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Monday news roundup

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
The president is in Martha's Vineyard. While he's there, the White House says he is not looking to make news, but that hasn't been true of past presidents.

The Washington Post reported that President Obama approved last week a new interrogation unit to be housed at the FBI to question detainees called the High Level Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG. And the New York Times reports that the Justice Department is recommending the reopening about a dozen CIA interrogation cases.  

"The CIA has played a vital role in the work of the task force, and its substantive knowledge will be essential to interrogations going forward," CIA spokesman George Little said, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

A U.S. official tells Mitchell that actually "the CIA didn't want to house this initiative. They're glad to be out of the long-term detention business."

Though the White House has said the president has "no plans" to meet with the ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy in nearby Hyannis, we'll be watching to see if Obama does wind up meeting with Kennedy, an Obama friend, supporter and staunch health reform ally.

The president may be away, but the fight over health care continues here in DC. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has an op-ed in the Washington Post saying Republicans will fight for seniors rights when it comes to health care, and he pushes the notion that there will be rationing.

On the Sunday shows, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said the president should think about making smaller changes on health care until the economy is out of recession. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said there has to be a public option, and Democrats are looking at ways around Republicans.

President Obama has often said if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. That's not a guarantee government can make, of course, but his 2008 Republican rival John McCain yesterday went so far as to suggest that if a public option were included, if you have private insurance, "you would have to lose it."

The Times also reports that the administration has filled less than half of the positions that require Senate confirmation. The paper calls it a sign that the administration has grown more cautious after several nominations didn't work out early on.

And American military commanders are saying there are not enough troops in Afghanistan, that they are stretched to the limit by the Taliban.

Cash for Clunkers ends tonight at 8.

And Elizabeth Edwards apparently opened a furniture store in Chapel Hill on Saturday. Her husband, John Edwards, attended the opening. AP: The store is called "Red Window" and "will be similar to The Red Door, a charity store her mother managed in Japan."