Friday, August 11, 2006



Who's Guilty of 'Petty Partisanship'?

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19

Oh my goodness, as Don Rumsfeld might say. Support for the Iraq war hits a record low, and all the president's hit men decide that it's time to smear their opponents as defeatists who give aid and comfort to the enemy.

Of course they didn't mention the poll on Iraq released by CNN on Wednesday. As a basis for their guilt-by-association campaign, they used the fact that Democratic voters in Tuesday's Connecticut primary favored antiwar businessman Ned Lamont over Sen. Joe Lieberman.

The gentlemen who have gotten us into a mess in Iraq prefer not to explain how they'll fix things. They would rather use national security for partisan purposes, and they were all out there on Wednesday, spewing incendiary talking points. Hey, they may not have sent enough troops to win a war, but they sure know how to win midterm elections.

If you plan to fly, here's what you need to know

August 11, 2006

Luggage And Carry-Ons

You cannot put liquids or gels of any size in carry-on luggage. These include beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, toiletries, creams, cosmetics, lipstick, toothpaste and hair gel. Such items should be in checked bagged. For more information, go to the Transportation Security Administration Web site, Or call 866-289-9673.

Any beverage purchased beyond the security checkpoint must be consumed before boarding.

Formula, breast milk and juice are allowed if a child is traveling. Baby formula, however, must be submitted to security officers for inspection, and security personnel may ask parents to sample other fluids.

Prescription medicine and insulin carrying a name that matches the passenger's ticket are allowed on board.

Bush backers may abandon Republicans

WASHINGTON --Republicans determined to win in November are up against a troublesome trend -- growing opposition to President Bush.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections -- 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.

Two years after giving the Republican president another term, more than half of these voters -- 57 percent -- disapprove of the job Bush is doing.

"The signs now point to the most likely outcome of Democrats gaining control of the House," said Robert Erikson, a Columbia University political science professor.


The London Plot

For almost five years now, we have carried around the legacy of Sept. 11. There is no sunny morning that does not revive its memory. The news of a terrorist plot against America-bound airliners yesterday called up feelings
that are never all that far below the surface.

There is nothing Americans want more than to win the war on terror, to come to a place where people no longer feel it is a fine thing to forfeit their own lives and the lives of innocents in order to make the world notice their
anger and frustration. It is a point on which the country is absolutely undivided. It is one matter about which subway commuters, airline passengers and mall shoppers feel no irony or cynicism whatsoever.

It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual.

When Politicians Outrun Themselves

Having done nothing to rein in the influence-peddling culture of Congress, Republican leaders apparently hope to contain the scandal as an election issue by pushing Representative Bob Ney of Ohio into retirement. But Mr. Ney’s sudden withdrawal from the re-election campaign is only another reminder to skeptical voters of the Capitol’s craven preoccupation with easy-money
politics underwritten by special interests and power lobbyists.

Mr. Ney became a target of investigators after his notorious golf junket to Scotland at the bidding of Jack Abramoff, the disgraced superlobbyist who bilked Indian casino tribes of millions by promising access to pliant lawmakers. Mr. Ney’s chief of staff pleaded guilty to being a principal in the schemes, leaving the congressman a prime target.

The Ney affair was a reminder of the fate of another Abramoff crony, former Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, who has tried to disappear from public judgment as a candidate on the November ballot.
Racial divide stands out in voters' toss-out of McKinney

Published on: 08/11/06

A surge in voter turnout in largely white north DeKalb County and the inability of U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney to mobilize voters in largely black south DeKalb County led to her overwhelming defeat at the hands of former DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson in Tuesday's Democratic runoff election in Georgia's 4th Congressional District.

According to an analysis of precinct returns provided by the DeKalb County Board of Elections, McKinney received about 75 percent of the African-American vote and less than 5 percent of the white vote in both the primary and the runoff. The racial divide in the two elections was almost identical. The major difference between the two contests was that white voters made up a significantly larger share of the electorate in the runoff than in the primary.

Overall, turnout in DeKalb County, which comprises the vast majority of the 4th District, increased from 21 percent of registered voters in the primary to 25 percent of registered voters in the runoff. That in itself was highly unusual, as turnout generally falls between a primary and a runoff.


Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19

With the defeat of Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, antiwar forces are poised for a takeover of the Democratic Party. Tuesday's exhilarating victory, and the elan and electoral legitimacy gained, may carry the newly energized Democratic left to considerable success in November.

