Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - February 11, 2009

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New York Times
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-Battle Is Close in Israeli Election
JERUSALEM - Israel began what could possibly be days or even weeks of political jockeying to assemble a governing coalition on Wednesday, a day after elections that anointed no immediate winner and left unclear the shape of the next Israeli government.

-U.S. Prepares to Broach Hard Issues With China
The Obama administration plans to realign the United States' relationship with China by putting more emphasis on climate change, energy and human rights, widening the focus beyond the economic concerns of the Bush years, according to senior administration officials.

-Cuomo Cites Big Bonuses for Many at Merrill
Merrill Lynch paid out bonuses of more than $1 million to 696 people last year, according to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.

-Agent Claims Evidence on Stevens Was Concealed
An F.B.I. agent who worked on the investigation of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, who was convicted on ethics charges, has said in a stunning formal complaint that a fellow agent and prosecutors contrived to improperly conceal evidence from the court and the defense.

-Op-Ed Columnist: The Open-Door Bailout
Bangalore, India: Leave it to a brainy Indian to come up with the cheapest and surest way to stimulate our economy: immigration.

-Editorial: Continuity of the Wrong Kind
The Obama administration failed - miserably - the first test of its commitment to ditching the extravagant legal claims used by the Bush administration to try to impose blanket secrecy on anti-terrorism policies and avoid accountability for serial abuses of the law.

Washington Post
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-A Rush-and-Shush Rescue
By David Ignatius
The financial rescue program involves "very large numbers," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said yesterday in announcing a package that could cost up to $2 trillion. Uh, yeah. . . . His bailout numbers would be equivalent to nearly 15 percent of last year's gross domestic product. And that's not counting the $838 billion stimulus program or the $350 billion we've already spent on the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

-An Unfinished Product
America's banks need a plan. The Obama administration delivered a concept.

-Pakistan Wants More From U.S.
During Envoy's Visit, Islamabad Presses for Aid, Cooperation
By Karen DeYoung
Inside the warm welcome and promises of a "new beginning" that Pakistan extended U.S. special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke yesterday was a warning that Pakistan expects more from the United States in return for its cooperation against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Miami Herald
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-CIVIL RIGHTS: For a century, NAACP has been doing The Work
It began before it began. This was in 1905 when the great black scholar W.E.B. DuBois called a meeting of prominent black men. They met on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls because hotels in their own country would not accommodate them and formed what became known as the Niagara Movement.

-Holocaust denier forfeits his Catholic office
Vatican needs to do more to quell uproar over bishop's reinstatement Pope Benedict XVI stirred up another controversy last month when he reinstated a bishop who said of the Holocaust: ``There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies.''

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-Charm offensive backfires on Obama
Once upon a time, America thought Prince Charming would glide in and kiss her, reviving her from a coma induced by a poison apple of greed, deceit, carelessness, recklessness and overreaching.,0,3600012.story

Wall Street Journal

-Mugabe Swears In Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe's New Prime Minister

-Geithner at the Improv
Amid more public uncertainty, private capital flees.

-No Pity for Rich Tax Cheats Yet IRS Says the Wealthy Have Fewer Errors on Returns

-The Unmentionable Bank Solution It's all about "regulatory forbearance."
Tim Geithner didn't use the words "regulatory forbearance" yesterday in his banking bailout presentation. In fact, no one in Washington uses those words, which are seriously out of fashion. Yet regulatory forbearance is the most important item in the government toolkit, and the giant raspberry Mr. Geithner received from the market yesterday should be his signal that the market understands this and worries he doesn't.

