Tuesday, October 17, 2006

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST October 17, 2006

rays.list@comcast.net and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Arizona asks U.S. high court to continue voter ID rule
The Associated Press
Published: 10.14.2006

Arizona's attorney general petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday toallow the state to continue requiring voters to provide photo identificationwhen they cast a ballot.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction last week barringthe state from enforcing Proposition 200 during the Nov. 7 general election.

Approved by voters in 2004, the law requires voters to provide proof ofcitizenship when registering to vote and show their photo IDs when they goto the polls. It is meant to make sure illegal immigrants aren't voting.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Documents Reveal Scope of U.S. Database on Antiwar Protests
by Eric Lichtblau

WASHINGTON - Internal military documents released Thursday provided newdetails about the Defense Department's collection of information ondemonstrations nationwide last year by students, Quakers and others opposedto the Iraq war.

The documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under aFreedom of Information Act lawsuit, show, for instance, that militaryofficials labeled as "potential terrorist activity" events like a "Stop theWar Now" rally in Akron, Ohio, in March 2005.

The Defense Department acknowledged last year that its analysts hadmaintained records on war protests in an internal database past the 90 daysits guidelines allowed, and even after it was determined there was nothreat.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Since 2004, some states have enacted laws making it harder to vote, study finds

By: DEBORAH HASTINGS (Thu, Oct/12/2006)

NEW YORK - Some states have enacted laws that make it harder to vote insteadof correcting ballot problems that have plagued various parts of the countrysince the 2000 election, according to a study released Thursday.

Describing their findings as "troubling," voting reform advocates sampled 10states with past election difficulties. Especially worrisome, the reportsaid, were laws passed by a handful of states, including Arizona andGeorgia, that require a government-issued photo identification card andproof of citizenship before being allowed to vote.

Though both state laws were later blocked by judges, "the damage has alreadybeen done," confusing would-be voters and severely hampering voterregistration drives, said Tova Wang of The Century Foundation think tank,which conducted the survey with Common Cause and the Leadership Conferenceon Civil Rights.


Forwarded from Leon Van Dyke


Abu Ghraib
Unwarranted Phone Taps
Unprecedented Powers
Unmatched Incompetence
Unparalleled Corruption
Governor Bob Taft
Representative Tom Delay
Representative Roy Blunt
Representative Ken Calvert
Representative John Dolittle
Representative Tom Feeney
Representative Katherine Harris
Representative Jerry Lewis
Representative Gary Miller
Representative Marilyn Musgrave
Representative Richard PomboRepresentative Rick Renzi
Representative John Sweeney
Representative Charles Taylor
Representative Curt Weldon
Representative J.D. Hayworth
Representative Don Sherwood
Representative Bob Ney
Representative Duke Cunningham
Representative Tom Reynolds
Representative Chris Cannon
Jeff Gannon
Representative Mark Foley
Representative Dennis Hastert
Senator George Allen
Senator Bill Frist
Senator Conrad Burns
Senator Rick Santorum
David Safavian
The Vice Presidential Energy Task Force
Three bucks a gallon
Record oil company profits
Anwar Pipeline
Anbar Province
Arthur Anderson
Global Crossing
Global Warming
Global Boiling
Adam Kidan
Timothy Flanigan
Ralph Reed
Harriet Miers
The Supreme Court
John Bolton
Florida, 2000
Ohio, 2004
North Korea
Stem Cell Research
Scooter Libby
Valerie Plame
Golden Parachutes
Shrunken Pensions
Bernie Kerik
Eminent Domain
Social Security
Habeas Corpus
Ahmad Chalabi
The Baghdad Museum
Tora Bora
Taliban Resurgence
Iraqi Insurgents
General Eric Shinseki
General Anthony Zinni
Mission Accomplished
Illegal Immigration
Intelligent Design
Kenneth Tomlinson
Claude Allen
Swift Boat Hit Squads
Ari Fleischer
Scott McClellan
Tony Snow
Ann Coulter
Expiration of Assault Weapons Ban
John Ashcroft
Alberto Gonzales
George Tenet
Paul Bremer
Paul Wolfowitz
Richard Perle
Kissinger Redux
Duck Cheney
Donald Henry Rumsfeld
Turd Blossom

And finally, the Uniter-Decider-Reader of Camus, Shakespeare and "My PetGoat," who describes the party that successfully prosecuted two world warsas people who cut and run.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Zimbabwe: Gender Activists Protest MP's Anti-Women Remarks


Wednesday 11 October 2006

Harare - Women's organisations are outraged by an oppositionparliamentarian who urged the national assembly not to pass a bill aimed atstamping out domestic violence, because women were inferior to men.

