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Unlimited Corporate Money Allowed for Inaugural Donations

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

Unlimited Corporate Money Allowed for Inaugural Donations --Decision to accept corporate money reverses Obama's policy from 2009 08 Dec 2012 President Obama will accept unlimited donations from corporations, but no money from lobbyists or political action committees, to finance his 2013 inaugural festivities, a spokeswoman for his inaugural committee said Friday. The committee later sent donors a formal invitation detailing access to various reception and parties depending on how much they contribute. The most exclusive access will be reserved for individuals who contribute $250,000 or more and institutions that contribute $1 million or more.

Some Hospital Employees Dismissed, Suspended After Refusing Mandatory Flu Shots

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

Some Hospital Employees Dismissed, Suspended After Refusing Mandatory Flu Shots 05 Dec 2012 Despite resistance from some employees, more state hospitals this year are making [deadly] flu shots mandatory for all workers, and some have even suspended or dismissed a handful who have not complied. This year, 19 of the 29 acute care hospitals in the state require that all employees get flu vaccinations.State health officials did not name the hospitals. Earlier this year, the Connecticut Hospital Association adopted a statewide policy endorsing mandatory flu vaccination for hospital staff.

At the White House, Charlie Crist becomes a Democrat

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

At the White House, Charlie Crist becomes a Democrat 07 Dec 2012 At a Friday holiday reception at the White House, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist officially signed the papers to became a registered Democrat. He tweets: Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama! "I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it,'" Crist told the Tampa Bay Times about his party switch.

U.S. military is detaining more than 200 children and teens as 'enemy combatants'

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. military is detaining more than 200 children and teens as 'enemy combatants' 07 Dec 2012 The U.S. military has detained more than 200 Afghan teenagers who were captured in the war for about a year at a time at a military prison next to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, the United States has told the United Nations. The U.S. State Department characterized the detainees held since 2008 as "enemy combatants" in a report sent every four years to the United Nations in Geneva updating U.S. compliance with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most of the juvenile Afghan detainees were about 16 years old... the U.S. report said. "I've represented children as young as 11 or 12 who have been at Bagram," said Tina M. Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, which represents adult and juvenile Bagram detainees.

Nato forces 'attack Afghan health clinic' in violation of Geneva conventions

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

Nato forces 'attack Afghan health clinic' in violation of Geneva conventions 06 Dec 2012 Nato forces stormed into a clinic in central Afghanistan, damaging doors, windows and medical equipment, before using it as a jail and military command centre, in violation of the Geneva conventions, according to the aid group that runs the facility. Nato and Afghan troops were dropped off by helicopters late one October evening and headed straight to the clinic, according to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, which has published details of the assault on their small centre in Wardak province, a few dozen miles south-west of Kabul.

Jeb Bush to become chairman of National Constitution Center

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

Mega barf alert! Jeb Bush to become chairman of National Constitution Center 06 Dec 2012 The National Constitution Center announced today that Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush has been elected Chairman of the Center’s Board of Trustees.  His term will begin on January 1, 2013.  He will succeed President William J. Clinton, who has served as Chairman since January 2009.  Governor Bush’s father President George H.W. Bush served as Chairman prior to Clinton.

National Constitution Center: Remove Jeb Bush

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

National Constitution Center: Remove Jeb Bush --Petition, posted by Seth Johnson 07 Dec 2012 The Bush family has done more damage to the US Constitution than all former Presidents combined. The Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, No Habeas Corpus, 4 million missing Whitehouse emails, Valerie Plame, Torture, WMD, 4488 dead Americans in Iraq, and 110,331-plus Iraqi civilians.

State Police arrest, spray protesters at Mich. Capitol

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

State Police arrest, spray protesters at Mich. Capitol --Capitol was temporarily closed 07 Dec 2012 Michigan State Police say they have used chemical spray on right-to-work protesters who to tried rush into the Senate chamber at the state Capitol, and minority Democrats in the Legislature accuse Republican leaders of taking a "shameful step" to undermine free speech. State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk says eight people were arrested for resisting and obstructing when they tried to rush past two troopers guarding the Senate door Thursday. A state Democratic Party statement says Republicans are showing "their true colors" and "shutting down dissent."

