August 28th, 2008

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Russia wins support from China in Georgia conflict

Russia missile test heightens standoff with West

1 hour, 38 minutes ago

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia on Thursday tested an inter-continental missile, reports said, heightening tensions with the West as France warned the European Union could slap sanctions on Moscow over the Georgia conflict.

Russia also sought international support for its stance at a summit with China and Central Asian nations.

The missile test in northern Russia came barely a week after the United States completed an accord with Poland on basing an anti-missile shield in central Europe and as Russia accuses NATO of building up its navy vessels in the Black Sea.

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Worker confidence in job market sags to '01 recession levels

Related
Sears' 2Q profit drops 62 percent

Survey: US workers' confidence in job market sags

By ELLEN SIMON, AP Business WriterThu Aug 28, 1:41 AM ET

American workers' confidence in the job market is as low as it was during the 2001 recession, according to a survey released Thursday.

When asked whether this is a bad time to find a quality job, 65 percent said it was, matching the level of the 2001 recession, according to the survey by Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.

With unemployment at 5.7 percent, the highest level since 2004, and weekly unemployment claims hitting a six-year high earlier this month, workers are worried about everything from their weekly hours to their total pay.

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China, Iraq reach $3 bln oil service deal

By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer 17 minutes ago

China and Iraq have signed a $3 billion deal revising an earlier agreement for China's biggest oil company to help develop the Ahdab oil field, an official at the Iraq's Oil Ministry said Thursday.

The deal, restoring a project canceled after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, was signed late Wednesday by Chinese officials and Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani.

"The initial agreement has been signed, and we are waiting to see the approval of both governments," said Sarhad Fatah, a spokesman at the Iraqi Embassy in Beijing.

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Is Tony Rezko Working For The Feds?

Chicago Sun-Times
suntimes.com Member of the Sun-Times News Group

As his sentencing nears, pressure is mounting on Tony Rezko to cooperate with federal investigations into some of the highest-profile politicians in the state -- including Gov. Blagojevich.

Two more trials -- one in Chicago next spring, one in Las Vegas -- hover over the Wilmette businessman and onetime prolific political fund-raiser for the governor and Barack Obama.

Now, sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times that Rezko has been seen at the federal courthouse as many as a dozen times since his June conviction. He's been held since then at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

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DoJ Wants Reduced Sentence For Abramoff

Justice Dept Seeks Reduced Abramoff Sentence

Since his conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff has spent more than 3,000 hours helping more than 100 law enforcement agents in an ongoing federal corruption probe that has implicated "scores of other persons not yet charged," attorneys said in court filings today.

The Post's James V. Grimaldi reports that the extent of Abramoff's cooperation was described in documents from both prosecutors and defense lawyers. They are seeking leniency from the judges who heard the two cases that landed the Republican influence broker in federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

If a federal judge in Washington accepts the recommendation from the Justice Department, Abramoff would serve no more than another three years and three months in prison, not accounting for credit for good behavior awarded by the Bureau of Prisons. Abramoff's attorneys are seeking even more leniency that could have him released from prison by 2010.

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KBR Sued For Human Trafficking

KBR, Partner in Iraq Contract Sued in Human Trafficking Case

By Dana Hedgpeth

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 28, 2008; A13

A Washington law firm filed a lawsuit yesterday against KBR, one of the largest U.S. contractors in Iraq, alleging that the company and its Jordanian subcontractor engaged in the human trafficking of Nepali workers.

Agnieszka Fryszman, a partner at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, said 13 Nepali men, between the ages of 18 and 27, were recruited in Nepal to work as kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants in Amman, Jordan. But once the men arrived in Jordan, their passports were seized and they were told they were being sent to a military facility in Iraq, Fryszman said.

As the men were driven in cars to Iraq, they were stopped by insurgents. Twelve were kidnapped and later executed, Fryszman said. The thirteenth man survived and worked in a warehouse in Iraq for 15 months before returning to Nepal.

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The Internet's Biggest Security Hole

Revealed

By Kim Zetter lAugust 26, 2008 | 8:00:00 PMCategories: DefCon, Glitches and Bugs, Hacks and Cracks

Two security researchers have demonstrated a new technique to stealthily intercept internet traffic on a scale previously presumed to be unavailable to anyone outside of intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency.

The tactic exploits the internet routing protocol BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) to let an attacker surreptitiously monitor unencrypted internet traffic anywhere in the world, and even modify it before it reaches its destination.

