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Dodd Gives Clinton a Gentle Nudge

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

By Alec MacGillis


CLEVELAND -- In issuing his endorsement of Barack Obama here this morning, Chris Dodd made abundantly clear -- in the most decorous and senatorial of terms, to be sure -- that he believes it is getting near time for the Democrats to call it a race.

"This is a moment of unity in our country, a time when we need to come together as the Democratic Party and get behind a candidacy that expresses the hopes, aspirations and ambitions of million and millions of Americans," he said, standing beside Obama in a hotel function room. Dodd added: "I don't want a campaign that's only divisive. But there is a danger of it becoming that, not because the candidates want it to, but too often the advisers and consultants others are seeking that divisiveness....It is devastating in the longer term."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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McCain apologizes for radio host's Obama attack

by Frank James

I think we can safely say Bill "Willie" Cunningham, a conservative radio talk show host in Cincinnati, won't be showing up at any more rallies for Sen. John McCain.

It's never a good idea for someone who's sole job is to fire up the crowd before the candidate arrives to utter thoughts that later require the candidate to apologize. And that's what happened today.

Cunningham called Sen. Barack Obama a Chicago "hack" from the "Chicago-Daley Mob." He also said he couldn't wait until the media ripped the "bark" off Obama and accused the senator from Illinois of dubious financial dealings.

What's more, he kept dropping the H-bomb, as in Hussein which is, of course, Obama's middle name.

"Hussein" is often used by many of the senator's fiercest critics to insinuate something sinister about Obama since the name obviously has plenty of negative associations for many Americans, thanks to the late U.S. and Bush family nemesis....(Click here for remainder of post).

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Obama support grows amid Clinton offensive

Ed Pilkington in New York
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday February 26 2008


Barack Obama has extended his electoral grip among groups of voters until recently seen as core supporters of Hillary Clinton, including low-income families and moderates, and has even drawn level among Democratic women, a slew of new opinion polls suggest.

The surveys underline the critical few days facing Clinton, who must perform well in next Tuesday's primaries in Ohio and Texas if she is to stand any chance of regaining some of the momentum currently enjoyed by Obama, who has won 11 straight contests in the past two weeks.

In the face of such setbacks the Clinton campaign has decided to go on the offensive against Obama, unleashing what one adviser told the New York Times was a "kitchen sink" fusillade against him.

The paper said that she would focus on five points of perceived weakness in his experience and preparedness for government....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Cleveland debate is final chance for Clinton to woo March 4 voters

Ewen MacAskill and Daniel Nasaw in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday February 26 2008

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama go head to head tonight in their final showdown before the crucial Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4.

The Democratic debate in Cleveland could be Clinton's last chance to impress voters and attempt to halt some of the momentum Obama has gained after 11 straight victories.

The mood in previous debates has run from acrimonious to conciliatory, and how the two senators treat each other tonight is anyone's guess - although a bitter row that erupted yesterday between the two camps could set the tone.

The two campaign teams squared off over a photograph of Obama in native African garb resembling traditional Muslim dress. Obama's campaign accused Clinton's staff of mounting a desperate dirty tricks operation, feeding into false claims on US websites that he is a Muslim.

His campaign manager, David Plouffe, described it as "the most shameful, offensive fearmongering we've seen from either party in this election". Obama has had to spend much of the campaign stressing he is a Christian, not a Muslim, and did not study at a madrasah....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Priorities - John McCain VoteVets.org Ad

Senator McCain has to give America straight talk. What won't we be able to do, both at home and in the war against al Qaeda, because we're stuck in endless war in Iraq. Support VoteVets.org here.


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Hypocrite Or Unpatriotic? - You Decide

How interesting. That looks like Rep. Jack Kingston talking about Obama not wearing his lapel pin. What’s missing? Jack Kingston’s lapel pin.

So does this make Kingston unpatriotic, a hypocrite or just plain stupid.

