Wednesday, June 25, 2008


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New York Times
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-Taking Ownership of Iraq? BY THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
We may one day look back on the last few months as Iraq's real war ofliberation. The one we led five years ago didn't count. [...] One of thefirst things I realized when visiting Iraq after the U.S. invasion was thattheevery fact that Iraqis did not liberate themselves, but had to beliberated by Americans, was a source of humiliation to them. It's one reasonthey never threw flowers. When someone else has to liberate you in your ownhome, that is humiliating - and humiliation, I believe, is the single-mostunderestimated force in international relations, especially in the MiddleEast.

-Another Rebuke on Guantánamo
The federal ruling that a Guantánamo detainee was improperly labeled an"enemy combatant" is a sign that the Bush administration must start obeyingthe law now

-McCain's Misguided Strategy? by MICHAEL A. COHEN
Why attacks on Barack Obama's lack of experience could backfire.

Washington Post
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-A Surprise From Syria And Israel?
What's going on between Syria and Israel? Are the indirect peacenegotiations through Turkish mediators that were announced last month forreal? I've been talking with sources on all sides, and they present anupbeat view of a peace process that has taken many people (including topBush administration officials) by surprise.

-Can India Say Yes?
New Delhi comes to a crossroads over nuclear cooperation with the UnitedStates.
INDIA IS clearly destined for a greater role on the world stage, and thereare sound reasons to hope that it will increasingly find itself in sync withthe United States as its influence grows. India, a culturally diverse andeconomically booming democracy of more than 1 billion people, and Americashare political values and strategic priorities -- such as blunting Chinesemilitary power and resisting Islamist terrorism. These considerations ledthe Bush administration to pursue a "strategic partnership," the heart ofwhich is a far-reaching nuclear cooperation agreement. It would permit aresumption of U.S. sales of nuclear fuel and technology to India fornonmilitary uses, despite India's development of nuclear weapons outside theNon-Proliferation Treaty.

-Dobson: Christian leader says Obama distorting the Bible
A leading conservative evangelical on Tuesday said Democratic presidentialcandidate Barack Obama had distorted the Bible and espouses a "fruitcake"approach to the U.S. Constitution. The comments by broadcaster James Dobsonare among the sharpest religious attacks to date on the Illinois senator,who will face Republican John McCain in the November election.

Miami Herald
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-Despot in Zimbabwe must be stopped
What threadbare claim to credibility Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe hadafter years of brutal rule has been stripped away after weeks of a murderouscampaign to steal another term in office. With the June 27 runoff electiononly days away, Mr. Mugabe has stepped up his attacks on the opposition,leaving no doubt that he intended to hold onto power by any and all means.The international community, including Zimbabwe's neighbors, must taketougher steps, including sanctions and direct pressure...

Abstinence-only policy is bearing fruit by LEONARD PITTS JR.
These facts, after all, are not in dispute: 17 girls got pregnant; at leastsome of them did so on purpose; this represents a more than fourfoldincrease over the year before.

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-Florida's Amendment 2 proposal is not about gay marriage
The writers of Amendment 2 - the marriage amendment - are constantlymisleading the public by calling it the "gay marriage" or "same-sex"marriage amendment. The fact is that same-sex marriage is already illegalin Florida under existing law. Because of the wording of the proposedamendment, heterosexual couples receiving partnership benefits - includingmany senior couples living together as a means not to lose benefits - maylose just those benefits they were hoping to protect.,0,6586030.story

Fort Report
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-The Case for Hillary Clinton
There is no person on either side of the veepstakes more speculated aboutthan Hillary Rodham Clinton. And, with Clinton and Barack Obama set toappear together twice in the next two days -- tomorrow at a D.C. fundraiser,Friday in Unity, New Hampshire -- now seems as good a time as any to debatethe merits (and demerits) of putting Clinton on the ticket. Today we makethe case for Clinton; on Friday we'll argue against her.

-Barack Obama buzz sweeps through the BET Awards
Barack Obama didn't attend the BET Awards, but that didn't stop attendeesfrom talking about him. "If we all register and vote, we will have thefirst black president in the history of America," Sean "Diddy" Combs toldthe crowd Tuesday at the Shrine Auditorium before chanting "Obama or Die" -a declarative remix of his neutral "Vote or Die" motto from the 2004presidential election, when he attempted to boost the youth vote.

-Obama tackles race issue
The question isn't whether race will be an issue in the general electioncampaign between Barack Obama and John McCain. Race is already an issue,even if largely confined to the shadow world of implication and codedlanguage. bama is now dragging the race issue into the sunlight -- a movethat has to be considered both risky and inevitable. I say inevitablebecause the fact of Obama's race isn't something that voters could possiblymiss, whatever they think about it. The riskiness of dealing openly withrace is every bit as obvious as Obama's skin color: A new WashingtonPost-ABC News poll shows that three of every 10 Americans acknowledge having"at least some feelings of racial prejudice."

-AFL-CIO prepares to endorse Obama this week
The AFL-CIO is preparing to give its stamp of approval to Democraticpresidential nominee Barack Obama. The leaders of the nation's largestlabor organization started voting Tuesday on whether to endorse the Illinoissenator. The election, which is being done by fax, is scheduled to end onThursday.

-A Right-to-Lifer and the GOP's Nursing Home Dilemma
When Ken Connor was on Capitol Hill earlier this week, it was clear thatpeople in his party deeply wish that he would go back to worrying about theunborn. The conservative Christian Republican trial lawyer had come toWashington to testify in support of a bill that would ban the use ofmandatory binding arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. Mostnursing homes today, as a condition of admission, require vulnerable elderlypeople and their families to waive their right to sue a facility in theevent of a dispute. Instead, they must take any complaints about medicalmalpractice or abuse to a private arbitrator, chosen and paid by the nursinghome, in secret proceedings where any awards are much lower than they wouldbe from a jury. The arbitration agreements are often buried in a stack ofcomplicated paperwork, where in some cases, they have been signed by blindpeople and those suffering from Alzheimer's.


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