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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|04:13 pm]
Grand Old Party News

Court: New Jersey Constitution Does Not Require Gay Marriage

POSTED: 10:50 am EDT June 14, 2005
Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- There was another setback Tuesday for seven same-sex couples who want to marry in New Jersey.

An appeals court says the state constitution does not require the recognition of gay marriage.

The two-to-one decision upheld a lower court ruling from 2003.

The state had argued that the trend in this country is to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The state also said the law should only be changed by the Legislature.

The majority agreed, saying a time may come when society accepts the view.

The attorney for the couples said the ban on gay marriage is discrimination that should be struck down much like laws that once barred interracial couples from marrying.

The case is expected to go to the state Supreme Court.


Let's hope it holds true after it goes to the Supreme Court.
-Matty N
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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|04:10 pm]
Grand Old Party News

E-Mail Contradicts Annan on Oil-for-Food
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan faces new questions over whether he lied to independent investigators probing the scandal-scarred Oil-for-Food program. Those investigators said Tuesday they were "urgently reviewing" fresh evidence.

That evidence, obtained by FOX News, appears to contradict Annan's claim that he knew nothing about the awarding of a major Oil-for-Food contract to a company that employed his son.

Kojo Annan worked for Cotecna Inspection Services, a Swiss firm which won one of the most lucrative contracts in the multi-billion-dollar program.

One of Kojo Annan's supervisors there was a man named Michael Wilson, a lifelong friend of Kofi Annan.

The secretary-general has consistently denied ever discussing the Cotecna contract with any of the company's executives.

"I have no involvement with granting of contracts either on this Cotecna one or others," Kofi Annan said in November.

But Cotecna has given a new document to investigators with the Independent Inquiry Committee, the U.N.-approved panel headed by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker charged with looking into corruption associated with the Oil-for-Food program.

The document is an e-mail from Wilson, the old Annan family friend, to other executives at Cotecna describing a meeting in Paris just weeks before the Oil-for-Food contract was awarded.

Full Story

Big Shocker. Kofi Annan probably participated in the Oil for Food scandal. I'm not surprised. I just wish we coudl have fried him sooner.
-Matty N
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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|11:11 am]
Grand Old Party News

U.S., Iraq Consider Amnesty for Insurgents

Jun 14, 9:53 AM (ET)
Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - U.S. and Iraqi officials are considering difficult-to-swallow ideas - including amnesties for their enemies - as they look for ways to end the country's rampant insurgency and isolate extremists wanting to start a civil war.

Negotiations have just begun between U.S. and Iraqi officials on drafting an amnesty policy, which would reach out to Iraqi militants fighting U.S. forces, say officials in both the Iraqi and American governments.

But foreign extremists like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, responsible for Iraq's bloodiest attacks, would not be offered any amnesty, the Iraqi and U.S. authorities told The Associated Press in recent days.

The amnesty proposal is seen as a key weapon to split the insurgency between Iraqi and non-Iraqi lines and further alienate foreign fighters like al-Zarqawi.

Iraq's minister for national security said Sunday an amnesty policy is being drawn up, but he said insurgent groups first must do more to convince authorities they are serious about making peace.

"Those who had committed homicides and caused blood shedding for the innocents will be excluded from this amnesty," said the minister, Abdul Karim al-Inizi. "Talking about issuing an amnesty soon is premature as this depends on whether the insurgents want to take a step forward."

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Venable said the Iraqi government has raised the amnesty issue and "we look forward to working closely with the Iraqi government as this idea develops."

"Any successful counterinsurgency strategy requires the U.S. and Iraqi authorities to do everything possible to split the insurgency and persuade as many Sunni elements as possible to join the peaceful political process," said Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who says he has been involved in informal talks.

"This does not mean blanket amnesty," he said. It could, however, mean negotiations that lead to "pardoning or ignoring the actions of movements and opposition elements that supported the insurgency when this was done out of nationalism, fear," Cordesman said.

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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|11:09 am]
Grand Old Party News

Chinese Ban 'Freedom,' 'Democracy' on Web
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Associated Press

SHANGHAI, China — Chinese bloggers, even on foreign-sponsored sites, had better choose their words carefully — the censors are watching.

Users of the MSN Spaces section of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) new China-based Web portal get a scolding message each time they input words deemed taboo by the communist authorities — such as "democracy," "freedom" and "human rights."

"Prohibited language in text, please delete," the message says.

However, the restrictions appear to apply only to the subject line of such entries. Writing them into the text, with a more innocuous subject heading, seems to be no problem.

Microsoft's Chinese staff could not be reached immediately for comment. However, a spokesman at the tech giant's headquarters in Seattle acknowledged that the company is cooperating with the Chinese government to censor its Chinese-language Web portal.

Microsoft and its Chinese business partner, government-funded Shanghai Alliance Investment, work with authorities to omit certain forbidden language, said Adam Sohn, a global sales and marketing director for MSN.

But he added, "I don't have access to the list at this point so I can't really comment specifically on what's there."

Online tests found that apart from politically sensitive words, obscenities and sexual references also are banned.

MSN Spaces, which offers free blog space, is connected to Microsoft's MSN China portal. The portal was launched on May 26, and some 5 million blogs have since been created, Microsoft said.

The Chinese government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to ban access to material deemed subversive.

Although details of the authorities' efforts are kept secret, users of many China-based Web portals are prevented from accessing sites deemed subversive by the government.

A search on Google for such topics as Taiwan or Tibetan independence, the banned group Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama or the China Democracy Party inevitably leads to a "site cannot be found" message.

Internet-related companies are obliged to accept such limitations as a condition of doing business in China. And government-installed filtering tools, registration requirements and other surveillance are in place to ensure the rules are enforced.

Recently, the government demanded that Web site owners register with authorities by June 30 or face fines.

Full Story
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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|11:05 am]
Grand Old Party News

President Bush Job Approval
Rasmussen Reports

Tuesday June 14, 2005--Fifty percent (50%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove of the President's performance.

Among those who say National Security Issues are most important, the President enjoys a 76% Approval Rating. Among those who say Domestic Issues are most important, his Approval Rating falls to 26%. However, the number rating National Security most important has fallen sharply since Election Day last November.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of married Americans give the President's performance their Approval along with 42% of those who are not married.

A look ahead at 2008, shows that the public remains evenly divided when given a choice between a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican. In the 2005 race for Governor of New Jersey, Democrat Jon Corzine has a seven-point lead over Republican Doug Forrester.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans say that the Supreme Court is to hostile towards religion while 23% say it is it too friendly.

Full Breakdown of Poll
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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|11:01 am]
Grand Old Party News

Schwarzenegger's Special Election Prompts Abortion Vote
Monday, June 13, 2005 4:42 p.m. EDT

California voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots for a parental notification on abortion measure if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gets his special election in November.

Proposition 1067 – which would require girls 17 and under to notify their parents before getting an abortion – needed about 600,000 signatures to get on the ballot. It has received more than 1 million.

Story Continues Below

A Zogby poll published in June 2002 showed that 71 percent of Californians surveyed supported parental notification.

Katherine Spiller, executive director of the Feminist Foundation, told the Marin newspaper that the measure "endangers young women’s lives, period."

But the "Tell a Parent" initiative has the support of Monty Patterson, the father of Livermore, Calif., teen Holly Patterson, who died in September 2003 after using an abortion drug she received from Planned Parenthood.

Monty Patterson didn’t find out about the abortion until he was called to the hospital after his daughter began suffering serious complications, according to Lifenews.com.

The state Legislature passed a parental notification law in the mid-1980s, but the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1996, only to reverse itself two years later.

The new measure is a constitutional amendment that would not be subject to the state Supreme Court.

According to Lifenews.com, the amendment could reduce abortions in the state by 20,000 a year.

