Friday, June 22, 2007

Deadly Haiku and Dick Cheney

Dearest Readers, our podcast is somewhere on the internet. Betty and Prissy decided no way was that a go except with our friends, who claimed to love it! (Nothing like not being able to see your own small handwriting, while reading it live...)

Oh my, we must get used to the live studio audience scene-although they were very friendly faces;)

We will start out doing a weekly Sunday broadcast live and when its good enough, Prissy will post it here!

Hot Links

Telegraph Poland breaks EU taboo and mentions the war

Germany's role in the Second World War returned to disturb the harmony of the summit yesterday when Poland vowed to seek recognition of its five million dead.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Polish prime minister, complained that Poland would have a far bigger population on which to base its EU voting power if it had not been for the Nazi invasion in September 1939 which started the war.

The Common Market, the forerunner of the EU, was formed in 1957 because European leaders were determined to prevent another conflict. Mr Kaczynski said a proposed new EU voting formula based on population size hurt his country because it had not recovered from its wartime losses. advertisement

"We are only demanding that we get back what was taken from us," he told Polish national radio. "If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million."

Americans should pay careful attention to that type of recrimination. Our own government may be facing it soon.

Just as Prissy suspected Purdue Simulation: Full of Hot Air

Researchers have stated that the Purdue simulation contradicts the observed facts in other ways, and in the next couple of weeks, they will publish their findings.

Moreover, the Purdue simulation still does not address the flies in the ointment which NIST also ignored:

(1) The simulation either fails to include, or inaccurately represents, the 47 core columns holding up each of the Twin Towers.

(2) Most of the jet fuel burned outside the buildings, especially in the case of the South Tower - which produced a glowing orange fireball as the building was struck at an oblique angle. So the simulation could not hold true for the South Tower.

Prissy loves the name of this blog. Hat tip on some of today's picture posts. Deadly Haiku Of Irrefutable Evidence Easily Refuted And Dick Is In His Last Throes, If You Will, Of His Insurgency

A War With Iran Cheney Cannot Set It Up Rejected Again

Our War Criminal So Hungry To Kill Again Is Grasping For Straws

His Smirk Loses Charm When He Talks Into His Tie Bums Everyone Out

He Is Being Stopped By Those Who Can Intervene About F Ing Time

Boston Geronimo's great-grandson wants bones returned

If the bones at Yale aren't those of Geronimo, Harlyn Geronimo believes they belonged to one of the Apache prisoners who died at Fort Sill. He said they should still be returned.

Harlyn Geronimo wrote last year to President Bush, seeking his help in recovering the bones. He thought that since the president's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was allegedly one of those who helped steal the bones in 1918, the president would want to help return them.

But, Harlyn Geronimo said, "I haven't heard a word."

The White House did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Congress Set to Uncover Truth About NSA Spying Program

"This subpoena authorization is a critical first step toward uncovering the full extent of the NSA's illegal spying and the role that telecommunications companies like AT&T played in it," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "Considering that it's been almost six years since the NSA started spying on Americans without warrants and over a year since that spying was revealed publicly, these subpoenas are long overdue. It's high time for Congress to get to the bottom of this mess."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing AT&T for illegally assisting in the NSA spying. The government has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss EFF's case, claiming that the lawsuit could expose state secrets.

"Our case against AT&T includes evidence from a former employee that points to a massive spying program impacting millions of people -- a program far broader than the government has admitted to," said Bankston. "Americans deserve to know the truth about the NSA program."

Navy Times Hunter: Let Guard in U.S. keep old war gear

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif., former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee), said he has talked to Guard unit leaders who deployed and had to leave their original equipment behind when they returned to the U.S. If there are stateside shortfalls and the gear they took with them overseas wasn’t adequate for war fighting — but would be perfectly adequate for use back home — it should be brought back, he said.

“The implication clearly being,” Hunter said, “that there’s equipment parked in places like Kuwait or in Iraq.” With more than 20,000 up-armored Humvees now with Army and Marine units in Iraq, he said, “those have displaced the non-up-armored Humvees. They should be in the inventory someplace.”

