Monday, February 19, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST February 19, 2007

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New York Times

February 19, 2007
As Clinton Runs, Some Old Foes Stay on Sideline

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 — Back when Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was firstlady, no one better embodied what she once called the “vast right-wingconspiracy” than Richard Mellon Scaife.

Mr. Scaife, reclusive heir to the Mellon banking fortune, spent more than $2million investigating and publicizing accusations about the supposedinvolvement of Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in corruptland deals, sexual affairs, drug running and murder.

But now, as Mrs. Clinton is running for the Democratic presidentialnomination, Mr. Scaife’s checkbook is staying in his pocket.

Christopher Ruddy, who once worked full-time for Mr. Scaife investigatingthe Clintons and now runs a conservative online publication he co-owns withMr. Scaife, said, “Both of us have had a rethinking.”

“Clinton wasn’t such a bad president,” Mr. Ruddy said. “In fact, he was apretty good president in a lot of ways, and Dick feels that way today.”


The New York Times

February 19, 2007
Making Martial Law Easier

A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to theheart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it waswith a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at theBush administration’s behest that makes it easier for a president tooverride local control of law enforcement and declare martial law.

The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but importantbulwarks of liberty.

One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalizedNational Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. Called posse comitatus, itwas enshrined in law after the Civil War to preserve the line between civilgovernment and the military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807,which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentiallylimits a president’s use of the military in law enforcement to putting downlawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federallaw or depriving people of constitutional rights.

The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift thefocus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring publicorder. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now usemilitary troops as a domestic police force in response to a naturaldisaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.”

Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough publicairing. But these new presidential powers were slipped into the law withouthearings or public debate. The president made no mention of the changes whenhe signed the measure, and neither the White House nor Congress consulted inadvance with the nation’s governors.

There is a bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, Democratof Vermont, and Christopher Bond, Republican of Missouri, and backedunanimously by the nation’s governors, that would repeal the stealthyrevisions. Congress should pass it. If changes of this kind are proposed inthe future, they must get a full and open debate.


The New York Times

February 19, 2007

Don’t Fall for Hot Pink Camels

Wall Street analysts may be applauding R. J. Reynolds for introducing afeminized version of its macho Camel cigarette brand, and company executivesclearly think they have hit on an innovative marketing strategy. But thisnew attempt to woo women smokers can only be viewed as another cynical blowto public health.

The Reynolds executives apparently don’t care that lung cancer among womenis the only major form of cancer whose death toll is rising. Lung cancerkills far more American women than does the much more feared breast cancer.And smoking is overwhelmingly the leading cause of lung cancer, not tomention its contribution to heart disease, emphysema and all sorts of otherhealth problems.

So now comes R. J. Reynolds with its new female-friendly Camel No. 9 and acampaign to promote it costing an estimated $25 million to $50 million. Thename is supposed to evoke “cloud nine” or being “dressed to the nines,”according to Reynolds marketers, although some think it may also suggestluxury perfumes like Chanel No. 19 and romantic songs like “Love Potion No.9.” As described by Stuart Elliott in last Thursday’s Times, the company isreaching out to women with slogans like “light and luscious,” hot pink andteal packages and ads adorned with flowers.

This would all seem laughable if it were not so pernicious. No doubtReynolds will fall back on a tobacco company mantra: it’s not trying to woonew smokers to a dangerous product; it’s just trying to convert existingones to its brand. But we all know that the tobacco business will witheraway unless it finds new smokers to replace those who quit or die.

Bipartisan bills were introduced in both houses of Congress last week togive the Food and Drug Administration needed authority to regulate tobaccoproducts and restrict marketing to young people, consistent with free-speechprinciples. That may not do much to wean their elders from the habit. But itcould stop young women from being entrapped by cynical marketers.


The New York Times

February 19, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
The Real Patriots

If we could manage to get past the tedious and the odious — like the emptyspeculation on whether a woman can win, or whether Barack Obama is blackenough — we might be able to engage the essential issue facing the U.S. atthis point in our history.

And that is whether, once the Bush administration has finally and mercifullyrun its course, the country goes back to being a reasonably peaceful,lawful, constructive force in the world, or whether we continue down thebullying, warlike, unilateral, irresponsible, unlawful and profoundlyineffective path laid out by Bush, Cheney & Co.

The question is not so much whether a Republican or a Democrat takes theWhite House in the next election; it’s whether the American people can takeback their country.

