One Week till New Sheriff:

Robert Gates will become the 22nd Secretary of Defense on Dec. 18, replacing Donald Rumsfeld, for whom the Pentagon plans a Dec. 15 farewell. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters that Gates and Rumsfeld will continue their meetings this week to discuss transition issues. Among his early priorities, Gates told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing, that he would review the Fiscal 2008 budget submission. Gates believes the defense budget topline needs help, but it may be too late to influence the 2008 request.