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Kick Assiest Blog
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Clinton Aide Paul Begala Charges Republicans 'Want to Kill Us'
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

This joker is a never-ending source of paranoid, delusional libtard comedy. Before you read the latest irrational rantings of this leftist lunatic, take a quick peek at one his endless whacky quotes from more than a year ago. During a interview with Democrats.com, Paul Begala made the following comments:

"...it's today's Republicans who are ruthless." "We...had better toughen up, or they're going to keep stealing elections -- and surpluses -- from us for a long time." "...they're so afraid of Enron...because it exposes them for the whores they are." "Junior is gonna join Poppy in the Hall of Failed Presidents."

Ex-Clinton Aide Charges Republicans 'Want to Kill Us'

Young liberals this week flocked to the nation's capital to hear, among other things, liberal television pundit and Democrat political strategist Paul Begala accuse Republicans of wanting to kill him and his children to preserve tax cuts for the rich.

Begala was featured at the first-ever Campus Progress National Student Conference, which was designed to provide campus liberals with the tools necessary to fight the conservative movement. The event also drew former President Bill Clinton, for whom Begala once worked as an advisor.

A panel discussion entitled "Winning the War of Ideas" centered on topics discussed in the book "What's the Matter with Kansas" by Thomas Frank and detailed the challenges that Democrats face in persuading voters in the American heartland and elsewhere to embrace their agenda and support their candidates.

Begala's presence on the panel created a stir when he declared that Republicans had "done a p***-poor job of defending" the U.S.

Republicans, he said, "want to kill us.

"I was driving past the Pentagon when that plane hit" on Sept. 11, 2001. "I had friends on that plane; this is deadly serious to me," Begala said.

"They want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted -- that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit," Begala said. "That is bulls*** national defense, and we should say that."

The Clinton administration's national security efforts involved the right blend of "experience" and "strength," Begala said, an assertion with which the 9/11 Commission apparently disagreed.

In its report, the bipartisan commission stated that "each president considered or authorized covert actions, a process that consumed considerable time -- especially in the Clinton administration -- and achieved little success beyond the collection of intelligence."

Begala also included Republican domestic policies in his sweeping criticism. The GOP, he said, "ain't had a new idea since they opposed Social Security, and guess what, they still do. ... They are beginning to figure out that there is no Soviet Union, but they still want Star Wars to stop it," Begala said.

"Okay, they are utterly and completely brain-dead," echoing comments earlier this year by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who accused Republicans of being "brain dead."

Frank insisted that Republicans are not quite as tough on national security as many Americans think.

"Franklin Roosevelt got us in World War II. They dragged the Republicans kicking and screaming. They didn't want to get in that war. They didn't have any problem with Hitler. I won't go so far as to say they thought Hitler rocked. But there were people in America who did, and they didn't want us to get in that war. Democrats have always been just as tough as Republicans once they're in office," Frank said.

Frank did not mention one of the most vocal opponents of U.S. intervention in World War II: Democrat Joseph P. Kennedy, who was one of Roosevelt's top fundraisers, the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain and father of John F. Kennedy, who would later become America's 35th president.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., the eldest of the ambassador's sons, wrote his father with his own observations of the global conflict. Hitler's "dislike of the Jews ... was well-founded," the younger Kennedy explained in his letter.

"In every revolution, you have to expect some bloodshed. Hitler is building a spirit in his men that could be envied in this country," wrote Kennedy, Jr., expressing an opinion his father shared.

"I was very pleased and gratified at your observations of the German situation, and I think your conclusions are very sound," the elder Kennedy replied to his son.

Frank defended his point, however, claiming that Republicans didn't see Hitler as a threat to America until Pearl Harbor.

He repeated the Democratic criticism of America's invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein "was a horrible (sic), a dictator, a butcher, a tyrant, a mass murderer -- as evil as they come," Frank said, but he added: "I don't think he was a threat to the U.S. at the time."

Former Clinton administration Chief of Staff John Podesta told the students that "you can fight hard for what you believe without breaking the law, without cheating and certainly without checking your morals at the door."

Cybercast News Service ~ Jered Ede ** Ex-Clinton Aide Charges Republicans 'Want to Kill Us'

Posted by uhyw at 2:52 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2005 3:51 AM EDT
DNC Deanpeace (again) Assails Bush, The 'Three Rs'
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

'Deaniacs' cheer defiant Democratic Party chief

Republicans label fundraiser address 'lies and hate speech'

Last year, Iowa.

This year, Denver.

If Howard Dean is there, Joel Weierman wants to help.

