Friday, January 30, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - January 30, 2009

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New York Times
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-Op-Ed Columnist: Health Care Now
The whole world is in recession. But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe - in which millions of people will lose their health insurance along with their jobs, and therefore lose access to essential care.

-Editorial: Rules of the Game
President George W. Bush, and his aides, could hardly wait to get rid of all those tiresome arms-control treaties when they took office. They tore up the 1972 antiballistic missile treaty to make way for a still largely pie-in-the-sky missile defense system. They opposed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and never made a serious effort to win a ban on the production of fissile material (the core of a nuclear weapon).

-Op-Ed Columnist: Cleaner and Faster
Throughout 2008, Larry Summers, the Harvard economist, built the case for a big but surgical stimulus package. Summers warned that a "poorly provided fiscal stimulus can have worse side effects than the disease that is to be cured." So his proposal had three clear guidelines.

-Editorial: Hazardous Peanut Butters
After a strain of salmonella in peanut products sickened more than 500 people and contributed to eight deaths, government investigators finally took a hard look at a peanut producer in southwest Georgia.

-Editorial: Mr. Misdeeds Exits the Statehouse
In his days of disgrace as Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich openly identified with the Frank Capra characters Mr. Smith and Mr. Deeds, hoping to tug populist heartstrings as a misunderstood victim. Mercifully for Illinois taxpayers, the State Senate didn't buy that for a minute on Thursday in convicting Mr. Blagojevich of gross abuse of his executive powers and voting unanimously to remove him from office.

-Obama Calls Wall Street Bonuses 'Shameful'
President Obama branded Wall Street bankers "shameful" on Thursday for giving themselves nearly $20 billion in bonuses as the economy was deteriorating and the government was spending billions to bail out some of the nation's most prominent financial institutions.

-Blagojevich Makes a Day of It on Way Out
As the nine-seat airplane raced through the skies on Thursday somewhere between Springfield and here, an onboard telephone began to ring. Rod R. Blagojevich, the soon-to-be ex-governor of Illinois, instructed his aides not to answer. It might be the news, he said, that he had been removed from office and that he no longer controlled the state's thousands of employees or even, especially pertinent, the state-owned airplane taking him home.

-Blagojevich Ousted by Illinois State Senate
The Illinois Senate removed Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich from office Thursday, convicting him on an article of impeachment that alleged a pattern of abuse of power.

-Suicides of Soldiers Reach High of Nearly 3 Decades
Suicides among soldiers in 2008 rose for the fourth year in a row, reaching the highest level in nearly three decades, Army officials said Thursday.

-Democrats Set Sights on Republican Senators Who Oppose Stimulus Plan By
Senator Judd Gregg awoke to the bad news on Thursday morning that a coalition of Democratic groups had planned to run television advertisements in his state to pressure him to support President Obama's economic recovery plan.

-Candidate Linked to Obama Parody Song Leaves Race for G.O.P. Chairman
Chip Saltsman, the candidate for national Republican Party chairman who came under fire late last year for distributing a holiday CD with the parody song "Barack the Magic Negro," dropped out of the contest Thursday on the eve of the vote.

Washington Post
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-Barack W. Obama
By Kathleen Parker
Two impressions emerge from President Barack Obama's first week in office: Partisanship has reached a tipping point when the new president is circling the fire hydrant with a conservative talk-radio personality. And, the new president is sounding an awful lot like the old one.

-Blind Unanimity
Congressional Republicans, Meet PATCO
By Eugene Robinson
Watching the House Republicans vote unanimously against President Obama's economic stimulus package, I thought of Ronald Reagan, the air traffic controllers and the potential consequences for those who fail to recognize that one political era has given way to the next.

-A Blow for Common Sense
Protecting those who speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace VICKY CRAWFORD was approached in 2002 by a human resources officer in her Tennessee government office and asked whether she was aware of inappropriate behavior by a male supervisor. Ms. Crawford, a 30-year employee of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro), responded by citing several episodes of sexual harassment.

-Iraqis Stake Hopes on Election
Provincial Vote Seen as Valid Path to Future
By Anthony Shadid
BAGHDAD, Jan. 29 -- Shahbandar Cafe still stands, a testament to the resilience of the country and its capital, Baghdad, even if so much here has changed.

