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Good Morning!

July, 2012 by joanneleon
"There's no safe drilling. And they know it."

~Josh Fox

Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono & Jimmy Fallon's Protest Song: "Don't Frack My Mother"
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Party platform has been released: MOVING AMERICA FORWARD.  Here is a link to the 2008 platform, RENEWING AMERICA'S PROMISE.

Democrats unveil their national platform

(AP) WASHINGTON - Democrats unveiled a party platform at their national convention Monday that echoes President Barack Obama's call for higher taxes on wealthier Americans while backing same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

Delegates will vote Tuesday to adopt the platform that reflects the president's argument that his work is unfinished and he deserves another four years to complete the job.

"Today, our economy is growing again, al-Qaeda is weaker than at any point since 9/11, and our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade. But there is more we need to do, and so we come together again to continue what we started," the platform said.

Democratic platform again seeks Guantanamo closure

"We are substantially reducing the population at Guantánamo Bay without adding to it. And we remain committed to working with all branches of government to close the prison altogether because it is inconsistent with our national security interests and our values," the new platform says.

The 2008 platform contained an affirmative promise to close Gitmo, though it didn't mention the one-year time frame Obama embraced early in his administration. "We will close the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, the location of so many of the worst constitutional abuses in recent years," the old platform said.


"We will not ship away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, or detain without trial or charge prisoners who can and should be brought to justice for their crimes, or maintain a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law. We will respect the time-honored principle of habeas corpus, the seven century-old right of individuals to challenge the terms of their own detention that was recently reaffirmed by our Supreme Court," the old platform said.

This is a strange story.  Are they claiming that fracking is creating a significant number of jobs?
Ohio’s Gas-Fracking Boom Seen Aiding Obama In Swing State

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in July, the lowest since September 2008 and below the nationwide 8.3 percent. Job growth there is the fourth-fastest in the U.S., federal data show. Pennsylvania’s jobless rate is 7.9 percent, down from a high of 8.7 percent in March 2010.

The president has done little to stall the expansion of fracking, even with pressure from within his Democratic Party.

“There’s so many different ways in which this is feeding into various sectors of the economy,” said Philip Sharp, a former Democratic House member from Indiana who heads Resources for the Future, a Washington-based environmental research group. “The administration looks to me like they’ve come to recognize its importance and they have not jumped on the anti-fracking bandwagon.”

h/t emptywheel
Scandal of Mubarak regime millions in UK
Investigation puts British government under spotlight for allowing members of former Egyptian dictatorship to retain assets in UK

Britain has allowed key members of Egypt's toppled dictatorship to retain millions of pounds of suspected property and business assets in the UK, potentially violating a globally-agreed set of sanctions.

The situation has led to accusations that ministers are more interested in preserving the City of London's cosy relationship with the Arab financial sector than in securing justice.

[ ... ]

Yet although Switzerland took only half an hour to begin freezing Egyptian regime assets following Mubarak's overthrow, the UK took 37 days to follow suit – a delay which critics say could have allowed assets to be liquidated and illicit funds to be moved offshore.

And while Switzerland has frozen almost £500m of suspect Egyptian assets, the UK has frozen less than a fifth of that and returned none of it to Egypt.

Egypt and U.S. near deal on debt relief

U.S. officials have been in Cairo since last week hammering out the details of the debt relief package, which could approach $1 billion, a goal previously announced by the Obama administration. A final announcement is expected this month, according to a U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity because the agreement is not finalized.

[ ... ]

But Morsi has said that his first priority is to revive the economy, and he has appeared to welcome assistance from the United States and the International Monetary Fund, both of which are controversial in Egypt. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was in Cairo last month for negotiations with Morsi, who has requested a $4.8 billion loan package from the international body. He has also sought support from China and oil-rich Gulf countries.

[ ... ] Much of the money for the U.S. debt-relief package would come from funds that had previously been allocated for aid to Egypt and Afghanistan but were not spent.

Suspected U.S. drone strike kills civilians in Yemen, officials say

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- A U.S. drone strike targeting al Qaeda suspects in Yemen killed 13 civilians, including three women, three security officials in the restive Middle Eastern country said.

"This was one of the very few times when our target was completely missed. It was a mistake, but we hope it will not hurt our anti-terror efforts in the region," a senior Yemeni Defense Ministry official told CNN. The official asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

[ ... ]

Families of the victims closed main roads and vowed to retaliate. Hundreds of angry armed gunmen joined them and gave the government a 48-hour deadline to explain the killings, which took place on Sunday.

[ ... ]

"I would not be surprised if a hundred tribesmen joined the lines of al Qaeda as a result of the latest drone mistake," said Nasr Abdullah, an activist in the district of the attack. "This part of Yemen takes revenge very seriously."

Yemen LNG denies latest pipeline blast reports

(Reuters) - The pipeline feeding gas to Yemen's liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal was not blown up on Tuesday morning, the terminal operator said, dismissing earlier reports of an explosion on the frequently attacked supply line.
"Yemen LNG Company denies the news of a pipeline sabotage that was reported by some press agencies this Sept. 4," the company run by France's Total said on its website.

Blog Posts of Interest

Obama’s Plans for a Second Term Include Rallying Public Opinion by David Dayen

Denial is not just for Global Warming anymore by One Pissed Off Liberal

The Imperial Overlords Giveth, the Imperial Overlords Taketh Away by emptywheel

Sean Lennon - You've Got To Hide Your Love Away


We are ready for some serious change. We are ready to take up the tools of a free and analytic press to peacefully undermine the stranglehold of the kleptocrats on our battered democracy. We are ready to expose and publicize their greed, lies and illegal machinations and hold their enablers in government and the media to account. Are you in?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
 ~ Margaret Mead

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