The Associated Press reports that military prosecutors are seeking unaired footage of a CBS interview given by a Marine squad leader who faces voluntary manslaughter and other charges in the deaths in Haditha, Iraq. CBS is "set to ask a military judge Friday to throw out the subpoena during a pretrial hearing" for the Marine.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Associated Press reports that military prosecutors are seeking unaired footage of a CBS interview given by a Marine squad leader who faces voluntary manslaughter and other charges in the deaths in Haditha, Iraq. CBS is "set to ask a military judge Friday to throw out the subpoena during a pretrial hearing" for the Marine.
Are you taking note Cris Matthews you Wanker, Call yourself a reporter, you should have know the answer to the question you asked
Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:13:32 PM PST
The next President is going to have some MAJOR challenges. I refuse to buy into the hype, on either side, but especially on that of Obama. However the "empty rhetoric" v. "history of accomplishments" arguments have prompted me to check it out on my own, not relying on any candidate's website, book, or worst of all supporters' diaries, like this one.
I went to the Library of Congress Website. The FACTS of what each did in the Senate last year sure surprised me. I'm sure they will surprise you, too. Whether you love or hate Hillary, you will be surprised. Whether you think Obama is the second coming of JFK or an inexperienced lightweight, you will surprised. Go check out the Library of Congress Website. After spending some time there, it will be clear that there is really only one candidate would is ready to be the next president, even better than Gore. If you don't want to spend an hour or two doing research, then I'll tell you what I discovered on the jump. >>>cont
It's Obama for me! I just sent him $100. My first donation this election.
Yes, We Can!
S.694 : A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside or outside of light motor vehicles, and for other purposes. (This is currently in conference committee to reconcile difference with the House bill) Passed in the Senate: S.CON.RES.27 : A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of "National Purple Heart Recognition Day". S.RES.21 : A resolution recognizing the uncommon valor of Wesley Autrey of New York, New York S.RES.92 : A resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of soldiers of Israel held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah. S.RES.141 : A resolution urging all member countries of the International Commission of the International Tracing Service who have yet to ratify the May 2006 amendments to the 1955 Bonn Accords to expedite the ratification process to allow for open access to the Holocaust archives located at Bad Arolsen, Germany. S.RES.222 : A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. S.AMDT.666 to H.R.1591 To link award fees under Department of Homeland Security contracts to successful acquisition outcomes under such contracts. S.AMDT.2047 to H.R.1585 To specify additional individuals eligible to transportation for survivors of deceased members of the Armed Forces to attend their burial ceremonies. S.AMDT.2108 to H.R.1585 To require a report on the planning and implementation of the policy of the United States toward Darfur. S.AMDT.2390 to H.R.2638 To require that all contracts of the Department of Homeland Security that provide award fees link such fees to successful acquisition outcomes. S.AMDT.2474 to H.R.2638 To ensure that the Federal Protective Service has adequate personnel. S.AMDT.2823 to H.R.3074 To require a report on plans to alleviate congestion and flight delays in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Airspace. S.AMDT.2917 to H.R.1585 To extend and enhance the authority for temporary lodging expenses for members of the Armed Forces in areas subject to a major disaster declaration or for installations experiencing a sudden increase in personnel levels.
S.AMDT.1041 to S.1082 To improve the safety and efficacy of genetic tests. S.AMDT.3073 to H.R.1585 To provide for transparency and accountability in military and security contracting. S.AMDT.3078 to H.R.1585 Relating to administrative separations of members of the Armed Forces for personality disorder. S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged. S.AMDT.524 to S.CON.RES.21 To provide $100 million for the Summer Term Education Program supporting summer learning opportunities for low-income students in the early grades to lessen summer learning losses that contribute to the achievement gaps separating low-income students from their middle-class peers. S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy. S.AMDT.905 to S.761 To require the Director of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education to establish a program to recruit and provide mentors for women and underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in mathematics, science, and engineering. S.AMDT.923 to S.761 To expand the pipeline of individuals entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to support United States innovation and competitiveness. S.AMDT.924 to S.761 To establish summer term education programs. S.AMDT.2519 to H.R.2638 To provide that one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5 million or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that the contractor or grantee owes no past due Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.2588 to H.R.976 To provide certain employment protections for family members who are caring for members of the Armed Forces recovering from illnesses and injuries incurred on active duty. S.AMDT.2658 to H.R.2642 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.2692 to H.R.2764 To require a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan. S.AMDT.2799 to H.R.3074 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.3137 to H.R.3222 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.3234 to H.R.3093 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.3331 to H.R.3043 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. Senate Resolutions Passed: S.RES.133 : A resolution celebrating the life of Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson. S.RES.268 : A resolution designating July 12, 2007, as "National Summer Learning Day".
