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1 European killed, 9 others wounded in Egypt blast
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Page 6: Politix
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-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
UK Police Want To Install CCTVs In Pubs
The Met Police got a short sharp rap over the knuckles yesterday, as the Office of the Information Commissioner questioned what looks very much like a blanket policy to force CCTV onto public houses in certain parts of London.

The story begins with a letter to the Guardian last week, from Nick Gibson. He is currently renovating Islington pub The Drapers Arms, after its previous owners allowed it to go insolvent and then disappeared.

In his letter, he argues that if he had merely taken over an existing licence, the police could not have imposed any additional conditions. However, because this was now a new licence, the police were able to make specific requests, including one particular request in respect of installing CCTV.

Mr Gibson wrote: "I was stunned to find the police were prepared to approve, ie not fight, our licence on condition that we installed CCTV capturing the head and shoulders of everyone coming into the pub, to be made available to them upon request. There was no way that they could have imposed this on the previous licence holder."

We spoke to the Police and to Islington Council. The Council were clear that this was not their policy: they would look at individual licence applications in the light of representations made to the Licensing Committee and decide on a case by case basis.

It was left to the Met to confirm the existence of a blanket policy for some parts of London. A spokeswoman for the Met said: "The MPS overall does not have a policy of insisting CCTV is installed within licensed premises before supporting licence applications.

"However, individual boroughs may impose blanket rules in support of their objectives to prevent crime and disorder and to assist the investigation of offences when they do occur.

"Islington is one of the most densely populated districts for licensed premises in London and the borough's licensing authority is committed to providing a safe environment in which to socialise.

"To this end, Islington police recommend all premises are required to install CCTV and make those images available to police upon request before a licence is granted."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2009 13:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10800 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hmm - sensing profit opportunity... Do they want face recognition with that? Maybe 3D?
Like its money and times are tough...
Posted by: 3dc || 02/22/2009 14:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Waste of time and money.
Posted by: Rednek Jim || 02/22/2009 16:39 Comments || Top||

#3  Do they want face recognition with that?

Sure. It'll come in handy when Sharia is formally adopted.
Posted by: lotp || 02/22/2009 17:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Wouldn't it be more practical to install them in MOSQUES?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/22/2009 18:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Why? Are people getting drunk in mosques?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/22/2009 20:57 Comments || Top||


Bangladesh
1971 war role should not be the reason
Jamaat-e-Islami leaders said yesterday that it is not right to term anyone an 'anti-liberation war element' based only on their role during the war in 1971.
Feeling the heat, are they ...
They said that in order to identify anyone as an 'anti-liberation element' one has to take into account their roles starting from the 1952 language movement and through successive movements.

The comments came at a discussion meeting organised by Jamaat-e-Islami at the Al-Falah auditorium in city's Maghbazar yesterday. Speakers at the meeting also criticised the placing of wreaths at the Shaheed Minar to pay tribute to martyrs of the Language Movement.

Some Jamaat leaders claimed Islamist forces originally began the language movement in the country. They claimed that Golam Azam, a former Jamaat ameer, led the movement.

Referring to the government's initiative for trial of war criminals, the speakers said that a conspiracy was underway in the country to humiliate Islam and Islamist forces. "Those who once opposed the language movement are today placing wreaths at the Shaheed Minar ...I will not talk about what they are doing now...," Rafiqul Islam Khan, ameer of Jamaat's Dhaka unit, said.

Jamaat Ameer Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami said it would be 'suicidal' for Bangladesh to form a regional task force and or agree to the corridor with India in the name of economic development.

ATM Azharul Islam, Nurul Islam Bulbul, Selim Uddin, among others addressed the meeting.

Jamaat-e-Islami, a religion-based organisation, directly opposed Bangladesh's war of independence. Many of its leaders allegedly committed war crimes.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami


Charge Hannan with treason
War veterans and eminent citizens yesterday said the government should bring treason charge against former bureaucrat Shah Abdul Hannan, who has said the 1971 Liberation War was fought between India and Pakistan, and not between Bangladesh and Pakistan.
That rewriting history thing's not going well, is it?
Sector Commanders' Forum leader Maj Gen (retd) KM Shafiullah said Hannan has violated the constitution by making such a comment. The preamble of the constitution states that Bangladesh was created after the Liberation War in 1971.

"If he (Hannan) is a citizen of Bangladesh, he has committed a crime making such a comment. So the government should bring charge of treason against him and bring him to justice," Shafiullah who had led the Liberation War as a sector commander, told The Daily Star.

Chief Coordinator of the Sector Commanders Forum Harunur Rashid said those who deny the War of Liberation deny the existence of Bangladesh and should be charged with treason.

Rights activist and former adviser to the caretaker government Sultana Kamal said the remark is baseless and a crude lie because Bangladesh fought the Pakistan occupation forces with declaration of war on March 26, 1971.

Sultana, also a freedom fighter, said after nine months of fighting the joint forces joined the freedom fighters in December.

"All except those who were involved in killing and rape and arsons as the collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces know about the Liberation War," she said. She added now their character is once again being revealed through such remarks. "No-one is more hated than those who deny the Liberation War."

According to newspaper reports, former secretary to the government and former chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, Hannan, at a discussion organised by Sangskritik Oikya Front at the National Press Club on Friday said: "To my knowledge no war had taken place between Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1971. I have come across no such information in the books of history published abroad."

Contacted, Hannan said, "I'll not make any comment because I'm already a victim of injustice by a section of newspapers."

He alleged his comments were presented as one sided and out of context.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Our Archbishop (ret.) is no traitor. Why, as a chaplain he even parachuted into France.
Oh, different Hannan..... never mind.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/22/2009 9:18 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Clinton asks China to buy US debt
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged China to keep buying US debt as she wrapped up her first overseas trip, during which she agreed to work closely with Beijing on the financial crisis.

Ms Clinton made the plea shortly before leaving China, the final stop on a four-nation Asian tour that also took her to Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, where she worked the crowds to try to restore America's standing abroad.

In Beijing, she called on authorities in Beijing to continue buying US Treasury bonds, saying it would help jumpstart the flagging US economy and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.

"By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognizing our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together,'' Ms Clinton said at the US embassy here
Posted by: tipper || 02/22/2009 06:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Once they own enough debt, and then refuse to refinance it such that we go into default, can they, as majority creditor, take over the Board and the assets underlying the debt?
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/22/2009 9:22 Comments || Top||

#2  It is more like "Finance our acorn spending package, and we will let you kill Tibetans."
Posted by: newc || 02/22/2009 10:14 Comments || Top||

#3  This will be interesting to observe. What the Chinese gov't. has been doing over the past 5 years or so is taking, and I mean taking, from the dollar inflows approximately 20% to redirect to overseas investment, about 75% US vs. 25% Euro. Their dollar inflows are down dramatically. One might assume their investment outflows would drop in the same fashion. In addition, Chinese are facing massive job loss, so have no capital to squirrel into banks in China. The smart Chinese, fearing the gov't may grab what they still do have, have been cleverly moving their funds into Hong Kong. Still in China and sorta out. Likewise, Japan has been reeling from loss of export capital. So just who is going to buy the massive Treasury issues required to fund the Great Dummo Stimulus Scheme ?
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter 2700 || 02/22/2009 10:44 Comments || Top||

#4  In Beijing, she called on authorities in Beijing to continue buying US Treasury bonds, saying it would help jumpstart the flagging US economy and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.

On the one hand it is true but on the other hand it is very sad that we have to go to China with feet shuffling, head bowed, hat in hand; while the other hand is held out for a hand-out. What have we become since WWII?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/22/2009 10:44 Comments || Top||

#5  What have we become since WWII?

A special interests representative government. Just check the donor lists (which we found out in '96 included the Chinese).
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/22/2009 11:48 Comments || Top||

#6  Remember the Clinton's comments in 92'?..."with one you get two"... or something similar? Meaning we got stuck with both Bubba and Billary. Well, Bambi went and done it again. Foreign policy as designed by both Clintons. With Bambi and the Clintons together it will be worse than when we had Madelin Albright.
Posted by: WolfDog || 02/22/2009 12:44 Comments || Top||


Hillary Clinton 'panders' to China as dissidents are silenced
Follow-up.
STATE security agents put dozens of dissidents under virtual house arrest yesterday to silence support for Charter 08 -- a new manifesto for Chinese democracy -- as Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Beijing as US secretary of state.
Condi Rice would have pointed that fact out in her presser.
The crackdown emerged as Amnesty International condemned Clinton for saying that human rights could not interfere with talks on the financial crisis, global warming and North Korea.
Hillary was all concerned about human rights in China when George Bush was president. Now that Bambi is in charge her concerns have, well, disappeared.
As foreign minister Yang Jiechi welcomed her with a broad smile, he observed that it was "a bit chilly" in Beijing but promised Clinton she would see "the biggest number of smiling faces". Yang told the British press last year that Chinese police would "offer a cup of tea" to any protesters at the Beijing Olympics, yet dozens of Chinese were jailed for trying to protest.

Clinton told a joint news conference that the two would have "frank discussions" on human rights, Tibet, religious freedom and freedom of expression. She thanked China for continuing to invest in US government debt. Yang responded that China would allocate its $20 trillion of foreign currency reserves as it saw fit.

Outside in the snow, security agents in Beijing surrounded the homes of writers and thinkers behind Charter 08, the boldest public petition for Chinese freedom in 20 years. Some contacted reporters by text message to say they could not go out.

Amnesty International said Clinton had sent the wrong signal to the Chinese regime because the US was one of the few countries strong enough to stand up to China on human rights. "Half a million people are currently in labour camps," it said in a statement. "Women face forced abortion and sterili-sation as part of China's enforcement of its one-child policy."
George Bush looking better to you now?
Human Rights Watch said Clinton's strategy seemed to play into the hands of the Chinese government by "segregating human rights issues into a deadend dialogue of the deaf".
Why would Hillary Clinton give a fig about ordinary people?
The criticism gave Clinton a rough ride on her first excursion abroad to present the new face of American foreign policy under President Barack Obama. Up to her arrival in China, the secretary of state had displayed a virtuoso command of her dual roles as icy diplomat and global celebrity.
Only because he hadn't been asked to do anything ...
In the first role, she issued a warning to North Korea to cease its warlike threats in language no cold warrior could have faulted. In the second, she charmed young audiences in Seoul, Tokyo and Jakarta with her political savvy and common-sense talk about how women everywhere strive to balance work and family.

In China, however, a government nervous of the Obama administration's worldwide approval ratings did not offer its distinguished visitor a chance to shine. Clinton's schedule included the standard stiff poses with Chinese leaders and a visit to a power plant, and she was due to head home today.
And the Chinese gummint will relax, knowing that they have the Hildebeast and Bambi in their pockets for the next four years ...
Posted by: Steve White || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  See Spengler's article, posted to 'Burg yesterday
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/22/2009 9:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, please, Republicans excoriated the naivete of Jimmy Carter for pressing other states on human rights. This post is pure partisan hackery which is why I can't stand partisans--period. The putrified intellectual inconsistency on both sides disgusts every decent person I know.

Your kind are a pox on American politics as his Hillary, George Bush, Barrack and every other partisan with a blog. You don't care about victims of rights abuses, you just hate your political opponents as much as they despise you. Liberal phonies rail against abuses in Iraq but look the other way when it comes to Fidel Castro. Bonehead conservatives rail against rights abuses in China when there is a Democratic president, but they rationalize abuses when Americans commit abuses in Iraq and at Guantanmo--because none of you keyboard cowboys actually feel a damned thing for the suffering of this world unless it serves your tribal interests to care. It is all about you, your side, your blog and your self-righteous sense of importance.

