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, April 11, 2007

Wednesday's news

Red text is the "real" headline in these stories and articles.
Blue text is my own personal commentary.
Violet text is the blog quote of the day.

AFRICA (still the most important stories of the day)
Sudanese Janjaweed militiamen killed as many as 400 people in the volatile eastern border region near Sudan, leaving an "apocalyptic" scene of mass graves and destruction, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday. The attacks took place March 31 in the border villages of Tiero and Marena, about 550 miles from Chad's capital, N'Djamena. Chadian officials initially said that 65 people had died but that the toll was certain to rise. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/10/AR2007041001775.html?referrer=email

As a former accountant and stockbroker, Father Paul Spellman knows money talks. So when he found out last month that his retirement funds could be contributing to bloodshed in Sudan, he decided to send a message. His target: Fidelity Investments, which manages the retirement plan for the 350 priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is one of the leading U.S. shareholders in PetroChina Co., part of a company involved in one of Sudan's largest oil projects. Oil revenues fund Sudan's military, which is accused of arming militias whose four-year battle against rebels has killed more than 200,000 people and left millions homeless.(it sure worked in South Africa)

The acknowledgment by Ethiopia of its role in detaining terrorism suspects prompted officials in Washington to speak more candidly about American interrogations of the captives. Those officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly, said Tuesday that American intelligence agents had questioned several of the detainees in Ethiopian jails over the past several months. But they denied that the United States had played any part in transferring or detaining the prisoners, and denied that the prisoners were part of a covert rendition program in which suspects are captured by American forces and flown to another country to be interrogated. In the past, many rendition suspects have been taken to countries where torture is routine.

While the Bush administration is dispatching another top envoy — this time Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte(another round of the El Salvador solution?) to deliver another strong message to the Sudanese government about the killing in the Darfur region, critics say the diplomacy is allowing Sudan to play for time as the death toll mounts.The administration has been trying to come up with a way to make good on repeated threats that the United States will hold President Omar Hassan al-Bashir accountable for the violence in Darfur, where 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced. But even now, Democrats are demanding a plan to address the Darfur crisis, and suggesting their own proposals, including one to impose a no-flight zone over Darfur, and another to authorize American states to divest from foreign companies invested in Sudan. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/washington/11darfur.html?th&emc=th

President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria likes to present himself as the man who led his country toward democracy. But his reputation — and that of his country — will be deeply marred unless he moves quickly to rein in the chaos and corruption threatening this month’s elections. With regional elections scheduled for this Saturday and national elections a week after that, hundreds of election monitors have yet to be accredited, and several leading opposition candidates have been barred from seeking the presidency for dubious reasons. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/opinion/11wed3.html?th&emc=th

blog quote of the day once again goes to Christy at FDL
"Any person who has ever worked with law enforcement knows that all it takes is one rotten apple in an investigative unit to stink up the entire place. The rules and regs are there for a very, very good reason — because you cannot tinker with essential notions of liberty and the rule of law without seeing some very grave consequences on the back end of that. Good cops and prosecutors take that very seriously, because with substantial power also comes a substantial responsibility to use it with great care." So what do we do when the whole basket of apples turns rotten?

The poll also found that 74 percent of the public (and 49 percent of Republicans) think that Karl Rove and other White House aides should testify before Congress under oath. (thanx to Paul Kiel at TPMMuckraker) http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/

Panel Said to Alter Finding on Voter Fraud
A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/washington/11voters.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Viacom said yesterday that it picked Yahoo as its online advertising partner in a multi-year deal that could help Yahoo become a more formidable challenger to Google -- Viacom's opponent in a legal squabble over video copyrights. Small text-based ads will appear next to search results and other relevant content on 33 Web sites owned by Viacom, including MTV.com, VH1.com, ComedyCentral.com, Nickelodeon.com and BET.com. The deal is a victory for Yahoo, which has been losing ground to Google in the online advertising business. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/10/AR2007041001488.html

In 2001, the RNC bestowed computers and other equipment on Rove and other presidential aides in an apparent attempt to avoid the questions that dogged the Clinton administration about the use of government resources for partisan political purposes. Now Democratic critics of the Bush administration say the electronic back channel was used to transact government business without creating a historical record. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the dual system may violate the Presidential Records Act. Waxman may be right, at least about e-mails that dealt with governmental matters. But whether or not the Presidential Records Act was violated, Congress is entitled to at least some of these messages as part of its oversight role. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-email11apr11,0,887927.story?track=ntothtml

