Thursday, November 16, 2006


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All the father's men

Bush family guardians James Baker and others are trying to rescue "Sonny"from his failed Middle East policies. Will he listen this time?
By Sidney Blumenthal

Nov. 16, 2006 | Even before the electoral repudiation of President Bush, or"Sonny," as Colin Powell refers to him, the guardians of the Bush familytrust surfaced as the presumptive executive committee of the executivebranch. For years, Bush's father and his former national security team haveattempted to rescue the president from himself -- and the clutches of DickCheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their neoconservative centurions. Earlier thisyear the elder Bush quietly approached a retired four-star general toinquire whether he would be willing to replace Rumsfeld, but that prematurecoup came to naught.


Nov. 16

The NCAA Responds
Last month, Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), the departing chairman of the U.S.House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, sent an eight-pageletter addressed to Myles Brand that asked the National Collegiate AthleticAssociation president to justify the organization's tax-exempt status.

Intercollegiate sports, as sponsored by the NCAA and its member colleges,are considered to fall within the scope of the tax-exempt mission of highereducation. But in recent years, as many aspects of college sports havebecome big business, some have begun to question whether the association andbig-time sports programs still deserve their current classification. Inother words, as the Thomas letter bluntly asks: "Why should the federalgovernment subsidize the athletic activities of educational institutionswhen that subsidy is being used to help pay for escalating coaches'salaries, costly chartered travel, and state-of-the-art facilities?"


The Washington Post

Pelosi's First Mistake

By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A27

As the new House majority caucus prepared to pick its leadership today,Democrats were trying to make the best of the inevitability of Nancy Pelosias the party's first speaker in a dozen years. They have put out the wordthat she was not serious in endorsing Rep. John Murtha for majority leader.How much effort she has exerted for her longtime ally is irrelevant, but shehas actively solicited votes this week.

The damage to her was irrevocable when she wrote her colleagues Sundayurging them to pick Murtha over Rep. Steny Hoyer. Close associates of Hoyersay her letter stunned him, and he was not alone. While Pelosi had made itclear that she would vote for Murtha, the public endorsement was unexpected.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3601409.story?coll=sfla-news-sfla

Push on again in Congress for law to require paper trail for voting machines

By William E. Gibson
Washington Bureau Chief

November 16, 2006

WASHINGTON · With a very tight congressional race in the Sarasota area stillundecided, Florida once again is the focus of a national debate overelection reform.

Democratic Reps. Robert Wexler of Boca Raton and Rush Holt of New Jerseypromoted legislation on Wednesday that would require a paper trail atpolling places to ensure that ballots can be recounted and verified.

They said the lack of a paper backup at electronic polling places hasimpeded several close elections around the country, notably in SarasotaCounty, where more than 18,000 ballots were cast with no choice recorded inthe House race in District 13.

Democrat Christine Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan are still locked ina close contest, awaiting final results that probably will be decided by thecourts. Both have come to Washington in the meantime to attend orientationsessions for new members of Congress.


The Washington Post

Pakistan Moves to Amend Rape Laws
Islamic Conservatives Angered, but Effort Is Short of Rights Groups' Goal

By Paul Garwood
Associated Press
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A19

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 15 -- Pakistan's lower house of Parliament passedamendments to the country's rape laws Wednesday, ditching the death penaltyfor extramarital sex and revising a clause on making victims produce fourwitnesses to prove rape cases.

Consensual sex outside marriage would remain a crime punishable by fiveyears in prison or a $165 fine, said a parliamentary official, who spoke oncondition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

International and local calls for change intensified after the 2002 gangrape of Mukhtar Mai. A tribal council in her village in Punjab provinceordered the rape as punishment for her 13-year-old brother's alleged affairwith a woman of a higher caste.


The Washington Post

Former Enron Accountant Gets 5 1/2 Years for Fraud

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 16, 2006; D01

The former chief accountant for Enron Corp. received a 5 1/2 -year prisonsentence yesterday, becoming the last member of the energy trader's upperechelon to face judgment for a fraud that cost thousands of employees theirjobs and left investors billions of dollars poorer.

Richard A. Causey, 46, pleaded guilty to a single count of securities fraudin December, weeks before he was to face trial on conspiracy and fraudcharges in a case that government lawyers have called the most complexwhite-collar prosecution in history. Causey, who must also serve two yearsof probation, remained free yesterday while prison officials determinedwhether to send him to the facility he requested, in Bastrop, Tex.

