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Archive for December 19th, 2008

Obama team, Congress fleshing out stimulus bill


Dec 19, 7:56 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama’s team and congressional staff are scrambling to come up with details of a plan to pump up the droopy economy with $650 billion or more in government spending over the next few years.

The aides met in the basement of the Capitol on Friday to devise ways to pump public money into science, energy, education, health care and infrastructure programs, as well as to help the poor and unemployed.

They hope unleashing a torrent of spending in the near term will create jobs and lift the economy.

But the amounts of money under consideration are so enormous – larger than either the Pentagon’s annual budget or the entire domestic budget passed each year by Congress – that it’s likely to prove challenging to spend so much without wasting taxpayer dollars.

Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress want to enact the still-emerging plan as soon as possible after he takes office on Jan. 20. They hope to agree on an outline by Christmas, said a House Democratic leadership aide, who requested anonymity to discuss the ongoing talks.

The plan, which some Obama aides think could swell to about $850 billion after negotiations with Congress, would be the largest investment in public infrastructure since the federal highway system was established in the 1950s. It also would provide tens of billions in dollars of aid to financially strapped states.

MORE HERE

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Bing Crosby- It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

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To the Rescue: Bush to Give Low-Interest Loans to Carmakers

Obama Team Agrees to Bush’s Strategy

The White House has come to the rescue of beleaguered General Motors and Chrysler by providing them with $17.4 billion in low-interest loans, ABC News has learned.

“In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” President Bush said today. “It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession. And it would leave the next president to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office.”

The money for the loans will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Program fund, signed into law this fall to bail out the financial industry.

The Treasury Department will provide $13.4 billion in short-term financing in December and January and plans to make another $4 billion available in February, provided Congress allows the White House to reach into the second half of the $700 billion TARP fund.

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More Palin family trouble: Levi’s mom’s been arrested

WASILLA, Alaska — A 42-year-old Wasilla woman was arrested Thursday at her home by Alaska State Troopers with a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation. Sherry L. Johnston was charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and he was the father. Bristol Palin, 18, is due on Saturday, according to a recent interview with the governor’s father, Chuck Heath.

Troopers served the warrant at Johnston’s home at the “conclusion of an undercover narcotics investigation,” said a statement issued Thursday by the troopers as part of the normal daily summary of activity around the state.

Troopers charged Johnston with second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance — generally manufacturing or delivering drugs — as well as fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, or possession.

Read the full story at adn.com

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As Salt Lake FBI chief in January 1958, Mark Felt shows off his skills with a pistol.

As Salt Lake FBI chief in January 1958, Mark Felt shows off his skills with a pistol.

‘DEEP THROAT’ DIES: Watergate’s Mark Felt Was 95 (VIDEO) (SLIDESHOW)

The Huffington Post |  Nico Pitney   |   December 19, 2008 12:22 AM

SCROLL DOWN FOR SLIDESHOW AND VIDEO

“Mark Felt, the man who helped bring down President Richard Nixon as the infamous ‘Deep Throat‘ for investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, died at his Santa Rosa home Thursday afternoon surrounded by family,” the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

Felt, 95, suffered from congestive heart failure but the immediate cause of death was not known Thursday night.

“He was an important person for the history of our nation, but also such a gem and such a treasure to our family,” said his grandson, Nick Jones, who confirmed the death. “He was a great man.” […]

In 2005, more than 30 years after his whistle-blowing helped topple a presidency, Mark Felt, once a top FBI official, held a press conference on the front steps of his Santa Rosa home.

Felt, then 91, revealed that he was “Deep Throat,” the anonymous source who leaked information to Washington Post reporters about the Watergate scandal that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1972.

Felt’s role, but not his identity, was depicted in a 1974 book titled “All the President’s Men” by Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein, and in a subsequent movie of the same name released in 1976. […]

Felt, who lived in Alexandria, Va, after his 1973 resignation from the FBI, moved to Santa Rosa in 1991, and lived there with his daughter, Joan Felt, until his death.

VIDEOS, SLIDE SHOW AND MORE HERE

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