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House votes to expand offshore oil drilling

WASHINGTON — The Republican-held US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to defy the White House and expand offshore oil drilling amid deep voter anger at soaring gasoline prices. Lawmakers backed the bill by a 243-179 margin, but it was unlikely to clear the Senate, where majority Democrats have called…

Famed ‘Pentagon Papers’ finally made public

WASHINGTON — The US government on Thursday announced the release of the famed “Pentagon Papers,” 40 years after the once top-secret Vietnam War documents were leaked to the media. The National Archives, the massive US repository for historic books and documents, announced that the files, now declassified, will be accessible…

Minnesota lawmaker: Nobody has a right to vote on someone else’s marriage

The Republican-led Minnesota state Senate passed a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. Democratic state Senator John Marty blasted the constitutional amendment on the Minnesota Senate floor, saying that his marriage was approved 2 to 0. “Nobody else has a right…

Congress and courts move to curtail corporate leaks

House Republicans introduced legislation yesterday targeting the already-delayed whistleblower rule in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The proposed change would require corporate whistleblowers to report problems internally before going to financial regulators. The move, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is just the latest in a series of setbacks…

Mike Barnicle: Gingrich a ‘delusional loser’

Award-winning journalist and political commentator Mike Barnicle called former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a “delusional loser” Thursday during a discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Gingrich announced on Twitter and Facebook that he would run for president in 2012. “He is a delusional loser with an intellectual chip on his shoulder,”…

White House proposes bill to protect US from cyberattacks

WASHINGTON — The White House proposed draft legislation on Thursday aimed at toughening the defenses of government and private industry against the growing danger from cyberattack. “Our nation is at risk,” the White House said in a statement. “Cybersecurity vulnerabilities in our government and critical infrastructure are a risk to…

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ‘will return to Congress’

LOS ANGELES — US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, who was almost killed in a horrific shooting in January, will eventually return to Congress, a senior Democrat who saw her last week said Thursday. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the newly-elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Giffords — shot in the head at…

Cost of Libya intervention hits $750 million

WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday the cost of the air war in Libya for the United States is roughly $750 million. “It’s probably at this point somewhere in the ballpark of 750 million dollars,” Gates told US Marines during a visit to the Camp Lejeune…

David H. Koch Theatre ‘rebranded’ to ‘The Tea Party’s Wallet’

A crowd of around 500 protesters added the caption “I’m the Tea Party’s wallet” to the name plate of David H. Koch Theatre in New York during a so-called “guerrilla drive-in” on Wednesday night. Those who attended the “guerrilla drive-in” watched a short film about the Koch brothers, which was…

Obama admin. claims right to censor ‘unclassified’ materials

In the case of former National Security Agency (NSA) executive Thomas A. Drake — indicted last April and accused of funneling documents to an unnamed reporter at an unnamed newspaper, for stories that have not been identified — the president’s lawyers have made a unique and potentially unprecedented claim. With…

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