Thursday, February 07, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST February 7, 2008

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New York Times
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Obama and Clinton Brace for Drawn-Out Campaign
The Democrats are preparing for a lengthy nomination fight, while John McCain is hoping to seal up the Republican nomination quickly.

Counting Delegates Detailed results and the delegate selection process.

Toll of Deadly Tornadoes in South Climbs Past 50 Authorities were searching for victims after a wide swath of storms packing tornadoes and hail swept the South.

Shutting Down Zanan The order to close Iran’s premier women’s magazine is the latest sign of how much Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fears any debate.
Who Is More Electable? Voters in many states have only just begun to be acquainted with Barack Obama, and more familiarity may breed more comfort.

The Cult of Secrecy at the White House The ombudsman’s independence is at the heart of repairing the information law. Congress must strike down the president’s end-run.

A Hopeful Year for Unions It is good news that the percentage of American workers who belong to a union rose for the first time in three decades.

Deranged on McCain? Even now, some conservatives still can’t get their minds around the possibility of John McCain as the Republican presidential nominee.

Obama: The Shock of the Red Barack Obama’s numbers in the West on Tuesday bode well for him.

Group Refuses to Monitor Russia Vote Europe's main security and human rights watchdog said on Thursday it had cancelled plans to monitor Russia's presidential election next month, citing unacceptable restrictions imposed by Moscow.

Senate G.O.P. Blocks Additions to Stimulus Bill By a single vote, Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked an expansive fiscal stimulus package championed by Democrats, as partisan rancor engulfed the effort to inject a quick burst of spending into the slowing economy.

In Seized Video, Boys Train to Fight in Iraq, U.S. Says The children in black — T-shirts, trousers and face masks — hoist AK-47s and pistols and rush toward an apparently unarmed man on a bicycle. In an instant they have surrounded him, shouting in the high voices of boys who are not yet men, “Put your hands behind your back.”

C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes as Judge Sought Interrogation Data At the time that the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed videotapes of the interrogations of operatives of Al Qaeda, a federal judge was still seeking information from Bush administration lawyers about the interrogation of one of those operatives, Abu Zubaydah, according to court documents made public on Wednesday.

Unusual Divides in California Benefit McCain and Clinton California, often maligned as out of step with the rest of the nation, proved Tuesday to be its mirror. Late with its verdict and with copious delegates, California found a starring role among nearly two dozen other states with nominating contests, defying predictions in ways that sometimes spotlighted political dynamics around the state.


Washington Post
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Democratic Re-gifting Super Tuesday gave the Democrats a gift. Now watch them give it back.

The GOP's Civil War Whatever divisions the Democrats face, it is the Republicans who confront an ideological civil war.

The Formidable McCain The question is when, not if, John McCan will win the GOP nomination.

Generational Politics| The leading candidates represent three generations, each with a distinct style and resonance.

Clinton's California Dream Team From movie directors to community activists, deep connections gave Clinton the edge in state.

Electronics Confiscated at Border Nabila Mango, a therapist and a U.S. citizen who has lived in the country since 1965, had just flown in from Jordan last December when, she said, she was detained at customs and her cellphone was taken from her purse. Her daughter, waiting outside San Francisco International Airport, tried repeatedly to call her during the hour and a half she was questioned. But after her phone was returned, Mango saw that records of her daughter's calls had been erased.
Admiral Confirms Secret Camp at Guantanamo Somewhere amid the cactus-studded hills on this sprawling Navy base, separate from the cells where hundreds of men suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban have been locked up for years, is a place even more closely guarded _ a jailhouse so protected that its very location is top secret.

White House Defends CIA's Use of Waterboarding The White House yesterday directly joined a debate over the use of simulated drownings to force disclosures by CIA detainees, saying the interrogation technique known as waterboarding was legal and that President Bush could authorize the tactic in the future.

Officials Decry Crack-Sentencing Reductions The Bush administration wants Congress to thwart a plan to give thousands of federal crack cocaine offenders a chance to marginally reduce prison sentences that are a hundred times more severe than those meted out for powder cocaine offenses.

In Pact, U.S. Won't Commit to Protecting Iraq A long-term "relationship" being negotiated between the United States and Iraq will include U.S. "security assurances and commitments . . . to deter foreign aggression against Iraq that violates its sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, or airspace," according to an agreement signed by President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last November. Or maybe it won't.

Uniting America: Easier Said Than Done Each of Super Tuesday's main survivors pledges, if elected, to reach across party lines and bring the nation together. It's a familiar but often futile promise, leaving Americans to wonder if divisiveness will again prevail or if _ just maybe _ a window is open for a more civil, constructive era.

GEORGIA | Low GOP Enthusiasm The fast-growing suburbs of Cobb County have long been home to political passions, mostly conservative. They were the base for former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and over the years, residents have quarreled loudly over a Ten Commandments display at the county courthouse, gay-rights issues, and whether science texts should include a disclaimer stating that evolution is a theory.


Miami Herald
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'Superdelegates' may decide Democratic nomination Super Tuesday's contests in 22 states left the Democratic candidates deadlocked, increasing the potential influence of 796 `superdelegates.'

President's budget fails the reality test Rarely has the disconnect between the White House and reality seemed more evident than in the budget for Fiscal Year 2009 that President Bush unveiled this week. Mr. Bush proposes not only more and bigger deficits, but insists on protecting his controversial tax cuts even as he reduces funding for the poor and elderly.

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Immigration didn't turn out to be the wedge issue talk-show hosts hoped John McCain's Super Tuesday triumphs offer a cautionary tale about using hot-button issues to drive wedges in the electorate. In this case, the "non-issue" is immigration reform.,0,1837782.story

More must be done for mental health of troops The U.S. Army can truthfully say they've tried to do something about suicide among soldiers. They made changes to mental health programs after it was found that the military was failing to adequately screen troops with psychological problems. There has been more training, more hiring of mental health professionals, closer monitoring of troops on psychiatric medications.,0,1698648.story

Democrats push to hold presidential caucuses in Florida The Democratic National Committee is pressuring Michigan and Florida to hold presidential caucuses so the delegates they lost for holding January primaries could be seated at the national convention, a top Michigan Democrat said Wednesday.,0,4739598.story


Detroit News
Michigan Democrats look for solutions for seating delegation An inconclusive Super Tuesday turned into Anxiety Wednesday for Democrats, as the close race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton raised the possibility that the debate over Michigan's national convention delegates will be caught up in the larger fight over the Democratic presidential nomination.

Houston Chronicle
Permanent do not call list clears Congress Politicians have finally found an issue they all can agree on: Telemarketers calling at dinnertime are a scourge that must be repulsed. Congress on Wednesday sent to President Bush two bills that would make permanent a program to protect consumers from unwanted calls from telemarketers. Its hallmark is the national "do not call" list.

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