Archive for the ‘New York Times’ Category

MSNBC Ran Anti-Palin Story With No Check Out, Verification

November 13, 2008

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a Fox News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_en_tv/
palin_hoax;_ylt=ApmXbBdfbMaI.KksFZN6Kwas0NUE

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Above: Dan Mirvish, who with Eitan Gorlin created an elaborate Internet hoax complete with a fake policy institute and a phony adviser to Senator John McCain. Photo: Axel Koester for The New York Times

MSNBC Caught by Hoax on Palin

By Richard Perez-Pena
The New York Times

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/arts/
television/13hoax.html?hp

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Media Bias Reaches New Low? Or High?

November 11, 2008

With the messiah safe at last, some of the notabilities of press and tube are climbing out of Barack Obama’s  media tank with tales of what’s been going on in there.

By Wesley Pruden
The Washington Times

It’s an article of media faith that everybody with a press card is incapable of showing bias – with the exception of a few newspapers like this one, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post and, of course, Fox News. Anyone who says otherwise is a vacuous irrelevancy. So when someone strays off the reservation it’s front-page news, even when it’s not on the front page.

Deborah Howell, the ombudsman (a Swedish word her newsroom now defines as “newsroom harpie”) at The Washington Post finally had enough on Sunday and took her newspaper’s best and brightest severely to task for allowing its reporters and editors to climb into that tank. “Readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama,” she wrote. “My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that [readers] are right on both counts.”

Even before Election Day, Harold Evans, once editor of the Times of London and the London Sunday Times, was even blunter, perhaps because as the former editor he no longer has to risk life and limb walking among his former colleagues: “It’s fitting that the cynicism ‘vote early and vote often’ is commonly attributed to Chicago’s Democratic boss, Mayor Richard Daley, who famously voted the graveyards in 1960 to help put John F. Kennedy in the White House. In this 2008 race, it’s the American media that have voted very early and often. They long ago elected the star graduate of Chicago’s Democratic machine, Barack Obama.”

In fact, Reuters, the British news service that most slavishly follows the line of least resistance to bias, isn’t even waiting for the inauguration. Most of the media refers to the new president as “President-elect Obama.” To Reuters, he’s occasionally already “President Obama.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/11/fairer-to-one-than-the-other/

Bush Approved Secret Attacks Against Al Qaeda, Others in Syria, Pakistan: New York Times

November 10, 2008

Since 2004, the Pentagon has used broad, secret authority to carry out about 12 attacks against al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, The New York Times reported on its website.
   
Quoting what it said were more than six unnamed military and intelligence officials and senior Bush administration policy makers, the newspaper said the military operations were authorized by a classified order signed by former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the approval of President George Bush.

Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld

From TVNZ, New Zealand

Read the rest:
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411366/2299407
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By Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti 
The New York Times

The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials.
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These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants’ compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, according to a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency. Officials watched the entire mission — captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft — in real time in the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorist Center at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away.


U.S. Navy SEAL Insignia

Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the C.I.A., according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of C.I.A.-directed operations.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/washington/
10military.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Circulation for Newspapers Continues to Decline

October 28, 2008

By ANICK JESDANUN
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NEW YORK (AP) – Circulation at the nation’s daily newspapers is falling faster than anticipated this year as readers continue their migration to the Internet and papers narrow their distribution to cut costs.

The development, which compounds the fiscal challenge of plummeting advertising revenue, was revealed Monday when the Audit Bureau of Circulations released sales totals reported by newspapers for April through September.

Combined weekday circulation of all 507 papers that reported circulation totals this year and last averaged 38,165,848 in the six months ending in September, 4.6 percent below 40,022,356 a year earlier. The aggregate drop was only 2.6 percent in the September 2007 period, compared with September 2006.

Sunday circulation fell faster than daily – 4.8 percent, to 43,631,646 at the 571 papers with comparable totals. A year ago, Sunday circulation fell 3.5 percent.

Daily circulation at 16 of the 25 largest papers fell more than 5 percent in the latest period.

Circulation has been dropping at newspapers for decades, a trend sped up by readers shifting to the Internet. Newspapers also have lost advertising in recent years because of the Internet, and that decline accelerated this summer as the weak economy prompted advertisers to pull back on spending.