Of course this isn’t the first time Kingston played a game of “open mouth, insert foot”. A little over a year ago, Kingston said if families couldn’t survive on the old minimum wage then they needed to work longer hours. Just a month before that he was crying that working a 5 day work week in Congress would “take away from families“. I guess his family is more important than yours or mine.

(cross posted at IntoxiNation)

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Rigged Trials at Gitmo

by ROSS TUTTLE

Secret evidence. Denial of habeas corpus. Evidence obtained by waterboarding. Indefinite detention. The litany of complaints about the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay is long, disturbing and by now familiar. Nonetheless, a new wave of shock and criticism greeted the Pentagon's announcement on February 11 that it was charging six Guantánamo detainees, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, with war crimes--and seeking the death penalty for all of them.

Now, as the murky, quasi-legal staging of the Bush Administration's military commissions unfolds, a key official has told The Nation that the trials have been rigged from the start. According to Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo's military commissions, the process has been manipulated by Administration appointees to foreclose the possibility of acquittal.

Colonel Davis's criticism of the commissions has been escalating since he resigned in October, telling the Washington Post that he had been pressured by politically appointed senior Defense officials to pursue cases deemed "sexy" and of "high interest" (such as the 9/11 cases now being pursued) in the run-up to the 2008 elections. Davis, once a staunch defender of the commissions process, elaborated on his reasons in a December 10, 2007, Los Angeles Times op-ed. "I concluded that full, fair and open trials were not possible under the current system," he wrote. "I felt that the system had become deeply politicized and that I could no longer do my job effectively."

Then, in an interview with The Nation in February after the six Guantánamo detainees were charged, Davis offered the most damning evidence of the military commissions' bias--a revelation that speaks to fundamental flaws in the Bush Administration's conduct of statecraft: its contempt for the rule of law and its pursuit of political objectives above all else.

When asked if he thought the men at Guantánamo could receive a fair trial, Davis provided the following account of an August 2005 meeting he had with Pentagon general counsel William Haynes--the man who now oversees the tribunal process for the Defense Department....(Click here for remainder of article).

Here is the Op-Ed written by Col. Morris Davis for the Los Angeles Times:
AWOL military justice

By Morris D. Davis
December 10, 2007

I was the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until Oct. 4, the day I concluded that full, fair and open trials were not possible under the current system. I resigned on that day because I felt that the system had become deeply politicized and that I could no longer do my job effectively or responsibly.

In my view -- and I think most lawyers would agree -- it is absolutely critical to the legitimacy of the military commissions that they be conducted in an atmosphere of honesty and impartiality. Yet the political appointee known as the "convening authority" -- a title with no counterpart in civilian courts -- was not living up to that obligation.

In a nutshell, the convening authority is supposed to be objective -- not predisposed for the prosecution or defense -- and gets to make important decisions at various stages in the process. The convening authority decides which charges filed by the prosecution go to trial and which are dismissed, chooses who serves on the jury, decides whether to approve requests for experts and reassesses findings of guilt and sentences, among other things.

Earlier this year, Susan Crawford was appointed by the secretary of Defense to replace Maj. Gen. John Altenburg as the convening authority. Altenburg's staff had kept its distance from the prosecution to preserve its impartiality. Crawford, on the other hand, had her staff assessing evidence before the filing of charges, directing the prosecution's pretrial preparation of cases (which began while I was on medical leave), drafting charges against those who were accused and assigning prosecutors to cases, among other things....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Are Clinton's Racists and Divisive? It Appears So

Hillary Clinton and her campaign are either racist or they sure are acting like it.

Since the campaign began, Barack Obama has had to contend with lies being told about his religion through emails, telling folks he was a Muslim and reminding folks that his middle name is Hussein.

During the campaign, talk shows and news stations have supposedly ‘mistakenly’ reported Barack name as being Osama instead of Obama. Most recently Chris Matthews was discussing the Obama campaign while a picture of Osama Bin Laden was being shown to the right of Chris. They later apologized.

