News Desk

July 2007

Bush Ready for Fall Political Battles

As official Washington heads into its summer vacation season, President Bush is portrayed by White House insiders as eager for a brief break at his Texas ranch in mid-August but ready for the looming political battles of the fall.

"He's as fully engaged as I've seen him," a senior administration ...

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Morning Buzz: July 31, 2007

The youngest member of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts, suffered an unexplained seizure yesterday. The 52-year-old was getting out of a boat when the seizure occurred and was mildly scraped up when he fell onto the dock. Roberts suffered a similar unexplained attack in 1993. After ...

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A Well-Suited Summit at Camp David

However their talks went in private, President Bush and new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were clearly on the same page Monday when it comes to dressing. Tieless informality, typically the practice for the president and his VIP visitors at Camp David, was out. Both leaders wore suits and ...

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Morning Buzz: July 30, 2007

With his pal Tony Blair out of office, President Bush has to start from scratch with new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown is visiting Bush at Camp David this morning, where the two will chat about Iraq, Darfur, and global trade. While the duo will surely be chummy in public, U.S. News

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GOP Presses for Tax Cuts

House and Senate Republican leaders are renewing their call for extending the Bush 2001 tax cuts and are warning that Democrats will hike taxes in an omnibus spending bill if they opt out of voting on individual appropriations bills.

They’re headed for an ‘omnibust,’ ” said a key GOP staffer. At a ...

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FBI Chief Seems to Contradict Gonzales

Trouble appears to be growing for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Now, two high-level officials (one current, one former) appear to have contradicted Gonzales’s account of the 2004 hospital visit Gonzales made to then Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary ...

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Clinton: Dems' Strongest Choice in South?

At a time when some foes are suggesting that she can’t be elected president because of her high negative ratings in polls, From and DLC President Bruce Reed defended their fellow DLC member, Clinton. Asked if it was a good strategy for other Democrats to question Clinton’s electability, Reed ...

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Morning Buzz: July 26, 2007

Hoping to gain support from fed-up Republicans, House Democrats have again drafted legislation that would mandate a pullout from Iraq. This bill would allow troops to begin leaving Iraq in two months, with President Bush being left as the “decider” of when to finish the withdrawal. House members ...

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Panel Calls for Better Vet Care

Back in April, U.S News ran a cover story, "Cheating Our Vets,"   that detailed serious problems in the military’s disability program for wounded soldiers. On Wednesday, a presidential commission called for major improvements in veterans’ care, including the need to "completely restructure the ...

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Farm Bill Alternative Offered

Conservatives disgruntled with the Democratic-backed farm bill, up for consideration this week in the House, are planning to pressure members to support a free-market amendment backed by a bipartisan coalition led by Reps. Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican.

The ...

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Iraq Envoy Says U.S. Lags in Arms Delivery

The United States government has been very slow to provide Iraqi security forces with basic needs, including armored vehicles and weapons, says Iraq's ambassador to the United States. The delays have come despite Baghdad's willingness to pay for the equipment.

"We have been waiting and waiting,"

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Morning Buzz: July 25, 2007

Members of the House Judiciary Committee are set to vote today on whether they should hold White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress.  Miers and Bolten were subpoenaed and asked for information on the firings of U.S. attorneys, but both said ...

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Heated Exchanges Mark U.S.-Iran Meeting

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, said there were several tense moments during his seven-hour meeting today with top Iranian diplomats and Iraqi officials.

The most heated exchanges came when Crocker noted that U.S. officials have detected an even higher level of Iranian support for ...

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Hastert Rumors Fuel Democrats' Interest

Talk that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert may be leaving Congress is being greeted cautiously by Democrats determined to win his district.

Columnist Robert Novak recently wrote that Hastert might not even complete his current term before retiring. Democratic Party strategists have targeted ...

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Morning Buzz: July 23, 2007

Pottermania reached new heights over the weekend with the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, to bookstores around the country. The 759-page volume broke sales records with 8.3 million being sold in the United States within 24 hours.   U.S. News

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CNN Sifting Through YouTube Submissions

CNN and YouTube have garnered a lot of attention recently for their decision to team up <> for the network’s upcoming presidential debates and allow users to submit questions for the candidates through the popular video-sharing site.

