Tags: Dirty | Tricks | Meg | Whitman | Moshe Arens | Iraqi Reactor | Rep. Hoekstra

Dirty Tricks Against Meg Whitman; New Device Changes Internet

By    |   Sunday, 14 March 2010 05:30 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Dirty Tricks Used Against Meg Whitman
2. Moshe Arens: Iran Learned From Strike on Iraqi Reactor
3. Rep. Hoekstra: Reject Gitmo Closing Deal
4. North Korean Forces on Alert Over U.S. Military Drill
5. Doubts About Global Warming Grow
6. Dan Rather: Obama ‘Couldn’t Sell Watermelons’
7. New Device ‘Will Forever Change the Internet’
8. We Heard: Harry Reid, Obama Speech

1. Dirty Tricks Used Against Meg Whitman

A group led by Democratic Party strategists has launched a Web site soliciting disparaging information about Republican Meg Whitman, a leading candidate in the California gubernatorial race.

Level the Playing Field 2010, which launched the site, Wikimeg, on March 8, is a labor union-funded organization, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Visitors to Wikimeg are free to post what they’d like about Whitman, who served as CEO of eBay until March 2008.

“Monitors of the site are particularly looking for nuggets to pop into sections titled eBay Stories, Meg History and Meg Sightings,” the Chronicle reported.

A notice on the site’s home page asks contributors to “cite references when possible” and “contribute to the information found on this wiki in a positive and constructive way.”

But it goes on to indicate that what the site really wants is to dig up dirt on Whitman: “We hope this space will serve as a digital laboratory for free speech. It’s based on the idea that by harnessing the collective brainpower of millions of Californians, we can help level the playing field against Meg Whitman’s $200 million television campaign.

“We are asking everyone and anyone with factual information to share — from laid off eBay workers and those frustrated with Whitman's eBay's policies towards sellers to shareholders to regular voters — to help us fully vet Meg Whitman’s job application.

“Help to shed light on the choices Whitman made and the values she demonstrated over a lifetime in the corporate boardroom. Together we can get to the bottom of what Whitman is hiding by refusing to release her income tax returns as nearly every other gubernatorial candidate has done for the last 30 years.”

David Weinberger, a researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said: “It sounds like this site is making the process of digging up opposition research more transparent. On the other hand, will it make public claims that are spurious?”

Whitman is vying for the GOP nomination with state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, while Attorney General and former Gov. Jerry Brown appears to have the Democratic nomination sewed up. Incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger is ineligible to run because of term limits.

A Rasmussen poll in February had Whitman and Brown in a dead heat.

A typical early posting on Wikimeg read: “With the standard of ethics that she displayed whilst running eBay, the mind boggles at what she could do with the governorship of the state of California.”

But not all postings are negative. One read: “At least she uses her OWN money, and not that of . . . big unions, with or without their members in agreement.”

Editor's Note:

2. Moshe Arens: Iran Learned From Strike on Iraqi Reactor

The Iranians learned a great deal from Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 and have taken steps to make their nuclear program immune to such an attack, says Moshe Arens, former Israeli defense minister and ambassador to the United States.

“The Osirak reactor was the key element in the Iraqi nuclear program — a single target which, when it was destroyed, set that program back very substantially,” Arens, who was defense minister during the 1991 Gulf War, wrote in an article published on the Web site of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

“The Iranians saw this and they dispersed their nuclear program. Much of it is deep underground. There is no single target which, if destroyed, would substantially set back the Iranian nuclear program.

“So the Iranians have done their best to obtain immunity from the possibility of an aerial attack of the kind that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor, making any military move, regardless of who might consider taking it, substantially more difficult.”

Arens disclosed that the United States initially was upset with Israel over the airstrike on the reactor and even considered imposing sanctions, but eventually came to appreciate the significance of the reactor’s destruction.

“It is difficult to envision the Americans undertaking Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf in 1991 if the Iraqi nuclear reactor had still existed, if the Iraqi nuclear program had continued beyond 1981, and if that program had not been so seriously set back by the Israeli action,” Arens wrote.

Arens was Israel’s defense minister in three different governments and also was foreign affairs minister and chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

He made several other points in his article, including:

  • At the beginning of the Gulf War, the United States promised Israel that the U.S. Air Force would wipe out Iraq’s missile launching capability within 48 hours and urged Israel not to take preemptive action. But the United States failed to take out a single Scud launcher during the war, and Iraq fired 39 missiles at Israel over a five-week period.
  • At one point, Israel made plans to land ground troops in western Iraq to search for and destroy Scud launchers, but the United States declared a cease-fire before Israel could begin the operation.
  • Iran’s nuclear program is “clearly designed” to produce nuclear weapons, according to Arens, who dismissed assertions that Iran won’t launch a nuclear attack on Israel because of the sizable Muslim population in the area.

