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

Friday, April 29, 2005

GA - Zell Miller falls ill during speech in Gainesville
Zell Miller falls ill during speech in Gainesville | ajc.com: "Former U.S. Sen. and Georgia Gov. Zell Miller was released Friday from the North Georgia hospital where he was taken Thursday night after falling ill minutes into a speech in Gainesville. He had been suffering from flulike symptoms for several days, his wife said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/29/2005 02:49:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Methodists to Reinstate Defrocked Minister
Methodists to Reinstate Defrocked Minister - Yahoo! News: "The United Methodist Church reversed itself Friday, deciding to reinstate a lesbian minister who was defrocked after revealing her relationship with another woman.

A church panel voted 8 to 1 to set aside an earlier decision to defrock Irene 'Beth' Stroud for violating the church's ban on openly gay clergy."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/29/2005 01:12:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Bush Social Security Plan Would Cut Future Benefits
Bush Social Security Plan Would Cut Future Benefits: "President Bush called on Congress last night to curtail future Social Security benefits for all but low-income retirees in an urgent new effort to address the popular program's shaky finances"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/29/2005 12:39:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Alabama Bill Targets Gay Authors
CBS News | Alabama Bill Targets Gay Authors | April 28, 2005 19:30:27: "Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters."

"Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel 'The Color Purple' has lesbian characters.

Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is. Also exempted now are Alabama's public and college libraries."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/29/2005 09:25:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 28, 2005

In New Manual, Army Limits Tactics in Interrogation
The New York Times > Washington > In New Manual, Army Limits Tactics in Interrogation: "The Army is preparing to issue a new interrogations manual that expressly bars the harsh techniques disclosed in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, and incorporates safeguards devised to prevent such misconduct at military prison camps in the future, Army officials said Wednesday.

The new manual, the first revision in 13 years, will specifically prohibit practices like stripping prisoners, keeping them in stressful positions for a long time, imposing dietary restrictions, employing police dogs to intimidate prisoners and using sleep deprivation as a tool to get them to talk, the officials said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/28/2005 02:55:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Restrictions abound for reporters covering court-martial
Military Reporters and Editors: "Is the military being too restrictive in the ground rules some reporters are being required to sign before cover courts-martial?

That question is the crux of a recent story by a reporter covering the murder trial of an Army soldier accused of killing other soldiers with a grenade attack just days before the invasion of Iraq. Reporter Jeff Schogol stated he had to agree to 14 conditions before he was allowed to cover the trial of Sgt. Hasan Akbar at Fort Bragg.

Schogol reported he 'can't talk to any soldiers or civilians on the base without permission' and 'when I go to the men's room, my escort waits patiently outside.'"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/28/2005 11:23:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Panel Backs Bill To Rein In '527' Advocacy Groups
Panel Backs Bill To Rein In '527' Advocacy Groups: "The Senate rules committee approved legislation yesterday to prohibit '527' organizations such as Swift Vets and POWs for Truth and the Media Fund from using unlimited contributions to run political commercials."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/28/2005 11:03:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

But Did He Inhale?
TIME.com: But Did He Inhale?: "DeLay has long been one of Congress' most vocal critics of what he calls Castro's 'thugocracy,' which is why some sharp-eyed TIME readers were surprised last week to see a photo of the Majority Leader smoking one of Cuba's best—a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona, which generally costs about $25 when purchased overseas and is not available in this country. The cigar's label clearly states that it was made in 'Habana.' The photo was taken in Jerusalem on July 28, 2003, during a meeting between DeLay and the Republican Jewish Coalition at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/27/2005 10:41:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Poll finds Perdue, Cox dead even in race for governor
Poll finds Perdue, Cox dead even in race for governor | ajc.com: "As fund-raising begins in earnest for the 2006 governor's race, a new poll suggests Secretary of State Cathy Cox starts with a stronger chance of ousting Gov. Sonny Perdue than does her Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor.

In a Zogby International poll for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cox was dead even with Perdue, Georgia's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. Perdue, meanwhile, was 13 percentage points ahead of Taylor in a head-to-head matchup.

The poll gave Cox a lead over Taylor among respondents who identified themselves as Democrats."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/27/2005 12:39:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism
U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism: "The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/27/2005 12:24:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Using software to model death row outcomes
Using software to model death row outcomes | csmonitor.com: "two professors...took 28 years of data on prisoners facing the death sentence and fed it into a software program.

What the software - known as an artificial neural network - managed to do was to predict with more than 90 percent accuracy who would be executed."

