Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who 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

June 16, 2009



Ryan Grim, Huffington Post
- The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said. "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen. . . . White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says Woolsey's charge is not true. Woolsey said she herself had not been pressured because the White House and leadership know she's a firm no vote. But she had heard from other members about the White House pressure.


Over twenty of Michigan's
83 counties are turning some paved roads into gravel ones to save money. Some 50 miles have been affected. Gravel roads cost about one tenth as much as paved ones.


- Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn) - up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri. . . The US remains the biggest spender, accounting for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, though China and Russia have reduced the gap. Both tripled military spending over the decade, and Russia "is maintaining plans for further increases despite severe economic problems".


Mondo Weiss -
The Israel Project has been conducting a periodic running poll, asking American registered voters questions about Israel. Consistently, the polls' results - those that were published - have so far shown a steady, sturdy level of support for Israel as a peace seeking country. That has changed, quite dramatically, now that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to get on board President Obama's two-state peace push. And that change is probably why the Israel Project has not published its poll. According to the poll, conducted among a rather large sample (800 registered voters) between June 9 and June 11, there has been a 20% drop in the perception of Israel's government as peace seeking. Here are the data. The question asked was: "And, how committed do you think the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians?" A similar question ("How committed do you think the Israeli government is to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians?") was asked in December 2008 and in March 2009. In December and March, the results were almost identical: 66% said it was committed and 29% (in December) and 30% (in March) said it was not. This month, however, in the light of the open conflict on Israeli-Palestinian peace between Bibi and Obama, only 46% say Israel is committed and 39% say it is not. Furthermore, there is a steep decline in the percentage of Americans who say that the U.S. should support Israel. That has dropped from 71% in March 2008 (at the time of the Annapolis process) to only 44% now. Israel Radio reported that the Israel Project confirmed the validity of the poll and the data, but said they were "not final."


Zogby - As broadcast television network newscasts continue to lose viewers by the month, a new online survey by Zogby Interactive shows that the Internet is by far the preferred source for information, and that it is considered the most reliable source as well. A majority of adults nationwide - 56% - said that if they had to choose just one source for their news information, they would choose the Internet, the poll shows. In a distant second place was television, as 21% said they would prefer that medium over online sources. Ten percent say newspapers.


David Jones, Daily Mail -
In this deeply disturbing interview, the torturer who appalled the world by appearing in shocking 'souvenir' photographs remains utterly unrepentant and says she has 800 more torture photos that could rock the White House. . .


Weird Nuz -
The U.S. Air Force has spent an estimated $25 million training combat pilot Lt. Col. Victor Fehrehbach but is about to discharge him involuntarily because he is gay. Born of military-officer parents, Fehrenbach has earned 30 awards and decorations, with tours flying F-15Es in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and was one of the elite fighters called on to patrol the air space over Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001. Also about to be discharged solely for being gay is Army infantry officer Daniel Choi, a West Point graduate and Arabic speaker, who would be (based on a 2005 Government Accounting Office report) at least the 56th gay Arabic linguist to be dismissed from the U.S. military since the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.


Boing Boing - In Britain, cops have the power to search you if you take a picture of a "sensitive" area, but they won't tell you which areas are "sensitive," because they're so "sensitive." . . . The Home Office has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the BJP regarding the disclosure of the list of all areas where police officers are authorized to stop-and-search photographers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. . . While it is common knowledge that the entire City of London [the City of London is a one-square-mile financial district], at the behest of the Metropolitan Police, is covered by the legislation, it remains unclear which other areas in England and Wales have requested the stop-and-search powers. . .


Anonymous obama you mama said...

Re: "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen."
You don't have to be caucasian to be a hoe.

June 17, 2009 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twelve years of New Labour and the EU and the UK is now completely psychotic. If you want to see the future of the US under Obama and the Homeland Security mindset introduced by GWB, take a good look at the UK.

June 18, 2009 12:57 PM  

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