Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grand Jury Countdown Coming for PlameGate

Dearest Readers, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is wrapping up some things with the grand jury that will expire within the next 15 days.

Prissy will be very surprised if he waits until the very last day for these indictments. Look for the other shoe to drop very soon.

Fitz said this one year ago today (sorry, Prissy misread this before thinking it was what he had written today):

I am somewhat engrossed in my duties with the Grand Jury, but I hope to give regular updates and insight into the process and who I will be recommending for indictment.

That was about Scooter Libby, time is up for the rest. Will Fitz wait until the end? Hard to say! But the end is near.

Scooter should tell Fitz everything before Ambramoff beats him to it

Happy days may come again, Dearest Readers...

Hot Links

News Medical, for Prissy's Dearest beer drinking readers Moderate drinking reduces men's heart attack risk

Even as studies have consistently found an association between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced heart attack risk in men, an important question has persisted: What if the men who drank in moderation were the same individuals who maintained good eating habits, didn't smoke, exercised and watched their weight - How would you know that their reduced risk of myocardial infarction wasn't the result of one or more of these other healthy habits?

A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) helps answer this question. Reported in the October 23, 2006 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, the findings show for the first time that among men with healthy lifestyles, those who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol - defined as between one-half and two drinks daily - had a 40 to 60 percent reduced risk of heart attack compared with healthy men who didn't drink at all.

Crew Citizens for Ethics BREAKING: Hastert is testifying at Ethics Committee today

House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Tuesday sat down with ethics investigators trying to pin down when he and his staff learned about ex-Rep. Mark Foley's come-ons to former male pages and what they did to stop it.

The timeline that Hastert and his staff have given conflicts with the accounts of others. Hastert, R-Ill., has said that he didn't find out about Foley until late

September, when Foley's approaches to the former pages became public. Hastert's appearance followed that of Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York, the House GOP campaign chairman, who said he warned the speaker about Foley last spring.

Prissy is here to tell them, they best not cover for pedophile activity. Glad to see the pages coming forward too. Let's get this exposed so we can prevent it from occurring again without being managed. Pages should receive "training against problems with pedophiles" included in their orientation to the Hill.

CBC Canada Calgary could face water shortage: report

Calgary could face a water shortage in 10 to 15 years, says a new report by the Geological Survey of Canada.

The report, prepared by the federal government's geo-science research agency, says a warmer climate and a booming population mean Calgary could be headed for a water crisis.

U.S. says Iraq agrees timeline to peace

"The American people know that this is very important but the recent sectarian bloodshed in Iraq causes many to question whether the United States can succeed," Khalilzad said.

"Despite the difficult challenges we face, success in Iraq is possible ... on a realistic timetable."

Iraqi officials, marking holidays for the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, had no comment. Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's unity government issued a statement on Monday saying its forces would crack down on illegal armed groups.

Times Hastert says Republicans will keep House

The Illinois Republican, after speaking to about 500 Northeast Tennessee Republicans on behalf of 1st Congressional District GOP nominee David Davis, said the war and Foley scandal are overshadowing Republicans' good job performance with the economy.

"But, yeah, I think we can hold on to the majority," said Hastert, who indicated he would like to run for House speaker again. "Sometimes I look at the things we try to do. We try to pass real legislation, and we have good ideas about what to do about immigration, what to do about energy, what to do about taxes. And our friends on the other side of the aisle want us to swirl around in all this (Foley) controversy. I think American voters understand right and wrong and the people who are really working to get things done in this country, and I think they'll return a Republican Congress. ... The real issue is about this economy - how we've lowered taxes, how we've given more money to people to decide how they will spend it instead of some bureaucrat in Washington. That's the story we need to get out. ... Our message is better."

Are you sputtering at the ole boys audacity?

IHT Laptops at U.S. border: No privacy rights

Last week, an informal survey by the association, which has about 2,500 members worldwide, indicated that almost 90 percent of its members were not aware that U.S. customs officials have the authority to scrutinize the contents of travelers' laptops and even confiscate them for a period of time, without giving a reason. Appeals are under way in some confiscation cases, but the law is clear.

