YDATL Blog
NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

PA State Rep. Charged in Anthrax Hoax
KDKA: State Rep. Charged in Anthrax Hoax: "[PA] State Rep. Jeffrey E. Habay was charged Wednesday for allegedly lying about a white powder he said he received in the mail from a constituent who was critical of him."
[Essentially, the State Rep. put the powder in the letter and claimed it was an anthrax attack against him.]
"Habay, a five-term Allegheny County Republican, is already awaiting trial on ethics charges. He was charged last year with theft of service and conflict of interest for allegedly using his staff to campaign on state time."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/31/2005 06:55:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

EU, Canada Add Duties on U.S. Exports
Yahoo! News - EU, Canada Add Duties on U.S. Exports: "The European Union and Canada will slap an extra 15-percent duty on tens of millions of dollars worth of U.S. exports in a dispute over payments to U.S. companies that Washington says were hurt by dumping, EU and Canadian officials said on Thursday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/31/2005 06:45:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

38 Guantanamo Detainees to Be Freed After Tribunals
DefenseLINK News: 38 Guantanamo Detainees to Be Freed After Tribunals: "After roughly 10 months of hearings, military officials announced March 29 that 38 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been found to not be enemy combatants and will be returned to their home countries."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/31/2005 03:36:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

ChoicePoint to Allow People Access
ChoicePoint to Allow People Access | ajc.com: "An executive of embattled data broker ChoicePoint Inc. said the company is developing a system that would allow people to review their personal information that is sold to law enforcement agencies, employers, landlords and businesses."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/31/2005 02:45:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

And a good idea
TAPPED: March 2005 Archives: "if a candidate 'Believes in a woman's right to choose but believes all sides should come together around common goal of preventing and reducing # of abortions, with more sex ed, including abstinence, access to contraception and more adoption,' an overwhelming 74 percent of white Catholics will be more likely to vote for him.

The net 52-point advantage thereby gained is way, way, way bigger than the edge obtained by a Democrat who 'is pro-life on abortion' (+24), 'is Catholic and pro-life on abortion' (a smaller +20, oddly), or 'is Catholic and pro-choice on abortion' (+3)"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/31/2005 02:02:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Metro driving times among nation's longest
Metro driving times among longest | ajc.com: "Harried commuters, file this bombshell away to stun your neighbors: Metro Atlanta's counties have some of the worst commuting times among the nation's major metropolitan areas.

Locally, Gwinnett County leads the pack, with an average one-way commute of nearly 31 minutes, tying with Riverside County, Calif., and Cook County, Ill. Gwinnett ranks 18th out of 233 counties listed."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/31/2005 10:58:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Darfur death toll at least 300,000, MPs say
Yahoo! News - Darfur death toll at least 300,000, MPs say: "More than 300,000 people have died as a result of the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, British lawmakers said in a report, a figure more than four times greater than an official UN estimate."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 09:24:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Conservative judge blasts Bush, Congress for role in Schiavo case
KR Washington Bureau | 03/30/2005 | Conservative judge blasts Bush, Congress for role in Schiavo case: "The latest rejection of the Terri Schiavo case by a federal court was accompanied by a stinging rebuke of Congress and President Bush from a seemingly unlikely source: Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., one of the most conservative jurists on the federal bench."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 09:13:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Alma Mater As Big Brother
Alma Mater As Big Brother (washingtonpost.com): "A proposal by the Education Department would force every college and university in America to report all their students' Social Security numbers and other information about each individual -- including credits earned, degree plan, race and ethnicity, and grants and loans received -- to a national databank. The government will record every student, regardless of whether he or she receives federal aid, in the databank."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 01:11:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

California Court Balks at 25 Years for Sex Registration Failure
law.com - Article: "On Monday, Coleman Blease and Rick Sims overturned a 26-years-to-life sentence for Keith Carmony, calling it a violation of the state and federal prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. The defendant's failure to register, they held, was 'completely harmless and no worse than a breach of an overtime parking ordinance.'"
"Carmony, a registered sex offender since being convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter in 1983, was arrested in 1999 for not registering with authorities, as required by law, within five days of his Oct. 22 birthday. However, he had registered 29 days earlier when he moved with his wife to a new residence."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 11:51:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Unmarried woman challenges law
newsobserver.com | Local & State: "A Pender County dispatcher forced to quit her job last year after the sheriff discovered she had a live-in boyfriend is suing to overturn a N.C. law that makes living together a crime."
"Living together as an unmarried couple is a misdemeanor punishable by as many as 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 11:48:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Senate votes to kill Atlanta's living-wage law
Senate votes to kill Atlanta's living-wage law | ajc.com: "The Legislature on Tuesday voided an Atlanta city law that favors companies that pay workers more than the federal minimum wage.

