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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 02, 2006

Front Page Photo by Dick Kauffman

Front Page Photo by Dick Kauffman

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Alaska: Public comment on proposed Alaska gas line runs the gamut By RICHARD RICHTMYER - More than 2,100 Alaskans weighed in on Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed natural gas pipeline contract during a public comment period that ended last week.

Their comments, which state officials have posted online, run the gamut from an anonymous person's profanity-laced attack on the governor and BP to thoughtful critiques of the 460-page contract from state lawmakers and oil industry executives.

Murkowski and his top aides negotiated the contract in private with BP, Conoco Phillips and Exxon Mobil for more than two years. They unveiled the draft deal for public and legislative review and comment in early May.

State officials sought public input on the proposed contract during a series of hearings throughout the state. They also accepted written comments.

The administration, in response to concerns raised during the public review period, will seek to renegotiate some of the contract's terms, said Murkowski Chief of Staff Jim Clark, who leads the pipeline team.

The draft deal under consideration isn't a contract to build a pipeline. Rather, it would set tax, ownership and other state terms if the companies built a line to carry the North Slope's massive gas reserves to Lower 48 markets. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 02, 2006

National: Democrats seek unity on minimum wage By MARGARET TALEV - With a showdown approaching Thursday or Friday, Senate Democrats are publicly predicting that they'll block a minimum-wage hike this year so long as Republicans insist that it be tied to slashing taxes on inheritances for a select group of wealthy Americans.

Behind the scenes, though, the Senate Democratic leadership was scrambling Wednesday to lock down commitments from a handful of wavering senators who've been put in difficult binds by the Republican-drafted legislation, which already has passed the House of Representatives.

The bill would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over three years. It also would sharply reduce the tax on inherited estates, as well as some other taxes. More than 6 million Americans would gain directly from the higher wage. About 8,200 heirs would gain $1.4 million each from the estate-tax cut, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a respected liberal research center staffed by former government budget analysts.

The bill contains various "sweeteners" to make it hard for key Democrats to vote against, including tax breaks for the timber industry in Washington state and miners in West Virginia and bond-related perks for Arkansas. Senators from those states facing potentially tough re-election fights in November - including Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. - may be loath to block the legislation for fear that losing those special breaks could cost them votes back home. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 02, 2006


National: A third of U.S. public believes 9/11 conspiracy theory By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III - More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll.

The national survey of 1,010 adults also found that anger against the federal government is at record levels, with 54 percent saying they "personally are more angry" at the government than they used to be.

Widespread resentment and alienation toward the national government appears to be fueling a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories about the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Suspicions that the 9/11 attacks were "an inside job" - the common phrase used by conspiracy theorists on the Internet - quickly have become nearly as popular as decades-old conspiracy theories that the federal government was responsible for President John F. Kennedy's assassination and that it has covered up proof of space aliens.

Seventy percent of people who give credence to these theories also say they've become angrier with the federal government than they used to be.

Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them "because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."

"One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also called the 9/11 commission.) His congressionally appointed investigation concluded that federal officials bungled their attempts to prevent, but did not participate in, the attacks by al Qaeda five years ago.

"A lot of people I've encountered believe the U.S. government was involved," Hamilton said. "Many say the government planned the whole thing. Of course, we don't think the evidence leads that way at all."

The poll also found that 16 percent of Americans speculate that secretly planted explosives, not burning passenger jets, were the real reason the massive twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.

Conspiracy groups for at least two years have also questioned why the World Trade Center collapsed when fires that heavily damaged similar skyscrapers around the world did not cause such destruction. Sixteen percent said it's "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that "the collapse of the twin towers in New York was aided by explosives secretly planted in the two buildings." - More...
Wednesday PM - August 02, 2006



letterYouth Baseball By Chris Elliott - Wednesday PM
letterGovernors saving Time By Charlotte Tanner - Wednesday PM
letter The Global Warming Hysteria rears it's ugly head again! By Marvin C. Seibert - Wednesday PM
letter Lick Three Times, Then Bite? By Suzan Thompson - Tuesday PM
letter Youth Baseball By Brad Groghan - Tuesday PM
letter Re: Consolidation can be for the better. By Rodney Dial - Tuesday PM
letter Borough Assembly Candidate By Gregory Vickrey - Tuesday PM
letter Concrete Classic Closed By Hunter Davis - Tuesday PM
letterPennys for the Poor, Millions for the Rich By Alan Lidstone - Tuesday PM
letter MURKOWSKI JET TIME QUALITIES By Pete Ellis - Monday
letter Cowards Of Our Own Destiny By Don Hoff Jr. - Monday
letter Ketchikan O.B. Floor By Tracey Scadden - Monday
letter Consolidation can be for the better. By Robert McRoberts - Monday
letter Murkowski's jet By Victoria Canul Dunne - Friday
letter If You Want My Vote By Samuel Bergeron - Thursday
letter Ketchikan Concrete Classic By Tracy Mettler - Thursday
letter Picturesque City By Bill Thomas SR. - Thursday
letter Four years is enough By Charlotte Tanner - Thursday
letter Don't forget your year-round customers By Jean Bland - Thursday
letter Protesters & Baseball By Scott Kline - Thursday
letter The Government is Here to Help By Alan Lidstone - Thursday
letter Tax or Not to Tax or even Tax Higher By Marvin Seibert - Thursday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

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August 2006
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Newsmaker Interviews

Bill Steigerwald: Illuminating the Shadow Party - The Shadow Party -- the network of big money, ex-Clinton political operatives, unions and left-wing grass-roots organizations that now essentially controls the Democrat Party -- was not discovered or named by David Horowitz and Richard Poe.

But in their new book, "The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party" (Nelson Current), coming out Aug. 8, Horowitz and Poe set out to expose what their publisher says are "the influential and powerful Americans secretly stirring up disunion and disloyalty in the shifting shadows of the Democratic Party." Horowitz, a long-ago radical Marxist who is now the tireless and articulate conservative nemesis of the Left, is a columnist, author and president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles. I talked to him July 26. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 02, 2006

Columns - Commentary

Dick Morris & Eileen McGann: GOP Must Raise The Minimum Wage Or Look For New Work - Sometimes it's a close question as to whether the leaders of the House are more arrogant or more stupid. The combination of the two is deadly.

The arrogance stems from a deep-seated conviction that state-by-state gerrymandering has made it impossible for the Republican Party to lose the majority in the House. The stupidity is demonstrated by their refusal to take the two steps that could give their beleaguered members some kind of political cover as they run for reelection: lobbying reform and a minimum-wage increase.

But the arrogance is misplaced. The Republicans can, indeed, lose the House. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 02, 2006

Editorial: The House minimum-wage plan is a poison pill - Say what you like about the Republican leadership in Congress, but their brazen behavior often has a touch of wicked genius about it. Silent-movie villains with their black capes and sinister mustaches couldn't outdo these characters for sheer heartless cunning - and if you doubt it, consider what happened last week with the minimum wage in the U.S. House.

In the early hours of Saturday, the House voted 230-180 to raise the minimum wage, which ordinarily would be a cause to cheer. The minimum wage, which stands at $5.15 an hour, hasn't been raised since 1997. Under this plan, it would rise modestly to $7.25, which would put it closer to what a poor worker needs to survive. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 02, 2006

John Hall: Slamming doors and making wars - Everywhere you hear doors slamming.

No to Middle East peacekeepers, no to more trade globalization, no to ceasefires.

Down went the World Trade Organization expansion, and with it the hopes of the developing world to get a better shake from the free market.- More...
Wednesday AM -August 02, 2006

Dan Thomasson: Israelis doing U.S. no favors - With allies like this, who need enemies?

If the Israelis had deliberately set out to undermine about the only friend they have left in the world, they couldn't have done a better job. Their tragic bombing of women and children in Lebanon had nearly the same impact on a White House hoping to turn voter attention away from its failures in Iraq and the nation's growing loss of international respect. - More...
Wednesday AM - August 02, 2006

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