Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer confidence rose more than expected in January to the highest since June 2002 as employers added jobs.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 106.3 from 103.8 in December. The index surpassed the 105.5 level it reached in August, before the Gulf Coast hurricanes.
A rebound in consumer confidence, which tumbled in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and a related surge in gasoline prices, fueled a 0.9 percent increase in personal spending in December, the most in five months. An acceleration in spending in the final two months of last year led some economists to raise their estimates of growth in this year's first quarter.
I wonder how a cartoon portraying Bob Woodruff in similar circumstance with the caption "I'm listing your condition as legless and clueless" would be received.
Monday, January 30, 2006
How it stands currently:
55 Republicans now firmly supporting cloture including Chafee and Snowe
Hall of Shame
Voted for Cloture:
Update II: A few blogs are reporting Chafee will vote NO on Confirmation NO on filibuster. CONFIRMED
UpdateIII: Chafee and Snowe WILL oppose filibuster. That 54 Rs +10 Ds = 64 to vote for cloture (+ 1 likely) = 65 total (Assuming Ensign is a non vote and Prior abstains.)
Update IV: CNN just announced that the gang of 14 will meet at 3:30 ET. They speculated that the GOF will agree that this is not severe enough to filibuster which will likely put a fork in it.
Update V: Sen. Kent Conrad D- ND will vote FOR Alito. Confirmation vote stands at 57 (For) 37 (Opposed) 6 uncommitted.
OK it's showtime. I predict there will be 66 total votes for cloture, 31 against and 3 abstaining. Let's Rumble!
IT'S OVAH CLOTURE IS INVOKED ON A VOTE OF 72 -25. IT'S A FAILIBUSTER!
That's when you know things are bad — when even fictional Democrats aren't doing well. [They} can't even get elected on TV anymore.
NYP/The White House drama starring Geena Davis as the first female president started out as the most talked-about new show of the season with healthy ratings and a wide-open future.
But ABC said over the weekend that it is pulling "Chief" off the air until spring to make way for a new comedy, "Sons & Daughers."
The info was buried in a news release announcing the start of the new comedy.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
This women is a national embarrassment
Miraflores Press/ Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez embraces visiting peace activist Cindy Sheehan and Elma Beatriz Rosado, the widow of slain Puerto Rican nationalist Filiberto Ojeda Rios. All three joined in condemning the government of U.S. President George W. Bush.
Filiberto Ojeda Ríos (April 26, 1933 – September 23, 2005) was the "Responsible General" of the Boricua Popular Army, or Ejército Popular Boricua – Los Macheteros, a clandestine paramilitary, organization, considered by United States law enforcement agencies to be a terrorist organization, based on the island of Puerto Rico, with branches throughout the United States and other countries.
Charges against him:
1. Act of Domestic Terrorism
2. Aggravated Robbery (1985)
3. Aggravated Robbery of Federally Insured Bank Funds (1985)
4. Armed Robbery (1985)
5. Bond Default (1990)
6. Conspiracy to Interfere With Commerce By Robbery (1985)
7. Foreign And Interstate Transportation Of Stolen Money (1985)
Standard leftist doctrine.... America bad - America hating mass murdering despotic dictators good.
And then there's this....Sheehan Plans New Protest at Bush's Ranch
You can't buy this sort of PR! Cindy Sheehan will end of doing more harm to the left than any ad campaign we could possibly dream up.
Hat tip: Sweetness & Light
Sunday January 29, 2006--Forty-nine percent (49%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove.
he President earns approval from 81% of Republicans, 23% of Democrats, and 40% of those not affiliated with either major political party.
Update: I have received several E-mails wondering who Rasmussen is and why I quote his polls pretty much exclusively.
It's simple, Rasmussen was the most accurate of any pollster calling both the national and state races in 2004. His methodology is solid and his results are consistent.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
The honest truth is every Senator has known for weeks that there simply weren't enough votes to sustain a filibuster of Judge Alito's confirmation vote, not even close to enough. My tally indicates that by the time all is said and done the vote for cloture will be somewhere between 64-70 votes.
So why the overly dramatic show of false bravado you ask. Simple, these Senators that are pushing a filibuster promised the hard left special interest groups that they would fight tooth and nail to keep anyone adverse to their interests off the court. They cannot afford to alienate these groups primarily because they provide a large portion of their $$$$ support, support they positively can't do without. Aside from the money, these groups tend to be the most active in grassroots GOTV efforts. So knowing full well that any filibuster attempt is doomed from the start, these Senators perform this well choreographed tap dance for the benefit of whatever portion of their constituency gullible enough to buy into it.
The Democrats however, are being forced to walk the tightrope because they must satisfy the moonbats without doing significant damage to their support from swing voters and the "moderate left. That is why primarily only Senators with safe seats in blue states are participating in the production. Look at the players.....
Compare with the Democrat Senators opposing a filibuster.....