I've devoted my life to working with the victims of political oppression and you clowns are never the people out there in the trenches dealing with the reality of the suffering.

Posted by: A Christian || 02/22/2009 9:50 Comments || Top||

#3  but they rationalize abuses when Americans commit abuses in Iraq and at Guantanmo--because none of you keyboard cowboys actually feel a damned thing for the suffering of this world unless it serves your tribal interests to care.Posted by: A Christian 2009-02-22 09:50

Snicker. Yes, Please ignore the 60 million muslims that Republicans freed in the last 8 years because panties on the head is such an abuse!
Posted by: Thruque Speaking for Boskone5570 || 02/22/2009 10:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Hillary is shrewd enough to know that we need China to buy our debt.
Posted by: Formerly Dan || 02/22/2009 10:40 Comments || Top||

#5  and you clowns are never the people out there in the trenches dealing with the reality of the suffering.

Posted by: A Christian 2009-02-22 09:50

If you take a mirror you probably can see a beam in your own eye*wink*. Many here including my soldier son and I sent countless thousands of goods to relieve the suffering of the vary people you talk about.
Posted by: Albemarle Flusing3122 || 02/22/2009 10:54 Comments || Top||

#6  none of you keyboard cowboys actually feel a damned thing for the suffering of this world unless it serves your tribal interests to care. It is all about you, your side, your blog and your self-righteous sense of importance.
I've devoted my life to working with the victims of political oppression and you clowns are never the people out there in the trenches dealing with the reality of the suffering.


he said, seated at his comfy keyboard. What a twat
Posted by: Frank G || 02/22/2009 11:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Ima kick A Christian in the head to make him happy.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/22/2009 11:19 Comments || Top||

#8  Never mind that the panties on the head was the result of a few idiots and not standard procedure. Never mind that the abuses were already being fully investigated even before the media saw it as a means of beating a dead horse.

Never mind that there are no abuses in Gitmo - outside of the vivid imagination of human ABUSE advocates like Human Rights Watch and AmNasy International.

Never mind the _real_ abuse of the rape squads,rape rooms, industrial shredders of Saddam's Iraq.

Or the hanging of homosexuals in Iran.

Or the execution (that would be killing as in dead) of political prisoners in China.

Or the 'real' torture chamber of Al-Q recently found in Iraq - which the media would never even mention because it would contrast with their 18-month long 24x7 beading of the Abu Grabe.

Or the schoolgirls who are murdered and schools bombed by the Taliban.

Or the Israeli children who are deliberatly targetted and murdered by the government of Gaza (that would be Hamass and its cronies).

and you clowns are never the people out there in the trenches dealing with the reality of the suffering.

No - those 'clowns' are the ones in the trenches risking their very lives to end the suffering and the abuse and the murder by stopping the abuse at the source. In Afghanistan and Iraq. These are the 'clown' Israeli solders and medical personal who extend medical care even to those who would like nothing better than to see them, and their children killed dead.

Helping those in need and who are abused is a good thing (and I'll commend you for that!) - stopping the abuse and killing the abuser so that the abused won't need continual help is better. Of course the UN and most of the left simply wouldn't want that - it would remove a means of 'feeling good' about helping the abused.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/22/2009 11:43 Comments || Top||

#9  A holier-than-thou attitude is not a sign of a true Christian.
Posted by: Darrell || 02/22/2009 11:43 Comments || Top||

#10  I've devoted my life to working with the victims of political oppression and you clowns are never the people out there in the trenches dealing with the reality of the suffering.

"Never" is a very long time my friend. Many here have spent a day or two "in the trenches" and the De Opresso Libre mode Mr. Christian. You might wish to consider getting to know your audience prior to launching into the Attorney General Eric Holder, "you're all a bunch of cowards" mode.


Posted by: Besoeker || 02/22/2009 11:45 Comments || Top||

#11  I've devoted my life to working with the victims of political oppression ...

Okay, I'm always willing to learn more. I certainly respect those who genuinely have worked to relieve oppression.

