January 26th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Martin was embarrassed about the "leak" option; the case, after all, is about a leak. "It's a term o

During her testimony, Martin, a Harvard Law School graduate married to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and a close pal of Bush counselor Dan Bartlett, seemed uncomfortable, shifting in her chair, squinting at her interrogators, stealing quick glances at the jury, and repeatedly touching her cheek, ear, nose, lips and scalp.

In Ex-Aide's Testimony, A Spin Through VP's PR

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 26, 2007; A01

Memo to Tim Russert: Dick Cheney thinks he controls you.

This delicious morsel about the "Meet the Press" host and the vice president was part of the extensive dish Cathie Martin served up yesterday when the former Cheney communications director took the stand in the perjury trial of former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Option 1: "MTP-VP," she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message."

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Chris Keeley

Ms. Martin made it clear earlier on Thursday that it was Mr. Libby who had gone out of his way to ta

She bolstered the prosecution’s assertion that Mr. Libby was made aware of Ms. Wilson’s identity from a number of administration officials. He denied passing her name to two reporters, but those reporters have told a grand jury otherwise.

Ms. Martin made it clear earlier on Thursday that it was Mr. Libby who had gone out of his way to take on the task of speaking to Ms. Mitchell about that issue.

Ex-Cheney Aide Contradicts Libby

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — A former spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney gave testimony in the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. on Thursday that directly contradicted Mr. Libby’s version of events during a crucial period that is at the center of the perjury case against him.

Cathie Martin, Mr. Cheney’s former spokeswoman, testified that she had a clear memory of telling both Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby that a prominent war critic’s wife worked for the C.I.A., days before he contends he first learned it from a reporter.

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Chris Keeley

Another blunder in Somalia

Another blunder in Somalia

From:   Frank Crigler
Fear not!, my friends! The U.S. cavalry has arrived (Airborne) , flags
flying, gunships blazing, to rid the Horn of Islamist radicals and save
the day for democracy. If you have not seen or heard the assurances
provided by our ambassador in Nairobi, you must check out the audio
interview he gave earlier this week by telephone to a Somali radio
interviewer, below. Asked whether the U.S. will  be involved militarily
in Somalia (to take up the slack after the after the Ethiopians leave),
our ambassador solemnly promised that "the United States is going to be
involved for [a] very long time. This is not something where we are
going in very quickly and will then leave. We are coming in to stay."
And it only gets worse.

But don't take my word for it; skip the text and click on the audio feed
to get the fullest neocolonial effect. I find it utterly appalling.

--frank crigler

*US ambassador to Kenya says he is optimistic about the future of
Somalia ( **audio* <http://www.shabelle.net/audia/Mecheal.ram%22>* )*
*Aweys Osman Yusuf**
**Mogadishu 23, Jan.07 ( Sh.M.Network) *

Explaining fully about the US stance on Somalia, Michael Ranneburger,
the US ambassador to Kenya, interviewed by Shabelle Media Network
correspondent Mohammed Amin by telephone from Nairobi, elucidated the US
policy towards Somalia.



*US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneburger*


 *Listen The Interview* <http://www.shabelle.net/audia/Mecheal.ram%22>

Shabelle: What does the US government intend to do about the politics in
Somalia in the future?
Ambassador: The US policy on Somalia is very straightforward. What we
need to achieve are two things—really three things. We want to establish
help the Somali people establish security so that they are not played by
the warlords and by terrorists. Secondly, we want to start helping the
Somali people establish stability in the country so that there will be
law and order with peace so people can live in peace and prosperity, and
then three we want to ensure that the Somali people get all the
humanitarian assistances that they need, that is what we are working on.

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Chris Keeley

“There are 3 law firms and 11 lawyers on the other side,” he told the judge. “Paper comes flying at

Sitting in the courtroom among his lawyers is Mr. Libby, 56, a veteran corporate lawyer known as Scooter, smiling at a passed note or a witness’s quip and rarely showing any distress, even when the testimony seems to put him in jeopardy. His thinning hair has passed almost entirely from blond to gray.

Time Comes to a Standstill in a Courtroom Journey

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — The most politically charged criminal trial in the capital in nearly two decades crackles to life each morning in a bland sixth-floor courtroom with a stopped clock.

