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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Name:
    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Close Gitmo?

    Given what we know of war criminals Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, James Baker and Madeline Albright one might assume they're calling for the closing of Amerikkka's (Cuban located) prison camp so they can open their own privatized camp and perhaps personally soften up a few prisoners.
    Even Albright should be able to whip some of those 15 year olds held prisoner in Amerikkka's
    favorite concentration camp.

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    Morales accuses US of 'conspiracy'

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    More News from the Free Cuba Right Wing Scum who Pepper Republican Party

    [...]
    Felipe Sixto was promoted on March 1 as a special assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and stepped forward on March 20 to reveal his alleged wrongdoing and to resign, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Friday. He said Sixto took that step after learning that his former employer, the Center for a Free Cuba, was prepared to bring legal action against him.

    Stanzel said the alleged wrongdoing involved the misuse of money when Sixto was an official at the center.

    The matter has been turned over to the Justice Department for investigation, Stanzel said. He said Bush was briefed on the case and felt that the appropriate action was being taken.

    The Center for a Free Cuba describes itself as an independent, nonpartisan institution dedicated to promoting human rights and a transition to democracy and the rule of law in Cuba.
    [...]

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    Thirty Two Years Later, Argentines Still Seeking Disappeared

    Argentina marked the 32nd anniversary of the nation’s 1976 military coup on March 24. An estimated 30,000 were disappeared during the so called dirty war. Thirty two years later, the bodies of the disappeared still remain to be found and identified. Since 1984, a team of anthropologists, The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, has investigated human rights violations committed by bloody military junta.
    n the offices of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, Pedro Cerviño overlooks the remains of his sister who was kidnapped by the military in 1976. María Teresa Cerviño was murdered and buried in a cemetery in a Buenos Aires suburb. Cerviño and an anthropologist touch the bones laid out on a table as if they were transported 30 years into the past

    The Anthropologist gives the gruesome details of María Teresa’s death. The hands and feet of the skeleton are missing. She says that it was common for the military to cut the hands off of the disappeared before burying them in unmarked graves in cemeteries. From the marks on the skull it is apparent that before her death she received several injuries to the head.

    [...]

    Justice is now legally possible since the Supreme Court nullified the amnesty for military leaders through the full-stop and due-obedience laws passed in the 1990’s. Much of the evidence has been researched by human rights organizations, with very little support from the government. More than 200 former military personnel and members of the military government have been accused of human rights crimes and are now awaiting trial. However, groups worry that the trials are advancing at a snail’s pace.





    [...]


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    Bear Stearns Chairman Sells $61.3 Million Of Stock

    [...]

    Some investors were clearly hoping JPMorgan Chase would increase its bid again, or that Bear Stearns would find another buyer, because Bear Stearns shares closed on Thursday at $11.23 on the New York Stock Exchange, about 20 percent above the current value of JPMorgan's offer.

    If getting a higher price were likely, Cayne would be unlikely to sell his shares.

    Bear's share price fell about 5 percent in after market trading to $10.68. The share sale took place on March 25 but was disclosed in a document after the market closed on Thursday.

    [....]

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    Corporate Welfare Queen Chase mortgage memo pushes 'Cheats & Tricks'

    [...]

    The memo's title says it all: "Zippy Cheats & Tricks."

    It is a primer on how to get risky mortgage loans approved by Zippy, Chase's in-house automated loan underwriting system. The secret to approval? Inflate the borrowers' income or otherwise falsify their loan application.

    The document, a copy of which was obtained by The Oregonian, bears a Chase corporate logo. But it's unclear how widely it was circulated or used within Chase.

    [...]

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    Lunatic Religious Fanatics Murder Own Child

    [...]

    "My sister-in-law, she's very religious, she believes in faith instead of doctors ...," the girl's aunt told a sheriff's dispatcher Sunday afternoon in a call from California. "And she called my mother-in-law today ... and she explained to us that she believes her daughter's in a coma now and she's relying on faith."

    The dispatcher got more information from the caller and asked if an ambulance should be sent.

    "Please," the woman replied. "I mean, she's refusing. She's going to fight it. ... We've been trying to get her to take her to the hospital for a week, a few days now."

    The aunt called back with more information on the family's location, emergency logs show. Police and paramedics arrived within minutes and immediately called for an ambulance that took her to a hospital.

    But less than an hour after authorities reached the home, Madeline — a bright student who left public school for home schooling this semester — was declared dead.

    [...]

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    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Welfare Queen, JP Morgan Chase

    The image “http://www.watsonwyatt.com/images/database_uploads/11449/jpm1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

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    New video and photographic evidence that puts three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination has been brought to light

    [...]
    The CIA had no domestic jurisdiction and some of the officers were based in South-East Asia at the time, with no reason to be in Los Angeles.
    A 24-year-old Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, was arrested as the lone assassin and notebooks at his house seemed to incriminate him.

    However, even under hypnosis, he has never been able to remember the shooting and defence psychiatrists concluded he was in a trance at the time.

    Witnesses placed Sirhan's gun several feet in front of Kennedy but the autopsy showed the fatal shot came from one inch behind.

    Dr Herbert Spiegel, a world authority on hypnosis at Columbia University, believes Sirhan may have been hypnotically programmed to act as a decoy for the real assassin.

    [...]

    Three of these men have been positively identified as senior officers who worked together in 1963 at JMWAVE, the CIA's Miami base for its Secret War on Castro.

    David Morales was Chief of Operations and once told friends:

    "I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard."

    Gordon Campbell was Chief of Maritime Operations and George Joannides was Chief of Psychological Warfare Operations.

    Joannides was called out of retirement in 1978 to act as the CIA liaison to the Congressional investigation into the JFK assassination. Now, we see him at the Ambassador Hotel the night a second Kennedy is assassinated.



