Saturday, August 30, 2008

Elections? Republicans win.....

From Consortium News via :

FOCUS: Robert Parry
How the Republicans Win

Robert Parry, Consortium News: "Barack Obama made it across the tightrope of the Democratic National Convention, gaining solid endorsements from Bill and Hillary Clinton and giving a rousing speech before some 80,000 supporters at Invesco Field in Denver. But now comes the time when the Republicans win elections."

* Use link above to continue reading...


McCain & Palin speak....

From Levine Breaking News:

LBN-VIDEO LINK: VIDEO...McCain makes history with choice of running mate.....

PS: McCain sounds like he's using Obama's words...


Alaskans on Palin....

From Anchorage Daily News:

Choice stuns state politicians
Published: August 29th, 2008 12:50 PM
Last Modified: August 29th, 2008 02:31 AM

John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate stunned and divided Alaska political leaders on Friday. Supporters said she was a shrewd choice, but others argued Palin has no business being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

"I think it's very easy to underestimate Sarah Palin," said John Binkley, a former state legislator who lost to Palin in the 2006 Republican primary for governor.

Serving as small-town mayor of Wasilla was Palin's main experience before running for governor. Binkley said he underestimated her guts and campaign skill.

"I think there will probably a tendency for the Democrats to do the same thing," Binkley said. "They will assume that her lack of experience on the national stage will put her at a disadvantage, and I'm not certain that will matter."

The reaction wasn't so rosy elsewhere. State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to give her the news.

"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

*Use link above to continue reading...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One fascinating film and very different books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


NYT bestselling author Patrick McManus's THE DOUBLE JACK MURDERS, from the Bo Tully mystery series, again to Amanda Murray at Simon & Schuster, by Phyllis Westberg at Harold Ober Associates.


NYT bestselling author of L.A. OUTLAWS and the forthcoming THE RENEGADE T. Jefferson Parker's next two books, again to Ben Sevier at Dutton, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group (NA).

Screenwriter David Schow's INTERNECINE, in which a jaded LA ad exec picks up a strange key, and quickly finds himself in the center of a plot involving the darkest secrets of modern espionage, the hidden history of Hollywood, and some very big guns, to John Schoenfelder at Thomas Dunne Books, in a two-book deal, for publication in Winter 2010, by John Silbersack and Scott Miller at Trident Media Group (NA).


Duane Swierczynski's SEVERANCE PACKAGE, about a corporate media relations director who learns that the firm was a front for a covert intelligence agency that is being shut down immediately, with every manager scheduled to be terminated -- literally, to Lionsgate, with Marc Platt and Adam Siegel producing, and Brett Simon attached to direct and co-write the script with Swierczynski, by Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company, on behalf of David Hale Smith of DHS Literary.


President of the Economic Strategy Institute and former trade advisor during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Clyde Prestowtiz's THE GREAT BETRAYAL: Learning to Speak Euro and Yuan in the Coming Post-Dollar World, a grand narrative history of the past sixty years that shows how the U.S. government has consistently subverted sound economic policy to geopolitical and great power ends, resulting in the weakened economic position we find ourselves in today; arguing that today, key U.S. business and Wall Street leaders, abetted by influential academic and political figures, continue to compromise America's long-term economic interests and that the key to a rapid turnaround, which is in our power, is to finally put to rest outdated economic theories, to Emily Loose at Free Press, by Susan Rabiner at Susan Rabiner Literary Agency.


Garry Wills's ROME AND RHETORIC: Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, to Jennifer Banks at Yale University Press, in a very nice deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Andrew Wylie at The Wylie Agency (World).

Lincoln scholar and military historian Gary Ecelbarger's THE DAY DIXIE DIED: The Battle of Atlanta, painting a panorama of the most dramatic and decisive one-day battle (July 22, 1864) ever fought on American soil, a battle that killed or wounded one out of every six fighters and doomed the Confederacy, to Rob Kirkpatrick at Thomas Dunne Books, by Ed Knappman at New England Publishing Associates (World).


Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps' BUILT TO SUCCEED, promising to reveal the secrets of his success and go behind the scenes of his approach to training, competition, and winning, built around a narrative thread of the eight final swims of the 2008 Olympic games, with anecdotes about his family, his coach, his passion for the sport, and lessons learned from unexpected challenges and obstacles (he was raised by a single mother and overcame a diagnosis of ADHD), to Dominick Anfuso at Free Press, for publication in December 2008, by Scott Waxman and Farley Chase at the Waxman Literary Agency, in association with Peter Carlisle of Octagon.


YouTube sensation and philologist Marina Orlova's HOT FOR WORDS, a look at your most burning questions about the origins of words, to Bruce Nichols at Collins, in a very nice deal, by Frank Weimann at The Literary Group (World English).


Frank Coles's HOW TO DRIVE A TANK and other skills every man should have, the antidote to self-help books: this is 'the dangerous book for men' -- including how to hot-wire cars, where to hide your financial assets, unarmed combat, disappearing without trace, how to tie a bow tie, pick a lock, and many other practical skills real men should have, to Tim Whiting at Little Brown UK, in a very nice deal, for publication in 2009, by Ian Drury at Sheil Land Associates.


Monday, August 25, 2008

So Gail & Don went to visit Alaska..close up and personal...

From Cousin Gail :

We have returned from our Alaska and Vancouver, BC 3 week trip. We left on July 24th flying into Fairbanks through Minneapolis without any problems or delays. Arrived to cloudy, rainy weather which plagued us the 3 weeks!

The next morning up early and on Alaska Airlines to fly to Barrow, the northern tip of Alaska, stopping at Prudhoe Bay, the oil fields. Couldn't get off the plane.

The plane going up North stopped in Prudhoe Bay and was filled with oilworkers. They work 2 weeks on and two off returning home for those two weeks. Most put in 16 hour work days for 2 weeks. They make their money working overtime. The oil company pays their airfare to and from the oil fields to Fairbanks and Anchorage but if they fly further south than that they have to pay that extension to home as many are from OK, CA and TX oilfields. (You old timers may remember Barrow is where Will Rogers and Willie Post died in an airplane crash.)

We left Fairbanks in cool weather and arrived in cold weather - 47 degrees. The (Eskimo) village population, 4,482. had only muddy streets with permafrost mud heaving and pot holes that one could loose a tire in. There were no trees and the houses looked like the ocupants gathered up things that had washed up from the Arctic ocean. It rained, sleeted and snowed all in one day.

Four wheelers, snowmobiles were stored on the roof of the porches. Four wheeled trucks were sitting outside the door. Over an inch of mud on the vehicles. The permafrost (dirt) is 1,500 feet deep. Only the sun defrosts the top layer of the soil.

The Arctic ocean is one side of the high school football field. They have 4 home games a year and fly out to the other schools to play the rest of their games. The team does not want to win as they have to take a dip into the ocean. The field is Astroturf and painted bright blue.

Their only dump was closed as it was too close to the ocean. So garbage has to go to a dump by barge. Don said he was so depressed there that he was glad he visited the place but couldn't wait to get out.

The normal temp is 45 degrees below zero in the winter but last year got down to 85 degrees below. I asked how they kept warm as their houses looked like 'shanties' from the outside but was told that they had a foot of insulation on the walls. They were drying caribou meat and salmon on the lines outside.

