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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Should we be expecting the Hannity & Palin Hour on Faux News? That's good I like that one.

Sarah Palin Turns Pro
Gov. Palin's official announcement that she is resigning as chief executive of the great state of Alaska had all the depth and gravitas of a 13-year-old's review of the Jonas Brothers' album on Facebook. LinkHere

Friday, July 03, 2009

Shut Up, Mark Sanford

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Rolling Stone expose: Goldman Sachs behind every market crash since 1920s

Goldman Sachs has played a crucial role in creating every market bubble since the 1920s -- and has profited from not only the bubbles, but from the crash that followed as well, says a new expose in Rolling Stone magazine.
An article in the July 9-23 issue of the magazine, written by Matt Taibbi, lists five asset bubbles that the 140-year-old investment bank helped create -- and one that Taibbi asserts the firm is currently working to make happen.
The five bubbles the article says Goldman was central to creating are the Wall Street stock bubble in the 1920s, which led to the Great Depression; the tech-stock bubble of the late 1990s, which ended in the 2001 recession; the housing bubble of the past decade, which resulted in the current economic crisis; the oil price run-up last summer, when oil shot up to $140 a barrel, likely helping tilt the entire world into recession; and what Taibbi describes as "rigging the bailout," when Goldman Sachs' well-placed alumni inside the U.S. government engineered last fall's bank bailout in such a way that the company profited massively.
Taibbi writes that Goldman Sachs has traditionally been a late arrival to market bubbles, getting in once others have started the trend, but, once in, the company quickly ramps up the bubble, predicts its bursting, and then hedges its bets so as to make money from the bubble crash.
The article, which is not yet officially available online, adds one more bubble to the list: the "global warming bubble," or specifically, the proposed cap-and-trade legislation that would allow companies to trade pollution credits on an open market.
Taibbi's argument suggests the Wall Street bank may well want to turn climate change policy into yet another Wall Street casino game.
Because emissions caps will continually be reduced, Taibbi argues, pollution credits will constantly be growing in value, and Goldman Sachs wants in on the ground floor. LinkHere

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

We send ships against Somalian pirates, why not against Israeli ones?

The “Spirit of Humanity"
Macho Americans might stand tall, but not when Israel snaps its fingers.
Israel, of course, will get away with a mere act of piracy. After all, Israel has been getting away with its war crimes and violations of international law for 60 years. If the UN tries to do anything, the US will veto it, as the US has done for decades.
And so it goes. There’s no money for California, or for Americans’ health care, or for the several million Americans who have lost their homes and are homeless, because Israel needs it. Israel needs the American taxpayers’ money to that it can create even more enemies, and, therefore, need more American money to spend with the American armament industries to oppress more Palestinians and to make more enemies, requiring more American money to protect Israel from its folly and its evil.
And the brainwashed American public goes along year after year.
By Paul Craig Roberts
On June 30, the government of Israel committed an act of piracy when the Israeli Navy in international waters illegally boarded the “Spirit of Humanity,” kidnapped its 21-person crew from 11 countries, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Laureate Mairead MaGuire,and confiscated the cargo of medical supplies, olive trees, reconstruction materials, and children’s toys that were on the way to the Mediterranean coast of Gaza. The “Spirit of Humanity,” along with the kidnapped 21 persons, is being towed to Israel as I write.
Gaza has been described as the “world’s largest concentration camp.” It is home to 1.5 million Palestinians who were driven by force of American-supplied Israeli arms out of their homes, off their farms, and out of their villages so that Israel could steal their land and make the Palestinian land available to Israeli settlers.
What we have been witnessing for 60 years is a replay in modern times, despite the United Nations and laws strictly preventing Israel’s theft of Palestine, of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century theft of American Indian lands by US settlers. An Israeli government spokesman recently rebuked the President of the United States, a country, the Israeli said, who stole all of its land from Indians, for complaining about Israel’s theft of Palestine.
I knew the “Spirit of Humanity” would fall to Israeli piracy the minute I received on June 25 from an official of an Israeli peace organization a “public advisory” that the government of Cyprus had withheld permission for the “Spirit of Humanity” to leave for Gaza. The US State Department had advised that “The Israeli Foreign Ministry informed U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv that Israel still considers Gaza an area of conflict and that any boats attempting to sail to Gaza will not be permitted to reach its destination.” The “Spirit of Humanity” obtained permission to leave Cyprus when all aboard signed a waiver absolving Cyprus of all responsibility for the crew’s safety at the hands of the Israelis.
As President Obama has called for humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza, and as the International Red Cross has damned the inhumanity of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, the question that immediately comes to mind is why did not the United States send sufficient US Navy escort to see the “Spirit of Humanity” safely through international waters to Gaza? We send ships against Somalian pirates, why not against Israeli ones? Link Here


The question of whether Osama bin Laden has ever visited the United States, a subject on which I have expended an unhealthy amount of energy in the course of various journalistic and biographical research, has now seemingly been settled. Osama was here for two weeks in 1979, it seems, and he visited Indiana and Los Angeles, among other places. He had a favorable encounter with an American medical doctor; he also reportedly met in Los Angeles with his spiritual mentor of the time, the Palestinian radical Abdullah Azzam. All this is according to a forthcoming book by Osama’s first wife, Najwa Bin Laden, and his son Omar Bin Laden, to be published in the autumn by St. Martin’s Press. LinkHere

"Humane" Don't Ask Don't Tell Is Total Nonsense

He is kidding right? Wanker

Franken's Critics Agonize Over Senate Victory

Jon Stewart Slams Cheney For Complaining About Troop Withdrawals; Compares Him To Bin Laden

Iran seeking to prosecute doctor who tried to save Neda.

Fars News Agency in Persian on 1 July 2009 reports that the commander of the Law Enforcement Force said: Arash Hejazi who as the witness of the murder of Neda Aqa-Soltan has created uproar is being prosecuted by the International Police (Interpol).
Speaking to a gathering of reporters, General Esma'il Ahmadi-Moqaddam added: Arash Hejazi is being prosecuted by the Ministry of Intelligence and Interpol forces.
He stressed: The murder of Neda Aqa-Soltan is a scenario which has no links to Tehran's riots.
Arash Hejazi, the doctor who was present at Neda Aqa-Soltan's murder scene, has held certain sensational interviews with foreign media on this murder case after departing the country.
Hejazi fled to London shortly after Neda's murder. He conducted a lengthy interview with the BBC last week, acknowledging he would probably never be able to return to Iran.
Update: More on this topic from Iran's state-backed PressTV:
Iran's Police Chief says the mysterious death of Neda Aqa-Soltan, who became a symbol of post-election street rallies in Iran, was a 'prearranged scenario'. [...]
Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqadam, commander of the Iranian Police, said Wednesday that the unfortunate incident --which has been hyped and dramatized by Western media outlets--, was in fact a 'premeditated act of murder'.
The Iranian police chief said Arash Hejazi, a doctor who claims he tried to save Neda's life in her final moments, has fanned the flames of the western media hype.
Ahmadi-Moqadam said the Iranian Intelligence Ministry is making every effort to discover the whereabouts of Hejazi. "He has fled the country and is working against the Iranian government abroad." LinkHere

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

GOP Abandons Values For Sanford
A Supreme Sotomayor Smear?
Joe The Plumber Makes "Worst Person In The World" On Countdown

