Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Decision Time for GOP: Spit or Swallow

If Sen Craig isn't gay, how come he wasn't caught tapping his foot for sex in the ladies room?

Hot LinksMaybe the GOP should hand these around the House and Senate

Sen Craig's hometown paper, the Idaho Statesmen Sen. Larry Craig's job in doubt amid calls to resign

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's hold on his job is growing increasingly tenuous as he loses the confidence of fellow Republicans, from President Bush to his colleagues in the Senate.

The three-term Idaho senator saw his clout and political support diminish by the hour Wednesday, as some colleagues called on him to step down and he gave up his senior role on several key committees. The growing controversy weakens his influence as a senator and calls into question how long he can fend off the growing clamor to resign, political experts say.

Two of Craig's Republican Senate colleagues, John McCain of Arizona and Norm Coleman of Minnesota, both called on Craig to resign, saying his guilty plea to charges he solicited sex from an undercover police officer makes him unfit to serve as a U.S. senator.

"I think he should resign ... my opinion is that when you plead guilty to a crime, then you shouldn't serve," McCain told CNN. "And that is not a moral stand. That is not a holier-than-thou. It is just a factual situation."

BBCIran accepts fresh nuclear plan

The UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has agreed to a plan aimed at clearing up questions about its controversial nuclear activities.

The IAEA says the development is "significant", but adds that for the plan to work, it is essential to get full and active co-operation from Iran.

It also says Iran is continuing its enrichment programme, but at a slower pace than before, despite UN sanctions.

Western powers fear Iran could try to make nuclear arms, which Tehran denies.

Guardian Bhutto close to deal with Musharraf President agrees to quit army and drop graft charges against exiled leaders

President Pervez Musharraf and his exiled rival Benazir Bhutto edged closer last night to a power-sharing deal that would see Gen Musharraf retire from the army.

An agreement was "80 to 90% complete" said Ms Bhutto from London, where she has been negotiating with a senior Musharraf adviser and the Pakistani military's spy chief.

Her key demand - that Gen Musharraf give up his uniform before impending elections - has been agreed, she told the Guardian. "A lot of progress has been made, particularly on the uniform. But it's for the president to make an announcement."

Gen Musharraf has also agreed to drop corruption charges against Ms Bhutto, her husband and dozens of other legislators, in the form of a general amnesty covering 1988 to 1999, she said.

Just say no to more world war, and let the lady negotiate. As one little boy told Prissy, "Ladies usually aren't mean." And they usually love their country and the people who reside there.

The general has seen how far George Bush will push him, including sending US troops based in Afghanistan right over the border into Pakistan so they can "find people." No reports on solid "finds." The crystal ball is saying Dick will be the next one out the White House door...

Sun Times Durbin: Fitzgerald a long shot for Gonzales job

Chicago's top federal prosecutor may have convicted a former White House aide, but Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin speculated Monday that Patrick Fitzgerald had a chance -- albeit a small one -- of being President Bush's new attorney general.

Durbin called Fitzgerald a ''long shot'' for the job, but said ''if the choice is made to bring in somebody truly independent who will be quickly confirmed, Patrick Fitzgerald's one.''

Slim to none. This for sure would be an eventual reality...

Village Voice History Will Not Absolve Us Leaked Red Cross report sets up Bush team for international war-crimes trial

While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn't let them in.

But The New Yorker's Jane Mayer has sources who have seen accounts of the Red Cross interviews with inmates formerly held in CIA secret prisons. In "The Black Sites" (August 13, The New Yorker), Mayer also reveals the effect on our torturers of what they do—on the orders of the president—to "protect American values."

She quotes a former CIA officer: "When you cross over that line of darkness, it's hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but . . . you can't go back to that dark a place without it changing you."

Few average Americans have been changed, however, by what the CIA does in our name. Blame that on the tight official secrecy that continues over how the CIA extracts information. On July 20, the Bush administration issued a new executive order authorizing the CIA to continue using these techniques—without disclosing anything about them.

Discovery Channel Two Years Later, New Orleans Still Sinking

Two years after Katrina, the planet's message to southern Louisiana is loud and clear: The land is sinking there and nothing can stop it.

Or that's the message from geologists, anyway. The latest science on the sinking comes from a study in which researchers modeled how the Earth's rigid crust, or lithosphere, there is responding to the weight of Mississippi River sediments.

"Every geologist knows if you put a load on top of the Earth, it's going to cause the lithosphere to bend," said geologist Roy Dokka of Louisiana State University. Dokka, along with Caltech's Erik Ivins and Ronald Blom, published their results in the August issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

ABC Secret Signals: How Gay Men Cruise for Sex

"Police officers will investigate areas that have known histories of this sort of activity. They rely on their own knowledge and experience to tell what is happening. Most officers know the difference between an intentional signal and a stray motion," he said.

The public has a right to enter public areas without worrying about inadvertently seeing lewd acts, Gregson said. The 35-year veteran police chief said he believed this sort of activity took place "in every jurisdiction" and heard stories of "off-duty officers and even judges being caught and arrested."

With many other options available for gay men to meet each other, Gershen Kaufman, a professor emeritus of psychology at Michigan State University and author of the book "Coming Out of Shame," said public cruising is practiced mainly by deeply closeted men.

"Cruisers are not sex offenders. They are deeply, deeply closeted. There is a lot of self-hatred and shame and they can't allow themselves to come to terms with their sexuality. There is also the added element of danger and being discovered," he said.

One commenter noted "It's too bad the foot tapping thing doesn't work with women."

US News & World Report Bush to Stay the Course

In the wake of the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, White House insiders don't want to encourage expectations that President Bush will turn into a born-again accommodator in the final year and a half of his administration.