This is a classic example of an attempt by Democrats to have their cake and eat it too. The leadership hopes this strategy will not seriously hurt any individual Senator and will potentially mollify the base, it does carry the potential danger of diminishing their overall party appeal on the national front. The calculation is that by the time 2008 rolls around all will be forgotten.
The left has taken it on the chin from the very start of this confirmation process. The hearings were a disaster. On the whole they came across as bullies and mean spirited (been awhile since you heard that term right?) and this isn't helping matters one bit. The best they can do at this point is try and minimize the damage.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Chief Justice John Roberts expressed doubts Tuesday about legal restrictions on political ads by outside groups as the Supreme Court took up a new challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
Questioning Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, who was defending the law, Roberts raised a hypothetical case in which a group runs an issue ad every month. Does the ad, he asked, become illegal in the months before an election?
Clement responded that such a group could continue to run the ads if it used political action committee money to pay for them, or if it refrained from identifying a candidate by name.
But Justice Antonin Scalia said that would undercut the purpose of the ad, adding, "The point of an issue ad is to put pressure on an incumbent you want to vote your way."
One thing for sure, ELECTIONS DO MATTER!
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Not all may vote for Alito.
3 Dems will vote for Alito. Johnson, Byrd and Nelson.
2 Dems say they will vote NO on a Confirmation, YES on Cloture. Landreiu and Salazar.
55 + 5 = 60 = Game, Set, Match. Add Pryor & Conrad to the list = 62
4:30 PM Monday vote on cloture. Tuesday vote on the nominee, 11:00 AM.
But Lurch hasn't figured it out yet.
A day after Hamas swept to an upset victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, former US President Jimmy Carter on Thursday said that Wednesday's voting had been orderly and fair.
"The elections were completely honest, completely fair, completely safe and without violence," the former president said.
Carter, who led an 85-member international observer team from around the world organized by the 'National Democratic Institute' in partnership with 'The Carter Center,' urged the international community to directly or indirectly fund the new Palestinian Government even though it will be led by an internationally-declared foreign terror organization.
"The Palestinian Government is destitute, and in desperate financial straits. I hope that support for the new government will be forthcoming," Carter said at a Jerusalem press conference.
Funding families of suicide bombers and diverting 100s of millions into Arafats private accounts tend to have that effect.
WAPO-WASHINGTON -- Orders to American factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a third consecutive increase in December, closing out a record year for the nation's factories.
The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods rose by 1.3 percent in December to $228.1 billion as demand for military aircraft, machinery and autos all posted strong gains.
For all of 2005, orders increased by 8.2 percent to an all-time high of $2.51 trillion. Orders for durable goods had risen by 10 percent in 2004 and 4.2 percent in 2003 after posting declines in 2002 and 2001, the year the country was in recession.
In other economic news, the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to 283,000. That was up by 11,000 from the previous week. However, the four-week moving average for claims dropped to 288,750, the lowest level since July 2000.
The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.
The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."
Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
HEY DEMS - If Alito gets on the SC, it's OVER! Don't you understand that? Life as we have known it in the USA for over 200 years will cease to exist because Democracy itself will cease to exist. The President will have all the power, make all the laws and answer to NO ONE!
NYP January 25, 2006 -- WASHINGTON — Most American voters now say there's no way they'd vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008 — while just 16 percent are firmly in her camp, a stunning new poll shows. The Gallup/CNN poll found that 51 percent say they definitely won't vote for Clinton (D-N.Y.) in 2008, another 32 percent might consider it, and only 16 percent vow to back her.
That means committed anti-Hillary voters outnumber pro-Hillary voters by 3-1.
Men are especially anti-Clinton — 60 percent say there's no way they'd back her for commander-in-chief, and that rises to 62 percent among men 50 and over.
Among women, 22 percent say they'd definitely vote for Clinton, but just 11 percent of men agree. Her support is also lower among whites — 14 percent are committed supporters, compared with 28 percent of nonwhites.
Even among self-proclaimed liberals, just 33 percent say they'd definitely vote for her.
The poll suggests she can forget about crossover votes — 90 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of conservatives say there's no way they'd back her.
An international poll done for Britain's BBC says Iraqis and Afghans are most optimistic about their economic future, while Italians are among the downcast.
Joining the Italians in the pessimism category at people in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, says the poll of 37,500 people in 32 nations.
Joining the Afghans and Iraqis in the optimistic category are Canadians who are bullish not only about their own finances (64 percent), but also about their country (63 percent).
In Afghanistan, 70 percent of respondents said their own circumstances are improving, and 57 percent said the country overall is on the way up. In Iraq, 65 percent believe their personal life is getting better, and 56 percent are upbeat about the country's economy, the BBC reported.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Sen. Patrick Leahy: "President Bush seeks to make the Supreme Court a Constitutional extension of the Presidency" PUHLEEEAZE. Hyperbole thy name is Leahy.
Sen. Ted Kennedy: "I am against the strip searching of 10 year old warrants". I've heard of "abuse of warrants" but this is going too far!!!!.