The Senate voted 33-17 in favor of a bill that overrides Atlanta's so-called living-wage ordinance. The controversial provision gives preference to companies bidding for city service contracts if they paid their employees $10.50 an hour or more with insurance or $12 without."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 11:33:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Female legislators expand health insurance coverage
Female legislators expand health insurance coverage | ajc.com: "Republican and Democratic women joined Tuesday to help water down a bill that would have allowed companies to offer health insurance without mandated coverage for such things as mastectomy treatment, testing for chlamydia and contraceptives."
"House members added back much of the coverage that the Senate bill slashed from the list of mandated benefits after lengthy behind-the-scenes debate and negotiations involving health advocates and many of the leading women of the chamber."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 11:32:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Voter ID bill stirs furor
Voter ID bill stirs furor | ajc.com: "Legislation to require Georgians to show photo identification at the polls advanced Tuesday over passionate objections from lawmakers who said the move could disenfranchise many black, elderly and rural voters.

After more than four hours of debate, the Senate approved House Bill 244 by a vote of 31-20. While the vote was not final — the bill must go back to the House for approval of minor changes — the Senate action moved the legislation much closer to becoming law."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 11:31:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Boy Scouts Official Guilty in Porn Case
Boy Scouts Official Guilty in Porn Case | ajc.com: "A former high-ranking Boy Scouts of America official pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal child pornography charge.

Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, was accused of receiving images over the Internet of children engaging in sex acts. He pleaded guilty to a charge of possession and distribution of child pornography. He had been charged March 21, officials said Tuesday.

Smith, who lives in Colleyville, near Fort Worth, faces from five to 20 years in prison without parole and up to a $250,000 fine."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 11:30:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Australians condemn US foreign policy
Australians condemn US foreign policy - Breaking News - http://www.smh.com.au: "Australians consider US foreign policy as dangerous as Islamic fundamentalism, and are more worried about global warming than terrorism, a survey has revealed."
"In a list of 15 neighbours and allies, the US ranked 11th - with only Indonesia, the Middle East, Iran and Iraq inspiring less positive sentiment."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 10:13:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

The rural vote in 2004
The rural vote in 2004: "Fully half (50 percent) of rural voters identify either Bush’s
“tax cuts for the wealthy” or his “corporate interests” as serious Bush doubts, compared to 43
percent nationally. The part of the country that largely delivered the White House to this
President simultaneously lodged the loudest objection to the economic direction of the Bush
administration."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 09:30:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Panel's Report Assails C.I.A. for Failure on Iraq Weapons
The New York Times > Washington > Panel's Report Assails C.I.A. for Failure on Iraq Weapons: "The final report of a presidential commission studying American intelligence failures regarding illicit weapons includes a searing critique of how the C.I.A. and other agencies never properly assessed Saddam Hussein's political maneuverings or the possibility that he no longer had weapon stockpiles, according to officials who have seen the report's executive summary."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 09:28:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Schiavo Case Unexpectedly Unites Americans
Top News Article | Reuters.com: "The Terri Schiavo case has had the unexpected effect of uniting most Americans, whether Republicans or Democrats, around a consensus that the government should stay out of families' life and death decisions.

'You don't see many 80 percents in polls nowadays,' said pollster Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center.

He was referring to a CBS poll last week which found that 82 percent of Americans felt Congress should have stayed out of Schiavo's case."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 09:28:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Secret Service investigating removal of three from Bush visit
Gazette.com: "The Secret Service says it is investigating the claims of three people who claim they were removed from President Bush's town hall meeting on Social Security last week after being singled out because of a bumper sticker on their car.

The three said they had obtained tickets through the office of Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., had passed through security and were preparing to take their seats when they were approached by what they thought was a Secret Service agent who asked them to leave."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/30/2005 09:23:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Boy Scouts Official Faces Porn Charges
Yahoo! News - Boy Scouts Official Faces Porn Charges: "A former high-ranking Boy Scouts of America official has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, who as program director coordinated scouting programs with schools and churches, was accused of receiving images over the Internet in February of children engaging in oral sex, intercourse and other sexually explicit conduct."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 06:31:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Schiavo Case Unexpectedly Unites Americans
Top News Article | Reuters.com: "The Terri Schiavo case has had the unexpected effect of uniting most Americans, whether Republicans or Democrats, around a consensus that the government should stay out of families' life and death decisions.

