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Today Michigan, Tomorrow…? The ‘Say One Thing, Do Another’ Syndrome Alive And Well in DC, Economy NOT Recovering

February 28th, 2012 - by:

 Today is the Michigan Primary

The Boston Globe: ROCKFORD, Mich. – Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney yesterday accused each other of being unfit for the Republican presidential nomination in the finale to a primary vote today that could reshape the contest once again.
Santorum called Romney “uniquely unqualified’’ to be the nominee, saying his rival’s Massachusetts health care plan would hinder Republicans from criticizing President Obama’s similar federal plan. He also again described Romney’s claim of conservatism as laughable. “Michigan, you have the opportunity to stop the joke,’’ Santorum said.

Romney, for his part, called Santorum “a nice guy but he’s never had a job in the private sector. . . . I think to create jobs it helps to have a guy as president who’s had a job.

Globe: Romney Predicts Victory As Sentorum Appeals to Dems

…the Santorum campaign used automated telephone calls to encourage Michigan Democrats to vote against the former Massachusetts governor.

Only declared Republicans may vote in Tuesday’s GOP primary, but party rules allow voters to change their affiliation temporarily on the spot.

Santorum’s “robocall” says Democrats should send “a loud message” to Romney by voting for Santorum.

Fluent:  Romney and Santorum Give Obama a Boost in Michigan

HP: Supreme Court and “Corporate Personhood”

As Bad As I Thought

Last week in an essay I wrote about imagining a memo from The “Department of Pre-War Planning and Threat Exaggeration,” I tried to put myself in the head of  one of those options heads who advises the president and wrote:

“As you requested, here is the scenario for how we can launch a war on Iran while publicly denying we are doing so.”

And then yesterday, I realized how clairvoyant I was when I read a front page story in the NY Times  about  President Obama criticized the GOP’s deficit proposals while actually adopting them.

That headline said: “Adapting a Panel’s Ideas, While Seeming Not To.”

Duh!

I may have been more right than I wanted to be. Read this IPS report.

When’ to Attack Iran, Not ‘If’. Analysis by Pierre Klochendler

JERUSALEM, Feb 27 2012 (IPS) – “The quiet before the storm” is how Israeli pundits describe the countdown – not to Israel going solo on Iran’s nuclear and military installations, but to the meeting between due Monday next week between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuFollowing last week’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem by top U.S. envoys, it’s the turn of Israeli leaders to come to Washington. The Prime Minister is expected at the White house on Mar. 5, two days after Israeli President Shimon Peres.Repeated U.S. warnings prior the presidential meetings couldn’t be more blunt. “It’s not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,” chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey told CNN.”The U.S. government is confident that the Israelis understand our concerns,” added Gen. Dempsey. For Israeli decision-makers, not U.S. “concerns”, but confidence is their main concern.They appreciate the U.S.-led international effort to contain Iran’s nuclear effort – privately, they’re even prepared to say the sanctions go beyond their initial expectations. Then, why stubbornly keeping the timing of a would-be pre-emptive attack on Iran shrouded in ambiguity, if not for tactical purposes.

Is the economy “recovering.”  The White House implies it is. Martin Andelman says: “NO WAY”

The way things stand today, housing won’t “bottom” this year, it won’t bottom next year, and it won’t bottom the year after that, and should you come across someone who has money and disagrees vehemently, please give them my email so I can make some extra cash on the side.

How do I know this?  Well, I’ve been right since 2007 and that would be pretty remarkable if there was anything else that could possibly have happened… but there couldn’t have been, so the more interesting question is how can all these people running our show be so consistently wrong?  That’s the question, and I’ve asked it before… are they stupid or lying?

Housing can’t bottom because there’s essentially no demand for housing, okay… very little demand for housing… and you don’t need a calculator to figure this one out.

