Archive for January 26th, 2008

Spy Satellite Loses Power, May Fall To Earth

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:00 PM MST

Satellite could contain hazardous materials; agencies closely monitor

updated 30 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday.

The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret.

“Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause.”


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Stimulus Deal: the Bane of Bipartisanship

by Geezer Power …12:27 pm

Tom Paine

By Robert Borosage

January 25th, 2008

Barbara Ehrenreich memorably called the talk about the stimulus “clitoral economics.” And that was before we got screwed.

The stimulus deal just announced is being praised more for its existence than its content. Much lamented partisan bickering was overcome; bipartisan cooperation that got it done. With Wall Street bankers in panic, better something than nothing. So the parties came together and split the difference and created an agreement (which still has to survive the minefield called the U.S. Senate).

It’s worth taking a look under the hood. Despite approval ratings rivaling those of Idi Amin, President Bush set the terms: Tax cuts only. No spending on public works (that is, nothing for stuff we need that actually puts people to work). No increase in food stamps. No strengthening of our tattered unemployment system. (That is, no money to those who we know will spend it on basic needs). Must include a big package of business tax breaks (tax write-offs for investments that would be made anyway, according to any reputable economic study). No money for states that are about to be forced to cut billions to balance their budgets, largely by cutting education and Medicaid spending and deferring basic infrastructure spending. (Remember the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis or the sewage valve that shut down lower Manhattan?)

Democrats, despite having the majority in both Houses, accepted those terms. They demanded, sensibly enough, that the tax cuts include 45 million in low-income families that the president would have excluded. They demanded the president take extending his tax cuts beyond 2010 off the table. They got some help for imperiled homeowners through the Federal Housing Authority and Fannie Mae.

So only $40 billion of the $150 billion package gets squandered on business tax boondoggles. The rebates — what Jesse Jackson calls Wal-Mart gift certificates — will get handed out by August at best. It might help a bit, although if the economy is still in bad shape in August, people are more likely to be paying down credit-card debt than buying a new TV made in China.


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By- Suzie-Q @ 10:45 AM MST

Firefighters tell Florida Security Moms: Rudy hired ‘unqualified yes men’

In a flier that will be landing in more than 100,000 Florida mailboxes before the state’s Republican primary, a firefighters’ union accuses foundering candidate Rudy Giuliani of excercising poor judgement and populating his New York administration with “unqualified yes men,” such as indicted former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

The International Association of Firefighters political arm has long targeted Giuliani, accusing him of building an “urban legend” around images of himself wandering among the wreckage of Sept. 11, 2001. Their latest salvo comes as the former New York mayor who once was thought to have a lock on the GOP nomination finds his poll numbers tanking in Florida, a state his campaign has focused almost exclusively on in recent weeks.

The firefighters’ mailer is targeting “security moms” in the sunshine state and will be sent to 128,000 women between the ages of 40 and 80 before next Tuesday’s primary, reports The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder. It says Giuliani is not qualified to be president because of his poor judgement and penchant for hiring unqualified, possibly corrupt loyalists.

“Instead of hiring a real police chief,” it says, “Giuliani appointed his driver, Bernard Kerik. He then asked President Bush to appoint him as secretary of Homeland Security when Kerik was on the verge of a federal indictment. Giuliani would rather reward unqualified loyal cronies that real leaders. He can’t be trusted with decisions on such important issues.”


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Is Bush A Horse Thief?

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:15 AM MST

Bush mistakenly compares himself to a horse bandit

As Texas governor, President Bush admired a 1916 painting by W.H.D. Koehner hanging in his office. In 1995, Bush wrote a memo to his Texas staff describing the artwork:

[T]he painting is based upon the Charles Wesley hymn “A Charge to Keep I Have”. I am particularly impressed by the second verse of this hymn. The second verse goes like this: “To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will.” […]

When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us.

But in his new book, The Bush Tragedy, Jacob Weisberg explains that the painting has nothing to do with the hymn and “circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century.” It actually depicts a horse bandit:

The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled “The Slipper Tongue,” published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors.

Scott Horton has more.

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A few Reflections on Political Life in Italy

anthony @ 16:20 GMT

Italian premier Romano Prodi’s resignation has prompted me to share a few reflections with you on Italian political life:

I lived and worked in Italy from March, 1981, to July, 1985, and again, after a nine-month sojourn in the Basque country of Spain, from July, 1986 to July, 1989.

At the time, Italy was governed by the so-called Pentapartito (five-party) system, an alliance of several parties aimed at keeping the Communist Party out of power. There would be crisis after crisis (crisi di governo) when a Prime Minister would resign and a “new” government, made up of the same old array of political drama queens, but occupying different cabinet posts, would replace the old in a perpetual game of musical chairs under the watchful eye of the much loved Italian President, pipe-smoking Sandro Pertini.

Italy’s political parties of that time reflected Italy’s history.

The oldest, the Anglophile Partito Liberale (Liberal Party) had been the party of Cavour, Prime Minister of Sardinia/Savoy/Piedmont, whose little nation had been the prime mover within Italy for unification.

