Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dubya and Dick Beg the Question: Ready For Guard Duty America?

Prissy is recovering from the flu, or there would have been more postings this week. The CIA Leak grand jury expires in 10 days.

Hot Links

Amnesty International Amnesty International calls for bloggers to stand up for freedom

“Freedom of expression online is a right, not a privilege – but it’s a right that needs defending. We’re asking bloggers worldwide to show their solidarity with web users in countries where they can face jail just for criticising the government.

“The Internet Governance Forum needs to know that the online community is bothered about free expression online and willing to stand up for it.”

Amnesty International is calling on governments and companies to ensure that human rights – particularly the rights to freedom of expression, association and the right to privacy – are respected and protected.

Daily Reckoning Greenspan Is Still Crazy...

Yesterday, we saw some additional dollar selling, and it wasn't from any data. The dollar was sold after some comments by Big Al Greenspan. That's right, the former Fed Chairman is still crazy after all these years. No wait! What I mean to say is that he can still move the markets. Let's go to the tape and listen in on what he had to say.

“Central Banks around the world, and private investors are beginning to shift holdings from the dollar to the euro.” Greenspan went on to say that “the move is due to a desire to diversify after a concentration of global investment in U.S. assets.” But, here's the one line that just cracked me up! “The trade and budget deficits aren't a problem.”

Hmmmm. First of all, it sure sounded to me, and I guess the markets too, that Big Al was playing out a fantasy of directing the dollar. That's the job of the Treasury Dept, not the Fed. But even though Big Al isn't either now, he sure directed the dollar yesterday, eh? You know...Big Al just cracks me up. Here he is, the creator of all this mess, and now he decides to throw gas on the fire with talk about Central Banks diversifying out of dollars and into euros.

Good video hat tip to GEF Article 2 Section 4 of the Constitution

Haaretz AG: Katsav should resign before indictment hearing

"[In] a situation in which there is a criminal investigation of the president on allegations that include serious criminal violations," said Mazuz, it would be appropriate for the president to remove himself temporarily from office, by petitioning the Knesset to determine that he is temporarily incapacitated.

"It is obvious that the more serious the allegations are, and the more the legal proceedings advance - the conclusion of the investigation or the decision in principle to file an indictment - the more the president is obligated to remove himself temporarily from office," said Mazuz.

Justice Ministry officials have said in the past that Katsav should resign in order to "spare the public the embarrassment."

Over the last few days, however, discussions in the Attorney General's Office had focused on whether the High Court of Justice has the legal authority to instruct the president to resign. Under the Basic Law, a sitting president is immune from prosecution.

Allow Prissy to remind you the police thought there was enough evidence to charge him-and police everywhere, are known to be a little funny about getting behind rape cases unless there is overwhelming evidence...see below.

Breit Bart News Prosecutor Yet to Interview Rape Accuser

"She said, 'I've never taken Ecstasy,'" Nifong said. "That was the extent of the conversation because that's all I had to know."

Nifong said he met with the accuser and an investigator on April 11, but didn't discuss details of the case because the woman was "too traumatized." Nifong said the woman didn't make eye contact with him and often seemed on the verge of crying. Their discussion centered around how the case would develop, he said.

"She probably did not speak 15 words during the meeting," Nifong said.

Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., was charged in May with rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. A month earlier, a grand jury indicted players Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 20, of Garden City, N.Y., on the same charges. The accuser, a student at nearby North Carolina Central University, told police she was raped in a bathroom by three men at the off-campus party.

Forensic evidence trumps statements every time...which sounds like what the police are going with. And yes, victims can certainly be too traumatized to speak out against the alleged perpetrators. The fear tends to last quite a while, post-traumatic stress disorder is common in this type of assault.

Defense attorneys know this, but of course have a duty to defend the frat boys involved. Prissy didn't see too many frat boys in juvi hall...


CNN Laura Bush: My husband never misled about Iraq

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In her first public comments about Bob Woodward's explosive book "State of Denial," first lady Laura Bush sharply denied claims in the book that her husband has misled the public about the level of violence in Iraq.

