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Kick Assiest Blog
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Democrats 'defanged' by nominee
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: U.S. Supreme Court
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Opponents and supports had no idea what to expect from the President when it came to his Supreme Court nominee. But what everyone did know is that it was going to be a battle. John Roberts is causing them all kinds of problems because, so far, the Dems cannot find anything substantial to object to. How are they supposed to obstruct the nomination and try to embarrass the president with such a qualified and liable nominee?

Democrats 'defanged' by nominee

Ready to battle over the president's Supreme Court pick, opponents instead find little to criticize.

WASHINGTON - Democrats and liberal special interest groups had been primed for a fight over President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, expecting it would prove the Republican party was moving to the extreme right.

Instead, Bush gave them Judge John G. Roberts Jr. >>>>>

He is smart, graduating from Harvard in three years. He is well-qualified, arguing 39 cases before the Supreme Court. He is well-liked, winning over both sides in his legal career.

Roberts, a federal judge on the Washington, D.C., court of appeals, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate this fall - which leaves Democrats a little unsure how to proceed.

"He's kind of defanged or neutered the Democrats at this point," said Richard Born, a congressional expert at Vassar College. "He just doesn't give the Democrats a lot to work with."

Democratic senators have been quiet on Roberts nomination, voicing no outright opposition and refusing to criticize when baited by reporters. Instead, they have praised him. "John Roberts has had an impressive legal career," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. "Both in government and in private practice, he has been a zealous and often successful advocate for his clients. He has argued many cases before the Supreme Court and is respected for his legal skills. By all accounts he is a very nice man."

There's more:

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said he is "a credible nominee." Sen. Barbara Boxer of California described him as "a very affable individual." Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said he "has outstanding legal credentials and an appropriate legal temperament and demeanor."

Roberts got none of the criticism Robert Bork did from Democrats when he was nominated for the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 - and later rejected by the Senate.

"They didn't get the guy they thought they were going to get," said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes the Senate for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington. "They expected the son of Robert Bork."

Roberts spent three days this week visiting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold his confirmation hearings in August or September. The Democrats, like their Republican colleagues, played nice, exchanging pleasantries and smiling for photos.

All of them talked of reserving judgment about Roberts and said the confirmation hearings should be fair.

"It is critical ... that we not prejudge a nominee," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, one of the most outspoken and liberal Democrats on the committee, said that "historically, there's always a honeymoon period for the nominee."

"He's pretty much a blank slate as to where he stands," he said. "Blanks have to filled in."

As the summer drags on, the talk is expected to heat up. Still, Roberts is expected to be confirmed, barring any startling discovery in his background.

Kennedy and two other Democratic committee members voted against Roberts for D.C. Court of Appeals two years ago, but he was approved by voice vote in the full Senate.

"When you nominate someone of the caliber of Judge Roberts, you take away every credible argument the Democrats might have had" to oppose him, said Sen. Rick Santorum, third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

With only 44 of 100 seats in the Senate, Democrats are limited in their ability to oppose a nominee. They could try to use a filibuster - a parliamentary procedure to prolong debate - but a May agreement by 14 senators makes that difficult.

The so-called Gang of 14 - seven Republicans and seven Democrats - cut a deal on judicial nominees that allows for a filibuster only under "extraordinary circumstances" - a phrase left undefined.

The group represents enough votes to prevent Democrats from being able to filibuster, and Republicans from changing the rules to override a filibuster.

Several Democrats said this week that Roberts is well-qualified, and they doubt their party would try to filibuster his confirmation. The filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee is almost unheard of, and would likely end in political squabbling that would bring the business and cooperation of the Senate to a halt.

"At the end of the hearings we do not anticipate anything that would be a stickler, that would rise to the level of extraordinary circumstances," said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., one of the Gang of 14. "But you can't come to that conclusion until the end of the entire process."

Democrats would have benefited from a real fight - so they could try to show that the Republican party is moving more to the right, fire up their base and placate special interest groups.

But now that the majority of people have accepted Roberts as well-qualified, Democrats don't want to be seen as obstructionist.

