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Arlen Specter dies; he was Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator

October 14, 2012 by legitgov

Arlen Specter dies; he was Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator 14 Oct 2012 Former senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, one of the nation's most durable political figures, who during three decades in the Senate became known for his command of constitutional law, died of cancer Oct. 14 at his home in Philadelphia. He was 82. Sen. Specter was long a voice of Republican moderation, but he handed Democrats a supermajority in the Senate by switching parties in 2009. He lost the Democratic primary the next year in an anti-incumbency movement that swept many veteran politicians from office.

US nuclear submarine collides with warship off East Coast

October 14, 2012 by legitgov

US nuclear submarine collides with warship off East Coast 14 Oct 2012 The USS Montpelier nuclear-powered submarine has collided with the USS San Jacinto aegis missile cruiser, while being led during exercises off the East Coast by the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. The Saturday incident caused the cruiser's sonar dome to collapse besides leading to possible other damage, but did not cause any casualties, Reuters reported. The dome covers some of the warship's electronic navigation, detection, and ranging equipment.

Millions of unexploded bombs lie in waters off US coast, researchers say

October 14, 2012 by legitgov

Millions of unexploded bombs lie in waters off US coast, researchers say 08 Oct 2012 Lurking (and leaking) beneath the world's oceans are an estimated 200 million pounds of unexploded and potentially dangerous explosives -- from bombs to missiles to mustard gas. Texas A&M oceanographers William Bryant and Niall Slowey documented two such dumpsites in the Gulf of Mexico recently. They conservatively guess that at least 31 million pounds of bombs can be found not just in the Gulf, but also off the coasts of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii. Thousands of gallon containers of mustard gas lie strewn off the New Jersey coast, for example. And there is a total of seven dumpsites on the Gulf seafloor, each approximately 81 square miles, one at the mouth of the Mississippi River Delta.

Bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan kill 9

October 14, 2012 by legitgov

Bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan kill 9 13 Oct 2012 At least nine people have been killed in three different bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, officials say. A bomber on a motorbike in the Maruf district of Kandahar province killed four Afghan intelligence officers, a foreign soldier as well as a civilian employee working for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), The Associated Press reported. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the group targeted foreign forces occupying Afghanistan.

US-led soldier, civil worker, 4 Afghans killed in S. Afghanistan attack

October 14, 2012 by legitgov

US-led soldier, civil worker, 4 Afghans killed in S. Afghanistan attack 13 Oct 2012 A US-led soldier, a civil worker and four Afghan security agents have been killed in a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says. The attack took place in the town of Ma'ruf in the southern province of Kandahar on Saturday, AFP reported. ISAF confirmed the incident saying in a statement that several coalition members and Afghan National Security Forces were also injured.

Ex-Walker appointee convicted of stealing $51,000 from veterans

October 13, 2012 by legitgov

Ex-Walker appointee convicted of stealing $51,000 from veterans --Kevin Kavanaugh skimmed Purple Heart funds, jury finds 12 Oct 2012 A Milwaukee County jury Friday convicted Kevin Kavanaugh of stealing more than $51,000 from money donated to help veterans and their families. Prosecutors said Kavanaugh had skimmed the money from bank deposits and phony withdrawals from accounts for the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a veterans service organization. Kavanaugh, of Cudahy, was treasurer of the group. The biggest source of money Kavanaugh was accused of tapping was donations made for Operation Freedom, an annual picnic and veterans event at the zoo that Gov. Scott Walker (R) hosted while he was Milwaukee County executive.

Task Force Tells DHS to Offer 'Cool' Cybersecurity Jobs to Gov. Workers and Test Them Like Pilots

October 13, 2012 by legitgov

Task Force Tells DHS to Offer 'Cool' Cybersecurity Jobs to Gov. Workers and Test Them Like Pilots 12 Oct 2012 In order to attract the highly skilled and qualified cybersecurity workers the Department of Homeland Security... DHS has to reserve its coolest cybersecurity jobs for federal workers, not contractors, according to a task-force report submitted to DHS this month. This means, in part, hiring at least 600 new cybersecurity professionals, including ones who have proven, hands-on experience to take on critical tasks, the task force recommended in its 41-page report. Furthermore, the government needs to focus less on professional certifications in making its hiring decisions and more on real-world experience and expertise.

Dogs abandoned at Fukushima suffer PTSD-like effects

October 13, 2012 by legitgov

Dogs abandoned at Fukushima suffer PTSD-like effects 12 Oct 2012 In a paper published Thursday in Scientific Reports, lead author and veterinary scientist Miho Nagasawa wrote that stray and abandoned animals recovered near the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station had stress hormone levels far higher than other Japanese dogs. They also showed greater difficulty learning and developing an attachment to people. Even after the dogs received care and re-socialization training, the effects of extreme stress persisted... Study authors [Azabu University] said that cortisol levels in the Fukushima dogs remained much higher than those of the Kanagawa dogs even after 10 weeks of care.

