order non hybrid seeds LandRightsNFarming: Fwd: OpEdNews: Obama to Grant Banks Robosigning Immunity in Showdown With Breakaway AGs

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fwd: OpEdNews: Obama to Grant Banks Robosigning Immunity in Showdown With Breakaway AGs

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Kall <rob@opednews.com>
Date: Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Subject: OpEdNews: Obama to Grant Banks Robosigning Immunity in Showdown With Breakaway AGs
To: landrightsnfarming.seamom89@gmail.com

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The Choice of presidential candidates has narrowed to five conservatives-- Gingrich, who just bought the South Carolina Republican vote riding the Adelson Money Train, Romney who just had his win in Iowa pulled out from under him, Santorum, who won Iowa but got creamed in SC, taking less than 20% of "his" moral base, Ron Paul, who's muddling along with lots of money and supporters, and last, but not least, Barack Obama, who Gustav Wynn reports, in his article, Obama to Grant Banks Robosigning Immunity in Showdown With Breakaway AGs
What's a progressive to do? Well, actually, there's a lot that people are doing, starting with OCCUPY and a lot beyond. Read Opednews.com to see-- all the crap going on, but also, a lot of actions and solutions and approaches that people are taking.
And don't forget-- Opednews is the people's news. We want YOU to post your articles, diaries, links, etc. to the site.
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Daily Headlines

By James Wall
With South Carolina Victory, Gingrich Rides Adelson Money Train Against Obama

Gingrich has once again proven that he is a politician who is smart, tough and attuned to the conservative political pulse, especially in a state like South Carolina, where loyalty to Israel has become a conservative Protestant White Christian biblical belief.

By Gustav Wynn
Obama to Grant Banks Robosigning Immunity in Showdown With Breakaway AGs

Despite months of outcry, the Obama administration is drawing closer to a deal with the five biggest mortgage banks to settle charges of robo-signing and foreclosure fraud. Led by NY AG Eric Schneiderman, six rogue AGs have defied the "50 state" panel, DOJ and HUD, insisting on carrying forward investigations into forged documents and improper procedures but bank-friendly authorities are seeking a more bank-friendly approach.

U.S. AG Eric Holder, DoJ Head Lanny Breuer Linked To Banks Accused Of Foreclosure Fraud

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who's Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

By David Swanson
How Newt Gingrich Saved the Military Industrial Complex
The idea of economic conversion, of retooling and retraining pieces of the military industrial complex to build what other wealthy nations have (infrastructure, energy, education, etc.) converged with the end of the Cold War two decades back.

Jude Law: Murdoch's News International hacked me on U.S. soil

Actor Jude Law has confirmed what many have suspected: Rupert Murdoch's news empire extended its phone hacking to U.S. soil.

By Sarah van Gelder
Corporate Rule Is Not Inevitable

In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans said too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations. In a poll by Time Magazine, 86 percent of Americans said Wall Street and its lobbyists have too much influence in Washington.

By Russ Baker
So Pa, So Good ... But Must Activists Always Align With Corporations to Win?

Indefinite detention of citizens, even the remote threat of it, is surely as important a threat to our liberties as legislation that curtails our freedom to use copyrighted material on the Internet. Yet what corporations were troubled enough to join the ACLU and other liberties groups in opposing NDAA?

By Brad Friedman
Alvin Greene Was Here: 100% Unverifiable Statewide E-Voting in SC's 2012 GOP Primary

whatever the state and media tell you are the results of the election -- no matter how "unexpected" those results may or may not be -- will most likely be the results of the election, whether they actually reflect the way voters attempted to vote or not.

By Daily kos
RNC Decides to Finish Destroying Democracy - Citizens United on Steroids
Republican National Committee Files Brief Seeking To Allow Corporations To Donate Directly To Campaigns. This law would mean that a corporation like Citibank could write a check to Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich for $5 billion and no one could do anything about it. This is Citizens United on steroids.

By Walter Brasch
Outsourcing America's Health Care to Mexico

With corporations maximizing profits by downsizing, rightsizing, and outsourcing, it's only logical that health care will be outsourced--to countries with better heal;th plans than the U.S. (A World Health Organization analysis shows the U.S. ranked 37th.)

