Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stanley Dunham's WWII Experience: AP Portrait




But Ralph Dunham is reminded of his brother every time Obama's face appears on TV or in the paper.

"You know," Ralph says, "he looks exactly like Stanley. He looks exactly like my brother, only he's dark."

LinkHere











Friday, May 29, 2009

New report appears to confirm withheld abuse photos contain

The story that won't go away Mr President, another thing the Bush Cheney handed you, sucks doesn't it?
A new report appears to directly contradict denials by the White House and the Pentagon that abuse photographs the Obama administration has withheld are worse than previously known.
In a posting Friday, an American reporter says he’s confirmed allegations printed in British newspapers that unreleased photographs of US servicemembers abusing prisoners include graphic images of rape, sexually explicit acts, sodomy and forced masturbation.
Probably most notable is an alleged photograph showing a man in a US military uniform receiving oral sex from a female prisoner.
The detailed descriptions of the photographs may provide new insight into what’s actually included among the images the administration has said it won’t release in response to a civil liberties group’s lawsuit.
Scott Horton, a journalist for Harper’s Magazine who also writes for The Daily Beast, wrote that the photographs “depict sexually explicit acts, including a uniformed soldier receiving oral sex from a female prisoner, a government contractor engaged in an act of sodomy with a male prisoner and scenes of forced masturbation, forced exhibition and penetration involving phosphorous sticks and brooms.”
Specifically, Horton writes of a photograph that allegedly shows Specialist Charles Graner, the convicted Abu Ghraib guard made famous in already released images, suturing the face of a prisoner.
“The suturing appeared to serve no ostensible medical purpose than perhaps Graner’s attempts to humiliate or terrorize the prisoner,” he writes. “A number of the withheld photographs, according to reliable sources, show Graner engaged in sexual acts with Specialist Lynndie A. England, another soldier assigned to duty at Abu Ghraib.” LinkHere

Turkey, Long A Bridge Between Two Worlds, Moves Away From The West

I interprit it as 8 long years of Bush Cheney reign of the West.
By Nichole Sobecki GlobalPost
ISTANBUL -- Turkey has long been the bridge between Europe and the East, between the Christian and Muslim worlds. This was largely due to its location, the fortune -- or, some might say, the misfortune -- of geography.
For much of the past century, Turkish leaders have equated the East with backwardness and the West with modernity. While this attitude has allowed Western leaders to sleep comfortably, assured of a cultural, political and physical "bridge" that promotes what they see as moderate values in a geo-strategically important country, it has led Arab countries to regard Turkey with something between wariness and resentment.
But times, it seems, are a changing. Under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has been sending emissaries throughout the region, cultivating close ties with Iran, Syria, Sudan and the Gulf countries, as well as with Russia. Trade with the country's eight nearest neighbors -- including Syria, Iran and Iraq -- nearly doubled between 2005 and 2008, from $7.3 billion to $14.3 billion.
"In Washington there has long been a debate over whether Turkey was moving away from the West," said Soner Cagaptay, senior fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. "Recently, however, that debate has shifted from 'Is Turkey moving away?' to 'Yes, they are, and what can we do about it.'"
Many interpret this reorientation of Turkish policy as a return to the country's Ottoman history -- a policy of "neo-Ottomanism," as some are calling it. In February, Asharq Alawsat, a pan-Arab newspaper based in London, highlighted these changes in a widely circulated column, "The Return of the Ottoman Empire?"
Others argue that such a perspective masks the true force behind Turkey's shift in policy, pointing out that Turkey is asserting itself exclusively in the Muslim Middle East while ignoring the other areas of the Ottoman realm. LinkHere
Iranian Official Blames Mosque Explosion On U.S.
Following the explosion that ripped through a Shiite Muslim mosque in south-eastern Iran and killed over 20 people Thursday, one Iranian official is publicly accusing the United States of being involved. According to Reuters, Jalal Sayyah, the Deputy Governor of Sistan-Baluchestan province, where the explosion occurred, told a semi-official state radio station that, "The terrorists, who were equipped by America in one of our neighbouring countries, carried out this criminal act in their efforts to create religious conflict and fear and to influence the presidential election....It has been confirmed that those behind the terrorist act in Zahedan were hired by America and the arrogance's other hands."
Also snatching up the accusation banner is Tehran's Substitute Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami (not to be confused with reformist former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami), who told a large congregation at Tehran University that "discernible" clues exist to implicate the US and Israel in the explosion, Albawaba reports.
Suspects behind the explosion were quickly arrested by provincial police Thursday, who provided no further details, according to DPA News.
According to the Reuters report:
LinkHere

Feeling the Heat "BLABBER MOUTH"

U.S. Takes Toughest Stance With Israel In A Generation ... Netanyahu:

Netanyahu On Obama, Clinton: "What The Hell Do They Want From Me?"

Just what they demanded Wanker, no more settlements, it's that simple, no more settlements, capiche!!!!!!

Thu, 05/28/2009 - 7:17pm
Last night, shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told journalists that the Obama administration "wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a confidante. Referring to Clinton's call for a settlement freeze, Netanyahu groused, "What the hell do they want from me?" according to his associate, who added, "I gathered that he heard some bad vibes in his meetings with [U.S.] congressional delegations this week."
In the 10 days since Netanyahu and President Barack Obama held a meeting at the White House, the Obama administration has made clear in public and private meetings with Israeli officials that it intends to hold a firm line on Obama's call to stop Israeli settlements. According to many observers in Washington and Israel, the Israeli prime minister, looking for loopholes and hidden agreements that have often existed in the past with Washington, has been flummoxed by an unusually united line that has come not just from Obama White House and the secretary of state, but also from pro-Israel congressmen and women who have come through Israel for meetings with him over Memorial Day recess. To Netanyahu's dismay, Obama doesn't appear to have a hidden policy. It is what he said it was.
This is a sea change for Netanyahu," a former senior Clinton administration official who worked on Middle East issues said. The official said that the basis of the Obama White House's resolve is the conviction that it is in the United States' as well as Israel's interest to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "We have significant, existential threats that Israel faces from Iran and that the U.S. faces from this region. It is in our mutual interest to end this conflict, and to begin to build new regional alliances."
Netanyahu needed to engage Obama directly, the former official said. "Now that he has done so, and also sent a team of advisors to meet [special envoy to the Middle East George] Mitchell, he has very clearly received a message: ‘I meant what I said on settlements. No natural growth. No elasticity. There will be a clear settlement freeze.'" (Netanyahu sent a team of advisors including minister for intelligence Dan Meridor for meetings with Mitchell in London Monday.) LinkHere

