Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday "Foobar" blogging:

01. Frank Zappa                   [Absolutely Free (CD 1/2) #07]               Soft-Cell Conclusion [1:40]
02. Robben Ford                  [Blues Collection #09]                               Help the Poor [5:57]
03. Nebula                              [To the Center #02]                                    Come Down [2:01]
04. I Aint In The Mood            [Roll and Tumble Blues - CD3 #14]         Donna Hightower [3:03]
05. Hot Tuna                           [America's Choice #05]                            Hit Single #1 [5:15]
06. Neil Finn                           [One All #08]                                               Human Kindness [4:41]
07. Savoy Brown                    [The Savoy Brown Collection (Ch #07]   Louisiana Blues [8:55]
08. The Derek Trucks Band  [Soul Serenade #02]                                 Bock To Bock [6:01]
09. Chris Rea                         [Blues Street #02]                                      Blue Street [7:03]
10. Martin Barre                     [Trick of Memory #04]                                Empty Cafe [2:09]

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What the heck is "Foobar"?

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Carter Was Right On Energy All Along

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2006 by the Madison Capital-Times (Wisconsin) 
by Bill Berry 
 
HOUSTON, Texas - This oil-sated city didn't grind to a halt when George Bush proclaimed last week that America is addicted to crude.
 
Hardly. Oversized vehicles of all sorts continued to scream up and down wide freeways at breakneck speeds, cruising past an endless profusion of strip malls decorated by fast food joints.
 
It seemed appropriate that the Enron trial got under way here the same week that Bush admitted in his State of the Union address that time had run out on the big lie, the one first foisted on a gullible public by the Great Deceiver, Ronald Reagan. He's the one who had the solar collectors torn from the White House roof soon after he ousted Jimmy Carter, the only American president to have admonished the nation to look in a mirror and see its wasteful ways.
 
Reagan is the one who told us we should just go ahead and consume. He's the one who led the charge to weaken fuel efficiency standards, to gut research on new energy technologies, to dampen government support for energy conservation in any way, shape or form. Those who followed him, from the first Bush to Clinton, did nothing to expose the lie, and thus they were accomplices. So is the conservative machine, which has abandoned its own core principles in embracing rapacious consumption.
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Whose Web Is It, Anyway?

...Right now, as you read these words, the telecommunications lobbyists are scurrying around the halls of Congress and every state capitol in the land, scheming to pull off yet another huge ripoff under the banner of freedom and competition.
 
This time they want to steal the Internet itself. They want to grab the most important communications tool of our age right out from under the American people. Or at least they want to privatize access to it and charge the highest-possible toll for anyone to get on the highway's on-ramps.
 
In attempting this, they want all of us to forget that from the 1960s to the 1980s, American taxpayers financed the development of the Internet through grants to various university scientists from the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.
...
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The Delusional Meaning of War

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Daniel Schwartz
 

In military state capitalism, military activities-building and operating armed forces and their industrial base-is the primary activity of government. -Seymour Melman, 1991

Any coherent meaning for modern warfare is a delusion. The costs and consequences of violence with the current technology of weapons systems should make war obsolete. It is an exercise in necrophilia for the earth and all life forms. The war in Iraq points to the progress of destruction for the U.S. Empire. Seymour Melman, late of Columbia University has written extensively on the evolution of military state capitalism and the permanent war economy which underlies some rationale for the empire pursuing war. Militarists like war because wars remind people they need militarists, military leaders and a war machine. Only with war and waste can the continuity of the military industrial machine be rationalized. The permanent war economy becomes justified by war even as the damage and death caused by war makes it insensible.
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Of Snowboarders and Corporations

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
 
What's the most powerful and underutilized legal tool in combating corporate crime and violence?
 
Sarbanes Oxley? No.
 
The Martin Act? No.
 
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? No.
 
The antitrust laws? Clearly not.
 
No, the most powerful and underutilized tool in combating corporate crime and violence is the law in your state making it a crime to kill another person.
 
It is powerful because it levels the playing field between individuals and corporations.
 
It is underutilized because it's a rare prosecutor who has the guts to bring a homicide charge against a major American corporation.
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Senators Mull an Internet With Restrictions

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2006 by The Nation 
by Celia Viggo Wexler and Dawn Holian
  
It may have been the first and last hearing the US Senate holds on Net neutrality--the principle that Internet users should be able to access any web content or use any applications they choose, without restrictions or limitations imposed by an Internet service provider. In the time it takes to watch Wedding Crashers, nine experts on Tuesday galloped through testimony before a handful of Senate Commerce Committee members in a hearing room packed with telecommunications and cable lobbyists.
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Return Oil Profits to American People

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2006 by the Baltimore Sun (Maryland)
by Gar Alperovitz
  
It's nearly impossible for the average citizen to grasp the scale of ExxonMobil Corp.'s huge profits.
 
In the quarter ended Dec. 31, the giant company made $10.7 billion, the equivalent of more than $115 million for every one of its 92 days, nearly $5 million each hour, more than $80,000 every minute, nearly $1,350 each second.
 
ExxonMobil's overall 2005 revenues of $371 billion amounted to more than $1 billion a day! The total was larger than the entire economies of all but 16 of the 184 countries ranked by the World Bank. It was 40 percent greater than the gross national product of Indonesia, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries with a population of 242 million.
 
Some of this gigantic financial flow, of course, is because of intelligent investment, efficiency and hard work. A very large part, however, occurred simply because ExxonMobil happened to be standing in the right place at the right time holding a bushel basket (or a huge oil drum) collecting surplus profits resulting from chance and other people's misfortune.
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BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Self-cleaning bathroom on the way

By Marina Murphy
 
Few of us enjoy the weekly blitz on the bathroom
Nanotechnology may yet rescue us from the drudgery of the weekly ritual of blitzing the bathroom.
 
Scientists in Australia have developed an environmentally friendly coating containing special nanoparticles that could do the job of cleaning and disinfecting for us.
 
"If you have self-cleaning materials, you can do the job properly without having to use disinfectants and other chemicals," says researcher Rose Awal at the Particles and Catalysts Research Group, University of New South Wales, where the coating is being developed.
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postalnews.com � Judicial Watch: Abramoff scandal is Bill Clinton's fault!?

Not really postal, but this one was too good not to mention:
 
This week Judicial Watch proclaimed that the whole Abramoff scandal (which it refers to as a ?bipartisan? scandal- guess it all depends on what your definition of ?bi? is) was Bill Clinton?s fault!
 
?The Clinton administration set a low mark for bribery and abuse of the public trust.  In the face of all this lawbreaking, the Justice Department, under Janet Reno, simply refused to enforce the law.  As a result, too many Republicans thought they could imitate the Clinton gang?s flouting of the bribery laws.?
 
The shock- innocent little Jacky Abramoff really was such a good boy until he started seeing what those nasty Democrat boys were getting away with! Who can blame him! Or the GOP politicians who sold their votes to him!
 
It?s like a Goofus and Gallant story gone horribly wrong!
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Comments�
1. Bill Johnson - February 9, 2006
 
What is there to say? The Judicial Watch comments are so absurd. It was the Reagan Administration that had the most indicted cronies in the history of US Government. It was the Nixon Administration that had many go to jail for criminal activities. Many of those ?leaders? are the same people are working in this Bush Administration. Orwell is rolling in his grave!
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Responsible Wealth

Wealth and Our Commonwealth:
Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes
(Beacon Press, 2003)
William H. Gates, Sr. and Chuck Collins
Foreword by Paul Volcker
 
About the Book:
Wealth and Our Commonwealth is the quintessential ?Man Bites Dog? story of over 1,000 high-net-worth individuals who rose up to protest the repeal of the estate tax and in the process made headlines everywhere last year. Central to the organization of what Newsweek tagged the ?billionaire backlash? were two visionaries: Bill Gates, Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest foundation on earth, and Chuck Collins, cofounder of United for a Fair Economy and of Responsible Wealth, and a national expert on economic inequality.
...read more?
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The Big Picture - Misunderstanding Savings Rate: Still Negative

I've been visiting this guy's blog for a few weeks, now. He writes on economics. I find I'm learning a fair bit and mostly agree with his takes when he does speak on matters I'm familiar with. Check him out, he posts 1 or more articles a day. Sometimes he writes on the Entertainment Industry and other matters, too.
--pseudolus
----------------------
This evening, I read Michael Brush's column Americans Still Have Saving Grace. He argues that "Are we really dipping into our savings for the first time since the Great Depression to keep spending? Not at all."  My problem with the main premise of the column is that his argument omits or misstates several "game changing" facts that alter the dynamics of the non-wage/income data discussion. I am compelled to clarify them.
 
