September 2008 Archives
Rule Changes Would Give FBI Agents Extensive New Powers --Overhaul to rewrite 1976 guidelines established after Nixon-era abuses that restrict FBI authority to intervene in times of civil disorder and to infiltrate opposition groups --AG Michael Mukasey signaled changes will take effect Oct. 1 [in time for a Bush 'October (Martial Law) Surprise'] 12 Sep 2008 The Justice Department will unveil changes to FBI ground rules today that would put much more power into the hands of line agents pursuing leads on national security, foreign intelligence and even ordinary criminal cases... The changes would give the FBI's more than 12,000 agents the ability at a much earlier stage to conduct physical surveillance, solicit informants and interview friends of people they are investigating without the approval of a bureau supervisor.
Advisers: Consolidate Air Force nuke command 12 Sep 2008 The Task Force on Nuclear Weapons Management recommended the Air Force put all its nuclear missions under Air Force Space Command and call the whole thing Air Force Strategic Command. Defense Secretary Robert Gates organized the task force -- which was headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger -- after axing the Air Force’s top two leaders last June due to its nuclear problems. The recommendations Schlesinger announced Friday at the Pentagon also would mean that Air Combat Command would lose its nuclear bomber mission.
Air Force officers sanctioned after sleeping on nuke job 29 Aug 2008 Three ballistic missile crew members have been punished for sleeping during a sensitive task, the Air Force reported Thursday. Two first lieutenants and a captain fell asleep on July 12 while in control of a classified electronic part that contained old launch codes for intercontinental nuclear missiles. It happened during the changing out of electronic parts used to communicate with Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Two officers are under investigation for lying about destroying classified missile components, and another for alleged sexual misconduct, the military reported.
Iraq ditches plans for no-bid oil contracts 12 Sep 2008 An Iraqi plan to award six no-bid contracts to Western oil companies [Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Total, BP and other smaller businesses] has been withdrawn, those involved in the negotiations say. Iraq's Oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, told reporters at an OPEC summit meeting in Vienna on Tuesday that talks for one-year deals, which were announced in June and subsequently delayed, had dragged on for so long that the companies could not now fulfill the work within that time frame.
Mission accomplished! Shell back in Iraq after 35-year absence 09 Sep 2008 Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, is set to start operations in Iraq after a 35-year absence when it signs an agreement with the Iraqi Oil Ministry to capture gas outside the southern city of Basra.
Shell agrees landmark 4.0 bln-dlr gas deal with Iraq 09 Sep 2008 Royal Dutch Shell will form a gas venture with energy-rich Iraq worth up to four billion dollars, the oil ministry said Tuesday of the first Western oil major to do a deal with the central government since the 2003 invasion.
Car bomb in Iraq kills at least 32, wounds 43 12 Sep 2008 A car bomb ripped through a crowded commercial district in a mainly Shiite town north of Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 32 people and wounding 43, Iraqi officials said. The explosion in Dujail was apparently targeting a police station but instead it badly damaged a nearby medical clinic, according to police.
Thanks to Bush: UN: 4 new cholera cases confirmed in Iraq 12 Sep 2008 Iraqi and U.N. officials say four cholera cases have been confirmed in Karbala, a holy Shiite city south of Baghdad. The new cases come in addition to 36 previously announced by the Iraqi Health Ministry, and show that the latest outbreak of the gastrointestinal disease has spread to a new area.
US a step closer to Iran blockade By Kaveh L Afrasiabi 13 Sep 2008 The United States government has imposed new sanctions on Iran, this time targeting its shipping industry, by blacklisting the main shipping line and 18 subsidiaries, accusing the maritime carrier of being engaged in contraband nuclear material, a charge vehemently denied by Iran.
Medvedev "would attack Georgia even if on NATO track" 12 Sep 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that even if Georgia were on a firm path to NATO membership, he would not hesitate to attack it under circumstances similar to last month's conflict. Speaking to the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a group of Russia experts, Medvedev also said he believed that Georgia's August 8 attack on the pro-Russian breakaway region of South Ossetia was Russia's equivalent of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Palin leaves open option of war with Russia 11 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin left open the option Thursday of waging war with Russia if it were to invade neighboring Georgia and the former Soviet republic were a NATO ally. "We will not repeat a Cold War," Palin said in her first television interview since becoming Republican John McCain's vice presidential running mate [potential date] two weeks ago. [Yeah, Palin, except that the Russian bear could kick your ass from Washington to Wasilla. Instead of dragging the US into a(nother) war, withdraw now. Go back to Alaska, submit more per diems for watching the Great Alaska Shootout on Thanksgiving in Anchorage, fire more librarians and state troopers, have more quasi-satisfying one-night stands with foreign pipeline lobbyists (and your husband's former business partner), listen to more anti-Semitic hate speech at your church, collect your wolf paw bounties and then go f*ck yourself. --LRP]
Chavez Orders U.S. Ambassador to Leave Venezuela Within 72 Hours 11 Sep 2008 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave within 72 hours, in a show of support for Bolivian President Evo Morales, who also expelled the top U.S. diplomat from his country. Chavez recalled his ambassador to the U.S. and said he won't send another envoy to Washington until after the U.S. presidential 'elections' in November. Both Chavez and Morales have accused the U.S. of backing opposition movements in their countries. "The U.S. is behind the plan against Bolivia, behind the terrorism," Chavez said at a political rally for candidates of his United Socialist Party of Venezuela. "We're committed to being free. Enough crap from you Yankees."
Venezuela Tells U.S. to Fight Drugs at Home and Respect Its Sovereignty 07 Sep 2008 In an official statement Sunday, the Venezuelan Foreign Relations Ministry said that a meeting with the director of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, John Walters, would be "useless and inopportune," and suggested that the United States concentrate on stopping drug production and consumption on its own soil before coming to Venezuela.
West 'makes terror fight harder' 11 Sep 2008 Indonesia's head of counter-terrorism says Western governments have made it harder for moderate Muslims to tackle terror in their own countries. Ansyaad Mbai told the BBC that Indonesia's own fight against terrorism relied on a much softer approach.
Pakistan to protest new U.S. missile strike --U.S. drone kills 14 civilians; PM condemns attack 12 Sep 2008 Missiles fired by a U.S. drone aircraft killed 14 people in northwest Pakistan on Friday, security officials said, in a strike against 'suspected militants' that drew condemnation from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
Military Judge In Guantanamo Bay Postpones Omar Khadr's Trial 11 Sep 2008 The U.S. military judge in Guantanamo Bay postponed the Oct. 8 trial of half-Canadian, half-Afghan youth Omar Khadr. An earlier hearing slated Wednesday was also canceled because the flight of Khadr's lawyers, prosecutors and military judge did not push through due to Hurricane Ike.
Canadian officials frustrated in efforts to ensure care for Omar Khadr 11 Sep 2008 A Canadian government representative complained as recently as a few months ago that her efforts to ensure proper medical and other care for Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay were being stymied by his American captors, newly released documents reveal. The classified accounts of welfare visits by an official from Foreign Affairs show even simple requests to provide Khadr with a pillow, blanket or sunglasses to protect his shrapnel-damaged eyes and body foundering on apparent security concerns.
New FBI Guidelines Open Door to Further Abuse --ACLU, Other Advocacy Groups Express Concern After Meeting With DOJ 12 Sep 2008 Following a briefing today at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the American Civil Liberties Union reiterated its deep concern over new guidelines that would govern FBI investigations. The new guidelines would lower standards for beginning "assessments" (precursors to investigations), conducting surveillance and gathering evidence, and would replace existing guidelines for five types of existing guidelines: general criminal, national security, foreign intelligence, civil disorders and demonstrations.
Feds Set to Take Over Airline Watch List Checking, Again By Ryan Singel 09 Sep 2008 In January 2003, the federal government proposed taking over the matching of airline passenger names against the government's list of suspected terrorists, since too many innocent people were being caught up in bad matches by the airlines. In January 2009, the government plans to do just that, the Department of Homeland Security told Congress Tuesday -- saying that Secretary Michael Chertoff had just certified that the program works and protects people's privacy.
Teacher Used Muslim Student As Terrorist Example 11 Sep 2008 A Chicago teacher is under fire for singling out the only Muslim student [Saleh Choudhary, 13] in her class while talking about the Middle East. The teacher has now been reassigned to another school. However, the young boy's family is demanding answers.
Sarah Palin stumbles in TV interview 12 Sep 2008 Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in her first interview since becoming the Republican vice-presidential candidate, has not been able to respond to a question about the Bush Doctrine. Speaking at length with ABC interviewer, Charles Gibson, Palin was visibly stumped when she was asked by Gibson if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine. Palin did not seem to know what Gibson was talking about.
Palin Links Iraq War to Sept. 11 Attacks 11 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."
Palin describes Iraq war as "righteous cause" 11 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin, Republican nominee for vice president, described the Iraq war as a "righteous cause" and created a media sensation at Forth Wainwright as she spoke at the combat deployment ceremony for her son's Army unit.
Alaska Lawmakers Subpoena Palin's Husband, Her Aides 12 Sep 2008 Alaska lawmakers issued subpoenas to the husband of Governor Sarah Palin and her aides who have refused to cooperate in a probe of whether she improperly fired the head of the state police. The Alaska State Senate Judiciary Committee, meeting in Anchorage, voted 3-2 to demand the testimony of 13 people, including Todd Palin, aides to the governor and heads of state departments.
'Troopergate' Inquiry Reaches Palin Husband --State Legislators Approve Subpoena of Todd Palin 12 Sep 2008 Alaska state legislators approved subpoenas for the husband [Todd] of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and 12 others, as part of an ongoing investigation into whether Palin abused her power as state governor.
Sarah Palin's Record on Alaska Native and Tribal Issues By PDXSerric 09 Sep 2008 It may be hard for those who are not native Alaskan, or even Alaskan for that matter, to understand the issues I am about to note and why Sarah Palin's stance on them is wholly detrimental. I would expect that those who are of native American heritage may have a firmer grasp on these issues than the rest of us, but having grown up in Alaska this is an issue that is close to my heart... Palin has attacked Alaska Native Subsistence Fishing...
Pamela Anderson tells Sarah Palin to suck it 12 Sep 2008 Pamela Anderson was recently in Toronto speaking out against the abuse of animals in Hollywood. When asked by E! News Weekend Canada about Palin, she has some choice words for the Republican hopeful. The reporter asked Pam if she saw a recent Newsweek article, which showed a gigantic bear hide in the office of Palin’s house. "I can’t stand her," Pam blurted out. "She can suck it!"
Chafee stands by calling Palin 'cocky whacko' 11 Sep 2008 Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee this morning stood by his comments that Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a "cocky whacko" and "dangerous for the country." Chafee, a former Republican turned independent, did not back down when reporters questioned him across from Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, where he is a visiting fellow.
Blizzard of Lies By Paul Krugman 12 Sep 2008 I’m talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts. And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class.
ABC News Poll: Number One Issue Facing Americans Is Lipstick By R J Shulman 11 Sep 2008 Win the lipstick wars and win the Presidency - that seems to be what the latest polls are indicating. A new ABC TV poll shows that Americans are so concerned with this issue, that whichever Presidential ticket has the best solution to the lipstick crisis will win in November... Meanwhile, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is trying to overcome rumors that she attempted to get her former brother-in-law, Scott Wooten fired from the State Police because he had criticized Palin’s sister’s use of lipstick. (Satire!)
Obama house in Africa under police protection 12 Sep 2008 The Kenyan rural home of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama has been put under police protection. This follows an attempted robbery at the Siaya homestead this week by four people who have been arrested by police. A patrol base has been set up at the homestead after Kenyan police decided the Obama family could be in danger.
Obama Steps Up Tough Language on McCain, Runs New Ads 12 Sep 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama stepped up his attacks on rival John McCain's record and promised supporters he would be "hitting back hard" at the Republicans during the campaign. In two speeches today, Obama tied McCain to the unpopular policies of President [sic] George W. Bush.
Taps Lobbyist for Transition 12 Sep 2008 A prominent Washington
lobbyist [William E. Timmons] who has worked for every Republican President
since Richard Nixon has been tapped by the McCain campaign to conduct
a study in preparation for the presidential transition
'Jim Crawford' Republicans --The GOP is working to keep eligible African-Americans from voting in several states. By Jonathan Alter 11 Sep 2008 It was a mainstay of Jim Crow segregation: for 100 years after the Civil War, Southern white Democrats kept eligible blacks from voting with poll taxes, literacy tests and property requirements. ...[T]he U.S. Supreme Court declared these assaults on the heart of American democracy unconstitutional. Now, with the help of a 2008 Supreme Court decision, Crawford vs. Marion County (Indiana) Election Board, white Republicans in some areas will keep eligible blacks from voting by requiring driver's licenses. Not only is this new-fangled discrimination constitutional, it's spreading.
McDermott joins call to oust Bush --Impeachment group won't let even the election stop it 10 Sep 2008 Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott wants to see George Bush impeached, whether or not, he says, Bush is still in office. The long-serving Democrat made his displeasure with the president [sic] official Tuesday, joining a call from Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush. Chiefly at issue, McDermott said, is Bush's decision to mislead the country to war with Iraq.
Kennedy introduces new national service bill 11 Sep 2008 Sen. Edward Kennedy is introducing a major new national service bill aimed at recruiting 175,000 Americans of all ages to tackle national problems such as health care, education, energy and the environment.
Hurricane Ike idles 21% of US refining capacity 12 Sep 2008 Even before its center made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast, wide-bodied Hurricane Ike knocked out more of American refining capacity than did its predecessor less than 2 weeks earlier. As the Category 2 hurricane approached the coast... 13 refineries representing 3.6 million b/d of combined capacity shut down from Port Arthur to Corpus Christ, Tex.
Hurricane Ike could be "catastrophe" for Texas 12 Sep 2008 Massive Hurricane Ike bore down on the Texas coast on Friday, driving a wall of water into seaside communities and threatening catastrophic damage. Waters rose rapidly as Ike moved within hours of striking low-lying areas near Houston with a possible 20-foot (6-metre) storm surge in what may be the worst storm to hit Texas in nearly 50 years
Ike Prompts Warning of 'Certain Death' 12 Sep 2008 A massive Hurricane Ike sent white waves crashing over a seawall and tossed a disabled 584-foot freighter in rough water as it steamed toward Texas Friday, threatening to devastate coastal towns and batter America's fourth-largest city.
Rise in illegal logging threatens butterflies --Deforestation on increase again at Mexican reserve 12 Sep 2008 The traditional wintering site for tens of millions of monarch butterflies in central Mexico is under continuing threat after conservationists failed to halt the onslaught of illegal logging in the area. The butterflies are in the middle of their annual journey of up to 2,800 miles from eastern Canada to the small area of evergreen fir forest that acts as their wintertime sanctuary. But, despite an unprecedented drive to protect it, deforestation is threatening the Monarch Biosphere Reserve and its visitors.
Israel asks U.S. for arms, air corridor to attack Iran 11 Sep 2008 The security aid package the United States has refused to give Israel for the past few months out of concern that Israel would use it to attack nuclear facilities in Iran included a large number of "bunker-buster" bombs, permission to use an air corridor to Iran, an advanced technological system and refueling planes. Officials from both countries have been discussing the Israeli requests over the past few months.
'This US claim is like other allegations that independent countries are being accused of, without providing any evidence.' Iran rejects US shipping accusations 11 Sep 2008 Iran on Thursday rejected US accusations that the Iranian shipping company IRISL was involved in Tehran's alleged nuclear weapons programme, the official news agency IRNA reported. The United States said on Wednesday it would slap sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and 18 other affiliated entities for providing logistical services to Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics.
Bush Secretly Approved Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan 11 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials. Pakistan’s top army officer said Wednesday that his forces would not tolerate American incursions like the one that took place last week and that the army would defend the country’s sovereignty "at all costs."
Pakistani forces kill up to 100 militants 11 Sep 2008 Pakistani forces killed up to 100 al-Qaida[al-CIAduh]-linked militants in fierce clashes near the Afghan border on Thursday, a security official said, as tensions grew with the United States over how to tackle militancy. An intensifying 'insurgency' in Afghanistan... has led to a sharp increase in U.S. strikes on militants in Pakistan.
2008 marks deadliest year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan 11 Sep 2008 More U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan this year than in any year since the U.S. invaded the country following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. According to numbers CNN has compiled from military statements, 112 American troops have died in Afghanistan in 2008, compared with 111 in all of 2007.
U.S. 'running out of time' on Afghanistan, Joint Chiefs leader says 10 Sep 2008 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today the U.S. is "running out of time" to get the war in Afghanistan right and announced that he was developing a "new, more comprehensive strategy" to cover the entire region [well, everywhere but bin Laden's "cave"] Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates both emphasized in congressional testimony that the military and broader U.S. government needed to look at the threat from Pakistan's tribal regions and the insurgency in Afghanistan as a single problem.
Petraeus will never declare victory in Iraq 12 Sep 2008 The general in charge of American soldiers in Iraq has given a mixed assessment of progress in the country. General David Petraeus says that while the country is in better shape than it was at the start of last year it still faces serious problems. He says the fabric of Iraqi society was being torn apart by "horrific" violence and he would never declare victory there.
Japan to end controversial Iraq mission 11 Sep 2008 Japan said Thursday it was ending an air mission in Iraq, wrapping up a military deployment which was historic for the pacifist nation but deeply unpopular among the public. Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Tokyo planned by the end of the year to bring back planes which flew goods and personnel into Iraq in support of the United Nations and US-led 'coalition.'
US administration's stance on Georgia attacked by Congress 11 Sep 2008 The US Government's position on the Russia and Georgia conflict has been attacked in Congress by politicians who are concerned about a deterioration of Washington's relationship with Moscow. Officials from the state and defence departments have had to field awkward questions from senators and members of the House of Representatives on the US's stance.
U.S. Intelligence Sees It Russia's Way 10 Sep 2008 American intelligence confirms that the latest military actions in South Ossetia were started by Georgia and Russia’s position in the conflict was correct, says Republican California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. He said the situation reminded him of the Bay of Tonkin incident, which the U.S. used as a pretext for beginning the war in Vietnam. "The Russians are right! We're wrong! Georgia started it, the Russians ended it," Rohrabacher said at a hearing in the House of Representatives.
Two Russian bombers land in Venezuela 10 Sep 2008 Two Russian bombers have landed at a Venezuelan airfield, from which they will carry out training flights for several days, the Russian news agency Interfax reported Wednesday. Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky, a ministry spokesman, told Interfax that NATO fighters followed the bombers on their 13-hour flight over the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic.
Female Soldiers More Likely to Be Raped than Killed in Action, Says Rep. --DOD Official Set to Testify Today at Hearing, Despite Not Showing Up in July 10 Sep 2008 A House subcommittee is set to shed new light on the problem of sexual assault in the military today, when it will hear testimony on sexual assault numbers, prevention and response as part of its ongoing investigation into the issue. It will be the second such hearing this summer but is highly anticipated because Dr. Kaye Whitley, the director of the defense department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, will testify. Whitley was a no-show at the session July 31, even though the committee had subpoenaed her to attend.
U.S. charges Afghan prisoner at Guantanamo 10 Sep 2008 U.S. military prosecutors filed charges on Wednesday against an Afghan prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay naval base, alleging he committed war crimes by storing and hiding anti-tank mines in his homeland [?]. Obaidullah is charged with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism.
Detainees' lawyer intent on sharing tales from other side 11 Sep 2008 As a lawyer and interpreter defending Guantanamo Bay inmates, Mahvish Khan has heard some harrowing stories... Jumah al-Dossary, released last year after 10 suicide attempts, was incarcerated without trial for five years. Ms Khan, an American of Pashtun Afghan parents, rages at the actions of a US government that holds itself up as a beacon of individual rights. Her determination to portray the "Gitmo" prisoners as more than just numbers, hidden away and deprived of the right to trial, led her to write My Guantanamo Diary.
Filmmaker Urges International Tribunal to Probe 9/11 08 Sep 2008 Italian film-maker Giulietto Chiesa, who was in Berlin for a screening of his documentary which questions the official US version of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has called for an international tribunal to probe events. [See: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]
Olbermann: Republicans have hijacked 9/11 --An American tragedy made into a political commodity By Keith Olbermann 10 Sep 2008 ...9/11 has become a brand name. A Republican campaign slogan. Propaganda of the lowest form. 9/11 has become 9/11 with a trademark logo. 9/11 (TM) has sustained a president who long ago should have been dismissed, or impeached. It has kept him and his gang of financial and constitutional crooks in office without -- literally -- any visible means of support. 9/11 (TM) has made possible the greatest sleight-of-hand in our nation’s history.
US election candidates unite for 9/11 anniversary 11 Sep 2008 John McCain and Barack Obama will today put aside their differences for a joint visit to the site of New York's World Trade Centre, which was destroyed in terrorist attacks seven years ago.
Report: Homeland Security Mandates Ignored 09 Sep 2008 Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) announced the release of a report prepared by the Majority Staffs of the Committees on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs. The report, entitled "Wasted Lessons of 9/11: How the Bush Administration Has Ignored the Law and Squandered Its Opportunities to Make our Country Safer," examines the Administration's performance on the requirements in H.R. 1, the "Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007." This comprehensive homeland security legislation was signed into law on August 3, 2007. The report surveys many of the key provisions and finds that little, incomplete, or no progress has been made on many of the key requirements of the law.
Phillipsburg Teachers Sound Off on Scary Drill --Many of the teachers who were in the room during this security training are now getting help from professional counselors. 09 Sep 2008 (PA) They thought they were in the middle of a training session, and that's when it happened -- when the supposed gunman barged in and started firing. The Phillipsburg elementary level teachers soon found out their training session was a training drill for local police to analyze school security. On Monday night, they talked to the school board about it. WFMZ's Jackie Shutack: You can imagine the shock and horror they faced... Debbie Carty/4th Grade Teacher: "All of a sudden the door opened up, this scruffy looking guy was at the door in dirty clothes, swearing, throwing papers in the room, and firing a gun!"
The McCain-Follieri Love Boat --The Maverick and the Celebrity Con Man By Mark Ames & Ari Berman 11 Sep 2008 John McCain has been hammering rival Barack Obama for being little more than a vapid "celebrity" and "elitist." But The Nation has obtained a photo revealing just how star-struck a straight-talking maverick can become when offered the chance to celebrate his birthday aboard a yacht filled with celebrities--even if one of those celebrity types turns out to be an A-list con man [Raffaello Follieri].
Mega barf alert! Palin says she is ready to step in as president 11 Sep 2008 Asked if she felt ready to step in as vice president or perhaps even president if something happened to the 72-year-old John McCain, Sarah Palin told [GOP media whore] Charles Gibson: "I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, we'll be ready. I'm ready."
Ethics Adviser Warned Palin About Trooper Issue --Letter Described Situation as 'Grave,' Called for Apology 11 Sep 2008 An informal adviser who has counseled Gov. Sarah Palin on ethics issues urged her in July to apologize for her handling of the dismissal of the state's public safety commissioner and warned that the matter could snowball into a bigger scandal. He also said, in a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, that she should fire any aides who had raised concerns with the chief over a state trooper who was involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister. In the letter, former U.S. Attorney Wevley Shea warned Gov. Palin that "the situation is now grave" and recommended that she and her husband, Todd Palin, apologize for "overreaching or perceived overreaching" for using her position to try to get Trooper Mike Wooten fired from the force.
Critics: Under Palin, Wasilla charged rape victims for exam 11 Sep 2008 Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill -- signed into law by Gov. Tony Knowles (D) -- that banned the practice statewide. "There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla," Knowles said. A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla's newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece. "(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests," the newspaper reported.