"They don't need probable cause to perform these searches under the current law," said Tim Kane, a Washington lawyer who is researching the matter for corporate clients. "They can do it without suspicion or without really revealing their motivations."

Laptops may be scrutinized and subject to a "forensic analysis" under the so-called border search exemption, which allows searches of people entering the United States and their possessions "without probable cause, reasonable suspicion or a warrant," a U.S. court ruled in July.

Time What's Missing From the New Timeline for Iraq

So today's announcement provides the U.S. with an opportunity, if it is willing to seize it: now that the Iraqis have agreed to a "timeline," they should be faced with consequences if they fail to meet it. And that means saying that the U.S. will leave Iraq at the end of 18 months.

So why didn't Casey and Khalilzad do so? Their refusal to utter the "w" word reflects the broader lack of candor that still characterizes our debate about what to do in Iraq. The White House now says it intends to stop using the phrase "staying the course," and Democratic leaders talk about the need for a "new strategy," but neither is willing to publicly commit to a definitive plan — also known by the more politically perjorative phrase "timetable" — for getting U.S. troops out. In the Washington Post today, Richard Holbrooke argues for Bush to "disengage" from Iraq and seek a political compromise there, but rules out "a fixed timetable for U.S. withdrawal, since it would give away any remaining American flexibility and leverage."

But would it? Might the reverse be just as true? Wouldn't the establishment of a definitive departure date give the Iraqi leadership more incentive, not less, to get their house in order? Declaring that the bulk of U.S. troops will depart within 18 months may allow insurgents to crow that the U.S. is cutting and running, but after $1 trillion and 3,000 dead, we're in 11th-hour, face-saving, loss-cutting mode now. It's possible that 18 months isn't enough time for the Iraqis to meet the goals set out by Khalilzad today. The truth is that no one knows how long it will take for Iraq to make peace with itself. But it's time for the U.S. to make it clear that we don't intend to stay to find out.

There is speculation that soldiers were hurt and possibly more killed than was announced. Sure hope not. This google video shows the explosions caused when the ammo dump caught on fire or was attacked in Iraq US Army AMMO DUMP FIRE with secondarys

USA Today Cheney says Hillary Clinton could win, hopes she doesn't

Probably the only thing in politics Prissy and the ole boy would agree upon.

Mercury News Pat Tillman's Brother Calls War Illegal

The article in Truthdig, a Web magazine that looks at current affairs from a progressive viewpoint, is accompanied by a photo of the smiling brothers, arms around each other, standing in front of a Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia before their 2003 tour of duty in Iraq.

``Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes,'' wrote Kevin Tillman. ``Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.''

His essay did not spare the American public, which he suggests too often relies on superficial gestures to support the troops instead of holding politicians accountable.

Boston Herald Priest who admitted molesting altar boys released from prison

WORCESTER - A retired Roman Catholic priest from Bellingham who was convicted of molesting altar boys has been freed from prison but will not find out until later this year whether he has to undergo further sex offender treatment.

The Rev. Paul M. Desilets, 82, left the state prison in Shirley on Monday after serving a year and five months behind bars. He was sentenced in May 2005 after pleading guilty to 32 counts of assault and battery committed from 1978 to 1984 at Our Lady of the Assumption parish, where he was associate pastor.

Most shrinks agree, treatment is valid-but there is no cure. The best one can hope for is to convince them why they must stay away from children.

Cheney visitor logs subject to FOIA

A judge declares the vice president's visitor information is a public record and directs the Secret Service to review the records immediately.

China View Russian prime minister to visit China

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will pay an official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao announced Tuesday.

Liu said at a press conference that the visit will run from Nov. 9 to 10. Fradkov and Wen Jiabao will both attend the 11th regular meeting between the prime ministers of the two countries, and activities celebrating the closing ceremony of the Year of Russia in China.

What will happen when the puppetmaster is gone?

NYT Bush Seeks to Reverse G.O.P.'s Declining Fortunes

Someone notify him that poor leadership the reason for the decline.

Quotes of the Day

All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.--Socrates

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.--Plato

When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.--Plato

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.--Plato