'You don't see many 80 percents in polls nowadays,' said pollster Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center.

He was referring to a CBS poll last week which found that 82 percent of Americans felt Congress should have stayed out of Schiavo's case."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 03:03:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Secret Service investigating removal of three from Bush visit
Gazette.com: "The Secret Service says it is investigating the claims of three people who claim they were removed from President Bush's town hall meeting on Social Security last week after being singled out because of a [No Blood for Oil] bumper sticker on their car.

The three said they had obtained tickets through the office of Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., had passed through security and were preparing to take their seats when they were approached by what they thought was a Secret Service agent who asked them to leave."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 02:53:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Court: Title IX Protects Whistleblowers
The Associated Press: "A landmark gender-equity law protects whistleblowers who accuse academic institutions of sex discrimination, the Supreme Court said Tuesday, ruling that coaches and teachers may sue for retaliation if they are fired for complaining on behalf of others.

The 5-4 decision sides with Alabama high school coach Roderick Jackson, who said his girls' basketball team received worse treatment than the boys' team."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 11:04:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

\Passenger Screening Gets 'Incomplete'
Yahoo! News - Passenger Screening Gets 'Incomplete': "The government's latest computerized airline passenger screening program doesn't adequately protect travelers' privacy, according to a congressional report that could further delay a project considered a priority after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Congress last year passed a law that said the Transportation Security Administration could spend no money to implement the program, called Secure Flight, until the Government Accountability Office reported that it met 10 conditions. Those include privacy protections, accuracy of data, oversight, cost and safeguards to ensure the system won't be abused or accessed by unauthorized people.

The GAO found nine of the 10 conditions hadn't yet been met and questioned whether Secure Flight would ultimately work."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 10:01:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

2 Issues Straining GOP Grip in Florida
2 Issues Straining GOP Grip in Florida: "President Bush's decisive victory in Florida last year seemed to cement Republican dominance in an important battleground state that once symbolized an evenly divided nation.

But with the GOP base polarized over the Terri Schiavo case and the public skeptical of Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security, two issues with explosive relevance in Florida are stirring up confusing political crosscurrents for Republicans preparing to face the voters there next year."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 10:00:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

baltimoresun.com - Trekking through concern over mortality, morality
baltimoresun.com - Trekking through concern over mortality, morality: "Diana Schaub, a Loyola College professor and adviser to President Bush, is convinced that cloning and embryonic stem cell research are evil. She says this belief was formed, in part, by watching Star Trek."

"Her interest in mortality and Star Trek could be regarded as the quirks of an academic if not for her position on the President's Council on Bioethics, a 18-member panel that advises Bush on some of the most polarizing subjects in society.

She has likened embryonic research to slavery and has compared slacker students to lawless American soldiers in Iraq."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 09:55:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

PolySigh: It's Terrorism, Stupid!
PolySigh: It's Terrorism, Stupid!: "The NES includes a question, “What do you think has been the most important issue facing the United States over the last four years?” In 2004, terrorism and the war in Iraq clearly dominated voters minds. Approximately 42 percent of voters cited terrorism as the most important issue. Coming in a distant second was the war in Iraq with 17 percent"
"For one issue to so dominate an election is rare. In fact, the last time that an issue was cited by this many respondents was in 1968 when 43 percent cited the Vietnam War. The next highest were inflation in 1980 (32 percent) and unemployment in 1976 (31 percent)."
"Among those who cited terrorism as the most important issue, 70 percent voted for Bush. That’s the highest percentage of supporting a candidate on the most important issue in any election since 1960 (when NES first began to ask the question)."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/29/2005 09:43:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 28, 2005

GA - Shipp: GOP 'stuck' with Perdue for 2006 race 03/27/05
OnlineAthens: Opinion: Shipp: GOP 'stuck' with Perdue for 2006 race 03/27/05: "In the minds of the Democratic brain trust, the face of Perdue is the Brand X trademark for the Georgia GOP. The Democrats possess real poll numbers to suggest Perdue is a drag on the Republican Party."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 01:35:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Schiavo case sows a rift in GOP partisans
Concord Monitor Online: "'[The Terri Schiavo vote] definitely would have gone down differently had it actually been considered,' a senior aide to a moderate Republican senator said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 01:25:00 PM 2 comments links to this post

