Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

The Economy Is Doing Good (But Dont Take My Word For It)

(CNN Money)

[A] five-week rally that pushed the major gauges to levels not seen since 2001 [has left] The Dow Jones industrial average (down 2.56 to 10,888.16, Charts) just below unchanged. Earlier in the session, the blue-chip average came within 40 points of 11,000, a key psychological level the 30-share index hasn't hit since June 2001.

The broader S&P 500 (up 0.02 to 1,257.48, Charts) index was unchanged, while the Nasdaq composite (down 6.70 to 2,232.71, Charts) lost 0.3 percent.


Oil prices briefly slipped to their lowest level in 5 1/2 months Wednesday as warm weather persisted throughout the U.S. Northeast and supported expectations that U.S. oil reserves are sufficient for the winter.

Analysts suggested the downward trend would continue in the short term, pointing out that over the past three months, the market has seized on a series of developments that support the rationale for cheaper oil.

(New York Times)

Shoppers, intent on skipping crowded stores and 6 a.m. squabbles over the last bargain laptop, spent 26 percent more money online over the Thanksgiving weekend than they did in 2004, according to figures released yesterday.


The economy grew at a lively 4.3 percent pace in the third quarter, the best showing in more than a year. The performance offered fresh testimony that the country's overall economic health managed to improve despite the destructive force of Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The new snapshot of economic activity, released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, showed the growth at an even faster pace than the 3.8 percent annual rate first reported for the July-to-September quarter a month ago.

How long until the Loopy Left (That “reality based community” as they like to call it) concedes they were, are, and will be dead wrong about the economy, the effect of the tax cuts, and oil prices?

How long before they admit that between 9/11, two wars, three Hurricanes, and Chinese competition, we have managed to not only recover our economy, but strengthen it?


Hillary Joins Ranks of Logical Left (Leaves the Hysterical Behind)

(AP) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday defended her vote to authorize war in Iraq amid growing unease among liberal Democrats who could determine the potential 2008 presidential candidate's future.

"I take responsibility for my vote, and I, along with a majority of Americans, expect the president and his administration to take responsibility for the false assurances, faulty evidence and mismanagement of the war," the New York senator said in a lengthy letter to thousands of people who have written her about the war.

At the same time, she said the United States must "finish what it started" in Iraq.

Compare and Contrast: Lieberman v/s Murtha

Now which one would win us “fence riders” (we prefer the term “centrist” or “independent”)? Which one is Hillary associating her self with? What does that mean for 2008?


Sheehan Mad Over Press Coverage (Welcome To Reality)

(Editor & Publisher) NEW YORK Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and her book publisher are upset about Associated Press and Reuters photos that allegedly presented a misleading impression of her book signing last weekend in Texas.

But in a statement today, Sheehan accused “right-wing” sites of “spreading a false story that nobody bought my book at Camp Casey on Saturday. That is not true, I sold all 100 copies and got writer's cramp signing them. Photos were taken of me before the people got in line to have me sign the book. We made $2000 for the peace house.”

"At the time the photos were taken 'maybe 5 people had come in,' Vucci says, and Sheehan was waiting for more to stop by, which they did individually as well as in very small groups. Therefore the wording of the caption is accurate in that Sheehan was waiting for people to show up at her signing."

Who here has seen the AP or Reuters take pot shots at Cindy or any of the anti-Bush movement yet? I know I havnt. In fact, in my post “Sheehan Book Signing Draws…” I noted that AP had their leading photo deliberately avoiding the scene depicted on the “right wing” sites. It had a overhead shot (preciously including the US flag) that included only a part of her table, and her, with the caption that read: “…Sheehan waits to sign her next book” (emphasis mine), implying that she had already been signing them, and now was awaiting more fans.

The first time the press doesn’t highlight her “pros”, and cover up her “cons”, and suddenly she’s upset? Welcome to the real world ma’am. We’ve been here quite awhile, so please excuse our lack of concern.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 

Canada Kicks Out Minority Party and Gets Do-Over

TORONTO (AP) - Canadian politicians will hit the campaign trail this holiday season after opposition parties seized upon a corruption scandal to bring down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in a vote of no confidence.

Monday's loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet will continue to govern until then.

"The vote in the House of Commons did not go our way," Martin said. "But the decision of the future of our government will be made by Canadians. They will judge us."

Wouldn’t it be something if we here in the US could fire all of the House and Senate, and have one big election to have another go at it? Maybe we wouldn’t have the self serving sycophants that posture themselves to maintain power, all the while purporting to be “serving” the American people.

I wish we had a "do-over" election...


Lieberman Debunks Democrat Defeatists (And the Media Covered It!)


Sen. Joe Lieberman, fresh from a two-day visit to Iraq over the Thanksgiving holiday, said Monday he was hopeful U.S. forces could begin a "significant" withdrawal by the end of next year or in 2007.

"The country is now in reach of going from Saddam Hussein to self-government and, I'd add, self-protection," the Connecticut Democrat said in a conference call with reporters. "That would be a remarkable transformation ... I saw real progress there."

"About two-thirds of the country is in really pretty good shape," he said, noting most attacks are in the so-called "Sunni Triangle" region. "Overall, I came back encouraged."
And here is more:
(Harford Courant) WASHINGTON --
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, just back from Iraq, wants President Bush to give the American people details about the progress being made in that country - from military triumphs to the proliferation of cellphones and satellite dishes. [Lieberman] saw strong evidence that a workable American plan is in place.

"We do have a strategy," he said. "We do have a plan. I saw a strategy that's being implemented."

And finally, from an open letter published by Joe himself after this most recent visit (his fourth in 17 months):
It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

A Democrat I could vote for, and their Party shuns him like Republicans do McCain...


Dukes of Congress (Cunningham Joins Culture of Corruption)

(AP) Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges and tearfully resigned from office, admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes to steer defense contracts to conspirators.

"I can't undo what I have done but I can atone," he said.

In a statement, prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations.

I guess the $3100 pay raise wasn’t quite enough for him? Now this is Dean’s culture of corruption. Unfortunately for us, I don’t think it is something that having a “D” or "R" next to your name makes you immune.

Raise your hand if you would like to see a complete shakedown of the entire congress.


France Demonstrates Ideals of Liberal Socialism

(Reuters) People walk past as a homeless person takes cover from the cold on a Paris sidewalk November 28, 2005, as six homeless have died in France since the arrival of winter temperatures. French authorities have raised their weather alert in 31 departments and asked for increased vigilance to the homeless in Paris. REUTERS/Franck Preve

Ah the socialistic ideal that is France. But I thought liberal politics would take care of the “disadvantaged?” Once again, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones:

“Katrina’s devastation points the finger at Bush’s system. ... Issues forgotten for years are back to the fore: poverty, the state’s absence, latent racism.”
— Le Monde, Sept. 8, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005 

Body Burning US Soldiers To Get Reprimanded (But Not Prosecuted?)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Four U.S. soldiers face disciplinary action for burning the bodies of two Taliban rebels - a videotaped incident that sparked outrage in Afghanistan - but they will not be prosecuted because their actions were motivated by hygienic concerns, the military said Saturday.

The U.S.-led coalition's operational commander, Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, said two junior officers who ordered the bodies burned would be reprimanded for showing a lack of cultural and religious understanding, but that the men had been unaware at the time of doing anything wrong.

Kamiya also said two noncommissioned officers would be reprimanded for using the burning of the bodies to taunt the rebels. The two men also would face nonjudicial punishments, which could include a loss of pay or demotion in rank.

How could they not have been “unaware” they were doing anything wrong, yet two non-coms knew enough about it to taunt the enemy with it? This is the kind of stuff that makes us look like a banana republic. I fully understand and empathize with the guys on the ground dealing with this sick and twisted enemy, but we do have to draw a line if we want to remain the “good guys”.

Remember how the Vietnamese used to do things like this to killed American troops? Remember how it made us feel about them? Here is a hint, it didn’t make us fear them or respect them. It did breed more hate.


Sheehan Book Signing Draws More Cameras Than Fans

"I never set out to become the 'Rosa Parks of the peace movement.' I ventured out on August 6, 2005, to hold George Bush accountable and to raise awareness about his lies and misuse and abuse of power. I didn't set out to become anyone's hero. I am a regular mom who just wants peace and no one else to be murdered for the deceptions of our government."
(Cindy Sheehan from “Not One More Mother’s Child”)

(AP) Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan waits to sign her next book near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 in Crawford, Texas.

(World Net Daily) While book-signings for political figures like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity often feature long lines and people waiting for hours, the scene at Cindy Sheehan's book-signing yesterday near President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch was a much more lonely affair.

Two very different views and two very different realities. Perhaps Mrs. Sheehan doesn't need to worry about anyone mistaking her for the "Rosa Parks" of the peace movement, as the media seems to be the only "crowd" gathered for her book signing?


CNN Operator Fired Over the X (Was It a Glitch?)

(Drudge) A switchboard operator was recently fired for telling a calling complainer that: "We did it just to make a point. Tell them to stop lying, Bush and Cheney," the CNN operator said to a caller. "Bring our soldiers home."

"A Turner switchboard operator was fired today after we were alerted to a conversation the operator had with a caller in which the operator lost his temper and expressed his personal views

But I thought this was a computer glitch. What exactly is going on here? (See Original CNN Flashes "X" Over Cheney)

Stop the ACLU and Drudge have this:

UPDATE: 6:18 PM, PT 11/23/05: Call Authentic, CNN Fires Rep:

I just got off the phone with Laurie Goldberg, Senior Vice President for Public Relations with CNN. Her statement confirms the authenticity of the tape recording and reveals the actions CNN took after learning of the incident:

—-”A Turner switchboard operator was fired today after we were alerted to a conversation the operator had with a caller in which the operator lost his temper and expressed his personal views — behavior that was totally inappropriate. His comments did not reflect the views of CNN. We are reaching out to the caller and expressing our deep regret to her and apologizing that she did not get the courtesy entitled to her.

Update: World Net Daily is now running the story (with Drudge as source). Shouldnt be long before all right leaning news outlets go with this, and we get some official comment from CNN

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 

Bosnia Finally Agrees On Government (10 Years Later?)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With a prod from the United States, leaders of Bosnia's three major ethnic factions agreed Tuesday to remake their divided government a decade after the end of their bloody civil war, Europe's bloodiest fighting since World War II.

Bosnia: A decade after the war to form a government = success

Iraq: 2 years after the war to form a government = failure and need to immediately pull out?

Why the difference?


Venezuela To Give Discount Oil to Massachusetts (Charity or Reward?)

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) Thousands of low-income Massachusetts residents will receive discounted home heating oil this winter under an agreement signed Tuesday with Venezuela. Citgo, the Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, will supply oil at 40 percent below market prices. It will be distributed by two nonprofit organizations, Citizens Energy Corp. and the Mass Energy Consumer Alliance.

U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., met with Chavez in August and helped broker the deal. He said his constituents' needs for heating assistance trump any political points the Chavez administration can score.

Chavez has become one of Latin America's most vocal critics of U.S.-style capitalism, which he calls a major cause of poverty. U.S.

Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. The US “poor” are still living better than Venezuela’s virtually non-existent middle class (11.5% Unemployment rate as of Sep, 2005 and 53.1% of households in poverty as of 2004). Also, I can’t help but feel that this current bout of philanthropy is meant to be a “reward” to the most liberal state in the Union. Oil for politics anyone?


Italy’s ACLU?

ROME (AP) -- Italy's justice minister on Tuesday questioned the motives of a Milan prosecutor seeking the extradition of 22 purported CIA agents, suggesting he was a leftist militant and anti-American, Italian news agencies reported.

Castelli said Spataro [the Milan prosecutor] was known as a militant and had voted in the recent center-left primary that elected an opponent to face Premier Silvio Berlusconi in elections next spring. Berlusconi has frequently claimed that he is the victim of leftist prosecutors in Milan.

Overzealous lawyers used by the left to attack America and/or right leaning political figures and agendas? When did this start? The Italian version of the ACLU?


Padilla Indicted, Finally

(Breitbart) Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held without charges for more than three years on suspicion of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on three counts alleging he conspired to "murder, maim and kidnap" people overseas.
The indictment naming Padilla and four others was unsealed Tuesday after being returned last week by a federal grand jury in Miami. While the charges allege Padilla was part of a U.S.-based terrorism conspiracy, they do not include the government's earlier allegations that he planned to carry out attacks in America.

Amendment 6:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall
enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State
and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall
have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to
have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Gitmo is full of non-US citizens, but Jose Padilla is a US citizen. This is a violation of civil rights, guaranteed by the Constitution.


Asian Allies Doubt US Ability to Counter Chinese Military

(Insight Mag) The overwhelming assessment by Asian officials, diplomats and analysts is that the U.S. military simply cannot defeat China. It has been an assessment relayed to U.S. government officials over the past few months by countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. This comes as President Bush wraps up a visit to Asia, in which he sought to strengthen U.S. ties with key allies in the region.

Most Asian officials have expressed their views privately. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has gone public, warning that the United States would lose any war with China.

Mr. Ishihara said U.S. ground forces, with the exception of the Marines, are "extremely incompetent" and would be unable to stem a Chinese conventional attack. Indeed, he asserted that China would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Asian and American cities—even at the risk of a massive U.S. retaliation.The governor said the U.S. military could not counter a wave of millions of Chinese soldiers prepared to die in any onslaught against U.S. forces. After 2,000 casualties, he said, the U.S. military would be forced to withdraw.

I just had to post this. For one, note the caveat “with the exception of the Marines”… big OOH-RAH!

The other part, note their focus on 2,000 casualties. Wonder what gave them the idea that Americans cannot sustain a war after that benchmark number?

And a last note: This is stemmed from their interpretation of the Iraq war, and our success/failure rate there. I would like to note that Mr. Ishihara does seem to lack the capacity to separate the difference between an occupational mission versus an armed conflict. I can’t help but think this is yet more excuse making for Japan’s military build up contrary to their pacifist constitution.


Management Success A New Requirement For Republicans?

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Republican candidate for governor William Weld on Tuesday answered criticism that he's responsible for a failed Kentucky school at the center of a federal fraud investigation.

"Nobody feels worse about the school closing than I do," Weld said. "I felt a proprietary relationship with the students." Weld had until recently headed the financially troubled Decker College trade school in Louisville. The closed school is entering bankruptcy proceedings, despite efforts by Weld's New York-based management company to correct its finances.

Why should this matter for him to be governor? Bush became not only a governor, but President, and he tanked two companies:
  • Arbusto, an oil exploration company, lost money, but it got considerable investments (nearly $5 million) because even losing oil investments were useful as tax shelters.

  • Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. bought out Arbusto in 1984 and hired Mr. Bush to run the company's oil interests in Midland, Texas. The oil business collapsed as oil prices plummeted by 1986, and Spectrum 7 Energy was near failure.



No Free Reactors For North Korea

NEW YORK (AP) -- The United States and its partners in an energy consortium have terminated a project to build two light-water atomic reactors for North Korea as an incentive to convince Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, officials said.

The decision was a sharp rebuff to the North's demand that it be given light-water reactors before it would open its nuclear program up to international inspection.

It took almost two years for Washington to wear down the resistance of its partners in the New York-based Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, also known as KEDO. South Korea finally gave up the partly built light-water reactors last summer. Japan and the European Union had already sided with the U.S. "no carrot" policy.

It’s about time we tried something different, because “carrot on a stick” has failed us since the early 1990’s. However, be careful, “Dear Leader” will get angry at this most imperialist insult!


Global Warming, Debunked by Reality

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Global warming is making life more dangerous for people across Europe and even starting to hurt businesses, necessitating urgent action from the European Union, the WWF environmental group said Tuesday.

"The citizens expect to see real action from the EU because climate change is already a reality in their daily life," said Stephan Singer, head of WWF International's climate change unit. "Snow disappearing in Scotland, fewer bees in Italy, crop losses in Spain, forests on the decline in Germany and sea levels rising off the coast of England are dangerous signs of climate change in Europe," WWF International said, saying the changes hurt the livelihoods of laborers, like foresters and farmers, whose work depends on nature's predictability.

Milan, Italy
Weather Almanac (in Fahrenheit) (USAToday)

Today’s Forcast for Milan: (Yahoo Weather)

Call me batty, but the average high for this time of the year is in the 50’s, and the highest ever is 72 degrees. Seems we have a disconnect with WWF claims and… REALITY.


