Sunday, August 31, 2008
Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:21pm BST
NAZRAN, Russia (Reuters) - An opposition Internet news site owner in Russia's troubled Ingushetia region was fatally shot on Sunday soon after being detained by police, and his colleagues called for a rally to protest his death.
Magomed Yevloyev is one of the most high-profile journalists to be killed in Russia since investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead near her Moscow apartment in 2006, provoking condemnation of Russia's record on media freedom.
Yevloyev, owner of the www.Ingushetiya.ru website, was a vocal critic of the region's Kremlin-backed administration, accused by opponents of crushing dissent and free speech.
A lawyer for the website -- which survived repeated official attempts to close it down -- said police met Yevloyev at the steps of the aircraft after he flew in to Ingushetia's airport, put him in a Volga saloon car and drove him away.
"As they drove he was shot in the temple... They threw him out of the car near the hospital," lawyer Kaloi Akhilgov told Reuters by telephone.
"He was discovered there and they quickly put him on the operating table, which is where he died."
Akhilgov said Yevloyev, who was in his thirties, flew from Moscow to Nazran on the same flight as the Kremlin-backed local leader Murat Zyazikov. A spokesman for Zyazikov could not be reached for comment.
A posting on Yevloyev's website called on "all those who are not indifferent" to his killing to gather for a demonstration in Nazran, Ingushetia's biggest town where Zyazikov's opponents have clashed with riot police in recent years.
"A preliminary investigation is being carried out into the incident as a result of which M.Yevloyev was killed," said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the investigations unit of the Prosecutor General's Office in Moscow.
Markin said police had tried to bring Yevloyev in for questioning but that an incident occurred in which he received a gunshot wound that led to his death.
Interfax news agency cited an unnamed law enforcement source as saying Yevloyev was shot by accident and said prosecutors had opened a criminal case for causing the death by carelessness.
Akhilgov said he doubted the shooting was an accident. "It was in no way a mistake," he told Reuters.
Media freedom groups say Russia is one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists.
Ingushetia is a poor, mainly Muslim, region in Russia's North Caucasus region and borders Chechnya, scene of a separatist rebellion that has now been largely quelled.
Ingushetia's leader, Zyazikov, has been struggling to contain a low-level insurgency by Islamist militants. Opponents accuse Zyazikov of persecuting opposition activists.
Zyazikov, a former security service officer in the local KGB, has criticised the reporting by Ingushetiya.ru and brought a court case earlier this year trying to close down the site.
McCain, who marks his 72nd birthday on Friday, was determined to create his own gift - by stealing some of the spotlight from Obama with his choice for vice president. Speculation centered on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as two who had been considered top prospects - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - appeared to be out of the running.
From: Obama embarks on 67-day sprint to election. The Examiner. Aug 29, 2008 6:48 AM
The above from The Examiner. Two paragraphs.
Read the first paragraph again and ponder the following:
There has also been a change--a slippage--in our intellectual and moral strength. Seven lean years of drouth and famine have withered a field of ideas. Blight has descended on our regulatory agencies--and a dry rot, beginning in Washington, is seeping into every corner of America--in
the payola mentality, the expense account way of life, the confusion between what is legal and what is right. Too many Americans have lost their way, their will and their sense of historic purpose.
It is a time, in short, for a new generation of leadership--new men to cope with new problems and new opportunities.
That is the choice our nation must make--a choice that lies not merely between two men or two parties, but between the public interest and private comfort--between national greatness and national decline--between the fresh air of progress and the stale, dank atmosphere of "normalcy"--between determined dedication and creeping mediocrity.
All mankind waits upon our decision. A whole world looks to see what we will do. We cannot fail their trust, we cannot fail to try.
Now - who said the above?
John F. Kennedy, in Los Angeles, at the July 1960 nominating convention.
The paragraph reads like a tired refrain from one of her father's speeches. What did the Examiner do - ask Obama for a pre-written column to print.
What Obama said in Denver sounded very much like a Kennedy speech - which we all know, was largely written by Theodore Sorrenson. Interestingly, Sorrenson has helped the Obama campaign with speeches.
Old rehashed Kennedy speeches with a new twist - Obama Twist.
No wonder Caroline hears her father ... they are all his speeches.
Then read paragraph 2 (either above or below)
McCain, who marks his 72nd birthday on Friday, was determined to create his own gift - by stealing some of the spotlight from Obama with his choice for vice president. Speculation centered on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as two who had been considered top prospects - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - appeared to be out of the running.
They had to be sure to throw in 72 years old to contrast with the new generation of leadership ... just had to.
I love the bias that permeates every aspect, nook, and crevice of the media.
Got me to thinking about the left hate and conspiracy minded loons residing at Daily Kos and other loony left fringe pots (the connection between where the left are located - in fringe POTs and what was wafting in from outside - the stuff being smoked within close proximity to my back yard. Which is not too difficult to understand given the small yards.).
First, sort a few issues out quickly on the right side:
-Obama did attend a madrassa. There is no question about that. Doesn't mean he was Muslim, just that he attended it.
-Some people in the village/city he lived in believed him to be a Muslim based upon his fathers background and the madrassa he attended. They are wrong according to Obama.
-Obama does know Rezko and did receive assistance in the purchase of his home, from Rezko.
The above are facts. We know they are because the evidence exists and no one disputes the details.
Where the right-wing takes the above - becomes spurious.
Where the left wingers go - we know:
[Spelling errors belong to the writer of the above]
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Lefty Bloggers Go After Palin's Daughter
Posted by: Amanda Carpenter at 5:47 PM
The lefty blogosphere hasn't stopped perpetuating the rumor Sarah Palin "faked" her last pregnancy and are now humiliating her daughter Bristol on the blatantly incorrect suspicion she is the real mother of baby Trig.
"Sarah Palin is NOT the Mother" is the title of this DailyKos blog that accuses Bristol, a completely fit looking adolescent teen, of having a "baby bump" in a photo they allege was taken March 9th of this year. "Sarah, I'm calling you a liar" wrote blogger ArcXIX. "And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better. "
Not only is the DailyKos disgustingly inspecting Bristol's midriff with all the fervor of LA paparrazzi examining J-Lo's or Jennifer Aniston's washboard stomachs for evidence of a "bump" DailyKos is is wrong on when the photo was taken. It was taken, and published, by the Anchorage Daily News in 2006.
