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Mr_Blog's Left Turn
A Seattle-based journal of Left-wing musings on local, national and world affairs, as well as baseball, pop culture and technology.

"truly a master" Blognonymous

"Great writing" RatherThanWorking

"a perfect 10"
Susan,
Phantsythat

"[his] voice most likely carries all the tell-tale inflections of a raving crack-pot." Ken Avidor

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JAN
 

- This Month +

1 New era for U.S. in Iraq
2 Pakistan releases cause of Bhutto's death
4 "Run, Jesus, run!"
7 Bush to visit Mid East
9 Deal on eavesdropping?
11 Iran threatens U.S. ships
11 Gregoire unveils 520 bridge plan
14 Michigan primary still close
15 Pollster denies torture
16 Democracy scare evacuates Nevada court
18 GOP rivals allege dirty tricks
23 Legislature proposes single payer
25 Bush, Congress compromise on stimulant package
28 America plans shopping spree
28 SOTU Live Blogging
30 Edwards assimilated by the Clinton

   "Where's the

   Archive?"

Posted January 30, 2008
Edwards assimilated by the Clinton

"We will add his distinctiveness to our own"

The field of 2008 Democratic presidential candidates shrank by one today, with Sen. John Edwards announcing he is being assimilated by current front runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Edwards' decision to end his candidacy comes the day after his 14% third place finish in the Florida Democratic primary. Clinton won with 50%, and Sen. Barack Obama was second with 33%.

It was the latest disappointing primary battle for the former North Carolina senator, who has been unable to improve on his second place finish in the Iowa caucuses, when he edged Clinton. Yesterday Edwards finally ran out of unused deflector shield frequency combinations. Clinton was able to adapt her triangulation beams to match those frequencies, sealing her victory.

Though Democrats were technically barred by the Democratic National Committee from campaigning in the state for reasons no one really cares about, this did not prevent Clinton from flying her campaign cube to Fort Lauderdale from Washington late in the day on Tuesday. When the polls closed Clinton joined jubilant supporters at the Signature Grand ballroom in Davie, FL, where she led the crowd in chanting her new campaign slogan, "resistance is futile."

When told of Edwards' decision, Clinton welcomed his assimilation, saying she hoped she can count on his support. "We will add his distinctiveness to our own, he will adapt to service us," Clinton said.

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Posted January 28, 2008
State of the Union live blogging


1800 PDT. Stand by

1805 PDT. OK. Maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew, but for my first-ever attempt at live blogging an event, I've chosen this, Dubya's last (cross fingers) State of the Union. Hopefully, he won't need a do-over. I have my supplies: a fresh bottle of vodka and a Rice Krispy treat.

1806 PDT. Here comes Chuckles down the aisle. There's Michele Bachmann (R-MN) let's see what -- Jeeez, not again! No tongue, Michele! Get a room.

1809 PDT. Lou Piniella must be there, because everyone's screaming "Looooou! Loooooou!"

1812 PDT. As announced this morning, Bush is leading with the economy as his #1 issue for the year.

1813 PDT. Hmm. It turns out that the speechwriters are members of the Writers Guild, so his speech is going to be a bit of a departure from tradition.

First an apology: sorry about hiring alumni of the Baby Einstein program (SOTU 2007) to edit reports written by federal scientists.

1814 PDT. "Make the tax cut permanent, the bill must be written with a permanent Sharpie."

1817 PDT. Bush has just come out against skidmarks.

Wants to do more with Sallie Mae, Freddy Mac and Billy Bob, turning more homeowners into homerenters.

1819 PDT. Pause while I put dinner in the oven-- hey, this is LIVE!

Will cut health care costs by reducing lawsuits. Will also give insurance companies retroactive immunity.

1820 PDT. $300 million to send more kids to private school. The Army is being rebranded as a private school.

1823 PDT. More trade agreements -- names U.S. 6th Fleet and 12 Marine battalions as new U.S. Trade Envoys.

1825 PDT. Time for another vodka. Damn, out of cranberry juice.

1828 PDT. Will agree to CO2 treaty if the world's largest economies can guess what he has in his pocket.

1829 PDT. Stem cells: crash program to grow replacement heart for Cheney.

1831 PDT. "The Constitution means what it says, whatever that is."

1832 PDT. Call for more volunteerism: More employees should agree to work for free, especially in Louisiana.

Nothing about the cranberry juice shortage.

1833 PDT. "Must save programs for our children, and our grandchildren, but not our great-grandchildren."

1835 PDT. Bush says the time has come for new ideas on fighting terror. His proposal: the Public Television model, blended with agriculture subsidies programs. Basically, Bush wants to collect pledges that will pay al-Qaida not to attack us. Only $50 million a year -- but that's less than what we paid the Afghan mujahedeens to fight the Soviets, adjusted for inflation.

