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Wednesday, Aug 31st

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Obama dismisses Bush Pentagon appointees

Despite keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the Pentagon, President-elect Obama’s transition team informed 90 Bush appointees their services will not be needed after Inauguration Day.

Scott Gration, a senior official on Obama’s transition team, called and emailed several of President Bush’s Pentagon appointees about 10 days ago to inform them they were being dismissed.

Out of roughly 250 political appointees, 90 were dismissed.

Traditionally political appointees resign at the end of a president’s term, leaving the new commander in chief to put his own team in place but with Gates staying in the top Pentagon job there was reason to believe many of his staff would also stay.

The Obama team noted that a majority of the political appointees will remain in place.

TVNL Comment: "The Obama team noted that a majority of the political appointees will remain in place." How is that for "change?"

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McKinney to Obama: “Say Something” About Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has called upon President-Elect Barack Obama to "please, say something about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced by the Palestinian people, by the people of Gaza." McKinney spoke to CNN news from the Lebanese city of Tyre, where she had debarked from the relief vessel Dignity after it was rammed on the high seas by an Israeli patrol boat, early Tuesday morning. Passengers also report the Israelis fired machine guns into the water near their ship.

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43 reasons we won't miss President Bush

The Bush family devised a simple, numerical means to distinguish between the presidencies of father and son: George H.W. Bush was called "41," and George W. Bush became "43." To mark the imminent - and merciful - end of 43's reign, here are 43 remembrances of the departing administration.

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Shhhh! As the world waits for Obama to voice his opinion on Gaza, America's President-elect hits the golf course

Barack Obama remained silent over the violence in Gaza as Israel today threatened to continue its attacks for weeks.

Instead, the President-elect is continuing his 12-day Christmas holiday in Hawaii and was seen enjoying a round of golf.

He joined a group of friends at a private club near his £6million rented, beach-front holiday home yesterday.

TVNL Comment: Meet the next George W. Bush.

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Obama should engage Hamas, former U.S. envoy says

The former U.S. special envoy to the Middle East said Tuesday that President-elect Barack Obama should engage with Hamas under certain conditions, and sooner rather than later.

Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni said if Obama hopes to forge a peace deal, he needs to do it at the beginning of his administration.

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Bush a catalyst in America's declining influence

As President Bush's term comes to a close, the United States has the world's largest economy and its most powerful military. Yet its global influence is in decline.

The United States emerged from the Cold War a solitary superpower whose political and economic leverage often enabled it to impose its will on others. Now, America usually needs to build alliances -- and often finds that other powers aren't willing to go along. In the 1990s, America exerted leadership in all the remote corners of the globe, from the southern cone of South America to Central Asia. Now, the United States has largely left the field in many regions, leaving others to step forward.

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Bush withdraws 1 of 19 pardons he issued Tuesday

President George W. Bush on Wednesday revoked a pardon he had granted only a day before — a step unheard of in recent memory — after learning in news reports of political contributions to Republicans by the man's father and other information.

Bush pardoned 19 people on Tuesday, including Isaac Robert Toussie of Brooklyn, N.Y., who had been convicted of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and of mail fraud. On Wednesday, the White House issued an extraordinary statement saying the president was reversing his decision in Toussie's case.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the new decision was "based on information that has subsequently come to light," including on the extent and nature of Toussie's prior criminal offenses. She also said that neither the White House counsel's office nor the president had been aware of a political contribution by Toussie's father that "might create an appearance of impropriety."

TVNL Comment: This is the first decent action that George W. Bush initiated during his entire reign.

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