News Desk

August 2007

Lots of Iraq Assessments Await

It seems as if everybody is getting into the act when it comes to assessing the situation in Iraq, adding to the confusion of many voters and members of Congress who are looking for something definitive about how the war is going. Instead, nearly every day another report is issued or leaked—and the ...

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Democrats Focus on Iraq Political Turmoil

Just two weeks before Gen. David Petraeus delivers his much-anticipated report on the "surge" and progress in Iraq, Democrats are considering a game plan that will cede military issues to the administration and instead focus on the political failures in the troubled Middle East nation.

"What will ...

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Romney Campaign Solicits Videos

The Mitt Romney presidential campaign announced yesterday morning that it will hold a contest for supporters to create their own television ads for the former Massachusetts governor, promising to use the winning video as an official campaign advertisement. The announcement trumpeted the contest as ...

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AFL-CIO Launches Healthcare Drive

Looking ahead toward the 2008 election, the AFL-CIO is launching a new drive coinciding with Labor Day weekend to push for universal healthcare coverage.

Ten million of its members and 3 million of its retirees are holding rallies and press conferences, lobbying lawmakers, and going door to door to ...

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Families Pan Giuliani 9/11 Anniversary Plans

One might think the New York City mayor who led the Big Apple through the worst terrorist attack in history would be warmly received at this year's 9/11 memorial service.

Not so, say several outspoken 9/11 family groups, who view presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's appearance as a way for him to ...

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New Round of U.S.-N. Korea Talks

The Bush administration will conduct two days of talks this weekend in Geneva, Switzerland, with North Korean officials as part of a six-nation process aimed at eliminating North Korea's nuclear activities in exchange for economic and political benefits.

The denuclearization process has been making ...

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Bush to Stay the Course

In the wake of the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, White House insiders don't want to encourage expectations that President Bush will turn into a born-again accommodator in the final year and a half of his administration.

Their concern is that the mainstream media and many members ...

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Giuliani May Be Florida Winner

While Democratic and Republican leaders from Florida confront their national parties over scheduling the Sunshine State's presidential primary on January 29, a big winner is emerging from the fuss—GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

It seems all but certain that the Florida showdown for both ...

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Gonzales Passes Potter in Blog Traffic

Alberto Gonzales toppled Harry Potter yesterday as the most-discussed person in the blogosphere, officially dethroning the fictional boy wizard after a three-month streak in which he was the unchallenged king of blogs.

While it may seem trivial, these rankings, which are calculated by Nielsen's ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 28, 2007

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig’s political future may be in jeopardy after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct following allegedly lewd contact with an undercover male police officer in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. The three-term conservative Republican is up for re-election ...

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Florida Fight Could Lead to Party Splits

Leaders of both political parties don't want to talk about it publicly, but they are deeply concerned about the prospect of messy, divisive credential fights at their national conventions next year. The reason: a growing furor over the Florida Legislature's decision to schedule its presidential ...

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U.S. News Programming Notes

Two U.S. News staffers are making TV appearances:

* Associate Editor Kimberly Palmer is scheduled to be interviewed on Court TV’s Star Jones, airing at 3 p.m. ET today, about her “Mommy Track” cover story  in this week’s issue of the magazine. Also on the show will be the three women featured in ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 24, 2007

Sen. John Warner, an influential Republican on military affairs, gave President Bush a message on Iraq yesterday: Bring some of the troops home by Christmas as a signal to the Iraqi government that the U.S. commitment is not open-ended. Warner is the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee ...

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What's Behind Bush's Vietnam-Iraq Analogy

President Bush's comparison of Iraq to Vietnam yesterday is stirring up a firestorm of scorn among antiwar Democrats such as Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry. But Bush loyalists say that the president's aim was not to court hard-line antiwar legislators but rather to court those who are on the ...

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GOP to Hammer Democrats on Early 'Surge' Criticism

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With Democrats moving quickly to soften their earlier criticism of the Iraq troop "surge" amid positive reports about the impact, Republicans are poised to demand that the prior critics admit they were wrong. "We are going to make sure that Democrats own their previous statements and positions on ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 22, 2007

Fourteen American soldiers died when their helicopter crashed in northern Iraq this morning. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but the military believes it resulted from a malfunction and not because the craft was hit by enemy fire. This was the deadliest crash since January 2005, when ...