Spreading the hope of freedom: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Bush is calling on Congress to create a new Fence Building Industry, exporting fences to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. to go around schools, hospitals, ethnic enclaves, etc.

1840 PDT. Praises the job our fighting men and women are doing in Iraq. Rewards them by extending their contracts, some will get transfers to prestigious Afghanistan duty.

1844 PDT. Progress in political stability in Iraq. Congratulates Muqtada al Sadr for winning Sadr City Republican Primary, Mike Huckabee second, McCain third. Giuliani is still betting the farm on Florida.

1846 PDT. Speaking directly to troops, Bush says he won't be fulfiling his National Guard obligations.

There will be sacrifice. On his Mideast tour, he talked to Ehud Olmert about using the Temple Mount for a good-Old Testament-fashioned sacrifice. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be the "goat," if the next war goes according to plan. But if he isn't available, Scooter Libby will be asked to fill in.

1849 PDT. Iraqi reconciliation is showing signs of progress. Debathification is starting to work, there's no running water for baths anyway. So, win-win.

No bases for al Qaida to launch attacks from, not unless it's Halliburton that gets the contract to build them.

1851 PDT. Progress toward peace in Palestine, where the good terrorists live. If Israel and PLO prove they can live in peace, Bush will propose a terrorist exchange program between Palestine and Iran, Afghanistan, etc., where the bad terrorists live.

1854 PDT. Bush thanks people working to fight terror, "except for people married to Joe Wilson."

1856 PDT. Turns out the problem with getting a FISA warrant isn't the delay, it's the photocopying costs. "The official seal at the bottom has a little bit of color in it, so that's millions of color copies a year at 39 cents a pop."

Now this is just weird: he's called the CEOs of the major telecoms up to the dais, and they're going to scratch each other's backs.

1857 PDT. Cheesecake time: Bush names a bunch of countries tied to terror, and Miss Teen South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton points to them on a globe.

1859 PDT. Bush proposes to tax veterans to fund more veterans services. "Will be so well funded we can have three more wars."

1901 PDT. Bush reads portion of American history report about the Founding Fathers, by Joshua W. Frandle, 11, of Algona, WA.

1902 PDT. "Finally, I want to give a shout-out to the Trek and Cannondale bicycle companies. Their products have combined to give me thousands and thousands of miles of trouble-free riding these seven-plus years. I don't know what I would have done with all that time otherwise."

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America plans shopping spree

Most will give rebates to Obama, Clinton, Edwards

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards will benefit the most when taxpayers go shopping with their economic stimulus checks, according to a CNN/Washington Post USA Today-Wall Street Journal/IRS poll released today.

When asked how they intend to spend the $600 per person or $1,200 per married couple expected under the rebate plan, 32% said they would donate to the Clinton, Obama or Edwards campaigns.

Health care expenses followed with 20%, while federal income taxes came third at 15% -- narrowly edging out "new high definition TV set," in fourth place with 13%.

No one said they will be buying President Bush's State of the Union address.

"I already have seven of those speeches taking up room in my basement," said Peter Yates of Seattle, WA. "They look great in the box, but they're too expensive and none of them ever worked the way they were supposed to," Yates said.

SOTU Live Blogging tonight

Assuming the expected snowstorm hits Seattle after tonight's commute, I'll be attempting my first-ever live blogging, during George W. Bush's final State of the Union. Check back tonight starting around 1800 PDT.

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January 25, 2008
Bush, Congress compromise on stimulant package

OK rebates to buy Starbucks $1 coffees

President Bush welcomed yesterday's Congressional approval of his economic stimulant package, calling it a good sign for the American economy. "The end is just around the corner," Bush said, upon receiving word of the bipartisan vote in the middle of his daily five hour bike ride.

Bush's plan will start by putting two dollars in the pocket of every Seattle taxpayer for the purpose of buying Starbucks Coffee's new one-dollar cups of coffee, which the Seattle-based global coffee shop giant introduced in its hometown yesterday.

The president lauded the benefits of coffee as an economic stimulant. "Caffeine is the hard-working American's drug of choice, and it's legal," he said. "It provides enough stimulationness so a person can work two or even three jobs."

Bush said Starbucks is being specifically targeted "because it's a good product, a great value, because you'll get free refills," the president said, adding, "by being an economical stimulant, it stimulates the economy."

