In the News / December 9, 2006

In the News: 12/9/06

Uploading American Politics By Raul Fernandez Technology won the 2006 elections for the Democrats. No, not electronic voting machines, but the power of the Internet, fueled by innovative applications that let citizens create and publish their own content. The Internet not only changed the balance of power in the House and Senate, it also helped sack the secretary of defense. Welcome to viral democracy.

Ancient ‘Gospel of Judas’ Translation Sheds New Light on Disciple Marvin Meyer, who is on the nine-person Codex Advisory Panel assembled by the National Geographic Society, fielded questions and comments about the first modern translation of the ancient “Gospel of Judas” released Thursday by the organization.

Cease bureaucratese, Washington state says The average person may find it tough to understand state government, but Washington state officials want to deploy changes to facilitate state personnel ceasing to employ acronyms, jargon and legalese that routinely pervade interfaces with constituents.

Top cop in Utah-Ariz. towns wrote to polygamist leader pledging love The chief law enforcer in two Utah-Arizona border towns is accused of misconduct after writing a letter pledging love and allegiance to the leader of a polygamous sect, who was on the FBI’s most wanted list at the time. “I love you and … know that you have the right to rule in all aspects of my life,” Fred Barlow wrote in the October 2005 letter to Warren Jeffs.

Naughty Christmas “Pornaments” are not nice, say Florida protesters The selling of sexually explicit tree ornaments called “Pornaments” at a chain of novelty stores across Florida has led a Miami lawyer to ask stores to stop sales, or else face legal action.

Secret Agent Espionage is a secretive business, but these classics are the best spy stories ever told.

How Syria May Hold Key to Iraq The Baker panel sparked calls for the U.S. to engage Syria, raising the possibility of a policy shift that could put Washington on a collision course with Israel.

Planetary triple play on deck Sunday Stargazers will get a rare triple planetary treat this weekend with Jupiter, Mercury and Mars appearing to nestle together in the predawn skies. About 45 minutes before dawn on Sunday those three planets will be so close that the average person’s thumb can obscure all three from view.

McKinney introduces bill to impeach Bush In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney introduced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush.

Alcohol cited as leading killer of Finns Alcohol is now the leading killer of Finnish adults, with consumption reaching an all-time high last year in the Nordic nation.

Winter WonderSlam returns Former dcTalk leader tobyMac brings his highly successful, and now annual, Winter WonderSlam tour back home this week. This year he has asked a crew of Christian “crossover” artists along for his all-star, uh, sleigh ride (couldn’t resist).

Owner claims scrap wood holds Virgin Mary image Cheatham County plumber Kevin Morgan says he never dreamed he would find the Virgin Mary in a piece of scrap wood.

Andres Oppenheimer: Mixing God and politics in Latin America When Venezuela’s leftist populist President Hugo Chavez cited Jesus Christ repeatedly in his election victory speech earlier this week, he joined a growing number of Latin American politicians who are embracing religion — or at least pretending to do so.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Messing around with Christmas Like many, I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, my Savior, this month. I know what it’s about. My family knows what it’s about. I want to get out of work early and set up a crèche. And I sure as heck don’t want to have a political debate about it.

Where are those weapons of ‘mas destruction? A long story short: the war on Christmas wanes. House Backs Nuclear Sales to India The House last night reversed decades of U.S. policy aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, voting 330 to 59 to allow expanded sales of civilian nuclear technology to India. The Senate is likely to follow suit today and send the measure to President Bush for his expected signature.

Despite Probe, a Close Race Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) was given up for dead politically after the FBI found $90,000 in alleged bribe money in his freezer, and he barely survived a Nov. 7 primary election, garnering 30 percent of the vote in a crowded field of 12 challengers.

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