May 15th, 2007

Wolfowitz Responds: Blames Girlfriend For Forcing Him To Grant Her Salary Increase

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/wolfowitz-responds-blame_n_48485.html

A World Bank investigating committee sharply rebuked President Paul D. Wolfowitz, concluding that he broke ethics rules and undermined the integrity of the institution in engineering a hefty pay raise for his girlfriend.

"These actions manifest a lack of understanding for and a disregard for the institution as a public international organization," declared the committee's report, which was distributed to the bank's executive directors yesterday and released publicly last night. It calls on the executive board to assess "whether Mr. Wolfowitz will be able to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the bank continues to operate to the fullest extent possible."

Wolfie Blames Girlfriend

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/wolfie-blames-girlfriend_n_48485.html

A World Bank investigating committee sharply rebuked President Paul D. Wolfowitz, concluding that he broke ethics rules and undermined the integrity of the institution in engineering a hefty pay raise for his girlfriend.

"These actions manifest a lack of understanding for and a disregard for the institution as a public international organization," declared the committee's report, which was distributed to the bank's executive directors yesterday and released publicly last night. It calls on the executive board to assess "whether Mr. Wolfowitz will be able to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the bank continues to operate to the fullest extent possible."

Wolfowitz Blames Girlfriend For Ethics Violations

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/wolfowitz-blames-girlfrie_n_48485.html

A World Bank investigating committee sharply rebuked President Paul D. Wolfowitz, concluding that he broke ethics rules and undermined the integrity of the institution in engineering a hefty pay raise for his girlfriend.

"These actions manifest a lack of understanding for and a disregard for the institution as a public international organization," declared the committee's report, which was distributed to the bank's executive directors yesterday and released publicly last night. It calls on the executive board to assess "whether Mr. Wolfowitz will be able to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the bank continues to operate to the fullest extent possible."

Rice Meets With Putin For "Intensive Diplomacy" Talks

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/rice-meets-with-putin-for_n_48492.html

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opened talks with top Russian officials Tuesday after acknowledging growing U.S.-Russia strains but rejecting suggestions there is a new Cold War.

Rice was scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin, National Security Advisor Igor Ivanov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, former Prime Minister Yevegeny Primakov as well as Russian civic leaders in a bid to soothe tensions over major policy differences, particularly on U.S. missile defense plans for Europe.

Giuliani's Clients: Murdoch, Saudis, Tobacco

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/giulianis-clients-murdo_n_48496.html

Energy companies, FBI agents, a media tycoon and even a candlemaker: Rudy Giuliani's firm has lobbied for them all and dozens more in Washington, opening the door to a wide range of potential conflicts of interest should he become president.

If Giuliani were elected, his administration would be on the receiving end of regulatory requests, contract bids and policy proposals by the same clients of his Houston firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, that have contributed toward his personal net worth of millions of dollars.

Massive Search For Missing Troops Continues In Iraq

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/massive-search-for-missin_n_48495.html

U.S. troops have questioned hundreds of people and detained 11 in the search for three American soldiers feared captured by al-Qaida during a weekend ambush in an insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

"We have conducted more than 450 tactical interviews and detained 11 individuals" as of Monday night, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said without elaborating.

US Detains 11 Iraqis In Search For Missing Troops

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/us-detains-11-iraqis-in-s_n_48495.html

U.S. troops have questioned hundreds of people and detained 11 in the search for three American soldiers feared captured by al-Qaida during a weekend ambush in an insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

"We have conducted more than 450 tactical interviews and detained 11 individuals" as of Monday night, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said without elaborating.

Suicide Bomber With Warning To US Spies Taped To Leg Kills At Least 25 On Pakistan Border

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/suicide-bomber-with-warni_n_48501.html

A suicide bomber with a warning to spies for America taped to his leg attacked a crowded restaurant Tuesday near the Afghan border, killing at least 25 people days after a relative of the Taliban's slain commander was arrested there, officials said.

The explosion deepened instability in a country still reeling from deadly political riots over the weekend in its commercial capital, Karachi. The attack appeared unrelated to that unrest, but rather the work of an Islamic militant.

Friends Say Bloomberg Prepared To Shell Out $1 Billion Of His Own Money For White House Run

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/friends-say-bloomberg-pre_n_48504.html

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is prepared to spend an unprecedented $1 billion of his own $5.5 billion personal fortune for a third-party presidential campaign, personal friends of the mayor tell The Washington Times.

