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"Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."

80 Arrested Outside Supreme Court
Topic: Current Events 2:20 pm EST, Jan 13, 2008

(CBS/AP) Eighty people were arrested at the Supreme Court Friday in a protest calling for the shutdown of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Demonstrators wearing orange jump suits intended to simulate prison garb were arrested inside and outside the building. “Shut it down,” protesters chanted as others kneeled on the plaza in front of the court.

They were charged with violating an ordinance that prohibits demonstrations of any kind on court grounds. Those arrested inside the building also were charged under a provision that makes it a crime to give “a harangue or oration” in the Supreme Court building.

80 Arrested Outside Supreme Court

Scotland Yard believes Al-Qaeda assassinated Benazir Bhutto - Times Online
Topic: Current Events 2:17 pm EST, Jan 13, 2008

BRITISH officials have revealed that evidence amassed by Scotland Yard detectives points towards Al-Qaeda militants being responsible for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Five experts in video evidence and forensic science have been in Pakistan for 10 days since President Pervez Musharraf took up an offer from Gordon Brown for British help in the investigation of the December 27 killing. Last week they were joined by three specialists in explosives.

Scotland Yard believes Al-Qaeda assassinated Benazir Bhutto - Times Online

The $1.4 Trillion Question
Topic: Markets & Investing 2:04 pm EST, Jan 13, 2008

Chinese leaders have deliberately held down living standards for their own people and propped them up in the United States. This is the real meaning of the vast trade surplus—$1.4 trillion and counting, going up by about $1 billion per day—that the Chinese government has mostly parked in U.S. Treasury notes. In effect, every person in the (rich) United States has over the past 10 years or so borrowed about $4,000 from someone in the (poor) People’s Republic of China.

The $1.4 Trillion Question

Feldstein Says U.S. Recession Odds More Than 50% After Job Data
Topic: Markets & Investing 12:46 am EST, Jan  7, 2008

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein, head of the group that dates U.S. economic cycles, said the odds of a recession have risen to more than 50 percent after a report showing unemployment jumped in December.

``We are now talking about more likely than not,'' Feldstein, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, said in an interview in New Orleans two days ago. ``I have been saying about 50 percent. This now pushes it up a bit above that.''

Feldstein Says U.S. Recession Odds More Than 50% After Job Data

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time - Blogs from
Topic: Current Events 9:30 pm EST, Jan  6, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) – George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 nominee for president, is calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses," McGovern writes. "They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time.

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time - Blogs from

ABC News: Pakistan to U.S.: Don't Hunt Al Qaeda Here
Topic: Current Events 9:11 pm EST, Jan  6, 2008

Pakistan reiterated that it will not let American forces hunt al-Qaida and Taliban militants on its soil, after a news report said Sunday that the Bush administration was considering expanding U.S. military and intelligence operations into Pakistan's tribal regions.

"We are very clear. Nobody is going to be allowed to do anything here," said Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad, the top spokesman for Pakistan's army.

"The government has said it so many times," Arshad said. "No foreign forces will be allowed to operate inside Pakistan."

ABC News: Pakistan to U.S.: Don't Hunt Al Qaeda Here

Dr. George Friedman - Pakistan, Bhutto and the U.S.-Jihadist Endgame
Topic: Current Events 10:27 pm EST, Jan  5, 2008

The endgame of the U.S.-jihadist war always had to be played out in Pakistan. There are two reasons that could account for this. The first is simple: Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda command cell are located in Pakistan. The war cannot end while the command cell functions or has a chance of regenerating. The second reason is more complicated. The United States and NATO are engaged in a war in Afghanistan. Where the Soviets lost with 300,000 troops, the Americans and NATO are fighting with less than 50,000. Any hope of defeating the Taliban, or of reaching some sort of accommodation, depends on isolating them from Pakistan. So long as the Taliban have sanctuary and logistical support from Pakistan, transferring all coalition troops in Iraq to Afghanistan would have no effect. And withdrawing from Afghanistan would return the situation to the status quo before Sept. 11. If dealing with the Taliban and destroying al Qaeda are part of any endgame, the key lies in Pakistan.

Dr. George Friedman - Pakistan, Bhutto and the U.S.-Jihadist Endgame

Al Qaeda in 2008: The Struggle for Relevance | Stratfor
Topic: Current Events 10:23 pm EST, Jan  5, 2008

Great Stratfor article on Al Qaeda in 2008. Read the article for the conclusion.

As we look ahead to 2008, the core al Qaeda leadership clearly is struggling to remain relevant in the ideological realm, a daunting task for an organization that has been rendered geopolitically and strategically impotent on the physical battlefield.


The theme of our 2007 al Qaeda forecast was the continuation of the metamorphosis of al Qaeda from a smaller core group of professional operatives into an operational model that encourages independent “grassroots” jihadists to conduct attacks, or into a model in which al Qaeda provides the operational commanders who organize grassroots cells. We referred to this shift as devolution because it signified a return to al Qaeda’s pre-9/11 model.

Al Qaeda in 2008: The Struggle for Relevance | Stratfor

Larry Kudlow on Goldilocks and Tax Reform on National Review Online
Topic: Markets & Investing 10:10 pm EST, Jan  5, 2008

The key thing to remember is that businesses drive the economy. Businesses create jobs and incomes for consumers to spend. Today’s John Edwards/Mike Huckabee anti-business populism sounds more like William Jennings Bryan than Adam Smith. It’s absolutely crazy. They attack Wall Street and investors, which is another way of attacking capital. Without capital investment, there will be no new business, no new jobs, and no middle class.
Right now the single best thing President Bush and Congress can do is slash the corporate tax rate for large and small businesses. Bush must reach out to Charlie Rangel and move the corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent. Then, instead of taxing successful capitalists as an offset, Congress can entirely abolish corporate-tax subsidy loopholes, special provisions, and other corruption-inducing K-Street earmarks.

A middle-class tax cut to help families and small businesses would also work wonders. This can be done by collapsing the three middle-income tax brackets of 15 percent ($15,650), 25 percent ($63,700), and 28 percent ($128,500) into one 15 percent bracket. These brackets apply to small-business owners who may be suffering the high costs of energy and raw materials. The biggest weakness in the jobs report is the household survey which is comprised of these owner-operated small businesses. Household job increases have slumped to only 262,000 over the last year.

Larry Kudlow on Goldilocks and Tax Reform on National Review Online

Is '70s-style stagflation returning? - MSN Money
Topic: Markets & Investing 9:51 pm EST, Jan  5, 2008

Stagflation is coming. Lock up your portfolio. We could be on our way to a replay of the 1970s.

That's the worry among an increasing number of investors as we head into 2008. It's certainly possible for the year ahead, but it's unlikely. In this column, I'll look at what would have to go wrong for stagflation to return and how to position a portfolio if you think stagflation is more of a danger than I do.

Is '70s-style stagflation returning? - MSN Money

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