The village is allowed to hunt 22 whales a year and all villagers share the meat - every thing isused from the animal. They still use the bone canoes covered with skin and have to harpoon the whales and seals and haul them into shore or on an ice float to butcher. No roads lead into this area, so everything that they use from the outside comes in by barge or flies in. They had a huge material department with hides in their store.

We flew back to Fairbanks in a cargo plane. Up front was room for their cargo and passenger seats in the back. We arrived back in Fairbanks around 10:30 pm, still light outside and then had to be ready for our van trip on the Dalton Highway North to the Brook Mountain Range, northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains, leaving at4:30 am. Only a short drive was blacktop and the rest was gravel that was graded frequently to cover up the permafrost dirt heaving as well as the truck traffic causing large pot holes. The landscape was pretty, but after 20 minutes it made one's eyes get heavy.

Breakfast was a box lunch from the hotel - $16.95 each for a muffin, orange, small pastry and a bottle of water. A box lunch was provided by our tour; sandwich, chips, apple and water.

The guide stopped and dug a hole in the soil. Don was able to stick his arm about mid way down to feel the permafrost. Frozen soil, only 1,500 deep! Walked on the tundra. Stopped along the pipeline and the guide explained how this was constructed.

Did you know it is 30 years old? It was to cost 80 million but it turned into 88 billion. They are only pumping oil at 30% to reduce the pressure on the pipes as they want to conserve the pipe. All oil is shipped to Korea for refining and then put on the open market. We do NOT use any of this oil. There is enough oil in Alaska to furnish oil to us for years. The oil companies have enough rights on the land to drill for more oil for two generations.

When Pres. Bush says he wants to drill for oil in Alaska he means he wants to allow the oil companies to be able to buy up more rights from the owners of the land. Every Eskimo gets $30,000.00 every year from the oil companies as their residuals because the wells are on their land. Every Alaskan that lives there over a year (baby on up) gets a % of the profit from oil. This year they are expecting $1,500 up to $2,000 each person. I just heard on the news today it will be paid on September 12th.

OnlyAnchorage has sales tax, most other cities do not. Stopped and viewed theYukon River. The water is cold. Don and I straddled the Arctic circle. Of course I put him on the South and I stood on the North! We had a great guide, talked all the time. Born in Alaska and was a college graduate in law enforcement but was continuing on to get a degree in psychology. His wife was a college student also. As a police officer he has to work his first year in the Eskimo villages. Police are not looked upon kindly as Eskimos do not want to live the law of Alaska but of their own tribes. So police have a very difficult time! (The Eskimos do not want to be called Eskimos but by their native name tribe. Good Gawd, I can't even pronounce the names.) That is why he wants a degree in psychology.

He hunts and butchers his meat, fishes for salmon and freezes it as well as raises a garden. A short growing time but the vegetables are huge. The cabbage head was at least a foot and a half across.

After talking with people living in this frontier land I wonder why they like to live in such a hard, cold area. (Talk about how our parents worked hard, these people are doing it now.) I am too much a pansy to live in those elements. Response: freedom and very few people!

We stayed at Coldfoot (Bates Motel - remember Psycho movie) motel and a gas station with a restaurant across from it. The motel is construction trailers put side by side, with a hallway down the middle; in the corner of each trailer a toilet and a shower stall was installed and a trailersize sink was outside the contained bathroom. Twin beds and that was it! It was clean but old. Our shower head did not have any internal workings so we had a steady stream of water coming from the shower. It served the purpose.

Changed guides and the next day drove the Dalton Highway up to the Continental Divide, saw Dahl wild sheep. Dalton Highway is used by the truckers to take supplies to Prudhoe Bay. Some areas of the road are narrow and very hilly. I see danger lurking for the drivers all around them!

We rode a raft down the River to Coldfoot. Arriving back we had to take an 8 passenger plane back to Fairbanks. Itwas rainy, foggy and I was just a little nervous sitting in this small plane, flying above the mountain ranges with dense fog and the pilot playing with the control buttons continually. I could have kissed the ground in Fairbanks upon arriving, but they would have had to rent a crane to get me off the ground once on it.

We were up early again and took a bus tour to a gold mining attraction. We panned for gold and got 6.7 grains which was worth $22.48 combined. I bought a locket to put this gold in so spent $20.00 to hold $22.48 worth of gold.

Had a miner's lunch there. Delicious.

In the afternoon we took a riverboat ride on the Chena and Tanana Rivers and toured a Chena Indian Village.The next morning up early and out the door for a train ride to Denali National Park (Mt. McKinley). We did not see the mountain as it was raining and foggy. Only 10% of the population ever sees the top of the mountain due to fog. Stayed at Chalets at the foot of the mountains. We were able to walk up the hill and visit the quaint shops.

The next day we were to take a 6 to 8 hour (school) bus tour of Denali National Park, to look for wild life and scenery. It rained the whole time and every few miles the bus driver had to stop and wash the windows so we could see out them. The road was gravel (muddy). Saw more sheep, and a wild wolf walked along side of the bus. Caribou way far off. Moose walked in front of the bus and into the trees and brush. No other wild animals.

Returning to our Chalet, we were tired so after supper, instead of lying on the covers, we got ready for bed. We were to have our luggage outside the door by 9:00 am. I was sound asleep and I heard Don's frantic voice and shaking me to wake up. He woke up, heard voices outside and looked outside, daylight and no ones luggage was out, thinking that it had been picked up - yelling that we had missed the luggage pickup. Now what were we going to do. He was really in a panic! I looked outside but of course it was daylight. I finally called the desk to check what to do and in the middle of the conversation asked what time it was? She confirmed that itwas 9:20 PM. What a dork!

We traveled by train to Anchorage arriving in the evening. We only walked a two block square of Anchorage as fatigue was setting in. We had to be up early the next day to meet the bus for a 3 hour ride to Seward where we were to meet the cruise ship. Waited over 2 hours and still the bus did not show up, so crowded two tour groups on one bus; not enough seats so one person had to sit on his luggage in the back of the bus.

I was disappointed with the cruise - Yes, it was nice to have meals cooked and could eat as we wanted. I didn't care for the bed having to be prepared for me to sleep. To me it was a bunch of adults playing -"pretending to be rich, wanted to be waited on and dressing-up". Every evening they were in their gowns and tux's going to eat at the fancy restaurant, carrying their drinks in their hands with fake laughs. I don't think I will go on another cruise. Not impressed!

The boat let us off at each port; Sitka, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. If you purchased the side trips, then you didn't have time to walk around the quaint little towns. So a choice had to be made.

Did you know that Juneau is Alaska's capital but it does not have any roads leading in and out? Only three ways getting there; birth, by water or fly in. After 7 days on the cruise ship, we left it and waited two hours for a bus to whisk us away to sightsee Vancouver, BC for the day. 9 of us got into trouble with the bus driver as we didn't return from eating lunch on time. Some old New Yorker women yelling at each of us as we stepped on the bus. The driver told to eat there but it took a little too long to serve us. And the food was NOT that good to be chewed out for.