Brush states that the savings rate is not actually negative; He quotes Ed Yardeni's claim that "the definition of "income" excludes capital gains, and this creates a huge distortion in the savings picture."
 
While Yardeni is technically accurate, his statement is highly misleading, and his conclusion is erroneous. Here's why:
 
According to an analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the richest 1% of households received 57.5% of all income from capital gains, dividends, interest and rents in 2003. That was up from 38.7% in 1991.
 
In other words, the "excluded" non-wage income doesn't fall to the vast majority of households. Yes, the very same population that has a negative savings rate.
 
Consider the math on that: 1% of the country garnered well over half of all that non-wage income. And if memory serves, its less than 10% of Households that garner over 90% of all non-wage income (I don't have the precise stat handy). Incidentally, if you are in the top 1% of all earners in 2003, your wages/income ranged from $237,000 to several billion dollars. Not too shabby.
 
This is a classic error of confusing mean with the median. In a case where a small percentage of the sample is disproportionately weighted -- as is non-wage income distribution -- we end up with a mean and a median wildly diverging.
 
The classic example is a dozen cops or firemen in a bar having a beer. Bill Gates walks in for a quick one. While the "median" average income of all drinkers might be $50,000, the "mean" average income would be about $1 billion.
 
And thats why the non-income income exclusion is so irrelevant to the negative savings rate. The Cops weren't suddenly making more money -- the statistics were skewed by BillG@Microsoft.com.
 
As to the other comment in the column that deserves challenge -- "What's more, solid job growth and decent wage gains suggest the consumer will continue to be just fine" -- let's save that for another day . . .
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The Democrat Who Fought Back - The Ohio Insurgency

Paul Hackett is out for one last day of pressing the flesh.
 
It?s August 2, Election Day, and the lanky, blond, 43-year-old Marine has taken up position outside the polling place in Loveland, a burg on the outskirts of Cincinnati, flashing his toothy smile for the early risers. Hackett is dressed smartly in a blue shirt and striped pastel tie. His khaki pants hang loosely from his wiry, 180-pound frame.
 
?That?s low politics, punk!? a heavy-set man sneers as he marches toward the poll.
Hackett wheels around. ?Pardon me??
?You know, that radio ad that says, ?You don?t know Schmidt.?? He?s talking about one of Hackett?s attack ads against Republican Jean Schmidt. The man spews a stream of epithets, and Hackett lets out a crybaby whimper: ?Waaaaaaa!?
?What?s that, punk?? the big man growls.
 
A TV crew is setting up nearby, but Hackett doesn?t seem to care. ?What?s your fuckin? problem?? the candidate snaps. ?You got something to say to me? Bring it on!? Hackett, all 6 feet 2 inches of him, is nose to nose with the heckler. ?Problem?? he taunts. The man turns around and storms away.
 
?These guys in the Republican Party adopted this tough-guy language,? Hackett tells me, still steamed, an hour later. ?They?re bullies. They?re offended when somebody takes a swing back at them.?
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[via atrios/eschaton...thanx!]

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Iraq Utilities Are Falling Short of Prewar Performance - New York Times

February 9, 2006
By JAMES GLANZ
 
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 ? Virtually every measure of the performance of Iraq's oil, electricity, water and sewerage sectors has fallen below preinvasion values even though $16 billion of American taxpayer money has already been disbursed in the Iraq reconstruction program, several government witnesses said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday.
 
Of seven measures of public services performance presented at the committee hearing by the inspector general's office, only one was above preinvasion values.
 
Those that had slumped below those values were electrical generation capacity, hours of power available in a day in Baghdad, oil and heating oil production and the numbers of Iraqis with drinkable water and sewage service.
 
Only the hours of power available to Iraqis outside Baghdad had increased over prewar values.
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The Cruelest Cuts

Published on Wednesday, February 8 2006 by the Boston Globe
by Derrick Z. Jackson 
President Bush said in his State of the Union address, ''we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society."
 