"The economy has been looking a bit sleepy, I'll admit. But when these dollar coffees go national, the economy will be back on firm grounds," Bush said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would take up the plan, The It's Morning in America, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Act of 2008, "at the earliest date."

But Pelosi's Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the upper house would not act in haste, saying that caffeine is against his religion. However, Reid's fellow Mormon Gov. Mitt Romney urged Congress to include decaf in the package.

The other Republican presidential candidates generally voiced support for the stimulant package, although Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani questioned whether it is fair to provide coffee to the working poor, since most of them don't earn enough to pay taxes. By targeting the stimulant plan to the rich, Giuliani said, the per-taxpayer amount could be increased to $9.11.

Bush also named Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Mr. Juan Valdez of Colombia to the Council of Economic Advisors.

iNews Friday

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator —

Headline: Feds cut key interest rate as global markets drop
Translation: Bush had low interest in economics already

Headline: Thompson third in South Carolina primary
Translation: Thompson first in Law & Order spinoff casting call

Headline: Thompson drops presidential bid
Translation: Thompson quits to spend more time with wife's breasts

Headline: Britney ordered to undergo psychological evaluation
Translation: Doctors - Spears saner than Pat Robertson

Headline: Judge to Bush admin - Explain why CIA tapes were destroyed
Translation: Cheney shot VCR in hunting accident

Headline: Chopp nixes tax plan for Husky Stadium
Translation: Nickels launches campaign to build UW an underground stadium on Seattle waterfront

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January 23, 2008
Legislature proposes single payer

Only one taxpayer under tax simplification plan

The 2008 session of the Washington Legislature is quickly shaping up as the tax reform session, with two plans introduced on Tuesday.

One, HB-2977, would make it easier to appeal property tax valuations. It is likely dead on arrival, because it would benefit commercial property firms having little support in the legislature.

But another bill introduced on Tuesday is being talked up as the ultimate in tax simplification.

Underlying HB-666 is a revolutionary concept called Single Payer, which would enact far-reaching cuts and exemptions in sales and property taxes and user fees.

The qualifying criteria would be so broad the net result would be every person and business in the state would receive a tax exemption. All -- except one, according to Stan Dardeduction of the conservative policy group Washington Tax Unfairness Institute.

"That person is the single payer," explained Dardeduction, introducing HB-666 in a joint appearance with a Department of Revenue official who would only identify herself as Madame Martine.

The system would be fair because everyone would not pay taxes regardless of socioeconomic status, said Dardeduction. "The person still standing when the music stops will have been chosen in essentially a random manner."

Martine agreed, saying if enacted the plan would bring a $500 million surplus after the first biennium. "The entrails never lie," she said.

Reverse lottery possible

Some have doubts about Single Payer, such as Greg Nickels of Citizens for Paul Allen, a grassroots good-government group.

"It's pretty clear this is aimed at putting the state's entire tax burden on Paul Allen," said Nickels.

"Everyone thinks Allen has all the money in the world, when the truth is that he provides jobs for tens of thousands of Washingtonians, especially in the museum-grade collectibles and gentrification industries," he said. "In a very real sense Paul Allen is the least able to afford taxes," Nickels said.

For Single Payer to be fair and enjoy compliance it must be simple and fun, says Nickels. He proposes a reverse state lottery, in which citizens would buy one dollar anti-Lotto tickets to remove themselves from the taxpayer pool. Nickels says this would be fair because everyone would pay at least a token tax, but increase the chances that the person not buying a ticket would have the greatest ability to pay.

Nickels described two categories of ideal taxpayers. "Really young kids, who have a whole lifetime of earning potential ahead of them, and people who can afford to travel and are out of the country."

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Posted January 18, 2008
GOP rivals allege dirty tricks

God accused of push-polling for front-runner Jesus

The campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney today charged that the campaign of GOP frontrunner Jesus H. Christ of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is engaging in dirty tricks in South Carolina. The new charges come as Christ and his closest rivals intensified efforts leading up to tomorrow's Republican primary.

Romney spokesperson Josephine Smith told reporters that likely Republican voters in South Carolina are being push-polled by Christ's father, god. Some South Carolinians report a bright light, a choir of angels, and a voice that asks them questions ostensibly about their presidential preference, said Smith.

She said god's questions were actually disinformation intended to swing support to his son.

"It's just not right when people are driving to work, or shopping, or making dinner, and suddenly here's god asking them loaded questions like, if you knew Mitt Romney had impure thoughts 21 times today, would you be more or less likely to vote for him?" Smith said. "How do you think they're going to vote after that?"

Other GOP campaigns in the state say their supporters have received similar calls, and some candidates are hitting back.

