Bush warns of ‘long and painful recession’

President Bush on Wednesday warned Americans and lawmakers reluctant to pass a $700 billion financial rescue plan that failing to act fast risks wiping out retirement savings, rising foreclosures, lost jobs, closed businesses and even “a long and painful recession.”

His dire warning came not long after the president issued extraordinary invitations to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, one of whom will inherit the mess in four months, as well as key congressional leaders to a White House meeting on Thursday to work on a compromise.

“Without immediate action by Congress, American could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold,” Bush said in a 12-minute prime-time address from the White House East Room that he hoped would help rescue his tough-sell bailout package.

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Russian troops in South Ossetian capitol to help stop violence

Ron Paul Fears Staged Iran Pretext Could Bring National Draft

Congressman Ron Paul fears that a staged incident exploited as a pretext to attack Iran may be the precursor to a national draft, as he responded to Sy Hersh’s astounding report that Dick Cheney proposed faking a Gulf of Tonkin style incident by killing Americans in the Straits of Hormuz and blaming it on Iran.

“The influence is still there that they want it to happen, they probably themselves don’t have a day set to do it but they’re waiting for an opportunity and something will come along,” Paul told the Alex Jones Show.

“They’re capable of doing anything,” said Paul, refering to the consideration unveiled in the Downing Street Memo, where Bush and Blair discussed painting a U2 spy plane in UN colors and goading Saddam to have it shot down as a pretext to invade Iraq.

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The Real State of the US Economy

In an eerie echo of President Herbert Hoover in 1930, during a Presidential campaign against Roosevelt, following the stock market crash and collapse of numerous smaller banks, Paulson recently appeared on national TV to declare “our banking system is a safe and sound one.” He added that the list of “troubled” banks “is a very manageable situation.” In fact what he did not say was that the US bank deposit insurance fund, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has a list of problem banks that numbers 90. Not included on that list are banks such as Citigroup, until recently the largest bank in the world.

The statement is hardly reassuring. The California savings bank, IndyMac Bank which was declared insolvent a month ago was not on the FDIC list a week before it collapsed. The reality is the crisis created by “securitizing” millions of home mortgages into new financial instruments and selling the packages to pension funds and investors is unfolding like a snowball rolling down the Swiss Alps.

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The Geopolitics of Iran: Holding the Center of a Mountain Fortress

To understand Iran, you must begin by understanding how large it is. Iran is the 17th largest country in world. It measures 1,684,000 square kilometers. That means that its territory is larger than the combined territories of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal – Western Europe. Iran is the 16th most populous country in the world, with about 70 million people. Its population is larger than the populations of either France or the United Kingdom.

Under the current circumstances, it might be useful to benchmark Iran against Iraq or Afghanistan. Iraq is 433,000 square kilometers, with about 25 million people, so Iran is roughly four times as large and three times as populous. Afghanistan is about 652,000 square kilometers, with a population of about 30 million. One way to look at it is that Iran is 68 percent larger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, with 40 percent more population.

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VIDEO: What is the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee?

Americans Say No to War with Iran

Despite what you may have read, this issue is not about nuclear proliferation—in fact an attack would increase the likelihood that Iran would acquire a nuclear weapon, says Sarah van Gelder.

Will Washington Listen?

Two weeks ago, I was alarmed to learn that congressional Democrats were sponsoring Resolution 362, which encourages what amounts to an act of war against Iran.

Today, there are more than 230 co-sponsors of the House resolution, but there is also growing mobilization to stop passage of Res. 362. What is especially stirring opposition is the provision that calls for:

“Prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”

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‘Israel to strike Iran after elections’

Israel is likely to attack Iran in the time between the November presidential election in the US and the inauguration of the new president, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the Daily Telegraph in an interview published Tuesday.

But he said he did not believe the US would take part in such a strike. “It’s clear that the administration has essentially given up that possibility,” he said. “I don’t think it’s serious any more. If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I thought it was a real possibility. I just don’t think it’s in the cards.”

“The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and to do things like increase their defenses,” Bolton said.

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Sarkozy to the Knesset: Nuclear Iran is ‘totally unacceptable’

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, were greeted Monday at the Knesset. The French leader addressed the plenum and stressed that his country would not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. He also spoke of the importance of the Jewish homeland to the Jewish people.

“I reiterate here in the clearest manner: As far as France is concerned, a nuclear Iran is totally unacceptable,” Sarkozy declared. “France is determined to continue to lead, along with its partners, a policy that integrates gradually intensifying sanctions with openness, in case Iran chooses to honor its international obligatons.”

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House Resolution Calls for Naval Blockade against Iran

A US House of Representatives Resolution effectively requiring a naval blockade on Iran seems fast tracked for passage, gaining co-sponsors at a remarkable speed, but experts say the measures called for in the resolutions amount to an act of war.

H.CON.RES 362 calls on the president to stop all shipments of refined petroleum products from reaching Iran. It also “demands” that the President impose “stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo entering or departing Iran.”

Analysts say that this would require a US naval blockade in the Strait of Hormuz.

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Inside Iraq – Iran’s influence Part 2

US Terrorism Report: Wrong Lessons

Instead of dealing with the obvious truths that the terrorism report highlights, the authors of the report have resorted to another logic that places blame squarely on external circumstance, never holding the US government accountable for its actions, says Ramzy Baroud.

The data provided in the US State Department’s annual terrorism report for 2007 points to some interesting if puzzling conclusions. The much publicised document, made available 30 April via the State Department’s website, makes no secret of the fact that Al-Qaeda is back, strong as ever. It also suggests that violence worldwide is nowhere near subsiding, despite President Bush’s repeated assurances regarding the success of his “war on terror”.

Will the report inspire serious reflection on the US’s detrimental foreign policy and its role in the current situation?

Let’s look at some of the data. To start with, take Pakistan. Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda-inspired attacks in the country more than doubled (from 375 to 877) between 2006 and 2007. These attacks have claimed the lives of 1,335 people, compared to 335 in a previous report. That is a jump of almost 300 per cent.

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Inside Iraq – Iran’s influence Part 1

Human rights group accuses Israel of torture

George Bush Has Saved The Day, Recession Avoided!

israel_flag-copy-ii.jpgPresident George W. Bush signed into law on Wednesday
a $170bn (£87bn) fiscal stimulus package designed to jolt
the US economy back into health in the second half of
this year.

He said that US economic growth had “clearly slowed”,
but added: “The genius of our system is that it can
absorb such shocks and emerge even stronger.”

The plan marks a bet by the White House and Congress that consumers will rapidly spend at least 40 per cent of the $300 to $1,200 tax rebates to be handed to them in May as the mainstay of the stimulus package.

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AIPAC Political Cartoon



Mike Gravel Exposes Clinton and Obama on Iran: Hillary Laughs

Washington Watch: John McCain and the Jewish vote

mccain-jpost.jpgThe race for the Republican presidential nomination has come
down to the Big Dough vs. the Big Mo. Mitt Romney may have
the money but Sen. John McCain probably has the momentum.
And the votes. Especially among Jewish Republicans.

McCain is the clear favorite of Jewish Republicans now that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has dropped out. And he has the L-factor – not the liberal label Romney tries to stick on him, but Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat turned independent who has been an effective campaigner and fundraiser among Jews.

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Neocon McCain Wins Majority of Super Tuesday Primaries


McCain recently stated that he would commit our troops to Iraq for 100 years. He’s also raised the possibility of military action against Iran because of that country’s desire to develop peaceful nuclear energy. – Ed.


Clinton and McCain win big California prize

John McCain solidified his lead in the contest for the Republican party’s presidential nomination, capturing California, Super Tuesday’s biggest prize, while Hillary Clinton’s  critical victory there kept the Democratic contest open.

In spite of Mrs Clinton’s massive west coast victory – which contributes more than a fifth of the delegates necessary to become the nominee – the overall Democratic contest remained undecided. Barack Obama, the New York senator’s only remaining rival for the Democratic nod, scored big victories in Connecticut, Minnesota and his home state of Illinois.

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Bush jokes with Israeli journalist about how a U.S. attack on Iran would start WWIII