I've been following some of the recent writings of Patrick Ruffini, a former "eCampaign Director" for the Republican National Committee who is part of an effort to reinvent and reinvigorate the Republican Party in the United States. Ruffini is overall a fairly smart guy who is realistic enough to emphatically reject some of the more ridiculous conservative talking points. I've seen him write some astute analyses, particularly when writing about online political organizing.
Until June 2008, William Lynn was senior VP-government operations for Raytheon, the world's fifth largest defense contractor. Despite that recent stint as a lobbyist, President-elect Barack Obama has nominated him to become deputy defense secretary, which would put him "in charge of day-to-day Pentagon operations." The nomination requires Congressional approval.
The House and Senate both convened their inaugural sessions of the 111th Congress at noon Tuesday with 65 new faces. There were 39 Democrats (plus two non-voting members who caucus with Democrats) and 24 Republicans. (See the complete, citizen-authored profiles of the freshmen at Congresspedia.)
Energy Secretary-designate Steven Chu "seems about as climate friendly as they come," writes Josh Harkinson, but "more industry friendly than his rhetoric suggests." As the director of the Energy Department-funded Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Chu helped broker "the largest university-industry alliance in U.S.
Federally-funded TV ad promoting abstinence-only sex education.
President-elect Barack Obama's close advisers "tend to shudder at any parallels to George W. Bush," writes Mark Leibovich, "but many reporters and rivals have noted the 'Bush-like' tendencies the Obama campaign demonstrated in its ability to control information. The comparison is generally meant as a compliment (albeit a grudging one) by members of the press and expressed enviously by veterans of other campaigns.