The Boulder resident, 32 and a self-confessed "die-hard Deaniac," shelled out $100 Thursday to hear the former presidential candidate spell out his vision for leading the Democratic National Committee.

Dean got big laughs and lots of applause at the Oxford Hotel as he ribbed President Bush and the three Rs: Republicans, Rove and Rush:

• "Focus on the Family? What focus on the family? If you want to focus on the family, how about raising minimum wage?"

• "No Child Left Behind ought to be kicked in the behind."

• "I'm not going to be lectured about moral values by Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and James Dobson - not going to happen."

"Thank you," Arapahoe County resident Laure Levin told Dean afterward. "I'm ready to hit the streets again."

"He was great," said Weierman, who admitted he was crushed last year when Dean lost the Iowa primary to John Kerry.

Dean came to Colorado on Thursday for a fundraiser that attracted more than 300 people.

"If we are willing to stand up for what we believe in, if we set aside this idea that we ought to be like the Republicans in order to win . . . then I promise you we will take this country back," Dean said.

The state Republican Party issued a statement saying Dean came to "spew lies and hate speech."

Outside the Oxford, protesters held signs of aborted fetuses.

Inside the Denver landmark, Dean stressed that he doesn't know anybody who is pro-abortion, but he knows plenty of people who believe women should get to "make up their own minds."

Dean talked about the party's strategy for turning Colorado from "purple to blue."

"All by yourself, you turned it from red to purple last time around," he said, referring to the Democrats' stunning victories, winning a U.S. Senate seat and taking back the legislature for the first time since 1960.

He charged that Republicans have prospered by stirring up fears about quotas and gays, and he predicted the next hot-button issue for the GOP would be immigration.

Rocky Mountain News ~ Lynn Bartels ** 'Deaniacs' cheer defiant Democratic Party chief

Related Story...
Denver Post ~ Robert Sanchez ** Dean tells Dems to get ready for a fight

Posted by uhyw at 1:58 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 17, 2005 6:50 AM EDT
NY Times Mag: Meet the Dems' new Frank Luntz... George Lakoff
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

A classic story of Professor Lakoff, the dem's new "messiah" for making a massacre and mockery of the english language. The leftist fruitcakes are banking on his "framing" of words to make the issues of the day more liberal friendly. But if you notice, the two examples of "framing" in this story are better catagorized as what the dems are famous for... "lies".

'NY Times' Sunday Preview: Profile of Linguist Who Is Framing Issues for the Democrats

NEW YORK - The cover story by Matt Bai in the upcoming Sunday issue of The New York Times Magazine profiles the man some liberals allegedly consider a possible new "messiah" for the Democratic party, George Lakoff. An adviser to the party on "framing" issues, he wrote "Don't Think of an Elephant"-- a book about politics and language based on his own linguistic theories.

"Framing" is the process of choosing the best words to describe individual issues and characterize a debate. Bai hails Lakoff as the father of the concept. His ideas seemed to gain some success recently in putting the Bush social security proposals in peril. Next they will be severely tested in the upcoming fight over Supreme Court nominees.

Lakoff preaches that to understand language on the whole, one must first study how an individual would comprehend that language in terms of personal experience and thought processes. He also says that metaphors allow people to process abstract ideas.

And nobody better used this philosophy before, says Lakoff, than the Republicans. In the 2004 election, George W. Bush labeled John Kerry as a "flip flopper," and repeated this throughout the duration of the campaign. He even put out an ad that featured Kerry windsurfing, back and forth, which hammered home this idea in a visual manner.

Democrats, on the other hand, tried to pin too many criticisms on Bush, none of which stuck. Thus, as Bai writes, "Bush was attacked. Kerry was framed."

In the article, Lakoff says that Republicans are also skilled at using loaded language and repetition to create lasting concepts in our unconscious. This is largely in part to the work of Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster renowned for creating euphemism for conservative issues.

Lakoff explains, "The frames in our brains can be 'activated' by the right combination of words and imagery, and only then, once the brain has been unlocked, can we process the facts thrown at us."

Basically, he says, Republicans re-program the way people think about things. Therefore, Lakoff has taught Democrats in Congress how to combat this through their own framing of Republican ideas. For example, in the recent debate over filibusters, Democrats explained that the GOP was changing a 200-year tradition and doing so on a whim. Lakoff compared it to Bush rolling the dice.

With the debate over social security, Democrats explained that Bush was going to privatize it, which frightened the public. To represent this idea, Democrats portrayed the president as "an old-fashioned traveling salesman, with a cart full of magic elixirs and cure-all tonics."

"[The approval rating] is down to, like, 29 percent or something," Representative Nancy Pelosi, minority leader in the House, tells Bai about Bush's social security plan. "At the beginning of the debate, voters were saying that the president was a president who had new ideas. Now he's a guy who wants to cut my benefits."

But Luntz tells Bai that the problem with Lakoff's ideology is that if an idea is bad, no language can make it sellable.

"He's one of the very few guys who understands the limits of liberal language," Luntz says . "What he doesn't understand is that there are also limits on liberal philosophy. They think that if they change all the words, it'll make a difference. Won't happen."

Other Republicans simply see Lakoff as a deeply desired messiah for the left.

Some liberals ridicule Lakoff as what Bai called a "new progressive icon." In the April issue of The Atlantic, contributing editor Marc Cooper wrote that Lakoff sees the American people as, "Red-neck, chain-smoking, baby-slapping Christers desperately in need of some gender-free nurturing and political counseling by organic-gardening enthusiasts from Berkeley."

And even Lakoff himself worries that his complex ideas are often misrepresented as overly simplistic.

Nevertheless, he has been spending his time doing speaking engagements and writing his next book (about how Republicans have redefined the word "freedom") due in 2006.

But the biggest trial of Lakoff's framing theory will be how Democrats deal with the selection of new Supreme Court justices. Will they be successful in achieving their end goals, as they were with the debates over filibusters and social security? Or, will they lose, as they did with the GOP's crippling of John Kerry?

Bai concludes: "The right words can frame an argument, but they will never stand in its place."

Editor & Publisher ~ Lesley Messer ** 'NY Times' Sunday Preview: Profile of Linguist Who Is Framing Issues for the Democrats

Posted by uhyw at 1:50 AM EDT
Friday, July 15, 2005
Dem fucktard Charles Schumer voted against the CIA leaker law
Mood:  loud
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Change of Heart?

Fox News' Britt Humes' pickings from the Political Grapevine:

New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer — who says White House adviser Karl Rove may have committed a crime when he identified Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA agent — voted against the law he says Rove may have violated. In 1982, Schumer, then in the House, was one of only 32 congressmen, all Democrats, to oppose the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which made it a crime to out covert U.S. intelligence agents.

What's more, seven years later, Schumer criticized a new Justice Department policy to prosecute federal employees who leak certain kinds of information, telling the Los Angeles Times at the time, "I am worried that this policy is so broad it could easily be abused."

Poll Results

A new Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll shows that significantly more Americans (Six in 10) want President Bush to nominate a conservative judge to the Supreme Court, than want him to nominate a liberal or moderate one.

What's more, the vast majority says that if President Bush nominates a well-qualified, strong conservative, Senate Democrats should vote to confirm him or her.

Fox News ~ Brit Hume ** Political Grapevine - Change of Heart?

Posted by uhyw at 2:50 AM EDT
LA Dems in War on Poverty Quagmire
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Years Have Done Little to Help Local Blacks

Serious inequities still exist in healthcare, justice and housing, a new report finds.

Forty years after the Watts riots exposed the dismal social conditions afflicting many African American communities, blacks continue to trail other ethnic groups in housing, healthcare and criminal justice, a report issued Wednesday concludes.

Blacks in Los Angeles County are twice as likely as other groups to be victims of violent crimes, their death rates from homicide and HIV/AIDS are more than three times higher than for other racial groups, more blacks receive public assistance and more black children live in poverty.

The findings are included in "The State of Black Los Angeles," a report by the Los Angeles Urban League and the United Way of Greater Los Angeles presented at a USC conference attended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, police Chief William J. Bratton and other civic leaders. The report, compiled with U.S. Census, state and county data, includes recommendations for creating jobs, developing affordable housing, expanding parks and establishing prison programs geared to reentry into society.

Particularly disturbing are crime data showing that blacks — adults and juveniles — have arrest rates far higher than other groups. In addition, black and Latino drivers are searched by the LAPD four times more often than whites or Asians, yet only 38% of blacks are found to be carrying illegal items compared with 55% of whites, 65% of Latinos and 54% of Asians.

Villaraigosa said the racial inequalities revealed in the report "should put a chill in our spine." He called the findings a call to action and said new housing, jobs and education initiatives should be targeted first at poor South Los Angeles neighborhoods.

"This is a challenge not just to the mayor, not just to city leaders but to everyone," he said. "A great city can't be a shining example with so many left behind."

