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Impeach Bush--Index 78
March 30, 2008

The mounting cost of food

Next time you restock your pantry, be prepared for sticker shock. The price of wheat has more than tripled during the past 10 months, making Americans' daily bread -- and bagels and pizza and pasta -- feel a little like...(?) baked goods aren't the only ones getting more expensive: Experts expect about 80 percent of grocery prices will spike, too, and could remain steep for years because wheat and other grains are used to feed cattle, poultry and dairy cows.

"It's going to affect everything . . . impact on every section of the grocery store," said Michael Bittel, senior vice president of King Arthur Flour Co. in Norwich, Vt.

March 31, 2008

ANALYSIS-Iraqi crackdown backfires, strengthens Sadrists

BAGHDAD, April 31 (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's crackdown on militias in the southern oil port of Basra appears to have backfired, exposing the weakness of his army and strengthening his political foes ahead of elections.

U.S. President George W. Bush has praised the crackdown, calling it a "defining moment" for Iraq, but it has unleashed a wave of destabilising violence in southern Iraq and in Baghdad that risks undoing the security improvements of the past year.

It has also exposed a deep rift within Iraq's Shi'ite majority -- between the political parties in Maliki's government and followers of populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Are there any law-abiding members in this Administration?

Impeachable Offense
March 31, 2008

Top US housing official resigns

The US housing secretary has resigned amid claims he misused his position.

Critics had been calling for Alphonso Jackson to step down since an FBI investigation into claims of cronyism in awarding housing contracts began.

His resignation comes as the US housing market suffers a slump, with falling prices and high foreclosure rates.

Impeachable Offense
March 28, 2008

Bush Aide Resigns for Alleged Wrongdoing

An aide to President Bush has resigned because of his alleged misuse of grant money from the U.S. Agency for International Development when he worked for a Cuban democracy organization.

Felipe Sixto was promoted on March 1 as a special assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and stepped forward on March 20 to reveal his alleged wrongdoing and to resign, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said on Friday. He said Sixto took that step after learning that his former employer, the Center for a Free Cuba, was prepared to initiate legal action against him.

The alleged wrongdoing occurred when Sixto was chief of staff at the center, where he worked for more than three years before moving to the White House.

The board of directors paid a man who was failing miserably. When we stop rewarding failure we'll right ourselves...not until then. The came can be said for those who were wrong about WMD; Bush, the entire media, almost all republicans, McCain and Clinton.

March 27, 2008

Bear Stearns Chairman Cayne Sells $61.3 Mln In Stock

NEW YORK (Reuters) - James Cayne, Chairman of Bear Stearns Cos Inc (BSC.N) sold $61.3 million of his shares of the company according to a filing on Thursday, signaling the bank's shareholders are unlikely to get a higher price for their shares.

JPMorgan agreed earlier this week to increase its original bid for Bear Stearns, which had faced a run on the bank and was close to collapse.

We've known since 2001 where the Anthrax came from - a US military facility. What's taking them so long? This is the Bush government... a government where everyone is incompetent.

Maybe the FBI can read press reports to find out what we've known for years. Army confirms Texas origin of anthrax terror strain

March 27, 2008

FBI Focusing on 2001 Anthrax Attacks

WASHINGTON —  The FBI has narrowed its focus to "about four" suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army's bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned.

Among the pool of suspects are three scientists — a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist — linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID.

Afghanistan is considered a Bush success story. Now if only the media would call it what it is...a failure, we could start dealing with how we're going to fix what Bush broke.

Impeachable Offense
March 27, 2008

Afghan Farmers Forced to Sell Daughters to Pay Loans

The family's heartbreak began when Shah borrowed $2,000 from a local trafficker, promising to repay the loan with 24 kilos of opium at harvest time. Late last spring, just before harvest, a government crop-eradication team appeared at the family's little plot of land in Laghman province and destroyed Shah's entire two and a half acres of poppies. Unable to meet his debt, Shah fled with his family to Jalalabad, the capital of neighboring Nangarhar province. The trafficker found them anyway and demanded his opium. So Shah took his case before a tribal council in Laghman and begged for leniency. Instead, the elders unanimously ruled that Shah would have to reimburse the trafficker by giving Khalida to him in marriage. Now the family can only wait for the 45-year-old drugrunner to come back for his prize. Khalida wanted to be a teacher someday, but that has become impossible. "It's my fate," the child says.

Afghans disparagingly call them "loan brides"—daughters given in marriage by fathers who have no other way out of debt. The practice began with the dowry a bridegroom's family traditionally pays to the bride's father in tribal Pashtun society. These days the amount ranges from $3,000 or so in poorer places like Laghman and Nangarhar to $8,000 or more in Helmand, Afghanistan's No. 1 opium-growing province. For a desperate farmer, that bride price can be salvation—but at a cruel cost. Among the Pashtun, debt marriage puts a lasting stain on the honor of the bride and her family. It brings shame on the country, too. President Hamid Karzai recently told the nation: "I call on the people [not to] give their daughters for money; they shouldn't give them to old men, and they shouldn't give them in forced marriages."

March 27, 2008

U.S. Has Little Influence, Few Options in Iraq's Volatile South

As U.S. warplanes attacked targets in Basra yesterday, Bush administration officials acknowledged that their hands-off strategy toward southern Iraq in recent years has left them with little knowledge of the conflicts among competing Shiite groups there and few ways of influencing them.

President Bush yesterday hailed the decision of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to launch a full-scale military offensive against militias in Basra as a "defining moment" for his leadership. But other officials said the administration remains unsure of Maliki's motives and warned that the ongoing battle risks sending the country spiraling back toward the cataclysmic violence levels of 2006 and early 2007.

March 27, 2008

PEW: Obama Leads Clinton in Poll

Barack Obama maintains a 49%-39% lead over Hillary Clinton among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, despite heavy media coverage in the past week of Obama's controversial former pastor. Obama's advantage over Clinton is now about the same as it was before his losses in the March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas (49%-40%).

Age, race and gender continue to be significant factors in the Democratic race. Obama enjoys strong support among men, younger voters and blacks, while Clinton does well among white women and older voters.

March 27, 2008

Areas of Baghdad fall to militias

Iraq's Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.

With the threat of a civil war looming in the south, Nouri al-Maliki's police chief in Basra narrowly escaped assassination in the crucial port city, while in Baghdad, the spokesman for the Iraqi side of the US military surge was kidnapped by gunmen and his house burnt to the ground.

March 28, 2008

Catholics Must Get Up Out of the Pew and Walk Out of the Church Forever

Bill Mahr: When Barack Obama didn't hear Reverend Wright say those awful things about America, he still should have rushed the stage, smite Reverend Wright with the cross, and left the church. If there's anything the right wing can agree on, it's that. And that gays are going hell, right after they suck them off in the airport bathroom.

But it raises an obvious question, one that I haven't heard asked, which is strange because it's so obvious: If you leave a church when the head of the church says bad things about America, what do you do when your church hierarchy is caught up in a systematic and decades-long sex abuse scandal? And did I mention the people being sexually abused were children? Hundreds of them?

March 27, 2008

Obama Weathers the Wright Storm

FigureThe videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons and Barack Obama's subsequent speech on race and politics have attracted more public attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign. A majority of the public (51%) said they heard "a lot" about the videos, and an even larger percentage (54%) said they heard a lot about Obama's speech, according to the weekly News Interest Index.

Most voters aware of the sermons say they were personally offended by Wright's comments, and a sizable minority (35%) says that their opinion of Obama has grown less favorable because of Wright's statements.

March 28, 2008

Federal Reserve offers $100 billion more to commercial banks

WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve announced Friday it will auction an additional $100 billion (€63.31 billion) in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis.

The central bank said it would make $50 billion (€31.65 billion) available at each of two auctions, on April 7 and April 21.

Through the end of March, the Fed has provided $260 billion (€164.6 billion) in short-term loans to commercial banks through the innovative auction process. It also has employed Depression-era provisions to provide money to investment banks.

How many lies does Bush get to tell before he's unfit for office?

Impeachable Offense
March 28, 2008

Iraqi Police Shed Their Uniforms and Switched Side

Abu Iman barely flinched when the Iraqi Government ordered his unit of special police to move against al-Mahdi Army fighters in Basra.

His response, while swift, was not what British and US military trainers who have spent the past five years schooling the Iraqi security forces would have hoped for. He and 15 of his comrades took off their uniforms, kept their government-issued rifles and went over to the other side without a second thought.

Bush has shamed us with his war crimes and torture and for that alone he should be impeached and removed from office.

Impeachable Offense
March 27, 2008

Five Former Secretaries of State: Close Guantanamo

ATHENS, Ga. - Five former U.S. secretaries of state on Thursday urged the next presidential administration to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and open a dialogue with Iran.

The former chiefs of American diplomacy, who served in Democratic and Republican administrations, reached a consensus on the two issues at a conference in Athens aimed at giving the next president some bipartisan foreign policy advice. Each of them said shuttering the prison camp in Cuba would bolster America's image abroad.

