Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 17, 2009



Guardian, UK -
Barclays Bank obtained a court order banning the Guardian from publishing documents which showed how the bank set up companies to avoid hundreds of millions of pounds in tax. The gagging order was granted by Mr Justice Ouseley after Barclays complained about seven documents on the Guardian's website which had been leaked to the Liberal Democrats' deputy leader, Vince Cable. The internal Barclays memos - leaked by a Barclays whistleblower - showed executives from SCM, Barclays's structured capital markets division, seeking approval for a 2007 plan to sink more than $16bn into US loans. Tax benefits were to be generated by an elaborate circuit of Cayman islands companies, US partnerships and Luxembourg subsidiaries.


McClatchy -
The National Republican Congressional Committee is sending out video "trackers" to ask provocative questions of Democratic members of Congress. The trackers, who are congressional committee staffers, were earlier reported by Congress Daily. . . NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay told McClatchy that Democratic complaints were "whining," adding that "The modern-day world of campaign politics demands that we track our opponents' steps and missteps. We have nothing to hide when it comes to asking tough questions, but it appears that Democrats do when it comes to answering them." The NRCC doesn't require its questioners to identify themselves as partisans on grounds that anyone has a right to approach a member of Congress and ask a question. It wouldn't say how many lawmakers have been questioned: A GOP statement said that, "Videos are posted on a case-by-case basis."




Alternet - On Fox News, Chris Wallace asked Dick Cheney to identify the "highest moment" of the last eight years. It wasn't a trick question. Cheney pondered this for a few moments before answering, "Well, I think the most important, the most compelling, was 9/11 itself, and what that entailed, what we had to deal with." Wallace followed up by noting that the highest moment was also the lowest, which Cheney was quick to agree with.


Houston Chronicle - Using the “F-word” in public places is starting to get Houston-area residents handcuffed or arrested. For the second time within the past eight months, a person using the word during private conversations in public places - once at a Wal-Mart in La Marque and then at a Mexican restaurant in Galveston - have been taken into custody and cited for disorderly conduct. . . State law says the use of abusive, indecent, profane or vulgar language in a public place, which causes an “immediate breach of peace,” meets the definition of disorderly conduct.


New Scientist
- Getting in the groove goes deeper than just hitting the notes at the right time, it seems. Musicians playing the same tune together have brain patterns that are virtually identical, researchers find. The discovery came from electroencephalogram recordings of brainwaves from pairs of guitarists as they duetted. The recordings were taken while each of eight pairs played many as 60 renditions of the same short jazz-fusion melody.

Telegraph, UK
- Jerry Jalava has built a special prosthetic finger which contains computer storage for photos, movies and other useful files. While the prosthetic looks like a normal finger Jerry can peel it back from the 'nail' and plug it into the USB slot on his computer using it as an additional hard drive. . . When Jerry told doctors what he did for a living they joked he should have a USB 'finger drive' but that was good enough for him, and he set about making one. Using a traditional prosthetic finger Jerry has been able embed a 'USB key' - like the ones used in traditional flash drives - giving him the world's only two gigabyte finger. The finger is not permanently attached to his hand meaning it can be removed when plugged into a computer.


- Pope Benedict XVI said that the distribution of condoms 'aggravates' the Aids crisis, as he embarked on his first trip to Africa. While en route from Rome to his first stop, Cameroon, the Pope said that the condition was "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems."


Anonymous sickened said...

Re: "Well, I think the most important, the most compelling, was 9/11 itself, and what that entailed, what we had to deal with."
"Of course the orders still stand; have you heard anything to the contrary?"
Apparently wacko little toads like Cheney get their rocks off while murdering three thousand plus people.

March 17, 2009 7:23 PM  

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