Obama Most Popular World Leader: Poll

Published: May 29, 2009
PARIS — President Barack Obama remains by far the most popular world leader among people in major Western nations and is the one political figure on whom people consistently pin their hopes in the economic crisis, according to new polls conducted for the International Herald Tribune.
About 80 percent of people in France, Germany, Italy and Spain have a positive view of Mr. Obama, a ratio that declines only slightly, to about 70 percent, in the other two countries surveyed, Britain and the United States. The only politician who comes close is Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who gets a positive rating from two-thirds of those in Continental Europe but from only one-third of Britons and Americans.
The new survey, conducted by Harris International for the I.H.T. and the cable news channel France 24, reinforces the results of one conducted a month earlier showing that about half of those surveyed expressed the most confidence in Mr. Obama’s ability to solve the economic crisis, with Mrs. Merkel coming in second, at 22 percent. LinkHere

Paper Apologizes For Publishing 'Assassinate Obama' Ad

"apologizes for the oversight."
WARREN, Pa. — A northwestern Pennsylvania newspaper is apologizing for running a classified advertisement calling for the assassination of President Barack Obama.
Warren Times Observer Publisher John Elchert says the ad appeared Thursday. It read, "May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!" The four presidents were all assassinated.
Elchert tells The Associated Press that the newspaper's advertising staff didn't make the historical connection.
He says the newspaper turned information over to police and that the Secret Service is investigating the person who placed the ad.
A note in Friday's paper says the newspaper "apologizes for the oversight." LinkHere

Limbaugh Compares Sotomayor To David Duke

Don't you get it yet, your time has come and long gone, freako
Rush Limbaugh, following a trend of conservatives depicting Sonia Sotomayor as a dangerous racist, suggested that President Obama's Supreme Court nomination had set back civil rights progress and compared Sotomayor to David Duke. LinkHere


Radio Host Liddy: 'Let's Hope That The Key Conferences Aren't When She's Menstruating'


Sick Bastards,
They are really taking the GOP out to the edge of the precipice, keep it up guys!!!!!!

UPDATERead more on right-wing hate in today's Progress Report.

PETRAEUS: US VIOLATED GENEVA CONVENTIONS

Petraeus Says U.S. Violated Geneva Conventions - What Will Cheney and Rush Say?
A couple of days ago, I chronicled the quickening departure of some big military names from the Republican party, those concerned about the party moving even farther to the right a number of issues, including torture. What struck me at the time is that General David Petraeus came out against torture and for closing Guantanamo.
I was stunned, however, when he admitted today that the United States has violated the Geneva Conventions. Without saying specifically how we did (though it doesn't take much imagination to figure it out), Petraeus said on FOX News:
Question: So is sending this signal that we're not going to use these kind of techniques anymore, what kind of impact does this have on people who do us harm in the field that you operate in?
Gen. Petraeus: Well, actually what I would ask is, "Does that not take away from our enemies a tool which again have beaten us around the head and shoulders in the court of public opinion?" When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Conventions we rightly have been criticized, so as we move forward I think it's important to again live our values, to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those. This fits in very well with an explosive new video put out by VoteVets.org today, in which Jay Bagwell, who worked in counterintelligence in Afghanistan not only argues against torture, but says that detainees were brought in who had pamphlets portraying Guantanamo in them. LinkHere

Obama visit: Abbas brings Palestinian cause, but not support, to Washington

Not only are Fatah and Hamas deadlocked in a power struggle. Abbas’s own Fatah bloc has rejected his new government.
By Ilene R. Prusher Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas came to meet President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss the future of Middle East peace.
But he is hobbled by the present instability back home.
Not only are Palestinians bitterly divided between Hamas and Fatah, estranged by politics, geography, and Israeli restrictions on their movement. Now Mr. Abbas's main support base in his government – the Fatah bloc of lawmakers – has summarily rejected the cabinet he cobbled together last week in what critics call a rushed attempt to present Mr. Obama with a sound negotiating partner.
"The idea was to form a government that would arm Abu Mazen [Abbas] with something stable before he met with Obama, but it backfired," says Hani el-Masri, head of Badael, the Palestine Media, Research and Studies Center here.
"It was a rush to establish a new government by ignoring the internal conflicts and the Hamas-Fatah dialogue," says Mr. Masri. "Instead, they should have postponed forming a new government until after the meeting with Obama, and waited at least until July."
Abbas promised disgruntled party members that he would hold a Fatah Congress on July 1 to determine the way forward. It's not yet clear whether the congress – which would be the first of its kind in 20 years – will be held, and if so, where. LinkHere

Iraq Faces the Mother of All Corruption Scandals

Allegations of kickbacks rock key government department as 1,000 officials face arrest and Trade Minister is forced to resign
By Patrick Cockburn
Friday, 29 May 2009
Iraq plans to arrest 1,000 officials for corruption after a scandal which has forced the resignation of the Trade Minister and is threatening the food supply of millions of Iraqis.
Corruption at the Trade Ministry is an important issue in Iraq because the ministry is in charge of the food rationing system on which 60 per cent of Iraqis depend. Officials at the ministry, which spends billions of dollars buying rice, sugar, flour and other items, are notorious among Iraqis for importing food that is unfit for human consumption, for which they charge the state the full international price.
The scandal first erupted in April when police, entering the Trade Ministry in Baghdad to arrest 10 senior officials accused of corruption and embezzlement, were greeted with gunfire by the ministry's own guards. The shoot-out allowed several officials, including two brothers of the Trade Minister, Abdul Falah al-Sudany, time to escape out the back gate.
The political crisis over corruption has escalated after a video surfaced showing Trade Ministry officials at a party, apparently drinking alcohol, cavorting with prostitutes, and deriding the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. LinkHere