Their concern is that the mainstream media and many members of Congress will expect a more conciliatory president to emerge as more and more of his original loyalists from Texas leave the government. The insiders say that while Bush wants to score legislative victories before he leaves Washington, such as continued funding for the Iraq war and congressional approval for terrorist surveillance programs, he isn't going to give up on his principles. Bush advisers point out that while Bush has lost or is losing several of his most trusted confidants from his years as Texas governor, including Gonzales, political strategist Karl Rove, and counselor Dan Bartlett, he still has a strong team around him and isn't isolated, as his critics often suggest.

Good old US News...still shilling until the end. Corporate media has bastardized real news.

Forbes Delta Chief Operating Officer Resigns

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Wednesday that Chief Operating Officer James Whitehurst, who was passed over for the carrier's top job, has resigned effective immediately.

Scotsman Israel wages war on army of refuseniks

WHEN Arik Diamant's mother discovered her son was to refuse to do reserve duty for the Israeli army she pleaded with him to reconsider his decision, even offering to resign her job and work in a charity of his choice.

But the former paratrooper and now software engineer was determined. "My parents were terrified that the ramifications of such a decision would destroy my life and endanger my career opportunities," said the 34-year-old co-founder of the Courage to Refuse movement.

While Diamant and 600 fellow reservist refuseniks are making headlines over their choice, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) is becoming increasingly worried that the numbers of Jewish men evading army service is on the rise. The trend is particularly noticeable among those aged 18 to 21, who under Israeli law must serve three years in the military.

New figures reveal that 27% of potential male draftees do not now serve in the IDF, with this year's draft being the smallest in recent times.

Remember the saying, 'what would happen if they held a war and nobody showed up?'

Arizona Daily Star Cancer in Iraq vets raises possibility of toxic exposure

After serving in Vietnam nearly 40 years ago — and receiving the Bronze Star for it — the Tucson soldier was called back to active duty in Iraq. While there, he awoke one morning with a sore throat. Eighteen months later, Army Sgt. James Lauderdale was dead, of a bizarrely aggressive cancer rarely seen by the doctors who tried to treat it.

As a result, his stunned and heartbroken family has joined growing ranks of sickened and dying Iraq war vets and their families who believe exposures to toxic poisons in the war zone are behind their illnesses — mostly cancers, striking the young, taking them down with alarming speed.

The number of these cancers remains undisclosed, with military officials citing patient privacy issues, as well as lack of evidence the cases are linked to conditions in the war zone. The U.S. Congress has ordered a probe of suspect toxins and may soon begin widespread testing of our armed forces.

Financial Times Sterling falls on Bank’s emergency lending

Sterling lost ground on Thursday after the Bank of England revealed it had lent £1.6bn through its standing facility to an unnamed borrower, sparking renewed fears over liquidity in the wake of the recent turmoil on credit markets.

The BoE’s standing facility allows market participants to borrow unlimited amounts at a penalty rate of 1 per cent over base rates.

The facility was last used on August 20 by Barclays, although the bank said it was not related to liquidity concerns.

The pound fell 0.4 per cent to $2.0090 against the dollar and eased 0.1 per cent to £0.6785 against the euro.

Wa PoReport Finds Little Progress On Iraq Goals GAO Draft at Odds With White House

Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration.

The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.

The draft provides a stark assessment of the tactical effects of the current U.S.-led counteroffensive to secure Baghdad. "While the Baghdad security plan was intended to reduce sectarian violence, U.S. agencies differ on whether such violence has been reduced," it states. While there have been fewer attacks against U.S. forces, it notes, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians remains unchanged. It also finds that "the capabilities of Iraqi security forces have not improved."

"Overall," the report concludes, "key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds," as promised. While it makes no policy recommendations, the draft suggests that future administration assessments "would be more useful" if they backed up their judgments with more details and "provided data on broader measures of violence from all relevant U.S. agencies."

Seattle Times Bush warns of peril if U.S. fails in Iraq

President Bush warned Tuesday that the Middle East faces a bleak future if the United States fails in Iraq, evoking a "dark vision" of terrorist havens, disrupted energy supplies and a regional weapons race triggered by a nuclear-armed Iran.

"The region would be dramatically transformed, in a way that could imperil the civilized world," Bush said in a speech to the American Legion's national convention.

Bush also cited recent evidence of Iranian weapons in Iraq and renewed his demand that the Iranian leadership halt its support for attacks on U.S. troops.

"Until it does, I will take the actions necessary to protect troops," he said. "I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities."

Name one day Dubya has ever protected the troops. Name a day Prissy hasn't tried to protect them...A job according to his true ability thanks to SPB for the picture

CS Monitor Active-duty US troops become outspoken critics of Iraq war Their public critiques represent a shift in the military's culture.

Part of this reflects weariness with the war. But it also represents a shift in military culture where speaking up publicly is more usual and acceptable than in previous conflicts, experts say, thanks to changes in technology and society.

"This is the first post-Internet, post-digital-camera war" in which "the line between private lives and public lives has been blurred," says Eugene Fidell, a former military lawyer who teaches military justice at Yale.

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), as long as uniformed critics do not speak or write using "contemptuous words" regarding the president or other senior officials, they are free to voice their opinions, notes Mr. Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice. "We're a nation built on free expression, and it can get pretty noisy."

Part of this criticism reflects weariness with the war, especially among those serving multiple extended combat tours.

Any military wishing to publish an opinion piece anonymously can send it to The Prissy Patriot. It will be published and your identity will be held in confidence. Bella ciao(in favorite links) also offers self publishing and has a large international audience.

Fight Fox, become a Fox attacker Call FOX News advertisers near you and hit FOX where it hurts

This site tells you how to fight the propaganda by going after Fox advertisers.