Republicans Serving On FEC Are Making Citizens United Even Worse
Three Republican appointees to the Federal Election Commission may be as responsible as anyone for the lack of transparency of post-Citizens United political spending.

Stephen Colbert Draws 10 Times More People Than Mitt Romney Does

Things are getting so bad for Mitt Romney that, Stephen Colbert outdrew him ten fold when they both held rallies in South Carolina.

By Dave Lindorff
Climate Change a 'Fabrication'? Ask a Wintering-Over Hummingbird, or Check out Your Daffodils

How can 50% of a responding American public be denying climate change? TCBH! journalist Dave Lindorff says they should go out and not smell by check on the daffodils in their flower beds...

Atlanta Jewish Times owner says sorry for Obama 'hit' column

Give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice-president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States' policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies," Adler wrote in a column that appeared in print by not online.

By Richard Clark
Will Saving the Environment Require a Shorter Work Week?
Our current economic system, fed by carbon-based energy and other resources consumed at ever faster rates at one end, spews out waste products at rates that cannot be absorbed by Earth's ecosystems at the other, and is unsustainable. What that means is simple: Industrial society as we know it cannot go on as it has. Any rational analysis tells us that the first thing that's "gotta give" is the 40-50 hr. workweek.

By Prison Radio
The Torture of Mumia Abu-Jamal Continues off Death Row --Supporters Demand Transfer to General Population

After being transferred from death row in December, Mumia was put in "the hole' at SCI Mahanoy's "Restrictive Housing Unit,' where the conditions are actually more restrictive than when he was on death row. Supporters, including the National Lawyers Guild (for whom Mumia serves as Vice President) who has set up an online petition, are calling for his immediate transfer to general population.

By Eugene Elander
The Decline and Fall of the American Automobile Association
A six-decade member of the iconic American Automobile Association outlines its deterioration in recent years, and his own painful experiences with their AAA South Insurance operation.

War Architects Have Written a New Script- This Time with Azerbaijan in the Lead Actor Role

IRAN? You'd think all the debunked allegations and failed attempts would give the imperial hawks a bit of a pause to come up with a better concoction. At least go away for a while and rethink their strategy; no? Obviously not. Desperation can do amazingly stupid things to greed-driven, wild-eyed and blood-thirsty bullies in pursuit of expanded turf. They just came out with a new concocted scenario and allegations. This time their lead actor happens to be Azerbaijan.

Outlawing dissent: Rahm Emanuel's new regime

In record time, Emanuel successfully exploited the fact that Chicago will host the upcoming G8 and Nato summit meetings to increase his police powers and extend police surveillance, to outsource city services and privatize financial gains, and to make permanent new limitations on political dissent. It all happened -- very rapidly and without time for dissent -- with the passage of rushed security and anti-protest measures adopted by the city council on 18 January 2012.

By Robert Parry
Getting Rid of "Anti-Israel" Presidents

Some staunch supporters of Israel believe that its interests are so compelling that they trump American self-governance, with one extremist suggesting the murder of President Obama. Others, however, appear to have joined in an earlier subversion of U.S. democracy.

By Dave Lefcourt
Insanity Masquerading as Sanity

Weeks into the Republican primary season and there's no discussion by the candidates of the real issues and problems facing the American people. Nothing on the widening income gap and wealth inequality between the 1% and the 99%, the lack of jobs, the foreclosure crisis, the growth of the poor and the decimation of the middle class. This crowd seems completely detached from the reality most people in America are facing.

The Royal Stall
What part of "dialogue" does King Hamad not understyand?

By Michael Collins
Just Short of Treason in Georgia and Kansas

The First Amendment is ignored when reactionary mayors want to stop the free speech and assemblies of Occupy Wall Street. However, free speech is expanded beyond the limits of the law when religious extremists in Atlanta and Kansas call for the assassination of the president.

By Georgianne Nienaber
Did Media Collude With Rwanda to Set Up Congo General Laurent Nkunda?

The United Nations High Command on Refugees issued a press release today saying in part that renewed violence variously involving "government troops, FDLR forces, and local defence groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo's volatile eastern region has forced over 100,000 civilians out of their homes since late November." Attacks in Shabunda have displaced some 70,000 people since November.Nkunda can't be blamed for this.

