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Office Space Turf Wars On Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON — Rep.-elect Bob Gibbs was trying to get this straight: There’s a public women’s bathroom in the middle of a congressman’s office suite? And in the building next door, not one but two House aides have made their workspace in an unused elevator shaft? A glittering week being wined, dined and oriented by the most powerful people in Washington gave way Friday to the exercise in humility that is the freshman office lottery. The most senior lawmakers get the best real estate on Capitol Hill. The freshmen get what’s left: the worst office space in Congress. At the outset,
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Joe Miller Vote Count Challenge: Judge Temporarily Halts Certification Of Murkowski Win

JUNEAU, Alaska — An Alaska federal judge ruled Friday that Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller’s challenge to the counting of write-in ballots raises “serious” legal issues but is a matter for a state, not federal, court to decide. Yet in deferring to an Alaska state court for a final decision, U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said he would grant a temporary injunction to halt official certification of the Nov. 2 election – an action Miller is seeking – so long as Miller takes his case to the state court by Monday. Miller told The Associated Press late Friday that he
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Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [147] — Democrats Fighting The Good Fight

Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I thought that was a pretty good week for Democrats. Maybe it’s just the subject matter I’ve been tackling this week, that could contribute to my spirit of optimism, I suppose. I began the week examining the increasing and interesting struggle for power between the Tea Party Republicans and the entrenched-establishment Republicans, which is always both fascinating and amusing. Tuesday, I reflected on heroism as President Obama awarded the first Medal of Honor that went to a living recipient since the Vietnam War — an uplifting subject matter if there ever was
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Aaron Greenspan: Just Say No To X-Rays

In late August, I flew back to my home on the west coast on a Southwest Airlines flight from Boston’s Logan International Airport. Before boarding, I encountered a backscatter X-ray scatter at the security checkpoint for the very first time. Luckily, there was no one behind me, so I asked the TSA agent nearby to confirm my fears. “Is that an X-ray scanner?” I said. “Yes it is,” he stated. “I won’t go through it,” I replied. I’ve already had six CT scans in my life so far, and given that each one amounts to roughly 200 X-ray exposures, I
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Senior Federal Judge Pleads Guilty To 2 Drug Charges In Shocking Case

ATLANTA — A veteran federal judge who was arrested on charges that he bought and used drugs with a stripper pleaded guilty Friday to two-drug related charges, including a felony count of giving her cocaine even though he knew she was a convicted felon. U.S. Senior Judge Jack T. Camp pleaded guilty to the felony charge of aiding and abetting a felon’s possession of cocaine when he bought drugs for the stripper, who was secretly cooperating with authorities. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors: possession of illegal drugs and illegally giving the stripper his government-issued laptop. Camp, 67, could
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Art Levine: Labor Pushing Backbone Implant for Wavering Dems on Taxes, Social Security, Deficits

The White House and Democrats have been sending mixed signals (at best) on whether they’re willing to fight against extending tax cuts for the rich and, except for some House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, appear to be blandly accepting the draconian principles of Obama’s deficit commission: lowered taxes for the rich, more pain for the middle-class. So it’s been up to labor to take a leadership role in fighting back. Everyone talks about Democrats caving in to the GOP and right-wing talking points, but not many advocacy groups are effectively and visibly pushing back against the right-wing assault. Some
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Obama Says NATO Leaders Back Him On Nuke Treaty

LISBON, Portugal — President Barack Obama said he got a clear message from NATO leaders Friday on the stalled nuclear treaty with Russia: It would strengthen alliances and increase European security. Obama is in Lisbon for a NATO summit while back home his administration is working overtime to rescue the START weapons deal, which hit roadblocks this week when a key Republican senator withdrew his support for passing it this year. The pact would reduce the limits on strategic warheads held by the United States and Russia and would establish an inspection system. It would be a major setback for
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Kenneth Roth: Post Ghailani Verdict, Federal Trials Still Make Sense

Many critics have pounced on the recent verdict against Ahmed Ghailani as a blow to the Obama administration’s plans to prosecute the 9/11 defendants in civilian court. They have it wrong. The facts show that the administration is on the right track. Ghailani was the first former Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court. On Wednesday, he was convicted of conspiracy to destroy government property in connection with the August 1998 bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Although Ghailani was acquitted of the other charges against him, he still faces a minimum 20-year sentence and possibly life
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