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A more experienced Romney targets Obama

This time, Mitt Romney has a clear pitch: I’m the strongest Republican to challenge President Barack Obama on the country’s single biggest issue — the economy. “He created a deeper recession, and delayed the recovery,” Romney said Saturday, previewing his campaign message before Republicans in this influential early nominating state. “The consequence is soaring numbers of Americans enduring unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies. This is the Obama Misery Index, and it is at a record high.” “It’s going to take more than new rhetoric to put Americans back to work — it’s going to take a new president,” said the former
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Gay legislators impact civil unions debate

Of America‘s 7,382 state legislators, only 85 are openly gay or lesbian. They are, however, playing an outsized and often impassioned role when the agenda turns to recognizing same-sex couples with civil unions or full marriage rights. In Hawaii and Illinois, gay state representatives were lead sponsors of civil union bills signed into law earlier this year. In Maryland and Rhode Island, gay lawmakers are co-sponsoring pending bills that would legalize same-sex marriage. In New York, a gay senator, Tom Duane, is preparing to be lead sponsor of a marriage bill in his chamber later this session. “For my colleagues,
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White House praises Muslims: Get jump on House hearings

Muslim Americans are not part of the terrorism problem facing the U.S. — they are part of the solution, a top White House official said Sunday at a Washington-area mosque. Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough set the Obama administration’s tone for discussions as tensions escalate before the first in a series of congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization. The hearings, chaired by New York Republican Peter King, will focus on the level of cooperation from the Muslim community to help law enforcement combat radicalization. The majority of the recent terror plots and attempts against the U.S. have involved people espousing
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Tough federal judge gets first-hand look at New York drug turf

The scene in a gritty Brooklyn neighborhood had the feel of a political campaign stop, except the stately man trailed by aides, a bodyguard and two news photographers wasn’t making speeches or working a crowd. Instead, longtime federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein — 6-foot-2 and looking fit — strolled mostly in silence on Friday around the Louis Armstrong Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant — the same streets where authorities say armed thugs once terrorized residents with an “open-air drug bazaar.” Weinstein, who’s overseeing the case against the crack cocaine crew, had decided it was important to leave his chambers, don his dark
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