Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Brighter 2007 Just Around the Corner

The US Capital Christmas tree in 2005

Hope your holiday season has been a happy one, Dearest Readers. Prissy intended to blog yesterday-but the power in central Ohio went out, putting things behind schedule.

All was well within a few hours, perhaps it does suburbanites some good, should they realize this is a daily inconvenience in Iraq.

Note: Prissy heads back to Washington next week to cover military families lobbying congress to stop funding the war. "They" say it won't work; "they" also used to say the public was in support of the war...

Hot Links

Mparent7777 Blogspot NIH researcher admitted to making illicit deal with drug company

With proper disclosure and approval, NIH scientists are allowed to receive outside income. But the discovery of dozens of private financial arrangements between drug companies and publicly employed scientists has embarrassed the agency in recent years and led to Sunderland's guilty plea.

"This case is not a technical mistake," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said at a news conference after Sunderland's plea on Dec. 8. "This case is not an honest mistake."

The state's chief federal prosecutors said Sunderland "violated the fundamental rule" of being a government scientist who both oversaw a research partnership with an outside company and cut an outside deal to enrich himself on the same project.

WaPo Royal Intrigue, Unpaid Bills Preceded Saudi Ambassador's Exit

For more than a year, Saudi Arabia's ambassador journeyed to college campuses, chambers of commerce, town halls and world affairs councils across the United States in an ambitious campaign to improve his country's image.

But Prince Turki al-Faisal's goodwill tour, instead, produced millions of dollars in unpaid bills -- and a tale of murky intrigue in the enigmatic desert kingdom. Prince Turki al-Faisal, left, and his brother Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, favor talks with Iran.

The debts by one of the world's wealthiest countries -- owed to the very lobbyists, advisers and event organizers hired to promote the kingdom -- have left a trail that weaves together bitter princely rivalries, diplomatic subterfuge and a policy clash over one of the thorniest issues of the day: what to do about Iran.

WaPo Prissy had to comment on this one...Troop Push Is Personal For McCain Senator Calls for Iraq Boost as Son Becomes a Marine

John McCain needs therapy if he is willing to sacrifice his son for political gain. Prissy became convinced of this when he whimped out and ended up supporting Dubya's torture bill. John is crying out for help!

The Economist It’s still down to George Bush

So it would not be surprising if Mr Bush chose to bunker down in 2007, treating the rest of his presidency as a damage-limitation exercise. But it would be deeply wrong for him to do so—for two reasons. First, his position is not as weak as it seems. And second, he still has a chance to establish a more useful legacy.

Um, yes his position is as weak as it seems...the people are sick of him and his legacy building exercises. In case The Economist didn't notice, Dubya has failed at every business he managed.

Houston Chronicle Records detail missing TSA badges, uniforms

More than 3,700 identification badges and uniform items have been reported lost or stolen from Transportation Security Administration employees since 2003, according to documents obtained by a San Antonio television station.

More of Dubya's security standards working...

NYT Rush at End, but Holiday Sales Fall Short

Visa USA, the credit card company, said yesterday that it would lower its closely watched forecast for holiday spending. Based on purchases by credit and debit card holders, Visa said sales rose 6.5 percent in November and December, compared with the same period last year, down from its initial forecast of a 7.5 percent gain.

The company’s unexpected downward revision — and the millions of dollars in lost sales it represents — could have broad implications for the nation’s merchants, who count on purchases during the holiday season for nearly half of their business.

Let us see...corporations continue to ship jobs overseas, import large quantities of cheap merchandise and wonder why Americans cannot/willnot continue to buy. Prissy thinks we know who the real Grinches are.

What the troops need for Christmas

Hat tip to Anthony from the UK-Prison Planet Are Bush and Cheney Planning an Early Attack on Iran?

Back on October 9, I wrote in The Nation that it looked like the Bush-Cheney gang, worried about the November election, was gearing up for an unprovoked attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, with a carrier strike group led by the USS Eisenhower being ordered to depart a month early from Norfolk, VA to join the already-on-station USS Enterprise. That article was based on reports from angry sailors based on the Eisenhower who had leaked word of their mission.


(Dr. Francis A.) Boyle says destruction of the Ames anthrax "appears to be a cover-up orchestrated by the FBI."

Calls for comment to two FBI press offices in Washington, D.C., on this charge were not returned. Members of the Senate have been pressing the FBI for additional information on its investigation, thought to be ongoing.

If impartial scientists could have performed genetic reconstruction of the anthrax found in letters mailed to Senators Daschle(D-S.D.) and Patrick Leahy, (D -Vt.), "the trail of genetic evidence would have led directly back to a secret but officially-sponsored U.S. government biowarfare program that was illegal and criminal" in violation of biological weapons conventions and U.S. laws, Boyle said.

"I believe the FBI knows exactly who was behind these terrorist anthrax attacks upon the United States Congress in the Fall of 2001, and that the culprits were U.S. government-related scientists involved in a criminal U.S. government biowarfare program," Boyle said.

Baltimore Sun via RAW Story Bush is bracing for new scrutiny White House hiring lawyers in expectation of Democratic probes

President Bush is bracing for what could be an onslaught of investigations by the new Democratic-led Congress by hiring lawyers to fill key White House posts and preparing to play defense on countless document requests and possible subpoenas.

Bush is moving quickly to fill vacancies within his stable of lawyers, though White House officials say there are no plans to drastically expand the legal staff to deal with a flood of oversight.

"No, at this point, no," Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, said recently. "We'll have to see what happens."

Snow rebutted the notion that Bush is casting about for legal advice in the wake of his party's loss of control of the Congress.

Our soldiers are not like these, Dubya.

Time finally gets it Bush's "Way Forward" on Iraq: More of the Same

Which brings us to the last development of the week. Bush tried to make it clear in his press conference that whatever Americans' dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war, next year would not look much different from the one that is coming to a close. This was, said the administration official, a deliberate warning to Americans not to expect a lot of change. "The year 2007 could bring many of the same challenges and sacrifices as 2006," he said. "This was designed to let people know we have a lot more fight left."

It was also plain to see last week that Bush's new approach on Iraq — if it can be called that — will include a diplomatic push by Secretary of State Condi Rice, aimed not at Iran and Syria, as the Baker Hamilton commission proposed, but at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How sustained an effort this is likely to be is unknowable. Nor is there any word yet on what the Bush team plans to do about the political situation inside Iraq. It appears that the new Bush military strategy is likely to look a lot like the old, only more so.

If a child was drowning in the shallow end of the pool, would Dubya insist on waiting for the lifeguard to get off break, instead of jumping in to save them? Apparently so..."The White House does not yet believe Iraq is in a civil war, though they did concede that a conflict has entered a new phase. And it rhymes with 'muster bluck.'" --Amy Poehler

CNET Seeking start-ups for Boeing's border patrol

Boeing won a huge victory in September when the Department of Homeland Security picked it over four competing bidders for its much-anticipated Secure Border Initiative contract.


The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and put more immigrants on a faster track to U.S. citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.

Bloomberg Saddam Hussein Will Be Executed Within 30 Days, AFP Reports

Saddam Hussein's appeal against his death sentence failed and the former Iraqi dictator will be executed within 30 days, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the appeals court judge.

``As from tomorrow, the sentence could be carried out at any time,'' Judge Arif Shaheen said today, AFP said.

Prissy is sure the cabal wants him dead so he cannot spill the beans on their former business deals...if ICC had tried him, it would of course be life in prison.

Star Bulletin Watada states his case in Moiliili Standing ovations greet a soldier facing a court-martial for refusing to go to Iraq

He called the war in Iraq an illegal war of aggression.

He quoted Nazi Germany's Hermann Goering, who said while the common people are usually not willing to go to war, "all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked."

Watada said the American people were deceived by the Bush administration, which manipulated intelligence to fit policy and regime change in Iraq.

"We have been lied to, deceived and betrayed," he said. "A crime has been committed against the constitution."

Gonzo, with nothing to brag about

And if the judge is truthful and follows the law, they will have to agree.

Slate What Was Gonzo Thinking? And what did Judge David Tatel write? By Jack Shafer

Unsealing Judge Tatel's decision, the motion states, "will allow the public to gain a full understanding of the Special Counsel's arguments to the Court as to why it was necessary to compel the testimony of two reporters, and why it was necessary to imprison one of those journalists [Miller] for 85 days for refusing to divulge her conversations with a different government official, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby."

The motion maintains that because Armitage has outed himself as the leaker, and potential indictee Karl Rove's attorney was told his client will not be charged in the case, the law no longer requires such a high level of secrecy.

Special prosecutors such as Fitzgerald wield the powers of a mini-attorney general: They, not the AG, conduct their own reviews of whether a subpoena is proper. Like the FOIA fired at Gonzales, this motion means to pry lose from the responsible parties the precise justification for compelling testimony from reporters.

So all I really want for Christmas this year is Gonzales' paperwork, Judge Tatel's unredacted opinion, and Fitzgerald's affidavits. Tied up in a bow, please.

Pass the popcorn...and Judge Reggie Walton wonders why former prosecutor Melonie Sloan, Elizabeth del la Vega, John Dean, Daniel Ellsberg and even Prissy Patriot know a crime when they see one? Oh come now, unseal that part of the puzzle and we'll all know.

Unsealed, Prissy predicts we would also find out conclusively, that Rover's attorney was not given any written statement from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicating Rove would not be charged in the CIA Leak Case.

It is important to note Leak case Judge Walton is the same one who gagged Sibel Edmonds and now the Joe and Valerie Wilson's attorney Melanie Sloan.

Gosh Judge, almost makes Prissy wonder if you just like telling women to "put a clamp on it." Would this please the court?

Quotes of the Day

"Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one."-- AJ Liebling

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.--Hamilton Wright Mabie

Remember this December, that love weighs more than gold!--Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

The holiest of holidays are those Kept by ourselves in silence and apart; The secret anniversaries of the heart.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow