The fault, however, lies not in Republicans’ stars but in themselves. Forty years ago the G.O.P. decided, in effect, to make itself the party of racial backlash. And everything that has happened in recent years, from the choice of Mr. Bush as the party’s champion, to the Bush administration’s pervasive incompetence, to the party’s shrinking base, is a consequence of that decision.
Quietly, the professionals at the Department of Justice have been working this massive scandal—that is complex by design—to build cases that move from the outer edges to the heart of political corruption in Washington DC. Abramoff is just a doorway in—not an endpoint—and prosecutors are zeroing in on some big fish in a corrupt stream.
The investigation was very active in 2008 and expanded its scope. More shoes are dropping. More details are being exposed. This is why the GOP fears the future, Obama and Eric Holder.
The US government has seized control of Citigroup's staff Christmas party budget and set tight restrictions on the use of its corporate jet in exchange for its $45bn (£28bn) bail-out.
The measures are among a raft of restrictions on expenses detailed in the small print of filing made by Citi on New Year's Eve with the US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a memo to staff, Pandit said he and the chairman, Sir Win Bischoff, would forgo year-end bonuses for 2008 after the huge banking group lost three-quarters of its market value and was forced to go cap in hand to the treasury.
The dominant media also in their customary role - guarding the powerful and suppressing uncomfortable truths in lieu of full and accurate reporting. They're in high gear over Gaza. They vilify Hamas, stay silent about Gazan suffering, are mute on the crippling blockade, its devastating human toll, and practically champion Israel's call for "all-out war" and the slaughter of defenseless men, women, children and infants.
In August 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the narrow coastal territory, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised it would make Israel safer. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hailed the move as "historic."
Israel had left behind a political vacuum, however. That, along with decisions by Israel, the U.S. and Palestinian rivals inadvertently boosted the militant Islamic group Hamas into power. Hamas is stronger than ever, and Israel's air strikes risk bolstering it further, according to current and former U.S. officials, diplomats and analysts.
TVNL Comment: "Democracy" means electing leaders the US can manipulate. But they hate us for our freedom.....
A California physician and attorney whose legal fight against the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance has drawn national attention now says he will join a lawsuit seeking the removal of all references to God and religion from President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony.
Michael Newdow believes references to God or religion are unconstitutional. He wants to remove the phrase "so help me God" from the oath of office and block the invocation prayer from Pastor Rick Warren.
Newdow says the suit will be filed Tuesday in D.C. District Court. The plaintiffs include 17 other people and atheist and humanist organizations. He sued to remove religion from inaugurations in 2001 and 2005 but lost both cases.
TVNL Comment: We could not agree with this more!
A NASA report on the last minutes of Space Shuttle Columbia cited problems with the crew's helmets, spacesuits and restraints, which resulted in "lethal trauma" to the seven astronauts aboard.
But the report also acknowledged that "the breakup of the crew module ... was not survivable by any currently existing capability."
The spacecraft broke up while re-entering Earth's atmosphere near the end of its mission on February 1, 2003.
The NASA report found the astronauts knew for about 40 seconds that they did not have control of the shuttle before they likely were knocked unconscious as Columbia broke apart around them.
Toyota Motor Corp. is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy in an effort to turn around its struggling business with a futuristic ecological car, a top business daily reported Thursday.
The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market.
According to The Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.
Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday that Congress should be as generous to judges as it already has been to itself, by approving an inflation-related increase in their pay.
Alone among federal employees, judges will not receive a cost-of-living allowance in 2009. Members of Congress are getting a 2.8 percent boost, worth $4,700. But they refused before Christmas to give an identical increase to judges.
Federal trial judges are paid $169,300 a year. Appellate judges make more, ranging up to Roberts' salary of $217,400. The salaries pale in comparison to what top lawyers earn in private practice.
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