Causey's sentence follows prison terms recently handed to two other keyEnron figures. Former chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling was sentenced lastmonth to 24 years and four months, while onetime finance chief Andrew S.Fastow was sentenced in September to six years.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7354202.story?coll=sfla-news-letters

Another aspect of sex offender laws

C.M. Rivera
Pembroke Pines

November 16, 2006

My husband was wrongly convicted in military law and now we are stuck withthe sexual offender label. In our case, a family member made up a story, andin military law you are always guilty and must be proven innocent. We lostthe case.

After six months of living here, the police showed up to tell us we neededto move right away, giving us a copy of the ordinance proposed in 2005.

Are we back in the last century when blacks were segregated because theywere black? It seems to me that yes, however, the word "black" has now beenchanged to "sex offenders." It seems to me that what all officials arelooking for is to segregate sex offenders outside of their jurisdiction, butwhat happens next? Can you tell me where the sex offenders are supposed tolive?


The Washington Post

A Better Way to Fight Terrorism

By John Hamre
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A27

In the warm glow of post-election bipartisanship, Congress and PresidentBush would do well to take on a crucial task: forging a new legal foundationfor the global war on terrorism. The current policy framework is a disaster.While I know it's not true, still, the world believes that America condonestorture, prison camps and "disappearance" tactics.

Let me recount an analogy. I remember a day back in 1986, when I was workingfor the Senate Armed Services Committee. An intelligence officer told methat the Navy had just recovered a Soviet sonobuoy and, in taking it apartfor intelligence assessment, our government had discovered anAmerican-designed computer chip -- one that we had not yet even certifiedfor production in our own systems. The Soviet Union clearly had superiorintelligence and counterintelligence capabilities.


The New York Times

November 16, 2006

Bush to Put Nominations Back on Table

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 - White House officials said Wednesday that PresidentBush would renominate six of his earlier choices to sit on the federalappeals court, leaving Democratic senators and other analysts to ponder whatmessage he is sending.

At least four of the nominations have been declared dead on arrival in theSenate by Democrats who have consistently opposed them as unacceptable. Allsix nominations will remain before the Senate through the lame-duck sessionof Congress and then will expire.

When the 110th Congress is seated in January, Mr. Bush can deliver anotherlist of judicial nominees to the Senate, which will by then have aDemocratic majority.


CBS News

McCain Moves Closer To White House Run

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2006

(CBS/AP) Republican Sen. John McCain will file paperwork with the FederalElection Commission on Thursday to create a presidential exploratorycommittee, his aides said.

The Arizona senator also launched a Web site - - thatallows supporters to donate and join his effort by donating money.

The four-term Arizona senator will deliver back-to-back speeches Thursday toorganizations considered conservative cornerstones of the Republican Party -the Federalist Society and GOPAC. He will discuss the current and futurestate of the GOP.


Abramoff, ruing 'nightmare,' begins six-year prison term
By Matt Apuzzo and David Dishneau, Associated Press | November 16, 2006

CUMBERLAND, Md. -- One time power broker Jack Abramoff lamented "thisnightmare" political scandal that stretches from Congress to the White Houseand looked toward being with family and friends again someday as he entereda federal prison yesterday.

Abramoff, who parlayed campaign donations and expensive gifts into politicalinfluence, arrived at about 6:30 a.m. at a relatively secluded prisonfacility in western Maryland. He will serve a sentence of nearly six yearsfor a fraudulent Florida business deal.


L.A. Times,0,4797096.story?track=mostviewed-homepage

Democratic leadership hopefuls marked by ethical questions
The two candidates for House majority leader know how to leverage theirconnections.
By Tom Hamburger and Chuck Neubauer
Times Staff Writers

November 16, 2006

WASHINGTON - Though incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promises to pushthrough ethical reforms in Congress, both of the Democrats vying to be hersecond-in-command have long histories of earmarking, close relationshipswith corporate interests, and using their positions to raise millions ofdollars in campaign contributions.

Pelosi's choice for the job, Rep. John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, used hisseat on the appropriations committee and the largely secret earmark processto obtain $121 million in earmarks during the current session, making himone of the top earmarkers in Congress, according to the watchdog groupTaxpayers for Common Sense.


Hillary rides high with the rise of the Mommy Party

By Michael Goodwin

With Democrats seizing control of the House and Senate, a debate has startedover how significant their victory was. Does it potentially mark agenerational power shift? Was it more a repudiation of George Bush and theGOP than an embrace of Democrats? What does it mean for the presidentialelection in two years?

