February 4th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Obama Narrows Clinton Lead Ahead of Super Tuesday Vote

Obama Narrows Clinton Lead Ahead of Super Tuesday Vote

In election news, candidates are in their last full day of campaigning before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday vote. Polls show Senator Barack Obama has narrowed Senator Hillary Clinton”s national lead to just four percent. Obama is trailing Clinton by six points or less in Missouri, New Jersey, and Arizona. And he”s now ahead of Clinton in Georgia. On Sunday Obama addressed a rally of more than twenty-thousand people in Wilmington, Delaware.

Sen. Barack Obama: “If you believe we have to keep the dream alive for those who still hunger for justice and still thirst for opportunity, then I promise you this: we will not just win Delaware, we will not just win on Tuesday, we will not just win this nomination, we will not just win the general election, but you and I together, we will change this country and we will transform the world. Thank you, Delaware. I love you.”

Polls show Clinton and Obama in a dead-heat in delegate-rich California. On Sunday, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and musician Stevie Wonder rallied for Obama in Los Angeles.

Oprah Winfrey: “I would never vote for anyone based on gender or race. I’m voting for Barack Obama not because he’s black, I’m voting for him because he’s brilliant. He is brilliant. He is brilliant.”

Stevie Wonder: “I see a time when we will have a united people of the United States and that is why I support Barack Obama.”

Former President Bill Clinton was also in Los Angeles on Sunday. Clinton visited African-American churches to dampen criticism of his racially-charged comments during the campaign. Hillary Clinton meanwhile was in Missouri where she addressed supporters in St. Louis.

Sen. Hillary Clinton: “You know, we got two big contests coming up, we have the Super Bowl tonight, we have Super Tuesday. I want the New York team to win both. That’s where I am focused.”

On the Republican side, Senator John McCain is enjoying a wide national lead over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. McCain visited northeastern states on Sunday, including Connecticut.

Sen. John McCain:"I know our best days are ahead of us, I want Americans to serve, I know we can serve, I know this nation’s greatest days are ahead of us and I think I am qualified to lead and I humbly ask for your vote next Tuesday.”

Meanwhile campaigning in Illinois, Romney criticized Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney: “I know that there is a certain senator from this state who says he’d bring change to America and I’m convinced he would change America, just not in the sense you want. You saw the sign the other day, he was speaking with a huge sign behind him that said: change. Just one word: change. And someone remarked to me when they saw the sign: you know, that’s what we’d be left with if he were president, in our pockets. That’s not what America needs. That’s not the course we’re going to follow.”

The Republican contest is seen as a two-person race with Mike Huckabee a distant third and Rudolph Giualini departing last week. Giuliani had the worst dollar for delegate record in U.S. history. The former New York mayor spent more than fifty million dollars on his campaign and received just one single delegate. At that rate Giuliani would have needed to spend $60 billion to win the Republican nomination.

Chris Keeley

This exhibition features approximately 40 photographs made by Lee Friedlander in the public parks an

This exhibition features approximately 40 photographs made by Lee Friedlander in the public parks and private estates designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903), North America’s premier landscape architect. The show celebrates the complex, idiosyncratic picture making of one of the country’s greatest living photographers. It also marks the 150th anniversary of the design (1858) for Olmsted’s masterpiece, New York’s Central Park. Rambling with intent across bridges and through the parks’ open meadows and dense understory, Friedlander finds pure pleasure in Olmsted’s landscapes—in the meticulous stonework, in the careful balance of sun and shade, and in the mature, weather-beaten trees and their youthful issue. 

http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={88122A34-3B95-412D-BDF4-225C798C62A9}

Lee Friedlander: A Ramble in Olmsted Parks 

 
Chris Keeley

Carla Bruni doesn't mince her words. (Ben Curtis

Carla Bruni doesn't mince her words. (Ben Curtis 



Carla Bruni doesn't mince her words. Carla 

every liaison has been a dangerous one for Bruni. Her name has been connected romantically with at least one former French prime minister, and Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Kevin Costner and Donald Trump. Also with the young philosopher Rapha¿l Enthoven, son of the writer Jean-Paul Enthoven, with whom she has also been linked. The liaison with young Rapha¿l led to Rapha¿l's divorce from Justine L¿vy, daughter of Bernard-Henri L¿vy, a French philosopher so famous he is known just by his initials, B.H.L. Even Laclos could not make this up, though Justine got her revenge with a novel that fictionalized her husband's infidelity, published in this country as "Nothing Serious."
Chris Keeley

Israel and the U.S. have avoided comment on press reports about a nuclear facility.

Israel and the U.S. have avoided comment on press reports about a nuclear facility.

A Strike in the Dark


Israel and the U.S. have avoided comment on press reports about a nuclear facility.

What did Israel bomb in Syria?
By Seymour M. Hersh  

Sometime after midnight on September 6, 2007, at least four low-flying Israeli Air Force fighters crossed into Syrian airspace and carried out a secret bombing mission on the banks of the Euphrates River, about ninety miles north of the Iraq border. The seemingly unprovoked bombing, which came after months of heightened tension between Israel and Syria over military exercises and troop buildups by both sides along the Golan Heights, was, by almost any definition, an act of war. But in the immediate aftermath nothing was heard from the government of Israel. In contrast, in 1981, when the Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, near Baghdad, the Israeli government was triumphant, releasing reconnaissance photographs of the strike and permitting the pilots to be widely interviewed.