Sen. John McCain, today leading Christ by 3% in a new Charleston Post and Courier poll, told an audience at a Myrtle Beach rally that Jesus would raise taxes. "Voters had better keep their hand on their wallets, because if Jesus has his way Americans will be rendering a lot more to Caesar," McCain told his supporters. McCain also said Christ's often-quoted statement that the meek will inherit the Earth "nothing less than a call for class warfare."

Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, speaking from Florida by speakerphone, told a gathering of supporters that, while he was not questioning Christ's patriotism, "beating swords into ploughshares is the kind of pacifism that will bring another 9-11."

Former Sen. Fred Thompson criticized Christ as "wrong on business, he never mentioned corporations in the New Testament," and reminded listeners of a physical altercation Christ once had with the staff of a church-based savings and loan. "You have to wonder if he has the temperment to be president," Thompson said. Thompson also repeatedly referred to Christ using his full name, "Jesus Hussein Christ."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, called Jesus too liberal. Huckabee criticized Christ's record as messiah, noting Jesus failed to ever carry out any executions, and questioned whether Christ's upbringing made him too permissive. "Christ's biological parents never married," Huckabee said.

"Jesus never said one word about the homosexual agenda," according to a radio ad from the campaign of former ambassador Alan Keyes. "A president needs to set an example for our children, open tolerance is not the way," intones the announcer.

Christ campaign spokesperson Lazarus Frandle denied any coordination with god. "Any actions god took were own his own, independent of the campaign," Frandle said. Frandle said some Jesus supporters had also been push-polled by unidentified groups.

Denise Morgan of Berkeley County, an independent voter who describes herself as undecided but leaning toward Jesus and Democratic senator Barack Obama, said she received such a call Monday evening during dinner.

"It was the stupidest thing," said Morgan, 23, a retired fashion model, physicist and mother of two. "One of the things they asked was 'would you be more or less likely to vote for Jesus if you knew he loved his neighbor?' And, 'Did you know Jesus suffers the little children?' It was disgusting, dirty politics."

No iNews this week

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January 16, 2008
Democracy scare evacuates Nevada court

Unattended package contained quality journalism

The Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City was evacuated and shut down Tuesday, after an attorney spotted an unattended package and alerted security personnel.

The court was in session to decide NBC Universal's appeal of a district judge's order that Rep. Dennis Kucinich be included in last night's MSNBC Democratic presidential debate. But the proceedings stopped when an NBC attorney spotted the unattended package in the public gallery.

Fearful that the package could contain democracy, authorities decided to evacuate the court complex. The state police bomb squad removed the package to a smoke-filled back room away from public view, where it was blown up.

The contents were examined and found to contain only journalistic standards.

"Corporate media control of the electoral process was never in any danger," said court press officer Tanya Shareholder-Frandle.

The justices reconvened and heard the case, in which NBC attorneys argued the network could only find a table large enough for three candidates to sit at. The court ruled in NBC's favor, allowing the debate to proceed without Kucinich.

"This decision was a victory for the first amendment, and we only had to rent three chairs," said NBC Vice President for Deals Howie Mandel.

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January 15, 2008
Pollster denies torture

Admits to enhanced interviewing techniques

The USA Today official in charge of polling said today that he does not use torture when interviewing likely voters about the 2008 presidential election.

"This newspaper does not torture," USA Today director of opinion research Alberto Gonzales said today in the USA.

Gonzales denied recently published reports that USA Today had started detaining survey subjects in a network of secret prisons, a practice called extraordinary sampling. Reports contained interviews with voters who said they had been detained as the result of extraordinary sampling, which includes claims that they had been subjected to sleep deprivation, beatings, waterboarding, and videotapes of the canceled Fox News program "Half Hour News Hour."
Gonzales


"I categorically deny there is such a thing as extraordinary sampling," Gonzales said. "Although we do employ some enhanced interviewing techniques, because it is so important to do accurate polling. But nothing with the intention to inflict serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

"The truth is that we offer people all-expenses paid vacations to our chain of international opinion research resorts, located in warm parts of the world, just for agreeing to take a presidential preference poll," he said.

"We don't waterboard, but the swimming pools do have diving boards," he said, before pausing and remarking, "Yeah, that's the ticket."

In other news, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama responded yesterday to rival Hillary Clinton's comments that he has changed his position on Iraq. "My view on the war has always been that Sen. Clinton should not have diminished Martin Luther King's role in bringing about the Civil Rights Act, and it always will be," Obama said. "I can't believe I'm losing to these guys," commented former Sen. John Edwards.

