Wednesday, July 09, 2008


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New York Times
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-Iran Says It Test-Fired Missiles
One day after threatening to strike Tel Aviv and U.S. interests if attacked,Iran's Revolutionary Guards were reported to have test-fired nine missiles.

-Qatar, Playing All Sides, Is a Nonstop Mediator
In an increasingly divided Arab world, the Qataris have fashioned areputation as independent arbitrators.

-U.N. Lawyers Say Bosnian - Serbs Burned Muslims Alive
THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Bosnian Serb cousins Milan and Sredoje Lukic wereaccused on Wednesday of imprisoning and burning alive some 140 Muslims andsummarily shooting others in some of the cruelest ethnic cleansing of theBosnian war.

-Obama Donors Aren't Rushing to Aid Clinton
A prominent donor to Senator Barack Obama recently sent an e-mail plea toother supporters, asking them - for the sake of Democratic unity - to writechecks to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to help retire her $23 million incampaign debt.

-Obama Says His Critics Haven't Been Listening
Senator Barack Obama on Tuesday forcefully addressed concerns that he hadmoved too quickly to the political center, acknowledging complaints from "myfriends on the left" about his statements on Iraq, his approaches toevangelicals and his remarks on other issues that have alarmed some of hissupporters.

-Cheney's Office Said to Edit Draft Testimony
Vice President Dick Cheney's office was involved in removing statements onhealth risks posed by global warming from a draft of a health official'sSenate testimony last year, a former senior government environmentalofficial said on Tuesday.

-4 Teenagers Are Arrested in Attack at Gay Shelter
Four teenagers have been arrested on charges that they harassed and struck apriest who runs a Queens shelter for transgender and gay youth. Some of theshelter's residents were also attacked, officials said on Tuesday. Thevictims had minor injuries, the police said.

Washington Post
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-Thomas Disch; Sci-Fi Writer Was Part of 'New Wave'
Thomas M. Disch, 68, an innovative and often-overlooked writer who was partof science fiction's "new wave" of the 1960s and who also wrote poetry,criticism and a popular children's book, fatally shot himself July 4 at hisNew York apartment. He had been despondent in recent years because ofdeclining health, financial reversals and the 2005 death of his companionand occasional collaborator, poet Charles Naylor.

-Why Were We in Vietnam?
U.S. companies prefer communist countries like Vietnam for their stability.So why did 58,000 Americans die?

-FISA's Fetters
Concerns about the new foreign surveillance measure are overblown. THEAMERICAN Civil Liberties Union, in a letter we printed yesterday, accused usof backing a surveillance bill that would give the president "unfetteredpower to spy on Americans," reducing the role of the court overseeing thesurveillance to "little more than serving as a rubber stamp." Sen. RussellFeingold (D-Wis.), in another letter, said the measure overhauling theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on the verge of congressionalpassage, "gives the government broad new powers to collect information oninnocent Americans within the United States without providing nearly enoughprotections for privacy." It means, Mr. Feingold said, that "Americanse-mailing relatives abroad or calling business associates overseas could bemonitored with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing by anyone."

-Ted Koppel's Capital Tour of a New China
Some broadcasters have always worked in high definition -- they didn't haveaccess to the technological wonder, but they did seem blessed with the giftof natural communication, erudite but accessible. Ted Koppel is a perfect,or near-perfect, example, and he proves it again with "The People's Republicof Capitalism," a report on changing China that is the latest and mostambitious entry in the "Koppel on Discovery" series of documentaries.

-Another Green Revolution
Congress should help make it happen. WHOEVER GAVE the Consultative Group onInternational Agricultural Research its bland, unwieldy name clearly lackeda sense of drama. But the seemingly mundane CGIAR, as it is sometimescalled, has played a quietly astonishing role in recent world history. Aconsortium of internationally funded and staffed crop-research centersscattered around the world, CGIAR was a critical institution of the GreenRevolution -- the innovations in high-yield, disease-resistant strains ofrice, potatoes and other staples that transformed farming in the developingworld and probably saved tens of millions of lives.

-U.S. Finds It's Getting Crowded Out There
Dominance in Space Slips as Other Nations Step Up Efforts
China plans to conduct its first spacewalk in October. The European SpaceAgency is building a roving robot to land on Mars. India recently launched arecord 10 satellites into space on a single rocket.

-Free This Detainee
There's someone I'd like to introduce to President Bush. Also to ChiefJustice John Roberts and Sen. John McCain. His name is Huzaifa Parhat, andthat get-together might be tricky to arrange. Parhat is also known as ISN(Internment Serial Number) 320 at Guantanamo Bay.

-Church of England split on women bishops
LONDON -- The Church of England's move to accept women bishops furtherroiled an already troubled Anglican communion Tuesday, infuriatingconservatives and complicating efforts to promote unity with the RomanCatholic Church.

