Obama Warned Us About Energy Plans

Lest we forget, back in a January 17, 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Mr. Obama predicted the consequences of his upcoming energy programs:

Mr. Obama candidly admitted to the (friendly) newspaper editors that his policies would make energy prices “skyrocket.”

Mr. Obama also promised to bankrupt anyone foolish enough to build coal-burning power plants.

And, thanks to the upcoming ‘Cap And Trade’ bill, he may yet have his way.



ACORN Demands More Mortgage Cash

From the very discreet Associated Press:

Protesters demand mortgage help from loan firms

June 30, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Protests are planned in more than a dozen cities across the country to demand that a group of mortgage companies who benefited from federal bailout money participate in a government program designed to prevent foreclosures.

The protesters want the companies to sign on to the Obama administration initiative called "Making Home Affordable." The administration estimates it could help up to 9 million financially troubled homeowners stay in their homes.

Rally organizers say about 80 percent of eligible loan companies are participating already.

The protests are scheduled Tuesday in 14 cities, including Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami. They’re organized by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also known as ACORN.



Ahmadinejad Gains Votes In ‘Recount’

From Iran’s Press TV:

Ahmadinejad votes up after partial re-count

Tue, 30 Jun 2009

A random re-count of 10 percent of votes cast in Iran’s June 12 elections results in a slight increase of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s votes in some cities.

After ballot boxes were randomly chosen and re-counted in the presence of the Guardian Council, interior ministry and district governor representatives, Ahmadinejad’s votes increased in the province of Kerman, Fars news reported on Monday.

The incumbent president’s tally also rose by 12 votes in Jirof, after 17 of the 170 ballot boxes in the southeastern city were re-counted, according to Fars news.

The report added that the re-count in Jiroft resulted in five votes being deducted from runner up Mir-Hossein Mousavi and one vote being deducted form Mehdi Karroubi, while Mohsen Rezaei’s ballots increased by three votes.



DOJ May Undermine Most Gitmo Cases

We almost missed this bit of actual reporting from the Wall Street Journal:

New Rift Opens Over Rights of Detainees

JUNE 29, 2009


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has determined that detainees tried by military commissions in the U.S. can claim at least some constitutional rights, particularly protection against the use of statements taken through coercive interrogations, officials said.

The conclusion, explained in a confidential memorandum whose contents were shared with The Wall Street Journal, could alter significantly the way the commissions operate — and has created new divisions among the agencies responsible for overseeing the commissions.

Defense Department officials warn that the Justice Department position could reduce the chance of convicting some defendants. Military prosecutors have said involuntary statements comprise the lion’s share of their evidence against dozens of Guantanamo prisoners who could be tried.



NYT Defends Obama’s Love Of Despots

From those champions of the rule of law at the New York Times:

In a Coup in Honduras, Ghosts of Past U.S. Policies


June 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — … The crisis in Honduras, where members of the country’s military abruptly awakened President Manuel Zelaya on Sunday and forced him out of the country in his bedclothes, is pitting Mr. Obama against the ghosts of past American foreign policy in Latin America.

The United States has a history of backing rival political factions and instigating coups in the region, and administration officials have found themselves on the defensive in recent days, dismissing repeated allegations by President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela that the C.I.A. may have had a hand in the president’s removal.



Obama: Honduran ‘Coup’ Is Not Legal

From the (great) cartoonist Michael Ramirez at the Investors Business Daily and the (not so great) Associated Press:

Leaders from Obama to Chavez blast Honduras coup

By Will Weissert And Freddy Cuevas, Associated Press Writers

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Police and soldiers clashed with thousands of protesters outside Honduras’ national palace Monday, leaving at least 45 people injured, as world leaders from Barack Obama to Hugo Chavez demanded the return of a president ousted in a military coup…

Across Latin America, leftist leaders pulled their ambassadors from Honduras and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala would cut trade with neighboring Honduras for at least 48 hours. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for Hondurans to rise up against those who toppled his ally.



4 GIs Killed During Iraq Cities Pullout

From a gladdened Associated Press:

Iraqi security forces patrol in central Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

4 US soldiers killed during Iraq cities pullout

By Patrick Quinn, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – Four U.S. soldiers were killed in combat shortly before the American military completed a withdrawal from Iraq’s cities, and the prime minister assured Iraqis that government forces taking control of urban areas on Tuesday were more than capable of protecting the country.

Nouri al-Maliki said in a televised address that "those who think that Iraqis are not able to protect their country and that the withdrawal of foreign forces will create a security vacuum are committing a big mistake."

The streets of Baghdad were relatively quiet, as the Iraqi government named June 30 National Sovereignty Day and declared it a public holiday.



US Troops Withdraw From Iraq Cities

From a giddy Reuters:

Iraqis rejoice as U.S. troops leave Baghdad

By Tim Cocks And Muhanad Mohammed Mon Jun 29

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. troops pulled out of Baghdad on Monday, triggering jubilation among Iraqis hopeful that foreign military occupation is ending six years after the invasion to depose Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi soldiers paraded through the streets in their American-made vehicles draped with Iraqi flags and flowers, chanting, dancing and calling the pullout a "victory."

