Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

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December 2002 Archives, Page Two

Iraq: UN finds no banned weapons Iraq says that after a month of "intrusive, extensive and sometimes aggressive" inspections, the United Nations has found no evidence that Baghdad has weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq to give inspectors list of weapons scientists Iraq will hand over to the United Nations in the next few days a list of hundreds of Iraqi scientists who have worked on nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs, a senior Iraqi general said Thursday.

Iraq Stockpiles Food for War Iraq said on Thursday it had boosted food rations to let citizens stock up before a possible war with the United States, and accused U.S. and British planes of bombing civilian targets, including a mosque.

Censorship is a given in war, reporters say American viewers will never get the full and true picture of a U.S. war with Iraq. That at least is the assessment of former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw.

Church leaders launch unified attack on plans for war on Iraq Tony Blair and George Bush came under sustained attack from the leaders of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches yesterday over their growing threats to take military action against Iraq.

Blair Slammed Over Iraq By His Own Priest Tony Blair was yesterday accused of "moral surrender" over war in Iraq - by his own priest.

Top Talent Lining the War Path --H'w'd zaps U.S.' Iraqi battle plans (Variety) Sean Penn's visit to Baghdad earlier this month probably wasn't what the Bush mis-ministration had in mind when it reached out to Hollywood for help with the war against terrorism. Officially, the State Dept. was mum on its opinion of Penn's antiwar trek, just as it has tried to ignore a growing chorus of Hollywood celebs opposed to an American invasion of Iraq.

Protesting May Be Good for Your Health Taking part in protests and demonstrations can be good for your physical and mental health, a new British study suggests.

Antiwar signs removed from yards in Duluth (MN) Some Duluth residents who oppose war with Iraq are having a difficult time getting their message out. Several "Say No to War with Iraq'' signs have been taken from front lawns, some within hours from when they were put up.

CIA Interrogations Said Verging on Inhumane CIA interrogators have been using "stress and duress" techniques on captured enemies in Afghanistan that blur the line between legal and inhumane, the Washington Post reported Thursday. [Oh, I am sure they kissed "on the verge" good-bye a long time ago, and have crossed over to Waffen-SS techniques. --Lori Price]

U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations Deep inside the forbidden zone at the U.S.-occupied Bagram air base in Afghanistan, around the corner from the detention center and beyond the segregated clandestine military units, sits a cluster of metal shipping containers protected by a triple layer of concertina wire. The containers hold captured al Qaeda operatives and Taliban commanders. [People are being held by the United States government in *shipping containers!!* Hello! Anyone home?!?]

Troops in Afghanistan Report Several Incidents American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division on a routine patrol in Afghanistan Dec. 26 reported finding a site previously used to fire rockets at a U.S. base near Khost, Defense Department officials said.

S. Koreans Shrug Off Nuclear Threat Many believe the U.S. poses a bigger danger than the communist North. --The young tend to view the crisis as a White House creation. When Lee Jin Ju pauses to think about the nuclear crisis brewing over the Korean peninsula, she knows exactly whom she fears. "George Bush," replies the 22-year-old accounting student without missing a beat. "He's a war maniac."

N Korea nuclear moves alarm UN The UN nuclear watchdog says North Korea has moved 1,000 nuclear fuel rods to a reactor that could produce weapons-grade plutonium - a situation it describes as "very worrying".

Pyongyang may have A-bomb in 30 days Restarting its nuclear reactor could enable North Korea to produce nuclear weapons in as little as 30 days, according to one of Britain’s leading nuclear experts.

Sen. Lugar Urges Caution on North Korea Any U.S. military reprisal against North Korea for attempting to restart an atomic weapons program would be "very inadvisable," the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Thursday.

Nixon ordered nuke alert in 1969 Former US president Richard Nixon ordered a worldwide secret nuclear alert in October 1969, calling his wartime tactic a "madman strategy" aimed at scaring the Soviets into forcing concessions from North Vietnam, declassified documents show.

The Gist --by Michelangelo Signorile "...Call it my wild imagination again, but it seems like the modern airport, more and more, is John Ashcroft’s wet dream for how the entire society should become, everywhere: identification checks, massive security, machine-gun toting military guys, x-ray machines, surveillance cameras and, now, controlled media."

DOJ Hits Sentencing Panel's Post-Enron Plan The Justice Department has slammed proposals from the U.S. Sentencing Commission meant to carry out orders from Congress to stiffen penalties for corporate crime after a year of Wall Street scandals.

Growth in Sales for Holiday Period Weakest in Years After examining sales figures from the last frenzied hours before Christmas, experts yesterday declared this year's holiday season the worst in many years.

Hungry States Eye Internet Sales Tax As states across the country struggle with budget deficits in the billions [thanks to Bush], many officials are beginning to eye sales taxes on online shopping.

As Patents on Popular Drugs End, Costs for Generics Surge Prices of generic drugs are rising almost twice as rapidly as prices of brand-name drugs, even as many insurers and the Bush mis-ministration are pressing Americans to switch in the name of saving money.

FBI asks colleges to hand over files on all foreigners The FBI has asked colleges across America to pass on personal information about foreign students and staff to help prevent terrorist attacks, infuriating civil liberties activists and liberal politicians who believe the request is illegal.

Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running In the Pentagon research effort to detect terrorism by electronically monitoring the civilian population, the most remarkable detail may be this: Most of the pieces of the system are already in place.

Sanders works to repeal provisions of Patriot Act (VT) Congressman Bernard Sanders said Friday he will introduce legislation to exempt libraries and bookstores from parts of the sweeping [Fascist] USA Patriot Act.

Personal Information Taken From Military Thieves who broke into a government contractor's office snatched computer hard drives containing Social Security numbers, addresses and other records of about 500,000 members of the military and their families.

Expecting a Vacancy, Bush Aides Weigh Supreme Court Contenders [Yikes!] White House officials are so convinced that there will be at least one Supreme Court vacancy by the end of the current term in early summer that Dictator Bush's senior aides have been quietly conducting serious internal discussions about possible nominees.

Frist's new Senate role could bring help for Lilly The majority leader, a doctor, wrote bill that shields vaccine makers from preservative suits. Sen. Bill Frist's official ascension Monday as Senate majority leader could end up helping pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co.

Mystery surrounds secret 1991 vaccines (UK) The range of vaccines was kept secret, even from the troops. Each individual was given up to 12 vaccines.

Co-pilot’s mom sure he wasn’t flying plane Marie Guess said she is convinced her son was not flying the plane carrying Sen. Paul Wellstone when it crashed near Eveleth in October, killing Michael Guess, the senator and six others.

Poland Upgrades Air Force With U.S. F-16s Poland announced Friday it will buy 48 U.S.-made F-16 jet fighters to upgrade its air force to NATO standards, turning down two rival European bids in a quest to strengthen its position in the alliance.

U.S. Navy to Renew Vieques Bombings The U.S. Navy informed Puerto Rico's government Friday that a new round of bombing exercises could start as soon as Jan. 13 on the outlying island of Vieques.

US prepares further military exercises in the Philippines Last month President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ignored opposition protests and signed the long-mooted Military Logistics and Support Agreement (MLSA) that allows the US to use Philippines facilities as a supply centre for its military operations in the region.

Britain: More than half all London children living in poverty A report published last month has exposed the deepening gulf between rich and poor in Britain’s capital.

Canada’s Supreme Court sanctions dismantling of welfare Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that the state has no legal obligation to assist the poor—even if they have been rendered homeless and hungry.

Two senators discuss the 9/11 report examining the failure of intelligence agencies to prevent the terrorist attacks. --Sen. Bob Graham: "I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted not just in financing -- although that was part of it -- by a sovereign foreign government and that we have been derelict in our duty to track that down, make the further case, or find the evidence that would indicate that that is not true and we can look for other reasons why the terrorists were able to function so effectively in the United States."

FEMA Head Becomes Latest Bush Team Departure (Dec. 16, 2002) Joe Allbaugh, one of the "Iron Triangle" of aides who helped George W. Bush steal the presidency in 2000, has resigned as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a White House spokesman said on Monday.

Co-pilot’s mom sure he wasn’t flying plane Marie Guess said she is convinced her son was not flying the plane carrying Sen. Paul Wellstone when it crashed near Eveleth in October, killing Michael Guess, the senator and six others.

Poland Upgrades Air Force With U.S. F-16s Poland announced Friday it will buy 48 U.S.-made F-16 jet fighters to upgrade its air force to NATO standards, turning down two rival European bids in a quest to strengthen its position in the alliance.

U.S. Navy to Renew Vieques Bombings The U.S. Navy informed Puerto Rico's government Friday that a new round of bombing exercises could start as soon as Jan. 13 on the outlying island of Vieques.

US prepares further military exercises in the Philippines Last month President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ignored opposition protests and signed the long-mooted Military Logistics and Support Agreement (MLSA) that allows the US to use Philippines facilities as a supply centre for its military operations in the region.

Britain: More than half all London children living in poverty A report published last month has exposed the deepening gulf between rich and poor in Britain’s capital.

Mass Layoff Statistics Program Is Discontinued This is the final news release for the Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program. Since 1994, the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has funded the program.

US: State governments enacting budget cuts and tax hikes State governments in the US are facing budget crises without precedent since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Jobs issue urgent as benefits run out As many as 13,500 Minnesotans will stop collecting unemployment checks tomorrow unless Congress votes to extend jobless benefits to more than 780,000 Americans who've been looking for work over the past nine months. Another 1 million exhausted benefits earlier in the year. [The Bush Depression. Only Halliburton, HMOs and the Carlyle group benefit from this regime. --Lori Price]

Bush Family Members On Cruise to Bahamas Former president George H.W. Bush, his son Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and other family members embarked today on a three-night holiday cruise aboard the Disney Wonder.

Lumps of Coal --by Paul Krugman "Merry Christmas? No no no. Retailers found lumps of coal in their stockings this Christmas; the holiday shopping season was disappointing. So where's the economy heading?"

Give America a payroll tax cut --by John F. Kerry "In the last two years, nearly 2 million jobs have been lost, retirements have been postponed, and personal debt has increased. Long-term unemployment has doubled, the stock market has plunged more than 30 percent, we have seen the weakest level of economic growth and business investment in 50 years, and holiday retail sales are down 5.5 percent from last year." [But, HMO profits have skyrocketed, so no worries for the Bush mis-ministration.]

Expenses trickle down --by Bob Baird "...two decades and a George Bush later, it looks like something is trickling down from the federal government to the state government and right on down to the local level. Unfortunately, it's the expense rather than the savings, that seems to be subject to the laws of gravity."

U.S. Revises Sex Information, and a Fight Goes On The National Cancer Institute, which used to say on its Web site that the best studies showed "no association between abortion and breast cancer," now says the evidence is inconclusive.

Bush aims to replace wetlands The Bush mis-ministration adopted a new plan and guidelines Thursday for replacing swamps and bogs that have been filled or drained to make way for highways, housing or other projects.

Visiting Priest Held On Sex Assault Charges (CT) A priest visiting Sacred Heart Church from Poland was arraigned today on charges of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl whom he was counseling for a previous sexual assault.

US-led group triggered N-crisis, says Moscow The latest row started when 'Kedo, the US-led consortium, did not keep its 1994 promise on energy for North Korea' --Russia has accused the US-led consortium in charge of energy projects in North Korea of triggering a crisis over nuclear inspections there by breaking an agreement on energy supplies for Pyongyang.

U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave North Korea U.N. nuclear inspectors will leave North Korea by Tuesday, the U.N. nuclear agency said, denouncing the communist state as "a country in defiance of its international obligations."

Iraq turns over list of weapons scientists Iraq delivered a list to United Nations officials Saturday naming over 500 scientists who have worked on nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs, a U.N. official said.

Americans to man Israeli defences Bush assures Sharon that Washington will give better protection against Iraqi attack than it did in 1991 --The United States has sent the first of what is expected to be a 1,000-strong force to Israel to bolster defences against missile attacks ahead of a possible war in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia Said to Assure U.S. on Use of Bases Saudi Arabia has told American military officials that the kingdom would make its airspace, air bases and an important operations center available to the United States in the event of war with Iraq, senior military officials say.

Prince Charles not welcome, says US Prince Charles has dropped plans to visit the United States because the White House, apparently unhappy with his views on Iraq, has signalled that he would not be welcome, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.

Anti-war activists plan mass civil disobedience if U.S. attacks Iraq While the Pentagon has spent the past year training troops, building facilities and stockpiling weapons to launch a war against Iraq, the peace movement has been using the buildup time to coordinate "emergency response plans" to disrupt domestic military activity, tie up commerce and get out their antiwar message.

Naked Men, Men of Peace On December 21, 2002, near Gainesville, Florida, 22 men posed naked to send a stunning peace message to the American people and the W-ar mis-ministration.

An attack on us all Saddam is simply the latest focus for the west's racist abuse of Arabs --by Ghada Karmi "The preparations for a war on Iraq are moving inexorably forward, despite UN intervention, formal and popular opposition, and Iraqi ingenuity and compliance. The real motives for this projected attack, despite a plethora of public pronouncements, remain confusing and mysterious."

GOP Plans New Caps on Court Awards Piecemeal, Republicans Have Limited Lawsuits Against Some Businesses --Republicans, backed by many corporate executives, are making significant if little-noticed progress in their campaign to strike back at trial lawyers and shield U.S. companies from multimillion-dollar liability lawsuits.

