Archives for News

Republicans, as usual, wooing religious conservatives

Facing lingering tensions in his party, the chairman of the Republican National Committee urged religious conservatives Saturday to support the GOP’s plans to expand. “I would just ask you that we come together and that we pray for the future of this country,” Reince Priebus said on the final day of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference that brought several Republicans leaders together with evangelical activists. “I’m a Christian. I’m a believer. God lives in my heart. And I’m for changing minds, not changing values,” Priebus said. Religious conservatives have been skeptical of establishment Republicans in Washington and the RNC’s
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Reactions over NSA spying split on Capitol Hill

Revelations of widespread spying on Americans by the U.S. government is bringing denouncement from some members of Congress and support from others. Differences on whether the program is legal or constitutional cross party lines.  Even those controlled by the tea party can’t agree on whether or not the program is justified. Michigan Republican Justin Amash of Michegan wants the program by the National Security Agency shut down.  Florida Republican Lindsey Graham supports the spying. Graham is siding with liberal California Democrat Dianne Feinstein.  Amash finds himself in bed with Rand Paul, the bombastic GOP Senator from Kentucky. Amash says the
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Pouting Palin returning to Fox News

Right-wing propaganda channel Fox “News” channel, which appeared to exhibit a brief moment of sanity five months ago by ridding itself of failed Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, announced Thursday it was bringing her back as a contributor, starting Monday. Fox News boss Roger Ailes, who was part of disgraced President Richard Nixon’s team, claimed he had talked with Palin “several times” in recent weeks about rejoining the network, which ousted her after a three-year run at the beginning of the year. Palin, who said her audience at Fox was “limited” after they sent her packing, is
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Rand Paul claims American taxpayers fund ‘wars against Christians’

In the kind of statement that keeps people shaking their heads about right-wingers, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul Thursday claimed American taxpayers are footing the bill for a “war on Christianity” in both the United States and in other nations. Claimed Paul in a conservative conference in Washington: There is a war on Christianity, Not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide. And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it. You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians, but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened
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Republicans claim leaks caused terrorists to change tactics

Two senior Republican lawmakers said Thursday that terrorists are already changing their behavior after leaks about classified U.S. data gathering programs, but they offered no details. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said it’s part of the damage from disclosures by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of two NSA programs, which collect millions of telephone records and track foreign Internet activity on U.S. networks. Snowden fled to Hong Kong in May and has granted some interviews since then, saying he hopes to stay there and fight any charges that may yet be filed against him. Rogers said there are “changes we
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Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage won’t be last word

Whatever the U.S. Supreme Court decides this month, gay marriage appears destined to face several more years of legal debate and at least one more round of argument at the high court. That’s because a majority of the court’s nine justices, based on their record and comments during March’s oral arguments, are unlikely to proclaim a national right to same-sex marriage in the pending cases, and momentum for it in the states may soon slow as the battleground moves beyond the Northeast. Any right to gay marriage will come only if the Supreme Court declares it, probably years from now
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Lawmakers skeptical over claimed value of spying program

The former spy agency contractor who fled to Hong Kong to leak U.S. secrets said he’s not there to hide from justice and has faith in “the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.” “I am neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American,” Edward Snowden declared to the South China Morning Post about his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs that have rocked Washington. Snowden said in the interview published Wednesday that he hasn’t dared contact his family or his girlfriend since coming forward as the leaker of NSA documents. “I am worried about the pressure they
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NSA director claims spying on Americans diverted terror attacks

The director of the National Security Agency vigorously defended once-secret surveillance programs as an effective tool in keeping America safe, telling Congress on Wednesday that the information collected disrupted dozens of terrorist attacks without offering details. In his first congressional testimony since revelations about the top-secret operations, Army Gen. Keith Alexander insisted that the public needs to know more about how the programs operate amid increasing unease about rampant government snooping and fears that Americans’ civil liberties are being trampled. “I do think it’s important that we get this right and I want the American people to know that we’re
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Invasion of privacy lawsuits usually a long-shot

Before there was Edward Snowden and the leak of explosive documents showing widespread government surveillance, there was Mark Klein — a telecommunications technician who alleged that AT&T was allowing U.S. spies to siphon vast amounts of customer data without warrants. Klein’s allegations and the news reports about them launched dozens of consumer lawsuits in early 2006 against the government and telecommunications companies. The lawsuits alleged invasion of privacy and targeted the very same provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that are at the center of the latest public outcry. That was seven years ago, and the warrantless collection continues,
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In Congress, raising money dominates every day

For lawmakers in Washington, the daily chase for money can begin with a breakfast fundraiser in the side room of a Washington restaurant. At noon, there might be a $500-per-plate lunch with lobbyists in a Capitol Hill town house. The day might wrap up in an arena sky box in downtown Washington, watching a basketball game with donors. In between, there is “call time” – up to four or five hours a day for lawmakers in tough re-election campaigns – in telemarketing-style cubicles a few hundred yards from the Capitol. The call centers, set up by the Democratic and Republican
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