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


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

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October 2008 Archives

US controls bird flu vaccines over bioweapon fears 11 Oct 2008 When Indonesia's health minister stopped sending bird flu viruses to a research laboratory in the U.S. for fear Washington could use them to make biological weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates laughed and called it "the nuttiest thing" he'd ever heard. Yet deep inside an 86-page supplement to United States export regulations is a single sentence that bars U.S. exports of vaccines for avian bird flu and dozens of other viruses to five countries designated "state sponsors of terrorism." The reason: Fear that they will be used for biological warfare. [The U.S. is the most prolific 'state sponsor of terrorism' on God's green earth, and if *anyone* is going to create, spread and manage-for-profit an avian flu pandemic--it's Bush's bioterror team. Oh, btw. Try to envision Sarah Palin running the show during a Blackwater-KBR bird flu event. See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 UK Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.]

Congressman says McCain sowing "seeds of hatred" 11 Oct 2008 Democratic congressman John Lewis, a veteran civil rights leader, accused Republican John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin on Saturday of "sowing the seeds of hatred and division" and said it reminded him of the segregationist era of Alabama Gov. George Wallace. The Obama campaign said while Lewis was right to condemn "hateful rhetoric" the Illinois senator did not believe McCain or his policy criticism were comparable to Wallace or his segregationist policies as governor of Alabama in the 1960s.

Panic attacks: Voters unload at GOP rallies 10 Oct 2008 At Republican rallies, voters this week have shouted insults at the mention of Barack Obama, pleaded with John McCain to get more aggressive with the Democrat and generally demonstrated the sort of visceral anger and unease that reflects a party on the precipice of panic. "Terrorist!” one man screamed Monday at a New Mexico rally after McCain voiced the campaign’s new rhetorical staple aimed at raising doubts about the Illinois senator: "Who is the real Barack Obama?" "He's a damn liar!" yelled a woman Wednesday in Pennsylvania. "Get him. He's bad for our country."

Man Shot 3 Times Claims He Was Gunned Down Over Pro-Obama Shirt 08 Oct 2008 A British man who was shot three times on a London street claims the gunman was enraged over his Barack Obama T-shirt, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday. Dube Egwuatu told the Mail he was purchasing a cell phone when a stranger started shouting racial slurs over his shirt featuring the presidential candidate’s face and the word "Believe."

'The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder.' The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama By Frank Rich 12 Oct 2008 At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of "Treason!" and "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" and "Off with his head!" as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist... The tone was set at the Republican convention, with Rudy Giuliani’s mocking dismissal of Obama as an "only in America" affirmative-action baby.

Reagan Palled Around with Terrorists, Too By Jim Lobe 09 Oct 2008 Now that McCain and Palin are doing everything they can to wrap themselves in the legacy of Ronald Reagan, it’s worth noting who was "palling around with terrorists" when the Gipper was at the height of his powers after his 1984 reelection and before the Iran-Contra scandal. It was back in 1985 that McCain’s and Palin’s hero hosted Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, then a key Mujahadin leader (and major Islamo-fascist, as some might call him), at the White House. Hekmatyar, who, among other things, has voiced his admiration for Osama bin Laden, is now one of the trio of key warlords -- they also include the Taliban’s Mullah Mohammed Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani -- who have been named as Public Enemies Number One by the Pentagon in Afghanistan.

Troopergate Report: Palin Abused Power 10 Oct 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner this July, a state investigation has concluded. The Alaska legislature voted today to release the 263-page report on the "Troopergate" scandal, a state kerfuffle which has come to haunt Palin's vice presidential bid. The scandal centered around her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan and others believed Palin fired him because he refused to take action against Mike Wooten, a state trooper under him who had been involved in a messy divorce with Palin's sister, Molly.

Alaska ethics probe says Palin abused her power 11 Oct 2008 An Alaska ethics inquiry found on Friday that Gov. Sarah Palin, the U.S. Republican vice presidential candidate, abused her authority by pressuring subordinates to fire a state trooper involved in a feud with her family. The finding cast a cloud over John McCain's controversial choice of running mate for the November 4 election.

The moose, the trooper – and a scandal that could engulf McCain --Sarah Palin could face criminal charges over sacking of brother-in-law 11 Oct 2008 Alaska's lawmakers were last night reviewing a potentially explosive report after their investigation into charges that Sarah Palin abused her power as Governor by sacking a senior official because he refused to bow to her wishes in a vendetta against her estranged brother-in-law.

As governor, Palin at times bonds church and state 11 Oct 2008 The camera closes in on Sarah Palin speaking to young missionaries, vowing from the pulpit to do her part to implement God's will from the governor's office. What she didn't tell worshippers gathered at the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown was that her appearance that day came courtesy of Alaskan taxpayers, who picked up the $639.50 tab for her airplane tickets and per diem fees... Palin and her family billed the state $3,022 for the cost of attending Christian gatherings exclusively, including visits to the Assembly of God here and to the congregation they attend in Juneau, according to expense reports reviewed by the AP.

Palin booed at NHL game in Philadelphia 11 Oct 2008 Although many Philadelphia Flyers fans cheered and clapped as Sarah Palin took to the ice at the Wachovia Center on Saturday night to drop the ceremonial puck kicking off this town's NHL season, their warm reception was no match for the 90 seconds of sustained booing that rumbled through the arena [LOL!], drowning out most of the cheers in support of the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Five killed in U.S. missile attack in Pakistan 11 Oct 2008 Suspected U.S. drones fired two missile on Saturday into a Pakistani region killing at least five 'militants,' residents and an intelligence official said. It was the second such attack in North Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border this week. "The missiles were fired with a gap of a minute," a Reuters witness said from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan. "They caused huge blasts. I saw flames rising toward the sky after the explosions."

Journalist in Kirkuk killed 10 Oct 2008 Unidentified [Blackwater?] gunmen shot down a journalist in the city of Kirkuk on Friday evening, a security official said. "The gunmen opened fire at journalist Dayyar Abbas off the Kirkuk Association of Artists in central Kirkuk, leaving him severely wounded. He died on his way to the hospital," Brig. Sarhad Qader, the Kirkuk districts’ police chief, told Aswat al-Iraq. "Abbas was a correspondent for al-Ain news agency in Kirkuk," said Qader, adding the incident is being investigated.

Turkey's military attacks rebels in Iraq 12 Oct 2008 Turkish warplanes and artillery bombed dozens of Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq after an escalation in rebel attacks, the military said. The military did not estimate rebel casualties in the attacks on targets in Iraq, but said: "The warplanes successfully bombed all of the 31 targets in a midnight operation. ... The targets were later shelled by artillery units."

U.S. removes N. Korea from terror list 11 Oct 2008 North Korea agreed to all U.S. nuclear inspection demands and the Bush regime responded Saturday by removing the country from a terrorism blacklist. The breakthrough is intended to salvage a faltering disarmament accord before President [sic] Bush [mercifully] leaves office in January.

Satire: GOP Close to Selection of October Surprise By R J Shulman 11 Oct 2008 Sources close to Republican party leadership say that they are close to making the final selection for this election season's October surprise. "This year presents a special challenge due to the Democrat-caused September surprise of the economy meltdown which has dealt a tough blow to McCain," said Dick Cromwell, a senior Republican strategist. "We've narrowed it down to either the invasion of Iran, the bombing of a domestic landmark or an outbreak of the bird flu in the U.S., preferably in a blue state," said Bascombe Tinsdale, Vice Chairman of the Republican Party. [Satire]

'It's about the fastest-growing area in academia.' New college major: homeland security 09 Oct 2008 35 students began Daniel Webster College's new major in homeland security this fall. The students will spend the next few years taking classes with anxiety-producing names: Acute Stress Management, Sociology of Disasters and Ideology, Conflict and Terror. About 300 schools have homeland security programs.

MoD computer hard drive missing 10 Oct 2008 An investigation is under way into the disappearance of a computer hard drive which could contain the details of about 100,000 Armed Forces personnel. The hard drive was being held by EDS, which is the Ministry of Defence's main IT contractor.

NRCC Somehow Gets Credit From Wachovia By Chris Bowers 08 Oct 2008 In a move that should turn into an attack ad all on its own, the NRCC somehow secured an $8 million loan from Wachovia today (Roll Call) The National Republican Congressional Committee, trailing its Democratic counterpart considerably in cash on hand, has secured an $8 million loan to spend on House races during the last few weeks of the campaign, according to sources. ...In the short term, this is effectively an $8 million donation to the NRCC from Wachovia at a time when Wachovia is supposedly in dire straits, about to be bought out by other banks, and will receive money from the government via the bailout.

White House Overhauling [Bank] Rescue Plan 12 Oct 2008 As international leaders gathered on Saturday to grapple with the global financial crisis, the Bush regime embarked on an overhaul of its own strategy for rescuing the foundering financial system. Two weeks after persuading Congress to let it spend $700 billion to buy distressed securities tied to mortgages, the Bush regime has put that idea aside in favor of a new approach that would have the government inject capital directly into the nation’s banks -- in effect, partially nationalizing the industry.

US planning to buy equity in financial institutions 10 Oct 2008 The United States is developing plans to buy equity stakes in financial institutions, providing another weapon in its war against financial market turmoil, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Friday. Paulson said the equity purchases would be made alongside purchases of distressed assets as a way to recapitalize U.S. banks and other institutions reeling from soured mortgages and illiquid securities.

Kanjorski wants AIG to reimburse money 10 Oct 2008 Executives of bailed out American International Group who spent lavishly on a junket at a California resort should be forced to reimburse the company, U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D) said Thursday. Mr. Kanjorski sent a letter Thursday to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke asking him what steps he would take to recover the $443,000 recently spent by AIG executives on spa treatments, golf, ocean-view rooms and surfing lessons at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. Mr. Kanjorski called the junket "appalling."

The Mask Slips By Bob Herbert 11 Oct 2008 Voters in the George W. Bush era gave the Republican Party nearly complete control of the federal government. Now the financial markets are in turmoil, top government and corporate leaders are on the verge of panic and scholars are dusting off treatises that analyzed the causes of the Great Depression... It’s not just the economy. While the United States has been fighting a useless and irresponsible war in Iraq, Afghanistan... has been allowed to fall into a state of chaos. Osama bin Laden is still at large. New Orleans is still on its knees. And so on. Voting has consequences.

Nature loss 'dwarfs bank crisis' 10 Oct 2008 The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study. It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.

Stop the Eleventh-Hour Assault on Endangered Species --It may be the eleventh hour of the Bush/Cheney Administration, but that's not stopping their efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act. 03 Oct 2008 The Administration wants to make serious changes to this landmark law that would eliminate some of the most important checks and balances that protect our polar bears, wolverines, whales and other imperiled wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comments on this proposal until October 15th.

About 2,500 flee chemical leak in Pennsylvania 11 Oct 2008 A corrosive liquid overflowed from a tank at a chemical plant in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, evaporating into a toxic cloud that snaked along the ground and forced about 2,500 people to flee. At least three residents were believed to be injured. A material called oleum, similar to sulfuric acid, leaked from a tank at the Indspec Chemical Corp. plant in Petrolia, said plant manager Dave Dorko.

Second Bayer employee dies from August explosion --OSHA inspectors alleged the company disregarded its own safety studies, failed to correct potential hazards, and ignored requirements for toxic-leak response plans. 12 Oct 2008 (WV) A second person [Bill Oxley] has died of injuries suffered during an August explosion at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute. Fellow plant worker Barry Withrow was killed the night of the explosion, Aug. 28. The Bayer CropScience plant in Institute received eight serious and two willful citations from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration during an inspection in 2005.

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'Barack Osama' Printed on Hundreds of NY Absentee Ballots 10 Oct 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's last name was spelled "Osama" on three hundred absentee ballots mailed out this week in Rensselaer County, New York. The sensitive misspelling comes at a time when the McCain-Palin campaign has intensified attacks on Obama's character... When John McCain asked a crowd in Albuquerque, New Mexico this week, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" someone in the crowd yelled "A terrorist."

Barack 'Osama' on Rensselaer County ballots 10 Oct 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's last name is spelled "Osama" on hundreds of absentee ballots mailed out this week to voters in Rensselaer County, NY. Officials say the flawed ballots were sent to approximately 300 voters. On row 1A Barack Obama's name is spelled Barack Osama... One pol pointed out that the letters 's' and 'b' are not exactly keyboard neighbors.

"Keep The N*gger Out Of Office" --Cops: Man threatened voter officials over tardy registration card 08 Oct 2008 Angered by a delay in the receipt of his voter registration card, a Louisiana man today threatened election officials, claiming that he urgently needed to cast a ballot to "keep the n*gger out of office," according to police. Wade Williams was arrested this morning on a felony terrorizing charge after allegedly calling the Registrar of Voters and warning that he would come to the state office and empty his shotgun unless he got his registration card.

Obama Called "Traitor" Again At McCain Rally 10 Oct 2008 John McCain's rally on Friday once again inspired furious reactions from his supporters [plants], with one woman screaming "traitor!" as McCain criticized Barack Obama's tax record. "He promised higher taxes on electricity," McCain charged at the event in La Crosse, Wisconsin... At that point, the woman yelled "traitor," and both McCain and his wife Cindy appeared to look in her direction. The Arizona Senator continued with his stump speech without referencing her.

Anti-Obama Fury Spills Over Into Down-Ticket Contests: "Bomb Obama" By Greg Sargent 10 Oct 2008 The fury and loathing of Obama being whipped up largely by McCain-Palin-GOP rhetoric about the Illinois Senator is now spilling into down-ticket races, specifically the battle between GOP incumbent Saxby Chambliss and his Dem challenger: Thursday's debate took place in front of a highly partisan crowd in the GOP stronghold of Middle Georgia. Chambliss supporters waved "Saxby" signs and offered up a sustained "boos" when [Jim] Martin mentioned Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. "Bomb Obama," one woman hollered.

US Secret Service probes death threats against Obama --Investigation dropped 09 Oct 2008 The US Secret Service has investigated an alleged death threat against Democrat Barack Obama shouted Monday at a rally for his Republican rival John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, an agency spokesman told AFP Thursday. The probe by the Secret Service stems from a report by The Washington Post about a shout, "kill him," heard during the [Nazi] rally when Obama's name came up... Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said it wasn't clear whether the threat was actually vocalized or, if so, if it was meant for Obama during Palin's speech... For those reasons, he said, the investigation was dropped

Former governor backs away from McCain 10 Oct 2008 He endorsed John McCain in the presidential primary, but now former Republican Gov. William Milliken is expressing doubts about his party's nominee. "He is not the McCain I endorsed," said Milliken, reached at his Traverse City home Thursday. "He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?' because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.

Lawmakers meeting secretly on Palin ethics report 10 Oct 2008 Alaska lawmakers are meeting behind closed doors to discuss a politically charged ethics report into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her state public safety commissioner. The Republican vice presidential nominee has been accused of firing the commissioner to settle a family dispute. An investigator's report was expected to be released later Friday.

Palins Repeatedly Pressed Case Against Trooper 10 Oct 2008 The 2007 state fair was days away when Alaska’s public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, took another call about one of his troopers, Michael Wooten... In all, the commissioner and his aides were contacted about Trooper Wooten three dozen times over 19 months by the governor, her husband and seven administration officials, interviews and documents show. "To all of us, it was a campaign to get rid of him as a trooper and, at the very least, to smear the guy and give him a desk job somewhere," said Kim Peterson, Mr. Monegan’s special assistant, who like several other aides spoke publicly about the matter for the first time.

Untold Chapter of Troopergate --Governor's Replacement For Top Cop Quit Within Two Weeks Amid Scandal 10 Oct 2008 While much attention has focused on [Commissioner of Public Safety] Walt Monegan’s firing, some point to how she handled his replacement as a real test of judgment. Late on the afternoon of Friday, July 11, 2008, Palin’s office announced Monegan would step down and be replaced by Kenai Police Chief Charles Kopp... Kopp was no stranger to Palin, nor Juneau. But he was not given the role of top cop in her administration. That only came after Palin fired Monegan. Almost as soon as Kopp was named to the job, John Cyr of the Public Safety Employees Association says he began receiving complaints, about 10 in all, about Kopp. Even before his first day, news broke about a sexual harassment claim that was filed against him a few years earlier by a former employee.

Video: Palin-championed program executed 14 wolf pups (Defenders of Wildlife) 10 Oct 2008 In June, after gunning down 14 adult wolves from a helicopter, officials from Governor Palin's Department of Fish and Game rounded up 14 orphaned wolf pups and methodically shot each one in the head in clear violation of a state law. State law prohibits the targeting of pups -- a practice known as denning. Maybe that’s why Palin's officials tried to cover it up, making no mention of the brutal pup executions in the state’s June 30th press release on the killings. To date, none of the officials involved in the incident has been held accountable. Warning: This video contains the disturbing truth about Governor Palin's out-of-control wolf killing efforts.

Accused Palin email hacker in court 09 Oct 2008 David Christopher Kernell walked into federal court Wednesday in handcuffs, shackles and tennis shoes to plead not guilty to hacking Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal email account. He can stay out of jail for now as long as he stays off his computer. If convicted, Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $US250,000 fine and a three-year term of probation.

KBR contractor gets 3 years in child porn case --KBR rehired mercenary after firing him for possessing child porn earlier in the year 10 Oct 2008 A federal judge rejected arguments Friday from a former civilian contractor mercenary in Iraq who said his sentence for possessing child pornography should be lighter to more closely align with what military personnel would face. [!] Ira L. Waltrip, who drove a bus in Iraq for Houston-based contractor KBR Inc., was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 41 months in prison. KBR had fired Waltrip in January 2006 from a contract job at the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq after he was discovered with a collection of pornography that appeared to contain images depicting minors. No charges were filed. Despite that, KBR rehired Waltrip in December 2006. He was still working for KBR in Iraq in April when he was again discovered with a suspected cache of child pornography, leading to his conviction and sentence on Friday.

U.S. plans to train Afghanistan tribal militias 10 Oct 2008 Confronting the prospect of failure after seven years in Afghanistan, the U.S. military is crafting a new [failed] strategy that is likely to expand the power and reach of that country's tribal militias while relying less on the central government. Under that approach, U.S. forces would scale back combat operations to focus more on training Afghan government forces and tribal militias. The plan is controversial because it could extend the influence of warlords [druglords] while undermining the government of President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, the capital.

Gates Seeks European Troops for Afghanistan 09 Oct 2008 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Wednesday asked defense ministers from southeastern Europe to send more troops to Afghanistan, a message that he is likely to forcefully echo at a meeting with other NATO defense officials this week. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan has said he needs three more brigades -- 10,000 to 12,000 more troops -- to confront a resurgent Taliban and a general deterioration in security.

Anger against US mounts as Iraq Shiites bury slain MP 10 Oct 2008 Mourners shouted anti-US slogans and torched American and Israeli flags in Baghdad's Shiite bastion after a radical MP was buried Friday, as fresh attacks killed at least 19 people across Iraq. "Down with Americans, down with the occupation," Shiite youngsters shouted while burning US and Israeli flags at a public square in Sadr City after weekly prayers.

US soldier killed in Iraq 08 Oct 2008 The U.S. military says an American soldier has been fatally shot by an 'al-Qaida' in Iraq extremist. An Iraqi policeman was also killed in the fighting. The military says the fatalities occurred in the early hours of the morning Tuesday in the restive northern city of Mosul.

Russian arms dealer: US framed me 10 Oct 2008 A former Russian officer says he is being framed for illegal arms trafficking after refusing to join the US' espionage business. Viktor Bout, who is facing charges of illegal arms dealing in Thailand, alleges that Washington had leveled the allegations against him following his non-cooperation with the Americans, Kommersant reported. "They attempted to recruit me because we worked with" some countries "that the Americans had an interest in. And after I refused, the UN started a sham investigation," he said

Brazilian secret police head guilty of torture 10 Oct 2008 A Brazilian court says the former head of Sao Paulo's secret police was responsible for torturing three people during the country's military dictatorship in the 1970s, apparently the first time a former high-ranking officer has been found guilty of crimes in the military regime. A Sao Paulo state court said former Col. Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra tortured the three Brazilians when he headed the Sao Paulo secret police from 1970-74.

'Hey, check this out. There's some good phone sex.' Panel to Study Military Eavesdropping 10 Oct 2008 The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, said Thursday that the committee would investigate claims by two military eavesdroppers that they routinely listened in on private calls home from American military officers, aid workers and journalists stationed in Iraq.

U.S. tapped intimate calls from Americans overseas, 2 eavesdroppers say 09 Oct 2008 U.S. intelligence analysts eavesdropped on personal calls between Americans overseas and their families back home and monitored the communications of workers with humanitarian organizations, according to two military linguists involved in U.S. surveillance programs. The linguists said that recordings of intimate conversations between citizens and their loved ones were sometimes passed around, out of prurient interest, among analysts at an electronic surveillance facility at Ft. Gordon, Ga.

ABC: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans --U.S. Officers' "Phone Sex" Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers 09 Oct 2008 Despite pledges by President [sic] George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations "extremely disturbing" and said the committee has begun its own examination.

Financial system close to collapse, UK warns 10 Oct 2008 UK authorities insisted on Friday that action, not words, was needed from this weekend’s meeting of the group of seven leading economies if there was to be any hope of saving the world financial system from collapse. As financial markets stared at the abyss, the UK delegation to the meeting sought to raise the stakes in an effort to avoid a mere agreement on a set of broad principles.

U.S. Stocks Drop in Rollercoaster Day; Dow Swings 1,000 Points 10 Oct 2008 U.S. stocks fell for an eighth straight day in a whipsaw session that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its biggest point swing ever. The Dow posted the biggest weekly slide in the history of the 30-stock average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index capped its worst week since 1933.

Sheriff Stopping All Chicago Foreclosure Evictions 09 Oct 2008 Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, Illinois, citing a record pace of property seizures in the county that includes Chicago, said he "is suspending all foreclosure evictions." "These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said yesterday in a press statement posted on his office's Web site.

Cook County Sheriff Suspends Foreclosure Evictions --Move comes in wake of growing mortgage crisis 08 Oct 2008 With Cook County on pace to conduct a record number of evictions this year – and an unprecedented number of evictions due to mortgage foreclosures – Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday he is suspending all foreclosure evictions. The move comes as a result of the growing number of evictions that involve renters – most of whom are dutifully paying their rent every month, only to later learn their landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments and the building has gone into foreclosure. While mortgage companies are supposed to conduct a basic due diligence investigation before requesting an eviction – identifying all occupants – sheriff's deputies are regularly finding no work done by the mortgage company in advance, leaving the identifying work to deputies working at taxpayer expense.

Wall Street crashes amid mounting signs of global recession By Peter Symonds 10 Oct 2008 The claims made by President [sic] Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, congressional leaders of both parties and the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, that the $700 billion bank bailout bill would halt the stock market slide and avert a recession have been exposed as lies. Since the bill was passed last Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen some 1,700 points and the financial panic has spread to basic industry.

Part of $700 Billion Bailout to be Used to Buy Duct Tape --Satire by R J Shulman 10 Oct 2008 "Who could have known the markets could have gone down?" asked President [sic] Bush. "All I can say to the crisis is bring it on. That’s because as the decider, I have decided to mwwfff wrht mmmm wart, so you can put food on your family." The muffled part of his speech was not due to a piece of tape. "I have a roll of duct tape at the ready," said a member of the Federal Reserve Bank who wished to remain anonymous. "And I will slap the first piece across the mouth of the first politician to say ‘my friends.'"

Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage 10 Oct 2008 Connecticut became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage today in a 4-3 decision by the state Supreme Court. In an 85-page decision issued at 11:30 a.m., the court ruled that the state had "failed to establish adequate reason to justify the statutory ban on same sex marriage."

Russia's Putin gets tiger cub for his birthday 10 Oct 2008 There's no doubt what Vladimir Putin's favorite birthday present is this year -- a rare Ussuri tiger cub. State television showed the Russian prime minister affectionately petting the two-month-old female cub on Friday. The tiger weighs only about 20 pounds and sleeps in a wicker basket at Putin's residence outside Moscow. Putin says a good home will be found for the tiger, presumably in a zoo or wildlife preserve.

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States' Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal --Coup 2008 underway: Tens of thousands of eligible voters in Colo., Ind., Ohio, Mich., Nev. and N.C. illegally removed from rolls, blocked from registering 09 Oct 2008 Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social Security data by The New York Times. Still, because Democrats have been more aggressive at registering new voters this year, according to state election officials, any heightened screening of new applications may affect their party’s supporters disproportionately. The screening or trimming of voter registration lists in the six states, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina, could also result in problems at the polls on Election Day.

Afghanistan 'in dire peril' 10 Oct 2008 American intelligence agencies have warned that Afghanistan is in a "downward spiral", casting fresh doubts on the viability of the US-led military intervention and the prospects of curbing a resurgent Taliban. A draft classified report says central authority in Afghanistan is breaking down, with rampant corruption inside the Government of President Hamid Karzai and escalating violence from militants.

US military admits killing 33 civilians in Afghanistan air strike 09 Oct 2008 The US military has admitted killing 33 civilians in an air strike on a village in Afghanistan in August, far more than it has previously acknowledged. Until now the US has estimated that that no more than seven civilians died in the August 22 attack on Azizabad, in Heart province. It launched an inquiry after it emerged that film recorded on mobile phones showed rows of bodies of children and babies in a makeshift morgue. The inquiry found that of the 33 dead civilians, eight were men, three were women and 12 children. The 10 others were undetermined. [They lying sacks of sh*t at the Pentagon tried to cover up another Bush war crime -- knowing that their media lapdogs don't cover them -- but 'mobile phones showed rows of bodies of children and babies.' --LRP]

Iraq must rid itself of US troops, Iran says 10 Oct 2008 Iran is trying to derail an agreement that would allow US and British troops to stay in Iraq after their mandate expires at the end of this year. In a move that has raised concern among senior Iraqi and US officials, Tehran is using its influence over its smaller neighbour to scupper a Status of Forces Agreement, which must be reached by January 1. After the deadline US and British troops would have no legal basis to remain and, in theory, would have to leave. [LOL! Ergo, the table is set for the McBush campaign to assert that anyone who wants US mercenaries and corpora-terrorists out of Iraq -- say, for example, Barack Obama -- is on the 'same side' as Ahmadinejad.]

Muqtada al-Sadr calls for anti-US protest 09 Oct 2008 Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called for a delayed [formerly, April 9] anti-U.S. protest to take place in Baghdad. A statement posted on al-Sadr's Web site says "it has been decided to hold the anti-occupation protest on Oct. 18 in Baghdad." The Sadrists oppose negotiations for a security agreement that would extend the presence of U.S. troops in the country beyond the end of the year.

'Disgusted' to be U.S. soldier --Family's hopes of becoming Canadian citizens shattered after deportation order 09 Oct 2008 Jill Hart gripped her husband's hand yesterday as the two spoke of their hopes of becoming Canadian citizens -- just hours after the Canadian Border Services Agency denied the couple their bid to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The couple was told yesterday by a CBSA officer they must leave Canada by Oct. 30 or they'll be deported. They are planning to appeal... Patrick Hart, who was stationed in Bosnia in the '90s, said when he was deployed to Kuwait in 2003, he was horrified by tales from other U.S. soldiers who boasted about killing Iraqi civilians and picking human flesh and hair out of the grills of their vehicles after running over Iraqi children. "In '95 I had a sense that the U.S. was the good guy, and when I was deployed in 2003, a lot of the stories I was hearing, I wasn't hearing of heroic deeds or anything of that nature. It was stuff that made me disgusted to be an American soldier," Hart said.

U.S., Angola rule out establishment of U.S. African Command in Angola 10 Oct 2008 Both the United States and the Angolan government have ruled out the establishment of the U.S. African Command (Africom), Angola's official news agency ANGOP reported on Thursday.

Syria frees detained US journalists 09 Oct 2008 The State Department says two American journalists who were detained by Syrian authorities have been released and are safe at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus.

Blackwater to check itself [!] on US arms export law 09 Oct 2008 Amid a federal probe into whether Blackwater Worldwide smuggled weapons into Iraq, the private security contractor said Thursday it has established a panel of defense experts and former prosecutors to ensure it follows U.S. export laws... Federal authorities have been investigating since last year whether Blackwater improperly brought weapons into Iraq, allegations the company has strongly denied. Earlier this year, two former employees were sentenced on gun-running charges after the company said they stole from Blackwater's armory. And in June, federal agents seized 22 automatic rifles from a company vault. The compliance committee will include two former U.S. attorneys -- Robert C. Bonner and Asa Hutchinson (R-Maggot) -- and former Lockheed Martin Corp. ethics executive Carol R. Marshall.

Terror law used for Iceland deposits 08 Oct 2008 Anti-terrorism powers were used on Wednesday to recoup money owed to UK depositors in a failed Icelandic bank in a move that risked sending Britain’s relations with Reykjavik to their lowest since the 1970s "cod wars". UK taxpayers are likely to pay out at least £2.4bn as part of a £4.6bn scheme to compensate hundreds of thousands of account holders at Landsbanki, the Icelandic lender, according to Whitehall sources.

U.K. Used Anti-Terrorism Law to Seize Icelandic Bank Assets 09 Oct 2008 Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling used anti-terrorism rules to take control of assets held in Britain by a troubled Icelandic bank. Darling stepped in to protect deposits made by U.K. residents in Reykjavik-based Landsbanki Islands hf, which the government of Iceland seized yesterday.

AIG Gets More Government Bailout Cash 08 Oct 2008 Only one day after it was revealed that AIG had sprung for a $440,000 spa vacation shortly after getting an $84 billion government-loan bailout comes this report: The government is loaning AIG another $38 billion. AIG, the world's largest insurer, said it has already drawn down $61 billion on its $84 billion line of credit from the government.

AIG executives cancel planned California spa retreat 09 Oct 2008 Still smarting from their spanking for blowing $500,000 at a swanky resort after getting an $85 billion taxpayer bailout, AIG execs have cancelled a planned spa weekend at a posh California hotel. The conference for AIG agents at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay next week was scrapped, AIG spokesman Joe Norton said Thursday. AIG pulled the plug on plans for a weekend of pampering for a privileged few after the feds agreed to lend AIG another $37.8 billion to stay afloat - on top of the $85 billion the troubled insurer received just last month.

AIG under fire for $370,000 resort trip 08 Oct 2008 As Martin Sullivan, the former chief executive of AIG, testified before Congress that a single accounting rule had caused his firm's near collapse, Henry Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives' chief investigative committee, flashed images of a luxury hotel on to television screens. In a moment of drama usually reserved for US court rooms, Mr Waxman showed off pictures of the grand staircase, sparkling fountain and white columns at the St Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California. AIG executives had - according to the congressmen - convened there for a week-long retreat just one week after the US Treasury saved it from certain failure with an $85bn (€62bn, £48bn) bail-out. Bills showed the fallen insurer - and, some argued, US taxpayers - had paid nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals, and $23,000 in spa charges.

AIG Spa Trip Fuels Fury on Hill --Lawmakers Blast Them About Bonuses 08 Oct 2008 For some people at AIG, the insurance giant rescued last month with an $85 billion federal bailout, the good times keep rolling. Joseph Cassano, the financial products manager whose complex investments led to American International Group's near collapse, is receiving $1 million a month in consulting fees. Former chief executive Martin J. Sullivan, whose three-year tenure coincided with much of the company's ill-fated risk-taking, is receiving a $5 million performance bonus. Last week, about 70 of the company's top performers were rewarded with a week-long stay at the luxury St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., where they ran up a tab of $440,000.

U.S. May Take Ownership Stake in Banks 09 Oct 2008 Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials. Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it.

Eliot's Mess --The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked By Greg Palast 14 Mar 2008 While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators. Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours. This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime --How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers By Eliot Spitzer 14 Feb 2008 Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders... Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers. Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government.

Dow plunges 678 points --Wall Street shares plunged to their lowest level for five years --US in line for a deep recession --Banks take hammering after ban on short selling was lifted 09 Oct 2008 A collapse in the value of the US stockmarket dramatically accelerated Thursday as Wall Street shares plunged to their lowest level for five years driven by urgent, relentless selling on trading floors. Hit by mounting alarm over the stability of the global financial system, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dived by 678 points to 8,579 in the blue-chip index's third worst points fall of all time. In percentage terms, the Dow fell by 7%, exceeding the damage caused by last week's record one-day slump of 777 points.

Alaska Supreme Court won't halt 'troopergate' probe 09 Oct 2008 The Alaska Supreme Court today rejected an attempt by a group of six Republican legislators to shut down the Legislature's investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin. The ruling means that Steve Branchflower, the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, will release his report as scheduled on Friday.

Critics call McCain housing plan 'half-baked' [Like McCain himself] 09 Oct 2008 John McCain’s surprise policy offering Tuesday night to have the government buy bad mortgages is... a bit perplexing to nearly everyone. From economic experts to political pundits, from liberals to conservatives, the proposal has been greeted with a collective sense of puzzlement that is raising questions not only about the substance of the plan, but of the seeming hastiness surrounding its rollout. The few details available about McCain’s American Homeownership Resurgence Plan give the impression the plan is "half-baked," according to Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

"You can't call yourself a maverick if all you've been is a sidekick." Biden: McCain is no maverick 09 Oct 2008 (MO) At a stop in Liberty this afternoon, Sen. Joe Biden ripped Republican John McCain repeatedly as being out of touch with the American people. And he urged the crowd of several hundred to ignore McCain's recent attacks on the Democratic ticket, calling the charges inadequate and misguided. "The false charges are designed to get you to stop paying attention to what's going on," he said. Biden brought the crowd inside a gymnasium at William Jewell College to its feet when he accused McCain of failing to "look Barack Obama in the eye" and level those accusations during Tuesday night's debate. "If you got something say, look them in the eye and say it," he said. Biden also ridiculed the popular image of McCain as a maverick because the Arizona senator has voted with President [sic] Bush more than 90 percent of the time.

Biden Strikes Back At Palin's Age Crack 09 Oct 2008 Sarah Palin took on Joe Biden’s more advanced age (65) on the trail and in an interview with Fox News prior to last week’s debate, saying "I think he was first elected when I was like in second grade." Ripping into McCain’s proposal to spend $300 billion to buy bad mortgages from banks at face value, Biden said "Tuesday night, in the debate, John McCain said, speaking of lurching, he was going to spend – he had a new idea. Sarah Palin says, I was in second grade when Joe Biden was elected to the United States Senate at age 29. That’s true," he said. "But she was in 6th grade the last time John had a new idea." The crowd of 500 at William Jewell College loved the line, bursting into laughter.

Mud Pies for 'That One' By Maureen Dowd 08 Oct 2008 He [John McCain] cynically picked a running mate with less care than theater directors give to picking a leading actor’s understudy. And he has been running a seamy campaign originally designed by the bad seed of conservative politics, Lee Atwater. Atwater relished teaching rich, white Republicans to feign a connection to the common man so they could get in office and economically undermine the common man. In the 1988 campaign, the Machiavellian ran to help George Bush Sr. defeat Michael Dukakis with this unholy quintet of charges: The Democrat was a ’60s-style liberal who would raise taxes and take away guns. He was weak and would not protect the country militarily. He was a member of the elite "Harvard Yard’s boutique." He had a foreign-sounding name and was not on "the American side." He was on the side of the Scary Black Man. Sound familiar?

Former Republican senator criticizes McCain, supports Obama 09 Oct 2008 Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican U.S. senator from Rhode Island, is throwing his support behind Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying he is disillusioned with Republican John McCain. "Sen. Obama is the first Democrat I've ever voted for," Chafee said during a stop in Grand Rapids this morning.

Gallup Daily: Obama 52%, McCain 41% --Obama maintains significant lead 09 Oct 2008 The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking report shows Barack Obama maintaining a 52% to 41% lead over John McCain, unchanged from Wednesday's report.

'Vaccinate now' to beat bird flu 09 Oct 2008 A vaccine available right now could help save lives in a future bird flu pandemic, UK scientists claim. A jab against one strain of avian flu, given years earlier, may "prime" the immune system to fight foment a wide range of bird flu strains. When the pandemic arrives, "pre-vaccinated" people could then be given a booster shot, and be protected far quicker, said researchers.

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Unlawful Guantánamo Procedures Used on U.S. Soil (ACLU) 08 Oct 2008 According to newly released military documents, the Navy applied lawless Guantánamo protocols in detention facilities on American soil. The documents, which include regular emails between brig officers and others in the chain of command, uncover new details of the detention and interrogation of two U.S. citizens and a legal resident – Yaser Hamdi, Jose Padilla and Ali al-Marri – at naval brigs in Virginia and South Carolina.

AP: Documents say US detainee, held as 'enemy combatant,' near insanity 07 Oct 2008 A U.S. military officer warned Pentagon officials that an American prisoner was being driven nearly insane by months of punishing isolation and sensory deprivation in a U.S. military brig, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The documents shed new light on how two American citizens and a legal U.S. resident were treated in military jails inside the United States. The Bush administration ordered the men to be held in military jails as "enemy combatants" for years of interrogations without criminal charges, which would not have been allowed in civilian jails. The men were interrogated by the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, repeatedly denied access to attorneys and mail from home and contact with anyone other than guards and their interrogators.

Thousands of Troops Are Deployed on U.S. Streets Ready to Carry Out "Crowd Control" By Naomi Wolf 08 Oct 2008 I interviewed Vietnam veteran, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and patriot David Antoon for clarification... "If the President directs the First Brigade to arrest a bunch of voters, what would stop him?" "Nothing. It would end up in courts but the action would have been taken." "If the President directs the First Brigade to kill civilians, what would stop him?" "Nothing." "What would prevent him from sending the First Brigade to arrest the editor of the Washington Post?" "Nothing. He could do what he did in Iraq -- send a tank down a street in Washington and fire a shell into the Washington Post as they did into Al Jazeera, and claim they were firing at something else."

Md. Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists --Surveillance's Reach Revealed 08 Oct 2008 The Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects, the state police chief acknowledged yesterday. Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan revealed at a legislative hearing that the surveillance operation, which targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war, was far more extensive than was known when its existence was disclosed in July.

Afghanistan government reportedly held talks with Taliban 08 Oct 2008 A reports from Saudi Arabia says Afghanistan's government held talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia last month. A leading Saudi daily newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, bases its report on what it calls informed Afghan sources. It says the three-day talks were held under Saudi auspices in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

NATO to meet as Afghan war effort founders 08 Oct 2008 When NATO defense ministers meet in Budapest on Thursday, they will face a worsening situation in Afghanistan and vexing questions about whether the war can be won. Increasingly, military commanders and political leaders are asking: Is it time to talk to the Taliban?

US: Airstrike killed 33 Afghan civilians in August 08 Oct 2008 The military said Wednesday that U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan on Aug. 22 killed 33 civilians, far more than it had acknowledged amid Afghan claims of 90 civilian deaths. The U.S. military originally said five to seven civilians had died. A statement released Wednesday by the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East summarized the findings of an investigation.

Turkey Re-authorizes Strikes in Iraq 09 Oct 2008 Turkey’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to extend by one year its authorization of military operations against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, keeping the door open to future strikes in the region. The approval, by a vote of 497 to 18, had been largely expected, and occurred amid a flurry of attacks in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.

Iraqi police: Suicide bomber kills 11 in Baqouba 08 Oct 2008 A female suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest Wednesday in a city northeast of Baghdad, killing 11 people and wounding 19, Iraqi officials said. The attack occurred around 11:30 a.m. in front of a courthouse in downtown Baqouba, the provincial capital of Diyala, one of Iraq's most violent areas, police said.

Tehran confirms seizure of aircraft 08 Oct 2008 Iran yesterday revealed that it had forced a Hungarian-crewed transport aircraft to land after it strayed into the Islamic republic's airspace at the end of last month. A Hungarian government official said the pilot of the aircraft, thought to have been rented from the US government, had been issued with an incorrect flight plan.

Iran: intruding jet belonged to NATO not United States 08 Oct 2008 A jet that violated Iranian airspace and was forced to land at an airport in Iran belonged to NATO, Iranian TV has reported. Iran's media claims the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Falcon jet, carrying military personnel from various nations including Hungary, was heading to NATO bases in Afghanistan. The plane reportedly took off from Turkey and then strayed into Iranian air space on September 30.

US: 2 American journalists missing in Lebanon 08 Oct 2008 Two American journalists vacationing in Lebanon have not been heard from since Oct. 1 and are believed missing, the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday, appealing for information on their possible whereabouts. The two, Holli Chmela and Taylor Luck have been working for the Jordan Times and had been expected back in Amman on Saturday, the Amman-based paper's chief editor told The Associated Press.

Court Won't Force Testimony On Firings of U.S. Attorneys 07 Oct 2008 A federal appeals court declined yesterday to order current and former White House aides to testify before a House committee about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, leaving the next Congress to decide how aggressively to pursue the constitutional showdown. The decision is a victory for the Bush regime, which for more than a year has fended off attempts by Democrats and the Justice Department's inspector general to trace the basis for the federal prosecutors' firings to the White House.

Biden calls Palin's criticism 'mildly dangerous' 08 Oct 2008 Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday that Republican rival Sarah Palin is injecting fear and loathing into their campaign with her criticism that Barack Obama is friends with a terrorist. He called the effort "mildly dangerous." In Florida on Monday, Palin's remarks about Obama and Ayers elicited waves of booing from supporters. One person at a rally shouted "Kill him!" according to a Washington Post report. A sheriff who introduced Palin at a rally referred to the Democratic candidate as "Barack Hussein Obama."

Politics of Attack (The New York Times) 08 Oct 2008 It is a sorry fact of American political life that campaigns get ugly, often in their final weeks. But Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember. They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record -- into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia... Her [Sarah Palin's] demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. A recent Washington Post report said at a rally in Florida this week a man yelled "kill him!" as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.

McCain Supporters Hang Obama Effigy From Tree to Racially Intimidate Minorities By Paul Hooson 05 Oct 2008 In an ugly act of racial and political intimidation, four supporters sympathetic to John McCain who are students at the small Christian George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, confessed to hanging a life-sized Obama effigy from a tree at the entrance of the college with the words, "Act 6 Reject" scrawled on the figure. The Act 6 program is a minority scholarship program.

Tenn. student indicted for hacking Palin's e-mail --David Kernell faces 5 years in prison if convicted 08 Oct 2008 David Kernell, the Tennessee college student who came under suspicion as the hacker who broke into the e-mail account of U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has been indicted by a federal grand jury, the Department of Justice announced today. Kernell, 20, was indicted Tuesday on one count of accessing a computer without authorization by a grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., and has turned himself in to the FBI, a DOJ spokeswoman said this morning.

"My Fellow Prisoners," McCain Calls Americans By Sam Stein 08 Oct 2008 After referring to the various proposals that comprise his domestic policy agenda, John McCain offered an absolute head-scratcher of a line during a campaign speech on Wednesday. "Across this country this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners," he declared. In the prepared remarks he was supposed to say "fellow citizens."

Undecided voters say Obama beat McCain in debate, according to online poll 08 Oct 2008 Barack Obama beat John McCain in Tuesday night's debate in the eyes of undecided voters by 61 to 39 percent, according to a new online Ipsos/McClatchy poll. Before the debate, the 389 undecided voters favored McCain by 55-45, but after it they shifted to favor Obama over McCain by 57-43 percent.

CBS Poll: Uncommitted Voters Say Obama Won --Forty Percent Give Edge to Obama, 26 to McCain and 34 Percent Say It Was a Tie 08 Oct 2008 Uncommitted voters named Barack Obama as the winner of the second presidential debate as well, according to a CBS News/Knowledge Networks poll. In a similar poll conducted after the first debate, uncommitted voters also thought Obama was the winner.

Navy Man Mac Looks Lost At Sea By Charles Hurt 08 Oct 2008 If last night was the arena of McCain's choice, he's in deep trouble these next 26 days. Obama was loose, polished and seemed to enjoy the whole thing. Afterward, he stuck around for a long time, posing for pictures with throngs of people gathered on stage. McCain was awkward and rambling and said some pretty strange things - like calling Obama "that one." Several of his attempts at humor came off as brittle and harsh.

Americans' Satisfaction at All-Time Low of 9% 07 Oct 2008 Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain [met] for the second presidential debate in Nashville Tuesday night at a time when only 9% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States -- the lowest such reading in Gallup Poll history.

Wisconsin Attorney General Sued to Stop Voter Purge --The Wisconsin attorney general's effort to winnow voter rolls would violate federal law, a suit alleges. 07 Oct 2008 The Campaign Legal Center, joined by a number of other public interest and civil rights organizations, today sought to enter a case involving an attempt by the Wisconsin Attorney General to misapply the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to purge state voter rolls. "If the Wisconsin Attorney General's lawsuit is successful, thousands of Wisconsin voters will be disenfranchised turning the Help America Vote Act into the 'Strip Americans of the Right to Vote Act,'" said J. Gerald Hebert, Director of Litigation for the Campaign Legal Center.

Treasury Moves Quickly to Recruit Private Bailout Managers 08 Oct 2008 The Treasury Department this week plans to start outsourcing the management of up to $700 billion in troubled securities, using special contracting authorities that enable it to retain private portfolio managers, custodians and other financial services consultants without following standard acquisition procedures. Some of the same firms that have played roles in the rise and collapse of the mortgage-backed securities market may end up guiding the government as the bailout unfolds, department officials said. Contracting specialists said the department has the authority to retain "financial agents" to manage money on its behalf.

After Bailout, AIG Execs Head to California Resort --Rescued by Taxpayers, $440,000 for Retreat 07 Oct 2008 Less than a week after the federal government committed $85 billion to bail out AIG, executives of the giant AIG insurance company headed for a week-long retreat at a luxury resort and spa, the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California, Congressional investigators revealed today. AIG documents obtained by Henry Waxman's (D-CA) investigators show the company paid more than $440,000 for the retreat, including nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges. [These f*ckers need to go the way of Sarah Palin's wolves.]

Fed trolls Canada to rescue U.S. banks 07 Oct 2008 In a desperate bid to help U.S. banks recapitalize, Washington is dropping its inhibitions and reaching out to Canadian financial institutions to gauge their willingness to participate in rescue operations. The Federal Reserve has activated a back channel that puts the central bank in direct contact with chief executives at Canada's largest banks and insurers, according to a person familiar with the dialogue.

Dow slides 189 points despite global interest rate cuts --Dow Jones Industrial Average falls for six successive days, losing 14.7% of its value 08 Oct 2008 A gloomy day on Wall Street ended with another plunge in stocks after the US treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, warned that financial "turmoil" will not end soon and that more banks are likely to bite the dust. Cuts in interest rates around the world failed to provide any lasting cheer as the fell by 189 points to 9,258.

Fed, ECB, Central Banks Cut Rates in Coordinated Move 08 Oct 2008 The Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and four other central banks lowered interest rates in an unprecedented coordinated effort to ease the economic effects of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Schumer rips Chamber of Commerce as 'wing of GOP' 08 Oct 2008 DSCC Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) came out swinging Wednesday against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying the business lobby was no longer nonpartisan and "has turned into a wing" of the GOP. In a press conference at Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) headquarters, Schumer said the path and pattern of the contributions indicate that the Chamber is afraid of the Democrats winning the critical Senate threshold of 60 seats -- a goal he said is within reach now more than ever.

Increased noise pollution could harm polar bears By Jessica A. Knoblauch 06 Oct 2008 According to a recent BBC article, California scientists are giving hearing tests to polar bears to find out whether they could be adversely affected by increased noise from Arctic urbanization. Normally, the Artic is pretty darn quiet, a good thing for bears considering that they have extremely sensitive little ears. But as the ice melts, people will start to move in, and like any rural area that’s suffered at the hands of industrialization and urbanization, it’s going to create a lot of noise.

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Pakistan facing bankruptcy, West to discuss bailout in Abu Dhabi --Ali Zardari: Pakistan needs bail out worth $100 billion from international community 08 Oct 2008 Officially, the central bank holds $8.14 billion (£4.65 billion) of foreign currency, but if forward liabilities are included, the real reserves may be only $3 billion. Nine months ago, Pakistan had $16 bn in the coffers. The government is engulfed by crises left behind by [Bush's] Pervez Musharraf, the military ruler who resigned the presidency in August. President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to ask the international community for a rescue package at a meeting in Abu Dhabi next month. This gathering will determine whether the West is willing to bail out Pakistan. [Guess where some of your $700 billion is going? See also: US renting Pakistan army for $100 million a month 14 Jul 2007; Aid to Pakistan in Tribal Areas Raises Concerns 16 Jul 2007; US Senate approves Pakistan aid worth $785m 20 Dec 2007 --Incidentally, three days later: Medicaid Funding for Schools Cut 23 Dec 2007; Billions in U.S. Aid to Pakistan Wasted, Officials Assert 24 Dec 2007.]

Days after AIG's $85bn rescue, insurer hosted banquets 08 Oct 2008 The world's largest insurance company, AIG, spent $440,000 on a lavish corporate retreat at one of California's top beachside resorts a few days after accepting an $85bn emergency loan from the US government to stave off bankruptcy. Details of the week-long getaway enraged legislators at a congressional hearing yesterday where AIG's former bosses were accused of spending taxpayers' money on pedicures, golf games and cocktails. [I got your golf games right here.]

Lehman sought millions for execs while seeking aid 06 Oct 2008 The now-bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers arranged millions in bonuses for fired executives as it pleaded for a federal lifeline, lawmakers learned Monday, as Congress began investigating what went so wrong on Wall Street to prompt a $700 billion government bailout.

U.S. Debt Too Big for National Debt Clock 06 Oct 2008 The National Debt Clock, launched in 1989 when the nation's debt was less than $3 trillion, cannot keep pace with the growing national debt, now at more than $10 trillion. NBC News reports. (Video)

Mega barf alert! Fed's new tool: Business loan bailout --Federal Reserve to buy loans crucial to business to unfreeze markets. 07 Oct 2008 The Federal Reserve announced a new program to help the battered market for short-term business loans - taking its closest step yet to lending directly to businesses.

Fed Considers Plan to Buy Companies' Unsecured Debt --Move would put more taxpayer dollars at risk 07 Oct 2008 As pressure built in the credit markets and stocks spiraled lower around the world on Monday, the Federal Reserve was considering a radical new plan... Under a proposal being discussed with the Treasury Department, the Fed could buy vast amounts of the unsecured short-term debt that companies rely on to finance their day-to-day activities, according to officials familiar with the discussions. If this were to happen, the central bank would come closer than ever to lending directly to businesses.

McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra affair 07 Oct 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain has past connections to a private group that supplied aid to guerrillas terrorists seeking to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua in the Iran-Contra affair. The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The council's founder, retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, said McCain became associated with the organization in the early 1980s as McCain was launching his political career in Arizona.

John McCain's ties to Charles Keating --The Obama campaign raises the Republican's connection to the convicted S & L scandal figure in reference to today's financial crisis. 07 Oct 2008 McCain's ties to a convicted S&L owner: Probably the biggest political embarrassment of John McCain's career emanated from his close ties to Charles H. Keating Jr., the high-flying owner of Lincoln Savings & Loan who later went to federal prison. Lincoln's failure would ultimately cost taxpayers $3.4 billion, the most expensive rescue of the S&L crisis in the late 1980s.

Barack Obama unveils 13-minute Keating Five documentary 06 Oct 2008 Barack Obama's campaign unveiled... a 13-minute documentary on John McCain's ties to Charles Keating, the chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Assn. who was charged with fraud, racketeering and conspiracy in the savings-and-loan scandal of the late 1980s. It debuted at noon EDT (9 a.m. PDT) today on a website specifically created for it.

KEATING ECONOMICS: John McCain & The Making of a Financial Crisis --Posted by BarackObamadotcom 06 Oct 2008 (Video)

The ABCs of John McCain, Charles Keating & the Savings & Loan (S&L) Crisis (keatingeconomics.com) 06 Oct 2008 (.pdf)

Obama camp cites SC school invites to Ayers 07 Oct 2008 Barack Obama's campaign is citing the University of South Carolina's speaking invitations to William Ayers and Republican Gov. Mark Sanford's role as school trustee to counter GOP efforts to link the presidential candidate to the 1960s radical. In an e-mail to reporters, the Obama campaign said Ayers is a "distinguished scholar" at the University of South Carolina, where Sanford serves as the ex-officio trustee while governor.

Obama camp: McCain would gut health coverage for old and poor 06 Oct 2008 Barack Obama's White House campaign Monday accused John McCain of plotting to impose savage cuts on government-run health care programs that insure the elderly and the poor. The Obama campaign seized on a Wall Street Journal report that cited independent analysts as estimating the Republican's policies would cut 1.3 trillion dollars over 10 years from Medicare and Medicaid.

McCain Plans Federal Health Cuts --Medicare, Medicaid Spending Would Be Reduced to Offset Proposed Tax Credit 06 Oct 2008 John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, a top aide said, in a move that independent analysts estimate could result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years to the government programs. The Republican presidential nominee has said little about the proposed cuts, but they are needed to keep his health-care plan "budget neutral," as he has promised. The McCain campaign hasn't given a specific figure for the cuts, but didn't dispute the analysts' estimate.

Is Palin Trying to Incite Violence Against Obama? McCain Camp Talks 'Character Assassination,' Supporters Shout for Real Assassination By Jeffrey Feldman 07 Oct 2008 At her last rally in Florida, Sarah Palin told the audience that Barack Obama "palled around with terrorists" adding,"I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America." Upon hearing the Republican VP candidate's concern that Sen. Obama might be a terrorist, a voice in the crowd cried out 'Kill him!'

Press kept under a watchful eye --'Negative things had been written.' 06 Oct 2008 (Clearwater, FL) Constantly under the watchful eyes of security, the media wasn't permitted to wander around inside Coachman Park to talk to Sarah Palin supporters. When reporters tried to leave the designated press area and head toward the bleachers where the crowd was seated, an escort would dart out of nowhere and confront him or her and say, "Can I help you?'' and turn the person around. When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn't allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written.

Pentagon denies reports about U.S. aircraft's landing in Iran 07 Oct 2008 The Pentagon denied news reports Tuesday that a U.S. military aircraft was forced to land in Iran after violating Iran's airspace. Pentagon Bryan Whitman said he hasn't "heard anything like that."

U.S. warplane forced down in Iran 07 Oct 2008 Iranian jet fighters have forced a U.S. warplane to land in one of Iran's airports after it entered Iran's air space without permission, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday. The U.S. warplane has eight passengers, including five high ranking generals and three civilians, Fars said without specifying when the incident happened.

Two bombs explode at Iraqi foreign ministry as US diplomat visits Baghdad 07 Oct 2008 Two bombs exploded outside the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad and close to the fortified green zone where a visiting US diplomat [John Negroponte, the visiting US Deputy Secretary of State] was preparing to give a press conference. [What a shame!] At least five Iraqis were injured in the blasts, which broke windows in the upper floors of the ministry building. They occurred despite a tightening of security across the capital after an increase in bomb attacks over the past fortnight.

Rice: Iraq 'harder' than she 'personally imagined' 07 Oct 2008 Secretary of State [war criminal] Condoleezza Rice said Monday the road for the U.S. in Iraq has been "harder, longer, and more difficult than I personally imagined" and warned that despite some recent progress, success in Iraq is "not a sure thing."

Immunity for U.S. troops, mercenaries a barrier in Iraq talks 07 Oct 2008 The United States' insistence that its troops and mercenaries remain immune from Iraqi law is a key obstacle to reaching a status of forces agreement, the Iraqi foreign minister said Tuesday. The status of forces agreement would define and govern U.S. military operations in Iraq, including criminal and civil jurisdictions. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he also wanted the United States to refrain from military operations in Iraq without the prior approval of the Iraqi government. The two sides also disagree over how long detainees can be held, al-Maliki said.

Turkey threatens Iraq raid after deadly Kurdish rebel attack 07 Oct 2008 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Tuesday to launch a fresh incursion into northern Iraq as warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel targets across the border after a deadly attack killed 17 troops. Speaking a day before parliament was to vote on extending the government's mandate to order cross-border operations, Erdogan said his government was determined to crush the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), using all available means, including an incursion into Iraq.

U.S. soldier, Iraqi policeman killed in northern Iraq 07 Oct 2008 One U.S. soldier and one Iraqi policeman were killed in overnight shootout in the city of Mosul, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

Ex-IDF, Mossad officials praise Obama 05 Oct 2008 A Jewish group in the United States has recruited a number of retired IDF and high-ranking Mossad officials to appear in a video supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying he would be a better partner for Israel in the White House. In the video, released by the pro-Obama Jewish Council for Education & Research, Brig.-Gen (Ret.) Shlomo Brom, former IDF commander of strategic planning, said that the Bush administration caused major damage to Israel's interests.

US Defence Secretary accuses UK officials of 'defeatism' 07 Oct 2008 America's Defence Secretary Robert Gates has accused the British ambassador and top military commander in Afghanistan of being "defeatist" for saying the Taliban could not be beaten. He was speaking in reaction to comments from Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, who said in a newspaper that the war against the Taliban could not be won, and the ambassador, Sherard Cowper-Coles, who said an "acceptable dictator" would be the best political solution for Afghanistan.

US anger at Guantanamo Bay ruling --Analysts say ruling is a rebuke for US government --White House said ruling could set a precedent that would allow "sworn enemies" to seek US entry 07 Oct 2008 The US has reacted angrily after a judge ordered that 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay should be released into the United States. District Judge Ricardo Urbina said the US could not hold the 17 as they were no longer considered enemy combatants. Lawyers for the Bush regime have argued that federal judges do not have authority to order the release into the US of Guantanamo prisoners.

Judge: Release cleared Guantanamo detainees into US --Prisoners, cleared for release since 2004, have been in custody for almost seven years 07 Oct 2008 A federal judge has ordered the release of a small group of Chinese Muslims from Guantanamo Bay into the United States. In a landmark decision, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said it would be wrong for the Bush administration to continue holding the detainees, known as Uighurs, since they are no longer considered enemy combatants. They have been in custody for almost seven years and have been cleared for release since 2004.

Govt, News colluded against me: Habib 07 Oct 2008 Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib will argue that the government colluded with publisher Nationwide News to attack his credibility in a defamation suit ahead of his high-profile compensation claim. Federal Court judge Nye Perram on Tuesday allowed the former terrorist suspect to amend his case to include allegations that the federal government helped Nationwide News, which publishes The Daily Telegraph, fight a defamation suit against him earlier this year. Mr Habib lost the case after extensive evidence was produced to prove the truth of an article in The Daily Telegraph in 2005, which implied he lied about his torture.

Pensions lose $2 trillion --Congressional budget analyst says many workers may need to delay retirement. 07 Oct 2008 Americans' retirement plans have lost as much as $2 trillion in the past 15 months, Congress' top budget analyst estimated Tuesday. The upheaval that has engulfed the financial industry and sent the stock market plummeting is devastating workers' savings, forcing people to hold off on major purchases and consider delaying their retirement, said Peter Orszag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. Stocks Drop; S&P 500, Dow Post Worst Retreats Since 1937 07 Oct 2008 U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index below 1,000 for the first time since 2003, on speculation banks and real-estate companies are running short of money as the credit crisis worsens.

Bernanke Signals Fed May Cut Rates as Crisis Deepens 07 Oct 2008 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled policy makers are ready to lower interest rates as the credit freeze poses an escalating danger to the economy.

Airport bomb scans tested in busy terminals 07 Oct 2008 Fearing that terrorists with suicide vests may blow up crowded sections of airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the first time is looking at ways to scan people as they walk through terminals. Machines recently tested at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Denver International Airport could pave the way for more airports to get the technology.

US to limit oil development in polar bear habitat 06 Oct 2008 The U.S. Interior Department will designate within two years protected areas of the Arctic that are considered critical habitat for polar bears and cannot be harmed by oil development as part of a legal settlement with environmental groups on Monday. The Interior Department formally listed polar bears as threatened in May, but did not create protected areas for them.

