Friday, October 14, 2005

Other Items

Carl e-mails to note Philip Shenon's "Prosecutor Subpoenas Phone Data of DeLay" in this morning's New York Times:

The subpoenas, issued by the district attorney in Travis County, Tex., which includes Austin, the state capital, sought records for Mr. DeLay's home telephone number and for his campaign office, as well as for two phone numbers used by his daughter, a key political aide. The subpoenas sought information on long-distance calls made from or charged to the numbers.
The district attorney, Ronnie Earle, had no immediate comment on the subpoenas or their timing. The move appeared to be an effort to gather additional information that might tie Mr. DeLay, whose home is in Sugar Land, near Houston, to what Mr. Earle has described as a conspiracy in 2002 to undermine a state ban on the use of corporate money in local political campaigns.

Bill Richardson is headed to Korea. Steven R. Weisman has the details in this attempt at diplomacy in "A U.S. Democrat to Go to North Korea for Nuclear Talks" but note, when diplomacy is needed, the administration has to go outside the White House, outside their own party.

Does it make you wonder (even more) about the lack of competency in this administration? (Not that Richardson's going on the trip but that they have to go outside their party.) Richard W. Stevenson's "White House Dismisses Idea Of Withdrawal by Nominee" tells you Scotty says Harrie is not going anywhere:

In a series of heated exchanges with reporters at his daily news briefing that seemed to reflect the White House's frustration with the difficulties the nomination has encountered, Mr. McClellan said there had been too much focus by journalists on "side issues like religion" and not enough attention on "her record and her qualifications."

Side issue? Bully Boy made it an issue and it's now public record that he made it an issue in his efforts to shore up her support with fundamentalists.

Andy e-mails to note The New York Times' "In a Scripted TV Scene, Soldiers Reassure Bush" (TNYT is the byline for the story):

The event, stage-managed for television, came across as carefully scripted and a bit awkward, despite attempts to prepare the soldiers for what they would be asked and to give them time to think through their answers.
"How are they doing?" Mr. Bush asked one of the officers about the Iraqi security forces. "I mean, give us an assessment. One of the things, Captain, that people in America want to know is, one, do the Iraqis want to fight, and are they capable of fighting?"

Krista e-mails to note Douglas Martin's "Vivian Malone Jones, 63, Dies" (stroke related death):

Vivian Malone Jones, who on a blisteringly hot June day in 1963 became one of two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama after first being barred at the door by the defiant governor, George C. Wallace, died yesterday in Atlanta. She was 63.
[. . .]
Her entrance to the university came as the civil rights struggle raged across the South. On June 12, the day after Ms. Jones and James Hood were escorted into the university by federalized National Guard troops, the civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot to death in Jackson, Miss.

Erika e-mails to note Elisabeth Rosenthal's "Asia Avian Flu Confirmed as Killer of Birds in Turkey:"

Thousands of birds that died in Turkey in the past week succumbed to the same deadly avian influenza virus that has ravaged Southeast Asia in the past five years, medical tests done in Britain confirmed Thursday. It was the first time that the disease had been reported in Europe.
The development signaled a new phase in the spread of the deadly virus across the globe.

Lane e-mails to note Jeremy Scahill's "Mr. Bush Goes to Tikrit (Sort Of)" (CounterPunch) on the same subject as the article by "The New York Times:"

Just when you think that President Bush couldn't out-Saddam Saddam any more, he goes and does something that proves you wrong. If any Iraqis caught the hilarious videoconference today between Bush at the White House and troops from the 42nd Infantry Division in Tikrit, it may have seemed like a high-tech version of a familiar scene from the old days when Saddam used to travel to Tikrit to feel (and more importantly to have others feel) his greatness.
The videoconference was a display of just how far the propaganda system has come since Bush took over from Saddam. Instead of visiting Tikrit, which the president lightly acknowledged he could not safely do, Bush addressed-- via satellite--an adoring bunch of US soldiers that had apparently been given a heavy dose of Kool-Aid before the telecast began. Oh, there was one Iraqi there--Sergeant Major Akeel from the 5th Iraqi Army Division, whose role in the affair was limited to smiling like a good Iraqi and saying to Bush, "I like you."
Under Saddam, Iraqis were bombarded via their TVs with video of the Iraqi leader meeting his generals in Tikrit, overseeing military parades, listening intently to his commanders, examining their weapons, firing a rifle here, swinging a sword there. For Iraqis, Tikrit represented the mother of all locations for the regime's propaganda commercial shoots. Few were those Iraqis chosen to be in Saddam's midst for these staged commercials, but at least Saddam actually went there.
Two and a half years after the US occupation began, there stood President Bush at his podium in the White House in front of a massive plasma screen TV, holding an earpiece to his head (out in the open this time). Before him, beamed in by satellite, were the 10 handpicked soldiers. They sat in three rows, fawning over Bush and delivering glowing assessments of the situation on the ground. At one point, it seemed as if one of the soldiers, Master Sergeant Corine Lombardo, was lifting from one of Bush's "major addresses" on Iraq when she told the president, "We began our fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11, and we're proud to continue it here."

We're asked to note Christopher Dickey's "Wars of Hate" (MSNBC, Newsweek online):

On or about Dec. 30, 2002, which was a day after we’d had dinner in New York and a year to the day before he died of a heart attack, John Gregory Dunne put a floppy disk in an envelope and dropped it off at the Manhattan apartment where I was staying. As happens, I misplaced it in my travels after that, and only last weekend did I find it and read the digital newspaper clippings he’d pulled together, which he’d talked about with so much excitement at our dinner.

Rod e-mails to note today's scheduled topics for Democracy Now!:

Friday, October 14: TBA We will be discussing the upcoming vote on the Iraqi Constitution with leading Iraqi feminist Yannar Mohammed and the latest developments in Syria with Political Science Professor Bassam Haddad. We will also talk with one of the local organizers of the Millions More Movement, Larry Hamm.

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