Shot fired at Obama campaign field office in Denver

October 13, 2012 by legitgov

Shot fired at Obama campaign field office in Denver 12 Oct 2012 Police say someone fired a shot at an Obama campaign field office in Denver on Friday afternoon. No one was injured, though people were inside the offices when the incident occurred, said Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez. The incident happened at about 3 p.m. at the campaign's offices on West Ninth Avenue near Acoma Street, Lopez said.

Three journalists subpoenaed by defense in CIA leak case

October 13, 2012 by legitgov

Three journalists subpoenaed by defense in CIA leak case 11 Oct 2012 Three journalists subpoenaed by the defense in the criminal case against of former Central Intelligence Agency officer John Kiriakou will fight efforts to force them to testify in the case, according to court filings and spokespeople for the news outlets involved. The journalists being pressed for testimony are Scott Shane of the New York Times, Julie Tate of the Washington Post and freelancer Matthew Cole, sources told POLITICO. The subpoenas seek to force Shane, Tate and Cole to attend depositions and answer defense questions, apparently about classified information related to the CIA's interrogation torture of alleged terrorists.

Shot fired at Obama campaign headquarters in Denver

October 13, 2012 by legitgov

Shot fired into Obama campaign office in Denver 12 Oct 2012 A gunshot was fired into President Barack Obama's downtown Denver re-election headquarters on Friday while campaign workers were inside but no one was struck, police said. Denver Police Detective Raquel Lopez said a worker inside the office called police in mid-afternoon to report that a bullet had shattered a window pane. "Right now, no one is in custody and investigators are looking at surveillance video to see if a vehicle can be identified," Lopez said. [The Denver Post posted a photo here.]

Polar bears will go extinct within decades, Russian expert predicts

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Polar bears will go extinct within decades, Russian expert predicts --Melting polar sea ice limits habitat and food sources, increases vulnerability 12 Oct 2012 One immediate consequence has been further grief and peril for Russia's already seriously distressed polar bear population. "It is worse for Russian polar bears than the bears in Canada or Greenland because the pack ice is retreating much faster in our waters," said Nikita Ovsyannikov, deputy director of Russia's polar bear reserve on Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea to the northwest of Alaska. "The best habitat is quickly disappearing. It is extreme. "What we are seeing right now is very late freezing. Our polar bear population is obviously declining. It used to be that new ice was thick enough for them to walk on in late October. It now will happen much later."

Ohio Loses Appeal, Can't Reject Voters in Wrong Precincts

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Ohio Loses Appeal, Can't Reject Voters in Wrong Precincts 12 Oct 2012 Ohio was barred from disqualifying provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, an appeals court said, upholding an earlier ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued the ruling yesterday, the second loss in two weeks for the state in election-related lawsuits. A lower-court federal judge in August ruled that provisional ballots, used to record votes when eligibility is an issue, can't be thrown out if they're filed in the wrong precinct as a result of poll-worker error. Opponents of a 2006 law saying they must be discarded argued that the law would unfairly cause the rejection of thousands of votes in the November election.

Biden, Ryan trade sharp words on foreign policy, economy during vice-presidential debate

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Biden, Ryan trade sharp words on foreign policy, economy during vice-presidential debate 11 Oct 2012 Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan clashed over Libya, Afghanistan and the economy in the campaign's only vice-presidential debate Thursday, interrupting and re-interrupting one another during a 90-minute exchange shaped by Biden's aggressive tone. Ryan picked up themes used by his running mate, Mitt Romney, in last week's presidential debate. But the debate's dominant voice was Biden's. The vice president was assertive in a way that President Obama had not been, chuckling in seeming exasperation several times at Ryan's arguments, and interrupting the Republican in mid-argument. He had the night's most memorable one-liners, calling Ryan's arguments "malarkey," "loose talk," and "a bunch of stuff."

Biden comes out swinging at debate, clashes with Ryan

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Biden comes out swinging at debate, clashes with Ryan 11 Oct 2012 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and rival Republican Paul Ryan battled fiercely over foreign policy and the economy in a lively debate on Thursday, with Biden aggressively defending the administration's policies and dismissing Ryan's criticism. Seeking to win back the momentum for the Democrats' campaign, Biden frequently went on the attack. "With all due respect, that is a bunch of malarkey," Biden said when Ryan accused the White House of projecting an image of American weakness to the world.

