Wednesday, November 15, 2006


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Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

Published on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by the Washington Spectator

Calling Nancy Pelosi: The People's Case for Impeaching Bush
by Elizabeth Holtzman

Editor's note: With their party back in power for the first time since1994, some senior House Democrats who will be rising to committeechairmanships are already planning to conduct investigations intowrongdoings of the Bush administration in everything thing from fraud andabuse in Iraq War contracting to illegal domestic surveillance and detaineeinterrogations. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders,however, are signaling that any investigations will be kept on a tightleash. They fear that scrutiny of the administration will make Democratsappear excessively partisan and cost the party votes in 2008. As for thepossible impeachment of President George W. Bush, Pelosi has explicitlydeclared it to be "off the table."


November 15, 2006

Spin and Consequences

When President Bush announced in September that he was transferring 14 mensuspected of heinous acts of terrorism to Guantánamo Bay, his aim was baldlypolitical - to stampede Congress into passing a profoundly flawed law thatset up military tribunals to try "illegal enemy combatants" and absolvedU.S. officials of liability for illegally detaining and torturing prisoners.

But that cynical White House move may also have unintentionally provided theloose thread to unravel the secrecy and lawlessness that have cloaked theadministration's handling of terrorism suspects.


Lawmakers Concerned About U.S.-India Nuclear Trade Deal
White House Hasn't Provided Long-Awaited Intelligence Assessment and OtherKey Information

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 15, 2006; A14

Congressional leaders requested a secret intelligence assessment of India'snuclear program and its government's ties to Iran in January amid concernsabout a White House effort to provide nuclear technology to New Delhi. Tenmonths later, as the Senate prepares to vote on nuclear trade with India,the intelligence assessment has yet to be seen on Capitol Hill,congressional and intelligence sources say.


U.S. Commander in Iraq to Face Democrats Eager for Troop Cuts

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 15, 2006; A06

Senate Democrats impatient to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq willinject a new political dynamic into the debate over the war beginning todayas they question the military's top Middle East commander for the first timesince their party swept into control of Congress this month.

Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, which overseesAmerican forces in the Middle East, will face questions on the violence inIraq and what it means for the roughly 145,000 U.S. troops there duringscheduled testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee,senators from both parties said.


Conservatives in Denial

By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, November 15, 2006; A21

On their journey through the stages of grief, conservatives don't yet seemto have gotten past denial.

Republicans may have lost, conservatives argue, but only because theymisplaced their ideology. "[T]hey were punished not for pursuing but forforgetting conservatism," George F. Will, conservatism's most trenchantchampion, wrote on this page last week.

Their mortal sin, in this gospel, was their abandonment of fiscal prudence.


Posted on Wed, Nov. 15, 2006

Some in GOP grumble over choice of Martinez
Sen. Mel Martinez was tapped for the top job at the Republican
National Committee, spurring complaints from conservatives who fear he willpush for relaxed immigration laws.

WASHINGTON - A week after Republicans were routed at the polls amidslipping support from Hispanics, President Bush Tuesday welcomed Cuban-bornFlorida Sen. Mel Martinez as the leader of the national party, touching offcomplaints from a conservative base that opposes the senator's embrace ofimmigration reform.

The freshman senator -- who said he sought assurances from Bush thathis ''main job'' of senator would come ''first and foremost'' -- took thejob as general chairman of the Republican National Committee only afterprodding from the president, and suggested he would not be an ``attackdog.''


Rumsfeld Probe Sought in Germany

Associated Press
Wednesday, November 15, 2006; A15

BERLIN, Nov. 14 -- Attorneys for inmates detained by the United States atIraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, asked Germanprosecutors Tuesday to open a war crimes investigation of outgoing DefenseSecretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials for their allegedroles in abuse at the detention centers.

"We are not expecting that Rumsfeld will appear in a court, but we arehoping investigators will begin looking into the case," said WolfgangKaleck, a German lawyer involved in the suit. German federal prosecutorssaid they would examine the case.


November 15, 2006

What's Right With Kansas

It would be remiss to finish the election post-mortems without noting amajor shift in the nation's heartland. Kansas - lately considered thereddest of red states - emerged from the election as a bastion ofmoderation.

Just two years after President Bush carried the state by 25 percentagepoints, Kansas voters rebelled against continued domination of the state'spolitics by the sharply conservative state Republican Party. The DemocraticParty posted major gains, including some by former Republicans who switchedparties.


Analysis: Humbled Bush Faces Test Abroad
AP Analysis: Weakened at home, Bush faces tests abroad as he meets withworld leaders

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2006
By TOM RAUM Associated Press Writer

(AP) Humbled by elections at home, President Bush is heading into talks withleaders in Asia and Europe who will be watching for signs of weakness,uncertainty or retrenchment.

Bush's challenge is to demonstrate that U.S. leadership as the world's lastsuperpower is undiminished on the world stage.

"I think he will go vigorous, I think he'll give a powerful performance,"said Kurt Campbell, a top Pentagon official in the Clinton administrationwho now is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Al-Jazeera Service in English Starts
Al-Jazeera starts English-language service but lacks major U.S. distribution

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 15, 2006
By JIM KRANE Associated Press Writer

(AP) Ten years after it started Arabic-language broadcasts that angeredleaders in the region and Washington, Al-Jazeera on Wednesday launched anEnglish-language news channel available in more than 80 million homes butlacking major U.S. distribution.

