Friday, March 12

The Future of Africa 

It seems that every time a nation of Africa strikes oil there's an immense struggle between the local inhabitants and some shadow mercenary group hired by an outside oil company for possession of the oil fields. More often than usual, the oil company comes from a Western nation that stands for democracy and freedom. More often than usual, the local inhabitants that unite in their struggle to fight off the outside forces are labelled terrorists by their governments, who are paid off in debt-restructuring loan deals by the IMF and the World Bank. What is the future of Africa in the 21st century as oil becomes scarce and the West sends its armies of millions scavenging the globe for black gold? Whatever the U.S. wants these days, it usually takes.

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Muddled Message On The War 

Boston Globe
By Joan Vennochi, 3/9/2004

"BRING IT ON" is the mantra of John Kerry's presidential campaign. So why complain when President Bush does just that, with campaign commercials that portray images of the destroyed World Trade Center?

Foreign policy and national security is the debate that Kerry says he wants; if so, Sept. 11 is where the debate begins. The planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field were a declaration of war. The country's foreign policy and national security debate runs directly from those ashes and ruins to America's war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

[read article...]

As Kerry begs for mercy, Bush should keep hitting him between the eyes.

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Bush Doing Well With Those Who Can't Understand Him 

As Atrios points out, Bush is doing really well. Big cheering crowds appear at his campaign events. Things look great for W.

"Security people kept reporters from interviewing the workers at U.S.A. until the president was on the way to his next stop.

But when workers were finally interviewed -- these people who made up the bulk of the president's cheering audience in New York -- Bush's performance turned out to be, if anything, even more impressive.

'No speak English,' said the first worker, smiling apologetically.

'No speak English,' said the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth workers way-laid in the crowd.

But you think the tax cuts should be made permanent, as he says?
'Sorry, no English,' said another."

Great as long as no one in the crowd has any idea what he is saying.

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"Your senators came to Washington to do good" 

"Senators are shrewd investors"
by Mark Hulbert


ANNANDALE, Va.(CBS.MW) - Your senators came to Washington to do good.

And they apparently have done very well indeed.

That's the shocking conclusion to emerge from a recent study of the financial disclosure reports that U.S. senators are required periodically to file.

The study, "Abnormal Returns from the Common Stocks Investments of the United States Senate," has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Its authors are Alan Ziobrowski, a professor at Georgia State University; Ping Cheng, a professor a Florida Atlantic University; James Boyd, a professor at Kent State University; and Brigitte Ziobrowski, a professor at Augusta State University.

These researchers constructed a hypothetical portfolio from the nearly six thousand common stock transactions that senators reported that they undertook during the six-year period from 1993 through 1998.

Each time a senator bought a stock, for example, this hypothetical portfolio bought that same stock on the same day -- and held it for a year.

If this portfolio gave equal weight to each stock, it produced a 25.8 percent annualized return over this period. A so-called "trade-weighted" portfolio, which weighted each stock according to how much the senators invested in it, produced a 34.1 percent annualized return.

In contrast, the Wilshire 5000 over this same period produced a 20 percent annualized return.

As the researchers conclude, in their inimitable academic jargon, "it seems clear that senators have demonstrated a definite informational advantage over other investors."

This conclusion prompted me to see how many investment newsletter portfolios over this same period were able to beat the stock market. How rare was it during this six-year period for advisers to produce the kind of returns produced by the senators' stock picks?

The Hulbert Financial Digest has data for 347 separate newsletter portfolios over this six-year period. It turns out that only 39 of them - or 11 percent -- beat the Wilshire 5000. . . .

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Thursday, March 11

My Favorite Blog Of The Day 

From blogforamerica:

Upcoming Events to Note:

Today’s schedule eastern time:

5:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry meets with DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe at DNC Headquarters, Washington, D.C. to thank him for assassinating Dean and making Kerry's candidacy.

March 25, 2004: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), fmr. President Bill Clinton, and fmr. President Jimmy Carter headline a "Unity Dinner" with former 2004 presidential candidates to commemorate the opening of the DNC's new headquarters, D.C. This is Clinton's last chance to stick it to Dean and gloat that his plan worked.

March 16, 2004: "Staffers," a documentary about life on the campaign trail featuring members of the Kerry campaign, airs on the Discovery Times Channel. This will be an "unbiased" look at how organized, professional, loving the Kerry staffers are...and how they NEVER resorted to slanderous disgusting Osama ad campaigns, push polling, negative campaigning to the extreme, stealing Dean's message and platform verbatim while criticizing him for it, sending voters for Dean to wrong polling places, or any of the verified facts for which they are accused.