Sen. Joe Biden: "Alito doesn't understand discrimination" And you do Senator? Oh sorry Joe, forgot, you were born a poor black child.
Sen. Diane Feinstein: "When Ginsberg was nominated, the country wasn't polarized". Wanna bet?
"It has nothing to do with qualifications and credentials." Translation: The only credential that matters is that you agree with me.
Sen. Lyndsey Graham: "We'll clean your clock if you make judicial appointments a campaign issue. We welcome that debate". BINGO!
Three hours of Senatorial bloviations changing nothing. 10-8 straight party line vote to move the nomination on to the full Senate.
WND/NBC's "The Book of Daniel" may have launched to great controversy and hoopla.
But, today, the show ended with a whimper – pulled unceremoniously from NBC's Friday night schedule, effective immediately, with no more of an announcement than an entry on an NBC blog by creator Jack Kenny.
"Unfortunately, due to many reasons, 'The Book of Daniel' will no longer be aired on NBC on Friday nights," he wrote to fans. "I just wanted to say 'thank you' to all of you who supported the show. There were many wonderful, talented people who contributed to its success – and I do mean success. Whatever the outcome, I feel that I accomplished what I set out to do: A solid family drama, with lots of humor, that honestly explored the lives of the Webster family. Good, flawed people, who loved each other no matter what ... and there was always a lot of 'what'! I remain proud of our product, proud of my association with Sony, NBC Universal, and NBC, who all took a chance on a project that spoke to them, and proud to have made an impact on so many of your lives."
This must be the same guy who termed "Howard the Duck" a blockbuster. If this is what constitutes a success, I'd hate to see his definition of failure.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Baghdad, 23 Jan. (AKI) - A 3,000-strong militia has been created in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, central Iraq, to protect civilians from insurgent violence, a tribal chieftan in surrounding Anbar province told Adnkronos International (AKI), speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The formation of the new militia was decided in conjunction with the US-led coalition, and is aimed at protecting people in the area and repelling terrorist elements," the chieftan said. On Sunday, several armed groups fighting against Iraq's transitional government and its US-led coalition force backers of Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi's al-Qaeda linked group. The groups in a statement posted on the Internet said they had severed all links with the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi, who is suspected of masterminding some of the bloodiest attacks in Iraq.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi officials named Raouf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman, a Kurd, as the new chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein, a top case investigator said Monday.
Abdel-Rahman would replace Rizgar Mohammed Amin, who submitted a letter of resignation on January 15 amid accusations that he was too lenient with trial defendants, said the investigator, Raid Juhi.
Abdel-Rahman will be an interim chief judge, Juhi said.
Amin handed in his resignation to the Iraq High Tribunal citing "personal reasons." He has been strongly criticized inside Iraq for allowing Hussein and his co-defendants to speak out of turn and levy accusations against both the court itself and the U.S. occupation.
Juhi, the chief investigator who prepared evidence for the case, said Iraqi authorities were unable to resolve differences with Amin, who also is Kurdish.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
AP/PASADENA, Calif. Jan 22, 2006 — The new president on "The West Wing" will be a real short-timer: NBC announced Sunday it was pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning political drama after seven seasons in May.
NBC, struggling to regain its footing after the worst season in its history, also outlined several midseason schedule changes including the moves of popular dramas "Law & Order" and "Las Vegas."
"The West Wing" announcement wasn't much of a surprise. Although this season's story line with a presidential campaign involving a Democrat played by Jimmy Smits and Republican portrayed by Alan Alda has been strong critically, ratings have sunk with its move to Sunday nights.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.
Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.
The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.
Efforts to contact Osthoff for comment through her mother and a friend failed.
A spokeswoman at the German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report. The German government is known to have paid ransoms for hostages in the past, but has refused to comment on whether it did so for Osthoff.
Osthoff, who converted to Islam and lived in Iraq, was seized heading north from Baghdad on November 25 by gunmen who threatened in a videotape to kill her and her driver unless Germany ended all support for the Iraqi government.
Speculation about the circumstances of her kidnapping and release has swirled in the German media since the German government announced on December 18 that she was free.
Two days after her release, the German government freed a Hizbollah member jailed for life in 1985 for the murder of a U.S. Navy diver. Berlin has denied a connection between the two events.
Sharing the booty with your kidnappers for your own kidnapping would pretty much make you an accomplice, wouldn't it?
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Senator Hillary Clinton yesterday accused President George W. Bush of mishandling the threat from Iran while she's been accepting money from supporters of the renegade Iranian regime.
Wealthy businessmen Hassan Nemazee and Faraj Aalaei who are associated with the American Iranian Council, a pro-regime, anti-sanctions group, are vocal Clinton supporters and contributors. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Namazee has contributed $4,000 to Clinton's reelection while Aalaei contributed $1,000.
Insight Magazine, published by the Washington Times, describes their lobby this way: "the American-Iranian Council [AIC], a pro-regime lobbying group [are] trying to get Congress and the Bush administration to lift the trade embargo on Iran."