McCain Ad: The Wolves Are Out Against Palin 10 Sep 2008 The McCain campaign's latest is an features wolves or Alaskan huskies leaping out of the wilderness to attack Governor Palin. The McCain ad also showcases a pack of wolves, or maybe hungry, lean Alaskan huskies (it’s hard to tell in the scary darkness of the video), which the campaign says will be broadcast in key states. It’s not hard to make the leap from the ad’s use of a wolf to the generic derogatory term of a preying man, a wolf in that parlance, on a woman. And it ultimately suggests that Governor Palin is a victim of Democratic attacks. [Ironically, it is sociopath Palin who is gunning for wolves. Wolves, polar bears, beluga whales and every other creature on earth except for her fascist followers. McPredator (a sexist pig with or without lipstick - remember his Chelsea Clinton smears and joke about women enjoying rape? I do.) is working, in conjunction with his corpora-terrorist paymasters/the GOP, to steal a third 'election.' Barack Obama: I get less sleep than you - wake up! Stop being a conciliator and start *returning fire.* As you've asserted, the 'election' is not about you personally, so - with all due respect - f*ck your sensibilities and go after these rat bastards. --Lori Price]
CBS News Forces YouTube to Pull McCain 'Lipstick' Ad 11 Sep 2008 CBS News is forcing YouTube to take down a Web ad by John McCain’s campaign that the network calls "misleading" in its use of Katie Couric. The ad, entitled "Lipstick," accuses Barack Obama of calling McCain running mate Sarah Palin a lipstick-wearing pig. It features at the end a quote from Couric bemoaning the "continued and accepted role of sexism in American life." Couric at the time was referring to Democratic primary coverage of Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Bill Clinton predicts big win for Obama 11 Sep 2008 Former President Bill Clinton said Thursday he thinks that Barack Obama will win big in the upcoming presidential election. "I predict that Sen. Obama will win and win handily," Clinton said when asked his opinion on the state of the race. Obama smiled at Clinton's prediction, saying, "There you go, you can take it from the president of the United States. He knows a little something about politics."
shunned, oversight panel post in peril 09 Sep 2008 Sen. Joseph
D.C. Election Glitch Blamed On Equipment --No Change in Outcome Despite Phantom Votes 11 Sep 2008 D.C. election officials blamed a [Sequoia Voting Systems] defective computer memory cartridge yesterday for producing what appeared to be thousands of write-in votes that officials say did not exist. The glitch caused initially inaccurate results in several contests, including two high-profile council races, and created a chaotic scene at Board of Elections and Ethics headquarters Tuesday night. The episode has sparked uncertainty over whether the board, after apparently botching a routine local primary that drew about 13 percent of registered voters, can handle the general 'election' in November.
300,000 N.J. Voters Told They Aren't Registered 09 Sep 2008 Letters have gone out to 300,000 voters in New Jersey saying they're not registered to vote. But in many cases, they are. State officials blame a fact-checking system that compares motor vehicle records with state voter rolls. Letters were mailed to voters Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland and Essex counties. Between 850,000 and 870,000 letters will be mailed in all.
US oil royalty scandal 11 Sep 2008 Employees in the same US agency whose errors cost the government billions of dollars in oil royalties had sex with their industry contacts and took illegal drugs such as cocaine, an inspector general investigation found. Workers in an Interior Department program through which the government is paid with oil rather than money for rights to drill on federal lands also accepted gifts from oil companies, the department's inspector general said in a report submitted today to members of Congress.
US Oilfield Deaths Rise Sharply --Experts Blame Inexperience, Increased Drilling, Long Shifts as Contributing Factors 10 Sep 2008 The death toll among those working in the nation's oil and gas fields has been climbing rapidly. The Associated Press has found that at least 598 workers have died on the job between 2002 and last year. During that time period, the number of annual deaths rose by around 70 percent. The number of people working in U.S. oil and gas fields has been soaring since the drilling boom started at the beginning of the [Bush] decade.
McCain's Plan to Revive Nuclear Industry May Cost $315 Billion 11 Sep 2008 John McCain's plan to revive the [deadly] U.S. nuclear power industry with 45 new reactors may cost $315 billion, with taxpayers bearing much of the financial risk. Industry estimates put their cost at $7 billion each.
Jack Abramoff's sentence cut to 45 months 10 Sep 2008 A federal judge on Wednesday reduced Jack Abramoff's original 70-month sentence in the SunCruz Casinos fraud case to 45 months, but not before openly worrying about being lenient toward the imprisoned Washington lobbyist. U.S. District Judge Paul Huck sided with the U.S. government's recommendation for Abramoff's sentence reduction, rejecting Abramoff's lawyers' bid for an even shorter term of 24 months -- nearly the time he has served so far.
Judge rejects move to dismiss Stevens charges 10 Sep 2008 It looks as though Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) will go to trial in two weeks, as scheduled and in the midst of his re-election bid. Stevens faces seven felony counts of knowingly taking home repairs and gifts worth more than $250,000 from the oil field services company Veco Corp. and failing to report them on his annual U.S. Senate disclosure forms.
Feds to unplug medical subsidy --Some 18,000 Minnesotans could lose assistance to pay for health care unless lawmakers can head off the surprise move by the Bush administration. 11 Sep 2008 The Bush regime plans to drop Medicaid coverage for 18,000 low-income parents in Minnesota, a move that has stunned state officials who say they didn't see it coming. The decision, buried in a 29-page document outlining federal changes affecting the state's subsidized health program, known as MinnesotaCare, has prompted written protests from all 10 members of Minnesota's congressional delegation, along with two emergency bills to head off the cuts, which could total $135 million over three years.
Togo quarantines village in suspected bird flu case 10 Sep 2008 Togo has imposed a quarantine on a southern village after a suspected outbreak of bird flu killed nearly 4,000 poultry in the small West African state, the government said on Wednesday. The government's website said the sudden death of the birds at Gbata near Avepozo in the coastal Lacs prefecture indicated a possible outbreak of bird flu.
Food Safety's Dirty Little Secret --Increasingly, the government is leaving the job in private hands 10 Sep 2008 [Under Bush,] the Food and Drug Administration has long been starved of funding and understaffed. Its workload, meanwhile, is rapidly expanding as the global food chain grows larger, more complicated, and less transparent, all of which adds to the agency's already overcrowded plate. The responsibility for food safety, as it works today, lies heavily in private hands. Even as bacterial outbreaks have become more high-profile and the financial fallout from recalls more severe, the government has been handing off many food-safety responsibilities to industry. Food safety today is a business--and a booming one at that.
Galveston, part of Houston evacuated ahead of Ike 11 Sep 2008 Authorities urged residents in parts of the the U.S. Gulf Coast to heed evacuation warnings before Hurricane Ike makes landfall, warning of a "massive storm" that could affect roughly 40 percent of the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Lose your house, lose your vote --Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African American voters By Eartha Jane Melzer 10 Sep 2008 The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day. "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week.
Lipstick Smear: Obama Assails 'Latest Made-Up Controversy by the John McCain Campaign' 10 Sep 2008 In Norfolk, Va., this morning, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., directly took on the false charge by Sen. John McCain's campaign that Obama had called Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a pig. Obama called it "the latest made-up controversy by the John McCain campaign." [Pigs, outraged, protest! Do *not* compare us to sociopath Sarah Palin! No animal wants to be compared with Caribou Barbie! You can put lipstick on a polar bear-killing terrorist and it's still a polar bear-killing terrorist. --LRP]
Obama accuses McCain of lying over lipstick 'smear' 10 Sep 2008 ...On Wednesday, Barack Obama accused John McCain of stooping to "lies and phony outrage" in response to the Democrat's mocking talk of "lipstick on a pig." In a new Internet ad [lie], the McCain campaign accused Obama of a sexist "smear" against the Republican's female running mate, Sarah Palin. But Obama aides flagged a YouTube video showing McCain using the same phrase himself.
Sarah Palin Eaten by Polar Bear by godblessthedead 09 Sep 2008 Security guards and fellow-hunters out for a day's sport along with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin watched in helpless horror yesterday afternoon as a large polar bear (Ursus maritimus) suddenly emerged from the trees, gobbled up the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate in one bite, dashed back into the forest, and escaped before anyone could do anything about it. 'Bears are highly intelligent,' explained a Greenpeace spokesperson, 'and it seems that this one acted on his own initiative.' (Satire! But, I can dream, can't I?)
Out of bounds: McCain ad misstates Obama sex-ed record 10 Sep 2008 A new 30-second [McCain] TV ad attacks Barack Obama's record on education, saying that Obama backed legislation to teach " 'comprehensive sex education' to kindergartners." The announcer then says, "Learning about sex before learning to read? Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family." This is a deliberately misleading accusation. It came hours after the Obama campaign released a TV ad critical of McCain's votes on public education. As a state senator in Illinois, Obama did vote for but was not a sponsor of legislation dealing with sex ed for grades K-12. But the legislation allowed local school boards to teach "age-appropriate" sex education, not comprehensive lessons to kindergartners, and it gave schools the ability to warn young children about inappropriate touching and sexual predators.
Biden says McCain reprising 2000 attacks 10 Sep 2008 Joe Biden said Wednesday that Republican John McCain is aiming the same kind of attacks at Democratic nominee Barack Obama that Biden had defended McCain against during the 2000 White House race.
Paul rejects McCain's plea for endorsement 10 Sep 2008 Ron Paul says he rejected John McCain's appeal for his endorsement. At a news conference Tuesday, Paul said he received a surprise call from McCain's campaign on Tuesday asking for his endorsement. Paul turned them down. Paul said: "The idea was that he would do less harm than the other candidate."
McCain and Palin castigate the earmarks she seeks 10 Sep 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, equated lawmakers' requests for funding for special projects with corruption on Wednesday even though Palin herself has requested nearly $200 million in so-called "earmarks" this year. Campaigning in Virginia, McCain suggested earmarks are particularly shameful at a time when families are struggling with rising food, gas and home mortgage costs.
'Troopergate:' Warned by the Court --A judge repeatedly told Palin and family not to badmouth her sister's ex --"Disparaging will not be tolerated" 09 Sep 2008 An Anchorage judge three years ago warned Sarah Palin and members of her family to stop "disparaging" the reputation of Alaska State Trooper Michael Wooten, who at the time was undergoing a bitter separation and divorce from Palin's sister Molly. Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers' union about how Sarah Palin--then a private citizen--and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police... Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten's behavior and character. "Disparaging will not be tolerated--it is a form of child abuse," the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: "Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives."
Sarah Palin 'claims expenses for nights spent at home' 10 Sep 2008 Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, John McCain's vice-presidential running mate, billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, it has been reported. She charged Alaska for travel expenses to fly her children on official visits, while her husband Todd also submitted bills for expenses and a daily allowance for trips with his wife, according to the Washington Post.
My Fair Veep By Maureen Dowd 10 Sep 2008 I hope John McCain doesn’t throw his slippers at Sarah Palin’s head or get as acerbic as Henry Higgins did with Eliza Doolittle when she did not learn quickly enough. McCain’s Pygmalion has to be careful, because his Galatea might be armed with more than a sharp tongue. For the first time in American history, we have a "My Fair Lady" moment, as teams of experts bustle around the most famous woman in politics, intensely coaching her for her big moment at the ball -- her first unscripted interview here this week with ABC News's Charlie Gibson.
Israel temporarily 'halts' arming Georgia 10 Sep 2008 Israel claims it has halted its lucrative weapons sales to Georgia in a bid to dissuade Russia from increasing military ties with Iran. Israeli defense officials claimed Wednesday that 'businessmen involved in military sales to Georgia' have been urged to cease visits to Tbilisi 'for the time being'.
Russia threatens to aim at U.S. missile shield in Europe 10 Sep 2008 Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles could be aimed at the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe, the commander of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces said Wednesday. The senior Russian general [Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov] also said that another four missiles, including a RS-24 ICBM, will be test-launched by the end of this year.
"We don't want a big story leaking out that we are trying to overthrow the Gov't." New Kissinger 'Telcons' Reveal Chile Plotting At Highest Levels of U.S. Government --Nixon Vetoed Proposed Coexistence with an Allende Government --Kissinger to the CIA: "We will not let Chile go down the drain." 10 Sep 2008 On the eve of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the military coup in Chile, the National Security Archive today published for the first time formerly secret transcripts of Henry Kissinger’s telephone conversations that set in motion a massive U.S. effort to overthrow the newly-elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. "We will not let Chile go down the drain," Kissinger told CIA director Richard Helms in one phone call. "I am with you," the September 12, 1970, transcript records Helms responding. [Gee, there must be something magical about 'Sept. 11' for the US government - that's when the f*ckers always seem to *get busy.*]
US talks of long-term presence in Iraq 10 Sep 2008 With the fate of the SOFA agreement still unclear, the US Defense Secretary has hinted that Washington seeks long-term presence in Iraq. Addressing the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, Robert Gates said Iraq continues to face challenges and US gains in Iraq are 'not necessarily enduring'. "We should expect to be involved in Iraq for many years to come," he asserted.
TV journalist escapes assassination in Baghdad --Laptop-sized bomb found under seat of car as he prepares to leave for work 09 Sep 2008 An Iraqi journalist for one of the Middle East's best-known satellite television stations escaped assassination Tuesday when a [Blackwater?] bomb was found under the seat of his car as he prepared to leave home for work. The attempt was against Jawad al-Hattab, Baghdad bureau manager for Al-Arabiya television.
Thanks to Bush: Cholera spreads in Iraq, with 2 dead in Babil 10 Sep 2008 Cholera has killed two people in a province south of Baghdad, indicating that water quality and sanitation remain poor in a country that has endured years of war, health officials said Wednesday. Officials in Babil province reported at least 90 cases of cholera since the waterborne disease hit the area this month, but the Health Ministry in Baghdad said only 20 cases had been confirmed and that test results were pending on 15 more possible cases.
Canada PM: Troops home from Afghanistan in 2011 10 Sep 2008 Canada's prime minister [Stephen Harper] vowed Wednesday to pull troops from Afghanistan in 2011, saying for the first time that Canadian forces will leave that country.
US to focus on Pakistani border 10 Sep 2008 The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has called for a new strategy in Afghanistan which will deny militants bases across the border in Pakistan. Adm Mike Mullen said he had asked for "a new, more comprehensive military strategy for the region that covers both sides of that border".
Bush readies October surprise, kills as many civilians as possible: U.S. Shifts Tactics in Hunt for Bin Laden 10 Sep 2008 Frustrated by repeated dead ends in the search for 'Osama bin Laden,' U.S. and Pakistani officials said they are questioning long-held assumptions about their strategy and are shifting tactics to intensify the use of the unmanned but lethal Predator drone spy plane in the mountains of western Pakistan. The number of Hellfire missile attacks by Predators in Pakistan has more than tripled, with 11 strikes reported by Pakistani officials this year, compared with three in 2007.
U.S. Slaughters Family of Former CIA Asset in Waziristan By Kurt Nimmo 08 Sep 2008 It doesn’t pay to have worked with the CIA. Jalaluddin Haqqani apparently found that out after missiles fired by U.S. drones killed several of his wives, his sister-in-law, a sister, two nieces, eight grandchildren and a male relative in North Waziristan. Haqqani is described as a Taliban leader with close ties to the dead Osama bin Laden... Haqqani’s links with bin Laden go back to the late 1980s." In other words, Haqqani was a CIA and Pakistan ISI asset.
Ex-CIA Official Warns He Will Spill Secrets 10 Sep 2008 A former top CIA official accused of corruption and fraud is threatening to expose the identities of numerous agents and programs as part of his defense, prosecutors said. In a court filing, prosecutors allege that former CIA executive director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo is trying to gum up the works of his trial, scheduled for November, by delving into classified information that is irrelevant to the case.
Homeland Security chief says U.S. aviation still vulnerable to terror 10 Sep 2008 The top American security official says aviation still remains vulnerable to terrorist attack, seven years after the Sept. 11 attacks. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says the al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] terrorist network is continuing to focus on the aviation system as a target.
The GOP wants another 9/11 to boost John McCain By Jim Fetzer 10 Sep 2008 As founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, I would invite those who want to learn more to visit 911scholars.org. Anyone who still believes that “9/11 truth” is a misnomer should google "Patriotsquestion911.com" and read the bio sketches and statements by more than 1,100 experts from academic, government, intelligence, military and other fields, including more than 120 pilots and aviation professionals, 300 professors, 530 architects and engineers, and more. The breadth and depth of serious concern about the lies we have been told continues to grow. Those who pursue this suggestion, however, will not include John McCain. There are around 237,000,000 internet users in North America, but he is not one of them.
skips weekly lunch with irate Senate Democrats 09 Sep 2008 Sen.
Joseph Lieberman on Tuesday skipped the weekly luncheon meeting of congressional
Democrats -- many of whom denounce him as a turncoat for his support
of White House contender John McCain at last week’s Republican National
Convention. A number of lawmakers have even said LieberBush of
Audit: FEMA wasted millions on no-bid contracts 10 Sep 2008 The government wasted millions of dollars on four no-bid contracts it handed out for Hurricane Katrina work, including paying $20 million for a camp for evacuees that was never inspected and proved to be unusable, investigators say. A report by the Homeland Security Department's office of inspector general, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, is the latest to detail mismanagement in the multibillion-dollar Katrina hurricane 'recovery' effort, which investigators have said wasted at least $1 billion. The review examined temporary housing contracts awarded without competition to Shaw Group Inc., Bechtel Group Inc., CH2M Hill Companies Ltd. and Fluor Corp. in the days immediately before and after the August 2005 storm that smashed into the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"A culture of ethical failure" Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept. 11 Sep 2008 As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal -- including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct. In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes."A culture of ethical failure" besets the agency, Mr. Devaney wrote in a cover memo.
Federal Workers Caught In Oil Ethics Scandal 10 Sep 2008 Government officials in charge of collecting billions of dollars worth of royalties from oil and gas companies accepted lavish gifts, steered contracts to favored firms and engaged in illicit sex with employees of the energy companies, federal investigators reported today. Investigators from the Interior Department's inspector general's office said more than a dozen employees, including the former director of the oil royalty program, accepted gifts including ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings.
U.S. court revives cases against Enron executives 09 Sep 2008 A ruling in the federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday revived Texas state court fraud cases targeting Enron Corp's former leaders and more than a dozen financial institutions accused of playing a role in the company's collapse, legal documents showed.
growers sue USDA 10 Sep 2008 A group of California almond growers
and sellers is suing the U.S. Agri
Low levels of Arctic sea ice signal global warming's advance 09 Sep 2008 This year will see the second-biggest loss on record of Arctic sea ice -- a sign that the area of ice coverage is shrinking at a pace faster than once expected. The trend also suggests that global warming is likely to increase, polar bear habitat will decline and previously icebound areas could be opened to oil and gas exploration.
Thousands in Texas Flee Hurricane Ike 10 Sep 2008 Tens of thousands of people fled coastal areas of Texas on Wednesday after Hurricane Ike spun off Cuba, roared into the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward the state with growing strength. ...Ike refueled in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward landfall near Corpus Christi, where it is expected to hit early Saturday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds exceeding speeds of 131 miles per hour.
The city has a policy allowing police to inject unruly people that they encounter on the street with a strong sedative. Are Forced Injections the New Taser? A 2-year-old policy allows the police to have people injected with the drug to immobilize them and give them amnesia. By Gerri L. Elder 29 Jul 2008 While most people are aware of police use of Taser weapons, many may be fairly shocked to learn of an alternate method used by police in Nashville, Tennessee to subdue "unruly" people. The city has a policy allowing police to inject unruly people that they encounter on the street with a strong sedative... The drug used by police is Midazolam, which is better known as Versed... It has an amnesia side effect, according to biomedical ethics and law enforcement expert Dr. Steven Miles.
ABC News' Gibson Reveals Questions He Will Ask Palin In First Interview By R J Shulman 09 Sep 2008 To calm fears that he will not ask softball questions of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on her first interview since being selected to run with John McCain, ABCs Charles Gibson has released the questions that he will ask the Alaska Governor. "There have been rumors on the Internet," Gibson told the Post Times Sun Dispatch, that in order to land this first interview with Sarah Palin, that I had to agree to ask softball questions. Nothing could be further from the truth..." (Satire!)
President George W Bush announces 'quiet surge' into Afghanistan 09 Sep 2008 US President [sic] George W Bush has ordered an increase of troops in Afghanistan that reflects a shift in US military priorities away from Iraq but highlights a wariness of squandering hard fought 'gains.' Mr Bush declared he was bringing home just 8,000 US troops out of 146,000 currently serving in Iraq by February, the month after he leaves office. He will order the deployment of half that number to Afghanistan. Mr Bush said a marine battalion that had been scheduled to go to Iraq in November would go to Afghanistan instead, and that that would be followed by one army combat brigade, which would take part in a "quiet surge" against the Taliban.
Evidence Points to Civilian Toll in Afghan Raid 08 Sep 2008 To the villagers here, there is no doubt what happened in an American airstrike on Aug. 22: more than 90 civilians, the majority of them women and children, were killed. The Afghan government, human rights and intelligence officials, independent witnesses and a United Nations investigation back up their account, pointing to dozens of freshly dug graves, lists of the dead, and cellphone videos and other images showing bodies of women and children laid out in the village mosque. Cellphone images seen by this reporter show at least 11 dead children, some apparently with blast and concussion injuries. For two weeks, the United States military has insisted that only 5 to 7 civilians, and 30 to 35 militants, were killed.
Bush to maintain Iraq troop levels until 2009 09 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush announced Tuesday that he will keep the U.S. force strength in Iraq largely intact until the next president takes over, drawing rebukes from Democrats who want the war ended and a bigger boost of troops in troubled Afghanistan. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, who has advocated pulling all U.S. combat forces out of Iraq within 16 months of taking office, said Bush's plan to bring 8,000 combat and support troops home by February "comes up short."
'The surge was proposed by civilians in the White House.' Woodward: Military Brass Opposed Surge --Also Tells '60 Minutes' U.S. Has Secret Military Capability; The U.S. Has Been Spying On Iraq's PM 07 Sep 2008 A year and a half since the surge in Iraq, violence is the lowest it has been since the invasion. The idea of throwing another 30,000 troops into Iraq was a desperate gamble in a dark time. And only now are we finding out just how much opposition there was by the nation's top military leaders. That's among the revelations in a new book,"The War Within," by Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward.
Secret killing program is key in Iraq, Woodward says 09 Sep 2008 The dramatic drop in violence in Iraq is due in large part to a secret program [and Blackwater terrorists] the U.S. military has used to kill terrorists, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward. The program -- which Woodward compares to the World War II era Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb -- must remain secret for now or it would "get people killed," Woodward said Monday on CNN's Larry King Live.
What Is Woodward's 'Secret Weapon' in Iraq? By Sharon Weinberger 09 Sep 2008 Everyone's buzzing about the "sophisticated and lethal special operations program" that Bob Woodward alluded to in his recent 60 Minutes interview... I believe he is talking about the much ballyhooed (in defense geek circles) "Tagging, Tracking and Locating" program; here's a briefing on it from Special Operations Command. These are newfangled technologies designed to track people from long distances, without the targeted people realizing they are being tracked. That can theoretically include thermal signatures, or some sort of "taggant" placed on a person.
Cheney says Georgia's territory must remain intact 09 Sep 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney insisted Tuesday that Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected, after Russia announced it would keep a military presence in two Georgian breakaway provinces and moved to establish diplomatic ties with them.
Italian politicians 'praise' fascist era of Benito Mussolini 09 Sep 2008 Two of Italy's most senior politicians have sparked a debate about the country's dark past and uncertain future after voicing sympathy for the fascist era of Benito Mussolini. The combative right-wing mayor of Rome refused to condemn fascism as evil, while the country's defence minister paid homage to fascist troops who fought with the Nazis in resisting the Anglo-American landings of World War II.
WMD report: US remains 'dangerously vulnerable' 09 Sep 2008 The United States remains "dangerously vulnerable" to chemical, biological and nuclear attacks seven years after 9/11, a forthcoming independent study concludes. And a House Democrats' report says the Bush administration has missed one opportunity after another to improve the nation's security.
U.S blamed for ruining airline bomb plot trial by forcing police to act too soon 09 Sep 2008 The U.S. government have also been accused of scuppering the trial of eight men accused of plotting to bring down transatlantic planes with bombs disguised as drinks bottles. Washington pressed Pakistan into making arrests connected to the case before all the legal evidence had been gathered, counter-terror officials have claimed.
Farce of the airline bomb plot trial: Jury hit by holidays, sickness and golf ball injuries 09 Sep 2008 A series of bizarre delays hit the jury deliberations in the Heathrow bombs plot trial, it was revealed today. The eight men and four women were charged with reaching verdicts on eight British Muslim men accused of trying to kill thousands of passengers with liquid bombs smuggled on planes flying from London to North America. The jury was unable to decide on the jets blitz allegation after being sent out by the judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, five weeks ago. They deliberated for only 56 hours during that time - their discussions halted by a two-week holiday, sickness and breaks for other reasons. One juror kept hospital appointments after he hurt his foot stepping on a golf ball.
'Astonishment' at terror verdicts 09 Sep 2008 Counter-terrorism officials are said to be "dismayed" by the outcome of a trial in which eight men were accused of a plot to blow up transatlantic planes. Three men were convicted of conspiracy to murder but the jury did not convict any defendant of targeting aircraft. One man was cleared of all charges. The BBC's Frank Gardner said there had been "astonishment" in Whitehall as the evidence was considered to be strong. [Apparently *not.*]
New security database angers many in France --Edvige opens up "the possibility of tracking the entire population of France." 09 Sep 2008 A new French security database that could track anyone deemed a "possible threat to public order" -- even minors as young as 13 -- has outraged privacy crusaders and put France's conservative government on the defensive. Critics have collected some 130,000 signatures against the database -- known by the acronym Edvige -- which they contend is better suited for a police state than a modern European democracy.
Study: Houston police used Tasers more on blacks 08 Sep 2008 Houston police officers have used Tasers more on black suspects than any other group of individuals, according to a city study released Monday. Of 1,417 Taser deployments by officers between December 2004 and June 2007, nearly 67 percent were used on black suspects, according to an audit conducted for the city by a team of criminology, statistics and mathematics experts. About 25 percent of Houston's population is black.
9/11's accomplices vie for US presidency: Obama and McCain campaigns fan 'war on terrorism' hysteria By Larry Chin 08 Sep 2008 In his much-ballyhooed acceptance speech, Barack Obama declared that he would "finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11." If Obama wishes to be true to his promise, he could begin with his own running mate, Senator Joe Biden. Biden was one of several top Washington officials who met with Lieutenant General Mahmoud Ahmad, the head of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), on and around September 11, 2001.
Report: Palin tapped travel allowance at home 09 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has charged her state a daily allowance, normally used for official travel, for more than 300 nights spent at her home, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home --Taxpayers Also Funded Family's Travel 09 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a "per diem" allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business. The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.
Former Abramoff Associate Is Arrested --Indictment Charges Fraud, Conspiracy 09 Sep 2008 Former lobbyist Kevin A. Ring was arrested yesterday on conspiracy, fraud and obstruction-of-justice charges in connection with his alleged role in a four-year scheme to lavish tickets and trips on lawmakers and government officials in return for help for his clients. Ring had worked hand in hand with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff on behalf of Indian tribes that sought to operate gambling casinos, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday.
Silver State Bank Is Closed; McCain's Son Had Served as Director 08 Sep 2008 U.S. state and federal regulators on Friday shut down Silver State Bank, the latest in a series of bank failures. Until recently, the son of Republican nominee Sen. John McCain sat on Silver State's board and was a member of its three-person audit committee, responsible for overseeing the company's financial condition.
"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Who are THEY?" asks Palin. (Mudflats) 08 Sep 2008 OK, it wasn’t that bad, but it was a pretty bad gaffe. The number one issue of concern on people’s minds these days is the economy. Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs Saturday, Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." *HOCKEY BUZZER NOISE!* Sorry. These lending institutions "aren’t taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization," according to McClatchy.
NBC/WSJ Poll: '08 race turns into a dead heat --Barack Obama holds a narrow one-point lead over John McCain 09 Sep 2008 Republican John McCain has nearly erased Democrat Barack Obama’s national lead and turned the presidential contest into a dead heat, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. In that poll, Obama holds a narrow one-point lead over McCain (47-46 percent).
McCain Leaps Ahead in NC 09 Sep 2008 In an election for President of the United States in North Carolina Tuesday, September 09, Republican John McCain suddenly and breathtakingly surges to a 20-point win over Democrat Barack Obama, 58% to 38%, according to this latest exclusive SurveyUSA election poll conducted for ABC11-WTVD.
'All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.' World wants Obama as president: poll 09 Sep 2008 US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may be struggling to nudge ahead of his Republican rival in polls at home, but people across the world want him in the White House, a BBC poll said. All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain. In 17 of the 22 nations, people expect relations between the US and the rest of the world to improve if Senator Obama wins.
Former NY mayor: Palin 'scares the hell out of me' 09 Sep 2008 Saying that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "scares the hell out of me," former New York Mayor Ed Koch endorsed fellow Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday. "Protecting and defending the U.S. means more than defending us from foreign attacks," Koch said, citing such concerns as civil liberties, abortion rights, gay rights and access to health insurance. Koch said he is particularly troubled by Palin's record in those areas. "It's Palin primarily," he said. "She scares the hell out of me."
Official boots observer over ballot-count queries 07 Sep 2008 (Tucson) Questions about possible ballot tampering led to an observer's being handcuffed and escorted from the Pima County Elections Department on Saturday during the hand-count of ballots from Tuesday's primary election. John Brakey, an observer representing the Democratic and Libertarian parties, was asked to leave the elections office at 3434 E. 22nd St., when he refused to stop questioning the people who were 'counting' the ballots, said County Elections Director Brad Nelson.
Yucca license application accepted for review 09 Sep 2008 Federal regulators took a first step Monday toward allowing a radioactive waste dump in Nevada, agreeing to formally review the government's license application for the dump. The commissioners' decision came over objections from the state of Nevada, which does not want to host the nation's first nuclear waste dump, which would be carved into a volcanic ridge called Yucca Mountain 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Laos reports bird flu outbreak 09 Sep 2008 Samples from dead ducks in Laos' northern Luang Prabang province have been tested positive to bird flu virus, prompting local authorities to cull thousands of poultry to curb the disease's spread, Lao newspaper Vientiane Times reported Tuesday.
Hurricane Ike still headed for Texas 09 Sep 2008 Hurricane Ike is forecast to hit the central Texas coastline after midnight Friday, halfway between Corpus Christi and Galveston as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. The National Hurricane Center's forecast cone of error extends from just east of Lake Charles down the Texas coast into Mexico.
Exclusive: Al-Qaeda No. 2 May be Injured, Possibly Re-killed--But Still Cranking Out Videotapes By Lori Price 08 Sep 2008 Al-Qaeda No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, was 'killed,' then wounded, then re-killed--but through all of his deaths and injuries, he is still able to produce videotapes. Whenever the GOP hits a big bump in the road -- say, for example, the imminent implosion of Caribou Barbie -- al-Zawahri is reborn and healed and a busy little bee! Al-Qaida accuses Iran of co-operating with U.S. 08 Sep 2008 Al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with a 90-minute video message Monday summarizing the state of jihad, or holy war, around the world and slamming Iran for collaborating with the United States. Oh, but looky here! Dead, now wounded or re-killed! 02 Aug 2008 Four days after the CIA re-killed Abu Khabab al-Masri (aka Midhat Mursi) who 'died' in January 2006, CBS News 'exclusively reports' that al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri was injured and 'believed to be somewhere in Pakistan's remote tribal areas.' Al-Zawarhiri has a US$25 million reward on his head.
Journalists warned to get out of Afghanistan 09 Sep 2008 Australian journalists in Afghanistan have been targeted by terrorists and were warned yesterday by the Federal Government to consider leaving the country. "Credible reports suggest terrorists may be targeting journalists, including Australians, in Afghanistan," an updated travel advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says. "We continue to advise Australians not to travel to Afghanistan. If you are [there], you should consider departing."
Rights group condemns U.S., NATO air strikes in Afghanistan 08 Sep 2008 U.S. and NATO air bombings in Afghanistan have killed more than 500 civilians since 2006, fueling a public backlash against the coalition's war effort, a prominent human rights group said Monday. Human Rights Watch, an international organization based in New York, blamed some of the civilian deaths on Taliban and al Qaida [al-CIAduh] insurgents who create "human shields" by blending into populated areas.
Unmanned US drone kills school children 08 Sep 2008 Seven guided missiles have been fired from US spy planes in North Waziristan, killing three persons and injuring 15 others, including women and children. According to Pakistani sources, the guided missiles targeted a madrassa, or Muslim school, and the house of Afghan commander Jalaluddin Haqqani.
U.S. deserter feared torture orders 06 Sep 2008 Peter Jemley is unique among the growing ranks of war resisters who have sought refuge in Canada. He wants Canada to accept him as a refugee because he's opposed to torture. Jemley argues that as one of only a small number of Arabic linguists with top security clearance, he could be forced to violate international law by participating in the interrogations of terrorism suspects. It was something he hadn't considered when he enlisted in 2005 and was handpicked to undergo two years of intense training due to his adeptness with languages.
'CIA helped draw up dodgy Iraq war dossier for No 10' --It has been revealed that Mr Scarlett canvassed foreign help – which sources claim came from America's CIA – in the days before the dossier was published. 06 Sep 2008 Secret advice from a foreign power, thought to be America, helped to shape the dossier that said Saddam Hussein could attack within 45 minutes and set out the case for war in Iraq. MI6 chief John Scarlett, then chairman of the Government's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), turned to the foreign country as final touches were put to the now discredited dossier, it has emerged. The document, which the Government is accused of 'sexing up' in the weeks before it was made public, contained a string of claims that later proved false.
plans $7 billion missile-defense sale to UAE 08 Sep 2008 The
Bush regime is planning to sell the United Arab Emirates an advanced
U.S. missile defense system valued at up to $7 billion that could be
used to defend against Iran, people who have attended briefings on the
matter said on Monday. The Pentagon is set to notify the U.S. Congress
of the proposed sale, which would be the first of the so-called Terminal
High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, several people familiar with the
matter said. THAAD is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. Raytheon Co
U.S. Backs Off Civilian Nuclear Pact With Russia 08 Sep 2008 The Bush regime plans today to formally withdraw from Congressional consideration an agreement for civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia. The step is the most meaningful show of displeasure the United States has yet made over Russia’s military [re]action in Georgia.
Russia confirms sending warships to the Atlantic, Caribbean 08 Sep 2008 A Russian naval task force from the Northern Fleet will go on a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and participate in joint naval drills with the Venezuelan navy in November, a Navy spokesman said on Monday.
Venezuela to Host Russian Warships --Moscow to Send Naval Ships, Planes to Venezuela; Chavez: "Go Ahead And Squeal, Yankees" [LOL!] 08 Sep 2008 Russia said Monday it will send a naval squadron and long-range patrol planes to the Caribbean for joint military exercises with Venezuela -- a deployment in the Western Hemisphere unseen since the Cold War. Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko insisted Monday that Russia's decision to send the squadron and planes to Venezuela was made before 'Russia's' war with Georgia.
Venezuela to hold naval operations with Russia 07 Sep 2008 Venezuela will hold joint naval operations with Russia in the Caribbean even as the US re-establishes its Fourth Fleet in the region. "This is of great importance because it is the first time it is being done [in the Americas]," said Venezuela's Rear Admiral Salbatore Cammarata Bastidas, describing the exercises with four Russian ships planned for the November 10-14.
Iran set to hold large-scale war games with air defense drills 07 Sep 2008 Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and armed forces will begin on Monday a three-day military exercise to test new weaponry and practice repelling potential air strikes on its territory, the local media said on Sunday. "The main goal of the exercise is to evaluate the combat readiness [of the Iranian army], to test new weapons developed by Iranian scientists, and to practice defensive measures in case of a potential violation of the Iranian airspace by the enemy," the media said.
Airport bomb plot: three guilty 08 Sep 2008 Three British Muslims were found guilty today of an 'al Qaeda' plot to explode liquid bombs at Heathrow airport. But they were cleared of trying to blow up seven transatlantic airliners carrying at least 2,000 people in an attack that would have eclipsed 9/11. They planned to smuggle explosives disguised as fizzy drinks such as Oasis and Lucozade into Terminal Three.
Lawsuit to Ask That Cheney's Papers Be Made Public 08 Sep 2008 Months before the Bush regime ends, historians and open-government advocates are concerned that Vice President [sic] Cheney, who has long bristled at requirements to disclose his records, will destroy or withhold key documents that illustrate his role in forming U.S. policy for the past 7 1/2 years. In a preemptive move, several of them have agreed to join the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in asking a federal judge to declare that Cheney's records are covered by the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and cannot be destroyed, taken or withheld without proper review.
Court Gives White House More Time --Stay Delays House Panel's Probe Into Prosecutor Firings 06 Sep 2008 A federal appeals court granted the White House a temporary delay in turning over documents to a House committee investigating the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. A three-judge panel ordered the stay on Thursday, the deadline set by the House Judiciary Committee for White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten to provide the records. The order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also will probably delay the appearance of former White House Counsel Harriet Miers before the committee.
NBC Removes Olbermann From "Election" Anchor Seat 08 Sep 2008 After months of [GOP] accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory [?!] would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage... As Mr. Olbermann raised his voice, his ratings rose as well, and he now reaches more than one million viewers a night, a higher television rating than any other show in the troubled 12-year history of the network. [Maybe NBC fears (journalist) Keith Olbermann might dare to call the upcoming "election" a coup in the middle *of* the coup. --LRP]
Her deadly wolf program --With a disdain for science that alarms wildlife experts, Sarah Palin continues to promote Alaska's policy to gun down wolves from planes. By Mark Benjamin 08 Sep 2008 Wildlife activists thought they had seen the worst in 2003 when Frank Murkowski, then the Republican governor of Alaska, signed a bill ramping up state programs to gun down wild wolves from airplanes... But that was before Sarah Palin took Murkowski's job at the end of 2006. She went one step, or paw, further. Palin didn't think Alaskans should be allowed to chase wolves from aircraft and shoot them -- they should be encouraged to do so. Palin's administration put a bounty on wolves' heads, or to be more precise, on their mitts. In early 2007, Palin's administration approved an initiative to pay a $150 bounty to hunters who killed a wolf from an airplane in certain areas, hacked off the left foreleg, and brought in the appendage. Ruling that the Palin administration didn't have the authority to offer payments, a state judge quickly put a halt to them but not to the shooting of wolves from aircraft. [The bears and the wolves need to learn to *shoot first.* Heads up! This sicko is going to have her hand on the nuclear button, once the evangelical nutjobs force McCain to retire - or retire him themselves - in order to put Palin in charge of the whole ball of wax. --LRP]
John McCain: Morally, Mentally, and Emotionally Unfit By Jim Fetzer 05 Sep 2008 The Republican Party has now nominated the most unqualified candidate for the Presidency in our history, with the possible exception of George W. Bush. Over his entire life-span, he has repeatedly shown that he is out of touch with reality, impulsive and reckless in his judgment, and intellectually lazy and lacking in curiosity... Past indications of his reckless judgment have been reinforced by his choice of a transparently unqualified running mate, Sarah Palin, another beauty queen. He married a trophy wife and has now selected a trophy nominee to run with him.
Obama Camp Uses The "L" Word To Describe Palin Claim 08 Sep 2008 Up to now, the McCain and Obama campaigns have been just feisty complained about one another’s ads, using words like "distortion," "Misleading," etc. But when it comes to the McCain/Palin campaigns continued boosting of the story that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "said No" to the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" (This was a bridge from mainland Alaska to an island that would have cost Federal taxpayers hundreds of millions), the Obama campaign has called it an outright "LIE."
'I Supported the Bridge to Nowhere and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt' Obama Camp Sends Out Embarrassing Palin Pic 08 Sep 2008 The Obama campaign sent out a memo today, along with the accompanying picture, to challenge Palin's claim that she opposed Ted Stevens' "Bridge to Nowhere" earmark. (via email) Given that the McCain campaign again claimed that Governor Palin opposed the "Bridge to Nowhere" in their new ad today despite the fact that the claim has been repeatedly debunked, we thought you'd be interested in seeing the following photograph from Governor Palin's 2006 campaign in which she's proudly posing with a t-shirt that reads "NOWHERE ALASKA 99901" ...The memo's headline is a nice touch, but in case that was all too subtle, they threw in a quote from WaPo's Howard Kurtz for good measure: "[T]he whopper here is that Palin opposed her state's notorious Bridge to Nowhere. She endorsed the remote project while running for governor in 2006, claimed to be an opponent only after Congress killed its funding the next year and has used the $223 million provided for it for other state ventures. Far from being an opponent of earmarks, Palin hired lobbyists to try to capture more federal funding."
Obama takes daughters to first day of school 08 Sep 2008 U.S. Senator Barack Obama held his daughters' hands when he escorted them to their first day of school. The girls arrived at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in a five-SUV motorcade after a short drive from their South Side home. It was the first day of classes for 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha.
Schwarzenegger could soon face recall 07 Sep 2008 As if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't have enough troubles with the state's $17.2 billion budget mess, now comes word that there may be a move afoot to recall him. Well-placed Sacramento sources tell us the state's politically powerful and well-financed prison guards union has lawyers drawing up language for a recall initiative.
Republican red faces as bank closed by regulators 08 Sep 2008 A bank with ties to the family of John McCain was shut down by federal regulators on Friday, marking the 11th US bank failure this year and threatening to cause ripples across the presidential election campaign. Andrew McCain, son of the Republican presidential nominee, was a director of Nevada-based Silver State Bank until resigning in July for "personal reasons". He was a member of Silver State's audit committee, which has responsibility for overseeing the bank's financial accounts.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act --The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of Glass-Steagall since at least the 1980's. (Wikipedia) 08 Sep 2008 The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act... is an Act of the United States Congress which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, opening up competition among banks, securities companies and insurance companies. The Glass-Steagall Act prohibited a bank from offering investment, commercial banking, and insurance services. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate. The bills comprising the act were introduced in the Senate by Phil Gramm (R-TX) and in the House of Representatives by James Leach (R-IA). The bills were passed along party lines with Republican support in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives... Economist Robert Kuttner has criticized the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act as contributing to the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis. Economists Robert Ekelund and Mark Thornton have made similar criticisms, arguing that while "in a world regulated by a gold standard, 100% reserve banking, and no FDIC deposit insurance" the Financial Services Modernization Act would have made "perfect sense" as a legitimate act of deregulation, under the present fiat monetary system it "amounts to corporate welfare for financial institutions and a moral hazard that will make taxpayers pay dearly".
Major ice-shelf loss for Canada 03 Sep 2008 The ice shelves in Canada's High Arctic have lost a colossal area this year, scientists report. The floating tongues of ice attached to Ellesmere Island, which have lasted for thousands of years, have seen almost a quarter of their cover break away.
Ike expected in Gulf by Tuesday evening 08 Sep 2008 A category one Hurricane Ike is moving near the southern coast of central Cuba, according to a 7 p.m. public advisory from the National Weather Service. Although maximum sustained winds are at 80 mph now, down from the 135 mph of Ike's category four stage, forecasters warn that the hurricane is expected to strengthen again if the center remains over water tonight and early Tuesday.
New Book: Palin Will Make You Miss Cheney By R J Shulman 07 Sep 2008 Democratic partisans cheered and laughed at their convention in Denver when New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson asked, "Will anybody miss Dick Cheney?" A new book contends that Bill Richardson's prediction could be wrong, dead wrong. James L. Wasserman, author of I Never Thought Id Miss Richard Nixon has just written a new book called, I Never Thought Id Miss Dick Cheney, No Never, No Way Never, No Way No How No Never... Wasserman tells us, "You have no idea what she is capable of doing when she gets PMS. Thats not sexist, as PMS stands for 'Pentecostal Mental State' which men can get, too. Jerry Falwell suffered from it. While Cheney supposedly swore on the Bible to uphold the Constitution, Palin will swear at the Constitution while upholding the Bible, and her version of the Bible at that." (Satire!)
US to establish naval base in Georgia 07 Sep 2008 The US is negotiating with Georgia and Turkey to establish a naval base at one of the two key Georgian ports of Batumi or Poti, reports say. Turkey, in an attempt to avoid political tension with Russia, has not officially revealed its position regarding the plan, said Gruzya Online, a Russian-language internet site. Russia had previously announced its intention to station its own special forces at the Georgian ports.
Kremlin-watchers warn of direct U.S.-Russia clash 07 Sep 2008 In the aftermath of last month's war between Russia and U.S.-backed Georgia, Kremlin-watchers in Moscow are worried that Russia and America are closer to direct confrontation than at any point since the end of the Cold War. The rhetoric coming from the Bush regime - and presidential hopeful John McCain - suggests that tensions are still on the rise.
Vladimir Putin set to bait US with nuclear aid for Tehran 07 Sep 2008 Russia is considering increasing its assistance to Iran’s nuclear programme in response to America’s calls for Nato expansion eastwards and the presence of US Navy vessels in the Black Sea delivering [military] aid to Georgia. The Kremlin is discussing sending teams of Russian nuclear experts to Tehran and inviting Iranian nuclear scientists to Moscow for training, according to sources close to the Russian military.
Rice: 'Time isn't right for the Russia agreement' 06 Sep 2008 Now is not the right time for the U.S. to move forward on a once-celebrated deal for civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday. Her comment increased speculation that President [sic] Bush is planning to punish Moscow for invading Georgia, a former Soviet republic, by canceling the agreement. Such a move is being planned, according to senior Bush administration officials, but is not yet final. [But will be in time to help McInsane/Palin.]
Iran to launch series of military maneuvers Monday --Three-day exercise to include examination of antiaircraft systems, aimed at upgrading army's combat preparedness, deterring US and Israeli from attacking Islamic Republic 07 Sep 2008 Iran will launch three-day military maneuvers on Monday, which will include the examination of antiaircraft systems, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported Sunday. According to the report, Iran's regular force and the country's Revolutionary Guards will take part in the exercise.
Iran to hold three-day war games: report 07 Sep 2008 Iran's armed forces will begin three days of war games on Monday involving anti-aircraft defense systems, Iranian media said on Sunday. The exercises will be held amid persistent speculation about a possible U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West and Israel say are part of a clandestine bid to build atomic bombs, despite Tehran's denials.
Hamid Karzai blames Britain for Taliban resurgence 07 Sep 2008 The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has blamed Britain for the resurgence of the Taliban and its growing activity in large tracts of the country. His remarks, made to Afghan MPs, follow a clash with Gordon Brown over the Kabul regime’s links with warlords and drugs barons.
US air power triples deaths of Afghan civilians, says report --Air strikes killed at least 321 civilians in 2007 08 Sep 2008 Civilian deaths in Afghanistan from US and Nato air strikes have nearly tripled over the past year, with the onslaught continuing in 2008 and fuelling a public backlash, a leading human rights group [Human Rights Watch] says today.
Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan 07 Sep 2008 A Canadian soldier [Sgt. Prescott Shipway] has been killed and seven others have been wounded in southern Afghanistan after their vehicle struck an explosive device.
Four killed in Iran mortar blast 08 Sep 2008 At least four people have died and two others were injured as mortars left from the imposed Iraq-Iran war were detonated in western Iran. A strong blast was heard after the mortars went off in Sarpol-Zahab, a small town bordering Iraq in Kermanshah province.
"They said everyone who comes here has to confess." Inmates tell of sexual abuse and beatings in Iraq's juvenile prisons --Children as young as nine held in sweltering cells --Karkh juvenile prison currently holds 315 children, while its capacity is 250 08 Sep 2008 Hundreds of children, some as young as nine, are being held in appalling conditions in Baghdad's prisons, sleeping in sweltering temperatures in overcrowded cells without working fans, no daily access to showers, and subject to frequent sexual abuse by guards, current and former prisoners say... Raad Jamal was 17 when US forces raided his home in the mixed Sunni and Shia district of Doura in June last year... Raad and a friend were taken to a US base and were transferred next morning to the seventh brigade of the Iraqi army's second regiment. Raad said he and his friend were hung from the ceiling on ropes, beaten with electric cables, and taken for interrogation one by one. "They said everyone who comes here has to confess," Raad said.
