Archives for Politics

Utah GOP leader admits hot tub romp with minor

Utah’s House majority leader said late Thursday he paid a woman $150,000 to keep silent about going nude “hot-tubbing” with her when she was minor a quarter century ago. In a shocking statement on the House floor, Kevin Garn, 55, of Layton said he paid her to keep quiet about the incident during his unsuccessful U.S. congressional bid in 2002, but did not have sexual contact with her. Garn said the woman, who he didn’t identify on the floor, has been calling news outlets and that he wanted to be open about the incident that occurred when he was 28
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The never-ending debate over abortion

President Barack Obama’s health care bill would change federal policy on abortion, but not open the spigot of taxpayer dollars that some abortion opponents fear. Abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America say the House and Senate versions of the bill represent the biggest expansion of abortion restrictions in years, yet they’re not trying to defeat the measures. Instead, a bitter dispute among abortion opponents over which version is stricter could derail Obama’s quest to remake the health insurance system. Major anti-abortion groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Right to
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Bitter partisanship not new in America

The current partisan divide is as stark and nasty as any in recent history and on almost every issue — from health care to energy independence to reviving the economy — there’s little or no effort to find common ground. But fierce political battle is also a tradition ingrained in American history. If today’s hostile environment is particularly intense, it’s downright genteel compared to many battles of the past. The Civil War, when anti- and pro-slavery forces split the nation, is the most extreme example. But there’s also the beginning of the 20th century, when the country was becoming more
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When discontent turns into hate

The river of discontent running through America turned toxic in the fevered mind of the Pentagon shooter and others of his ilk. In a culture awash in conspiracy theories and raw anger at government, they are lone wolves who find a sense of community for their hate — yet act alone. They are, in some ways, more unsettling than organized and trained terrorists because they come from us. Their diatribes and smoldering grievances are familiar and homegrown. For the Texan who steered a small plane into IRS offices last month, it was taxes. For the Nevadan who shot at a
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Pentagon shooter driven by hatred, conspiracy theories

A bitter Californian consumed by hatred towards the U.S. government and conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorism attacks and other perceived government coverups opened fire on Pentagon police Thursday night, wounding two before officers cut him down in a fusillade of gunfire. John Patrick Bedell hated the government and the American military and was convinced the government, not terrorists, destroyed the World Trade Center twin towers in New York and faked the attack on the Pentagon in Washington. Pentagon police chief Richard Keevill said Bedell walked up to police officers at the entrance to the Metro subway station at the
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More teens getting drunk, stoned

According to a new report released Tuesday by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, more and more teenagers are boozing it up and getting stoned on grass. The increase reverses a decade of drops in alcohol and marijuana use by the younger set and that has some people worried. “I’m a little worried that we may be seeing the leading edge of a trend here,” Sean Clarkin, director of strategy for the anti-drug group, told The Associated Press. “Historically you do see the increase in recreational drugs before you see increases in some of the harder drugs.” The study shows
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Sarah, Mitt square off in late-night TV war

Two contenders for dominance in the Republican Party in 2012 square off against each other on late night TV shows Tuesday and become part of an epic struggle for ratings, power and money by two rival networks. Mitt Romney appears on David Letterman‘s show on NBC while Sarah Palin pops up on as part of the first week’s lineup in Jay Leno‘s much-hyped return to the Tonight Show. Palin is part of a desperate NBC strategy to pull strong ratings for Leno’s return after the failure of his prime-time gig and the public-relations nightmare from the ouster of Conan O’Brien
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Cheney suffered mild heart attack

Family members say former Vice President Dick Cheney suffered a “mild” heart attack earlier this week. Cheney was hospitalized Monday with chest pains — the latest in several trips to the hospital in what has been a long, protracted battle with heart disease. Lab tests at George Washington University Hospital revealed Tuesday Cheney had, indeed, suffered a heart attack — his fifth since he was 37. “The whole family has been working with heart disease for decades,” political consultant Mary Matalin told The Associated Press. “They are vigilant and attuned to treatment.” Matalin said the 69-year-old Cheney “knows how to
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Obama’s new health plan already DOA

A desperate President Barack Obama is pulling out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to salvage his $950 billion health care plan but critics of this latest move from the White House call it more of the same and more hyperbole than reality. Been there, done that say Republicans. “Deja vu all over again,” says Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. Democrats aren’t happy with Obama’s latest proposal either because it once again lacks a public option. Democrats in both the House and Senate say Obama didn’t consult them before announcing his “new” plan on Monday. Requests for a
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GOP donors fed up with RNC boss Steele’s high flying, expensive lifestyle

Michael Steele, the embattled chairman of the Republican National Committee, is living large at donor expense and a growing number of GOP fatcats say they are tired of contributing to his lavish lifestyle. Steele uses party donations to pay for private limos, private jets, expensive chefs and trips to exotic resorts. Donors have a message for the GOP: Curtail Steele’s high-life or they will close their checkbooks. An analysis of Steele’s spending habits by Politico shows the chairman racked up $599,00 in expenses over the last year — compared with about $300,000 under previous chairmen. “Michael Steele is an imperial
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