The U.S. subprime crisis is only a symptom of a much larger, global sea change." The American disinformation regime- a hermetically sealed "bubble"- convinces its citizens that the U.S. is and forever will be supreme on the planet. Ignorance may be bliss, but cannot alter the facts of rapid U.S. decline, a spiral that is the inevitable "blowback" of 60 years of undeserved, coerced, and artificially constructed dominance.
Health Net Ordered to Pay $9 Million After Canceling Cancer Patient's Policy
Republican Congressman Indicted in Land Swap Scam
We have a number of articles on the FBI pulling security from Obama, before the Thursday Debate
SECRET SERVICE LEAVES OBAMA AT RISK / RAISES GRAVE CONCERNS
Leaving Obama Vulnerable Leaves National Security At Risk
Hey Christy What do ya know? Pity it wasn't published 2004 when he was running for the highest position in the land
A Bush Myth that Never Dies
By Jackson Thoreau
Early one Saturday afternoon in July 2003, I made a simple phone call to Margie Schoedinger, a Texas woman who filed a rape lawsuit against George W. Bush in December 2002. I expected to leave a message on a machine, so I was caught a little offguard when Schoedinger answered.
She, too, sounded somewhat surprised I had called, saying she hadn't heard from many other reporters. But she talked to me for a few minutes about the legal action.
"I am still trying to prosecute [the lawsuit]," said Schoedinger, a 38-year-old African-American woman who lived in the Houston suburb of Missouri City. "I want to get this matter settled and go on with my life."
Well, Schoedinger hasn't gone on with her life. In fact, three months after I spoke to her, she died in an apparent suicide. And this matter remains unsettled.
When I asked her in July 2003 about the lack of media coverage, Schoedinger said she wasn't seeking publicity. She said she did not even know about a December 2002 article in the Fort Bend Star, the only U.S. mainstream media outlet that covered this story, to my knowledge. The Fort Bend reporter, LeaAnne Klentzman, said she even went to Schoedinger's home and talked to a man there, who said she could not come to door. While I reached and spoke to Schoedinger on my first attempt, maybe she wasn't ready to talk back in December.
Anyways, Schoedinger said she was surprised the case wasn't covered more because "it is true......People have to be accountable for what they do, and that's why I'm pursuing it."
To be sure, Schoedinger's accusations - which include being drugged and sexually assaulted numerous times by Bush and other men purporting to be FBI agents - are bizarre and hard for most people to believe. But her story fits in with those told by a growing number of people who say they were used as guinea pigs or whatever by members of the CIA or another U.S. agency who wanted to test out the latest mind-controlling drug or just have a strange form of release. And her death - let's just say government agents have made murders look like suicides before.
In her court petition, Schoedinger said police in Sugar Land, another Houston suburb where she said some assailants linked to Bush attempted to unsuccessfully abduct her from her car shortly before the 2000 election, refused to take a report or do anything about that incident. She filed a lawsuit against the Sugar Land department and said that in preparing its defense, Sugar Land police found out that she dated Bush as a minor. I didn't get a chance to ask Schoedinger about that tie and didn't meet her in person, but her driver's license listed her as being 5-foot-8 and weighing 125 pounds, for what that's worth.
The Fort Bend Star story quoted a Sugar Land police captain saying his department had no record of any complaints by Schoedinger. All he had to do was what I did - go to the Fort Bend County Internet site and do a simple search on Schoedinger's name in the area of civil court records. I found the lawsuit Schoedinger filed in December 2000 against Sugar Land police, and it even had numerous responses by the department's attorneys in that case.
Just wait. This story gets stranger.
When I started asking Schoedinger about certain details of the case, such as alleged surveillance at her home and if she was still legally representing herself, she politely ended our conversation. "I need to see what has been written," Schoedinger said. "I feel like it's best for me to end our conversation."
Obviously, she had learned to be careful about what she said and to whom she said it. I could understand her being leery about talking about her situation with a stranger over the phone.