"What some observers find alarming about the outcome is that the 19 points of data supplied on each death-row inmate contained no details of the case. Only facts such as age, race, sex, and marital status were included, along with the date and type of offense."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/27/2005 11:55:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

On the Road: More Baggage Taboos, but Little Security Enhancement
The New York Times > Business > On the Road: More Baggage Taboos, but Little Security Enhancement: "Everybody has a favorite story from what I think of as the T.S.A. Follies.

Here's mine. A uniformed pilot waits impatiently at a checkpoint for 10 minutes while two screeners from the Transportation Security Administration scrutinize every item in his carry-on bag.

After he was allowed to go on his way, he explained why it took so long.

'They told me they had to make sure I wasn't carrying anything that would allow me to take over an airplane,' he said, rolling his eyes."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/27/2005 10:50:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A new federal move to limit teen abortions
A new federal move to limit teen abortions | csmonitor.com: "with little fanfare, the House of Representatives is set to take up legislation Wednesday that would impose new restrictions on access to abortion itself, specifically, in the case of minors.

The bill, called the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, or CIANA, would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion in order to evade a parental notification law, unless she has obtained a waiver from a judge. The bill would also require a doctor to notify a minor's parent before performing an abortion, if that girl is a resident of another state. The second part also contains provisions that allow a minor to get around parental notification."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/26/2005 08:16:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Clashes Growing Between Bush and GOP Moderates
Yahoo! News - Clashes Growing Between Bush and GOP Moderates: "Conflicts are multiplying between congressional Republican moderates and the White House as President Bush pursues his aggressively conservative second-term agenda."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/26/2005 05:02:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Death Sentences at Lowest Point Since 1976
My Way News: "The number of people sentenced to death last year fell to the lowest level since the Supreme Court reinstated the penalty in 1976.

There were 125 people sent to death row in 2004, down from 144 the previous year and the sixth consecutive annual decline, according to figures compiled by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In 1998, 300 people received death sentences."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/26/2005 11:59:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Bush Adds DeLay to Social Security Tour
Yahoo! News - Bush Adds DeLay to Social Security Tour: "President Bush is adding a helper to his Social Security road tour: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is facing allegations of ethical improprieties but is seen by the White House as crucial to pushing Bush's plans through Congress."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/26/2005 10:20:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Bush would win again
Zogby International: "President George W. Bush, despite low marks on most facets of his job, would still beat Democrat John Kerry (46% to 41%)—and would still win handily in the Red States that handed him his re-election victory last fall (50% to 36%). That’s the finding of a new Zogby International survey of 1011 likely voters conducted from April 15 through 19, 2005, with a margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points. The Zogby America poll also found that President Bush’s initiative to reform social security is unpopular with nearly two-in-three (64%) voters."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/26/2005 10:15:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Poll finds strong support for smoking ban, abortion bill, voter ID
Poll finds strong support for smoking ban, abortion bill, voter ID | ajc.com: "A Zogby International poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week found that 64 percent of Georgians favor the smoking ban approved by the Legislature, but only 38 percent support shielding the names of people who give money to public universities. About 54 percent opposed the idea.

Poll participants supported a bill that requires voters to show photo identification to cast a ballot and another that requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait at least 24 hours after receiving information about the medical risks."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/26/2005 10:13:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 25, 2005

Florida Planning Son of Matrix
Wired News: Florida Planning Son of Matrix: "Florida law officials are contemplating a sequel to the controversial Matrix database that may be even more comprehensive than the original.

The Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange, or Matrix, contained billions of commercial and government records, and was intended to help police track down terrorists and kidnappers. But the system was shut down on April 15 when federal funds ran out."

"Law enforcement searched the database 1,866,202 times between July 2003 and April 2005, though less than 3 percent were related to terrorism investigations, according to Florida officials."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/25/2005 10:23:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 24, 2005

States Rein In Health Costs
States Rein In Health Costs: "In Tennessee, Gov. Phil Bredesen plans to end coverage for more than 320,000 adults, many of them elderly. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to shift more Medicaid recipients into managed care and require some to pay monthly premiums.

Minnesota may stop insuring 27,000 college students and adults without children. Washington state may require senior citizens to pay $3 for each prescription that Medicaid used to provide for free.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have proposed privatizing Medicaid. Bush wants to give recipients vouchers so they can shop around for their own insurance plans. Sanford wants to set up Medicaid bank accounts; the state would deposit a fixed sum of money for each patient to spend on medical expenses.

