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Archive for February, 2010

I made my views on this issue clear in an original article I wrote for Suzie-Q earlier this month. Grace Livingstone, in an article published in The Guardian, shares them. I’ve also posted an article by Rick Rozoff from Global Research explaining why the Falklands is so important to Britain — and it’s not just about “self-determination”, or even the oil!

It’s time to talk about the Falklands

Britain should stop behaving like a 19th-century colonial power and start discussing Falkland sovereignty with Argentina

Grace Livingstone guardian.co.uk, Thursday 25 February 2010 14.00 GMT

A union flag waves over Stanley, Falklands. Photograph: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

“We have no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falkland Islands,” said Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant this week. But official papers show that, for more than a century, the Foreign Office has had qualms about the merits of Britain’s claim to the Falklands.

In 1910, a 17,000-word memo was commissioned by the Foreign Office to look at the historical dispute over sovereignty. The study highlighted many weaknesses in the British case and can be seen as our equivalent of the Pentagon Papers, the leaked study of US policy in Vietnam.

More here

South Atlantic: Britain May Provoke New Conflict With Argentina

by Rick Rozoff
Global Research, February 24, 2010

On February 22 two major developments occurred in the Americas south of the Rio Grande. The two-day Rio Group summit opened in Mexico and Great Britain started drilling for oil 60 miles north of the Falklands Islands, known as Las Malvinas to Argentina.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17786

Rising Tensions in South Atlantic: Britain Defends Falklands Position

Global Research, February 24, 2010

Britain is standing by its position on the Falkland Islands amid rising tensions over oil exploration.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant, UK permanent representative to the United Nations, said: “As British ministers have made clear, the UK has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands.

“This position is underpinned by the principle of self-determination as set out in the UN Charter.

We are also clear that the Falkland Islands government is entitled to develop a hydrocarbons industry within its waters, and we support this legitimate business in Falklands’ territory.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17802

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Row: Gordon Brown (L) is said to have screamed at then Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) during a phonecall in 2006, pictured at the party conference the same year

By James Chapman
Last updated at 2:30 PM on 25th February 2010

  • Row as he demanded to know when Blair would quit
  • ‘Titanically demented’ Brown also rang PM at Balmoral
  • Brown denies unleashing ‘forces of hell’ on Darling
  • PM likens team woes to Fabio Capello’s England

Gordon Brown repeatedly yelled at Tony Blair ‘you ruined my life’ in a final row before the former was made Prime Minister, it was claimed last night.

The then chancellor also accused Mr Blair of a ‘Trotskyist plot’ in attempting to stop him from getting into No 10, according to a book by the journalist Andrew Rawnsley.

Mr Brown’s infamous temper flared during a two-hour meeting with Mr Blair in September 2006.

He insisted that Mr Blair give him a resignation date and ensure that no other candidate stood for leader – a promise he said he could not deliver

The new revelations about the Prime Minister’s temper came after he was forced to deny unleashing the ‘forces of hell’ on Alistair Darling and again deny being a bully.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253653/Gordon-Brown-yelled-ruined-life-Tony-Blair.html#ixzz0gZmfxSN6

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>>>WATCH HERE<<<

Obama Health Care Summit: LATEST NEWS

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama argued Thursday that a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s broken health care system is imperative for the nation’s future economic vitality, clashing in an extraordinary live-on-TV summit with Republicans who want far more modest changes. “We believe we have a better idea,” declared GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander.

With the marathon policy debate available from start to finish to a divided public, Obama cast the health care crisis as “one of the biggest drags on our economy,” painting his overhaul effort as critical to the economic revival that’s even more pressing to many Americans.

“We all know that this is urgent,” he said.

Obama lamented the partisan bickering that has resulted in a stalemate over legislation to extend coverage to more than 30 million people who are now uninsured. “Politics I think ended up trumping practical common sense,” he said.

And yet, even as he pleaded for cooperation – and “actually a discussion, and not just us trading talking points” – he insisted on a number of Democratic points and acknowledged agreement may not be possible. “I don’t know that those gaps can be bridged,” Obama said. “If not, at least we will have better clarified for the American people what the debate is all about.”

His skepticism about reaching consensus was vindicated as soon as the first Republican spoke – in opposition to the mammoth bills that have passed the House and Senate. Alexander said Congress and the administration should start over and take small steps, including medical malpractice reform, funding for high-risk insurance pools, allowing Americans to shop out of state for lower-cost plans and expanding health savings accounts.

“Our views represent the views of a great many American people,” he said.

Disagreements were not always expressed diplomatically.

Alexander challenged Obama’s claim that insurance premiums would fall under the Democratic legislation. “You’re wrong,” he said. Responded Obama: “I’m pretty certain I’m not wrong.”

MORE HERE

WATCH HERE

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Lobbying run amok: Eight health care lobbyists for every member of Congress

By Raw Story
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 — 10:18 pm

President Obama will meet with 22 high-ranking lawmakers Thursday to discuss health care reform and how to accomplish it.

But if newly released information about lobbying in 2009 is any indication, the private sector and its interests may already be secured.

For every member of Congress, there were eight lobbyists working to influence health care reform last year, according to research by The Center for Public Integrity.

That’s about 4,525 total lobbyists from 1,750 companies that include 207 hospitals, 105 insurance companies and 85 manufacturing companies.

The biggest group by far were the trade and advocacy organizations, which accounted for a whopping 745 companies lobbying for their own vision of health care in the US.

MORE HERE

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Two weeks ago in this space, I wrote about how the Democrats appear to be totally incompetent at ballyhooing their own successes. And make no mistake, there have been numerous legislative triumphs over the last year.

Really. No, seriously. Stop laughing. There have been.

They rescued the economy. They set new emissions standards. They protected two million acres of national forest. They passed legislation to help unemployed Americans to afford COBRA health insurance. They expanded affordable health insurance for children. They passed historic hate crimes legislation. They passed the largest middle class tax cut in American history. They’re tantalizingly close to passing health care reform. All of this despite a record number of Republican filibusters by the crackpot minority party.

So I have to ask: H-H-Hello? Anyone home?

Two events this week have served to illustrate my point about the ongoing failure of the Democrats to self-promote.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 went into effect. Major Democratic triumph. At long last, some of the most predatory and nefarious scams orchestrated by one of the most predatory and nefarious industries have been officially banned. Of course the credit card companies will come up with new, cruel and unusual ways to screw us hard, but this was a major victory in the effort to reform the financial sector. No more random interest rate hikes. No retroactive rate hikes. Fair warning. Transparency.

But you’d never know it based upon the silence from Capitol Hill and the White House. It’s truly confounding. Where are the Democrats? They ought to be bumrushing everyone with a camera and a fake law library backdrop — thumping their chests about how this bill will make our lives just a little bit less complicated and costly. And holy hell, it was a totally bipartisan vote in the Senate, too. 90 to 5. The lawmakers who are scrambling to prove they’re “reaching across the aisle” and all that happy crappy glad-handing — all of the pandering to the voters who tell pollsters there’s too much partisan bickering, then turn around and vote along straight party lines — these Democrats ought to be the loudest and proudest of the bunch.

Hear that? Crickets chirping.

It gets worse.

(more…)

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by The Robert Jackson Steering Committee – 2010-02-23

The Justice Robert Jackson Steering Committee, a group of lawyers, journalists and advocates formed in the fall of 2008 to pursue the prosecution of top Bush administration officials for alleged war crimes while in office, is both greatly concerned and guardedly hopeful by the recent release of 2 different assessments from inside the Department of Justice on whether John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the lawyers who crafted “torture memos” inside the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel, engaged in professional misconduct.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17789
http://lawsnotmen.org/

Conspiracy to engage in aggressive and illegal war

Yoo, Bybee, and Disinformation

by David Swanson
After Downing Street – 2010-02-21

Everything you’re reading about torture lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee getting off the hook is wrong. They are not torture lawyers, they are not off the hook, there never was any hook, they may not be lawyers for long, impeachment and indictment are on the agenda, and you have a role to play.

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17754

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Senate Jobs Bill Vote Passed

ANDREW TAYLOR | 02/24/10 12:27 PM | AP

WASHINGTON — Companies that hire the unemployed would claim new tax breaks under a jobs-promoting bill the Senate passed Wednesday, delivering President Barack Obama and Democrats a much-needed victory.

The 70-28 vote sends the bill back to the House, which passed a far more costly measure in December. Many in the House consider the Senate bill too puny, but they may simply adopt it and send it to Obama in order to get a win. Democratic leaders promise more so-called jobs bills are on the way.

It’s the first major bill to pass the Senate since the Christmas Eve passage of a deeply controversial health care bill and the subsequent election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, which rocked Democrats by demonstrating their falling standing even among heavily Democratic voters.

The bill contain two major provisions. First, it would exempt businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give them an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. The Social Security trust funds would be reimbursed for the lost revenue.

Second, it would extend highway and mass transit programs through the end of the year and pump $20 billion into them in time for the spring construction season. The money would make up for lower-than-expected gasoline tax revenues.

The Senate’s $35 billion proposal is a far smaller measure than the $862 billion economic stimulus bill enacted a year ago.

The measure cleared a key hurdle Monday when Brown and four other Republicans broke party ranks to defeat a filibuster. Republican leaders said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had used strong-arm tactics to bring the measure to the floor.

In all, 13 Republicans voted for the measure Wednesday. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the only Democrat in opposition.

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, blasted the measure for increasing the budget deficit to fund highway and transit programs. He said the measure made a joke of Democratic promises to adhere to “pay-as-you-go” budget rules requiring new spending programs to not increase the deficit.

MORE HERE

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Chief of Staff Draws Fire From Left as Obama Falters

Wall Street Journal

By PETER WALLSTEN JANUARY 26, 2010

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama’s liberal backers have a long list of grievances. The Guantanamo Bay prison is still open. Health care hasn’t been transformed. And Wall Street banks are still paying huge bonuses.

