Tag: Open Thread

Docudharma Times Thursday Nov. 29

follow site This is an Open Thread: All voices are welcome.

Headlines for Thursday November 29:Manila rebel soldiers surrender :GOP Debate :Foes Use Obama’s Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him: Public questions inspire combative GOP debate: Amid affair, Giuliani billed city for security: 6,000 Sunnis join pact with US in Iraq: Arabs return from summit uneasy and skeptical

Manila rebel soldiers surrender

Military rebels who were barricaded in a luxury hotel in Manila have surrendered, following an assault on the building by Philippine troops.

The rebels, some with their hands in the air, were led out of the Peninsula hotel onto a bus by police.

Earlier the rebel leader, Sen Antonio Trillanes, said they were ending their siege to save the lives of civilians and journalists inside the hotel.

Many of the rebels are currently on trial over a failed mutiny in 2003.

USA

Public questions inspire combative GOP debate

Romney and Giuliani quickly set the tone at the CNN-YouTube forum, trading barbs on illegal immigration.

By Peter Nicholas and Joe Mathews, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

November 29, 2007

WASHINGTON — In an animated, fast-paced debate marked by personal attacks between the candidates, Republican presidential hopefuls Wednesday night sparred over illegal immigration, torture, gun control, abortion — and even whether the Bible should be taken literally.

The unconventional debate sponsored by CNN and YouTube featured often raw and emotional questions from the public, in the form of 33 videos. Questions came from a gay general from Northern California, a black father and son from Atlanta worried about crime, and a young white Texan asking the candidates for their views on flying the Confederate flag.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Well the bird tree is quiet so it must be fall.

What the heck’s a bird tree?

A bird tree is the one in the parking lot you don’t want to park under unless you want to present a challenge to your car washer.  Every time they get excited the tree (which looks totally normal until then) explodes in a blur of tweets and expands like a balloon.

Who likes Hitchcock?

So not too long until skating season though it does come later and later each year.  Time to break out your layers and bundle up.  Bell ringing in the streets.  Blizzards not of snow but of obligations and scheduling (people think I’m a task master).  Time grows as short as the day.

Everything is pretty much so naked and raw that it hurts to look at, but you can’t close your eyes while you’re driving.  That leads to unfortunate circumstances that can easily be avoided by staying on the road.

Winter is kind of better because there are snowy bumper cushions to soften the hard edges and cover up the dirt.  There is something sharp about fall, but I do give it this-

It’s not black fly and mud season.

Four at Four

Some news and http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=us-cialis-sales open thread for Wednesday afternoon.

  1. The Independent reports Mexico spends millions to welcome insect migrants. “A warmer welcome should soon be awaiting the millions of orange-and-black monarch butterflies which each year make their astonishing migration from the eastern United States and Canada to the fir-clad mountains of central Mexico. The tourist hordes that come to view them should see the change too. The government of President Felipe Calderon is to boost spending at the nature reserve where the butterflies gather for winter by $4.6m (£2.2m) a year both to improve conditions for the insects – and their human admirers – and to step up efforts to combat rampant illegal logging.”

  2. According to the Los Angeles Times, Seven federal wildlife decisions to be revised. “Federal wildlife regulators will revise seven controversial decisions on endangered species and critical habitat made by an Interior Department political appointee who quit in the spring amid charges of improper meddling in scientific decisions… Former Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Julie MacDonald, a civil engineer from California with no formal training in natural sciences, routinely questioned and sometimes overruled recommendations by biologists and other field staffers, according to documents, interviews and a review by the department’s inspector general. The review outlined instances in which MacDonald advocated altering scientific conclusions in ways that led to reduced protection for imperiled species and that favored developers and agricultural businesses. And she was rebuked for providing internal documents to lobbyists.”

    MacDonald “should never have been allowed near the endangered species program,” [House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall II (D-WV)] said in a statement Tuesday. “This announcement is the latest illustration of the depth of incompetence at the highest levels of management within the Interior Department and breadth of this administration’s penchant for torpedoing science.”