The demonstration is only the latest attack to highlight fundamental security weaknesses in some of the internet's core protocols. Those protocols were largely developed in the 1970s with the assumption that every node on the then-nascent network would be trustworthy. The world was reminded of the quaintness of that assumption in July, when researcher Dan Kaminsky disclosed a serious vulnerability in the DNS system. Experts say the new demonstration targets a potentially larger weakness.

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Russia: NATO interference means war

Related
NATO helps Georgia restore air defenses, ups Black Sea presence


Wed, 27 Aug 2008 22:09:45 GMT

Russia's ambassador to NATO has warned that any military interference in the Caucasus conflict will be considered as declaration of war.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper Vremya Novostei, Dmitry Rogozin, warned that any NATO attack on the Moscow-backed regions would "mean a declaration of war on Russia."

This is while the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held talks with the Chinese President Hu Jintao in Tajikistan ahead of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which is taking place on Thursday.

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McCain Blows Big Interview With Time Mag

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008

McCain's Prickly TIME Interview

For years, John McCain's marathon bull sessions with reporters were more than a means of delivering a message; they were the message. McCain proudly, flagrantly refused direction from handlers, rarely dodged tough questions and considered those who did wimps and frauds. The style told voters that he was unafraid, that he had nothing to hide and that what you see is what you get. "Anything you want to talk about," he promised reporters aboard the Straight Talk Express in Iowa back in March 2007. "One of the fundamental principles of the bus is that there is no such thing as a dumb question." When asked if he would keep the straight talk coming, McCain replied, "You think I could survive if I didn't? We'd never be forgiven ... I'd have to hire a food taster, somebody to start my car in the morning." Even after he won the GOP nomination, he demanded that his new campaign plane be configured to include a sofa up front so he could re-create the Straight Talk Express at 30,000 ft.

Sticking to the old formula seemed like a good idea. But with the press focused on Obama, McCain got attention only when he slipped up during one of his patented freewheeling encounters with reporters. And so in July, the campaign decided to clamp down on the candidate. Open-ended question time was reduced to almost nothing, and the famously unscripted McCain began heeding his talking points, even as his aides maintained he missed the old informality.

And so when TIME's James Carney and Michael Scherer were invited to the front of McCain's plane recently for an interview, they were ushered forward, past the curtain that now separates reporters from the candidate, past the sofa that was designed for his gabfests with the press and taken straight to the candidate's seat. McCain at first seemed happy enough to do the interview. But his mood quickly soured. The McCain on display in the 24-minute interview was prickly, at times abrasive, and determined not to stray off message. An excerpt:

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Nazi link in 'plot to assassinate Obama'

Published Date: 27 August 2008

By CHRIS STEPHEN

IN DENVER

THE three men arrested over a reported plot to kill the US Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, have ties to the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, police said last night.

Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, Nathan Johnson and Tharin Gartrell are all said to have links to the group.

All three belong to Aryan Nations, according to Victor Ross, the police chief in Glendale, a suburb of Denver where one of the suspects was arrested. The other two were held in Aurora, another suburb.

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There are no uninsured Americans: McCain health care advisor

Texas still leads nation in rate of uninsured residents

12:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

By JASON ROBERSON / The Dallas Morning News
jroberson@dallasnews.com

***

But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

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SCO backs Moscow against West

SCO backs Moscow against West

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 14:23:43 GMT

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has supported Russia's peacekeeping mission in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The organization's member states however reiterated that any solution to the dispute over the region should be based on the principle of territorial integrity, the Russia Today reported.

"Unfortunately, we have to state that attempts are being made to secure certain interests using force, not the principles of strict observance of international law and denial of confrontational bloc thinking," Medvedev told the SCO summit in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.

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Iran proposes using SCO currencies

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 12:16:04 GMT

Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with Russian President Medvedev (R) before Chinese President Hu Jintao (2nd R) and Kazakh President Nazarbayev (2nd L) Dushanbe, Aug 28
Iran has proposed that members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should use their own currencies in trade with each other.

“Iran's suggestion is to use the currencies of the SCO states in transactions between members of the organization,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said as he addressed the SCO summit in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe on Thursday.

“Such a measure will help maintain and strengthen the value of the foreign exchange reserves of member states. The organization can also devise a long term plan to study the feasibility of using a single currency in the future,” he added.