Pew Research center
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-State of the Administration
Obama Rides High Despite Slip in Support for Stimulus Package
Although support for the economic stimulus package has weakened over the last month, President Obama's personal image is extremely strong with fully 92% of the public rating him a good communicator. The belief that Obama represents a break from politics as usual is also widespread. Read more

-From Candidate to President
One-word descriptions of President Obama have changed dramatically since he was a candidate. View the changes in perceptions from campaign trail to Oval Office in word clouds. Read more

-Media Judgment: The First 10 or So Days
Less than three weeks into the new administration, many among the media talking-heads were declaring it a failure, one asking if it was the roughest debut in recent presidential history. Read more

-Thoughts for Food
McDonald's and Starbucks: 43% Yin, 35% Yang
In a smackdown between Big Macs and caffe lattes, Americans typecast themselves by just about every conceivable demographic characteristic and, most notably, by political ideology. Read more

-Regional Politics
Venezuela's Chavez Faces Lessened Popularity in the Region -- and at Home
Since first elected president 10 years ago, Hugo Chavez has often portrayed himself as a regional leader, at the forefront of a new era of Latin American populism. However, in many countries in the region, Chavez fails to inspire much confidence. Read more

-God's Politics
Religion's Role in the 2008 Election
Two experts examine the religious vote in the November election and discuss implications for the future. Read more

-Daily Number
35% - Friending Mom and Dad
The number of adult internet users (those ages 18 years and older who go online) who have a profile on a social networking website has quadrupled in the past four years, rising from 8% in 2005 to 35% now. Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Fort Report
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-Group pledges to fight GOP senators who support stimulus
From Alexander Mooney
An influential conservative political action committee is pledging to support primary challenges to any Republican senator who backs the economic stimulus package -- the latest public show of dissatisfaction from the right over the massive measure before Congress.

-Clinton holds out hope for useful talks with Iran
The U.S. and Iran have a chance to "work out a way of talking" that could lead to understandings on a range of issues, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday.

-Pelosi not cracking under conference pressure
By Jared Allen and Mike Soraghan
If House leaders are under pressure to pass the Senate's economic stimulus bill, they sure aren't showing it.

-Op-Ed Columnist: The Destructive Center
What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?

-GOP makes Pelosi focus in stimulus fight
By Sasha Issenberg
Direct attacks on Obama seen as unwise

-What Rocky Start?
One Lousy Week Aside, Obama Is Doing Fine

-Jeb trashes stimulus package Crist wants
Former Gov. Jeb Bush is wandering the halls of the state Capitol today, advocating for his Foundation for Florida's Future education package because Gov. Charlie Crist canceled a lunch with Bush and other former governors so that he could introduce President Barack Obama in Fort Myers. Crist wants the stimulus package. Bush thinks it's bad news, as evidenced by this brief interview as he hustled away and drove off in a family wagon driven by Foundation chief Pat Levesque along with lobbyist John Thrasher.

-CUBA: Congressional bill would end ban on travel to Cuba
A bill in Congress says all Americans should be able to visit Cuba. 'The conditions are good' for the legislation to pass.

-Proposed law could scuttle Everglades land-purchase deal
By Andy Reid
State legislators could use a bill filed Tuesday to try to cut off the money for Gov. Charlie Crist's $1.34 billion Everglades land buy.,0,7219624.story

-Food for thought: Big government saves state money
By Frank Cerabino
You ought to care about Florida's prison food even if you think prisoners deserve nothing better than slop from a trough. This month, the state began feeding its own prisoners again, ending a seven-year odyssey of free-market thinking that produced profit for a Pennsylvania company and millions of dollars in extra expense to Florida taxpayers, according to the state's own auditors.

-SUPREME COURT: A Tough Choice Draws Nearer
By Stuart Taylor Jr
President Obama has tried to remain true to his campaign message of bipartisanship. But he's struggled to get everyone else to play along. Congressional Democrats, finally out from under the GOP thumb, want to enjoy their powers, while Republicans are already plotting their comeback. It'll only get worse with time, as firm decisions have to be made on issues that are loaded with ideology and emotion.

-There's a New Lawyer in Town
The top 10 cases the Obama Justice Department should redo.
By Emily Bazelon and Judith Resnik
Emily Bazelon will join Dahlia Lithwick in a chat about Obama's legal policies from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb. 12, on
Submit a question in advance or join the chat.


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