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Times Evokes Ire of Potter Fans

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It’s hard out there for a Potterhead these days. With the countdown to the last installment of the Harry Potter series down to single digits this week--the book debuts to the world tonight at midnight--the legions of loyal fans are an agitated bunch. Not only do they have the fate of all their ...

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A Long, Hot Summer on Capitol Hill

This week's Senate defeat of a Democratic bill to force U.S. withdrawals from Iraq has set the stage for a battle royal over the war that will last through the summer and build in intensity until mid-September, according to strategists for all sides.

That's when Gen. David Petraeus, commander of ...

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House Liberals Draw Line in Sand on Iraq

House Democratic liberals have drawn a line in the sand. They're not going to vote for any defense spending bill unless it leads to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In the spring, liberals had reluctantly supported Democratic leaders and voted for a war funding bill. But now, some 70 ...

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GAO: Iraqi Oil Sector in Tatters

Even after spending $2.7 billion in U.S. reconstruction funds, Iraq's oil sector has failed to achieve any of the goals to boost production, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

Indeed, the highest production levels were reached back in 2004 and have not been equaled ...

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Giuliani Was a No-Show at Iraq Meetings

Despite his high-profile role following 9/11 and his presidential ambitions, Republican Rudy Giuliani did not attend the first two meetings of the Iraq Study Group, prompting the GOP cochairman to remove him from the five-member Republican side of the bipartisan panel.

When Giuliani failed to ...

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Morning Buzz: July 19, 2007

An 83-year-old steam pipe burst yesterday afternoon in New York City, creating a giant geyser in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The blast flung steam and debris containing asbestos into the air. Authorities said today that the air is safe to breathe. One woman died in the incident--from an ...

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CNN vs. Michael Moore: The Battle Rages

The extended spat between Michael Moore and CNN over his most recent documentary, Sicko, is getting a second wind on the blogosphere as the controversial filmmaker says he’ll appear on The Situation Room again this afternoon with Wolf Blitzer.

In case you missed it, the epic struggle began when CNN ...

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Study Gauges State-by-State Online Activism

The sophisticated field of Internet analytics has a lot to offer the political world--with the important caveat that no one has much idea precisely how Internet activism will or won’t translate into votes.

In an attempt to measure regional support for different Republican presidential candidates,

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DHS Grants $1 Billion for Emergency Radios

When terrorists struck on 9/11, firefighters and police officers had no practical way to communicate with one another using their radios. Police had police radios, and firefighters had firefighter radios. Nearly six years later, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will give ...

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Obama: Strong Women Made Him Pro-Choice

While Sen. Barack Obama may not be the female candidate, he cited a family of strong women as part of his reason for supporting reproductive rights at a Planned Parenthood event Tuesday.

Financially assisted by a grandmother, raised mostly by a single mother, and surrounded by an intelligent wife ...

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Morning Buzz: July 18, 2007

A Brazilian airliner slid off a slick runway, bounced over a major highway, and then crashed into a gas station, killing almost 200. The plane’s pilot was apparently trying to take off again after failing to land the Airbus 320 properly on a runway that has been repeatedly criticized for being too ...

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NOAA Issues Grim Weather Report

Lighthearted weather stories are quick becoming a thing of the past. Extreme weather in the form of drought and heat dominated the United States in the first half of 2007, according to a report issued this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The dry conditions also ...

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Morning Buzz: July 17, 2007

Nine people died and 13,000 were left homeless after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake shook northwestern Japan. In addition to this devastation, today officials are reporting that about 100 drums of nuclear waste tipped over at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant and water containing radioactive ...

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GOP Takes Its Turn at Word Tagging

Last week, we reorganized the text  from the three Democratic presidential debates into “tag clouds” for each candidate, in which major themes are listed in larger or smaller font sizes, based on how frequently they were mentioned by individual candidates. Many blogs use tag clouds to index their ...

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Morning Buzz: July 16, 2007

As you look around the conference table at a meeting this morning, just think that 1 in 12 full-time workers in the United States has admitted to using illegal drugs in the past month, the government is reporting. Restaurant workers and construction workers rate among the highest, and social ...

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Bush Attempt to Rally GOP Fizzles

The Bush administration’s weeklong attempt to rally Republican allies on Capitol Hill to stick by the president’s Iraq policy has fallen short.

The president dispatched national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to talk to wayward Republicans. And he personally ...