I don’t think most Americans are up for perennial warfare. And whatever thepolls might say, it’s very hard for me to accept that the men and women whorise from their seats and cover their hearts at the start of sporting eventsare really in favor of dismantling the system of checks and balances, orholding people in prison for years without charging them, or torturingprisoners in U.S. custody, or giving the president the raw power andunsavory privileges of an emperor.


The New York Times

February 19, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Wrong Is Right

Many people are perplexed by the uproar over Senator Hillary Clinton’srefusal to say, as former Senator John Edwards has, that she was wrong tovote for the Iraq war resolution. Why is it so important to admit pasterror? And yes, it was an error — she may not have intended to cast a votefor war, but the fact is that the resolution did lead to war; she may nothave believed that President Bush would abuse the power he was granted, butthe fact is that he did.

The answer can be summed up in two words: heckuva job. Or, if you want alonger version: Medals of Freedom to George Tenet, who said Saddam hadW.M.D., Tommy Franks, who failed to secure Iraq, and Paul Bremer, whobotched the occupation.

For the last six years we have been ruled by men who are pathologicallyincapable of owning up to mistakes. And this pathology has had real,disastrous consequences. The situation in Iraq might not be quite so dire —and we might even have succeeded in stabilizing Afghanistan — if Mr. Bush orVice President Dick Cheney had been willing to admit early on that thingsweren’t going well or that their handpicked appointees weren’t the rightpeople for the job.


The Washington Post

Democrats Consider New Ways to Limit Iraq War

By John Solomon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 19, 2007; A13

Thwarted in their attempt to formally rebuke President Bush, SenateDemocrats yesterday shifted their focus to narrowing the U.S. militarymission in Iraq.

Meanwhile, an influential Republican urged the president to reach out toDemocratic leaders in Congress and seek bipartisan legislation on Iraq,citing as a possible road map President Ronald Reagan's compromise withDemocrats on Social Security in 1983.

"My guess is that the president might make headway, and he would be wellserved by having a bipartisan policy which does pass . . . the House and theSenate, as really, a stamp of the American people at a time in which theysee the urgency of Iraq," Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), the top Republican on theSenate Foreign Relations Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

A day after seven GOP senators joined Democrats in unsuccessfully attemptingto condemn Bush's current Iraq policy, the White House offered no sign ofcompromise.


The Washington Post

Murtha in Command

By Robert D. Novak
Monday, February 19, 2007; A19

After 16 undistinguished terms in Congress, Rep. John P. Murtha at long lastfelt his moment had arrived. He could not keep quiet the secret Democraticstrategy that he had forged for the promised "second step" against PresidentBush's Iraq policy (after the "first step" of a nonbinding resolution ofdisapproval). In an interview last Thursday with the antiwar Web, he revealed plans to put conditions on funding of U.S.troops. His message: I am running this show.

Indeed he is. Murtha and his ally House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were humiliatedlast Nov. 16 when the Democratic caucus overwhelmingly voted against Murthaas majority leader. Three months later, Murtha has shaped party policy thatwould cripple Bush's Iraq troop surge by placing conditions on funding. Thatrepresents the most daring congressional attempt to micromanage ongoingarmed hostilities since the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the Warchallenged President Abraham Lincoln.

Murtha's plan did not surprise Republicans. They were poised to contend thathis proposed amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill wouldeffectively cut off funding for the war, confronting moderate Democratselected after promising voters they would support the troops. But the Senaterule requiring 60 votes to end debate, which prevented final passage of thenonbinding resolution rejecting the troop surge, would not affect Murtha'splan because appropriations have to be passed and cannot be filibustered.Thus, unless there is an unexpected retreat by Democrats, Murtha will bedriving U.S. policy. That is an improbable elevation for a House member bestknown until now as a purveyor of pork. An ideological moderate (a 65 percentrating from Americans for Democratic Action and 40 percent from the AmericanConservative Union in 2006), he became a hero to the left by advocating"redeployment" of troops from Iraq.

That prompted Murtha to announce his candidacy for majority leader, whichappalled Democrats who knew him well. Two prominent Democrats reminded methat Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1980 Abscaminvestigation. He embarrassed himself on NBC's "Meet the Press" last June bysuggesting a redeployment of troops from Iraq to Okinawa. A year earlier,the Los Angeles Times reported that firms represented by his lobbyistbrother received funds approved by Murtha's appropriations subcommittee.