The next day we went to Vancouver Island, BC and saw the town Victory which is on theIsland. Here again, Victory is BC's capital but can only get there by 1 ½ hour ferry ride or fly in.

Arrived home at 3:30 pm on August 10th and the limo driver took the slow route to Geneva where we were to pick up our car at Don's house. Needless to say we fell into bed that night. It was great to be HOME and sleep in OUR own beds! I think the Rockys out West are more beautiful since we have camped in them several times. For the cost of the trip, would I go again???????


What was really facinating was Barrow and the land portion of the trip. The pipe line was something else. I didn't go into detail as I figured the letter was long enough. On the pipeline, the pipe is craddled in a U-support system. Antifreeze is poured into the top of the two points in the U to keep it cool so the heat of the oil doesn't heat the support system and melt the permafrost. If the permafrost were melted, the support system would give way.

Barrow was something else. They have a hospital with 16 doctors and a staff of nurses. But only 4 hospital beds. If anything comes in that can't be done there, the patients are medivaced out to Anchorage. Clear down South of the State. Remeber Barrow is on the Northern tip. These 16 doctors have to fly around the northern part of the state to care for the sick. Like Australia, the doctors travel to the sick.

There was a mound found that they dug into and they found a mother with two children craddled in her arms just like she had died yesterday. These bodies were dated back to be in the 1500's. Frozen in time. They now have machines to dig with to bury their dead instead of waiting until the middle of summer.


Sen Barbara Boxer online at Dem Conv...

From Sen Barbara Boxer:

Yesterday, I arrived into Denver to join thousands of Democratic delegates, candidates, and colleagues at the Democratic National Convention. I can't tell you how excited I am to be here with friends from across the nation and rally around Barack Obama as he accepts the Democratic nomination for President.

I wish you all could be here in Denver with me to participate in this historic occasion. But through the power of technology, I'm going to try to do the next best thing: Invite you to follow me virtually through Convention week!

To keep you updated on all of the latest goings-on in Denver, I'll be posting regular video diaries to my special DNC page at I'll also be sending brief text updates regularly throughout the day to my personal "Twitter" account -- quick messages to let you know what I'm up to and what I'm thinking about while I'm on the go. You can either subscribe to my Twitter feed directly to get these updates in real-time, or read them as they are automatically collected on my DNC page.

Please visit my special DNC page at to see my first video update and my Twitter feed now -- and check back frequently throughout Convention week!

In addition, I'm honored to have been asked to speak before the Convention this Tuesday at 4pm PT/7pm ET. You'll be able to watch my speech, streaming live across the internet, at I hope you will tune in to watch my speech live online on Tuesday at 4pm PT!

You and I know that our struggling economy, the war in Iraq, energy prices, and global warming pose major challenges to our nation. That's why I'm so excited to join with thousands of Democrats who are all gathering together in Denver this week, working to send Barack Obama to the White House and elect a larger, more robust Democratic majority to Congress.
Our country is ready for change -- and together, we can help deliver it.

Please stop by to follow me virtually through the Democratic National Convention in Denver. It's going to be a terrific week, and I hope you'll join me online!

Thank you for your continued support.

In Friendship,
Barbara Boxer U.S. Senator

P.S. I hope you'll spread the word about the Democratic National Convention and my special DNC page at to everyone you know. Click here to invite your friends and family to join me virtually in Denver!
Watch My First DNC Video Update!


Now in THAT country...NO, YOU CAN'T LOOK!!!

From Secrecy News:


The easy availability of high-resolution imagery of much of the Earth's surface through Google Earth has presented a significant challenge to longstanding secrecy and national security policies, and has produced several distinct types of reactions from concerned governments, according to a recent report from the DNI Open Source Center (OSC).

"As the initial shock wore off, five main responses to the 'Google threat' emerged from nations around the world: negotiations with Google, banning Google products, developing a similar product, taking evasive measures, and nonchalance," the OSC report said.

The report documents these responses with citations to published news sources. It also notes several incidents in which terrorists or irregular military forces reportedly used Google Earth to plan or conduct attacks.

The OSC report has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "The Google Controversy -- Two Years Later," Open Source Center, 30 July 2008:

Further background on the impact of commercial satellite imagery may be found in "Can You Spot the Chinese Nuclear Sub?" by Sharon Weinberger, Discover, August 2008:

Due to government restrictions, lawsuits or other arrangements with Google, quite a few locations have been excluded from detailed coverage in Google Earth. Many of these were identified in "Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren't Allowed to See on Google Maps," IT Security, July 15,2008:

Both articles were cited by the OSC in its new report.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

McCain/Powell ?????

From Levine Breaking News:


***Retired Gen. Colin Powell is among the potential running mates who have been considered by John McCain, campaign advisers told Politico. Powell was among the possible vice presidential choices the Arizona Republican senator was thinking of when he said he would not rule out a supporter of abortion rights, a key adviser said.


Friday, August 22, 2008

E-Voting systems hitting the trash....

From Ars Technica via truthout. org :

States Rush to Dump Touchscreen Voting Systems

Julian Sanchez, Ars Technica: "It's a good time to pick up an electronic voting machine on the cheap - provided you're not a stickler for things like 'accuracy' or 'security.' States are scrapping tens of thousands of pricey touchscreen systems in response to mounting concerns about the machines' reliability."

*Use link above to continue reading...


Very different & interesting Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


TRUE TO THE GAME NYT best-selling author Teri Woods's DUTCH I, DUTCH II and DUTCH III, an inner-city serial killer series, to Karen Thomas at Grand Central, by Al Zuckerman at Writers House (World).

New York Post opinion columnist Ralph Peters's THE WAR AFTER ARMAGEDDON, in which a divided United States military fights a pitched battle in a devastated Middle East, to Bob Gleason at Tor, by Robert Gottlieb and Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.

Ariana Franklin's MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH, Book 4, featuring a 12th-century CSI, to Rachel Kahan at Putnam and Laura Shin at Penguin Canada, for publication in Spring 2010, by Helen Heller at Helen Heller Agency.


Joe Abercrombie's BEST SERVED COLD, about mercenaries, gruesome deaths, and twisted plans, returning readers to the world introduced in the First Law Trilogy, to Devi Pillai at Orbit, in a two-book deal, by Susan Howe at Orion.

Jesse Bullington's debut THE SAD TALE OF THE BROTHERS GROSSBART, about medieval murderous graverobbing twins who know enough about crusading to realize that if one is to make a living from the dead, what better destination than the fabled tomb-cities of Egypt, to Tim Holman at Orbit, by Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency (World).


Dreaming of Gwen Stefani author Evan Mandery's FIRST CONTACT, about love, aliens and politics that owes a debt of gratitude to Kurt Vonnegut, Woody Allen and Thomas Pynchon, to Carl Lennertz at Harper, in a nice deal, for publication in May 2009, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management.

Playwright, screenwriter and novelist Paul Rudnick's untitled collection of humorous essays, including his humorous NEW YORKER pieces and new material that he will write for this collection, to Rakesh Satyal at Harper, by Patrick Herold at ICM (World).

