Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dubya and Dick Play Whack Iraq

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Cincinnati Enquirer FINALLY THIS IS FRONT PAGE 2004 ballots not preserved Result of presidential vote cannot be verified

In a federal civil rights lawsuit, six groups representing mostly African-American, elderly, college-age and homeless voters alleged elections officials allowed fraudulent votes to be cast for Bush, double-counted some absentee ballots, suppressed votes that likely would have been for U.S. Sen. John Kerry and failed to conduct a proper recount. They insist they've identified enough cumulative problems to reverse the outcome of the presidential race, and possibly the race for Ohio Supreme Court chief justice.

Clifford O. Arnebeck Jr., their Columbus attorney, began to learn of the widespread missing ballots last month, and held a news conference last week.

Federal law requires all ballots to be preserved for 22 months after a election. That would have been until Sept. 2, 2006. So that month, acting on a request from the groups, U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley issued the order to keep all ballots, used and unused, until Aug. 10, 2007.

Marbley did not return a call for comment Friday, but a court spokeswoman said a lawsuit seeking to preserve the ballots remains active. It's unclear what penalty, if any, county boards of election could face for violating Marbley's order. Arnebeck has asked Attorney General Marc Dann, a Democrat, to pursue criminal action. Dann's press secretary, Jennifer Brindisi, said Friday they had no immediate comment on the case.

We are supposed to believe, because Bushites are known for telling the truth(snark) that Bush won Ohio and thus the presidency.

Get this, Dearest Readers: 56 of Ohio's 88 counties and their boards of elections "lost, shredded or dumped nearly 1.6 million ballots and election records." Federal law and Marbley's order, however, were ignored: Why did anyone listen to republicans when they screamed the Ohio 2004 vote went down with no funny stuff?

Bloomberg Romney, Winner in Iowa, `Misspoke' About Sons' Military Choice

Mitt Romney, who won the Iowa Republican straw poll yesterday, said he ``misspoke'' when he suggested that his sons' work on his presidential campaign was comparable to serving in the military in Iraq.

``I misspoke,'' the former Massachusetts governor said today on ``Fox News Sunday.'' ``It's not service to the country, it's service for me, and there's just no comparison there.''

At an event in Iowa last week, Romney was asked why his adult sons hadn't enlisted in the military and responded by saying: ``One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president,'' according to the Associated Press.

Romney said today that he ``didn't mean in any way to compare service in the country with my boys in any way. Service in this country is an extraordinary sacrifice being made by individuals and their families.

Romney didn't misspeak...he and his boys believe they are too good to fight, sweat and die for their country. The ones like them must stay around to enjoy the sacrifices of others...AKA as cowards and punks who won't put their actions behind their words. "Republicans support the troops" Good one, as Ron Paul is the only Prissy has seen willing to support the troops. Democrats don't support the troops either, see below:

NYT Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years

Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years.

Boy those democrats are getting just as good as republicans in making enemies of We the People. No wonder so many Americans are leaving for Canada in droves. Its beautiful too. Thanks to regular reader Randall for the picture, taken near his Canadian home.

Wide open skies of Canada, thanks to reader RHK! (Click to enlarge)

Utube Bush asked about his prior knowledge of 911

Chicago Suburban News All signs point to impressive meteor shower Sunday night

Whether you're an amateur astronomer, world-renowned astrophysist or average Joe, spotting a falling star at night is almost always cause for excitement.

Barring cloudy weather, people in most of North America might get a chance to see dozens of meteors, including some very bright ones, this weekend.

According to sky watchers at NASA, this year's Perseid meteor shower, which will peak Sunday night and Monday morning, will be something to see.

"It's going to be a great show," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "The moon is new on Aug. 12th - which means no moonlight, dark skies and plenty of meteors."

AP Italy Probe Unearths Huge Iraq Arms Deal

As the secretive, $40 million deal neared completion, Italian authorities moved in, making arrests and breaking it up. But key questions remain unanswered.