Villaraigosa and other speakers noted that the report comes only a few months after the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and shortly before congressional debate on reauthorization of some of its key provisions, and a month before the 40th anniversary of the Watts riots, which caused 34 deaths and widespread damage. The McCone Commission at the time identified lack of jobs and inferior housing, schools and medical care as reasons for the violence.

Although progress has been made, the report notes that many of the most egregious disparities are virtually unchanged. Among other key findings, in L.A. County:

♠ Blacks have the lowest median household income, $31,905, when compared with Latinos at $33,820, Asians at $47,631 and whites at $53,978.

♠ Although just 10% of the population, blacks are estimated to make up 30% or more of the homeless population.

♠ Blacks are the target of 56% of hate crimes.

♠ 44% of black high school students fail to graduate with their class in four years.

♠ Blacks receive only 5% of all home loans, half as many as their share of the population, while whites — 31% of the population — receive 72% of all such loans.

♠ The premature death rate among blacks of 40.6 (per 100,000 population) far outstrips that of Latinos at 11, whites at 4.5 and Asians at 3.8. The teen death rate at 131.4 is far higher for blacks and is fueled by gang-related homicides.

The report includes some brighter news: L.A. County has more high-income black households than the national average, a high rate of black children — 94% — have health insurance, and 63% of black 3- and 4-year-olds attend preschool, which research has shown can make a difference in future school achievement and job attainment.

In addition, African Americans have increased representation among the county's top elected offices from 1% in 1960 to 14% in 2004. Indeed, according to the report, blacks rank highest of all groups in civic engagement, including voting, military service, union membership and citizenship.

The report used a compilation of data on economics, housing, health, education, criminal justice and civic engagement to come up with an "equality index" score to compare conditions among ethnic groups. Blacks scored the lowest at 69, Latinos scored 71, Asians 98. Whites are used as the baseline group with a constant score of 100.

Panelist Constance L. Rice, a civil rights attorney, called the education findings a "smoke alarm" warning that schools are in crisis, and she argued that the black middle class is losing ground. Bishop Charles E. Blake, of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ, said that blacks must reassert moral values in their communities.

"We have to teach the reading and the mathematics, but we also have to tell our children why it's right to do right and wrong to do wrong," he said.

Data on racial disparities in criminal justice were compiled by UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers and make up a special section of the report. The findings document that a historically tense relationship with law enforcement continues. For example, according to Los Angeles Police Department consent decree data for 2004, 19.8% of black drivers are stopped by police, compared with 12.6% for whites, 11.2% for Latinos and 10.1% for Asians. The national rate for blacks is 12.3%.

"There is a dual justice system," said John W. Mack, immediate past president of the Los Angeles Urban League. "This is something Chief Bratton and I have had many discussions about. Crime is real, violence is real and out of control in many parts of our community. But (enforcement) must be done in such a way that the sheriff's and the Police Department are not an occupying force and that not all young men are viewed as gang bangers."

Law enforcement officials have denied that they engage in racial profiling.

Bratton insisted Wednesday that laws will be enforced fairly and consistently in every community.

"We will do it constitutionally," he said. "We will not allow officers to break the law to enforce the law."

He mentioned one of the findings he found "chilling": An estimated 32% of black men born in Los Angeles in 2001 are likely to go to prison in their lifetime, compared with 17% of Latino men and 6% of white men, the report states.

"That statistic is horrifying, frightening. We cannot accept that, that should not be the future," Bratton said.

Some speakers referred to the familiarity of the issues and suggested that the prescriptions of the past had failed, foundered on a lack of public and political will. But Mack and others said past shortfalls should not be an excuse for inaction, and they argued for more innovative solutions, such as targeting with intensive services neighborhoods that are considered hot spots.

"This report is about the truth … but it's not just gloom and doom either, it's not just about wringing our hands," he said. "I'm optimistic we're going to come to grips with these serious challenges."

The report was sponsored by several public and private organizations, including the California Endowment, Bank of America, the James Irvine Foundation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Kaiser Permanente, the Los Angeles Times, Southern California Edison, Verizon, Washington Mutual, Citibank and the California Wellness Foundation.

* (BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Inequalities

A new report uses data on economics, housing, health, and other factors to come up with an "equality index" comparing conditions among racial and ethnic groups in L.A. County. With whites as the benchmark at 1.0, blacks scored the lowest at .69.

