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Obama Resigns from the Senate

November 13, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

His resignation will be effective on Sunday. His office released the following statement this afternoon (via email): >"It has been one of the highest honors and privileges of my life to have served the people of Illinois in the United States Senate. In a state that represents the crossroads of a nation, I have met so many men and women who've taken different journeys, but hold common hopes for their children's future. It is these Illinois families and their stories that will stay with me ...

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Health Care Reform is On

November 12, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

In a sign that a major health care reform is coming in 2009, on Wednesday Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, released a healthcare reform blueprint that goes even further than what Barack Obama has proposed. Like Obama's proposal, Baucus' plan would set up a competitive market pitting private and public insurance options against each other and require insurance companies to provide coverage to everyone, regardless of previous or pre-existing conditions. But while Obama's plan would require mandatory health insurance for children only, Baucus' plan would guarantee health insurance for all Americans.

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Unemployment Numbers

November 7, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Some worse-than-expected economic news out this morning (NYT): >The American economy lost another 240,000 jobs in October, the government reported Friday, as cash-strapped consumers pulled back sharply and businesses hunkered down, intensifying the distress gripping much of the country. > >The unemployment rate spiked to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent, the highest level since 1994. Many analysts now expect unemployment will reach 8 percent by the middle of the year. Via the Bureau of Labor ...

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The Gatekeeper of the Senate

November 7, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Over at the American Prospect, Ezra Klein has an excellent profile of one of the most influential members of the Senate - the man that will control legislative action on Barack Obama's healthcare reform - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). The main takeaway from the article, I think, is that Baucus will be really good at getting Obama's policy priorities passed through Congress, but he'll be more than willing to water them down and lard them up in the process. Here's w...

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Dear Mr. President-Elect

November 6, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

The Sunlight Foundation today sent an open letter to the Obama administration with tons of great advise on "how to undo the culture of secrecy and transform the presidential administration into a transparent operation." I really hope the transition team is paying attention to this....

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No Decision Yet on Lieberman

November 6, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Senator Joe Lieberman is an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. In the 110th Congress, the was given chairmanship of the prestigious Homeland Security Committee. But for the past year or so he's been John McCain's attack dog, going as far as to accuse Barack Obama of voting to cut troop funding in a keynote speech at the Republican National Convention. Today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Lieberman to discuss his future and released this statement after: >Today Sena...

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One Last Round With President Bush

November 5, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

The country may have already picked a new President, but Congress is still going to have to deal with George Bush if they are going to pass a new economic stimulus package before January. House Democrats have tentatively scheduled Congress to return for a special lame-duck session the week of November 16th to try and pass a $100 billion stimulus package and get it signed into law by President Bush. But striking a deal with Bush in the lame duck session is going to be difficult.

The Bush Administration has indicated that they would prefer to leave the $700 Wall Street bailout as their last and final legislative accomplishment.

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Get Out and VOTE!

November 3, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

Election day 2008 is officially here. Today, Tuesday, November 4th, is the day to get out and vote. We've heard some reports of malicious voter misinformation campaigns that are trying to tell people that the voting date has been changed. If you hear this, do not believe it. Election day is today, Tuesday, November 4th.

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