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Bush gets a dose of his own medicine

The eavesdropping tables were turned on President Bush on Friday. The president apparently believed he was speaking privately when he talked about listening in without a warrant on domestic communications with suspected al-Qaida terrorists overseas. But reporters were the ones doing the listening in this time.

Democrat Reid also took Abramoff client money and went to bat for them

By JOHN SOLOMON and SHARON THEIMER

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid portrays convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s activities as involving only Republicans. But Abramoff’s billing records and congressional correspondence tell a different story.

They show Abramoff’s lobbying team billed for nearly two dozen contacts with Reid’s office in a single year to mostly discuss Democratic legislation that would have set the minimum hourly wage for the Northern Mariana Islands, an Abramoff client, initially almost $3 lower than other U.S. states and territories.

Reid, D-Nev., also wrote at least four letters to the Bush administration helpful to Indian tribes Abramoff represented, often collecting donations from Abramoff-related sources around the same time.

Libby rats out his bosses

Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff told a federal grand jury that his “superiors” told him to give secret information to reporters as part of the Bush administration’s defense of intelligence used to justify invading Iraq and a concerted White House effort to discredit ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Iraq war decision.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in documents filed last month that he plans to introduce evidence that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, disclosed to reporters the contents of a classified National Intelligence Estimate in the summer of 2003.

Can anyone save New Orleans?

By DEROY MURDOCK

What’s cooking in New Orleans? “Nothing,” celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse recently told the New York Post’s Cindy Adams. “The mayor’s a clunk. The governor is also a clunk. They don’t know their (derrieres) from a hole in the ground. All my three restaurants got hit. I’ve reopened Emeril’s, but only a few locals come. There’re no tourists. No visitors. No spenders. No money. No future. No people. It’s lost. It’ll never come back.”

Records show White House knew of New Orleans levee break but failed to act

The earliest official report of a New Orleans levee breach came at 8:30 a.m., hours after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore. Word of the possible breach surfaced at the White House less than three hours later, at 11:13 a.m.

In all, 28 federal, state and local agencies reported levee failures on Aug. 29, according to a timeline of e-mails, situation updates and weather reports that Senate Democrats say raise questions about whether the government moved quickly enough to rescue storm victims from massive flooding.

Fanning the flames

By ANN McFEATTERS
Block News Alliance

Wars have been started this way.

A group gets riled up over a perceived slight (often religious in nature). Violence breaks out. Alliances are called into play. Reason departs. People die.

Canada and military deserters

By DALE McFEATTERS

In a case closely watched on both sides of the border, Canada’s Federal Court this week took up the appeal of Jeremy Hinzman, 27, a U.S. Army deserter who is seeking political asylum.

Misusing Islam to promote fear

By CLIFFORD D. MAY

Muslim demonstrators have been torching embassies, stoning churches and threatening mass murder to protest cartoons characterizing Muslims as violent extremists. They have been burning flags and stomping on crosses and Stars of David to express their outrage at those who say they are intolerant.

Cheney sticks to the script on spying program

Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday ignored bipartisan concerns over the legality of President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program and spouted the standard administration line of “we have all the legal authority we need.”