So, Mr/Ms 'A Christian', tell us what you've been doing. I'd like to hear it.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/22/2009 11:56 Comments || Top||

#12  off the immediate subject a little bit, i lived in Taiwan when China was missile testing in the Taiwan Strait. It was not the most comfy feeling in the world. China's "our way or the highway" mentality towards Taiwan and Tibet is digusting. And unfortunately, weve gotten snared in China's strongarm policies as now they hold some of our debt.
Clinton did us no favors by kowtowing, shes lost respect and lost us our intestinal fortitude. Amnesty is doing the right thing, and Clinton is doing the wrong thing on our behalf. Boo, Clinton, you lost me. BTW, I say we stop buying products from China and let them eat it big. If the whole economy falls apart, so be it, at least then we'd be at a clean ground zero and can rebuild stronger next time around. As long as we are ensnared economically with China, were weaker not stronger.
Posted by: Haveanoodle55 || 02/22/2009 12:40 Comments || Top||

#13  Methinks A. Christian doth protest too much.
Posted by: WolfDog || 02/22/2009 12:54 Comments || Top||

#14  Q: What's the difference between the ChiComs and Obama?
A: The ChiComs believe in capitalism.
Posted by: Deadeye Hupinemble6255 || 02/22/2009 15:07 Comments || Top||


Europe
EU Leaders Back Sweeping Financial Regulations
Posted by: tipper || 02/22/2009 14:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Except to repeal the cause of the credit boom, namely Basel 2.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/22/2009 14:55 Comments || Top||


Swiss party wants to punish U.S. for UBS probe
The right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) called on Saturday for retaliation against the United States over a U.S. tax probe into the country's biggest bank UBS that threatens prized banking secrecy.

The populist SVP, the country's biggest party, said Switzerland should not take in any detainees from the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which the Swiss government said last month it could consider to help shut the camp down.
Deal. We'll investigate UBS to the nines and you refuse to take Gitmo mooks. Shake hands.
Switzerland should also reconsider its policy of representing the United States in countries where it has no diplomatic presence, the parliamentary SVP said in a statement.

The SVP said gold stored by the Swiss National Bank in the United States should be repatriated and Switzerland should ban the sale of U.S. funds in the country to protect Swiss investors after the failure of U.S. regulators.

The SVP has one minister in the seven-member Swiss government which is made up of the biggest four parties, but its populist policies have shaken up usually consensual Swiss politics.

The comments came after UBS agreed on Wednesday to pay a fine of $780 million and to disclose about 250 names of U.S. clients it said had committed tax fraud to settle U.S. criminal charges that it had helped rich Americans dodge taxes. U.S. tax authorities said on Thursday they were still pursuing a civil case against UBS seeking access to thousands more names of U.S. citizens it says are hiding about $14.8 billion in assets in secret Swiss bank accounts.

The SVP also said it would call for an urgent debate in parliament on ways to protect Swiss banking secrecy from "further foreign blackmail".
Posted by: tipper || 02/22/2009 07:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10801 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The U.S. squeezes Switzerland for info on hidden bank accounts. Switzerland squeezes back.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/22/2009 10:47 Comments || Top||

#2  When did the American State start thinking it owned Americans?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 02/22/2009 10:57 Comments || Top||

#3  Here's a recommendation for "punishment." Publish in the WSJ if you will, a list of all United States Congressional members with SZ bank accounts.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/22/2009 12:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Besoeker, I'd settle for them publishing the names of all dormant accounts from the late 30's/early 40's for which the Swiss cannot determine current ownership (generally due to the Nazis refusing to issue death certificates, ahem.)
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 02/22/2009 13:12 Comments || Top||

#5  "Swiss cannot determine current ownership"


Yes indeed, bank depositor record keeping, accounts, addresses, etc. Nearly pandemic the world over I'm certain, that not knowing who's money you're holding. It must haunt them terribly. Strangely however, the Swiss keep the most anally teutonic detailed property records, deed, tax accounts of every hinterland wohnhass and barn constructed in the last 700 years. Just say'n.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/22/2009 13:31 Comments || Top||

#6  When did the American State start thinking it owned Americans?

