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15 Dead, Dozens hurt in blasts in north Indian temple town
Today's Headlines
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Family walks on all fours
An extraordinary family who walk on all fours are being hailed as the breakthrough discovery which could shed light on the moment Man first stood upright. Scientists believe that the five brothers and sisters found in Turkey could hold unique insights into human evolution.

The Kurdish siblings, aged between 18 and 34 and from the rural south, 'bear crawl' on their feet and palms. Study of the five has shown the astonishing behaviour is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise.

Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement. And it could provide invaluable information on how humans evolved from a four-legged hominid into a creature walking on two feet. Two of the daughters and a son have only ever walked on two palms and two feet, but another son and daughter sometimes manage to walk upright. The five can stand upright, but only for a short time, with both knees and head flexed.

Professor Nicholas Humphrey, evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, visited the family twice. He said: "It's amazing as an example of a strange, strange aberration of human development. But their interest is how they can live in the modern world." The five are all mentally retarded. Their mother and father, who are closely related are believed to have handed down a unique combination of genes which result in the behaviour.

Some researchers argue the genetic fault has caused the brothers and sisters to regress to a form of 'backward evolution'. Others believe it has led to brain damage which has allowed them to develop the walk. Rather than walking on their knuckles, like gorillas or chimpanzees, they walk on the palms of their hands, with their fingers spread upwards. Scientists believe this may be the way hominids moved to protect their fingers for more delicate movements.

Prof Humphrey said he thought the family had reverted to an instinctive form of behaviour encoded deep in the brain but abandoned during evolution. He said: "I do not think they were destined to be quadrupeds by their genes, but their unique genetic make-up allowed them to be. "It has produced an extraordinary window on our past. It is physically possible, which no one would have guessed from the modern human skeleton."

The five siblings spend most of their time sitting outside the family's basic rural home. However, one brother travels to the local village where he engages in basic interactions with people.
Posted by: Jackal || 03/07/2006 20:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6491 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Given the inbreeding that occurred before this close inbreeding, the group is severly retarded. And, given the remote location and acceptable freakiness of the family, I doubt there is much to interest geneticists, just psychiatrists.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 03/07/2006 20:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, my. I didn't know. Sorry Murat. Honest.
Posted by: .com || 03/07/2006 20:57 Comments || Top||

#3  .com - ROTF
Posted by: Matt || 03/07/2006 21:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Genetics is so wide open that geneticists always find at least something interesting. If nothing else, situations of extended inbreeding are fairly rare, but may have been more common and contributed much to human evolution.

That is, small clusters of dispered people would tend to interbreed, unless they were nomadic and met other small clusters. And once an inbred cluster had become too large, it would have to break apart, doubling their chances for genetic diversity. Other variables, I'm sure.

This would mean periods of reinforced traits and periods of diversity.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/07/2006 22:50 Comments || Top||

Allegheny Alligator vs. Walmart
David J. Seeger, a Buffalo environmental attorney well-know to Allegany County nuke dump fighters, attended the meeting representing Community First, a group bent on busting Wal-Mart’s Allegany expansion plans. Seeger brought with him information on a tiny salamander that may or may not exist in the Allegheny River in which, water from 2-Mile Creek is deposited.

Sexually mature adult hellbenders range in size from 12-29 inches (30-74 cm)

Now there's a critter you don't want to have swim by you.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/07/2006 14:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Your honor, my client was turned into a newt after shopping at Wal-Mart. We seek damages of twenty million dollars"

"A newt?"

"Well, he got better."
Posted by: Zenster || 03/07/2006 15:50 Comments || Top||

#2  Lol. Bingo.
Posted by: .com || 03/07/2006 16:12 Comments || Top||

#3  Hellbenders. *shudder*
Posted by: Seafarious || 03/07/2006 16:15 Comments || Top||

#4  But they make good fishbait.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/07/2006 16:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Is this like the blue-tongued mango vole from Carl Hiassen's novel, Native Tongue?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 03/07/2006 16:53 Comments || Top||

Mysterious Orbs Of Light At North Texas Church
Tv footage of orbs (live and stills) at link, in the sidebar of the article.
I'm worried about me... if this trend goes on, soon enough I'll post the werewolf or guardian angel pics from Coast to coast, or the True Tales(tm) from my favorites anomalist websites...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/07/2006 03:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Don't know about the "oil on the balcony" but the reporter certainly caught my attention.
Posted by: Visitor || 03/07/2006 7:50 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm not typing very well today but a) while I think this has a physical as opposed to a paranormal explanation, for a similar phenomenon I had looked at a long time ago (ball lightning) I'm unconvinced that the model currently being accepted by the mainstream scientists is unlikely.

(Yes, I know orbs are something different.)

I guess it's a step up from not saying it happens at all...
Posted by: Phil || 03/07/2006 9:48 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh please, not the werewolves again! Every time they move into another neighborhood the crime rate goes up, the property values go down... they're just a bunch of juvenile delinquent publicity hounds trying to make it with all the goth chicks, just like the vampires. They're both as bad as rock musicians. They come in, disrupt the area, but then leave right before the mob of peasants is marching down _my_ street, with pitchforks and torches, screaming "KILL ALL THE MONSTERS!" and I'M the one who always has to talk them down.
Posted by: Abdominal Snowman || 03/07/2006 9:51 Comments || Top||

#4  "...It's just this little chromium switch here. I swear, you people are SO superstitious..."
Posted by: mojo || 03/07/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh please, not the werewolves again!

At least it's not the damn chupacabras. Those little *bleep*ers start nesting under your porch and you'll never get rid of them.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/07/2006 10:57 Comments || Top||

#6  It takes work, but you can make a good gumbo from chucacabras though.
Posted by: Abdominal Snowman || 03/07/2006 10:59 Comments || Top||

#7  Ok, you asked for it, remember?... Introducing... the werewolf!!! (the photgrapher sez "bigfoot", but it looks more like a Lon Cheney werewolf to me).
Details at http://www.coasttocoastam.com/gen/page1281.html.
Kill thepics if this screw up formating, btw...


Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/07/2006 11:06 Comments || Top||

#8  Oh, and the guardian angel...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/07/2006 11:07 Comments || Top||

#9  Lycanthropy is just another virus. People who catch it deserve what they get for not using precautions.
Posted by: Chuck Simmins || 03/07/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#10  And now I'll go hide in shame and won't dare to show up for at least a couple of days...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/07/2006 11:09 Comments || Top||

#11  And according to a bigfoot forum here a lot of people think the werewolf in question is a mule deer.
Posted by: Phil || 03/07/2006 11:13 Comments || Top||

#12  I got pictures of haints. Its reflective ash floating in the air. This was taken at TVA Widows Creek Plant in northern 'Bama.


Posted by: BrerRabbit || 03/07/2006 11:17 Comments || Top||

#13  when I xerox my ass on the office copier, it looks just like AlGore. Eerie!
Posted by: Frank G || 03/07/2006 12:37 Comments || Top||

#14  More guilty pleasures...
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 03/07/2006 12:42 Comments || Top||

#15  Frank, LOLOL,
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/07/2006 13:51 Comments || Top||

#16  #18 - some "guardian angel"! A real guardian angel would take the Diet Coke away from the baby before it gets addicted.

Who, me? I can quit anytime I want to. No, really.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/07/2006 14:39 Comments || Top||

#17  It's ok, Barbara. Everybody knows it's only the regular stuff that makes one fat, so no worries. ;-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/07/2006 20:34 Comments || Top||

Viva Villa!
DUBAI — Dubai Police nabbed a four-member Mexican gang on February 26.
Mexican gang? In Dubai? WTF?
Julian Garzone, Robin Landen, Jesuis Ramses and Alkhandro Villa allegedly stole valuable electronic items and jewellery from a number of villas in Dubai.
Villa the villa thief
Juan Robie, el Gato?
Several complaints were filed at different police stations by people who found their villas burgled on returning from overseas travel.
Cary Grant did it better, y'know...
The police found part of the stolen jewellery with the thieves.
It was a setup, though. It was really l'cute young chique, even though Grace Kelly thought it was him...
The rest of the jewellery had been shipped by the gang to one of the Asian countries, where the wife of one of the gang members lives and owns a jewellery shop. The Criminal Investigation Department is contacting the Asian country in a bid to bring back the jewellery.
"M. le Inspecteur! How good to hear from you again... Jewel thieves, is it?... Cat burglars?... Have you been keeping an eye on l'cute young chique?"
The CID had set up a team after it received seven theft complaints filed at different police stations in Dubai. The police laid traps
"My cape, Legume! We shall lay a clever trap for these thieves!"
and managed to arrest the thieves
"Hands up, Juan Robie el Gato!... But wait! You are not Juan Robie! You are... une chique?"
and found in their car a number of electronic items, which were stolen from a villa. One of the thieves was also found wearing a watch that was reported missing at the Bur Dubai police station. Police raided their houses and the tools used to carry out the thefts were found hidden in a house in Muraqabat.
"Ahah! What have we here? A crowbar? A stethoscope? Two sticks of dynamite?"
Khamis Mattar Al Mazina, Head of General Directorate of CID, praised the efforts exerted by the CID Police staff. He said that the Dubai Police earlier launched the housing security service, which monitors the houses of the people who travel outside the country. He said that the people who plan to travel should contact the police stations directly or they can send emails to the police departments from wherever they are. Al Mazina called upon the people to put their precious and valuable items in bank lockers instead of leaving them at home when they travel overseas.
Posted by: Steve || 03/07/2006 08:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Because NOBODY expects the Frito Bandito!
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/07/2006 10:06 Comments || Top||

#2  All I gotta say -- they need a better coyote.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/07/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#3  Hey, they just wanted to work hard and send money home. Right, Vicente?
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/07/2006 11:33 Comments || Top||

Bahrain nod for quizzing of ministers in the open
Two small nuggets from Arabia today on the incremental march of personal liberty. This is one of them.
MANAMA — In order to maintain transparency of its functioning, the Chamber of Deputies approved a draft law, facilitating the questioning of ministers and officials during its sessions, and not in camera. The Chamber agreed that there was a need to enhance transparency and make the public witness to the interrogation of ministers and officials during open sessions.

The quizzing is carried out by parliamentary committees during their meetings while the rest of the deputies only know about it from a report that is discussed in the Chamber session.

The questioning of ministers in Chamber sessions would help ascertain deputies accusations and the ministers defence, said Deputy Dr Saadi Mohammed. However, Deputy Dr Isa Mutawa, said quizzing by parliamentary committees was more organised and would help prevent the spread of misinformation. Deputy Mohammed Khalid disagreed and alleged that ministers did not take MPs seriously during in-camera sessions.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

Kuwait gets more liberal press law
Kuwait's parliament on Monday passed a new press law banning the imprisonment of journalists without a final court ruling and allowing new newspapers to publish for the first time in three decades. All 53 MPs present at a session of the house, including Cabinet ministers, voted in favour of the legislation, which was described by lawmakers as a key reform measure.
Posted by: Fred || 03/07/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Editors who publish "blasphemy" get decapitated, instead of being burned alive?
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/07/2006 9:57 Comments || Top||

#2  In the Arabias, the overriding principal is conservatism. That is, they want the better mousetrap, but they are scared of it. They are convinced that the next step of liberalism, whatever it is, could be great, or it could be their last.

