Archive for October 26th, 2007

Evening JukeBox!

by GEF @ 5:12 PM MST

Evening Jukebox!

Aerosmith – Crazy!

Aerosmith – I don’t want to miss a thing!

Olivia Newton John – Magic!

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by GEF @ 4:18 PM MST

Republican underdog prepares to spend big bucks on New Hampshire ads

By Julie Bosman

The New York Times

Updated: 9:13 a.m. ET Oct 26, 2007

WASHINGTON – If media muscle is any measure of a candidate, Representative Ron Paul of Texas is getting ready to flex his.

In the last two weeks, Mr. Paul — a Republican presidential candidate — has spent nearly a half-million dollars on radio advertisements in four early primary states, the first major media investment of his campaign. On Tuesday night, he will take a seat opposite Jay Leno.

And on Monday, a campaign spokesman said, he will roll out his first major television advertising campaign, spending $1.1 million on five new commercials to be shown in the New Hampshire market for the next six weeks. (In contrast, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and a rival for the Republican nomination, has yet to commit to any spending for television advertisements.)

Mr. Paul’s commercials are intended to introduce him to voters in New Hampshire, where independents can vote in either primary and where a libertarian streak could give Mr. Paul a chance to translate his popularity into votes.


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Sudhan@22:30 CET

High-ranking military experts say an attack would lead to world economic chaos, or even what Bush calls ‘World War III.’

By Gregor Peter Schmitz and Cordula Meyer, Der Spiegel. Posted October 26, 2007.

US Vice President Dick Cheney — the power behind the throne, the eminence grise, the man with the (very) occasional grandfatherly smile — is notorious for his propensity for secretiveness and behind-the-scenes manipulation. He’s capable of anything, say friends as well as enemies. Given this reputation, it’s no big surprise that Cheney has already asked for a backroom analysis of how a war with Iran might begin.

In the scenario concocted by Cheney’s strategists, Washington’s first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran would retaliate with its own strike, providing the US with an excuse to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran.

This information was leaked by an official close to the vice president. Cheney himself hasn’t denied engaging in such war games. For years, in fact, he’s been open about his opinion that an attack on Iran, a member of US President George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil,” is inevitable.

Keep reading . . .

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The Turkey has Landed!

anthony @ 17:30 BST

Bush with a flamethrower

The president has at last landed in the Golden State to see for himself the fires that have caused over a billion dollars in damage and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. With uncomfortable parallels to Katrina already in place, we can’t say we’re all that excited about his arrival here.


Touching down in Escondido, California, Mr Bush assured victims of the infernos: “We’re not going to forget you in Washington DC.

“We want the people to know there’s a better day ahead. Your life may look dismal today, but tomorrow life’s going to be better. And to the extent that the federal government can help you we will do so.”

The fires, which broke out last weekend, have forced one million people from their homes in the biggest US evacuation since Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

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With no new evidence, Fox continues to ask: Did al Qaeda burn California?

For the second straight day, Fox News stood virtually alone in advancing thinly supported speculation to raise fears that the wildfires ravaging California are not the result of a confluence of arid heat and high winds but were set deliberately by al Qaeda terrorists bent on destroying America.


Olbermann: ‘I heard Al Qaeda causes night to fall’

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann says the realistic threat of terrorism is being so overstated by the Bush administration — and in turn, by Fox News — that it’s downright funny.

“What happens when the culture of fear begins to inspire not terror or outrage, but laughter?” asked Olbermann. “Am I being too optimistic, or has giggling now passed paranoia in response to the president and these macabre parrots working at Fox?”


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anthony @ 15:30 BST

Giuliani in drag

Think Progress | Thursday, October 25, 2007

Asked last night in Iowa about Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey’s refusal to call waterboarding torture, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said “it depends on the circumstances” and “on who does it” because “liberal newspapers have exaggerated it.”

Giuliani then called liberals “silly” for describing “sleep deprivation” as torture, joking that “on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States”:

And I see, when the Democrats are talking about torture, they’re not just talking about even this definition of waterboarding, which again, if you look at the liberal media and you look at the way they describe it, you could say it was torture and you shouldn’t do it. But they talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States. That’s plain silly. That’s silly.