During debate on the Domestic Violence Bill, Timothy Mubhawu, member ofparliament (MP) for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), toldparliament: "I stand here representing God the Almighty. Women are not equalto men. This is a dangerous bill, and let it be known in Zimbabwe that therights, privileges and status of men are gone."

His remarks in the wake of disclosure by gender and women's affairsminister Oppah Muchinguri that over 60 percent of all murder cases inZimbabwe were linked to domestic violence, sparked spontaneous protests.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


US contractors in Iraq face peril, neglect
Draw fire overseas, lack support at home
By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff | October 16, 2006

WASHINGTON -- To many Americans, private contractors in Iraq havebecome a terrible symbol of a terrible war: from charred bodies hanging froma bridge in Fallujah, to interrogators at Abu Ghraib, to corruption in thereconstruction effort.

Yet tens of thousands of contractors, hired in unprecedented numbersto avoid the use of more US troops in a variety of tasks, toil quietly invital and dangerous missions. They are a hidden story of this war, uncountedin the military death toll, unremembered with medals of valor, unwelcome atveterans hospitals, and unassisted in their often difficult re entries home.

No US agency tracks deaths of American contractors. The Department ofLabor, responsible for recording insurance claims of employees working on UScontracts in Iraq, lists 641 contractor deaths, including Americans, Iraqis,and other foreign nationals. At least 6,646 more have filed claims forinjuries, according to the data.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Scalia Debates Law, Liberties With ACLU Chief
In a televised session, the Supreme Court justice defends his views before a liberal crowd of 1,500.

By David G. Savage
Times Staff Writer

October 16, 2006

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia went before 1,500 membersof the American Civil Liberties Union on Sunday to explain his views on theConstitution and on the proper role of judges, winning polite applause fromthe liberal audience.

"My job, as I see it, is to preserve the original meaning of theConstitution," Scalia said - not to decide whether a law "is a good idea orbad idea."

The court's most outspoken conservative, Scalia does not shy away fromspeaking to audiences that do not share his views, and on occasion he hasfaced loud protests and persistent hecklers.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Lawyer Is Due for Sentencing in Terror Case

Lynne F. Stewart, the firebrand lawyer known for defending unsavorycriminals, now faces the possibility of living out her life like many ofthem, in maximum-security lockdown in a federal prison.

Today, 20 months after she was convicted on terror charges, Ms. Stewart andtwo co-defendants who were convicted of conspiring with her will besentenced in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors, arguing thatMs. Stewart repeatedly flouted the law to aid the violent designs of animprisoned terrorist client, have asked Judge John G. Koeltl to condemn herto 30 years in prison.

That would be a life sentence for Ms. Stewart, who turned 67 last week. Longan abrasive advocate of anti-government causes, these days she is notdefiant. She is mournful about what she said were her failures as a lawyer.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Clinton: Republican extremists divided America

October 15, 2006 3:14 AM | Politics | 12 Comments

Former President Bill Clinton told Iowa's Democratic Party faithful onSaturday that the actions of "an extreme sliver" of the Republican Partyhave backfired and "profoundly divided" the country.

"We've got a big responsibility. Forget about 2008. Forget about thepolitics. Just go out and find somebody and look them dead in the eye andsay 'You know, this is not right'...This is America," Clinton said. "We cando better and this year, it's a job that Democrats have to do alone."

More than 3,500 Iowa Democrats paid $100 each to attend the fund-raisingbanquet that kicked off with Clinton's speech. About 50 people paid $10,000per couple to attend a private reception with Clinton beforehand.



The Washington Post

The GOP: Slugged on the Nose

By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A21

"On the nose" is a Hollywood expression. It refers to an idea or a scene or even a piece of dialogue that is too obvious or too good to be true.Hollywood would have said the whole Mark Foley sex scandal is on the nose.Let's just start with the fact that this confessed gay stalker of teenagecongressional pages was co-chairman of the Congressional Missing andExploited Children's Caucus. All over Hollywood, fingers would go to the tipof the nose: Can't we make it Armed Services?

