Sunday, July 06, 2008


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New York Times
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-Delays and Rising Costs for Convention Raise Worries for Democrats
For all Senator Barack Obama's success at raising money and generatingexcitement among voters, he faces a daunting challenge as he prepares toclaim the nomination in August: a Democratic convention effort marred bycostly setbacks and embarrassing delays.

-The Urge to End It
"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem," Albert Camus wrote,"and that is suicide." How to explain why, among the only species capable ofpondering its own demise, whose desperate attempts to forestall mortalityhave spawned both armies and branches of medicine in a perpetual search forthe Fountain of Youth, there are those who, by their own hand, would choosedeath over life? Our contradictory reactions to the act speak to theconflicted hold it has on our imaginations: revulsion mixed withfascination, scorn leavened with pity. It is a cardinal sin - but change thepackaging a little, and suicide assumes the guise of heroism or highpassion, the stuff of literature and art.

Washington Post
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-Obama: Media response to Iraq remarks overblown
Barack Obama celebrated "active faith" as an obligation of religious
Americans and a chief agent of societal change while speaking Saturday to anearly all-black roomful of churchgoers, but hoping to reach far beyondthem. Earlier in the day as he flew from Montana to Missouri, Obama toldreporters he was surprised at how the media has "finely calibrated" hisrecent words on Iraq, and reaffirmed his commitment to ending the war ifelected.

-Obama Addresses His Faith: Senator Describes Spiritual Journey
Sen. Barack Obama ended a week's focus on values by giving a conference ofthe African Methodist Episcopal Church a highly personal account of hisspiritual journey and a promise that he will make "faith-based" socialservice "a moral center of my administration."

-Iran and Brazil Can Do It. So Can We.
When the founding fathers declared our independence, they could not haveimagined that, 232 years later, the United States would be so spectacularlydependent on foreign countries. It would be roughly eight more decadesbefore oil gushed from a well in Titusville, Pa., marking the beginning ofthe global oil economy; it took eight decades more for the United States tobecome a net oil importer. But the republic's disastrous dependence onforeign oil has increased by leaps and bounds ever since.

-Afghan Escalation
Every year, the number of troops grows -- and so do enemy attacks. EACHYEAR since 2002, the number of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan hasgrown. And each year, during the "fighting season" of spring and summer, thenumber of attacks by the Taliban has also increased, prompting commanders toconclude that still more troops are needed. This year is no exception. Thereare 66,000 foreign troops from 40 countries in Afghanistan, including 37,500Americans; the force under NATO command has grown by 20,000 in 18 months.But Taliban attacks are up 40 percent in eastern provinces this yearcompared with 2007, and there has been another spike in coalitioncasualties. In May and June, more Western soldiers died in Afghanistan thanin Iraq. Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saysthat "at least" three additional brigades, or about 10,500 more troops, areneeded for combat operations and training of the Afghan army.

-Unimpaired Rights
The House votes resoundingly to recognize civil rights for the disabled.
THE AMERICANS With Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, was supposed tolevel the playing field for the disabled. It ended up helping some more thanothers. If you had an incurable disease, such as epilepsy, that affectedyour everyday actions but could be treated with medication, you were notdisabled, the Supreme Court determined, and you did not deserve theaccompanying rights. That soon may change, thanks to a remarkablycooperative effort by businesses and advocates of protections for thedisabled. The House recently voted overwhelmingly to expand thoseprotections, and the Senate is expected to follow suit. Although PresidentBush has expressed concerns that excess litigation may ensue, he is unlikelyto veto the bill, nor should he.

-Iran's Leaders Divided on U.S.
Recent Contradictory Remarks Illustrate Debate Over Relations
TEHRAN -- A senior adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected a proposed expansion of the U.S. diplomatic presence in Iran, saying in an interview that the idea is a "propaganda pose."

-Analysis: McCain struggles to regain footing
John McCain calls himself an underdog. That may be an understatement. The GOP presidential candidate trails Democrat Barack Obama in polls, organization and money while trying to succeed a deeply unpopular fellow Republican in a year that favors Democrats.

Miami Herald
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`Escorting a fallen Marine home'
``The curtains pull away. They come to the door. And they know. They always know.'' -- Maj. Steve Beck, U.S. Marine Corps
Sometimes Beck would linger in his vehicle in front of an American home, like that of the parents of Lance Cpl. Kyle Burns in Laramie, Wyo. Beck knew that, as Jim Sheeler writes, every second he waited ``was one more tick of his wristwatch that, for the family inside the house, everything remained the same.''

-Obama website riles Muslims
Some American-Muslim leaders say Barack Obama's website aimed at countering rumors that he is a Muslim -- -- sends a negative message about their religion.

Fort Report
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-For Republicans, the Senate outlook is bad
RONNIE MUSGROVE: The Democrat is running a strong race in Mississippi. Mississippi and other longtime strongholds could go Democratic this fall. Obama's candidacy is a boost.,0,7335615.story?track=rss

-Will Michelle Obama unite nation's feminists?
Obama, who speaks openly about the challenges of balancing a successfulcareer with the responsibilities of raising two young daughters, has thepotential to reach a wide spectrum of women. Lately she's been hit by aspate of unflattering-and some say sexist-media portrayals.,0,1680281.story


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