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New Website Monitors Campaign 2008 Blog Chatter

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A pair of Arizona State University professors will formally launch a new website tomorrow that should offer a snapshot of which presidential candidates are being most talked about by bloggers—and whether they're being talked about nicely. , currently live in a beta version, uses ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug.21, 2007

Hurricane Dean slammed into Mexico's coast this morning, missing most of the major tourist resorts. The Category 5 storm made landfall near Majahual, a popular port with cruise ships, blew through sparsely populated coastal areas, and eventually weakened to a Category 3 hurricane after a few hours.

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 20, 2007

Officials say they may never find the six trapped Utah miners who have been missing after the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed two weeks ago. Mine owners had remained hopeful until the end of last week, when three rescue workers were killed when the mountain "bumped" and a portion of the mine ...

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Hastert Will Not Seek Re-Election

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert announced today that he won't run for re-election in 2008. The Illinois representative, who held the position of speaker longer than any other Republican, stepped down from his leadership post in 2006 after the Democrats took control of the House. Rumors of his ...

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Hastert, Dennis

Padilla Convicted in Terrorism Case

Jose Padilla was convicted today in Miami of being part of a terrorist cell, a crime that could land him a sentence of life in prison.

The Padilla case was not an easy battle for the feds. The Chicago native was first detained in 2002 and held without charge for 3 1 /2 years on allegations that ...

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Explosive Growth in Mobile Networking

A pair of new studies predicts an explosive growth of social networking through mobile devices in the next five years, including a 10-fold increase in revenue generated by user content. Juniper Research forecasts that sites that allow people to network through their cellphones will reach 600 ...

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House GOP Retirements Grow

A slew of veteran House Republicans are retiring.

The most high profile of the retirements is former Speaker Dennis Hastert's, which is slated for a Friday announcement. Add in another as of this morning: Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce, who was the No. 4 House Republican before the 2006 election, said ...

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College Rankings Countdown Begins

In less than 24 hours, the 2008 edition of America's Best Colleges will go live. Check back at tomorrow morning for the most complete version of the rankings, tables, and lists, plus extensive profiles on each school. We'll also provide wide-ranging interactivity and search features that ...

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Rove--Maybe Not Indispensable

While many in the White House will be sorry to see Karl Rove go at the end of this month, some West Wing advisers disagree with the notion, promoted by Rove's fans, that President Bush's political guru is the indispensable man.

The advisers point out that no one is indispensable except the ...

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Rove, Karl
White House

Morning Buzz: 200 Die in Iraq Attacks

Four suicide truck bombs blasted through parts of northwest Iraq last night, killing at least 200 people. The explosions are being blamed on al Qaeda, which targeted a small Kurdish sect, the Yazidis, calling them "anti-Islamic." Since the surge began in Baghdad, extremists have fled the capital ...

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A Move to Unmask the Wikipedians

This could be very bad news for Wikipedia.

The gargantuan, user-edited encyclopedia has a knack for showing up in the crosshairs of the perseverating debate over the uses and misuses of citizen media. Not only can anyone submit or delete anything to the site; he or she can do so without leaving so ...

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GOP YouTube Debate to Go On

The Republican version of the CNN/YouTube debate has been saved. And just about every candidate is now committed to appearing before audiences on November 28. Several of the GOP front-runners had previously said they would be unable to attend a debate originally set for September because of ...

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White House Pleased With Iraq Pitch

Administration officials are newly optimistic that the administration has turned the corner in making its case for continued U.S. involvement in Iraq.

"People think things are going better," says a senior adviser to President Bush after assessing recent public-opinion polls. "They are still ...

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Morning Buzz: Outer Space Repairs

Space shuttle Endeavour has a gash on its underbelly and NASA is deciding today whether to have astronauts repair the shuttle in space or have them bring the vehicle home as is. The gash is only 3 .5 by 2 inches but deep enough that it penetrates some of the spacecraft's thermal tiles. To ...

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Morning Buzz: Rove Bows Out

Called "the architect" and the "boy genius" by some and "Bush's brain" by others, Karl Rove has been a standout member of the Bush administration since the president was first elected. Now, after helping Bush win two elections,  the chief political strategist is calling it quits. He is expected to

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 10, 2007

There has been a lot of chatter about how video-sharing website YouTube has changed the world. It has become an influential player in presidential politics and jump-started the career of several online celebrities, including lonelygirl15  and Obama Girl.

