Archive for the ‘political’ Category

Good looks help women candidates, men not so much

October 31, 2008

Women running for top offices need to appear competent and attractive, according to a new study. For male candidates, seeming competent may be enough.

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

It’s a finding that could help justify heavy spending on makeup and wardrobe for Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, while at the same time raising questions about the need for a man like John Edwards to invest in a costly haircut.

“What we found was quite startling,” said Joan Y. Chiao of Northwestern University’s psychology department.

For male candidates, the only thing that mattered to male voters was competence, while female voters preferred men who seemed both competent and approachable.

But for “female candidates for a hypothetical election for the United States presidency, both male and female voters were more likely to vote for candidates that were both competent and attractive,” Chiao said in a telephone interview.

“Neither trait (alone) was sufficient to predict whether a person was going to vote for that candidate,” she added. Chiao’s findings are being published online by the journal PLoS ONE.

“For female candidates, it really matters if they’re perceived as competent and perceived as attractive. Those two qualities are sort of twin predictors of whether or not someone is going to be more or less likely to vote for them,” Chiao stressed.


“There are a lot of potential theories,” she said. Most likely may be the way people choose friends and mates.

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Britain in for long haul in Pakistan: Foreign secretary

April 21, 2008

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – Visiting Foreign Secretary David Miliband Sunday said Britain wanted a long-term partnership with Pakistan to end militancy in its tribal area bordering Afghanistan.
Miliband was in Peshawar city in northwestern Pakistan, close to the Afghanistan border, for talks with new local government leaders. He is due to meet Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in Islamabad on Monday.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband (seen here earlier this year) ... 
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has visited Peshawar city in northwestern Pakistan, close to the Afghanistan border, for talks with new government leaders.(AFP/Shaun Curry)

“Britain is going to be a partner for a long term. We are not here for a quick fix,” Miliband told a press conference later.

“We are here for a long-term partnership with the country with whom we have very strong cultural, economic and political ties.”

In Peshawar Miliband met provincial governor Owais Ghani and chief minister Amir Haider Hoti to discuss security issues and ongoing cooperation over development in Pakistan’s tribal areas, officials said.

A new government comprising secular parties has replaced the Islamist-led administration of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal which ruled the rugged and lawless North West Frontier Province between 2002-2007.

Britain is providing development aid for Pakistan, especially in its troubled tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, a known hideout for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

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McCain: I learned from Keating Five case

March 23, 2008
By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – Sen. John McCain‘s ethics entanglement with a wealthy banker ultimately convicted of swindling investors was such a disturbing, formative experience in his political career that he compares the scandal in some ways to the five years he was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

US. Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain is ... 

“I faced in Vietnam, at times, very real threats to life and limb,” McCain told The Associated Press. “But while my sense of honor was tested in prison, it was not questioned. During the Keating inquiry, it was, and I regretted that very much.”

In his early days as a freshman senator, McCain was known for accepting contributions from Charles Keating Jr., flying to the banker’s home in the Bahamas on company planes and taking up Keating’s cause with U.S. financial regulators as they investigated him.

The Keating Five was the derisive name given McCain and four Democratic senators who were defendants in a congressional ethics investigation of their connections to Keating. McCain is the only one still in the Senate. They were accused of trying to intimidate regulators on behalf of Keating, a real estate developer in Arizona and owner of Lincoln Savings and Loan based in Irvine, Calif.

Keating and his associates raised $1.3 million combined for the campaigns and political causes of all five. McCain’s campaigns received $112,000.

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Pakistan army chief vows to stay out of politics — Musharraf to Convene Parliament

March 7, 2008

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan‘s army chief Thursday rejected suggestions of any rift between the military and embattled President Pervez Musharraf, and insisted the armed forces would stay out of politics.

Ashfaq Kayani, who succeeded Musharraf as army chief, told a gathering of top military commanders in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that the military had no intention of becoming more involved in the political process.
Pakistan's army chief Ashfaq Kayani rejected suggestions ... 
Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Kayani rejected suggestions of any rift between the military and embattled President Pervez Musharraf, and insisted the armed forces would stay out of politics.(AFP/HO)

“He pointed out that any kind of schism, at any level, under the circumstances would not be in the larger interest of the nation,” the military said in a statement.

