Saturday, July 12, 2008


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New York Times
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-Worst Fears Ease, for Now, on Mortgage Giants' Fate
After a stomach-churning drop in the stocks of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,officials and lawmakers managed to calm investors.

-Talking Down and Stepping Up
If Barack Obama's message of stepping up is "talking down," then so be it.

-There He Goes Again
A leader who wants to steer the nation through tough times should not spendthe campaign, as Senator John McCain has so far, telling Americans they canhave it all. [...] And yet, the biggest news that Senator John McCain madelast week was his renewal of a pledge to balance the federal budget by 2013.How? Who knows?

-Feeling No Pain
Neither party in this presidential campaign has been forthright with thepublic about the true extent of the crises facing the country.

-Dr. Michael DeBakey Is Dead at 99
A world-famous surgeon, Dr. DeBakey pioneered such procedures as bypasssurgery and invented devices for heart patients.

-2 Vetoes Quash U.N. Sanctions on Zimbabwe
UNITED NATIONS - An American-led effort to impose sanctions against Zimbabwefailed in the Security Council on Friday, with Russia and China exercising arare double veto to quash a resolution that they said represented excessiveinterference in the country's domestic matters.

-Your Money: How Fallout Could Affect Main Street
The stock market swoon over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week has leftmany consumers scratching their heads, wondering if buying a home is a worseidea than it was seven days ago or whether to take down the "for sale" signin the yard.

-U.S. Tries to Help 3 Scholars Barred From Leaving Gaza
GAZA - American consular officials drove from Jerusalem to the Gazan borderon Thursday in an unusual effort to interview three Gazan Fulbright scholarswho Israel says are too dangerous to allow into the country. Using aportable fingerprinting machine flown in from Washington for the interviews,the Americans were seeking to expedite the granting of study visas to thethree scholars, despite Israeli concerns.

-HBO: Comrades in Chaos, Invading Iraq
"Generation Kill," an HBO seven-part mini-series about the invasion of Iraqthat begins on Sunday, is bold, uncompromising and oddly diffident. Itmaintains impeccable dignity even as it tracks a group of shamelessly andengagingly profane, coarse and irreverent marines, members of an elitereconnaissance battalion that spearheaded the invasion. The odyssey of thesemen from training tents in Kuwait to occupied Baghdad is laid out withbrutal candor and without the aid of maudlin cinematography or emotivemusic.

Washington Post
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-Jesse Jackson's Unkindest Cut
If the Rev. Jesse Jackson has trouble with something Sen. Barack Obama hassaid, why does Jackson wish to have the senator from Illinois neutered?

-Oversight for Big Tobacco
It's time for Congress to make regulation a reality.
FROM ASPIRIN to zucchini, the Food and Drug Administration monitors much ofwhat Americans consume. But cigarettes, which shorten a smoker's life by 10years on average, have escaped FDA oversight, largely because of politicalpressure from Big Tobacco. That could change soon, thanks to a long-overduebill the House is scheduled to vote on in the next few weeks that would givethe agency authority to regulate the tobacco industry. Legislators shouldmake the bill a priority so it has a chance to pass before Congress adjournson Aug. 10.

-Court Chips Away at White House Secrecy
A federal appeals court dealt a blow yesterday to White House efforts tokeep secret the names of people who visited Vice President Cheney. Athree-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of ColumbiaCircuit ruled that the White House had prematurely appealed a decision by afederal judge last year that visitor logs are public records.

-Report Cites Abuses by Mexican Military
Rights Panel Describes Torture, Killings in Anti-Drug Effort
MEXICO CITY, July 11 -- The National Human Rights Commission on Fridayaccused the Mexican military of wrongfully killing eight civilians atroadblocks, torturing witnesses and allowing soldiers accused of rightsviolations to escape prosecution during its continuing campaign against drugcartels.

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-Calculate gas prices to cities nationwide,0,6439205.htmlstory

-Ex-Bush spokesman Tony Snow dies of cancer
Tony Snow, a conservative writer and commentator who cheerfully sparred withreporters in the White House briefing room during a stint as PresidentBush's press secretary, has died of colon cancer, Fox News reportedSaturday. Snow was 53 years old. Snow, who served as the first host of thetelevision news program "Fox News Sunday" from 1996 to 2003, would later saythat in the Bush administration he was enjoying "the most exciting,intellectually aerobic job I'm ever going to have." Snow was working forFox News Channel and Fox News Radio when he replaced Scott McClellan aspress secretary in May 2006 during a White House shake-up. Unlike McClellan,who came to define caution and bland delivery from the White House podium,Snow was never shy about playing to the cameras.,0,7750796.story

Miami Herald
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-End-game nears for Guantánamo process
Clearly, the Bush administration hoped it would never come to this, but aday of reckoning over detainees in Guantánamo is approaching quickly.Lawyers for the Justice Department appeared in a Washington federalcourtroom on Tuesday to argue for yet another delay in deciding how to dealwith most of the 270 individuals who remain confined at the island prison,only to be rebuffed by a stern judge. ''The time has come to move theseforward,'' Judge Thomas F. Hogan told the lawyers.

-Volunteers full of hope mount Obama blitz
W hat would drive a grown woman to spend 2 ½ hours in the broiling July sunjust to register a couple of voters who may or may not support Barack Obama?

Fort Report
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-Obama Doesn't Have to Run as a Liberal
Some liberals fret that Barack Obama is tacking to the center after hisacquiescence to the Supreme Court's repeal of Washington's handgun law, hisshift on telephone company immunity for cooperating with wiretaps, and hiscall for more faith-based social programs. But this is just the beginning.The logic of the race will shortly lead Sen. Obama to buck bigger liberalpieties on core priorities like schools, taxes and health care in order towin.

-Why I'm Betting On Barack Obama's Victory
There are unknowns, of course, but there are also three big reasons he'llwin in November. There are unknowns, of course. The persona of John McCainis already in play and it would be wrong to underestimate him. The man isremarkable, surprising in his opposition to torture and Guantanamo,audacious when he challenged the economic policies of the two Bushadministrations. And isn't it said that Democrat John Kerry considered for atime asking this unconventional conservative to share the ticket with him?

-Presidential candidate Obama to sponsor Cup car at Pocono race has learned that for the first time in history, a major presidentialcandidate may sponsor a race car in NASCAR's premier series. According tosources, Barack Obama's campaign is in talks to become the primary sponsorof BAM Racing's No. 49 Sprint Cup car for the Pocono race on August 3.Details of the agreement are expected to be worked out over the coming days.

-Sorting out the dueling education coalitions
If you've had enough pure politics for the week, here's some recommendedreading for the weekend: a fine article by Richard D. Kahlenberg in TheAmerican Prospect analyzing the two big education coalitions recently formedto influence progressive politicians. The first coalition, led by theself-described "odd couple" of the Rev. Al Sharpton and Schools ChancellorJoel Klein of New York City, casts the debate in civil-rights terms. [...]On the other side of the current debate is a second group, organized by thelabor-friendly Economic Policy Institute, which recently put out a statement(in full-page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post) calling for"A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education."


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