This is why, for things like women voting, it takes a peculiar form: after much contention, just the merest of women voting is allowed. Then, almost invariably, they are amazed when the sky doesn't fall in. After that they are convinced, at least until someone suggests they should vote for seats in a higher office.

Then the conservatism and fear kicks in again.

It's a process. But it's important to remember that it's not just their leaders who are this way. The leaders just reflect their national mood of conservatism.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/07/2006 10:27 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Nuggets From MOSNEWS
13 Injured in Grenade Blast Following Quarrel
A quarrel between two families that started with a children’s fight ended with a grenade blast that left 13 wounded. The quarrel took place between two families in theChechen village of Gekhi. A family came to their neighbors’ house after a scuffle between their children, a source in the Chechen Interior Ministry said, according to Kavkaz.Memo.Ru. During a squabble, the people started to shoot in the air and then someone blew up a grenade.
Normally, you only see this kind of behavior at weddings
Interior Ministry officials found out that one of the people who fired a shot was a court bailiff. A hand grenade was found in the house where the incident took place. Police are still investigating the incident.

Thieves Break Into Missile Silo to Find it Filled With Money
A team of thieves that broke into an abandoned missile silo not far from the Russian city of Kostroma in search of nonferrous metals was shocked to find the shaft packed with Soviet money bills, Regnum news agency reported on Tuesday.

The incident would have remained secret, had the wind not blown hundreds of banknotes all over the countryside.
I hate it when that happens
Four men from Nizhny Novgorod found the silo that had had missiles dismantled and put on maintenance decades ago in accordance with the Soviet disarmament program. They targeted the metals inside and said they had had no idea about the money hidden in the shaft.

The men opened up the silo, neglecting the possible danger of ripping open a high radiation and toxins level enclosure. The site has been inspected by the police and environmental services, and proved to have normal radiation level.
At the moment excavation works at the silo have been frozen. Local authorities are considering measures to bring the four men to responsibility.
And the cash? Hello? Anyone?

Smoking is really hazardous to your health
A pack of cigarettes exploded in a man’s hands in the Russian city of Cheboksary. The man seized the pack at a bar, went out in the street and opened it. After that, a major explosion tore his hand and another person’s finger apart, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.
"Hey, give me one of those smokes!'
"Wait till I get the pack.....KABOOM....open"
The man identified as Borzov (no first name given) sustained numerous facial injuries. A policeman living in a neighboring house called an ambulance and his colleagues and started to bandage the victim’s hands.

Police found no trace of any explosives at the scene. No reason of this incident has been detected yet. The paper citing physicians and policemen wrote that a similar incident took place in Cheboksary several years ago.

Mechanics Remove Grenade From Gas Tank
A man from Moscow was driving his Audi for the whole day on Tuesday before mechanics removed a grenade installed in his car near the gasoline tank, Interfax news agency reported. In the evening he drove to a service center and complained that his car was rattling. Workers began examining the vehicle and to their surprise found a grenade on a tripwire, which was broken and twisted around a wheel. Fortunately, this “failure” prevented the blast.

The 42-year-old driver told policemen he had car trouble since he got into it that morning which suggests the grenade was installed on the previous night. A local prosecutor’s office has already launched a criminal case. If the plotters are found, they will face charges of murderous assault.
Posted by: Steve || 03/07/2006 08:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought you were supposed to use duct tape on the grenade-in-the-gastank, with the gasoline dissolving the tape and releasing the spoon.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/07/2006 10:22 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought you were supposed to use duct tape on the grenade-in-the-gastank
I favor tucking them under the dashboard with the wire going to the brake pedal......er, or so I've been told....
Posted by: Steve || 03/07/2006 10:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Soviet banknotes? Well, you could wipe your ass with them, I suppose...
Posted by: mojo || 03/07/2006 10:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Cigarette smoking -- dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.
Posted by: Perfesser || 03/07/2006 15:39 Comments || Top||

Great White North
The Curious Case of the Rocket Launcher Pods at Security Aviation
This case broke a few weeks ago. FBI agents are tight-lipped about it.
Well-known Anchorage charter flight company, Security Aviation, and one of their employees are facing federal charges tonight of possessing a destructive device. That is, at least, what federal officials are telling us tonight. All this seems to go back to recent Security Aviation raids a few weeks ago when a slew of federal and local agencies, including the FBI, raided Security Aviation's Steven's International hub.