Fla. officials' attempt, fail to seize Schiavo
KR Washington Bureau | 03/25/2005 | Fla. officials' attempt, fail to seize Schiavo: "Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo wasn't to be removed from her hospice, a team of Florida law enforcement agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted - but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge's order, The Miami Herald has learned."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 01:13:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Pentagon Will Not Try 17 G.I.'s Implicated in Prisoners' Deaths
The New York Times > Washington > Pentagon Will Not Try 17 G.I.'s Implicated in Prisoners' Deaths: "Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 11:30:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

27 detainee deaths linked to foul play
Chicago Tribune | 27 detainee deaths linked to foul play: "The Army has concluded that 27 of the detainees who died in U.S. custody in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2002 were the victims of homicide or suspected homicide, military officials said in a report released Friday.

The number is higher than Pentagon officials have acknowledged, and it indicates that criminal acts caused a significant portion of the dozens of prisoner deaths that occurred in U.S. custody."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 11:24:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Man arrested for making threats against Michael Schiavo
Tampa Bay's 10 News: "The FBI has arrested a North Carolina man for putting a 250-thousand dollar bounty on Michael Schiavo’s head."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 11:19:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Report: TSA misleading on role on acquiring info
Report: TSA misleading on role on acquiring info | The Arizona Daily Star ®: "The Transportation Security Administration misled the public about its role in obtaining personal information about 12 million airline passengers to test a new computerized system that screens for terrorists, according to a government investigation.

The report, released Friday by Richard Skinner, the Homeland Security Department's acting inspector general, said the agency misinformed individuals, the press and Congress in 2003 and 2004. It stopped short of saying the TSA lied."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/28/2005 10:28:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 25, 2005

Trophy Hunting Advocate Named Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Trophy Hunting Advocate Named Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: "Today, The [Humane Society of the United States] expressed its strong disappointment that Interior Secretary Gale Norton has named Matthew J. Hogan to be acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Norton announced the appointment yesterday, following last week's resignation of Director Steve Williams. Hogan was formerly the chief lobbyist for Safari Club International (SCI), an extreme trophy hunting organization that advocates the killing of rare species around the world."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 03:50:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Schiavo case redefining politics
Schiavo case redefining politics: "State's rights — An antiquated concept stressed during an era when Republicans didn't control the White House, both houses of the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court. State's rights are no longer necessary, especially in Florida — which should have learned its lesson five years ago.

Rule of law — A once-popular American value which has now been relegated, solely as an export, to unwilling foreign countries. Domestically, the rule of law has been replaced by 'erring on the side of life.'"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 03:27:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - House brokers deal on 'stay rule'
House brokers deal on 'stay rule' | ajc.com: "The House on Thursday approved a bill that would limit the time legal appeals can delay work on landfills, power plants and other facilities requiring environmental permits.

But the version of Senate Bill 190 that passed 132 to 21 was far more environment- and citizen-friendly than the one sent over by the Senate.

A compromise worked out Thursday would give neighbors and environmental groups more time to gather evidence against an unwanted facility. Construction could be delayed up to 150 days, rather than the 30 or 90 days previously considered."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 01:32:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Child support payment bill fails
Child support payment bill fails | ajc.com: "An overhaul of the way child support payments are calculated in Georgia failed by one vote Thursday in the Senate. But the proposed legislation could gain passage next week.

House Bill 221 would create a formula that uses the income of both parents to calculate child support payments. Currently, child support payments are determined by the income of the parent who does not have custody of the child or children."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 01:32:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Politically Appealing: Congress gives aggrieved plaintiffs a new last resort
Reason: Politically Appealing: Congress gives aggrieved plaintiffs a new last resort: "The law hurriedly passed by Congress in an attempt to overturn the outcome of the long-running legal battle between Schiavo's parents and her husband, Michael, is worse than useless. By upsetting the balance between state and federal authority, blurring the distinction between legislative and judicial functions, and mandating unequal treatment for similarly situated plaintiffs, the law compromised vitally important constitutional principles while giving the Schindlers nothing but false hope."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 12:22:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Man Tries to Steal Gun to 'Rescue Schiavo'
New York City: Man Tries to Steal Gun to 'Rescue Schiavo': "A man was arrested after trying to steal a weapon from a gun shop so he could 'take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo,' authorities said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 12:20:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Author links Wal-Mart, China
The Sun News | 03/06/2005 | Author links Wal-Mart, China: "Chinese factories are the most important and fastest-growing sources for Wal-Mart; in 2003 the company bought 15 billion in goods from Chinese suppliers. Fishman says 10 percent to 13 percent of China's exports to the United States winds up at Wal-Mart. He cites a Washington Post article that says '80 percent of the six thousand factories in Wal-Mart's worldwide database of suppliers are in China. ... If Wal-Mart were a nation, it would be China's fifth-largest export market, ahead of Germany and Great Britain.' Wal-Mart has 560 buyers in China."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 12:19:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Opponents rally against photo ID
Opponents rally against photo ID | ajc.com: "A coalition of civil rights activists, labor unions, Democratic lawmakers, college students and others descended on the state Capitol on Thursday to loudly protest proposed legislation that would require voters to show picture identification at the polls.

The rally was organized by civil rights veteran Rev. Joseph Lowery of The Coalition for the People's Agenda, but drew a wide range of opponents of the legislation including Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, a candidate for governor in 2006."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/25/2005 10:13:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Judge: Ohio Gay Marriage Ban Affects Law
Yahoo! News - Judge: Ohio Gay Marriage Ban Affects Law: "Domestic violence charges cannot be filed against unmarried people because of Ohio's new constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a judge ruled Wednesday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/24/2005 03:56:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Report Emphasizes Shortfall in Medicare
Report Emphasizes Shortfall in Medicare (washingtonpost.com): "The two independent trustees overseeing Social Security and Medicare broke with the Bush administration's trustees yesterday, saying Medicare's financial problems far exceed Social Security's and are in urgent need of attention."
"The three trustees from the Bush Cabinet -- Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao -- chose to emphasize Social Security's problems almost exclusively at the report's release."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/24/2005 03:04:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Silliness of Secrecy
Schneier on Security: The Silliness of Secrecy: "Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government has advised airplane pilots against flying near 100 nuclear power plants around the country or they will be forced down by fighter jets. But pilots say there's a hitch in the instructions: aviation security officials refuse to disclose the precise location of the plants because they consider that 'SSI' -- Sensitive Security Information.

'The message is; 'please don't fly there, but we can't tell you where there is,'' says Melissa Rudinger of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a trade group representing 60% of American pilots."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/24/2005 11:52:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Right to Life backed law that [disconnects people from life support]
HoustonChronicle.com - Casey: Right to Life backed law that irks wife: "Jannette Nikolouzos is angry with the Texas law that allows St. Luke's Hospital to unhook her husband from life support tomorrow."
"She may be surprised to learn that National Right to Life, the organization that is helping to lead the fight to keep a Florida hospital from removing life support for Terri Schiavo, helped write the Texas law."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/24/2005 09:59:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

The war on pointy-headedness
Crooked Timber » » The war on pointy-headedness: "The entire hip, awesome “South Park Republican” caucus could stand on a beer mat with the entire anti-torture Republican caucus and still leave room for a beer."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/24/2005 09:46:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Take a stand why?
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: March 20, 2005 - March 26, 2005 Archives: "While President Bush is seeding the media with bogus threats, his own Republicans are afraid to appear in public with him on his Social Security tours."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 03:21:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Army Likely Won't Meet Recruiting Goals
Yahoo! News - Army Likely Won't Meet Recruiting Goals: "The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals this month and next and is working on a revised sales pitch appealing to the patriotism of parents, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 02:56:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Administration kept mum about unapproved modified corn sold
Yahoo! News - Administration kept mum about unapproved modified corn sold: "The federal government kept it secret for three months that genetically modified corn seed was sold accidentally to some U.S. farms for four years and may have gotten into the American food supply."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 02:55:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - House says yes to weaker smoking ban
House says yes to weaker smoking ban | ajc.com: "Georgia moved one step closer to a statewide smoking ban Tuesday when the House approved a bill to prohibit smoking in most enclosed public places that allow minors.

