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Thursday, Apr 24th

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Bush vows to veto housing-relief bill

WASHINGTON: As the House prepared to vote on a housing-relief bill offered by Democratic leaders, President George W. Bush on Wednesday told the lawmakers, in effect, not to bother.

"I will veto the bill that's moving through the House today if it makes it to my desk," the president said at the White House, after meeting with Republican House leaders. "I urge members on both sides of the aisle to focus on a good piece of legislation that is being sponsored by Republican members."

The president's remarks were not surprising, given that the administration issued a statement on Tuesday evening declaring its opposition and saying that White House advisers would urge the president to veto it.

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FBI Raids Special Counsel Office, Seizes Records

FBI agents on Tuesday raided the offices of Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch, who oversees protection for federal whistle-blowers. The agents seized computers and shut down e-mail service as part of an obstruction of justice probe, as first reported by NPR News.

The focus of the probe appears to be Special Counsel Bloch, who was appointed by President Bush in 2004. Bloch has been a controversial figure ever since taking over the Office of Special Counsel, which, among other things, ensures that federal whistle-blowers get the protection they need.

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Executive or Imperial Branch?

Even more tragic and dangerous than the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan have been President Bush's usurping of power from the other two branches of government and the creation of the "hyperimperial" presidency.

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White House admits pre-war e-mails not archived

"A White House declaration filed late last night ... makes the stunning admission that the White House failed to preserve ANY backup tapes for the period March 1, 2003 through May 22, 2003, a period of time during which the U.S. went to war in Iraq," says a release from Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a watchdog group suing for public records concerning the disappearance of internal White House e-mails.

Without computer backup tapes from this critical pre-Iraq war period, future researchers may be deprived a vital resource as the delve into the inner workings of the Bush administration as it decided to invade a country that had not attacked the United States and possessed no weapons of mass destruction.

"The harm is that we've lost a huge piece of history," says Anne Weismann, a lawyer for CREW.

TVNL Comment: The term for this is "criminal coverup!"

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White House admits fault on 'Mission Accomplished' banner

After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the "Mission Accomplished" phrase referred to the carrier's crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the "Mission Accomplished" message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship's crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

"President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission," White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday. "And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year."

TVNL Comment: "Shifting explanations"? What the hell does that mean? How many ways can the media avoid using the term "lied"?

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Cheney lawyer claims Congress has no authority over vice-president

The lawyer for US vice-president Dick Cheney claimed today that the Congress lacks any authority to examine his behaviour on the job.

The exception claimed by Cheney's counsel came in response to requests from congressional Democrats that David Addington, the vice-president's chief of staff, testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay.

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GOP objects to bill allowing recounts

Larry Norden, director of the voting technology project at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school, called the vote “a sad statement on how little Congress has done on the issue of making sure elections are as secure and reliable as possible.”

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