The clock reads 9:25 when I. Lewis Libby Jr. strolls in with a tight smile and a high-priced bodyguard of lawyers and starts perusing documents, scribbling notes and tapping occasionally on a laptop. It is as if Mr. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is just the counsel, not the accused.

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Chris Keeley

Libby has pleaded not guilty, contending that he misspoke and that he forgot about conversations he

Attorneys for Libby repeatedly pressed Martin to acknowledge that, though she saw Cheney and Libby working overtime to rebut Wilson's criticisms, she had no evidence that either of them tried to leak Plame's name to reporters.

Ex-Aide Says Cheney Led Rebuttal Effort

By Carol D. Leonnig and Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, January 26, 2007; A03

 

Vice President Cheney personally orchestrated his office's 2003 efforts to rebut allegations that the administration used flawed intelligence to justify the war in Iraq and discredit a critic who Cheney believed was making him look foolish, according to testimony and evidence yesterday in the criminal trial of his former chief of staff.

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Chris Keeley

It singled out Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni and Public Order Minister Vyronas Polydoras as “praet

Greece: Militants Claim U.S. Embassy Attack

The leftist guerrilla group known as Revolutionary Struggle claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on the American Embassy in Athens two weeks ago, saying it was in retaliation for the “criminal U.S. war on terrorism.” The claim was made in a five-page statement to the weekly newspaper Pontiki. Since September 2003, Revolutionary Struggle has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including bombings at a courthouse and police station and an assassination attempt against the culture minister. In its statement, the group warned: “There is no doubt that the American Embassy would be the first building we would wreck. The second would be Parliament.” It singled out Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni and Public Order Minister Vyronas Polydoras as “praetorians” of the American administration

Chris Keeley

Bush no longer "miserable failure": Google tackles googlebombs

Pranks

Bush no longer "miserable failure": Google tackles googlebombs

Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan says,
After just over two years, Google has finally defused the "Google Bomb" that has returned US President George W. Bush at the top of its results in a search on miserable failure. The move wasn't a post-State Of The Union Address gift for Bush. Instead, it's part of an overall algorithm change designed to stop such mass link pranks from working.
Link, more here and here.

posted by Xeni Jardin

Chris Keeley

“The face of antiwar is not what it was in the ’70s,” said Jon Soltz, a veteran of the Iraq and Afgh

This battle to oppose the escalation is as important as the original battle in Iraq,” said Jonathan Powers, who spent 14 months serving in Iraq as a captain with the First Armored Division. He laced up his beige combat boots and put on a blue suit as he went to Congress on a recent day of lobbying. 


Members of the Veterans for Peace gathered for an antiwar rally Thursday on Capitol Hill. A major antiwar march is planned this weekend. 

Groups Head to Capital to Step Up Antiwar Drive

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — Tens of thousands of demonstrators are set to arrive in the capital this weekend for a major antiwar march, staging the first of several protests intended to persuade the new Democratic-controlled Congress to do more than simply speak against President Bush’s Iraq policy.

But do not look for senators to be standing among the protesters on the Mall on Saturday. Despite a consensus building around a Senate resolution to oppose sending more troops to Iraq, even the most liberal Democratic senators do not appear eager to align themselves with a traditional antiwar protest.

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Chris Keeley

Sure, Nancy Reagan told Americans to "Just Say No."

between 1980 and 1985, the number of Americans taking extra-long trips to the bathroom more than doubled - from 10 million to 22 million. Apparently, cocaine use began its upsurge in the mid-1970s, after the smokeable form, freebase, hit the market. Ironically, freebase wasn’t technically cocaine

Cocaine
Sure, Nancy Reagan told Americans to "Just Say No." But the U.S. government estimates that between 1980 and 1985, the number of Americans taking extra-long trips to the bathroom more than doubled - from 10 million to 22 million. Apparently, cocaine use began its upsurge in the mid-1970s, after the smokeable form, freebase, hit the market. Ironically, freebase wasn’t technically cocaine. Rather, it was an alkaloid made by reverse-engineering pure cocaine powder - a nifty little transformation American chemists decided to try in 1974 after mistranslating the Spanish word basé. The chemists thought they were dealing with a base substance, not realizing that basé referred to a cheap paste byproduct of cocaine commonly smoked in Peru.

