MNP Podcasts!


Subscribe to the myninjaplease podcasts – there are already 3 up: a siiick disco/hip-hop mix by resident MNP DJ and musician extraordinaire, DJ White Label, a journey through hip-hop sampling by kookiekrumbles, and the newest addition, a reggae podcast by the admin of our music site, Trizlam. To subscribe, follow these simple steps:

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Enjoy, my ninjas.

Iran ’roundup’

Bush authorizes killing of Iranian agents in Iraq
“The president has made clear for sometime that we will take the steps necessary to protect Americans on the ground in Iraq and disrupt activity that could lead to their harm.” 

Israel raises nuclear stakes with Iran
Israeli military officials warned this week that Israel – acting alone or in coordination with the US – could launch preemptive military strikes against Iran before the end of this year.  

Iran to Launch Space Satellite
Iran has converted one of its most powerful ballistic missiles into a satellite launch vehicle. The 30-ton rocket could also be a wolf in sheep’s clothing for testing longer-range missile strike technologies…

Bush denies preparing an attack against Iran
But the US president’s relatively emollient comments are unlikely to quell speculation about the reasons behind the recent escalation of White House rhetoric towards Iran.

NM Lawmakers call for Bush Impeachment

SANTA FE (AP) — Two New Mexico lawmakers have introduced a measure calling on Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

State Sens. John Grubesic of Santa Fe and Gerald Ortiz y Pino of Albuquerque, both Democrats, said the resolution is a serious effort to try to trigger impeachment proceedings. The measure alleges that Bush and Cheney conspired with others to intentionally mislead Congress and the public about the threat posed by Iraq in order to justify the war. It also cites the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and alleges the torture of prisoners and the denial of constitutional rights to enemy combatants.

A state can’t mandate impeachment, but impeachment charges from a state can be forwarded to the U.S. House of Representatives and referred to the House Judiciary Committee, according to impeachment advocates.


A hidden history: Administration’s move towards Iran strike dates back six years

The escalation of US military planning on Iran is only the latest chess move in a six-year push within the Bush Administration to attack Iran, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

While Iran was named a part of President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” in 2002, efforts to ignite a confrontation with Iran date back long before the post-9/11 war on terror. Presently, the Administration is trumpeting claims that Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than the CIA’s own analysis shows and positing Iranian influence in Iraq’s insurgency, but efforts to destabilize Iran have been conducted covertly for years, often using members of Congress or non-government actors in a way reminiscent of the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal.

[read the whole article at RawStory]

US furious over Moscow’s sale of antiaircraft missile system to Tehran

Iranian officials said Wednesday that they had received a delivery of advanced Russian air defense systems that are designed to protect its nuclear facilities at Isfahan, Bushehr, Tehran, and eastern Iran from attack, primarily from Israeli or American aircraft. The Associated Press reports that the arrival of the sophisticated systems came just before Iran began three days of military war gaming.

The response from the United States was almost immediate in the wake of the transaction. MosNews reports that Wednesday afternoon US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the delivery of the Tor-M1 missile system may cause the US to impose new sanctions against Russia, especially since the US had already harshly criticized the contract and “had urged the Kremlin to terminate it.”


Rolling Stone: Run, Al, Run

Why Al Gore Should Run – And How He Can Win:

If the Democrats were going to sit down and construct the perfect candidate for 2008, they’d be hard-pressed to improve on Gore. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he has no controversial vote on Iraq to defend. Unlike Barack Obama and John Edwards, he has extensive experience in both the Senate and the White House. He has put aside his wooden, policy-wonk demeanor to emerge as the Bush administration’s most eloquent critic. And thanks to An Inconvenient Truth, Gore is not only the most impassioned leader on the most urgent crisis facing the planet, he’s also a Hollywood celebrity, the star of the third-highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Indeed, Gore is unique among the increasingly crowded field of Democratic contenders. He has the buzz to beat Obama, the substance to supplant Hillary, and enough stature to enter the race late in the game and still raise the millions needed to mount a successful campaign. “Very few people who run for president can just step in when they want, with a superstar, titanic presence,” says James Carville, the dean of Democratic strategists. “But Gore clearly is one of those. He’s going to run, and he’s going to be formidable. If he didn’t run, I’d be shocked.”


At Brandeis, Carter Responds to Critics

WALTHAM, Mass., Jan. 23 — In his first major public speech about his controversial book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” former President Jimmy Carter told an audience at Brandeis University on Tuesday that he stood by the book and its title, that he apologized for what he called an “improper and stupid” sentence in the book and that he had been disturbed by accusations that he was anti-Semitic.

