Monday, September 10, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST September 10, 2007

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Broward Introduction to Florida Red And Blue!!!!

Do your part to fight the right-wing state-wide anti-gay initiativeto amend the Florida constitution.

Friday, September 28, at the GLCC, Ft. Lauderdale - 11:45am to 1:30pm.

Michael and I promised to get a minimum of 10 people to attend thislow dollar boxed lunch - only $25 - to learn about Florida Red And Blue andthe multiple efforts to overcome this hateful amendment. Florida Red andBlue has already raised over $1 million, but our work is only beginning.

Will you support us with this? Every GLBT person in Florida needs to be apart of this effort.

Boxed Lunch Series
Friday, September 28
Noon - 1:30pm
Networking 11:45am
GLCC - Ft. Lauderdale

Send us an e-mail and let us know if you'll join us on the 28th.

And...... If you can't attend, we'll be glad to accept your check made outto "Florida Red and Blue."

Ray and Michael


The New York Times

September 10, 2007

Who's the Most Charitable of Us All? Celebrities Don't Always Make the Cut

When a portion of a celebrity's paycheck or time - say, that of AngelinaJolie or Bono - goes to a pet cause, the effort is inevitably lauded bycelebrity news blogs and tabloids worldwide.

But to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the sober voice of the philanthropyindustry, the yardstick is much higher. As celebrity involvement incharitable causes has reached new levels, the trade paper, which trackscharities, nonprofit organizations and grant seekers, has had to set groundrules for when a star's altruism rises to the level of news.

"I think there needs to be greater skepticism about celebrity involvementthan I see in the media right now," said Stacy Palmer, the editor of TheChronicle, who helped start the publication in 1988.

The paper, which is published biweekly, normally concerns itself withhigh-minded topics, like fluctuations in corporate giving or the lessonsthat Brooke Astor's legacy holds for the incoming president of the FordFoundation. Against that backdrop, how do the editors evaluate theever-increasing plea for coverage from publicists representing, say, GeorgeClooney and Mia Farrow on Darfur?

"What we really look for is whether they have credibility in what they'redoing," Ms. Palmer said. "The first question we ask is, 'How much are youpersonally contributing to a cause?' "


The New York Times

September 10, 2007

Ex-Premier Arrested Upon Return to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 10 - Nawaz Sharif, a Pakistani oppositionleader and former prime minister, was arrested here today, after he hadflown to the Pakistani capital intent on leading an effort to oust thecurrent president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Mr. Sharif was dragged out of a lounge in the Islamabad airport by severalpolice officers. He was being taken to prison, according to Irfan Ilahi, adistrict coordination officer for the Pakistan police.

But Dawn News, a local television channel, reported that Mr. Sharif wasbeing deported to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

A court official representing the National Accountability Bureau, retiredLt. Col. Azhar Mahmud Qazi, said that a police officer served an arrestwarrant on Mr. Sharif, charging him with money laundering. The amountinvolved, the official said, was $1.273 billion rupees (about $31.5million).

"I am amazed by this fabricated case," Mr. Sharif said as he was shovedthrough the crowd. "I'm amazed, I'm shocked."

Mr. Sharif, who was toppled in a bloodless coup by Gen. Musharraf in 1999,was hoping to end his seven years in exile on Sunday when he boarded aPakistan International Airlines flight from London. He was coming home to acountry gripped by uncertainty, anticipation and anxiety about thegovernment's response. Mr. Sharif's plane taxied and then sat on the runwayhere for about 90 minutes. But after negotiations with police, at about11:00 a.m. Pakistan time, Mr. Sharif walked off the plane and onto a bus andwas taken to a V.I.P. lounge in the terminal where he waited to go throughimmigration.

"I think it is a dream come true after seven years to see your own country,"he said, after getting off the plane. "It is a great feeling.


The New York Times

September 10, 2007

Saudi to Take Pakistan Ex - PM Sharif Back Into Exile
Filed at 4:44 a.m. ET

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will allow former Pakistani prime ministerNawaz Sharif to return to exile in the kingdom after he was deported fromIslamabad within hours of his arrival on Monday, a Saudi source said.

The source said Sharif would arrive in the Red Sea city of Jeddah around3.30 p.m. (1230 GMT) and be allowed to stay.

President Pervez Musharraf had sent Sharif to exile in Saudi Arabia in 2000after toppling his government in 1999. Saudi Arabia had asked Sharif not toreturn to Pakistan.


