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.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Morning Carry-over

This will be a slim week on Between the lines. Got to go to KC for a couple days, so I won't be lining up the headlines every morning. But readership here is still small. I hope that, eventually, my daily perspective encourages many of you to come here for a morning overview, a quick red-letter synopsis of the daily news that you can skim for THE hot headlines and other curiosities that I have marked in red text, to help find your own daily talking points. JEP
Red text is the "real" headline buried in the article.
Blue text is my own commentary.
Violet text is the blog quote of the day.

once again, the most important story of the day, Africa, is absent from the morning headlines in all the standard media email newsletters. Seems to be a REGULAR "Monday" thing, though, there's a pattern here...

Blog quote of the day, from "Media Matters"
(don't miss the rogue's gallery photo bar that accompanies this article, it's the best photo-synopsis of deceptive spinmeisters I've seen so far, minus Malkin, Coulter and Drudge, why are these women missing from the line-up?)
On April 11, NBC News announced that it was dropping MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning in the wake of the controversy that erupted over host Don Imus' reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." The following day, CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves announced that CBS has fired Imus and would cease broadcasting his radio show. But as Media Matters for America has extensively documented, bigotry and hate speech targeting, among other characteristics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity continue to permeate the airwaves through personalities such as Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson. (some of the most egregious violators of the 4th Estate's once-noble calling!)

Stewart and Colbert viewers are more news-savvy than Fox viewers!!! (I'm not surprised, free thinkers tend to discern the truth much better than brainwashed bozos, thanx to Huffington Post for the link) Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind. Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox (we report, you believe) News. Only 1 in 3 (Fox viewers) could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.

Is there any tag team capable of doing more damage to the truth than over-eager warbloggers enlisting with gossip guru Matt Drudge? The two factually challenged camps joined forces last week in an effort to slime CNN's Iraq reporter Michael Ware by spreading the bogus story that he'd heckled Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) during a Baghdad press conference. It actually took less than one day for the malicious falsehood to be debunked. And in the end, Drudge and the warbloggers -- those bitter, pro-war, dead-enders -- simply made April fools of themselves for peddling the concocted tale. (Eric Boehlert is always spot-on and definitely worth a regular read...) http://mediamatters.org/columns/200704100023

... case shows that the Internet has become a virtual training camp and operations center replacing the Al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and Bosnia that produced a legion of fighters, formed them into cells and launched them at targets. The soldiers of this looser network were more technologically and culturally agile than the grim fanatics who executed attacks in the past, according to trial evidence, court documents and interviews with investigators, defense lawyers, family and friends. They spoke more English than Arabic and listened to the rap of Kanye West along with the harangues of Abu Musab Zarqawi. Their Western ways enabled them to communicate and cross borders with ease. And investigators say they had a youthful disregard for life. (anyone else see some anti-blog propaganda leakin' out of this story? The Kanye West reference smacks of provocative-ism, surely these Bosnians also listen to Gorecki, but he never spoke truth to power like Kanye does.)http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-net16apr16,0,2180207.story

The two private equity firms seeking to buy Clear Channel Communications have sweetened their offer, fearing that their initial bid may be rejected by shareholders. In a letter to Clear Channel’s board, Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners have proposed raising their $26 billion offer, including debt, for the nation’s largest radio company, people briefed on the negotiations said yesterday. The letter proposes several alternatives, including letting shareholders co-invest in a small part of the deal, in what is known as a stub. That would allow the investors a greater return, should the deal prove successful. (more proof they only used these media forms for propaganda purposes, the robber barons don't want these low-profit enterprises if they don't produce the political results intended... the question now is, what type of people are the new owners? I can't imagine that they could be worse than the old owners, but then I didn't think W had a snowball's chance in hell in 1999) http://www2.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=352464978493976133&postID=3530095826776302687

Google will begin selling advertisements across all of the stations of Clear Channel Communications, the No. 1 radio station owner in the United States, at the end of June, the companies will announce today. Google has been working for months to expand its ad sales operation into traditional media like newspapers, radio and television. To do so, it needs traditional media companies to allow it to sell some of their ads, and it had seemed to be making little progress in radio. But the partnership with Clear Channel represents a step forward (and to the right) for Google. The deal will run for several years, and will give Google access to just under 5 percent of Clear Channel’s commercial time. That will include 30-second spots on all of Clear Channel’s 675 stations during all programs and all times of the day, executives at both companies said in interviews yesterday.

