Stimulus Plan Meets More GOP Resistance

By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer

Just days after taking office vowing to end the political era of "petty grievances," President Obama ran into mounting GOP opposition yesterday to an economic stimulus plan that he had hoped would receive broad bipartisan support.

Republicans accused Democrats of abandoning the new president's pledge, ignoring his call for bipartisan comity and shutting them out of the process by writing the $850 billion legislation. The first drafts of the plan would result in more spending on favored Democratic agenda items, such as federal funding of the arts, they said, but would do little to stimulate the ailing economy.

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Created by admin 46 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 46 weeks 4 days ago
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Madagascar Rebel Appoints 'Ministers,' Calls Strike

ANTANANARIVO (AFP) — Madagascar opposition leader Andry Rajoelina on Tuesday called for a general strike and named four "ministers," as his deadly power struggle with the regime showed no sign of letting up.

Andry Rajoelina pressed on with his rival administration even as foreign brokers struggled to promote dialogue with President Marc Ravalomanana after 28 people were killed at the weekend when security opened fire on a protest.

Speaking to a crowd of around 5,000 demonstrators in the capital Antananarivo, Rajoelina urged the troubled Indian Ocean island nation to observe a general strike on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow nobody will leave their homes. Workers will not report for work and pupils will not go to school," said Rajoelina.

Around 100 people have died in protests and ensuing riots since the start of the year, with the 34-year-old Rajoelina drawing wide support against a president he accuses of being a dictator starving his people.

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Created by admin 46 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 46 weeks 5 days ago
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Gaza And Its Aftermath (by Noam Chomsky)

For more than three weeks, starting December 27th, Gaza and its 1.5 million people bore the brunt of a massive Israeli military campaign, supported and abetted by the US government. While Israel has now stopped its devastating air and ground operations in Gaza, it continues the total blockade from both the land and the sea, still pursuing the futile goal of trying to destroy Hamas and allied resistance groups by punishing the population around them.

Noam Chomsky gives a preliminary assessment of the US-Israel war on Gaza and its consequences in an interview conducted by Assaf Kfoury on January 31, 2009. The Arabic translation of the interview will appear in the Beirut daily as-Safir.

The public response in the US:

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Created by admin 46 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 46 weeks 5 days ago
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Death Toll Climbs in Australia Fires

SYDNEY: The police confirmed that at least one of the deadly wildfires that killed 173 people and left hundreds homeless over the weekend in the worst firestorm ever to strike Australia was set by arsonists, and established a special task force on Tuesday to hunt down the offenders.

Officials have set up crime scenes around huge tracts of land across the southern state of Victoria, where the fires leveled towns and razed at least 750 houses on Saturday, as forensic investigators picked through the charred wreckage. The police have warned that the death toll will continue to rise as more victims are pulled from the rubble.

The state police chief, Christine Nixon, told reporters on Tuesday that one of the fires, which killed at least 21 people in the eastern region of Gippsland, was deliberately lit, and said the police "believe there may be more."

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Created by Asia 46 weeks 5 days ago – Made popular 46 weeks 5 days ago
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A Japanese Madoff

Nami Kazutsugi, a 75 years old Japanese businessman, who leads the L & G, is accused of having organized a system pretty similar to that of Bernard Madoff.

But just before his arrest Thursday February 5, he did not hesitate to say: "The police have ruined my business. Nobody has lost as much as me."

The "Ponzi Scheme" or "Pyramid Scheme" which he created between 2001 and 2007 allowed him to collect between 1 and 2 billions, by promising fabulous yields (nearly 36% last year) to his clients.

Funds from new investors were used to pay the interests of prior investors. More than 37,000 people might be victims of this fraud.

L & G issued its own currency, the "enten", a combination of ideograms "yen" and "paradise", that Mr Nami wanted to become a global currency.

For each deposit of $1000, the investor received 100,000 "enten" that he could spend in L & G stores, a sort of bazaar installed throughout the archipelago, the online sales sites or partner hotels.

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Created by admin 47 weeks 2 days ago – Made popular 47 weeks 2 days ago
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The Madoff's Client List Includes Actors and, Baseball Legends

A 162 pages list of the client victims of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme was released today following a bankruptcy hearing for the owner of Madoff Investment Securities.

Among those found on Madoff’s client list are such famous personalities as baseball legend Sandy Koufax and the owner of the New York Mets, Fred Wilpon, as well as former Met player Timothy Teufel.

The PDF document with the complete list of clients and investors can be seen on the New York Post server.

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Created by admin 47 weeks 3 days ago – Made popular 47 weeks 2 days ago
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Madoff Client List Is Disclosed in Filing

Another interesting article on the Madoff case:


The names of thousands of apparent customers of Bernard Madoff were made public Wednesday, including a legendary baseball player, famous actors, charities and pension funds -- as well as Mr. Madoff's own lawyer, who is defending him on charges that he ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

The 162-page filing made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan doesn't list the amount each client invested.

Some notable names appear on the list, including Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets baseball team. It isn't clear how many of the clients listed had money at the firm at the time of Mr. Madoff's arrest on Dec. 11.

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Created by admin 47 weeks 3 days ago – Made popular 47 weeks 3 days ago
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Google Latitude: Track Your Family & (Consenting) Friends.

"Hello, where are you?" or "Hello, guess where I'm call you from?"

These questions will perhaps become useless with the latest Google's localization gadget.

On Wednesday 4 February, the portal made Google Latitude available for 27 countries.

Google Latitude is a localization function included in the mobile version of Google Maps (since v3), working with all operators, provided you have access to mobile Internet.

The idea is to allow people from your Google and Gmail contacts lists to see on Google Maps an icon of yourself and stating where you are geographically.

Conversely, you can see where your contacts are and view their status. But also display a route that will lead you to the person of your choice.

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Created by admin 47 weeks 3 days ago – Made popular 47 weeks 3 days ago
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Boston Globe Hears Call for Bush Administration Trials

A demonstrator dressed up as George W. Bush in a prison outfit

Want ex-leader accountable on Iraq war !

WASHINGTON - Like others bundled against the cold on Inauguration Day, a few dozen people along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route were determined to catch a glimpse of President Obama. But they wanted him to see their simple, unmistakable message spelled out on black-and-white signs, adding a call-and-response chant for emphasis.

Who's our president?" one shouted.

"Obama!" the group answered.

"Who's going to arrest Bush?"


Though the new president probably didn't notice them, the protesters holding the "ARREST BUSH" placards illustrated a thorny problem he will have to confront, perhaps sooner rather than later.

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Created by Keiros 47 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 47 weeks 4 days ago
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Obama: 'I screwed up' on Daschle appointment

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday admitted he made a mistake in handling the nomination of Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services secretary, saying Daschle's tax problems sent a message that the politically powerful are treated differently from average people.

Daschle, the former Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, withdrew earlier Tuesday as news that he failed to pay some taxes in the past continued to stir opposition on Capitol Hill.

"I think I screwed up," Obama said in a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

"And, I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again."

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Created by admin 47 weeks 4 days ago – Made popular 47 weeks 4 days ago
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