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10 December 2009 10:28 PM
If money is the mother milk of politics, then big bucks from the banks and financial industry are souring financial reform legislation being debated in the House of Representatives this week.A new analysis by Consumer Watchdog shows just how rotten the Capitol Hill dairy is.Thirty-four members of the U.S House of Representatives that offered floor amendments to weaken consumer protections in the

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10 December 2009 10:27 PM
As the second youngest of eight children of an Ojibwe family, I grew up on Hill 57, outside of Great Falls, Montana.I lived in a two room house, more like a shack.It was put together with scrap lumber, Hill 57 was a collection of such ramshackle homes strung together with dirt roads.The bitter Montana winds feel merciless when you are a child living in these conditions.Still, our home was warmed

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10 December 2009 10:27 PM
A week ago, I argued that President Obama sent three disturbing messages in choosing West Point as the site to announce his escalatory plans for the Afghan war.A week later, I'd like to make three further points.First, I believe that the President undermined the grave seriousness of his speech by deciding post-speech to press the flesh of cadets while posing for smiling photos.An urgent call to b

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10 December 2009 10:27 PM
Let me state this at the outset: I do not think President Obama deserves his Nobel Peace Prize.I believe that awards and honors should be earned by concrete past actions, not vacuous future hopes.But I listened to Obama's acceptance speech anyway.I was immediately struck by the amount of times the word war was used at a gathering honoring peace.The layered irony was, of course, that Obama who h

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10 December 2009 10:27 PM
UNITED NATIONS – The United States, Britain and France warned Iran on Thursday that it would face further sanctions if it continued to flout international demands that it halt sensitive nuclear activities. If it continues to refuse the slightest confidence measures, to refuse dialogue, transparency ...we must draw all of the necessary conclusions and that means that we must move on to a ne

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10 December 2009 9:57 PM
WASHINGTON – As Mark Kirk campaigns for the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama, the Republican congressman casts himself as a scourge of the pork-barrel, special-interest congressional spending known as earmarks. It wasn't always that way.Just two years ago, the four-term congressman secured more than $30 million for 19 pet projects in and around his Illinois congressional dis

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10 December 2009 9:57 PM
WASHINGTON – Just over 31,000 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications under the Obama administration's mortgage relief plan, a big setback for the government's embattled effort to stem the foreclosure crisis.Lenders say they are having a hard time getting borrowers through the trial period, which can last up to five months.Many homeowners who were given verbal approval for the

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10 December 2009 9:57 PM
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon's top military officer says 16,000 troops have received their orders for Afghanistan since President Barack Obama announced his new war strategy.Adm.Mike Mullen said at a news conference Thursday that the first to go — a battalion of Marines — will arrive in southern Afghanistan next week.The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said tens of thousands of tons