Archive for December 2010
Milestones on the Road to Nuclear Disarmament
“In recognition of the fact that President Obama is
consistently, diligently working to improve the national security
posture of the United States, Blog for Iowa will publish major addresses
by the administration concerning its policy towards nuclear
disarmament. Our intent is to be a voice to get the message out to
Iowans, something the corporate media seems uninterested in.”
New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation Ratified by the U.S. Senate.
From the President's News Conference on December 22, 2010
A lot of folks in this town predicted that after the midterm elections, Washington would be headed for more partisanship and more gridlock. And instead, this has been a season of progress for the American people. That progress is reflecting — is a reflection of the message that voters sent in November — a message that said it’s time to find common ground on challenges facing our country. That’s a message that I will take to heart in the New Year, and I hope my Democratic and Republican friends will do the same.
First of all, I am glad that Democrats and Republicans came together to approve my top national security priority for this session of Congress — the New START treaty. This is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades, and it will make us safer and reduce our nuclear arsenals along with Russia. With this treaty, our inspectors will also be back on the ground at Russian nuclear bases. So we will be able to trust but verify.
We’ll continue to advance our relationship with Russia, which is essential to making progress on a host of challenges — from enforcing strong sanctions on Iran to preventing nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. And this treaty will enhance our leadership to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and seek the peace of a world without them.
The strong, bipartisan vote in the Senate sends a powerful signal to the world that Republicans and Democrats stand together on behalf of our security. And I especially want to thank the outstanding work done by Vice President Joe Biden; the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry; and the Ranking Republican, Senator Richard Lugar, for their extraordinary efforts.
In fact, I just got off the phone with Dick Lugar, and reminded him the first trip I ever took as senator — foreign trip — was with Dick Lugar to Russia, to look at nuclear facilities there. And I told him how much I appreciated the work he had done and that there was a direct line between that trip that we took together when I was a first-year senator and the results of the vote today on the floor.
This all speaks to a tradition of bipartisan support for strong American leadership around the world — and that's a tradition that was reinforced by the fact that the New START treaty won the backing of our military and our allies abroad.
Ed Fallon & Iowa Progressive Radio
by Paul Deaton
On Wednesday, I appeared on Bradshaw at 98.3 WOW-FM in Des Moines with progressive talker Ed Fallon who was filling in for the host. During the half hour, we recapped of the New START Treaty ratification debate in the United States Senate and talked about what's next once the Russian State Duma ratifies New START and the treaty enters into force. The half hour passed quickly and I ran into Jeffrey Weiss, Director of the Catholic Peace Ministry in Des Moines, who was on with Ed the previous hour, talking about militarism and associated spending. Another friend was scheduled to appear on Thursday to talk about the Congo. It was like a continuation of the progressive holiday season at the radio station. I even left Ed a gift of organic apple butter made from the fall harvest in my back yard.
Ed Fallon does not get enough recognition for what he does for progressives on the Fallon Forum and we should not take his work for granted. In my case, the appearance provided a venue to counter the narrative that developed quickly in the wake of Senate ratification of New START. The narrative is that New START was such a heavy lift for the Obama administration that the nuclear disarmament policy initiative outlined by the President in Prague is dead. Nothing could be further from the truth and Ed helped get the message out.
Rose Gottemoeller thanked activists who advocated for New START after the Senate vote on the treaty. Gottemoeller is Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Compliance and Verification and the principal US negotiator for New START. During the conference call she indicated that the administration plans to begin negotiations with the Russian Federation regarding tactical nuclear weapons. This is unprecedented in the history of U.S. arms control and addresses one of the criticisms of New START, that it did not address tactical nuclear weapons.
Reuters also reported on an interview with White House coordinator for arms control, Gary Samore who listed nuclear disarmament items the administration is considering for 2011. The plain truth is that after eight months of work bringing members up to speed on the New START Treaty, the US Senate is better prepared to consider issues related to arms control and nuclear disarmament than it has been in a long time. The path is paved to advance the agenda on non-proliferation. A much different narrative than we are hearing, and closer to the truth.
