UPDATE: See Hot Links. Looking for Mayflower Hotel/Laura Bush/Condi Rice? Additional Ann Coulter photo's here. See yesterday's post "C I Ain't That Dumb, But They is" below.
ABC News, The Note for Friday:The grand jury investigating the CIA leak meets at 9:30 am ET.
Also from The Note Politics of Iran:
Should Iran reject the incentives offered yesterday, the New York Times sees differences likely re-emerging among the world powers as they consider specific punishments in the Security Council.
The Wall Street Journal's Wirey John Harwood writes that some neoconservatives are staying ideologically put and have come out strongly against the Bush Administration's new, more sensitive stance toward Iran.
Harwood has AEI's Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official, saying, "Rice has perfected the primacy of short-term solutions regardless of long-term ill."
New Haven Valley Advocate Guilty, Guilty -Skilling Lay softly with our song.
Let's begin celebrating the downfall of the GOP machine. Indeed, consider the convictions of Lay and Skilling (and the earlier convictions of Andy Fastow, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff) the first pitches in an extra-inning game that we have to win. There is no second place, no consolation prize. If we lose, that's it; the "great experiment" in democracy known as America is over. The judicial system is our "Casey at the Bat." It must do for our nation what the legislative and executive branches of the federal government have failed so miserably to do.
Happily, in Patrick Fitzgerald we have the judicial equivalent of David Ortiz standing on deck in the Plame case investigation. He has, like the Enron jury, carefully gathered and weighed the evidence, indicted Lewis Libby, Dick Cheney's right-hand man, and slapped Judith Miller in jail for, among other things, being Libby's press whore and mouthpiece in the run up to the illegal war in Iraq. You might want to keep some extra bottles of bubbly on hand, because word on the street is that Fitzgerald will soon indict Mad Dog Cheney and Turd Blossom Rove. Lay, Skilling, Fastow and Libby can school them in proper shower stall etiquette when these fat fish are tossed into the prison pond.
One striking but unsurprising thing about the Enron trial was the absolute lack of humility of the two defendants. They actually thought that by saying they did nothing wrong the case was closed. But here's the thing. Guys like Lay, Skilling, Fastow, Bush, Cheney, Libby and Rove never learned limits. Maybe they were brainwashed as kids into thinking they were better than others. Maybe they are just sociopaths. Though they'll never learn, maybe this verdict, and those to follow, will teach the rest of us about our limits. You can't break the rules, steal the cash, con the workers into footing the bill and not suffer the consequences. Likewise, you can't invade other countries for no reason and not reap some blowback. You can't steal two elections and then expect your "leader" to be loved or even to know how to lead. You can't intercept the phone records of millions of Americans and then tell them you're not spying on them.
There are limits to what language, and the planet, can bear.
Still waiting on those indictments, Special Prosecutor...
From Wayne Madsen, former NSA Analyst- June 2, 2006 -- As reported by WMR on May 30, there are now further widely confirmed reports of U.S. war crimes committed against innocent Iraqi civilians. In addition to the Nov. 2005 Haditha massacre of civilians, including women and children, there is now a report that U.S. troops massacred civilians in the town of Ishaqi in March of this year. Ishaqi is 10 miles north of Balad. The Bush White House and Pentagon have responded to these war crimes by ordering specialized training for U.S. troops before they deploy to Iraq.
In addition to U.S. political and military leaders, international law provides for the indictment of propagandists who stoke the flames of hate by supporting war crimes and the unlawful actions of governments during wartime. William Joyce (nicknamed Lord Haw Haw), an Irish-American broadcaster for Nazi Germany, was hanged for treason on 1946. Mildred Sisk (nicknamed Axis Sally), an American who broadcasted messages to Allied troops on Radio Berlin, was convicted of one count of treason following the war. U.S. citizen Iva Toguri D'Aquino ("Tokyo Rose"), a broadcaster for Japanese radio during World War II, was convicted of treason. She was pardoned by President Gerald Ford in a deal that Ford's Chief of Staff, Dick Cheney, was involved. Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, broadcasters for Rwanda's Radio Milles Collines, were indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda for airing anti-Tutsi messages in 1994. Broadcasters like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and other venal broadcasters who are acting on behalf of the Bush administration in defending war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq, may find themselves subject to future International Criminal Court investigations.
Lee ended his suit against the Energy and Justice Departments today. He'd accused federal officials of smearing him by leaking information that he was under investigation as a spy for China.
Federal judges held five reporters in contempt of court for refusing to name their sources in stories about the spy investigation.
The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and A-B-C are making the payment. Legal and media experts say the payment may be the first of its kind.
It may be a first, but it won't be the last time corporate owned media is held responsible for the damage they do by shilling for the Bush administration.
