Archive for July 29th, 2008

Los Angeles 5.8 Quake Coverage..

GEF @ 7:58 PM ET

Los Angeles 5.8 QUAKE JULY 29th 2008

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World Trade Organization Talks Collapse….Again!

GEF @ 7:38 PM ET

Those Evildoers never learn…What a tangled web they weave when they practice to deceive.. 😉

WTO Talks Break Down

GENEVA — After coming tantalizingly close to a historic trade deal, World Trade Organization talks collapsed Tuesday in a dismaying blow to seven years of efforts to open up the global economy.

Once promised as a recipe for lifting millions of people out of poverty, the end to nine days of high-level talks left no new trade openings for farmers and manufacturers, no global economic boost and no grand deal for Third World development.

It was by all accounts a disaster.

“This is a very painful failure and a real setback for the global economy when we really needed some good news,” said Peter Mandelson, the European Union’s trade commissioner.

His disappointment was shared by top negotiators from the United States, Brazil and India, who have played leading roles since the World Trade Organization launched its current trade round in the Qatari capital of Doha in 2001.

While the talks have struggled before, this failure was perhaps the most devastating. Faced with global unrest from rising food prices, credit problems from shaky financial markets and the threat of economic downturn, negotiators hoped that a deal this week to open farm and industrial markets would go some way to alleviating these problems.

It was all the more disappointing because the talks made greater progress than they had in years on issues such as farm subsidies and manufacturing tariffs _ which were responsible for scuttling previous high-level trade efforts. The talks hit a snag over an obscure “safeguard” for protecting agricultural producers in the developing world from a sudden surge in imports or drop in commodity prices.

While farm import safeguards currently exist in rich and poor countries, they are rarely used and reflect only a minute portion of the billions of dollars in manufacturing, farm and services gains the WTO’s Doha trade round was supposed to create.


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By- Suzie-Q @ 3:00 PM MST

Southern California Earthquake Clocks In At 5.8 On Richter Scale

ROBERT JABLON | July 29, 2008 05:18 PM EST | AP

LOS ANGELES — Scattered minor damage and a few minor injuries have been reported in the aftermath of an earthquake that was strongly felt across Southern California.

The magnitude-5.4 jolt struck at 11:42 a.m. Tuesday and was felt from Los Angeles south to San Diego, and as far east as Las Vegas. The quake _ considered moderate _ was centered 29 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles near the city of Chino Hills.

The state Office of Emergency Services in Sacramento reports scattered minor infrastructure damage, including broken water mains and gas lines. Freeway traffic appears normal.

Acting mayor Wendy Greuel says minor structural damage has been reported throughout Los Angeles, along with five minor injuries and people stuck in elevators.

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Oil Israel Logistics (OIL)

by Geezer Power…1:18

Seatbelts On Please…

Maliki’s ‘Timetable’ Shakes Iraq Debate

by Ray McGovern

July 17, 2008

From Tel Aviv it appears an increasingly threatening situation, with more urgent need to “embed” (so to speak) the U.S. even more deeply in the region – in a confrontation involving both countries with Iran.

A perfect storm is brewing:

— Petraeus ex Machina, with a record of doing Vice President Cheney’s bidding, takes command of CENTCOM in September;

–Sen. McCain’s numbers are likely to be in the toilet at that point (because of the economy as much as anything else);

— McCain will be seen by the White House as the only candidate with something to gain by a wider war (just as by another “terrorist incident”);

— The Bush/Cheney months will be down to three;

— And Maliki will not be able to cave in to Washington on the timeline requirement he has set.

In sum, the Israelis are likely to be preparing a September/October surprise designed to keep the U.S. bogged down in Iraq and in the wider region by provoking hostilities with Iran.

The Israeli leaders may well plead for understanding and claim that with their night-goggles, they could not distinguish amber from green.

Would they hesitate? Please tell me who … just who is likely to turn on the siren, pull them over, and give them a ticket?


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By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

Justice report faults illegal use of politics in hiring federal prosecutors, judges

Published: Monday July 28, 2008

Update: Conyers mulling perjury charges

A new Justice Department report concludes that politics illegally influenced the hiring of career prosecutors and immigration judges, and largely lays the blame on top aides to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Monday’s report singles out the department’s former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, for violating federal law and Justice Department policy by discriminating against job applicants who weren’t Republican or conservative loyalists.

The full 146-page Justice Department report is available here (.pdf)

It is not improper to consider political or ideological affiliations in making hiring decisions for political positions. However, both Department policy and federal law prohibit discrimination in hiring for career positions on the basis of political affiliations.

Our investigation found that Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions, in violation of federal law and Department policy.

The report does not indicate whether Goodling or former Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson could face any charges. None of those involved in the discriminatory hiring still work at Justice, meaning they will avoid any department penalties.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said he is debating whether to file perjury charges against the reports’ implicated officials, who may have lied to Congress during investigations of the Justice Department’s politicization.

“Today’s report describes ‘systematic’ violations of federal law by several former leaders of the Department of Justice,” Conyers said in a news release. “Apparently, the political screening was so pervasive that even qualified Republican applicants were rejected from Department positions because they were ‘not Republican enough’ for Monica Goodling and others. The report also makes clear that the cost to our nation of these apparent crimes was severe, as qualified individuals were rejected for key positions in the fight against terrorism and other critical Department jobs for no reason other than political whim. The Report also indicates that Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson, and Alberto Gonzales may have lied to the Congress about these matters. I have directed my staff to closely review this matter and to consider whether a criminal referral for perjury is needed.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy used the report to slam the White House.


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Afternoon Jukebox… Put A Lid On It

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Squirrel Nut Zippers- Put A Lid On It

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Bush Approves Execution Of Army Soldier

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 AM MST

Bush approves execution of soldier on death row

Raw Story- Associated Press
Published: Monday July 28, 2008

WASHINGTON – President Bush on Monday approved the execution of an Army private, the first time in over a half-century that a president has affirmed a death sentence for a member of the U.S. military.

With his signature from the Oval Office, Bush said yes to the military’s request to execute Ronald A. Gray, the White House confirmed. Gray had had been convicted in connection with a spree of four murders and eight rapes in the Fayetteville, N.C., area over eight months in the late 1980s while stationed at Fort Bragg.

“While approving a sentence of death for a member of our armed services is a serious and difficult decision for a commander in chief, the president believes the facts of this case leave no doubt that the sentence is just and warranted,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

In the military courts, “Private Gray was convicted of committing brutal crimes, including two murders, an attempted murder and three rapes. The victims included a civilian and two members of the Army. … The president’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous crimes and their families and all others affected.”

Unlike in the civilian courts, a member of the U.S. armed forces cannot be executed until the president approves the death sentence. Gray has been on death row at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., since April 1988.


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