NYT bestselling author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's THE DOG WHO COULDN'T STOP LOVING: A 40,000-Year Romance, the sequel to Dogs Never Lie About Love, about a failed guide dog (and newly trained service dog), who inspired the author to take another look at the relationship between dogs and humans based on recent research indicating that the two species may have lived together for at least 40,000 years, to Nancy Miller at Collins, by Andy Ross at the Andy Ross Literary Agency (World).


Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo's THE MAGICIAN'S ELEPHANT, to Karen Lotz at Candlewick, with Andrea Tompa editing, for publication in Fall 2009, by Holly McGhee and Emily van Beek at Pippin Properties.Film rights to Fox 2000 and producer Julia Pistor (Charlotte's Web; Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events), by Pippin Properties and Monteiro Rose Dravis Agency.


NYT bestselling author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown Charles Morris's untitled layman's guide to the economic and policy fundamentals of America, to Lindsay Jones at Public Affairs, for publication in Fall 2009, by Tim Seldes at Russell & Volkening (world).

Senior investigative writer for American Prospect and former Wall Street analyst Barbara Dreyfuss's HEDGE HOGS: UPSTARTS, GO-GO BOYS, AND CANNIBALS OF WALL STREET, the story of two hedge fund traders who for a year battled to become the top energy trader on Wall Street, exposing the world of hedge funds, the inexperienced young men who control them, and the threat they pose not just to investors but to broad financial markets and the public, to Tim Bartlett at Random House, by Deborah Grosvenor at Kneerim & Williams.

Founder of The Vanguard Group John Bogle's ENOUGH, inspired by a commencement address he gave which examined the attributes of a life well-lived and warned about the risks presented by a financial system that is subtracting value from our society, expanded to remind us of what is or should be "enough" in money, in business, and in life, for publication in November 2008, and JACK BOGLE SPEAKS, for publication in the fall of 2009, to Pamela van Giessen at Wiley (Bogle donates his royalties to charity).


Mary Ann Esposito's CIAO ITALIA CLASSICS, a treasury of recipes from twenty years of the longest-running cooking show on television, to Michael Flamini at St. Martin's, in a good deal, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.


William Hyland's IN DEFENSE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON: Unravelling the Sally Hemings Sex Scandal, proving beyond every reasonable doubt that that the evidence against Thomas Jefferson is not only lacking, but in fact Jefferson was entirely innocent of the charge of having sexual relations with his servant, Sally Hemings, to Rob Kirkpatrick at Thomas Dunne Books, for publication in Spring 2009, by James Fitzgerald at the James Fitzgerald Agency (NA).


Co-owner of the Sea Tramp Tattoo Company Jeff Johnson's TATTOO MACHINE, to Tina Pohlman at Spiegel & Grau, by Richard Pine at Inkwell Management (NA).


Science journalist Sam Kean's SCIENCE'S CURIOSITY CABINET, featuring the hidden stories and quirky details behind the science of the periodic table and bringing the elements to light as they relate to history, finance, alchemy, mythology, petty politics, poison, crime, war, the arts, and even love, to John Parsley at Little, Brown, in a pre-empt, by Rick Broadhead at Rick Broadhead & Associates (World).


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rachel Maddow hits it outta the park...

From The Nation via :

Rebecca Traister
Mad for Rachel Maddow

Rebecca Traister, The Nation: "In a year bursting with memorable moments in televised political punditry, the first may have come on January 8, when MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow explained one of the quick-spreading theories behind Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire, a surprise win that had knocked many of Maddow's on-air colleagues on their asses."

*Use link above to continue reading...


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Repubs won't support veterans voting....

From The Politico via :
Veterans Focus of Dem Voting Law Reform

Ben Adler, The Politico: "It's no surprise when Democrats support legislation that would expand the voter rolls - more voters often mean more Democratic votes - but here's a twist: Forty-four Democrats, but no Republicans, are co-sponsoring a bill aimed at making it easier for military veterans to register to vote."

*Use link above to continue reading...


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The evil/greedy ones...Speculators....

From Mother Jones via :

James K. Galbraith
How to Burn the Speculators

James K. Galbraith, Mother Jones: "Whenever economies sour, politicians blame speculators. But on occasion, they are right to do so. Speculators did wreak havoc in 1630s Holland, 1720s France, and in the American stock market in 1929. That crash led to the Great Depression and 60 years of tight controls on speculation.

Now, thanks to our 30-year infatuation with free markets, the controls are off, and the mad gamblers are at it again. Yesterday's burst bubble was housing; today's expanding ones are energy and food. True, we have major long-term energy problems that cannot be laid at the feet of speculators....

But do supply and demand explain oil prices at $140 per barrel, with voices from Goldman Sachs projecting $200 for next year (a figure that would push gas prices above $5 per gallon) and Russia's Gazprom saying $250, despite a likely US recession? Do they explain the historic price hikes in rice, corn, and wheat, leading to hunger in the developing world? Do they explain the absolutely stratospheric price of copper?

No they do not."

*Use link above to continue reading...


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gen Powell & the blot on his reputation...

From Information Clearing House:

A Letter to Colin Powell

By Ray McGovern

You have said you regret the "blot" on your record caused by your parroting spurious intelligence at the U.N. to justify war on Iraq. On the chance you may not have noticed, I write to point out that you now have a unique opportunity to do some rehab on your reputation. If you were blindsided, well, here's an opportunity to try to wipe off some of the blot. There is no need for you to end up like Lady Macbeth, wandering around aimlessly muttering, Out damn spot... or blot.

*Use link above to continue reading...


Invisibility...but 2 floating eyeballs?

Conrad emails:

In a video segment of an interview with Harvard educated physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku, he talks about the successful invisibility experiment performed at Duke University and CalTech.

* Use link above to see video...


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just a thought re. Bush at the Olympics...

It occurs to me that, in the photo of a blue shirt-clad Bush during the Olympics opening, the four men behind him who are either hauling him up or straightening him out in his chair, have to be
Secret Service.

Who else would dare handle him as they're doing? Who else would dare touch him unless he wished them to?

Only the Secret Service could manhandle a president in that way...and they wouldn't unless they absolutely had to do so.

So what condition was Bush in that it became necessary to haul him around in such a manner?


Worth your attention...coming films & books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:

The KeyAs usual, the handy key to our Lunch deal categories. While all reports are always welcome, those that include a category will generally receive a higher listing when it comes time to put them all together."nice deal" $1 - $49,000"very nice deal" $50,000 - $99,000"good deal" $100,000 - $250,000"significant deal" $251,000 - $499,000"major deal" $500,000 and up


Kira Henehan's ORION YOU CAME AND YOU TOOK ALL MY MARBLES, a small and somewhat shady investigative outfit, staffed by enigmatic characters -- among them, a principal investigator seeking the truth about her past, to Ben Barnhart at Milkweed, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2009 (World).


National Book Award Finalist author of FIELDWORK Mischa Berlinski's PEACEKEEPING, following the story of a small-time American politician who becomes embedded in the elections and intrigue of Haiti, again to Lorin Stein at Farrar, Straus, by Susan Ginsburg of Writers House.

POSH author Lucy Jackson's SLICKER, about what happens when a typical Manhattan college girl -- raised on taxis, private education, iPhones and good bagels -- finds herself living in flyover country (Kansas, of all places) not knowing a single soul, again to Elizabeth Beier at St. Martin's, by Maria Massie at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (NA).