Israeli police urge PM's indictment for corruption --18-month inquiry seeks legal action against Olmert --Foreign minister likely to replace him this month 08 Sep 2008 Israel's police force has recommended that the prime minister, Ehud Olmert, be indicted for bribery, money laundering, fraud and breach of trust, following an 18-month investigation. Olmert is accused of receiving $150,000 (£84,000) in cash for political campaigns over a 10-year period, accepting tens of thousands of dollars in upgraded air tickets and expensive hotel rooms and of double-billing Jewish philanthropic organisations to the tune of $110,000.
Others Teaching Palin Foreign Policy 05 Sep 2008 Sen. Joseph
I. Lieberman is among several national security experts helping brief
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on foreign policy issues
as she prepares to hit the campaign trail while cramming for a debate
with her Democratic opponent, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), in less
than a month, according to officials from Sen. John McCain's campaign.
GOP Lawmaker Seeks Removal of Peer Leading Palin Probe 07 Sep 2008 The Alaska lawmaker leading an investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of her public safety commissioner should be removed because he appears to be manipulating the probe to damage her vice presidential candidacy, a Republican legislator [state Rep. John Coghill] said.
Palin used state funds for trip to speak at her former church 06 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin used state funds in June when she traveled from Juneau to Wasilla to speak to graduating evangelical students and urge them to fan out through Alaska "to make sure God’s will be done here."
Palin's Hockey Rink Leads to Legal Trouble in Town She Led 06 Sep 2008 The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex... The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin's legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.
Gov. Sarah Palin's eBay plane claim 05 Sep 2008 When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sought to illustrate her frugality and flair to delegates at the GOP convention Wednesday, she described how she disposed of a corporate jet acquired by her unpopular predecessor. "That luxury jet was over the top," Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said to loud cheers. "I put it on eBay." Palin's statement implied the plane was sold through the online auction site, and Palin's spokeswoman insisted Thursday that the transaction occurred. But the plane failed to sell on eBay. Instead, the 23-year-old 10-seat Westwind II was sold in August 2007 for $2.1 million to a Valdez, Alaska, entrepreneur; that's about $300,000 less than a broker's asking price, according to news accounts. Also, while Palin characterized the plane as an extravagance of former Gov. Frank Murkowski, who arranged for its purchase in November 2005, the plane saw heavy use transporting Alaskan convicts.
Gay Groups Protest Palin Pick 07 Sep 2008 Gay groups are asking questions -- and finding answers -- about Republican presidential nominee John McCain's VP choice, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Most are unhappy with their findings. Gay groups are troubled by Palin, calling her anti-gay record "frightening."
Questions remain on Palin vetting 06 Sep 2008 John McCain's presidential campaign did not speak with the Alaska House speaker and other leading Republicans before McCain tapped Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. The low-profile vetting allowed McCain to spring Palin onto the national scene uncolored by media scrutiny. But it has left the campaign open to criticism that McCain did not fully explore her qualifications. The subject is now closed, said McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.
Palin requests talks with oil executives By Andrew Halcro 07 Sep 2008 Governor Sarah Palin has requested a conference call this week with the CEO's of the major oil companies playing a role in the potential development of Alaska's natural gas pipeline. The requested participants include Tony Hayward from BP, James Mulva from ConocoPhillips, Rex Tillerson from Exxon along with others. According to my source, no one knows exactly what the purpose of the call is, but some have never the less speculated. ...[The] state has done little more to move the gas pipeline forward over the last twenty months than to grant a Canadian company $500 million to push paperwork with no guarantee a pipeline will be built.
Palin and McCain's Shotgun Marriage By Frank Rich 07 Sep 2008 What was most striking about McCain’s acceptance speech is that it had almost nothing in common with the strident right-wing convention that preceded it. We were pointedly given a rerun of McCain 2000 -- cobbled together from scraps of the old Straight Talk repertory. The ensuing tedium was in all likelihood intentional. It’s in the campaign’s interest that we nod off and assume McCain is unchanged in 2008... Palin is a high-energy distraction from the top of the ticket, even if the provenance of her stardom is in itself a reflection of exactly what’s frightening about the top of the ticket. By hurling charges of sexism and elitism at any easily cowed journalist who raises a question about Palin, McCain operatives are hoping to ensure that whatever happened in Alaska with Sarah Palin stays in Alaska.
Sarah Palin, John McCain And Republican Fertility By BayouBuzz staff 05 Sep 2008 For the first time ever, the 2008 Republican Convention celebrated unwed teenage motherhood by seating Sarah Palin's reportedly 5-months' pregnant daughter with her teenage lover, proudly in the VIP row. As the swollen, 17-year-old Bristol Palin complacently gripped her swarthy impregnator's hand, Alaska's governor and the prospective mother's mother sternly lectured on family values and accused "the media" of persecuting her family. Has the Republican Party gone mad? No. But perhaps it's watched "The Da Vinci Code" too many times.
Obama: Palin aligned with Bush, Cheney 07 Sep 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called Republican rival John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a "skilled politician," but said she was ideologically aligned with the Bush administration. "He chose someone who may be even more aligned with George Bush or Dick Cheney, or the politics we’ve seen over the last eight years than John McCain himself is," Obama said in a taped interview broadcasted Sunday on ABC’s "This Week."
Biden: Republicans silent on issues that matter to middle class --Vice presidential candidate rallies Pa. voters 06 Sep 2008 A sometimes angry Sen. Joe Biden on Friday railed against the "abject failure" of Republicans to help middle-class Americans cope with shrinking wages, job losses and the rising cost of gas, groceries, health insurance and college. The Delaware senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee brought a crowd of 1,200 people at Maple Point Middle School to their feet by pointing out "what I didn't hear" from Republicans at their nominating convention this week.
Bank Tied to John McCain's Son Goes Under --Andrew McCain Served On Silver State Bank's Board Until July Before Leaving; Bank's Failure Marks 11th of the Year 06 Sep 2008 Regulators on Friday shut down Silver State Bank, saying the Nevada bank failed because of losses on soured loans, mainly in commercial real estate and land development. It was the 11th failure this year of a federally insured bank. Nevada regulators closed Silver State and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the bank, based in Henderson, Nevada.
Bush poised to turn $200 billion over to corpora-terrorist cronies: US Government takes over mortgage giants --US Government seizes control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 07 Sep 2008 The Bush administration's seizure of troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is potentially a $200 billion bet that it will help reverse a [Bush-created] prolonged housing and credit crisis.
Fannie, Freddie aftershocks: More bank woes --Government seizure of Fannie and Freddie could cause problems, even failure, for many small banks, even if it helps to stabilize the battered mortgage market. 07 Sep 2008 The takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is likely to cause big problems for hundreds of community banks nationwide and could lead to a new round of bank failures.
Anti-terrorism laws used to spy on noisy children --Councils are using anti-terrorism laws to spy on residents and tackle barking dogs and noisy children. 06 Sep 2008 An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph found that three quarters of local authorities have used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000 over the past year. The Act gives councils the right to place residents and businesses under surveillance, trace telephone and email accounts and even send staff on undercover missions. The findings alarmed civil liberties campaigners. The RIPA was introduced to help fight terrorism and crime. But a series of extensions, first authorised by David Blunkett in 2003, mean that Britain's 474 councils can use the law to tackle minor misdemeanours.
Sensitive UK computer data goes missing 07 Sep 2008 A computer firm in the UK has lost personal details relating to thousands of British prison staff, prompting the country's Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, to order an urgent inquiry into Electronic Data Systems. EDS has admitted the loss of data containing information on 5,000 prison guard employees of the National Offender Management Service.
Indonesian Minister: Rich nations creating "new viruses" to create markets for drug companies to sell vaccines --Supari says US using bird flu virus to develop biological weapons 06 Sep 2008 Indonesia stopped sharing the samples with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in December 2006 on fears pharmaceutical companies would use them to make vaccines that are too expensive for poor countries... Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari has broadened her critique of an "unfair, neocolonialist" global health system, raising the possibility earlier this year the United States was using the virus to develop biological weapons in her book "It's Time for the World to Change: Divine Hands Behind Avian Influenza." Supari told a rapturous crowd at a book discussion last week that rich nations were creating "new viruses" and sending them to developing nations in order create markets for drug companies to sell vaccines. "Indonesia sends a virus to the WHO but it suddenly it ends up with the US government. Then the US government turns the virus into dollars and we don't know what kind of research," Supari said.
Worst storm in 48 years batters Caribbean islands --Hurricane wrecks 80% of homes in Turks and Caicos --Call for urgent help as Ike closes in on Cuba 08 Sep 2008 Article history Hurricane Ike was closing in on Cuba and the Bahamas last night after shredding 80% of homes on the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, causing fresh misery for a region battered by tropical storms. Ike, a category 4 storm with winds of up to 135mph, blew off hundreds of roofs and wrecked scores of fishing boats in Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.
Algae Turns Polar Bears Green --Three polar bears at a Japanese zoo are looking under the weather after their fur turned green. 07 Sep 2008 The powerful beasts at the country's Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens are normally white to match their native Arctic habitats. But their changed colour in July after swimming in a pond with an overgrowth of algae. The bears are expected to return to their natural colour when the algae growth subsides in November.
Bristol Palin Wants to Be VP By Lori Price 06 Sep 2008 Bristol Palin: "'I'm also hoping my mother wins [sic] to be Vice President, who knows maybe someday I'll be following in her footsteps??" Yes, after the baby is born and the shotgun wedding has taken place, Bristol aspires to be a vice president, too! "Please don't judge my mother or me, she's the best mother in the world. Listen to her and what she has to say, don't forget to vote [sic] her!" --Even if we did forget to vet her. [Actual quotes from Bristol Palin's MySpace profile page, with commentary]
US military, contractors trained Georgian commandos 05 Sep 2008 The US military provided combat training to 80 Georgian special forces commandos only months prior to Georgia’s army assault in South Ossetia in August. The revelation, based on recruitment documents and interviews with US military trainers obtained by the Financial Times, could add fuel to accusations by Vladimir Putin, Russian prime minister, last month that the US had "orchestrated" the war in the Georgian enclave. The training was provided by senior US soldiers and two military contractors.
Cheney Warns Russia to Reverse Its Course [Reverse yours, Dick.] 06 Sep 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney on Saturday denounced Russia’s war against Georgia as evidence of a pattern of "troublesome and unhelpful actions" that threatened peace from Central Asia to the Middle East to Europe.
How Fast Should Iraq Re-Arm? U.S. officials inside and out of the Pentagon were quick to say Iraq 'needs' high-powered weapons, and that the U.S. defense industry would be more than glad to supply them. 06 Sep 2008 The disconnect on security between the U.S. and the government of Iraq crystallized Friday, as Washington made clear it is in no rush to pull troops out of Iraq, just as Baghdad made it clear it's shopping for 36 F-16 jet fighters that could end up costing the war-weary nation close to $4 billion. The U.S. push to help re-arm Iraq -- helicopter gunships are already in the pipeline, and Baghdad is looking to buy 400 armored personnel carriers and six C-130 cargo planes -- suggests an Iraqi government eager to fight its own battles without U.S. help.
U.S. needs more troops in Afghanistan, commander says 06 Sep 2008 A top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said Friday that he needed thousands of additional troops to combat violence along the border with Pakistan, a requirement that appears to be at odds with recommendations from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus on future troop levels in Iraq.
Bush to decide on keeping current troop levels in Iraq 06 Sep 2008 George W. Bush will decide next week whether to maintain the current troop level of US troops in Iraq for the rest of his presidency [sic], potentially leaving the next big decision on Iraq policy to his successor... Separately, Iraq reacted angrily yesterday to claims in a new book that the US government had spied on the Iraqi government. In a book released on Monday, Bob Woodward, the veteran Washington Post reporter, says the US eavesdropped on Mr Maliki and other leaders.
Palin's eldest son to guard top commanders in Iraq 05 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's eldest son, Track, will perform security duties for his brigade's top officers in Iraq. In military parlance, Palin is a "dismount." He and other soldiers operate armored vehicles called Strykers.
US-led air strike 'killed woman and child' in Afghanistan 05 Sep 2008 A US-led coalition air strike has killed a woman and child and eight 'Taliban fighters' in western Afghanistan, a top Afghan army official said. Farah province, where the latest raid took place, adjoins Herat where the government says more than 90 civilians were killed in a US-led coalition air strike last month.
Suicide Bomber Kills 6 06 Sep 2008 A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a government building in southwestern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing six people, including a provincial prosecutor and his deputy. The attack, which also wounded a lawyer, occurred in the town of Zaranj, on the border with Iran.
2 NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan 06 Sep 2008 NATO is reporting the deaths of 2 soldiers. It says they were killed in an 'insurgent' attack Thursday in eastern Afghanistan.
KBR inquiry broader --Federal bribery investigation goes beyond single case in Nigeria 04 Sep 2008 The federal government's investigation of Houston-based KBR and bribery payments extends beyond the scheme to win contracts to build a large natural gas liquefaction plant in Nigeria, regulatory filings show. The government has told KBR and its former parent, Halliburton Co., it has uncovered evidence of improper payments made to Nigerian officials in connection with a KBR-managed project in Nigeria for Shell, Halliburton noted in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investigators also are looking into possible evidence of payments connected to unnamed energy service projects in Nigeria, as well as other programs in other countries, according to the Halliburton filing.
Children aged eight enlisted as council snoopers --Some local authorities describe them as "covert human intelligence sources." 06 Sep 2008 Children as young as eight have been recruited by councils to "snoop" on their neighbours and report petty offences such as littering, the Daily Telegraph can disclose. The youngsters are among almost 5,000 residents who in some cases are being offered £500 rewards if they provide evidence of minor infractions. One in six councils contacted by the Telegraph said they had signed up teams of "environment volunteers" who are being encouraged to photograph or video neighbours guilty of dog fouling, littering or "bin crimes".
Subpoenas weighed in Palin probe --Alaska lawmakers will consider forcing aides to the governor to testify in an inquiry into her firing of the public safety chief. 06 Sep 2008 Several top Alaska state legislators said Friday that they would meet next week to consider authorizing subpoenas to force aides to Gov. Sarah Palin to testify in a probe into whether she abused her powers when she fired the state's public safety commissioner. Palin ousted Walter Monegan in July, saying she wanted to go in a "new direction," but Monegan has said he was axed after he repeatedly refused to sack Alaska State Trooper Michael Wooten, who was involved in a messy divorce from Palin's sister.
McCain Ally Moves to Curb Probe of Palin 05 Sep 2008 Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called "October surprise" that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election. In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska's bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called "troopergate" investigation.
Scott Richter Palin: Todd Palin Business Partner Emergency Motion 05 Sep 2008 Todd Palin’s former business partner Scott A. Richter, who allegedly had an affair with Sarah Palin, filled an emergency motion to seal his divorce records but it was denied. The Palins own few undeveloped properties on the Safari Lake and Big Lake, AK, in partnership with Scott A. Richter and his ex-wife Debbie under "Richter Investments LLC." Debbie Richter was Palin’s campaign treasurer. Richter was awarded a job as the Director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division for her service. The State of Alaska gives its citizens "free money" checks every year out of this fund. This "free money" comes from oil royalties collected and investments. The Fund is currently worth $35 billion. Under Sarah and Debbie's leadership in 2006, all Permanent Fund claims from residents (you have to make a claim for your check) were lost in a computer data entry failure.
The Authoritative Trig Palin Conspiracy Time Line By Vanity Fair 05 Sep 2008 The McCain campaign won’t countenance it, and Barack Obama has even declared it off-limits, but the question of Trig Palin’s parentage--whether his real mom is Sarah Palin or her five-months pregnant, 17-year-old daughter Bristol--has transfixed the blogosphere. To settle the matter once and for all, VF.com presents this handy timeline juxtaposing both the official narrative and the wingnut conspiracy theories.
On Obama, Earmarks, Palin Less Than Honest --Palin's RNC Speech Bent the Truth on Her Record and on the Opposition 04 Sep 2008 In a rousing speech at last night's Republican National Convention, vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, touted her record, attacked the opposition, and in some cases, bent the facts.
Palin Vetting Documents from 2006. For Hard Core Palin Addicts Only. (Mudflats) 05 Sep 2008 In 2006, when Sarah Palin ran for Governor of Alaska, the Democrats (unlike the Republicans of 2008) vetted her. The documentation is extensive, and was published online. Recently, the link from various websites including Politico to the documents went dead. Then it came back. Then it went dead. Then it came back. You get the idea. Considering the tendency for things to vanish these days, and thanks to a reader of Mudflats, you may now peruse the document in its entirety.
Palin: the real scandal By Leonard Doyle 06 Sep 2008 ...[T]he woman who could soon be a 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the United States presidency has an environmental policy so toxic it would make the incumbent, George Bush, blush... The 44-year-old governor says a federal government decision to protect the polar bear will cripple energy development offshore. As a result, she is suing the Bush administration, which ruled the polar bear is endangered and needs protection... Governor Palin would also like to bring open-cast coal mining to Alaska's Brooks Range Mountains, an act of environmental vandalism in the eyes of many. The Palin administration has allowed Chevron to triple the amount of toxic waste it pours into the waters of Cook Inlet. This, even though the number of beluga whales in the bay has collapsed from 1,300 to 350 – the point of extinction – because of pollution and increased ship traffic.
'This is an odd crowd, indeed, to be offering itself as a champion for working people.' Running From Reality By Bob Herbert 06 Sep 2008 If there was one pre-eminent characteristic of the Republican convention this week, it was the quality of deception. Words completely lost their meaning. Reality was turned upside down. From the faux populist gibberish mouthed by speaker after speaker, you would never have known that the Republicans have been in power over the past several years and used that titanic power to lead the country to its present sorry state.
The Sarah Palin Selection: Why McCain's Inexperienced Running Mate Falls Short of Meeting the Implicit Constitutional Qualifications For Vice Presidents By John W. Dean 05 Sep 2008 Given the fact that the 2008 GOP standard-bearer John McCain is seventy-two years of age, his selection of an inexperienced Vice Presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has again focused attention on the process and procedures for selecting vice presidents - or, to put it more bluntly, the utter lack of process or procedures in selecting the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency... Consider this parallel: Does anyone believe that if John McCain were president and had selected Governor Sarah Palin under the Twenty-fifth Amendment to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency, Congress would have confirmed her? Not likely. In fact, it is even less likely that McCain would have even attempted to do so, for he would have embarrassed himself. While the Constitution does not expressly set forth qualifications for the vice-presidency, it strongly implies them --- and Palin falls short.
Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is "Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean" By Charley James 05 Sep 2008 "So Sambo beat the bitch!" This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination. According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively. "It was kind of disgusting," Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the "lower 48" about life near the North Pole.
At Bon Jovi Event: 'We Won't Be Bullied' --Presidential Nominee
Vows to Fight Back Against Character Attacks Better Than John Kerry
Did In '04 05 Sep 2008 On Friday, rock legend Jon Bon Jovi and his
wife, Dorothea, hosted more than 100 people for dinner on their mansion
lawn by the Navesink River in Middletown, N.J. Obama vowed to fight
Republican attacks on his character and background more fiercely than
John Kerry did in his
Presidential candidate Ron Paul rocks the house --The Ron Paul Revolution Continues By Mark Yannone 05 Sep 2008 Thousands of unhappy demonstrators were subjected to the blunt force of the oppressive state outside John McCain's Republican convention in Saint Paul. Meanwhile 18,000 rational and jubilant Ron Paul supporters rejected Demopublican violence and coercion and instead packed the stadium at Ron Paul's presidential convention across the river, in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis council members call for investigation of RNC police 05 Sep 2008 Minneapolis City Council Members Gary Schiff and Cam Gordon issued a call this afternoon for an independent investigation of police actions during the Republican National Convention (RNC). Today’s call follows two earlier statements on RNC policing statements from city council corridors in Minneapolis and St. Paul. On Tuesday, Gordon and City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden decried police intimidation that chills free speech and called on authorities to provide a safe space for political expression.
Nearly 600,000 Subject to Possible Caging in Ohio --How many voter-registration mass mailers are "returned to sender" in the run-up to Election Day may determine how many Ohio residents are eligible to vote. By David Rosenfeld 05 Sep 2008 Ohio election officials are sending out a mass mailer stamped "do not forward" to all registered voters today (Sept. 5) with an absentee ballot application and other important notices for Nov. 4. What’s important here is not so much what’s going out as what’s being returned to sender. Unbeknownst to the would-be recipients, the same mailer -- just 60 days before the election -- has the potential to determine their eligibility to vote, challenged not by election officials but by partisan opposition. A similar mailer in March netted nondeliverable mail from almost 600,000 registered voters in just five Ohio counties who could now have their ballots thrown out for voting under the wrong address... The law doesn’t, however, preclude mass partisan challenges on or shortly before Election Day -- known as voter caging -- based on the same returned envelopes from state-sponsored mailers like the ones in Ohio and others going out across the country. In 2004, the year the national election hinged on results from Ohio, the Ohio Republican Party challenged 35,000 voters based on returned mail from the GOP's own friendly reminder notices.
Paulson to Take Over and Restructure Fannie, Freddie 06 Sep 2008 Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will use his authority to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, likely placing the beleaguered mortgage-finance companies under government control as early as this weekend.
U.S. to take control of mortgage giants: reports 06 Sep 2008 The U.S. government plans to put troubled mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under federal control, the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers reported on Friday... It is not possible to calculate the cost of any bailout, but the huge potential liabilities of the companies could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars and make any rescue among the largest in the nation's history [even bigger than Raygun/McCain's Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and taxpayer bailout], the paper said.
Silver State Bank Is Latest to Fail 06 Sep 2008 Regulators on Friday shut down Silver State Bank, saying the Nevada bank failed because of losses on soured loans, mainly in commercial real estate and land development. It was the 11th failure this year of a federally insured bank.
Hurricane Ike gains Category 4 strength 06 Sep 2008 More hurricane warnings were issued for parts of the Caribbean on Saturday as Hurricane Ike strengthened to a powerful Category 4 storm as it churned toward the Turks and Caicos Islands. At 5 p.m. ET, Ike was packing winds of 215 km/h and was centred 145 kilometres east of Grand Turk Island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported.
Investigation into Palin Now on Fast Track --Sources Tell ABC News that Report Will Be Released Almost Three Weeks Early 05 Sep 2008 ABC News has exclusively learned that Alaska Senator Hollis French will announce today that he is moving up the release date of his investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her office to get the Alaska public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, fired. The results of the investigation were originally scheduled for release Oct. 31 but will now come almost three weeks earlier, according to sources.
Palin aide bails on talking to Legislature --Jurisdiction: Witness is key in inquiry into Walt Monegan's firing. 04 Sep 2008 One of Gov. Sarah Palin's top aides was supposed to be interviewed under oath Wednesday as a key witness in the ongoing investigation into her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. But the aide, Frank Bailey, abruptly backed out amid what his lawyer said is uncertainty over jurisdiction.
Media dilemma over Enquirer's 'Sarah Palin affair' allegation 04 Sep 2008 ...How will the US media big guns handle the latest, more serious allegation - that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband's business partner? The situation is particularly delicate since the allegation has been made by the notorious supermarket tabloid, the National Enquirer. The Enquirer said: "Following our John Edwards exclusives, our political reporting has obviously proven to be more detail-oriented than the McCain campaign's vetting process. Despite the McCain camp's attempts to control press coverage they find unfavorable, the Enquirer will continue to pursue news on both sides of the political spectrum."
Sarah Palin's "Lover" Exposed? - Brad Hanson? 05 Sep 2008 Rumor has it that Mr. Brad Hanson, the man that has spilled the beans on his affair with Sarah Palin to The Enquirer is now a member of the Palmer City Council. He was married at the time when he was alleged to be with Palin. His is a city council member in Palmer.
