Sunday, April 30, 2006

Meet the Press hilarity on economics.

Media: This shouldn't surprise me but it did anyway.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, if, if demand is up but supply is down, why are the profits so high? MR. BODMAN: For that reason. MR. RUSSERT: No, think about that. MR. BODMAN: You know? MR. RUSSERT: Play it out. MR. BODMAN: Demand is up. MR. RUSSERT: Correct. MR. BODMAN: Right? MR. RUSSERT: Right. MR. BODMAN: So you’ve got more demand, you’re going to force price up. You’ve got, you’ve got limited supply, and you’re going to have... MR. RUSSERT: But that’s a decision by the oil companies.
I am hoping he was playing devil's advocate though I know Durbin wasn't with this quip.
SEN. DURBIN: Am I the only one of your guests here that think that profit taking is a problem? I mean, I understand the basic laws of supply and demand. I understand that if the input costs have gone up, it’s going to reduce your, your profitability. But here we have the most enormous profits in the history of the United States of America in business.
Just you and communists Dick.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mexican lawmakers to invade Los Angeles.

Immigration: On May 1st for the big illegals parade. How many examples do people need to realize Mexico is dictating our immigration policies?

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican lawmakers issued a declaration of support for immigrant protests planned in the United States on Monday and said they will send a delegation to Los Angeles to show their solidarity. The declaration, issued late Thursday by all the political parties in the lower house of Congress, contrasts with the position of Mexico's Foreign Department, which has said it will discipline any consular officials who take part in the protests. The delegation of lawmakers will meet with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, it said in a news release from Congress. "The only thing we are looking for is to end this dehumanizing situation and get the recognition of the migrant labor force," Federal Deputy Maria Garcia said. "People who go looking for work should not be treated like criminals with the risk of being tried in federal courts." Activists are urging immigrants across the United States to skip work, avoid spending money and march in the streets to demonstrate their importance to the U.S. economy. The protest, dubbed "A Day Without Immigrants," comes as the U.S. Congress debates immigration bills proposing everything from toughened border security to the legalization of all 11 million undocumented migrants in America. Activists south of border have called for a boycott of all U.S. businesses on Monday in support of the protests

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Another reason to slam the Mexican border down.

Mexico: This will make the drug wars down there even worse and after our border towns.

(AP) SAN DIEGO San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says he's "appalled" by Mexico's move to decriminalize marijuana, cocaine and other illicit drugs in small quantities. He predicts the liberalized laws could increase drug abuse and border problems in the United States. Mexico's Congress approved a bill Friday decriminalizing possession of small quantities of drugs for personal use, including cocaine, heroin and marijuana. President Vicente Fox is expected to sign it. Several state officials also expressed concern over the vote. Governor Schwarzenegger's chief spokeswoman, Margita Thompson, said, "The governor will always do everything he can to ensure the public safety of all Californians."

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Eliot Spitzer: Next dictator of New York.

Nation: This man wants to be your mommy and daddy, the bad part is a large portion of New York like the government to be their parents.

BUFFALO, N.Y. Democratic candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer was in Buffalo earlier today to unveil his child protection platform. During his appearance at a Y-M-C-A in the city, the New York attorney general called on corporations to stop treating children as what he called "fair game" for products that can cause them harm. He says it's up to government to step in if there's no corporate responsibility. Spitzer is calling for "Safe Games" legislation that would ban the sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to children under 18. He's also calling for a state law banning flavored cigarettes that appeal to young smokers, and for legislation toughening penalties for gun crimes committed on school grounds. Spitzer also is pushing for a "Healthy Schools Act" that would ban candy, fast food and soda from being sold in schools. The candidate is speaking at an education conference in Rochester this afternoon and attends a Democratic Party gathering in Albany tonight.

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France immigration bill under some fire.

France: The next bill that the French government surrenders on? This is getting ridiculous.

PARIS (Reuters) - More than 5,000 protesters took the streets on Saturday against a draft immigration law that imposes tougher conditions on foreigners seeking to work in France. The protests come ahead of a parliamentary debate on Tuesday on the bill by French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and which church leaders, immigrant support groups and the left-wing opposition have criticised as discriminating against the poor. The law would make it harder for immigrants to bring relatives to France, force newcomers to take French and civics lessons and end their automatic right to a long-term residence permit after 10 years in France. It would also create a three-year "skills and talents" residence permit designed to attract qualified workers. French police said on Saturday that about 5,200 people were peacefully demonstrating in the French capital. Separately, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard and head of the French Protestant Federation Jean-Arnold Clermont met with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, expressing their concerns about the bill. "There needs to be a balance between irresponsible laxity and an almost xenophobic firmness," Ricard told journalists after the meeting. He said Villepin had "heard" them. His comments were broadcast on French television and radio. "Contrary to what they (the measures) looks to achieve, they risk increasing the number of illegal immigrants while they are aimed at reducing them," Ricard wrote in the weekly Le Journal de Dimanche newspaper. In a statement following the meeting with the two church leaders, Villepin said the parliamentary debate could allow for amendments to the text, including for humanitarian treatment of immigrants. Earlier this week French church leaders said in a letter to Villepin that the new law would discriminate in favour of educated people and at the expense of poorer immigrants and make those without proper residence permits more vulnerable. Presidential hopeful Sarkozy on Thursday rejected charges his new immigration bill was a xenophobic drive for far-right votes ahead of 2007 presidential elections. He told French newspaper Le Monde it aimed to attract a new generation of skilled workers who would embrace French values and traditions, thus improving race relations that hit the headlines during last autumn's riots in poor French suburbs.
Now there is a problem against educated people?

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High school paper in trouble for stating facts?

Immigration: More examples how high school students are ignorant and know how to play the race card quick.

Indianapolis, April 28 - It's not unusual for the Ben Davis high school student paper to address current events. But it's how students chose to cover the immigration debate that has the newspaper in the spotlight. "The picture is what really insulted me, " said Melissa Rodriguez, a Ben Davis junior. "It showed basically a mom and dad and kid crossing the street saying watch out for border hoppers." "They could have showed both points of view but they decided to show the ignorant and racist point of view." The words are printed, the same way they came across, they are bold, and includes the term "migrant slack off day." "May first is supposed to be a day where Mexicans don't go to work and don't buy US products and they called it slacker day, " said Manuel Gonzalez. a senior at Ben Davis. "How is that slacker day. It's just making the point we are wanted here and we should be here." "It wasn't the opinion of Ben Davis high school or the district, our focus is on educating all students," said Tom Langdoc, a school spokesperson. Despite an announcement that explained the editorial did not reflect the views of the school some students are mad. "I think the person who put it in there should be in trouble for discrimination and the teacher who put it in there should be in trouble for discrimination too," said Melissa A spokesperson for Ben Davis High school said the school is planning to send out written letters of explanation and apology to parents for the editorial and that they will look into why the faculty advisor approved the content. Administrators did attempt to remove as many copies of the paper as possible.
Someone explain to this ignorant twit that I bolded that sign is real and used in California to watch out for border hoppers. Freedom of the press doesn't mean you shouldn't be offended.

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Ignorant MSU student rails against facts.

Culture: A follow-up on the MSU professor(Indrek Wichman) that sent out an email that was boorish in tone to the MSU Muslim student organization over the cartoon riots. The MSU paper got feedback on the matter with this amusing little tidbit by Hammad Ghazali.

I have no clue what the definition of a civilized nation is in his dictionary or in which Muslim countries they trade slaves. His words are full of ignorance, bigotry and hate. He apparently played a cheap shot to get attention.
The slavery bit got my attention because even skimming over history you will find that a large number of Arab nations were involved in slave trading of Africans. Today, Sudan carries on slavery.

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Spanish national anthem backlash begins

Immigration: Thanks to a naive well meaning reggaeton British producer, he has managed to make the pro-illegals backtrack on this because it is a sign of disrespect.

CBS) CHICAGO A backlash is brewing Friday night over a Spanish language version of the National Anthem, just days before a major immigration rally hits the streets of Chicago. The anthem was played on radio stations across the country on Friday night as a sign of solidarity, before coast-to-coast immigration rallies kick off on Monday. And as CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports, the backlash is coming from the President, and even a prominent Hispanic congressman. And the new version of the National Anthem is even getting an overwhelming thumbs down from listeners to local radio stations, those that broadcast in Spanish, as well as English. After B96 FM radio played the Spanish version of the National Anthem, the station invited listeners to call in their opinions. Every single one was hostile. One caller said, “It is the National Anthem. And it is the United States. If they want to become American citizens, I think they should learn it in English.” Meanwhile, the five largest Spanish-language radio stations in the Chicago market all decided not to play the song, after receiving a similar overwhelmingly negative reaction from their listeners, who include thousands of illegal immigrants. “A National Anthem is something that’s very sacred,” said Elisa Alfonso of Univision Radio. “That should not be touched. We support immigrant rights, but think is not the right way to do it.” ....U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) also spoke against the Spanish-language anthem. “There's only one National Anthem. I think it was written in English,” Gutierrez said. “It's the only one I've ever sung. And I'm going to continue to sing it.” Ald. Billy Ocasio (26th) was also critical of the Spanish-language anthem, saying, “I don't think they meant it in a bad way. But I think everybody now understands the National Anthem is in English.” Gutierrez and Ocasio noted that the Spanish-language version of our National Anthem is actually the brain-child of a British music promoter.