As I drove home from the radio station, I tuned in and heard the first half hour of Hannity, which leads into the Fallon Forum at 7:00 PM. Once I got past the nausea caused by the hagiography of Ronald Reagan and by guest host Brian Mudd's plan to stimulate the economy by each of us going out and spending ten dollars on something we want at a small business, I realized how tenuous progressive radio is in Iowa. While the Fallon Forum has a growing audience, it is no match for the 17 million listeners Hannity claims.
We should do what we can to support progressive talk radio, and we can begin by wishing Ed Fallon a Happy New Year and thanking him for his work. Click here to send Ed an e-mail now.
2010 In Review – Oil Spill, Citizens United, Wikileaks & The Pitfalls of Cynicism
by Tracy Kurowski
I’d be the first to admit the pitfalls of cynicism, but mainly because my grief is greater than my ego, these are some of my observations and reflections on the past year:
Hottest and wettest year on record – yet climate change remains on the back burner.
For half the year BP unleashed hundreds of millions of crude oil into the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico – helping us forget about the nation’s worst mining disaster in 40 years at Massey Mine.
It took a Herculean effort to reform health care into a well – regulated corporate windfall.
Heroin is still readily available and cheap in the U.S. thanks to our continued war efforts.
But due to science breakthroughs HIV can be killed and synthesized genes can self-replicate
On Bradley Manning’s Reading List:
People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn (rest in peace and thanks for your loving intellectual agitation)
Also, GW Bush’s memoir, Decision Points (may he travel to a country where there’s a warrant for his arrest)
Citizens United ruling – Double speak spoken doubly –1/4 of my Senator’s race was funded by private anonymous donors
A half a billion Iowa eggs were recalled for Salmonella poisoning. Many of those were then re-processed into salad dressings, cookie dough and cake mixes.
The GOP shat on the Dream Act, re-branded it Dream on. Meanwhile, Arizona Governor continues to fry her skin so she can someday be the same color as the people she’s kicking out of her state
Because he’s tired of playing laser tag by himself in one of his empty mega hotels, the Ruling Sheik of Dubai is building an indoor mountain to host the Winter Olympics.
We’re still waiting for those Bank of America leaks, Assange. What’s taking so long?
~Tracy Kurowski has been active in
the labor movement for ten years, first as a member of AFSCME 3506, when
she taught adult education classes at the City Colleges of Chicago. She
moved to the Quad Cities in 2007 where she worked as political
coordinator with the Quad City Federation of Labor, and as a caseworker
for Congressman Bruce Braley from 2007 – 2009.
How To Get Your Own Radio Show
BFIA posts today about recent developments in media.
First, we would like to acknowledge the 5th anniversary of IBLTV's (Iowans for Better Local Television) filing of a Petition to Deny License Renewal of Sinclair Broadcasting-owned KGAN-TV. While the license was renewed (as far as we know), in the years since the filing, we have noticed a distinct increase in local news coverage by the station, as well as saying good-bye to Sinclair's non-local, corporate CEO, right-wing commentator, Mark Hyman of “The Point.” So we'll take a victory. For more info., you can check the BFIA archives or visit the IBLTV website. The Iowa group's activities were also featured in Broadcasting & Cable. Check out TV Brouhaha in Iowa and Iowans Petition to Deny KGAN License Renewal
As regular readers know, this blog has been persistent, some say maniacal, about pushing the media reform message, but if you're a new reader, please check out our previous work on the subject. We've posted links to a few samplings below. For more articles, use key words “media reform,” “fairness doctrine,” “conservative radio,” “shock jocks” or “right wing talk radio” in the search box to the left.
Right wing talk radio in Iowa is one of our pet peeves. You'll be shocked when you learn the amount of brainwashing that is going on in Iowa through the publicly owned airwaves. Let us know if you're interested in helping us correct this serious threat to a functioning democracy. But we digress…Here are some media items of interest from the past week.
How to get your own radio show
According to Citadel Broadcasting, this is how you do it: (1) Make a lot of noise (2) put “tea party” in the title (3) have a lot to say about matters of the state (4) fit like a glove with Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity and Levine (5) be a failed uber-conservative candidate for public office.
The show will premiere January 3 at 10 pm, and will air daily on Citadel Broadcasting's KVOR station in Colorado Springs, CO.
