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Tuesday, Sep 27th

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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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RNC document mocks donors, plays on 'fear'

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to "save the country from trending toward socialism."

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”  In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.

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Dick Cheney's tortured lies

Dick Cheney made a splash last year when he asserted that his support for torture – including waterboarding – was vindicated by secret CIA memos showing the effectiveness of so-called "enhanced interogation". But like a disturbing number of Cheney's statements – remember the link between Saddam Hussain and al-Qaida? – this claim also seems a stranger to the truth.

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