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Dow Falls Below 10,000; Down 800 at One Point 06 Oct 2008 The stock market plunged today and the Dow Jones industrial average marked its lowest close in nearly four years as American and worldwide investors grew even more worried about the health of the global economy... The Dow settled at 9,955.50, down nearly 370 points and 3.6 percent from last week. The close capped a roller coaster day for stocks, with the Dow dropping 800 points in the mid-afternoon before rebounding by the day's end.

Bush says U.S. economy will be fine in long run 06 Oct 2008 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush said on Monday it would take time for the $700 billion rescue plan to have an effect on the U.S. financial system but that in the long run the American economy will be "just fine". His remarks came as the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen some 700 points amid a selloff in global markets.

"This was the largest single act of class warfare in the modern history of this country." --Dennis Kucinich Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats' Bailout Betrayal By Chris Hedges 05 Oct 2008 The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party. We are on our own. And don't expect any help from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who lobbied hard for the bill and voted for it. Ignore their rhetoric. Look coldly at the ballots they cast against us. We, as citizens, have only a handful of representatives left in Washington, most of whom were left sputtering in rage and frustration on the House floor. The sad irony is that some of them were Republican.

Democrats say Obama key in bailout vote switch 03 Oct 2008 Several Democratic members of the House of Representatives Friday said calls from Barack Obama helped convince them to switch their votes and back a 700 billion dollar Wall Street bailout.

U.S. Treasury's Kashkari to Lead Bank Bailout Office 06 Oct 2008 The U.S. Treasury will name Neel Kashkari, assistant secretary at the department, to run the $700 billion Wall Street rescue program on an interim basis, according to a Treasury official. Kashkari, a former vice president at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is currently assistant secretary for international economics and development. He has been one of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's key advisers on housing issues.

Palin the pitbull brands Obama 'pal of terrorist' 06 Oct 2008 Sarah Palin emerged as her running-mate John McCain's chief attack dog at the weekend with an incendiary attack on Barack Obama as an unpatriotic man who would "pal around with terrorists". Sarah Palin was forced to defend herself against accusations of playing the race card yesterday after she launched a provocative attack on Barack Obama, branding him an unpatriotic man who would "pal around with terrorists". [In psychology, we call this "projection."]

Seven state employees to honor Troopergate subpoenas 05 Oct 2008 Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg announced today that seven state employees will now honor subpoenas to testify in the legislative investigation of the Troopergate affair. Colberg said the decision comes in light of a judge's ruling last week rejecting an attempt to quash the subpoenas.

Mishaps mark John McCain's record as naval aviator --Three crashes early in his career led Navy officials to question or fault his judgment 06 Oct 2008 John McCain was training in his AD-6 Skyraider on an overcast Texas morning in 1960 when he slammed into Corpus Christi Bay and sheared the skin off his plane's wings. The 23-year-old junior lieutenant wasn't paying attention and erred in using "a power setting too low to maintain level flight in a turn," investigators concluded. The crash was one of three early in McCain's aviation career in which his flying skills and judgment were faulted or questioned by Navy officials.

Health Care Destruction By Paul Krugman 06 Oct 2008 Sarah Palin ended her debate performance last Thursday with a slightly garbled quote from Ronald Reagan about how, if we aren’t vigilant, we’ll end up "telling our children and our children’s children" about the days when America was free. It was a revealing choice. You see, when Reagan said this he wasn’t warning about Soviet aggression. He was warning against legislation that would guarantee health care for older Americans -- the program now known as Medicare. Conservative Republicans still hate Medicare, and would kill it if they could -- in fact, they tried to gut it during the Clinton years (that’s what the 1995 shutdown of the government was all about). But so far they haven’t been able to pull that off. So John McCain wants to destroy the health insurance of nonelderly Americans instead.

GOP Seeks Probe of Donations to Obama 06 Oct 2008 The Republican National Committee wants the Federal Election Commission to investigate the source of thousands of small contributions to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, a committee lawyer said yesterday. RNC's chief counsel, Sean Cairncross, pointed to a report in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that documents a handful of instances in which donors GOP operatives made repeated small contributions using fake names, such as "Good Will" and "Doodad Pro."

Gallup Daily: Obama Leads 50% to 42% --Obama remains statistically ahead for 10th straight day 06 Oct 2008 Barack Obama leads John McCain among registered voters across the country by a 50% to 42% margin in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Oct. 3-5, the 10th straight day in which Obama has held a statistically significant lead.

Poll: Youth back Obama by a 2-1 margin 06 Oct 2008 A USA TODAY/MTV/Gallup Poll of registered voters 18 to 29 years old shows Democrat Barack Obama leading Republican John McCain by 61%-32%, the most lopsided contest within an age group in any presidential election in modern times. Obama's margin is overwhelming across four groups of younger voters, divided by their engagement in the election, their optimism about the future and other factors.

We can't defeat Taleban, says Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith 06 Oct 2008 The departing commander of British forces in Afghanistan says he believes the Taleban will never be defeated. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, the commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, whose troops have suffered severe casualties after six months of tough fighting, will hand over to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines this month. He told The Times that in his opinion, a military victory over the Taleban was "neither feasible nor supportable".

French troops: We won't go to Afghanistan 05 Oct 2008 Troops in a military base in France have opposed their deployment to Afghanistan amid dwindling support of French forces being there. According to French media, troops in the 27th battalion stationed in a southern France military base said on Friday that they were unwilling to go to Afghanistan as part of France's mission in the central Asian country.

U.S. approves sale to Israel of 25 F-35 fighter jets 01 Oct 2008 The United States government on Tuesday said it approved the sale to Israel of 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and an option for 50 more in coming years - a deal valued at up to 15.2 billion Euros. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees major arms sales, said the deal is vital to U.S. national security interests to assist Israel as it develops and maintains "a strong and ready self-defense capability."

Protesters rally for Omar Khadr's return to Canada 05 Oct 2008 Shouting "Omar in, Harper Out," close to a hundred protesters rallied outside Toronto's U.S. consulate Sunday to demand that Canada bring Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr home. Conservative leader Stephen Harper has vowed not to interfere in the upcoming war crimes 'trial' of Khadr who was 15 when captured in Afghanistan in 2002.

Former CIA official: 9/11 could not be averted --CIA had over 100 Afghans acting as spies before Sept. 11 terror attacks 06 Oct 2008 A top former CIA official said the intelligence agency had more than 100 Afghans acting as spies before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but told a magazine in a rare interview that nothing could have averted the attacks. Cofer Black, the former head of the CIA's counterterrorism center, said that looking back, he can't think of a thing "we could have done that would have changed anything." Black, a top executive with Blackwater Worldwide, the mercenary firm, made the comment in an interview published in November issue of Men's Journal.

Government spies could scan every call, text and email --Critics describe plan as "sinister". 06 Oct 2008 Ministers are considering a £12 billion plan to monitor the e-mail, telephone and internet browsing records of every person in Britain. MI5 currently has to apply to the Home Secretary for warrants to intercept specific email and website traffic but, under the new plan, internet and mobile phone networks could be monitored live by GCHQ, the Government listening post.

42-day detention dropped as unworkable 06 Oct 2008 Gordon Brown is preparing for a humiliating climbdown over his proposal to hold terrorist suspects for 42 days after being told that it will be defeated in the House of Lords. Ministers admit privately that there is not "a cat in Hell’s chance" of the legislation, which returns to the Lords this week, being passed into law. The Government has decided against using the Parliament Act to force the measure through after peers reject it, The Times has learnt.

Consumer Issues Top Supreme Court's Docket --Leading docket: Immunity from lawsuits for drug companies 06 Oct 2008 Last term, the newly constituted and more conservative Supreme Court gave business a bunch of big victories, essentially barring most investor lawsuits against Enron and other similar bad actors in the corporate world, and also barring most lawsuits against medical device manufacturers. This term, the court has more business and consumer cases on its schedule. Leading the docket is an issue that has long topped the business community's wish list: immunity from lawsuits for drug companies. The shield that drug companies argue protects them from suit is a legal doctrine called pre-emption -- meaning that Congress can write laws that give the federal government the exclusive right to regulate in an area, barring states from getting into the act.

Report: Mammals facing bleak future 06 Oct 2008 Half of the world's mammals are declining in population and more than a third probably face extinction, according to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). A survey of mammals included in the organisation's Red List, the most respected inventory of biodiversity, indicates that a quarter of the planet's 5,487 known mammals are clearly at risk of disappearing forever.

Scientists: 1 in 4 mammals faces extinction 06 Oct 2008 Conservationists have taken the first detailed look at the world's mammals in more than a decade, and the news isn't good. "Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide," the team led by Jan Schipper of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Gland, Switzerland, concluded.

IUCN Red List reveals world's mammals in crisis 06 Oct 2008 The most comprehensive assessment of the world’s mammals has confirmed an extinction crisis, with almost one in four at risk of disappearing forever, according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, revealed at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. The new study to assess the world’s mammals shows at least 1,141 of the 5,487 mammals on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction.

Hurricane Ike's environmental toll mounts 05 Oct 2008 Hurricane Ike's winds and massive waves destroyed oil platforms, tossed storage tanks and punctured pipelines. The environmental damage only now is becoming apparent: At least a half million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas, according to an analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

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Army combat unit to deploy within U.S. --Use of active-duty military as a domestic police force has been severely limited since passage of the Posse Comitatus Act following the Civil War. 03 Oct 2008 The United States military's Northern Command is dedicating a combat infantry team to deal with catastrophes in the U.S., including terrorist attacks and "natural" disasters. The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry, which was first into Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003, started its controversial assignment Wednesday. The First Raiders will spend 2009 as the first active-duty military unit attached to the U.S. Northern Command since it was created. The unit has been training with equipment generally used in law enforcement, including beanbag bullets, Tasers, spike strips and roadblocks. That kind of training seems a bit out of line for the unit's designated role as Northern Command's CCMRF (Sea Smurf), or CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force. CBRNE stands for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive incidents.

Dictator 'solution to Afghanistan' 05 Oct 2008 A CODED French diplomatic cable leaked to a newspaper quotes the British ambassador in Afghanistan as predicting that the NATO-led military campaign against the Taliban would fail. The best solution for the country, the ambassador said, would be to install an "acceptable dictator", the weekly Le Canard enchaine reported. [That's what they did in 2000 in the U.S. - it doesn't work.]

UK commander says it may never be over in Afghanistan 05 Oct 2008 The UK's commander in the Helmand portion of Afghanistan has said Britain should not expect to win a decisive military victory in Afghanistan. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith told the Sunday Times there may still be a steady level of rural 'insurgency' once the coalition occupation forces leave the country.

Time to quit Afghanistan --Canada's $22-billion little war must give way to a negotiated peace settlement By Eric Margolis 05 Oct 2008 Mr. Harper's role model, George W. Bush, is probably the most disliked man on earth and certainly America's worst president [sic] in history, who has led his nation from disaster to calamity. Only 22% of Americans support Bush. Half of them believe Elvis is still alive... Only a handful of al-Qaida are left in Afghanistan. The current war is not really about al-Qaida and "terrorism," but about opening a secure corridor through Pashtun tribal territory to export the oil and gas riches of the Caspian Basin to the West. Canada and the rest of NATO have no business being pipeline protection troops. Canada's military intervention in Afghanistan has jeopardized its national security by putting it on the map as an anti-Muslim nation joined at the hip with Bush and his ruinous policies.

Polish troops end mission in Iraq 04 Oct 2008 Polish troops marked on Saturday the end of their 'mission' in Iraq with a formal ceremony in their main base in the province of Diwaniyah in south of Baghdad. Poland will pull its 900 troops out of the country by the end of this month.

Turkey bombs PKK bases in Iraq 06 Oct 2008 Turkish warplanes have bombed bases belonging to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the military has said. The raids late on Saturday came after PKK fighters killed 15 Turkish soldiers in an attack staged partly from Iraqi soil.

Battle kills 15 Turkish soldiers, 23 rebels 04 Oct 2008 Fighting between Kurdish rebels and Turkey's army and air force in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq killed 15 soldiers and at least 23 'insurgents,' the military said Saturday, in the deadliest battle between them in eight months.

11 Iraqis killed in U.S. raid in Mosul --Slaughter includes three women and three children 05 Oct 2008 Eleven members of an Iraqi family were killed Sunday during a U.S. raid in Mosul, including three women and three children, officials said. Neighbors told Iraqi police in Mosul that the family was peaceful, but the U.S. military [lying sacks of sh*t] said five of the dead were terrorists who had targeted American soldiers.

Trial in KBR cases likely in 2010 --Contractors allege they were sent knowingly into battle zone 24 Sep 2008 Three cases alleging that KBR knowingly sent civilian contractors into an active battle zone where some were killed and others injured appear on course for a trial as early as March 2010, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller told lawyers in the case Wednesday. The cases center on events on April 9, 2004, when Iraqi 'insurgents' attacked a KBR convoy of military supply trucks, killing six civilian truck drivers and wounding 14.

KBR to aid Army Europe projects 03 Oct 2008 KBR Inc. will provide program management support services to the U.S. Army Europe under a $6.7 million contract. Under the U.S. Army Europe Support Contract, KBR will help sustain U.S. Army Europe forces and installations, the Defense Department said Oct. 2. The contract expires July 31, 2011.

"The main problem for Georgia is a lack of democracy." Is U.S. ally Saakashvili a human rights abuser? 03 Oct 2008 A large group of influential Georgian opposition leaders has mounted a blistering political campaign against U.S.-backed President Mikheil Saakashvili, accusing his government of running an autocratic regime that tramples human rights and stifles democracy. The timing could embarrass the Bush regime, which is pressing NATO members to approve an action plan for Georgia -- a key step toward full membership -- at the organization's meeting in December.

Russia's strategic bombers to drill with full combat payloads 02 Oct 2008 Russian strategic bombers will conduct training flights with full combat payloads and live fire all cruise missiles on board for the first time in over two decades, an Air Force spokesman said. The live firing exercises in Russia's northern latitudes on October 6-12 are part of the Stability-2008 strategic maneuvers in various regions of Russia and Belarus.

Justice Dept. Completes Revision of F.B.I. Guidelines for Terrorism Investigations 04 Oct 2008 The Justice Department finalized on Friday an overhaul of rules that will give the Federal Bureau of Investigation freer rein to begin investigations into the possibility of terrorism, even without evidence of wrongdoing. The new guidelines, approved by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, will take effect Dec. 1. They are one of the final steps by the Bush regime to extend its far-reaching counterterrorism policies into the next administration and beyond.

Report Says Forest Service Has Harassed Gatherings 05 Oct 2008 A report by the Wyoming chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union contends that the federal Forest Service has engaged in systematic harassment of people who attend Rainbow Family gatherings on public lands. The A.C.L.U. opened an investigation this summer after a clash on July 3 between members of the Rainbow Family, an informal group of professed hippies and peace activists, and Forest Service law enforcement officers.

Palin Sued for Private E-Mails About State Business 04 Oct 2008 In a lawsuit filed in Alaska Superior Court, a Republican activist seeks to force Gov. Sarah Palin to produce copies of official correspondence she sent and received on private e-mail accounts. Andrée McLeod filed the suit Wednesday and publicized it in a news release today. "Rather than using her state e-mail account, throughout her two-year tenure as Governor of Alaska, defendant Sarah Palin, as a matter of routine, has used, and, on information and belief, continues to use, (at least) two private e-mail accounts... to conduct official business of the State of Alaska," the suit alleges.

GOP lawmakers appeal Palin probe ruling 04 Oct 2008 Lawmakers backing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appealed a judge's refusal to block the state Legislature's investigation into her firing of the state's public safety commissioner, according to documents filed in court Friday. The Texas-based conservative group [Liberty Legal Foundation] is representing Republican legislators who support Palin and are asking the Alaska Supreme Court to shut down the probe, which they call "biased."

Palin's words carry racial tinge (AP) 05 Oct 2008 By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign. And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

Obama hits out at Palin low blow 06 Oct 2008 Barack Obama has accused Republican rivals John McCain and Sarah Palin of a low blow after the vice-presidential candidate said he "palled around" with terrorists. Mrs Palin raised Senator Obama's connection with Bill Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era radical group the Weathermen, after a New York Times report outlined the link between them.

Palin says Obama friendly with terrorists 04 Oct 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin accused Democratic candidate Barack Obama on Saturday of "palling around with terrorists," in the latest sign the campaign is turning increasingly nasty. The comment by Palin was dismissed by the Obama campaign as "gutter politics" and came shortly after the McCain campaign had already called the U.S. senator from Illinois a liar.

Sarah's Pompom Palaver By Maureen Dowd 05 Oct 2008 With her pompom patois and sing-songy jingoism, Palin can bridge contradictory ideas that lead nowhere: One minute she promises to get "greater oversight" by government; the next, she lectures: "Government, you know, you’re not always a solution. In fact, too often you’re the problem..." At another point, she channeled Alicia Silverstone debating in "Clueless," asserting, "Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet." (Mostly the end-all.)

Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain By Frank Rich 05 Oct 2008 ...A few weeks later came Charlie Gibson’s question about whether she thought she was "experienced enough" and "ready" when McCain invited her to join his ticket. Palin replied that she didn’t "hesitate" and didn’t "even blink" -- a response that seemed jarring for its lack of any human modesty, even false modesty. In the last of her Couric interview installments on Thursday, Palin was asked which vice president had most impressed her... she chose "George Bush Sr." Her criterion: she most admires vice presidents "who have gone on to the presidency." Hours later, at the debate, she offered a discordant contrast to Biden when asked by Gwen Ifill how they would each govern "if the worst happened" and the president died in office. After Biden spoke of somber continuity, Palin was weirdly flip and chipper, eager to say that as a "maverick" she’d go her own way.

Obama leaps ahead of McCain --Obama's lead in Minn. is tied to the economy, the debate and new party strength. 05 Oct 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has opened up a commanding lead in Minnesota over Republican John McCain, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. The poll, conducted last week among 1,084 likely voters, found that 55 percent support Obama, while 37 percent back McCain.

Va. GOP fears McCain could lose the state 05 Oct 2008 Virginia Republicans are warning that John McCain's prospects for winning a state that has been in the GOP column in every presidential election since 1964 could be in jeopardy.

Gallup Daily: Obama Leads for Ninth Straight Day, 50%-43% --Poll includes two interviewing days following vice presidential debate 05 Oct 2008 Registered voters across the country continue to favor Barack Obama over John McCain for president, now by 50% to 43% in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Oct. 2-4.

Dems could hit 60 Senate seats 04 Oct 2008 The possibility that Democrats will build a muscular, 60-seat Senate majority is looking increasing plausible, with new polls showing a powerful surge for the party’s candidates in Minnesota, Kentucky and other states.

Foreclosures and the Right to Vote (The New York Times) 05 Oct 2008 Because the foreclosure crisis is so recent, not much work has been done to ensure that people who lose their homes do not also lose their chance to vote. Many of the hardest-hit neighborhoods are low- income and minority areas, which tend to vote Democratic. That means officials have to be extra vigilant to ensure that Republicans do not use foreclosure lists to challenge voters... There is also a real danger that voters who are in foreclosure will be misled or intimidated into not casting ballots. It is important that state and local elections officials do everything they can to help people caught up in foreclosure to cast ballots.

Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet --In a provocative address to an Indian audience, the Prince echoes Gandhi with a stinging attack on 'commerce without morality'. 05 Oct 2008 Prince stepping up his campaign, making his most anti-GM speech yet last Thursday... Broadening his offensive, he said that "any GM crop will inevitably contaminate neighbouring fields", making it impossible to maintain the integrity of organic and conventional crops. For the first time in history this would lead to "one man's system of farming effectively destroying the choice of another man's" and "turn the whole issue into a global moral question." He quoted Mahatma Gandhi who condemned "commerce without morality" and "science without humanity".

