Archive for June 13th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:30 PM MST

Maliki raises possibility that Iraq might ask U.S. to leave

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki raised the possibility that his country won’t sign a status of forces agreement with the United States and will ask U.S. troops to go home when their U.N. mandate to be in Iraq expires at the end of the year.

Maliki made the comment after weeks of complaints from Shiite Muslim lawmakers that U.S. proposals that would govern a continued troop presence in Iraq would infringe on Iraq’s sovereignty.

“Iraq has another option that it may use,” Maliki said during a visit to Amman, Jordan. “The Iraqi government, if it wants, has the right to demand that the U.N. terminate the presence of international forces on Iraqi sovereign soil.”

Earlier, Maliki acknowledged that talks with the U.S. on a status of forces agreement “reached an impasse” after the American negotiators presented a draft that would have given the U.S. access to 58 military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and immunity from prosecution for both U.S. soldiers and private contractors.

The Iraqis rejected those demands, and U.S. diplomats have submitted a second draft, which Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told McClatchy included several major concessions. Among those would be allowing Iraq to prosecute private contractors for violations of Iraqi law and requiring U.S. forces to turn over to Iraqi authorities Iraqis that the Americans detain.

Salih stressed that the Iraqi government wants to reach an agreement with the United States. But he said the Iraqi government wouldn’t be pressured into accepting terms that compromised Iraq’s rights as a sovereign state.

“Our American allies need to understand and realize that this agreement must be respectful of Iraqi sovereignty,” Salih said. “We need them here for a while longer, and they know they have to remain here for a while.”

American negotiators have hoped the talks would be finished by the end of July, but Maliki’s latest remarks — as well as those by influential members of parliament — make that deadline seem unrealistic.


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By- Suzie-Q @ 5:30 PM MST

Cheney Acknowledges He Lied About China Drilling ‘60 Miles Off The Coast Of Florida’»

Think Progress

By Ali at 5:20 pm

On Wednesday, Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech to the Chamber of Commerce in which he claimed that China, in cooperation with the Cuban government, is drilling for oil “60 miles off the coast of Florida.” “Even the communists have figured out” that drilling for oil is the solution to the energy crisis, Cheney argued.

It’s a talking point favored by the right wing. Cheney was quoting conservative columnist Geroge Will, who wrote on June 6 that China is drilling “60 miles off Florida,” “closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are.” The same day Cheney spoke, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) wrote that Castro was allowing drilling “45 miles from the Florida keys.” Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) have also raised the specter of Chinese drilling just off U.S. shores.

The problem, of course, is that the claim is completely false. After his claim was thoroughly debunked in the press, Cheney acknowledged that he had, in fact, lied in his speech, though his statement today offered no apology and issued only a half-hearted backtrack of his original claim:

It is our understanding that, although Cuba has leased out exploration blocks 60 miles off the coast of southern Florida, which is closer than American firms are allowed to operate in that area, no Chinese firm is drilling there.

Cheney’s comments were so egregiously false that a member of his own party took to the Senate floor to correct the record. Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) decried claims of “some fabricated Cuba/China connection,” saying they have “no merit.”

Peddling stories of false connections that have no merit is hardly a new practice for Cheney. But being called out by his own party — and having to admit error — is certainly an uncommon occurence for him.

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Evening Jukebox… Beautiful Girl

By- Suzie-Q @ 5:20 PM MST

Good Evening Justice Bloggers!

I dedicate this song to my friend, Teak, because we both like INXS and Michael was too fine! 🙂

I hope to God Teak is a female! LOLMAO…

Just kidding Teak and thanks so much for all of your comments on the Suzie-Q blog! How long have we known each other now? Nearly 3 years?

Have a great and safe weekend everybody! 😉


INXS- Beautiful Girl

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New World Order to England: UK Monarchy Gotta Go!

GEF @ 4:18 PM MST


By Gabriel Milland and Richard Palmer

BRITAIN has been told to get rid of the Queen in an official United Nations report.

The UN Human Rights Council says the UK must “consider holding a referendum on the desirability or otherwise of a written constitution, preferably republican”.