    [...]

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    New evidence suggests second shooter killed RFK

    [...]

    Analysis by another forensics engineer, Philip Van Praag, of a Canadian journalists tape recording, known as the Pruszynski recording, determined that 13 shots were fired while Kennedy was killed, although Sirhan's gun only held eight bullets, according to the NBC reporter. This suggests that a second shooter was involved in the assassination.

    Van Praag's analysis led him to conclude that a second gun that was fired matched a type owned by one of the security guards in Kennedy's entourage.

    "When that security guard was asked about owning that gun at first he admitted, 'Yes I owned that kind of gun but I got rid of it two months before the assassination.'" correspondent Amy Parmenter said on MSNBC Wednesday. "It turns out upon further investigation, in fact, he did not get rid of that gun until five months after the shooting. Of course, you can see where we're going with this. ... That security guard, was in fact behind Senator Kennedy when the fatal shot was fired."

    [...]

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    It's After 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Sociopath Chicken Hawk Vice President is?

    http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/leftcoastleaner/cheney_short_of_breath.jpg

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    Where Are Those ANTI TRUST Laws When you Need Them

    The energy bill President Bush signed in December did not include billions of dollars in higher taxes for large oil companies that many Democrats wanted to use to fund tax breaks for various clean energy (NASDAQ:CLNE) industries. Similar proposals were revived earlier this month and are working their way through Congress.

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    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Happy Equinox Too

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    Happy Easter

    The image “http://www.billcasselman.com/Diana%20of%20the%20Ephesians.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

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    The Pagan Origins of Easter

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    Murder the Opposition, Hide Terrorists While Gently Licking Right Wing American Ass and call it democracy. Musharraf of Pakistan

    AP Photo

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    Delusional Republican Extremist Froths and talks in tongue in public

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    White House Covers Up Criminal Actions in Election Fraud? Evidence Destroyed

    t has been the goal of a White House Office of Administration "refresh program" to replace one-third of its workstations every year in the Executive Office of the President, according to the declaration.

    Some, but not necessarily all, of the data on old hard drives is moved to new computer hard drives, the declaration added.

    In proposing an e-mail recovery plan Tuesday, Facciola expressed concern that a large volume of electronic messages may be missing from White House computer servers, as two private groups that are suing the White House allege.

    Facciola proposed the drastic approach of going to individual workstations of White House computer users after the White House disclosed in January that it recycled its computer backup tapes before October 2003. Recycling — taping over existing data — raises the possibility that any missing e-mails may not be recoverable.

    At a House committee hearing last month, a computer expert who previously worked at the White House called the e-mail system "primitive" and said it was set up in a way that created a high risk that data would be lost from White House servers where it was being archived.

    Under pressure to provide details about its computer system, the White House told the congressional committee that it never completed work that began in 2003 on a planned records management and e-mail archiving system. The White House canceled the project in late 2006 and says it is still working on a new version.

    In the absence of a permanent archiving system, the White House has been archiving e-mails on White House servers since early in the administration.

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    Right Wing In Washington Continues to wage war on Middle class america

    The Treasury Department is rushing to complete its own blueprint for overhauling what is now an alphabet soup of federal and state regulators that often compete against each other and protect their particular slices of the industry as if they were constituents.

    But the two sides strongly disagree about whether, after decades of a freewheeling encouragement of exotic new services and new players like hedge funds, the pendulum should swing back to tighter control.

    One central battle is likely to be over tightening supervision of the risk-management practices of Wall Street investment banks and perhaps requiring them to keep higher cash reserves as a cushion against unexpected trading losses.

    The Democratic proposals would subject Wall Street firms to the kind of strict oversight that banks have had for decades. If firms like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch were required to set aside substantially bigger capital reserves, they would have that much less available for lending, trading and underwriting new securities.

    Wall Street firms played a central role in packaging and financing trillions of dollars in high-risk home mortgages, and the losses tied to those mortgages are at the heart of the deepening crisis in the financial markets that has pushed the economy to the brink of a recession.

    “You need regulation that is adequate to the scope of innovation and to the scope of activity,” said Representative Barney Frank, the Democrat of Massachusetts who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

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    More Attacks on Americans By Corporate Interests

    ISPs derail low-cost city Internet plans


    Published: March 22, 2008 at 12:43 PM
    PHILADELPHIA, March 22 (UPI) -- Philadelphia's plan to give nearly cost-free Internet to the entire city has been derailed as Internet companies withdraw from WiFi deals, a report said.

    The city publicized its plan in 2005 to install the country's biggest Wi-Fi system, covering 135 square miles and providing residents, mainly the poor, with Internet service, The New York Times reported Saturday.

    Thirteen large cities, including San Francisco, Houston and Chicago, and many smaller ones jumped on board for the new low-cost Internet plan, which has been halted by major Internet provider's decisions to pull out of the deals, citing fears that it would not create revenue.

    "All these cities had this hype hangover late last year when EarthLink announced its intentions to pull out. Now that they're all sobered up, they're trying to figure out if it's still possible to capture the dream of providing affordable and high-speed access to all residents," said Craig Settles, an independent wireless consultant and author of "Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless."

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    Qualified borrowers face credit squeeze

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    FDA Issues Warning on Cantaloupes or More Poison Food

    he Food and Drug Administration issued the alert for the melons from Agropecuaria Montelibano. Grocers are advised to remove from their stock any cantaloupes from this company. People should check with stores to see if recently purchased cantaloupes came from Honduras.

    So far, 50 people have become sickened in 16 states and nine have become ill in Canada after eating the cantaloupes. No deaths have been reported, although 14 people have been hospitalized, the FDA said.

    The government also is seeking to detain all cantaloupes shipped to the United States by Agropecuaria Montelibano.

    [...]