No, we cannot. To change anything at all about the Foley matter would be totrifle with its essential vacuity, its reliance on bigotry and ignorance,its resplendent Beaver Cleaver qualities (congressional pages, for cryingout loud!) and, not least, the fact that so far this is the ultimateWashington sex scandal: There is no sex.



'Common Good' Unifies Dems for Election

AP Religion Writer

October 16, 2006, 3:33 PM EDT

Ned Lamont uses it in his Connecticut Senate race. President Clinton isscheduled to speak on the idea in Washington this week. Bob Casey Jr.,Pennsylvania candidate for Senate, put it in the title of his talk at TheCatholic University of America -- then repeated the phrase 29 times.

The term is "common good," and it's catching on as a way to describe liberalvalues and reach religious voters who rejected Democrats in the 2004election. Led by the Center for American Progress, a Washington think-tank,party activists hope the phrase will do for them what "compassionateconservative" did for the Republicans.

"It's a core value that we think organizes the entire political agenda forprogressives," said John Halpin, senior fellow at the Center for AmericanProgress. "With the rise of materialism, greed and corruption in Americansociety, people want a return to a better sense of community -- sort of ashared sacrifice, a return to the ethic of service and duty."


Inside Higher Education


Gallaudet Faculty Joins In

Monday was supposed to be the day Gallaudet University got back to business.After student and alumni protesters shut the campus down for several days,and university officials called in police officers late Friday to end thestandoff and arrest more than 130 students, the university got off to afairly normal start yesterday. Although protesters manned the front gate,classes were held as usual, and the football players who had locked thecampus down on Wednesday were back in uniform and running drills onHotchkiss Field. The soccer team hosted Wesley College in a tough match andlost 4-0.

But late in the afternoon, hundreds of students began gathering in front of
Fowler Hall where the faculty was set to meet at 4 p.m. to vote on a seriesof resolutions regarding unrest on the campus and unhappiness with theadministration. The students formed a pair of long lines snaking from thebuilding's entrance and down the sidewalk. Many carried signs reading,"Faculty: Please Help US! YOU CAN and WILL Make a Difference!"


The Washington Post


A Faith-Based Battle for Voters

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A21

The very fact that it took David Kuo's book, "Tempting Faith: An InsideStory of Political Seduction," to put President Bush's faith-basedinitiative back into the news proves that the author's thesis is right.

His argument -- Kuo went on the record with it long before this bookappeared -- is that the White House never put much money or muscle behindBush's "compassionate conservatism." It used the faith-based agenda forpolitical purposes and always made tax cuts for the wealthy a much higherpriority than any assistance to those "armies of compassion" that Bushevoked so eloquently.

As a result, the faith-based initiative has largely been off the publicradar for years. And after Sept. 11, 2001, the president made the war onterrorism his central cause, both for substantive reasons and because (untilnow, at least) it proved to be a great vehicle for winning crossover votes.Compassionate conservatism gave way to martial conservatism.


The Washington Post


The General's Misstep

By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A21

Gen. Richard Dannatt, the new chief of staff of the British army, wasabsolutely right when he said last week that Britain should withdraw itstroops from Iraq "sometime soon" because their presence was fueling theinsurgency, not quelling it. And Tony Blair, the prime minister whom Dannattso expertly sandbagged, would have been absolutely right to fire him on thespot.

I don't know about you, but it makes me nervous when generals start publiclyusurping the prerogatives of elected politicians -- even misguidedpoliticians such as Blair who loyally follow their wrongheaded allies intobloody, pointless misadventures.

It's tempting for me, and must be tempting for other critics of the war, topraise Dannatt for his candor. But please hold your applause.


The Washington Post


Giant-Killer Lamont Stumbles

Democrat Will Need Republican Help to Unseat Lieberman

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A04

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 16 -- Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont and Sen.Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) met here Monday for their first generalelection debate, and the insurgent candidate did not get one direct questionabout the issue that dominated the August primary, the war in Iraq.It was symptomatic of the predicament Lamont has found himself in since hisstunning victory two months ago.

