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AQ No. 2 has promised to release a new tape commenting on a trio of topics:

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri will soon release a new message about the pope, President Bush and Sudan's troubled Darfur region, an Islamic Web site said Wednesday.

A banner warning of the upcoming message was posted on an Islamic Web site that frequently airs al Qaeda videos. Wednesday's notice did not specify whether the new message was a video, audiotape or text, but al-Zawahiri usually releases videos.

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Following CA Rep. Jane Harman's revelation yesterday of the existence of a second NIE on Iraq, and her subsequent demand for its full public release to the public before Nov. &7, the Homeland Security Department held a media conference call last night.

Their announcement? They acknowledge the existence of a second report, but have a little problem sharing it with the nation juuuust yet:

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Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 03:48 PM PDT

MI-Gov: DeVos Flees Cheney

by raindrew

One Dick snubs another: The Assistant Prince of Darkness made a call on the city of Grand Rapids today, speaking to troops at an armory north of the city:

WYOMING - Vice President Dick Cheney made a stop in West Michigan on Monday. Cheney spoke to troops and their families at the Grand Valley Armory in Wyoming. He will also attend a private fundraising event for U.S. Senate candidate Mike Bouchard.
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Raw Story today quotes a senior intelligence official as saying that the Pentagon has advanced contingency plans for a possible military strike on Iran:

The Pentagon's top brass has moved into second-stage contingency planning for a potential military strike on Iran, one senior intelligence official familiar with the plans tells RAW STORY.

The official, who is close to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking officials of each branch of the US military, says the Chiefs have started what is called "branches and sequels" contingency planning.

"The JCS has accepted the inevitable," the intelligence official said, "and is engaged in serious contingency planning to deal with the worst case scenarios that the intelligence community has been painting."

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The House Judiciary Committee perpetrated an astounding bait-and-switch maneuver this afternoon in its vote(s) on President Bush's pro-torture detainee bill.

Earlier this afternoon, TPM Muckraker reported that the panel had voted down the bill, 18-17:

House Panel Defeats WH Detainee Bill; GOP in Conflict
By Justin Rood - September 20, 2006, 3:20 PM

House Judiciary Committee votes down White House-backed detainee bill, CQ reports (sub. req.):

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday rejected the Bush administration's proposed ground rules for interrogation and trial of enemy combatants captured in the war on terrorism, defeating a bill that was approved last week by the Armed Services Committee.


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Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 09:16 AM PDT

Campus Race-Baiting Games, Round Two

by raindrew

As diaried here, the College Republican National Committee last week drew a national firestorm of criticism when one of its operatives announced plans to sponsor a "Catch the Illegal Immigrant Day" as part of the CRNC's fall GOTV effort at the University of Michigan.  

That brilliant marketing idea catapulted said operative Morgan Wilkins into her fifteen minutes of shame: in just two blog-hyped days, she shot from the relative obscurity of race-baiting NCRC hired gun to being named Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in the World, earning the wrath of Howard Dean in the process. No small feat, that. But now, apparently unwilling to let such a repugnant stunt die its deserved death, yet another wingnut from the same campus has re-launched the CAIID brand in the wake of its de facto recall last week:

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An early 'ally' in the War on Terror points a historical finger at the US for the current situation in Pakistan:

In a speech to the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee on Tuesday, Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf blamed the United States and the West for "breeding terrorism in his country by bringing in thousands of mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and then leaving Pakistan alone a decade later to face the armed warriors," according to an article at Pakistan's Daily Times published on Wednesday.
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"Be veeewwwy quiet! We'ew hunting iwweego immigwants!"

That line might be funny if it weren't so sadly close to the truth, as reported by student Andrew Grossman in U of Michigan's Michigan Daily:

It's still early in the election season, but the College Republicans and College Democrats have already launched campaigns to seduce your vote in November.

...Morgan Wilkins, the intern hired by the Republican National Committee to win the hearts and minds of Michigan 20-somethings, is planning events that some may find odd. To others, they may be offensive.

One such idea is "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day," in which a volunteer would play the part of an illegal immigrant and hide somewhere on campus while others try to find him. The winner would receive a prize.

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As diaried earlier here and here, an election challenge in the CA-50 race between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby hit an ominous brick wall on Aug. 28, when Superior Court Judge Yuri Hoffman dismissed a lawsuit seeking a full hand recount on 'jurisdictional' grounds: (italics added)

Saying he lacked jurisdiction, a judge Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit seeking a recount in the special election that Republican Brian Bilbray won in June to replace disgraced ex-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Superior Court Judge Yuri Hoffman said that once the House of Representatives asserted its exclusive right to swear Bilbray into office, it left the court without jurisdiction in the election contest.

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The new BushCo dirt-o-rama hitting bookstores today offers some tasty nuggets o' revelation on Bush and Company's lead-up to the Iraq war:
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Today's edition of Roll Call (reg. req.) fronts columnist Donna Brazile as she (grudgingly?) acknowledges the blogtrain whistle:

Like most Democratic insiders, I have a love-hate relationship with bloggers and the "net-roots" community. At times, I am irritated by many of their strident, arrogant, self-righteous comments and their disapproving attitudes about us old dinosaurs. But after they helped score an impressive primary victory this summer in the Connecticut Senate Democratic primary between incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman and unknown businessman Ned Lamont, they clearly have earned a seat at the table -- even if it's just a folding chair.
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From the Sept. 3 Sunday Times:

THREATENED by a potentially nuclear-armed Tehran, Israel is preparing for a possible war with both Iran and Syria, according to Israeli political and military sources.

The conflict with Hezbollah has led to a strategic rethink in Israel. A key conclusion is that too much attention has been paid to Palestinian militants in Gaza and the West Bank instead of the two biggest state sponsors of terrorism in the region, who pose a far greater danger to Israel's existence, defence insiders say.

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