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Who Is The Council For National Policy And What Are They Up To? And Why Don’t They Want You To Know?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It is imperative for everyone to read this article. These neo-Nazi, 'Christian' fundamentalist's delusions are going to do nothing but get more American soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen killed. Their fascination with bringing about the return of Jesus is nothing more than psychosis and blood lust wrapped up in the guise of religious beliefs. As free thinking people, we all must dismiss these whack-jobs for what they are: unintelligent, gullible, naive, Neanderthals.

by Jeremy Leaming and Rob Boston

When a top U.S. senator receives a major award from a national advocacy organization, it’s standard procedure for both the politician and the group to eagerly tell as many people about it as possible.

Press releases spew from fax machines and e-mails clog reporters’ in-boxes. The news media are summoned in the hope that favorable stories will appear in the newspapers, on radio and on television.

It was odd, therefore, that when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) accepted a “Thomas Jefferson Award” from a national group at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in August, the media weren’t notified. In fact, they weren’t welcome to attend.

“The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting,” reads one of the cardinal rules of the organization that honored Frist.

The membership list of this group is “strictly confidential.” Guests can attend only with the unanimous approval of the organization’s executive committee. The group’s leadership is so secretive that members are told not to refer to it by name in e-mail messages. Anyone who breaks the rules can be tossed out.

What is this group, and why is it so determined to avoid the public spotlight?

That answer is the Council for National Policy (CNP). And if the name isn’t familiar to you, don’t be surprised. That’s just what the Council wants....(Click here for remainder of American's United for the Separation of Church and State article).

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In Colorado voting bill advances

Paper-ballot plan clears committee despite opposition

A paper-voting proposal cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday, despite stiff opposition from county clerks and Secretary of State Mike Coffman.

A Senate committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 189, which calls for voters statewide to cast paper ballots at polling places but also would allow those who ask to use electronic voting machines.

The measure now moves to an appropriations committee to hammer out costs.

Lawmakers and Gov. Bill Ritter's chief legal counsel said that an earlier $15 million cost estimate by the Colorado County Clerks Association was inflated.

"I think people saw Santa Claus coming," said Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver.

Trey Rogers, Ritter's lawyer, said he estimates that SB 189 would cost $5.2 million to $5.4 million. He said the clerks' figures include costs not tied to the bill and costs for buying scores of polling place scanners rather than a handful of machines that count ballots at central sites....(Click here for remainder of Rocky Mountain News article).

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Bush vetoes bill limiting CIA interrogation tactics

By STEVEN LEE MYERS
New York Times


WASHINGTON — President Bush on Saturday further cemented his legacy of fighting for strong executive powers, using his veto to halt a congressional effort to limit the CIA's latitude to subject terrorism suspects to harsh interrogation techniques.

Bush vetoed a bill that would have explicitly prohibited the agency from using interrogation methods like waterboarding, a technique in which restrained prisoners are threatened with drowning, which has been the subject of intense criticism. Many such techniques are prohibited by the military and law enforcement agencies.

Bush's veto deepens his battle with increasingly assertive Democrats in Congress over issues at the heart of his legacy. As his presidency winds down, he has made it clear he does not intend to bend in this or other confrontations with Congress on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to contempt charges against his chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, and former counsel, Harriet Miers....(Click here for remainder of Houston Chronicle post).

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Obama Wins Wyoming Caucuses

By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: March 9, 2008

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Senator Barack Obama chalked up a victory in another caucus state on Saturday, beating Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Wyoming by a wide margin.

The victory, while in a state with only 18 delegates, was welcome news for the Obama campaign as it sought to blunt any advantage Mrs. Clinton might gain from her victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday.

Mrs. Clinton campaigned here Friday, a day after her husband and daughter, signaling the stakes every contest holds in the fierce battle for the Democratic nomination.

Party officials reported extremely high turnout at caucus sites across the state. In Laramie County, more than 1,500 came to cast votes at the caucus site, quickly filling the auditorium in downtown Cheyenne. Hundreds waited outside for hours until they could enter and vote. (In 2004, only 160 people showed up for the Laramie County caucus.)

Wyoming Democrats, usually a lonely bunch in an overwhelmingly Republican state, basked in their moment in the spotlight....(Click here for remainder of New York Times article).

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Rep. Steve King stands by controversial Obama comments

By Aaron Blake
Posted: 03/08/08 09:28 PM [ET]


Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) didn’t back down from his controversial comments about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Saturday night, criticizing Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign for distancing itself from King after he said an Obama presidency would be cause for jubilation among Muslim radicals.

King’s initial comments drew rebukes from the campaigns of both Obama and McCain. In announcing his candidacy Friday for reelection to the House, King weighed in on how an Obama win would be interpreted in the Muslim world.

