Saturday, October 25, 2008



Huffington Post
- John McCain, who has harshly criticized the idea of sitting down with dictators without pre-conditions, appears to have done just that. In 1985, McCain traveled to Chile for a friendly meeting with Chile's military ruler, General Augusto Pinochet, one of the world's most notorious violators of human rights credited with killing more than 3,000 civilians and jailing tens of thousands of others. The private meeting between McCain and Pinochet has gone previously un-reported anywhere by the U.S. media.

Manitoba Herald, Canada -
The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. . . Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. 'I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,' said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota . The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.

Science Blogs - Sarah Palin gave a policy speech today in which she claimed that she wanted more support for children with disabilities, more tools to test for disorders, and while also decrying the expense of scientific research: "Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? . . . You've heard about some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.". . . Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage . . . and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system - precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.

- The handful of tycoons who control the gambling industry are playing an unprecedented role: putting all their money behind Sen. John McCain in Nevada, a key battleground state. McCain's Vegas team of five includes billionaires Sheldon Adelson, of Las Vegas Sands and longtime Democrat Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts. They're acting as "bundlers," mega-fundraisers who, critics say, get special access. One of their posh events last June carried a $1,000 ante; $10,000 got donors into a VIP reception with McCain; and $33,000 bought access to an even more exclusive reception

Standard Times, MA
- After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states' stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said. In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay. The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said. "The people of Iraq want us out, and we want to stay over their objection," he said. "It's extraordinary." The Maliki government in Iraq "can't sell (the withdrawal deal with the U.S.) because it sounds like we're going to stay too long.". . .

Miami Herald - Jorge Ramos, Univision's news anchor, claims he has conducted more one-on-one interviews with the 2008 presidential candidates than any other anchor in the mainstream media. So far, he has interviewed Barack Obama twice and John McCain three times. Four years ago, he only got a couple minutes -- once -- with Democratic hopeful John Kerry. Earlier this month, Ramos flew to Waukesha, Wis., to interview McCain, who gave him 10 minutes. But when his time was up, McCain agreed to 10 minutes more. ''No candidate can enter the White House without passing through Univision and other Spanish-language media. They know it,'' said Ramos.

James Carville -
The reason the Republicans found Joe the Plumber was to find someone hanging around a toilet other than Larry Craig.

Political Wire
- Gov. Sarah Palin's traveling makeup artist was the highest paid person on Sen. John McCain's campaign staff during the first half of October, the New York Times reports. Amy Strozzi, "who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show So You Think You Can Dance?, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone."


- Election experts predict that up to 40 percent of the electorate will vote early in Florida, one of 31 states that let registered voters show up early and vote without restriction. Three other states and the District of Columbia allow voters to cast their ballots in person ahead of time if they have an approved excuse for not being able to make it on Election Day. Thanks to aggressive voter registration efforts by both parties and fueled by younger voters' enthusiasm for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., election experts predict that a third of the electorate will already have voted by Nov. 4, up from 15 percent in 2000 and 20 percent in 2004.


Inter Press Service
- The final draft of the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces agreement on the U.S. military presence represents an even more crushing defeat for the policy of the George W. Bush administration than previously thought, the final text reveals. The final draft, dated Oct. 13, not only imposes unambiguous deadlines for withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by 2011 but makes it extremely unlikely that a U.S. non-combat presence will be allowed to remain in Iraq for training and support purposes beyond the 2011 deadline for withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces.

Furthermore, Shiite opposition to the pact as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty makes the prospects for passage of even this agreement by the Iraqi parliament doubtful. Pro-government Shiite parties, the top Shiite clerical body in the country, and a powerful movement led by nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that recently mobilized hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in protest against the pact, are all calling for its defeat. . . In the absence of an agreement approved by the Iraqi parliament, U.S. troops in Iraq will probably be confined to their bases once the United Nations mandate expires Dec. 31.

The clearest sign of the dramatically reduced U.S. negotiating power in the final draft is the willingness of the United States to give up extraterritorial jurisdiction over U.S. contractors and their employees and over U.S. troops in the case of "major and intentional crimes" that occur outside bases and while off duty. The United States has never allowed a foreign country to have jurisdiction over its troops in any previous status of forces agreement. But even that concession is not enough to satisfy anti-occupation sentiments across all Shiite political parties. Sunni politicians hold less decisive views on the pact, and Kurds are supportive.


ENS - A gas used in manufacture of flat panel televisions, computer displays, microcircuits, and thin-film solar panels is 17,000 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and it is far more prevalent in the atmosphere than previously estimated. The powerful greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride, NF3, is at least four times more widespread than scientists had believed, according to new research by a team at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. . . The amount of the gas in the atmosphere, which could not be detected using previous techniques, had been estimated at less than 1,200 metric tons in 2006. The new research shows the actual amount was 4,200 metric tons. In 2008, about 5,400 metric tons of the gas was in the atmosphere, a quantity that is increasing at about 11 percent per year.

Journal Sentinel
- A government report claiming that bisphenol A is safe was written largely by the plastics industry and others with a financial stake in the controversial chemical, the Journal Sentinel found. Although the Food and Drug Administration will not reveal who prepared its draft, the agency's own documents show that the work was done primarily by those with the most to gain by downplaying concerns about the safety of the chemical. That includes Stephen Hentges, executive director of the American Chemistry Council's group on bisphenol A, who commissioned a review of all studies of the neurotoxicity of bisphenol A and submitted it to the FDA. The FDA then used that report as the foundation for its evaluation of the chemical on neural and behavioral development. The American Chemistry Council is a trade group representing chemical manufacturers.

ENN - The chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the news media are not sufficiently addressing the severity of climate change at a meeting of U.S. environmental journalists. R.K. Pachauri, head of the 2,500-member IPCC, said that unless policies are enacted soon to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, the global perils from shifting weather patterns and sea level rise will become worse in the coming years. . . Pachauri suggested that major news agencies now rely too much on high-level science reports or large climate-related events for their stories, rather than examples of climate change's ongoing effects. "We need to go beyond the cyclical coverage of climate change and emphasize the day-to-day relevance," he said.


At October 25, 2008 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't help but notice Sam's silence on the live CSPAN debate on Thursday where Ralph Nader debated Chuck Baldwin (while Cynthia McKinney skipped out and posted a paranoid excuse on YouTube).

Could it be that Cynthia really is a moonbat conspiracy theorist who is just as much an embarrassment to the Green Party as her booster David Cobb is?

Too bad Mr. Smith can't handle the truth. The Green Party is toast.

At October 25, 2008 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pharyngula is written by an ignorant, ugly, disgusting, diabolical sexist. The Howard Stern of science. His opinions are pure vomit.

At October 26, 2008 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: anonymous 1:25, the AIPAC whining apologist is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

At October 27, 2008 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Should The top management of the Public listed company be responsible for the company performance, eg company nearly get wind up?

Are you a Partisan?

Should they give their view......? If any party did not give their views, send it to their supporter to question them....

At October 28, 2008 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 1:25 pm:

Yes, she should be regarded as just that.

If the Greens want to regain any semblance of credibility at all, they need to ditch Ms. McKinney--fast.


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