2003 Will Be Big Year for Supreme Court An injury to the chief justice, an emotional discussion of racism and a rare tie vote provided some drama at the Whore Court before its winter break, but the real action comes next year. [I think the Whore Court's "big year" was the 2000 Coup d'etat, wherein they installed the Idiot Usurping Lying Weasel. Although, total eradication of the Bill of Rights could signify a whopper of a year for the Whores, as well. --Lori Price]

Toxic The Lead Industry Gets Its Turn. --One of Tommy Thompson's panel nominees had repeatedly stated that the current standard was too strict. Another had stated that children could tolerate lead levels seven times the current standard without suffering cognitive harm. Even more disturbing, at least two of the new appointees had direct financial ties to the lead industry.

White House budget office thwarts EPA warning on asbestos-laced insulation The Environmental Protection Agency was on the verge of warning millions of Americans that their attics and walls might contain asbestos-contaminated insulation. But, at the last minute, the White House intervened, and the warning has never been issued.

Clinton Urges Jobless Benefits Extension Time has run out for nearly 800,000 Americans relying on federal unemployment benefits. But Congress can start off the new year right by passing an extension that would cover all people who still cannot find work, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said Saturday.

800,000 Jobless Americans to Lose Aid Already facing a sputtering economy and slow hiring, nearly 800,000 unemployed Americans face a new woe Saturday when their federal unemployment benefits end.

Tulsa's Desperate Times and Measures City budgets are being squeezed by the poor economy. Floundering businesses and extensive layoffs, combined with a precarious stock market, are causing local tax revenue to plunge, creating more crippling deficits. Here and in cities from Spokane, Wash., to New York, the impact is seen immediately and felt the hardest.

Foreclosures closing in on cash-strapped families (MN) The economy may be showing signs of recovery, but these are times of quiet financial desperation for a growing number of people in the crescent of suburbs that surround the Twin Cities.

Mass. notes increase in homeless students Some suburban school districts have seen a sharp increase in number of homeless students as the state moves homeless families into motels because of the lack of affordable housing.

United pilots set to take 29% pay cut The union representing United Airlines' 9,000 pilots said Saturday its members are ready to take a 29 percent pay cut come Jan. 1 to help the beleaguered carrier reorganize in bankruptcy court. [Where's Bush's pay cut??? Heck, no one employed him in the first place. --Lori Price]

'Class warfare' / Who's victim, who's aggressor? (Star Tribune) "'Waging class warfare' is an accusation often and easily thrown at people who object to federal tax and spending policies that favor the wealthy... Consider these recent developments and then decide: Who is waging class warfare on whom?"

Bush's economic strategy has no gain, only more pain --by Ralph Martire "...since Bush took office [that would be, literally, *took* office], the large federal surplus that he inherited has transformed into a large deficit, pushing the bills for today's spending off to our children. That is both morally and fiscally irresponsible. The president[sic]'s ill-informed and poorly targeted tax policy will not only put a damper on the New Year, it may cast a deficit cloud over the entire next decade."

What trickles down today: underpaid, no-benefits jobs --by Richard Reeves "So, the way it works is this: Lower taxes on the rich free up the money to hire the poor to run their errands and tone their bodies, and the marginal classes have second and third serving-job opportunities."

US jails 'work shy' foreign students At least six Middle Eastern students in Colorado have been detained in the past 10 days for failing to take as many classes as stipulated by their visas.

Saudi Arabian Prince Gives $500,000 To Bush Scholarships The latest move in the Saudi Arabian public relations effort in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks is a half-million dollar donation by a Saudi prince to the President George Herbert Walker Bush Scholarship Fund at Phillips Academy, Andover.

Feds Must Justify Snooping Tactics Federal investigators may soon have to tell how they've been using their expanded surveillance powers since the terrorist attacks. A federal judge has set a January 15 deadline for the Justice Department to answer a Freedom of Information Act request seeking such disclosure.

Unmanned drones will guard U.S. coastlines Aerial drones have had starring roles in the "war on terrorism", but a new generation of the flying robots is going to be deployed to patrol the U.S. coastline.

RUBBISH! Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage--so we grabbed theirs.--by Chris Lydgate and Nick Budnick

Mayor Katz assails search of recycling (OR) Mayor Vera Katz said Wednesday that she is considering her legal options against Willamette Week, charging the newspaper's reporters with trespassing on her property to pick through her trash and recycling.

Kroeker says Willamette Week snooping through his trash (OR) Portland Police Chief Mark Kroeker issued a statement Tuesday explaining that he had discovered that someone from a local weekly newspaper has been sifting through his trash.

Travelers Brace for New Airport Measures Holiday travelers who left before Christmas may have a different airport experience if they fly home after New Year's Day. Travelers may be randomly selected for a second, and even a third, search...

Texas leads U.S. in number of executions, study shows Texas executed 33 people this year, the most of any state in the nation and almost double the number put to death in the state last year, a study showed.

In an Upside-Down World, Sunshine Is Shunned For the last decade the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has been forming earlier in the Southern Hemisphere spring and growing larger. The 125,000 residents of the southernmost city on the planet, here on the Strait of Magellan, have reluctantly learned to adapt.

Cruise ship arrives to protests, departs (HI) The first visit by a luxury cruise ship to a rural Hawaiian island was met with demonstrators who gathered to protest its arrival. Protesters argued cruise ships will damage Molokai's coral reefs, pollute the waters and spoil the island's rural charm.

The "Persons Of The Year" Cop-Out --by Steve Young "If Time had the guts and journalistic principles foremost instead of profit and sales, their selection would have been, nay, should have been, The Pretzel That Almost Took Down A President [sic]... It was on that date that President [sic] George Bush choked on a pretzel and briefly lost consciousness while watching a professional football game alone at the White House."

Navy Activates Hospital Ship, in Flurry of War Preparations In one more major sign of preparations for a possible war against Iraq, the Navy has activated one of its two 1,000-bed hospital ships, the Comfort, to be sent for possible duty in the Persian Gulf, Navy officials said today.

'Significant' U.S. Forces Ordered to Persian Gulf Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has signed a deployment order to send "significant" ground forces, combat aircraft and logistics support to the Persian Gulf, a move that marks the beginning of a final buildup for a possible war against Iraq, senior defense officials said yesterday.

U.S. Orders Thousands of Troops to Gulf The Pentagon has ordered a major military force to the Persian Gulf in preparation for a possible war with Iraq.

U.S. Navy told to prepare for possible action in Iraq The Pentagon has ordered the Navy to prepare two aircraft carriers and two amphibious assault vessels for possible action in Iraq, defense officials said Friday.

Military units around state called to duty (FL) More than 1,350 Florida Army National Guard and U.S. Army reservists, including 150 from a military police unit based in Fort Lauderdale, were called to active duty this week in the "war against terrorism" [?!? They were called to fight the Bush-Cheney occupation?] -- the largest call-up since World War II for the state guard units.

Bush Steps Up Post-War Iraq Planning Preparing for an Iraq without President Saddam Hussein, the Bush dictatorship is drawing up plans to secure key cities, reopen schools and hospitals and use Iraqi oil revenues for reconstruction after a possible U.S.-led invasion, officials said on Friday.

Ferndale council takes antiwar stand (MI) During a week when Christmas traditions have twinkling lights, liturgies and more than a little lip service given to promoting peace, the City Council of Ferndale went a step further. Unanimously, council members voted for peace.

About 1,000 march in French port to protest passage of U.S. battle group With chants of "no blood for oil," about 1,000 people marched through this southern French port city on Thursday, protesting the passage of a U.S. Navy battle group and the prospect of an American-led war against Iraq.

Bush Urged to Limit Weapons in Iraq Humanitarian organizations are petitioning Dictator Bush not to use antipersonnel land mines or deadly cluster bombs in a military campaign against Iraq, arguing that the danger to civilians and allied soldiers during and after a war outweighs the benefits.

Bush Aides Back Effort for U.N. Denunciation of North Korea Dictator Bush's top national security advisers decided today to back an effort by the International Atomic Energy Agency to have the Security Council declare that North Korea is violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and other agreements to keep nuclear weapons out of the Korean peninsula, senior mis-ministration officials said today.

North Korea to Expel Inspectors, Drawing White House Criticism North Korea said today that it was expelling United Nations nuclear inspectors, and the White House reacted quickly by saying that the United States would not be pressured into negotiating with the Pyongyang government.

A secret CIA assassination policy for citizens --by Jonathan Turley "After a post-Sept. 11 windfall of expanded budgets, personnel and power, it was inevitable that CIA officials would return to the one item that they have most coveted: the discretionary use of assassination."

Immigrant Roundup From Brooklyn to L.A., Muslim Detainees Protest Mass Arrests --In a little-noticed showdown in Brooklyn Federal Court last Thursday, the Justice Department laid out a vigorous defense of its treatment of Muslim immigrants since September 11. The feds' central claim: noncitizens are not entitled to the basic rights of liberty and equal treatment that Americans count on.

U.S. threatens to fine man who posted Cuba news (WA) Retired Seattle plumber and World War II veteran Tom Warner, 77, is supported developing a "sister-city relationship" between King County and Cuba's Granma Province. Treasury Department officials, saying that Warner lacked a "specific license" to promote the conference, are threatening to fine him up to $55,000 if he doesn't tell them everything he knows about the conference and the organizations involved. [Holy McCarthyism, Batman!]

A Citizen Shorn of All Rights A Case Vital to Future Americans, Too --by Nat Hentoff "...what happens to him [Yaser Esam Hamdi] in our system of justice will signal how far the courts—eventually the Supreme Court—will allow George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, and Donald Rumsfeld to create what Charles Lane, the Washington Post's Supreme Court reporter, accurately calls 'a parallel legal system in which terrorism suspects—U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike—may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, held and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system.'"

Afghan pipeline deal inked Pakistan and Turkmenistan signed an ambitious agreement with the Afghan president Friday to build a gas pipeline through war-ravaged Afghanistan. [Once again, it was all about the oil... -Lori Price]

Cornhuskers Wooed Taliban for Unocal (post by KOYAANISQATSI) The Chicago Tribune reported Oct. 21 [2001] on a program at the University of Nebraska's Omaha campus, the Center for Afghanistan Studies, which served "a back door" to the Taliban for US policy and intelligence intrigues.

White House Aides Push for 50% Cut in Dividend Taxes White House officials are urging Dictator Bush to propose cutting taxes on corporate dividends for shareholders by about half, according to mis-ministration officials and Republicans close to the White House. The tax benefits would overwhelmingly flow to the nation's very wealthiest taxpayers.

Governors forced to look at tax hikes they never imagined Governors across the nation who never thought they would find themselves advocating tax increases are now facing budget holes they say leave them with little choice.

Millionaires make up nearly 50 percent of incoming Congressmen The congressional Class of 2002, which has more than two-dozen millionaires, will face votes on issues that could affect their financial holdings.

Treasury Says U.S. Will Reach Debt Limit in Late Feb. (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. will reach the limit of its authority to borrow in late February, as lower tax revenue brought on by a slow economy, and increased government spending for the war on terrorism force the government deeper into debt, the Treasury Department said.

Treasury Seeks to Heighten Debt Ceiling The Treasury Department appealed to the House speaker on Tuesday to increase the government's ability to borrow money so it could avoid hitting the $6.4 trillion debt ceiling and defaulting on its loans.

A Change in Traditional Pensions (The New York Times) "...The Treasury Department has proposed new rules on how companies can convert traditional pension plans — which benefit those who stay at one company all their working lives — into more portable ones. It's a good idea, but as now written, the rules could dramatically cut older employees' retirement income.

City Feels Early Effects of Plant Closing in 2004 (IL) When Maytag announced this fall that it was closing the area's largest factory, a refrigerator plant with 1,600 employees, the news hit Galesburg like a bomb.

Retailers Face Worst Holiday in 30 Years U.S. retailers, reeling from a lackluster holiday season that is forecast to be the weakest in more than 30 years, may ring in the new year with steep markdowns on clothing, accessories -- and profit forecasts.

Law Requiring Lower Drug Prices Is Struck Down State efforts to provide prescription drugs to low-income people suffered a setback today as the United States Court of Appeals here struck down a pioneering program established by the State of Maine. [We desperately need a regime change here, in the United States. President Saddam Hussein does not effect me; Dictator George W. Bush does. See related article, below -regarding surging profits for HMOs. --Lori Price]

HMO Profits Surged in Early 2002 America's HMOs demonstrated remarkable gains in financial strength in the first quarter of 2002, with profits spiking 162% for the three-month period, according to data released on Tuesday.

Intervention by U.S. Health Department Official Is Questioned Responding to a plea from a friend who represented two medical societies, Janet Rehnquist, the Health and Human Services Department's inspector general, intervened in a legal battle between the societies and Medicare regulators, interviews show. [Janet Rehnquist is the daughter of the Whore Court's Chief inJustice, William H. Rehnquist. --Lori Price]

Physician Criticized by Women's Groups Named to FDA Panel A physician who has been criticized for his views on birth control was named to a Food and Drug Administration panel on women's health policy.

Drug Makers Battle Plan to Curb Rewards for Doctors Drug companies and doctors are fighting a Bush mis-ministration plan to restrict gifts and other rewards that pharmaceutical manufacturers give doctors and insurers to encourage the prescribing of particular drugs.

In U.S., Terrorism's Peril Undiminished "The United States may have to declare martial law someday," retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing, who was Dictator Bush's deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism, "in the case of a devastating attack with weapons of mass destruction causing tens of thousands of casualties.

Democrats Fault U.S. Terror Defense Democratic contenders for president are beginning to challenge Dictator Bush's record on terrorism, arguing that Bush has failed to do enough to prevent another fatal attack on American soil and that the nation is barely safer than it was before Sept. 11, 2001.

