Obama transition news continues at a brisk pace – filling up almost every news cycle over the last week (except those that occupied by Rod Blagojevich). Here are a bunch of highlights:

Public Citizen is tracking donors to the Obama Inaugural Committee with analysis on the transition blog Becoming 44.

John Kamensky discusses recent work by the Council for Excellence in Government on political appointees.

The AGA Weblog looks back at the Government Management Reform Act of 1994.

POGO on reform to a DoD acquisition systems.

OMB Watch on EPA’s recent fondness for Fridays.

Just how corrupt is Illinois?

Did lobbying help banks buy the bailout?

And, several links highlighted by Lost in Transition:

For Agriculture secretary, President-elect Obama will tap former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who briefly ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and vigorously supported Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s candidacy. (Des Moines Register)

The Bush administration is preparing “more than a dozen contingency plans” that could help guide Obama through disastrous scenarios soon after taking office. (New York Times)

Obama’s “charm offensive” against Republican congressmen seems to be working. (The Hill)

The e-government agenda Obama touts is already on the march at the Commerce Department. (NationalJournal.com)

Despite early complaints from the Latino community that it was not properly represented in Obama’s Cabinet, the transition team argues that Obama’s senior leadership actually has the largest number of Hispanics in history. (Politico)

Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson‘s nomination may be headed for trouble after a federal grand jury began investigating allegations of pay-to-play politics in New Mexico. (AP)

Plenty of drilling issues face Interior Secretary-designate Ken Salazar, who, as a Colorado senator, opposed oil-shale exploration but supported offshore drilling. (Wall Street Journal)

Early childhood education advocates are “atremble” with anticipation over Obama’s interest in funding childcare and preschool. (New York Times)

12/16: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has told incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel that she wants to know when and why the administration contacts “her rank-and-file Democrats.” (Politico)

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, will fast-track retired Gen. Eric Shinseki‘s confirmation hearings for Veterans Affairs secretary, making him the latest nominee to learn that his Senate hearings will be expedited. (Government Executive)

Shaun Donovan, Obama’s choice for Housing and Urban Development secretary, is winning plaudits from groups ranging “from those serving the homeless to Realtors and bankers.” (CongressDaily)

Time‘s Washington bureau chief Jay Carney will become Vice President-elect Joe Biden‘s communications director, serving a candidate he once criticized for being gaffe-prone. (Washington Post)

Arne Duncan, Obama’s expected choice for Education secretary, is something of a compromise pick, straddling an ideological divide among educators about how to fix the school system. (Wall Street Journal)

Obama will tap Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., to be his Interior secretary, adding another Hispanic and another Westerner to his Cabinet. (Denver Post)

Scientists and environmentalists are celebrating Obama’s green appointments, calling the contrast between Bush’s team and this one like “night and day.” (Los Angeles Times).

12/15: Since Donovan is a New Yorker, the diversity in Obama’s Cabinet still doesn’t include one group: Southerners. (Politico)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been thrust into the tight rope act of serving two presidents at once. (New York Times)

With the agency facing budget cuts and some tense moments already occurring with the Obama administration, NASA’s future continues to be cloudy. (Washington Post)

The relentless Obama-Abraham Lincoln comparisons are rubbing some historians the wrong way. (Politico)

12/12: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants Obama to tap a point person for intellectual property law in his first 100 days to oversee anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting programs. (CongressDaily)

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin denied reports that he and the space agency have been hostile towards Obama’s transition team. (Washington Post)