Sunday, October 15, 2006

When America Got Punked

That would be the short version of it in history. Well-dressed thugs took over the government and thought they were going to keep it for themselves. If they could make it legal while in office, all would be well. For them, anyway.

Some used to say Americans were rebels because of their freedom. May be. Prissy used to know kids that went abroad in the 1980's and were stunned to find out they didn't take their American laws and privileges with them.

But those were the good old days, when many of us thought and were even encouraged to believe dissent was truly American. Prissy still believes it is and always should be.

Dearest Readers, the lawsuits in Ohio over the vote will be ongoing for quite some time. More have been filed against the Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. The lawyers have plenty of evidence, in fact if we get a decent Attorney General the investigation is complete, although more evidence and whistleblowers continue to emerge. All a new AG will have to do is present it.

Shame on John Kerry for not giving a dime to the folks who worked so hard on their own time and dime because they could not give up on justice or our right to vote. He had $14 million dollars left over from his 2004 campaign.

When Kerry came to Columbus, Prissy got the impression from him he was feeling out the crowd and stumping for another run. No thanks...between this and the war- where were you when we needed you, Senator?

At least Senator Edwards was coming into town, finding out how we were doing with his poverty initiatives. He knew we were scared of what this government was doing and that made him angry. You could sense his protectiveness of everyone in the room. He actually cares about the American people and this nations standing in the world. That kind of anger is a virtue...

The CIA Leak case will conclude within the next 20 some days. Not saying Fitz is going to be predictable, however he did indict Gov Ryan on the last day before the grand jury was set to expire. Did Prissy mention the governor was convicted? And it looks like that appeal won't be keeping him out of jail in the mean time, either.

So its no wonder a gift of shamrocks from the Irish prime minister makes Dubya nervous. It reminds him too much of Prosecutors Pat Fitzgerald and Paul McNulty...Not too much water, Dubya. Prissy's shamrocks are growing all over the place.

Hot Links

Reuters CIA holds an al Qaeda leader in secret jail: report

MADRID (Reuters) - A suspected al Qaeda leader, accused of being involved in September 11 and planning the 2004 Madrid train bombings, has been imprisoned in a secret U.S. jail for the past year, Spain's El Pais newspaper reported on Sunday.

Mustafa Setmarian, 48, a Syrian with Spanish citizenship, was captured in Pakistan in October 2005 and is held in a prison operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Pakistani and European security service officials told El Pais.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Spain declined to comment on the report

Haaretz Israeli President succumbs to pressure, cancels Knesset appearance - Attorney: He will resign if indicted

Moshe Katsav cancelled a planned appearance at the formal opening of the Knesset winter session on Monday, after lawmakers threatened to remain seated when the Presidet entered the parliamentary chamber, contrary to tradition.

On Sunday, the police team investigating allegations against the president recommended that he be charged with rape, sexual assault, eavesdropping, fraud, breach of trust and improprieties in gift distribution.

Katsav's attorney, Zion Amir, said Monday morning that if and when an indictment was submitted, Katsav will resign his post as president.

Notice how Dubya's buddies seem to be finding themselves in hot water, regardless of where they reside...

From Prissy's Inbox: Living Solder's Mom Gets Letter Stamped 'Deceased'

AP ST. PAUL (Oct. 14) - A Duluth mother who has been outspoken against the war in Iraq and against her son's deployment there said she was shocked when a letter she had sent to him came back with the word "DECEASED" stamped on it.

Joan Najbar's son, 21-year-old Sam Eininger, is alive, a National Guard spokesman said Friday.

"It's very upsetting, and somebody obviously did it," Najbar said. "I think this is somebody's cruel little joke."

Najbar, 55, works as a mental health therapist in Duluth and hasn't been shy about her feelings on the deployment that took her son out of Concordia College and sent him to Iraq in April.

She has written monthly letters to the local newspaper, appeared on television, met with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and protested in St. Paul and Duluth. She performed a poetry and dance program at the College of St. Scholastica about the struggle of a mother sending her child to war.

"I've been the most verbal mom protesting the war in this town," she said. "And I've been trashed for being a military mom speaking out. It just makes me wonder if this is a malicious thing."

Lt. Sheree Savage, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota National Guard, said the Army does not handle letters to dead soldiers that way.

"The U.S. Army does not return letters to deceased members as 'deceased,"' she said. "It would just never go back to the family like that."