'Tom made a lot of noise in the gubernatorial race in Colorado,' Citadel Market Manager Mike Knar said in a statement announcing the show. 'He has a lot to say about matters of the state and his show fits like a glove with our award winning line up [Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levine, that is..] on KVOR.'”
So everyone, start organizing now for your very own LPFM station in your town.
Not neutrality better than nothing?
While most (virtually everyone) on the left do not think the FCC protected the free and open internet with their recent rule proposal that they voted on right before Christmas, there are some nuanced opinions out there. Commissioners Copps and Clyburn did their best to protect the public interest, and reluctantly voted for Genachowski's proposal, with Copps saying it was “better than doing nothing.” You can watch the video to hear all of the commissioners' comments prior to their votes. Click here to read the full FCC Net Neutrality Order
Marvin Ammori, a net neutrality expert and media law professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explained the new net neutrality rules in user-friendly language on MSNBC's Countdown last week. On his website Monday, he posted, How the FCC's Copps and Clyburn Strengthened the Open Internet Rules and linked to an opinion by Barbara van Schewick, professor at Standford and author of Internet Architecture and Innovation. Click here to read Professor van Schewick's Open Internet Rules Stronger Than You Think.
And here's an excerpt from her book:
What phrase do WHO-Radio audiences most hate? You may be surprised… or not.
Carolyn Jenison, Executive Director of OneIowa.org was a guest on WHO Radio yesterday during the slot that is normally Jan Mickelson's who is on vacation (I didn't catch the name of the sub-host). The podcast does not appear to be on the WHO website yet, but Carolyn did a great job with a challenging audience. To wit: Whoever the host was yesterday (please e-mail us if you have the name), here is what he said about WHO listeners. “People in this audience hate the phrase open-minded..” If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny, like satire.
It's the ownership, stupid…
Our filibustering hero, Bernie Sanders, last week had harsh words for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's recent proposal approving Comcast's takeover of NBC Universal.
“If approved, this new media giant will be the largest cable provider, the largest Internet provider, and one of the largest producers of content in the United States. At a time when a small number of giant media corporations already control what the American people see, hear, and read, we do not need another media conglomerate with control over the production and distribution of media content. What we need is less concentration of ownership, more diversity, more local ownership-and more viewpoints.
“By law, the FCC may only sign off on the merger if it determines that it serves ‘the public interest, convenience, and necessity.' Far from meeting the public interest standard, Comcast's takeover of NBCU would create a monolithic media superpower and cause irreparable damage to the U.S. media landscape and society as a whole…. Despite the public interest standard, Chairman Genachowski appears to be charging ahead, pressuring his fellow commissioners to approve this deal.
Once we allow companies to become this powerful, the FCC does not regulate them. They regulate the FCC.
Time is running out to stop this deal. I hope the American people will take notice and stand with me to demand that the FCC change course, vote down the order, and reverse the disturbing trend of media consolidation.”
You may think it is already too late to put the genie back in the bottle, but things can always get worse, so if you can, please write the commissioners and be sure and use the talking point, “public interest.”
Chairman Julius Genachowski: Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: Michael.Copps@fcc.gov
Commissioner Robert McDowell: Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker: Meredith.Baker@fcc.gov
Previous media reform posts on Blog for Iowa
Is Conservative Talk Being Rammed Down Iowans' Throats?
BFIA & Fallon Forum Take On Right Wing Talk Radio In Iowa
Conservative Talk Radio in Iowa – How Much Is Too Much?
Are Iowans Being Brainwashed By Fox News?
in the Age of Consolidated Media
Our Message Out: Fighting Fire with FM (and Net Neutrality)
Great Surprise – The Telecommunications Act of 1996
Plane Facts About Media: What I Learned While in Flight
Brief History of Media Consolidation
on the Media in Iowa
GOP Has Reason To Fear Fairness Doctrine
Conservative Pundits Fear Return of Fairness Doctrine
Help Restore Balance on the Public Airwaves – Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine
GOP Tries To Censor Free Speech While Pretending They Are For It
Harkin v. King on The Fairness Doctrine
FCC Nominees to Consider Ownership, Diversity; Say No To Fairness Doctrine
'Shock Jocks' on the Radio Airwaves in Iowa
A Step In The Correct Direction For Talk Radio In Iowa
Who owns your local radio station?
