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WASHINGTON -- In a way, political consultant Roland W. Burris got more than his money's worth from Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, but not from two top national Democrats he donated to. Named by Blagojevich to fill the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, Burris on Tuesday was blocked by the Democratic Senate majority on grounds he was not properly cert…

And so the strange trip of Caroline Kennedy's entry into New York politics continues.    While her competitors for the job of replacing Hillary Rodham Clinton are largely shut out from the media's attention, there is Kennedy insisting Saturday  --  again -- that she is not campaigning for the job. One day she's on a listening tour upstate, complete wit…

    WASHINGTON -- The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics says Bernard L. Madoff, who is at the center of a $50 billion investment fraud, gave $238,000 to federal candidates since 1991 -- with 88 percent of the money going to Democrats.      Among the major recipients of Madoff's money are Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of th…

   Caroline Kennedy ruffled some feathers when she decided to meet only with Mayor Byron W. Brown when she came to Buffalo for her Hillary Clinton-style listening tour.    It wasn't just that they felt snubbed.    "With all due respect," said Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples D-Buffalo," coming to meet with the mayor is a good thi…

Politics

  WASHINGTON — Now that the sole survivor of President Kennedy's family, Caroline, has made known her interest in being appointed to succeed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, some of Hillary's friends are turning up their noses at the idea.   "Clintonites have made it clear that they remain unhappy that (Caroline) Kennedy endorsed (Barack) Obama during the D…

    WASHINGTON — There is a weird clash of trends on American jobs, and foreign trade. While American manufacturing output is near record lows, the People's Republic of China is increasing its manufacturing exports to the U.S.      On Jan. 21, there will be a Democratic president backed by a Democratic Congress for the first time in 15 year…

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      WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama said Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich should immediately resign for trying to sell his vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. At a press conference today, Obama categorically denied having telephone conversations with Blagojevich about who would be his successor but declined for the second time to rul…

  WASHINGTON -  By keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and most likely Gates' team, President-elect Barack Obama may be sliding into a situation similar to one that beleaguered President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy inherited his predecessor's military commitments to South Vietnam and the disastrous and abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.     While …

   ALBANY  -- With a few baby steps, Eliot Spitzer's public reclamation project has begun.    Last week, Spitzer --  forced to resign in March amid word he patronized high-priced prostitutes -- began writing a column for Slate, the daily online magazine. Between his first Slate column and a recent one in the Washington Post, Spitzer is taking…

        WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama this week moved back from two more of his campaign initiatives. The American Small Business League, a California-based advocacy group, noticed that Obama's promise to fight for a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas industry had been dropped from his presidential team's web site.       …

   WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.     Now that's a phrase I never expected to type until a few weeks ago.     But now it's official. President-elect Barack Obama on Monday announced that the New York senator is his choice for the nation's top diplomatic job.    Given how Obama and Clinton fought over fore…

     WASHINGTON - In remarks on the economy in Chicago on Monday, President-elect Barack Obama came  close to saying that the lame duck President George W. Bush, whose broad unpopularity helped elect him, is consulting the Obama transition team on major economic moves.    Obama didn't actually say Bush was consulting him, but the president-ele…

   WASHINGTON — Sen. Nydia Velazquez. Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand. Sen. Brian Higgins.   Say what you will about our state's junior senator, but none of those monikers have quite the same ring as "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton."    Yet it increasingly looks as if Clinton, after eight years representing New York in the Senate, will soon becom…

     WASHINGTON - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, has called on General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to come back here next month with a package that will "convince Congress and the American people that they will use (any federal assistance) to get back on their feet and remain a competitive and viable component of our economy."    Sla…

Politics

       WASHINGTON -- Foggy Bottom is the local nickname for the State Department. It's built near a low-lying former industrial neighborhood off the Potomac River where fog or smoke used to collect. In any case, a Marist Poll indicated that most New Yorkers think it would be a great idea for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., to take over the place as…