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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

  • Romney Wins 6 "Super Tuesday" States, But GOP Faces Long Road to Choosing a Nominee

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    The Republican presidential race appears headed for the long haul after the "Super Tuesday" slate of primaries failed to produce a decisive winner. Mitt Romney won six states, including what appears to be a slim victory over Rick Santorum in the main battleground state of Ohio. Santorum won three states, while Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia. Romney currently enjoys a sizable lead in delegates, with around one-third of the number needed for the nomination. "Nothing was settled last night. Far from it. In fact, last night actually gave at least a measure of encouragement to both Santorum and to Newt Gingrich," says John Nichols, political writer for The Nation. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Progressive Mainstay in Congress, Loses Dem. Primary in Redrawn Ohio District

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    In a newly drawn district in Ohio, outspoken antiwar Rep. Dennis Kucinich suffered a defeat against Rep. Marcy Kaptur. The two were forced to square off in a Democratic primary after Republicans redrew Ohio’s congressional map. Kaptur now faces Samuel Wurzelbacher, "Joe the Plumber," winner of the district’s Republican primary. Kucinich has said he may establish residency in Washington state, where there is a June filing deadline to run for a new congressional seat in the Seattle area. "I think there would be an awfully lot of people, even on the ground in Washington state, who would be more welcoming to him than to most candidates," says reporter John Nichols of The Nation. [includes rush transcript]

  • Vermont Voters Back Grassroots Campaign to Abolish Corporate Personhood

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    In another "Super Tuesday" vote, some two dozen towns in Vermont called on Congress to push a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling and address the issue of corporate personhood. Vermont could become the third state, after Hawaii and New Mexico, to endorse similar proposals. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has proposed a related amendment and has been an outspoken supporter of the measure passed Tuesday. "I suspect that you will hear [Sen. Sanders] today and in coming days really taking the message from the towns across Vermont to the Capitol and saying something has to be done about a Supreme Court ruling that has essentially opened the door to corporate cash buying elections," says John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rep. Donald Payne (1934–2012): Remembering New Jersey’s First African-American Member of Congress

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    Representative Donald Payne, the first-ever African-American congressman from New Jersey, died Tuesday at the age of 77 from complications of colon cancer. The former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus was in his 12th term in the House. In 1988, Payne explained his desire to break the color line in Congress, saying, "I want to be a congressman to serve as a role model for the young people I talk to on the Newark street corners… I want them to see there are no barriers to achievement. I want to give them a reason to try." That year, Payne handily defeated his Republican opponent, Michael Webb, and achieved his dream. In a statement shortly after Payne’s death, President Obama said Payne had "made it his mission to fight for working families." We discuss Payne’s legacy with his brother, William Payne, and Larry Hamm, the New Jersey chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress. [includes rush transcript]

  • LulzSec Cyber Activists Arrested with Help of Hacking Group’s Former Leader — Is Assange Next?

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    New arrests have been made in the crackdown on a loose, large network of politically inspired "hacktivists." On Tuesday, four men in Britain and Ireland were charged with computer crimes; a fifth man was arrested Monday in Chicago. They were part of a group called "LulzSec" affiliated with Anonymous, which has taken credit for a number of cyber-raids against corporations, political parties and governments. In a shocking revelation, the hacktivists may have been turned in by none other than the group’s own leader.

    Lulzsec’s chief hacker was a 28-year-old now identified as Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known by his alias "Sabu." Apparently, Monsegur was caught last summer and — according to the FBI — has been working as an informant ever since. He allegedly directed fellow hackers from his public housing project in New York while turning around and feeding federal investigators enough incriminating evidence to build a case against his cyber-comrades.

    According to The Guardian, Monsegur may have also provided an FBI-owned computer to facilitate the release of five million emails taken from the private intelligence firm Stratfor and which are now being published by WikiLeaks. This suggests the FBI has insight into the internal discussions between Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and the hacking group Anonymous. Although no motives have been confirmed, some believe this is part of a larger strategy to build a case against Julian Assange. An internal email from Stratfor recently revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice has already obtained a sealed indictment against Assange. We’re joined by Gregg Housh, a former Anonymous cyber-activist who remains in touch with members; and Gabriella Coleman, a leading authority on digital media, hackers and the law. [includes rush transcript]