According to reports in Hillary Clinton's home state, she's also raising money from Gati Kashani, another figure linked with the Iranian Mullahs and who also supports the regime.
This could come back to haunt her.
Friday, January 20, 2006
AP/Washington The Washington Post shut down one of its blogs Thursday after the newspaper's ombudsman raised the ire of readers by writing that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to the Democrats as well as to Republicans.
At the center of a congressional bribery investigation, Abramoff gave money to Republicans while he had his clients donate to both parties, though mostly to Republicans.
In her Sunday column, ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that Abramoff "had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties," prompting a wave of nasty reader postings on post.blog.
There were so many personal attacks that the newspaper's staff could not "keep the board clean, there was some pretty filthy stuff," and so the Post shut down comments on the blog, (emphasis mine) or Web log, said Jim Brady, executive editor of washingtonpost.com.
"We're not giving up on the concept of having a healthy public dialogue with our readers, but this experience shows that we need to think more carefully about how we do it," Brady wrote on the newspaper's Web site. "There are things that we said we would not allow, including personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech."
Without"personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech." what do the moonbats have left?
From the NYP, January 20, 2006 -- Size doesn't matter — at least not in the war on terror, according to Star Jones.
Yesterday, the co-host of "The View" told viewers that the war on terror was nothing more than a clash of male egos between President Bush and Osama bin Laden.
"You know what? At some point, one of these men has to put it back in his pants and zip up the zipper," she said during a discussion of bin Laden's latest audio tape
Jones, a former Brooklyn prosecutor turned TV star, has a long history of speaking her mind — but even her co-hosts seemed taken aback by her by her latest rant.
She even suggested that Bush hold some kind of talk with the man behind 9/11.
"I won't trust him, but anything that gives me the opportunity to seek peace, I would at least check it out.
"People make deals with the devil all the time. We make deals with people we don't like," she said during the show's opening segment.
Star better shut her mouth and defer to a bonafide foreign policy expert----- like Sean Penn.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Doha, 19 Jan. (AKI) - An audio message purportedly by Osama bin Laden, aired by the pan-Arab channel Al-Jazeera, threatens new attacks on the United States. "We are preparing new strikes and you will see them sooner rather than later" said the recording of what the network says is bin Laden's voice. "Iraq is not the only battle ground, as you have seen with other recent attacks in European territory".
The three minute message also offers a "long truce" in returnh for an American withdrawal form Iraq. "We propose a long truce to allow the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan which have suffered so much from the war" it says. The only losers in this truce will be arms dealers and producers," it continues.
The al-Qaeda number one says his message is directed to the American people and makes reference to what appear to be recent US opinion polls indicating growing support for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
It is more than a year since the last message from the al-Qaeda chief broadcast by Al Jazeera and the long silence had prompted intense speculation that he may have died or been killed.
Appears Osama has some allies in this country wouldn't you say.
Oh, and btw....this quote from the BBC: The voice on the tape said the reason there had not been an attack in the US since 11 September 2001 was not because of superior US security, but because the group had been engaged in activities in Iraq and because operations in the US "need preparations".
Kinda legitimizes the " It's better to fight them over there than here" narrative the left has been so willing to dismiss.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-time claims for state unemployment benefits plunged by 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 in the week ending Jan. 14, the Labor Department said Thursday.
This is the lowest level since mid-April 2000. Read the full report.
The four-week average of new claims fell by 12,000 to 299,000 last week, the lowest since mid-October 2000.
The drop was unexpected. Economists were expecting an increase in initial claims to about 317,000.
Claims in the previous week were revised to an increase of 15,000 to 307,000 compared with the initial estimate of a 17,000 gain to 309,000.
On heels of Vermont outrage, predator gets only probation.
A former high school teacher who pleaded guilty to the homosexual rape of one of his teenage students will avoid jail time.
Gregory Pathiakis, 26, of Brockton, Mass., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of rape of a child, enticement of a child under 16, five counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of harmful material to a child, according to the Enterprise newspaper of Brockton, Mass.
Pathiakis, who quit his job after school officials questioned his extracurricular contact with students, was arrested in January 2004 after a 15-year-old boy told authorities the Middleboro High School teacher raped him Dec. 23, 2003.
Prosecutors asked Brockton Superior Court Judge Susanne V Delvechio to give Pathiakis four to eight years in state prison, followed by five years probation. But she issued a suspended, 2 1/2-year jail term, followed by five years probation.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a judge in Vermont drew national outrage this month after giving an admitted child rapist a 60-day jail sentence.
Delvecchio, the first woman to be appointed chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court, was honored in 2000 as the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Association's annual dinner.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Jan. 18, 2006 — ABC News has learned that al Qaeda's master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert was one of the men killed in last week's U.S. missile attack in eastern Pakistan.
Midhat Mursi, 52, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, was identified by Pakistani authorities as one of three known al Qaeda leaders present at an apparent terror summit conference in the village of Damadola.
The United States had posted a $5 million reward for Mursi's capture. He is described by U.S. authorities as the man who ran al Qaeda's infamous Derunta training camp in Afghanistan, where he used dogs and other animals as subjects of experiments with poison and chemicals.
This is extraordinarily important," said former FBI agent Jack Cloonan, an ABC News consultant, who was the senior agent on the FBI's al Qaeda squad. "He's the man who trained the shoe bomber, Richard Reid and Zacharias Mousssaoui, as well as hundreds of others."
Now that's how the US Military prepares a "Shish Kabob".
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that a lower court was wrong to strike down New Hampshire abortion restrictions, steering clear of a major ruling on whether such laws place an undue burden on women.
The opinion was written by retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a key swing voter at the court on abortion rights.
Justices said a lower court went too far by permanently blocking the law that requires a parent to be told before a daughter ends her pregnancy.
An appeals court must now reconsider the law, which requires that a parent be informed 48 hours before a minor child has an abortion but makes no exception for a medical emergency that threatens the youth's health.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
(CBS/AP) An Arab television channel aired a silent 20-second videotape Tuesday night of hostage American reporter Jill Carroll and said an accompanying message gave the U.S. 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq or the journalist would be killed.
Al-Jazeera would not tell AP from whom it received the tape, but issued a statement itself calling for Carroll's release. A producer for the network said the tape was received on Tuesday.
The tape showed Carroll sitting in front of a white background and speaking, but her voice could not be heard.
The 28-year-old freelance reporter for The Christian Science Monitor has not been heard from since she was grabbed Jan. 7 in one of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. Gunmen ambushed her car and killed her translator shortly after she left the offices of a Sunni Arab politician
AN ISLAMIC campaign group has called for a Catholic primary school to be based on the Muslim faith.
The Campaign for Muslim Schools said 90 per cent of pupils at St Albert's Primary, in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow, are Muslim, yet children are having to take part in Catholic rituals like saying the Lord's Prayer and attending mass.
Osama Saeed, co-ordinator of the alliance of Glasgow's main mosques and Muslim organisations, said he could see no reason why the main faith of the school should not change.
He said: "Clearly the parents of that area find a faith school, even if it is of another denomination, preferable to a secular one. But surely it should be possible for them to have one that is relevant to their own faith.
Via Greg at Rhymeswithright
The 1994 Agreed Framework between North Korea and the United States contained two profound flaws that enabled Pyongyang to continue developing a nuclear arsenal and led to the current nuclear crisis, former International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director General Pierre Goldschmidt said this week.
The agreement “sowed the seeds of the present potentially dangerous stalemate” by allowing North Korea to restrict agency inspections, Goldschmidt wrote in a policy brief published Tuesday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Under the terms of the deal, the United States pledged to build light-water reactors for Pyongyang and to supply fuel oil in exchange for Pyongyang’s commitment to freeze its nuclear activities, including plutonium production.
“The second flaw of the Agreed Framework was that it allowed North Korea to retain in storage all of its spent fuel containing weapons-grade plutonium and to maintain a reprocessing facility in a state of readiness so that North Korea could restart operation at any time,” according to Goldschmidt.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Police will allege the woman stabbed her 35-year-old partner with a pair of scissors during an argument over him playing Burning Love over and over again.
The woman would appear in a magistrate's court in Northam, 97km north east of Perth, charged with unlawful wounding, WA police said.
The man was treated at Northam hospital for lacerations to his head, back and legs, police said.
Sounds like self defense to me.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said panel Democrats did not want to vote Tuesday, as per a November agreement with Republicans, citing Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.
Democrats and good faith is an oxymoron
Friday, January 13, 2006
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act which, in part, gives federal officials wider authority to use wiretaps and other surveillance techniques. Some people say the Patriot Act is a necessary and effective tool in preventing terrorist attacks, while others say the act goes too far and could violate the civil liberties of average Americans. Which comes closer to your view -- overall, would you say the Patriot Act is a good thing for America or a bad thing for America?
Based on what you know, do you support or oppose extending the Patriot Act when it comes up for renewal?
Not sure: 11%
When you hear of government officials anonymously leaking top-secret national security information to the press, are you more inclined to think of the officials as patriots who are blowing the whistle because they think something illegal might be going on, or traitors who are leaking government secrets and possibly causing harm to the country?
Not sure: 23%
Do you think the president should or should not have the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States?
Should not: 36%
Not sure: 6%
In an effort to identify terrorist activity, do you think the president should or should not have the power to authorize the National Security Agency to do computer searches of large numbers of international phone calls coming in and out of the United States without getting warrants?
Should not: 34%
Not sure: 7%
Robin GivhanWashington Post Staff Writer
There was something charmingly awkward about her blue cardigan. A cable-knit cardigan! At a Senate hearing! The sweater has all those connotations of Dan Rather informality, softness, ease and grandmotherly coziness. It is the antithesis of power and strength. The sweater was also baby blue. That isn't clothing as armor, but clothing as security blanket. Remember Linus?