The demand by the council, which includes regimes like Saudi Arabia and Cuba among its 29 members, caused outrage last night.

Advisers to the Queen refused to comment publicly. But privately they admitted being astonished.

One senior Palace official said: “People here certainly haven’t detected any appetite for a referendum. 

“The Queen is a focus for national unity, identity and pride.”

Royal commentator Robert Lacey said the report showed a complete lack of understanding of the British system.

“Parliament could change the law and abolish the monarchy tomorrow,” he said. “We don’t need a referendum to do that.”

Even campaigners representing hard-pressed taxpayers said yesterday they felt no need to get rid of an institution that costs each adult in Britain around 62p a year.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “With so many human rights abuses around the world, the UN should be busy reporting on issues of starvation, execution and the denial of the vote to huge numbers of people around the world.

“Saudi Arabia and Cuba should pay a little more attention to their own human rights record.”

The UN comments about the Queen were included at the request of the council’s Sri Lankan envoy, Dayan Jayatilleka.

Amnesty International revealed last week that hundreds of people have been kidnapped and murdered in Sri Lanka by shady forces allied to the government. But it is not the only country with an appalling record of its own queueing up to have a go at Britain.

The UN report also includes criticisms of the UK’s record on treating migrants from Sudan – whose government stands accused of killing at least 200,000 people in Darfur.

Syria, whose previous president killed 25,000 in suppressing an Islamist rebellion in Hama, accuses the UK of discriminating against Muslims.

And most bizarrely, Iran – where a woman was stoned to death for adultery last year – takes issue with Britain’s record on tackling sexual discrimination.

Cub’s defiance over Queen oath

A BOY of eight faces being thrown out of the Cubs because he refuses to swear an oath to the Queen. Matthew McVeigh offered to pledge allegiance to “my country” rather than Her Majesty. But the 1st Neilston Scout Group in Renfrewshire said it would breach Scout rules.

Matthew objects to the oath because he is Catholic and the 1701 Act of Settlement says only a Protestant can become the monarch. He said: “I don’t want to make a promise I don’t believe in. I enjoy the Cubs and I don’t want to feel left out.”

The Scout Association allows people of other nationalities residing in the UK to pledge a “duty to the country in which I am now living”, rather than to the Queen.

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Tim Russert Is Dead at 58

anthony @ 22:45 BST

Washington bureau chief, ‘Meet the Press’ moderator collapsed on job

NBC News and MSNBC | updated 5:11 p.m. ET June 13, 2008

WASHINGTON – Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after being stricken at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed, the network said. He had recently returned from Italy, where his family was celebrating the graduation of Russert’s son, Luke, from Boston College.

No further details were immediately available.

Read more…

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By- Suzie-Q @ 2:30 PM MST

McCain Doubles Down On His Social Security Privatization Bamboozlement

Think Progress

By Matt at 4:30 pm

Yesterday, despite his clear record on the issue, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told a crowd in Nashua, NH that he has “never” been for the privatization of Social Security.

At another town hall in Pemberton, NJ today, McCain tried to push back against criticism of his position on the issue by telling the crowd, “I will not privatize Social Security and it’s not true when I’m accused of that.” He then described the kind of private accounts he supports:

MCCAIN: I would like for younger workers, younger workers only, to have an opportunity to take a few of their tax dollars, a few of theirs, and maybe put it into an account with their name on it. That’s their money. That’s their money. So. So when I say that. So when I say that, please don’t let them twist that as they have others. It’s their money, it’s their money. And we will make sure that present day retirees, I will commit, have the benefits that they have earned. And nothing, any proposal would change that.

Watch it:

The problem for McCain is that his current stance means he was either lying in March when he told the Wall Street Journal’s Bob Davis that he supported private accounts “along the lines that President Bush proposed” or he doesn’t understand the nature of the private accounts he campaigned for in 2005.

In ‘05, Bush proposed an overhaul of Social Security that would have allowed workers to “divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts,” which would have then resulted in “reduced Social Security payments from the government.” In other words, he would be “carving up of Social Security to create privatization accounts.”