My answers: Yes, yes and Hillary.

To start with the last, I think the mood of the country has shifted sosharply that Hillary Clinton has gone from being the front-runner for herparty's 2008 nomination to being virtually unstoppable. The odds of herbeing elected president are greater today than they were a mere week ago.

Her own re-election landslide is a big reason, but not the only one. So manyAmericans, I believe, are so disgusted with the Republican Party that theyare open to electing a Democratic president - even if that Democrat is awoman. There's a clear gender and cultural issue in politics today, and itfavors Democrats.


The Washington Post

Black Lawmakers in Line for Key Posts
Leadership of 5 House Panels, Majority Whip's Job Could Go to Caucus Members

By Darryl Fears
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A25

Three days after workers broke ground for the Martin Luther King Jr.Memorial on the Mall, the Congressional Black Caucus is preparing to breaknew ground of its own.

Five of its members are poised to take the helm of key House committees whenDemocrats assume control of Congress next year: John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) ofJudiciary, Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.) of intelligence, JuanitaMillender-McDonald (Calif.) of House Administration, Reps. Charles B. Rangel(N.Y.) of Ways and Means, and Bennie Thompson (Miss.) of Homeland Security.

Another member, Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), is slated to be named majoritywhip, which would make him the third-ranking Democrat in the House. MinorityLeader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the presumed speaker of the 110th Congress,has campaigned on his behalf.


The Washington Post

Time of Testing for Harry Reid

By David S. Broder
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A27

When Virginia Sen. George Allen conceded to Jim Webb last week, giving theDemocrats their 51st seat in the Senate, the responsibility for the work ofthe legislative branch shifted definitively -- and a potential weak pointfor the new majority was exposed.

Hours earlier it became clear that the Democrats had won a majority in theHouse of almost the same size that Republicans had enjoyed for the past twoyears -- a working margin large enough to support a fairly ambitious agenda.Nancy Pelosi, who will be speaker of the House, has the personal strengthand political skills to hold that majority together at least as well asDennis Hastert did in his time at the helm. House rules favor majoritycontrol, so Pelosi can be generous toward the minority without jeopardizingher chances of success.


The Washington Post

Lott Rejoins Senate Leadership
In Comeback, Mississippian Is Elected GOP Whip Over Alexander

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A04

Four years after racially impolitic remarks cost him the Senate's top post,Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.) rejoined Congress's leadership ranks yesterday whenhis Republican colleagues turned to the veteran insider and skilledvote-counter to help them plot their return to majority status.

By a 25 to 24 secret-ballot vote, Lott defeated Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)for the position of minority whip, the party's second-highest post. Asexpected, GOP senators elected Mitch McConnell (Ky.) as Senate minorityleader for the new Congress that will convene in January. But his victorywas tempered by Lott's come-from-behind win over Alexander, who was seen asMcConnell's and the Bush administration's preferred choice for whip.


Senate Chairmen Glance
By The Associated Press | November 15, 2006

A look at the new Democratic committee chairmen in the Senate when the newCongress convenes in January.


Agriculture: Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Harkin, 66, remains an idealistic butpragmatic liberal after more than two decades in the Senate. He was aprincipal author of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.His previous brief chairmanship of the committee and championing of farmsubsidies helped him four years ago overpower a conservative challenger in aswing state.


Appropriations: Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. Byrd, the longest-serving member of theSenate, has held more Senate party leadership positions -- including twoterms as majority leader -- than anyone. Now 88, he has grown increasinglyliberal since his first statewide race in 1946. Byrd joined theAppropriations Committee in 1959 and chaired it from 1989 to 1994 and againin 2001. His control of the panel and its role in federal spending promptedcritics to label him "the king of pork-barrel politics."



The New York Times

November 16, 2006

Most Students in Big Cities Lag Badly in Basic Science

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 - A least half of eighth graders tested in sciencefailed to demonstrate even a basic understanding of the subject in 9 of 10major cities, and fourth graders, the only other group tested, fared littlebetter, according to results released here Wednesday.

The outcome of those tests, part of the National Assessment of EducationalProgress, often called the nation's report card, showed that studentperformance in urban public schools was not only poor but also far short ofscience scores in the nation as a whole.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List, November 14, 2006

The United States and South Africa: A Historic Role Reversal Written by
Richard Rothstein

Having lived through years of segregation, race riots and civil rightsstruggles in mid-20th century America followed by an American "holier thanthou" attitude towards South Africa's policy of Apartheid, I find myselfunusually stunned by the legalization of gay marriage in South Africa. Atbest I would describe this as a bittersweet moment in history. And forsomeone of my age who came into this world the same year as Apartheid, 1948,more bitter than sweet.

