Archive for April 15th, 2007

Wolfowitz Says Won’t Resign; Bank Says Concerned

by Suzie-Q @ 9:05 PM MDT


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Development ministers from around the globe on Sunday voiced “great concern” over World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz’s handling of his girlfriend’s promotion, but Wolfowitz said he intends to stay in his job.

“The current situation is of great concern to all of us,” the top officials said in a communique issued after a meeting of the IMF-World Bank Development Committee.

“We have to ensure that the bank can effectively carry out its mandate and maintain its credibility and reputation as well as motivation of the staff,” the ministers from World Bank member states said.

In a news conference shortly after the Development Committee’s tough words were released, Wolfowitz said he believed he could still effectively lead the poverty-fighting lender. “This is important work and I intend to continue it.”

Top European officials were among those who expressed worry in closed-door sessions on Sunday that Wolfowitz had tarnished the bank’s reputation by helping to secure a high-paying promotion for his girlfriend, bank employee Shaha Riza.

At the start of speeches to the Development Committee, ministers from Britain and Germany said the bank’s reputation had been dented, sources told Reuters.

Other sources monitoring the meeting said several other European countries also briefly addressed the issue, although they did not call outright for Wolfowitz to step down.

The Netherlands, a large donor country, was among the chorus of nations wondering how the bank’s credibility could be restored. “We are critical but are awaiting development,” William Lelieveldt, Dutch Treasury spokesman, told Reuters.


Staff and development activists accuse Wolfowitz of breaking bank rules in helping to arrange Riza’s promotion before she was assigned to outside work at the State Department.

They argue the institution’s moral authority has been left in tatters, especially its authority to make countries who receive aid accountable for the money, a priority for Wolfowitz, who has ruffled feathers at the bank with a strong-arm anti-corruption push.

The former No. 2 official at the Pentagon has apologized for his handling of Riza’s promotion and has said he was advised by a World Bank ethics panel to assign her to a job outside the bank to avoid a conflict of interest.

While his backers in the White House have come to his defense, large shareholders like Britain, Germany and France question whether he still has the credibility to lead the bank, which spends about $25 billion a year on projects to fight poverty in developing countries.

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The Spin, I’m In!

by Suzie-Q @ 8:25 PM MDT

The Corrs & Bono – When the Stars Go Blue

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by Suzie-Q @ 3:56 PM MDT

Think Progress

President Bush has not fired any of the architects of the Iraq war. In fact, a review of the key planners of the conflict reveals that they have been rewarded — not blamed — for their incompetence.

Key Quote: “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.” [Bush, 10/7/02]

More Here

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by Suzie-Q @ 3:01 PM MDT

Coffee, Tea, or Treason, Mr. President?
© 2007 Stephen Pitt


In the nearly six weeks since his close friend and former chief of staff was convicted of lying and obstructing an investigation, Vice President
Dick Cheney has not once spoken to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.


“Well, there hasn’t been occasion to do so,” Cheney said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Read the entire article here.


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A Little Something from my Neck of the Woods

posted by anthony @ 21:52 BST

Just in case you were beginning to think that the US of A is the only country in the world that is governed by a bunch of complete arseholes, here’s a little something to reassure you that you’re not the only ones in your predicament.

A Little background: Gordon Brown, the man in the photo, and current Chancellor of the Exchequor (that’s like Finance Minister, except that America doesn’t really have one, since it’s given power over its money to a private institution called the Federal Reserve), assumed he was John Smith’s successor.

John Smith was the previous leader of the Labour Party which Blair now heads.

When Smith died of a heart attack, Blair and Brown both stood as candidates for the succession. Allegedly, Blair (who was then known as Bambi because he was cute and cuddly), did a deal with Brown in a restaurant in Islington (posh part of London), whereby Brown would support Blair’s leadership bid, but that Blair would stand down at some point to make way for a Brown Premiership.

Blair never did so, and this has been a sore point between the two ever since.

Here’s a story on how Brown lost the country, my country, 2 billion quid.

BTW, before you start to crow, have you ever wondered why Fort Knox is so closely guarded. Is it to make sure nobody steals the gold? Or is it to make sure that nobody gets inside to find that the American People’s gold has been sold by the banksters and there’s nothing left?

By Marie Woolf, Political Editor
The Independent
Published: 15 April 2007

Gordon Brown was accused last night of disregarding advice from the Bank of England before he sold more than half the country’s gold reserves at a time when the market was at a 20-year low.

Bank officials had misgivings about Mr Brown’s decision to sell 400 tons of bullion in a series of auctions between 1999 and 2002, according to The Sunday Times.

The decision cost the taxpayer around £2bn because, since then, the price of gold has almost trebled. At a meeting with senior gold traders, Bank officials were warned the sale would achieve a poor price. The Bank said the decision to sell the gold was taken by the Treasury.

The Treasury said last night the Bank “recommended auction as the best method to achieve… fairness and value for money”.

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Domenici Sought Iglesias Ouster

by Suzie-Q @ 11:10 AM MDT

© 2007 Stephen Pitt

ABQ Journal

Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired after Sen. Pete Domenici, who had been unhappy with Iglesias for some time, made a personal appeal to the White House, the Journal has learned.

Domenici had complained about Iglesias before, at one point going to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before taking his request to the president as a last resort.

The senior senator from New Mexico had listened to criticism of Iglesias going back to 2003 from sources ranging from law enforcement officials to Republican Party activists.

Domenici, who submitted Iglesias’ name for the job and guided him through the confirmation process in 2001, had tried at various times to get more white-collar crime help for the U.S. Attorney’s Office— even if Iglesias didn’t want it.

At one point, the six-term Republican senator tried to get Iglesias moved to a Justice Department post in Washington, D.C., but Iglesias told Justice officials he wasn’t interested.

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Gonzales Changes Story

by Suzie-Q @ 9:50 AM MDT

Raw Story

Gonzales is set to give his testimony on the matter before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where the attorney general promised that he is “committed to explaining my role in this process and will do so.”

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales argued Sunday he did nothing improper in firing eight federal prosecutors, despite charges the attorneys had been let go for political reasons.

“I know that I did not — and would not — ask for the resignation of any US attorney for an improper reason,” Gonzales wrote in The Washington Post Sunday.

“Furthermore, I have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a US attorney for an improper reason,” he continued.

Gonzales backtracked from earlier statements that he was uninvolved in the process of firing US attorneys.

“While I have never sought to deceive Congress or the American people, I also know that I created confusion with some of my recent statements about my role in this matter,” he wrote. “To be clear: I directed my then-deputy chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, to initiate this process; fully knew that it was occurring; and approved the final recommendations. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his updates were brief, relatively few in number and focused primarily on the review process.”

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