[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/06/art.emanuel.jpg caption="Rahm Emanuel will be Obama's White House chief of staff."]CHICAGO (CNN) - A source who has been briefed on the investigation says Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama's chief of staff, has been notified he is not a target of the probe into Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/12/art.dingell.gi.jpg caption="Dingell has served in Congress for more than five decades."](CNN) - Michigan Rep. John Dingell blasted “some Southern Senators” Friday for the failure of the auto bailout plan.
“Last night, some Southern Senators kicked American workers in the gut,” Dingell said in a statement released by his office. “Let’s be clear about what happened in the Senate: Senators from states where the international automakers do considerable business unpatriotically blocked a bill that was supported by the White House, that passed the House with a bipartisan majority, and that had the support of 52 Senators.”
Dingell said that Republican critics of the proposal could have had “many reasons for blocking this bill and thwarting the will of a majority of Congress,” although he said they had not allowed their objections over pay and benefit provisions “to be resolved in the proper tradition.”
But, he added, “It could also be that a block of southern Senators saw an opportunity for their states to benefit from the losses of those of us in all parts of the country.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/12/art.blagojevich1.gi.jpg caption="Blagojevich was arrested earlier this week."]CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Friday he will wait to speak to the Illinois people at the "appropriate time."
Asked whether he had anything to say to Illinoisans, the governor, who was leaving his attorney's office, told CNN, "I will at the appropriate time."
The governor also did not answer a question on whether he is going to resign, saying only, "I'll have a lot to say at the appropriate time."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/12/art.obamafamily.gi.jpg caption="The Obamas had been hoping for an early Blair House check-in."]CHICAGO (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama will not be moving his family across the street from the White House early, despite his request to do so. Blair House, which incoming presidents traditionally occupy 5 days before inauguration day on January 15, is apparently booked in the early part of January.
An Obama transition spokesperson says the family initially "explored the idea" of moving into Blair House early so that daughters Sasha and Malia could start school on schedule. But the family was told there were previously-scheduled events and guests that could not be displaced.
"The Blair House, the President's guest house for visiting dignitaries, is available to President-elect Obama and his family starting January 15, as is historically the case," said Sally McDonough, spokeswoman for First Lady Laura Bush.
"As for any conversation, I don't comment on specific conversations about transition details."
The Obama transition spokesperson emphasized the White House has been "extremely accommodating" to the Obama family, adding that the entire process has been "smooth and friendly."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/23/art.cepd.cnn.jpg caption="CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from The Best Political Team."]
In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, newly appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle and President-elect Obama claim that the new administration will make healthcare an open and inclusive process for all, but will the struggling economy hurt Obama’s big plans for reform from the grassroots up? And how exactly do you get Americans behind it? CNN Special Correspondent Frank Sesno reports.
Plus: Local law enforcement code red to Barack Obama: Don’t let the nation’s economic woes force major cutbacks in federal funding to police. Crime may not be the nation’s most pressing concern at the moment, but already-strained state and local police departments say that further cuts may force the issue back to center stage. Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena has the details in a ‘Memo to the President.’
Also: Could Bill Clinton still be a hurdle between Hillary Clinton and her new job? As speculation continues over whether the former president will testify at his wife’s upcoming confirmation hearings, CNN’s Samantha Hayes investigates.
Finally: Barack Obama’s commitment to transparency is being put to the test, as questions mount over what’s taking the president-elect’s aides so long to produce a list of contacts with the office of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. CNN’s Elaine Quijano reports from Chicago.
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[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/TECH/science/12/12/endangered.species/art.bush.gi.jpg caption="Environmentalists are not happy with President Bush's changes to regulations of the Endangered Species Act."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Bush administration cleared the way Thursday for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists when embarking on projects that could impact endangered wildlife, the interior secretary said.
The final regulations to the Endangered Species Act take effect before President Bush leaves office in January, but wildlife conservation groups say undoing the damage could take months.
"The responsibility to initiate consultation will still lie with the federal agency undertaking the action," Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said, but if the agency in question can satisfy the requirement that no harm will come to an endangered species, then there is no need to consult with either the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Services.
The determination of "no harm" will rest with agency bureaucrats instead of scientists, but the agencies can still seek the input of the scientists on a voluntary basis, Kempthorne said.
Developers and agencies with large projects have long sought a weakening of Endangered Species Act regulations, which they say delay their projects and add to costs.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Gov. Rod Blagojevich's chief of staff, John Harris - who was arrested on Tuesday on federal corruption charges - has resigned, a spokesman for the governor said.
Lucio Guerrero confirmed that Harris resigned Friday.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/13/art.blitzer.jpg caption="CNN's Wolf Blitzer will continue to anchor political coverage through the next election."](CNN) - In the wake of its highly acclaimed coverage of the presidential election campaign, CNN is redeploying some of its Washington-based correspondents in preparation for the new Obama administration and the incoming 111th Congress.
"During the election, CNN's political reporters established themselves as the class of television news, both cable and broadcast," said David Bohrman, CNN's senior vice president and D.C. bureau chief. "Now we're positioning them in key roles that will ensure the most thorough and informative coverage as President Obama and Congress tackle the thorniest problems America has faced in our lifetimes."
The changes come on the heels of the announcement that CNN's lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will remain with the network through the next presidential election cycle and chief national correspondent John King will anchor a four-hour programming block on Sundays starting in January.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/12/art.madigan.cnn.jpg
caption="Watch Madigan’s briefing on cnn.com/live."]CHICAGO (CNN) - Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan briefs reporters on the motion she filed today asking the state Supreme Court to declare Gov. Rod Blagojevich "unable to serve."
Watch it happen now on cnn.com/live
Update: This event has concluded.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/12/greene.obama/art.obama.blago.gi.jpg caption="Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, and Barack Obama attend a 2007 rally for Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid."]
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - These days, you have to wonder whether Barack Obama would like to retract those two words he ad-libbed at the very beginning of his victory speech in Grant Park - the two words that didn't appear in his prepared text.
Those two words seemed so innocuous at the time:
This week it would be hard to blame him if he is counting down the seconds until he can say goodbye to Chicago. "Change We Can Believe In" was an inspiring and highly successful campaign slogan, but this is a city that, in the ways that really count, never changes, and a man can grow old and embittered waiting for it to.
The legal and political questions whirling around the governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, will play themselves out in time. The nation, most of whose citizens had never heard his name before this week, will eventually turn its attention to other news stories.