March 25, 2008

5 Years Later: Pundits Who Were Wrong on Iraq Are Silent

(March 25, 2008) -- Given the current tragedy in Iraq--hell, given the past five years--you would think the many pundits who agitated for an attack on that country, largely on false pretenses, would have take the opportunity of the arrival of the fifth anniversary of the war (or the 4000 dead milestone) to drop to their knees, at least in print, and beg the American public for forgiveness.

With more than 60 percent of their fellow Americans now calling the war a "mistake" and agitating for troop withdrawals--and the president's approval rating still heading south, thanks to their war--it would seem to be the right thing to do. We won't even mention the maiming of more than 20,000 young Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

March 26, 2008

IRAQ: Fever Named After Blackwater

FALLUJAH, Mar 26 (IPS) - Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call "Blackwater" that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq.

"This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection," Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. "It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours."

March 25, 2008

Western Antarctic ice chunk collapse

WASHINGTON - A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday.

Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, which started Feb. 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years.

March 26, 2008

Taxpayers May Be Liable From Bear, Mortgage Rescue

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Even as the Bush administration insists it won't risk public funds in a bailout, American taxpayers may already be liable for billions of dollars stemming from Federal Reserve and Treasury efforts to quell a financial crisis.

History suggests the Fed may not recover some of the almost $30 billion investment in illiquid mortgage securities it received from Bear Stearns Cos., said Joe Mason, a Drexel University professor who has written on banking crises. Treasury's push to have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy more mortgage bonds reduces the capital the government-chartered companies hold in reserve at a time when foreclosures and defaults are surging. Senators are promising to investigate.

Even the US Supreme Court is ignoring treaties that are ratified and are the supreme law of the land.

Article 36 of the Convention says; "b) The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph."

Impeachable Offense
March 25, 2008

Court backs Texas in dispute with Bush

WASHINGTON - President Bush overstepped his authority when he ordered a Texas court to reopen the case of a Mexican on death row for rape and murder, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

In a case that mixes presidential power, international relations and the death penalty, the court sided with Texas and rebuked Bush by a 6-3 vote.

An international court ruled in 2004 that the convictions of Medellin and 50 other Mexicans on death row around the United States violated the 1963 Vienna Convention, which provides that people arrested abroad should have access to their home country's consular officials. The International Court of Justice, also known as the world court, said the Mexican prisoners should have new court hearings to determine whether the violation affected their cases.

March 23, 2008

Hagel: We've lost 900 Since the Surge Began

Invoking the recent Gallup poll showing that 81% of the American public did not like the direction America was headed, Hagel called for a new consensus within the next administration and emphasized the need for a bi-partisan coalition no matter who takes the White House.

Referring to Sen. John McCain as a "good friend," Hagel continued to criticize the Republican presidential candidate's foreign policy platform, pointing to a financial toll of $12 billion to $15 billion a month for the Iraq war and a high casualty rate.

"We have lost 900 Americans since the surge began," Hagel said. "We are in a mess in Iraq. And the reality is we are going to have to deal with it."

March 21, 2008

McCain's Tax Plan Would Cost $2 Trillion Over 10 Years

Since Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) are so busy beating up on each other, somebody has to do opposition research on Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) nowadays. That would the Center for American Progress Action Fund, which Friday morning unveiled the first installment of its "Hyde Park Project."

McCain's tax plan, Gordon and Kvaal said, would cost more than $2 trillion over the next decade, delivering 58 percent of its benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers and just 4 percent to the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers.

Most Americans disapprove of a congress run by Democrats so it's safe to say the Democratic leadership isn't helping the party. So we have two other possibilities; Obama, who is not part of the Democrat leadership or Americans disapproving of Bush. Since Americans have disapproved of Bush for a very long time, it must be Obama - the guy who's bringing millions into the party with each primary.

March 23, 2008

Democrats Making Big Gains In Party Identification

The Democratic Party has increased its margin in voters who identify with it rather than Republicans, and going into this year's election has increased its advantage among independent voters and in swing states, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted during the first two months of this year.

Pew says voters now favor the Democrats by a "decidedly larger margin" than the previous two election cycles.

We live in an era where the ends justify the means, even if our laws must be broken - an impeachable offense.

Impeachable Offense
March 16, 2008

Fed Broke Law When it Bailed Out Bear Stearns

At present, there are only five members on the board with two vacancies, but only four approved the measure because governor Frederic Mishkin was not present, according to the Federal Reserve.

But current law mandates that no less than five members can vote on the matter and states that members can be contacted through any electronic means, including by telephone and e-mail.

"There has been no showing that, given technology in 2008 (as opposed to the 1930s when this language was enacted), the required attempts to contact Gov. Mishkin were made," Lee wrote in the complaint.

March 21 2008

GOP's House odds fade further

WASHINGTON — Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-N.Y., said Thursday he will not seek another term in office, becoming the latest member of the former GOP leadership team to step down in the past two years.

Reynolds is the fifth departing member of the Republican leadership team that ran the House with an iron fist for 12 years until Democrats took control in the 2006 election. His decision was another blow to Republican chances against Democrats, who appear likely to widen their majority with more than two dozen GOP seats coming open this year.

March 24, 2008

Democratic Nominee Will Have Edge in Fall Even If Economy Turns

Even if a recovery begins this summer, Americans won't feel the difference until much later. That's why when the polls open Nov. 4, the Republicans, who have controlled the White House since 2001 and Congress for much of that time, will have ceded a key advantage to the Democrats.

Recessions shaped four presidential elections in the past half-century -- in 1960, 1976, 1980 and 1992. Each time, the candidate from the party trying to retake the White House won. A model that uses economic data to predict presidential race outcomes has the Democrats getting 52 percent of the votes cast for the two major party candidates, says Ray Fair, the Yale University professor who developed it.

March 19, 2008

Volcker: US govt must do more to avert meltdown

SINGAPORE: The US government needs to play a larger role in restoring confidence to financial markets on the verge of a meltdown instead of leaving such actions to Federal Reserve, said former Fed chairman Paul Volcker.

Such measures may include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the world's largest mortgage companies, using their lines of credit with the US Treasury to buy some of their own securities to assure investors of such debt, Volcker said.

March 19, 2008

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: Government Relaxes Capital Requirements To Help Ease Home Loan Financing

(AP) The government on Wednesday relaxed capital requirements at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a plan to inject an additional $200 billion of financing for home loans.

The initiative, which will require Fannie and Freddie to raise substantial funds, is part of a broader government strategy to ease a credit crisis that has made it difficult for consumers and businesses to borrow, and spread fear throughout global financial markets.

Most of the US media ignored the truth in 2003, but not websites like this one.

March 20, 2008

Why We Said No: Three Diplomats' Duty

Five years ago this month, the three of us left the US Foreign Service in opposition to the war on Iraq. We were not pacifists. We were professional, non-partisan diplomats bound by our oath of loyalty to the US Constitution. Our job was to build effective relationships with key figures outside the United States. We used our language skills, respectful curiosity, and understanding of local politics to promote US national interests as our president and secretary of state directed.

Love of country and professional self-respect compelled each of us to speak out, in the only honorable way open to us, by resigning. In our letters to Secretary of State Colin Powell, we opposed invading a country that posed no genuine threat to the United States. We underscored that our invasion would not be understood by our allies, that our occupation would be resisted, and that the consequences of the war would be dire for both Americans and Iraqis.

I can see one person killed, but why wasn't the problem fixed? KBR is part of Halliburton and Halliburton kills US soldiers.

Impeachable Offense
March 20, 2008

12 US soldiers Electrocuted While Showering

PITTSBURGH - A U.S. House committee chairman has begun an investigation into the electrocutions of at least 12 service members in Iraq, including that of a Pittsburgh soldier killed in January by a jolt of electricity while showering.

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Wednesday he has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to hand over documents relating to the management of electrical systems at facilities in Iraq.

March 19, 2008

50-State Poll: Obama Would Win 280 Electoral Votes and the Presidency

An ambitious 50-state poll of 30,000 registered voters by media pollster SurveyUSA shows Mr. McCain would lose to both of them at this point in the election year, though by a closer electoral margin against Mrs. Clinton (276-262) than against Mr. Obama (280-258) in the race for the 270 votes needed to win the presidency.

In both matchups, the poll shows the Democrats winning red states that Republicans have usually carried in past elections, though in some cases by razor-thin margins.

March 19, 2008

Obama to McCain: War Emboldened U.S. Enemies

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama criticized Republican John McCain on Wednesday for misidentifying Iraqi extremists, saying he fails to understand the war has emboldened U.S. enemies.

On the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the war took center stage on the U.S. campaign trail.

Impeachable Offense
March 24, 2008

The torture president

Significant, moreover, is the refusal of FBI Director Robert Mueller to permit his agents to engage in such "coercive" CIA-style interrogations that often involve torture. Also opposing the tortured use of language by high officials of the administration to disguise this lawless treatment of prisoners, which would make any such "evidence" thrown out of our federal courts, are Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Nonetheless, on March 8, Mr. Bush vetoed a bill that includes a mandate that there be a single standard of interrogation by all of our forces, very intentionally including the CIA. As a result of Mr. Bush's veto, the United States, by validating torture as a tool of interrogation, has become a less civilized nation. The bill the president disdained (thereby staining his legacy) would have made the Army Field Manual the standard for all interrogations. Among the practices it prohibits are: placing hoods or sacks over prisoners' heads (as in CIA "renditions"); exposing them to extreme heat or cold (as often reported); and waterboarding (as disclosed about CIA prisoners at "black sites"), a procedure that makes the prisoner believe he is about to drown — and he will drown if it's not stopped.

Backing up data is cheap so there's no excuse whatsoever for the White House to have ignored the law and backed up everything - an impeachable offense.

Impeachable Offense
March 21, 2008

WH Destroyed Computers

WASHINGTON - Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.

The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.

McCain and Clinton helped Bush take us to war for no reason and now they think they have what it takes to be commander in chief. If failure is a quality their parties admire, we'll have another idiot in the White House.

Impeachable Offense
March 19, 2008

Hans Blix: US Leaders Ignored the Facts

LONDON (AFP) - Hans Blix, the former chief UN weapons inspector, slammed the Iraq war as a "tragedy" and blamed it on leaders ignoring the facts, in a comment piece published Thursday.

Writing in The Guardian on the five-year anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, Blix, who clashed with Washington in the run-up to the Iraq war, described the war as "a tragedy -- for Iraq, for the US, for the UN, for truth and human dignity."

March 19, 2008

Bush's Legacy of Failure

That idiotic "what me worry?" look just never leaves the man's visage. Once again there was our president, presiding over disasters in part of his making and totally on his watch, grinning with an aplomb that suggested a serious disconnect between his worldview and existing reality. Be it in his announcement that Iraq was being secured on a day when bombs ripped through that sad land or posed between his treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve chairman to applaud the government's bailout of a failed bank, George Bush was the only one inexplicably smiling.

Failure suits him. It is a stance he learned well while presiding over one failed Texas business deal after another, and it served him splendidly as he claimed the title of president of the United States after losing the popular, and maybe even the electoral, vote. It carried him through the most ignominious chapter of U.S. foreign policy, from the lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to an unprecedented presidential defense of torture.

Impeachable Offense
March 18, 2008

US Attorney: GOP less interested in election reforms, more intent on suppressing votes

Iglesias says that Republican officials in his state were far less interested in election reforms and more intent on suppressing votes.

"But there was a more sinister reading to such urgent calls for reform, not to mention the Justice Department's strident insistence on harvesting a bumper crop of voter fraud prosecutions. That implication is summed up in a single word: caging."

Documents released last year showed that Republican operatives engaged in a widespread effort to "cage" votes during the 2004 presidential election in battleground states, such as New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, and Ohio, where George W. Bush was trailing his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

March 25, 2008

Good Name Of US Destroyed

You know him well. His nickname was Gilligan, and he was a prisoner at Abu Ghraib, Saddam Hussein's vast prison transformed into a vast American one and then transformed again by the Bush administration into a vast national disgrace. Gilligan was deprived of sleep, forced to stand on a small box, hooded like some medieval apparition, wired like a makeshift lamp and told (falsely) that if he fell he would be electrocuted. He was later released. Wrong man. Sorry.

Of all the casualties of this sad war, the good name of the United States is certainly one. It evaporated in the desert like a shallow pool of water. I do not mean to belittle the lives lost or soldiers maimed, and I know full well that we are not a country of innocents. We've massacred prisoners of war and murdered civilians -- at My Lai in Vietnam, for instance -- but these were mostly moments of madness or terror, not a policy virtually posted outside the orderly room.

Impeachable Offense
March 18, 2008

Pentagon admits postponing brain screenings

The Pentagon has admitted that it delayed introducing a routine screening of troops returning from Iraq for mild brain injuries because it feared that the extent of the problem could mushroom to the scale of the Gulf War syndrome after the first Iraq war.

The head of the Pentagon's medical assessments division has told USA Today that he wanted to avoid another controversy as potentially huge as Gulf War syndrome.

The first evidence of what is known as mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) was discovered among soldiers in Iraq just months after the invasion in March 2003.

By January 2006 federal scientists specialising in the condition were calling for immediate screening.

Yet the Pentagon is only now gearing up to implementing the screening process, which involves soldiers being asked a series of questions designed to indicate whether they are suffering symptoms.

March 24, 2008

Can we Avoid a Depression

When economist Robert Parks predicted early last week that there was more than a 60 percent probability the current financial meltdown in the United States would lead to the "Bush depression," his phone began ringing like crazy with calls from the media.

Mr. Parks, however, doubts the cuts will do much to boost the economy. Rather, he sees a further steep fall in housing prices, continued major deficits in the federal budget and in the international trade balance, a tumbling dollar, and a weak stock market leading to a genuine depression with 30 to 35 percent unemployment, greater poverty, more loss of homes, plunging bond and stock prices, even some starvation. Parks, now a Pace University finance professor (for years he was chief economist at three Wall Street firms), says he has never predicted a depression before. His e-mail to press acquaintances sparked a lot of interest, as Parks was daring to express publicly the financial community's worst nightmare.

March 16, 2008

Seven out of 10 Iraqis want foreign forces to leave

LONDON (AFP) - More than two-thirds of Iraqis believe US-led coalition forces should leave, according to a poll conducted for British television ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

The ORB/Channel 4 News survey suggested that 70 percent thought multinational forces should withdraw.

A quarter of those surveyed said they had lost a family member to murder. In Baghdad, that figure rose to nearly half (45 percent).

Some 81 percent had suffered power cuts and 43 percent had experienced drinking water shortages. In the last month, more than a quarter (28 percent) had been short of food.

Opinions varied on progress towards democracy.

March 18, 2008

64% Say War Not Worth It

(CBS/AP) On the eve of the five-year anniversary of the start of the war with Iraq, Americans continue to think the results of the war have not been worth the loss of American lives and the other costs of attacking Iraq, according to a new CBS News poll.

Today 29 percent of Americans say the results of the war were worth it; 64 percent say they were not.

In August 2003, less than six months after the beginning of the war, Americans were divided as the whether or not the results of the war were worth it. Opinion reached a low point in March 2006 - when only one in four Americans said the war was worth the costs.

March 13, 2008

Contempt of Congress Charges Against HHS Secretary Dropped (for now)

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is backing off its threat to hold HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt in contempt of Congress after he agreed to work with it to provide subpoenaed information.

The committee in January had requested a briefing book and related notes used to help FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach prepare for a March 22, 2007, hearing on sanofi-aventis' Ketek (telithromycin). That hearing was held to determine if fraudulent data from a clinical trial were used by the agency to approve the drug.

March 19, 2008

Morgan Stanley's Quarterly Profit Falls 42%

BOSTON (Dow Jones) -- Morgan Stanley's first-quarter net earnings dropped 42% as revenue also fell, the investment bank said Wednesday, but the results beat consensus forecasts that have been knocked down by the credit crunch.

The company (MS) reported income of $1.56 billion, or $1.45 a share, compared with $2.67 billion, or $2.51 a share, earned in the year-earlier first quarter. Net revenue fell 17% to $8.32 billion, the company said.

March 16, 2008

Greenspan: Worst Economic Crisis Since WW2

The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war. It will end eventually when home prices stabilise and with them the value of equity in homes supporting troubled mortgage securities.

Home price stabilisation will restore much-needed clarity to the marketplace because losses will be realised rather than prospective. The major source of contagion will be removed. Financial institutions will then recapitalise or go out of business. Trust in the solvency of remaining counterparties will be gradually restored and issuance of loans and securities will slowly return to normal. Although inventories of vacant single-family homes – those belonging to builders and investors – have recently peaked, until liquidation of these inventories proceeds in earnest, the level at which home prices will stabilise remains problematic.

Only brain dead people thought this was a real issue. Obama is not responsible for what his minister said. Just as Catholics (among many others) aren't responsible for the vile hate the comes from their church leaders.

March 19, 2008

Mr. Obama's Profile in Courage

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama drew a bright line between his religious connection with Mr. Wright, which should be none of the voters' business, and having a political connection, which would be very much their business. The distinction seems especially urgent after seven years of a president who has worked to blur the line between church and state.

Mr. Obama acknowledged his strong ties to Mr. Wright. He embraced him as the man "who helped introduce me to my Christian faith," and said that "as imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me."

Wisely, he did not claim to be unaware of Mr. Wright's radicalism or bitterness, disarming the speculation about whether he personally heard the longtime pastor of his church speak the words being played and replayed on YouTube. Mr. Obama said Mr. Wright's comments were not just potentially offensive, as politicians are apt to do, but "rightly offend white and black alike" and are wrong in their analysis of America. But, he said, many Americans "have heard remarks from your pastors, priests or rabbis with which you strongly disagree."