Roger Friedman Files $5.2 Million Lawsuit Against Fox News

Fired Fox News entertainment columnist Roger Friedman filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Fox News, News Corp, 20th Century Fox and Rupert Murdoch in New York State Supreme Court Monday, the Huffington Post has learned.
In the suit, Friedman seeks $5,180,000 in damages for wrongful termination, tortious interference, and libel defamation.
Friedman was fired in April after reviewing a copy of 20th Century Fox blockbuster "Wolverine" that had leaked online, a move seen as an implicit endorsement of piracy.
Friedman, who now writes for the Hollywood Reporter, is expected to allege that the piracy incident was an excuse to fire him, and that News Corp really bowed to pressure from Scientologists, who had been seeking his dismissal over columns critical of Scientology. LinkHere
Fox News Run by Scientologist Leader
What would you say if you found out that a major source of American news is run by a cult leader?
Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox Television Stations, is an OT VIII Scientologist (the highest member level attainable).
In addition to maintaining "fair and balanced" reporting at Fox News, Ailes also has a considerable political history: Ailes served as a media consultant to Bush Senior and Ronald Reagan during their presidencies. He also did work for President Richard M. Nixon, staging events and selecting audiences.
In additon to these achievements, Ailes will also be remembered for persuading Rush Limbaugh to make the jump from radio to television (Ailes, in 1991, served as executive producer of Limbaugh's late-night show).
From an alleged account by an OTVII Scientologist, who talks of his association with Ailes:
There is one level VIII per major facility and 2 in the PAC base. I know them both intimately, as I have spent the majority of the past 3 years under their close supervision. One man is Roger Eugene Ailes, the president of Fox News. The other is Dick Ackerman, representative of California’s 33rd district. I don’t see Roger as often, he’s a very busy man. Dick I’ve spend the most time with.
Did Scientologists Pressure FOX News to Fire Roger Friedman?
(ChattahBox)—Roger Friedman, former Fox News entertainment columnist, was fired last month after his review of a pirated Internet copy of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine and now he is fighting back, claiming the controversial Church of Scientology pressured Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to fire him.
Friedman hired colorful trial attorney, Martin Garbus, who last represented Don Imus, to file a wrongful termination suit against News Corp. and plans to detail the undue influence Hollywood Scientologists have over media outlets that dare to criticize them.
Friedman says firing him for video piracy was just a “cover” and that pressure from the Church of Scientology is the real reason for his ouster.
Friedman claims his troubles with Scientologists go back to a recent run in he had with Kelly Preston, wife of John Travolta, both Scientologists, at the funeral of musician Isaac Hayes who was a Scientologist as well. Preston supposedly shouted at Friedman, upset with his columns critical of Scientology, calling him a “religious bigot.”
A month later, according to a friend of Friedman’s, Preston took her complaints about Friedman directly to Fox News chief Roger Ailes and VP John Moody. She spoke to Moody on the phone demanding that Friedman be fired.
After that phone conversation, Ailes and Moody agreed to a meeting between Preston and Scientology spokesman, Tommy Davis. Soon after, Friedman began to notice the unseen hand of the Church of Scientology in editorial decisions. A source claims Friedman’s editors forbid him from writing about the death of Preston’s son, Jett. LinkHere

Monday, June 29, 2009

CIA Crucified Captive in Abu Ghraib Prison

By Sherwood Ross
June 29, 2009 "Global Research" --- "The Central Intelligence Agency crucified a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to a report published in The New Yorker magazine.
“A forensic examiner found that he (the prisoner) had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs,” the magazine’s Jane Mayer writes in the magazine’s June 22nd issue. “Military pathologists classified the case a homicide.” The date of the murder was not given.
“No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as a result of mistreatment,” Mayer notes.
An earlier report, by John Hendren in The Los Angeles Times indicted other torture killings. And Human Rights First says nearly 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hendren reported that one Manadel Jamadi died “of blunt-force injuries” complicated by “compromised respiration” at Abu Ghraib prison “while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.” Another victim, Abdul Jaleel, died while gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.” Yet another prisoner, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq’s air defenses, “died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression” in Qaim, Iraq.
"There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths," says Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. "High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal." At least scores of detainees in U.S. custody have died and homicide is suspected. As far back as May, 2004, the Pentagon conceded at least 37 deaths of prisoners in its custody in Iraq and Afghanistan had prompted investigations.
Nathaniel Raymond, of Physicians for Human Rights, told The New Yorker, “We still don’t know how many detainees were in the black sites, or who they were. We don’t fully know the White House’s role, or the C.I.A.’s role. We need a full accounting, especially as it relates to health professionals.” LinkHere

$2.775 Billion in US Aid Supports Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program

By Grant F. Smith
President Barak Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel is proceeding smoothly through the Congress.
On June 17, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a “mark-up” session on the budget. The subcommittee came under pressure from an antiwar group that sought to suspend or condition foreign aid over Israel’s use of US weapons which left 3000 Palestinians dead during the Bush administration. The subcommittee held its session in a tiny Capitol room denying activists and members of the press access. The budget quickly passed and is now before the full House Appropriations Committee.
Israel enjoys “unusually wide latitude in spending the [military assistance] funds,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Unlike other recipients that must go through the Pentagon, Israel deals directly with US military contractors for almost all of its purchases. This gives the US based Israel lobby, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influence multiplier on Capitol Hill. Large contractors proactively segment military contracts across key congressional districts to make them harder to oppose. As contactors and local business interests fight for Israel’s favor, AIPAC can turn away from shepherding the massive aid package to dedicate considerable resources toward Iran sanctions. LinkHere