Secret Service 'lost sensitive files on informants on the Washington DC metro'

December 8, 2012 by legitgov

Secret Service 'lost sensitive files on informants on the Washington DC metro' --Huge security lapse was potentially 'covered up' 07 Dec 2012 The latest embarrassment for the Secret Service is the revelation of an 'immense breach' that left highly sensitive personal information, including bank, passport and social security numbers, on the Washington DC metro. Two computer backup disks that contained data on agency employees, contacts and overseas informants were left on the train by a low-level employee of a private contractor responsible for moving the information. This investigation is part of the ongoing 'Culture of Secret Service' probe which began following the Cartagena, Colombia prostitution scandal in April.

Supreme Court to hear gay marriage cases

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court to hear gay marriage cases 07 Dec 2012 The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will take up same-sex marriage, hearing both a case stemming from California's Proposition 8 voter-approved ban on gay marriage and a case from New York challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The pair of moves greatly increase the chances that the justices will rule this term on whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. However, it's still possible the high court could dispose of both cases without squarely addressing that central issue.

Earthquake and Tsunami Again Hit Northeast Japan

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

Earthquake and Tsunami Again Hit Northeast Japan 07 Dec 2012 In echoes of the March 11th disaster of 2011, a one meter-high tsunami hit northeast Japan on Friday, after a powerful undersea quake struck off the coast which was still in the process of recovering from the aforementioned disaster. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the wave swept ashore at just after 6 p.m. in Ayukawa, Ishinomaki, a city badly hit previously. The size of the tsunami is reletively small and is not expected to cause widespread damage.

NRSC Spent Big on Todd Akin Race After Claiming to Abandon Him

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

NRSC Spent Big on Todd Akin Race After Claiming to Abandon Him 07 Dec 2012 The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $760,000 to the Missouri Republican Party in the first days of November, which was used to give the embattled Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) a last-minute campaign boost, Politico reports. Just two months prior to making that move, the NRSC had publicly promised to abandon Akin, who said in August that "legitimate rape" does not lead to pregnancy. "It is not only wrong that the NRSC would provide funds to support a dangerous extremist like Todd Akin, it was underhanded and dishonest that they would purposely mislead the public about their actions," Matt Canter, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told The Huffington Post Friday.

'Sex for student fees' man unmasked to be IT consultant 'with top-level MoD security clearance'

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

'Sex for student fees' man unmasked to be IT consultant 'with top-level MoD security clearance' --'Assessor' for SponsoraScholar.co.uk Mark Lancaster worked on massive overhaul of the British military computer network 06 Dec 2012 The man revealed by The Independent to be running a website offering to pay the tuition fees of female students in return for sex can today be named as a highly paid computer consultant who claims to have top-level Ministry of Defence security clearance and access to top secret material. Mark Lancaster, 39, who presented himself as an "assessor" for the SponsorAScholar.co.uk website, has worked as a contractor on a massive overhaul of the IT network used by UK armed forces, military sources confirmed last night. He is also thought to have worked on computer systems used by British forces during the invasion of Iraq.

Hillary Clinton greeted by two bombs for Northern Ireland visit

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

Hillary Clinton greeted by two bombs for Northern Ireland visit 07 Dec 2012 A second explosive device has been found amid rising sectarian tensions in advance of Hillary Clinton's visit to Northern Ireland today. Just hours after police intercepted a device which they believe was about to be planted by dissident republicans in Londonderry, police revealed the discovery of a letter bomb at a postbox in a loyalist area of Co Down. Detectives are questioning four men about the discovery of the bomb in Derry's Creggan estate last night. They were arrested when a car was stopped.

Strong quake hits off Japan near Fukushima disaster zone

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

HAARP? Strong quake hits off Japan near Fukushima disaster zone --Earthquake hit in same area as in March last year that triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years 07 Dec 2012 A strong earthquake centered off the coast of northeastern Japan shook buildings as far away as Tokyo on Friday and led to a tsunami warning for coastal areas. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said, adding that there was no risk of a widespread tsunami.

Quake of M7.3 jolts Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate areas; tsunami warning issued

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

Quake of M7.3 jolts Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate areas; tsunami warning issued --Tsunami warning issued 07 Dec 2012 A tsunami warning has been issued after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's eastern coast. The epicentre of the quake was about 245km (150 miles) south-east of Kamiashi at a depth of about 36km, the US Geological Survey said. The quake was felt in the capital Tokyo and a one-metre tsunami is reported to have reached the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture. Miyagi was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Rights group: Israeli strike on Gaza home unlawful

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

Rights group: Israeli strike on Gaza home unlawful --Human Rights Watch says bombing of Daloo family home during Gaza operation violated laws of war because of large number of civilians killed 07 Dec 2012 A leading human rights group accused Israel of violating the laws of war when it killed 12 civilians in an airstrike during its recent conflict with Palestinian 'terrorists' in Gaza. Israel attacked the home of the Daloo family in Gaza City, killing 10 family members and two other civilians. Israel's army says the home was a hideout for a senior 'Hamas terrorist' involved in rocket attacks.

