Thursday, September 13, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST September 13, 2007

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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

Putin's Choice for Premier Eyes Russian Presidency

September 13, 2007

MOSCOW, Sept. 13 - The Russian political insider nominated by PresidentVladimir V. Putin to be the country's next prime minister said today that hemight consider running for president in elections next year.

"If I do something in the position of premier, then it cannot be ruled out,this variant, maybe, as well," the nominee, Viktor A. Zubkov, told reportersduring an appearance at Parliament in Moscow.

A day after Mr. Putin named Mr. Zubkov, the low-profile chief of a financialcrimes agency, Kremlin watchers and diplomats remain perplexed by what themove means for the pressing question of who might succeed Mr. Putin if hesteps down next spring at the end of his second term. He has said repeatedlythat he will, and he is required to under Russia's Constitution.

Mr. Zubkov's appearance at Parliament and his comments today added fuel tospeculation about whether he is being put in place in merely a caretakerrole or whether he could be a serious presidential contender.


The New York Times

Compromise on Oil Law in Iraq Seems to Be Collapsing

September 13, 2007

BAGHDAD, Sept. 12 - A carefully constructed compromise on a draft lawgoverning Iraq's rich oil fields, agreed to in February after months ofarduous talks among Iraqi political groups, appears to have collapsed. Theapparent breakdown comes just as Congress and the White House are strugglingto find evidence that there is progress toward reconciliation and afunctioning government here.

Senior Iraqi negotiators met in Baghdad on Wednesday in an attempt tosalvage the original compromise, two participants said. But the meeting cameagainst the backdrop of a public series of increasingly stridentdisagreements over the draft law that had broken out in recent days betweenHussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi oil minister, and officials of theprovincial government in the Kurdish north, where some of the nation'slargest fields are located.


The New York Times

Sunni Opponent of Al Qaeda in Iraq Reported Killed

September 13, 2007
Filed at 9:22 a.m. ET

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The most prominent figure in a revolt of Sunni sheiksagainst al-Qaida in Iraq was killed Thursday in an explosion near his homein Anbar province, police said.

Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also knownas the Anbar Awakening -- an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi governmentand U.S. forces.

He was among a group of tribal leaders who met President Bush earlier thismonth at al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province.

Abu Risha and two of his bodyguards were killed by a roadside bomb, saidCol. Tareq Youssef, supervisor of Anbar police.


The New York Times

The Next Attorney General

September 13, 2007

The Justice Department is a disaster zone. It should be the embodiment ofAmerica's commitment to the rule of law, but it has been contaminated bypartisan politics. The nation's top lawyers may have broken the law, andeven may have sent innocent people to jail, to advance the interests of theRepublican Party. To replace Alberto Gonzales, President Bush must appointan attorney general who is above politics, and the Senate should onlyconfirm a nonpolitical lawyer of unquestioned integrity. The names that havesurfaced so far as potential nominees do not meet this standard.

The next attorney general will have an enormous amount of damage to undo.There is considerable evidence that United States attorneys have beencoerced into using their offices to help Republicans win elections. Theorders may have come directly from the White House. Top officials of theJustice Department have admitted that they evaluated lawyers fornonpolitical jobs based on their politics. And Congress is investigatingwhether Georgia Thompson, a Wisconsin civil servant, and Don Siegelman, theformer governor of Alabama, were sent to jail to help Republicans wingovernorships in those states.


The New York Times

Obama Offers Most Extensive Plan Yet for Winding Down War

September 13, 2007

Senator Barack Obama yesterday presented his most extensive plan yet forwinding down the war in Iraq, proposing to withdraw all combat brigades bythe end of next year while leaving behind an unspecified smaller force tostrike at terrorists, train Iraqi soldiers and protect American interests.

Speaking in Iowa, Mr. Obama combined an attack on both parties in Washingtonfor having gotten the United States into the war with the outline of anapproach for getting out that immediately drew criticism from the left ofhis party for being too timid and from Republicans as being irresponsible.

"What's at stake is bigger than this war: it's our global leadership," Mr.Obama said. "Now is a time to be bold. We must not stay the course or takethe conventional path because the other course is unknown."