The fed's say as a result of that raid, and grand jury investigation, Security Aviation employee Robert Kane ordered certain Security Aviation employees to buy four rocket pod launchers, which the indictment alleges, are capable of carrying and firing 16 rockets.
Rocket launcher pods, ya say? To go on a jet, ya say?
Just getting ready for moose season. They grow um big up thar
Now, the indictment goes further to say Security Aviation allegedly received two launchers and moved them to their Palmer hanger.
You'll recall Security Aviation was in the news back in January when an L-39 military style jet crashed in Ketchikan, killing pilot Steven Freeman.
That plane belonged to Illinois company, Red Air. At the time of the crash, Security Aviation officials were reportedly trying to buy L-39's from Red Air.
And what, pray tell, does Security Aviation need L-39s for?
While Security Aviation officials maintain they eventually called off the deal because the jets were unsafe, Red Air officials reportedly told officials Security Aviation had not paid their bills. Apparently, when the jet crashed, Red Air officials maintain they were repossessing the jet from Security Aviation.
A repo job gone bad. Instrument approaches into Ketchikan are very tight. You get lined up from the north and go down to your decision point. Missed approach, you CLIMB and maintain a tight heading. There are mountains on both sides. You do not mess with Ketchikan approaches.
When the raid occurred, federal officials say the eight L-39's, including the one that crashed in Ketchikan, were designed to carry various types of weapons, including the rocket pod launchers mentioned in the indictment. If convicted on the charges, Security Aviation faces half a million dollars in fines. Their employee, Kane, could face 20 years in prison, and 750 thousand dollars in fines for his alleged role. We have called Security Aviation officials, but they have yet to return our call.
Buzz off---we have nothing to say.
When they were raided by the FBI, the company's president issued a statement saying they had done nothing wrong.
Lies, all lies.
In past statements, they have stood behind their accused employee Kane.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/07/2006 14:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sounds like mercenary work ? L-39's, rocket pods ? Africa ?
Posted by: buwaya || 03/07/2006 16:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Esquimeaux ops in the Northwest Passage
Posted by: Frank G || 03/07/2006 17:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Yukon Liberation Front Air Force
Posted by: steve || 03/07/2006 17:46 Comments || Top||

#4  NKor fishing fleet targets?
Posted by: Jique Jaique5139 || 03/07/2006 17:47 Comments || Top||

#5  steve, are you sure that isn't the People's Front of the Yukon... or the Yukon Popular People's Front ('cause god knows we wouldn't want to be part of the Unpopular People's Front -- why they're not fit to be seen with!)?
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/07/2006 20:39 Comments || Top||

#6  Here's some info on the Czech L-39

The L-39, built by the Czech aerospace company Aero Vodochody, was selected as the standard jet trainer in 1972 for the Soviet Union and most other Warsaw Pact countries. Designed as a single engine, tandem two seat subsonic trainer, the L-39 made its first flight on November 4, 1968. The aircraft's primary mission was basic and advanced training, with external armament stores that would enable it to provide operational training in ground attack roles. Almost 3,000 L-39's were built, and the Albatross has been exported to 16 countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, India, and Vietnam. Reliability of the L-39 is said to be very high at 99.6%, and the proven airframe service life is 6,000 hours. The Albatross was flown by different aerobatic teams, among them the Russian Knights, their equivalent of the American Thunderbirds.
More in the photo gallery

Techinical Specs: L-39 At A Glance
Length: 12.1 m / 39.8 ft
Wingspan: 9.5 m / 31 ft
Take-Off Weight: 4.7 t / 10,360 lbs
Speed: Mach 0.8 / 560 mph
At Sea Level: 700 km/h / 435 mph
Load Factor: + 8 g / - 4 g
Engines: UP Ivchenko AI-25 turbofan engine
Thrust: 1,722 kg / 3,792 lbs
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/07/2006 20:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Siberia getting ready to seceed and need an airforce?
Posted by: 3dc || 03/07/2006 22:38 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Town votes to impeach Bush, raise unicorns
In a white-clapboard town hall, circa 1832, voters gathered Tuesday to conduct their community's business and to call for the impeachment of President Bush. "In the U.S. presently there are only a few places where citizens can act in this fashion and have a say in our nation," said select board member Dan DeWalt, who drafted the impeachment article that was placed on the warning -- or official agenda -- for the annual town meeting, a proud Yankee tradition in New England. "It absolutely affects us locally," Dewalt said. "It's our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, who are dying" in the war in Iraq.

The article, approved 121-29 in balloting by paper, calls on Vermont's lone member of the House, socialist independent Rep. Bernie Sanders, to file articles of impeachment against the president, alleging that Bush misled the nation into the Iraq war and engaged in illegal domestic spying.

The impeachment item came at the end of a roughly four-hour meeting that was devoted mostly to the local affairs of the town of 1,600. Among the other items discussed was whether the town should fix some of the 100-year-old sidewalks in the village. The impeachment discussion took up almost half an hour, reflecting the intense interest in the topic and something of a division over whether the town meeting was the appropriate place to debate it.

Ann Landenberger argued that it was appropriate. "As a indoctrinator teacher I can't say to my kids that what happens on the national level doesn't affect us at the local level," she said. "Would that we could all be in a cocoon, but that is not the case."

Greg Record, a justice of the peace, said in an interview after the meeting that the town is made up of people from the "far-left," and he criticized the amount of time and attention such advisory votes get. "We spend more time on these things than on a million-dollar budget item," he complained.

The president did have his supporters during the debate. Lenore Salzbrun defended Bush, saying she had close friends who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "I am so grateful that our president didn't just put his head in the sand ... and did go out and fight," she said.

Sanders issued a statement saying that although the Bush administration "has been a disaster for our country, and a number of actions that he has taken may very well not have been legal," given the reality that the Republicans control the House and the Senate, "it would be impractical to talk about impeachment."
Posted by: Jackal || 03/07/2006 20:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Newfane, VT. And I just moved to Vermont, too. It's still better than Massachusetts (the moved-from place). Cuts the commute down by a lot, anyway.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 03/07/2006 20:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Send them one of those "Constitution Thingys For Dummies". They'll need someone to read it for them. And someone to explain. Take Pampers and Ensure. And Handi-Wipes. Lots of those.
Posted by: .com || 03/07/2006 21:01 Comments || Top||

#3  According to the NYT, Vermont is hemmoraging young people because it's too expensive to live there and there are fewer jobs. The vote is an indicator of what people will be left there.
Posted by: Pappy || 03/07/2006 21:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Sounds like a good spot for a hot air balloon terminal or a windmill farm.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/07/2006 21:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Darrell, I was thinking more along the lines of adding Prozac to the local water supply....
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/07/2006 23:24 Comments || Top||

Peter King: Clinton Could Broker Dubai Deal
It's beginning to look like Clinton and some of his buds, have had a hand in this from the beginning, and looking for ways to make money. Given Bush's "friendship" with Clinton, I do hope he doesn't invite Clinton into this.