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Swedish Muslim group tries for sharia law.

Sweden: The result is they got pimpslapped for even suggesting it.

The Swedish government and moderate Muslims on Friday sharply rejected demands by an Islamic leader to enact special laws for Muslims living in the Scandinavian country. Mahmoud Aldebe, head of Sweden's largest Islamic organization, SMF, said Muslims should be given time off work for Friday prayers and Islamic holidays and that imams should approve all divorces between Muslim couples. His proposals, presented in a letter Thursday to Sweden's parliamentary parties, were rejected as "completely unacceptable" by Sweden's Integration Minister Jens Orback. They also elicited a flood of criticism from moderate Muslims who said they were content with living under Swedish laws. "If we are going to live here, we should adapt to the laws that exist - we should not have a separate law just because we have a different faith," said Mariam Osman Sherifay, a Muslim lawmaker with the governing Social Democratic Party. Aldebe's letter also called for laws reserving public swimming pools to women one night a week, as many Muslim families forbid their daughters from bathing with boys for "ethical and religious reasons." "Many Muslim girls finish their high school education without knowing how to swim at all," Aldebe wrote. Other demands included giving imams the right to teach religion to Muslim children in public schools, and providing special burial grounds for Muslims. Aldebe, whose organization has 70,000 members, backtracked on his proposal Friday, telling Swedish Radio he only meant Swedish laws should be adjusted to make Muslims feel safe in society. Many Swedish Muslim leaders distanced themselves from Aldebe's demands, saying they had little support among Sweden's estimated 400,000 Muslims. "He is lucky if he speaks for 70 of his members," said Abd al Haqq Kielan, an imam who heads the Swedish Islamic Society, one of five national Islamic organizations. Kielan called the proposals "absurd," adding that they would lead to "a sort of Mullah-rule that people are scared of." "If you open the gate for separate laws for different minorities, where will it end?" he said. "We have to have one law for all citizens. That is so obvious that I don't understand how he can come up with such an idea."
He came up with the idea when he saw the Swedish government fold like the cowards that they are over the cartoons. So why not push for special law, at the very least he has put the idea out there for future demands.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Air America kicked off flagship station for Ed Schultz?

Media: The only good thing to say he is more entertaining than AAR entire lineup, but that is not saying much.

Air America to Lose NY Flagship on Aug. 31 Katy Bachman APRIL 27, 2006 - Air America Radio will lose its New York flagship station, WLIB-AM, on Aug. 31. While the left-leaning radio network’s original lease for the Inner City station ran out March 31, AAR managed to get an extension which only lasts until Aug. 31, according to an informed source. Through an agreement with ICBC, WLIB will be operated as a joint venture and programmed by P1, a company run by former Clear Channel and Jacor Communications executive Randy Michaels. Michaels is expected to program a progressive-talk format, but replace AAR’s network programming with more local programming. A likely addition to the new lineup: Ed Schultz, the left-of-center talker syndicated by P1. “To be clear, Air America will not go silent on the New York City airwaves. We do not, however, comment on hypothetical speculation,” said an AAR spokesperson.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Clooney is going to turn Darfur into media circus.

Africa: As much as people will cheer having George Clooney about talking about Darfur, I seriously doubt he has the intellect or being politically incorrect to give out the entire story without blaming America first. Wait.. too late.

WASHINGTON – Actor George Clooney, just back from Africa, said Thursday that Americans should not “turn our heads and look away” from genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Oscar winner, who returned Monday from a five-day trip to the region, told a packed room at the National Press Club that he wants to use his “credit card” as a Hollywood star to highlight the plight of two million desperate refugees. He won the Academy Award for best supporting actor this year for his role in the politically charged thriller “Syriana.” “Is the American government slow to act? Of course we're slow to act, we always are,” Clooney said, referring to prior U.S. intervention in Rwanda and the Balkans. “It's something that has to start today,” Clooney said. “If we don't get to work on it today, there's a few thousand people who will be dead by the end of the week.”
Not that you want facts to get in the way of a political cheap shot. But Clinton knew about Rwanda and said to hell with it, ignoring the killings. The small bright light is that it forced him to move quicker when the Balkans came around. The Bush Admin has been pushing for action on Darfur for the last couple of years by being Multilateral with the U.N and Europe. It has gotten nowhere because you can't get sanctions on Sudan because Russia/China will block it. U.N. doesn't want to send any troops because the African Union just wants the equipment to do it themselves. The problem is they are not trained well enough or can get large numbers in there to be effective. The U.N. is a joke as resolutions get blocked and when John Bolton decided to say enough with the monthly updates, lets get something going.
Bolton, joined by China, Algeria and Russia, prevented Juan Mendez, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser for the prevention of genocide, from briefing the council on his recent visit to Darfur, despite pleas from Annan and 11 other council members that Mendez be heard. "I strongly regret and deplore that Mr. Mendez ... was not authorized to brief the council today as Mr. Kofi Annan had asked," French Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere told reporters outside the council chambers. But Bolton said he had objected to the briefing to make the point the council should be "talking more about the steps it can take to do something about the deteriorating security situation" in Darfur. He gave no new proposals. "How many officials from the secretariat does it take to give a briefing?" he said, noting the council had just concluded a briefing on Darfur from Hedi Annabi, the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. Mendez, who visited Darfur for a week in late September, later briefed reporters on his findings. He said Sudanese officials were taking only cosmetic steps to prevent systematic human rights abuses there that might amount to genocide. crimes against humanity or war crimes.

So screw Clooney already for blaming America first when its the rest of the world that has been slow to do anything, blocking us at various points. Even food aid groups are so anti_American they accused people of hyping genocide in 2004.

American warnings that Darfur is heading for an apocalyptic humanitarian catastrophe have been widely exaggerated by administration officials, it is alleged by international aid workers in Sudan. Washington's desire for a regime change in Khartoum has biased their reports, it is claimed. The government's aid agency, USAID, says that between 350,000 and a million people could die in Darfur by the end of the year. Other officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, have accused the Sudanese government of presiding over a 'genocide' that could rival those in Bosnia and Rwanda. But the account has been comprehensively challenged by eyewitness reports from aid workers and by a new food survey of the region. The nutritional survey of Sudan's Darfur region, by the UN World Food Programme, says that although there are still high levels of malnutrition among under-fives in some areas, the crisis is being brought under control.
That is what America has to deal with but Clooney has to play politics and hype himself up.
Clooney said that diplomacy and security is the answer, and international efforts are needed. "If not NATO or the U.N., then who? We have to start today, otherwise a few thousand people will be dead at the end of the month."
Diplomacy has been tried and failed miserably. Try something a bit more realistic. I will give credit, very few reports are being P.C. about what is going on in Darfur.
An Arab militia, the Janjaweed, has attacked ethnic black Africans, raping women and pillaging villages. The militia is accused of widespread atrocities with the support of the government, and drought has compounded the problem. More than 200,000 refugees have fled to Chad, seeking refuge from famine and war. In 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell labeled the crisis a genocide.

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Sarkozy for American Immigration chief!

France: Sarkozy tells people who like lax immigration laws to go eat a pastry.