But they are directing their anger less at Mr. Obama than at the man who works down the hall from him. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, they say, is the prime obstacle to the changes they thought Mr. Obama’s election would bring.

Some observers say Rahm Emanuel is losing favor with liberal Democrats. Could his job be on the line? Kelsey Hubbard talks with WSJ’s Peter Wallsten about the future of President Obama’s chief of staff.

The friction was laid bare in August when Mr. Emanuel showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides. Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul.

“F—ing retarded,” Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items.

Deja-Vu? Well, not being up to date on Emanuel’s history, I wondered why, with his Zionist connections, he was chosen as senior adviser by Obama. So, being kind of  kicked back in the now, went straight to the Wiki. I wasn’t disappointed.

Some highlights:
*At the start of then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s presidential primary campaign, Emanuel was appointed to direct the campaign’s finance committee.

*Following the campaign, Emanuel became a senior advisor to Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 1998. In the White House, Emanuel was initially Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy.

*He was a leading strategist in the unsuccessful White House efforts to institute universal healthcare; and many other Clinton initiatives
*
*Emanuel was named to the Board of Directors for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) by then President Bill Clinton in 2000.


Rahm Israel Emanuel

A view from beyond the Left

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The Truth About Nuclear Power in Utility Reactors

Huff Post  By- Alec Baldwin

Posted: February 22, 2010 12:41 PM

It was in 1996 that I was first contacted by an organization called the Standing for Truth About Radiation (STAR) Foundation. The Long Island-based group, a loose bundle of veterans of the anti-nuclear movement, local artists, businessmen with large investments in second homes on the East End and scientists with a career-long dedication to the issue were attempting to raise awareness about the Brookhaven National Laboratory and its nuclear-powered research facility, the High Flux Beam Reactor.

The reactor operations at Brookhaven were reported to have released billions of gallons of tritiated water into the headwaters of the Peconic River during the period of its operations from 1965 to 1996. BNL, the U.S. Army’s former Camp Upton and the site of decades-long research into all things nuclear, had been the base of operations for some of the earliest work on the atomic bomb. A coalition of different community groups had been opposing the HFBR at BNL for years. Pro-business lobbying groups warned that closing the reactor would have dire consequences to the Long Island economy, as national laboratories, with their high-skill, high-paying jobs, were viewed as “sexy” components of any area’s business landscape. Opponents of BNL pointed out that levels of soft tissue cancers and rare diseases such as rhabdomyosarcoma were extraordinarily higher adjacent to the water recharge area near the lab. More effectively, the anti-BNL groups pointed out that Long Islanders had already voiced their opinion of having nuclear reactors in the area when they agreed to absorb the unconscionable amount of money necessary to shutter the Shoreham nuclear power plant several years earlier.

The Long Island Lighting Company, one of the most horrifically mismanaged public utilities in U.S. history, had thrown the switch and already gone “online” with a utility reactor on the North Shore of Suffolk County, a decision that represented a game of chicken with the area’s rate payers. Once the reactor went “hot”, any move to shut it down would surely mean hundreds of millions of dollars extra in decommissioning and decontamination costs. Long Island residents said, “Bring it on.” Already the highest utility rate payers in the forty-eight contiguous states, LILCO customers absorbed billions in costs, amortized over several years, and Shoreham closed. Soon after that, then Governor George Pataki set up another darling of Albany politicos, a quasi-public authority (the Long Island Power Authority or LIPA) to, among other things, evacuate LILCO’s overpaid executives who were responsible for the Shoreham debacle. All the information you could possibly want on this issue was brilliantly covered by one of the greatest journalists in the area, Karl Grossman.

Shoreham was closed because even the Feds could not argue that Long Island had no effective evacuation plan, a vital issue for people who would have to either bottleneck through the biggest city in the U.S. or swim to Connecticut in the event of some disaster. That fear also applied to BNL. Soon, the HFBR was closed as well.

(more…)

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Stewart To Glenn Beck: “You’re A Communist!” (VIDEO)

Huff Po- First Posted: 02-23-10 08:13 AM   |   Updated: 02-23-10 08:25 AM

Fresh from the week off, Jon Stewart jumped right in Monday night and took on one of his favorite targets, Glenn Beck, who used his appearance at CPAC as a chance to alert the crowd of the dangers of Progressivism.

At the conference, Beck compared Progressivism to Communism, and cited previous progressives such as Woodrow Wilson and FDR, who pushed for the income tax and universal health care, respectively. Despite the former being used by elected officials to create things for the common good, Beck stressed that these were the first steps on the road to ruin.

Upon hearing Glenn Beck announce that he learned this by reading books at the library, Stewart had some choice words for the Fox News host:

“Glenn, the library isn’t free! It’s paid for with tax money. Free public libraries are the result of the Progressive movement to communally share books. The first public library was the Boston public library in 1854. It’s statement of purpose: every citizen has the right to access community owned resources. Community owned? That sounds just like communist. You’re a communist!”

WATCH:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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