By Stephen Lendman
Anti-Syrian Pack Journalism
When America wages war or plans it, major media scoundrels cheerlead in lockstep. Incendiary managed news follows. Truth and full disclosure lose out.

By The Pen
MTV (Viacom Inc.) REFUSES Ad For The Last War Crime Movie

In an astonishing act of corporate arrogance, MTV (Viacom Inc.) refuses to accept an ad for the new feature length film, "The Last War Crime", and admits in the same breath that it is an act of political censorship of the film itself, not just of one particular ad.

By Cliff Schecter
Colbert and Stewart for a better America in America

What Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are doing with their "Super PAC" is not only extremely funny, but actually a public service at this point in our country's democratic experiment.


Latest Articles

The Blockbusters

"ISRAEL HAS no foreign policy, only a domestic policy," Henry Kissinger once remarked. This has probably been more or less true of every country since the advent of democracy. Yet in Israel, this seems even truer. (Ironically, it could almost be said that the US has no foreign policy, only an Israeli domestic policy.)

Israel Claims Syria/Hamas-Connected Terror Cells Uncovered
Here we go again. We've seen it before strategically timed. Weigh all Israeli claims skeptically. On its face, this one lacks credibility.

War and Being and Nothingness
The best book I've read in a very long time is a new one: "The End of War" by John Horgan. Its conclusions will be vigorously resisted by many and yet, in a certain light, considered perfectly obvious to some others.

Aquarius New Moon, Mars Retrograde and Chinese New Year 2012

As you can see, there's a big shift in energy coming on Friday, January 20th, when the Sun enters Aquarius and Monday, January 23rd with the Aquarius New Moon and Chinese New Year. This is the energy that will begin to move us into our new vision, with Mars turning retrograde at the same time helping us focus on our Truth. So let's see what the Cosmic Story tells us about this weekend's energies.

Occupy the Supreme Court -- Undercover Cop Attacks Peaceful Protester
Today, one Occupy protester was attacked and beaten by an undercover Washington D.C. Capitol policeman. Seven others were arrested in the January 20, 2012 protest held by Washington's two Occupy camps at McPherson Park and Freedom Plaza.

The Return of the Smear Bund

Israel's lobby in the US is reflexively defensive, and covertly authoritarian: they can't afford to have an open discussion of our "special relationship" with Israel -- and Israel's sick relationship with its Arab helots -- and so must resort to silencing their opponents.

Occupy DC Announces New Occupations !!! Be There!!!
Tomorrow, January 21, 2012 the Occupy camps have scheduled a Call to Action. In support of a resolution banning corporations from being people they will meet at 10:45 AM at the McPherson Park Camp located at 14th and K St. The Occupy protesters will march to Wells Fargo Bank Headquaters located at 17th and Penn. St.. There they will present their resolution.

President's State of the Union Speech Will be Under Fire--Again
Before President Obama uttered a word of his second State of the Union Speech last January, he heard the loud chorus of criticism, attacks, denunciations, and just plain boos from the usual suspects. That is GOP officials, Tea Party leaders and followers, and the pack of professional Obama loathers, the right wing bloggers, talk show hosts and websites.

How Does RW Decide What's Private?
Is there any logic underlying Newt's righteous indignation at John King's "open marriage" question?

Forget Romney, Gingrich Is Running Against 'Liberal Media'--and It Might Work

It's no secret that running against the media can work, especially in an era when so-called "legacy media" -- traditional networks and newspapers -- have become so dysfunctional that they make for the easiest of targets. And no GOP contender has made the bashing of "liberal media" so central a campaign theme as has Gingrich.

News Flash for Newt Gingrich: Americans Do Not "Own" Their Jobs

Newt Gingrich ignores the fact that almost all Americans are extremely vulnerable in the workplace.

Berkeley -- Red Baron link?

Did a columnist find a possible link between a UCB girl and the Red Baron?