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3,500 Protesters Marched on DNC without Permit, Led by Iraq Veterans

Related
Police arrest two at protesters' house


Screw those orwellian-named "Freedom Cages!"

DENVER - Thousands of anti-war protestors, who marched from the Denver Coliseum to the Pepsi Center on Wednesday afternoon, believe their efforts were worth it, saying they secured a meeting with the staff of the Democratic presidential nominee.

The initial, peaceful-but-unauthorized march, led by about 50 uniformed members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, snaked through the streets of Denver for three hours during rush hour, heading down Brighton Boulevard, along Arapahoe Street, Lawrence Street, then down Speer Boulevard to the Pepsi Center, the site of the Democratic National Convention.

Once the massive group arrived at the DNC, guards locked the gates to the Pepsi Center and walked away. About 20 war veterans and 1,000 protestors remained at the gates. That number was down from what police estimated was about 3,000 to 3,500 people. Organizers had ballparked the size of the march at 12,000 at its height.

VIEW SLIDESHOW

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Feds: Abramoff Implicated 'Scores Of Other Persons Not Yet Charged'

Justice Dept Seeks Reduced Abramoff Sentence

Since his conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff has spent more than 3,000 hours helping more than 100 law enforcement agents in an ongoing federal corruption probe that has implicated "scores of other persons not yet charged," attorneys said in court filings today.

The Post's James V. Grimaldi reports that the extent of Abramoff's cooperation was described in documents from both prosecutors and defense lawyers. They are seeking leniency from the judges who heard the two cases that landed the Republican influence broker in federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

If a federal judge in Washington accepts the recommendation from the Justice Department, Abramoff would serve no more than another three years and three months in prison, not accounting for credit for good behavior awarded by the Bureau of Prisons. Abramoff's attorneys are seeking even more leniency that could have him released from prison by 2010.

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Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow

Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West

Last updated at 16:47pm on 27.08.08

Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a "declaration of war" by Russia.

The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin's envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.

And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea.

Enlarge Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - the 'real architect' of the Georgia conflict - and the Security Council (unseen) in Sochi yesterday

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - the 'real architect' of the Georgia conflict - and the Security Council (unseen) in Sochi yesterday

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Bankruptcy filings surge 29%

Related
“Front running” Against Humanity in the Oil Markets

CNNMoney.com

Wednesday August 27, 5:43 pm ET

By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

As things in the economy have gotten worse, the number of people and businesses heading to bankruptcy court has spiked.

Bankruptcy filings surged 29% in the 12 months that ended June 30, according to government figures released Wednesday.

Total filings rose to 967,831 from 751,056 a year earlier.

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Biden on 9/10/01 warned the 'real threat' may come in 'the belly of a plane'

The Kansas City Star

September 13, 2001, Thursday

Proposed shield would not have helped, critics say

Both sides in missile debate say attacks prove their point

By SCOTT CANON

***

"We will have diverted all that money to address the least likely threat while the real threats come into this country in the hold of a ship, or the belly of a plane, or are smuggled into the city in the middle of the night in a vial in a backpack," Biden told the National Press Club. Missile defense critics on Tuesday found him prophetic.

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Golden, CO has al-Jazeera visit to 'show Arab viewers what Americans are like.' Bad idea.


 Al-Jazeera's presence wasn't appreciated by some residents, including James Morris, left. Golden's mayor at first invited the Al-Jazeera crew to a cookout, then withdrew the offer.
Al-Jazeera's presence wasn't appreciated by some residents, including James Morris, left. Golden's mayor at first invited the Al-Jazeera crew to a cookout, then withdrew the offer. (By Akira Hakuta -- Washingtonpost.com



Live, From Golden, Colo., It's Al-Jazeera

By Dana Milbank

Thursday, August 28, 2008; A22

GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 27 Deep divisions, bad feelings. Tensions that threaten to boil over during this week's gathering in Colorado.

The Obama-Clinton feud at the Democratic National Convention? Well, yes, but that's happening 13 miles to the east of here, in Denver. The fight in Golden is between the townsfolk of this quaint Western hamlet and al-Jazeera English, which is trying to broadcast from here during the convention.

It started innocently enough: Qatar-based al-Jazeera decided it would film the locals in Golden, the home of Coors beer, as they watched the convention from a biker bar Wednesday night. This would allow al-Jazeera's viewers to see Bill Clinton and Joe Biden through the eyes of those in a small American town that could pass as a set for a Hollywood Western.