It was as though the nominee's wife had quietly brought her own binky into the room. But then, who couldn't use a little comfort during such a public ordeal?
Her gold tweed suit might have passed without much commentary -- save for the fabric's similarity to the upholstery that once covered La-Z-Boys. But then some committee members pressed her husband on his relationship with Concerned Alumni of Princeton, an organization notable for its displeasure over the admittance of women and minorities to the university. Martha-Ann Alito's face crumpled into a pained frown and she began to cry. She was swaddled in gold tweed.
See, Mrs Alito did something inexcusable, she made the Democrats look bad and there's always a price to be paid for that.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Sen Herb Kohl: To Alito "How should Justice Oconner be remembered?" If SDO was a tree, what kind of a tree would she like to be? JEEEEZ
91. Tough Sh!t
If she's crying now, just wait til she hears the things people say about her husband if he is confirmed to the SCOTUS.You're in the public eye for crying out loud. Grow up bitch, there will always be people who hate your fascist husband!
13. Why waste time, energy and ink.........
on this woman? She's got smug, sheltered, elitist twit written all over her........and I wanna know who dresses her funny.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Martha-Ann Alito reacts during the third day of the confirmation hearings for her husband Judge Samuel Alito as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006. Mrs. Alito reacted to the apology by Republican Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham , R-S.C. for the contentious nature of questioning during the hearing. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Sen. Patrick Leahy: "The President can't "pack the court".
"Packing the court" is something FDR tried to do by adding additional justices Senator.
Nominating people for SCOTUS with similar ideologies is the time honored rule and has nothing to do with what FDR attempted.
Sen Ted Kennedy: "In an era when America is still too often divided by race and by riches, Judge Alito has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color alleging race discrimination on the job. In fifteen years on the bench, not one. LIE!
Reynolds v. USX Corp., Zubi v. AT&T Corp., Smith v. Davis, and Goosby v. Johnson & Johnson --GOP senators say, Alito ruled for employees claiming racial discrimination.
Sen Chuck Schumer: "I have'nt made up my mind yet" BWAAAAHAHAHA
Sen. Dick Durbin: "We don't want to make abortion a crime...except in the most extreme circumstances." Say what?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: "Is it ok for the President to authorize the murder of someone?" Only if the Presidents a Democrat, Senator.
Sen Joe Biden: "It's about who you're replacing because it's about whether you will alter the constitutional balance". No, it's not Plugs, read the constitution.
Sen. Herb Kohl:"The laws in the Constitution are ambiguous and open to many interpretations." In your dreams Senator.
Sen. Teddy Kennedy “Why should we believe that you’ll act as an independent check on the president when he claims the power to ignore the laws passed by Congress?” What in hell does that mean?
Sen. Arlen Spectre: "Is it appropriate for the courts to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional."
Errrr, isn't that the reason SCOTUS exists?
Sen. Dick Durbin: "Your group discriminates against women according to Diane Weeks"
Judge Alito: "I hired Diane Weeks".
Sen. Chuck Schumer: Schumer quoted as telling aide, "It's clear Alito is trying to goad us into getting mad at him" Beyond commentary.
Question to Alito: "What was your state of mind in 1985?" This is getting downright silly
Welcome New York Times readers.
BBC /President Hugo Chavez's policy of keeping a tight control on food retail prices while doubling the price of raw coffee beans back in December may have backfired.
For at least a week, there has been no roasted coffee available on the shelves of Venezuelan supermarkets as wholesalers and coffee producers have been withholding their coffee from sale.
Since 2003, President Chavez has maintained a strict price regime on some basic foods like coffee, beans, sugar and powdered milk.
But this measure designed to curb inflation has alienated Venezuela's coffee producers who say their profit margins have been reduced to nothing.
Something the Socialists/Communists have'nt learned yet....the quickest way to make a commodity disappear is to apply price controls.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Mexican alien smugglers plan to pay violent gang members and smuggle them into the United States to murder Border Patrol agents, according to a confidential Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by the Daily Bulletin.
The Officer Safety Alert, dated Dec. 21, warns agents that the smugglers intend to bring members of the international Mara Salvatrucha street gang also known as MS-13 into the country for the deadly mission.
"Unidentified Mexican alien smugglers are angry about the increased security along the U.S./Mexico border and have agreed that the best way to deal with U.S. Border Patrol agents is to hire a group of contract killers," the alert states.
MS-13, which has a strong base in El Salvador, is considered by the FBI to be one of the most dangerous gangs in the United States, with more than 20,000 members.
Gang members have been found in 33 states and connected to murder, racketeering, assault, rapes and extortion. Last January, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided six cities and made more than 100 arrests of MS-13 gang members.
Intelligence officials last year reported
Monday, January 09, 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached over the war in Iraq, a former top British soldier has said.
The ex-UN commander in Bosnia General Sir Michael Rose said Mr Blair had to take responsibility for his actions.
"To go to war on what turns out to be false grounds is something that no one should be allowed to walk away from," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
A Downing Street spokesman said Sir Michael was entitled to his view but had been retired for some time.
"The government is entitled to point out that there have been three democratic elections in Iraq," said the prime minister's official spokesman.
Wes Clark/John Murtha wannabe.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Iraq's fractious political groups could form a coalition government within weeks, the country's president said Saturday, as U.S. officials have increased post-election contacts with disaffected Sunni Arabs linked to the insurgency.
Jalal Talabani, Iraq's Kurdish president, offered a timeframe on the formation of a government after meeting with visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who said Iraqis remain optimistic about their future despite suffering through a violent week that saw nearly 200 people killed in two days, including 11 U.S. troops.
In an effort to help draw Sunni Arabs into the political process as a way to dampen the violence, U.S. officials for months have been communicating directly or through channels with members of the disaffected minority connected to the insurgency.
A Western diplomat on Saturday reported a recent "uptick" in those contacts.
Those insurgents "sense that the political process does protect the Sunni community's interest," the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a member of the Shiite Alliance and head of the Dawa party, said in a separate meeting with Straw that the Shiite "alliance and the coalition of Kurdistan and the other tickets, fortunately, are keen to make a national unity government. That common feeling will make the process easier."
This does not support the narrative of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay decided Saturday to give up his post as House majority leader, clearing the way for new leadership elections among House Republicans eager to shed the taint of scandal, two officials said.
These officials said DeLay, R-Texas, was preparing a letter informing fellow House Republicans of his decision. These officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt the formal announcement.
DeLay is battling campaign finance charges in Texas and was forced to step aside temporarily as majority leader last fall after he was charged in his home state. He has consistently maintained his innocence and said he intended to resume his leadership post once cleared.
Jan 7, 2006 — BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A female Western journalist was kidnapped in Baghdad on Saturday and her translator killed, police said.
They said she was on her way to a meeting with a Sunni Arab leader when a car carrying an unknown number of gunmen blocked her vehicle in the Adel district near Malik bin Anas mosque in west Baghdad.
The gunmen shot dead her driver, an Iraqi journalist who also worked as her translator, abandoned their car and drove off in hers.
There has been a spate of kidnappings of Westerners in Iraq over the past few months after a lull during most of 2005. Four Christian peace activists — a Briton, an American and two Canadians — are still being held captive. A French engineer is also being held.
Keep this up and maybe they'll start getting some bad press.............NAW.
Friday, January 06, 2006
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. job growth slowed in December to 108,000 even as the unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to a cyclical low of 4.9%, the Labor Department said Friday.
The seasonally adjusted growth in nonfarm payrolls was less than the 205,000 expected by economists, but upward revisions to prior months totaling 71,000 put total payrolls near the expected level of 134.5 million.
November's net job growth was revised to 305,000 from 215,000 previously. It was the largest gain in more than a year.
In December, average hourly wages increased 5 cents, or 0.3%, to $16.34. Average wages rose 3.1% in 2005.
INDIANAPOLIS AP- A Republican lawmaker has filed a bill to make abortion illegal in Indiana, saying if it became law, it could ultimately be a vehicle to get the U.S. Supreme Court with new members to overturn abortion rights.
But Gov. Mitch Daniels said Thursday that his sense was "it would have a very limited prospect of ultimate success."
The bill by Rep. Troy Woodruff of Vincennes would change Indiana's feticide law to make it a Class C felony, punishable with a two- to eight-year prison sentence, to perform an abortion.
The only exception would be when carrying a pregnancy to term would pose a "substantial permanent impairment of the life or physical health of the pregnant woman."
Woodruff said he filed the bill Wednesday in part because there will be a new U.S. Supreme Court and a state must pass a law and then appeal it to the highest court to see if the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling would stand.
"Also the people have never had an opportunity through their lawmakers) to vote on the matter," Woodruff said.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
NORFOLK, Va. Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson criticized Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today, connecting Sharon's stroke to Israeli policies.Robertson said Sharon divided Israel and ... quote ... "woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU (European Nation), the United Nations, or the United States of America."
The comments came on "The 700 Club," broadcast from Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach.
Robertson said he considers Sharon a good friend, and that he was sad to see him so ill.
Robertson spokeswoman Angell Watts did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
These sort of inane comments only serve to bolster the lefts assertion that people of faith are fruitcakes.
WASHINGTON AP- The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than five years last week, providing strong evidence that the labor market is shaking off the effects of a string of devastating hurricanes.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 35,000 to 291,000, the smallest number since Sept. 23, 2000, when the economy was in the concluding months of the longest economic expansion in history.
The decline of 35,000 claims was much better than Wall Street had been expecting and bolstered the belief that the labor market is on the mend after a rough period in the fall when Gulf Coast hurricanes caused the loss of more than 600,000 jobs over a period of four months.
