In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Rumsfeld out; Bush names new defense secretary

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stepped down as defense secretary on Wednesday, one day after midterm elections in which opposition to the war in Iraq contributed to heavy Republican losses.

President Bush said he would nominate Robert Gates, a former CIA director, to replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

Asked whether his announcement signaled a new direction in the war that has claimed the lives of more than 2,800 U.S. troops, Bush said, “Well, there’s certainly going to be new leadership at the Pentagon.”

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Tester takes Montana Senate race

Republican Sen. Conrad Burns lost his job in a squeaker of a race Wednesday, thrust from office due to his own gaffes, his ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a determined campaign by Democrat Jon Tester, a farmer.

Tester’s win gave Democrats at least half the U.S. Senate, but the party still needed a victory in a tight Virginia race to gain control.

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And the horse they rode in on

American voters sent President George W. Bush and his gang of thugs called the Republican Party a strong message Tuesday.

It wasn’t subtle, it wasn’t polite and it wasn’t subject to interpretation.

It said: Go to hell. Go directly to hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

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Counting continues in Montana as Burns trails

Sen. Conrad Burns and Democrat Jon Tester were locked in a tight contest early Wednesday, as the Republican struggled to return to Washington for a fourth term.

Burns, 71, first elected in 1988 as a folksy, backslapping outsider, was under siege because of his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and because of his own gaffes — including an incident in which he cursed at firefighters.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, Tester had 194,914 votes, or 48.9 percent, and Burns had 193,179 votes, or 48.5 percent.

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Tight Virginia Senate race headed for recount

Sen. George Allen’s political career hung by a thread on Tuesday, as Democrat Jim Webb claimed victory — though fewer than 8,000 votes separated the two, and a recount was virtually certain.

“The votes are in and we won,” Webb said, though there were still votes to count. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Webb had 1,170,564 votes, or 49.6 percent, to Allen’s 1,162,717, or 49.3 percent.

A final count, including all absentee ballots, was expected later Wednesday.

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Dems expected to focus on drugs, defense spending

By boosting the power of Democrats in Congress, voters likely set in motion legislative efforts to lower the price of pharmaceuticals and rein in military spending.

But with the two parties stalemated in the Senate, where it usually takes 60 votes to pass major legislation, companies such as Merck & Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. may find themselves beset more by unwelcome rhetoric than any hurtful changes in law.

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Democrats retake control of the House

Democrats won control of the House early Wednesday after a dozen years of Republican rule in a resounding repudiation of a war, a president and a scandal-scarred Congress.

“From sea to shining sea, the American people voted for change,” declared Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the hard-charging California Democrat in line to become the nation’s first female House speaker.

“Today we have made history,” she said, “now let us make progress.”

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Dems take four of six Senate seats; Hold slim leads in other two

Democrats captured four of the six Republican-held seats they needed to take control of the Senate, winning critical contests in Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Missouri, and inched closer Wednesday to erasing the GOP’s majority.

Seizing on voter discontent with President Bush and the war in Iraq, Democrats mounted challenges for two remaining Republican-held seats in Virginia and Montana — and were ahead in both. But in Virginia, Democratic challenger James Webb’s lead over Republican incumbent George Allen was razor thin and a recount was likely.

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Republicans clobbered by corruption, scandals

Republican Joe Negron had a lot to overcome as a replacement candidate for disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley. For starters, Foley’s name remained on the ballot.

Negron, who had just more than a month to campaign, tried to make the best of the situation. He even came up with a catchy campaign slogan, hoping to get his message out: “Punch Foley for Negron.”

But it wasn’t enough: Democrat Tim Mahoney ultimately edged him out by a narrow margin.

“I’m proud I stepped in and ran a five-week campaign for a congressman who stepped down in disgrace,” Negron said.

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Dem takeover extends into governorships

Democrats reclaimed governors’ offices Tuesday from the Northeast to the Rockies and even in the South, giving them a majority for the first time in 12 years and an edge in places critical to the 2008 White House race.

A string of victories in Massachusetts, Ohio, New York, Arkansas, Colorado and Maryland means Democrats will control the governorship in 28 states, reversing the GOP’s six-seat advantage. They also held onto vulnerable seats that had been targeted by Republicans in Iowa, Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin.

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