When a soldier dies, she said, all of his or her personal effects are returned to the family by a casualty assistance officer, Savage said.

Angus Reid Poll which leans to the right... Americans Question Bush on 9/11 Intelligence

Many adults in the United States believe the current federal government has not been completely forthcoming on the issue of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 53 per cent of respondents think the Bush administration is hiding something, and 28 per cent believe it is lying.

Only 16 per cent of respondents say the government headed by U.S. president George W. Bush is telling the truth on what it knew prior to the terrorist attacks, down five points since May 2002.

Scooter better flip, they all better flip or go to prison forever. The 911 truth is a bottle with a cork about to pop. Prissy heard from a very reliable source that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is sick from the post 911 toxic air.

Lexis News Wal-Mart Faces At Least $62M In Damages

PHILADELPHIA — A state jury found Thursday that Wal-Mart broke Pennsylvania labor laws by forcing employees to work through rest breaks and off the clock, a decision plaintiffs' lawyers said would result in at least $62 million in damages.

Jurors will return Friday to determine damages in the class-action lawsuit, which covers up to 187,000 hourly current and former workers.

"I think it reinforces that this company's sweatshop mindset is a serious problem, both legally and morally," said Chris Kofinis, a spokesman for, a union-funded effort to improve working conditions at the stores.

Channel News Asia North Korea considering return to six-party talks: Russian envoy

MOSCOW : North Korea still hopes six-party talks on its nuclear programme will continue and will decide on returning to the negotiating table after studying sanctions set out in a UN resolution, a Russian envoy said Sunday after visiting Pyongyang.

Speaking in Beijing, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev told the RIA-Novosti news agency that North Korea was still interested in returning to negotiations.

"They said that only after analysing the UN resolution would they plan the subsequent character of their actions ... including in relation to the resumption of the six-sided process," said Alexeyev.

ABC Ban Ki-Moon: Rice Should Talk with North Korea

Oct. 15, 2006 — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should have diplomatic talks with North Korea, U.N. Secretary-General designate Ban Ki-moon told Bill Weir on Sunday's "Good Morning America Weekend Edition."

"If possible, it would be a good opportunity," he said. "The United States has expressed on many occasions that they will be prepared to talk with North Korea if and when they return to six-party talks. … I hope North Korea will take this opportunity to discuss all their concerns."

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution Saturday that will impose harsh sanctions against North Korea just six days after Kim Jong Il's rogue regime declared that it conducted an underground nuclear test.

The Security Council said the North Korean test amounted to a "clear threat to international peace and security."

Senate Majority Project McCain Criticizes House Handling of Page Scandal

... but raises money for member that handled it.

John McCain has called for the appointment of a panel of "credible" people to investigate the House Republican Page scandal.

"I think it needs to be addressed by people who are credible," he said.

Still on the books, however, is an October 20 McCain fundraiser for NRCC chair Tom Reynolds, who is currently up to his neck in the scandal.

Political Cortex Escape to Paraguay? Rumors of Bush Land Deal

At least two sources, including Upsidedownworld and Prensa Latina, report rumors of a Bush family purchase of land in northern Paraguay.

Upsidedownworld writes, on October 11: The Governor of Alto Paraguay, Erasmo Rodríguez Acosta has admitted to hearing that George Bush Sr. owns land in the Chaco region of Paraguay, in Paso de Patria. Acosta says that rumor has it that Bush owns near to 70 thousand hectares (173,000 acres) as part of an ecological reserve and/or ranch. However, the governor said he had no documents to prove the rumor.

Prensa Latina, writing on October 13, gives a similar story but names George W. Bush rather than his father: An Argentine official regarded the intention of the George W. Bush family to settle on the Acuifero Guarani (Paraguay) as surprising, besides being a bad signal for the governments of the region...Luis D Elia, undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo partially reproduced by digital, in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842-acre farm in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.

A visit by Jenna Bush on behalf of Unicef may have triggered speculation, as Upsidedownworld also suggests. But, could there be truth to the rumors? As calls increase for his impeachment, the President could well be thinking that South America would make a fine place to retire. Another rumored land deal, this one involving the U.S. military, attracted the attention of Project Censored, which listed "U.S. Military in Paraguay" as one of its top 25 censored stories of 2007.