-Senate Passes Health Insurance Bill for Children
Immigrant Clause Opens Rift
By Ceci Connolly
The Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday to provide health insurance to 11 million low-income children, a bill that would for the first time spend federal money to cover children and pregnant women who are legal immigrants.

-Obama taps campaign aide to head religious office
The Associated Press
President Barack Obama has chosen Joshua DuBois to lead his White House-based effort to steer federal social service dollars to religious charities and get them more involved in government anti-poverty efforts.

Wall Street Journal

-U.S. Eyes Two-Part Bailout for Banks
The nation's top economic officials are discussing a new way to stabilize the financial system by buying a portion of banks' bad assets and offering guarantees against future losses on some of the remainder, in an effort to help banks while trying to mitigate the cost to taxpayers.

-Obama to Reverse Bush Labor Policies
President Barack Obama is set to sign a trio of orders Friday aimed at giving unions and people who work for federal contractors new rights.

-North Korea Ramps Up Rhetoric Against Seoul
SEOUL -- North Korea declared Friday that it would no longer abide by its military and economic agreements with South Korea, in another expression of anger at Seoul's unwillingness to restart the strings-free economic assistance it ended last year.

-Dodd of Indignation
Wall Street bonuses and sweetheart mortgages: Compare and discuss.
Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd has been in typically indignant form this week, opining on the financial crisis. Before his Tuesday hearing on Bernard Madoff, he demanded that regulators get to the bottom of any crime: "American investors deserve an explanation and the responsible parties must be held accountable!" And yesterday the Connecticut Senator denounced Wall Street bonuses and said, "I am urging -- in fact, not urging, demanding -- that the Treasury Department figures out some way to get the money back."

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-Anti-Semitism must be denounced worldwide
By Abraham H. Foxman
Israel's operation to defend its people from Hamas rockets is having an impact far beyond Gaza and Israel's besieged southern cities. Its repercussions are being felt by Jewish communities around the world, particularly the Jews of Western Europe and Latin America.,0,5475555.story

Miami Herald
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-ROD BLAGOJEVICH: Dereliction of duty no laughing matter
Something very strange -- and disturbing -- has happened with Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted at his impeachment trial and thrown out of office Thursday. Even as the legal wheels were turning in Springfield to remove him from the Illinois governorship, he became a media star, warmly and affectionately treated by people who ought to know better.

-FOCUS ON ISRAEL: Anti-Semitism increasing worldwide
First, you had to laugh. The bearded man in the olive green robe held a sign advocating ''Death to All Juice.'' So, he wasn't the most articulate proponent of genocide. But the sentiment, expressed during an anti-Israel demonstration in Manhattan, could not have come across any more clearly. The idea that all Jews deserve to die is hardly original, but it has become trendy again since the start of the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. Anti-Semitism has come out of the closet.

Fort Report
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-The South Vs. Obama
by Michael Lind
The votes against Obama's stimulus package came from a Southern confederacy of Republicans and conservative Democrats. Their message to America? Drop dead.
On Wednesday, January 28, 2009, President Barack Obama's $819 billion stimulus plan passed the House of Representatives, despite the solid opposition of the Confederates.

-Judge Rejects Obama Bid to Stall Gitmo Trial
Military judge rejects Obama bid to stall Guantanamo trial against Cole bombing suspect
A military judge at Guantanamo on Thursday rejected a White House request to suspend a hearing for the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, creating an unexpected challenge for the administration as it reviews how America puts suspected terrorists on trial.

-Army suicides at record high, passing civilians
Stressed by war and long overseas tours, U.S. soldiers killed themselves last year at the highest rate on record, the toll rising for a fourth straight year and even surpassing the suicide rate among comparable civilians. Army leaders said they were doing everything they could think of to curb the deaths and appealed for more mental health professionals to join and help out.

A Long-Lived Privilege?
Bush lawyer directs Rove not to talk to Congress-once again
By Michael Isikoff
Just four days before he left office, President Bush instructed former White House aide Karl Rove to refuse to cooperate with future congressional inquiries into alleged misconduct during his administration.


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