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Posted January 14, 2008
Michigan primary still close

40% of pollsters still Undecided

Sen. Hillary Clinton continues to cling to a narrow lead in Michigan's Democratic primary, with the state's voters set to cast ballots tomorrow.

Polls taken Sunday showed Hillary Clinton out ahead with 100% of the vote, with everyone else in second place with zero percent. The poll included a 12% or possibly 20% margin of error, or maybe even 50%.

Pollsters continue to display a high degree of caution in their polling, despite Clinton being the only major Democratic candidate on the ballot in the wolverine state. Democratic presidential candidates are skipping Michigan because no delegates will be awarded, due to reasons no one cares really about.

Fox News pollster Stan Dardeviasian said that after all the exit surveys failed to predict Clinton's late surge to win last week's New Hampshire primary, pollsters resolved to be extra careful in Michigan. "I'm going to be using a calculator this time," said Dardeviasian.

Dardeviasian "is pretty sure" his fellow pollsters will say Clinton will win, with 55% of the vote. He can't be more certain because few of his colleagues will indicate a decision about the winner.

"Gallup is one of only four who would tell me they think Clinton will win," said Dardeviasian. He added that 40% had yet to make up their minds.

Contacted for this story, Gallup, Roper and Zogby International said they are undecided, while the Harris Poll and Washington Post-ABC were undecided about whether they are undecided.

"The undecideds are going to be decisive in predicting Michigan," Dardeviasian said. "At least, I think so."

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Posted January 11, 2008
Gregoire unveils 520 bridge plan

Trolls would fund replacement, will float on trial balloons

Governor Chris Gregoire unveiled her long awaited plan for replacement of the aging State Route 520 Evergreen Point floating bridge today, advocating a revolutionary engineering design. She also proposed to fund and build the bridge with trolls on the existing bridge, as well as on the Interstate 90 bridge.

Gregoire said that without trolls the new bridge would be too expensive. "Trolls are a very industrious and clever people who will have the bridge built and paid for in no time," said Gregoire. She said the trolls would also likely become a draw for the fantasy and mythology tourism industry.

The new bridge will have one general purpose and one HOV lane in each direction. It will be constructed from straw, using a new structural engineering technique called Multi Angular Networking (M.A.N.). Instead of conventional pontoons, a system of trial balloons will be used for flotation.

Immediate reaction has been negative.

Morton Frandle, a Seattle civil engineer, was especially critical of the plan's flotation component. "Trial balloons may look good initially, but they have unpredictable buoyancy," Frandle said. "Any increases in fuel prices or congestion could sink the whole thing."

Transit and environmental groups also issued statements against the plan, with the Sierra Club doubtful that trial balloons could support the weight of light rail.

Ivor Silverbuckle, spokesperson for the Faery Tale Anti-Defamation Council, denounced the Gregoire plan as ethnically insensitive. "It's an example of the most insidious kind of stereotyping. Trolls have come a long way from Grimm's stories, in the new millennium we come from all walks of life and socioeconomic groups," said Silverbuckle.

Prominent American trolls include syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin and Minneapolis cartoonist Ken Avidor, according to Silverbuckle.

"The idea that the governor thinks of us as quaint little revenue collectors in traditional costumes is offensive, and my organization will be demanding a full and formal apology," Silverbuckle said.

Gov. Gregoire's plan also faces tough going in the Legislature, which just opened its 2008 session. Sen. Hedwig Goldbuckle of the 50th District called the proposal inadequate, saying it ignored growth projections.

"I can't imagine what she could be thinking with this straw M.A.N. design," said Goldbuckle. "It's almost as if she was hoping the idea will be rejected in favor of a larger, more expensive plan."

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Iran threatens U.S. ships

Radioed demand for 12 Big Macs, 12 large fries, 8 Cokes, 4 chocolate shakes and an apple pie

The Pentagon reported today that Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz were menaced by Iranian speedboats, an incident that included a radioed threat from the Iranians.

Iranian "fastboats" approached the U.S. warships and acted in a provocative manner, said Lt. (j.g.) Felicity Frandle, a spokesperson for the U.S. 5th Fleet based in Bahrain. Frandle said the provocative actions included targeting the U.S. ships with low-cut blouses, lace camisoles and pouting with full lips.

The Pentagon press office in Washington released an audio recording of the incident, which it said established the Iranians' hostile intentions. Although there was considerable static over the accented voice, in context of the movements of the Iranian vessels the message was clearly threatening, Frandle said.

