.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

 

Pettit: MMfA proves Clinton's Monica story got 4 times more media attention than Bush's NSA spying story

The "Liberal Media" myth exposed - By John Pettit, right

We have all had many encounters with the myth of the dreaded "Liberal Media". It is all too often difficult to refute adequately, which makes this one all the better. As far as the New York Times and the Washington Post are concerned,
Media Matters for America provides real proof that those two supposed bastions of liberal bias have no such bias. If there IS a bias, it is in favor of the RepubliCON Right.

This is the key summary comparing the media's treatment of the Monica story and the Bush spy story on the day each broke:

"All told, on January 22, 1998, the Times and the Post ran 19 articles (five on the front page) dealing with the Clinton investigation, totaling more than 20,000 words and reflecting the words of at least 28 reporters -- plus the editorial boards of both newspapers.

In contrast, on December 17, the Times and the Post combined to run five articles about the NSA spying operation, involving 12 reporters and consisting of 6,303 words."

Here's the link for the complete article. Use it often, pound the CONS on their pointy little heads with it:

http://mediamatters.org/items/200601210001#1

D.H.: Al Franken's book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, devotes an entire chapter to debunking this myth, chapter 7, pp. 37-50. (NY: Dutton, 2003).

 

AFP: Cheney downplays Al Qaeda in Iran

CheneyWashington, AFP - US Vice President Dick Cheney, left, has said he does not believe there are close relations between Iran and Al-Qaeda, seeming to distance himself from some earlier US administration charges.
 
(AFP/Don Emmert)
 
 
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AP: Sunnis assert their coalition - Jan. 21

By SINAN SALAHEDDIN,  Associated Press Writer - 10 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sunni Arab politicians called for a government of national unity Saturday and signaled they will use their increased numbers in parliament to curb the power of rival Shiites, who have claimed the biggest number of seats in the new legislature.

Official returns released Friday from the Dec. 15 national election confirmed that the coalition of Shiite religious parties that dominates the outgoing government again won the biggest number of seats in the new parliament — but not enough to govern without partners.

The Shiite alliance took 128 of the 275 seats, the election commission said. An alliance of two Kurdish parties allied with the Shiites in the outgoing government won 53 seats.

Sunni Arabs, virtually shut out of the current assembly, scored major gains, opening the door to a greater role in government for the community at the heart of the insurgency. The Friday announcement paves the way for intensive negotiations to form a new government.

U.S. officials are urging formation of a broad-based government of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, hoping that will lure insurgents away from violence so that U.S. and other foreign troops can begin withdrawing.

In separate press conferences Saturday, two leading Sunni Arab politicians expressed their interest in joining a coalition government. But they made clear they will insist on curbing the trend toward sectarianism, which many Sunnis blame on policies of the outgoing government led by Shiites and Kurds.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com


 

AP: Groups intervene to save kidnapped journalist - Jan. 21

By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer - 1 hour, 25 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. Muslim advocacy group arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to plead for the release of American hostage Jill Carroll, while an Iraqi official urged American forces to free six detained Iraqi women in a bid to save the journalist. 

Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nadi Awad, left, and Corey Saylor arrive at the Baghdad International Airport, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq. The U.S. Muslim advocacy group arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to plead for the release of American hostage Jill Carroll. The deadline set by Carroll's kidnappers, who have threatened to kill her unless American forces release all Iraqi women in military custody, passed late Friday and no word has been heard on her fate. (AP Photo/Mohammed Hato)Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nadi Awad and Corey Saylor, right, arrive at the Baghdad International Airport, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq. The U.S. Muslim advocacy group arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to plead for the release of American hostage Jill Carroll. The deadline set by Carroll's kidnappers, who have threatened to kill her unless American forces release all Iraqi women in military custody, passed late Friday and no word has been heard on her fate. (AP Photo/Mohammed Hato)

A deadline set by kidnappers, who threatened to kill Carroll unless U.S. forces released all Iraqi women in military custody, passed late Friday with no word on her fate.

The delegation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations flew to Baghdad from neighboring Jordan in a bid to drum up momentum for Carroll's release. The 28-year-old was abducted Jan. 7 in a tough west Baghdad neighborhood.

"We are the only people who have come from outside of Iraq to call for Jill's release and we are very hopeful they will hear our message on behalf of American Muslims," Nihad Awad, the group's executive director said at Baghdad International Airport. "Harming her will do (the kidnappers) no good at all. The only way is to release her."

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

Friday, January 20, 2006

 

Barhorst: Guns and schools

By Terry Barhorst

I guess you never think it's going to happen at your children's school or even in your neighborhood. I found out differently today.

An eighth grader and a 19 year old youth were arrested on the grounds of Clint Small Middle School today. That is the school my daughter attends. Both of these people -- you can't call them boys -- had loaded handguns.

It scared the Hell out of me. My wife was at the school for a meeting with the principal about benchmark tests and possibly taking BJ out of public school just after the arrests took place, so I was doubly shook when I got the news.

I keep thinking about the gun debates and the "No child left behind" arguments I've had with people. Why couldn't I or so many others have any influece over those two dangerous matters?

Terry D. Barhorst.

Other links:

Media Matters for America.

Common Dreams * Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Buzzflash News.

Latest post to DemLog.


 

Slate-Papers: Bin there, done that - Jan. 20

bin LadenBy Eric Umansky - Posted Friday at 4:45 AM ET

The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal world-wide newsbox, and New York Times all lead with the first words from Osama Bin Laden, left, in about a year. In the audio tape, which the CIA said appeared to be authentic and was first broadcast on Al Jazeera, Bin Laden warned of attacks coming against the U.S. and "offered" a vague "long truce." He made a similar gesture to Europe in 2004. The Los Angeles Times fronts Bin Laden but leads with Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL responding to government subpoenas and coughing up (in aggregated and not personally identifiable form) data on millions of users' search terms. The government wants the records—including all search terms used over the course of a week—as part of a suit to revive the anti-porn and constitutionally shaky Child Online Protection Act. Everybody else fronts the case but focuses on Google's decision to fight the subpoena. The search-term subpoenas and Google's opposition against them were first reported in the San Jose Mercury News.