Baby Trig, a Down's Syndrome child, was born on April 18, 2008. That's a long time for a teen girl to be carrying a "bump" which looks nothing more than the curve of a tight sweater. Shortly after Palin was announced McCain's VP, bloggers at the Kos started ginning up the rumor Palin faked her pregnancy, allegedly to cover for an illegitimate grandchiled, because she looked so fit and trim in a photo taken a few months before giving birth.
This is only the latest in outrageous attacks against Palin's mothering ability.
I am often told and reminded that we all love our country, that we are all patriots, that we are all Americans.
I do not love a country that fosters that insidious hatred. I will not align myself with any self-designated patriot who would malign a person as they have in such a hateful manner.
I will not call myself an American if to be American we behave worse to each other than al qaida would treat us were we in their custody.
No - some people may be American by birth or citizenship but they do not represent America nor any American, for we are more than scum sucking lowlifes (the perpetrator of the pernicious attack on Palin and her family).
Ignorant and hateful people.
I need to find something else to do.
The problem: There is nothing else as easy, and pays as well, with reasonably good hours.
I do not mind people who do not tell the entire truth, but when confronted, I cannot stand liars. I cannot stand people who, when given the truth and all the facts, will not stand up to bad behavior and seek correction.
I have recently discovered that people I respected, would prefer to pretend, and allow injustice, then stand up and make some type of correction.
I like people with backbone, even if it causes them a problem.
When you find an injustice, you must stand up. When authority does something that is unfair, unjust, discriminatory, or ... unconstitutional, you must act.
If you do not, not only are you accepting unethical and unconstitutional behavior, but you are telling the perpetrators that they can do it again, and get away with it.
To suggest that I am deeply disappointed in a person I thought a friend, and two useless bureaucrats, and in a corrupt and discriminatory process, would be the understatement of this year, and the last seven years.
"How many houses does Palin bring to the Republican ticket?"
That is not BREAKING NEWS. That is a cheap shot at the Republicans, at Palin.
Do you want to know why MSNBC is the lowest watched cable news service of all - there you go.
I do not intend to ever use Bill Maher as a model for anything, BUT even he understood MSNBC was way over the line in their handling of Obama, and it has crossed now, into breaking news headline banners.
Why not admit your bias, admit you have an obsessive hate for Bush, admit you hate conservatives, admit you hate ... and that will be the start of your treatment.
Now, to be fair - the retardicans do not offer much. Very simple portions by very simple people. It is not that they are trying to force anyone to do anything. Not so. Neither are they the party usurping your rights. They are simply not equipped to handle anything more sophisticated than a kindergarten class.
The Losercrats can handle Kindergarten and 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th grades, very well. They just don't do much else very well.
No one is very qualified, so it is a matter of choosing the best qualified of the least, and then praying often. And if you are not religious - well, start now, because you'll need something. Either Obama will tax everything you have leaving you only with your faith, or McCain will squander it away on war funds. Either way - find religion, it may be soothing - or wish for a warm sunny beach some place far away (same as praying).
Aug 30, 2008
Alcoholism among women in Sweden rose by 50 percent between 2003 and 2007 as beer, wine and spirits have become more accessible in the country long known for its restrictive alcohol policy, a report on Saturday said.
"The number of female alcoholics has risen from 65,000 to about 100,000 and the number of male alcoholics has risen from about 135,000 to about 165,000. One important reason is that it has become easier and cheaper to buy alcohol," a report written by the head of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health's alcohol and drug division showed.
Sweden, a country of nine million inhabitants, has an alcohol distribution monopoly, meaning that Swedes can only buy beer, wine and liquor at state-run outlets called Systembolaget. Only Systembolaget and wholesalers authorised by the state may import such drinks.
Sweden maintains that the monopoly, and high taxes on alcohol, are needed to protect public health.
But alcohol has nonetheless become more accessible in recent years.
"Reduced alcohol taxes, private imports from abroad and across the internet, longer opening hours at Systembolaget and an increase in the number of restaurants granted liquor licenses" have all contributed to the rise in alcoholism, said Sven Andreasson, the author of the report published in Sweden's newspaper of reference Dagens Nyheter.
Andreasson noted that while overall alcohol consumption in Sweden had remained stable in recent years, the number of alcohol poisonings, alcohol-related violence and drink driving cases were on the rise.
The numbers he presented in the report were "in line with" reports from the health sector which indicated an increase in the number of people seeking care for alcohol-related problems, he said.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
(I do mean it - she is a brilliant writer and thinker. I do not agree with her on everything she writes or argues, but it does not change the fact she is brilliant.)
Samantha Power has determined that one factor, often undervalued or ignored, is honor, or perceived slights to honor, plays and has played a role in the Russian invasion of Georgia.
That Putin invaded Georgia out of perceived (real or not) slights to Russia's honor.
And guess who is also at fault - the US.
We should have been more sensitive to Russia's needs. Considered how they felt about the US/NATO gobbling up their former satellite puppet states.
"Diplomats and intelligence professionals must acknowledge that honor and humiliation often weigh as heavily in the minds of statesmen and citizens as do economic and security interests. "
True. I believe that leaders often act on the same emotion that drives the average citizen - anger, happiness, jealousy, honor, love, passion, envy ... whatever name and by whatever degree, it plays a role.
And it was a slap at Russia: the wall fell and the West championed the fall, rubbed their noses in the collapse, and at every opportunity spoke of how the West won the Cold War ...
But Ms. Power, aren't we missing something.
It is all good and noble that we should consider the feelings of others, but this is not just a former empire like Britain, this is and was THE evil empire.
On June 18, 1992, Boris Yeltsin spoke before the Congress and told the world that "there can be no co-existence between democracy and the totalitarian state system. Freedom and communism are incompatible." That the Soviet state desired to end our existence, and we could do nothing, but defeat them or be defeated by them. We defeated them and we worked very hard for several years to ensure they would never again be a threat to the United States - for a brief moment in time, the Russians spoke of asking for admission in to NATO.
NATO gobbling up the satellite states was dishonoring Russia. Ms Power, Russia devastated its former puppet states. It raped the people and the land. It destroyed hope, and for 40 years posed the greatest threat to mankind. Now we are supposed to have considered what would happen if we cozied up to the former satellite states? You seem to think we should have. And what options Ms. Power? Ask Russia if we could speak to the Ukraine? Ask Russia permission before we absorb Latvia into NATO? And if Russia said no, then what?
Are not these free and independent people able to make decisions for themselves? And they did decide - they begged to be added to NATO. They never again wanted to endure what Yeltsin said were incompatible systems - one they had endured for over forty years.
You stated that Bush was "unconcerned about Russia's simmering fury when he lobbied for Georgian and Ukrainian entry into NATO" and that the Euros, always in tune with what is best and right, always thinking about the global picture, and never about their interests - "rejected the proposal, showing that they — perhaps because of their own history — were more attuned to the risks of compounding Russia's growing and alarming sense of victimhood." Please. Ms. Power, the Euros rejected the Ukraine's requests not because they were in tune with Russian honor or victimhood, but because it placed the Ukraine on equal footing with France or Germany. No longer the power brokers, now Ukraine would places its military at the disposal of the West and play a role equal to the West. This was more a slap to France and Germany, and Britain, than to Russia.
Your anti-Bush sentiment shows through, much too clearly. The Euros are driven not by what is best in the world, nor by what is right - but by what makes them money, and the Ukraine would draw away US dollars toward a military far too inferior, by French standards, to serve any purpose against the Russians. It was after all the Euros who were so quick to let Stalin create his empire and iron curtain. they were willing to sell out the Eastern countries faster than you can say 'Rwandan independence', because they were not regarded as worth fighting over.
Ms. Power, it is your very argument - to be more sensitive to the honor issue that led to Western Europe conceding Eastern Europe to the Soviets in the first place.
You do however have a point -
This is not to suggest that the West do for Russia what the U.S. did for Germany — integrate an aggressor. Invading a country out of humiliation is as deplorable as doing so for territory or riches. Indeed, the West must be prepared to sanction Putin for the invasion of Georgia. The U.S. and its allies can avoid humiliating Russia by acknowledging that Georgia is not blameless and that the rights of Russian minorities must be protected. But Western countries must refuse to accept Russia's cease-fire assurances without independent monitoring, and they must state that Russia's continued membership in the G-8 and future entry into the WTO will turn on its peaceful resolution of regional disputes. The upside of Russia's preoccupation with lost status is that its exclusion from such élite organizations would sting. Russia has flexed its resurgent muscles at great human cost. Now it must be convinced that aggression does not restore honor; it soils it. (Time, Thur, Aug 14, 2008)
The feckless fool in question has apologized and said he is religious and would never say such a thing and mean it. He also expressed his dismay that a right-winger would unfairly tape him.
People say things they don't mean - POLITICS.
So why trust them about anything they say?
DEBKAfile Special Report
August 30, 2008, 5:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
A Dutch AIVD Secret Service ultra-secret operation underway in Iran in recent years has been halted and an agent recalled in view of “impending US plans to attack Iran,” within weeks, writes Joost de Haas, known for his good intelligence contacts, in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
The AIVD operation aimed to infiltrate and sabotage the weapons [and nuclear] industry in the Islamic Republic.
According to intelligence sources in the Netherlands, the US [or Israel] was expected to make a decision within weeks to attack nuclear plants with unmanned aircraft, used to avoid risking the lives of air crews and warplanes.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report this would be the first time drones operated by remote control were used against major strategic targets, necessary in Israel’s case to hold its air fleet and flight crews ready to defend the country against reprisal from Iran’s allies. Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah have stockpiled thousands of rockets for this purpose.
The Iranian targets to be bombed would include also military installations brought to light partly by the Dutch espionage operation, described by De Telegraaf as extremely successful. “One of the agents was able to infiltrate the Iranian industry” and for years shared information with the American CIA. “Various supplies could also be sabotaged and stopped. These were parts for missiles and launching equipment.”
According to DEBKAfile’s sources, the expectation disclosed by the Dutch newspaper would explain the fresh spate of threats from Iran.
Thursday, Aug. 28, Iranian sources told the London-based Arabic al Quds that Tehran had recently transferred to Hizballah new long-range rockets capable of hitting every inch of Israeli soil with great accuracy.
They were to be fired if Israel or the United States attacked Iran.
Dep. Chief of General Staff Masus Jazairi said Saturday, Aug. 30, that any attack on Iran would mean the beginning of a new world war. He said the “greed of the US and Zionists” is gradually leading the world to collapse as demonstrated in Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Caucasus.
DEBKAfile’s Iran sources report a shakeup is in progress in the Islamic Republic’s top military command.
Amir (Maj. Gen.) Seyed Abdollrahim Mousavi was named acting chief of staff
of the armed forces – a new post created as backup in case the army chief comes to harm in combat.
Amir Mohamad Hosseyn Dadras becomes deputy chief of staff for coordination.
Amir Reza Pourdastan is the new commander of the army’s ground corps.
You could argue he said it as a joke. I doubt he believes in God else he would not be supportive of the many issues he does support, so of course it is all a joke.
However, if a Republican had said the same stupid and ignorant comment, it would be held up as an example of religiosity, ignorance, intolerance, lack of compassion ...
Look fool - if there was God, as in your world view - He would send a hurricane to the Twin Cities and water be damned - He can do it. A hurricane a thousand miles away means nothing when you can flood the earth, you loser.
But for you to joke, after spending years blaming Bush, now you mock the property damage, the loss, the lives ... and you joke.
A silly man made a statement he would pray for rain last Thursday on Obama ... and the liberal press corp picked that one up and ran with it - religiosity, lack of compassion, intolerance, ignorance ...
Moore makes a statement that has a double impact given the history in New Orleans ...
Michael Moore is a fool
Friday, August 29, 2008
This is not an Obama versus Palin race. This is Obama versus McCain, and Palin versus Biden.
If the Democrats had nominated Biden and Obama was the VP, the race would be more equal.
Why is it a fair statement to argue Obama doesn't have experience, and it doesn't matter Palin doesn't?
Because McCain does have the experience and he will be in charge. Palin will learn working beside McCain.
It does not work the other way around. The President needs to be able to step into the job and cannot do on the job training.
DEBKAfile Special Report
August 29, 2008, 7:56 PM (GMT+02:00)
Former Russian Black Sea Fleet commander, Adm. Eduard Baltin was quoted by Moscow media as saying Friday, Aug. 29: “Despite the apparent strength of the NATO naval group in the Black Sea… a single salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group. Within 20 minutes, the waters would be clear.”
Adm. Baltin added: "We will not strike first, and they do not look like people with suicidal tendencies."
The Russian Fleet deploys 16 warships in the Black Sea compared with 10 NATO vessels – three American, Polish, German and Spanish frigates, and four Turkish warships, soon to be augmented by another six, including the USS Mount Whitney, which is considered one of the most advanced warships in the world.
In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino rejected Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s assertion that US personnel were in the combat zone during the war in Georgia and “someone in the United States” provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.
In his first major remark since the Georgian crisis erupted, Putin quoted information provided by the Russian military but offered no evidence. Perino called his allegations “patently false and “not rational.”
If no one was hurt, I would say go ahead and try. It would be amusing (again, if no one was hurt) to watch them try.
The Russian military may be impressive when it comes to battling down a significantly weaker force, but it cannot stand against the US - it is propaganda - humorous.
Russia cannot and will not ever be a world power again. It can be a regional power. It can be helpful in mediating disputes between countries it serves and are served by it. It cannot stand as a world power. It is understandable the feelings associated with this realization. Once a world power, now not. Even with the modernization of its nuclear stockpile, navy ... it cannot ever again rise to where it once was. Can it threaten the US? Yes. Any regional power (Iran) could be a threat.
And, according to a "Washington Post tally found Mr. Obama has missed more than 45 percent of Senate votes during the current congressional session."
He does not have the experience. As Bill Clinton said - he had one year of experience in the US Senate before he started running, and since then, his attendance has been ... well, not very good. You cannot say he has served in the Senate for the years since elected - he hasn't. He hasn't been around. He is the biggest empty suit that has run for the White House since Kennedy.
He does not have the skill set to be president.
He speaks in vagueries, all of the time. No specifics. Refuses to answer tough questions. Refused to meet with McCain ten times to talk about their ideas. Refused. Prefers to pseak from the podium with pre-planned speeches and illuminating gestures that are devoid of meaning or purpose.
By Daily Illini Editorial Board
Posted: 8/29/08 Section: Editorials
Some people have no shame. Many thought that John Edwards could go no lower after he admitted not only to having an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer but also lying about it for more than 10 months while he was running for president of the United States. But with the news, first reported by The Daily Illini, that he is set to be well compensated for an October speech on campus, Edwards has again proven himself to be untrustworthy.
Not that having an affair necessarily makes you a bad leader. History, even Democratic presidential history, shows that. Allegedly fathering a love child doesn't always extinguish a productive political career.
Not even lying, too many politicians' modus operandi, disqualifies him from being worth routine fees on the lecture circuit such as the $65,000 negotiated for his appearance here.
But it looks like Edwards made sure his pockets were lined first, before "coming clean" and revealing the truth. After spending the summer avoiding National Enquirer reporters, the former North Carolina senator finalized his speaking contract with the Illini Union Board in early August, mere days before he went public about the affair Aug. 8. Readers may remember it as the day the Beijing Summer Olympics began.
He knew that his reputation and political bank-ability would be severely damaged once the affair was confirmed. He knew that his credibility would be called into question. Given his track record, we can only assume he thought that he had to negotiate in bad faith because no institution in its right mind would pay him more money for an hour of work than many Americans make in a year if his deception was revealed.
More galling is that, according to a University spokeswoman, his agent said that Edwards is considering expanding his speaking schedule and raising his fee even higher despite the scandal.
If other schools want to pay him to discuss things in the same vein as the "viability of obtaining the 'American Dream'" with full knowledge of his untruthfulness, that's their business.
But we resent unknowingly paying John Edwards to reform his own image. If he wants to do that, he could start by donating the fees he has secured under dubious pretences to a worthy charity. With a net worth estimated to be in the tens of millions, he can afford it.
While his lecture in Foellinger Auditorium may be compelling, interesting and maybe worth attending, his words will carry little weight when they're delivered under a cloud of mistrust. There are many who believed in John Edwards while he ran for president. But lately, he hasn't given anyone a reason to believe anything he says.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Whatever that turns out to be, it should be at least 10.
If there is a 6 point lead, it should be nearly 16.
If there is a 2 point lead, it should be 12.
We will see what lead Obama reaps from the convention, but my guess is - it will not be near 10.
The leap may well be between 6-8 points. Not very good.
And now comes McCain.
Not a good position to be in - so much can change in a week.
The Washington Post
Sean Penn to ‘Reluctantly’ Vote for Obama
The hottest actor at the Democratic National Convention, Sean Penn, tells The Sleuth he’ll vote for Barack Obama and that his event this week with Ralph Nader is not an endorsement of the consummate party spoiler. “I’m not supporting Nader for president,” Penn tells us. We hung out with Penn very late Tuesday night (and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning) by the pool at beer magnate Scott Coors’s swanky modern mansion in suburban Denver, where Penn and other celebrities flocked to a party hosted by Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter and others.
Penn, who supported Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) for president during the Democratic primaries, expressed some reservations about Obama. But he’s certainly not about to vote for a Republican.
“I will reluctantly vote for Obama,” an exhausted-looking, wild-haired Penn told us in the wee hours of the morning.
Penn, who lives in San Francisco now, was being ushered around by Hollywood emissary Lawrence O’Donnell, a longtime former aide to the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.). And even though O’Donnell has lived and breathed politics for much of his life, he lost a crucial bet to Penn.
