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Advancing Progressive Ideas

Friday News Roundup

As nice as it would be, we don't always have time to catch every big story that hits during a week. So here's a roundup of the notable events of the week.

  • Just yesterday afternoon, Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the first Latina and third Hispanic Supreme Court justice in history.
  • The birthers and tea-baggers have decided that they haven't yet driven the Republican Party far enough into the gutter, so now they're organizing out-of-town mobs to heckle health care town halls -- all not-so-subtly coordinated by a DC lobbying firm. (A little more on that: The lobbying firm admits to organizing the protests; turns out they're not the only ones organizing these.
  • The above were probably particularly grouchy because a number of key economic indicators came in this week, and they exceeded everyone's expectations, pointing to a clear success of the White House's stimulus program.
  • The Hutchison/Perry showdown is solidifying, with both candidates having agreed to their first debate and stating their commitment to more — and, of course, using that opportunity to bash each other.
  • And finally, Pete Sessions and Dwayne Bohac both made headlines in a bad way. Congressman Sessions (R-TX32-Dallas) was nailed for a $1.6 million earmark (you know, those things he continuously rants and rails *against*) to an inexperienced company due to influence from a lobbyist for that company with a criminal record who used to work for the representative. And state representative and on-the-side campaign consultant Dwayne Bohac (R-HD138-Houston) orchestrated a voter suppression scheme in Harris County — this revelation coming shortly after the news that he illegally obtained driver's license records by way of one of his employees, who also happened to be Harris County's Associate Voter Registrar — and then bragged about it on his website. The Lone Star Project has been keeping a sharp eye on this issue, and they have an archive of Bohac's web page stating this (which has since been taken down) on their site.

Re;Friday News Roundup

Another Friday News Roundup is President Obama tells visiting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki the U.S. will push to lift U.N. sanctions imposed against Iraq. Secretary of State Clinton meets with Southeast Asian nations and suggests a "defense umbrella" to protect allies from a nuclear-armed Iran. Vice President Biden goes to Georgia and Ukraine. A panel of journalists joins Diane for analysis of the week's top international news stories. It's Obama's birthday on August 4th, and the President of the United States will be turning 48. Obama's birthday will also bring up one of the most persistent conspiracy theories, the one about his birth certificate – you know, there was a bunch of nincompoops that thought he was born in Kenya, now referred to as "birthers", who are going to be squawking about seeing the birth certificate. (That is not what a lot of people call them – it rhymes with "gum passes". Think about it.) Still, Happy Birthday to the Commander in Chief, and it isn't likely that someone will be running to a payday lender for cake and decorations for Obama's birthday.

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