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U.S. Treasury to Hire Private Contractors to Spend Bailout Billions 03 Oct 2008 The U.S. plans to hire five to 10 asset-management firms as Secretary Henry Paulson establishes the government's new office for handling the financial bailout, a Treasury official said. The department will also add about two dozen new employees, a mix of bankers, lawyers, accountants and others, the official said today on condition of anonymity. Some of the Treasury's new employees will be on the government payroll, while others will be contractors, the official said.

'It is a move reminiscent of the US government's controversial use of private military contractors to fight the war in Iraq.' Bail-out leads to conflict of interest claims as Wall Street financiers cash in on crisis 04 Oct 2008 New questions have been raised about the $700 billion economic bail-out of the US economy as President [sic] George W. Bush warned that the world may have to wait weeks for the benefits of the rescue package to be felt... Doubts about the package were fuelled when financial experts warned that conflicts of interest could arise because Wall Street financiers, many of whom have been blamed for causing the financial meltdown in the first place, will have a hand in spending the $700 billion of taxpayers' money... Between five and 10 asset management companies will also be paid a commission on the work they do. They can expect to make several billion dollars in profits between them.

A.I.G. Uses $61 Billion of Fed Loan --A.I.G. chief executive: In addition to using the $85 billion Fed loan, A.I.G. would be able to participate in the $700 billion bailout program signed into law by President [sic] Bush on Friday. 04 Oct 2008 The American International Group said on Friday that it had already drawn down $61 billion of the $85 billion emergency bridge 'loan' it received from the Federal Reserve two weeks ago, an announcement that startled credit ratings agencies. A.I.G.’s chief executive, Edward M. Liddy, said A.I.G. would keep a continuing ownership in its foreign life insurance businesses, most of which operate in Asia. Other than that, he said, virtually everything else under A.I.G.'s corporate umbrella was for sale. Mr. Liddy said it was impossible to say exactly how much money A.I.G. would have to raise to pay back the Fed and emerge from its crisis... "It's kind of a Rubik's Cube," he said. [No problem. We're ready to solve the puzzle for you.]

Officials Refuse to Provide Details on Secret Previous Bailout --Fed Made $30 Billion Deal to Manage Assets of the Collapsed Bear Sterns 01 Oct 2008 Top government officials are refusing to provide details on a secretive deal it made to manage billions in assets from an earlier bailout. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been pressing top officials for months to provide details on a deal the Federal Reserve made for a private firm to manage $30 billion in financial assets from the collapsed investment bank Bear Stearns, as part of an arrangement to facilitate J.P. Morgan Chase's purchase of the bank in March. The Federal Reserve announced at the time that it had contracted with BlackRock Financial Management Inc. to manage the assets. Since then, it has declined to share any further details on the arrangement with anyone – not reporters, not the public, and not Sen. Grassley.

SEC backs down on short-selling disclosure rule --U.S. regulator extends short-sale ban pending bailout bill becoming law 04 Oct 2008 The Securities and Exchange Commission backed down on a major part of its effort to limit short selling. Late Wednesday, the regulator said that institutional investors' short positions won't be made public, a major change from an earlier ruling that had upset several prominent hedge-fund managers and short sellers including James Chanos. Chanos, head of leading short-selling hedge-fund firm Kynikos Associates LP, said at the time that forcing such public disclosure would be like asking Coca-Cola to reveal the super-secret formula for its popular fizzy beverage.

Govt. Uses Contractors to Probe Iraq Contractors --State Dept. Move to Let Contractors Probe Complaints Over Other Contractors May Be Is Illegal 03 Oct 2008 In an apparent violation of federal regulations, the State Department has outsourced to private contractors the responsibility to investigate possible crimes committed by security contractors in Iraq. Earlier this year, the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security hired the private firm U.S. Investigations Services (USIS) to fill positions in the newly created Force Investigation Unit (FIU) that investigates potential misuses of force against civilians by U.S. security contractors... According to a contract obtained by ABC News, the company was hired to supplement Diplomatic Security personnel. However, the eight USIS contractors hired for the team represent the majority of the full-time team, an apparent violation of federal regulations that prohibit such work by contractors.

Blackwater Machine Gun Found on Iraqi Insurgents in Raid [Just one?] Incident Was Kept Secret and Raises More Questions About the Firm's Iraq Operations 02 Oct 2008 An M4 machine gun sent to Iraq by the Blackwater private security firm somehow disappeared from the company's storage facility in Baghdad and was later discovered during a US military operation, apparently against suspected 'insurgents,' people familiar with the situation have told ABC News. The incident, in 2006, has been kept secret until now but it raised more questions about Blackwater's operations in Iraq.

Senior Al Qaida leader killed in Iraq 04 Oct 2008 A senior leader of Al Qaida [al-CIAduh] has been killed in Iraq, according to the US military. Officials said the man and his wife were killed by troops acting in 'self-defence' in a firefight yesterday evening. The man, known as Abu Assad or Abu Rami, is believed to have been behind car bombs and suicide attacks that killed eight people in Baghdad on Thursday. [He has three names so that he can be 'killed' three times.]

Two U.S. helicopters crash in Baghdad 04 Oct 2008 Two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters crashed while attempting to land at an American combat outpost in northern Baghdad on Saturday, the U.S. military said. One Iraqi soldier was killed and two American and two Iraqi soldiers were injured, military spokesman Lieutenant Patrick Evans said in an e-mail to Reuters.

US soldier charged with murder of two in Iraq 04 Oct 2008 A soldier has been charged with murder in the September shootings of a superior and a fellow team leader at their Army patrol base in central Iraq, the military said. Sgt Joseph Bozicevich has been returned to the US from Iraq and is being held in pre-trial confinement at an undisclosed location in southern Georgia, said Maj Lee Peters, spokesman at Fort Stewart where the soldiers' unit is based.

Prosecutors seek to reverse war court sentence 03 Oct 2008 Pentagon prosecutors are asking a military judge to reverse himself and reassemble the jury that convicted Osama bin Laden's driver at Guantánamo, seeking to overturn a sentence that could make the first war kangaroo court convict eligible for release by New Year's Eve. At issue is a decision at the first U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War II by the judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, to award credit of 61 months and eight days for time already served to Salim Hamdan. Prosecutors claim in a six-page motion, filed Sept. 24 but still not made public on Friday, that military commissions judges aren't entitled to grant credit for time served as "enemy combatants.''

Lawyers say UK Guantánamo suspect has no hope of fair trial 02 Oct 2008 The system of US military courts is so politically biased that Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held at Guantánamo Bay, has no prospect of a fair trial, his lawyers said yesterday. A number of prosecutors appointed by the US defence department have resigned in protest at the procedures' perceived prejudice. Judges presiding over the military commissions, as they are called, have also attacked the way trials have been conducted at the detention centre in Cuba.

German FM wants special forces out of Afghanistan 04 Oct 2008 Germany's foreign minister says he wants to lift the mandate keeping German special commandos in Afghanistan. Frank-Walter Steinmeier is quoted by Der Spiegel magazine on Saturday as saying German military commandos stationed in Afghanistan have not participated in a single mission.

PM terms US attacks inside Paksitan terrorism 01 Oct 2008 Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has termed the US attacks inside Pakistan’s territory as terrorism.

Top Pakistan militant 'not dead' 01 Oct 2008 A spokesman for the Taleban in Pakistan has denied media reports that leading militant Baitullah Mehsud has died of an illness. The spokesman, Maulvi Umar, told the BBC that Mr Mehsud was "fit and well". Television channels reported that Mr Mehsud, who leads an alliance of pro-Taleban groups, died on Tuesday night.

Air Force: $5.6M to take rocket booster from ditch 03 Oct 2008 The Air Force says it spent about $5.6 million in its efforts to recover an unarmed booster rocket for an intercontinental ballistic missile from a North Dakota ditch. An Air Force truck carrying the booster for a Minuteman III overturned July 31 a few miles east of Parshall in northwest North Dakota. An Air Force statement blames "driver and safety observer error" for the accident. The truck was traveling from Minot Air Force Base to a launch facility when it crashed on the gravel road. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]

US radar in Israel might be trained on Russia 03 Oct 2008 A Time Magazine article citing Israeli military officials suggests a sophisticated long-range American radar system about to be deployed in Israel may be less about providing early warning of an Iranian missile attack, and more about hemming in Russia. The radar base will be the first permanent deployment of foreign troops on Israeli soil in the country's short 60-year modern history. Initial reports were that Washington offered the early-warning radar to Israel as compensation for not supporting plans to preemptively attack Iran's nuclear facilities. But Time learned that Israel will not have direct access to the data collected by the radar, and will only be fed intelligence second-hand on a need-to-know basis by the Americans. That means Israel will not know whether the radar is trained on Iran or southern Russia. Now top Israeli military officials are concerned that the deployment of the radar in Israel will elicit the same Russian anger as the recent deployment of similar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Bush to provide $6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan 04 Oct 2008 The U.S. government is to sell $6.4 billion of weapons to Taiwan, the State Department announced on Friday. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said Congressional approval was required, but believes this will come quickly. A submission went to Congress on Friday afternoon. The sales involve a range of U.S.-made weapons systems, including Patriot III anti-missile missiles, Apache attack helicopters, Harpoon missiles, and Javelin anti-tank missiles.

FBI given new rules for investigations 01 Oct 2008 The Bush regime issued new rules Friday designed to allow the FBI to pursue potential national security threats with the same vigor and techniques used against 'common criminals.' Civil libertarians said the guidelines will come at a cost to constitutional protections... Critics say the FBI will now be able to begin investigating people with no indication they did anything wrong. [Buried in paragraph *16* of the AP article is this nugget: Investigations related to civil disorders now have a time limit of 30 days. The investigations are only to determine whether the president needs to use the military.]

'A presidential election with a black man leading the ticket is uncharted territory for the United States.' Bush's AP trolls are already laying the foundation for the third GOP coup d'etat: Exit polls offer some concerns for networks 03 Oct 2008 Barack Obama's tendency through the Democratic primaries to perform better in exit polls than he actually does at the ballot box has some media organizations nervous heading into 'Election' Night. It was the exit polls' overstatement of John Kerry's support in 2004 that caused problems for the networks, particularly when the first wave of results were leaked on the Web. The problems were more serious in 2000, when networks prematurely "called" Florida, and thus the election, for George Bush. For the Obama-McCain contest, there's concern about whether some voters will say they voted for Obama but, for racial reasons, actually didn't. [Everyone knows that exit polling in 2000, '02, '04 and '06 matched the outcome in any state that was not stolen via GOP owned 'voting' machinery.]

Vote-scam fliers target black neighborhoods 02 Oct 2008 With just weeks to go before the presidential election, [GOP] voter intimidation has reared its ugly head. An anonymous flier circulating in African-American neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia states that voters who are facing outstanding arrest warrants or who have unpaid traffic tickets may be arrested at the polls on Election Day. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, who learned of the flier last week, said that the message is completely false.

McCain Raises White Flag, Cuts and Runs From Michigan --Satire By R J Shulman 04 Oct 2008 John McCain announced today that his campaign is retreating from Michigan. "It’s no big deal we are pulling out," McCain said, "because there are other places to continue our battle. We are moving our forces into Maine, Wisconsin, Czechoslovakia, and on the border between Iraq and Pakistan. The surge is already working in Maine," McCain said. "I can now walk safely on the streets of downtown Portland." "This hockey mom will never surrender," McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, said. "In fact, we are moving some of our resources from Michigan to my house so we can see better what those Russians are up to."

Michigan Republicans oppose McCain pullout 04 Oct 2008 In the aftermath of John McCain's decision to pull out of Michigan, Republicans in the state are expressing shock and bewilderment at his move -- and aren't willing to cede the state's 17 electoral votes just yet. Mike Duhaime, the McCain campaign’s political director, explained the decision as a necessary tactical choice.

Dick Cheney, Role Model (The New York Times) 04 Oct 2008 In Thursday night’s debate, Ms. Palin was asked about the vice president's role in government. She said she agreed with Dick Cheney that "we have a lot of flexibility in there" under the Constitution. And she declared that she was "thankful that the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president also, if that vice president so chose to exert it." It is hard to tell from Ms. Palin’s remarks whether she understands how profoundly Dick Cheney has reshaped the vice presidency -- as part of a larger drive to free the executive branch from all checks and balances. Nor did she seem to understand how much damage that has done to American democracy.

Palin's Alternate Universe By Bob Herbert 04 Oct 2008 Sarah Palin is the perfect exclamation point to the Bush years. We’ve lived through nearly two terms of an administration that believed it could create its own reality: "Deficits don’t matter." "Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job." "Those weapons of mass destruction must be somewhere." Now comes Ms. Palin, a smiling, bubbly vice-presidential candidate who travels in an alternate language universe. For Ms. Palin, such things as context, syntax and the proximity of answers to questions have no meaning.

Palins' Assets Are Worth Up to $2.1 Million --Tax Returns Show a Six-Figure Income Combined With Significant Assets 04 Oct 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, have assets worth up to $2.1 million, and they paid $24,738 in 2007 income taxes on total income of $166,495, documents released by her campaign yesterday show. The tax returns indicated that Palin paid no taxes on $16,951 in state payments she received as meal and incidental expenses when she stayed at her home in Wasilla instead of at the governor's mansion in Juneau.

The Obamas Celebrate Their Wedding Anniversary 03 Oct 2008 Senator Barack Obama "suspended" his campaign and returned home to Chicago on Friday night for personal reasons: to celebrate the 16th anniversary of his marriage to Michelle.

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U.S. to Fund Pro-American Propaganda in Iraqi Media --Four companies to share in contract: SOSi, the Lincoln Group, MPRI, Leonie Industries 03 Oct 2008 The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government. The new contracts, awarded last week to four companies, will expand and consolidate what the U.S. military calls "information/psychological operations" in Iraq far into the future. Contractors will also develop and maintain Web sites; assess news articles in the Iraqi, U.S. and international media; and determine ways to counter coverage deemed negative, according to the contract solicitation the government posted in May. Polls and focus groups will be used to monitor Iraqi attitudes under a separate three-year contract totaling up to $45 million.

Iraq war 'absolutely an error': Canada PM 03 Oct 2008 Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper today suddenly reversed his once fierce support for the US invasion of Iraq, saying it was "absolutely an error". "Let's be clear. It was … absolutely an error," Harper said under fire from rivals in a televised political debate ahead of October 14 elections. In March 2003, Harper, then in opposition, delivered a speech in parliament in support of the US-led Iraq war. He became embroiled this week in a row about plagiarism after his former speech writer admitted to copying almost half of it from a speech delivered by former Australian prime minister John Howard two days earlier.

Iraq war a mistake, Harper admits 03 Oct 2008 Stephen Harper admitted Thursday that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was a mistake - one that Canadian troops would have been plunged into had he been prime minister in 2003. The grudging admission came during the second televised leaders debate as the five leaders discussed the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

One Million Weapons to Iraq; Many Go Missing By Pratap Chatterjee 22 Sep 2008 Clandestine gun suppliers, funded by the U.S. and Iraqi governments, have flooded Iraq with a million weapons since 2003, charges a new Amnesty International investigation. Because of faulty or non-existent government tracking systems, many of those guns have gone missing, and some have turned up in the hands of insurgents. Contracts with one of these companies, Taos Industries, account for almost half of the $217 million Baghdad and Washington have officially spent to arm the Iraqi army, police and security forces employed by various Iraqi ministries.

US soldier killed in southern Iraq 03 Oct 2008 A US soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq, the US military said on Friday. The incident occurred on Octobre 2 in the Iraqi city of Amara.

Pakistan: 21 killed in suspected US missile attack 04 Oct 2008 At least 21 people, including 16 foreign militants, were killed and several others injured in a missile strike carried out by a suspected US drone in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday.

200 former U.S. diplomats endorse Obama 28 Sep 2008 More than 200 former U.S. diplomats have signed a statement announcing their support for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. The former diplomats and ambassadors signed the statement before the Friday debate between Obama and Republican nominee John McCain.

200 Ex-Diplomats Endorse Obama for Foreign Policy Overhaul Necessity, including 2 Former Secretaries of State By Stephen Fox 02 Oct 2008 Clearly, former US diplomats from both parties and from widely varying realms all recognize the paramount need to base US Foreign Policy and the day-to-day operations of the US State Department on something more evolved that the demands of the American corporate structure and the needs of the Pentagon, Halliburton, Blackwater, and Kellogg, Brown, & Root. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama received the official endorsement of more than 200 former U.S. diplomats in the form of a joint statement...

Judge: Palin aides must testify 02 Oct 2008 An Alaska judge ruled Thursday that an investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin can go forward and said her aides must respond to legislative subpoenas. A legislative committee is holding hearings on Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner, allegedly because he refused to fire her former brother-in-law, a state trooper who was divorced from the governor's sister.

Judge refuses to block Alaska Troopergate probe 02 Oct 2008 An Alaska judge has refused to block a state investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner this summer. Judge Peter Michalski in Anchorage said in his ruling Thursday that much of what was raised in a lawsuit seeking to halt the probe was business left to the legislative branch.

Alaskans cringe after month of listening to Palin --"I think people went a little bit like Homer Simpson , 'D'oh!'" 02 Oct 2008 Alaskans' two-year honeymoon with Gov. Sarah Palin may have ended around the time the Republican vice presidential candidate started saying that she told Congress "thanks but no thanks" on the Bridge to Nowhere. The line brought cheers on the campaign trail but drew winces back home among those who knew Palin had supported the $400 million Ketchikan bridge and only turned against it after Washington backed off its financing.

CBS Poll: More Uncommitted Voters Saw Biden As Winner 02 Oct 2008 CBS News and Knowledge Networks have conducted a nationally representative poll of 473 uncommitted voters to get their immediate reaction to tonight's vice presidential debate.

VP Debate Bails Out Bailout Bill --Satire By R J Shulman 03 Oct 2008 The long-awaited vice presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden may be just what the doctor ordered to get the stalled $700 Billion Wall Street Bailout package through Congress. "While everyone is on the edge of their seat wondering what else Sarah Palin can see from her house, the House will be passing the bailout," said Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson... "The debate is the second step in overcoming the American public’s resistance to bailing out Wall Street," said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. "The first was that we have successfully convinced the media to stop calling the bailout a bailout, but to call it a 'rescue.' That sounds better. We didn't bail out New Orleans, we rescued New Orleans. Actually, come to think of it, we did neither."

Congresscritters have started their three month vacation! Final Vote Results For Roll Call 681 --H R 1424 YEA-AND-NAY 3-Oct-2008 QUESTION: On Motion to Concur in Senate Amendments BILL TITLE: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

House Approves $700B Wall Street Rescue Package --President [sic] Bush Signs Bill Into Law Same Afternoon 03 Oct 2008 In a dramatic reversal [thanks to threats of martial law], the House today approved by a comfortable margin a $700 billion financial rescue package that will bring the greatest intervention of the federal government into the private marketplace since the Great Depression, attempting to prevent the economy from sliding into a deep recession.

'There would be martial law in America if we voted no.' --Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif., 27th District) says Congress threatened with Martial Law if bill is not passed --Video posted by saluki420 02 Oct 2008 Transcript: The only way they can pass this bill is by creating and sustaining a panic atmosphere. That atmosphere is not justified. Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday, that the sky would fall, the Market would drop two or three thousand points the first day-another couple thousand the second day-and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no. That's what I call fearmongering. Unjustified. Proven wrong.

AIG subsidiary parties in style in OC, two weeks after bailout By Teri Sforza 02 Oct 2008 Financial crisis? What financial crisis? Less than two weeks after Uncle Sam gave American International Group (AIG) an $85 billion loan - staving off financial collapse - execs from one of its insurance subsidiaries, AIG American General, gathered for a conference at the uber-swank St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, billed as "California’s only Mobil Travel Guide Five-Star Resort," where ocean-view rooms start at $565 a night and "world class luxury" is the rule.

Senate package would bail out major foreign investors, including China 02 Oct 2008 Rep. Brad Sherman of California was on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC show on Sept. 30 to cite evidence that the legislation potentially "provides hundreds of billions of dollars of bailouts to foreign investors," including those in China... The provision referred to by Sherman is Section 112, "Coordination With Foreign Authorities and Central Banks," which "Requires the Secretary to coordinate with foreign authorities and central banks to establish programs similar to TARP, the Troubled Assets Relief Program."

