communication skills would make him a excellent pick for this position. Stay Tuned. has more here.


Conditions for the release of the additional 350 Billion TARP funds being negotiated - has more here. You may recall the first 350 Billion from the Trouble Assets relief Program went directly to financial institutions without any accountability. We still do not know how those funds were spent. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the head of the House Financial Services Committee has been negotiating terms for the release of the additional 350 Billion which would include more of what the plan initially called for including relief on foreclosures. Also requiring more loans to be made available and to restrict bonuses to executives.


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