USA Today reefers the tape and leads with the government announcing it will begin its "trusted travelers" program in June: Air passengers who undergo background checks and fork over about $100 annually will get access to express lines and might not have to do things like remove their jackets or shoes. The ACLU is pissed about the program, saying the lines faced by lumpen travelers are "going to be longer."

Bin Laden appears to have made the tape in the last month or so. He referenced reports—first aired in late November—that Bush had talked about bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters. 

Amid all the speculation about Bin Laden's motives and objectives only the Journal seems to make the following obvious yet crucial point right up high: "Mr. bin Laden's ability to follow through on the threat is unclear."

Now moving on to that copious conjecture: With his "truce" offer—which was predicated on the U.S. pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and ending support for Israel—Bin Laden was probably trying to look like a statesmen and shore up support among moderate Muslims disenchanted with the carnage jihadists have brought particularly against other Muslims. He was also probably hoping to take some spotlight from, and create some distance from, Musab al-Zarqawi, seen below right in posters, who seems keen on attacking Shiites. And then there's the fact that the tape was released just a few days after the U.S. airstrike that purportedly killed some key AQ men.

al-ZarqawiThe WP and NYT front the Justice Department releasing a white paper asserting that the warrantless spying program is plenty legal. The analysis argues that the president simply has the constitutional power to do so. And moreover, the argument goes, the resolution Congress passed after 9/11 authorizing force against Afghanistan and al-Qaida "places the president at the zenith of his powers in authorizing the N.S.A. activities."

The president's snooping order was not obviously unconstitutional. But, as the non-partisan Congressional Research Service has suggested, it does appear to have skirted the law. "It's a pretty straightforward case where the president is acting illegally," one law prof told the NYT. "This is domestic surveillance over American citizens for whom there is no evidence or proof that they are involved in any illegal activity, and it is in contravention of a statute of Congress specifically designed to prevent this."

Everybody mentions yesterday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed only the bomber and wounded about 20. Islamic Jihad, which unlike Hamas is not taking part in the coming Palestinian elections, claimed responsibility. And two near-simultaneous bombings on one of Baghdad's most popular streets killed about 20 people.

The LAT fronts the Republican National Committee voting on a resolution to condemn President Bush's proposed guest worker program. The RNC is usually not so big on opposing the president's plans.

Along with Slate's John Dickerson, NYT-man Paul Krugman wonders about the White House's insistence on keeping mum about fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff, below left, and Co.'s contacts with the White House. Then Krugman throws a follow-up flame:

So I have a question for my colleagues in the news media: Why isn't the decision by the White House to stonewall on the largest corruption scandal since Warren Harding considered major news?

AbramoffDon't know about that Harding reference, but Krugman has a point: Apart from the wires, TP has seen two stories on the silence—and they weren't in the LAT, NYT, Journal, or Post.

Eric Umansky (www.ericumansky.com) writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at todayspapers@slate.com.  Source: Slate Magazine.
 
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
 
If those links don't work, try our political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

 

TPM: More of the pattern

By Josh Micah Marshall/Talking Points Memo--January 19, 2006 -- 09:44 AM EST

Before 2003, the State of Texas had never hired a private sector lobbyist to advocate its interests in Washington, DC. That year Gov. Rick Perry (R) hired Drew Maloney, a former Chief of Staff for Tom DeLay, on a contract that has since paid him $180,000 in state funds.

According to this article in the Houston Chronicle, prior to being hired, Maloney had made no more than $250 in political campaign contributions.

Since being hired he's contributed $75,000 to various Republican political committees.
Last year the state added former Abramoff associate Todd Boulanger to their lobbying stable.

The Maloney and Boulanger contracts will cost the state $1.1 million through August of next year.

Texas Dems say it's money-laundering. What do you call it?

Now the three state Republicans responsible for the hires are arguing about whose idea it all was.

The Houston Chronicle article continues:

The national lobby office contracts are approved by Perry, House Speaker Tom Craddick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. But Craddick and Dewhurst said the hiring of lobbyists was Perry's choice, and Craddick said he opposes hiring outside lobbyists.

"I never approved of these contracts, I did not recommend these lobbyist groups, and I have publicly stated that I am against this decision," Craddick said. "The board on which I serve is explicitly an advisory board and the power to make those decisions ultimately rests in the hands of the governor."

Craddick on Wednesday released a letter he sent to Perry on Nov. 3, 2005, opposing extending contracts for Maloney and Boulanger's firms.

"In 2003, the Legislature agreed to cut funds for (the state-federal relations office) due to excess funding. However, there was never any intention to replace those cuts with spending on lobbyists," Craddick said.

In the letter, Craddick told Perry the power to hire the outside lobbyists "ultimately rests in your hands."

[Perry spokeswoman Rachel] Novier said the hiring of both Maloney and Boulanger was done through competitive bidding. She said state funding for the national lobby office has decreased by 15 percent since it began hiring outside lobbyists, but the flow of federal funds into Texas has increased by billions of dollars.

Competitive bidding. You just can't make this stuff up.

Source: Talking Points Memo.

Other links:

Media Matters for America.

Common Dreams * Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Buzzflash News.

Latest post to DemLog.