NJ governor vetoes bill to set up health insurance exchange

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

NJ governor vetoes bill to set up health insurance exchange 07 Dec 2012 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) said on Thursday he vetoed a bill that would have created a health insurance exchange for his state under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare program. Christie, whose announcement came on a day when he was visiting the White House to discuss tens of billions in federal recovery aid after Superstorm Sandy, joined 18 other states in rejecting a measure to create state-based health insurance markets where consumers could purchase private, federally subsidized coverage.

Despite Dole's push, vote for U.N. disability rights treaty fails

December 7, 2012 by legitgov

Despite Dole's push, vote for U.N. disability rights treaty fails 04 Dec 2012 Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, his 89-year old body now weakened by age, illness and war injuries, sat quietly in a wheelchair on the Senate floor Tuesday, watching the debate over a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled... More than 43 years ago, Dole delivered his first speech on the very same floor--on disability rights. Later, as one of the most powerful members of the Senate, he pushed through the Americans with Disabilities Act, a measure designed to protect citizens grappling with accidents and disease. Now he had come the Senate floor to persuade lawmakers to adopt a treaty supporters said would extend disability protections around the world. "Don't let Senator Bob Dole down," Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said, raising his voice, pointing at his former colleague. "Most importantly, don't let the Senate and the country down. Approve this treaty." It wasn't enough. Only 61 senators voted for the treaty, officially known as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sixty-six votes were needed for passage.

British 'Anonymous' hacker faces jail for cyber-attack on PayPal because it wouldn't process WikiLeaks donations

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

British 'Anonymous' hacker faces jail for £3.5m cyber-attack on PayPal because it wouldn't process WikiLeaks donations --Victims' websites would get message: 'You've tried to bite the Anonymous hand. You angered the hive and now you are being stung.' [LOL!] 06 Dec 2012 A leading British member of the 'Anonymous' hacking gang was today convicted for a series of devastating cyber-attacks on some of the world's biggest companies. On one occasion, hacktivist Christopher Weatherhead helped target PayPal because it would not process donations for the fundraising arm of Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, costing it £3.5million. The self-confessed 'idealist' boasted online he would 'rape' and 'kill' the companies Anonymous attacked. Today the 22-year-old remained impassive as the unanimous guilty verdict was returned for his part in distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks, which made the victim's [sic] website suddenly crash.

Activists Demand Judge Step Down in Jeremy Hammond Case

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

Activists Demand Judge Step Down in Jeremy Hammond Case 01 Dec 2012 Supporters of Jeremy Hammond, the Chicago hacktivist denied bail by a federal judge in New York for his role in the hack of Stratfor, a private intelligence firm, are demanding the judge in the case recuse herself. Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to Hammond in court last week, saying that the alleged anonymous affiliated hacker posed a "substantial danger to the community." Information revealed since her ruling shows that Preska's husband, Thomas Kaveler is employed by Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a client of Stratfor, and Kaveler himself was a victim of the hack. According to a press release from the collective Anonymous, Kaveler's email address and other data was published by Wikileaks after the Stratfor hack. Preska never disclosed this information and supporters of Hammond say that conflicts with her ability to give him a fair trial.

NDAA Nullification Bill Passes Michigan House, 107-0

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

NDAA Nullification Bill Passes Michigan House, 107-0 05 Dec 2012 The Michigan House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of House bill 5768 (HB5768) today. Due to support from a wide coalition of grassroots activists across the political spectrum, the bill passed unanimously. The final vote was 107-0. HB5768 asserts that no State employee or agency will assist the Federal government – in any way – in the detainment of people under the 2012 NDAA.

DeMint to Leave U.S. Senate to Head Heritage Foundation

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

DeMint to Leave U.S. Senate to Head Heritage Foundation 06 Dec 2012 Republican U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a leader of fiscal conservatives in Congress who has clashed with his party’s leaders, said he will leave in the middle of his term to head the Heritage Foundation. DeMint, whose Senate Conservatives Fund backed several Senate candidates in 2010 and 2012 Republican primaries against hopefuls supported by the party’s establishment, said he'll join the Republican-leaning policy group in January.