Living In A Real World House of Lies
House of Lies is a new TV Series that reveals the inner workings of management consultants. It is timely, says News DIssector Danny Schechter


Best News Links from the Web

Wary, Japanese Take Food Safety Into Their Own Hands

Almost a year after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan is still struggling to protect its food supply from radioactive contamination. The discovery of tainted rice in Onami and a similar case in July involving contaminated beef have left officials scrambling to plug the exposed gaps in the government's food-screening measures, many of which were hastily introduced after the accident.

Gingrich wins huge come-from-behind victory in South Carolina

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, a stunning come-from-behind upset that shook the contest for the party's presidential nomination like an earthquake.

BREAKING: Gingrich Wins, Santorum Loses SC Primary
Newt Gingrich upset GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney in South Carolina tonight, beating him by what will likely be a comfortable margin in the the state's Republican presidential primary. This marks the second state lost by Romney in less than 24 hours, as the Iowa Republican party officially declared at midnight Friday that Rick Santorum had won the state's caucus. Meanwhile, Santorum put up a disappointing showing in South Carolina, according to CNN exiting polls, with just 20 percent of evangelicals voters supporting him -- fewer even that Romney. Santorum had pinned his hopes to this bloc.

Gingrich Agrees To Meet With Rev. Sharpton After Being Confronted
As voters head to the polls today in South Carolina, an African-American man confronted Newt Gingrich outside a campaign stop on race issues, pressing the GOP candidate on his idea to make poor kids work as janitors in their own schools. The Hill reports, "The man said what Gingrich was asking for amounted to a "new form of slavery' and would force young African Americans to drop out of school." Gingrich engaged with the man, who said he had spoken with Rev. Al Sharpton, asking Gingrich to meet with him, along with NAACP president Ben Jealous and black TV personalities Roland Martin and Juan Williams. "Sure -- glad to do it," Gingrich replied. "I'd be willing to do it. I know Al." Gingrich has come under increasing fire for rhetoric on food stamps and child labor than many view as racially-tinged.

The Operators: Six Questions for Michael Hastings

There was never really a time during the Iraq War that the military didn't say that what they were doing was working. The same thing goes (except for the brief moment when McChrystal took over) for Afghanistan. But all we have to do is look to Iraq to see what "working" really meant: a face-saving withdrawal that Petraeus could spin as a victory.

Why Obama's 'targeted killing' is worse than Bush's torture

"Targeted killing" is the killing of certain individuals away from battle zones using military means, including missiles, bombs and commando raids. The missiles and bombs are often delivered by drone aircraft. Given the munitions, it is the rare attack that spares the lives of bystanders -- over 2,200 persons are estimated to have been killed in the three years of the Obama administration in Pakistan alone.

Matt Taibbi: Romney Bombs, and Other Thoughts on the Charleston Debate

I thought Romney was a disaster and last night very nearly achieved the impossible: sharing a stage with Newt Gingrich and looking like the bigger a**hole. Santorum and Gingrich appear to find him physically repulsive, their noses even scrunching up at him when they address him, like cops opening up a trunk with a body in it. And I think it's real, I don't think it's an act. Romney is so totally insincere and calculating and soulless, it physically offends other politicians. It's incredible to watch.

Beijing caves to public, releases pollution data

Caving to public pressure, Beijing environmental authorities started releasing more detailed air quality data Saturday that may better reflect how bad the Chinese capital's air pollution is. The initial measurements were low on a day where you could see blue sky. After a week of smothering smog, the skies over the city were being cleared by a north wind. The readings of PM2.5 -- particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size or about 1/30th the average width of a human hair -- were being posted on Beijing's environmental monitoring center's website. Such small particulates can penetrate deep into the lungs, so measuring them is considered a more accurate reflection of air quality than other methods.

Yemen grants Saleh immunity to try to end crisis
Yemen's parliament approved a law on Saturday granting outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution, part of a deal for him to formally step down after nearly a year of unrest.

Reversing Itself, Iowa GOP Officially Declares Santorum The Iowa Caucus Winner
Rick Santorum is officially the winner of the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican presidential caucus. The state Republican Party reversed itself from a previous assertion that it would not declare one, given problems at eight precincts, as The Des Moines Register reported. In a news release late Friday, the party said it called the race "in order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released Jan. 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa."

US oil pipeline: Storm in a barrel?

