Friday, December 29, 2006

Still Stuck With Stupid

We the People should divorce him too, Laura...

Hot Links

Hat tip to Sheryl Ohio Majority Radio

On December 23, 2006, the Columbus Dispatch reported that WTPG-1230am Progressive Radio would be changing formats on Monday, January 9th.

Instead of Stephanie Miller, Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes and Rachel Maddow, Columbus will be subjected to the likes of Jim Quinn, Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage. The station will get new call letters, WYTS and will be promoted as "the Talk Station in Central Ohio"Here in Ohio, we ARE the majority.

In Ohio in 2006 almost 55% of the votes cast for statewide and legislative races were cast for Democrats. In Central Ohio that number was over 58%. And while Ohio turns blue, Clear Channel decides that they "cannot sell" progressive radio here. They've pulled out of Cincinnati and are leaving in Columbus. We have to show that we want progressive radio in Columbus and other places in Ohio.

We ask all visitors to this site to sign the petition and state why they believe progressive radio is important in Ohio. Show radio station owners and local advertisers that you are willing to take a stand to protect progressive radio in Ohio.

Voice of America stamp, issued August 1, 1967

Columbus Dispatch Incumbent wants loss thrown out FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT

Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matthew Damschroder called Squire’s allegations unfounded and said she provided no documentation to back her argument.

"There were no irregularities in this election," he said.

Squire’s complaint estimates that there were 10,608 more votes cast on Nov. 7 than signatures in precinct poll books. Also, she argues, machines didn’t record votes for 3,124 voters.

That, along with more than 2,500 rejected provisional ballots, is more than enough to cast doubt on the results, according to her complaint.

We all know the DRE voting machines do not provide reliable results. The machines Ohio bought and paid for are not certified for use-only "provisionally certified".

Prissy sees Matt Damschroder didn't mention he accepted a $10,000 check while on the BOE clock- for the republican party. The money was from ES&S-but we aren't supposed to be concerned...Time to come clean Matthew, as this investigation showed the number of irregularities to be outrageous by any standard. (Matt doesn't always tell the truth) Prissy wonders if Matt would be OK with his bank having a 25% rate of error.

Banks have a transaction failure rate of one in ten thousand. Ohioans voting on DRE's is an unacceptable, unauditable mess. More votes than voters? It might appear that way, ah well, that is a matter for the courts to decide.

Hey Matt, how about less snacking and more reading up on those DRE touch screens voting systems. The vote you save could be your own...

Alternet Most Outrageous Right Wing Comments of 2006-Media Matters

How extreme were conservative commentators in their remarks this year? How about calls to nuke the Middle East and an allegation that a "gay … mafia" used the congressional page program as its own "personal preserve." Right-wing rhetoric documented by Media Matters for America included the nonsensical (including Rush Limbaugh's claim that America's "obesity crisis" is caused by, among other things, our failure to "teach [the poor] how to butcher a -- slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter"), the offensive (such as right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel's question about "Barack Hussein Obama": Is he "a man we want as president when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?"), and the simply bizarre (such as William A. Donohue's claim that some Hollywood stars would "sodomize their own mother in a movie"). Since there were so many outrageous statements, we included a list of honorable mentions along with the top 11, which, if not for Ann Coulter, we might have limited to 10.

Black Anthem News Bush Notes Progress on Iraq Plan, Praises Troops, Families

Iraq, therefore, "is an important part of the war on terror," the president said.

Bush said he's making good progress formulating a new strategy that will help the United States and its allies achieve desired goals in Iraq.

The commander in chief praised the thousands of men and women in the U.S. military who are deployed far from home during the holidays to defend America.

"There's nobody more important in this global war on terror than the men and women who wear the uniform and their families," Bush said. "As we head into a new year, my thoughts are with them. My thoughts are with the families who have just gone through a holiday season with their loved ones overseas."

Dubya doesn't mean military families like Prissys'- he means the kind of military families in the article below. The ones who don't know or cannot absorb the facts of Dubya's war upon Iraq. Because if they did, no organization like "Move America Forward" would manipulate them so.

CNN Parents of slain U.S. soldiers travel to Iraq

The trip cost between $5,000 and $7,000 per person, but donations came pouring in from across the country, including checks from soldiers. The seven were told to keep their travel plans hidden from the Department of Defense and even their own children.

Robert Dixon, the organization's director, said that because the Kurdistan Regional Government was hosting the group, there was no reason to clue the Defense Department in on their travels. He told them to keep tightlipped because "we didn't want to endanger anybody by telling people."

The department did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The group left in early November for Amman, Jordan, where they spent a day before arriving in Iraq. A few shell-shocked security guards staying at a hotel begged Joe Johnson to rethink their trip into a war zone.

Shell-shocked? In 2006? How about advanced human beings realizing the misery of war and how cheap life and law becomes. There was no war there, until we arrived.

One Gold Star mom, continuing to take it on the chin for everyone else Sheehan, Four Other Protesters Arrested

McLennan County sheriff’s deputies and Department of Public Safety troopers arrested anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and four other protesters Thursday as President Bush met with top advisers to discuss Iraq war strategy at his Central Texas ranch.

The arrests occurred at a barricade in the area of the president’s ranch.

The five were taken to the Crawford Police Department and a van was dispatched to transport them to the McLennan County Jail.

They were charged with obstructing a highway or other passageway, which is a Class B misdemeanor.

Irish Times Move to extend full code on bullying to public service

The survey, commissioned by the Government Taskforce on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying, will show that 8 per cent of workers say they have problems at work, compared with 7 per cent of employees who said they were victims of bullying in the last such survey carried out in 2001.

The results come as The Irish Times has learned that moves are under way to bring public service workers under the full remit of the Government's workplace anti-bullying code of practice for the first time due to concern at the high number of bullying complaints from the public sector, notably in hospitals and schools.

American bully

CBS 7 Cops Charged In Post-Katrina Shootings

The victims were Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally retarded man, and James Barsett, 19. The coroner said Madison was shot seven times, with five wounds in the back.

CBS Strip-Searched Muslim Woman Gets Apology

Safana Jawad, 45, a Spanish citizen who was born in Iraq, was detained on April 11 because of a suspected tie to a suspicious person, authorities said. She was held for two days before being deported to England.

Jawad was traveling to Clearwater to visit her 16-year-old son, who lived with her ex-husband, Ahmad Maki Kubba. Kubba, an Iraqi exile and American citizen for 27 years, was praised last year by Gov. Jeb. Bush for organizing a group to vote in Iraq's election.

WaPo Immigrants' Jobs Vanish With Housing Slowdown

Then sometime last year, Guzman said, the rush began to go bust, little by little, month by month. The contractors stopped hiring. The phone stopped ringing. Washington, it seemed, had all the houses it could hold .

So Guzman got a plane ticket. On Jan. 20, he is taking his family back to El Salvador, with plans to open an auto repair shop with the money he has saved. "There's no work here anymore," he said, having spent the past month unemployed. "And when there's no work, it's time for Latinos to go back to the countries where they came from."

You know the economy is getting bad when illegal immigrants want no part of it...

BBC Hunt for CIA 'black site' in Poland

Poland and Romania have been named by investigators as hosting such sites.

The claims are denied by both governments.

After a week of meetings in smoky Warsaw restaurants and coffee bars with Polish intelligence sources, airport workers and journalists, I obtained what I had been looking for, and something that nobody in authority wanted to reveal, the flight log of planes landing at Szymany airport.

They confirmed my eyewitness's account - that a well-known CIA Gulfstream plane, the N379P, had made several landings at the airport in 2003.

See below:

BBC flashback 7 June 2006 Secret CIA jail claims rejected

Poland and Romania rejected the fresh claims that they hosted the prisons, while the UK, named as a CIA stopover, said the report contained nothing new.

The report was prepared by a Swiss senator for the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights watchdog.

Under the CIA policy of rendition, prisoners are moved to third countries for interrogation. There have been allegations some were tortured.

Authorities in several European countries actively participated with the CIA in these unlawful activities

The US admits to picking up terrorism suspects but denies sending them to nations to face torture.

International Herald Tribune Earthquake knocks Asia back to phone age, and beyond

A quake disrupted services unevenly in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, and a ripple effect was felt in other parts of the world.

LA Times Doctors seek to sue Blue Cross

Blue Cross' parent, WellPoint Inc. of Indianapolis, declined to comment Tuesday. In the past, the company has said that it follows the law and that it cancels a small portion of its individual policies.

The medical association, which represents more than 30,000 physicians, calls the cancellations illegal, unfair and routine. The organization also says the cancellations hurt patients, physicians and hospitals as well as taxpayers, who end up footing the bill for medical care for patients who lose private coverage.

The cancellations being challenged are of policies that individuals buy because they are self-employed or work for employers that do not provide medical benefits.

"If the patients aren't getting the insurance they paid for, then we have to stand with them," said Karen Nikos, a spokeswoman for the medical association in Sacramento.

Way to go, docs!

APNews Vatican Warns Retired Paraguayan Bishop

"In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask him to seriously reflect about his behavior," the Vatican warning read.

It added that a run for the presidency "would be clearly against the serious responsibility of a bishop ... Canonic Law prohibits priests from participating in political parties or labor unions."

Lugo, 55, was appointed bishop of the impoverished northern San Pedro diocese by Pope John Paul II in 1994, but 10 years later he was ordered to retire. No reasons were announced.

Lugo did not immediately comment on the Vatican's warning. On Monday, he said Pope Benedict XVI "can either accept my decision or punish me. But I am in politics already."

Jurist US soldier who disputed Iraq war legality released early from military prison

Former US Army Sergeant Ricky Clousing [advocacy website; JURIST news archive], a paratrooper and interpreter who disputed the legality of the war in Iraq, was released Saturday from a military prison where he was serving a three-month sentence after pleading guilty [JURIST report] to going absent without leave for 14 months. Clousing was released 15 days early for good conduct and is headed home to Washington state.

Ricky was sentenced to 11 months with all but 3 it could have been worse. He was right, the war is illegal according to the United States code of Military Justice...glad to see the military didn't go overboard on this case.

Best of luck to Ricky and his supportive parents- they've raised a good kid. How can anyone say having a conscience is a bad thing? Look at all the soldiers we have lost, yet this president goes to bed by 9:30 pm. No rest for the wicked? seems like it was the wicked who invented the phrase for the rest of us.

Bloomberg Dollar Slides; U.A.E. Says Selling U.S. Currency, Buying Euros

`The U.A.E.'s decision to relocate its reserves is part of a theme that means that U.S. dollar holdings in global currency reserves are decreasing,'' said Hans Guenter Redeker, head of currency strategy in London at BNP Paribas SA. ``The dollar is going to lose support as we see Fed rate cuts next year.''

The dollar fell to 118.63 yen at 7:17 a.m. in New York, from 119.15 late yesterday. The currency slid to $1.3158 versus the euro, from $1.3098. The euro traded at 156.09 yen, from 156.04, after touching a record 156.43 on Dec. 21. The dollar has risen 0.8 percent against the Japanese currency this year.

The U.A.E. will switch 8 percent of its reserves from dollars into euros before September, Sultan Bin Nasser al-Suwaidi said in a Dec. 24 interview in Abu Dhabi. The U.A.E. has started ``in a limited way'' to sell its dollar reserves, he said.

The Gulf state is among oil exporters including Iran, Venezuela and Indonesia that are looking to shift their currency reserves into euros or price their oil products in the 12-nation currency.

Perhaps this will help the UAE buy US debt from China?

J-PostHitler's carmaker

During the late 1930s, Hitler's persecution of Jews was building to a frenzy even as fears of a war escalated. Nevertheless, General Motors' German automotive subsidiary, Opel, remained a loyal corporate citizen of the Third Reich - content to obediently do the Nazi regime's bidding, and unstintingly supporting Hitler's program on many fronts. These included economic and employment recovery, anti-Jewish persecution, war preparedness and domestic propaganda. In return, Opel prospered.

Hitler was pleased - very pleased. In 1938, just months after the Nazis' annexation of Austria, James D. Mooney, head of GM's overseas operations, received the German Eagle with Cross, the highest medal Hitler awarded to foreign commercial collaborators and supporters.

Quotes of the Day

What luck for rulers that men do not think.-- Adolf Hitler

The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.--C. L. De Montesquieu

If you try to be different on purpose you will end up being the same, if you try to just be yourself and follow your own nature you will stand out from all the rest.--Tomman

First rule of leadership: everything is your fault.--unknown

Some leaders are born women.--Unknown

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Brighter 2007 Just Around the Corner

The US Capital Christmas tree in 2005

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

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

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

Hot Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Economist It’s still down to George Bush

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

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

Houston Chronicle Records detail missing TSA badges, uniforms

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

More of Dubya's security standards working...

NYT Rush at End, but Holiday Sales Fall Short

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

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

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

What the troops need for Christmas

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our soldiers are not like these, Dubya.

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

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

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

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

CNET Seeking start-ups for Boeing's border patrol

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gonzo, with nothing to brag about

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes of the Day

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Living In Zen

Some enlightenment would be good in American politics

Dearest Readers, the ongoing investigation continues...Yikes now Prissy knows what Fitz really means when he tells us the investigation will be over when its complete! Prissy likes her cup of evidence to runneth over.

Looking forward to sharing the case with readers when it is made public. Blogging will be short today, Prissy will be putting on her gumshoes a little later...

Remember Nancy Drew?

Here's to hoping you and your families have a lovely holiday season. Prissy plans to post again on Christmas Day.

Hot Links

Courant Dodd Seeks Call-Back Exemptions For Unfit Soldiers

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd is asking newly appointed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to ensure that soldiers debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses are not sent back into combat.

"If experienced VA doctors diagnose military personnel with incapacitating disabilities, such as severe PTSD, it would seem counter to our national security interests for the military services to somehow disregard these evaluations for less thorough assessments performed by military officials," Dodd wrote in a letter Tuesday to Gates. "It seems unacceptable and perhaps even reckless to ask our servicemen and women to entrust their lives to soldiers deemed mentally unfit by medical professionals."

Dodd, D-Conn., said he was troubled by recent reports that some Connecticut veterans who had left active duty and had been deemed disabled with PTSD were being recalled for repeat deployments to Iraq. The Courant featured several of those soldiers in a recent story.

Gee maybe Senator Dodd does support the troops. Now do something to bring them home, Senator.

From MSNBC about the CIA Leak case. Judge Walton admonishes Joseph Wilson's attorney Melonie Sloan:

As counsel should well understand, making disparaging 1 comments in a television interview about a criminal defendant in a highly publicized case on the eve of trial could cause potential members of the jury pool to engender negative attitudes about the defendant. See Hardball with Chris Matthews, Dec. 20, 2006, available at 2006 WLNR 22257429. And even more disturbing is counsel’s uninformed opinion that there is sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Libby of the charges on which he will be tried. Id. Such comments by a member of the Bar, and especially someone who was a former prosecutor, is not only shocking but borders on unethical conduct. Counsel should have known that the comments she made were improper, but if she did not, she does now. Counsel is therefore on notice that any similar comments will not be tolerated.

It is with all due respect Judge Walton, that anyone with a reading ability above the 9th grade knows Libby's goose is cooked! Prissy doesn't see what the big deal is for Ms. Sloan stating her opinion.

Uninformed? Why you said yourself she is a former prosecutor.

Rest assured special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald didn't tell anyone anything.

AND Network Joseph Wilson Challenges Subpoena In Libby CIA Leak Case

Former ambassador Joseph Wilson asked a federal judge Wednesday not to force him to testify in the CIA leak case and accused former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of trying to harass him on the witness stand. Libby, who faces perjury and obstruction charges, subpoenaed Wilson as a defense witness this month. Libby's attorney, William Jeffress, said in court Tuesday that was a precautionary move and he did not expect to put Wilson on the stand. Libby is accused of lying to investigators about his conversations with reporters regarding Wilson's wife, outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. Plame and Wilson have sued Libby and other Bush administration officials, accusing them of plotting to leak Plame's identity as retribution for Wilson's criticism of prewar intelligence on Iraq.

The Next Hurrah Aspen Trees and Novakula by emptywheel

Anyway, here is the waiver that Libby eventually signed:

I request any member of the media with whom I may have communicated regarding the subject matters under investigation to fully disclose all such communications to federal law enforcement authorities. In particular, I request that no member of the media assert any privilege or refuse to answer any questions from federal law enforcement authorities on my behalf or for my benefit in connection with the subject matters under investigation.

...where "subject matters under investigation" are restricted to: the possible disclosure to unauthorized persons of classified information in connection with Ambassador Joseph Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and matters relating thereto.

Again, this means that if Novak claims to have spoken to Libby solely about, say, the Frances Fragos Townsend smear, then Libby's waiver would not cover the conversation and--at least according to Novak's own version, Novak would have refused to answer questions because they "touched on matters beyond the CIA leak case." But Libby's own lawyers claim that Novak testified.

Which is it, Novak? Did you testify about a Plame conversation with Libby? Did you lie in your coming-clean-but-not-really column with regards to questions not dealing with Plame and testify that Libby had seeded your smear column attacking Townsend? FWIW, I emailed Novak and asked for some clarification about his conversation with Libby, but received no response.

One of the many contradictions of this case which can only be sorted out in court. If Libby is banking on his witnesses he is really playing fast and loose. They all have serious credibility problems and Prissy looks forward to Fitz taking them to task.

Happy Birthday, Special prosecutor;-)

Wired Bloggers Shrink the Planet

Global Voices was launched in 2004 as a way to get people talking to one another across cultural and lingual divides. A project of The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School -- and the brainchild of Berkman fellows Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon -- Global Voices began as a kind of Reader's Digest of noteworthy or interesting blogs from non-Western countries.

Today, the Global Voices website has grown to a million visitors a month, and is rated on blog search and analysis company Technorati as the 207th most popular blog by inbound links, in a field of around 55 million. Geographically distributed editors spend their days rounding up the most important posts from their parts of the world and presenting them through the site, so visitors can easily zoom in on what's happening in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba or the Congo.

CNN Sandy Berger stashed classified documents under trailer

Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the September 11 commission. Berger was authorized as the Clinton administration's representative to make sure the commission got the correct classified materials.

Berger's lawyer, Lanny Breuer, said in a statement that the contents of all the documents exist today and were made available to the commission.

But Rep. Tom Davis, R-Virginia, outgoing chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said he's not convinced that the Archives can account for all the documents taken by Berger. Davis said working papers of National Security Council staff members are not inventoried by the Archives.

"There is absolutely no way to determine if Berger swiped any of these original documents. Consequently, there is no way to ever know if the 9/11 Commission received all required materials," Davis said.

It's all good, Sandy will have access to classified materials again in 2007. He was only barred for three years. Yet a person who isn't a thief cannot get clearance if they have a stint of bad credit.

International Herald Tribune U.S. to declassify secrets aged 25 and older

Secret documents 25 years old or older will lose their classified status without so much as the stroke of a pen, unless agencies have sought exemptions on the ground that the material remains secret.

Historians say the deadline, created in the Clinton administration but enforced, to the surprise of some scholars, by the secrecy-prone Bush administration, has had huge effects on public access, despite the large numbers of intelligence documents that have been exempted.

And every year from now on, millions of additional documents will be automatically declassified as they reach the 25-year limit, reversing the traditional practice of releasing just what scholars request.

Many historians had expected President George W. Bush to scrap the deadline. His administration has overseen the reclassification of many historical files and restricted access to presidential papers of past administrations, as well as contemporary records.

Telu portal Indian American whistleblower withdraws complaint against n-plant

New York, Dec 21 (IANS) An Indian American nuclear plant worker who lost his job after complaining about serious security loop holes at a nuclear plant in Connecticut has withdrawn his complaint.

In 2005, Sham Mehta complained to three different agencies that the intruder alarm system at the Millstone nuclear power plant in Connecticut was routinely turned off because of false alarms.

Soon after his complaint the management of the nuclear facility terminated Mehta's job, according to the online edition of News Day newspaper.

However, this week Mehta withdrew his complaint after reaching a settlement with the company. The settlement has been kept confidential

Hat tip to justice blogger ChimpCoulter. Cute flash game Decorate the Bush official you want investigated/indicted for Fitzmas

CBS Senior Bushes Lend Hand To Salvation Army

Former President George H.W. Bush and wife, Barbara, rang bells for the Salvation Army outside a local furniture store Monday, hoping to promote volunteerism and give a lift to the fundraising effort in the final week before Christmas.

The Salvation Army is coming off a record-breaking year in 2005 for its 115-year-old Red Kettle Campaign, raising $111 million in pocket change, small and large bills and the occasional diamond ring or gold tooth.

However, as of late last week, two of the Salvation Army's four U.S. regions reported donations off as much as 11 percent from a year ago — in large part because of a lack of volunteer bell ringers.

And the Salvation Army enlisted some of the people who caused the reason people can't give? One readers comment: For whom the bell tolls... It tolls for Thee.

Jerusalem Post This must end before it's like Iraq'

"Nothing justifies this ruthless war," said bookstore owner Khaled Shaker. "Most people here are disappointed with Hamas and Fatah. This war plays into the hands of Israel, whose leaders must be laughing at us now. We demand an end to the fighting before Palestine becomes a second Iraq."

We can all agree that nothing justifies a ruthless war upon innocent people.

Vanity Fair Don't Ask … Don't E-mail

The half-open closet in which Mark Foley spent his life was a recipe for disaster, say those few who tried to intervene. Investigating Foley's pre-teen seduction by a priest, the "ladies' man" mask he wore in Palm Beach society, and his love-hate relationship with the gay community, the authors uncover the ambition, delusion, and hypocrisy that corroded both the politician and his party.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, former representative Mark Foley, President Bush, House majority leader John Boehner, and Representative John Shimkus. Everyone knew Mark Foley was gay. Everyone. And everyone who had a stake in his success—party, press, parents, staff, supporters, and pages—conspired for their own purposes to keep the closet half closed.

Quotes of the Day

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.--Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), Sybil, 1845

You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty.--Sacha Guitry(1885 - 1957)

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."--"Discours de la Methode" -- Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)

"Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems."-- Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

"I would have made a good Pope."-- Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

Prissy couldn't resist

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bringing the Clean Up Crew to Ohio Politics

Not ready for French fries, yet they still fantasize of having a French maid

Dearest Readers, blogging should be more regular this week. The investigation Prissy was working on has been wrapped up, with a final report being readied.

If the case ends up in court, Prissy will post the filing here- as it will be big news here in Columbus...and could easily have ramifications on a national level regarding our election systems.

Rest assured, everything possible was done to ensure integrity in the vote and election process.

Yesterday there was a lovely event at the Columbus Athletic Club, with Ohio's new Governor-elect Ted Strickland.

Let Prissy be the first to tell you, our Ted could go all the way-once he is done fixing Ohio.Inside the lobby of the Columbus Athletic Club.

Ted let everyone know last night-"Have fun, and be prepared to get back to work to reclaim Ohio January 1st." You've got it, Governor! Prissy can't wait to get started.Ted, Ohioans are ready for change. We know the state needs a good scrubbing

Hot Links

From the desk of Patrick J Fitzgerald 24 - 7 - 365.2425

Harder working than Santa's elves, the dedicated team of professionals working in the field and at the J. Edgar Hoover - FBI Building 'round the clock (even on Christmas and Leap Day) investigating graft and corruption (my pet peeve) and locking up evildoers - an endless and often thankless task. Talk about results...

From Project on Goverment Oversight (POGO) and Patrick Fitzgerald...two of Prissy's favorite crime fighters.

CS Monitor Could Iran help the US stabilize Iraq?

Feeling vulnerable, Iran sent an unprecedented secret letter to the White House, offering to talk about everything from its controversial nuclear program to support for Hizbullah and Hamas militants.

But the Bush team dismissed the offer, and even scolded the Swiss ambassador in Tehran at the time for passing the message on. Today, with the US bogged down in Iraq and looking for a facesaving way out, it is the Iranians who want to define the terms of any cooperation.

They often cite Afghanistan in 2001, when Iran helped the US defeat the Taliban and push out Al Qaeda with extensive intelligence and diplomatic aid, only to be labeled part of the "axis of evil" weeks later.

"It's a game. We think the US wants to use Iranian power to solve their problem in Iraq before the presidential election in 2008," says Mr. Mohebian. "After victory ... then it will be back to the old 'axis of evil.'

Media Info Public Records Bill, Backed by Papers, Passes in Ohio

A bill that mandates public-records training for elected officials and stiffens penalties for withholding records has cleared the Ohio Legislature this week.

The bill also would increase the likelihood that those denied records will get their attorney's fees paid.

Times of India Saddam-era soldiers invited to join army

"The national unity government will pay pensions for those who are not reintegrated," added the premier, who has presented the broad-based talks as a fresh opportunity to end Iraq's vicious sectarian bloodletting.

Before the conference began, delegates said that, for the first time, the talks would include former members of Saddam's Baath party and representatives of some of the armed groups fighting the US forces.

Dubya, remind Prissy again why you went in there? One good reason will be sufficient...

LA Times Data mining won't catch terrorists

Many business travelers prefer to sit in an aisle seat. Many also prefer to sit near the front of the plane so they may be among the first off when the plane lands.

Those also happen to be seats that might be desirable for terrorists bent on hijacking an airplane.

That common seat preference shared by business fliers and violent extremists could be earning innocent passengers additional scrutiny as they cross the U.S. border.

Last month, in a little-noticed filing buried deep in the Federal Register and first reported by the Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security revealed that for several years, it had been using a so-called Automated Targeting System to screen passengers entering and leaving the United States


And that's why ATS will have to go away, it targets airlines best customers. Duh

Centcom tells tall tales for Dubya Elections Represented Hope for Iraqis

The ballot for the Dec. 15, 2005, election was incredibly complicated, with hundreds of candidates running for office. Some were affiliated with nascent political parties, others ran on their own. Some parties were affiliated with a particular sect or tribe. Others cut across ethnic and religious boundaries.

Election Day (2005) in Iraq was also a triumph for the Iraqi security forces. "All the time and money you have spent training the Iraqi army, you harvest it today," Iraqi army Maj. Gen. Mobdir Hatim Hothya al-Delemy told then-3rd Infantry Division Commander U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Webster following a tour of polling places that day.

Middle East Times Baghdad kidnapping sows terror as Blair backs Iraq PM

The latest in a series of mass kidnappings spread terror in Baghdad Sunday as British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a surprise visit to support his embattled Iraqi counterpart Nuri Al Maliki.

More than 25 aid workers were hauled off at gunpoint from a Baghdad office of the Iraqi Red Crescent aid agency by a gang of 50 gunmen sporting police uniforms, the second such mass abduction in Baghdad in three days.

Yet our delusional Bush administration sees "progress". Perhaps it depends on ones view of "unnecessary deaths."

MSNBC Witnesses in Libby trial all expected to testify

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has signaled that none of the government witnesses he intends to call will refuse to testify in the upcoming trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Fitzgerald did not say if Cheney or other top White House officials were on his witness list. But, he says, that none of the proposed witnesses intend to assert executive privilege, in an attempt to exclude their testimony.

The vice president himself has said in a CNN interview in June, "I may be called as a witness."

He sure will be up there on the witness stand. Prissy hopes his testimony is public, its worth going to DC to blog live! Get him, Fitz...

The Economist Blair's rotten week

Worse, in the end, may be government efforts to deflect attention away from the two pieces of unwelcome news this week. Both the questioning of Mr Blair, and the government announcement that it was bowing to Saudi pressure over the corruption inquiry, took place on the same day that a much-awaited report was published into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Whether or not this was intentional, it looks as if the government was trying to bury bad news on a day when Britain’s aggressive media might have been distracted. For all his efforts to leave his mark on Britain and the world, he risks being remembered most for formidable efforts to “spin” the news.

Hat tip to Fitz. Here's what Prissy will be wearing when "Fitzmas" finally arrives...

Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation Before the Senate Judiciary Committee December 6, 2006

Over the last two years, the FBI has convicted more than 1,060 government employees involved in corrupt activities, to include 177 federal officials, 158 state officials, 360 local officials, and more than 365 police officers. In FY 2005 alone, the Public Corruption Program saw a 25% increase in public corruption cases investigated, resulting in 890 indictments, 759 convictions, and 2,118 cases still pending. There are 622 agents currently working public corruption matters, an increase of 264 since 2002.

TPM Muckraker Roll Call Provides Scandal Scorecard of 19 members investigated of the 109th Congress

More to follow...

Rocky Mountain News The Suit that Jack Built one reporters tale

I found Sabatini at the impressive James Clothiers boutique at Tysons Galleria in McLean, Va. He still had those suits and the expense that came with them.

Sabatini beamed as I walked through the door. He said I was built just like big Jack. A quick fitting confirmed it.

I bought two double-breasted suits in different shades of pinstripes and a spiffy blue blazer.

On the lining of one jacket, embroidered in bright gold script, is the name "Jack Abramoff."

Chicago CBS2Reid: Ailing Senator Shows Some Progress

Sen. Tim Johnson has shown significant improvement after brain surgery and doctors say "everything is going to be just fine," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Sunday.

Yet when asked whether the 59-year-old South Dakota Democrat was conscious, Reid said in a television interview: "I'm not a doctor. I have heard and talked to his family. You should talk to them. It's not appropriate to talk to me about that."

Reid, who has visited Johnson frequently after the surgery Wednesday following a brain hemorrhage, said "he's doing very well. ... His improvement has been significant."

The governor of South Dakota will have a fight on his hands if he attempts to fill the democrat senators spot.

Reuters Ahmadinejad's allies struggle in Iran elections

Friday's twin elections for the clerical Assembly of Experts and local councils, the first nationwide vote since Ahmadinejad took office in 2005, will not directly impact policy.

But turnout of around 60 percent and Ahmadinejad's close identification with some candidates, particularly in Tehran, suggested a shift toward more moderate policies and away from the president's ultra-conservative line.

Although not Iran's most powerful figure, Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel and anti-Western statements alarm the West, which fears Iran is seeking an atomic bomb despite Tehran's denials.

"The results show that voters have learned from the past and concluded that we need to support ... moderate figures," the daily Kargozaran said in an editorial.

MSN Japan Japanese, US nuclear envoys head to Beijing for six-way North Korea talks

However, both Washington and Pyongyang have demanded concessions from each other while offering little in return.

The U.S. says North Korea must take concrete steps toward dismantling its nuclear arsenal, but the North has said the U.S. must first abolish its hostile stance toward Pyongyang and lift financial sanctions.

"I hope they come ready to make some progress, because we need progress," Hill told reporters in Tokyo early Sunday, before he left for Beijing.

"The issue is implementing the September (2005) statement," Hill said, referring to the North's agreement to abandon its nuclear weapons program in exchange for security guarantees and aid. "The question is what part of the September statement are they prepared to move on?"

Quotes of the Day

The real distinction is between those who adapt their purposes to reality and those who seek to mold reality in the light of their purposes.--Henry Kissinger (1923 - )

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.--Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Humankind cannot stand very much reality.--T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.--Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964), Taken Care Of ,1965

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ohio Vote SNAFU While Media Still Shills for Bush's War

Dearest Readers, Prissy has been so busy with investigation work, there has been no time to blog this week. Next week will be hectic too! Prissy will keep you updated on the investigation, giving more details when its over. You know its that "ongoing investigation" thing...Board of Elections officials are nervous enough. But why?

Cannot say for sure, but preliminary investigation results show voter signature numbers not matching the machine results...hmm. Golly Gee, how could we have more votes than voter signatures?

Don't be fooled by the so-called "recounts". Example: You are given a register tape of numbers and told to see if you come up with the same results when you add them up. A "recount" is meaningless if the numbers Prissy gives you add, are bogus numbers to begin with...

The dems may have turned Ohio blue, however we are finding there was a possible effort made to steal votes for the republican seems the "mistakes" are always in favor of the republicans- statistically impossible. No question that the touch screen machines are worth less than a dimestore calculator and Ohio should ask ES&S for their money back.

Search "Hacking Democracy" on this site to see the HBO Special on this subject.

Hot Links

How much lobbying is John Ashcroft doing these days? Find out here- Open Secrets new search for lobbyists Lobbying Database

You can use the options below to search through our database in four ways: search by name for a company, lobbying firm or individual lobbyist; search for the total spending by a particular industry; search for the total spending by lobbyists on a specific issue; or view the amount spent to lobby a particular government agency

WaPo still shilling for Dubya Like the Nation, Military Families Divided on Iraq

Nancy Hecker hasn't read the Iraq Study Group's report. She doesn't need to. She knows her son, Army Maj. William F. Hecker III, died at 37 for a just cause, no matter what the antiwar crowd thinks.

If she "can stand firm in support of our country and the mission, is it too much to ask the rest of the country to do so as well?" she asked.

Command Sgt. Major Jeff Krausse, 51, of the Washington National Guard, said the country never should have invaded Iraq. He spent a year there, ending in 2005. About three weeks after he got home, his daughter, Army 1st Lt. Jaime Campbell, 25, died when the helicopter she was co-piloting crashed in northern Iraq.

Asked about the war, Krausse said: "First of all, I believe that we were lied to." He denounced the "propaganda" about weapons of mass destruction that justified the invasion and described the war now as a "no-win situation" that is "costing the taxpayers billions of dollars."

Nancy wants all military families to feel her pain. Her son died for this illegal war, so we should be willing to sacrifice too. Prissy thinks it is a coping method for those who prefer to shut out the facts. No question Nancy deserves our pity.

However, most military families and the public are NOT divided on this issue-the majority want our soldiers home. As usual, the WP misleads the public. Sane people who do not make their fortunes on this war, are well aware it is a dead-end.

Baker's report on Iraq isn't telling anything new. Nor will Bush follow any suggested change of course. He has said he will not pull out of Iraq while he is "president" even if down-trodden wife Laura and his dog Barney are the only ones left supporting his decision. Just one more reason he is utterly incompetent.

Washington Post have given cause to have the pants sued off of them for their part in our soldiers deaths and injuries. Maybe Iraqis' should sue them too. After all, they lied when they could have printed the truth, well before the war ever began...

Reuters Saddam's nephew escapes prison with guard's help

Ayman al-Sabawi, the son of Saddam's half brother, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti, escaped from Badoush prison northwest of the northern city of Mosul at 4 p.m. (13:00 GMT), a senior police officer told Reuters.

Brigadier Mohammad al-Waqaa, the head of the Mosul police operation room, said the nightwatch commander had helped Sabawi to escape. It was unclear how they made their getaway.

Sabawi's father was head of the Iraqi secret service in 1991 and head of the General Security Directorate from 1991 to 1996. After Saddam's overthrow in 2003, Washington offered a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture or death.

It is believed that Syria turned over Sabawi's father, who had been in hiding, to the Iraqi authorities in February 2005


The other day, Brad commented that money already spent is not an adequate reason to keep unverifiable electronic voting machines in use. Of course, unverifiable systems should not be kept in place simply because they are already bought and paid for. The point of my legislation is not to certify or decertify specific designs of voting systems, but to require that voters use systems that are verifiable, or as I prefer to say, auditable. (In New Jersey, all voting machines will be rendered independently auditable by 2008 in accordance with state law modeled on H.R. 550.) Auditability should be mandated, period. Cost is not the issue.

I am proud of the fact that I have been trying for years to require voter-verified paper ballots, and I will continue to work to make them a federal requirement. The fact that my legislation does not outlaw the use of electronic machines does not mean that I am against paper-ballot-based voting or that I am in favor of touch-screen machines. In fact, my legislation intentionally avoids dictating technology except for requiring a voter-verified paper ballot. If states and localities choose paper-ballot-based voting, and they do so while still protecting accessibility and privacy for disabled voters, then they have my support.

As HR550 is currently being re-written for re-introduction in the new Congress --- and in fact, we've been in touch with Holt's office on a number of occasions to discuss our concerns, the paper "ballot" language being among the most important --- we'd be delighted that Holt's comments, as posted above, seem to be a clear signal that he plans to reintroduce his bill as requiring paper ballots instead of "records" or "trails" in its new iteration.

Until personally witnessing the poll workers, the recount and conducting an audit of voter signature books Prissy would not have fought you to correct the problem machines. But forget those messed up machines; let's stick with paper ballots like 95% of the worlds democracies. The feds know the machines are junk too. See below

Internet News Feds to Toughen E-Voting Standards

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is recommending that the 2007 version of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG) decertify direct record electronic (DRE) machines.

According to an NIST paper to be discussed at a meeting of election regulators at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., on Dec. 4 and 5, DRE vote totals cannot be audited because the machines are not software independent.

In other words, there is no means of verifying vote tallies other than by relying on the software that tabulated the results to begin with.

The machines currently in use are "more vulnerable to undetected programming errors or malicious code," according to the paper.

Iraq Uncovered: The Whole Truth

The War on Iraq(Film 56 min 8 sec), filmmaker Robert Greenwald chronicles the Bush Administration's determined quest to invade Iraq following the events of September 11, 2001. The film deconstructs the administration's case for war through interviews with U.S intelligence and defense officials, foreign service experts, and U.N. weapons inspectors -- including a former CIA director, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and even President Bush's Secretary of the Army. Their analyses and conclusions are sobering, and often disturbing, regardless of one's political affiliations.

UK Guardian After Baker, what next for the war in Iraq?

Perhaps the most important report Bush will receive will be from a military panel headed by General Peter Pace. That report is likely to suggest a range of options dubbed 'Go Strong, Go Long or Go Home'. It could recommend increasing troop numbers in a short-term 'surge' to bring stability to Baghdad and then settling in for the long haul while trying to bring the Iraqi army up to speed.

That is also the thinking behind the National Security Council's research, headed by National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. In a leaked memo Hadley has described bringing additional US combat troops into Baghdad. These reports, unlike the ISG, were commissioned by the White House and are likely to be received more warmly by Bush. 'The Baker report was embraced only by the media. A lot of people on the right see it as defeatist and naive,' Haas said.

Bush's New Way Forward is likely to disappoint many critics, especially in European diplomatic circles. He is most likely to start increasing short-term troop number, not withdrawing them. Just two days before he resigned, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Bush in a memo that he believed US troops should be 'drawn down' to encourage Iraqis to stand up for themselves. The new Pentagon chief, Robert Gates, will in fact pursue the opposite of that policy by ordering an increase in troops in the new year, numbering perhaps 30,000 in order to secure the capital.

Though Baker has warned that the White House should not treat his report 'like a fruit salad' and only choose bits of it, that is exactly what is set to happen. Bush has already shown himself sceptical of its two key suggestions: no US combat brigades in Iraq within 15 months and direct talks with Iran and Syria. The clearest signal of Bush's thinking was provided at his White House press conference with Tony Blair. 'History will look back on our time with unforgiving clarity and demand to know what happened,' he said. 'How come free nations did not act to preserve the peace?'

Not encouraging, as the pretend General Peter Pace is more than willing to lie for his Dubya-the heck with our troops. While Prissy has great respect for our military, alas she has none left for Pace and his kind...What dirt does the cabal have on General Pace to make him heel?

Brasscheck and Google video War and the News Media

An illustrated talk by Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!" detailing how the US news media has been turned into a propaganda tool of the Pentagon and the White House.

Financial Times Iraq bribe prosecutors criticised as ‘lazy’

State prosecutors are dragging their feet investigating corruption in the Iraq oil-for-food programme, according to one of the authors of last year’s United Nations report on one of the world’s largest bribery scandals.

Mark Pieth, a Switzerland-based lawyer who wrote the report with Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, told the Financial Times that prosecutors in many countries were too career-minded, too unwilling to enter new legal terrain “and sometimes simply lazy”.

In spite of high-profile investigations in Australia, France and elsewhere, few cases have led to charges being laid in the 13 months since the report was published. Mr Pieth said he was “astonished” the report’s conclusions had not led to organisational changes in the UN, which was accused of mishandling the oil-for-food programme.

News from Norway Deeply honoured' Peace Prize winner slams war in Iraq

Ole Danbolt Mjøs, leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, made a forceful speech before presenting the award that attempted to explain and justify why the committee awarded the Peace Prize to a banker and a profit-making bank. He claimed that lasting peace can't be created until people find a way to break out of poverty.

Yunus' and Grameen Bank's micro-credit system "is such a way," Mjøs said. His speech was interrupted by applause several times from the roughly 1,000 in attendance at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo's City Hall, not least when he said that Yunus' micro-credit system is an example of the Islamic world teaching something to the western world, and that the system has led to "female empowerment" because fully 97 percent of Grameen Bank's loan customers are women.

Men too often use money they receive on themselves, Mjøs noted, while women tend to use money they receive on their families. Obtaining loans, however small, has nurtured initiative and a sense of responsibility among Grameen Bank's customers, he said.

Helping poor people help themselves can also nurture peace, he claimed, noting that "most wars take place in poor countries," and that a battle against poverty is a battle for peace.

Congressional Quarterly The Root of All Terror

“One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,” he says. “So I don’t know how you measure attractiveness.” The chatter factor, meanwhile, leaves O’Brien entirely in the dark: “I’m not sure what that means.”

The DHS undersecretary for preparedness, George W. Foresman, offered no specific comment on the calculations beyond saying that he only knows of “chatter” as a term used in the intelligence community. Foresman argues that the larger point of the risk assessment is that “the math informs the knowledge. The math is but one component of a process that involves common sense, gut instinct and quantitative measures.”

O’Brien has other criticisms of Vegas’ downgrade that don’t involve a graphing calculator. DHS reported this year that the Las Vegas region was not home to any military bases, though Nellis Air Force Base hugs the city line. O’Brien also says the 2006 assessment made no mention of Hoover Dam — a critical asset — which is a mere 25 miles from the Vegas strip.

None of this inspires much confidence, O’Brien says, in how DHS arrives at its risk assessment. “Holy smokes. If you’re relying on the soundness of a calculation that involves millions of arithmetical activities, who checked the accuracy to insure that some little tweak over here isn’t throwing the whole thing off?”

Oh my, we are supposed to place our national security with these people?

The Australian Bush Sr breaks as one son's troubles recall another's With defeat in the midterm elections, and the verdict of the Iraq Study Group looming, Papa Bush started showing the strain, Sarah Baxter reports

Then the former president began to sob. As he struggled to continue, he said haltingly, "a true measure of a man is how you handle victory and how you handle defeat", before breaking down in tears again.

And...Dov Zakheim, a former senior official at the Pentagon, has a plan to pull US forces back and station them along the borders of Iraq in an attempt to prevent the war spreading to the region.

US forces would not intervene in sectarian conflicts, but some would remain as trainers for Iraq forces and as a strike force against al-Qa'ida in Iraq.

"The basic premise is that we're not going to be able to stop a civil war. At some point these things exhaust themselves but we're not there yet," Zakheim said. "If our number one priority is regional stability, this would provide us a cordon sanitaire."

Prissy thinks both Georges will cry when the indictments roll in

About Dov Zakheim

Liberty Forum Dov Zakheim and the 9/11 Conspiracy

In a document called "Rebuilding America's Defenses" published by The American Enterprise's "Project for a New American Century"(1), SPC International executive, Dov Zakheim, called for a 'Pearl Harbor' type of incident being necessary to foster the frame of mind needed for the American public to support a war in the Middle East that would politically and culturally reshape the region. A respected and established voice in the intelligence community, his views were eagerly accepted, and Dov went from his position at Systems Planning Corporation to become the Comptroller of the Pentagon in May 2001. (2) Tridata, a subsidiary of Systems Planning Corporation, was in charge of the investigation after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.

Systems Planning Corporation, according to their official website, specializes in many areas of defense technology production and manufacture, including a system developed by their Radar Physics Group called the Flight Termination System, or FTS. (3) This is a system used to destroy target drones (craft that would be fired on by test aircraft or weaponry) in the event of malfunction or "misses". This highly sophisticated war-game technology allows the control of several 'drones' from a remote location, on varying frequencies, and has a range of several hundred miles. This technology can be used on many different types of aircraft, including large passenger jets.

According to the SPC website (4), a recent customer at that time was Eglin AFB, located in Florida. Eglin is very near another Air Force base in Florida-MacDill AFB, where Dov Zakheim contracted to send at least 32 Boeing 767 aircraft, as part of the Boeing /Pentagon tanker lease agreement. (5)

As the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, little was mentioned about these strange connections, and the possible motives and proximity of Dov Zakheim and his group. Since there was little physical evidence remaining after the events, investigators were left only with photographic and anecdotal evidence.

Prissy is uncomfortable with "dual citizens" having top secret clearance.

Mad Cow Morning News Voting Company Official Figure Involved in Election Bribe Scandel

Gary L.Greenhalgh, the election company executive responsible for the touch-screen electronic voting machines in Sarasota County which failed to register fully one of every seven votes cast in last week’s hotly-contested race to replace Rep. Katherine Harris, has a checkered past, the MadCowMorningNews has learned exclusively, including involvement in election bribery scandals.

The most recent rocked voters in North Carolina in 1999, and resulted in the supervisor of elections in North Carolina's Mecklenburg County being sent to federal prison for taking over $130,000 in payoffs from MicroVote, the election company where Greenhalgh was national sales director.

More recently, as vice president of Election Software & Services (ES&S), Greenhalgh was instrumental, first success of an all-out push in 2001 by then newly-elected Sarasota County election supervisor Kathy Dent to persuade Sarasota County to pay more than four million dollars for touch-screen electronic voting machines; and then as the project manager overseeing their installation.

Greenhalgh's Ivotronic machines allegedly failed to register over 18,000 votes in Sarasota County last week; his touch screen machines were almost entirely responsible for the massive 13% undercount of votes which marred the closest Congressional contest in the country, which pitted Republican Vern Buchanan against Democrat Christine Jennings.

Artic Beacon Too Good To Be True: Is Daddy Bush's Illegal Financial NWO Empire Collapsing? by Greg Szymanski

But since all empires fall as did Gotti's, Bush's Satanist stranglehold on America may be in jeopardy if what two insiders say is finally acted upon by an American public fed-up with fascism brought on deceptively by the Bush family ever since the National Archives and the U.S. Congressional Record documented former Sen. Prescott Bush, as being a Nazi traitor while financing Hitler.

Although it is hard to imagine Daddy Bush as broke and penniless after stealing trillions of dollars of off shore money as documented in the Leo Wanta story, Wanta's financial agent said his sources said Bush Sr. was actually reduced to tears Tuesday when he learned much of his stolen financial empire, held in Vatican Bank accounts, has been lost through complicated financial transactions related to the unpaid $4.5 trillion owed Ambassador Wanta as well as the American people.

Cottrell would not elaborate on how Bush lost trillions of illegal dollars he has amassed since the end of the Cold War, but said he was told by credible sources he "cried like a baby" when he learned much of his stolen empire had been wiped-out.

"I can't get into specifics but let me tell you this," said Cottrell from his East Coast home Tuesday late Tuesday evening. "We are going to get the $4.5 trillion but this country is headed for the worst financial nightmare since the depression due to the amount of thievery by Bush and the last three presidential administrations."

Does Greg really have the scoop? We'll find out by Feb...

Speaking of Crooks and Liars...GAO: The status quo is unsustainable

C-Span's Friday Washington Journal had on David Walker, U.S. Comptroller of the GAO on to discuss two recent reports, one on recommendations for 110th Congress Targets for Oversight and Global War on Terror Costs (both .pdf. You can watch archives of the show here.

Walker was fairly scathing in his assessment of how things are going for the country fiscally. The GAO has produced videos with their assessment that you can download here. It's a lot of information to take in. When they start to toss out estimates in the TRILLIONS, my mind started to reel.

From the video on America's Fiscal Future: …And even if we're able to constrain discretionary spending for the next ten years to the rate of inflation, which we haven't for a long time, we still face large and growing structural deficits in the years ahead. Bottom line? The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable. We're on an imprudent and unsustainable fiscal path. Tough choices are required. We will not be able to grow our way out of this problem. Anybody who says that suffers from two problems. Number one, they have not studied economic history adequately; and number two; they probably wouldn't do real well at math. Because the numbers just don't add up.

KWTX Man Sues Over Church As Polling Place

A Florida man who had to vote in a Catholic church last month is suing election officials.

Jerry Rabinowitz of Delray Beach argues that casting a ballot amid crucifixes and anti-abortion banners violates the separation of church and state. Rabinowitz is a non-observant Jew.

He says elections officials refused to remove or cover religious items at Emmanuel Catholic Church.

And he says that amounted to government endorsement of religion.

It does seem rather strange to vote in a church. So much for separation of church and state...

Riverbend, blogger in Iraq When All Else Fails

It’s not about the man- presidents come and go, governments come and go. It’s the frustration of feeling like the whole country and every single Iraqi inside and outside of Iraq is at the mercy of American politics. It is the rage of feeling like a mere chess piece to be moved back and forth at will. It is the aggravation of having a government so blind and uncaring about their peoples needs that they don’t even feel like it’s necessary to go through the motions or put up an act. And it's the deaths. The thousands of dead and dying, with Bush sitting there smirking and lying about progress and winning in a country where every single Iraqi outside of the Green Zone is losing.

Once again… The timing of all of this is impeccable- two days before congressional elections. And if you don’t see it, then I’m sorry, you’re stupid. Let’s see how many times Bush milks this as a ‘success’ in his coming speeches.

A final note. I just read somewhere that some of the families of dead American soldiers are visiting the Iraqi north to see ‘what their sons and daughters died for’. If that’s the goal of the visit, then, “Ladies and gentlemen- to your right is the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, to your left is the Dawry refinery… Each of you get this, a gift bag containing a 3 by 3 color poster of Al Sayid Muqtada Al Sadr (Long May He Live And Prosper), an Ayatollah Sistani t-shirt and a map of Iran, to scale, redrawn with the Islamic Republic of South Iraq. Also… Hey you! You- the female in the back- is that a lock of hair I see? Cover it up or stay home.”

And that is what they died for.

Quotes of the Day

"A daily reminder that while Laura can divorce George, we appear stuck with him. People are dying because of his obstinance and stupidity. Like a nasty, doltish ex-husband, you just want him to move on as soon as possible."--

"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things." --George W. Bush, June 4, 2003

If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate.--Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)