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Purveyor

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Hopkins' Dr. Benjamin Carson Anointed New Fox Darling Of The Right On Hannity

By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
1:48 p.m. EST, February 16, 2013

Much of Friday's political-media online chatter was focused on Fox news hiring failed presidential candidate and pizza executive Herman Cain as a political analyst.

But the big story that seemed to mostly sail under the radar was the embattled channel's hour-long, full-right-wing, all-out, let's-give-a-big-big-hug coronation later in the evening of Dr. Benjamin Carson, the famous neurosurgeon at Baltimore's Johns Hospital, who made headlines for what he had to say Feb. 7 at the National Prayer Breakfast.

I cannot remember seeing anything quite like it even on Fox.
What happened for 60 minutes on Hannity Friday night went beyond even the nights when the portly show host would genuflect before vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin nodding so wildly in agreement with her crackpot pronunciations that you feared he would need neck surgery by the next commercial break. (May she rest in peace, amen.)

Now I know Fox appears to be losing it's mind as its ratings dip for the first time in years just as Jeff Zucker has the troops at CNN feeling like they could actually throw off the chains of ratings bondage and stand tall again. But even given all of that, you have to check out these videos.

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http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-dr-benjamin-carson-hannity-johns-hopkins-20130216,0,7305771.story

Maddow: MSNBC Special on Iraq WMD Will "Upset" Many



Rachel Maddow Explores Long Buried Claims of Intel Fraud by gw
Rachel Maddow is looking to ruffle feathers, going where Obama or Congress wouldn't dare to tread, in publicizing the claims of the Bush Iraq Team which launched a long and costly war.

Because of a ten year mainstream media whitewash, it's been generally accepted that "mistakes" justified a war that resulted in over 4,800 US troop deaths. But this week, MSNBC will rock the boat, suggesting false pretenses took us to war, meaning the nation should start debating consequences. Rachel Maddow is teasing "many people will be upset" when the documentary Hubris: The Selling of The Iraq War airs on Monday Feb. 18.

If proven deliberate, the Iraq WMD intel debacle could constitute domestic and international war crimes. Someone must have had a long fight behind the scenes to get this controversy on the air because most of the facts have been readily available for years through indie media, books, articles (and even in drips and drabs on MSNBC).

Perhaps most striking is the way most media has ignored Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a top level Bush administration insider who has offered to testify directly against Dick Cheney and others. So what actionable allegations will Maddow present?

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http://www.opednews.com/articles/Maddow-MSNBC-Special-on-I-by-Gustav-Wynn-130216-72.html

How Neocons Messed Up the Mideast

By Robert Parry

Just six months after Iran freed 52 Americans hostages in 1981, senior Reagan administration officials secretly endorsed third-party weapons sales to Iran, a move to align U.S. policy with Israeli desires to sell arms to the Islamic republic then at war with Iraq, according to documents recently released by the National Archives.

This Israeli arms pipeline to Iran already was functioning at the time of the policy shift on July 21, 1981. Three days earlier, on July 18, an Argentine plane strayed off course and crashed (or was shot down) inside the Soviet Union exposing Israel's secret arms shipments to Iran, which apparently had been going on for months.

After the plane went down, Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East Nicholas Veliotes tried to get to the bottom of the mysterious weapons flight. "According to the documents," Veliotes said later in an interview with PBS Frontline, "this was chartered by Israel and it was carrying American military equipment to Iran...

"And it was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could trans-ship to Iran some American-origin military equipment. Now this was not a covert operation in the classic sense, for which probably you could get a legal justification for it. As it stood, I believe it was the initiative of a few people gave the Israelis the go-ahead. The net result was a violation of American law."


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http://www.opednews.com/articles/How-Neocons-Messed-Up-the-by-Robert-Parry-130215-760.html

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at...

Guest Lineups For The Sunday News Shows

ABC's "This Week" - White House chief of staff Denis McDonough; Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.

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NBC's "Meet the Press" - McDonough; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

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CBS' "Face the Nation" - McDonough; former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.; Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C.

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CNN's "State of the Union" - Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.

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"Fox News Sunday" - Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Iraq War 'Delivered Little But Bloodshed', Say Britons In 10-Year Anniversary Poll

Tom Clark
The Guardian, Thursday 14 February 2013

After the anti-war marchers took to London's streets in February 2003, Tony Blair brushed them aside and suggested history would be his judge. Ten years on, the ink on the first draft of history is dry, and, according to a Guardian/ICM poll, Britons are not reading it in the way Blair would have hoped.

A majority of voters, 55%, agree with suggestions that "the London marchers were right", because "a war sold on a false prospectus delivered little but bloodshed". That is almost twice the 28% who believe the marchers were wrong, on the basis that the war's achievement in "toppling the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein" eventually made the world a better place.

The approximately two-to-one balance of opinion against the Iraq war broadly applies across both sexes and every age range. Every nation and region of the UK also retains a clear anti-war majority, with the judgment in Wales – 65% in favour; 22% against – the most emphatic.

The marchers are also vindicated by opinion up and down the social scale, although the 49%-36% balance of opinion in favour of the marchers among the so-called AB occupational grades is somewhat more balanced than the crushing anti-war majorities among working-class voters.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/15/iraq-war-10-year-anniversary-poll

In Trying To Sink Hagel, GOP Takes Aim At Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans have found a boatload of reasons to try to sink Chuck Hagel's hopes of becoming the next defense secretary. But the issue they used this week to stall his nomination - the White House's handling of last September's deadly Benghazi attack - may seem entirely unrelated to Hagel's qualifications because, well, it is.