Hunter said he wants someone to determine where those Humvees are now, calculate what the Guard needs, fund the difference, “and spend it. And make the Guard healthy sometime while we’re still young.”

Hunter’s cause is backed by the National Governors Association, which has asked Congress to identify shortfalls and provide the funding to replace equipment used in military operations and left behind in Iraq for other units.

So simple, even a warmonger like Duncan could figure it out.

Yahoo White House near decision to close Gitmo

Cheney's office and the Justice Department have been against the step, arguing that moving "unlawful" enemy combatant suspects to the U.S. would give them undeserved legal rights.

They could block the proposal, but pressure to close Guantanamo has been building since a Supreme Court decision last year that found illegal a previous system for prosecuting enemy combatants. Recent rulings by military judges threw out charges against two terrorism suspects under a new tribunal scheme.

Those decisions have dealt a blow to the administration's efforts to begin prosecuting dozens of Guantanamo detainees regarded as the nation's most dangerous terror suspects.

And...Another bill would grant new rights to those held at Guantanamo Bay, including access to lawyers regardless of whether the prisoners are put on trial. Still another would allow detainees to protest their detentions in federal court, something they are now denied.

Access North GA Ashcroft says prosecutor firings have not harmed Justice Department

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the scandal surrounding the firings of eight federal prosecutors has not damaged the Justice Department.

Asked on Wednesday by The Associated Press if the firings had hurt the Justice Department's integrity or reputation for independence, he responded simply, "no." Ashcroft then walked away, declining to elaborate, and took no additional questions.

And...Ashcroft bemoaned the loss of public confidence in government, and said law enforcement must help restore that trust through the rule of the law.

"We must assure citizens that there is no one beneath the protection of the law and no one above the reach of the law," he said.

Ashcroft was only looking out for his own behind when he refused to sign off on the illegal wiretapping. That and he wasn't going to break the law right in front of James Comey's face...Comey has too much credibility for Ashcroft to seriously challenge him.

Wired Detailed Report of CIA's Wiretapping of Americans and Dirty Tricks To Be Unclassified -- Updated

Simultaneously, the head of the CIA, General Michael Hayden, made an unexpected announcement Thursday at the annual convention of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations that the agency would declassify the full 693-page report on CIA wrongdoings and release it Monday.

That report was compiled in 1973 at the order of then-CIA director James Schlesinger, following revelations that the Watergate burglars had CIA help. The existence of report, referred to as the "Family Jewels" has long been known, but only a few bits have been revealed through open government requests.

The CIA's collection of dossiers on 9,900 American citizens was first revealed on the front page of the New York Times in 1974 by Seymour Hersh.

The summary of the report (.pdf) shows that the CIA: * wiretapped two journalists in 1963 and listened in as they spoke with a dozen Senators and six Congressmen. * conducted physical surveillance of reporters Mike Getler and Jack Anderson

Dennis Kucinich makes Prissy proud to be an Ohioan. Dennis is Always looking out for the little guy. Kucinich and Waxman to SEC: Blackstone Poses New Risks to Small Investors

Domestic Policy Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) released a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission today, asking that it slow down the public offering of Blackstone LP and promising imminent hearings on new risks for small investors created by the Blackstone offering.

Kucinich’s subcommittee has oversight jurisdiction over the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We believe that small investors could be harmed if the SEC allows the IPO to proceed precipitously. The Blackstone LP offering poses new risks for small investors, from which they have been protected until now. Congress needs the opportunity to hold hearings before the SEC allows such a potentially dangerous investment to be offered to the general investing public,” said Kucinich.

NY Times Agency Is Target in Cheney Fight on Secrecy Data

A spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, Megan McGinn, said, “We’re confident that we’re conducting the office properly under the law.” She declined to elaborate.

Other officials familiar with Mr. Cheney’s view said that he and his legal adviser, David S. Addington, did not believe that the executive order applied to the vice president’s office because it had a legislative as well as an executive status in the Constitution. Other White House offices, including the National Security Council, routinely comply with the oversight requirements, according to Mr. Waxman’s office and outside experts.

Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said last night, “The White House complies with the executive order, including the National Security Council.”

The dispute is far from the first to pit Mr. Cheney and Mr. Addington against outsiders seeking information, usually members of Congress or advocacy groups. Their position is generally based on strong assertions of presidential power and the importance of confidentiality, which Mr. Cheney has often argued was eroded by post-Watergate laws and the prying press.

Crimes and Corruption of the New World Order Sibel Edmonds, Bandar Bush and BAe - similar but different

Bribery We know that Bandar Bush received $2 billion in bribes to facilitate the deal. So far as we know, so far, that $2 billion was a pure cash transfer, with no strings attached regarding subsequent disbursements etc.

In Sibel's case, we have the bribes flowing into the US, the selling country, presumably because the US taxpayer, literally and otherwise, pays the bills. These bribes flow through to congress people, in envelopes, suitcases and campaign contributions, and the inevitable blackmail.

Lobbying The BAe investigation has uncovered secret payments of $25million to a former Defense advisor. (As far as I know, these payments are separate to the Bandar Bush deals)

In Sibel's case, (at least some of) the 'lobbyists' are publicly known, and (at least some of) the payments are public. We know who is, or has been, on the Turkish payroll. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, fmr Dem Senator Stephen Solarz, fmr Defense Secretary William Cohen, fmr Dem House Minority Speaker Dick Gephardt, fmr Speaker Bob Livingston.

Scholars and Rogues, for Dearest Reader Marshall of Wisconsin. Prissy is still checking on the other directives. National secrecy Executive Orders vs. the Office of the Vice President

So, because the Vice President nominally serves as the head of the Senate, he’s claiming not to be an “entity within the executive branch”. As required by the Executive Order, the National Archives has requested that Attorney General Gonzales decide whether the Office of the Vice President is a part of the executive branch or not (read the letter yourself). In fact, it’s interesting to note that the letter to the letter to the Attorney General points out that the only time the Office of the Vice President is mentioned is to grant a single, specific exemption - and if the OVP wasn’t in the executive branch, it wouldn’t need an exemption.And, according to the letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to Vice President Cheney himself, the Vice President’s response was to recommend the abolution of the Archive’s Information Security Oversight Office in its entirety or, barring those changes, eliminating the section in the EO that permits the ISOO to appeal to the Attorney General and changing certain definitions specifically to exempt the OVP from the requirements of the Executive Order. These changes have, thankfully, been rejected by the inter-agency panel responsible for recommending revisions to the President.As Vice President, Dick Cheney is second only to the President in his responsibilities to the country. And as the second-highest executive in the United States, his actions serve as powerful examples of how to behave to other federal employees. Having the Vice President, and a Republican at that, responsible for egregious breaches in national security sets a very poor example. After all, if the Vice President’s office can be exempt from secrecy requirements, then other offices could be as well. How long will it be before the entire Justice Department uses the identical argument (its duties are split between the executive and judicial branches, after all) to exempt itself from annual ISOO oversight?And what are the sanctions for breaking this particular EO? (c) Sanctions may include reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions in accordance with applicable law and agency regulation. (d) The agency head, senior agency official, or other supervisory official shall, at a minimum, promptly remove the classification authority of any individual who demonstrates reckless disregard or a pattern of error in applying the classification standards of this order.

As per his own Executive Order, President Bush must, at a minimum, remove Vice President Dick Cheney’s classification authority, but the Vice President’s history of willful disregard of national secrets obviously puts him in the “suspension without pay” or “removal” categories.

Failure to do so puts the President himself in violation of his own Executive Order.

BBC Mortgage Loss Threatens US Banks

Bear Stearns, a leading US finance firm, is trying to prevent the collapse of two hedge funds with major exposure to the high-risk mortgage sector.

Should it sell off investments cheaply, it is feared similar funds will follow suit, causing a crisis in confidence.

Regulators are monitoring the situation amid fears of wider financial turmoil.

For some time it has been feared that the sharp downturn in the housing market, which has shown little sign of flattening out, will spill over into the wider economy.

Psychology Today Love is Not All you Need

If you want to feel alone in a relationship, be with someone who hasn't a clue about what you are going through. Or worse, someone who does have a clue but cannot understand why your pain is a big deal. The two of you can be totally different people in a number of ways, but if a partner is sensitive to how you see the world and experience life, then those differences are unimportant.

Ruth, who has been married to Alex for 31 years, puts it this way, "When we got married, nobody thought it would last because we are so different. Alex is from a working-class family; I am Jewish, he is Lutheran—everyone thought it was a non-starter from the wedding day on. But what they didn't know, and what has been the most important thing in our relationship, is that Alex knows how to listen. Really listen. No matter what, he can see how I'm feeling and he can feel for me. Trust me, that solves a lot of problems."

Prissy mentions the above because she is seeing a outbreak of democrat/independent women leaving their republican husbands/boyfriends. Republican men do not seem to be very good listeners, except when they are looking for love.

LA Times Tourists aren't flocking to the U.S.

Troubled by steep declines in international tourism, U.S. mayors are urging the federal government to spend more money on marketing the United States and to make the entry process friendlier and faster.

Responding to a survey by the Travel Business Roundtable, mayors from the country's top travel destinations said tourism — a driving force of the U.S. economy — needed to be a top priority.

The number of overseas visitors to the U.S. has dropped 17% since its peak in 2000 — and 20% in the top 15 cities — costing more than $100 billion in lost visitor spending through 2005, according to the Commerce Department.

"The dollars derived from tourism are vital to running America's cities," said Jonathan Tisch, chairman of the business group, which is a coalition of travel industry executives.

The problem, gentlemen, is that the marketing has been done for you, compliments of the Bush administration. See below:

Gov Exec Budget chief says Bush won't back down on excessive spending

President Bush will not back away from his threat to veto appropriations bills, even if it means the possibility of a government shutdown, Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman said Tuesday.

Portman, addressing a small group of reporters just after announcing that he will leave the administration this summer, said Bush will veto bills that contain excessive spending, and Congress will have to decide whether it wants to shut down the government over the matter.

"He's going to stick to the vetoes. He would very much like to avoid a government shutdown," Portman said, but "that will be a decision Congress has to make." He noted Congress could also pass a continuing resolution to maintain government operations.

The last government shutdown occurred in 1995, when the new Republican Congress and President Clinton could not resolve a standoff. Since then, lawmakers have used continuing resolutions to keep the government running while spending differences were resolved.

Porter is back in Ohio, spending more time with the family. Prissy and friends think it is more likely he quit because of some 'problems' with the budget. See below:

Statement on Accounting Standard 99 Statement on Accounting Standard 99 relates to fraud indicators, one of them being personnel changes. Pace's forced resignation qualifies as a SAS99 fraud indicator: Personnel appear to have had a different view of legal matters, policy issues, and substantive issues involving large dollar amounts. Whether there is or is not illegal activity is a secondary issue. SAS99 compels government auditor to increase audit scope, or the number of auditors/audit engagements, to mitigate chances of audit fraud, risk, and other misstatements in financial reporting. SAS99 does not apply only to financial statements, but also management reporting, management performance audits.

Hmm. Budget problems, financial reporting standards, personnel changes. It's all coming together...

Toronto to Life Black Watch: The Conrad Black Trial

“Eric Sussman, chief prosecutor in the criminal trial against Conrad Black, must have learnt a thing or two from his boss, US attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, about playing tough with the media.

He hasn’t actually hauled any reporters off to prison, as Fitzgerald did with Judith Miller, the former New York Times reporter who refused to tell him the name of her sources.

But Sussman’s team let it be known to the gaggle of Canadian, British and American journalists following the three-month trial that he would refuse to speak to them if any journalist quoted the prosecution team’s relatives, who sometimes drop by the court to watch.

The warning was communicated after the straitlaced Sussman could be heard berating a Canadian journalist on Wednesday for quoting the father of his colleague Julie Ruder, who had been in the courtroom watching Black’s lawyer deliver a closing argument.

Some reporters are still bitter about the Judith Miller ordeal. Wish they were as bitter about their own pre-war reporting...

Quotes of the Day

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.-- Augusten Burroughs

Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it.-- Ted Morgan

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.--George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.--Fred Thompson, Speech before the Commonwealth Club of California

A man's homeland is wherever he prospers.--Aristophanes (450 BC - 388 BC), Plutus, 388 B.C.