The next day, he and his fellow Republicans ambushed the poor.
 
The majority-Republican House last week narrowly passed $39 billion in budget cuts for Medicaid, Medicare, student loans, and child support. The Republican-majority Senate had already passed the cuts. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the former acting Republican House majority leader, declared, ''Once again, House Republicans are on record as defending budget discipline. We have achieved $39 billion in savings, while streamlining government."
 
It was a cutthroat lie. Everyone knows the cuts are meant to fund $70 billion in tax breaks for the rich. Bush repeated in the State of the Union that he wants to make the tax cuts permanent. As the government streamlines and disciplines the poor, hope springs eternal for entitlements for the rich.
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The Bland Leading the Blind: The Nanny Press and the Cartoon Controversy

Published on Wednesday, February 8 2006 by Ted Rall 
by Ted Rall
 
Of course it was a provocation. In September, the editor of a right-wing Danish newspaper decided "to test cartoonists to see if they were self-censoring their work, out of fear of violence from Islamic radicals." Though some declined, 12 artists accepted the editor's invitation to make light of the Prophet Mohammed, and submitted work equating Islam with terrorism and the oppression of women, among other things.
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Tucker Carlson gets a spanking - Poynter Online

Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 3:39 PM
To: [Tucker Carlson]
Subject: Response to Tucker
 
Dear Tucker,
 
Taping your show that ran on MSNBC last night was a real lesson for me. I now understand why you have so few viewers. Who wants to deal with someone whose backbone is as flimsy as his bow tie.
 
Your personal and derogatory comment about me after my taped appearance on your show to discuss why the Chicago Tribune decided not to publish cartoons offensive to Muslims was cowardly. When I was in the Army (an experience I'm sure you've not shared), we referred to people like you as "guys who back up to the pay table."
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The Uber-Review: Man Goes Bankrupt Building Starship Voyager Home.

Tony Alleyne, the man who turned his apartment into the Star Trek Starship Voyager has gone bankrupt. He started transforming his apartment after his wife left him when he replaced the refrigerator with a 'warp coil'. The apartment is located in Hinckley, Leics, has moulded walls, touch-panel blue lighting, and a command console. He even built a life-size model of the show's transporter room with reshaped windows to look like portholes and set up vertical lights to give the illusion of being beamed up. Tony at one time had the apartment for auction on eBay for $2 million but had no luck in selling. Tony maxed out 14 credit cards accumulating �100,000 in debt. His goal was to lure other Trekkies to pay him to convert their humble abodes.
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hillary Clinton and Wal-Mart: A Love Story

Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 by the Huffington Post 
by Jonathan Tasini
Even Wal-Mart, the largest and arguably most powerful corporation in the country, is no match for the triangulation, pandering and obfuscation of Hillary Clinton. With Wal-Mart rating as public enemy number one among many liberals, progressives and just regular voters, Clinton is finding her past ties to Wal-Mart too hot to handle so, presto, over the side the Beast of Bentonville must go.
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We Hold This Truthiness to Be Self-Evident

Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 by Working For Change
by Michael Winship
There's an old saying that politicians use statistics like a drunk uses a lamppost -- more for support than illumination. Increasingly, it seems all manner of facts and figures are manipulated, massaged or just plain made up to fit an existing set of beliefs, regardless of the actual truth.
 
Last fall, Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report," came up with a word to describe this phenomenon: "truthiness."
 
"I'm not a fan of facts," he pronounced, in his best, Bill O'Reilly-like persona. "You see, facts can change, but my opinions will never change, no matter what the facts are."
 
"Truthiness" touched a nerve. The American Dialect Society proclaimed it their 2005 Word of the Year and a Google search turns up two and a half million references to "truthiness," from play-by-play analyses of the president's State of the Union address and NSA shenanigans to attacks on James Frey's pseudo-memoir, "A Million Little Pieces.'
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Body Armor Is the Willie Horton of 2006

Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by David Michael Green
 
Sometimes in life, there is a silver bullet.
 
In politics, perhaps the best modern example of a single shot powerfully changing the country was the Willie Horton ad of 1988.
 
