Friday, December 09, 2005

So Much For An Improving Economy

ABC News: Housing Slowdown May Claim 800,000 Jobs:
LOS ANGELES Dec 7, 2005 — A sustained decline will hit the U.S. housing market next year, costing the nation as many as 800,000 jobs, according to a new economic report released Wednesday.

The slowdown is likely to last several years, with as many as 500,000 construction jobs and 300,000 financial sector positions lost, the quarterly Anderson Forecast predicted."
And the hits just keep on coming. I wonder what the spinmeisters will do with this.

The Plot Thickens

ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Shoe Bomber Alert Preceded Airport Shooting:
"Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they had been on the alert for a possible shoe bomber when a federal air marshal opened fire at the Miami International Airport yesterday."So, were the marshalls over-reacting because they were on high alert? Hmmmm.

Nobody heard the B-word except the air marshalls

My Way NewsMakes you wonder, doesn't it?

Torture Victims Say Whatever You Want Them To

Qaeda-Iraq Link U.S. Cited Is Tied to Coercion Claim - New York Times:
The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

The new disclosure provides the first public evidence that bad intelligence on Iraq may have resulted partly from the administration's heavy reliance on third countries to carry out interrogations of Qaeda members and others detained as part of American counterterrorism efforts. The Bush administration used Mr. Libi's accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons.
Gee, what a surprise! And based on this story, we don't do torture -- we outsource it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Coulter admits to being stupid - Ann Coulter to audience: You're stupider than I am - Dec 8, 2005:
STORRS, Connecticut (AP) -- Conservative columnist Ann Coulter cut short a speech at the University of Connecticut amid boos and jeers, and decided to hold a question-and-answer session instead.

'I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am,' Coulter told the crowd of 2,600 Wednesday.
Okay, so she was being sarcastic (a change from merely bombastic). Her presence was protested by Students Against Hate and other groups. I wonder how the Q&A period went. Hooray for UConn!

A Gift From Afar

Politics or Not, Bronx Warmly Receives Venezuelan Heating Oil:
"Chavez's gift, which arrived on Tuesday and is being distributed this week, may be nothing more than a chance to tweak the nose of the Bush administration, which has long opposed the South American leader. But few residents in the South Bronx, where 41 percent live on incomes below the federal poverty line, are inclined to worry about international politics."

I'm glad the oil is getting to the people who need it. At least that went right here. I was half expecting FEMA to jump in and confiscate the oil for some half-assed reason or another.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Everybody Knows They Do It Au Naturel

Oddly Enough News Article |
OTTAWA (Reuters) - One of Canada's leading cinema chains has stopped handing out Christmas wrapping paper to its patrons after parents complained it featured angels fondling each other suggestively, newspapers reported on Tuesday.


The paper features a male angel grasping the breast of his female partner, while she has hold of his genitals, as they kiss. Both are fully clothed in white angel attire.
What the heck is "white angel attire?" Are we talking togas here or feathers or what? Victoria's Secret lingerie, maybe?

First GM, Now Ford: another 30,000 high-paying jobs down the drain

US News Article |
DETROIT (Reuters) - The restructuring plan that Ford Motor Co. will announce next month as it moves to restore its North American operations to profitability will be more aggressive than many analysts had expected, the Detroit News reported on Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the plan, the newspaper said the automaker will cut up to 30,000 hourly jobs in North America within five years and close at least 10 assembly and component plants.
You can say all you want about the economy, but more and more people here in the U.S. are losing their livelihood and joining the ranks of the working poor if they are working at all. I'm no fan of the U.S. auto industry. The writing has been on the wall for decades and they still don't get it. Still, if we are going to be a service-based economy, we better find a way to pay our servants enough money to live on.

Okay, NOW we don't do torture

Fund Launches Article |
KIEV (Reuters) - The United States, seeking to defuse criticism of reports of abuse of prisoners, has changed its policy on interrogating detainees, officials said on Wednesday, but human rights groups were skeptical there was a real shift.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a trip to Ukraine, said U.S. personnel would be banned worldwide from subjecting prisoners to cruelty.
Yep, you caught us. We were only kidding before. No more torture from now on. Promise.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Torturers R Us

CBS News | German Sues CIA Claiming Torture | December 6, 2005 13:00:07:

(CBS/AP) A German man filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming he was held captive and tortured by U.S. government agents after being mistakenly identified as an associate of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Khaled El-Masri, who is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, said he was arrested while attempting to enter Macedonia for a holiday trip and flown to Afghanistan. During five months in captivity he was subjected to 'torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,' says a lawsuit he filed in U.S. District Court in suburban Alexandria, Va.


The CIA rendition program, in which terror suspects are captured and taken to foreign countries for interrogation, has been heavily criticized by human rights groups. European governments have expressed outrage over reports of a network of secret Soviet-era prisons in Eastern Europe where detainees may have been harshly treated and reports of CIA flights carrying al Qaeda prisoners through European airports.

The scope of the program has not been disclosed by the CIA. If the United States did operate such prisons, or is still doing so, the information would be classified. The Bush administration has refused to answer questions about it in public.

"Were I to confirm or deny, say yes or say no, then I would be compromising intelligence information, and I'm not going to do that," Rice told reporters on her plane to Germany. Before leaving Washington, Rice told reporters that fighting terrorism is "a two-way street" and that Europeans are safer for tough but legal U.S. tactics.

Her comments seemed to imply that if any European governments provided secret prisons, they did so willingly.
So, that makes it okay? The reasoning is, it's a tough world out there, so get used to it? Condi needs a new pair of shoes.


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