 

Spier: Manufactured Reality: A Phony Autobiography and Oprah and Bush Expose Us As Saps

By Bill Spier

I am not sure that Oprah Winfrey was a 1970’s closet admirer of Werner Erhart, but her show is a nonstop quest for finding just the right therapy for every personal crisis. Erhart’s nihilistic philosophy (like solipsism) spoke to those who did not know that in Erhart’s words: "We all create our own reality.” The 1970’s saw a plethora of competing fast therapy enterprises like est, Synanon, moonieism and myriad pseudosciences. (See Skeptic Report, The Etiology of a Social Epidemic, by Pat Crossman, LCSW). You may not have been to a est meeting in the 1970’s or suffered from (often brutal) Synanon rehabilitation, but their nihilistic philosophies helped build an empire of self help, fitness and women’s magazines. My take on all this was that if you had the power to market your delusions and mask any self serving ambitions, you could make others think that these tonics were a reality. The key was to convince people that what you had to offer had emotional veracity. Of course, there have always been tonic peddlers, but since the early 1970’s these manufactured realities have seeped into every corner of American culture. The result is that a goodly number of us have been played for saps.

This brings me to a smashing, must read article by Tom Scocca in the New York Observer , The Awful Untruth,You’ve Probably Had It on Phony Memoir—But Frey Fraud Was Worse Than You Know; Was Explosion Just Delayed W.M.D. Reaction?

James Frey, as you might know, wrote an autobiography “A Million Little Pieces” which turns out to be fiction. Since an autobiography must be true to facts, Mr. Frey is exposed as a liar, period. Oprah Winfrey propelled the book to riches and now claims that the redemptive message was what was important, not the facts. (But Oprah, how could the message be redemptive when the stated transgressions were fiction?)

From page 2 of the Tom Scocca article:

Mr. Frey is not the only person pouring this cocktail of lies and denial—of “emotional truth.” More than one critic quickly picked up on the link between Mr. Frey’s literary career and the fact-averse, spin-happy presidency of George W. Bush. The joint biography is easy. Both men are dry drunks with belligerent streaks, angry and cosseted children of money. Both claim to have turned their self-destructive lives around without formal 12-step treatment, through the power of mass-market personal spirituality—pop Taoism for Mr. Frey, evangelical Christianity for Mr. Bush. Both have awkward gaps in their paper trails.

But the real bond between them is conceptual. The argument for A Million Little Pieces is identical in structure to the argument for the Iraq War: Because of my project, countless [addicts/Iraqis] now know unimagined [inspiration/liberty]—what kind of person would want to take that away by niggling about details that don’t even matter anymore?

“Hold On,” says Mr. Frey, in his recovery mantra. “We’ll stay the course; we’ll complete the job,” says Mr. Bush.

“We support the book,” Oprah Winfrey told Larry King in a dramatic end-of-program phone call, “because we recognize that there have been thousands and hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been changed by this book.”

That’s the game. Emotional truth is not a property of the story or the storyteller. Emotional truth works on the audience. Emotional truth is the name for the thing that sells.

“From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August,” said Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, describing in 2002 how the administration rolled out its campaign for the war. It was emotionally true, at the time, that Iraq’s nuclear weapons were an unacceptable threat to the United States. “Threat” was the concept that the market was ready to hear. The mushroom cloud. Sept. 11. A new Sept. 11, but with a mushroom cloud.

Politics is commerce. Literature is commerce. Religion is commerce. Identity is commerce. The sales campaign keeps moving, without regard for internal consistency. JT LeRoy sold books because he was an authentic outsider voice, a damaged teen boy prostitute who could turn his real experience into powerful fiction. Then, as people began asking pointedly about who JT LeRoy was, he became a more ambiguous figure—a fragile transsexual for whom confusion was shelter. When he was revealed to be an outright hoax, “JT LeRoy” became a conceptual prank about celebrity and identity.

Weapons of mass destruction … weapons-of-mass-destruction-related program activities. Emotional truth doesn’t have to endure. It only has to last as long as it takes for the check to clear, for the ballots to be counted, for the money-back guarantee to expire.

If part of the millions who bought the Frey book makes an analogy between the hyping of the book and Bush's hyping of lies on WMD and the selling of the Iraq incursion, the implications could be substantial in 2006. Oprah watchers should be pissed at Oprah too. She is unapologetic about her peddling of phony redemption. I don't think Americans will end their quest for redemptive therapies anytime soon, but they may not take Bush's lies much longer.

D.H. editorial comment: For those of us who read Bill's article above and asked, "Shot who?", I'd remind us all that Bill is smarter than most of us put together, but he does have a point. I don't know anything about most of the "isms" he mentions above, except "nihilism," which is what some snot-nosed rich kids have when they've had nannies to dress 'em, cook for 'em, wash their clothes, and probably even wipe their butts all their lives, and finally come to realize that their cocktail banter doesn't mean diddly shit, and they arrive at the marvelous conclusion that life doesn't mean anything. The key is their lives don't mean diddly shit, but they don't realize that there is real life out there. The genius of Bill's piece is bringing the Scocca article to our attention, and the comparison between a fraudulent autobiography and the wasted life of George W. Bush.

Other links:

Media Matters for America.

Common Dreams * Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Buzzflash News.

Latest post to DemLog.


 

AP: Mom of reporter kidnapped in Iraq makes appeal - Jan. 19

By NOREEN GILLESPIE, Associated Press Writer 2 minutes ago

Mary Beth Carroll, the mother of kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll, is shown during an appearance on CNN Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, during which she appealed for her daughter's release after her captors threatened to kill her if U.S. authorities don't release all Iraqi women in military custody. (AP Photo/CNN)NEW YORK - Mary Beth Carroll, right, the mother of kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll, is shown during an appearance on CNN Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, during which she appealed for her daughter's release after her captors threatened to kill her if U.S. authorities don't release all Iraqi women in military custody. (AP Photo/CNN)

The mother said the 28-year-old reporter is a woman of deep conviction who respects the Iraqi people.

"They've picked the wrong person. If they're looking for someone who is an enemy of Iraq, Jill is just the opposite," Mary Beth Carroll told CNN's "American Morning."

Mary Beth Carroll said video images aired by Al-Jazeera television on Tuesday gave her hope that her daughter is alive but also have "shaken us about her fate." Her daughter's captors demanded the U.S. release all Iraqi women in military custody by Friday or they would kill her.

"I, her father and her sister are appealing directly to her captors to release this young woman who has worked so hard to show the sufferings of Iraqis to the world," she said, reading from a written statement.

Jill Carroll was working as freelance journalist for The Christian Science Monitor when she was abducted Jan. 7.  Both the Monitor's Washington bureau chief, David Cook, and her mother urged the captors Thursday to contact them to discuss her release. Cook would not say specifically if the newspaper would pay ransom.  "I think our policy would be that we would welcome contact from the captors," Cook told NBC. "Either the family or the Monitor would be eager to talk to the captors."

The 20-second video aired by Al-Jazeera included a threat to kill her in 72 hours unless U.S. authorities agreed to release the women detainees, according to the station's report. In the video, she appears tired and is speaking but there is no sound.  Al-Jazeera's Web site had a still image of the video with a logo that read "The Revenge Brigade," a group that was not known from previous claims of responsibility of violence in Iraq.

The U.S. military has said eight Iraqi women are in military detention, and an Iraqi government commission that has been reviewing detainee cases earlier this week recommended six be released. Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim Ali said the six women would be released next week but "not part of any swap with any kidnappers."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday that Carroll's safe return was a priority for the administration, but he refused to say more "because of the sensitivity of the situation."

Insurgents in Iraq, mainly Sunni Arab militants, have kidnapped more than 240 foreigners and killed at least 39.

Jill Carroll was abducted in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods while being driven to meet a Sunni Arab politician, who failed to appear for the interview. Her translator was killed, but her driver escaped.

Her mother said she moved to the Middle East to get to know the region before reporting on it. She learned Arabic along the way, she said.  Mary Beth Carroll said that she and her daughter had discussed the possibility that she could be kidnapped, but she knew that her daughter believed in the story she was telling in Iraq.

"Those things have been said. And she knows that we love her and support her," Mary Beth Carroll said. "She knows that we can be strong for her."

Source:  AP-Yahoo News.
 
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

DH: Right-wing group spins SCOTUS vote as anti-abortion victory

By Dave Haigler, Jan. 19, 2006

The right-wing group "Family Research Council" (FRC) spun yesterday's 9/0 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court as a victory for the "pro-life movement." The group's president Tony Perkins said this in a press release on the group's webpage:

"This is a great victory for the future of parental notification laws. This ruling is encouraging and gives great momentum to other states looking to protect parental rights and safeguard the health of underage girls."
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

The FRC was started two decades ago by James Dobson of Focus on the Family with Gary Bauer as its president. Bauer served as Ronald Reagan's Domestic Policy Advisor in the White House.

The FRC's press release goes on to say:

"New Hampshire openly agreed that its notification requirement prior to an abortion could not be constitutionally applied in cases where a minor faces a health emergency. In such cases the law permits a judicial bypass that allows the teen to seek permission from a judge."

This is closer to the truth of the matter. The problem that the lower courts and the Supreme Court had with the N.H. law was that it did not clearly protect a minor woman seeking an abortion on health grounds. The significance of the SCOTUS decision is solely that it reiterated its prior holdings that any abortion restriction must permit exceptions for the life and health of the mother, as I blogged yesterday. This is not rocket science, folks. All the SCOTUS was really saying yesterday was -- hey, you didn't get it before, so let us reiterate, you must allow exceptions for both the life and health of the mother.

This is not a victory for parental notification at all. The SCOTUS sent the case back to the First Circuit Federal Court in Boston to clean up the mess over the law's overreaching.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

 

AP: SCOTUS votes 9/0 to repeat that abortion restrictions must include women's health exception

By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer - 40 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court gave New Hampshire a chance to salvage its restrictions on abortion Wednesday, sidestepping for now an emotional subject that is likely to be revisited when a new justice joins the court.

New Hampshire's victory may be short-lived because the justices ordered a lower court to consider how to fix problems with the 2003 law requiring a parent to be told before a minor daughter ends her pregnancy.

The 9-0 decision reaffirmed that states can require parental involvement in abortion decisions and that state restrictions must have an exception to protect the mother's health. It also gave states new ammunition in defending restrictions on the procedure.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the decision, most likely the final one of her 24-year career. O'Connor, a key swing voter at the court on abortion rights, capital punishment and other issues, is retiring and will step down soon if the Senate confirms nominee Samuel Alito.

The ruling broke little new ground. However, justices said that lower courts in addressing flaws in abortion laws do not have to take the "most blunt remedy," striking down an entire law. Instead, the justices said that other "modest" options are available.

"In the case that is before us ... the lower courts need not have invalidated the law wholesale," O'Connor wrote. "Only a few applications of New Hampshire's parental notification statute would present a constitutional problem."

New Hampshire is one of 44 states that require parental notice or permission before abortions on minors. The law, which says abortion providers must notify at least one parent 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor, had been challenged by abortion clinics.

The Supreme Court agreed that the state law could make it too hard for some minors to get an abortion, because there is no special accommodation for someone who has a medical emergency.

Minnesota, Missouri, and Wyoming have abortion laws with a similar problem, O'Connor said.

The case returns to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which had ruled that the law was unconstitutional.

Civil rights groups predicted that the appeals court would again strike down the law.

"It tells politicians that they must include protections for women's health and safety when they pass abortion laws," said Jennifer Dalven, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Douglas Kmiec, a constitutional law professor at Pepperdine University, said "the state interest in limiting abortion received something significant" in the ruling. He predicted that courts will be less likely to block entire abortion laws in the future.

New Chief Justice John Roberts had recommended the narrow resolution when the court heard arguments on Nov. 30. As the court's leader, he assigned the opinion to O'Connor to write.

"We do not revisit our abortion precedents today," O'Connor wrote in the opening of the decision, the court's first abortion ruling since 2000.

In that 2000 case, O'Connor was the fifth vote to throw out a Nebraska law banning a type of late-term abortion, because the law did not have an exception to protect the mother's health.

David Garrow, a Supreme Court historian at Cambridge University, said he was surprised the court "would choose to resolve this case in a way that may unintentionally have the effect of increasing the amount of future abortion litigation."

O'Connor's departure could leave the court deadlocked on how far states can go in limiting abortion, although there are five other justices who would vote to uphold Roe v. Wade.

Alito was questioned extensively last week during his Senate confirmation hearing about his views on abortion, including the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that declared abortion a fundamental constitutional right. He steadfastly refused to agree with assertions by Democrats that Roe v. Wade was "settled law."

Another major case awaiting justices is the Bush administration's appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down a federal ban on a late-term procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortion. The federal law has no health exception.

Attorney General Kelly Ayotte discusses from her office in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a New Hampshire abortion law. Supreme Court Justices said that a lower court went too far by permanently blocking the law that requires a parent to be told before a minor daughter ends her pregnancy. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)The case Wednesday was Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, 04-1144. Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, left, for whom the case was named, discusses from her office in Concord, N.H., Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the New Hampshire abortion notification law. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Source: AP-Yahoo News.


Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info



If these links don't work, try our political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com.

 

UKG: 'Out-Of-Control' Iraq

Official US agency paints dire picture of 'Out-Of-Control' Iraq

Published in the UK Guardian

· Analysis issued by USAid in reconstruction effort
· Account belies picture painted by White House

Julian Borger in Washington - Wednesday January 18, 2006

An official assessment drawn up by the US foreign aid agency depicts the security situation in Iraq as dire, amounting to a "social breakdown" in which criminals have "almost free rein".
The "conflict assessment" is an attachment to an invitation to contractors to bid on a project rehabilitating Iraqi cities published earlier this month by the US Agency for International Development (USAid).

The picture it paints is not only darker than the optimistic accounts from the White House and the Pentagon, it also gives a more complex profile of the insurgency than the straightforward "rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists" described by George Bush.

The USAid analysis talks of an "internecine conflict" involving religious, ethnic, criminal and tribal groups. "It is increasingly common for tribesmen to 'turn in' to the authorities enemies as insurgents - this as a form of tribal revenge," the paper says, casting doubt on the efficacy of counter-insurgent sweeps by coalition and Iraqi forces.

Meanwhile, foreign jihadist groups are growing in strength, the report said. "External fighters and organisations such as al-Qaida and the Iraqi offshoot led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are gaining in number and notoriety as significant actors," USAid's assessment said. "Recruitment into the ranks of these organisations takes place throughout the Sunni Muslim world, with most suicide bombers coming from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region." The assessment conflicted sharply with recent Pentagon claims that Zarqawi's group was in "disarray".

The USAid document was attached to project documents for the Focused Stabilisation in Strategic Cities Initiative, a $1.3bn (£740m) project to curb violence in cities such as Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and Najaf, through job creation and investment in local communities.
The paper, whose existence was first reported by the Washington Post, argues that insurgent attacks "significantly damage the country's infrastructure and cause a tide of adverse economic and social effects that ripple across Iraq".

"In the social breakdown that has accompanied the defeat of Saddam Hussein's regime, criminal elements within Iraqi society have had almost free rein," the document says. "In the absence of an effective police force capable of ensuring public safety, criminal elements flourish.... Baghdad is reportedly divided into zones controlled by organised criminal groups-clans."

The lawlessness has had an impact on basic freedoms, USAid argues, particularly in the south, where "social liberties have been curtailed dramatically by roving bands of self-appointed religious-moral police". USAid officials did not respond to calls seeking comment yesterday.

Judith Yaphe, a former CIA expert on Iraq now teaching at the National Defence University in Washington, said while the administration's pronouncements on security were rosy, the USAid version was pessimistic. "It's a very difficult environment, but if I read this right, they are saying there is violence everywhere and I don't think it's true," Ms Yaphe said. She said USAid could have published the document to pressure the White House to increase its funding. The administration does not intend to request more reconstruction funds after the end of this year.

Comment by John Pettit: The Cons are likely to claim that USAid is a controlled by the DNC, and is part of the VLWC.

 

Slate-Papers: Assisted-suicide court decision - Jan. 18

Chief Justice John RobertsBy Eric Umansky - Posted Wednesday at 5:33 AM ET

Everybody leads with the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling against the administration's attempt to put the kibosh on Oregon's assisted-suicide law. Chief Justice Roberts, left, joined Justices Scalia and Thomas in the dissent. The White House had opposed the law and said it was "disappointed at the decision."

former Attorney General AshcroftThe court wasn't ruling on the Oregon law itself but rather on whether the Bush administration had the power to overrule it. In 2001, then-Attorney General Ashcroft, right, relying on a drug law, ordered the DEA to go after doctors who prescribed drugs for assisted suicide. "The authority claimed by the attorney general is both beyond his expertise and incongruous with the statutory purposes and design," wrote Justice Kennedy, below left, for the majority.

Justice KennedyThe legality of physician-assisted suicide "ultimately rests, not on 'science' or 'medicine,' but on a naked value judgment," countered Justice Scalia, in the dissent Roberts signed on to. "It no more depends upon a 'quintessentially medical judgment' than does the legitimacy of polygamy or eugenic infanticide."

A helpful analysis in the New York Times notes just how narrow the ruling was. It spoke only to the fed's powers under a specific drug law: "It did not address whether there is a constitutional right to die. It did not say that Congress was powerless to override state laws that allow doctors to help their patients end their lives."

Oregon has had the U.S.'s only assisted-suicide law since it was enacted in the mid-1990s. Since lower federal courts always sided with Oregon on the case, the law has stayed active and 208 people had assisted suicides in the state through 2004. USA Today plays up similar legislation now pending in California and Vermont. The Los Angeles Times suggests the measure's chances in California are ... unclear.

The Washington Post, NYT, and LAT all front Republican House leaders unveiling their lobbyist reform proposal, which includes more disclosure requirements, stricter limits on gifts, and a purported "ban" on lobbyist-funded travel. A NYT analysis inside notes the slightly sticky-wicket GOP Pooh-Bahs are in: They need to "reorganize the very system that has helped their party maintain power." Of course, as many good government types point out, that doesn't mean the Republicans won't go ahead with the changes. Meanwhile, Democrats are going to unveil their own reform package today, though the papers don't have many details.

A piece inside the Post looks at the loopholes in the Republican's proposal. Namely, a lobbyist can still wine and dine pols and pay for their travel so long as they "also hand the lawmaker a campaign contribution." As one lobbying rules expert explained it, "Unless the campaign finance laws are changed, if a lobbyist wants to sponsor an event at the MCI arena or on the slopes of Colorado, as long as it's a fundraiser it would still be fine." The other issue not touched on by the GOP's proposal, and that also gets scant mention in the papers: Earmarks, that is, the provisions increasingly inserted into bills -- often quietly -- that direct money to legislators' pet projects.

The NYT stuffs a "high-level assessment" by the State Department in 2002 concluding it was "unlikely" Niger could covertly sell uranium to Iraq. The memo, which the Times says was "distributed at senior levels by the office of Secretary of State Colin Powell," was sent around a year before President Bush asserted that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Africa. "A Bush administration official," declined to say whether the president saw the memo. "The White House is not an intelligence-gathering operation," said the official.

Jill CarrollEverybody mentions that the captors in Iraq of American journalist Jill Carroll, right, announced they'll kill her in three days unless all female prisoners in Iraq are released.

The NYT fronts the Securities and Exchange Commission proposing greater disclosure for executive pay. The proposal is expected to be formally adopted in a few months, at which point companies will have offer up details on the various goodies and perks execs have been getting.

The WP and NYT both note inside that local officials in Pakistan said the recent U.S. airstrike there did indeed kill four or five al-Qaida types -- along with women and children. The Post emphasizes that while an official in the area said foreign fighters were killed, Pakistan's information minister said he had "no information about the presence of any foreign terrorists."

The Wall Street Journal has a front-page feature on Afghanistan's ever-growing heroin industry. According to U.N. estimates, the opium trade now makes up half of the overall economy. On the other hand, it is fueling some impressive Afghan ingenuity. Soldiers along the Afghan border with Tajikistan recently nabbed the following airborne delivery device:

A red, blue and white French-made parachute outfitted with a harness ring, a German-made motor, a small propeller, a plastic gas canister -- and 18 one-kilo plastic bags of Afghan heroin. The harness ring was to hold a pilot, and the propeller to give him control of his direction after jumping from a mountain on the Afghan side. The soldiers' bullets had pierced the gas tank, forcing an emergency landing, but the guards never found the pilot.

Eric Umansky (http://www.ericumansky.com/) writes "Today's Papers" for Slate. He can be reached at todayspapers@slate.com.

Source: Slate Magazine.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog:
http://demlog.blogspot.com


 

Ivins: Time To Go Long


Congressional corruption opens door for reform package Hail Mary

-- by Molly Ivins, right

AUSTIN -- It takes a Texas Republican to get that fine, hairline reading on the ethical sensitivity scale we all prize so highly. Thus, it comes as no surprise that a couple of six-packs of Texas Republican congressmen have signed up to endorse Rep. Roy Blunt, Tom DeLay's chosen successor, in the House leadership fight. Glad to see they're taking this ethical stuff seriously.

Why else support a man of whom the director of CongressWatch observes, "[His] tenure in Congress has been marked by exchanges of favors between himself and special interests, and a deep embrace of lobbyists. He is an architect of today's sleazy, big-money politics, not the agent of change that Congress so desperately needs right now to regain credibility with the public." Just the man for our delegation.

Texas Republicans are now being led Rep. Joe Barton of Ennis, chair of the critical Energy and Commerce Committee. DeLay sits in on their meetings by speakerphone. Barton, just the man for the job in these ethically sensitive times. He's going to spend next weekend aboard a private train with lobbyists who pay $2,000 for the privilege. After a seven-hour run from Fort Worth to San Antonio, there will be cocktails, an evening tour of the Alamo, dinner and breakfast on Sunday.

The Dallas Morning News reports the invitation reads, "During the ride, we'll have lots of time to talk, play some Texas Hold 'Em, and enjoy some great down home Texas food. This is about as good as it gets."

It's the delicatessen of the invite that I appreciate, and I think the price is right, too -- only $2K for hours of uninterrupted access to the chairman whose committee has jurisdiction over about half of what Congress does -- including oil policy, pro baseball, Medicare and environmental regulation.

Barton's campaign manager told the Morning News, "It's just a normal fund-raiser. You've got to have a fund-raiser if you're going to raise money and have a campaign. Everybody does it."
That's always been one of my least favorite excuses, "Everybody does it." You can't find a mother who will let her 5-year-old get away with that, but politicians often whip it out as though it held moral water.

In this unhappy case it has the advantage of being true: Yup, pretty much everybody does do it. The root of the rot is the way federal (and most state) campaigns are financed. The hoary political saying is, "You got to dance with them what brung you," meaning you vote with the people who paid to get you there. And that would be organized economic special interests, PACs and lobbyists.

Tom DeLay made his pact with the devil when he signed on to expand the Newt Gingrich/Grover Norquist "K Street Project" to turn the entire lobby into an arm of the Republican Party. Members of the lobby were literally called in by Republican leaders to act as auxiliary whips, assigned to recalcitrant members from districts with a special economic vulnerability to a particular special interest.

The corruption of Congress has reached such a noxious level, the country is simply falling down a hole. Tax cuts for the rich! Reckless spending on everyone but those who need it most! Not a grown-up in sight. There is no sense of responsibility. The Republicans' response is to elevate Mr. Blunt, a man who represents zero improvement. Talk about not getting it: Tom DeLay is losing in his own district, 36 percent to 49 percent for "any Democrat." Wouldn't you think Texas congressmen would sit up and take notice of something like that?

