Today’s Congressional odds and ends

And the lucky winners are…: Jeff Buccas of Vallejo and Deborah McIntyre of Richmond were randomly selected today by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez, to receive pairs of tickets to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama next month in Washington, D.C. He drew the names this morning at his Concord office after hundreds of constituents had signed up online for chances to win. (He was supposed to do it Monday, but had to postpone it in order to run back to Washington for discussions on an auto-industry bailout.) Miller later this month will tell constituents who’d asked for tickets earlier this year whether he’ll be able to oblige them, based on the limited number of tickets he anticipates he’ll get.

Lee’s book signing: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will be signing copies of her new memoir, “Renegade for Peace and Justice,” at 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 6 at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera. As I’ve blogged and my colleague Tammy Drummond has columnized (?), it’s quite a read. If you go, you can congratulate her on the “Heroes in the Struggle Award” she picked up from the Black AIDS Institute on Monday night at New York City’s Lincoln Center in recognition of her ongoing efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad.

Stark’s town meetings: Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, is holding his latest round of town meetings this Saturday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Fremont Senior Center, 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway; 10 to 11 a.m. in San Leandro City Hall’s council chambers, 835 East 14th St.; and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Alameda City Hall’s council chambers, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.

Tauscher praises Obama’s picks: Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo — chairwoman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee and an early supporter of Hillary Clinton for president — issued a statement Monday praising President-elect Obama’s selection of Clinton as his Secretary of State plus the rest of his “strong, experienced and patriotic” national security team. “From his first day in office, President Obama will have to address the threat of terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and material, and instability around the globe. He has assembled the right team,” Tauscher said. “I share President-elect Obama’s belief in a balanced and multilateral approach to national security that operates from a position of strength, an approach that interweaves America’s military, diplomatic and economic power. As he did last week, President-elect Obama is moving quickly and decisively to begin the process of rebuilding our military and our reputation around the world. Among the selections announced today, I have had the honor of working closely with Senator Hillary Clinton, Secretary Robert Gates, and General Jim Jones. All are patriotic public servants who understand the role the United States can play in the world. I look forward to working with the President and each member of his new team.”

Get those cards in: Just a reminder that there’s only one week left in Rep. Jerry McNerney’s “Holiday Cards for Our Troops” program, in which the Pleasanton Democrat is collecting holiday cards for soldiers recovering from battle and stationed away from their families this holiday season, and then hand-deliver the cards to soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; sailors and marines at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.; and National Guard and Reserve soldiers at Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin. Constituents should make or buy a holiday card, write a message of thanks inside to a service member, and then deliver the card in an unaddressed, unsealed envelope by next Wednesday, Dec. 10 to one of McNerney’s district offices — at 5776 Stoneridge Mall Road, Suite 175 in Pleasanton or 2222 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite 7 in Stockton.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.