Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday 17 June 2005

Late Push Puts Nader On Iranian Ballot

Says Wants To Beat Iraq To Democracy; Cites No British Memos On Him

In a series of late moves and heavy campaigning, Ralph Nader emerged with enough signatures to be placed on the Presidential ballot in Iran yesterday. Nader will join a roster of seven other candidates in which voting begins today.

After abandoning his plans to be the titular head of the new European Union (see The Garlic 3 June 2005 - Nader Lobbies EU Leaders For Ballot Spot), Nader moved his operations to Teheran and made a furious effort to convince the Iranian people he was their man.

"You won't find any memos on me at Downing Street", Nader exhorted to a crowded rally at coffee shop yesterday morning. "You won't see the U.S. President Bush standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier off your shores declaring "Mission Accomplished".

"Our mission is to - peacefully, and for all Iranians - is to bring democratic and economics reforms to this great land. Let Teheran, not Baghdad be the sails of the new Middle East ship".

Nader has also made a campaign pledge that, if he is successful in winning the European Union post, he will not abandon his Presidency, if elected, in Iran.

Nader also promised the Iranians that "I won't be riding around on a bicycle when there's a crisis and I won't be dancing and drinking with porn stars"

Nader is running in a crowded field, with Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and moderate pragmatist considered to be the front-runner. Another reform candidate, Dr. Mostafa Moin, who was initially barred from the race by the religious clerics, has gained strongly in the polls.

Though violence has surfaced as the election day drew closer, including some beatings of candidate's supporters, some concern had grown over the escalation of bombings. Religious factions in the government accuse the United States of interfering with the elections as a means to suppress voting and embarrass the Iranian government.

Nader dismissed those assessments, saying "They have their hands full in Baghdad.

Nader has touched the buttons of Iranians by measuring their democratic and economic growth versus that of Iraq.

"Iran will be the driving force for this region while Halliburton is still trying to figure out how to turn on the lights in Baghdad".

With a runoff election expected, as watchers of this race doubt any candidate will garner more then 50-percent of the vote, Nader feels he can make it to the next round.

"This is made for me … This is what I do. I campaign and run for office".

Frist Considering Abandoning Videotape Practice

Senate Leader Under Fire For Backpedaling From Schiavo Diagnosis

For the second day, Senate Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has come under fire for his practice of using videotape to make decisions, evaluations and diagnosis as the release of the autopsy on Teri Schiavo contradicts the assessment Frist made, leading the Congress to intervene this past Spring in the fiercely-fought Right-To-Die case.

Two days ago, it became know that Frist suppressed a floor vote on the Senate resolution offering a apology to African-American over the Senate's inaction in lynchings. Frist cited that there "was no videotape to authenticate the measure" (see The Garlic, 16 June - Frist Threatened 'Nuclear Option' Over Lynching Bill)

Frist also, back in April, used videotape to concur with Italian doctors on the condition of then-dying Pope John Paul II. Frist stated that he had "viewed for hours, video of the Papal apartment" and that is was "clear to me the Pope had kidney and cardio-vascular failure" (see The Garlic 4 April - Frist Concurs With Vatican Diagnosis)

Yesterday, on the 'Today' program, Frist was backpedaling from the charges that me made a diagnosis in the Schiavo case.

"I never, never, on the floor of the Senate, made a diagnosis, nor would I ever do that,"

The Washington Post reported yesterday just what Frist stated during the Congress debate on passing a bill in an attempt to save Mrs. Schiavo and prevent doctors, and her husband, from removing the feeding tube that was keeping her alive

Frist questioned the diagnosis of the court-appointed doctors, referring to video footage provided by her family that seemed to show Schiavo responding to people around her.

"I question it based on a review of the video footage. ... And that footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state," Frist said at the time.

The Schiavo autopsy indicated the Schiavo's brains was half the size of a normal, healthy brain, that she was likely blind and, otherwise, the condition of her brain was consistent with the symptoms of being in a persistent vegetative state.

On the ABC 'Good Morning' program, Frist continued his backing away.

"I never made the diagnosis, never said that she was not. I did say that certain tests should be performed to determine that before starving her to death."

"She had devastating brain damage, and with that the chapter is closed.

Later on CBS, Frist stated, The diagnosis they made is exactly right. It's the pathology, I'll respect that. I think it's time to move on."

Frist refused comment the rest of the day.

Frist's Senate office released a statement that said, in part, "Senator Frist is considering abandoning the use of videotape in making and evaluations. He's currently watching a self-help video that will assist him in those efforts"

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