New York Congressman Peter King, who first raised concerns last month over a White House-approved plan to have a Dubai company run some operations at U.S. ports, said Monday that ex-President Clinton could play a constructive role in brokering a solution to the controversy.

King told WABC Radio's John Gambling that the best way to break the impasse was to have an American firm take over operations for U.S. terminals purchased by Dubai Ports World.

"If we can separate out the American aspect of the contract completely and have that assigned to an American company with no input whatsoever from Dubai Ports World," King said, "then, to me, that is something that could satisfy both the requirement of port security and also the requirement of trying to maintain a stronger relationship with the United Arab Emirates."

The New York Republican suggested that Mr. Clinton would be the ideal intermediary to persuade Dubai officials to go along with such an arrangement.

Noting that the former president "does have a very close relationship with the United Arab Emirates," King said: "Listen, maybe he can sell them."

"That would be great if he could give them the advice to unload the contract - to sell it to another company, ideally an American company.

"That would be a great contribution by President Clinton," he added.

Dubai officials have funded Mr. Clinton with at least $1.6 million in donations to his presidential library and in speaking fees. During his presidency, Clinton secured a controversial contract to sell the United Arab Emirates 80 F-16 jet fighters.

He remains close to UAE defense minister, Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Rep. King called on Democrats to stop trying to make political hay over the ports controversy, saying Mr. Clinton's Dubai connections meant that "there's probably enough here where we can damage all sides."
Posted by: Sherry || 03/07/2006 13:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Best suggestion I've read about all of this is from JPod at National Review......

Clearly, a new corporation will have to be formed to run the ports -- managed by an executive with experience in these sorts of huge logistical corporate challenges. One man presents himself. One perfect man. A CEO with unparalleled experience. Dick Cheney. Then Bush can pick Condi to replace him as Veep, Hillary can run against Condi...There will be op-eds and blog entries on this. Oh yes, there will. Ohhhh yes.
Posted by: Sherry || 03/07/2006 13:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Clinton and Crew made this mess, but I don't know that I want the same gang finding a solution.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/07/2006 20:15 Comments || Top||

Canadianizing the Golden State
California marches backward on health care
Ronald Bailey
A plan to outlaw private health insurance in California has been proposed by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles). Senator Kuehl's bill, SB840, proposes to create the California Health Insurance Agency, a state government run single payer system for financing the health care of all Californians. Her bill, if enacted, would abolish all private health insurance in the Golden State.
So putting thousands of health insurance providers out of business and therefore doing away with their employee's jobs is a good thing?
Her legislation essentially aims to replicate the system of socialized medicine in Canada which, until a recent court ruling in Quebec, made all private health care illegal. Her health care proposal is more authoritarian than the health care systems in the United Kingdom or Germany in which citizens can buy private insurance if they so choose.

Remarkably, Kuehl's proposal to socialize California's health care is being made just at the time when the Canadian system it resembles is falling apart at the seams. For instance, Canada's single payer system is projected to absorb more than half the budgets of most Canadian provinces. In addition, the amount of time a Canadian patient must wait before receiving medical care is notorious. "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years," said Dr. Brian Day in a recent New York Times article on Canada's health care crisis.

Kuehl flatly denies that her plan is "government-run health care." She prefers to style it as "a publicly administered finance system." Of course, as the old saying goes: "He who pays the piper, calls the tune." In this case, the new California Health Insurance Agency (CHIA) will be paying, and thus every health care provider and patient in the state would have to dance to its tune.
I found this insanity over at Reason. This is one reason why the Democrats are having such a hard time, in my opinion. They are more and more openly Socialist. "Tax the Rich to feed the Poor until there are no Rich no more".
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/07/2006 08:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And this is why the Dems will fail nation wide at the voting booth. Socialism doesn't work. We know that. Most dems know that. They just use it to solidify their power since their people will control it.

Posted by: mmurray821 || 03/07/2006 9:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Ahhhh... No.
Posted by: mojo || 03/07/2006 10:43 Comments || Top||

#3  It would be interesting to see how many folks in nieghboring states would be willing to get residenecy in California for the duration of their treatment.

If I lived in Nevada or Arizona and had a bad back I'd consider renting a place in California for such a purpose. On the other hand when the health insurance providers leave California you might find the best and brightest in Nevada and Arizona so I guess it depends upon your income level and health needs.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 03/07/2006 11:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Even the loony left in L.A. say sheila's a nut. A bay-area wanna be. This will go nowhere fast. Best thing that could've happened to the CA GOP
Posted by: Frank G || 03/07/2006 12:41 Comments || Top||

#5  NV and AZ should go for broke w/HSAs. Let red America innovativeness v. blue europe statism fight it out.

Problem is, we really can't afford CA's economy to totally collapse.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 03/07/2006 12:46 Comments || Top||

#6  If (and that is a big if) this passes there will be a voter proposition to negate very soon aferwards.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/07/2006 12:51 Comments || Top||

#7  "Kuehl flatly denies that her plan is "government-run health care." She prefers to style it as "a publicly administered finance system."

