Sunday, January 04, 2009

Choked-up Obama leaves Chicago - Chicago Breaking News

More at Chicago Breaking News: “Like many Americans, Barack Obama spent today getting things organized so he could head back to work after an extended holiday vacation.

But the president-elect's departure from Chicago's Midway Airport for a flight to Andrews Air Force Base brought with it some emotion, as he left behind an empty home and the city most associated with his historic political rise.

"I gotta say I choked up a little bit leaving my house today," he told reporters aboard a military aircraft that transported him to Washington.”

Israeli Women Againist Muslim Protesters in Chicago

Gov. Bill Richardson Steps Down As Obama's Commerce Secretary Designate

This breaking news, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson annouced he was stepping down as President-Elect Barack Obama's Commerce Secretary Designate.  The reason given by the Washington Post is that in light of the matter of the Blagojevich Scandal, Richardson reconsidered the importance of an alledged "pay-to-play" investigation in New Mexico.  I learned the news from this email:

Richardson to withdraw as Commerce secretary
New Mexico governor cites pending investigation of business dealings
NBC News
updated 10:56 a.m. PT, Sun., Jan. 4, 2009
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact," he said Sunday in a report by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell. "But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process."

A federal grand jury is investigating how a California company that contributed to Richardson's political activities won a lucrative New Mexico state contract.

A person familiar with the proceedings has told The Associated Press that the grand jury is looking into possible "pay-to-play" dealings between CDR Financial Products and someone in a position to push the contract through with the state of New Mexico.

Richardson said he plans to continue in his role as governor. "I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country."

Obama said Sunday he accepted Richardson's decision to withdraw with 'deep regret.'

"Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office," Obama said.

Richardson, 61, was United Nations ambassador and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, and he is in his second term as New Mexico's governor. He also served seven terms in the House of Representatives.

If he had been confirmed by the Senate as secretary of Commerce, he would have taken over a sprawling department that oversees the National Weather Service, the Census Bureau, economic development programs and more.

One of the nation's most prominent Hispanic politicians, Richardson had pledged at the time of his nomination -- in English and Spanish -- to work to renew the economy.

Obama on Sunday gave no indication whom he might name to replace Richardson as the nominee but said "we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision."

My take is it's better this happened now rather than go forward into what could be an embarassing Senate confirmation battle.  Now, the question is who should Obama select to take Richardson's place.  I think that person should be more of an economic technocrat than a politician.  More later.  

What Israel doesn't want you to see - video

I found this video by YouTuber "Orgueluse" who reports:

"This video clip was taken with a mobile camera immediately after a terrorist Israeli air strike hit a busy market where kids with their mothers and fathers were searching for food to eat from one of the local markets early on Saturday 03, Jan 2009, Gaza.

As you will see, there are no words to describe the terror of the Jewish state of Israhell. This is why Israel is continuously refusing to allow foreign correspondence and reporters from entering Gaza.
Please spread the video widely. Let the world see what their news TV channels won't show about reality of Israel. (YouTube deleted the video minutes after it was uploaded, but it is worth trying again)."

-- I'm a supporter of Israel, but not in this case. The strikes are horrible and on a massive scale. It's as if they're trying to exterminate the culture. I hope YouTube does not remove this video. People need to see it.