News briefs for Nov. 13

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Democrats readying bailout legislation

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hope for quick passage of the auto bailout during a postelection session that begins Monday.

US interests would be hurt if Obama drops missile defense in Europe

WASHINGTON – The Air Force general who runs the Pentagon’s missile defense projects said Wednesday that American interests would be “severely hurt” if President-elect Obama decided to halt plans developed by the Bush administration to install missile interceptors in Eastern Europe.

Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, told a group of reporters that he is awaiting word from Obama’s transition team on their interest in receiving briefings.

Can Obama duplicate the Internet outreach that fueled campaign?

NEW YORK – Transition officials call it Obama 2.0 – an ambitious effort to transform the president-elect’s vast Web operation and database of supporters into a modern new tool to accomplish his goals in the White House. If it works, the new president could have an unprecedented ability to appeal for help from millions of Americans who already favor his ideas, bypassing the news media to pressure Congress.

“He’s built the largest network anyone has ever seen in politics, and congressional Republicans are clueless about the communications shift that has happened,” Democratic strategist Joe Trippi proclaims. The results, he says, “will be amazing to watch.”

Palin says woman on the 2012 ticket would be good for the Republican Party

MIAMI – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who clearly is looking ahead to her political prospects in 2012, said Wednesday that a woman would be good for the Republican presidential ticket in four years.

This year’s GOP vice presidential nominee has been on a whirlwind series of postelection television interviews — she did two on CNN on Wednesday. She traveled to Florida for the three-day Republican Governors Association meeting and is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion Thursday titled, “Looking Towards the Future: The GOP in Transition.”