Apartheid was an oftentimes violently enforced system of racialdiscrimination and separation on a fascist scale. Some would say that it wassecond only to the Holocaust among 20th Century crimes against humanity.Both events have certainly become icons of man's inhumanity to man.


The Washington Post

Racial Slur Spurs Student to Seek Change in Curriculum

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 16, 2006; GZ05

Afreshman at Quince Orchard High School on Tuesday politely requested thatthe school board remove a racial epithet against African Americans from thehigh school English curriculum. Her request put school administrators on thespot to explain why the word was there in the first place.

Maya Jean-Baptiste told board members that she and several classmates hadbecome visibly uncomfortable during a discussion in her ninth-grade Englishclass last week that broached the racial slur as a precursor to the HarperLee classic "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Lee's book is set in the Old South, and racism is among its themes. By wayof preparation, Maya's teacher presented the class with two readingselections, an essay and a poem, dealing with the power and traumatizingeffect of the epithet.


The New York Times

November 16, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor

Putting Faith Before Politics
Alexandria, Va.

SINCE 1992, every national Republican electoral defeat has been accompaniedby an obituary for the religious right. Every one of these obituaries hasbeen premature - after these losses, the religious right only grew stronger.After the defeat of President George H. W. Bush in 1992, the conventionalwisdom held that Christian evangelicals would be chastened. As one majormagazine put it, Mr. Bush's defeat meant that "time had run out on theircrusade to create a Christian America." Yet in the next two years, theChristian Coalition grew by leaps and bounds; in 1994, it helped usher inthe Gingrich revolution.


The Washington Post

Pelosi Splits Democrats With Push For Murtha
Speaker-to-Be Accused Of Strong-Arm Tactics

By Jonathan Weisman and Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 16, 2006; A01

A showdown over the House majority leader's post today has Democratsbitterly divided only a week after their party took control of Congress andhas prompted numerous complaints that Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi(Calif.) and her allies are using strong-arm tactics and threats to try toelect Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.) to the job.

Murtha, 74, a former Marine who was among the first on Capitol Hill to callfor a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, may have hurt his own chances Tuesdaynight when he derided the Democrats' ethics and lobbying package beforesaying he will push for its passage anyway out of deference to Pelosi. Hisstatement, at a gathering of conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats, was cited bybackers of his rival, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), as further proof thatMurtha's controversial ethics record disqualifies him to lead the party in anew political era.


USA Today

Bush seeks to reassure Asian allies
Updated 11/16/2006 8:56 AM ET

SINGAPORE (AP) - From across the world, President George W. Bush took onanti-war and anti-free trade Democrats who won control of Congress, sayingThursday any drift toward isolationism would hinder America's security andeconomic vitality.

"We hear voices calling for us to retreat from the world and close our doorsto its opportunities," he said in a speech at the National University ofSingapore. "These are the old temptations of isolationism and protectionism,and America must reject them."

Asserting that the spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists is"the greatest danger in our world today," Bush has the standoff over NorthKorea's nuclear weapons program atop the agenda for most of the meetings onhis eight-day Asian trip. He urged allies to stand firm against anuclear-armed North Korea - which he called "the most immediate threat ofproliferation" in the region - and enforce U.N. sanctions against thecountry for test-firing a nuclear bomb last month.


The L.A. Times,1,4307274.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

McCain moves toward '08 presidential run

GOP losses may help him stand out on fiscal and ethical issues -- butcalling for more troops in Iraq could cost him.

By Janet Hook
Times Staff Writer

November 16, 2006

WASHINGTON - Striding through the wreckage of the midterm election, Sen.John McCain (R-Ariz.) will take a major step today toward a 2008presidential bid by announcing he has established a committee to formallyexplore a campaign and making two major speeches laying out his vision forthe future of the GOP.

McCain has been considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination ina field that changed rapidly after the tumultuous midterms.


The New York Times

November 16, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

The Heyday of Snobbery

And so we enter the era of mass condescension. Thanks to the creativity ofour cultural entrepreneurs, we enter a time when we can gather in largegroups and look down at our mental, social and spiritual inferiors.

