Thursday, April 17, 2008


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New York Times
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-Who's Bitter Now?
DURING Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia,Barack Obama once more tried to explain what he meant when he suggestedearlier this month that small-town people of modest means "cling to guns orreligion or antipathy to people who aren't like them" out of frustrationwith their place in a changing American economy. Mr. Obama acknowledged thathis wording offended some voters, but he also reiterated his impression that"wedge issues take prominence" when voters are frustrated by "difficulttimes."

-Race and American Memory I was wandering through the King Center here whenI stumbled on a movie clip of an indignant African-American woman saying:
"If we can't live in our country and be accepted as free citizens and humanbeings, then something's the matter with something - and it isn't me."

-No Clear Advantage
One of the more surprising twists in a surprising year is that despite theobvious Republican disadvantages in this election cycle, John McCain ismatching up pretty well against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in testsbeing conducted by national polls. Pew Research Center and CBS/New YorkTimes polls show Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton holding only modest leads overMr. McCain, while other national surveys - notably Associated Press/Ipsosand NBC/Wall Street Journal - have Mr. McCain running about even against theDemocratic candidates.

-Prominent Tibetan Figure Detained in China
BEIJING - The Chinese authorities have detained a high-profile Tibetantelevision reporter who is also a popular singer, suggesting that thegovernment crackdown following the disturbances in and around Tibet has yetto run its course.

Washington Post
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-No Peace Without Hamas
GAZA -- President Jimmy Carter's sensible plan to visit the Hamas leadershipthis week brings honesty and pragmatism to the Middle East whileunderscoring the fact that American policy has reached its dead end.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acts as if a few alterations here andthere would make the hideous straitjacket of apartheid fit better. WhileRice persuades Israeli occupation forces to cut a few dozen meaninglessroadblocks from among the more than 500 West Bank control points, theseforces simultaneously choke off fuel supplies to Gaza; blockade its 1.5million people; approve illegal housing projects on West Bank land; andattack Gaza City with F-16s, killing men, women and children. Sadly, this is"business as usual" for the Palestinians.

-Mr. Zahar and Mr. Carter
The former president, on what he says is a road to peace, embraces Hamasterrorists.
ON THE OPPOSITE page today we publish an article by the "foreign minister"of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Zahar, that drips with hatred for Israel, and withpraise for former president Jimmy Carter. We believe Mr. Zahar's words areworth publishing because they provide some clarity about the group he helpsto lead, a group that Mr. Carter contends is worthy of being included in theMiddle East peace process. Mr. Carter himself is holding what appears to bea series of meetings with Hamas leaders during a tour of the Middle East. Hemet one militant in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Tuesday and wasreportedly planning to meet Mr. Zahar in Cairo today before traveling toDamascus for an appointment with Khaled Meshal, Hamas's top leader.

-On the Shield Law, Good News and Bad
The bad news last week for conservative Republican Rep. Mike Pence wasprivate confirmation that his proposed law protecting journalists fromrunaway judges was opposed by President George W. Bush himself, not justinflexible Justice Department lawyers. The good news this week for Pence wasan unexpected endorsement by Bush's successor heading the Republican Party,John McCain.

-Warmed Over
President Bush delivers much talk and little action on climate change.
PRESIDENT BUSH strode to the lectern in the Rose Garden yesterday and onceagain passed up an opportunity -- perhaps his last -- to do somethingmeaningful on climate change. "Today, I am announcing a new national goal:
to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025," he said. Thatpronouncement was a weak and inadequate response to the imperative that theUnited States provide leadership in combating global warming, aresponsibility Mr. Bush has shamefully ducked throughout his presidency.

-Pope Benedict and the Mystery of Two Worlds
Giving the Pope advice is a contradictory task, because the Church'sposition is that he is infallible to begin with. To an outsider,infallibility seems like an impossible burden for someone who, the daybefore his election to the Papacy, was as fallible as any other mortal. Butthe Church's whole existence is based on a special relationship to God. ThePope sits on a throne that belongs to Jesus when he returns, and thissymbolizes a duty to care for the Kingdom of God here on earth. The currentcrises inside Catholicism are only the latest difficulties that began afterChrist disappeared from view. In every age balancing the two worlds of Godand man has been a deep mystery.

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-Obama betraying his former backers
Barack Obama seemed to have survived the blasphemous rants of his preacherand remained relatively untarnished by the perceived dissatisfactions of hisprivileged wife. But he may be less lucky with remarks he made recently about embittered, small-town Americans, who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to peoplewho aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment asa way to explain their frustrations.",0,1487035.story

-AP-Yahoo poll shows McCain winning back unhappy Republicans
WASHINGTON - Republicans are no longer underdogs in the race for the WhiteHouse. To pull that off, John McCain has attracted disgruntled GOP voters,independents and even some moderate Democrats who shunned his party lastfall.,0,5391498.story

Fort Report
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-Long Nomination Battle Hampers Democrats' Chances in November
RICHMOND At the start of the year, Virginia and national Democrats had highhopes that the state's 13 electoral votes could be up for grabs in the Nov.4 presidential election.

-Obama and Clinton fizzle in Philly
Wednesday's debate was devoid of substance and rife with gotcha politics. Inthe end, Obama seemed to win simply by not losing.

-Executions to resume after high court OK's lethal injections
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. executions are all but sure to resume soon after anationwide halt, cleared Wednesday by a splintered Supreme Court thatapproved the most widely used method of lethal injection.

-'Elitist' card snubs the facts
New rift mired in irony
Why do Americans look for people to look down on?
We sometimes baffle ourselves with ambivalence toward ambition and success.
We applaud "merit," for example, yet we turn up our noses at "elitists." Weroot for the little guy, yet again and again we elect the wealthy, thepowerful and the "insider.",0,5528250.column

-Why Clinton won't quit
REGARDLESS of what happens Tuesday in the Democratic presidential primary inPennsylvania, Hillary Clinton will not quit. Call it Divine Right orchutzpah, the Clintons believe she is entitled to the presidency. They'vebeen planning it since their days at Yale.

-In Reversal, Stevens Says He Opposes Death Penalty
Justice John Paul Stevens was one of the co-authors of the Supreme Court's1976 decision reinstating the death penalty, but he announced yesterday thathe now believes capital punishment is unconstitutional.

-Our view on protecting confidential sources: Presidential contenders backyour right to know
'Shield law' allows whistle-blowers to speak without fear of reprisal.
Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCaindisagree on Iraq, the economy, health care and a host of other issues. Soit's notable that all three senators found common ground this week insupport of a measure to protect reporters' ability to keep promises ofconfidentiality to their sources.

-Credit crisis hits student borrowers
Short of funds, lenders cut back
Anthony Norton, a junior at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, justlearned a tough lesson in economics:
The credit market crisis is spreading to student loans.


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