It also recently became an effective crime ...

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Bush Sets Stage for Fall Battles

As he prepares to leave Washington for his August vacation, President Bush used his news conference today to set the stage for the political battles of this fall over Iraq and domestic issues—and took a hard line on both.

He refused to back off from his support for staying the course in Iraq. Bush ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 9, 2007

A whole lot of rain in a short bit of time created quite the mess for commuters yesterday in New York City.  Subways flooded and buses were overwhelmed as about 3 inches of rain hit the Big Apple in three hours. This washout was the third time in seven months that the subway system has been ...

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Eyewitness: "Bonds' Homer Landed Right in Front of Me"

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Scene: Bottom of the fifth, full count against Barry Bonds, one out, history hanging in the balance. Jaime Ramirez, Section 144, Row 13, in right field, holds up his digital camera, sets it to video mode, and hits record.

Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik winds up and delivers as the ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 7, 2007

Six Utah miners are still trapped beneath more than 1,500 feet of rock as rescue workers frantically toil to reach them. The miners have been trapped since 4 a.m. Monday after a powerful explosion. Scientists still don't know the origin of the explosion, but the chance that it was a natural ...

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CIA Pans New Book on Agency

The Central Intelligence Agency issued a rare public defense of its record in response to a recently published--and resoundingly harsh--history of the secretive intelligence agency. The statement blasted Legacy of Ashes, written by veteran New York Times reporter Tim Weiner, for ignoring the CIA's ...

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Lowering the Google Wattage

If there is in fact Google after death, it probably looks something this: an all-black version of the omnipresent search engine, designed to save energy by cutting down on all that white light.

Two new sites, and, both use Google's custom search, which can be embedded in ...

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Online Feud About 'Baghdad Diarist'

The conservative Weekly Standard's blog has been aflutter with commentary the past two weeks over a New Republic contributor who they contend could be the Baghdad version of Stephen Glass, another New Republic writer who fabricated stories back in 1998.


The New Republic's "Baghdad ...

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Questions on DOJ Election Fraud Cases

Calls for a perjury investigation into Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have grown dimmer, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, has found another front on which to question the forthrightness of the Justice Department's leader.


Feinstein took aim at recent changes to ...

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A New Letters-to-the-Editor Blog

Reader Roundup, the new Letters-to-the-Editor blog, is the latest addition to The blog allows more extensive display of readers' responses to all U.S. News stories and content. Postings will appear throughout the week at Comments should be E-mailed to

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 3, 2007

The death toll from the Minneapolis bridge collapse has risen to five, and authorities' tensions are easing as the number of missing--once thought to be as many as 30--has dwindled to eight.  President Bush will visit the city on Saturday to express his condolences to the victims' families.

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Stevens Raid Could Aid Transparency

Senate lawmakers pushing to have the pending ethics reform bill shine a brighter spotlight on secretive earmarks are suggesting that the FBI's probe of Sen. Ted Stevens's use of the legislative tool will help them.

"The whole affair is not good news for Republicans," said a key party official. "But ...

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Party Identification Still Weak

What with all the partisan peacocking going on in Washington, polls like one  released this morning by Gallup serve as a welcome reminder that there are still a lot of voters out there who haven’t gotten a party ID tattooed on their foreheads.

A plurality of American adults--37 percent--identified ...

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Morning Buzz: Aug. 2, 2007

At least four people have died in the collapse of a bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Authorities had first reported seven fatalities. Half of the eight lanes on the Interstate 35W bridge were closed for construction when the collapse occurred. More than 60 people were injured, and ...

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Liberal Bloggers' Influence on YearlyKos

Intimidation by liberal bloggers, says one conservative pundit, has forced the Democratic candidates to show up at the second-annual YearlyKos convention in Chicago this weekend.

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Channel is certainly not friendly to the liberal blog the DailyKos, calling it ...

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Quick Fix for Terrorist Surveillance Law?

The intelligence committees in Congress are working to approve a stopgap measure to update the law that governs electronic surveillance of terrorist targets before the August recess, which begins at week’s end.

Democrats are hopeful that a new compromise bill--aimed at making the intelligence ...

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