The Washington Post

Matching Free Trade With Taxes

By Sebastian Mallaby
Monday, February 19, 2007; A19

The last time a Democrat controlled the White House, he defendedglobalization. He understood that trade creates losers, and he sought toassist them with progressive tax and spending policies. But today's leadingDemocrats are flirting with the opposite approach. They are forthright intheir complaints about trade. But, with the notable exception of JohnEdwards, they are surprisingly reluctant to propose tax hikes.

You can see why Democratic sentiment has shifted. Globalization is no longerwhat it was when Bill Clinton shepherded the North American Free TradeAgreement and the Uruguay Round through Congress. China's economy hasquadrupled in size; India has emerged as a competitor; the sense ofinsecurity has spread from a handful of vulnerable industries to much of theeconomy.

And yet if they reverse the Clinton formula, the Democrats will be doublywrong. They will be swallowing left-wing propaganda about trade andright-wing propaganda about tax cuts.

Paradoxically, the changes that have made globalization less popular haverendered resistance to it less fruitful. Back in the 1980s, trade putpressure on big, vertically integrated industries: cars, electronics. In thenew world of outsourcing and global supply chains, vertically integratedenterprises have been sliced into discreet processes; trade now putspressure on tasks rather than on industries. Back-office administration andphone-based customer support may shift to India, and this shift may affectindustries from banking to medical services. The manufacturing and assemblyof components may be outsourced to Mexico or Asia, and this change mayaffect everything from toys to telephones.

So trade now threatens workers in more industries. Even if it still causesless dislocation than technological change, we shouldn't be surprised thatanti-globalization sentiment has sharpened. But the advent of competition intasks also renders protectionist remedies less sensible than ever.


Clinton says ending war more important than apology for vote
By Holly Ramer, Associated Press | February 18, 2007

DOVER, N.H. -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton toldNew Hampshire voters yesterday that ending the war in Iraq is more importantthan whether she repudiates her 2002 vote authorizing President Bush to usemilitary force there.

The New York senator repeatedly has faced calls for her to say her vote wasa mistake. New Hampshire Democrats pressed her on it last weekend and againyesterday at a town hall meeting in the early-voting state.

One of her rivals, former North Carolina senator John Edwards, has disavowedhis vote. Another, Senator Barack Obama, has opposed the war from theoutset. The Illinois senator was not in Congress at the time of the warvote.

Yesterday, Clinton was asked by a University of New Hampshire professor whyshe refused to apologize for voting to give Bush the authority for the March2003 invasion.

"I take responsibility for my vote. It was a sincere vote based on the factsand assurances we had at the time. Obviously I would not vote that way againif we knew then what we know now," she said, her oft-repeated explanation.


The Los Angeles Times,0,7851998,print.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

Redefining 'black'
Obama's candidacy spotlights the divide between native black culture andAfrican immigrants.

By Louis Chude-Sokei
February 18, 2007

ALTHOUGH NOT quite able to pass for white, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) hasbeen able to pass for African American. He is biracial, but not white;black, but not African American; American but not African. What hasentranced the country more than his somewhat vague policies is Obama'schallenge to conventional racial and cultural categories.

Among African Americans, discussions about his racial identity typicallyvacillate between the ideologically charged options of "black" versus "notblack enough" or between "black" and "black, but not like us."

But there is a third side to Obama — and also to the politics of racialpassing in America.

The population of African immigrants in the United States is rapidlygrowing. Since 1990, about 50,000 Africans have come to the United Statesannually, more than in any of the peak years of the international slavetrade, which was abolished in 1807. They add to the steady influx of blackimmigrants from other continents and the Caribbean, and those who have beenin the United States for generations but who don't racially and culturallydefine themselves as African American.

These blacks feel cramped by the narrowness of American racial politics, inwhich "blackness" has not just defined one's skin color but has served as acode word for African American. To be heard and to be counted, these blackimmigrants must often pass as African American, sometimes against theirwill.


The Washington Post

6 of 7 Dismissed U.S. Attorneys Had Positive Job Evaluations

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 18, 2007; A11

All but one of the U.S. attorneys recently fired by the Justice Departmenthad positive job reviews before they were dismissed, but many ran intopolitical trouble with Washington over issues ranging from immigration tothe death penalty, according to prosecutors, congressional aides and othersfamiliar with the cases.