Radio Stations in Iowa
Iowa Broadcasters Association
The Public and Broadcasting: How to Get the Most Service from Your Local Station
The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio
Study: Localism Key to Correcting Conservative Talk Radio Imbalance
Pew Research on Health Care Reform Validates Need for Media Reform
MUST READ: Grassley letter to Genachowski on the Fairness Doctrine
Prometheus Radio Project
GOP And Right Wing Media Create Confusion For Seniors
by Dave Bradley
As with most people I had encounters with relatives I do not see much of over Christmas. As sometimes happens, I was taken aside for a political type exchange. Sometimes people try to convert me. Sometimes they have a question that they dare not bring up among friends. This was the latter.
This time it was a concern about Medicare. Seems that birthday #65 will be coming this year and there will be the opportunity for Medicare. But there was concern. After all the lies and crap concerning any kind government involvement in health care, he was concerned that Medicare would be just horrible.
We discussed it. I assured him he would be fine, that he already knew lots and lots of folks on Medicare and they were all fine. His fears for the moment were eased.
But I will bet they will return. With Fox acting as basically the lead propaganda machine for the right and the takeover of the House and many state governorships and legislatures you can bet the fear will be sown on a very fertile field. My relative stated he could not trust the government. I replied that what good some in government try to do, others are destroying, thus causing his anxiety.
So now after 30 years of assault on good government programs, and especially the past 10 years, many good citizens are so confused they simply do not know which way to turn. And they can’t cut through the crap because they hear or see mostly one side.
Yesterday as I passed a news box I saw a headline that “Medicaid (in Iowa) Has Severe Shortfall” or something very similar. Does it? Or is it a manufactured crisis that can be used to cut benefits? Our home grown Republicans have learned well from their national counterparts. Create a crisis, have the press give it wall to wall coverage, use it to cut or implement programs that “fix” the problem.
Where else do we see this today? Well, let us take Social Security for example. First Republicans created a crisis by cutting taxes for the rich and starting two unending wars. They also added a dash of unfunded mandates such as the Medicare drug program or the No Child Left Behind. This drained the treasury.
So guess what? We must cut spending! Not programs that the rich depend on, but programs for the poor, elderly and feeble. Despite the fact that Social Security is a self-funded program that is currently sustainable until 2037, it has been designated as the target. With a load of propaganda I am sure we will soon see older folks reviled as a drain on society and a bunch of leeches.
But even if Social Security is cut, the money goes not for debt relief, but for more programs or tax cuts that redistribute money to the rich.
And for all this we need a scapegoat. On the national level it will be the older people and unions. On the state level look for it to be government employees, especially those that that had the audacity to join unions. I look for state after state to come after public unions. And I look for Iowa to be one of the leaders, since Iowa is a right to work state and Branstad has political debts to pay.
What I am telling you has been going on for decades. Now it will be on steroids. So prepare a place for Mom when she is looking for a place to stay.
E-mail Dave here
Dave Bradley is a self-described
retired observer of American politics “trying to figure out how we got
so screwed up.” An
Iowa City native currently living in West Liberty, Dave and his wife
Carol have two grown children who “sadly had to leave the state to find
decent paying jobs.“
Iowa Progressive Radio: This Week On The Fallon Forum
Thursday from 7:00-800 pm, join us for the fusion of politics
and civility at 98.3 WOW-FM and
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Call (515) 312-0983 or (866) 908-TALK to participate in the
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Pal or by check to PO Box 13421, Des Moines, IA 50310.
So, what do YOU think were the top ten political happenings of the year (state, national and global)? And with one-way manned flights to Mars being seriously proposed (yes: one-way!), which politicians and celebrities would you send? E-mail me your suggestions and we'll share them during the 7:00-8:00 show on Wednesday, when Charles Goldman joins me for a look-back at 2010.
I'm filling in for Bradshaw again this week, 1:00-4:00 Monday-Friday. I'll also host my regular show from 7:00-8:00 pm Monday-Thursday. We've got quite a potpourri of topics, so I hope you'll tune in and add your voice to the conversation.
On Thursday, Tom Vilsack will be my guest from 7:30-8:00, discussing revitalization of the agricultural economy, biofuels and biodiesel. And Ying Sa of Community CPA & Associates is with me from 7:00-7:30, answering tax and accounting questions.