Billions in earmarks in Senate's bailout bill 03 Oct 2008 While crafting a bill intended to rescue the U.S. economy this week, lawmakers couldn't stop themselves from adding billions of dollars in tax breaks that have little to do with restoring confidence in financial markets.

US loads $700bn bailout bill with 'pork barrel' tax breaks 03 Oct 2008 As the White House and leaders from both parties conducted a final push to convert enough rebels to salvage the rescue plan from its stunning defeat in the House on Monday, an array of "pork barrel" projects have been inserted to soften up waverers. They are aimed at peeling away a handful of naysayers with the promise that if they vote yes this time their pet projects will see the light of day.

Schwarzenegger to U.S.: State may need $7-billion loan --In a letter obtained by The Times, the governor warns that tight credit has dried up funds 03 Oct 2008 California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [R-Installed], alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks. The warning comes as California is close to running out of cash to fund day-to-day government operations and is unable to access routine short-term loans that it typically relies on to remain solvent.

Payrolls sink 159,000, worst job loss in 5 years --Hidden unemployment rises to 11%, highest in 14 years 03 Oct 2008 The U.S. economy lost 159,000 jobs in September, the worst since March 2003, the Labor Department reported Friday. The economy has now lost 760,000 jobs this year, further evidence that the economy was in a recession even before the financial market crisis of the past few weeks.

N.Y. mayor wants to extend term limits, run again 02 Oct 2008 New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday he is asking the city council to change the office's two-term limit to allow him to run for a third term. New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., a Democrat considered a leading candidate to replace Bloomberg in next year's election, said he was "extremely disappointed" in the mayor's announcement. "I have always taken the Mayor at his word, particularly when he said on multiple occasions that altering term limits through a council vote would be disgraceful," he said. "Let me be clear: Today's announcement constitutes an attempt to suspend democracy. We should not undermine the will of the voters."

Officials fear Greyhound passengers exposed to TB 02 Oct 2008 Ontario health officials are searching for 27 people who may have been exposed to tuberculosis while travelling on a Greyhound bus from Toronto to Windsor on Aug. 31. There's a "moderate risk" they contracted the disease, public health officials said Thursday. Health officials want to get hold of the 27 passengers [lol] who got off the bus in Windsor so they can be tested for tuberculosis. A representative from Greyhound told The Canadian Press that the bus company is fully cooperating and that they have provided officials with a passenger list.

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Afghanistan's British Ambassador: Install 'acceptable dictator' in Kabul --Envoy says mission in Afghanistan is doomed, according to leaked memo 02 Oct 2008 Britain’s Ambassador to Afghanistan has stoked opposition to the allied operation there by reportedly saying that the campaign against the Taleban 'insurgents' would fail and that the best hope was to install an acceptable dictator in Kabul. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a Foreign Office heavyweight with a reputation for blunt speaking, delivered his bleak assessment of the seven-year Nato campaign in Afghanistan in a briefing with a French diplomat, according to French leaks.

Bush had no plan to catch Bin Laden By Gareth Porter 01 Oct 2008 New evidence from former United States officials reveals that Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders were able to skip Afghanistan for Pakistan unimpeded in the first weeks after September 11, 2001, as the George W Bush administration failed to plan to block their retreat. Top administration officials instead gave priority to planning for war with Iraq, leaving the United States with not nearly enough troops or strategic airlift capacity to close the large number of possible exit routes through the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area where Bin Laden escaped in late 2001... According to the 9-11 Commission, at four deputies' meetings on Iraq between May 31 and July 26, 2001, [Paul] Wolfowitz pushed his idea to have US troops seize all the oil fields in southern Iraq.

US soldier jailed for Iraq deaths --A total of seven men have been accused of involvement in the killings. 02 Oct 2008 A US soldier has been jailed for eight months after admitting playing a part in the killings of four Iraqi men in April 2007. Specialist Steven Ribordy, 25, admitted standing watch as fellow soldiers shot the four Iraqi prisoners, then threw their bodies into a canal.

Iraqi police: Bombs kill 24 near Shiite mosques 02 Oct 2008 Suicide bombers targeted Shiite worshippers as they left morning prayers Thursday at two Baghdad mosques, killing 24 people and wounding more than 50 others, police said. In a separate attack, gunmen fatally shot six people as they traveled in a minibus in Wajihiyah, a town 60 miles north of Baghdad in a mainly Shiite area.

Car bomb strikes Baghdad restaurant 30 Sep 2008 A car bomb detonated Tuesday near a crowded restaurant at lunchtime in central Baghdad, killing at least four civilians and wounding nine others, an Interior Ministry official said.

Obama aide praises Pentagon chief Gates 02 Oct 2008 A senior adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama praised U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates [a former CIA director] Thursday, saying he could be an even better Pentagon chief in an Obama administration. Richard Danzig, a former secretary of the U.S. Navy who advises Obama on national security policy, said Gates was in tune with the Illinois senator's thinking on many issues.

Military recruiting bonuses grow by 25 percent 02 Oct 2008 The Army and Marine Corps doled out nearly $640 million in the past year in bonuses to entice recruits to join the military, as the two services continue to bear the brunt of the U.S.-led [oil] wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cheney Petitions Court to Block Addington Deposition 01 Oct 2008 On the eve of the first scheduled deposition in CREW, et al. v. Cheney, et al., Vice President Cheney and the other defendants filed an emergency petition for a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy, and was filed here in an attempt to make the D.C. Circuit Court intrude directly into the district court litigation by demanding that the district court judge vacate her discovery orders. This would eliminate the possibility of garnering evidence on White House policies on complying with record keeping obligations under the Presidential Records Act.

NY appeals court overturns terrorism verdicts 02 Oct 2008 An appeals court in New York has overturned terrorism convictions that led to long prison terms for a Yemeni cleric and his deputy. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that the cleric, Mohammed Ali Al-Moayad, and Mohammed Mohsen Zayed, can have new trials. It said the convictions for conspiring to provide material support to Hamas and al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] came after the men were deprived of a fair trial.

Five Republican lawmakers ask judge to block Palin probe 02 Oct 2008 A judge in Alaska is considering arguments to block a state Legislature investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner. Five Republican legislators on Thursday asked Anchorage Judge Peter Michalski to issue a temporary restraining order. They say the investigation has been tainted by partisan politics.

Sarah Palin blunders over talks with British ambassador that never took place as her first TV debate looms --Half of U.S. voters think John McCain is too old to be president 02 Oct 2008 Sarah Palin has committed yet another political blunder after claiming she had held talks with a British ambassador - talks that never actually took place. In an answer to questions about her foreign policy experience ahead of tonight's make-or-break vice presidential TV debate, her aides listed numerous contacts with foreign officials - including Britain's ambassador to Washington, Sir Nigel Sheinwald. However the meeting never occurred. Officials at the embassy swiftly contacted the McCain-Palin campaign to inform them of the discrepancy.

Pro-War Group Offering Cash For Frats to Demonstrate At VP Debate By Sam Stein 01 Oct 2008 In hopes of organizing a robust demonstration for the vice presidential debate this Thursday in St. Louis, the pro-Iraq War (and ostensibly pro-McCain) organization, Vets for Freedom Fascism, is resorting to offering local college fraternities hundreds of dollars if their members come and hold signs. In an email obtained by the Huffington Post, Vets for Freedom field staffer Laura Meyer offered a fraternity at St. Louis University a "sizable donation" - plus free lunch - if it could use their pledges to demonstrate outside the VP debate.

Sarah Palin Boom Busts: Poll Casts Doubt on Experience Prior to Vice Presidential Debate --Less Than Half Convinced of Palin's Grasp on Complex Issues, Experience 02 Oct 2008 Skepticism about Sarah Palin has soared since she entered the national political stage, with six in 10 Americans now doubting her qualifications for office and fewer than half convinced of her grasp of complex issues. In advance of her debate against Joe Biden on Thursday, Palin now looks more like a drag than a boost to the GOP ticket: Thirty-two percent of registered voters say her selection makes them less likely to support John McCain for president, up from 19 percent last month.

Sarah Palin v the polar bear: who will survive? [Dear God: Hopefully, the bear] By Tim Dowling 02 Oct 2008 When the US government decided to classify Ursus maritimus as an endangered species earlier in the year, [Sarah] Palin sued in attempt to overturn the ruling, fearing the label would deter oil and gas exploration in Alaska. The case of Palin v Polar bear will be heard in January. Here's how the contenders size up: Biggest supporters Polar bear: Greenpeace, the US department of the interior, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Geological Survey. Palin: Hockey moms, the National Rifle Association, rightwing fundamentalist Christians, climate change deniers, the oil industry, God (endorsement unconfirmed). Biggest threat to survival Polar bear: Sarah Palin. Palin: Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, feminism, belated national reality check brought on by global economic crisis.

Both Sides Agree to Change VP Debate Rules, Palin to Debate Caribou Satire by R J Shulman 01 Oct 2008 In a stunning turn of events, Joe Biden has been replaced with a caribou for Thursday’s vice presidential debate at Washington University. "The media has been absolutely unfair and cruel to Governor Palin," said Rick Davis of the McCain campaign, "so its only fair that she gets a level playing field for this debate." "Finally, Sarah will get a fair shot," a Palin spokesperson said. "We think with the new rules, this debate will be right on target." The caribou, named Nedib, has been flown into St. Louis from Barrow, Alaska. "America get ready for a real shootout," Palin told a cheering crowd at an evangelical rally in Sikeston, Missouri. "I am about to blow the opponent away."

Florida GOP meets in secret as Obama passes McCain in polls 02 Oct 2008 Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain's sagging performance in this must-win state. Their fears were confirmed Wednesday when four new polls showed Sen. Barack Obama leading, a reversal from just a few weeks ago when McCain was opening up an advantage.

McCain Pulls Out of Michigan 02 Oct 2008 John McCain’s decision to cancel a campaign event in Michigan next week was not a matter of scheduling: Mr. McCain is giving up his effort to take the state back into the red column, concluding that economic distress there has simply put the state out of reach, according to Republicans familiar with the decision.

CBS Poll: Obama Widens Lead Over McCain 01 Oct 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama leads GOP rival John McCain 49 percent to 40 percent among registered voters in a new CBS News poll. The nine-point spread marks an increase of four percentage points in Obama's lead from a CBS News/New York Times survey taken last week. Obama also leads by nine points among likely voters, 50 percent to 41 percent.

Ohio Court Rules for McCain-Palin on Absentee Ballots 02 Oct 2008 The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that disputed absentee ballot applications mailed to state voters by the McCain-Palin campaign should be accepted by local elections officials and directed State Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to reverse her position that boards reject them.

US Senate passes Wall Street bailout bill By Patrick Martin 2 Oct 2008 The Democratic-led US Senate approved a slightly modified version of the Wall Street bailout Wednesday, reviving the $700 billion windfall for the wealthy only two days after it was defeated in the House of Representatives... Barely 48 hours after the House defeated the bailout bill--at least in part because it is overwhelmingly unpopular with the American people--congressional leaders are now engaged in an anti-democratic effort to push the legislation through over mass opposition.

The Senate bailout vote 01 Oct 2008

Stocks Plunge Amid Market Pessimism --Dow Falls About 350 As Unemployment Rises, Factory Demand Falls; Bailout Wariness Persists 02 Oct 2008 Pessimism about a protracted economic downturn washed over the financial markets Thursday, sending stocks plunging and further tightening the credit markets. News of declining factory orders and a seven-year high in jobless claims stoked fears that the government's financial rescue plan Wall Street bailout won't ward off a recession, and the Dow Jones industrials skidded nearly 350 points.

Basic grocery items rise 10.5% from last year 02 Oct 2008 Families have been feeling increasing financial pain at grocery-store cash registers, exacerbating their difficulties in the souring U.S. economy... A basket of 16 basic food items cost $48.68 over the past three months, up 10.5% from a year ago, the American Farm Bureau Federation said Thursday.

Groups sue over Arizona uranium exploration 30 Sep 2008 Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit against U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for authorizing uranium exploration on one million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon. The Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Western Mining Action Project filed the suit in U.S. District Court on Monday. Also named as defendants are the Department of Interior and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this bailout! --The Rec Report By Michael Rectenwald 02 Oct 2008 To John McCain, whose campaign chair's firm [Rick Davis's Davis Manafort] was on the payroll of Freddie Mac through August 2008, I say to you: don't you dare co-opt populist rhetoric and pretend you stand for "reform." The only" reform" you mean is "reform" that removes all regulation. Your reform is the unfettered "free market"--an open season, high altitude helicopter hunting of working class prey. To Barack Obama, I say: you are a fraud on public credulity. You are no more a "change" agent than I am the Pope. With your support of this bailout, you have acted in direct contradiction to your promise of change-your promise of opposing special interests, of putting Main Street before Wall Street, of finding a way forward that does not beg, borrow or steal from the very people you claim to represent. If you cannot do more than cave to special interests now, what "hope" have we that you will resist them when in office?

Dennis Kucinich Explains His "NO" Vote on $700 Billion Bailout 30 Sep 2008 Dennis Kucinich was amongst the minority of Democratic Congressman who voted "NO" on the $700 billion government bailout Monday. In a press release issued Tuesday, the Cleveland congressman explained [statement] his decision and reiterated his concern for protecting the interests of taxpayers.

Senate Passes Sweetened $700B Bailout --Bill passes, 74-25 --House to Vote Friday 01 Oct 2008 The Senate has passed a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry aimed at preventing the economy from plunging into a recession. Democrats and Republicans teamed [puke] to approve the bill after sweetening it with tax breaks. The House plans to vote on it Friday. Both presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, returned to Washington for the historic vote.

Senate to Vote on Revised Financial Rescue Legislation --House Leaders Say There Is No Guarantee That Changes Will Help Bill Pass the House 01 Oct 2008 The Senate today took up a revised rescue package for the U.S. financial system amid new warnings from the White House, congressional leaders, the two presidential candidates and the American business community that the nation's economy faces dire consequences if the plan fails again in Congress.

Kyl projects passage of bailout package 01 Oct 2008 U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., expects the U.S. Senate to approve the $700 billion federal bank and mortgage bailout Wednesday evening and said it was much more likely the U.S. House would pass the bailout Friday. Presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama are both expected to vote for the bailout plan Wednesday. Both have voiced some support for the package, which now includes a slew of tax breaks...

McCain sees disaster if bailout bill fails again 01 Oct 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain said an improved bill to bail out Wall Street was a "decisive step in the right [Reich] direction" and warned that if a Senate vote on Wednesday failed, the country's financial problems would get much worse.

Senate to vote on rescue plan with added tax cut [The turds behind the Wall Street bailout don't want the media referring to the bailout *as* a bailout. Bush's AP trolls dutifully fall in line, as always. They are now calling the bailout a 'rescue plan.'] 01 Oct 2008 In a surprise move to resurrect President [sic] Bush's $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan bailout, Senate leaders slated a vote on the measure for Wednesday -- but added a tax cut plan already rejected by the House. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky unveiled the plan Tuesday. The move to add a tax legislation -- including a set of popular business tax breaks -- risked a backlash from House Democrats insisting they be paid for with tax increases elsewhere. [Why is Obama backing a bailout of Paulson's corpora-terrorists?]

Bush signs $600 billion stopgap bill 01 Oct 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush signs a government expenditures bill topping 600 billion dollars after his economic relief plan fails. After Bush's banking bailout scheme failed, the president endorsed a budget bill of 600 billion dollars to fund his administration's activities for the next six months, AFP reported.

Iraq Govt to absorb former insurgents 02 Oct 2008 Iraq's government has taken responsibility for about 100,000 former 'insurgents' who were being paid by the US to fight against Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. As part of the American withdrawal, their salaries will now be paid by the Iraqi government, which will try to absorb around a fifth of them into the police and the army, while promising civilian jobs and training for the rest.

Pentagon issues new deployment order for Iraq 01 Oct 2008 The Pentagon on Tuesday issued deployment orders for 26,000 U.S. troops assigned to go to Iraq from this winter to the summer of 2009. The decision involves threes headquarters and seven brigade combat teams, which will replace some of the units in Iraq.

General: Urgent need for troops in Afghanistan now 01 Oct 2008 The U.S. and its allies should rush more troops "as quickly as possible" to Afghanistan, the top American commander in that country said Wednesday, warning that the fighting could worsen before it gets 'better.' Trying to meet Gen. David McKiernan's urgent need for weapons and equipment, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked the military for additional surveillance drones and armored vehicles right now for Afghanistan, The Associated Press has learned.

US drone attack kills six in Pakistan 01 Oct 2008 A missile strike by a suspected US drone has killed at least six people in a Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, according to intelligence officials. The attacks have drawn stiff protests from Islamabad, particularly a raid by US ground troops in the South Waziristan region on September 3.

Afghanistan: Subsidised Fuel Trail Winds Back to Pakistan 30 Sep 2008 In a teeming petrol market on the outskirts of Kabul, black market traders sell fuel... Although much of this petrol comes from Iran or the Central Asian countries, a good amount also hails from Pakistan, where government subsidies have made the fuel much cheaper than in Afghanistan. The Afghan government and private businesses generally avoid buying petrol from Pakistan because of the spiraling insecurity on the routes into Afghanistan, but still much petrol manages to get in. How it does so and where it goes illustrates the complicated world of smugglers, border patrol agents and foreign militaries.

Tortured Briton wins US battle over papers 30 Sep 2008 A British resident now held at Guantanamo Bay has won an order in the US courts requiring the country's government to hand over material that might help his defence against terrorism charges, it was revealed at the High Court in London. Binyam Mohamed, 30, insists that he admitted to plotting a dirty radioactive bomb attack on the United States only after being tortured by having his penis cut with a razor. Recently his London lawyers won a High Court ruling that David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, should reconsider his refusal to let the Muslim convert's lawyers see papers that might help clear his name.

Return Khadr to Canada, bar association and legal groups demand 30 Sep 2008 The Canadian Bar Association and more than a half-dozen other legal groups demanded on Tuesday that the Canadian government repatriate Canadian citizen Omar Khadr, now awaiting trial at a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The groups have said that Khadr's detention is in violation of international law.

US backs down, will give Cuban journalists visas 01 Oct 2008 The United States has reversed itself and decided to allow two journalists for the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina to return to their posts at the United Nations, the State Department said Wednesday.

Fort Dix terror trial tests government's conspiracy theory --Case represents a type of pre-emptive prosecution that has grown more common in U.S. terrorism cases since 9/11. 29 Sep 2008 Federal authorities said a group of would-be terrorists were foiled in a plot to sneak onto a New Jersey military base and kill soldiers. The federal government argues that the May 2007 arrests of Serdar Tatar, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer and the brothers Dritan, Eljvir and Shain Duka saved innocent lives. Defense lawyers contend there was no plot and that the government paid an informant to get them to discuss one. The key question in the Camden trial will center on whether the men would have done it.

FBI Prevents Agents from Telling 'Truth' About 9/11 on PBS By Jeff Stein 01 Oct 2008 The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

US approves test for human and bird flu 01 Oct 2008 The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test that can rapidly diagnose and identify human influenza infections and human bird flu, the agency announced. The test, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be available to CDC-qualified laboratories this year, the FDA said in a statement Tuesday. It uses molecular analysis of viral genetic material taken from secretions in a patient's nose and throat to detect and identify commonly circulating human influenza viruses as well as H5N1 viruses and other [US Army] strains. [Heads up! $700 billion can buy a lot. First comes the mandatory tests, then the mandatory vaccines, then the KBR detention centers.]

Sarah Palin 'used oil industry scientists in case against polar bears' Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, used the work of scientists known to be sceptical about global warming in an effort to stop polar bears being protected as an endangered species, it has been reported. A number of the scientists who wrote a paper cited by Mrs Palin also allegedly have links to the oil industry.