Details of U.S. victory are a little premature --by Eric Margolis "American troops are operating from the old Soviet bases at Bagram and Shindand, retaliating, like the Soviets, against mujahedin attacks on U.S. forces by heavily bombing nearby villages. The CIA is trying to assassinate Afghan nationalist leaders opposed to the Karzai regime in Kabul, in particular my old acquaintance Gulbadin Hekmatyar."

FBI Seeks Data on Foreign Students The FBI is asking colleges and universities around the country to provide the government with personal information about all foreign students and faculty, prompting objections from some schools and higher education groups that view the request as illegal.

Arab, Muslim Groups Sue INS, Ashcroft Over Detentions Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and the Immigration and Naturalization Service were sued today by a coalition of Arab and Muslim groups over the mass detentions of immigrants from Muslim countries who came forward to register under new anti-terrorism rules.

Lawsuit against Ashcroft, INS Several Muslims civil liberties groups Monday filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Immigration and Naturalization Service for what they say is the unlawful arrest of hundreds of Muslims.

Welcome to America! You've won jail time --by Jon Carroll "We're marching at a faster pace, look out, here comes the Master Race. Oops, that's 'Springtime for Hitler.' Such a catchy tune; it's been going through my head all day. 'Springtime for Hitler and Germany means that soon we'll be going, we've got to be going, you know we'll be going to war!' Seems to fit right in." [a must read]

FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh Resigns: Skeletons Here, There, and Everywhere......Literally --by Mary Louise "The list grows longer of high level bureaucrats who have recently resigned, with Joe Allbaugh following on the heels of O'Neil, Lindsey, Kissinger, and Mitchell... For some reason this story is being kept very low profile, so low in fact, it is practically non-existent."

Marines' Chemical-Biological Unit Will Guard State of the Union Speech The U.S. Capitol Police have requested help from the Marine Corps’ Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) at next month’s State of the Union address.

The Leak-Proof Presidency [sic] of George Bush --by Richard Reeves "Is it possible that they are preventing leaks by not talking to each other at all? Could be... Outsiders, including the American people, are being cut out of whatever debate is going on behind the locked gates. In sealing all leaks, the Bush administration is drowning freedom of speech."

Fuzzy Strands Fill Skies Over Texas City Mysterious, Spider Web-Like Strands Fill Skies Over Galveston, Texas --Galveston residents are still trying to figure out what caused the skies over their coastal city to literally be filled on Friday with floating strands of wads that looked like spider webs.

A Christmas Truce On Christmas Day, 1914, in the first year of World War I, German, British and French soldiers disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front...

Poindexter Is Watching Your A*s --by Judy Klass, sung to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

Orwellian Christmas carols

Off to War (UK) The Royal Marines will set sail for the Gulf on January 16, ready for war with Iraq. The 600-strong 40 Commando on board the helicopter carrier HMS Ocean will be the first British troops to leave home shores for the region ahead of a new conflict to topple Saddam Hussein. [Remember: regime change should begin at home. --Lori Price]

1,000 U.S. troops to join Israelis for training Around 1,000 American troops are expected to arrive in Israel this week equipped with Patriot missiles, which were used in the 1991 Gulf War to try to down Iraqi Scuds fired at this country.

U.S. ready to unleash weapons The Army plans to quickly deploy its new Shadow 200 spy plane if the United States goes to war against Iraq.

Iraqi Militia Holds Defensive Exercises The Iraqi army said Thursday that militias have been holding exercises in central Iraq aimed at countering an American attack, another sign that Saddam Hussein's government may believe war is inevitable.

U.S. Public Is Unconvinced on Need to Wage War Against Iraq, Says Council on Foreign Relations President Les Gelb Les Gelb, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, says that he is surprised by the degree of opposition in the United States to an invasion of Iraq.

Activists Braced for War Peace groups have battle plans ready

Antiwar voices rapidly becoming a chorus (MN) A growing number of Twin Citians are echoing the "No War" slogan.

Aux Etats-Unis, les défenseurs des libertés défient George W. Bush (le Dans plusieurs villes, les élus municipaux ont voté des résolutions demandant le respect des droits fondamentaux. [Translation: To the United States, defenders of liberties challenge George W. Bush --In several cities, the elected municipal voted resolutions requesting the respect of the basic rights.]

N. Korea: U.S. Is Risking Nuclear War North Korea ratcheted up its standoff with Washington on Tuesday, starting repairs at a long-frozen nuclear reactor and warning that U.S. policy is leading to an "uncontrollable catastrophe" and the "brink of nuclear war."

North Korea Warns the U.S. to Negotiate or Risk 'Catastrophe' North Korea warned today of an "uncontrollable catastrophe'' unless the United States agreed to a negotiated solution to a standoff over its nuclear energy and weapons programs.

2 Western Cities Join Suit to Fight Global Warming In a novel legal action, the City Councils of Oakland, Calif., and Boulder, Colo., have voted to join Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace in a lawsuit charging two federal agencies with failing to conduct environmental reviews before financing projects that the cities say contribute to global warming.

Ethics Probe Ordered of 6 U.S. Lawyers in Indian Trust Suit In a stinging 20-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth also blocked the Interior and Justice departments from continuing to send mass mailings to the Indian plaintiffs that include a provision that would terminate the Indians' rights to claim damages, even as the lawsuit continues.

IMF Strong-Arms Debtors Despite New Lending Guidelines The International Monetary Fund (IMF) flexed its muscles over two of the world's poorest countries and imposed conditions that critics predict will be disastrous for the poor in those nations -- and that signified business as usual for the Washington-based institution.

Michigan to Drop Minimum Sentence Rules for Drug Crimes Michigan is one of several states revising mandatory minimum sentences.

Pregnant doll pulled off shelves at Wal-Mart She's Barbie's oldest friend, happily married and visibly pregnant — which, some parents complain, makes her unfit for children. [Instead of worrying about pregnant dolls, why doesn't Wal-Mart worry about breaking the law by not paying their employees legal wages? -Lori Price]

N Korea threatens to 'destroy world' Desperate efforts began yesterday to head off the growing Korean crisis as Pyongyang and Washington continued to talk up the tension.

North Korea Is Reopening Plant for Nuclear Weapons Material North Korea started to reopen a sealed plutonium reprocessing plant today, the most provocative and technically important step it has taken in recent days to revive a nuclear program that experts said could produce weapons within months.

Rumsfeld to N. Korea: U.S. Could Win on Two Fronts Secretary of Defense [and rightwing nutcase] Donald Rumsfeld warned North Korea on Monday against seizing on Iraq to press a nuclear weapons program and said Washington could fight and win two wars at once.

Rumsfeld says U.S. could fight three-front war With a nuclear crisis deepening in North Korea, Defense Secretary [and rightwing nutcase] Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday the United States could fight the war on terror, a war in Iraq and possible conflict with Pyongyang simultaneously. [Any calls for a four-front war? Anyone?? LOL! BTW, the *three-front war* should do *wonders* for the stock market, not to mention our civil liberties, in times of "wars." --Lori Price]

Nuclear War: Ignoring the Real Danger --by Toby Sackton "We are like sleepwalkers, descending into a trap. The result will be the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. against some unfortunate country, and a world outcry that will rival the horror as German concentration camps were 'discovered' by the media at the end of World War II."

3 on Security Council unconvinced on attacking Iraq Three key members of the UN Security Council - Russia, France, and China - say they are not yet convinced that an Iraqi declaration this month failed to fully disclose any weapons of mass destruction, an indication that the United States might face an uphill battle building the case for war against Baghdad.

Iraq Pours Scorn on 'Little Bush' Iraqi forces shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane on Monday and Baghdad poured scorn on what it called the mad campaign of "little Bush" [that's a pretty good assessment, actually!] as both sides toughened their positions ahead of a possible war.

Iraqi Plane Shoots Down American Predator Unmanned Aircraft An American Predator unmanned [missile-carrying?] aerial vehicle was "assumed lost" today over southern Iraq, U.S. Central Command officials said. A CENTCOM news release says the reconnaissance drone was reported missing after being fired upon by Iraqi military aircraft.

National Guard and Reserve Mobilized as of Dec. 24, 2002 This week, the Army, Navy and Air Force each announce a decrease of reservists on active duty in support of the partial mobilization.

Broadcasters prepare for war coverage (UK) Broadcasters are scrambling to block-book space on BT satellites so they can bounce video footage in the event of war in the Middle East.

Turkish PM says Iraq situation at "serious point" Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday events in neighbouring Iraq had reached a "serious point" and Turkey could not remain indifferent.

Australian government prepares military for Iraq war The Australian government has refused to deny a newspaper report that its defence forces are being readied for the US-led war against Iraq early next year.

Activists planning mass civil disobedience if U.S. attacks Iraq While the Pentagon has spent the past year training troops, building facilities and stockpiling weapons to launch a war against Iraq, the peace movement has been using the buildup time to coordinate "emergency response plans" to disrupt domestic military activity, tie up commerce and get out their anti-war message.

Sen. Graham says he may run for president Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., outgoing chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Monday that he might run for president in the 2004 campaign.

C-SPAN to Broadcast Entire Clinton Course The C-SPAN public affairs cable network will broadcast every class of "The Clinton Presidency," a new course at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock that will examine Bill Clinton's years as president.

US Senate leader Trent Lott resigns Hypocrisy and posturing attend a reshuffling of reactionaries --by Patrick Martin "The corporate-controlled press was careful to place their criticism of Lott within the framework of overall support for the Bush administration, portraying Bush as a longtime racial moderate who was genuinely outraged by Lott’s comments."

The Other Trent Lotts --by Bob Herbert "Having thrown Trent Lott overboard, Republican leaders seem to think they are now absolved of any further responsibility for the racism and ethnic insensitivity that have tainted their party... Republican leaders haven't rid themselves of the habit of playing to the closet racists and the Confederate flag-waving yahoos who mean so much to the G.O.P."

FBI is tracking Hatfill Fifteen months after a series of anthrax-laced letters killed five Americans, the FBI again intensified its acknowledged interest in bio-war expert Stephen Hatfill, conducting a search of a Maryland state park and openly tracking him around Washington streets, despite emerging concern over their methods.

Chef Cheney: His cuisine will make you sick --by Wayne Madsen "The U.S. military has never been known for the quality of its meals but Dick Cheney's old company, Houston-based Brown & Root (a subsidiary of Halliburton), has given new meaning to the term 'military cuisine.' "

US immigration authorities detain hundreds of Middle Eastern men in Los Angeles As many as 700 Iranian, Syrian, Sudanese, Libyan and Iraqi men were arrested in Los Angeles during the week of December 9-16.

Smallpox Plan May Force Other Health Cuts The Bush dictatorship's plan to vaccinate as many as 10.5 million medical personnel and emergency responders against smallpox will cost between $600 million and $1 billion and is likely to siphon money from other bioterrorism and public health efforts, local and state officials warn.

Santa Claus reined in by U.S. border police Not even Santa Claus can sneak past the heightened border security of the United States, as a red-suited -- and red-faced -- John Fulton found out yesterday to his peril.

Federal Judge Rules Los Angeles Violates Clean Water Laws A federal judge found Los Angeles in violation of the Clean Water Act today, holding it liable for 297 sewage spills from January 2001 to July 2002.

Boston Archdiocese Asks for Dismissal of All Suits The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston asked a judge yesterday to dismiss all the sexual abuse lawsuits against it on religious freedom [?!?] grounds.

Democrats press Hillary Clinton to stand in 2004 Pressure was growing on Hillary Clinton yesterday to challenge dictator George W. Bush for the American presidency in 2004 after the latest in a series of polls made her the runaway favourite among Democrats to be their party’s nominee.

Poll: Hillary Clinton top Democratic 2004 choice With Al Gore now out of the race, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the top choice of Democrats for the 2004 presidential nomination if she chooses to run, according to a new CNN/Time magazine poll.

UN chief issues secret orders for war in Iraq The United Nations is making secret contingency plans for a war that would halt all Iraqi oil production, "seriously degrade" the country’s electricity system, provoke civil unrest and create 900,000 refugees, The Times has learnt.

Iraq invites CIA to join arms teams Saddam Hussein’s science adviser on Sunday invited the CIA to send agents to Iraq to show U.N. weapons inspectors any weapons of mass destruction that Iraq is hiding.

Diplomatic Strain on Iraq: Allies See U.S. as Hasty After the weapons inspectors' briefing on Thursday, Russia argued that the Bush mis-ministration was out of line in unilaterally saying that there had been a "material breach."

U.S. Testing Missiles and Spy Planes in Its Gulf Buildup Pilotless Predator aircraft are flying surveillance missions over the no-flight zone in southern Iraq. The Air Force has also quietly test-fired Stinger missiles from some of the Predators.

Royal Marines will spearhead invasion of Iraq (UK) The Royal Navy is planning its biggest amphibious landing operation since the Falklands as Britain’s main contribution to toppling Saddam Hussein in the new year, it was claimed last night.

200 rally against war with Iraq (FL) Nearly 200 antiwar protesters converged on Young Circle Park in Hollywood Saturday night, briefly stopping traffic along Hollywood Boulevard during their demonstration.

Peace rally decries possible war with Iraq (OH) With peaceful images of Christmas surrounding them on Public Square yesterday, a coalition of peace groups rallied against going to war with Iraq.

Minnesota Vikings Game Infiltrated by Anti-War Demonstrators (Indymedia) "...a student group at the University of Minnesota, decided to try and make our voices heard to an audience that probably doesn’t get to see our protests downtown or on campus: attendees of the December 21st football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins."

Hundreds rally outside Qatari embassy to protest US defense pact Hundreds of people chanting anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans demonstrated outside the Qatari embassy here Saturday to protest a new military agreement between the emirate and the United States.

Ecumenical Council against war in Iraq (AZ) A group of Arizona religious leaders, most of them based in Phoenix, is asking that the United States step away from the brink of war with Iraq.

UK sells chemical weapons to the world Britain is supplying chemical warfare technology to 26 countries including Libya, Syria, Israel and Iran. Libya, Syria, and Iran have been labelled as part of the 'axis of evil' by the United States.

Grieving Canadians stunned U.S. pilots took drugs The family of a Canadian soldier killed in a U.S. bomb attack is dumbfounded by reports that American commanders let their pilots fly warplanes while on drugs.

Dozens detained in Guantanamo may be innocent Even U.S. personnel upset by lack of appeal for at least 59 men --some farmers, cabbies, cobblers, labourers and Taliban conscripts.

Pentagon seeks to detect people by odor The Pentagon wants to sniff out fugitives — literally. The federal agency that created the Internet now challenges scientists to create a detector that could identify people by their unique, genetically determined odor. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said this week that it's offering $3.2 million next year to find out if it's even possible. [LOL! This is the current sick and sorry state of the United States of Amerika, under the Bush dictatorship. -Lori Price]

Cities Urge Restraint in Fight Against Terror Nearly two dozen cities around the country have passed resolutions urging federal authorities to respect the civil rights of local citizens when fighting terrorism. Efforts to pass similar measures are under way in more than 60 other places.

Muslims say detentions could hurt INS effort (CA) At least five men still being held in San Diego --Fears raised by the detention of hundreds of foreigners last week could discourage future turnout for a registration process designed to detect potential terrorists, Muslim leaders and immigration lawyers are warning.

If your name gets on the wrong list, you're in trouble --by Robyn E. Blumner "The presidential election in 2000, which gave George Bush Florida's 25 electors by a margin of 537 ballots, might have come out differently had it not been for a really bad list... Then there is the 'no-fly' list, utilized by the Transportation Security Administration, constructed with intelligence from a variety of national security agencies."

Frustrated veterans accuse Bush of breaking promise The leaders of America's most prominent veterans organizations say that Dictator Bush is failing to honor past commitments to military men and women even as he prepares to send a new generation of soldiers and sailors into combat.

Meds as Stocking Stuffers? --by Frederick R. Lynch "As a result of Congress' failure to compromise on competing bills authorizing Medicare prescription drug coverage, Dear Abby is recommending pharmacy gift certificates as stocking stuffers for the elderly."

G.O.P. Senators See No Need for Altered Stance on Race A day before they will elect Bill Frist of Tennessee their new leader, several Republican senators said today that despite the furor over Trent Lott's racially tinged remarks, they saw little need for their party to change its agenda on some specific issues of interest to African-Americans.

Advisors Put Under a Microscope When psychologist William R. Miller was asked to join a panel that advises the National Institute on Drug Abuse, he thought he had been selected for his expertise in addiction. Then a Bush mis-ministration staff member called with some unexpected questions...

Loose Lips Zipped It certainly seems, from a veritable gusher of leaks, that the White House helped sink Trent Lott's boat.

Cancer Hospital To Keep Vaccinated Workers 6' From Patients From Patricia Doyle, Ph.D. "The Anderson [MD Anderson Cancer Hospital] concern for contact within 6 FEET tells me that the risk of transmission IS via aerosol, even limited, so that even coming within 5 feet of a newly-vaccinated health worker is of serious concern.

Proof Smallpox Bifurcated Needles May Be Reused --From Patricia Doyle, Ph.D. "I am sure that the Bush administration and CDC, etc. will not like me pointing out risks that they would like kept quiet, such as the blatant risk of transmitting CJD, HIV and HCV from reusing bifurcated needles in Bush's smallpox vaccine program. Also, the bovine sera and other animal content in the vaccine, [Yikes!] itself poses a big risk for infection with mad cow disease aka nvCJD."

List Of Toxic Materials (Including BSE?) In Vaccines Toxic Materials Put Into the Body With Vaccines --From Patricia Doyle, Ph.D.

Boston Archdiocese Seeks Suits' Dismissal The Boston Archdiocese asked a judge on Monday to dismiss all priest sexual abuse lawsuits against on First Amendment grounds, saying the motion could speed settlements with clergy sex abuse victims.

Homophobia Claimed in Oklahoma Execution Jay Wesley Neill was executed by the state of Oklahoma on Thursday, December 12. Activists say his death sentence was tainted by bias and homophobia.

D.C. Mayor Under Fire For Supporting Salvation Army GLBT groups in Washington have chastised mayor Anthony A. Williams for taking part in a ceremonial bell-ringing event on behalf of the Salvation Army.

America tore out 8000 pages of Iraq dossier The United States edited out more than 8000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before passing on a sanitised version to the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations security council.

Iraq claims U.S. lacks evidence of banned arms An influential Iraqi newspaper on Sunday expressed skepticism the United States and Britain have information that could lead U.N. experts here to caches of illegal arms.

Iraq Slams US-British 'Lies,' UN Experts Hunt Arms U.N. experts pursued their hunt for banned arms on Sunday as Iraqi newspapers decried "savage interference" in their work by the United States and Britain.

Bush won't rely on polls for war Recent conflicts had just tepid support ahead of time. Casualties are an issue once war starts. [Of course, why would Dictator George W. Bush care about polls?]

US covers up killings of its troops in Kuwait Attacks on American forces in Kuwait are being covered up and played down because of concerns that further disclosures will destabilise military preparations for war against Iraq.

U.S. Urges U.N. to Authorize War in Iraq The Bush dictatorship, concluding that Saddam Hussein is not serious about disarmament, turned Friday to convincing the U.N. Security Council that it should declare Iraq in violation of world demands and authorize war.

Casualties of an 'Undeclared War' Civilians Killed and Injured as U.S. Airstrikes Escalate in Southern Iraq --While U.S. troops flow into the Persian Gulf region in preparation for a possible invasion of Iraq, U.S. and British warplanes fire regularly on what the Pentagon describes as military targets.

Defiant N.Korea Removes UN Nuclear Monitoring Gear North Korea said on Sunday it had begun removing U.N. monitoring equipment from a nuclear reactor at the center of the communist state's suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Many Held at Guantanamo Not Likely Terrorists The United States is holding dozens of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who have no meaningful connection to Al Qaeda or the Taliban, and were sent to the maximum-security facility over the objections of intelligence officers in Afghanistan who had recommended them for release, according to military sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Hospitals Refuse Call to Vaccinate Workers Two prominent teaching hospitals are refusing to vaccinate their employees against smallpox, rejecting Dictator Bush's call for mass inoculation.

Hunting Terrorists, INS Bags Taxpayer (CA) Kourosh Reyhanyfar's wife, a registered nurse in pediatric intensive care at Northridge Hospital, became hysterical when he called from downtown L.A. to tell her he was in handcuffs. What happened? she demanded. The short answer is that homeland security is in the hands of buffoons. [Yes, that would be the long answer, as well. --Lori Price]

Noncitizen licenses won't work Law is discriminatory, counterproductive, and a burden to those who must enforce it. --by Judith Bernstein-Baker and Valentine Brown "Pennsylvania has recently joined the melee with the enactment of HB152, legislation that will permit the Department of Motor Vehicles to brand the licenses of foreign nationals with a statement indicating that the license holder is a noncitizen."

Coffee, Tea, or Should We Feel Your Pregnant Wife’s Breasts Before Throwing You in a Cell at the Airport and Then Lying About Why We Put You There? --by Nicholas Monahan "... as soon as I demanded to know what the federal employee had done to make her cry, I was swarmed by Portland police officers. Instantly. Three of them, cinching my arms, locking me in handcuffs, and telling me I was under arrest."

Patriot Act Called Threat to Democracy Muslim American Leaders Say Law Violates Civil Liberties --The USA Patriot Act passed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is the biggest threat to democracy in the United States, Muslim leaders and activists said today. [Actually, the Bush dictatorship is the biggest threat to democracy in the United States.]

Federal database spy site fading away As controversy grows over the Defense Department's shadowy Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, the project's virtual presence is steadily decreasing.

Crossing Swords With General Ashcroft Where Is Our Bill of Rights Defense Committee? --by Nat Hentoff "What can town and city councils across the country actually do to rein in the FBI, the CIA, and all the other intelligence agencies now interconnected through the homeland security act?"

FBI performs a nasty little sequel to whistle-blower saga --by Doug Grow "A nasty political sequel is being played out before our eyes. 'The Bureaucracy Strikes Back' is the story flowing from the courageous saga of Minneapolis FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who blew the whistle on higher-ups in the FBI's bureaucracy."

Time Persons of the Year Women who took huge risks to blow the whistle on what went wrong at Worldcom, Enron and the FBI

Ruling Leaves Most Players Exposed to Suits on Enron In a decision that broke new legal ground, a federal judge in Houston ruled yesterday that banks, law firms and investment houses that helped construct Enron's off-the-books partnerships could be sued by investors seeking to regain billions of dollars they lost when the company collapsed.

White House Confirms, Then Denies, That a Presidential Wreath Was Sent to Confederate Monument (July 20, 2001) The White House Military Office confirmed in two different telephone inquiries that a presidential memorial wreath was sent to Arlington National Cemetery and placed at the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Gore swipes at Bush over hate crimes legislation, Confederate battle flag (May 9, 2000) On the same day that Arizona Sen. John McCain endorsed his former GOP rival George W. Bush, Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore criticized Bush for failing to speak out against the Confederate battle flag during their primary rivalry, and said that wide difference still separate the two Republicans.

Ashcroft's Connections Questioned When he was a U.S. senator from Missouri, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft praised Rebel leaders of the Civil War in the pro-Confederate Southern Partisan magazine, accepted a diploma from the racially discriminatory Bob Jones University and met with a leader of the white-supremacist Council of Concerned Citizens.

It's Not Just Lott A number of the Republicans who sat in judgment of Trent Lott last week, and a few Democrats as well, have publicly made similar comments in recent years.

Bill Frist: Rounded Up Stray Cats to Dissect Them Frist is a self-described animal lover who "adopted" stray cats from animal shelters in Boston while he was a student at Harvard Medical School. Then he dissected the cats in medical experiments. Later, he confessed this "heinous and dishonest thing" in an autobiography.

HCA cuts deal to end fraud probe HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain founded by Bill Frist's family, announced a $631 million settlement Wednesday with Justice Department attorneys that would end the government's nine-year investigation of health care fraud allegations against the company.

Jesse's soldiers Helms is leaving Washington, but his imprint on politics will live on as his former aides rise through the ranks to advance the conservative agenda

Wealthy few helped GOP's state sweep (TX) Just 48 wealthy Texas families paid more than half the cost of the key campaigns that convinced 2.6 million voters to solidify the Republican hold on state government in last month's elections.

Bush seeks sweeping overhaul of federal rules Health regulations, environmental protections among hundreds of targets The review could affect everyday life for millions of Americans by changing such requirements as energy efficiency standards for washing machines and the labeling of genetically modified foods.

Conservationists Warn Bush Will Dismantle Safeguards Conservation and environmental groups are bracing themselves for what they say will be an unprecedented assault on environmental laws in the new Congress and throughout the next two years of the Bush dictatorship.

Labor Dept. Seeking to Expand Disclosure Rules for Unions' Finances Labor Department officials said yesterday that they would propose tougher reporting and disclosure requirements for the nation's labor unions on Monday, a move some union officials say is intended to punish labor.

Mercury From China Rains Down on California Industrial emissions in Asia are a major source of mercury in rainwater that falls along the California coast, a new study suggests.

So Much for the Plan to Scrap Old Weapons Weapons systems that had been on the chopping block have been saved, and others that many critics say should be consigned to the dustbin of history are about to receive millions, and in some cases billions, of taxpayers' dollars.

Airport expansion chief admits to taking huge bribes (FL) Miami International Airport's one-time construction chief on Friday admitted selling contracts for cash and cheating the IRS, the biggest conviction netted to date in an ongoing probe of an airport undergoing the costliest public works project in county history.

Odigo says workers were warned of attack Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that two of its workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, and the company has been cooperating with Israeli and American law enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find the original sender of the message predicting the attack. [Does George Bush use instant messaging??? I am sure he likes the abbreviated spellings.]

FBI Called off Terror Investigations Two veteran FBI investigators say they were ordered to stop investigations into a suspected terror cell linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bush to propose requiring ISPs to monitor Net The Bush dictatorship is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users. [Yikes!]

Online Sweep Raises Entrapment Questions ACLU: 'Thought Police' On Patrol --The government may be watching even when you are not expecting it. In an exclusive report by the News2Houston Investigators, we learned that what the government found could lead to a raid at your home.

ACLU Calls Immigrant Registration Program Pretext for Mass Detentions In a development that confirms the American Civil Liberties Union’s initial fears about a controversial immigrant fingerprinting and registration program, the Immigration and Naturalization Service is apparently using the program as a pretext for the mass detention of hundreds of Middle Eastern and Muslim men and boys.

Calif. Muslims Detained in Crowded, Cold Centers Hundreds of Muslim men and boys are being subjected to strip searches in freezing, standing room only detention centers in southern California after being arrested for routine visa irregularities, immigration lawyers said on Thursday.

Soldier: Store Clerk Disrespected Me A U.S. soldier claimed that a Conoco station attendant who was of Middle Eastern descent verbally accosted him, News2Houston reported Thursday. [A must read -- U.S. government/citizens are invoking the same behavior toward Middle Eastern men as the Nazis displayed toward the Jews in the 1930's.]

City's INS head ousted after freeing immigrant (WA) The acting federal immigration chief in Seattle, who this week freed a local Syrian grocer detained as part of anti-terrorism efforts, has been abruptly replaced.

