Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin Weak for Failure to Shoot Humans While Hunting

Minneapolis, Minn. -- (TYDN) Republican Party insiders are concerned Sarah Palin's history of never shooting anybody while hunting suggests she's weak on foreign and domestic affairs, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Insiders contacted by TheYellowDailyNews suggest it might have been a critical blunder for Sen. John McCain to pick the Alaska governor as his running mate for the U.S. presidency.

"She simply does not measure up to Vice President Dick Cheney," said Marvin Weasler, a strategist for the New York lobbying firm of Krill, Monger, Tilapia and Weasler. "Cheney shot and nearly killed somebody hunting and all she's ever done is aim at moose and birds and stuff."

The revelation that she's neither shot at anybody hunting nor served in the military, as first disclosed Friday by TheYellowDailyNews, is expected to be a political lighting rod as the Nov. 4 election nears. And as the Republican National Convention gets under way here Monday, her failure not even to come close to shooting somebody else while hunting is certain to resonate with Republican delegates, sources said.

In 2006, Cheney shot Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old Texas attorney, while participating in a quail hunt on a Texas ranch. Whittington was shot in the face, neck, and upper torso with birdshot pellets from a 28-gauge Perazzi shotgun.

Days later, Whittington suffered a non-fatal "silent" heart attack and atrial fibrillation due to at least one lead-shot pellet lodged in or near his heart, but survived.

According to Republican Party insiders, McCain's shocking and surprising pick Friday of Palin, a former beauty queen contestant, as his running mate was done in large part to secure Clinton supporters. Even Clinton suggested it was a good move.

"This whole Monica Lewinsky scandal probably would have been avoided had I been working side by side with her, if she was my vice president," former President Bill Clinton said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

McCain, who is expected to accept the Republican Party's nomination here for president later this week, blasted the media for criticizing him over his out-of-the-blue pick of Palin and for not vetting her properly.

"I met her once and tapped her to become my veep and was expecting to learn a lot more about her from the press, but the press failed me and America," McCain said in an exclusive interview. "All I learned was that she was a runner up in the Miss Alaska contest in 1984. That she was a former city councilwoman and mayor of some Alaskan town where it barely gets dark in the summer."

Equally important, other party insiders expressed a sigh of relief late Sunday that President Bush has canceled his planned appearance here at the convention out of sympathy for the 2 million Americans being displaced by the approaching Gustav. As of late Sunday, the monster hurricane was readying to barrel down on Louisiana and New Orleans.

"Thank God for Gustav," one Republican Party insider said. "If you tell anybody I said that, I'd deny it and send you hunting with Cheney."

Photo: Elaine Vigneault

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama Speech Littered With Bidenizing Plagiarism

DENVER -- (TYDN) Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech here at the Democratic National Convention late Thursday was a nearly verbatim script plagiarized from the hundreds of candidates who have sought to become the next president of the United States, according to an analysis of the 50-minute speech by TheYellowDailyNews.

The Illinois senator's speech was riddled with plagiarized statements including "God Bless America," "I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States," "the stakes are too high," "I love this country" and "as commander in chief I will never hesitate to defend this nation" -- statements uttered by innumerable candidates since the union was formed, according to an exhaustive analysis by TheYellowDailyNews.

Some analysts suggested that the plagiarism was inevitable given that Obama chose Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. In 1987, Biden, the senator from Delaware, dropped out of the race for president after it was disclosed he plagiarized a speech from a British politician at the Iowa State Fair.

Obama's plagiarism is expected to be a political lightning rod as the Nov. 4 election nears.

Political strategists said Sen. John McCain of Arizona is expected to criticize Obama's speech at the Republican National Convention next week in Minnesota, where McCain will accept his party's nomination for president. But moments after Obama's oration, speech writers were revising McCain's speech, deleting phrases like "a better, stronger America" and "the need for change is now," sources requesting anonymity, and granted anonymity, told TheYellowDailyNews.

