Saturday, June 07, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - June 07, 2008

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New York Times
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-Job Losses and Surge in Oil Spread Gloom on Economy
Hopes that the U.S. might skirt a recession sank in the face of indicationsthat the economy is gripped by a slowdown and pressured by record fuelprices.

-Water-Starved California Slows Development
Building projects are being curtailed under state law by developers'inability to find long-term water supplies.

-Raising the Bar at the Pentagon
Defense Secretary Robert Gates's decision to fire the top two Air Forceleaders on Thursday was as surprising as it was commendable.

-Savor the Moment
This election year has been a testament to the many decades of work by menand women to build a more just America.

-What Hillary Won
By the end of those 54 primaries and caucuses, Hillary Clinton had made awoman running for president seem normal.

-The Cons of Creationism
If the creationist view prevails in Texas, students interested in learninghow science really works will have to overcome the handicap of their owneducation.

-Turkish Headscarf Ruling Blow to Basic Rights: HRW
A decision by Turkey's top court to annul a government reform which lifted aban on Muslim headscarves at universities is a blow to freedom of religionand other fundamental rights, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday.

-Obama's Comments on Israel Stir Criticism in U.S.
The morning after claiming the Democratic nomination, Senator Barack Obamaspoke to skeptical members of a pro-Israel lobby and made a pledge that someof them found pleasantly surprising: "Jerusalem will remain the capital ofIsrael, and it must remain undivided."

Washington Post
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-The Guantanamo Court
The trials of Sept. 11 suspects are a discredit to U.S. justice.
IT'S NOT SURPRISING that the five detainees facing military commissions atGuantanamo Bay, Cuba, for their alleged roles in the Sept. 11, 2001,terrorist attacks would complain about being put on trial. Like ZacariasMoussaoui, the al-Qaeda operative who pleaded guilty in U.S. federal courtto charges of conspiring to kill Americans, these men rail against the U.S.government, question the legitimacy of the military commissions and rejectcourt-appointed lawyers. Some also claim to have been tortured. But unlikeMr. Moussaoui, the five on trial in Guantanamo have a point.

-Mr. Obama's Middle East
After all, he doesn't see the region much differently than President Bushdoes.
IN THE HEAT of the Democratic primary campaign, some on the left wereinspired to believe that Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) offered a far-reachingtransformation of U.S. foreign policy, "the most sweeping liberal
foreign-policy critique we've heard from a serious presidential contender indecades," as one particularly breathless article in the American Prospectput it. Yet, when Mr. Obama opened his general election campaign this weekwith a major speech on Middle East policy, the substantive strategy heoutlined was, in many respects, not very much different from that of theBush administration -- or that of Republican Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
That's not a bad thing; rather, it's a demonstration that there is a strongbipartisan consensus about America's vital interests in the Middle East andthat the sensible options for defending them are relatively limited.

-Zimbabwe Detains Mugabe Rival for Second Time in Three Days
The opposition's presidential candidate was briefly detained Friday for thesecond time this week as Zimbabwean authorities intensified a crackdown onpolitical opponents and what they consider outside meddling.

Fort Report
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-Iron My Skirt: Subject To Debate
Hillary Clinton came this close. In fact, as of this writing, she hasn'tformally conceded. Nobody really understands why: why she stuck it out thislong, given the math, and why she gave such a grudging, graceless version ofher stump speech after the South Dakota primary clinched the nomination forBarack Obama. Suggestions I've heard are not very flattering: she hopes towhittle down her multimillion-dollar campaign debt with donations from thedeluded die-hards screaming Denver! Denver! She wants the number-two spot.
She's a crazy narcissistic rhymes-with-rich. Maybe she's just ticked offbecause pundits have been trying to hustle her off the stage ever since herthird-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

-Bruised but toughened, Obama must thank Clinton
"I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with HillaryRodham Clinton," Barack Obama declared Tuesday when he locked up the nomination.

-Seven Ways Hillary Clinton Changed Our Politics
Political writers and policy thinkers weigh in. Hillary Clinton will announce tomorrow that she is suspending her presidential campaign. We asked seven leading political writers and policy thinkers to tell us one key way Clinton affected the 2008 Election, and progressive politics, over the course of the primary. Here's what they had to say:
K.A. Geier: She Was a Front-runner, and She Stood Up For Women's Rights
Christopher Hayes: She Made Us Talk About Sexism
Ed Kilgore: She Helped Create a United Democratic Front on Iraq
Paul Starr: She Figured Out Health Care
Rebecca Traister: She Kept Voters, and the Candidates, Engaged Until the EndMoira Whelan: She Provided Leadership on National Security IssuesKai Wright: She Made Us Reconsider Whether Progressives Understand Race

-Obama in a Blowout: The Presidential Election Will Not Be Close
Charisma, change and vision vs. a gaffe-prone spent force: Obama will beat McCain and win 300 to 350 electoral votes. In early December 2007, at a time when Hillary Clinton was tracking 20-plus points ahead of the Democratic field in national polls, I published an article contending that Hillary Clinton was an inherently weak candidate, a beatable candidate, and that Barack Obama would be a stronger match against Republicans.


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