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Musharraf to Convene Parliament

JACOBABAD, Pakistan (AFP) – Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Friday he would convene the country’s new parliament within ten days and vowed his full support to the incoming coalition government.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Friday he would convene ...
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Friday he would convene the country’s new parliament within ten days and vowed his full support to the incoming coalition government.(AFP/File/John Thys)

Speaking at the opening of water-supply project in southern Sindh province, Musharraf said the international community recognised that he had fulfilled his pledge to hold free and fair elections.

“The national and provincial assemblies sessions will be called in a week or one and half weeks. There will be no hurdle to this,” state-run Pakistan television showed him as saying.

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Hundreds at funeral of Vietnam pro-democracy activist

February 16, 2008

By Frank Zeller
HANOI (AFP) – Hundreds of Vietnamese relatives and supporters on Saturday attended the funeral of veteran pro-democracy activist Hoang Minh Chinh, a politically charged event held under heavy police scrutiny.

Several dissidents in the one-party state were able to attend the ceremony for the Communist Party veteran-turned-activist who spent much of his life in jail or under house arrest for advocating a multi-party system.

“Today is a big event for democratic activists because Professor Chinh is one of our most renowned activists,” said another prominent critic of the government, Pham Hong Son, who has also spent years in prison.

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A Hanoi street. Hundreds of Vietnamese relatives and supporters ...
A Hanoi street. Hundreds of Vietnamese relatives and supporters on Saturday attended the funeral of veteran pro-democracy activist Hoang Minh Chinh, a politically charged event held under heavy police scrutiny.
(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Democrats in Denial

January 4, 2008

 By Michael Gerson
The Washington Post
Friday, January 4, 2008; Page A21

If 2006 was a year of denial for the Bush administration — demonstrating that patience in pursuit of a failing military strategy is not a virtue — 2007 was a period of awakening. Like Abraham Lincoln before him, the president discovered the cathartic pleasure of replacing generals. In Petraeus, Bush found his Grant. He also found that war, like politics, is the art of adjustment.

As the political blitzkrieg of 2008 begins in earnest, it is the Democrats who, on a number of key issues, are living in a state of denial.

Instead of criticizing an increasingly successful Iraq strategy, it would be helpful to hear some realistic proposals to improve American prospects in Afghanistan, where violence has reached its highest level in four years. NATO‘s military efforts in that country are uncoordinated, even incoherent — demonstrating the risks of multilateralism. The resolve of some European nations is wavering. An al-Qaeda ministate is developing across the Pakistan border. How would a Democratic response differ from the current one?

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Clinton-China Fundraising Connection

October 21, 2007

The candidate’s unparalleled China-connected fundraising success relies largely on the least-affluent residents of New York’s Chinatown — most of whom can’t be tracked down.

By Peter Nicholas and Tom Hamburger
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 19, 2007

NEW YORK — Something remarkable happened at 44 Henry St., a grimy Chinatown tenement with peeling walls. It also happened nearby at a dimly lighted apartment building with trash bins clustered by the front door.

And again not too far away, at 88 E. Broadway beneath the Manhattan bridge, where vendors chatter in Mandarin and Fujianese as they hawk rubber sandals and bargain-basement clothes.

All three locations, along with scores of others scattered throughout some of the poorest Chinese neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been swept by an extraordinary impulse to shower money on one particular presidential candidate — Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton’s campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000. When Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) ran for president in 2004, he received $24,000 from Chinatown.

At this point in the presidential campaign cycle, Clinton has raised more money than any candidate in history.

Those Chinese dishwashers, waiters and street stall hawkers are a significant part of the reason.

Campaign concerns

As with other campaigns looking for dollars in unpromising places, the Clinton operation also has accepted what it later conceded were improper donations. At least one reported donor denies making a contribution. Another admitted to lacking the legal-resident status required for giving campaign money. Clinton aides said they were concerned about some of the Chinatown contributions.

The Times examined the cases of more than 150 donors who provided checks to Clinton after fundraising events geared to the Chinese community. One-third of those donors could not be found using property, telephone or business records. Most have not registered to vote, according to public records.

And several dozen were described in financial reports as holding jobs — including dishwasher, server or chef — that would normally make it difficult to donate amounts ranging from $500 to the legal maximum of $2,300 per election.

Of 74 residents of New York’s Chinatown, Flushing, the Bronx or Brooklyn that The Times called or visited, only 24 could be reached for comment.

War By Every Possible Means

August 10, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 10, 2007

America is losing the world-wide war against America. That’s right, the world-wide war against America.

This is not just our war against terrorists or terrorism. This is also about three or four-fifths of the rest of the world opposing the “Only Superpower.”

Just as when ancient Rome became decadent and soft and hired more and more mercenaries to fight its wars; we Americans are discussing gay marriage at political “debates” while China and Russia make deals to oppose the U.S. plan to throttle Iran’s nuclear program.

While John Edwards is getting his $400.00 haircut, about one million Chinese “hackers” are launching a cyber attack against U.S. computers.

Why does Newt Gingrich, a student of history and a well schooled Washington insider, add to his speeches, “We are in trouble, and somebody had better start talking about it in a blunt way.”

You think that is just a cute tag line or does he believe it?

The war we are already engaged in is a world-wide war against the U.S. and that’s us.

We at Peace and Freedom view “war” as a struggle for dominance in many areas: geo-political influence, resources, science and technology and everything else. The U.S. has already proven, with the assistance of terrorists and insurgents from around the globe, that the best military doesn’t always “win.” The lessons of the war in Vietnam are locked in which Pentagon safe?

What we are talking about is a war by every possible means that is being launched against the U.S. and to which the U.S. should respond. It is a war to assemble political, manufacturing, military, technological and mineral wealth.

And we are losing.

Consider China. You have read any news lately in any credible “world view” publication or web site that DIDN’T have some jaw dropping news about China?

Here are just a few topics and headlines recently from China (and a few other places):

China could use pile of cash to invest in USA

China Threat: “Nuclear Option” Against U.S. Economy

China’s Golden Cyber-Shield

Vietnam: New Gold Rush

In Iraq, China Arming Both Sides: U.S.

Report: Risk of nuclear warfare rising

Missiles Everywhere

A $1.5 trillion mistake: Pakistan, North Korea, Iran and the Nuclear Nexus

Well, you get the idea.

During the last year, China opened the world’s largest seaport: in Pakistan. China deflected international pressure on the genocide in Darfur so it could continue to hustle Sudan’s leadership to gain a monopoly over that county’s oil. China destroyed a satellite with an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test. A Chinese submarine maneuvered undetected into a position that allowed it to surface within sight of a U.S. aircraft carrier. North Korea tested at least one nuclear device. Iran threatened to go nuclear and tested missiles of increasing range: perhaps they can already reach into Europe. And while the U.N. and U.S. wring their hands about pollution and global warming, China continues to hide behind the legalese that it is a “developing nation” and exempt from restrictions like those in the Kyoto pact. That air pollution over Beijing is from manufacturing, my friend. A manufacturing juggernaut.

During the last year Vladimir Putin in Russia has opposed the U.S. on all fronts, invoking old Cold War rhetoric. Russia has been reinvigorated by oil wealth.

Chihuahuas like Hugo Chavez upped their ugly rhetoric and initiated more anti-U.S. positions and actions.

Cindy Sheehan when to Venezuela to visit. Nancy Pelosi went to Syria to visit. And during a Democratic debate, Barak Obama said he’s go anywhere to visit.

While Meredith Viera of NBCs TODAY Show tasted Chinese cuisine in Beijing to the delight of some grinning Chinese stooge Olympic handler, China was sucking as much iron and tin out of Africa as it could find.

While Americans sat transfixed to Paris Hilton and other meaningless and fleeting news, some ground-shaking world events have occurred. What we need to know is: has this been due to geological shifts or nuclear testing?

I don’t want to be painted an alarmist and dismissed to a corner of the room. What we are urging is a reawakening of our view of the world situation and a change to the sleepwalking politicians at the debates so far. Get Dennis Kucinich off the stage for God’s sake and let’s hear what Mr. Gingrich has to say.

My friend Les Lothringer, who lives and works in China and has spent his lifetime understanding international business says, “The U.S. has made a mistake allowing so much manufacturing and R&D to come here [to China], or anywhere for that matter. It should be brought back to the U.S. The Chinese economy will slow. Americans will learn some financial discipline and American domestic technical know-how, which made the US pre-eminent, will assert itself.”

To ignore Les’ advice is folly, we believe. Viewed as a monopoly board, all the hotels and properties are headed out of the U.S.

And we are not even discussing this mass migration.


 Excellent Gingrich Speech, National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007

Americans Swallowing Communist Precept: Ideology Over Competence

Beijing is rushing to make its air clean for the 2008 Olympics, but experts say it will be impossible for the site to be totally safe for athletes at the global sporting event.
Beijing on a “clear” day…..

Russia, China and allies play war game
Prioritizing Trouble