The Clinton campaign has also attacked him personally, alluding to his race and beliefs. Her surrogates went after the idea of whether he was “black enough”. Later, her husband Bill Clinton called the Obama campaign a “fairy tale”...(Click here for remainder of post).

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Big brouhaha over "60 Minutes" blackout in Alabama

TUSCALOOSA | The airing of a nearly 15 minute segment on the incarceration of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on "60 Minutes" last night has been overshadowed down here in Alabama by the fact that the CBS station in Huntsville, which serves most of the Tennessee Valley, went mysteriously blank just as the segment began.

Needless to say, this has touched off a brush fire of criticism and conspiracy theories, even though the station in question, WHNT, channel 19, did manage to get the last couple of minutes on the air.

The official explanation from station manager Stan Pylant is that "the CBS receiver that allows us to receive programming from the CBS Network's New York feed failed," and that his "engineers responded as quickly as possible to diagnose the problem and we were able to restore the feed at 6:12 p.m."

In the email Pylant promised to run the segment in its entirety during tonight's 10 p.m. news. (Dan Abrams also plans to run his own story on the Siegelman case on his MSNBC show at 8 p.m. tonight.)

I'm sure the controversy over the blackout will continue to rage for a few more days (you should have seen my inbox this morning), but it should not obscure what was a fairly damaging report on Siegelman's federal trial and conviction on bribery charges after he allegedly accepted $250,000 from former and now disgraced HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to help pay the bills for his failed lottery initiative. In what the prosecution claimed was an illegal quid pro quo, Scrushy was appointed to a hospital governing board on which he had already served under other governors of both parties. Both Siegelman and Scrushy were sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison in part because of that transaction....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Ex-Ala. Governor Seeks Special Prosecutor

Tuesday, February 26, 2008; Page A02

Attorneys for imprisoned former Alabama governor Don Siegelman called Monday for the Justice Department to bring in a special prosecutor after a key government witness was quoted as saying he was told to write out his testimony to "get his story straight."

Vince Kilborn, a lawyer for the former Democratic governor, said the defense was never told of written testimony by Nick Bailey, a former Siegelman aide whose testimony was crucial to the government.

In its "60 Minutes" program Sunday, CBS News quoted Bailey as saying prosecutors met with him about 70 times. He said they had him regularly write out his testimony because they were frustrated with his recollection of events.

The written notes, if they existed, could have damaged the credibility of Bailey's story, but no such notes were turned over to the defense, as would have been required by law, Kilborn said....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Flag Code Violations

utah
Photo: Jim Lynam

Utah, Jan. 27, 2008. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman ordered US and state flags flown at half mast for Gordon Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Section 7m authorizes a governor to half-staff the US flag upon the death of a present or former official of the government of the state, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from that state who dies while serving on active duty. Governors may not half-staff the US flag for religious leaders, according to the Flag Code.

Mexican-US flags

Reno, Nevada, October 2, 2007, the flagpole at a local bar displayed the Mexican flag above the US flag on the same flagpole. Section 7g reads, "When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace." Photo source: KRNV News 4

Albanian pro-Americans

Albania, June 10, 2007, the woman's flag is union out; the man is wearing flag shorts; his flag is touching the ground. Section 7h reads, "the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff." Section 8d reads, "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel." Section 8b reads, "The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground." Of course, the Flag Code doesn't apply in Albania. Photo credit: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

bush911

September 11, 2006, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush stand on a carpet of the American flag at Ground Zero in Manhattan, the site of the September 11, 2001 attack. Section 8b of the Flag Code reads, " The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground..." Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

upsidedown

April 2006, protesters hold a US flag union down to protest pending federal legislation, in Costa Mesa, California. Section 8a. "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property." Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images/David McNew

