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Undernews For May 9, 2008

Undernews For May 9, 2008

FROM THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
Washington's Most Unofficial Source
611 Pennsylvania Ave SE #381
Washington DC 20003
202-423-7884
Editor: Sam Smith

9 MAY 2008

WORD

There is nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation - John Ciardi

PAGE ONE MUST

PENTAGON USES CREMATORY FOR DEAD VETS . . . AND DEAD PETS

WASHINGTON POST The U.S. military has, since 2001, cremated some of the remains of American service members killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere at a Delaware facility that also cremates pets, a practice that ended yesterday when the Pentagon banned the arrangement. The facility, located in an industrial park near Dover Air Force Base, has cremated about 200 service members, manager David A. Bose estimated last night. It uses separate crematories a few feet apart to cremate humans and animals, he added, insisting that there had "not been any people gone through the pet crematory."

Pentagon officials said they do not think that human remains and animal remains were ever commingled at the facility. "We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever at this point that any human remains were at all ever mistreated," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said at a news conference hastily convened last night.

Regardless, the Pentagon will no longer permit crematories not located with funeral homes to handle the remains of U.S. troops, defense officials said.

BUSH SIGNS DEMOCRATS' BILL SETTING UP DNA DATABASE ON ALL NEWBORNS

INFOWARS President Bush signed into law a bill which will see the federal government begin to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the U.S. within six months, a move critics have described as the first step towards the establishment of a national DNA database. Described as a "national contingency plan" the justification for the new law S. 1858, known as The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, is that it represents preparation for any sort of "public health emergency."

The bill states that the federal government should "continue to carry out, coordinate, and expand research in newborn screening" and "maintain a central clearinghouse of current information on newborn screening… ensuring that the clearinghouse is available on the Internet and is updated at least quarterly". Sections of the bill also make it clear that DNA may be used in genetic experiments and tests.

One health care expert and prominent critic of DNA screening is Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care . . . Brase states that . . . the bill, will:

- Establish a national list of genetic conditions for which newborns and children are to be tested.

- Establish protocols for the linking and sharing of genetic test results nationwide.

- Build surveillance systems for tracking the health status and health outcomes of individuals diagnosed at birth with a genetic defect or trait.

- Use the newborn screening program as an opportunity for government agencies to identify, list and study "secondary conditions" of individuals and their families.

- Subject citizens to genetic research without their knowledge or consent.

"Soon, under this bill, the DNA of all citizens will be housed in government genomic biobanks and considered governmental property for government research," Brase writes. "The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research." . .
Texas Congressman Ron Paul who made the following comments before the U.S. House of Representatives: "I cannot support legislation, no matter how much I sympathize with the legislation’s stated goals, that exceed the constitutional limitations on federal power or in any way threatens the liberty of the American people."

OKLAHOMA CLOSE TO APPROVING NAFTA HIGHWAY

TOM DEWEESE, CANADA FREE PRESS Despite massive public opposition, the Oklahoma state legislature approved a bill to allow creation of "Smart Ports" and continuation of the NAFTA Superhighway system in Oklahoma. The bill is on Governor Brad Henry’s desk. . . . The road will be regulated under international law, and the bill waives the State’s 11th Amendment protection from being sued in federal court. . .

There is significant support for NAFTA superhighways in Oklahoma’s public sector. Oklahoma Senator Debbe Leftwich serves as NASCO’s Secretary, and Dawn Sullivan, a planning and research division engineer for Oklahoma’s Department of Transportation, is a member of NASCO. . . . Another major supporter has been Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

Mayor Cornett signed the "Kansas City Declaration” in 2004 at the North American Trade Corridor Partnership in Kansas City. . . . This document recorded participants’ "shared vision of future cooperation for communities along the NAFTA Trade Corridor in Canada, the United States and Mexico (concluding the) economic vitality and social integration of our communities demand open, dynamic and secure borders.” Mayor Cornett also called for the economic integration of North America in a video interview at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June of 2004.

In a June 25, 2007, interview with Dr. Jerome Corsi, Mayor Cornett repudiated his signing "The Declaration of North American Integration,” saying "It was a pretty stupid thing to get involved with.” He further stated, "I am opposed to the extension of the Trans-Texas Corridor into Oklahoma if the whole point is to make it cheaper to transport containers from China coming through Mexican ports.”