A while back, Penn predicted that Obama’s vice presidential pick would be Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.). O’Donnell, a consultant to “The West Wing” and other Washington-centric TV shows, bet $2,000 that Penn was wrong.
Last night, Penn was carrying in his pocket the slightly crumpled $2,000 check from O’Donnell, which he pulled out and showed us. Asked whether he planned to cash it or frame it, Penn said: “Frame it for now. But if SAG [the Screen Actors Guild] goes on strike, I might need to cash it.”
How many of us can afford to frame a $2000 check. I would think most Americans would need to cash the check to live / pay bills.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Pelosi to protesters: "Can we drill your brains?"
House Democratic leaders and protesters waving McCain signs had a war of words Tuesday at a press event outside an old train station. The demonstrators interrupted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with chants of “Drill here! Drill now!”
Pelosi paused and asked the group, “Right here?” Seeming to enjoy the back and forth, she followed with another question: “Can we drill your brains?”
She went on to refer to the protesters, who continued to chant sporadically, as “handmaidens of Big Oil.” Arguing that increased offshore drilling would reduce gas prices by only a couple of pennies a decade from now, she referred to the demonstrators as the “2-cents-in-10-years-crowd.”
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer swiped at the demonstrators, too, saying that “sophomoric chanting” won’t solve the energy crisis and that “all thinking Americans know” — stressing the word "thinking" and looking at the crowd — that America doesn’t have a quarter of the word’s fossil fuels yet uses a quarter of the world’s energy.
Neither of these two people are very bright, yet great examples of why the congress has the lowest rating in many decades.
We use 1/4 of the energy and we do not have 1/4 of the fossil fuel. We also feed nearly 1/2 the world and we do not have half the worlds population. We protected more than half the world from communism, yet we only have 1/20 of the worlds population.
What a moronic statement. The medicines and technology we have created that has saved millions upon million of lives. The people we feed today, the technology we created that has saved countless millions, and will save millions more. It is simplistic and moronic to make such comparisons. We are not France. We are not Guatemala, where you could compare numbers and make some simplistic statement. We lead the world, and have done more to make human living better, and save lives - few other nations can say the same.
Our fuel usage in large part directs those efforts and will continue to if these Losercrats do not win in November. Even if they do, we will still manage to feed and assist much of the world, in between screwing up the rest.
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Wednesday August 27 2008
Britain will overtake Germany and France to become the biggest country in the EU in 50 years' time, according to population projections unveiled yesterday. A survey of demographic trends finds Britain's positive birth rate contrasting strongly with most other large countries in Europe.
The impact of population shrinkage, coupled with the ageing of key European societies, spells big problems for pensions, health and welfare systems across much of the union, says the report, published by Eurostat, the statistical service of the European commission.
But Britain, it says, is likely to suffer less because of its strong population growth and the younger average age of British society.
Immigration is singled out as the sole mitigating factor, seen as crucial to maintaining population growth. But the report says this probably will not be enough to reverse the trend of population decline in many countries.
The survey predicts that Britain's population by 2060 will increase by 25% from the current figure of just over 61 million to almost 77 million.
Germany is the biggest country in the EU, with more than 82 million people, but it is likely to shed almost 12 million by 2060, says the report. The widely praised family policies and support of working women in France means that the French population will rise to almost 72 million by 2060.
With the British birth rate now at its highest in a generation - 1.91 children per woman according to the Office for National Statistics last week - the UK has less to fear about any "generation wars" brought on by the "demographic timebomb" of ageing and shrinking populations where those in work cannot support the pension needs of retired citizens.
"With climate change and globalisation the ageing of the population is one of the major challenges Europe must face," said Amelia Torres, a commission spokeswoman.
Of the biggest six EU countries (Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain and Poland) Britain has by far the greatest birth rates. Only Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Ireland are growing faster than the UK.
The average age of Europeans is now just over 40; this will be 48 by 2060. The average age for Britons is 39 and will be 42 in 2060 - the lowest age in Europe with the exception of Luxembourg.
The EU's population now stands at 495 million and is projected to rise to more than 520 million by 2035, before falling to 505 million by 2060.
"From 2015 onwards deaths would outnumber births, and population growth due to natural increase, would cease," says the survey, assuming a net migration inflow to the EU of almost 60 million over the next 50 years. "Positive net migration would be the only population growth factor. However, from 2035 this positive net migration would no longer counterbalance the negative natural change."
Across the EU's 27 countries there are now four people of working age for every person over 65, but by 2060 that ratio will be 2:1, causing stress on welfare and pension systems. Torres said pension and health systems had to be reformed.
Fourteen of the 27 countries are projected to have smaller populations in 50 years' time. The survey reveals striking contrasts, between eastern and western Europe and between the north and south, with Scandinavia and Britain comparing positively with Mediterranean Europe, while central and eastern Europe see chronic population depression.
The number of people aged 65 or more broadly doubles across the EU, with Britons of retirement age being almost 19 million. While the number of Germans of working age is predicted to decline from 54 million now to 39 million by 2060, in Britain the figure rises by more than 4 million.
Across the EU, the number of children under 14 will drop from 77 million to 71 million, but in the UK the number rises by 2 million. In Britain the proportion of over-80s will double to 9% while across the EU it will triple to 12%.
The UK population is increasing at a rate of around 1,000 people a day according to figures released by the National Statistics agency earlier this month.
Children aged under 16 represent around one in five of the total population, around the same proportion as those of retirement age. UK fertility rates dropped steadily during the 1980s and 1990s but began to increase again from 2003.
By 2060, the population of major Europen countries will be:
UK 77 million
Increases in population by 2060:
Decreases in population by 2060:
The strongly Roman Catholic countries of Europe are having fewer babies. The Italian population will stay the same over the next 50 years, while Poland's and Lithuania's will shrink considerably. Spain's population is forecast to increase by 6 million. Life expectancy is also rising. In Ireland, women will live to 89 and men to 85. Almost one in three Europeans will be of pensionable age if 65 remains the threshold.
The populations will decrease or remain steady ... AND THAT with immigration. Imagine without the immigration - how dramatic the downturn would be!
The downside to the immigration is - where are the immigrants coming from, who is having more children, and what change will that bring to all of Europe!!
Things are getting worse!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This week, thousands of Americans from across the country will gather in Denver at the Democratic National Convention to nominate our next president of the United States: Barack Obama.
Drawn by Obama's inspirational message of change and committed to moving our nation in a new direction, these Americans will take time off from work and family, and often spend their own money to travel to Colorado for this historic convention. In so doing, we will help write the next great chapter in our nation's history.
California will be particularly well represented by the largest and most diverse state delegation that will deliver the most votes of any state for our next president.
This year, we witnessed a historic Democratic nominating contest. Millions of Americans who had never before involved themselves in politics rallied to the principles of our Democratic Party. Voters were energized by our inspirational candidates and an awareness of how much is at stake for our great nation. We will now gather at this Democratic convention more unified and determined than we have ever been.
As the first female speaker of the House, I will proudly serve as convention chair and call to order a landmark gathering that will nominate Obama for president of these United States. He is truly an agent of change. He represents the best of America and our values.
It is appropriate that we are meeting this year in Denver, as the characteristics that make this city great will also make our nation stronger under the leadership of Obama. He is pioneering and innovative. And like the people of San Francisco, he is hopeful and compassionate.
Monday night, I will have an opportunity to speak to my fellow Democrats and the American people about what I believe is the most critical election of my lifetime. Never before has the choice for president been starker. Never before have the stakes been higher.
As president, Barack Obama will bring all Americans together to achieve real and dramatic change. Barack Obama will address the crisis of global warming, create millions of good-paying, green-energy jobs, and harness innovation to make America independent from dangerous and expensive foreign oil.
Barack Obama will bring change by offering affordable, quality health care to every American.
Barack Obama will help put opportunity within reach of every American who is willing to work for it with an economy and an education system that allows Americans to succeed.
Barack Obama will bring change by rebuilding our military, refocusing on the real war on terror and urgent unmet needs here at home, and responsibly ending the war in Iraq.
Barack Obama's story is an American story that reflects a life of struggle, opportunity and responsibility like those faced by Americans every day.
On Wednesday night, our party will vote to formally nominate our candidate for president. As the people of San Francisco elected me to represent them in Congress, I will have the opportunity to cast my vote. For our city, our nation, for my children and grandchildren, and for the future, I will proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama.
Barack Obama's nomination will be historic, not just due to who he is, but because of this moment in time.
With this election, we have the opportunity to close one chapter in our nation's history - one marked by the years of a war that never should have been waged, of deficits and economic decline that never had to happen - and write a new part of the American story: one of hope, opportunity and peace.
The power to shape American history is in our hands. This week, in Denver, we will begin that change. This fall, on election day, we will make that change real for every American. Let us begin anew.
Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Aug 25, 2008
By JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press Writer
DENVER (AP) - Barack Obama is striking back fiercely and swiftly to stamp out an ad that links him to a 1960s radical, eager to demonstrate a far more aggressive response to attacks than John Kerry did when faced with the 2004 "Swift Boat" campaign.
Obama not only aired a response ad to the spot linking him to William Ayers, but he sought to block stations the commercial by warning station managers and asking the Justice Department to intervene. The campaign also planned to compel advertisers to pressure stations that continue to air the anti-Obama commercial.
It's the type of going-for-the-jugular approach to politics many Democrats complain that Kerry lacked and that Republicans exploit.
Obama's target is an ad by the conservative American Issues Project, a nonprofit group that questions Obama's ties to Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground organization that took credit for a series of bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol four decades ago.
The lone financier of the anti-Obama ad, Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, was also one of the main funders of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who targeted Kerry. Simmons, a McCain fundraiser, contributed nearly $2.9 million to the American Issues Project, according to documents filed by the group with the Federal Election Commission.
Fox News and CNN have declined to air the anti-Obama ad. But by Monday afternoon, the ad had run about 150 times in local markets in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Michigan, according to Evan Tracey, head of TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, an ad tracking firm.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama supporters have inundated stations that are airing the ad, many of them owned by Sinclair Communications, with 93,000 e-mails. He called the ad false, despicable and outrageous.
"Other stations that follow Sinclair's lead should expect a similar response from people who don't want the political discourse cheapened with these false, negative attacks," Vietor said.
Sinclair offices were closed late Monday and officials there could not be immediately contacted.
"It seems they protest a bit too much," American Issues Project spokesman Christian Pinkston said. "They're going all of these routes—through threats, intimation—to try to thwart the First Amendment here because they don't have an argument on merit."
Ayers is now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He and Obama live in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and served together on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based charity that develops community groups to help the poor. Obama left the board in December 2002.
Obama also was the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform group of which Ayers was a founder. Ayers also held a meet-the-candidate event at his home for Obama when Obama first ran for office in the mid-1990s.
Obama has denounced Ayers' past activities.
"Barack Obama is friends with Ayers, defending him as, quote, 'Respectable' and 'Mainstream,'" the group's ad states. "Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' home. And the two served together on a left-wing board. Why would Barack Obama be friends with someone who bombed the Capitol and is proud of it? Do you know enough to elect Barack Obama?"
In a letter to station managers, Obama campaign lawyer Robert Bauer wrote: "Your station is committed to operating in the public interest, an objective that cannot be satisfied by accepting for compensation material of such malicious falsity."
Bauer also wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General John C. Keeney, noting that the ad is a "knowing and willful attempt to evade the strictures of federal election law."
The campaign's aggressive tactics could draw more attention to a subject the campaign wants to go away. On Tuesday, the University of Illinois at Chicago will make available records of Obama's service on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The group was set up to improve the city's schools. The documents could shed further light on whether Obama and Ayers had a relationship.
The American Issues Project is a 501(c)4 nonprofit corporation. It is permitted by law to air a political ad provided that the majority of its spending is nonpolitical. It cannot accept money from corporations and it must identify the donors that finance its ads in reports to the Federal Election Commission. Pinkston said the group has set aside money to carry out non-election related work to meet the legal requirements. It filed a report identifying Simmons as its sole donor for the ad last week.
In the Obama campaign's own response ad, an announcer states: "With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the 60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers. McCain knows Obama denounced Ayers' crimes, committed when Obama was just 8 years old."
The McCain campaign cannot coordinate efforts with outside groups. But the campaign took advantage of being the target of the response ad.
"The fact that Barack Obama chose to launch his political career at the home of an unrepentant terrorist raises more questions about Senator Obama's judgment than any TV ad ever could," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.
Odd that you would denounce someone who not only lives in your neighborhood, but with whom you served on a board that dispensed money to various groups. You would know that other person well, and their views - else how do you dispense the tens of thousands of dollars you were handing out.
You claim to have rebuked Ayers - was the during the more than four years you worked very closely with him, or after? Was that when you were promoting his book on youth justice, or after?
friends in a bed like bugs
Bill Clinton will reportedly not attend the convention Thursday night.
August 26, 2008
DENVER (CNN) – Hillary Clinton will be on hand for Barack Obama's acceptance speech, but according to a source close to former President Bill Clinton, he will not: the source tells CNN that Clinton will not join his wife at Invesco Field Thursday night.
Just imagine if Obama was elected. What would happen with Bill !!
By Sam Youngman
Posted: 08/26/08 01:47 PM [ET]
DENVER — Bill Clinton appeared to undermine Sen. Barack Obama again Tuesday.
The former president, speaking in Denver, posed a hypothetical question in which he seemed to suggest that that the Democratic Party was making a mistake in choosing Obama as its presidential nominee.
He said: "Suppose for example you're a voter. And you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?"
(to read the rest of the article lick on the title link)
And then he said - the comments had nothing to do with events today.
yeah, and wag another finger -
What are the Clintons planning.
Do you figure a phone call was made after those remarks were made, say by Barack to say ... Hillary and a conversation ended with - make it darned clear in your speech, who is in charge!!
Make no mistake - the majority of women have no choice, just as they do not have a choice in Gaza. Hizbollah will kill them for some indiscretion, or they can redeem themselves and bring honor to their family. Given a choice - most would want honor restored to their family and some chance at redemption in heaven. They choose the murderous path to hell instead.
Now in Iraq - women are being used.
Standing next to a school. Killing scores of children. That is al qaida's plan.
And don't let the revenge issue factor in - revenege is killing the person who killed your mother - NOT CHILDREN. if you cannot find the Iraqi soldier who shot your father, you find any Iraqi soldier - NOT CHILDREN.
Revenge is not what motivates al qaida - terror is what they seek.
Her being drugged is standard policy for anyone who may feel faint and not wish to go through with it. Some of those individuals who are beheaded have been given a tea or drink to numb the slaughter that follows. The same with the suicide/murder vest - she would have been given something to numb her senses - the senses that say what she is doing is wrong and to stop.
Fortunately, she has, it would seem, a very strong character that cannot be changed by these depraved animals.
She should be given some cash and a ticket to another Arab country. Her life is forfeit in Iraq.
August 26, 2008
The dramatic moment a 15-year-old Iraqi suicide bomber gave herself up
Tears streaming down her face, she is confronted by police - a teenage girl apparently planning to blow herself up in front of an Iraqi school.
The officers handcuffed her to a metal balustrade before moving in with extreme caution to uncover a vest full of explosives hidden under her colourful robe.
The dramatic scenes were captured on a video shot by the police.
The girl - thought to be around 15 years old - later said that she was given the bomb and told to wait outside the school for further instructions.
In the footage, she denies trying to stage a suicide attack, and appears dazed, even drugged. She gave her first name as Rania and said she was born in 1993.
Her exchange with the police offered a rare glimpse at a teenager allegedly recruited by insurgents.
However, it was not clear to what extent her answers were given out of fear - of the police, or even of her own family.
Police later said the vest contained about 33lb of explosives
Police in Baqouba, where the girl was caught on Sunday, said she was fitted with the vest by female relatives of her husband, whom she married five months ago.
They also claimed that the girl's father was a suicide bomber, and her mother and one of her sisters were later arrested.
However, U.S. sources said that the girl turned herself in after being hooked up to the explosives against her will.
The police footage begins with Rania standing on the street. Her arms are already behind her back, where they have apparently been tied by an officer in an attempt to restrain her.
A policeman is shown opening her robe, and later frames show her wearing what appears to be a suicide vest, containing about 33lb of explosives.
The officer said the girl led the police back to where she was given the explosives and that they found a second bomb belt in an empty apartment in the Baqouba area.
He also said the girl's mother and sister were arrested, but it was not clear why.
Some female bombers may have been motivated by revenge, and U.S. commanders believe al Qaeda in Iraq is increasingly seeking to exploit women unable to deal with the grief of losing husbands, parents, children and others to the violence.
The U.S. military said that in Diyala, some 200 female volunteers recruited by the U.S.-backed group Daughters of Iraq are helping search women at checkpoints.
Many Iraqi women wear long robes, ideal for covering bulky suicide vests, and Iraqi policemen hesitate to pat them down at checkpoints because of cultural taboos.
The police footage of the girl's arrest begins with her standing on a Baqouba street, next to a metal structure.
Her arms are behind her back, apparently tied to the structure, as police surround her.
Later, a policeman is shown opening her robe, and subsequent frames show her wearing what appears to be the suicide vest.
Police later said the vest contained about 33 pounds of explosives.
The girl is then shown standing in a room, wrapped in a black cloak, her hair dishevelled and surrounded by police officers.
She insists she doesn't know the women who gave her the vest.
'I swear to Allah that I do not know them. They were strangers,' she is heard saying, though she later says that 'one of the women's names was maybe Fadhila and the other was called Widad.'
When pressed to say whether she knew the woman who put the vest on her, she replied: 'Yes.'
Police asked if she intended to blow herself up.
'No, no, they put it on me and told me to take it off at home,' she said. 'They did not tell me to explode myself.'
A policeman then asks: 'If so, why didn't you disconnect" the detonator?
The girl says: 'I did not disconnect it (because) maybe it fell from me.'
A policeman standing next to her could be heard saying that when she was picked up, she was initially unable to talk because she had been given drugs.