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Diebold (now Premier Elections Systems) coverup, says SAIC report and Stephen Spoonamore

Added: August 26, 2008

Diebold caught in coverup-It released a redacted SAIC report about its voting machines which was much different from the unredacted version. Stephen Spoonamore confronted the MD Board of Elections with this coverup.



Related

SAIC's Maryland Diebold Report, September 2, 2003

Complete unredacted version, 197 pages including suggested edits and changes made by unknown party.

 Section 1 PDF
 Section 2 PDF
 Section 3 PDF
 Section 4 PDF
 Section 5 PDF

SAIC's Maryland Diebold Report, as Publicly Released September 2, 2003


40 pages

 Redacted Version [PDF, appx 700k]

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Torture As Official Israeli Policy

Thursday, August 28, 2008

by Stephen Lendman

The UN Convention against Torture defines the practice as:

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain and suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity...."

The US and Israel are the only two modern states that legally sanction torture. An earlier article covered America. This one deals with the Jewish state, but let there be no doubt:

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Who are the shadows that pull the puppets' strings?

Jason Robo

Issue date: 8/27/08 Section: OPINION

The 2008 Bilderberg Conference (est. 1954) was held in Chantilly, Virginia from June 5th to the 8th. Bilderberg "comprises around 200 top elitists in government, banking, business, media and academia who meet annually in semi-secrecy and manipulate the world, yet are subject to little or no mainstream media scrutiny", as described in recent coverage on Prisonplanet.com. Bilderberg is a summit of shadowy organizations and clearly violates the 1799 Logan Act restricting unauthorized US citizens from negotiating foreign affairs. Among those who gather are mainstream media owners, war-criminal-extraordinaire Henry Kissinger (still guiding policy in the White House), Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, disgraced former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and elitist David Rockefeller, among many others from across the globe.

Rockefeller alone illustrates how much power is wielded by these men who are exempt from our laws. Bill Moyers described Rockefeller as "the unelected if indisputable chairman of the American Establishment... one of the most powerful, influential and richest men in America... the hub of a vast network of financiers, industrialists and politicians whose reach encircles the globe." David Rockefeller founded the Trilateral Commission when he chaired the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The Trilateral Commission envisions world government composed of three global sectors. Co-founders Greenspan and Volcker both became Federal Reserve Chairmen! Presidents Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, and Carter were also part of the Trilateral Commission. Groups such as these preempt our constitution.

Some believe the presidential race covered by the corporate media is of importance. American political contests and those worldwide are footnotes of Bilderberg's power and the media is absolutely corrupted (look up "left gatekeepers" on Google Images and read Ben Bagdikian's "Media Monopoly"). Politicians are merely a means to an end, a New World Order, which is inscribed on our dollar bills as "NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM." CNN's Raw Story covered Obama's press entourage being duped into flying to Chicago, thinking Obama was on board. An outraged press was notified during takeoff and then Obama's spokesperson denied intentionally deceiving them to protect a "private meeting." Meanwhile, Obama flew into Northern Virginia, coincidentally while Bilderberg was taking place. It's no secret Obama rendezvoused with Mrs. Clinton that night.

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Georgia is the graveyard of America's unipolar world

Russia's defiance in the Caucasus has brought down the curtain on Bush senior's new world order - not before time

If there were any doubt that the rules of the international game have changed for good, the events of the past few days should have dispelled it. On Monday, President Bush demanded that Russia's leaders reject their parliament's appeal to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Within 24 hours, Bush had his response: President Medvedev announced Russia's recognition of the two contested Georgian enclaves.

The Russian message was unmistakable: the outcome of the war triggered by Georgia's attack on South Ossetia on August 7 is non-negotiable - and nothing the titans of the US empire do or say is going to reverse it. After that, the British foreign secretary David Miliband's posturing yesterday in Kiev about building a "coalition against Russian aggression" merely looked foolish.

That this month's events in the Caucasus signal an international turning point is no longer in question. The comparisons with August 1914 are of course ridiculous, and even the speculation about a new cold war overdone. For all the manoeuvres in the Black Sea and nuclear-backed threats, the standoff between Russia and the US is not remotely comparable to the events that led up to the first world war. Nor do the current tensions have anything like the ideological and global dimensions that shaped the 40-year confrontation between the west and the Soviet Union.

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The illusion of growth

Thursday, August 28, 2008 | 10:30 AM

***

Goldman Sachs’ Jan Hatzius:  Durable Goods Orders: Don’t Be Fooled by Inflation

Durable goods orders beat expectations with a 1.3% month-on-month increase in July.  But the apparent strength is due to higher prices, not stronger activity. In fact, deflating orders by the producer price index for durable manufactured goods shows a 9.4% year-on-year drop in real orders, the worst since early 2002. 

Even if we adjust for the unfavorable year-on-year comparisons that partly explain this plunge, the recent data look surprisingly similar to those seen in the runup to the 2001 recession.

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TRICKED INTO PLEADING GUILTY: Denver protesters denied access to attorneys

TRICKED INTO PLEADING GUILTY, TOLD THEY FACED 'YEARS'

John Byrne

Published: Thursday August 28, 2008

The ACLU issued a stinging rebuke to the Denver Police Department Wednesday, alleging that the department may have violated laws and constitutional rights of protesters arrested outside the Democratic National Convention.

In the letter, obtained by RAW STORY, the ACLU revealed that the police refused those arrested access to attorneys. Police did not let detainees use phones unless they posted their own bonds, and even failed to provide shoes, in one case marching a protester into court in bare feet and leg shackles, according the ACLU.

What's more, police are said to have tricked protesters into pleading guilty, by giving them the impression they had to plead guilty in order to post bond. This meant that no one was allowed to make a phone call unless they plead guilty, thus making it impossible for arrestees to even call a lawyer until admitting guilt.

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The west and the rest

The world's pundits are once again pitting Russia against its old foe – but what is 'the west'? Is it Nato, or something more?

* Edward Pearce
* guardian.co.uk,
* Wednesday August 27 2008 07:00 BST

"The west": we say it all the time. "What will the west do to combat this hardline Russian regime, about Georgia?" Nothing actually, apart from froth and affirmation at the Nato meeting where Miliband sounded like Gulliver in Brobdingnag.

This foxed and worn-down term, "the west", is itself at issue. It has been used so often with so little thought by so many not-very-resourceful journalists that it comes out tired. There is often a hint of self-pity about it. Oswald Spengler wrote Der Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline of the West), a book I am happy to know only by report. Hans Carossa, a pretty fair German poet, wrote, in 1945, a long lament beginning "O Abendland".

In darker moments, contemplating the American vice-president who recently compared that rough but rational Vladimir Putin with "A-dolf Hitler", I reckon that the fearful American right, which has so many 1913 impulses, thinks in translation. There used to be a phrase, not much used now, but familiar down in Dixie: "White, western, Christian civilisation." Well nothing wrong with shorthand. For along with the self-pity, there is triumphalism. No inconsistency there. In the world of geopolitics, bang and whimper march arm-in-arm.

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Experts: Many Americans Lost Homes Due to a Bill Championed by Biden

ABC News

Should Biden Share Blame for Foreclosure Crisis?

By JUSTIN ROOD

August 28, 2008—

Experts say hundreds of thousands of Americans may have lost their homes due to a bill championed by Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., Barack Obama's vice-presidential running mate.

At least two studies have concluded that the United States' foreclosure crisis was exacerbated by a 2005 law that overhauled the nation's bankruptcy law. That conclusion is echoed by other experts, although the banking and credit industry disputes it.

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Iraq war lobbyist so wealthy, he wraps gifts with dollar bills

Related
Ed Rogers - SourceWatch: Onetime deputy assistant to President George H.W. Bush


August 26, 2008, 12:56 pm

 Plutocrat Lesson No. 4–How to Wrap Gifts in Dollar Bills

If you want to be a successful plutocrat, you have to perfect the art of the hostess gift.

Edwina Rogers, the wife of Washington lobbyist Ed Rogers, is a master of the form and has developed her own signature specialty. She wraps her thank-yous in sheets of real dollar bills, purchased from the Bureau of Engraving.

In this clip from the pilot episode of “PowerHouse”–a kind of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” show set in Washington and in development for NBC–Mrs. Rogers is shown in her “wrapping room,” a special area of her walk-in closet in her 18,000-square-foot mansion.

She unfurls a roll of dollar bills and starts slicing them up to make the appropriate wrapping sheets. No matter that she slices several dollar bills in half–it is all about lining up the George Washingtons on the front.

