Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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New York Times
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-Obama Declares Bid Is 'Within Reach'
Senator Barack Obama took a big step toward becoming the Democraticpresidential nominee on Tuesday, amassing enough additional delegates toclaim an all but insurmountable advantage in his race against SenatorHillary Rodham Clinton.

-Op-Ed Columnist: Imbalances of Power
There has been much debate in this campaign about which of our enemies thenext U.S. president should deign to talk to. The real story, the nextpresident may discover, though, is how few countries are waiting around forus to call. It is hard to remember a time when more shifts in the globalbalance of power are happening at once - with so few in America's favor.

-Israel and Syria Say They Are Holding Peace Talks in Turkey
Israel and Syria announced Wednesday that they were engaged in negotiationsfor a comprehensive peace treaty through Turkish mediators, the first timein eight years that such talks have taken place.

Washington Post
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-Next Stop, Supreme Court?
As the primary season nears a merciful end, the Clinton-Obama conflict isgiving way to Obama-Clinton conjecture. Many in the Democratic Party supporta so-called dream ticket of both, with Barack Obama at the top. They believeHillary Clinton has earned the No. 2 spot through her feisty, never-say-diecampaign, and they worry that her supporters will stay home in November ifshe isn't part of the ticket.

-Honor Moore
The Anarchy of Love will Prevail
The two men seemed to be in their early seventies. They asked me to sign thebook to both of them, and they thanked me for writing it. It is a book inwhich I integrate the truth about my father Bishop Paul Moore's longtimesecret bisexuality into the rest of his heroic life as a priest and socialactivist.
"What you've written has meant a great deal to me personally," one of themsaid, barely able to look at me. . "It was very," he hesitated, " healing."

-A Day of Sadness
The outpouring of affection and tribute for Ted Kennedy, cutting acrosspartisan lines, speaks volumes about the place he has occupied in ournational life.

-Court Stumbles Badly . Into Good Social Policy
The Supreme Court of California has stumbled badly, even if in so doing ithas stumbled into what amounts to a good conclusion. With the thinnest oflegal reasoning, they have opted to make social policy rather thanadjudicate the law. Simply asserting that marriage is a constitutional rightdoes not make it so, and the fact remains that their ruling about thisso-called right, does not extent to all those who want to be in amarriage -- their ruling clearly rejects extending their new definition ofequal protection to either polygamous marriages or those between closerelatives.

-A Useful Nudge in California
The California Supreme Court's decision striking down the law prohibitingthe contentious marriages was emphatic. In a concurring opinion, JusticeJesse Carter wrote, "The statutes here involved are the product ofignorance, prejudice and intolerance. This decision is in harmony with theprinciples of the Declaration of Independence which are guaranteed by theBill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment . . . that all human beings haveequal rights . . . and that the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness is inalienable."

The California Supreme Court has overturned that state's ban on gaymarriage. Is marriage a legal right or a sacred rite? Should the state beinvolved in marriage? Should religious institutions?

-Gay Marriage: Some Day (But Not Now) We'll Say, "Oh, Never Mind"
I must admit that my first reaction to the California Supreme Court'sdecision on gay marriage was a profound sense of irritation at the timing.
As someone who wants more than anything to see the Republican Party lose the presidential election, I can only shudder at the injection of what ought tobe a non-issue into both California politics and the national race for thepresidency. Mortgage foreclosures at an all-time high? Americans and Iraqisstill being killed with no end in sight? Americans losing their healthinsurance at record rates? Forget those trivialities. The religious rightwill be babbling once again about God having created Adam and Eve, not Adamand Steve or Madam and Eve, and candidates will be forced to answer anunending stream of questions about this nonsense.

-What's Wrong with Gay Marriage?
My husband's brother was gay. His uncle, Frank Crowninshield, the founder ofVanity Fair was gay. His closest friend, Paul Moore, the Bishop of New Yorkwas gay, though he didn't know it until recently.

-Next Stop, Supreme Court?
As the primary season nears a merciful end, the Clinton-Obama conflict isgiving way to Obama-Clinton conjecture. Many in the Democratic Party supporta so-called dream ticket of both, with Barack Obama at the top. They believeHillary Clinton has earned the No. 2 spot through her feisty, never-say-diecampaign, and they worry that her supporters will stay home in November ifshe isn't part of the ticket.