Asians: .98

Blacks: .69

Latinos: .71

Whites: 1.0

Sources: United Way, Los Angeles Urban League / Los Angeles Times

LA Times ~ Carla Rivera ** Years Have Done Little to Help Local Blacks

Posted by uhyw at 2:13 AM EDT
Novak asked Rove about CIA officer
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: THE DEM'S LATEST MANUFACTURED SCANDAL FALLING APART
Topic: News

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief adviser, leaves Air Force One upon arrival from Indianapolis, Ind., at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, July 14, 2005. Rove's allege involvement in a news leak that exposed a CIA officer's identity has made him a political liability for President Bush, who has not yet talked about Rove's future in the administration, or his actual role in the leak. >>>>>

Source: Rove Got CIA Agent ID From Media

WASHINGTON - Presidential confidant Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he learned the identity of a CIA operative originally from journalists, then informally discussed the information with a Time magazine reporter days before the story broke, according to a person briefed on the testimony.

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.

Rove testified that Novak originally called him the Tuesday before Plame's identity was revealed in July 2003 to discuss another story. The conversation eventually turned to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was strongly criticizing the Bush administration's Iraq war policy and the intelligence it used to justify the war, the source said.

The person said Rove testified that Novak told him he had learned and planned to report in a weekend column that Wilson's wife, Plame, had worked for the CIA, and the circumstances on how her husband traveled to Africa to check bogus claims of alleged nuclear material sales to Iraq.

Novak's column, citing two Bush administration officials, appeared six days later, touching off a political firestorm and leading to a federal criminal investigation into who leaked Plame's undercover identity. That probe has ensnared presidential aides and reporters in a two-year legal battle.

Rove told the grand jury that by the time Novak had called him, he believes he had similar information about Wilson's wife from another reporter but had no recollection of which reporter had told him about it first, the source said.

When Novak inquired about Wilson's wife working for the CIA, Rove indicated he had heard something like that, according to the source's recounting of the grand jury testimony.

Rove told the grand jury that four days later, he had a phone conversation with Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper and - in an effort to discredit some of Wilson's allegations - told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, though he never used her name.

An e-mail Cooper recently provided the grand jury shows Cooper reported to his magazine bosses that Rove had described Wilson's wife in a confidential conversation as someone who "apparently works" at the CIA.

Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney, said Thursday his client truthfully testified to the grand jury and expected to be exonerated.

"Karl provided all pertinent information to prosecutors a long time ago," Luskin said. "And prosecutors confirmed when he testified most recently in October 2004 that he is not a target of the investigation."

Rove's conversation with Cooper took place five days after Wilson suggested in a New York Times opinion piece that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. Novak's column identifying Wilson's wife as a CIA employee and Cooper's magazine piece came out a few days later.

Pressed to explain its statements of two years ago that Rove wasn't involved in the leak, the White House refused to do so this week.

"If I were to get into discussing this, I would be getting into discussing an investigation that continues and could be prejudging the outcome of the investigation," McClellan said.

My Way News ~ Associated Press - John Solomon ** Source: Rove Got CIA Agent ID From Media

Posted by uhyw at 1:44 AM EDT
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Extra, extra! Foreign press, translated
Mood:  spacey
Topic: News

>>>>>
SAUDI VIEW: A woman in Riyadh reads the paper in her home. Selected news articles in Arabic and other languages can now be read in English on WatchingAmerica.com.

Extra, extra! Foreign press, translated

Website lets Americans see what the world's non-English publications say about US policy

The headline reads, "Columbus' Discovery of America: History's 'Biggest Mistake.' " That might sound harsh to an American audience, but it's less likely to ruffle Iraqis reading it in Arabic. Another zinger, this one from Tunisia, bluntly states, "The United States: a Country Beyond the Law." A Mexican headline declares: "Time Near for Bush to Pay the Piper."

The stories offer a glimpse of how foreigners feel about the only superpower. And they were all available recently on www.WatchingAmerica.com, a website launched earlier this year that simply culls, without comment, the foreign online press for commentary about America.

Each article, posted within a day, has an English translation and a link to the original, for those fluent in foreign tongues.

Robin Koerner, cofounder of the site, sees its value as one of opening minds.

"If I want to conduct any kind of relationship, even a personal relationship, I need to know how what I say and do affects the person on the receiving end," he explains. To emphasize the point, he quotes the English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill: "He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that."

Extend the relationship analogy to international affairs, Mr. Koerner says, and you find that knowing how the people you interact with feel about the things you do to them enables you to make better choices. "I think what we're doing is giving Americans a bit of the road map ahead."

The view from abroad is largely unflattering. Koerner estimates that roughly 5 percent of the news is positive, which doesn't mean 95 percent is overtly negative. About half is simply neutral, he says.

