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Current Topic: Current Events

Red Alert: Possible Geopolitical Consequences of the Mumbai Attacks (Open Access) | Stratfor
Topic: Current Events 9:25 am EST, Nov 28, 2008

Since we suspect they were Muslims, and since we doubt the Pakistanis can be categorical and convincing enough to thwart Indian demands, we suspect that we will be deep into a crisis within the next few days, very shortly after the situation on the ground clarifies itself.

Pakistan is so god-damned frustrating. Supposed/relative 'good guys' in the central government, elements of the intelligence service aiding terrorists, the father of the Islamic bomb driving nuclear proliferation, large swaths of the country independent and hostile and... there's not a damned thing we can do about it, because pressuring the central government to crack down on terrorism tends to hurt their credibility and threatens to destabilize the entire nation, which has nukes.

Its the country that really matters in the 'war on terror', its the place where the focus would be if this war weren't a total sham, and there's not a god damned thing we can do.

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

Red Alert: Possible Geopolitical Consequences of the Mumbai Attacks (Open Access) | Stratfor

Op-Ed Contributor - Let Detroit Go Bankrupt -
Topic: Current Events 9:51 pm EST, Nov 19, 2008

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

I agree with a lot of this. And its Mitt Romney. Bail out detroit - but help with financing the bankruptcy, not with a check to keep a broken companies going. And cap executive payment under the reorganization to get people that GIVE A SHIT in there turning things around, a la the Delta bankruptcy and turnaround.

Op-Ed Contributor - Let Detroit Go Bankrupt -

What is the real death toll in Iraq? Jonathan Steele and Suzanne Goldenberg report | World news | The Guardian
Topic: Current Events 4:18 pm EST, Nov 15, 2008

The initiators of the Iraq Body Count, which has produced the lowest figures, were no advocates of the invasion. John Sloboda, an Oxford-based psychologist who co-founded the group, was provoked to do so precisely because he saw no official institution willing to count the human cost of the war. His organisation decided to use "passive surveillance", a statistically conservative method that only deals with facts on the ground. The IBC lists all cases where at least two media sources report an incident causing one or several deaths, keeping a careful tab of the victims' age, gender, occupation, manner and place of death, where information is available. In addition to providing a running total (which now numbers just under 90,000), its figures have allowed the IBC to produce some of the best data and analysis on how the Iraq war has changed over five years. They reveal that the Americans killed four times more civilians in the first two years of the war (thereby provoking armed resistance to the occupation) than al-Qaida-linked insurgents did, in spite of the media's emphasis on car bombs and suicide attacks. They also show the explosion of criminal violence since 2003, one byproduct of the removal of Saddam Hussein's draconian security methods - or what Bush would call Iraq's new "freedom".

What is the real death toll in Iraq? Jonathan Steele and Suzanne Goldenberg report | World news | The Guardian

Video: Calif. gov.: 'We will maybe undo' Prop 8 -
Topic: Current Events 6:18 pm EST, Nov 10, 2008

People who read this also read ...

* Prop 8 protest at Mormon Church in LA
* Organizer: Prop. 8 prayer not political
* Gay couples fear legal limbo in Cal. vote
* Connecticut to legalize same-sex marriage

SACRAMENTO, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Sunday said "we will ... maybe undo" a measure passed by voters Tuesday stripping same-sex couples of the right to marry.

Proposition 8 amends the state constitution to declare that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." It came in reaction to a state Supreme Court ruling that laws prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the state constitution.nullnull

Video: Calif. gov.: 'We will maybe undo' Prop 8 -

Alaska Election Fraud: What In The Hell Happened in Alaska?
Topic: Current Events 2:36 pm EST, Nov  8, 2008

Although Ted Stevens holds a small lead in Alaska and is the favorite to retain his seat, the outcome is not as inevitable as it might appear to be. Stevens currently holds a lead of 3,353 votes, or about 1.5 percent of the votes tallied so far. But, there are quite a large number of ballots yet to count. According to Roll Call, these include "at least 40,000 absentee ballot, 9,000 early voting ballots, and an undetermined number of questionable ballots".