And additional costs wont be funded through "increased taxes"...we prefer the term "enhanced revenue sharing".
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/07/2006 14:58 Comments || Top||

Dems Conflicted on 'Message'
Oh, that I had more time to comment this morning!
News about GOP political corruption, inept hurricane response and chaos in Iraq has lifted Democrats' hopes of winning control of Congress this fall. But seizing the opportunity has not been easy, as they found when they tried to unveil an agenda of their own.

Democratic leaders had set a goal of issuing their legislative manifesto by November 2005 to give voters a full year to digest their proposals. But some Democrats protested that the release date was too early, so they put it off until January. The new date slipped twice again, and now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) says the document will be unveiled in "a matter of weeks."

Some Democrats fear that the hesitant handling is symbolic of larger problems facing the party in trying to seize control of the House and Senate after more than a decade of almost unbroken minority status. Lawmakers and strategists have complained about erratic or uncertain leadership and repeated delays in resolving important issues.

The conflict goes well beyond Capitol Hill. The failure of congressional leaders to deliver a clear message has left some Democratic governors deeply frustrated and at odds with Washington Democrats over strategy.

Party leaders, for example, have yet to decide whether Democrats should focus on a sharply negative campaign against President Bush and the Republicans, by jumping on debacles such as the administration's handling of the Dubai port deal -- or stress their own priorities and values.

There is no agreement on whether to try to nationalize the congressional campaign with a blueprint or "contract" with voters, as the Republicans did successfully in 1994, or to keep the races more local in tone. And the party is still divided over the war in Iraq: Some Democrats, including Pelosi, call for a phased withdrawal; many others back a longer-term military and economic commitment.

"It could be a great year for Democrats," said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), but the party must present a more moderate face and distinguish itself more clearly from the GOP on issues such as ethics. "The comment I hear is 'I'd really like to vote for you guys, but I can't stand the folks I see on TV,' " Cooper said in a telephone interview from Nashville.

On issues such as explaining that former lobbyist Jack Abramoff's work "was a 110 percent Republican operation," Cooper said, "we're not making nearly as much headway as we should." Abramoff has pleaded guilty in a corruption scandal.

The Democratic leaders in Congress -- Pelosi and Sen. Harry M. Reid (Nev.) -- are the party's chief strategists and architects of the agenda, which they view as a way to market party ideas on energy, health care, education and other issues. They have held countless meetings to construct the right list, consulting with governors, mayors and just about every Democratic adviser in town.

"By the time the election rolls around, people are going to know where Democrats stand," Reid said.

But many in the party have their doubts. On Feb. 27, Reid and Pelosi appeared before the Democratic Governors Association. At one point in the conversation, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, noting that the two leaders had talked about a variety of themes and ideas, asked for help. Could they reduce the message to just two or three core ideas that governors could echo in the states?

According to multiple accounts from those in the room, Reid said they had narrowed the list to six and proceeded to talk about them. Pelosi then offered her six -- not all the same as Reid's. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski said later: "One of the other governors said 'What do you think?' and I said 'You know what I think? I don't think we have a message.' "

Others, including Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) -- who head the Senate and House campaign efforts -- believe the November election will turn mainly on how voters view Republicans. Schumer is leading the Democratic attack on the port deal, excoriating the administration for jeopardizing national security -- a realm in which Republicans have held the advantage with voters.

He and Emanuel have sought to delay the agenda's release to allow Democratic attacks to hold the stage with minimum distraction. "When you're in the opposition, you both propose and oppose," Emanuel said. "But fundamentally, this is going to be a referendum on [Republican] stewardship."

Also dividing Democratic strategists is the question of what lessons to take from the Republican landslide of 1994, when the GOP won the Senate and picked up 54 House seats, wiping out 40 years of Democratic rule. Some Democrats associate that breakthrough with the House Republicans' "Contract With America," a list of proposals on policy and government.

"We should take a page from their book" and have "an overarching theme" similar to the 1994 contract, said Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.).

Many of his colleagues agree, but not Reid. "We're not going to do a 'Contract With America,' " Reid said in an interview. He noted that the GOP document received scant attention when it was presented a few weeks before the 1994 election, and political historians say it played a minor role in the outcome. "There's a great mythology about the contract," Reid said.

Even the party's five-word 2006 motto has preoccupied congressional Democrats for months. "We had meetings where senators offered suggestions," Reid said. "We had focus groups. We worked hard on that. . . . It's a long, slow, arduous process."

That slogan -- "Together, America Can Do Better" -- was revived from the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry. It was the last line of Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's response to President Bush's State of the Union address, and Reid, Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have used it in speeches. But there is an effort afoot to drop the word "together." It tests well in focus groups and audiences, Democratic sources said, but it makes the syntax incorrect.

Governors privately scoff at the slogan. They also say the message coming from congressional leaders has been too relentlessly negative. "They want to coordinate. They want to collaborate. That's all good," said one Democratic governor who declined to be identified in order to talk candidly about a closed-door meeting. "The question is: Coordinate or collaborate on what? People need to know not just what we're against but what we're for. That's the kind of message the governors are interested in developing at the national level."

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said congressional Democrats have spent the past year redefining the debates over terrorism and Iraq and have prepared the ground for a shift to a more positive message that will focus on energy, health care and homeland security, all areas in which the governors would concur, he predicted. "We've had an unprecedented level of cooperation," he said.

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly added: "At the end of the day, I think everyone will be on board."

Perhaps the Democrats' greatest dilemma is how to respond to the Iraq war. It looms as the biggest question mark over Bush's administration and the Republican lawmakers who have backed him on the conflict almost without question.

Congressional Democrats have been split over the war since 2002, when many voted to authorize military action. The ground shifted last November when Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), a leading Democratic voice on military matters, called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn as soon as possible. Two weeks later, Pelosi endorsed his stance.

Although Pelosi said she was not speaking for her caucus, some colleagues complained that she was handing Republicans a gift by enabling them to tag Democrats as soft on terrorism and forcing Democratic candidates to explain whether they agreed with their House leader.

There is little question that the political landscape looks promising for Democrats. A Feb. 9 poll by the Pew Research Center found that Democrats lead Republicans 50 to 41 percent in a generic ballot.

But congressional Democrats have some key deficiencies. For instance, they lack the hard-charging, charismatic figurehead that Gingrich represented for the House GOP in 1994. But the Democrats have an abundance of presidential hopefuls, and their agendas sometimes differ from those of Reid, Schumer, Pelosi and Emanuel.

For instance, Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) tried to filibuster the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, a move opposed by most of his Senate colleagues, including Reid. Kerry (Mass.) led an unsuccessful filibuster attempt against Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. The best-known Democrat is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), whose plans for a 2008 presidential bid leave many of her colleagues wary of how her famous but divisive presence might affect them.

"There are lots of skeptics," Schumer conceded. But the polls look better and better, he stressed. "There may be some inside-the-Beltway babble, but it's not affecting the voters," said Schumer, who wants the agenda delayed again -- until summer.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/07/2006 04:54 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  On issues such as explaining that former lobbyist Jack Abramoff's work "was a 110 percent Republican operation," Cooper said, "we're not making nearly as much headway as we should." Abramoff has pleaded guilty in a corruption scandal.
Hard to do that when 50% of the senators involved were Democrats, including Reid himself.
Posted by: Ptah || 03/07/2006 8:38 Comments || Top||

#2  PIMF = Pelosi is my friend.
Posted by: Matt || 03/07/2006 8:58 Comments || Top||

#3  "By the time the election rolls around, people are going to know where Democrats stand."

Reid neglected to clarify that he was referring to the 2012 election.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/07/2006 9:14 Comments || Top||

#4  News about GOP political corruption, inept hurricane response and chaos in Iraq has lifted Democrats' hopes of winning control of Congress this fall. But seizing the opportunity has not been easy, as they found when they tried to unveil an agenda of their own.

But wait, this is the Democrats message and their agenda- get the press to ignore Dem failures and lay all blame for everything, every storm, every death, every single person who hasn't got a jet in their garage, on the GOP. They just don't understand why it isn't working.
Posted by: 2b || 03/07/2006 9:23 Comments || Top||

#5  "By the time the election rolls around, people are going to know where Democrats stand."
We can only hope. Of course, it's too much to ask that that awareness will lead to treason trials, isn't it?
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/07/2006 9:34 Comments || Top||

#6  If these dingalings actually believed in anything-- other than wanting to be back in power, that is-- they wouldn't have to hold all these strategy meetings to decide what they should pretend to believe in.

Posted by: Uleck Whavirt8388 || 03/07/2006 9:56 Comments || Top||

#7  "We will be issuing a comprehensive statement of our beliefs just as soon as we have the focus group results telling us what polls well."
Posted by: Mike || 03/07/2006 11:08 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm still waiting for Kos' manifesto, too. Maybe I'm just missing the nuances, but I don't understand how recycling a loser's Presidential campaign slogan is such a bright idea, either.

More and more, life imitates The Onion.
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/07/2006 11:42 Comments || Top||

#9  Appeasement, abortion, high taxes, homosexuality.

That's what some at Bros. Judd came up with.

Does that cover it?
Posted by: anonymous2u || 03/07/2006 12:36 Comments || Top||

#10  No, the gays are supposed to put a sock in it. That's why Tim Caine was the spokesaphobe for the Dems following the State of the Union address.

No, the real answer is "we'll figure out what's best for everyone once we regain the power again. Until then, remember Bush is bad."
Posted by: Bobby || 03/07/2006 12:50 Comments || Top||

#11  The call to arms for today's Democratic Party:

"Ask not what you can do for your country; demand that your country do more for you!"

Posted by: Elmater Angoger6598 || 03/07/2006 13:00 Comments || Top||

#12  It’s a riot to watch them in ?action?. They can’t decide to be anti-Bush or pro something else (whatever that might be). IMHO the Dems are too wishy-washy to write anything down in stone and stick to it. Doing so would not allow them any wiggle room if circumstances change. As such they are not about to commit on removing troops from Iraq if there is a chance that democracy, they don’t want to be pro Gay marriage if the country clearly isn’t, and they don’t want to be anti business while the economy is humming along. In essence the Dems have painted themselves in a corner as only the “Not Bush” party but few doubt that will be enough to nationalize the congressional elections. They have to: “Show Us the Money” or the midterms will simply be an arranging of deck chairs with no power changing hands.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/07/2006 13:02 Comments || Top||

#13  Schumer as national security pointman? Must be a TV camera nearby. The GOP is truly lucky their opponents are Democrats. God forbid they were faced with a serious political party. Gonna get those platform planks out a week or two before the election, Chuck?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/07/2006 13:38 Comments || Top||

No prob - just dust off the ol' Communist Manifesto and use that. The Dems have no message or imagination beyond Marx.
Posted by: macofromoc || 03/07/2006 14:27 Comments || Top||

#15  #13 Frank G: "The GOP is truly lucky their opponents are Democrats. God forbid they were faced with a serious political party."

