Politics

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Boston Herald endorses Romney

Saying the "nation needs Romney," The Boston Herald endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination today. "There is only one candidate in the Republican field w...
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We need more of these

Foreign policy would make more sense to such a large group of people if we could reliably often discuss it using rap feuds as examples. Tongue could be firmly planted in cheek here, but Marc Lynch makes a coup...
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Republicans be crazy!

Tab dump! So I've got three articles sitting in my Firefox window, and I need to get rid of them if I'm going to scratch this itch at the back of my brain. Over the weekend last week three separate articles...
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A word of inspiration

So, I got unemployed a long time ago (back in March, he says, dusting off the cobwebs from Overthinking It), and was sitting in my apartment applying for jobs with my girlfriend this morning, when I came across...
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3/18: An additional Trillion Dollars

WASHINGTON — With the country sinking deeper into recession, the Federal Reserve launched a bold $1.2 trillion effort Wednesday to lower rates on mortgages and other consumer debt, spur spending and revive the economy. To do so, the Fed will spend up to $300 billion to buy long-term government bonds and an additional $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues wrapped a two-day meeting by leaving a key short-term bank lending rate at a record low of between zero and 0.25 percent. Economists predict the Fed will hold the rate in that zone for the rest of this year and for most _ if not all _ of next year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law. That would be a departure from the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state's law.
WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday preserving a healthy newspaper industry was important and he was open to adjusting antitrust policy if it could help. "I'd like to think 20, 30, 40 years from now people will still be reading the newspaper," Holder told reporters. He was responding to a call by House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging the Justice Department to give newspapers more leeway to merge or combine operations. "The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law," Holder said in a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Justice Department.
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3/8: Stem Cells, Cuba, and the Taliban

The Bush Era stem cell funding ban will be lifted on Monday.
March 7 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s expected reversal of an 8-year-old restriction on U.S. funding for embryonic stem cell research has excited scientists and health advocates who say the action will accelerate the search for cures to major illness. Obama plans to lift the funding ban, imposed by former President George W. Bush, in a March 9 signing ceremony, said two government officials, who spoke yesterday on condition of anonymity. Bush objected to the use of the tissue because the process caused the destruction of human embryos.
In a wide ranging NYT interview, Obama mulls reaching out to elements of the Taliban.
WASHINGTON — President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq. Mr. Obama pointed to the success in peeling Iraqi insurgents away from more hard-core elements of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a strategy that many credit as much as the increase of American forces with turning the war around in the last two years. “There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region,” he said, while cautioning that solutions in Afghanistan will be complicated.
He will also start easing restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba.
President Barack Obama is poised to offer an olive branch to Cuba in an effort to repair the US's tattered reputation in Latin America. The White House has moved to ease some travel and trade restrictions as a cautious first step towards better ties with Havana, raising hopes of an eventual lifting of the four-decade-old economic embargo. Several Bush-era controls are expected to be relaxed in the run-up to next month's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago to gild the president's regional debut and signal a new era of "Yankee" cooperation. The administration has moved to ease draconian travel controls and lift limits on cash remittances that Cuban-Americans can send to the island, a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of families.
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3/04: The Internet, Death Penalty, and No Bid Contracts

  • The new head of the FCC is an internet expert who is a strong advocate for net neutrality and cheaper broadband access.
As anticipated, Julius Genachowski has been tapped by President Barack Obama to head the Federal Communications Commission. The move is another indication that incoming leadership in Washington will move decisively to protect the free flowing Internet from those seeking to become gatekeepers to new media. It also fulfills Obama's promise made on the campaign trail to appoint an FCC chair who shares his support for Net Neutrality.
  • Obama's secret letter to Russia purportedly said if Russia helps with Iran, the European missile defense system will no longer be needed.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he wanted to work with Russia to resolve a nuclear stand-off with Iran but denied reports he had offered to slow deployment of a missile defense shield in exchange for Moscow's help. The New York Times reported that Obama had sent a letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suggesting he would back off deploying a system in eastern Europe to intercept and destroy missiles, a move Russia sees as a military threat, if Moscow helped stop Iran from developing long-range weapons.
SAN FRANCISCO -- President Obama's Justice Department halted the death penalty trial of an alleged San Francisco gang leader Monday by accepting a 40-year prison sentence that the Bush administration had vetoed. The plea agreement for Emile Fort remained on hold after a federal judge heard a tearful plea from a murder victim's mother for a life sentence and summoned prosecutors to a closed-door session to describe their case against Fort.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered an overhaul of the way the U.S. government awards contracts for private sector work, reversing a Bush administration policy that in some cases led to federal investigations of procurement practices and no-bid contracts. Obama joined Republican Sen. John McCain, his presidential campaign rival, and other congressional figures to announce an executive memorandum that commits his administration to a new set of marching orders for awarding contracts. Obama said "the days of giving government contractors a blank check are over" and said changes could save up to $40 billion a year.