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Archive for February 22nd, 2009

Oscar Awards 2009 Liveblog

Huffington Post

Posted February 21, 2009 | 09:46 AM (EST)

Click below for Huffpost’s LIVE liveblog Oscar coverage, brought to you by an attractive, talented and witty! group: Jason Linkins (Editor, Huffpost’s Eat the Press) Megan Carpentier, (Editor, Jezebel.com) and Brad Taylor Negron (Comedic Actor-Writer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reno 911)

Let the good times roll.

>>>LIVE BLOG AND MORE HERE<<<

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“Slumdog” Evening? Oscar Fave Enters Home Stretch

DAVID GERMAIN | February 22, 2009 01:43 PM EST | AP

LOS ANGELES — “Slumdog Millionaire” is arriving at the last stop in its rags-to-riches journey, steaming into the Academy Awards as the surefire favorite.

In keeping with its theme of bottomless optimism amid adversity, “Slumdog Millionaire” has led a charmed life, dodging a flirtation with straight-to-DVD, winning over critics and climbing toward $100 million hit status. The film has won top honors at all key earlier awards ceremonies, with one to go.

As Sunday dawned steel-pot gray in Los Angeles, where rain threatened to dampen the red carpet for the second year in a row and Hollywood’s latest labor feud kicked up fresh news of another contract rejection, it seemed like nothing could drag down the year’s most bummer-proof storyline.

Now its cast of unknowns _ from new celebrities Dev Patel and Freida Pinto to kids plucked by director Danny Boyle from the slums of Mumbai, India _ are all getting a trip to Hollywood’s glitziest party.

For best picture, “Slumdog Millionaire” faces off against the romantic epic “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the Richard Nixon saga “Frost/Nixon,” the Harvey Milk tale “Milk” and the Holocaust-themed drama “The Reader.”

MORE HERE

Academy Awards: http://www.oscars.org

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Mickey Rourke’s Spirit Award Speech: Hilarious & Curse-Laden (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   February 22, 2009 04:08 PM

Mickey Rourke won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Actor Saturday and gave a long, ranging acceptance speech thanking everything from his dead dog to “Melissa Marissa Tomei” who “can really climb that pole.” That came after he asked someone to his friend Eric Roberts a job.

He dropped a lot of expletives, so be warned. More news and photos from the event here.

WATCH:

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Through Obscure Non-Profit, Stanford Wooed Lawmakers

By now, we’ve all seen those pictures of Allen Stanford hobnobbing with lawmakers in Antigua. But, with the exception of one trip by Sen. John Cornyn, it wasn’t Stanford himself who picked up the tab for these jaunts — it was an obscure outfit called the Inter-American Economic Council.

And taking a closer look at the IAEC, and its ties to Stanford, sheds some light on how the Texas billionaire gained access to all those members of Congress — and what he hoped to gain by doing so.

The IAEC’s website says that the Washington-based group was founded in 1999 and that it aims to “provide senior Government Officials, leading Business Executives, and Academic Professionals the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about current and future economic strategies in the Hemisphere.” And in 2003, the Associated Press reported (via Nexis) that, according to IAEC president Barry Featherman, the organization “relies mostly on contributions from U.S. corporations.”

But the group appears to have remarkably close ties to Stanford himself. In this 2006 report, Bloomberg described Stanford as a “principal backer” of the organization. And Stanford Financial told Bloomberg that it had “donated the use of its aircraft” to the IAEC for one 2006 trip to Jamaica that four Democratic lawmakers went on.

That same year, the IAEC gave Stanford its “Excellence in Leadership” award. A press release put out by the group (since removed from its website) declared that Stanford “has strongly supported the work that the IAEC is doing in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Stanford also appears to have taken advantage of IAEC-funded events by showing up personally to schmooze lawmakers. We already posted these shots of current or former lawmakers including Katherine Harris, Pete Sessions, Tom Feeney, James Clyburn, and John Sweeney chilling with Stanford and Caribbean dignitaries in Antigua in 2005.

