- Tricks of the Libyan Trade
- Mubarak is gone
- Sino-Russian oil pipeline goes operational
- Obama DoJ Refuses Cooperation on Polish "CIA Black Site" Investigation
- Iran Suspends Fuel Delivery to Afghanistan
- Halliburton settles, Cheney skates
- "We are filing charges against Cheney"
- Students Storm La Torre di Pisa, Colosseum
- "Evidence of Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11"
- "Drones Strikes Based on Scant Evidence"
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Monday, 22 September 2008
Senate Pumps Laser Weapons
The Senate has embraced last year's Defense Science Board conclusion that directed-energy weapons -- such as high-, medium- and low-power lasers -- hold great potential and should be developed as soon as possible.
In the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill, which was approved Wednesday, the Senate included additional funds for laser programs and a provision requiring Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to accelerate work that would make directed-energy weapons operational in the near future.
However, the government promised tax payer relief when FEMA unilaterally decided that the agency would no longer deliver ice to hurricane victims. Big savings are sure to be had.More
Paulson's Bailout: "Financial Terrorism"
(3) Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Massive "Symbolic" Blast Hits Islamabad
The 290-room building was the scene of total carnage as the blast ripped into its facade, destroying everything in its path.
The Marriott is just a half kilometre from Pakistan's national parliament and the residence of the prime minister.
Security sources believe these were the preferred targets, but the bomber (or bombers) was deterred by a huge
McCain's Stealth Path to Single Payer Health Care
Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.The worst excesses of regulation! Hilarious, certainly.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
The Wide World of US Weapons
The Bush administration is pushing through a broad array of foreign weapons deals as it seeks to rearm Iraq and Afghanistan, contain North Korea and Iran, and solidify ties with onetime Russian allies.
From tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to missiles, remotely piloted aircraft and even warships, the Department of Defense has agreed so far this fiscal year to sell or transfer more than $32 billion in weapons and other military equipment to foreign governments, compared with $12 billion in 2005.
The trend, which started in 2006, is most pronounced in the Middle East, but it reaches into northern Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and even Canada, through dozens
Financials Reel, Retrench
Unable to find a savior, the troubled investment bank Lehman Brothers appeared headed toward liquidation on Sunday, in what would be one of the biggest failures in Wall Street history.
The fate of Lehman hung in the balance as Federal Reserve officials and the leaders of major financial institutions continued to gather in emergency meetings on Sunday trying to complete a plan to rescue the stricken bank.
But Barclays, considered the leading contender to buy all or part of Lehman, said Sunday that it could not reach a deal without financial support from the federal government or other banks, making a liquidation more likely.
Bank of America is in advanced talks to buy Merrill Lynch for at least $38.25 billion in stock, people briefed on the negotiations said on Sunday, as a means to preserve that investment bank while Lehman Brothers looks likely to collapse.More
The move suggests a desperate effort at triage on Wall Street, as Bank of America works to shore up the likely next victim of the credit crunch. A deal, valued at between $25 a share to $30 a share, could be announced as soon as Sunday night, these people said. Merrill shares closed at $17.05 on Friday.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Russo-American Tit-for-tat Widens
Russia said Friday it was renovating a Syrian port for use by the Russian fleet, signaling an effort to establish a firmer foothold in the Mediterranean at a time of tensions with the United States over Georgia.Indeed, the Georgian conflict, far from being an isolated, if ill-conceived incident, is proving to have staying power. Aggressive Russian posturing has no doubt [...]More
Friday's announcement was the first tangible sign of any new cooperation. The Itar-Tass news agency reported a vessel from Russia's Black Sea fleet had begun restoring facilities at Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus for use by the Russian military.
The two countries' naval chiefs also met in Moscow on Friday and discussed "further strengthening mutual trust and mutual understanding between the two states' fleets," a Russian naval official, Igor Dygalo, told Itar-Tass.
The Tartus renovations could signal an intention to have a long-term Russian naval presence there. In late August, Russia's ambassador to Damascus, Igor Belyev, said Russian ships already patrol the area, but "a new development is that the Russian presence in the Mediterranean will become permanent."
This Week in Weapons
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN (short version): Whatever that is, I'm for it! … Charlie.
Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin told Gibson, "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."That is not insight, Ms. Palin. It is just sight.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Iraq Cancels No-bid Contracts with Big Oil
Iraq’s oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, told reporters at an OPEC summit meeting in Vienna on Tuesday that talks with Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Total, BP and several smaller companies for one-year deals, which were announced in June and subsequently delayed, had dragged on for so long that the companies could not now fulfill
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Post-Georgia Conflict Repercussions Widen
Israeli defense officials say the government has told all businessmen involved in military sales to Georgia to immediately cease visits to the former Soviet republic.This could be a little psy-oping here, but it does further suggest that, indeed, Israel had been out of the loop on the Georgian operation and that Saakashvili's decision was the rogue move many think it was, one that may have been encouraged by US elements operating outside nominal channels. Long-time Georgian lobbyist and McCain foreign policy advisor Randy Schueneman redound such suggestion, while convenient circumstances brought Karl Rove and Saakashvili together in the weeks prior to the conflict. Both had attended the Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference and, in fact, were present during the same conference session on July 12. Speculation, of course, but that is some of what I thrive on here.
The officials say the directive was decided upon this week because Israel is concerned about damage to its relations with Russia. Israel had decided to stop most weapons sales to Georgia even before the Russia-Georgia war last month.
One of Israel's primary concerns is that Russia could sell Iran advanced weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles.
This move by the Israelis follows in the wake of [...]More
Tuesday, 09 September 2008
Azerbaijan Rebuffs Cheney Demand
US Military Claim Backed by ... Oliver North
Google Could Face Anti-trust Lawsuit
The Justice Department has quietly hired one of the nation's best-known litigators, former Walt Disney Co. vice chairman Sanford Litvack, for a possible antitrust challenge to Google Inc.'s growing power in advertising.
Mr. Litvack's hiring is the strongest signal yet that the U.S. is preparing to take court action against Google and its search-advertising deal with Yahoo Inc. The two companies combined would account for more than 80% of U.S. online-search ads.
Google shares tumbled 5.5%, or $24.30, to $419.95 in 4 p.m. trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, while Yahoo shares were up 18 cents to $18.26.
Google stands by the deal and says the arrangement does not and will not violate anti-trust law. In fact, they say, Google will delay implementation until the DoJ has time to "understand it." Knowing just how gutted the DoJ is of actual lawyerly abilities, this is something that might never happen.
Google has said the Yahoo deal doesn't violate antitrust law. It has forcefully argued -- in public testimony before Congress and in private meetings with Justice Department lawyers -- that the deal is pro-competition. The companies say they voluntarily delayed closing the deal until early October, to allow the U.S. to complete its review.
"We voluntarily delayed implementation of this arrangement to give the Department of Justice time to understand it, and we continue to work cooperatively with them," Google said. "While there has been a lot of speculation about this agreement's potential impact on advertisers or ad prices, we think it would be premature for regulators to halt the agreement before we implement
Sunday 31 August 2008: Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.[...]More
-- Major General Craig Campbell,Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard
Wednesday 3 September 2008: while the Alaska National Guard operates a launch site for a US anti-missile system at Fort Greely, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks, the Alaskan governor is not in the site's chain of command and has no authority over its operations. Nor are the recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan by the Alaska National Guard under Palin's purview. Her primary role is in recruiting National Guard volunteers.
-- Major General Craig Campbell,Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard
Friday 5 September 2008: "I've not been very pleased with what I've been seeing about the chastising of the National Guard by having it diminished by the insinuation that a commander-in-chief of the National Guard doesn't really control the military. National Guards are state military forces run by governors, and Sarah Palin does it great."