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Dick Cheney tries to rewrite history

Dick Cheney‘s autobiography presents a robust defense of his push for the U.S. invasion of Iraq without critically examining two issues central to America’s near-failure in the war: the Bush administration’s decision to disband the country’s army and banish all members of Saddam Hussein‘s Baath Party. Cheney has said that “In My Time” would cause “heads to explode” in Washington, and it is juicy reading for its harsh criticism of two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and one defense secretary, Robert Gates. Not surprising was Cheney’s adulation of Gates’ Pentagon predecessor, Donald H. Rumsfeld, the vice president’s
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Safe, but not safe enough

We are safer, but not safe enough. In the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks, the government has taken giant steps to protect the nation from terrorists, spending eye-popping sums to smarten up the federal bureaucracy, hunt down enemies, strengthen airline security, secure U.S. borders, reshape America’s image and more. Still, the effort remains a work in progress, and in some cases a work stalled. Whole alphabets of acronyms have been born and died in pursuit of homeland security, a phrase that wasn’t even used much before 9/11. Hello, TSA, DNI, DHS, NCTC, CVE, NSI and ICE. Goodbye, TTIC, INS
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Palin sure sounds like she’s running for President

Cheers of “Run Sarah, Run” greeted Sarah Palin at a tea party rally in Iowa, but the former Alaska governor still isn’t saying whether she’s going to jump into the 2012 presidential race. Palin did have harsh words Saturday for President Barack Obama and the direction that she says the country has taken in his first term. She says “America is hurting” and at “a tipping point” due to “failed policies and incompetent leadership.” The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee says the crisis runs deeper than the fear of double-dip recession or “the shame of a credit downgrade.” She says
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Feds issue warnings on small plane terrorism threat

The FBI and Homeland Security have issued a nationwide warning about al-Qaida threats to small airplanes, just days before the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Authorities say there is no specific or credible terrorist threat for the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But they have stepped up security nationwide as a precaution. According to a five-page law enforcement bulletin issued Friday, as recently as early this year, al-Qaida was considering ways to attack airplanes. The alert, issued ahead of the summer’s last busy travel weekend, said terrorists have considered renting private planes
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Illinois Congressman says ‘nada’ to Obama’s job speech

An outspoken Republican congressman from Illinois is defending his decision to boycott President Barack Obama’s jobs speech next week. U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh said Saturday that Obama is abusing his power as president by calling a joint session of Congress for the address. Walsh said at a meeting of Republicans in his northeastern Illinois district that such a move should be reserved for “momentous” topics like war, not what he called a political speech. Walsh had said earlier in the week that he would not attend. He said he will still read Obama’s speech and comment afterward, and he plans
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Battle-weary lawmakers avoid town hall meetings

Too much yelling, not enough listening. Facing organized, often raucous confrontations at political events, some members of Congress this summer abandoned the long-time tradition of open meetings with the folks back home. It was goodbye to one of the few remaining opportunities for voters and lawmakers to talk face to face. Some cited security in the aftermath of the shooting that severely wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a meet-and-greet event in January. Others blamed grass-roots groups for commandeering the town halls. Still others opted for smaller, sometimes private or paid events. Whatever the explanation, the dearth of meetings sparked
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Religion and politics: Always a volatile mix

Rick Perry dived right in. The Texas governor, now a Republican presidential candidate, held a prayer rally for tens of thousands, read from the Bible, invoked Christ and broadcast the whole event on the Web. There was no symbolic nod to other American faiths, no rabbi or Roman Catholic priest among the evangelical speakers. It was a rare, full-on embrace of one religious tradition in the glare of a presidential contest. Looks like another raucous season for religion and politics. And yet, there was a time when all of this was simpler. Protestants were the majority, and candidates could show
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Obama caves in to Republicans on clean air regs

In a dramatic reversal, President Barack Obama on Friday scrubbed a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who complained the rule would kill jobs in America’s ailing economy. Withdrawal of the proposed regulation marked the latest in a string of retreats by the president in the face of GOP opposition, and it drew quick criticism from liberals. Environmentalists, a key Obama constituency, accused him of caving to corporate polluters, and the American Lung Association threatened to restart the legal action it had begun against rules proposed by President George W.
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Did NASCAR drivers diss President Obama?

Four NASCAR stars will take a pass on meeting President Obama at the White House. It doesn’t have anything to do with politics. When word got out that Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards wouldn’t be going to the White House next Wednesday, it sparked plenty of chatter on talk shows and social media networks. There was speculation the four were making some sort of protest about Obama’s policies on behalf of a generally conservative sport. Nonsense, insisted Biffle, who said he has to go to a two-day retreat in Minnesota for 3M, the major sponsor of
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GOP leaders oust tea party-backed New Hampshire chairman

A tea party-backed chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party — under fire for lackluster fundraising, election losses and inexperience on the job — resigned just minutes before fed-up GOP leaders could remove him. Jack Kimball — who became chairman just seven months ago as part of the much-heralded “tea party revolution” in New Hampshire — stepped down, telling supporters “I am not going to become an obstacle for this party.” His forced resignation is widely viewed as another sign of the tea party’s declining fortunes and a move by Republican leaders who are trying to take back control of
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