To boost revenue, many papers also have increased prices, a move that has caused small circulation drops.

This year’s sharpening circulation drop also appears to result in part from the way papers are responding to losing ad revenue, said Rick Edmonds, media analyst at the journalism think tank Poynter Institute.

“Times are tough, and they are looking at everything that’s in their expense base,” he said. “Building new subscribers is an expensive proposition.”

Consider The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where circulation declined 13.6 percent, the largest drop among the 25 largest papers.

The paper increased prices and reduced its distribution footprint by a third to 49 counties. Some of the counties dropped weren’t even in Georgia and were more expensive to reach, said Bob Eickhoff, the paper’s senior vice president for operations.

Read the rest:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081027/D94334KG0.html

Cindy McCain Replies to Ugly Media Attacks

October 21, 2008

(CNN) — Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, decried the “viciousness of the media” Monday, days after the New York Times ran a front page story detailing her troubled history with prescription drugs and difficulty fitting into Washington social circles.

Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. ... 

In an interview with Fox news that aired Monday night, Mrs. McCain said she thought the biggest difference between her husband’s first presidential run eight years ago and his campaign this year was the media’s attitude toward the Arizona senator’s candidacy.

“What has really stunned me is the — quite honestly, is the kind of viciousness of the media on occasion,” Mrs. McCain said. “In 2000 — there’s certainly always been, you know, differences, and the — you know, the things that occur. But this has taken on a different tenor. And I don’t know why and what’s caused that, and I’m sorry for it because I think it turns a lot of young people off.”

Cindy McCain’s comments come a week after she accused Obama of waging the “dirtiest campaign” in U.S. history. On Monday, she also addressed the lengthy New York Times story directly, saying she has no plans to read it and has since received several messages of support.

“I did not read it, no. I did not read it, and I have no intention of reading it,” she said. “My BlackBerry was loaded with friends the next morning saying, ‘I cannot believe this, you know? I’m sorry for you and all this.’”

The article drew a sharp response from the McCain campaign, which called it a “barrage of petty and personal attacks,” and said the New York Times reporters “employed tactics that are obviously unprofessional and almost certainly unethical” in researching the story.

Read the rest:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

Cindy McCain sheds her shyness

October 20, 2008

She was bitterly attacked by the New York Times this last week.  Now, maybe Cindy will speak…..

From
Politico

She speaks in such soft, gentle tones that people in the crowd sometimes find it hard to hear her, even with a microphone. And when her husband takes the stage, she melds into the background, her hands clasped, her blue eyes focused on him, on the sea of faces and, most intensely, on the message.

Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. ... 
Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is seen during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

So when Cindy McCain pounces to the attack and rips into Democrat Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, it often catches the audience off guard, as happened on Friday at a rally of 6,000 supporters in Miami.

“I have always been proud of my country,” she said with righteous anger, drawing roars of approval for the unmistakable jab at Michelle Obama’s, who earlier this year said that “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally…

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081020/pl_politico/14748

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John McCain Not Happy With New York Times
News.com (Australia)

JOHN McCain’s presidential campaign blasted the New York Times today for an “unprecedented attack” on his wife, as both Republican and Democratic teams exchanged barbs over voter fraud allegations ahead of the November 4 election.

The paper’s profile of Cindy McCain delves into the background of the millionaire beer heiress, married to the Republican Arizona senator for more than 30 years.

McCain’s campaign fired back immediately, describing the profile as “gutter journalism at its worst” and a “barrage of petty and personal attacks”.

The article noted the candidate’s spouse had a role in the Keating Five savings-and-loan scandal, she “endured several miscarriages alone” while her husband worked in Washington, and she was “caught stealing drugs from her nonprofit organisation to feed her addiction to painkillers”.

The article is a “black mark on the record of a paper that was once widely respected, but is now little more than a propaganda organ for the Democratic party,” McCain’s campaign said.

“The New York Times has stooped lower than this campaign ever imagined possible in an attempt to discredit a woman whose only apparent sin is being married to the man that would oppose that paper’s preferred candidate, (Democrat) Barack Obama.”

