Both of Oklahoma’s senators voted Wednesday to confirm Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. Here is a statement by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa:
“Today in voting to confirm Senator Clinton as Secretary of State, I voted for someone who is well qualified and someone I know I can work with on a range of issues.”
“To be certain, there are many areas where Senator Clinton and I disagree.
“However, I appreciate her recognition of the need to combat al Qaeda’s efforts to seek safe havens in failed states in the Horn of Africa, which is something I have worked to accomplish through my many trips to Africa and my legislation to establish global partnerships.…
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Hopefully everyone got a chance to see the excellent newsok.com blog assembled on inauguration day by staffer Carrie Coppernoll. Lots of great pics and stories. I submitted to her a few pictures I took in DC, which she kindly included, but I wanted to post some more here.
The first is from the walk my buddy from the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal and I made from the National Press Building to the Capitol. Because some main streets were closed down, we had to cross the National Mall area underground, though a tunnel that is normally used by cars.…
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As America today celebrates civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and anticipates tomorrow the inauguration of the country’s first black president, it’s time to recall the slain leader’s call for unity and his disdain for hate, the state’s Republican Party chairman says.
“We will begin a new chapter in America’s political history tomorrow when Barack Obama is sworn in as the next president of the United States,” Gary Jones writes in an e-mail to GOP supporters. “While I’m sure Republican and Democrats will have many classic battles over the next four years, we must be careful to not cross the line into hateful speech and debate.…
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Well, Okies will never back down from a challenge or the opportunity to show unwavering confidence in their favorite college football team.
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee apparently couldn’t resist the urge to boast on the Sooners last week. Too bad they lost.
Now Coburn, known to many in the U.S. Senate as Dr. No, has been immortalized singing an Elton John song. Good thing the cameras were rolling and Coburn apparently has a sense of humor.
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And got a nifty invitation:
That also includes a program:
And pictures of President-elect Barack Obama:
And Vice President-elect Joe Biden:
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Oklahoma shoppers apparently didn’t let the nation’s economic woes cut into their Christmas shopping as the state’s sales tax collections helped top monthly receipts over the prior year, records show.
While the national economy is experiencing the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression, preliminary reports show general revenue fund collections for December totaled $567.4 million, which 7.1 percent more than the same month a year ago.
“We should count our blessings,” state Treasurer Scott Meacham said. “We are building a comfortable cushion as we head into the new year, while most of the rest of the nation is being forced to make drastic cutbacks in essential governmental services as their economies suffer the effects of the global recession.”
Meacham said the strong collection numbers reflect the important role the oil and natural gas industries play in Oklahoma’s economy.…
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Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, opposed the $700 billion bail-out last year for the financial industry, and he has been trying since December to freeze the $350 billion that still hasn’t been spent.
On Monday, after the Bush administration announced that it would request the remaining $350 billion from Congress, Inhofe went to the Senate floor to criticize the decision.
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Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, said today that he would delay all legislation in the Senate if he’s not given an opportunity to offer amendments.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Coburn said, “I won’t delay anything if I get an opportunity to amend it. But if I don’t get an opportunity to amend it, I will delay everything.”
Coburn’s comment was a direct challenge to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who has been battling with Coburn for more than a year over advancing bills without amendments or official votes.…
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Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City, will be the communications chair of the Republican Study Group, a group of about 100 conservative Republican members of the U.S. House.
Fallin said her first task will be pitching the group’s own proposal for stimulating the economy.
“Conservatives and the American people understand that we cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity,” Fallin said today. “That’s why RSC members are promoting tax cuts and credits that will shore up the American economy by putting money into the hands of working families and encouraging investment.”
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Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, who was appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee last week, learned Monday that he’ll be on three subcommittees.
One oversees Interior spending — that’s a biggie for Oklahoma since it includes Indian tribes, but also because it’s a forum for policy fights over oil and gas drilling.
He’ll also be on the one that decides spending for the Labor and Health and Human Services departments. This is typically the most controversial spending bill of the 13 Congress is supposed to write every year since it winds up being where lots of social policy is debated.…
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