But I remember being puzzled by Schoedinger's attitude after hanging up the phone. I wondered that if she had made up such a wild story, why she didn't come up with something a little less outlandish, in which people couldn't necessarily dismiss her as a kook. I wondered why she didn't seek publicity to at least provide some form of protection. I've long learned that being as public as possible is one of your best defenses against rogue intelligence agents. But she didn't even seem to want any media to cover her story. I told several writers I knew, some of whom tried to contact Schoedinger. None succeeded, as far as I know.
I remember thinking, "I hope she doesn't wind up on the wrong side of a gun." And sure enough, in late September, Schoedinger did.
The Houston Chronicle wrote a bare-bones obituary that stated only that Schoedinger "expired" on Sept. 22, 2003, and her burial was at Houston Memorial Gardens.
I called the Harris County Medical Examiner's office, and a clerk told me the cause of death: a "suicide" by a "gunshot wound to the head." I hung up amid bombs going off in my mind.
For one, using a gun to commit suicide is predominantly executed by males, according to psychiatrists and other sources like pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co. Women are more likely to overdose on drugs, although the number of gunshot suicides among women has increased in recent years.
Besides Pravda and Internet ezines - one of whom referred to Schoedinger as "deranged" - I haven't seen stories on this strange death of a woman who filed a rape lawsuit against the U.S. president and wound up dead nine months later. I can't say I'm surprised. Or even angry. I don't know what the hell to think. All I know is I was one of the last - if not the last - reporters to speak to Schoedinger, and she didn't sound "deranged" to me in July 2003. She sounded like someone who had gone through something weird and was trying to sort it out. She sounded like someone who wanted the truth to come out. And now she's dead.
If this had happened to Clinton when he was in the White House, do you think the story would have been covered non-stop on FOX, CNN and the right-wing talk shows? Do you think we'd have reporters asking Clinton and his people about this death in press conferences? Is FOX unfair and imbalanced to the point of being "deranged?"
There are some more odd twists to this case. I also found a 2002 criminal case related to Schoedinger in which Christopher Schoedinger, her husband, allegedly struck her. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a year in jail. Christopher Schoedinger had also filed for divorce. Then since 1997, Margie Schoedinger had filed for at least five assumed business names for various ventures - including a communications firm, health and beauty business, travel agency and publishing company. Could a "deranged" person start all those businesses or even know how to file a lawsuit?
Schoedinger's lawsuit can still be viewed on the Fort Bend County site at http://ccweb.co.fort-bend.tx.us/localization/menu.asp - then go down to the bottom and click on civil court. Then type "schoedinger" in the plaintiff box and click search. You should find another lawsuit she filed against Sugar Land police, as well.
I can really understand media members being intimidated, even frightened, of the Bush administration. As I've detailed before, these are not Boy Scouts running the show. The Schoedinger death is just the latest in a string of strange ones surrounding the Bush family - Bush biographer J.H. Hatfield, Sen. Paul Wellstone, Sen. Mel Carnahan, and others that are detailed on various sites, including at http://members.boardhost.com/gwbush/msg/362.html .
For the record, I contacted Bush's media office about Schoedinger and have yet to hear back. Now that I live in the Washington, D.C., area, I can go down to the White House in person and try to get someone to speak to me about this case. As expected, I haven't had much luck with the Fort Bend County and other Texas authorities. So maybe I'll stand outside the White House, holding a sign saying, "Who killed Margie Schoedinger?" and passing out copies of my column on the case. It would make about as much sense as anything else in this matter.
For all I know, maybe Schoedinger did kill herself. Maybe she dreamed up a lot of this stuff. But I don't know, am I "deranged" to think it's weird that in this mass-media, detailed-information age, so few people are even asking any questions about how a woman who filed a rape lawsuit against the president could be dead less than a year later?
Jackson Thoreau is an American writer and co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House. The updated, 120,000-word electronic book can be downloaded on his Internet site at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/ebook.html. Citizens for Legitimate Government has the earlier version at http://www.legitgov.org/we_will_not_get_over_it.html. He can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The New Invasion of Iraq
Waterboarding Focus of Inquiry by Justice Department
Jack Abramoff: John McCain’s other Lobbyist problem...
The "sex" hook may be a MacGuffin, but this Lobbyist Scandal has legs.
McCain is "shocked" and fighting back. Key to his defense is his investigation of Jack Abramoff. This, he argues, is proof of his "reputation" as a "reformer" and his "integrity".
Don’t buy that hype.
Jack Abramoff is at the heart of McCain’s campaign—and not in a good way.