The New York Times

September 10, 2007

Americans Feel Military Is Best at Ending the War

Americans trust military commanders far more than the Bush administration orCongress to bring the war in Iraq to a successful end, and while most favora withdrawal of American troops beginning next year, they suggested theywere open to doing so at a measured pace, according to the latest New YorkTimes/CBS News Poll.

On the eve of what is sure to be a contentious debate on Iraq, the resultsunderscored the benefits to the White House of entrusting the top Americancommander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, to make the case that an increasein American forces this year had been successful enough to continue intonext year.

Today, General Petraeus will appear on Capitol Hill along with the Americanambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, in what has become the most anticipatedtestimony from a military commander in decades.

The poll found that both Congress, whose approval rating now stands at itslowest level since Democrats took control from the Republicans last year,and Mr. Bush enter the debate with little public confidence in their abilityto deal with Iraq. Only 5 percent of Americans - a strikingly low number fora sitting president's handling of such a dominant issue - said they mosttrusted the Bush administration to resolve the war, the poll found. Asked tochoose among the administration, Congress and military commanders, 21percent said they would most trust Congress and 68 percent expressed mosttrust in military commanders.


The New York Times

September 10, 2007
Supreme Court Memo

New Focus on the Effects of Life Tenure

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 - As Labor Day weekend got under way, Senator John W.Warner of Virginia revealed his plan to end his political career, after fiveterms in the Senate, with a quotation from Thomas Jefferson.

"There is a fullness of time when men should go," Mr. Warner, an 80-year-oldRepublican, said in a graceful farewell that recalled the very differentdeparture from the Washington stage of another powerful 80-year-old twoyears earlier.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died over Labor Day weekend in 2005, 10months after receiving a diagnosis of an invariably fatal form of thyroidcancer. During most of that time, he had been widely expected to announce adecision to retire, but he kept even most colleagues in the dark about hiscondition and plans until declaring six weeks before his death that heintended to stay on.

Whether he displayed brave optimism or "a degree of egoistic narcissism," asProf. Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas Law School asserted in arecent book, is open to debate. With the protection of life tenure, thedecision to play through was, in any event, completely the chief justice'sown.


Iowa radio host is last word on politics

Jan Mickelson's top talk-radio show gives him an outsize sway over nationalRepublican voting -- and the candidates know it.

By Mark Z. Barabak
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 7, 2007

DES MOINES - Jan Mickelson wouldn't budge. His friendly chat with MittRomney had veered into a discussion of abortion and Mormonism, and theRepublican presidential hopeful -- eyes wide, arms waving -- was clearlyannoyed.

"Let me once again say I understand my faith better than you do," Romneysnapped.

"Well, I'm not sure," Mickelson replied, and the two went back at it, Romneyangry and sarcastic, Mickelson polite but persistent.

Every weekday morning, from 9 to 11:30, Mickelson presides over the No. 1talk-radio show in Iowa, giving him more sway over national politics thanperhaps all but the biggest names in the broadcast business.

Most Iowans live in cities. However, there is plenty of space in between --long stretches of interstate, endless acres of corn and soybeans -- wherethe radio offers a welcome companion. From his perch here in the studios ofWHO-AM (1040), Mickelson reaches about 350,000 Iowans a week, twice theaudience of his closest competition. That may be a pittance by big-citystandards. But for a Republican campaigning in Iowa, which traditionallyholds the first vote of the presidential race, the program is a must-stop --and a pathway strewed with hidden perils.


Democrats' Money Man Heading To Prison
by The Associated Press
Posted: September 8, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Grand Junction, Colorado) Disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsuremains in custody at a Colorado hospital after his arrest for failing toshow up for a California court appearance related to a felony theft

FBI agents arrested Hsu late Thursday at St. Mary's Hospital in GrandJunction, hours after Hsu arrived in the Western Slope city on board anAmtrak train.

FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler said at a news conference in San Franciscothat it was unlikely Hsu would be released from the hospital Friday. He alsosaid Hsu is being watched by guards.

Depending on his health, Hsu will appear before a federal magistrate onunlawful flight charges, then be turned over to state authorities forextradition to California. Schadler said he had no details on Hsu's illnessas privacy laws won't allow the hospital to release medical information.

It was unclear whether Hsu would fight extradition, Schadler said.


