Just read between the lines...

Red Text is the real story hiding between the lines.
Violet Text is a notable quote from a specific blogger.
Blue Text is my own personal commentary.
Gold Text is a link to the original sources.

One word of advice I would offer to everyone who reads this blog;

....Each and every day, take just a moment of your precious time to pray for Peace and Justice.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

All in all its just... another week in the brawl

Join me each morning to dissect the mainstream media's slanted news coverage, and search out the hidden headlines, buried in the daily news. Using articles taken from major newspapers and publications across the nation and world, and mixing them with commentary, articles, posts and comments from some notable Blogs, Between the Lines is a study in the deception and subterfuge our current media is perpetrating on our democracy.We search for Truth hiding between the lies.

Red text is the "real" headline in these stories and articles.
Blue text is my own personal commentary.

AARP plans to spend millions of dollars to push presidential candidates on health-care and retirement-savings issues in Iowa and other early-primary states, the group’s national leader said Wednesday.“I think we’re going to do a good job of pinning these guys down,” said Bill Novelli, AARP’s chief executive officer.The group, which has 38 million members, is training squads of volunteers to press candidates on specific plans to cover the uninsured, control medical costs and stabilize retirement financing. “We’re training these people not to take fluff for an answer,” Novelli told reporters and editors of The Des Moines Register.

Undervote Rate Plummets in Minority Precincts
A new report, based on official 2004 and 2006 New Mexico election data, shows a dramatic difference in undervotes in Native American and Hispanic precincts, depending on whether they voted on paper ballots or on Direct Record Electronic (DRE — often known as touch screen) voting machines. The report explains: "Undervotes represent ballots on which no vote was registered for a specific contest. Undervote rates higher than 0.5% in the major contest on a ballot, especially in presidential elections, suggest that votes may not have been counted, either through a mistake of the voter or a mistake in tabulation."

Just as the Enron scandal has faded into the back of the financial pages, the conservative movement has score a major victory in its push to make it harder for people victimized by the Enrons of the world and their enablers to obtain justice. Thanks to two Reagan appointees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, investment banks now have a way to legally profit from showing their clients how to defraud investors, without fear of those investors banding together to fight back.

United Commercial Bank plans to make history by purchasing a Shanghai financial institution and becoming the first Chinese American community bank to offer a wide range of services in China.With Business Development Bank Ltd., which United Commercial said Tuesday that it had agreed to buy for $205 million, the San Francisco-based bank could offer its customers a one-stop shop in the U.S. and China. Analysts said the purchase, which must be approved by regulators in both countries, would put pressure on United Commercial's chief competitors, East West Bancorp Inc. and Cathay General Bancorp, to step up their activities in China. East West and Cathay have been more focused on expansion in California and in cities elsewhere in the U.S. with large Chinese American communities.

The Small Business Administration is cracking down on the not-so-small. Starting this summer, small businesses with federal contracts will — for the first time — have to alert the government whenever they are acquired, merged or buy a company if they want a share of the $80 billion in annual federal procurement money awarded to small firms.

Shiite militants and police enraged by massive truck bombings in the northwestern town of Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents there Wednesday, killing as many as 60 people, officials said. The gunmen began roaming Sunni neighborhoods in the city, shooting at residents and homes, according to police and a local Sunni politician.

Hundreds of Iraqis detained in the Baghdad security crackdown have been crammed into two detention centers run by the Defense Ministry (we've heard about these places before)that were designed to hold only dozens of people, a government monitoring group said Tuesday. The numbers suggested that the security plan’s emphasis on aggressive block-by-block sweeps of troubled neighborhoods in the capital had flooded Iraq’s frail detention system, and appeared to confirm the fears of some human rights advocates who have been predicting that the new plan would aggravate already poor conditions. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/world/middleeast/28iraq.html

An influential retired Army general released a dire assessment of the situation in Iraq, based on a recent round of meetings there with Gen. David H. Petraeus and 16 other senior U.S. commanders. "The population is in despair," retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey wrote in an eight-page document compiled in his capacity as a professor at West Point. "Life in many of the urban areas is now desperate."