Texas students shut down 7 miles of freeway, marching to the polls
Friday, February 22, 2008
Canada to withdraw from Afghanistan:
10,000 Turkish troops invade Iraq:
333,000 US Casualties: Are They Covered?
The Lost Kristol Tapes: What the New York Times Bought
Spectre of 'another 7/7' led Tony Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court told.
The George W Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning
to this great man's legacy.
The Library will include:
The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you can't remember anything.
The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't even have to show up.
The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in.
The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room (Which no one has been able to find).
The Iraq War Room. After you complete your first tour, they make you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth tour.
The Dick Cheney Room, in an undisclosed location, complete with shooting gallery.
Plans also include: The K-Street Project Gift Shop - Where you can buy (or just steal) an election.
The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators. Last, but not least, there will be an entire floor devoted to a 7/8 scale model of the President's ego.
To highlight the President's accomplishments, the museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate them.
When asked, President Bush said that he didn't care so much about the individual exhibits, as long as his museum was better than his father's.
"The US court order shutting down the website Wikileaks today appeared to backfire on the Swiss bank that sought the legal action, as bloggers and other fans of the site gave new life to leaked documents the bank was working to suppress."
"Unlike other states that allocate delegates by congressional districts, Texas distributes 126 of its delegates among its 31 state Senate districts using a formula based on Democratic voter turnout in the 2004 and 2006 general elections. The 31 districts contain from two to eight delegates. The March 4 primary vote in each Senate district will allocate that district's delegates."
Lack of MRAPs Cost Marine Lives
*How will President Bush be celebrated in the future?*
GOP campaign contributor Wilkes linked to former Representative Cunningham.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Early Voting In Texas Up 1,000 Percent
The race for the Democratic nomination is too close to call. The large percentage of "undecided" voters give even more weight to the CNN debates Thursday evening. As Senators Clinton and Obama both tour Texas, they will be reaching out to the undecideds to close the gap.
APPLY THE MCCAIN STANDARD TO MCCAIN...
Secret evidence. Denial of habeas corpus. Evidence obtained by waterboarding. Indefinite detention.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"But you know in the end, don’t vote your fears. I’m stealing this line from my buddy (Massachusetts Gov.) Deval Patrick who stole a whole bunch of lines from me when he ran for the governorship, but it’s the right one, don’t vote your fears, vote your aspirations. Vote what you believe."
I look forward to the Clintons' next desperate gambit.
CIA Operation Similar To Tactic Obama Advocated, Bush Criticized
On the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post was an article detailing how in late January U.S. forces, acting with autonomy inside Pakistan, were able to target and kill Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda commander.
The strike, which came without the Pakistani government's knowledge and helped eliminate an individual who had long eluded the spy-agency's capture, was an obvious boon in the War on Terror. But the political implications of the operation were just as fascinating.
In August, Sen. Barack Obama had made the argument that, as president, he would target Al Qaeda officials in Pakistan even without the country's acquiescence -- the type of attack that, six months later, proved to be successful.
Bloomberg: "Fraud" Behind Low Obama Vote In New York
"If you want to call it significant undercounting, I guess that's a euphemism for fraud," said the mayor.
Read full story here.
Up yours Chris Matthews you WANKER, what the hell were Georgies list of legislative accomplisments???????
Here's the key point. Watson's cluelessness about Obama's legislative record as a U.S. senator reflects more on the Texas state senator than it does on Obama's Senate record.
As a junior senator with three years having passed since he took his oath of office, and the Senate being controlled by Republicans two of those years, Obama couldn't be expected to have many legislative achievements.
But he does have some notable ones. My colleague Christi Parsons wrote this in a piece that ran in the Chicago Tribune on June 12, 2007.
"My job was to work and learn the institution," Obama said. "I'm somebody who generally thinks that listening and learning before you start talking is a pretty good strategy. It's like any other social setting -- a new job, a new school, a new town. People appreciate it if you spend a little time getting to know them before you announce that you are looking for attention."
One colleague who took note was the powerful then-chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, who later invited Obama on a trip through the former Soviet Union, inspecting projects to decommission Cold War-era weapons. The two ultimately worked together to pass legislation to control the spread of weapons.
"I like him, and I appreciate working with him," Lugar said. "It seems to me that he was adept in finding partners and coalitions and actually was able to achieve results."