McCain Accepts Nomination, Says He'll Fight to Restore Party Principles 04 Sep 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain accepted his party's nomination Thursday night in a speech designed to recast the conservative party of President [sic] Bush and Karl Rove in his own maverick image. Early on, a small group of protesters in the hall disrupted McCain's speech holding a sign that read "McCain votes against vets." Two women yelled "End the war!" and were dragged out of the hall by security.
Fake Soldiers Used In RNC Video --Patriotic Montage Shown At RNC Featured Actors Hired For One Day Shoot, Not Military 04 Sep 2008 It was a video that was supposed to elicit soaring patriotism and real emotions about the Pledge of Allegiance. But to do that, it used fake soldiers and a staged military funeral instead of the real thing.
Olbermann: Sept. 11 tribute "not appropriate" 04 Sep 2008 Keith Olbermann spoke out tonight against MSNBC for airing the Republican convention's 'tribute' to Sept. 11 [*puke*], which included jarring images of the attacks. Olbermann said it was "not appropriate."
Obama Rails Against Attacks From Palin, GOP --Democrat Denounces 'Slash-and-Burn Politics' 05 Sep 2008 For the first two days of the Republican convention, Sen. Barack Obama resisted pushing back against the attacks emanating from St. Paul, Minn. But on Thursday, the fourth and final day, his patience gave out, as he dismissed the barrage of criticism from the convention floor as "the same old vitriol and slash-and-burn politics."
"You can't bring that in here, this is Mc Cain territory." Secret Service confiscates books, button from Ron Paul delegates 04 Sep 2008 Today at the Republican National Convention, as the Ron Paul Delegates were taking a picture in front of the model White House inside the Convention Center, they were surrounded by Secret Service which proceeded to search the bags of all the delegates. They took any and everything related to Ron Paul including signs, buttons, videos, slim jims, cards, even books.
Letters Protesting Journalist Arrests at RNC Delivered Today in St. Paul By Dave Astor 05 Sep 2008 Independent journalists and local advocates this morning delivered more than 60,000 letters to St. Paul City Hall, according to the Free Press media-reform group. The letters call on Mayor Chris Coleman and law-enforcement officials to drop all charges against journalists arrested while covering protests outside the Republican National Convention.
U.S. Spied on Iraqi Leaders, Book Says --Woodward Also Reveals That Political Fears Kept War Strategy Review 'Under the Radar' 05 Sep 2008 The Bush administration has conducted an extensive spying operation on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his staff and others in the Iraqi government, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. "We know everything he says," according to one of multiple sources Woodward cites about the practice in "The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008," scheduled for release Monday.
US troops 'should stay in Iraq' 05 Sep 2008 Senior military advisers have recommended that the US president maintain current troop levels in Iraq until the end of the year, Pentagon sources say.
Nukes not part of Iran's defence: Official 05 Sep 2008 Iran on Friday said nuclear weapons have no place in the country's defence doctrine and rejected as "baseless" French President Nocholas Sarkozy's comment that the Islamic country's nuclear programme is a threat to the region, a news agency reported. Foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told reporters Iran's nuclear pursuits are peaceful and that Tehran would continue to campaign for total nuclear disarmament.
US warship to Georgian port partly held by Russia 05 Sep 2008 The flagship of the U.S. Navy's Mediterranean fleet anchored outside a key Georgian port Friday, defiantly bringing in tons of 'humanitarian' aid to a city still partly occupied by hundreds of Russian troops. The USS Mount Whitney was the first Navy ship to travel to Poti since Georgia's five-day war with Russia last month.
6 ex-Soviet neighbors back Russia over Georgia [<g>] 05 Sep 2008 Russia scored an important diplomatic victory Friday when it secured support from six other former Soviet nations for its war in Georgia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that he and other leaders of nations that are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization signed a declaration Friday condemning Georgia's attack aimed at regaining control of its breakaway province of South Ossetia.
Afghans fed up with government, U.S. --Disillusionment fuels insurgency; 105 American soldiers killed this year 05 Sep 2008 The men gather beneath a large, leafy tree in rural eastern Nangarhar province. Malik Mohammed speaks on their behalf... Mohammed makes it clear that the tribal chiefs have lost all faith in both their own government and the foreign soldiers in their country. Such disillusionment is widespread in Afghanistan, feeding an insurgency that has killed 195 foreign soldiers so far this year, 105 of them Americans. "This is our land. We are afraid to send our sons out the door for fear the American troops will pick them up," says Mohammed, who was chosen by the others to represent them. "Daily we have headaches from the troops. We are fed up. Our government is weak and corrupt and the American soldiers have learned nothing." [Sorry, Mohammed. Bush has poppy fields to cultivate, a gas pipeline to protect, and Blackwater to fund. --LRP]
US commander sees a 'slow win' in Afghanistan [Everyone else sees 'fast loss'] 05 Sep 2008 U.S.-led forces are achieving a "slow win" [LOL!] in Afghanistan, but the less-than-decisive approach must be accelerated soon, a key American commander there said Friday. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Schloesser, in a video conference with reporters at the Pentagon, said he remains hopeful that the Bush administration will send him more combat troops and other resources by winter.
Afghan leader vows punishment for deadly US raid 04 Sep 2008 The Afghan president said a deadly raid on a village by American and Afghan commandos has put new strain on relations with the United States and promised Thursday to punish those responsible. U.S. officials have said that at least 30 militants and no more than seven civilians were killed during the Aug. 22 raid. Afghan officials, backed by the United Nations mission, insist that more than 90 civilians died, including dozens of children.
Up to 12 Reported Dead in U.S. Afghan Strike 05 Sep 2008 A missile strike from a pilotless United States reconnaissance aircraft killed between 6 and 12 people in a group of houses in southern Afghanistan, very close to the border with Pakistan, Pakistani residents of the area said Friday. After the raid on Wednesday, Pakistan lodged a "strong protest" with the American government and said it reserved the right of retaliation.
may step up raids in Pakistan 05 Sep 2008 Even as angry protests
spread in Pakistan, Pentagon officials said Thursday that the number
of cross-border commando missions may grow in coming months to
Soldiers' Suicide Rate On Pace to Set Record 05 Sep 2008 Suicides among active-duty soldiers this year are on pace to exceed both last year's all-time record and, for the first time since the Vietnam War, the rate among the general U.S. population, Army officials said yesterday.
Jobless rate at 5-year high 05 Sep 2008 An unexpectedly steep 84,000 U.S. jobs were lost in August and the unemployment rate hit a five-year high of 6.1 percent, fanning worry ahead of November's presidential vote that the economy was near recession.
Justice Department Gets Temporary Stay of Subpoenas to Bolten, Miers 05 Sep 2008 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has temporarily stayed a ruling requiring top White House aides to comply with a subpoena issued by Congress about allegedly politically-motivated dismissals of federal attorneys. The Justice Department has been trying to delay a court decision ordering presidential chief of staff Josh Bolten to provide documents, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers to testify before lawmakers about the firings of nine prosecutors in 2006. Both officials refused to comply with subpoenas, citing executive privilege.
U.S. Capitol Police Arrest Man with Explosive --Police: Suspect had a Rifle, Ammunition and a Grenade-Type Weapon in His Car 05 Sep 2008 Police arrested a man near the U.S. Capitol after they discovered a small cache of weapons and explosives in his vehicle, law enforcement sources tell ABC News. U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said that at approximately 11:00 a.m. ET, a driver, later identified as Christopher Timmons, 27, approached a Capitol Police officer for directions at 2nd and Independence Ave., SE... Police say they found one AK-47 type rifle, two fully loaded magazines, ammunition and what was described as a grenade-type IED. Schneider added that officers found a loaded pistol and at least one knife in the vehicle. According to two law enforcement officials, Timmons was also in possession of floor plans of the Washington Convention Center.
Sarah Palin wannabe appears in court: Shooting Spree Suspect Says He 'Kills For God' In Courtroom Outburst 05 Sep 2008 (WA) The suspect in a shooting and stabbing spree that killed six people and wounded four cried out that he "kills for God" during an outburst in court this afternoon, said KIRO 7 Eyewitness News. Isaac Zamora was making a court appearance on charges including six counts of first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree attempted murder in connection with the crime spree that began near Alger, continued amid a high-speed police pursuit on Interstate 5 and ended in Mount Vernon, when Zamora surrendered at a sheriff's office.
CIA, FBI push 'Facebook for spies' --U.S. intelligence agencies are urging staffers to use a new social-networking site 05 Sep 2008 At the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency, bosses are encouraging their staffs to use a new social-networking site designed for the super-secret world of spying. The program is called A-Space, and it's a social-networking site for analysts within the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.
DHS Scales Back Plan for Radiation Detectors 04 Sep 2008 After years of research and testing and at the expense of millions of dollars, plans by the Department of Homeland Security to use radiation detectors to screen cargo and vehicles entering the United States have largely failed, according to an audit obtained by the Washington Post.
Radiation Detector Plan Falls Short, Audit Shows --Concerns About Cost and Effectiveness Could Curtail Program 04 Sep 2008 An ambitious Bush administration program to use new technology to stop radioactive materials from being smuggled into the country has fallen far short of its aims and will likely be sharply curtailed, according to an audit report obtained by The Washington Post. The project, involving three contractors [Raytheon, Thermo Eberline and Canberra], has been embroiled in allegations that the department's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office misled Congress about the testing, cost and effectiveness of the machines.
Transportation Dept. almost out of highway funds 05 Sep 2008 The federal highway trust fund will run out of money this month, requiring delays in payments to states for transportation construction projects, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said Friday. The trust fund -- a federal account used to help pay for highway and bridge projects -- will run about $8.3 billion short by the end of September, Peters said during a conference call with reporters. [Bush robbed the U.S. Treasury for his corpora-terrorist trolls -- Blackwater, KBR, Halliburton and Exxon Mobil.]
Secret "Geo-Engineering" Projects Threaten Unknown Environmental Dangers --U.S. government scientists bombarding skies with acid-rain causing pollutant in name of fighting global warming By Paul Joseph Watson 05 Sep 2008 U.S. government scientists are bombarding the skies with the acid-rain causing pollutant sulphur dioxide in an attempt to fight global warming by "geo-engineering" the planet, despite the fact that injecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere carries with it a host of both known and unknown dangers. The proposal to disperse sulphur dioxide in an attempt to reflect sunlight was again raised in a London Guardian article this week entitled, 'Geoengineering: The radical ideas to combat global warming,' in which Ken Caldeira, a leading climate scientist based at the Carnegie Institution in Stanford, California, promotes the idea of injecting the atmosphere with aerosols.
Bird flu strain found at Caldwell bird farm 05 Sep 2008 A Treasure Valley game producer found a strain of bird flu in two of his birds, and now the Idaho Department of Agriculture has quarantined the area. The strain is not deadly to humans, in its current form, and the birds in question are not in the food channels.
Bird Flu Suits to Be Worn By Hospital Staff 04 Sep 2008 The Japanese government as well as stocking the Tamiflu drug [lucky Rumsfeld] to prepare for an outbreak of the bird flu virus has also put out tenders for the purchase of special all in one protective suits for health workers dealing with infected patients. In all 40,000 of the phylactic suits will be made available... The government of the United Kingdom has even made special arrangement for huge morgues to be set up extremely quickly should the number of bodies start to pile up... during the bird flu pandemic.
Universal flu vaccine tests start 05 Sep 2008 A universal flu vaccine which could mean an end to the annual jab is being tested on UK volunteers. If successful, the vaccine developed by Oxford University researchers would also be a key weapon in [fomenting] a flu pandemic.
FEMA fields complaints as evacuees return to Big Easy --At least 1,400 National Guard troops are in New Orleans. 05 Sep 2008 Residents getting off a train from Memphis and from four buses that arrived Friday at the Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans had mixed experiences after their evacuation because of Hurricane Gustav... Charles William, 38, was on one of two buses that arrived earlier on Friday. He said the shelter where he stayed [Alexandria, La.] was supposed to house 1,200 people but instead almost 2,000 stayed there. "It was overcrowded, and there wasn't enough food for everyone there," he said.
US braced for tropical storm Hanna as hurricane Ike looms 05 Sep 2008 A swathe of south-eastern US from Georgia to just south of New York city was today bracing for the arrival of tropical storm Hanna, which forecasters said could strengthen before reaching land.
New details about plot to kill Obama --U.S. Attorney for Colorado Troy Eid - a 2006 Bush appointee - refused to prosecute 3 for elaborate Obama assassination plot, but is prosecuting fully the man who sent non-hazardous powder and threatening letter to McCain 03 Sep 2008 9Wants to Know has learned three men in Denver discussed assassinating U.S. Sen. Barack Obama during the Democratic National Convention in Denver by sneaking into one of his events and shooting him with a gun hidden inside of a camera. Nathan Johnson's girlfriend, whom 9NEWS is not naming because she's a juvenile, said "it would have to be a suicide mission," according to federal court records. Johnson, Shawn Adolf and Tharin Gartrell all thought that Obama had a suite in the third floor of the Hyatt hotel, where they were staying. The men were doing methamphetamine inside the hotel with two women on Aug. 23 discussing the plot to kill Obama, according to federal records. Adolf said, "It would not matter if he killed Senator Obama because police would simply add a murder charge to his pending charges," according to the records. There were seven outstanding warrants for Adolf's arrest... Based on the evidence, FBI special agent Robert Sawyer first believed there was probable cause to believe the men were conspiring to kill Obama. However, U.S. Attorney Troy Eid last week said that further investigation revealed insufficient evidence to indicate a "true threat," plot or conspiracy against the senator. The men were charged with various weapons and/or drug charges.
Man Who Wrote McCain Letter Explains Actions --Marc Ramsey Says He Was Concerned About His Viet Vet Father 22 Aug 2008 The man accused of sending a threatening letter to John McCain through McCain's Colorado headquarters office detailed the contents of his letter in an exclusive interview with 7NEWS Friday. Marc Ramsey, an inmate in the Arapahoe County Jail, admitted that he sent the letter. Ramsey told 7NEWS he wanted to tell McCain about his father -- a Vietnam war veteran who is served at the same time as McCain, and who is suffering from two types of cancer. On Friday afternoon, US Attorney Troy Eid announced Ramsey will be charged with knowingly threatening to harm or kill through the U.S. mail. The charge is punishable up to five years in federal prison and up to $250,000 fines. "We won't stand for threats [to Republicans] of this kind in Colorado," Eid said. "A death threat is not a legitimate form of political expression," Eid said. [Translation of Eid: An actual *assassination* is good to go --as long as the target is Barack Obama.]
Cheney colleague admits bribery in Halliburton oil deals 04 Sep 2008 A former colleague of the US Vice-President [sic], Dick Cheney, has pleaded guilty to funnelling millions of dollars in bribes to win lucrative contracts in Nigeria for Halliburton, during the period in the Nineties when Mr Cheney ran the giant oil and gas services company. Albert Stanley, who was appointed by Mr Cheney as chief executive of Halliburton's subsidiary KBR, admitted using a north London lawyer to channel payments to Nigerian officials as part of a bribery scheme that landed some $6bn of work in the country over a decade.
Barack Obama would consider charging Bush administration over Guantanamo 04 Sep 2008 Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s vice-presidential running mate, has indicated that a new Democratic administration could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration over the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo bay.
Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush --Biden says criminal violations will be pursued --Democrats have issued subpoenas to Bush aides --3 staffers have been held in contempt of Congress 04 Sep 2008 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November. "If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.
says gov't must produce waterboarding memos 03 Sep 2008 A
federal judge has ruled in New York that the government must either
produce memos on waterboarding and other
Petraeus: No Major Iraq Troop Drawdown in '08 --General to Recommend Reduction of Only 1,500 Marines for Now 04 Sep 2008 Gen. David Petraeus has recommended against any significant reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq before the end of the year, ABC News has learned. The only drawdown Betrayus has called for, according to a senior military official familiar with his recommendation, is a modest reduction of two Marine battalions, or about 1,500 Marines, a tiny fraction of the 146,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq.
Four killed in suspected US drone attack in Pakistan 04 Sep 2008 Four 'Islamist militants' were killed and five wounded in a missile attack by a suspected U.S. drone in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Thursday, security officials and witnesses said. "Apparently three missiles were fired by the drone," a witness in the area told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The attack came a day after helicopter-borne U.S. troops raided a village in the nearby South Waziristan region, killing 20 people.
Pakistan raid may signal more U.S. attacks 04 Sep 2008 U.S. commandos attacked an al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] target in Pakistan this week in an operation that could signal more intense American efforts to thwart militant attacks in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
Defiant Cheney vows Georgia will join Nato 05 Sep 2008 The US vice-president [sic], Dick Cheney, yesterday issued a direct challenge to Moscow's sway over Georgia, pledging Washington's support for its eventual membership of Nato, while denouncing Russia's [Georgia's] "illegitimate" invasion. "Georgia will be in our alliance," Cheney said after talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Cheney seeks to bolster Ukraine 04 Sep 2008 US Vice-President Dick Cheney is in Ukraine on the last stop on his tour of the region aimed at showing support for US allies in the former Soviet Union. He flew to Kiev from Georgia, where he condemned Russia's "illegitimate" attempt to change Georgia's borders. ["Illegitimate" -- he should know.]
Vladimir Putin picked as world's most influential person 03 Sep 1008 Vanity Fair has unveiled its annual list of the world's 100 most powerful and influential people, what the magazine calls "the New Establishment", and topping the table for the first time is Vladimir Putin, according to reports. Mr Putin remains de facto leader of the world's largest country after stepping down as president, a role he held for eight years, in May. The magazine notes he enjoys 80 percent approval ratings [LOL! Bush -- the Irrelevant Dictator -- hovers at what, 18?] at home in part thanks to his revival of Russia's economy and his efforts to rebuild the nation's military, pride, and global standing.
Terrorism charges filed in alleged plot to disrupt GOP convention --Eight suspects are accused of planning violent acts to block Republican delegates. 04 Sep 2008 As clashes between police and protesters subsided outside the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, county prosecutors charged eight people with conspiring to cause a riot as part of a terrorist act. The eight suspects were arrested in connection with raids of homes in the Twin Cities that were conducted by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department before the convention began.
RNC 8 Charged with "Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism" 03 Sep 2008 In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Those charged face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty. [The *actual* RNC 8 who should be charged in the "Furtherance of Terrorism:" John (Insane) McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt (I have 250 million dollars in Bank of America, but I detest Northeast elitists) Romney, Rudy (unindicted 9/11 co-conspirator) Giuliani, Joe LieberBush (R-Israel), Fred Thompson, George (live from satellite) Bush and Dick (hiding in bunker) Cheney. --LRP]
'Polar bear' beaten with sack of money at RNC protest 04 Sep 2008 A "polar bear" collapsed on a St. Paul, Minnesota sidewalk, to be symbolically "finished off" by a man wielding a sack of money as a weapon during a protest outside the Texas delegation's hotel as part of Wednesday's Republican National Convention counter-festivities.
McCain formally nominated as Republican presidential candidate 04 Sep 2008 John McCain, a72-year-old senator from Arizona, was formally nominated for president by the Republican Party after delegates to the Republican National Convention voted to choose him as their standard-bearer on Wednesday.
Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God' 03 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God." In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will." [I'm praying for my own *God's will,* so that the polar bear, wolf, and every other creature survives past January 2009. --LRP]
Palin aide skips deposition in 'troopergate' probe 04 Sep 2008 One of Gov. Sarah Palin's top aides was supposed to be interviewed under oath Wednesday as a key witness in the ongoing investigation into her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. But the aide, Frank Bailey, abruptly backed out amid what his lawyer said is uncertainty over jurisdiction.
Palin E-Mails Show Intense Interest in Trooper's Penalty 04 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the running mate for GOP presidential candidate John McCain, wrote e-mails that harshly criticized Alaska state troopers for failing to fire her former brother-in-law and ridiculed an internal affairs investigation into his conduct. The e-mails were shown to The Washington Post by a former public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, who was fired by Palin in July. Monegan has given copies of the e-mails to state ethics investigators to support his contention that he was dismissed for failing to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, who at the time was feuding with Palin's family.
Palin was for earmarks before she was against them 04 Sep 2008 Back in late February, when Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin met Sen. John McCain for the first time at a convention of U.S. governors, the two dished about a number of things, but mostly earmarks... Unlike McCain, though, Palin has not been a purist on earmarks. As Alaska governor, she sought and obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for the state, and as mayor of Wasilla, she hired lobbyist and former Stevens staffer Steve Silver to steer federal money to her town.
McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin --Three times in recent years, the Arizona senator's lists of 'objectionable' pork spending have included earmarks requested by his new running mate. 03 Sep 2008 ...John McCain has been throwing darts at the special spending system known as earmarking, through which powerful members of Congress can deliver federal cash for pet projects back home with little or no public scrutiny. He's even gone so far as to publish "pork lists" detailing these financial favors. Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin.
Official: Palin's never issued an order to Alaska Guard 03 Sep 2008 When presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain introduced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate last Friday, the Arizona senator emphasized her role as the commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. Later, when questions were raised about Palin's lack of experience in national and international affairs, the McCain campaign pointed again to her military command experience as governor... "Can you tell me one decision that she made as commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard?" CNN journalist Campbell Brown asked Monday while interviewing McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds. "Just one?" Bounds couldn't, because Palin has never personally ordered the state guard to do anything.
Palin switched colleges 6 times in 6 years 04 Sep 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to have switched colleges at least six times in six years, including two stints at the University of Idaho before graduating from there in 1987.
Affair Claim Is Just a Vicious Lie Says Palin 05 Sep 2008 American vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been accused of having an affair. Palin, 44, poured scorn on critics who have pounced on a series of controversies to emerge since her surprise choice as John McCain’s running mate. But US magazine the National Enquirer claimed on its front page yesterday that she once had an affair with one of her husband Todd’s business partners.
Palin denies affair rumours 04 Sep 2008 The McCain campaign has vigorously denied reports that Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin had a steamy extramarital affair with her husband's business partner. [Yup, this is the one Rove is going to use to get rid of Palin and get a more 'electable' Nazi as McCain's VP - the person he wanted from the outset. --LRP]
GOP Claims Palin's Teen Daughter's Pregnancy Is All Hillary's Fault Satire by R J Shulman 03 Sep 2008 Key leaders of the Republican Party are going on the offensive to head off criticism of their new Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin due to the disclosure that her 17-year old unmarried daughter Bristol is pregnant. "If it wasnt for Hillarys long time support of loose morals and whipping up women to think they can make decisions about their own bodies, none of this would have happened," said Grover Norquist, anti-tax activist and GOP leader.
Noonan, Murphy trash Palin on hot mike: 'It's over' By Ben Smith 03 Sep 2008 After a segment with NBC's Chuck Todd ended today, Republican consultant Mike Murphy and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan were caught on a live mike ridiculing the choice of Sarah Palin. "It's over," said Noonan, who then responded to a question of whether Palin is the most qualified Republican woman McCain could have chosen. "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this -- excuse me -- political bullshit about narratives," she said. "Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it."
Daily Show 9-3-08 - Throwing Their Own Words Back --Video of Jon Stewart posted by TubeSteakMediumRare 04 Sep 2008 (A must view!)
Giuliani launches all-out attack on Obama --Ex-McCain rival says Democrat has no executive experience -- 'nada' 04 Sep 2008 Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani castigated Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois as a flipflopping lightweight in his keynote address Wednesday night, launching the heaviest sustained attack so far on the Democratic ticket at the Republican National Convention.
Westmoreland calls Obama 'uppity' 04 Sep 2008 Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday. Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama. "Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they're uppity," Westmoreland said. Asked to clarify that he used the word "uppity," Westmoreland said, "Uppity, yeah."
Lobbyist Abramoff Sentenced to Four Years in Prison 04 Sep 2008 Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to four years in prison for fraud and trying to corrupt public officials in a Washington scandal that also sent a Republican congressman to jail.
