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June 16, 2009, News Update

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "wins" re-election with "overwhelming majority"--goes from 30% behind in polls just before election day to victory by 30%. Hundreds of thousands protest, calling election "rigged" and "fixed." Memo to Ayatollahs: If you're going to steal an election, make it close, like George W. Bush in 2000.

Iran's biggest Muckety-Muck, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, hails victory as "divine blessing," but Council of Guardians, composed of 12 powerful clerics, calls for recount of votes. "Divine" is in the politics of the beholder.

Ahmadinejad jets off to Moscow for meeting with Russian leaders. Will he have a job when he returns? Meanwhile, dismisses protests as valid as the Holocaust.

Pro-US alliance wins over Hezbollah in voting in Lebanon. Hezbo's apparently didn't get memo from Iranian backers on how to steal election.

In apparent response to President Obama's Cairo speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlines vision for peace in Middle East, says not opposed to creation of Palestianian state--as long as it's owned by Israel. Most interesting thing about speech? That there wasn't much interesting about speech.

President Obama tries revving up support for government-run health plan, also known as Permanent Employment Act for health care consultants. Hillary not involved.

Former AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre named to head "reinvented" General Motors. Says he doesn't "know anything about cars." Not to worry, Ed. Neither did your predecessors. Here's a hint: They're like telephones--only different.

Whitacre got $85 million as head of AT&T during past 5 years plus $158 million retirement package while stock lost over 40% of its value. Now that's reassuring.

Whitacre known for making acquisitions. Watch out Ford and Fiat/Chrysler.

GM Board members to serve for $1/year. Let's hope they're worth it. Whitacre's salary presumably to be set by new government executive compensation salary czar. How about something new, like an hourly wage? As long as it isn't negotiated by the UAW.

Former AIG head Maurice "Hank" Greenberg goes on trial for allegedly taking $4.3 billion (with a "b") in stock illegally in 2005, the year he was forced out of his job. Where was the compensation czar when we needed him?

Several banks repay TARP money. Mostly so they can say "UP Yours" to the comp czar. Actually, it's so they can say 'UP Ours" as in Up Our Pay and Bonuses without government interference.

FDA given authority to regulate tobacco. First act is to pay White House ushers to snitch if Obama sneaks a smoke.

Some Republicans still grousing about Obama's "date nights" with wife. Hey guys, All work and no play makes B'rack a dull boy.

First Gitmo detainee arrives in NY to stand trial. City, state and country survive.

Four Chinese Muslims released from Gitmo settled in Bermuda. Dick Cheney would be pleased that they ended up in another Caribbean paradise.

US paid Bermuda only $100,000 for the transfer. Maybe that's the way to overcome opposition by members of Congress to bringing detainees to US. Just pay them off. They're used to that.

June is Commencement month, when thousands of college graduates commence to be un-employed. Most popular diploma this year? Degree of Uncertainty.

David Letterman cracks joke in poor taste about Sarah Palin's daughter, Palin launches attack on Letterman, calling him "pathetic," Letterman finally apologizes. So when do we get a list of top 10 reasons David Letterman is "pathetic?"

Conan O'Brien takes over for Jay Leno on "Tonight" show. Silly and unfunny at 1:30 AM moves to Silly and Unfunny at 11:35 PM. Letterman ratings not "pathetic" as he tops Tonight Show for first time in zillion years. Note to NBC execs: Don't lose Jay's cell phone number.

Miss California USA soap opera finally taken off the air as Carrie Prejean, loses her title. Carrie finished 2nd in Miss USA Pageant after supposedly controversial comment about gay marriage. Pageant owner Donald Trump pronounced from on high that she could keep the title, but then apparently felt remorse for having missed an opportunity to say "You're fired!" And so, Carrie Prejean ends up as most successful runner-up since George W. Bush. (Just trying to keep you all up to date on what's happening in the world, folks).

Broke young cowboy Neal Wanless wins $232 million lottery after buying tickets in hometown of Winner, S.D. Would have been a better story if his name had been Wonless.

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor breaks ankle at LaGuardia airport. Newt Gingrich says she should withdraw nomination. Doesn't want cripple on court.

Puerto Rican Day Parade held on New York's Fifth Avenue. This year Puerto Ricans have something to celebrate-- Sotomayor's appointment--instead of just introducing drinking of beer and wine from a bottle in a paper bag.

"Hangover" tops movie box office for second week in row. Figures.