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        Monday, December 12, 2005

       12/12/05 Todays News Stories

Supreme Court to Review Texas Redistricting .

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Monday it would consider the constitutionality of a Texas congressional map engineered by Rep. Tom DeLay that helped Republicans gain seats in Congress.
The 2003 boundaries helped Republicans win 21 of the state's 32 seats in Congress in the last election_ up from 15. They were approved amid a nasty battle between Republican leaders and Democrats and minority groups in Texas.

Smirking Chimp
'The Unholy Trinity hits the road'

Excerpt: Visibly thrown when parroting patriotic punchlines (the bromides that usually get the shills cheering) and receiving a rousing wave of silence, Bush clutched the lectern so hard it actually quivered. Bush's microphone picked up the rumbling and provided a winning combo of basic Bushit and the soundtrack from "Earthquake." During his spiel, our Fabricator-in-Chief received one tepid half-round of applause; the kind of clapping usually reserved for an over-the-hill stripper at a joint off the Jersey turnpike from the last three drunks left in the dive who are so blotto they think they're watching a magic act.

'Tookie Williams: Melting glaciers and burning cities?'

The key consideration in the Tookie Williams case is that he would never have co-founded the Crips -- or been a criminal member of any street gang -- if he'd been born and raised in affluent, white suburbia.
Instead, his cruel environment was that grim soul trap known as the American ghetto, where jobs, opportunity, justice and hope are perpetually deferred.
Where would-be doctors, lawyers, scientists, technical innovators, etc., are predictably kept from their lives' fulfillment -- and society's great gain -- by the invisible chains of unrelenting racism.
I'm reminded of the lyrics of a classic song by Ray Charles:

"I am no thief, but a man can go wrong...when he's busted."

Ray was singing about someone who contemplates petty crimes of necessity when the economy turns abruptly bad.

'Torture and white phosphorus'

One thing history surely does tell us is that nothing is more dangerous than Condeleezza's tendency to speak in sweeping, virtually meaningless generalizations about the people she regards as foes. Every war of aggression, every wave of state terror, every deadly fanatical cause has used just such terms. People are described with de-humanized slogans, making them easy to hate and abuse. We should all go on a personal terror alert when powerful figures talk this way.

In These Times
Your Guess Is as Good as Mine By Kurt Vonnegut

Some of the loudest, most proudly ignorant guessing in the world is going on in Washington today. Our leaders are sick of all the solid information that has been dumped on humanity by research and scholarship and investigative reporting.

They think that the whole country is sick of it, and they want standards, and it isn’t the gold standard. They want to put us back on the snake-oil standard.

Huffiington Post
Barack Obushama

It took less than a year in office for Barack Obama to become an apologist for George Bush. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune Obama was asked at a town hall meeting whether Bush should be impeached for lying us into the Iraq debacle, to which our junior senator reportedly replied "Well, FDR, JFK, LBJ -- we have a pretty long list of presidents who maybe were not entirely forthcoming with intelligence information before they went to war, so I'd be cautious against making legal cases against the administration."
All together now, "What the f---?!!"

Unclaimed Territory
Eugene McCarthy & the Smearing of Howard Dean

Nice things are being said today about Eugene McCarthy in the unlikeliest corners because he died yesterday. Here’s Paul at Powerline, in full-on disingenuous eulogy mode:
McCarthy's most ardent supporters were college students. Most of my anti-war friends preferred him to Kennedy, as I did (and still do). First, McCarthy had shown more guts than Kennedy by challenging Johnson before it was clear how weak the president's position was. Second, McCarthy came across as cool; Kennedy as anything but. Yet deep down, most of the college kids I knew were mainly just interested in becoming involved. . . .
Cheney and Fried Rice in Hot Water

European reaction to visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's statements on torture can be summed up in lead commentary Wednesday in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, among the most widely respected German newspapers. Under the title "Justice à la Rice," the editor "translated" her message into these words: "The end justifies the means, and terrorism can be fought with borderline methods on the outer edges of legality." He added: "Rice came to Germany to begin a new era. She has resoundingly failed to do so.

Think Progress
Bush Advisor To Reporter: Katrina “Has Fallen So Far Off The Radar Screen, You Can’t Find It”

Excerpt: The New York Times says the neglect is threatening the future of the city:

We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.

Global News Matrix
“No Earthly Idea”: Frist Continues To Lie on Stock Sale

Frist claimed this morning on Fox News Sunday that, for the last decade, he has had “no earthly idea” how much HCA stock he owned:

For the last 10 or 11 years, I have no idea no earthly idea at any point in time how much stock of anything, not just that particular stock [HCA], but all of the stocks that I’ve owned in the past. And that’s good, because I’m able to put it aside and not worry about it.

That’s not true. During the last five years, he was aware of both the general value of his holdings in HCA and substantial purchases of additional HCA shares:

Telegraph U.K.
How free speech was quietly abolished

Then, an author taking part in a broadcast discussion about gay adoptions was telephoned by a policewoman and informed that her name had been noted following a complaint that she had made a "homophobic" remark on air. Lynette Burrows had offered her opinion that two homosexual men should not be allowed to adopt a boy, which is a view with which you may agree or disagree, but does not warrant a call from the local constabulary.


Since Ben Franklin and colonial times, the editorial cartoon has been one of the most visible and popular parts of the daily paper. However, recent changes within the newspaper industry have placed this American institution at risk.

Wired News
Secret ID Law to Get Hearing

Although John Gilmore lives just five blocks from San Francisco's Department of Motor Vehicles, his driver's license is expired. On purpose.

The outspoken, techno-hippie, wealthy civil libertarian doesn't want to give his Social Security number to the DMV.
Neither will he show his driver's license at airports, or submit to routine security searches. This refusal to obey the rules led him to file suit against the Bush administration (Gilmore v. Gonzales) after being rebuffed at two different airports on July 4, 2002, when he tried to fly without showing identification. One airline offered to let Gilmore fly without showing ID, but only if he underwent more intensive security screening, which he declined.