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project which would have carried oil from Canada to US refineries on the Gulf coast has been rejected for now. Obama decided to hold off making a decision until after the 2012 election, but Republicans forced him to make quicker decision.

CIA collaboration with New York Police Department was never legally approved
The top lawyer at the CIA never approved sending one of its officers to help the New York Police Department create a domestic spying program, raising the possibility that the agency may have violated a ban on domestic spying. Last August, the Associated Press reported that the CIA had violated that prohibition when it "played a key role in transforming the New York Police Department's intelligence unit into a cutting edge spy shop dedicated to gathering information on Muslims." New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly insisted in October that the arrangement was legal under a 1981 presidential order, which allows the CIA to provide local law enforcement...

Surprise! Al Franken defends SOPA
Al Franken defends the Protect-IP (SOPA) act, saying that it's necessary and not as bad as people fear. "If this bill really did some of the things people have heard it would do (like shutting down YouTube), I would never have supported it."

Scott Walker Recall Webcam Wisconsin's Favorite New TV Show

Wisconsin's latest craze in televised bloodsport (hey, just in time to fill the void left by the Packers' playoff loss!) is a hawt new web show with just a single overhead camera starring the dozen or so people that the Government Accountability Board locks into a secret room at an undisclosed location in Madison each day to verify 1.9 million recall petition signatures one piece of paper, one line at a time. Tens of thousands of viewers have already been sucked in by the phenomenon and are tuning in to watch, rapt, as the painstaking process of ruining Scott Walker's life slowly unfolds. Don't let the fact that there's no audio bother you, even -- Twitter has made its own soundtrack and character names for the mystery workers! Basically it's Mad Men but with more civics...

Bill Moyers: Crony Capitalism

This weekend, continuing its sharp multi-episode focus on the intersection of money and politics, Moyers & Company explores the tight connection between Wall Street and the White House with David Stockman -- yes, that David Stockman -- former budget director for President Reagan. Now a businessman who says he was "taken to the woodshed" for telling the truth about the administration's tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly with Bill Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. "As a result," Stockman says, "we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism." Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who's really in charge.

Thanks to Citizens United, Americans "don't think the government works for them anymore" - Sunlight Foundation
In our continued effort to highlight the anniversary of January 2010's Citizens United decision, this month's weekly roundups will take a look at what local bloggers across the country are saying about the ruling. First, we took a look at bloggers from the primary states. Last week, we looked at bloggers from the East coast states. We'll be ending our coverage by rounding up local blogs from the West coast states, where many campaign donations derive.

Natl Jewish Democratic Council Condemns Editorial Suggesting That Israel Assassinate President Obama
Gawker reported today that Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the weekly newspaper the Atlanta Jewish Times, wrote in a January 13 column about what options Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neyanyahu might have if he receives a report that Hezbollah is about to attack with thousands of rockets and Iran has "reached nuclear launch capabilities." In this hypothetical scenario, Adler says that an Israeli diplomat will have informed Nethanyahu that he "cannot expect much help from the United States due to its newly implemented military budget and the administration's never ending "Alice in Wonderland' belief that diplomacy is the answer." One option (Option three), according to Adler, would be for U.S.-based Mossad agents to assassinate the President of the United States...

How To Easily Enable & Customize The New Google Tool Bar
Several weeks ago, Google launched a brand new Google tool bar in all its services. This new bar replaces the famous (or infamous?) black bar on top of all Google products, and includes a slick dropdown menu, a new Profile menu and a generally cleaner look. Surprisingly, not everyone can enjoy the new bar yet. In a previous article, I explained how to enable the new bar by editing a cookie, which worked like a charm. But what if you don't want to mess with that stuff? There are now some better and easier solutions which will get you that new shiny bar in a snap.

Obama Administration Stands Firm On Birth Control Coverage
Despite a furious lobbying effort by the Catholic Church, the Obama administration today said it won't weaken new rules that will require most health insurance plans to offer women prescription contraceptives at no additional out-of-pocket cost. The final version of the rules will give religious-based hospitals, universities, charities, and other organizations whose primary purpose is not religious, an additional year to come into compliance with the contraceptive requirement. Churches are exempt. But even a face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office last November between President Obama and the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops failed to change the administration's position to allow a broader exemption.

