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Saturday, December 23, 2006

FEMA Not Required to Restore Aid to Evacuees, Court Rules

Evacuees Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Screwed again by the Courts.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency does not have to reinstate immediately rental assistance to evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled yesterday, reversing a decision that a lower court judge had said he hoped would "get these people a roof over their heads before Christmas."


Iraqi Hopes Dim Through Worst Year of Occupation

Despite promises from Iraqi and US leaders that 2006 would bring improvement, Iraqis have suffered through the worst year in living memory, facing violence, fragmentation and a disintegrated economy. A year back Iraqis were promised that 2006 would be the fresh beginning of a prosperous, democratic and unified Iraq. Through an elected parliament and a unity government, they would find peace, and start rebuilding a country. But everyone agrees that the situation now is worse than ever.


Five Years of Infamy: Close Guantanamo!

"On January 11, 2002, the first detainees from Afghanistan arrived at the prison in the US Naval Base, Guantanamo, Cuba. In the succeeding five years, Guantanamo has symbolized to the world the Bush administration's abandonment of international and domestic law, and the development of a policy of inhumane treatment and use of torture. These claims have been linked to military and CIA operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and in an unknown number of secret prisons. More than 775 detainees have been held in Guantanamo since January 11, 2002. After five years, no Guantanamo detainee has been convicted of a criminal offense," says Colonel Ann Wright (Retired).


Bush urges prayers, gifts for Iraq GIs

What a friking Joke he is. Wonder how many Iraqi Citizens and Military will be lost over this Christmas Period.

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 26 minutes ago

President Bush on Saturday told troops who are spending Christmas far from their families that "the coming year will bring change" — but no reduction in support for their service and sacrifice.
The president is rushing to craft a course correction for the increasingly unpopular Iraq war. New Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who returned Friday night from a three-day reconnaissance trip to Iraq, joined Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley and others to brief the president Saturday at Camp David.

Bush is spending the long Christmas weekend with his family at the presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains. On Dec. 26, Bush flies to his Texas ranch, where he'll be until Jan. 1.

"If you're serving on the front lines halfway across the world, it is natural to wonder what all this means for you," the president said in his weekly radio address, taped before he left Washington for the holiday. "I want our troops to know that while the coming year will bring change, one thing will not change, and that is our nation's support for you and the vital work you do to achieve a victory in Iraq."..............


Cheney Gets A Raise...

Associated Press December 23, 2006 03:20 PM

President Bush signed an executive order Thursday to raise the pay of federal workers, members of Congress and Vice President Dick Cheney in the new year.

Congress passed the pay raises earlier this year, but Bush was required to sign an executive order to enforce them.


Israel intends to engage a top U.S. public relations firm in a media blitz designed to improve its damaged image in the United States.

December 18, 2006 -- Worried that its already sizeable lobbying machine and political and media clout in Washington are not enough to help it recover from the bad press it has encountered as a result of President Carter's new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" and former Secretary of State James Baker's conclusion in the Iraq Study Group report that a solution to the Israel-Palestine problem must presage a resolution of the Iraq situation, Israel intends to engage a top U.S. public relations firm in a media blitz designed to improve its damaged image in the United States.

The first indications of the campaign are already underway, with pro-Israeli media elements engaging in vicious personal attacks against Carter, Baker, and emergent Iraq war naysayer Colin Powell on an increase. The Israel supporters on the left, particularly certain well known blogs and particular Democratic leaders, can also be expected to come out strongly against those who favor an immediate military pullout. This has already been evident in Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid distancing themselves from President Carter and other Democrats ridiculing newly-announced presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who favors an immediate pullout from Iraq.

Israel's government is also keenly aware that with a parade of U.S. senators visiting Damascus to seek Syria's assistance to end the Iraqi conflagration, Jerusalem is increasingly being seen as obstructionist. President Bush's decision to stick with the neo-cons and conduct a "surge" military operation in Iraq, with as many as 35,000 to 50,000 troops expected to be deployed, will likely result in a higher U.S. military casualty count. The upcoming trial of two AIPAC officials in a Pentagon espionage case will also cause a public relations problem for Israel. In addition, continuing neo-con influence over the White House will also have a blowback effect on Israel. Rightly or wrongly, Israel's influence over the Bush administration -- most recently seen in the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the corrupt right-wing Israeli politician Natan Sharansky -- will be seen by many Americans as being ultimately the cause of America's disastrous involvement in Iraq.

Wayne Madsen Report

An Elitist Global Agenda Newspaper

December 18, 2006 -- Always true to form, the elitist and banking class-owned and operated Washington Post lauded the illegal U.S. stooge in the Mexican presidency, Felipe Calderon, in an editorial in its Dec. 15 edition. The Post heralded Calderon's decision to arrest one of the leaders of the Oaxaca popular protest -- a rebellion that threatens the interests of the Post's business friends and investors in a proposed North American super highway corridor that will propel even more cheap Chinese-made goods into the North American economy. The Post also thanked Calderon for dispatching 6500 Federal police to his home state of Michoacan to combat drug traffickers. Too bad the Post missed the story about a U.S. plane painted in Homeland Security Department colors that was forced to land in Mexico earlier this year with 5.5 tons of cocaine. The revenue from the sale of the cocaine was intended to help pay for Calderon's presidential campaign -- courtesy of the Bush crime family.

An Elitist Global Agenda Newspaper

The Post also had an opportunity to stick it to Mexico's legitimate president -- Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The editorial chided Lopez Obrador, calling him "the failed presidential candidate who now seeks to destroy Mexico's democracy." The Post's editorial writers should be more concerned about "the failed Washington newspaper that helped destroy America's democracy."

Wayne Masden Report

Prescott on Poppy: "I don't know what to do with that stupid son of a bitch!"

December 19, 2006 -- As historians and pundits argue over whether George W. Bush is the worst president ever, it should not be forgotten who is the second worst president in U.S. history. That distinction certainly goes to the man who spawned Dubya, George H. W. Bush. WMR spoke to informed sources who have some past knowledge of "Poppy" Bush. Two stories about Poppy are clear indications that in the Bush family, the motto, "like father, like son," has definite meaning.

