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Real South, CAP's Influence, Labor Miffed...

For one of the more thoughtful takes on the topic yet written, check out ProgressiveSouth's Daily Kos post "The REAL story about the South and the 2008 elections," and the dozens of comments that follow.

Michael Scherer's Time magazine article "Inside Obama's Idea Factory in Washington" explains why the Center for American Progress is now "the most influential independent organization in Obama's nascent Washington" and is called Podesta's "think tank on sterioids."

Jay Walljasper's Alternet post "Good Thing Minnesota Has Someone in Charge Who Cares About Counting Every Vote" provides an interesting profile of MN's Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie as he navigates the vote count for the closest -- and one of the most important -- state-wide races in MN history.

The Politico's Ben Smith reports on organized labor's disappointment at not being included thus far in President-elect Obama's economic policy team, after having provided so much money and manpower to elect Obama. Smith also names and discusses some of the presumptive front-runners for the DOL (Gephart, Sebelius, Maxwell, Hindery and Brainard).

Also at Alternet, David Sirota has a critical wrap-up on Obama's appointments thus far, "Watch out for Obama's Team Selling Conservative Policies as Progressive Politics," while Salon's Joan Walsh makes the case for "trusting Obama" in her link-rich post "Who's afraid of Obama's overreaching?"

Atlanta Journal Constitution 'Political Insider' Jim Galloway quotes Jim Martin consultant Donna Brazile on whether the Prez-elect should come to GA to help Martin win his Senate race against Saxby Chambliss: "While I know and understand and appreciate the desire to see President-elect Obama down in Georgia, I think strategically, he should focus on the transition." A vigorous debate follows in the more than 80 comments.