LOL!! Newt Gingrich Would Eliminate Federal Income Tax for Mitt Romney
The tax proposals of Newt Gingrich could yield a windfall in tax savings, both for himself and his primary opponent, Mitt Romney, if they were enacted into law, according to a new analysis by the liberal group Citizens For Tax Justice. The reason is simple: Gingrich has proposed zeroing out capital gains taxes, which would effectively reduce Mitt Romney's tax burden to zero, according to the analysis, saving Romney millions of dollars a year. Gingrich himself would also benefit from a reduction in the regular income rate from more than 30 percent for high-income individuals to a standard 15 percent rate. "Gingrich is complaining about Romney paying less than the American people, but he wants him to pay nothing," says Bob McIntyre, who did the analysis.

Brits Ask - Will Christianity rule Republican vote in South Carolina?
There is another key moment on Saturday in the battle between the Republicans who hope to challenge President Obama for the White House, when the state of South Carolina gets its chance to vote. Contender Newt Gingrich is the latest to face uncomfortable questions after his ex-wife claimed he had wanted to have an open marriage. But beyond the personalities there are also deep ideological divides, as the BBC's North America Editor Mark Mardell reports.

Fox News 'A-Team' Psychologist: Being Married Three Times Could Make Gingrich A Better President
I just threw up a little in my mouth -- FAUX Shrink's Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we'll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we'll want to let him go after one.

Bernie Sanders: We must stop this corporate takeover of American democracy

The US Constitution has served us very well, but when the supreme court says, for purposes of the first amendment, that corporations are people, that writing checks from the company's bank account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. That is why I have introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says simply and straightforwardly what everyone -- except five members of the United States supreme court -- understands: Corporations are not people with constitutional rights equal to flesh-and-blood human beings.

Cummings Accuses Issa Of Protecting Republicans Caught In Countrywide VIP Loan Program | TPMMuckraker
Back in early 2011, House Oversight Comm Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued his first subpoena for information about members of Congress who received sweetheart mortgage deals under the Countrywide VIP program called "Friends of Angelo." By doing so he abandoned the historical practice of referring matters involving members of Congress directly to the House Ethics Comm, an approach he previously criticized, and instead made it clear he wanted his committee to probe the members' files... Fast forward to the 16th of last month, when Issa wrote a letter to the House Ethics Committee giving them information on "possible wrongdoing" without publicly disclosing the names of four additional members of Congress who received the preferential loans. What changed? Oversight Comm Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) suggested it was the political affiliation of the members.

Supreme Court Tosses Out Court Drawn Texas Redistricting Maps
The Supreme Court on Friday tossed out an interim Texas redistricting map drawn by a federal court, handing a partial victory to Republicans in Texas. The decision on whether the maps are discriminatory or if they should be precleared under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is still up to a separate panel of judges in federal court in D.C. "Speaking non-technically, the Supreme Court held that the three-judge court erred in starting its redistricting plan from scratch," law professor Rick Hasen explained. "It should have started with the state's plan, and then adjusted to the extent the plan violated the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution."

Catholic Leaders Call On Gingrich And Santorum To 'Stop Perpetuating Ugly Racial Stereotypes' About Poverty
Faith in Public Life reports that more than 40 Catholic leaders and theologians across the country are calling on two of their "fellow Catholics," GOP contenders Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, to stop using divisive rhetoric about race and poverty on the campaign trail. Noting that Catholics consider racism an "intrinsic evil," the open letter confronts the two candidates about their comments singling out minorities who receive welfare: As Catholic leaders who recognize that the moral scandals of racism and poverty remain a blemish on the American soul, we challenge our fellow Catholics Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail. [...]

Newt Gingrich's Tax Plan Gives Newt Gingrich A $540,000 Tax Break And Dropping His Effective Tax Rate To 14.6%

According to calculations by Center for American Progress Action Fund's Seth Hanlon, Gingrich's own tax plan would slash his effective tax rate from 31.6 percent down to 14.6 percent, right around where Romney sits comfortably under the existing code. That amounts to a $536,000 tax cut that Gingrich is proposing to give himself. It is important to note that while Gingrich released his individual return as well as the one for his charitable foundation, he chose not to disclose the returns from his multiple business entities like Gingrich Holdings, which constitutes the primary source of his wealth. Together, they brought in $2.6 million for the Gingriches. Because his proposal includes business tax cuts as well, it is possible that his tax break would be even larger.