PARIS (Reuters) - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday rejected charges his new immigration bill was a xenophobic drive for far-right votes ahead of 2007 presidential elections, saying it was a bulwark against racism. The bill aims to attract a new generation of skilled workers who would embrace French values and traditions, thus improving race relations that hit the headlines during last autumn's riots in poor French suburbs, he said. Sarkozy made his comments in an interview with Le Monde newspaper ahead of a parliamentary debate on Tuesday on his immigration bill, which has been sharply criticised by church leaders, immigrant support groups and the left-wing opposition. The law would make it tougher for immigrants to bring relatives to France, force newcomers to take French and civics lessons and end their automatic right to a long-term residence permit after 10 years in France. It would also create a three-year "skills and talents" residence permit designed to attract qualified workers. Sarkozy said his policies aim to meet public concerns about an influx of foreigners and will allow France to select its immigrants rather than take anyone who comes. "Selective immigration is practiced by almost all democracies in the world. And in those countries, racism and the extreme right are less strong than here. In short, it is a bulwark against racism," Sarkozy told Le Monde. ....Sarkozy's political career took off in 2002 in part thanks to a no nonsense style and reputation for getting results. He prompted charges of xenophobia at the weekend by saying he was tired of having to apologise for being French and that those who did not love France could leave it. Sarkozy told Le Monde people were free to criticise but had to accept French laws that banned discrimination against women and allowed newspapers to print cartoons even on religious topics, a reference to the row over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.
West Africa countries are joining up with Europe to stop illegal aliens.
Praia - Four African countries - Cape Verde, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal - have accepted participation in a European project aimed at curbing the current exodus of illegal immigrants towards Europe, said a reliable source. The project, named "Sea Horse", was presented to Cape Verde’s police authorities by the Spanish civil Guard and will also include Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium, the source said on Tuesday. The measures will include the implementation of a joint patrol system and the exchange of information between African countries involved and the European Observatory for illegal immigration. As part of this project, which includes different levels of actions, some visits and conferences will be organised in order to draw up a regular procedure of dialogue between the agencies involved in the fight against illegal immigration by sea. Some specific training on the phenomenon and sea specialities will be conducted beforehand. The Sea Horse, which is supported by European institutions such as Frontex, Europol and the European Commission, will be conducted over three years supported by an initial budget of €2mn. Cape Verde's coastal areas are more and more used by networks, which let illegal immigrants from countries along the West Africa coast into Europe. -panapress

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Rosie O'Donnell heading for the view.. Hens of the world unite.

Entertainment: As if that show couldn't get more of a whine fest, but its this bit of dishonesty by AP's David Bauder that annoys me.

Dubbed "The Queen of Nice" when her syndicated talk show went on the air in 1996 and became an instant hit, O'Donnell won six Daytime Emmy Awards in six years as best talk-show host. She left the show to help raise four children with her partner, Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell.
No she did not, the show was tanking and she bailed.
Rosie Calling It Quits? by Bridget Byrne Nov 21, 2000, 1:00 PM PT Once touted as the kindest, gentlest of the daytime talkers, O'Donnell has more recently attracted controversy and irked TV station owners for either attacking or promoting her guests' political leanings. She lit into Tom Selleck over gun control. Just three weeks ago, she reportedly threatened not to re-sign her contract unless she was allowed to air a video of Barbra Streisand asking viewers to vote for Al Gore. Also ratings have dropped 19 percent this fall. O'Donnell, who used to rank among the top three daytime hosts with Oprah and Jerry Springer , has now fallen behind Regis Philbin and Maury Povich and is currently tied for fifth place with Montel Williams. Media analysts speculate that while O'Donnell may simply be threatening to quit in order to negotiate a better deal, she might also be trying to save face by bowing out before the show really tanks.

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Americans are dumb as dirt about gas prices.

Nation: I really do not want to go on some ticked off rant but people are ignorant about simple economics and the world around them. If I have to read one more idiot talking about windfall taxes or how the oil companies are price gouging when no one has come up with any evidence that it occured in previous investigations. There is not much Exxon can do unless you want to pull a Chavez and nationalize all the oil companies which would make matters worse. But it would make people "feel good." Look at some of the arguments against the oil industry. They don't pay taxes. Bloomberg about Exxon record profit quarter:

Profit fell short of expectations because the company's effective income-tax rate jumped to 46 percent from 39 percent, shaving $1.03 billion in net income, said Kenneth Carroll, an analyst at Johnson Rice & Co. in New Orleans.
What about forcing the oil companies to cut prices and spending?
Spending Is Rising Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil and other oil companies are raising exploration spending to capitalize on surging energy prices. U.S. oil futures indicate that investors expect prices to stay above $70 a barrel through the end of 2009 after touching a record at $75.35 this month. Exxon Mobil is attempting to drill a gas well 32,000 feet (9,754 meters) below the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, which would be the deepest ever drilled. Exxon Mobil plans to start pumping oil and gas from eight new projects this year, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, after starting eight in 2005. Twenty new projects are slated to begin production in the next three years. In March, Tillerson told a gathering of analysts in New York that the company's costs for drilling rigs, pipes and other equipment rose about 5 percent in 2005, less than half the increase incurred by Chevron. Tillerson's goal is to raise the company's output by about 5 percent annually for the next five years. Refining Margins Widen Exxon Mobil plans to spend $5 billion this year on refinery expansions and new chemicals plants. The refinery projects will increase the amount of crude the company can process into products such as gasoline and jet fuel. Exxon Mobil also is modifying plants so it can refine more high-sulfur oil, which is cheaper than the low-sulfur grades preferred by many refiners. Profit margins on refining are widening after some companies idled plants or reduced output to perform maintenance work delayed by the hurricanes of 2005. Based on futures prices, U.S. profits on processing crude into refined fuels averaged more than $9 a barrel in the first quarter, an 11 percent gain from a year earlier.
What about a windfall tax as championed by that economic genius Dick Durbin.
A windfall-profits tax imposes a penalty for the sin of making farsighted investments. Oil companies spent money drilling holes in the ground back in the 1990s even though there was a glut of oil that sent pump prices below $1 a gallon. The customary reward for doing that is to make money when the glut finally ends. For Congress to confiscate a share of that return amounts to telling oil companies they should not have invested in production. Had they not made those investments, of course, there would be even less oil around today--and prices would be $4 or $5 a gallon instead of $3. A windfall-profits tax is a clever trick, if you want to make sure that gas prices never come down. You don't have to take my word for it. President Jimmy Carter responded to the last energy crisis by getting Congress to enact a windfall-profits tax. A study by the Congressional Research Service found the tax reduced domestic oil output by at least 3 percent and boosted imports by 8 percent or more. We could run that experiment again, and I'm sure the Saudis would thank us.
First clue you have a problem is championing laws that were used by Jimmy Carter. What about capping prices on gas at the pump? It worked well in Hawaii.
Gasoline price cap's time may be up By Sean Hao Advertiser Staff Writer The end of Hawai'i's controversial gasoline price cap seemed more certain yesterday after Senate leaders offered a compromise that could pave the way for a repeal of the law. Sen. Ron Menor, D-17th (Mililani, Waipi'o), a key supporter of the gas cap, softened his position as prices rose to more than $3 a gallon for regular at most O'ahu stations. Menor said he is now willing to replace the cap with a law that would require more disclosure of oil industry profits and empower the governor to bring back temporary price controls if needed. House leaders, who want to end the price cap, said Menor's offer could break a stalemate that, if unresolved, would have left the gas cap in effect for another year. "Given this proposal, it looks very likely that we should be able to come up with a compromise," said House Majority Leader Marcus Oshiro, D-39th (Wahiawa). The momentum to end the price caps comes as motorists braced for the ninth rise in the gas cap in the past 10 weeks. The cap, which is adjusted each Monday based on Mainland prices, will likely rise 4 cents per gallon next week, according to House calculations. That's on top of a 14-cent increase this week. Gas prices are the highest they have been since just after the cap was put in effect in September, and public opposition to the cap has been building as prices rise. "When the cap was introduced, I really thought this was our savior," Ben Castillo of Wailua, Kaua'i, said in an e-mail. "Obviously, we were all wrong. I speak with truckers and other small business and we all agree: The cap needs to be reviewed."
We could always cut back on all the taxes that are put on the price of gas.
CAVUTO: Are you ignoring the taxes? Senator, I'm asking you simply, are you ignoring the taxes? Would you roll back those taxes? DURBIN: No. I'm telling you the taxes pay for the roads that we use. CAVUTO: Would you roll back those taxes? DURBIN: No. Let me tell you, you look at the traffic congestion in America and the need for mass transit, you want to cut the source of funding to deal with that congestion? You're wrong. We have got to have taxation of users of our roads, in order to keep them safe and to keep them modern and to build mass transit. Neil, you can't walk away from that. CAVUTO: So, $50 cents a gallon, the taxes are OK? The 9 cent profit, that's not OK? DURBIN: Oh, stop the 9 cents.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This latino version of the national anthem pretty stupid.

Immigration: There are a number of reasons. 1) You put Gloria Trevi on it? A person involved in a child sex slavery ring? 2) I am all for different interpretations of the anthem, but adding and changing the lyrics is going too far.