Death of the Fad: Around the same time acid-washed jeans went out of style. Coincidence? Not Likely
Chris Keeley

Rickie Tickie Stickies Are Not: fictional mongooses.

Rickie Tickie Stickies Are: those giant flower decals favored by hippies that appear in every mental image you have of the 1960s.


Don Kracke, at The Jackson online

Rickie Tickie Stickies Are Not: fictional mongooses. That’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a product of Rudyard Kipling’s imagination.

Rickie Tickie Stickies Are: those giant flower decals favored by hippies that appear in every mental image you have of the 1960s. Despite their counterculture reputation, Rickie Tickie Stickies were invented by capitalist-loving ad exec Don Kracke. His inspiration? Kracke simply saw some (poorly drawn) flowers painted on the side of a Volkswagen bus and decided there might be a market for prettier posies. He started selling his stick-on decals in 1967 and, within a year, had unloaded 90 million of ‘em. Who knew hippies had such deep pockets?

Chris Keeley

Yippies: Members of the 1960s-era Youth International Party [wiki], a far-left political group that

Yippies are known for, among other things, causing a near-riot by dumping bags of money onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as means of mocking conspicuous consumption and unapologetic materialism.

How to Tell Your Yippies From Your Yuppies

Yippies: Members of the 1960s-era Youth International Party [wiki], a far-left political group that had some pretty theatrical ways of expressing their views. Yippies are known for, among other things, causing a near-riot by dumping bags of money onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as means of mocking conspicuous consumption and unapologetic materialism.

Yuppies: Young urban professionals of the 1980s. Yuppies are known for, among other things, conspicuous consumption and unapologetic materialism.

Yippies: Often said, "Don’t trust anyone over 30."

Yuppies: Were often older than 30. And they probably would have proved Yippies right, had the groups’ members not suspiciously overlapped.

One Thing They Can Agree On: German cars. Yippies drove Volkswagens. Yuppies drove BMWs.

Chris Keeley

His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the

His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 
 Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, during the autumn of 1960, a year 
 and a half after he was forced into exile in India.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/trueword.htm

   WORDS OF TRUTH
                                        
                                        
                          A prayer composed
                                 by
                                        
                                        
                     HIS HOLINESS TENZIN GYATSO
                                        
                 THE FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA OF TIBET
                                        
          Honoring and invoking the Great Compassion of the
            Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Teachings, and
                       the Spiritual Community


http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/trueword.htm
Chris Keeley

the Praetorian Guard for the Bush administration's so-called global war on terror. And it’s headed b

the Praetorian Guard for the Bush administration's so-called global war on terror. And it’s headed by a very rightwing Christian activist, ex-Navy Seal named Erik Prince, whose family was one of the major bankrollers of the Republican Revolution of the 1990s. He, himself, is a significant funder of President Bush and his allies.



Erik Prince, the head of Blackwater, and other Blackwater executives are major bankrollers of the President, of Tom DeLay, of Santorum. They really were -- when those guys were running Congress, Amy, Blackwater had just a revolving door there. They were really welcomed in as heroes. Senator John Warner, the former head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called them “our silent partner in the global war on terror.” Erik Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is married to Dick Devos, who recently lost the gubernatorial race in Michigan.

Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush's Undeclared Surge

Friday, January 26th, 2007

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/26/1559232

On Tuesday, five employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA were killed in a violent Baghdad neighborhood. Hours later, President Bush used his State of the Union address to call on what some are calling an undeclared surge of private mercenaries in Iraq. We speak with Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” [includes rush transcript]


The private security firm Blackwater USA is back in the news again. On Tuesday, hours before President Bush’s State of the Union address, one of the company’s helicopters was brought down in a violent Baghdad neighborhood. Five Blackwater troops - all Americans - were killed. Reports say the men’s bodies show signs of execution-style deaths with bullet wounds to the back off the head.

Blackwater provided no identities or details of those killed. They did release a statement saying the deaths “are a reminder of the extraordinary circumstances under which our professionals voluntarily serve to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people.”

President Bush made no mention of the incident during his State of the Union. But he did address the very issue that has brought dozens of private security companies like Blackwater to Iraq in the first place: the need for more troops.

  • President Bush.
Is the president looking to further outsource war? My next guest writes that Blackwater is a reminder of just how privatized the Iraq war has become. Jeremy Scahill is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and is author of the forthcoming book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” He has an OpEd in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times titled “Our mercenaries in Iraq.” He joins me in the firehouse studio.
  • Jeremy Scahill. Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and the author of the forthcoming book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.”

AMY GOODMAN: President Bush made no mention of the incident during his State of the Union, but he did address the very issue that’s brought dozens of private security companies like Blackwater to Iraq in the first place: the need for more troops.

    PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Tonight, I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years. Collapse )

Chris Keeley

It has secured a status as the elite Praetorian Guard for the global war on terror, with the largest

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-scahill25jan25,0,724777,print.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

It has secured a status as the elite Praetorian Guard for the global war on terror, with the largest private military base in the world, a fleet of 20 aircraft and 20,000 soldiers at the ready.

Our mercenaries in Iraq

The president relies on thousands of private soldiers with little oversight, a disturbing example of the military-industrial complex.
By Jeremy Scahill
JEREMY SCAHILL is a fellow at the Nation Institute and the author of the forthcoming "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."

January 25, 2007

AS PRESIDENT BUSH took the podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, there were five American families receiving news that has become all too common: Their loved ones had been killed in Iraq. But in this case, the slain were neither "civilians," as the news reports proclaimed, nor were they U.S. soldiers. They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina — Blackwater USA.
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Chris Keeley

Celebrity

Celebrity

Lee and Brandon take in Atlantic City
Charlise Theron stars as a supermodel in Celebrity
Woody Allen is certainly a celebrity if attention from the tabloids is any judge and well qualified to write a film about Celebrity.

He lives openly in Manhattan amongst the rich yuppies he loves to write about and has attracted plenty of tabloid attention to do with his private life. Whether he has succeeded in presenting a film about the concept of celebrity is debatable though because this film throws itself in probably a dozen directions, not really leaving familiar Allen territory.

His films usually feature himself playing a character very like himself or a character who is recognisably Woody Allen. He's portrayed as a dithering, well meaning but self serving sophisticate who's friends and lovers spar their way through self induced minor crises of the heart.

Allen's films usually contain a myriad of set pieces, often centered about religious guilt and a fear of commitment, and they're nearly always very funny.

In Celebrity the English master actor Kenneth Branagh has taken the Woody Allen part playing a journalist Lee Simon with terrific energy and authenticity.

Lee is facing a mid life crisis. He confesses infidelities to his wife Robin (Australia's Judy Davis - in another wonderful performance) and then bounces from one disappointment with women and with his career to the next. He wants to write a novel but can't get together the courage. He no doubt fears he lacks the talent.

Robin on the other hand has a classic female Woody Allen female break down but then haltingly blossoms when Tony (Joe Mantegna) falls unreservedly in love with her. But can she cope even with this? In fact Woody Allen films are so much about lack of confidence and are seemingly so autobiographical that it's a wonder Allen hasn't lost his nerve in real life and ended up not being able to face Central Park or a movie studio at all. It's a wonder he's not permanently in therapy (perhaps he is!)

The secret must lie with the generosity and concern he feels for the rich cocaine and diamond social set he shares. His humor is warm and never cruel, although women may take issue with this.

There are some particularly demeaning (but not nasty) scenes for the women in Celebrity although humiliation isn't confined to the women. The men are often equally lost and at the mercy of their uncertainties and lack of clear direction in life.

Oh to be so spoilt! Woody Allen films are often about the nearly idle rich and more importantly about the selfish generation. Love affairs always seem to be temporary affairs, even if they last years, ready to make way for a new model.

Viewers, as often happens in a Woody Allen film, can play the star spotting game. As well as Kenneth Branagh and Judy Davis and Joe Mantegna there's Leonardo DiCaprio, Gretchen Mol,, Famke Jansen, Winona Ryder, Bebe Neuwirth, and Charlize Theron to recognise.

The wit is often sharp and very funny with solid stabs being made at Catholic idolatry, the media, supercilious film directors and spoilt brat stars. There's a fine moment of two some, hilarious, some touching.