France Suspends Training in Afghanistan

France on Friday threatened to pull out its troops from Afghanistan after an Afghan man in an army uniform attacked a training base in the Kapisa province, killing four soldiers and injuring at least a dozen more. "The French army stands side by side with its allies but we can't accept that a single one of our soldiers be killed by our allies," Sarkozy said.

Keystone XL oil pipeline battle has only just begun

When it comes to the fate of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, proponents and foes agree that the fight did not end with President Obama's decision Wednesday to reject the pipeline's permit application. The question is how the battle will be waged in the months to come.

GOP candidates focus on ousting Obama, not issues

Romney and Gingrich, especially, have taken pains to create the impression that there is something alien and illegitimate about the Obama presidency. They portray Obama not as a political opponent but as a usurper.

SOPA, PIPA votes to be delayed in House and Senate

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), author of the Stop Online Piracy Act, said on Friday that he is postponing consideration of the bill in response to concerns from critics who said the bill could lead to censorship. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced Friday he would delay consideration of measure to combat online piracy, bowing to pressure from a coalition of Internet companies, including Google and Wikipedia, that rallied consumers to their side by saying the legislation could lead to the censorship of popular sites.

How Murdoch's News Group hid the phone-hacking scandal

Judge criticises Murdoch empire as it agrees aggravated damages for 37 victims of News of theA high court judge said the Murdoch-owned company behind the News of the World had made "an admission of sorts" that it engaged in a deliberate cover-up of evidence relating to phone hacking, on the day that the publisher paid an estimated seven figures in damages to settle 37 phone-hacking claims brought by public figures ranging from Jude Law to John Prescott. Mr Justice Vos, the judge presiding over the hacking cases, told News Group Newspapers (NGN) he had seen evidence which raised "compelling questions about whether you concealed, told lies, actively tried to get off scot free". The judge ordered the company to search a number of computers which he said could contain evidence that its executives deliberately tried to destroy evidence of phone hacking, saying that he had seen emails...

U.N. asked to probe U.S. efforts to squelch Spain torture probe

Two legal rights groups asked the United Nations to investigate allegations that Spanish and US officials collaborated to quash criminal probes into whether the Bush administration authorized illegal killings and torture of terrorism suspects. "When arguably the leading human rights country in the world is engaged in torture and then gives impunity to those torturers, it sends a pretty bad message," said Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights' president emeritus. He said the groups were turning to the UN because "it's very hard to hold the U.S. accountable in any forum in the world."

GOP Contest Rattled Before SC Primary as Perry Exits, Newt's Ex-Wife Speaks Out, Santorum Takes Iowa
Republican presidential candidates gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday night for their final debate before Saturday's primary. The debate capped a busy day that saw the departure of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rick Santorum's defeat of Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucus recount, and new details of Newt Gingrich's infidelities during his second marriage. We air clips from the debate and speak to Kevin Alexander Gray, a civil rights activist and community organizer in South Carolina, and Wayne Slater, a senior political writer at the Dallas Morning News and author of "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential."

'OWS plans massive protests for Spring'

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank closely aligned with the White House, is embroiled in a dispute with several Jewish organizations over charges that some center staffers have publicly used language that could be construed as anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.

BREAKING: Harry Reid Cancels Senate Debate Over Protect IP Act
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office just released a statement explaining that Protect IP Act (PIPA), a contentious, heavily-lobbied bill that was supposed to be debated and voted on in the coming days, has been postponed: "In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act. "There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day's work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California...

Supreme Court Rejects Judge-Drawn Maps in Texas Redistricting Case

The Supreme Court on Friday instructed a lower court in Texas to take a fresh look at election maps it had drawn in place of a competing set of maps from the Texas Legislature. The justices said the lower court had not paid enough deference to the Legislature's choices and had improperly substituted its own values for those of elected officials.



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