The Washington Post

Help Not Wanted

By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, September 13, 2007; A19

Almost immediately following the launch of Fred Thompson's long-anticipatedpresidential candidacy, important neutral Republicans decreed privately thatit had crashed and burned on takeoff. Many of these critics had wanted toboard the Thompson campaign but were repelled by his "gatekeepers." Thathelps explain their attitude now, and not merely because of any bruisedfeelings caused by their exclusion.

Thompson's late start is not in itself a fatal flaw. Still, it had beenconceded in party circles that when Thompson finally became a candidate, hisbeginning needed to be memorable. It was not. While Thompson offeredobligatory conservative slogans in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina,he was not the white knight whom worried Republican loyalists desperatelydesire. His debut might have been more blood-stirring had his gatekeepersnot turned away talented helpers.

Thompson's burial, nevertheless, is premature.



The Washington Post

New Face, Same War

By Harold Meyerson
Thursday, September 13, 2007; Page A19

If you believe what you read in the papers, President Bush will go ontelevision tonight to announce that he will adopt the Petraeus plan as hisown, if for no other reason than it really is his own.

I'm not in the business of offering tactical advice to the administration,and it's not in the business of taking it. But if I were Josh Bolten (Ithink he's still in the White House; I can't vouch for anyone else), I'd trymightily to keep the president off the tube.

The whole point of the Petraeus PR offensive, after all, is to decouple thewar from the president. If it's the president's war, no one will vote tokeep it going.

Respondents to the New York Times-CBS News poll released Monday were askedwhom they'd trust most "with successfully resolving the war in Iraq." Fully68 percent said military commanders; 21 percent said Congress. Amind-boggling 5 percent said the Bush administration.

Five percent? Five? More Americans believe that Elvis walks among us thantrust Bush to get us out of Iraq.



The Washington Post

Petraeus Returns to War That Is Now His Own

By Peter Baker and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 13, 2007; A01

He sat absolutely still as members of Congress discussed his credibility andpatriotism. His face did not twitch. He did not nod or frown or smile. Not asingle muscle moved. He was as impassive as a boot-camp recruit resisting adrill sergeant's provocations.

For Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, navigating the political shoals ofWashington this week has been a challenge unlike any he has faced. When hetestified before the Senate for his confirmation hearing in January,Petraeus was widely regarded as the quintessential military professional, acredible, independent voice who stood above the political fray.

But when he returned to Capitol Hill this week for marathon hearings and amedia blitz, the general labored to retain that image. Partisans sought toportray him either as a politicized officer carrying water for the WhiteHouse or as the only possible savior of an increasingly unpopular war.

The war in Iraq has diminished the reputation



The Washington Post

Reid Says Senators Would Block Olson

Choice for Attorney General Awaited
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 13, 2007; A04

The Senate majority leader said yesterday that Democrats would block formersolicitor general Theodore B. Olson from becoming attorney general, kickingoff a spirited nomination debate even before the White House has named acandidate.

"Ted Olson will not be confirmed," Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in astatement. "I intend to do everything I can to prevent him from beingconfirmed as the next attorney general."

The sharp remarks by Reid and other Democrats about Olson in recent daysunderscore the political challenges the White House faces in finding areplacement for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who will leave officetomorrow after months of confrontations with Congress over the firings ofU.S. attorneys and other issues.



Inside Higher Education

Sept. 13
The Postsecondary Picture for Minority Students (and Men)

The newest report from the National Center for Education Statistics is, asits title ("Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and EthnicMinorities") suggests, designed to provide a comprehensive look at howmembers of minority groups are faring in the American educational system,from top to bottom. But while the data it offers on that subject aredecidedly mixed - showing significant progress over time for all groups, butwide gaps remaining in access to and success in college - the report's mostprovocative (and potentially troubling) numbers may be about gender, notrace.

Most of the data in the report from the Education Department's statisticalarm have been released in earlier or narrower reports. But by bringingtogether reams of statistics over 30 years on the full gamut of educationalmeasures, from preprimary enrollment of 3- to 5-year-olds to median incomesfor adults over 25, the study aims to provide a broad-based look at "theeducational progress and challenges that racial and ethnic minorities facein the United States."

Progress and challenges are both evident; virtually every category containsgood news and bad news. In the higher education realm, for instance, thereport shows that where black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and AmericanIndian/Alaska Native students made up 17 percent of college undergraduatesin 1976, their share of that total had risen to 32 percent by 2004. And eachof those groups saw their raw numbers at least double over that time, withsome groups showing significantly greater proportional increases, as seen inthe table below:



News Max,_Obama/2007/09/12/31940.html?s=al&promo_code=39E2-1

Can Oprah Get Obama Elected?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 8:25 AM
By: Susan Estrich

It was, if not the biggest, certainly the most talked about fundraiser ofthis political season.

Those lucky enough to be invited, parked in a lot miles away and boardedbuses to stand outside with their high heels sinking into the lawn - aprivilege that required a minimum contribution of $2,300. No one is talkingabout the food, but then, that wasn't the point.

The point was Oprah.

She is, deservedly, one of the most powerful women in the world, even if shehasn't voted in a presidential primary since 1988. (Was it Jesse? I'mprobably one of the few people who even remember the Illinois primary of1988.)

She isn't just a daytime television host; she is a one-woman institution, anarbiter of taste, a maker of best-sellers, a movie and theater producer, aforce for education in South Africa and empowerment for girls. She can alsobe a diva, as she was when Hermes in Paris closed their store on her, justbecause it was closing time. They learned. No one says no to Oprah.

The lucky ones are those who get to say yes.

And so the high and mighty, the rich and famous, stood on her lawn lastweek, without complaints about the grass or the bus ride or the fact thatonly the luckiest ones - who paid or raised even more - got to go insideafterward for dinner, to hear her tell them why she was, for the first time,jumping feet-first into the Democratic primary race to endorse Barack Obamafor president.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

A rare moment of truth on Capitol Hill

Created 09/12/2007 - 8:42am

A rare, defining moment that cut through the fog of political rhetoricemerged on Capitol Hill Tuesday as Gen. David Petraeus wound up his secondday of testimony on President George W. Bush's failed Iraq war.

Sen. John Warner, the moderate Virginia Republican who now questions Bush'shandling of the war, asked Gen. Petraeus if America is a safer place as aresult of the war that has cost more American lives than the 9/11 terroristattacks.

After first trying to weasel out of answering the question, Petraeus said hereally hadn't given America's safety any thought. Incredibly, he admittedthe safety of this nation was not the issue in Iraq.

Said Petraeus:

Sir, I don't know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my ownmind. ...

I have not stepped back to look at ...I've certainly taken into account theimpact on the military. The strain on our ground forces, in particular, hasvery much been a factor in my recommendations. But I have tried to focus ondoing what I think a commander is supposed to do, which is to determine thebest recommendations to achieve the objectives of the policy from which hismission is derived. And that is what I have sought to do, sir.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Does Our Planet Have Too Many People?

By Madeleine Bunting, Comment Is Free
Posted on September 12, 2007, Printed on September 13, 2007

It's the one issue no environmentalist organisation wants to talk about.Population. Thirty years ago, when international concern first began tomobilize about the planet's future, it was the pre-eminent question, but nowyou're hard put to get a straight answer. Does the UK need populationmanagement? Does the world need it?

This is one of those issues that is regarded by many privately as commonsense but rarely gets a public airing. Of the environmental organizations Imanaged to contact, all acknowledged that it was frequently brought up bythe public in meetings and letters. Yet all said they did not campaign onthe subject and had no position on it. It seems that there is a worryingdisconnect between a generally accepted consensus among those who shape thenational conversation about the environment and their audiences, who eitherare much less certain or believe that, if the planet's resources are beinggrossly depleted, there are just too many of us about.

Too many people. That is certainly the impression from studying the mapspublished this week by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which charthow fast the areas of the country undisturbed by urban development, roads orother noise are disappearing. Since the 60s, whole chunks of England havebeen broken up into small fragments, absorbed into a dense network of towns,cities and major roads.

The maps reinforce what people experience. You try getting away from it allin England, and you are tangled in traffic jams, shoe-horned into campsites,followed by the whine of motor-bikes and the roar of traffic even up on thehills. We live in a crowded island - a truth that it has become unacceptableto acknowledge because of the unpleasant associations it brings with it.

more . . . . .


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