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Democrats keep up push on BP liability

June 14, 2010 Senate Democrats say their legislation eliminating the liability cap for oil companies in the wake of an oil spill is still necessary even if BP agrees to put $20 billion into an escrow account, which Democrats urged the oil giant to do in a letter sent Monday. "They're not incongruent ...

Former public diplomacy official weighs in on his successor at State

April 16, 2009 On Tuesday, President Obama announced the nomination of Judith A. McHale as undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. McHale is the former president and CEO of Discovery Communications. In February, NationalJournal.com spoke with James Glassman, McHale's predecessor. "What I dread, what I'm really worried about, is appointing ...

Observers worry White House 'czars' have too much power

March 13, 2009 Do President Obama's White House "czars" have too much power? Should they face Senate confirmation? These concerns have been raised by a growing number of observers as the president's team of czars continues to expand. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., sent a letter to Obama on Feb. 23, cautioning that "the ...

Clinton State Department looks to boost online presence

February 11, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While face-to-face diplomacy will always be a mainstay at the State Department, the increasing ubiquity of the Internet is pushing the agency to follow its audience online. In a handful of recent online efforts, the department has began to explore the opportunities and limitations of its newest medium of engagement. ...

Obama's first days seen as a 'triumph of image'

January 27, 2009 President Barack Obama is settling his family into the White House, issuing executive orders left and right, and ensuring his Cabinet nominees are confirmed smoothly by the Senate. On the face of it, that's how Obama is spending his first few days as commander in chief. What else should the ...

More OMB, White House picks announced

January 20, 2009 While it may seem like Washington has fallen into an inauguration frenzy this past weekend, the transition team of freshly sworn-in President Obama has still been hard at work, churning out more appointments. On Monday, key posts at the Office of Management and Budget were announced: Jeffrey Liebman, currently a ...

Panetta, Blair complete national security team

January 9, 2009 Four days after rumors began swirling about Barack Obama's surprise pick of Leon Panetta for CIA director, the buzz has become official. At a press conference on Friday morning Obama announced the nominations of Panetta, retired Adm. Dennis Blair for National Intelligence director and former CIA official John Brennan -- ...

Former Clinton official says 'normalcy' is within reach for Justice

December 18, 2008 As deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick was second in command at the Justice Department under President Clinton. She served there with current Attorney General-designate Eric Holder and later was appointed to the 9/11 Commission by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, now the nominee for Health and Human Services secretary; it's ...

Panelists push Web-savvy, open government

December 15, 2008 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Fast-forward 10 or 20 years and you might see a Congress that passes "wikied" legislation created by millions of Americans, a president who submits a daily diary via video, and a vast online repository of all the Freedom of Information Act requests ever submitted. Rewind back to today, and you'll ...

Obama's VA pick pleases veterans groups, lawmakers

December 8, 2008 News of retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki's nomination for Veterans Affairs secretary has drawn mostly cheers from veterans groups and Congress. "We're very excited that this type of change is going to be effective at the VA, specifically having someone who will do the right things," said Todd Bowers, ...