“The effect is fabulous, especially for foreigners,” she says. “They love it.”

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Joe Klein on McCain: 'A man who has lost his bearings'

August 28, 2008 10:53

Posted by Joe Klein 

All right. Politicians hate these sorts of process questions--why aren't you hanging out with the press the way you used to do?--but John McCain's crude and angry response to my colleagues strikes me as further evidence of a man who has lost his bearings this year. I mean, he refuses to define what he means by 'honor'? How embarrassing for him.

For the record, I was one of the journalists McCain talked to about his anguish during the Keating Five episode. He believed he was unfairly accused--included because the other four were Democrats and the Democratic majority in the Senate needed the scandal to appear bipartisan. (I interviewed several of his Democratic colleagues who backed his version of events at the time--and he was found to be innocent of any wrongdoing.) But he did say to me--I remember this very clearly; it was at the Republican Convention in 1996 and it was not out of context--that the Keating Five episode was harder, in some ways, than being a prisoner of war because his honor had been called into question. He said there were some days that he was so bummed he could barely leave the house. I took these remarks as strong evidence of McCain's candor and humanity--they were the sort of thing few other politicians would have the guts to say--and it's very sad that that iteration of John McCain, the mensch, has disappeared into the maw of his angry candidacy.

Permalink

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Would-be Obama assassins: Feds - led by Republican operative - not pursuing serious charges

It seems there may be a reason federal law-enforcement officials are not interested in pursuing serious charges against the white-supremacist tweakers who were caught this week in Denver: The man making the decision is a Republican operative. And when it came to a threat against John McCain by a black man, he had a completely different approach.

The AP story describing the official pooh-poohing of the threat gives us a clue:

"We're absolutely confident there is no credible threat to the candidate, the Democratic National Convention, or the people of Colorado," U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said in a statement.

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Putin: Georgia conflict may have been provoked to aid John McCain

21:56 | 28/ 08/ 2008

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin prompted an angry reaction from Washington on Thursday after suggesting the Georgia conflict may have been provoked to give an advantage to "one of" the U.S. presidential candidates.

"If my guess is right, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US deliberately created this conflict in order to worsen the situation and create an advantage... for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States," Putin said on CNN.

The White House dismissed the allegation as "patently false."

"To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate - it sounds not rational," White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

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Transcript: Dennis Kucinich on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly

CQ Transcriptswire

SPEAKERS: REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO

BILL O’REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST

[*] O’REILLY: “Personal Story” segment tonight. Our pal, Congressman Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, a reliably far-left guy, gave a speech here at the convention. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KUCINICH: Up with health care for all! Up with education for all! Up with homeownership! Up with guaranteed retirement benefits! Up with peace! Up with prosperity! Up with the Democratic Party! Up with Obama-Biden! Wake up, America! Wake up, America! Wake up, America!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O’REILLY: All right, I’m awake. You know who you look like there? K.C. and the Sunshine Band. I thought the Sunshine Band was going to come out.

KUCINICH: How did you rate it? That’s my question.

O’REILLY: I mean, listen, you’re the -- everybody else is dead here. You’re the only person alive.

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Civilians given power to issue on-the-spot fines

Local government officials and private security workers have been given police powers to enforce on-the-spot fines for littering, dog fouling and motoring offences.

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent

Last Updated: 2:22PM BST 27 Aug 2008

Despite lacking formal police training, hundreds of civilians have been made part of the "extended police family" by the Home Office under little-known legislation.

They have not been asked to wear any special uniforms to identify themselves, but must wear only a badge that can be as small as 73mm x 80mm.
The disclosure that hundreds of civilians have been given enforcement powers drew accusations that the Government is encouraging the spread of unaccountable policing.

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FEMA takes trailer while soldier is in Afghanistan

07:33 PM CDT on Monday, August 25, 2008
Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News

A wind-shredded American flag still hangs on the front of a home on 4th Street in Chalmette -- one Arnold Crabtree has struggled to rebuild.

Video: Watch the Story

Crabtree was deployed for a year of duty in Afghanistan a couple months ago,  but in the time since he's been gone, the soldier says FEMA came by and took the trailer he had been living in.

Friend and neighbor Kathy Hernandez says Crabtree was shocked when she delivered the news.

"Just freaked out...freaked out, worried," Hernandez said. "He had his sergeant contact FEMA to secure the trailer being there when he arrives home in a year, so you know, he thought he had taken care of everything he needed to before he left."