“This is the first time that I’ve ever been called a liar and a bigot and an anti-Semite and a coward and a plagiarist,” Mr. Carter told the crowd of about 1,700 at Brandeis, a nonsectarian university founded by American Jews, where about half the students are Jewish. “This is hurting me.”

Mr. Carter said he realized his use of the word “apartheid” “has caused great concern in the Jewish community.” He said he had used it “knowing that it would be provocative.” He said he had intended to describe conditions not in Israel but in the occupied Palestinian territories, and had not meant to “equate Zionism with racism,” but to point out “that this cruel oppression is contrary to the tenets of the Jewish religious faith and contrary to the basic principles of the state of Israel.”


N Korea helping Iran with nuclear testing

North Korea is helping Iran to prepare an underground nuclear test similar to the one Pyongyang carried out last year.

Under the terms of a new understanding between the two countries, the North Koreans have agreed to share all the data and information they received from their successful test last October with Teheran’s nuclear scientists.

A senior European defence official told The Daily Telegraph that North Korea had invited a team of Iranian nuclear scientists to study the results of last October’s underground test to assist Teheran’s preparations to conduct its own — possibly by the end of this year.

There were unconfirmed reports at the time of the Korean firing that an Iranian team was present. Iranian military advisers regularly visit North Korea to participate in missile tests.

Intelligence estimates vary about how long it could take Teheran to produce a nuclear warhead. But defence officials monitoring the growing co-operation between North Korea and Iran believe the Iranians could be in a position to test fire a low-grade device — less than half a kiloton — within 12 months.


Did Hillary kill Public Financing of Campaigns? The NYTimes and WashPost seem to think so

New York Times: Death Knell May Be Near for Public Election Funds

The public financing system for presidential campaigns, a post-Watergate initiative hailed for decades as the best way to rid politics of the corrupting influence of money, may have quietly died over the weekend.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York became the first candidate since the program began in 1976 to forgo public financing for both the primary and the general election because of the spending limits that come with the federal money. By declaring her confidence that she could raise far more than the roughly $150 million the system would provide for the 2008 presidential primaries and general election, Mrs. Clinton makes it difficult for other serious candidates to participate in the system without putting themselves at a significant disadvantage.

Washington Post: Clinton Bid Heralds Demise of Public Financing
The public financing system designed to clean up presidential campaigns in the wake of the Watergate scandal may have died on Saturday when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) announced her bid for the White House.

Little noticed amid the announcement rollout was a page on her Web site in which she asked potential contributors to give her campaign checks of up to $4,200. That figure signaled not only that she plans to forgo public funds for primary season but also that, if she becomes the nominee, she will not take public money for the general election.

Clinton’s decision will put pressure on other candidates in both parties to follow suit, and if they do, the 2008 campaign will complete what has been the rapid disintegration of a system designed to rein in unlimited spending in presidential campaigns.

U.S. warns Iran to back down, Deploys second carrier group

Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, ruled out direct negotiations with Iran and said a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran was “not possible” until Iran halts uranium enrichment.

“The Middle East isn’t a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn’t a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That’s why we’ve seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region,” Burns said in an address to the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, an influential think-tank.

“Iran is going to have to understand that the United States will protect its interests if Iran seeks to confront us,” Burns continued.


Hezbollah-led Protesters Paralyze Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Hezbollah-led protesters paralyzed Lebanon Tuesday by burning tires and cars on major thoroughfares in and around the capital to enforce a general strike that aims to topple the government.

“The opposition is attempting a coup by force … This is not a strike. This is military action, a true aggression and I’m afraid this could develop into clashes between citizens,” a Lebanese cabinent Minister told Al-Arabiya


Libby: “I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected”

Today marked the real start of the Libby case. After four days of jury selection, each side gave opening statements, and the first witness was called. Patrick Fitzgerald, the Chicago prosecutor, opened like a dime novelist. “It’s Sunday July 2003 just after the Fourth of July. The fireworks are over—but a different kind of fireworks are about to begin.”
Fitzgerald’s case was linear and clean. Libby told investigators he learned about Valerie Plame from NBC News reporter Tim Russert. But Fitzgerald told jurors that was clearly a lie because Libby had already been discussing the matter inside and outside of the White House. Fitzgerald then went through a careful delineation of the 11 instances in which Scooter Libby discussed Valerie Plame’s identity with administration officials and reporters. “When the FBI and grand jury asked about what the defendant did,” Fitzgerald said, “he made up a story.”