May 13th, 2007

Clinton: Bush's Government "Of The Few, For The Few And By The Few"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/clinton-bushs-governmen_n_48335.html

"For six long years our hardworking middle class families have been invisible to this president," she said, promising to be a president who again sets goals for the country.

Democrats attending the Ohio state party's annual dinner gave a rousing cheer when the senator from New York asked, "Are you ready to end the war in Iraq and restore America's reputation around the world?"

Presidential Candidates Aren't Releasing Their Income Tax Information

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/presidential-candidates-a_n_48337.html

In a break with the tradition of recent presidential campaigns, most of the major presidential candidates aren't releasing their income-tax filings.

Edwards has indicated that he will keep his tax returns private, and while Romney is still considering his options, he has never released his returns in previous runs for office.

Top Taliban Commander Killed In Afghanistan

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/top-taliban-commander-kil_n_48343.html

The Taliban's most prominent military commander, a one-legged fighter who orchestrated an ethnic massacre and a rash of beheadings, was killed in a U.S.-led military operation in southern
Afghanistan, officials said Sunday.

Mullah Dadullah, a top lieutenant of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was killed Saturday in the southern province of Helmand, said Said Ansari, the spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service.
NATO confirmed his death, calling it "a serious blow" to the insurgency.

Al-Qaeda Group Claims Capture Of US Soldiers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/alqaeda-group-claims-cap_n_48344.html

Thousands of U.S. soldiers searched Sunday for three Americans who were missing after their patrol came under attack in an explosion that killed four other American soldiers and an Iraqi army translator. The Islamic State in
Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, said it had captured several soldiers in the attack, but offered no proof to back up its claim, posted on an Islamic Web site.

Meanwhile, a suicide truck bomber crashed into the offices of a Kurdish political party, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens, including the mayor, officials said. It was the second suicide attack in Kurdish areas of the north in four days.

Giuliani For Sale

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/giuliani-for-sale_n_48346.html

On Dec. 7, 2001, nearly three months after the terrorist attack that had made him a national hero and a little over three weeks before he would leave office, New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani took the first official step toward making himself rich.

The letter he dispatched to the city Conflicts of Interest Board that day asked permission to begin forming a consulting firm with three members of his outgoing administration. The company, Giuliani said, would provide "management consulting service to governments and business" and would seek out partners for a "wide-range of possible business, management and financial services" projects.

Cheney Budges On Iraq: Agrees To "Conversation Limited To Iraq Issues"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/cheney-budges-on-iraq-ag_n_48347.html

The United States is willing to talk to Iran so long as the conversations are limited to Iraq, a spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday. Cheney is visiting the region to try to encourage more support for the Iraqi government.
"We are willing to have that conversation limited to Iraq issues at the ambassador level," said Lea Anne McBride. She said the willingness is not a new position, but reflects an earlier-stated U.S. position.

Cheney Budges On Iran: Agrees To "Conversation Limited To Iraq Issues"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/cheney-budges-on-iran-ag_n_48347.html

The United States is willing to talk to Iran so long as the conversations are limited to Iraq, a spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday. Cheney is visiting the region to try to encourage more support for the Iraqi government.
"We are willing to have that conversation limited to Iraq issues at the ambassador level," said Lea Anne McBride. She said the willingness is not a new position, but reflects an earlier-stated U.S. position.

Over One Million Turks Protest Pro-Islamic Government

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/over-one-million-turks-pr_n_48352.html

Choking the highways and crammed onto ferries, hundreds of thousands of Turks streamed into this port city on Sunday in an enormous show of opposition to the pro-Islamic ruling party, increasing pressure of the government ahead of early elections.
Some 1.5 million protesters carried anti-government banners, red-and-white Turkish flags and pictures of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the secular republic in 1923. Turkish flags hung from balconies and windows, as well as buses and fishing boats and yachts bobbing in Izmir's bay.

McCain On Iraqi Market: "I'll Be Glad To Go Back...With Or Without Military Protection"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/mccain-on-iraqi-market-_n_48353.html

From NBC:

'08 presidential candidate John McCain appeared on "Meet The Press" Sunday to discuss his bid for the GOP nomination and the war on Iraq. Host Tim Russert asked Senator McCain about his infamous tour of an Iraqi market and the consequent fall-out when Iraqi merchants revealed the high level of security that accompanied the senator on his tour. McCain brushed off any criticism, saying "I'll be glad to go back to that market...with or without military protection and humvees, etc."

mccainmtp.jpg

Candy Spelling Writes Open Letter To Paris: "It's Time To Get Real"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/candy-spelling-writes-ope_n_48354.html

Candy Spelling (Tori's mom) sent TMZ an open letter to Paris Hilton. Yes, it really is Candy!

Dear Paris,

As someone who has known you for most of your life, I pay special attention to your press coverage. (Apparently, I'm not alone, based on the responses every word about you creates on TMZ.com and elsewhere.)

Paris, I'm very worried about you. The last week has not only been an obvious roller-coaster for you emotionally, but your strategy went from blaming employees and stating silly excuses like, "I don't read," to your new lawyer's tactic to have you sound mature and take some responsibility. In between, the paparazzi continue to follow you shopping and taking self-defense classes (to protect yourself in jail?), and some over-zealous friends staged embarrassing protests (three people?), and wasted taxpayer funds with a petition to pardon you.

Small Irish Town Abuzz Over Possible Connection To Obama Ancestry

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/small-irish-town-abuzz-ov_n_48355.html

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, Democratic candidate for president, is the talk of this village because recently unearthed records indicate that he is a son of Moneygall.

Stephen Neill, a local Anglican rector, said church documents he has found, along with census, immigration and other records tracked down by U.S. genealogists, appear to show that Obama's great-great-great-grandfather, Fulmuth Kearney, was reared in Moneygall, then left for America in 1850, when he was 19.

McCain Dismisses Democratically-Elected Iraqi Parliament's Call For US Withdrawal

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/mccain-dismisses-democrat_n_48356.html

From "Meet the Press":

MR. RUSSERT: But the duly elected people's bodies, the U.S. Congress and the Iraqi parliament, say they want a troop withdrawal. That's more than a poll. Isn't that the voice of the people?

SEN. McCAIN: Well, the--as far as the Iraqi parliament is concerned, the Iraqi government obviously doesn't feel that way, their--the representatives in their government. Second of all, there is some, a certain amount of domestic political calculations involved there in what the Iraqi, quote, "parliament" said. The Iraqi parliament has their ability to, to voice their views, and I respect them. And I, as I say, I--I'll repeat again, I understand how democracies work. I saw it in Vietnam. I saw it in Vietnam. And I saw it in Vietnam, the predictions, that everything would be a worker's paradise in, in Vietnam if we left. And thousands were executed and millions went to re-education camps. So I, I believe that, that the consequences of failure, and particularly sitting on the large reserves of oil they have, particularly considering the influence of al-Qaeda is concerned, you will see enormous destabilization in the region, and that's my duty. That's my obligation. It's not my privilege. And political calculations should not enter into any information or position that I take on, on a, on an issue of national security.

Read the entire transcript here.

Lloyd Grove: Judith Nathan Tries To Move From Mistress To First Lady

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/lloyd-grove-judith-natha_n_48357.html

If everything works out, it may be the last great political deal brokered in a smoke-filled room. On a balmy June night in 1999, Judith Nathan was having a drink at Club Macanudo, a cigar bar on East 63rd Street. Her companion was Dr. Burt Meyers, an infectious-disease specialist at Mount Sinai hospital and one of the many physicians she had befriended as a hospital sales rep for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Nathan, then 44, was at ease amid the upmarket manliness, a woman of the world among many middle-aged men of the world, including, that night, the mayor of the City of New York, Rudolph Giuliani.

Club Mac, with its wooden Indians, leather sofas, and "state-of-the-art ventilation system," had become a well-known late-night haunt for the mayor. Perhaps it was also something of an escape: He was still living at Gracie Mansion with his second wife, television personality Donna Hanover. Here, he could kick back with a tumbler of Glenlivet and relax with City Hall aides and political associates. Sometimes a woman would approach him, interrupting his cigar-smoking to express her admiration, maybe get an autograph. Perhaps flirt mildly. So it wasn't surprising when Nathan, a pretty woman with rich brown hair, came over and said hello.

CBS Radio Fires Two Shock Jocks Over Asian Slurs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/cbs-radio-fires-two-shock_n_48359.html

One month after the firing of radio host Don Imus for broadcasting sexist and racist gibes, a pair of suspended New York shock jocks have been permanently pulled from the air by CBS Radio for a prank phone call rife with offensive Asian stereotypes.

"The Dog House with JV and Elvis," hosted by Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay, "will no longer be broadcast," CBS Radio spokeswoman Karen Mateo said Saturday. CBS Radio dismissed broadcasting hall of famer Imus in April for his defamation of the Rutgers women's basketball team.

Study: '05-'06 Sunday Talk Show Guests Were 77 Percent Male, 82 Percent White

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/study-0506-sunday-tal_n_48362.html

Here's a silver lining in last month's avalanche of news coverage of Don Imus: The disc jockey's racist and sexist remarks inspired at least one Sunday morning talk show to invite women and people of color to discuss Imus' comments.

Seeing nonwhite men on the Sunday shows is as rare as seeing them on the floor of the U.S. Senate. According to a study to be released Monday by the liberal media organization Media Matters for America, which was obtained by The Chronicle, at least 77 percent of the 2,150 guests who appeared on the four major Sunday shows in 2005-06 were men; at least 82 percent were white.

Wildfires Persist On FL-GA Border: 365 Square Miles Charred

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/wildfires-persist-on-flg_n_48363.html

Authorities briefly reopened two highways crossing north Florida into Georgia on Sunday before dense wildfire smoke forced them to again halt traffic, while hundreds of Florida residents waited to return to their threatened homes.

Officials said Sunday that the wildfire that had raced through the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia and into Florida had charred more than 233,700 acres -- or about 365 square miles -- since it was started by lightning a week ago.

Private Equity Firm Expected To Buy Controlling Interest In Chrysler Group From DaimlerChrysler

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/private-equity-firm-expec_n_48364.html

DaimlerChrysler appears ready to sell a controlling interest in the struggling Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, people with direct knowledge of the discussions said today.

The deal, which would unwind the 1998 trans-Atlantic merger between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler, could be announced as soon as Monday, these people said. They insisted on confidentiality because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

US Troops Sweep Iraq In Search Of Missing Soldiers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/us-troops-sweep-iraq-in-s_n_48365.html

About 4,000 American ground troops supported by surveillance aircraft, attack helicopters and spy satellites swept towns and farmland south of Baghdad today searching for three American soldiers who disappeared on Saturday after their patrol was ambushed, military officials said.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an insurgent umbrella group, claimed responsibility today for the attack, which killed four American soldiers and an Iraqi Army soldier, and it said it had captured the three missing Americans. The group offered no proof for its claim.

Republican Senator Slams Iraqi Government

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/republican-senator-slams-_n_48366.html

``The Iraqi government is a huge disappointment,'' Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN'S Late Edition on Sunday.

``So far, they've not been able do anything they promised on the political side,'' the Kentucky Republican said, citing the Iraqis' failure to pass a new oil revenue bill, hold local elections and dismantle the former Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. ``It's a growing frustration.''

"Harry Potter" Author Offers Cash For Safe Return Of Missing Girl

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/harry-potter-author-off_n_48367.html

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has pledged a major contribution to a $3 million reward fund for the safe return of a British girl who has gone missing in Portugal, a Sunday newspaper said.

The News of the World said Rowling had offered the single largest contribution to the fund started by the tabloid newspaper. It called Rowling's pledge "staggering," but said the author asked the amount be kept secret.

Nudist Camps Offering Discounts To Attract Younger Patrons

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/nudist-camps-offering-dis_n_48369.html

"We don't want the place to turn into a gated assisted living facility," said Gordon Adams, membership director at Solair Recreation League, a nudist camp in northeastern Connecticut that recently invited students from dozens of New England schools to a college day in hopes of piquing their interest.

The median age is 55 at Solair, where a yearly membership is $500 for people older than 40, $300 for people younger than 40 and $150 for college students.

Analysts See Few Options Left For Iraq

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/analysts-see-few-options-_n_48372.html

Now that moderate Republicans have told President Bush that time is running out on his Iraq policy, he'll have to demonstrate real progress in a matter of months or face choices that range from the highly unpleasant to the nearly unthinkable.

September, only four months away, is increasingly looking like a deadline. By then, it should be known whether Bush's "surge" strategy of increased U.S. troops in Iraq is having an impact and whether Iraqis have undertaken long-promised changes to ease sectarian warfare. The 2008 U.S. presidential election will be in full cry.

Al-Qaida Claims Capture Of Three US Troops

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/alqaida-claims-capture-o_n_48377.html

An al-Qaida front group announced Sunday it had captured American soldiers in a deadly attack the day before, as thousands of U.S. troops searched insurgent areas south of Baghdad for their three missing comrades.

The statement came on one of the deadliest days in the country in recent weeks, with at least 124 people killed or found dead. A suicide truck bomb tore through the offices of a Kurdish political party in northern Iraq, killing 50 people, and a car bombing in a crowded Baghdad market killed another 17.

Tennessee Teachers Stage Fake Gun Attack On Kids

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/tennessee-teachers-stage-_n_48379.html

Staff members of an elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.

The mock attack Thursday night was intended as a learning experience and lasted five minutes during the weeklong trip to a state park, said Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip.

Romney Says He Can Shake Voter Concerns About His Religion

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/romney-says-he-can-shake-_n_48380.html

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he also is troubled by the Mormon church's past practice of polygamy, but that he can overcome voter concern about his religion.

"What's at the heart of my faith is a belief that there's a creator, that were all children of the same God and that fundamentally the relationship you have with your spouse is important and eternal," he said Sunday on CBS' "60 minutes."

Romney Finds Polygamy "Troubling"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/romney-finds-polygamy-tr_n_48380.html

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he also is troubled by the Mormon church's past practice of polygamy, but that he can overcome voter concern about his religion.

"What's at the heart of my faith is a belief that there's a creator, that were all children of the same God and that fundamentally the relationship you have with your spouse is important and eternal," he said Sunday on CBS' "60 minutes."

Hagel Talks Independent Run: "I Am Not Happy With The Republican Party Today"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/hagel-talks-independent-r_n_48382.html

Hagel, who is still considering his options for the 2008 race, left open the possibility of becoming an independent and sharing a ticket with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I am not happy with the Republican Party today," Hagel said. "It's been hijacked by a group of single-minded almost isolationists, insulationists, power-projectors."

Couric Pummeled As Newscast Ratings Continue To Slide

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/couric-pummeled-as-newsca_n_48383.html

And while the newscast's structure has been pummeled, Ms. Couric has also endured exceptional personal scrutiny. She was criticized for wearing too much makeup or too little. Ms. Couric was caught up in an odd plagiarism incident, when an essay she had presented as her own -- even though written by a producer -- turned out to have been lifted from The Wall Street Journal.

She was criticized for being too soft in her initial newscasts, and too hard in an interview with the presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, after they revealed that Mrs. Edwards's cancer had returned. The issue was complicated by the public knowledge that Ms. Couric's husband, Jay Monahan, died from colon cancer in 1998.

Ailing Ground Zero Workers Taint Giuliani's 9/11 Legacy

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/ailing-ground-zero-worker_n_48388.html

"The city ran a generally slipshod, haphazard, uncoordinated, unfocused response to environmental concerns," said David Newman, an industrial hygienist with the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a labor group.

Records show that the city was aware of the danger in the ground zero dust from the start. In a federal court deposition, Kelly R. McKinney, associate commissioner at the city's health department in 2001, said the agency issued an advisory on the night of Sept. 11 stating that asbestos in the air made the site hazardous and that everyone should wear masks.

4,000 Search For Missing US Soldiers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/13/4000-search-for-missing-_n_48391.html

About 4,000 American ground troops, supported by surveillance aircraft, attack helicopters and spy satellites, swept towns and farmland south of Baghdad on Sunday, searching for three American soldiers who disappeared Saturday after their patrol was ambushed, military officials said.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella insurgent group that includes Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, said it had captured the three missing Americans and claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed four other American soldiers and an Iraqi Army soldier. The group offered no proof for its claims.