Thursday, May 8, 2008

BREVITAS

The Louisiana Democratic Party's hopes this fall of winning two congressional seats long held by Republicans could be dashed by a potential crippling revolt within its base. If Barack Obama wins the presidential nomination, Democratic candidates in Louisiana and other states could be swept into office by a massive African-American turnout. Yet some black legislators here have their own ideas about who should ride Sen. Obama's wave. Sen. Lydia Jackson of Shreveport, in the 4th District, and Rep. Michael Jackson of Baton Rouge, in the 6th District, say they are considering running for Congress in the fall as independents. As such, they would go directly onto the November ballot without having to survive one or two Democratic primaries against better-funded white candidates. African-American voters comprise 31 percent of the 4th District, 30 percent of the 6th and 24 percent of the 7th. Bayou Buzz

John Halle makes the case for a general strike next May Day, a tool used around the world, but not typically found in the American activist playbook.

Jeff Stein, CQ The State Department says it has found the 400 laptops that CQ reported were unaccounted for last week. A senior official in the department's Office of the Inspector General, speaking only on a not-for-attribution basis, acknowledged that managers in the Diplomatic Security service had lost track of the computers, which are destined for friendly foreign police services. But he said that they were located "within 24 hours" after CQ reported them missing over the weekend. "We didn't start looking until Monday morning, and found that this may have been an internal management count (problem)," the official said. "By the end of the afternoon they found out they were in Springfield or Herndon or wherever they're stored before they go overseas." CQ also reported May 2 that Mark Duda, a representative of the inspector general's office . . . warned the managers that they needed to get on top of the equipment issue before it "blows up." Duda said a scandal loomed akin to the one that engulfed the Veterans Administration in 2006, when news broke that a VA official had taken home a laptop with the personal records of 26 million veterans, which was subsequently stolen.

Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted says lawmakers determining whether Attorney General Marc Dann should be impeached over a sex scandal need help from an unlikely source: the attorney general himself.

Husted said Wednesday the House isn't equipped to investigate whether Dann has committed any impeachable offenses. He says it would be helpful if Dann appointed an independent investigator to review all the information from the scandal.

U.S. OWES NEARLY $3 BILLION TO U.N.

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