The New York Times

September 10, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor

Back From Iraq, Still Facing Fire

Today and tomorrow, the United States ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, andthe top American general there, David Petraeus, will appear before Congressto offer a progress report on the war. The Op-Ed page asked six experts onthe Iraq conflict to come up with three questions they would pose to the twomen.

Beyond the Surge

1. General Petraeus, has the surge bought us anything more enduring thanfleeting tactical victories?

2. You and Adm. Michael Mullen, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, have both said the surge will end in April 2008. What options do wehave then?

3. If the United States reduces its forces in Iraq over the next 12 to 24months, is there a way to pursue our strategic goals of no genocide, no safehaven for Al Qaeda, and no regional war? - Nathaniel Fick, a Marine infantryofficer in Iraq and Afghanistan and the author of "One Bullet Away."

Starving the Troops
1. General Petraeus, why have the White House and State Department failedyou by neglecting a diplomatic and economic surge to complement the militaryone?

2. Based on the counterinsurgency calculus in the new Army manual you helpedwrite, you don't have sufficient manpower in Iraq, even with the surge. Whyhas the administration not given you enough troops?



The Washington Post

He's in the Race -- And Under The Microscope

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 10, 2007; C01

At first, the media were giving non-candidate Fred Thompson one heck of aride.

While the former senator rarely ventured beyond the friendly confines of FoxNews and conservative Web sites, he was widely portrayed by the press ashaving such vast reserves of charisma and "Law & Order" star power thathe would shake up the Republican presidential race. He was running withoutrunning, avoiding such annoyances as having to answer reporters' questions.

But the act wore thin as summer wore on, and news organizations startedpicking apart Thompson's record as a lawmaker and lobbyist. By the time hekicked off his bid Wednesday with Jay Leno -- and followed with his seventhsit-down with Fox's Sean Hannity -- Thompson had accumulated his share ofjournalistically inflicted scars. And as the new kid on the block, he nowfaces a fierce level of scrutiny.

In the space of a few weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported that Thompsonhad once lobbied for a family-planning group trying to ease abortionrestrictions -- a stint that Thompson had initially denied. The WashingtonPost said Thompson's wife, Jeri, had court judgments rendered against herfor unpaid bills in the 1990s. The New York Times, reporting on how Thompsonleaked to the Nixon White House when he was the Senate Watergate panel'sminority counsel, noted that Richard Nixon once called him "dumb as hell."The Washington Times said he was soft on illegal immigration. And a Newsweekcover story last week questioned whether he is lazy.

By clinging to his undeclared status, the part-time actor took a high-stakesrisk: allowing news organizations to tell his life story without hisparticipation.


The Washington Post

Democrats' Struggle to Change Course in Iraq Has Produced Much Debate,Little Action

By Shailagh Murray and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 10, 2007; A06

On the morning of Dec. 18, 2006, the phone lines in the office of incomingSenate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid suddenly lit up -- a warning signalthat the coming debate over Iraq could prove a perilous exercise forcongressional Democrats.

Though an official announcement was weeks away, it was already clear that,
the election returns notwithstanding, President Bush was preparing to sendmore troops into Iraq, not getting ready to pull them out. The new Senateleader, asked the day before about his reaction to those reports, soundedmildly receptive. "If . . . it's part of a program to get us out of there asindicated by this time next year, then sure, I'll go along with it," Reidsaid.

Mobilized by, one of the antiwar groups that helped the Democratsretake the House and Senate the previous month, liberal war opponentsregistered their outrage over Reid's conciliatory words.


The Washington Post

For China's Censors, Electronic Offenders Are the New Frontier

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, September 10, 2007; A01

DANZHOU, China -- Li Hua was outraged. The public high school where he hadbeen teaching civics for six years was about to be swallowed up by a fancyprivate institution. The merger had been ordered by local officials, Lisuspected, because they had a financial stake in the big new school andwanted to see it flourish.

Following the literary traditions of this little farm town in the center ofHainan Island, just off China's southern rim, Li gave voice to his angerwith a bawdy folk song in the distinctive local dialect. Among other things,it said merrily that Danzhou's leaders "sold us like pigs, sold our fleshand sold our doo-doo." One verse took things a step further: It named asmain culprits the Danzhou Communist Party secretary, Zhao Zhongshe; thedeputy mayor, Wang Yuehua; and the school superintendent, Li Shenghua.

Li's irreverent ditty was folk art of a kind Danzhou officials did notappreciate. On July 27, five days after the lyrics were posted on variousWeb sites -- including the school system's -- Li was thrown in jail.


The Washington Post

Atheist, Muslim Candidates Worry Voters

The Associated Press
Sunday, September 9, 2007; 1:26 PM

WASHINGTON -- One in four people in the U.S. said in a recent poll that theywould be less likely to support a presidential candidate who is Mormon, anominous sign for Republican contender Mitt Romney.

Yet the survey found two groups, atheists and Muslims, were even less likelyto win votes.

Sixty-one percent of those questioned said they would be less likely tosupport a presidential candidate who did not believe in God. Forty-fivepercent said the same for a Muslim contender.

Only 5 percent or fewer said they would be likelier to support candidateswho were atheists, Muslims or Mormons, according to the poll by twononpartisan research groups, the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum onReligion and Public Life.

In a measurement that might affect Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., 12percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to support a woman.Fifteen percent said they would be likelier.

Six percent said they would be less likely to support a black candidate and9 percent said they would be likelier, which may affect the run by Sen.Barack Obama, D-Ill.

In other findings:

_16 percent said they would be less likely to support an evangelicalChristian candidate, though 19 percent said they would be likelier tosupport one;

_11 percent said they would be less likely to support a Jewish contender,while 9 percent said they would be likelier;

_7 percent would be less likely to support a Catholic and 13 percent wouldbe likelier;

_15 percent would be less likely to support a Hispanic and 9 percentlikelier.


The Washington Post

Don't Read This, Mr. President!

Shooing away dissent

Monday, September 10, 2007; A14

THE PRESIDENTIAL Advance Manual, the instruction book for White House eventsstaff, was recently subpoenaed in a West Virginia lawsuit, a case brought bytwo people arrested at a presidential address for wearing T-shirts withanti-Bush slogans. The lawsuit was settled for $80,000 but with no admissionof wrongdoing.

Despite heavy censoring of the released document, the elaborateorchestration of White House efforts to muffle protests is evident.Attendees entering the president's public events have to be screened in casethey're hiding secret signs. Only those who are "extremely supportive of theAdministration" are allowed near the president. Coordinators should askpolice to designate a "protest area where demonstrators can be placed,preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route." For those"demonstrators" who are accidentally admitted to an event, the manualrecommends forming "rally squads" of young Republicans and other supportersto interrupt the sightline between the president and the demonstrators withbig signs and to chant "USA! USA! USA!" to drown out hecklers.

There is one occasion when event planners can ignore the demonstrators: when"the media will not see or hear" them.

These regulations have nothing to do with protecting the president's safety(which is the purview of the Secret Service, not the White House advanceoffice); they're meant to protect his image and his ego. And these policiesaren't just petty and manipulative. Censoring nonviolent speech at apublicly funded event would seem to run afoul of that other document, theU.S. Constitution.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Boston Globe

Frank checks tongue as he wields power

Partisan warrior is now consensus-builder
By Robert Gavin, Globe Staff | September 9, 2007

WASHINGTON - The press release would announce a hearing on the US mortgagecrisis, and Representative Barney Frank, chairman of House FinancialServices Committee, wanted it to reference the recent turmoil in financialmarkets. Then he stopped himself.

"I can't say 'turmoil in the markets,' " Frank said. "Then there'll beturmoil in the markets."

For perhaps the first time in his life, the hip-shooting, wisecracking Frankis watching what he says. Since January, when he ascended to the leadershipof the committee overseeing the sprawling financial industry, he has had tokeep in mind that the wrong word at the wrong time can send marketstumbling. As a result, he admitted, he's been a little boring.

But it's a price the famously sharp-tongued lawmaker is happy to pay. Aftermore than 30 years in politics, and 12 in the wilderness of a RepublicanCongress, Frank, 67, is setting the agenda on issues from housing tosecurities regulation to international development.

He's already pushed through the committee legislation to develop moreaffordable housing; give investors greater influence over corporateexecutive pay; and remove barriers to divestment from rogue countries Iranand Sudan.

He's at the center of efforts to address the nation's exploding foreclosureproblem and update a regulatory system that proved unable to curb the worstmortgage lending abuses.


Fully one third of the country thinks that Saddam Hussein, attacked the U.S.on 9-11

That includes 27 Percent of Democrats. To Get all The Numbers

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