After more than three hours of passionate debate, lawmakers voted 118-52 to approve a weaker version of Senate Bill 90. The Senate now must review the amended version, which allows smoking in bars and restaurants that do not serve customers younger than 18 or employ anyone younger than 18"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 12:05:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Federalism Has a Right to Life, Too
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Federalism Has a Right to Life, Too: "many of the the same political leaders who denounced the Supreme Court's decision forbidding states from executing those who committed their crimes as juveniles now feel free to parachute in on a case that had been within a state court's purview for 15 years."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 10:56:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Interview with Michael Dukakis
MyDD :: My Exclusive Interview with Michael Dukakis: "Michael Dukakis: I think the one great missing piece in this campaign, and it's something that we Democrats have got to get serious about at every level, was that we still aren't doing the grassroots job the way it has to be done. I happen to be a product of grassroots campaigning, grassroots organization. I wouldn't have been elected dogcatcher in my state had it not been for that."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 10:41:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Missing Message by Brad Carson
NDOL: Missing Message by Brad Carson: "I've concluded that the only way we can gather under one tent all the Democratic interest groups, plus the essential portion of swing voters we need, is with an overarching message -- like the Republicans' -- that appeals to voters at both a higher and deeper level than just their own favorite policy positions. Democrats must try to develop a vision for a better country that both inspires political activity and unites groups with very different policy agendas."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 10:39:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Support falters for the 'nuclear option'
Support falters for the 'nuclear option' - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - March 23, 2005: "Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist does not have firm support among his caucus to employ the so-called 'nuclear option' for dislodging the Democratic filibusters against President Bush's judicial nominees.
Of the 55 Republicans in the chamber, at least six are undecided or adamantly opposed to the plan of using the rare parliamentary procedure to end the filibusters with a simple majority vote, rather than the 60 votes normally required."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 10:30:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Conservatives: G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention
The New York Times > Washington > Conservatives: G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention: "'My party is demonstrating that they are for states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing,' said Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut, one of five House Republicans who voted against the [Schiavo] bill. 'This couldn't be a more classic case of a state responsibility.'

'This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy,' Mr. Shays said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 10:15:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Bill would clear officer charged with shooting Iraqis
Marine Corps Times - News - More News: "The North Carolina congressman who represents Camp Lejeune introduced legislation that would dismiss all charges against 2nd Lt. Ilario G. Pantano, the Marine who allegedly wrongfully shot two Iraqis while deployed to Iraq a year ago."
"Pantano is charged with premeditated murder and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He has been transferred to the 6th Marine Regiment as he awaits an Article 32 hearing on the charges in April."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/23/2005 10:13:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

FBI agents questioned value of harsh interrogation techniques
KR Washington Bureau | 03/21/2005 | FBI agents questioned value of harsh interrogation techniques: "Harsh techniques used by military interrogators on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, produced no better information than traditional law enforcement methods, FBI agents told their superiors in newly declassified portions of e-mails released Monday.

FBI agents assigned to the detention center raised their concerns over the military's interrogation methods with senior commanders and civilian Pentagon officials, but were rebuffed, said one of the excerpts."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 06:50:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Education a Priority for Voters
TechSoup - News and Views - Education a Priority for Voters: "By a two-to-one margin (including a majority of Republicans), voters say they are more concerned about cuts in services than tax increases. All voters, regardless of background, show significantly more support for tax increases if the new revenue is earmarked for education, though the intensity of support for tax increases is low."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 04:50:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Law Bush signed as Texas governor prompts cries of hypocrisy
Yahoo! News - Law Bush signed as Texas governor prompts cries of hypocrisy: "The federal law that President Bush (news - web sites) signed early Monday in an effort to prolong Terri Schiavo's life appears to contradict a right-to-die law that he signed as Texas governor, prompting cries of hypocrisy from congressional Democrats and some bioethicists.

In 1999, then-Gov. Bush signed the Advance Directives Act, which lets a patient's surrogate make life-ending decisions on his or her behalf. The measure also allows Texas hospitals to disconnect patients from life-sustaining systems if a physician, in consultation with a hospital bioethics committee, concludes that the patient's condition is hopeless."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 01:41:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data
New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data (washingtonpost.com): "When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.

What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 12:44:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Next up: A bill to mandate decent underwear for all accident victims
Next up: A bill to mandate decent underwear for all accident victims | ajc.com: "If conservatism stands for anything, many believe it should be for the right of any red-blooded American to A) light a cigarette and breathe deeply in a restaurant; and B) fry one's fingers with a sparkler on the Fourth of July.