Revealed: oil-funded research in Palin's campaign against protection for polar bear --Governor suing over threatened species ruling 01 Oct 2008 The Republican Sarah Palin and her officials in the Alaskan state government drew on the work of at least six scientists known to be sceptical about the dangers and causes of global warming, to back efforts to stop polar bears being protected as an endangered species, the Guardian can disclose. Some of the scientists were funded by the oil industry. In official submissions to the US government's consultation on the status of the polar bear, Palin and her team referred to at least six scientists who have questioned either the existence of warming as a largely man-made phenomenon or its severity. One paper was partly funded by the US oil company ExxonMobil.

Polar Bears migrate to New York and Alaska - Eat Sarah Palin 29 Sep 2008 (Satire) Polar Bears, the cute cuddly bears of Coca Cola Christmas Campaigns, and the visual accompaniment to a voice over by David Attenborough are said to be settling in New York and Alaska. An upturn to this is that a number of them have shown an interest in eating Sarah Palin, just to prove that they mean business. [Munch away; chew slowly.]

Hearing tests for polar bears as survival indicator 30 Sep 2008 Scientists in California are testing the hearing of polar bears to try to find out whether the noises associated with melting Arctic ice could affect their ability to survive. In the wild, polar bears live in one of the quietest places on Earth. For much of the time, the Arctic is a bitterly cold, silent world. But global warming is changing that. Ice, which is crucial to the bears' survival, is disappearing and people are moving in.

Like polar bear, wolverine is threatened by global warming, Montana lawsuit claims 30 Sep 2008 Charging that politics have trumped science, conservationists are challenging the federal government’s refusal to provide wolverines with Endangered Species Act protections. "The wolverine is facing serious threats to its survival in the Lower 48 states, yet the Bush administration made a political decision not to protect this species," said Tim Preso.

Ex-CIA Official Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case --CIA former executive director likely facing about two years behind bars 30 Sep 2008 Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the former No. 3 official in the CIA, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to one count of wire fraud stemming from sweetheart contracting deals he awarded to a friend and a high-level CIA job he got for his mistress. Prosecutors say he received $1,000 meals and lavish vacations from his friend, California businessman and GOP donor Brent R. Wilkes, in exchange for helping Wilkes score CIA contracts. Foggo was originally charged last year with 28 counts of wire and mail fraud, unlawful money transactions and making false statements.

Historic Disapproval: Bush Hits All-Time Low Amid Economic Meltdown --Bush's Disapproval Rating Highest in History 30 Sep 2008 Obama Leads McCain 50-46 in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll... John McCain is laboring under the Bush legacy. With the current economic situation, a record 70 percent of Americans disapprove of George W. Bush's job performance; a career-low 26 percent approve. No president has had higher disapproval in polls since 1938.

Polls: Obama leads in critical trio of states 01 Oct 2008 Recently trailing or tied, Democrat Barack Obama now leads Republican John McCain in a trio of the most critical, vote-rich states five weeks before the 'election,' according to presidential poll results released Wednesday.

Big Dig death suit yields $28 million settlement 30 Sep 2008 The family of a woman [Milena Del Valle] killed when a Big Dig tunnel ceiling collapsed has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for more than $28 million, attorneys told The Associated Press. The main defendants in the lawsuit included companies that worked on the Big Dig -- Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, Modern Continental Co., Gannett Fleming Inc.-- and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.

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The capitalist system has failed --Stocks plunge on Wall Street as bailout fails in Congress By Bill Van Auken 30 Sep 2008 The capitalist system has failed, and there is no reason to doubt the warnings from Bush, Paulson, Obama and others that it is preparing a social catastrophe... Whatever their tactical differences on the bailout, the answer of the Democrats and Republicans is clear: Working people must give up their jobs, living standards and social interests in order to rescue the financial parasites who created the disaster. The working class must put forward its own solution. The banks and major financial institutions which now threaten to drag down the economy and plunge millions into poverty must be nationalized, without compensation to their executives and big shareholders. These institutions should be transformed into public utilities, controlled democratically by the people, with their resources utilized not for the creation of profits for the rich, but rather for productive purposes, including the creation of jobs, a halt to foreclosures and evictions, the rebuilding of the social infrastructure and the funding of education, health care and other vitally needed social programs.

Exercise readies first units for NORTHCOM homeland assignment 29 Sep 2008 The sobering exercise scenario: a 10-kiloton nuclear device detonated in America's heartland, quickly overwhelming civilian responders. "Vibrant Response" was a week-long command post exercise designed to train the commanders and staff of the nation's dedicated force for responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive incidents, or CBRNE incidents. The units completed the exercise Sept. 18 at Fort Stewart, Ga., just two weeks before their force, the CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF, will be assigned to U.S. Northern Command to begin its mission... The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division forms the core of Task Force Operations, one of the three functional task forces within CCMRF. It's the first infantry brigade to be assigned to NORTHCOM for a year in order to respond quickly to civil-support missions.

Gates predicts no sharp cuts in US defense budgets 29 Sep 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted on Monday that growth in U.S. military spending would level off in the coming years but not face severe cutbacks, despite the current economic crisis. President [sic] George W. Bush submitted a base defense budget of more than $500 billion for the fiscal year that begins next month. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing some $160 billion a year on top of that. [Gee, almost $700 billion - they could have bailed out Wall Street but instead continue to give billion dollar bl*jobs to KBR and Blackwater.]

Army probes soldiers' chemical exposure by KBR 29 Sep 2008 Army Secretary Pete Geren has agreed to investigate whether Indiana National Guardsmen were exposed to a carcinogen while protecting an Iraqi water pumping plant shortly after the U.S. invasion in 2003. A review panel appointed by Geren also will look at whether the Army's oversight of a private contractor [AP buried the name of the contractor, KBR, in paragraph *nine.*] that operated the Iraq water plant was sufficient and whether the military's medical screenings of soldiers were adequate... Although the toxic exposure happened five years ago, Indiana Adjutant Gen. R. Martin Umbarger was not notified of it until June, in a phone call from U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota.

Department of Defense Announces More Iraq Deployments 30 Sep 2008 The Department of Defense announced today additional major units scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi 'Freedom.' The announcement involves one corps headquarters, one division headquarters, one Marine expeditionary force headquarters and seven brigade combat teams consisting of approximately 26,000 people.

10,000 Fort Lewis Troops Going to Iraq 30 Sep 2008 The Army is sending 10,000 Fort Lewis soldiers to Iraq, reports the Associated Press. The I Corps, 3rd and 5th Stryker Brigades will deploy to Iraq in 2009, said the Fort Lewis Public Affairs Office. I Corps will deploy in the spring, in its the first combat deployment in more than half a century.

Soldiers who hand prisoners to US could face legal action, MPs warned --Risks could lead to ban on rendition 29 Sep 2008 British troops who hand over prisoners in Iraq to US military personnel could find themselves facing prosecution, according to a legal opinion compiled for parliament. The finding has led to calls for the British government to rethink its current policy and investigate how the US treats its prisoners, and whether torture is employed against them. If acted on, the opinion could mean that UK troops would not be allowed to "render" prisoners to the US military until it was clear that they would no longer face the possibility of torture or ill-treatment.

Pentagon's new Africa command raises suspicions about U.S. motives 29 Sep 2008 The U.S. Africa Command, the Pentagon's first effort to unite its counterterrorism, training and humanitarian operations on the continent, launches Wednesday amid questions at home about its mission and deep suspicions in Africa about its intentions. U.S. officials have billed the new command, known as Africom, as a sign of Africa's strategic importance, but many in Africa see it as an unwelcome expansion of the U.S.-led war on [of] terrorism and a bid to secure greater access to the continent's vast oil resources. Several countries have refused to host the command, and officials say Africom will be based in Stuttgart, Germany, for the foreseeable future.

Italy to supply 18 planes to Afghanistan 30 Sep 2008 An Italian company has won a 287 million dollar contract to supply 18 transport planes to the Afghan armed forces through the US air force, the Italian group Finmeccanica said Tuesday.

Thousands fleeing violent Pakistani border area to Afghanistan: UN 29 Sep 2008 Escalating violence in Pakistan's tribal border regions has forced thousands to flee to eastern Afghanistan, the UN reported Monday. The United Nations is reporting that 20,000 Pakistani refugees have fled the northern tribal region of Bajur to Afghanistan's Kunar province to avoid increased fighting.

Air Force says officer stole launch control device 29 Sep 2008 A Minot Air Force Base officer accused of stealing a classified missile launch control device faces a hearing to determine whether he will face a court martial. The Air Force said a hearing is scheduled Tuesday at the base to evaluate evidence against Capt. Paul Borowiecki, a missile combat crew member assigned to the 91st Missile Wing. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]

Injured, re-killed Ayman al-Zawahri is back! By Lori Price 29 Sep 2008 The elusive, whack-a-mole al-Qaeda #2 is 'visiting' a main operating base for al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan. You just can't keep a good terrorist down (or dead) for long, especially during the run-up to a US 'election!'

Palin: 'Only Flag in My Office' Is Israeli 26 Sep 2008 President Peres of Israel yesterday met for the first time with Governor Palin and with Senator McCain, who called the veteran Israeli statesman "my old friend." The warm handshake... occurred during an international gathering known as the Clinton Global Initiative. "I wanted to meet you for many years," Ms. Palin told Mr. Peres, according to an aide to the president. "The only flag at my office is an Israeli flag," she was quoted as saying, "and I want you to know and I want Israelis to know that I am a friend."

Senate to Vote On Bailout Package Wednesday 30 Sep 2008 Senate leaders have scheduled a vote for Wednesday on the $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan rejected by the House. Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell say, however, that they're going to add a tax cut package [!] already rejected by the House on Monday.

U.S. stocks bounce back after Monday's plunge --Indexes positioned for steep declines in crisis-riddled month of September 30 Sep 2008 U.S. stock indexes on Tuesday blasted back from the prior session's historic rout, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average chalking up its third-biggest point gain on optimism that a rescue plan would make a comeback in coming days on Capitol Hill.

Bush Administration Adds $4 Trillion to National Debt 29 Sep 2008 With no fanfare and little notice, the national debt has grown by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush’s presidency. It’s the biggest increase under any president in U.S history. On the day President [sic] Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

Fed Pumps Further $630 Billion Into Financial System 29 Sep 2008 The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression. The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed's emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450 billion. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities.

Fed makes billions available to battle crisis 29 Sep 2008 The Federal Reserve and foreign central banks moved Monday to pump billions of dollars to cash-strapped banks at home and abroad in a dramatic bid to break through a credit clog and spur lending. The Fed said the action is intended to "expand significantly" the cash available to financial institutions, its latest effort to relieve the worst credit crisis since the Great Depression.

House limits constituent e-mails to prevent crash 30 Sep 2008 The House is limiting e-mails from the public to prevent its websites from crashing due to the enormous amount of mail being submitted on the financial bailout bill. As a result, some constituents may get a 'try back at a later time' response if they use the House website to e-mail their lawmakers about the bill defeated in the House on Monday in a 205-228 vote.

Fannie, Freddie get federal grand jury subpoenas 29 Sep 2008 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. mortgage finance giants that were taken over by the government this month, said on Monday they were subpoenaed for documents as part of a federal grand jury investigation into their accounting.

Those who remember the Depression fear its return 30 Sep 2008 "I'm afraid if the next depression that hits is like the one in the '30s, we would not long have a democracy," says Turner Hinkle... At 91, she is plagued by arthritis of the spine. She is proud of her two sons, one who became a stockbroker, one who became a doctor. But a woman who was never afraid during the Depression is afraid now. She is afraid for her great grandchildren and for the world they have been born into.

When Madmen Reign By Bob Herbert 30 Sep 2008 George H.W. Bush warned us about "voodoo economics" in 1980, but the ideologues clamped a gag on him and put him on the Gipper’s ticket. For much of the time since then, the madmen of the right have carried the day. They were freed of their remaining few restraints with the ascendance of George W. Bush in 2000. These were the reckless clowns who led us into the foolish multitrillion-dollar debacle in Iraq and who crafted tax policies that enormously benefited millionaires and billionaires while at the same time ran up staggering amounts of government debt. This is the crowd that contributed mightily to the greatest disparities in wealth in the U.S. since the gilded age. This was the crowd that cut the cords of corporate and financial regulations and in myriad other ways gleefully hacked away at the best interests of the United States. Now we’re looking into the abyss.

Sci-Fi Writer Sues Bush: You Guys Stole My End of the World Story Satire by R J Shulman 29 Sep 2008 Simon Le Bovier, a popular science fiction writer best known for The Village Idiot Chronicles, filed a lawsuit against the Bush administration for stealing the ideas from his book, Masters of the End Times. "They not only stole the story, they’ve put it into action." ...Le Bovier says the book was eventually rejected by his publisher as being too unrealistic. "But I look at what has happened to America and the world, and I see my book was the blueprint." Le Bovier claims that he has recently traced the hacker to a site located in a bunker somewhere in Wyoming.

Bill would limit Homeland Security laptop searches 30 Sep 2008 The Homeland Security Department has declared its right to seize laptops at the U.S. border indefinitely, but legislation introduced Thursday is intended to curb that power. U.S. Senators Russ Feingold, D-Wis., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and U.S. House Representative Adam Smith, D-Wash., introduced the Travelers Privacy Protection Act in response to the DHS policy allowing customs agents to detain a traveler's laptop for an unspecified period of time to review its contents, even absent of individualized suspicion.

Police Union Shirt Pokes Fun At DNC Protesters --Denver Officers Given T-Shirt to Commemorate Event 26 Sep 2008 The Denver police union is selling T-shirts that poke fun at protesters at last month's Democratic National Convention, but the main target isn't laughing. The back of the shirts reads, "We get up early to beat the crowds" and "2008 DNC," and has a caricature of a police officer holding a baton. The front has the number 68 with a slash through it, a reference to the Recreate 68 Coalition, which organized several demonstrations during the convention.

Holy dictatorship, Batman! Revision of Term-Limits Law to Be Sought --Bloomberg Called Ready to Announce Third-Term Bid 01 Oct 2008 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans to announce on Thursday morning that he will seek a third term as mayor, according to three people who have been told of his plans. Right now, Mr. Bloomberg is barred by law from seeking re-election. But he will propose trying to revise the city’s 15-year-old term limits law, which would otherwise force him and dozens of other elected leaders out of office in 2009, the three people said.

Court denies GOP appeal on Ohio early voting 30 Sep 2008 A federal court has ruled against a GOP appeal of a disputed early voting window that allows Ohio voters to register and cast a ballot on the same day. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati denied the Ohio GOP's request that ballots cast during the weeklong period be segregated from other ballots.

Republicans fear Sarah Palin is losing popularity 30 Sep 2008 There are signs that Sarah Palin’s popularity is slipping and evidence that her party is worried about how much help she will be for McCain. A month after Senator Palin joined John McCain's ticket in a burst of excitement among Republicans, she is heading into a critical debate facing challenges from conservatives about her credentials.

Media Bias: Going beyond Fair and Balanced --Despite popular accounts, researchers found that Barack Obama got more negative press coverage than John McCain did in the early summer 26 Sep 2008 This past summer, just as the view that journalists were going softer on Barack Obama than on John McCain was becoming widely accepted, Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) issued a report showing that 72 percent of the statements in TV news reports about Obama in late spring and early summer were negative, whereas 57 percent of the statements about McCain were negative.

Raining on Obama and Biden's Parade 27 Sep 2008 The rain pouring down, his jacket off, his white dress-shirt clinging to his body, Barack Obama played to a crowd in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1964. Obama and his running mate Delaware Sen. Joe Biden took the stage at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., before a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 people who had been waiting hours in the mud to see them.

The methane time bomb --Arctic scientists discover new global warming threat as melting permafrost releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide 23 Sep 2008 The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists. The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats.

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Dow Suffers a Historic Drop, Falling 778 Points in Single Day 29 Sep 2008 Spooked investors fled the market today after the House rejected the $700 billion financial plan to rescue the financial market. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down about 778 points, at 10,365. That was nearly a 7 percent drop. The Nasdaq lost 200 points, about 9 percent, and the broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 106 points, a decline of nearly 9 percent.

Dow falls nearly 7 percent in wake of House bailout defeat 29 Sep 2008 Congressional leaders and the Bush administration vowed to revive a $700 billion Wall Street rescue after rebellious Republicans defied their leadership and killed the controversial plan Monday.

Giuliani's law firm seeking bailout business 26 Sep 2008 In the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, former Mayor [9/11 co-conspirator] Rudy Giuliani has begun drumming up business, positioning his law firm to advise corporate clients on how to profit from the government's $700 billion bailout. Bracewell & Giuliani LLP announced it has formed a corporate task force to advise "financial institutions, private investment funds, institutional investors and other market participants" on the costly package. "Our team of former government officials and experienced attorneys in the fields of legislation, enforcement and finance are equipped to guide institutions in this quickly evolving and complex environment," Giuliani said.

Treasury Would Emerge With Vast New Power --The secretary can choose to bail out foreign central banks. [This is absolute bullsh*t.] 29 Sep 2008 During its weeklong deliberations, Congress made many changes to the Bush regime’s original proposal to bail out the financial industry, but one overarching aspect of the initial plan that remains is the vast discretion it gives to the Treasury secretary. The draft legislation, which will be put to a House vote on Monday, gives Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and his successor extraordinary power to decide how the $700 billion bailout fund is spent. Mr. Paulson can choose to buy from any financial institution that does business in the United States, or from pension funds, with wide discretion over what he will buy and how much he will pay. Under some conditions, the secretary can choose to bail out foreign central banks.

Still No Bailout - Lipstick on Pig Edition By Bob Fertik 28 Sep 2008 (1) Call your Representatives and Senators at 800-473-6711 or 202-224-3121 and say No Bailout! (2) Email them too. After a week of high-drama negotiations, Congress and Hank Paulson issued Bailout version 1.1, which is just the original Paulson pig with a lot of lipstick.

Golden parachutes here to stay --Advocates of financial rescue trumpet end to big exit packages for execs. But many leaving troubled firms that get help will still get to take a bundle with them. 28 Sep 2008 Many advocates of the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street trumpet its limitations on large pay packages and so-called golden parachutes for some of the top executives at the troubled firms that will get help. Barack Obama and John McCain [both *useless*], in endorsing the rescue plan, pointed to the restrictions on Wall Street pay... Under the bill, Wall Street executives who already have golden parachutes are likely to keep them even if their companies get government help. "We're not abrogating contracts," said a Treasury official who briefed reporters Sunday.

The Rich Are Staging a Coup This Morning By Michael Moore 29 Sep 2008 The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies -- who must soon vacate the White House -- are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab... Having read further the details of this bailout bill, you need to know you are being lied to. They talk about how they will prevent golden parachutes. It says NOTHING about what these executives and fat cats will make in SALARY... There is no direct ownership given to the American people for the money being handed over. Foreign banks and investors will be allowed to receive billion-dollar handouts. A large chunk of this $700 billion is going to be given directly to Chinese and Middle Eastern banks... The Dems handed a stolen election over to Bush. The Dems gave Bush the votes he needed to invade a sovereign country. Once they took over Congress in 2007, they refused to pull the plug on the war. And now they have been cowered into being accomplices in the crime of the century. You have to call them now and say "NO!"

Mussolini-Style Corporatism in Action: Treasury Conference Call on Bailout Bill to Analysts (naked capitalism) 29 Sep 2008 Various readers wrote us, and it was confirmed by a detailed report on the call at DealBreaker, that the Treasury Department held a conference call this evening for analysts on the bailout bill. A memo was evidently sent to SIFMA members; others may have been contacted by other means... This is simply scandalous. To have a group of interested parties get a privileged briefing by government officials on a matter of keen public interest flies in the face of what a democracy is supposed to be about... The tap dancing is because they don't want it to get out that they'll be giving a sweetheart deal. The public won't be following each individual transaction to see exactly what price is being paid. So ridiculously overpriced asset sales can be hidden in the details, and by the time some reporter (or blogger) combs through and analyzes the transactions, the deed will have been done. But if Paulson makes a statement that assets will be bought at par before the bailout's even begun, that will be reported and might kill the deal.

