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Caro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 10:26 AM
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Today’s Headlines

Today’s headlines brought to you by

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Top Story
Deal reached on tax rebates for stimulus
WASHINGTON - Democrats running Congress and the Bush administration reached a tentative deal Thursday on $300-$1,200 tax rebates and business tax cuts to jolt the slumping economy.

Mark Fiore

The World
Al-Qaida pushes Islamic militant unity
WASHINGTON - An al-Qaida spokesman this week called for unity among Islamic militants worldwide in a new recorded message, according to a U.S. intelligence official.

Roadside bomb kills 2 in Baghdad
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb struck a police patrol Thursday in Baghdad, killing two officers and wounding five other people.

Deadly explosions strike northern Iraq
An explosion ripped through an apartment building and surrounding houses in northern Iraq Wednesday shortly after police arrived to investigate a tip about a weapons cache, killing at least nine people. In a separate incident, a suicide car bomber targeted a police convoy near the northern city of Kirkuk, killing at least five civilians and injuring 11, police said.

Provincial police chief killed in Mosul
BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber killed an Iraqi police chief and two other officers Thursday after they toured the site of a deadly blast a day earlier that devastated a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in the volatile northern city of Mosul, officials said.

Israel authorises 2,500 new settler homes in Jerusalem
Israel has authorised the construction of nearly 2,500 new housing units in settlements in annexed east Jerusalem, the city authorities said on Wednesday.

Egypt starts to control crowds from Gaza
RAFAH, Egypt - Egypt began trying to control the masses of Palestinians flooding in from the Gaza Strip Thursday, stopping some from moving deeper into Egypt. But authorities did not attempt to reseal the breached border with the Palestinian territory.

Sixth nuclear fuel batch lands in Iran
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran received a sixth shipment of nuclear fuel Thursday from Russia, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, the official IRNA news agency reported.

9 police killed in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan - Nine Afghan policemen were killed Thursday during an anti-Taliban operation by U.S.-led coalition troops in central Afghanistan, officials said.

Canada quietly halted transfer of Afghan detainees
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The Canadian military quietly stopped transferring detainees in Afghanistan to the control of Afghan authorities due to concern over torture allegations, according to a government letter released on Wednesday.

French bank finds $7.14 billion fraud
PARIS - French bank Societe Generale said Thursday it has uncovered a $7.14 billion fraud — one of history's biggest — by a single futures trader who fooled investors and overstepped his authority.

Congo rebels sign deal to end eastern conflict
GOMA, Congo (Reuters) - Warring rebels and militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo signed a cease-fire deal on Wednesday aimed at ending conflict at the heart of one of the world's most deadly humanitarian catastrophes.

Kenyan rivals to meet for first time
NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga have agreed to meet for the first time since the disputed Dec. 27 presidential elections, which sparked weeks of ethnic violence, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday.

The Nation
U.S. war costs in Iraq up-budget report
"Funding for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and other activities in the war on terrorism expanded significantly in 2007," the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released on Wednesday. War funding, which averaged about $93 billion a year from 2003 through 2005, rose to $120 billion in 2006 and $171 billion in 2007 and President George W. Bush has asked for $193 billion in 2008, the nonpartisan office wrote.

More waste and fraud in Iraq
A defense contractor hired to repair combat equipment routinely failed to do the job right and then charged the government millions of dollars for the extra work needed to get the gear ready for battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a newly released audit. Overall, the contractor's employees at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait worked about 188,000 additional hours to fix Humvees, heavy transporters and fighting vehicles that allegedly were mended but flunked a military inspection, the Government Accountability Office said.

U.S. commander orders plans on Pakistan
The commander of U.S. forces in Central Asia has launched planning for more extensive use of U.S. troops to train Pakistani armed forces, a senior defense official said Wednesday. Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, issued a planning order, an internal instruction to lower-level commanders, to propose ideas for a long-term approach to helping Pakistan combat what has become an expanding, homegrown insurgency that threatens the stability of the government.
Bush REALLY REALLY REALLY wants another war.—Caro

Army wants to cut war tours to 12 months
WASHINGTON - Soldiers' battlefield tours would be cut from 15 months to 12 months beginning Aug. 1, under a proposal being considered by the Army as part of an effort to reduce the stress on a force battered by more than six years at war.
How will that be possible, with Bush determined to start another war?—Caro

Bush moves national security review law
WASHINGTON - President Bush signed an executive order Wednesday to implement a law Congress passed last year to tighten national security reviews of proposed foreign investments.

Bush re-nominates Bradbury as OLC head. (Think Progress)
President Bush announced (Wednesday) that he is re-nominating Steven Bradbury to be head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, despite the Senate’s objections. Bradbury came under criticism last fall “when it was disclosed that he was the author of a pair of secret legal opinions that endorsed rough techniques for suspects in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Bush Appointee Overruled EPA Staff In Order To Deny California Waiver On Emissions
In December, EPA administration Stephen Johnson rejected “California’s long-standing request for a waiver from federal law to be able to implement its own landmark regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.” According to new documents released (Wednesday) by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Johnson, a political appointee, overruled his own staff, who in October recommended that California receive the waiver. According to the case laid out in briefing slides, EPA staff believed that legally, the agency could not deny California’s waiver.

Senate Opens Debate On Wiretap Measure
The Senate (Wednesday) began debating whether to grant legal immunity to telephone companies for assisting in warrantless wiretaps of terrorism suspects, with Democrats divided and their leadership pleading with the White House for more time to consider the issue… But Vice President Cheney said in a speech (Wednesday) that Congress "must act now" to renew the expiring surveillance law and provide telecommunications companies with protection from lawsuits alleging they violated personal privacy rights while helping the government after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Actually, we now know that the illegal wiretapping started BEFORE 9/11. Why is Harry Reid “pleading”? Who has majorities in Congress?—Caro

FILIBUSTERING FISA.... (by Kevin Drum at Political Animal, the Washington Monthly)
So after a full year of allowing Republicans to filibuster every bill in sight by merely declaring their intent, Harry Reid has finally decided that he's going to start demanding real filibusters from obstructionist senators. You want to stop a bill, then get out the phone book and start talking, boys and girls. And who's the unlucky target of this newfound show of backbone? Fellow Democrat Chris Dodd, it turns out. If someone can explain this in words that make sense, I'd sure like to hear it.
Reid wants to be able to speak out against telecom immunity while allowing it to go forward. Not saying it makes sense, but that’s what’s going on.—Caro

Kucinich Starts New Impeachment Drive (The Caucus, The New York Times)
(Tuesday, Rep. Dennis) Kucinich took to the floor to fire off his latest salvo at the Bush administration: his plans to introduce Articles of Impeachment against President Bush on Jan. 28 — the day of Mr. Bush’s State of the Union speech… He also fired a volley at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California who has maintained that impeaching Mr. Bush is not on the table for Congressional Democrats. “If impeachment is off the table,” Mr. Kucinich said, “truth is off the table. If truth is off the table then this body is living a lie.”
If only more Democrats stood as tall as Dennis Kucinich.—Caro

Super Tuesday won't decide nominations
WASHINGTON - Don't look to crown any presidential nominees on Super Tuesday. The race for delegates is so close in both parties that it is mathematically impossible for any candidate to lock up the nomination on Feb. 5, according to an Associated Press analysis of the states in play that day.

Carded at polls: No photo ID, no vote
There's the poor, 32-year-old mother of seven who says it would cost her at least $50 to vote in person. There's also the 92-year-old woman who's voted for decades in the same polling place, but now can't vote there because she let her driver's license expire when her eyesight began to fail.

Media
Permanent link to MTA daily media news

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE RECOUNT.... (by Kevin Drum at Political Animal, the Washington Monthly)
There were … several reports shortly after the election suggesting that Hillary did unaccountably better in precincts that used Diebold optical scanners vs. precincts that did hand counting, but so far I haven't seen any evidence that, on average, the optical precincts have turned out to have an error rate any greater than the hand precincts. If that changes, I'll let you know. Needless to say, none of this would have been a big problem in the first place if states routinely performed spot checks of ballots cast both by machine and by hand.

Clinton And Obama Lead Pack Again In Tight Battle For Media Attention (by Mark Jurkowitz, PEJ)
The two leading Democrats once again attracted more coverage than any of their GOP rivals in the race for media exposure last week. But the GOP overall tipped the scales in what became a big boost for Mitt Romney, both in Michigan and in the media.

Party of what? (by Paul Krugman)
I thought everyone knew that the “party of ideas” line came from (Daniel Patrick) Moynihan. The weirdness of Obama’s use of the phrase came in the fact that he applied it to the Republican Party of the “last 10 or 15 years,” and suggested that the party of Tom DeLay and George W. Bush — a party that had nothing much to say except tax cuts good, terrorists bad — was “challenging conventional wisdom”… I don’t know what’s going on here; but anyway, the fact that Moynihan used the line a long time ago is not helpful to Obama’s case.
I know what’s going on here, Prof. Krugman. Obama is using purposely vague phrases so that people can read their own hopes and desires into what he says, and to give himself deniability when he’s called on it. It’s a most Rove-ian tactic.—Caro

Obama talks to CNBC and Jack Welch (by Chris in Paris at AMERICAblog
It's an interesting exchange to watch because Welch, who has financially supported countless Republican presidential candidates including Bush II twice, responds well to Obama. Others on the program who are also obvious Republicans are also responding positively towards Obama. For me it's very interesting to see such a warm response to a Democrat because after the interview, they go on to bash Hillary and Edwards.
I’m telling you, Obama is a DLC clone in progressive clothing.—Caro

Dance Off! (by Katherine Q. Seelye at The Caucus, The New York Times)
GREENVILLE — Former President Bill Clinton said (Tuesday) that he would take Senator Barack Obama up on his challenge last night to prove himself as the first black president by entering a dance competition — against Mr. Obama… Mr. Clinton said, “I would be willing to engage in a dancing competition with him, even though he’s much thinner and younger than I am, but only if I got an age allowance.”

Clinton accepts challenge (by Mark Hoback at The Aristocrats, thanks to bluegal at Crooks and Liars)
Obama's handlers were nearly ready to meet with Clinton to discuss the possibility of bonus points when Clinton was spotted practicing at Le Pied Chaud Studio in Charleston. "My God, the man was on fire," said June Renault, an instructor at the studio. "He said he wanted to learn a few new steps, but truth be told, he already knew more than I did, so I said he should just work with what he has. I mean, I put on 'Funky Cold Medina' and he just mopped the floor with me." Obama released a statement this afternoon saying that he was far too busy to dance, and besides "it wouldn't be fair to take advantage of an old man."
Note to the French impaired: “le pied chaud” means “the hot foot”. And, uh, do I really have to tell you that this is a satire? Not the one above, just this one.—Caro

Bill Clinton to CNN reporter: 'Shame on you'
Former president Bill Clinton had a "fiery" exchange with a CNN reporter (Wednesday) in South Carolina when she told him a former state Democratic chairman there had likened his tactics to those of the late Lee Atwater, a Republican master of hardball politics. The former official, Dick Harpootlian, supports Barack Obama for president. In an interview with reporter Jessica Yellin, Harpootlian said Clinton's comments were meant to "suppress the vote, demoralize voters, and distort the record," and said they were "reminiscent of Lee Atwater." Clinton defended his wife and himself, said he "never heard a word of public complaint" when Obama attacked his wife, took off after the media and twice said "shame on you" to the reporter.
Click through for a link to the video.—Caro

"Legendary" GOP Strategist Launches Hillary Namecalling Effort (by Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker)
A couple of days ago, a group called Citizens United Not Timid filed papers with the IRS as a "527" organization. Then we saw that Roger Stone had signed on as the group's "assistant treasurer." Uh oh. Stone, regular TPM readers know, is a Republican operative who prides himself as something of an elder statesman of GOP dirty tricks… So what's Stone up to? Fortunately, he laid the whole scheme out to The Weekly Standard. It's this simple: it's all about the group's acronym, which, used in conjunction with Hillary Clinton, is supposed to be irresistibly humorous. That is the beginning and the end of it. The group will not be running ads in any form and will not be making any robocalls. They'll be making T-shirts. That's it. You can buy them for $25 on their website.

Hillary Hater Not Alone? (by David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo)
Judging from the emails we've been getting today (Wednesday) from readers in South Carolina, those anti-Hillary phone calls we reported on yesterday are widespread down there. At first the calls appeared to be the work of a lone Hillary hater named Robert Morrow, who drags up all the worst of the old right-wing smears of the Clintons. How many calls can one guy make, right? But he wouldn't tell us how much the calls had cost or who had done them for him and unless he has somehow figured out how to target TPM readers (there is no such list, believe me), this guy isn't working alone.