Obama takes tough and risky stance on Israeli settlements

Source: McClatchy
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Thursday ratcheted up what might be America's toughest bargaining position with Israel in a generation, demanding anew that Israel stop expanding its settlements in the disputed West Bank as a key step toward making peace with its Arab neighbors.
Obama made the demand after a White House meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, building on unusually blunt language the day before from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"Each party has obligations," Obama said of the so-called Road Map to Peace, to which Israel is a party. "On the Israeli side, those obligations include stopping settlements."
-snip-
"What we're seeing from the Obama administration is an uncharacteristically tough policy on settlements without a corresponding detailed strategy to justify it. It looks like a significant fight with the Israelis," said Aaron David Miller, a veteran of Arab-Israeli peace efforts in administrations of both parties and now a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.
"They've essentially issued an ultimatum to Israel. It's a game of chicken, an Obama-Netanyahu game of chicken."
Clinton signaled the raised stakes when she said Wednesday that Obama wanted new construction in the settlements stopped and rejected Israel's insistence that it needed to allow for such things as "natural growth."
"He wants to see a stop to settlements," Clinton said. "Not some settlements, not outposts, not 'natural growth' exceptions. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly."
"Her comments," Miller said, "were about as tough and as shrill as I've heard from any senior American official on this issue since Baker told Congress, 'When the Israelis are serious, have them call me.''' In 1991, former Secretary of State James Baker and President George H.W. Bush tried to press Israel to stop building settlements by urging Congress to suspend loan guarantees to Israel, but then they backed down.
-snip-
A key question heading into next week is whether Obama can get Arab states to offer some concession that might prompt Netanyahu to agree to freeze the West Bank settlements. He could, for example, get them to offer travel visas to Israelis, or to allow the use of their airspace by commercial Israeli flights.
It's noteworthy that Obama this week announced that he'd go to Saudi Arabia early next week for a private dinner with King Abdullah, en route to Cairo.
"If what Obama is trying to do is get states like the Saudis to actually do things now, not only will he have achieved something pretty significant, he'll make it almost impossible for the Israelis to say no," Miller said. "No Israeli prime minister can afford to mismanage Israel's most important relationship, especially at a time when the Iranians are closer to nuclear power." LinkHere

U.S. undertakes Iraq-scale embassy project in Pakistan

Source: Miami Herlad
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The White House has asked Congress for - and seems likely to receive - $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.
The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.
Senior State Department officials said the expanded diplomatic presence is needed to replace overcrowded, dilapidated and unsafe facilities and to support a "surge" of civilian officials into Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. LinkHere

Report: Climate change crisis 'catastrophic'

The vast majority of deaths -- 99 percent -- are in developing countries which are estimated to have contributed less than one percent of the world's total carbon emissions.
By Hilary Whiteman
CNN
LONDON, England (CNN) -- The first comprehensive report into the human cost of climate change warns the world is in the throes of a "silent crisis" that is killing 300,000 people each year.
More than 300 million people are already seriously affected by the gradual warming of the earth and that number is set to double by 2030, the report from the Global Humanitarian Forum warns.
"Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide," said the forum's president, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
In a statement accompanying the report's release in London Friday, Annan said that it gave the world a glimpse of a grim future if Member States fail to reach a "global, effective, fair and binding" outcome on climate change at the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December.
"I hope that all Member States will go to Copenhagen with the political will to sign up to an ambitious agreement to tackle climate change," he said. "As this report shows, the alternative is greater risk of starvation, migration and sickness on a massive scale."
The report's startling numbers are based on calculations that the earth's atmosphere is currently warming by 0.74 degrees celcius. The Global Humanitarium Forum says that temperatures will rise by almost two degrees celcius, regardless of what's agreed in Copenhagen. "No matter what," the report concludes, "the suffering documented in this report is only the beginning." A rise of two degrees, it says, "would be catastrophic." LinkHere

Pharma co. Aventis to pay $95M for overcharging the homeless

Aventis to pay $95 million to settle fraud charge
“We will continue to ensure that programs for the most vulnerable portions of our population do not pay any more for pharmaceutical products than they should under the law,” Tony West, an assistant attorney general at the US Justice Department said in a statement announcing the settlement.
Aventis Pharmaceutical Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis, acknowledged that it violated the False Claims Act by misreporting drug prices for patients in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program for poor patients.
Under the program, Aventis was required to report to Medicaid the lowest price that it charged commercial customers, and pay quarterly rebates to the states for their Medicaid patients, based on those reported prices.
But Aventis deliberately misquoted the prices, underpaying rebates to Medicaid and overcharging some public health agencies for the medications.
The fraud occured between 1995 and 2000, and concerned the steroid-based anti-inflammatory nasal sprays Azmacort, Nasacort and Nasacort AQ.
“We will continue to be vigilant in investigating and prosecuting those who scam the Medicaid system — a system that is meant to benefit the poor” said Michael Loucks, acting US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, in the Justice Department statement.
“When a drug company agrees to be a provider to the Medicaid programs, it agrees to sell its drugs to them at the same price it gives its best customers. We will, as here, pursue those who break their promises.” LinkHere