Panetta Spells Out DOD Roles in Cyberdefense

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Panetta Spells Out DOD Roles in Cyberdefense 11 Oct 2012 Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta spelled out in detail the Defense Department's responsibility in cybersecurity during a speech to the Business Executives for National Security meeting in New York, today. Panetta has stressed the importance of cybersecurity since taking office last year. In addition, the secretary has warned about a "cyber Pearl Harbor" many times, including during testimony before Congress. "A cyber attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11," he said in prepared remarks. "Such a destructive cyber terrorist attack could paralyze the nation."

Panetta's Cyber Warning: 'This Is a Pre-9/11 Moment'

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Heads up! Big cyber false flag on the way: Panetta's Cyber Warning: 'This Is a Pre-9/11 Moment' --Panetta directing Pentagon to begin ramping up network-security efforts 11 Oct 2012 The Pentagon is mobilizing its cyberwarfare arsenal in preparation for a massive assault on U.S. networks that could "paralyze the nation," said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. "A cyber attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11," Panetta said Oct. 11 in a speech to corporate leaders of Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan group. The nation today faces the cyber equivalent of a "pre-9/11 moment," he said somberly.

Exercise Prepares D.C. Troops for Inauguration

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Exercise Prepares D.C. Troops for Inauguration 11 Oct 2012 The District of Columbia National Guard participated in the 2012 Capital Shield Exercise, a training event which emphasizes unity of effort for district and federal agencies operating in the District of Columbia in preparation for events such as the upcoming inauguration. The D.C. Army National Guard's 33rd CST, together with the Massachusetts National Guard's 1st CST, set up their equipment for a section of the training conducted in Southeast Washington. The western campus of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, which opened in 1855 as the "Government Hospital for the Insane," is situated in southeast D.C., south and across the Anacostia River from the D.C. National Guard Armory. The rich and storied history of the institution is palpable as the National Guard members conducted a training scenario based on a possible chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threat.

U.S. has sent troops to Jordan-Syria border, Panetta says

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. has sent troops to Jordan-Syria border, Panetta says 10 Oct 2012 The United States has sent troops to Jordan to help improve its military capabilities in case the fighting in Syria spills onto its soil, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters Wednesday in Brussels. Panetta made the remarks at a NATO meeting of defense ministers. The allies are also eyeing the security of [alleged] chemical and biological weapons stockpiled by Syria, a threat that President Obama has warned could change the tack toward the continuing conflict. If the Syrian government unleashes those weapons, Obama said, that would be a "red line" triggering U.S. military intervention.

Gunmen kill Yemeni who worked at U.S. embassy in Yemen

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Gunmen kill Yemeni who worked at U.S. embassy in Yemen 11 Oct 2012 Masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man who worked in the security office of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa on Thursday, in an attack a Yemeni security source said appeared to be the work of al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. The incident was the latest of a wave of attacks on officials in the impoverished Arab state, which is battling Islamist militants with Washington's help. The attackers, on a motorcycle, opened fire on Qassem Aqlan - who headed an embassy security investigation team - near his house in the center of Yemen's capital, the source told Reuters.

Gunmen kill Yemeni who worked at U.S. embassy in Yemen

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Gunmen kill Yemeni who worked at U.S. embassy in Yemen 11 Oct 2012 Masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man who worked in the security office of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa on Thursday, in an attack a Yemeni security source said appeared to be the work of al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. The incident was the latest of a wave of attacks on officials in the impoverished Arab state, which is battling Islamist militants with Washington's help. The attackers, on a motorcycle, opened fire on Qassem Aqlan - who headed an embassy security investigation team - near his house in the center of Yemen's capital, the source told Reuters.

South Carolina voter ID law blocked until 2013

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

South Carolina voter ID law blocked until 2013 10 Oct 2012 A federal court ruled on Wednesday that South Carolina may not implement a photo ID law for voters until 2013, in the latest setback for a mainly Republican effort to establish identification rules in several states before the November 6 elections. South Carolina joined Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin as states with voter ID laws that have been blocked or deferred by state or federal judges.

Romney's emotional story remembered very differently by friend of fallen SEAL

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Romney's emotional story remembered very differently by friend of fallen SEAL 10 Oct 2012 On the stump in Iowa Tuesday, Mitt Romney revealed that he met former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty at a holiday party some years ago. Doherty is one of four Americans killed during the September 11th attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. ...But one of Glen Doherty's best friends remembered Doherty's impression of this meeting much differently. Elf Ellefsen met Glen Doherty skiing in Utah when he was 19, and the two men remained friends for more than 20 years. According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.