But there’s also another set of interesting shots from the previous year, showing Stanford breaking bread with, and addressing, lawmakers — including former GOP congressman Bob Ney (since jailed for taking bribes from Jack Abramoff) — at an IAEC-sponsored event in Washington.

(You can see the slideshow of photographs from that event here.)

What was Stanford talking to lawmakers about? An IAEC press release from (via Nexis) from the event gives a hint. It says that in his speech, Stanford “addressed the need to streamline regulatory regimes that make it difficult for investors to take advantage of all of the opportunities that exist in the region.”

MORE HERE

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Clinton urges China to keep buying US Treasuries

AFP
Published: Sunday February 22, 2009

Hillary Clinton urged China on Sunday to continue buying US Treasuries, saying it would help get the American economy moving again and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.

“By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together,” Clinton said at the US embassy shortly before leaving Beijing.

Clinton, wrapping up her first overseas trip as secretary of state, said continued Chinese purchases of treasuries were essential to financing the massive 787 billion dollar US stimulus plan.

“Because our economies are so intertwined the Chinese know that in order to start exporting again to its biggest market, the United States had to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package,” Clinton said in response to a question from a Chinese talkshow host.

MORE HERE

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Clinton Reassures China US Is A Good Investment

MATTHEW LEE | February 22, 2009 08:36 AM EST | AP

BEIJING — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Washington and Beijing must work together if the world is to rebound from the financial crisis and she wants the Chinese to remain committed to investing in America.

“I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that we will see global recovery without Chinese and American cooperation and leadership,” she said during an interview Sunday with the popular talk show “One on One.”

With the export-heavy Chinese economy reeling from the U.S. downturn, Clinton has sought in meetings with President Hu Jintao, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Premier Wen Jiabao to reassure Beijing that its massive holdings of U.S. Treasury notes and other government debt would remain a solid investment.

Yang responded that China wants to see its foreign exchange reserves _ the world’s largest at $1.95 trillion _ invested safely and to continue working with the United States.

MORE HERE

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propaganda at its finest

by betmonuclear_weapons_testing_350
i guess i wonder why anyone follows american news anymore.  it’s obvious that they are in corporates’ pockets and they have a pretty clear agenda- propaganda.  there is no real news in american media anymore.  i haven’t subscribed to anything other than national geographic for years.  i rarely read online news from any of the msm newspapers or broadcast media- and this is why:

american news source- new york times- iran may achieve nuclear capabilities by 2009

foreign news source- via juan cole- the hindu- IAEA finds iran not producing nuclear grade weapons

see, the american folks don’t bother to interview anyone directly involved in anything other than lobbying or think tanking.  foreign news folks go to the folks who are actually involved in handling issues.  juan cole has it quite right:

“US newspapers are complaining that they are losing money and may not survive. After they put all sorts of falsehoods about Iraq on their front pages, it may be that they fatally wounded their credibility with the US public. In any case, the above report does not show up anywhere on the web or in Lexis that I can find, except here in The Hindu, which tells me that someone is not doing their job.”

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Sudhan @16:00 CET

This Abu Ghraib detainee was reportedly threatened with electrocution if he fell.
This Abu Ghraib detainee was reportedly threatened with electrocution if he fell.

By Patrick Leahy, Time, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

More than 30 years ago, a special Senate investigation peered into abuses that included spying on the American people by their own government.

The findings by Senator Frank Church’s committee, drawn from testimony spanning 800 witnesses and thousands of pages of government documents, revealed how powerful government surveillance tools were misused against the American people. For instance, the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation spent more than two decades searching in vain for communist influence in the NAACP and infiltrated domestic groups that, for example, advocated for women’s rights. The Church committee’s work led to creation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and later to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act–reforms that largely held until the Bush years. (See George W. Bush’s biggest economic mistakes.)

The parallels with today are clear, and so are the lessons. Then, as in recent years, some were willing, in the name of security, to trade away the people’s rights as if they were written in sand, not stone. For much of this decade, we have read about and witnessed such abuses as the scandal at Abu Ghraib, the disclosure of torture memos and the revelations about the warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Continued >>

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