Two former administrators at a Texas Youth Commission lockup were indicted on felony sex charges Tuesday, almost two months after allegations that they had preyed on incarcerated teenage boys ignited a statewide corruption scandal. The development came as the West Texas prosecutor who did not file charges after learning of the accusations in 2005 was named in two ouster petitions and he filed one against his chief local critic, the county attorney. (this mess may well have started with Gonzales' negligence, SEE BELOW) http://letters.statesman.com/W3RH02DDC47A4E458372E30195D7A0

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's teenage boy inmates. Among the charges in the Texas Ranger report were that administrators would rouse boys from their sleep for the purpose of conducting all-night sex parties. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54861

Unless locals rat out the snipers, we will continue to see US casualties mount while the Iraqi forces hang back and let us be the primary targets. Last month, for example, US forces suffered more casualties than the Iraqi forces. So much for those assholes standing up and taking charge. (by Larry Johnson at No Quarter )

Recent graduates of the US Military Academy at West Point are choosing to leave active duty at the highest rate in more than three decades, a sign to many military specialists that repeated tours in Iraq are prematurely driving out some of the Army's top young officers. (so, our best and brightest are just too bright to fight for a worthless cause? Who's surprised? I'm not.) http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/04/11/west_point_grads_exit_service_at_high_rate/

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation. At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military. (...just another "personnel" problem?)

from the WaPo, via ThinkProgress
Retired Marine Gen. John J. “Jack” Sheehan: Sheehan rejected the offer because he “believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq.” He stated, “There’s the residue of the Cheney view — ‘We’re going to win, al-Qaeda’s there’ — that justifies anything we did. And then there’s the pragmatist view — how the hell do we get out of Dodge and survive? Unfortunately, the people with the former view are still in the positions of most influence.”

Sunni militants and residents of the Baghdad neighborhood of Fadhil fought a fierce daylong battle with the Iraqi Army and American soldiers on Tuesday in what appeared to be the most sustained confrontation since the start of the security plan to calm violence in the capital. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/world/middleeast/11iraq.html?th&emc=th

The sinking of Ghoramara
can be attributed to a confluence of disasters, natural and human, not least the rising sea. The rivers that pour down from the Himalayas and empty into the bay have swelled and shifted in recent decades, placing this and the rest of the delicate islands known as the Sundarbans in the mouth of daily danger. Certainly nature would have forced these islands to shift size and shape, drowning some, giving rise to others. But there is little doubt, scientists say, that human-induced climate change has made them particularly vulnerable. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/world/asia/11india.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=login

Gore and the Live Earth producers had hoped to bring the North American Live Earth show to Washington, but finding a suitable venue here proved difficult. The obvious choice -- the Mall -- was booked for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as a Christian festival called Together One Unity, and a bipartisan resolution to bring the concert to the Capitol grounds ran into Republican roadblocks. A last-ditch effort to find an alternative location in Washington proved futile. So yesterday, Gore and Live Earth Executive Producer Kevin Wall announced that they were going to the Garden State. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/10/AR2007041001769.html?referrer=email

A federal court ruling on salmon should provoke soul searching within the Bush administration and searching in Congress for systemic solutions. Science needs to be restored to an honest place in the federal government's decision making. In strong and appropriate terms, a federal court has rejected the false ways the administration tried to revise science and the law to ignore the role of four lower Snake River dams in destroying salmon runs. The administration claimed the dams had to be treated as part of the natural landscape. A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled the feds had indulged themselves in "sleight of hand," manipulation and a uniquely "cramped view" of their ability to protect endangered species. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/311018_damsed.html

RESEARCHERS have demonstrated for the first time that the progression of Type 1 diabetes can be halted — and possibly reversed — by a stem-cell transplant that preserves the body's diminishing ability to make insulin, according to a study published today. The experimental therapy eliminated the need for insulin injections for months or even years in 14 of 15 patients recently diagnosed with the disease. One subject, a 30-year-old male, hasn't taken insulin since his stem-cell transplant more than three years ago, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. (So where has this treatment been hiding the last few years?)

The chief financial officer of Menu Foods sold about half of his stake in the company three weeks before the widespread pet food recall, Canadian insider-trading reports showed. Finance chief Mark Wiens called it a "horrible coincidence" in the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper, adding that he did not hear of any problems with the company's products until at least a week later. Wiens sold 14,000 shares on Feb. 26 and 27 for about $90,000. The shares now are worth about $54,000. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/10/AR2007041001691.html?referrer=email

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