    Symptoms of foodborne salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea as well as abdominal cramps. The 16 states which have reported illnesses are Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.


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    Deregulation and Privatization by Repigs and Dimocraps has created this collapsing economy

    The Federal Reserve not only taken has action unprecedented since the Great Depression — by lending money directly to major investment banks — but also has put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in questionable trades these same bankers made when the good times were rolling.

    “Bear Stearns has made it obvious that things have gone too far,” says Mr. Gross, who plans to use some of his cash to bargain-shop. “The investment community has morphed into something beyond banks and something beyond regulation. We call it the shadow banking system.”

    [...]

    A milestone in the deregulation effort came in the fall of 2000, when a lame-duck session of Congress passed a little-noticed piece of legislation called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. The bill effectively kept much of the market for derivatives and other exotic instruments off-limits to agencies that regulate more conventional assets like stocks, bonds and futures contracts.

    Supported by Phil Gramm, then a Republican senator from Texas and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the legislation was a 262-page amendment to a far larger appropriations bill. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton that December.

    Mr. Gramm, now the vice chairman of UBS, the Swiss investment banking giant, was unavailable for comment. (UBS has recently seen its fortunes hammered by ill-considered derivative investments.)

    [...]

    Amid the regulatory swirl surrounding Bear Stearns, analysts have questioned why the Securities and Exchange Commission did not send up any flares about looming problems at that firm or others on Wall Street. After all, they say, it was the S.E.C., not the Federal Reserve, that was Bear’s primary regulator.

    Although S.E.C. officials were unavailable for comment, its chairman, Christopher Cox, has maintained that the agency has effectively carried out its regulatory duties. In a letter last week to the nongovernmental Basel Committee of Banking Supervision, Mr. Cox attributed the collapse of Bear to “a lack of confidence, not a lack of capital.”

    [...]

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    Ecuador Warns of New Tensions with US Backed Right Wing Columbian Government

    President Rafael Correa on Saturday threatened to seek international condemnation against Colombia if DNA tests confirm that Colombia's military killed an Ecuadorean citizen during its raid on a rebel camp in Ecuador's jungle.

    Ecuador and Venezuela sent troops to their borders with Colombia after the March 1 cross-border raid. Tensions were largely defused at a regional summit days later.

    [...]

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    Gore Vidal Speaks Truthfully and Seriously Ill of the Dead

    The unique mess that our republic is in can be, in part, attributed to a corrupt press whose roots are in mendacious news (sic) magazines like Time and Newsweek, aided by tabloids that manufacture fictional stories about actual people. This mingling of opinion and fiction has undone a media never devoted to truth. Hence, the ease with which the Republican smear-machine goes into action when they realize that yet again the party’s permanent unpopularity with the American people will cause them defeat unless they smear individually those who question the junk that the media has put into so many heads. Anyone who says “We gotta fight ’em over there or we’re gonna have to fight ’em over here.” This absurdity has been pronounced by every Republican seeking high office. The habit of lying is now a national style that started with “news” magazines that was further developed by pathological liars that proved to be “good” Entertainment on TV. But a diet of poison that has done none of us any good.

    I speak ex cathedra now, ad urbe et orbe, with a warning that no society so marinated in falsity can long survive in a real world.

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    NASA data shows thickest and oldest Arctic ice is melting

    Thickness is an indicator of long-term health of sea ice, and that's not looking good at the moment," Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center told reporters in a telephone briefing.

    This adds to the litany of disturbing news about Arctic sea ice, which has been retreating over the last three decades, especially last year, when it ebbed to its lowest level.

    Scientists have said the trend is spurred by human-generated climate change.

    Melting Arctic ice does not raise sea levels as the melting of glaciers on Greenland or Antarctica could, but it does contribute to global warming when reflective white ice is replaced by dark water that absorbs the sun's heat.

    Using satellites that measure how much ice covers water in the Arctic and Antarctic, Meier and other climate scientists found a steep drop in the amount of perennial ice -- the hardy, thick ice that is over a year old -- in the north.

    The oldest Arctic ice that has survived six years or more is the toughest, and even that shrank dramatically, Meier and the other scientists said.

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    "The war with the US has already begun and they are blocking our purchases of food",

    Rodríguez told viewers that for some time the US has exercised an informal blockade against Venezuela. The government has also had difficulty acquiring spares for military equipment and other items important to the national interest.

    This, he added, was part of the war declared by Washington on the Bolivarian Revolution and it combines with the paramilitary offensive in Venezuela and the actions of the Opposition.

    US President Bush last week accused Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez of backing "terrorists" in Colombia. Since Colombia’s brutal bombing of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)* camp in Ecuador on March 1, the US administration’s propaganda machine has been churning out lies to discredit the progressive governments of Venezuela and Ecuador.

    Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa has strongly denied accusations that his country has harboured FARC forces. Those making such accusations were attempting to destabilise Ecuador and force Ecuador to join Plan Colombia, Correa said.

    Plan Colombia is part of the US’s bogus war on drugs, where billions of dollars are given to puppet governments to fight progressive forces in their countries.

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    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Arthur C. Clarke Dies.


    He was regarded as far more than a science fiction writer.

    He was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality.

    Space expert Robin Scagell told Sky News: "He was very much a scientist and science was at the heart of his work.

    "As well as predicting satellites, he saw that rockets would go into space."

    Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore paid tribute to his friend.

    "He was a great visionary, a brilliant science fiction writer and a great forecaster," he said.

    "He foresaw communications satellites, a nationwide network of computers, interplanetary travel - he said there would be a man on the moon by 1970, while I said 1980 - and he was right."


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    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Texas Law give employers the power to find out who is expensive to insure and fire them

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    Happy St Patrick's Day! ( I don't worship the pope)

    Shamrocks

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    US Regime Change in Iran in 1953 Still Shaping World Politics

    [...]