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll this week shows 51 percent of those polled called the choice of Roberts excellent or good; 34 percent called it fair or poor; and the rest had no opinion. A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 59 percent in favor of his confirmation; 23 percent opposed; and the rest undecided.

Democrats "don't have a strong strategic position," said John Fortier, a political scientist who studies Congress for the American Enterprise Institute. "You'd have to have some strong argument. Right now to make lots of noise against him, there is no ammunition."

St. Petersburg Times Washington bureau chief Bill Adair and researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.
St. Petersburg Times ~ Anita Kumar ** Democrats 'defanged' by nominee

Posted by uhyw at 9:41 AM EDT
U.N. Group Wants Abortion for Girls Age 10
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

U.N. Group Wants Abortion for Girls Age 10

Two recent publications circulating at the United Nations demonstrate a growing focus on young people as a way of advancing the abortion agenda.

The reports, one by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and another by a radical lobby group, both call for a greater focus on the "sexual and reproductive" rights of youth, a term that UN agencies frequently misinterpret as including abortion.

Youth are defined in the UNFPA report as "aged 10 to 24 years."

UNFPA's report, entitled "The Case for Investing in Young People as part of a National Poverty Reduction Strategy," states that "UNFPA's madate [is] to promote youth development, including recognition of their health/reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health."

UNFPA explains that promoting abortion as a human right is advantageous because a "rights-based approach" "entails an obligation on the part of governments and other actors to realize these rights." The report applauds the government of Mozambique's program of "health services that serve the reproductive health needs of adolescents."

UNFPA urges improvements in the "sexual and reproductive health" of young people as a solution to several pressing world problems, such as gender inequality, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and lack of access to education. These issues are currently being addressed by the UN through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report states that "UNFPA advocates may need to point out to policy makers the direct connections between preventive action in relation to young people's sexual and reproductive health and achieving the MDG targets."

The second report, "Learning to Speak MDGs," was released by a radical Canadian lobby group called the Youth Coalition. The report was produced with "generous financial support" from the Ford Foundation. The report explicitly calls on governments to ensure the "legal status of safe abortion services."

The Youth Coalition's report also claims that the "ABC" method used in Uganda has been ineffective and even detrimental. The report states that "unsound national and donor driven policies, such as the Abstinence – Be faithful – Use Condoms when necessary (ABC) approach have heavily contributed to the impact of HIV/AIDS among young people."

However, Uganda's ABC strategy is almost universally viewed as the single largest success in reducing HIV infections, from 18% in 1992 to 5% by 2001.

The two reports demonstrate a renewed strategy of pushing for abortion rights on behalf of young people. Other pro-abortion groups, such as the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), have recently released similar publications. For instance, a recent AGI study on adolescents, defined as "between the ages of 10 and 19," in Malawi suggests that abortion should be legalized, as "[m]ost abortions are performed under unsafe conditions because abortion is illegal…except to save a woman's life."

News Max.com ~ C-FAM ** U.N. Group Wants Abortion for Girls Age 10

Origional Source...
Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute ** UNFPA Demands Abortion Rights for Children as Young as 10

Posted by uhyw at 6:17 AM EDT
Santorum's new book 'It Takes a Family' throws down the gauntlet
Mood:  bright
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

Sen. Rick Santorum holds a copy of his new book, "It Takes a Family" >>>>>

Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Santorum Manifesto

"It Takes a Family - Conservatism and the Common Good" by United States Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) (ISI Books, 464 pages)

You don't need to read much more than a page or two to understand why "It Takes a Family – Conservatism and the Common Good" has driven Hillary Clinton bonkers.

Aside from the not too-subtle play on the title of her book "It Takes a Village," Santorum's book is both a surgical dissection of the kind of elitist and authoritarian liberal political philosophy avidly embraced by Mrs. Clinton, and a prescription for restoring the health of our body politic that her philosophy has weakened.

He pulls no punches, starting with the declaration that liberal economic policies, allegedly advanced in the interests of the poor, "have not only been devastating to the poor and the middle class economically, but have actually undermined the basic structures of our society."

He wastes no time in getting to the reason why liberal policies have done this damage – they have undermined the family, always the basic foundation of any healthy society. Sick families create sick societies.