Kid Rock, Super Bowl 2004

Super Bowl 2004, Janet Jackson's "costume malfunction" made international news; that same half-time show featured the wearing of an American flag by performer Kid Rock. He later removed the flag poncho and hurled it over his head. Section 8d. reads, "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel." Photo credit: Reuters

President Bush and flag

In July 2003 President Bush autographed a small flag. This picture was circulated across the Internet noting its violation of the Flag Code: "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature." Photo credit: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

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Obama and the Flag

The right wing cabal has been attacking Barack Obama over his supposed lack of patriotism. They say things like "he doesn't wear a flag lapel pin." Well actually wearing a flag lapel pin is in actuality a violation of Federal Law, and Flag etiquette. Here is United States code that governs the uses displaying of the United States Flag.


United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag
§1. Flag; stripes and stars on

The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars [Note that sec. 2 which follows provides for additional stars. Today the flag has fifty stars representing the fifty states — Webmaster], white in a blue field

§2. Same; additional stars

On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission

§3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag

Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

§4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.", should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. [See Congressional Notes re use of "under God."]

§5. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition

The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America be, and it is hereby, established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 1 and Section 2 and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

§6. Time and occasions for display
  1. It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
  2. The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  3. The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
  4. The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on
    • New Year's Day, January 1
    • Inauguration Day, January 20
    • Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January
    • Lincoln's Birthday, February 12
    • Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February
    • Easter Sunday (variable)
    • Mother's Day, second Sunday in May
    • Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
    • Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
    • Flag Day, June 14
    • Independence Day, July 4
    • Labor Day, first Monday in September
    • Constitution Day, September 17
    • Columbus Day, second Monday in October
    • Navy Day, October 27
    • Veterans Day, November 11
    • Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
    • Christmas Day, December 25
    • and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
    • the birthdays of States (date of admission)
    • and on State holidays.
  5. The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
  6. The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
  7. The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.
§7. Position and manner of display

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

  1. The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.
  2. The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
  3. No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.
  4. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
  5. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
  6. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right.
  7. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
  8. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
  9. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.
  10. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
  11. When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
  12. The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.
  13. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —
    1. the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
    2. the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
    3. the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
  14. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
  15. When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.
§8. Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

  1. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
  2. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
  3. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  4. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
  5. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
  6. The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
  7. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
  8. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  9. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
  10. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
  11. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning
§9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes

§10. Modification of rules and customs by President

Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation.

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Did Ex-Alabama Governor Get A Raw Deal?

60 Minutes Reports On Bribery Conviction Of Don Siegelman In A Case Criticized by Democrats And Republicans

NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2008

(CBS) Is Don Siegelman in prison because he’s a criminal or because he belonged to the wrong political party in Alabama? Siegelman is the former governor of Alabama, and he was the most successful Democrat in that Republican state. But while he was governor, the U.S. Justice Department launched multiple investigations that went on year after year until, finally, a jury convicted Siegelman of bribery.

Now, many Democrats and Republicans have become suspicious of the Justice Department’s motivations. As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, 52 former state attorneys-general have asked Congress to investigate whether the prosecution of Siegelman was pursued not because of a crime but because of politics.

Ten years ago life was good for Don Siegelman. After he became governor, many believed he was headed to a career in national politics. In 1999, Siegelman’s pet project was raising money to improve education, so he started a campaign to ask voters to approve a state lottery. He challenged Republicans to come up with a better idea.

“You tell us how you’re going to pay for college scholarships. You tell us how you’re going to put state of the art computers inside every school in this state,” he said.

But now the applause has long faded. Today, Siegelman is at a federal prison camp in Louisiana. He’s doing seven years. The main charge against him was that he took a bribe, giving a position on a state board to businessman Richard Scrushy, who had made a big donation to that lottery campaign. There was a star witness, Nick Bailey, a Siegelman aide who had a vivid story to tell.