Plane bound for Reagan National diverted when passenger stands A plane was diverted Friday night after a passenger reportedly stood in violation of rules for flights entering the nation's capital, aviation officials said.

Going Electronic, Denver Reveals Long-Term Surveillance The Denver police have gathered information on unsuspecting local activists since the 1950's, secretly storing what they learned on simple index cards in a huge cabinet at police headquarters...

"Where Is This Stuff?" UN Weapons Inspector Asks Britain and the US were urged by the UN's chief weapons inspector last night to hand over any evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

US not sharing intelligence, say UK agencies The United States has failed to provide Britain with full details of its "solid evidence" proving that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, security sources say. There is also concern in London that the Americans are again trying to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network, a link British and European intelligence agencies do not believe exists.

A 'silver bullet's' toxic legacy If US fights Iraq, it would use a weapon that left a radioactive trail in Gulf War. As American forces prepare to take on Iraq in a possible Gulf War II, analysts agree that the bad publicity and popular fears about depleted uranium (DU) use in the first Gulf War, and later in Kosovo and Afghanistan, have not dented Pentagon enthusiasm for its "silver bullet."

U.S. Army launches training maneuver ahead of possible war The U.S. Army launched its biggest maneuver in the Kuwaiti desert since the Gulf War on Saturday, throwing thousands of soldiers and hundreds of armored vehicles into live-fire exercises to sharpen their skills ahead of a possible new war with Iraq.

U.S. Plans Doubling of Its Forces in Gulf The White House agreed to nearly double the number of U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region next month, according to U.S. officials.

Prepare for war, Blair tells troops (UK) Tony Blair delivered a solemn Christmas message to the Armed Forces yesterday, warning them to prepare for war in Iraq.

General to Troops: Sit Tight In Qatar, Myers Says No End in Sight to War on Terrorism --The U.S. military's top general told troops stationed in this Persian Gulf state to brace for long-term conflict because he could see no end to the mis-ministration's declared war on global terrorism.

German TV airs documentary charging American war crimes in Afghanistan The US State Department has reacted angrily [LOL!] to the showing of a documentary on German television alleging that US soldiers were involved in war crimes in Afghanistan.

Bll Frist's Family Firm Settles Fraud Case (May 18, 2000) Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp, the nation’s largest hospital chain, has reached a tentative agreement to pay the federal government $745 million to settle a federal billing fraud investigation.

Frist Seen As Lott's Likely Heir, Pro-Life Record Challenged The resignation of Senate Majority Leader-elect Trent Lott Friday was preceded by much speculation that, if Lott resigned the post, Sen. Bill Frist (Nutcase, R-Tenn.) would replace him. As that prediction moved one step closer to becoming a reality, Frist's pro-life credentials came under fire.

Lott's resignation clears path for Bush agenda Sen. Trent Lott's decision to step down as majority leader yesterday effectively ends the story that has dominated the news for two weeks and sets the stage for Dictator Bush and Republicans to flex their newly won political muscle, say party officials and strategists.

Shift of Power to White House Reshapes Political Landscape With the all-but-certain rise of his close ally, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, as Republican leader, Dictator Bush has consolidated what even Democrats say is a stunning degree of authority in the White House [uh, that would be "dictatorship"] at the halfway point of his four-year term.

Quo Vadis, Karl? --by Paul Krugman "The day after the Republican triumph in the midterm elections, a jubilant Trent Lott held a celebratory press conference. 'Let's roll!' he exulted. (Good taste is not one of Mr. Lott's strong points.) ...It seems that Karl Rove and his merry band of Mayberry Machiavellis are still calling the shots."

SEC Launches Probe Into Halliburton Oilfield services company Halliburton Co. said late on Thursday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had launched a formal investigation into its disclosure and accounting practices.

Lawsuit alleges Barrick plotted to undermine gold price A large U.S. metals dealer is suing Canada's biggest gold mining company and one of the largest banks in the United States, alleging the two conspired to drive down the price of gold and manipulate world financial markets for the past 15 years.

US wrecks cheap drugs deal Dick Cheney, the US vice-pResident, last night blocked a global deal to provide cheap drugs to poor countries, following intense lobbying of the White House by America's pharmaceutical giants.

EPA Jettisons Clinton Rule On Cleaning Up Waterways The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday formally withdrew a Clinton administration rule that imposed federal oversight on states' efforts to clean up "impaired water bodies," a designation that applies to about 300,000 miles of rivers and shorelines and 5 million acres of lakes.

Nebraska anti-abortion leader charged with intercepting Planned Parenthood emails The long-time executive director of the state's largest anti-abortion group has been charged with a felony for allegedly intercepting e-mail and voice messages from Planned Parenthood of Lincoln, an abortion provider.

Jewish professors keep divestment drive alive The national movement to pressure universities to pull their investments from Israel has been battered this year by critics who call it divisive and anti-Semitic. But it has shown remarkable staying power in large part because of an unusual group of supporters: Jewish professors.

New York Asks Giuliani to Cut Security Detail City officials have asked former mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, to pare back his taxpayer-funded security brigade.

California May Bar Judges from Joining the Boy Scouts The California Supreme Court is considering a proposal that would forbid the 1,600 judges in the state to belong to the Boy Scouts because of its refusal to accept gays.

U.S. Jury Cites Unpaid Work at Wal-Mart A federal jury in Portland, Ore., found Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, guilty yesterday of forcing its employees to work unpaid overtime in the first of 40 such lawsuits to go to trial.

Toy Makers Catch War Fever As Christmas approaches and parents turn their attention toward toy manufacturers' latest wares, they may be noticing a troubling trend: military toys are very, very big this season. And they are being aimed at astonishingly young children.

Red Cross May Have Released Unsafe Blood The American Red Cross may have released tainted blood to hospitals, the government said Friday, reporting more than 200 violations of federal blood safety rules in its battle to get the Red Cross to improve the quality of its blood operation.

Lott Steps Down as GOP Leader Embattled Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) announced this morning that he is stepping down from his leadership post, just a day after Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) launched a campaign to oust him.

Lott's daughter hits back at segregationist --Suing white-supremacist leader for insinuating she spoke at his event --"The posting of the transcript generated a buzz around the Internet. A site called 'Citizens for Legitimate Government' linked to the document with the headline, 'Family member gives a rally cry speech at KKK Rally.'" [We at the CLG merely linked to the original press release, and only learned now that Richard Barrett misrepresented Ms. Armstrong as being present at his rally.] --Lori Price

Panel warns against 'secret police' The FBI could be perceived as "a kind of secret police" if allowed to continue carrying out traditional law enforcement duties while also gathering terrorism intelligence, a federal commission said in a report issued yesterday.

Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif. Hundreds of Iranian and other Middle East citizens were in southern California jails on Wednesday after coming forward to comply with a new rule to register with immigration authorities only to wind up handcuffed and behind bars.

Hundreds Are Held After Visits to INS Hundreds of men and boys from Middle Eastern countries were arrested by federal immigration officials in Southern California this week when they complied with orders to appear at INS offices for a special registration program. The arrests drew thousands of people to demonstrate Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Supreme Court rules against oil industry strike in Venezuela Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered a temporary halt to an oil industry strike while it considers the legality of the work stoppage, which entered its 18th day Thursday.

Possible Lott successors have voted similarly on civil rights The most likely successors to Trent Lott as majority leader of the Senate may lack Lott's rhetorical baggage on civil rights, but their voting records are nearly identical to his, civil rights advocates say.

War on Terror Walkouts Two more cities could join 18 other municipalities around the country that have questioned whether the USA Patriot Act combats terror at the expense of Americans' constitutional rights.

Journalists are under fire for telling the truth --by Robert Fisk "Can we go any further in journalistic cowardice? Oh yes, we can. ABC television announced, a little while ago, that it knew all about the killing of four al-Qa'ida members by an unmanned 'Predator' plane in Yemen but delayed broadcasting the news for four days 'at the request of the Pentagon.' So now at least we know for whom ABC works.

State Department could have prevented Sept. 11 attacks, senators say The Sept. 11 attacks would not have happened if the State Department had followed its own guidelines and denied visas to the hijackers, two top Republican senators said in a report issued Wednesday.

FBI lawyer who rejected Moussaoui search is given award A senior FBI lawyer who refused to seek a special warrant for a search of Zacarias Moussaoui's belongings before the Sept. 11 attacks is among nine recipients of bureau awards for "exceptional performance."

US warns Germany against voting 'no' Top Pentagon adviser Richard Perle said in an interview yesterday that a German 'no' to strikes against Baghdad on the UN Security Council would be akin to backing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Fed Health Chief: I'll Skip Smallpox Vaccine Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said yesterday he does not plan to be inoculated with the smallpox vaccine and recommends that other Cabinet members not request the inoculation either.

US planes target Iraq with broadcasts The US has stepped up psychological operations against President Saddam Hussein with the start of radio broadcasts targeted at military commanders as well as civilians.

Scots to spearhead Iraq force Two Scottish regiments were yesterday named by defence officials as the spearhead of a Gulf task force which could be heading for war against Saddam Hussein within 30 days.

Australia confirms preparations for war Prime Minister John Howard confirmed on Wednesday that Australia has begun preparations for war in Iraq.

Britain steps up war preparations Britain is stepping up preparations for a possible war with Iraq as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw accused Iraq of lying about its weapons programmes.

Britain: 30,000 troops on standby for war vs. Iraq The Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has put 30,000 troops on standby in preparation for a land war against Iraq as early as late January or early February.

Britain: Socialist Equality Party hold meetings to oppose war against Iraq Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Britain, told audiences at two public meetings in London and Manchester: "For the planned war against Iraq is the most finished expression to date of America’s drive for world hegemony, a shift in the relations between US imperialism and the rest of the world..."

A Hundred Peace Movements Bloom --by Esther Kaplan "The Administration's bullying autumn war drive, its explicit discussion of pre-emptive strikes and regime change, its overtly corporate agenda on energy and oil, and its early, arrogant attempts to make war without Congress, let alone the United Nations, unleashed a flood of antiwar sentiment and activity across the country."

Washington maneuvers toward Venezuelan coup With an employer-organized lockout in its third week, the Bush mis-ministration is maneuvering with the Venezuelan right wing in an attempt to topple the country’s elected president, Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela's high court gives police control to Caracas mayor Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered the federal government to transfer control of the Caracas police force Wednesday from President Hugo Chavez and give it back to Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pena, a leading Chavez opponent.

Bush Administration Pushes "Regime Change" in Venezuela --by Mark Weisbrot "It's 10 p.m. -- do you know what your government is up to? It seems that Iraq is not the only "regime change" that the Bush Administration is working on. The US government has apparently decided that President Chavez of Venezuela must go, one way or another."

Hundreds Of Absentee Ballots May Have Been Discarded Investigators for State Attorney Michael Satz have subpoenaed records and started interviewing election workers during the past week as they begin a new investigation against Broward County Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant.

GOP senator calls 'for a change' from Lott as leader Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee said Wednesday that Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott should not continue as Senate Republican leader. "It's time for a change."

Clinton calls GOP 'hypocritical' on Lott Former President Clinton said Wednesday it is "pretty hypocritical" of Republicans to criticize incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott for stating publicly what he said the GOP does "on the back roads every day."

Federal Judge, in Rare Move, Condemns Lott As an indication of how deeply felt the controversy surrounding Sen. Trent Lott (R.-Miss.) is among some African Americans, a black federal appeals court judge in Philadelphia strongly condemned the Senate Republican leader in a highly unusual letter that appeared in yesterday's editions of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Southern Strategy Productions Presents Trent Lott in... A Whole Lotta Racism (animation) --by Mark Fiore

FEMA Director to Step Down in March Joe M. Allbaugh, the burly and blunt member of Dictator Bush's "Iron Triangle" of loyal Texas aides, said Monday he will step down in March as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

California Budget Deficit Nears $35 Billion California's budget gap has soared to a staggering $34.8 billion, Gov. Gray Davis announced on Wednesday, leaving the nation's most populous state facing a fiscal crisis more perilous than expected.

Eyes of cash-strapped states are on Washington Minnesota and other states trying to make up billions of dollars in cash shortfalls are eyeing the upcoming battle in Congress over the Bush mis-ministration's promise of new tax cuts, which could cost states even more money.

Halliburton Agrees to $2.8 Billion Asbestos Penalty Halliburton, the energy company once led by Vice-pResident Dick Cheney, agreed on Wednesday to pay up to $2.8bn cash, 59.5m Halliburton shares worth about $1.2bn, and notes valued at less than $100m to settle over 300,000 asbestos claims.

Weyerhaeuser won't be fined for toxic gas release (WA) The state will not force Weyerhaeuser Co. to pay a $10,000 fine for an accident July 11 that released a cloud of toxic gas from a pulp mill in Cosmopolis.

Information Awareness Office Website Deletes Its Logo (click on link to view disappeared logo)

Proposed federal labs called 'recipe for disaster' Facilities would handle world's deadliest germs --The National Institutes of Health is moving ahead with plans to build three large laboratories for research on the deadliest known microbes, despite warnings from some scientists that the facilities will increase the odds that a disease such as Ebola virus could escape --- or be deliberately released --- into the general population.

Bush Orders Missile Defense System Deployed Dictator Bush on Tuesday ordered the military to begin deploying a national missile defense system with land- and sea-based interceptor rockets to be operational starting in 2004.

Report Names Firms That Supplied Nuclear Equip to Iraq Dozens of suppliers -- most in Europe, the U.S. and Japan - - provided the components and know-how Saddam Hussein needed to build an atomic bomb, according to Iraq's 1996 accounting of its nuclear program.

Bush Is Expected to Say Iraq Failed to Meet U.N. Terms The White House is expected to declare on Thursday that Iraq has violated the United Nations resolution requiring it to disclose all its weapons of mass destruction, senior mis-ministration officials said today.

Projection on Fall Of Hussein Disputed With war possible soon in Iraq, the chiefs of the two U.S. ground forces are challenging the belief of some senior Pentagon civilians that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will fall almost immediately upon being attacked and are calling for more attention to planning for worst-case scenarios, Defense Department officials said.

Most Favor Nuclear Option Against Iraq Most Americans favor using nuclear weapons against Iraq if Saddam Hussein attacks U.S. military forces with chemical or biological weapons in a war that the public believes is virtually inevitable, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. [WHO is being POLLED??? So, if Bush unleashes smallpox, the public will rally for a nuclear response? Saddam does not have smallpox; the United States does. --Lori Price]

Troops to head for Gulf in weeks (UK) Britain signalled yesterday that it is preparing to send a large expeditionary force to the Gulf.

Boxer rejects talk of war, first strikes U.S. losing its moral authority, she warns in S.F. The Bush mis-ministration's drumbeat for war and backing for political assassination could be a long-term disaster for the country, Sen. Barbara Boxer said Monday.

Stars shot down over Iraq --by Antonia Zerbisias "When the stars came out on Tuesday to protest the White House's inexorable march to war, most media shot them down... Well, I suppose proponents of the freedoms of assembly and expression should be grateful that the media paid some attention this time, unlike in October when at least 100,000 marched on Washington and got virtually no coverage at all."

Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George W. Bush said what America needed was "a new Pearl Harbor". Its published aims have come alarmingly true, writes John Pilger.

U.N. Says Al Qaeda's Afghan Camps Reopening Al-Qaida training camps have recently been reactivated in Afghanistan, and new volunteers are making their way into these camps, a U.N. report said Tuesday.

Soldiers say U.S. let Taliban general go U.S. troops say that the military mistakenly released one of the most-wanted Taliban leaders in Afghanistan in the summer based on faulty intelligence.

17 Members of Congress speak out on Venezuela (text of letter)

Gotta Have Faith --by Paul Krugman "Last week the Bush administration made an important announcement. I'm not referring to the selection of a new economic team, which will make absolutely no difference to policy. I'm talking about the executive order removing longstanding barriers between church and state."

Bush top legislative official resigns White House congressional liaison Nicholas Calio resigned Tuesday, the fourth senior administration official to leave the Bush mis-ministration this month.

Interior secretary threatens to cut California water supply Interior Secretary Gale Norton threatened again Monday to cut California's share of the Colorado River if a dispute among water agencies isn't resolved by Dec. 31. Calling herself the "river master," Norton said she would withhold enough water to supply 1.6 California households starting New Year's Day. ["river master" ?!? I have other sobriquets for Norton, btw. --Lori Price]

Fire managers with too much OT getting billed by feds When millions of acres of fires burned across the West this summer, the federal government paid some of its most experienced fire managers lots of overtime. Now it wants some of that money back. And if the money isn't paid back by the end of this month, those folks will be charged 4.5 percent interest.

Judge halts law banning inmates on the Internet A federal judge ordered the Department of Corrections to stop enforcing a policy forbidding Arizona inmates from corresponding with, or appearing on, Web sites.

Training curtailed at Marine base amid bacteria scare (CA) Officials at one of the nation's two main Marine Corps training centers are trying to contain an outbreak of a bacteria that sickened more than 100 recruits and possibly killed an 18-year-old private.

Fear mounts as US rounds up thousands of Muslim men Lines began forming before dawn outside the federal building in Los Angeles as hundreds of men from five Muslim countries came to register with immigration authorities under a sweeping national dragnet designed to identify potential terrorists.

Outsourcing Big Brother: Office of Total Information Awareness Relies on Private Sector to Track Americans The Total Information Awareness System, the controversial Pentagon research program that aims to gather and analyze a vast array of information on Americans, has hired at least eight private companies to work on the effort.

FBI's reading list worries librarians Post-9/11 law makes it easier for investigators to view records --New surveillance legislation that has made it easier for FBI agents to obtain search warrants for library records and has created a dilemma for librarians.

E-Gov Law Sets Up Clash Over White House Outsourcing Plan Dictator Bush signed a new e-government initiative today, but librarians and public interest groups are warning that some White House policies could undermine the law by making it harder and more costly for citizens to use the Internet to find government documents or take advantage of essential federal services.

Lawyers Buck SEC's Post - Enron Reforms Corporate lawyers are complaining about a proposed U.S. regulation that would force them to drop clients they believe are breaking the law and hurting investors, and to tell the government about it.

What About Enron's Lawyers? Its auditors and bankers have been under the spotlight. Now, BusinessWeek reveals the attorneys' role --These are not happy days for Enron Corp.'s hired hands..

Feds Want To See Enron Videotape Dictator Bush Also Takes Part In Skit --Skits and jokes by a few former Enron Corp. executives at a party six years ago were funny then, but now border on bad taste in light of the events of the past year.

Report: '97 Enron Tape Parallels Scandal Five years before Enron collapsed in a big accounting scandal, an executive joked at a party about making "a kazillion dollars" through something he humorously dubbed "hypothetical future value accounting,'' the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.

Skits for Enron exec executive funny then, but full of irony now Timing is everything in humor, but the jokes told by a few former Enron executives on a recently surfaced videotape border on bad taste in light of the events of the past year.

Conseco files for Chapter 11 in nation's third-largest bankruptcy In the third-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Conseco Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection after four months of talks with creditors to restructure the insurance and finance company's $6.5 billion in debt.

The Lott buzz: Gone in days Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, under pressure from colleagues and the White House to give up his post instead of face a January vote of confidence, may give in as soon as this weekend, predict key Senate Republican aides.

Lott Vows to Fight to Hold Onto Power in Senate U.S. Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott vowed to fight to hold onto power on Tuesday as a top ally predicted he would prevail and the White House distanced itself from him for remarks seen as backing racial segregation.

Lott Vows Fight to Retain His Post as Senate Leader Senator Trent Lott, politically imperiled by signals from the White House that he should resign as Senate Republican leader, vowed tonight to battle attempts to oust him and adamantly refused to step down.

2000 Lott video adds fuel to furor MSNBC TV has uncovered footage from October 2000 in which Sen. Trent Lott is heard saying Strom Thurmond "should have been president," a reference to Thurmond’s 1948 presidential candidacy.

Nickles Has Always Been Just Short of the Top Rung Mr. Nickles joined Mr. Lott in 1983 in voting against a federal holiday in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mr. Nickles voted against expanding federal hate crimes legislation in 2000, and against expanding the ability of minorities to win job discrimination lawsuits in 1990. Nickles sponsored a 1996 law to deny federal benefits to married people of the same sex and to permit states to ignore such marriages allowed in other states. He also pushed for a Republican Party platform in 1992 that would ban abortions even in cases of incest and rape. He has advocated displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools, and helped kill the patients' bill of rights sponsored by Democrats in 2000. [...It seems to me that Nickles isn't worth two cents. --Lori Price]

A Bogey For Nickles? Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickles -- a longtime Trent Lott rival who has called on fellow Republicans to consider ousting the embattled Mississippian as the Senate's GOP leader -- might have some explaining of his own to do about his membership in the men-only Burning Tree Club.

NTSB report on Wellstone crash finds no mechanical failure The two engines and the propellers were working properly and did not contribute to the plane crash that killed U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and seven others, federal investigators said Tuesday.

Papers on Campaign Finance Law Sought Several news organizations asked a federal court Tuesday to unseal all documents submitted in a case challenging the nation's new campaign finance law.

Mayors Say Requests for Food and Shelter Are Up The nation's mayors said today that this year had brought the largest increase in demand for emergency shelter in a decade, a result of a sluggish economy and the rising cost of housing and health care.

N.Y. Gay Rights Bill Passes State senators passed a bill Tuesday that would outlaw discrimination against homosexuals in New York state, 31 years after advocates began lobbying for it.

World records its second warmest year Meteorologists revealed yesterday that the world had measured its second warmest year since records began more than 140 years ago.

Sharon party in scandal over vote-buying The Likud party, which is expected to win next month's Israeli elections, was caught up yesterday in a vote-buying scandal in which criminals are alleged to have paid thousands of pounds to influence the party's primaries.

Bill Of Rights Pared Down To A Manageable Six (humor) Flanked by key members of Congress and his mis-ministration, Dictator Bush approved Monday a streamlined version of the Bill of Rights that pares its 10 original amendments down to a "tight, no-nonsense" six.

Bush's poll numbers plummet Dictator Bush's lowest economic-approval ratings are in the South Atlantic region that includes the pivotal state of Florida, where just 29% of adults think he's steering the nation in the right direction. And just 44% of Westerners and Northeasterners approve.

Tech firm invokes security plea to cut through red tape The Bush dictatorship sped approval for moving one of the Internet's 13 traffic-management computers after a prominent technology company urged the government to "declare some kind of national security threat and blow past the process," according to federal officials' e-mails.

Officials probe Marine recruit death amid fears of Strep-A outbreak Officials planned an autopsy Monday to determine what killed an 18-year-old Marine Corps recruit who developed a fast-spreading rash after 5,000 recruits received inoculations to stop the spread of a potentially lethal bacteria.

No smallpox shots for children Under FDA regulations, vaccine not licensed for kids --The smallpox vaccine is more dangerous than any other given in this country.

Smallpox Vaccine Transmission Raises Liability Issue If a smallpox vaccine recipient inadvertently transmitted the virus in the vaccine to other people and they fell ill, who would pay for the sick people's medical care?

América Reborn: 32 Nations Back Venezuela Historic OAS debate turns América right-side-up again --by Al Giordano --12:21 a.m. ET, December 17, 2002: The Organization of American States (OAS), for the first time in the organization’s history, rejected a major United States initiative. The OAS backed, by a vote of 32-0 – with two countries not counted – a resolution to support the continuance of the democratically elected government of Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

Venezuela: Chavez Beefs Up Security In what is being described as "a preventative measure" and "a show of strength" units of the Venezuelan Armed Forces (FAN) -- with tanks, anti-aircraft missile batteries, military police and intelligence services -- troops loyal to President Hugo Chavez Frias, are being deployed around the Miraflores Presidential Palace on Avenida Urdaneta in Caracas.

Syria's Assad warns over Iraq war and calls Bush and Blair "psychologically ill" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that anyone seeking war with Iraq for the sake of war with Iraq is "psychologically ill," following talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

US 'asks to use British spy base' The United States has requested use of the RAF's early warning station at Fylingdales, North Yorkshire, as part of its controversial missile defence programme, the government is set to announce on Tuesday.

U.S. rejects treaty with N. Korea The United States says it had no intention of attacking North Korea but has rejected Pyongyang's call for negotiations on a nonaggression pact. In the latest war of words in the escalating crisis, North Korea's official media echoed fears of a U.S. invasion.

Panel endorses domestic intelligence agency An influential homeland security panel will recommend the creation of a domestic intelligence agency to collect and analyze information about terrorist threats within the United States.

Limits Sought on Wireless Internet Access The Defense Department, arguing that an increasingly popular form of wireless Internet access could interfere with military radar, is seeking new limits on the technology. The military officials say the technical restrictions they are seeking are necessary for national security.

What's the ANSIR? FBI Warns Corporate Leaders of Possible Attacks by Antiwar Activists At a time when the peace movement appears to be gaining traction, it is troubling to read the latest e-mail advisory from the FBI's Awareness of National Security Issues and Response (ANSIR) program.

Secret Service Intercepted Michael Moore*’s Email and Searched His Home Without A Warrant Three armed U.S. Secret Service agents and a local sheriff employed psychological intimidation to invade the privacy of retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Michael Moore, 49, of Goldston, North Carolina at his home on December 10, 2002. *not the film-maker

Diplomat: 'No change' in Iraqi attitude U.S.: Iraq's declaration is 'far, far, far short' --Iraq's weapons declaration does not signal "any real change in attitude" toward U.N. weapons inspectors and still leaves a lot of things unaccounted for, a Western diplomat familiar with the declaration told CNN Friday. [Yes, Bush's desire for the Iraqi oil fields has not been "accounted for." --Lori Price]

Coalition Aircraft Strike Iraqi Sites on 3 Consecutive Days Coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone in southern Iraq have struck Iraqi military sites three days running, according to U.S. Central Command officials. Early this morning Eastern time, coalition aircraft from Operation Southern Watch used precision-guided weapons to strike an Iraqi communications site near Al Kut, about 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.

300,000 troops to beat Saddam (UK) A HUGE force of at least 300,000 Allied troops will be sent to Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, The Sun can reveal. And the build-up to war will be launched by the Ministry of Defence today.

Reserve Security Mobilization Announced The Departments of the Army and the Air Force have signed a memorandum of agreement under which the Army will mobilize approximately 9,000 Army National Guard soldiers to augment security at 163 Air Force installations in the United States.

Beware an ecological catastrophe in Iraq --by Jonathan Lash "As policy planners discuss postwar political arrangements for Iraq, it is essential to prepare for possible environmental devastation. The human suffering caused by any fighting is likely to be prolonged by environmental destruction."

Bracing for War (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) Turki Al-Faisal predicts that a U.S. invasion of Iraq will be a "bloody" disaster. "Lots of Iraqis are going to die and perhaps Americans as well," he says. He says the U.S. is behaving like an imperial power. "Any country or society that becomes dominant inevitably wants to change the world in its own image," he says. "America is like this now. Look at what Alexander the Great did and the British."

