Thursday, August 24, 2006

Unsatisfied? To Vent, Call 1-202-456-1111

Dearest Readers, Prissy may change templates on you, so don't be shocked if the page looks completely different. Blogger has updated its blogging software and as you know, Prissy will update herself accordingly...

Hot Links

ABC The Blotter Is the Next Step a Draft?

An Iraq War veterans group says the call-up of thousands of Marines from the Individual Ready Reserve, announced by the Pentagon today, is "one of the last steps before resorting to a draft."

"This move should serve as a wake-up call to America," said Jon Soltz, an Army captain who served in Iraq and heads the group, which raises funds for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans running for Congress. "Today's announcement that thousands of Marines in the Individual Ready Reserve will be called back to go to Iraq is proof that our military is overextended, and there is no plan for victory in Iraq."

While the Pentagon has repeatedly maintained the armed forces have met their recruiting and retention goals, Soltz says, "Today's actions speak louder than words."

Become part of the Global Strike Force, Prissy did. Put Yourself on the Map

The Scotsman Israel buys nuclear subs

Israel has been expanding its military in the light of Iran's nuclear ambitions. It already has three Dolphin-class submarines which can fire nuclear missiles, but the newer models can remain submerged far longer.

Israel, which has never officially admitted possessing atomic weapons, has an estimated 60-85 nuclear warheads, according to the United States Defence Intelligence Agency.

And...The country's military planners have a clear preference for submarine-launched nuclear weaponry. Given Israel's small land area, launch sites for missiles would be easy to detect and therefore possible to destroy. Submarine-based missiles give the country a more credible deterrent.

Reuters Data points to slowing economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. homes and orders for durable goods both fell by more than expected in July, providing further evidence of slowing U.S. economic growth.

U.S. stock prices slipped and bond yields edged down in the wake of the data which is seen supporting the view that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates next month.

"It suggests that the economy is cooling off," said Gary Thayer, chief economist at A.G. Edwards and Sons in St. Louis.

Quoting him like he is some kind of a genius, to figure that out.

Madison, WI Feingold rips 'pile of lies' on Iraq

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold told a group of Madison area residents this morning that the ongoing U.S. presence in Iraq is the result of an "outrageous pile of lies" and called for more accountability.

"The Bush administration should take accountability for being stuck there and not admitting mistakes," he told a group of about 60 people this morning at a listening session at the Boys & Girls Club on Jenewein Road.

A group of about 10 anti-war activists in the crowd praised Feingold for his opposition to the war and asked him to gather more support in Congress for an immediate withdrawal. The senator has made waves recently by being one of the few members of Congress to call on the Bush administration to create a firm timetable for withdrawal.

International Herald Tribune While you surf the Web, who's surfing you?

There are also simple measures you can take to protect your hardware, like using a cable lock to secure your laptop in a hotel room or even a café (in case you leave the table for any reason), and making sure you lock your computer bag in the trunk of a car rather than leaving it on the back seat.

For travelers who do carry around sensitive data, it is worth looking into programs like Absolute Software's LoJack for Laptops, which can help recover a missing computer. The software reports its location when connected to the Internet, and some versions can even be programmed to destroy data if a computer is reported lost or stolen.

But perhaps the most common snoop that business travelers encounter is someone nearby "shoulder surfing" to see what is on a laptop, out of curiosity or mere boredom. To foil prying eyes, 3M sells a Notebook Privacy Filter, a plastic film that makes it impossible to view a laptop screen from an angle.

Trevor Stromquist, a sales analyst for a manufacturing company in Minneapolis, has been using one for the last two years to dissuade nosy neighbors on the road, but he has noticed an added benefit back at the office. "To be honest, it's kind of a nice thing when you're sitting in one of those long drawn-out meetings," he said. "You can do what you need to do and no one will notice."

Yahoo UK & Ireland After the war: scandals rock Israel Reuters

Some of the allegations:-- A former employee at the official residence of President Moshe Katsav says he coerced her into having sex with him. Katsav has denied the woman's allegations, which police are investigating. The scandal is unlikely to have any significant political impact as Katsav's post is largely ceremonial.

