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Video: Obama Weekly Address (1-24-09) January 25, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Economy, News, Obama, Video, Weekly Address.
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In his first weekly address since being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, President Barack Obama discusses how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will jump-start the economy.

“This is not just a short-term program to boost employment,” he said. “It’s one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century.”

The Administration is still working with Congress to refine the plan, but in the address, President Obama lays out the key priorities. He goes into detail, noting that the plan will update our electric grid by laying more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines; weatherize 2.5 million homes; protect health insurance for more than 8 million Americans in danger of losing their coverage; secure 90 major ports; renovate 10,000 schools; and triple the number of science fellowships.

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Courtesy Whitehouse.gov

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Coleman packs, vows to continue legal fight for Senate seat January 22, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Law, News, Politics.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Norm Coleman began packing his Capitol Hill office Wednesday, but said he has no intention of giving up his legal fight to serve another term in Congress.

Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, trails Democrat Al Franken by 225 votes. But in an interview with CNN, Coleman claimed Franken’s lead was “artificial” and expressed hope that the Minnesota courts will rule in his favor on ballot disputes when a court hearing begins next week.

“I really do have a sense of confidence that this will work itself out the right away,” Coleman said.

Franken, the comedian-turned liberal talk show host, was also on Capitol Hill on Wednesday meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, “to discuss the legislative agenda, especially the economic stimulus” plan, a Reid spokesman said.

Back in Minnesota, lawyers for the two men met with a three-judge panel in the afternoon.

Franken attorney David Burman argued the court may not have proper jurisdiction to hear Coleman’s case. Coleman attorney Jim Langdon said it does.

Team Coleman has maintained there are issues at hand only the court can resolve, such as the notion of ballots that might have been double counted and rejected absentee ballots that might have been excluded in error.

-Article continued @ Sourced Site.

Related:  Reid: ‘We are going to try and Seat Franken’.

Obama re-takes oath of office January 22, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Democracy, Law, News, Obama, Politics.
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Courtesy Salon:

Sometimes, even presidents — and chief justices of the Supreme Court — need to take the occasional mulligan. Wednesday evening, Barack Obama was sworn in as president again, and this time he and Chief Justice John Roberts got it right.

On Tuesday, Obama, following Roberts’ lead, had said, “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully” instead of “do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.”

“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the President was sworn in appropriately yesterday,” new White House Counsel Greg Craig said in a statement. “But the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”

A pool reporter was present for the swearing-in. According to the pool report, as Roberts prepared, Obama joked, “We decided it was so much fun…” and later told the chief justice, “We’re going to do this 

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Coleman camp devises 5-stage challenge to Franken’s numbers January 15, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Law, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy StarTribune:

Minnesotans finding diversion from winter in the tumultuous U.S. Senate race got indications Wednesday that the battle could rage until spring, unless Republican Norm Coleman sees his hopes flagging.

In the first sign that Coleman might cut short his challenge of the Senate recount, his campaign proposed that his lawsuit be conducted in stages. The proceedings would continue through all the stages only if he gains enough votes to show he could emerge the winner.

In a court filing, Coleman’s lawyers suggested that the trial’s first phase begin Feb. 9. The campaign downplayed the significance of the announcement and did not elaborate on how many votes Coleman would have to gain during each stage in order to proceed.

In another development Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court said it would not hear arguments until Feb. 5 on Democrat Al Franken’s request to be certified the winner so he could be seated in the Senate. The Coleman campaign characterized the decision as evidence that the high court was in no hurry to enable Franken to be seated. “The wheels are coming off the Franken campaign’s ‘victory train,'” said Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak.

Franken had begun the week by asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to issue him an election certificate, in light of the 225-vote lead he held after the state Canvassing Board certified the recount results on Jan. 5. When they both declined, citing Coleman’s pending legal challenge, Franken’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court to decide the issue.

In its filing discussing how Coleman’s election challenge might proceed, his campaign proposed a trial schedule that would have five stages, with the final stage beginning Feb. 23. The campaign also called for a potential sweeping reexamination of virtually every ballot cast in the Nov. 4 election.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Another blow for Republicans as senator announces retirement January 13, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Economy, News, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Rawsstory/AFP:

The beleaguered US Republican Party, reeling from big losses to Democrats and about to relinquish the White House, took another blow on Monday, when a key Ohio senator announced his retirement.

Veteran Senator George Voinovich said he would not run for a third term when his seat comes up for reelection in 2010, leaving Republicans another tricky race in a state which voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president.

Given the fierce challenges facing the United States, including the deep economic crisis, Voinovich said he could best serve his state by devoting himself to the Senate rather than campaigning and fundraising.

“In my lifetime of public service, I have never seen the country in such perilous circumstances, Voinovich said in a statement.

“Not since the Great Depression and the Second World War have we been confronted with such challenges, as a nation and as a world.

“These next two years in office, for me, will be the most important years that I have served in my entire political career,” said Voinovich, a former mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio.

-Article Continued @ Sourced Site.

Calif. man charged for threatening Obama’s life over Yahoo January 10, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Domestic Terrorism, Law, News, Obama, Politics.
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Nearly three months after telling a Yahoo message board that Barack Obama will “have a 50 cal in the head soon,” a California man was charged Thursday with threatening a presidential candidate.

