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 18, 2007

Wednesday's News

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.

Officials, newspaper columnists and citizens around the world Tuesday described the Virginia Tech massacre as the tragic reflection of an America that fosters violence at home and abroad, even as it attempts to dictate behavior to the rest of the world. From European countries with strict gun-control laws to war-ravaged Iraq, where dozens of people are killed in shootings and bombings each day, foreigners and their news media used the university attack to condemn what they depicted as U.S. policies to arm friends, attack enemies and rely on violence rather than dialogue to settle disputes

Legislation that would require state pension funds to sell holdings based on moral grounds violates the Texas Constitution, (...what does that say about the Texas Constitution?) the office of Attorney General Greg Abbott said Tuesday. Several so-called divestment bills are pending in the Legislature, including ones targeting corporations doing business in Sudan and Iran, and another that would prohibit state investment funds from investing in toll roads.

The administration has for months been debating its response (as people die by the tens of thousands) to the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, where attacks by government-sponsored militias have left as many as 450,000 people dead, thousands of villages burned and about 2.5 million people living in camps. Although the Bush administration described the situation as "genocide" nearly three years ago, (surely they know there's oil in them thar Afr'cn hills? Doesn't that qualify them for some sort of military intervention, or are the neocons better served by letting the Arabs and their janjaweed henchmen drive the natives from their ancestral ground?) the United States and other world powers have been unable to end either the conflict or the humanitarian crisis. REDEPLOY TO DARFUR!!!!

A confidential United Nations report says the government of Sudan is flying arms and heavy military equipment into Darfur in violation of Security Council resolutions and painting Sudanese military planes white to disguise them as United Nations or African Union aircraft. The report says that, contrary to the Sudanese government’s earlier denials to United Nations investigators, the freshly painted planes are being operated out of all three of Darfur’s principal airports and used for aerial surveillance and bombardments of villages, in addition to the transportation of cargo.

Bombings in Baghdad kill 127 people, including 82 in an attack at a market, the Iraqi Interior Ministry says.

Critics of the recent U.S. wars of choice have long argued that they are all about oil. "No Blood for Oil" has been a rallying cry for most of the opponents of the war.It can be demonstrated, however, that there is another (less obvious but perhaps more critical) factor behind the recent rise of U.S. military aggressions abroad: war profiteering by the Pentagon contractors. Frequently invoking dubious "threats to our national security and/or interests," these beneficiaries of war dividends, the military-industrial complex and related businesses whose interests are vested in the Pentagon's appropriation of public money, have successfully used war and military spending to justify their lion's share of tax dollars and to disguise their strategy of redistributing national income in their favor.

How did it happen that the Public Broadcasting System, our national network, allowed itself to be used as a neocon propaganda forum? What journalistic standards were they following by allowing an extreme anti-consitutional partisan with huge credibility problems of his own, have sole control over editorial content, to decide what to show, whom to interview, what topics to cover or avoid? Pathetic. Shame on MacNeil. Shame on PBS. (anyone who believes PBS is "the people's media" should look closely at this blog post... )

It was the first time that a senior American official had asserted that Iranian-made weapons were being supplied to the Taliban. But Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was not clear if the Iranian government had authorized the shipment. “We have intercepted weapons in Afghanistan headed for the Taliban that were made in Iran,” General Pace told reporters. “It’s not as clear in Afghanistan which Iranian entity is responsible.” (looks like they've got their own version of the 'Carlysle Group") The shipment involved mortars and plastic explosives and was seized within the past month near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Markings on the plastic explosive material indicated that it was produced in Iran, General Pace said.

Mr. Sadr, a virulently anti-American cleric with an unquenchable appetite for attention and power, had been Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s strongest political ally. But on Monday, at his direction, his party’s six ministers quit the Maliki cabinet. The government still depends on the parliamentary votes of Mr. Sadr’s party, the largest faction in the ruling Shiite bloc. Mr. Maliki, a colorless and ineffective politician, has been prime minister for the past year. But from the beginning, his authority has depended on the backing of Mr. Sadr, a charismatic demagogue with an intimidating private army, a potent political party and an impressive capacity for sending his followers into the street. Mr. Sadr had his cabinet ministers resign in an attempt to bully the government into setting a timetable for the departure of American troops from Iraq. (Once more, intelligent, "mature" minds want to know, why we are still in Iraq when MOST Americans want us out and MOST Iraqis want us out???) Mr. Maliki cannot just say no, because if Mr. Sadr’s party turns against him, he could lose his parliamentary majority. Nor can he just say yes because the physical survival of his administration probably still depends on those American troops. Meanwhile, Mr. Sadr has aligned himself with a highly popular cause (American troops OUT) that is likely to expand his following even further.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to forgive 80 percent of the more than $15 billion that Iraq owes the kingdom, Iraqi and Saudi officials said yesterday, a major step given Saudi reluctance to provide financial assistance to the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad. (Arabs vs. Persians?) But Iraqi Finance Minister Bayan Jabr said in an interview that Russia was holding out on debt forgiveness until talks begin on concessions that Russian oil and gas companies had under Saddam Hussein. Russian Embassy officials in Washington declined to comment late yesterday. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/17/AR2007041701950.html?referrer=email

Monica Goodling, once Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's White House liaison, would be granted immunity from prosecution and forced to testify under a plan being considered by a House panel probing the firings of federal prosecutors. Representative John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said yesterday that Goodling, who has refused to testify, has much to contribute to the investigation. (Goodling knows EVERYTHING...) Republicans didn't appear eager yesterday to go along. Committee member Chris Cannon, a Utah Republican , said the immunity offer was "merely meant to fan the flames of speculation and grab headlines." Goodling's attorney, John Dowd, declined to comment on the offer.