ACLU, Defender of Freedoms (Lefty Freedoms That Is)

DENVER (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday sued volunteers for an event with President Bush, saying they violated the civil rights of two people who were tossed out because of their political views.

Leslie Weise, 40, and Alex Young, 26, were escorted from the March 21 event after they arrived in a car with a bumper sticker reading "No more blood for oil," and wearing T-shirts saying "Stop the lies" under other clothes, the federal lawsuit said.

Thank your Lefty stars for the ACLU, otherwise Bush hating liberals would never be allowed into pro-Bush/pro-Right rallies… seriously. Oh, and by the way, where was the ACLU for THIS WOMAN Earlier this month?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

Another Secret Memo Making Claims That Reality Cant Confirm

(Mirror) PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.

Inside sources that remain anonymous and mysterious memos that reveal “unbelievable” conversations seem to always try and paint Bush in an unflattering light with facts that are well, just unbelievable.

No President, much less US military commander, would suggest, much less concider bombing a news agency located in the heart of an ally held so close to the chest of US/Mid-East operations. Without Qatar, would would have virtually no strong foothold in the region (they did host the CENTCOM HQ mind you). Their king has brought unprecedented changes to the region, reflecting an ideal that all in the US could only hope the rest of the Arab nations would follow.

This type of slander (and that is exactly what it is), is the most dangerous, because it preys on the public’s hunger for scandal and on their inane capacity to believe anything called “secret memo” as absolute truth.

Now, just to avoid any confusion here: I think this is made up, because if it was serious (and Bush really was seriously thinking about bombing anything in Qatar), then he would officially be the most strategically disadvantaged man on earth.


US and EU-3 Slow Down Iran Referral Threat

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Washington and its European allies will forgo pushing for Iran's referral to the U.N. Security Council later this week, giving Russia more time in persuading Tehran to give up technology that could make nuclear arms, diplomats and officials told The Associated Press on Monday.

For the Americans and the European Union, the plan holds the promise of success even if Iran continues to reject the proposal that would move its uranium enrichment program to Russia. The acceptance of that plan, in theory, would deprive the Iranians of the chance to enrich uranium to weapons grade, suitable for use in the core of nuclear warheads.

But if the Russians fail to win over the Iranians, Washington and the Europeans hope Moscow and other key board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency now opposed to Security Council referral will moderate their opposition. Before the board meeting, the Americans have begun to draft a resolution setting a timetable for Iran to accept the plan involving enrichment on Russian soil and related issues - and threatening with Security Council referral unless those conditions were met, the diplomats and officials said.

Building another case for war, or simply exercising diplomacy? Part of this has to do with the fact that Belarus, Cuba, and Syria have joined Venezuela on the IAEA board, and thus will make any vote on Iran a political battle having little to do with the actual issue at hand (instead, it would become an anti-US agenda battle). The next few weeks (perhaps months) will show if Tehran is willing to use this “out” to diffuse the mounting crisis.


CNN Flashes X Over Cheney in Live Coverage

(Drudge) At 11:04:45 AM ET Monday CNN was airing Vice President Dick Cheney's speech live from the American Enterprise Institute in Washington -- when a large black 'X' repeatedly flashed over the vice president's face!

The 'X' over Cheney's face appeared each time less than a second, creating an odd subliminal effect.

We know that “objective journalism” is an impossability, but this is something that should anger anyone with intellectual honesty. Not because the nature of the “prank” is so bad or that it is inherently disrespectful to the office the man holds (something that used to actual mean something to Americans), but because this is supposed to be a creditable news agency, from which I am supposed to get facts about current events.
They are intentionally and openly trying to skew the viewer opinion for political motivations. This isn’t selective reporting, this is subliminal messaging to influence public opinion. I expect this on Comedy Central, I don’t expect this on the worlds “leading news agency”.

Media Bias?

UPDATE: The Dan Report (and numerous others) have finally gotten to the bottom of this thing, and it does appear that this whole thing was a glitch (convenient maybe, but a glitch none the less). So now is the time where I say YES!

Yes, I jumped quickly to conclusions, and was pretty much wrong. Yes, I take it back, and give full apologies to any that I argued with, and/or my attacks on CNN. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But you know you still love me ;) (HT to H at Terrorism News)


Hold up a minute.
(Drudge) A switchboard operator was recently fired for telling a calling complainer that: "We did it just to make a point. Tell them to stop lying, Bush and Cheney," the CNN operator said to a caller. "Bring our soldiers home."

"A Turner switchboard operator was fired today after we were alerted to a conversation the operator had with a caller in which the operator lost his temper and expressed his personal views -- behavior that was totally inappropriate. His comments did not reflect the views of CNN. We are reaching out to the caller and expressing our deep regret to her and apologizing that she did not get the courtesy entitled to her. "

But I thought this was a computer glitch. What exactly is going on here?

Monday, November 21, 2005 

Bush Visibly Shaken , Rice Worried About Intentions After Chinese Talks?

BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced concern on Sunday over China's military build-up, saying that the United States hoped to keep a balance in the region.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Jintao sought to reassure visiting President George W. Bush that China's rise would be peaceful.

"There's a question of intent," Rice told reporters, referring to the modernization of the 2.5-million-strong People's Liberation Army -- the world's biggest fighting force.

Combine this with:

BEIJING (Reuters) - At the end of a day of meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Chinese officials, Bush held a session with a small group of U.S. reporters and spoke at length about issues like religious freedom, Iraq and the Chinese currency.

The final reporter he called on critiqued Bush's performance earlier in the day when he stood next to Hu in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square to deliver a statement.