In the days before there were intelligence oversight committees in Congress, CIA oversight was in the hands of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which had responsibility for the CIA's immense "black budget." in the mid-1950s, Poppy's father, Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, and the late Georgia Democratic Senator Richard Russell were on a Senate Appropriations Committee CIA black budget "oversight" visit to Hawaii. Prescott Bush was overheard by a senior CIA officer saying, "I don't know what to do with that stupid son of a bitch!" Russell asked Bush who he was talking about. Bush replied, "My son." Poppy Bush was then an oil wildcatter in Midland, Texas.
Prescott on Poppy: "I don't know what to do with that stupid son of a bitch!"

In 1986, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush paid a visit to Saudi Arabia to insist on oil production cuts and, therefore, increased profits for Bush’s oil industry pals. The reason was simple: Bush wanted to ensure that oil industry political campaign coffers were flush with money for his 1988 presidential run. Poppy Bush’s was an architect of the previous Reagan administration strategy to keep world oil prices artificially low in order to bankrupt the oil-producing Soviet Union.

Wayne Madsen Report

Iraqi $200m suit over UN 'oil-for-food'

Going to be interesting to see if the other 2200 Companies are going to have lawsuits filed against them?

In October 2005, a U.N.-backed investigation said in a report that about 2,200 companies in the oil-for-food program, including corporations in the United States, France, Germany and Russia, paid a total of $1.8 billion in kickbacks and illicit surcharges to Saddam Hussein's government.

By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Iraqi citizens filed a $200 million lawsuit Friday against a prominent European bank and an Australian wheat exporter, saying they were cheated out of humanitarian goods when the companies permitted the U.N. oil-for-food program to be corrupted.

The lawsuit, brought by seven Iraqi individuals seeking class-action status on behalf of northern Iraqis, said the bank, BNP Paribas, and AWB Limited, the largest humanitarian goods provider under the oil-for-food program, cheated the citizens of Iraq from June 10, 1999, to June 3, 2003.

The suit, in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, seeks at least $200 million in damages under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

According to the lawsuit, residents of the Irbil, Dokuk and Sulaimaniyah areas of Iraq claimed they did not receive the full benefits to which they were entitled. >>>cont


The Oil-For-Food 'Scandal' is a Cynical Smokescreen

Bush Allowed Saddam To Circumvent And Profit Illegally From Oil-for-Food Program

The Quiet Oil-for-Food Scandal

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted November 4, 2005.
We aren't going to hear much about the corporations that paid bribes in the Oil-for-Food scandal because Bush's family, friends and closest advisors are in it knee-deep, along with some Democrats.

Iran ordered to pay $254 million in Khobar Towers bombing

For Khobar Towers attack; Parliament speaker warns of reaction to vote.

US Generals Back Bush's Plan For “Surge” Of Military Troops...

Unfrikingbelievable, is the military filled with Georgies Stooges for Gods sake?
The Los Angeles Times Julian E. Barnes December 23, 2006 01:15 PM

Top U.S. military commanders in Iraq have decided to recommend a "surge" of fresh American combat forces, eliminating one of the last remaining hurdles to proposals being considered by President Bush for a troop increase, a defense official familiar with the plan said Friday.

The approval of a troop increase plan by top Iraq commanders, including Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, comes days before Bush unveils a new course for the troubled U.S. involvement in Iraq. Bush still must address concerns among some Pentagon officials and overcome opposition from Congress, where many Democrats favor a blue-ribbon commission's recommendation for the gradual withdrawal of combat troops.


The Race for Iraq's Resources

The Iraqi government is considering a new oil law that could give private oil companies greater control over its vast reserves. In light of rampant violence and shaky democratic institutions, many fear the law is being pushed through hastily by special interests behind closed doors.


Study: Bears Have Stopped Hibernating Due To Global Warming...

The Independent December 23, 2006 12:14 PM

Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain, scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world.

In a December in which bumblebees, butterflies and even swallows have been on the wing in Britain, European brown bears have been lumbering through the forests of Spain's Cantabrian mountains, when normally they would already be in their long, annual sleep.


UN Security Council Votes Unanimously To Impose Sanctions On Iran…

Reuters December 23, 2006 12:14 PM

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, a move aimed at getting Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work.

"Today we are placing Iran in the small category of states under Security Council sanctions," acting U.S. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff told the council before the 15-0 vote.


Ex-Senator Burns Lashes Out At GOP Campaign Committee: "Ads Hurt Me More Than They Helped"...

Associated Press December 23, 2006 12:40 PM

Narrowly defeated in his bid for a fourth term, Montana Sen. Conrad Burns turned his anger on the National Republican Senatorial Committee and commercials it had run months before the election.

''The ads hurt me more than they helped. I wouldn't have spent the money,'' he said, his comments characteristic of the season of second-guessing now unfolding among Republicans.


U.S. strike kills Afghan Taliban leader

By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
51 minutes ago

KABUL, Afghanistan - A top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. A Taliban spokesman denied the claim.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said. Two associates also were killed, it said.

There was no immediate confirmation from Afghan officials or visual proof offered to support the claim. A U.S. spokesman said "various sources" were used to confirm Osmani's identity.

Osmani, regarded as one of three top associates of Omar, is the highest-ranking Taliban leader the coalition has claimed to have killed or captured since U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime in late 2001 for hosting bin Laden. >>>cont


Shiite cleric won't support coalition

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 29 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric withheld support Saturday for a U.S.-backed plan to build a coalition across sectarian lines, Shiite lawmakers said, jeopardizing hopes that such a show of political unity could help stem the country's deadly violence.

Members of the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition that dominates parliament, met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf after traveling to the holy city over the past few days. Al-Sistani holds no political post and rarely emerges from his home and adjacent office, but he has strong influence over Shiite politics.

Some members of the Shiite alliance have sought a coalition that would include Kurds and Sunnis, and sideline Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric whose militia is blamed for much of Iraq's sectarian violence. Lawmakers who attended the meeting with al-Sistani said the cleric opposed any move that would divide Shiites.

"There are obstacles in the face of forming this coalition, because al-Sistani does not support it. So we will work to strengthen the (Shiite) alliance," said Hassan al-Sunnaid, of the Dawa Party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Ali al-Adib, also a Dawa Party member, said al-Sistani "does not support such blocs because they will break Shiite unity."