In addition to a legislative accomplishment teaming with Lugar, the partnership gave Obama the added credibility he sought in an association across party lines. A former presidential candidate who has seen many fellow senators launch White House bids during his 30-year Senate career, Lugar offers unusually strong praise for Obama.
"He does have a sense of idealism and principled leadership, a vision of the future," Lugar said. "At certain points in history, certain people are the ones that are most likely to have the vision or imagination or be able to identify talent and to manage other people's ideas. And I think he does this well."
Within his own party, Obama gained the confidence of the leadership and soon took on a role as the Democrats' spokesman on ethics reform. A package that included many of the provisions he championed ultimately passed the Senate.
So Watson could've citied at least two things from Obama's three year Senate career, anti-weapons proliferation legislation and ethics reform which would have probably been enough for Matthews.
If you go back to Obama's eight-year career in the Illinois Senate, there's ample evidence of his being an engaged lawmaker who authored and pushed numerous pieces of legislation.
Here are some passages from an Oct. 8, 2004 article by Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell who covered Obama's Senate race and later wrote a book about the senator.
In the last two years, he has sponsored more than 780 bills, of which Gov. Rod Blagojevich has signed more than 280 into law. Often, those bills gained Obama considerable attention or won favor with key Democratic constituencies, such as organized labor, that he would call upon in his campaign for federal office.
In the spring, for example, Obama sponsored legislation blocking overtime restrictions instituted by the Bush administration, a move that buffeted the wages of union workers in Illinois. He also sponsored a law that extended the reach of the Earned Income Tax Credit to the working poor…
Especially during his U.S. Senate campaign, Obama has shown a willingness to soften controversial legislation in the face of fierce criticism. He sponsored an ambitious act that called for the state to study ways to provide universal health care to all residents.
When GOP critics accused Obama of trying to implement a single-payer health care system run by state government, he rewrote the legislation to call only for expanding existing programs. ..
"I think if you look at my eight years in the Senate, my reputation in the Senate consistently has been that I work both sides of the aisle," Obama said. "If you look at my signature legislation, whether it was helping craft welfare reform, helping to shape the state Earned Income Tax Credit, death penalty reform, expanding KidCare, all those pieces of legislation are the bills that I am most proud of."
Here's a lengthy passage from a recent Washinton Post op-ed piece in which Charles Peters, founding editor of the Washington Monthly, seeks to bring attention to what he believes is Obama's overlooked Illinois legislative record.
Consider a bill into which Obama clearly put his heart and soul. The problem he wanted to address was that too many confessions, rather than being voluntary, were coerced -- by beating the daylights out of the accused.
Obama proposed requiring that interrogations and confessions be videotaped.
This seemed likely to stop the beatings, but the bill itself aroused immediate opposition. There were Republicans who were automatically tough on crime and Democrats who feared being thought soft on crime. There were death penalty abolitionists, some of whom worried that Obama's bill, by preventing the execution of innocents, would deprive them of their best argument. Vigorous opposition came from the police, too many of whom had become accustomed to using muscle to "solve" crimes. And the incoming governor, Rod Blagojevich, announced that he was against it.
Obama had his work cut out for him.He responded with an all-out campaign of cajolery. It had not been easy for a Harvard man to become a regular guy to his colleagues. Obama had managed to do so by playing basketball and poker with them and, most of all, by listening to their concerns. Even Republicans came to respect him. One Republican state senator, Kirk Dillard, has said that "Barack had a way both intellectually and in demeanor that defused skeptics."The police proved to be Obama's toughest opponent. Legislators tend to quail when cops say things like, "This means we won't be able to protect your children." The police tried to limit the videotaping to confessions, but Obama, knowing that the beatings were most likely to occur during questioning, fought -- successfully -- to keep interrogations included in the required videotaping.By showing officers that he shared many of their concerns, even going so far as to help pass other legislation they wanted, he was able to quiet the fears of many.Obama proved persuasive enough that the bill passed both houses of the legislature, the Senate by an incredible 35 to 0. Then he talked Blagojevich into signing the bill, making Illinois the first state to require such videotaping.
So there is a legislative record. The Obama campaign just has to make sure its surrogates care enough to learn it. LinkHere
Michelle Obama: ‘For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I Am Really Proud of My Country’
So the "SwiftBoating" begins big timeObama
Uploaded by krs601 "What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something -- for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud." LinkHere
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
McCain Campaign Banked on Taxpayer-Funded Bailout
As The Washington Post reported on Saturday, John McCain's campaign struck a canny deal with a bank in December. If his campaign tanked, public funds would be there to bail him out. But if he emerged as the nominee, there'd be no need for public financing, since the contributions would come flowing.
