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President Jimmy Carter - Address to the Nation on Energy
President Jimmy Carter - Address to the Nation on Energy
Barack Obama’s critics laid down the foundations of the strategy months ago: The Republican National Committee started the “Audacity Watch” back in April, and Karl Rove later fueled the attack by describing the first-term Illinois senator as “coolly arrogant.”
It wasn’t until the last week, however, that the narrative of Obama as a president-in-waiting — and perhaps getting impatient in that waiting — began reverberating beyond the inboxes of Washington operatives and journalists.
Perhaps one of the clearest indications emerged Tuesday from the world of late-night comedy, when David Letterman offered his “Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Overconfident.” The examples included Obama proposing to change the name of Oklahoma to “Oklobama” and measuring his head for Mount Rushmore.
“When Letterman is doing ‘Top Ten’ lists about something, it has officially entered the public consciousness,” said Dan Schnur, a political analyst from the University of Southern California and the communications director in John McCain’s 2000 campaign. “And it usually stays there for a long, long time.”
Green is not selling the way it used to. This is old news and it is the Onion. But it marks the start of a trend.
STATEN ISLAND, NY-An estimated 450,000 unsold copies of Time's special April 22 Earth Day issue were trucked Monday from the magazine's New Jersey distribution center to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island.
The discarded copies of the issue-which features articles about conservation, biodiversity, and recycling, as well as guest editorials by President Clinton and Leonardo DiCaprio-are expected to decompose slowly over the next 175 years.
"Unfortunately, 'Earth Day 2000' wasn't as successful as we had hoped," Time managing editor Walter Isaacson said. "After selling out of such special issues as 'The Future Of Medicine,' 'Baseball At 100,' 'The Kennedys: An American Dynasty,' and 'Celebrating The American Automobile,' we thought we had another winner with this one. But of a press run of 485,000, only 35,000 sold. I guess we overestimated the demand for a full-color, 98-page Earth Day issue printed on glossy, high-pulp paper."
THE president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has been warned by Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, that he faces prosecution for the crimes he has committed during his 28 years in office unless he signs a deal to give up all effective power.
Mbeki, who has done all he can to shield and support Mugabe for the past eight years, has come under overwhelming western pressure and has had to tell Mugabe that he could no longer protect him and his key cronies from being charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The power-sharing talks between Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are shrouded in secrecy. But The Sunday Times has learnt that Mugabe, who has vowed that Tsvangirai will never be in government and that “only God can remove me from power”, faces humiliation over the terms of the deal that he will be forced to sign next month.
He will remain as president in name only and all real power will be held by a 20-member cabinet under Tsvangirai as prime minister. The opposition MDC will have 11 cabinet posts to nine for Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.
There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive' ... She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German.) Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids.) She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kid s/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most of course had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize ... She was not selected.
* Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
On this afternoon's Hardball, the feisty, brilliant [bio: high honors Air Force Academy grad, Rhodes Scholar] GOP representative from New Mexico took on the duo of the combative congressman from Florida and host Chris Matthews, and walked away a winner. The subject was Obama's Berlin speech, and by extension his presidential qualifications.
You'll find excerpts below, but they don't do begin to do justice to Wilson's brio and the coolness under verbal fire she displayed. That's why I'd strongly encourage readers to view the video. Wilson kicked off her tour de force in commenting on a clip of Obama in his Berlin speech proclaiming that various walls, including one between American and Europe, "cannot stand" and must be torn down.
And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.
If he ran in Germany, Obama would carry the country by a landslide, with 67 percent of the vote. But there is no gold in them thar numbers, only disappointment. By vast margins, Germans and Europeans believe in Obama as the Savior & Redeemer who will deliver them from the last eight years of George W. It's like an exorcist fantasy: Once we can send Bush off into the desert, like the scapegoat of the Israelites, we will be able to love America again.
There are two problems buried in this fantasy. One, Barack Obama is possessed of a pliable identity that oscillates between Barry and Barack, between White and Black, between the Harvard Law Review and the Chicago slums, between a leftish voting record in the Senate and a right-of-center message on the stump. He is neither saint nor softie, but the most consummate power politician to come out of Chicago since Richard Daley the Elder. Following classical electoral ritual in the U.S., Obama has been moving steadily to the right, be it on the death penalty, gun control, or Iraq. Europeans haven't quite processed his pilgrimage to the center, and if they have, they seem not to care.
Why then can't Obama bring himself to acknowledge the surge worked better than he and other skeptics, including this page, thought it would? What does that stubbornness say about the kind of president he'd be?
In recent comments, the Democratic presidential candidate has grudgingly conceded that the troops helped lessen the violence, but he has insisted that the surge was a dubious policy because it allowed the situation in Afghanistan to deteriorate and failed to produce political breakthroughs in Iraq. Even knowing the outcome, he told CBS News Tuesday, he still wouldn't have supported the idea.
That's hard to fathom. Even if you believe that the invasion of Iraq was a grievous error — and it was — the U.S. should still make every effort to leave behind a stable situation. Obama seems stuck in the first part of that thought process, repeatedly proclaiming that he was right to oppose the war and disparaging worthwhile efforts to fix the mess it created. Hence, his dismissal of the surge as "a tactical victory imposed upon a huge strategic blunder."