Observing that where once our social, governmental and educational institutions, along with the popular culture, seemed to aid parents in raising their children, today many feel that these same institutions are somehow conspiring against them.

Noting the deleterious affects of the public's growing reliance on "big government or cultural, social, moral and intellectual power brokers to solve our problems," Santorum alleges that "the more the public relies on the powerful elite, the worse it gets," which, perversely, leads the public to rely on these elites even more.

In Santorum's book, these elites constitute the "Bigs" - big news media, big entertainment, big universities and public schools, some big businesses and some big labor unions, and of course the biggest big of them all, the federal government.

In Hillary's village, the people who run the Bigs are "the village elders – the liberal elite who think they know what is best for individual Americans and how best to order (or re-order) our society along the lines of their ideological abstractions."

He describes the liberal definition of freedom as "the freedom to be and do whatever we want – freedom to chose, irrespective of choice, freedom without limits (with the caveat that you can't hurt anyone else directly)." It is "No Fault Freedom (all the choice, none of the responsibility)."

He contrasts this with the conservatives' idea of freedom. "It is the liberty our founders understood. Properly defined, liberty is freedom coupled with responsibility to something bigger or higher than self. It is the pursuit of our dreams with an eye toward the common good."

This leads him to the need to strengthen the family and protect it against inroads by the village elders. Children need to be nurtured in a family consisting of a happily married father and mother.

He pleads for economic policies that enable families to be economically viable, for social policies that define families in the traditional manner – a permanent union between a man and a woman - for government policies that defend families from intrusive laws undermining the authority of parents, and for a culture that promotes morals instead of undermining them.

This is a manifesto – a call to his fellow Americans as heirs of the legacy bequeathed to us by the founding fathers. He lays out step-by-step the actions required to restore this nation's social, economic, moral and political health – all of which can be achieved only by strengthening the family as society's basic unit. He calls for an investment in the varying kinds of "capital."

♠ Social capital – "all the habits and forms of trust, mutual responsibility, and solidarity and connectiveness that make it possible for us to get along together."

♠ Economic capital - "financially secure families standing on their own two feet are the basis of any good society."

♠ Moral capital - "the virtue, proper conduct and respect for human life that builds trustworthiness and binds us together in a common mission."

♠ Cultural capital - "all the stories, images, songs and arts that explain to us, and in particular our children, who we are."

♠ Intellectual capital – "our traditions of education and schooling. The most essential thing any society does is to help parents raise the next generation."

Senator Santorum insists, "We must be good stewards of each of these stores of ‘capital' so our children will inherit a strong, vibrant country."

He completes his manifesto by explaining how we can go about creating these forms of capital, never neglecting to show how liberalism has squandered all of them.

Anyone who wants to understand what needs to be done to restore the America our forefathers bequeathed to us should consult this marvelous book.

News Max.com ~ Phil Brennan ** Throwing Down the Gauntlet: The Santorum Manifesto

Posted by uhyw at 5:55 AM EDT
Friday, July 22, 2005
My own artwork to rebuff the Berzerkley attorney's "America in the toilet" painting
Mood:  sharp
Topic: My Columns

First, the straight story. About the libtard "art" and the controvery it's generating.

Then, MY OWN ART! I might submit it for diplay at the same place next year... LETS SEE HOW BALANCED THEY ARE!!! (sarcasm off)

Local Artwork Is National News

A painting titled "T'anks to Mr. Bush!" by attorney-artist Stephen Pearcy, is displayed in the Department of Justice cafeteria in Sacramento, Calif.
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The burgeoning controversy over artwork displayed in the Department of Justice office of Democratic California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was thrust into the national spotlight last night, when cable news network MSNBC cited SacUnion.com in their coverage of the story.

MSNBC’s Scarborough Country has credited SacUnion.com with first highlighting the story online while other local media avoided it. Strangely, the city’s leader in print subscriptions has avoided this story.

Artwork painted by Berkeley attorney Stephen Pearcy depicts an American iconic flag being dumped into a toilet. Click here to see SacUnion.com’s original story.

Pearcy, a Berkeley attorney, was the center of controversy earlier this year after he hung an effigy of a U.S. soldier above his home in protest of the Iraqi War. To read original coverage of the Pearcy-effigy conflict click here.