Gary Younge, Guardian: Occupy Fights Foreclosures

The Itinerant US Left Has Found Its Home In The Occupy Movement Far from alienating middle America, the progressive
movement has captured the public and political imagination

WP: Police Dismantle Occupy Site In London

Protests Planned Against Police Abuse of Occupy Movement. RCP led Rally Today in Union Square, NY and other Cities

Occupy Arts Group Calls for End of Whitney Biennial

Bankster News

Common Dreams:  The Debt Threat

Looting: Another Company, Another Country, Another Theft

Ml-Implode.com: The suspension of AIJ Investment Advisors Co.’s operations amid concerns hedge funds it manages had lost pension money may undermine plans by Japan’s retirement funds to boost returns to meet demand in an aging society.

The Financial Services Agency on Feb. 24 ordered the Tokyo- based firm with 183.2 billion yen ($2.3 billion) of client money to stop business for a month as the regulator investigates “possible losses” at AIJ’s hedge funds. The FSA also will undertake a nationwide probe of 263 asset managers.

Fluent: ‘S&P declares Greek “selective default” after bailout’ 

Murdochians Accused of Bribes and Corruption in the UK

NYT:  LONDON — The officer leading a police investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers said on Monday that reporters and editors at The Sun tabloid had over the years paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for information not only to police officers but also to a “network of corrupted officials” in the military and the government.

The officer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, said that e-mail records obtained by the police showed that there was a “culture at The Sun of illegal payments” that were authorized “at a very senior level within the newspaper” and involved “frequent and sometimes significant sums of money” paid to public officials in the Health Ministry and the prison service, among other agencies.

The Independent: “Dramatic new evidence to the Leveson inquiry this week is expected to unleash a “bloodbath” of bitter recriminations between police and prosecution officials arguing over failings in a series of investigations into allegations of phone hacking, computer hacking and bribery by journalists. News International (NI) insiders say that the launch of The Sun on Sunday, only nine days after Rupert Murdoch’s announcement it was to go ahead, was brought forward because to launch a new paper in the wake of fresh revelations would be virtually impossible. The Leveson inquiry will this week begin to examine police-press relations, hearing evidence from the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, former deputy assistant Met commissioner Brian Paddick, former assistant commissioner John Yates, Andy Hayman – who led the original inquiry – former Metropolitan Police commissioners Sir Ian Blair and Sir Paul Stephenson and others. Revelations will include allegations that a web existed of corrupt public officials who received money from national newspapers, along with details of journalists who, over a period, have paid officials – in one case well into six figures – for stories. “It is jaw-dropping stuff,” said one legal source familiar with the evidence. “We will see the most sensational developments yet.” A second source claimed the allegations and counter allegations would result in a “bloodbath”. Opponents of the Murdoch organisation have said that if evidence emerged of phone hacking in the US, the damage to News Corps would dwarf the UK-based damage

The Guardian: Iranian Film Wins Oscar

Millions of Iranians stayed up all night to watch the film’s director, Asghar Farhadi, going up on the stage and delight his countrymen at a time when their lives are clouded with fear of war with Israel and crippling economic sanctions.

“At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy,” said Farhadi, while accepting the Oscar. “At the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.”

He added: “”I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

With his acceptance speeches at various international awards, including a Golden Globe in January, Farhadi has become an ambassador for peace from Iran, making Tehran’s regime – famous for its bellicose statements – infuriated with the film’s success in countries hostile towards the Islamic republic.

…A Separation was originally produced with permission from the Iranian government. But in the face of its success, the regime has not publicly denounced the film but many of its supporters have publicly spoken against it. In a programme broadcast in the state-run television, Masoud Ferasati, an Iranian writer whose views are close to those of the Islamic regime, said: “The image of our society that A Separation depicts is the dirty picture Westerners are wishing for.”

He added: “On one hand, they [the US] impose sanctions against us and on the other, they give award to our film, to send us a positive signal, I think this [the film's success] is an illusion. This is not a good film.” Ferasati’s remarks have been echoed by many other regime supporters.”

May I weigh in: It is a good film. Go See It for Yourself.

Ray McGovern: CNN Silences Anti-War Soldier

Yahoo: Journalists Escape Bombardment in Syria, 20 Die

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian forces shelled an opposition stronghold in Hama province, killing 20 people, on Tuesday and hit rebel-held parts of Homs, activists said, as two wounded foreign journalists trapped in the city were reported to have been smuggled safely to Lebanon.

Institute of Public Accuracy: Saudi Attacks Syrian Regime, While Repressing Its Eastern Provence

Toby Jones is an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University and author of the book “Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.” He said today: “Saudi Arabia is an unlikely champion of humanitarian causes. Indeed, the kingdom’s support of the armed opposition in Syria and its calls for military action against the Assad regime have little to do with principle or support for a democratic transition there. Instead, Riyadh seeks to alter the regional balance of power away from Iran, Assad’s most important patron, and in its favor. Syrian lives are pawns in this regional game. Just as important, Saudi leaders are also using the crisis in Syria to direct both foreign and domestic attention away from its own internal problems, most notably ongoing protests in its oil rich Eastern Province and the government’s brutal handling of them.”

Jess Hill, Middle East correspondent for the Global Mail, Hill just wrote the piece “The Growing Rebellion in Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s King has been unusually outspoken against Syria’s regime. But what about the rebellion in his own Kingdom? And what kind of ruler will his heir apparent be?” The piece states: “On Saudi Arabia’s much-anticipated ‘Day of Rage’ last year, government minders drove a BBC crew into the center of the capital, Riyadh, to film the ‘no-show’. Police had locked down the capital, and they were confident nobody would show up.

“Imagine their shock, then, when Khaled al-Johani, a teacher and father of five, walked straight up to the BBC crew, and said: ‘The royal family don’t own us! We have a right to speak.’ As government minders closed in on the group, he grew more emphatic: ‘If you speak, they will put you in jail after five minutes!’ When the BBC reporter asked him what would happen to him, he replied, ‘I will go in the jail with a big smile — because I am already in a jail!’ (Al-Johani was arrested that day, and has been in prison since March. He stood trial in a closed court on February 22; the verdict has not been made public.)

“Al-Johani was outspoken, but he was just one man. The world’s investment community breathed a sigh of relief. Why were we so worried about this ‘day of rage’? Saudis don’t protest. Most of them are too comfortable, and internal security is too effective. The Arab Spring won’t come to Saudi Arabia.

Fluent:  ’Janet Napolitano insists Mexico drug war not a failure’ 

Dead in Ohio

LBN Gunman In Custody in Ohio School Shooting: A Monday morning turned tragic at a high school in Chardon, Ohio, when a student gunman opened fire, killing one and wounding four others. A suspect has been taken into custody. Police and the local school superintendent tell CNN that the person fired in the cafeteria at the beginning of the school day Monday. Some of the students were evacuated via helicopter. “We just hope that they’re OK,”  an FBI agent told reporters outside the school.One parent told a CNN affiliate that the shooter was not firing randomly but was going for certain people.

The Plot to Kill Putin

A plot to kill Vladimir Putin by a group of Ukrainian assassins was uncovered by a joint operation of Ukrainian and Russian intelligence services, according to Russian news sources. The Russian leader is in the middle of a campaign to lock up a six-year term as the countrys president. While the thwarted plot was revealed by Russian media only on Monday, the arrests of the would-be assassins seem to have taken place either Jan. 4 or Feb. 4, after Ukrainian police were tipped off by an explosion in the plotters Odessa apartment. The assassination attempt was confirmed by a spokesman for Putin, who is currently Russias prime minister, on Monday.

More On Stratfor: How The Private Spy Agency Reached Out To South Africa’s Mail&Guardian

Shame:  ’Media Matters boss paid former partner $850G ‘blackmail’ settlement’

Larger Context: Media Matters burst on to the scene with a highly partisan form form of Media analysis. Run by a a right-wing analyst turned right-win critic, it attracted millions in funding from backers of  the Democratic Party whose notion of media criticism was largely a negative focus on right-wing media, not the corporate press. Sites like Mediachannel.org found itself out of favor with funders with narrow political objectives who wanted to bash the media they disliked, not promote media reform, literacy or criticism.

Worry: ‘Sleeping Pills Linked to Almost Fourfold Increase in Death Risk’ on Fluent News.

Your comments on the blog to dissector@mediachannel.org