“This kind of immunity is imaginary because radical Muslims are convinced that God knows how to tell the difference between Jews and Muslims.”

Editor's Note:

3. Rep. Hoekstra: Reject Gitmo Closing Deal

An Obama administration proposal to move Guantanamo Bay detainees to American prisons and try them in the United States is “dangerous” and must be rejected, says Rep. Peter Hoekstra, top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

In an op-ed piece in Thursday’s New York Post, the Michigan legislator noted that Obama advisers would recommend that the president propose a deal with Congress on the Guantanamo detainees: Obama would drop his plan to try the detainees in civilian courts and let them be tried in military tribunals; in exchange Congress would allow and fund the closing of the Guantanamo facility and move the detainees to U.S. prisons.

“Only in Washington could bureaucrats hatch such a deal to trade one deeply unpopular proposal for another,” Hoekstra writes in his article, headlined “A Gitmo deal with the devil.”

“Trying Guantanamo detainees in America and moving them to U.S. prisons are indefensible and dangerous proposals and must be rejected. The American people have made it abundantly clear that they do not want these detainees in our country in any way, shape or form. And with our nation facing a growing budget deficit, now is not the time to build new super-secure prisons in the United States for al-Qaida terrorists when taxpayers already paid to build one at Guantanamo.

“It's sad that we are again seeing the administration resort to spin and damage control on national security instead of serious policy . . . Closing Guantanamo won't protect us from more Christmas Day bombers or other al-Qaida plots.”

The proposal, if pursued, will cast further doubts about the direction in which Obama and the Democratic Congress are leading the nation, Hoekstra says.

“President Obama, it is time to listen to the American people and face up to the fact that your Guantanamo decision and your attempt to try terrorist suspects in America were both mistakes.”

Editor's Note:

4. North Korean Forces on Alert Over U.S. Military Drill

North Korea said it had placed its military on full alert in response to a joint exercise of American and South Korean forces.

The 10-day exercise, launched on March 8, involves 18,000 U.S. and 20,000 South Korean troops. North Korea’s foreign ministry depicted the exercise as a rehearsal for invasion and announced the nation’s readiness to “blow up” South Korean facilities in response to aggression, AFP reported.

The war games, which take place annually, are “nuclear war exercises aimed at mounting a preemptive attack,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

“The DPRK (North Korea) is fully ready for dialogue and war. It will continue bolstering its nuclear deterrent as long as the U.S. military threats and provocations go on.”

The United States and South Korea say the war games are intended to test the allies’ defensive capabilities.

This year’s exercise coincides with diplomatic efforts to bring the North back to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, AFP observed. North Korea quit the talks in April, then staged a second atomic weapons test.

Editor's Note:

5. Doubts About Global Warming Grow

Americans are increasingly less likely to believe that the effects of global warming are already occurring — a shift most evident among conservatives, a new Gallup poll reveals.

Overall, 50 percent of Americans think the effects already are occurring, compared with 61 percent two years ago.

Among conservatives, just 30 percent feel that way, compared with 50 percent in 2008. But 74 percent of liberals say the effects of global warming are occurring now, up from 72 percent two years ago, and 60 percent of moderates agree.

Asked whether the media exaggerates the seriousness of global warming, 67 percent of conservatives said yes, up from 54 percent in 2008. And the percentage of liberals who agree has doubled in two years, from 13 percent to 26 percent.

“There has been a significant shift in Americans’ views on global warming in the past two years to a position of lessened concern,” Gallup observed.

“Given that conservatives outnumber liberals in the U.S. population by roughly 2 to 1, any significant change in the former group’s attitudes toward global warming is enough to move the needle on global warming attitudes among all Americans.”

Other findings of the poll:

  • Republicans (31 percent) are less than half as likely as Democrats (66 percent) to say the effects of global warming already are occurring.
  • 25 percent of Democrats now agree that global warming is exaggerated in the news, up from 18 percent two years ago; 66 percent of Republicans feel that way.
  • The percentage of respondents who said the effects are occurring now has dropped among all age groups except those 18 to 29.
  • Women (56 percent) are more likely than men (42 percent) to believe that the effects of global warming are taking place. Men (57 percent) are more likely than women (40 percent) to say the media are exaggerating the seriousness of global warming.
  • Among Americans who say they understand the issue of global warming “very well,” 41 percent believe the effects of global warming are occurring now, down from 60 percent two years ago, and 60 percent say the seriousness is exaggerated in the news.