"There certainly isn't any American flag-waving going on [on the site]," agrees Al Tompkins, a journalism teacher at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. He says it's important for citizens to stay informed and to listen to many points of view, even if they don't like them or agree with them.

While the Internet has made access to foreign media only a click away, what makes WatchingAmerica.com especially powerful is its translations of foreign-language news into English. (The Middle East Media Research Institute - www.memri.org - also offers translations of Arabic, Farsi, and some Hebrew media reports.)

The distinction may seem subtle. But news organizations such as Al Jazeera put out different material for an English-speaking audience than for an Arabic-speaking audience. With this website, "you're getting to see what, in some cases, your enemies are saying to each other in their own languages about you," Koerner says. "That gives you insights which you cannot get from what they offer in English."

One such broadside is from the Iraqi paper Azzaman, whose story about "History's Biggest Mistake" goes on to say, "If Columbus was alive today and witnessed the scandals of abuse and torture inside the US detention centers of Abu Ghraib, Umm Qasr, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan, he would have discovered the magnitude of his error and headed back to Spain ... to apologize to the world for the wars, disasters, and calamities that he had brought forth."

WatchingAmerica.com has no paid staff, and Koerner launched it from his own pocket. The entrepreneurial Brit, who has business consulting and writing experience, paired upwith American Will Kern, a former copy editor for the International Herald Tribune, to get the idea off the ground. And computer-savvy friends "wired" up the technology.

The translations are all done using software and then smoothed out by Koerner and volunteers - often native speakers of the relevant languages. As the site's profile rises, Koerner says, more such volunteers are offering their assistance.

To become self-supporting through advertising, however, the site would need 100,000 hits a day. Right now it gets about 6,000, Koerner says. That small number represents an interesting "intellectual elite" from think tanks and mainstream media, as well as regular check-ins from the US State Department and CIA, "because we're doing some of their work for them," Koerner says dryly.

To reach a broader audience is the goal. But are Americans ready for a site like this? Mr. Tompkins of the Poynter Institute thinks not. "Americans are not incredibly open-minded about others who says critical things about America." Koerner, however, thinks that since 9/11, more Americans are ready for introspection.

What they may not recognize yet, he adds, is that people outside the US are often more affected by American policy than Americans themselves.

Last January, when WatchingAmerica.com started to link to foreign articles and translate them, the founders had no idea how the foreign media would react. But all the news organizations that have been in touch about their content appearing on the site have been "totally delighted," Koerner says, and have begun alerting him to other stories in their publications.

You've got to give some understanding to get some, he suggests. "You are breaking down the final barrier among people from around the world - the language barrier."

Christian Science Monitor ~ Susan Llewelyn Leach ** Extra, extra! Foreign press, translated

Posted by uhyw at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2005 5:06 PM EDT
Communist Mayoral hopeful seeks to conceal donors
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Mayoral hopeful seeks to conceal donors

A socialist candidate for mayor of Seattle is asking the city Ethics and Elections Commission to conceal the names of his campaign donors from public disclosure.

Chris Hoeppner, a member of the Socialist Workers Party, wants an exemption similar to one granted earlier this year to Linda Averill, another socialist candidate running for City Council.

City rules normally require candidates to disclose the names of donors who give more than $25. If donors give more than $100, their employers also must be disclosed.

But the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that exemptions to contributor disclosure laws are justified in cases where fear of harassment or threats of violence against unpopular viewpoints creates a chilling effect on the willingness of people to associate with a political party or ideology.

Hoeppner is hoping for such an exemption at a special meeting of the ethics commission today.

The ethics commission granted Averill, a member of the Freedom Socialist Party, such an exemption after she won a federal lawsuit against the city in 2003.

Averill is running this year against City Council President Jan Drago. She has raised more than $9,300 so far and her contributors are identified only by code in her campaign filings. For example, her biggest donors are listed merely as "C12" and "C5," who both work for "E4."

Hoeppner said his attorney will present evidence to the commission that his donors, too, would legitimately fear harassment if identified by name. He pointed to past instances of socialists receiving threats and to the bombing of a socialist party headquarters in Pennsylvania last year.

Hoeppner, 55, is a laid-off meat packer who advocates strengthening unions and the withdrawal of "imperialist" U.S. military forces from nations including Iraq, Cuba and South Korea.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is running for a second four-year term. With a couple weeks until the July 29 filing deadline, he faces little in the way of organized opposition.

Besides Hoeppner, Nickels is being challenged by Christal Wood, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council two years ago, and Richard Lee, who hosts a public-access cable television show devoted to conspiracy theories about the death of rock star Kurt Cobain.