Still, many Democratic strategists hailed the speech. "What he did was squarely place himself in tradition. It was a very straight speech in which he made himself an agent of change, that he was not his opponent, and it worked," analyst James Itoldia said. "I think he did everything he needed to do as a presidential candidate. It was not over the top. It was appropriate."

Other analysts contacted by TheYellowDailyNews were surprised by Obama's plagiarism. "We never dreamt he was going to criticize his opponent and say 'hard work and sacrifice' are in Americans' future," said one analyst, who requested anonymity and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews.

Republican strategists ripped the speech.

"It sounded so much like a Ross Perot speech in 1992," said one strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "He's been great on rhetoric. And now he needed to add the meat and potatoes, and he failed at that."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SHOCKING: Michelle Obama Dons Convention Dress

DENVER -- (TYDN) Political strategists were mixed late Tuesday on whether Michelle Obama has enough fashion sense to become the nation's first lady, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Still, analysts agree that if her husband -- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama -- is elected president, she would likely bring a new style with her. But whether that fashion sense is befitting of a first lady is an open question, analysts said, and threatens to become a political lightning rod as the November election nears.

The world was shocked during her keynote address at the Democratic National Convention here Monday evening. She steered clear of a suit -- traditional first lady convention garb. Instead, she chose a body-conscious, ocean-blue dress with beading and a brooch at the center of the open neckline -- leading many strategists to suggest she is unsuited to be the first lady.

"This smacks of the contempt that she has for America," Republican strategist George Dresslar said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "This is an issue that resonates with voters."

Along with the dress, Michelle Obama's only other noticeable accessory was a pair of diamond stud earrings.

"That she wore diamond earrings, ones large enough to distance herself from the lower class, but not big enough to be upper class, shows she has class," said Jewel Nickles, a Democratic strategist, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "Many middle class voters think those diamond rings are in their reach some day."

One campaign adviser, who requested anonymity and who was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews, said "Michelle Obama didn't overload on jewelry like Nancy Reagan or go too plain like Pat Nixon. She struck the right balance."

Still, voters said she appeared too cocksure. "She looks like she's going to a great celebratory cocktail party," said the voter, who requested anonymity because she feared reprisals.

The dress was by Chicago-based Maria Pinto, who has outfitted Michelle Obama for several campaign and media events.

Barack Obama's polling numbers surged 5 percentage points after Pinto issued a statement to The Associated Press, calling Michelle Obama's style "chic."

"Choosing items that are always modern and chic, Mrs. Obama possesses a natural and unpretentious sophistication, which is reflected in her clothing," Pinto's statement said.

Others, however, said that, by not wearing a suit, not wearing pearls and not wearing too much jewelry, Michelle Obama dressed like a woman -- a woman who could be an ambassador for the country -- "but not like she was interviewing for a job," according to a campaign insider.

When daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, joined her on stage here, they each wore a party dress - Malia in blue and Sasha in purple - complementing their mother's outfit.

Malia's dress had a bow front and Sasha wore a fabric flower on hers. "They looked like children," said Alanna Stang, executive editor of parenting magazine, Cookie.

Photo:  Ava Lowery

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Biden Wins VP Nod on Foreign Affairs Acumen

WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Sen. Joe Biden was chosen as the vice presidential candidate Sataurday because he was the most knowledgeable of foreign affairs, showing deep knowledge and historical recollection of sex scandals of government officials from across the globe, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Obama, the 47-year-old senator from Illinois, picked Biden, the senator from Delaware, after Obama was convinced the 65-year-old Biden held much more of a vast understanding of foreign affairs than the other Democratic vice presidential hopefuls, according to an analysis by TheYellowDailyNews.

Analysts said Obama, a Democrat, needed a foreign affairs expert to compete against Sen. John McCain. The 71-year-old Republican presidential candidate is considered a foreign policy expert because of his age and because he was held captive for more than five years during the Vietnam War.