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE POPULISM

JONATHAN CHAIT THE NEW REPUBLIC Conservative populism and liberal populism are entirely different things. Liberal populism posits that the rich wield disproportionate influence over the government and push for policies often at odds with most people's interest. Conservative populism, by contrast, dismisses any inference that the rich and the non-rich might have opposing interests as "class warfare." Conservative populism prefers to divide society along social lines, with the elites being intellectuals and other snobs who fancy themselves better than average Americans.

Consider this analysis recently offered by Bill Clinton in Clarksburg, West Virginia: "The great divide in this country is not by race or even income, it's by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules." This is precisely the dynamic that allows multimillionaires like George W. Bush and Bill O'Reilly to present themselves as being on the side of the little guy. A more classic expression of conservative populism cannot be found. . .

Likewise, Bill Clinton recently declared, "The people in small towns in rural America, who do the work for America, and represent the backbone and the values of this country, they are the people that are carrying her through in this nomination." The corollary--that strong values and hard work is in shorter supply among ethnically heterogeneous urban residents--is left unstated. Hillary Clinton's statement about "hard- working Americans, white Americans" simply made explicit a theme that conservative populists usually keep implicit.

Liberal populism is mostly harnessed to a concrete legislative program aimed at broadening prosperity. Al Gore's "people versus the powerful" campaign focused on his differences with Bush over issues like regulation of HMOs and progressive taxation. Conservative populism, by contrast, is a way of exploiting the grievances it identifies without redressing them. It has an ever- shifting array of targets--Michael Dukakis's veto of a law requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or the rantings of Jeremiah Wright--but no way to knock them down.

Conservative populists sometimes ape liberal populism by promising material benefits to average people. But the promise is structured so as to pose no threat to any wealthy economic interest. George W. Bush offered tax cuts to the middle class, but paired them with far larger tax cuts for the rich, so that, ultimately, the middle class bore a larger proportion of the tax burden.

Hillary Clinton's embrace of the gas tax holiday is a miniature example of the same pattern. Her plan, which rests upon the political principle that high gasoline prices are unacceptable and that the federal gas tax is a burden on hard-pressed Americans, is highly congenial to the interests of oil companies. Yet she presents it as an assault on Big Oil, much as Bush presented his tax cuts as a way to force the rich to pay a higher share of the burden of government. . .

The liberal populist sees politics as a series of quantifiable trade-offs between competing interests. The conservative populist offers an appeal that can't be quantified: Who shares your values? Who is more manly? (James Carville: "If she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two.")

OLMERT ADMITS TAKING CASH FROM U.S. BUSINESSMAN

REUTERS - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admitted on taking cash from a U.S. businessman but resisted calls to resign over a police investigation into alleged hefty bribes over almost a decade. As Israelis enjoyed festivities marking Independence Day and the 60th anniversary of the founding of their state, police lifted a week-old media gag order and announced details of accusations that sparked opposition calls for Olmert to quit. He said he would resign only if he were formally indicted. . .

Olmert, in a late-night televised address to the nation, said: "I look each and every one of you in the eye and say, 'I never took bribes. I never took a penny for myself'." His allies say there is a right-wing campaign to wreck the peace process, but it was unclear if his fragile coalition would rally behind a man who last year said he was "indestructible".. . . Olmert, who was questioned by police for an hour last Friday, has weathered a string of investigations since he succeeded Ariel Sharon as prime minister in 2006. Sharon's son is in jail for campaign funding misdeeds on his father's behalf.

On Thursday, Olmert said all the cash he received -- put at hundreds of thousands of dollars by one judicial source -- was legitimate support from New York financier Morris Talansky to fund various election campaigns over nearly a decade from 1993.

THE CLINTON DIVORCE

WALL STREET JOURNAL No, we don't mean Bill and Hillary. We mean the separation now under way between the Clintons and the Democratic Party. Like all divorces after lengthy unions, this one is painful and has had its moments of reconciliation, but after Tuesday a split looks inevitable. The long co-dependency is over.

Truth be told, this was always a marriage more of convenience than love. The party's progressives never did like Bill Clinton's New Democrat ways, but after Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis they needed his epic political gifts to win back the White House. They hated him for their loss of Congress in 1994, but they tolerated Dick Morris and welfare reform to keep the presidency in 1996.

The price was that they had to put their ethics in a blind Clinton trust. Whitewater and the missing billing records, Webb Hubbell, cattle futures and "Red" Bone, the Lincoln Bedroom, Johnny Chung and the overseas fund-raising scandals, Paula Jones and lying under oath, Monica and the meaning of "is." Democrats, or all of them this side of Joe Lieberman and Pat Moynihan, defended the Clintons through it all. Everything was dismissed as a product of the "Republican attack machine," an invention of the "Clinton haters," or "just about sex.". . .

