ThinkFast: November 12, 2008

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"ThinkFast: November 12, 2008"

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Yesterday, Obama transition chief John Podesta unveiled “the strictest, the most far-reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history.” “I’ve heard the other complaint, which is we’re leaving all this expertise on the side, because we’re leaving all the people who know everything out in the cold. And so be it,” Podesta said.

A new poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corp states that “59 percent of those questioned said Democratic control of both the executive and legislative branches will be good for the country.” Furthermore, 62 percent said they have a “favorable opinion” of the Democratic party, while 54 percent said they have “an unfavorable view of the GOP.”

80 percent: “African-Americans questioned in [the] CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey [who] said that Obama’s election was a dream come true,” compared with 28 percent of whites who shared that sentiment. Seventy-one percent of African-Americans also said “they never thought a black candidate for president would get elected in their lifetime.”

“President-elect Obama has hired former Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sam Nunn to help shepherd his Pentagon transition.”

Just days after right-wing blogger John Hinderaker counseled Barack Obama to be as careful with his words as George W. Bush, the President said he “regrets saying some things I shouldn’t have said.” Bush added, “My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say.”

About 30 percent — or 90,000 — of the Alaska votes that will decide the fate of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) haven’t been counted. Stevens leads Democrat Mark Begich by 3,257 votes.

A number of influential congressional Democrats oppose keeping Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and CIA Director Michael V. Hayden in their posts because both have publicly supported controversial Bush administration policies on interrogation and telephone surveillance.” Though these Democrats say a “consensus” has been formed about the matter, Obama transition officials say no decision has been made.

Yesterday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined other top Democrats in saying that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) should remain in their caucus. “Despite what Sen. Lieberman did in campaigning for Sen. McCain, speaking at the Republican convention, he has voted with the Democrats an overwhelming percentage of the time,” Durbin said. More here on why Lieberman is not a progressive.

On Friday, the leaders of 19 nations will meet in Washington for an “emergency economic summit,” but despite being invited, President-elect Barack Obama will not be in attendance and “will not meet and of the leaders separately.” Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs explained, “We firmly believe there is only one president at a time.”

And finally: Sweet nibblets! Malia and Sasha Obama may get the chance to appear on “Hannah Montana.” The stars of the popular Disney show, Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley, have made it clear that there is an open invitation to the girls to appear as guests whenever they would like. The two Obama girls have expressed interest in entering showbiz one day, and Cyrus has said that they are “kind of like me before I started my own career. You are kind of put in it because [of] their dad and because of my dad.”

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