The Socialist Party had been founded by Garibaldi, the eroe di due mondi (the Hero of Two Worlds), who had led his red shirts in the attack on Sicily and the march on Rome which had secured the Bourbon-ruled Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south and the Papal States in the centre of the peninsula for the new Italian kingdom, and at a time when most Sicilian peasants thought his slogan, “Vittorio Emmanuele e Italia”, was a reference to the Italian king and his wife. It is ironic that Garibaldi’s birthplace, Nice, was ceded to France in return for Napoleon III’s help in defeating the Austrians and securing the northern provinces of Lombardia (Lombardy) and the Veneto for the Kingdom of Sardinia/Savoy/Piedmont.


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Rep Jerry Lewis paying big so it all goes Away!

GEF @ 9:08 AM MST

Yet Another GOP in hiding of Corruption and Evildoing…

via: TPM

Rep. Jerry Lewis: The Million Dollar Man

Congratulations to Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) lawyers! They’ve surpassed $1 million in legal fees from the lawmaker.Lewis, long-time TPMmers will remember, has been under federal investigation since the spring of 2006 for his ties to defense contractor and convicted criminal Brent Wilkes and lobbyist buddy Bill Lowery.Since June of 2006, Lewis has paid just over $1 million in campaign funds to some heavy-hitters at the law firm Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, according to campaign disclosures. A $62,000 payment on December 12th last year put him over the top.

The Lewis probe has reportedly slowed in the last year, and his fees reflect that — Lewis spent $900,000 in 2006 and only about $100,000 this year. Maybe with the Wilkes conviction, things will heat up again?

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Prodi Quits Italy!

GEF @ 06:08 AM MST

Romano Prodi resigns as Italy’s prime minister

By Malcolm Moore in Rome

Romano Prodi has resigned as Italy’s prime minister, leaving the path open for Silvio Berlusconi to return to power.

Italy still ‘stubbornly ungovernable’
Romano Prodi versus Silvio Berlusconi

Mr Prodi was forced out, after just 20 months in power, when he lost a vote of confidence in the Senate. It was the 34th vote of confidence he had faced since becoming prime minister. Right-wing senators popped bottles of champagne in the chamber to celebrate.

The collapse of the government had been widely predicted following a stream of defections from Mr Prodi’s 13-party coalition. After the vote, Mr Prodi handed his resignation to Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano.

Mr Napolitano accepted it, but asked him to nominally remain in his position until a decision is made on whether or not to hold a general election. The president will meet various political leaders on Friday to come to a resolution.

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History Channel Admits Anthrax Attacks an Inside Job

anthony @ 12:55 GMT

YouTube | Added: January 24, 2008

From the History Channel’s show Conspiracies: Anthrax Attacks explaining how the weaponized strain could only come from the United States BioDefense Program.

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anthony @ 12:44 GMT

Jason Charles | TruthAlliance.net | Wednesday, January 23, 2008

In his usual form, former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter told a packed crowd at the Oriental Theater in Denver to stop whining about corporate media and become their own intelligence operatives. We the people have the same resources and tools that intelligence networks rely heavily on; it’s called “Google” he said.

In his hilarious analogy, the American people like baby birds wait each night in front of their television sets for the corporate news bird to land in their living room and lovingly puke down our necks with that day’s regurgitated news. Suggesting that as our own intelligence operatives we can’t allow CNN, FOX, NBC, and ABC to edit and cherry pick information, but ask questions and find the answers ourselves.

In that vein TruthAlliance.net Editor Jason Charles had a few questions for Mr. Ritter which he graciously allowed us to film. We explored 3 topics, if the Bush admin got its way in the mid-east what would it look like, how can these dis-separate yet justice driven revolutions in America unite, and his amazing thoughts on a new, fully empowered investigation into the cause of 9-11.

He asked, “Did Bush and Cheney Plan the demise of the building? Was this a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda? Or was it something in between? Well frankly we don’t know.” How important is this to establishing justice? Mr. Ritter seems to think it is an “absolute requirement to know what happened on 9-11”

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Bush Justice Nominee Authorized C.I.A. Torture

Sudhan @11:55 CET

By PHILIP SHENON and ERIC LICHTBLAU | RINF.com, January 24, 2008

The Justice Department lawyer who wrote a series of classified legal opinions in 2005 authorizing harsh C.I.A. interrogation techniques was renominated by the White House on Wednesday to a senior department post, a move that was seen as a snub to Senate Democrats who have long opposed his appointment.

The lawyer, Steven G. Bradbury, who has run the department’s Office of Legal Counsel without Senate confirmation for more than two years, has been repeatedly nominated to the job of assistant attorney general for legal counsel.

But the earlier nominations stalled in the Senate because of a dispute with the Justice Department over its failure to provide Congress with copies of legal opinions on a variety of terrorism issues. Under Senate rules that place a time limit on nominations, Mr. Bradbury’s earlier nominations expired.

Late last year, Democrats urged the White House to withdraw Mr. Bradbury’s name once and for all and find a new candidate for the post after it was disclosed in news reports in October that he was the author of classified memorandums that gave approval to harsh interrogation techniques, including head slapping, exposure to cold and simulated drowning, even when used in combination.

Mr. Bradbury’s memorandums were described by Democrats as an effort by the Bush administration to circumvent laws prohibiting torture and to undermine a public legal opinion issued by the Justice Department in 2004 that declared torture to be “abhorrent.”

Continued . . .

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