When the Public Schools stopped teaching American students that "The People" are "The State" and the government is...or was nothing more than public servants.

Personally, I think the pendulum has just about reached the end of its swing left. When it starts back the other way I would not want to be viewed as a Liberal/Progressive/Democrat/Marxist anything. Because the backlash against these people is going to be savage.
Posted by: Lampedusa Chomomble1512 || 02/22/2009 15:19 Comments || Top||

#7  "Because the backlash against these people is going to be savage."

I certainly hope so, LC. And the sooner, the better.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 02/22/2009 15:36 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm buying ammo.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/22/2009 21:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Fuck the Swiss.

They were neutral during the War. They couldn't decide whether to be on the Allies side or the Nazis.

Fuck the Swiss.
Posted by: Glomotch Thavise2856 || 02/22/2009 22:55 Comments || Top||


Latvian PM quits as crisis bites
Whatever our troubles, Europe appears to have more.
Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis and his centre-right government have resigned, amid turmoil triggered by economic crisis in the Baltic state. President Valdis Zatlers has accepted the resignations and is beginning talks to try to form a new administration.

Latvia's economy has shrunk at its fastest rate since the early 1990s, after it split from the Soviet Union and regained its independence. Latvia's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 10.5% in the last quarter of 2008, compared with the same period a year earlier. The country's economy is in recession and is set to contract by up to 12% in 2009, with unemployment rising by 50%.

The country had enjoyed several boom years - in 2006 the economy was still growing by 12% a year - but the global credit crunch has hit Latvia hard.

Correspondents say a major reason for the decline was that locally-owned banks, which make up 40% of the Latvian financial system, were taking deposits from abroad and investing them in the booming property market. When the property market begin to decline and foreign credit dried up, confidence in Latvian banks evaporated.

The second largest bank, Parex, collapsed after depositors panicked and has been largely nationalised. In December 2008 the Latvian government was forced to seek 7.5bn euros (£6.6bn; $9.5bn) from the IMF, World Bank and EU to bail itself out. As part of the deal it has had to cut public spending and increase taxes - both unpopular policies.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  locally-owned banks, which make up 40% of the Latvian financial system, were taking deposits from abroad and investing them in the booming property market

Tsk, tsk, tsk
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/22/2009 9:01 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Obama hails fastest tax cut in US history
US President Barack Obama has directed employers to begin implementing tax cuts which would affect 95 percent of working families.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  $65 a month per family, more or less? Ok...that works out to $520 for the remainder of this year, assuming the start date of 1 April.

Now, as I recall, his wife dissed the stimulus checks that W handed out last year, saying that $600 per person, not family, wouldn't do much to help anyone's financial situation.

(OK, I'm making the assumption that a single taxpayer would get even less than $520, since I don't have the info from the article to gauge what they would get. Knowing how the press loves to highlight any positive news they can get for Obama, I figured that if singles were getting more than that the article would have said it.)

I know I'm a liberal arts grad from a state college, but I just don't get how $520 from The One spread out in installments is going to help me out more than the $1500 lump sum we got from W.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 02/22/2009 6:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Because the Ministry of Truth say so.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/22/2009 7:52 Comments || Top||

#3  If I see any reduction at all, it will be sent directly to the Republican National Committee. I didn't get any under "W". I don't want any under these clowns.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/22/2009 7:55 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Yasin Malik to tie the knot with Pakistani girl Sunday
Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik is set to wed Britain-born Pakistani girl Mushaal Mullick on Sunday (February 22). Mullick, a post graduate from the London School of Economics and an artist, is the daughter of Rehana Hussain, chief of the Muslim League (women's wing). Her father, late M.A. Hussain Malik, was an internationally renowned Pakistani economist. This will be the third high-profile cross-border wedding after Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who married a US citizen of Kashmiri origin, and Sajjad Ghani Lone, who wed the daughter of JKLF Leader Amanullah Khan, from Azad Kashmir. Malik says top Pakistani leaders have been invited to the wedding party. The 40-year-old Kashmiri leader had met Mushaal during one of his tours to Pakistan two years ago.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:


7 NWFP Senate candidates win unopposed
Candidates for the Senate's seven general seats from NWFP were elected unopposed on Saturday after the chief election commissioner rejected nomination papers of a PML-Q candidate. After Sardar Tanveer Ilyas' nomination papers were rejected, seven candidates - three each from the ANP and the PPP and one from the JUI-F -- were left in the race, who were all elected unopposed. The senators-elect include ANP's Information Secretary Zahid Khan, Central Vice President Muhammad Adeel and Abdul Nabi Bangash, while PPP's Gulzar Ahmad Khan, Waqar Ahmad Khan and Sardar Ali Khan and JUI-F's Haji Ghulam Ali were elected to the Senate. The Election Commission confirmed the elections. Eleven senators from the NWFP will retire on March 11, 2009, which will result in the vacation of seven general seats, two seats reserved for technocrat and two for women. A total of 11 candidates had filed their nominations for the seven general seats. But following an understating reached on Friday between the PPP and the PML-N, the latter withdrew the nomination papers of Iqbal Zafar Jhagra for a general seat. In return, the PPP had assured the PML-N to support Jhagra for a seat reserved for technocrats.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  nomination papers were rejected

They learned election strategy in Chicago?
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/22/2009 9:26 Comments || Top||


Home Front Economy
Probe finds Army charity is hoarding millions
Posted by: tipper || 02/22/2009 18:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And yet, nobody asks why they might have a reason to hoard. I imagine the whole mood at the Pentagon is rapidly shifting to, if you have a penny, it had better well have your thumbprint etched into it through pinching.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/22/2009 21:20 Comments || Top||

#2  The usual MSM mix of facts, fiction, and application of stereotype bias looking for something to tag their beliefs on.

While independent on paper, Army Emergency Relief is housed, staffed and controlled by the U.S. Army.

It is not independent. It is covered by regulation. Organized as a private organization. It is independent of direct taxpayer funding. Playing loss and fast with language.

AER executives defend their operation, insisting they need to keep sizable reserves to be ready for future catastrophes.

Unlike the SEC, the Fed, et al, the Army remembers. It remembers the disaster of the Carter years when the average soldier lived in basically poverty. I recall AER being the one element to carry soldiers and families over when the Democratic controlled Congress delayed the budget and fiddled around with continuing resolutions and we had to go through two months with paydays delayed by over a week without knowing if there was going to be a paycheck at all. The pattern of gutting defense then and in the Clinton years may well be on the way again. Unlike the banks waiting till the tsunami hits before hording their capital, the Army does it now.

Most charity watchdogs view 1-to-3 years of reserves as prudent, with more than that considered hoarding.

History has shown it's usually 6 to 8 years before Congress gets around to rebuilding that which they gut when it comes to defense.

The AP findings include:

* Superior officers come calling when AER loans aren't repaid on time. Soldiers can be fined or demoted for missing loan payments. They must clear their loans before transferring or leaving the service.
* Promotions can be delayed or canceled if loans are not repaid.


You betcha, just like ANY other debt the soldier may carry. It doesn't matter whether its AER or a loan company, auto dealership, or any other similar activity - failure to honor just debts gets into UCMJ territory. Debt is a basis for suspension of security clearance and removal from various surety programs.

AER pays just 21 staffers, all working at its headquarters at Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Va. AER's other 300 or so employees at 90 Army sites worldwide are civilians paid by the Army. Also, the Army gives AER office space for free.

No different than the Army and Air Force Exchange System [PX/BX] which is a non-appropriated fund activity operate by DoD. The services also provide facilities for the Red Cross for free, which in some posts occupy the same facilities as AER.

Officers must recommend soldiers for aid

The officers are also held accountable for the actions of their men and to be knowledgeable enough to render judgment of character and responsibility in repaying any loan. The commissioned officers and NCOs are expected to know the soldier's standing vis a vis his pay and entitlements. Guess who get hauled up to explain why their soldiers are having specific financial problems and what they're doing about it? /rhetorical question.

From another post of the same AP article, this appears:

Sylvia Kidd, an AER board member in the 1990s, says she feels that the charity does much good work but guards its relief funds too jealously. "You hear things, and you think, "`They got all this money, and they should certainly be able to take care of this,'" she said. She now works for a smaller independent charity, the Association of the United States Army, providing emergency aid to some military families that AER won't help.

AUSA is not a charity. It is a lobbying organization that acts just like other lobbying organizations to further special interests in procuring resourcing for Army programs. It like AER gets 'command' influence in getting memberships generally from the officer corps.

AER and the Combined Federal Campaign [the military counterpart of the United Way Campaign] are suppose to be the only two solicitations that are permitted on Army Installations. And yes, there are instances of abuse of command influence pressuring 'everyone' to make a contribution. That is the responsibility of the DA Inspector General's Office to address. Unlikely to change till you relieve a General Officer or two as an example to others. They're a little bit busy at the moment with some other priorities.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/22/2009 21:22 Comments || Top||


No more fed aid for subpoenaed BAC CEO
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis receives a subpoena from the Attorney General's Office in connection with Merrill Lynch's payment of bonuses.

Former Merrill CEO, John Thain, subpoenaed last month, also was questioned by investigators Thursday about bonuses paid in late December, days before Bank of America completed its purchase of New York-based Merrill, according to a person who requested anonymity because of the ongoing nature of the matter.

The employee's bonuses were handed before the two companies combined on January 1. The subpoenas were issue by New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, who is investigating whether the bank broke the law by not telling shareholders about Merrill Lynch's losses.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Lewis - under pressure from investors concerned that the company may be taken over by the US government - said that he did not need federal assistance and added that "we can make it through this downturn on our own."

Lewis, speaking on Friday in a memorandum to employees as his stock price plummeted as much as 36 percent, said that he aimed to "prove cynics and critics wrong" by spurning attempts at nationalization. Bank of America, the biggest US bank by assets, has already received USD 45 billion in bank rescue funds.

The bank's trading business is "vastly improved" over the fourth quarter as both high-yield and high-grade corporate debt markets thaw, Lewis said. The Merrill Lynch & Co. acquisition is leading to mandates to raise capital for clients, while the mortgage unit is processing record levels of loans, he said.

Bank of America's brand "took a beating in January," then strengthened this month based on customer satisfaction scores, Lewis concluded.
Posted by: Fred || 02/22/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:



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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2009-02-22
  1 European killed, 9 others wounded in Egypt blast
Sat 2009-02-21
  Handcuffed JMB man pops grenade at press meet
Fri 2009-02-20
  Tamil Tiger planes raid Colombo
Thu 2009-02-19
  MPs visit Swat to pay obeisance to Sufi Mohammad
Wed 2009-02-18
  Four killed, 18 injured in Peshawar car bombing
Tue 2009-02-17
  Surprise! Pervez Musharraf was playing 'double game' with US
Mon 2009-02-16
  Another Wazoo dronezap
Sun 2009-02-15
  Talibs: Pak will surrender in Swat
Sat 2009-02-14
  Suspected U.S. Missile Strike Zaps 27
Fri 2009-02-13
  Canadian Muslim sentenced for firebombing Jewish institutions
Thu 2009-02-12
  Pak arrests 'main operator' in Mumbai attacks
Wed 2009-02-11
  Taliban Attack Afghan Government Buildings, Killing 20
Tue 2009-02-10
  FBI woman sexually harassed me: 26/11 accused terrorist
Mon 2009-02-09
  Female Tamil Tiger bomber kills 28 after hiding among refugees
Sun 2009-02-08
  India wants Pak declared terrorist state

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