"Senate Approves US-India Nuclear Deal
In other news from Capitol Hill, the Senate approved legislation Thursday to begin nuclear cooperation with India. The measure received bi-partisan support to pass 85 to 12. Dissenting Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota argued the agreement would increase nuclear proliferation and worsen tensions between India and Pakistan.Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota): "Any nuclear deal, any relationship we have with another country that deals with nuclear power and nuclear issues should be judged, in my opinion, on whether it reduces the number of nuclear weapons. Does it reduce the number of nuclear weapons that exist, or decrease them? It's quite clear that what we're debating today will result in an increase of nuclear weapons in India. I don't think there's much doubt about that. This bill fails that test in my judgment.""
Pivotal Journalist in Al-Arian Case Romantically Involved With Prosecutor
Here in Florida, a journalist whose reporting led to the federal investigation into jailed University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian has admitted he’s romantically involved with one of the case’s lead prosecutors. The reporter, Michael Fechter of the Tampa Tribune, has been widely criticized for displaying bias in his coverage of Al-Arian and his alleged links to the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. Al-Arian has been jailed for over three years despite the fact the jury in his case failed to return a single guilty verdict on any of the charges brought against him. Fechter insists his relationship with prosecutor Cherie Krigsman began after the end of Al-Arian’s trial last year. Fechter says he’s stopped reporting on the case since the relationship began.
Abortion Rights Groups Criticize New Family-Planning Appointee
And finally, the Bush administration is coming under criticism for its new choice to head family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. The appointee, Erick Keroack, is former head of “A Women’s Concern” -- a medical organization that discourages handing contraceptives to women. The Washington Post reports the group supports sexual abstinence until marriage, opposes contraception and does not distribute information promoting birth control at its six centers in eastern Massachusetts. Keroack will play an advisory role on reproductive health and adolescent pregnancy and oversee $283 million dollars in annual family-planning grants. Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said: "[Keroack's appointment is] striking proof that the Bush administration remains dramatically out of step with the nation's priorities."
* Taylor Marsh:
"So, Mr. Bush is evidently not going to "stay the course," because what he's opted for instead is a foreign policy tantrum. He's getting ready to accelerate the carnage and dump more U.S. soldiers into the desert quicksand of Iraq, because he cannot envision a failure attributed to his presidency. It's all about him.
Of course, losing in Iraq will only hurt The Decider's unpresidential ego. He's not the one with his life on the line, now is he? No, he never is. But not only is he thinking of one last push, he wants $127B to escalate the war even further."
* larisa at Huffpo on the taser blazers at UCLA: Freedom is?"
* dissidentvoice via kath:
What is the deal with Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers’ impeachment paranoia? We finally get a woman and a black man in positions of power and the first thing they want to do is give Bush a Get Out of Jail Free card? Talk about a cold dash of post-election reality.raw:
Pelosi made it clear right before the election that as far as she was concerned, impeachment was “off the table” and a recent letter from Conyers reiterates that the Democratic leadership has no plans to defend the Constitution. In Conyers' view, impeachment seems to be some sort of immature act of retribution
Not only does the Congress have an obligation to impeach the president, we the American people have the obligation to insist that they do so.
Politics as usual is coming perilously close to destroying our country. We did not elect the Dems in order for them to continue to irresponsibly lead us down this dangerous path. The time to stand up for impeachment and the preservation of democracy is now.
"In a letter addressed to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, chairman-to-be of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has requested the release of documents that outline the Bush Administration's interrogation policies.
If the request is not met, the Democratically-controlled Judiciary Committee will have the option to subpoena when the new Congress begins in January.
The documents, which have long been thought to exist by observers and critics of America's national security policies, were confirmed to exist as the result of a still-pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU."