GEF @ 7:58 PM ET
Los Angeles 5.8 QUAKE JULY 29th 2008
Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 | 2 Comments »
GEF @ 7:38 PM ET
Those Evildoers never learn…What a tangled web they weave when they practice to deceive.. ;)
GENEVA — After coming tantalizingly close to a historic trade deal, World Trade Organization talks collapsed Tuesday in a dismaying blow to seven years of efforts to open up the global economy.
Once promised as a recipe for lifting millions of people out of poverty, the end to nine days of high-level talks left no new trade openings for farmers and manufacturers, no global economic boost and no grand deal for Third World development.
It was by all accounts a disaster.
“This is a very painful failure and a real setback for the global economy when we really needed some good news,” said Peter Mandelson, the European Union’s trade commissioner.
His disappointment was shared by top negotiators from the United States, Brazil and India, who have played leading roles since the World Trade Organization launched its current trade round in the Qatari capital of Doha in 2001.
While the talks have struggled before, this failure was perhaps the most devastating. Faced with global unrest from rising food prices, credit problems from shaky financial markets and the threat of economic downturn, negotiators hoped that a deal this week to open farm and industrial markets would go some way to alleviating these problems.
It was all the more disappointing because the talks made greater progress than they had in years on issues such as farm subsidies and manufacturing tariffs _ which were responsible for scuttling previous high-level trade efforts. The talks hit a snag over an obscure “safeguard” for protecting agricultural producers in the developing world from a sudden surge in imports or drop in commodity prices.
While farm import safeguards currently exist in rich and poor countries, they are rarely used and reflect only a minute portion of the billions of dollars in manufacturing, farm and services gains the WTO’s Doha trade round was supposed to create.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 | 1 Comment »
By- Suzie-Q @ 3:00 PM MST
ROBERT JABLON | July 29, 2008 05:18 PM EST |
LOS ANGELES — Scattered minor damage and a few minor injuries have been reported in the aftermath of an earthquake that was strongly felt across Southern California.
The magnitude-5.4 jolt struck at 11:42 a.m. Tuesday and was felt from Los Angeles south to San Diego, and as far east as Las Vegas. The quake _ considered moderate _ was centered 29 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles near the city of Chino Hills.
The state Office of Emergency Services in Sacramento reports scattered minor infrastructure damage, including broken water mains and gas lines. Freeway traffic appears normal.
Acting mayor Wendy Greuel says minor structural damage has been reported throughout Los Angeles, along with five minor injuries and people stuck in elevators.
by Geezer Power…1:18
Maliki’s ‘Timetable’ Shakes Iraq Debate
by Ray McGovern
July 17, 2008
From Tel Aviv it appears an increasingly threatening situation, with more urgent need to “embed” (so to speak) the U.S. even more deeply in the region – in a confrontation involving both countries with Iran.
A perfect storm is brewing:
– Petraeus ex Machina, with a record of doing Vice President Cheney’s bidding, takes command of CENTCOM in September;
– McCain will be seen by the White House as the only candidate with something to gain by a wider war (just as by another “terrorist incident”);
– The Bush/Cheney months will be down to three;
– And Maliki will not be able to cave in to Washington on the timeline requirement he has set.
In sum, the Israelis are likely to be preparing a September/October surprise designed to keep the U.S. bogged down in Iraq and in the wider region by provoking hostilities with Iran.
The Israeli leaders may well plead for understanding and claim that with their night-goggles, they could not distinguish amber from green.
Would they hesitate? Please tell me who … just who is likely to turn on the siren, pull them over, and give them a ticket?
Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 | 3 Comments »
By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST
Published: Monday July 28, 2008
A new Justice Department report concludes that politics illegally influenced the hiring of career prosecutors and immigration judges, and largely lays the blame on top aides to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Monday’s report singles out the department’s former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, for violating federal law and Justice Department policy by discriminating against job applicants who weren’t Republican or conservative loyalists.
The full 146-page Justice Department report is available here (.pdf)
It is not improper to consider political or ideological affiliations in making hiring decisions for political positions. However, both Department policy and federal law prohibit discrimination in hiring for career positions on the basis of political affiliations.
Our investigation found that Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions, in violation of federal law and Department policy.
The report does not indicate whether Goodling or former Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson could face any charges. None of those involved in the discriminatory hiring still work at Justice, meaning they will avoid any department penalties.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said he is debating whether to file perjury charges against the reports’ implicated officials, who may have lied to Congress during investigations of the Justice Department’s politicization.