Two months after the firings first began to make waves on Capitol Hill, ithas also become clear that most of the prosecutors were overseeingsignificant public-corruption investigations at the time they were asked toleave. Four of the probes target Republican politicians or their supporters,prosecutors and other officials said.

The emerging details stand in contrast to repeated statements from theJustice Department that six of the Republican-appointed prosecutors weredismissed because of poor performance. In one of the most prominentexamples, agency officials pointed to widely known management and moraleproblems surrounding then-U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan in San Francisco.

But the assertions enraged the rest of the group, some of whom feel betrayedafter staying silent about the way they have been shoved from office.

Bud Cummins, the former U.S. attorney in Little Rock, who was asked toresign earlier than the others to make way for a former White House aide,said Justice Department officials crossed a line by publicly criticizing theperformance of his well-regarded colleagues.


The Washington Post

Obama Takes First Campaign Trip South
Democratic Candidate Tailors Message to Reflect a Connection to Civil RightsStruggles

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 18, 2007; A09

ORANGEBURG, S.C., Feb. 17 -- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) took hispresidential campaign to the heart of the Deep South for the first time thisweekend, tailoring his campaign message to associate himself with the civilrights movement.

With a Kenyan father who was not descended from African slaves, Obama isunlike Southern black candidates, steeped in the slavery and civil rightsstruggles that tore at the region for more than a century. Neither is helike the white politicians, whose skin color automatically disqualifies themfrom the black experience.

And so, on his maiden presidential visit to South Carolina and Virginia,Obama was greeted with not only enthusiasm but also a bit of curiosity.

"Not only people in the black community, but people in the white communityare going to be looking at this man and trying to figure out: Is he one ofus? Does he understand what we've come through? What we're still confrontingnow?" said Vivian A. Glover, an assistant vice president at ClaflinUniversity, a historically black school in Orangeburg. "He's not bringingthat with him. He's going to need to present it in some form or fashion."

It was Orangeburg where three black college students were gunned down in1968 as they pressed to integrate the small town's only bowling alley.Speaking Saturday at Claflin to residents of the town and a new generationof students, Obama brought the primarily black crowd of about 2,000 to itsfeet by evoking that era.


Hillary Clinton and the glass ceiling
By Marcia Angell | February 19, 2007

NOW THAT the presidential campaign is underway, Senator Hillary RodhamClinton's candidacy is the subject of intense discussion. In polite company,people often insist with a virtuous air that the right thing to do is tovote for the best candidate without regard for gender. But that is a limitedview of what's at stake. The fact that Clinton is a woman is not a badreason to vote for her, and unless you see the perfect man, it may be reasonenough. Let me explain.

In the 218 years since George Washington became president, every one of his42 successors has been a man. For most of that time, of course, there wereno women leaders anywhere in the world. But that changed long ago -- withGolda Meir in Israel, Indira Gandhi in India, Margaret Thatcher in the UK,Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, and now Angela Merkel in Germany, MichelleBachelet in Chile, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia, and Segolene Royal, acandidate in France's next presidential election. It's way past time for theUnited States to catch up. Women are not a minority group. We make up themajority of the electorate, are more likely to vote than men, and are onaverage better educated.

So here comes Clinton -- well-qualified, talented, and smart. Why the uneaseabout her? To hear people talk, it has nothing to do with gender. What wehear is that she is polarizing, opportunistic, too tough (or not toughenough), and, finally, that most self-fulfilling of all prophecies, notelectable. Note the vagueness and personal nature of these criticisms; theymostly go to style, not substance -- the kinds of judgments that haveeverything to do with gender.

The exception is her ill-considered 2002 vote for the war in Iraq. But every
other Democratic candidate who was in the Senate at the time was equallycraven. (Barack Obama, who did oppose the war, was not yet in the Senate, sodidn't have to cast a vote.) Now that the political winds have changed, theother candidates are falling all over themselves to admit their mistake.That is harder for her. An apology may be disarming in a man, but a womanhas to worry about appearing weak or indecisive. Yet I have little doubtthat if elected, she would move as fast as any of the others to get us outof Iraq.

All of the parsing of Clinton's personality and policies ignores theelephant in the living room: She is a woman, and the first woman with aserious shot at the presidency. As such, whatever she does will be wrong,and wrong in a way that does not apply to even the most closely scrutinizedmale candidate. She will be held to the standard applied only to womentrying to break the glass ceiling -- she will have to be perfect accordingto shifting and often contradictory standards.


