Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

The Political Fallout of John Murtha’s Death

The Political Fallout of John Murtha's DeathDemocratic Rep. John Murtha died Monday. Representing a competitive working-class Pennsylvania district, Murtha is being remembered for his influence on defense, his volte-face on the Iraq War, and his close friendship with Nancy Pelosi. Commentators on the left and right are greeting his death with sympathy, while acknowledging disagreements. Beltway pundits, of course, are quickly laying out the prospects for the race in his district.

Political Predictions

  • Prepare for a Fight Rick Klein of ABC News “Murtha’s district is certain to be hotly contested this year. Republicans have long viewed his predominantly rural district as a prime pick-up opportunity. Murtha’s was the only congressional district in the country to support John Kerry in 2004 and John McCain in 2008.”
  • Weakens Democrats Further writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. “Murtha’s passing comes at a tenuous time for House Democrats as they seek to convince some of their older members to re-up for another term in the face of what looks to be a difficult national political environment for the party. … Murtha’s death also makes Pennsylvania perhaps the most competitive state in the country when it comes to the battle for the House.”

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/The-Political-Fallout-of-John-Murthas-Death-2463

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Obama Administration Threatened Britain To Suppress Torture Evidence

Guantanamo detainee tortured into bombing confession

Obama Administration Threatened Britain To Suppress Torture Evidence 040209top

Prison Planet.com

The Obama administration has been caught in a fresh torture controversy after it emerged that America threatened to cease all intelligence ties with Britain if it revealed that a British suspect held at Guantanamo Bay had been tortured into confessing to being part of a dirty bomb plot.

“Two senior British judges have expressed their anger and surprise that President Barack Obama’s Government has put pressure on Britain to suppress evidence of torture in US custody,” reports the London Times. Continue reading

Illinois Senate removes impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich

The so called kangaroo courtor  Illinois Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to remove impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.

Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges in December. Federal authorities allege, among other things, that he was trying to sell or trade the Senate seat that became vacant after Barack Obama was elected president. After the governor’s arrest, the state House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him.

A second vote, to prevent him from holding future state office, also passed unanimously.

Earlier, the two-term Democratic governor — who avoided the first three days of his trial, opting instead for a national media blitz — gave a closing argument to the Senate. He said he had done nothing wrong.

Studies Find Mercury in Much U.S. Corn Syrup

PHOTO Yogurt, barbeque sauce, chocolate syrup and jam were just a few of the 55 foods containing high fructose corn syrup that were tested for their mercury levels.Yogurt, barbeque sauce, chocolate syrup and soda were just a few of the 55 foods containing high fructose corn syrup that were tested for their mercury levels.

(Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Many common foods made using commercial high fructose corn syrup contain mercury as well, researchers reported on Tuesday, while another study suggested the corn syrup itself is contaminated.

Food processors and the corn syrup industry group attacked the findings as flawed and outdated, but the researchers said it was important for people to know about any potential sources of the toxic metal in their food.

In one study, published in the journal Environmental Health, former Food and Drug Administration scientist Renee Dufault and colleagues tested 20 samples of high fructose corn syrup and found detectable mercury in nine of the 20 samples. Continue reading

School can expel lesbian students, court rules

An appeals panel finds California Lutheran High School in Riverside County is not a business and therefore doesn’t have to comply with a state law barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-school28-2009jan28,0,4594347.story?track=rssJanuary 28, 2009
Reporting from San Francisco — After a Lutheran school expelled two 16-year-old girls for having “a bond of intimacy” that was “characteristic of a lesbian relationship,” the girls sued, contending the school had violated a state anti-discrimination law.

In response to that suit, an appeals court decided this week that the private religious school was not a business and therefore did not have to comply with a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating. A lawyer for the girls said Tuesday that he would ask the California Supreme Court to overturn the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal.

Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case

The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

http://blog.wired.com/27bstrok….

In a filing in San Francisco federal court, President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor. With just hours left in office, President George W. Bush late Monday asked U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to stay enforcement of an important Jan. 5 ruling admitting key evidence into the case.

Thursday’s filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration’s warrantless-eavesdropping program. The former president approved the wiretaps in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Continue reading

NSA Whistleblower on Bush’s Domestic Spy Program Secerts

NSA whistleblower Russell Tice was back on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC program Thursday evening to expand on his Wednesday revelations that the National Security Agency spied on individual U.S. journalists, entire U.S. news agencies as well as “tens of thousands” of other Americans.

Tice said on Wednesday that the NSA had vacuumed in all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic.

Today Tice said that the spy agency also combined information from phone wiretaps with data that was mined from credit card and other financial records. He said information of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens is now in digital databases warehoused at the NSA.