"Joe Biden was able to ring off from the top of his head several foreign affairs, from the ongoing sexual mishaps of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Alexander Wood, a magistrate in Upper Canada who was part of a gay sex scandal in 1810," Obama said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews early Monday. "Biden really nailed our intense vetting process, and was even able to show on a map some of the countries where the foreign affairs took, or are taking, place."

Analysts said it was the first time in U.S. politicking that a presidential candidate had focused his vice presidential pick on somebody with vast foreign affairs knowledge.

"Having a good grasp of sex scandals overseas is something the American public really needs right now, especially as the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan move into their six years of warfare and with Russia's invasion of the breakaway republic of Georgia just underway," said one independent political strategist, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, whom TheYellowDailyNews granted anonymity because the strategist was not authorized to speak to the media.

"The Cold war is back," another strategist, requesting anonymity, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "This is brilliant strategy. Voters need to focus on foreign affairs rather than the U.S real estate meltdown and the economy's implosion at home."

Still, McCain operatives immediately denounced Biden's foreign affairs knowledge. Sources close to the vetting process said Biden was unaware of John E. Brownlee, a former premier of Alberta, who was forced to resign in 1934 after allegations he seduced a young woman.

These same sources, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, said Biden had no foreign affairs knowledge of Uno Sosuke, the prime minister of Japan who resigned in 1989 after less than three months of service when a geisha revealed she had an affair with him.

"His knowledge of foreign affairs is minimal at best," said one McCain operative, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the operative was not authorized to speak to TheYellowDailyNews.

After the Democrats' convention closes at week's end, McCain is expected to announce his vice presidential running mate ahead of the November election. McCain, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, said he is likely to choose somebody with intense knowledge of domestic affairs to balance out his own foreign affairs resume.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Democrat from New York who Obama shunned Saturday as his potential running mate, is expected to audition to become McCain's vice presidential candidate. Sources said that, while her foreign relations skills are lacking, she has become a domestic affairs expert as part of her ambition for the White House.

Photo: Center for American Progress Action

Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain, Obama Halting Voter Attack Ads on Sept. 11

WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Presidential rivals Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain will halt all attack ads on Sept. 11, an explosive move the contenders said was to pay tribute to the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The candidates, however, pledged late Thursday to continue airing commercials before and after Sept. 11 with voice-overs telling voters "You're a Bigger Loser than McCain if You Vote for Him" and "You're a Bigger Joker than Obama if You Vote for Him."

A CNN-New York Times-Yahoo-AOL-Associated Press poll of 3,000 likely voters showed the November election in a dead heat. "This says a lot about the electorate, and the impact these ads are having on voters," said pollster Germaine Apollo. "I think the electorate can really associate with these ads."

McCain and Obama have been spending several million dollars a day on attack ads -- with each candidate deriding voters and their presidential opponent as being incompetent imbeciles.

It was the first time in U.S. presidential history that the two candidates for president agreed to stop the mudslinging for a day.

"Nine-eleven is not a day for politics," said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain, the Republican candidate from Arizona.

Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for Obama, the Democrat from Illinois, said: "We hope Sept. 11th is a day when Americans come together and reaffirm our resolve to address the common challenges we face together."

The candidates agreed to the historic cease fire when a group of Sept. 11 survivors, whose loved ones were killed in the World Trade Center attack seven years ago, called on the candidates to refrain from partisan campaigning that day. In a letter to both candidates, founders noted that the country seemed to forget partisan differences in the days after the attacks and were unified by a sense of compassion.

Among other presidential campaign developments:

*Sources told TheYellowDailyNews late Thursday that Obama is expected to unveil a commercial on Friday accusing President Bush and the Republicans of being responsible for the 2001 terror attacks.