ABC Holy Lipstick Lesbian! Meet the New Batwoman When will a woman super-hero come along that is not wearing leather or a skin tight leotard? Good for the lesbians, but that doesn't help the rest of us women who are trying to get away from the leotard look ;-)
June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Employers in the U.S. added the fewest workers in seven months and wage growth cooled, increasing the chances that the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates this month.
The 75,000 gain in payrolls followed a revised 126,000 April increase that was less than the government initially reported, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists expected a 170,000 increase for May. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent last month from 4.7 percent.
Rolling Stone Magazine Was the 2004 Election Stolen? BY ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.
But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004(12) -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.(13) (See Ohio's Missing Votes) In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots.(14) And that doesn?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.(15)
'It was terrible,'' says Sen. Christopher Dodd, who helped craft reforms in 2002 that were supposed to prevent such electoral abuses. ''People waiting in line for twelve hours to cast their ballots, people not being allowed to vote because they were in the wrong precinct -- it was an outrage. In Ohio, you had a secretary of state who was determined to guarantee a Republican outcome. I'm terribly disheartened.''
Indeed, the extent of the GOP's effort to rig the vote shocked even the most experienced observers of American elections. ''Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,'' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me. ''You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are.
They stand out like a sore thumb.''
New Zealand Scoop Voting Machine Problems Reported Statewide In PA
June 1, 2006. VotePA announced today that is joining forces with other groups of concerned citizens, including People For the American Way Foundation, The Black Political Empowerment Project, and the League of Young Voters to urge Allegheny County to adopt a safe and verifiable system of elections so that the integrity of the vote can become evident to all citizens. The current security model used by the county is unworkable and leaves us with little basis for trusting our election results.
Reports of problems with voting machines used in the May 16th primary elections have been flowing in to VotePA�s offices from across the Commonwealth. More than two weeks after the polls closed, VotePA volunteers continue to receive and compile reports from observers and voters in many counties.
In Allegheny County, approximately ten percent of ES&S iVotronic machines failed. In many cases the machines suffered battery failure, and poll workers had difficulty reaching the County�s assistance lines, which were tied up for hours with calls from poll workers. In at least one Pittsburgh precinct, the zero report made when the machines were turned on did not list several candidates. A floating technician arrived hours after the polls opened and citizens had voted on the machine, to inform the Judge of Elections that he would use a �secret code� to cause the machine to print out a tape showing the vote count at zero. Similar incidents were reported in other Allegheny County precincts, in Centre County, and other areas using the iVotronic system.
The United States warned Iran it will not have much time to respond once it is offered an international package of rewards to encourage it to suspend uranium enrichment, suggesting that the window could soon close and be replaced by penalties.
"It really needs to be within weeks," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told NBC's "Today" show, referring to the six-power package of perks or penalties aimed at halting Iran's enrichment activities.
Moscow Times World Leaders Seek Iran Incentives
"We call on Iran to constructively respond to (the chance)," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday.
But Mottaki said Wednesday's proposal by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would not break the deadlock.
"Rice's statement was not something new. This is what was said in her previous speeches and interviews. It lacked a logical and new solution to resolve Iran's nuclear issue."
U.S. officials said Russia and China had come around to broad support for the "carrots and sticks" package drafted by the "EU3" -- France, Germany and Britain -- but details on how to balance the offer remained to be ironed out on Thursday.
ABC For 3rd Time, U.S. Troops Accused of Deliberately Killing Iraq Civilians, This Incident in March Note: RAW Story said Four times, now. For the sake of humankind, get them OUT of Iraq!
In March, the U.S. military said four people died when they attacked from the ground and air a house suspected of holding an al-Qaida operative. The house was destroyed.
But video shot by an AP Television News cameraman at the time and previously unaired shows at least five children dead. The video shows at least one adult male and four young children with obvious entry wounds to the head. One child has an obvious entry wound to the side caused by a bullet.
Let's see, the military is accepting convicted criminals-the best kind to fight an illegal war. Lack of discipline started at the very top-look at the evidence they used to begin this war.
Illegal wars simply breed more illegal activity. Vietnam is a perfect example of innocent women and children killed with murderous intent as well as our soldiers under severe inhumane stressors.
Despite this horrifying atrocity, Prissy pleas with you to still have some small amount of sympathy for these obviously "cracked" Marines.
Yahoo Republican leader promises lengthy US support for Iraq Stay longer next time, Congressman Buzzard and you pay for it
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Dennis Hastert assured Iraqi leaders that their country has continued US support.
"We will remain faithful to the task because it is the right thing to do for Iraq, for the Middle East and for America," said Hastert, even as support for the war in the United States is reaching all-time lows.
"Seven out of 10 Americans will tell you we don't want to see Iraq fail so it is very important that our government and the Iraqi government work together," said Hastert, a Republican from Illinois.
So is the Buzzard planning to ask his constituents how they feel about the necessary draft to sustain this war? But take a look at this poll, from March. Prissy thinks those in opposition of a draft got a few more good reasons with the latest news of some Marines "losing it" on civilians, in Iraq... After all, what kind of parent wants to raise a killer?
Angus Reid Polls Americans Reject Reinstating the Military Draft
Do you favour or oppose reinstating the military draft to provide soldiers for the Iraq conflict?
Source: CBS News Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,136 American adults, conducted from Mar. 9 to Mar. 12, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.
Tehran Times U.S. accepts draft on Iran that omits use of force
To placate the Russians, the United States has agreed to invoke only Article 41 of Chapter VII, and not the whole chapter. Article 41 makes no reference to the possible use of force, and therefore offers the Russians a means to support it.
"We're splitting hairs, but it keeps the process going," said a United Nations diplomat familiar with the negotiations, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the talks.
European diplomats said they were not sure whether Russia would show up in Vienna with a commitment to vote yes or to abstain from voting on the Security Council resolution. But two diplomats said it appeared that Russia did not like being seen as isolated by the United States and Europe on the matter.
The ties between Lewis and Lowery include staffers who have worked for both of them. Jeff Shockey, deputy staff director of the Appropriations Committee, worked first for Lewis, then went to work for Lowery in 1999, and returned last year to Lewis' staff - getting $600,000 in severance payments from Lowery's firm. Another Lewis aide, Letitia White, became a lobbyist for Lowery in 2003.
According to lobbying forms, San Bernardino County paid Lowery's firm $60,000 last year for representation on appropriations and budget bills. White is listed as one of the lobbyists representing the county.
The investigation into Lewis is reportedly tied to the investigation that resulted in the bribery conviction of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. One of the defense firms implicated in bribing Cunningham, ADCS Inc., was a client of Lowery's.
Oil Cast- A report from Stanford (pdf)Oil Future and War Now:A Grim Earth-Sciences Point of View
Standing beside U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad during a visit to a new Baghdad power plant, Maliki said he first heard of the alleged November 19 massacre in the town through the media.
And...Asked if he would demand the files, Maliki told reporters without elaborating: "Yes".
U.S. defense officials have said murder charges may be brought against Marines following an investigation into the deaths of 24 civilians in Haditha, which some commentators are comparing to the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
Maliki, who has said he is losing patience with reports of killings of Iraqi civilians, condemned the suspected massacre in Haditha as a "terrible crime" on Thursday.
Detroit News via RAW StoryJudge: Spy case hearings will go onFederal jurist in Detroit stands firm despite claim national security at risk.
The government eventually filed a motion saying that, by law, no court can consider the issues because of a privilege against revealing state secrets, if doing so diminishes national security. But in her order, Diggs Taylor said she will hear the government's motion only after proceeding with a hearing on the plaintiffs' motion to summarily declare the spying illegal.
"The hearing shall be held on Monday, June 12, 2006, as scheduled," Diggs Taylor ordered. "Although defendants have not responded to said motion they may, if they appear, argue against it." The ACLU and the other plaintiffs say the NSA has illegally operated a domestic spying program, tapping the phone calls of callers who frequently converse with people in the Middle East. President Bush has said the program is legal.
"We are glad the judge appears to be skeptical of the government's argument that no court can consider the legality of the NSA's program," said Ann Beeson, the associate legal director of the ACLU.
A spokeswoman for the NSA said no one from the agency would be available to comment on the order until Monday.
Outlook India Russia rules out use of force against Iran
"I can unambiguously say that all agreements of yesterday's meeting ... rule out the use of military action," Lavrov said. Lavrov said Tehran would not be issued an ultimatum on when to respond to the Iran Six's proposal.
"There is no categorical deadline. But I think we are talking about several weeks," he said, adding he had been surprised by media reports that Iran would face a deadline of seven days to respond.
"This is not true..the period is much longer," he said.
The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in principle based on the establishment of peace and justice worldwide.--Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women are deployed across the world in the war on terror. By bringing hope to the oppressed, and delivering justice to the violent, they are making America more secure.--George W. Bush
Let Justice, blind and halt and maimed, chastise the rebel spirit surging in my veins, let the Law deal me penalties and pains. And make me hideous in my neighbours' eyes.--Ada Cambridge,“the doyenne of Australian writers”
Neorepublicans, they speak- but they do not feel...Since its inception, our Nation has stood on the foundations of compassion and justice.--Mike DeWine, Ohio senator
Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.--George Washington