The current round of meetings in the Middle East intended to revive peace talks, coming on the heels of the formation of a Palestinian unity government, offer the possibility to change the course of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Those events provide the United States with a unique opportunity to become, once again, a peace broker (see red letter headline below) in the region and to help end a war that has caused tremendous suffering for Palestinians and Israelis. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/309202_mideast28.html

That means -- if the story has legs, which it probably does -- that Cheney is out there working hard to sabotage Condoleezza Rice's efforts in the Middle East, particularly her Middle East Super Summit idea which I think has merit.President Bush needs to shut Cheney down -- sideline him -- and send an unambiguous message to all of his staff that Condi Rice has the helm and the others should swab the deck.

The Pentagon’s investigation of the “friendly fire” death of Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger who became an administration icon for its war on terror, has left the corporal’s family doubtful that the truth has really come out. Even as the Army reaffirmed its belief that Corporal Tillman deserved a Silver Star for valor, the family denounced the award as “part of a cynical design to conceal the real events from the family and the public, while exploiting the death of our beloved Pat as a recruitment poster.” The circumstances of this byzantine case cry out for Congressional hearings to get an independent evaluation of just who pulled the strings to sugar-coat a terrible battlefield accident as an instance of heroism under hostile fire. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/opinion/28wed2.html

We must press on with renewed energy, commitment, unity and focus to Bring Our Troops Home Now, to proceed to impeachment and to bring about a desperately needed social agenda that is good for children everywhere. We have seen that the Congress can be moved. Chance, which, as Herman Melville said in Moby Dick, has with necessity and free will "the last featuring blow at events," is with us. The Bush Administration is reeling from its own wrongdoing. The horror its war of aggression has wreaked on the people of Iraq must trouble the sleep of every sentient American. The Surge is only adding to the death and destruction. The tide is turning in Afghanistan because human nature resists foreign occupation. Pakistan is rebelling because human nature resists foreign-supported military dictatorship. Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and many others nations are resisting because nations, like people, were not born to be forced. http://www.impeachbush.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage

And here’s where the impeachment process hits a snag. The law which provides for a Special Prosecutor would have to be re-enacted. Right after President Bill Clinton's impeachment, Congress outlawed the role of the Special Prosecutor to investigate presidential crimes. There’s an exception to this rule. Congress can ask the US Attorney General’s Office to look into a case of wrongdoing, and determine if a Special Prosecutor should be appointed. However, it’s unlikely that the current Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, would comply with this request. http://www.mytown.ca/ev.php?URL_ID=118945&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201

Which brings us to the Judiciary, where even with that Republican majority and timid minority, the Bushies have been unable to confirm all of the right-wing ideologues they've nominated, yet still managed to push through a passel of awful hard-right judges like Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and the ethically-challenged Samuel Alito… with a little help from the "Gang Of Fourteen" and the until-recently-ever-present threat of the Nuclear Option. And this is what bothers me. Federal judges are appointed for life. Why? So they will be independent of politics. Yet between the absurd belief (held only by Democrats but frequently endorsed by Republicans) that the president is entitled to extreme deference on his judicial nominees, and the requirement of a simple majority to confirm, it's really not that difficult for a President to stack the courts with like-minded political extremists, provided his party controls the Senate, and the opposition believes that keeping its powder dry is an end unto itself. (Dry powder apparently brims with even more untapped potential than stem cells.) http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/03/27/the-other-justice-problem

The bottom line: though powerful Republicans were upset with the decisions not to indict Democrats for voter fraud, the investigators on the ground were not. Mueller said that regional offices do customarily pass complaints about U.S. attorneys up the chain for "serious cases." http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002890.php

Disturbing allegations have come to light that Peter Keisler—a co-founder of the Federalist Society and currently a nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals—was involved in applying inappropriate political influence in the government's case against the tobacco industry.

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