The great irony, of course, is that the success of the surge has made Obama's plan to withdraw combat troops in 16 months far more plausible than when he proposed it. Another irony is that while Obama downplays the effectiveness of the surge in Iraq, he is urging a similar tactic now in Afghanistan.
In the Ramada Inn, across I-10 from Ikea, dozens of young sales agents spill out of vans and head for the first-floor conference room. They're in their late teens and early twenties, tired from a long day of selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door, but excited about the money they think they're going to get.
In the conference room, a line of middle-aged managers sit behind folding tables and count the stacks of receipts and cash their agents place before them. It's a ton of money. The crews hit Houston in late February, it's near the end of March now and it's been a lucrative stay. Houston is always a windfall.
It's been a tough hop for this caravan of sales crews, though. Winding their way down from California, they lost a few agents. Two were arrested in Albuquerque after they allegedly forced their way into the home of an elderly couple and beat them to death, raping the wife first. A few weeks later, another agent allegedly raped a woman in Claremont, California, so he got picked up, too. Then, in West Texas, a van flipped, killing one agent and injuring three others. That's seven agents out of commission. That's about a $2,800 loss per day.
After they turn in their cash and receipts, two agents, a pudgy girl and a lanky guy, hit the parking lot for a smoke. Two Houston Press reporters are there, observing. Without knowing they're talking to reporters, the agents walk over and ask for rolling papers. When asked what they're doing in town, the agents explain their job and how much they love it. It's a blast, they say. You lie all day to sell subscriptions, and you unwind afterward with some smoke. You tell the customers that you live a few streets over, that you go to the local school and play on the soccer team, that you just sold subscriptions to their neighbor, and the idiots buy it because by now you've got it down to a science. And on to the next town. And the next.
God's blessing would last only two minutes and it would create 500 churchgoing millionaires or even billionaires - all they had to do was use their credit cards to pay $1 000 in offerings to televangelist Benny Hinn.
Pastor Tommie Ferreira of the AGS Church in Johannesburg was so upset about the "blessing" that, after a week, he wanted to know who of the donors actually had become millionaires.
Rapport asked for a recording of Koontz's sermon, but Hinn's office said they could only provide one in four to six weeks.
To say the trip was “stage managed,” as one liberal blogger let on, would be a gross understatement. For all intents and purposes Obama was play-acting the role of a traveling statesman, eating meals and smiling but doing and saying nothing of consequence with what veteran network correspondent Mitchell described on “Hardball” as an unprecedented level of press restriction and manipulation.
He didn’t have reporters with him, he didn’t have a press pool, he didn’t do a press conference while he was on the ground in either Afghanistan or Iraq. What you’re seeing is not reporters brought in. You’re seeing selected pictures taken by the military, questions by the military, and what some would call fake interviews, because they’re not interviews from a journalist. So, there’s a real press issue here. Politically it’s smart as can be. But we’ve not seen a presidential candidate do this, in my recollection, ever before.
The mayor and others are now admitting what the grand jury reported - that a majority of those on the streets are not homeless. The head of the city's homeless program, Dariush Kayhan, estimates that 50 to 75 percent of street people live in supportive housing.
"We just warehouse addicts," said the grand jury's Stuart Smith. "Granted, it is a nicer place for them, but it doesn't address the problem."
In short, the jury is reflecting the views of many San Franciscans who made the choice to live here. They understood that housing and taxes would be higher, and so would the cost of a meal in a restaurant. They understand and believe that the city needs to provide for its poorest homeless residents and don't begrudge what the grand jury says is $186 million a year in city funds spent to finance homeless programs.
But, they ask, can't someone stop the panhandling? And, given all the programs and services, is it unreasonable to ask those who are being given supportive housing to start making some effort to be self-sufficient?
"People's conduct has to be held to account," Supervisor Bevan Dufty said. "They can't engage in conduct that is hurtful to them or others."
Enforcing that is easier said than done. But it does begin the dialogue.
"I think the grand jury did an excellent job," Kayhan said. "We got people into housing, but we acknowledge that it is now time to make the next step, moving on to jobs, treatment and schools."
At first glance, Cesare Bonizzi looks like the archetypal Capuchin monk - round-faced, stout, with twinkling eyes and a long flowing white beard. But beneath his robes beats a heart of metal.
Brother Cesare is the lead singer in a heavy metal band which has just released its second album.
A former missionary in the Ivory Coast, he lives in a small friary in the Milan hinterland.
The 62-year-old monk's love affair with heavy metal began when he attended a Metallica concert some 15 years ago.
"I was overwhelmed and amazed by the sheer energy of it" he says.
The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."
In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."
The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"
In his pre-campaign book, "The Audacity of Hope," Barack Obama proclaims, "I find comfort in the fact that the longer I'm in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience."
Some might think this odd testimony from a young and inexperienced freshman senator on the cusp of seeking the highest rank, and the most famous position, in the world. It's a bit like a parish priest saying he's happy with his modest lot in life and then declaring he's throwing his hat in the ring to become pope.