Then, he was hailed on the left as a political giant-killer who haddemonstrated the power of national dissatisfaction with President Bush andthe war. Today, his campaign is emblematic of the pitfalls of trying tomarry a political insurgency with the party establishment. Tugged and pulledin different directions by old and new advisers, the wealthy businessman hasbeen struggling to refocus his candidacy.


The New York Times


October 17, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist
Sami's Shame, and Ours

There is no public evidence that Sami al-Hajj committed any crime other thanjournalism for a television network the Bush administration doesn't like.

But the U.S. has been holding Mr. Hajj, a cameraman for Al Jazeera, fornearly five years without trial, mostly at Guantánamo Bay. With the jailingof Mr. Hajj and of four journalists in Iraq, the U.S. ranked No. 6 in theworld in the number of journalists it imprisoned last year, just behindUzbekistan and tied with Burma, according to the Committee to ProtectJournalists.

This week, President Bush is expected to sign the Military Commissions Actconcerning prisoners at Guantánamo, and he has hailed the law as "a strongsignal to the terrorists." But the closer you look at Guantánamo the moreyou feel that it will be remembered mostly as a national disgrace.


The Washington Post


Losing Faith in the President

Critical Book by Ex-Staffer in Religion-Based Effort Is Out

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A19

White House officials realized they had a problem, former staffer David Kuowrites in his new book, "Tempting Faith," when they saw how a panel ratedthe first applications for grants under the "faith-based initiative,"President Bush's vaunted effort to help religious charities.

On a scale of 1 to 100, respected national organizations such as BigBrothers Big Sisters of America scored in the mid-70s to mid-80s, "whilesomething called Jesus and Friends Ministry from California, a group withlittle more than a post office box," scored 89 and Pat Robertson's overseasaid organization, Operation Blessing, scored 95, according to Kuo.

"It was obvious that the ratings were a farce," he writes, adding that heand other White House aides feared that if the list became public, "it wouldshow once and for all that the initiative was purely about paying offpolitical friends for their support."


The Washington Post


It's China's Problem

By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A21

Conventional wisdom says that if U.N. sanctions don't work, there is nothingto be done about North Korea's nuclear weapons -- short of firebombingPyongyang, thereby ensuring the obliteration of Seoul. Yet the problem of anuclear North Korea is not actually insoluble, provided a certain very largesuperpower wants to solve it. There is one significant country, after all,that has the military, economic and political power not only to pressureNorth Korea to discard its bomb but also to topple its regime altogether.

That very large superpower is, of course, China. Despite its recentexpressions of shock and horror -- the Chinese government claimed last weekto be "totally opposed" to the North Korean bomb -- China still has moreways to influence North Korea than any other member of the U.N. SecurityCouncil. For that matter, China has more ways to influence North Korea thanall of the members of the Security Council (and indeed the General Assembly)put together. Should China's leaders want to see the North Korean regimefall, they don't need to play around with sanctions or blockades. They couldjust cut off energy supplies to Pyongyang. Or food deliveries to Pyongyang.

Or end all trade with Pyongyang.


The Washington Post


Pakistan, India to Resume Peace Talks

The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; 8:25 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Top Foreign Ministry officials from Pakistan andIndia will resume the South Asian rivals' peace process next month that wasput on hold after the July commuter rail bombings on Mumbai that killed morethan 200 people, officials said Tuesday.

The foreign secretaries will meet in New Delhi on Nov. 14-15 to review thethird round of the dialogue between the two neighbors that started in early2004, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement said.


The New York Times


And the Winner Is ... Me

Published: October 17, 2006
Voters in Ohio can be forgiven if they feel they have been beamed out of theMidwest and dropped into a third-world autocracy. The latest news from thestate's governor's race is that the Republican nominee, Kenneth Blackwell,who is also the Ohio secretary of state, could rule that his opponent isineligible to run because of a technicality. We'd like to think that hisoffice would not ultimately do that, or that if it did, such a ruling wouldnot be allowed to stand. But the mere fact that an elected official andpolitical candidate has the authority to toss his opponent out of a race isfurther evidence of a serious flaw in our democracy.

Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee, is leading Mr. Blackwell by as muchas 28 points, according to one recent poll. In their panic, some Blackwellsupporters have hit on the idea of trying to prevent the election fromoccurring. One of them filed a complaint alleging that Mr. Strickland, whois a member of Congress, does not live in the apartment where he isregistered to vote. Mr. Strickland owns a condominium in another part ofOhio, and the complaint alleges that he actually lives there. If Mr.Strickland was not a qualified voter, he would be prohibited from runningfor governor.


The New York Times


October 17, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

FOR the past several months, I've been wrapping up lengthy interviews withWashington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: "Do youknow the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?"

A "gotcha" question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basicrule of war, I don't think it's out of bounds. And as I quickly explain tomy subjects, I'm not looking for theological explanations, just the basics:Who's on what side today, and what does each want?

After all, wouldn't British counterterrorism officials responsible forNorthern Ireland know the difference between Catholics and Protestants? In aremotely similar but far more lethal vein, the 1,400-year Sunni-Shiiterivalry is playing out in the streets of Baghdad, raising the specter of abreakup of Iraq into antagonistic states, one backed by Shiite Iran and theother by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.


The Washington Post


Interrogators Beware

By Stephen Rickard
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A21

On rare occasions, President Bush and his toughest critics agree onsomething. That will happen today when Bush signs the Military CommissionsAct, while claiming "clear" authorization from Congress for "enhanced" CIAinterrogations. Many critics claim the bill authorizes torture. Fortunately,both sides are wrong.

You can't blame the CIA for demanding clear authorization. It reportedly wasusing waterboarding (a terrifying mock execution in which a prisoner isstrapped to a board and convinced he is being drowned), dousing nakedprisoners with water in 50-degree cold and forcing shackled prisoners tostand for 40 straight hours.


The New York Times


October 17, 2006
For the Super-Rich, It's Time to Upgrade the Old Jumbo Jet
The tremendously rich are different not only from you and me but also fromthe merely rich. For one thing, some of them have really nice airplanes.

This is not about the presumed titans of the private jet universe like themighty Gulfstream G5's or Global Expresses, whose occupants can leapcontinents and oceans at high speed and in plush comfort, without all theinconveniences of commercial airports, airline schedules and, well,strangers.

This is about big, long-haul airliners that are converted to private jetsand can carry not only pampered passengers and their entourages, but also,in some cases, their Rolls Royces and racehorses. These are speciallyequipped, privately owned jumbo jets - the kind that normally carry as many300 to 400 passengers - but reconfigured with interiors designed for theenjoyment of, at most, a couple of dozen.


The New York Times


October 17, 2006
Lawyer, Facing 30 Years, Gets 28 Months, to Dismay of U.S.
Lynne F. Stewart, the radical defense lawyer, was sentenced yesterday to twoyears and four months in prison on charges that she smuggled messages froman imprisoned terrorist client to his violent followers in Egypt.

The sentence, handed down by Judge John G. Koeltl in Federal District Courtin Manhattan, was significantly lower than the 30 years sought byprosecutors. He cited the service Ms. Stewart, who is 67, had provided inher three-decade career as a government-appointed lawyer for unsavorycriminals and penniless outcasts.


The Washington Post


53% of Voters Say They Back Va. Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Only Area Against Measure Is N.Va., According to Poll

By Chris L. Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A01

A majority of Virginians support a proposed constitutional amendment thatwould ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, although voters split on themeasure when presented with interpretations of its potential impact,according to a new Washington Post poll.

Fifty-three percent of likely voters said they would vote for the amendment,and 43 percent would oppose it, the poll found, indicating that three weeksbefore Election Day opponents still have a long way to go to make Virginiathe first state in the country to defeat a same-sex marriage amendment.

The only part of the state to oppose the measure was Northern Virginia,where voters rejected it 55 percent to 42 percent, further evidence that theWashington suburbs have become a political and social world apart from therest of Virginia.


The New York Times


October 17, 2006
As Talk Radio Wavers, Bush Moves to Firm Up Support
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 - On an overcast Friday morning last month, White Houseaides ushered an influential group of conservative radio hosts into the OvalOffice for a private audience with the president.

For an hour and a half, Mr. Bush discussed his case for the war in Iraq, hisimmigration proposals and even the personality of his Scottish terrierBarney, who scratched on the door during the session until the presidentrelented and let him into the office, according to several hosts whoattended.