CNN China's finance minister resigns

No details were given in the statement Resignation follows days of rumors Central Bank Vice Governor Su Ning says monetary policy would not be affected Jin's tenure saw China's foreign currency reserves surge past $1.3 billion

Irish Times Govt denies Musharraf has quit army

Asked about a claim by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that Musharraf had decided to quit his military post and that she expected him to take the step before the vote, spokesman Mohammed Ali Durrani said: “No decision has been made.”

Did he get a phone call from Bushco?

Salon John Edwards turns on his fellow Democrats

Last week in Hanover, N.H., John Edwards shot off a rhetorical signal flare. "I want to go one step further," he said. Something new was coming. This wasn't going to be just another stump speech about the "Two Americas" -- one for the rich and one for everyone else. He was about to attack his own party, the Democratic Party, which he likes to call "the party of the people."

"The choice for our party could not be any clearer," he continued. "We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.

Edwards would make an excellent president. Prissy liked him until he voted for the war. He has since come to regret that and has spoken out against the war well before others, like Hillary, would come clean.

Quotes of the Day for the Grand Old Pervert Party

Whatever you condemn, you have done yourself. ~Georg Groddeck, The Book of the It, 1950

That which we call sin in others is experiment for us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Experience," Essays, 1844

All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance. ~Theodore M. Hesburgh

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. ~H.G. Wells

Friday, August 24, 2007

Insurgents for Bush

They luv Boosh

Dearest Readers, Tis the season and the war is the reason...Prissy is hard at work to help with a big push/shove to end the war.

We need your protests to register to the bureaucrats in Washington. Call them, write and email if you cannot make it to Washington.

Make an appointment with your senators local office and tell them you are fed up with how things are going. Let them know you expect them respect the majority view of Americans and perform accordingly. They work for you and me! We the People, we are the government in America.

Here's a little cadence to put you in the mood. Take it to your next protest!

The British Aren’t Coming-by the spirit of Paul Revere

Now I don’t know, but I been told,

Neocons ain’t got no soul,

Tried to take our republic down,

Will National Guard have’t come to town,

Now we do love democracy,

Guard’ll take it back for you and me,

Who’d ever thought it’d come to this,

Too many Americans in state of bliss,

They didn’t know, cause they weren’t told,

Media's lies are gettin’ old,

That’s why our soldiers have to fight,

Now just ask, Will it be tonight…?

Hot Links

Impeach for Peace Impeach for Peace

Grassroots Nonpartisan Efforts to Impeach Bush & Cheney

We must begin the impeachment process NOW. Ms. Pelosi doesn't understand (or perhaps she does) that if anyone in Bushco bellows the war order for Iran, they must be put down like a rabid animal.

In order for a Senate Sargent in Arms or military to comfortably act against such said animals as needed, impeachment should be implemented immediately. It needn't be completed process...

Consortium news Dangers of a Cornered George Bush By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank July 27, 2007

Editor’s Note: As the nation and the world face 18 more months of George W. Bush’s presidency, a chilling prospect is that Bush – confronted with more defeats and reversals – might just “lose it” and undertake even more reckless military adventures.

In this special memorandum, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) collaborated with psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch, to assess the potential dangers and possible countermeasures available to constrain Bush:

Recent events have put a great deal more pressure on President George W. Bush, who has shown little regard for the constitutional system bequeathed to us by the Founders. Having bragged about being commander in chief of the “first war of the 21st century,” one he began under false pretenses, success in Iraq is now a pipedream.

Unless Checked-If the constitutional process of impeachment is under way when President Bush orders our military to begin a war against Iran, there is a good chance that, rather than salute like automatons and start World War III, our senior military would find a way to prevent more carnage until such time as the representatives of the people in the House have spoken.

This administration’s capacity for mischief would not end until conviction in the Senate. But initiating the impeachment process appears to be the only way to launch a shot across the bow of this particular ship of state. For it is captained by a president with a psychological makeup likely to lead to new misadventures likely to end in a ship wreck unless the Constitution is brought alongside and a new pilot boarded.

We are grateful that Dr. Frank agreed to collaborate with us and to issue under VIPS auspices the psychological assessment that follows.

Discussion of the three scenarios after his profiling of President Bush was very much a collaborative exercise aimed at applying Frank’s insights to contingencies our president may have to address before he leaves office. Our conclusions are, of necessity, speculative—and, sorry, scary.

Buzzflash, putting things in perspective. GOP Hypocrite of the Week George W. Bush

Once Saddam was deposed and no WMDs were found, Bush had fulfilled his initial "mission." Since that time, his handlers have improvised new ones that change with the wind.

There long ago stopped being any mission in Iraq other than the "America as lone superpower cannot afford to lose to a ragtag bunch of swarthy Arabs" mission.

Even Bush's hand-chosen puppet, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asserted that he would "find friends elsewhere" if Bush and others continued to try to displace him as the "democratically" elected head of the Iraqi government, such as it is.

As was the case with Vietnam, the best thing we can do to repair Iraq is to leave it.

*Impe´rial Pres´idency. A U.S. presidency that is characterized by greater power than the Constitution allows. (Source: The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition Unabridged.)

[This article was originally published in The Montclarion, student newspaper at Montclair State University (then College), Thursday, October 4, 1984, p. 11]WHAT SHOULD WE LEARN FROM THE VIETNAM WAR? PLENTY by Grover Furr

2. What was the US trying to accomplish in Vietnam? Profit. U.S. News and World Report wrote:

One of the world's richest areas is open to the winner in Indochina. That's behind the growing U.S. concern ... tin, rubber, rice, key strategic materials are what the war is really all about. The U.S. sees it as a place to hold at any cost.

Wrote Nation's Business magazine:

The best thinkers on the subject in business and government agree that magnificent business opportunities await in Vietnam Thailand, Laos ... As the military situation in Vietnam improves, they expect the flow of business to double, triple, and quadruple.

