Thursday, May 21, 2009

RNC Head Balks at "Democratic Socialist" Labeling


Has Michael Steele averted the cultural and political train-wreck that would have come from the RNC's proposed "Democrat Socialist Party" resolution? That's what CNN now reports.

RNC member David Norcross of New Jersey, who had been a sponsor of the resolution, told CNN: "The language is being changed so that the proposers and chairman Steele are on the same page." Steele had opposed this thing from the start, and had sought to avoid the spectacle -- yes, Michael Steele thought this was too goofy.

Iraq bombings kills Americans
Three bombings in Iraq on Thursday killed at least 21 people and wounded more than 50 others[...]the bombings brought to over 60 the number of people killed in a 24-hour period.

The Associated Press reported that three American soldiers were killed on Thursday morning in a roadside bombing in the southern Baghdad district of Dora while they were patrolling near a popular outdoor market.

Obama in a political box over closing Gitmo
President Barack Obama finds himself in a political box — at home and abroad — on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, and he has prepared a major address on national security in hopes of working out of the tight spot.

Obama was taking on the explosive topic Thursday, a day after the Senate, at the behest of majority Democrats, denied his request for $80 million to close the prison. The 90-6 vote followed a similar move last week in the House and underscored widespread apprehension among Obama's Democratic allies in Congress over the issue.

Couple flees with banks money
Police are looking for a New Zealand couple who disappeared after a bank mistakenly put 10 million New Zealand dollars ($6.1 million) into their account.

The couple, who ran a gas station in the northern city of Rotorua, applied to Westpac Bank for a NZ$10,000 ($6,000) overdraft and had 1000 times that amount paid into their account. The two then withdrew some of the money and disappeared, Detective Senior Sgt. David Harvey said.

Murder plot soap opera in Egypt
A real estate mogul with ties to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's son was sentenced to death Thursday for ordering the slaying of a Lebanese pop star in a case that sparked a media frenzy in a country where the elite is often perceived as being above the law.

Hisham Talaat Moustafa, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, was accused of paying a former Egyptian police officer $2 million to kill Suzanne Tamim while she was in Dubai.

Missouri capital punishment passes legal mustard
As lethal chemicals surged into Dennis Skillicorn's arm early Wednesday, a new era in capital punishment began in Missouri.

The state's new court-mandated and court-approved lethal injection protocol passed its first test without a hitch, according to prison officials who already are preparing to carry out Reginald Clemons' execution next month.

Kris Allen wins American Idol
Kris Allen, the mellow crooner who was considered the underdog, was crowned the winner of the Fox singing competition Wednesday night.

In one of the bigger upsets in “Idol” history, Allen defeated Adam Lambert, the flamboyant rocker whose vocal skills had made him an early favorite.

Major Church sex scandal investigation in Ireland
The thousands of victims of Ireland's child-abuse homes spent decades just trying to get the public to believe them. But even after a mammoth investigation proved the horrors of their youth, many say they are no nearer to real justice.

A nine-year probe into child abuse by Ireland's Catholic religious orders painted a damning portrait of a system that shielded child-molesters from justice and trapped generations of Ireland's poorest children to misery from the 1930s to the 1990s.

World Child Deaths Decline
The World Health Organization says almost a third fewer young children are dying than in 1990.

The global health body says about 9 million children under 5 years old died in 2007, the last year with figures available.

WHO says the number of under-5 deaths was 12.5 million in 1990.

The Geneva-based body says the 27 percent drop shows progress in achieving a two-thirds cut in deaths by 2015. That is one of the U.N.'s so-called 'Millennium Development Goals'.

Newsweek: RNC = "(R)ush-(N)ewt-(C)heney"

"Vampire Banks: Thriving on Death and Taxes"
The Wall Street Journal has a tutorial explaining how banks are holding $122.3 billion in life insurance on workers and retirees with themselves as beneficiaries in order to escape taxes, inflate their earnings and to fund bonuses and pension benefits: