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Monday, Jan 16th

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Obama Administration Destroys Incriminating Contracting Data

Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found that Fortune 500 firms have received federal small business contracts. In 2004, the SBA Office of Advocacy found large businesses had received federal small business contracts fraudulently through what they referred to as "vendor deception."

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J Street launches campaign in support of tough U.S. stand on Israel

"Earlier this week, J Street leadership delivered over 18,000 signatures to White House officials demonstrating that large numbers of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans agree with the Vice President when he says 'sometimes only a friend can deliver the hardest truth,' and urging the Administration to turn this crisis into an opportunity for progress on two states," the group's announcement said.

The statement added that "the Obama Administration can turn this crisis into an opportunity to tackle a core issue at the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians - the need to establish a border between Israel and the future Palestinian state."

"Too much time has already been lost in getting the two sides into negotiations," J Street said, adding: "We cannot let any single provocative Israeli announcement of construction in East Jerusalem, no matter how infuriating, delay progress towards a two-state solution. Bold American leadership is needed now to turn this crisis into a real opportunity to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

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Obama Restores Former Pentagon Line of Succession

t is a morbid theme, but one that no superpower can ignore. So the Obama administration has quietly reviewed, and revised, the sequence in which Pentagon civilian officials would take command should Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates die unexpectedly, say in a surprise attack.

An executive order published without fanfare earlier this month does away with a system for Pentagon succession instituted by former President George W. Bush, which played down the service secretaries and elevated positions held at the time by trusted aides to Donald H. Rumsfeld, who as defense secretary wanted it that way.

These plans governing Pentagon succession are designed to guarantee civilian control of the military during a doomsday situation, like a nuclear strike or a terrorist attack, when the defense secretary could be taken out of action at the moment when war-fighting decisions must be made. The Bush order, issued in December 2005, continued the traditional sequence of the deputy defense secretary as next in line. But the Bush plan booted the Army secretary out of the No. 3 slot in the order of succession, in favor of the under secretary of defense for intelligence.

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Liberal Americans choke on their pretzels as Karl Rove rewrites history

The book stands accused of being a towering monument to self-denial of what are now seen as self-evident truths. Despite millions of words of newsprint, endless government probes in numerous countries and hours upon hours of TV reports proving the opposite, Rove stands by the idea that President George W Bush invaded Iraq reluctantly. He also denies Bush condoned torture. "He did just the opposite," Rove wrote.

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Clarence Thomas' wife launches 'tea party' group

But Thomas is no ordinary activist. She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative "core principles," she said.

The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources -- including corporations -- as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.

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California State Senator Announces He's Gay After DUI Arrest

Ashburn, who consistently voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in statewide office, came out in an interview with KERN radio in Bakersfield, the area he represents.

Ashburn has voted against a number of gay rights measures, including efforts to expand anti-discrimination laws and recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

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Dodgy dossier aide now the £100,000 boss of White House lobbying firm

The man who wrote the infamous ‘dodgy dossier’ for Tony Blair about Saddam Hussein’s weapons is now a £100,000-a-year adviser working at the nerve centre of Barack Obama’s military and foreign policy establishment.

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