Tom Dispatch Tomgram: De la Vega, Debunking the Armitage Story

Tomgram: De la Vega, Debunking the Armitage Story In the first of her two-part series on the Libby case (Pardon Me?), former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega suggested that George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their supporters might already be preparing the groundwork for a Libby presidential pardon, perhaps even before the case begins in mid-January. After all, who wants all that ugly 2002-2003 linen aired, as it will be, under oath? Aren't things bad enough?

Well, not exactly. As the Republicans brace for House losses that, according to the Washington Post, could go as high as 30 seats (a veritable tsunami in our thoroughly gerrymandered age), as that Senate majority begins to look more wobbly, as the President fights for a little media air (with a tad of help from his old axis-of-evil pal, Kim Jong Il), as Iraq simply melts down in a bloodbath of civilians and we're told that the Army's Chief of Staff is planning to maintain present troop levels into the year 2010 (or even go higher), as the Bush Bump of September morphs into the Bush polling freefall of October and every trend turns against the Republicans, as Americans now claim to find Democrats more "trustworthy" on any issue you care to mention, including (for the first time in what seems forever) "moral values" and "the war on terror," as the corruption bullet the Republicans thought they ducked when next to no one seemed to pay attention to the various Abramoff lobbying scandals circles around and comes in for the kill in a number of races nationwide, thanks to Rep. Foley's instant sex messages and the Congressional cover-up of his behavior, a Libby trial, not to speak of a Special Counsel who is still on the loose, must seem an ever less palatable proposition to look forward to.

Call it a Hobson's choice: Face the firestorm of a pardon scandal before January 15 or a riveted public focused on the political equivalent of an OJ trial later that month. In the meantime, the CIA leak case that left agent Valerie Plame twisting, twisting in the wind back in 2003, has itself gained so many twists and turns, not to speak of blind alleys and treacherous cul-de-sacs that many people have simply lost the ability to follow it -- which is why Elizabeth de la Vega offers a complex guided tour to some pretty venal territory that no one should skip. Before we're done, one way or the other, this case is guaranteed to take some more air out of the Bush political room. Tom

Hermes Press Bush -Saudi connection

The Bush dynasty has always been comfortable putting profits before patriotism. Prescott Bush, Bush Senior’s father, extended credit to Adolph Hitler and supplied him with raw materials during Word War II. The U. S. seized his assets under the Trading with the Enemy Act, but grandfather Bush found other ways to replenish the family coffers.

Bush Senior struck it rich in oil and in the defense industry. Mahfouz (yes, that Mahfouz), Prince Bandar and Prince Sultan (Bandar’s father) were also heavily invested in the defense industry through their holdings in the Carlyle Group, where Bush Senior served on the board of directors. Founded in 1987 as a private investment group with strong connections to the Republican Party establishment, Carlyle increased its original investment of $130 million to $900 million when it went public in 2001.

"In recent years, Carlyle has been successful both at raising and making money. It has raised $14 billion in the last five years or so, and its annual rate of return has been 36 percent. Its 550 investors consist of institutions and wealthy individuals from around the world including, until shortly after September 2001, members of the bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia. The family — which has publicly disavowed links with Osama bin Laden — had been an investor since 1995."

Sydney Morning Herald, Israelis Anti-what? Israeli envoy faces sack over race slur

THE immediate future of Israel's ambassador to Canberra hangs in the balance after he reportedly told a newspaper that Australians and Israelis stood out in Asia because "we don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes".

If Naftali Tamir is found to have made "this grave and unacceptable remark", the Israeli Foreign Ministry said, there would be no return to "business as usual".

The Federal Government refused to comment, but Labor's foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, said yesterday: "If accurate, these comments are completely unacceptable. We welcome reports that the Israeli Foreign Ministry is dealing with this incident as a matter of top priority."

BBC Bush's Iraq options limited Oct 9, 2006

A warning by a senior Republican senator that "bold decisions" will be required on Iraq if progress is not made soon has prompted talk that the White House might be forced into policy changes after the mid-term elections in November.

Among the options is one to divide Iraq up into three loosely federated parts -- Shia, Sunni and Kurd. That has some serious drawbacks.

But some change is in the political air in Washington. The former US Secretary of State James Baker, who co-chairs a panel tasked by Congress to examine options, said on ABC News over the weekend: "I think it's fair to say our commission believes that there are alternatives between the stated alternatives, the ones that are out there in the political debate, of 'stay the course' and 'cut and run.'"