Cindy McCain, 54, is the chairwoman of Hensley & Company, Arizona’s foremost beer distribution company worth an estimated tens of millions of dollars.

In a confession to Newsweek magazine she admitted drug use in the wake of the Keating scandal that rocked Washington in the late 1980s, in which she was the sole Senate spouse to be implicated.

“The pills made me feel euphoric and free,” she wrote in an essay.

Cindy McCain has been drafted into her husband’s campaign in recent weeks and was due to tour Pennsylvania by bus this weekend in a bid to stem McCain’s slide in the polls against his Democratic rival.

Read the rest:
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24518842-
38198,00.html?from=public_rss

Why Obama Worries About Half the Electorate

October 18, 2008

Sadly, I find myself disappointed by both Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain and their presidential campaigns.  But I have a brother who says, “never watch football until the last two minutes.”

So now we are in the “two minute drill,” and today’s Zogby Poll says Obama leads McCain 48% to 44%.
Zogby October 18: Obama 48%; McCain 44%
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But many voters have expressed dismay, anger and even rage about this year’s election campaign.  “We are being taken for a ride my a pack of lies and a biased media,” one man wrote to us.  Others have complained about ACORN, Senator Obama’s friends and acquaintances including terrorist Bill Ayers and the Rev. Wright, McCain’s seemingly inept way of making his points, Sara Palin’s lack of “big city” experience and Joe Biden’s gaffes.  Here we will attempt to summarize many of these regrets and concerns and provoke additional thought and discussion….

Preadidential Election 2008: Obama and McCain
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The Media
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“Doesn’t the media have a responsibility to be unbiased and even handed about politics and politicians?” a voter asked us by email.

The answer is, journalism schools teach and preach honesty, integrity and the importance of unbiased and fair coverage.  But the teaching seems to be falling on deaf ears.

“Americans’ perception of the national media as too biased and too liberal have grown significantly over the past two decades. In less than twenty years, since the 1985 Times Mirror polls began routinely assessing the public’s perceptions of the national media, the percentage of Americans who perceive a liberal bias has doubled from 22 percent to 45 percent, nearly half the adult population. Even Democrats now generally regard the press as a liberal entity.”

The above is a news flash from 2008, right?  Hardly.  That paragraph came from a Media Research Center article entitled “The Liberal Media” written by Rich Noyes on June 30, 2004!

Noyes also wrote in 2004, “the gap between the media and the public has grown considerably. A dozen years later, the same research group — now the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press — found that ‘the American public is more critical of press practices, less enthusiastic about the news product and less appreciative of the watchdog role played by the news media than it was a dozen years ago when The People and The Press surveys were inaugurated.’”

So the so called “liberal media” is not new and is not a figment of your imagination: it is a reality.  What we at Peace and Freedom object to most is the seemingly total disregard for any attempt to be fair and unbiased as exemplified by MSNBC, NBC and The New York Times.  We noticed that as Senator McCain joked about Chris Matthews and the MSNBC and NBC bias at Thurday’s Alfred E. Smith dinner, NBC’s evening news host Brian Williams looked down into his lap — apparently in shame and avoiding the stares of McCain and the audience.  We also noted that when Senator Joe Biden decided to attack Joe the Plumber, the good Senator chose NBC as his medium, appearing to launch the attack on NBC’s “Today Show” and end ing the day on NBC with Jay Leno.

So the “biased and liberal media” is a fact of life and much of what they tell us needs to be taken with a grain of salt or thrown out all together.

Obama’s Acquaintances, Friends, and Race
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“Why is it that if anyone mentions Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, ACORN, Louis Farrakhan and some of the other Obama friends and acquaintances he is attacked as a racist?”

This question came to us early in the campaign and continues to appear not daily but at least once or twice a week.

Remember when Sarah Palin made fun of Obama’s resume line trumpeting his experience as a “community organizer”?  Team Obama and their surrogates were all over her.  Mrs. Palin obviously didn’t understand the issues of the inner city, race and disenfranchised and under appreciated voters.

But recent revelations about ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) seem to indicate that there is some segment of the “community organizer” community that shouldn’t be trusted or respected.  In fact, the FBI is investigating ACORN and there may be some significant lawbreaking, theft, fraud and scurrilous behavior among “community organizers.”