U.S. Must Buy Assets to Prevent 'Tsunami,' Gross Says 04 Sep 2008 The U.S. government needs to start using more of its money to support markets to stem a burgeoning "financial tsunami," according to Bill Gross, manager of the world's biggest bond fund. Banks, securities firms and hedge funds are dumping assets, driving down prices of bonds, real estate, stocks and commodities, Gross, co-chief investment officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., said in commentary posted on the firm's Web site today.
4,500-year-old ice shelf breaks away 03 Sep 2008 A chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada's northern Arctic, another dramatic indication of how warmer temperatures are changing the polar frontier, scientists said Wednesday. Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario, told The Associated Press that the 4,500-year-old Markham Ice Shelf separated in early August and the 19-square-mile shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean.
Bad new for polar bears 03 Sep 2008 Artic sea ice melts to second-lowest level in recorded history Scientists studying global warming in the Artic revealed some dreary news last week about melting sea ice. Already hit hard by the melt is the Chukchi Sea, near Alaska, home to Alaskan polar bears. During a recent survey in the area, several bears were spotted up to 65 miles from shore. They likely were trying to reach polar ice some 400 miles away, though the longest recorded swim by a polar bear is 100 miles.
Hurricane Ike and Tropical Storm Hanna head for US east coast 04 Sep 2008 Hurricane Ike has strengthened rapidly into a fierce Category 4 hurricane as it moved across the Atlantic towards the east coast of America. While Ike's 145mph winds posed no immediate threat to land, Tropical Storm Hanna is much closer, sweeping across the Bahamas on Thursday as it headed towards the Carolinas.
Ike strengthens into major Category 4 hurricane 04 Sep 2008 Hurricane Ike strengthened rapidly into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm in the Atlantic Ocean with 135 mph (215 kph) winds late on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
'The knowledge left many Nato commanders wondering whether the lives of their men were being risked for the sake of little more than American political expediency.' Government issued notice to stop Afghanistan reports 03 Sep 2008 Speaking to The Times in Kabul in July, officials involved in planning the operation said that British commanders preferred instead to wait until next spring’s poppy harvest, a guaranteed point of low ebb in the Taleban’s activities, to launch the convoy. In spite of these misgivings, Nato came under pressure from Washington to secure visible progress in the Kajaki hydroelectric project to safeguard future funding lines before the US presidential elections. Since 2004 almost $28 million had been spent by the Louis Berger Group (LBG), the American company contracted by the US Government to fix and maintain the Kajaki plant’s two existing turbines and install a third... Questions were also raised about strategy. The overarching gambit behind the Kajaki project was to influence locals into supporting the Afghan Government with the enhanced electricity supply. However, insiders pointed out that much of the Kajaki Dam’s existing power output was already controlled and taxed by the Taleban as it travelled though districts held by the 'insurgents.' The installation of a third turbine was thus unlikely to undermine Taleban authority in the short term, and could actually boost it. When The Times tried to publish a story reporting these concerns among US and other Nato officials, the article was blocked by a Ministry of Defence D notice, on the ground that it would endanger forthcoming operations.
Iraq expects to gross $55 bln in China oil deal 03 Sep 2008 Iraq expects to gross $55 billion in a new 20-year oil deal it recently renegotiated with China, the government said on Wednesday. "Iraqi gross revenues obtained in the contract will be $55 billion, equal to 87 percent of total revenues of $63 billion," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.
Cheney Arrives In Georgia Region --The proposed aid, along with Mr. Cheney's high-profile visit to a region the Russians call "the near abroad," is sure to inflame tensions further. 04 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush proposed $1 billion in 'humanitarian' and economic assistance on Wednesday to help rebuild Georgia after its short, disastrous war with Russia last month, but he stopped short of committing the United States to reequipping the country's battered military. Mr. Bush announced the infusion of aid as Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney arrived in the region, in what the president described as a demonstration that the United States had "a deep and abiding [oil] interest" in keeping Georgia and other neighboring states free from a new era of Russian domination.
US Navy ship heads for Georgia --A third U.S. Navy ship carrying 'humanitarian' aid is crossing the Turkish Straits on its way to Georgia. 03 Sep 2008 The USS Mount Whitney steamed through the Dardanelles early Wednesday and was expected to pass through the Bosporus later in the day. The ship is the third U.S. Navy vessel the military said would take supplies to Georgia following its war with Russia over South Ossetia.
Putin vows 'an answer' to NATO ships near Georgia 02 Sep 2008 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will respond calmly to an increase in NATO ships in the Black Sea in the aftermath of the short war with Georgia, but promised that "there will be an answer." "We don't understand what American ships are doing on the Georgian shores, but this is a question of taste, it's a decision by our American colleagues," Putin reportedly said. "The second question is why the humanitarian aid is being delivered on naval vessels armed with the newest rocket systems."
NATO Accused of Civilian Deaths Inside Pakistan 03 Sep 2008 Two helicopters carrying American-led forces landed in a Pakistani village in South Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the soldiers opened fire on villagers, killing seven people, according to a spokesman for the Pakistani military. Local residents said most of the dead were women and children but this could not be immediately confirmed.
Nine elite troops ambushed in southern Afghanistan 04 Sep 2008 Australia has suffered one of its worst battlefield incidents since the Vietnam War, with one soldier left fighting for his life and eight others wounded in an ambush launched by Taliban forces in Afghanistan. The Australians, all elite special forces soldiers, were driving through rugged mountain country in southern Afghanistan on Monday evening when they were surprised by a barrage of rockets and machine-gun fire.
Europeans to join Israelis in anti-Islam summit 03 Sep 2008 A right-wing Israeli lawmaker announced on Wednesday that some 30 European parliamentarians have agreed to attend an upcoming conference at the Israeli Knesset dealing with the 'threat' posed by Islam's spread across Europe. National Union representative Aryeh Eldad said that the conference, entitled "Facing Jihad: A Lawmaker's Summit," is planned for December 14-15, and will also be a showcase of support for the Jewish state by his European guests.
Al-Arian released after 5 years to await 2nd trial 02 Sep 2008 A former Florida professor once accused of being a leading Palestinian terrorist was released from custody Tuesday for the first time in more than five years. Sami Al-Arian was being held by immigration officials as he awaited trial on charges of refusing to testify before a grand jury about a cluster of Muslim organizations in northern Virginia. A federal judge on several occasions has expressed skepticism about the government's contempt charges, and last week ordered immigration authorities to explain by Tuesday afternoon why they were continuing to hold Al-Arian. He was released hours before the judge's deadline.
Zoning OKs Blackwater range --Many of those who spoke on behalf of Blackwater were former or current police officers who now work with the company. 02 Sep 2008 (IL) When zoning laws were first instituted in Jo Daviess County, the land that Blackwater now leases was grandfathered in for special use in an agricultural zone... The board members did add a series of conditions to the motion to ensure that Blackwater will use the building as they say they will. The vote passed unanimously. The zoning board's recommendation is not final. The subject must go before the county board on Tuesday, Sept. 9.
Man charged with threatening to 'blow up' GOP convention --Michigan man faces 10 years in prison if found guilty of illegal possession of firearms 03 Sep 2008 A 23-year-old man is facing criminal charges after the FBI caught him discussing plans to "blow up" the Republican convention, according to a court complaint unsealed today. Matthew DePalma was charged last week with illegal use of the bombs known as Molotov cocktails. The FBI arrested him on Saturday in Minneapolis, near the site of the Republican party political meet, after tracking him for more than a month. [An MSNBC pundit noted that the FBI was "embedded" in DePalma's group. "FBI Embed" is a euphemism for "agent provocateur" or "spy." --LRP]
Vetting of Palin Came Late --Palin not interviewed by chief of vetting process until day before she was tapped, aides say. 03 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was not subjected to a lengthy in-person background interview with the head of Sen. John McCain's vice presidential vetting team until last Wednesday in Arizona, the day before McCain asked her to be his running mate, and she did not disclose the fact that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant until that meeting, two knowledgeable McCain officials acknowledged Tuesday.
Palin Meets With AIPAC 02 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin today met with the board of directors of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, NBC/NJ has confirmed. The meeting took place inside Palin's hotel, sources said. A campaign official would not say who asked for the meeting, but said it was geared towards putting the American Jewish community at ease over her understanding of US-Middle East relations.
Anti-Jewish Terror is "God's Judgment" By Andrew Sullivan 02 Sep 2008 Yes, Sarah Palin sat in a church where this message was given. Two weeks ago. The karma in all this is just amazing: Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. "Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it." Palin was in church that day, Kroon said, though he cautioned against attributing Brickner’s views to her. How does Hannity deal with this? After what he said about Jeremiah Wright?
Sarah Palin's Shameful Record on Wolves --Sarah Palin Supports Shooting Wolves and Bears From Airplanes (Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund) 03 Sep 2008 Alaska Governor and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a strong promoter of the aerial hunting of wolves and bears, a practice that has been condemned by conservationists, scientists and many hunters alike. It involves shooting wolves and bears from the air or chasing them to exhaustion and then landing and shooting them point blank. The animals, shot with a shotgun, usually die a painful death. The hunters involved in the program keep and sell the animals' pelts. "Sarah Palin's anti-conservation position is so extreme that she condones shooting wolves and bears from airplanes or using airplanes to chase them to exhaustion and then shoot them point blank. Most Americans find this practice barbaric, but it's routine in Alaska under Palin's leadership," said Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund president Rodger Schlickeisen. [Why can't the wolves and the bears learn how to return fire?]
Palin questions global warming science 02 Sep 2008 Senator John McCain's choice of a running mate, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, has questioned the science behind predictions of sea ice loss linked to global warming. She also favours drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Palin has also opposed a state initiative that would have banned metal mines from discharging pollution into salmon streams... Last month, the state of Alaska under Palin's guidance sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne in an attempt to reverse his decision to list polar bears as a threatened species.
Another Controversy for Sarah Palin --Former Police Chief Says He Was Fired for Challenging Palin's Campaign Contributors 03 Sep 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin is already facing ethical questions over her firing of the Alaska public safety commissioner, and now she faces questions over the firing of a longtime local police chief. After taking over as Mayor of the small town of Wasilla, Palin fired the longtime local police chief. The former police chief, Irl Stambaugh says he was fired because he stepped on the toes of Palin's campaign contributors, including bar owners and the National Rifle Association.
Bush and Lieberman Praise McCain 03 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush proclaimed Senator John McCain "ready to lead this nation" in a farewell speech to the Republican convention here on Tuesday night. But far from being the kind of unifying send-off and baton pass engineered for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, the evening only highlighted Mr. McCain’s eagerness to get the president off the stage.
Bush praises McCain via satellite 02 Sep 2008 President [sic] Bush became the first president since Lyndon Johnson to skip his party's national convention Tuesday -- a 'weather-related' absence that best served the interests of Bush and the man who wants his job. The president delivered his speech a day late and 1,100 miles short of the Xcel Energy Center here. He appeared by satellite hookup from the White House, rather than in person.
of Bush and Cheney cheers Republican delegates 01 Sep 2008 Although
they were reluctant to say it out loud, many Republicans were relieved
Monday that President [sic] Bush didn't attend the Republican National
Convention. They didn't like to talk about it on the record, in part
because they didn't want to admit an
McCain Strategist Blasts Media --Top Aide Says News Organizations Are on a 'Mission to Destroy' Palin 03 Sep 2008 Sen. John McCain's top campaign strategist accused the news media Tuesday of being "on a mission to destroy" Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by displaying "a level of viciousness and scurrilousness" in pursuing questions about her personal life. [Oh. But when Rove, McCain and all the other GOPerverts attacked twelve-year-old Chelsea Clinton, all well and good, right? Polar bear killing terrorist Palin is one (feeble) heartbeat away from the presidency, should the GOP steal a third 'election.' Just because McCain didn't vet Palin doesn't mean we will not. --LRP]
Biden Rips Bush Administration 03 Sep 2008 ABC News: Barack Obama's running mate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., sharply criticized the Bush administration Tuesday while delineating the changes Democrats would demand if they rise to power. "In an Obama-Biden administration, we will not have an attorney general who blatantly breaks the law," Biden said at a town-hall meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, his voice at times drowned out by applause. "We will not have a president who doesn't understand the Constitution. And I will not be a vice-president who thinks he's not part of any of the three branches of government."
Obama to Appear on Fox on Thursday Night 02 Sep 2008 Before Senator John McCain delivers his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Senator Barack Obama will make a marquee appearance of his own. Call it counter-intuitive. He will appear on "The O’Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel. For Mr. Obama, it will be the first time in his presidential candidacy that he’s on Bill O’Reilly’s prime-time program.
Obama Gains Among White Males, Palin Hasn't Helped McCain on Women 03 Sep 2008 Although John McCain still has a double-digit lead among white male voters, Barack Obama has closed the gap by 8 points and among whites who are independents, he has narrowed the deficit to 5 points, according to Gallup's analysis of August's tracking poll data and a comparison of it to polling done Aug. 30-Sept. 1 after the Democratic convention... Sarah Palin so far does not appear to have helped McCain much among white women.
Obama Hits 50% for First Time 02 Sep 2008 Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, finds Barack Obama leading the race for president with his highest share of support to date. Fully half of national registered voters now favor Obama for president, while 42% back John McCain.
Bristol Officials Looking Into Decline In Drug Arrests 03 Sep 2008 (CT) A sharp drop in the number of drug arrests this summer has prompted two members of the city's police commission to ask commanders for an explanation. [!] The commission members want to know why police made just one arrest for drug dealing during June and July, and why they seized less than $1,000 worth of narcotics in that time.
New city police cruisers to include video cameras 03 Sep 2008 Video cameras will be mounted in at least 27 new police cruisers expected to roam the streets in upcoming weeks, a technological first for Pittsburgh police.
Is there *any* species safe from the sociopath occupying the White House? Bush Administration Seeks Whale-Protection Cuts --NOAA Scales Back Proposed 30-Mile Speed Limit Zones 26 Aug 2008 The Bush regime yesterday proposed scaling back protected zones for endangered whales in the Atlantic Ocean, yielding to cargo companies' concerns about new speed limits for ships in these areas. About 300 of the North Atlantic right whales remain, and researchers say their tiny population has been reduced further by fatal collisions with large ships.
Whatever Slows Your Boat --Bush admin proposes scaling back speed-limit zone meant to protect right whales 26 Aug 2008 On the same day that President [sic] Bush moved toward creation of marine sanctuaries in the Pacific, his administration proposed cutting by 10 nautical miles a speed-limit zone in the Atlantic meant to protect critically endangered right whales... The shipping industry has strongly opposed speed zones of any size, arguing that time is money in the shipping industry.
barf alert! Clones'
offspring may be in food supply: FDA --While the FDA evaluated
the safety of food from clones and their offspring, the U.S. Agriculture
Department was in charge of managing the transition of these animals
into the food supply. 02 Sep 2008 Food and milk from the offspring
of cloned animals may have entered the U.S. food supply, the U.S. government
said on Tuesday, but it would be impossible to know because
Massive Arctic ice shelf breaks away 03 Sep 2008 A huge 19 square mile (55 square km) ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate, the latest sign of accelerating climate change in the remote region, scientists said on Tuesday. They said the Markham Ice Shelf, one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. They also said two large chunks totaling 47 square miles had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60 percent.
Prediction Market Starts Betting On Chance That Palin Will Withdraw From Ticket By Katharine Zaleski 02 Sep 2008 As of 5:29 pm Tuesday, traders on the Intrade prediction market are selling the chance that Palin will drop off John McCain's ticket at 11.6. The Intrade prediction market has opened trading on whether "Sarah Palin [is] to be withdrawn as Republican VP nominee before 2008 presidential election." At 8:55 am, Tuesday morning, the market is selling the prediction at 18 a share and rising. That means 18 percent of traders think there is a chance that Palin will be removed from the ticket.
'Sarah Palin is a Christian, and Christians support Israel' 02 Sep 2008 An online video interview with Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin that is currently making the rounds appears to put to rest liberal rumors that she is no friend of Israel. In the interview with Alaska HDTV, an Israeli flag is clearly seen hanging near the window of Palin's office, and the governor even appears to be wearing an Israeli flag lapel pin. Israel National News blogger Tamar Yonah points out that these appearances by the Israeli flag are made more significant by the fact that the video "was not made by a Jewish organization, nor is [Palin] speaking before a Jewish audience or catering to any Jewish vote."
Palin was member of party calling for vote on Alaskan secession from US --Revelations about McCain's running mate for vice-president raise questions about his selection 02 Sep 2008 New revelations about the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin -- including her membership of a party that wants Alaskans to vote on becoming a separate country -- are raising questions about how thoroughly John McCain's campaign vetted her background before adding her to the ticket. Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence party (AIP) before becoming an elected Republican official, according to party members, and recorded a video message for the AIP convention this year.
John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin was in Alaskan independence party 02 Sep 2008 Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, was once a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, its officials have said. News of Mrs Palin's former membership comes as the latest in a string of potentially embarrassing disclosures about her past. The party has lobbied since the 1970s for the right to hold a referendum on whether Alaska should secede from the United States. Its motto, "Alaska First", contrasts sharply with the John McCain campaign slogan: "Country First."
Palin's Small Alaska Town Secured Big Federal Funds --As Wasilla mayor, VP pick obtained millions in federal funds, a tactic McCain has railed against. 02 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group.
Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms 02 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live. After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million.
Sarah Palin's daughter's 'redneck' boyfriend adds to McCain campaign woes 02 Sep 2008 Levi Johnston, a self-described "------' redneck" who does not "want kids", is set to join Sarah Palin's family at Republican convention. The bad-boy image of Levi Johnston, 18, the boyfriend of Bristol Palin, 17, added to the pressure surrounding Senator John McCain after his decision to choose Mrs Palin as a running mate in the Republican bid for the White House... On his MySpace page, Mr Johnston, an avid ice hockey player, proudly declares: "I'm a ------' redneck" who would kick ass if anyone gave him trouble. Poignantly, in the one part of the site where it asks about children, he wrote, "I don't want kids." The web page was removed yesterday and appeared not to have been accessed for a year.
Abstinence-only educators By Thomas Schaller 01 Sep 2008 Both Sarah Palin and John McCain back abstinence-only education... What's galling is this: When the subject is a pregnancy to an unwed, minority teenage mother growing up in some (presumably Democratic) urban area, that pregnancy becomes fodder for lectures from conservatives about bad parenting, the perils of welfare spending and so on. But when the subject is a pregnancy to an unwed, white teenager from some small town in a Republican state, that pregnancy is...a celebration of the wonders of God's magnificence--and choosing life!
Palin's husband has old DUI charge 02 Sep 2008 On Monday morning, Ms. Palin and her husband, Todd, issued a statement saying that their 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, was five months pregnant. Among other less attention-grabbing news of the day, it was learned that Ms. Palin now has a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state's public safety commissioner and that Todd Palin was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken-driving charge.
Disclosures on Palin Raise Questions on Vetting Process 02 Sep 2008 A series of disclosures about Gov. Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain’s choice as running mate, called into question on Monday how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background before putting her on the Republican presidential ticket.
Bristol Palin's pregnancy raises issues of privacy, judgment 01 Sep 2008 Delegates to the Republican National Convention, as well as Democrat Barack Obama, reacted sympathetically Monday to the disclosure that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's unmarried teenaged daughter is pregnant. But others said the revelation raised questions about John McCain's judgment.
Does McCain Have a Conflict of Interest? 02 Sep 2008 Dear Stumped: How will McCain handle the obvious conflict of interest of a presidency presiding over alcohol regulations and policy when his wife owns a $300 million beer distributorship? Melissa Salvi. Dear Melissa: Overall, beer doesn't strike me as an especially problematic business interest for a presidential candidate... That said, any business is, of course, affected by government policies and regulations. Is it a conflict of interest for McCain to push for lower corporate taxes that could benefit his wife's company?
Dutch intel: US to strike Iran in coming weeks 01 Sep 2008 The Dutch intelligence service, the AIVD, has called off an operation aimed at infiltrating and sabotaging Iran's weapons industry due to an assessment that a US attack on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is imminent, according to a report in the country's De Telegraaf newspaper on Friday. The report claimed that the Dutch operation had been "extremely successful," and had been stopped because the US military was planning to hit targets that were "connected with the Dutch espionage action."
Iraq militants plotted bomb attack using tunnel-U.S. 02 Sep 2008 U.S. forces said they foiled a plan by Iraqi militants to bomb a government building using a subterranean tunnel, the U.S. military said on Tuesday... They also discovered a tunnel they said was part of a plan by Sunni Islamist al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] to bomb the provincial government headquarters in Nineveh province, where Mosul is located, the statement said.
Iraqi cabinet approves $3 bln oil deal with China 02 Sep 2008 Iraq's cabinet has approved a $3 billion oil service contract with China, the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Tuesday, in a move that could signal the shape of anticipated future oil deals.
Israeli Mossad let Nazi Mengele get away [Yeah, the same agency will likely free Bush and Cheney, too, someday. --LRP] 02 Sep 2008 Israeli agents who kidnapped Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann from Argentina in 1960 found the notorious death camp doctor Josef Mengele but let him get away, one of the operatives said Tuesday. Mengele was one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals. Rafi Eitan, now an 81-year-old Israeli Cabinet minister, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he and other Mossad agents located Mengele living in a Buenos Aires apartment with his wife at the time of Eichmann's capture in 1960. But they decided that trying to nab him would risk sabotaging the capture of Eichmann, was deemed a more important target.
Dog pen prisons 'safe and secure': Defence Dept 02 Sep 2008 The Defence Department has released further details of the dog pens Australian soldiers in Afghanistan used to temporarily detain a group of suspected Taliban fighters. The four men were detained in April this year for 24 hours in welded mesh cages measuring 1.4 metres high, 1.2 metres wide and one metre deep.
Information on use of Shannon for 'rendition' sought 02 Sep 2008 The government has been asked for information relating to the use of Shannon in the "extraordinary rendition" of a Guantánamo Bay detainee who could face the death penalty. The request was sent to the Taoiseach on Friday last by lawyers representing Binyam Mohamed, a UK resident arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and held in Guantánamo Bay.
UK downturn could help fuel terrorism: memo 01 Sep 2008 A economic downturn in Britain could aggravate racial tensions and grievances that help to feed terrorist recruitment, according to a leaked government document [entitled "Responding to Economic Challenges"]. The draft letter from the Home Office warned that a recession could create conditions likely to increase support for radical Islamist groups.
Gonzales won't face charges for [illegally] mishandling info 02 Sep 2008 The Justice Department refused to prosecute former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for improperly -- and possibly illegally -- storing in his office and home classified information about two of the Bush regime's most sensitive counterterrorism efforts. Mishandling classified materials violates Justice Department regulations, and removing them from special secure facilities without proper authorization is a misdemeanor crime. A report issued Tuesday by the Justice Department's inspector general says the agency decided not to press charges against Gonzales, who resigned under fire last year.
Deep in Justice Report, Evidence of Gonzales Perjury By Jeff Stein 02 Sep 2008 If lying to FBI agents was enough to send Scooter Libby to jail, why isn't it enough to prosecute Alberto Gonzales? Despite strong evidence in a today's Justice Department report that the former attorney general lied to federal investigators probing his careless handling of highly classified documents, the department declined to prosecute. Indeed, initial news reports on the Inspector General's findings didn't even mention the evidence of perjury, focusing instead on Gonzales's "mishandling" of notes and more-than-Top Secret documents relating to the administration's secret wiretapping and terrorist detention programs.
Holy hypocrisy, Batman! Notice, for the Repugnant Nazi Convention, MSNBC's Chris Matthews has no rowdy protesters behind his 'Hardball' set to distract from the GOPerverts' message, and his sycophantic pundits (particularly NewsWEAK's Howard Fineman) can sit and praise Palin and McCain from now until the cows come home. [See: MSRNC Pushing PUMAs to Help the GOP By Lori Price 25 Aug 2008 In a mouth-draping irony, world's biggest Hillary Clinton hater and misogynist, Chris Matthews, has set his MSNBC political roundtable in the middle of the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) demonstration in Denver, so that the world would witness media-inflated strife during the Democrats' 'finest hour.']
