Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports
By PAMELA HESS
UPI Pentagon Correspondent
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported
via America Blog
Posted by steco at 11:29 PM
Via Pensito Review
Alert PR reader Vito D. had a really good question for the Deputy Defense Secretary. Gordon England said last week that those who question the port deal put our security at risk by giving people from Arab countries a complex. Vito asked:
Why not abolish the Secret Service and let U.A.E. guard the President? Now this would show our Arab allies that we trust them.
I agree. If there’s no problem with letting them hire the longshoremen in our ports, then while we’re at it, let’s put them where they could really do some good.
Posted by steco at 11:25 PM
“We ought to get mad at the President… The alarm bells were being sounded on Sunday. Because not only was I having conferences with the President on the telephone, but he was also on the video conference with all of the state emergency managers.”
This means that while the president was cavorting across the country, strumming the guitar, cutting up with John McCain and birthday cake and sleeping peacefully in San Diego, he knew that Americans were drowning in the flooded streets or clinging for dear life on rooftops.
It also means that he was lying on Good Morning America that week when he said:
“No one could have anticipated that the levees would be breached.”
He had been fully aware that the breach could happen, but lied to Diane Sawyer that morning to cover his ass.
Poor Brownie. Karl is going to smear him like peanut butter.
Posted by steco at 11:18 PM
Why does it seem that American Idol has a more accurate vote count?
Black Box Voting had to sue former Palm Beach County (FL) Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore to get the audit records for the 2004 presidential election.
This is what they found according to this article by the AP:
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An examination of Palm Beach County's electronic voting machine records from the 2004 election found possible tampering and tens of thousands of malfunctions and errors, a watchdog group said Thursday.
read more on The Brad Blog
Posted by steco at 2:54 PM
All but one are in the Democratic Party
They call themselves the Band of Brothers, about 50 men - and a few women - all Democrats, all opposed to the Bush administration's handling of Iraq, and all military veterans.
One more thing: They're all running for Congress this year.
Not since 1946 have so many vets from one party come together in a political campaign, they claim. Their wildest dream is to give the Democratic Party the extra edge it needs - by boosting its weak image on defense and patriotism - to end Republican control of the House
Via Christian Science Monitor
Posted by steco at 2:28 PM
Al Qaeda warned the government of the United Arab Emirates more than three years ago that it "infiltrated" key government agencies, according to a disturbing document released by the U.S. military.
The document was among a batch of internal al Qaeda communications captured by U.S. forces in the war on terror. They were declassified and released earlier this month by the Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point.
via The Stakeholder
Posted by steco at 2:22 PM
Via The Panopticist
In 1990, a year or two before he became super-famous, Rush Limbaugh guest-hosted Pat Sajak's short-lived talk show. It didn't go so well: The taping was disrupted by a group of angry activists who were seated throughout the audience. A visibly rattled Limbaugh was unable to regain control of the show. "He came out full of bluster and left a very shaken man," a CBS executive later said. "I had never seen a man sweat as much in my life." Eventually Limbaugh made it to the first commercial break, and then, barely, to the next one; when the show returned from the second break, the activists were gone—along with the rest of the audience. A demoralized Limbaugh then delivered self-serving closing remarks to an empty studio.
Posted by steco at 2:10 PM
Pentagon: Iraqi troops downgraded
No Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support
Remember... "As they stand up, we'll stand down"
Posted by steco at 1:21 PM
White House Had Prior Knowledge Of Cheney Threat
WASHINGTON, DC—Government documents declassified today reveal that President Bush was briefed last summer of "a substantial risk" that Vice President Dick Cheney would shoot an elderly male in the face sometime in the next several months.
Read the rest -The Onion
Posted by steco at 3:56 AM
from crooks and liars
" Jason McElwain, an autistic high school basketball team member in Rochester NY, served as the coach's assistant and spirit leader for several years. On the final game of the season the coach let him finally put on a jersey with the rest of the team. Watch what happens then..."
Posted by steco at 3:41 AM
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Thersites2 has a list of links to news stories that answer several key questions about the Iraq war.
Topics covered include:
Did the Administration cook the intel? In what way? Wasn't it really the CIA's fault?
But the Senate had the same intelligence the President did, and they voted for the war!
Is the War Really Going So Badly? Why? Why Is The Iraqi Army Taking so Long To Come Up to Speed?
The Cost of War
Posted by steco at 9:28 PM
Wow! More from Glenn Greenwald, comparing what Howard Dean said 2 months ago (and was pilloried by the right wing), to what William F Buckley has said about the
war failure defeat in Iraq.
Wonder what the reaction will be to Buckley urging the administration it needs to make an "acknowledgment of defeat."
Posted by steco at 9:18 PM
Excellent post on Crooks and Liars, heres a bit:
It is becoming increasingly apparent even to loyal Bush followers that our occupation in Iraq has turned into a full-blown, irreversible disaster. Conservative hero William Buckley, writing in the pages of National Review yesterday, emphatically proclaimed American defeat in that war.
The United States has a tragic and disastrous situation on its hands, and there are no good choices. Having invaded the country, shattered its infrastructure, removed its government and promised to stay until the country was re-built, stabilized, and democratic, there is something self-evidently unseemly and extremely irresponsible about simply leaving the mess in the Iraqi’s lap by withdrawing our military presence the minute it looks as though a civil was is about to break out.
But, as Jack Murtha pointed out (months before Buckley did so), there is no point in staying if our military occupation is not improving the situation, let alone if it is making the situation worse (an observation which caused Murtha to be promptly accused by the White House of wanting to "surrender to the terrorists").
During the build-up to the war in 2002 and early 2003, most prominent Democrats were bullied and intimidated into supporting the invasion of Iraq by a combination of Bush’s sky-high popularity and accusations of subversiveness which were launched at anyone who opposed the Leader’s war. One of the few nationally prominent Democrats to emphatically oppose the war was Howard Dean, and it is truly staggering just how right he was in virtually every statement he made about the war...read on
Posted by steco at 9:08 PM
From America Blog:
In response to the following quote from Gordon England:
If the furor over the port deal should go on, Mr. England said, it would give enemies of the United States aid and comfort: "They want us to become distrustful, they want us to become paranoid and isolationist.
Bush has spent the past five years making Americans paranoid for purely political reasons. Now, apparently, if Americans do worry about national security, they are aiding the enemy according to our Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England
Joe in this post on America Blog responds:
How fucking dare you invoke Osama and September 11 in order to get us to support an administration policy that is in fact CONTRARY to our national security interests? Just because Bush is in bed with the Middle Eastern oil producers we're supposed to roll over and play dead while you guys just give away that store to your petro-buddies?
How fucking dare you preach to us about being distrustful and paranoid?
You son of a bitches have raised distrust and fear to a high art. You have repeatedly violated the legitimate shock and horror Americans felt after September 11, abused our collective grief and pain and psychosis in order to push your own petty, personal political goals, and now that we catch you red handed, you have the balls to invoke September 11 again?
Gordon England, how fucking dare you, you un-American piece of shit.
You want to talk about giving aid and comfort to our enemies? How about your boss single handedly ripping the US Constitution to shreds, spying on American citizens, lying to the American public in order to get us to support his failed wars of convenience that have now so overstrapped our military we're unable to defend ourselves where and when it really matters?
How many World Trade Centers do you think Osama would have been more than willing to bomb in order to achieve all that? You people fucking handed Osama the dismantling of our entire democracy, and he didn't even need to fire another shot. And you lecture us about aiding and comforting the enemy?
How fucking dare you even have the nerve to speak to us about what's best for American ports when your God damn administration still hasn't secured container traffic coming into those very same American ports from abroad? What's the latest figure of the percentage of foreign containers shipped into the US that are actually screened (you know, for innocent little things like nukes)? Is it 5% max that gets searched, all the rest just go merrily on their way into our country containing God knows what?
And you have the nerve to lecture us about port safety and paranoia?