Marcus Sakey's GOOD PEOPLE, to The Film Department, on behalf of Tobey Maguire and Film 360 (at Management 360) with Kelly Masterson (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD) adapting, by Sarah Self at the Gersh Agency, on behalf of Scott Miller at Trident Media Group.

A Lee Martinez's THE AUTOMATIC DETECTIVE, in which a bad robot trying to make good finds himself in the middle of a kidnapping plot and up to his opticals in mutant lowlifes and little green wiseguys, optioned to director David Fincher (Fight Club; Panic Room) and Tim Miller (Academy Award-nominated Blur Studios), by Sarah Self of The Gersh Agency, on behalf of Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency.

The late Robert Jordan's THE WHEEL OF TIME series, to Universal in an outright buy, in a significant deal, by Joel Gotler of Intellectual Property Group, on behalf of Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates.


Charlotte Gordon's MARY AND MARY, the first book to compare the dramatic lives of Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, who together comprise one of the most illustrious and inspiring mother-daughter teams in history, to Susanna Porter at Random House, at auction, by Brettne Bloom at Kneerim & Williams (world English).


Vice president of global architecture firm HOK, Leigh Stringer's THE GREEN WORKPLACE: GREENING YOUR BUILDING AND YOUR BUSINESS, which explains how a green business reduces costs, increases productivity, improves recruiting and retention, increases shareholder value, and helps the environment, and shows businesses how to implement the right changes so that they will stick, to Airie Stuart at Palgrave, by Lauren Abramo at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (world English).

Wall Street Journal reporter Greg Zuckerman's THE GREATEST TRADE EVER, about how hedge fund manager John Paulson and some peers successfully bet on the fall in the housing market, making billions in profit, to Roger Scholl at Doubleday Business, for publication in 2010, by David McCormick at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency.


TVFN show stars and owners of Neely's BBQ restaurants in Tennessee, Gina Neely and Patrick Neely's first cookbook, written with Paula Disbrowe, to Paul Bogaards and Sheila O'Shea at Knopf, by Janis Donnaud at Janis A. Donnaud & Associates, in association with Artists Agency (NA).


Journalist John Biggs's MARIE ANTOINETTE'S WATCH, about the most famous timepiece ever made; the legendary watchmaker who created it, the Queen's lover who commissioned it, and encompassing the fascinating history of horology from ancient times to the present, to Susan Kamil at Dial, at auction, by Larry Weissman at Larry Weissman Literary (World).

Former WSJ reporter Leah Goodman's REBEL FORTUNE, how the scruffy traders at the NY Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) overcame 100 years of obscurity and scorn to emerge as the "guys" who decide the price of oil everyday for the entire world, to Mauro Dipreta at William Morrow, in a very nice deal, for publication in 2010, by Jeff Herman at the Jeff Herman Agency (world).


NYT bestselling SHADOW OF THE SILK ROAD author Colin Thubron's TO THE SACRED MOUNTAIN, an account of Thubron's journey through western Nepal and over the Tibetan border to the isolated, 22,000-foot Himalayan holy mountain of Kailash, the symbolic apex of the Buddhist world, to Terry Karten at Harper, for publication in September 2010, by Gillon Aitken at Aitken Alexander (US).


Sherwin B. Nuland's THE SOUL OF MEDICINE: Tales from the Bedside, called a Canterbury Tales for modern medicine, to Don Fehr at Kaplan, as part of their expansion into general trade publishing, for publication in 2009, by Glen Hartley (world) and Scientific American.

Mind columnist Wray Herbert's HARD-WIRED HABITS, an accessible introduction to 22 hard-wired short cuts the brain uses to make decisions, and insights into when they should be overruled by our rational mind, to Lucinda Bartley at Crown, by Gail Ross at the Gail Ross Literary Agency.


No Comment....

From The New York Times:

August 14, 2008, 10:50 am — Updated: 12:32 pm -->
Clinton’s Name Will Be Put in Nomination
By Jeff Zeleny

Updated 12:25: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s name will be placed into nomination at the Democratic National Convention, a symbolic move approved by the Obama campaign in an effort to soothe a lingering rift with Clinton supporters.

“I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton’s historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,” Senator Barack Obama said in a statement.

The decision was announced on Thursday afternoon in a joint statement from the senators.
It comes after long negotiations on both sides, with many backers of Mrs. Clinton vigorously pushing for her candidacy to be validated by giving her delegates the chance to support her through a roll call vote.

“With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Senator Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again,” Mrs. Clinton said in a statement.

For Democrats inside the convention center in Denver, as well as the television audience at home, it could create some interesting moments. After the state-by-state roll is tallied, Mrs. Clinton is expected to turn over her cache of delegates to Senator Barack Obama.

So how will Mrs. Clinton, who is a superdelegate herself, vote? Associates say she will throw her lot behind Mr. Obama and ask her supporters to follow suit. To see if it unfolds as the Obama campaign hopes – free of acrimony – tune in on Wednesday, Aug. 27


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Corsi, the rotten Swift-Boater....UGH.....

From The New York Times via :

Obama Swift Boat Sets Sail

Jim Rutenberg and Julie Bosman, The New York Times:

"In the summer of 2004 the conservative gadfly Jerome R. Corsi shot to the top of the best-seller lists as co-author of "Unfit for Command," the book attacking Senator John Kerry's record on a Vietnam War Swift boat that began the larger damaging campaign against Mr. Kerry's war credentials as he sought the presidency.

Almost exactly four years after that campaign began, Mr. Corsi has released a new attack book painting Senator Barack Obama, the Democrats' presumed presidential nominee, as a stealth radical liberal who has tried to cover up 'extensive connections to Islam' - Mr. Obama is Christian - and questioning whether his admitted experimentation with drugs in high school and college ever ceased."

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Sen Barbara Boxer stands tall again...

From Senator Barbara Boxer:

Dear Friend:

I recently joined several of my Senate colleagues in writing to Defense Secretary Gates to express concern about the Department of Defense’s new policy on cluster bombs. Cluster bombs bundle hundreds of small explosive devices ("bomblets") into one bomb. Each bomblet is intended to explode on impact or after a time delay. However, sometimes these bomblets fail to detonate and can remain explosive hazards for decades after they are launched. When they do eventually explode, the victims are often innocent civilians.

Although the Department of Defense has stated that it recognizes the need to “minimize the potential unintended harm to civilians” posed by cluster bombs with high failure rates, its new policy would actually permit the continued use, sale and transfer of existing weapons for the next ten years.

It is believed that the United States maintains a current arsenal of about 5.5 million cluster bombs, containing more than 700 million submunitions. With failure rates of between 5 and 15 percent, the threat to civilians posed by the use, sale and transfer of these weapons over the next ten years is too great.

In our letter, we urged Secretary Gates to reconsider this misguided new policy. We also asked that he accelerate plans to replace existing stockpiles of cluster bombs with reliable munitions, enabling the United States to sign the “Convention on Cluster Munitions,” which prohibits the production, use and export of these weapons and requires signatories to eliminate their arsenals within eight years. It is time for the United States to reclaim leadership on this important issue.