Democrats take charge of pushing through Bush's bailout of Wall Street By Barry Grey 29 Sep 2008 ... Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain signaled their support for the bailout bill on Sunday. They echoed the line of President [sic] Bush... The two token measures initially proposed by congressional Democrats--enabling bankruptcy judges to amend mortgage terms to allow distressed homeowners to avert foreclosure and allotting 20 percent of any profits accrued by the government from the resale of bank assets to a housing fund--were stricken from the final deal under pressure from Wall Street and the Republicans. Obama personally intervened last week to oppose the inclusion of the bankruptcy court provision, which has been fiercely opposed by the banking industry.

'At this point, one has the suspicion that a McCain administration would have us longing for Bush-era competence.' The 3 A.M. Call By Paul Krugman 29 Sep 2008 It’s 3 a.m., a few months into 2009, and the phone in the White House rings. Several big hedge funds are about to fail, says the voice on the line, and there’s likely to be chaos when the market opens. Whom do you trust to take that call? ...Then there’s the frightening Mr. McCain -- more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago... At this point, one has the suspicion that a McCain administration would have us longing for Bush-era competence.

Citigroup to buy Wachovia bank units 29 Sep 2008 Citigroup Inc agreed on Monday to buy Wachovia Corp's banking operations, in a dramatic rescue of a giant lender hurt by bad mortgages amid turmoil in global credit markets. The $2.16 billion all-stock transaction was brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Governments stump up $23.7b to rescue Fortis 30 Sep 2008 Fortis, the largest Belgian financial-services firm, will receive a ¬11.2 billion ($23.7 billion) rescue from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg after investor confidence in the bank evaporated last week.

Mukasey Appoints Prosecutor to Probe Gonzales's Role 29 Sep 2008 Investigators probing the firing of nine U.S. attorneys concluded that top Justice Department officials "abdicated their responsibility" by failing to supervise subordinates who carried out the botched plan, according to a long-awaited report released today. At their urging, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey selected a federal prosecutor [Connecticut Acting U.S. Attorney Nora R. Dannehy] to continue the inquiry, focusing on whether department officials, including former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales, misled Congress after the firings came to light last year.

Justice report: U.S. attorney firings had political intent 28 Sep 2008 A Justice Department report to be released today offers a blistering critique of the political motivations that led to the firings of a group of U.S. attorneys in late 2006, but it stops short of recommending criminal charges against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or others, officials said.

No grand jury likely for Gonzales 29 Sep 2008 A report on a Justice Department investigation into the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys is harshly critical of the politically charged dismissals but does not recommend referring the role of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to a grand jury for possible criminal charges, according to published reports. The Washington Post and The New York Times, in Monday editions, said department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility do recommend, however, that a prosecutor continue to investigate the involvement of lawmakers and the White House in the firings.

Taliban show no let up despite 8,000 soldiers in FATA 28 Sep 2008 Taliban hostilities show no sign of abating despite the deployment of 8,000 troops in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the army’s claim of killing 1,000 Taliban, according to The Times. The newspaper said in a report on Saturday that a constant supply of fresh fighters from inside the country and across the border in Afghanistan is helping the Taliban to stay in the fight. Bajaur Agency is a main operating base for Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and the Taliban. Pakistani intelligence believes that Ayman al-Zawahri, the second-in-command of Al Qaeda, has been a visitor.

Revealed: secret Taliban peace bid --Saudis are sponsoring a peace dialogue involving a former senior member of the hardline group 28 Sep 2008 The Taliban have been engaged in secret talks about ending the conflict in Afghanistan in a wide-ranging 'peace process' sponsored by Saudi Arabia and supported by Britain, The Observer can reveal. The unprecedented negotiations involve a senior former member of the hardline Islamist movement travelling between Kabul, the bases of the Taliban senior leadership in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and European capitals. Britain has provided logistic and diplomatic support for the talks - despite official statements that negotiations can be held only with Taliban who are ready to renounce, or have renounced, violence.

'US must stop incursions into Pakistan' 29 Sep 2008 Pakistan's president warns US against launching military incursions, saying Islamabad is fully capable of controlling the Afghan border. Asif Ali Zardari, in an interview with CNN broadcast on Sunday, said that Pakistan's military is capable of quelling militant elements on its border with Afghanistan, adding that Pakistani troops "can do a better job than anybody else."

Government losing support for Afghanistan campaign 29 Sep 2008 Australian support for a continued military presence in Afghanistan has significantly dwindled in the latest wide-reaching poll conducted by the international policy think tank, the Lowy Institute. A majority of the Australians surveyed are opposed to Australia's continued military involvement in the country, and only half are confident in the Government's long-term strategy there.

Olmert Says Israel Should Pull Out of West Bank 30 Sep 2008 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview published on Monday that Israel must withdraw from nearly all the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem to attain peace with the Palestinians and that any occupied land it held onto would have to be exchanged for the same quantity of Israeli territory.

CIA, Mossad behind Damascus bombing 28 Sep 2008 A senior Lebanese cleric has accused CIA and Mossad of masterminding a bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed 17 people. Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Amir Kabalan, the deputy head of Lebanon's High Shia Council, also said that it was possible some Arab countries collaborated with the US and Israel in the plot. The bombing that took place in a southern suburb of Damascus on Saturday left at least 17 people dead and 14 others wounded. Kabalan said the terrorist attack was part of a bigger scheme to destabilize Syria and the entire Middle East region.

CIA, Mossad still busy little bees: At least five killed, 17 wounded in Lebanon military bus blast 29 Sep 2008 At least five people were killed and 17 injured on Monday in an explosion that hit a bus carrying troops in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, al-Watania news agency said. The explosion occurred near an army post in the Buhsas area in the south of the city. An explosive device planted in a car was activated by remote control, the agency said. The attack is the second on the Lebanese military in the last two months.

Iraq buys 12 US-made reconnaissance planes 29 Sep 2008 Iraq has bought 12 new U.S.-built reconnaissance planes to monitor militants and the borders, the Defense Ministry said Monday, a small step in the country's attempt to reassert itself in air space now controlled by U.S.-led forces. A ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, said six King Air planes had been delivered and the other six were expected soon.

The McBush surge sucks: More than 30 dead in series of Baghdad bombings 29 Sep 2008 Iraqi police say a series of bombings has killed at least 32 people and wounded many others in Baghdad as Iraqis prepared to break their daily fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Security officials say one bomb exploded in a parked minibus in Baghdad's western Shurta neighborhood Sunday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 35 others.

U.S. soldier dies in 'vehicle accident' in Baghdad 28 Sep 2008 The U.S. military in Iraq said on Sunday that one soldier died of wounds sustained from a vehicle accident in Baghdad. The military said in a statement that the soldier, assigned to Multi-National Division-Center, died at about 1:00 p.m. (1000 GMT) on Saturday due to fatal wounds sustained more than three hours earlier when his vehicle rolled over in southeastern Baghdad.

Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton's mosque By Kyle Nagel 27 Sep 2008 Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors. Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m. Someone "sprayed an irritant into the mosque," Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

Foggo pleads guilty to fraud 29 Sep 2008 A former high-ranking CIA official pleaded guilty Monday to one count of fraud stemming from the Randall "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal that landed the former congressman and a Poway defense contractor in prison. Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, 53, who resigned as the executive director of the CIA in 2006, admitted he used his position to steer millions of dollars in lucrative government contracts toward the company of his best friend Brent Wilkes, a Poway defense contractor, prosecutors said Monday.

Anti-Palin rally calls for Colberg removal --Troopergate: More than 1,000 protesters gather in downtown Anchorage park. 28 Sep 2008 A protest slamming Gov. Sarah Palin's handling of the state's so-called Troopergate investigation -- and calling for the attorney general to lose his job -- drew more than 1,000 people to the Delaney Park Strip in Anchorage on Saturday. Protesters chanted "recall Palin!" as organizers told the crowd to push state legislators to keep after their investigation into the governor's firing of her top cop.

The Obama-McCain debate: Right-wing politicians agree on bailout and militarism By Patrick Martin 29 Sep 2008 Friday night’s presidential election debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain demonstrated that there is no choice in the 2008 presidential election within the confines of the official two-party system. Two candidates stood facing each other, espousing nearly identical positions in defense of Wall Street and American militarism which would, in any other country in the world, immediately identify them as representatives of the ultra-right... Obama does not represent an alternative to the right-wing program of the American ruling elite, but rather a cosmetic change to permit this program to be continued and even escalated.

Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains 8-Point Lead --Registered voters prefer Obama to McCain, 50% to 42% 29 Sep 2008 The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update, based on Sept. 26-28 polling, shows Barack Obama with a 50% to 42% lead over John McCain, unchanged from the prior report.

Obama turns tide of Record endorsements By Mike Klocke (Editor, The Record) 28 Sep 2008 For the first time in 72 years, The Record is endorsing a Democrat for president. Franklin D. Roosevelt got our nod in 1936. The reasons for the endorsement of Barack Obama over John McCain are articulated in the editorial on this page. The unanimous decision was made by our editorial board...

Obama Honored with Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Award 28 Sep 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama spoke on economic and racial injustice as he received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Phoenix award at the 38th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) dinner on Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C.

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US bailout fuels protests in streets, online 28 Sep 2008 Even as lawmakers laboured to break the impasse on Bush administration's $700 billion plan to rescue giant Wall Street firms to solve the financial crisis, the bailout has spontaneously inspired street protests in the US and outrage gone viral across the web. Protesters argue that they would want the Congress to protect millions of ordinary American citizens on the verge of losing their homes due to poor lending practices of creditors instead of handing out public money to big investment companies responsible for ruining the economy in the first place.

Wall Street Executives Made $3 Billion Before Crisis 26 Sep 2008 Wall Street's five biggest firms paid more than $3 billion in the last five years to their top executives, while they presided over the packaging and sale of loans that helped bring down the investment-banking system. Merrill Lynch & Co. paid its chief executives the most, with Stanley O'Neal taking in $172 million from 2003 to 2007 and John Thain getting $86 million, including a signing bonus, after beginning work in December. Bear Stearns Cos.'s James "Jimmy" Cayne made $161 million before the company collapsed and was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June. [If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.]

Vote No Bailout! Demand that the bailout legislation be rejected. 28 Sep 2008 We are witnessing a bankers' coup d'etat. In the name of saving the economy from a crisis created by their own greed and immense profits, the biggest bankers have taken a country and a people hostage. "Give us your money and tear up what's left of your Constitution or we will sink your economy," is the message from Wall Street and the Bush Administration... Under the pretext of the banking crisis, the Bush Administration is changing the way this country operates. This is not simply taking trillions of dollars from the people and giving it to the richest bankers to do with as they see fit. Congress is poised to vote to give the Executive Branch of government, and specifically the White House’s political appointees in the Treasury Department, the absolute right to take our money and give it to domestic and foreign banks and corporations without any oversight of elected officials, from the courts, or from the people... Send a letter to your Congressional Representatives.

Still more welfare for Bush's predatory capitalists: House passes $25-billion loan package for auto industry The low-interest assistance program aims to boost production of fuel-efficient vehicles. [WHY do taxpayers have to bribe corpora-terrorists to manufacture fuel-efficient vehicles? Scr*w that!] 25 Sep 2008 Acting with unusual speed and bipartisanship, the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved funding for a $25-billion loan program to help the auto industry build more fuel-efficient vehicles. Supporters portrayed the bill as small change compared with the $700-billion Wall Street bailout proposed by the Bush regime, and Michigan lawmakers said they were preparing to seek another $25 billion over the next three years.

Party Leaders Back Revised Plan for Bailout 29 Sep 2008 Congress braced for a difficult vote on a $700 billion rescue of the financial markets after a weekend of tense negotiations produced a plan that Congressional leaders began selling to lawmakers on Sunday as significantly strengthened by new taxpayer safeguards.

Lawmakers Reach Accord on Huge Financial Rescue --Vote on $700B Bailout Plan May Come as Early as Monday 28 Sep 2008 Congressional leaders and the Bush regime this morning said they had struck an accord to insert the government deeply into the nation's financial markets, agreeing to spend up to $700 billion to relieve Wall Street of troubled assets backed by faltering home mortgages.

106-Page Plan Outlines Final Bailout --Lawmakers Hope to Vote This Week 28 Sep 2008 The U.S. Congress released on Sunday a 106-page agreement to bail out financial firms. The agreement authorizes Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. "to establish a troubled asset relief program, or "TARP," to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, troubled assets from any financial institution, on such terms and conditions as are determined by the secretary," the agreement says in part.

Bailout failure 'will cause US crash' 28 Sep 2008 The US stock market could suffer a devastating crash with shares losing a third of their value this week if Hank Paulson’s financial bailout plan fails, US Treasury officials have warned. The financial system could face a meltdown of 1929 proportions unless US politicians succeed in their efforts for a $700bn rescue scheme, experts added... Officials close to Paulson are privately painting a far bleaker portrait of the fragility of the global economy than that advanced by President [sic] George W Bush in his televised address last week.

S.E.C. Concedes Oversight Flaws Fueled Collapse 27 Sep 2008 The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a longtime proponent of deregulation, acknowledged on Friday that failures in a voluntary supervision program for Wall Street’s largest investment banks had contributed to the global financial crisis, and he abruptly shut the program down... Christopher Cox, the commission chairman, said he agreed that the oversight program was "fundamentally flawed from the beginning. The last six months have made it abundantly clear that voluntary regulation does not work," he said in a statement.

Schumer: McCain is 'not helping' 26 Sep 2008 During a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) urged President [sic] Bush to "respectfully tell Sen. McCain to get out of town. He's not helping." ...Schumer siad, "When you inject presidential politics into some of the most difficult negotiations under normal circumstances, it is fraught with difficulty. Before McCain made his announcement, we were making great progress. Now after his announcement, we are behind the 8 ball. We have to put things back together again."

McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry 28 Sep 2008 John McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain. The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain’s campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world’s second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain’s affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.

McCain's Suspension Bridge to Nowhere By Frank Rich 28 Sep 2008 What we learned last week is that the man who always puts his "country first" will take the country down with him if that’s what it takes to get to the White House. For all the focus on Friday night’s deadlocked debate, it still can’t obscure what preceded it: When John McCain gratuitously parachuted into Washington on Thursday, he didn’t care if his grandstanding might precipitate an even deeper economic collapse. All he cared about was whether he might save his campaign. George Bush put more deliberation into invading Iraq than McCain did into his own reckless invasion of the delicate Congressional negotiations on the bailout plan.

Palin Interviews Spark GOP Concerns 27 Sep 2008 A conservative columnist who welcomed Sarah Palin's entry in national politics says she's proven to be a dud and should step aside as John McCain's running mate. Kathleen Parker, writing in the National Review Online, says her "cringe reflex is exhausted" [aka "mega barf alert!"] after watching the Alaska governor stumble through TV interviews and it's become clear to her that Palin is out of her league.

McCain camp prays for Palin wedding --The marriage of the vice-presidential candidate's pregnant teenage daughter could lift a flagging campaign 28 Sep 2008 In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one -- the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 'election.' Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. 'It would be fantastic,' said a McCain insider... The ice-hockey player wrote on his MySpace page he was a "f****** redneck" and stated, "I don’t want kids." But a McCain insider predicted he would marry Bristol whenever his future mother-in-law wanted. "It's a shotgun wedding. She kills things," the source joked.

Gallup Daily: Obama Moves to 50% to 42% Lead --Obama registers strong performance over Thursday-Saturday time period 28 Sep 2008 Barack Obama leads John McCain, 50% to 42% among registered voters in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday -- just one point shy of his strongest showing of the year.

McBush's surge (like them) is a colossal *failure.* Baghdad bombs kill at least 32 28 Sep 2008 Four bombs killed at least 32 people and wounded scores in busy districts of Baghdad on Sunday, police said. A car bomb exploded in a parking lot in central Baghdad's busy Karrada shopping district. Almost immediately afterwards, a suicide bomber detonated a vest packed with explosives at the same spot, the Interior Ministry said, after investigating the scene. The double strike killed at least 19 people and wounded 72, police said.

Mayor wounded by bomb in N. Iraq town 28 Sep 2008 The Kurdish mayor of a town in a volatile area of northern Iraq was wounded by a roadside bomb attack on his motorcade on Sunday, police said. Three bodyguards and two civilians were also wounded by the bomb targeting Mayor Ahmed Zarkoush in the town of Sa'adiya, near Jalawla in the north of Iraq's volatile Diyala province.

US ambassador appeals for patience in Iraq 28 Sep 2008 U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker on Sunday accused Iran [? LOL!] of trying to interfere with a new security pact between Iraq and the United States, and said Americans need to view Iraq with "a sense of strategic patience" because the stakes in the region are so high. The diplomat, interviewed by The Associated Press at his embassy in Baghdad, is in the middle of tough negotiations with Iraqi officials to define the basis for a continuing American military presence in the country beyond the end of this year.

U.S. establishes permanent radar site in Israel to watch Iran 28 Sep 2008 The Yanks have landed in Israel. For the first time in the Jewish state's 60-year history, the U.S. has established a permanent military presence here, according to Defense News. About 120 American troops have arrived in the Negev Desert to set up an early warning radar that will track missiles launched in Iran, the authoritative U.S.-based weekly says in its current issue.

Israeli officials say US provides advanced radar 29 Sep 2008 The U.S. has provided Israel with an advanced radar system that will give it early warning in case of an Iranian missile attack, Israeli officials said Sunday, confirming a new defense tool in what is potentially the Mideast's deadliest feud.

Olmert decries 'evil wind of extremism' in Israel 28 Sep 2008 An "evil wind of extremism" is threatening Israel's democracy, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Sunday, after a pipe bomb attack wounded a professor critical of Israel's settler movement. Olmert's forceful comments came amid growing concerns in Israel about violence by hard-line radicals, including extremist West Bank settlers.

Bet on Israel bombing Iran By Robert Baer 27 Sep 2008 Are we going to have an October surprise, an attack on Iran by either the Bush administration or by Israel to stop the regime from becoming a nuclear power? It could happen - and alter the dynamics of the presidential race in the blink of an eye - but only if Israel pulls the trigger.

Leading policewoman Malalai Kakar shot dead in Afghanistan 29 Sep 2008 Taleban gunmen shot dead Afghanistan's most high-profile policewoman yesterday as her teenage son prepared to drive her to work. Malalai Kakar, the head of the city of Kandahar's department for crimes against women, had been the subject of numerous media reports... She had survived several assassination attempts.

Taliban revival sets fear swirling through Kabul --Attacks are on the rise and civilians are increasingly nervous with the jihadists now just 20 minutes from the capital 28 Sep 2008 "The number of violent incidents has jumped from an average of 700 per month last year to 900-1,000 in the last two months," said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the United Nations mission in Afghanistan. "I don’t think anyone is contemplating an invasion of Kabul but the Taliban are much closer to the capital - within kilometres."

Some Questions about the '9 20' incident at Marriott Hotel in Islamabad 27 Sep 2008 1. Why a US embassy truckload of steel boxes was unloaded and shifted inside the Marriott Hotel on the same night when Admiral Mike Mullen met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others in Islamabad? (two nights before this devastating explosion) 2. Why both the main gates (the entrance and the exit) of the hotel were closed while no one except the US Marines were either allowed to go near the truck or get the steel boxes unloaded or shift them inside the hote? 3. Why these steel boxes were not passed through the scanners installed at the entrance of the hotel lobby and were reportedly shifted to the 4th and 5th floors of the Marriott? (Our PM Gillani was even asked to go through the security checks on US airport, even removing his shoes in the recent visit to US.)

Germany Pulls Two Suspected Terrorism Trainees From Plane 27 Sep 2008 Two terrorism suspects who had left notes saying they were willing to die for "jihad" were pulled off a flight at the airport here Friday morning, moments before it was scheduled to depart, authorities said... An increasing number of Muslim radicals have left Germany to be trained at militant camps in Pakistan, where according to counterterrorism officials they are plotting attacks back in Europe.

Canadian provinces braces for Hurricane Kyle 29 Sep 2008 Authorities in Canada are on alert as Hurricane Kyle approaches the country's Maritime provinces. A hurricane watch has been issued for Nova Scotia as well as parts of coastal Maine. Hurricane Kyle has been gaining in intensity and is bearing down on the area with 140 kilometre an hour winds.

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