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Saturday, Dec 20th

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Former Bush Official Is Indicted Again

A former White House official was indicted again on charges of obstruction and making false statements in an investigation into his dealings with the disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In June, an appeals court overturned the June 2006 conviction of the former official, David H. Safavian, on charges of lying and obstructing justice and ordered a new trial.

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'Tis the Season of Election Dirty Tricks: Scaring Student Voters

Election officials and watchdog groups are bracing for the wave of sneaky or suspicious phone calls, leaflets and emails that typically hit battleground states in the final 30 days of the presidential campaign.

Young voters at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. have already been targeted, with students reporting that flyers have been posted around campus warning that undercover police will be at the polls on Election Day looking to make arrests. 

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Secret Service must hand over Abramoff logs

The Secret Service has 18 days to hand over White House visitor logs detailing disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s visits, according to Judicial Watch, a public interest legal group.

The court ruled that the Secret Service violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not thoroughly searching White House visitor records that could contain information about Abramoff’s visits. The Secret Service had argued that these additional visitor records, called “Sensitive Security Records,” were so secret that the agency could neither confirm nor deny their existence.

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Cyber Security Expert: Hackers Planning To Steal Election For McCain

Stephen Spoonamore warns in a new interview that electronic voting machines represent a national security threat and that hackers are already planning to steal the 2008 presidential election for John McCain.

Spoonamore is a GOP member and a lifelong Republican, having worked on election campaigns with Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. He also has 20 years worth of experience in encrypted and networked communications systems for banks, TV, telecommunications, EMS, Military and other uses.

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Report Implicates White House

In 18 months of searching, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett have uncovered new e-mail messages hinting at heightened involvement of White House lawyers and political aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.

But they could not probe much deeper because key officials declined to be interviewed and a critical timeline drafted by the White House was so heavily redacted that it was "virtually worthless as an investigative tool," the authorities said.

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Campaign tries to explain Palin's Putin comment

Gov. Sarah Palin cites vigilance against Russian warplanes coming into U.S. airspace over Alaska as one of her foreign policy credentials. But the U.S. military command in charge says that hasn't happened in her 21 months in office.

The spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, Maria Comella, clarified in an e-mail to The Associated Press that when "Russian incursions near Alaskan airspace and inside the air defense identification zone have occurred ... U.S. Air Force fighters have been scrambled repeatedly."

However, no Russian military planes have been flying even into that zone, said Maj. Allen Herritage, a spokesman for the Alaska region of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

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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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