I am proud to be part of the effort to eliminate cluster bombs and the hazard they pose to innocent civilians -- especially to children -- who are too often the victims of these deadly weapons.

Barbara BoxerUnited States Senator


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

DIA...Counterintelligence permission granted...

From Secrecy News:


With the establishment of its Defense Counterintelligence and HumanIntelligence Center (DCHC) on August 3, the Defense Intelligence Agency now has new authority to engage in offensive counterintelligence operations that seek to thwart foreign intelligence activities.

If defensive counterintelligence is checkers, then offensive counterintelligence is chess. Unlike defensive counterintelligence, offensive counterintelligence is intended to "make something happen," a DIA spokesman said last week. It may involve infiltration, active deception and disruption of opposing intelligence services. It is hard to do well."

DIA joins just three other military organizations authorized to carry out offensive counterintelligence operations--the Army Counterintelligence office, the Navy Criminal Investigative Serve and the Air Force office of Special Investigations," reported Pamela Hessof the Associated Press.

See "DIA's New Mission Adds to Intel Arsenal," August 5:

Defense Intelligence Agency described the origins and intended functions of the new DCHC in a news media briefing last week. The transcript is here:


China's BYD F6DM electric/gas car...

EMail from Conrad:

Chinese Car Company, BYD, to sell Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles to Israel in 2009

BYD has announced it is planning to sell Israel two hybrid cars, the BYD F6DM and the F3DM, and an electric car, the BYD E6. The BYD F6DM should have a top speed of 100 mph, 62 miles just on battery, and 267 miles when the gas engines kicks in. The lithium ion phosphate battery is impressive with a life of 2,000 cycles and a life time range of 373,000 miles.

BYD is claiming their car has a greater range and will be sold before GM's Volt plug-in hybrid. BYD is selling to Israel, a country that wants to be energy independent in 10 years.

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How many times must Clinton lose to admit she's lost?

From :


Clinton supporters pushing to get her name placed in nomination at convention.


Home values...check .....

From Levine Breaking News:

Almost one-third of U.S. homeowners who bought in the last five years now owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, according to, an Internet provider of home valuations.


Corps avoid TRILLIONS in income taxes due....

From Levine Breaking News:


Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.

The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Repub turns Dem to support Obama...

From The Washington Independent via :

Ike's Granddaughter Calls Obama "Future of America"

Sridhar Pappu, of The Washington Independent, reports: "Speaking on the telephone on Aug. 7 from her Washington office at The Eisenhower Institute, a think tank where she serves as president emeritus, [Susan Eisenhower,] the journalist-turned-foreign policy wonk explained her decision to publicly support Barack Obama after a lifetime in the Republican Party."

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DOD sells weapons to Iraq...while we're still fighting there...

From The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation via :

Travis Sharp
US Surges $11 Billion in Arms Sales to Iraq

Travis Sharp, for The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, writes: "During the last week of July, the Department of Defense notified Congress about the proposed sale of $10.9 billion in U.S. military equipment and support to Iraq through the Foreign Military Sales program.

Besides the eye-catching price tag - which, at $10.9 billion, is greater than the value of all other U.S. arms sales to Iraq since 2005 combined ..."

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

So...Did Gonzales, Bush, Rove et al, help? Hell no.

From The Texas Observer via :

Let There Be Light

Forrest Wilder reports for The Texas Observer: "For 36 years, the people of La Presa, a dusty neighborhood set among prickly pear cactus and squat huisache trees 10 miles south of Laredo, have lived without potable water, sewer connections, drainage, and properly maintained roads.

Water for drinking and cooking is hauled in by truck and stored in large, plastic barrels. Septic systems often consist of little more than a cesspool behind the house. Most of the 350 residents in this colonia - shorthand for a substandard development built in an unincorporated area without basic services - aren't connected to the electric grid. Instead, they get by with portable gas generators, electricity shared among neighbors via a daisy chain of extension cords, power poached from the grid, or nothing at all."


Rielle Hunter moved in....

From The Los Angeles Times:

Edwards' affair? My fault
How my energy fueled Rielle Hunter into a scandal.

By Sarah Miller August 10, 2008

I blame myself.It is totally my fault. Well, maybe it's just my energy's fault. But wait -- do we control our energy? Don't we just, like, attract what we put out? Anyway, I have really powerful energy, and I refused to respect it, and now it's too late.

What I'm trying to say is that it's my fault that Rielle Hunter had an affair with John Edwards. It's my fault his display of moral laxness let down his supporters, let down the country. It's my fault he cheated on his cancer-stricken wife and betrayed his three children. Let me explain.

I, like every other New Yorker who valued their life, moved to Los Angeles in October 2001. Almost immediately, I rented a room in a house in Benedict Canyon, owned by a friend of a friend, and lived there for almost a year. When I moved out of that room -- and I don't mind telling you at this point that Harrison Ford did the built-ins in the den and possibly some of the kitchen cabinetry -- Rielle Hunter moved in.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mike Lumpkin, Navy SEAL Commander vs Duncan Hunter Jr...

From Dem Mike Lumpkin's Campaign...

The good news just keeps coming! Yesterday afternoon we received official confirmation
that the DCCC is putting our race on the emerging list! The momentum in just the last two
weeks is amazing and inspiring.

Senators Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Bob Kerrey endorsed Mike and agreed to do a joint fundraiser in New York! In addition to those endorsements, Mike has drawn the attention
and endorsement of none other than General Wesley Clark! He joined the nation's most prominent veterans who have also endorsed Mike. Senator Jim Webb, Senator John Kerry,
and Senator Max Cleland have all committed their full support.

We have also received support from a growing list of Members of Congress including: Zoe Lofgren (CA, Chair of Delegation), Patrick Kennedy (RI), Mike Capuano (MA), Gene Taylor (MS), Neil Abercrombie (HI), Joe Sestak (PA), Patrick Murphy (PA) and neighboring
Members Bob Filner and Susan Davis.

Mike was also recently endorsed by the fabulous and motivated group of people at
Laborer's Union Local 89 - and he couldn't be more proud. If you belong to a local union, encourage them to get involved and help Mike help you keep good jobs and get better healthcare! We can't do it without you!

We also have some incredibly exciting possibilities on the front burner. Mike has been asked
to speak on behalf of Senator Obama at the National Defense Industrial Conference in the
next few weeks. There are also exciting rumors about the possibility of a speaking event at
the Democratic National Convention in Denver!!! As soon as we get confirmation you loyal Lumpkinites will be the first to know!!!


Clinton campaign memos in Atlantic Monthly....

From Washington Post via Political Wire:

Internal Clinton Campaign Memos Leaked

Advisers to Sen. Hillary Clinton "are in a tizzy over an upcoming piece in the Atlantic Monthly that chronicles the inner workings of the now-defunct campaign," according to the Washington Post.

"Of particular concern are nearly 200 internal memos that the author, Josh Green, obtained -- 130 or so of which he plans to scan in and post online. When the piece is published sometime next week, readers will be able to scroll through the memos, from senior strategists such as Mark Penn, Harold Ickes and Geoff Garin, and see what exactly was going on inside the infamously fractured Clinton organization. That has some former team members in a panic."
August 8, 2008


Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympic Opening Video...