  3. The New York Times reports Oil producers see the world and buy it up. “Flush with petrodollars, oil-producing countries have embarked on a global shopping spree… Experts estimate that oil-rich nations have a $4 trillion cache of petrodollar investments around the world. And with oil prices likely to remain in the stratosphere, that number could increase rapidly. In 2000, OPEC countries earned $243 billion from oil exports, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates. For all of 2007 the estimate was more than $688 billion, but that did not include the last two months of price spikes.”

  4. The Los Angeles Times reports Ethanol a sticking point in energy bill. “A plan to dramatically increase ethanol production has become a major sticking point in congressional negotiations to complete work on the bill. And it has created a challenge for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose Democratic caucus has split over the issue… At the heart of this year’s dispute on Capitol Hill is the Senate bill’s renewable fuel standard, which would mandate 36 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2022 — up to 15 billion from corn-based ethanol… Environmental groups, which support alternative fuels, want to ensure that stepped-up production does not damage the environment. They worry about more pollution from fertilizers and pesticides, and the conversion of grasslands and wildlife habitats to farmland.”

Another passing of note below the fold.

The Morning News

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Witnesses testify in Blackwater lawsuit

By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer

44 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury investigating Blackwater Worldwide heard witnesses Tuesday as a private lawsuit accused the government contractor’s bodyguards of ignoring orders and abandoning their posts shortly before taking part in a Baghdad shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

Filed this week in U.S. District Court in Washington, the civil complaint also accuses North Carolina-based Blackwater of failing to give drug tests to its guards in Baghdad – even though an estimated one in four of them was using steroids or other “judgment altering substances.”

A Blackwater spokeswoman said Tuesday its employees are banned from using steroids or other enhancement drugs but declined to comment on the other charges detailed in the 18-page lawsuit.

Four at Four

Some afternoon news and cialis usa Open Thread.

  1. The Los Angeles Times reports Defense War Secretary Robert Gates urges more funds for State Department. “Gates compared the yearly defense appropriation — at nearly $500 billion, not counting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — with an annual State Department budget of $36 billion. He noted that even with new hires, there are 6,600 career U.S. diplomats, or ‘less than the manning for one aircraft carrier strike group.'” In his lecture at Kansas State University, Gates said:

    We must focus our energies beyond the guns and steel of the military, beyond just our brave soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen. We must also focus our energies on the other elements of national power that will be so crucial in the coming years… Having robust civilian capabilities available could make it less likely that military force will have to be used in the first place, as local problems might be dealt with before they become crises.

    Despite the importance Gates placed on U.S. diplomacy, he promised that he will be asking for even more money for the defense war department next year.

  2. The Guardian reports Australia’s Prime Minister-elect, Kevin Rudd talks climate change with Al Gore. Rudd already plans to have Australia ratify Kyoto, isolating the United States, but he also plans to take a leadership role by personally attending the UN climate summit in Bali and help shape the successor treaty to Kyoto. Rudd said that he and Gore “talked a lot about climate change and some of the important things which need to be done globally. We will resume that conversation… in Bali over a strong cup of tea – or something stronger.”

    In related news, The Guardian reports Less than 10 years to change our ways, warns UN report. “The stark warning from the UN’s Human Development report… said climate change would hit the least-developed countries the hardest… Developed countries, the UN said, should cut emissions by at least 30% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050. Developing nations should cut emissions by 20% by the year 2050. The UN said the world must spend 1.6% of global economic output each year until 2030 to stabilise carbon levels and to limit a rise in global temperature to 2C [3.6F] to avoid the catastrophic impact of climate change.”

  3. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Around S.F. Bay, oiled birds still found nearly 3 weeks after spill. “About 2,150 birds have been found dead or have died at the bird rescue center since Nov. 7, the day the Cosco Busan crashed into the Bay Bridge and spilled 58,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel oil. Bird experts figure that for every bird found dead or alive, about five to 10 others go unreported because they sink at sea, get eaten by predators or fly elsewhere. That would put the fatality number at up to 21,500 birds.”