Most Unconvinced on Iraq War Despite a concerted effort by the Bush mis-ministration, more than two-thirds of Americans believe the president has failed to make the case that a war with Iraq is justified, according to a Los Angeles Times poll.

'We'll have blood on our hands' Sean Penn is the latest celebrity to join the protest against the threat of an American attack on Iraq. Rory McCarthy meets him in Baghdad

Statement by actor Sean Penn on the occasion of his visit to Iraq at news conference in Baghdad, December 15, 2002

Protesters put names on the line (IL) Hundreds of demonstrators protesting the threat of a war in Iraq on Sunday dropped signed pledges of resistance into collection plates at St. James Episcopal Cathedral.

Lott doesn’t have the votes Embattled Sen. Trent Lott so far doesn’t have the 26 Senate Republican votes needed to retain his job as majority leader, sources told NBC’s Tim Russert.

G.O.P. Leaders in Senate Call Meeting on Trent Lott's Fate Senate Republicans will meet on Jan. 6 to resolve the fate of embattled Senator Trent Lott, calling a session to decide whether the Mississippi Republican should remain the majority leader after making racially divisive comments.

Lott, Nickles Civil Rights Votes Similar Sen. Don Nickles, the first Senate Republican to suggest that Trent Lott should be replaced as their leader, has built a civil rights voting record that is nearly identical to that of the man he would depose.

WH takes no stand on GOP Senate leader The White House refused comment Monday on calls by some Senate Republicans for a new leadership election. The White House position is that Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, should not be forced to resign as GOP leader.

Bush Won't Resist Leadership Change Dictator Bush has decided not to intervene to save Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.) after concluding he has become an albatross to the party and no longer has any chance of surviving as Republican majority leader, mis-ministration sources said yesterday.

Treasury Nominee to Get Big Pension Though he has renounced his claim to about $15 million in severance benefits, John W. Snow's pension improvements mean he will collect $2.47 million a year from CSX until he dies, according to company disclosures.

Daschle Urged To Reconsider Candidacy Friends and advisers to Senate Democratic Leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) have urged him to reconsider his desire to run for president in 2004, arguing that he may be more valuable to his party as Senate minority leader than as a presidential candidate and that he is behind other Democrats in putting together a possible candidacy.

Bush Opinion Sought in Abortion Case The Supreme Court put the Bush mis-ministration on the spot Monday, asking for its views in a politically charged abortion case involving aggressive efforts to deter doctors from performing abortions.

Michigan Plan to Cut Drug Costs Is Upheld by Appeals Court Michigan acted legally when it attempted to cut health care costs by limiting the drugs doctors can prescribe to low-income patients, the state Court of Appeals said in a decision released Monday.

Gore Rules Out Running in '04 President Al Gore announced last night that he would not run for reelection in 2004, apparently ending a political career that thrust him into the middle of one of the most disputed presidential elections [Bush's first coup d'etat] in American history, while recasting the coming contest among the half-dozen Democrats seeking to take on Dictator Bush.

Text of President Al Gore's interview broadcast Sunday night on CBS' "60 Minutes" in which he said he would not run for reelection in 2004

The US may use torture against terrorism --by Alasdair Palmer "Torture is no longer simply a topic for debate. The debate has been won.'After the next al-Qaeda outrage in the US, the pressure will be irresistible,' one federal prosecutor told me... It seems incredible that anyone should be considering whether or not the US Constitution is compatible with torture - yet this is the situation in which America finds itself."

Pentagon Debates Propaganda Push in Allied Nations The Defense Department is considering issuing a secret directive to the American military to conduct covert operations aimed at influencing public opinion and policy makers in friendly and neutral countries, senior Pentagon and administration officials say.

Kissinger never "vetted" for conflicts of interest Seeking to avoid further controversy about his consulting business, Henry Kissinger abruptly stepped down as chair of the independent [?!?] commission to investigate the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Unlike other high-profile presidential appointments, NEWSWEEK has learned, Kissinger was never "vetted" for conflicts of interest by White House lawyers.

Kissinger resigns as head of September 11 probe --by Patrick Martin "The resignation of Henry Kissinger, only two weeks after he was appointed by President [sic] Bush to head the bipartisan commission investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks, underscores the extraordinary degree of resistance in official Washington to any effort to organize an inquiry into the role of the US military and intelligence apparatus in those events."

Citizens for Legitimate Government Founder and Chair, Michael Rectenwald, will appear on "This Is Hell!" Chicago's WNUR 89.3 FM, Northwestern University radio, in the near future. The December 14th show ran over with earlier guests and WNUR will reschedule with Mike Rectenwald. Mike was going to talk about the relationship between the oil strike, the coup and the figurehead for the coup's provisional "government" and his connections to Bush and Co. The strike is being fomented by the US and its oil giants to force another coup against Chavez.

Pressure mounts for Chavez to hold vote The populist leader, President Hugo Chavez, who survived a brief [U.S. backed] coup in April, seemed bent on trying to defeat the strike and holding on to his 4-year-old rule of the world's No. 5 oil exporter. At least half a million Venezuelans took part in a huge opposition rally in east Caracas late Saturday, clamoring for Chavez to step down. [Question: When 250,000 demonstrators marched against Dictator Bush's W-ar-for-Oil policy in Iraq in Washington, D.C. on October 26, why was that protest not worthy of mention in the U.S. media? But, the Venezuelan [CIA-fomented] demonstration is leading CensoringNewsNetwork's Headline News every half-hour. They decide, they alter, they report... --Lori Price]

Top G.O.P. Senator Calls for Vote on Lott's Leadership The Senate's No. 2 Republican leader broke ranks with GOP colleagues and called Sunday for a new election for majority leader, saying Sen. Trent Lott may be so weakened that his continued service in that job could jeopardize the party's legislative agenda.

Pressure Mounts on Embattled Senate Leader Lott Pressure mounted on embattled Sen. Trent Lott on Sunday to relinquish the Senate majority leader post as the Senate's second-ranked Republican said the party should consider replacing Lott, under fire over a statement seen as endorsing segregation.

Racism: Is South Dakota Burning? In 1999, after more than a hundred complaints of racism and racial profiling, South Dakota's Advisory Committee to the Commission on Civil Rights issued their report. This report shows the kind of extreme racism this country has not seen since the 1950s in the Deep South.

Claims of voter fraud beget fraud claims At least two key affidavits compiled by Republicans charging American Indian voter fraud in the Nov. 5 election are fraudulent themselves, South Dakota Attorney General Mark Barnett said Friday.

Md. Indictment Says People Were Paid Illegally to Help GOP A grand jury has indicted a woman who works at a D.C.-based temporary employment agency for allegedly paying homeless people to work the polls in Prince George's County for Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., and the Maryland state prosecutor said yesterday that he is broadening his investigation to include other Election Day offenses allegedly committed in the county by Republicans.

Saddam given two weeks to name scientists Hans Blix, the United Nations chief weapons inspector, has bowed to intense pressure from the United States and given Saddam Hussein two weeks to provide the names and location of Iraqi scientists linked to his arms programmes.

Navy sends 2,600-man task force to the Gulf (UK) The Royal Navy will dispatch a task force to the Gulf at the start of next month as Britain launches its military build-up to a war with Iraq.

Iraq List Censored to Protect the Innocent and the Helpful When the 10 nonnuclear members of the Security Council receive their censored copy of Iraq's weapons declaration Monday, the names of foreign companies that, knowingly or not, have supplied Iraq with weapons-making materials. [Headline should read: Iraq List Censored to Cover Up for United States Role in Supplying Iraq With Weapons of Mass Destruction --Lori Price]

Did Saddam's army test poison gas on missing 5,000? Why didn't Tony Blair and George Bush mention Saddam Hussein's most terrible war crime? Why, in all their "dossiers", did they not refer to the 5,000 young men and women who were held at detention centres when their families – of Iranian origin – were hurled over the border to Iran just before President Saddam invaded Iran in 1980? Could it be because these 5,000 young men and women were used for experiments in gas and biological warfare agents whose ingredients were originally supplied by the United States?

All reason is about to be gassed, poxed and nuked --by Simon Tisdall "This will be a big week for Iraq and all those who wish to bomb it. Since last summer's heady excitements, when George Bush seemed ready to go Saddam-hunting all on his ownsome, Washington hawks and assorted birds of prey have endured a series of false dawns." [a must read]

Women's group fasts in antiwar message (NY) Women Against War's effort started two months ago with 20 women in New York's Capital Region and has grown to more than 60 women who have pledged to fast for 24 hours each to protest the US position against Iraq.

Photos of December 10, 2002 U.N. protest, provided by Marta Steele

Massive anti-U.S. rally in Seoul More than 50,000 South Koreans have rallied in Seoul to protest the deaths of two teenage girls killed after being hit by a U.S. military vehicle.

Run, Don't Walk Hearing on Autism: The Federal Government’s Track Record Is Reviewed and a Future Course Is Charted --by Sandy Mintz "Among the evidence brought to bear by the Committee was a video from The University of Calgary which showed how even small amounts of mercury cause neuron degeneration in the brain... Included in the testimony of the first three experts was convincing evidence that autism might well be caused by vaccines, and why the studies which allege to vindicate the vaccines do no such thing."

The Man Behind The Vaccine Mystery Just before Dictator Bush signed the homeland security bill into law an unknown member of Congress inserted a provision into the legislation that blocks lawsuits against the maker of a controversial vaccine preservative called "thimerosal," used in vaccines that are given to children. Drug giant Eli Lilly and Company makes thimerosal. It's the mercury in the preservative that many parents say causes autism in thousands of children. House Majority Leader Dick Armey tells CBS News he did it to keep vaccine-makers from going out of business [OMG] under the "weight of mounting lawsuits." "I did it and I'm proud of it," says Armey, R-Insane -Texas.

Stock Focus: The Terror Bubble Lives On Last year's acts of bioterrorism succeeded in scaring the public. Part of this panic shifted into the equity market, where some biotechnology stocks experienced a huge price jump. In November, BioReliance announced an extension of its agreement with Dynport Vaccine, which is a joint venture between privately-held DynCorp and Porton International. BioReliance is in the midst of testing, developing and manufacturing a smallpox vaccine in support of Dynport's existing contract with the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program.

Nearly 100 Marine recruits hit by strep A (CA) Nearly 100 Marines have been hospitalized with a potentially life-threatening form of streptococcus infections, a Navy spokesman said yesterday. [Were they vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine?]

Marine recruit dies after rash spreads (CA) An 18-year-old Marine Corps recruit from Greenfield died Sunday after seeking treatment for an ankle rash. The rash spread to the rest of his body and Zavala was taken to the Naval Medical Center San Diego, where he died at 1:01 p.m., MCRD spokesman Lt. Mike Friel said. [Was he vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine?]

Second San Diego-Based Recruit Dies (CA) A 19-year-old Marine recruit died Thursday after survival training at a base swimming pool, officials at Marine Corps Recruit Depot said yesterday. Pvt. Samuel J. Bruss of Kenosha, Wis., is the second San Diego-based recruit to die after training since late last month.

New Tax Plan May Bring Shift In Burden As the Bush mis-ministration draws up plans to simplify the tax system, it is also refining arguments for why it may be necessary to shift more of the tax load onto lower-income workers.

Health care is big profit business --by Martin Dyckman "Unlike the private insurance companies, it [Medicare] has no profit motive for making the doctors wait for what they have earned. Its cost of administration is the lowest of all, and it could easily be expanded into a true single-payer health insurance system covering everyone."

WIC program ceases to pay for organic food (MN) The Minnesota Health Department, which administers the federal WIC [Women, Infants and Children food] program, recently decided its participants will not be able to use vouchers to buy organic food.

Rightwing Radio Show Postpones Madison Teach-In A local rightwing radio program drummed up enough negative calls and e-mails to the school administration-some referring to the school district as "subversive and anti-American," according to the Capital Times-that within a matter of hours, the school superintendent, Art Rainwater, postponed the teach-in.

On Florida Key, Butterfly Is Making Its Last Stand The little butterfly, the Miami blue, once blanketed much of Florida, but it has been all but eradicated by development, hurricanes, mosquito spraying and more.

Bush widens authority of CIA to kill terrorists The Bush dictatorship has prepared a list of about two dozen terrorist leaders whom the CIA is authorized to kill if capture is impractical and civilian casualties can be minimized, senior military and intelligence officials said.

Officials See Bush Insulated From Hill Probes With fellow Republicans set to run Congress and a federal court upholding his right to secrecy, Dictator Bush over the next two years will be protected from potentially embarrassing congressional investigations into his mis-ministration, especially its relationship with big corporate donors, government officials say.

Lott's deputy urges new election for majority leader The Senate's No. 2 Republican leader, Sen. Don Nickles, R-OK, called Sunday for a new election for the majority leader's job that Sen. Trent Lott is set to hold in the new Congress.

High-ranking Republican says Lott's apology enough Sen. Trent Lott's latest apology for racially charged remarks should suffice, the Senate's incoming No. 2 Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, said Saturday, vowing that a move for formal censure would produce a swift counter-attack against a prominent Democrat.

In Lott's Life, Long Shadows of Segregation Interviews with those who knew him early in life, and previously unexamined documents from his pre-Congressional career, show how deeply segregation pervaded Trent Lott's family and social environment, and how it served him well politically.

Trent Lott Is the Republican Party's Monica Lewinsky --by Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL-2) "Monica Lewinsky reflected Bill Clinton's PRIVATE moral failure. Trent Lott reflects the Republican Party's POLITICAL moral failure. Both Monica Lewinsky and the issue now confronting Trent Lott and the Republican Party are moral issues... The so-called party of 'family values' said Monica Lewinsky was the NATURAL and INEVITABLE result of the Democratic Party's LIBERAL POLITICAL VALUES."