Then something astonishing happened. A new star emerged in Barack Obama. . Democrats supporting Mr. Obama had a revelation about Clintonian mores. David Geffen, channeling William Safire, declared that "everybody in politics lies," but the Clintons "do it with such ease, it's troubling." Ted Kennedy was shocked to see the Clintons play the race card in South Carolina. The media discovered their secrecy over tax records and Clinton Foundation donors. . .

By the time Mrs. Clinton made her famous claim about dodging Bosnian sniper fire, Democrats and their media friends no longer called it a mere gaffe, as they once might have. This time the remark was said to be emblematic of her entire political career. The same folks who had believed her about Whitewater and the rest now claimed she never tells the truth about anything.

As the scales suddenly fell from liberal eyes, the most striking statistic was the one in this week's North Carolina exit poll. Asked if they considered Mrs. Clinton "honest and trustworthy," no fewer than 50% of Democratic primary voters said she was not. In Indiana, the figure was merely 45%.

Slowly but surely, these Prisoners of Bill and Hill are now walking away, urging Mrs. Clinton to leave the race. Chuck Schumer damns her with faint support by saying any decision is up to her. Columnists from the New York Times, which endorsed her when she looked inevitable, now demand that she exit so as not to help John McCain. With Mr. Obama to ride, they no longer need the Arkansas interlopers.

If the Clintons play to their historic form, they will ignore all this for as long as they can. . . The difference between now and the 1990s, however, is that this time the Clinton foes aren't the "vast right-wing conspiracy." This time the conspirators are fellow Democrats. It took 10 years, but you might say Democrats have finally voted to impeach.

MAJOR MEDIA STILL HIDING DIRT ON HILLARY CLINTON

RICHARD PRINCE, JOURNAL-ISMS Clinton told USA Today, "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on." As evidence, the story said, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

While bloggers, some columnists and editorial writers and some readers jumped on the comments, stories in the mainstream media downplayed them. .

Even USA Today, to whom Clinton uttered the comment as a response to a general question about her campaign, broke the story under a bland Web site headline, "Clinton makes case for wide appeal."

An Associated Press story by Beth Fouhy seemingly attempted to validate Clinton's comments and to marginalize those who found them offensive. . .

CNN's "Situation Room" and the "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" both interviewed Obama but did not ask him about Clinton's "white Americans' comment. If it made the network evening news shows, it was reported routinely.

THAT'S NOT THE ONLY STORY about Clinton the major media has concealed of late. A full day after Jerry Seper's major scoop about documents from former Whitewater prosecution aide Samuel Dash's estate providing more evidence of Hillary Clinton's dishonesty, a Google search failed to come up with a single major media story on the topic. There were 62,839 stories in that period that mentioned Clinton but not one about the revelations concerning Whitewater and Webster Hubbell

THE HATE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CRITICS OF ISRAEL

JOHANN HARI, INDEPENDENT, UK In the US and Britain, there is a campaign to smear anybody who tries to describe the plight of the Palestinian people. It is an attempt to intimidate and silence - and to a large degree, it works. . .

My own case isn't especially important, but it illustrates how the wider process of intimidation works. I have worked undercover at both the Finsbury Park mosque and among neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers to expose the Jew-hatred there; when I went on the Islam Channel to challenge the anti-Semitism of Islamists, I received a rash of death threats calling me "a Jew-lover", "a Zionist-homo pig" and more. . .

I have also reported from Gaza and the West Bank. Last week, I wrote an article that described how untreated sewage was being pumped from illegal Israeli settlements on to Palestinian land, contaminating their reservoirs. This isn't controversial. It has been documented by Friends of the Earth, and I have seen it with my own eyes. . .

Some of the most high profile "pro-Israel" writers and media monitoring groups - including Honest Reporting and Camera - said I an anti-Jewish bigot akin to Joseph Goebbels and Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh, while Melanie Phillips even linked the stabbing of two Jewish people in North London to articles like mine. Vast numbers of e-mails came flooding in calling for me to be sacked. . .

The former editor of Israel's leading newspaper, Ha'aretz, David Landau, calls the behavior of these groups "nascent McCarthyism". Those responsible hold extreme positions of their own that place them way to the right of most Israelis. Alan Dershowitz and Melanie Phillips are two of the most prominent figures sent in to attack anyone who disagrees with the Israeli right. . .

These individuals spray accusations of anti-Semitism so liberally that by their standards, a majority of Jewish Israelis have anti-Semitic tendencies. Dershowitz said Jimmy Carter's decision to speak to the elected Hamas government "border[ed] on anti-Semitism." A Ha'aretz poll last month found that 64 per cent of Israelis want their government to do just that. . .

Are the likes of Dershowitz and Phillips and Honest Reporting becoming more shrill because they can sense they are losing the argument? Liberal Jews - the majority - are now setting up rivals to the hard-right organizations they work with, because they believe this campaign of deionization is damaging us all. It damages the Palestinians, because it prevents honest discussion of their plight. It damages the Israelis, because it pushes them further down an aggressive and futile path. And it damages diaspora Jews, because it makes real anti-Semitism harder to deal with.

We need to look the witch-hunters in the eye and say, as Joseph Welch said to Joe McCarthy himself: "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

AGRIBUSINESS MAKING HUGE PROFITS OUT OF FOOD CRISIS

INDEPENDENT, UK Giant agribusinesses are enjoying soaring earnings and profits out of the world food crisis which is driving millions of people towards starvation. . . And speculation is helping to drive the prices of basic foodstuffs out of the reach of the hungry. The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor - who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food - into hunger and destitution.

The World Bank says that 100 million more people are facing severe hunger. Yet some of the world's richest food companies are making record profits. Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m to $1.12bn. Its profits increased from $1.44bn to $2.22bn.

Cargill's net earnings soared by 86 per cent from $553m to $1.030bn over the same three months. And Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest agricultural processors of soy, corn and wheat, increased its net earnings by 42 per cent in the first three months of this year from $363m to $517m. The operating profit of its grains merchandising and handling operations jumped 16-fold from $21m to $341m.

Similarly, the Mosaic Company, one of the world's largest fertilizer companies, saw its income for the three months ending 29 February rise more than 12-fold, from $42.2m to $520.8m, on the back of a shortage of fertilizer. The prices of some kinds of fertilizer have more than tripled over the past year as demand has outstripped supply. As a result, plans to increase harvests in developing countries have been hit hard. . .
The soaring prices of food and fertilizers mainly come from increased demand. This has partly been caused by the boom in biofuels, which require vast amounts of grain, but even more by increasing appetites for meat, especially in India and China; producing 1lb of beef in a feedlot, for example, takes 7lbs of grain.

GREAT THOUGHTS OF GEORGE W. BUSH

Just think about what life was like in Afghanistan under the Taliban, with al Qaeda driving the agenda. This is where girls have no rights. You can't worship freely. This is a very dark, grim vision that they believe they must spread far and wide. That's what they think. And one way they achieve their objectives, of course, is to intimidate by death. There's no rules with these people. There's just - so America has got to understand that in order to find them we've got to get in their heads. If you're facing a nation, you can find the nation. If you're facing people that burry [sic] in failed states you've got to understand how to find them.

BLOOMBERG, NYC COPS RUN HAYWIRE WITH MASSIVE POT ARRESTS

NAT HENTOFF, VILLAGE VOCE I have never seen such systematic dishonesty and contempt for the law as those documented in the 102-page report, "Marijuana Arrest Crusade: Racial Bias and Police Policy in New York City 1997-2007," by Professor Harry Levine of Queens College and Deborah Peterson Small, executive director of Break the Chains. In 2007 alone, there were 39,700 misdemeanor arrests for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. But such possession hasn't been a crime in New York State since the Marijuana Reform Act of 1977. Under that law, which is still in effect, an offender can usually expect to get only a ticket, punishable by a fine of not more than $100.

But most of the 353,000 New Yorkers arrested for having these small amounts from 1997 to 2006 got much more than a ticket: They were handcuffed, photographed, and fingerprinted, held overnight, arraigned in criminal court, plagued with permanent criminal records, and charged with the crime of having marijuana "burning or open to public view.". . .

The report also notes. . . "Mayor Bloomberg and other prominent politicians [and the FBI] have urged collecting DNA from everyone arrested for anything whatsoever, including, therefore, marijuana possession."

GAY PENGUINS: THE MOST OBJECTIONABLE BOOK IN AMERICA

NEWS, AUSTRALIA The tale of a pair of gay penguins who adopt a chick has once again topped the 'objectionable' list in US libraries. 'And Tango Makes Three' is a children's picture book published in 2005 about a family of penguins – with two fathers. It is the most 'challenged' book in public schools and libraries for the second year in a row, according to the American Libraries Association.

