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Christof Putzel: Arizona’s Overflowing Morgues Full of Unidentified Migrants

Christof Putzel is a Vanguard correspondent. As part of his investigation into the immigration debate, he crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. on foot. The Pima County Morgue in Tucson, Arizona, is so overwhelmed with the record number of bodies being found in the desert this year that it has taken to storing many of them in mobile units, refrigerated trucks most often used in response to mass disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or 9/11. As part of my investigation for Current TV’s Vanguard about immigration from Mexico into the United States, I spoke to Dr. Bruce Anderson,
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Bloomberg, Scarborough May Be Eyeing 2012 Presidential Bid

WASHINGTON — There’s no campaign yet, and there may never be, but New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and MSNBC’s morning talk-show host Joe Scarborough have begun trying to figure out whether they could be an independent presidential ticket in 2012 — and who would be better to be on top if it happens. They’re the Odd Couple of Guys Outside the System. The two are friends and, in both public and private, mutual admirers. They spent the day after the midterm elections complimenting each other at a Harvard symposium — Vanity Fair was there to document it all for a
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Alaska Senate Race: Joe Miller Faces Decision Time At Final Stage Of Political Fight

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski widened her lead over bitter rival Joe Miller on Tuesday, increasing pressure on the GOP nominee to decide whether to fight what could be a losing battle. With Murkowski holding a 10,400-vote lead and only an estimated few hundred uncounted ballots remaining, Miller must now determine whether to press forward with a federal lawsuit challenging election procedure, demand a recount or concede. Murkowski, seeking to make history as the first U.S. Senate candidate to win as a write-in since 1954, was returning to Alaska on Wednesday, where she planned to address supporters after
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Melissa Bean Concedes To Tea Party Favorite Joe Walsh

Two weeks after the midterm elections, Republicans have scored another win. Illinois Democrat Melissa Bean conceded to Tea Party favorite Joe Walsh Tuesday, in the very close race to represent Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. According to a statement from Bean spokeswoman Gabby Adler, Bean called Walsh to congratulate him on becoming the 8th’s next representative Tuesday night after returning home from Washington. Though Walsh led Bean by a small margin since Nov. 2, the incumbent wanted to wait until absentee and provisional ballots were counted before giving up. The ballots were finished this week, and Walsh led Bean by about
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HuffPost TV: Howard Fineman On Earmarks As ‘Appetizers’

HuffPost’s Howard Fineman appeared on MSNBC’s “Hardball” Tuesday evening to discuss the GOP’s proposed ban on legislative earmarks, which he attributed to mainstream Republicans “running scared of the tea party.” “If this is all they do, it’s laughable,” Fineman told guest host Michael Smerconish. “If this is just the prelude and the sort of moral scene-setter, if you will, to something real, then it’s valuable.” WATCH: From The Huffington Post
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SHOCK: 16-Year-Old Willow Palin Posts Homophobic Slurs

Willow Palin, the 16-year-old daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, wrote multiple Facebook posts containing homophobic slurs such as “faggot” on Sunday night, according to TMZ. The web site reports that Palin’s teenage daughter wrote the comments on Sunday night, when her mother’s television show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” premiered on TLC. According to TMZ, a classmate of one of Palin’s children published a Facebook update claiming that the show “is failing so hard right now.” Willow Palin reportedly unloaded on the student, calling him “so gay” and “such a faggot.” She later demanded that the student “quit talkin shit
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Democratic Earmark Reformers See Small Shift In Resistance

Most Senate Democrats continued on Tuesday to oppose a moratorium on earmarks, despite growing public demands for an end to the practice and a nascent reform movement within their own ranks. Reformers, including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), said that while passing a ban in the next few months may not be in the cards, they nevertheless believe momentum is on their side. Asked if the earmark ban is facing a now-or-never situation in the Senate, McCaskill said, “I’m not sure that it is ever going to be never. I think it’s only a matter of time.” From The Huffington Post
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Wall Street Quietly Working To Undo New Financial Rules

WASHINGTON — The heavy hitters of finance lost big battles earlier this year during the overhaul of financial regulation, but they’re working hard to win the war. They’re quietly trying to soften, if not kill, some of the more controversial provisions. Lobbyists for Big Finance are working hardest to neutralize the so-called Volcker Rule, which would force big banks to spin off their lucrative proprietary trading operations, in which they invest their own capital in speculative deals. The measure_ named after its proponent, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker — seeks to prevent big banks from betting against trades they
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David Chura: Time to "Think Outside the Box" on CORI Reform

At the beginning of my ten years teaching teenagers in a county lockup, years I chronicle in I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup(Beacon Press), I was always surprised, and yes, disappointed, when one of my students got rearrested. Jail’s a sobering place no matter how tough you want to think you are. The deprivation, brutality, and oppression gets your attention, especially if you’re 15 years old. So once locked up, many of the kids I taught saw my jailhouse classroom as an opportunity to do something productive. Along with education,
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