Here are some questions and answers about the connection between President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Pentagon and the campaign by Sen. John McCain and others in the Senate to press for more answers on Benghazi:

Q: How did the Hagel nomination become entangled with Benghazi?

A: The short answer is politics. Hagel had no role in the crisis that took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Neither did the Pentagon, although some have questioned why U.S. troops did not reach Libya until well after the crisis was over. The answer from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is that the closest relevant U.S. forces could not get there before the killings; he has said the Pentagon could have acted sooner if it had received intelligence warnings in advance of the attack.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who has joined McCain, R-Ariz., in temporarily blocking the Hagel nomination, does not claim a connection between the two issues. He asserts that Obama was inattentive when the Benghazi emergency was unfolding, and that by keeping a public focus on this the Benghazi experience could be a teaching tool for future presidents. Graham, in other words, is using Hagel as a political wedge to highlight what he sees as an exploitable Obama failure.

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HAGEL_BENGHAZI_QA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-16-04-08-29

Cuba, Too, Reports Powerful Meteorite Explosion

HAVANA (AP) -- Cuba apparently experienced a phenomenon similar to but smaller than the meteorite that detonated over Russia this week, island media reported, with startled residents describing a bright light in the sky and a loud explosion that shook windows and walls.

There were no reports of any injuries or damage such as those caused by the Russia meteorite, which sent out shockwaves that hurt some 1,200 people and shattered countless windows.

In a video from a state TV newscast posted on the website CubaSi late Friday, unidentified residents of the central city of Rodas, near Cienfuegos, said the explosion was impressive.

"On Tuesday we left home to fish around five in the afternoon, and around 8:00 we saw a light in the heavens and then a big ball of fire, bigger than the sun," one local man said in the video.

"My home shook completely," said a woman. "I had never heard such a strange thing."

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CB_CUBA_METEORITE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-16-14-19-27

Automatic Cuts Are Getting A Big Yawn From Washington

By Lori Montgomery, Published: February 15

As deadlines go, the March 1 sequester lacks punch. Nobody’s taxes will go up; the U.S. Treasury won’t run out of cash. Government offices won’t immediately turn out the lights and lock the doors. No federal worker will be furloughed for at least 30 days.

So Washington felt little need to cancel the Presidents’ Day break. On Friday, President Obama flew to Florida for a long weekend of golf. And Congress left town for nine days, with scant hope of averting deep cuts to the Pentagon and other agencies in the short time remaining when lawmakers return.

Instead of negotiating, party leaders were busy issuing ultimatums and casting blame. Before they left, Senate Democrats unveiled a bill to replace the sequester in part with new taxes on millionaires, which Republicans oppose. And House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed “the sequester will be in effect until there are cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget in the next 10 years,” an idea Democrats oppose.

Behind the scenes, there was real concern that the cuts eventually would disrupt critical government functions, hamper economic growth and destroy 750,000 jobs. But for now, the sequester is amorphous and slow-moving, and it has emerged as a convenient hill on which to plant a flag and fight the next battle in the ongoing partisan conflict over taxes and spending.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/automatic-cuts-are-getting-a-big-yawn-from-washington/2013/02/15/fe6c6700-7790-11e2-95e4-6148e45d7adb_print.html

Fracking Is The Only Way To Achieve Obama Climate Change Goals, Says Senior Admin Scientist

By Robin McKie, The Observer
Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:19 EST

America will only achieve the ambitious climate change goals outlined by President Barack Obama last week by encouraging wide-scale fracking for natural gas over the next few years. That is the advice of one of the nation’s senior scientists, Professor William Press, a member of the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Fracking – known officially as hydraulic fracturing – involves pumping high-pressure water through underground rocks to release natural gas trapped deep underground. It is believed that there are vast reserves of these subterranean gas fields across the US.

Thousands of wells have already been drilled in Texas, leading to a substantial rise in the use of natural gas in the US and a major decline in the burning of coal, a far more serious cause of carbon pollution. However, fracking is also controversial. Environmentalists say it can lead to the contamination of underground water reservoirs and the pollution of the surface with chemicals used to help to release subterranean gas stores. They also point out that burning natural gas releases carbon dioxide.

However Press, who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science , said last week that natural gas obtained through fracking had potential to help mitigate climate change. “Coal is burnt to provide the US with almost half its electricity. This is done in huge central power plants and the process is very dirty. By contrast, the burning of natural gas is clean and can be done in smaller, local, more efficient power station,” said Press.

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http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/16/fracking-is-the-only-way-to-achieve-obama-climate-change-goals-says-senior-administration-scientist/

Kerry: Budget Cuts May Force Reduction In Israel Aid

Source: REUTERS

Automatic spending cuts set to take effect in the US next month could "lead to reductions in military assistance to Israel, Jordan and Egypt, undermining our commitment to their security at such a volatile time," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in comments publicized on Thursday.

Across-the-board cuts, known as "sequestration," set to begin on March 1, would take $2.6 billion out of the budget for the US State Department and USAID, America's development assistance agency, Kerry said.

"Cuts of this magnitude would seriously impair our ability to execute our vital missions of national security, diplomacy and development," he wrote in a letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The warning from Kerry, who took over from predecessor Hillary Clinton 10 days ago, follows similarly stark alerts from Pentagon chief Leon Panetta and other Obama administration officials over cuts that will take place unless lawmakers and US President Barack Obama reach an agreement to stop them.



Read more: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=303430



Boo-fucking-hoo! Why are the US taxpayer subsidizing this apartheid like state to begin with?
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