Lockyer’s controversy, heating up for days, has been a topic of conversation on Sacramento KFBK talk radio shows hosted by Tom Sullivan and Mark Williams. The controversy has led to an online petition by local high-school political activist, Andy Nevis, who has collected almost 2,000 signatures calling on the Attorney General to take the exhibit down.

The cries of protest against the display have only grown louder. Move America Forward, a Sacramento-based non-profit with pro-military ideals, announced they will team up with talk show host Williams for a pro-American art exhibit and anti-Lockyer protest on July 28.

Here is the transcript from Thursday evening’s MSNBC Scarborough Country segment:

Below is the text of the MSNBC Scarborough Country segment

Monica Crowley (Substitute host for Joe Scarborough): And take a look at this. Does it make you angry? A piece of art that among other things shows the American flag in the shape of this country being flushed down a toilet. But it’s not hanging in any museum or any gallery. It’s at the California Department of Justice building in Sacramento. As you can imagine the piece is stirring up some intense emotions and here to talk about it is Karen Hanretty from the California Republican Party who says it should be taken down. Karen we should mention the artists were also invited on but they haven’t yet made it to the studio, so let’s just ask, how does an exhibit like this even make it into a government building?

Karen Hanretty (guest interviewee): Well, quite frankly, the California Arts Commission teamed up with one of the local lawyers associations and the (CA) Attorney General, they commissioned a curator to go out and solicit artwork from either attorneys or if the artwork was produced by attorneys they solicited artwork with a theme that has to do with the law. And this particular artist, Stephen Pearcy was contacted by the curator after the curator saw the scuffle that was created earlier this year after Mr. Pearcy who created this painting took a manikin, strapped a noose around its neck, dressed it as a soldier and hung the soldier in effigy off his home here in Sacramento. It brought a great deal of attention around the country, certainly here in California. The curator must have found that artwork interesting and contact Mr. Pearcy and asked him if he had any paintings he would like to submit.

Crowley: Yeah, right now we are looking at the effigy of the American soldier that Mr. Pearcy had hung on his home with a sign on it that says, “Bush Lied, I Died”. Angry residents in his community tore down that effigy and rightly so. Karen let me ask you, why would any material that most people think would think as offensive and I would think any right-thinking American would take a look at this painting and think it was outrageous, how did it even get allowed to be hanging on government property; didn’t anyone raise a red flag and say, this is totally inappropriate for government property, taxpayers are paying for this property, why do we have to put up with this hanging there.

Hanretty: I think that is a very good question and I think it’s a question that needs to answered. No one wants to take responsibility for this art exhibit that is being displayed in a government building. The California Arts Council put out a press release saying no tax dollars were spent on this art exhibit. The Attorney General’s office isn’t taking any responsibility for this. Basically they are pawning it off on the curator, who by the way was paid to do this exhibit and they are pawning off responsibility onto this local lawyers association but that’s ridiculous. The California Arts Council is paid for and funded with taxpayer dollars. The Attorney General knew that this exhibit was going to go in his building. In fact the Arts Council is actually housed in the Department of Justice. Someone in government needs to take responsibility for this. Surely, they knew exactly the content of this exhibit and they chose to keep it up there anyway. And here’s something that’s really important. The Attorney General is arguing, well if we take down this painting that is somehow censorship. But I can guarantee you that the Democratic Attorney General would never allow a painting of a Gay Pride flag to be floating in a toilet bowl and hung in his building. That would never happen. Artwork that is offensive to Gays and Lesbians or that expresses violence towards women would never be allowed to hang in his building. And they came back and said well that would be a hate crime. Art is not a hate crime. And if art was a hate crime then I would expect that the Attorney General would file a lawsuit against the music industry for the way they treat women and Gays.

Crowley: We did invite the artist of this particular piece on the program tonight. He is not arrived for the segment. But the Sacramento Union writes that it took Mr. Pearcy about 20 minutes to complete that work. He said it was intended to reflect his concern about Americans and what he called their fanatical level of patriotism in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “The goal is to create something quick and put in the minimum amount of effort and get the maximum amount of communication out of it.” Karen taking a look at this so-called art I think Mr. Pearcy should not give up his day job as an attorney. What about the political agenda? You mentioned that if somebody tried to put up a piece of artwork that was offensive to Gays or Lesbians or Jews or African Americans there is no way that it would be allowed hung in a government building.

