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Panel approves Blagojevich report

Paving the way for an unprecedented House vote today to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a legislative panel unanimously approved a scathing report accusing the two-term Democrat of a wide array of offenses.

Thursday’s 21-0 vote for impeachment by the special House Investigation Committee concluded the panel’s work almost a month to the day after Blagojevich’s Dec. 9 arrest at his home on federal charges that he used the governor’s office to try to enrich himself personally and politically.

Washington

President-elect status official

It may seem as if Barack Obama has been president-elect for months. But it was only Thursday that he officially gained that status, as Congress met in a joint session to tally and certify the vote of the Electoral College.

Vice President Dick Cheney presided over the ceremony, which marked the near-end of the George W. Bush era and provided a gratifying moment for Democrats who have raged against the Republican administration ever since the disputed election of 2000.

“All I can think about is how, in such a short period of time, there has been such a dramatic change politically and emotionally,” said Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y.

“Never give up on your country, because she will come back and surprise you.”

Republicans were distinctly less jubilant, and slower to join in applause as Cheney confirmed the results of the Nov. 4 presidential election: 365 electoral votes for Democrat Obama and his running mate Joe Biden, to 173 votes for Republican John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin.

Washington

Obama names DNC chairman

President-elect Barack Obama named Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine the next Democratic National Committee chairman on Thursday, pledging that the party would reflect their shared “pragmatic, progressive philosophy.”

“It’s a philosophy that measures the strength of an idea not by whether it’s Republican or Democrat, but whether it can actually solve a problem and make a difference in people’s lives,” Obama said at a brief news conference.

Obama called for building on outgoing Chairman Howard Dean’s strategy to compete in every state – even in those dominated by Republicans – and redoubling efforts to reach all Americans by “finding candidates for elective office whose policies and plans are rooted not in ideology, but in what works.”

From wire reports
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