  4. The Oregonian reports Oregon’s Coos Bay coal beds bubbling with gas. “The project is in the early exploration stage, and nothing is certain. Recovering the gas is a scientifically complex prospect made less certain by potentially deal-killing environmental concerns… A byproduct of drilling into the coal seams is underground water that is laced with copper, salts and other minerals. Before moving ahead on a large scale, Methane Energy will have to figure out what to do with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water without damaging drinking water supplies, the surrounding forest or sensitive salmon habitat of Coos Bay’s estuary… Last week, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality approved a five-year permit allowing 100,000 gallons to be dumped each day, which would cover water from as many as two dozen wells. The approval came despite concerns from local residents and environmental groups about the water’s effects on soil, plants and fish.”

Six more stories lurk below the fold.

Docudharma Times Tuesday Nov.27

adderall online pharmacy cheap viagra This is an Open Thread: Open Carefully

Headlines for Tuesday November 27th: Hillary The Organized : GOP Comeback Climb Is Increasingly Steep: Stepped-up Army recruiting enlists many with problems: Iraqi police: US gunfire at bus kills 4

USA

Stepped-up Army recruiting enlists many with problems

WASHINGTON – Two weeks ago, the Pentagon announced the “good news” that the Army had met its recruiting goal for October, the first month in a five-year plan to add 65,000 new soldiers to the ranks by 2012.

But Pentagon statistics show the Army met that goal by accepting a higher percentage of enlistees with criminal records, drug or alcohol problems, or health conditions that would have ordinarily disqualified them from service.

In each fiscal year since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, statisics show, the Army has accepted a growing percentage of recruits who do not meet its own minimum fitness standards. The October statistics show that at least 1 of every 5 recruits required a waiver to join the service, leading military analysts to conclude that the Army is lowering standards more than it has in decades.

Four at Four

Some news and Monday afternoon’s http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=how-to-get-some-cialis Open Thread.

  1. The AP reports Iraqi government may offer US long-rerm presence, business preference in return for security. “Iraq’s government is prepared to offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq and preferential treatment for American investments in return for an American guarantee of long-term security including defense against internal coups”. As Spencer Ackerman of TPMmuckraker writes, “So it begins. After years of obfuscation and denial on the length of the U.S.’s stay in Iraq, the White House and the Maliki government have released a joint declaration of ‘principles’ for ‘friendship and cooperation.’ Apparently President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the declaration during a morning teleconference.” Ackerman also reports that “war czar” Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute believes Permanent Iraq bases won’t require Senate ratification.

  2. The New York Times reports Short of funds, Republians recruit the rich to run. “Confronting an enormous fund-raising gap with Democrats, Republican Party officials are aggressively recruiting wealthy candidates who can spend large sums of their own money to finance their Congressional races, party officials say. At this point, strategists for the National Republican Congressional Committee have enlisted wealthy candidates to run in at least a dozen competitive Congressional districts nationwide, particularly those where Democrats are finishing their first term and are thus considered most vulnerable. They say more are on the way. These wealthy Republicans have each already invested $100,000 to $1 million of their own money to finance their campaigns”. Even more blatantly the Republicans are the party only of the rich.

  3. According to the Washington Post, Class makes cameo as a campaign issue. “Who’s rich? Who’s middle class? … Class, always an awkward topic in the United States, made a rare cameo appearance at a recent candidates debate in Las Vegas.”

    The exchange between Obama and Clinton began when the senator from Illinois said he was open to adjusting the cap on wages subject to the payroll tax. That’s the tax that the government prefers to call a “contribution” to Social Security. Under current law, a worker pays a flat percentage (and employers match it) of wages up to $97,500. Wages beyond that aren’t taxed.

    Clinton responded by saying that lifting the payroll tax would mean a trillion-dollar tax increase, adding that she did not want to “fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors.”

    Obama replied: “Understand that only 6 percent of Americans make more than $97,000 a year. So 6 percent is not the middle class. It is the upper class.”

    Clinton: “It is absolutely the case that there are people who would find that burdensome. I represent firefighters. I represent school supervisors.”

    … As for how people see themselves, location is key. Is Clinton right that firefighters make the kind of money mentioned in Las Vegas? Yes, sometimes, in some places. According to the Web site FactCheck.org, the base pay of a New York City firefighter with five years’ experience is $68,475, but with overtime and holiday work, the same firefighter can make $86,518. A city fire captain can make $140,173 with overtime. Most school superintendents in New York state make more than $100,000.