*McCain operatives, speaking on condition of anonymity because they have not been authorized to speak publicly, told TheYellowDailyNews that McCain will begin airing ads Friday blaming the Democrats and the press as being responsible for the terror attacks.

Photo: mashleymorgan

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bush Chides Osama’s al-Qaeda as ‘Gay Cross Dressers’

WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) President Bush chided Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror organization as "gay cross dressers" after a male suicide bomber dressed in a woman's robe detonated explosives late Tuesday in a heavily guarded Sunni area of Baghdad, killing scores of people and the deputy leader of the neighborhood's U.S.-backed security volunteers who had turned against al-Qaeda.

In an exclusive interview here at the Oval Office early Wednesday with TheYellowDailyNews, the president, stealing a line from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said al-Qaeda's suicide bombing tactics underscored that the terror group was a "girly man operation."

"That this terror organization, which shuns traditional uniforms mandated by the Geneva Convention, fills its suicide bombing ranks with gay cross dressers shows that al-Qaeda is a girly man operation that the United States -- one nation under God -- will defeat."

The president, who said al-Qaeda is responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, said it was a victory that the administration has not toppled the terror group or apprehended bin Laden despite its "girly man" status. "Everybody thought that his capture would be announced ahead of the 2004 election, and I proved them wrong," Bush, a Republican, told TheYellowDailyNews.

Republican strategists, speaking on condition of anonymity because they have not been authorized to speak publicly, said it was likely that bin Laden would be captured days ahead of the November presidential election. "Wait to see what that does for McCain," one operative said, noting Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee to succeed Bush.

In response, bin Laden said in a videotaped message aired late Tuesday on the Arab news network, Al-Jazeera: "We did not authorize these transvestites to kill and kill themselves in our name, but we're glad they did. The infidel must die."

The transvestite assailant who struck Tuesday was wearing a black abaya robe. He-she detonated the explosives in a crowded marketplace, according to witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity with TheYellowDailyNews.

"Body parts were flying through the air," one witness told TheYellowDailyNews.

Officials at a nearby hospital said at least 20 people were wounded in the transvestite blast in the Baghdad slum of Azamiyah.

It was the 22nd suicide mission carried out by cross-dresser in Iraq this year, the U.S. military said, as al-Qaeda and other Sunni militant groups try to regroup from major losses suffered at the hands of U.S. and Iraqi forces.

McCain, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, said if he were elected this November, "The United States would never be victims of transvestite suicide bombers again."

Barack Obama, the Democrat's nominee for president, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that McCain's position underscored that his opponent "was intolerant of gays and lesbians and out of touch with the modern world."

Photo: somepeopleworryme

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Administration: U.S. Dependent on ‘OPEC’ Oil Cartel

WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) The Bush administration, after an exhaustive eight-year study, concluded late Sunday the United States is dependent on foreign oil that is monopolized by a cartel and to blame for $4-a-gallon gasoline, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

It was the administration's first far-reaching analysis of world energy markets in almost eight years of power. Administration officials dubbed the secret cartel the "Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries."

Administration sources said President Bush is expected to address the nation Monday and disclose this never-been-heard-of monopoly, which administration insiders have nicknamed OPEC.

The administration, according to sources briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they have not been authorized to publicly discuss the mater, will tell Americans that OPEC consists of 13 nations. Sources said they include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Indonesia, Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Ecuador, Angola and Gabon.

According to administration officials, Bush did not know that Iraq, when he invaded it five years ago, was an OPEC member. Had he known, he might have invaded sooner, sources said.

Insiders said Bush intends to begin its next war campaign against Iran and then go down the list of other cartel nations -- all in a bid to end the United States' addiction to a foreign oil cartel.

"We could have saved a lot of time and began invading more countries sooner to satisfy our thirst for cartel-free oil had we discovered OPEC's website sooner," Bush is expected to tell the nation in his first televised address to the nation since taking office in January, 2000. "We will no longer be dependent on a foreign cartel for energy again. That's un-American."