BuzzFlash Media Putz of the Week: Dick Morris
Media Matters noted in a January 21 posting: "In his January 20 column, nationally syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak wrote that 'Former Clinton Adviser' Dick Morris is 'asking for a contribution between $25 and $100 or more to finance a critical film documentary of Sen. Hillary Clinton.'"… After a couple of crass, vitriolic books that treated Hillary Clinton as if she were a vampire, it's not surprising that Dick Morris would be into Jerry Falwell style Clinton slime videos.
When I still had hope that Al Gore would enter this year’s race, I thought it was important for him to help us get closure for the years of abuse Democrats have suffered at the hands of right wingers. I’m starting to think, though, that a Hillary Clinton candidacy might provide the same sense of closure. The Democratic power structure has to understand that the bipartisanship and the kumbaya singing can only happen when the right-wing crazies have been thoroughly squashed.—Caro

Now or Never for Obama (FAIR)
The dean of the political press corps declares: “South Carolina has become a must-win state for Barack Obama.” Of course, this is the same columnist who announced ("A Last Hurdle for Obama?," Washington Post, 1/5/08): “New Hampshire is poised to close down the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.” ...because it looked like Obama was about to win two contests in a row.

Breaking: Obama Says He's Not A Muslim!
(I)n Newsmax's telling, it's "breaking" news that Obama says he's not a Muslim. I know this is only Newsmax, but this somehow captures a sad larger truth about where we are -- and about what Obama will face should he become the nominee. After all, the fact that Obama says he's not a Muslim -- let alone the fact that he isn't actually one -- probably is news for far more people than we'd care to imagine.

ABC News Badly Mischaracterizes Obama's Alleged "Testy Exchange" With Reporter (by Greg Sargent at TPM Horse’s Mouth)
Okay, this is really a bad one. Late (Tuesday), ABC News posted a story called: "Is Bill Clinton getting in Obama's head?" The piece reported that Obama had had a "testy exchange" with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny on a South Carolina ropeline, after Obama had been asked whether Bill Clinton was getting "in his head."… If the ABC piece initially linked to any video of the moment, I didn't see it -- I'm pretty certain it didn't. Subsequently ABC and Fox News posted video. If you watch it, you can't escape the conclusion that ABC badly mischaracterized what actually happened.

FCC Rejects Kucinich Complaint About CNN Debate (by Ira Teinowitz, TV Week)
The FCC is rejecting candidate U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich's contention that CNN unfairly excluded him from the Democratic presidential candidates' debate in South Carolina.

Technology & Science
New Therapies Could Change Organ Transplants
Three reports show some patients went five years without anti-rejection drugs.

Girl switches blood type after liver transplant in first known case: doctors
SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian girl spontaneously switched blood groups and adopted her donor's immune system following a liver transplant in the first known case of its type, doctors treating her said Thursday.
Ha! Science catches up with fiction. Law & Order has already been there.—Caro

New Microchip For PCR Testing At Crime Scenes, Doctors' Offices
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — Researchers in Hong Kong have miniaturized technology needed to perform the versatile polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -- widely used in criminal investigations, disease diagnosis, and a range of other key applications. They report development of a long-sought PCR microchip that could permit use of PCR at crime scenes, in doctors' offices, and other out-of-lab locations.

Dogs Get Pricey Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is still years away for you, but for your pooch this modern medical procedure is now available. Vet-Stem, a privately held company in San Diego, Calif., began offering fat-derived stem cell therapy this month for treatment of arthritis as well as tendon and ligament injuries in dogs.
There have been many new medical procedures that were available to pets long before they were available to humans.—Caro

Obesity Connected With Nervous System
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — A discovery by Queen’s biologists and their students sheds new light on the genetic roots of obesity – a condition that is increasing dramatically in North America and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

From And For The Heart, My Dear Valentine: Broccoli
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — Wishing your Valentine good heart health on February 14 -- and throughout 2008? Then consider the food some people love to hate, and hand over a gift bag of broccoli along with that heart-shaped box of chocolates. Researchers in Connecticut are reporting impressive new evidence that eating broccoli may protect against heart disease.

