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The agenda: A deadline in Iraq

The Iraqi cabinet has given Obama something he'll be touting in a re-election bid: a deadline to pull troops out of Iraq. "After months of painstaking negotiations between Baghdad and Washington, the Iraqi Cabinet yesterday approved a bilateral agreement allowing US troops to remain in Iraq for three more years. The accord still needs approval by Iraq's Parliament, but the Cabinet vote indicated that most major Iraqi parties supported it. An Iraqi government spokesman portrayed the pact as closing the book on the occupation that began with the US-led invasion in 2003."

Bloomberg News reports an Obama-Pelosi deal on stimulus could top $500 billion.

So how many jobs could be affected by the auto industry's collapse? The Los Angeles Times: "All told, each truck contains 4,350 parts, made by 270 suppliers in 26 states as well as several foreign countries. Every F-150 that doesn't sell hits literally hundreds of thousands of people who play a role in putting the big machine on the road. When it comes to the U.S. automakers and their financial troubles, politicians and the public tend to think about the 240,000 jobs that could be lost at the Big Three's assembly lines in Michigan and nearby Rust Belt states."

"President-elect Barack Obama said in an interview on the CBS program "60 Minutes" on Sunday that one of his top priorities will be to 'restore a sense of balance' to the regulation of financial markets, but rejected the idea of a so-called 'new New Deal' for America," the New York Times writes. "Mr. Obama acknowledged the parallels between the current economic crisis and the problems of the Great Depression, but said that he supported solutions that are 'true to our times.'"

"'For us to simply recreate what existed back in the 30s in the 21st century -- I think would be missing the boat,' Mr. Obama said in the interview. 'I think the basic principle that government has a role to play in kick-starting an economy that has ground to a halt is sound. I think our basic principle that this is a free market system and that that has worked for us, that it creates innovation and risk taking, I think that's a principle that we've got to hold to as well.'" 

"Before a huge crowd in San Diego last summer, Barack Obama vowed to make fixing illegal immigration a top priority as president, and Latinos nationwide responded with massive support for him on Election Day. Now, they are pressing him to keep his promise. From Cape Cod to California, activists on both sides of the volatile issue are girding for battle. Supporters of the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants -- most of whom are Latino -- want Obama to press for a path to legal residency for them. Opponents say reform is impossible at a time when unemployment is soaring, and instead want tougher border security and less immigration to preserve Americans' jobs."

"In wooing federal employee votes on the eve of the election, Barack Obama wrote a series of letters to workers that offer detailed descriptions of how he intends to add muscle to specific government programs, give new power to bureaucrats and roll back some Bush administration policies," the Washington Post front-pages. "The letters, sent to employees at seven agencies, describe Obama's intention to scale back on contracts to private firms doing government work, to remove censorship from scientific research, and to champion tougher industry regulation to protect workers and the environment. He made it clear that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would have an enhanced role in restoring public confidence in the housing market, shaken because of the ongoing mortgage crisis."

"Using more specifics than he did on the campaign trail, Obama said he would add staff to erase the backlog of Social Security disability claims. He said he would help Transportation Security Administration officers obtain the same bargaining rights and workplace protections as other federal workers. He even expressed a desire to protect the Environmental Protection Agency's library system, which the Bush administration tried to eliminate."