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Politics and Media Headlines 1/13/09

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Our Little Shop of Horrors (by Pat Racimora at No Quarter)
For all of our sakes, all I can say is “Let’s wish him luck.”

On Sunday, Obama told George Stephanopoulos that closing Gitmo would be difficult; yesterday two anonymous advisers told the AP that an order to close the base will be signed soon after he takes office.
Advisers say Obama preparing to close Gitmo
WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order his first week in office — and perhaps his first day — to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to two presidential transition team advisers.
But as J-SOM at Liberal Rapture points out, “Of course, we'll see. I suspect that the ‘order’ is the point - and actually closing Gitmo will never quite occur… If Gitmo IS closed in short order I'll post a complimentary retraction of this post. Until then PEBO has earned our suspicion.”—Caro

Last week, Obama unveiled a stimulus plan that included a controversial tax cut for business; yesterday a “senior advisor” on his team told the Washington Post that he’d be willing to forego that tax cut.
Obama Expected to Drop Business Tax Credit
(The Trail, Washington Post)
President-elect Barack Obama will address Senate Democrats at their weekly luncheon [Tuesday] and will field questions about the economic stimulus package and the financial rescue program, among other topics… On the stimulus, as a show of good faith as negotiations unfold, Obama is expected to drop his least popular proposal, a $3,000 tax credit for companies to create new jobs. Many Democrats have criticized the incentive, touted by Obama on the campaign trail, as ripe for abuse and of dubious merit. "We've always said we're open to other ideas. This was never set in stone," said a senior Obama adviser of the tax proposal and Obama's stimulus proposals in general.

Last month, Obama announced that an anti-women’s rights, anti-gay preacher would deliver the invocation for his inaugural, and a firestorm ensued; yesterday the Obama team announced that an openly gay Episcopal priest will give the invocation at the first inaugural function, a concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
Openly gay bishop V. Gene Robinson to deliver invocation at inaugural concert.
(Think Progress)
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church in New Hampshire and the first openly gay priest ordained by a major Christian denomination, has accepted the Obama team’s invitation to deliver the invocation at the inauguration concert held at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. The event is the first that Obama will attend that weekend. Robinson shared the disappointment of many progressives at Obama’s choice of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the swearing-in ceremony, saying that the right-wing pastor deserved “to be at the table” but not in such a prominent way.
I’ve never heard of an invocation at a concert, but hey, it’s a gesture.—Caro

A couple of weeks ago, Obama said the Senate shouldn’t seat Governor Blagojevich’s appointee to fill his seat; recently he seems to have reversed his objection. A good idea, since the appointment was perfectly legal.
Senate Democrats to swear in Burris this week
"He is now the senator-designate from Illinois and, as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a senator-elect," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said in a joint statement after Senate lawyers determined that Burris' paperwork met Senate requirements to be seated.
Maybe the four examples above are a start on showing us that Obama can change his mind and change course when pressured. We can certainly HOPE so. But it also means that we need to keep the pressure on. “Make him do it,” can be our mantra.—Caro

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Carolyn Kay

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