Sunday, June 29, 2008


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New York Times
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-Op-Ed Columnist: If Terrorists Rock the Vote in 2008
DON'T fault Charles Black, the John McCain adviser, for publicly statinghishonest belief that a domestic terrorist attack would be "a bigadvantage"for their campaign and that Benazir Bhutto's assassination had"helped" Mr.McCain win the New Hampshire primary. His real sin is that hedidn't comecompletely clean on his strategic thinking.

-Obama Supporters Take His Middle Name as Their Own
Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge.
Butthis spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky.,gaveherself a new middle name on, mimicking her boyfriendandshocking her father.

-Zimbabwe Faces Wider Sanctions Under Bush Plan
After Zimbabwe's widely denounced presidential runoff, President Bush announced new steps aimed at what he called an "illegitimategovernment."

-Editorial: More Waste, Fraud and Abuse
Representative Henry Waxman recently asked a question for which we wouldalso like an answer: "How did a company run by a 21-year-old president and a25-year-old former masseur get a sensitive $300 million contract to supplyammunition to Afghan forces?" Mr. Waxman raised the issue after executivesof a Miami Beach arms dealer, AEY, were indicted on fraud charges thismonth, accused of pawning off tens of millions of banned and decrepitChinese cartridges on the United States Army to supply Afghan securityforces.

-Anxious in America
Just a few months ago, the consensus view was that Barack Obama would needtochoose a hard-core national-security type as his vice presidentialrunningmate to compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience andthat JohnMcCain would need a running mate who was young and sprightly tocompensatefor his age. Come August, though, I predict both men will belooking for afinancial wizard as their running mates to help them steerAmerica out ofwhat could become a serious economic tailspin. I do notbelievenation-building in Iraq is going to be the issue come November -whetherthings get better there or worse. If they get better, we'll ignoreIraq more;if they get worse, the next president will be under pressure toget outquicker. I think nation-building in America is going to be theissue. It'sthe state of America now that is the most gripping source ofanxiety forAmericans, not Al Qaeda or Iraq. Anyone who thinks they aregoing to win thiselection playing the Iraq or the terrorism card - one wayor another - is, inmy view, seriously deluded. Things have changed.

-Editorial: Something Not to Worry About
The evidence is getting stronger that our neighbor, Mars, was struck by amassive asteroid or other space object some four billion years ago, at thedawn of the solar system. Three papers published in the journal Nature makea persuasive case that a cataclysmic impact stripped away much of theMartian surface in the planet's northern hemisphere, leaving behind a huge,smooth basin to puzzle modern researchers.

-Burnishing Credentials, Obama Will Visit the Middle East and Europe
Senator Barack Obama will make his first international trip as apresidential candidate this summer, his campaign announced Saturday,traveling to the Middle East and Europe in an effort to bolster his foreignpolicy experience in his fall campaign against Senator John McCain.

-Education: Bringing Potential Dropouts Back From the Brink
ON the morning of her Regents Exam in English language arts earlier thismonth, Sheile Echie-Davis, an 11th grader at Roosevelt High School, pointedto a blemish just below the swirls of pink and purple polish that coveredher long fingernails and explained its meaning. "I've been writing so much,I'mgetting bruises from holding my pencils," she said, her tone conveyingpride rather than concern that the results of weeks of intense studying wereso visible.

Washington Post
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-Talking to Iran Is Our Best Option
When it comes to engaging Iran -- a signature theme of his foreign policy --Barack Obama is taking his share of criticism. Republican rival John McCainpredictably denounces Obama's call for direct talks with Iran, while hisforeign policy aide Randy Scheunemann labels that approach nothing less than"unilateral cowboy summitry."

-A New Political Geography
Role Reversals in Virginias Reflect National Shifts. When Sen. Barack Obamachose the Nissan Pavilion in the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia to kickoff his general-election campaign, one of the 10,000 supporters there wasDavid Bruzas, who recently moved to the fastest-growing part of a state thatis moving rapidly away from its Republican past.

-Millionaires Win
A Supreme Court ruling puts public financing of elections at risk. IT'S
UNFORTUNATE but not disastrous for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance lawthat the Supreme Court struck down its so-called Millionaire's Amendment.The core of that statute -- the prohibition against unlimited "soft money"donations -- was left undisturbed by the case decided Wednesday. What isominous, however, is the rationale the court's five-justice majority used infinding the provision unconstitutional -- a rationale that could threatenefforts to provide for public financing of elections and jeopardize existingrestrictions on corporate and union spending.

-A Better Measure Than the SAT
The College Board amended its policy on reporting SAT scores this month inan effort to ease stress on student test takers. While all scores arecurrently reported to colleges students apply to, starting with the Class of2010 students who take the entrance examination multiple times will be ableto control which of their scores admissions officers see. Even before then,though, students who want to attend Wake Forest University won't have toworry quite so much about the exam that most universities rely on soheavily.

-Guns for Safety? Dream On, Scalia.
The Supreme Court has spoken: Thanks to the court's blockbuster 5 to 4decision Thursday, Washingtonians now have the right to own a gun forself-defense. I leave the law to lawyers, but the public health lesson iscrystal clear: The legal ruling that the District's citizens can keep loadedhandguns in their homes doesn't mean that they should.

-5 Myths About the Death Of the American Factory
Sure, U.S. banking is in trouble, but the longer-term and possibly moredamaging threat to the nation's prosperity is the decline of themanufacturing sector. Late last year, the number of U.S. manufacturing jobsdropped below 14 million for the first time since 1950. It's hard to findanything else that takes us back to a time before most baby boomers(remember them?) were even born. On top of that, the United States lostanother 49,000 manufacturing jobs in April alone. Hard to believe, but thelast factory built in this country may be something we'll see in ourlifetime, or certainly that of our children.

-What the GIs Deserve
Virginia's Sen. Webb secures an updated college benefits plan for veterans.
POLITICAL PROMISES are easy to make, harder to keep. So it is a testament tothe tenacity of Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) and the justice of his cause thatCongress has enacted a new GI Bill for war veterans. The freshman senator'sability to work across party lines means that the men and women who risktheir lives for America's well-being will, in return, get expanded educationbenefits, along with opportunities for better futures.

-Bias in High Places
The Justice Department had a litmus test. NOWHERE IS the need forimpartial, nonpartisan decision-making more important than at the JusticeDepartment. Charged with enforcing the nation's criminal and civil laws,lawyers in the department must be trusted to apply those laws evenly andwithout favor. That is one reason the department's policies insist thatpolitical affiliation play no role in the hiring of career attorneys. Thesepolicies, however, were systematically shredded by some in the Bushadministration's Justice Department.

-When You're Tied Up in a Down Market
How to Play Your Stocks When They Keep Falling
For a few months, it seemed the worst was over. But after the Dow Jonesindustrial average neared bear market territory last week, investors andtheir advisers were left wondering once again how much more they can take.

Miami Herald
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-CALIFORNIA: California: State woos gay travelers with wedding packages
With a court ruling that allows gay marriages in California, resortsandhotels are offering wedding and honeymoon packages for same-sex couples.The new rush is on for California gold, and just as they did a century andahalf ago, men and women from all over America are traveling westwardtostake their claims before the lode dries up.

-Huge crowds expected for SF gay pride parade
Huge crowds are expected for San Francisco's 38th annual gay pride paradeasrevelers celebrate their newfound freedom to marry. Sunday's paradealongMarket Street may resemble something of a wedding march. The countyclerk'soffice was busy Friday handing out marriage licenses and handlingweddingceremonies. Same-sex marriage has been legal in California since June16,after a state Supreme Court decision.

-Obama must confront Muslim issue
It is not difficult to understand why Barack Obama has a fear of scarves.
In the 17 months he's been pursuing the presidency, the senator has faced acrude and shameless campaign from conservative pundits, GOP functionariesand assorted ignoramuses in the peanut gallery to prove him a secretMuslim -- a ''Manchurian candidate,'' as one put it -- trained from birth tosubvert America from within and, I don't know, make us all eat falafels orsomething. On about a half-second of intelligent reflection, the flaw inthat theory is apparent: If unfriendly forces had indeed inserted a secretMuslim among us, said Muslim would have blonde hair, blue eyes, flag pinsout the wazoo and a name like Joe Smith. Too bad intelligent reflection is astranger to the people in question. With a grim fanaticism, they seize uponevery perceived crumb of Obama's ''Muslim-ness'' to press their case, usingeverything from his middle name to his disdain for the cheap patriotism ofthe American flag lapel pin to a photo of him wearing native dress on a tripto Somalia. So it's easy to see why workers for his campaign barred twowomen wearing hijabs, Muslim head scarves, from sitting behind him, withinrange of TV cameras, at a June 16 rally in Detroit. When someone is throwingat you, you don't hand him rocks. But that doesn't make what the workersdid right.

Forwarded from Susan Frishkorn
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-U.S. Escalating Covert Operations Against Iran - Report
U.S. congressional leaders agreed late last year to President George W.Bush's funding request for a major escalation of covert operations againstIran aimed at destabilizing its leadership, according to a report in The NewYorker magazine published online on Sunday. The article by reporter SeymourHersh, from the magazine's July 7 and 14 issue, centers around a highlyclassified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which by U.S. law must bemade known to Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders and rankingmembers of the intelligence committees. "The Finding was focused onundermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the governmentthrough regime change," the article cited a person familiar with itscontents as saying, and involved "working with opposition groups and passingmoney." Hersh has written previously about possible administration plans togo to war to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including an April2006 article in the New Yorker that suggested regime change in Iran, whetherby diplomatic or military means, was Bush's ultimate goal.

Fort Report
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-Mrs. McCain, San Diego County Would Like a Word
When you're poor, it can be hard to pay the bills. When you're rich, it'shard to keep track of all the bills that need paying. It's a lesson CindyMcCain learned the hard way when NEWSWEEK raised questions about an overdueproperty-tax bill on a La Jolla, Calif., property owned by a trust that sheoversees. Mrs. McCain is a beer heiress with an estimated $100 millionfortune and, along with her husband, she owns at least seven properties,including condos in California and Arizona.

-The middle class continues its sad disappearing act
In case you haven't been keeping up with the fortunes of the fortunate, theprivate jet business is booming. In the first quarter of this year,shipments of private jets were up 41 percent. It seems that servicingAmerica's elite is a thriving niche. There are so many new mega-yachts thatowners can't keep them staffed, says the New York Observer.

-The perils of honesty in politics
Verbal slips by the presidential candidates and their aides can tell us alot. John McCain's senior advisor, Charlie Black, is in trouble. Notbecause he's a former lobbyist whose professional history undermines thereformist credentials of his candidate. And not because he said somethinguntrue in earshot of a reporter. His mistake was much larger: He accidentally said something true.,0,4256388.story?track=rss

-A silver bullet for Obama?
WHEN IT comes to gun control, the Democratic Party is a house dividedagainst itself. That helps explain Barack Obama's dizzyingly inconsistentpositions on District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark Second Amendmentcase decided by the Supreme Court last week.


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