N.Korea calls end to half-century truce; US troops raise alert

US, S. Korean troops on alert after Poyngyang ends truce

South Korea and the United States put their troops on higher alert in the Korean peninsula Thursday after the North said it was ending a truce in force for half a century and warned of a possible attack.
Seoul’s defence ministry said air and ground forces were keeping a closer watch on the tense land and sea border with the communist North after Pyongyang said it was abandoning the armistice signed to end the Korean War in 1953.
Tensions have risen sharply since North Korea Monday tested a nuclear bomb believed to be about four times more powerful than the one it detonated in 2006. It followed up by test-firing five short-range missiles.
“We are maintaining a tight defence posture to prevent the North’s military provocations,” said ministry spokesman Won Tae-Jae. “The military will deal sternly with provocative acts.”
In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the United States and other members of the UN Security Council were mulling “possible sanctions” against Pyongyang, in the first such on the record comment from a US official. LinkHere

Palin Ethics Complaints Costing State A Lot Of Money

Costs of dismissed Palin ethics complaints pile up

Personnel board member says tab is "close to about a third of a million dollars." LinkHere

Bobby Jindal Protested For Rejecting Stimulus Funds

Jindal supports moves to provide more flexibility for budget cutting. Jindal has suggested cuts to education and health care because of declining state revenues. Those areas are not protected in the state's constitution. LinkHere

Over my dead body, Are you friking mad, already!!!!!!!!!

Up for a European cruise with America's top conservative thinkers?

Relies, if you don't kick the bums out of Rome, I will not own you anymore!!!!!!!!
Take A 10-Day Cruise With Karl Rove, John Bolton: $14,000 Per Couple

Republicans are said to be experiencing their winter of discontent, aimlessly adrift and trying to get their bearings after a couple of tough campaign cycles. So why not join like-minded folks and be literally adrift, on a luxury cruise ship meandering for 10 days in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic?
You'll be able to commiserate with and enjoy the grand company of luminaries from the conservative National Review -- Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Lopez, Kate O'Beirne and others.
The luxurious Holland America Noordam sets out from Rome to Dubrovnik to the Greek Isles, then to Sicily and back to Rome. The 2009 Mediterranean Cruise has a "sunny itinerary" perfect to brighten an otherwise gloomy time, the magazine's ad says. There are "exclusive cocktail receptions and smokers (featuring H. Upmann cigars), scintillating seminars and intimate dining with guest speakers." LinkHere

And you believe a miscreant, who declared war, and occupied and Sovereign Nation, on a pack of lies?

Bush Defends Torture: "The Information We Got Saved Lives"
BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (CNN) – Former President George W. Bush on Thursday repeated Dick Cheney's assertion that their enhanced interrogation program was legal and garnered valuable information that prevented future terrorist attacks.
In his largest domestic speech since leaving the White House in January, Bush told an audience in southwestern Michigan that after the September 11 attacks, "I vowed to take whatever steps that were necessary to protect you."
Although he did not specifically allude to the high-profile debate over President Obama's decision to halt the use harsh interrogation techniques, and without referencing Cheney by name, Bush spoke in broad strokes about how he proceeded after the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March 2003. LinkHere

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,331,578"

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In U.S. War And Occupation Of Iraq 4,302

U.S. MILITARY WOUNDED (IRAQ): 31285

Cost of U.S. War and Occupation of Iraq
$673,021,554,727
For more details, click here.

Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos 'Show Rape'

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent and Paul Cruickshank
At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee. LinkHere

Worse Than This
Ret. Gen. Antonio Taguba confirms unreleased photos show U.S. personnel engaging in rape and sexual torture in several Iraqi prisons
FLASHBACK:
Seymour Hersh, Right Again
"Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? ... They are in total terror it's goingto come out."
– Hersh, July 7, 2004

Secret cables may show doctors monitored CIA torture

Flashback: Torture photos depict ‘rape and murder,’ Sen. Graham said in 2004

Obama: Health Care Reform This Year -- Or Never

Good Luck
President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that if health care reform didn't take place this year, it won't be completed during his presidency.
"We need health care reform legislation that works, that preserves what works about health care, that fixes the things that are broken. And I think the status quo is unacceptable " said the president, on a conference call with volunteers for his leftover campaign arm, Organizing for America. "And we have to get it done this year. If we don't get it done this year we are not going to get it done."
Underscoring the high stakes of the debate, Obama called on his supporters to make the same organizational effort on behalf of health care that they did during the election. There were, he said, few more important issues facing his administration.
"Now we are moving to one of our biggest priorities," he said, "something that all of us on the phone have been talking about since the earliest moments of this campaign... We know what is at stake; we know we need reforms... Americans now spend more on health care than on housing or food."
The conference call, in which Obama participated while onboard Air Force One, is one of several moves on the part of Organizing for America to help set the table for the upcoming battle over health care reform. Organizing for America is also distributing a video message from the president and hosting a kick-off event for its health care reform campaign on June 6. LinkHere

"Take Notice America, don't let them give you bullshit, work with Obama on this."
As a Queenslander Down Under, I had two surgeries, one 12 hours one 8 hours, 6 months Chemo, had three nurses bought in to watch over me one night when I hemmoraged, 10 years of check ups and all testing required, and it cost me nothing. My Husband had 11 hour surgery Radium, Chemo God bless him, he did not make it, but it also cost us nothing.
Now if by chance I was living in America, I would have lost everything I owned and been living on the streets with my children as youngsters.

GOD BLESS AUSTRALIA.