    STEPHEN KINZER: What happened was that the first half of the twentieth century, Americans had a super good image in Iran. The only Americans there were doctors and school teachers and people who really were selflessly devoting themselves to Iranians. Meanwhile, the British and the Russians and the French and other colonial powers were ripping Iran apart and stealing and looting everything of value there. So they, people in Iran, had a very high, exalted opinion of the United States, perfect country, the ideal country. And the words of Franklin Roosevelt in all his radio speeches during the Second World War also had a big impact on Iranians. And, of course, there was a big World War II conference in Tehran that just focused Iranians on the ideals of freedom that the Allied powers said they were fighting for.

    So in the period after World War II, Iranian nationalism came to focus on one great cause. At the beginning of the twentieth century, as a result of a corrupt deal with the old dying monarchy, one British company, owned mainly by the British government, had taken control of the entire Iranian oil industry.

    AMY GOODMAN: The company.

    STEPHEN KINZER: This one company had the exclusive rights to extract, refine, ship and sell Iranian oil, and they paid Iran a very tiny amount. But essentially the entire Iranian oil resource was owned by a company based in England and owned mainly by the British government.

    AMY GOODMAN: Called British Petroleum?

    STEPHEN KINZER: That was Anglo-Iranian Petroleum, later to become British Petroleum and BP. I’m still on my like one-man boycott, like I go to the Shell station, as if Shell is somehow morally superior to BP. But still, in my own mind, I feel like I’m redeeming Mosaddeq whenever I pass by one of those BP stations.

    Anyway, what happened was that Prime Minister Mosaddeq, who really was an extraordinary figure in his time, although he’s been somewhat forgotten by history, came to power in 1951 on a wave of nationalism aimed at this one great obsession: we’ve got to take back control of our oil and use the profits for the development of one of the most wretchedly impoverished nations on earth at that time. So the Iranian parliament voted unanimously for a bill to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company, and Mosaddeq signed it, and he devoted himself during his term of office to carrying out that plan, to nationalize what was then Britain’s largest and most profitable holding anywhere in the world.

    Bear in mind that the oil that fueled England all during the 1920s and ’30s and ’40s all came from Iran. The standard of living that people in England enjoyed all during that period was due exclusively to Iranian oil. Britain has no oil. Britain has no colonies that have oil. Every factory in England, every car, every truck, every taxi was running on oil from Iran. The Royal Navy, which was projecting British power all over the world was fueled 100 percent by oil from Iran.

    Suddenly, Iran arrives and says, “Oh, we’re taking back the oil now.” So this naturally set off a huge crisis. And that’s the crisis that made Mosaddeq really a big world figure around the early 1950s. At the end of 1951, Time magazine chose him as Man of the Year, and they chose him over Winston Churchill, Douglas MacArthur and Dwight Eisenhower. And they made the right choice, because at that moment Mosaddeq really was the most important person in the world.

    [...]

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    Chavez Nationalizes Venezuelan Oil Fields Or Why REpublicans Want to Get Chavez

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    US lawmakers want Venezuela on US list of terrorism sponsors

    Pictured: Right Wing Terrorist leana Ros-Lehtinen

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    Glaciers suffer record shrinkage

    Glacier. Image: Glaciers Online/Jurg Alean

    Some of the biggest losses have occurred in the Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges in Europe.

    Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General of the UN and executive director of its environment programme (UNEP), said: "Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year.

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    Further Consolidiation, one of the biggest problems in current economy, as JP Morgan Buys Bear Stearns for pennies on the declining dollar

    Where is the FTC, the SEC? Oh yeah, they were gutted under Reagan and slowly killed since by your privatizing, deregulating right wing interested only in itself.

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to buy Bear Stearns Cos. for $240 million, about 90 percent less than its value last week, after a run on the company ended 85 years of independence for Wall Street's fifth-largest securities firm.

    Shareholders of Bear Stearns will get stock in JPMorgan equivalent to about $2 a share, compared with $30 at the close on March 14, the New York-based companies said in a statement late yesterday. The Federal Reserve is providing financial backing to JPMorgan, the second-biggest U.S. bank, and also cut the rate on direct loans to banks in its first emergency weekend action in almost three decades to stave off a broader market panic.

    [...]


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    Oil hits record over $111 a barrel as dollar slumps

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    McCain making it clear any administration of His Will be Continuation of Bush Administration

    Cheney landed at Baghdad International Airport, then flew by helicopter for talks with U.S. and Iraqi officials. It is Cheney's third vice presidential trip to Iraq where 160,000 American troops are deployed and the U.S. death toll is nearing 4,000.
    How many dead Iraqis? ( about a million)
    How many displaced Iraqis? ( about 5 million)
    How many maimed Iraqis?
    How many dead contractors?
    How many maimed soldiers? about 25,000)
    How many maimed Contractors?

    How biased is reporting in America?

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    2 headed penis on viagra violates Iraq

    Explosions rocked Iraq's capital on Monday as Vice President Dick Cheney and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain visited ahead of the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion.in a photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Vice President Dick Cheney, center,  is seen at Baghdad's Sather Air Base visiting U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, Monday, March 17, 2008. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. And y Dunaway)

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    5 years after Iraq's 'liberation,' there are worms in the water

    [...]

    To them, the real crime is that five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq , they still swelter in the summer and freeze in the winter because of a lack of electricity. Government rations are inevitably late, incomplete or expired. Garbage piles up for days, sometimes weeks, emanating toxic fumes.

    The list goes on: black-market fuel, phone bills for land lines that haven't worked in years, education and health-care systems degraded by the flight of thousands of Iraq's best teachers and doctors.

    When the Iraqi government announced that 2008 would be "the year of services," workaday Iraqis had their doubts.

    "Under Saddam's regime, we had limited salaries but we had security and decent services. Now, we have decent incomes but we lose it all to water, propane, groceries, fuel. We save nothing," said Balqis Kareem , 46, a Sunni Muslim housewife who lives in the predominantly Shiite Muslim district of Karrada. "This government gives with the right hand and takes away with the left."

    [...]

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    Global protests against Iraq Occupation

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    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Treasurey Secretary Paulson admits deregulation has failed us all

    So rescind Milton Friedman's Nobel now!
    Paulson spared no one in his criticism Thursday of the excesses of deregulation that has now created the worst global financial crisis in a generation, threatening the health of the U.S. economy, the savings of millions of Americans, and the survival of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world. See full story.

    Wall Street and Washington both failed big time, he said. Wall Street invented new ways to make money by selling securities so complicated that no one could really follow which shell the pea was under. Fortunes were made on the paper Wall Street sold.
    [...]

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    Iraqi asylum seekers given deadline to go home or face destitution in UK

    [...]

    More than 1,400 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers are to be told they must go home or face destitution in Britain as the government considers Iraq safe enough to return them, according to leaked Home Office correspondence seen by the Guardian.

    The Iraqis involved are to be told that unless they sign up for a voluntary return programme to Iraq within three weeks, they face being made homeless and losing state support. They will also be asked to sign a waiver agreeing the government will take no responsibility for what happens to them or their families once they return to Iraqi territory.

    The decision by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, to declare that it is safe to send asylum seekers back to Iraq comes after more than 78 people have been killed in incidents across Iraq since last Sunday.

    [...]

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    FBI Privacy Abuses

    Top-level FBI counterterrorism executives issued improper blanket demands in 2006 for records of 3,860 telephone lines to justify the fact that agents already had obtained the data using an illegal procedure that is now prohibited, the Justice Department inspector general reported Thursday.

    Glenn A. Fine also reported that in one case FBI anti-terrorism agents circumvented a federal court which twice had refused a warrant for personal records because the judges believed the agents were investigating conduct protected by the First Amendment. Fine said the agents got the records using national security letters, which do not require a judge's approval, without altering or re-examining the basis of their suspicions — the target's association with others under investigation.

    [...]

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    By all Means, Drop the Chimpy off right in the middle of a Taliban meeting

    [...]

    "I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."

    "It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said.


    [...]

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    What Happened to Democrats Like this?

    Pretty scary that the US is pretending Barack Obama belongs to the same party as Howard Metzenbaum. Barack Obama is strictly republican. And so is Hillary Clinton.

    The right wing media succeeded in selecting the democrat nominee for president.


    [...]
    That victory produced his third, final and most productive term in the Senate. When it was over, in 1995, he started a new career as consumer advocate, heading the Consumer Federation of America.

    Former Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, an Ohio Democrat who was a feisty self-made millionaire before he began a long career fighting big business in the Senate, died Wednesday night. He was 90.

    Metzenbaum died at his home near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Joel Johnson, his former chief of staff. No cause was given.

    During 18 years on Capitol Hill, until his retirement in 1995, Metzenbaum came to be known as "Senator No" and "Headline Howard" for his abilities to block legislation and get publicity for himself.

    He was a cantankerous firebrand who didn't need a microphone to hold a full auditorium spellbound while dropping rhetorical bombs on big oil companies, the insurance industry, savings and loans, and the National Rifle Association, to name just a few favorite targets.

    Unabashedly liberal, the former labor lawyer and union lobbyist considered himself a champion of workers and was a driving force behind the law requiring 60-day notice of plant closings.

    When other liberals shied away from that label, Metzenbaum embraced it, winning re-election in 1988 from Ohio voters who chose Republicans for governor and president, and by wider margins than either George Voinovich or George H.W. Bush.

    [...]

    His filibusters and stall tactics were so successful that the mere threat of Metzenbaum opposition was often enough to win concessions.

    Once, when a two-week filibuster was cut off and Metzenbaum was still determined to block action on lifting natural gas price controls, he and a partner sent the Senate into round-the-clock sessions by demanding roll call votes on 500 amendments.

    Another year, he held up 80 judicial appointments until his colleagues agreed to schedule consideration of a bill he considered vital.

    Metzenbaum claimed to have single-handedly saved billions of tax dollars by blocking special tax breaks and pork-barrel programs. In 1982, The Washington Post tallied the price tag of legislation he blocked that year and came up with a minimum of $10 billion.

    In time, Metzenbaum evolved from minority-party commando to majority-party subcommittee chairman and became known as much for the legislation he moved as for the bills he blocked.

    He headed panels with jurisdiction over labor and antitrust, and took on such issues as pension protection, workplace safety, the right to strike, age discrimination, food labeling, baby formula pricing, retail price-fixing, insurance antitrust and cable television monopolies.




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    War Criminal Condoleeza Rice Pictured

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    President by Election Tampering who thinks he's King

    Idiot's Choice

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the freshman senator who ousted Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) in 2006, said he'd reviewed three documents that outlined Justice Department opinions.

    "For years, under the Bush administration, the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice has issued highly classified, secret legal opinions related to surveillance," Whitehouse said in a Dec. 7, 2007 floor statement. "This is an administration that hates answering to an American court, that wants to grade its own exams, and OLC is the inside place the administration goes to get legal support for its spying program."

    "As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I was given access to those secret opinions and spent hours poring over them. Sitting in that secure room, as a lawyer, as a former U.S. attorney, legal counsel to Rhode Island's Governor, and State attorney general, I was increasingly dismayed and amazed as I read on," he continued.

    Whitehouse gave two examples from the documents he read:

    An Executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new Executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous Executive order. Rather than violate an Executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

    The President, exercising his constitutional authority under article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President's authority under article II.

    In other words, the president can decide whether his own interpretation of the law is lawful.