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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|11:00 am]
Grand Old Party News

Schwarzenegger to Bypass Legislature with Special Election

NewsMax.com Wires
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic and labor forces that oppose him switched into full campaign mode after the governor made official what he has threatened for months - a special election to change the way state government does business.

Schwarzenegger announced Monday that he had signed a proclamation calling a special election for Nov. 8, only the fifth special election in California since 1910. He wants voters to consider measures that would cap state spending, strip lawmakers of their power to draw legislative boundaries and increase the amount of time it takes public school teachers to get tenure.

He also is likely to endorse a measure curbing public employee unions' ability to raise political contributions from member dues. That move will almost certainly produce fierce opposition from national unions who view the measure as a blow to organized labor. Democrats oppose it because they draw substantial campaign funding from unions.

The summer months in a non-election year typically offer a lull in the political campaign cycle, but the prospect of a special election this fall promises a costly face-off between the governor's political team and deep-pocketed Democratic interest groups.

"The summer is thought of as kind of a quiet time, but we don't intend to be quiet," said Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association.

To illustrate that point, the teachers union voted over the weekend to assess a one-time $60 increase on member dues to raise as much as $50 million to fight the governor's initiatives.

"We're going to do what it takes, and money is part of it," Kerr said. "We can't do $100,000 chicken dinners like he can."

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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|10:59 am]
Grand Old Party News

RNC Research Briefings
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
John Bolton: The Right Person At The Right Time For The U.N.

Bipartisan Task Force Calls For U.N. Reform; Meanwhile Democrat Leadership Delays Bolton Confirmation

The Gingrich-Mitchell Task Force Calls For U.N. Reform:

"A Congressionally Mandated Panel Will Report This Week That The United Nations Suffers From Poor Management, 'Dismal' Staff Morale And Lack Of Accountability And Professional Ethics ..." (Warren Hoge, "Panel's Report, Faulting U.N., Urges Reforms," The New York Times, 6/13/05)

Reforms From The Gingrich-Mitchell Task Force Include:

* "To Improve United Nations Management, The Panel Called For A New Independent Oversight Board Similar To A Corporate Audit Committee To Deter Corruption And Insure Efficient Use Of Resources." (Warren Hoge, "Panel's Report, Faulting U.N., Urges Reforms," The New York Times, 6/13/05)

* "[The Panel] Also Calls On The United Nations To Create A Rapid Reaction Capability From Its Member States' Armed Forces To Prevent Genocide, Mass Killing And Sustained Major Human Rights Violations Before They Occur." (Warren Hoge, "Panel's Report, Faulting U.N., Urges Reforms," The New York Times, 6/13/05)

* "[The Panel] Said That [New Human Rights Council] Members [Should] Be 'Ideally Composed From Democracies.'" (Warren Hoge, "Panel's Report, Faulting U.N., Urges Reforms," The New York Times, 6/13/05)

John Bolton Has Spent A Life-Time Working Towards U.N. Reform And Towards Making The World Safer:

"John Bolton Has Done Pro-Bono Work For The United Nations In Africa And Worked Closely And Effectively With The United Nations As Assistant Secretary Of State For International Organizations From 1989 To 1992." (U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, "John Bolton - Bringing A Reform Agenda To The U.N.," 4/5/05)

"While Serving As The Assistant Secretary For International Organizations, [Bolton] Detailed His Concept Of A 'Unitary UN' That Sought To Ensure Management And Budget Reforms Across The UN System, Not Just The UN Secretariat." (U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, "John Bolton - Bringing A Reform Agenda To The U.N.," 4/5/05)

Full Press Release
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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|10:58 am]
Grand Old Party News

RNC Research Briefings
Monday, June 13, 2005
Hillary In 'Deanland'


Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Draws Howard Dean Comparisons:

Roll Call's Morton Kondracke: Hillary Clinton Is Off In "Deanland." "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) ... lapsed back into Deanland last week in New York, charging that 'there never has been an administration, I don't believe in our history, more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda.'" (Morton M. Kondracke, Op-Ed, "Negative 'Deanism' Hurts Democrats' Rebound Prospects," Roll Call, 6/13/05)

* Kondracke: '"Deanism,' The Trademark Behavior Of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Is The Tendency To Attract Publicity For Name-Calling Attacks On Republicans While Offering Almost No Positive Alternatives For Governing." (Morton M. Kondracke, Op-Ed, "Negative 'Deanism' Hurts Democrats' Rebound Prospects," Roll Call, 6/13/05)

Time Magazine's Joe Klein On Hillary Clinton: "She Hasn't Gone To The Middle." "She is still voting as a liberal. If she really wanted to go to the middle, where was she ... on the deal on the filibusters and the judicial appointments? If she's a moderate, she'll be part of the sanity caucus. She hasn't been." (NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," 6/12/05)

Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan Put Hillary Clinton's Recent Speech To New York Fundraisers In Same Category As Recent Dean Remarks. "The comportment of Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean is actually not worthy of America. Their statements suggest they are in no way equal to the country they seek to lead. And something tells me that sooner or later America is going to tell them. But in a generous, mature and fair-minded way." (Peggy Noonan, Op-Ed, "Seeing Red," The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/05)

NBC's Andrea Mitchell: "This Is Hillary Having It Both Ways. ... She's Still Giving The Base What They Want To Hear." (NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," 6/12/05)

PBS' Gwen Ifill: "[W]hat You Saw This Week, Was The Old Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Hillary Clinton Back." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 6/12/05)

The Washington Post's David Broder Said Sen. Clinton's Attack On The Press Shortsighted. Broder: "The shortsightedness of Mrs. Clinton's complaint is illustrated by this morning's Washington Post ... Give us a break." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 6/12/05)

Daily News' Michael Goodwin: "[Howard] Dean, Of Course, Openly Admits His Far-Left Views. ... Clinton Has Gone Out Of Her Way To Emphasize More Centrist Values. ... But An Examination Of Many Of Their Speeches To Party Faithful And At Fund-Raising Events Shows That Dean And Clinton Often Say Very Similar Things." (Michael Goodwin, Op-Ed, "Howard And Hillary Sing The Same Tune," [New York] Daily News, 6/13/05)

Full Press Release
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(no subject) [Jun. 14th, 2005|10:55 am]
Grand Old Party News

Senate Confirms Griffith for Appeals Court

Jun 14, 10:45 AM (ET)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate on Tuesday confirmed one of its former lawyers, Thomas S. Griffith, to sit on the U.S. Appeals Court, the sixth judge it has elevated to the federal appellate court in the last month.

With a 73-24 vote, Griffith becomes the newest judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia, taking a seat that the Bush administration originally wanted for filibustered Hispanic lawyer Miguel Estrada.

Estrada dropped out in September 2003 after being blocked by Democrats and President Bush replaced him in June 2004 with Griffith, who was the chamber's general counsel during President Clinton's impeachment before joining Brigham Young University as general counsel in 2003.

Former Judiciary chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called Griffith "an excellent nominee for this extremely important federal court."

"As Senate legal counsel he impressed many in this body for being hard-working, fair-minded and honest. I am aware of no one who believes he carried out his responsibility as senate legal counsel in a partisan manner," Hatch said.

Democrats have opposed Griffith, although Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada offered to bring his nomination up for a vote during the chamber's deadlock over whether to ban the judicial filibuster.

Republicans refused and pushed ahead for a vote on Bush's blocked nominees. But that showdown was averted after seven Democrats and seven Republicans signed a pact pledging not to filibuster judicial nominees except in extraordinary circumstances. At the same time, they agreed to oppose attempts by GOP leaders to change filibuster procedures.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Judiciary Democrat, said Griffith's refusal to get a Utah law license should have disqualifed him from the court.

Full Story
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