(CNN) - President Bush made another round of last-minute appointments Tuesday, giving 45 aides, supporters and others a parting gift as he leaves office: presidential appointments to boards and councils, with terms lasting three to six years after he leaves office.
The full list as released by the White House after the jump includes attorney general Michael Mukasey, deputy national security advisor Elliott Abrams, and Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff.
Full list after the jump
NEW YORK (CNN) - Will Ferrell, the man who invented "strategery" and other Bushisms, is taking his spoofs of the 43rd president to Broadway and HBO.
The "Saturday Night Live" veteran will star in "You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush" at New York's Cort Theater, with previews in line for Inauguration Day.
The show will take a chronological look at Bush's life - from his college days and time as the governor of Texas to the 2000 race for president and his two terms in office.
Ferrell, who poked fun at the president will his successful impersonations on "SNL," told CNN he likes that Bush "never thinks he's wrong."
"He's arrogant with a school-boy attitude, and combine that with the fact that he is commander in chief - and, unfortunately, it's very funny."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Roland Burris was turned away from the Senate floor Tuesday as he sought to be sworn-in as the junior senator from Illinois, because the Secretary of the Senate said his certificate was not valid.
Why is the certificate not valid?
Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson said that since it did not have the Illinois state seal or the Illinois Secretary of State's signature it did "not comply" with Senate rules, in a statement she released after meeting with Burris Tuesday morning.
The certificate was presented to Erickson on Monday by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's chief of staff, and she retained the original copy.
Senate Democratic leaders oppose Burris' appointment to serve the remaining two years of President-elect Barack Obama's Senate term because they say Blagojevich, who is being investigated for allegedly trying to sell Obama's seat, should not be choosing the next senator.
Still, Blagojevich signed the paperwork and sent Burris to Washington. Burris meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, Wednesday to discuss the matter.
Click here to see Burris' Certificate of Appointment to the Senate
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday will announce his selection for the role of "chief performance officer," a newly created position that will work to scrub the federal budget and reform
government, a Democratic official told CNN.
The person will "help put us on a path to fiscal discipline," the official said.
(CNN) – Outgoing Senate Rules Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday she disagrees with her Democratic leadership blocking Roland Burris from being seated in the Senate.
“The question is really one, in my view, of law,” Feinstein told reporters in a Capitol hallway.
“Does the governor have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes. Is the governor discredited? The answer is yes. Does that affect his appointment power? The answer is no, until certain things happen,” she said.
“So, if you don’t seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America. Mr. Burris is a senior, experienced politician. He has been Attorney General, he has been Controller, and he is very well-respected. I am hopeful that this will be settled.”
Feinstein is currently chairman of the Senate's Rules Committee, although New York Sen. Charles Schumer is slated to take over that post in the next few days.
(CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush's younger brother, has decided he will not seek Florida's open senate seat in 2010, setting off what's sure to be a wide-open and hotly contested battle to replace Republican Sen. Mel Martinez.
In a statement released Tuesday, the younger Bush said the time isn't right him to return to public life.
“While the opportunity to serve my state and country during these turbulent and dynamic times is compelling, now is not the right time to return to elected office," Bush said in the statement. “In the coming months and years, I hope to play a constructive role in the future of the Republican Party, advocating ideas and policies that solve the pressing problems of our day.
Bush was elected governor of Florida in 1998 and 2002 and was considered a leading contender for the seat set to be vacated by Martinez. His presence in the race would have added immediate star power to a contest Democrats are likely to make their top target in 2010.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Illinois Senate Appointee Roland Burris doesn’t give up easily. Burris came to Capitol Hill Tuesday in order to be sworn in as Illinois' junior senator. Instead, Burris and his advisers ended up having a short meeting with several Senate officials.
Related: Burris shut out by Senate Secretary
A senior Democratic aide tells CNN that Burris, his lawyers, and other advisers had an “extremely gracious” meeting with Senate Secretary Nancy Erickson, the Senate’s General Counsel, the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms, two Senate parliamentarians, and two aides to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
During the meeting Erickson “explained to Mr. Burris and his counsel directly the reasons his certificate [of appointment to the Senate] did not comply with Senate Rule II,” according to a press release from Erickson’s office issued Tuesday evening. At the meeting Burris was also informed that “the Senate could refer the matter to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.”
The meeting lasted 10-15 minutes, according to a senior Democratic aide who was present at the gathering.
The day before, Erickson rejecteda certificate of appointment for Burris signed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
– CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett and CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.
(CNN) - Vice president-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the transition team's failure to consult with incoming Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein about the decision to tap Leon Panetta as head of the CIA had been a “mistake.”
Biden also responded to criticism Panetta lacked the necessary intelligence experience to serve as CIA director, telling reporters on Capitol Hill the former Clinton administration official is “totally qualified for this job."
"He’s been a consumer of intelligence for a long time. He was chief of staff. He understands the agency well," said Biden. "What the agency needs now is a strong figure who understands how it functions and is going to take it up on a new path re-establishing its…. It’s an incredibly important agency. It has suffered some, much of it not its own fault, a loss of credibility in a lot of corners.”
But he said the team should have spoken with Feinstein about the pick. The California senator issued a blistering statement yesterday about the choice after apparently learning about Panetta's selection from a media report. “I’m still a Senate man. I always think this way. I think it’s always good to talk to the requisite Members of Congress,” Biden said Tuesday. “I think it was just a mistake.”
Update: A transition aide told CNN's Ed Henry that the president-elect “had very good conversations with both Senator Rockefeller and Senator Feinstein. They shared views about the future direction of intelligence and their desire to consult closely on these issues.”
Earlier Tuesday, Feinstein released a statement saying she had been contacted by both Obama and Biden, and that they had "explained to me the reasons why they believe Leon Panetta is the best candidate for CIA Director. ...I look forward to speaking with Mr. Panetta about the critical issues facing the intelligence community and his plans to address them.”
(CNN) - Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman has officially filed a lawsuit to contest the state canvassing board’s decision to certify results of the statewide recount which put Democrat Al Franken on top.
Appearing before the press for the first time in months, Coleman said he has instructed his lawyers to move forward with the lawsuit.
Watch: Coleman to contest recount
"Not every valid vote has been counted and some have been counted twice," Coleman said, repeating allegations made by his attorneys. They lay much of the blame for these alleged errors on the secretary of state’s office, saying officials there have sympathized with Franken.
The Coleman lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, would produce a trial that would be presented before a three-judge panel. Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak said he "would not be surprised" if the trial lasts for a solid two months.
Knaak added that "technically, we could re-do the entire recount," although that was not currently in their plans.
There is still no official winner in the state’s Senate race, since Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty won't sign off until legal battles have been exhausted.
(CNN) – An audio message reportedly from al Qaeda's deputy chief vows revenge for Israel's air and ground assault on Gaza and calls the Jewish state's actions against Hamas militants "a gift" from President-elect Barack Obama.
The speaker, identified as Ayman al-Zawahiri, addresses Muslims in Gaza, stating that the violence "is one part of a series of a crusade war against Islam and these airstrikes are a gift from Obama before he takes office."
The message, posted on various Islamist Web sites Tuesday, urges militants to rally against Israel.
"My Muslim brothers and mujahedeens in Gaza and all over Palestine, with the help of God we are with you in the battle, we will direct our strikes against the crusader Jewish coalition wherever we can."
The 10-minute message moves on to address Muslims worldwide, claiming that Obama was portrayed as "the savior who will come and change American policy" during the U.S. election but is now "killing your brothers and sisters in Gaza without mercy or even pity."
Obama's transition team did not immediately respond to the message. Earlier Tuesday, the president-elect said he is "deeply concerned" about the loss of life in Gaza and Israel and promised to make the issue a top priority in his administration.