Walmart Workers Threaten Black Friday Action

October 12, 2012 by legitgov

Walmart Workers Threaten Black Friday Action 10 Oct 2012 The latest news in the Walmart labor protests -- which have included walkouts and marches in Dallas, San Diego, Chicago and Los Angeles -- is the threat of a strike on Black Friday. That's the day after Thanksgiving, widely considered the busiest, and most lucrative, retail day of the year. Some 200 angry protesters showed up at a meeting of investors and analysts earlier Wednesday at Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Walmart... has long been a target of workers' rights groups, who advocate higher wages, more flexibility in hours and an end to the punishments (reduced shifts, for instance) they claim are meted out to workers seeking to unionize.

NATO must have U.N. mandate for post-2014 Afghan mission: Russia

October 11, 2012 by legitgov

NATO must have U.N. mandate for post-2014 Afghan mission: Russia 10 Oct 2012 Russia will stop cooperating with NATO over Afghanistan after 2014 unless the alliance gets U.N. Security Council authorization for its new training mission in Afghanistan, a senior Russian diplomat said on Wednesday. A NATO official said only that it would be "helpful" to have a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the post-2014 training mission, but stopped short of saying it was essential.

GOP hearing reveals details of 'semi-secret' U.S. facility in Benghazi

October 11, 2012 by legitgov

GOP hearing reveals details of 'semi-secret' U.S. facility in Benghazi 10 Oct 2012 A public clash in Congress on Wednesday over photographs depicting the location of a second, semi-secret [?] U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya put the spotlight on a compound said to be more secure than the public American 'mission' where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens died last month. Reuters has learned some new details about it from U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity and the ongoing official probes. They described the second facility as a significant and largely secret complex, housing diplomatic and intelligence personnel. Among their assignments was a high-priority inter-agency program to locate shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons loosed by Libya's 2011 revolution... The compound also housed a seven-man U.S. "quick-reaction security team" that went to the temporary consulate after Stevens and others came under attack there, according to testimony on Wednesday.

Jason Chaffetz Admits House GOP Cut Funding For Embassy Security: 'You Have to Prioritize Things'

October 11, 2012 by legitgov

Jason Chaffetz Admits House GOP Cut Funding For Embassy Security: 'You Have to Prioritize Things' 11 Oct 2012 Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010. On Wednesday morning, CNN asked the Utah Republican if he had "voted to cut the funding for embassy security." "Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have...15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we're talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you're in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things." [Yes, you have to prioritize your imperialist adventures for oil, gas and opium routes.]

House GOP Outs Secret CIA Base in Libya

October 11, 2012 by legitgov

LOL! House GOP Outs Secret CIA Base in Libya --Letting us in on a secret By Dana Milbank 10 Oct 2012 When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA's cover. The purpose of Wednesday's hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others boost RMoney in the polls. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why "congressional intelligence" is an oxymoron. Through their outbursts, cryptic language and boneheaded questioning of State Department officials, the committee members left little doubt that one of the two compounds at which the Americans were killed, described by the administration as a "consulate" and a nearby "annex," was a CIA base. They did this, helpfully, in a televised public hearing.

Afghans Sold U.S. Troops Bogus Bomb Protection

October 11, 2012 by legitgov

Afghans Sold U.S. Troops Bogus Bomb Protection --'Large number' of so-called 'culvert denial systems' were 'not installed or were installed in a defective manner' 11 Oct 2012 Contract fraud in Afghanistan has yielded a major unexpected threat to U.S. troops from homemade bombs, according to the U.S. contracting watchdog in the country. And the watchdog agency considers the threat so dire that it took the rare step of tipping its hand on an active criminal investigation to warn the military command in Afghanistan. John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, is warning that "potentially significant contract fraud" from a $361,680 deal with an Afghan company may have led troops to falsely believe that metal bars placed over water drainage systems and roadside holes are effective against implanted insurgent bombs.

BBC film crew held at gunpoint after trying to sneak into Nevada's Area 51 military base

October 11, 2012 by legitgov

BBC film crew held at gunpoint after trying to sneak into Nevada's Area 51 military base with UFO conspiracy theorists --Same BBC team 'caused outrage' by suggesting London bombings were a government conspiracy --Agents held the 12-man team at gunpoint for three hours while checking their credentials --'Apache helicopters were called in and Washington phoned London after trespass' --Team say they were followed in the days following attempt 11 Oct 2012 This is the moment a BBC film crew were held by security teams at the notoriously secretive Area 51 - where conspiracy theorists believe the American government is hiding a flying saucer. Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell and UFO expert Darren Perks sneaked past the border at the site - and were forced to lie on the ground at gunpoint for three hours while the FBI checked their credentials. It is the same documentary team that caused outrage in Britain last week when they suggested that the 7/7 London bombings were part of a government conspiracy to boost support for the Iraq war. [They were.] The 'UFO: Conspiracy Road Trip' documentary, airing next Monday, will show how the BBC film crew were arrested at gunpoint. They were forced to lie on the ground for three hours as guards surrounded them armed with M16 assault rifles.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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