Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Morning copy 8/2/2005

An election!

Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraqi vet and Marine colonel, and Republican Jean Schmidt square off in a special election in OH-2nd district today. The district is solidly Republican. The Cincinnati Enquirer story, LINK, of the last days of the campaign. The Enquirer endorsement is for Schmidy, LINK.

An excerpt(!):

Much of this diverse district - which stretches across seven counties from the eastern neighborhoods of Cincinnati and eastern suburbs of Hamilton County through rural Adams County to Portsmouth in Scioto County - continues to struggle economically. Its various communities have specific needs in infrastructure, transportation, jobs, education and social services.

The candidate who is more in tune with the views of the district's residents, better understands their needs and is in a better position to help meet them should be the one who goes to Washington.

For those reasons, we endorse Republican Jean Schmidt in Tuesday's special election over Democrat Paul Hackett.

Dramatic day in Iran

Iran says it will proceed with nuclear activities, despite stern warnings from the French. AFP LINK also includes mention of a small device that detonated at the British Airways and Best/British Petroleum offices in Iran. Boston.com/AP LINK on just that small explosion.

Because it formats oh-so well, and because it's oh-so easy to just copy and paste:

Iran Is Judged 10 Years From Nuclear Bomb
U.S. Intelligence Review Contrasts With Administration Statements

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 2, 2005; Page A01

A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.

More of the story: WP LINK.


The deadline for an Iraqi constitution remains fixed on Aug. 15. Women's rights and the role (a source v. the source of law) remain the issues upon which Western Media fixates. Boston.com LINK.

An excerpt:

With efforts exerted by religious parties to give Islam a central role in the Iraqi law, fears are growing that women would lose rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance.

Most worrying for women's groups has been the section on civil rights in the draft constitution, which some feel would significantly roll back women's rights under a 1959 civil law enacted by a secular regime.

Under Sharia law, women would inherit only half of what men receive. In issues of marriage and divorce, women would be at a significant disadvantage since only men would have the legal power to initiate divorces.

Military doctors now combating a strange, drug-resistant bacteria in American soldiers stationed in or returning from Iraq. Forbes.com LINK.

More on the shift from "war on terror" to "war on violent extremism". This from the LA Times, LINK.

An excerpt, and a word game:

Which is why Hanson thought the impulse to change the slogan — at least the "terror" part — was a good one. "The old expression was wrong because there's never been a war that I know of in history that's been waged against a method. We didn't go to war against kamikazes or submarines."

The rationale for the change was spelled out last Monday by Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. According to a transcript of the event, Myers said he does not like the phrase "war on terrorism" because "if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution…. The long-term problem is as much diplomatic, as much economic — in fact, more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military."

Throughout his conversation with reporters, which was first reported by the New York Times, Myers repeatedly used the phrase "violent extremism," corrected himself when he used the word "terrorism" and even once referred to the "so-called war on terrorism."

The story then moves onto Gen. Wesley Clark's lexical analysis... Keep in mind he studied philosophy.

The Washington Post editorial today praises the decision to push on with the August 15th deadline for the Iraqi constitution and also presses for a resolution to the most divisive issues sooner, rather than later. WP LINK.

Though, a solution that in any way splits from Sharia law will fuel Wahhabi extremism in Iraq, the most potent and dedicated foreign fighters are likely Wahhabi Muslims. Now, can the constitution be Islamic enough, and pluralistic enough, to invite Sunni moderates and help isolate Wahhabi extremists?

Military denies reports from two officers that proceedings in Gitmo were "rigged" in favor of the government over the detainee, Washington Post LINK.

Another Washington Post cut and paste:

Peace Corps Option for Military Recruits Sparks Concerns

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 2, 2005; Page A11

The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is offering to allow recruits to meet part of their military obligations by serving in the Peace Corps, which has resisted any ties to the Defense Department or U.S. intelligence agencies since its founding in 1961.

Link to the rest of the story: WP LINK.

Isn't that just The Worst idea ever?

Domestic news

The Bolton fight has no clear winner, except the best/worst quote of the day: "He's rubbing their faces with Bolton's bushy mustache," said Jack Pitney, a congressional expert at Claremont McKenna College in California who once worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill. USA Today LINK.

A group in New Hampshire is beginning Hillary's campaign already, as Hillary has clearly done herself. Boston.com LINK.

Bush says Intelligent Design, one of the most unintelligent ideas ever, should be taught as an alternative theory to evolution. Knight Rider story, Boston.com LINK.

The United States has a bad rap for science/math education. We have the president of Harvard speculating that maybe women are not fit for those fields, and speculating as a "gadfly" -- if you can believe that -- in an academic debate. We have a president who wants to debate alternative theologies, that work better with fundamentalist interpretations of holy scripture. We have an EPA that doesn't want to make too much fuss about Global Warming...

One last domestic matter, China. "For China is beginning to drive, in a new and pervasive way, economic trends that many countries assume to be domestically determined." Economist LINK.

An excerpt:

In America, Europe and Japan, the pace of growth in real wages has been unusually weak in recent years. Indeed, measured by the growth in income from employment, this is America's weakest recovery for decades. According to Stephen Roach, an economist at Morgan Stanley, American private-sector workers' total compensation (wages plus benefits) has risen by only 11% in real terms since November 2001, the trough of the recession, compared with an average gain of 17% over the equivalent period of the five previous recoveries (see chart 3). In most developed countries, average real wages have lagged well behind productivity gains.

The entry of China's vast army of cheap workers into the international system of production and trade has reduced the bargaining power of workers in developed economies. Although the absolute number of jobs outsourced from developed countries to China remains small, the threat that firms could produce offshore helps to keep a lid on wages. In most developed countries, wages as a proportion of total national income are currently close to their lowest level for decades.


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