"He has set aside $1 billion to go for it," confided a long-time business adviser to the Republican mayor. "The thinking about where it will come from and do we have it is over, and the answer is yes, we can do it."

Blame Game

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/blame-game_n_48508.html

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday he relied on his resigning deputy more than any other aide to decide which U.S. attorneys should be fired last year.

His comments come a less than a day after Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty announced he would resign at the end of the summer -- a decision that people familiar with the plans said was hastened by the controversy over the purge of eight prosecutors.

"Spring Awakening" Leads Tony Nominees

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/spring-awakening-leads-_n_48527.html

"Spring Awakening," the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater rock musical about the sexual longing of 19th-century German teenagers, received a leading 11 Tony nominations on Tuesday.

"The Coast of Utopia," Tom Stoppard's epic trilogy about 19th century Russian intellectuals, and "Grey Gardens," a musical look at two of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' more eccentric relatives, each garnered 10 nominations.

Evangelical Leader Jerry Falwell Found Unconscious In Office

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/evangelical-leader-jerry-_n_48509.html

The Rev. Jerry Falwell was found unconscious in his office Tuesday and taken to the hospital, a Liberty University executive told a newspaper.

Ron Godwin, the executive vice president of the school, told The News & Advance of Lynchburg that Falwell was found unconscious after missing an appointment Tuesday morning. Falwell arrived at Lynchburg General Hospital around noon, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

Fmr Deputy Attorney General: Gonzales Pushed Hospitalized Aschroft to Authorize Warrantless Wiretaps

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/fmr-deputy-attorney-gener_n_48511.html

President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program was so questionable that a top Justice Department official refused for a time to reauthorize it, sparking a battle with top White House officials at the bedside of an ailing attorney general, a Senate panel was told Tuesday.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he refused to recertify the program because Attorney General John Ashcroft had reservations about its legality just before falling ill with pancreatitis in March 2004.

President Intervened In Dispute Over Eavesdropping

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/president-intervened-in-d_n_48511.html

President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program was so questionable that a top Justice Department official refused for a time to reauthorize it, sparking a battle with top White House officials at the bedside of an ailing attorney general, a Senate panel was told Tuesday.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he refused to recertify the program because Attorney General John Ashcroft had reservations about its legality just before falling ill with pancreatitis in March 2004.

Brownback Booed For Favre Diss: "That's Really Bad...That Will Go Down In History...I Apologize"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/brownback-booed-for-favre_n_48531.html

Note to Sen. Sam Brownback: In Packerland, it's not cool to diss Brett Favre. The GOP presidential hopeful drew boos and groans Friday at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention when he used a football analogy to talk about the need to focus on families.

"This is fundamental blocking and tackling," he said. "This is your line in football. If you don't have a line, how many passes can Peyton Manning complete? Greatest quarterback, maybe, in NFL history."

Oops, wrong team to mention in Wisconsin, once described by Gov. Tommy Thompson as the place "where eagles soar, Harleys roar and Packers score." Realizing what he had said, the Kansas Republican slumped at the podium and put his head in his hands.

XM Suspends Opie And Anthony Over Sexual Comments About Rice, Laura Bush

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/xm-suspends-opie-and-anth_n_48546.html

XM Satellite Radio suspended shock jocks Opie and Anthony for 30 days Tuesday, one week after they aired crude sex comments about Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth II and one day after they made light of the incident in their broadcast.

"Comments made by Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter," Washington-based XM said in a statement. "The management of XM Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them."

Pentagon Operations Director Agrees To Be "War Czar"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/pentagon-operations-direc_n_48548.html

President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a "war czar" after a long search for new leadership, administration officials said Tuesday.

In the newly created position, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would also maintain his military status and rank as a three-star general, according to a Pentagon official.

Take Two

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/take-two_n_48551.html

Republican presidential contenders agreed on the need for lower taxes and vowed to crack down on federal spending Tuesday night in campaign debate. They pledged to reduce the massive federal bureaucracy.

"We've had a Congress that's spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop," said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a jab at the Democratic presidential hopeful's penchant for $400 haircuts.

Clinton, Obama To Support Bill To Cutoff Iraq War Funding

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/clinton-obama-to-support_n_48553.html

Sens. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) and Hillary Rodham Clinton separately declared their support Tuesday for a March 31, 2008 cutoff in funds for the Iraq war, two Democratic presidential front-runners abruptly shifting positions on the issue at the heart of the 2008 race.

The twin announcements came on the eve of a largely symbolic Senate vote, and as Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, said in a campaign commercial it was unfortunate that his White House rivals "will not join me" in supporting legislation setting the cutoff date.

Photographer Sues Lohan Over Claim She Hit Him With A Car

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/photographer-sues-lohan-o_n_48554.html

Lindsay Lohan and her mother have been sued by a freelance photographer who claims the "Georgia Rule" actress hit him with a car in the West Village.

Photographer Giovanni Arnold claims he "sustained severe and permanent personal injuries" when he was struck by the BMW on March 13 on Ninth Avenue between 12th and 13th streets.

Wolfowitz: "If They F*** With Me Or Shaha, I Have Enough On Them To F*** Them Too"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/wolfowitz-if-they-f-_n_48552.html

An angry and bitter Paul Wolfowitz poured abuse and threatened retaliations on senior World Bank staff if his orders for pay rises and promotions for his partner were revealed, according to new details published last night.

Under fire for the lavish package given to Shaha Riza, a World Bank employee and Mr Wolfowitz's girlfriend when he became president, an official investigation into the controversy has found that Mr Wolfowitz broke bank rules and violated his own contract - setting off a struggle between US and European governments over Mr Wolfowitz's future.

Gonzales Blames His Deputy For Atty Firings

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/gonzales-blames-his-deput_n_48556.html

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday he relied heavily on his deputy to oversee the firings of U.S. attorneys, appearing to distance himself from his departing second-in-command.

Gonzales' comments came the day after Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said he would step down by the end of summer, a decision that people familiar with his plans said was hastened by the controversy over last year's firings of eight prosecutors.

Military Asks Troops To Watch Its YouTube Channel One Day After Banning YouTube

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/military-asks-troops-to-w_n_48558.html

One day after the Pentagon banned US military personnel worldwide from accessing the wildly popular YouTube Web site via DoD computers and networks, the weekly electronic newsletter of the US-led Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) today makes a banner appeal for US forces and others to watch MNF-I's new YouTube channel.

Oops.

Wolfowitz's Last Days

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/wolfowitzs-last-days_n_48563.html

The Bush administration softened its support for World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz yesterday, signaling a willingness to replace him if the bank's executive board resolves an ethics controversy without firing him.

"All options are on the table," said White House spokesman Tony Snow, addressing reporters at a morning briefing. "Members of the board, Mr. Wolfowitz, need to sit down and figure out what is in fact going to be best for this bank. . . ."

Richardson Holds $250,000+ In Oil Refinery Stock

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/richardson-holds-250000_n_48565.html

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a presidential candidate who has called for a dramatic reduction in the use of fossil fuels, holds between $250,000 and $500,000 in stock options from North America's largest independent oil refiner.
Richardson, a Democrat, received the stock options from Valero Energy Corp. for serving on the company's board of directors from March 2001 to June 2002, according to a financial disclosure report he filed Tuesday.

MySpace Deletes Thousands Of Convicted Sex Offenders' User Profiles

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/myspace-deletes-thousands_n_48568.html

Popular online social network MySpace says it has identified, removed and blocked "a few thousand" user profiles of convicted sex offenders among its 175 million profiles on its service as part a previously announced program to protect its youth members from adult predators.

The action comes a day after eight U.S. attorneys general demanded the News Corp.-owned company hand over the offenders' names and addresses and to delete their profiles.

Cheney Beats Bush In Gift Haul: Fishing Rods, Bronze Cheyenne Warrior Among Disclosed Presents In '0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/05/15/cheney-beats-bush-in-gift_n_48570.html

President Bush likes to fish, so people aiming to impress him often go that direction. Last year alone, he was given three rods and three reels along with assorted other equipment to the tune of more than $2,600. That's in addition to at least eight other rods he's received as gifts during his presidency.

On the other hand, Bush is only an occasional golfer. But that didn't stop his friend and 2004 campaign finance chairman, Mercer Reynolds, from giving the president a $915 set of new clubs and covers last year.