Archive for February 2nd, 2009

Lawyer says Rove will cooperate with US Attorney firings probe

Raw Story- Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday February 2, 2009

Rove’s lawyer says he’s speaking to investigators about Siegelman; Doesn’t indicate stance on executive privilege

Karl Rove, former President Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff and longtime political adviser, will cooperate with the Department of Justice in its investigation of the firing of nine US attorneys, according to an interview with Rove’s lawyer by Washington, D.C. investigative reporter Murray Waas.

Waas, who spoke with Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, was also told that Rove has already spoken with the Justice Department regarding an internal probe of prosecutor misconduct in the jailing of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Luskin asserted that Rove would not assert “personal privilege” regarding Siegelman’s case, saying, “At no time has he or will he assert personal privilege in that matter.”

The article, however, did not indicate the level of Rove’s potential cooperation. Though Luskin said Rove wouldn’t assert personal privlege, he did not indicate whether Rove will continue to seek protection under executive privilege. Several days before President Bush left office, the White House instructed Rove not to cooperate with subpoenas or produce documents to Congress relating to the US Attorney firings.

Luskin says Rove has deferred to the White House on such arguments. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) subpoenaed Rove last week to testify to Congress regarding the firings and the Siegelman case.

Luskin did not answer specific questions about what Rove told investigators about Siegelman. But he maintained that Rove had no involvement in his prosecution.

“What Karl has said [to investigators] is entirely consistent with what he has said publicly–that he absolutely nothing to do with this,” Luskin said.


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Nuts: Springsteen Slides Into Camera Crotch-First At Super Bowl

Huffington Post |  Alex Leo   |   February 2, 2009 08:19 AM

Springsteen had 12 minutes to wow the nation last night, but really only took ten seconds. It’s no Nipplegate, but it got us to step away from the guacamole.


(h/t The Daily What)

Springsteen had 12 minutes to wow the nation last night, but really only took ten seconds. It’s no Nipplegate, but it got us to step away from the guacamole. (h/t The Daily What)…
Springsteen had 12 minutes to wow the nation last night, but really only took ten seconds. It’s no Nipplegate, but it got us to step away from the guacamole. (h/t The Daily What)…
Around the Web:

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Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run (Live)

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GOP Bickering Threatens US Economic Security!

The Republicans are being duplicitous, disingenuous, and hypocrites to the Obama Stimulus Bailout package.

When the first Bailout package was passed the Republicans had all kinds of pork in that bill and the GOP knew that the Bill they passed was not going to be enough to help the problems plaguing the US Economy. Yet they wanted it so badly that they threatened that the world would fall if it wasn’t passed.  So Wall Street was bailed out and Main Street was going to foot the bill. Yet we still have no idea what Paulson did with all that 360+ billion dollar loot and inquiring minds really want to know…

Yet now that help is coming to Main Street instead of Wall Street, the GOPers are not so cooperative. The answer to the GOP now is all the power they have left as far as the Legislative branch of Govt. Ie: The Filibuster to stop it.

It should be noted that not one Congressional GOPer voted for the Obama Stimulus package. The Republicans still refuse to acknowledge the fact that President Obama won by an overwhelming American vote to CHANGE the direction of this country. Are the GOP going to be obstructionists for the next 4 years ? That sure seems to be the tone being set by the GOP in DC. and 4 years of “no votes and filibusters” is not going to sit too well with the electorate.

However in this case, the reality is that the GOPs actions are endangering the Economic Stability of the United States which further endangers the Global Economy. Main Street is the driving economic force in this nation and without Main Street there could not be any Wall Street.

Being led by Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails campaign” is going to be a certain death sentence for the Republican party because now that the Bush shield is gone and the Country has turned against all things GOP, there is no place for the GOP to go but down…

It is obvious that whatever Washington GOPers decide to do will not be enough and will come days late as well..because…the ball is on the Republicans court once again and they will no doubt screw it all up again as they have done so for the last 10 years! Apparently it is ok to Bailout Wall Street but when it comes to Main Street “We The People” just like in Hurricane Katrina are once again on our own…

It should come as no surprise to anyone why the Republicans are drastically shrinking as a party…


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Macy’s to cut 7,000 jobs

By John Eckberg

Hurt by weaker than expected holiday receipts and facing a customer that has stopped spending on luxuries, Macy’s Inc. today announced it will lay off 7,000 employees, reconfigure its management structure and pare a dividend.

The company expects to save $250 million in 2009 and $400 million in 2010 as it expands a “My Macy’s” approach to purchase decisions to all 808 stores.

About 5,100 jobs will be lost in stores.

“We must operate in a responsible manner that allows us to maximize the value we offer,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chief executive, in a statement.

The loss of 7,000 positions represents about four percent of the company workforce. Employees who are laid off will be provided severance benefits.

“Reducing our workforce is an unfortunate outcome of the current economic environment, and I am frustrated that so many of our people will be unable to move forward with us.”

The dividend will be reduced to 5 cents per share from the current 13 cents a share. Cutting the divided is expected to save the company $138 million in 2009.
Cincinnati may get an uptick in the number of jobs here from the changes, officials said.

Macy’s, the downtown Cincinnati-based retailer, also owns Macys.com and 40 Bloomingdale’s stores.

The cuts come as U.S. consumers have wallets and purses in a lockdown. Spending fell one percent in December. It was the sixth time in seven months, despite lower fuel prices, that spending has plummeted, according to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department.

The cuts mirror layoffs from 2008 when 2,300 employees were fired.

