October 2005 Archives

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October 31, 2005


Link: Untitled.

Bush Nominates %u201CMovement Conservative%u201D to Placate Right Wing

Washington, DC%u2014Alliance for Justice opposes the nomination of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. %u201CInfluential segments of the radical right torpedoed the nomination of Harriet Miers because she didn%u2019t have a proven record of being a %u2018movement%u2019 conservative, dedicated to carrying out their political agenda on the bench. The right is now giddy about the nomination of Samuel Alito %u2013 undoubtedly because he has such a record. If confirmed to the pivotal O%u2019Connor seat, Judge Alito would fundamentally change the balance of the Supreme Court, tipping it in a direction that could jeopardize our most cherished rights and freedoms,%u201D stated Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice.

%u201CThe president and the right claim to value judicial restraint. Yet Judge Alito has not demonstrated such restraint,%u201D noted Aron. Alito has voted to:

Strike down a federal law prohibiting the possession of machine guns, leading his colleagues to accuse him of disrespecting the considered decision of Congress by requiring it to %u201Cplay %u2018Show and Tell%u2019 with the federal courts%u201D;

Invalidate part of the Family and Medical Leave Act;

Scuttle Congress%u2019 intentions by making it much harder for civil rights plaintiffs to prove sex and race discrimination. In one case, his colleagues noted that the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination %u201Cwould be eviscerated if our analysis were to halt where [Judge Alito] suggests.%u201D

Judge Alito has also:

Upheld intrusive police searches of women and children who were not named in search warrants and weren%u2019t the subjects of any investigation. In one case, President Bush%u2019s own Director of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff %u2013 who formerly served with Judge Alito on the Third Circuit %u2013 criticized Judge Alito%u2019s position.

Excused race discrimination by prosecutors in jury selection and upheld a death sentence that the Supreme Court overturned%u2014with Justice O%u2019Connor casting the deciding vote;

Upheld abortion restrictions that the Supreme Court struck down in a landmark case.

%u201CWith Judge Alito, President Bush has sought to appease the radical right and fuel a revolution on the Supreme Court,%u201D said Aron. The National Law Journal reported that lawyers believe that Judge Alito is %u201Cmuch more of an ideologue than most of his colleagues.%u201D A prominent legal observer, who strongly supported John Roberts%u2019 nomination, has similarly called Judge Alito a %u201Cconservative activist%u201D and asserts that his %u201Clack of deference to Congress is unsettling.%u201D

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October 26, 2005

Will somebody please begin the Frog Marching?

Link: FT.com / US / CIA leak - CIA leak charges set to be handed out.

Indictments in the CIA leak investigation case are expected to be handed down by a grand jury on Wednesday, bringing to a head a criminal inquiry that threatens to disrupt seriously President George W. Bush's second term.

On Tuesday night, news reports, supported by a source close to the lawyers involved in the case, said that target letters to those facing indictment were being issued, with sealed indictments to be filed on Wednesday and released by the end of the week.

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Indonesian Students Skeptical About U.S. Policy, but Not America - New York Times

Karen Hughes is a complete idiot... and the kids in Indonesia know it...

Link: Indonesian Students Skeptical About U.S. Policy, but Not America - New York Times.

Ms. Hughes, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy, began by inviting the students to tell her what they were studying and what their hopes were.The students wanted no such small talk. They wanted to talk about Iraq and America's role in the world, offering comments, opinions and questions marked by charges that the United States was "two-faced" and "unfair.""Why does America always act as if they are the policeman of the world?" asked 20-year-old Barikatul Hikmah, wearing a black-and-white-striped head scarf, bright yellow pumps and blue jeans.The question was met with applause from the 100 or so students in the audience.

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Dick at the Heart of Darkness - New York Times

Maureen Dowd is on fire...

Link: Dick at the Heart of Darkness - New York Times.

After W. was elected, he sometimes gave visitors a tour of the love alcove off the Oval Office where Bill trysted with Monica - the notorious spot where his predecessor had dishonored the White House.

At least it was only a little pantry - and a little panting.

If W. wants to show people now where the White House has been dishonored in far more astounding and deadly ways, he'll have to haul them around every nook and cranny of his vice president's office, then go across the river for a walk of shame through the Rummy empire at the Pentagon.

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October 25, 2005

Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report - New York Times

...so, is Cheney involved or not? Who cares! The house of Bush is slowly falling apart anyway!

Link: Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report - New York Times.

Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

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October 22, 2005

Woman of Mass Destruction - New York Times

Maureen Dowd has a few things to say about Judy Miller...

Link: Woman of Mass Destruction - New York Times.

Judy refused to answer a lot of questions put to her by Times reporters, or show the notes that she shared with the grand jury. I admire Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Keller for aggressively backing reporters in the cross hairs of a prosecutor. But before turning Judy's case into a First Amendment battle, they should have nailed her to a chair and extracted the entire story of her escapade. Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover "the same thing I've always covered - threats to our country." If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands.

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October 21, 2005

"I am Sorry"

David Corn writes about McClellan's future apology...

Link: David Corn.

SCOTTY, YOUR REPORTER FRIENDS ARE WAITING. A White House correspondent who says he likes White House press secretary Scott McClellan, recently shared this observation with me: "It's sad about Scott. He doesn't know that one day--maybe soon--he is going to have to come out and say to the press corps about the Plame story, 'I was lied to, I was deceived, and, thus, I deceived you. I'm sorry.' Scott doesn't know this. Everybody else knows this. But he's loyal. He doesn't understand that such a day is coming."

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October 17, 2005

What Global Warming?

Tropical Storm Wilma marks a record for most # of named storms... what Global Warming?

Link: Worldpress.org - World Press Wire.

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Freeh's Self-Whitewash

This was an enjoyable read by Clinton's former Chief of Staff, John Podesta on Louis Freeh's new book on his time with the FBI (should be subtitled, "And, how I did nothing wrong").

Link: Freeh's Self-Whitewash.

During his tenure as director of the FBI, Louis Freeh presided over a series of blunders and failures that brought the bureau to a low point in its history. From the embarrassment of the Russian mole Robert Hanssen to the bungling of the Wen Ho Lee investigation to the wasting of hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to build a modern, computerized case management system, the bureau under Freeh's leadership stumbled from one blunder to the next, with little or no accountability. The nadir, as the nation knows too well, was reached in the astonishing string of failures that helped leave America vulnerable to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.In the face of this record, Freeh has now published "My FBI," a book distinguished by its shameless buck-passing. Nothing, it seems, was ever Louis Freeh's fault.

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American Beauties | BuyBlue.org

I guess we have a new toy to buy our kids...

Link: American Beauties | BuyBlue.org.

Don’t hate Mattel Corporation’s  Barbie because she’s beautiful. Just embrace their subsidiary’s doll instead, American Girl. American Girl dolls are much more wholesome and cute in a brainy, self-actualized way. They’re ethnically diverse, and they teach girls about history. Even more impressive, the American Girl company has now made a real, monetary commitment to giving girls confidence, intellectually and athletically, with the needed skills to lead and build communities.

American Girl has now teamed up with Girls Inc., specifically promoting three programs through donations from the sales of a colorful, “I can!” bracelet: Operation Smart, Discover Leadership, and Sporting Chance are three Girls Inc. programs developed specifically for building science, math and technology skills; developing leadership and community awareness skills; and encouraging athletic, cooperative and competitive spirit skills, as well as an interest in sports participation, respectively. How can you not like these programs?

The broader mission of Girls Inc. is best summarized within a letter from Joyce M. Roché, President and CEO of Girls Incorporated. It’s entitled, To all friends of strong, smart, and bold girls (Oct. 15, 2005):

Girls Inc. has empowered girls for over 141 years, first as Girls Clubs of America and since 1990 as Girls Incorporated. In centers across the country, generations of girls have learned their strengths, explored their worlds, prepared for productive, interesting lives, and offered each other the support necessary in dealing with the challenges of growing up.
Grounded in research and tested in the field, Girls Inc. programs address the whole girl. They build her athletic skills and competitive spirit, nurture her ability and interest in science, math and technology, equip her with critical health and sexuality information, provide her leadership experience, teach her media literacy and money management skills, and foster her self-respect and self-determination. Programs such as Girls Inc. Operation SMART®, Girls Inc. Discovery Leadership®, and Girls Inc. Sporting Chance® help girls understand who they are and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to make smart, informed decisions about their lives.
In addition, since 1992 Girls Inc. has provided over $1.8 million in college scholarships to girls who have become leaders in all walks of life and has played a crucial role in advancing girls' rights through supporting legislation such as Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act.

But embedded in all of those good, empowering goals and achievements at the Girls Inc. website, there is inarguable support for upholding Roe vs. Wade as it stands, as well as a commitment to helping girls deal with the diversity in sexual orientation that they are bound to encounter in life, unless they live in a vacuum.

In response, the American Family Association is trashing the dolls that they have always loved up to now. They’re condemning the beneficial programs because Girls Inc. supports tolerance for homosexuality and a pro-choice stance, as well as all the other possible life experiences and choices that girls as a group will certainly face. I thought conservative groups were tired of the glitzy, superficial world of Barbie and Bratz dolls. Why aren’t they embracing a doll and an organization that actually promotes informed, personal responsibility for a change, as well as an abstinence first policy toward health and sexuality? I urge you to contact Mattel’s CEO, Bob Eckert , and Girl Inc. president, Joyce Roche , to support them for providing our kids with ALL the tools they may need to succeed, regardless of the divisive controversy being tossed at them out of right field.

Also, read this SFChronicle piece  for more background.  Thank you to Jessica for the October 12, 2005 blog posted at feministing.com on this subject.

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