In retrospect, it's easy to see how this cultural moment crept up on us.There is "American Idol," which allows the millions to watch Simon Cowellridicule people who don't realize how talentless they are. There is themiddle segment of "The Daily Show," during which correspondents sometimes goout and use postmodern interviewing techniques to humiliate rural gooberswho think they were abducted by aliens or some such.

Then there is the rise of culture-war comedians whose jokes heap scorn onthe sorts of people who are guaranteed not to be in the audience.("Megachurches," Bill Maher joked recently on HBO, "are presided over by thesame skeevy door-to-door Bible salesmen that we've always had, just in anage of better technology. But they're selling the same thing: fear. Fear tokeep you in line."


Subject: DP World -- Still In The Port Management Game? - The
Carlyle Group Intertwined

Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006
From: The Whimsy LOOPS

DP World and Carlyle Group Intertwined
November 15, 2006
By: Michael Hughes,

Go To: to see article in full onthe web

Regarding Friday's piece on DP World and management of US ports, a readerasks: Is there a connection between The Carlyle Group and the French firmCMA CGM? Both are mentioned as finalists in the bidding for management of20+ US ports. And ports remain a weak area in US "homeland security."

Given the meteoric increase in Carlyle's assets since 9-11, as well as itspolitical connectedness, the question seems worth a probe. Then there's thistidbit: In 2003, Carlyle bought CSX World Terminals for $300 million and in2004 they sold the firm to Dubai Ports World (now DP World) for $1.15billion. Today they're looking to buy DP World's US assets that came aboutfrom its purchase of Britain's P&O. Circular.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

GPS Surveillance Creeps into Daily Life
by Catherine Komp

Public-interest advocates say cell phone surveillance is becoming cheaperand more pervasive, but companies and governments are lagging behind inestablishing policies to protect the right to privacy.

Nov. 14 - For $5.99 per month, you can turn a cell phone into a surveillancedevice and track when your target leaves home, where he or she travels andat what speed. You can even detect how much battery power is left on thephone. Marketed as "virtual eyes" on your kids or employees, the servicealso allows you to construct a virtual "fence" so that you can receiveelectronic alerts if the phone's carrier crosses into forbidden areas.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Stunning Revelations
The untold story of Taser-related deaths
By Silja J.A. Talvi

TASER International Inc. maintains that its stun-guns are "changing theworld and saving lives everyday." There is no question that they changedJack Wilson's life. On Aug. 4, in Lafayette, Colo., policemen on a stakeoutapproached Jack's son Ryan as he entered a field of a dozen young marijuanaplants. When Ryan took off running, officer John Harris pursued the22-year-old for a half-mile and then shot him once with an X-26 Taser. Ryanfell to the ground and began to convulse. The officer attemptedcardiopulmonary resuscitation, but Ryan died.

According to his family and friends, Ryan was in very good physical shape.The county coroner found no evidence of alcohol or drugs in his system andruled that Ryan's death could be attributed to the Taser shock, physicalexertion from the chase and the fact that one of his heart arteries wasunusually small.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Administration: Detainees have no rights
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press WriterMon Nov 13, 3:16 PM ET

The Bush administration said Monday that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have noright to challenge their detentions in civilian courts and that lawsuits byhundreds of detainees should be dismissed.

The detainees are challenging the military's authority to arrest peopleoverseas and detain them indefinitely without allowing them to use the U.S.courts to contest their detention.

Human rights groups and attorneys say that's unconstitutional. Prisonersnormally have the right to challenge their imprisonment.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Nov 14, 6:39 AM EST

US: Immigrants may be held indefinitely

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Immigrants arrested in the United States may be heldindefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge theirimprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said Monday,opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights of detainees.

In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals inRichmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism law beingused to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies to foreigners capturedand held in the United States.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

CIA Acknowledges 2 Interrogation Memos
Papers Called Too Sensitive for Release

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 14, 2006; A29

After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence oftwo classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detentionpolicies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil LibertiesUnion.

But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and theJustice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be releasedto the public.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Pentagon Lacks Independent Watchdog
By John Solomon
The Associated Press

Monday 13 November 2006

Washington - The Pentagon has been without its chief watchdog for morethan a year, even as the military spends billions of dollars a month in Iraqand controversy simmers over warrantless surveillance, missing weapons andfriendly fire deaths.

President George W. Bush's nominee for the inspector general job isbeing held up because answers he gave lawmakers have raised concerns with akey senator about his independence.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Witness Is Silent in Terror Probe
Ex-Professor Says Grand Jury Testimony Would Endanger Him

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 14, 2006; B05

A potentially key witness has refused to testify in the long-runninginvestigation into whether Islamic charities in Northern Virginia werefinancing terrorist organizations, according to recently unsealed courtdocuments.