But a closer reading reveals a possible explanation. Perhaps he's an adulation junkie. Maybe the diminishing "nourishment" Sen. Obama receives from "popularity" is actually causing him to ratchet up his pursuit of more and more praise just to get the minimal fix he needs.
Everyone loves guns in Nevada. Ducks Unlimited, the National Rifle Association, Republicans, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ...
Wait. The ACLU?
The Nevada ACLU has declared its support for an individual’s right to bear arms, apparently making it the first state affiliate in the nation to buck the national organization’s position on the Second Amendment.
Christian publisher Zondervan is facing a $60 million federal lawsuit filed by a man who claims he and other homosexuals have suffered based on what the suit claims is a misinterpretation of the Bible.
But a company spokeswoman says Zondervan doesn't translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations. Instead, she said in a statement, the company relies on the "scholarly judgment of credible translation committees."
Since 2003, worldwide oil prices have quadrupled. According to a new study, the price of oil is rising at a faster-than-exponential rate, and cannot be sustained. In other words, we’re in the midst of an oil bubble, say researchers Didier Sornette and Ryan Woodard of ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Wei-Xing Zhou of the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China.
By analyzing oil prices over the past four years, the researchers have demonstrated more support for the hypothesis that the recent oil price run-up has less to do with supply-demand interplay and more to do with speculation.
In their analysis, the team gathered data on oil prices since 2005 in US dollars, euros, and other major currencies (to confirm that the results are not a consequence of the weakening of the US dollar). They also examined worldwide oil supply and demand data, specifically investigating the extent of increased demand from emerging markets such as China and India.
Violent antipathy to America measures the triumph of the American principle, and the ascendance of America's influence in the world. America's enemies make more noise than her friends, but her friends are increasing faster than her enemies. America's influence in the world leapt as result of her victory in three world wars, including the fall of communism in 1989. Arguably, America is ascending even faster today, despite the reverses in its economic position and the strains on its military resources.
There are nearly a billion more Christians in the world today than in 1970, including a hundred million Chinese, most of whom adhere to the House Church movement on the American evangelical model. Denominations of American origin, notably Pentecostals, led the evangelization of a quarter of a billion Africans in the past generation. There are nearly 100 million additional Latin American Christians, of whom perhaps 40 million belong to Pentecostal or other Protestant denominations centered in the United States. Philip Jenkins has chronicled the spiritual transformation of the Global South, I reviewed his most recent book (A new Jerusalem in sub-Saharan Africa Asia Times Online, Dec 12, 2006.)
It may be outrageous, but it is not far-fetched, to speak of a special grace for America, because hundreds of millions of people around the world look toward such a special grace, in the precise sense of the word.
In more than a year of campaigning, Barack Obama has made a long list of promises for new federal programs costing tens of billions of dollars, many of them aimed at protecting people from the pain of a souring economy.
But if he wins the presidency, Obama will be hard-pressed to keep his blueprint intact. A variety of budget analysts are skeptical that the Democrat's agenda could survive in the face of large federal budget deficits and the difficulty of making good on his plan to raise new revenue by closing tax loopholes, ending the Iraq war and cutting spending that is deemed low-priority.
There's a weird irony at work when Sen. Barack Obama, the black presidential candidate who will allegedly scrub the stain of racism from the nation, vows to run afoul of the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery.
For those who don't remember, the 13th Amendment says: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime ... shall exist within the United States."
Toddlers who turn their noses up at spicy food from overseas could be branded racists by a Government-sponsored agency.
The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.
This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.
The reversal of fortunes is attributed to the “surge” strategy of General David Petraeus, the commander of US forces, who targeted Al-Qaeda in Iraq above all else after securing an extra 30,000 troops last year.
His officers exploited local resentment of the terrorists and promised to protect those who resisted them. Under Petraeus’s plan, they established awakening councils, or groups calling themselves concerned local citizens. These Sunni groups helped to drive Al-Qaeda from many of its bastions.
US and Iraqi forces were then able to retake large swathes of the country and complete the “clearing” of cities such as Ramadi and Falluja and large areas of Baghdad. The overall number of attacks in Iraq has fallen by 80% in the past year alone.
Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, has gone on in recent months to reassert control over Basra in the south and Baghdad’s Sadr City, the two main strongholds of the Shi’ite Mahdi Army.
You might think from the recent spate of atheist best-sellers that belief in God has become intellectually indefensible for thinking people today. But a look at these books by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, among others, quickly reveals that the so-called New Atheism lacks intellectual muscle. It is blissfully ignorant of the revolution that has taken place in Anglo-American philosophy. It reflects the scientism of a bygone generation rather than the contemporary intellectual scene.
Thursday's Supreme Court decision affirming that the Second Amendment recognizes an individual right to own firearms for self-defense was a vindication of those who have long argued that position. But it was an even more stunning defeat for advocates of gun control, who not so long ago seemed to have history, law, and public sympathy on their side. Back then, they couldn't have dreamed that the Supreme Court would say, "You know what? The National Rifle Association is right."