Thursday, August 10, 2006


August 10, 2006
Voter Suppression in Missouri

Missouri is the latest front in the Republican Party’s campaign to use photo ID requirements to suppress voting. The Republican legislators who pushed through Missouri’s ID law earlier this year said they wanted to deter fraud, but that claim falls apart on close inspection. Missouri’s new ID rules — and similar ones adopted last year in Indiana and Georgia — are intended to deter voting by blacks, poor people and other groups that are less likely to have driver’s licenses. Georgia’s law has been blocked by the courts, and the others should be too.

Even before Missouri passed its new law, it had tougher ID requirements than many states. Voters were required, with limited exceptions, to bring ID with them to the polls, but university ID cards, bank statements mailed to a voter’s address, and similar documents were acceptable. The new law requires a government-issued photo ID, which as many as 200,000 Missourians do not have.

Missourians who have driver’s licenses will have little trouble voting, but many who do not will have to go to considerable trouble to get special ID’s. The supporting documents needed to get these, like birth certificates, often have fees attached, so some Missourians will have to pay to keep voting. It is likely that many people will not jump all of the bureaucratic hurdles to get the special ID, and will become ineligible to vote.


August 10, 2006

Lieberman Seizes on Terror Arrests to Attack Rival

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman seized on the terror arrests in Britain today to attack his Democratic rival, Ned Lamont, saying that Mr. Lamont’s goals for ending the war in Iraq would constitute a “victory” for extremists, including those accused of plotting to blow up airliners traveling between Britain and the United States.

“If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England,” Mr. Lieberman said at a campaign event at lunchtime in Waterbury, Conn. “It will strengthen them and they will strike again.”

Mr. Lamont, who rode an antiwar message to beat Mr. Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary on Tuesday, has called for a firm deadline to remove front-line American troops from Iraq, and he endorsed a Democratic-sponsored amendment in the Senate to set that deadline for next July. Mr. Lieberman opposed setting a deadline.

In a telephone interview from his vacation home in Maine, Mr. Lamont said he was disappointed with the personal tone Mr. Lieberman’s remarks, and questioned the connection between the Iraq war and the new terrorist plot. He also continued his strategy of trying to link Mr. Lieberman’s views with those of the Bush administration, whose approach the senator has tended to support in the fight against terrorism.


The Washington Post

The Guns Of August

By Richard Holbrooke
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A23

Two full-blown crises, in Lebanon and Iraq, are merging into a single emergency. A chain reaction could spread quickly almost anywhere between Cairo and Bombay. Turkey is talking openly of invading northern Iraq to deal with Kurdish terrorists based there.
Syria could easily get pulled into the war in southern Lebanon. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are under pressure from jihadists to support Hezbollah, even though the governments in Cairo and Riyadh hate that organization. Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of giving shelter to al-Qaeda and the Taliban; there is constant fighting on both sides of that border. NATO's own war in Afghanistan is not going well. India talks of taking punitive action against Pakistan for allegedly being behind the Bombay bombings. Uzbekistan is a repressive dictatorship with a growing Islamic resistance.

The only beneficiaries of this chaos are Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who last week held the largest anti-American, anti-Israel demonstration in the world in the very heart of Baghdad, even as 6,000 additional U.S. troops were rushing into the city to "prevent" a civil war that has already begun.


The Death of Triangulation

By Eli Pariser
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A23

Ned Lamont's victory Tuesday night in Connecticut's U.S. Senate primary is great news for Democrats. And it's a watershed moment for the growing majority of Americans, in red states and blue, who want change.

For months, polls have warned that across the political spectrum people are fed up -- with the no-end-in-sight occupation of Iraq; with an energy policy that caters to oil giants while gasoline prices soar; with a health-care system that leaves more behind with every passing day. Lamont's victory is evidence that a long-awaited wave of voter sentiment on those issues has materialized.

It's certainly understandable that Republicans would prefer to see Democrats continue to run the temporizing candidates whom they've had little trouble trouncing for the past decade. But you'd think Democratic strategists would be jumping for joy -- after all, they should be able to ride the anti-incumbent feeling to victory in November. Instead, we hear the perennial pundit nattering about moving the party too far to the left. And Marshall Wittmann of the Democratic Leadership Council -- who stubbornly refuses to address the real civil war in Iraq -- invokes the specter of a domestic civil war within the party.


Voter Anger That Cuts Both Ways

By David S. Broder
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A23

The usual political torpor of August was shattered this week by the news that three congressional incumbents had lost their races in a single day. There were special forces at work in the contests in which two Democrats -- Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia -- and Michigan Republican Rep. Joe Schwarz were defeated. But taken together they are the strongest signal yet of voter dissatisfaction with the status quo in Washington.

McKinney, a combative politician, lost (for the second time in her career) largely because of her unpleasant personality. Schwarz, a physician and freshman House member who had headed the John McCain forces in Michigan, fell victim to a heavily financed right-wing effort to punish him for his support of stem cell research.

The "shake up Washington" theme was explicit in millionaire businessman Ned Lamont's 52 to 48 percent defeat of Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, in the headline event of the day, the Connecticut Democratic primary. Lieberman could claim 18 years of Senate seniority and long service in state government, a reputation for personal integrity, prominence on both foreign and domestic issues, and the active support of his party leaders from Bill Clinton on down.


Jury Out on Lieberman Effect
Independent Run Could Hurt, Help Democrats Seeking House

By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A04

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's decision to run as an independent against Ned Lamont, Connecticut's new Democratic nominee for Senate, will mean that three marquee U.S. House races in the state will have to share top billing in November with a bitter rematch that could divert money and publicity from those critical contests.

That could complicate Democrats' designs to win those races as part of an effort to seize control of the House. But by keeping the state's electorate focused on President Bush and the war in Iraq, the Lamont-Lieberman rematch will keep voters energized, and may ultimately bolster the House challengers, Democrats and some independent analysts said.

"Lieberman will do more for Democratic House candidates by being in the race than by not being in the race," said Ken Dautrich, a professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut. "It's plausible that all three [GOP House incumbents] will fall, and it's more likely if Lieberman is running as an independent."



World community in no hurry to seek democracy in Cuba


BUENOS AIRES -- Watching the latest events in Cuba from this part of the world, one gets the sense that the international community -- perhaps including the United States -- will be in no great hurry to seek a rapid transition to democracy on the island.
While many countries say they would like to see an economic and political opening in Cuba following Fidel Castro's July 31 decision to cede power to his brother Raúl, most governments may be more dominated by fear of chaotic change than motivated by the desire for democracy in Cuba.

• Mercosur, the left-leaning regional bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela, is increasingly dependent on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the staunchest supporter of the Cuban dictatorship in the region. Because of oil-rich Venezuela's growing influence, and because most presidents in the region don't want to antagonize their leftist supporters at home, Mercosur is not likely to press for swift democratic changes.

In the Argentine press, Castro is affectionately referred to by his first name, ''Fidel,'' a deference made to very few world leaders. In second reference, he is always referred to as ''the Cuban leader'' (a generous title that, by the way, is also used by most U.S. media, despite the fact that no dictionary has a definition of ''dictator'' that wouldn't fit Castro).


Vote — or Else

EVEN with all the attention devoted to Connecticut’s Democratic primary, in which Ned Lamont upset Senator Joseph Lieberman, turnout was an anemic 43 percent. It was arguably the most important race in the nation and not even half of registered Democrats bothered to vote. This group in turn made up barely 15 percent of the voting-age population of the state.

The unhappy effects of low turnout are clear: ever-greater polarization in the country and in Washington, which in turn has led to ever-more rancor and ever-less legislative progress.

Here’s why. With participation rates of about 10 percent or less of the eligible electorate in many primaries to 35 percent or so in midterm general elections to 50 percent or 60 percent in presidential contests, the name of the game for parties is turnout — and the key to success is turning out one’s ideological base. Whichever party does a better job getting its base to the polls reaps the rewards of majority status.

And what’s the best way to get your base to show up at the polls? Focus on divisive issues that underscore the differences between the parties.


The Independent Gay News

From The Editor: Phishing Around
By Michael James

Most people have heard the term “phishing” on the news in the past couple of years, but many have no idea what it is. Lately, I’ve been getting several such e-mail attempts and readers need to be aware of how to handle it.

Most Phishing experts send out e-mails that appear to be from legitimate financial institutions. Even the web address appears to be correct. However, upon closer inspection you will find a very minor difference.


In the graphic on this page you can see what appears to be an authentic request from Bank of America seeking to “verify” information. First off, I am not aware of any bank that will request verification via e-mail. If there is a problem with an account they will ask you to come into their office.

The link looks virtually identical to BOA’s real login site. However, if you look closely, you will see that it starts with “https” rather that “http.” A very subtle variation that can easily trick people if they are not aware of the difference.


