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Friday, Aug 29th

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Special Prosecutor Named in Attorney Firings Case

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor on Monday to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other officials in connection with the firings of nine of United States attorneys in 2006.

The move came as the Justice Department released a report by its inspector general severely criticizing the process that led to the firings.

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A shattering moment in America's fall from power

Our gaze might be on the markets melting down, but the upheaval we are experiencing is more than a financial crisis, however large. Here is a historic geopolitical shift, in which the balance of power in the world is being altered irrevocably. The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over.

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Palin's Stand on Mining Initiative Leaves Many Feeling Burned

Alaska law forbids state officials from using state resources to advocate on ballot initiatives. Then, six days before the Aug. 26 vote, with the race looking close, Palin broke her silence. Asked about the initiative at a news conference, she invoked "personal privilege" to give an opinion.

Palin's comments rocked the contest. Within a day, the pro-mining coalition fighting the referendum had placed full-page ads with a picture of the governor and the word "NO." The initiative went down to defeat, with 57 percent of voters rejecting it. 

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Two GOP articles "disappear' from web news sites

Two articles critical of GOP candidates McCain and Palin appeared in online editions of the Chicago Sun-Times and FOX News respectively.  Both articles linked to 'error' messages within minutes of their publication.

The headline of the first story to 'disappear' was EBERT: JOHN McCAIN'S BAD MANNERS. The CST error link can be found at http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/1190154,ebertmccain092808.article

The FOX News headline was CONSERVATIVES BEGIN QUESTIONING PALIN'S HEFT, and links to an error message at http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/28/conservatives-begin-questioning-palins-heft/

Bush the arrogant

President Bush's latest permutation of crisis management is the last straw. But who best to roll back the excesses?

As the Bush administration attempts to stabilize the nation's economy, we are witness to the final chapter of a period of perverse and dishonest leadership that has used its own crises to justify the expansion of its own power. This was a president who came to office on promises of modesty -- who championed a "humble nation," scorned nation building and promised a more limited role for government in the lives of its citizens. Then he presided over a six-year attempt to tear down and rebuild the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and now has embarked on the most profound expansion of the federal government's role in the private economy since the Depression.

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U.S. missile radar to shield Israel against Iran

Israel has received an advanced U.S.-made radar, staffed by American personnel, as part of preparations to fend off any future ballistic missile attack by Iran, officials involved in the deployment said on Sunday.

The arrival of the X-band radar is a gauge of the depth of defense ties between Israel and the United States. But by cementing Israel's technical dependency on its ally, it may boost Washington's power to veto unilateral Israeli action aimed at denying Iran access to nuclear weapons.

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Wall Street Executives Made $3 Billion Before Crisis

Wall Street's five biggest firms paid more than $3 billion in the last five years to their top executives, while they presided over the packaging and sale of loans that helped bring down the investment-banking system.

Merrill Lynch & Co. paid its chief executives the most, with Stanley O'Neal taking in $172 million from 2003 to 2007 and John Thain getting $86 million, including a signing bonus, after beginning work in December. The company agreed to be acquired by Bank of America Corp. for about $50 billion on Sept. 15. Bear Stearns Cos.'s James ``Jimmy'' Cayne made $161 million before the company collapsed and was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June.

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Radical Settlers Take On Israel

A pipe bomb that exploded late on Wednesday night outside the Jerusalem home of Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University professor, left him lightly wounded and created only a minor stir in a nation that routinely experiences violence on a much larger scale.

But Mr. Sternhell was noted for his impassioned critiques of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, once suggesting that Palestinians “would be wise to concentrate their struggle against the settlements.” And the authorities found fliers near his home offering nearly $300,000 to anyone who kills a member of Peace Now, a left-wing Israeli advocacy group, leading them to suspect that militant Israeli settlers or their supporters were behind the attack.

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Rep. Baldwin Introduces Bill to Undo and Prosecute Bush-Cheney Crimes

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has just introduced the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2008, which calls on the next President of the United States to

* Fully investigate Bush/Cheney administration officials’ alleged crimes and hold them accountable for any illegal acts.
* Ensure that any Bush/Cheney administration official guilty of a war crime is prosecuted under the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Act.
* Affirm that it is the sole legal right of Congress to declare war.
* Restore the writ of habeas corpus.
* Ensure that torture and rendition are uniformly prohibited under United States law.
* Immediately close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
* Ensure that Americans can bring claims against their government.
* Immediately take affirmative steps to protect all documents from the Bush/Cheney Administration.
* Publicly review potential abuses of the presidential pardon process.
* Reform the use of presidential signing statements.

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