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-Pickens unveils energy plan to replace foreign oil
Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens opened an advertising campaign Tuesday in anattempt to bring more focus to solving the nation's energy crisis. Theformer wildcatter, who now heads the Dallas-based hedge fund BP CapitalManagement LP, outlined his concerns and some proposed solutions in NewYork.,0,5217641.story

Miami Herald
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-'Reviews' lock up our history
Giving Americans back their history may not rank with ending the war in Iraqor balancing the budget, but it should be high on the to-do list of the nextpresident. Our declassification system has broken down. Historians arewaiting an average of seven years for replies from presidential libraries totheir Freedom of Information Act requests. The White House cannot locatemillions of e-mail records created during the months immediately before andafter the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Forwarded from Susan Frishkorn
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-HR 362 and the Alarming Escalation of Hostility Towards Iran
by Alan Nasser
The current tension among political observers as to whether the U.S. and/orIsrael will undertake military action against Iran before president Bushleaves office has been greatly intensified by the prospect that Congresswill pass a frightening resolution, HR 362, as early as this week.
The Demands of HR 362
HR 362, sponsored by Rep. Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat, calls for thepresident to enact more draconian economic sanctions against Iran. Theseinclude an embargo against any imports of refined petroleum. (While Iran isof course a major exporter of oil, it imports at least 40% of its refinedpetroleum.) The wording of the Resolution is chilling in the extreme:
"Congress. demands that the President initiate an international effort toimmediately and dramatically increase the economic, political and diplomaticpressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by.prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposingstringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes,trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting theinternational movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiatingthe suspension of Iran's nuclear program." The resolution is moving quicklythrough the House and could pass as early as this week.

Fort Report
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-GOP Looks To Redistrict Itself Back Into Power
For months, a sense of dread has been percolating within Republican circlesover potentially massive congressional losses in 2008. Facing thepossibility of a more pronounced minority status in the House and more thana couple seats lost in the Senate, the GOP has begun setting its sights on acontingency plan: redistricting.

-Convention cities sued by protesters
The cities hosting the Democratic and Republican conventions also willinevitably host thousands of protesters - and those visitors have alreadytaken Denver and St. Paul to court. Both cities have been sued by the ACLUand protest groups planning to mobilize at the political confabs. At issue:where and when demonstrations and marches can be held.

-Obama Grants First Family Interview to 'Access Hollywood'
Democratic Candidate Allows Entertainment Program to Talk With YoungDaughters
What do Angelina Jolie's pregnancy, Alex Rodriguez's love life, and BarackObama have in common? Not much until now.

-Does EMILY's List Still Matter?
EMILY's List is one of the largest PACs in the nation and funds onlypro-choice, female candidates. But is it still as effective as it once was?

-The push for a popular vote
THIS MONTH, the Massachusetts Legislature can help nudge the nation into themodern age by taking a stand in favor of a national popular vote forpresident - and against that most antiquated of arrangements, the ElectoralCollege. After hesitating last week, the House today will take up a cleverproposal to institute a national popular vote - a plan that could takeeffect without having to amend the Constitution.

- Losing the Latino Vote
McCain's prospects don't look good.

-Cheney wanted cuts in climate change testimony
Seeking to play down the effects of global warming, Vice President DickCheney's office pushed to delete from congressional testimony referencesabout the consequences of climate change on public health, a former seniorEPA official claimed Tuesday.,0,6850735.story

-Dancing on the grave of Jesse Helms
LIBERALS DIDN'T think much of Jesse Helms when he was alive, and theirfeelings didn't soften with his death. "Jesse Helms, you rat bastard, burnin hell," announced a headline at Daily Kos, the hugely popular left-wingblog; "Please excuse me while I dance upon his grave," gloated another.

-McGovern: War heroism doesn't make a president
He was a pilot in World War II, bombing targets in Europe to stop Hitler.But former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovernsays that didn't qualify him to run the country - and the same goes for GOPpresumptive nominee John McCain. "I don't have any regrets about that," theantiwar Democratic stalwart said in a brief interview yesterday on CapitolHill. "While bombing is a terrible thing, we smashed Hitler's oil refineriesall over Europe."

-Obama shows signs of being trail-weary
The Democrat makes the most of the occasional break with his family butcan't seem to escape the spotlight. He hasn't had a vacation for months. Hesees his family little more than once a week. And now as the presumedDemocratic nominee for president, he can't go anywhere without being trailedby a full crew of journalists.,0,619759.story?track=rss

-John McCain's radical tax plan
He voted against Bush's tax cuts, but now, despite a ballooning deficit, hewants to slash taxes even further -- with most of the benefits going to therich. As gas and food prices soar and job losses mount, John McCainlaunched a new effort this week to reassure Americans that he has a plan tobring back economic growth. McCain spoke at a town-hall event in DenverMonday and will travel to the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania onWednesday and Michigan and Wisconsin on Thursday and Friday to spread hiseconomic message.


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