Editor's Note:

6. Dan Rather: Obama ‘Couldn’t Sell Watermelons’

Former CBS anchor Dan Rather stepped into a racial minefield when he mentioned watermelons in a reference to President Obama.

Appearing on the syndicated “Chris Matthews Show” on March 7, Rather, who now hosts a show on HDNet, discussed the expected GOP strategy for the November elections.

“Part of the undertow in the coming election is going to be President Obama’s leadership,” he said.

“And the Republicans will make a case, and a lot of independents will buy this argument: ‘Look at the healthcare bill. It was his number one priority. It took him forever to get it through and he had to compromise it to death.’

“And a version of, ‘Listen, he’s a nice person, he’s very articulate . . . but he couldn’t sell watermelons if you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic.’”

Geoffrey Dickens of the Media Research Center observed: “While Rather may not have been intentionally racist, one has to wonder what the reaction would be if a conservative had used similar language on the show.”

The mayor of Los Alamitos, Calif., sparked an uproar a year ago for sending an e-mail depicting watermelons in front of the White House. The mayor apologized and resigned, claiming he was unaware of the stereotype that blacks like watermelon.

Editor's Note:

7. New Device ‘Will Forever Change the Internet’

Electronics giant Cisco Systems has unveiled a new network router that it says “will forever change the Internet and its impact on consumers, businesses and governments.”

The device, the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System, will be used to direct traffic along the Internet. Cisco touts it as being able to offer speeds 12 times faster than its nearest rival.

The router will allow “the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress to be downloaded in just over one second; every man, woman and child in China to make a video call simultaneously; and every motion picture ever created to be streamed in less than four minutes,” according to a Cisco statement.

The main focus of the router “is the exploding market for online video, which requires significantly more bandwidth than traditional data,” the Daily Finance Web site reported.

Cisco CEO John Chambers said the CRS-3 can distribute 1 billion online videos at any given time. Cisco plans to sell the router to Internet service providers at $90,000 a unit, according to Daily Finance.

AT&T has tested the router successfully.

Keith Cambron, president and CEO of AT&T Labs, said: “We are entering the next stage of global communication and entertainment services and applications, which requires a new set of advanced Internet networking technologies.”

Editor's Note:

8. We Heard . . .

THAT some Republicans in Nevada are crying foul over Jon Scott Ashjian, who filed as a tea party candidate to oppose Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November.

The charge: The Reid camp put him in the race to siphon conservative votes from the Republican candidate, CNN reported.

And the Las Vegas Sun reported: “Republicans, long accustomed to the Reid tentacles reaching into every crevice of Nevada politics, have publicly floated the idea — repeated frequently in conservative media outlets — that Ashjian is a sham fashioned by the Reid campaign to save the senator’s flagging political fortunes.”

“Nobody in the tea party knows who he is,” Danny Tarkanian, one of the GOP senate candidates vying for the nomination, told CNN.

A Rasmussen poll shows Reid trailing all three Republican candidates by double digits in head-to-head races. But a Las Vegas Review-Journal poll found that, with a tea party candidate on the ballot, Reid would win the three-way race by a narrow margin.

Both Reid and Ashjian have denied the allegation.

THAT the previously unidentified speechwriter of Obama’s controversial address to the Muslim and Arab world in Cairo on June 4, 2009, finally has been named.

Claiming credit for the speech is Stephen P. Cohen, founder of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development and a visiting professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Princeton and other institutions.

Obama “chose a Jew to write the most important address by an American president — in the middle of a war against Islamic terrorists — to the Muslim world,” observed the JStreetJive Web site, which tracks Israel’s Jewish defamers.

Jews criticized Obama’s speech in Cairo widely, with human rights activist Anne Bayefsky calling it “a distortion of history, an insult to the Jewish people, and an abandonment of very real human-rights victims in the Arab and Muslim worlds.”

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Dirty Tricks Used Against Meg Whitman 2. Moshe Arens: Iran Learned From Strike on Iraqi Reactor 3. Rep. Hoekstra: Reject Gitmo Closing Deal 4. North Korean Forces on Alert Over U.S. Military Drill 5. Doubts...
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Sunday, 14 March 2010 05:30 PM
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