Al-Jazeera English went on the air at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. EST), broadcasting fromthe station's headquarters in Doha, capital of the tiny Persian Gulf stateof Qatar.


Think Tank Will Promote Thinking
Advocates Want Science, Not Faith, at Core of Public Policy

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 15, 2006; A19

Concerned that the voice of science and secularism is growing ever fainterin the White House, on Capitol Hill and in culture, a group of prominentscientists and advocates of strict church-state separation yesterdayannounced formation of a Washington think tank designed to promote"rationalism" as the basis of public policy.

The brainchild of Paul Kurtz, founder of the Center forInquiry-Transnational, the small public policy office will lobby andsometimes litigate on behalf of science-based decision making and againstreligion in government affairs.


November 15, 2006

Will Fair Pay Have Its Day?

At his first post-election news conference last week, President Bush saidthat he believed he could find common ground with the new Congress onDemocrats' longstanding drive to raise the federal minimum wage. That iswelcome, but long overdue. The minimum wage has been stuck at a miserly$5.15 an hour since 1997, with Republican lawmakers blocking repeatedattempts since then to raise it. Adjusted for inflation, the purchasingpower of the wage has dropped to its lowest level since 1955.

Clearly, the bottom is falling out for the nation's estimated 5.6 millionminimum-wage workers. That's bad for the economy. Even Wal-Mart, not exactlyan advocate for high wages, favors raising the minimum wage to supportconsumer spending.


Keeping America Competitive

Nov. 14, 2006

Christian Science Monitor) This article was written by Mark Trumbull.

Two factors could revive concerns about how America finds a stronger footingin today's increasingly competitive global economy. One is economic. One ispolitical.

Politically, the sudden ascendance of Democrats on Capitol Hill promises toput the trend of globalization under a more skeptical lens - or at least toseek sharing the gains of global trade with a larger slice of U.S. society.

The economic factor is related: America's is importing a lot more than itexports. And when other nations sell goods to the U.S., they often plow theresulting dollars back into the U.S. as loans or investments. It's a gooddeal for now, but it effectively makes U.S. dependent on foreign lending.


Lieberman gets warm welcome from Senate Democrats
By Andrew Miga, Associated Press Writer | November 15, 2006

WASHINGTON --Sen. Joe Lieberman, who won re-election as an independent, gota warm reception - and even a standing ovation - from Senate Democrats onCapitol Hill Tuesday who gathered for postelection meetings.

"Obviously, I've been changed by the election, so now I'm an independentDemocrat, but everybody was very warm and welcomed me back," Lieberman said."I look forward to working with them."

Lieberman, who wants to be identified as an "Independent Democrat," said hewas welcomed back to the party fold at a luncheon caucus by SenateDemocratic leader Harry Reid, who likened Democrats to a family and saidfamilies occasionally go through crises.


Poll: Most Doubt Dems Have Plan for Iraq
AP-Ipsos Poll: Iraq is top issue for Americans, but majority doubts Demshave plan for war

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2006
By JIM KUHNHENN Associated Press Writer

(AP) More Americans rank Iraq as the top priority of the newDemocratic-controlled Congress, but nearly three out of five say the partydoes not have a plan to deal with the war.

In the aftermath of an anti-Republican wave, the latest AssociatedPress-Ipsos poll showed lingering uncertainty about the country's directionand the ability of Democrats and President Bush to work together.Underscoring the country's political divisions, Democrats expressed moreconfidence and optimism than Republicans.


Unfit for Majority Leader

By Ruth Marcus
Wednesday, November 15, 2006; A21

The videotape is grainy, dark and devastating. The congressman and the FBIundercover agents -- the congressman thinks they represent an Arab sheikwilling to pay $50,000 to get immigration papers -- are talking business inthe living room of a secretly wired Washington townhouse.

Two other congressmen in on the deal "do expect to be taken care of," thelawmaker says. But for the time being -- and he says repeatedly that hemight change his mind and take money down the road -- he'd rather trade hishelp for investment in his district, maybe a hefty deposit in the bank of apolitical supporter who's done him favors.


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

Published on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by

Ten Reasons Congress Must Investigate Bush Administration Crimes

by Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith

Few elections in history have provided so clear a mandate. As the NewYork Times put it, Democrats were "largely elected on the promise to act asa strong check on [Bush's] administration." [1] But the first response ofthe new Congressional leadership has been to proclaim a new era of civilityand seek accommodation with the very people who need to be held accountablefor war crimes and subversion of the Constitution.

Democratic strategists who argue for this kind of bipartisanshipmaintain that the American people want their political leaders to addressthe problems of the future, not pursue recriminations about the past. Theytherefore oppose the kind of penetrating investigation that a White Housestrategist told Time would lead to a "cataclysmic fight to the death"[2] ifDemocrats start issuing subpoenas. If such "peace at any price" Democratsprevail, the result will be a catastrophe not only for the Democratic partybut for American democracy.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


6th-grade book stirs rethinking
By Lisa Kocian, Globe Staff | November 12, 2006

The Dover-Sherborn Regional School Committee is grappling with whether toban an award-winning book from sixth-grade classes after complaints fromsome parents that the book is racist and sexually explicit.

A review committee that included the middle school librarian and two Englishteachers unanimously voted to recommend removing "So Far from the BambooGrove" from the curriculum after 13 parents complained. Superintendent ofSchools Perry Davis backed the recommendation.

The School Committee has the final say. Members took no action after ahearing on the proposed book ban last week , instead referring the matter toa subcommittee for review.

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