Hanretty: Well, not so fast. Actually, there is a painting in there that I think a lot of Jewish people in America would find offensive. There is a painting that references Palestine and suggests that the Jewish people are oppressing the Palestinians. Not every piece of artwork in this exhibit, and I went and looked at the exhibit, has a political bent. But a lot of it does quite frankly and I’m just not sure why it is necessary for us to behaving in political propaganda that is one side and is anti-American in a government building.

Crowley: Especially Karen in the middle of a war. Thank you so much for your time tonight.

-end-
The Sacramento Union ** Local Artwork Is National News

HERE'S MY REBUTTAL ART --- I'D BET YOU A MILLION YAHOO BUCKS THEY WOULD'NT ALLOW IT...



Posted by uhyw at 11:29 PM EDT
Orrin Hatch Blasts Chuck Schumer's 'Dumbass Questions'
Mood:  cool
Topic: Funny Stuff

Orrin Hatch Blasts Chuck Schumer's 'Dumbass Questions'

(Left) Sen. Charles Schumer's questioning of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was so hostile during Roberts' 2003 appellate court confirmation hearings that Sen. Orrin Hatch (Below Right) blasted his New York colleague for asking "dumbass questions."

In a audioclip of the exchange unearthed Wednesday by ABC Radio host Sean Hannity, the normally mild-mannered Utah Republican complained:
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"Some [of Schumer’s questions] I totally disagree with. Some I think are dumbass questions, between you and me."

"I am not kidding you," Hatch continued. "I mean, as much as I love and respect [Schumer], I just think that’s true."

Taken aback, the New York Democrat asked if Hatch would like to "revise and extend his remark" - i.e., offer a retraction for the congressional record.

But Hatch refused to back down, telling Schumer:

"No, I am going to keep it exactly the way it is. I mean, I hate to say it. I mean, I feel badly saying it between you and me. But I do know dumbass questions when I see dumbass questions."

News Max.com ~ Carl Limbacher ** Orrin Hatch Blasts Chuck Schumer's 'Dumbass Questions'

LMAO, MORE "INTELLECTUAL" LIBERALISM BY SCHUMER "THE GREAT"!

Posted by uhyw at 8:37 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 22, 2005 8:55 PM EDT
Jobless Claims Post Biggest Dip in 2 1/2 Years... Leading Indicators Gauge Climbs in June
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: News

Jobless Claims Post Biggest Dip in 2 1/2 Years

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits plunged by the largest amount in 2 1/2 years last week, reflecting a slowdown in layoffs in the auto industry.

The Labor Department reported that new benefit claims dropped by 34,000 to a new total of 303,000 as the labor market continued to signal strength.

Government analysts attributed the big improvement to a slowdown in layoffs in the auto industry, which had seen big increases in recent weeks as auto plants shut down temporarily to retool for the new model year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, delivering a monetary report to Congress this week, said the U.S. economy, after a brief slowdown in the spring, has picked up strength over the past two months and should enjoy solid growth this year.

Greenspan cautioned that the growth forecasts could be derailed by a variety of potential threats from a surge in energy costs to home prices that he said had reached unsustainable levels in some parts of the country.

The strong economic growth this year has helped to boost job creation. The nation's unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent, the lowest point in nearly four years.

The performance of jobless claims last week was further evidence that labor markets are continuing to improve.

The drop of 34,000 was the largest one-week improvement since a decline of 35,000 in the week of Dec. 21, 2002. The decline was more than triple the 10,000 drop that private analysts had been predicting.

The total of 303,000 claims last week was the lowest level in 16 weeks. The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out weekly volatility, also declined last week to 318,000, the lowest level in more than four months.

News Max.com ~ Associated Press ** Jobless Claims Post Biggest Dip in 2 1/2 Years

Leading Indicators Gauge Climbs in June

NEW YORK - An important gauge of future economic activity rose strongly in June, but economists expressed concern that weaknesses were developing in the nation's industrial sector.