The Woody Allen moaning becomes a bit of a whine once or twice but Celebrity wins hands down with plenty of fine, fun dialogue and beautifully realised photography and a final meekly despairing plea from the scared to be committed.
Chris Keeley

The Hidden Cost of Free Congressional Trips to Israel

Subject:        The Hidden Cost of Free Congressional Trips to Israel
Date:   Fri, 26 Jan 2007 18:41:50 -0500 (EST)
From:   Council for the National Interest Foundation


<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=274012617&url_num=1&url=http://www.cnionline.org/>


This opinion piece is by CNI Vice Chairman Jim Abourezk and appears in
the January 26, 2007, edition of the Christian Science Monitor.

Gene Bird

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0126/p09s01-coop.html
<http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=274012617&url_num=2&url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0126/p09s01-coop.html>


 The hidden cost of free congressional trips to Israel


   Branded as 'educational,' these trips offer Israeli propagandists an
   opportunity to expose members of Congress to only their side of the
   story.

By Jim Abourezk

SIOUX FALL, S.D.

Democrats in Congress have moved quickly - and commendably - to
strengthen ethics rules. But truly groundbreaking reform was prevented,
in part, because of the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby to preserve one
of its most critical functions: taking members of Congress on free
"educational" trips to Israel.

The pro-Israel lobby does most of its work without publicity. But every
member of Congress and every would-be candidate for Congress comes to
quickly understand a basic lesson. Money needed to run for office can
come with great ease from supporters of Israel, provided that the
candidate makes certain promises, in writing, to vote favorably on
issues considered important to Israel. What drives much of congressional
support for Israel is fear - fear that the pro-Israel lobby will either
withhold campaign contributions or give money to one's opponent.

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Chris Keeley

Ilan Pappe: "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine"

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

For any of you who possess a strong stomach and an equally strong desire
to know the truth, I strongly recommend Israeli historian Ilan Pappe's
new book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine", which makes painstakingly
and painfully clear the extent to which the expulsion of the great
majority of Palestinians from their homes and homeland between 1947 and
1949 (an expulsion absolutely essential to create a "Jewish state" in a
country where, in 1947, the population was still 70% Muslim
and Christian and these non-Jews still owned 94% of the land) was
meticulously planned, programmed and documented, ruthlessly carried out
and, thereafter, efficiently covered up, sanitized, erased from minds
and memories and, to the extent necessary, denied. Pappe also makes
clear that the cleansing spirit and cleansing practices have continued
ever since, with public discussion in Israel of the "demographic threat"
posed by those Palestinians still remaining in Palestinian never more
openly conducted and with a recent poll showing 68% of Israeli Jews in
favor of expelling all Palestinian /citizens/ of Israel.
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Chris Keeley

CITY OF INDUSTRY

CITY OF INDUSTRY

http://www.mgm.com/title_title.do?title_star=CITYOFIN





Three low-lifes join together for a big diamond heist in Palm Springs.

Theatrical Release Date:   May 14, 1997
Theatrical Running Time:   97 minutes
MPAA Rating:


Cast and Crew:


Starring: Harvey Keitel  Stephen Dorff  Timothy Hutton  Famke Janssen  Michael Jai White 

Director: John Irvin 
Cast Harvey Keitel   
Cast Stephen Dorff   
Cast Timothy Hutton   
Cast Famke Janssen   
Cast Michael Jai White   
Director John Irvin   
Screenplay Ken Solarz   
Cinematographer Thomas Burstyn   
Executive Producer Barr Potter   
Producer Ken Solarz   
Producer Evzen Kolar   
Production Designer Michael Novotny   


 Being an old crook isn't easy. You get shot at, beaten up, and generally abused. It's not like the old days. There isn't even any honor among thieves anymore.

Harvey Keitel gives a masterful performance as middle-aged criminal Roy Egan in the crime drama CITY OF INDUSTRY. First-time writer Ken Solarz's script connects all the dots with a standard formula plot, but Keitel's acting raises the movie above its pedestrian material. Director John Irvin, known for such light-hearted films as A MONTH BY THE LAKE and WIDOW'S PEAK, is smart enough to fashion the picture around Keitel and let him set the pace.

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