Tickets For Bush-Clinton 'Conversation' Not That Hot

Still hundreds of tickest remaining for ex-presidents' speech in Toronto
David Bester is a man willing to go to great lengths for a spectacular show. Indie rock band The Hold Steady is worth it, he says. U.S. Presidents numbers 42 and 43 are not.
So he's selling the two tickets he purchased to tomorrow afternoon's "conversation" between George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for less than their $189 face value.
"I bought them the day they became available. At the time I was very excited to go," Mr. Bester said yesterday.
"It seemed like a really neat opportunity to go and hear something that is unusual, but the security precautions they are taking are turning it essentially into an all-day affair... I just could care less right now."
What was meant to be the hottest ticket in town isn't proving to be an easy sell.
Organizer Christian Darbyshire yesterday said "400 or 500" tickets were still available from a total of 6,000. LinkHere

Property Scandal Hits Dubai, Media Silenced

Dubai Property Scandal Claim Emerges Amid Media Blackout
Heerkani Chohan I The Independent
"Fake" pictures are at the heart of a property scandal that could harm the reputation of the once-booming real estate market in Dubai.
A major property development firm with links to the ruling family of the UAE city-state, and the firm's marketing agency, are accused by investors, many of whom are UK citizens, of obtaining millions of pounds through the use of false construction photographs.
On Thursday, after local and regional media had been alerted to the situation by angry investors, news agencies across the city said they were silenced by senior representatives of the Government of Dubai, as orders were issued for reports of the storm to be pulled.
Around 500 property buyers of varying nationalities collectively purchased three planned tower blocks named Ebony 1, Ivory 1 and Ivory 2 in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers area of the Gulf city last year from property development firm Al Fajer Properties, at a total cost of £428 million.
The firm is part of the Al Fajer Group, ran by company president Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum, brother-in-law to the supreme ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
But at the weekend it was claimed that Al Fajer Properties and its marketing agent Dynasty Zarooni misled their customers into parting with millions of pounds by presenting photographs showing construction of three buildings, purported to be Ebony 1, Ivory 1 and Ivory 2, up to the sixth storey.
In fact the photographs were of buildings on neighbouring plots. Today, the plots on which Ebony 1, Ivory 1 and Ivory 2 are to be built, are empty holes in the ground, as our photographs show. LinkHere

Obama Meets Abbas, Israel On Edge Over Settlements

Now let's see what happens
Clinton said Obama told Netanyahu last week when the two met at the White House that the U.S. sees stopping settlements as key to a peace deal that would see a Palestinian state created alongside Israel.
"He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not 'natural growth' exceptions," Clinton said. "We think it is in the best interests (of the peace process) that settlement expansion cease. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly. ... And we intend to press that point."
=========
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gingerly trying to advance Mideast peace, President Barack Obama declared on Thursday the U.S. is a "stalwart ally" of Israel but challenged the Israelis to stop settlement construction in the disputed West Bank to help advance the long and painful road to peace with the Palestinians.
Obama's message came on the same day that Israel refused a demand to freeze all construction in the West Bank, land the Palestinians hope to claim for a future nation of their own. The president stuck to a hopeful tone, saying he had pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the matter only last week."I think it's important not to assume the worst, but to assume the best," Obama said in the Oval Office, sitting alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama said Netanyahu needed time to work on the issue back home, and the U.S. president said he was not willing to base his decisions on a week-old conversation.
Obama and Abbas met privately before being joined by their delegations.
The U.S. president made clear he expected commitments to be upheld by the Palestinians, too, including enhanced security in the West Bank so that Israelis have confidence they're safe there. Obama said he asked Abbas to reduce anti-Israeli sentiments that can be easily stoked in schools, mosques and the public square.
Said Abbas: "We are fully committed to all of our obligations." LinkHere

Obama Admin Asks Judge To Block Abuse Photos

Obama Administration Cites Secret Statements By Petraeus In Asking Judge To Block Abuse Photos
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration asked a federal appeals court Thursday to halt the release of disturbing images of detainee abuse, saying the photos could incite violence in Pakistan as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The court papers filed in New York cite two partially secret statements from two top U.S. generals, David Petraeus and Ray Odierno.
Such arguments failed to sway the court in the past. In the new filings, Petraeus, who oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, said the images could also lead to more violence in Pakistan because it deals with Taliban attacks.
The filings underscore just how worried U.S. officials are about the increasing violence in Pakistan. While past arguments about the photos referred generally to the Middle East, Petraeus' statement spends several pages discussing Pakistan's recent struggles against terrorism.
The administration had planned to release the photos until President Barack Obama reversed the decision this month, saying their release would endanger U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Disseminating the photos poses "a clear and grave risk of inciting violence and riots against American and coalition forces, as well as civilian personnel, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," according to the motion filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department on Thursday denied a British newspaper report that some of the images showed U.S. personnel sexually assaulting detainees. The Daily Telegraph had reported that a former U.S. general said graphic images of rape and torture are among the pictures.
The photos were ordered released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Bush administration had also fought their release, and lost.
LinkHere

Arianna On "Countdown," Discusses Rush Limbaugh's Comments About Obama's 'Master Plan'

Arianna appeared on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Thursday night to talk about Rush Limbaugh's recent comments that President Obama's "master plan" is for the country to fail. She noted that, "We can't be expected to understand Rush Limbaugh in normal rational terms," adding that Limbaugh specializes in using code words that appeal to his audience's dark fears. LinkHere

Top GOP Senator Repudiates Gingrich, Limbaugh Comments About Sotomayor: "It's Terrible"

One of the top Republicans in the Senate, John Cornyn, is repudiating recent comments by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich which claimed that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a racist.
Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered":
"I think it's terrible... This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent."
Cornyn dismissed Limbaugh and Gingrich, adding: "Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it's appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it's wrong."
In recent days, Limbaugh and Gingrich have made headlines and stirred up controversy, along with condemnation from the White House, with their comments. LinkHere
Race To The Bottom: Conservative Media Attack Judge Sotomayor


Thursday, May 28, 2009

OBAMA: 'You ain't seen nothing yet.'

