November 9th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Cheney Holds Up Release of Intelligence Report on Iran

Cheney Holds Up Release of Intelligence Report on Iran
Interpress News Service is reporting that a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran has been held up for more than a year. It is reportedly part of an effort by Vice President Dick Cheney to pressure intelligence analysts to remove any dissenting judgments about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. Cheney was also accused of pressuring intelligence analysts prior to the invasion of Iraq. 

The price of a barrel of oil is now approaching a record $100 dollars. Meanwhile the national debt has hit nine trillion dollars for the first time. The dollar has also hit a fresh record low against the euro and a new 26-year low against the pound. 

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Bernard Kerik
A federal grand jury in New York has reportedly voted to indict former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on corruption charges. Kerik is a close friend and business partner with Republican presidential contender Rudolph Giuliani. Less than three years ago President Bush nominated Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security. But Kerik withdrew from the confirmation process amid several scandals. Kerik is expected to surrender to authorities today to be arraigned.

Neil Bush's Education Firm Under DOE Investigation
The inspector general of the Department of Education has announced plans to investigate whether federal money has been inappropriately used to buy educational products from a company owned by the President Bush's brother, Neil Bush. His educational software company Ignite has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds under the No Child Left Behind Act, the president's signature education bill. 

Report: 25% of Homeless Are Veterans
A new study has found that one in four homeless people in the country are veterans. The National Alliance to End Homelessness said this total includes 400 soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Anti-War Groups Barred From Long Beach Veterans Day Parade
In other military news, Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out have been barred from marching in Saturday's Veterans Day Parade in Long Beach California. Parade coordinators said the applications were rejected because of the groups' political views.

Tombstone of Dead Soldier Defaced
Meanwhile the parents of a Marine who was killed in Iraq have reported their son's gravestone has been defaced. Lance Corporal Alexander Scott Arredondo died in Iraq three years ago. Since then his parents Carlos and Mélida Arredondo have been vocal critics of the war. 

18 Peace Activists Arrested At Iowa Campaign Offices
And in campaign news, eighteen anti-war activists were arrested in Iowa on Thursday at the campaign offices for Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The activists occupied both offices for a few hours and demanded the candidates promise to withdraw all troops from Iraq if elected. The arrests mark the start of the Presidential Occupation Project organized by the Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Chris Keeley

How Blackwater Sniper Fire Felled 3 Iraqi Guards

How Blackwater Sniper Fire Felled 3 Iraqi Guards
Witnesses Call Shooting From Justice Ministry Unprovoked, But State Dept. Cleared Its Security Team After a Brief Probe

By Steve Fainaru
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, November 8, 2007; A01


BAGHDAD -- Last Feb. 7, a sniper employed by Blackwater USA, the private security company, opened fire from the roof of the Iraqi Justice Ministry. The bullet tore through the head of a 23-year-old guard for the state-funded Iraqi Media Network, who was standing on a balcony across an open traffic circle. Another guard rushed to his colleague's side and was fatally shot in the neck. A third guard was found dead more than an hour later on the same balcony.

Eight people who responded to the shootings -- including media network and Justice Ministry guards and an Iraqi army commander -- and five network officials in the compound said none of the slain guards had fired on the Justice Ministry, where a U.S. diplomat was in a meeting. An Iraqi police report described the shootings as "an act of terrorism" and said Blackwater "caused the incident." The media network concluded that the guards were killed "without any provocation."

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk

Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk

By Dana Milbank
Friday, November 9, 2007; WE27


Those who believe in the innate goodness of humankind have never walked the 100 block of D Street Southeast.

Let's start at 110 D St., the drab Hill House apartment complex; police were summoned here, to Apartment 215, when a woman complained that her lover, then-Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.), a married man, tried to strangle her.

Walk a few doors down and you arrive at a townhouse with a birdbath in front: 132 D St., the "Safe House" where, under artwork provided by clients of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and his colleagues made fundraising calls and set up a lobbying business.

Across the street at No. 137, a charming stucco house under a shade tree, is where then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) was reportedly visited by teenagers; from there he also sent lewd instant messages to boys.

On the corner of the block stands an appropriately whitewashed structure housing the Republican National Committee, where thousands of e-mails from Karl Rove and other White House officials mysteriously vanished. Also on the block: the former home of Porter Goss, who, as director of the CIA, hired Dusty Foggo, indicted as part of the bribery case that also imprisoned former California Rep. Duke Cunningham (R).