Giuliani should familiarize himself with the US Army Field Manual on Interrogation, which describes “abnormal sleep deprivation” as a form of mental torture. Both the European Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of Israel have ruled sleep deprivation to be inhumane and unlawful.

Even John Yoo, the prime author of the administrations infamous torture memo, has conceded that sustained sleep deprivation can “amount to a violation of the Geneva Convention.”

Giuliani’s dismissive joke echoes a similarly tasteless joke made by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2002. In the margins of an “action memo” declaring “stress positions,” such as standing for up to 4 hours, to be acceptable interrogation techniques, Rumsfeld scrawled “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?

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US imposes new sanctions on Iran

anthony @ 11:35 BST

BBC News | Thursday, October 25, 2007

The US has stepped up its sanctions on Iran for “supporting terrorists” and pursuing nuclear activities.

The new measures target the finances of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and three state-owned banks.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the moves were part of “a comprehensive policy to confront the threatening behaviour of the Iranians”.

But Iran said the latest “hostile policies” were counter to international law, and accused the US of hypocrisy.


Oil Rises to Record Above $91 on Supply Drop, Iran Sanctions

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil rose to a record above $91 a barrel in New York on an unexpected drop in U.S. stockpiles and concern that supply from the Middle East may be disrupted.Inventories last week fell 5.29 million barrels to the lowest since January, the U.S. Energy Department said. New U.S. sanctions against Iran, warnings of a Turkish assault on Kurdish militants in Iraq and a falling dollar helped push prices higher. Brent futures in London reached a record.

“The market has been particularly surprised by that 5 million-barrel drop in crude, that was really one out of left- field,” said Mark Pervan, a commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne. “As much as we’re seeing concern about Middle East stability, it’s a dollar-driven story as well. It’s a bit of a perfect storm.”

Crude oil for December delivery rose as much as 64 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $91.10 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since trading began in 1983. It traded at $91.02 at 12:20 p.m. Singapore time. Prices are 51 percent higher than a year ago.

Yesterday the contract jumped $3.36, or 3.9 percent, to $90.46 a barrel, a record close. It was the biggest one-day gain since April 23.

Record oil prices are raising concerns that inflation will rise and lower growth in the global economy. The Group of Seven industrial nations said in a statement last week that high crude levels will moderate growth going forward.


Putin: Attack Iran and you attack Russia

The barely reported highlight of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran for the Caspian Sea summit last week was a key face-to-face meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A high-level diplomatic source in Tehran tells Asia Times Online that essentially Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the George W Bush administration’s relentless drive towards launching a preemptive attack, perhaps a tactical nuclear strike, against Iran. An American attack on Iran will be viewed by Moscow as an attack on Russia.


Britain backs US sanctions against Iran

Daily Mail | Last updated at 15:42pm on 25th October 2007

Britain has said it backed Washington’s decision to impose new sanctions on Iran and vowed to take the lead in pulling together a third round of United Nations Security Council sanctions.

“We endorse the U.S. administration’s efforts to apply further pressure on the Iranian regime,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “We are prepared to lead the way to a third resolution of sanctions and at the same time support tougher European Union sanctions.”


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Hillary’s Bush Connection

Sudhan@10:45 CET

Bush’s mystery money man becomes Hillary’s

The Bushes and the Clintons

The Clintons meet with the Bushes at the White House.


Research support for this story was provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. Published in conjunction with The Nation.

In the Clintons’ pursuit of power, there is no such thing as a strange bedfellow. One recently exposed inamorata was Norman Hsu, the mysterious businessman from Hong Kong who brought in $850,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign before being unmasked as a fugitive. Her campaign dismissed Hsu as someone who’d slipped through the cracks of an otherwise unimpeachable system for vetting donors, and perhaps he was. The same cannot be said for the notorious financier Alan Quasha, whose involvement with Clinton is at least as substantial–and still under wraps.

Political junkies will recall Quasha as the controversial figure who bailed out George W. Bush’s failing oil company in 1986, folding Bush into his company, Harken Energy, thus setting him on the path to a lucrative and high-profile position as an owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and the presidency. The persistently unprofitable Harken–many of whose board members, connected to powerful foreign interests and the intelligence community, nevertheless profited enormously–faced intense scrutiny in the early 1990s and again during Bush’s first term.

Keep reading . . . 

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