Wednesday edition - August 9, 2006
Lieberman loses to anti-war rival
Battles leave Afghans
nowhere to turn
Almost 2,000 bodies taken to Baghdad morgue
The Constitution state sure stepped up to the plate by rejecting Bush AND Lieberman.
President Bush took three books to read on vacation in Texas Saturday. Two are biographies of Abe Lincoln and one is a history of polio in America. What does this tell you about Iraq when the president is boning up on civil war and paralysis? ---- comedian Argus Hamilton
The Kiss Heard Around Connecticut
Casualties in Lebanon-Israel fighting AP
US servicemen missing after Iraq helicopter crash
Taliban militants hang Afghan woman, son AP
West Point thesis challenges gay policy AP
Israeli Cabinet approves wider offensive AP
Hezbollah has fired 3,333 rockets so far AP
US says Lebanese force need help to keep peace Jerusalem Post, Israel
Contractors of the world: Lebanon has killer deals on crushed rock.-- Grant Gerver - Shot Off the Press
Hey, kids, lets go to Army World!
The Army is considering a proposal to allow a private developer to build a military-themed park that would include Cobra Gunship rides and bars including a "1st Division Lounge."
Subject: Reagan & Bush
Ronald Reagan got 241 of our Marines killed unnecessarily in Lebannon by putting them ashore with little or no protection and he has an aircraft carrier named for him. Do you think the Republicans will rename the state of Texas for George W. Bush since he has gotten over 2600 of our young men killed in an unnecessary war in Iraq? Nothing they do shocks me any longer! The lesson here is the more troops you get killed the larger the reward. After all, the father George H.W. Bush didn't get very many killed and he only had an airport named after him (Houston Intercontinental). Clinton waged a successful war in Bosnia , won the war and no one was killed and the republicans still won't leave him alone and he has had nothing named after him.
Maybe we should name something after George W. Bush -- maybe this -- The George W. Bush Federal Prison
It's hard letting go of power
politics of partisan polarization won today. For the sake of our state, our
country and my party, I cannot, I will not let this result stand."--
Dade cops seeing more assault rifles Miami Herald, FL
"As you know Lincoln was the first Republican president. He was later shot by actor John Wilkes Booth, thus the beginning of a feud between actors and Republican presidents continuing to this date."--Jay Leno
Judge rules camping ban near Bush ranch constitutional, blocks ...San Diego Union Tribune
Republican Legislators Vow Immigration Reform The Chattanoogan, TN
Arizona Democrats riled over IRS action Bizjournals.com, NC
The Arab League held an emergency meeting in Beirut Monday. It wasn't much of a fun convention. Neither Shiites nor Sunnis permit use of intoxicating liquors, which really shoots a hole in Mel Gibson's theory that alcohol causes anti-Semitism. ---- comedian Argus Hamilton
The Mel Gibson Saga Continues
Mel Gibson has apologized for his reported
anti-Semitic remarks. Will Christian leaders, including some prominent Catholic
bishops, apologize for applauding and recommending his earlier, more
far-reaching expression of anti-Semitism, the movie The Passion of the Christ?
The movie exhumed and restaged some of the ugliest features
McKinney Loses Runoff for Georgia Seat WTOP, D.C.
"As you know President Bush is currently on vacation in Texas. He said he's going to try and do absolutely nothing for the next ten days. His advisors think this is the best way to bring his approval rating up. Just don't do anything." --Jay Leno
Bush is 2-for-2 and batting a 1000: civil war in Iraq, and possibly Lebanon. That ole "Mission Accomplished" thing keeps coming back like acid reflux. -- Grant Gerver - Shot Off the Press
Oil prices rise on US supply concerns Houston Chronicle
A stinky gas story Moneyweb, South Africa
Fed halts interest-rate hikes -- for now Boston Globe
On This Day - August 9
1678 - American Indians sold the Bronx to Jonas Bronck for 400 beads
1945 - The U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The bombing came three days after the bombing of Hiroshima. About 74,000 people were killed. Japan surrendered August 14.
1945 - The first network television broadcast occurred in Washington, DC. The program announced the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.
1973 - The U.S. Senate committee investigating the Watergate affair filed suit against President Richard Nixon.
1974 - U.S. President Richard Nixon formally resigned. Gerald R. Ford took his place, and became the 38th president of the U.S.
1985 - Arthur J. Walker, a retired Navy officer, was found guilty of seven counts of spying for the Soviet Union.
2001 - U.S. President Bush announced he would
support federal funding for limited medical research on embryonic stem cells.
Subject: Shark attack
GREAT EXCUSE . . TO RAISE PRICES! Major
Oil Pipeline Shutdown To Cripple US Supply; May Have "Major Impact" on Prices,
oil company profits (The company made $7.3 billion in profit during the most
recent quarter) Really hurting!
"BP deeply regrets it has been necessary for us to take this drastic action," said tearful Bob Malone, chairman (godfather) of BP America http://tinyurl.com/jyu29
Oil company profits my butt! How can they loose if they raise prices? . . duh! And then, do they intend to lower the price after the consumers pay for the repairs? Don’t hold your breath. Like swimming in a pool of sharks
How conveeeeenient for BP, eh? The following column by Greg Palast explains why.
BRITISH PETROLEUM'S "SMART PIG"
by Greg Palast
Tuesday, August 9, 2006
Is the Alaska Pipeline corroded? You bet it is. Has been for more than a decade. Did British Petroleum shut the pipe yesterday to turn a quick buck on its negligence, to profit off the disaster it created? Just ask the "smart pig."
