U.S. use of mercenaries endanders lives in Afghanistan

U.S. use of mercenaries endanders lives in Afghanistan

U.S. reliance on private security in Afghanistan that is poorly monitored and often results in the hiring of Afghan warlords is profiting the Taliban and could endanger coalition troops, according to a Senate report. Military officials warn, however, that ending the practice of hiring local guards could worsen the security situation. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman […]

Rush to judgment: Vilsack ignored facts in Sherrod debacle

Rush to judgment: Vilsack ignored facts in Sherrod debacle

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod pleaded with officials to hear her out after she was ousted from the USDA during a racial firestorm in July, internal e-mails show. Sherrod’s pleas reached Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s e-mail soon after he ordered her dismissed from the department because of supposed racist remarks she made earlier in […]

Democrats see some hope amid midterm election gloom

Democrats see some hope amid midterm election gloom

With only weeks left in the campaign, some staggering Democrats have jumped back into contention in congressional and gubernatorial races around the country, giving the party glimmers of hope that Election Day won’t also be doomsday. In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn has caught up in recent polls after running scathing ads suggesting his opponent is […]

Other factors, not voters, could determine control of Congress

Other factors, not voters, could determine control of Congress

The nation may be waiting well beyond Election Day this year to find out who won control of Congress. It’s a troubling ballot-box scenario that has hundreds of lawyers from both parties preparing for battles that could drag on days, weeks or even months past the Nov. 3 day-after. Some states don’t count substantial amounts […]

Senator wants anti-bullying law in wake of suicide

Senator wants anti-bullying law in wake of suicide

Colleges should adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying and harassment in the wake of the suicide of a Rutgers University student whose gay sexual encounter in his dorm room was streamed online, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said at a town meeting on campus. Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the crowd gathered Wednesday night in memory […]

Gingrich: Democrats are ‘the party of food stamps’

Gingrich: Democrats are ‘the party of food stamps’

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is advising Republican candidates on November’s ballots to frame the choice for voters between Democrats as “the party of food stamps” while selling the GOP as “the party of paychecks.” With a month to go before the election, Gingrich brought his branding effort to Minnesota on Wednesday. He raised money […]

Working-class whites say ‘no way’ to Democrats

Working-class whites say ‘no way’ to Democrats

Desperate for jobs and cool toward President Barack Obama, working-class whites are flocking to Republicans, turning a group long wary of Democrats into an even bigger impediment to the party’s drive to keep control of Congress. An Associated Press-GfK poll shows whites without four-year college degrees preferring GOP candidates by twice the margin of the […]

It’s go-for-broke time in Afghanistan

It’s go-for-broke time in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year Thursday with key players hedging their bets, uncertain whether the Obama administration is prepared to stay for the long haul, move quickly to exit an increasingly unpopular conflict, or something in between. Fearing that his Western allies may in the end abandon him, Afghan President Hamid Karzai […]

Sentenced Times Square bomber warns of more attacks

Sentenced Times Square bomber warns of more attacks

The Pakistani immigrant who tried to detonate a car bomb on a busy Saturday night in Times Square accepted a life sentence with a smirk Tuesday and warned that Americans can expect more bloodshed at the hands of Muslims. “Brace yourselves, because the war with Muslims has just begun,” 31-year-old Faisal Shahzad told a federal […]

Pot measure donations: Down to seeds and stems

Pot measure donations: Down to seeds and stems

In a state where contentious ballot measures can spawn multi-million-dollar throwdowns, no one for or against California’s high-profile marijuana legalization initiative has raised much cash. Most notably absent are big donations from the thriving medical marijuana industry, a seemingly natural base of support for a measure being sold as a way to raise tax revenue […]