Poor, hapless, George Herbert Walker Bush. By 1988 he was getting punked even by Ronald Reagan, whose shoes he had dutifully shined for eight years as Vice President. There he was carrying water for the Old Man?s policies so disastrous that Bush himself had only recently labeled them ?voodoo economics?, meanwhile lurking about insignificantly under the long shadow of the GOP?s nearest thing to Jesus, like some lost puppy dog, like some party hack?s embarrassing and unwanted distant cousin nobody quite knew what to do with, ?cause even FEMA wouldn?t take him in.
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"Dangerous" Academics: Right-wing Distortions About Leftist Professors

Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 by CommonDreams.org 
by Robert Jensen
In an ?urgent? email last week, right-wing activist David Horowitz hyped his latest book about threats to America?s youth from leftist professors.
 
The ad for ?The Professors -- The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America? describes me as: ?Texas Journalism Professor Robert Jensen, who rabidly hates the United States, and recently told his students, ?The United States has lost the war in Iraq and that?s a good thing.??
 
I?m glad Horowitz got my name right (people often misspell it ?Jenson?). But everything else is distortion, and that one sentence teaches much about the reactionary right?s disingenuous rhetorical strategy.
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Republican Jokers: Push For Energy Independence Is Just A Punch-Line

Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 by Working For Change 
by Molly Ivins
  
I like to think that Republicans are having fun. They're such cards. What a wheeze, what a jape. Talking about energy independence in the State of the Union Address! President Bush said, "America is addicted to oil" and, we will "break this addiction." Oh what a good trick to see if anyone thought he actually meant it!
 
I'm not going to embarrass the perennial suckers who fell for it by identifying them, but I assure you they include some well-known names in journalism. Boy, I bet they feel like fools, having written those optimistic columns pointing to how Bush had made a fine proposal -- cut oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent by 2025 -- and people should take it seriously and stop dissing him.
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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - White House Can't Sweep Aside Abramoff

Indicted Aide Safavian Heads to Court,
And Questions Still Swirl About Griles and Rove
By JEANNE CUMMINGS
Staff Reporter February 8, 2006; Page A4

WASHINGTON -- The scandal surrounding disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has shaken up Capitol Hill. But it still poses significant problems for the Bush White House.
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Frozen Account Ruffles Nuns

By ELAINE SILVESTRINI and HOWARD ALTMAN The Tampa Tribune
Published: Feb 8, 2006
ST. LEO - The nuns of the Holy Name Monastery say they have been swept into the net cast by the nation's antiterrorism laws.
 
The sisters say the monastery's main bank account was frozen without explanation in November, creating financial headaches and making the Benedictine nuns hopping mad. They were told the Patriot Act was the cause.
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The Gadflyer: Fly Trap: ...So hard for the Money

Jonathan Weiler (8:28PM) link
 
As I am sure many of you have seen over the past couple of days, ExxonMobil announced record profits for 2005 ? roughly $10 billion for the fourth quarter and $36 billion for the year. That's a lot of money. Defenders say that ExxonMobil is merely reaping the hard-earned benefits of market forces, which have conspired to drive up demand. According to Ben Stein, appearing on CNN on January 21st, people should not be berating oil companies because the companies are performing a critical, and difficult service, and should be well-compensated for it. Stein's contention is:
 
"?they [oil company executives] make much less than Hollywood stars, they make much less than Wall Street traders and they do a much great[sic] service. I mean, what is the service that is done by Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie compared with the service of putting oil in our house's furnace or gas in our cars? There's no shortage of people who get paid a great deal more than oil company executives for doing a lot less work and a lot less useful work. They're paid well compared to me but they're not paid well compared to many, many, many executives and entrepreneurs in this country."
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

FEMA Leaders' Secret History Explains Katrina Events

EW YORK - February 6 - A previously undisclosed longtime business relationship between the two former FEMA directors appointed by President Bush (replete with unpaid debts, personal bankruptcies and questionable business ethics) lies at the root of the disastrously failed government response to Hurricane Katrina, according to a new investigative report.
 
The report, published by the Real News Project, lays out the checkered pasts of Bush?s first FEMA director, Joe Allbaugh, a longtime confidante of the president, and Michael Brown, the neophyte unaccountably selected by Allbaugh to replace him when Allbaugh left government to launch a career as a consultant and lobbyist.
 
