political appointment

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Today's Supreme Court Case May Reverberate 'Centuries'

Justices consider Obama's recess appointments; weighty decisions loom this term

(Newser) - The Supreme Court isn't taking on a lot of cases over the next 100 days—in fact, this March, it will review just half its usual caseload, the Washington Post reports. But the cases it is examining are big ones. Today, for instance, the court is considering just when... More »

Ethics Panel Slaps Burris on the Wrist

'Letter of admonition' cites fibs surrounding Blagojevich

(Newser) - The Senate Ethics Committee today issued a “public letter of qualified admonition,” its gentlest censure, to Roland Burris. The Illinois Democrat had been required to come clean about his dealings with then-governor Rod Blagojevich before his appointment to replace Barack Obama, which he did—before amending his testimony.... More »

Hey, Kennedys! 'Enough With the Entitlement'

Dukakis would have been a better choice for Mass. and Patrick

(Newser) - Ted Kennedy’s seat “is not a Kennedy seat anymore.” His wife could have run. Or his nephew Joe. They chose not to. So why did Massachusetts' governor bow to the wishes of a now-defunct dynasty when choosing a replacement for the late senator? “Enough, finally, with... More »

Crist Names Aide to Senate

LeMieux is the Florida governor's former chief of staff

(Newser) - Florida Governor Charlie Crist has appointed his former campaign manager and chief of staff to fill the Senate seat of Mel Martinez, MSNBC reports. George LeMieux will represent the state until next year's election, when Crist himself will vie for the GOP nod. “George is bright, capable, and an... More »

Fox Lashes Health Pick as as 'Too Fat to Serve'

(Newser) - Fox News ripped into President Obama's choice for surgeon general yesterday for being too fat for the job. "Enough fat for my next guest to say 'fat chance' for Dr. Regina Benjamin to even be considered," said host Neil Cavuto. The guest? Not a public health expert or... More »

Obama Lacks Health Team as Swine Flu Spreads

Terrorism pros handle health crisis

(Newser) - With key health posts in the Obama administration still vacant, the swine flu outbreak is being handled by a counter-terrorism specialist and a former governor, Politico reports. The administration still lacks a surgeon general and chiefs for the Food and Drug Administraion and Centers for Disease Control, and needs to... More »

New Solicitor General in Line for High Court

Center-left lawyer will work closely with Supremes

(Newser) - Elena Kagan became America's first female solicitor general yesterday, putting her one step closer to a possible Supreme Court nomination, the AP reports. As the so-called "10th Supreme Court justice," Kagan will effectively audition for the high court if she argues a Voting Rights Act case next... More »

Obama's Agenda Dwarfs His Staff

President's team stretched thin despite flurry of appointments

(Newser) - President Obama is filling government jobs more quickly than his predecessors, but there's so much going on that his team is still stretched thin, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama is juggling the economic crisis, stimulus package, and two wars, all with just 43 confirmed aides. "No one since... More »

Bribery Sting Nets Employee of Obama Tech Appointee

Vivek Kundra not linked to DC investigation: FBI

(Newser) - FBI agents raided the office of the District of Columbia’s chief technology officer today as part of a federal bribery investigation, WTOP-AM reports. The FBI arrested an employee of the agency and a private contractor who has received several hundred thousand dollars in city contracts. Vivek Kundra, President Obama’... More »

Obama's Clinton Retreads Followed Voters Leftward

Seemingly centrist appointments have not produced a centrist government, Douthat writes

(Newser) - When Barack Obama announced his Cabinet appointments, conservatives and liberals alike looked at the numerous Clinton veterans and wondered if Obama the president would be much more centrist than Obama the candidate. Now, “Obama is proposing the most thoroughgoing transformation of domestic policy offered by any President since Reagan,... More »

Gregg Flap Sheds Light on Perennial Census Battle

(Newser) - Judd Gregg’s flirtation with the top job at Commerce has brought the partisan battle over the US Census to the fore with just a year to go before before the official count, the New York Times reports. Most Americans may not think of the census as a political tool,... More »

Bush Faithful Rewarded With Plum Jobs

No crony left behind in last-minute appointments

(Newser) - The Bush presidency lives on through more than 100 end-of-term appointments to a wide range of presidential panels, the Washington Post reports. The positions, many of which will outlast his successor's current term, have gone to George Bush's aides and political donors. Most are unpaid, although four top aides snagged... More »

Oprah: 'I Could Be Senator, I'm Just Not Interested'

Winfrey 'amused' that Blago considered her

(Newser) - Oprah was “amused” by the news that Rod Blagojevich had considered naming her to Obama’s Senate seat—but would not have been interested, ABC News reports. “Absolutely not,” Winfrey said in an interview this morning, citing the demands of managing her media empire. “I think... More »

Gillibrand New Favorite for Clinton Seat

(Newser) - Gov. Paterson says he'll name Hillary Clinton's replacement for the Senate tomorrow, and strong signs point to Albany-area Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, the Times Union reports. Given the recent carnival regarding the seat, it's probably best to hold off wagering, but two confidential sources say the Democrat will be named, and... More »

Ill. Court Clears Burris' Path to DC

Blago pick to replace Obama doesn't need secretary of state's signature

(Newser) - The Illinois Supreme Court ruled today that the secretary of state’s signature was not necessary on Roland Burris’ US Senate credentials, Reuters reports. The move effectively validates Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s choice to fill Barack Obama’s seat, and puts the issue back to the Senate. Lawmakers there said... More »

Presumptuous? Caroline Is Aiming Low

Senate would be lucky to have her 'smart, cultivated' voice: Dowd

(Newser) - When John F Kennedy Jr founded George magazine, many upbraided him for not trading more valuably on his clan’s mystique. But when sister Caroline aims for a Senate seat, Maureen Dowd writes in the New York Times, she’s “blasted by a howl of ‘How dare she?’... More »

Sanjay Gupta Chosen for Surgeon General

(Newser) - CNN correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta is Barack Obama’s choice for surgeon general, and the doctor is expected to accept, the Washington Post reports. The two had a meeting in Chicago in November, where the president-elect noted that Gupta would be a very high-profile appointment and would have significant... More »

Panetta Tapped to Helm CIA

Former Clinton adviser has little intelligence experience

(Newser) - Barack Obama will name Leon Panetta, a former congressman and chief of staff to Bill Clinton, director of the CIA, the New York Times reports. Observers were split on the choice of Panetta, who is well-respected for his Beltway savvy but has no specific intelligence experience. Panetta will report to... More »

Senate Clerk Rejects Burris Paperwork

But former AG says he's confident his appointment is legal

(Newser) - The secretary of the Senate blocked the appointment of Roland Burris to Barack Obama's former seat today on the grounds that Burris’ certificate of appointment lacked the signature of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, CNN reports. White has refused to sign the certificate because of the controversy over Burris’... More »

Va. Guv Kaine to Lead DNC

Longtime Obama friend will become voice of the new administration

(Newser) - Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine will take the top post at the Democratic National Committee later this month, the Washington Post reports. With a year left in the governor’s office, Kaine will juggle his gubernatorial responsibilities with his new role as the voice for the Obama administration. Kaine has gotten... More »

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