Transcript

U.S ship - U.S. warship to unidentified craft, we are on a peaceful mission and intend no harm, please state your intentions, over.
Fastboat - Yes. Hi, how are you doing? (static) Can you hear me?
U.S ship - Read you loud and clear, over.
Fastboat - Yeah, I'd like (static) 12 Big Macs, 12 large fries, 8 Cokes, and 4 chocolate shakes -- (static)
U.S ship - Do not approach any closer. If you continue I will open fire, over.
Fastboat - Oh, and an apple pie. I'll just (static) pull up to the window.
U.S ship - You are approaching U.S. warship, turn off or I will fire, over.
Fastboat - Can you break a hundred?
U.S ship - Turn off or I will fire, over.
Fastboat - In that case (static) I'll have to go to the ATM, I'll be right back with (static).

In a related story, on a state visit to the Mideast, President Bush proposed today that all oil shipped through the Strait of Hormuz be free of hydrogenated trans fats.

Breaking Story: Pentagon sources speaking on condition of anonymity believe Iran may be preparing more encounters with U.S. naval forces patrolling the Persian Gulf region. The sources say the U.S. 5th Fleet has overheard radio transmissions between Iranian patrol boats, using code phrases such as 'Breaker 1-9,' 'Good Buddy,' 'alligator in the granny land,' and 'Smokey's in the air.' The latter is believed to refer to U.S. Navy aircraft. Developing...

iNews Friday

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator —

Headline: Workers feast on lunch webcasts - "...our nation's productivity in question"
Translation: Yeah, we're supposed to work through lunch

Headline: Judge ends Bible distribution in school
Translation: Court rules schools get Bibles as soon as churches allow "The Origin of Species"

Headline: Ecuadorian volcano may explode
Translation: Mt. Tungurahua placed on U.S. terror watch list

Headline: Bush to visit cradle of Christianity
Translation: Baby Jesus denied SCHIP coverage

Headline: Nearly half the Senate push for guns in national parks, wildlife refuges
Translation: Senators pledge to arm bears

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Posted January 9, 2008
Deal on eavesdropping?

Bush compromise would release celebrity communications

President Bush returned his attention to homeland security on Tuesday, sending Senate leaders a compromise proposal on his warrantless surveillance program.

If Congress approves, U.S. spy agencies would be directed to release recordings and transcripts of the phone and internet activities of celebrities, in exchange for being able to continue listening in on all Americans.

In an exclusive interview on the Fox News program "Craven Journalism," Bush told correspondent Fawn Craven he drafted the plan in order to give Americans a reason to accept domestic surveillance.

"I want to show the American people there can be real benefits of allowing the government to track their every move," said the president. "What better compensation for giving up one's privacy, than invading the privacy of your favorite actors, singers, athletes and socialites?"

Bush's plan would create a new Joint Entertainment Command, shared between the Defense Department and National Security Agency. The Pentagon will raise ten new army divisions, requiring instituting a draft of paparazzi photographers. The NSA would produce programming for a new 24 hour government channel to be called "CSPAN-Stars!"

The U.S. military has decades of film experience, most notably President Ronald Reagan's wartime service at Fort Louis B. Mayer. However success would be less certain for the secretive NSA, which hasn't had a hit since "Get Smart."

Response from within the entertainment industry to Bush's proposal has generally been silence. One show business executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained celebrities have a love-hate relationship with being famous: "Celebrities say they need their privacy. At the same time, they also employ publicists. So, mixed messages all 'round."

In other news, Mitt Romney's third medal finish of the 2008 presidential competition, a silver in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, was marred when his javelin accidentally impaled Sen. John McCain.

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Posted January 7, 2008
Bush to visit Mideast

Peace mission to Delaware and Maryland

President Bush will travel to the Middle East to build support for a new plan for peace between Delaware and Maryland. He will leave Tuesday on an eight day trip.

Bush intends to visit Wilmington and Annapolis in an attempt to bring their leaders to the negotiating table.

Bush said he became determined to defuse hostilities between the two warring states after reading the book Misty of Chincoteague.

"This is a wonderful book about a little horse living in eastern Maryland. The story of this little pony caused me to have great sympathy for the Palominostine situation, and the Palomistinians everybody around the White House are always talking about."

Bush said he now considers the book his second-favorite, "after the one about the goat."

"Why can't Delaware and Maryland just get along?" asked Bush. "I can't believe this has been going on since 1948. Sixty years -- it's always amazed me," he said. "Well, the '70s were kinda a blur for me. So we're gonna settle this once and for all, so my presidency can have a legacy," said the president.

"You know. Get 'er done."