Therefore, it was a good thing that the U.S. "lost" in Vietnam Since World War II millions of jobs have been lost in the US as American companies closed factories here and moved them abroad. If the US and their South Vietnamese stooges had won, South Vietnam would have been yet another place for American companies to move to. Hundreds of thousands more American workers would have lost their jobs.

One less bad guy claiming to be one of the good guys at the DOJ- ForbesTop Civil Rights Prosecutor Resigns

WASHINGTON -The Justice Department's top civil rights enforcer resigned Thursday following more than a year of criticism that his office filled its ranks with conservative loyalists instead of experienced attorneys.

Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim was the first immigrant and first Korean-American to head the department's civil rights division - a post he held for just over two years.

Kim is the latest senior Justice official to leave amid a scathing congressional investigation that has raised questions about the department's political independence from the White House.

Kim had been rumored for months to be leaving the department, and is expected to join a private law firm. He worked at Justice for over 10 years, starting as a criminal trial attorney, and was one of the few Senate-confirmed senior officials left.

No wonder Kim and Gonzo hate affirmative action-it lets people just like them climb the ladder of success. But what they really don't like are the many success stories who are nothing like them!

Huffington Post Bush's Daughter, Jenna, Engaged

How soon for the quickie wedding for the prez daughter, whose Daddy endorses abstaining from sex before marriage?

Insider Trading 911 krongard Shattuck Deutsche Bank

Listen to this great new song by Prissy's friend Victrola and the Duhst BunniesDubya begins with duh Another Fascist Day is a favorite, the whole CD is excellent.

Harpers The Next War Draws Nearer

Labeling the Revolutionary Guards as ‘Terrorists.’ Last week the Bush Administration floated the idea that it would schedule Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (an official part of the Iranian government) as a terrorist organization. This is related to the Administration’s propaganda drive to portray the Revolutionary Guard as deeply engaged in training terrorists in Iraq. (Iran is deeply engaged in outfitting and supporting factions loyal to it in Iraq, as is Saudi Arabia and other states.) Of course, the Revolutionary Guards answer directly to Supreme Leader Khamenei, so in taking this position, the Bush Administration is essentially saying that it has decided to ditch an initiative that focuses on skirting Ahmadinejad by going directly to Khamenei—that is, it is limiting its diplomatic options, yet again. No real surprise there, since it’s clear—notwithstanding statements from Condoleezza Rice about the exhaustion of diplomatic approaches—that the White House (read: Dick Cheney) places no store whatsoever in a diplomatic effort for Iran.

Preparation for a ‘Dirty War’? The branding of the Revolutionary Guard as terrorists raises troubling prospects with respect to targeting and military operations in Iran. Based on prior Bush Administration postures (adopted with respect to the Taliban, and units of Saddam Hussein’s military), it would mean that they are denied Geneva Convention protections in the coming war and could be treated to “highly coercive interrogation techniques” (i.e., torture) if captured. In sum, it looks like the Bush Administration is busily preparing for another “dirty war.”

Costing for Ground Operations in Iran. In the last two weeks the Department of Defense has begun pushing regular contractors very aggressively for “unit costs” to be used for logistical preparations for reconstruction and ground operations in a certain country of West Asia. In the last week, the requests have gotten increasingly harried. And what, exactly, is the country in question? Iran.

‘There Will Be an Attack on Iran.’ Former senior CIA analyst Bob Baer has a piece in the current Time Magazine called “Prelude to an Attack on Iran.” Baer also sees a quickening pace and an increasing likelihood of a sustained military assault on Iran, driven by the Neocons. Baer develops the scenario, showing how the Revolutionary Guards will be portrayed as terrorists, they will be linked to armor-penetrating projectiles used in Iraq, and this will be taken as a pretext to wage a war against Iran. He quotes an Administration official who says these explosive devices “are a casus belli for this Administration. There will be an attack on Iran.”

Bolton Wants Bombs in Six Months. John Bolton appeared on Fox News and was asked a question based on Bob Baer’s report. Bolton “absolutely hopes” it is true that bombs will start falling on Iran within six months.

NBC4 Arrested Demonstrators Awarded $1 Million August 1, 2007

In September 2002, 100 people who marched on D.C. to protest the war in Iraq and World Bank policies. They were arrested. They later sued, claiming their arrests were unlawful.

A judge agreed.

On Wednesday, the judge awarded them monetary damages and threw out their arrests.

The demonstrators claimed police trapped them along Connecticut Avenue, then arrested them.

Think Progress Voinovich refuses to comment on Iraq trip

Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) just returned from a quick 10 to 14 hour trip to Iraq, in which he met “with soldiers, civilians, Iraqi officials and U.S. military leaders including commanding Gen. David Petraeus.” But, unlike most lawmakers who return from the war-torn country, Voinovich is refusing to offer an assessment of what he saw on his trip. “He’s not going to get into that right now — what’s working, what’s not working, is the surge working,” his spokesman, Chris Paulitz, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s not really interested in a soundbite response.”

Only one quote military families want from you, Senator Voinovich. Try "I know we need to leave Iraq within months and bring home the National Guard first."

Maybe he wants to go down with the same kind of humiliating defeat that another long time Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)suffered to Senator Sharrod Brown. 2 to 1-ouch...

Scotsman Israel kicks out Christian refugees

A CHRISTIAN group has offered to relocate about 1,000 Christian Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel to the West to rescue them from planned expulsion to Egypt by the government.

Faced with a growing number of refugees and economic migrants crossing the border from Egypt, Israel has said it would allow 500 refugees from Darfur already inside Israel to remain in the country.

Still want to tithe?

CBS, too many OB/GYN's can't practice their luv with women across this country, huh Dubya? More U.S. Women Dying In Childbirth

CNN Amy Winehouse bloody, bruised after alleged fight

LONDON, England (AP) -- A British newspaper splashed photos of singer Amy Winehouse bloody and bruised across its Friday edition after she allegedly had a fight with her husband.

THAT was CNN front page news. Which is why Betty and Prissy call them CertainlyNotNews. Prissy notes even the snooty Paula Zahn could lie no more.

LA Times Top general to urge Iraq troop cut Advice by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs poses a potential clash with supporters of the buildup.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to advise President Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, potentially creating a rift with top White House officials and other military commanders over the course of the war.

Administration and military officials say Marine Gen. Peter Pace is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military. This assessment could collide with one being prepared by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, calling for the U.S. to maintain higher troop levels for 2008 and beyond.

Petraeus is expected to support a White House view that the absence of widespread political progress in Iraq requires several more months of the U.S. troop buildup before force levels are decreased to their pre-buildup numbers sometime next year.

Pace's recommendations reflect the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who initially expressed private skepticism about the strategy ordered by Bush and directed by Petraeus, before publicly backing it.

Peter Pace got brave for one moment. Big deal. General Be-tray-us will turn in the report that the White House gives him. Otherwise he wouldn't be working for Dubya, now would he?

Talking Points Memo Army secretary rejects longer Iraq tours Army's Top Civilian Leader Rules Out Iraq Troop Deployments Longer Than 15 Months

The Army's top civilian leader said Thursday he sees "no possibility" of extending soldiers' 15-month Iraq tours, reflecting concern about mounting strains on soldiers and their families as well as an emerging expectation that the troop buildup in Iraq can be reversed next year.

In an Associated Press interview, Army Secretary Pete Geren said that regardless of near-term changes in Iraq, the Army must find new ways to adjust to the pressures of engaging in a global war against extremism, which he described as a "persistent conflict" that could last two decades.

"We've planned for it, but until you actually live it you don't recognize all the challenges you have," he said, including problems associated with the regular use of the National Guard and Reserve.

Salon How Ari Fleisher Misuses American Soldiers, Still Freedom's Watch, the former press secretary's new pro-Iraq war group, has little to do with veterans and everything to do with politics. by Joe Conason

Or else they have everything to do with politics, namely to bolster the embattled base of support for Bush and intimidate Republicans who might defect during the next phase of the congressional struggle over the war. According to the Politico's Mike Allen, who boasts an extensive network of White House and GOP sources, the ultimate goal of Freedom's Watch is to "do for the GOP what the MoveOn political action organizations have done for Democrats." Blakeman hopes that Freedom's Watch will become "a never-ending campaign -- a stable, credible voice of reason on generational issues that won't rise and fall with election cycles." Such wishful descriptions would make sense only if MoveOn.org were a front group bankrolled by billionaires and controlled by party operatives and politicians' mouthpieces, rather than a grass-roots citizens organization that relies upon the donations and activism of millions of Americans.

So while Freedom's Watch may prefer to present itself as a voice of veterans and to imagine itself as an expression of grass-roots voters, it more closely resembles United Seniors Association or Americans for Job Security. Like those other front groups, Freedom's Watch has a big budget, a partisan agenda and a roster of right-wing talent to wield temporary influence, whether during an election campaign or a policy struggle, while making little or no real effort to organize citizens outside the Beltway. It isn't surprising that the White House would resort to a blitz of this kind, because they have often worked so well in the past.

But the manipulative style of the Freedom's Watch ads -- and the apparent decision to air them against wavering Republicans -- signals desperation, not strength. This campaign is aimed at the base, not the broader public that despises Bush and wants the troops brought home. Launching such an effort now may hold a few votes for the White House in the upcoming congressional struggles over the war, but it is cheapening the emotional currency that Republican strategists have relied on during the past three election cycles and will undoubtedly seek to exploit again next year.

Such strategies eventually exhaust the public, and what helps now may be ruinous later. Perhaps there is poetic justice in Republicans turning on one another with the same cynical lies and manipulations that led to the war in the first place.

Quotes of the Day

Don't accept rides from strange men, and remember that all men are strange.--Robin Morgan

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.--George Orwell

What's Left Of Me Won't Go Right--Dept of Homeland Conspiracy, blogger

"I'm Peter Fitzgerald...My name is Patrick Fitzgerald ... I like to tear the tops off small animals." --Bush adviser Karl Rove, before rapping at the Radio-TV Correspondents' dinner (Watch video)

Rover likes to say "Peter Fitzgerald" and always pretends to get it wrong. What a wise guy.

He pretends not to remember the name of the man who had him in front of a grand jury five times. Sure Rover and what was that quit date again?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Pear of 'Terrer' Quits!

Karl Rove, the "Pear of Terror"

Dearest Readers, this will be a short post. But you all know Prissy could not ignore this latest development! August 31st will be Rover's last day.

Do you believe, now that his son is grown and going off to college, his Daddy Rover wants to spend more time with him? No? Prissy isn't buying it either...

So why is Rover really calling it quits? He and Dubya have been turds of a feather for over 30 years. Speculation is wild, Rover claims he will be writing a book. He may need the proceeds for legal fees.

Emptywheel has some good fodder to think about why Rove quit now. As she so aptly points out, Karl is involved in lot's of dirty dealings. It was only a matter of time until something stuck...

Prissy is still thinking that Rover got a proffer from very special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and perhaps Rover just got notice the time is up and its time to get his affairs in order before facing the music.

The last time Karl mused about quitting was May of 2006 when msm was hinting his indictment was expected at any moment.

If Karl was the White House mole, he was probably doing double agent against Cheney and Steven Hadley. Most likely there was always the agreement between Rover and Dubya that should they ever be caught, it would never be Dubya who took the fall...

Fed UP with Dubya's brand of democracy? Write a letter about it, email it to Prissy along with your picture or a picture about what you are fed-up about. Prissy will return to Washington, DC for a couple of weeks next month. Your letters and pictures will be personally delivered to your representative. Just let Prissy know who needs to receive your ire and she will see to that they get it!

You can email or snail mail to: The Prissy Patriot, PO BOX 30322, Gahanna, OH 43230

Hot LinksComing soon!

Analysis: Rove bows out despised and deified

Rove said he fully expects accusations that he is leaving under pressure. "I know they'll say that," he told the Journal. "But I'm not going to leave or stay based on whether it pleases the mob."

Either way, Rove is not leaving on a high note. Most Americans do not approve of Bush's performance in office, and especially the his management of the war.

The days of big policy dreaming are over, as White House officials focus mostly on the upcoming budget fight and the never-ending battle over the war.

The domestic policies Rove championed with an eye on changing the GOP and history - most notably overhauling the Social Security system and immigration laws - are dead. Few Republicans want to bring them back to life.

Financial Times Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to “turn up the volume”. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to “have their name associated with”.

“I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on.

“One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough,” said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term.

The fiscal imbalance meant the US was “on a path toward an explosion of debt”.

Treason? Let us count the ways...

From A.N.S.W.E.R.Stop Government Attacks Against the Anti-War Movement!

In an unprecedented action, the ANSWER Coalition today received citations fining the organization $10,000 for the placement of posters announcing the September 15 March on Washington DC. The fines come after a campaign led by FOX news calling for the DC government to take action against those putting up posters for the September 15 demonstration.

They have told us that we have 72 hours to remove every poster, or the fines will go into effect. Tens of thousands of dollars in additional fines are expected in the coming days. Bush’s Interior Department is threatening similar actions against ANSWER. The September 15 posters are legal and conform to city regulations. We will not allow the government's intimidation tactics to slow our outreach or silence the antiwar movement.

We can stop this effort to repress the antiwar movement with your help.

Reuters Rove leaves more second-term blues for White House

With Democrats in control of Congress and brimming with optimism about the 2008 White House race, Rove's talk of a lasting and historic shift to Republican dominance seems long ago.

"This closes the chapter where George Bush and Karl Rove thought they were building a new Republican majority that would last a generation. That is clearly off the table," said Cal Jillson, a political analyst at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Bush's top domestic priorities -- overhauls of Social Security and immigration -- are dead in Congress, leaving the administration scrambling in its final 17 months to save his first-term tax cuts, blunt Democratic spending priorities and salvage the war in Iraq.

"At this point all they are trying to do is save some of the signature items from their first term and hand off the war in Iraq to the next guy in better shape than it looks today," Jillson said.

My Guesses on Why Rove Resigned by emptywheel

The Abramoff Investigation We know Rove is tied in with everyone tied in with the Abramoff inevstigattion. We know that Susan Ralston, Rove's Assistant was closely involved--and it appears that she has been refused immunity, even though some of her testimony about Abramoff appears to be quite interesting. Novak, at least, thinks Ralston would get to Rove. So it's possible that Rove is one of the ultimate targets of the Abramoff investigation.

The OSC Investigation This is easy. We know Rove is a target of the OSC investigation into the politicization of anything and everything in the entire government. We know he did, in fact, politicize anything and everything. The ultimate outcome of an OSC investigation would consist of Scott Bloch explaining that Rove did politicize anything and everything and recommending that Bush should fire him, but then to have Bush sit on that recommendation as he has with Lurita Doan. But perhaps Rove is leaving anyway, in an attempt to prevent us all from learning how closely our government resembles that of a one-party state, like maybe the old Soviet Union.

The Iglesias Investigation But I'm most interested in the possibility that Rove is rushing out just two steps ahead of the Iglesias investigation. HJC is collecting a great deal of evidence that DOJ employees covered up the real reasons for the Iglesias firing ... and that the real reason for the firing had everything to do with politicizing the judiciary. It not only has evidence that Will Moschella, Paul McNulty, and Alberto Gonzales lied about the reasons for Iglesias' firing, it appears that Moschella, at least, is getting downright cooperative (and note, McNulty is going to be out of DOJ at almost the same time as Rove will be out of the WH).

If this is the reason Rove is quitting, it's not just that BushCo wants him out before he's officially indicted. After all, it's not just Rove--but Bush, too--who was involved in firing Iglesias. So Rove may be leaving as part of a firewall approach in an attempt to save Bush. If it comes to it, Rove may admit to having Iglesias fired in an attempt to politicize the entire judiciary to hide the fact that--in this specific case, at least--Bush but was involved in that process, too.

NYT China Enacting a High-Tech Plan to Track People

At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.

Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.

Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.

Security experts describe China’s plans as the world’s largest effort to meld cutting-edge computer technology with police work to track the activities of a population and fight crime. But they say the technology can be used to violate civil rights.

Rolling Stone John Edwards is Third in the Polls, But Don't Count Him Out

If he weren't rich, handsome and so well married, you might feel a little sorry for John Edwards. Never before in the 231-year history of our republic have the inalienable traits that Edwards possesses -- his fair skin and a Y chromosome -- been anything but a prerequisite for presidential politics. Today, his race and gender stand a chance of derailing his campaign altogether. "There's a lot of democrats who would like to make history," says Markos Moulitsas, founder of the influential online forum Daily Kos. "The party is anxious to nominate a black or a woman," agrees Dick Morris, the former adviser to Bill Clinton. "You have to sign off on either of those two options before you even get to voting for Edwards." Indeed, Edwards has been all but eclipsed by the celebrity candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: He ranks a distant third in national polls, and his $12 million cash on hand is barely a third of Hillary's and Obama's hauls.

But counting Edwards out would be a big mistake. Flying below the radar, the former vice-presidential candidate is pulling off a feat that Democratic consultants have long considered impossible: staking out the most progressive platform among the viable candidates while preserving an aura of electability. In head-to-head polling against the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, Clinton and Obama have managed to post only modest leads. Edwards, by contrast, not only bests every Republican candidate in the race, he trounces them -- by an average of twelve points.

"Edwards' message is more left than it was in '04, and it's attracting the right kind of people for the primaries," says Bill Carrick, a veteran party strategist. "But the general electorate still sees him as mainstream. He's doing a good job of threading that needle."

John Edwards, like Kucinich would make a very good president in 08. Edwards probably has the best chance of making it among people on both sides of the political isle who vote. Here in Ohio, he is well liked. He got a little over 30% in the Ohio 2004 primary and he's no longer an unknown candidate 2007. Look for him to poll well in this state. Unlike Hillary, being dogged from both political parties and the real fun hasn't yet begun. Odd how corporate media keeps claiming she is first in the polls. Prissy is all for a woman president, but we can do better than a Bushette lite. Never forget Hillary was a Goldwater girl...

Democracy Now Bush's Brain Steps Down: Facing Subpoenas, Karl Rove Resigns

AMY GOODMAN: What does this mean for George Bush? You have written in the Dallas Morning News just today the resignation of Rove means the last and most important member of George W. Bush's Texas inner circle is gone.

WAYNE SLATER: You know, the thing about George Bush is -- and one of the things Karl said yesterday -- I’ve seen a man who hasn't changed. That's true. George Bush is very much the same person I remember talking to in the early 1980s here in Texas with the strengths that he has and all the flaws that he has. And one of the flaws is that he surrounded himself then, and more dangerously in the White House, with a few people, a few loyalists. Among the early group of loyalists were these Texans who were super loyal to Bush and whose advice and counsel he trusted. But one by one, they've all left. Karen Hughes has left, Joe Alba has left, and on and on down the line. Karl was the most important and the closest adviser to the President. He wasn't just a political consultant. He's the guy who basically put together in an effective way the politics of division and raised the politics of division, of exploiting polarization, exploiting the wedge issues of gay marriage, of fear of terrorism, in a politically efficient way in order to win 2002, 2004. But those principles, that approach, came back to haunt him and sent the house of cards -- contributed to the house of cards going down, falling down in 2006.

AMY GOODMAN: Wayne Slater, what does this mean for the congressional investigations in which he's invoked executive privilege? He didn't show up at one. Does he still remain at the center of them? Is he less protected stepping out?

WAYNE SLATER: Well, he remains very much the same. There are two things here, Amy. One is that he still very much is the focus of an investigation in Washington on this matter, not simply by members of Congress, but, more importantly for him, the Justice Department. And so, he remains there. But all the associations that he has with the President, the effort and the claim of executive privilege, stays, even if he leaves for private life. So he will try to do and Bush will try to do what they've done in the past, and that is to try to wait this thing out. The only question is now whether an indictment or other charges could come in the future or the near future. Frankly, my experience with Karl is that he always escapes. And so, looking at the history of the guy, from the late 1980s through the current situation, tells me he most likely will escape this latest round of both political inquiry and federal investigation. I could be wrong. Only time will tell.

Big September, Get involved! Big September

THIS SEPTEMBER Send Congress A Message That It Will Ignore At Its Peril!!

Come to Washington, D.C. Join the many thousands of Americans already committed to marching on Washington this September.

Make A Stand NOW.

The information on this website is designed to help you get involved in one or more BIG SEPTEMBER actions. The actions listed on our D.C. Action Calendar have been envisioned and planned by a variety of anti-war organizations. All of them are directed to the same purpose: convincing Congress to GET U.S. OUT OF IRAQ NOW.

WCAX Leahy Reacts to Rove's Resignation

But last month Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy subpoenaed Rove to testify about the firing of 8 U-S attorneys. The White house has refused to honor that subpoena.

Leahy in a statement said he wants to know what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are trying so desperately to hide.

More of the his actual statement: August 13, 2007 -- “Earlier this month, Karl Rove failed to comply with the Judiciary Committee's subpoena to testify about the mass firings of United States Attorneys. Despite evidence that he played a central role in these firings, just as he did in the Libby case involving the outing of an undercover CIA agent and improper political briefings at over 20 government agencies, Mr. Rove acted as if he was above the law. That is wrong.

Now that he is leaving the White House while under subpoena, I continue to ask what Mr. Rove and others at the White House are so desperate to hide. Mr. Rove’s apparent attempts to manipulate elections and push out prosecutors citing bogus claims of voter fraud shows corruption of federal law enforcement for partisan political purposes, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its investigation into this serious issue.

“The list of senior White House and Justice Department officials who have resigned during the course of these congressional investigations continues to grow, and today, Mr. Rove added his name to that list. There is a cloud over this White House, and a gathering storm. A similar cloud envelops Mr. Rove, even as he leaves the White House.”

It's not just the White House under a severe thunderstorm warning

Democrats.org Alberto Gonzales Could "Fast Track" Death Penalty Cases

Alberto Gonzales could soon have the authority to "fast track" death penalty cases. From the Los Angeles Times:

The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts.

...Under the rules now being prepared, if a state requested it and Gonzales agreed, prosecutors could use "fast track" procedures that could shave years off the time that a death row inmate has to appeal to the federal courts after conviction in a state court.

Truth Dig Inside the Data Mine

Delving into Joseph Nacchio and Qwest’s story reveals a company with close ties to the White House—ties that appear to have been temporarily severed when, according to Nacchio and his legal team at Qwest, the company refused to participate in the government’s data-mining program—making it the only big telecommunications company that didn’t take part. Nacchio claims that secret government contracts he was expecting were never delivered after his refusal to participate in the National Security Agency program, resulting in skewed profit claims.