And FYI, I send out a daily notice about the specific topic(s) planned for our live broadcast. If you'd like to receive those notices, let me know.
Please take a minute to visit the Fallon Forum website, make a donation and help support local, progressive talk radio. We're entirely funded by local individuals, businesses and organizations!
We All Live In A Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Society
By David VanThournout
Now that we’ve improved the civil rights of those serving their country in the most dangerous capacity, as soldiers defending our constitution, don’t you think it’s time we extended this acceptance of who we are to the cvilian population?
If you are gay and an employee of a conservative company, coming out can be dangerous to your career. Or your life even. This I believe is effectively a form of don’t ask don’t tell in action.
If you are among the more than 40% of Americans that have used cannabis at least once, you probably live in a don’t ask, don’t tell situation as well.
If you’re an atheist and you say proudly, I’m an atheist, you can rest assured you will not win any elections from then on.
You can be a liberal and since we don’t generally wear our religion on our sleeves we might be safely ensconced within the confines of a work environment populated mostly by conservatives and if you start wearing your progressive spirituality on your sleeve like the others, you’ll find out pretty quickly that you shouldn’t talk about religion or politics at work (or anyplace else for that matter). But only because you’re a liberal.
So it appears the military is a comparative liberal paradise when held against the backdrop of the rest of the fairly conservative whole of American culture. If you ask me, the military is way ahead of the rest of us on social issues.
Every single issue I just listed are civil rights issues. Gays, weed heads, atheists, progressive Christians, etc., all are wrongly and manipulatively marginalized. Marginalized within our communities, our churches, our schools, and even our families. Marginalized by a vocal minority who have nothing to offer the conversation but fear. Fear of the other.
It often leaves a gay person today in a situation where they feel completely alone and unable to find anyone to reach out to. They suffer disenfranchisement and depression. They sometimes in despair even take their own lives.
Weed head parents sometimes are charged with child endangerment when they get caught growing a few plants. That seems more than a little extreme to me.
Think of what the parents must feel that find out their son or daughter is gay when they receive a telephone call from the police informing them that their child has killed themselves because of bullying in school.
I’m not normally taken by nationalistic tendencies and I do say that I love my country. I love America not because I think it’s better than other places because it isn’t. America to me means diversity. Diversity of people means we will never want for interesting conversation, food, and there is always a celebration going on. Our collective knowledge of solutions from so many cultures coming together and working toward the common good of everyone is something to be proud of. That’s what I think of when I think of America. And this vision of ours is alive and well.
Click here to read more
VanThournout lives on the Mississippi river in Rock Island. He plays
guitar, writes poetry and music, designs websites, and organizes for a
more just and peaceful world. More than a decade ago David began
demanding meaningful employment rather than mindless work making
widgets. David now requires that he loves what he does and that it
actually makes the world a better place in a way that is sustainable. E-mail David. Follow David on twitter at twitter.com/badweatherrr
Iowa State Capitol News – Weekend Recap
Iowa State Capitol News – Weekend Recap
by Paul Deaton
[Editors' Note: With the transition in the Governor's office and legislature, a lot of news is expected from the Iowa Capitol. Following is a weekly recap of stories from Des Moines that came through the Weekend Editor's in-box. If you hear of news from the capitol, email the weekend editor here.]
There is a Surplus, Now What to Do With it?
On Tuesday, Governor Culver's office announced a Fiscal Year 2011 budget surplus of almost $950 million. By Wednesday, Iowa school districts were asking for some of it. While there has hardly been time for discussion about use of the surplus, some part of it seems likely to be used to fill gaps that were created by use of stimulus funds to balance the budget during the past two years. According to Nate Willems (D-HD29), “The stimulus money was to tide us over while tax revenues were down and that is actually what has happened. Iowa is in a strong financial position to move forward.” What also seems likely is that Republican legislators will seek to spend down the surplus as they have in past years when they controlled the Iowa House.
Republican Priorities – Impeach Iowa Supreme Court Members, and other things
Des Moines radio station interviewed freshmen representatives Kim
Pearson (R-HD42), Glen Massey (R-HD74) and Tom Shaw (R-HD08) on
Republican priorities for the 2011 legislative session. The tone was
that “we can multi-task,” with Pearson saying they could handle
impeachment of supreme court justices and job creation at the same time.