Toronto Star Sunnis tortured in revenge attack

BAGHDAD—Seeking revenge for the killing of 17 Shiite farm workers, Shiite militiamen surged into a town north of Baghdad yesterday to launch attacks that by nightfall killed at least 27 Sunni Arabs, many of them brought to a hospital bearing the marks of electric drills and other signs of torture, according to medical workers, police and militia leaders.

Sounds of shooting suggested the killing in Balad continued into the night as reinforcements from the Shiite-controlled Interior Ministry arrived and residents cowered in their homes.

"You hear nothing but gunshots," Hasanein Ali, assistant director of Balad's hospital, said by telephone.

Have you notice that violence began to spike in Iraq after Negroponte signed on to the cabal? Some say he and Rummy planned to start using the ‘The Salvador Option’ in Iraq. Probably another "coincidence."

Flashback from MSNBC :

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal. (Among the current administration officials who dealt with Central America back then is John Negroponte, who is today the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Under Reagan, he was ambassador to Honduras. There is no evidence, however, that Negroponte knew anything about the Salvadoran death squads or the Iran-Contra scandal at the time. The Iraq ambassador, in a phone call to NEWSWEEK on Jan. 10, said he was not involved in military strategy in Iraq. He called the insertion of his name into this report "utterly gratuitous.")Jan 14, 2005

AP News British Debate on Muslim Veils Heats Up

LONDON (AP) - A British government minister joined an increasingly bitter debate about the rights of Muslim women to veil their faces, saying a teaching assistant should be fired for insisting on wearing one in school.

Prissy isn't going to wade too far into this one, except to say men (no offense) shouldn't be telling women how they should or should not dress,period. Whether Prissy wants to wear a bikini or a dress to the floor its no one else's call...

This Canadian Revolving Door to Blackwater Causes Alarm at CIA

Plus: More on the Agency's “Wehrmacht”, Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006. By Ken Silverstein. Blackwater USA, the private security contractor that has operated in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and New Orleans, has been booming the past few years. Founded in December of 1996, the company spent its early years “paying staff with an executive's credit card and begging for customers,” according to the Virginian-Pilot.

But today, Blackwater reportedly has revenues of about $100 million annually, almost all of it from government contracts, and maintains “a compound half the size of Manhattan and 450 permanent employees,” according to the newspaper. How did Blackwater rise so high, so fast? The “war on terrorism” got the ball rolling for the firm, but one suspects that political connections played a big part as well. Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder, is a former SEAL who is deeply involved in Republican Party politics. Since 1998, he has funneled roughly $200,000 to GOP committees and candidates, including President Bush. In 2004, Blackwater retained the Alexander Strategy Group, the PR and lobbying firm that closed down earlier this year due to its embarrassing ties to Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay. (Paul Behrends, a former national security adviser to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, handled the account for Alexander.

After the firm shut down, Behrends moved on to a firm called C&M Capitolink, and took the Blackwater account with him.) A number of senior CIA and Pentagon officials have taken top jobs at Blackwater, including firm vice chairman Cofer Black, who was the Bush Administration's top counterterrorism official at the time of the 9/11 attacks (and who famously said in 2002, “There was before 9/11 and after 9/11. After 9/11, the gloves came off.”)

Robert Young Pelton, author of the new book, Licensed to Kill, says that an early Blackwater contract—a secret no-bid $5.4 million deal with the CIA—came in 2002 after Prince placed a call to Buzzy Krongard, who was then the CIA's executive director. A CIA source with whom I spoke said that Prince is very tight with top agency officials and has a “green badge,” the security pass for contractors who have access to CIA installations.

Prissy does not care for this kind of "security." Blackwater could be called mercenaries or corporate America's soldiers, whom have no oath sworn to uphold the constitution...

Truthout A Nation Still at War By Cindy Sheehan

While Democrats are busy counting their unhatched chickens and Republicans are getting muscle cramps from pointing fingers at everyone - including the pages that Foley hunted down - but themselves, Congress has been busy erasing from common law and our Constitution our centuries-old rights to habeas corpus. (If anyone thinks that this abomination will only extend to "terrorists," I say: "How do you like living in fantasyland?")

