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Obama chooses Middle East Envoy George Mitchell Since leaving the U.S. Senate fifteen years ago, Mitchell has helped broker a peace agreement in war-torn Northern Ireland, spearheaded a Clinton Administration committee on Middle East peace and investigated steroid use in baseball. Forging a resolution to the simmering Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be his most formidable challenge yet. (Time Magazine)
President Obama Fails his First Hard Choice Barack Obama is failing his first hard choice as President by pushing hard for Tim Geithner to be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury despite Geithner's serial cheating on his taxes and Geithner's utter failure in his previous job as head of the New York Fed. - Geithner not only speaks Chinese, he speaks Kissinger. His first job was working for Kissinger & Associates. This fall the Chinese government became the largest holder of U.S. Treasury debt. It can't hurt to have someone on our side of the counter who's learned to speak Kissinger's amoral language. (Huffington Post)
Gaza & Obama's New World Order Europe supports Israel against Hamas arms smuggling while urging an accelerated peace process with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. - There is circumstantial evidence indicating that on Gaza, Europe and America have embarked on forging a new world order even before Barack Obama's official inauguration. (IsraCast)
Bank of America to receive additional $20 billion But the need for fresh government support to grapple with the newly revealed losses at Merrill Lynch, the brokerage firm he snapped up in a rapid-fire arrangement at the height of the financial crisis in September, raises questions about whether the bank has gone a deal too far (New York Times)
Secret List of U.S. Military Bases to Replace Gitmo Pendleton, Leavenworth, Miramar Included as Possible New Home for 250 Detainees - "Fort Leavenworth does not want these detainees," Brownback flatly told Holder. "If I could put it any clearer to you, I would. But they don't want these detainees." (ABC)
Operation Blackjack A slide show story. The events portrayed in this slide show are entirely fictitious. --- Part 4, Image 15, ID card displays hexadecimal translates to english as "this is not simply entertainment" - Part 4, Image 17, hexadecimal translates to "Ths is the final warning on this site - all further warngs will be given on jackblack12.info. Beware Ardent Sentry. Be alert for Semis bearing the sun icon. Not all federal authorities are involved" - jackblack12.info displays countdown to Tuesday, 22 June 2010, 3:03 AM (London Telegraph)
Coming soon: the fridge that power chiefs can switch off to save energy A domestic refrigerator that can be turned on and off by the electricity supplier without the homeowner being aware is to go on trial.
Npower will distribute 300 ‘smart fridges’ free to homeowners throughout Britain within the next five weeks as part of the energy companies’ efforts to tackle climate change.
At times of high demand, the National Grid will activate the switches in the fridges to achieve a balance in the power supply.
The development means that, for the first time, consumers will lose control over the use of electricity in their own homes.
Electricity companies have regularly raised the reliability of their supply as justification for their high prices. (UK Daily Mail)
The chance for a new world order As the new U.S. administration prepares to take office amid grave financial and international crises, it may seem counterintuitive to argue that the very unsettled nature of the international system generates a unique opportunity for creative diplomacy. - In the end, the political and economic systems can be harmonized in only one of two ways: by creating an international political regulatory system with the same reach as that of the economic world; or by shrinking the economic units to a size manageable by existing political structures, which is likely to lead to a new mercantilism, perhaps of regional units. (New York Times)
Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and the Afghan and Iraq Wars The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that it allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed. - It is worth noticing that, ever since the 1950s, dubious events--of the unpublic variety I have called deep events--have marked the last months before a change of party in the White House. These deep events have tended to a) constrain incoming presidents, if the incomer is a Democrat, or alternatively b) to pave the way for the incomer, if he is a Republican. (The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus)
Exxon CEO Advocates Emissions Tax The chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp. for the first time called on Congress to enact a tax on greenhouse-gas emissions in order to fight global warming.
In a speech in Washington, Rex Tillerson said that a tax was a "more direct, a more transparent and a more effective approach" to curtailing greenhouse gases than other plans popular in Congress and with the incoming Obama administration.
"My greatest concern is that policy makers will attempt to mandate or ordain solutions that are doomed to fail," Mr. Tillerson said.
The policy he is advocating is often called a carbon tax because it would be imposed on emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common man-made greenhouse gas. By backing it, Mr. Tillerson has become an unlikely member of a club that includes former Vice President Al Gore, consumer advocate Ralph Nader and President-elect Barack Obama's designated head of the National Economic Council, Larry Summers. (Wall Street Journal)
10 Things You Didn't Know About Leon Panetta Democratic sources revealed Panetta is Obama's pick to lead the CIA - Since leaving the Clinton White House in 1997, Panetta has remained active in public life. He is codirector of a think tank, the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University—Monterey Bay. He also served on the Iraq Study Group and the Board of Directors for the New York Stock Exchange and has taught at Santa Clara University. (US News & World Report)
Edgewood Complaint Vietnam Veterans of America, a Non-Profit Corporation; Bruce Price; Franklin D. Rochelle; Larry Meirow; Eric P. Muth; David C. Dufrane; and Wray C. Forrest, Individuals v. Central Intelligence Agency; General Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; United States Department of Defense; Dr. Robert M Gates, Secretary of Defense; United States Department of the Army; Pete Geren, United States Secretary of the Army; United States of America; and Michael B. Mukasey, Attorney General of the United States - This action chronicles a chilling tale of human experimentation, covert military operations, and heretofore unchecked abuses of power by our own government. Ironically, one of the main facilitating events for this debacle was action by a court. In 1950, during the height of the Cold War, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the Feres case, which in effect ruled that the government is immune from damages claims brought by Armed Forces personnel arising from DEFENDANTS’ own torts. The Supreme Court’s decision to absolve DEFENDANTS of legal responsibility for damages caused by the tortious acts committed by the government upon our nation’s military personnel quickly led DEFENDANTS to undertake an expansive, multi- faceted program of secret experimentation on human subjects, diverting our own troops from military assignments for use as test subjects. In virtually all cases, troops served in the same capacity as laboratory rats or guinea pigs. DEFENDANTS were able to capitalize on the inherently coercive relationship of a soldier’s commanding officers to their soldiers, as military orders can be enforced by a strong set of formal and informal sanctions. (US District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division)
Unit Learns Skills to Fight Different Enemy The Marines, assigned to the Chemical, Biological Incident Response Force here, approached their final training obstacle in a three-week course required of everyone assigned to the highly specialized unit tasked by the Defense Department with responding to disasters that require federal assistance (Army.com)
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