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    Bush Continues to Stir Hostilities in Americas

    [...]
    Ms. Rice will visit Brazil and Chile, but notably absent from her itinerary is Argentina, where Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in October became the first woman elected to be the country’s president. The omission underscores Washington’s disappointment with the new Kirchner government, which has continued to strengthen ties with Mr. Chávez while accusing the United States of political motives in an investigation into a suspected $800,000 secret campaign contribution from Venezuela to Mrs. Kirchner.
    [...]

    Relations between the United States and Argentina have been strained throughout Mr. Bush’s presidency. Argentina still blames the American-controlled International Monetary Fund for its financial collapse in 2001. Argentina was forced to default on billions of dollars in debt to the I.M.F. and the Paris Club, which is composed mostly of European lenders.

    EXCISION OF NEW YORK TIMES RIGHT WING BIAS AND BUSH STUMPING, OR ODE TO JUDY MILLER AND OTHER SHILLS

    Anti-Bush sentiment erupted in November 2005 at a meeting of Latin American leaders that Mr. Bush attended in Mar del Plata, Argentina. In front of Mr. Bush, Mr. Kirchner criticized the neo-liberal policies of the 1990s that the United States sponsored and did little to stop anti-American protests. Mr. Bush left Argentina insulted by his treatment there.

    [...]

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    Connie Mack Earns An F

    Voting Record
    2008BillVoteSupportive of
    the Middle Class?

    H.R. 5351
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 5140
    YEA
    Voted to support the middle class

    H.R. 4137
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 3963
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 1424
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class
    2007



    H.R. 4040
    YEA
    Voted to support the middle class

    H.R. 3996
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 3688
    YEA
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 3580
    YEA
    Voted to support the middle class

    H.R. 2895
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 2831
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 2669
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    H.R. 1429
    NAY
    Voted against the middle class

    Labels: ,

    Hedge funds on the brink as US Federal Reserve cash fails to ease crisis

    [...]
    The funds’ predicament – seven funds have been frozen this month – was seen as evidence that the initiative by America’s central bank to allow lenders to swap their risky mortgage-backed bonds for safer Treasury debt, will be of help only in the short term. Those fears hit the dollar and New York equity markets, with the greenback falling to a new low against the euro and sterling, as the European currency hit $1.55 for the first time.

    The Dow Jones industrial average, after a rally of more than 400 points on Tuesday, ran out of steam as dealers worried that the Fed’s lending package would not reverse Wall Street’s liquidity crisis. At the close, the Dow was off 46.61 at 12,110.02.

    Drake Management, a New York money manager, wrote yesterday to investors in its $3 billion Global Opportunities Fund, warning them that it was considering closing the fund. The fund, which lost 25 per cent last year, has already blocked investors from withdrawing their cash.

    [...]

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    Consumer Spending Down Again

    [...]
    Consumer spending is closely watched because it accounts for two-thirds of total economic activity. Many economists believe that the country will suffer a mild recession in the first half of this year as the economy is unable to withstand the blows from a prolonged slump in housing, record-high energy prices and a severe credit crisis brought on by soaring mortgage defaults.
    [...]

    The right wing, free market, deregulated privatized, globalized outsourced, regressive tax system theory that 10 to 20 percent of the population can sustain consumer spending while everyone else slips through the cracks is tested and fails.

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    Who Wants to Trade in Dollars?

    [...]

    The dollar approached parity with the Swiss franc and slumped against the British pound after Carlyle said lenders will take over the assets of its mortgage-bond fund and President George W. Bush acknowledged the U.S. currency's decline was not ``good tidings.'' The dollar's drop may prompt Middle East central banks to reduce dollar holdings, Greg Gibbs, a strategist at ABN Amro Holding NV in Sydney, said in a report.

    ``Sentiment for the dollar continues to deteriorate very, very rapidly and if we're not careful this will turn into a dollar crash,'' said Mitul Kotecha, head of foreign-exchange research in London at Calyon, the securities unit of Credit Agricole SA, France's second-biggest bank. ``The risk is that we see a fairly aggressive move sharply lower towards 95 yen, and that could really perk up the interest of the Bank of Japan.''

    [...]

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    Central Command announces it will cut a third of its staff

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    Venezuela says US congressional bid to link Chavez with terrorism will fail

    [...]

    Describing Venezuela as "a country that acts within international law," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro downplayed an initiative to convince U.S. President George W. Bush that Venezuela should be placed on the State Department's list of terror sponsors.

    "Venezuela doesn't have anything to fear," Maduro said in response to questions from program hosts on state television about the congressional initiative led by Rep. Connie Mack, a Florida Republican.


    [...]Connie Mack IV

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    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Anti-war protesters chant "war criminal" at Rice

    [...]
    Earlier, Republicans had complained about the distraction from the group as they held up signs saying "Condi Kills Kids" during the hearing on the State Department budget. But the chairman of the House of Representatives committee, a New York Democrat, declined to eject the protesters. "We're here in the United States of America. And as long as they don't disrupt this proceeding and as long as they're silent, they will be welcome," said Rep. Nita Lowey, who runs the subcommittee overseeing State Department appropriations.
    [...]http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/7053/ricecondifacethenationfeb122pk.jpg

    Labels:

    HUD E-Mails Refer to Retaliation or How the Bush Administration Operates

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    Pentagon Report on Saddam's Iraq Censored to Cover Up Fact that Bush went to war on LIES

    [...]
    The study, which was due to be released Wednesday, found no "smoking gun" or any evidence of a direct connection between Saddam's Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist organization.

    The report is based on the analysis of some 600,000 official Iraqi documents seized by US forces after the invasion. It is also based on thousands of hours of interrogations of former top officials in Saddam's government who are now in U.S. custody.