March 18, 2004: George Stephanopoulos moderates a debate between Catholic University graduates Ed Gillespie ('83) and Terry McAuliffe ('79) at their alma mater, D.C. Mr. McAuliffe, gloating once more in his power hungry assassination of Dean, will use all Dean's platform and message to state why he...and his almighty powerful...will invigorate American voters to vote against Bush. Gillespie will give a canned response, secretly knowing that McAuliffe will be eating crow come November.

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Who Dares to Say This? 

Can you believe the incredibly negative campaigning that is going on already? One of the candidates even said this about Bush in an interview in Houston:

"And as I tell people, war's what they got with George W. Bush as the president."

That's cold. We'd better find out who said that. (Beep beep beep, click) The lowlife who suggests that this president is all about war? Um, well.... oh. I see. Um, we don't need to say anything. It was probably taken out of context. He must of meant something else. Why would George W. Bush say that about himself?

He also recently told people that we need to "be asking ourselves, what does it take to increase more jobs,". See, it isn't enough to have more jobs, or to simply increase jobs. Everyone knows that if we decrease less unemployment it should work.

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Coup Was Planned For Oil-Rich Guinea; Mercenaries "face the severest punishment: capital punishment" 

Bush-Blair's Bay of Pigs


British 'mercenary chief' faces execution in Zimbabwe
By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg and Andrew Buncombe in Washington
11 March 2004

Zimbabwe threatened last night to execute more than 60 suspected mercenaries - among them a former SAS officer - and it accused Britain, Spain and America of helping to orchestrate an attempted coup in the oil-rich African country of Equatorial Guinea.

Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Stan Mudenge, said the men, who were detained when their plane landed in Harare, were on their way to Equatorial Guinea where they were plotting to overthrow the government and seize the head of state. "They are going to face the severest punishment available in our statutes, including capital punishment," he said.

Snowball says: Everywhere you see conflict in the world these days, the kind of conflict that erupts in violence, coup d'etats and war, oil or drugs is at the center of it. Take Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Venezuela, Haiti, Georgia, Iran, now Equatorial Guinea. The CIA Factbook reports on Equatorial Guinea, "The discovery and exploitation of large oil reserves have contributed to dramatic economic growth in recent years." Although the source of Georgia's economy is citrus fruits and tea, the CIA Factbook mentions another source of revenue for the country, "The country is pinning its hopes for long-term growth on its role as a transit state for pipelines and trade. The start of construction on the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-T'bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline will bring much-needed investment and job opportunities." Venezuela is the United States' main supplier of oil. For the past three years, Bush has been trying to get President Chavez kicked out of office. So far, Chavez has not budged largely due to the fact that he has the army totally on his side as well as all of the poor.

Chechnya has been a war zone for years. The source of conflict, it wishes to be independent of Russia, but Russia doesn't because it is the area from which oil from the Caspian Sea flows into the country throught the Trans-Balkan Pipeline. The U.S. wants the Caspian Sea under total U.S. domination.

If you wish to read up a little more on the flashpoints for further war and bloodshed and U.S. hegemony in the world over oil, I encourage you to start here:


just type 'oil'.

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Wednesday, March 10

Another Item To NOT Read 

Billmon nails Rove. Not a pretty site.

Whatever you do, avoid reading A Turd Blossom By Any Other Name at Whiskey Bar. Especially if you hope to see George, Dick, Rummy, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz and the others for four more beers... I mean years.

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Lincoln Bedroom for Rent Again 

The AP has published a look at who my close personal friend, W., is inviting to the White House for overnight stays. Now, just becuase he criticized Clinton for rewarding donors doesn't mean that is what is happening right now. It's all friends. I'm sure there are no donors on the list. He wouldn't do that. Let's check the top fundraisers for him - they're names won't be on the list, right?

"At least nine of Bush's biggest fund-raisers appear on the latest list of White House overnight guests, covering June 2002 through December 2003, and-or on the Camp David list, which covers last year. They include:

_Mercer Reynolds, an Ohio financier, former Bush partner in the Texas Rangers baseball team and former ambassador to Switzerland. Reynolds is leading Bush's campaign fund-raising effort. He was a guest at the White House and the Camp David retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.

_Brad Freeman, a venture capitalist who is leading Bush's California fund-raising effort, has raised at least $200,000 for his re-election campaign and is also a major Republican Party fund-raiser. Freeman stayed at the White House.

_Roland Betts, who raised at least $100,000 for Bush in 2000, was a Bush fraternity brother at Yale and a Texas Rangers partner. Betts stayed at the White House and Camp David.

_William DeWitt, a Bush partner in the oil business and Texas Rangers who has raised at least $200,000 for Bush's re-election effort, stayed at the White House.

_Joseph O'Neill, an oilman and childhood friend who introduced Bush to Laura Bush and raised at least $100,000 for each of Bush's presidential campaigns, stayed at the White House.

_Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and New York Gov. George Pataki, who each raised at least $200,000 for Bush's re-election campaign, were White House guests.

_James Langdon, who raised at least $100,000 for Bush, is a Washington attorney specializing in international oil and gas transactions. Langdon, whose clients include the Russian oil company Lukoil, is a member of Bush's foreign intelligence advisory board and served on Bush's 2000 presidential transition team on energy policy."

Well, um... uh... it's not what you think. We shouldn't have read this. Erase it from your mind.

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Liberal Group Moveon Behind 9/11 Families Criticizing Bush Ad 

Perhaps even Eli Pariser, founder of Moveon.org, wrote what the families said as well. Not very spontaneous, Eli.

The San Francisco Chronicle
March 9, 2004
Editorial, Debra Saunders

"The Bodies Politic"

"...Despite news stories that presented the families as apolitical people hurt by political rough-and-tumble, Peaceful Tomorrows isn't so much a group representing the families of the 3,000 Sept. 11 victims as one representing the some 100 anti-war activists among the victims' families."


"The families of those who died that day say the Bush campaign ads are offensive," MSNBC duly reported. But that and other reports left out the name of the sponsoring group, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, and the political group that called the press conference. Deep in a Saturday New York Times story, the organizer was named as the Democratic Party-friendly political group Moveon.org."

[read editorial...]

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Tuesday, March 9

I'll Tell You After You Hire Me 

From the AP:

"Mark McClellan, President Bush's choice to run Medicare, said Monday he won't answer senators' questions about his opposition to importing prescription drugs from Canada before he takes over the government health program.

Republican leaders in the Senate want to vote to confirm McClellan by the end of the week, as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services tries to put in place the Medicare overhaul that Bush signed last year.

However, McClellan's rejection of the request from Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrats Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan sets up the prospect that they will use Senate procedures to drag out the confirmation.

McClellan, at a hearing on his nomination at the Senate Finance Committee, said he would answer the senators' questions 'as soon as this confirmation process is concluded.'"

This is a great approach that we should all use with any job.

"Will you arrive at work on time?" I'll tell you if you hire me.

"Can you operate a computer?" I'll tell you if you hire me.

"Why do you want to work here?" I'll tell you if you hire me.

Yes, indeed, a great new approach to hiring people.

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Monday, March 8

Only 63 Mercenaries - Coup Coup Catchoo 

Snowball and others would have to bring this, um, unfortunate, uh, circumstance to your attention.Please, don't pay attention to this story.

"'The plane was actually carrying 64 suspected mercenaries of various nationalities,' he said Monday.

'Further investigations also revealed that on board the plane was military material.'

Mohadi said full details would be issued in due course but that in the meantime investigations were under way to establish the 'true identities of the men and their ultimate mission'.

The plane had been moved to a military base, he said.

What had been done with those on board was not immediately clear."

Also, don't pay attention to the 21,000 jobs created last month being government jobs. And don't notice that we used actors playing firemen in the offensive Bush ads. And really don't look into the electronic spying by the Republicans, the demand for Air Force One records , McCain asking for more powers in the WMD investigation, Bush's upcoming visit to Ground Zero between fundraising dinners, or really anything.

That's it. Don't pay attention to anything, and everything will seem just fine. Shoot, I brought up the republican party fines again. Don't pay attention to it.

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"Here Goes Bush Plotting A Coup Again, A Coup Again, A Coup Again" 

"Here goes Bush plotting a coup again, so early in the morning."

Zimbabwe Seizes U.S.-Registered Cargo Plane Allegedly Carrying Military Equipment, Suspected Mercenaries
The Associated Press
Published: Mar 8, 2004

[read story...]

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