The New York-based Conference Board said its Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.9 percent in June to 137.7 after showing no change the month before and a 0.2 percent rise in April.

The June increase was the largest since a 0.9 percent rise in December 2003, the board said. The figures were based on revised calculations of the index, which is closely watched as a signal of growth in the U.S. economy over the next six months.

The latest figures incorporate two revisions - a statistical trend adjustment as well as a new way of accounting for the yield spread, a component of the index that measures the difference between the yield on the 10-year Treasury note and the federal funds rate.

The last time the gauge underwent a major revision was in 1996, shortly after the Conference Board, an industry-backed research group, took over calculating the index from the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C.

Without the revisions, the index of leading indicators would have shown an increase of 0.5 percent in June following a dip of 0.2 percent in May, the Conference Board said.

Gail D. Fosler, the board's chief economist, told reporters that despite the strong June reading, she had concerns about the economy's strength.

"We believe the industrial economy is slowing down, that it is slowing down quite quickly," Fosler said. She said, however, that she did not believe a recession was in the offing, saying "we are way far away from anything that looks like a recession signal."

Instead, she said the nation's economy was likely to show growth of about 3.6 percent this year and slow to 3.1 percent in 2006.

Seven of the 10 indicators that make up the leading index increased in June: consumer expectations, vendor performance, the money supply, a decline in unemployment claims, the interest rate spread, stock prices and building permits. One component, manufacturers' new orders for nondefense products, declined, while weekly manufacturing hours and manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods were unchanged.

The index of coincident indicators, which measures current economic activity, rose 0.2 percent in June to 120.5 after increasing 0.1 percent in May to 120.2.

The index of lagging indicators, a measure of past economic performance, was up 0.3 percent in June to 119.7 after advancing 0.4 percent in May to 119.4.

News Max.com ~ Associated Press ** Leading Indicators Gauge Climbs in June

Posted by uhyw at 8:23 PM EDT
Coward Deanpeace urges party to reach out to pro-lifers
Mood:  surprised
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Is it possible that Howard Dean does not understand that abortion is different from other issues? When he and Hillary first started talking about reaching out to pro-lifers, I assumed it was a tactic to soften the organization and fundraising of the pro-life movement. Maybe I am gullible but I think Dean really thinks he can attract pro-life voters. The problem is this. If you are really motivated by one issue, taxes, crime, defense, the environment, you may still be open to supporting a party that does reflect those views exactly but makes up for it in other areasas long as there are no important battle looming over your primary cause. But abortion is different, there is no middle ground. Pro-lifers are not going to vote Dem as long as the word ?choice? is code for killing babies.

Dems Urged to Reach Out to Pro-Life Voters


WASHINGTON - Democrats need to reach out to voters who oppose abortion rights and promote candidates who share that view, the head of the party said Friday.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a group of college Democrats that their party has to change its approach in the debate over abortion.

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," said Dean. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."

Dean's approach echoed similar arguments advanced in recent months by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

"We do have to have a big tent. I do think we need to welcome pro-life Democrats into this party," said Dean.

The effort to attract such voters comes as Senate Democrats are preparing for confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Roberts' views on abortion are already being intensely scrutinized.

Dean did not mention the looming confirmation hearings. He discussed the abortion debate after a student questioned why the party was supporting Bob Casey Jr., a Pennsylvania Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

The chairman tried to draw a distinction between Casey and Santorum, even though both men oppose abortion rights.

"You have to respect people's positions of conscience," said Dean. "I think Bob Casey's position is a position of conscience."

Dean, a former Planned Parenthood board member, said the difference between his party and Republicans is that "we believe a woman has a right to make up their own mind and they believe (House Majority Leader) Tom DeLay should make it up and Rick Santorum should make it up for them."

John Brabender, a consultant to Santorum's re-election campaign, said Dean's distinctions were meaningless. "It makes absolutely no sense for Howard Dean to attack Rick Santorum unless he's also attacking Bobby Casey," he said.

DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden said, "Howard Dean's rants are a perfect example of why the American people have lost faith in the national Democratic party."