For one thing, The Associated Press has learned that Iraqi government officials were involved in the deal, apparently without the knowledge of the U.S. Baghdad command - a departure from the usual pattern of U.S.-overseen arms purchases.

Why these officials resorted to "black" channels and where the weapons were headed is unclear.

The purchase would merely have been the most spectacular example of how Iraq has become a magnet for arms traffickers and a place of vanishing weapons stockpiles and uncontrolled gun markets since the 2003 U.S. invasion and the onset of civil war.

WaPo, Prissy has a love/hate with this paper. Dan Froomkin makes it loveable. Who's Afraid of George W. Bush?

Olivier Knox of AFP catches Bush in a misstatement: "US President George W. Bush charged Monday that Iran has openly declared that it seeks nuclear weapons -- an inaccurate accusation at a time of sharp tensions between Washington and Tehran.

"'It's up to Iran to prove to the world that they're a stabilizing force as opposed to a destabilizing force. After all, this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon,' he said during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"But Iran has repeatedly said that its nuclear program, which is widely believed in the West to be cover for an effort to develop atomic weapons, is for civilian purposes."

So did the White House retract the statement once reporters inquired about it? No.

Flashback 321 Gold David Chapman Jun 26, 2003. He's like, a fortune teller...Looming mortgage crisis!

So with the potential for a serious waning in housing prices supported by recent surveys that show that house and car sales, two key economic drivers are slowing, the potential for a bigger problem is looming if house prices actually began to fall. Recent statistics showed that foreclosure rates hit a record 1.2% in the first quarter while the delinquency rate remained stable at 4.5%. Clearly if the economy slips further despite the liquidity efforts of the Federal Reserve these numbers could deteriorate further.

With the investigations into Freddie Mac and now Fannie Mae some have dared to say that they could become a crisis comparable to the Long Term Capital Management collapse of 1998. This would be far worse. But clearly Freddie and Fannie along with Easy Al have gone a long way in generating the biggest housing bubble in history. An implosion here would not only completely shatter the US housing market but it would have far reaching ramifications on the world's financial system. Clearly there are those who do not agree with this potential scenario but if there is smoke there is usually fire and it may not be easily contained if other financial problems arose or the proverbial financial accident happened.

The situation in Canada is not that much different although Canadians do not have a Freddie or Fannie and unlike the US there are penalties for early redemption of a mortgage. Still Canadians have borrowed an extra $12 billion by refinancing mortgages and a further $10 billion in expanded lines of credit according to a CIBC World Markets report. And as in the US the money has largely gone into supporting consumer spending. This is a game that can clearly only survive if the housing market maintains firmness in prices. Signs are beginning to show, however, that the top may be behind us as sales are beginning to fall.

Financial stocks are key to the health of the major indices. If the financial stocks are in trouble the indices are in trouble and so to is the economy. Since the lows seen in October 2002 and again in March 2003 the financial stocks have led the market up. The troubles that have surfaced with both Freddie and Fannie have seen their stocks take respective drops from highs of 11% and 14% to June 25. But the charts of Freddie and Fannie do not generate a lot of confidence, as they are both clearly in a massive multi-year rollover patterns. Both have fallen under their respective 40-week moving averages. These massive rollover patterns always end poorly so investors would be wise to heed them. And usually it means that they eventually break down out of the more gently sloping down pattern for an inevitable crash.

Hat tip to Randy Kent officer tickets man for 'Impeach Bush' sign

Kent - A soft-spoken teacher posted the words "Impeach Bush" in a public garden, and Kent police cast him as an outlaw.

Today Kevin Egler is fighting that in Kent Municipal Court, and the case is emerging as a free-speech issue of interest well beyond the boundaries of placid Portage County.

Police ticketed Egler for unlawfully advertising in a public place because he put up a free-standing sign near the intersection of Haymarket Parkway and Willow and Main streets

Yes that's right, and when Prissy's friend and big city attorney Bob Fitrakis showed up to assist, the charges were dropped.