ROFL, Frank! Truer words were never spoken.

I have a modest proposal to solve our energy problems, at least in the electricity department:

1. Require the Dems to keep acting like they are (which they will, since it's natural for them).

2. Figure out how to hook up dynamos to Harry Truman's, Hubert Humphrey's, and JFK's graves, and their grave-spinning will power the entire country for years to come.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/07/2006 14:33 Comments || Top||

#16  I read on a liberal blog how the Dems won’t roll out their message too early because the bushhitlerrovecheney cabal will undermine it before the elections. If their message is so fragile that it can’t stand criticism then they are doomed by November. But then their MO lately has been the ole bait and switch. They voted for the war but sorry they had to depose a tyrant like Saddam. They are for ending dependency of foreign oil, but they are against drilling at ANWR. They want to punish terrorists, but lets extend civil right to them, make sure we only ask them questions nicely, and make there stay in prison as comfortable as possible. They are against those people running ports but we are not profiling like the mean spirited GOPBUSHHITLER crowd. I wonder how they can make their contract appealing to middle America and their LLL moonbat fringe element? Maybe they will send them to the closet until after election like the gays?
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 03/07/2006 17:56 Comments || Top||

#17  'I'd really like to vote for you guys, but I can't stand the folks I see on TV,

There is the problem. I'd be happy to vote for them if they weren't mostly all insane and apparently willing to sacrifice the security of my country for political advantage. The Democratic problem is not staying on message, it is making sense.
Posted by: SteveS || 03/07/2006 20:22 Comments || Top||

#18  They have their message, they just can't tell it to the voters, they'll never see power for decades.
Posted by: anonymous2u || 03/07/2006 21:29 Comments || Top||

#19  "WISHY WASHY" - yep, and ergo which is why they believe any and all US Lefties will automat have a place on the future USSA Amerikan Politburo and Presidium, as opposed to the more realistic and HISTORICALLT CORRECT being gulagged iff not exterminated wid all the rest of the American people iff America loses the GWOT. "Wishy Washy" means the Nazis-for-Stalinism Russians and tradit Stalinist/Maoist Chicoms will want them on their team.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/07/2006 22:46 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Senate considers Gold Cards for Illegal aliens, golden showers for legal immigrants
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin:

WASHINGTON - Key provisions of the Senate's main immigration bill would create a "gold card" program for illegal immigrants who entered the United States before Jan. 4, 2004, and create a guest worker program to bring in more foreign laborers, according to Senate Judiciary Committee staff members.
And also PISS ON all the law-abiding people who are patiently waiting to enter LEGALLY.
The committee is to begin debating the measure Wednesday under a three-week timetable aimed at producing a final version for the full Senate by March 27.

Sponsored by the committee chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the legislation is designed to strike a middle course between a bill passed by the House that calls for tougher immigration enforcement and the wishes of pro-immigration advocates who call for permanent legal status -- and eventual citizenship -- for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
These aren't immigration advocates - they are illegal alien advocates. Most legal immigrants oppose illegal aliens because it brings down the job market with slave labor.
President Bush, defying objections from conservatives, has called for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws and the creation of a temporary guest worker program to ensure a steady source of labor for U.S. businesses. Under Bush's plan, qualified workers, including residents now living here illegally, could stay in jobs for up to six years, then would be required to return home.

Committee staff members, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said applicants for the gold card would undergo a background check by the Homeland Security Department, then be eligible for two-year work visas that could be renewed indefinitely. The workers wouldn't participate in the Social Security system but would contribute to future savings via investment accounts.

One top committee staffer described the "gold-card" proposal as "a reasonable compromise" in dealing with illegal immigrants, many of whom have lived here for decades. The undesirable alternative, he said, would be an unworkable massive roundup, which administration officials have said would cost billions of dollars.
I call Bullshit! Just require proof of citizenship or legal residence for public schools and non-critical medical.
Under the separate guest worker program, which would be based on U.S. labor needs, foreign applicants could work for three years, then apply to work for another three years before returning home. They'd be required to remain in their home country for a year before reapplying.
So law-abiding guest workers who come here legally will be required to (leave their job and) return home for a year every 6 years while illegal alien lawbreakers (who, in case you forgot, are here in violation of federal laws) could stay here permanently. Tell me again how this does not reward breaking the law?
Advocates on both sides of the immigration debate criticized Specter's proposal as an inadequate attempt to placate opposing groups.

"Some people are going to say it's amnesty, and others are going to say it creates a second-class caste of workers,"
Both True.
said Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute, a New York-based think tank that leans right. "It's a non-starter for both sides."
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/07/2006 12:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Damn - please move to page 3....

Sorry about that....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/07/2006 12:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Who are the IDIOTS who are sponsoring this and how soon can we vote them out of office?
Posted by: DMFD || 03/07/2006 13:45 Comments || Top||

#3  Amnesty?...No certainly not! It's "eventual citizenship".
Heh..a new term added to the BS lexicon.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 03/07/2006 13:53 Comments || Top||

#4  Specter (R-Scotland)
Posted by: Frank G || 03/07/2006 13:57 Comments || Top||

#5  What is wrong with Specter?
It time for him to spend some quality time with a Dr of Psych...
Posted by: mumbles || 03/07/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

USAID-funded teacher training begins
Posted by: Fred || 03/07/2006 00:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

Science & Technology
Radar Failure Impacts Local Airports
Posted by: Glairt Elmath1916 || 03/07/2006 16:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

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