From Levine Breaking News:


Once-reclusive China commandeered the world stage Friday, celebrating its first-time role as Olympic host with a stunning display of pageantry and pyrotechnics to open a Summer Games unrivaled for its mix of problems and promise.

Now ascendant as a global power, China welcomed scores of world leaders to an opening ceremony watched by 91,000 people at the eye-catching National Stadium and a potential audience of 4 billion worldwide. It was depicted as the largest, costliest extravaganza in Olympic history, bookended by barrages of some 30,000 fireworks.

***LBN-VIDEO LINK: Video...


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stop selling this book or....

From Levine Breaking News:

***A lawyer for an alleged al-Qaida-linked militant said Wednesday that he asked a court to halt the sale of a book by slain ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that he claims defames his client.

Bhutto's allegations in "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy & the West" that Qari Saifullah Akhtar was involved in an October bombing in Karachi that killed some 150 people are "baseless," attorney Hashmat Habib said.

Habib said he is also seeking more than $200 million in damages from the British publishers of Bhutto's book, Simon & Schuster, printers, sellers, and her widowed husband Asif Ali Zardari as her heir and "beneficiary."


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Deals just made for these books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:

"nice deal" $1 - $49,000
"very nice deal" $50,000 - $99,000
"good deal" $100,000 - $250,000
"significant deal" $251,000 - $499,000
"major deal" $500,000 and up


Ellen Horan's 31 BOND STREET, interweaving fiction with actual events surrounding the infamous murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell and the subsequent trial of his housekeeper and lover Emma Cunningham, a historical narrative that blends romance, politics, greed and sexual intrigue, set against the background of bustling, corrupt New York City, four years before the Civil War, to Jonathan Burnham and Claire Wachtel at Harper, in a pre-empt, for two books, by Marly Rusoff at Marly Rusoff & Associates (world English).Film rights are handled by Lynn Pleshette at the Lynn Pleshette Agency.

Manhattan high school teacher Joshua Gaylord's HUMMINGBIRDS, pitched as History Boys meets Blue Angel, about the intertwining -- and often darkly surprising -- relationships between the teachers and students at a school for girls, to Sally Kim at Harper, at auction, in a very nice deal, by Josh Getzler at Writers House (NA).


Jeremy Duns' FREE AGENT, set between London and Nigeria during the Biafran War, about an MI6 agent on the run as a suspected KGB double-agent and intent on tracking down the only woman he ever loved whom he has thought dead for the past 24 years, to Kathryn Court at Viking, in a pre-empt, by Joe Veltre at Artists Literary Group, on behalf of Antony Topping at Greene & Heaton (US).


Juan Gabriel Vasquez's THE INFORMERS, pitched as reminiscent of W.G. Sebald and Ian McEwan, about memory, history, family, and betrayal during World War II in Colombia, translated by Anne McLean, to Sarah Bowlin at Riverhead, by Ruth Logan at Bloomsbury UK (US).

Former assistant to a book publisher writer/editor for That's Beijing magazine Ann Mah's KITCHEN CHINESE, about a Chinese-American who worked in New York publishing and left her job to live in Beijing, and review restaurants for an English language expat magazine there; pitched as part Helen Fielding, part Amy Tan, a fish-out-of-water story, to Wendy Lee at Harper, by Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider (NA).

Nathalie Abi-Ezzi's A GIRL MADE OF DUST, about three generations of one family living through the 1980s Lebanese civil war, to Elisabeth Schmitz of Grove/Atlantic, at auction, for publication in Spring 2009, by Isobel Dixon.Foreign rights to Amy Black at Doubleday Canada; Artemis in the Netherlands, at auction; and Mondadori in Italy.

READING THE OED author Ammon Shea's LOST AND FORGOTTEN BOOKS, a tour of the fading and dusty world of family bibles, phone directories, Sears & Roebuck catalogs, and other cherished household books of old, along with an appreciation of out-of-print volumes that are so quirky, obscure, and outdated that even the Long Tail won't wag at them, again to Marian Lizzi at Perigee, by Jim Rutman at Sterling Lord Literistic (World English).


Historian Jean Edward Smith's W, a biography of President George W. Bush, looking at "the man and the president from a longer perspective, for publication in 2012, to Bob Loomis at Random House (world).


Cyndi Laurin and Craig Morningstar's THE RUDOLPH FACTOR: BUILDING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION THAT LASTS based on their inside access to Boeing and illuminating the principles and practices of finding and nurturing the critical and often neglected 10 percent of innovators in any organization who can shine the light where a company needs to go, through examples of their impact in both the C-17 and Dreamliner programs, to Matt Holt at Wiley, in a very nice deal, for publication in Summer 2009, by Stephen Hanselman of LevelFiveMedia (world).


Douglas Hunter's 1609: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Changed America, describing Hudson's world -- filled with spies, treachery, high stakes jockeying for power and wealth, espionage, and double-dealing -- and his mysterious, portentous journey, as he became one of the first Europeans to lay eyes on Manhattan, which all seems a fitting start to the modern metropolis that now towers above that site, to Peter Ginna at Bloomsbury, in a very nice deal.


Star of Bravo's Flipping Out Jeff Lewis's JEFF LEWIS'S REAL ESTATE RULES, a guide for anyone looking to buy, renovate, or sell their home in the current market, with trade secrets on getting the best value and tips on navigating new mortgage rules and government incentive programs, to Sarah Sper at Center Street, at auction, by Eileen Cope at Trident Media Group.


Pushcart Prize-winning author Frances Lefkowitz's HOW TO HAVE NOT, a memoir about deprivation -- economical and emotional -- and the author's battle and uneasy truce with the power of money and all the things it can and cannot buy, to Soumeya Bendimerad at MacAdam/Cage, by Amy Rennert at the Amy Rennert Agency.

Poised to become the first American swimmer to compete in five Olympic Games as well as the oldest female Olympic swimmer ever Dara Torres' inspirational memoir, offering insight into her competitive spirit, work ethic, and determination to succeed in the face of life's challenges, including motherhood and Bulimia, and her motivation to attempt a comeback after the first of her first child in 2006, for publication in spring 2009, written with NYT Magazine contributing writer Liz Weil, and a fitness guide, presenting the secrets of her legendary training regimen and her reflections on what has motivated her, for publication in early 2011, to Stacy Creamer for Broadway, by manager Evan Morgenstein at Premier Management Group (world).


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The "Land of the Free" is no more....

From Information Clearing House:

Slip-Sliding Away

By Charley Reese

The present administration has a bad habit of questioning the patriotism and loyalty of people who disagree with it. It spies on everybody without any judicial restraint. It has riddled the government with partisans who are incompetent. It is the most secretive administration in American history. It lies like a drunken fisherman. It puts people in jail and holds them incommunicado without charges. It tortures people. It is contemptuous of the Constitution and especially of the principle of checks and balances.

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GOP to Oil Companies: You pay & we'll play...

From American Progress:

A Stunt-Driven Agenda

On Friday, the House was scheduled to close for its regular August recess. House conservatives, however, refused to leave the floor, demanding a vote on offshore drilling. With the C-SPAN cameras and the House floor lights turned off, a handful of conservatives stuck around for over five hours "to attack Democrats for leaving town without doing something to lower gas prices."