But only 33 percent of Americans supported such a plan, hence McCain’s reluctance to be associated with it now.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Need You Tonight

By- Suzie-Q @ 2:25 PM MST

INXS – Need You Tonight – (Live at Wembley Stadium)

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By- Geezer

Well, one of my pet peeves is corporate media, especially when it isn’t fair
and balanced news. Doug Brooks, the president of the IPOA, commented on my previous article
(A practical NWO guide for global control) and pointed out that Frontline interviewed him but didn’t include it in their final version.

In all fairness to the IPOA (International Peace Operations Association), I will post this Frontlines interview with Doug Brooks, that wasn’t included in their “Private Warriers” presentation, where he confronts many of the key issues they raise in the video. I may be an insignifigant voice in the fringes of the blogasphere but as a truth seeker I believe that all sides of the story should be heard…G:

Frontline Interview With Doug Brooks

some excerpts:

So what is the size of the business in both numbers and in the kind of dollars we’re talking about?

It’s hard to come up with because nobody’s really come up with a good formula as to what counts as a private military company and what doesn’t. The numbers that keep getting batted around are the whole industry is worth $100 billion to $200 billion. That may be true if you’re including people mopping the Pentagon, if you’re including the Korean dry cleaners next to Fort Dix or something like that. …

If you think about it this way, though, the biggest contract in Iraq so far is KBR’s contract, which since 2003 is $14 billion, which is a lot of money. It becomes very difficult to see how it could all add up to $100 billion a year if you’re really thinking about companies operating in conflict, post-conflict environments.

So revise it downwards for us. You’re president of the IPOA [International Peace Operations Association].

(Laughs.) Thank you. But it’s hard to wrap your head around. Any number you come up with, you’re basically pulling it out of a bag, because people say, “Well, those companies should be included, but those shouldn’t.” We focus on companies that work in conflict, post-conflict environments in other countries, and within that I would guess that your market top would be $20 billion maybe.

And now for the rest of the story.

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a jubilant anthony @ 17:21 BST, updated 22:22

“The Irish people should never have been taken for granted. In their enormous wisdom they have taken on board the treaty, looked at the arguments and, it seems that we have returned the same result again that our fellow Europeans in France and the Netherlands have already sent to the unelected Brussels elite.”

Ireland has voted No to the Lisbon Treaty, plunging the European Union into a new crisis.

With results coming in from across the country, a final result of 52 per cent against and 48 per cent in favour of the treaty was rapidly hardening. A final declaration is not expected until after 4 pm.

The Lisbon Treaty, the reworked successor to the formal constitutional pact dumped by voters in France and the Netherlands in 2005, officially needs the approval of all 27 EU member states. But only in Ireland has it been put to a popular vote, meaning today’s result may have far-reaching consequences for the entire bloc.

Barely two hours after the count began today, the No camp had already started celebrating, while senior Fianna Fail strategists privately and glumly conceded their defeat.

“Call it hubris,” said one senior figure, “people seem to have forgotten what Ireland was like before we received European funding. They seem to think that we created our success all by ourselves. They are wrong.”

The senior figure admitted that in spite of Brian Cowen’s assurance on the eve of voting that a rerun — as happened after the Irish rejected the Nice treaty in 2001 — would not occur, it was now much more likely.

“The other 26 countries will ratify and we will be told ‘Join us when you like lads’,” he said.

In a television interview last night, Francois Fillon, French Prime Minister, was clear about the effects of a No vote. “If the Irish people decide to reject the treaty of Lisbon, naturally, there will be no treaty of Lisbon,” he warned. (more…)

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anthony @ 17:09 BST

Glenn Greenwald | Salon | Friday, June 13, 2008

In a major rebuke to the Bush administration’s theories of presidential power — and in an equally stinging rebuke to the bipartisan political class which has supported the Bush detention policies — the U.S. Supreme Court today, in a 5-4 decision (.pdf), declared Section 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 unconstitutional. The Court struck down that section of the MCA because it purported to abolish the writ of habeas corpus — the means by which a detainee challenges his detention in a court — despite the fact that the Constitution permits suspension of that writ only “in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion.”

Read more…

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