MSNBC How does Fed ‘inject’ money into the system?

In the case of last Friday’s "injection" the Fed did something a little unusual. Ordinarily the bonds it offers to buy or sell are good old U.S. Treasuries; the Fed has lots of them lying around. But because the current breakdown in the credit markets is caused by bonds backed by subprime mortgages, those are the bonds the Fed specifically went shopping for (some $38 billion worth, to be exact).

Until the Fed stepped in, there were virtually no buyers for these things, because investors have all but given up trying to figure out what — if anything — they’re worth. Until it's clear how many more mortgage holders are going to default on their loans, it hard to know where things will shake out. But, based on recent sales, it turns out these bonds may be worth as little as a third of what they were supposed to be worth.

The Fed may have put out the fire for now. But the larger worry is that the banks, investment funds and hedge funds that are holding billions more of these bonds may now have to book those losses. And since the hedge funds holding these bonds are not regulated by the Fed, it’s anyone’s guess just who is holding them and how much damage was done by the collapse in their value.

Some holders, including Bear Stearns and the French bank Paribas, have already let Wall Street have the bad news. But there are almost certainly more shoes to drop before the current credit crunch runs its course.

The Market Oracle US Dollar Warning - This is going to dramatically affect you ..

This won't happen overnight. In fact, there are bound to be rallies in the dollar. For example, we saw the greenback bounce a bit yesterday after it plunged on Tuesday. But over the next two or three years, I expect the dollar to lose at least another 20% in value … perhaps as much as 40%.

For investors who fail to prepare, it will be a disaster. For those who do, it will be a bonanza. Here are some things you absolutely need to understand …

A. The U.S. Federal Government is broke. It's at least $9 trillion in debt. And once you count all the contingent liabilities of the U.S. government — such as Social Security, Medicare, government pensions, etc. — the debt soars to more than $55 trillion .

There is no way Washington can ever pay those debts, or even a fraction of them, without substantially weakening the medium of exchange underlying those debts — the greenback.

blogs at the Guardian Pilger on the press, propaganda and censorship

A lecture by John Pilger, in which he discusses propaganda, the press, censorship and "resisting the American empire", is available in both written and audio form. A taster: "Liberal democracy is moving toward a form of corporate dictatorship. This is an historic shift, and the media must not be allowed to be its fa├žade, but itself made into a popular, burning issue, and subjected to direct action... Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and the ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the Bastille of words. That time is now.


DerSpiegel America's Middle Class Has Become Globalization's Loser

The steady influx of the adventurous and hard-working -- which helped increase the country's labor force by about 44 million people since 1980 alone and continues today -- ensures a constant replenishment of daring. After all, it's not just the additional people that make the difference. The mere addition of 17 million people into Germany following reunification in 1990 - newcomers more concerned with preserving their guaranteed rights than with making the extraordinary effort necessary for success - did nothing to foster the kind of daring you see in the United States. Indeed, the result was exactly the opposite, and it has been a painful lesson for Germany.

Second, the United States is radically global. Its very origins -- in the rebellious citizens from every country in the world who assembled on the territory that is now the United States -- mark its people as true children of the world. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt calls the founding fathers of the United States a "vital elite," one that continues to pass down its genes to this very day. Their language is dominant, having marginalized Spanish and French during the second half of the past century. Their everyday culture -- from the T-shirt and rock 'n' roll to e-mail -- has peacefully colonized half the world. And from the very beginning, US corporations were eager to venture abroad in order to trade and set up production sites in other countries. Multinational corporations may not have been a US invention, but they became its specialty.

Third, the United States is the only nation on earth that can do business globally in its own currency. Indeed, the dollar has established itself as the world's currency. Whoever wants to own it has to purchase it in the United States. All important decisions about the quantity of cash that circulates or the setting of interest rates are made within the nation's borders, which guarantees a maximum degree of national independence. It's American blood that flows through the veins of the global economy. Almost half of all business deals are closed using dollars as the currency, and two-thirds of all currency reserves are held in dollars. Charles de Gaulle, who was president of France after World War II, admired this "exorbitant privilege" even then.

