Widow Vicky Pushed To Replace Kennedy

From Bloomberg:

‘Brilliant’ Kennedy Widow Would Be Good Appointee, Hatch Says

Jeff Plungis – Mon Aug 31

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) — The widow of the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy should be considered as an interim appointee to represent Massachusetts in his place, two U.S. senators said.

Senators Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said yesterday on CNN’s “State of the Union” they could support Kennedy’s widow Victoria Reggie Kennedy as an interim senator if Massachusetts allows a temporary appointment before a special election.

“Vicki ought to be considered,” Hatch said. “She’s a very brilliant lawyer. She’s a very solid individual. I have nothing but great respect for her.” …

Victoria Kennedy, 55, has said she’s reluctant to serve, but she may change her mind after talking with her children and others, Dodd said.



Obama-Care Reformers Rob LI Home

From the New York Post:

From left, Vance Jackson, Natalie Taylor and Benjamin Thompson were arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree attempted murder during a home invasion that took place Aug. 28, 2009, in Huntington, police said.



August 30, 2009

Three people posed as insurance agents hawking President Obama’s health-care reform plan to gain entry to a Long Island home, where they pistol-whipped, shot and robbed two women and a man, authorities said.

Vance Jackson, 46, of Yonkers, and Benjamin Thompson, of Brooklyn, were arraigned yesterday in Central Islip on attempted-murder and burglary charges.

A female accomplice, Natalie Taylor, 26, of Nyack, is expected to be arraigned today.

The men were nabbed about a mile from the Huntington crime scene in an SUV, and Taylor was apprehended a few hours later, police said.



NYT: Katrina Recovery ‘Is Not Enough’

From a tear-soaked New York Times:

In New Orleans, Recovery Is Not Enough


August 31, 2009

NEW ORLEANS — Houses still sit empty, residents are still scattered and streets still echo with the sounds of hammers and power saws. But on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane that redefined its future, New Orleans is no longer talking about mere recovery.

Yes, people are returning: the number of households receiving mail is now more than three-fourths of the pre-Katrina figures, according to the latest estimates, up from fewer than half three years ago. Projects stalled by red tape and the bad credit market, like the Lafitte public housing complex, are finally getting back on track.

But reverting to the city that existed here before the flood is not the goal.



Unions Kill NYC’s Cafe Des Artistes

From the union loving New York Times:

Downturn Catches Up to Cafe Frozen in Time


August 31, 2009

No one got the chance to say goodbye to Café des Artistes, the storied New York City restaurant that served up Old World fare under the gaze of the painted nubile nudes that perkily graced its walls.

The restaurant had closed on Aug. 9 for a month-long vacation and was to reopen Sept. 14. But on Friday, facing steady losses and a union lawsuit, its owners made what they described as a wrenching decision to close the landmark cafe on West 67th Street for good.

“It’s a very sad day for us,” said Jenifer Lang, whose husband, George Lang, has owned the restaurant since 1975.



Cheney Calls CIA Probe A ‘Political Act’

From the Washington Post:

Cheney Slams Obama’s ‘Politicized’ Probe of CIA Interrogations

By Bill Sammon

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Calling it a "terrible decision" that undermines national security and devastates CIA morale, former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed the Obama administration’s probe of aggressive interrogation of terrorists.

"It’s an outrageous political act that will do great damage, long-term, to our capacity to be able to have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say," Cheney told "FOX News Sunday" in a no-holds-barred interview.

In blunt, unsparing language, Cheney accused President Obama of setting a "terrible precedent" by allowing an "intensely partisan, politicized look back at the prior administration."

He said the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a probe into alleged abuse of prisoners under the prior administration "offends the hell out of me," as he seemed to question Obama’s fitness as commander-in-chief.



Lockerbie Release Was ‘Blood For Oil’

From the UK’s Times:

Lockerbie bomber ‘set free for oil’

Jason Allardyce

August 30, 2009

The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal.

Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.

The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.

The correspondence makes it plain that the key decision to include Megrahi in a deal with Libya to allow prisoners to return home was, in fact, taken in London for British national interests.



AP: The GOP’s Healthcare Scare Tactic

From an outraged Associated Press:

RNC Uses New Scare Tactic on Reform

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Republican National Committee suggested in a recent fundraising appeal that Democrats might use an overhaul of the health-care system to deny medical treatment to Republicans.

A questionnaire accompanying the mailing says the government could check voting registration records, "prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health-care rationing system." It asks, "Does this possibility concern you?"

Katie Wright, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said the question was "inartfully worded." She said people should be concerned about the possibility of government officials having access to personal financial and medical data…

The suggestion that Republicans might be singled out and denied care is included in a "Future of American Health Care Survey" containing 13 questions, most of which are critical of the Democratic health-care effort.



BHO: We Loved This Kind, Tender Hero

From a seemingly shameless Washington Post:

[AFP photo and caption:] Democratic lion Edward Kennedy was reunited with his slain brothers as he was laid to rest in a Virginia cemetery while a lone bugle played Taps, bringing the curtain down on a political dynasty.

‘We Loved This Kind And Tender Hero’

A Day of Mourning, Celebration

By Dan Balz, Keith B. Richburg and Shailagh Murray
Sunday, August 30, 2009

On the day he was carried to his final resting place, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was remembered Saturday as a legislator of almost unequalled prowess, a political force who left a lasting imprint on the country and a husband, father and patriarch whose private acts of love and devotion helped his star-crossed family endure tragedy and misfortune.



Pakistan’s Nuke Grandfather Freed

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Pakistan court lifts restrictions on nuclear proliferation ‘godfather’ A.Q. Khan

A.Q. Khan, the ‘godfather’ of Pakistan’s nuclear programme accused of sharing technology with rogue states, has been granted full freedom from the terms of his house arrest by a court.

28 Aug 2009

Mr Khan’s lawyer, Ali Zafar, said the Lahore High Court ruled that "nobody can restrict the movement of A.Q. Khan" and that notices had been issued to the police and government asking them to explain why they were continuing to do so.

"It is excellent and heart warming and very gratifying," Mr Khan said. "I think the people who have been involved in playing mischief with me will get the message and allow me live a peaceful, private life as a citizen."

It was unclear whether the authorities would obey the decision.



Shocker: Gitmo Interrogations Worked

From, of all place, the Washington Post:

How a Detainee Became An Asset

Sept. 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding

By Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate
Saturday, August 29, 2009

After enduring the CIA’s harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency’s secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called "terrorist tutorials."

In 2005 and 2006, the bearded, pudgy man who calls himself the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks discussed a wide variety of subjects, including Greek philosophy and al-Qaeda dogma. In one instance, he scolded a listener for poor note-taking and his inability to recall details of an earlier lecture.

Speaking in English, Mohammed "seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group’s plans, ideology and operatives," said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified.



ACLU Has Found Gitmo ‘Prisoner Abuse’!

From their mouthpieces at the New York Times:

A.C.L.U. Lawyers Mine Documents for Interrogation Facts


August 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — In the spring of 2003, long before Abu Ghraib or secret prisons became part of the American vocabulary, a pair of recently hired lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union noticed a handful of news reports about allegations of abuse of prisoners in American custody.

The lawyers, Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, wondered: Was there a broader pattern of abuse, and could a Freedom of Information Act request uncover it? Some of their colleagues, more experienced with the frustrations of such document demands, were skeptical. One made a tongue-in-cheek offer of $1 for every page they turned up.

Six years later, the detention document request and subsequent lawsuit are among the most successful in the history of public disclosure, with 130,000 pages of previously secret documents released to date and the prospect of more.



Shoe-Tossing Iraqi To Get Early Release

From a celebratory Associated Press:

Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush to be released early

By Kim Gamel, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – An Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said Saturday…

The journalist has been in custody since the Dec. 14 outburst, which occurred as Bush was holding a news conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Maliki, who was standing next to Bush at the time, was said to have been deeply offended by the act.

Al-Zeidi was initially sentenced to three years in prison after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign leader. The court reduced it to one year because the journalist had no prior criminal history.



Obama May Have To Break His Tax Pledge

From the Washington Post:

Tax Pledge Is a Target As Deficits, Debt Grow

Obama Advisers Will Not Rule Out Broad-Based Hike

By Lori Montgomery
Saturday, August 29, 2009

During last year’s campaign, President Obama vowed to enact a bold agenda without raising taxes for the middle class, a pledge budget experts viewed with skepticism. Since then, a severe recession, massive deficits and a national debt that is swelling toward a 50-year high have only made his promise harder to keep.

The Obama administration has insisted that the pledge will stand. But the president’s top economic advisers have refused to rule out broad-based tax increases to close the yawning gap between federal revenue and government spending and are warning of tough choices ahead.

Republicans are already on the attack, accusing Obama of plotting to break his no-tax vow, the same political transgression that cost Democrats control of Congress under former president Bill Clinton and may have cost president George H.W.



Death Defying Foodies Go Wild For Pig

From the former news magazine, Time:

Makin’ Bacon: Foodies Are Going Hog Wild Over Pig

By Hilary Hylton

It started this spring. First there was the friend with the uncharacteristic dirty fingernails. Then that confident co-worker swept off the elevator, tossed her tresses and suddenly there was a faint whiff of wood smoke in the air. Something’s happening here, and as foodie bloggers know, it’s all about bacon.

Maybe it’s a recession-driven money saver, or maybe we just feel the need to get back in touch with what we eat, but Americans everywhere are discovering the pleasures of home-cured bacon. Culinary blogs are replete with homemade-bacon recipes, including how to make pancetta. Mario Batali’s recipe for guanciale, cured pig cheek, has gone viral. Leading the piggy parade is food writer Michael Ruhlman, who has challenged his blog readers to make a BLT from scratch – including homegrown lettuce and tomatoes and homemade bread – shoot a picture, submit it and win a prize: his latest book Ratio…

Sweeney, whose blog also celebrates the cocktail, has concocted an alcoholic homage to bacon, the BLTini – vodka shaken with tomato water (extracted from an heirloom tomato, of course), vermouth and a basil leaf posing as lettuce, garnished with a crispy bacon bite.



Earth Is Killing Itself With Laughing Gas

From the unreconstructed ‘Warmers’ at the New York Times:

New Culprit Seen in Ozone Depletion


August 28, 2009

Government scientists who study the depletion of Earth’s protective ozone layer are pointing to a previously unheralded culprit: nitrous oxide.

Most of the nitrous oxide in the atmosphere emerges naturally, through the action of bacteria in the soil, the researchers say. But the gas is also produced by human activity, through the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers, the application of livestock manure to fields, the burning of biofuels and in other ways.

Though nitrous oxide is not regulated under the Montreal Protocol, the 1987 agreement to limit emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals, the researchers say it is emerging as the leading artificial cause of ozone loss.



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