In Missouri, where nearly one in five residents is enrolled in Medicaid, Gov. Matt Blunt is poised to sign the most drastic overhaul of all: a bill that would eliminate the program entirely in three years."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/24/2005 03:15:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

DeLay Airfare Was Charged To Lobbyist's Credit Card
DeLay Airfare Was Charged To Lobbyist's Credit Card (washingtonpost.com): "The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number."
"House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/24/2005 03:03:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Troubles mount in White House, Bush agenda bogged down
KR Washington Bureau | 04/22/2005 | Troubles mount in White House, Bush agenda bogged down: "Some members of both parties and analysts are uttering the words that no president wants to hear.

'We're in the lame-duck period,' said John Zogby, an independent pollster. 'Each day that passes, the duck gets lamer. The window (of opportunity) has passed. If he wasn't able to come off the voting (in Iraq) and turn it into more of a popular mandate, I don't know what he can do.'"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/24/2005 12:35:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, April 22, 2005

Testimony of U.N. Nominee Is Disputed
Testimony of U.N. Nominee Is Disputed: "A former U.S. ambassador to South Korea said Thursday that John R. Bolton, President Bush's choice for U.N. ambassador, might have misled the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about a provocative and controversial 2003 speech on North Korea."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/22/2005 11:15:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Quinnipiac University | Polling Results
Quinnipiac University | Polling Results: "'The numbers show clearly that Sen. Santorum has lost ground in his re-election bid over the last two months. The Senator has come under strong criticism for his outspoken involvement in the Schiavo case and his campaigning for President Bush's unpopular Social Security proposal,' said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute."
"State Treasurer Robert Casey, Jr., has a 49 - 35 percent lead over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum in the 2006 Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today. "
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/22/2005 10:35:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 21, 2005

GA - Regents scuttle UGA Foundation
Regents scuttle UGA Foundation | ajc.com: "The state Board of Regents slammed the door on the University of Georgia Foundation on Wednesday, effectively ending a two-year battle that began when a beloved athletics director was told it was time to retire.

The regents' decision marked the second time in less than a year that they have ordered the state's flagship university to terminate its affiliation with the foundation, a powerful nonprofit organization controlled by some of the school's biggest and most influential boosters."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/21/2005 09:39:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Santorum reads nuke polls, applies the brakes
Santorum reads nuke polls, applies the brakes: "Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a leading advocate of the “nuclear option” to end the Democrats’ filibuster of judicial nominees, is privately arguing for a delay in the face of adverse internal party polls.

Details of the polling numbers remain under wraps, but Santorum and other Senate sources concede that, while a majority of Americans oppose the filibuster, the figures show that most also accept the Democratic message that Republicans are trying to destroy the tradition of debate in the Senate."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/21/2005 09:25:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Texas may have put innocent man to death, panel told
Yahoo! News - Texas may have put innocent man to death, panel told: "With Texas' criminal justice system the subject of intense scrutiny for a crime lab scandal and a series of wrongful convictions, a state Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday about the possibility that Texas had experienced the ultimate criminal justice nightmare: the execution of an innocent person"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/20/2005 07:37:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Connecticut Approves Civil Unions for Gays
Yahoo! News - Connecticut Approves Civil Unions for Gays: "Connecticut on Wednesday became the second state to offer civil unions to gay couples — and the first to do so without being forced by the courts."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/20/2005 07:37:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Soros says be patient
Soros says be patient: "George Soros told a carefully vetted gathering of 70 likeminded millionaires and billionaires last weekend that they must be patient if they want to realize long-term political and ideological yields from an expected massive investment in “startup” progressive think tanks.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., meeting, called to start the process of building an ideas production line for liberal politicians, began what organizers hope will be a long dialogue with the “partners,” many from the high-tech industry. Participants have begun to refer to themselves as the Phoenix Group."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/20/2005 04:00:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Regents expected to approve $270 tuition hike
Regents expected to approve $270 tuition hike | ajc.com: "In-state students at Georgia's public research universities will pay $270 a year more in tuition this fall, under a recommendation expected to be approved by the state Board of Regents today.

The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University and the Medical College of Georgia are the research institutions.

Tuition also will increase by $116 a year at the state's other four-year institutions and by $74 a year at the two-year colleges."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/20/2005 09:47:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Air Force Cadets See Religious Harassment
The New York Times > AP > National > Air Force Cadets See Religious Harassment: "Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.