The report explains for the first time why Allbaugh chose Brown, a man with virtually no experience in government or management of any type, and no familiarity with disaster response, to follow him to Washington, and then arranged for Brown to replace him in the top slot. Allbaugh then began signing up clients who wanted ? and got ? FEMA?s lucrative contracts.
 
Both Brown and Allbaugh were accused in the past of fiduciary malfeasance. Before coming to Washington, both were known to associates and creditors not as rising stars but as ethically-challenged, and frequently failed, entrepreneurs.
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An Open Letter to Bubba

Published on Monday, February 6, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Charlie Anderson
  
I?ve seen you around. I?ve seen you driving your gas guzzling SUV with the ?Support Our Troops? ribbon on the back. I?ve seen you wearing your pro-war/pro-bush t-shirts as you walk right past me in my Iraq Veterans Against the War t-shirt as if I don?t exist. And I?ve seen you at anti-war rallies and meetings where I often speak, as you wave your American flag and call me a traitor. In this country we have freedom of speech. But you owe me and every other veteran of this war the respect of listening to our experience.
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Media Matters - How many Time reporters knew they were deceiving readers about Rove's role in Plamegate?

How many Time reporters knew they were deceiving readers about Rove's role in Plamegate?
Summary: At least three reporters involved in an October 2003 Time magazine article that suggested Karl Rove was no longer under suspicion of outing Valerie Plame, and that contained Scott McClellan's denial that Rove was involved, knew at the time of the article that Rove had, in fact, outed Plame.
 
On October 13, 2003, Time magazine ran an article that included a quote from White House press secretary Scott McClellan insisting that White House senior adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with outing undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. As Media Matters for America has previously noted, at least two Time editorial employees involved in the article knew McClellan's denial was false: correspondent Matthew Cooper and Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy. Cooper knew the denial was false because Rove had outed Plame to him. Duffy knew the denial was false because Cooper had sent him an email relating what Rove had told him.
 
Former Time White House correspondent John Dickerson, in a first-person account of his knowledge of the Plame matter, now acknowledges that he, too, knew that Rove was Cooper's source well before the October 2003 article -- an article on which he, like Cooper, received reporting credit.
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OPENING ARGUMENT: Falsehoods About Guantanamo (02/06/2006)

By Stuart Taylor Jr., National Journal
� National Journal Group Inc.
Monday, Feb. 6, 2006
 
"These are people picked up off the battlefield in Afghanistan. They weren't wearing uniforms ... but they were there to kill."
-- President Bush, June 20, 2005
 
"These detainees are dangerous enemy combatants....They were picked up on the battlefield, fighting American forces, trying to kill American forces."
-- White House press secretary Scott McClellan, June 21, 2005
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CompUSA Partsearch

For all your broken appliance needs...A great link to search for all you 'fix-it' people (like me.)
 
<URL: http://www.compusapartsearch.com/ >

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"Soldier pays for armor" - file under "Support Our Troops!"

Army demanded $700 from city man who was wounded
 
By Eric Eyre
Staff writer  
 
The last time 1st Lt. William ?Eddie? Rebrook IV saw his body armor, he was lying on a stretcher in Iraq, his arm shattered and covered in blood.
 
A field medic tied a tourniquet around Rebrook?s right arm to stanch the bleeding from shrapnel wounds. Soldiers yanked off his blood-soaked body armor. He never saw it again.
 
But last week, Rebrook was forced to pay $700 for that body armor, blown up by a roadside bomb more than a year ago.
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Monday, February 06, 2006

Reality Disconnect!! again...

 


Remember, it was only last year when the reichwingers were screaming "Treason!" at Newsweek and any other publisher who covered the Abu Ghraib and provoked all that rioting (only it wasn't). Oh! The uproar over anyone who would enflame the wrath of the Muslims and make things worse for our service men & women.

Now, they can't get enough. "Yee-haw!! Piss-off them hajis!" Even our borrowed wisdom from across the pond, Chris Hitchens has a column on Muslim-baiting. IOKIYAR!! or conservative tool of any kind. --pseudolus Posted by Picasa

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Bush Team: Again, Not Too Bright

The Bush team should have known Hamas would get elected. Now it should quit the name-calling
Published on Sunday, February 5, 2006 by the Toronto Sun (Canada)
by Eric Margolis
  
After Hamas' stunning victory last week in Palestinian elections, a flustered U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, tried to explain the Bush administration's latest Mideast fiasco.
 
"I've asked why nobody saw it coming," she offered plaintively.
 
Dear Miss Condi, many of us saw Hamas' victory coming. You didn't because you failed to face facts.
 
Your boss, George W. Bush, made similar lame excuses trying to explain his embarrassing failure to find WMD in Iraq by claiming all western intelligence services believed Iraq had them -- which was untrue.
 
For a nation that spends $40 billion annually on intelligence to be so wrong about so much is utterly inexcusable. Condi, go stand in the corner with Colin Powell.
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Stars & Stripes

DOD to take greater role in bankrolling foreign militaries

By Juliana Gittler, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, February 3, 2006
 
Changes passed in the 2006 Defense Authorization Act allows the Pentagon, rather than the State Department, to take a greater role in foreign military financing, including security assistance programs, training and equipment sales.
 
The change, Pentagon officials said, would ease the flow of money and resources to the places it?s needed most.
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to read more...click here
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Pardon, me, but aren't we missing $9B dollars from our current effort to manage another folks' military?
--pseudolus

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As Alito Takes Supreme Court Seat, Ohio GOP Guts Election Protection

Published on Thursday, February 2, 2006 by The Free Press 
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman 
Ohio's GOP-controlled legislature has passed a repressive new law that will gut free elections here and is already surfacing elsewhere around the US. The bill will continue the process of installing the GOP as America's permanent ruling party.
 
Coming with the swearing in of right-wing extremist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, it marks another dark day for what remains of American democracy.
 
Called HB3, the law now demands discriminatory voter ID, severely cripples the possibility of statewide recounts and actually ends the process of state-based challenges to federal elections---most importantly for president---held within the state.
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Criminal Sentencing: Comparisons are Odious

Published on Saturday, February 4, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Christopher Brauchli
  
Comparisons are odious.
-- John Fortescue de laudibus Legum Angliae (1471)
 
It?s no good comparing one criminal sentence with another criminal sentence. After all, there are different facts and circumstances involved in each case and what may appear to be quite a serious offense when viewed in the abstract is not so serious when viewed within the particulars of a given situation. And the fact that two widely disparate sentences were imposed simultaneously in two courts separated by thousands of miles does not prove much of anything.
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From the Dept. of Ass-Smooching (Chris Matthews Division)

Published on Saturday, February 4, 2006 by the Huffington Post
From the Dept. of Ass-Smooching (Chris Matthews Division)
by Arianna Huffington 
  
 
For further evidence of why all TV journalists covering politics should be forced to live as far away from the Beltway as possible, have a look at Chris Matthews' chummy, clubby, buddy-buddy on-air chat with former Commerce Secretary Don Evans.
 
Evans, an old oil-patch pal of Bush's, was on Hardball to discuss the president's plan to break our "addiction" to foreign oil. The segment was a marvel of ludicrousness with Evans making the absurd claim that Bush's vow to "make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past" had no "geopolitical" implications.
 
But the real kicker came at the end of the interview when Matthews began tossing verbal bouquets at Evan's feet.
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U.S. Has Been Inconsistent With Terrorists

Published on Sunday, February 5, 2006 by the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (New York)
by David Rossie
"The United States," President Dimbulb proclaimed after Hamas' victory in last month's Palestinian elections, "does not do business with terrorists." That laughter you may have heard in the background was coming from victims of terrorist dictatorships in Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Pakistan, Argentina, Angola and Paraguay to name a few ? those still alive and able to laugh that is.
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Nitpicker: It would be funny, if...

It would be funny, if...
Remember these widely repeated talking points?
If indeed Plame was a covert agent, why wouldn't the CIA take "affirmative measures to conceal" her identity? The answer may turn on the legal definition of covert. As we also noted in October, an employee is a "covert agent" for the purposes of the statute if and only if he "is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States." - James Taranto, OpinionJournal, July 12, 2004
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Defending the Double Standard

Published on Friday, February 3, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
  
A corporation commits a crime.
 