Microsoft said yesterday that Google's proposed purchase of Internet advertising company DoubleClick raises antitrust and privacy concerns that deserve careful review by authorities.
Executives at the software giant said they talked over the weekend with AT&T, AOL and Yahoo about similar concerns. Microsoft had bid for DoubleClick but lost to Google. The $3.1 billion acquisition, announced late Friday, would combine the largest providers of online advertising and create a dominant force, Microsoft said. Spending on Internet advertising rose 17 percent last year from 2005, to $9.8 billion, far faster than advertising for traditional media, according to research firm TNS Media Intelligence. http://letters.washingtonpost.com/W3RH02D12A2CFE0C6446D300D38620

The report doesn't claim to speak for the multitude of products being used in classrooms, and more studies are in order, she said. Yet the inescapable conclusion, she added, is that despite all the time students spent sitting before computers, the data didn't show more than a blip of increased learning. "I don't think anyone expected it would come out so flat," she said.Actually, Don Knezek, who heads the International Society for Technology in Education, would have predicted just that outcome."There's been," he said, "a deliberate effort to discredit and eliminate technology in schools…. We've clearly seen our Department of Education and this administration sit back while we've fallen behind on the world stage in education." (more "anti-tech" mentality as the information age continues to replace the industrial age.) http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-schoolme16apr16,0,1868398.story?track=ntothtml

(George) Tenet is not going to get too many Christmas cards from Vice President Cheney's office after they read "At the Center of the Storm." Folks from down the river at the Pentagon, including former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz-- a guy who's already going through a rough patch -- and former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, might also get some heartburn...Former secretary of state Colin Powell comes out fine. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was President Bush's key adviser in engineering the Iraq invasion, doesn't come out so fine. Not fine at all.

Levin said Democrats remain committed to sending Bush (just impeach him, and Cheney, for God's sake, and stop negotiating with these neocon terrorists!) a compromise package with the withdrawal language intact, to express the strong concerns among Democrats and some Republicans that the Iraq war is exacting too high a cost for the country to continue. That language is likely to track closely with the Senate approach, which sets a goal instead of a hard date. "We're going to send him, first of all, hopefully, a very strong bill which would say that we're going to begin to reduce troops in four months as a way of telling the Iraqi leadership that the open-ended commitment is over," Levin said.

BAQUBA, Iraq; The Sunni guerrillas and extremists who now overshadow this city demonstrate a sophistication and lethality born of years of confronting American military tactics. While the “surge” plays out in Baghdad just 35 miles to the south, Baquba has emerged as a magnet for insurgents from around the country and, perhaps, the next major headache for the American military. Some insurgents have moved into Baquba to escape the escalation in Baghdad. But the city has been attracting insurgents for years, particularly after American officials in Baghdad proclaimed it and surrounding Diyala Province relatively pacified (seems like every time one of our McCains or Hunters declares that the war is really "going well", or some territory is declared 'pacified,' the terrorists do something deadly to prove them wrong. But unfortunately for all of us, Iraqis and Americans alike, the terrorists just don't understand yet that these neocons do not know how to admit they are wrong...) over a year ago and drew down their troop presence. http://www.nytimes.com:80/2007/04/16/world/middleeast/16insurgency.html?th&emc=th

A key Shiite Muslim bloc in Iraq's government pledged Sunday to quit over Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's refusal to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, (..you mean the Iraqis want a timetable too??? Who'd a thunk it.) a move that would further weaken the country's leadership at a time of soaring sectarian violence. The threat came on the heels of another bloody day in the capital, where at least 37 people died in bombings that underscored the failings of a U.S.-Iraqi security plan now in its third month. The victims included 17 Iraqis killed in a crowded market (John McCain's 'casual' market walk seems more and more fantastic every day) in a Shiite-dominated neighborhood, where two car bombs exploded nearly simultaneously. As people fled the chaos, mortar rounds rained down on them. Fifty people were wounded. Nine more people were killed as they stood surveying the damage from a roadside bomb that had exploded in Baghdad's central Karada district. The bomb caused no casualties, but another one went off shortly afterward outside a popular smoothie shop, near where the crowd had gathered, causing the deaths and 17 injuries. Five people also were killed in Karada when a minivan exploded, and six were killed in a Shiite neighborhood in southwest Baghdad when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a taxi. The incidents all bore the hallmarks of the car bombings and suicide attacks blamed on Sunni Arab insurgents. Political parties loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr blame the U.S. troop presence for the ongoing bloodshed. Maliki faces a major blow if he loses their backing. The bloc holds six Cabinet positions and about 30 seats in the parliament, where it has greatly bolstered the prime minister's Shiite-led alliance.