-No Other Like Him
Not since the day almost 45 years ago, when word reached Washington that hisbrother John had been cut down in Dallas, has there been news about anindividual that struck so deep a blow to so many in this capital. Thebulletin from Massachusetts General Hospital about Sen. Ted Kennedy was atonce a personal tragedy and a political cataclysm.

-Lebanese Political Factions Reach Agreement
Lebanon's rival factions agreed Wednesday to end the country's politicalcrisis in a deal that enhances the standing of the Iranian-backed militantgroup Hezbollah and paves the way for filling the vacant presidency.

-Bush Vetoes $307B Farm Bill
Congress Set to Vote on Override This Afternoon
President Bush, staking out his party's claim of fiscal responsibilityheading into the fall election, today vetoed a $307 billion farm bill thathe claimed lacked spending discipline at a time of high food prices andrecord farm income.

-Saudi Critic Jailed After Decrying Justice System
An outspoken critic of the Saudi government who was previously jailed forcalling for greater democracy has been arrested, his wife said Tuesday.
Matrouk al-Faleh, a professor of political science at King Saud Universityin Riyadh, the capital, was detained Monday after he left for work, said hiswife, Jamila al-Ukla. Over the past year, Faleh has accused the InteriorMinistry of disregarding laws that ban arrests without charge and guaranteethe right to counsel.

-Ugandan Rebels Seizing More Children
Abductions on Rise in 3 Nations Used as Bases, Investigators Say
Uganda's rebel army has stepped up a campaign of child abductions in thethree countries where it operates, according to foreign investigators,humanitarian groups and Ugandan military authorities in the capital,Kampala.

Get Well Soon, Senator Kennedy
Here's a brief letter you can send to your email circle. We want to getthese cards to Senator Kennedy as soon as possible, so please pass thisalong now. And remember, please only contact people who you know personally.
Click here to open a new e-mail and invite your friends, family andcolleagues to sign the card, too: Invite friends and colleagues.

Forwarded from Leon VanDyke
The drumbeat to war with Iran is getting louder. With only a few months leftin the Bush Presidency, it's tempting to sit back and wait until November.
But belligerent rhetoric and fear mongering about Iran is on the rise. Inthe latest example, George Bush's mouthpiece, General Petreaus, claimed thatIran's involvement is "the greatest long-term threat to the viability of ademocratic Iraq." One group, is running a campaign to stopthe Bush administration from launching another war with Iran. Watch thevideo and sign the petition today:

Technology Review

-Amputee Gets a Shot at the Olympics
Hugh Herr explains the scientific evidence behind the decision.
Last week, Oscar Pistorius, a South African Paralympics runner, was grantedthe chance to fulfill his lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics by theCourt of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), in Lausanne, Switzerland. The courtupheld the appeal filed by Pistorius against the decision made on January 14by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that bannedthe "blade runner" from competing against able-bodied athletes. The CASruled that the IAAF did not provide "sufficient evidence of any metabolicadvantage . . . [or sufficient evidence] that the biomechanical effects ofusing this particular prosthetic device gives Oscar Pistorius an advantageover other athletes not using the device." Pistorius is a double amputee whocompetes on J-shaped, carbon-fiber, Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthetics made bythe Icelandic company Ă–ssur. After Pistorius performed well in aninternational able-bodied event in 2007, suspicion arose among members ofthe IAAF that his Cheetah prosthetics may give him an unfair advantage.
Immediately, the institution placed a ban on using "technical devices,"such as wheels and springs, in competition, and it decided to individuallyreview Pistorius's case.

Palm Beach Post
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-McCain calls Obama weak on Cuba
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain accused Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama of being weak and inconsistent in opposing Cuba'scommunist regime during a speech to a largely Cuban-American audience herethis morning.

Fort Report
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-Quietly, wind farms spread footprint in U.S
At 265 feet tall, four gleaming white wind turbines tower over the tinyfarm town of Rock Port, Missouri, like a landing of alien intruders.

-Lopez: Schwarzenegger could be a tough actor to follow
I hope I'm not going soft, but I found myself thinking last week that wecould do worse than Arnold. And unless the next governor learns from hismistakes, we probably will.,0,3939152.column?track=rss

-BLOWBACK: Black clergy on same-sex marriage
Many black religious leaders support gays and lesbians, but they don't showup in media coverage.,0,3296409.story?track=rss

-McCain adviser from Austin quits to avoid fighting Obama
Sen. John McCain's chief advertising strategist, Mark McKinnon, announcedTuesday that he was resigning, following through on a vow he had made monthsago not to work against the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama.


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