Oh say can you see, a la luz de la aurora/Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer? Sus estrellas, sus franjas flotaban ayer/En el fiero combate en senal de victoria,/Fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertada,/Por la noche decian: “Se va defendiendo!” Coro: Oh, decid! Despliega aun su hermosura estrellada,/Sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada? Chant: It’s time to make a difference the kids, men and the women/Let’s stand for our beliefs, let’s stand for our vision/What about the children los ninos como P-Star These kids have no parents, cause all of these mean laws. See this can’t happen, not only about the Latins. Asians, blacks and whites and all they do is adding more and more, let’s not start a war with all these hard workers, they can’t help where they were born.
3) You are going to release this to coincide with the big May 1st marches or as they say in Mexico "NO GRINGO DAY". A wonderful show of being in love with America. 4) This is the kind of talk that irritates Americans.
Julie Santos, secretary of a Chicago group called United Latino Family, said her members are families in which some members are U.S. citizens and others are illegal immigrants threatened with deportation. In a mixture of fear and pride, families that normally carry the Mexican flag and the Virgin of Guadalupe at group events brandished American flags at the March rally, Santos said. "I carried an American flag because I am proud of this country. But your descent is something that you can't take away from anyone, whether you're Polish, Irish or whatever," she said. "No one should be put down because they are carrying their home country's flag. We can express ourselves in any way. That's the wonderful part of being in America." Maria de los Angeles Torres, director of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said technology and proximity have allowed Mexican immigrants to retain their cultural identities more closely than many previous immigrant waves. But Torres said Chicagoans have always retained a "hyphenated" cultural identity, no matter their background. Americans, she said, should look at the desire of marchers to work and participate politically as consistent with American values. "I worry that people feel that they are so vulnerable that they can't express both identities," she said. "The conception that you have to leave behind your culture to become an American is a most un-American conception of political citizenship."
There is the arrogance of certain members of these movements, to them if you work and paricipate politically(to their liking) That makes you an American, that is enough. You can express yourself in any way, but when you are trying to show that you are American as apple pie, but you shove the Mexican flag in everyone's face and keep talking about your right to be here illegally. It shows you have no desire to be a part of the melting pot. You want to be here, take the money and keep everything to your liking. That will not do and just carrying around America flags because the memo got sent out does not fool anyone.

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The feel good illegal alien story of the day.

Immigration: You know when you read a lead that starts off like this.

TRAPPED IN THE VALLEY Beefed-up checkpoints are disrupting the lives of undocumented residents, but enforcement advocates say that's part of the plan. By JAMES PINKERTON HARLINGEN - Stepped-up immigration enforcement in South Texas has made a long-standing predicament even worse: Increasing numbers of undocumented residents find themselves trapped, unable to get past beefed-up highway checkpoints.
It's going to be a helluva a read.
Agents say the interior checkpoints are an essential second layer of defense, part of a broader net that in 2005 snagged more than 1.2 million illegal immigrants and more than 1 million pounds of drugs. And, enforcement advocates say, if the checkpoints are disrupting undocumented immigrants' lives, well, they must be working. ''The idea that if you break the law and put yourself and your family in that situation, that it's unfair for the government to take action against you, doesn't make any sense," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federal for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, an immigration reform group that has nearly 200,000 supporters. "It's unfortunate when these thing happen, but you have to look at who created the situation in the first place." In the Rio Grande Valley, many residents don't consider a lack of papers such a serious offense. It's traditionally been more of an inconvenience, a paperwork problem. And, they perceive the border to be more a blur than a sharp line. So if there's a checkpoint, residents find a way to drive or walk around it. But now, many residents say that's too risky. Not only are there two more permanent checkpoints in South Texas, there are roving tactical checkpoints to worry about, as well.
I guess you will be taking a lack of papers showing you did not break the law a bit more seriously now. How am I supposed to be feel sorry with arrogance like that?

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Florida lawmakers running away from illegals tuition break.

Edumacation: Hooray, once the word got out, people are running away from giving out breaks to illegals

"It is the opinion of the vast majority of people who have contacted me that we shouldn't be promoting bad behavior," said Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs, who is up for re-election this fall. He said he didn't remember that he has twice voted for a similar proposal. The proposal recently went down to defeat on a tie vote in the Senate Domestic Security Committee. Republican Sens. Jim Sebesta, Paula Dockery and Stephen Wise joined Constantine in voting against the tuition breaks. All have supported similar legislation before. Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, was the only Republican to vote for it. The defeat of the measure in the Senate committee could hurt the proposal's chances in the last two weeks of the legislative session. "The heightened awareness that we have right now in America on the impacts of illegal immigration on our society have changed the context within which this legislation is being considered," said Lee, explaining why he and a number of senators have withdrawn support.
Poynter's owned St.Pete Times(worst paper in Florida) is unhappy about this.
There is plenty of hypocrisy to go around in the immigration debate. Politicians bluster about tougher laws, yet the existing ones are rarely enforced. In Washington, Congress debates building a wall along the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out while businesses back home depend on the cheap labor. Now the hypocrisy has reached Tallahassee, where the state Senate appears unwilling to grant in-state college tuition to children of illegal immigrants even after unanimously approving the same concept twice in the last three years. Now that immigration is a hot issue, Senate President Tom Lee of Valrico and other senators are more concerned about short-term politics than the long-term welfare of these children and the state's economy.
Passing illegals tuition breaks is only an invitation for more illegals to show up in Florida. The kids want someone to blame they should look at their parents breaking the law.

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CIA makes clear Mary McCarthy did wrong.

Nation: CIA not taking any stuff from her lawyer.

WASHINGTON, April 25 — The Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday defended the firing of Mary O. McCarthy, the veteran officer who was dismissed last week, and challenged her lawyer's statements that Ms. McCarthy never provided classified information to the news media. But intelligence officials would not say whether they believed that Ms. McCarthy had been a source for a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles in The Washington Post about secret C.I.A. detention centers abroad. Media accounts have linked Ms. McCarthy's firing to the articles, but the C.I.A. has never explicitly drawn such a connection. In response to questions Tuesday, the intelligence officials declined to say whether discussion of the prisons had been part of what they described as a pattern of unauthorized contacts between Ms. McCarthy and reporters. One intelligence official, who was granted anonymity to speak more candidly about the sensitive issue, said it was unclear how much access Ms. McCarthy, who had been assigned to the agency's inspector general's office, had to specific details about the secret prisons. A C.I.A. spokeswoman, Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, said: "The officer was terminated for precisely the reasons we have given: unauthorized contacts with reporters and sharing classified information with reporters. There is no question whatsoever that the officer did both. The officer personally admitted doing both."
CJRDaily points out that the MSM did a helluva leap with the initial reports.
Yet from the moment that news of McCarthy's dismissal broke last Saturday, most members of the press immediately assumed she was indeed the source. And pundits and bloggers, depending on their political leanings, have alternately portrayed McCarthy as a brave whistleblower who had the guts to throw away a distinguished career in order to tell the truth about a program of detention and torture, or a dangerous turncoat who leaked our nation's most precious secrets to a journalist and undermined national security (and, to add insult to injury, donated $2,000 to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign). Looking at the initial reports, it's easy to see how the press cemented the idea that McCarthy was Priest's source without saying it outright. Saturday's story in the Washington Post -- Priest's own paper -- is typical. It starts off referring to the CIA's statement, which makes absolutely no reference to McCarthy having leaked a specific story, then not-so-subtly jumps to conclusions: "The CIA's statement did not name the reporters it believes were involved, but several intelligence officials said the Post's Dana Priest was among them. This week, Priest won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting for articles about the agency, including one that revealed the existence of secret, CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere." And just like that, presto, McCarthy is responsible for the Priest scoop. To add fuel to the fire, the next paragraph of the piece goes on to quote CIA Director Porter J. Goss's February comments to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his determination to get to the bottom of recent leaks, saying that "the damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission." That was more than a nudge. The piece was clearly suggesting a connection. Subsequent stories in the Post and the New York Times about McCarthy's character and the likelihood that she spilled the beans only added to the sense that much was at stake here -- not just whether she had been doing some unauthorized talking to reporters (a commonplace occurrence in Washington), but whether she was responsible for an investigative blockbuster.

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Gas price gouging and whine about profits.

Bidness: A whole bunch of hooey that gets the ignorant and the fearful jumping around like meth-addicted monkeys. Most of the moves made by President Bush will please the simpletons, but the only thing worth looking at is the oil future prices.