Addressing military leaders in Baghdad, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said: "Our sovereignty has started and … we should move forward to build a modern state and enjoy (the) security which has been achieved." …

The government has declared June 30 a national holiday, "National Sovereignty Day." …

A spate of bombings in recent days, including two of the deadliest for more than a year that killed 150 people between them, have raised fears militants will try to step up the pace of attacks.



Supreme Court Reverses Sotomayor

From an outraged Associated Press:

In this April 10, 2009 file photo, New Haven Firefighter Gary Tinney, one of a group of African-American firefighters in New Haven who are at the center of a controversy over promotions, stands in front of the firehouse where he works in New Haven, Conn.

Court rules for white firefighters over promotions

By Mark Sherman, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision.



Iran Arrests Police, Basij ‘Imposters’

And speaking shams, here is another report from Press TV:

Police, Basij ‘imposters’ arrested in Iran

Mon, 29 Jun 2009

Iranian police officials have reportedly arrested the armed imposters who posed as security forces during post-election violence in the country.

Iran’s Basij commander, Hossein Taeb, said Monday that the imposters had worn police and Basij uniforms to infiltrate the rallies and create havoc.

Taeb added that the recent anti-government riots have killed eight members of the Basij and wounded 300 others.

Iranian security officials –and in particularly the Basij volunteer forces– have been accused of killing and injuring protestors who took to the streets to protest the outcome of the June 12 election — which saw incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad win by a landslide.



Iran To Re-Count 10% Of Vote On TV

From Press TV:

As Mousavi demurs, Iran conducts partial vote recount

Mon, 29 Jun 2009

Iran’s Guardian Council has ordered partial recount of 10 percent of random ballot boxes across the country in front of state television cameras.

"The order has been made following the hesitation of representatives of [the defeated presidential candidate] Mir-Hossein Mousavi and an ineffective joint meeting between certain members of the special committee of the Guardian Council and Mousavi," the office of the body’s spokesman, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, said on Monday.

It added that the result of vote recount would be announced later.

The Guardian Council on Thursday announced that it would form a special committee to oversee a partial recount of the random ballot boxes.

Mousavi, however, has rejected the offer of partial recount and refused to appoint a representative to the committee.



Left Argentine Leader Loses Mid-Term

From a dejected Reuters:

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, holds up her ballot before casting it in Rio Gallegos, Argentina, Sunday, June 28, 2009.

Argentine leader suffers sharp blow in vote

Mon Jun 29, 2009

By Kevin Gray

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez suffered a stinging blow in Sunday’s mid-term, losing her majority in the lower house as voters rejected her combative politics and handling of an economic slowdown.

In a humiliating defeat for Argentina’s first couple, her powerful husband and predecessor, former President Nestor Kirchner, was upset in a high-profile congressional race.

The result heightened political uncertainties in Latin America’s No. 3 economy, potentially setting off a power struggle in the ruling Peronist party.

Fernandez could replace several cabinet ministers in the wake of the defeat, a government source told reporters, asking not to be named.


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Obama Tried To Prevent Zelaya ‘Coup’

Buried in this article from the Wall Street Journal:

Coup Rocks Honduras


June 29, 2009

The Obama administration and members of the Organization of American States had worked for weeks to try to avert any moves to overthrow President Zelaya, said senior U.S. officials. Washington’s ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, sought to facilitate a dialogue between the president’s office, the Honduran parliament and the military.

The efforts accelerated over the weekend, as Washington grew increasingly alarmed. "The players decided, in the end, not to listen to our message," said one U.S. official involved in the diplomacy. On Sunday, the U.S. embassy here tried repeatedly to contact the Honduran military directly, but was rebuffed. Washington called the removal of President Zelaya a coup and said it wouldn’t recognize any other leader.



CPUSA Statement On Honduras Crisis

From the CPUSA Online:

Communist Party Statement on Honduras Crisis

Author: CPUSA

First published 06/28/2009

The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) joins with the world in denouncing the coup d’etat this morning against the legally elected president of the Republic of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, by the Honduran military, in which, according to a statement by the president’s wife, Mr. Zelaya was threatened and beaten before being sent into exile in Costa Rica.

• The CPUSA denounces alarming reports of physical attacks by troops against the ambassadors of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in Tegucigalpa, and calls for protection of all diplomatic personal; and, if the reports of the attacks are confirmed, punishment of all the responsible parties for this gross violation of Honduran and international law.

The CPUSA further:

Demands that president Zelaya and other members of his government be returned to power immediately, and that the troops return to their barracks.



Bank Rescue Was ‘Expanded’ For GE

From an unfazed Washington Post:

How a Loophole Benefits GE in Bank Rescue

Industrial Giant Becomes Top Recipient in Debt-Guarantee Program

By Jeff Gerth and Brady Dennis
Monday, June 29, 2009

General Electric, the world’s largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government’s key rescue programs for banks.

At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.

As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates.



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