I think we can rely upon the Democrats to seize the moment and punt. Their best play, of course, is to take the reform issue and own it, to go long, for the whole reform package every goo-goo group in America has been agitating for years -- starting with public campaign financing for Congress. The package should include changes in House rules, lobby rules -- and even though it is done at the state level, proposals for non-partisan redistricting.

I can almost hear the condescending cynics: "You don't really think you can get the money out of politics, do you?" I guarantee you can do it for several cycles -- and do you know what happens when it starts to creep back in again? You reform again! Perpetual reform, a truly great concept. No human institution is ever going to remain perfect, they have to be watched and adjusted like any other mechanism. Why use that as a defeatist excuse for doing nothing at all?

What matters here is not what the Republicans or the Democrats do -- it's what you do before November. Sit up, join up, stir it up, get online, get in touch, find out who's raising hell and join them. No use waiting on a bunch of wussy politicians.

Comments by John Pettit:

The pervasive Republican corruption provides a unique opportunity to 'clean house' literally and figuratively. We MUST keep our leaders and candidates feet to the fire to take advantage of this chance to take back Congress AND put reforms in place. Everything else that needs to be done has to be built on the foundation of this change; Reform candidates and campaign finance reform.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

 

Newsweek-Jan. 23 issue: Iran taunts U.S. over nukes

Iranian technicians, below, surround a container of radioactive uranium. "We have a right to have nuclear technology," says Mahsid Sajadi, a 25-year-old graphic designer.

Iranian technicians surround a container of radioactive uranium.

By Christopher Dickey, Maziar Bahari and Babak Dehghanpisheh - Newsweek

Jan. 23, 2006 issue - On the ski slopes of Dizin in north Tehran, boys and girls mingle freely, listening to Madonna, Shakira and Persian pop diva Googoosh. Headscarves are reduced to hair bands, and Mahsid Sajadi, a 25-year-old graphic designer, is sporting a Star-Spangled Banner bandanna her cousin sent her President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadfrom Orange County, Calif. Sajadi, modern and cosmopolitan, has almost no opinions in common with Iran's rabble-rousing ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) -- except when it comes to nukes. "We have a right to have nuclear technology," says Sajadi. "We are a nation with an ancient civilization and rich culture. I think it's really hypocritical of Mr. Bush to criticize Iran for having nuclear technology while Pakistan, India and Israel have nuclear bombs."

Atomic research, atomic power, even the atomic weapons the Iranian government officially says it doesn't want are issues of ferocious nationalistic pride throughout the country, and Ahmadinejad knows it. Last week he provoked an international crisis by removing the seals from nuclear-processing equipment, ending a voluntary moratorium on research. After a firestorm of outrage from the United States and Europe, with vows to isolate Iran and haul the regime before the United Nations Security Council, Ahmadinejad gave a rare press conference. He was relaxed, folksy, cracking jokes. "If they want to destroy the Iranian nation's rights by that course," he said, "they will not succeed."

He could be right. The complex, contradictory game of secrecy and revelation, cooperation and provocation that the mullahs have played since some of their hidden nuclear facilities were discovered in 2002 has revealed just how little leverage Washington and its allies really have. But the Bush administration and European officials Riceclearly hope they can appeal to Iran's supposedly restive masses to somehow oppose the regime. "The Iranian people, frankly, deserve better," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, said last week. She took pains to say efforts to isolate the government would try not to isolate the people. But a senior European diplomat involved with Iranian negotiations, who asked not to be quoted by name because of their sensitivity, pointed out the basic problem with that strategy: "There are millions of people in Iran who want to move ahead with democracy, but unfortunately we have not been able to help them -- and at the same time the nuclear issue unifies the country."

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Increasingly confident, Ahmadinejad has played on the West's dire fear of nuclear weapons in the hands of a state that supports terrorism. Since he was elected last June, he's talked about wiping Israel off the map and questioned whether the Holocaust took place. "Outrageous statements that I don't think have been made in polite company in many, many, many years," Rice said. She suggested "it's entirely possible that the Iranian regime has miscalculated" and had not expected such an international uproar. "I would hope that now seeing the very powerful reaction of the international community that Iran would take a step back and look at the isolation that it is about to experience," said Rice.

But given the mood in Iran, Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may actually like being treated as outcasts. "The radicals can only exist in a state of crisis and isolation from the rest of the world," says Saeid Leylaz, a political analyst in Iran. "This way they can justify their presence in power and control the country however they want." That's no happy prospect for the skiers at Dizin, but the link between supporting Iran's nuclear "rights" and effectively backing the pariah regime that defends them is hard to break.

So where does the crisis go from here? At meetings early this week, the United States, Germany, France and Britain will try to find common ground with Russia and China for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors, probably in early February. That meeting could recommend sending Iran before the U.N. Security Council -- where sanctions could be considered. But the IAEA is more likely to push Iran for more information that could confirm -- or refute -- its claim that it is pursuing enrichment technology only for peaceful purposes under the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory.



Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

Gore responds to White House 'hypocrisy' comments

01/17/2006 @ 4:36 pm - Filed by RAW STORY

This afternoon, former Vice President Al Gore, left, responded to the White House's attacks on him as follows:

"The Administration's response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program.

The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.

There are two problems with the Attorney General's effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration's behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

Second, the Attorney General's attempt to cite a previous administration's activity as precedent for theirs - even though factually wrong - ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.

The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.
The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration's program."

D.H.: White House spokesman Scott McClellan tried to justify Bush's illegal wiretapping by citing one warrantless search of spy Aldrich Ames' house during the Clinton years. The law treats physical searches where people will know their house is being searched as different from secret electronic spying where you never know they are there. The Ames home search was held legal.