Bush and Republicans in Congress face growing pressure from voters as crude oil soars to a record and gasoline pump prices near the all-time high set after Hurricane Katrina last year. A CNN poll released yesterday showed 69 percent of U.S. adults say higher fuel costs are causing financial hardship. The Energy Department will suspend deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve through the end of summer, which is the period of peak demand in the U.S., Bush said. Because the stockpile is nearly full, the effect of the halt may be minimal. The government has been adding an average of about 25,000 barrels of oil per day to the reserve so far this year. The U.S. imports about 10 million barrels a day. Oil Reserves The U.S. reserve, in underground salt caverns along the U.S. Gulf Coast, is meant to be used in case of a sudden supply disruption. Bush has said he would not release reserves just because prices are high, and he didn't change that stance today. Crude oil surged to a record $75.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange last week amid concern that Iranian oil supplies might be jeopardized by the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. Oil fell 45 cents to $72.88 a barrel today in reaction to Bush's speech. Fear of future disruptions is doing more to boost oil prices than a lack of supply, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, said this week. Saudi Arabia is the biggest oil producer in OPEC, followed by Iran.
The chickens playing the market are the ones pushing the prices up more than anything. You can also blame the ridiculous amounts of different fuels companies have to make to meet standards by different states and various amount of local and state taxes that help drive the price of gas up. What is everone focused on? Fantasy price gouging and those evil oil companies making profit.
The plan to waive rules governing fuel blends could do more harm than good, according to Bob Slaughter, head of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, the refining industry's trade group, based in Washington. ``If you even consider making any change, you want a lot of evidence that a change is necessary and will do more good than harm,'' Slaughter said in an interview yesterday. ``That is not the case right now.'' Refiners are replacing MTBE, a gasoline additive that fouled drinking water supplies, with ethanol because of changes in fuel rules in the energy legislation Bush signed in August. Over the past week, shortages have occurred in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, according to the AAA, the nation's largest motoring club. About 60 filling stations in the Dallas area experienced brief shortages earlier this month. The transition has been made more difficult because it coincides with an annual switch to so-called summer-grade fuel, required in some places under the Clean Air Act. Pennsylvania is the only state so far to request a waiver of the summer rules, according to Jennifer Wood, spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. Price Manipulation The investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department was sought by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate. It renews Bush's directive to the FTC after Katrina hit to be on the watch for price gouging. ``The first thing to do is to make sure Americans are treated fairly at the gas pump,'' Bush said. ``This administration is not going to tolerate manipulation.'' Boone Pickens, a Dallas hedge fund manager and Bush supporter, said he was disappointed the president is raising this issue because it probably won't lead to anything. ``There's not anything there. There's not anybody gouging,'' Pickens said in an interview today at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. ``You have the Federal Trade Commission looking at gasoline prices every day.'' U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FTC chief Deborah Platt Majoras today sent letters to state attorneys general pledging cooperation on investigations and saying the agencies ``have substantially increased our efforts at the federal level to monitor, detect, pursue and prevent any violations of the law in this industry.'' The FTC will send a final report to Congress by May 19 on whether businesses have manipulated gasoline markets and prices. Past Investigations Past investigations of price gouging have concluded that ``the industry is reasonably competitive and the explanation for price increases lies in other causes,'' said Bert Foer, president of the American Antitrust Institute. The chance investigators will find anything new ``strikes me as fairly low,'' he said.
Read the whole bloomberg article as it shoots down a lot of the stupid rhetoric.

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Spain's socialists have nothing important to do?

Spain: I can't wait for Zapatero to demand voting rights for apes.

The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings." The PSOE's justification is that humans share 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas, and 96.4% with orangutans. The party will announce its Great Ape Project at a press conference tomorrow. An organization with the same name is seeking a UN declaration on simian rights which would defend ape interests "the same as those of minors and the mentally handicapped of our species." According to the Project, "Today only members of the species Homo sapiens are considered part of the community of equals. The chimpanzee, the gorilla, and the orangutan are our species's closest relatives. They possess sufficient mental faculties and emotional life to justify their inclusion in the community of equals."
Crows/ravens are also as smart as apes, dolphins are up there as well, they might even be smarter than apes. They don't share our genes like the apes do, but why discriminate? Stop the hate.

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MSU asked to punish prof with rude email to Muslim students.

Nation: After further review.

EAST LANSING -- A professor at Michigan State University admitted Monday that he sent an e-mail with statements reflecting prejudice against Muslims. He said he thought his missive would remain private. Indrek Wichman, a professor of mechanical engineering, said he intended the letter as a critique of Muslim students' protests at the university about the publication of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. In the e-mail, after citing several international incidents of what he said was Muslim violence directed against others, Wichman wrote: "I counsul (sic) you dissatisfied, agressive (sic), brutal and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' If you do not like the values of the West -- see the 1st Ammendment (sic) -- you are free to leave." "I hope for God's sake you choose that option," Wichman wrote. "Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans. Cordially, I.S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering." In an interview Monday, Wichman said he believes he has done nothing that requires an apology. "Why should it?" Wichman said. "I am a private citizen, right? What am I doing wrong in my job? What did I do here? "For the record, I thought it was a private communication and it was written in haste. I think a very minor thing has been blown completely out of proportion. I wrote it in 60 seconds. It was not like I sat and pondered over this thing for days. It was like you talking one night to your wife or your kids." The letter was written Feb. 28. Wichman said he sent it to an e-mail address that he believed belonged to a particular student who is active in the Muslim Students' Association. But students who lead the association said the e-mail address was part of the official Web site of the group, which assured distribution of the letter to more than the students and others who are active in Muslim affairs on the campus in East Lansing and elsewhere. The Muslim Students' Association and the Council on American-Islamic Relations met with administrators at MSU three times over the past six weeks, said Dawud Walid, the executive director of the council in Michigan. The groups are seeking a reprimand for Wichman and the implementation of more diversity programs on campus. "He does have academic freedom and freedom of speech," Walid said. "But when his inflammatory speech is fostering apprehension and an unhealthy learning environment for students at the university at which he teaches, that is a problem. "Furthermore, he is sending out this information on university property, a computer, and that is paid for by the taxpayers, by our tax dollars, during his working hours in his office."
Nice touch there by Walid, but no, tenured and free speech issues win the day unless MSU buckles under like a wimp. Ward Churchill is still around, this guy is going to be gold.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A couple of questions about Mary McCarthy

Nation: Why does the Washington Post insist on surrounding this story with Scotter Libby considering they have nothing to do with one another? Libby's name doesn't even appear in the article. 2) You check Google news and what should be a big story seems to be getting less overall press. 3) Now they are saying she had nothing to do with the prison leak, which she can say thanks to NBC news for reporting that.

In a statement last Friday, the agency said it had fired one of its officers for having unauthorized conversations with journalists in which the person "knowingly and willfully shared classified intelligence." Intelligence officials subsequently acknowledged that the official was McCarthy and said that Priest is among the journalists with whom she acknowledged sharing information. Priest won the Pulitzer Prize this month for a series of articles she wrote last year about the intelligence community, including the revelation of the existence of CIA-run prisons in East European countries. The Post withheld the names of the countries at the Bush administration's request, and it attributed the information to current and former intelligence officials from three continents. The articles sparked a wide-ranging CIA investigation that included polygraphing scores of officials who worked in offices privy to information about the secret prisons, including McCarthy and her boss, CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson. Nowhere in the CIA statement last week was McCarthy accused of leaking information on the prisons, although some news accounts suggested that the CIA had made that claim. Though McCarthy acknowledged having contact with reporters, a senior intelligence official confirmed yesterday that she is not believed to have played a central role in The Post's reporting on the secret prisons. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing personnel matters.
Goss has more work to do in shutting down leaks. 4) There is not going to be any follow up to EU's Gijs de Vries saying he has no evidence these jails existed in the first place? That sounds like big news.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

David Cameron is an idiot.

UK: Just an observation from across the pond, but maybe if he wasn't dog sledding for swampy votes, he would be in the UK doing his job by making people have reason to vote Tory instead of saying vote for anyone but the BNP. The boy blunder has already failed his first major test even if the BNP doesn't win any seats. When did both conservatives parties overall get stuck on stupid?

David Cameron called yesterday on voters in next month's English local elections to support any party other than the far-Right British National Party. Mr Cameron: reaching out to voters in the inner-city The Conservative leader accused the BNP of "thriving on hatred" and wanting to set one race against another. "I hope nobody votes for the BNP. I would rather people voted for any other party," Mr Cameron told Sky News. His remarks reflect growing alarm among mainstream parties that the BNP is poised to make gains on May 4 when almost 23 million voters in London and in borough and metropolitan councils go to the polls. A YouGov survey for The Daily Telegraph today suggests that millions of voters are not enamoured of any of the main parties. Fewer than one voter in five wants the Conservatives to control their local council. The same small proportion wants to see Labour in power locally. Still fewer fancy the Liberal Democrats. A substantial fraction of the electorate would rather see no one party in power but a two-party or more coalition

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MCB accused of gay u-turn

UK: How stupid would you have to be to believe this in the first place when the head of the MCB, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, said on the radio months ago that homosexuality was a sin.

