Friday, October 27, 2006

The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Party

Whether asking Dubya or any other GOPer about the war, the economy in Ohio or FoleyGate in Washington, they refuse to give a straight answer.

Hot Links

Mercury News Bush: `The ultimate accountability rests with me'

Bush insisted that "absolutely, we're winning" in Iraq, and said, "I will send more troops to Iraq if (Army Gen. George) Casey says, `I need more troops in Iraq to achieve victory.'

But what are we winning, Dubya? The people of Iraq are still without clean drinking water, food shortages and sporadic electricity.

UTube video, showing how Toby Keiths song glorifies an illegal occupation and harms our soldiers Red white & Blue

WaPo In the Libby Case, A Grilling to Remember

"I'd need to see that again," Loftus said when Fitzgerald cited a line in her book that overstated her research by saying that "most jurors" consider memory to be equivalent to playing a videotape. Her research, however, found that to be true for traumatic events, and even then, only 46 percent of potential jurors thought memory could be similar to a videotape.

There were several moments when Loftus was completely caught off guard by Fitzgerald, creating some very awkward silences in the courtroom.

One of those moments came when Loftus insisted that she had never met Fitzgerald. He then reminded her that he had cross-examined her before, when she was an expert defense witness and he was a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in New York.

Libby's defense team declined to comment.

Oh Fitz, Prissy loves it when you talk like that-it brings out the criminal justice major in her.

Arm Chair Subversive-more perversion in the GOP Republican Hypocrisy Revealed

* Republican County Board Candidate Brent Schepp was charged with molesting a 14-year old girl and killed himself three days later.

* Republican Congressman Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress after "sexually explicit" emails surfaced showing him flirting with a 16-year old boy.

* Republican executive Randall Casseday of the conservative Washington Times newspaper was arrested for soliciting sex from a 13-year old girl on the internet.

* Republican chairman of the Oregon Christian Coalition Lou Beres confessed to molesting a 13-year old girl.

Seattle Times Abuse cases put focus on Jesuits

For one victim, compensation came in the form of checks hand-delivered from the highest-ranking Jesuit in the Pacific Northwest.

John McKinley, of Olympia, had contacted church officials about two years ago, saying he had been abused as a boy by a since-deceased Jesuit priest. Over the next months, he talked with the Very Rev. John Whitney.

Whitney gave him an unsolicited check for about $100,000. About a year later, they signed a settlement for another $100,000.

At first, McKinley, 69, saw it as a gesture from a "nice guy" he'd come to regard as a friend. But McKinley wonders now if the checks were "gag money" and fair compensation for the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of the Rev. Michael Toulouse, a priest who had worked in Spokane and at Seattle University, and a nun.

The Age Defiant Sheik fires broadside at Bush

Under pressure to step down following his comments suggesting immodestly dressed women invite sexual assault, Australia's leading Muslim cleric did nothing to ease simmering tensions on Friday.

After emerging from prayers at Sydney's Lakemba Mosque surrounded by dozens of followers, Sheik Alhilali was asked by a media pack whether he would quit.

"After we clean the world of the White House first," the sheik said before being ushered into a waiting car.

His supporters cheered and applauded loudly at the salvo aimed squarely at US President George W Bush and indirectly at Prime Minister John Howard.

Sounds like none of them have anything positive to add.

Kurdish Media Doubts Grow Over Iraq’s Prime Minister

So, rather than directly confront the Shi'ite militias, the prime minister tends to deflect the blame for the sectarian violence toward Sunni terrorist organizations. He did it again Wednesday, saying: "The root of the bloody cycle that we are undergoing is the presence of terror organizations that have arrived in the country."

Nor was the prime minister in any mood to placate his critics. In addition to criticizing the U.S. military, al-Maliki on Wednesday also publicly slapped down U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. He dismissed suggestions — made a day earlier by Khalilzad — that Iraqi political parties had agreed to timetables for dealing with the violence. "No one has the right to impose a timetable" on the Iraqi government, he said.

He suggested Khalilzad's statement was motivated by political considerations that had more to do with the American midterm elections due next month than any real deal. " We are not much concerned with it, " he said. The defiance plays well with al-Maliki's political allies: al-Sadr and other Shi'ite Islamists. But it leaves other groups, including Sunnis, Kurds and secular Iraqis — and not a few observers in Washington — wondering whether the prime minister can stop his country from descending into a total sectarian war.

Psychology Today What Dictators Collect

Possible motives for collecting abound: compulsion, competition, exhibitionism, desire for immortality and the need for experts' approval. Peter York, a British journalist who studied dictators' decor for his book Dictator Style, recognizes all of the above in his subjects. It's basically a dictator's job, he says, to take everything over-the-top.

Stephen Anderson, professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, has come closest to finding a biological basis for the yen to collect. In 2004 he showed that damage to an area of the prefrontal cortex can lead to hoarding—the pathological cousin of collecting. Anderson doubts that's the case with the dictators. "Most people who have injuries to this part of the brain are not going to be successful," he says, "even in a bad-guy way." Still, he wouldn't be surprised if the bad guys' neural wiring were somehow amiss.

York has one more theory to add: the need for compensation. "Some of these people," he says, "were really very short."

LA Times Home prices take steepest dive in 35 years

The nationwide median price of new homes sold in September fell about 9.7% from the same month last year to $217,100, according to the Commerce Department. It was the biggest annual decline in 35 years, according to economist Steven Wood.

