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Friday, Oct 31st

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How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas

Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor's bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile's trajectory back to an "enormous, stupid mistake" made 30 years ago.

"Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel's destruction.

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California is almost out of ways to pay bills, fund programs

It was July 12, 2007, and since then California has been living on borrowed money.

As in $21.5 billion worth of borrowed money, according to state Controller John Chiang: $16.5 billion borrowed from some of the state's 1,000-plus special funds, plus $5 billion in "revenue anticipation notes," which are basically money borrowed from private investors.

But, Chiang, whose office writes the state's checks, says California is about out of stopgap tricks to pay its bills and keep all its programs running.

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Israel to Grant Legal Protection to Soldiers Who Served in Gaza

Israel's prime minister says his country will grant legal protection to soldiers who fought in the three-week war in the Gaza Strip, against possible allegations of war crimes.

Mr. Ehud Olmert said Sunday he had appointed Israel's justice minister, Daniel Friedman, to chair a committee to offer a coordinated defense against what he called "self-righteous people" who might want to sue Israeli soldiers.

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TVNL Comment: Why are innocent victims of the IDF 'self righteous,' while Israelis killed in retaliation are 'martyrs?' Just asking...

Firms That Got Bailout Money Keep Lobbying

Lawmakers, troubled by the prospect of taxpayer-subsidized influence-peddling, are threatening to crack down. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and Senator Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican, are pushing legislation that would explicitly bar companies from using bailout funds for lobbying or campaign contributions.

Although hard to enforce, the measure puts banks on notice that aggressive lobbying could set off a Congressional backlash.

TVNL Comment: Lawmakers are "threatening" to crack down? How about actually cracking down? What they hell do we have lawmakers for? Big talk from the criminals who are responsible for this mess!

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The Pentagon’s War on the Internet

The Pentagon has developed a comprehensive strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information. The plan appears in a recently declassified document, “The Information Operations Roadmap”, which was provided under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and revealed in an article by the BBC.

The Pentagon sees the internet in terms of a military adversary that poses a vital threat to its stated mission of global domination. This explains the confrontational language in the document which speaks of “fighting the net”; implying that the internet is the equivalent of “an enemy weapons system."

The Defense Dept. places a high-value on controlling information. The new program illustrates their determination to establish the parameters of free speech.

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Afghanistan's 'Guantanamo' poses new prison problem for Barack Obama

As President Barack Obama declared with a fanfare his intention to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention camp last week, he made no mention of another growing US-run prison - with more than twice as many inmates and an even murkier legal status.

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U.S. Joins Four Law of War Treaties

On January 21, the United States deposited its instruments of ratification for Protocols III, IV, and V of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (“CCW”) and for an amendment to that Convention. Protocol III covers incendiary weapons, Protocol IV covers blinding laser weapons, and Protocol V deals with explosive remnants of war. The Amendment expands the scope of the Convention to non-international armed conflicts.

The United States took a leading role in negotiating these protocols and the amendment, has long complied with the norms contained in them, and is pleased to become a party to each of them. This action reaffirms our commitment to the development and implementation of international humanitarian law.

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Trashed! $180K worth of Palin's clothes reportedly in garbage bags

NewMajority is reporting that roughly $180,000 worth of clothing worn by Sarah Palin during her Republican vice presidential bid is stuffed in trash bags at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington D.C.

Palin promised to donate her wardrobe to charity following the campaign, and she did give the clothes to the RNC so they could handle the donation process, according to NewMajority.  But apparently, the RNC did no such thing, as the clothes are still in their headquarters in garbage bags.

The inevitable question: Why does it take months to donate clothes to charity?

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Controversial CBO Report On Stimulus Turns Out Not To Exist

Reports of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the vast majority of the money in the stimulus package won't be spent until after 2010, have Democrats on the defensive and the GOP calling for a pullback in wasteful spending.

Funny thing is, there is no such report.

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