Thursday, March 08, 2007


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The New York Times

March 7, 2007
For Cheney, Political Toll May Follow Libby Verdict

WASHINGTON, March 6 - In legal terms, the jury has spoken in the Libby case.In political terms, Dick Cheney is still awaiting a judgment.

For weeks, Washington watched, mesmerized, as the trial of I. Lewis LibbyJr. cast Vice President Cheney, his former boss, in the role of puppeteer,pulling the strings in a covert public relations campaign to defend the Bushadministration's case for war in Iraq and discredit a critic.

"There is a cloud over the vice president," the prosecutor, Patrick J.Fitzgerald, told the jury in summing up the case last month.

Mr. Cheney was not charged in the case, cooperated with the investigationand expressed a willingness to testify if called, though he never was. Yethe was a central figure throughout, fighting back against suggestions thathe and President Bush had taken the country to war on the basis of flawedintelligence, showing himself to be keenly sensitive to how he was portrayedin the news media and backing Mr. Libby to the end.

With Tuesday's verdict on Mr. Libby - guilty on four of five counts,including perjury and obstruction of justice - Mr. Cheney's critics, andeven some of his supporters, said the vice president had been diminished.


The New York Times

March 6, 2007
Disinvitation by Obama Is Criticized

CHICAGO, March 5 - The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., senior pastor of thepopular Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and spiritual mentor toSenator Barack Obama, thought he knew what he would be doing on Feb. 10, theday of Senator Obama's presidential announcement.

After all, back in January, Mr. Obama had asked Mr. Wright if he would beginthe event by delivering a public invocation.

But Mr. Wright said Mr. Obama called him the night before the Feb. 10announcement and rescinded the invitation to give the invocation.

"Fifteen minutes before Shabbos I get a call from Barack," Mr. Wright saidin an interview on Monday, recalling that he was at an interfaith conferenceat the time.
"One of his members had talked him into uninviting me," Mr. Wright said,referring to Mr. Obama's campaign advisers.

Some black leaders are questioning Mr. Obama's decision to distance hiscampaign from Mr. Wright because of the campaign's apparent fear ofcriticism over Mr. Wright's teachings, which some say are overly Afrocentricto the point of excluding whites.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
The Gonzales Eight

Americans often suspect that their political leaders are arrogant and out oftouch. But even then it is nearly impossible to fathom what self-delusioncould have convinced Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico that he had a rightto call a federal prosecutor at home and question him about a politicallysensitive investigation.

That disturbing tale is one of several revealed this week in Congressionalhearings called to look into the firing of eight United States attorneys.The hearings left little doubt that the Bush administration had all eight -n unprecedented number - ousted for political reasons. But it points toeven wider abuse; prosecutors suggest that three Republican members ofCongress may have tried to pressure the attorneys into doing their politicalbidding.

It already seemed clear that the Bush administration's purge had trampled onprosecutorial independence. Now Congress and the Justice Department need toinvestigate possible ethics violations, and perhaps illegality. Two of thefired prosecutors testified that they had been dismissed after resistingwhat they suspected were importunings to use their offices to helpRepublicans win elections. A third described what may have been a threat ofretaliation if he talked publicly about his firing.

David Iglesias, who was removed as the United States attorney in
Albuquerque, said that he was first contacted before last fall's election by
Representative Heather Wilson, Republican of New Mexico. Ms. Wilson, who was
in a tough re-election fight, asked about sealed indictments - criminal
charges that are not public.

Two weeks later, he said, he got a call from Senator Pete Domenici,
Republican of New Mexico, asking whether he intended to indict Democrats
before the election in a high-profile corruption case. When Mr. Iglesias
said no, he said, Mr. Domenici replied that he was very sorry to hear it,
and the line went dead. Mr. Iglesias said he'd felt "sick." Within six
weeks, he was fired. Ms. Wilson and Mr. Domenici both deny that they had
tried to exert pressure.

John McKay of Seattle testified that the chief of staff for RepresentativeDoc Hastings, Republican of Washington, called to ask whether he intended toinvestigate the 2004 governor's race, which a Democrat won after tworecounts. Mr. McKay says that when he went to the White House later todiscuss a possible judicial nomination (which he did not get), he was toldof concerns about how he'd handled the election. H. E. Cummins, a firedprosecutor from Arkansas, said that a Justice Department official, in whatappeared to be a warning, said that if he kept talking about his firing, thedepartment would release negative information about him.

Congress must keep demanding answers. It must find out who decided to firethese prosecutors and why, and who may have authorized putting pressure onMr. Cummins. And it must look into whether Senator Domenici andRepresentatives Wilson and Hastings violated ethics rules that forbid thissort of interference. We hope the House committee will not be deterred bythe fact that Mr. Hastings is its ranking Republican. The Justice Departmentalso needs to open its own investigation. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales'sclaim that these prosecutors were fired for poor performance was alwaysdifficult to believe. Now it's impossible.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
An Unjust Expulsion

The Cherokee Nation's decision to revoke the tribal citizenship of about2,800 descendants of slaves once owned by the tribe is a moral low point inmodern Cherokee history and places the tribe in violation of a 140-year-oldfederal treaty and several court decisions. The federal government must nowstep in to protect the rights of the freedmen, who could lose their tribalidentities as well as access to medical, housing and other tribal benefits.

This bitter dispute dates to the treaties of 1866, when the Cherokee,Seminole and Creek agreed to admit their former slaves as tribal members inreturn for recognition as sovereign nations. The tribes fought blackmembership from the start - even though many of the former slaves wereproducts of mixed black and Indian marriages.

The federal courts repeatedly upheld the treaties. But the federalgovernment fanned the flames when a government commission set out in the1890s to create an authoritative roll of tribal membership. Instead ofplacing everyone on a single roll, it made two lists. The so-called bloodlist contained nonblack Cherokees, listed with their percentage of Indianancestry. The freedmen's list included the names of any black members, eventhose with significant Cherokee ancestry.

The issue exploded in the 1980s when tribal authorities excluded thefreedmen from voting on the grounds that they weren't Cherokee by blood. TheCherokee version of the Supreme Court ruled last year that the law wasunconstitutional. The expulsion vote was a response to that ruling and to apending federal lawsuit by the freedmen, which charges both the tribe andthe federal government with violating the treaty and the Constitution.

Advocates for the expulsion say it is about self-determination. But thetribal history makes clear that it is about discrimination - and that it isillegal. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has been curiously silent,should bring the Cherokee government into compliance with the law andrequire it to restore the tribal rights of the expelled members.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
My Very Own Juror


When the Scooter Libby trial ended, the media was found guilty. By themedia. Which likes to obsess on itself. In the media.

The press gave short shrift to poor Scooter, whose downfall came from doingDick Cheney's bidding with "canine loyalty," as Chris Matthews told Don Imusyesterday morning. Scooter's facing hard time, even though others in theadministration also spread the word about Valerie Plame.

But let's get back to the media decrying the media, and the incestuousBeltway relationship between journalists and sources. Listening to all thelamentations, I excitedly realized I had a potentially incestuousrelationship with a source inside the Beltway.

I went to Nativity grade school in D.C. with Juror No. 9, Denis Collins. Ihad an unrequited crush on his brother when I was in seventh grade. His dadwas my dad's lawyer, and both were Irish immigrants. My brother Kevincoached his brother Kevin in touch football. Our moms were in the Sodalitytogether. His mom once chastised me for chatting up a little boy in church.We started in journalism together, Denis at The Washington Post as asportswriter and Metro reporter, and me at The Washington Star as asportswriter and Metro reporter.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Lift the Curtain

Neglect, incompetence, indifference, lies.

Why in the world is anyone surprised that the Bush administration has notbeen taking good care of wounded and disabled American troops?

Real-life human needs have never been a priority of this administration. Theevidence is everywhere - from the mind-bending encounter with the apocalypsein Baghdad, to the ruined residential neighborhoods in New Orleans, to theanxious families in homes across America who are offering tearful goodbyesto loved ones heading off to yet another pointless tour in Iraq.

The trial and conviction of Scooter Libby opened the window wide on thetwisted values and priorities of the hawkish operation in the vicepresident's office. No worry about the troops there.

And President Bush has always given the impression that he is moreinterested in riding his bicycle at the ranch in Texas than in taking careof his life and death responsibilities around the world.

That whistling sound you hear is the wind blowing across the emptiness ofthe administration's moral landscape.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
News Analysis
After Libby Trial, New Era for Government and Press


The investigation and trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr., who was Vice PresidentDick Cheney's chief of staff, will have many legacies and lessons - forgovernment officials, for supporters and critics of special prosecutors andfor historians of the events leading to the war in Iraq.

But the institution most transformed by the prosecution, and the one thattook the most collateral damage from Patrick J. Fitzgerald's relentlesspursuit of obstruction and perjury charges against Mr. Libby, may have beenthe press, forced in the end to play a major role in his trial.

After Mr. Libby's conviction Tuesday, it is possible to start assessing thatdamage to the legal protections available to the news organizations, torelationships between journalists and their sources and to the informal butlongstanding understanding in Washington, now shattered, that leakinvestigations should be pressed only so hard.

Ten out of 19 of the witnesses in Mr. Libby's trial were journalists, aspectacle that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.

Even more unusual, three of them played a central role in securing theconviction of Mr. Libby, their former source, by testifying aboutconversations they had once fought to keep secret by invoking the majesty ofthe First Amendment and the crucial role that confidential informers play ininforming citizens in a free society.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
Memos Tell Officials How to Discuss Climate


Internal memorandums circulated in the Alaskan division of the Federal Fishand Wildlife Service appear to require government biologists or otheremployees traveling in countries around the Arctic not to discuss climatechange, polar bears or sea ice if they are not designated to do so.

In December, the Bush administration, facing a deadline under a suit byenvironmental groups, proposed listing polar bears throughout their range asthreatened under the Endangered Species Act because the warming climate iscausing a summertime retreat of sea ice that the bears use for seal hunting.

Environmentalists are trying to use such a listing to force the UnitedStates to restrict heat-trapping gases that scientists have linked to globalwarming as a way of limiting risks to the 22,000 or so bears in the farnorth.

It remains unclear whether such a listing will be issued. The Fish andWildlife Service this week held the first of several hearings in Alaska andWashington on the question.

Over the past week, biologists and wildlife officials received a cover noteand two sample memorandums to be used as a guide in preparing travelrequests. Under the heading "Foreign Travel - New Requirement - PleaseReview and Comply, Importance: High," the cover note said:

"Please be advised that all foreign travel requests (SF 1175 requests) andany future travel requests involving or potentially involving climatechange, sea ice and/or polar bears will also require a memorandum from theregional director to the director indicating who'll be the officialspokesman on the trip and the one responding to questions on these issues,particularly polar bears."


The Washington Post

Bush Deflects Pressure To Give Libby a Pardon
Clemency Before 2008 Election Could Be Politically Risky

By Peter Baker and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 8, 2007; A01

President Bush said yesterday that he is "pretty much going to stay out of"the case of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby until the legal process has run itscourse, deflecting pressure from supporters of the former White House aideto pardon him for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Libby's allies said Bush should not wait for Libby to be sentenced, andshould use his executive power to spare Vice President Cheney's former chiefof staff the risk of prison time for lying to a grand jury and FBI agentsabout his role in leaking the name of an undercover CIA officer. But theprospect of a pardon triggered condemnation from Democrats and caution fromome Republicans wary of another furor.

Defense lawyers for Libby said they are focused on seeking a new trial andappealing Tuesday's jury verdict, while making clear that they believe thepresident should step in. "Our number one goal is to see Scooter'sconviction wiped out by the courts and see him vindicated," attorney WilliamJeffress Jr. said in an interview. "Now, I've seen all the calls for apardon. And I agree with them. To me, he should have been pardoned sixmonths ago or a year ago."

In his first comments on the case since the verdict, Bush told CNN enEspañol that he has to "respect that conviction" but that he "was sad for aman who had worked in my administration." Bush did not rule out a pardon butimplied that it is not imminent. "I'm pretty much going to stay out of ituntil the course -- the case has finally run its final -- the course it'sgoing to take," he told Univision during an interview before a trip to LatinAmerica that begins today.

No one knows better than Libby how politically hazardous a pardon can be.Before he became Cheney's chief of staff, Libby served as an attorney forMarc Rich, the financier whose pardon by President Bill Clinton in the lasthours of his administration provoked a storm of complaints. Now Libby findshimself in the same situation as his onetime client, hoping for apresident's beneficence.


The Washington Post

'Family Values' Chutzpah

By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, March 7, 2007; A17

As conservatives tell the tale, the decline of the American family, the risein divorce rates, the number of children born out of wedlock all can betraced to the pernicious influence of one decade in American history: the'60s.

The conservatives are right that one decade, at least in its metaphoricsignificance, can encapsulate the causes for the family's decline. Butthey've misidentified the decade. It's not the permissive '60s. It's theReagan '80s.

In Saturday's Post, reporter Blaine Harden took a hard look at the erosionof what we have long taken to be the model American family -- marriedcouples with children -- and discovered that while this decline hasn'treally afflicted college-educated professionals, it is the curse of theworking class. The percentage of households that are married couples withchildren has hit an all-time low (at least, the lowest since the CensusBureau started measuring such things): 23.7 percent.

That's about half the level that marrieds-with-children constituted at theend of the Ozzie-and-Harriet '50s.

Now, I'm not a scholar of the sitcom, but I did watch "The Adventures ofOzzie and Harriet" as a child, marveling that anything labeled "Adventures"could be so dull. And I don't recall a single episode in which the familyhad to do without because Ozzie had lost his job or missed taking David orRicky to the doctor for fear he couldn't pay for it.

Which may explain why the Ozzie and Harriet family -- modified by feminism,since Harriet now holds down a job, too -- still rolls along within theupper-middle class but has become much harder to find in working-classAmerica, where cohabitation without marriage has increasingly become thenorm. Taking into account all households, married couples with children aretwice as likely to be in the top 20 percent of incomes, Harden reported.Their incomes have increased 59 percent over the past 30 years, whilehouseholds overall have experienced just a 44 percent increase.


The Washington Post

From Obama, a Map for a New March

By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, March 6, 2007; A19

If you had to pick a winner in last weekend's Selma bake-off between HillaryClinton and Barack Obama, it would have to be Obama. It is not just that heperformed better than Hillary Clinton; it's that he had something veryimportant to say to black America. It has to do, I think, with theextraordinary promise of his candidacy.

This is not an endorsement of Obama. At 45 years of age, questions about hisyouth, judgment and experience linger. We all have time to assess him onthat score and glean -- and it will be no more than that -- whether, likeTeddy Roosevelt (42), he is old enough for the presidency or, like BillClinton (46), he is still too young. For the moment, though, I wonder aboutsomething else: What impact will he have on America's abiding problems withrace?

The cynic in me says that the answer is "not much." Yet the speech he gavecommemorating the anniversary of the march by civil rights activists fromSelma to Montgomery, Ala., is one that could not have been delivered by awhite candidate, not even one with impeccable civil rights credentials suchas Hillary Clinton has.
Her speech was a recitation of Democratic Party cliches.

Not so Obama's. As Clinton did, he voiced the expected obeisance toDemocratic Party shibboleths about school funding, health care, pensions andsuch, some of which matter, some of which don't. But then he turned to whatclearly does matter: "discipline and fortitude . . . sometimes I feel likewe've lost it a little bit."

There was a whole paragraph of text between the words "discipline andfortitude" and "we've lost it a little bit." Suffice it to say, it was anhomage to the incredibly brave and, yes, disciplined civil rights activistsof old -- ordinary people, most of them black, who practiced passiveresistance. These were the young men and women -- "backs straight, eyesclear, suit and tie, sitting down at a lunch counter knowing somebody isgoing to spill milk on you" -- who subordinated their anger to somethingbigger: their cause. They made this country a much better place.


The Washington Post

Subpoenas Likely for Justice Officials in Prosecutor Firings

By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 8, 2007; A07

Senate Democrats said yesterday they are preparing to subpoena five seniorJustice Department officials as part of a widening probe into whether eightU.S. attorneys were fired for political reasons.

The fallout from the investigation into why the prosecutors were dismissedcontinued yesterday. Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) hired a top defenseattorney to handle a related probe by the Senate ethics committee, which isinvestigating allegations that he pressured a New Mexico prosecutor to bringindictments against a Democrat just before the November elections.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote today to authorizesubpoenas for Justice officials, including Michael A. Battle, who carriedout the firings, and Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to Attorney GeneralAlberto R. Gonzales.

Republicans are likely to exercise their right under committee rules todelay the issue for a week, several aides said. But Democrats said thesubpoena push signals their intent to continue digging into the firings.

The new subpoena threat followed dramatic testimony Tuesday from six of thefired U.S. attorneys, including two who alleged that GOP lawmakers orstaffers had made improper telephone calls asking about ongoing criminalinvestigations. A third prosecutor said a Justice Department official warnedhim two weeks ago that he and his colleagues should keep quiet or riskretaliation.


The Washington Post

The Libby Verdict
The serious consequences of a pointless Washington scandal

Wednesday, March 7, 2007; A16

THE CONVICTION of I. Lewis Libby on charges of perjury, making falsestatements and obstruction of justice was grounded in strong evidence andwhat appeared to be careful deliberation by a jury. The former chief ofstaff to Vice President Cheney told the FBI and a grand jury that he had notleaked the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame to journalists but ratherhad learned it from them. But abundant testimony at his trial showed that hehad found out about Ms. Plame from official sources and was dedicated todiscrediting her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.Particularly for a senior government official, lying under oath is a seriousoffense. Mr. Libby's conviction should send a message to this and futureadministrations about the dangers of attempting to block officialinvestigations.

The fall of this skilled and long-respected public servant is particularlysobering because it arose from a Washington scandal remarkable for its lackof substance. It was propelled not by actual wrongdoing but by inflated andfrequently false claims, and by the aggressive and occasionally recklessresponse of senior Bush administration officials -- culminating in Mr.Libby's perjury.

Mr. Wilson was embraced by many because he was early in publicly chargingthat the Bush administration had "twisted," if not invented, facts in makingthe case for war against Iraq. In conversations with journalists or in aJuly 6, 2003, op-ed, he claimed to have debunked evidence that Iraq wasseeking uranium from Niger; suggested that he had been dispatched by Mr.Cheney to look into the matter; and alleged that his report had circulatedat the highest levels of the administration.


Edwards: Jesus Would Be "Appalled" At U.S.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 6, 2007 (AP)

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says Jesus would be appalled athow the United States has ignored the plight of the suffering, and that hebelieves children should have private time to pray at school.

Edwards, in an interview with the religious news Web site,said Jesus would be most upset with the selfishness of Americans and thecountry's willingness to go to war "when it's not necessary."

"I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight ofthose around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfishshort-term needs," Edwards told the site. "I think he would be appalled,actually."

Edwards also said he was against teacher-led prayers in public schools, buthe added that "allowing time for children to pray for themselves, tothemselves, I think is not only OK, I think it's a good thing."

In the interview, the former North Carolina senator discussed how he losttouch with his day-to-day faith during college, but that it "came roaringback" after the death of his 16-year-old son, Wade, in 1996.

Edwards has often cited religion as a part of his politics, frequentlylinking his efforts to fight poverty as a matter of morality.

Edwards was interviewed by David Kuo, a conservative Christian who served asdeputy director of President George W. Bush's Office of Faith-Based andCommunity Initiatives until 2003. Kuo wrote a book, "Tempting Faith, AnInside Story of Political Seduction," that said Bush aides privately calledconservative Christians "nuts," "ridiculous" and "goofy."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Social Conservatives See 'Two Americas'
By Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor
March 02, 2007

( - Taking a page from the playbook of Democratic 2008presidential hopeful John Edwards, social conservatives attending the 34thannual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.,Thursday agreed there are "two Americas" -- but the division, they said, isover morals, not money.

"It's been said that there are two Americas, and what I'd argue is that ifthere are two Americas, we're not divided economically, we're dividedmorally," Wendy Wright, president of the group Concerned Women for America,said during a panel discussion entitled "Beyond Our Pocketbooks: SocialIssues and the Conservative Movement."

On one side, Wright noted, "we have hedonistic Hollywood that imposes theirsense of indulgence that the only life worth living is one that indulgesitself."

"We have the entire Planned Parenthood mentality that says other humanbeings should be used for your own sexual pleasure, and if someone else is aburden to you, if they are unwanted, then simply eliminate them, abortthem," she told the gathering.



Bill Berkowitz
March 3, 2007
Newt Gingrich's back door to the White House

American Enterprise Institute "Scholar" and former House Speaker blamesmedia for poll showing 64 percent of the American people wouldn't vote forhim under any circumstances

Whatever it is that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has come to representin American politics, the guy is nothing less than fascinating. One day he'sespousing populist rhetoric about the need to cut the costs of collegetuition and the next day he's talking World War III. One day he's claimingthat the "war on terror" may force the abridgement of fundamental firstamendment rights and the next he's advancing a twenty-first century versionof his Contract with America. At the same time he's publicly proclaiming how"stupid" it is that the race for the presidency has already started you knowthat he's trying to figure out how to out finesse Rudy, McCain and Romneyfor the nomination. And last week, when Fox News' Chris Wallace cited a pollshowing that 64 percent of the public would never vote for him, he was quickto blame those results on how unfairly he was treated by the mainstreammedia back in the day.