Britain's most powerful Muslim organisation was accused last night of a making a stunning U-turn on a commitment to tackle homophobia. Just days after the Muslim Council of Britain signalled it was planning to sign up to a five-year plan to reach out to Britain's gay community, senior members of the organisation have ripped up the strategy. Mohammed Aziz, its policy adviser, had been quoted as saying he believed the organisation would take great steps in the coming months to shed its homophobic image. The plan was discussed at the government's Equality and Diversity Forum in January and debated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Equalities. 'We have brought about a lot of change from five years ago when the MCB was behind issues such as section 28, and against gay adoption,' Aziz is reported to have said. 'The first part of the strategy was to tell the MCB "if you have nothing positive to say, keep your mouth shut". Most of the negative statements now date back to 1999.' The plan was hailed as a breakthrough by gay rights campaigners and a sign the organisation was looking to distance itself from comments made earlier this year by its secretary general, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, who described homosexuals as 'harmful, immoral, unacceptable and diseased'. But it has emerged that the council has rejected Aziz's claims. Inayat Bunglawala, its spokesman, insisted Aziz's views did not represent those of the MCB. He told the Islam TV Channel: 'There is no truth in these quotes. Our position is very clear, our Secretary General was nearly prosecuted for this because we maintain that homosexual relationships are sinful in Islam.' Aziz declined to comment, telling The Observer that the MCB's attempts to distance itself from his comments was a 'matter for the MCB'.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

BBC: A "perceived" humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

Media: Coming from the organization where their employees cried at the death of Arafat, this is sadly predictable.

'Westerners responsible' In previous messages, Bin Laden had sometimes tried to differentiate and drive a wedge between governments of the West and the general public, offering a truce to Europe if it changed its government and their policies of intervention in the Muslim world. But more ominously, in this tape he claims that the continuing "war" is a "responsibility shared between the people and the governments". The section of the tape which will cause greatest consternation in the West is the reference to the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. In the West, this is perceived as a humanitarian crisis and there remains pressure to send in troops to intervene. However, in some quarters of the Muslim world, there is a conspiratorial view that the West will seek to break apart Sudan in the way it is perceived as having broken apart Iraq.

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New Orleans has its own Hamas/Fatah-like choice.

Nation: A race between Nagin and a Landrieu, whoever wins, New Orleans and taxpayers lose.

In a complete reversal of support from four years ago, Mayor Ray Nagin scored heavily with black voters and was practically abandoned by whites as he and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu won spots in a mayoral runoff election. The black incumbent, who received most of his support from white voters in the 2002 election, garnered less than 10 percent of the vote Saturday in predominantly white precincts, according to GCR & Associates Inc., a consulting firm analyzing demographic data for the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. But Nagin, who offended many white voters in January when he suggested God wanted New Orleans to remain a "chocolate city," saw black voters rush to his defense. He received 65 percent or more of the vote in predominantly black neighborhoods, the consultant found. Landrieu, who is white, finished with 29 percent of the overall vote to Nagin's 38 percent. He finished second in black neighborhoods to Nagin and second in white neighborhoods to third-place finisher Ron Forman, bolstering his claims that he can help bring together diverse groups to help New Orleans emerge from the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. Landrieu said Sunday that the number of voters who chose candidates other than Nagin demonstrated that voters want change. "This city, this great city, calls for change," he said. Nagin, a former cable executive seeking his second term as mayor, said his overall win is an endorsement of his performance and his plans for the city's future. "I just feel we're on the right track, and people have verified that to me," he said. The numbers suggest it will be a serious challenge for Nagin to broaden his support in time for the May 20 runoff. "His one shot is to get enough of the whites who liked him four years ago to like him again," said political analyst Elliott Stonecipher. Those votes are all the more important because the city is whiter than it was before Katrina hit Aug. 29: Fewer than half the city's 455,000 residents have returned, most of those displaced are black. Only about 20,000 evacuees participated in Saturday's election by absentee ballot, fax and satellite stations, although an unknown number returned to the city to vote in person. Nearly half of voters in predominantly white areas turned out, compared with about 30 percent of registered voters in black neighborhoods, which also tended to be the worst hit by flooding. About 36 percent of the city's 297,000 eligible voters participated in Saturday's election, some traveling hundreds of miles to help decide who will lead one of the biggest urban reconstruction projects in U.S. history.
I dislike the notion black people keep voting on race instead of who is better qualified, but this bears out that trend again.

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Rising gas prices frustrate the stupid people.

Nation: Its people like Colley where I cheer on any hardship they get from high gas prices to offset the fact they are too idiotic to take seriously.

Patricia Colley drove past two gas stations in the Georgetown neighborhood Friday to save 4 cents a gallon at the Union 76 station on Michigan Street. She wasn't even filling up. Colley needed just enough gas in her Acura to make it to Tacoma, where she knew unleaded regular gas would be cheaper than $2.98 a gallon, the best price she could find nearby.
You can read that over and let it sink into your mind.
Prices are rising, "and there's not any rhyme or reason for it," said Colley, who recently moved from Denver to Seattle for a new job. "And that's frustrating."
Most likely took one economics class and forgot her lessons. But the article does point out some of the reasons for high gas prices.
Analysts say oil prices are likely to climb even higher in the weeks ahead as worries grow about how international pressure on Iran, OPEC's No. 2 oil producer, will affect its crude-oil output. Another factor is disruption caused by rebels in Nigeria, the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports. Finance officials from the Group of Seven countries expressed concern Friday about rising oil prices and pledged to take action to prevent the disruption of the global economy. Policy-makers encouraged the nations -- the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada -- to commit to greater energy efficiency, conservation and diversification. Accounting for inflation, gas prices in the United States are still about 20 percent below the records reached in 1981, when supplies tightened after a revolution in Iran and a war between Iraq and Iran. At a Shell station in Rainier Valley, the grumbling by customers is growing louder. "They say: 'You guys are too high. You guys make too much money. You guys don't care about your customers,' " said the station owner, who asked that his name not be published. In fact, "we're not making extra money," he said. "When prices go up, we make less." That's because he makes a set profit -- about 10 cents per gallon sold -- regardless of price, he said. Customers deterred by higher prices are buying less gas, he said, and if they pay with a credit card, his profits are reduced by the fees he owes card issuers.
Don't forget to add rising demand from developing countries like China/India, it would help if America could go drilling for more oil domestically, but you know...save the caribou and all that.
Colley said Americans are being "jerked around by oil companies" and need to be thinking of transportation and fuel alternatives. "Until then," she said, "we're stuck at the pump."
Someone tell this twit to go learn about economics.

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Iowa and New Hampshire primaries hate black people.

Politics: Now I have to agree with John Kerry how this is stupid.

WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. John Kerry dismisses as ''absolutely ridiculous'' the notion that his support for Iowa and New Hampshire's prominent roles in the presidential nomination process means he thinks only the votes of white people count. Many Democrats complain that the two early nomination elections winnow out candidates based on votes from small states with overwhelmingly white populations. The party is considering adding, during those early weeks, one or two states in other regions to draw diverse electorates into the process. Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee for president and a possible candidate in 2008, wrote a column for the New Hampshire Sunday News arguing that ''the special role that Iowa and New Hampshire play in presidential politics has strengthened our democracy by insuring that citizens at the grass roots engage directly with candidates for the presidency.'' On ABC's ''This Week,'' the Massachusetts Democrat bridled when told an unnamed Democratic strategist said that, by supporting the status quo, ''you're basically saying only white people's votes count in those early states.'' ''That's so much bunk,'' Kerry responded. ''I don't know how to describe that comment in any other way than to say that that's absolutely ridiculous. The converse of that is to suggest that the people in New Hampshire and Iowa are insensitive to those issues and don't care about them.'' Kerry scored a surprise victory in the Iowa caucus in January 2004 and went on to win the New Hampshire primary. He told ABC that Iowa and New Hampshire voters had served the party well by nominating good candidates in the past. He wrote in the column, ''I think my party is making a mistake in trying to 'fix' something that is not broken.'' In March, Democrats agreed to a plan to place racially diverse states early in the voting. The Iowa caucuses would remain the first contest, followed by an additional caucus or caucuses, followed by the New Hampshire primary, traditionally the site of the first presidential primary. One or two more primaries would be added before the calendar was opened to all states.
Frontloading more states will add more chaos than clarity no matter the reason. But what does it say about the Dem party when Iowa/N.H primaries are considered somehow bogus because it has more white people? A good candidate for the Dems can reach out to the grassroots no matter the color. Its the demagogues and race hustlers(looking at you Rev. Jesse/Al) that fail fast in those states.