Bush in low-key role at McCain convention 02 Sep 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush tried on Tuesday to rally support for John McCain as the Republican presidential nominee, even as their party's convention relegated the unpopular Bush to an eight-minute satellite message. "He is ready to lead this nation," Bush said in excerpts of a speech to be broadcast from the White House to Republican delegates in St. Paul, Minnesota.
AP photographer, independent journalist among arrestees 01 Sep 2008 Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke and Democracy Now! TV and radio show host Amy Goodman were among those arrested Monday at an anti-war march coinciding with the first day of the Republican National Convention. Rourke was swept up as police moved in on a group of protesters in downtown St. Paul.
Police fire tear gas into protest group 01 Sep 2008 Local police are using a combination of pepper spray, concussion grenades and tear gas on a group of breakaway protesters gathered on Kellogg Boulevard in downtown St. Paul. The group of about 150 protesters, many thought to be with the group "Funk the War," had been blocking traffic for much of the afternoon. At least one person was taken into custody.
U.K. to consider alternatives to bearskin hats --Army is looking into synthetics after meeting with animal rights activists 02 Sep 2008 After meeting with animal rights activists [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals], the British military said Tuesday that it will study alternative materials to replace the bearskin hats worn by the soldiers who guard Buckingham Palace.
Melting Arctic Ice Imperils Polar Bears 29 Aug 2008 (All Things Considered) The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that sea ice could reach all-time record lows in these last few weeks of the Arctic summer. Margaret Williams, who directs the World Wildlife Fund's Alaska office, says that during a helicopter flight Thursday she saw five polar bears, including a cub, in open waters.
CIA memos reveal doubts over 'key' Lockerbie witness --A Walter Mitty type convinced the Americans he was a Libyan intelligence agent when he worked in the agency's garage 31 Aug 2008 A Libyan "double agent" who was central to the CIA's investigation into the Lockerbie bombing exaggerated his importance in Tripoli's intelligence apparatus and gave little information of value, yet is still living at the US taxpayers' expense in a witness protection programme, according to previously unseen CIA cables.
Iran denies buying Russian missiles 01 Sep 2008 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said on Monday that Iran's technical and missile potential is fully based on scientific capabilities of its scientists. Talking to reporters during his weekly press briefing, he made the remarks in response to a question on whether Iran has recently bought any missiles from Russia.
Judges attack Home Secretary over Briton's claim of U.S. torture 31 Aug 2008 Judges yesterday criticised David Miliband for not treating seriously enough claims that a Briton was tortured in Guantanamo Bay. The comments come after a legal wrangle over whether the Government will hand over secret documents relating to Binyam Mohamed, who is facing a U.S. military trial for terrorism. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
British Gitmo detainee wins documents 30 Aug 2008 British judges say Guantanamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed will receive U.S. documents that may support his claim he was tortured into a false confession. Mohamed is to be tried by a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
'500 civilians killed, injured in Afghanistan' 01 Sep 2008 At least 500 civilians were killed or wounded during the five-day US-led troops' ground and air operation in the Sangin district of Helmand province, a member of Afghanistan's parliament said on Sunday.
70 civilians killed in Afghanistan 01 Sep 2008 It is claimed that international forces have killed 70 civilians in southern Afghanistan. The claim was made after soldiers helped a number of injured civilians who approached forces in Helmand province today.
Afghan children killed by Nato fire 01 Sep 2008 Nato-led troops have killed three Afghan children and injured seven during artillery fire in Afghanistan's eastern province of Paktika. The Afghan government has said that more than 500 civilians have been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces this year.
White House strategy is to help McCain win in November By Patrick Cockburn 02 Sep 2008 The hand- over by the US military of control of Anbar province, once the heartland of the Sunni rebellion, to Iraqi forces is a case in point. The US will keep 25,000 American soldiers in Anbar, so the extent to which the Iraqi government will really take over is debatable... Much of what the White House is now doing is done to help the Republicans in the presidential election. The aim is to give the impression that Iraq has finally come right for the US and victory is finally in its grasp.
Fort Hood soldier killed in Iraq 01 Sep 2008 The Army says a 25-year-old Fort Hood soldier has died of wounds suffered from small arms fire in Qadasiyah, Iraq.
Families sue 'negligent' MoD for Nimrod explosion deaths in Afghanistan 01 Sep 2008 Two of the families who lost sons in the RAF Nimrod that burst into flames over Afghanistan two years ago, killing all 14 people on board, will begin a landmark damages suit against the Ministry of Defence in the High Court today.
Evidence of Extremist Infiltration of Military Grows By David Holthouse 27 2008 The racist skinhead logged on with exciting news: He’d just enlisted in the United States Army. "Sieg Heil, I will do us proud," he wrote. It was a June 3 post to AryanWear Forum 14, a neo-Nazi online forum to which "Sobibor’s SS," who identified himself as a skinhead living in Plantersville, Ala., had belonged since early 2004... Two years ago, the Intelligence Report revealed that alarming numbers of neo-Nazi skinheads and other white supremacist extremists were taking advantage of lowered armed services recruiting standards and lax enforcement of anti-extremist military regulations by infiltrating the U.S. armed forces in order to receive combat training and gain access to weapons and explosives.
Protesters march at GOP convention to denounce Iraq war --Groups walked mile-and-a-half rout in protest 01 Sep 2008 Thousands of anti-war protesters marched on the site of the Republican convention in St Paul today, in an effort to force John McCain and the Republican party to confront lingering popular opposition to the US engagement in Iraq. March leaders had obtained a permit for 50,000 protesters. Police estimated the crowd at between 8,000 and 10,000.
RNC Eve: Police Seize Sustainable Living Bus --Video posted by Veracifier 31 Aug 2008 Delyla Wilson tours the country with her family in the "PermiBus," a mobile permaculture demonstration. The group is in the Twin Cities to teach people about sustainable living practices. On the evening of Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008, the bus was pulled over in what police eventually described as a routine traffic stop. After detaining the bus occupants, the police decided the bus was a commercial vehicle and impounded it for inspection, leaving the family and their guests stranded and homeless.
Palin Was a Director of Embattled Sen. Stevens's 527 Group 01 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.
Palin hires attorney for Troopergate investigation 01 Sep 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate, has hired a private practice attorney to defend her in the investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner. The Legislature is investigating whether Palin fired public safety commissioner Walt Monegan after he refused to fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin's sister.
McCain VP pick accused of lying 01 Sep 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been accused of misleading party supporters over a controversial bridge project in her home state. When Congressional funding [the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere"] was withdrawn because of an uproar in Washington about the expense of the project, she cancelled it, but in a regretful tone.
Palin Fought Polar Bear Protections --Governor Discounted the Findings of Nine Recent USGS Studies 31 Aug 2008 McCain's vice-presidential pick, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, sued the Bush Administration in federal court recently, charging it was too accepting of climate change studies which overstated the phenomenon's impact on polar bears. Even as the White House has finessed its position on polar bears in the face of legal challenges and public pressure, Palin has led her state's efforts to block protections for the world's estimated 25,000 polar bears, of which roughly a fifth are believed to reside in Alaska.
Palin Laughs As Opponent Is Called "Bitch," "Cancer," Mocked For Her Weight By Nico Pitney 31 Aug 2008 [Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin has repeatedly feuded with the state's Senate president, Lyda Green, over a wide range of legislation. Last January, Palin appeared on "The Bob and Mark Show," whose host Bob Lester despises Green. Early on in the conversation before Palin started to crack up, Lester referred to Sen. Green as a jealous woman and a cancer... Lester says, "Governor you can't say this but I will, Lyda Green is a cancer and a b----." Palin laughs for the second time. Lester then describes Green's chair as big and cushy. A clear reference to the senator's weight. Palin laughs a third time.
Seventeen, pregnant and unmarried: Palin's girl becomes an election issue 02 Sep 2008 The sudden intrusion of adolescent bedroom drama into the US presidential race threatens to rock, if not quite capsize, the nascent McCain-Palin ticket. Sarah Palin, the vice-presidential nominee, astonished Republican delegates assembled in St Paul for their truncated convention yesterday by announcing that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. The revelation was an effort to extinguish tawdry internet rumours about who is the real mother of the Alaska Governor's fifth child born in April this year.
Palin hit by internet rumours over fifth child 01 Sep 2008 After
the stunning announcement by Mr McCain on Friday that he had chosen
the Alaskan Governor as his running-mate, new information emerged over
allegations that she tried to use her gubernatorial office to take revenge
on her former brother-in-law, part of an ethics investigation that will
be released on October 31 -- five days before the general election.
Mrs Palin also awoke yesterday to
Israeli chemical company could reap profits from Hurricane Gustav 02 Sep 2008 Hurricane Gustav hit land on Monday night, punishing the Louisiana coastline southwest of New Orleans and slamming into heavy industry and potash production sites, which is where the local angle for Israel comes in. Israel Chemicals, a maker of fertilizers and specialty chemicals, has benefited financially from the economic ramifications of the powerful storm.
"The whole length of the wall was stuffed with newspaper." U.S. Contractor Stuffed New Orleans Floodwall With Newspaper 24 Apr 2008 "It blows my mind." Those are the words St. Bernard parish president Craig Taffaro used to watch videotape Eyewitness News showed him, of floodwalls built to protect his parish. "That should be criminal," Taffaro continues. What he's talking about was witnessed by a St. Bernard Parish resident, who had sharp criticism of the work done by a contractor hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers... The contract calls for Ercon Corporation, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, to do the almost $2 million of work to raise and repair the floodwall under the Paris Road bridge. Our investigation revealed Ercon Corporation is not even licensed by the state's board for contractors. The Corps of Engineers says as long as the federal government pays for the work, it does not prevent them from hiring an unlicensed Louisiana company.
Storm Strikes Land West of New Orleans 01 Sep 2008 Hurricane Gustav made landfall on the Louisiana coast on Monday, while it appeared that the brunt of the storm was passing to the west of New Orleans, making officials optimistic that the city would be spared destruction on the scale of Hurricane Katrina three years ago. Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers said that they did not believe that the hurricane was likely to cause water to flow over New Orleans’ levee system, though they said that the levee walls were being severely tested by the storm.
Tropical Storm Hanna now a hurricane 01 Sep 2008 Hanna has beefed up into a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday. Federal response officials, during a briefing on the status of Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans, said they were preparing to respond to Hurricane Hanna in Florida, and North and South Carolina.
Storm Ike forms, seen growing into hurricane 01 Sep 2008 Tropical Storm Ike, the ninth of a busy Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Monday midway between Africa and the Caribbean and was expected to grow rapidly into a hurricane that could threaten the United States or the Caribbean.
Global warming: Sea level rises may accelerate due to melting ice sheet 01 Sep 2008 The vast Greenland ice sheet could begin to melt more rapidly than expected towards the end of the century, accelerating the rise in sea levels as a result of global warming, scientists warned yesterday. Water running off the ice sheet could triple the current rate of sea level rise to around 9mm a year, leading to a global rise of almost 1 metre per century, the researchers found.
GOP Makes Major Changes to Convention Activities --Shift Reflects Effort by Republicans to Distance Themselves from Katrina Debacle 31 Aug 2008 The Republican Party rewrote its convention script Sunday, canceling appearances by President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Cheney and jettisoning most of the rest of its Monday night program, as presumptive nominee John McCain called on his party to halt partisan activities as Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast. [Bush didn't give a damn about the people he killed (negligent homicide) during Hurricane Katrina -- why the sudden concern for all the 'people of the Gulf?' Because now Bush can showcase GOP goose-stepping Gulf governors who are *dying* to unleash Blackwater's thugs and implement martial law. --LRP]
Bush and Cheney Won't Attend Republican Convention 31 Aug 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney canceled plans to attend the Republican National Convention in Minnesota because of Hurricane Gustav, as the president urged people in the storm's path to follow local officials' orders to' avoid danger.'
Bush, Cheney Devastated They Will Have to Miss Republican Convention Due to Hurricane Gustav By R J Shulman 01 Sep 2008 "I am blown away by the great loss of me not being able to speechicate at the Convention in the twin cities of Wisconsin," the President said, "but now that Hurricane Katrina has come back, I need to be there for the people of the Croissant City that I love so much." The President will spend Monday keeping an eye on the storm from his ranch in Crawford as he entertains a couple of yet unnamed Country and Western singers. (Satire)
Blackwater Issues Mercenary Call For Hurricane Gustav --Blackwater Worldwide: Security for Hurricane Gustav 29 Aug 2008 Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav. Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD. [Email from Blackwater Worldwide disseminated 29 Aug 2008]
Jindal: All 64 Parishes Under State of Emergency --Officials: Gustav Twice As Large As Katrina 31 Aug 2008 Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-Martial Order) addressed the media Sunday afternoon not only with the latest details about evacuation efforts but also with a warning for residents in the central part of the state.
National Guardsmen patrol Bourbon Street --City to impose "dusk-to-dawn" curfew 31 Aug 2008 As of 5 p.m. ET, the eye of the Category 3 storm [Gustav] was about 215 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, said. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who demanded city residents evacuate, said the city will impose a "dusk-to-dawn" curfew and will cease efforts to help people leave the city Sunday afternoon. The city-wide curfew will continue until the threat of the storm passes, Nagin said, warning looters would be dealt with harshly. "Anybody who's caught looting in the city of New Orleans will go directly to Angola [Louisiana State Penitentiary]. You will not have a temporary stay in the city. You go directly to the big house, in general population," he said.
'They already have a bracelet with a barcode.' --Evacuees wore special identification armbands, which were scanned and collected into a database to help keep track of their destination. 30 Aug 2008 (TX) Tyler will be a hub for several thousand Hurricane Gustav evacuees as city officials enact its emergency response plan, and so far, it seems as though early relief efforts have been fluid. Mayor Barbara Bass Saturday signed an official declaration of disaster/emergency condition during the second of two press conferences. Bass said preparations are specifically geared towards the evacuations of special needs evacuees from Beaumont. "They already have a bracelet with a barcode," Tyler Fire Department Captain Jeff Akin said. "They will walk through the scanner and it automatically loads into the computers. We have a list of where they need to go." [Um, the last time a Bush-style regime tried this, people ended up . . . not so good. And so, when Bush or Blackwater henchmen instruct you to wear a 'special identification armband' so that a computer can 'tell you where to go' . . . tell (or show) them where to go. --LRP]
Louisiana Governor Warns Levees May Be Overtopped 31 Aug 2008 Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal warned state residents that coastal Louisiana, including low-lying New Orleans, could be under as much as 12 feet of water when Hurricane Gustav rumbles ashore on Monday, thanks in part to still inadequate [Bush crony-built] levee systems.
Oil, Gas, Gasoline Rise in Special Nymex Session Before Gustav 31 Aug 2008 Crude oil, natural gas and gasoline rose in a special trading session today as Hurricane Gustav approached the Gulf of Mexico, halting most oil and gas output and shutting local refineries. Gustav will make landfall along the Gulf Coast sometime tomorrow as a "major" hurricane, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It forced the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans and shut refineries operated by Valero Energy Corp., ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.
UK 'secret war,' 3,500 'taken off the streets of Baghdad' --Senior
sources denied that the SAS was taking part in "extra-judicial
killings." 31 Aug 2008 Hundreds of
Report: Israel won't allow a nuclear Iran 29 Aug 2008 Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear capability and if time begins to run out, Jerusalem will not hesitate to take whatever means necessary to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals, the government has recently decided in a special discussion.
Russia will not hold us to ransom - Brown --PM lashes out at energy 'stranglehold' 31 Aug 2008 Gordon Brown warns today that the West will not be held to ransom by Russia, threatening a 'root and branch' review of relations with the Kremlin and urgently moving to stop Britain's reliance on Russian oil and gas. His defiant words in an article in today's Observer, following a 'frank' conversation with the Russian president yesterday, will heighten tensions ahead of tomorrow's meeting of European heads of state called to discuss the crisis in Georgia.
Two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 28 Aug 2008 Two U.S. soldiers were killed in two separate attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Thursday.
Nato soldier killed in Afghanistan 31 Aug 2008 Nato said a roadside blast in southern Afghanistan has killed one of its soldiers. A statement by the military alliance says the soldier died of wounds sustained in the roadside bombing.
Combat stress blamed for veterans in prison admissions 31 Aug 2008 Ex-soldiers now form the largest occupational group in Britain's penal system. Post-traumatic stress caused by military operations in recent years is said to be the main reason for around 8,500 ex-soldiers finding themselves behind bars for violent offences.
The heartbreaking picture of the polar bears with 400 miles to swim to the nearest ice 31 Aug 2008 Struggling against the waves, this polar bear faces almost certain death after becoming lost at sea in the Arctic. It is one of a group of nine to have plunged into the ocean after the ice float they lived on melted. The bears were spotted miles from their normal hunting ground by U.S. government oil survey scientists flying over Alaska's Chukchi Sea.
Oil Group Joins Alaska in Suing to Overturn Polar Bear Protection 31 Aug 2008 The American Petroleum Institute and four other business groups filed suit Thursday against Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall, joining Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's administration in trying to reverse the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. On Aug. 4, the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit opposing the polar bear's listing, arguing that populations as a whole are stable and that melting sea ice does not pose an imminent threat to their survival. [Click here for picture of Puke Palin sitting on dead grizzly bear in her Anchorage office. ('Do unto others,' Sarah, remember? The Golden Rule applies to bears, too.)]
Grizzly Bears Need Your Help --Governor Sarah Palin Wants Grizzly Bears Dead (GrizzlyBay.org) 31 Aug 2008 I think its obvious from this picture how Alaska Governor Sarah Palin feels about grizzly bear conservation. Sarah Palin believes that grizzly bears – and all wildlife, exist for the sole purpose of human consumption... Palin even spent $400,000 of state money to fund a media campaign to convince Alaskans to support aerial shooting of wolves and bears, even though Alaskans have voted against it- twice! Please help grizzly bears by contacting Sarah Palin and letting her know that you do not support her wildlife policies.
McCain calls Palin a 'soulmate' 31 Aug 2008 John McCain, in his first television interview since his shocking vice presidential pick, said that he saw in Sarah Palin "a partner and a soul mate." McCain was pressed by Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" as to whether Palin, a 44-year-old governor who has yet to finish her second year in office, was the most qualified choice he could have made for his No. 2.
McCain Running Mate Palin Supported 'Nazi Sympathizer' 31 Aug 2008 Jewish US Congressman Robert Wexler criticized [ultra-right] John McCain’s Friday announcement of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, saying that it is an insult to Jews. Wexler, an ultra-left representative from Florida, cited Palin's endorsement of Pat Buchanan - whom Wexler called a Nazi sympathizer - in the 2000 presidential race.
Obama hits Palin on Equal Pay for Equal Work 31 Aug 2008 Senator Obama – for the first time – has brought up specific criticisms of Senator McCain’s new VP choice, Sarah Palin – accusing her of not supporting Equal Pay for Equal Work. "John McCain’s new VP nominee seems like a very engaging person, a nice person," Obama started to say during a town hall in Toledo, OH, "But I’ve got to say, she’s opposed like John McCain is to equal pay for equal work. That doesn’t make much sense to me."
Scholars question Palin credentials 30 Aug 2008 John McCain was aiming to make history with his pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and historians say he succeeded. Presidential scholars say she appears to be the least experienced, least credentialed person to join a major-party ticket in the modern era. So unconventional was McCain’s choice that it left students of the presidency literally "stunned," in the words of Joel Goldstein, a St. Louis University law professor and scholar of the vice presidency.
Karl Rove's Brilliant Analysis By Steve Benen 30 Aug 2008 Looking back at Karl Rove's campaign analysis from earlier this month, this might be the single funniest thing I've read in a long time. Republican strategist Karl Rove said on Face The Nation Sunday that he expects presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama to choose a running mate based on political calculations, not the person's readiness for the job... Rove singled out Virginia governor Tim Kaine, also a Face The Nation guest, as an example of such a pick. "With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he's been a governor for three years, he's been able but undistinguished," Rove said. "I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America." Rove continued: "So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, 'You know what? I'm really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States." Yes, the real problem with Tim Kaine is that he's only been governor of a large state for three years, and before that, he was only the mayor of a mid-size city. This, of course, made him "undistinguished," unprepared for national office, and the very idea of putting him on a national ticket was practically ridiculous.
Worst Pick Ever? By Del Ali 30 Aug 2008 ...[A]s Palin's cultural views become better known -- she oppose abortion in all cases and opposes the use of birth control pills and condoms even among married couples -- she will undoubtedly scare the hell out of the soccer moms and 98% of Hillary voters. In fact, many of these women may feel insulted by this choice in that McCain and the GOP think they are stupid and would bypass their own interest (reproductive and economic) to vote for the ticket due to gender and anger that Hillary was not the nominee. In my estimation as a pollster and analyst, while historic for the GOP in selecting their first woman on a national ticket, this choice may be the worst selection by a major party nominee for President in modern times.
Palin Could Be Deposed in Probe --Former State Official Claims He Was Pressured to Fire Gov.'s Former Brother-in-Law 29 Aug 2008 Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's surprise vice-presidential pick, is the subject of a legislative probe into claims that she abused her office by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper. Palin is likely to be deposed soon in the case, according to State Sen. Hollis French, who leads the state Senate's Legislative Counsel Committee.
Nine arrested in march on Xcel --About 500 activists led by Veterans for Peace marched from a rally at the State Capitol into downtown behind a flag-draped coffin. 31 Aug 2008 Nine protesters were arrested in an act of civil disobedience this afternoon during an antiwar march to the Xcel Energy Center where the Republican National Convention was gearing up. About 500 activists led by Veterans for Peace marched from a rally at the State Capitol into downtown, walking behind a flag-draped coffin.
Massive police raids on suspected protesters in Minneapolis By Glenn Greenwald 30 Aug 2008 Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.
Police raid RNC protest sites in Twin Cities 30 Aug 2008 Ramsey County authorities conducted raids across Minneapolis and St. Paul Friday and Saturday as a pre-emptive strike against disruptive [Are not all protests inherently 'disruptive?'] protests of the Republican National Convention. Five people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to police and elected officials familiar with the raids.
Police Using G.P.S. Units as Evidence in Crimes 31 Aug 2008 Experts say G.P.S. evidence will almost certainly become more common in court as the systems become more affordable and show up in more vehicles. Using technology to track a person’s location is nothing new, but the popularity of the Global Positioning System -- in cars, cellphones and other handheld devices -- gives the authorities a powerful tool to track suspects.
Speed Camera Vendors Engage in All-Out Battle --State of Arizona hears contract argument of speed camera vendor claiming illegal actions on the part of a rival. 20 Aug 2008 An Arizona-based vendor is going all-out in an attempt to win back a lucrative statewide speed camera contract from its Australian rival. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) issued a formal contract challenge last week seeking to unseat Redflex, saying the Melbourne-based company had won the right to issue speed camera citations on Arizona freeways only after using what ATS labeled "underhanded" and "illegal" tactics... In July, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) awarded the Australian company a massive $20 million contract to operate a fleet of up to 200 speed cameras on freeways throughout the state.
Bush's Agriterrorists Given Free Reign to Kill Americans: Court: U.S. can bar mad-cow testing 29 Aug 2008 A federal appeals court says the government can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease. Because the Agriculture Department tests only a small percentage of cows for the deadly disease, Kansas meatpacker Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its cows. The government says it can't. Larger meat companies worry that if Creekstone is allowed to perform the test and advertise its meat as safe, they could be forced to do the expensive test, too.
Integrity Bank Becomes 10th U.S. Failure This Year 29 Aug 2008 Integrity Bank of Alpharetta, Georgia, was closed by U.S. regulators today, the 10th bank to collapse this year amid a surge in soured real-estate loans stemming from the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.