Key points to the president's Mideast Peace initiative:

  • Territory. Delaware's Fightin' Blue Hens must return all yardage lost by the Maryland Terrapins in the 1967 Six-Day War.
  • Partitioning. Delaware must remove the barriers erected as part of the annual penning, which Bush said divides Palomistinian families and prevents access to employment and services.
  • Special envoy. Bush will appoint ex-FEMA administrator Michael Brown, former head of the International Arabian Horse Association, as his special representative on Palominostine.

    Permalink | Comment




    Posted January 4, 2008
    "Run, Jesus, run!"

    Son of god trounces Huckabee and Romney in Iowa

    Iowa Republicans handed Jesus H. Christ of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a convincing victory yesterday in the GOP side of the state's presidential caucuses. It was the first vote of the 2008 race for the White House.

    With two-thirds of GOP caucuses reporting, 35% of caucusers favored Christ, while 22% and 20% backed Gov. Mike Huckabee and Gov. Mitt Romney, respectively. Sleepwalking into fourth place was former Sen. Fred Thompson at 12%, while Sen. John McCain was fifth with 8%. Rudolph Giuliani, Alan Keyes and Rep. Ron Paul brought up the rear.

    Asked why they chose Christ rather than one of the other Republicans who claim similar positions, most Christ voters told pollsters that they merely wanted to cut out the middleman.

    While some observers question the fairness of a small state like Iowa potentially eliminating some candidates at the outset of the primaries, others say that is more people than the five who decided the 2000 election in favor of President George W. Bush.

    On the Democratic side, Sen. Barack Obama at nearly 38% easily outdistanced Sen. John Edwards, who finished less than 1% ahead of a third place Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama and Edwards were later observed dropping off Clinton as they drove out of Des Moines, on their way to New Hampshire. Clinton was last seen hitchhiking at the 142 onramp to Interstate 80.

    President Bush declined to comment on the Iowa results, because he could not say "caucus" without giggling.

    In other news, the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping to quell rioting that arose in the wake of the disputed presidential election in Kenya, has awarded the African nation's highest office to George W. Bush.

    "I think we have precedent on our side on this," Associate Justice Antonin Scalia said.

    iNews Friday

    From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator —

    Headline: The remedy for your holiday credit card hangover
    Translation: Americans cut back to one latte a day - Amnesty International to investigate

    Headline: Seattle Center's Fun Forest to close in 2009
    Translation: Lusty Lady to change name to Fun Forest

    Headline: Ohio to Offer Paper Ballots in March
    Translation: Florida will offer ballots with Republican candidates pre-marked for your convenience

    Headline: No Santana for Mariners
    Translation: Team blows chance at 7th-inning stretch influenced by blend of salsa, rock, blues, and jazz fusion

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    Posted January 2, 2008
    Pakistan releases cause of Bhutto's death

    Worst-ever case of carsickness claimed

    The government of Pakistan today announced the results of an exhaustive five-minute investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

    The cause of death will be officially recorded as Motion Sickness, according to an Interior Ministry spokesman. "We have reported to President Musharraf that Ms. Bhutto's mistake was to leave her home and take long road trips around the country," said spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema.

    "Basically, it was a fatal case of car sickness, the worst ever recorded," Cheema said.

    "It is a lesson for all opposition politicians in Pakistan," a saddened president Pervez Musharraf said upon accepting the report. "House arrest isn't something I enjoy doing. I do it to spare dissenters the unpleasant symptoms of motion sickness, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, freedom of expression, and self-determination."

    The Bush Administration welcomed the news. Press secretary Dana Perino said the openness of Pakistan's government shows the U.S. ally remains firmly on the road to democracy. But, she warned, "democracy advocates traveling the road to democracy should always keep saltine crackers and ginger ale handy."

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    Posted January 1, 2008
    New era for U.S. in Iraq

    Presence re-branded "MyOccupation.com"

    The White House kicked off its foreign policy for 2008 by announcing a strategic rebranding of the United States presence in Iraq. Journalists learned in a New Year's Day briefing that the five year old military campaign will now be known as MyOccupation.com.

    MyOccupation.com has been created as social networking site that will help Iraqis discuss the U.S. presence in their country without blowing anything up, said Karen Hughes, special adviser to President Bush.

    "I returned from my Mid East mission to build good will toward the U.S. disheartened over the factionalization and sectarian violence," said Hughes.

    "Then it hit me -- what they don't have is pervasive access to broadband internet."

    MyOccupation.com will allow Iraqis to create a free personal home page, called an E-Martyr page. Like-minded Iraqis will be able to link to each other into small groups called MyMartyrFriends. Those with the most MyMartyrFriends can form MyFactions.