“Mr. Bailey had indicated that there had been a meeting with Governor Siegelman and Mr. Scrushy, a private meeting in the Governor's office, just the two of them,” says Doug Jones, who was one of Siegelman’s lawyers. “And then, as soon as Mr. Scrushy left, the governor walked out with a $250,000 check that he said Scrushy have given him for the lottery foundation.”

“Had the check in his hand right then and there? “ Pelley asks.

“Had the check in his hand right then,” Jones says.

“That Scrushy had just handed to him, according to Bailey's testimony?” Pelley asks.

“That's right, showed it to Mr. Bailey. And Nick asked him, ‘Well, what does he want for it?’ And Governor Siegelman allegedly said, ‘A seat on the CON Board.’ Nick asked him, ‘Can we do that?’ And he said, ‘I think so,’” Jones says.

The CON board regulates hospital construction, and Scrushy ran a healthcare company. Both Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted in federal court....(Click here for remainder of article).

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McCain: I Could Lose Over War Issue

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio, Feb. 25, 2008

(CBS/AP) John McCain said Monday that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, "then I lose. I lose," the Republican said.

He quickly backed off that remark.

"Let me not put it that stark," the likely GOP nominee told reporters on his campaign bus. "Let me just put it this way: Americans will judge my candidacy first and foremost on how they believe I can lead the county both from our economy and for national security. Obviously, Iraq will play a role in their judgment of my ability to handle national security."

"If I may, I'd like to retract 'I'll lose.' But I don't think there's any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge," McCain added. "Clearly, I am tied to it to a large degree."

"McCain's candidacy is clearly tied to some extent to the war in Iraq," said CBSNews.com Senior Political Editor Vaughn Ververs. "But he went further than he knew he should have with these comments. He is going to quickly learn that the rules for general election campaigns are much different than the primaries when it comes to speaking off-the-cuff."

"This is a candidate used to shooting the breeze with reporters in the back of his bus," added Ververs. "Once he becomes the nominee, the media spotlight is far more formal and less forgiving. He won't be able to 'retract' many comments from here on out."

The five-year-old Iraq conflict already is emerging as a fault line in the general election, with the Arizona senator calling for the U.S. military to continue its mission while his Democratic opponents urge speedy withdrawal.

While most Republicans still back the war, many independents and Democrats don't. That presents a significant challenge for McCain and an opportunity for either Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton.

McCain acknowledged the war will be "a significant factor in how the American people judge my candidacy."...(Click here fore remainder of article).

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Obama camp claims smear over turban photograph

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
The Guardian, Tuesday February 26 2008

Barack Obama's campaign team accused Hillary Clinton's beleaguered staff yesterday of mounting a dirty tricks operation by circulating a picture of him in African dress, feeding into false claims on US websites that he is a Muslim.

David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, described it as "the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we've seen from either party in this election". Obama has spent much of the campaign emphasising he is a Christian not a Muslim and did not study at a madrasa.

Aides for Clinton, who is fighting a last-ditch battle to keep her hopes of the White House alive, initially tried to brush off the furore, but later denied having anything to do with the distribution of the picture.

"I just want to make it very clear that we were not aware of it, the campaign didn't sanction it and don't know anything about it," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told reporters. "None of us have seen the email in question."

Obama and Clinton next go to the polls in the Texas and Ohio primaries next week. If Clinton loses either, her bid for the Democratic nomination could be over.

The picture showing Obama in a turban during a visit to Kenya in 2006 first appeared on the Drudge Report website yesterday. The site said it was circulated by Clinton's staffers and quoted one saying: "Wouldn't we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were [Clinton]?"....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Robed Obama picture ignites row

US Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have traded accusations over a photo of Mr Obama circulating on the internet.

The picture, sent to the Drudge Report website, shows Mr Obama wearing traditional African dress during a visit to Kenya in 2006.

The Obama camp said it was circulated by Mrs Clinton's staff as a smear. Mrs Clinton's team denied the accusation.

The row comes as the rivals campaign for two crucial primaries next week.