Former Florida professor Sami al-Arian declined to answer questions before afederal grand jury in Alexandria last month, according to documents unsealedin federal court in Tampa. Arian, who was acquitted in one of the nation'shighest-profile terrorism cases but then pleaded guilty to a single charge,believes his life would be in danger if he testified, his attorneys told ajudge.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

G.O.P. Campaign Tactics Reveal True Character

By: Joe Conason
Date: 11/13/2006
Page: 5

What exactly is wrong with the Republicans?

Today, that question applies not to their rigidly right-wing ideology, norto their routine betrayal of their rigidly right-wing ideology, nor even totheir weird sexual hang-ups and hypocrisy, fascinating as all of thosetopics may be. Instead, on the day after Election Day, what is at issue isthe bad nature of the Republican political class-meaning the partyofficials, the consultants, and the elected officials who oversee both-andthe poisoning of America's democratic process by their habitual misconduct.

Republicans tend to talk about honor, integrity, morality and character inalmost mystical terms, often attributing those qualities to themselves andtheir leaders. But the daily behavior of those who maintain the party'spower shows how irrelevant those concepts have become in reality.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Article published November 15, 2006

The fall of Ted Haggard

IT HAS been spoken from the pulpit and expounded to kids on their mother'sknee: Practice what you preach. It's a simple lesson, like most of thoseupon which Americans try to base their lives.

But sometimes the most basic of life lessons are the hardest to learn. Justask the Rev. Ted Haggard.

His precipitous fall from grace was shocking and unexpected, as the formerhead of the National Association of Evangelicals and founding pastor of theNew Life Church in Colorado Springs, was ousted amid allegations of gay sexand drugs.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Editorial: Eyes, ears everywhere
How much surveillance is too much?

Published 12:00 am PST Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Privacy International, a British civil liberties group, found in a survey of37 countries that the United Kingdom ranks with Russia, China, Singapore andMalaysia as the most watched societies in the world. The survey consideredsuch criteria as visual surveillance, wiretapping and privacy laws.

The average Briton, it calculated, is seen by a surveillance camera 300times a day. The United States finished somewhere in the middle, along withThailand and the Philippines. The least spied-upon were Germans andCanadians, thanks to strong privacy-protection laws.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Bush Leagues
Welcome to America; Now surrender your rights
Nov 15, 2006 - 5:22:47 AM

The Bush administration is unrelenting in its push for the power to jailpeople indefinitely.

In a brief filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court in Richmond, the JusticeDepartment argued that the controversial new detainee law empowers it toarrest and imprison indefinitely immigrants _ green card residents,students, tourists, illegals, basically any foreigner _ on suspicion ofterrorism or designation as an "enemy combatant."

The Bush administration gets to decide on what grounds someone is aterrorist suspect or an enemy combatant. And the jailed foreigner is stuckthere for as long as the Justice Department wants to keep him because theadministration says he has no right to challenge his imprisonment in acivilian court.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

From Capitol Hill Blue

Ain't This America
Wiccans sue feds over military headstone rule
Nov 14, 2006 - 3:56:30 AM

A religious watchdog group sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs onMonday in reaction to the federal government's refusal to permit followersof the Wiccan faith to adorn their military headstones with the religion'ssymbol.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit on behalf ofRoberta Stewart, who has been pressing the VA for more than a year to allowthe Wiccan pentacle symbol to be placed on the headstone of her husband, aNevada National Guard soldier who died last September in Afghanistan.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,CST-NWS-kingside14a.article

Whites' income 2/3 higher than blacks'

November 14, 2006


WASHINGTON -- Decades after the civil rights movement, racial disparities inincome, education and home ownership persist and, by some measurements, aregrowing.

White households had incomes that were two-thirds higher than blacks and 40
percent higher than Hispanics last year, according to data released today by
the Census Bureau.

White adults were also more likely than black and Hispanic adults to havecollege degrees and to own their own homes. They were less likely to live inpoverty.

''Race is so associated with class in the United States that it may not bedirect discrimination, but it still matters indirectly,'' said DaltonConley, a sociology professor at New York University and the author of BeingBlack, Living in the Red.

''It doesn't mean it's any less powerful just because it's indirect,'' hesaid.

[ Send your comments about any of the articles in Ray's List Digest ]


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