"Eighteen times over the past 90 days, the minority tried, unsuccessfully, to force the House to adjourn. Now the House has finally adjourned -- for a five-week recess, no less -- and Republicans are demanding that the chamber be called back into session," the Washington Post's Dana Milbank observed.

Believing "they have struck political gold with American voters," conservatives are lauding their stagecraft in the most grandiose terms. "Today is the 2008 version of the Boston Tea Party," exclaimed Rep John Shadegg (R-AZ). "[L]ike the founders of this country we're going directly to the American people," boasted Rep. Tim Price (R-GA). "This could be America's greatest hour," crowed Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL).

Conservatives extended the theatrics yesterday and have declared they will continue their floor protests for "as long as it takes."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called their tactics "stunts" that amount to little more than "transparent political effort to manufacture headlines." Even President Bush isn't falling for it. Although the House conservatives have asked him to call an emergency session of Congress, Bush refused.


House conservatives are not looking for any fix to gas prices: They are intent on drilling and drilling only -- and simultaneously filling Big Oil's coffers. These same conservatives have voted to block legislation that would have released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, block legislation banning price gouging, and block legislation requiring oil companies to first drill on the land already leaded to them.

Conservative leaders have blocked or voted "no" on eight different energy bills aimed at addressing rising prices, including bills that raised vehicle fuel efficiency, provided tax incentives for renewable energy, invested in energy efficiency, required a 15 percent renewable electricity standard, and expanded commuter rail and bus services while reducing transit fares.

Opening new offshore sites to drilling is a boon only to Big Oil companies, and they have responded to conservatives' efforts by opening their wallets. Just in the last year, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), one of the leaders of the floor standoff, has received more than nearly $100,000 from the oil and gas industries, with $20,000 from Chevron alone.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Pay Equality...But will Senate pass it? Hah....

From Associated Press via :

House Passes Gender Pay Equity Bill

Jesse J. Holland, The Associated Press:

"The pay equity measure, which passed by a 247-178 vote, would treat gender discrimination involving pay the same as race, disability and age discrimination. The bill would allow for compensatory and punitive damages, ban employers from retaliating against workers who share their salary with colleagues, and force employers to prove that paying a woman less than a man is job-related and necessary."

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Will Senate pass NO TORTURE bill?.....

From Secrecy News:


A bill introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and several Senate colleagues last week would "end coercive interrogations and secret detentions by the Central Intelligence Agency."

"These practices have brought shame to our Nation, have harmed our ability to fight the war on terror, and, I believe, violate U.S. law and international treaty obligations," Sen. Feinstein said. "Our Nation has paid an enormous price because of these interrogations.They cast shadow and doubt over our ideals and our system of justice.Our enemies have used our practices to recruit more extremists. Our key global partnerships, crucial to winning the war on terror, have been strained," she said.

"Look at two of our closest allies in the world. The British Parliament no longer trusts U.S. assurances that we will not torture detainees. The Canadian Government recently added the United States to its list of nations that conduct torture."

"This is not the country that we want to be," Sen. Feinstein said.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Rockefeller, Whitehouse, Hagel, Feingold, and Wyden.


HIV...Human trials next...

Conrad sends....

Scientists from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston believe they have discovered a section of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that does not mutate because it must remain constant so it can attach to cells.

Dr. Sudhir Paul has led a group that has created a special type of antibody called an abzyme that target that portion of the virus and turns them inactive. Human trials must be performed to determine if this approach is both safe and effective


DC: Cavalry charge of the robber barons...

From Tom :

Follow This DimeWhy Misgovernment Was No Accident in George W. Bush's Washington
By Thomas Frank

Washington is the city where the scandals happen. Every American knows this, but we also believe, if only vaguely, that the really monumental scandals are a thing of the past, that the golden age of misgovernment-for-profit ended with the cavalry charge and the robber barons, at about the same time presidents stopped wearing beards.

I moved to Washington in 2003, just in time for the comeback, for the hundred-year flood. At first it was only a trickle in the basement, a little stream released accidentally by the president's friends at Enron. Before long, though, the levees were failing all over town, and the city was inundated with a muddy torrent of graft.

How are we to dissect a deluge like this one? We might begin by categorizing the earmarks handed out by Congress, sorting the foolish earmarks from the costly earmarks from the earmarks made strictly on a cash basis. We could try a similar approach to government contracting: the no-bid contracts, the no-oversight contracts, the no-experience contracts, the contracts handed out to friends of the vice president. We might consider the shoplifting career of one of the president's former domestic policy advisers or the habitual plagiarism of the president's liaison to the Christian right.

And we would certainly have to find some way to parse the extraordinary incompetence of the executive branch, incompetence so fulsome and steady and reliable that at some point Americans stopped being surprised and began simply to count on it, to think of incompetence as the way government works.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Die young...Die old...Pick your poison...


The 16,885 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2005 represent an averageof one alcohol-related fatality every 31 minutes.

Smoking-related deaths, even under the generous definitions used by CDC, are associated with old age. Nearly 60 percent of the deaths occur at age 70 or above; nearly 45 percent at age 75 or above; and almost 17 percent at the grand old age of 85 or above!

Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States

Of the estimated 2,279,322 YPLLs, 788,005 (35%) resulted from chronic conditions, and 1,491,317 (65%) resulted from acute conditions (number of alcohol-attributable deaths (AADs) and years of potential life lost (YPLLs) in the United States during 2001.)


Re. Michelle Obama, Dowd has a point....

From Levine Breaking News:


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Barack Obama must continue to grovel to Hillary Clinton's dead-enders, some of whom mutter darkly that they will not only not vote for him, they will never vote for a man again.

Obama met for an hour Tuesday with three dozen top Hillaryites at a hotel here, seeking their endorsement and beguiling their begrudging.

He opened the session by saying that he knew there had been frustration about what they saw as sexism during the primary. The Los Angeles Times reported that Hillary die-hards want to enshrine a whine in the Democratic platform about how the primaries "exposed pervasive gender bias in the media" and call on party leaders to take "immediate and public steps" to denounce any perceived bias in the future. That is one nutty idea.

Perhaps it is because feminists are still so busy cataloging past slights to Hillary that they have failed to mount a vivid defense of Michelle Obama, who has taken over from Hillary as the one conservatives like to paint as a harridan.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Spam Blogs?...Sitemeter?...troubles all at once!

Just checking to see if I can post after being suspected of being a "spam blog". Received an email from Blogger yesterday, answered it, okayed their checking, and it seems they did and cleared this blog. Will know for sure when I try and post this.

Additionally, I hope Sitemeter has squared away whatever it was that went wrong and messed up a whole lot of bloggers' posts!


The end of honest the USA?

From Reuters via :

Adam Cohen

A Tale of Three (Electronic Voting) Elections

Adam Cohen, The New York Times: "Electronic voting has made great strides in reliability, but it has a long way to go. When reformers push for greater safeguards, they often argue that future elections could produce the wrong result because of a computer glitch or be stolen through malicious software. That's being too nice."

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