Friday, January 19, 2007

Rally Against the War, Bring the Troops Home Now

Prissy Patriot will be taking off for Washington DC next week to lobby congress and cover the huge rally against the war which will occur Saturday Jan 27, 2007 at the National Mall.

More about the rally United For Peace

Hot Links

The kind of juror Scooter's team is looking for

BG News, hat tip to Fitz, never too busy to keep his justice bloggers informed Lawyers slow jury selection in CIA leak case

The prosecutor took a more aggressive stance and jury selection slowed so much in the CIA leak trial yesterday that the judge postponed opening statements until next Tuesday.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald successfully objected to the way defense lawyers for former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were questioning prospective jurors. The lawyers had been asking for their opinions of top Bush administration officials and whether the officials lied to push the nation into the Iraq war.

"The jury will not be asked to render a verdict on the war or what they think of the war," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald also changed his own questioning to put Libby's attorneys, Theodore Wells and William Jeffress, more on the defensive.

Fitz, you know your courtroom skills give Prissy such criminal justice thrills...

Media Matters Hume again declared Libby did not commit the "actual leak" in Plame case

Summary: On January 18, Brit Hume again asserted as fact that "Scooter" Libby did not commit the "actual leak" of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA officer. The day before, Hume had stated that Libby was "not responsible" for leaking the information. However, prosecutors allege that Libby did discuss Plame's CIA employment with Judith Miller before it was made public; Miller herself confirmed this.

A Judge without courage, a young officer with plenty. The judge knows the war has no logic legal position. Military judge rules “illegal war” debate forbidden during Lt. Watada court martial

ALL POLITICAL SPEECH CHARGES GO TO TRIAL Nearly two weeks after hearing arguments in the January 4 pre-trial phase of Lt. Ehren Watada’s court martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq, and explaining his refusal to the press, military circuit judge Lt. Col. John M. Head today issued brief, tersely worded rulings January 16, 2007. In summation, “The defense motion for a hearing on the “Nuremburg defense” is DENIED. The government motion to prevent the defense from presenting evidence on the legality of the war is GRANTED.” The defense motion to dismiss the four political speech charges was also “DENIED.”

Just great, Lt. Watada got the one military judge who does not calibrate in his mind that he is not supposed to uphold illegal orders.

BBC New US rules on terror detainees

The Pentagon's legal adviser on the tribunals, General Thomas Hemmingway, told reporters he was satisfied with the rules. Among others they include:

* No evidence obtained under torture is to be admissible

* Evidence obtained by coercion before December 2005 will be admitted if a judge decides so

* Classified information will be submitted at a judge's discretion and the detainees will be given access to it

Fox Poll: More Americans Dislike Bush Than ... Cheney!

Bush can, however, still take some small solace from the fact that his approval rating is one point higher than Cheney's; the President's is 38%, while the VP's is 37%.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of other numbers that are striking for a Fox poll: Only 39% of Americans view the GOP favorably, and 49% view them unfavorably.

Still overguesstimated-why are they having such a difficult time finding people who are not opposed to the current administration Washington DC jury pool. And how can the jury pool be two-thirds white? That doesn't reflect the population.

NYT The caucus Reid Stands Between Bush and Iran

“Much has been made about President Bush’s recent saber rattling toward Iran,” Mr. Reid said. “This morning, I’d like to be clear: The president does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking Congressional authorization—a the current use of force resolution for Iraq does not give him such authorization.”

Mr. Reid proposed that by reaching out to Iran’s sizable under-30 population, a group he referred to as “a generation of potential reformers,” and by eliminating America’s dependence on foreign oil, the security threat from Iran could be diminished.

During her remarks, Mrs. Pelosi shifted away for her “six for ‘06” measures, the last of which was passed yesterday, to the older “Innovation Agenda.” Global warming and energy issues are a major part of that set of goals, which also includes spending more on putting in place the No Child Left Behind Act, increasing funds to universities and expanding children’s access to health insurance.

On Thursday, Mrs. Pelosi, the House speaker, announced that she is forming the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The committee would not legislate, but it would hold hearings and recommend legislation. Mr. Reid said he backed the House’s efforts, but that a similar group would not be possible in the Senate.

CNN Blair aide arrested in funds probe

Turner is the fourth person, including Labour Party fundraiser Lord Levy, to be arrested in the inquiry which began in April.

Blair was interviewed by detectives last month, becoming the first serving prime minister interviewed in a criminal inquiry. However, he was not interviewed "under caution," meaning it is unlikely he is suspected of committing offenses.

Police are investigating allegations that honors -- such as seats in the House of Lords and knighthoods -- were given to individuals who loaned money to Blair's Labour Party. Police have also interview Conservative Party officials, including former leader Michael Howard.

Blair has acknowledged some supporters who offered loans were later nominated for honors, but has insisted that he did nothing wrong.

Financial Times GE earnings more than double

General Electric has been forced to restate earnings for the second time in 18 months after US regulators objected to the way the conglomerate had accounted for complex derivatives instruments.

Houston Chronicle Ney Corruption Timeline

2002:February — Ney's chief of staff Neil Volz leaves government to work with Abramoff as a lobbyist. Ney begins to receive regular meals and drinks at Abramoff's downtown Washington restaurant.

March 20 — Ney agrees to add language to a bill that would allow a Texas Indian tribe represented by Abramoff to reopen a casino.