There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the past four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/20/2005 09:44:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Soldiers' 'Wish Lists' Of Detainee Tactics Cited
Soldiers' 'Wish Lists' Of Detainee Tactics Cited (washingtonpost.com): "Army intelligence officials in Iraq developed and circulated 'wish lists' of harsh interrogation techniques they hoped to use on detainees in August 2003, including tactics such as low-voltage electrocution, blows with phone books and using dogs and snakes -- suggestions that some soldiers believed spawned abuse and illegal interrogations."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/19/2005 07:02:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court won't hear abortion clinic case
USATODAY.com - Supreme Court won't hear abortion clinic case: "The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider the constitutionality of state laws that regulate speech and activities within a buffer zone around abortion clinics.

Without comment, justices let stand a lower court ruling upholding a Massachusetts law that was passed after the 1994 fatal shooting of two abortion clinic workers."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/19/2005 02:22:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Guardian of Orthodoxy
The Guardian of Orthodoxy (washingtonpost.com): "[Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI] wrote a letter of advice to U.S. bishops on denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights, which some observers viewed as a slam at Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry. He publicly cautioned Europe against admitting Turkey to the European Union and wrote a letter to bishops around the world justifying that stand on the grounds that the continent is essentially Christian in nature. In another letter to bishops worldwide, he decried a sort of feminism that makes women 'adversaries' of men."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/19/2005 01:37:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Bill Would End Gag Clauses That Stifle Victims Who Sue
Bill Would End Gag Clauses That Stifle Victims Who Sue: "For decades, negligent doctors and other professionals in California have deterred their victims from reporting them to state regulators by making silence a condition of settling lawsuits. Regulators, consumer advocates and lawmakers say these legally dubious gag clauses are among the most troublesome gaps in California's consumer protection efforts.

They are pressing to ban the stipulations, even though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to do so last year"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/19/2005 01:28:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

DSW Data Theft Much Larger Than Estimated
Yahoo! News - DSW Data Theft Much Larger Than Estimated: "Thieves who accessed a DSW Shoe Warehouse database obtained 1.4 million credit card numbers and the names on those accounts — 10 times more than investigators estimated last month."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/19/2005 01:16:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 18, 2005

Ohio Agents Use Woman's Identity in Strip-Bar Sting
Ohio Agents Use Woman's Identity in Strip-Bar Sting: Internal Affairs at Officer.com: "Supporters of Ohio's identity theft law are livid that state liquor control agents gave a college student the driver's license and Social Security number of another woman so she could pose as a stripper for a sting."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 09:00:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Ohio Agents Use Woman's Identity in Strip-Bar Sting
Ohio Agents Use Woman's Identity in Strip-Bar Sting: Internal Affairs at Officer.com: "Supporters of Ohio's identity theft law are livid that state liquor control agents gave a college student the driver's license and Social Security number of another woman so she could pose as a stripper for a sting."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 09:00:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Think Tank's Ideas Shifted As Malaysia Ties Grew
Think Tank's Ideas Shifted As Malaysia Ties Grew (washingtonpost.com): "For years, the Heritage Foundation sharply criticized the autocratic rule of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, denouncing his anti-Semitism, his jailing of political opponents and his 'anti-free market currency controls.'

Then, late in the summer of 2001, the conservative nonprofit Washington think tank began to change its assessment."

"Heritage's new, pro-Malaysian outlook emerged at the same time a Hong Kong consulting firm co-founded by Edwin J. Feulner, Heritage's president, began representing Malaysian business interests."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 01:35:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

A modest proposal re: Social Security tactics.
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: April 17, 2005 - April 23, 2005 Archives: "Here's what I propose whenever Democrats have a question about just what stance to take on the Social Security debate.

One question ...

What is the actual policy outcome that would be most preferable on Social Security (to protect, preserve or augment it -- whatever) and how important is it that it take place in this Congress?

That's the first, second and third question.

That answer should drive everything else."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 11:22:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GOP sheds federalism favored by forefathers
Worldandnation: GOP sheds federalism favored by forefathers: "It's a bedrock principle of Republican conservatism: Whenever possible, the federal government should let the states manage their own affairs.

But as Republicans exercise their growing power in Washington, they increasingly are ignoring that fundamental belief, with a host of legislation aimed at trumping state authority.

