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Archive for February 18th, 2008

Write A Caption For These Photos…

By- Suzie-Q @ 6:00 PM MST

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McCain Campaign Banked on Taxpayer-Funded Bailout

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:10 PM MST

As The Washington Post reported on Saturday, John McCain’s campaign struck a canny deal with a bank in December. If his campaign tanked, public funds would be there to bail him out. But if he emerged as the nominee, there’d be no need for public financing, since the contributions would come flowing.

It’s an arrangement that no one has ever tried before. And it appears that McCain, who has built his reputation on campaign finance reform, was gaming the system. Or as a campaign finance expert who preferred to remain anonymous told me, referring to the prominent role that lobbyists have as advisers to his campaign, “This places McCain’s grandstanding on public financing in a new light. True reformers believe public financing is a way to replace the lobbyists’ influence, not a slush fund that the lobbyists use to pay off campaign debts.”

Here’s the back story. As of December, McCain was still enrolled in the public financing system, but had yet to actually receive any public matching funds. The Federal Election Commission had certified that the campaign would be receiving $5.8 million in public funds. But they wouldn’t get that money for a couple more months. In need of even more cash beyond the $3 million loan he’d already secured from a Maryland bank (he’d taken out a life insurance policy as collateral), the McCain campaign was stuck in a bind. They needed more money, but the bank needed collateral.

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Diana murdered, Al Fayed claims

anthony @ 22:30 GMT

Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were murdered, Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed has told the inquest into their deaths in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Harrods owner Mr Al Fayed claimed former prime minister Tony Blair, MI5, MI6 and the British ambassador to France were all part of the conspiracy.

And he said Princess Diana “knew Prince Philip and Prince Charles were trying to get rid of her”.

He also said Diana had told him she was pregnant, and the couple were engaged.

“I am the only person they told,” he said.

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anthony @ 21:10 GMT

Arthur Scheuerman left this comment on the post, “Who is Arthur Scheuerman?“, on my blogsite, Friends of the American Revolution. Of the arguments of those who support the “official” theory of the collapse of the Twin Towers, his are the most persuasive, although I continue to believe that the US government, or sections of the US government, were, at best, complicit in the attacks, if indeeed they were not actually behind them.

I reproduce his comments below:

Many people interpreted the loud sounds and debris being projected out sideways during the Tower collapses as an indication that explosives were used to demolish the buildings. Most of these ‘explosive’ sounds, heard during the collapses were heard after the collapses began. The exterior walls can be seen bending and buckling inward in the videos of both Towers long before any sounds or ground vibrations occurred. In Tower 2, the exterior columns in the east wall were photographed bowing inward up to 10 inches, 18 minutes after the plane’s impact. That’s 38 minutes before the global collapse began. To be technical, you could say that Tower 2’s collapse began slowly, with possibly some noise or impact sounds from falling floors, about 38 minutes earlier than the official collapse time. The explosive sounds and expanding dust clouds occurred just after the east wall buckled inward and started the collapse, and not before the buckling, as would have happened with controlled demolition. \

Keep reading

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Kosovo MPs proclaim independence

anthony @ 20:35 GMT

Kosovo’s parliament has unanimously endorsed a declaration of independence from Serbia, in a historic session.

Celebrations went on into the night after Prime Minister Hashim Thaci promised a democracy that respected the rights of all ethnic communities.

Serbia’s PM denounced the US for helping create a “false state”.

A split later emerged at the Security Council, when Russia said there was no basis for changing a 1999 resolution which handed Kosovo to the UN.

Seven Western countries said it was quite clear the situation had moved on.

See a map of Kosovo’s ethnic breakdown

Tens of thousands of people had thronged the streets of Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, since the morning.

 When news came of the declaration in parliament, the centre of the city erupted with fireworks, firecrackers and celebratory gunfire.

Crowds surrounded an independence monument which was unveiled during the evening and signed by Mr Thaci and Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu.

Ethnic Albanians staged noisy celebrations in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, and in Brussels, outside the headquarters of Nato and the European Union. (more…)

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The Wolfson Plagiarism Attack Is Ridiculous

by Bob Cesca @ 2:32 PM (EST)

Howard Wolfson is accusing Senator Obama of plagiarizing a speech passage from Governor Deval Patrick.

Wolfson said: “Sen. Obama is running on the strength of his rhetoric and the strength of his promises and, as we have seen in the last couple of days, he’s breaking his promises and his rhetoric isn’t his own.”

Obama closely echoed a passage from a speech that Deval Patrick, now the Massachusetts governor, used at a campaign rally when he was running for that office in 2006.

Governor Patrick, however, says that he and Senator Obama have discussed this idea on the phone several times during the primary campaign. Nevertheless, this really is a desperate attack. After all, politicians repeat similar themes all the damn time. It’s like attacking a politician for wearing a suit and a tie — or a pants suit and pearls. You can get away with this kind of an attack, but it’s not entirely genuine, and it’s all too easy to counter-attack.

For instance, I looked up Senator Clinton’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner speech from last week. Here’s a particularly familiar line:

“Are you ready to take back the White House…”

That sounds an awful lot like this one:

“…and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! YAAARRR!”

She could easily have said, “Are you ready to reclaim the White House?” But instead, she used the same words made famous by Howard Dean four years ago.

Cross posted at Bob Cesca’s Goddamn Awesome Blog! GO! and Huffington Post

(more…)

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Mike McConnell: Tasting His Own Foot Again

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Did you feel it at the base of your stomach when you woke up Sunday morning? That fear? No wonder: the Protect America Act finally expired Saturday night.

The nation is currently undefended. Well, that’s not true. The National Security Agency can no longer surveil terrorists. Well, that’s not true either. The NSA can continue surveillance of terrorist groups authorized under the Protect America Act for one year, and new warrants sought need to be authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under the FISA law. The new warrants will mean more paperwork.

The president hit the airwaves for the fourth consecutive morning on Saturday to drive the fear home.

But Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, a man well acquainted with the taste of his own foot, put it unfortunately succinctly during an interview with NPR:

“It’s true that some of the authorities would carry over to the period they were established for one year. That would put us into the August, September time frame. However, that’s not the real issue. The issue is liability protection for the private sector. We can’t do this mission without their help.”

Perhaps realizing the unfortunate quotability of that phrasing, McConnell took to Fox News yesterday to reassert the direness of the situation. McConnell, once upon a time broadly respected by lawmakers of both parties, seems determined to destroy the vestiges of his credibility. Keep in mind that even The Washington Times ran a story that concluded the sunset of the Protect America Act “will have little effect on national security.”

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