While currently under new leadership, wooing back government contracts, and finally turning a profit, Qwest will have to struggle to maintain a competitive edge in an industry of telecommunications giants. These giants have received favorable treatment from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. Parallel to this success have come news reports that these ever-merging entities—notably AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon—are participating in domestic data-mining programs.

These mergers are even more conspicuous due to the number that have been approved in just the past three years. 2005 alone saw enough mergers to leave Americans with only two major telecommunications companies: Verizon and AT&T. Colbert cites the most recent and highly contested AT&T/BellSouth merger that combined the country’s two largest telecommunications companies. Despite the massive scope of the merger, when the Department of Justice conducted its regulatory analysis it concluded that there were no major antitrust issues.

In contrast to companies such as AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon, Qwest has encountered significant roadblocks in its expansion efforts, causing telecommunications experts to ask pointed questions about differing treatment from the Department of Justice, the FCC and the SEC. Specifically: Is there government retribution? The question gains clout in light of the recent U.S. attorney scandal and the selective prosecution that the Bush administration has been practicing.

Scientific American The New Psychology of Leadership Recent research in psychology points to secrets of effective leadership that radically challenge conventional wisdom

In the past, leadership scholars considered charisma, intelligence and other personality traits to be the key to effective leadership. Accordingly, these academics thought that good leaders use their inborn talents to dominate followers and tell them what to do, with the goal either of injecting them with enthusiasm and willpower that they would otherwise lack or of enforcing compliance. Such theories suggest that leaders with sufficient character and will can triumph over whatever reality they confront.

In recent years, however, a new picture of leadership has emerged, one that better accounts for leadership performance. In this alternative view, effective leaders must work to understand the values and opinions of their followers—rather than assuming absolute authority—to enable a productive dialogue with followers about what the group embodies and stands for and thus how it should act. By leadership, we mean the ability to shape what followers actually want to do, not the act of enforcing compliance using rewards and punishments.

Given that good leadership depends on constituent cooperation and support, this new psychology of leadership negates the notion that leadership is exclusively a top-down process. In fact, it suggests that to gain credibility among followers, leaders must try to position themselves among the group rather than above it. In his use of everyday language—such as “hunt down” and “those folks”—Bush portrayed himself on 9/11 as a typical American able to speak for America.

According to this new approach, no fixed set of personality traits can assure good leadership because the most desirable traits depend on the nature of the group being led. Leaders can even select the traits they want to project to followers. It is no accident, then, that Bush has often come across to Americans as a regular guy rather than as the scion of an elite East Coast Yale University dynasty.

The New Yorker An Unsolved Killing What does the firing of a U.S. Attorney have to do with a murder case?

Gonzales’s justifications for McKay’s dismissal now seem unlikely to be true, because it has become clear that Justice Department officials were seeking to fire McKay before 2006. On March 2, 2005, Kyle Sampson, Gonzales’s chief of staff, included McKay’s name on a list of thirteen U.S. Attorneys to be fired, in an e-mail to Harriet Miers, the White House counsel. Sampson sent the e-mail four months after the 2004 elections, and after McKay decided not to bring charges against the Democratic Party, or people affiliated with it, in Washington State, in the wake of a narrow victory by Christine Gregoire, the Democratic candidate, in the governor’s race. The contest, which was resolved after two recounts, prompted a lawsuit by the state Republican Party alleging widespread voting irregularities.

Several of the fired U.S. Attorneys had declined to prosecute Democrats in electoral disputes. Many Democrats have suggested that the prosecutors were dismissed by Gonzales and the Bush White House in retaliation for failing to advance Republican political objectives. But, in a deposition before the House Judiciary Committee in April, Sampson offered another explanation for McKay’s dismissal. He said that McKay might have been fired because he had been too aggressive in his advocacy of the investigation of Tom Wales’s murder. Sampson testified that McKay had approached Larry Thompson, then the Deputy Attorney General, and demanded that he “take some action” on the investigation, and that subsequently there had been tension between the two men. (“I don’t remember being mad at John McKay,” Thompson told me. “We always had to do balancing acts about how to allocate resources, but I never thought John acted inappropriately in the Wales case.” McKay said, “Larry Thompson was extremely supportive of the Wales investigation, and of me personally. I’m unaware of there having been any criticism.”)

Sampson’s testimony caused a sensation in Seattle. “The idea that I was pushing too hard to investigate the assassination of a federal prosecutor—it’s mind-numbing,” McKay told reporters at the time. “If it’s true, it’s just immoral, and if it’s false, then the idea that they would use the death of Tom Wales to cover up what they did is just unconscionable.” After news of Sampson’s statements broke, six Democratic congressmen from Washington State wrote to Glenn A. Fine, the inspector general of the Justice Department, who had begun an inquiry into the firings, asking that he investigate whether “Mr. McKay’s removal may have been related to his zealous advocacy for increased Justice Department attention to the murder of Tom Wales.”

The question of why McKay and the other U.S. Attorneys were fired remains unanswered. (Harriet Miers has been subpoenaed to answer questions on the subject before the House Judiciary Committee, but she has refused to appear, citing executive privilege. A court fight about the matter seems likely.) The notion that McKay was fired for failing to prosecute Democrats is plausible. But the passion that McKay brought to the Wales case may have played a part, too.

Quotes of the Day

"Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art."-- Miguel de Cervantes (1547 - 1616) Spanish novelist

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."-- George Washington

"A true friend stabs you in the front."-- Oscar Wilde

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."-- Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dubya and Dick Play Whack Iraq

Hot Links

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