I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al Qaeda, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11, because they will declare victory in this war on terror,” King said, as reported in The Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa.

King added: "Additionally, his middle name (Hussein) does matter. … It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name. They will be dancing in the streets because of who his father was and because of his posture that says: Pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict."...(Click here for remainder of The Hill article).

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Steve King: ‘I Reject McCain’s Disavowal’ Of Me

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a local Iowa radio station recently that al Qaeda would be “dancing in the middle of the streets” if Barack Obama were elected President “because of his middle name.”

In an interview with Fox News on Saturday night, King defiantly stood by his comments, arguing that we “should be looking at” Obama’s middle name — Hussein — because Middle East terrorists will infer something in that name:

My point is that first he declares defeat, they declare victory, they dance in the streets, and there is an implication that the identity that they would infer in that name is different in the rest of the world than it is in the United States. … What I’m pointing out is that our enemies will view this differently, and I think that’s something we should be looking at.

McCain spokesman Brooke Buchanan told Fox News today that McCain “doesn’t agree with King’s comments,” adding, “He intends to run a respectful race and keep it about the issues.”...(Click here for remainder of Think Progress article).


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Daschle Suggests Clinton Aide Should Resign For Starr Comparison

By Nico Pitney and Sam Stein

Former Sen. Tom Daschle on Friday suggested that top Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson should resign for comparing Barack Obama's tactics to those of Ken Starr.

"It's comments like [Wolfson's] that make me question whether we do have the same standards," said the former Senate Majority Leader. "I don't think that you can make a statement like that and consider yourself within the bounds of civility. I mean, this shouldn't be tolerated. It's not acceptable, and it's unfortunate."

Daschle, an Obama supporter and mentor, said he believed it was correct for campaign advisor Samantha Power to step down after calling Hillary Clinton a "monster." He called Power's comment regretful and said "the campaign had little choice but to do what was done."

And while Daschle would not directly call for a similar fate for Wolfson, he suggested that would be an appropriate move....(Click here for remainder of Huffington Post post).

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Obama Adviser Critical of Clinton Resigns

By Peter Slevin and Perry Bacon Jr.
Updated: 1:39 p.m.

CHICAGO - Samantha Power, an outspoken foreign policy advisor to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), stepped down this morning after calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) a "monster" in an interview with a Scottish newspaper. She said Clinton was "stooping to anything" to win the Democratic nomination.

In a statement released by the campaign as Obama prepared for a day of campaigning in Wyoming, Power called her remarks "inexcusable" and said she was resigning from her unpaid position "with deep regret."

"She made a decision to resign and we accepted it," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said aboard the senator's charter.

"Last Monday, I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Sen. Clinton and from the spirit, tenor and purpose of the Obama campaign," Power wrote. "And I extend my deepest apologies to Sen. Clinton, Sen. Obama and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months."

In a conference call earlier today several Clinton supporters suggested that Power should step down....(Click here for remainder of Washington Post article).

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Clinton-Obama dream team? Oh, dream on!

Clarence Page
March 9, 2008


Just when it seemed as though the last nails had been driven into the talk of a White House-bound dream team of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, everything old is new again.

The morning after Clinton brought her struggling presidential campaign back to life with wins in the Texas and Ohio Democratic primaries, she dropped new hints of such an eventual political marriage. Asked about the prospect on CBS' "The Early Show," the New York senator hinted that maybe, just maybe, it could happen. "Well, that may, you know, be where this is headed," she said with a laugh, then quickly added, "but, of course, we have to decide who's on the top of the ticket. I think that the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me." Maybe.

And maybe the voters in the 11 primaries in a row that she lost have a different idea.

Later in the day, Obama stuck to the script that the two of them have been following in recent weeks. "It is premature to talk about a joint ticket," he said....(Click here for remainder of Chicago Tribune column).

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Philadelphia Mayor's Endorsement Suddenly Matters

By Chris Cillizza And Shailagh Murray
Sunday, March 9, 2008; Page A02


On paper, Michael Nutter and Sen. Barack Obama have much in common.

African American, 50 years old and elected last year as mayor of Philadelphia on a reform platform, Nutter has in many ways experienced a political rise similar to that of the Illinois Democrat vying for his party's presidential nomination.

But presidential elections aren't fought on paper, and Nutter isn't a supporter of Obama's. Instead, he has endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and insisted in an interview late last week with The Fix that she is well positioned to clean up in both Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in general when the Democratic race makes its way there on April 22.

"There's the regular season, and then there's the playoffs," Nutter said of the nomination fight. "We're now in the playoffs." Extending the football metaphor, Nutter compared Obama to the New England Patriots, who were undefeated during the regular season and the playoffs, and Clinton to the New York Giants, who ended that winning streak in the Super Bowl....(Click here for remainder of Washington Post article).

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McCain Must Attract Independents to Beat Clinton or Obama

By Liz Halloran
Posted March 7, 2008


John McCain's eight-year journey to the top of the GOP has been remarkable, even Shakespearean. It was filled with high hopes, failure, betrayal, rejection, and redemption.

And the Arizona senator's battle for the White House promises to be no less interesting. McCain, 71, survived the antipathy of his party's fractious base during the primary season and is expected to run like no other GOP nominee in a generation.

"John McCain is a different kind of Republican," says McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker. Democratic leaders beg to differ—their party has launched an aggressive campaign linking McCain with the war and tax policies of the unpopular Bush administration. But the senator has been plotting to win in November by luring independent voters and white working-class Democrats like those who crossed over for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s....(Click here for remainder of US News article).

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No easy answers in sight for Michigan Democrats

Showdown may loom in debate on scrapped primary

By DAVID LIGHTMAN
McClatchy-Tribune

WASHINGTON — Democrats could be heading for a bitter showdown in Michigan between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, and it's unclear who'd have an advantage there or how anyone would vote.

Some 500,000 people voted in Michigan's primary Jan. 15, but the national party refuses to recognize the result because it didn't follow party rules.

Clinton won that contest, but Obama didn't compete and wasn't even on the ballot.

Now state officials are considering whether to have a revote later this spring, possibly in a caucus or "firehouse primary," although the state government and the national Democratic Party say they won't pay for it, which only adds to the confusion.

"Probably the most sensible thing to do is split the delegates 50-50 and make the (January) results irrelevant," said Marjorie Sarbaugh-Thompson, an associate professor of political science at Wayne State University in Detroit....(Click here for remainder of Houston Chronicle article).

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Dem. Wins Election to Fill Hastert Seat

By DEANNA BELLANDI Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO Mar 9, 2008 (AP)

A longtime Republican district fell to the Democrats Saturday when a wealthy businessman and scientist snatched former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's congressional seat in a closely watched special election.

Democrat Bill Foster won 53 percent of the vote compared to 47 percent for Republican Jim Oberweis. With all 568 precincts reporting, Foster had 52,010 votes to Oberweis' 46,988.

"Tonight our voices are echoing across the country and Washington will hear us loud and clear, it's time for a change," Foster told cheering supporters Saturday evening.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said Foster's win is a rebuke of the Bush administration and of the GOP's apparent presidential nominee, John McCain, who helped raise money for Oberweis....(Click here for remainder of ABC News article).

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Obama stance on Iraq shows evolving view

Senator saw 'obligation' in '04 to success of state

by Farah Stockman
Globe Staff / March 8, 2008


WASHINGTON - In July of 2004, the day after his speech at the Democratic convention catapulted him into the national spotlight, Barack Obama told a group of reporters in Boston that the United States had an "absolute obligation" to remain in Iraq long enough to make it a success.

"The failure of the Iraqi state would be a disaster," he said at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, according to an audiotape of the session. "It would dishonor the 900-plus men and women who have already died. . . . It would be a betrayal of the promise that we made to the Iraqi people, and it would be hugely destabilizing from a national security perspective."

The statements are consistent with others Obama made at the time, emphasizing the need to stabilize Iraq despite his opposition to the US invasion. But they also represent perhaps his most forceful language in depicting withdrawal from crisis-ridden Iraq as a betrayal of the Iraqi people and a risk to national security....(Click here for remainder of Boston Globe article).

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Obama Wins Wyoming Caucuses

by Chris Cillizza

Barack Obama today defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wyoming Democratic presidential caucuses, a victory that comes just four days after he fell short in Ohio and Texas.

David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama, called Wyoming a "very important win" for the campaign, noting that the state played host to "very furious campaigning by the Clinton campaign."

Plouffe noted that Obama has now won 30 contests and said the campaign will net two delegates out of Wyoming today.

With 100 percent of the vote in, Obama won 61 percent to 38 percent for Clinton. The victory netted Obama just two delegates (7 for Obama, 5 for Clinton).

The win was expected, as Obama has dominated most of the small-state caucuses during the nomination fight. His 59 percent of the vote -- if it holds -- would be slightly under the sorts of vote totals Obama wracked up in caucuses in places like Alaska (74 percent), Kansas (70 percent), North Dakota (61 percent) and Idaho (79.5 percent). Of the remaining nine states left to vote, none will hold caucuses....(Click here for remainder of Washington Post article).

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