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Jan. 9, 2012 News Update

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President Obama nominates former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. Republicans are still ticked off at Hagel because he supported Obama in 2008. But they'll use pretext of his being anti-Israel and anti-gay and not anti-Iran enough to oppose him. Lively confirmation hearings likely.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) describes it as an "in-your-face" nomination. Lindsey, you're right -- right in your face. Just remember who won the election.

If confirmed, Hagel will be first enlisted soldier to serve as head of the Pentagon. We grunts can empathize.

Confirmation will mean that the President's cabinet is determined in Washington, not Jerusalem. It will presage a reduction in the Pentagon's bloated budget.

Online movement urges Obama to nominate liberal NY Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman to be secretary of the Treasury. Now that would really set off confirmation hearings fireworks.

Obama also appoints counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to head Central Intelligence Agency. Guess background checks showed no fooling around. Brennan shares a major virtue with Hagel -- They both opposed the disastrous war in Iraq.

Another online petition urges White House to give Joe Biden a reality show on C-SPAN. Doesn't he already have a reality show? It's called the vice presidency.

It's Official! President Obama won! Counting of the Electoral College votes show Obama-Biden beat Romney-Ryan by 332-206. Memo to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner -- Have you forgotten already?

New Congress sworn in. Only 1 in 20 Americans thinks Congress is doing an excellent or even good job. Mitch, John -- Are you paying attention?

New Congress has more women members than ever before. When official photo of female contingent taken, four were missing. They were later Photoshopped in. No snide comments about women always being late, please.

Sen. Mike Crapo (no jokes please) (R-ID) has lost his license for a year because of a DUI. Aren't Mormons supposed not to consume alcohol? Better not be seen in a Starbucks, Mike. Not a real problem for the Senator. He'll no doubt now hire a car and driver and figure out a way to get the taxpayers to pay for it.

The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation observed. Some Southerners still think it was a mistake.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett sues NCAA over severe sanctions it imposed on Penn State in wake of child abuse sex scancal. What next, Gov? Restoring the Joe Paterno statue to the Penn State campus? Sheesh -- you just didn't get it. Or is this simply an effort to improve your 30% approval rating?

In New Year's speech, North Korean leader Kim Il Un (that doesn't stand for United Nations) says unification with South Korea should no longer be delayed... Is he serious or was that the New Year's bubbly talking?

Alabama crushes Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in college football championship game. Tabloid headline: "Four-Leaf Clobber."

In other catch-up news

Pope celebrates Midnight Mass at 10 p.m. Huh?

In same spirit, ESPN shows "Monday Night Countdown" on Saturday night.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel wins college football's prestigious Heisman Trophy. How could a guy nicknamed "Johnny Football" not win the Heisman Trophy?

Apple wishes you an 'Appy New Year.