Macy’s, Inc. reported sales of $4.4 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 3, a decrease of 4.7 percent compared with total sales of $4.6 billion in the five weeks ended Jan. 5.

On a same-store basis, Macy’s, Inc. sales were down 4 percent in December and same-store sales were off 7.5 percent for November and December.

Shares in Macy’s stood at $9.05, up 10 cents or 1.1 percent, in afternoon trading.

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Violent clashes in Russia as angry protesters call for Putin to resign over economy

By Daily Mail Reporter

Russia was rocked today by some of its strongest protests yet as thousands rallied across the vast country to attack the Kremlin’s response to the global economic crisis.

The marches, complete with Soviet-style red flags and banners, pose a challenge to a government which has faced little threat from the fragmented opposition and politically apathetic population during the boom years fueled by oil.

Pro-government thugs beat up some of the protesters.

Banned: Supporters of the National Bolshevik Party carry flares through Moscow’s streets

About 2,500 people marched across the far eastern port of Vladivostok to denounce the Cabinet’s decision to increase car import tariffs, shouting slogans urging Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to resign. Many there make their living by importing cars.

Meanwhile in Moscow arrests were made as about 1,000 diehard Communists rallied in a central square hemmed in by heavy police cordons.

Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov told them the Kremlin must throw out Western capitalism and impose sweeping nationalisation.

Eduard Limonov, leader of the banned National Bolshevik Party – and one of the Kremlin’s most radical critics – was arrested at another Moscow square.

Red flags and even images of Lenin and Stalin are borne aloft as Communists and members of the Action Society of Russia’s Citizens march in Vladivostok

Police dispersed demonstrators from the United Civil Front, comprising several radical opposition groups, who launched an illegal rally on a street near the Kremlin.

Protesters gathered near an Metro station but then sidestepped police by taking a train across the city to another location.

Some of the protesters were later arrested. Others were brutally beaten up by activists from pro-Kremlin youth groups.

Several dozen demonstrators marched on a central Moscow street, shouting slogans such as ‘Down with the government!’ and ‘Russia without Putin!’


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Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans

By John Tirman, The Nation. Posted February 2, 2009.

Now that Bush is gone, perhaps we can honestly face the damage we have wrought and the responsibilities we must accept from it.

We are now able to estimate the number of Iraqis who have died in the war instigated by the Bush administration. Looking at the empirical evidence of Bush’s war legacy will put his claims of victory in perspective. Of course, even by his standards — “stability” — the jury is out. Most independent analysts would say it’s too soon to judge the political outcome. Nearly six years after the invasion, the country remains riven by sectarian politics and major unresolved issues, like the status of Kirkuk.

We have a better grasp of the human costs of the war. For example, the United Nations estimates that there are about 4.5 million displaced Iraqis — more than half of them refugees — or about one in every six citizens. Only 5 percent have chosen to return to their homes over the past year, a period of reduced violence from the high levels of 2005-07. The availability of healthcare, clean water, functioning schools, jobs and so forth remains elusive. According to Unicef, many provinces report that less than 40 percent of households have access to clean water. More than 40 percent of children in Basra, and more than 70 percent in Baghdad, cannot attend school.

The mortality caused by the war is also high. Several household surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2007. While there are differences among them, the range suggests a congruence of estimates. But none have been conducted for eighteen months, and the two most reliable surveys were completed in mid-2006. The higher of those found 650,000 “excess deaths” (mortality attributable to war); the other yielded 400,000. The war remained ferocious for twelve to fifteen months after those surveys were finished and then began to subside. Iraq Body Count, a London NGO that uses English-language press reports from Iraq to count civilian deaths, provides a means to update the 2006 estimates. While it is known to be an undercount, because press reports are incomplete and Baghdad-centric, IBC nonetheless provides useful trends, which are striking. Its estimates are nearing 100,000, more than double its June 2006 figure of 45,000. (It does not count nonviolent excess deaths — from health emergencies, for example — or insurgent deaths.) If this is an acceptable marker, a plausible estimate of total deaths can be calculated by doubling the totals of the 2006 household surveys, which used a much more reliable and sophisticated method for estimates that draws on long experience in epidemiology. So we have, at present, between 800,000 and 1.3 million “excess deaths” as we approach the six-year anniversary of this war.


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Nasir @13:50 CET

By Julio Godoy | Inter Press Service

BERLIN, Feb 2 (IPS) – Now that former U.S. president George W. Bush is an ordinary citizen again, many legal and human rights activists in Europe are demanding that he and high-ranking members of his government be brought before justice for crimes against humanity committed in the so-called war on terror.

“Judicial clarification of the crimes against international law the former U.S. government committed is one of the most delicate issues that the new U.S. president Barack Obama will have to deal with,” Wolfgang Kaleck, general secretary of the European Centre for Human and Constitutional Rights told IPS.

U.S. justice will have to “deal with the turpitudes committed by the Bush government,” says Kaleck, who has already tried unsuccessfully to sue the former U.S. authorities in European courts. “And, furthermore, the U.S. government will have to pay compensation to the innocent people who were victims of these crimes.”

Kaleck and other legal experts consider Bush and his highest-ranking officials responsible for crimes against humanity, such as torture.

Many agree that the evidence against the U.S. government is overwhelming. U.S. officials have admitted some crimes such as waterboarding, where a victim is tied up and water is poured into the air passages. Also, human rights activists have gathered testimonies by innocent victims of torture, especially some prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Continued >>

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