LOS ANGELES — Even as he conceded there is still much hard work to do, President Obama was in a boastful mood Wednesday night, telling a star-studded crowd at a fundraising dinner that he "would put these first four months up against any prior administration since FDR."
The president, speaking to a dinner that included Hollywood A-listers like Kiefer Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, lauded the legislation he has signed since taking office but added that he is "not satisfied."
"I'm confident in the future, but I'm not yet content," Obama said. LinkHere

Cheney, Rumsfeld Urged CIA To Mislead Congress In The 1970s, Authors Say

Online Journal:
The first time Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld pressured the CIA to mislead Congress was in 1975 and 1976, when Cheney was chief of staff to President Gerald Ford and Rumsfeld was Ford's secretary of defense.
Cheney, having held a series of positions alongside Rumsfeld -- starting under him in the Nixon administration -- also became campaign manager for Ford's reelection campaign. George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA, appointed by Jerry Ford when Ford switched Rumsfeld from White House LinkHere
For decades, the conventional wisdom was that the Republican Party was the party of the military. And while no party has or ever will monopolize military support, certainly Republicans had a good amount of support from some big names - from Eisenhower to Powell.
In recent years, however, as Republicans have abandoned ideals that make our military strong - no nation building using our Armed Forces, looking for strong alliances to join us in action, operating on a moral high ground when we do use force, and commitment to a strong enough and large enough force - we've seen big names head towards supporting Democrats - from General Wesley Clark and Major General Paul Eaton to General John Shalikashvili, General Joseph Hoar, and General Hugh Shelton. Oh, and Colin Powell.
That shift towards Democrats, and especially President Obama and Hillary Clinton during the primary, is about to be fast tracked, as Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney take control of Republican messaging, ideals, practices, and policies.

Joe Sestak: I "Intend" To Challenge Specter In Primary

Good For You!!!!!
Rumors that Rep. Joe Sestak, (D-PA) intends to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) in the Pennsylvania Democratic primaries have been confirmed, TPMDC reported today. The site received a handwritten note from Sestak to a supporter asking for donations. Sestak's sister, Meg Infantino, who works for Sestak for Congress, confirmed the report.
Specter is planning to run for re-election next year after recently switching parties to avoid a primary challenger in the Republican field.
Sestak confirmed that he intends to throw his hat in the ring in a conversation today with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room." Said Sestak: LinkHere

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

REPORT: UNRELEASED IRAQ PRISONER ABUSE PHOTOGRAPHS DEPICT RAPE, SEXUAL ABUSE

“The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it,”
Taguba said.

Unreleased photographs of alleged abuse by U.S. military personnel of prisoners at Iraqi prisons – which President Obama refused to release earlier this month – include images of rape and sexual abuse, according to a new report.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who in 2004 investigated and wrote a report on allegations of detainee abuse in U.S. prisons in Iraq, has confirmed the existence of graphic photographs depicting the following:
–An American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner.
–A male translator apparently raping a male detainee.
–A female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.
Other photographs depict sexual assaults on prisoners with a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube, according to the Telegraph story. LinkHere

Update:: Pentagon denies pics in question depict rapes

On Thursday afternoon a Pentagon spokesman denied that the pictures “whose release U.S. President Barack Obama wants to block, include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse,” Reuters reports.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Daily Telegraph newspaper had shown “an inability to get the facts right”.
“That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images,” Whitman told reporters. “None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article.”
….
Whitman said he did not know if the Telegraph had quoted Taguba accurately. But he said he was not aware that any such photographs had been uncovered as part of the investigation into Abu Ghraib or abuses at other prisons. LinkHere

Thing is it is hard to deny pictures of same, floating around the net.

NZ hunts accidental millionaires

Source: BBC
Police in New Zealand are searching for a couple who disappeared after a banking blunder deposited NZ$10m (£3.9m, US$6m) in their account.
The couple had applied for a NZ$10,000 overdraft but received NZ$10m in their business account instead, part of which they withdrew, local media report.
They are said to have run a service station in Rotorua, North Island.
Police believe the couple have left the country and Interpol has been alerted for assistance.
The deposit was made by the Australian bank Westpac, which has about 10 million customers.
Police said that part of the money had been recovered, without specifying the amount.
"The individuals associated with this account are believed to have left New Zealand and police working through Interpol to locate those individuals," said Detective Senior Sergeant David Harvey of New Zealand Police. LinkHere

Dick Cheney: Powell Is Welcome In GOP

Dick Who?
"happy to have him."
In an interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow, Cheney said Powell is welcome back into the party and that Republicans would be "happy to have him." LinkHere


US Muslim charity leader sentenced to 65 years for Hamas support

The leader of what was once the largest Muslim charity in the United States was sentenced to 65 years in jail Wednesday for supporting Palestinian militants, in a major US-based terrorism financing case. LinkHere

Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories Human Rights Concerns
Again it is a perception thing, America is still supplying Israel with Billions of dollars, and weapons for its occupation of Palistine
More than 1300 Palestinians have been killed, many of them women and children, in Israeli air strikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip between December 27, 2008 and January 17, 2009. In the same period, thirteen Israelis have been killed, including three civilians killed in rocket attacks launched by Palestinian armed groups from the Gaza Strip.
An Amnesty International delegation that entered Gaza shortly before the halting of the Israeli operation described how "previously busy neighborhoods have been flattened into moonscapes," and "how there is no camera lens wide enough to embrace the sheer dimensions of the devastation."
Our team also described how power lines have been torn down, and water mains ripped up. Gaza's infrastructure is now in dire condition. Prolonged blackouts are the norm, tens of thousands of people have no access to clean water and sewage is now flowing in the open from the broken conduits. Amnesty International USA

Ask Secretary Clinton Why the US Continues to Deliver Arms to Israel Despite strong evidence of the misuse of U.S. weapons against civilians in Gaza, Amnesty International recently revealed that the United States sent a massive new shipment of arms to Israel. The Wehr Elbe, a ship controlled by the U.S. Military Sealift Command, docked and unloaded several thousand tons of arms on March 22 at the Israeli port of Ashdod. Ask State Department officials why the United States would deliver these arms to Israel.

