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Gates Confirmed by Senate

Robert Gates has been confirmed by the Senate with enormous support.  While much has been made of Gates’ “fresh perspective” on the war, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) pointed out that it is the president who structures policy. And this president is notorious for selectively listening to advice.

Posted on Dec 6, 2006 READ MORE


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In Norway Stripping Is an Art Form

An appeals court in Norway ruled in favor of the owners of a go-go bar in Oslo who had refused to pay taxes on entry fees on the grounds that striptease dancers are stage artists like sword swallowers and comedians and deserve the same status.  According to the BBC report, the court ruled that “[s]triptease, in the way it is practised in this case, is a form of dance combined with acting” and should be exempt from the value-added tax.

Posted on Dec 6, 2006 READ MORE


Ten U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq

The deaths, which resulted from two IED attacks in different parts of the country Wednesday, horrifically underscore the dire references to chaos in the just-released Iraq Study Group report.

Posted on Dec 6, 2006 READ MORE


Jesse Buryj
freewebs.com/jesseburyj/

Another Friendly Fire Coverup by the Army

Peggy Buryj was told in 2004 that her son Jesse died near Karbala, Iraq, sustaining a back injury while heroically defending an Army checkpoint.  She would later learn that he was shot in the back.  While the Army, which has destroyed important evidence related to the case, insists a Polish soldier fired the shot, a friend of Jesse’s who served with him told his mother an American soldier was to blame. (h/t: Buzzflash)

Posted on Dec 6, 2006 READ MORE


Bush’s Pseudo-Watchdog Takes a Beating

President Bush’s puppet Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board held its first public meeting on Tuesday, getting an earful from civil liberty advocates and experts, including the ACLU’s Caroline Fredrickson, who remarked: “Clearly, you’ve been fiddling while Rome burns.” The group, though conceived by the 9/11 Commission and created by Congress, holds little power and its members serve at the pleasure of the president.

Posted on Dec 6, 2006 READ MORE


Diebold machine
blackboxvoting.org

Panel Rejects E-Voting Protections

A federal advisory panel has ruled against a proposal that would have required electronic voting machines to produce a verifiable paper ballot.  A report released last week by the National Institute of Standards and Technology that detailed the vulnerabilities of popular e-voting machines inspired the proposal, but was ultimately discarded.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


Plane Grounded by Flatulence

An airliner was forced to make an emergency landing on Monday after a passenger struck matches in attempting to cover the odor of her gas.  After bomb-sniffing dogs searched the plane, the woman admitted to lighting the matches and said she had a medical condition.  She was not allowed to reboard. (h/t: Boing Boing)

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


Robert Gates
wcsh6.com

Gates Says U.S. Isn’t Winning War

When asked during his confirmation hearing today whether the United States was winning the war in Iraq, Robert Gates said simply, “No, sir.”  The nominee for defense secretary, who later went on to soften his position, is expected to receive a speedy confirmation.
Update: The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted unanimously to recommend approval of Gates’ confirmation.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


cupcake
sciencenews.org

New York City Bans Trans Fats

New York City’s Board of Health has backed Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign to eliminate artificial trans fats from eateries, setting an initial deadline of July 1, 2007.  Artificial trans fats are thought by health professionals to be a leading cause of heart disease.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


levee
newyorktimes.com

More Problems With New Orleans Levee Work

In what officials are calling a “strategic pause,” work on New Orleans’ levees is at a standstill.  The Army Corps of Engineers says it has been delayed by engineering, budget and local-government hurdles, but critics—including some inside the corps—say the agency is simply dragging its feet. (h/t: Crooks and Liars)

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


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