Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Alito of no suprises, American detentions? and more

Good evening, let's get things started with Democracy Now!

Supreme Court To Reconsider Banning Late-Term Abortion
And the Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will consider reinstating a federal ban on late-term abortion. Recent President Bush appointee Samuel Alito could hold the tie-breaking vote when the court hears the case. The court last ruled on the issue in the year 2000, when Judge Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote to strike down a state law banning the procedure. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said: "Today's action means the core principle of protecting women's health as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade is in clear and present danger."

Did you read Rebecca yesterday? She summed it up. Those who sat on the sidelines, or worse, shouldn't be surprised now. This isn't surprising. Nothing Alito does will be. The man should never have been confirmed to the bench. Democrats didn't have any guts, they wouldn't filibuster. Reporters didn't have any integrity. They were too busy playing color commentators on ESPN: "Let me give a you a replay" instead of dealing with the issues at stake. Dems cowarded, press clowned, so we get Alito. God help us all.

Three Ohioans Charged With Conspiracy To Attack US Troops
Back in the United States, the Justice Department has charged three Ohio men with conspiracy to kill US troops in Iraq and other countries. The three -- Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Wassim I. Mazloum, and Marwan Othman El-Hindi -- are originally from Jordan and Lebanon. Amawi is also charged with making threats to kill President Bush. They each pled not guilty Tuesday. El-Hindi’s attorney, Steve Hartman, said: "It doesn't help that he's Jordanian. I think he's caught up in the Justice Department's vigorous work."

Did you catch the New York Times this morning? If you did, I hope you caught C.I. as well. "NYT: One sided 'reporting' (Neil A. Lewis)" is where C.I. takes Lewis to task for offering nothing but a press release for the Justice Dept. There's no dissenting voice heard. And Lewis can give you the Justice Dept.'s view but somehow doesn't have time to talk to the defense. This is pretty embarrassing and my professor picked it as "the best catch today" so listen to him if you don't listen to me and go read C.I.

Now check out Elaine's site Like Maria Said Paz to get her take on things.

Rebecca wanted me to note this -- Nat Parry's "Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'"

But recent developments suggest that the Bush administration may already be contemplating what to do with Americans who are deemed insufficiently loyal or who disseminate information that may be considered helpful to the enemy.
Top U.S. officials have cited the need to challenge news that undercuts Bush’s actions as a key front in defeating the terrorists, who are aided by "news informers" in the words of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. [For details, see "Upside-Down Media" or below.]Detention CentersPlus, there was that curious development in January when the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a $385 million contract to construct detention centers somewhere in the United States, to deal with "an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs," KBR said. [Market Watch, Jan. 26, 2006]
Later, the New York Times reported that "KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space." [Feb. 4, 2006]
Like most news stories on the KBR contract, the Times focused on concerns about Halliburton's reputation for bilking U.S. taxpayers by overcharging for sub-par services.
"It's hard to believe that the administration has decided to entrust Halliburton with even more taxpayer dollars," remarked Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California.

Having noted that, I'll also note that this issue that's been popular this week and last was (can I say "as usual") noted by C.I. in real time. From Feb.4th, "NYT: David Johnston and Rachel L. Swarns:"

Billie notes Rachel L. Swarns' "Halliburton Subsidiary Gets Contract to Add Temporary Immigration Detention Centers:"
The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract worth up to $385 million for building temporary immigration detention centers to Kellogg Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that has been criticized for overcharging the Pentagon for its work in Iraq.KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space, company executives said. KBR, which announced the contract last month, had a similar contract with immigration agencies from 2000 to last year.
So Halliburton's gotten a new contract (probably no bid). Why? Because of the wonderful job they've done in Iraq? Don't kid yourself. But where is this "unexpected influx of immigrants" coming from? Does that bother you? The fact that Homeland Security will be over them? Where is the influx coming from?Ponder. And wonder if Bully Boy's going to scapegoat undocumented workers (which is bad enough) or if the I'm-above-the-law Bully Boy has something else in mind?

Want to know what everyone will be talking about a month now? Read The Common Ills.
At least until we're all living in a Bully Boy detention facility. I'll bring the marshmallows. :D
I hear the new Rumsfeld approved punishments in the facilities for American "detainees" will be forced-readings of Wonkette. We may all crack.