Archives for News

House Democrats Avert Major Leadership Battle

WASHINGTON — House Democrats averted a messy leadership struggle, clearing the way for Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to become second in command of their new minority without a challenge from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn. Under an arrangement worked out in private, officials said late Friday that Clyburn would instead receive a new position, title unknown and duties undescribed, explicitly labeled the third-ranking post in leadership. The maneuvering was described by Democratic officials after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a vaguely worded statement saying she intends to nominate Clyburn to a new No. 3 post. The statement made no mention
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Shock Candidate Alvin Greene ‘Seriously Considering’ Presidential Bid

Alvin Greene, the quirky former South Carolina Senate candidate, added additional hype to his potential bid for president earlier this week when he upped the likelihood of a run from “I’ll have to see,” to “I’m seriously considering.” Not everyone is excited about the idea of this scenario. “I am at a loss for words to describe this new development,” wrote S.C. Senate Democratic Caucus director Phil Bailey according to the Columbia Free Times. But it’s possible that Bailey and other Democrats will be able to save their words, because Greene is hinting that he might not mount a campaign
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DNA Tests Undermine Evidence In Texas’ Last Execution Under Bush

Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene–a strand of hair–that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones. But DNA tests completed this week at the request of the Observer and the New York-based Innocence Project show the hair didn’t belong to
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Scalia Spars With Liberal Justice Over Death Penalty, Democratic Election

LUBBOCK, Texas — One of the most conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court and one of the most liberal ones sparred Friday over capital punishment, the direct election of senators and various other constitutional questions during a rare public debate that highlighted their philosophical differences. Antonin Scalia, 74, the longest-serving current justice, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, and Stephen Breyer, 72, appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton, shared the stage in front of a crowd of thousands during a West Texas event organized by Texas Tech University Law School. They particularly clashed on the question of capital punishment. Scalia
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Pot Measure Pulls Ahead In Tight Vote Count Out West

PHOENIX — A measure that would legalize medical marijuana in Arizona pulled ahead for the first time Friday, with both supporters and opponents saying they believed the proposal that went before voters on Election Day would pass. Proposition 203 was ahead by 4,421 votes out of more than 1.63 million votes counted. The measure started out losing by about 7,200 votes on Nov. 2 and the gap gradually narrowed in the following 10 days. Only about 10,000 early and provisional ballots remain to be counted in the state, and all are in Maricopa County. If the measure passes, Arizona would
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Postal Service Takes Massive Loss Despite Deep Cuts

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service said Friday it lost $8.5 billion last year despite deep cuts of more than 100,000 jobs and other reductions in recent years. The post office had estimated it would lose $6 billion to $7 billion, but a sharp decline in mail took a toll. Increased use of the Internet and the recession, which cut advertising and other business mail, meant less money for the agency. For the year ending Sept. 30, the post office had income of $67.1 billion, down $1 billion from the previous fiscal year. Expenses totaled $70 billion, a decline of about
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Dem Rep. Finally Wins Reelection In Southern Nail-Biter

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler finally won his close re-election race Friday when his Republican challenger conceded 10 days after Election Day. A recanvass of the election results a few hours earlier moved just one more vote into Republican Andy Barr’s column and gave Chandler a 648-vote margin of victory. Chandler’s win in a district that Republican John McCain carried in 2008 represented one of the few bright spots for southern Democrats this month and ended a costly contest that featured heavy TV advertising by both sides. “Some of my friends said that I am the Zenyatta
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Cecile Richards: Why Women Need Pelosi

In the aftermath of the election, the circular firing squad within the Democratic Party has dominated this week’s news. As with any disaster, blaming those who are not responsible is a given — and the pack mentality begins. One of the folks targeted during and after the election is the highest ranking woman ever in the history of the U.S. Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Some political pundits have completely missed the mark regarding the importance of Pelosi, both in policy and political terms. In short, she has been one of the most effective speakers in the history of the House
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Post-Katrina Shootings Witness: Cop Said Looters ‘Deserved To Be Shot’

NEW ORLEANS — A former New Orleans police officer on trial for gunning down a man outside a strip mall in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath said after the shooting that looters are “animals” who “deserved to be shot,” a fellow officer testified Friday. The former officer, David Warren, is charged with fatally shooting 31-year-old Henry Glover before two other officers allegedly burned his body in a car. Prosecutors say Glover wasn’t armed and didn’t pose a threat, but Warren’s lawyers say he thought Glover was a looter reaching for a weapon when he shot him. Alec Brown, a former officer who
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Obama’s Ex-Intel Chief Talks Torture, Terror, Reform And More

Former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair sat down with Charlie Rose for an interview airing Friday night. Per the “Charlie Rose” program, some highlights from the raw transcript are excerpted below. On torture: “When I first came in as DNI, that question was before us. So I called for the experts to come in, got the reports, and read them, and said you know what is the most effective interrogation technique we have? When it’s done under duress is that — do you actually get true information better than if you don’t use that? And the answer, Charlie, is
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