-- Justice Minister Haim Ramon announced on Friday he would resign after the attorney general said he was considering indicting the veteran politician over allegations by a former government employee that he forcibly kissed her.

A Justice Ministry statement said the woman accused Ramon of "kissing her on the lips while inserting his tongue without her consent". Ramon denied the charges and said he would prove his innocence in court.

-- Israel's top government watchdog has confirmed it is examining the terms of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's purchase of a Jerusalem apartment for $1.2 million in 2004.


But the only way to truly reform the FBI is to impose meaningful oversight. The FBI’s internal oversight systems are broken and need to be completely dismantled. A new system can be built, but all internal investigations and inspections should be conducted by experienced field agents rather than supervisors. This will reduce the influence of internal politics and remove the perception of a double standard.

But even if such a system for internal investigations can be built, the FBI still needs to be subjected to direct oversight by an independent Inspector General and an empowered Congress. Congress needs to have greater oversight powers and tools to force accountability, and they need to exercise those powers on behalf of their constituents. Finally, the public has to demand accountability from their elected representatives and from the agencies responsible for national security. These agencies belong to the American people and the American people have a right to know what they’re doing. I left the FBI so I could tell them. Public exposure promotes accountability; secrecy promotes complacency that harms national security.

The FBI should retain the responsibility over domestic intelligence gathering and criminal law enforcement, for all of the reasons delineated in the 9/11 Commission in its report, but the FBI should not be left intact. The FBI does need to be broken into bits and rebuilt to counter the terrorist threat, just as Dale Watson suggested in a moment of candor. But it can be done with real reform and real oversight. The FBI has been trusted to reform on its own before, and failed. This time the public should make a demand: don’t tell me, show me.

USA Today New-home sales tumble 4.3% in July from June, backlog grows

Prissy sees hundreds of new homes going up, and sitting empty here in central Ohio. How long will this last? Prissy knows Ted Strickland will fix everything, but the damage is extensive and it will take years to rebuild Ohio. Governor Taft has watched Ohio jobs move right out the door, educated people are leaving the state. Prissy may eventually be amongst them, especially if the GOP steals our vote, again.

This ought to quiet those opposed to stem cell research...but no it does not Study Reports Method of Creating Stem Cells Without Destroying Embryos the never satisfied Bushies said, 'White House Says Such Research 'Raises Serious Ethical Concerns'

The White House on Wednesday issued a statement saying that "[a]ny use of human embryos for research purposes raises serious ethical concerns" in response to a study published in the Aug. 24 edition of the journal Nature that describes a technique that could derive human embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo, the Washington Post reports (Weiss, Washington Post, 8/24)

Toronto Star Palestinians denounce journalists' kidnappers

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian officials on Thursday denounced kidnappers in Gaza who demand the release of all Muslims imprisoned by the U.S. in exchange for two Fox journalists.

Such demands are turning U.S. public opinion against the Palestinians and hampering efforts to win the freedom of thousands of Palestinians held by Israel, the officials said.

This was the best Dubya could come up with for the middle East peace process... hat tip to justice bloggers.

Boston Globe Mainers plan protest during visit by President Bush

Bush was scheduled to arrive Thursday at Walker's Point, where he'll spend the weekend with his parents at their summer retreat. Bush will be in town to attend a relative's wedding, said Tom Frechette, spokesman for the president's father.

People across New England who oppose the war in Iraq are being invited to join in Saturday's demonstration, according to Bruce Gagnon, one of the organizers. Gagnon said the demonstrators are upset with Congress as well as Bush.

"It's a bipartisan war. We're critical of all of those who're funding the war. One of our key demands is to stop the funding for the war," he said Thursday.

Boston Globe. Perhaps Dr. Frist should be consulted, for a long distance diagnosis. Judge won't drop Rhode Island influence-peddling case

Robert Urciuoli's lawyers had argued the U.S. Attorney's office violated their client's constitutional rights by pressuring the hospital to stop paying his legal bills.

But U.S. District Court Judge Ernest Torres said there isn't evidence showing his former employer was coerced. Torres also said Urciuoli's ability to mount a defense wasn't hampered by the hospital's actions. He said Urciuoli has several lawyers to defend him.