"Respectfully, sir -- you know we're always respectful -- in your statement this morning with President Hu, you seemed a little off your game, you seemed to hurry through your statement. There was a lack of enthusiasm. Was something bothering you?" he asked.

"Have you ever heard of jet lag?" Bush responded. "Well, good. That answers your question."
The president then recited a list of things of that he viewed as positive developments from his Beijing meetings, including cooperation on North Korean nuclear disarmament and the ability to have "frank discussions" with his Chinese counterpart.

When the reporter asked for "a very quick follow-up," Bush cut him off by thanking the press corps and telling the reporter "No you may not," as he strode toward a set of double doors leading out of the room.

The only problem was that they were locked. "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work," Bush quipped, facing reporters again until an aide rescued him by pointing to him toward the correct door.

Rice is saying she is concerned about China’s military build up (a job they have dutifully left to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld until now), and worrying about their intent. And Bush seemed to be “off his game”, even “shaken up” after meeting with them and having “frank discussions”.

Did those discussions get so “frank” as to discuss whether or not China was planning on making a move against Taiwan? And if so, did China not say “no”?


And About This Murtha Guy

U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a key Democrat on military issues, on Monday defended his call to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, saying he was reflecting Americans' sentiment.

"The public turned against this war before I said it," Murtha said. "The public is emotionally tied into finding a solution to this thing, and that's what I hope this administration is going to find out."

Murtha, 73, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said he has received support from the public since calling for the troop pullout on Thursday. He said he has gotten e-mails from World War II veterans and parents of American soldiers in Iraq.

Murtha noted that his great-grandfather served in the Civil War, his father and three uncles in World War II, and that he and his brothers were Marines. Murtha said western Pennsylvania, where his district is located, is a "hotbed of patriotism and they've lost confidence in this effort."

He said Iraqis must take control of their own destiny. […] Murtha said he believes President Bush needs to realize how citizens feel about the war.

Running the risk of sounding partisan for the right, I have to completely disagree with Murtha’s presentation, if not his logic. He is now trying to repaint his words from 18 Nov: "It's time to bring them home" or as far back as September 16, 2003, when he called for the immediate firing of President Bush’s defense leadership team. Or in May of 2004 when he was saying "We cannot prevail in this war as it is going today.”

Also note, that Murtha is claiming large marjority support by voters, yet a resolution calling for immediate troop withdrawal was offered by Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who acknowledged he had no intention of voting for it. It was rejected 403-3. This move was intended to make those, including Murtha, who vocally claim to support this, either go on record and defy their voters, or quit blowing smoke.

I agree that a more firm timetable needs to be put in place. I agree that the Iraqis need to begin taking a more active role in the security of their own country. But I do not agree that we should pull out now, and I do not agree that there is even a sizable portion of Americans that honestly think we should.

I see this as political posturing by a member of Congress, pushing an ideal (or agenda?) that he has held since the days of Clinton in Somalia. He is firmly against aggressive and/or active foreign policy, but now wants to shroud it in non-support for this war. It is an opportunistic move to take advantage of a situation. This was meant to counter Bush’s political assault on the “lied about WMD” crowd, but has turned into a Trojan horse for the Democrats, bringing to light their empty support for impossible causes.


Iran Approves Blocking Nuclear Inspectors

(AP) TEHRAN- Parliament approved a bill Sunday requiring the government to block international inspections of its atomic facilities if the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency refers Iran to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

The bill was approved by 183 of the 197 lawmakers present at the session, which was broadcast live on state-run radio. The vote came four days before the International Atomic Energy Agency board meets to consider referring Tehran for violating a nuclear arms control treaty.
When the bill becomes law, as is expected, it will strengthen the government's hand in resisting international pressure to abandon uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors or an atomic bomb.

The line in the sand has been drawn. Notice this part: “t will strengthen the government's hand in resisting international pressure”. Now, put that in with: “Iran President Ousting Political Rivals”. This thing is getting more and more spooky. Will Europe step up to the plate and do the hard work on this, or will the sit back, again, and let the US take the heat for doing the tough (and unpopular) job?


Congress Cuts Spending On Food Stamps, But Boosts Own Pay?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to cut $700 million from the food stamp program, despite objections from antihunger groups complaining that estimates show some 235,000 people would lose benefits. The House bill, which also trimmed other social programs for the poor in an effort to reduce federal spending by $50 billion, was narrowly approved 217-215.

Now, granted, studies have shown that the current level of food stamp support is not being used (see: Everyone Eligible not Using Food Stamps), but combine this story with the one below:

(AP) WASHINGTON -- The Republican-controlled Congress helped itself to a $3,100 pay raise on Friday, then postponed work on bills to curb spending on social programs and cut taxes in favor of a two-week vacation.

So, as we cut social programs (war on pork), we increase your already bloated salary? And for what exactly? You’ve once again put off the bills made to curb spending and cut taxes to go on a two week vacation?

This has to be a joke right?

Sunday, November 20, 2005 

Sheehan To Release Book

(AP) FORT WORTH, Texas -- After spending scorching August days with hundreds of war protesters at her makeshift camp near President Bush's Crawford ranch, Cindy Sheehan slipped away each night to her tent or RV for a few quiet moments on her laptop.

Now those journal entries are in her book, "Not One More Mother's Child," to be released Wednesday. The paperback also contains some of her speeches to peace groups earlier this year, letters to politicians and writings since leaving Crawford. Koa Books [has] printed about 20,000 copies.

You knew this was coming. Moore made “more” money off of his movie than Halliburton has off the Iraq war, and now Sheehan will sell books about a saga that has had a much higher cost than I think either side would like to admit. If you want to know motivations, as the reality based community says: “follow the money”.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 

Iron Bowl 2005, War Eagle Rules

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- No. 11 Auburn felt like the wrong team was getting all the hype in this state, and the Tigers set out to prove it Saturday. Unleashing a relentless pass rush, No. 11 Auburn upstaged one of the nation's stingiest defenses and remained dominant in the Iron Bowl with a 28-18 win over No. 8 Alabama.

Friday, November 18, 2005 

Dick Cheney Personally Directs Killing of Iraqis!!!

Direct from at The Word from the Geekside comes this breaking story:

Dick Cheney Personally Directs Killing of Iraqis!!!
I suppose I should have misspelled something in that title...
By greywar

Posted Thursday, November 17, 2005 on The Word from the Geekside

Discussion: Politics In response to this (misspelled) article I have shamelessly copied this from PWOT… an excerpt: DEATHS LINKED TO U.S. MILITARY...
Posted 11.17.05 reports surface that White Phosphorous artillery shells used by troops have resulted in the deaths of Iraqi insurgents.

The burning shells are normally used to light areas of the battlfield at night, so that the enemy can be spotted and then driven away with loud bursts of rap music. Critics now claim that during the Battle of Fallujah American soldiers realized that the shells, which explode in a burst of white fire hotter than the center of the Sun, are actually quite fatal and that aiming them directly at the enemy would simply save a step.


“This is an outrage," says Sandra Kiebold of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Terrorists, Insurgents, and Trans-Evildoers. "Did George Washington found this nation by killing people? George Bush, you call yourself a Christian. Tell me, can you imagine God killing people?"

According to embedded journalists, enlisted soldiers are using other weapons designed specifically to kill their targets. One weapon, referred to by soldiers as a ‘rifle’, ignites packed powder charges in a closed chamber causing an expansion of gas. This propels a chunk or lead or depleted uranium through a hollow cylinder at high velocity, aimed to literally punch a hole through the body of an insurgent.

Go read the whole thing… I would like to point out that the PWOT article is actually better researched and more factual than the “article” linked in my first sentence.


Definition of Megalomania: (See Also, Capitol Hill)

Megalomaniac: a personality disorder that is characterized by extreme feelings of self-importance, a high need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. (Wikapedia)

(Drudge) Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) named buildings after THEMSELVES in the Labor-HHS Appropriations conference -- which they oversaw!

"6. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or redesignation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator." (Source: []

Staffers on The Hill mocked the move as the latest example of egos completely out of control. By late Thursday, the conference report went down in flames when the House voted down the request. Congress will now have the opportunity to remove the vanity plates from the report when it reconvenes and revotes.



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My blog is worth $11,290.80.
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Iran President Now Purging Political Rivals (Signs of Coming Times?)

(Guardian) Iran is facing political paralysis as its newly elected president purges government institutions, bringing accusations that he is undertaking a coup d'état.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's clearout of his opponents began last month but is more sweeping than previously understood and has reached almost every branch of government, the Guardian has learned. Dozens of deputy ministers have been sacked this month in several government departments, as well the heads of the state insurance and privatisation organisations. Last week, seven state bank presidents were dismissed in what an Iranian source described as "a coup d'état".

An informed Iranian source with first-hand knowledge of all the main political and clerical figures in the country said: "Ahmadinejad is defying everybody. He does whatever he wants and considers it to be right. This is not how things are done in Iran."

Lets see, political math says:

(Strict Fundamentalist Elected) + (Extreme Violent Speaches Against Israel) + (Secretive and Defiant Nuclear Production) + (Elimination of Domestic Political Rivals) + (Support From Large World Powers China and Russia) = VERY DANGEROUS!

Thursday, November 17, 2005 

Iran Shrugs Off West Concerns, Restarts Uranium Enrichment

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has begun processing a new batch of uranium despite Western pressure on it to halt sensitive atomic work, possibly harming attempts to defuse a standoff over its nuclear aims, a diplomat said on Wednesday.

[A] U.S. official added: "It's not unexpected. It really is consistent with a pattern of behavior from Iran which is to be both forthcoming and defiant."

Of course it isn’t unexpected, they learned well from North Korea. Maybe they have someone whispering in their ear they have nothing to worry about (China and Russia)?


Iran: Holding Hands For More Nukes!

File this under “what the…”

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's volunteer Islamic militiamen are vowing to form a human chain along the length of the country's borders as a show of force against international pressure on Tehran's atomic program.

Iran faces referral to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions after failing to convince the world its nuclear fuel program is intended for power stations rather than warheads.

Mohammad Hejazi, head of the volunteer basij militia, swore he had enough people to girdle the country.

"Nine million basij will form a human chain around Iran on November 26 in support of the country's right to peaceful nuclear energy," he told state television Wednesday.

He said the chain would run to about 8,700 km (5,406 miles) and added President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would attend the ceremony.

It’s not a joke people, this is for real. Sometimes, you just have to shake your head, close your eyes, and walk away from it.
(Hat Tip to my buddy Mike)


Orange Country Florida NAACP Leader Switchs to Republican

(Orlando Sentinel) For decades, Republicans have struggled to reach out to black Americans. But now in Orange County, the GOP has to reach no further than the NAACP. As of this week, Derrick Wallace, head of Orange County's NAACP, has switched parties -- to become a Republican."I've thought about this for two years," Wallace said Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after returning from the elections office. "This is not a decision I made yesterday."It is, however, a decision that rang out like a shot among political circles. Republican Party leader Lew Oliver described himself as "extraordinarily pleased," while Democratic leader Tim Shea said he was disappointed.