Last act ... Michael Jackson seen hard at work preparing for his comeback shows two days before dying from cardiac arrest


"good faith." "Good faith" it is not.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Sticking It to "America's Best"
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is accomplishing right now what he failed to do in 2005 when he tried to put the state's major labor unions out of business and downsize the state government. At that time there was no economic catastrophe to point to as an excuse to shred the social safety net. But today, thanks to an economic crisis his good friend George W. Bush gave us, he's launching a frontal assault against virtually all of the state's public sector institutions. California Republicans have always hated social programs they believed mirrored Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and they've tried in good times and in bad to dismantle them. Now they're seizing the current crisis to enact their wildest free-market fantasies.
A small minority of conservative ideologues is tying the legislature into knots with parliamentary tricks while the Republican governor demands a rubber stamp for his right-wing anti-government agenda. It's authoritarian and dangerous. They're not budging on a host of retrograde initiatives they've tried to pass in the past (but failed) to ram down our throats. These miserable proposals threaten to turn California into Mississippi. Their special targets are any institution that helps the poor, educates our children, or brings health care to the uninsured. Right now Schwarzenegger's style of governance seems as if he'd like nothing more than to dissolve the legislature and impose his "full budget solution" from a bunker in the high Sierras.

New White House messenger? Ashton Kutcher

If you're a regular reader of Ashton Kutcher's Twitter feed (and you very well may be, as the actor and prankster has over 2.5 million followers), you may have done a double take when he tweeted on Sunday that the White House had asked him to help get the word out about National HIV Testing Day.
"I've been asked by the white house to twet this" wrote Kutcher, who provided a link to a White House blog post and accompanying video noting the 14th commemoration of National HIV Testing Day.
But did the White House really reach out to Kutcher and ask him to promote their initiative? Or was Kutcher just trying to "punk" us and make us think he's oh-so-cool because he's in touch with the White House?
Turns out: Kutcher wasn't lying. The White House confirmed that it did, in fact, seek Kutcher's help in promoting the blog post. LinkHere

Obama to host reception for LGBT community

Source: CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Barack Obama will host a White House reception Monday in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, but faces criticism for not keeping campaign promises to the community.
"I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans," the president said in a proclamation this month. "These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "don't ask, don't tell" policy in a way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security." LinkHere

Swiss Banks Shun Americans as U.S. Compels Disclosure

Source: Bloomberg.com
June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss banks are shutting the accounts of Americans as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service accelerates the hunt for tax dodgers.
UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, the country’s biggest banks, have told Americans to move their money into specially created units registered in the U.S., or lose their accounts. Smaller private banks such as Geneva-based Mirabaud & Cie. are closing all accounts held by U.S. taxpayers.
While the banks declined to say how many people are affected, more than 5 million Americans live abroad, including about 30,000 in Switzerland, according to estimates from American Citizens Abroad in Geneva. Swiss banks must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide services for those customers.
The IRS has since increased pressure on Americans to disclose offshore accounts as it seeks to recoup an estimated $50 billion in unpaid taxes. The agency set a deadline of Sept. 23 for taxpayers to declare all foreign accounts or face possible criminal prosecution that could result in as much as 10 years in prison and $500,000 in penalties.
U.S. citizens must file tax returns, report offshore accounts that contain more than $10,000 and pay tax on any income earned, no matter where they live. To take advantage of the amnesty program, taxpayers must file six years of returns, plus pay back taxes and a penalty, according to the IRS. LinkHere

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nico Pitney Confronts Dana Milbank Over Obama Question

'Republican Party's Sanctimonious Pantheon Must Stop Being Two-Faced' Ain't that the truth

Genius in the Bottle
The Republican Party will never revive itself until its sanctimonious pantheon — Sanford, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Palin, Ensign, Vitter and hypocrites yet to be exposed — stop being two-faced.
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