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Wants late fix to stimulus plan
the caps inserted into the $787 billion Democrat-crafted stimulus Congress passed Friday are too restrictive and could be counterproductive, administration officials said on Sunday's political talk shows.
Mr Luo, speaking at the Global Association of Risk Management’s 10th Annual Risk Management Convention, said: “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?” he asked. “Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”
Mr Luo, whose English tends toward the colloquial, added: “We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion [$1,000bn-$2,000bn] . . .we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do.”
From an informative article at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ba857be6-f88f-11dd-aae8-000077b07658.html
Asked if she was disappointed in polls showing that voters strongly favor Cuomo and Kennedy, Maloney said, "Cuomo and Kennedy are very recognizable names from their family connections, the service of their fathers and others. Maloney is not a well-known name. My father was not a rich and famous person. I'm a hardworking woman."
.... Cuomo faked radio static when asked on TALK 1300 AM if he was interested in the Senate job. "I'm sorry we have a bad connection," he said.
By Peter Wallsten
The vast network that helped elect Obama will be tapped to lobby lawmakers on behalf of the president, with an eye toward reelection. A service organization as a nonprofit arm is also considered. ....
The organization, known internally as “Barack Obama 2.0,” is being designed to sustain a grass-roots network of millions that was mobilized last year to elect Obama and now is widely considered the country’s most potent political machine.
[ From a much longer article. - MN ]
Mr. Geithner employed a housekeeper whose immigration papers expired during her tenure with Mr. Geithner, currently president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The woman went on to get a green card to work legally in the country and federal immigration authorities didn’t press charges against her, these people said.
The second issue involved taxes due while Mr. Geithner worked for the International Monetary Fund between 2001 and 2004. As an employee, Mr. Geithner was technically considered self-employed and was required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for himself as both an employer and an employee.
By PATRICK YOEST
WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Clinton called for the use of “smart power” in her bid to become the next secretary of state, arguing Tuesday that the U.S. should engage hostile powers such as Iran and Syria and pursue partnerships with China and Russia. ....
A new Gallup Poll finds 65% of Americans saying they have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton, the highest rating for her in almost 10 years. ....
Since late 1999, Hillary Clinton’s favorable ratings have been around 50%, ranging from a low of 44% in March 2001 to a high of 58% in February 2007. ....
Interestingly, she has made nearly equal gains among Republicans (+12 points), independents (+9), and Democrats (+13), though Democrats continue to view her much more positively than Republicans.
More at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/113740/Senate-Hearings-Begin-Hillary-Clintons-Image-Soars.aspx
Hillary Clinton is to break the Obama team’s near- silence on the fighting in Gaza next week when she sets out her thinking on the Middle East and beyond.
During the past 10 years, the prospective secretary of state has marked herself out as a dependable ally of Israel. Last year, at the annual conference of Aipac, the pro-Israel group, she said she rejected negotiating with Hamas while it refused to recognise Israel.
Now, with fighting raging in Gaza, the world will be keenly watching her confirmation hearing on Tuesday for insights into her stance towards the region. Since Israel launched its attack two weeks ago other countries have taken the lead in seeking a ceasefire, while Barack Obama, the president-elect who takes office on January 20, has limited himself to vague generalities on the conflict.
CHICAGO – The Illinois Supreme Court says Secretary of State Jesse White doesn’t need to sign Roland Burris’ appointment to the U.S. Senate to make it valid.
The ruling says no Illinois official has to do anything further to validate the appointment made by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
By Viola Gienger and Indira A.R. Lakshmanan
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) — President-elect Barack Obama and his designated secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, will pull veteran [Clintion administration] negotiators back into the ranks and keep at least two top Bush administration officials as they prepare to confront conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
"[T]o the media, it's Caroline and the others. To me, it's there are 10 to 15 good candidates," said the governor [....]
"One thing that helps her is the tremendous attention that [the media gives] her works to her advantage. Maybe if [the media] didn't give her so much attention she wouldn't have it," Paterson said. He said certain people, such as Clinton, have an advantage "just because of who they are."
"So I would ask the question back, why [does the media] pay so much attention to her? She's just another person. So what? Her name is Kennedy? Why do you pay so much attention to her? I'm not reacting to what I think, I'm reacting to what I see," he said.
"But, on the other hand, her lack of elected experience does not help her, but the point is it's the combination of experiences I'll look at in terms of all the candidates, and also how balanced the ticket would look," Paterson added.
Roland Burris was denied entry to the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning, when the Secretary of the Senate said his credentials were not in order. [snip]
Roosevelt University policy studies professor Paul Green said there is no reason why Burris should not be seated. “One doesn’t know what’s going on, because legally, (Burris is) absolutely correct, and there should not be any debate; there should not be any discussion. Secretary of State White really has no function in this; the statute is clear. The governor makes the selection,” Green said. “I don’t know how you bar somebody from a sovereign state who was legally appointed not to go to the U.S. Senate – which, by the way, is not known for being the home of many vestal virgins – and all of a sudden you have everyone shocked, outraged by this process.”
Well written article continues at: http://cbs2chicago.com/politics/burris.senate.ceremony.2.900848.html
By Christian Lowe
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia sharply cut gas flows to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday in a dramatic worsening of a pricing dispute with Kiev that threatened to disrupt supplies as far west as Italy and Germany.
But most larger EU countries say they have large amounts of gas stockpiled after several mild winters, and have access to supplies from sources such as Norway and Algeria.
Long informative article at:
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has filed a motion seeking a 90-day extension to return of an indictment against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Federal prosecutors normally have 30 days to file an indictment against a defendant. That deadline would have been Jan. 7, and the extension would give prosecutors until April 7 instead. [....]
In the motion filed Wednesday, prosecutors ask for more time because ”multiple witnesses” have come forward in recent weeks and investigators have to review”thousands of intercepted phone calls.”
More at: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2008/12/31/us/AP-Illinois-Governor-Indictment.html?_r=1
By CARL HULSE - Published: December 29, 2008
In a coordinated effort, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leaders of the two chambers, called on Democrats to hold hearings on the emerging legislation and not schedule any votes on the bill until it had had at least a week of public review. [....]
Both he and Mr. Boehner were careful not to say they would oppose a measure that some economists have said is necessary to prevent an even deeper recession.