But for the Democratic Party it will be an expensive and short-lived indulgence. The Iraq war will end, as will the Bush presidency.

But the larger conflict that defines our times -- war on Islamic radicalism, more politely known as the war on terrorism -- will continue, as the just-foiled London airliner plot unmistakably reminds us. And the reflexive antiwar sentiments underlying Ned Lamont's victory in Connecticut will prove disastrous for the Democrats in the long run -- the long run beginning as early as November '08.



Tarring the majority

EVERYONE IN Washington supports democracy -- until they don't like the results. US Senator Joseph Lieberman's defeat by the antiwar challenger Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary this week has provoked a dark response from prominent Republicans, who have gone so far as to say that it could encourage America's enemies.

Trying to change the subject from what was clearly a referendum on Bush administration policies in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney said of the Lieberman upset: ``. . . from the standpoint of our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the Al Qaeda types, they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people."

Lieberman also is refusing to accept the verdict of the majority, vowing to run again as an independent in November and telling Connecticut voters they made a big mistake. ``For the sake of our state, our country, and my party I cannot, I will not let this result stand," he said on Tuesday night.


The Only Option Is to Win

By Newt Gingrich
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19

Yesterday on this page, in a serious and thoughtful survey of a world in crisis, Richard Holbrooke listed 13 countries that could be involved in violence in the near future: Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Somalia. And in addition, of course, the United States.

With those 14 nations Holbrooke could make the case for what I describe as "an emerging third world war" -- a long-running conflict whose latest manifestation was brought home to Americans yesterday with the disclosure in London of yet another ghastly terrorist plot -- this one intended to destroy a number of airliners en route to America.


The War Bush Isn't Fighting

By Eugene Robinson
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19

When unsmiling agents at the airport take away your contact lens solution, your toothpaste, and your cologne or after-shave, remember Osama bin Laden. Remember the real war on terrorism that the Bush administration and its allies decided not to fight, preferring cowboy-style military adventures.

The revelation yesterday of the elaborate plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean with liquid explosives reminds us of the real threats we face -- as opposed to the phantom threats that George W. Bush and Tony Blair have conjured to justify their disastrous war in Iraq.

The airliner conspiracy seems to have all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda extravaganza: careful and sophisticated planning, the intent to shock the world with simultaneous detonations, cold-blooded determination to murder innocents by the hundreds, and a timeline that comes suspiciously close to the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.


Clearer Signals for Faster Phone Downloads

New technology for mobile devices is being designed to cut through traffic-jamming interference to improve downloads.
By Kate Greene

Cell-phone service providers are running into a jam. More and more people are signing up for smart phones that can download large amounts of data in the form of Web pages, music, and video. And with more data traveling the wireless pathways, bandwidth -- the data-carrying capacity of wireless channels -- is decreasing, slowing download speeds and causing more calls to get dropped from the network.

To help eke out more bandwidth, TensorComm, a Westminster, CO-based telecommunications startup, has developed and tested a set of algorithms that can efficiently cancel out the signal interference from voice and data streams caused by multiple cell-phone signals, thereby freeing up more capacity.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

An open letter to the signers of 'Beyond Same-Sex Marriage'

Rob and Clay Calhoun
Issue Date: 8/10/2006, Posted On: 8/9/2006

Bay Windows

We are the Calhoun family from the Atlanta, Ga. area, and we are writing toyou in response to your group's "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage:A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families And Relationships." We are atwo-daddy family with two beloved children, our three-year-old daughterRainey and seven-month-old son Jimmy, both of whom we jointly adopted from the same birthmother in an independent and open adoption at birth.

We've been a couple for 14 years. We met when we were 23 and 24; we're now37 and 38 years old. From day one, we've been family-,adoption- and marriage-equality activists as a couple and family. In theearly 1990s, we were inspired about marriage equality from the marriage casein Hawaii. We met and fell in love as street activists in 1992 in QueerNation/Atlanta, fighting the bigoted employment practices of Cracker Barrelrestaurants for firing LGBT employees.


The New York Times
August 11, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

The Morning After the Morning After

With every war there are two days to keep in mind when the guns fall silent: the morning after, and the morning after the morning after. America, Israel and all those who want to see Lebanon’s democracy revived need to keep their eyes focused on the morning after the morning after.

Here’s why.

The only way that the fighting in south Lebanon will be brought to a close is if all the parties accept a cease-fire and the imposition of a robust international peacekeeping force, led by France, along the Israel-Lebanon border — supplanting Hezbollah.


The Washington Post

Study Finds Immigrants Don't Hurt U.S. Jobs
Pew Detects No Link To Unemployment

By Kim Hart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 11, 2006; D01

High levels of immigration in the past 15 years do not appear to have hurt employment opportunities for American workers, according to a new report.

The Pew Hispanic Center analyzed immigration state by state using U.S. Census data, evaluating it against unemployment levels. No clear correlation between the two could be found.

Other factors, such as economic growth, have likely played a larger role in influencing the American job market, said Rakesh Kochhar, principal author of the report and an economist at the Pew Hispanic Center in the District.

"We are simply looking for a pattern across 50 states, and we did not find one," Kochhar said. "We cannot say with certainty that growth in the foreign population has hurt or helped American jobs."


Inconvenience is inconsequential in flight safety


Well, that was close.

Wednesday morning, I flew home out of London's Heathrow. Thursday morning, British authorities announced they had broken up a terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound flights out of Heathrow using bombs in carry-on bags.

Needless to say, I am happier than usual to be home.

The word from London as this is written is that passengers leaving Heathrow should expect long delays and restrictions on carry-on luggage so stringent that not even iPods and paperbacks will get by. Those few items that are allowed through -- glasses, medicines, passports -- will have to be carried in see-though packaging.


The New York Times
August 11, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Nonsense and Sensibility

After Ned Lamont’s victory in Connecticut, I saw a number of commentaries describing Joe Lieberman not just as a “centrist” — a word that has come to mean “someone who makes excuses for the Bush administration” — but as “sensible.” But on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered sensible?

Take a look at Thomas Ricks’s “Fiasco,” the best account yet of how the U.S. occupation of Iraq was mismanaged. The prime villain in that book is Donald Rumsfeld, whose delusional thinking and penchant for power games undermined whatever chances for success the United States might have had. Then read Mr. Lieberman’s May 2004 op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal, “Let Us Have Faith,” in which he urged Mr. Rumsfeld not to resign over the Abu Ghraib scandal, because his removal “would delight foreign and domestic opponents of America’s presence in Iraq.”

And that’s just one example of Mr. Lieberman’s bad judgment. He has been wrong at every step of the march into the Iraq quagmire — all the while accusing anyone who disagreed with him of endangering national security. Again, on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered “sensible”? But I know the answer: on Planet Beltway.


The New York Times
August 11, 2006

Liquid as Weapon? For Many, a Scary Thought

The dread was in the details.

The scheme, the authorities reported, was to transform ordinary things — like energy drink bottles and medicine jars and MP3 players — into the weaponry of mass death. No one had to learn to fly a giant airplane, and just about everyone owns something that could hold a liquid or deliver a small but cataclysmic electrical charge.

With so many foiled plots fading into a blur of alarms, this one penetrated, people said in interviews across the country.

The familiar had become sinister, just as when a man boarded an airplane with explosives hidden in his shoe five years ago.

“I thought, oh, my God, people can carry cans of what appears to be soda and blow up a plane,” said Marcy Scott Lynn, 34, a recent business school graduate in San Francisco. “Who doesn’t walk onto an airplane with a bottle of water? It’s a staple because drinks at the airport cost like a thousand dollars and the airlines no longer serve food.”


The Washington Post

Tip Followed '05 Attacks on London Transit

By Craig Whitlock and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, August 11, 2006; A01

It all began with a tip: In the aftermath of the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings on London's transit system, British authorities received a call from a worried member of the Muslim community, reporting general suspicions about an acquaintance.

From that vague but vital piece of information, according to a senior European intelligence official, British authorities opened the investigation into what they said turned out to be a well-coordinated and long-planned plot to bomb multiple transatlantic flights heading toward the United States -- an assault designed to rival the scope and lethality of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings.

By late 2005, the probe had expanded to involve several hundred investigators on three continents. They kept dozens of suspects under close surveillance for months, even as some of the plotters traveled between Britain and Pakistan to raise money, find recruits and refine their scheme, according to interviews with U.S. and European counterterrorism officials.