The Obama Transition Train Keeps Rolling
  • Barack Obama has picked a theme for his inauguration: "A New Birth of Freedom." It comes from the Gettysburg Address, so it's not quite as cheezy as it sounds. [Huffington Post]
  • Besides Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs has reportedly accepted an offer to be the White House Press Secretary and David Axelrod has accepted a slot as Senior Adviser. [Politico, ABC]
  • In the most intriguing appointment speculation, though, former Senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland — who lost to never-done-served Saxby Chambliss in 2002 when Chambliss ran ads calling veteran and amputee Cleland unpatriotic — may be appointed to be the new Army secretary. In other news, Chambliss will likely face a runoff in December to hold the Senate seat he doesn't deserve anyway. [Politico]
  • Bush is also going to make sure (supposedly) that the Obama camp has a say in who gets the permanent staff positions overseeing the Treasury's bailout of our economy. [Politico]
  • The Associated Press has finally called North Carolina for Obama. North. Fucking. Carolina. [Washington Post]
  • And the Oregon Senate race has gone to the Democratic challenger, Jeff Merkley. Joe Lieberman is really sweating now. [Politico]
  • And it looks like even the White House press corps — which is normally white enough to justify the name of the building — will be getting more diverse as white bureau chiefs recognize that maybe, just maybe, diversity can have actual benefits in terms of bringing multiple points of view into one's news coverage. [Politico]
  • Everyone in Illinois, Delaware and D.C. are jockeying to put forth candidates to fill the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seats there. [NY Times]
  • In what will likely become quite a bit of Republican jockeying, Republican Minority Whip Roy Blunt is putting down his whip and walking away from House Republican leadership — and so is Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam. Expect retirement announcements some time in 2009, once htey make sure Republican lobbyists can still make money. [Politico, Reuters]
  • Spencer Ackerman thinks that part of the Republican jockeying will be neocons seeking to fill the (reportedly very) empty vessel of "Sarah Palin" full to the brim with all their foamy, war-loving anti-intellectual spooge. Only it sounds less porn-y when he says it. [Washington Independent]
  • Los Angeles police vow to be prepared today for the protests by the LGBT community and its supporters over the fact that half the state thinks it is a good idea to rescind some of their civil rights. I guess they've decided to exercise one of them while they still have it. [LA Times]
  • Eliot Spitzer will not be charged with the crime of whoremongering across state lines since he didn't sue campaign funds to pay the sex workers he employed. Somehow, we think this is probably cold comfort to Silda Spitzer, if she actually wasn't rooting for an indictment. [LA Times]
  • And, apparently, the whole "peaceful transition" in Russia was just a ruse for Vladimir Putin to snap his fingers and change the law so he can be back in office next year. Oh, that's gonna work out well. [NY Times]