“Today’s report describes ‘systematic’ violations of federal law by several former leaders of the Department of Justice,” Conyers said in a news release. “Apparently, the political screening was so pervasive that even qualified Republican applicants were rejected from Department positions because they were ‘not Republican enough’ for Monica Goodling and others. The report also makes clear that the cost to our nation of these apparent crimes was severe, as qualified individuals were rejected for key positions in the fight against terrorism and other critical Department jobs for no reason other than political whim. The Report also indicates that Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson, and Alberto Gonzales may have lied to the Congress about these matters. I have directed my staff to closely review this matter and to consider whether a criminal referral for perjury is needed.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy used the report to slam the White House.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 AM MST
Raw Story- Associated Press
Published: Monday July 28, 2008
WASHINGTON – President Bush on Monday approved the execution of an Army private, the first time in over a half-century that a president has affirmed a death sentence for a member of the U.S. military.
With his signature from the Oval Office, Bush said yes to the military’s request to execute Ronald A. Gray, the White House confirmed. Gray had had been convicted in connection with a spree of four murders and eight rapes in the Fayetteville, N.C., area over eight months in the late 1980s while stationed at Fort Bragg.
“While approving a sentence of death for a member of our armed services is a serious and difficult decision for a commander in chief, the president believes the facts of this case leave no doubt that the sentence is just and warranted,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said.
In the military courts, “Private Gray was convicted of committing brutal crimes, including two murders, an attempted murder and three rapes. The victims included a civilian and two members of the Army. … The president’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous crimes and their families and all others affected.”
Unlike in the civilian courts, a member of the U.S. armed forces cannot be executed until the president approves the death sentence. Gray has been on death row at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., since April 1988.
By- Suzie-Q @ 10:30 AM MST
Crooks and Liars- By: John Amato on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 10:00 AM – PDT
There will be criminal charges brought by the Justice Dept’s ’s Public Integrity section. MSNBC hasn’t seen the charges yet, but it would seem that they are because of statements he made to investigators who were looking at his business dealings.
More coming soon…
LARA JAKES JORDAN | July 29, 2008 01:24 PM EST |
WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator and a figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, has been indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate his home.
Stevens, 84, has been dogged by a federal investigation into whether he pushed for fishing legislation that also benefited his son, an Alaska lobbyist.
From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said Stevens concealed “his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation.” The indictment released Tuesday said the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as car exchanges, a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.
Justice Department officials were holding a news conference later Tuesday to discuss the charges.
Messages left Tuesday at both Stevens’ Senate office in Washington and his campaign office in Anchorage were not immediately returned.
Prosecutors said Stevens “took multiple steps to continue” receiving things from oil services company VECO Corp., and its founder, Bill Allen. At the time, the indictment says, Allen and other VECO employees were soliciting Stevens for “multiple official actions …. knowing that Stevens could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period.”
VECO’s requests included funding and other aid for the oil services company’s projects and partnerships in Pakistan and Russia. It also included federal grants from several agencies _ as well as help in building a national gas pipeline in Alaska’s North Slope Region, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 | 2 Comments »
By- Suzie-Q @ 9:00 AM MST
Think Progress- Byon Jul 28th, 2008 at 10:45 pm
An audit by the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration found that private security firm Blackwater “obtained dozens of small business contracts worth more than $110 million even though” the company “may have exceeded size limits for a small business”:
The Inspector General of the Small Business Administration said Blackwater, based in Moyock, N.C., obtained 39 contracts set aside for small businesses from 2005 through 2007. Of these, 32 contracts worth $2.1 million were set aside for companies with annual revenues of $6.5 million or less.
Blackwater’s revenues have exceeded $200 million each of those years, according to federal contracting data.
The report said that Blackwater “may have improperly classified Blackwater guards in Iraq and Afghanistan as independent contractors rather than employees.” It’s a tactic other private contractors have used to avoid paying taxes.
By- Suzie-Q @ 8:30 AM MST
Huffington Post | July 29, 2008 08:40 AM
The Wall Street Journal reports that neoconservative war architect Richard Perle is getting back into Iraq:
Influential former Pentagon official Richard Perle has been exploring going into the oil business in Iraq and Kazakhstan, according to people with knowledge of the matter and documents outlining possible deals.
Mr. Perle, one of a group of security experts who began pushing the case for toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein about a decade ago, has been discussing a possible deal with officials of northern Iraq’s Kurdistan regional government, including its Washington envoy, according to these people and the documents.
Think Progress remembers that Perle “resigned from his position on the Defense Policy Board in an attempt to ‘defuse a controversy over charges he stood to profit from the war in Iraq.’”