The Foleygate scandal may be the thing that finally brings the corrupt party of gloat and bloat down, but it should be Iraq. It should be suspending habeas corpus. It should be the lies and subsequent cover-ups of the lies that led to now 2,738 of our young people coming home to 2,738 families in flag-draped coffins - not the scandal and subsequent cover-up of Foley and his corruption.

The war, which was never a popular news story, has fallen far behind Foley in coverage. However, the most important and potentially damaging story of all - Congress voting, once again, to consolidate power in the executive branch, by giving BushCo power to imprison us without our due process - is not in the public awareness at all. I guess I should also be jumping for joy that something is bringing the party of the corporations and hypocrites down, but I feel molested, and by the entire Congress. We the people who do feel violated by Congress and by this out-of-control administration know that Congress has been busy invalidating themselves during the past six years and it may be very hard to regain any power, because by George, George has already exonerated himself from the crimes against humanity he and the rest of the ne'er do well neo-cons have committed.

Cindy you are quite the writer. Thank you for all you continue to do for our troops.

The Baptist Standard with some good news this Sunday Italian Baptists ask U.S. Baptists to appeal for peace in Iraq

It also criticizes the Italian and American governments' rhetoric surrounding the war. "We all see our leaders, in the same vein as the exponents of Islamic fundamentalism and of terrorism, waving the flag, talking of a war between civilizations and claiming that God is on their side.

"We believe that God, who said, 'You shall not kill' and who sent Jesus to die for our sin, is a God of peace, of reconciliation and of justice--that he is on the side of the victims of war, whoever they are, military or civilian, Iraqi, American, widows, parents, orphans, prisoners, whole peoples reduced to misery and famine."

The letter asks U.S. Baptists for two responses: To organize peacemaking-focused "manifestations, round tables, focus groups, meetings for reflection on the alternative to war, that involve people of diverse religious confession, cultural tendency and nationality."

To lead "ecumenical prayer meetings in which we pray that God touches our leaders' hearts and those of terrorist and resistance leaders and that he brings them to repent, to change direction, to stop the fighting and open up a dialogue with their enemies," and to encourage the exchange of coalition forces "for U.N.-led peacekeeping forces" to occupy the country.

Chicago NBC5 Shimkus Testifies Before Ethics Committee On Foley Scandal

The downstate lawmaker who oversees the Congressional page program said, "Having 20-20 hindsight ... a lot of things would have been done differently."

Some critics have called on Shimkus to resign in the wake of the Foley page scandal.

Cox News Sailor Stabbed To Death At The VFW

A sailor is stabbed to death at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Center in Norfolk.

Police say about 2:00 Sunday morning, 23-year-old Devon Brathwaite was stabbed inside the VFW after some sort of altercation.

Investigators say he stumbled outside the building and collapsed in the parking lot. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Brathwaite was a sailor on the USS Harry S Truman.

Let's hope the altercation wasn't differing views of the war in Iraq or the Naval deployment of ships near Iran. Prissy asked one "conservative" against the war, also a long time VFW member how on earth those veterans could support the war in Iraq. He gave the best logic she's heard yet "Cause they're drunk. Been sitting on a barstool for 30 or 50 years and they'll have the nerve to say war didn't affect them..."

Khaleej Times Iran and Iraq to strengthen security and intelligence ties

BAGHDAD - Iraq and Iran have formed a working group to build closer security and intelligence ties, the Iraqi government announced Sunday, despite US concerns over Teheran’s role in the country.

Iraqi National Security Advisor Muwaffaq Al Rubaie and his Iranian counterpart Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, minister of security and intelligence, recently discussed putting into effect a prior deal to share intelligence.

“The two sides agreed to form a working group to lay down suitable mechanisms to implement the agreement to strengthen security and intelligence cooperation,” said a statement issued by the Iraqi cabinet.

The United States, which maintains 142,000 troops in Iraq, has expressed concern over what it describes as Iran’s role in fuelling the deadly violence sweeping Iraq and has accused Teheran of smuggling weapons to Iraqi militias

Quotes of the Day "Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology." - Rebecca West, (60% of the victims of every war are women and children)

Shouldn't we already be there? "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."--John Adams

All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.--Francois Fenelon

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.--Adolf Hitler

Leaders are responsible not for running public opinion polls but for the consequences of their actions.--Henry A. Kissinger, wanted war criminal by France

But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.--Jane Austen (1775 - 1817), Northanger Abbey