Analysts said the discovery of OPEC is certain to shock world oil markets. "The end of oil trading on the futures market is over as we know it," said Nathan Crude, a trader with Slick, Spill and Tar Co., a Texas energy consortium.

Trading on oil futures is expected to be halted at least through Tuesday, according to a source on the U.S. Mercantile Exchange.

Presidential scholars said it was the first time in U.S. history a president has offered a solution to ending the nation's thirst for oil produced by a cartel. "Bush's vision of war against these nations, instead of seeking oil alternatives, is brilliant and certain to bring peace and stability to the world," said Jonathan Slick, a Republican political strategist and Vice President Dick Cheney's un-indicted advisor.

Still, other analysts were unsure of the strategy. They suggested drilling for oil in the United States, instead of going to war, would wean the United States from an addiction to oil from an un-American cartel.

"That Bush would rather go to war than drill along the United States' coast is preposterous at best," said syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. "At least he's not pandering to the girly men who want green power."

Republican presidential candidate John McCain applauded Bush, but said the long-term answer to the nation's energy thirst was nuclear power. His Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, said he wanted a blending of war, nuclear power, drilling and green energy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bush Chides China on Rights Abuses, Communism

BEIJING -- (TYDN) President Bush on Thursday used some of his bluntest language to date on human rights abuses in China, saying in a speech here during the Olympic Games that "America stands in firm opposition" to China's detention of political dissidents and religious activists.

"We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labor rights not to antagonize China's leaders, but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential," Bush said in a radio address. "And we press for openness and justice, not to impose our beliefs but to allow the Chinese people to express theirs

Bush, who invaded Iraq five years ago to spread Western-style Democracy to the Mideast, was celebrating the first conviction of one of hundreds of "enemy combatants" whom the United States is holding in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

There, the detainees -- jailed for years without charges -- face a maximum life term if convicted in a U.S. military tribunal where they are accused of being enemies of the United States. Those acquitted face life terms because Bush has declared them "enemy combatants" -- persons whom he says can be held indefinitely without charges.

Bush -- while threatening to jail two New York Times reporters for disclosing his secret eavesdropping program by which all Americans' electronic communications were siphoned to the National Security Agency without warrants following the Sept. 11 terror attacks -- chided China for its privacy violations and for its lack of a free press.

"The United States believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings," Bush said while applauding Congress' failure last week to adopt a federal shield law for journalists.

Many human rights groups have criticized the president for his decision to attend the Games and for what they call his unwillingness to confront Beijing over a crackdown on dissent and new Internet restrictions in the run-up to the Olympics here.

Still, most analysts said the example of Guantanamo Bay, the invasion of Iraq and the bailout of the U.S. banking industry is certain to resonate with China's leaders. "The Chinese are likely to take Bush to heart and embrace the American Way," said Cal State Fullerton presidential scholar Vince Buck.

Sophie Richardson, who monitors Asia for New York-based Human Rights Watch, applauded the president. "Bush's tough talk and actions is certain to get the rest of the world behind him," Richardson said.

Bush, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, declined comment.

Photo: burge5000

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Poll Shows Schwarzenegger Leading Latest Recall

SACRAMENTO -- (TYDN) Polls show California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the leading choice for governor in the Golden State's latest recall election to be held in November, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Schwarzenegger ousted Gov. Gray Davis in California's first recall election in 2003 as voters became tired of soaring budget deficits and the energy crisis. Schwarzenegger, now facing his own recall election because of soaring deficits -- $15 billion and $4 billion in annual bond debt -- is expected to retain the governorship with 100 percent of the vote, according to a Field Poll survey.

According to the Field Poll survey of 5,000 likely voters, all of those surveyed blamed Schwarzenegger for an overdue budget, soaring deficits and the real estate collapse. Still, those surveyed said they would again vote for Schwarzenegger, whom they said was the most qualified because he has starred in motion pictures.

