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Obama's Syria Neo-Con Job

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Playing Alice at the Post: WaPo Through the Looking Glass on Ukraine Reportage

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Bad News at the Pump

The Bad News at the Pump: The $100-plus Barrel of Oil and What It Means
by Michael T. Klare
On Monday March 3, the price of crude oil reached $103.95 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, surpassing the record set nearly 30 years ago during another moment of chaos in the Middle East.
Will that new mark prove distinctive in the annals of world history or will it be forgotten as energy prices drop, just as they did following their April 1980 peak?
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Executive Accomplices

Executive Privilege on the Firing Line
by Scott Horton
Former White House counsel Harriet Miers and chief of staff Joshua Bolten have been sued by the House of Representatives, which now seeks to enforce its subpoenas through a special legal action in the federal district court in Washington.
The New York Times’ Neil Lewis describes the suit in these terms:
  • "The confrontation between the White House and Congressional Democrats escalated on Monday as the House Judiciary Committee asked a federal judge to force Harriet E. Miers, former White House counsel, and Joshua B. Bolten, White House chief of staff, to provide information about the dismissals of federal prosecutors in 2007.

  • "Citing legal guidance from the White House, Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten have refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas seeking information and documents involving the firings. The suit before Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court in Washington says neither Ms. Miers nor Mr. Bolten may avoid the subpoenas by citing executive privilege, the doctrine that allows advisers’ advice to the president to remain confidential."

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Canada Votes: War or Peace?

War or Peace?
by Catherine Whelan Costen
March 13, 2008 Canadian MP’s will vote on whether to extend Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan to 2011. Of course we know that our MP’s represent the people of the nation, so their vote is our vote. How can they know our desires when we are so uninformed regarding this issue?
Canadians would respond better to the situation if we knew more about what is really going on. Canadians and people all over the world are seeking peace. Historically speaking though, peace is ever as profitable as war. So, is peace really desirable? Are we on a peace mission? Are we aspiring to create peace?

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Gaza's 'Shoah'

The Meaning of Gaza's 'Shoah'
by Jonathan Cook
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s much publicized remark last week about Gaza facing a “shoah” -- the Hebrew word for the Holocaust -- was widely assumed to be unpleasant hyperbole about the army’s plans for an imminent full-scale invasion of the Strip.

More significantly, however, his comment offers a disturbing indication of the Israeli army’s longer-term strategy towards the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

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Hillary's Bait & Switch

The Commander Threshold: Hillary's Bait & Switch Tactics
by Jack Random
One of the great wrongs of the current presidential campaign is that Hillary Clinton is being allowed to define the terrain.  

With the economy sinking like a torpedoed cruise liner, we leave NAFTA and Free Trade behind because Hillary has decided it is time to discuss thresholds for Commander-in-Chief. 
Little wonder:  Any discussion of the economy that does not begin with trade policy is like debating which brand of aspirin we should purchase for a dying patient.  
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Friends in Low Places: Karl Rove's Press Gang

Mr. Blackledge’s Black Helicopters
by Scott Horton
Back in October, as the House Judiciary Committee was conducting its first hearings into the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman, I spoke with Simon Heller, the legal director of a Washington-based advocacy organization called the Alliance for Justice. Heller told me he had gotten a telephone call.
  • “It was strange. The man on the other end of the phone identified himself as a reporter. But he certainly didn’t act like one. We had put out a press release talking about Judge Mark Fuller and the role he played in the Siegelman case, and questioning how, given his many conflicts, he had failed to recuse himself. But this reporter wasn’t interested in our view. Instead he was hysterical, screaming into the phone, asking how we dared to criticize such a great American? I’ve never had a press experience quite like that one.”
The name of the reporter? Brett Blackledge, the award-winning prize star of the Birmingham News.

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Harper Budget Raids Employment Insurance Surpluses

Federal Budget 2008: Bracing for downturn?
by CBC News
Sixteen years of almost uninterrupted job growth has produced an embarrassment of riches in Canada's Employment Insurance account — a surplus, in fact, of $54 billion at current reckoning.

But with economic storm clouds gathering south of the border, the Conservative government looks to be preparing for some turbulence ahead. It is creating a special cushion of $2 billion in a side account to help pay for any quick surge in payouts caused by an economic downturn.

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Lucky 13: Canadian Parliament to Vote on Afghanistan

Manley Report: Ottawa Gets Advice On Prolonging Afghanistan War
by Roger Annis
Troubled by the failures of the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan, the Canadian government commissioned a review last October of the war and Canada’s participation.
A panel of five corporate and political figures was cobbled together in an effort to reach broader consensus among the war’s proponents.

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US Military’s Human-Testing Program Returns

Breaking the Nuremberg Code: The US Military’s Human-Testing Program Returns
by Heather Wokusch
The Pentagon is slated to release a suspected toxicant in Crystal City, Virginia this week, ostensibly to test air sensors.

The operation is just the latest example of the Defense Department’s long history of using service members and civilians as human test subjects, often without their consent or awareness.

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Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo

FINDING JELENA: Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo
by Jen Marlowe
On February 17, Kosovo declared independence.  The declaration was unilateral; Belgrade, which ruled the province until NATO air strikes in 1999 brought it under UN administration, refuses to consider anything other than a status of autonomy for Kosovo. 
Kosovo, Belgrade insists, remains the cradle of the Serbian nation.  Modern Serbs still commemorate the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Polje; it’s key to their sense of national identity. The US recognized the newly declared state; Russia has not. Tensions have erupted once again, though at the moment most of the violence has been directed towards the US Embassy and international troops, it could spill over into new violence between the communities.

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Southern Justice: Brain Dead, or Just Heartless?

A Brain-Dead Press
by Scott Horton
Back in the sixties, when the citizens of Alabama wanted to get a fair report on the progress of the Civil Rights movement in their state, they had to turn to the national media, and especially the network news, to get it. The local print and broadcast media would either grossly distort what was going on, or, more likely, they would simply report nothing.

In a sense those days are back. There are a handful of independent papers in the state, but the three Advance newspapers published in the state’s major urban areas, operate to the historical tradition of their most shameful moment. The big offenders, as I have chronicled repeatedly, are the Birmingham News and the Mobile Press-Register.
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