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A (Very) Brief Guidebook for Democrats

Weighing in at 139 words--including the words “chapter” and the numbers that come after them--Rebuilding America: The Democratic Strategy is a book of substance over syllogism. This newest addition to the digest of self-published diatribes on American politics makes courageous headway into the ...

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Morning Buzz: July 13, 2007

Former White House counsel Harriet Miers played hooky on Thursday when she decided to follow President Bush’s advice and not testify before the House Judiciary Committee. This move may get her hauled into court as committee members took the first steps to hold Miers in contempt of Congress.  Miers ...

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Candidates Load Up Their Websites

Remember when blogs were the New Thing that was changing politics? In case there’s any confusion, those days, from the Precambrian era of online politics know as Before YouTube, are over.

How presidential candidates are using the Internet to promote themselves--and whether it will work--is one of ...

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Now, a Crush-on-Hillary Video

Last month’s popular I Got a Crush on Obama online video wouldn’t be complete without a competing Hillary Clinton counterpart.

Los Angeles actress Taryn Southern  recently filmed the video Hott4Hill in which the actress also provocatively professes her love to a presidential candidate.

“I have a ...

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Al Qaeda Regroups

U.S. counterterrorism analysts issued a new report warning that the al Qaeda terrorist network has managed to rebuild a significant amount of its operational capacity. The classified report, titled “Al Qaeda better positioned to strike the West,” was issued by the National Counterterrorism Center

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Iraq Fails to Meet Benchmarks

The Bush White House released a report this morning claiming that there is “satisfactory” progress on eight of 18 benchmarks laid out by Congress. But it did not identify a single one of these security, economic, or political benchmarks as having been completed by the Iraqi government.

The report ...

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Collar-Bomb Victim Was In on Original Crime

In 2003, Brian Wells robbed a PNC bank in Erie, Pa., and then was blown up by a device bolted to his neck. Investigators examined the case for four years and today announced the fruits of their labor.

Wells was in on it.

In another bizarre twist to a plot that already resembles a Hollywood hit, U.S.

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Fallout From Pakistan Raid

Political and security analysts believe that the bloody raid  by Pakistani security forces on militants inside the Red Mosque, which reportedly claimed over 80 lives in the capital city of Islamabad, will have a long-lasting effect on the country, reports U.S. News special correspondent Aamir ...

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EPA: Spooky String Really Is Horrible

As it turns out, Horrible Spooky String actually was pretty horrible.

This morning, the Environmental Protection Agency fined the Target Corp. $120,000 for selling Horrible Spooky String, a string confetti spray that contains banned hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and ordered the retail giant to ship its ...

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Top McCain Aides Quit

UPDATED: 3:29 p.m.

Sen. John McCain’s beleaguered presidential campaign, lagging in the polls and in the all-important money sweepstakes, took another hit this morning with the stunning resignations of the candidate’s top two aides: campaign manager Terry Nelson, a mastermind of President Bush’s ...

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A New Way to Weigh Politicians' Words

The Democratic presidential debate held two weeks ago at Howard University in Washington, D.C., rounded up a troika of meetings between the eight candidates in which they hashed out an image of their priorities and, collectively, the priorities of the party in this election cycle.

One popular way ...

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Pakistan Storms Radical Mosque

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf ordered security forces to storm a radical mosque in the normally placid capital of Islamabad after an embarrassing six-month standoff with a group of extremists who had been waging a vigilante campaign to impose their own version of Islamic law.

Many Pakistanis ...

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Edwards Pitches Poverty Publicity

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards’s planned three-day swing through hard-pressed neighborhoods and communities next week has been designed to wake up the press and public officials to the issue of poverty, the candidate’s national campaign manager, former Rep. David Bonior, said Monday.

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Tiger's Tournament Had a Political Slice

It’s a rare thing for secretaries of state to be interviewed about golf, but that was the nonpolicy topic that grabbed the attention of official Washington over the past week, as Tiger Woods’s inaugural golf tournament in the Washington, D.C., area concluded Sunday. It drew big crowds, thousands of ...

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MySpace as a Personality Lab

This week's copy of U.S. News & World Report includes a report on a study by social psychologists at the University of Texas-Austin who found that college students are able to present their personalities quite accurately on Facebook--even more accurately than they sometimes imagine.

The study, which ...

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