They have begun drafting articles of impeachment for the four remaining
Iowa Supreme Court justices who consented on the Varnum v. Brien opinion. The conservative Sioux City Journal weighed in
on this, writing in a editorial, “one minute spent debating impeachment
is one minute too long. And we don't think voters will stand for it.”
Early Childhood Education Study
Contrary to Iowa Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley's (R-SD36) statements about early childhood education at a recent Iowa Politics.com forum, Iowa Kids Count released a report indicating the importance of early childhood education, adding to the background information available regarding the legislature's likely discussion of the state funded preschool program.
Governor-elect Branstad continued to build his staff and here is a list of recent appointees as of December 22:
Labor Relations Consultant — Leon Shearer
Iowa Public Safety Commissioner — Larry Noble
Iowa Public Employees Retirement System — Donna Mueller
Iowa Department of Human Rights — Isaiah McGee
Iowa Lottery — Terry Rich
Iowa Veterans Home — David Worley
Iowa State Public Defender — Sam Langholz
For the complete list, check out the Branstad transition web site:
The U.S. Census results were announced, making official what most knew was coming, that Iowa would lose one congressional seat. Iowa's population increased to 3,046,355. Hopefully, with the increased population there will be many more Blog for Iowa readers in 2011.
~Paul Deaton is a
native Iowan living in rural Johnson County and weekend editor of
Blog for Iowa. E-mail
by Paul Engle
[Editor's Note:Living in Eastern Iowa in the 1980s, it was hard not to run into Paul Engle. Following is an excerpt from his book A Lucky American Childhood which can still be found in used bookstores and on Amazon.com.]
“Every Christmas should begin with the sound of bells, and when I was a child mine always did. But they were sleigh bells, not church bells, for we lived in a part of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where there were no churches. My bells were on my father’s team of horses as he drove up to our horse-headed hitching post with the bobsled that would take us to celebrate Christmas on the family farm ten miles out in the country. My father would bring the team down Fifth Avenue at a smart trot, (licking his whip over the horses’ rumps and making the bells double their light, thin jangling over the snow, whose radiance threw back a brilliance like the sound of bells.
There are no such departures any more: the whole family piling into the bobsled with a foot of golden oat straw to lie in and heavy buffalo robes to lie under, the horses stamping the soft snow, and at every motion of their hoofs the bells jingling, jingling. My father sat there with the reins firmly held, wearing a long coat made from the hide of a favorite family horse, the deep chestnut color still glowing, his mittens also from the same hide. It always troubled me as a boy of eight that the horses had so indifferent a view of their late friend appearing as a warm overcoat on the back of the man who put the iron bit in their mouths.
There are no streets like those any more: the snow sensibly left on the road for the sake of sleighs and easy travel…
To read more of Paul Engle’s remembrance of Christmas in Iowa, click here.
~Paul Engle (1908 – 1991), was an American writer born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is best remembered as the long-time director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and as founder of the International Writing Program, both at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Holiday Shuffle in the White House
from the New York Times
In case you missed it with all of the holiday activities, President Obama is making a list and checking it twice, planning to make some changes in the West Wing in the New Year. Check out the New York Times article on the changes, and here is a brief summary:
David Plouffe will be the President's chief political adviser, replacing David Axelrod who is returning to Chicago to start working on the 2012 campaign.
Jim Messina, currently a deputy White House chief of staff, is slated to manage the re-election campaign. This move creates some vacancies that the President will have to fill.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Bush Administration holdover, plans to leave the Obama cabinet in 2011, maybe as early as January.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is planning to leave his position. According to the Times article, he will either become a senior adviser to the president or work outside the West Wing defending the president and preparing for the 2012 campaign.
With Rahm Emanuel already departed to run for Mayor of Chicago, it remains to be seen whether Pete Rouse, who was appointed interim White House chief of staff, will fill that position after the transition work he has been leading, along with Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Robert Bauer, is finished.
Finally, Obama is lawyering up for the inevitable “oversight” expected from the Republican House majority in the 112th Congress.
Read the New York Times article here for in depth analysis.