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Latest poll shows Lieberman in big trouble

A novice anti-war candidate seeking the Connecticut Democratic Party’s nomination to run for the U.S. Senate has extended his lead against three-term incumbent and 2000 vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, a poll showed on Thursday.

Distrust of government, belief in 9/11 conspiracy growing

By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III

More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they "personally are more angry" at the government than they used to be.

Conspiracy theories: Everything old is new again

By DALE McFEATTERS

Conspiracies are the easiest and simplest explanation for singular tragedies. Bad things happen because bad people sat down in a room somewhere and planned them. Fortuitous, happy events are never seen as the outcome of a conspiracy.

You can’t stop the ‘raging granny’

By CRISTINA RAMIREZ
Scripps Howard News Service

Roll over, Cindy Sheehan. There’s a new protester camped out at the White House these days.

Despite her disability, budget or age, "raging granny" Patricia Lay-Dorsey advocates peace, rain or shine, from her electric wheelchair.

This 64-year-old Washington, D.C., native has traveled long distances for the past 17 years in the name of peace. Dorsey currently lives in Detroit, Mich., where she became a "raging granny."

Even though she does not have any children or grandchildren, Dorsey co-founded the Raging Grandmothers Without Borders of Detroit and Windsor (Ontario), a human rights organization of older women who wear "big, silly and flamboyant" hats and sing at protests.

Dorsey was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988, and before long, the loss of balance and muscle weakness that the disease can cause led her to depend on a walker. As her condition worsened, she started using a motorized scooter.

Dorsey drove more than 500 miles from Detroit to Washington, D.C., on July 19 to protest the U.S. support of Israel as it bombed Lebanon. From then on, she sits alone for four to five hours a day in a heat wave either in front of the White House or on Capitol Hill and holds a sign that reads "Israel out of Lebanon!!!" on one side and "Who Suffers in War?" with a picture of a Lebanese family on the other.

Let’s remember what Lincoln did

By JONATHAN ZIMMERMAN
The Providence Journal

Like most of my friends and colleagues, I’m outraged by President Bush’s assault on basic civil liberties in the so-called War on Terror. We invoke Thomas Jefferson on the rights of man, James Madison on checks and balances, and, most of all, Benjamin Franklin on the dangers of compromising these values: "Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security."

But here are two words that you’ll never hear us say: Abraham Lincoln.

Dems may be cornered on minimum wage

By MARGARET TALEV
McClatchy Newspapers

With a showdown approaching Thursday or Friday, Senate Democrats are publicly predicting that they’ll block a minimum-wage hike this year so long as Republicans insist that it be tied to slashing taxes on inheritances for a select group of wealthy Americans.

Behind the scenes, though, the Senate Democratic leadership was scrambling Wednesday to lock down commitments from a handful of wavering senators who’ve been put in difficult binds by the Republican-drafted legislation, which already has passed the House of Representatives.

Pentagon, Rumsfeld face tough questions on Iraq

By ANNE PLUMMER FLAHERTY

The Pentagon is trying to convince lawmakers that the war in Iraq is not breaking the Army and that extending the tours of some troops is necessary to quell increasing violence in the region.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top military officers are to testify Thursday before Congress, already bitterly divided over the war. In addition, fresh reports have said that up to two-thirds of the Army’s combat units are unprepared for wartime missions because of the strain of operations in Iraq.

Bush’s vacation will be much shorter this year

By NEDRA PICKLER

Heading for his Texas ranch, President Bush will take his shortest summer vacation yet with turmoil in the Middle East and an uncertain future for his Republican Party in fall elections.

Bush leaves Washington on Thursday, but will return nine days later to tend to the problems abroad and at home that are weighing on his presidency. White House spokesman Tony Snow said the president will travel frequently during August — a contrast to previous summers when he has spent nearly the entire month on his ranch.

Gonzales remains defiant on terror detainees

By ANNE PLUMMER FLAHERTY

The Bush administration wants a new system for trying terror suspects to let prosecutors withhold classified evidence from the accused, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday, holding to a hard line on detainee policy despite concerns by senators and military lawyers.

Hot topics

By REG HENRY
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Man, it is hot. How hot is it? I reckon you could cook an egg on the sidewalk assuming you had no decent appreciation for the chicken’s time and trouble.

Because it is hot, my thoughts today sluggishly consider the plight of that frog who sat in the heated tub of water and did not realize that the water temperature was gradually rising and that he was being boiled alive.