When the president of the United States is so out of touch that he goes on vacation for three days while a hurricane is wiping an entire American city off the map, you better believe I get paranoid.
When the president of the United States is so out of touch that he doesn't even know until the next day that his own vice president nearly killed a man, you better believe I get paranoid.
And when the president of the United States runs and hides for the entire day on September 11 while millions of us are forced to turn to Peter Jennings and Rudy Giuliani to be our presidents-by-proxy because George Bush is too much of a chicken shit to show his face for 12 fucking hours while we thought the world was ending, you better believe I get paranoid.
Gordon England. Go fuck yourself.
Posted by steco at 8:48 PM
That's the story Murray Waas has uncovered. Senator Rockefeller is making that claim in a letter to the White House (Think Progress has a pdf of the letter). Rockefeller points the finger at the Bush Administration officials for leaking national secrets to further their own political agenda:
Via America Blog
Posted by steco at 8:44 PM
Friday, February 24, 2006
Digby has an excellent analysis of PortGate:
The Bush presidency has not really been the "fuck-you" presidency. Really, it has been the "I can act like a king because I do national security and after 9/11 you can never be too careful" presidency.
He needs to be secretly spy on American citizens without a warrant and he needs to be able to hold them indefinitely in jail without a trial and he needs to be able to torture innocent people with impunity because we just can't be too careful after 9/11.
Perhaps the best way to put this is that the administration seems to trust the leaders of the United Arab Emirates more than the US congress or the secret FISA Court.
Read the whole thing here
Posted by steco at 3:35 AM
Bush did-not-know strategy on ports puzzles some.
By Patricia Wilson - Analysis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - What didn't the president know and when didn't he know it?
Faced with a rebellion in his own Republican party over an Arab company's planned takeover of operations at six U.S. ports, the White House says President George W. Bush was in the dark about it until last week.
While Bush adamantly defended the deal again on Thursday, the I-did-not-know strategy has puzzled some political analysts and communications experts.
"It's a disaster for him, I think," said Michael Hogan, professor of communication, arts and sciences at Pennsylvania State University. "It's never a good thing for a president to say he doesn't know something."
Posted by steco at 2:59 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Dick Cheney when he shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington on a hunting outing two weeks ago say Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting.
Be sure to read the follow up too
Yeah, we could be making all this stuff up
Posted by steco at 10:56 PM
Via Crooks and Liars
Lou Dobbs took a look at the family ties between the two.
DOBBS: President Bush's family and members of the Bush administration have long-standing business connections with the United Arab Emirates, and those connections are raising new concerns and questions tonight in some quarters about why the president is defying his very own party leadership and his party in defending the Dubai port deal.
CHRISTINE ROMANS: The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group, the private equity investment firm where President Bush's father once served as senior adviser and is a who's who of former high-level government officials. Just last year, Dubai International Capital, a government-backed buyout firm, invested in an $8 billion Carlyle fund.
Another family connection, the president's brother, Neil Bush, has reportedly received funding for his educational software company from the UAE investors. A call to his company was not returned.
Then there is the cabinet connection. Treasury Secretary John Snow was chairman of railroad company CSX/. After he left the company for the White House, CSX sold its international port operations to Dubai Ports World for more than a billion dollars.
In Connecticut today, Snow told reporters he had no knowledge of that CSX sale. "I learned of this transaction probably the same way members of the Senate did, by reading about it in the newspapers."
Another administration connection, President Bush chose a Dubai Ports World executive to head the U.S. Maritime Administration. David Sanborn, the former director of Dubai Ports' European and Latin American operations, he was tapped just last month to lead the agency that oversees U.S. port operations.
Posted by steco at 5:28 PM
Media Matters Has the Video
Summary: Bill O'Reilly suggested that the United States "hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible" because "[t]here are so many nuts in the country -- so many crazies -- that we can't control them." O'Reilly has previously called those advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq "pinheads" and compared them to Hitler appeasers.