Indeed, it seems possible that the number of "questionable" ballots could be quite high. So far, about 220 thousand votes have been processed in Alaska. This compares with 313 thousand votes cast in 2004. After adding back in the roughly 50,000 absentee and early ballots that Roll Call accounts for, that would get us to 270 thousand ballots, or about a 14 percent drop from 2004. It seems unlikely that turnout would drop by 14 percent in Alaska given the presence of both a high-profile senate race and Sarah Palin at the top of the ticket.

But even if Begich were to make up ground and win a narrow victory, this would seem to represent a catastrophic failure of polling, as three polls conducted following the guilty verdict in Stevens' corruption trial had Begich leading by margins of 7, 8 and 22 points, respectively.

The emerging conventional wisdom is that there was some sort of a Bradley Effect in this contest -- voters told pollsters that they weren't about to vote for that rascal Ted Stevens, when in fact they were perfectly happy to. Convicted felons are the new black, it would seem.

The problem with this theory is that the polling failures in Alaska weren't unique to Stevens. They also applied to the presidential race, as well as Alaska's at-large House seat. In each case, the Republican outperformed his pre-election polling by margins ranging from 12 to 14 points:

Did Palin rig the alaska election?

Alaska Election Fraud: What In The Hell Happened in Alaska?

My wife made me canvas for Obama; here's what I learned |
Topic: Current Events 11:05 pm EST, Nov  2, 2008

I learned in just those three hours that this election is not about what we think of as the "big things."

It's not about taxes. I'm pretty sure mine are going to go up no matter who is elected.

It's not about foreign policy. I think we'll figure out a way to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter which party controls the White House, mostly because the people who live there don't want us there anymore.

I don't see either of the candidates as having all the answers.

I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. It's about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It's about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

My wife and I went out last weekend to knock on more doors. But this time, not because it was her idea. I don't know what it's going to do for the Obama campaign, but it's doing a lot for me.

Jonathan Curley is a banker. He voted for George H.W. Bush twice and George W. Bush once.

My wife made me canvas for Obama; here's what I learned |

Gallup Explains Latest Poll
Topic: Current Events 4:37 am EDT, Oct 29, 2008

Great video of Gallup explaining its latest polls, which show McCain gaining with traditional voters in the last week. They put the poll into context, without all the partisan hype.

Gallup Explains Latest Poll

Robert Paterson's Weblog: Another view of the credit squeeze - oooh!
Topic: Current Events 3:56 pm EDT, Oct 28, 2008

It looks from this that Americans (I bet Canadians and Brits too) just could not cope by about 98. They made up the balance with debt.

So as lenders pull in - what does this mean?

I think it means that the structural issue trumps the market worries. Most Americans are broke. This reality will have a long term effect.

For me - it will be about work and jobs. We have exported both to cut the costs of what we buy. We then borrowed the money to buy the stuff now made abroad.

I think that we have to help people find good work.

This won't mean going back to work for GM but new work. Local energy? Local Food?

Not just subsistence but large networks of people working for each other.

Robert Paterson's Weblog: Another view of the credit squeeze - oooh!

Video - Breaking News Videos from
Topic: Current Events 2:05 am EDT, Oct 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber having civil discourse with Obama. I think both come off fairly well. Wish I could say the same of McCain in referencing Joe.

Video - Breaking News Videos from

'How to make a...' Google Suggestions Offer Glimpse Into Mind of America
Topic: Current Events 12:23 am EDT, Oct 16, 2008

Website, ok. This is the internet age.
Resume, ok. Troubling times, unemployment up.
Toga... as it happens, I am a greek god for halloween. Ok.
Diaper Cake. I thought this was dirty, but no actually its a joke thing for pregnant mothers. So we're losing our jobs and reproducing. Check.
Bomb? Wait, aren't we at war with that?
Bong? Wait, aren't we at war with that too?
Mojito, ok. They are quite fashionable what with the embargo soon to end.
Paper Airplane? This is a sign of failure in our educational system. You shouldn't need instructions to make a paper airplane.
Bow? So a bomb wasn't enough, now you want to take out guys with arrows?

'How to make a...' Google Suggestions Offer Glimpse Into Mind of America

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