After raiding Walter Edward Bagdasarian’s home in November, U.S. Secret Service agents found three handguns and three rifles, including a 30.06 with a telescopic sight and a Remington .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle.

The 47-year-old man is not accused of actually plotting against Obama, and he was released last month on a $100,000 real estate bond, according toWired.

The message board post in question, which appeared on Oct. 22, about two weeks before the election, was titled “Shoot the nig.”

“County fkd for another 4+ years, what nig has done ANYTHING right???? Long term???? Never in history, except sambos… Fk the niggar, he will have a 50 cal in the head soon,” the message concluded. Bagdasarian reportedly admitted authoring the message during an interview with Secret Service agents. 

Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

The Rise of Dynastic Politics January 9, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Democracy, Politics.
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Courtesy Salom:

Last month, when the possibility first arose that Caroline Kennedy (or Andrew Cuomo) would be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, I wrote about how prevalent dynastic succession is in our political system.  Though I was aware anecdotally of what a problem this has become, I was actually surprised, as I wrote that, by how high the number really is of current members of Congress with immediate family members who previously occupied either their seat or some other high political office in their state.  In response, numerous commenters and emailers questioned whether dynastic succession, as commonplace as it now is, was just as common in the past or whether it’s an increasing trend — a question I couldn’t answer because I hadn’t performed, and wasn’t aware of, any empirical historical analysis of those issues.

 

 

Dr. Nathan Burroughs, a Ph.D. in Political Science who is currently with Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, has done extensive work studying dynastic politics.  His dissertation examined the systemic advantages dynastic candidates have enjoyed over the last several decades, and in response to my inquiries a month or so ago, he has now analyzed recent historic trends in Congress to determine whether there is now a notably higher percentage of dynastic office-holders than in the past.

-Article Continues with Audio Link @ Sourced Site.

Absentee Ballots Push Franken Lead to 225 Votes January 4, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Democrats, News, Politics, Voting.
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Courtesy FiveThirtyEight.com

Minnesota took until 5 PM today to begin actually counting rejected absentee ballots, as the Canvassing Board sorted through various legal objections, underwent the arduous task of physically opening more than 900 ballots, and then gave the campaigns a chance to review the back of the ballots for identifying marks. Once they finally got underway, however, with election officials calling out the names of the candidates one ballot at a time, Franken went on a long winning streak and essentially never looked back.

All told, Franken gained a net of 176 ballots from the 952 under review according to The Uptake’s unofficial count, putting him 225 votes ahead in the recount overall. Excluding disqualified ballots, Franken won 53.7 percent of the votes counted today, Coleman 34.1 percent, and other candidates 12.4 percent. Franken’s 225-vote advantage is now slightly larger than the one Norm Coleman held before the recount began, when he led by 215 votes based on the certified Election Night tally.

Although the absentee ballots were expected by all observers to help Franken’s prospects, the nearly 20-point margin that he ran up on Coleman today was surprisingly large; two pre-election polls that surveyed absentee voters had Franken winning that group by 8 points and 12 points, respectively. (n.b. Originally missed the Research 2000 poll on this — nrs). It should also be remembered, however, that the Democrats made a large nationwide push for early and absentee voters this year, with Barack Obama overperforming by as many as 20-30 points among those voters in certain states.

The other possibility, of course, is that the Franken campaign did a more effective job of using its veto power on absentee ballots, perhaps by taking better advantage of voter lists.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

MN Senate Race: Coleman Campaign Rejects Election Judge’s Ballot January 1, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Politics, Voting.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

With Al Franken holding onto a 49-vote lead in the Minnesota Senate recount, incumbent Republican Norm Coleman seems to be pulling out the stops in his attempt to keep as many likely Democratic absentee ballots as possible out of the tally. 

Election officials across the state are determining which absentee ballots were rejected improperly on Election Day, and both campaigns have to agree before a previously rejected ballot is counted. As theStar Tribune reports, Coleman rejected 59 of 60 ballots that were set aside in St. Louis County, which supported Franken. His decision to reject Shirly Graham’s ballot was particularly shocking.

“I’m an election judge,” Graham told the paper. “I expected to be the last person whose ballot wouldn’t be counted.”

Graham, who actually voted for Coleman, said she would consider going to court to have her ballot included. Coleman’s campaign argued that the ballot was invalid because the date next to Graham’s signature did not match the date next to the witness who also signed the ballot. 

As Nate Silver notes, the ballot decision may demonstrate that Franken’s campaign should perhaps be concerned about the events in St. Louis County.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

 

Trooper Says Election Delayed Alaska Drug Case December 27, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Corruption, Law, Palin, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy The Washington Post:

WASILLA, Alaska — The mother of Bristol Palin‘s boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman’s mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to court documents filed this week.

An affidavit from an Alaska state trooper, filed Monday, states that Sherry L. Johnston referred in her messages to two police informants to “coffee” as a code for the drug OxyContin.

Johnston, 42, was arrested on felony drug charges last week after state troopers served a search warrant at her Wasilla home. She allegedly sold OxyContin tablets to the informants on three occasions this fall, the affidavit states. Police said two of the meetings were recorded by a hidden camera and a microphone.

 

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.