An official close to al-Sistani, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the cleric "will not bless nor support any new bloc or front. He only supports the unity of the Shiites."

Such a development could frustrate U.S.-backed efforts to persuade Iraq's political leaders to set aside sectarian interests and work together for the sake of national unity. Without progress in Iraqi politics, some observers say, the security situation in the country is likely to remain tenuous. >>cont



The New York Times RACHEL L. SWARNS December 23, 2006 11:15 AM

White House officials said they were aware that some Democrats and Muslims were urging President Bush to admonish Representative Virgil H. Goode Jr., Republican of Virginia, and Dennis Prager, the conservative commentator, for suggesting that the first Muslim elected to the House had no place in Congress. "We're aware of the situation," said Dana Perino, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bush, "but no judgments have been made." Mr. Goode said the election of Keith Ellison, a Minnesota lawyer who converted to Islam as a college student, posed a threat to American values. Mr. Prager, a presidential appointee to the board that oversees the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said Mr. Ellison should not serve if he could not swear on a Bible, though he has apologized for those remarks. Mr. Ellison plans to use the Koran during a private swearing-in ceremony next month.


Iraqi residents blame U.S. military for rocket attack on residential town, no claim of responsibility

BAQUBA, Iraq (CNN) -- Residents in an Iraqi town northeast of Baghdad blamed U.S. troops for a rocket attack on a residential neighborhood Friday that killed six people and wounded six others, including women and children, a Baquba joint coordination center official said Saturday.

The rocket leveled one of the houses and partially damaged several others.

The official said it is currently unknown who launched the attack in Baquba, which is about 37 miles northeast of Baghdad, and no one has claimed responsibility.

On Saturday the U.S. military declined to immediately comment but said it was investigating the incident.


Police hunt launched after uranium stolen in India

RANCHI, India (AFP) - A container packed with radioactive material has been stolen from a fortified research facility in eastern India, prompting a major hunt and fears of contamination, officials said.

"It carries uranium and radiation and could have an adverse effect in an area of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mile)," Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Khoda warned.

Khoda said the uranium was stolen nearly three weeks ago after being moved to a research site at the densely-populated town of Rajrappa from a federal atomic facility near Mumbai.

The United States and India this month signed a landmark atomic energy deal to give India access to western technology and nuclear fuel, despite warnings from critics that demand tighter security measures to prevent proliferation.


Bush caved to pressure on troops


President Bush only acceded to a jump in the number of U.S. Army and Marine Corps ground troops after intense pressure from senior officers, active and retired, including the Joint Chiefs, defense sources said.

But the deal-clincher came when he traveled to the Pentagon and met with the six-member Joint Chiefs inside the super-secret "tank."
There, the commander in chief listened to a request for more combat forces from Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, and Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine commandant, said defense sources briefed on the meeting.

The Army, with a little more than 500,000 active soldiers, is pulling the brunt of the war on terror both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Army combat brigade teams only receive about a 13-month home-base stay before deploying again. What's more, the Army is fast wearing out its inventory of armored vehicles and weapons and needs replacements fast, Gen. Schoomaker has said.

The Marines, who patrol the al Qaeda-infested al Anbar province, west of Baghdad, send 1st and 2nd expeditionary forces on seven-month rotations. Marine officers have complained of insufficient troop numbers to control the Sunni Muslim province.


Insurgents Offer Bush 30-Day Truce If He'll Withdraw, Give Bases “To The Mujahedeen Of The Islamic State”...

CNN December 22, 2006 09:11 PM

The leader of an umbrella organization for Iraqi insurgent groups is offering the United States a one-month truce to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq and turn over its military bases "to the mujahedeen of the Islamic state."

In an audiotape posted on Islamic Web sites Friday, a speaker identified as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Mujahideen Shura Council, said that if U.S. forces begin withdrawing from Iraq immediately and leave their heavy weaponry behind, "we will allow your withdrawal to complete without anyone targeting you with any explosive or anything else."


Cenk Uygur: Will Other Republicans Allow Rep. Goode To Represent Their Party?...

The more I think about it, the angrier I get. Virgil Goode thinks he can challenge how American I am. Here's an American response - screw you!

Does this barbarian really think we are not equal citizens because of our heritage or our beliefs?
Does he really believe people like me need to be kept out of the country?

Look at what he says. He literally says less people like me need to come to America:

[I]f American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran ... I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped. [emphasis added]

My family is Muslim and we immigrated to this country when I was eight years old. We made an active choice to seek this nation out because we believed in its principles and we believed that it was the land of opportunity. America became my home, not just in where I lived, but in my heart. So, I became a citizen sixteen years ago.

I chose America because I love America. It's one thing to be born in Nebraska and call yourself an American. But it's another to move to a country where you weren't born, go through the long legal process, profess your allegiance to that country and adopt it as your own because you believe in it. That's not an accident of birth, it's an act of faith.

I chose to be an American because America is a light unto the world. America is the greatest country on earth because we do not discriminate, we are not a religious state and we do not exclude people based on their race, color or creed. We are an open society that believes in liberty and human dignity.

We built the United Nations, we rebuilt our enemies into our allies through the Marshall Plan and we saved the world from fascism and communism. We are the fortress of hope.

I say "we" not because my ancestors were here when these things happened but because these are the actions and the beliefs I signed up for when I became a United States citizen.

My family went through all of the legal processes that we needed to. We played by the rules.
Now a bunch of conservative hacks who have no idea what this country truly stands for are going to try to take that away from us. I don't think so.

No racist, hick, ignorant Congressman from Virginia is going to tell me I'm not an American.
These colors don't run.

I don't want an apology. He obviously believes the racist things he says. He has said he stands by his letter and won't apologize. I am not interested in his crocodile tears from now on when he realizes his seat is in jeopardy. I wouldn't accept his apology even if he groveled at my feet, or went into rehab with Mark Foley.

The man is an embarrassment. What kind of Congressman thinks this country is only for certain races, religions or ethnicities? One who doesn't belong in the hallowed halls of our Congress. He is worried about what people swear in on when they take their oath of office. How about worrying about what you swear the oath to? The United States Constitution.

Will other Republicans stand by Rep. Goode? Will they allow him to represent their party? Is this what all Republicans believe -- that America is only for certain races or creeds? Every Republican in office must be asked this question. We need to know who is representing us and what they really believe.

Finally, I have been conflicted on whether to call myself a Muslim-American since I don't practice Islam anymore. I am ethnically Turkish and religiously agnostic. But as the loathsome Debbie Schlussel said about Barack Obama, "[O]nce a Muslim, always a Muslim."

She meant it as an insult. But I'll take it as a compliment. I am proud of my background, as all of you are. Right now, Islamic extremism is a significant problem in the world. But there are over one billion Muslims in the world that are not part of that problem. They are good people trying to provide for their families and seeking peace.

If someone's got to stand up for them, I'm ready and willing. I am a Muslim by birth and an American by choice, and that is not a contradiction.

Selective Service Denies Draft Rumors...

The New York Times ERIC LICHTBLAU December 22, 2006 09:49 PM

As the de facto media contact for the Selective Service System, Dick Flahavan is the Maytag repairman of government press people. With the military draft out of business since 1973, the Selective Service just doesn't get a lot of calls these days.

But by midday Friday, Mr. Flahavan's office had fielded dozens of inquiries, not just from reporters but from some anxious parents as well, all with some variation of the same urgent question: Are you reinstituting the draft?


Ex-Rep. Weldon faces major subpoena

Lawmaker's files sought by grand jury

The subpoena in the corruption probe went out before Rep. Curt Weldon lost his seat. It's unclear if he reported it.
By Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff WriterDecember 22, 2006

WASHINGTON — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed congressional records from Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) as part of an escalating Justice Department corruption probe aimed at determining whether Weldon used his influence to win favors for family members, people familiar with the investigation said.
The previously unreported subpoena was issued by a grand jury in Washington before the November election, although it is unclear when Weldon received it.
The 10-term lawmaker was at the time in a tight race to retain his seat representing the Philadelphia suburbs, which he subsequently lost to Democrat Joe Sestak, a retired Navy vice admiral.
Weldon has said public disclosure of the Justice Department investigation, which came three weeks before election day, was politically motivated. He said at the time that he was not aware of any investigation and that he had done nothing wrong.
An attorney for Weldon, William J. Winning, did not return messages Thursday seeking comment. >>>cont

Lawyer: Try Marines in Iraq

In his dreams

RAW STORYPublished: Friday December 22, 2006

In an interview with the BBC, an Iraqi lawyer has said that US soldiers involved in the Haditha massacre should be tried by the Iraqi justice system, indicating that Iraqis have no confidence in the US military's court system.
Citing light sentences and limited prosecutions in the Abu Ghraib trials, he argues that Iraqis do not expect justice to be delivered in the Haditha trials. He also points out that harsher sentences are delivered for killings of American citizens

NY Times: Draft agency must ready for the 'unforeseen'

Mike SheehanPublished: Saturday December 23, 2006

A spokesperson for the Selective Service System is downplaying reports of a "test" of its military draft equipment, but its director says the system needs to be ready "just in case," The New York Times will report on the front page of its Saturday edition.

SS media contact Dick Flahavan tells Eric Lichtblau that, following articles on the draft exercise, "his office [has] fielded dozens of inquiries, not just from reporters but from some anxious parents as well, all with some variation of the same urgent question: Are you reinstituting the draft?"

Flahavan vehemently denies the report, so much so that "No Draft on Horizon!" appears at the top of SS website, writes Lichtblau. [RAW STORY has confirmed this, see image above; click here to see site.]

The director of the federal draft agency, William A. Chatfield, remarked however that the Selective Service "needs to be ready 'if something totally unforeseen should come upon us,'" according to the Times article.

Still, chances of a draft are, in Chatfield's assessment, "very, very, very low. ... There's nothing even being discussed in a remote fashion, but you have people trying to create fear when there's nothing there."

Lichtblau also noted that Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) will "try again" to present a bill reinstating the draft, "calling attention to what he sees as social and economic inequities in the volunteer military." The House of Representatives rejected his first draft bill in 2004 by an almost unanimous vote of 402-2.

Excerpts from the registration-restricted article follow...

North Korea Talks End "Without Deal"

The six-party talks on the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program have ended without any real breakthrough, officials are quoted as saying. Despite five days of negotiations in Beijing, the talks broke up, and no date for a resumption has been announced. The talks involved the US, North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.


America's Open Wound

"Welcome to the Lower Ninth Ward. You won't find much holiday spirit here. In every direction, as far as it is possible to see, is devastation.... Whatever you've heard about New Orleans, the reality is much worse. Think of it as a vast open wound, this once-great American city that is still largely in ruins, with many of its people still writhing in agony more than a year after the catastrophic flood that followed Hurricane Katrina," writes Bob Herbert.


Leaned On as Never Before, Reservists Weigh Re-enlistment

Those deciding whether to remain in the Guard and Reserve must take into account the possibility that they'd have to serve longer and more frequently on active duty than they do now. Under current mobilization policies, part-time troops can be called to serve involuntarily on active duty for no more than 24 months during a five-year period. Army officials want the Pentagon to lift those restrictions so that National Guard and Reserve troops can be pressed into service more often.


Congress Closes With a Pork-Filled Flourish

The dialysis industry, the coal industry and other interests that donated to lawmakers get lavish end-of-session breaks.


A Woman's Fight to Save the Poor From Black Fever

Black fever kills about 60,000 people a year, most of them poor. There is a cure, but the global pharmaceutical industry wasn't interested in producing the drug, at least not until an American woman began her crusade.


Southern California Edison Signs Biggest US Wind Contract

Electric utility Southern California Edison and Australian-based Allco Finance Group Ltd. have signed the biggest contract for wind power in US history.


Press Ignores the Generals

A. Alexander

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff and practically every actively serving general strongly opposes President Bush's proposed Iraq 'Surge' Plan, but you've probably not heard too much about the generals' discontent ... because the media only barely reported on the generals' mutiny," writes A. Alexander.


The Strategy of Disintegration: False flags, dirty tricks and the dismemberment of Iraq

David Montoute

...As with 9/11, the trigger event for the War on Terror, incompetence is the preferred explanation for the nightmare scenario in Iraq today. Though counterintuitive to the domesticated populations of the West, a plan to deliberately fragment Iraq along ethnic lines is amply confirmed by the published record. Resuscitating earlier Zionist schemes, the US Council on Foreign Relations recently called for the dissolution of the "unnatural Iraqi state." (2) On the grounds of its ethnic diversity, Iraq is said to be a false, artificial construct, a product of arbitrary colonial decisions in the early 20th century. It is a judgment that could apply to many of the world’s countries, and yet the theme is being enthusiastically adopted by reams of 'experts’ who would never dream of questioning state sovereignty in Quebec, the Basque Country or Northern Ireland. In typical fashion, policy analyst Michael Klare recently dismissed Iraq as an "invented country…to facilitate their exploitation of oil in the region [the British] created the fictitious "Kingdom of Iraq" by patching together three provinces of the former Ottoman Empire…and by parachuting in a fake king from what later became Saudi Arabia." (3) Accepting the Bush Administration’s bogus rationale for the invasion, Klare ascribed Sunni resistance to the desire for a bigger share of oil revenues in the future partition of the country. Missing is any idea that resistance extends beyond "Sunnis" or could be motivated by Iraqi nationalism or the need for self-determination...

continua / continued

Abu Marzouk: Israel to supply Abbas with armored vehicles to overthrow government

So much for DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENTS, IF THEY DONT SUIT ISRAEL AND AMERICA. The voice of the people counts for nothing today.


Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, said that his movement has evidence that Israel will supply President Mahmoud Abbas with armored vehicles fitted with 14.5 mm machine guns to be used against the Palestinian people. Dr. Abu Marzouk, further remarked that there were parties who are seeking military action to overthrow the Palestinian elected government. He added that his movement has reliable information that the Israeli agreed to supply Abbas' presidential guards with armored vehicles fitted with 14.5 mm machine guns...

continua / continued

Bush Signs Law Blocking Aid to Hamas

President Bush signed a law banning US aid to Hamas, aiming to isolate the radical Islamic group which controls the Palestinian government but refuses to recognize Israel.


Cannon fodder in Christmas’ times

Cannon fodder in Christmas’ times

Santa Claus Bush is preparing to deliver his special Christmas’ gift: "We do need to increase our troops" The Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon unanimously disagreed but hey, do you want to question the Clown in Chief who hid into the Texas National Guard (and even there he was an AWOL) to avoid to fight in the Vietnam war? [That’s probably the only good thing this scam has done in all his life, at least he didn’t kill anybody, THEN!] Even war criminal Powell – the clown of the UN show just before the invasion – "said the U.S. Army is 'about broken’ from the Iraq conflict and cast doubt on whether the military could or should boost the number of troops in the country. 'There really are no additional troops'’ to send, Powell said on CBS's 'Face the Nation’ program...

continua / continued

Video Exposing Blunders of 9/11 Commission Report

Global Research

On December 16, 2006, while most Americans slept, Television 3 New Zealand debuted the provocative documentary "911 In Plane Site" on national television. The film presents photographs and video footage from that fateful day, as well as computer-aided analysis focusing on the Pentagon and World Trade Center buildings One, Two and Seven. Also examined are dozens of independent and mainstream media news reports from the morning of September 11 that highlights inconsistencies and contradictions in the "official" account. Saturday night's national airing of "In Plane Site" on New Zealand television represents a historic turning point in the global collective consciousness regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11...

continua / continued

"I never made so many coffins a day"

Muhammad Abdel Kader, IRIN,

"My name is Muhammad Abdel Kader. I am 36 years old and live in the Ejidida neighbourhood of Baghdad with my parents, wife and only son. I have lived in Baghdad all my life. I have been making coffins since I was 24 to help with the family income. I work non-stop, 12 hours a day, six days a week. I have never made so many coffins a day in my life. I have to make as many coffins as I can to meet demand in al-Qarah Cemetery. Before the war, we were making about two or maximum three coffins a day for people who had died from diseases or car accidents. But today we make at least 20 a day for victims of the violence...
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Friday, December 22, 2006

GI Special 4L17: Volunteers Wanted Now - December 21, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

Vermont soldier at the center of a national effort to help active-duty military personnel find ways to tell members of Congress they want the United States to pull out of Iraq is now handing out care packages at several military bases around the country that make it easy for troops to speak out. The care packages include informational flyers and baked goods, as well as copies of the movie, Sir No Sir, a documentary about military resisters during the Vietnam War, and The Ground Truth, which follows soldiers from basic training to deployment to Iraq to their homecoming and reintegration. "The main purpose of the care packages though, is to carry an appeal for redress in a pre-addressed envelope to the troops," said Liam Madden, a Bellows Falls native, and U.S. Marine sergeant. Madden said if 100 care packages can be distributed at each of the bases, he would consider that a success. The idea was kicked around on a conference call regarding the appeal for redress several weeks ago. An "appeal for redress" is a legal means by which service members can appeal to members of Congress to urge an end to a U.S. military occupation...

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5 U.S. troops killed as Gates ends Iraq visit and U.S. toll nears 3,000

QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer

Five more American troops have died from combat wounds in western Iraq and Baghdad, the military said Friday, pushing the U.S. death toll since the war began closer to 3,000. In December, 76 American troops have been killed; at the current rate, the number of U.S. combat deaths this month could meet or exceed the previous monthly record for 2006. At least 2,964 American troops have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count...

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Associated Press December 22, 2006 09:55 PM

A congressman said Thursday that he will not retract a letter warning that unless immigration is tightened, "many more Muslims will be elected" and use the Quran to take the oath of office.
Republican Rep. Virgil Goode (news, bio, voting record) triggered angry responses from a civil rights group and some colleagues with a letter this month to constituents concerned about a decision by Rep.-elect Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, to use the Quran when he is sworn in.


Judge gives ExxonMobil a break on Valdez payout

RAW STORYPublished: Friday December 22, 2006

A federal judge has given petroleum giant ExxonMobil a break on its payout for the Valdez spill, according to a breaking report from the Associated Press.

The news agency is currently reporting that a federal appeals court has halved the $5 billion awarded by a jury to Alaskans and other parties to deal with the consequences of the spill. The spill dumped tens of millions of gallons of oil in the Prince William Sound, which spread all over Alaska's coastline.

In the third quarter of 2006, ExxonMobil reported earning about $10.5 billion in net income, and in the first nine months of 2006, it earned just under $30 billion.

AP's full story can be accessed at this link

Link Here

Carter: US "Prime Culprit" in Nuclear Proliferation


Sherwood Ross writes, "Former President Jimmy Carter says by 'rejecting or evading almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the past 50 years, the United States has now become the prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation.'"
India and Three "Emerging Democracies"
J. Sri Raman writes:
"In an unbeatable illustration of double irony, President George W. Bush is pushing through the much-discussed US-India nuclear deal not only as a non-proliferation measure but also as a blow for democracy. Enough has been said about the Indian establishment's pious anti-proliferation protestations. It is time to talk of its pro-democracy tasks immediately ahead."

Target Iran

----Merry Christmas All, from the Thugs in the White House----
Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh They have called it right all along on Iraq.
Democracy Now! presents an in-depth discussion between two figures who have been critical of the Bush administration's policy on Iran. Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, and Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker magazine.

War Profits Trump the Rule of Law

Chris Floyd writes: "Slush funds, oil sheiks, prostitutes, Swiss banks, kickbacks, blackmail, bagmen, arms deals, war plans, climbdowns, big lies and Dick Cheney - it's a scandal that has it all, corruption and cowardice at the highest levels, a festering canker at the very heart of world politics, where the War on Terror meets the slaughter in Iraq. Yet chances are you've never heard about it - even though it happened just a few days ago."


Bush Signs Executive Order on Pay Raises

WASHINGTON - President Bush signed an executive order Thursday to raise the pay of federal workers, members of Congress and Vice President Dick Cheney in the new year. Congress passed the pay raises earlier this year, but Bush was required to sign an executive order to enforce them.

The president's annual salary of $400,000 is not affected by the legislation.

Civil servants, on average, will get a 2.2 percent pay increase in January. So will uniformed members of the military.

Members of Congress, the vice president and most senior federal officials will get a 1.7 percent pay increase, as will federal administrative law judges.

Congress opted to put off its pay increases until Feb. 16, not Jan. 1, on the urging of the incoming Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. They say no pay raise should kick in until Congress approves an increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for the past 10 years.

Currently, rank-and-file members of Congress get $165,200. Yeah and how many days did they work this years

Rolling Stone : COVER STORY: Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress ...

And even those numbers don't come close to telling the full story. ...

Figuring for half-days, in fact, the 109th Congress probably worked almost two months ...

Two Islands in India disappear due to rising oceans.

Two islands off the Indian subcontinent seem to have disappeared.

Scientists believe it is more evidence of the impact of rising sea levels caused by global warming.

For six years scientists based in Kolkata have been examining the impact of climate change on the islands of the Sunderbans, a vast area where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal.

Official records list 102 islands in Indian Territory, but scientists examining satellite imagery now say two have disappeared and a dozen more could go under.

The Sunderbans are a natural buffer shielding millions from storms and tidal waves whipped up in the Bay of Bengal.

Scientists say cyclones are now more intense, causing more severe flooding, erosion and salt water contamination in coastal areas.


President, Mrs. Bush visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital

Don't you just love it walk in, walk out, and forget the colatoral damage, The thing is the families can't just walk away and forget, can they. How are they feeling, he is an absolute freak. They should have told the A******, to go fight and find out how they feel.

President, Mrs. Bush visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed hospital
The Associated PressPublished: December 22, 2006

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush visited injured troops at their bedsides on Friday, continuing an annual pre-Christmas tradition of comforting soldiers that he began after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Bush and first lady Laura Bush traveled to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, visiting with 38 patients among those being treated there for injuries suffered mostly in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. Seeing troops with amputated limbs and other serious wounds, the president asked them how they were feeling, if their care was adequate and talked with family members and medical staff, said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

While there, the president decorated 14 of the wounded.

Afterward, Bush and his wife were joining Girl Scouts and children of hospital staff to briefly wrap and sort presents that will be given to families and children of wounded military personnel on the Dec. 25 Christmas holiday. Later Friday, Bush was to head for Camp David, where he planned to remain with his family through Christmas.
Pity the 75% of the people didn't figure out, this impotent little man, when he was prancing around the Trade Centre for his Photo Ops, after hiding for 5 days, while his citizens where jumping out of windows and dying. Darn just the thought of it make me want to puke.
And the 37% who thinks he inspires confidence, want to go fight on the front lines in Iraq and Afganistan, and then see if the pycho still inspries confidence.

Poll: Bush not trustworthy, doesn't share values, no longer inspires confidence
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush faces some discouraging poll numbers as the year many have called the most challenging of his presidency comes to an end.

A majority of the American people, 55 percent, no longer believe Bush shares their values. They also are not sure if he is honest and trustworthy or if he understands complex issues, a CNN poll released Thursday reports. The poll was conducted for CNN by the Opinion Research Corporation and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Nearly 53 percent say he is not honest and trustworthy, and the same number believes he does not understand complex issues. Fifty-one percent also say he is not a strong leader.

Only 37 percent believe that the president inspires confidence, compared to 61 percent who say that he does not. In 2005, 46 percent thought the president inspired confidence. Bush fared much better in this category in 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks, when 75 percent said that he inspired confidence.

The Marla Ruzicka Story

Now you want to compare the courage of Marla and the impotent thugs in the White House, It should have been Marla for President, Buy the book Georgie you might learn something about life, and courage from one of your Nationals who lost her life, fighting and caring for Iraqis dead and injured, in your illegal war and occupation.
READ MORE: Iraq, Ann Coulter, Afghanistan, Bill O'Reilly

My good friend Jennifer Abrahamson is the author of a fantastic new book. It's called

Some of you may remember Marla for the fact that she was the first person to ever get Congress to earmark funds for the civilian victims of our "collateral damage" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jen was good friends with Marla and decided to write this book not only to celebrate her life, but also provide an inspiring tale of what one person can accomplish, while also pointing out how we have lost hearts and minds by ignoring those who've become the victims of our advanced weaponry for so long (and still largely do).

And any person who pissed off the pathetically racist bimbette, Little Debbie Schlussel, a woman who got Ann Coulter's personal warmth and hydrogen peroxide for her bat mitzvah, must have done something very right.

In any case, I will be hosting a book salon over at Firedoglake this Sunday at 5PM, where Jen will be live to answer any and all questions. I know, it's Christmas Eve. But you will find no more inspiring tale for the holidays.

So if you are one of those people who really ticks O'Reilly off around Christmas time--you know who you are, you non-merry-Christmas-uttering-animists--or even if you do plan to celebrate, but can get a moment off from the egg nog, please come by and join us.


Govt Allowing Oil Companies To Avoid Tens Of Billions In Royalties Owed To US Taxpayers...

NY Times EDMUND L. ANDREWS December 22, 2006 09:02 AM

The United States offers some of the most lucrative incentives in the world to companies that drill for oil in publicly owned coastal waters, but a newly released study suggests that the government is getting very little for its money.

The study, which the Interior Department refused to release for more than a year, estimates that current inducements could allow drilling companies in the Gulf of Mexico to escape tens of billions of dollars in royalties that they would otherwise pay the government for oil and gas produced in areas that belong to American taxpayers.


Bush Doles Out 16 Pardons For Drug Crimes, Bank And Mail Fraud, Conspiracy To Defraud Govt....

Associated Press December 22, 2006 08:51 AM

President Bush issued 16 pardons Thursday and commuted the sentence of an Iowa man convicted of drug charges.

Six of the federal offenses were drug crimes, while others included bank fraud, mail fraud, the acceptance of a kickback, a false statement on a loan application and conspiracy to defraud the government over taxes.



You can tell, this witch has lost no one in Iraq can't you. All mouth no substance, go buy shoes, that is what you do best, in a time of crisis

BBC News December 22, 2006 11:39 AM

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has again defended the war in Iraq, saying the investment in US lives and dollars will be "worth it".

Ms Rice said a lot had been sacrificed for Iraq but success would change the entire Middle East.


NY Times Runs Op-Ed Censored By The White House...

Eat The Press December 22, 2006 11:03 AM

Today the New York Times runs a very unusual op-ed: Censored. An essay by former CIA official Flynt Leverett has been thoroughly redacted by the White House. The censored essay -- titled "Redacted Version of Original Op-Ed" in case you missed the chunks of blacked-out text throughout -- is what remains of an essay criticizing Bush's policies toward Iran. According to the Times, it elected to run the redacted version after the White House claimed that portions were classified (this, please note, is after the CIA, which has cleared over 20 other pieces by Leverett, cleared the entire piece). Wednesday, Rep. Louise Slaughter sent a letter to Bush asking whether the redactions were politically motivated.

The Times delayed the essay's publication last week but apparently decided that this redaction attempt deserved a public challenge; meanwhile, Leverett and co-writer Hillary Mann have promised to fight for the publication of the redacted parts. Next to the op-ed the Times has taken the unusual step of listing a number of specific news stories online, guiding readers to the redacted info: "The deleted portions of the original draft reveal no classified material." TPM Muckraker, which had the details yesterday, in turn got it from an item published on the Washington Note by blogger Steve Clemons, but noted that item had been taken down and replaced with a version missing some of the original info.


Sen-Elect Webb: The White House Made My Fight With The President Public...

Editor and Publisher December 22, 2006 01:00 PM

In an interview with Deborah Solomon that will appear in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, the newly-elected U.S. senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, discusses his recent widely-publicized exchange with President Bush over an Iraq pullout.

At a recent White House reception the president had asked about Webb's son, who is serving in Iraq. Webb suggested that troops should start coming home from Iraq, and Bush snapped back, "I didn't ask you that."



Nick Mottern, Director, Consumers for Peace

"U.S. War Crimes in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability" is being advertised for the month of December in the classified sections of the weekly newspapers Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Times, published by Military Times. The newspapers are distributed to all U.S. military bases around the world and are read by an estimated 1 million military people, according to a Military Times advertising representative. "We felt that the people who are ordered to fight in Iraq, and those who support U.S. presence Iraq, ought to know of the opportunity to learn about the many ways in which the United States has violated and continues to violate international law there," said Nick Mottern, Director of ConsumersforPeace.org, publisher of the war crimes report....

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Let It Come Down: Forcing the Constitutional Crisis of Liberty

Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast...
The order is rapidly fading
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

Nat Hentoff, one of our great champions of civil liberties, uncovers the ugly truths behind the Bush Regime's plans for a Nuremberg-in-reverse at the American concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay: war crimes show trials being conducted by war criminals. Hentoff also cites the the remarkable reports by the Seton Hall University School of Law which -- drawing solely on official Pentagon documents -- detail the shameful and criminal system that Bush and his lawless gang of legal perverts have established....

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Put on the Spot, Our Punk President Lies Yet Again

Walter C. Uhler

Whenever I hear President Bush tell another lie (or read that he has told another lie) I'm reminded of the Liar-in-Chief's former professor at the Harvard Business School, Yoshi Tsurumi, and his spot-on recollection of this president's punk past. According to Professor Tsurumi, Bush "showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him."...

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Chicago's 'Schindler' who saved 8,000 Poles from Nazis dies

When the Nazis occupied Poland during World War II and started killing Jews and sending Poles into forced labor, young Dr. Eugene Lazowski soon figured out the one thing that would terrify the brutal occupiers: disease.

Playing upon this German fear, Dr. Lazowski and a colleague risked their lives to fake a typhus epidemic that led the Germans to quarantine a dozen Polish villages, thus saving lives of 8,000 people who might otherwise have wound up in prisons, slave labor or death camps.

Like Oskar Schindler, the industrialist who was portrayed in the movie ''Schindler's List,'' Dr. Lazowski may one day be the subject of a movie.

"I was not able to fight with a gun or a sword, but I found a way to scare the Germans," he later told the Sun-Times.

In addition, Dr. Lazowski treated Jews in the ghetto of his local village, was a member of the Polish underground and escaped from a German POW camp where he had been imprisoned at the beginning of the war.


Test run of military draft machinery announced

News comes as president, Congress take up plans to expand Army, Marines

WASHINGTON — The Selective Service System is planning a test run of the military draft machinery for the first time since 1998.

As part of the exercise, the agency is expected to conduct a mock draft and convene an "appeals board" to handle draftees who claim status as conscientious objectors.

The test announcement comes as President Bush and Congress take up plans to expand the overall size of the Army and Marine Corps and train thousands more additional forces. Both services have been stretched thin by extended deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, though President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have said they oppose bringing back the draft.

Meanwhile, the secretary for Veterans Affairs said Thursday that "society would benefit" if the U.S. were to bring back the draft and that it shouldn't have any loopholes. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft.


Judge Rejects Soldier's Suit Over "Fahrenheit 9/11"

A federal judge threw out an Iraq war veteran's lawsuit Wednesday that claimed filmmaker Michael Moore used a clip from a television interview without the veteran's permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman, was seeking $85 million, claiming "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation" due to his appearance in Moore's 2004 documentary criticizing the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock ruled immediately, and threw out the lawsuit. He said anyone watching Damon's brief appearance in the film would not believe Damon shared the anti-war and anti-Bush views that Moore expresses in him film. Woodlock also agreed Moore did not defame Damon by showing a brief clip from an interview he did on NBC Nightly News. He said the First Amendment gives Moore wide leeway in expressing his political opinion in his films.

La. to Get $75M for Katrina Cottages

The Associated Press
Friday, December 22, 2006; 12:56 AM

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana will receive $75 million in federal funds to pay
for the construction of "Katrina cottages" that can be quickly built and are
more spacious and durable than the trailers many residents have lived in since
Hurricane Katrina, Sen. Mary Landrieu said Thursday.

The sum is far less than the state had sought, though, and Louisiana officials
are accusing the Federal Emergency Management Agency of shortchanging
the state after Sen. Trent Lott said his state, Mississippi, would receive
$280 million of the $400 million allocated for the pilot program.

Landrieu said hurricanes had destroyed more than 205,000 homes in Louisiana
compared to 61,000 homes in Mississippi.

"Under FEMA's upside down decision-making, Louisiana gets the short end of the
stick for alternative housing programs by almost 4-to-1, despite suffering more
than three times the housing loss," she said in a statement.


Black Hawk crash leaves 2 dead, 1 missing (based at Fort Lewis, WA)

Two people are dead, and one person unaccounted for, after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southeast King County on Thursday night. King County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said the Black Hawk went down near Mount Peak just outside the town of Enumclaw. A woman who lives nearby said she heard a helicopter pass overhead, followed by an explosion around 9 p.m. Search and rescue teams are currently combing the area for more clues.

TV news is reporting a helicopter is missing from Fort Lewis.

The boy who lived before

Another life ... Cameron Macaulay told stories of his other family


Caught On Tape: Man Hurls Rocks At GOP Headquarters

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006 - 12:40 PM
Erin Tate

Authorities arrested a man on Tuesday who, they said, was caught on camera throwing rocks at the Republican Headquarters building in Columbus.

Officials said windows at the headquarters on South 5th Street have been broken nearly a dozen times, NBC 4's Erin Tate reported.

They also said staff members have nearly been pelted with thrown objects.

Republicans said they thought the vandalism would die down after the recent elections, but that wasn’t the case.

“There’s a place for partisanship,” said Ohio Republican communications director John McClelland. “But when it comes to hurting individuals or destroying property, that’s when it goes over the line.”

On Tuesday night, a surveillance camera captured a man on tape hurling rocks at the building, Tate reported.

“We just got tired of it,” McClelland said. “So we, with the help of Columbus police, did a few stakeouts of our own and happened to catch this guy the other night.”

Police arrested 58-year-old Kenneth Dwayne Thomas in connection with the incident.
He is currently being held at the Franklin County jail and police said he will face criminal damaging charges, Tate reported.

According to investigators, Thomas also made threats toward President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Officials said he will be investigated by the Secret Service because of those comments, Tate reported.

“I know there are people out there who don’t like Republicans,” McClelland said. “But to say that we’re a cancer and should be exterminated, according to what he said to police, that’s a little over the top.”

Watch NBC 4 and refresh nbc4i.com for additional information.


N.J. governor signs gay civil unions law

By TOM HESTER Jr., Associated Press Writer Thu Dec 21, 2:07 PM ET

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey's governor signed legislation Thursday giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage allowed under state law — but not the title. >>>cont


MSNBC's Scarborough: “How Can This President Thumb His Nose At The Very Military Leaders Who Are Fighting This War?”...

He's just deciding this now, To bad it's now and not 4 years ago.

Crooks and Liars December 21, 2006 11:42 AM

Scarborough has made a definite turn-around on Bush over the past year, but it hasn't been as evident as it was on Wednesday's Scarborough Country. Joe appears to be totally fed up with the non-stop spin and ignorance coming from the White House and Bush's press conference apparently put the final nail in that coffin. While discussing Bush's possible plan of increasing troop levels, regardless of what the generals say, Scarborough even mentioned how there would be impeachment talk if Clinton was President and saying he would ignore our top military commanders.


Bush's Secy. Of Veteran Affairs:


Associated Press SARA KUGLER December 21, 2006 08:36 PM

President Bush's secretary for Veterans Affairs said Thursday that "society would benefit" if the country brought back the military draft, then clarified that he doesn't support such a move.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson spoke a day after Bush said he is considering sending more troops to Iraq. The administration has for years forcefully opposed bringing back the draft, and the White House said Thursday that its position had not changed.


BlueNC December 21, 2006 02:04 PM

Robin Hayes has the solution to the Iraq war: have our soldiers convert all Muslims to Christianity.

Having won the election by only a hair's width and almost getting himself kicked out of Congress seems to have had some profound psychological effects on poor Mr. Hayes. A speech that flip-floppin' Robin gave last week at the Concord Rotary Club seems to prove he has finally gone off the deep end.

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