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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Green activists find new ally in US unions

By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer

POZNAN, Poland – Some U.S. labor groups that have long feared environmental campaigns as a threat to American jobs are starting to see advantages in going green.

This evolution was clear at this week’s U.N. climate talks in Poland, where several American labor groups and environmental activists made joint appeals for policies that would promote high-tech renewable energy as the answer to both climate change and job losses.

About 25 representatives of U.S. unions were in Poznan — about twice the number at last year’s U.N. talks in Bali, Indonesia — representing workers from the electrical, transit, steel, service and other sectors.

“There is a very wide cross-section of American unions that reflects the growing engagement of American unions’ support of climate change policies,” said David Foster, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance. The group was founded by the United Steelworkers, North America’s largest manufacturing union, and the Sierra Club, the United States’ largest and oldest grass-roots environmental group.

“There’s a power in the joint vision that we just don’t have functioning on our own,” added Foster, who was for 16 years a United Steelworkers regional director.

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December 14, 2008 Posted by | Democrats, Environment | , , | Leave a comment

White House: No immediate deal on auto loans

Assoicated Press

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration tossed out no lifeline for the teetering auto industry Sunday and a Republican who blocked $14 billion in loans said it appeared the White House hadn’t decided what to do.

With President George W. Bush on an unannounced trip to Iraq, White House officials said they did not expected to make an announcement either Sunday or Monday.

The administration is considering ways to provide emergency aid to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which have said they could run out of cash within weeks without federal aid.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he spoke with the White House early Sunday. “I don’t think they yet know what they’re going to do,” he said. Ron Gettelfinger, the president of the United Auto Workers, said the union had not held discussions with the White House.

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December 14, 2008 Posted by | Bailout | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Senator serves military duty in Afghanistan

By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

KABUL, Afghanistan – The men around Lindsey Graham ignored his powerful political title — U.S. senator — and instead addressed him by rank — colonel.

Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and the only U.S. senator in the military’s Guard or Reserves, donned the Air Force’s camouflaged uniform for five days last week to serve in Kabul.

The senator enrolled in the ROTC in 1973 and has been in the Air Force Guard or Reserves as a military lawyer ever since. In Kabul, he worked with the staff of military lawyers at the U.S. base Camp Eggers. The office is helping to train military judges and defense lawyers, and to write Afghanistan‘s uniform code of military justice.

Graham said his experiences in the military taught him how difficult wartime deployments can be on families.

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December 14, 2008 Posted by | Military | , , , , | Leave a comment

Disgraced Illinois governor weighs legal options

By CARLA K. JOHNSON and MIKE ROBINSON, Associated Press Writers

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich met with a renowned Chicago criminal lawyer Saturday as he weighed his legal options on how to fight a scandal that has left his career in tatters and disrupted President-elect Barack Obama‘s White House transition.

The Democratic governor had a four-hour meeting with Ed Genson in the lawyer’s downtown office Saturday. Genson has defended newspaper baron Conrad Black, R&B singer R. Kelly and numerous public figures on corruption charges, earning a reputation as the lawyer big shots call when they get in a bind in Chicago.

Genson confirmed the two met but wouldn’t discuss details of their dialogue. When asked if he would take the case, Genson said: “We’ll make our mutual decision on Monday.”

Blagojevich had brushed back calls for his resignation after he was charged with trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat. He sought to project a business-as-usual image amid the turmoil, going to work every day and handling state business.

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December 14, 2008 Posted by | Corruption | , , , | Leave a comment

White House assessing options to aid carmakers

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The White House weighed its options Saturday for preventing a collapse of the troubled auto industry, once the backbone of the U.S. economy. So far, the only thing certain is that the Bush administration wants to avoid the possibility of a disorderly bankruptcy of any of the Big Three.

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have said they could run out of cash within weeks without government help.

“Administration officials are continuing to gather financial information from the automakers, assessing the data, their cash position going forward,” White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Saturday. “We’ll take a look at that information, make some judgments and review our options.”

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December 14, 2008 Posted by | Bailout | , , , , , , | 2 Comments