And so, House Republicans are fairly certain to quash both.

The only thing that tops conservatism in Georgia politics is Momism. If suburban women ain't happy in '06, ain't no Republican gonna be happy."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 11:26:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Senate OKs new map for Congress
Senate OKs new map for Congress | ajc.com: "Extending a national trend to Georgia, Senate Republicans on Monday approved a revised political map that dramatically reshapes the state's congressional districts — and could enhance the GOP's chances on election day."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 11:24:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Sandy Springs gets vote OK
Sandy Springs gets vote OK | ajc.com: "Georgia legislators have agreed after 35 years of debate that residents in Sandy Springs can decide whether their community becomes a city.

The Senate's approval Monday, by a 43-10 vote, marked the first time the House and Senate have agreed on bills that could lead to the incorporation of Sandy Springs — a diverse, affluent home to 85,000 in unincorporated north Fulton County."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 11:20:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Masters of Sleaze
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Masters of Sleaze: "Back in 1995, when Republicans took over Congress, a new cadre of daring and original thinkers arose. These bold innovators had a key insight: that you no longer had to choose between being an activist and a lobbyist. You could be both. You could harness the power of K Street to promote the goals of Goldwater, Reagan and Gingrich. And best of all, you could get rich while doing it!"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 09:53:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Jon Stewart on Terri Schiavo
The Washington Monthly: "Jon Stewart on Terri Schiavo: 'If you want to know just how sick you have to get before Congress is willing to do something about it, well, now you know.'"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/22/2005 09:52:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 21, 2005

GA - Cox lashes out at photo ID plans
Cox lashes out at photo ID plans | ajc.com: "Secretary of State Cathy Cox on Friday denounced a legislative proposal that would require Georgia voters to show a photo ID at the polls and change other voting rules.

'If this bill passed, we would have the most restrictive identification requirements for voting over any other state in the union,' Cox said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 03:29:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Creative Stubbornness of Harry Reid
TIME - Joe Klein - : The Creative Stubbornness of Harry Reid: "The Republican majority has now located the limits of the possible, and it has been guided to that ledge by the creative intransigence of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, whose control over his donkeys has been as striking as G.O.P. Senate leader Bill Frist's failure to herd his elephants. Reid has been clever and very, very tough. His opening bid was opposition to President Bush's Social Security semiprivatization plan, which proved a congenial place for Democrats to congregate. Social Security reform now appears to be moribund. The Democrats hung together on the budget last week, luring moderate Republicans to their cause on Medicaid, education and grants for cities. And it appears likely that they will hang together on the next big crisis—the Republican attempt to stop Democratic filibusters against some of the President's more injudicious judicial appointments."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 02:52:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Australian: Guantanamo abuse 'videotaped' [March 21, 2005]
The Australian: Guantanamo abuse 'videotaped' [March 21, 2005]: "VIDEO footage of the treatment of prisoners by the US military at Guantanamo Bay would reveal many cases of substantial abuse as 'explosive as anything from Abu Ghraib', a lawyer said today."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 02:51:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

The man has his priorities
The Carpetbagger Report » The man has his priorities: "To recap, Osama bin Laden, Israel, war, and devastation? Vacation on. The religious right wants action on a woman who has been in vegetative state for 15 years? Vacation off. The man has his priorities."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 02:48:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Crime as Lethal as Warfare in Iraq
Crime as Lethal as Warfare in Iraq: "Assassinations and bombings have garnered worldwide attention. But Iraqi officials say violence unrelated to the insurgency is growing, and Iraqis are more likely to die at the hands — or in the cross-fire — of kidnappers, carjackers and angry neighbors than in car bombings.

In some cases, authorities say, the motives are so opaque that they cannot tell whether they are investigating a crime disguised as an act of war or a political assassination masquerading as a violent business dispute."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 12:35:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Gambling on Luck-Based Benefits
Gambling on Luck-Based Benefits: "Nearly half of U.S. workers don't get any paid sick leave — for low-wage earners, it's 75%. Unlike 139 other nations, the U.S. doesn't guarantee paid sick leave. Let the pneumonias and hernias fall where they may.

