PRESIDENT BUSH: CANCEL THE INAUGURATION PARTY AND DONATE THE FUNDS TO TSUNAMI & QUAKE VICTIMS

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Since Christmas night, when I first heard of the massive earthquake off of Indonesia and that several hundred people might have been killed by a massive tsunami, I have watched the numbers climb. The numbers killed have worn me down and somewhat numbed me in a way that I can only think about this tragedy and very little about what is happening in normal, day to day life. This must be one of the worst natural disasters of all time,…

HAMID MIR REPORTS ON <em>AL QAEDA 2.O CONFERENCE</em>

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Here is an interesting write-up by Hamid Mir, a well-known Pakistani journalist and editor who has interviewed Osama bin Laden four times. Mir was also speaker at the Al Qaeda 2.0 Conference that I recently helped organize with colleague Peter Bergen and Karen Greenberg, Executive Director of the NYU Center on Law & Security. Read the whole thing, but here is a quick roster of statements Hamid Mir thought were important from the conference: . . .Michael Scheuer (AKA, “Anonymous”)…

<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/30/asia.quake/index.html">116,000 DEAD</a> AFTER SOUTH EAST ASIAN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMIS

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I have been through a number of scary earthquakes, including two relatively big ones in Los Angeles, a couple in Tokyo and one in Alaska. But nothing compares to a 9.0 quake. These quakes I experienced were scary to me — but I can’t even imagine the devastation that is now being reported in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Somalia, and other places around the rim of countries surrounding the Sumatran region of Indonesia and the Andaman Islands….

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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This was taken tonight on the back lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The tree is magnificent and from Virginia. Speaking of Virginia, some are projecting a 2008 presidential battle between George Allen and Mark Warner. That would be interesting. I stopped by the White House Christmas Tree scene as well. I saw all the little Christmas trees from every part of the country — even American Samoa, plus the big one that the Bush family lit. I saw the manger…

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER? JOHN KERRY GOES FOR PHONE CARDS

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I got an email today allegedly from John Kerry — but clearly from what’s left of his “Friends of John Kerry” staff — that makes the case that Americans need to support the needs of soldiers with phone cards and other donations. Here is his letter. While Paul Wolfowitz is pushing anthrax vaccinations which rightly or wrongly have aggravated the mistrust between soldiers and those in control of the Pentagon helm, progressives addressing this war’s shocks on soldiers and their…

TOO CLOSE TO CALL IS BETTER THAN A LOSS: PROGRESS IN WASHINGTON STATE

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There is a remarkable recount story unfolding in Washington State. When so many stories of misdeeds and voter system mismanagement that favored Republicans appeared elsewhere in the nation, it is interesting to see the Republicans making similar statements as Dems in this Washington State race. The $750,000 the Dems needed to raise to force this hand recount looks like it might get a big payoff. Speaking of payoffs, I’m still in Las Vegas having fun. I head home tonight on…

WOLFOWITZ’S XMAS PRESENT TO TROOPS: ANTHRAX VACCINE?

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There is an increasing pool of cases of active duty military whose nervous systems have responded negatively to the anthrax vaccines ordered by the Department of Defense. When I wrote ‘A Soldier’s Story‘ at the end of October, the person with whom I conversed told me that he had a deal with his sergeant that he and those who worked for him would not take the vaccine. He reported that one soldier from his section had responded very negatively to…

GENERAL BOYKIN ON FIGHTING CRUSADE FOR INTELLIGENCE

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Remember Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin? He’s the bible-belting general who described America’s campaign in Iraq as a crusade against Satan. Here is a report on some other gems: . . .the former commander and 13-year veteran of the Army’s top-secret Delta Force is also an outspoken evangelical Christian who appeared in dress uniform and polished jump boots before a religious group in Oregon in June to declare that radical Islamists hated the United States “because we’re a Christian nation,…

MORE ON MICHAEL POWELL & CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

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I have had a surprisingly strong reaction to what I wrote yesterday about a very anti-competition decision from the FCC that allows Baby Bells to choke off fair access to local facilities under their control. I thought these kinds of competition and telecom issues would not generate much interest — but I have already had more than 100 emails in reaction. These facilities were once part of the AT&T telecommunications monopoly — arguably bought and paid for by U.S. consumers…