Thursday, December 01, 2005

NYT: "Alito File Shows Strategy to Curb Abortion Ruling" (David D. Kirkpatrick)

Judge Alito argued in a 1985 memorandum to the Reagan administration's solicitor general that two pending Supreme Court cases were an "opportunity to advance the goals of overruling Roe v. Wade and, in the meantime, of mitigating its effects."
And in a strongly worded 17-page legal analysis, he recommended advancing the administration's ultimate case against Roe by defending state regulations requiring doctors to provide women seeking abortions with information about fetal development, the risks and "unforeseeable detrimental effects" of the procedure and the availability of adoption services or paternal child support.
Although the information might cause "emotional distress, anxiety, guilt and in some cases physical pain" to the women, Judge Alito wrote, such results "are part of the responsibility of moral choice," comparable to the feelings of "a legislator voting on abortion legislation, a judge or juror pronouncing a sentence of death or imprisonment," or "a military officer commanding a mission he knows will cost lives."
The memorandum substantiates recently disclosed statements Judge Alito made about his pride in contributing to the administration's efforts to end the constitutional right to abortion; he made those statements in a Reagan administration job application written a few months after the memorandum. It also illustrates Judge Alito's personal passion in opposing abortion rights and the formative role he played in the administration's approach to the cases.

The above is from David D. Kirkpatrick's "Alito File Shows Strategy to Curb Abortion Ruling" in this morning's New York Times. Picked by Susan, Brady and Martha for this morning's spotlight story. Stealth nominees and covert attempts to split the Ninth Circuit, it's all part of the administration's war on the judiciary.

Alito's core beliefs revealed the same week that people are seriously thinking about how personal agendas triumphed science at the FDA (see 60 Minutes "The Debate Over Plan B"). Will it be enough to kill the nomination?

Combining the news on Alito's attack on health care (and reproductive rights and just go down the list) with another health issue, Betty notes Phill Wilson's "10 World AIDS Days Later" (The Chicago Defender):

I first saw Rent on Broadway with the original cast in 1996, the year protease inhibitors came on the market. It was a time in my life when my own mortality clock was ticking very fast. I had nearly died a few months earlier, and no one expected me to live beyond the end of the year.
So much has happened since the play opened that I expected the movie to be dated. After all, World AIDS Day has rolled around 10 times since Rent debuted. Many of us with AIDS are living longer. I have been living with HIV for more than 25 years and full blown AIDS for 15 years. But, more than that, the unimaginable has happened: We are making HIV/AIDS therapies available in the worst hit parts of Sub-Sahara Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.
So I was surprised when, after the opening verse of the first real AIDS song, I found myself in tears. The scene was of an AIDS support group. A few of my tears were a response to the memories that came flooding back. The faces of Chris, Rory, Craig, Roger, Lynn, Stephen, Bylinda, LeRoy and all my friends who are now dead suddenly filled my head. The grief and the fear that we all felt back then thrust me back into those support groups, those hospital rooms, those memorial services. But even with all of that, most of the tears were not about my yesterdays. As I fought my way back from the memories, I realized the immense sadness and terror I was feeling was about what is going on with regard to Black America and AIDS today.
You see, even with the new drugs, we are still dying in droves and most of us don't seem to care. What makes me so sad and so terrified is that I just don't know what else to do to get Black folks to make ending the AIDS epidemic a top priority. The statistics don't seem to do the job - AIDS continues to be the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 24 and 34, Black youth represent more than 56 percent of the new HIV/AIDS cases among youth in America, and nearly 50 percent of Black gay men in the U.S. may already be infected. Knowing someone who is living with HIV/AIDS does not appear to be the answer, either. I estimate roughly 90 percent of Black people in America know someone who either is living with HIV/AIDS or has died from the disease. Yet, we are still complacent.

Betty notes that this topic was discussed in "Five Books, Five Minutes" (The Third Estate Sunday Review). I'll also note that Cedric's excerpted that discussion "Book discussion" in case anyone's missed the book discussion and needs the quick read. (It's the fourth of five books discussed, if you're reading it via The Third Estate Sunday Review.)

Staying on the book discussion for another moment, Eddie e-mails to note that, "If you enjoyed the discussion of An Unreasonable Woman at The Third Estate Sunday Review, you should know Buzz[Flash] is offering the book as a premium and you can order it from them and support indymedia while at the same time getting a great Christmas gift." BuzzFlash also has a review of the book worth checking out.

Be sure to check out Democracy Now! today. It's where most of us first heard of Diane Wilson's
book An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas. And here's a listing (via Rod) of Amy Goodman's latest dates on the Un-Embed the Media tour:

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Thur, Dec 1

Caliope Bookstore170 Dyckman St (Washington Heights)
New York, NY
Event is free and open to the public
La Voz Latina y La Tertulia de Libreria Caliope les invitan a compartir una desafiante conversacion con Amy Goodman, reconosida periodista nacional e internacionalmente, y Luis Alfredo Collado, presidente del Colegio de Periodistas Dominicanos.
Mas informacion en el volante adjunto, o llamado al 212 567-3511.
NOTA: La Voz Latina les informa a nuestra audiencia que no estaremos en elaire este sabado, Noviembre 19.
Spanish version books will be on sale

* Amy Goodman in Washington, DC:
Sat, Dec 3
2005 Peace and Justice Award
Foundry Methodist Church
1500 16th St, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tickets: $10 per person, $35 for a table
For more information, visit

* Amy Goodman in Nassau Co., NY:
Mon, Dec 5
Public Forum:
Civil Rights Leadership: Where are we and where do we go from here?
Cynthia McKinney giving keynote speech
Nassau Community College
College Center Building
One Education Drive
Garden City, NY 11530
Long Island, NY
Free and open to the public
For information, call Angelo Rivera at (646) 924-6745 or email

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Thur, Dec 8
4th Annual Small Planet Fund Party & Fundraiser
6 pm to 7 pm Democracy Cocktail Hour,
a conversation with journalist AmyGoodman and Frances Moore Lappé
Co-hosted by The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education
7 pm to 10 pm Festivities:
delicious and sustainable food & drink
- live & silent auction
Democracy Cocktail Hour Tickets :
$250 (includes auction and party)
Please note:
Democracy Cocktail Hour guests can begin arriving at 5:30pm.
RSVP : Email your name and contact info at
and they will respond with all the party & payment details
For any questions, please contact Betsy Seder or Ari Vena at

The e-mail address for this site is