    Others have reached the same conclusion, but no previous study has had access to so much information. Further, this is the first official acknowledgement from the U.S. military that there is no evidence Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda.

    The study does, however, show that Saddam Hussein did much to support terrorism in the Middle East and used terrorism "as a routine tool of state power." Saddam's government, for example, had a program for the "development, construction, certification and training for car bombs and suicide vests in 1999 and 2000." The U.S. military is still dealing with the fall-out from this particular program.

    The report says Saddam's bureaucrats carefully recorded the regime's connections to Palestinian terrorists groups and its financial support for the families of suicide bombers.

    The primary target, however, of Saddam's terror activities was not the United States, and not Israel. "The predominant targets of Iraqi state terror operations were Iraqi citizens, both inside and outside of Iraq." Saddam's primary aim was self preservation and the elimination of potential internal threats to his power.

    Bush administration officials have made numerous attempts to link Saddam Hussein and the Al Qaeda terror group in their justification for waging war against Iraq.
    [...]

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    High Interest Lenders Exploit Elderly and Disabled? Where are Federal Regulators?

    In answer to my question, working as whores who service corporations, that's where.

    In November 2002, when Melvin Bevels was short of money for groceries and rent, the elderly man visited a Small Loans store in Sylacauga, Ala., and borrowed money -- he thinks it was $200. Small Loans is part of a sprawling network of more than a hundred lenders in four states, including Georgia, Florida and Louisiana, owned by Money Tree Inc., a closely held Bainbridge, Ga., firm.

    Mr. Bevels, who can't read, says a clerk helped him fill out papers that instructed Social Security to send Mr. Bevels's $565 monthly benefits to an account at an out-of-state bank, which transferred the money back to Small Loans or its parent, usually within a day. As is often the case, Mr. Bevels's bank earned no interest and didn't come with either ATM cards or checks.

    Every month for nearly four years, Mr. Bevels, who is known around town as "Buckwheat" because of his thatch of yellow-white hair, rode his motorized mobility scooter to Small Loans to pick up his "allowance," which was sometimes as little as $180 a month, he says.

    In a written statement, Money Tree's general counsel, Natasha Wood, declined to comment on Mr. Bevels's case but said: "Anyone who sets up a direct deposit arrangement with Small Loans Inc. does so completely voluntarily."

    Mr. Bevels, who believes he's 80 but isn't sure, quickly lost control of his finances. When his utilities were shut off, a neighbor gave Mr. Bevels water in a plastic jug and ran an extension cord to Mr. Bevels's trailer a few hours a day to power his nebulizer, which delivers aerosol medication to people with chronic lung conditions. Mr. Bevels was facing eviction when his trailer burned down, leaving him homeless.

    A county social worker arranged for Mr. Bevels to move to public housing and got his Social Security benefits redirected to a local bank. When Small Loans sued Mr. Bevels for repayment in small-claims court in Talladega County, Ala., a legal-aid attorney headed to court. The judge threw out the case when the lender failed to appear with documentation for the loan.

    "It just isn't fair, what they do to old people," says Mr. Bevels, crying quietly. "It isn't right."

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    Aging Americans unsure they can afford to retire: survey

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    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Hundreds of landless farmers in Brazil blockaded a railway operated by mining giant Vale for several hours

    Protesters block the railway line on 10 March in Minas Gerais

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    The Unfuckingbelievable rape of taxpayers by the Military Industrial Complex

    Cost of buying, flying military's new jet fighter to reach $1 trillion, audit says

    The cost of buying and operating a new fleet of jet fighters for the U.S. military is nearing $1 trillion, according to a congressional audit that found the program dogged by delays, manufacturing inefficiencies and price increases.

    Released Tuesday, the report from the Government Accountability Office offers a sobering assessment of the ambitious effort to deliver a modern series of aircraft known as the F-35 Lightning II to the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

    Tasked by Congress to conduct an annual assessment of the program, the GAO said costs have gone up by $23 billion since last year alone.

    Close to $300 billion is needed to acquire 2,458 aircraft for the three services and another $650 billion will be needed to operate and maintain the fighters that are expected to be flying well into the 21st century, the report says.

    Operating costs, projected at $346 billion just a few years ago, have been driven upward by changes in repair plans, revised costs for depot maintenance, higher fuel costs and increased fuel consumption.

    The GAO's auditors said they expect development and procurement costs "to increase substantially and schedule pressures to worsen based on performance to date."

    Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, is the prime contractor for the Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter.

    The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, also sees many of the problems as self-inflicted.

    "The contractor has extended manufacturing schedules several times, but test aircraft delivery dates continue to slip," the report states. "The flight test program has barely begun, but faces substantial risks with reduced assets as design and manufacturing problems continue to cause delays that further compress the time available to complete development."

    Auditors criticized both the military and the contractor for pressing into the jet's development's phase before key technologies were mature, started manufacturing test aircraft before designs were stable, and moved to production before flight tests showed the aircraft was ready.

    "We do not know the basis for the GAO estimates and until we receive and analyze their data we will be unable to comment on them," Lockheed spokesman John Smith said in an e-mailed statement.

    Smith, however, said the company has been careful stewards of U.S. tax dollars by trimming costs wherever possible.

    "We continue to apply the same kind of oversight, budget alignment and lean thinking to the program," he said.

    Production of the Lightning II has begun and the Defense Department is scheduled to buy the aircraft through 2034. U.S. allies are also buying hundreds of the jets and are contributing $4.8 billion in development costs.

    The Lightning II is being produced in several different models tailored to the needs of each service. The new jet will replace the Air Forces F-16 Falcon and the A-10 Warthog aircraft. A short takeoff and vertical landing version will replace the Marine Corps F/A-18C/D and AV-8B Harrier aircraft. And the Navy is buying a model designed for taking off and landing on aircraft carriers.