More than 100 entrants were in the 2003 recall election. Schwarzenegger is the only candidate in Schwarzenegger's recall this November.

"Arnold is a formidable force. Our survey said he would likely be elected president if he wasn't born in Austria, even if California was in the midst of a $60 billion deficit and 15 percent unemployment," Field Poll pollster Harvey Countem said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "That nobody is challenging Schwarzenegger in the recall election says a lot."

The California Legislature and Schwarzenegger remain deadlocked, since July 1, over a approving a $100 billion budget.

The survey, conducted by telephone, had a margin of error of 3 percentage points. A majority of likely voters said Schwarzenegger's role in "Kindergarten Cop" certified the candidate's qualifications to lead the world's sixth largest economy.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown, a two-time governor, was considering entering the recall race but dropped out after his aides cautioned him that he was a loser, TheYellowDailyNews has learned. The Field Poll survey concluded similar results.

Photo: d vdm

Thursday, August 7, 2008

McCain Embracing iPhone, Internet Porn

WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain, responding to weeks of criticism about his lack of Internet skills, told TheYellowDailyNews early Friday that he has become addicted to online porn, especially the cartoon variety.

The revelation to TheYellowDailyNews, in an exclusive interview at his office here, is certain to qualm criticism of the candidate's lack of computer sophistication. Analysts said the bold announcement is likely to help the Arizona senator shore up the undecided vote, and at the same time counter suggestions that the 71-year-old Vietnam War prisoner was too old and out of touch to lead the free world.

"I've answered the critics and have become schooled at Internet surfing," McCain said. "I have visited the top Internet sites, spending countless hours, and now ask the public to understand that it's OK and beneficial -- even for politicians -- to change positions often."

"I view flip flopping in a new light," added McCain, sporting blue jeans and a black turtleneck shirt.

While showing off his new iPhone to a reporter of TheYellowDailyNews, he said: "Porn on the go, and you can keep it in your pocket. I've set it on vibrate mode."

Despite a recession, the housing crisis, soaring food and gas prices and the war in Iraq, political analysts said it was the first time in U.S. electoral history presidential candidates broached issues near and dear to the American public.

"There's less than three months before Election Day, and finally, the candidates are speaking to the public," said Peter North, a political consultant from Chatsworth, Calif.

Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, said McCain's recent discovery of Internet porn underscores "how out of touch he is with the American public and with technology."

"That he is only now familiarizing himself with online pornography is laughable at best," Obama said by telephone from his Chicago residence. "My wife, Michelle, and I are surfing for porn right now."

McCain, Obama added, "probably doesn't even know how to bookmark his porn sites."

Illustration: Jim Linwood

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Baghdad Bombings Signaling Peace is Nearing

BAGHDAD -- (TYDN) A roadside bomb killed two U.S. soldiers Wednesday in a predominantly Shiite area of Baghdad. It was the first attack against U.S. troops in the capital in nearly five hours and the first attack on civilians in the last few minutes, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At least 100 Iraqis were killed in explosions elsewhere in the Baghdad area, Iraqi officials said, in another grim reminder of the dangers that continue to face security forces and civilians despite significant security gains over the past year.

The Bush administration hailed the carnage as a victory in the 5-year-old war. "This proves that the surge is working, that Iraq is becoming safer, and that our troops, whether dead or alive, might come home some day," President Bush said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "Violence and killings always precede peace."

Iraqi President, What's His Name, also applauded the deaths and said he hoped it would be an impetus for a daylong cease-fire between Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, Turkish and others seeking control of the capital here. "This should give us time to remove the dead before violence starts again," What's His Name said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "We have been at odds with one another for centuries and this violence only means that peace is nearing."