 

AP: Suits filed in Detroit & NYC to stop Bush's illegal spying

The Associated Press - 7 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Civil liberties groups filed lawsuits in two cities Tuesday seeking to block President Bush's domestic eavesdropping program, arguing the electronic surveillance of American citizens was unconstitutional.

The U.S. District Court lawsuits were filed in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights and in Detroit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Former Vice President Al Gore gestures while addressing the American Constitution Society on the threat to the Constitution from President Bush's domestic wiretap policy, Monday, Jan. 16, 2006 at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washigton. Gore asserted Monday that President Bush 'repeatedly and persistently' broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Former Vice President Al Gore, right, gestures while addressing the American Constitution Society on the threat to the Constitution from President Bush's domestic wiretap policy, Monday, Jan. 16, 2006 at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washigton. Gore asserted Monday that President Bush "repeatedly and persistently" broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The New York suit, filed on behalf of the center and individuals, names President Bush, the head of the National Security Agency, and the heads of the other major security agencies, challenging the NSA's surveillance of persons within the United States without judicial approval or statutory authorization.

It seeks an injunction that would prohibit the government from conducting surveillance of communications in the United States without warrants.

The Detroit suit, which also names the NSA, was filed with the ACLU along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace and several individuals.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday morning with the National Security Agency and the Justice Department.

Bush, who said the wiretapping is legal and necessary, has pointed to a congressional resolution passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that authorized him to use force in the fight against terrorism as allowing him to order the program.

The program authorized eavesdropping of international phone calls and e-mails of people deemed a terror risk.

The Detroit lawsuit says the plaintiffs, who frequently communicate by telephone and e-mail with people in the Middle East and Asia, have a "well-founded belief" that their communications are being intercepted by the government.

"By seriously compromising the free speech and privacy rights of the plaintiffs and others, the program violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution," the lawsuit states.

On the Net:

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_re_us/storytext/

www.ccr-ny.org/v2/home.asp

(or use the link below)

Source: AP-Yahoo News.


Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

DH: Dems out in force for MLK events

Abilene, Jan. 17 - Democrats were seen at multiple events yesterday as the city celebrated MLK Day.

MLK marchers-AbileneThe afternoon MLK march saw all races, right, walking for justice along Abilene's E. Hwy 80 across MLK bridge and back. (Click on all pictures to enlarge.)

Rickettses visit Dem HQRobert Ricketts, center left, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress District 19, his campaign manager and Lubbock Democratic County Chair Johnnie Jones, right of picture, the candidate's wife, Quepha Ricketts, second left, Democratic Club president Roger Spier, left, Alice Spier, Allen Glenn, John Pettit and Dave Haigler (not pictured) met at the Democratic Party HQ to discuss campaign strategy and an upcoming fundraiser for Ricketts in February.

Haileys at MLK banquetState Rep. Dist. 71 candidate Mel Hailey, right, and his wife Jan, left of picture, sponsored a table and were surrounded by friends.

Outgoing State Rep. Dist. 71 Bob Hunter and his wife Shirley were seen sitting at the Petty Hunter table with leading Democrats David Cory, Col. Dave Bach and former Stenholm office manager Libby Connally. County Chair Dave Haigler gave Dr. Bob a hug and jokingly warned him about being surrounded by Democratic spies. Hunter's quipped in reply, "They flock to me."

The M.C. for the evening was Paul Serrell, a right-wing Republican local radio talk-show host, in the mold of Allen Keyes, on talk-radio station KSLI. Serrell recognized Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer without mentioning that his Democratic opponent was also in attendance. Robert Ricketts & his wife Rickettses & Gulletts at MLK Dem tableQuepha, left, were seated at the Democratic Party table next to Dr. John & Marilyn Gullett, right of picture. Dr. Roger Spier dared Ricketts to go greet Neugebauer, but Ricketts quipped, "There are enough trouble-makers at this table already." The Democratic Party table was adjacent to that of the Reporter News table. Editor Terri Burke came over to greet her friends, the Rickettses, the Gulletts & Dave Haigler. Haigler quipped to her, "I'm sure you're now going to go over and give Randy equal time." Burke said, "Yes, if I have time, after dessert." She never made it.

The keynote speaker for the banquet was Farrah Gray, a 21 year old Black entrepreneur famed for being a millionnaire by age 14, who spoke on living his dream, a dream of getting rich. Gray said he had been invited to the White House last night, but preferred to be in Abilene. Gray's story was that he started out selling things like painted rocks in and around his Chicago Southside neighborhood, and progressed to businesses in Las Vegas and Wall Street, majoring in promotional materials and motivational Farrah Gray gives autograph to Ray Twiggsspeaking. Gray is seen at right giving an autograph to Ray Twiggs, an Abilene businessman retired from Innovative Communications Construction Co., which specializes in security equipment. Twiggs, a Democrat, retired back to Abilene to take care of his ailing mother.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info



If those links don't work, try our political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com.

 

WaPo: U.S. Wins Support In Iran Dispute - Jan. 17

China, Russia Join Call to Suspend Nuclear Program

By Mary Jordan and Dafna Linzer, Washington Post Foreign Service - Tuesday, January 17, 2006; Page A01

LONDON -- China and Russia agreed with the United States, Britain, Germany and France on Monday that Iran must completely suspend its nuclear program, the British Foreign Office said. Although the countries failed to agree on whether Iran's case should be referred to the U.N. Security Council, the Europeans applied new pressure on the Iranian government by calling for an emergency meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Feb. 2.

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a speech at a press conference in Tehran on Saturday.Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, is seen making a speech at a press conference in Tehran declaring his country's nuclear intentions.

With all six of the agreeing nations declaring that they sought a diplomatic solution to the escalating confrontation with Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a glimmer of hope for a compromise. Putin said the Iranian government was considering a proposal from Moscow that Russia would produce enriched uranium for Iran, to ensure the material could be used only for peaceful purposes.

Full Washington Post story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com


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