November 3rd, 2006

Chris Keeley

State Dept Vetted Speakers For Criticism Of Bush Adminstration

*State Dept Vetted Speakers For Criticism Of Bush Adminstration  **  *
*Thursday, November 2, 2006*
*The Kansas City Star*
*By Jonathan S. Landay*

WASHINGTON - An internal State Department review has found that U.S.
officials screened the public statements and writings of private
citizens for criticism of the Bush administration before deciding
whether to send them on foreign speaking assignments.

The screenings amounted to "virtual censorship" in the State
Department's selection of speakers, said a report by the department's
Inspector General's Office. McClatchy Newspapers obtained a copy of the
22-page report, which was completed in September.
Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Sy Hersh slams US Military for Actions in Iraq - Next Shoe to Drop

*“There has never been an American army as violent and murderous as
the one in Iraq”*

       *Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh slams
       Bush at McGill address*

         *By Martin Lukacs
         //The McGill Daily//*

   Speaking to launch McGill’s interdisciplinary media studies
   program last Wednesday, Hersh said he had seen video footage of
   atrocities in Iraq.

   /Jennifer Bartoli / The McGill Daily/

“The bad news,” investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told a Montreal
audience last Wednesday, “is that there are 816 days left in the reign
of King George II of America.”

The good news? “When we wake up tomorrow morning, there will be
one less day.”

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Latest from Haaretz--11/3/06

*Welch and Abrams demanding something from IAF? Negroponte meets with
Mossad chief? *
*The first puzzling, the second nightmarish. *

*Last update - 06:45 03/11/2006*
       **      **      **

*U.S. officials demand IAF cease overflights in Lebanese airspace*
*By **Aluf Benn* <>*, Haaretz Correspondent and
Haaretz Service *
*Two Bush administration officials demanded that Israel Air Force
overflights of Lebanon be halted, saying that such flights undermine the
standing of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

But one of the nastier angles of "Borat" is that Cohen seems determined to prove how stupid Middle A

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation"Sacha Baron Cohen gives us one of the funniest and most pointed satires in years -- and also one of the most complex.

By Stephanie Zacharek

Nov. 03, 2006 | Great humor is often cruel, and by laughing, we -- the audience -- are complicit in that cruelty. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," the faux documentary starring (and conceived by) English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and directed by Larry Charles, is a pure example of the way good satire can never be clean, either for the perpetrator or for the viewer. The movie has already attracted some controversy: The Anti-Defamation League has released a statement about it, acknowledging that Cohen uses "humor to unmask the absurd and irrational side of anti-Semitism and other phobias born of ignorance and fear" before moving in for the clincher: "We are concerned, however, that one serious pitfall is that the audience may not always be sophisticated enough to get the joke, and that some may even find it reinforcing their bigotry."

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Jones says Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month over three years and regularly snorted metham

Anti-Gay Marriage Evangelical Resigns Over Gay Sex Allegations
And in anther scandal rocking Republican circles, a leading opponent of gay marriage has resigned as head of one of the nation’s largest evangelical groups over allegations he routinely paid for sex with a male escort. Reverend Ted Haggard heads both the 30-million member National Association of Evangelicals and the New Life Church. His accuser, Denver resident Mike Jones, says he came forward after hearing Haggard was leading a public campaign against gay marriage. Jones says Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month over three years and regularly snorted methamphetamine before their encounters. Jones says he has voice mail messages from Haggard and an envelope Haggard used to pay him. A pastor at the New Life Church told a Denver television station Haggard has admitted to some of the allegations. The news comes as voters in Colorado and seven other states are set to vote Tuesday on ballot amendments banning gay marriage. 

GOP Rep. Pays $500,000 to Ex-Lover Who Claimed Abuse
The Associated Press is reporting new details in the domestic abuse case of Republican Congressmember Don Sherwood. Last year, it was revealed Sherwood had an extra-marital affair with a woman who accused him of beating her. A source close to the case now says Sherwood has reached a $500,000 dollar settlement that would pay his ex-lover more than half the total until after the mid-term elections. The woman – Cythnia Ore – would be forced to forfeit some of the money if she speaks publicly about the case. Sherwood is known as a “family values conservative” and is currently locked in a tight race for re-election.

Chris Keeley

'Terrorist' in G. W. Bush's tag cloud

The prominence of 'Terrorist' in G. W. Bush's tag cloud is unsurprising while Richard Nixon was all about 'commitment' somehow.

Timeline of words used in Presidential speeches (1776 - 2006)
Picture 10-1
Chirag has analyzed "the words that presidents used frequently in their speeches shows which issues they deemed important. The prominence of 'Terrorist' in G. W. Bush's tag cloud is unsurprising while Richard Nixon was all about 'commitment' somehow. Move the slider around to see the changes in tag cloud. Link
Chris Keeley

Whatever our leaders may say about their determination to stay the course complete the mission, when

As Bechtel Goes

Bechtel, the giant engineering company, is leaving Iraq. Its mission — to rebuild power, water and sewage plants — wasn’t accomplished: Baghdad received less than six hours a day of electricity last month, and much of Iraq’s population lives with untreated sewage and without clean water. But Bechtel, having received $2.3 billion of taxpayers’ money and having lost the lives of 52 employees, has come to the end of its last government contract.

As Bechtel goes, so goes the whole reconstruction effort. Whatever our leaders may say about their determination to stay the course complete the mission, when it comes to rebuilding Iraq they’ve already cut and run. The $21 billion allocated for reconstruction over the last three years has been spent, much of it on security rather than its intended purpose, and there’s no more money in the pipeline.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

nine criminal convictions in Sweden for forgery, narcotics and firearms offenses, cannot legally pos

the spectacular crash of his 2003 red Enzo Ferrari, reported to be worth a million dollars. Police believe he was going 162 mph when it crashed on Pacific Coast Highway on Feb. 21.

Eriksson Ferrari crash case slams into mistrial

By Jill Leovy
Times Staff Writer

11:55 AM PST, November 3, 2006

A mistrial was declared today in the theft and embezzlement trial of Bo Stefan Eriksson, who was involved in the crash of a rare Enzo Ferrari.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday and told the judge today they were deadlocked. They had voted 10 to 2 for conviction, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Eriksson faced two counts of grand theft and fraudulent concealment with intent to defraud. Prosecutors said he stopped making payments on and tried to hide two luxury sports cars from the lenders.

Prosecutors are still considering whether to retry the case, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney.

Eriksson, 44, had already agreed to a plea deal on drunk-driving charges related to the spectacular crash of
Collapse )