April 29 — The Indian tribe donates $30,000 to Ney's various political fundraising committees.

Aug. 3-9 — Ney, Abramoff, Volz, two Ney congressional staffers and others fly to Scotland to play golf and then to London on a trip bankrolled by clients of Abramoff.

Nov. 26 — As House Administration Committee chairman, Ney awards a license to build wireless receivers in the Capitol to an Israeli company Abramoff represented.

Gee, why would they need so many wireless receivers in the Capitol?

The Statesman Texas Gov Perry sued over coal-fired power plants

Environmental activist groups have sued Gov. Rick Perry, charging that he overstepped constitutional bounds when he ordered the permit process for proposed coal-fired power plants be fast-tracked.

Reuters Negroponte says domestic spy program was critical

The NSA surveillance program, exposed by The New York Times in December 2005, was authorized by Bush to monitor the international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens, without first obtaining a court warrant.

It caused a political uproar among Democrats and some Republicans who said it violated U.S. law. White House officials defended the program for more than a year, saying the warrantless surveillance that began soon after the 2001 attacks had helped protect against terrorism.

But under threat of investigation by a new Democrat-controlled Congress, the Bush administration announced an end to the program this week and said it would work with a secret federal court that issues warrants for electronic surveillance inside the United States.

It did violate FISA, which is why Bush is now back tracking. So what does he intend to remedy the violations of peoples civil rights?

Paint Ohio Blue

During the first 100 legislative hours of the 110th Congress, one of the bills that the House will consider is a bill to follow through on our commitment to increase investment in renewable energy and begin the path to energy independence. We will start by repealing billions in subsidies given to big oil, at a time of record profits to fund clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Specifically, the measure would ensure that oil companies that were awarded the 1998 and 1999 leases for drilling pay their fair share in royalties. The measure would also close loopholes and end giveaways in the tax code for Big Oil. Finally, the bill would create a Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve to invest in clean, renewable energy resources; promoting new emerging technologies, increasing the development and deployment of renewable sources, developing greater energy efficiency and improving energy conservation

Telegraph US housing bust getting worse, warns Goldman

The US Federal Reserve will need to slash interest rates three times this year as the housing slump goes from bad to worse and the American consumer begins to buckle, Goldman Sachs has warned.

"Americans have shown a complete lack of self-control. The personal savings rate is at its lowest point ever, and has actually been negative since April 2005.

"We believe that housing will soon become the proverbial 'straw that breaks the camel's back'," said David Kostin, the investment bank's US strategist.

UK Times Give us guns – and troops can go, says Iraqi leader

In a sign of the tense relations with Washington, he chided the US for suggesting his Government was living on “borrowed time”. Such criticism boosted Iraq’s extremists, he said, and was more a reflection of “some kind of crisis situation” in Washington after the Republicans’ midterm election losses. Mr al-Maliki conceded that his administration had made mistakes over the hanging of Saddam Hussein. But he refused to accept all criticism over the execution. When asked about the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s attack on Iraq’s capital punishment laws, Mr al-

Maliki cited the Italians’ summary killing of Benito Mussolini and his stringing-up from a lamppost.

Asked how long Iraq would require US troops, Mr al-Maliki said: “If we succeed in implementing the agreement between us to speed up the equipping and providing weapons to our military forces, I think that within three to six months our need for American troops will dramatically go down. That is on condition that there are real, strong efforts to support our military forces and equipping and arming them.”

Stop Big Media Stop Big Media

New Studies Dismantle Big Media Case for Consolidation Reverend Jesse Jackson joined an alliance of civil rights and consumer groups today in Memphis to call on the FCC to halt media concentration and promote minority media ownership.

Akron Beacon via RAW Prosecutor says presidential recount rigged in Ohio county

Three elections workers in the state's most populous county conspired to avoid a more thorough recount of ballots in the 2004 presidential election, a prosecutor told jurors during opening statements Thursday.

"The evidence will show that this recount was rigged, maybe not for political reasons, but rigged nonetheless," Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said. "They did this so they could spend a day rather than weeks or months" on the recount, he said.

Defense attorneys said in their opening statements that the workers in Cuyahoga County didn't do anything out of the ordinary.

Belfast Telegraph Blair dismisses civil liberty dangers of super-database

Because he and Dubya have such a great record on civil rights...

Times A sewer is the best medicine, poll declares

Doctors and members of the public, who were among the 11,000 voters, were divided on which discovery they considered most significant.

Sanitation eventually won with a total of 1,795 votes. However, medical professionals rated anaesthesia as more important, while the public voted for antibiotics — which came second overall with 1,642 votes.

Professor Johan Mackenbach, of Erasmus University Medical Centre, in Rotterdam, who put forward the case for sanitation, said yesterday: “The general lesson, which still holds, is that passive protection against health hazards is often the best way to improve population health.”

In the 18th century, infectious diseases led to huge numbers of deaths, including those from cholera, tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles, smallpox and typhoid, he said.

Quotes of the Day

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The juries are our judges of all fact, and of law when they choose it.”--Thomas Jefferson

“Take all the robes of all the good judges that have ever lived on the face of the earth, and they would not be large enough to cover the iniquity of one corrupt judge”--Henry Ward Beecher

“Judges must beware of hard constructions and strained inferences, for there is no worse torture than that of laws.”--Francis Bacon, Sr.

“The foundation of justice is good faith.”--Marcus Tullius Cicero