The trend is becoming a source of squeamishness among many conservative intellectuals, who warn that Republicans' frequent disregard for the limiting principle of federalism won't come without a price."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 11:18:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Healthcare
The Washington Monthly: "the percentages of Americans who say they are 'fairly or very satisfied' with their own health system:
* Poor: 45%
* Elderly: 61%
* Everyone else: 34%
[note that the poor and the elderly are effectively on a state healthcare system]"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 11:12:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

A New Call to Arms: Military Health Care
The New York Times > Business > A New Call to Arms: Military Health Care: "The cost of the main military health care plan, Tricare, has doubled since 2001 and will soon reach $50 billion a year, more than a tenth of the Pentagon's budget. At least 75 percent of the benefits will go to veterans and retirees."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 10:39:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Bush: Bad Data Means Stop Publishing
Sirotablog: Bush: Bad Data Means Stop Publishing: "A careful look shows the Bush White House has systematically tried to stop publishing government information that it finds embarrassing or disagrees with - the opposite of 'transparent.' See the record for yourself:"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 09:49:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Time lists Franklin as a top big city mayor
Time lists Franklin as a top big city mayor | ajc.com: "Atlanta's Shirley Franklin is listed by Time magazine as one of America's 'five best big city mayors' in the issue that hits newsstands today.

Joining her on the list, which is not ranked, are New York's Michael Bloomberg, Baltimore's Martin O'Malley, Chicago's Richard Daley and Denver's John Hickenlooper."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/18/2005 09:41:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bush administration eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report
KR Washington Bureau | 04/15/2005 | Bush administration eliminating 19-year-old international terrorism report: "The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/16/2005 07:40:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Justice Sunday
American Prospect Online - ViewWeb: "Family Research Council president Tony Perkins: “The [Supreme] court has become increasingly hostile to Christianity, and it poses a greater threat to representative government -- more than anything, more than budget deficits, more than terrorist groups,”"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/16/2005 07:38:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 14, 2005

White House Said to Impede Education Probe
The New York Times > AP > National > White House Said to Impede Education Probe: "The Bush administration is impeding an investigation into the Education Department's hiring of commentator Armstrong Williams by refusing to allow key White House officials to be interviewed, a Democratic lawmaker briefed on the review said Thursday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/14/2005 03:17:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Number in podiatrist's warning on foot pain invented by ad executive
KR Washington Bureau | 04/13/2005 | Number in podiatrist's warning on foot pain invented by ad executive: "When Chicago podiatrist Paul Kasdan warned in a news release this spring that 'approximately five million gardeners are expected to experience some sort of foot pain this season,' it sounded like one more thing to worry about.

It isn't.

Laura Tanin, the ad executive for Kasdan's online foot care-products business, invented the number."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/14/2005 10:32:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Statistics on disease prevalence often inflated
KR Washington Bureau | 04/13/2005 | Statistics on disease prevalence often inflated: "A Baltimore Sun report says 20 million Americans suffer from depression. A patient-care newsletter says 10 million Americans older than 50 have the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis. Other published reports say 13 million Americans have hypothyroidism, 7.9 million are alcoholics, 40 million have the hearing defect known as tinnitus, 62 million have digestive diseases and 70 million have some form of arthritis.

Add up the published claims about disease prevalence and the average American has at least two ailments at a time."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/14/2005 10:26:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bank of America tries to reclaim severance
Boston.com / Business / Bank of America tries to reclaim severance: "Bank of America Corp. has sent letters to about 70 employees laid off during its merger with FleetBoston Financial Corp. asking them to repay a portion of the money they received in severance.

The bank had agreed to pay the former workers for a certain number of weeks as they searched for new jobs. But in the letters sent to them, Bank of America said it had overpaid, and it asked the employees to send a check to Fleet.

One former worker, Alisa R. Drayton of Roxbury, said the bank asked her to send a check for more than $7,000 in December."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 11:19:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Scientists say evidence mounting that chemical in plastic is dangerous
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Scientists say evidence mounting that chemical in plastic is dangerous: "Evidence is mounting that a chemical in plastic may be risky in the small amounts that seep from bottles and food packaging, according to a report to be published this week in a scientific journal."

"In their study, vom Saal and Hughes suggest an explanation for conflicting results of studies: 100 percent of the 11 funded by chemical companies found no risk, while 90 percent of the 104 government-funded, nonindustry studies reported harmful effects."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 08:44:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

House Votes to End Federal Estate Taxes
The New York Times > AP > National > House Votes to End Federal Estate Taxes: "House Republicans on Wednesday pushed to make permanent a one-year reprieve on estate taxes, a change that Democrats said would reward the wealthiest families and increase the federal deficit by tens of billions of dollars annually.