Regular, Long-term Aspirin Use Reduces Risk Of Colorectal Cancer, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — The use of regular, long-term aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk associated with colorectal cancer, according to a study published in Gastroenterology… However, the use of aspirin for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer may require using the drug at doses that are higher than recommended over a long period of time, which may cause serious side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding.

New Colon Cancer Test Might Spot Trouble Earlier
THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they have zeroed in on a biomarker that could detect colorectal cancer in its earliest stages in a simpler, less invasive and more accurate way than existing blood tests.
I hope this test is cheaper. The current test is a budget buster.—Caro

Kids Learn More When Mom Is Listening
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — Kids may roll their eyes when their mother asks them about their school day, but answering her may actually help them learn. New research from Vanderbilt University reveals that children learn the solution to a problem best when they explain it to their mom.
Sounds like it doesn’t need to be mom, just someone who helps the student review what was learned that day. It’s similar to what we used to do at the college student union between classes.—Caro

Sports Machismo May Be Cue To Male Teen Violence
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — The sports culture surrounding football and wrestling may be fueling aggressive and violent behavior not only among teen male players but also among their male friends and peers on and off the field, according to a Penn State study.

Your Personality Type Influences How Much Self-control You Have
People are motivated by one of two fundamental needs: they are either "promotion-focused," seeking products that will help them achieve hopes and aspirations, or they are "prevention-focused," seeking items that help achieve a need for safety and security. According to the research, people are better able to exercise self-control when they choose goal-pursuit strategies -- such as diets or money management -- that "fit" with their promotion or prevention focus.
I’ll bet these needs are tied to political inclinations, too. Liberals are promotion focused and conservatives are prevention focused.—Caro

Killer Space Rock Theory Is Soaking Wet
Sixty-five million years ago the asteroid struck the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and most scientists think this event played a large role in causing the extinction of 70 percent of life on Earth, including non-avian dinosaurs. Geophysicists now have created the most detailed 3-D seismic images yet of the mostly submerged Chicxulub impact crater. The data reveal that the asteroid landed in deeper water than previously assumed and therefore released about 6.5 times more water vapor into the atmosphere.

Environment
UN Secretary-General: World must address looming water crisis
Davos, Switzerland - Water scarcity had to be placed high on the global agenda UN Secretary-General Ban Ki moon said Thursday. Time is running out, water is running out, he told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Switzerland tops environmental index, U.S. lags
Switzerland ranks first in environmental performance but the world's largest economy, the United States, lags many industrialized nations, a report drawn up by U.S. university experts said on Wednesday.

Can Europe cut carbon without cutting growth?
London - Europe unveiled a "road map" to a low-carbon future Wednesday – one of the most radical packages the European Union has ever produced – in an effort to position the bloc at the vanguard of global efforts on climate change.

New Zealand airport second in world to go carbon neutral
Wellington - New Zealand's Christchurch International Airport has been certified carbon neutral - the secondin the world to achieve the ultimate environmentally-friendly status after Sweden's LFV, it was reported on Thursday.

Japan's eco-friendly toilets to make international debut
Tokyo - Tired of smelly public toilets? Check out a prototype Japanese bio-toilet that emits no foul smell and helps the environment at the same time.

Solar analysts ponder whether selloff is overblown
It's not easy being green on Wall Street these days. Shares of solar energy companies have lost nearly half their value this year on investor concerns that a U.S. recession and falling oil prices will hamper demand for renewable energy sources.

For more headlines, visit MakeThemAccountable.com.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 10:31 AM
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1. Good Morning Caro!

Life
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 10:42 AM
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3. Sisyphus part deux?
I love the graphic!
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Crazy Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. The Mark Flore cartoon reminds me of after 9/11
Cheney and Bush told everyone in America not to let the terrorists win by disrupting our lives and they told everyone to do so by going out shopping, going on a trip, driving around town, buying things, etc. "That's how we'll show those terrorists what a strong nation we are".
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 03:35 PM
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4. kickin!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 03:37 PM
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5. Thanks, Caro!
K&R
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 03:55 PM
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6. K&R!
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Caro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-25-08 10:08 AM
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7. Thank you all!
Caro
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