- - Thursday, October 20, 2011


Pentagon, Justice reject GOP move on terrorism

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. are opposing a Senate Republican effort that would prohibit the United States from prosecuting terrorism suspects in federal court.

Mr. Panetta and Mr. Holder sent a letter to Senate leaders saying the measure would deprive them of a potent weapon in the fight against terrorism and increase the risk of terrorists escaping justice and putting innocent lives in danger.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has offered an amendment to a spending bill for the Justice Department and several other Cabinet agencies. Her amendment would prohibit the use of funds for trying enemy combatants in federal courts.

It’s unclear when the Senate will vote on the amendment. Lawmakers hope to complete the bill by week’s end.


California congressman won’t seek re-election

Five-term Rep. Dennis A. Cardoza, California Democrat, says he won’t seek re-election next year, and he’s blasting what he calls “the increasingly harsh tone in American politics.”

Mr. Cardoza is the 13th Democrat in the House to announce retirement plans, though many of them are running for the Senate or governor in 2012.

Seven House Republicans have announced they will step down.

Mr. Cardoza, representing the agriculturally rich area around Merced, says he has no immediate plans to run for another office.

Mr. Cardoza has been active in the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats. In a written statement announcing his retirement plans, he said he was dismayed by the Obama administration’s failure to understand and address the current housing-foreclosure crisis.


Obama awarding civilian honor to 13 recipients

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