Monday, June 06, 2005

NYT: "A Teary-Eyed Rebel Defies Party Leaders" (David D. Kirkpatrick)

Senator George V. Voinovich, the only Republican to speak out on the Senate floor against the president's nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, brought an unusual show of emotion to his case. Mr. Voinovich choked up.
"I wanted my colleagues to think about this. That's why I got emotional," he said in an hourlong interview at his home here on Friday, when he grew teary-eyed three more times over other subjects. "My emotions are a little bit closer to the surface than maybe they should be," he said.
Coming the same week that Ohio's other Republican senator, Mike DeWine, split from party leaders to compromise with Democrats over the president's stalled judicial nominees, Mr. Voinovich's emotional appeal to block Mr. Bolton has set up a dual test of Republican leaders' ability to hold their caucus together.

The above is from David D. Kirkpatrick's "A Teary-Eyed Rebel Defies Party Leaders" in this morning's New York Times.

Nate e-mails to note that "Bush's war on the middle-class, the lower-class and anyone not in the top 1% continues." Nate steers us to Greg Winter's "Financial Aid Rules for College Change, and Families Pay More:"

No matter how she parses it, Roberta Proctor cannot make sense of her son's college bill. Her income and her assets have not changed. If anything, she says, her family's finances have deteriorated somewhat.
So, she wonders, how could she possibly owe an extra $6,000 for the coming school year, when tuition has not increased anywhere near that amount?
But she does. Like Ms. Proctor, a Californian whose son just finished his freshman year at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, thousands of American families might find it harder to qualify for financial aid this year and might be asked to contribute more money toward the cost of college because of changes to a complicated federal formula they barely know about, much less understand.
Taken together, these changes, some based on overly optimistic predictions of inflation, have required families to count a greater share of their incomes and assets toward college expenses before becoming eligible for financial aid. As a consequence, tens of thousands of low-income students will no longer be eligible for federal grants; middle-class families are digging deeper into their savings; and some colleges are putting up their own money to make up the difference.

Billie e-mails to note Ralph Blumenthal's "Texas Governor Draws Criticism for a Bill-Signing Event at an Evangelical School:"

Making good on a Republican campaign call to celebrate with "Christian friends," Gov. Rick Perry traveled to an evangelical school here on Sunday to put his signature on measures to restrict abortion and prohibit same-sex marriage.
About 100 protesters lined the street outside the school, Calvary Christian Academy, denouncing the unusual signing as breaching the constitutional separation between church and state.
The event, termed historic by the church's pastor, Bob Nichols, was pointedly held in the academy's gymnasium, apart from the church sanctuary, to deflect complaints. A plan by the Perry campaign to film the event for political commercials was dropped earlier.
Mr. Perry, who may face a tough primary challenge next year, described the event as "pro-family, pro-life" and nonpartisan. On a dais before a cheering crowd of close to 1,000 churchgoers and leaders of evangelical ministries, he signed a bill passed during this session of the Texas Legislature requiring girls under 18 to get their parents' consent before having an abortion. Previously, they needed only to notify their parents.

Billie again wonders how tough the Republican primary will be and whether Perry will survive it if the rumors resurface -- the rumors he refuted without naming in a press conference he called to address them -- in a non-addressing manner.

Billie: This looks to be a really ugly primary and Democrats need to field a strong candidate who won't shy from addressing the blood-letting that's bound to come up in the Repube's primary.

KeShawn e-mails to note Denise Grady's "New Vaccines Prevent Ebola and Marburg in Monkeys:"

Scientists trying to develop vaccines against Africa's deadly Marburg and Ebola viruses are reporting an important milestone, a new type of vaccine that prevents the diseases in monkeys. Successfully immunizing monkeys is an essential step toward producing human vaccines.
Two new vaccines, one for Marburg and one for Ebola, were 100 percent effective in a study of 12 macaques being published today in the journal Nature Medicine. Monkeys given just one shot of vaccine and later injected with a high dose of virus did not even get sick. Normally, all the animals would be expected to die.
The Marburg and Ebola viruses are closely related, and in both people and monkeys they cause hemorrhagic fevers that can be fatal within a week. There is no vaccine or treatment for either disease. Death rates in people can be high, sometimes exceeding 80 or 90 percent.

[. . .]
The two new vaccines are still experimental, and will not be ready to be tested in people for at least two years. If human trials are successful, products might be ready for licensing five or six years from now, the researchers said. The vaccines would not be used for routine immunization, but would be given to health workers in high risk areas, virus researchers and people who had been exposed to the disease, such as relatives and others in close contact with sick patients. Eventually, it might be possible to combine the vaccines to protect people from both diseases with a single shot.

Lastly we'll note Joel Brinkley's "Latin Nations Resist Plan for Monitor of Democracy:"

The major nations of Latin America have told the United States that they cannot support an American plan to establish a permanent committee of the Organization of American States that would monitor the exercise of democracy in the hemisphere, Latin American diplomats said Sunday.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who arrived here on Sunday afternoon to serve as chairwoman of an O.A.S. meeting where the American plan is on the agenda, expressed frustration with their view, saying, "We have to have a discussion of how the organization can be effective if it does not have a mechanism that can help at times of crisis."
If the organization fails to approve the American proposal, it would be a significant diplomatic defeat for the United States - from a region that for decades has generally gone along with Washington's requests. The United States is negotiating with the other countries, though diplomats and officials said they made little progress on Sunday.

It's a Monday. Translation, not a great deal going on in the Times (a typical Monday for the Times). Since we've done the news stories from outside the US in two entries yesterday, we'll skip over to The Christian Science Monitor. (A number of members already read that paper and this is an issue that came up Friday in another forum. I'll go into that after we finish highlighting stories from the paper.)

We'll start with Peter Grier's "The image war over US detainees: Debate over the word 'gulag' and treatment of the Koran in US detention facilities symbolizes a broader challenge for US:"

In its latest attempt to minimize the impact of revelations about detention conditions, Bush officials over the weekend played down a new military report on mishandling of the Koran at Guantánamo.
The report, released June 3, detailed five incidents during which the Islamic holy book was either kicked, stepped on, or soaked in water.
The military said that the incidents were unusual, considering that interrogators have conducted over 28,000 interviews at the prison, and that official policy emphasizes sensitivity towards detainees' religious faith.

[. . .]
Leaders of the human rights group have conceded that their language may have overreached: On Sunday William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a broadcast interview that the gulag comparison "is not an exact or literal analogy."
But he noted that his group is far from alone in criticizing the underlying tenets of the US detention system. US courts have ruled against certain aspects; internal military investigations have found disturbing incidents of abuse, even murder, from Abu Ghraib to Afghanistan. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld offered to resign in April 2004, when pictures of Abu Ghraib practices first surfaced. The US government has undertaken some 370 military investigations into the charges, with some 130 personnel facing some degree of punishment.

Susan e-mails to note the scary trend of attacks on campus freedom "are now going beyond college." She notes G. Jeffery MacDonald's "Conservatives see liberal bias in class - and mobilize
Complaints that teachers push liberal ideology are trickling down from college campuses to the K-12 level

Concerned that public schools are becoming sites of liberal indoctrination, activists have generated a wave of efforts to limit what teachers may discuss and to bring more conservative views into the classroom.
After all, they say, if related campaigns can help rein in doctrinaire faculty on college campuses, why not in K-12 education as well?

So far this year, at least 14 state legislatures have considered bills aimed at colleges that would restrict professors and establish grievance procedures for students who perceive political bias in teaching. None have become law, but the movement has momentum: Four state universities in Colorado, for instance, adopted the principles under legislative pressure in 2004.

(Note, there's a poll you can take when you visit The Christian Science Monitor's story above to weigh in on whether you think K-12 has been overrun with liberal indoctrination.)

Cedric e-mails to note Mark Sappenfield's "Global-warming fight goes grass roots: Mayors from around the world met this weekend to cut emissions:"

Sunday, when mayors from around the world gathered in this most environmentally aware of American cities to mark World Environment Day, they hoped to make a clear statement: Local communities - even more than nations - can be the pioneers of environmental reform. The choice of place and time could hardly have been more auspicious.
In recent months, it has become increasingly obvious that a critical mass is developing around perhaps the most nettlesome issue of modern American environmentalism - climate change - and that states, cities, and even some businesses are the ones taking the lead. While the Bush administration insists that human impact on climate change is far from certain, a growing number of policymakers disagree and are now taking decisive steps that the federal government has so far shunned.

Rob e-mails to note Joshua Mitnick's "As Hamas makes gains, will Abbas's ruling party unravel? On Saturday, the Palestinian president delayed a vote amid disarray in his party:"

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's decision over the weekend to postpone Palestinian parliamentary elections raised concern immediately about a confrontation with militant Hamas, poised to trounce Mr. Abbas's ruling Fatah party in a vote scheduled for next month.
But after months of promising to hold the elections on July 17, the Palestinian president's reversal actually highlights the deepening tensions within his own party, analysts and officials say. It's expected now that the vote will be held this fall.

"[The delay] is not out of fear for Hamas, as so many people say," says Fatah lawmaker Ghazi Hanineyeh. "We are afraid of ourselves."
Founded by the late Yasser Arafat as the umbrella political party that galvanized Palestinian resistance to Israel, Fatah has unraveled into a loose alliance of rival factions tainted by allegations of corruption and mismanagement. Delaying the vote could give Abbas enough time to reform the party and avert collapse when it faces Hamas in the legislative vote, analysts say.

If a member e-mailed another article from The Christian Science Monitor, I'm sorry but I'm not seeing it. For visitors (and members not on the list for the gina & krista round-robin), Friday's gina & krista round-robin contained a talk between Gina, Krista and myself about the Times. During that, the question arose of if we dropped coverage of the Times here, which newspaper would we pick up? As I've stated here before (at least twice), my guess is it would be The Christian Science Monitor. It's a national paper. It's generally a strong paper. In the discussion, I offered to highlight some articles from it on Monday if members were interested. Monday was selected because the Times on Monday generally has a very thin main section.

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