Federal prosecutors have accused Urciuoli, Roger Williams Hospital and two others of paying former state Sen. John Celona to be a secret lobbyist at the Statehouse. Celona has pleaded guilty is cooperating with the probe.

CNN Blast rocks bomb recycling plant

DOYLINE, Louisiana (AP) -- An explosion and fire Thursday rocked a plant where military bombs are disassembled and recycled, forcing the evacuation of at least 600 students in northwestern Louisiana, authorities said.

The blast at the Explo Systems Inc. site at Camp Minden, a former Army ammunition plant, also led authorities to urge voluntary evacuations in the eastern section of Doyline, which has about 800 residents.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries and no word on the cause of the blast, which sent thick black smoke over the area.

Crooks and Liars-see Paul Hackett make mince meat of Chris Matthews and the republican vet from Texas on the war...Paul Hackett debated the Iraq war with Republican–TX-17 candidate Van Taylor, (updated)

Hackett did a fine job fighting for the truth and troops, as always. Take a look at the map of Hackett supporters from this time last year, when he ran against Mean Jean Schmidt.

Hackett Contributors Map That's very impressive and should scare the life out of career politicians.

Forbes Indicted Ky. (Republican) Governor in Negotiations

A special grand jury has been investigating whether the Fletcher administration broke state law by giving protected state jobs to political supporters. It indicted Fletcher in May on misdemeanors alleging conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination.

The judge in the case, David E. Melcher, has since ruled that Fletcher cannot be prosecuted while in office. Stumbo said the judge encouraged settlement talks.

"It's highly, highly unlikely that the governor will ever stand trial," the attorney general said Thursday.

Fletcher, who has pleaded not guilty, had already issued a blanket pardon exonerating anyone else in his administration charged in the scandal, and Stumbo said a pardon was still an option for Fletcher, as well.

WaPo Why Dubya, why? Bush's New Iraq Argument: It Could Be Worse

While still committed to the venture, officials have privately told friends and associates outside government that they have grown discouraged in recent months. Even the death of al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq proved not to be the turning point they expected, they have told associates, and other developments have been relentlessly dispiriting, with fewer signs of hope.

Bush acknowledged this week that he has been discouraged as well. "Frustrated?" he asked. "Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy. This is -- but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times and they're difficult times and they're straining the psyche of our country."

Presidential counselor Dan Bartlett said Bush and his advisers still believe progress is being made and the war will be won. "No question about it, the last three months have been much more challenging," he said. "Are we always going to be pleased with the pace? No. There are days that are frustrating. But is the overall direction going the right way? . . . The answer to that is yes."

They should have asked Dan if he thought progress was being made when this picture was taken.

Sunday August 20, 2006 Jamaica Observer Italy reports seizing US-bound arms shipment

ROME, Italy (AFP) - Italian authorities seized a container full of weapons, including Kalashnikov assault rifles and plastic explosives bound for the United States from Saudi Arabia in May, press reports said yesterday.

Il Mattino newspaper said that the "arsenal" was discovered during a search of a ship registered to an unnamed ex-Soviet republic, which was travelling from Saudi Arabia to the US east coast.

It was boarded by customs officials in the port of Gioia Tauro in the southern Calabria region. They discovered more than 70 AK-47 assault rifles, plastics used in explosives and launch pads for rockets, the daily said.

WRH thinks this is OBL funeral announcement. OBL Funeral Announcement Prissy knows an experienced expert who looked at this funeral announcement and thinks it is bunk. Tells Prissy this is not written in the typical fashion of the middle East news.

However, that does not mean OBL isn't dead-keep in mind the special regarding OBL's health on CNN in 2001 with Dr.Sanjay Gupta. CNN now acts as though they forgotten it...

Quotes of the Day

In time we hate that which we often fear.--William Shakespeare

Thinking to get at once all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find - nothing.--Aesop, The Goose with the Golden Eggs

Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with. His mind was created for his own thoughts, not yours or mine.--Henry S. Haskins

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.--Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.--Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)