See:
ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle
and
ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

Questioning ACORN and other such organizations isn’t racism: it is something that makes sense and needs to be done, especially since the media has seemingly given ACORN and Mr. Obama a pass….

Senator Obama himself said a Special Prosecutor may be needed to look into ACORN’s activities.

How about Rev. Jeremiah Wright?  All we know is that his videotaped sermons looked anti-American, over the top, and inflammatory.  He even said “God damn America.”  And Senator Obama seemed to be oblivious to these comments, espoused weekly from the church pulpit where he went to “worship” for more than 20 years.

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Said “God damn America”
during church sermon. Obama was a member of
the church and contributed money for some 20 years….

On Bill Ayers, a former FBI agent told us (my Dad was in the FBI) that he “wouldn’t shake the hand of an anti-American domestic terrorist like Bill Ayers.”  Mr. Obama considers Bill Ayers as a friend.

So, without belaboring the facts of Barack Obama’s friends and acquaintenances, we find a very troubling pattern of people in Barack Obam’s life: and the lack of honest men of principles and integrity we see in Senator McCain’s life.  And we know this a matter of opinion so decide for yourself….

See:
 Obama & McCain: Who’s Playing the Race Card?
and
What Kind Of Men Were With John McCain In The Hanoi Hilton? Men of Character….
and
 Chicago, Academics Defend Bill Ayers; Former FBI Agents Outraged
and 
Obama and ACORN: Relationship May Be More Extensive Than Candidate Says

Are the Candidates and Their Surrogates Truthful?

“Strapped to a polygraph on national TV, I would assert quite confidently that I would strongly condemn thuggish and criminal tactics by a candidate I supported. The ends do not justify the means for me and most other conservatives I know. I wish I believed the same were true for liberals, far too many of whom are deliberately turning their backs on the corruption defining Barack Obama’s campaign.”

The above paragraph is from David Limbaugh writing in The Washington Times on October 16, 2008.
See: Voters Can Still Wake Up: Corruption Defining Barack Obama’s Campaign

Clearly, as my email proves, liberals think McCain is a filthy liar and conservatives think the same of Obama.  What I look for is a patter.  Decide for yourself.

Legislative Record 

We do believe that John McCain has an incredible, even a unique record of legislative accomplishment.  The McCain Feingold Bill was a partnership with a liberal Democrat aimed at reforming the election donation process.

The Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill was also a partnership of the conservative McCain with a liberal Democrat, Senator Ted Kennedy.

McCain is a legislative maverick, teaming with Democrats on issues of importance

 Mr. Obama’s state legislature record includes many “present” votes, which we see as an indication of a lack of integrity.  And as for his U.S. Senate record, he has been running toward the White House most of the time and not doing any lammaking.   So please point out one piece of U.S. Senate legislation sponsored by Mr. Obama.  And then, please show us one piece of U.S. Senate legislation Senator Obama co-sponsored with a member of the Republican Party…..

Taxes
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John McCain is a rather typical Ronald Reagan Republican on taxes: he believes that lower taxes stimulate growth so much that the loss of tax revenue due to tax cuts is outweighed by new jobs, growth and prosperity.

Senator Obama said to Joe the Plumber that he believes in income redistribution.  This again came up in the final presidential debate which earned Joe the Plumber an attack from Team Obama, including Joe Biden’s Today Show and Jay Leno assaults on NBC.  So, Team Obama attacked the messenger (the plumber) but has not denied the fact that the Obama tax plan is a socialist class warfare plan….But you decide…..

Plus, given the recent Wall Street and home mortgage disaster, we find it impossible to see how Mr. Obama can come up with the money to do all the things he promises, including tax relief, more money for health care, and additional funding for schools and education.  With me, Mr. Obama seems to have missed the fact that the U.S. owes China over one trillion dollars, owes the American people almost as much now due to the Bush bailout, and that the economic crash has greatly reduced planned-for tax revenues.  My state and county are tightening their spending belt — but Mr. Obama continues to promise huge federal spending increases and tax breaks.  I just do not believe anything he is saying in the economic and financial universe any more.  The situation Obama lived in when he created his give-away plan has changed: and what Mister Obama once promised to a people living in a prosperous nation has changed…. Ask any small business owner like my wife or any unemployed workers starting with the American union workers of the automotive work-force.

