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.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

SUNDAY REMINDER; Friday dump carryover...

President Bush has not fired any of the architects of the Iraq war. In fact, a review of the key planners of the conflict reveals that they have been rewarded — not blamed — for their incompetence. http://thinkprogress.org/the-architects-where-are-they-now/

American and Iraqi soldiers have been battling cells of the Mahdi Army, a formidable Shiite militia, in Diwaniya since Friday. The Iraqi government has declared a round-the-clock curfew, and armored vehicles line main arteries. Since the new Baghdad security plan began Feb. 14, some members of the Mahdi Army have drifted to Diwaniya, and violence has been on the rise there. The Mahdi Army, which follows the edicts of the cleric Moktada al-Sadr, has a tense relationship with the ruling officials of Diwaniya Province, who are members of a rival Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. In August, Mahdi members clashed fiercely with the Iraqi Army in Diwaniya. Mr. Sadr has been in hiding since the new security plan began, and it is unclear how much power he is exerting over the various Mahdi Army branches. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/world/middleeast/08iraq.html?th&emc=th

Global Positioning System devices around the world were briefly but significantly disrupted late last year by an unexpectedly large blast of radio waves during a solar flare, researchers reported at a conference last week. The Dec. 6 solar flare spawned an intense burst of radio wave radiation, including some at the same frequencies used by GPS hardware -- creating a "noise" that made it impossible for many receivers to continue receiving signals from GPS satellites. The effect, said Cornell University professor Paul Kintner, was "more profound and widespread than we thought possible." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/07/AR2007040700916.html

A couple of recent scandals have highlighted the possibility that unofficial e-mail addresses have been used by some White House staff in an effort to circumvent the archival process of official records. There were the e-mails sent to convicted lobbyist and haberdashery fanatic Jack Abramoff by Karl Rove's assistant Susan Ralston, who used a non-White House e-mail address to share internal White House info with Abramoff. White House e-mails, after all, are copied and saved as part of the Presidential Records Act, which requires that presidential records be released to the public 12 years after each president leaves office. The second is the ongoing investigation into the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, which, it seems, were discussed using unofficial e-mail servers, including ones registered to the Republican National Committee, using domain names such as gwb43.com. The PRA requires that all official business be carried out on an official White House e-mailing system.... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/310441_emailed.html

...across the political blogosphere, critics have held up Goodling, who declined to be interviewed, as a prime example of the Bush administration subordinating ability to politics in hiring decisions. "It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession," wrote a contributor to The New Republic website . ". . . That a recent graduate of one of the very worst [and sketchiest] law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ." The Regent law school was founded in 1986, when Oral Roberts University shut down its ailing law school and sent its library to Robertson's Bible-based college in Virginia. It was initially called "CBN University School of Law" after the televangelist's Christian Broadcasting Network, whose studios share the campus and which provided much of the funding for the law school. (The Coors Foundation is also a donor .) The American Bar Association accredited Regent 's law school in 1996... Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a "lie of the left," according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two. http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/04/08/scandal_puts_spotlight_on_christian_law_school/

There is nothing subtle about the reaction of President Robert G. Mugabe’s government to the latest surge of political unrest in Zimbabwe. By the scores — by the hundreds, some opposition figures say — people critical of Mr. Mugabe’s rule are being cornered on sidewalks, hauled to jails or simply abducted from their homes in early morning raids, and then savagely beaten. The main faction of the leading opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change, says that at least 500 of its members have been attacked in the last month. The numbers of attacks on civic advocates and other opposition figures is less clear but appears substantial. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/world/africa/08zimbabwe.html

Three months after the United States successfully pressed the United Nations to impose strict sanctions on North Korea because of the country’s nuclear test, Bush administration officials allowed Ethiopia to complete a secret arms purchase from (North Korea), in what appears to be a violation of the restrictions, according to senior American officials. The United States allowed the arms delivery to go through in January in part because Ethiopia was in the midst of a military offensive against Islamic militias inside Somalia, a campaign that aided the American policy of combating religious extremists in the Horn of Africa. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/world/africa/08ethiopia.html

In 1996, ExxonMobil discovered between 800 million and 1 billion barrels of oil in the Doba basin of southern Chad. Chadian crude is of the heavy and sour variety that fetches low prices on the international market, and the country's landlocked geography adds formidable transportation costs to any venture. Besides, with civil war and political instability a fact of life from 1965 until the early 1990s, there was never much chance of Chad's oil industry getting off the ground. In 1996, however, there seemed to be just enough oil in Chad, and nearly enough political stability, to justify giving the country another look. ExxonMobil began to examine financing and feasibility options, setting into motion what would become one of the most extraordinary chapters in the history of African oil exploration...every last drop of Chad's crude goes straight into the ExxonMobil pipeline and straight onto supertankers parked off the Cameroonian coast. There are few cars in Chad, but those that exist (almost all of them taxis or official vehicles) operate not on Chadian oil but on Nigerian gasoline. The refined product is driven—often smuggled—across the border, and sold from glass jars in shaded spots along the side of the road that look like little more than American-style lemonade stands. http://www.slate.com/id/2163389/entry/2163395/

THE ENVIRONMENT (it's not nice to foolwith Mother Nature..)
... pieces of a medical mystery centered on a tropical disease apparently brought to North America by a warming climate. An alien fungus took root on Vancouver Island eight years ago and has since killed eight people and infected at least 163 others, as well as many animals. Similar cases have been found elsewhere in British Columbia and in Washington state and Oregon. Scientists say the fungus may be thriving because of a string of unusually warm summers here. They say it is a sign of things to come. "As climate change happens, new ecological niches will become available to organisms, and we will see this kind of thing happen again," said Karen Bartlett, a scientist at the University of British Columbia who played a central role in the search for the disease's cause. Her investigation eventually would focus on a fungus, a member of the yeast family called Cryptococcus gattii. The microscopic fungus is normally found in the bark of eucalyptus trees in Australia and other tropical zones. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/07/AR2007040700698.html

The term "lobbyist" does not do full justice to the complex status of today's most successful practitioners, who can play the roles of influence peddlers, campaign contributors and fundraisers, political advisers, restaurateurs, benefactors of local cultural and charitable institutions, country gentlemen and more. They have helped make greater Washington one of the wealthiest regions in America. During his time in Washington, Cassidy said in one of many interviews he gave for these articles that the United States has experienced "a huge redistribution of income, and you can't blame just the Republicans, because it has happened through Democratic presidencies, and through Democratic and Republican congresses." So the rich have gotten richer, the weak weaker... http://blog.washingtonpost.com/citizen-k-street/chapters/conclusion/index.html

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