Monday, August 01, 2005

Other stories of note in this morning's New York Times

The Central Intelligence Agency was told by an informant in the spring of 2001 that Iraq had abandoned a major element of its nuclear weapons program, but the agency did not share the information with other agencies or with senior policy makers, a former C.I.A. officer has charged.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court here in December, the former C.I.A. officer, whose name remains secret, said that the informant told him that Iraq's uranium enrichment program had ended years earlier and that centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even purchase.
The officer, an employee at the agency for more than 20 years, including several years in a clandestine unit assigned to gather intelligence related to illicit weapons, was fired in 2004.

The above is from James Risen's "Spy's Notes on Iraqi Aims Were Shelved, Suit Says" in this morning's New York Times and Dustin e-mailed to note it.

Marcia e-mails to note Raymond Hernandez and Al Baker's "Pataki Will Veto New Rule on Pill:"

Gov. George E. Pataki's aides said last night that he would veto a bill to make the so-called morning-after pill available without a prescription, prompting outrage among abortion-rights advocates.
Kevin C. Quinn, a spokesman for the governor, said in a statement that the governor's main objection was that the bill did not include provisions that would prevent minors from having access to the drug.

Karen e-mails to note Eric Schmitt's "No Harm Seen in Loss of Base in Uzbekistan:"

Senior American military officials said Sunday that the loss of access to an important air base in Uzbekistan could be offset without hurting combat operations and relief missions in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan formally ordered the United States to leave the air base within 180 days in protest over a United Nations operation on Friday to relocate Uzbek refugees who had fled during an uprising in May.

Barbara e-mails to note Christine's "Pillow Talk: Feminism Between Couples" (Ms. Musing):

Those looking for more clues into Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts' views on Roe v. Wade may want to consider more closely Jane Sullivan Robert's involvement with Feminists for Life.
Sherry F. Colb, a professor at Rutgers Law School and columnist for FindLaw, has penned a lengthy piece, "
John Roberts's Pro-Life Spouse: The Relevance of Jane Roberts's Politics."
It begins by discussing whether feminism can ever be consistent with opposition to abortion -- "If the workplace and our social safety networks were more supportive of women with children, fewer -- maybe many fewer -- women would even want an abortion," writes Colb. "And for those who would not, abortion 'choice' may truly sound like a cruel joke: a decision that they feel forced to make because the other options are even worse."
Colb then describes in detail FFL's
advertising campaign aimed at college students that focuses on "abortion guilt."
"Interestingly, few of the FFL posters address feasible alternatives for women at risk for an undesired abortion," writes Colb. "And crucially, not one poster refers to the dearth of safe, effective, and affordable contraception, a glaring omission if women are to be allowed to have sex even when they do not want to have a child."
Colb also deconstructs the flaws in FFL's anti-abortion rhetoric and notes that FFL omits any mention of criminalization of abortion, though it seems clear that this is what the group advocates.

Paul e-mails to note that Katrina vanden Heuvel sums up last week in a brief and to the point entry entitled "Anti-Sweet Victory: The Week From Hell:"

As a friend from DC wrote me late last night: "So this is the week from hell: the AFL-CIO splits, the DLC unveils Hillary as head of its American Dream new ideas committee (god forbid), to be followed by confirmation of Christopher Cox to head the SEC without a fight, passage of a big oil energy bill with massive giveaways to industry, including Halliburton, passage of CAFTA, with 15 Dems on board. Bush declares triumph; hailed as effective. Country takes it in ear. No wonder breathing the air here in DC is officially bad for your health....And as Congress heads to recess, both parties show what they are. Rs are disciplined and utterly corrupt, willing to hijack democracy for their own agenda, and wrongheaded. And Ds still in disarray, divided with too little fight in them."

Wally e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's latest "Bush Gets His Way on Energy:"

For all his troubles with Iraq and with the Karl Rove scandal, Bush still manages to win in Congress.
He prevailed on CAFTA, thanks to 15 wayward Democrats.
He scored a victory for the NRA, which bragged in 2000 that it would be setting up shop in the Oval Office if Bush became President.
And now the House has approved his energy bill, which will dole out billions of dollars to the oil and gas companies.
Not that they need it.
In the first quarter alone, the top four oil giants raked in $97 billion in profits.
Bush and Cheney, executing their agenda down the line, have put in wording that will deregulate the energy field even further.
"The bill's repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act will set the stage for utility mergers that could very well destabilize an industry that for the past 70 years has brought us the world’s most reliable electricity grid," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "Under this legislation, banks, oil companies, and even foreign countries could purchase electric utilities, further removing them from local control and state oversight."
Claybrook added that the bill will "exempt oil and gas companies from important environmental protection laws" and "limit the ability of states and local communities to have adequate say in how proposed liquefied natural gas facilities are built."
The biggest outrage of the energy bill is that it won't make us any more energy independent any time soon, if at all.

Lastly, Rachel e-mails to note David Moberg's "Gods and Mortals: The AFL-CIO’s split may impact smaller state and local federations the most" which will pull quote from later today.

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