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FOX News Political Team: 'Why Veterans Should Vote for Obama, Not McCain'

August 28th, 2008 11:44 AM Eastern

Why Veterans Should Vote for Obama, Not McCain

by FOX News Political Team

By Eli Tate, Kansas delegate


After finishing 10 years of active service in the Air Force last May, I was hungry for change in the level of integrity and ethics in our political leadership. I flew over 250 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’ve seen the results first-hand of the Bush administrations mismanagement of our military forces, their families, and our nation’s resources. Like many veterans, I initially considered John McCain to provide that leadership and honesty. I respect Sen. McCain, his service, and his early political career. But then I looked at his voting record on veterans and military family’s issues. He voted against veterans’ health care in favor of continuing tax breaks for the wealthy. He voted against more funding to allow better health care for the National Guard and Reserves and their families. He recently voted against increasing the GI Bill to ensure combat veterans and their families can obtain competitive education after serving their country. That bill was sponsored by Barack Obama. And it passed despite a Bush veto and McCain’s lack of support.

So I want to ask all veterans to take a hard look at which candidate will do more for veterans, their families, and all active, reserve, and guard forces. And I ask all veterans to consider supporting Barack Obama for President in November. Here are some of the reasons I do.

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What's missing from the Democratic convention?

Glenn Greenwald

Thursday Aug. 28, 2008 10:35 EDT

(updated below)

As one would expect them to be, virtually all of the prime-time speeches at the Democratic Convention have been -- from a rhetorical perspective -- very well-crafted and well-delivered. Bill Clinton's speech, in particular, deserves all the plaudits it is receiving, both in terms of content and delivery. But as competent, well-executed and even dramatic as the Convention has been, at least as striking is what has been missing.

First, there is almost no mention of, let alone focus on, the sheer radicalism and extremism of the last eight years. During that time, our Government has systematically tortured people using sadistic techniques ordered by the White House; illegally and secretly spied on its own citizens; broken more laws than can be counted based on the twisted theory that the President has that power; asserted the authority to arrest and detain even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and hold them for years without charges; abolished habeas corpus; created secret prisons in Eastern Europe and a black hole of lawlessness in Guantanamo; and explicitly abandoned and destroyed virtually every political value the U.S. has long claimed to embrace.

Other than a fleeting reference to such matters by John Kerry in a (surprisingly effective) speech which most networks did not broadcast, one would not know, listening to the Democratic Convention, that any of those things have happened. Even our unprovoked and indescribably destructive attack on Iraq, based on purely false pretenses, has received little attention. Those things simply don't exist, even as part of the itemized laundry list of Democratic grievances about the Bush administration. The overriding impression one has is that the only things really wrong during the last eight years in this country are that gas prices are high and not everyone has health insurance. Those are obviously very significant problems, but they are garden-variety political issues which don't begin to capture the extremism that has predominated in this country under GOP rule, and don't remotely approach conveying the crises on numerous fronts the country faces.

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John McCain: Iraq 'A Peaceful And Stable Country Now'


madmccainweb2.jpg

Today, Time Magazine published an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that it conducted aboard McCain’s campaign airplane. Reporters James Carney and Michael Scherer described McCain as “prickly” and “at times, abrasive” during the course of the interview.

Carney and Scherer noted to McCain that the Iraqi government is calling for a deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq even though McCain’s previously stated definition of “victory” — “a peaceful, stable, prosperous democratic state” — has not been achieved. The Arizona senator dismissed their characterization of the situation, saying that Iraq is “a peaceful and stable country now”:

Q: Some members of the [Iraqi] government have made it clear in the last month or two that they might want to withdraw before complete stability, before totally secure borders, before some of the completeness of victory as you described. Is there any change, do you think there is some wiggle room there because what you described with Petraeus was an end point that was rather complete — a peaceful, stable country.

MCCAIN: Its a peaceful and stable country now.

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Democratic convention topics sound so Republican

SFGate

Debra J. Saunders


Thursday, August 28, 2008

(08-28) 04:00 PDT Denver -- In some ways, the Dems' confab sounds a bit like a Republican convention. For example:

-- Nuclear energy? It's big here. The daily convention edition of the National Journal has been running pro-nuclear energy ads on page two every day - and touting the support of Democratic Party biggies.

"Under any scenario, we're going to see more nuclear power, because it's just going to be more cost-effective once there's a price on carbon," quoth one Western senator.

Sen. John McCain? Nope. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.

Radioactive is the new green.

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VP watch: Secret Service inspects Romney's relatives

August 28, 2008

Romney Family Gets Security Sweep

Posted by BLAKE DVORAK

Roll Call is reporting:

If security sweeps are the giveaway, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may be on the brink of being selected as Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) vice presidential running mate.

According to sources with strong Michigan ties, the Secret Service has conducted a security sweep of the home of Romney's sister. Romney was raised in Michigan, where his father served as governor.

However, one campaign operative familiar with the working of a presidential-level campaign cautioned that a sweep of such a location could have been conducted in advance of Romney appearing as a surrogate -- not the vice presidential nominee -- at an upcoming McCain campaign stop in Michigan. 

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NEWSWIRE: AUGUST 28, 2008 - CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

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28th

08:17 am:
Russia wins support from China in Georgia conflict
08:22 am: Worker confidence in job market sags to '01 recession levels
08:25 am: China, Iraq reach $3 bln oil service deal
08:26 am: Is Tony Rezko Working For The Feds?
08:33 am: DoJ Wants Reduced Sentence For Abramoff
08:36 am: KBR Sued For Human Trafficking
08:38 am: The Internet's Biggest Security Hole
08:41 am: Russia: NATO interference means war
08:44 am: McCain Blows Big Interview With Time Mag
08:50 am: Nazi link in 'plot to assassinate Obama'
08:51 am: There are no uninsured Americans: McCain health care advisor
08:55 am: SCO backs Moscow against West
08:57 am: Iran proposes using SCO currencies
09:02 am: 3,500 Protesters Marched on DNC without Permit, Led by Iraq Veterans
09:13 am: Feds: Abramoff Implicated 'Scores Of Other Persons Not Yet Charged'
09:16 am: Watch Denver cops brutalitze ABC reporter - 1 comment
09:27 am:
Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow
09:29 am: Bankruptcy filings surge 29%
09:32 am: Biden on 9/10/01 warned the 'real threat' may come in 'the belly of a plane' - 1 comment
09:53 am:
Golden, CO has al-Jazeera visit to 'show Arab viewers what Americans are like.' Bad idea. - 1 comment
09:57 am:
Diebold (now Premier Elections Systems) coverup, says SAIC report and Stephen Spoonamore
10:17 am: Torture As Official Israeli Policy
10:19 am: Who are the shadows that pull the puppets' strings?
10:28 am: Georgia is the graveyard of America's unipolar world
10:49 am: The illusion of growth
11:09 am: TRICKED INTO PLEADING GUILTY: Denver protesters denied access to attorneys
11:12 am: Ron Paul: No difference between McCain and Obama on foreign policy
11:33 am: Photos of the protests outside the DNC
12:24 pm: The west and the rest
12:25 pm: YouTube: Ron Paul CNN American Morning 08/28/2008
12:34 pm: Experts: Many Americans Lost Homes Due to a Bill Championed by Biden
12:39 pm: Iraq war lobbyist so wealthy, he wraps gifts with dollar bills
12:46 pm: Joe Klein on McCain: 'A man who has lost his bearings'
12:48 pm: Would-be Obama assassins: Feds - led by Republican operative - not pursuing serious charges
01:00 pm: Putin: Georgia conflict may have been provoked to aid John McCain
01:09 pm: Transcript: Dennis Kucinich on Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly
01:22 pm: Civilians given power to issue on-the-spot fines
01:33 pm: FEMA takes trailer while soldier is in Afghanistan
01:35 pm: Pat Buchanan at DNC: 'Come to Ron Paul's Convention!'
01:53 pm: FOX News Political Team: 'Why Veterans Should Vote for Obama, Not McCain'
01:56 pm: What's missing from the Democratic convention?
01:57 pm: Live Broadcast from DNC Hijacked by Protestors Chanting "9/11 Was an Inside Job!"
02:00 pm: John McCain: Iraq 'A Peaceful And Stable Country Now'
02:06 pm: Joe Lieberman Buys Harry Reid's Support For $250 Thousand
02:11 pm: Democratic convention topics sound so Republican
02:28 pm: August 28, 2008: Bush extends national emergency declared on September 14, 2001
02:35 pm: VP watch: Secret Service inspects Romney's relatives