Archive for the ‘Dianne Feinstein’ Category

New Congress Day 1: Where’s Rahm Emanuel?

January 6, 2009

When Barack Obama picked Rahm Emanuel to be his White House Chief of Staff, we were promised better, smoother relations with the Congress.

Today, the President-elect and Vice President-elect both had to phone a Senator who was miffed at a soon-to-be Executive Branch announcement, or as it a leak?

“I have been contacted by both President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, and they have explained to me the reasons why they believe Leon Panetta is the best candidate for CIA Director,” Feinstein said.

No matter.  Those phone calls were unnecessary and could have been avoided with one phone call from Emanuel to Senator Dianne Feinstein to avoid hurt feelings — yesterday.

Also at the Senate today, Democrat Harry Reid barred admittance to Democratically appointed Mr. Roland Burris in a scene called a “circus” by CNN.  Never mind that Emanuel, Obama, Burris and the Governor who made the appointment, Rob Blagoyevich, are all Democrats from Illinois.

You’d think the 24-hour news cycle could have done without news that Dianne Feinstein was not totally thrilled at the Leon Panetta nomination and that Roland Burris had to cool his heels outside the United States Senate.

Banana Republics act this way.  We have come to expect more from Team Obama.  But today was either just an ugly day for Team Obama and especially Leon Panetta or a sign that the honeymoon can’t last.

Let’s hope Rahm Emanuael wakes up before the mistakes really count….

In this Nov. 18, 2008 file photo, Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff ... 
In this Nov. 18, 2008 file photo, Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Even Democrats Cool To Obama’s CIA Pick

January 6, 2009

After his first idea for the CIA was flogged by liberal bloggers, President-elect Obama picked Leon Panetta to head the nation’s top spy agency.

But former CIA agents and Congressional Democrats are not thrilled with this choice either….

CIA: At Least One Obama Nominee Idea Derailed
 Obama’s CIA Pick from “Left Field” Agents Say; President-Elect Wants It That Way

By Eli Lake
The Washington Times

President-elect Barack Obama‘s reported choice of Leon Panetta, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, to head the Central Intelligence Agency has provoked sharp criticism from senior Democrats whom the White House will need to gain his confirmation.

The Obama transition team did not return phone calls seeking comment on the nomination, which was confirmed by other Democrats and intelligence officials.

But the incoming chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein – like Mr. Panetta, a California Democrat – issued a statement saying “my position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

US president-elect Barack Obama has chosen former lawmaker and ... 

An aide to the current chairman of the committee, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat, said his boss had similar concerns.

“He believes the director of the CIA needs to have significant intelligence experience,” the aide said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “He has also had the long-held belief that the director of the CIA and senior intelligence officials in general need to not be from the political world.”

The criticism over the choice of Mr. Panetta follows nearly universal praise for Mr. Obama’s earlier major appointments and highlights the president-elect’s first bumpy patch.

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From Politico:

Spencer Ackerman gets a statement from Dianne Feinstein’s office:

“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director. I know nothing about this, other than what I’ve read,” said Senator Feinstein, who will chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the 111th Congress.

“My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

That seems to reflect the view inside the CIA, and suggests a tough confirmation hearing.

Dianne Feinstein

Speaking at Obama’s Swearing-In: Pro-Life, Anti-Gay Pastor Rick Warren

December 18, 2008
Prop. 8 supporter Rick Warren of Saddleback Church will give the inaugural invocation, a choice that angers gay rights activists.
Paloma Esquivel
The Los Angeles Times
December 18, 2008
Nationally known author and pastor Rick Warren has accepted an offer to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural swearing-in ceremony, drawing fury from gay rights activists and opponents of Proposition 8.

Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, accepted the invitation to participate in the ceremony within the last few days, said Kristin Cole, a spokeswoman for the 20,000-member, four-campus mega-church. According to a program released by the Joint Inaugural Committee, Warren will give the invocation immediately after opening remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California).
Earlier this year, as the debate over same-sex marriage raged in California, Warren publicly endorsed Proposition 8, which amends the state Constitution to declare that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Since the proposition passed in November, hundreds of protesters have gathered near his Orange County church to condemn the stance.

Obama To Gays: Pastor Rick Warren Will Help Us All “Come Together”

Barack Obama and Rick Warren: Odder Than a Three Dollar Bill 

Gay Leaders Furious with Obama Over Rick Warren

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Obama, inauguration, Paston Rick Warren 
Above: Barack Obama with pastor rick Warren.  Photo:  Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times


From the Body File:
(Christian Broadcasting Network)

Pro-Lifer Rick Warren At Obama Swearing-In, Will Speak

Pro-life pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. It makes a whole lot of sense. Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues. This move is also classic Obama because it is a signal to religious conservatives that he’s willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that.

The benediction will be led by Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. The Civil Rights leader seems to be the perfect pick on such an historic day in this nation’s history. …

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