A federal prosecutor has the goods on the company.
 
But the prosecutor chooses not to convict the corporation.
 
Instead, the prosecutor befriends the attorney for the corporation.
 
And together they turn on the individual executives.
 
This is the new pattern of corporate crime prosecutions.
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If this story angrifies yer blood...may I recommend;
Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights by Thom Hartmann

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Bush Just Has to Face It: He is Wrong and Chirac is Right

The crises over Hamas and Iran underline the collapse of the
neocon mission and the end of a one-superpower world
 
Published on Friday, February 3, 2006 by the Guardian/UK 
by Jonathan Steele
  
George Bush's presidency still has three years to run, but this week's state of the union address had an unmistakably ebb-tide air. Its tone - "chastened, deferential, modest" in the words of the Los Angeles Times - suggested that the president felt the waves of power were flowing against him.
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Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 ...tick...tick...tick



Former leader/founder of The Dream Syndicate cuts a new album. I can't say I knew this guy from Adam until a couple years ago when I tripped over a German website that offered a bunch of great music by various bands. I downloaded the then latest effort by Steve Wynn and was suitably impressed. He's a got a great hand for Roots-Rock. Sometimes frank, sometimes oblique lyrics mixed with a raw, energetic music and some alternately dreamy/fiery guitar backing by Jason Victor make for a helluva ride. As one reviewer aptly put it; "Velvet Underground meets Neil Young's Crazy Horse". You can go to Steve's website and sample streaming audio (some rare tracks there). I have to give this album "2 thumbs up" after only one listen. I hope you enjoy 'em, too. Posted by Picasa

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Method Developed To Assess Safety, Health Risks Of Nanomaterials

by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 03, 2006

Shades of science fiction surround the potential of the booming nanotechnology industry - like Michael Crichton's novel "Prey", which features tiny nano-robots threatening to take over the world.
 
Fiction of course, but nanotechnology is rapidly expanding and promises to exceed the impact of the Industrial Revolution, projecting to become a $1 trillion market by 2015.
 
UCLA has developed a new testing method that would help manufacturers monitor and test the safety and health risks of engineered nanomaterials. Currently, no government or industry regulations exist for this emerging technology.
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CNN.com - Judge: EPA's all-clear came too soon after 9/11 - Feb 2, 2006

Immunity for ex-chief Whitman denied in toxic dust suit
 
Thursday, February 2, 2006; Posted: 5:58 p.m. EST (22:58 GMT)
 
A federal judge blasted former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman on Thursday for reassuring New Yorkers after the September 11 attacks that it was safe to return to their homes and offices while toxic dust was polluting the neighborhood.
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Science - Contagious ideas hitch a ride in our infected brains

The evolution and design of human culture has to be explained, ultimately, in biological terms
 
By Daniel C. Dennett
(January 25, 2006)

Imagine Martian biologists coming to Earth and looking around. Among the many things that would puzzle them and fascinate them would be the Vatican and Mecca.
 
Another would be the one species, Homo sapiens, that engages in stupendous outlays of time, energy and money, devoting their lives to these very expensive projects. Among their questions would be: ?Why are they doing this? What is this for? How did all of this religion originate? After all, it hasn?t always been here. It had to evolve somehow. What is it for? How does it perpetuate itself??
 

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Surveillance Prompts a Suit: Police v. Police - New York Times

File under; "Chickens Coming Home To Roost".
--pseudolus
--------------------------
By JIM DWYER
Published: February 3, 2006
 
The demonstrators arrived angry, departed furious. The police had herded them into pens. Stopped them from handing out fliers. Threatened them with arrest for standing on public sidewalks. Made notes on which politicians they cheered and which ones they razzed.
  
Meanwhile, officers from a special unit videotaped their faces, evoking for one demonstrator the unblinking eye of George Orwell's "1984."
 
"That's Big Brother watching you," the demonstrator, Walter Liddy, said in a deposition.
 
Mr. Liddy's complaint about police tactics, while hardly novel from a big-city protester, stands out because of his job: He is a New York City police officer. The rallies he attended were organized in the summer of 2004 by his union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, to protest the pace of contract talks with the city.
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