"Home price momentum has slowed significantly as homebuilders are using big discounts to motivate new home buyers," Wood said in a research note for Insight Economics.

Home builders have scrambled to reduce a large inventory of unsold properties by putting the brakes on new construction and dangling a growing list of incentives — from price discounts to deals on mortgage — to stimulate sales. But those efforts have so far had limited success.

TPM Muckraker, hat tip to GEF Roll Call Provides Scandal Scorecard

With so many congressional scandals out there, who can keep track? Thanks to the good people at Roll Call newspaper, you can! They've created a handy-dandy chart listing 17 of 18 known federal investigations into members of the 109th Congress. (They forgot Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), who's received subpoenas for information. Some of her former staffers have also been interviewed by the FBI.)

Is your member of Congress on the list? List of Members of 109th Congress Being Looked at by Dept. of Justice

C-Net NewsReporters Without Borders plans censorship cyberdemonstration

Paris-based human rights group Reporters Without Borders is organizing a 24-hour online demonstration to protest Internet censorship. The group is urging people to connect to its Web site between 11 a.m. Central European Time on Tuesday Nov. 7 and the same time the following day. Each click will help to change the "Internet Black Holes" map the group is compiling. At that time Reporters Without Borders will publish the list of 13 countries whose governments censor and block online content that criticizes them. The list will undoubtedly include China, where journalists and dissidents have been jailed for their online writings. The group also will launch its blog platform, rsfblog, at that time and an Arabic-language version of its press freedom Web site.

BBC French police put on high alert

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered police to be on maximum alert in areas where outbreaks of violence could occur.

Several buses have been torched in the run-up to the anniversary of last year's widespread rioting in suburban areas.

Mr Sarkozy said that all "sensitive" bus routes would be protected.

"We will do everything possible to ensure that public services are not disrupted anywhere," he said.

Common Dreams Bush's Family Profits from 'No Child' Act

Most of Ignite's business has been obtained through sole-source contracts without competitive bidding. Neil Bush has been directly involved in marketing the product.

In addition to federal or state funds, foundations and corporations have helped buy Ignite products. The Washington Times Foundation, backed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, head of the South Korea-based Unification Church, has peppered classrooms throughout Virginia with Ignite's COWs under a $1-million grant.

Oil companies and Middle East interests with long political ties to the Bush family have made similar bequests. Aramco Services Co., an arm of the Saudi-owned oil company, has donated COWs to schools, as have Apache Corp., BP and Shell Oil Co.

Neil Bush said he is a businessman who does not attempt to exert political influence, and he called The Times' inquiries about his venture — made just before the election — "entirely political."

Christian Science Monitor For now, modest sanctions eyed for Iran A UN resolution isn't expected to proceed as decisively as North Korea's.

The early signs of disagreement on Iran suggest long and difficult negotiations ahead on any resolution. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week said she hopes for a strong message from the Council to Tehran on its nuclear program, but acknowledged it could still take "weeks."

Still, some diplomats say it is better to go for modest sanctions at first to "get the Iranians' attention" than to go for tough measures from the outset that risk dooming any cooperation from Iran - or a veto in the Security Council.

"We want to send a clear political signal," though one that does not push Iran to follow the example of North Korea, which left the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and kicked out inspectors as international pressures grew, says a European diplomat in Washington with full knowledge of the proposed resolution. "That is the opposite of what we want. We want the Iranians to return to the negotiating table.

Appeal for Redress An Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq

Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation. The Appeal messages will be delivered to members of Congress at the time of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2007. The wording of the Appeal for Redress is short and simple. It is patriotic and respectful in tone.

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.

Forbes Is Sex Necessary?

Reduced depression: Such was the implication of a 2002 study of 293 women. American psychologist Gordon Gallup reported that sexually active participants whose male partners did not use condoms were less subject to depression than those whose partners did. One theory of causality: Prostoglandin, a hormone found only in semen, may be absorbed in the female genital tract, thus modulating female hormones.

- Pain-relief: Immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin surge to five times their normal level. This in turn releases endorphins, which alleviate the pain of everything from headache to arthritis to even migraine. In women, sex also prompts production of estrogen, which can reduce the pain of PMS.

- Less-frequent colds and flu: Wilkes University in Pennsylvania says individuals who have sex once or twice a week show 30% higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is known to boost the immune system. You see, Dr. Ruth told you that it was good for you!

And... Better teeth: Seminal plasma contains zinc, calcium and other minerals shown to retard tooth decay. Since this is a family Web site, we will omit discussion of the mineral delivery system. Suffice it to say that it could be a far richer, more complex and more satisfying experience than squeezing a tube of Crest--even Tartar Control Crest. Researchers have noted, parenthetically, that sexual etiquette usually demands the brushing of one's teeth before and/or after intimacy, which, by itself, would help promote better oral hygiene.

Health benefits galore, Dearest Readers.

U Tube Video Bush Reserves The Right To Repeat Katrina Failures with Bob Schiffer

Quotes of the Day

To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.-- George Santayana

Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.-- Suzanne Necker

The Iraq conflict, while not a cause of extremism, has become a cause for extremists.--Porter Goss,American politician, who was the last Director of Central Intelligence

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.--Booker T. Washington