The U.S. military said a third U.S. soldier was wounded when the blast struck a U.S. patrol about 9:30 a.m. in eastern Baghdad. The area was the site of fierce clashes and frequent roadside bombings blamed on Shiite militiamen before a cease-fire by anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The soldiers were the first to be killed in Baghdad since earlier in the day, when a roadside bomb killed one U.S. soldier and wounded five other soldiers in the western neighborhood of Amariyah, a Sunni area.

Still, despite the peace, Iraqi politicians remained in bitter debate over a power-sharing formula for the disputed, oil-rich city of Kirkuk that has blocked passage of a law providing for provincial elections.

The United States hopes the nationwide local vote would stem remaining support for violence by more fairly distributing power among Iraq's rival ethnic and religious communities.

The Kurds object to an article in the law that would distribute equally the council seats among Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen and dilute their powers in Tamim province, which lies just south of their semiautonomous region in Iraq's north.

Tensions rose last week after a suicide bombing killed more than 20 people in Kirkuk and the Kurdish-dominated Tamim council called for the area to be annexed into the self-ruled Kurdish region. The council decision was nonbinding but provoked Turkomen and Arabs.

Bush said Democracy was about to flourish. "Our guns and presence is certain to end this bitter and centuries-long dispute between these people," the president said. "Victory is at hand."

Presidential contenders Sen. Barack Obama and John McCain declined comment, saying their opinion on the matter was subject to change.

In other attacks in Iraq: A roadside bombing killed four police officers and three civilian bystanders near an Iraqi police patrol vehicle in Mahaweel, about 35 miles south of Baghdad, Iraqi police said.

Another roadside bomb on Palestine Street, a major thoroughfare in Baghdad, killed 70 Iraqis -- soldiers and a civilians alike, said Iraqi officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Photo: The Chorizo Warrior

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Airline Adopts $50 ‘Lost Luggage Guarantee’

DULUTH, Minn. -- (TYDN) Northwest Airlines Corp. -- reeling from recession, skyrocketing fuel costs, mismanagement and a proposed merger with Delta Airlines Corp. -- is implementing a $50 fee to guarantee each piece of luggage, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The move, in a bid to increase passenger services, came a month after the Minneapolis-based airline implemented a $35-per-bag check-in surcharge and fees for ticket purchases, ticket printing, seat and seatbelt rentals, bathroom use and toilet paper, food, alcohol, customer service and for carry-on luggage.

Complete details of the new $50 fee, first reported Saturday by TheYellowDailyNews, were still being worked out. But airline executives said they were meant to attract fliers frustrated by the high cost of driving as gasoline hovers around $4 per gallon nationally.

Under the "No Lost Luggage Guarantee," the airline guarantees not to lose luggage, and that it would deliver lost luggage to owners at least a week after their flight. For an extra $25 on top of the $50, the airline guarantees not to lose luggage and guarantees to deliver lost luggage within five days after their flight.

Another $10 on top of that guarantees Northwest delivery personnel "won't fondle or try on your wife's panties, and won't play basketball with your luggage on the tarmac," Northwest CEO Doug Steenland said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

Continental, Southwest, Alaska and a host of other carriers are expected to follow Northwest's plan, which Steenland said "gives fliers a sense of wellbeing."

More than a billion bags are lost each year on U.S. flights alone.

Steenland said the new "passenger benefit," as he described it, is expected to generate as much as $50 million.

Dozens of passengers here in Duluth, whose bags were lost, were excited that they paid $50 to guarantee that their luggage would not be lost.

"I'm elated that my lost luggage isn't lost and that I paid to guarantee it won't be lost," said passenger Dick Ward, who traveled here from San Francisco to see the sites along Lake Superior.

Consumer Reports applauded the new program, saying it doesn't risk making customers feel "nickel and dimed."

"This should give all consumers a sense of well being," Susan Byrne, managing editor of Consumer Reports, told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview. "That your underwear won't be rifled through -- no other airline guarantees that other than Northwest."

Northwest shares ended down 4.2 percent at $8.35.

Photo: R.B. Boyer