The New York Times

August 10, 2006

90 Miles and Light-Years Away

President Bush and his top aides have said repeatedly in recent days that they haven’t a clue what’s going on inside Cuba. With Fidel Castro’s health faltering, they need to start figuring it out.

Cuba is a closed, repressive society. But the Bush administration has gone out of its way to ensure that the United States has neither access nor the slightest chance to influence events there.

In the name of tightening the failed embargo — a bipartisan policy for more than four decades — Mr. Bush has made it much harder for academics, artists, religious people and anyone else who might spread the good word about America to travel to Cuba, and much harder for Cubans to travel here. In a decidedly un-family-values move, the administration has also limited visits to Cuba by Cuban-Americans to once every three years.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, a would-be Castro, has helped make up any lost cash with cheap oil exports. And Cuban officials who might be tempted to the side of reform have been given more reason to believe Mr. Castro’s claims of unremitting American hostility. In the same cut- off-your- nose spirit, the administration canceled migration talks with Havana — intended to prevent a repeat of earlier boatlifts — that were the only regular high-level sit-downs between the two governments. American diplomats in Havana know their wisest career path is to keep their contacts to the bare minimum.


The New York Times

August 10, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Party No. 3

There are two major parties on the ballot, but there are three major parties in America. There is the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the McCain-Lieberman Party.

All were on display Tuesday night.

The Democratic Party was represented by its rising force — Ned Lamont on a victory platform with the net roots exulting before him and Al Sharpton smiling just behind. The Republican Party was represented by its collapsing old guard — scandal-tainted Tom DeLay trying to get his name removed from the November ballot. And the McCain-Lieberman Party was represented by Joe Lieberman himself, giving a concession speech that explained why polarized primary voters shouldn’t be allowed to define the choices in American politics.


The Miami Herald
Posted on Thu, Aug. 10, 2006

How real Cubans, both rich and poor, live


Coffee-table books on Cuban architecture are by now a minor industry, easily dismissed as eye candy or, worse, falsehood. Yes, Cuba is full of stunning buildings, far more serious and imposing than anything found in the Caribbean. But, as any visitor to the island knows, it's not all a pretty picture.

Havana, a city that was spared the devastation of the Cuban War of Independence in the 19th century and where most of the island's grand architecture is located, has long been a city in ruins, a city of ruins. That some buildings have been restored -- and every single one photographed for a coffee-table book -- does not reduce the abjectness of a city that in its heyday, as those old enough remember, literally glittered.

Inside Cuba (Taschen, $49.99) is more honest than most books of its ilk, in that it shows dwellings where the grandeur has lost the war against decay, where leather upholstery seems to have exploded and exposed a lava-like outpouring of its insides, where makeshift wiring hangs exposed. And it also shows the humble homes of Cuban peasants.
In short, this is a project that has photographed where real Cubans live.


British Arrest 21 in Airline Terror Plot
Associated Press Writer

August 10, 2006, 9:14 AM EDT

LONDON -- British authorities said Thursday they had thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in carry-on luggage. Heathrow was closed to most flights from Europe, and British Airways canceled all its flights Thursday between the airport and points in Britain, Europe and Libya.

Britain's Home Secretary John Reid said 21 people had been arrested in London, its suburbs and in Birmingham following a lengthy investigation, including the alleged "main players" in the plot.

Officials raised security to its highest level in Britain and banned carry-on luggage on all trans-Atlantic flights. Huge crowds formed at security barriers at London's Heathrow airport as officials searching for explosives barred nearly every form of liquid outside of baby formula.

The extreme measures at a major international aviation hub sent ripple effects throughout the world. Washington raised its threat alert to its highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States amid fears the plot had not been completely crushed. The alert for all flights coming or going from the United States was also raised slightly.


Forwarded from Ken's List

9th Circuit Rules No Right to Computer Privacy at Work

Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

(08-08) 17:27 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- If you think the Web sites you access onyour workplace computer are nobody else's business, think again.

That was the message today from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals inSan Francisco, which upheld a Montana man's conviction for receiving obscenematerial that his employer found on his computer during a late-night raid."Social norms suggest that employees are not entitled to privacy in the useof workplace computers, which belong to their employers and pose significant
dangers in terms of diminished productivity and even employer liability,''said Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain in the 3-0 ruling.