Romney joined NRA in August
Was advocate of gun control
By David Abel, Globe Staff | February 19, 2007

Mitt Romney, who has touted his support of gun owners since launching hispresidential campaign, yesterday acknowledged he did not become a member ofthe National Rifle Association until last August, campaign officials said.

A former advocate of gun control, Romney during his 1994 run for the USSenate backed measures the gun-rights group opposed, such as a five-daywaiting period on gun sales and a ban on certain assault weapons.

The former Massachusetts governor has been criticized for changing hispositions to appeal to social conservatives voting in Republican primaries.In a nationally broadcast interview yesterday, he also had to explain hisswitch to a conservative stance on abortion and why he once voted forDemocrats in Massachusetts primaries.

Spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney did not join the NRA just to court gunowners, who are considered a force in Republican primary politics.


Los Angeles Times,0,4689162,print.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

Obama's muddled stance on foreign intervention

On one hand, he wants troops out of Iraq by next year. On the other, hebelieves the U.S. should ensure the world's security.
Niall Ferguson

February 19, 2007

IF POLITICS were a fairy tale, Barack Obama would surely be the nextpresident of the United States. With his melting-pot roots and hismolten-hot rhetoric, Obama can seem like a cross between Martin Luther KingJr. and John F. Kennedy — a living opportunity for Democrats to relive the'60s, but without the bitter arguments over civil rights.

An Obama victory in 2008 would also exorcise the memory of that otherlingering 1960s nightmare: Vietnam. Last month, Obama introduced a bill thatwould mandate a phased "redeployment of U.S. forces with the goal ofremoving all combat brigades … from Iraq by March 31, 2008."

Obama's antiwar stance is widely seen as his trump card as he goes head tohead with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Despite her bestefforts, Clinton finds herself in John Kerry territory, having voted for thewar but now opposing it. Should Obama win this contest, his supportersreason, he would also be well placed to beat any of the Republicanfront-runners. John McCain is seen as particularly vulnerable on Iraq. Notonly did he support the war, he has also backed President Bush's proposed"surge" of extra troops.

Yet conventional wisdom on presidential races at this early stage nearlyalways turns out to be wrong. Obama's stance on Iraq may yet prove to be hisbiggest vulnerability.


Real Clear Politics

February 19, 2007
Obama's 'Colorblind' Double Bind
By Clarence Page

WASHINGTON- Sen. Barack Obama's presidential quest has launched somerevealing conversations, particularly about what makes a black person"black."

Even for those who think as I do that the answer is breathtakingly obvious,the question is not frivolous. For Obama, the son of a white mother fromKansas and a black father from Kenya, the emerging media narrative invites are-examination of widely-held assumptions. Is race a matter of color?Ancestry? Or experiences?

"There are African-Americans who don't think that you're black enough, whodon't think that you have had the required experience," reporter Steve Kroftasked Obama as they cruised Chicago's South Side during a recent "60Minutes" profile.

"The truth of the matter is," Obama mused, gazing at the neighborhoodsoutside their vehicle's windows, "when I'm walking down the south side ofChicago and visiting my barbershop and playing basketball in some of theseneighborhoods, those aren't questions I get asked."


Irreconcilable positions: support troops, oppose war
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | February 18, 2007

WHAT DOES IT mean to support the troops but oppose the cause they fight for?

No loyal Colts fan rooted for Indianapolis to lose the Super Bowl. Noinvestor buys 100 shares of Google in the hope that Google's stock willtank. No one who applauds firefighters for their courage and education wantsa four-alarm blaze to burn out of control.

Yet there is no end of Americans who insist they "support" US troops in Iraqbut want the war those troops are fighting to end in defeat. The twopositions are irreconcilable. You cannot logically or honorably curse thewar as an immoral neocon disaster or a Halliburton oil grab or "a fraud . .. cooked up in Texas," yet bless the troops who are waging it.

But logic and honor haven't stopped members of Congress from trying tosquare that circle. The nonbinding resolution they debated last week was aflagrant attempt to have it both ways. One of its two clauses professed to"support and protect" the forces serving "bravely and honorably" in Iraq.The other declared that Congress "disapproves" the surge in troops nowunderway -- a surge that General David Petraeus , the new military commanderin Iraq, considers essential.

It was a disgraceful and dishonest resolution, and it must have done wondersfor the insurgents' morale. Democrats hardly bothered to disguise that whenthey say they "support and protect" the troops, what they really intend isto undermine and endanger their mission. The Politico, a new Washington newssite, reported Thursday that the strategy of "top House Democrats, workingin concert with anti war groups," is to "pursue a slow-bleed strategydesigned to gradually limit the administration's options." If they had thecourage of their convictions, they would forthrightly defund the war, bringthe troops home, and brave the political consequences. Instead they plan amore agonizing and drawn-out defeat -- slowly choking off the war by denyingreinforcements, eventually leaving no alternative but retreat.


The Washington Post

Posted on Sun, Feb. 18, 2007
Questions, answers about civil unions in New Jersey

Associated Press

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, the New Jersey's civil union law takes effect.

Here are some questions and answers about how it will work and what it willmean:

Q: What's a civil union?
A: A civil union, as defined in New Jersey, is a legal partnership thatallows gay couples all the protections and benefits of marriage that thestate can confer but stops short of calling their relationship "marriage."

Q: What are these benefits?
A: There are hundreds of them. Many come into play when tragedy strikes ormajor life changes occur. Some big ones deal with insurance, inheritance,taxes and child custody issues.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Feb. 19, 2007
Study: Many college students know little about our leaders


In honor of President's Day today, here's a pop quiz: How did PresidentKennedy respond to the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Don't know? Neither did one-third of the seniors at Yale, according to arecent study.

Too many American college students lack basic knowledge about our nation'sleaders, according to the study by the University of Connecticut. Theaverage score among seniors on questions related to the presidents was lessthan 60 percent, according to Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a Delawarenonprofit that sponsored the study. By most measures, that's an F.

''[People] may know the latest handbag that Paris Hilton was wearing, butthey don't know the last couple of presidents,'' said Jeff Reznichek, 28, ahistory major at Barry University in Miami Shores.

Reznichek was among 14 juniors and seniors at Barry who answered samplequestions from the study last week at the request of a reporter. Only threemissed the Kennedy question on a multiple choice test.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Feb. 17, 2007
Senate Democrats promise `relentless' flood of anti-war legislation

By Margaret Talev
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - After Republicans blocked a Senate debate for a second time,Democrats said Saturday they'll drop efforts to pass a non-bindingresolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq and instead willoffer a flurry of anti-war legislation "just like in the days of Vietnam."

The tough talk came a day after the House of Representatives passed its ownanti-Iraq resolution and as the GOP used a procedural vote to stop theSenate from taking a position on the 21,500 troop increase.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats would be "relentless."

"There will be resolution after resolution, amendment after amendment . . .just like in the days of Vietnam," Schumer said. "The pressure will mount,the president will find he has no strategy, he will have to change hisstrategy and the vast majority of our troops will be taken out of harm's wayand come home."

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: "We're going to move on to otherthings."

But with Democrats divided over whether to restrict funds for the Iraq war,and with the Senate unlikely to have the votes right now to buck PresidentBush, the immediate success of theDemocrats' plan seems difficult. Reid also declined to say exactly what thestrategy might include.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


By Bevlog

Hunter College political science professor Ken Sherrill told the New YorkDaily News, "When you've got nothing to say, attackAnnenberg also identifieda significant number of political spots by both parties that eitherdistorted the truth or deliberately left a misimpression in an effort tomake a candidate seem objectionable and his election risky or downrightdangerous.

Hunter College political science professor Ken Sherrill told the New YorkDaily News, "When you’ve got nothing to say, attack." Unfortunately,negative ads, which tend to focus on character and personality rather thanissues and substance, erode civility as well as the democratic process.

Opinion polls consistently report that Americans are sick of slurs, smears,and slander. Political consultants counter that these strategies continue toproliferate for one simple reason---they work.


Churches back plan to unite under Pope

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with theRoman Catholic Church under the leadership of thePope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt.

The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches.

In a 42-page statement prepared by aninternational commission of both churches,Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged toexplore how they might reunite under the Pope.

The statement, leaked to The Times, is beingconsidered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishopsare preparing a formal response.

It comes as the archbishops who lead the 38provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, in an attempt to avoidschism over gay ordination and other liberaldoctrines that have taken hold in parts of the Western Church.

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