The ALA defines a "challenge" as a "formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness." "The complaints are that young children will believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is acceptable. The people complaining, of course, don't agree with that," Judith Krug, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, told AP.

Other books hitting the Top Ten complained about include Maya Angelou's memoir 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,' in which Angelou writes of being raped as a child; Mark Twain's 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,' long attacked for racism; and Philip Pullman's 'The Golden Compass,' which is widely perceived to be pro-atheism.

SHOP TALK: STILL UNDERGROUND AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

Sam Smith

THERE still is an underground press and we can prove it. Every week we receive a referral report for our site that tells where people have come from to get there. Over the years, we've noticed something remarkable, given traditional assumptions about marketing and the web: hardly any of our referrals come from other news or political sites; the overwhelming number are people coming directly to the site (return users), personal referrals (which only count for one each) and through search engines such as Google or StumbleUpon. Two repeated exceptions: the Mike Malloy radio talk show and the Arts & Letters Daily, a site for literary and intellectual news.

We are one of the oldest sites on the web. When we started in 1995 there were only 20,000 web sites worldwide. Today there are more than 150 million. In our first full year, 1996, we got 27,000 article visits; last year we got almost five million and have grown each year except for one. According to Alexis, the Review ranks in the top one-tenth of one percent of all websites worldwide. Almost all of this growth has come from word of mouth or from people stumbling upon us during a search for information.

Why don't we get more links from other news and political sites? One reason is that we are considered too radical or independent, the latter these days considered a synonym for the former. Never in the past fifty years has the conventional media been so beholden to conventional. Unlike, say, the 1960s, you don't find mainstream reporters wondering what those nuts on the left up to and giving you a call. Today, they just throw in a dismissive reference and get back to business, which is to not rock the boat. When they want to sound hip, they check in with some site like Daily Kos, closely linked to the Democratic Party.

The other problem has been that the Review was a leading member of the minuscule left wing conspiracy that told the truth about the Clintons from the start. I also helped start the national Green Party. Neither was appreciated in either liberal or Washington media circles although these folks have now suddenly discovered, 16 years late, that the Clintons aren't as honest they long thought. Beginning in the mid to late 90s, my transgressions led me to be banned from talk shows or dropped from guest lists, and to be blacklisted by various liberal groups, including being tossed out as a vice president of Americans for Democratic Action.

But here's what's interesting, and perhaps instructive about the web: during a period when my talk show appearances and interviews with conventional media were dropping by almost a half, visits to the Review web site quadrupled one year and then doubled in each of the next two. In other words, as long as ten years go, we were benefiting from a new reality that would eventually drive batty the circulation departments of the major archaic media..

And, of course, it's still happening. It's one of the hardest things to comprehend in a media obsessed culture like ours, but what's on the billboard doesn't necessarily tell you what's happening on the streets.

This is extremely important for alternative media and activist groups to understand. These days, anyone trying to do anything independent, decent or novel is almost certain to find themselves in the underground.

But then there has never been a time in history when the conventional media approved of positive change. And Tom Paine, Ben Franklin and Frederic Douglass would have been the first to hit the Web, if it has been invented a little earlier.

The trick is figure how to build powerful communities when no one in power is looking. It's not easy. After all, the big guys are using the Web as well and, sad to say, since its arrival on the scene, our country has moved rapidly to the right. I don't think that's inevitable, but we do need to think of new Web ways that those seeking a better America can better find each other, help each other and celebrate the fact that they are not alone.

DON'T CRY FOR ME, ARKANSAS

Nostalgic moments from the Clinton years

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW, 2001 - Robert Haas, one of the Northrop Grumman contractors who discovered and worked on the missing e–mail at the Clinton–Gore White House, has revealed that after he was threatened to keep his mouth shut about what he had discovered, someone anonymously left a death list on his chair of 58 people who had died during the Clinton–Gore Administration. Linda Tripp testified that a similar death list was left on her chair on at least two occasions during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

WHEN CAMPAIGN REPORTERS TOLD IT LIKE IT WAS

I rise to pay my small tribute to Dr. [Warren] Harding. Setting aside a college professor or two and a half dozen dipsomaniacal newspaper reporters, he takes the first place in my Valhalla of literati. That is to say, he writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash. - HL Mencken

DEPARTMENT OF GOOD STUFF

TOM WAITS SHOWS HOW
TO CONDUCT A NEWS CONFERENCE

FINALLY, A GOOD USE FOR SPY CAMS:
MAKING A CHEAP VIDEO


BREVITAS

FREEDOM BEAT

Mark Robinson was driving through downtown Melissa TX last week when he was pulled over for failing the use his turn signal. But instead of getting a ticket, the officer took the 24-year-old to jail. He was booked, strip searched, and sat for 3 hours with criminals. . . There aren't any warrants out for Robinson. In fact he says he's never been in jail. But he does admit to challenging the officer's questions during the stop. . . News 8 contacted various cities in Collin County, many of which have not made a single arrest this year for not using a turning signal. Even the police chief in Melissa acknowledges he's never seen this happen in his own city. "In the 6 years I've been the police chief, this is the first time," said Chief Duane Smith, Melissa PD. But he stands behind his officer, saying state law gives him the power to arrest someone for many crimes, no matter how minor. WFAA, Dallas
ECO CLIPS

Global production of solar photovoltaic cells increased 51 percent in 2007, to 3,733 megawatts, according to the latest Vital Signs Update from the Worldwatch Institute. "Thanks to strong, smart policies in countries like Germany and Spain, the PV industry is making great strides in efficiency and cost, bringing solar power closer to price parity with fossil fuels," says Janet Sawin, Worldwatch Senior Researcher and author of the update. Over the past year, Europe-led by Germany-surpassed Japan to lead the world in solar cell manufacturing, producing an estimated 1,063 MW in 2007. Thanks to government policies that guarantee high payments for solar power fed into the electric grid, Germany remains the world leader in solar PV installations, accounting for almost half the world total in 2007. About 40,000 people are now employed in the PV industry in Germany. Spain ranked second after Germany for total installations in 2007, but accounts for only an estimated 3 percent of global production. As in Germany, the Spanish market is being driven by a strong guaranteed price for PV electricity.

Computer analyses of global climate have consistently overstated warming in Antarctica, concludes new research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Ohio State University. The study can help scientists improve computer models and determine if Earth's southernmost continent will warm significantly this century, a major research question because of Antarctica's potential impact on global sea-level rise. . . The study marks the first time that scientists have been able to compare records of the past 50 to 100 years of Antarctic climate with simulations run on computer models. . . The study delivered a mixed verdict on Antarctica's potential impact on sea-level rise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which operates under the auspices of the United Nations, has estimated that sea-level rise could amount to 7 to 23 inches (18-59 centimeters) this century, in part because of melting glaciers worldwide. The Geophysical Research Letters paper suggests that warming in Antarctica over the next century could offset that by about 2 inches if the continent warms by 5.4 degrees F (3 degrees C), as computer models have indicated. The reason is that the warmer air over Antarctica would hold more moisture and generate more snowfall, thereby locking up additional water in the continent's ice sheets. But the authors caution that model projections of future Antarctic climate may be unreliable.
OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Hillary Clinton supporter Harvey Weinstein threatened to cut off contributions to congressional Democrats unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi embraced his plan to finance revotes in Florida and Michigan, three officials familiar with their conversation said. . . They said Weinstein, a top supporter of Clinton's presidential campaign, appeared determined to buy Clinton more time in her battle against Sen. Barack Obama by pushing for the revote. He was also pressing Pelosi to back off her previous comments that superdelegates should support the candidate who's leading in pledged delegates in early June, the sources said. CNN

According to a Wall Street Journal review, Sorenson says, for the first time, that he "did a first draft of most chapters," "helped choose the words of many of its sentences" and likely "privately boasted or indirectly hinted that I had written much of the book." Sorenson also admits that in 1957 -- just after the book won a Pulitizer Prize -- that Kennedy "unexpectedly and generously offered, and I happily accepted, a sum" for Sorensen's work on the book. - Politics 1

FURTHERMORE . . .

Wikipedia has temporarily blocked edits from the US Department of Justice after someone inside the government agency tried to erase references to a particularly-controversial Wiki-scandal. Early last week, the Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America was accused of organizing a secret campaign to influence certain articles on the "free encyclopedia anyone can edit". Just days later, the DoJ's IP range was used to edit the site's entry/ The DoJ did not respond to our requests for comment. But odds are, the edits were made by a single individual acting independently. Register, UK

The media covered the Jeremiah Wright story "like it was a missing white girl" - Jon Stewart

VANISHING BEE BLOG

THREE HEARD MCCAIN SAY HE DIDN'T VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH


THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
Washington's Most Unofficial Source
611 Pennsylvania Ave SE #381
Washington DC 20003
202-423-7884
Editor: Sam Smith

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