Economists are predicting that 2006 will represent another year of steady growth in jobs of around 175,000 per month. That reflects their belief that the economy will keep growing at a solid pace this year as business spending to expand and modernize production facilities offsets expected slower growth in housing sales and overall consumer spending.
UPDATE: Guess the news just sounded "too good" because AP changed the wording in the first paragragh:WASHINGTON - The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than five years last week, but economists cautioned that the decline is probably overstating the improvements in the labor market.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
NBC affiliate WTWO in Terre Haute, Indiana, has become the first station to announce they will not be showing "The Book of Daniel.”
"We expect other NBC affiliates will join WTWO in their decision,” said American Family Association (AFA) Chairman Donald E. Wildmon.
He also said that NBC is having trouble finding sponsors for the show. AFA says it has been notified by several companies that they have no plans to sponsor the show.
"It appears that NBC will be forced to fill the available ad spots with ‘distressed merchandise’ ads which are sold at pennies on the dollar of the going rate, and with ‘make good’ ads which bring in no money to the network,” Wildmon said.
Wildmon said that other NBC affiliates, bombarded with hundreds of phone calls protesting the manner in which Christians and Christianity are depicted, will refuse to carry the program. "We are tired of NBC’s anti-Christian bigotry,” he stated.
Whatever Republicans are involved in wrongdoing ought to pay a heavy price, I suspect it would be too much to ask that the Democrats demand the same for the guilty in their party.
The left may as well accept the inevitable. They aren't going to stop this one regardless.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has received a "well qualified" rating from the American Bar Association.
The ABA Wednesday said its 15-member Standing committee voted unanimously, with one recusal, to give Alito the group's highest rating.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is set to convene hearings on Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court Tuesday. President George Bush selected Alito to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who said in July she wished to retire.
NEW YORK In one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years, television and newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners in West Virginia had been found alive and safe. Hours later they had to reverse course, often blaming the mix-up on "miscommunication."
For hours, starting just before midnight, newspaper reporters and anchors such as Rita Crosby interviewed euphoric loved ones and helped spread the news about the miracle rescue.
Newspaper Web sites announced the happy news and many put it into print for Wednesday right at late deadlines. The Washington Post story by Ann Scott Tyson, which appears on the front page, opened: "A dozen miners trapped 12,000 feet into a mountainside since early Monday were found alive Tuesday night just hours after rescuers found the body of a 13th man, who had died in an explosion in an adjacent coal mine that was sealed off in early December."(snip)
Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, ripped the coal company at 3 a.m. for not correcting the wrong reports for so long, but did not explain why CNN went with the good news without strong confirmation.
"Disturbing and disgraceful" have become the rule rather than the exception.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Baghdad, 3 Jan. (AKI) - The leader of the Iranian mujahadeen, Massoud Rajavi, who was thought to have been in hiding since the American occupation of Iraq, is under house arrest there, according to the Paris-based website, roozonline. Massoud Rajavi and another 27 leaders of the Iranian movement, who were confined in the Ashraf base, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, have reportedly been shifted to US military custody in the Mercury Camp. The Iranian mujahadeen is a militant guerrilla movement seeking to overthrow the government of Iran and was based first in France and then in Iraq.
The Mujahadeen of the Iranian People is active in Europe under the name of the National Resistance Council, with a declared aim of overthrowing the Islamic republic of Iran. Listed as a terror group by Washington and the European Union, the Muajahadeen were founded in the late 1960s, before the Islamic Revolution in Iran as the armed wing of a religious movement opposing the then monarchy.
BAGHDAD, Jan. 2 - The largest Sunni Arab political group in Iraq unexpectedly moved toward agreement with Kurdish leaders Monday on a broad framework for a coalition government. The group, the Iraqi Consensus Front, said it would abandon claims that national elections last month had been rigged once international election monitors finish their review of the allegations.
A Sunni consensus party official, Ahmad Rushdi, said that meetings in Iraqi Kurdistan between the party and the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani yielded "an agreement that the results from the international monitoring committee" - which is examining the vote - "would be approved." After results are final, he said, "discussion will continue about the formation of the upcoming government."
If the Kurds and Sunnis eventually did reach a political agreement, any deal to ultimately be part of a coalition government would be shaped by the dominant Shiite political alliance, which is expected to control nearly half the seats in parliament.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Firebrand Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been named "Person of the Year for 2005" in an online poll by the Black Entertainment Television network, beating out Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Barack Obama and BET founder Robert L. Johnson.
"An overwhelming percentage of our users agreed that Minister Farrakhan made the most positive impact on the black community over the past year," BET.com vice president Retha Hill told FinalCall.com, Farrakhan's own web site.
Farrakhan told BET.com that he was "greatly honored and extremely humbled" to be chosen as their 2005 Person of the Year.
"I accept this great honor as encouragement to work as hard as I can in the twilight years of my life to facilitate the success of this ongoing struggle,” he added.