It's an arrangement that no one has ever tried before. And it appears that McCain, who has built his reputation on campaign finance reform, was gaming the system. Or as a campaign finance expert who preferred to remain anonymous told me, referring to the prominent role that lobbyists have as advisers to his campaign, "This places McCain’s grandstanding on public financing in a new light. True reformers believe public financing is a way to replace the lobbyists’ influence, not a slush fund that the lobbyists use to pay off campaign debts."
Here's the back story.
Banks "Quietly" Borrow $50B From Fed: Report
The Financial Times said the move has sparked unease among some analysts about the stress developing in opaque corners of the U.S. banking system and the banks' growing reliance on indirect forms of government support.
Pakistan celebrates a final end to military rule — but what next?
President Musharraf’s supporters conceded defeat last night in a landmark parliamentary election that could seal his political fate and resurrect democracy in Pakistan after eight years of military rule.
But while the two main opposition parties appeared to have swept the vote, neither was expected to win an outright majority, setting the stage for a coalition government in this chronically unstable country.
Despite 470,000 police and troops on the streets, turnout was only 30 to 40 per cent because of a wave of suicide attacks by Islamic militants since July, including one that killed Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister, on December 27. Voting was relatively peaceful given the security threat — although Ms Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) claimed 15 members were killed in an attempt to deter voters.
Final results are not expected until tomorrow, but preliminary figures suggest that the PPP will win the most seats followed by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) led by Nawaz Sharif, another former Prime Minister.
The PML (Q), which split from Mr Sharif’s party and supports President Musharraf, was lagging in third place with several of its leading figures — including the party’s leader — losing their seats. Tariq Azeem, a PML (Q) spokesman, said: “People have given their verdict. We respect it. We congratulate the PML (N) and PPP. As far as we are concerned, we will be willing to sit on opposition benches if final results prove that we have lost.”
The makeup of a coalition government will be negotiated in the next few days but a front-runner to be prime minister is Makhdoom Amin Fahim, 68, the PPP vice-chairman and veteran Bhutto loyalist.
The new government could then decide whether President Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999 and became a key US ally in the War on Terror, should be impeached for imposing emergency rule last year to secure his own re-election. It could also determine whether Pakistan continues to co-operate with Britain and the US to the same degree in a campaign against al-Qaeda and Taleban militants near the Afghanistan border.
Bush and ExxonMobil v. Chavez
Since the Bush administration took office in January 2001, it's targeted Hugo Chavez relentlessly. From the aborted two-day April 2002 coup attempt to the 2002-03 oil management lockout to the failed 2004 recall referendum to stoking opposition rallies against the constitutional reform referendum to constant pillorying in the media to funding opposition candidates in elections to the present when headlines like the Reuters February 7 one announced: "Courts freeze $12 billion Venezuela assets in Exxon row." Call it the latest salvo in Bush v. Chavez with ExxonMobil (EM) its lead aggressor and the long arm of the CIA and Pentagon always in the wings.... continua / continued
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Iraqi security forces stage walkout near Baghdad
U.S.-allied security forces said today they were abandoning their posts in a volatile area south of Baghdad to protest airstrikes by American forces that they say have killed at least 12 civilians this month. The walkout followed an airstrike Friday near the town of Jarf Sakhr that tribal leaders said killed three members of the Sons of Iraq, the civilian guard corps credited with helping reduce violence across Iraq. The U.S. military said Friday that helicopters responding to gunfire near Jarf Sakhr rocketed a building, but it did not confirm any casualties. On Feb. 2, nine Iraqis, including three Sons of Iraq members, were killed in the same area in an errant airstrike that the U.S. military acknowledged...
continua / continued
Imagine 50 Million American Refugees
I'm an innumerate, but the figures on this -- the saddest story of our Iraq debacle -- are so large that even I can do the necessary computations. The population of the United States is now just over 300,000,000. The population of Iraq at the time of the U.S. invasion was perhaps in the 26-27 million range. Between March 2003 and today, a number of reputable sources place the total of Iraqis who have fled their homes -- those who have been displaced internally and those who have gone abroad -- at between 4.5 million and 5 million individuals. If you take that still staggering lower figure, approximately one in six Iraqis is either a refugee in another country or an internally displaced person. Now, consider the equivalent in terms of the U.S. population. If Iraq had invaded the United States in March 2003 with similar results, in less than five years approximately 50 million Americans would have fled their homes, assumedly flooding across the Mexican and Canadian borders, desperately burdening weaker neighboring economies...
continua / continued
CIA's ambitious post-9/11 spy plan crumbles
By Greg Miller,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 17, 2008 WASHINGTON --
The CIA set up a network of front companies in Europe and elsewhere after the Sept. 11 attacks as part of a constellation of "black stations" for a new generation of spies, according to current and former agency officials.