He said other courts have consistently ruled that employers are entitled tomonitor their workers' use of computers as long as they had disclosed thatpolicy to their workforce.

That may reflect current societal views but it's still troubling, saidAssistant Federal Defender David Ness, the defense lawyer in the case."It seems like it's one more intrusion on people's privacy rights,'' hesaid. "There may be some things on my computer that I wouldn't necessarily mind someone at my office looking at, but I wouldn't want to share them with(law enforcement agents) or even the community at large.''

If you would like to read the entire article, contact us at


August 9, 2006
Democrats Rally Behind Lamont, Isolating Lieberman

With promises of money and personal campaign appearances, Democratic leaders rallied today behind the campaign of Ned Lamont, the anti-Iraq war challenger who defeated Senator Joseph I. Lieberman in the Connecticut primary, leaving Mr. Lieberman increasingly isolated as he pledged to forge ahead as an independent candidate.

At the same time, Republicans began a concerted effort to use Mr. Lieberman’s defeat to portray Democrats as weak on national defense, reprising a theme that they made central to the last two national campaigns. The attacks often came in searing remarks from, among others, Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Vice President Dick Cheney, who went so far as to suggest that the ouster of Mr. Lieberman might embolden Al Qaeda terrorists.

“It’s an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy,’’ Mr. Cheney said in a telephone interview with news agency reporters.


The New York Times

August 9, 2006

Ill. Gov. Backs Emergency Contraception

Filed at 9:22 p.m. ET

CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he would find a way to make emergency contraception available in Illinois without a prescription if the federal government keeps its strict guidelines for the morning-after pill.

Blagojevich urged approval of over-the-counter sales in a letter Wednesday to the Food and Drug Administration, which has said it would consider nonprescription sales of the Plan B pill only for women 18 and older.

If the FDA fails to act, Blagojevich pledged to introduce legislation in the fall that would allow Illinois pharmacies to dispense it. Nine states already allow pharmacists to sell the pills over-the-counter under certain conditions.

Blagojevich said he might issue an executive order that would circumvent legislative approval if lawmakers dump his proposal.
''The evidence is clear and overwhelming that making Plan B available over-the-counter is the right thing to do,'' he said in the two-page letter to the FDA.

The Negotiator
Rice’s Hurdles on Middle East Begin at Home

Published: August 10, 2006

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 — As fighting was breaking out last month between Hezbollah and Israel, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice worked through the night at her guest quarters on Russia’s Baltic coast to draft America’s response to the unfolding crisis.

2006 Election Guide

With the 2006 Election Guide, you can analyze over 500 races for the Senate, House and governor seats and paint the political map yourself. Go to Guide »



South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

August 8, 2006

ISSUE: Washington tries to usurp states regarding National Guard authority.

Whatever happened to states' rights?

A Congress controlled by a Republican Party that for decades has made "states' rights" one of the pillars of its political ideology now seems poised to strip states of one of their most important rights: the right to protect their own citizens.

It's not just a right, it's a duty. And the way states have always fulfilled their duty to protect their citizens from natural disasters and other threats is to call up the National Guard.

Now a sneaky House of Representatives is trying to deny governors authority over their states' National Guard units. In a defense bill that is headed for a conference committee with the Senate, a provision passed by the House would give the president authority to assume control over the Guard when "a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe" occurs. Lawmakers didn't even bother to tell the states what they were up to.


From Travelocity Regarding Airline Travel:

Due to the current air travel alerts issued by the Department of Homeland Security, there are a number of changes to screening procedures at airports around the country. If you are traveling anywhere in the U.S. or UK, the following changes will affect you.

Travelers are advised to get to the airport 3 hours ahead of their departure time, due to significant delays and new security procedures. If you are planning to travel to or from the United Kingdom, there may also be some schedule changes. Travelers should check online or call the airlines before heading to the airport. All travelers are being advised to travel light. Laptops, mobile phones, and iPods are among the electronic items banned in carry-on luggage on British flights. We recommend checking the TSA website at for the most up-to-date information on changing security procedures, including permitted and prohibited items. Liquids are no longer permitted on board any aircraft within the U.S. and UK (including all pastes, gels, and liquid cosmetics, such as toothpaste). Exceptions are being made for baby formula and medications (names on prescriptions must match ID names).

If you are traveling within the UK, you will have to check ALL of your belongings. Wallets, IDs, and necessary medications are the exceptions, and must be carried in a plastic bag (clear bags are recommended). Laptops, mobile phones

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