Current laws would eliminate the estate tax in 2010, only to resurrect it the following year. Republican lawmakers want to keep the repeal in place, decreasing government revenue by roughly $290 billion over a decade."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 08:43:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Deadly Flu Strain Shipped Worldwide
Deadly Flu Strain Shipped Worldwide (washingtonpost.com): "A dangerous strain of the flu virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 1957 was sent to thousands of laboratories in the United States and around the world, triggering a frantic effort to destroy the samples to prevent an outbreak, health officials revealed yesterday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 02:40:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Federal court upholds Florida's lifetime ban on felons voting:
Federal court upholds Florida's lifetime ban on felons voting: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "A full federal appeals court [the 11th, in Atlanta] Tuesday upheld a 160-year old Florida law that enforces a lifetime ban on voting rights for convicted felons, even after they have served their prison time and been released into society."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 12:02:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

N.Korea Seeks International Help to Fight Bird Flu
Health News Article | Reuters.com: "North Korea has asked the international community for help in combating a strain of the bird flu virus that has recently killed 50 people in Asia, the world animal health body OIE said Friday."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 11:15:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - CNN.com - School to pay students for tips on campus crime
CNN.com - School to pay students for tips on campus crime - Apr 11, 2005: "A high school is looking for a few good snitches.

Using revenue from its candy and soda sales, Model High School [in Rome] plans to pay up to $100 for information about thefts and drug or gun possession on campus."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 10:59:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

A Slap in the Face
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: A Slap in the Face: "A recent report from the Pew Research Center, 'Trends 2005,'...says that 45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing in their daily newspapers, up from 16 percent two decades ago."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/13/2005 10:17:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

GA - Prison pollutes water, river group's suit says
Prison pollutes water, river group's suit says | ajc.com: "An environmental group is suing the Georgia Department of Corrections, claiming sloppy construction at a state prison in south Fulton County is ruining wetlands, small lakes and a Chattahoochee River tributary.

In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Monday, the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper accuses the corrections department of violating the federal Clean Water Act by illegally piping a stream and failing to protect the waterways from mud and silt draining off the construction site."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 08:16:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Doctors Without Borders
"Doctors Without Borders" by Shannon Brownlee: "In a recent survey of clinical researchers, nearly 20 percent of respondents admitted to delaying publication of their results by more than six months at least once in the last three years to allow for patent application, protect their scientific lead, or to slow the dissemination of results that would hurt sales of their sponsor's product--often without overt pressure from the company."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 02:49:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Senate Panel Hears Criticism of Bush's Pick for U.N. Envoy
The New York Times > AP > National > Senate Panel Hears Criticism of Bush's Pick for U.N. Envoy: "A former chief of the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research castigated John R. Bolton on Tuesday as a ``kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy'' who abused analysts who disagreed with him on Cuba. [Sen. Barbara Boxer] said he ``needs anger management [at a minimum].''"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 01:39:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Military Bill Carries Range of Extra Spending
The New York Times > Washington > Military Bill Carries Range of Extra Spending: "As the Senate began to debate President Bush's request for more than $80 billion in supplemental military spending on Monday, senators seized a chance to pack pet projects into an unstoppable bill, adding provisions dealing with oil drilling, forest services, a new baseball stadium for Washington and economic assistance to Palestinians.

On Monday night, others were seeking to incorporate changes to immigration laws as well."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 01:33:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Failure Buster
American Prospect Online - ViewWeb: "it's very hard to think of any major conservative legislation that's ever been stopped by a filibuster.

It is, by contrast, very easy to think of liberal initiatives that filibusters have blocked."

"In the past, of course, the filibuster is most famous for its role in delaying the dawn of civil rights. Less well known is that it was integral to the defeat of Bill Clinton's health care plan in 1993. If liberals ever get another chance to go for comprehensible health-care reform, the filibuster will once again rear its ugly head.

At any given moment, the filibuster rule helps the minority party. Right now, that's Democrats. But taking the long view, the filibuster is bad for Democrats."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:51:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - If you can't stand the shrapnel, stay out of the foxhole
If you can't stand the shrapnel, stay out of the foxhole | ajc.com: "Should Gov. Sonny Perdue sign the [voter id] bill — and there's no reason to believe he won't — any voter will be able to cast an absentee ballot, via mail, 45 days before an election."
"Absentee ballots will require no excuse, but will have to be requested by a voter. And for the first time, special interest groups — the National Rifle Association, the Christian Coalition, and the AFL-CIO — will be able to include absentee ballot requests in their mass mailings."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:42:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Jackson asks black caucus to help stage rally vs. ID bill
Jackson asks black caucus to help stage rally vs. ID bill | ajc.com: "Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson met privately with Georgia's Legislative Black Caucus on Monday to discuss plans to fight a controversial bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Jackson asked the caucus to help his national civil rights organization, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, organize a national march in Atlanta on Aug. 6 — the 40th anniversary of the day the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:39:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

LexisNexis Breach May Be Worse Than Thought
LexisNexis Breach May Be Worse Than Thought | ajc.com: "Publisher and data broker Reed Elsevier Group PLC said Tuesday that up to 10 times as many people as originally thought may have had their profiles stolen from one of its U.S. databases.

