Tag: Four at Four

Four at Four, at Five

Special guest host?  Nah, It’s just me.

Special edition?  You bet.  We’re in Central time now, folks.

Welcome to the Four at Four, at Five (Four Central).

  • President Bush and Iraqi (puppet) Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki have agreed that an agreement over troop reductions can be reached…or something ambiguous like that.

    The long-term agreement had been held up by differences over issues like the extent of Iraqi control over American military operations, the right of American soldiers to detain suspects without the approval of Iraqi authorities and Iraqi demands for a timetable for withdrawal.

    But in a statement, the White House said Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki had agreed “that improving conditions should allow for the agreements now under negotiation to include a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals – such as the resumption of Iraqi security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.”

    The White House offered no specific dates for troop cuts, but the inclusion of even just a reference to a time horizon is a significant concession by the Bush administration, which has long resisted setting a timetable for cuts in combat forces. It is a tacit admission that the United States’ military presence in Iraq is not endless.

    Call me a cynic, but that doesn’t sound like a concession at all.  Putting a candle in a cowpie doesn’t make it a chocolate cake, it just makes it a pile of shit with a candle.

  • A California poll shows only 42% favor a ban on gay marriage, an initiative that will appear on the ballot in November.  On Wednesday the state’s high court ruled in favor of allowing the proposed ban to be on the ballot, which has been in development since the court first overturned the previous ban as being unconstitutional.  Of course, an initiative to name a sewage plant after George W. Bush will also be on the ballot…so there should be plenty of people at the polls…

  • Good news out of Citigroup, as the banking giant lost only $2.5 billion in the second quarter…leading its stock to rise 9% as the loss wasn’t nearly as bad as they projected.

    But it’s hard to get too enthusiastic about clearing a low bar. It was Citi’s third straight quarterly loss and neither JPMorgan nor Wells Fargo managed to notch a profit gain compared to last year. Meanwhile, the brokerage Merrill Lynch & Co. reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss. And next week, Wachovia Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc. are anticipated to reveal losses, too, with Bank of America Corp. expected to report a steep profit decline.

    Citigroup, the nation’s largest banking company by assets, lost the equivalent of 54 cents per share in the April-June period. In the same timeframe last year, the bank earned $6.23 billion, or $1.24 per share.

  • Israel has arrested six Arabs in an alleged plot to attack George Bush’s helicopter, and according to Israel’s intelligence agency they were trying to form an al Qaeda organization in Israel.

    Israel’s Shin Bet counter-intelligence agency said one of the suspects had used his mobile phone to film helicopters at a sports stadium in Jerusalem that was used as a landing site for Bush’s delegation.

    The suspect then posted queries on Web sites frequented by al Qaeda operatives, asking for guidance on how to shoot down the helicopters, the agency said in a statement.

    Bush visited Israel in January and again in May.

    So…they waited until months after his visits to arrest these guys?  Or they are just finding out this information after the opportunities had passed?

Four at Four, at Five

Special guest host?  Nah, It’s just me.

Special edition?  You bet.  We’re in Central time now, folks.

Welcome to the Four at Four, at Five (Four Central).

  • In a move that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi termed “a hoax,” President Bush lifted the White House’s ban on offshore drilling.

    “Today, I’ve taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration,” Bush told reporters. “This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress.”

    Congress too has a ban on offshore drilling and while it expires on September 30, it could be renewed. Plus, federal officials say it would take years for any oil to be produced in those areas, together making Bush’s move largely symbolic.

    “Now the ball is squarely in Congress’ court,” Bush said after signing a memorandum reversing a presidential ban that was instituted by his father, then-President George Bush, almost two decades ago. “The time for action is now.”

  • Nearly 200 Taliban insurgents stormed a NATO base in Pakistan, executing a “well-planned, surprise attack” that left nine US soldiers dead and wounded 15.

    The insurgents, who were repulsed, came so close that some of their corpses were lying around the base afterwards, Tamim Nuristani, the former governor of the region said after talking to officials in the district. A Western official requesting anonymity also confirmed that the Taliban did breach part of the base.

    American and NATO military officials said the attack reflected the Taliban’s resurgence from new bases in neighboring Pakistan and underscored the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, where war casualties have jumped this year.

  • The Belgium-based InBev has successfully purchased Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion, or $70 per share.

    InBev moved gently from the start, meeting with Anheuser Chief Executive August Busch IV in June 2 in Tampa to discuss a possible combination. It followed with an unsolicited offer on June 11 that included several concessions to soothe any pain for Anheuser-Busch.

    Among the concessions in the initial $65 per share bid, InBev offered Anheuser seats on the combined company’s board; promised to keep Anheuser’s St. Louis, Missouri, home as the North American headquarters; and have the merged company’s name reflect the heritage of the more than 150-year-old U.S. brewer.

    InBev also said it would keep Anheuser’s U.S. breweries open. The Belgian-based company kept all of those promises in the final agreement to buy Anheuser for $70 per share, creating the world’s largest brewer which would be named Anheuser-Busch InBev.

    No word yet as to whether InBev, which makes Stella Artois and Beck’s beers, will teach the Americans how to make actual beer in their breweries.

  • Nine British women, six British men, and six Greek men face charges after an oral sex competition in Greece last weekend.

    The women, who came to the popular resort on holiday, had been paid to take part in the competition, which was video recorded and was to be posted on the Internet, police said.

    The men were charged with encouraging obscene behavior.

    The women were charged with prostitution, as they were paid for their participation in the activities.