"Absolutely I think that is wrong," Bush said in an exclusive interview with CNN Wednesday. "Of course, the president has been frank from the very very first speech he gave to the country after the September 11 attacks, talking about this is a long war, this is a very difficult war.

"It's a different war than our country has ever faced. The enemy can make a big show on television like they did for the bloody last month we had in Iraq by blowing themselves up a lot of times along with other people. But our success is not so easy to see. But the fact is that we are succeeding."

The first lady also bristled when asked about Woodward's suggestion that she privately supported an effort by then-White House Chief of Staff Andy Card to push out Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Dearest Readers, anything said by the first lady is under duress. Dubya is no prize amongst husbands, for sure. She is way too good for the likes of him.

Kansas City Bush labors to save GOP in last campaign

This time around, Bush has taken his biggest weakness - the troubles in Iraq - and tried to turn it against his opponents.

"If you want to be a Democrat these days, you can be for almost anything, but victory in Iraq is not an option," Bush said recently while campaigning for Republican Rep. Don Sherwood in Pennsylvania, who admitted to having an extramarital affair.

Washington Times DNC wooing black voters

"They use a database that they have been building for years, to the point where today my friends who are Republican pollsters, they can go to a block somewhere in some town and tell you exactly where the three Republican voters live on that block, right off the bat," Mr. Lester said.

Terry McAuliffe recognized this problem in 2001 when he became DNC chairman. He copied the Republican model, investing heavily in building a similar database using credit-card information, vehicle registrations and other data to identify likely Democratic voters.

This database, which cost the party tens of millions of dollars to assemble, has given the Democrats a tool to challenge Republican turnout nearly vote for vote, Mr. Lester said.

"The DNC probably has the most effective technical operation they have had in years, but as always they are still playing catch-up," he said.

Good for you DNC, now be sure to count the votes!

Canadian Broadcasting Co U.S. networks reject ads for Dixie Chicks doc

Two American television networks — NBC and CW — have rejected advertising for the documentary Shut Up & Sing, a movie about the Dixie Chicks' controversial statement against the U.S. president and the invasion of Iraq, according to the company that is distributing the film.

The networks said it was "disparaging to president Bush."

India Times Email threat to PM, Prez; 3 held

The police are taking its contents of the email seriously considering that Singh is scheduled to be in Kerala on November 1 and Kalam in December.

The email, sent to the office of the DGP, the home department and 20 senior police officers, reportedly warns of consequences if Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru and Islamic leader Abdul Nasser Madani are harmed in any way.

The police suspect it to be the handiwork of banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and activists of National Development Fund, who have expressed sympathy for Afzal and Madani.

ABC News GAO Chief Warns Economic Disaster Looms

David M. Walker sure talks like he's running for office. "This is about the future of our country, our kids and grandkids," the comptroller general of the United States warns a packed hall at Austin's historic Driskill Hotel. "We the people have to rise up to make sure things get changed."

But Walker doesn't want, or need, your vote this November. He already has a job as head of the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress that audits and evaluates the performance of the federal government.

Basically, that makes Walker the nation's accountant-in-chief. And the accountant-in-chief's professional opinion is that the American public needs to tell Washington it's time to steer the nation off the path to financial ruin.

Forbes Housing Makes U.S. Economy Look Bad

"The big story is that the market is barely budging, aside from some movement in cyclical areas," said Alec Young, an equity strategist at Standard & Poor’s. "And I think that's a function of the fact that growth was weaker than expected, but people are more confident in a soft landing.

Soft landing? Hmm, Dearest Readers, make sure your pantry is well stocked. There is no reason to trust this economy. The crash is coming...

Mainichi Japan South Korea monitoring movements at North's suspected nuclear site

A retired U.S. diplomat, however, said a nuclear-capable North was likely to increase its demands for dismantling its nuclear weapons program, including a demand for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops in the South.