The company reported last month that intruders may have accessed personal details of 32,000 people via a breach of its legal and business information service LexisNexis' recently acquired Seisint unit. It now says that figure is closer to 310,000 people."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:38:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

ABC News: 10 States to Sue EPA Over Mercury Rules
ABC News: 10 States to Sue EPA Over Mercury Rules: "Wisconsin has joined a list of states suing the federal government's environmental policies, challenging new regulations they say fail to protect children and expectant mothers from dangers posed by mercury emissions.

In announcing his approval of the lawsuit, Gov. Jim Doyle said Monday the Bush administration has cowed to big business with new guidelines for power plant emissions that could allow 19 states to increase mercury emissions in the next five years by setting caps that are higher than current levels.

The New Jersey attorney general's office is taking the lead on the lawsuit. The eight other states involved are California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York and Vermont."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:36:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Arrests made in offshoring theft case
Arrests made in offshoring theft case - Yahoo! UK & Ireland News: "Indian police have made several arrests after call centre staff in Pune allegedly stole £200,000 using customers' personal information

Police have arrested former employees of an Indian call centre that handles US customer accounts for allegedly stealing consumers' funds."

"Police said the employees allegedly stole customers' personal account information and transferred just under £200,000 to fake accounts in Pune. Sanjay Jadhav, the assistant commissioner of police, said about one million rupees (£12,000) of the fraud money has already been recovered. The call center workers left their jobs last December."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:26:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest
The New York Times > New York Region > Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest: "For Mr. Kyne and 400 others arrested [at the RNC], video recordings provided evidence that they had not committed a crime or that the charges against them could not be proved, according to defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Among them was Alexander Dunlop, who said he was arrested while going to pick up sushi.

Last week, he discovered that there were two versions of the same police tape: the one that was to be used as evidence in his trial had been edited at two spots, removing images that showed Mr. Dunlop behaving peacefully. When a volunteer film archivist found a more complete version of the tape and gave it to Mr. Dunlop's lawyer, prosecutors immediately dropped the charges and said that a technician had cut the material by mistake."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/12/2005 10:03:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 11, 2005

Justice for Life?
OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "It has been almost 11 years since the last vacancy opened up on the Supreme Court. The current group of justices has served together for longer than any other group of nine justices in American history. What is more, the average tenure of justices has gotten a lot longer in the last 35 years. From 1789 until 1970, justices served an average of 14.9 years. Those who have stepped down since 1970, however, have served an average of 25.6 years. This means justices are now staying more than 10 years longer on average on the Supreme Court than they have done over the whole of American history."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 03:07:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

The Passion of the Tom
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: The Passion of the Tom: "Before, Republicans just scared other people. Now, they're starting to scare themselves.

When Dick Cheney tells you you've gone too far, you know you're way over the edge."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 03:04:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Coughlin Says Cash Helped Wal-Mart
Coughlin Says Cash Helped Wal-Mart (washingtonpost.com): "The former head of Wal-Mart's U.S operations, ousted from the board after the alleged misuse of corporate funds, has maintained that the money was spent on anti-union activities such as paying people to identify stores where union leaders planned to recruit, according to a source familiar with the matter."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 02:05:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Quotas used for police, officer says
Quotas used for police, officer says | ajc.com: "An Atlanta police officer reprimanded for not making an arrest for a week in one of the city's most crime-ridden areas is accusing the Police Department of using a quota system to beef up arrest numbers, a charge department officials deny.

Officer Andrew Cerul filed a grievance with the local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers in late March after he was transferred from day watch to evening watch. Cerul contends the transfer was made because he did not make an arrest during the week of March 13-19."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 10:54:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

REPLACEMENT ARM, GOOD AS NEW
Defense Tech: REPLACEMENT ARM, GOOD AS NEW: "Darpa, the Pentagon's blue-sky research division, now wants to ratchet [prosthetics] work up about ten notches, by developing a 'neurally controlled artificial limb that will restore full motor and sensory capability to upper extremity amputee patients. This revolutionary prosthesis will be controlled, feel, look and perform like the native limb.'

