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E-mail campaign pressures CBS affiliates to oust Rather

Station managers at several CBS affiliates said Thursday they appear to be a target of an e-mail campaign placing pressure on the network to oust Dan Rather as anchorman of CBS Evening News.

The anger stems from Rather's role in a 60 Minutes report on President Bush's service in the National Guard. CBS has apologized for reporting on documents critical of Bush's service, widely assumed now as fakes, and appointed a panel to investigate.

Bob Lee, president and general manager of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., and head of the CBS affiliate board, said many e-mailers offer the same message: I will not watch CBS News again until Rather is gone.

The campaign appears to originate from a blogger on the Web site,, who is forwarding e-mails to stations around the country.

Web site for soldiers restored

WASHINGTON _ The Pentagon has restored access to a Web site that assists soldiers and other Americans living overseas in voting, after receiving complaints that its security measures were preventing legitimate voters from using it.

The site,, had been closed to users of certain Internet service providers because some hackers were using those providers to launch attacks on U.S. government sites, military officials said. But that had the effect of restricting legitimate traffic from those providers.

The Pentagon said the changes will open the Web site, run by the Foreign Voting Assistance Program, to most, but not all, users. The site assists U.S. citizens overseas in casting absentee ballots.

Deficit estimate: $1.3-trillion

WASHINGTON _ Responding to an election-season request by Democrats, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday that some of President Bush's budget policies plus other costs would add $1.3-trillion to federal deficits over the next decade.

Republicans said the exercise was a blatantly political attempt by Democrats to use the nonpartisan budget office's projections to attack Bush and the GOP.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures," said Rich Meade, Republican staff director of the House Budget Committee.