The meeting, which was not announced on the president's public schedule, waspart of an intensive Republican Party campaign to reclaim and re-energize acrucial army of supporters that is not as likely to walk in lockstep withthe White House as it has in the past.


The New York Times


October 17, 2006

Iraq's Christians Flee as Extremist Threat Worsens

BAGHDAD, Oct. 16 - The blackened shells of five cars still sit in front ofthe Church of the Virgin Mary here, stark reminders of a bomb blast thatkilled two people after a recent Sunday Mass.

In the northern city of Mosul, a priest from the Syriac Orthodox Church waskidnapped last week. His church complied with his captors' demands and putup posters denouncing recent comments made by the pope about Islam, but hewas killed anyway. The police found his beheaded body on Wednesday.

Muslim fury over Pope Benedict XVI's public reflections on Islam in Germanya month ago - when he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor as callingIslam "evil and inhuman" - has subsided elsewhere, but repercussionscontinue to reverberate in Iraq, bringing a new level of threat to analready shrinking Christian population.


The Washington Post


U.S. Faces Obstacles To Freeing Detainees
Allies Block Returns From Guantanamo

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, October 17, 2006; A01

BERLIN -- British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett last week issued thelatest European demand to close down the U.S. military prison at GuantanamoBay, Cuba. The existence of the prison is "unacceptable" and fuels Islamicradicalism around the world, she said, echoing a recent chorus of complaintsfrom Europe about U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Behind the scenes, however, the British government has repeatedly blockedefforts to let some prisoners leave Guantanamo and return home.

According to documents made public this month in London, officials thererecently rejected a U.S. offer to transfer 10 former British residents fromGuantanamo to the United Kingdom, arguing that it would be too expensive tokeep them under surveillance. Britain has also staved off a legal challengeby the relatives of some prisoners who sued to require the Britishgovernment to seek their release.



Corruption trail leading right to the ballot box
Palm Beach Post Editorial

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty to accepting gifts inexchange for political favors. The previous Friday, Susan Ralston, a topaide to White House political adviser Karl Rove, resigned. The two eventsare linked by much more than the day of the week.

Rep. Ney, who refused to quit and hasn't been expelled, took goodies fromformer lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ms. Ralston tried to slip quietly out of theWest Wing just days after a bipartisan congressional report revealed 66contacts between her and Abramoff, despite the White House's claim that thecorrupt-to-the-max Abramoff and the Bush administration were barely acquainted. The same report documented nearly 500 contacts between Abramoffand the White House between January 2001, when President Bush took office,and March 2004.

The Bush administration tries to defend itself by claiming that Abramoff wasknown to exaggerate the importance of his contacts. Abramoff, though, isjust one noxious result of the Republican Party's decision to finance itshold on power with money from lobbyists in return for legislation thatbenefits those lobbyists' clients.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Associated Press, October 16, 2006


'Common Good' Unifies Dems For Election

Ned Lamont uses it in his Connecticut Senate race. President Clinton isscheduled to speak on the idea in Washington this week. Bob Casey Jr.,Pennsylvania candidate for Senate, put it in the title of his talk at TheCatholic University of America - then repeated the phrase29 times.

The term is "common good," and it's catching on as a way to describe liberalvalues and reach religious voters who rejected Democrats in the 2004election. Led by the Center for American Progress, a Washington think-tank,party activists hope the phrase will do for them what "compassionateconservative" did for the Republicans.

"It's a core value that we think organizes the entire political agenda forprogressives," said John Halpin, senior fellow at the Center for AmericanProgress. "With the rise of materialism, greed and corruption in Americansociety, people want a return to a better sense of community - sort of ashared sacrifice, a return to the ethic of service and duty."


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County - chances@attglobal.net

War Signals?

[posted online on September 21, 2006]

As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possibleUS military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, TheNation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have movedup the deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclearaircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate,submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just offIran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issueof Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable ofmining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulfby October 1.

As Time writes in its cover story, "What Would War Look Like?," evidence ofthe forward deployment of minesweepers and word that the chief of navaloperations had asked for a reworking of old plans for mining Iranian harbors"suggest that a much discussed--but until now largely theoretical--prospecthas become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran."