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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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Census Count of Same-Sex Couples to Stir Policy Fights

When the U.S. Census Bureau counts same-sex married couples next year, demographers expect hundreds of thousands to report they are spouses -- even though legal same-sex weddings in the United States number in the tens of thousands.

Gay advocates say they plan to use "A Census that Reflects America's Population," as the Census Bureau calls its plan to report same-sex marriage statistics, to push for legislative and policy initiatives, while groups opposed to same-sex marriage weigh a counteroffensive.

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U.S. probes AIG executives: source

U.S. investigators are probing the former head of American International Group Inc's (AIG.N) Financial Products unit, Joseph Cassano, and other executives for securities fraud, a law enforcement source familiar with the case said on Friday.

The source said that a grand jury may be impaneled this month in New York to consider potential charges that executives failed to disclose the value of toxic assets to the bailed-out insurance company's outside accountants and shareholders.

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Former director of Bush surveillance quietly appointed to declassification board

If one were searching for an individual to represent the public interest in promoting declassification of government records, the first name that came to mind would probably not be Michael V. Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.  But improbable as it may seem, he is the latest appointee to the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB), an official body that advises the President on declassification policies, priorities and potential reforms.

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Kids Didn't Hear Obama, But Will be Bussed for Bush

The Arlington Independent School District, which passed on airing President Barack Obama's live classroom address, has announced that some students will be bussed off campus to hear a message from former President George W. Bush on Sept. 21.

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U.S. Increases Its Share of Worldwide Arms Market

Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar.

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TVNL Comment:  The military industrial complex thrives on war.  Deal with it.

 

Michael Hirsh: Madoff Report Indicts Entire Regulatory System

The scariest thing about the report, perhaps, is that it isn't about what happened in the past as much as it's an indicator of what our future looks like. The Madoff Ponzi scheme was a relatively simple scam: all anyone in enforcement ever had to do over the years was to obtain documents showing that wily old Bernie wasn't doing any trading at all. They never did. This is the same agency, slightly tweaked, that we're going to depend on to root out fraud in the mind-bogglingly complex world of over-the-counter derivatives that is even now resuming its old habits.

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Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites

The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”

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