But, scandal tourists, there is no time to tarry here.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Wallace Assailant Released From Prison

Wallace Assailant Released From Prison

Filed at 11:28 a.m. ET

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- The man who shot and paralyzed Alabama Gov. George Wallace during a 1972 presidential campaign stop in Maryland was released from prison Friday after serving 35 years of his sentence.

Arthur H. Bremer, 57, left the prison before sunrise, said Mark A. Vernarelli, a state prison system spokesman.

Prison officials declined to comment on Bremer's destination or plans.

''The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services believes the public's interest, safety and security is best served by allowing Arthur Bremer to become acclimated to today's world at his own pace and with as much anonymity as possible,'' an agency statement read.

Wallace, a fiery segregationist during the 1960s, was wounded on May 15, 1972, during a campaign stop in Laurel, Md. He abandoned his bid for the Democratic nomination and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Bremer, a former Milwaukee busboy and janitor, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 53 years. He had been held at the medium-security Maryland Correctional Institution near Hagerstown, about 70 miles from Baltimore, since 1979.

He earned his mandatory release through good behavior and by working in prison. Bremer will remain under the supervision of the Division of Parole and Probation until his sentence ends in 2025.

Bremer's diary, parts of which were found in a landfill in 1980, made it clear he was motivated to attempt to kill Wallace by a desire for attention, not a political agenda. He had also stalked President Nixon.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men."

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men."

No Country for Old Men

He Found a Bundle of Money, and Now There’s Hell to Pay

Published: November 9, 2007


“No Country for Old Men,” adapted by Joel and Ethan Coen from Cormac McCarthy’s novel, is bleak, scary and relentlessly violent. At its center is a figure of evil so calm, so extreme, so implacable that to hear his voice is to feel the temperature in the theater drop.



But while that chilly sensation is a sign of terror, it may equally be a symptom of delight. The specter of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a deadpan sociopath with a funny haircut, will feed many a nightmare, but the most lasting impression left by this film is likely to be the deep satisfaction that comes from witnessing the nearly perfect execution of a difficult task. “No Country for Old Men” is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists — those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design — it’s pure heaven.


Collapse )
Chris Keeley

According to the woman’s account, her tempestuous relationship with Ms. Stein — a punk-rock pioneer

A Manhattan personal assistant fatally bludgeoned her boss, the well-connected real-estate agent Linda Stein, in the woman’s opulent Fifth Avenue apartment because Ms. Stein “just kept yelling at her,” a law enforcement official said today. The assistant was arrested this morning.

According to the woman’s account, her tempestuous relationship with Ms. Stein — a punk-rock pioneer and real estate agent who worked with numerous celebrities — built from animosity to violence, the official said.

“It was that Linda just kept yelling at her, over everything” the official said. “They fought. It was like a continuous thing, like a buildup.”

Another official, Paul J. Browne, who is the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that investigators followed a dual path of combing for physical evidence while conducting dozens of interviews with Ms. Stein’s friends, acquaintances and family members.

Investigators returned to Ms. Stein’s apartment to examine the door frame of the apartment and collect fiber samples from the carpet, while detectives from the 19th Precinct in Manhattan and from the Manhattan North Homicide Task Force interviewed Ms. Lowery repeatedly.

Ms. Stein, 62, a real estate broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, had a varied and storied career. Born in the Bronx, the daughter of a Jewish caterer, she was a pioneer on the punk-rock scene and became a manager for the Ramones. Later, she turned to real estate, working with celebrity clients like Madonna and Billy Joel.

The singer Elton John is preparing a memorial concert in Ms. Stein’s memory.

Chris Keeley

Jim Goldberg: The New Europeans

Jim Goldberg: The New Europeans





Jim Goldberg: The New Europeans at Stephen Wirtz Gallery. "...The New Europeans is a large and multi-layered body of work consisting of photographs and oral histories – handwritings on Polaroids in different languages, video recordings, written text, and ephemera. Wirtz Gallery’s exhibition will present a portion of work from the series, concentrating on a four-year period when Goldberg was in the countries of Greece and Ukraine. The project documents immigrant populations who reside in compromised living situations, often on the margins of society. Photographs that are difficult and often disturbing are combined in the exhibition with more conventionally beautiful, enigmatic images of landscape and portraiture, challenging accepted notions of beauty and the abject."