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Tortured vet cleared to sue Rumsfeld over abuse

A judge is allowing an Army veteran who says he was imprisoned unjustly and tortured by the U.S. military in Iraq to sue former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld personally for damages. The veteran’s identity is withheld in court filings, but he worked for an American contracting company as a translator for the Marines in the volatile Anbar province before being detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a U.S. military facility near the Baghdad airport dedicated to holding “high-value” detainees. The government says he was suspected of helping get classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces enter
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Did tea party win or lose in debt deal debacle?

The Tea Party stood at a political crossroads Tuesday, split by a vote on raising the US debt limit after fractious negotiations that saw them declared both the big winners and losers. At issue was the role that the young movement, born of anger at the sour US economy and stoked by establishment Republicans eager to harness its energy, could play in President Barack Obama‘s fight for reelection in November 2012. “I think nothing really changes. This is, to us, the beginning of the debate,” Republican Senator Rand Paul, one of the Tea Party’s champions in the polarized Congress, told
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Obama’s curse: The Bush tax cuts

Time and again during his presidential campaign, Barack Obama was unequivocal: “We are going to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.” But when the chips were down, now-President Obama blinked and backed away. Twice in less than nine months, Obama has shelved his pledge in deadline-pressing negotiations with congressional Republicans. Obama insists he still is determined to find new revenue by making taxpayers who make more than $200,000 and big corporations pay more, but frustrated liberals say he has already missed key opportunities. Inaction on taxes and his willingness to consider structural changes to Medicare and
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Obama’s debt-deal signature averts default

The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26. Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later. Tuesday’s vote capped an extraordinarily difficult Washington battle pitting tea party Republican forces in the House against Obama and Democrats controlling the Senate. The resulting compromise paired an essential increase in the government’s borrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the next decade. “It’s an important first step to ensuring that as
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Debt-limit bill passes Congress; Obama says more needed

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a just-passed bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and cut spending was a first step toward ensuring the United States lives within its means but that more was needed to rebuild the world’s largest economy. Speaking at the White House, Obama made clear he expects tax reform to emerge from deliberations by a new committee of Democrats and Republicans to be established by the legislation and that a “balanced approach” in which the wealthier pay more taxes is needed for more deficit reduction. Obama, a Democrat, said uncertainty from the bitter debt debate
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Debt-limit debacle draws to a close…for now

The United States is poised to step back from the brink of economic disaster on Tuesday as a bitterly fought deal to cut the budget deficit is expected to clear the Senate and President Barack Obama‘s desk. Just hours before the Treasury’s authority to borrow funds runs out — risking a damaging U.S. debt default — the Senate was expected to approve the deal to cut the country’s bulging deficit and lift the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling enough to last beyond the November 2012 elections. The bill cleared its biggest hurdle on Monday evening when the Republican-led House of Representatives
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House passes debt-limit extension

The House of Representatives on Monday approved an 11th-hour deal to raise the borrowing limit, clearing the biggest hurdle to averting a potentially catastrophic debt default. Just one day before the deadline to lift the debt ceiling, the passage by 269 votes to 161 by the Republican-controlled House paved the way for an expected approval in the Senate of a $2.1 trillion deficit-cutting plan hammered out over the weekend. The Democratic-led Senate was expected to vote on the plan on Tuesday. Financial markets worldwide have been rattled by uncertainty over whether the compromise plan could pass the House in the
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Senate up next to pass debt-limit extension

With just hours left before the national debt bumps against its ceiling, emergency bipartisan legislation to allow the government to borrow more faces one final test in the Senate. Expected passage there sends the bill to President Barack Obama, averting a potentially disastrous, first-ever government default and making a down payment toward taming out-of-control budget deficits. The legislation, which easily passed the House on Monday, is virtually assured to clear the Senate shortly after noon Tuesday by a bipartisan tally. The White House promises Obama will sign the measure into law. The legislation pairs an increase in the government’s borrowing
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Debt deal really doesn’t reduce deficit all that much

The compromise debt limit deal may have resolved this year’s most clamorous political battle between President Barack Obama and Congress, but it takes only a modest swipe at the heart of the matter: the government’s relentlessly huge budget deficits. The legislation, due a Senate vote Tuesday following Monday’s House passage, would save at least $2.1 trillion over the coming decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which tallies the price tags of bills for lawmakers. That’s real money, even by Washington standards. But it’s just a slice of the nearly $7 trillion in red ink expected over the next
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America, we have a debt-limit deal

Congress is moving quickly on an agreement to avert a potentially devastating default on U.S. obligations, with legislation that mixes a record increase in the government’s borrowing cap with the promise of more than $2 trillion in spending cuts. After a tense weekend of bargaining, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced the agreement Sunday night, providing an instant boost to Asian financial markets and a huge dose of relief to an administration and Congress frazzled by months of partisan warfare and the chance that a default could send the still-fragile economy into recession. The Senate seems likely to vote
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