But after spending hundreds of millions of dollars setting up as many as 12 of the companies, the agency shut down all but two after concluding they were ill-conceived and poorly positioned for gathering intelligence on the CIA's principal targets: terrorist groups and unconventional weapons proliferation networks.
McCain Exploited the Navajos
Thanks to my friend Alan, it's clear that there is another reason to a) not vote for, b) vote for someone else, c) vote and work against John McCain.
How McCain Did It
To facilitate his special interests, namely: Peabody Western Coal Company (the largest in the US) and the Mohave Generating Facility in Laughlin (operated by Bechtel) delivering low cost electricity to Las Vegas's Casinos, John McCain introduced and arranged for the enforcement of unethical and Constitutionally unlawful legislations which brutally displaced thousands of Navajo farmers onto a Nuclear Waste Dump to live after brutalizing them for two decades in peaceful resistance.
McCain assembled (Navajo Resettlement & Navajo Accommodation Agreement, Navajo Settlement, and amendments to PL 93-531) illegal enactments designed to force Native American Navajo of the Dineh Band off their Arizona lands, moving them onto Church's Hill in Nevada, depriving them of lands they've owned since 1500 AD. Using a phony tribal counsel composed of paid stooges, McCain and Peabody Western Coal Company have been progressively exploiting their lands for mutual personal gain.
In exchange, three Presidential runs by McCain have been backed by that company and its Nevada Casino clients, and McCain's wife has been granted huge Beer distribution contracts at her company. The supposed "new lands" at Church's Hill are a Superfund Nuclear Waste Dump landfill site!
To quote the United Nations website:
"The Black Mesa region in Arizona, USA is home to the indigenous communities of the Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi peoples. This region also contains major deposits of coal which are being extracted by North America's largest strip mining operation. The coal mines have had a major impact on families in the region. Local water sources have been poisoned, resulting in the death of livestock. Homes near the mines suffer from blasting damage. The coal dust is pervasive, as well as smoke from frequent fires in the stockpiles. Not coincidentally, the people in the area have an unusually high incidence of kidney and respiratory disease. "
"The Dineh (otherwise known as Navajo) were stripped of all land title and forced to relocate. Their land was turned over to the coal companies without making any provisions to protect the burial or sacred sites that would be destroyed by the mines. People whose lives were based in their deep spiritual and life-giving relationship with the land were relocated into cities, often without compensation, forbidden to return to the land that their families had occupied for generations. People became homeless with significant increases in alcoholism, suicide, family break up, emotional abuse and death. " -- Marsha Monestersky for the UN Commission on Human Rights and Women Enacting Change at the UN
The Navajo Resettlement has led to the deaths of thousands of elders and mass radiation based deformities among newborn Navajo children and youngsters who are forced to play on land littered with Uranium Tilings. The accompanying thuggery and theft of property, fencing out of rangelands, cattle seizures, water well cappings and beatings and other indignity has led to the death of thousands of elder grandfathers and mothers of the Navajo Di'neh Nation, a birth defect rate twice the national average has led to UN & EU condemnations! Navajo are full US citizens!
The environmental devastation around the mines, through brutal strip mining operations, open explosives runs, and "grim reaper" steam shovels has transformed the magnificent territories of the Dineh into a Hell-like scar on earth, the water level in the region is reduced by 4 feet per year as the not-lawful steam slurry pipes pipe powdered coal and steam hundreds of miles to Mohave, just to "light up the strip" in Las Vegas and Reno, where energy wastefulness abounds: leaving leakage and residue in the environment poisoning the lands and people in their vicinity. Coal dust blasted from the mines as well. A Video, "VANISHING PRAYER provides a more vivid view of the plight of the Di'neh-Navaho.
more about McCain displacing the Navahos
Mystery: NY Results Say Obama Got Zero Votes In 80 Districts
That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city's 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.