Foreign Policy
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“On the campaign trail, foreign policy appears to have all but disappeared as an issue in this race,” wrote Jonathan Marcus of the BBC this week.

Did anyone hear any of these topics discussed in depth during the final presidential debate?  I refer to China, Russia, Georgia, Pakistan, Darfur, Afghanistan, Venezuela, India, Georgia, Ossetia and on and on. 

The economic meltdown has just about pushed foreign policy out of the presidential campaign discussion.  And this is a grave mistake we as a nation may pay for in the future.

The President of the United States does not have any control lever to the economy under his desk, as far as we know, but he does have great singular influence and say over foreign policy.

Mr. McCain’s support for the “surge” in Iraq turned into a major success.  But instead of claiming credit for this foreign policy and military success, Mr. McCain seems to have become a victim of his own success.  Mister Foreign Policy experience has fallen into an Obama trap: lets talk solely about our domestic economy. 

All I remember about Senator Obama’s foreign policy platform are some ill advised remarks like that he would meet with President Ahmadinejad of Iran without preconditions.  Mr. Ahmadinejad, last I checked, is making a nuclear bomb and is on the record for saying he wanted to “wipe Israel from the map.”

But, because the economic mess is on everyone’s mind and Mr. Obama is promising to make us all rich, I suppose we don’t need to care about such people as Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, President Ahmadinejad and other interesting folks on the world stage….But you decide….

See:
Iran’s Ahmadinejad Continues to Gloat About End of Godless America, Capitalism
and
Pakistan’s Zardari Asks China for Aid
and
How Foreign Policy Fell Off The U.S. Election Radar

Campaign Financing
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Here again we think Mr. McCain fell victim to what Muhammad Ali called the “rope a dope” tactics of a thoughtful, though often underhanded, campaign team.

McCain loves campaign finance reform partly because he wrote the McCain Feingold Campaign Reform Bill with his liberal Democrat friend Senator Feingold.  Obama once said he’d stick with the restrictions of McCain-Feingold  since Mr. McCain promised to stand with the restrictions but then Mr. Obama, at the last minute,  changed his mind — at the deadline and after Mr. McCain vowed to stick by the restrictions.

Now, we as a nation, are witnessing an almost limitless pile of cash owned by Mr. Obama attacking a pauper in the advertising realm: Mr. McCain.  This is great if you love Obama but it is not good for truth, honesty and America in our view.  All this money pollutes the environment with a one-sided advertising campaign which was already jeapordized by a biased, liberal media…..

But …you decide.

Vice Presidential Nominees

Was Sarah Palin really the best choice for a John McCain running mate?  Probably not.  She is a woman with executive experience.  But she is no Mitt Romney, who also has a wealth of executive experience and as a business executive, understands how to “create” wealth.

And Joe Biden?  Apparently he was chosen by Mr. Obama for his foreign policy experience.  But in the Senate he is known as a gaffe prone, long-winded buffoon.

See:
Joe Biden, Because He Has No Integrity, Demeans Himself By Attacking Joe the Plumber

Energy
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What I recall most is this: Obama is for wind.  McCain is for nuclear.

It is more complex than that but not a lot.  McCain wants to drill more and his campaign events along with those of Governor palin frequently feature the chant, “Drill, Baby, Drill.”  Obama warmed up to the idea of additional drilling only late in the game.

Mr. McCain mentioned at the last presidential debate that we need more nuclear power plants in the United States.  He said the U.S. Navy has been the master of nuclear power for more than 50 years.

The United States is lagging far behind many nations, including Britain and France, in clean nuclear electricity generation.  Russia is assisting Iran with a nuclear plant.  Just today, China announced that it will assist Pakistan with the construction of two nuclear sites.  The U.S. even recently made an agreement to assist India with nuclear power.  Yet our own domestic nuclear industry is not building new nuclear plants with any regularity or verve.

I can’t recall Mr. Obama ever saying “nuclear.”

I think Mr. McCain is on the right track on energy — but I appreciate Mr. Obama’s commitment to clean power too.

TaskForce One.jpg
Above: This photo, taken 1964, shows three of the U.S. Navy’s early nuclear powered surface combatants.  Today, all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear powered.

Character

I feel like I know John McCain’s character, but I live with an immigrant wife who suffered similar torture and hardship.  McCain survived a very difficult time of prison and torture with distinction.  He’s been tested.  I like people who have been tested.

I do not know that Barack Obama has been tested.  He is a great talker but not a great “doer.”  A man of spoken great convictions, to me Barack Obama’s life is a mixture of avoidance, association with the wrong people and the avoidance of taking stands.  Barack Obama reminds me of the “Artful Dodger” from the in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.

New York Times writer Jodi Kantor researched the Obama record at the University of Chicago Law School.  On July 30, 2008, Jodi’s story appeared with the following included:

“I don’t think anything that went on in these chambers affected him,” said Richard Epstein, a libertarian colleague who says he longed for Mr. Obama to venture beyond his ideological and topical comfort zones. “His entire life, as best I can tell, is one in which he’s always been a thoughtful listener and questioner, but he’s never stepped up to the plate and taken full swings.”

I prefer, especially in the White House, men that take full swings.

In short and in closing, we consider this a very troubling election campaign that Senator Obama, for good or bad, will likely win.  And it seems as if the Senate and the House of Representatives will see an increased number of Democratic legislators.  A predominantly Democratic House, Senate and a White House occupied by a Democrat at the same time is not good for Americans in our view, but we trust the American voter…..

Obama Landslide? Poll Says Obama Leads McCain by 14 Points

October 14, 2008

With one day to go before the last “debate” between Barack Obama and John McCain and three weeks before election day, one poll says Obama will win by a landslide….
 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama leads his Republican rival John McCain by 14 percentage points, with three weeks to go until the U.S. election, a CBS News/New York Times poll showed on Tuesday.

Obama had 53 percent support to McCain’s 39 percent in the national opinion poll, CBS News said. Obama’s lead was 3 points higher than in the previous poll on October 6.

(Reporting by John O’Callaghan; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Barack Obama and John McCain at their second presidential debate ... 
Barack Obama and John McCain at their second presidential debate on October 7 in Nashville, Tennessee. The race for the White House has tightened slightly, with Obama’s lead over McCain narrowing to seven percentage points at the end of the past week, according to a Gallup tracking poll.(AFP/File/Paul J. Richards)

Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals

January 30, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 30, 2008

President Bush yesterday said for the first time that he was actually addicted to alcohol.  This may be a cause for celebration for care givers and addicted people who usually need great resources of hope to conquer addictions.

We are facing a crisis of drug and alcohol addiction in America. Most experts agree that about ten percent of our population of 300 million people are addicted or routine users. Many more family members, friends, co-workers and employers suffer harmful consequences – and our medical establishment is strained by people suffering from addictions.

On January 1, 2008, in almost every hospital emergency room across America, at least one or two individuals could be found suffering from Delirium Tremens (DTs), milder tremors, seizures and other alcohol and drug-related overdose symptoms.

My friend, physician and recovering alcoholic Len, took me for a post-party tour of a big city hospital emergency room on January 1.

“Look at the carnage following the biggest annual drinking binge Americans wink at every year. It will look like this the Monday after the Super Bowl, too,” Len told me.

In fact, experts say “Super Bowl Sunday” is the biggest day for drinking in America because it is an all day party. Most police agencies issue more tickets for impaired driving on “Super Sunday” than on any other day. And the Center for Science in the Public Interest claims that beer and alcohol advertizing for the Super Bowl targets underage drinkers.

Len invited me into his work environment after reading a Washington Times commentary I wrote for the December 27, 2007 editions. That article discussed the time of year when many recovering alcoholics and drug abusers relapse and end up in the hospital: the “holiday” season between Thanksgiving and January 1.

“For all sorts of reasons, many of the addicted who are in recovery and making progress crash and burn during the holidays. I think the pressure and chaos of buying too many presents and acting like a boy scout drives some in recovery back into really bad and sometimes fatal habits,” Len said.

Len is a recovering alcoholic who attends daily Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) meetings. Len is not his real name. We agreed to protect his anonymity in keeping with A.A. traditions and guarantees.

As an emergency room physician, Len has gained invaluable insight into the disease of the mind called addiction. He is also an expert in how many of his colleagues treat alcoholics and the drug addicted.

“Most physicians I know are first rate. They care deeply for their patients, spend the time necessary to provide excellent care, and operate fair and honest practices,” Len told me.

But once Len finished with what sounded like an American Medical Association (AMA) commercial, I told him I had personally seen some sloppy, even potentially criminally negligent “care” of the addicted doled out by his MD colleagues.

Two patients seeking emergency care for bouts with alcohol were not admitted to emergency rooms while I researched this topic. They were told to make an appointment for ten days to two weeks into the future. For some: this poses a life-threatening dilemma.

We also experienced physicians mis-prescribing and over prescribing drugs and medications to patients they knew to be addicted.

One doctor had his sleepless patient on Ambien for two years. The maximum recommended duration of Ambien therapy is one week. Ambien is addictive. Withdrawal symptoms include behavior changes, stomach pain, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, panic, tremors, and seizure (convulsions).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns doctors and pharmacists not to prescribe Ambien to alcoholics or other addicts.

We also saw doctors giving Xanax to drinking alcoholics to relieve anxiety.

Xanax relieves anxiety in people who do not drink: but it is never recommended for heavy drinkers. This medication may cause dependence. Addicts frequently react violently to the drug and vomit sometimes for hours after taking it and experience other distressing and even life-threatening side effects.

We also met a man who went to his doctor two years ago with severe anxiety symptoms. Today he rarely ventures out from his one-bedroom apartment. There are three deadbolts on the door. He has five physician prescribed drugs delivered to his apartment when he needs refills. He is no longer able to work. He is lost as a productive member of his family and our American society. 

Bill Alexander, who manages a private drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, recently told us, “There are doctors in America who are killing alcoholics and drug abusers because they haven’t properly availed themselves to the literature and education needed for treating the addicted and they pay too little attention to the warnings associated with all medications.”

We also observed a clear disregard for many addicted patients: an attitude and actions akin to racial prejudice.

Alcoholics and others are frequently looked down upon and can be viewed as “winos” or other disreputable types not worthy of full and complete diagnosis and care.

If the addicted man or woman seeking treatment causes the doctor to become unsettled, the doctor might quickly end the evaluation phase of treatment and hastily write prescriptions for pain killers, sleep aids and other drugs.

“Some doctors, but clearly not all, cut corners. They reach for the prescription pad too readily. They under evaluate and over-prescribe. They are in too much of a hurry. Even when the vast majority of care givers to the addicted advise doctors to first consider a cold-turkey detoxification – without the benefit of additional medications,” said Dr. Len.

“We doctors write prescriptions sometimes even when they are not mandated. Insurance companies pay most of the cost and the doctor feels that he has taken action on behalf of his patient. Some have even told me, ‘I gave the patient exactly what he wanted.’”

The patients, because they are addicted, often act irrationally and not in their own best interests. They self medicate, over medicate, and “shop” for agreeable doctors willing and ready to help them get their “fix.”

Addicts are risk takers – and even knowing that buying drugs below cost and on the street probably means the drugs are impure, dangerous or otherwise filled with a foreign country’s idea of a money-making substitute – they often use and abuse until death.

Despite the herculean efforts of an army of diligent care-givers and treatment facilities nation-wide, many alcoholics or drug addicted people are misdiagnosed, living on the streets, ignored, abused or shunned. Treatment facilities and in-patient care is at maximum capacity with no room for new comers. And the care of medical professionals is stretched thin.

One doctor told us, only after asking for anonymity, “You’ll be lucky if this man can see a physician’s assistant or a nurse. There are no doctors available.”

And more doctors may not necessarily make things better.

“Calling for more doctors, like prescribing more drugs, for an already overmedicated patient, may only make things worse,” said Dr. David Goodman, a professor of pediatrics and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, which researches heath care quality and costs.

He says as the American population grows and the “baby boomers” enter their retirement years, more doctors writing more prescriptions and seeing more patients only escalates the costs of an already exorbitantly expensive medical system.

He favors more study and analysis before anyone jumps to conclusions on how to solve the multi-faceted dilemma of our medical system’s future.

Then there is the case of actor Heath Ledger, who died in January 2008 in New York.

Though Heath himself admitted to The New York Times in November that he has taken two Ambien in a row to battle insomnia, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow says that the likelihood of an Ambien overdose is unlikely.

“By and large, Ambien is not something people overdose on,” he said. But Ambien is addictive and how it interacts in the human body with other prescription medications like those in Mr. Ledger’s SoHo living quarters is unclear.

Mr. Ledger had Xanax, Valium and other drugs in his apartment.

“It’s all Russian roulette once you start using these medicines in excess or start using these medicines with illegal drugs,” said Dr. Ablow, author of Living the Truth.

Of all of these prescription drugs, Xanax can be particularly harmful, especially considering that the Brokeback Mountain star reportedly had issues with substance abuse.

“If I could have taken one agent out of his possession prior to these events, and said, ‘This one is absolutely one you can’t have,’ it would’ve been a Xanax,” he says.

“I would never prescribe Xanax to someone with a potential substance abuse history — ever.”

The reason? Xanax is highly addictive because it takes effect quickly and is relatively short-acting (the pleasurable feeling you receive from it only lasts about four hours).

In contrast, Ambien can take longer to take effect and lasts eight hours, so a person can get a build-up of substances in their system without realizing it. Also, people who have a history of drug abuse are often unreliable in taking their medicines at the proper time or in the proper dose.

Often, drug abusers and addicts mix drugs recklessly.“I can think of few worse combinations than Xanax and cocaine because Xanax slows the heart and cocaine speeds the heart up, so you have two substances at odds with each other,” said Dr. Ablow. “So you can have a situation where someone is trying to dose themselves to an ideal mood state but their cardiac status is deteriorating and they can’t tell because Xanax suppresses the racing heartbeat.”

The bottom line is this: despite their best intentions, medical professions do not always have the time nor the knowledge to properly treat serious drug abusers and the addicted.

Secondly, too many times, doctors are in a rush and the addicted receive less than the full attention of medical staffs who determine that they have “higher priorities.”

Finally, the knowledge of how different drugs interact in the human body is far from complete. In fact, mixing drugs and doctor shopping are seriously dangerous and often times fatal.

John E. Carey is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times, a former senior U.S. military officer and president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.

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Drug Abuse, Drug Overdose Killed Heath Ledger
(February 6, 2008)

We added this new information on Wednesday evening, 30 January:Heath Ledger’s abuse of heroin, cocaine and pills forced his ex-fiancee Michelle Williams to drive him to rehab in 2006, but he didn’t want to go, Us Weekly reports.For three years, Williams was a firsthand witness to the actor’s use of alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, heroin and “a variety of pills,” a Ledger confidant reportedly told the magazine.In March 2006 — when their daughter, Matilda, was only 5 months old — Williams drove Ledger to Promises Treatment Center in Malibu, Calif., the confidant reportedly told Us Weekly. Ledger refused to check in, instead swaying her with a pledge to clean up, the source said.

Both Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were treated at Promises.

Even after the couple realized “they were in way over their heads,” according to a source, and split in September 2007, two sources told Us that Williams demanded Ledger be drug-tested before his visitations with Matilda.

When news of Ledger’s death broke last Tuesday, Williams was inconsolable, another source said.

“She cried and screamed as soon as she heard,” a source on the Swedish set of her latest film, “Mammoth,” told Us Weekly.

Pakistan says won’t let foreign troops on its soil

January 7, 2008
By Zeeshan Haider

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan will not allow any country to conduct military operations on its territory, officials said on Monday, rejecting a report that said the United States was considering authorizing its forces to act in Pakistan.

The New York Times said on Sunday the U.S. government was considering expanding the authority of the CIA and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in Pakistan.

The U.S. officials considering the move were concerned over intelligence reports that al Qaeda and the Taliban were ….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080107/ts_nm/pakistan_usa_dc;_ylt=
ApHGWCfaeLCcOIADRgPZmHb2_sEF