Years ago, I had the unhappy job of leading an investigation of British Petroleum's management of the Alaska pipeline system. I was working for the Chugach villages, the Alaskan Natives who own the shoreline slimed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker grounding.
Even then, courageous government inspectors and pipeline workers were screaming about corrosion all through the pipeline. I say "courageous" because BP, which owns 46% of the pipe and is supposed to manage the system, had a habit of hunting down and destroying the careers of those who warn of pipeline problems.
In one case, BP's CEO of Alaskan operations hired a former CIA expert to break into the home of a whistleblower, Chuck Hamel, who had complained of conditions at the pipe's tanker facility. BP tapped his phone calls with a US congressman and ran a surveillance and smear campaign against him. When caught, a US federal judge said BP's acts were "reminiscent of Nazi Germany."
This was not an isolated case. Captain James Woodle, once in charge of the pipe's Valdez terminus, was blackmailed into resigning the post when he complained of disastrous conditions there. The weapon used on Woodle was a file of faked evidence of marital infidelity. Nice guys, eh?
Now let's talk timing. BP's suddenly discovered corrosion necessitating an emergency shut-down of the line is the same corrosion Dan Lawn has been screaming about for 15 years. Lawn is a steel-eyed government inspector who has kept his job only because his union's lawyers have kept BP from having his head.
Indeed, it's pretty darn hard for BP to claim it is surprised to find corrosion this week when Lawn issued a damning report on corrosion right after a leak and spill were discovered on March 2 of this year.
Why shut the pipe now? The timing of a sudden inspection and fix of a decade-long problem has a suspicious smell. A precipitous shutdown in mid-summer, in the middle of Middle East war(s), is guaranteed to raise prices and reap monster profits for BP. The price of crude jumped $2.22 a barrel on the shutdown news to over $76. How lucky for BP which sells four million barrels of oil a day. Had BP completed its inspection and repairs a couple years back -- say, after Dan Lawn's tenth warning -- the oil market would have hardly noticed.
But $2 a barrel is just the beginning of BP's shut-down bonus. The Alaskan oil was destined for the California market which now faces a supply crisis at the very height of the summer travel season. The big winner is ARCO petroleum, the largest retailer in the Golden State. ARCO is a 100%-owned subsidiary of … British Petroleum.
BP could have fixed the pipeline problem this past winter, after their latest corrosion-caused oil spill. But then ARCO would have lost the summertime supply-squeeze windfall.
Enron Corporation was infamous for deliberately timing repairs to maximize profit. Would BP also manipulate the market in such a crude manner? Some US prosecutors think they did so in the US propane market. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) just six weeks ago charged the company with approving an Enron-style scheme to crank up the price of propane sold in poor rural communities in the US. One former BP exec has pleaded guilty.
Lord Browne, the imperious CEO of BP, has apologized for that scam, for the Alaska spill, for this week's shutdown and for the deaths in 2005 of 15 workers at the company's mortally sloppy refinery operation at Texas City, Texas.
I don't want readers to think BP isn't civic-minded. The company's US CEO, Bob Malone, was Co-Chairman of the Bush re-election campaign in Alaska. Mr. Bush, in turn, was so impressed with BP's care of Alaska's environment that he pushed again to open the state's arctic wildlife refuge (ANWR) to drilling by the BP consortium.
Indeed, you can go to Alaska today and see for yourself the evidence of BP's care of the wilderness. You can smell it: the crude oil still on the beaches from the Exxon Valdez spill.
Exxon took all the blame for the spill because they were dumb enough to have the company's name on the ship. But it was BP's pipeline managers who filed reports that oil spill containment equipment was sitting right at the site of the grounding near Bligh Island. However, the reports were bogus, the equipment wasn't there and so the beaches were poisoned. At the time, our investigators uncovered four-volume's worth of faked safety reports and concluded that BP was at least as culpable as Exxon for the 1,200 miles of oil-destroyed coastline.
Nevertheless, m'Lord Browne preens himself with his corporation's environmental record. We know BP cares about nature because they have lots of photos of solar panels in their annual reports -- and they've painted every one of their gas stations green.
The green paint-job is supposed to represent the oil giant's love of Mother Nature. But the good Lord, Mr. Browne, knows it stands for the color of the Yankee dollar.
BP claims the profitable timing of its Alaska pipe shutdown can be explained because they've only now run a "smart pig" through the pipes to locate the corrosion. The "pig" is an electronic drone that BP should have been using continuously, though they had not done so for 14 years. The fact that, in the middle of an oil crisis, they've run it through now, forcing the shutdown, reminds me, when I consider Lord Browne's closeness to George Bush, that the company's pig is indeed, very, very smart.
Greg Palast, an energy economist and investigative reporter, is the author of "Exxon Valdez: A Well-Designed Disaster." His reports can be seen on BBC Television's Newsnight, Democracy Now! and in Harper's Magazine. www.gregpalast.com
trials, will hearsay be heard?
Witness: CIA worker says he hit Afghani Houston Chronicle, United States
"Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been
duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to
- The 13th Amendment from the U.S. Constitution (ratified December 6, 1865).
Cheney to stump for Rep. Chabot Cincinnati Enquirer, OH
Odd Names for Lieberman's Granddaughters
Senator Lieberman lives in New Haven and Washington with his wife Hadassah. Together they are the proud parents of four children - Matthew, Rebecca, Ethan and Hana - and three granddaughters, Tennessee, Willie and Eden.
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Man dies opening grenade with sledgehammer Reuters
A one day-old baby gorilla is cradled in the hands of her mother Zuri at the Calgary Zoo, August 6, 2006. Picture taken August 6, 2006. Photo by Calgary Zoo