Dunces of Confederacy --by Maureen Dowd "We could have had a perfect Friday the 13th trifecta. First Cardinal Law, coddler of pedophiles, resigned. Then Kissy, coddler of dictators, kissed off the 9/11 families rather than reveal his clients. But then Trent Lott, coddler of racists, spoiled it all."

GOP and racists? Thick as thieves --by Cynthia Tucker "The spectacle of conservatives scurrying to denounce Trent Lott has provided comic relief in a Capitol otherwise obsessed with a dubious war... The simple fact is that the modern Republican Party has built a Southern power base by accommodating racists."

GOP Revisits a Sordid Past --by Harold Meyerson "What mattered was that these guys ran the Congress: They moved the appropriations bills, saw to the interests of home-state concerns like WorldCom (from Lott's Mississippi) and Enron (from DeLay's Texas), blocked any chance for real prescription drug coverage and threatened big businesses that dared to write checks to the occasional Democrat."

Abortion bill would require women to obtain death warrant Even Georgia abortion opponents are criticizing a bill that would force women who want an abortion to go through a trial and have a judge sign a death warrant for an "execution."

At U.N. Family-Planning Talks, U.S. Raises Abortion Issue Taking its fight against abortion overseas, the Bush mis-ministration opened a sharp debate over a landmark family-planning agreement during a United Nations conference this week, angering several of its allies, European and Asian diplomats said today.

Agencies see homeland security role for surveillance drones An increasing number of federal agencies are pursuing plans to use pilotless surveillance aircraft to help patrol the Mexican and Canadian borders, protect the nation’s major oil and gas pipelines and aid in other [?!?] homeland security missions.

Keeping Track of John Poindexter The head of the government's Total Information Awareness project, which aims to root out potential terrorists by aggregating credit-card, travel, medical, school and other records of everyone in the United States, has himself become a target of personal data profiling.

Chávez Rejects Call for Early Vote in Venezuela President Hugo Chávez's government, whipsawed by a 13-day strike that is debilitating the economy, has rejected a Bush dictatorship call for early elections to resolve the political turmoil in this oil-rich nation. [The quintessential ROFL, George W. Bush, the Idiot Usurper, is calling for "elections." Dictator Bush is trolling for Coup II! --Lori Price]

Venezuela on brink of second coup The President's supporters are preparing for a last stand --The US was accused by the chavistas of approving the last coup and ambassador Charles Shapiro has been making calls for a peaceful resolution this time.

Smallpox vaccine risks include death Dictator Bush's plan for making the smallpox vaccine available to the military and health-care workers, announced Friday, raises concerns about the side effects and hazards associated with the vaccine for those individuals and their families, experts told United Press International.

Americans still don't understand smallpox-experts Saying they have no idea how many Americans will demand the smallpox vaccine, U.S. health officials said on Saturday that most people still do not understand just how risky the shot is.

Some Hurt Won't Get Vaccine Compensation Some people who may be injured by the smallpox vaccine will not qualify for compensation under current law, health officials said Saturday.

Smallpox Shot Will Be Free for Those Who Want One A new smallpox vaccine will be provided free to Americans who want it if the vaccine, now being manufactured, passes licensing tests as expected in 2004, Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, said yesterday. [LOL! No one wants to die to enrich the profits of Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Thanks anyway. --Lori Price]

US cash squads 'buy' Iraqi tribes Dozens of teams of elite American soldiers and intelligence specialists have been sent into Iraq with millions of dollars in cash to woo key tribal leaders away from Saddam Hussein.

Hundreds march in Hollywood to oppose war against Iraq Hundreds of protesters banging drums and holding candles marched for several hours up and down the streets of Hollywood on Saturday night, voicing opposition to a war against Iraq, officials said.

Don't let Bush light Iraq fire --by Linda McQuaig "...the U.S. media apparently decided that the torture of frogs was nothing more than a charming little anecdote from Dubya's early years... the Bush administration seems barely able to contain its enthusiasm to begin blowing things up in Iraq. Just because Bush had a taste for blowing up frogs, doesn't mean we have to pass him the firecrackers."

Bush Plans To Add 2 Judges to Key Court The White House has decided to fill two seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that have been vacant for years, seeking to reverse the long-standing GOP position that the court did not have enough work to justify more judges.

Bush changes course on unemployment benefits After declining to engage on the issue for months, Dictator Bush changed course Saturday and said extending unemployment benefits for laid-off workers is so urgent it should be "a first order of business" for the new Congress.

Treasury Nominee Skilled in the Art of Deal-Making John W. Snow helped launch the deregulation revolution, which many praise but others fault.

Low-Income Programs Face Cuts When Congress Completes Work on Appropriations Bills in January

Attorney: Judge Orders U.S. Firms to Pay Nearly $500 Million to Banana Workers A Nicaraguan judge has ordered three U.S. companies to pay $490 million to 583 banana workers allegedly affected by the use of the pesticide Nemagon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said Saturday.

Woman files lawsuit against pResident (TX) A Fort Bend County woman files a lawsuit on former Governor and current sitting pResident George W. Bush. In her suit she is alleging "race based harassment and individual sex crimes committed against her and her husband."

Bush involved w. rape summons in TX county court (Fort Bend County, TX.) Case #22127. Margie Schoedinger v. George W. Bush. Filed 12/3/02 (Click here and enter Bush's name in the Defendant field and click "search.") Fort Bend County, Texas Civil Court --Summons issued to Bush in the matter

Kissinger quits attacks inquiry role Former US Secretary of State [and untried war criminal] Henry Kissinger has resigned as chairman of the commission investigating the 11 September attacks, the White House says. Mr Kissinger, who had been in the job for less than three weeks, had been criticised over possible conflicts of interest.

Kissinger Quits as Chairman of 9/11 Panel Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stepped down Friday as chairman of a panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, citing controversy over potential [?!?] conflicts of interest with his private-sector clients.

Bush Announces Smallpox Vaccination Plan Dictator Bush said his family and members of his staff will not receive the vaccine. The vaccinations will begin with one million military units and first responders thought most likely to face a biological attack. The dictator said that he will join soldiers in being among the first to take the vaccine. [*Bush may receive a vaccine of *nothing,* and SAY received the vaccine. Why not? He lies about everything else, right? --Lori Price]

Plan for Vaccinations Carries Risk of Infecting Other People As the United States prepares to vaccinate large numbers of people for the first time in 30 years, one of the greatest concerns of public health experts is that vaccinated people may inadvertently infect others who have a high risk of being harmed by the vaccine, which contains the virus vaccinia, a relative of smallpox. ["Inadvertently." Yes, but would the Bush dictatorship then falsely claim the epidemic was started by Saddam Hussein, when in reality, Bush himself caused the smallpox epidemic? Quarantines could then be legally implemented, and remaining civil rights would be eliminated. Karl Rove is going to have a "field day..." --Lori Price]

The Most Dangerous Vaccine Smallpox may be the worst disease ever known to man -- it killed about half a billion people from 1880 to 1980, before it was eradicated. And the smallpox vaccine is deadly too -- scientists call it the most dangerous vaccine known to man.

False Comfort From the Smallpox Vaccine --by Dr. Marc Siegel "It would be foolish to vaccinate millions of people here in a panic, only to discover that a better, safer vaccine is on the verge of being approved."

DoD has begun mandatory smallpox vaccinations of military personnel DoD has begun mandatory smallpox vaccinations of military personnel, according to the Department of Defense's top health official.

DoD Smallpox Vaccination Program announced as part of the National Policy DoD will ensure preparedness by immunizing personnel

Rumble Media --by Jeff Koopersmith "Eli Lilly gains a free pass to kill our kids and escape liability in a piece of legislation known as the Homeland Security Agency. No one reported it. Does one have to be slammed in the head with a two-by-four to see the writing on the wall? Yet FOX News, CNN, CNBC, MSNCB, ABC, CBS and NBC mention nothing about it! What's going on? What is happening to our country?"

Grounded --The Government's Air Passenger Blacklist a spokesman for the new Transportation Security Administration has acknowledged for the first time that the government has a list of about 1,000 people who are deemed "threats to aviation" and not allowed on airplanes under any circumstances.

Green and Grounded --A Green Party organizer's crash course in government harassment --by Doug Stuber (scroll to second article) "...The officer took me into a room and questioned me for one hour. By noon Stanley was introducing me to two gentlemen I will refer to as Secret Service-A and Secret Service-B (SS-A and SS-B)..."

General Sees Scant Evidence of Close Threat in U.S. The nation's top general for domestic security, Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, says he has seen little evidence to suggest an imminent terrorism threat inside the United States by members of Al Qaeda's network, and warns against using "McCarthyism" in combating terror. [Eberhart now needs to avoid planes with no black boxes on board, with Rove calling the shots. --Lori Price]

Venezuela leader vows to break strike The embattled Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has said he is ready to use foreign workers to re-start the country's oil production, which has been paralysed by a general strike. [fomented by the CIA? --Lori Price] US pressure: The White House statement said the US was deeply concerned [Yikes!] about the deteriorating situation in Venezuela.

Atomic agency disputes U.S. claims on Iran The head of Iran's nuclear power programs told the International Atomic Energy Agency in September that it was building facilities related to nuclear power at Arak and Natanz, the agency's director told CNN on Friday.

Source: U.S. Firms on List Aided Iraq Arms Development Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs lists American companies that provided materials used by Baghdad to develop chemical and biological weapons in the 1980s, according to a senior Iraqi official.

US to claim Iraqi report a total failure The United States is expected to declare next week that Iraq’s flawed declaration of its arms programmes is in "material breach" of UN resolution 1441, diplomats said. [Well, the Bush coup d'etat is in "material breach" of the Constitution of the United States. --Lori Price]

U.S. Issues an Alert to 27,000 Guard and Reserve Troops In another sign of preparations for a possible war against Iraq, the Defense Department today ordered the Army and Navy to alert 27,000 National Guard and Reserve troops to prepare for duty, probably in the Persian Gulf region, military officials said.

U.S. jets attack 3 Iraqi defense sites U.S. jets attacked three air defense installations Saturday south and east of Baghdad.

Pakistani protesters denounce U.S. on Iraq Hundreds of Pakistanis belonging to Islamic religious groups demonstrated on Friday against a possible attack on Iraq by the United States. [Somehow, I bet it was more than "hundreds," as the mainstream media has a math impediment when discerning protest tallies. --Lori Price]

Lott Apologizes but Won't Yield Leadership Post Senator Trent Lott delivered a lengthy public apology today for comments he made last week that were widely decried as racially divisive. But he rejected growing calls from Democrats and even conservative commentators for him to relinquish his post as incoming majority leader.

Lott Asks Forgiveness; Keeps Leadership Post Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) today offered a forceful apology for a controversial statement he made last week. But even as Lott and his supporters have tried to put the issue to rest, anger has risen among Democrats, many of whom have asked him to resign. [In fact, pleas sign this petition from People for the American Way, which demands that racist Lott do just that. --Lori Price]

Bush reshuffles economic officials: more CEOs and bankers The identity of the "new faces" only underscores the extraordinarily narrow social base of this government—yet another corporate CEO and two investment bankers, for a regime already top-heavy with former officials from Wall Street and the Fortune 500.

Bush team forges tax-cut strategy Leaked details show a tax plan that could permanently lighten the burden on businesses and investors.

Hearing On Oversight of Investment Banks' Response to the Lessons of Enron Leading US Financial Institutions Designed, Advanced and Profited from Enron --Statement by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Seeking Huge Electricity Refund, California Is Told to Pay Instead A federal administrative law judge rejected claims by California for nearly $9 billion in refunds for what officials said was price gouging during the energy "crisis" of 2000-2001 and instead said the state owed $1.2 billion to cover unpaid electricity bills.

Energy companies overcharged Calif. $1.8 billion, judge says Energy companies overcharged California by $1.8 billion during the state's power crisis, a federal regulatory judge said Thursday. The bulk of the overcharges came from the largest power generators and sellers of wholesale electricity in California, including Enron Corp., Duke Energy, Dynegy, Mirant, Reliant Energy and the Williams Cos.

FERC judge rules against California Can’t rely on alleged abuse to justify renegotiating contracts --California cannot rely on alleged [?!?] market power abuse by energy companies to justify its demand to renegotiate billions of dollars in long-term electricity contracts, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge said on Tuesday. FERC Administrative Law Judge Bobbie McCartney said that California cannot offer as evidence indications that energy firms like Enron Corp. manipulated power prices. [From December 3, 2002.]

Citizens for Legitimate Government is cited in a New York Times Op-ed commentary today: "President Bush is criticized not just for catastrophically frittering away our budget surplus or for rushing us into a mess in Iraq. Rather, Citizens for Legitimate Government put it this way in its e-mail newsletter: 'We have an Idiot Usurping Lying Weasel for a President.'" [That's not dumbing it down, Kristof, nor is it replacing argument with invective. We have made our arguments, cogently, consistently and without cessation. It is you who are dumbed down, failing to read beyond our own comments, failing to do your research into the essays we've written and the enormous resources we bring to expose the Coup and counter the Occupation. Try starting here for the coup, continue here for the Occupation and our resistance to it, and here for other commentary with solid argumentation. And, by the way, we stand behind that comment: Bush IS an Idiot Usurping Lying Weasel, although, as one of our members put it, "this is soooo unfair to weasels!" However, we thought we'd translate our description into synonyms the effete Nicholas Kristof could appreciate: "Bush is an imbecilic, pResidentially self-arrogating, prevaricating, skulking equivocator." Now, that says just about what we meant, although "Idiot Usurping Lying Weasel" (Lori Price's original comment on this website) says it better.] -- Michael Rectenwald


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