Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes

By HOPE YEN
The Associated Press
Thursday, June 23, 2005; 10:50 AM

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court ruled that local governments
may seize people’s homes and businesses against their will for
private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities
where economic growth conflicts with individual property rights.

Read more.

Conyers' kick-ass letter to the Washington Post

From R. Miller:

RAW STORY REPORTS: Conyers doesn’t take Milbank’s hit piece lying down!

Write to the Post and help Conyers kick Tory ass! Milbank is a SKULL & BONES brother of Bushie.

Below:
================
LINK
Conyers letter
sample letter to Wash Post and their contact info
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The following letter was carbon-copied to RAW STORY.

June 17, 2005
Mr. Michael Abramowitz, National Editor; Mr. Michael Getler, Ombudsman; Mr. Dana Milbank;
The Washington Post,
1150 15th Street, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20071

Dear Sirs:

I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank’s June 17 report, “Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War,” which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post’s only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious.

In an inaccurate piece of reporting that typifies the article, Milbank implies that one of the obstacles the Members in the meeting have is that “only one” member has mentioned the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of either the House or Senate. This is not only incorrect but misleading. In fact, just yesterday, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, mentioned it on the Senate floor. Senator Boxer talked at some length about it at the recent confirmation hearing for the Ambassador to Iraq. The House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently signed on to my letter, along with 121 other Democrats asking for answers about the memo. This information is not difficult to find either. For example, the Reid speech was the subject of an AP wire service report posted on the Washington Post website with the headline “Democrats Cite Downing Street Memo in Bolton Fight”. Other similar mistakes, mischaracterizations and cheap shots are littered throughout the article.

The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats “pretended” a small conference was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.

In what can only be described as a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing, Milbank quotes one of the witnesses as making an anti-semitic assertion and further describes anti-semitic literature that was being handed out in the overflow room for the event. First, let me be clear: I consider myself to be friend and supporter of Israel and there were a number of other staunchly pro-Israel members who were in attendance at the hearing. I do not agree with, support, or condone any comments asserting Israeli control over U.S. policy, and I find any allegation that Israel is trying to dominate the world or had anything to do with the September 11 tragedy disgusting and offensive.

That said, to give such emphasis to 100 seconds of a 3 hour and five minute hearing that included the powerful and sad testimony (hardly mentioned by Milbank) of a woman who lost her son in the Iraq war and now feels lied to as a result of the Downing Street Minutes, is incredibly misleading. Many, many different pamphlets were being passed out at the overflow room, including pamphlets about getting out of the Iraq war and anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement, and it is puzzling why Milbank saw fit to only mention the one he did.

In a typically derisive and uninformed passage, Milbank makes much of other lawmakers calling me “Mr. Chairman” and says I liked it so much that I used “chairmanly phrases.” Milbank may not know that I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee from 1988 to 1994. By protocol and tradition in the House, once you have been a Chairman you are always referred to as such. Thus, there was nothing unusual about my being referred to as Mr. Chairman.

To administer his coup-de-grace, Milbank literally makes up another cheap shot that I “was having so much fun that [I] ignored aides’ entreaties to end the session.” This did not occur. None of my aides offered entreaties to end the session and I have no idea where Milbank gets that information. The hearing certainly ran longer than expected, but that was because so many Members of Congress persevered under very difficult circumstances to attend, and I thought – given that – the least I could do was allow them to say their piece. That is called courtesy, not “fun.”

By the way, the “Downing Street Memo” is actually the minutes of a British cabinet meeting. In the meeting, British officials – having just met with their American counterparts – describe their discussions with such counterparts. I mention this because that basic piece of context, a simple description of the memo, is found nowhere in Milbank’s article.

The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn’t make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.

To reach Milbank and the Post:

milbankd@washpost.com

webnews@washingtonpost.com

Main Phone: 703-469-2500

And while we're at it, let's talk about Paul Wellstone's fatal accident

Gov. Bush Says Prosecutor Will Investigate Accusation Of Delayed 911 Call For Schaivo
Jun 17, 2005, 1:55 PM

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged time gap between when her husband found her and when he called 911.

Bush said his request for the probe was not meant to suggest wrongdoing by Michael Schiavo.

“It’s a significant question that during this ordeal was never brought up,” Bush told reporters.

Michael Schiavo’s attorney has said his client called for help right away.

Read more.

19 lieutenants from Bush/Cheney's "army of compassion"

Here are the 19 senators who refused to co-sponsor the anti-lynching resolution
passed on Monday. (Story follows.)

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
George Voinovich (R-OH)

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Senate Apologizes for Lynching-Ban Delays
By JIM ABRAMS,
Associated Press Writer
Mon Jun 13, 7:14 PM ET

The Senate on Monday acknowledged its own failure to stand against the lynching of thousands of black people, a practice that continued well into the 20th century.

“It’s important that we are honest with ourselves and that we tell the truth about what happened,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (news, bio, voting record), D-La., said before the Senate by voice vote approved an apology for blocking anti-lynching legislation at a time when mob violence against blacks was commonplace. At least 80 senators signed on as co-sponsors.

Read more.

It's the WAR, stupid(s)!

On misreporting the recruitment crisis:

From Jonathan Whiten:

A Problem of How to Best Wage War
Sloppy Reporting on Recruitment Resistance

As the War in Iraq drags on and more and more lives are lost, another ‘problem’ with the military has caught the eye of the press – lack of recruitment. But the majority of mainstream news reports are dismissing the failure of military recruitment, often pinning it on parental fears. Yet if the press could begin to connect the dots, we would be hearing about how the recruiting ‘problems’ are related to a growing antiwar sentiment in America.

Read more.

Bush's wars play hell with family values

Soldiers’ divorce rates up sharply
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
Wed Jun 8, 7:03 AM ET

The number of active-duty soldiers getting divorced has been rising sharply with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The trend is severest among officers. Last year, 3,325 Army officers’ marriages ended in divorce – up 78% from 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion, and more than 31/2 times the number in 2000, before the Afghan operation, Army figures show. For enlisted personnel, the 7,152 divorces last year were 28% more than in 2003 and up 53% from 2000. During that time, the number of soldiers has changed little.

Read more.

It's only what the press deserves

Gallup: Public Confidence in Newspapers, TV News Falls to All-Time Low
By E&P Staff
Published: June 10, 2005 11:00 AM ET

NEW YORK Public trust in newspapers and television news continued to decline in Gallup’s annual survey of “public confidence in major institutions” in the United States, reaching an all-time low this year.

Those having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers dipped from 30% to 28% in one year, the same total for television. The previous low for newspapers was 29% in 1994. Since 2000, confidence in newspapers has declined from 37% to 28%, and TV from 36% to 28%, according to the poll.

Read more.

Because the French aren't Christian soldiers?

June 7, 2005
Fair-Weather Friends
US Denies French Fighters Emergency Landing Rights
By DAVE LINDORFF

Talk about fair-weather friends!

When nine French fighter jets and a weather plane from a French carrier taking part in a joint exercise with Canadian Naval forces in the Atlantic off New Jersey ran perilously low on fuel last Friday because of a freak storm that prevented them from returning to their ship, they figured, no problem. They weren’t too far from the U.S. mainland, and so they could just land at McGuire AF Base in southern New Jersey.

No dice, the Francophobe U.S. military told them. According to a State Department source, quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, they were denied landing rights at the facility.

Read more.