So, basically, what Luke Skywalker gets in Empire Strikes Back, after Darth chops off his hand. Except, researchers won't have a long, long time to get this limb ready. Darpa wants the robo-arm stat -- in four years or less."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 10:33:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

With Friends Like These...
With Friends Like These... - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com: "Jack Abramoff was somber, bitter and feeling betrayed. Once a Washington superlobbyist, Abramoff is now the target of a Justice Department criminal probe of allegations that he defrauded American Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars in fees."
"In response, DeLay and his aides have said repeatedly they were unaware of Abramoff's behind-the-scenes financing role. 'Those S.O.B.s,' Abramoff said last week about DeLay and his staffers, according to his luncheon companion. 'DeLay knew everything. He knew all the details.'"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 10:23:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

And the Verdict on Justice Kennedy Is: Guilty
And the Verdict on Justice Kennedy Is: Guilty (washingtonpost.com): "Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is a fairly accomplished jurist, but he might want to get himself a good lawyer -- and perhaps a few more bodyguards.

Conservative leaders meeting in Washington yesterday for a discussion of 'Remedies to Judicial Tyranny' decided that Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, should be impeached, or worse."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/11/2005 10:18:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo
Counsel to GOP Senator Wrote Memo On Schiavo (washingtonpost.com): "The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.

Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/07/2005 03:25:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

GA - Democrats stuck together, forged new alliances
Democrats stuck together, forged new alliances | ajc.com: "Georgia's Democrats lost their battle to reduce classroom sizes in public schools, failed to stop the nation's toughest voting identification bill from passing, and got steamrollered in their effort to halt a measure capping jury awards on medical malpractice suits.

But in their first stint as the minority party in 130 years, Democrats stuck together on numerous high profile issues, thwarted some GOP initiatives, such as a bill to expand the secrecy of industrial recruitment by government agencies, and pushed through some significant legislation."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/06/2005 04:05:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - GOP gains longed-for ground in session
GOP gains longed-for ground in session | ajc.com: "not all Republicans were so enamored with their party's first session of majority rule since Reconstruction.

'If you're a conservative Republican, you have to be very disappointed, very frustrated,' said former Cobb County Commission Chairman Bill Byrne, who ran against Perdue in 2002. 'They accomplished things for special-interest groups. They didn't accomplish anything on behalf of the state of Georgia.'"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/06/2005 04:05:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GOP senator may oppose UN choice
Boston.com / News / Nation / Washington / GOP senator may oppose UN choice: "Senator Lincoln Chafee's office said yesterday that his constituency is ''overwhelmingly' opposed to the nomination of John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations, signaling that Chafee is leaning against supporting Bolton in a move that could derail the nomination.

If Chafee, a moderate Republican from Rhode Island who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joins with Democrats who are expected to unanimously oppose the nomination, Republicans will not have enough votes to send the confirmation to the Senate floor."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/06/2005 12:50:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thousands protest at [California] governor's benefit
Thousands protest at governor's benefit / Raucous S.F. rally at his fund-raiser for ballot measures: "Thousands protest at governor's benefit
Raucous S.F. rally at his fund-raiser for ballot measures

Noisy demonstrators armed with signs and outrage once again greeted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- this time at San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton Hotel -- at a Tuesday evening fund-raiser expected to raise more than $100,000 for his proposed ballot measures."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/06/2005 12:28:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Beyond the Consensus
Dissent Magazine - Spring 2005: "Democrats would do well to remember, though, that the conservative activists who now control the Republican Party started out by going to war against the Republican Wall Street elites who were wedded to a model of capitalism that Democrats had created and that enabled Democrats to maintain their hold on power. Is it too much to ask Democrats to go to war against Democratic Wall Street elites who are wedded to a model of capitalism that Republicans have created, and that enables Republicans to dominate the government today?"
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/06/2005 12:23:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

GA - Smokin': Sonny Perdue's internal debate over where your nose ends, and the other fellow's schnoz begins | ajc.com
Smokin': Sonny Perdue's internal debate over where your nose ends, and the other fellow's schnoz begins | ajc.com: "The governor served notice that he was contemplating a rare veto — a deep-sixing of the bill to ban smoking in most public buildings, including restaurants, in Georgia.

'I am very concerned with government being the end-all and be-all nanny for all people,' Perdue said. 'But I have huge respect for the passion for the health-care argument.'

The irony of the situation is palpable. In 2003, this same governor argued for an increase in the tobacco tax because smoking was a vile habit that didn't need to be passed on to our children."
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posted by Richard Campbell at 4/06/2005 10:38:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

Md. Passes Rules on Wal-Mart Insurance
Md. Passes Rules on Wal-Mart Insurance (washingtonpost.com): "Maryland lawmakers yesterday approved legislation that would effectively require Wal-Mart to boost spending on health care, a direct legislative thrust against a corporate giant that is already on the defensive on many fronts nationwide."
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