The review is designed to serve as an "independent sounding board," according to a Defense Department memo, and will be co chaired by Eric Evans , an electrical engineer and director of Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Paul E. Funk , a retired three-star Army general who publicly doubted that Iraq could be easily stabilized by military force. (another General who knew better? BEFORE the war? And how many Generals equal one Feith or Perle, when it comes to credibility in the neocon sphere of self-delusional war strategy?) Before US troops toppled Saddam Hussein in March 2003, Funk derided top Bush administration officials in several media interviews as thinking "all wars are small and will be over quickly." He also warned that US forces could be in Iraq "for years," believing that the United States did not have sufficient forces to pacify the country and would probably face years of resistance from home-grown forces. http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2007/04/16/war_strategy_critic_to_review_ied_office/

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales offered a measured apology for his mistakes in the dismissal of eight United States attorneys, but said in testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on Tuesday (what sort of Anna/Imus red herring will the MSM fish up for us this week to cover Gonzales' continuation of this perpetual pattern of patent deception) that he had “nothing to hide” and that none of the prosecutors were removed to influence the outcome of a case. In his testimony, which was released Sunday by the Justice Department, Mr. Gonzales provided an account of his actions that was largely consistent with his past assertions that his role was very limited and his recollection fragmentary. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/washington/16attorneys.html?th&emc=th

The former Justice Department official who carried out the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year told Congress that several of the prosecutors had no performance problems and that a memo on the firings was distributed at a Nov. 27 meeting attended by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, (recorded historical chronology is a bitch, when you lie about it there's just no way to go back change it to match your lies) a Democratic senator said yesterday. The statements to House and Senate investigators by Michael A. Battle, former director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, represent another potential challenge to the credibility of Gonzales, who has said that he never saw any documents about the firings and that he had "lost confidence" in the prosecutors because of performance problems.

Paul D. Wolfowitz’s struggle to remain as president of the World Bank was dealt a crippling setback on Sunday when its most powerful oversight committee delivered an unusually public rebuke of his leadership, expressing “great concern” about the institution’s future and the need to preserve its credibility and staff morale. Mr. Wolfowitz, responding at a news conference, vowed to stay on at the bank... The extraordinary exchange between Mr. Wolfowitz and the oversight committee, which consists of 47 of the world’s finance ministers and leaders of other international organizations, deepened the uncertainty over Mr. Wolfowitz. His future had earlier been thrown into doubt by the disclosure that he played a direct role in granting a pay raise and promotion to a female companion when she was transferred in 2005. (you're doin' a heckuva job, Wolfie, so just hang-in there!!)

The reason Paul Wolfowitz should resign as president of the World Bank has nothing to do with Iraq, or his last job as No. 2 in Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, or even his clashes with the bank’s directors and staff. He should resign because he made clean governance his main cause at the bank and has fallen far short of his own standards. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/opinion/16mon3.html?th&emc=th

Since 2000, authorities at the Internal Revenue Service have nearly tripled audits of tax returns filed by people making $25,000 to $100,000 as part of a broad change in audit strategy. Audits of these middle-class taxpayers rose to nearly 436,000 last year, up from about 147,000 returns in 2000. For these 61 million individuals and married couples, who make up nearly half of all taxpayers, the odds of being audited rose from 1 in 377 to 1 in 140. (this is exactly what happened under Daddy Bush, creating thousands of snoopy new auditors, as the middle class got the shaft while the billionaire Republicans cheated with impunity. You might call this part of the whole Bush family legacy.)

Inuit hunters are falling through thinning ice and dying. Dolphins are being spotted for the first time. There's not enough snow to build igloos for shelter during hunts. As scientists work to establish the effect of global warming, explorers and hunters slogging across northern Canada and the Arctic ice cap on sled and foot are describing the realities they see on the ground. Three of them recently spoke to The Associated Press. "This is really ground zero for global warming," said Will Steger, a 62-year-old Minnesotan who has been traveling the region for 43 years and has witnessed the effect of warming on the 155,000 indigenous people of the Arctic.

Consider this: From 1982 to 2005, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression program seized over 103 million marijuana plants. In recent years, an average of over 33,000 cultivation sites per year have been eradicated, representing a massive investment of law enforcement dollars and effort. The result? According to federal government estimates, in roughly the same time period, annual U.S. marijuana production increased from 1,000 metric tons to 10,000 metric tons. To put this in perspective, a study released late last year (based entirely on government figures) found that marijuana is America's number one cash crop by a whopping margin. With an estimated value of $35.8 billion in 2006, our marijuana crop exceeds the value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.45 billion) combined. (And keep in mind, that is just the toker's take, imagine if industrial hemp was a legal cash-crop, then ALL the farmers could profit from it, and we would have a serious renewable alternative for paper, textile, biofuels and building products. This is the reason their wholly owned MSM continues to vilify it as a "drug." Considering this much maligned plant's historic versatility, it is no wonder the dead-tree, oil and cotton industries, not to mention the pharmies and private prison industries want it kept in the shadows, creating an unprecedented prison culture of otherwise innocent, law abiding, tax-paying American citizens.)

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