    MyOccupation.com has already attracted thousands of sign-ups on the first day. A Mr. Muqtada al-Sadr of Sadr City already has more than 50,000 MyMartyrFriends, and formed his own MyFaction.

    According to Hughes, MyOccupation.com will also give a boost to U.S. diplomatic efforts, by allowing Iraqis to connect with examples of ordinary people who support the U.S. presence. Americans who will be invited to sign up include Vice President Dick Cheney, the board of The Carlyle Group, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Mr. O.B. Laden of Pakistan.

    MyOccupation.com is is expected to become the top war on terror priority for the final year of the Bush administration, with billions in contracting dollars being shifted to Comcast, and away from the rebuilding of water and sewer systems and the electricity grid.

    Santa Claus, missing for 6 days, back at North Pole - weather, China, U.S. controllers blamed

    Children and retailers the world over breathed a collective sigh of relief on New Year's Day, when Elf Force One finally touched down at International Christmas Command Headquarters at the North Pole. Santa Claus' return brought to a happy close a six-day international search and rescue effort that included the air and naval forces of the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, and Wal-Mart.

    St. Nicholas was reported overdue December 26, one day after he had been expected to complete his annual worldwide goodwill mission. The ICCH could not raise Elf Force One on radio, or track it via the Global Naughty-Nice System.

    Claus had little to say as he was escorted from the tarmac to be debriefed. In response to reporters' shouted questions he appeared to blame the American air traffic control system. "At one point, I was sitting on the runway at Logan for 19 hours," said the decidedly less-than jolly old elf.

    "I had to de-ice the reindeer about five zillion times, and I lost my place in the taxi pattern every time I had to return to the jetway to use the can," he said bitterly.

    However, ICCH spokesman Scott McClellan said there were a number of factors involved, including winter storms, and Elf Force One's cargo of Chinese-made products. "We think the high lead content significantly affected Santa's air speed," McClellan said.

    McClellan would not comment further, pending the results of the debriefing.

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    There are 2 comments
    February 01, 2008 - 06:43
    Subject: Edwards assimilated by the Clinton

    "We will add his distinctiveness to our own, he will adapt to service us," Clinton said.

    Hey what's all this with the plural. We don't have royalty in this country. ;-)

    g sarathbabu preacher
    August 27, 2009 - 07:32
    Subject: SOTU Live Blogging

    Dated : 27-08-2009,

    .

    Greetings to you in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
    All the Churches of Christ send greetings to you ( Romans 16: 16).

    This is my heart full thanks to you, I am G.sarathbabu visited your Web Site. I learned and understood your activities of Ministry work on-going for spreading the Word of God in all places for the people in the world.

    India country is developing country now, in this area’s Hindu religious people are worshiping that the man-made idea gods from the stones, struck and trees.

    By avoiding that the kind of man-made god’s worshiping purpose, a few missionaries visited our country India for spreading the real God name of Jesus Christ, Son of God and Kingdom of God .

    Under this New Testament Doctrine , I am G.sarathbabu working as a preacher for the komarole Church of Christ since 1997 year. I worked and well done that the establishment of the New Congregations at nalagutla Church of Christ, kasanipalleChurch of Christ and yarapalle Church of Christ. Total gathering of the each Church of Christ members are nearly 30 persons

    In every congregations work had been for the Sunday School Classes conducting and Sunday worship services conducting, and Adult Bible Classes conducting by us. All most all we was accepted to spread the word of God to all the people in this area through the house visiting , tracks distribution and free campaigns of the Bible classes in different places and to explain and to teach that the word of God name of Jesus Christ, Son of God and the Kingdom of God .

    I and another Brother G.BABU By name, we are conducting Bible Classes. We are giving massage and Gospel to the People of komarole and surrounding villages of komarole town. We are visiting the families daily and giving massage of our saviour to change their life's and we think it may turn their lives towards our saviour. please visit our are.

    For this work improvement purpose, I am G.sarath babu Evangelist and the Preacher for komarole Church of Christ are requesting you , Please pray for this area’s work development in Gospel Work grow thing, Evangelical work encouragement and Preachers follow-up work improvement and strengthen purpose. We are praying for your work great in the world for Gospel of Christ.

    Please remember us in your daily prayers for this area’s work , Churches of Christ and in the free campaign work. God always keep you in His hands and help you and also to provide a strength for your efforts and your families, Elders, Deacons and Preachers, Staff of the Church.

    We are waiting for you kind blessings email letter to us . Please help us with you prayers for this area’s Gospel Work Development.

    Thanking you, May God Bless You,
    Yours Brother –in – Christ,
    G.sarath babu,
    Email: sarath_babu779@yahoo.com

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