Wal-Mart Nixed Paying Bangladesh Suppliers to Fight Fire

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

Wal-Mart Nixed Paying Bangladesh Suppliers to Fight Fire 05 Dec 2012 At a meeting convened in 2011 to boost safety at Bangladesh garment factories, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. made a call: paying suppliers more to help them upgrade their manufacturing facilities was too costly. The comments from a Wal-Mart sourcing director appear in minutes of the meeting, which was attended by more than a dozen retailers including Gap Inc., Target Corp. and JC Penney Co. Details of the meeting have emerged after a fire at a Bangladesh factory that made clothes for Wal-Mart and Sears Holdings Corp. killed more than 100 people last month.

New London City Hall Evacuated for HazMat Incident

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

New London City Hall Evacuated for HazMat Incident 06 Dec 2012 (CT) There is a HazMat incident at New London City Hall, 181 State Street, and people are ill, according to authorities. Several employees reported feeling ill, according to officials from the mayor's office. The incident was reported at 11:10 a.m. and includes an odor in the building, according to officials. The building is evacuated. [Update: Incident is over, but people became ill.]

Japan scientists assessing radiation risks took travel money from utilities - AP

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

Japan scientists assessing radiation risks took travel money from utilities - AP 06 Dec 2012 Influential Japanese scientists who help set national radiation exposure limits have for years had trips paid for by the country's nuclear plant operators to attend overseas meetings of the world's top academic group on radiation safety. The potential conflict-of-interest is revealed in one sentence buried in a 600-page parliamentary investigation into last year's Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster and pointed out to The Associated Press by a medical doctor on the 10-person investigation panel. Some of these same scientists have consistently given optimistic assessments about the health risks of radiation, interviews with the scientists and government documents show.

Pentagon planning for multinational military operation in Mali

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

Pentagon planning for multinational military operation in Mali --Military operation could begin next year 05 Dec 2012 U.S. military planners have begun to help organize a multinational proxy force to intervene next year in Mali, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The international force would be led on the ground by several thousand Malian and West African troops but would receive extensive support from the Pentagon and the State Department, which would help train, equip and transport the troops, Obama administration officials said. U.S. officials said the Pentagon's planning efforts are contingent on the U.N. Security Council's endorsement of the African-led force.

UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities 04 Dec 2012 The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled. All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn't take place... Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel's refusal to attend. The resolution, approved Monday by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty "without further delay" and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting "no" were Israel, the U.S., Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

Deputy US marshal accused of blowing agent's cover

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

Deputy US marshal accused of blowing agent's cover 04 Dec 2012 A deputy U.S. marshal was arrested in South Texas on Tuesday for allegedly disclosing the identity of an undercover agent to his father, who at the time was suspected of involvement in a drug trafficking organization, federal prosecutors said. Deputy U.S. Marshal Lucio Osbaldo Moya's bond was set at $75,000. Moya, 29, of Rio Grande City, faces charges of being an accessory after the fact and obstruction. He could receive up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the accessory charge.

Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job

December 6, 2012 by legitgov

Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry job 05 Dec 2012 When the legislation that became known as "Obamacare" was first drafted, the key legislator was the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, whose committee took the lead in drafting the legislation. As Baucus himself repeatedly boasted, the architect of that legislation was Elizabeth Fowler, his chief health policy counsel... What was most amazing about all of that was that, before joining Baucus's office as the point person for the health care bill, Fowler was the Vice President for Public Policy and External Affairs (i.e. informal lobbying) at WellPoint, the nation's largest health insurance provider (before going to WellPoint, as well as after, Fowler had worked as Baucus's top health care aide). And when that health care bill was drafted, the person whom Fowler replaced as chief health counsel in Baucus's office, Michelle Easton, was lobbying for WellPoint as a principal at Tarplin, Downs, and Young... Now, as Politico's "Influence" column briefly noted on Tuesday, Fowler is once again passing through the deeply corrupting revolving door as she leaves the Obama administration to return to the loving and lucrative arms of the private health care industry: "Elizabeth Fowler is leaving the White House for a senior-level position leading 'global health policy' at Johnson & Johnson's government affairs and policy group."

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