These days, Gingrich, who is simultaneously a "Senior Fellow" at theAmerican Enterprise Institute and a "Distinguished Visiting Fellow" at theHoover Institution, is making like your favorite uncle, fronting a YouTubevideo contest offering "prizes" to whoever creates the best two-minute videoon why taxes suck. Although the prizes may not be particularly attractive tothe typical YouTuber, nevertheless Gingrich recently launched the "Winningthe Future, Goose that laid the Golden Egg, You Tube Contest." According, participants are to "Create a 120 second video explaining why taxincreases will hurt the American economy, leading to less revenue for thegovernment, not more. Or in other words, explain why we shouldn't cook thegoose that laid the golden eggs (the American economy) by raising taxes."

Announcing the contest via a short video of his own, Gingrich advisedentrants they needed to explain the dangers of a tax increase in terms that"a sixth grade class or a member of Congress" could understand.

As of February 20, 2007 20 people had viewed the video, and only seven hadsigned up for Gingrich's Winning the Future YouTube group.

The prizes? The winner will receive a signed copy of the Contract withAmerica and a signed leatherbound copy of Gingrich's book, "Winning theFuture: A 21st Century Contract with America," published by Regnery twoyears ago.



The Fraud Of Voter ID Laws
Michael Slater and Nathan Henderson-James
March 06, 2007

Michael Slater is the deputy director of Project Vote and director of itselections administration program. Nathan Henderson-James is the director ofProject Vote's strategic writing and research department.

Given the deep interest in ensuring free and fair elections after thecontroversies in 2000 and 2004, it is little wonder that voteridentification requirements have garnered widespread support from Americans,even from progressives, who have traditionally supported increased access tothe ballot. After all, who can be against safeguarding the integrity of thevoter rolls with such a seemingly simple solution?

Mounting evidence, however, suggests that voter ID laws actually do verylittle to ensure polling-place integrity, while very clearly suppressingturnout among constituencies that have traditionally struggled to gain avoice in the democratic process.

Just last month, the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers Universitypresented new research findings to the U.S. Election Assistance Commissionthat suggest Latinos, Asian Americans and African Americans are less likelyto vote as a result of increasingly restrictive voter ID requirements. TheEagleton study examined the 2004 election and concluded that in statesrequiring voters to present an ID at the polls, voters were 2.7 percent lesslikely to vote than in states where voters were merely required to statetheir names. Latinos were 10 percent less likely to vote, Asian-Americans8.5 percent less likely to vote and African Americans 5.7 percent lesslikely to vote. Since the research depended on the November 2004 CurrentPopulation Survey (CPS), a data set that has been criticized for its smallsample size of minorities, it may actually understate the impact of IDrequirement on minority voters.

The Eagleton Institute research is supported by findings from a pollconducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School ofLaw in November 2006. Their poll, "Citizens without Proof," found that asmany as 11 percent of Americans-more than 21 million individuals-do not havea current, government-issued photo ID. Elderly, poor and minority Americansare more likely to lack government-issued ID. Polling results suggest sixmillion elderly Americans do not possess a government-issued photo ID, 15percent of voting-age citizens earning under $35,000 a year do not possesssuch ID and fully 25 percent of voting-age African Americans do not possessthis ID.



Hillary Gives Women a Mirror of Our Own Fears

Run Date: 03/07/07
By Gloria Feldt
WeNews commentator

Women who balk about supporting Hillary often harbor fears that she can'twin. Gloria Feldt says this hurts the ultimate goal of gender neutrality inpolitics and she exhorts women to collect their courage and overcomeanxieties that are often about ourse

Editor's Note: The following is a commentary. The opinions expressed arethose of the author and not necessarily the views of Women's eNews.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Forty-some women listened intently last week in the cream andburgundy living room of inveterate Democratic fundraiser Sally Minard'sManhattan brownstone, as campaign advisor Ann Lewis described why HillaryClinton, if she is to make history by becoming the first woman president ofthe U.S., needs them, and thousands more like them, to be her "ambassadors."Thousands of women speaking one-to-one and to small gatherings, writingletters to the editor and turning their e-mail lists into potent viralmarketing networks are essential to a successful campaign.

"It's up to the women," Lewis said.

As announced yesterday, Clinton is making a major appeal to women duringwomen's history month, and for good reason.



The New York Times

March 3, 2007

Evangelical's Focus on Climate Draws Fire of Christian Right

Leaders of several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urgingthe National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director inWashington to stop speaking out on global warming.

The conservative leaders say they are not convinced that global warming ishuman-induced or that human intervention can prevent it. And they accuse thedirector, the Rev. Richard Cizik, the association's vice president forgovernment affairs, of diverting the evangelical movement from what theydeem more important issues, like abortion and homosexuality.

The letter underlines a struggle between established conservative Christianleaders, whose priority has long been sexual morality, and challengers whoare pushing to expand the evangelical movement's agenda to include issueslike climate change and human rights.

"We have observed," the letter says, "that Cizik and others are using theglobal warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moralissues of our time."

Those issues, the signers say, are a need to campaign against abortion andsame-sex marriage and to promote "the teaching of sexual abstinence andmorality to our children."


The Sun-Sentinel,0,991576,print.story

Can Christian Coalition Aid '08 Campaign?
Associated Press Writer

March 8, 2007, 3:24 AM EST

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- An important ally when George W. Bush first won thepresidency, the Christian Coalition of America says it's poised again tohelp a conservative win the White House. Whether it can back up that pledgeis an open question.

In the seven years since Bush beat John McCain en route to the Republicannomination, the coalition has spiraled into debt and its leadership hasfractured. The coalition is trying to resurrect its once-vaunted influenceat a time when religious conservatives are struggling to find an acceptablecandidate among the leading contenders for the 2008 Republican nomination.

"Bush was just a darling, I think, of the religious right. But I think thatthis is going to be a different election because you don't have a GeorgeBush running," said Roberta Combs, president of the South Carolina-basedgroup that claims a mailing list of 2 million members and sends weeklye-mail blasts to 1 million potential voters.

Among the leading GOP contenders, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani favorsabortion rights and domestic partnerships for gays and has a messy maritalhistory. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's Mormon faith and shiftingpositions on social issues have raised eyebrows of Christian

And Arizona Sen. John McCain, whose loss to Bush in 2000 was helped along bythe coalition after he called TV preachers Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell"agents of intolerance," is viewed skeptically by many religiousconservatives.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Mar. 08, 2007
Seeking closer ties, five nations to welcome Bush


When President Bush heads to Latin America today, he'll find that despitethe region's much discussed ''leftward tilt,'' many of its populist leadersare setting ideology aside and seeking warmer ties with the United States.

Conservatives govern three of the five countries on Bush's itinerary:Guatemala, Mexico and Colombia. But he's likely to receive his warmestwelcome at the first stop on his weeklong trip -- Brazil, whose president,Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is a socialist former union leader who once wascritical of free trade.

''There is now a demand, an expectation, from the Brazilian businesscommunity and the Brazilian policy community for more engagement with theUnited States,'' says Paulo Sotero, Brazil director for the Woodrow WilsonInternational Center for Scholars, a Washington think tank.

Sotero says many in Brazil believe Lula da Silva has missed an opportunityto engage more intently in trade talks with the United States. ''Theenvironment in Brazil is far from hostile for President Bush,'' Sotero says.

Brazil, often critical of U.S. trade policies, resents a 54-cent-a-gallontax on its ethanol exports to the United States, and several left-winggroups plan street protests. But Bush and Lula da Silva will see if they canrevive the stalled Doha round of world trade talks and put the finishingtouches on an agreement to promote biofuel usage in third countries -- oneof the few new initiatives that will be highlighted in Bush's visit.


The Miami Herald

Extend legal rights to Guantánamo

For more than 200 years, the courts have served as the ultimate safeguardfor our civil liberties. A critical part of this role has been the judicialbranch's ability to consider writs of habeas corpus, through which peoplewho have been imprisoned can challenge the decision to hold them ingovernment custody. In this way, habeas corpus has provided an importantcheck on executive power. However, because of a provision of the MilitaryCommissions Act passed last fall, this fundamental role of the courts hasbeen seriously reduced.

Habeas corpus -- the Great Writ -- has been the preeminent safeguard ofindividual liberty for centuries by providing meaningful judicial review ofexecutive action and ensuring that our government has complied with theConstitution and the laws of the United States. Habeas review has alwaysbeen most critical in cases of executive detention without charge because itprovides prisoners a meaningful opportunity to contest their detentionbefore a neutral decisionmaker.
Executive detention

In 2004, the Supreme Court held that the protections of habeas corpus extendto detainees at Guantánamo Bay, who may rely on them to challenge thelawfulness of their indefinite detentions. The court noted that at itshistorical core, ``the writ of habeas corpus has served as a means ofreviewing the legality of Executive detention, and it is in that contextthat its protections have been strongest.''

But the Military Commissions Act eliminates the federal courts' ability tohear habeas petitions filed by certain noncitizens detained by the UnitedStates at Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere. Late last month the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld this provision and dismissed thelawsuits filed by many of the Guantánamo detainees.

We fully recognize that our government must have the power to detainsuspected foreign terrorists to protect national security. But removing thefederal courts' ability to hear habeas corpus claims does not serve thatgoal.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
Denial Reopens Wounds of Japan's Ex-Sex Slaves

SYDNEY, Australia, March 7 - Wu Hsiu-mei said she was 23 and working as a
maid in a hotel in 1940 when her Taiwanese boss handed her over to Japaneseofficers. She and some 15 other women were sent to Guangdong Province insouthern China to become sex slaves.

Inside a hotel there was a so-called comfort station, managed by a Taiwanesebut serving only the Japanese military, Ms. Wu said. Forced to have sex withmore than 20 Japanese a day for almost a year, she said, she had multipleabortions and became sterile.

The long festering issue of Japan's war-era sex slaves gained new prominencelast week when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied the military's role incoercing the women into servitude. The denial by Mr. Abe, Japan's firstprime minister born after the war, drew official protests from China,Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines, some of the countries from whichthe sex slaves were taken.

The furor highlighted yet again Japan's unresolved history in a region whereit has been ceding influence to China. The controversy has also drawn in theUnited States, which has strongly resisted entering the history disputesthat have roiled East Asia in recent years.

Ms. Wu told her story on Wednesday outside the Japanese Consulate here,where she and two others who had been sex slaves, known euphemistically ascomfort women, were protesting Tokyo's refusal to admit responsibility forthe abuse that historians say they and as many as 200,000 other womensuffered.


The New York Times

March 8, 2007
'Monologues' Spurs Dialogue on Taste and Speech

CROSS RIVER, N.Y., March 7 - The three girls had been warned by teachers notto utter the word. But they chose to say it anyway - vagina - in unison at ahigh school forum, and were swiftly punished by their school.

Now the case of the three, all juniors at John Jay High School in thisaffluent hamlet 50 miles north of Manhattan, has become a cause célèbreamong those who say that the school has gone too far, touching off a largerdebate about censorship and about what constitutes vulgar language.

Is vagina, or the "v-word," as some around here have referred to it, such abad word?

"We want to make it clear that we didn't do this to be defiant of the schooladministration," said Megan Reback, one of the three girls, who all receivedone-day suspensions for using the word during a reading of "The VaginaMonologues" at the forum last Friday. "We did it because we believe in theword vagina, and because we believe it's not a bad word. It shouldn't be aword that is ever censored, and the way in which we used it was respectable."

School administrators said that the girls, all 16, were suspended not forusing the word but rather for insubordination.


The Washington Post

A Verdict on the Wilson Affair

By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, March 8, 2007; A23

Denis Collins, a Washington journalist on the Scooter Libby jury, describedsentiments in the jury room reflecting those in the Senate Democraticcloakroom: "It was said a number of times. . . . Where's Rove? Where arethese other guys?" Besides presidential adviser Karl Rove, he surely meantVice President Cheney and maybe President Bush. Oddly, the jurors appeareduninterested in hearing from Richard Armitage, the source of the CIA leak.

"It's about time," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, rejoicing in theguilty verdicts against Libby, that "someone in the Bush administration hasseen held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence anddiscredit war critics." But Libby was found guilty only of lying about howhe learned of Valerie Plame's identity. Reid and Democratic colleagues wereafter much bigger game than Cheney's chief of staff.

Democrats had been slow to react to my column of July 14, 2003, whichreported that former diplomat Joseph Wilson's mission to Niger was suggestedby his CIA employee wife, Valerie Plame Wilson. By September, when theJustice Department began investigating the CIA leak, Democrats smelledanother Iran-contra affair or Watergate. They were wrong.

The Libby trial uncovered no plot hatched in the White House. The worst newsTuesday for firebrand Democrats was that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgeraldwas going back to his "day job" (as U.S. attorney in Chicago). With nounderlying crime even claimed, the only question was whether Libby hadconsciously and purposefully lied to FBI agents and the grand jury about howhe learned of Mrs. Wilson's identity.

While my column on Wilson's mission triggered Libby's misery, I played but aminor role in his trial. Subpoenaed by his defense team, I testified that Ihad phoned him in reporting the Wilson column and that he had said nothingabout Wilson's wife. Other journalists said the same thing under oath, butwe apparently made no impression on the jury.


The Washington Post

'What Has Happened to Dick Cheney?'

By Jim Hoagland
Thursday, March 8, 2007; A23

Is the vice president losing his influence, or perhaps his mind? Thatquestion, even if it is phrased more delicately, is creeping through oreignministries and presidential offices abroad and has become a factor in theBush administration's relations with the world.

"What has happened to Dick Cheney?" That solicitous but direct question camefrom a European statesman who has known the vice president for many years.He put it to me a few days ago -- even before the discovery of a blood clotin Cheney's leg and the perjury conviction of Scooter Libby, his formerchief of staff, brought headline attention to the volatile state of the vicepresident's physical, emotional and political health.

It is not new for Americans to question whether their leaders have becomedelusional. Editors at The Post directed reporters to find out if JimmyCarter had suffered a nervous breakdown when he retreated to Camp David for10 days in 1979 and abruptly fired five Cabinet officers. Remember thehubbub over Al Haig's "I am in control here" and other Captain Queegishremarks, or Richard Nixon's talking to portraits?

What is unusual is for foreigners to think about a vice president at all andto question what effect the VP's moods and internal policy defeats have onAmerica's standing in the world.

But what goes up must come down. In the first term, Cheney was styled as themost influential vice president in history -- in more lurid versions, anevil puppeteer pulling George W. Bush's strings. So now his irascibility intelevision interviews triggers diplomatic cables analyzing hisequilibrium -- as well as inspiring a booming industry of scathing cartoonsand television one-liners here at home.


The Washington Post

Three Good Options for The Right

By George F. Will
Thursday, March 8, 2007; A23

The axiom is as old as human striving: The perfect is the enemy of the good.In politics this means that insisting on perfection in a candidateinterferes with selecting a satisfactory one.

Which is why the mood of many of the 6,300 people, lots of them college age,who registered at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference here,was unreasonably morose. Sponsored annually by the American ConservativeUnion, CPAC is the conservative movement's moveable feast. Many at CPACseemed depressed by the fact, as they see it, that the top three epublicancandidates -- John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani-- are flawed. Suchconservatives should conduct a thought experiment.

Suppose someone seeking the presidential nomination had, as a governor,signed the largest tax increase in his state's history and the nation's mostpermissive abortion law. And by signing a law institutionalizing no-faultdivorce, he had unwittingly but substantially advanced an idea central tothe campaign for same-sex marriages -- the minimalist understanding ofmarriage as merely a contract between consenting adults to be entered intoor dissolved as it suits their happiness.

Question: Is it not likely that such a presidential aspirant would bederided by some of today's fastidious conservatives? A sobering thought,that, because the attributes just described were those of Ronald Reagan.