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Florida trying to pass illegal alien tuition break.

Nation: Unacceptable no matter what. Taxpayers should not give a break for illegals, all it does is add incentive for more illegals to come to the state.

Children who are undocumented typically can't afford college because they can't show they're legal Florida residents, meaning they can't get in-state tuition, which is much cheaper than what other students pay. The measure that passed the House would only give the break to the brightest of those children, reserving the in-state tuition for the 500 top undocumented students graduating from high schools in Florida each year. The students must show they have been in Florida with their parents at least three years to qualify. Rep. Juan Zapata, who has pushed the idea in the House, said undocumented children aren't the same as illegal adults, because they did nothing wrong. "This ... is about giving children an opportunity to live a better life," said Zapata, R-Miami. He said the students that would benefit would be the most motivated and have hopes for a better life than their parents had in their home country. "Imagine having that taken away because of what your parents did," Zapata said. But opponents of the idea say it isn't fair for the state to give a tuition break that would essentially reward parents who have broken the law. Opponents also say their constituents are simply not in favor of helping pay for the education of illegal immigrants' children. "We can't pay for tuition for our own people," said Lee, R-Valrico. "I have no anger toward people who come here seeking a better life, but doggone it they ought to pay their own way and come here legally. And its not our job to subsidize illegal activity." The language creating the out-of-state tuition waiver that passed the House on a 91-21 vote was part of a broader bill (HB 795) aimed at helping first generation college students pay tuition. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, would put $14 million of state money into a program that would provide scholarships to certain low-income students who are part of the first generation in their family to go to a state university or community college that is willing to match the money. That idea was part of Gov. Jeb Bush's plan for making college more accessible to minorities. A spokesman for Bush, Russell Schweiss, said the governor hadn't reviewed the immigrant language in Flores' bill. But Schweiss did note that Bush has in the past supported giving in-state tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants, an idea that has passed the Senate the last two years, but died in the House. .....That measure was before the House Education Council Friday. There, Zapata, who was raised in Colombia, but whose parents became American citizens, got emotional in arguing for its passage. "People have gotten really mean about this issue, saying somehow these kids should be punished for what their parents did," Zapata said, fighting tears. The council approved his bill unanimously. But the Senate version (SB 366) of the stand-alone immigrant tuition bill, sponsored by Sen. Fredrica Wilson, D-Miami, was defeated earlier this week in the Senate Domestic Security Committee, where it died on a 4-4 vote. Flores' broader scholarship bill is now headed to the Senate, and Wilson vowed to push to get it heard there, despite Lee's opposition and the defeat of the same basic idea in a committee. "It's going to be a battle," she said. But she said the measure would only benefit a small number of children who without it will be doomed to a lifetime of poverty like their parents.
Go back to your country of origin to continue your education there or apply for a student visa. Your parent's stupidity and lack of regard for American law got you into this mess.

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LATIMES boldly follows the rest of the pack.

Politics: Editor and Publisher points out a LATIMES editorial calling for Dick Cheney to step down as the first major paper to call for it. But the London Sunday Times pointed out this has been talked about before including that notorious left wingnut Fred Barnes.

REPUBLICANS are urging President George W Bush to dump Dick Cheney as vice-president and replace him with Condoleezza Rice if he is serious about presenting a new face to the jaded American public. They believe that only the sacrifice of one or more of the big beasts of the jungle, such as Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, will convince voters that Bush understands the need for a fresh start. The jittery Republicans claim Bush’s mini-White House reshuffle last week will do nothing to forestall the threat of losing control of Congress in the November mid-term elections. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard magazine and author of Rebel in Chief, a sympathetic new biography of Bush, said: “There are going to have to be sweeping personnel changes if people are going to take a second look at the Bush presidency.” Barnes, who is close to the White House, said he believed Cheney would be willing to stand down in order to help Bush. “It’s unlike Bush to dump somebody whom he likes and respects,” he cautioned. “But the president needs to do something shocking and dramatic such as putting in Condoleezza Rice.”

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Osama Bin Laden hates black people and cartoons.

World: Osama pops back up and lashes out at the West with even Hamas getting a mild rebuke.

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden urged his followers to prepare for a long war against Western would-be occupiers in Sudan's Darfur region, according to an audiotape attributed to him which aired on Sunday. The speaker, who sounded like the Saudi-born militant, also said on the tape broadcast on Al Jazeera television that the West's shunning of the Hamas Palestinian government showed it was waging a "Crusader-Zionist war" on Muslims. "I call on the mujahideen and their supporters in Sudan ... and the Arabian peninsula to prepare all that is necessary to wage a long-term war against the Crusaders in western Sudan," bin Laden said, accusing the West of seeking to divide Sudan. Sudan hosted bin Laden in the 1990s, but on the tape he criticised Khartoum for not enforcing Islamic sharia law throughout the country and made clear his call to arms in Darfur was in spite of his differences with the Sudanese government. Criticising a U.S.-backed peace deal between Khartoum and southern rebels, bin Laden accused the United States of planning to send "Crusader troops to occupy the region and steal its oil under the cover of preserving security there". Some U.N. troops have arrived in southern Sudan, the first of an expected 10,000 peacekeepers to be sent there. Sudan is resisting pressure for U.N. peacekeepers to deploy in Darfur. "This means that we are coming up to a new Qaeda in Darfur similar to that in Afghanistan," Faris bin Houzam, a journalist who specialises in al Qaeda, told Reuters. Bin Laden accused Washington of fuelling strife in the country. The United States is pressing for U.N. sanctions against the Sudanese government for its part in the Darfur conflict, which erupted in 2003 when mostly non-Arab tribes revolted, accusing the Arab-dominated authorities of neglecting them. Khartoum retaliated by arming mainly Arab militia, known as Janjaweed, who began a campaign of murder, rape and plunder that drove more than 2 million villagers into squalid camps in Darfur and in neighbouring Chad. Khartoum denies responsibility. ...."WAR AGAINST MUSLIMS" Bin Laden said the Darfur crisis and Western efforts to isolate the Palestinian government since Hamas won January elections were part of an anti-Muslim campaign. "Their rejection of Hamas affirms that it is a Crusader-Zionist war against Muslims," he said, although he also criticised the Islamist group for breaking what he said was a taboo against "joining infidel assemblies". He said people in the West shared responsibility for their countries' "war against Islam". ....The Qaeda leader, on the run since the U.S. campaign to oust Afghanistan's Taliban government in 2001 after the September 11 attacks, said Western leaders had ignored his truce offers. "They do not want a truce unless it is from our side only ... they insist on continuing their Crusader campaign against our nation and to loot our wealth," bin Laden said. Bin Laden and his right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be hiding in a mountainous area on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Bin Laden also called for boycotting the United States and European countries over the controversial cartoons lampooning Islam's Prophet Mohammad first published by a Danish newspaper.

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BBC presenter says immigrants loyal to homeland.

UK: Just think of Britain as a place to be. The same can be said to those for some here in America.

George Alagiah, one of the BBC's most senior news broadcasters, has urged immigrants to do more to assimilate into the British way of life. Alagiah, 50, who was born in Sri Lanka, believes that too many arrivals are finding themselves isolated because they are putting loyalty to their homeland before their allegiance to Britain. The journalist contrasts the attitudes of new immigrants with those of previous generations who showed a greater willingness to embrace their new home. "I'm not against immigration. I am an immigrant and immigration has been a fantastic boon for Britain," he said. "It's not so much how much immigration we have, as what kind of immigration we have. "Some of today's immigrants aren't interested in making Britain their home. They see it as a place where they can live - but their real ties remain with their homelands." ...Alagiah explores the immigrant experience in a book, Home From Home, which will be published later this year. He said: "I'll be comparing my experience, the integrationalist approach, with the experience of immigrants who come here and grow up in a community that is somewhat removed from the mainstream of British society." Alagiah said he is aware his comments might be controversial in certain circles. He believes that the bombings in London last July have pushed issues of immigration and multi-culturalism to the top of the political agenda. "Parts of the book are going to be controversial because it questions multi-culturalism. Given what happened in London last July, a lot of people are beginning to question where immigration has got us," he said. The comments by Alagiah echo those made by Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission of Racial Equality. Last year, Mr Phillips gave a warning that the country was "sleepwalking" into New Orleans-style racial segregation, with Muslim and black ghettos dividing cities. Alagiah's contribution to the debate is likely to prove controversial. BBC journalists are not supposed "to advocate any particular position on any issue of current public controversy or debate" and must obtain clearance before speaking on contentious issues. Issues of race and immigration are likely to dominate the political agenda during the run up to local elections on May 4. In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph last week, Margaret Hodge, the employment minister, said that many Labour voters were so angry at the impact of immigration, there was a danger they could desert the party in favour of the far Right British National Party.