The trial of strength-But there is a flip side to the coin. First, Americans are so optimistic that they often blur the line between optimism and naivete. Public, private and corporate debt far exceeds any previously known dimensions. Forever piously trusting in a future rosier than the present, millions of households are borrowing so much money that they end up endangering the very future they're looking forward to. The lower and middle classes have practically given up on putting aside any savings. They're going into the 21st century like a poverty-stricken, Third World family, living from hand to mouth without any financial reserves whatsoever.

New Scientist UK biosecurity lapse is "tip of iceberg"

We now know that a research lab was to blame for the latest outbreak of foot and mouth in the UK. But the escape of a biological agent from a supposedly secure facility is nothing new, say experts. Worse, similar incidents are more likely in the future.

“Lab accidents happen more frequently than the public knows,” says Ed Hammond of the Sunshine Project in Austin, Texas, a non-profit organisation that monitors the use of biological agents.

“They are not always as spectacular as the one in the UK, but I believe, based on years of looking into this, that there’s a real culture of denial about the scale of the problem,” says Hammond, who recently used the US Freedom of Information Act to confirm and expose an undeclared incident at Texas A&M University in College Station. US rethink

Hammond says the UK outbreak, discovered in a cow on 3 August, may even cause a rethink in the US about the wisdom of building a huge new high-containment facility to study the most harmful animal diseases, including foot and mouth.

Google with no tracking system googlonymous

Telegraph Overstretched US cuts aid to Israel

America has been forced to withhold funding from its key ally in the Middle East amid the strain of paying for its expensive military campaign in Iraq.

Washington had promised Israel a substantial increase in its financial support to bolster it against Iran.

But US officials decided to amend their pledge because of escalating costs, including the need to spend $750 million (£375 million) to fly thousands of armoured troop carriers to Iraq to protect troops against Iranian-made roadside bombs.

The Pentagon has come under intense pressure to speed up deployment of the new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), which boasts a V-shaped hull and a raised chassis and is proven to withstand a range of explosive projectiles common in Iraq.

As usual, Bush has offered no real proof these IED's are made anyplace except a garage in Iraq.

Dick Cheney '94: Invading Baghdad Would Create Quagmire In this interview from April 15th, 1994, Dick Cheney reveals the reasons why invading Baghdad and toppling Saddam Hussein wouldn't be a great idea. He also stipulates that "not very many" American soldiers' lives were worth losing to take out Saddam during the Gulf War.

Crimes and Corruption Speechless in Chicago

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled a September speech on U.S.-Israel relations and Washington’s pro-Israel lobby by two prominent U.S. political scientists.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were scheduled to use the Sept. 27 address to outline their upcoming book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” which is expected to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux early next month. But the president of the Chicago Council, Marshall Bouton, canceled the event under pressure from critics who were uncomfortable with the academics’ arguments, according to a letter drafted by Mearsheimer and Walt to the Council’s board.

These opponents of the event argued that the two political scientists could only address the Chicago Council if someone from the opposing side, “such as Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, concurrently appeared on stage with the authors.

“One might argue that our views are too controversial to be presented on their own,” Mearsheimer and Walt wrote. “However, they are seen as controversial only because some of the groups and individuals that we criticized in our original article have misrepresented what we said.”

Quotes of the Day

This, Dearest politicians, shows the level of anger in the populace! Shame on them for ignoring the will of the people. Some have apparently reached their limits... "A 50 CENT INVESTMENT WILL GIVE THEM TERM LIMITS THAT WILL BE UNDERSTOOD BY THE NEXT “OFFICIAL”--OLD SCRATCH, Dissident Voice poster

Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

“Must a government be too strong for the liberties of its people or too weak to maintain its own existence?”--Abraham Lincoln

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”--Patrick Henry

“An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.”--Confucius