Now, consider today's three leading candidates, starting with McCain, themere mention of whose name elicited disapproving noises at CPAC. This columnholds the Olympic record for sustained dismay about McCain's incorrigibleitch to regulate political speech ("campaign finance reform"). But it is notincongruous that he holds Barry Goldwater's Senate seat.


Local 10

Get Gadgets Ready For Daylight-Saving Time
Daylight-Saving Extension Not In Some Software
POSTED: 11:04 am EST March 7, 2007

When daylight-saving time starts early on the morning of March 11, it willcome a few weeks earlier in the year than in the past.

That change is creating problems for some computers and gadgets -- and thepeople who use them.

This year, daylight-saving time arrives a little earlier and stays a littlelater -- March 11 to Nov. 4. this year. And it's bringing a problem alongwith it.

Software and gadgets created before the law mandating the change was passedin 2005 are programmed to update on the first Sunday in April, not thesecond Sunday in March.


Al Gore Will Not Only Run, but He Can and Will Win

With an Oscar Appearance, and a Hit Documentary Gore Is Suddenly Very Cool

Feb. 27, 2007 - - Make no mistake: Former Vice President Al Gore will be ournext president.

I am as confident about that assertion as I am that George W. Bush will godown in history as America's worst president ever. Gore is the right man atthe right time, for many reasons. And it's clear that the momentum and buzzis shifting his way big time.

At Sunday's Oscar ceremony, Gore's movie producers took home the covetedprize for best feature documentary for "An Inconvenient Truth," hisscorching red-flag raiser on global warming.

Gore joined them on stage and was graceful, poised and presidential. And itdidn't hurt his hipness quotient any to be getting a little Leo DiCapriolove either. The politician also joined the Hollywood star on stage duringthe Oscars. That's right, Al Gore is suddenly cool.

It gets even better. In October, Gore will also likely be the recipient ofthe Nobel Peace Prize for being the planet's biggest advocate in the fightagainst climate change. His prestigious nomination in this exclusive clubputs him in the company of such independent thinkers, statesmen andactivists as Dr. Martin Luther King, President Jimmy Carter, Elie Wiesel andMother Theresa.


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

The Nation

Published on Saturday, March 3, 2007 by The Nation
Vermont Puts Impeachment on the Table
by John Nichols

NEWFANE, Vermont -- Cindy Sheehan and I are traveling Vermont this weekend,stopping in close to a dozen towns from Burlington to Brattleboro, to talkabout why we think the president and vice president should be impeached --
nd the essential role that Vermonters are playing in the process. We comenot to tell the people of Vermont how to vote on impeachment resolutions attwo dozen town meetings next week. That would be not just presumptuous butfoolish. Frankly, the Vermont voters who have given America George Aiken,Ralph Flanders, Jim Jeffords, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders do not needany advice from us about how to make political choices.

Rather, we come to celebrate the wisdom of local activists Dan DeWalt, EllenTenney and the thousands of others who have chosen to embrace a Jeffersonianvision of how Americans relate to their federal government, and to take alittle of that wisdom back to the rest of the country.

It was Thomas Jefferson who observed more than two hundred years ago that,"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic."

It was Jefferson, as well, who asked of those who would inherit thatrepublic: "But will they keep it?"


Forwarded from Susan Fishkorn
Tri-County -

Paul Craig Roberts
Americans Have Lost Their Country

The Bush-Cheney regime is America's first neoconservative regime. In a fewshort years, the regime has destroyed the Bill of Rights, the separation ofpowers, the Geneva Conventions and the remains of America's moralreputation, along with the infrastructures of two Muslim countries andcountless thousands of Islamic civilians. Plans have been prepared, andforces moved into place, for an attack on a third Islamic country, Iran, andperhaps Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well.

This extraordinary aggressiveness toward the U.S. Constitution,international law and the Islamic world is the work not of a vast movement,but of a handful of ideologues - principally Vice President Dick Cheney,Donald Rumsfeld, Lewis Libby, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle,Elliott Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad, John Bolton, Philip Zelikow and AttorneyGeneral Alberto Gonzales.

These are the main operatives who have controlled policy. They have beensupported by their media shills at The Weekly Standard, National Review, FoxNews, The New York Times, CNN and the Wall Street Journal editorial page,and by "scholars" in assorted think tanks, such as the American EnterpriseInstitute.

The entirety of their success in miring the United States in what couldbecome permanent conflict in the Middle East is based on the power ofpropaganda and the big lie.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4178534,print.story?coll=sfla-news-opinion

Americans deserve a democracy, not theocracy
By Heather Wellman

March 5, 2007

Here we go again, rehashing the age old question: Should America embraceChristianity as the state-sponsored religion and end our country's time as ademocracy? This is exactly what the Reclaiming America for Christ conferenceis attempting to do and highlights its mission at an annual event here inSouth Florida.

As a humanist, I implicitly deny the Center for Reclaiming America forChrist's claim that the business of the United States is the advancement ofthe Kingdom of Jesus.

Humanists are unapologetically pro-democracy, and we do not want to see ourcountry overtaken by any brand of Christianity. Even President George W.Bush acknowledged in a President's Day celebration that every American hasthe right to freedom. This freedom includes freedom of and freedom fromreligion.

We have seen many examples of theocracies around the world -- Iran, SaudiArabia, Afghanistan -- and these are not examples of what we would like ourcountry to become.

We also know what can happen under theocracies: the Spanish Inquisition, theoppression of women and the denial of basic human freedoms.

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