Just as importantly, he said, he didn't want people to immediately brand -- or dismiss -- NAACP concerns as synonymous with those of liberal Democrats. "I want this branch to be respected," he said. "It's purely a business decision. Ninety percent of those I do business with are Republicans," he said. "Opportunities that have come to my firm have been brought by Republicans."

How long do you think it will be before black leaders and Democratic politicians begin taking pot-shots at him and trying to discredit him? Apperently not too long. In response to Wallace’s announcement, Tim Shea said "I'm a little confused. Are we talking about the National Association for the Advancement of Construction Professionals -- or Colored People?"

I think what Tim is confused about is a black leader seeing that opportunity and assistance have been coming from one party, while the other that claims to represent black people only works for their vote. Or maybe he is confused as to why Republicans are the party that have appointed the highest ranking black officials to ever hold office, while black Democrats call them all an “Uncle Tom”.


Has Arnold Terminated California $$$ Woes?

(Monterey Herald) SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers won't have to worry about a multibillion budget deficit next year for the first time in four years thanks to an unexpected jump in tax income and ongoing spending cuts, according to a new report.

But Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill tempered the good news Wednesday with a warning that the state has not solved its long-term spending problems and warned that big deficits will return in 2007-2008 unless additional steps are taken.

Maybe steps like the four special election initiatives that California voters soundly rejected? Who’s fooling who here? Mr. Schwarzenegger may be loosing popularity, but this is a clear cut sign that he is doing something right in that state. If voters continue to hold onto their political ideals and partisan prejudices, they will end up throwing all of this away. Arnold was voted in to make a change. He obviously his having an impact, but now in the face the reward, they are turning back against him? But here is the spin you will hear from the left: Arnold was trying to trick voters into giving him too much power with doomsday forcasts that the voters obviously saw through.


Iraq Update: Warning, Portrays A Positive Image

I recently read a letter on Front Page Magazine from a retired military officer about his son’s reflections on his tour in Iraq. Below is an excerpt:

According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high.
They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively.
They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and
distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit
like "Are we losing in Iraq?" on TV and the print media. For the most part, they
are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and
they all say this, there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake
through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough
troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and
the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with,
of course, permanent US bases there).

I highly encourage anyone seeking an alternative view to what the political left is pushing to read it. It is pretty long (about a 15 minute read), but well worth it. We get so few journalistic attempts to show us anything near objectivity, much less positive coverage on the war, so grab a cup of coffee, mouse click, sit back, and ENJOY

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 

Shhhh, China is Gaining More Power and Influecne, Dont Worry.

BUSAN, South Korea (AP) -- It's bigger, faster and ready to throw its weight around.
When China joined the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum 14 years ago, it was the lone communist behemoth among a field of nimble market economies. Today, it's a leading actor in the annual forum that represents about 60 percent of the global economy and nearly half of world trade.

Analysts say China has virtually edged out the United States as the dominant economic and political force among the 21 Pacific Rim economies gathering this week in this South Korean port city.

Nothing to see here, just more obscure news from our big friend in the far east. Oh, and please ignore the huge military build up this economic power is generating. And please ignore the increasingly restrictive free speech oppression. They are of no consequence.


Iraq PM Explains 173 Detainees Found Tortured and Malnourished

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq's prime minister said Tuesday that 173 Iraqi detainees - malnourished and showing signs of torture - were found at an Interior Ministry basement lockup seized by U.S. forces in Baghdad. The discovery appeared to validate Sunni complaints of abuse by the Shiite-controlled ministry.

The revelation about the mostly Sunni Arab detainees by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was deeply embarrassing to the government as critics in the United States and Britain question the U.S. strategy for building democracy in a land wracked by insurgency, terrorism and sectarian tension.

Um, woops? What do you even say to this aside from the fact that obviously we need to show them that to run a “democracy” you cannot operate an oppressive theocracy. Hey guys, people tend not feel their vote “counts” when the ruling party can lock up and torture dissenters. Let’s consider that a “Rule of the Day”.

Oh yeah, but to do that, we need to make sure that we don’t have anything like this ourselves…. Like say a Secret CIA Prison in East Europe”?


EU Going to Try Spy Satellites

(Washington Times) BRUSSELS -- The European Union is building its own network of spy satellites, allowing Brussels to ensure nations and private individuals are obeying its policies.

The multibillion-dollar system, known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, should be up and running by 2010, a commission spokesman said Monday.

Announcing the launch of a "pilot stage" for GMES, the commission stressed its "user-friendly" application in guiding relief work after disasters or providing real-time images of forest fires or oil spills.

But a commission statement also acknowledged that GMES would play a key role in the "implementation, review and monitoring of EU policies," including watching for agriculture and fisheries fraud and boosting "internal security."

In addition, officials hope GMES will support the European Union's first steps toward becoming a military power. It will "provide authorities with necessary elements for a European Security and Defense Policy," the commission said.

All the old Socialists from the former USSR have now migrated into Europe, and are trying to reform under the banner of the EU. First, they wanted to become an economic power to rive the US, that has failed. Then they wanted to become a political power to rival the US, that has failed too. Now they are going to try their hand at military might. This too will fail. The problem, which they see to not quite grasp, is that the peoples of Europe are very proud of their INDIVIDUAL history and tradition, and have no desire to surrender that into a conglomerate that tries to mesh all European nations into one blob.


Flashback: He Lied About WMD, and Illegally Attacked A Sovereign Nation Without UN Mandate

(via Drudge)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

The president said Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.
"Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons," Clinton said.

Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.

"Earlier today I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces," Clinton said.

"Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors," said Clinton.

Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had weapons of mass destruction, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.

Clinton also called Hussein a threat to his people and to the security of the world. "The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people," Clinton said.
-Dec 16th 1998
Hurry, arrest him, he committed an illegal act of aggression against a sovereign nation, and obviously lied about WMD!


Internet Control Fight Over, We Won.

(AP) U.S. officials said early Wednesday that instead of transferring management of the system to an international body such as the United Nations, an international forum would be created to address concerns. The forum, however, would have no binding authority.

Negotiators from more than 100 countries agreed late Tuesday to leave the United States in charge of the Internet's addressing system, averting a U.S.-EU showdown at this week's U.N. technology summit.

The onus now lies with the developing world to bring in not just opinions, but investment to expand the Internet to their benefit, he said.

The accord reached late Tuesday also called for the establishment of a new international group to give more countries a stronger say in how the Internet works, including the issue of making domain names _ currently done in the Latin languages _ into other languages, such as Chinese, Urdu and Arabic.

Honestly, is it just me, or does this sound the “international community” trying to put a good sounding spin on the United States telling them to go pound sand?

I wonder who really thought this was going to fly to begin with, well, besides our doomsday mainstream media.


Captain Obvious (aka McCain) Strikes Again!

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Republican Sen. John McCain Tuesday said the massive Pentagon budget for the war in Iraq can't be sustained because of the need to replace weapons.

"We have unsustainable defense spending," said McCain, a chief proponent of military acquisition reform. "Refurbishment or replacement sooner than planned is putting further pressure on DOD's investment accounts. We cannot sustain the number of weapons programs that are in the program of record."

You mean we cannot afford to have a perpetual war? Since when did this happen? Hey John, next are you going to make a press release saying how much you support all people that get high grades? Come on, say something with some substance already.


Political Tides Changing in Egypt?

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- The Muslim Brotherhood won 20 percent of the overall vote in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections, according to initial official results released Wednesday after a day of intense runoff balloting.

The ruling party is not expected to lose its long-held majority in the 454-seat parliament. The elections are seen as a gauge of how far Mubarak is prepared to open the political system. During the past two years, the United States has put increasing pressure on the president to liberalize his authoritarian administration.

Two things come to mind here:
1.) Be careful what you wish for
2.) Does anyone in Washington realize that we are stepping on our own feet by forcing the mid-east “democracies” to open their systems up? I’m pretty sure the “Muslim Brotherhood” will not be as pleasant to deal with as the NDP.


Will the Real Karl Rove Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up. . .

(Washington Post) Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

Citing a confidentiality agreement in which the source freed Woodward to testify but would not allow him to discuss their conversations publicly, Woodward and Post editors refused to disclose the official's name or provide crucial details about the testimony. Woodward did not share the information with Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until last month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward said he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does not recall the conversation taking place.

Um, Rove, if you walk like “Official A”, talk like “Official A”, and look like “Official A”… I’m betting you ARE “Official A”. Just come out with it already and get this over with. I feel like a parent trying to find out where my kid’s report card got “lost”.


Clinton Complains About US to UAE Students (Surprise Surprise)

(AP) The United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday, citing the lack of planning for what would happen after dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown. "Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done, " Clinton told students at the American University of Dubai.

Now those on the left that adore this man, and the politics he supports. Why is Mr. Clinton in the UAE, telling people there about how much he disagrees with US policy? What possible effect could this have, but to once again, fuel anti-American sentiment and the insurgency movement?

Why is the left so obsessed with the international popularity game? Between acts like Jimmy Carter and now Mr. Clinton, I don’t think the world has ever seen such malaise for a nation, by its own citizens. The problem is though, Mr. Clinton also said in this speech: “that the United States had done some good things in Iraq: the removal of Saddam, the ratification of a new constitution, and the holding of parliamentary elections.

Bill, you cant have it both ways. Either this was a mistake or it wasn’t. You cannot support the outcome, and say they are a good thing, but the disagree with the whole thing. I wish the politicians of this nation would worry more about… THIS COUNTRY… than being internationally popular.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 

Rice Signs Historic Deal on Gaza (Twilight Zone?)

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Prodded by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israel and the Palestinians agreed Tuesday on details for opening the borders of the Gaza Strip and allowing freer movement for Palestinians elsewhere, a significant step toward an eventual peace deal between historic enemies.

While important in and of itself, the broader significance of the deal to free up Palestinian movement while satisfying Israeli concerns about terrorism is that it makes a statement of progress that goes beyond the technical details.

Just a quick reality check here, but did we all just flip to bizarro world? Hillary Clinton is supporting an Israeli security wall, while Condoleezza Rice is forcing Israel to give up border security to the Palestinians?

There is nothing wrong with your computer screen, you’ve just entered...


How Iraq Intelligence Was Manipulated

(HT Mike's America)


UN Reinstates Only Man Fired For Oil-For-Food Scandal

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The United Nations agreed Tuesday to reinstate the only U.N. official who was fired over the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, after an internal appeals body ruled that he had done nothing wrong, his lawyer said.

Joseph Stephanides was advised of the decision in a letter received Tuesday morning, said his lawyer, George Irving. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan still believes that Stephanides, fired on May 31, violated staff rules in his handling of an oil-for-food contract but agreed the punishment was too harsh, Irving said.

Seriously, the ONLY man that was fired over this thing, is now being reinstated? Oh yeah, and Bolton is going to make things worse? Or the US is supposed to turn over interenet control to these guys?

Should we trust the UN’s intentions on anything other than keeping themselves fat and happy?