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Monday, February 25, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Monday February 25 2008 - (813)

Monday February 25 2008 edition
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Angry Clinton Says Obama Ads Misrepresent Her Positions On Issues
2008-02-24 13:08:28
In a move to salvage her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton adopted a newly bellicose tone toward rival Barack Obama on Saturday, saying he was making false and shameful attacks on her record.

The New York senator mocked Obama's speaking skills and his power to draw tens of thousands of supporters to rallies that have dwarfed her more modest events. Clinton scolded Obama for two campaign mailings that she described as distortions of her positions on health care and trade.

"Enough with the speeches and the big rallies, and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook," she said, alluding to President Bush's chief political advisor. "This is wrong, and every Democrat should be outraged."

Clinton's rhetorical blasts came 10 days before contests in Ohio and Texas that could doom her candidacy after a streak of 11 defeats. The losses have battered her campaign as much as they have buoyed her rival's.
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Housing-Related Jobs Slumping
2008-02-24 13:07:36

As it soared, the Washington, D.C., region's housing market lifted the fortunes not just of home builders and real estate agents but also of those in less-obvious niches: termite inspectors, land surveyors and septic tank repairmen among them. Life was good for Terry Croson, who as a title abstractor scours courthouses for detailed land records that are needed to close a sale.

But Croson, who is single and raising her 6-year-old nephew, now finds herself living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to hold onto her home in Charles County. She said she made $30,000 abstracting last year, down from $47,000 in 2005.

"I've never seen it this bad," said Croson, 47, who has been in the business for 30 years.

The downturn in the housing market is rippling broadly across the region. Homeowners have suffered, but so have countless others who once served an economic engine running at full tilt.

"We're talking about hundreds of thousands of employees," said Anirban Basu, chief executive of Sage Policy Group, a prominent economic research company. "There's tremendous pain and uncertainty out there," he said, estimating that at least 10 percent of the region's economic activity is linked to residential real estate.

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Exxon Valez Oil Spil Case May Get Closure
2008-02-24 13:06:42

When a federal jury in Alaska in 1994 ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion to thousands of people who had their lives disrupted by the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, an appeal of the nation's largest punitive damages award was inevitable.

But almost no one could have predicted the incredible round of legal ping-pong that only this month lands at the Supreme Court.

In the time span of the battle - 14 years after the verdict, nearly two decades since the spill itself - claimants' lawyers say there is a new statistic to add to the grim legacy of the disaster in Prince William Sound: Nearly 20 percent of the 33,000 fishermen, Native Alaskans, cannery workers and others who triumphed in court that day are dead.

"That's the most upsetting thing, that more than 6,000 people have passed and this still isn't finished," said Mike Webber, a Native Alaskan artistic carver and former fisherman in the Prince William Sound community of Cordova. "Our sound is not healthy, and neither are the people. Everything is still on the surface, just as it was."

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40 Killed In Blast Targeting Iraqi Shiites
2008-02-24 13:05:27
A suicide bomber struck Shiite pilgrims as they were resting Sunday during a days-long walk to a Shiite shrine, killing at least 40 people and wounding 60.

The attack in Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad, was the second of the day against pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala. The pilgrimage marks Arbaeen, the 40th day following the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, one of two revered Shiite figures buried there.

The suicide bomber detonated at a tent where pilgrims stop to eat and drink, said police.

At least 40 people were killed and 60 were wounded, said the U.S. military.

''The blast devastated the entire tent,'' which was up by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite Dawa political party, said local official Saleh al-Massoudi.

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Analysis: Supreme Court Justices Resisting Right To Sue
2008-02-24 13:08:14

There was a time when Supreme Court justices peered into federal statutes outlawing discrimination and found between the lines the right of the aggrieved to take his complaint to court. What good was the law, they reasoned, without a means to enforce it?

Those, Justice Antonin Scalia said last week, were "the bad old days."

The increasingly conservative court has said often of late that it is getting out of the business of finding a right to sue that is not explicitly stated in the law - what lawyers call an "implied cause of action."

Two discrimination cases that the court heard last week, both concerning retaliation, made plain that a sizable number of justices are deeply resistant to finding such rights and to expanding those it previously recognized.

Both plaintiffs based their cases on Supreme Court precedents, one as recent as 2005, but each encountered stiff opposition from justices who maintained that they should not provide a protection not specifically in the text of the laws.

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White House Backtracks On Claims Of Lost Intelligence
2008-02-24 13:07:09
Hours after chiding Congress for not finishing a wiretapping bill and leaving the nation "vulnerable to terrorist attack," officials acknowledge all requested information is being received.

A day after warning that potentially critical terrorism intelligence was being lost because Congress had not finished work on a controversial espionage law, the U.S. attorney general and the national intelligence director said Saturday that the government was receiving the information - at least temporarily.

On Friday evening, Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell had said in an unusually blunt letter to Congress that the nation "is now more vulnerable to terrorist attack and other foreign threats" because lawmakers had not yet acted on the administration's proposal for the wiretapping law.

Within hours of sending that letter, administration officials told lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees that they had prevailed upon all of the telecommunications companies to continue cooperating with the government's requests for information while negotiations with Congress continue.

A statement describing the change was released Saturday.
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Nader Announces New Run For President
2008-02-24 13:05:52
Ralph Nader said Sunday he will run for president as a third-party candidate, criticizing the top White House contenders as too close to big business and pledging to repeat a bid that will "shift the power from the few to the many."

Nader, 73, said most people are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties due to a prolonged Iraq war and a shaky economy. The consumer advocate also blamed tax and other corporate-friendly policies under the Bush administration that he said have left many lower- and middle-class people in debt.

"You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalized and disrespected," he said. "You go from Iraq, to Palestine to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts."

"In that context, I have decided to run for president," Nader told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Nader also criticized Republican candidate John McCain and Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton  for failing to support full Medicare for all or cracking down on Pentagon waste and a "bloated military budget. He blamed that on corporate lobbyists and special interests, which he said dominate Washington, D.C., and pledged in his third-party campaign to accept donations only from individuals.

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