Impeachable Offense
March 18, 2008

15-year old Gitmo captive: I was threatened with rape

WASHINGTON --In a fresh document from the Guantánamo war court files, Canadian captive Omar Khadr alleges that he was repeatedly threatened with rape as an interrogation technique in Afghanistan and at U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

The partially censored nine-page affidavit, signed by Khadr on Feb. 22, covers old ground already investigated, including allegations of abuse at Guantánamo that emerged in 2005, prompting a Navy criminal investigation.

But the document includes never-before revealed allegations, such as the rape threats and a partially censored description of regaining consciousness after his capture to discover he was being interrogated in an American field hospital in Afghanistan. He was 15.

Clinton can never be accused of leading but she'd follow Bush to hell he it was politically expedient.

March 18, 2008

Chafee Raps Clinton As Bush Enabler

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, the lone Republican senator to vote against the Iraq war, calls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton one of the "Democratic Bush enablers" who failed to stand up to the president.

In a new book, Chafee, who is backing Clinton rival Sen. Barack Obama, skewers Clinton and other Democratic White House hopefuls who said they were duped by Bush into voting for the war.

On one hand Limbaugh says the Democrats can't be trusted because they can't nominate someone as easily as the GOP has, but then he tells his troops to vote for Hillary to keep things messed up. The utter hypocrisy of the man never ceases to amaze me and the fact than any intelligent man listens to that crap and believes is still confounds me. Is idiocy, lying and amoral behavior now the norm in GOP circles?

March 17, 2008

Many voting for Clinton to boost GOP

For a party that loves to hate the Clintons, Republican voters have cast an awful lot of ballots lately for Senator Hillary Clinton: About 100,000 GOP loyalists voted for her in Ohio, 119,000 in Texas, and about 38,000 in Mississippi, exit polls show.

A sudden change of heart? Hardly.

Since Senator John McCain effectively sewed up the GOP nomination last month, Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton, a tactic that some voters and local Republican activists think will help their party in November. With every delegate important in the tight Democratic race, this trend could help shape the outcome if it continues in the remaining Democratic primaries open to all voters.

The media doesn't care if a story is accurate or true any more. The damage caused by the media and Clinton lies will never go away. It's what the GOP did to Bill Clinton and now Hillary Clinton (with the help of the same brain dead media) is doing the same thing to Obama. Perhaps that's the experience she so often talks about....she learned how to be a republican - someone who has no shame.

March 16, 2008

Media Lies Surrounding Obama and Rezko

Obama should have had Friday's discussion 16 months ago. Asked why he didn't, he spoke of learning, uncomfortably, what it's like to live in a fishbowl. That made him perhaps too eager to protect personal information -- too eager to "control the narrative."

Less protection, less control, would have meant less hassle for his campaign. That said, Barack Obama now has spoken about his ties to Tony Rezko in uncommon detail. That's a standard for candor by which other presidential candidates facing serious inquiries now can be judged.

March 18, 2008

Global markets in panic

OVERSEAS traders have dumped shares and the US dollar in the hours after Australian stocks lost $31 billion as global markets plunge into "a complete state of panic".

In the US, trading was highly volatile overnight, and while stocks rebounded from sharp losses at the open, few were forecasting an end to the turbulence, with confidence plummeting and widespread expectations of a US recession.

Why isn't this story headline news? Because like the republican senator who was also caught, Bush's FBI isn't leaking every detail to the media. The media, being filled with idiots, doesn't seem to care that they're being used to harm Democrats.

March 14, 2008

Federal Judge Linked to Prostitution Ring

One of the country's top federal judges has been linked to an investigation of a Denver-based prostitution ring, according to federal officials.

Edward Nottingham, the chief federal judge in Denver, Colo., was "implicated as a customer" in an ongoing IRS and Denver police investigation of an alleged prostitution operation called Denver Sugar/Denver Players, according to officials.

March 14, 2008

GOP Treasurer Embezzled Up To $1 Million

The former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and possibly as much as $1 million -- of the organization's funds into his personal accounts, GOP officials said yesterday, describing an alleged scheme that could become one of the largest political frauds in recent history.

For at least four years, Christopher J. Ward, who is under investigation by the FBI, allegedly used wire transfers to funnel money out of NRCC coffers and into other political committee accounts he controlled as treasurer, NRCC leaders and lawyers said in their first public statement since they turned the matter over to the FBI six weeks ago.

March 17, 2008

Things Are Falling Apart As You Read This

But the Fed rode to Bear's rescue anyway, fearing that the collapse of a major investment bank would cause panic in the markets and wreak havoc with the wider economy. Fed officials knew that they were doing a bad thing, but believed that the alternative would be even worse.

As Bear goes, so will go the rest of the financial system. And if history is any guide, the coming taxpayer-financed bailout will end up costing a lot of money.

March 14, 2008

PAUL KRUGMAN: One of History's Great Financial Crises

The next steps will be up to the politicians.

I used to think that the major issues facing the next president would be how to get out of Iraq and what to do about health care. At this point, however, I suspect that the biggest problem for the next administration will be figuring out which parts of the financial system to bail out, how to pay the cleanup bills and how to explain what it's doing to an angry public.

March 12-14, 2008

Gallup Daily: New High of 87% Say Economy Getting Worse

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup Daily polling finds 87% of Americans saying the economy is "getting worse," the highest measured in Gallup Poll Daily tracking.

Additionally, just 16% rate current conditions as excellent or good, the lowest percentage giving the economy a positive review so far this year. Forty percent believe conditions are "poor" (one percentage point below the high in Gallup Poll Daily tracking this year) and 44% say they are "only fair."

March 16, 2008

Wall Street fears Great Depression

Wall Street is bracing itself for another week of roller-coaster trading after more than $300bn (£150bn) was wiped off the US equity markets on Friday following the emergency funding package put together by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase to rescue Bear Stearns.

One UK economist warned that the world is now close to a 1930s-like Great Depression, while New York traders said they had never experienced such fear. The Fed's emergency funding procedure was first used in the Depression and has rarely been used since.

March 17, 2008

JP Morgan Pays $2 a Share for Bear Stearns

In a shocking deal reached on Sunday to save Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay a mere $2 a share to buy all of Bear — less than one-tenth the firm's market price on Friday.

As part of the watershed deal, JPMorgan and the Federal Reserve will guarantee the huge trading obligations of the troubled firm, which was driven to the brink of bankruptcy by what amounted to a run on the bank.

Reflecting Bear's dire straits, JPMorgan agreed to pay only about $270 million in stock for the firm, which had run up big losses on investments linked to mortgages.

March 13, 2008

Dollar's Clout Sinks Worldwide

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Antique store owners in lower Manhattan, ticket vendors at India's Taj Mahal and Brazilian business executives heading to China all have one thing in common these days: They don't want U.S. dollars.

Hit by a free fall with no end in sight, the once mighty U.S. dollar is no longer just crashing on currency markets and making life more expensive for American tourists and business people abroad; its clout is evaporating worldwide as foreign businesses and individuals turn to other currencies.

March 13, 2008

Paulson admits deregulation has failed

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- You know things are very very bad on Wall Street when a guy like Henry Paulson -- Treasury secretary, solid Republican, and former Goldman Sachs CEO -- joins the crowd calling for more regulation over the financial markets.

Paulson spared no one in his criticism Thursday of the excesses of deregulation that has now created the worst global financial crisis in a generation, threatening the health of the U.S. economy, the savings of millions of Americans, and the survival of some of the biggest financial institutions in the world.

March 12, 2008

Mortgage Crisis Spreads Past Subprime Loans

The credit crisis is no longer just a subprime mortgage problem.

As home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their payments for home loans, auto loans and credit cards at a quickening pace, according to industry data and economists.

The rise in prime delinquencies, while less severe than the one in the subprime market, nonetheless poses a threat to the battered housing market and weakening economy, which some specialists say is in a recession or headed for one.

March 13, 2008

Most Economists Say Recession Has Arrived

The U.S. has finally slid into recession, according to the majority of economists in the latest Wall Street Journal economic-forecasting survey, a view that was reinforced by new data showing a sharp drop in retail sales last month.

"The evidence is now beyond a reasonable doubt," said Scott Anderson of Wells Fargo & Co., who was among the 71% of 51 respondents to say that the economy is now in a recession.

March 13, 2008

Dollar Trades at Record Low Versus Euro

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar traded at a record low against the euro as firms from Citigroup Inc. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the Federal Reserve's plan to inject $200 billion into the banking system may fail to break the freeze in money-market lending.

The U.S. currency plunged yesterday against the euro, yen and Swiss franc, erasing a rally from March 11 when the Fed said it would lend Treasuries to financial institutions and take mortgage debt as collateral. Traders bet the Fed will cut rates by as much as three quarters of a percentage point next week to avert a recession, while the European Central Bank keeps borrowing costs unchanged at 4 percent.