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Chris Keeley

According to Marine Intelligence Unit records, the Al Hamed, which was built in 1965, had been opera

According to Marine Intelligence Unit records, the Al Hamed, which was built in 1965, had been operating for years in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, with no indication of any recent visits to North Korea. The records show that the Al Hamed arrived at Tartus on September 3rd—the ship’s fifth visit to Syria in five months. (It was one of eight ships that arrived that day; although it is possible that one of the others was carrying illicit materials, only the Al Hamed has been named in the media.) The ship’s registry was constantly changing. The Al Hamed flew the South Korean flag before switching to North Korea in November of 2005, and then to Comoros. (Ships often fly flags of convenience, registering with different countries, in many cases to avoid taxes or onerous regulations.) At the time of the bombing, according to Lloyd’s, it was flying a Comoran flag and was owned by four Syrian nationals. In earlier years, under other owners, the ship seems to have operated under Russian, Estonian, Turkish, and Honduran flags. Lloyd’s records show that the ship had apparently not passed through the Suez Canal—the main route from the Mediterranean to the Far East—since at least 1998.

Among the groups that keep track of international shipping is Greenpeace. Martini Gotjé, who monitors illegal fishing for the organization and was among the first to raise questions about the Al Hamed, told me, “I’ve been at sea for forty-one years, and I can tell you, as a captain, that the Al Hamed was nothing—in rotten shape. You wouldn’t be able to load heavy cargo on it, as the floorboards wouldn’t be that strong.”

If the Israelis’ target in Syria was not a nuclear site, why didn’t the Syrians respond more forcefully? Syria complained at the United Nations but did little to press the issue. And, if the site wasn’t a partially built reactor, what was it?

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Chris Keeley

A 2008 Campaign Quiz.

A 2008 Campaign Quiz. - by Paul Slansky

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/polls/slansky/080201sh_shouts_slansky



1
1. Who is Michael Palladino? <input ... >
<input ... >

(a) One of two young men who interrupted a speech by Hillary Clinton by yelling, “Iron my shirt! Iron my shirt!”

<input ... >

(b) The aide to Barack Obama who was shoved by Bill O’Reilly at a rally.

<input ... >

(c) The adviser to Fred Thompson’s campaign who turned out to have been convicted of cocaine trafficking.

<input ... >

(d) The boxer who hosted a Nevada Obama event and who had been convicted of battery.

<input ... >

(e) The New York City police detective who scoffed at Rudolph Giuliani’s claim to have been “at Ground Zero as often as, if not more than, most of the workers.”

<input ... >

(f) The formerly gay gospel singer who advocates “curing” homosexuality with prayer, and whose performance at Obama-sponsored concerts upset gays and liberals.

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Chris Keeley

Without Metaphor

By KATIE ROIPHE


Jeffrey Scales/HSP Archive

One can’t say Susan Sontag died a particularly private death. She once declared she wouldn’t tell her readers “what it is really like to emigrate to the kingdom of the ill and live there,” but it seems other people were determined to do it for her. The latest glimpse we have of her sickbed is “Swimming in a Sea of Death,” David Rieff’s intelligent, disordered account of his mother’s final illness.

It is perhaps surprising that Rieff objects violently to the frank and controversial photographs that Annie Leibovitz took of his mother as she was dying. He writes that Sontag was “humiliated posthumously” by Leibovitz’s “carnival images of celebrity death.”

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Chris Keeley

In the valley of sorrow, spread your wings.” Rieff, his mother’s son, unwilling to mystify, to roman

In the valley of sorrow, spread your wings.” Rieff, his mother’s son, unwilling to mystify, to romanticize, adds that “this was not the way she died.” But it is, of course, the way she lived.

First Chapter
‘Swimming in a Sea of Death’
By DAVID RIEFF

Nothing could have been further from my mind. I thought that I was returning to my home in New York at the end of a long trip abroad. Instead, I was at the beginning of the journey that would end with my mother's death.

To be specific, it was the afternoon of March 28, 2004, a Sunday, and I was in Heathrow Airport in London on my way back from the Middle East. After almost a month moving back and forth between East Jerusalem and the West Bank (I had been writing a magazine story about the Palestinians in the last period of Arafat's rule), I was relieved to be going home, and now I was halfway there. Other than that, though, my mind was pretty much a blank. The trip had been frustrating and I had only partly succeeded in getting what I needed. I knew that writing up the story was bound to be difficult. But I was tired, and both a little burnt out and a little hung over, and I was not yet ready to try to turn my reporting into writing. That could wait until I got home, and so instead, in the United Airlines lounge, I began making phone calls — reconnecting with home as has always been my habit once I am through reporting a story. That was when my mother, Susan Sontag, told me that there was a chance that she was ill again.
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