Newsday ~ Associated Press - Devlin Barrett ** Dems Urged to Reach Out to Pro-Life Voters

Posted by uhyw at 8:07 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2005 9:32 AM EDT
Soldiers give DemRats hell
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: INSIDE THE RING
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

GIs criticize

Soldiers from Massachusetts and Hawaii who work at the U.S. military detention facility at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, gave visiting home-state senators a piece of their mind last week.

Sens. Edward M. Kennedy [Left], Massachusetts Democrat, and Daniel K. Akaka [Below Left], Hawaii Democrat, met with several soldiers during a visit led by Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John W. Warner [Below Right], Virginia Republican.

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Pentagon officials said soldiers criticized the harsh comments made recently by Senate Democrats.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois [Left], the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, last month invoked widespread military outrage when he compared Guantanamo to the prison labor systems used by communist tyrant Josef Stalin, Cambodia's Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler.

"They got stiff reactions from those home-state soldiers," one official told us. "The troops down there expressed their disdain for that kind of commentary, especially comparisons to the gulag."

A spokesman for Mr. Kennedy had no comment. A spokeswoman for Mr. Akaka confirmed that the senator met with soldiers from Hawaii but did not recall receiving any complaints during the meeting.

Both senators made no mention of the incident in press statements after the visit. Mr. Kennedy, in his statement, said that he is "impressed with the courtesies and professionalism of the men and women in our armed forces."

Mr. Kennedy has been a leading advocate for closing the prison facility. Mr. Akaka in April voted for an amendment that would have cut funds for the prison.

(Origional story requires registration)
Washington Times ~ Bill Gertz ** GIs criticize

Posted by uhyw at 7:32 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 22, 2005 8:08 AM EDT
Teacher says principal ordered Bush portrait removed from classroom
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Grand Old Party Pooper?

Teacher says principal ordered Bush portrait removed from classroom

A New York woman claims that she was forced from her teaching post by an elementary school principal who objected to her Republican activism and last year ordered the removal of a portrait of President George W. Bush from the educator's Long Island classroom.

In a federal discrimination lawsuit, Jillian Caruso, 26, claims that she was improperly forced to resign her job by Birch Lane Elementary School principal Joyce Becker-Seddio, the wife of state Assemblyman Frank Seddio, a Brooklyn Democrat.

In her U.S. District Court complaint, Caruso contends that she was retaliated against by Becker-Seddio because of her political work, which has included volunteering at last year's GOP convention and membership in the Republican National Committee.

Caruso, who taught first and third graders at Birch Lane, also claims that when the principal spotted the Bush portrait late last year--it was hanging among photos of other U.S. presidents--she "became outraged and insisted that the picture be removed." Caruso, who complied with that order, has named the Massapequa Union Free School District as the sole defendant in her action, which seeks unspecified monetary damages and a reappointment to her prior teaching post.

Full copy of U.S. District Court complaint...
The Smoking Gun ** Grand Old Party Pooper?

Posted by uhyw at 5:36 AM EDT
Elaborate Tunnel Revealed Beneath U.S./Canada Border
Mood:  surprised
Topic: News

A tunnel was discovered from this house on the U.S. side to a greenhouse in Canada. >>>>>

Three B.C. men charged with drug smuggling after tunnel discovered at border

LANGLEY, B.C. - Three Surrey, B.C., men have been charged in Washington state with conspiracy to distribute and import marijuana after law enforcement officials discovered a tunnel crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

The U.S. Justice Department says the 110-metre tunnel runs from a depth of one to three metres and is reinforced with iron rebar and 2x6 wood supports.

It starts under a Quonset hut in Langley and ends beneath the living room of a house in Lynden, Wash.

The justice department says 42 kilograms of pot were transported through the tunnel, loaded into a van and driven to the Bellis Fair mall, where the marijuana was loaded into another vehicle.

That vehicle was stopped by the Washington State Patrol and the pot was seized.

Francis Devandra Raj, 30, Timothy Woo, 34, Johnathan Valenzuela, 27, are to appear in court in Seattle at 2:30 p.m.

Yahoo News ~ Canadian Press ** Three B.C. men charged with drug smuggling after tunnel discovered at border

Posted by uhyw at 5:29 AM EDT

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