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Political Quick Hits: December 9th Edition

December 9, 2011 Front Page, Politics No Comments

Here’s your weekly quick look at few developing stories in the political arena:

  • The Obama administration announced Tuesday that they will be using the enticement of foreign aid to other countries as a way to promote gay rights around the world. The administration also vowed to combat efforts by other countries that criminalize homosexual conduct or abuse/ignore abuse on gay citizens. “Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct, but in fact they are one in the same,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. (NY Times)
  • Rod Blagojevich, former Governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison this week on federal corruption charges that related to him trying to sell/trade a United States Senate seat that was left vacant when President Obama was elected to the White House. Blago is expected to serve at least 12 of the 14 years in federal prison. (NY Times)
  • The Obama administration rejected a request to let anyone of any age buy the morning-after pill, Plan B, directly off of drugstore and supermarket shelves. The Department of Health and Human Services vetoed the FDA’s decision to make the contraceptive available without any restrictions. This split decision stunned both women’s health advocates and abortion opponents. President Obama said that he agreed with Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision though he “did not get involved in the process.” (Washington Post)
  • On Thursday, the Senate failed to approve President Obama’s pick, Richard Cordray, to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau become the symbol of the administration’s efforts to rein in Wall Street excess and abuse. Until there is a confirmed director, the consumer bureau can’t regulate financial products from non-banks, including student loan providers, debt collectors, payday lenders and check cashers. It also can’t regulate mortgage originators and servicers, something that played a role in the recent financial crisis. President Obama said that he is considering sidestepping Congress with a recess appointment. (CNN Money)
  • Finally, in 2012 news, CNN polls released on Wednesday show that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the frontrunner in three of the first four states to vote for the Republican nomination. The polls also show that it is still anyone’s race to face President Obama in 2012, as less than half the people questioned in each state say their minds are made up. The Iowa caucuses are January 3rd, followed by the New Hampshire primary on January 10th. (CNN)


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