Minot AFB 'Oddities' Grow: Air Force Searches For Lost Launch Devices --Three Crew Members Removed Over Allegations of Sex Abuse and Equipment Tampering 28 Aug 2008 The Air Force says at least three ballistic missile crew members at bases in North Dakota and Montana have been taken off the job while the military investigates allegations ranging from sexual abuse to missing classified components used in underground launch control centers. The Air Force announced Thursday that an officer who earlier worked at Minot Air Force Base's 91st Space Wing notified the military in May that he and another officer had lied about destroying classified launch components in July 2005. "They were supposed to destroy them and they signed documents saying they destroyed them," said Maj. Laurie A. Arellano, an Air Force spokeswoman. Instead, she said, "they took them home." In May, one of the officers notified the Air Force of the incident and "turned his launch components over to the government." Arellano said the devices are used on equipment inside the launch control center to detect equipment tampering. One of the devices remains missing. "We only know of the whereabouts of one for sure," Arellano said. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]
Bush Seeks to Affirm a Continuing War on [of] Terror 30 Aug 2008 Tucked deep into a recent proposal from the Bush administration is a provision that has received almost no public attention, yet in many ways captures one of President [sic] Bush’s defining legacies: an affirmation that the United States is still at war with Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. Mr. Bush’s advisers want Congress to say so and "acknowledge again and explicitly that this nation remains engaged in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated organizations, who have already proclaimed themselves at war with us and who are dedicated to the slaughter of Americans." The language, part of a proposal for hearing legal appeals from detainees at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, goes beyond political symbolism. Echoing a measure that Congress passed just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, it carries significant legal and public policy implications for Mr. Bush, and potentially his successor, to claim the imprimatur of Congress to use the tools of war, including detention, interrogation and surveillance, against the enemy, legal and political analysts say. Some lawmakers are concerned that the administration's effort to declare anew a war footing is an 11th-hour maneuver to re-establish its broad interpretation of the president's wartime powers, even in the face of challenges from the Supreme Court and Congress.
Biggest Newspaper In Holland Says Dutch Intelligence Helped Prepare Imminent Attack On Iran --De Telegraaf front page says sources inside AVID helped CIA map air attack By Steve Watson 29 Aug 2008 The biggest Newspaper in the Netherlands today devotes its front page to news that the Dutch intelligence agency has helped the CIA prepare for an air attack on Iran which it now believes is imminent. AVID, Holland's military intelligence service, has pulled back from operations it was carrying out inside Iran as it believes an American led attack will go ahead within weeks according to De Telegraaf's sources.
Top Iran general says attack on Tehran would ignite 'world war' 30 Aug 2008 A senior Iranian military commander has warned that a "world war" would erupt in the event the United States or Israel launch an offensive against his country, AFP quoted the state news agency IRNA as reporting on Saturday. "Any aggression against Iran will start a world war," deputy chief of staff for defence publicity, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement carried by IRNA.
Commander: Aggression on Iran to start world war 30 Aug 2008 Deputy chief of Iran's armed forces Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri said here on Saturday that any aggression on Iran would start a world war, the official IRNA news agency reported. "Any aggression against Iran will start a world war," and "the unrestrained greed of the U.S. leadership is leading the world to the edge of a precipice," the report quoted him as saying.
Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West 27 Aug 2008 Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a "declaration of war" by Russia. The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin's envoy to NATO['s extreme rhetoric] came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe.
Source: Petraeus submitted report on troop cuts 30 Aug 2008 The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus [Betrayus], has given his military superiors and Defense Secretary Robert Gates his initial recommendation on when to resume a U.S. troop withdrawal and at what pace, a senior military officer close to the process said Friday.
Ex-Marine acquitted in Iraqi prisoner deaths 29 Aug 2008 In the first civilian trial in modern times of a former member of the U.S. military for alleged combat crimes, a Riverside jury Thursday acquitted a one-time Marine sergeant in the killings of four unarmed Iraqi prisoners in Fallouja. After deliberating less than six hours, the panel found Jose Luis Nazario, 28, not guilty of manslaughter, assault and use of a firearm in the shooting deaths of the Iraqi men, taken prisoner by Nazario's squad in late 2004.
Veterans groups will meet -- to oppose the Iraq war --Iraq Veterans Against the War, which now has 1,300 members, and the older group Veterans for Peace will hold a counter-event to the Republican National Convention. 29 Aug 2008 As U.S. Sen. John McCain, a highly decorated veteran, is about to be nominated as the Republican candidate for president in St. Paul next week, hundreds of other veterans, many of them recently deployed to Iraq, are staging their own event at a Bloomington hotel.
Maverick McCain to Give Convention Acceptance Speech In His Underwear By R J Shulman 31 Aug 2008 Sources close to the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee say John McCain will show American just what a maverick he is by breaking the tradition of wearing a suit and tie while giving his acceptance speech. "When he made that ditzy pick of the unknown and untested Sarah Palin as his VP against our advice, we thought his political career was over," said Rick Davis of the McCain campaign. "But the press went wild, giving John kudos and calling him a maverick all over again, so we will now milk that maverick pony all the way to the White House." (Satire!)
'Her father shot the grizzly bear whose hide is now draped over the sofa in her office.' OMG! McCain's newest bimbo (since McCain couldn't take her on a date, he decided to make her his VP) Sarah Palin, actually has a grizzly bear hide on her couch in her downtown Anchorage office! Click here for picture of Puke Palin sitting on dead grizzly bear. ('Do unto others,' Sarah, remember? The Golden Rule applies to bears, too.)
Obama Continues to Lead 49% to 41% --Obama support at high-water mark 30 Aug 2008 Barack Obama maintains an eight percentage point lead over John McCain when registered voters nationwide are asked whom they would vote for in the presidential election if it were held today, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking figures.
Evangelicals energized by McCain-Palin ticket 30 Aug 2008 Sarah Palin already has energized conservative religious leaders who had fretted that John McCain would pick an abortion rights supporter as his running mate. The Alaska governor was raised in a Pentecostal church and has called herself "as pro-life as any candidate can be."
UK considers Guantanamo man move 29 Aug 2008 The government has been given a further week by the High Court to consider its refusal to disclose material involving a UK resident held in Guantanamo Bay. Binyam Mohamed, who is facing terrorism charges, says the documents support his case that the evidence against him has been obtained through torture.
St. Bernard Parish plans "lockdown" 29 Aug 2008 St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro Jr. announced late Friday night that he plans to call a mandatory evacuation for his parish at 4 p.m. Saturday, which will be followed immediately by a "lockdown" to prevent anyone from entering the parish. Anyone who does not comply with the mandatory evacuation will be required to remain in his or her house, he said.
Bush declares emergency in Mississippi 30 Aug 2008 President [sic] Bush has declared an emergency in Mississippi because of the potential for damage from Hurricane Gustav, the White House says.
Bush Declares Federal State of Emergency For Louisiana --Hurricane Gustav Nears Cuba With 195 kph Winds 30 Aug 2008 U.S. President [sic] George Bush declared a federal state of emergency in the state of Louisiana, a likely target for the storm.
Gustav hits Cuba as Category 4 hurricane 30 Aug 2008 Gustav, now an "extremely dangerous Category 4" storm, hit Cuba Saturday, forcing thousands of people from their homes.
McCain: Hurricane Gustav [Obama] May Suspend RNC 30 Aug 2008 ABC News: In an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace that will air Sunday morning, Sen. John McCain indicated that the GOP convention could be suspended because of Hurricane Gustav.
'It's high time the county implemented what is now a standard law enforcement tool in cities like London and Tel Aviv.' County to expand network of surveillance cameras 30 Aug 2008 Allegheny County [Pittsburgh] will receive $750,000 in federal funding to expand a security and surveillance camera system, which officials say will be used not only to track criminals but in emergencies like fires, floods, or potential cases of [Bush's] bioterrorism.
Judge strikes down Cuba travel ban for professors 30 Aug 2008 A federal judge has struck down a controversial state law that essentially banned professors at state universities in Florida from traveling to Cuba for research purposes, declaring it unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Patricia Seitz ruled that the 2006 law, pushed aggressively by state Rep. David Rivera, "is an impermissible sanction and serves as an obstacle to the objectives of the federal government."
Bayer on defensive in bee deaths --German authorities look into allegation that [deadly] RTP maker's pesticide harms environment 28 Aug 2008 Bayer CropScience is facing scrutiny because of the effect one of its best-selling pesticides has had on honeybees. A German prosecutor is investigating Werner Wenning, Bayer's chairman, and Friedrich Berschauer, the head of Bayer CropScience, after critics alleged that they knowingly polluted the environment.
Why was Cheney's guy in Georgia before the war? By James Gerstenzang 26 Aug 2008 Joseph R. Wood, Dick Cheney's deputy assistant for national security affairs, was in Georgia shortly before the war began. But, the vice president's [sic] office says, he was there as part of a team setting up the vice president's just-announced visit to Georgia. The White House disclosed on Monday that Cheney would hurry over to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy next week, almost immediately after addressing the Republican National Convention on Labor Day. And so it was that a team from the vice president's office, U.S. security officials and others were in Georgia several days before the war began.
'NATO ships' funeral, a missile salvo away' 29 Aug 2008 NATO's naval squad is no match for Russia's Black Sea Fleet and would fall to pieces should the fleet launch a 'single missile salvo.' Former Russian commander Admiral Eduard Baltin said "a single missile salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group." The one-time fleet commander was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying that the NATO squad looked better than they fought.
Russia tests stealth missile that could penetrate US shield 29 Aug 2008 Russia has successfully tested a stealth missile able to penetrate the US defence system being built in Poland. Kremlin chiefs fired a Topol RS-12M rocket, which has nuclear capabilities, from their Plesetsk space centre to a target 3,700 miles across the country. The test came a week after Washington and Warsaw formally agreed a deal to host components of a US missile defence shield in Poland.
Navy planning greater presence in Syria [Oh. Better get Sarah
Palin on the case.] 28 Aug 2008 The Russian Navy will make more
use of Syrian ports as part of increased military presence in the Mediterranean,
a Russian diplomat said yesterday. The announcement comes as tensions
rise between Moscow and the West over Russia's role in Georgia. President
Bashar al-Assad of Syria backed Russia's recent
Pentagon brass meet secretly with Pakistanis 28 Aug 2008 With violence worsening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, top U.S. military officers conducted a secret strategy session with commanders from Islamabad on an aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean. The meeting aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln was the latest of several between Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and General Ashfaq Kayani, chief of staff of the Pakistani army.
Bombing of Pakistani government bus kills 8 29 Aug 2008 A surge of violence continued unabated in Pakistan's tribal border region, with a car bomb Thursday blasting a bus filled with Pakistani police and government workers off a bridge and killing eight people aboard. That was followed on Friday by an explosion that injured at least 20 people when troops shot at a suicide car bomber speeding toward a checkpoint near the northwestern town of Kohat, police official Afzal Kahn said.
Disclosure of prisoner details would harm national security, says US --Releasing details about a prisoner held in Guantánamo Bay would damage UK relations with America, court told 27 Aug 2008 The US state department today warned that disclosure of secret information in the case of a British resident said to have been tortured before he was sent to Guantánamo Bay would cause "serious and lasting damage" to security relations between the two countries. In a last-minute court intervention, a legal adviser to the US state department also claimed that the "national security of the UK" would be affected by disclosure of the details of the detention and interrogation of Binyam Mohamed, who is being held in Guantánamo Bay accused of conspiring with al-Qaida [al-CIAduh]. In September 2004, he was taken to Guantánamo Bay, where he is still held. He claims that all his confessions were a result of the torture. He faces the death penalty if convicted. Last week, in the initial hearing of the case, the high court found that MI5 had participated in the unlawful interrogation of Mohamed. It emerged that one MI5 officer was so concerned about incriminating himself that he initially declined to answer questions from the judges even in private. Although the judges said that "no adverse conclusions" should be drawn by the plea against self-incrimination, it was disclosed that the officer, Witness B, was questioned about alleged war crimes, including torture, under the international criminal court act. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has provided the US with documents about the case. Miliband has declined to release further evidence about the case on grounds of national security, arguing that disclosure would harm Britain's intelligence relationship with the US.
Iraqi's arrest stokes Iran suspicions --Official suspected of ties to militias, bombing 29 Aug 2008 A senior official in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government was in custody Thursday, suspected of ties to Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias and plotting a June bombing that killed 10 people, including four Americans, Iraqi authorities said.
Iran confirms nuclear component production 29 Aug 2008 Iran's deputy foreign minister said Friday that almost 4,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges are now operating at the country's Natanz enrichment facility, the national IRNA news agency reported. Ali-Reza Sheikh Attar told Iranian TV that another 3,000 centrifuges are being installed, IRNA said.
CDC Releases 1918 Pandemic Flu Storybook to Prepare for New Outbreak 27 Aug 2008 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an online storybook containing narratives from survivors, families, and friends about one of the largest scourges ever on human kind - the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed millions of people around the world. The storybook provides valuable insight for public health officials preparing for the possibility of another pandemic sometime in our future [Um... maybe the near future? Say, by November? See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack.]
Scientists Receive $3.6 Million to Test Vaccine Against Deadliest Strain
of Avian Flu 27
Aug 2008 Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine
Research have been awarded $3.6 million from the National Institutes
of Health to conduct animal studies of vaccines designed to
Flu Antibodies Recovered From 1918 Pandemic Survivors 18 Aug 2008 Scientists in the US recovered antibodies to the 1918 flu virus from elderly survivors of the pandemic, used them to create cell lines of monoclonal antibodies and then showed they were still potent by injecting them into infected mice that survived, whereas the controls did not. The researchers believe the antibodies could help develop effective treatments to use 'in case' a similar virus breaks out again.
'I know Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.' --Debbie Wasserman Schultz (MSNBC) live interview with Andrea Mitchell. 'This is just an example of colossally bad judgment of John McCain,' Wasserman Schultz added.
Anti-environmentalist and enemy of the polar bear, Sarah Palin, is McCain VP pick: McCain Chooses Alaska Governor Palin as Running Mate --Palin Will Be the First Woman Nominated to the Ticket by the Republican Party 29 Aug 2008 Republican presumptive presidential nominee John McCain has chosen first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, the campaign announced today.
Palin 'unclear on what the VP actually does' --Palin On Ethics Investigation, Unproductive VP Post 29 Aug 2008 Sarah Palin is the subject of an ethics investigation in her home state of Alaska that's connected to her firing of the state's public safety commissioner... In the same interview, Palin pans the vice president's office, saying she's unclear on what the VP actually does and suggests she's too productive for the job.
Investigation dogs Alaska governor --The allegations she abused her office could prove embarrassing for Palin, who got elected in 2006 on an ethics reform platform. 14 Aug 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin, a rising young GOP star mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain, could see her clean-hands reputation damaged by a growing furor over whether she tried to get her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper. A legislative panel has launched a $100,000 investigation to determine if Palin dismissed Alaska's public safety commissioner because he would not fire the trooper, Mike Wooten. Wooten went through a messy divorce from Palin's sister.
Shocking Choice by John McCain By Rodger Schlickeisen 29 Aug 2008 Senator McCain's choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies. Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP, has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska's coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.
Sad News for Alaska's Wolves By Rodger Schlickeisen 27 Aug 2008 I have some sad news. Unfortunately, Alaska voters defeated a ballot initiative yesterday that would have ended the state's brutal aerial hunting program. Thousands of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund supporters gave invaluable support to this important campaign, but in the end, deep-pocketed special interests carried the day. I spoke with Nick Jans, co-chair of Alaskans for Wildlife, our grassroots partners in The Last Frontier who spearheaded the state ballot initiative to end Alaska's brutal aerial hunting program. He [said]: "I want to thank Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund supporters for their help in this hard-fought campaign. "We faced an approximately $750,000 campaign from our opponents -- including [terrorists] Safari Club International and a $400,000 state-funded campaign approved by Governor Sarah Palin and the Alaska legislature. They used deceptive propaganda and the authority of the Alaska government to defeat the ballot initiative.
Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor 23 May 2008 The polar bear should be removed from the endangered species list because its protected status will hamper drilling for oil and gas in Alaska, the state's Republican Governor has demanded. Sarah Palin is suing the Bush Administration over its decision last week to place the animal under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, claiming that climate models predicting the continued loss of sea ice - the main habitat of polar bears - are unreliable.
Governor opposes polar bear protection --Environmentalists say Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is skating on thin ice with her opposition to efforts to protect polar bears. 02 Nov 2007 Palin said last week that listing the bears as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act because of possible global warming would open the floodgates for petitions to protect other species, the Anchorage Daily News said Thursday.
Governor Sarah Palin Has What It Takes to Be the Next Dick Cheney By Chris Kelly 27 May 2008 Over the weekend, the Anchorage Daily News discovered a whole new reason Governor Palin is the perfect person to be the next Dick Cheney: She can look you in eye and tell you black is white. Especially when there's oil involved. Back in January, the secretary of the interior was considering whether or not polar bears should be on the endangered species list... The polar bears weren't drowning. They were hanging themselves in their cells... All I know is, there are lots of polar bears and no scientific reason at all to believe they can't live happily, underwater, eating clean coal. Let's get drilling! It's almost like Republicans say ridiculous twisted half-truths, and the New York Times publishes them as facts.
GOP Considers Delaying Convention --Tropical Storm Gustav Is Forecast to Hit U.S. Next Week as Hurricane [Hurricane Obama Forces GOP Delay!] 29 Aug 2008 Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week. The threat is serious enough that White House officials are also debating whether President [sic] Bush should cancel his scheduled convention appearance on Monday [LOL!], the first day of the convention, according to administration officials and others familiar with the discussion.
Obama-Biden campaign to roll into Michigan over holiday 28 Aug 2008 The freshly minted Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden will launch its national campaign with a bus tour through Michigan this weekend.
Obama Breaks Ratings Records at 38 million with Inspired Speech --Not much on TV can beat American Idol and the Olympics, but Obama did 29 Aug 2008 Barack Obama will our next President if Nielsen ratings are any indicator. 38 million viewers, more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year, according to Nielsen Media Research. Obama, speaking live to 85,000 supporters at the Denver Bronco’s Mile High Stadium as the fireworks laden finale to the Democratic National Convention, may have reached many more as the overnight rating do not include PBS or C-SPAN. Nor could the overnights count all the folks in the rooms at the 50,000 viewing parties that the Obama campaign reported, based on viewing party kits ordered on their website. Plus there were crowds in New York’s Times Square and sports bars across the nation.
Brokaw Warns Dems to Lay Off McCain --Criticizing Republican candidate 'very tricky,' says NBC host 29 Aug 2008 (FAIR) Longtime NBC anchor [Reichwing troll] Tom Brokaw offered two unusual warnings to Democrats about the supposed limits of criticizing Republican presidential candidate John McCain, suggesting that McCain's military service makes it dangerous for Democrats to aggressively challenge him. ACTION: Ask Tom Brokaw to clarify his warning that Democrats have to be "careful about" criticizing Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Contact: Meet the Press Webform; 202-885-4598.
'Charles Babington, find a new line of work.' MSNBC Host Rips AP Reporter's Analysis of Obama Speech 29 Aug 2008 ...MSNBC's Keith Olbermann laced into the Associated Press's Charles Babington an hour after Barack Obama had concluded his speech in Denver on Thursday night. With rare exception, nearly all of the top commentators and reporters on the three cable news networks had hailed Obama's speech as something new and powerful, and filled with specifics, and predicted it would have a positive effect on his chances vs. John McCain. This hallelujah chorus included conservatives... Buchanan called it the best and most important political convention speech he had ever heard, going back 48 years. So Olbermann was outraged that the AP's Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics.
Obama Takes Aim at Bush and McCain With a Forceful Call to 'Change America' 28 Aug 2008 Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party presidential nomination tonight, declaring that the "American promise has been threatened" by eight years under President [sic] Bush and that John McCain represented a continuation of policies that undermined the nation’s economy and imperiled its standing around the world.
Obama Accepts Nomination, Makes History --Tens of Thousand Pack Stadium 28 Aug 2008 Democratic Sen. Barack Obama became the first black American nominated by a major U.S. political party to run for the presidency on Thursday, before tens of thousands of supporters packed in to a Denver football stadium. "This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st Century, the American promise alive," Obama told a raucous a crowd estimated at about 75,000. "We meet at one of those defining moments a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more."
Barack Obama's Speech at the Democratic National Convention 28 Aug 2008 Interactive video and transcript of the senator accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in Denver on Aug. 28.
Obama: 'John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.'
Carter: McCain 'milking' POW time 28 Aug 2008 Former president Jimmy Carter called Republican presidential candidate John McCain a "distinguished naval officer," but he said the Arizona senator has been "milking every possible drop of advantage" from his time served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Carter spoke Thursday with USA TODAY and Gannett News Service reporters before Barack Obama's acceptance speech to cap off the Democratic National Convention... Carter decried Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's decision to "abandon" the Democrats by speaking at the Republican convention next week.
In St. Paul, civil liberties put to the test By Rubén Rosario 28 Aug 2008 Like a thick, ominous blanket of fog advancing north from the Mississippi, a heightened sense of security has enveloped the Saintly City near the start of the Republican National Convention... Take Guy Flâneur, the pseudonym of a respected Washington, D.C.-based photographer. He has been taking photographs across the globe for more than 45 years -- from massive demonstrations in our nation's capital to buildings, armed guards and people behind the Berlin Wall in former communist East Germany. Yet, he's been stopped and questioned just once about his activities in all those years and in all those places. Guess where. "Nothing like this has ever happened to me anywhere -- just in St. Paul,'' says Flâneur, who requested his real name be withheld because of concerns about corporate clients here. "While I won't pass judgment here on the human-rights record of various governments," Flâneur adds, "I can tell you that I've taken pictures in public places in countries and situations where human rights might not have been of prime concern."
Judges consider whether FBI violated free speech 27 Aug 2008 A panel of federal appeals court judges pushed a U.S. government lawyer on Wednesday to answer why FBI letters sent out to Internet service providers seeking information should remain secret. A panel of three judges from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether a provision of the Patriot Act, which requires people who are formally contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for information to keep it a secret, is constitutional.
Comcast to make monthly Internet use cap official 28 Aug 2008 Comcast Corp., the nation's second-largest Internet service provider, Thursday said it would set an official limit on the amount of data subscribers can download and upload each month.
Baby won't get vaccine 26 Aug 2008 A couple in hiding after they refused to have their newborn baby vaccinated against hepatitis B is now free to return home. The New South Wales Department of Community Services (DoCS) today decided not to pursue further action against the couple after the timeframe for an effective vaccination lapsed. DoCS, with police assisting, was unable to locate the couple. The parents fled their home in Sydney's Croydon Park on Thursday to avoid police and DoCS officials, after refusing to have their three-day-old son vaccinated at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Parents on the run with baby after refusing vaccination 23 Aug 2008 A Sydney couple was on the run with their two-day-old baby last night after the Department of Community Services took out a Supreme Court order to have the boy vaccinated against hepatitis B. The parents, from Croydon Park, fled their home on Thursday to avoid police and DOCS officers after they refused to have their son vaccinated at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. They told the Herald yesterday that they [rightly] believed aluminium in the vaccine could cause him more damage than contracting hepatitis B.
North Pole ice cap melting faster than ever 28 Aug 2008 The Arctic ice cap keeps melting under the effects of global warming and in August saw its second largest summer shrinkage since satellite observations began 30 years ago, US scientists said.
Canada wants more study on polar bear protection --Canada is home to about two-thirds of the world's 25,000 polar bears. 28 Aug 2008 Canada, criticized by environmentalists for not adequately protecting polar bears from the effects of climate change, said on Thursday it will take more time study its next step.
Katrina death tally: Half of victims 75 and up
28 Aug 2008 As New Orleans residents warily track another threatening
storm, a new report presents the clearest picture yet of deaths from
Bush Issues Emergency Declaration for Louisiana, Texas --Gustav Gains Hurricane Strength, Expected to Hit Gulf Coast on Tuesday 29 Aug 2008 President [sic] Bush today declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and Texas, as former tropical storm Gustav strengthened to become a hurricane and continued on a collision course with the U.S. Gulf Coast. The president's declaration came three years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi, overwhelming [exploded] levees designed to protect New Orleans and inflicting record damage on the region.
can make credit card donations/T-shirt charges via PayPal, you don't
need a PayPal account to make credit card payments through
donate[at]legitgov.org - inquiries or, pls. mail a check or money order to CLG