"If we go back to the negotiating table, the price of dismantling their program is going to be astronomical," Kenneth Quinones, a former U.S. State Department Korea specialist, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Quinones served as a North Korea desk officer at the State Department and spent time in the country during the mid-1990s amid a period of U.S. engagement with Pyongyang. He said it was unlikely the U.S. would agree to a full troop pull out from the South.

The U.S. keeps 29,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with a cease-fire and not a peace treaty. Washington plans to reduce the number of soldiers to 25,000 by 2008.

CBC Taliban turns down Karzai's offer to talk: report

"They should first free themselves from foreign slavery and come to their own land and live in peace," Karzai said. "For the sake of peace in Afghanistan, we are ready to negotiate with them."

Karzai has also written to influential ethnic Pashtun politicians in Pakistan asking for their support to stem the growing Taliban insurgency.

The Afghan president says he believes the Taliban leader is hiding in Pakistan, but that country says Omar is still in Afghanistan.

The purported statement from the Taliban, sent by e-mail Saturday to the Associated Press by militant spokesman Muhammad Hanif, dismissed Karzai's latest offer of talks and called his administration a "puppet government."

Iran Mania AP Interview: Chalabi prods US on Iran

The coalition has accused Iran of arming insurgents and Shiite militias, but Chalabi, like other officials, believes that the United States should take advantage of Iran's established links with Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish politicians and groups of all kinds in Iraq in an effort to promote its national interests.

Many Shiite groups now influential in Iraq's government, such as the Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, were based in Iran or operated from there during Saddam's rule.

Chalabi said Iran would favor close ties with a stable Shiite-controlled government in Iraq, if it believed the United States was not planning to use the country as a base to contain Iran or attack its nuclear program.

"We need better diplomacy and negotiation right now, not only between US and Iraqi forces and Iraq's Sunnis and Shias, but also with neighbors such as Iran and Turkey," Chalabi said.

We need his advice, as much as we need Henry Kissinger's...what is it with our government buying the advice of wanted men? Criminals advising criminals, and they aren't even smart ones...

Ireland Online I'm not America's man, says Iraqi PM

Maliki’s office issued a statement after the talks saying the two leaders had agreed to the joint goals of hastening the training of the Iraqi army and “handing over security responsibility to the Iraqi government”.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said President George Bush reaffirmed his support for Maliki, telling him that he was not “America’s man in Iraq” but a sovereign leader whom the US is assisting.

“What you’ve got in Maliki is a guy who is making decisions,” Snow said.

“He’s making tough decisions, and he’s showing toughness and he’s also showing political skill in dealing with varying factions within his own country. And both leaders understand the political pressures going on,” Snow said.

CBC, thank Goodness the Canadians still report real news. Protesters urge end to Afghan mission

Turnout was mixed, depending on weather conditions. In driving snow in Edmonton, fewer than 100 people marched, while several hundred braved the rain in Montreal.

The crowds included a few people with military experience.

Francisco Juarez, a demonstrator in Toronto, was fined by the Canadian army reserves and released earlier this year after he refused to train for the Afghan campaign.

"Today I'm here at the protest because I feel that in whatever way I can, I need to assist in engaging Canadians in a broader debate: the issues of why we're in Afghanistan and what the priorities are in Afghanistan for our Canadian Forces."

BBC Pope urges action on sexual abuse

Trust in the clergy had been damaged, Pope Benedict said, and rebuilding confidence was an urgent task.

In March, a report from the Archdiocese of Dublin said that more than 100 Catholic priests in Dublin were suspected of having abused children in the last 66 years. But there have been other scandals in various parts of the world.

In the US, a Boston-based scandal in 2002 led to the prosecutions of a number of priests, large payouts to dozens of victims and allegations of a cover-up by senior clergy.

This is decades overdue, perhaps pedophilia will once and for all be exposed to the light. That will make a difference in the lives of today's children and we will all benefit.

Quotes of the Day

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.--George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi... has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.-- Justice Thurgood Marshall

Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds.--Thurgood Marshall

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.--William O. Douglas

When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen's constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all. --William O. Douglas

Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? --William O. Douglas