(to read the rest of the article, click on the title link)
Obama Signaled Early That He Was Unlikely To Choose Ex-Rival
By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 26, 2008; A01
MOLINE, Ill., Aug. 25 -- In a private meeting with Sen. Barack Obama after she conceded the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made a request: that he consider her for his vice presidential running mate, but not put her through the charade of being vetted if he was not serious.
Obama told Clinton then it was unlikely he would choose her, people familiar with the conversation said. Obama did not want to lead her on and, after campaigning against her for more than a year, already had a sense that their pairing would not be the right fit.
(to continue reading the article, click on the title link)
What is curious about this article is really nothing. Kornblut is taking dictation from the Obama campaign for her articles. She is a mouthpiece for the Obama campaign.
We are now dealing with Biden, not HIllary.
Why bring Hillary up again?
Because, the Obama campaign knows that many of her supporters are upset and disillusioned, and more importantly, they are mad that their candidate was not even considered for the VP slot.
The Obama campaign, as nearly every political campaign / figure understands, people may be mad, but if the reasoning makes sense to them, they will shed some of their anger, and consider the options created by whatever changes had occurred that invoked their anger.
Along comes Kornblut telling anyone who can read, that Obama and Hillary had this issue sorted out from the very beginning, and Hillary was aware of Obama's position on a VP - it would never be her. If Hillary or her posse complain or whine, they will now look like sore losers and instigators of division.
The Obama camp is making an end run around their remaining criticism of his actions in ignoring Hillary.
Kornblut was their mouthpiece to achieve that goal. She must believe Obamessiah is our Savior, to go so far out on the ledge, letting it be known how much of a paid professional she really is ... she is betting the house that Obama wins.
By Chuck Plunkett and Allison Sherry and Kimberly Johnson The Denver Post
Supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton furiously circulated petitions on the floor of the Democratic National Convention last night, hoping to stave off a plan to hold the convention's roll call at breakfast Wednesday — out of the public eye — sources inside the delegations said.
The move being worked out between the Obama campaign and officials behind Clinton's suspended bid, would work in two parts: Delegates would cast votes at their hotels Wednesday morning; that night, at the Pepsi Center convention site, the roll-call process would rely on the votes cast that morning, the delegates said.
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, a former state co-chair for Clinton said she knows the camps are in negotiations about what to do.
"My view is we need to come together as a party," DeGette said. "I admire Hillary Clinton greatly, but I think it would be divisive to have a vote on the floor. We need to have a unanimous vote."
The evening event would call on the delegation from Illinois, which Obama serves as the junior senator, and then move to New York, which Clinton represents.
After New York delegates applaud Clinton's long-fought and historic candidacy, a motion would be made to accept the votes cast at breakfast.
The move is being resisted by some Clinton delegates, who are busy tonight circulating a petition among delegates as the opening night of the convention, titled "One Nation," gets underway.
"We just want a roll call like you're supposed to have," said one of the delegates collecting signatures for the petition, who asked not to be named because of concern about friction within the party.
The Obama campaign denied that there would be a change.
"This is not true," Jennifer Backus, a senior advisor, said in an email in response to a question about the negotiations for the roll call change.
David Harper of Macon County, Tenn., signed a petition to ensure a floor vote in the hall surrounding the Pepsi Center.
"I came out here by God to vote for her, and I'm going to do it," Harper said, visibly angry about the news.
(to read the rest of the article, click on the title link)\
If the change or hope gets in the way of winning or getting what He wants, it will be quashed.
Yes, that is the way things are done. No administration nor would any president permit anything other - BUT OBAMA has said He is not the same, He will be different, He will bring Hope and Change you can believe in, to Washington. Is it change to conduct political activities exactly the same as has been the case for decades. Is HOPE simply symbolic - allowing New York to vote for Hillary, knowing it means nothing, and everyone knows it means nothing. Is that HOPE and CHANGE.
I think not.
He is the same old same old.
With no experience.
Monday, August 25, 2008
August 26, 2008
Average U.S. Income Showed First Rise Over 2000
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
Americans enjoyed higher average income in 2006 for the first time since 2000, when the last economic expansion ended, the latest tax data show.
Adjusted gross income reported on tax returns in 2006 averaged $58,029. In 2006 dollars that was an increase of $739, or 1.2 percent, from the $57,289 average in 2000, analysis of Internal Revenue Service data showed.
Total income increased by $619.2 billion or 8.3 percent, all of which went to those making more than $75,000, and 42 percent of which went to the roughly one in 400 taxpayers who made more than $1 million in 2006.
Average income fell sharply in 2001 and in 2002, when it dropped to $51,870, off nearly 10 percent from 2000, tax data show. The average grew slightly in 2003.
Average income grew significantly in 2004, rising $2,291, and again in 2005, when the average increased by $2,210. Income growth continued in 2006, but at a much slower pace, increasing by $1,369 over the 2005 average once inflation is taken into account.
Salaries and wages, by far the largest source of income, nearly returned to the 2000 average in 2006. However, among the highest-paid workers, both total and average wages fell, an indication of how the Internet bubble had concentrated gains among a relatively few workers.
The average wage in 2006 was $46,996, down $101, or a fraction of 1 percent, from $47,097 in 2000. Average wages in this decade hit a low of $45,956 in 2003, the I.R.S. data show.
Among workers with salaries of less than $1 million, the average wage in 2006 was up $170 from 2000.
However, salaries fell noticeably among the tiny slice of taxpayers whose total income was $1 million or more, a threshold that the I.R.S. does not adjust for inflation. The number of wage earners in this high-income group soared over six years, up 42.9 percent, to 285,759 of the 116.4 million taxpayers reporting wages in 2006.
Despite this rise in the number of high-wage earners, their total wages declined by $2.4 billion, or almost 1 percent, to $313.3 billion.
The decline in total wages at the top was solely among the narrow segment of wage earners with total income of $5 million or more, the same group that was the big winner from dot-com era stock options, reported as wages on tax returns. The average wage of these 33,309 workers fell almost 37 percent, to $3.5 million in 2006 from $5.5 million in 2000, analysis of the tax data showed.