Month: April 2007

Article: Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling

Iraqreconstructioneffort

From the April 29, 2007, New York Times:

Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling
By JAMES GLANZ

In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.

The United States has previously admitted, sometimes under pressure from federal inspectors, that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed or poorly constructed. But this is the first time inspectors have found that projects officially declared a success — in some cases, as little as six months before the latest inspections — were no longer working properly.

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Article (Wolfie / World Bank): In How Many Languages Can You say, “Buh-bye”?

Wolfieworldbankfired

Bring on the resignation… Time to start the office pool… When’s it going to come? What is Bush going to say? “Great job, Wolfie?” How many medals will he get! PS: See the Wolfie YouTube video.

From the April 27, 2007, New York Times:

Wolfowitz Loses Ground in Fight for World Bank Post
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN

WASHINGTON, April 26 — Paul D. Wolfowitz’s struggle to hold on to his job as World Bank president suffered a major setback on Thursday when more than 40 members of the organization’s anticorruption team, formed to promote transparent government and closely identified with Mr. Wolfowitz, declared that the controversy over his conduct was undermining their work.

Without directly calling for his resignation or removal, the team said that Mr. Wolfowitz and the bank’s board needed to take “clear and decisive actions to resolve this crisis,” which it said was undermining the bank’s “credibility and authority to engage” on the corruption issue.

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Legal Policies in Bush’s Amerika

Gitmobushamerika

From the April 26, 2007, New York Times:

Court Asked to Limit Lawyers at Guantánamo
By WILLIAM GLABERSON

The Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court to impose tighter restrictions on the hundreds of lawyers who represent detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the request has become a central issue in a new legal battle over the administration’s detention policies.

Saying that visits by civilian lawyers and attorney-client mail have caused “intractable problems and threats to security at Guantánamo,” a Justice Department filing proposes new limits on the lawyers’ contact with their clients and access to evidence in their cases that would replace more expansive rules that have governed them since they began visiting Guantánamo detainees in large numbers in 2004.

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ETF News

Twonewetf

State Street said Wednesday morning two new international ETFs, based on S&P/Citigroup Global Equity Indices, will begin trading Thursday April 26. SPDR S&P International Small Cap ETF includes companies with market caps under $2 billion domiciled in developed countries outside the U.S. It will trade under the ticker (GWX) and carries a 0.60% expense ratio. SPDR S&P World ex-US ETF includes more than 5,000 companies domiciled in developed countries outside the U.S. including Canada. It will trade under the ticker (GWL) and carries a 0.35% expense ratio.

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Article: Army Ordered Soldiers To Lie

Jessica_lynch_pat_tillman

Soldier: Army ordered me not to tell truth about Tillman
Story Highlights• NEW: Soldier says his account of incident was altered after he wrote it
• NEW: Inspector general says investigators did not inspect computer
• Last soldier to see NFL hero alive says he was ordered not to divulge truth
• “The truth is always more heroic than the hype,” Jessica Lynch tells panel

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The last soldier to see Army Ranger Pat Tillman alive, Spc. Bryan O’Neal, told lawmakers that he was warned by superiors not to divulge — especially to the Tillman family — that a fellow soldier killed Tillman.

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Article: Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Bushmad

From the April 22, 2007, New York Times:

Op-Ed Columnist
Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac
By FRANK RICH

PRESIDENT BUSH has skipped the funerals of the troops he sent to Iraq. He took his sweet time to get to Katrina-devastated New Orleans. But last week he raced to Virginia Tech with an alacrity not seen since he hustled from Crawford to Washington to sign a bill interfering in Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life medical care. Mr. Bush assumes the role of mourner in chief on a selective basis, and, as usual with the decider, the decisive factor is politics. Let Walter Reed erupt in scandal, and he’ll take six weeks to show his face — and on a Friday at that, to hide the story in the Saturday papers. The heinous slaughter in Blacksburg, Va., by contrast, was a rare opportunity for him to ostentatiously feel the pain of families whose suffering cannot be blamed on the administration.

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The Blackberry: Too Much of a “Good” Thing?

Blackberrymashup2

This is why I don’t have or want a Blackberry. And it’s why people around my age and older are lucky… because we didn’t have to be kids/teens in a world with Blackberries, or even a world with the Internet. Some of us never even had cable TV, let alone a video game console. What we had were bikes, fishing rods, hiking boots, camping gear and some other stuff we won’t mention. But the point is, or the question is, is it possible be too connected? So connected that your compulsive need to twitter and tweet and check your Blackberry every five minutes for fear of missing something important is, ironically, causing you to miss something important — life? I think it’s possible. And I think it’s happening. A lot! I realize there are legitimate uses for Blackberries and not everyone is addicted, I’m just raising the question. Discuss. Cheers!

PS: Before you fire off a Blackberry-typed nastygram, consider this: If my question / hypothesis raises your blood pressure and/or gives you an urge to defend yourself, that might be warning sign.

From the April 22, 2007, New York Times:

Tethered
It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That Ping
By MATT RICHTEL

THE BlackBerry network went dark last week — cache-flow problems, apparently. Service stopped for a mere 12 hours, but to bereft users, 12 minutes was too long. Information feeds our lives, they protested, and the BlackBerry provides it. What if we miss the e-mail message that makes or breaks our happiness, or our bank account?

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The Blackberry: Too Much of a “Good” Thing?

Blackberrymashup

This is why I don’t have or want a Blackberry. And it’s why people around my age and older are lucky… because we didn’t have to be kids/teens in a world with Blackberries, or even a world with the Internet. Some of us never even had cable TV, let alone a video game console. What we had were bikes, fishing rods, hiking boots, camping gear and some other stuff we won’t mention. But the point is, or the question is, is it possible be too connected? So connected that your compulsive need to twitter and tweet and check your Blackberry every five minutes for fear of missing something important is, ironically, causing you to miss something important — life? I think it’s possible. And I think it’s happening. A lot! I realize there are legitimate uses for Blackberries and not everyone is addicted, I’m just raising the question. Discuss. Cheers!

PS: Before you fire off a Blackberry-typed nastygram, consider this: If my question / hypothesis raises your blood pressure and/or gives you an urge to defend yourself, that might be warning sign.

From the April 22, 2007, New York Times:

Tethered
It Don’t Mean a Thing if You Ain’t Got That Ping
By MATT RICHTEL

THE BlackBerry network went dark last week — cache-flow problems, apparently. Service stopped for a mere 12 hours, but to bereft users, 12 minutes was too long. Information feeds our lives, they protested, and the BlackBerry provides it. What if we miss the e-mail message that makes or breaks our happiness, or our bank account?

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Article: UK Rejects Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ Phrase

Bushblairmashup

Finally some politicians face what many / most of us have known from the beginning: That the phrase “War on Terror” is part of Bush’s lies and manipulation, which mostly serves the purpose of advancing Bush’s corrupt and incompetent agenda.

Though he is correct in condemning Bush’s phrase, the British politician quoted in the following article misses the real point that Bush is Bush was and is willing to empower terrorists by using that phrase if it will enable him to empower himself and manipulate the public. His buddies in the mass media go along with it. His friends get rich from it. That’s all that matters in Bushworld.

Some more sick and manipulative phrases from the Bush administration: Patriot Act (to grab power and erode freedoms and checks & balances) and Homeland Security (to create another agency to appoint incompetent friends and funnel money to Bush buddies).

Click through to read the article:

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You Decide: “The Architect” or a “Lying Sack of Shit”?

Karlrovelyingsackofshit

From the April 14, 2007, LA Times:

Rove, others were warned to save e-mails
By Tom Hamburger
Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Karl Rove and other White House employees were cautioned in employee manuals, memos and briefings to carefully save any e-mails that might discuss official matters even if those messages came from private e-mail accounts, the White House disclosed Friday.

Despite these cautions, e-mails from Rove and others discussing official business may have been deleted and are now missing.

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New High on Low Volume = Yellow Flag

Spy2007416

The Spiders (AMEX: SPY) and the Cubes (NASDAQ: QQQQ): 1:45 AM NYC time, April 17th:

Just a quick update to not the new high on low and declining volume. That’s a yellow flag. The NASDAQ didn’t quite make it to a new high… but it…

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Article: Is Justin Timberlake a Product of Cumulative Advantage?

Stockrally

Why did XYZ rise so much? Because a lot of people bought it.

From the April 15, 2007, New York Times

Is Justin Timberlake a Product of Cumulative Advantage?
By DUNCAN J. WATTS

As anyone who follows the business of culture is aware, the profits of cultural industries depend disproportionately on the occasional outsize success — a blockbuster movie, a best-selling book or a superstar artist — to offset the many investments that fail dismally. What may be less clear to casual observers is why professional editors, studio executives and talent managers, many of whom have a lifetime of experience in their businesses, are so bad at predicting which of their many potential projects will make it big. How could it be that industry executives rejected, passed over or even disparaged smash hits like “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and the Beatles, even as many of their most confident bets turned out to be flops? It may be true, in other words, that “nobody knows anything,” as the screenwriter William Goldman once said about Hollywood. But why? Of course, the experts may simply not be as smart as they would like us to believe. Recent research, however, suggests that reliable hit prediction is impossible no matter how much you know — a result that has implications not only for our understanding of best-seller lists but for business and politics as well.

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Article: Who’s Watching the F.B.I.? (More Bush Abuses)

Securitycameras

From the April 15, 2007, New York Times:

The Way We Live Now
Who’s Watching the F.B.I.?
By JEFFREY ROSEN

In “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy,” Woody Allen shows up at Mia Farrow’s window on a flying bicycle and urges her to hop on. “Andrew, we’ll get killed,” she protests. “Trust me,” he replies, “it’s me, Andrew.” She looks skeptical, and he tries again. “Trust me anyhow.”

In the latest and most serious post-9/11 civil-liberties abuse to emerge from Washington, the Bush administration’s “Trust me anyhow” defense has finally collapsed.

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Article: For God’s Sake (Bush Admin Religious-Nut-Job Stuff)

Religiousnutjobbush

From the April 13, 2007, New York Times:

For God’s Sake
By PAUL KRUGMAN

In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement — the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right — suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. “Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure,” he wrote, “and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.”

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More Corruption by Bush Thugs – This Time It’s Wolfowitz at the World Bank

Paulwolfowitz

From the April 13, 2007, New York Times:

Turmoil Grows for Wolfowitz at World Bank
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN

WASHINGTON, April 12 — Paul D. Wolfowitz’s tenure as president of the World Bank was thrown into turmoil on Thursday by the disclosure that he had helped arrange a pay raise for his companion at the time of her transfer from the bank to the State Department, where she remained on the bank payroll.

In a chaotic day of revelations and meetings at a normally staid institution, Mr. Wolfowitz apologized for his role in the raise and transfer of Shaha Ali Riza, his companion, to a few hundred staff members assembled in the bank building atrium, only to be greeted by booing, catcalls and cries for his resignation.

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Article: More Lies, Cover Ups and Destroyed Evidence at Bush’s White House

Karlrovebustedarrested

From the April 12, 2007, LA Times:

Officials’ e-mail may be missing, White House says
The messages, on a private system, are wanted by Congress in a probe of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
By Tom Hamburger
LA Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The White House said Wednesday that it may have lost what could amount to thousands of messages sent through a private e-mail system used by political guru Karl Rove and at least 50 other top officials, an admission that stirred anger and dismay among congressional investigators.

The e-mails were considered potentially crucial evidence in congressional inquiries launched by Democrats into the role partisan politics may have played in such policy decisions as the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

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More About Giuliani & Bush and Their Criminal Ties

Rudolphgiulianigeorgebushbernardker

When former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani urged President Bush to make Bernard B. Kerik the next secretary of homeland security, the White House kicked into action, attempting to install another corrupt and incompetent Bush loyalist… They failed… this time.

Click through to read the Washington Post article (front page of Sunday’s paper):

A reconstruction of the failed nomination, assembled through interviews with key players, provides new details and a fuller account of the episode — how Giuliani put forward Kerik for high office, how Bush rushed the usual process and how Gonzales, as White House counsel, approved the nomination.

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