Slashed sick leave is part of a broad assault on labor — roundly ignored in the last election — across a downsized workplace as the burden of risk shifts from employers to employees, who, if anyone's listening out there, are livid about it, whether Republican or Democrat or independent. Companies are cutting or eliminating vacation leave (nearly a third of American women don't get any; a quarter of men), pensions, health insurance and ergonomics rules. Meanwhile, the Economist reports that corporate profits in the U.S. are higher than they've been in 75 years as benefits — including sick leave — shrink."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 10:34:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Republicans fear midterm losses
Republicans fear midterm losses: "Analysts at the Republican National Committee have sent this warning to the House of Representatives: The party is in danger of losing 25 seats in the 2006 election and, therefore, of losing control of the House for the first time since the 1994 election."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 09:41:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GOP Governors Cut State Workers' Rights
Yahoo! News - GOP Governors Cut State Workers' Rights: "Republican governors in a few spots across the country are angering state employees by removing one of organized labor's strongest tools — the right to collective bargaining."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/21/2005 08:07:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 18, 2005

GA - Atlanta Police Admit Errors After Shooting
The Associated Press: "The city's embattled police department acknowledged Friday that it made mistakes just after last week's deadly courthouse rampage, and the chief revealed that the suspect spent as many as 12 hours undetected outside a busy mall."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 04:53:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Conn. Ex-Gov. Rowland Gets Year in Prison
Yahoo! News - Conn. Ex-Gov. Rowland Gets Year in Prison: "Former Gov. John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months of house arrest Friday for selling his office in a corruption scandal that destroyed his career as one of the Republican Party's brightest and fastest-rising stars."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 04:41:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Study: Abstinence May Lead to Risky Acts
Yahoo! News - Study: Abstinence May Lead to Risky Acts: "Among virgins, boys who have pledged abstinence were four times more likely to have had anal sex, according to the study. Overall, pledgers were six times more likely to have oral sex than teens who have remained abstinent but not as part of a pledge.

The pledging group was also less likely to use condoms during their first sexual experience or get tested for STDs, the researchers found."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 04:20:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Labor Intense
American Prospect Online - ViewWeb: "three major unions left [the AFL-CIO exec council meeting in] Las Vegas talking about quitting the AFL-CIO altogether. SEIU President Andy Stern has said since his union’s convention last summer that the SEIU would either succeed in reforming the federation or, failing that, “build something stronger.” Following the two votes in Vegas, he was joined in his threat to pull out by UNITE HERE President Bruce Raynor, who told the Prospect that his union’s executive board would meet later in March to look at the disaffiliation option. Sources close to Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said that a Teamster pullout is under consideration as well."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 03:30:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Game On: How Democrats Should Respond to Bush's Campaign to Reform Social Security
Game On: How Democrats Should Respond to Bush's Campaign to Reform Social Security: "The lesson for Democrats? If they believe that Bush's single-minded embrace of personal accounts is a defection from a cooperative game to deal with the solvency of Social Security (and it is), they should respond in kind: by withholding any specific proposals on benefit reductions and revenue increases until the President withdraws his insistence on personal accounts. If Bush's interest in solvency is genuine, he will then have no choice but to bargain."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 03:28:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

US Senate Rejects Democratic Abortion Amendment
US News Article | Reuters.com: "Senate Democrats, saying they are seeking common ground in the nation's divisive abortion debate, offered a pregnancy prevention measure in the Senate Thursday night but it was defeated."
"The measure, offered as an amendment in the Senate budget debate, included more funding for family planning, teen pregnancy programs and education about emergency contraception. It also would have expanded health insurance coverage of prescription birth control."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 03:27:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Secret US plans for Iraq's oil
BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Secret US plans for Iraq's oil: "The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 02:09:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wal-Mart Settles Illegal Immigrant Case
Yahoo! News - Wal-Mart Settles Illegal Immigrant Case: "Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, has agreed to pay $11 million to settle federal allegations it used illegal immigrants to clean its stores, attorneys in the case said Friday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 11:00:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Religious denominations still stand four-square behind the governor. Except for Methodists. And Southern Baptists | ajc.com
Religious denominations still stand four-square behind the governor. Except for Methodists. And Southern Baptists | ajc.com: "Thursday, the Methodist-Baptist alliance that once held sway over all moral issues in Georgia — and still carries great weight — announced it had withdrawn its support for S.R. 49, the governor's initiative.

Instead, the Georgia Council on Moral and Civic Concerns has put its full weight behind the Democratic alternative, S.B. 42 — because it would prohibit school vouchers."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 3/18/2005 10:44:00 AM 0 comments links to this post