Seattle Times ~ Jim Brunner ** Mayoral hopeful seeks to conceal donors

Also seen at the fruitckake commie lib loser website...
The Militant ~ Connie Allen ** Socialist Workers Party mayoral candidate in Seattle

Posted by uhyw at 4:17 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2005 4:24 PM EDT
Bush Daughters Edge Back Into Spotlight
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: News

Jenna Bush, right, daughter of U.S. President George W. Bush, hands out postcards of her pets to dancing children during a visit to the Equal Opportunity for All Trust Fund with her mother, U.S. first lady Laura Bush, not pictured, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Wednesday, July 13, 2005. >>>>>

Bush Daughters Edge Back Into Spotlight

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - In front of the television cameras, Jenna Bush listens silently to Tanzanian orphans who have been left by AIDS with no family. Across the continent in South Africa, twin sister Barbara quietly cares for children afflicted with the devastating disease.

First lady Laura Bush's trip to Africa this week has brought her 23-year-old daughters back into the spotlight that they have shunned for most of their father's presidency. The trip also found them — at least by Wednesday — dealing with it in different ways.

Jenna Bush has emerged as a prominent, if quiet, partner in her mother's African goodwill tour. Accompanying Mrs. Bush as she left South Africa for Tanzania and the trip's final stop in Rwanda, Jenna decided to begin taking part in all her mother's events.

It was a reversal from the early part of the trip, when both she and Barbara did everything they could to remain unseen and unheard.

On Wednesday, Barbara remained behind — and behind the scenes — in Cape Town, South Africa, where she has been working as a hospital volunteer with young AIDS sufferers and other patients.

Laura Bush said Jenna was comfortable with assuming a more public role — and wanted to demonstrate the commitment of her father's administration and her country to this impoverished continent.

Back in Washington, Jenna has followed her mother into the teaching profession, and will continue this year working at a public charter school that serves inner-city elementary-age students.

"She thinks that her presence is ... important to let American kids her age, young people her age — as well as African girls her age — know that her generation is also committed," the first lady said on the plane that brought her and her daughter here from Cape Town.

Indeed, dressed in a colorful print skirt, aqua sweater and white T-shirt, Jenna appeared poised and relaxed as she stayed by her mother's side here, from an airport greeting by dozens of traditional African dancers to an evening dinner at the presidential compound with Tanzanian first lady Anna Mkapa. She didn't seem troubled that photographers angled to document nearly her every move.

At a Catholic-run AIDS prevention and treatment center, she handed out gifts of pens, postcards of her pets, bookmarks and spiral notebooks to several children orphaned by AIDS. The children, some of whom are also afflicted with the disease, sat on benches overlooking a dusty courtyard and told Mrs. Bush and Jenna how the charity is helping to support them and get them drug treatment.

Later, at a social services organization for the rural poor, Jenna snapped up beaded jewelry — two necklaces and a bracelet — made by poor Tanzanian women trying to support their families. She mingled among children dancing, singing and Hula-Hooping for the first lady's entourage and passed out more of her trinkets.

As for Barbara, Mrs. Bush said she was due to return to the United States later this month after spending several weeks working in the South African hospital with some friends. She didn't elaborate on what was next, and the White House wasn't revealing what — if any — plans Barbara has made.

The first lady said both her daughters, who graduated from college last year — Barbara from Yale and Jenna from the University of Texas — feel strongly about helping others.

"It is certainly part of the age. They're idealistic and they wanted to help," Mrs. Bush said. "But it's a particularly American character and I admire that very much in my own girls and in the young people I've met around the country."

The press-shy Bush twins campaigned cross-country last year for their father's re-election, even putting on a nationally televised joint comedy schtick at the Republican National Convention. But afterward, the girls perhaps best known for their party-hopping, fashion-forward ways went back under wraps where they have mostly been — aside from some legal run-ins over underage drinking and occasion gossip-column accounts — since their father took office in 2001.

So it was no surprise that Jenna, accompanying her parents to a summit of world leaders, kept a low profile in Scotland. Or that the twins, united in Africa when Jenna and Mrs. Bush met up with Barbara for a private weekend safari, made every effort to avoid notice.

Jenna and Barbara hustled up the plane's back stairs to dodge official tarmac ceremonies and skipped all their mother's public appearances in Cape Town — even though a primary focus of the first lady's trip is the AIDS crisis that had drawn Barbara to South Africa. Instead, they hung out around the city and went out for private dinners with their mom.