(thanx to Think Progress and the crew at C.R.E.W.)
When CREW learned about the phone call Senator Domenici made to US Attorney David Iglesias about a pending case, we asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate. Now, based on a Senate procedural vote, it appears that at least a "preliminary inquiry" may be under way. Think Progress had the report last night via The Politico: The Senate just adopted a resolution (S. Res. 153) stating that "for matters before the Select Committee on Ethics involving the preliminary inquiry arising in connection with alleged communications by persons within the committee's jurisdiction with and concerning David C. Iglesias, then United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico... The passage of the resolution confirms that Domenici is being scrutinized by the Ethics Committee over a phone call he made to Iglesias, prior to the November election, inquiring whether Iglesias was going to indict some New Mexico Democrats. Up until this point, the Ethics Committee has refused to state whether it is actually investigating Domenici.

Chinese producers of everything from socket wrenches to sport utility vehicles say, their fastest growth these days lies in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America and elsewhere in Asia — in other words, practically anywhere other than the United States. So it is throughout China. With ample support from the Beijing government — including a flurry of trade missions to Africa and assistance with trade fairs in Germany, Australia or someplace in between — Chinese companies are poised to expand into the markets of many of the world’s rapidly growing economies. In some cases, they are running directly into American competitors. (Wal Mart, the gift that keeps on taking...)

a first!!! Two blog quote of the day, both from Fire Dog Lake (smartest bloggers on the planet) this one is Christy Hardin Smith's response to another reporter's sacrificing of the 4th Estate to the Bush Administration's press-corp panzie-ism)
"Because, as your clients, their needs took a backseat to your own personal needs to maintain a happy relationship with your new pals at the Bush White House and in the GOP leadership in Congress. So the tough questions got shoved to the side for far too long and the relationship building became of paramount interest – which served the Bush Administration interests, but left the public out in the cold. It is what the Bushies encouraged because it served their purposes to have a docile media pool who was afraid to ask anything remotely difficult for fear of being shut out of the briefing room. And you fell for it, hook, line and stinker."
(...and the result was the war in Iraq!)

Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker, said Tuesday that first-quarter profit rose 19 percent and revenue fell 1 percent. The revenue drop was an improvement over a 9 percent falloff a year earlier, indicating that Intel is weathering a price war with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Its shares rose 1.4 percent to $20.98 in regular trading and rose another 2 percent in extended trading. Intel's results are viewed as an indicator of demand for computers and related components. Intel introduced new versions of its Xeon server chips Tuesday in Beijing, completing the transition of the company's product line to its new Core 2 Duo design. The company is trying to bring its market share back from an 11-year low after AMD won orders by being the first to come out with new technology.

personal commentary from the blog host;
The HuffingtonPost is trashing Edwards in a very catty post on their blog today, I was so disappointed that Ms. Huffington is letting her posters take the tabloid tack in the 2008 Presidential campaign. One can only speculate (quite easily) "cui bono" from this trash-talk. Did Hillary hire Rove to manage her campaign? Sure seems like it if this is any indicator. Unfortunatley, when the people who call other people hypocrites become hypocrites, where do we go to find journalists we can trust?
The Huffington Enquirer?

...those who dismiss global warming’s threat have embraced a series of arguments, retreating from one to the next as they’re trumped by reality... These arguments emerge from the standard echo chamber of Hannity, Rush and Fox News. But the spokespeople who articulate them in these venues and others more mainstream have been overwhelmingly sponsored by Exxon. As the Union of concerned Scientists explores in their meticulously detailed report, Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air, and as George Monbiot examines in his powerful global warming book Heat, Exxon’s strategy of using a handful of industry-funded dissenters to cast doubt on an overwhelming scientific consensus was borrowed from the fight over tobacco regulation. In 1992, a major EPA report warned of the medical harm from second hand smoke. In response, Philip Morris hired the PR firm APCO to create a supposedly independent group, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), to promote scientists who’d dispute this harm. Enlisting enough other corporate supporters so the effort didn’t seem just a tobacco industry creation, TASSC’s mission echoed the phrase from a memo of fellow tobacco company Brown and Williamson, "Doubt is our product.” As part of creating that doubt, APCO’s Steven Milloy founded JunkScience.com, which would later become a key website for global warming denial. Milloy also became associated with other key climate change denial organizations, like the Competitive Enterprise Institute (which has called the Kyoto accords “a power grab based on deception and fear”), and later become a columnist for Fox. Major climate denial activist Frederick Seitz also had strong tobacco industry ties, drawing $585,000 from RJ Reynolds between 1979 and 1987 before going on to the George Marshall Institute. Exxon jumped in to support these efforts early on, as part of a more general assault on government regulation and action...

The House unanimously approved the Wild Sky Wilderness Area on Tuesday, moving the popular 106,577- acre project to the brink of reality after five years of frustrating detours. (five years of Bush admin. roadblocks) By clearing the House, the first new wilderness area in Washington state in 23 years is virtually assured of final passage, lawmakers and supporters said. The Senate, which will consider the bill in the coming months, has passed the bill three times, only to see it fail each time in the House.

Miss Mexico is toning down her Miss Universe pageant dress, not because it's too slinky or low-cut but because its bullet-studded belt and images of hangings from a 1920s uprising have outraged Mexicans. The floor-length dress is accented with crosses, scapulars and a sketch of a man facing a firing squad. Designers who helped select the dress from among 30 entries argued that it represented the nation's culture and history. Mexico City is hosting the pageant in May.

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