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Archive for January 5th, 2009

Senator Franken, At Last?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Senator Franken, At Last?

Al Franken

After recounting 2.4 million ballots cast in the state’s Senatorial election, Minnesota officials are ready to name Al Franken the winner by a mere 225 votes. Franken’s rival, Sen. Norm Coleman, will likely fight the decision in the state supreme court. His campaign manager, meanwhile, is calling for a do-over.


Reuters:

“At the moment, Franken has a 225-vote lead,” after the weekend counting of what were deemed the last uncounted absentee ballots, said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat who oversaw the process.

Ritchie said unless the supreme court acts on Coleman’s request and orders more ballots to be counted, he will reconvene the state’s Canvassing Board on Monday to certify Franken as the winner of the November 4 contest.

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Israel Begins Ground War in Gaza

Israeli soldiers

Israeli forces crossed into Gaza on Saturday night, launching ground attacks and seriously ratcheting up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following a week of bombardment from intensive airstrikes. The United Nations Security Council met that evening in New York about the mounting Mideast crisis.


The New York Times:

The ground campaign brought new risks and the prospect of significantly higher casualties on both sides in a conflict that, even before the ground war started, had already taken the lives of more than 430 Palestinians and four Israelis.

While a ground campaign in densely populated Gaza is likely to increase the civilian death toll there, the Israeli Army also faces new threats. Hamas has had 18 months since Israel withdrew from the territory to smuggle in more lethal weapons against tanks and troops. Its more sophisticated arsenal has been on display over the last weeks, as it has launched scores of longer range rockets from Gaza into Israeli cities.

Israeli officials said they want to strike a hard blow against Hamas, improve Israeli deterrence and significantly change the security situation in southern Israel, where residents have been plagued by rocket fire out of Gaza for years.

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Bush Will Be First Ex-Prez To Not Get Lifetime Secret Service Protection

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Bush Will Be First Ex-Prez To Not Get Lifetime Secret Service Protection
WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush’s “after-life,” as Laura Bush calls the post-presidency, is shaping up to be pretty comfortable, with a Dallas office, staffers,…

James Moore: The Exclamation Point at the End of the Story
America’s role as the unwavering good guy is a mythology that has sustained us but may ultimately be our ruin.

Franken To Be Declared Senate Victor In Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – Democrat Al Franken will be declared the winner of the tight U.S. Senate contest in Minnesota, emerging from a ballot recount with…


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

The Daily Muck
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) used campaign funds to pay parking tickets in the Washington, D.C. area, according to campaign finance records. Although it is not illegal to use campaign funds to pay off tickets written during campaign activities, it is…

Fitzgerald Asks For Extension On Blago Indictment
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has asked for a 90-day extension to bring an indictment against Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. In a motion filed today in U.S. District Court, Fitzgerald said that the length, scope, and complexity of the investigation, combined…


My War Against Food Nazi Moms

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:32 am by HL

My War Against Food Nazi Moms
It’s madness: Feeding your child a sandwich made with white bread or a bag of Doritos could cost you custody of your children?

Why Big Finance Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank
Instead of making loans to help the economy, they’re shoring up their own finances and buying up their competitors.

Can America Clean Up from Its Worst Environmental Disaster? [Contains Photo Slideshow]
With the breaking of a coal waste dam in Tennessee, environmental and human health is threatened by millions of pounds of toxic chemicals.


Challenging Group Thinking Economists on Budget Deficits and the Dollar

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:31 am by HL

Challenging Group Thinking Economists on Budget Deficits and the Dollar
Virtually the whole economics profession somehow managed to overlook the largest housing bubble in the history of the world. Remarkably, few, if any, economists were fired or even demoted for their extraordinary incompetence. Unlike dishwashers and factory workers, economists are…

Can There Be Politics in Tragedy? Or in Gaza?
I’m immersed in long-range writing and leave tomorrow for six months in Berlin, but the Gaza war provokes me to share a brilliant essay by Darry Li, a doctoral student in anthropology and Middle East Studies at Harvard and a…

Delusions, cont’d
“Hamas legislators won a democratic majority in elections four years ago.” –Ethan Bronner, NYT online, Jan. 3. “Eighteen months ago, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup.” –George W. Bush, radio address, Jan. 3. I was just saying…






Reid: ?I really do believe President Bush is the worst president we?ve ever had.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:30 am by HL

Reid: ?I really do believe President Bush is the worst president we?ve ever had.?
In early 2006, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said of President Bush: “I really do believe this man will go down as the worst president this country has ever had.” This morning on Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Reid whether he regrets making that statement. Reid refused to back down. “I think […]

In early 2006, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said of President Bush: “I really do believe this man will go down as the worst president this country has ever had.” This morning on Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Reid whether he regrets making that statement. Reid refused to back down. “I think you just have to call things the way you see them,” he said. “I really do believe President Bush is the worst president we’ve ever had.” Watch it:

Transcript: More ?


Curbs May Be Eased On Paving In Forests

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on January 5th, 2009 5:29 am by HL

Curbs May Be Eased On Paving In Forests
LOS ANGELES — The Bush administration appears poised to push through a change in U.S. Forest Service agreements that would make it far easier for mountain forests to be converted to housing subdivisions.

Top Democrats Favor Deliberate Approach to Stimulus Bill
Lowering expectations for quick passage of an economic stimulus bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid rejected setting “some false deadline” for delivering legislation to President-elect Barack Obama in favor of a more deliberate approach that allows Congress to get the package right “the first…

Virginia Governor Kaine Said to Be Next DNC Chairman
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will become chairman of the Democratic National Committee later this month, serving as the top political messenger for Barack Obama’s administration even while finishing his final year in the governor’s mansion, several sources said.

Commerce Pick Richardson Withdraws, Citing N.M. Probe
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to be commerce secretary, withdrew from consideration yesterday, citing an ongoing federal “pay-to-play” investigation involving one of his political donors as a significant obstacle to his confirmation.