Investigate misuse of US weapons in Gaza and stop arms transfers to Israel

Bernie Kerik Indicted For Lying To White House

NEW YORK (AP) -- Former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik (KEHR'-ihk) has been indicted on charges of making false statements to White House officials vetting him for the position of Department of Homeland Security secretary.
The indictment was handed up Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. It means Kerik will face trials in New York and Washington.
Similar false-statement charges were brought as part of a larger case in New York but were dismissed and transferred to Washington, where prosecutors say the crimes occurred.
The indictment alleges Kerik falsely denied that as a public official he had any financial dealings with contractors seeking to do business with the city. Prosecutors say the contractors spent more than $255,000 renovating Kerik's apartment.
Kerik lawyer Barry Berke calls the accusations unfounded and says his client will be vindicated.
LinkHere

The results are "fair, accurate and verified" and that the integrity of the voting process was protected against unfair influence.

What a load of crap,
YOU DECIDE.
PREPARE TO LOSE YOUR AUDIENCE, BIG TIME
LOS ANGELES — "American Idol" sponsor AT&T says a few overeager company employees helped Arkansas fans vote by text at viewing parties _ but didn't influence the final results.
Kris Allen of Conway, Ark., ended up winning the "Idol" title last week over Adam Lambert, who'd been cast as the frontrunner by the show's judges.
AT&T said that in the future the company will ensure employees understand that its sponsorship "celebrates the competition, not individual contestants."
In a separate statement, Fox and the show's producers said they are certain the results are "fair, accurate and verified" and that the integrity of the voting process was protected against unfair influence.
Poll Results
Thank you for voting.
Did AT&T help push Kris Allen to win?
Yes - they totally skewed it for him. 56%
No - he won because he's talented. 22%
No - he won because all the Gokey fans voted for him. 21%
The only loser here, was the winner
I have never watched American Idol.
Its perception, you friking cheated, no ifs buts or anything else, you cheated.

"racist" and a "bigot."

It begins, the party of No, start their attacks, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah .
Darn crawl back to your holes and hibernate for the next 5 decades, please
All over the 24-hour news channels and talk radio airwaves, conservatives are attacking Sotomayor, calling the federal appeals judge a "racist" and a "bigot."


White House Smacks Gingrich For Calling Sotomayor A Racist

Conservative Pundits: Sotomayor Is A "Bigot," "Racist"

Limbaugh On Sotomayor: "I Want Her To Fail"

Eagleburger Mocks Cheney As "Benighted"

Lawrence Eagleburger mocked Dick Cheney on Tuesday, saying that the former vice president, whom he dubbed "benighted," has long exaggerated his position as a partisan in favor of removing Saddam Hussein from power during the first Gulf War.
Eagleburger, a GOP elder statesman who was in President George H.W. Bush's inner circle during the war, said Cheney and others who say they were "screaming and yelling" for Hussein's removal only did so when it was obvious Bush had the capacity to do so. When the real decision was being made, Eagleburger implies, Cheney sang a different tune. Eagleburger answered questions at a Brookings Institution forum.
Cheney has recently taken center stage as a spokesman for a GOP hard line. Eagleburger, a former secretary of state, is the highest-ranking Republican to challenge him.
"The arguments that were made later by some of the benighted people--oh, never mind. I will just say screaming and yelling about how the president should have gone after Saddam at that time were only made once it was a fairly clear that he could have done so. If he had done so it would have been taking the advice of certain people who became vice presidents later on," said Eagleburger. LinkHere

Rachel Maddow Interviews Slate's Dahlia Lithwick On Sotomayor Spin

Rachel Maddow had Slate columnist Dahlia Lithwick on her show tonight to discuss the degree to which conservatives are trying to paint Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as an out-of-the-mainstream liberal whom Obama selected solely for her inspiring life story. Lithwick explaining that Sotomayor is a moderate judge who is eminently qualified to be nominated and that Obama has simply found a nominee who is well-qualified and has an uplifting life story.

Lithwick also highlighted a key point about the right's accusations concerning Obama wanting someone on the bench who has empathy. Lithwick said that this idea of empathy has been distorted to mean "bias," when really what it means is an ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to be able to listen to them and understand where they're coming from. LinkHere

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

EX-SPY: CIA briefers lie.

CIA Briefers Regularly Mislead Hill Intelligence Panels, Ex-Spy Charges
A former deep-cover CIA operative says the spy agency's congressional briefers routinely shade the truth or hide facts altogether from congressional overseers.
"They mumble, they dissemble, and there's a lot of 'on the one hand . . .'" said the retired official, who spent 25 years as a CIA operations officer but now writes blistering, unauthorized critiques of the spy agency using the pen name "Ishmael Jones."
Jones denounced claims by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the CIA kept her in the dark about water-boarding terrorist suspects, saying the California Democrat "has been using the interrogation issue as a political tool for years."
But he said the spy agency's congressional briefers are also experts at camouflaging classified programs.
"In Mrs. Pelosi's defense, CIA managers do not give fist-pounding briefings," Jones recently wrote for the conservative National Review in a blog that drew scant media interest.
"They mumble, they dissemble, and there's a lot of 'on the one hand ...'," Jones declared.
The CIA deploys so many briefers to the Hill it's hard for both the agency and intelligence committee members to reconstruct who said what to whom, he added.
"Its enormous numbers of employees have led to briefings being handled by groups, with vague chains of command, so that it may have been difficult to pin down what was said, when it was said, and who was in charge," Jones said of the CIA interrogation briefings.
Jones also charged that, contrary to beliefs that the agency has a political agenda, "In reality the CIA is loyal only to itself. As long as Mrs. Pelosi supported its bureaucratic lifestyle, it supported her, but when she attacked it, it fought back. The CIA may not be able to conduct efficient intelligence operations, but it knows how to survive."
Reports that CIA managers were outraged or demoralized by the water-boarding controversy are wrong, Jones also maintained. To the contrary, he said, they felt that revelations of their interrogators roughing up, or even torturing, detainees made them look tough. LinkHere

