FLEECING CHANGE: Obama Quietly Deletes Promised Windfall Tax On Big Oil From Official Web Site

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HOUSTON CHRONICLE: President-elect Barack Obama has quietly shelved a proposal to slap oil and natural gas exxon_ceo_caption2.jpgcompanies with a new windfall profits tax. An aide for the transition team acknowledged the policy shift Tuesday, after a small-business group discovered the proposal — touted throughout much of the campaign — had been dropped from the incoming administration’s Web site. “President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel,” the aide said. “They are below that now and expected to stay below that.” MORE

SMALL BUSINESS LEAGUE: The American Small Business League questions whether the sudden elimination of this issue is a further indication that large corporations are already demonstrating their ability to influence the Obama adminstration…President-elect Obama owes the American people an explanation as to why these campaign promises have been pulled from his agenda. MORE

obamauo.thumbnail.jpgGREG MITCHELL: The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) study disclosing that Barack Obama actually raised most of his campaign money from “larger” not “small” donors has gained wide, approving, coverage in recent days, from USA Today to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and countless web sites, even making Huffington Post at least twice, including as a top link. Inevitably the headlines refer to the “myth” of Obama riding a wave of small donations to victory. That study’s author himself uses it. But the “myth” is actually in the spinning of the report, including by its author, Michael Malbin, a former speechwriter for Dick Cheney, when he was Pentagon chief, and a resident fellow at The American Enterprise Institute from 1977 to 1986. As usual in these cases, it’s not that the numbers are wrong, it’s the analysis and how the interpretation is being played by the media. Because, buried in the report, are all the figures and arguments for showing that the CFI’s “myth” is actually a myth. Let us count the ways. MORE

al_franken2.thumbnail.jpgUPDATE: Al Franken’s campaign announced on Wednesday that, for the first time since the Minnesota recount began, the Democrat has actually pulled ahead of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Franken’s chief counsel Marc Elias said the campaign’s own internal count showed them up 22 votes, a jump from the 13 vote deficit that they faced on Tuesday. MORE

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