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    Bush links U.S. aid, missile "defense" deal

    [...]
    The proposed missile defense network has become perhaps the most sensitive issue in U.S.-Russian relations. President Vladimir V. Putin has denounced it as a threat to his nation's defense. Bush has insisted that it would be used to protect part of Europe and the United States from any missiles launched by Iran or terrorist groups.
    [...]

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    White House 'very concerned' Bush hasn't yet driven oil price high enough

    "This is something that we're all going to have to work through," she said as Bush travelled to Tennessee for a speech on Iraq and an election-year fundraiser, while oil prices struck a record high of 109.72 usd per barrel.

    "The price of crude oil and therefore the price of gasoline is very high and we know it is impacting America's consumers and some businesses especially. And we are very concerned about it," Perino said.

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    People Become More Liberal With Age

    All the evidence we have found refutes the idea that as people age their attitudes become more conservative or more rigid," said Nicholas Danigelis, a sociologist at the University of Vermont. "It's just not true. More people are changing in a liberal direction than in a conservative direction."

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    Thursday, March 06, 2008

    Bush, McCain, Kissinger, Rove

    Gratus proclaims Claudius emperor. Detail from A Roman Emperor 41AD, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Oil on canvas, c. 1871.

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    KB Home CEO awarded $6 million bonus for 2007

    Jeffrey Mezger, chief executive of home builder KB Home (KBH.N: Quote, Profile, Research) was awarded a cash bonus of $6 million in 2007 on top of his annual base salary of $1 million, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

    His total compensation came to about $24.4 million, including $16 million in restricted stock and "phantom" shares granted in 2007 that will vest in the future as part of a long-term incentive plan, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Phantom shares are securities that act like stock but aren't technically shares.

    [...]

    In fiscal 2007, which ended in November 2007, the company's stock fell nearly 60 percent.

    [...]

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    News Director of Albuquerque's KKOB Pulls Story About Corrupt Congress Woman Heather Wilson

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    MCCain Sings Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran

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    Chimperor Bush plans to appoint favorite horse to oval office

    President Bush and Sen. John McCain walk from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden.

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    1888 photo depicts Helen Keller, teacher

    This 1888 photo released by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston shows Helen Keller when she was eight years old, left, holding hands with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, during a summer vacation to Brewster, Mass., on Cape Cod. A staff member at the society discovered the photograph in a large photography collection recently donated to the society. When Sullivan arrived at the Keller household to teach Helen, she gave her a doll as a present. Although Keller had many dolls throughout her childhood, this is believed to be the first known photograph of Helen Keller with one of her dolls.  (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Thaxter P. Spencer Collection, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society-Boston)

    Experts on Keller's life believe it could be the earliest photo of the two women together and the only one showing the blind and deaf child with a doll — the first word Sullivan spelled for Keller after they met in 1887 — according to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which now has the photo.

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    Monday, March 03, 2008

    U.S. Health Care Gets Boost From Charity

    [...]
    Recently, 60 Minutes heard about an American relief organization that airdrops doctors and medicine into the jungles of the Amazon. It's called Remote Area Medical, or "RAM" for short.

    As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Remote Area Medical sets up emergency clinics where the needs are greatest. But these days, that's not the Amazon. This charity founded to help people who can't reach medical care finds itself throwing America a lifeline.



    In a matter of hours, Remote Area Medical set up its massive clinic, for a weekend, in an exhibit hall in Knoxville, Tenn. Tools for dentists were laid out by the yard, optometrists prepared to make hundreds of pairs of glasses, general medical doctors set up for whatever might come though the door. Nearly everything is donated, and everyone is a volunteer. The care is free. But no one could say how many patients might show up.

    The first clue came a little before midnight. Stan Brock, the founder of Remote Area Medical, opened the gate outside. The clinic wouldn't open for seven hours, but people in pain didn't want to chance being left out. State guardsmen came in for crowd control. They handed out what would become precious slips of paper - numbered tickets to board what amounted to a medical lifeboat.

    It was 27 degrees. The young and the old would spend the night in their cars, running the engine for heat, but not much - not at $3 a gallon. At 5 a.m., Pelley took a walk through the parking lot.

    "We got up at three o’clock this morning and we got here about four. We’ve been out where a little while it's cold," Margaret Walls, a hopeful patient from
    Tennessee, told Pelley.

    "Why did you come so early?" Pelley asked.

    "'Cause we wanted to be seen," Walls replied.

    Marty Tankersley came with his wife and his daughter, asleep behind the front seats. Tankersley says he drove some 200 miles to get to the clinic and slept in the parking lot for hours.

    "Just to have this done?" Pelley asked.

    "Yes, sir. I've been in some very excruciating pain," he replied.

    Tankersley had an infected tooth that had been killing him for weeks. Most of the people who filled the lot heard about the clinic on the news or by word of mouth, and they came by the hundreds.
    [....]

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    More Agribusiness Poisonings: Meijer recalls 2,184 pounds of frozen entrees

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    Oil Rises to a Record as Dollar Extends Weakness to Euro

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    Dollar Falls to Record Against Euro as Manufacturing Contracts

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    Hey What Decade is this or Bush Builds Hooverville

    [...]

    "Regulators are bracing for 100-200 bank failures over the next 12-24 months," says Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with the financial services firm, the Stanford Group.

    Expected loan losses, the deteriorating housing market and the credit squeeze are blamed for the drop in bank profits.

    The problem areas will be concentrated in the Rust Belt, in places like Ohio and Michigan and other states like California, Florida and Georgia.

    [...]

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    Sunday, March 02, 2008

    From Pablo

    I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.

    I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
    Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
    Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
    I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

    I hunger for your sleek laugh,
    your hands the color of a savage harvest,
    hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
    I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

    I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
    the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
    I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

    and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
    hunting for you, for your hot heart,
    like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

    Labels: