Thursday, August 21, 2008

Proof Chinese were Cheating at Olympic Gymnastics

The questions is whether the Olympic powers that be will take action. Don't count on it.

A determined U.S. computer expert has delved into cached pages on the Internet to unearth Chinese official documents showing a gymnast who took gold in the uneven bars competition, edging the U.S.'s Nastia Liukin, may indeed be underage.

Controversy over whether He Kexin is under the minimum age of 16 has surrounded her participation in the Beijing Olympics. The latest challenge over the age of the tiny Olympian comes from the discovery through a cyberspace maze of Chinese official documents listing her date of birth.

She may not look as if she has reached the minimum competing age of 16, but China said her passport, issued in February, gives her birthday as Jan. 1, 1992. The International Olympic Committee said proof from her passport is good enough.

The latest unofficial investigation was carried out by computer security expert for the Intrepidus Group, whose site, Stryde Hax, revealed a detailed forensic search for He’s age.

Related Post:
- Chinese Cheating in Olympics: Lying About Gymnast Age

I was wrong the International Olympics Committee will be investigating the scandal.

Bush Agrees to a Timetable for U.S. Troops to Leave Iraq

Why isn't this a major story? The Bushies are doing that which they accuse the Democrats of - Defeatism. This is a complete flip by the White House. And the press is letting them get away with it. You would think the Obama campaign would also point out the glaring hypocrisy.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States and Iraq have agreed to a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the battle-scarred country.

Appearing with her Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari (HOH'-shayr zuh-BAH'-ree), Rice acknowledged at their joint news conference Thursday that the two parties have not yet finalized the deal. She said it close at hand, however.

Rice called her talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "very good and fruitful" and said an agreement is near that would "solidify the significant gains" in security in Iraq over the last year.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed Iraqi leaders Thursday to agree quickly to a U.S.-Iraq security deal that outlines the withdrawal of American troops, including a pull-out from cities by next June 30.

Flying into Baghdad on an unannounced trip, Rice said the two sides were nearing an agreement after months of painstaking negotiations but stressed there were still unresolved issues, including when U.S. soldiers will leave and what their operations will consist of until then.

"The negotiators have taken this very, very far," she told reporters aboard her plane. "But there is no reason to believe that there is an agreement yet."

"There are still issues concerning exactly how our forces operate," Rice said, adding that "the agreement rests on aspirational timelines."

Huh? Can someone explain to me the contradiction? Bush negotiates a timetable but then blasts Obama for supporting a timetable.
President Bush fired his most direct shot yet at Democratic nominee Barack Obama yesterday, warning against political promises to set timetables for withdrawal from Iraq.

"The commander in chief must always listen to the commanders, and not the latest opinion polls," Bush told a gathering of the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Orlando, Fla.

Although Bush did not mention Obama by name, his comments were widely interpreted as his most pointed criticism in a campaign during which he's remained largely on the sidelines.

Could someone please ask McCain whether he thinks Bush is unAmerican for negotiating a timetable with the Iraqis:
Republican presidential candidate John McCain told voters on Wednesday he is not challenging Barack Obama's patriotism in criticizing his call to pull out of Iraq, only the judgment of his Democratic rival.

"He's making these decisions not because he doesn't love America, but because he doesn't think it matters whether America wins or loses," McCain said.

[...]Obama proposes to withdraw U.S. combat forces from Iraq within 16 months; McCain opposes any timetable for withdraw. Meanwhile, Iraqi leaders have been pressing the U.S. for a timetable.

McCain Unsure How Many Houses he Owns

This sounds suspicious. Do we want a president who has no sense of his finances? McCain's wife's business dealings have already been under legal scrutiny. Or is he trying to portray himself as not being part of the economic elite in this country? He would like you to believe that he is like you and suffers your financial hardships. Instead McCain keeps sounding out of touch.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think - I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told us in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where - I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

In recent weeks, Democrats have stepped up their effort to caricature McCain as living an outlandishly rich lifestyle – a bit of payback to the GOP for portraying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as an elitist, and for turning the spotlight in 2004 on the five homes owned by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Then there is McCain's illegal compaign finances.
Letter Contends FEC Consideration of McCain Withdrawal From Primary Funds Program Without an Investigation into DNC Complaint is Illegal
The following release was issued today by the Democratic National Committee:
With the Federal Election Commission scheduled to address John McCain's decision to unilaterally withdraw from the federal matching funds program on Thursday, the Democratic National Committee today called on the Commission to remove that item from its agenda and instead proceed with a full investigation of the charges made against McCain in the administrative complaint filed by the DNC in February. In a conference call with reporters this morning, DNC General Counsel Joe Sandler discussed a letter he sent to the FEC last night that argued that the Commission should not consider McCain's decision to withdraw from the matching funds program because there is no request for permission pending and the Commission hasn't yet conducted an investigation as required by the law.

McCain is very comfortable with the wealthy and big business, especially if they are lobbyists.
John McCain broadcasts his affection for Theodore Roosevelt, but his opposition to regulating the local telephone industry suggests that he may not share the former president's passion for busting huge corporate trusts.

Unlike Roosevelt, who railed against "malefactors of great wealth," McCain's positions frequently have echoed those of the giant regional Bell phone companies, now consolidated as AT&T, Verizon and Quest, the big survivors of the telecommunications wars of the last quarter-century.

McCain's opposition to the 1996 Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act, intended to spur competition by pressuring the Bells to lease their lines and switches to competitors cheaply, offers a window into how he might view regulation of other markets as president.

The Arizona senator characterizes his unsuccessful stand against the measure, and his later attempts to thwart its implementation, as in keeping with his commitment to free markets and his maverick positions on behalf of American consumers. He was the only Republican senator to vote against the legislation.

Critics charge, however, that McCain backed an approach to telecommunications that's limited competition and kept prices high. They note that executives of the big three telecommunications giants and their lobbyists have raised and donated millions of dollars for his political committees.

After Decades, Iran Buys U.S. Wheat

Isn't this a basis for negotiating with the Iranians? If Obama is smart he will bring up this story to put McCain on the defensive.

Iran this summer resumed buying U.S. wheat after a 27-year hiatus, a sign of the limited options for importers seeking large quantities of high-quality grain.

Since the 2008-09 marketing year began on June 1, Iran has bought more than one million tons of hard red winter wheat directly from the U.S., which is "a very large amount," said Bill Nelson, analyst for Wachovia Securities. The purchases mean at least 3% to 4% of domestic wheat exports for the marketing year will go to a country the U.S. hasn't done business with for more than a generation. Government sanctions don't prohibit U.S. agricultural exporters from doing business with Iran.

Drought is expected to slash Iran's domestic production by one-third this year. Iran is forecast to produce 10 million tons of wheat this year, down from 15 million tons in 2007-08, and to import 4.5 million tons, up from 200,000 tons last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.