November 30th, 2008

Chris Keeley

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

November 30, 2008
One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

In the spring of 2007 a tiny military contractor with a slender track record went shopping for a precious Beltway commodity.

The company, Defense Solutions, sought the services of a retired general with national stature, someone who could open doors at the highest levels of government and help it win a huge prize: the right to supply Iraq with thousands of armored vehicles.

Access like this does not come cheap, but it was an opportunity potentially worth billions in sales, and Defense Solutions soon found its man. The company signed Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and military analyst for NBC News, to a consulting contract starting June 15, 2007.

Four days later the general swung into action. He sent a personal note and 15-page briefing packet to David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. “No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,” he said.
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Chris Keeley

For 12 years I was alone, I had lost everything,” Rourke said. “The three people closest to me — my

November 30, 2008
His Fists Are Up and His Guard Is Down

YOU MEET MICKEY, you can’t help liking him. He rescues abused dogs! He cries a lot: over his stepfather’s supposed abuse; the loss of his brother to cancer and his dogs to old age; the failure of his marriage to the actress Carré Otis. He admits he destroyed his own career, because, as he puts it: “I was arrogant. . . . I wasn’t smart enough or educated enough” to deal with stardom. He is candid about the people he has crossed paths with: Nicole Kidman is “an ice cube”; Michael Cimino, the director of “Heaven’s Gate,” “is crazy” and “nuts”; and the producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. is “a liar.”

So what if he cries at the same moment in the same story in every interview? So what if his candor sometimes sounds like the bad dialogue from one of his many bad movies (“I have no one to go to to fix the broken pieces in myself”) or that his self-deprecation seems culled from the stock stories of so many fading actors (“I was in 7-Eleven, and this guy says, ‘Didn’t you used to be a movie star?’ ”)? So what if he seems disingenuous, at best, when he says he can’t remember that critics nominated him one of the world’s worst actors in 1991 (“I probably would have voted with them”) or even making a terrible movie that went straight to video, “Exit in Red,” in 1996 — despite the fact that the love interest in that movie was then his wife?

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Chris Keeley


Goodbye and Good Riddance

Tuesday 11 November 2008

by: Paul Waldman, The American Prospect

After eight years of President Bush, we almost don't know how to function without him - almost. But before we move on, we should pause to remember just what we're leaving behind.

  Just over two years into George W. Bush's presidency, The American Prospect featured Bush on its cover under the headline, "The Most Dangerous President Ever." At the time, some probably thought it a bit over the top. But nearly six years later, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the multifaceted burden that will soon be lifted from our collective shoulders.

  Since last week, I have stopped short and shaken my head in amazement every time I have heard the words "President-elect Obama." But it is equally extraordinary to consider that in just a few weeks, George W. Bush will no longer be our president. Let me repeat that: In just a few weeks, George W. Bush will no longer be our president. So though our long national ordeal isn't quite over, it's never too early to say goodbye.

  Goodbye, we can say at last, to the most powerful man in the world being such a ridiculous buffoon, incapable of stringing together two coherent sentences. Goodbye to cringing with dread every time our president steps onto the world stage, sure he'll say or do something to embarrass us all. Goodbye to being represented by a man who embodies everything our enemies want the people of the world to believe about America - that we are ignorant, cruel, and only care about foreign countries when we decide to stomp on them. Goodbye to his giggle, and his shoulder shake, and his nicknames. Goodbye to a president who talks to us like we're a nation of fourth-graders.

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Chris Keeley

paul krugman

FOCUS | Paul Krugman: What to Do
Paul Krugman, New York Review of Books: "What the world needs right now is a rescue operation. The global credit system is in a state of paralysis, and a global slump is building momentum as I write this. Reform of the weaknesses that made this crisis possible is essential, but it can wait a little while. First, we need to deal with the clear and present danger. To do this, policymakers around the world need to do two things: get credit flowing again and prop up spending."
Chris Keeley


Now I've Seen Everything
A spy goes to work for a thinktank
by Justin Raimondo
November 28, 2008

Of course there's nothing all that unusual about a spy going to work
for a Washington thinktank. Ex-CIA employees do it all the time: so
do all sorts of other spooks, who would otherwise be haunting the
world's darkest corners. No big deal. But what I've never seen, and
don't recall ever hearing about, is the spectacle of a spy for a
foreign country being hired by any organization that hopes to
influence U.S. foreign policy. Well, here's one for the record books:

The Middle East Forum has hired Steve Rosen, once the head of policy
development for the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Rosen is accused of stealing highly classified information from the
U.S. government and passing it on to Israeli government officials.

Rosen was the sparkplug of AIPAC, known for implementing – with
notable success – the powerful lobbying group's efforts to influence
the executive branch. The very effective modus operandi of this
behind-the-scenes wheeler dealer was summed up by his reported
comment that:
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