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Biden Will Lead Charge on Gun Control

Obama calls meeting of Cabinet to seek 'broader approach'

(Newser) - President Obama has taken his first steps to reducing gun violence, charging his Cabinet in a meeting yesterday with formulating proposals toward that end, and tapping longtime gun-control advocate Joe Biden to lead the effort, sources tell the Washington Post , adding that an assault rifle ban is definitely on the... More »

Obama Plans Drastic Cabinet Shake-Up

Clinton, Geithner, Panetta, Holder all could be gone

(Newser) - After a first term almost devoid of Cabinet shakeups, President Obama is now working on plans to replace virtually his entire team. Hillary Clinton and Tim Geithner have both publicly announced their exits, but Leon Panetta, Eric Holder, Ray LaHood, Steven Chu, Ken Salazaar, and Lisa Jackson are all expected... More »

Obama Cabinet's Transparency Grade: F

Bloomberg: 19 of 20 departments don't comply with 'FOIA' rules

(Newser) - While the Obama administration assails Mitt Romney for keeping his tax returns quiet, it seems the White House has some transparency flaws of its own. Entering office, President Obama called for "a new era of open government." Bloomberg put this to the test by requesting documents from agencies... More »

Angry Holder, Axelrod 'Had to Be Separated'

Author Daniel Klaidman dishes on 2009 Cabinet dust-up

(Newser) - Eric Holder and David Axelrod went toe to toe in a heated cabinet meeting that almost got physical, according to a new book on Obama's presidency. Holder, the attorney general, became "incensed" when the Obama adviser accused him of griping publicly about White House interference, the Telegraph reports.... More »

Greece Names New Cabinet

Evangelos Venizelos keeps finance minister post

(Newser) - Greece's new cabinet has been named, with Evangelos Venizelos retaining the key position of finance minister. The new coalition government, formed today, includes ministers from the country's two main parties—the Socialists who have governed for the past two years, and the conservatives—along with some from a... More »

Syria's Cabinet Resigns Amid Unrest

President Bashar Assad expected to lift emergency law

(Newser) - Syria's Cabinet has stepped down, and President Bashar Assad accepted the resignation following a meeting today, according to state-run television. It's the latest concession by the government aimed at appeasing more than a week of mass protests. Assad is expected to address the nation in the next 24 hours to... More »

Iraq Confirms New Government

Women protest heavily male nominations

(Newser) - Iraqi legislators ended 9 months of political deadlock today, unanimously approving a new government under incumbent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, the AP reports. A March parliamentary election had left the country’s political future unclear; today, lawmakers chose 29 ministers to form a government, with acting ministers making up rest... More »

Afghan Lawmakers Diss Karzai on Cabinet—Again

For the second week in a row, many of his picks are rejected

(Newser) - Afghanistan's parliament today rejected more than half of President Karzai's second list of Cabinet nominees—including two of three women—dealing him a fresh political blow as his government struggles to face the growing Taliban threat. Two weeks ago, parliament rejected 70% of Karzai's picks. The rejections leave his government... More »

Bush Cabinet Member in Criminal Inquiry

Interior secretary gave Shell big contracts, then took job with firm

(Newser) - The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether Gale Norton illegally used her power as secretary of the Interior to obtain three oil contracts for Royal Dutch Shell—which only months later hired her as a legal counsel. The 2006 decision to award Shell leases on oil-rich federal... More »

Sanford Says He Won't Resign, Cites Bible

Compares himself to David, who 'fell mightily,' in apology

(Newser) - Gov. Mark Sanford apologized today to his South Carolina cabinet, the State reports, but said he wouldn’t resign and compared himself to the Biblical David. David “fell mightily, he fell in very significant ways, but was able to pick up the pieces,” said the Republican, adding that... More »

Obama's Slow Vetting Leaves Agencies Empty, Stymied

Treas. secretary swamped with little help amid crisis

(Newser) - The Obama administration’s painstaking vetting of nominees for important positions has left many lower-level posts unfilled at a time of crisis, NPR reports. Some agencies lack appointees below Cabinet level—meaning, for example, that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is swamped as “pretty much the only Obama appointee with... More »

Vetting Process Leaves Agencies Understaffed

Stimulus increases workload, but senior posts vacant

(Newser) - President Obama’s nominee vetting process is making it hard for federal agencies to get to work on new projects, the Boston Globe reports. Of about 500 senior positions, only 70 have been filled. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but the passage of the stimulus package “may... More »

Sebelius Mum on HHS Post

Kansas gov says she's had no meetings on joining the Obama Cabinet

(Newser) - Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, mentioned as a top candidate for health secretary, said today she has not talked with President Barack Obama about joining his Cabinet. "There really isn't anything to tell. I haven't had any meetings about the position," Sebelius, 60, said in an interview with the... More »

Netanyahu to Form Israeli Government

LIvni averse to power-sharing propositions

(Newser) - Right-of-center Benjamin Netanyahu has been asked to form Israel’s new government, despite President Shimon Peres’s initial hopes that  Netanyahu would share power with centrist Tzipi Livni, who was the top vote-getter in the election last week. Livni said she would prefer to head the opposition, the BBC reports.... More »

Clinton the Campaigner Moves to State—for Good or Ill

(Newser) - As Hillary Clinton takes over the State Department, it's worth remembering that her train-wreck presidential campaign followed an "audacious 2000 run for Senate" and an excellent record as a legislator, Michael Crowley writes for the New Republic. "The question—not only for Hillary's legacy but for US... More »

Obama Campaign Advisers Left Out in the Cold

Members of foreign policy team passed over for more center-right candidates

(Newser) - Prominent advisers to presidential candidates can usually count on having their pick of administration jobs after the campaign. Not so with candidate Obama's foreign policy team, most of whom shaded to the left, the LA Times reports. It stems from the president's decision to give the three top national security... More »

What's the Fallout from Daschle's Withdrawal?

Major issues in the wake of Daschle's withdrawal

(Newser) - Tom Daschle gave up his nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary, raising a host of questions, Matthew Cooper writes at Talking Points Memo. Did an issue besides tax problems arise? Was the decision really Daschle’s, or the administration’s? Some other big issues:
  1. How many Obama nominees will
... More »

Daschle Withdraws Cabinet Bid

Tax flub claims another Obama nominee

(Newser) - Tom Daschle withdrew today from consideration for secretary of health and human services over controversial unpaid taxes, the Boston Globe reports. Daschle had retained the support of the Obama administration despite the flub, but quit seeking the post so as not to be a distraction, he said. President Obama regretfully... More »

Obama Mulls Republican for Commerce

Tapping NH's Gregg could give Democrats 60 seats in Senate

(Newser) - Democrats may get their 60-seat Senate majority after all. President Obama is considering New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg for the Commerce Secretary post Bill Richardson declined, sources tell Politico. New Hampshire’s Democratic governor would then get to appoint Gregg’s successor. Asked if he’d been offered the job,... More »

White House Ordered to Find Missing Emails

Judge issues last-minute bid to archive Iraq letters

(Newser) - As current White House employees pack their bags, a federal judge today ordered the president's executive office to find and properly archive missing e-mails written by senior Bush appointees. At issue are communications that date to the period between 2003 and 2005, specifically documents that relate to the invasion of... More »

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