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Cynthia McKinney gets into a snit with local tv reporter.

Media: Always act like the mic is on at all times and watch what you say to the media. Video on the playlist to the right.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Scotter Libby was the CIA agent fired?

Media: The owls are on the case. Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us What's the verdict?

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BNP heading for poll breakthrough?

UK: BNP wouldn't be an issue if the main parties were not stuck on being politically correct and ignoring the majority of people.

The far-right British National Party could be heading for an electoral breakthrough in next month's local elections, according to a new opinion poll. Among people intending to turn out to vote in the party's key target area of Barking and Dagenham, some 45.5% of those questioned for the Sunday Mirror said they would cast their ballot for the BNP. The poll put the BNP ahead of Labour, on 36.3%, the Tories (12.7%) and the Liberal Democrats (4.5%) in the east London borough. If the survey result is reflected in voting on May 4, it could see many of the 13 candidates fielded by the BNP winning seats on the council and would probably make the party the official opposition to Labour. The survey comes a week after Barking's Labour MP Margaret Hodge warned that eight out of 10 voters she spoke to were tempted to switch to the BNP because of local concerns over housing and immigration. And it comes ahead of a report from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust expected to suggest that up to one in four voters across Britain would be willing to consider voting BNP.
Yougov pollster spells it out.
However, could the present surge in BNP support prove to be more lasting? According to YouGov's latest survey for the Daily Telegraph BNP support now stands at 7 per cent. Almost one elector in four says they have seriously considered voting BNP in the past or would do so now. Part of this surge is a response to last week's publicity about the BNP. But YouGov polls suggest there is a fundamental range of concerns that the BNP is able to tap. It is not, in the main, crude racism. The proportion of Britons offended by the notion of Asian newsagents and black footballers is no more than 5 per cent. There is, though, a deeper set of cultural fears. Of all the BNP's messages, the one that has the greatest resonance is that Britain these days 'almost seems like a foreign country'. This is caused by a combination of insecurity, nostalgia for an idealised past, the collapse of traditional class and party allegiances, and immigration of all types (a generalised fear of outsiders rather than an objection to skin colour). When the tinder of local social problems, such as housing, is added and the BNP lights the match, we should not be surprised when fire erupts. Until the conditions and sentiments that feed their bursts of popularity are tackled, BNP popularity will always be liable to revive.
A Tory MP blames political correctness and gets blasted for it.
A Tory MP has presented David Cameron with the first real test of his pledge to create a more tolerant Conservative party. Philip Davies claimed voters were turning to the BNP because political correctness had left white Britons afraid of being 'sacked or locked up' for expressing their feelings on race. Davies said politicians were failing to debate asylum and immigration enough, prompting voters who felt ignored to turn to the far right. And he cited the suspension of a university lecturer who suggested whites were cleverer than black people, plus the unsuccessful prosecution of BNP leader Nick Griffin for allegedly inciting racial hatred, as incidents that caused voters to reject mainstream politics. Davies, the MP for Shipley, North Yorkshire, said he would 'obviously' like his own party to talk more about the issue, but added that he believed Cameron agreed with him that tough immigration policies were crucial to good race relations. 'People feel nobody is standing up and talking about [asylum and immigration] issues. This whole thing about political correctness is a key driver of that. They feel the only way they've got now to express their opinions is to put a cross in a secret ballot for the BNP,' he told The Observer. 'The fear is if you are white and you say something that may be considered derogatory by somebody about an ethnic minority, you are going to be sacked or locked up.' Labour MPs demanded the Tories disown Davies's views. 'If David Cameron wants to show that his party has genuinely changed, then he needs to take action against the extreme right wing in his own party,' said Martin Salter, the MP for Reading West ....Former Home Secretary David Blunkett said it would have been 'slightly more helpful' to have debated the issue well before next month's local elections. He conceded people were 'confused' about how council housing was allocated, telling The Observer: 'Over the last 20 years, we have moved away from the time-based entitlement for public sector housing to a points-based system or even a bidding system. That has confused people in terms of who is entitled to what.' Blunkett also called on judges to consider the political consequences before making decisions such as overturning restrictions on so-called bogus marriages or ruling that Britain must house jobless people from other countries, including those recently granted asylum. 'Far from giving people rights, it's more likely to give people justification for voting for a party or parties that would take away rights,' he said. The government had not been able to deliver fast enough to please some people, and the BNP offered 'temporary and simple' solutions. But it would be foolish to assume it would do well on 4 May.

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Shocker: Le Pen gaining support in France.

France: Not a shocker considering almost the same thing is happening with the BNP in the UK.

PARIS, April 22 — France's far-right political party, the National Front, has emerged stronger than ever from the civil unrest that has plagued the country in the past six months, a new survey shows, suggesting that the party could play a major role in the presidential election next year. The National Front's outspoken and vehemently anti-immigration leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has had occasional bursts of support before: four years ago, he made it to the runoff for president, losing to President Jacques Chirac. But after riots by second-generation immigrant youth last fall, Mr. Le Pen's approval rating in polls surged five percentage points, to 21 percent, according to a survey by IFOP, a French polling institute, published Friday. That is not far behind the approval rating of Mr. Chirac's would-be successor, Dominique de Villepin, the embattled prime minister, whose score slumped to 29 percent this month amid the political fiasco when nationwide protests forced the government to scrap a new labor law. Frédéric Dabi, who wrote the report, said a string of national crises had bolstered Mr. Le Pen's standing, including the resounding rejection last year of a proposed European constitution, which was officially supported by Mr. Chirac's governing Union for a Popular Movement Party and the opposition Socialist Party. A nationwide outburst of vandalism and arson by the children of France's largely Muslim immigrants further played into Mr. Le Pen's hands: the National Front responded with a computer-generated video that showed Paris in flames beneath the banner, "Immigration, explosion in the suburbs, Le Pen foretold it." The image of French-Arab and French-African youths hurling bottles and stones at the country's antiriot police during the recent demonstrations against the labor law is only likely to reinforce support for Mr. Le Pen, Mr. Dabi said. "All of these crises were very different, but their common point is that they benefited parties outside the political system," Mr. Dabi said. The National Front holds no seats in Parliament, but it has up to 30 percent of the seats on some municipal councils, many seats on regional councils and seven seats in the European Parliament. More than a third of respondents in the IFOP survey said Mr. Le Pen's party was in tune with "the concerns of French people."

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University of Chicago admins hate the military.

Edumacation: I dismiss the dimwit students as they are changing the world and stopping the military evil in their own little world. But the administration is a different story. They are not very tolerant up there in the U.C.

The protesters, made up as corpses with fake blood on their faces and clothes in order to “make immediate” the casualties in Iraq, distributed pamphlets with graphic pictures of torture and death and invited passers-by to put on similar shirts in a show of support. They also set up a mock recruitment board “for the dead” with a roster of the soldiers killed in Iraq and spaces beneath for students to sign up to become “one of the dead.” “The dead are the oldest branch of the military,” said protestor Jarrett Belle-Isle, a second-year in the College. “We’re the most honest branch of the military. The recruiters are part of a machine that produces dead bodies.” The protesters also displayed a wedding photo album labeled “Military Iraq,” containing photos from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Laura Gluckman, a second-year in the College, said she was protesting the “plague of silence” that has developed under the current government. “We’re stuck,” she said of the Solomon Amendment, a federal law that threatens to cut government funding to universities that interfere with military recruitment on their campuses. “We should be more vocal.” Jeremy Cohan, a fourth-year in the College who was one of the four students arrested in February for disorderly conduct while protesting military recruiters, said his group had booked a table under the name of the Naked Theatre RSO in order to comply with ORCSA regulations of conduct in the Reynolds Club. Belle-Isle said administrators have tacitly shown their approval. “They have been all smiles,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of private comments from them saying they’re opposed to the war, they’re more or less politically on our side.” Guadalupe Nieves, assistant director of the Reynolds Club and Bartlett Hall, said ORCSA had worked with the group to ensure the protest went smoothly. ORCSA also shut down the e-mail kiosks in the Reynolds Club marketplace to give protesters more space for their demonstration. “They really are trying to make this go well with us,” Belle-Isle said. Captain Dennis Frantsve, who is in charge of the military recruiters, said he had cancelled the bookings but that the change in plans had nothing to do with the protests. “We had other things come up at the office,” Frantsve said. “It wouldn’t have been an effective use of my time.” “I’m skeptical about that,” Cohan said. “It’s very mysterious and a little suspicious. We scared them away.”

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