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Tom DeLay cleared in federal probe, but Texas charges loom

Tom DelayAfter a six-year investigation, the Justice Department ended its probe into former House majority leader Tom DeLay’s relations with convicted ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, without bringing criminal charges. The announcement did not come from the Justice Department, which typically does not comment on investigations that do not result in charges, but from Mr. DeLay’s legal team, as reported by Politico.

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SC Senate candidate Greene indicted on felony chatges

Alvin Greene indictedLongshot Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene was indicted Friday on two charges, including a felony charge of showing pornography to a teenage student in a South Carolina college computer lab. Greene surprised the party establishment with his primary victory in June. His arrest in November was first reported by The Associated Press the day after he won the nomination.

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The Unconscious of a Conservative

Tea Party protestBut it is not just intolerance that is the hallmark of today's conservatives. They have become little more than the sum of their fears and their hatreds. What they fear most is the modern world and its pace of change. For them, the natural order of things is a country run by white, Protestant males.

Today they are confronted with a black man in the White House, a woman as House majority leader, no Protestants on the Supreme Court, gays asserting their rights, and a Muslim immigrant winning the Miss USA crown. It is all too much to bear.

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Obama's oil spill commission had web of BP and oil industry interests

BP oil spillOil runs so deep in American life that when President Barack Obama formed an independent commission to investigate the Gulf spill, he ran into something of an oil patch of his own.

Both commission chairmen had stock in BP as well as broader interests in the oil industry. Another commissioner, a university fundraiser, is chancellor at a school that received millions from BP. Another had substantial ties to Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and set off the spill.

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Source: Inquiry of Bush firings ending

Source: Inquiry of Bush firings endingThe Justice Department has concluded its two-year investigation into the Bush administration's firing of U.S. attorneys and will file no charges, people close to the case said Wednesday.

The investigation looked into whether the Bush administration dismissed the nine U.S. attorneys as a way to influence investigations. The scandal contributed to mounting criticism that the administration had politicized the Justice Department, a charge that contributed to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

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Abortion foes win a round in health overhaul

Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa.,Abortion foes have won a round in the first test of how President Barack Obama's health care law will be applied to the politically charged issue. Meanwhile, traditional allies of the administration are grumbling about a decision to ban most abortion coverage in insurance pools for those unable to purchase health care on their own.

The Catholic bishops "welcome this new policy," said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, although he added the organization remains concerned that other parts of the health care overhaul will promote abortion.

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Pols Guzzle Oil Money

Pols Guzzle Oil MoneyAt the moment, oil and gas companies are on track to shatter their record of total contributions from the last non-presidential election cycle, in 2006—despite the lingering effects of the economic downturn. Halfway through the election calendar, the industry is on pace to spend more than $27 million—the most ever in a campaign year not involving the White House.

With the stakes in Congress so high—from health care to financial regulation—the jump in spending is mirrored in other industries as well. Oil still lags behind 13 other industries in its Washington largesse.

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