Analysts say Mrs Clinton needs to win the contests, in Texas and Ohio, to remain in the race to choose the Democratic candidate for November's presidential election.

With tempers fraying ahead of a crucial debate in Ohio on Tuesday, the former first lady highlighted Mr Obama's lack of foreign policy experience during a speech in Washington.

Reminding the George Washington University audience of her own international credentials, Mrs Clinton suggested her rival would need a "foreign policy instruction manual" to keep the country safe if elected....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Clinton Campaign Starts 5-Point Attack on Obama

I hope that the Hillary Clinton campaign knows that they are alienating many Dems with these unseemly negative attacks. 99.9% of the negative has come from her campaign, and disgusts me. This is part of the reason that I really don't think I would vote for her if she's the nominee.


After struggling for months to dent Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy, the campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now unleashing what one Clinton aide called a “kitchen sink” fusillade against Mr. Obama, pursuing five lines of attack since Saturday in hopes of stopping his political momentum.

The effort underscores not only Mrs. Clinton’s recognition that the next round of primaries — in Ohio and Texas on March 4 — are must-win contests for her. It also reflects her advisers’ belief that they can persuade many undecided voters to embrace her at the last minute by finally drawing sharply worded, attention-grabbing contrasts with Mr. Obama.

After denouncing Mr. Obama over the weekend for an anti-Clinton flier about the Nafta trade treaty, and then sarcastically portraying his message of hope Sunday as naïve, Mrs. Clinton delivered a blistering speech on Monday that compared Mr. Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience to that of the candidate George W. Bush.

“We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech on foreign policy at George Washington University. “We can’t let that happen again.”

With a crucial debate on Tuesday night in Ohio, both Mrs. Clinton’s advisers and independent political analysts said that, by going negative against Mr. Obama at a time when polls in Texas and Ohio show a tightening race, Mrs. Clinton risked alienating voters. Mrs. Clinton has always been more popular with voters when she appeared sympathetic and a fighter; her hard-edged instinct for negative politics has usually turned off the public....(Click here for the remainder of article).

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o Far, Time Has Been on Obama’s Side

WASHINGTON – They are certainly premature, but the post-mortems are beginning to roll in on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign. And should her campaign ultimately fail – Mrs. Clinton is clearly not out of it yet; she’s looking to wins in Ohio and Texas on March 4 – there will be a lot of blame to spread around.

But without exonerating Mrs. Clinton’s campaign or Mrs. Clinton, there is one factor that, more than anything else, may prove to be the root cause of Mrs. Clinton’s troubles: Senator Barack Obama.

Political analysts and journalists, in judging a candidacy gone bad, invariably focus on a campaign’s bad moves and wrong turns, with a dash of the requisite infighting among powerful staff aides and complaints by contributors. And the Clinton campaign, after starting off smoothly and with such self-assurance, provided a wealth of that: Wasted money, bad strategic calls on what states to contest, a message that failed to grasp how the mood of Democrats had changed and the questionable deployment of a certain former president.

But could even the best-operated campaign – say, for example, if Mrs. Clinton’s campaign had been run by the crew that ran George W. Bush’s campaign in 2004 – have done better against Mr. Obama? To reflect a discussion that many Democrats are having these days: Could Mrs. Clinton have sailed to the nomination had Mr. Obama sat this one out, leaving her facing John Edwards of North Carolina, who dropped out after losing four Democratic contests?

In Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton encountered an opponent whose campaign skills and public appeal were strong to begin with, and that have improved markedly every week he has been in this campaign. The man who sat next to her at the debate in Texas last Thursday – and who is lifting people out of their seats in arenas across the country – is a much more polished, commanding and poised candidate than he was just months ago. Even Democrats inside Mrs. Clinton’s campaign point to Mr. Obama’s growth as a candidate as an example of why long presidential campaigns have some merit. Mr. Obama learned from his mistakes....(Click here for remainder of article).

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