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The arms treaty: More hype than facts, more spin than truth

In their showdown over the fate of a major arms-control treaty with Russia, Democrats and Republicans are charging each other with undermining national security. So who’s right? The Obama administration is pushing for a vote this year on the treaty, while Republicans are calling for a delay until a new Congress convenes in January. Here’s a closer look at the claims flying back and forth in the debate: ___ THE CLAIM: Opponents of the treaty, known as New START, say it will limit U.S. options for future missile defense. “New START could hamper our ability to improve our missile-defense system
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Air Force warns troops: ‘Beware of Facebook’

The Air Force is warning its troops to be careful when using Facebook and other popular networking sites because some new features could show the enemy exactly where U.S. forces are located in war zones. In a warning issued on its internal website earlier this month, the Air Force said that “careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating operations security and privacy implications.” The message was also sent to senior commanders, who were asked to get the word out to their forces. The sites are a concern for U.S military services, which have 95,000 troops in Afghanistan
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Palin Keeps Tight Rein On Staff, Not Daughters

While elsewhere a prince and a well-educated commoner have captured the world’s attention, the Sarah Palin clan will not let the posh have their moment. In a rare interview with the “lamestream media” for this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, the will she or won’t she? 2012 presidential contender tells reporter Robert Draper that she is indeed exploring a run for the country’s highest elected office. From The Huffington Post
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Raising retirement age hurts the poor

Raising the retirement age for Social Security would disproportionately hurt low-income workers and minorities, and increase disability claims by older people unable to work, government auditors told Congress. The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security’s finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded. The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Friday, provides fodder for those opposed to raising the eligibility age for benefits, as proposed by the leaders of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission. “There’s more to consider than simply how much money the
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House Dems Borrowed Millions To Avoid Worse Losses

WASHINGTON — Routed at the polls, House Democrats said Thursday they borrowed millions of dollars late in the campaign in a successful attempt to prevail in 15 or more competitive races. In a postelection memo to the party’s rank and file, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said moves by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the final few weeks before the election had helped incumbent lawmakers win new terms in close races in Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, California and elsewhere. The memo did not address financial matters, but officials said the campaign organization ended the year owing $17 million on
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WATCH: George W. Bush Jokes With Leno About Exit Strategy, Drinking

George W. Bush continued his book tour for “Decision Points” on Thursday night with an appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show.” Jay Leno thanked him for a decade worth of monologue material, and asked the former president if he was ever bothered by the jokes. “You know, I hate to tell you, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I was asleep,” Bush replied. The first two parts of the interview stuck with lighter fare, with Bush joking about his lack of an “exit strategy” and his troubled past with alcohol. The second two segments turned to heavier subjects like
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Geoffrey Dunn: Sarah Palin Slams Michelle Obama in Racially Charged Passage From New Book

In passages leaked from her forthcoming book America by Heart, Sarah Palin — the erstwhile quitter governor of Alaska, who now, by all indications, fancies herself as President of the United States — has taken another cheap shot at First Lady Michelle Obama. In a passage on perceptions of racial inequality in the United States, Palin slams President Barack Obama, who, she asserts, “seems to believe” that “America — at least America as it currently exists — is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country.” And then she goes after Michelle Obama: Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said
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HuffPost TV: Howard Fineman On Millionaires’ Congress Voting Down Unemployment Extension

HuffPost’s Howard Fineman appeared on MSNBC’s “Countdown” Thursday night to discuss the decisive defeat of extended jobless benefits in the U.S. House of Representatives, the day after a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics revealed that nearly one in two members of Congress is a millionaire — and most are getting richer. “The members of Congress are insulated in many, many ways here,” Fineman told host Keith Olbermann, referring to the suffering of middle-class Americans. “It’s the nature of politics today, which … favors wealthy people, number one.” WATCH: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news
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