    Online calculators allow anyone to make an instant city-to-city cost-of-living comparison. One such Web site calculates that someone making $97,500 in Washington could live just as comfortably on $67,846 in Ames, Iowa.

    The story goes on to try to give a definition of who is wealthy. Some of their ideas are degree of ‘financial stress’ and the ability to live off of wealth. Personally, I think it is only fair to remove the Social Security wage cap.

Two more stories below the fold. First proof, the weather is getting worse. Then a story about the time lords of Paris.

Docudharma Times Monday Nov.26

This is an Open Thread: Open Minds Open Thoughts

Headlines For Monday November 26th:Thompson’s plan offers Americans flat tax option : Obama PAC Is Active In Key Election States:Iraqi Shiites denounce draft legislation

USA

Thompson’s plan offers Americans flat tax option

Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson proposed an income tax plan yesterday that would allow Americans to choose a simplified system with only two rates: 10 and 25 percent.

Thompson’s proposal, announced on “Fox News Sunday,” would allow filers to remain under the current tax code or use the flat tax rates. “We’ve known for years any time we have lowered taxes and any time we’ve lowered tax rates, we’ve seen growth in the economy,” the former Tennessee senator said.

I’m sorry for the lack of content in todays Times. There was one finished and ready to be automatically posted to the Front Page but, reasons that shall remain a mystery it was deleted. Thank you for your understanding.  

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Former PM Sharif returns to Pakistan

By SLOBODAN LEKIC, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 15 minutes ago

LAHORE, Pakistan – Exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned home to a hero’s welcome Sunday and called on President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to end emergency rule before elections, a fresh challenge to the U.S.-backed leader.

“These (emergency) conditions are not conducive to free and fair elections,” Sharif told reporters at the airport after arriving from Saudi Arabia. “I think the constitution of Pakistan should be restored, and there should be rule of law.”

Sharif, the head of one of the country’s main opposition parties, said he had not negotiated his return with Musharraf, who overthrew him in a 1999 coup. Musharraf expelled Sharif when he first tried come back to Pakistan this year.

Docudharma Times Sunday Nov.25

This an Open Thread: So open it already

Headlines for Sunday November 25th.: As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts: U.S. Notes Limited Progress in Afghan War: Losing ground in Alaska: U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity

USA

As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts

By PATRICK HEALY

Published: November 25, 2007

As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.

Advisers to Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama say that the candidates have watched security conditions improve after the troop escalation in Iraq and concluded that it would be folly not to acknowledge those gains.

Weekend News Digest

1 Doom and gloom plays out on Broadway

By MICHAEL KUCHWARA, AP Drama Writer

Sat Nov 24, 9:02 AM ET

NEW YORK – It’s a worst-case scenario that became a reality. As the Broadway stagehands strike enters its third week Saturday, there doesn’t seem to be any way out of the thorny, seemingly intractable dispute that has shut down more than two dozen plays and musicals since Nov. 10.

Losses because of canceled performances are in the millions and climbing each day – a disaster not only for producers and theater owners, but for everyone employed in the theater and for those whose businesses depend on curtains going up.

Both sides are hanging tough and have not talked for almost a week. The standoff has meant dark theaters during the Thanksgiving holiday, usually one of the year’s best weeks for business.

Docudharma Times Saturday Nov.24

This is an Open Thread: All thoughts are welcome

Headlines For Saturday: New York loses mean streets image as murder rate plunges: In Bush’s Last Year, Modest Domestic Aims: Wal-Mart Extends Its Influence to Washington: Bombers kill up to 35 in Pakistan

PM Howard concedes Australia poll

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has admitted defeat in the country’s general election, and looks set to lose his parliamentary seat.

Mr Howard said he had telephoned Labor leader Kevin Rudd “to congratulate him on an emphatic victory”.

USA

New York loses mean streets image as murder rate plunges

The city of New York, once widely feared for its mean streets scarred by random violence, is on course for its lowest murder rate in four decades with this year’s total expected to be below 500.

Aided by burgeoning affluence and a decade of “zero-tolerance” policing, a steady decline in the Big Apple’s violent crime rate has left the city basking in a new-found glow of safety. Criminologists suggest that killings by strangers have become so rare that the police cannot reasonably be expected to stamp out the problem any further.

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