Olbermann, Mancow Interview: Mancow Discusses Being Waterboarded

'It's still not torture.'
Keith Olbermann interviewed conservative radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller tonigh about his experience being waterboarded. Mancow said he agreed to be interviewed because Olbermann is a "stand up guy" for agreeing to donate $10,000 to a charity benefiting veterans (an offer previously extended to Sean Hannity) after Mancow was waterboarded.
Mancow reaffirmed that the practice was indeed torture and said that his "psychological state" going into the experiment was that he was "laughing at it. I was willing to prove, and ready to prove, that this was a joke, and I was wrong. It was horrific. It was instantaneous. And look, I felt the effects for two days."
Mancow also revealed that his friend Sean Hannity "called me and said 'it's still not torture.'"
LinkHere

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Former military interrogator says torture cost hundreds ‘if not thousands’ of American lives

A 14-year military interrogator has undercut one of the key arguments posited by Vice President Dick Cheney in favor of the Bush Administration’s torture techniques and alleged that the use of torture has cost “hundreds if not thousands” of American lives.
The interrogator, who uses the name “Matthew Alexander,” says he oversaw more than 1,000 interrogations, conducting more than 300 in Iraq personally. His statements are captured in a new video by Brave New Films (below).
“Torture does not save lives,” Alexander said in his interview. “And the reason why is that our enemies use it, number one, as a recruiting tool…These same foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight because of torture and abuse….literally cost us hundreds if not thousands of American lives.”
Moreover, Alexander avers that many — as many as 90 percent — of those captured in Iraq said they joined the fight against the United States because of the torture conducted at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
“At the prison where I conducted interrogations,” Alexander said, “we heard day in and day out, foreign fighters who had been captured state that the number one reason that they had come to fight in Iraq was because of torture and abuse, what had happened at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.”
“Cheney,’ said Alexander, ‘fundamentally misunderstands the way America is viewed around the world,” a reporter who reviewed the video wrote Tuesday. “The American principles of freedom and democracy are cherished in the Muslim world and the idea, at least, of America is still a seductive one. But it is the behavior of the Bush administration at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret prisons around the globe that undercuts that image, allowing Al Qaeda to make the argument that America isn’t what it stands for.” LinkHere

Krugman: California Ruined By GOP, Rest Of Nation May Follow

California, it has long been claimed, is where the future happens first. But is that still true? If it is, God help America.
The recession has hit the Golden State hard. The housing bubble was bigger there than almost anywhere else, and the bust has been bigger too. California’s unemployment rate, at 11 percent, is the fifth-highest in the nation. And the state’s revenues have suffered accordingly.
What’s really alarming about California, however, is the political system’s inability to rise to the occasion.
Despite the economic slump, despite irresponsible policies that have doubled the state’s debt burden since Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, California has immense human and financial resources. It should not be in fiscal crisis; it should not be on the verge of cutting essential public services and denying health coverage to almost a million children. But it is — and you have to wonder if California’s political paralysis foreshadows the future of the nation as a whole.
The seeds of California’s current crisis were planted more than 30 years ago, when voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13, a ballot measure that placed the state’s budget in a straitjacket. Property tax rates were capped, and homeowners were shielded from increases in their tax assessments even as the value of their homes rose. Link Here

DIsrael To Propose Settlement Compromise To U.S.

MAALEH ADUMIM, West Bank — Israel scrambled Tuesday to sidestep President Barack Obama's demand for a West Bank settlement freeze with a diluted counteroffer to Washington.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's compromise _ to take down some squatter camps in exchange for permission to keep building in established settlements _ was quickly rejected by hard-liners in his own coalition.
The dispute underscored Netanyahu's difficult juggling act. He's trying to avert a crisis with the U.S. over settlements, while keeping his pro-settlement governing coalition intact and forging ahead with construction, such as the rows of apartment blocks going up in this rapidly expanding Israeli city in the West Bank.
However, Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have spoken in recent days about halting all settlement activity without exception, suggesting Netanyahu may have little room to bargain.
Also, the 2003 "roadmap" for peace negotiations, which Israel accepted, bans all construction in settlements and orders the removal of the outposts.
Cutting a deal with Israel on settlements could also hurt Obama's credibility and key policy goals, including improving U.S. relations with the Arab world and moving toward the creation of a Palestinian state in a Mideast peace deal. There was no immediate reaction from Washington.
LinkHere

Obama Combines Homeland Security And National Security Councils

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he is combining White House staffs dealing with international and homeland security, predicting the change will make Americans safer.
Obama also is creating a new office intended to communicate more effectively with other countries about U.S. security policy.
The Homeland Security Council, created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, will be kept as a venue for discussing issues concerning domestic security, including terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters and pandemic influenza. Its staff will be integrated into the National Security Council.
"These decisions reflect the fundamental truth that the challenges of the 21st century are increasingly unconventional and transnational, and therefore demand a response that effectively integrates all aspects of American power," Obama said in a written statement.
The president's national security adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, told reporters the reorganization reflects the view that national security has both foreign and domestic components. LinkHere

1 GOP Sotomayor Attack Debunked

The ubiquitous conservative attack on Judge Sonia Sotomayor stems from a statement she made at a conference at Duke University Law School in 2005, in which she described the role appellate justices have in forming policy.
"All of the legal defense funds out there, they are looking for people with court of appeals experience because the court of appeals is where policy is made," she said, laughing a bit through the next part: "And I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law. I know. Okay, I know. I'm not promoting it. I'm not advocating it. I know."
The remarks, four years later, have hit the central nerve of the conservative psyche. Figures within and outside the GOP have already announced -- even before Sotomayor was tapped to be Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court -- that they would be painting her as an activist from the bench.
But for legal experts, there is nothing actually controversial to what Sotomayor said. Her political crime, if there were one in this case, was speaking the truth.
"She's not wrong," said Jeffrey Segal, a professor of law at Stony Brook University. "Of course they make policy... You can, on one hand, say Congress makes the law and the court interprets it. But on the other hand the law is not always clear. And in clarifying those laws, the courts make policy." LinkHere