Even on a chance encounter with reporters in the hotel where Mrs. Bush's entourage was staying, Barbara strode through the lobby with her hand shielding her face.

Jenna, however, offered a cautious "Hello." Then the next day, the same girl who once on a European trip with her mother insisted on being shielded from the cameras by a garment bag, took her place in Mrs. Bush's official delegation.

Yahoo News ~ Associated Press - Jennifer Loven ** Bush Daughters Edge Back Into Spotlight

Posted by uhyw at 1:35 AM EDT
Sudden, mysterious drop in China's oil consumption
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Yahoo Chat Stuff

From China, Some Relief on Oil Demand
By Keith Bradsher

PARIS - A sudden and mysterious drop in China's oil consumption helped to push down the International Energy Agency's estimate on Wednesday of global demand for this year.

After growing 11 percent in 2003 and 15.4 percent last year, China's overall oil use declined 1 percent in the second quarter from the comparable quarter a year earlier, the agency said.

The drop is the latest in a series of unclear and often conflicting indications about whether the Chinese economy is still growing strongly. Top officials of the agency said in interviews they believed that the decline was temporary and that they expected Chinese demand to rebound in the second half of the year, but added that world oil prices could take a heavy blow if Chinese use did not increase.

The International Energy Agency, supported by the governments of the world's leading consuming nations, has recently become known for warning that the world does not have enough oil and calling for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to push its member countries to increase their output. But William C. Ramsay, the agency's deputy executive director, said Wednesday that there were signs that worldwide production capacity was starting to move ahead of demand for the year, and he expressed surprise that oil prices had nonetheless stayed high.

"There are not the conditions out there right now that should lead to these kinds of prices," he said in an interview in his office here.

The international oil market has gotten out of line with the availability of oil, he said, adding: "It gets in one of these bullish moods and it has to be dynamited out of it. The fundamentals are not disquieting."

While many traders have expressed concern about China's announcement a week ago that it was close to completing the first of three oil tank farms for a strategic reserve, Mr. Ramsay said he doubted that Chinese officials would opt to fill the reserve quickly as long as oil remained around $60 a barrel. [In New York on Wednesday, oil for August delivery declined 61 cents, settling at $60.01 a barrel.]

China's strong demand for energy has helped push Cnooc, one of its leading oil companies, to make an $18.5 billion proposal to acquire Unocal of California.

Officials of the International Energy Agency said there were four possible explanations for China's drop in oil demand in the second quarter, the most probable being that this was a temporary decrease. The most likely cause, said Fatih Birol, the agency's chief economist and head of economic analysis, was that China had not been allowing the domestic price of electricity and many refined products, like gasoline and diesel fuel, to rise nearly as quickly as world prices. This has caused power-generating concerns and service stations to sell less electricity, and less gasoline and diesel fuel, so as to limit their losses.

Many Chinese power stations have stopped burning fuel oil to produce electricity because the prices they are allowed to charge per kilowatt are not high enough to cover the cost of importing fuel. Chinese refiners have been selling part of their output overseas at higher prices than they can get in the highly regulated domestic market - where gasoline, for example, now sells for $1.63 a gallon.

China's consumption of fuel, a portion of overall oil consumption, plunged 19 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, said Jeff Brown, an oil-demand analyst here, while growth in refined fuel consumption slowed to a crawl.

Mr. Birol said that artificial energy shortages caused by distorted prices were the most likely basis for the curtailed availability of fuel, especially diesel.

But while diesel-fuel shortages and lines of trucks at empty service stations were a visible problem in China in April, they were not evident during trips over the last three weeks through southern China and to Beijing, and there has been little talk of continuing shortages in news media on the mainland or in Hong Kong.

When told this, Mr. Birol said there had been a vigorous debate in the last two days within the International Energy Agency over how to explain the decline in Chinese consumption, and he acknowledged that other, longer-term explanations were possible.

These include the possibility that the overall Chinese economy is starting to slow, that China is generating more of its electricity from coal instead of oil, and that China is improving energy conservation in response to high prices.

Economic statistics have been contradictory. Exports are still growing rapidly. But energy-intensive production of steel, cement and other construction material has started to slow as the government cracked down on real estate speculation.

In the last year, China has considerably expanded the production capacity of its coal mines and, just as important, the capacity of its railroad system to haul coal to markets. It has also exhorted businesses and households to use less energy, through steps like setting thermostats higher so air-conditioning systems do not have to work as hard.

NY Times ~ Keith Bradsher ** From China, Some Relief on Oil Demand

Posted by uhyw at 1:21 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2005 1:40 AM EDT

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