Posted by steco at 5:17 PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
It was a policy decision on their part. This wasn't an accident - what happened at Guantánamo and what later happened at Abu Ghraib in terms of mistreatment of prisoners. They did this with their eyes wide open.
via The Brad Blog
Posted by steco at 8:24 PM
The inspirational effect Bush has on Dem candidates
Tim Walz, a high school teacher, football coach, and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, toured his community yesterday to let voters know that he's running for Congress in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Gil Gutknecht. (thanks to KnobBoy for the tip.) Ordinarily, this announcement may not seem like a big deal, but I have a special fondness for Walz, in part because of what helped convince him to get into the race in the first place.
In 2004, Bush visited Walz's hometown of Mankato, and Walz, a command sergeant and 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard, decided to take a couple of his high school students to see their president. They had tickets and valid identification, and went through the metal detectors like everyone else. Walz and his students, however, were ordered to leave — because one of the boys had a John Kerry sticker on his wallet.
Read the rest ... Via The Carpetbagger Report
Posted by steco at 2:43 AM
LA Times: “Initially proposed by the bipartisan commission that investigated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was created by the intelligence overhaul that President Bush signed into law in December 2004…More than a year later, it exists only on paper.”
Via Think Progress
Posted by steco at 1:48 AM
Monday, February 20, 2006
THE FOLLOW-UP SENSATION THAT'S SWEEPING THE NATION
Look at Harry. What a pro... Shot in the face but he still goes on with the show while his beloved pal Dick Cheney fires indiscriminately into the trees. The crowd seems to love this.
Via Huffington Post
Posted by steco at 2:24 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2006
The Cat House
"Bob Walker and Frances Mooney's San Diego home is the world's biggest jungle gym for cats." - People
"A creative, colorful feline fantasyland." - Cat Fancy
"The cat's meow." - CNN News
"This is cat paradise for sure." - The Washington Post
Via Ursi's Blog
Posted by steco at 3:12 AM
George Bush gave another speech yesterday on the "Global War on Terror." If one actually sits down and reads these speeches, it really is staggering how much deceit and propaganda gets packed into each one of them. What they have him say is not just factually false, but directly contrary to claims he made in the past or which other Administration officials are making now. Sometimes, the most compelling argument against the White House's propaganda is simply to place it side-by-side with prior Administration statements and/or undisputed political facts:
Crooks and Liars breaks it down
Posted by steco at 2:58 AM
Has it really been only five years since America’s Sweetheart Ann Coulter called the voters of Palm Beach County “stupid” and “feeble-minded”? And now, poor dear, she can’t even remember which precinct she’s registered to vote in:
A Palm Beach poll worker says he tried to help GOP-loving pundit Ann Coulter vote in the right precinct last week. But, Jim Whited says, Coulter dashed out of the polling place when he told her she needed to file a change of address. “I even ran out after her,” he says. “But she was fast.”
Posted by steco at 2:52 AM
California Secretary of State McPherson seems to have a thing for making major announcements late on Fridays just before holidays. Following in what seems to be a pattern of his, he announced late this afternoon that he was certifying Diebold Optical Scan and AccuVote TSx (touch-screens) for use in elections in the state.
The re-certification (they had been originally decertified in California in 2004 when it was revealed Diebold had installed illegal software updates on the machines) is conditional on some items but not on the one thing point he had announced last December when he sent the system back to federal authorities for further testing. At that time he said he was sending the machine's memory cards to the federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) Lab for reinspection in light of the news out of Leon County, Florida that the cards used "intepreted code" which is specifically banned by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). A "hack test" in that county revealed that an entirely election could have its results flipped by a hacker exploiting that "interpreted code" -- without a trace being left behind.
McPherson made his announcement today without waiting to hear back from the ITA lab.
Last summer, after a massive mock election test with Diebold touch-screen machines revealed that 10% of them failed entirely with screens freezing and printers jamming -- later reports would reveal that as many as 30% of the machines actually failed! -- McPherson said, "We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters."
Apparently the Secretary of State of America's largest "voting market," as Diebold refers to it, was just kidding about that.
Posted by steco at 2:18 AM
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Digital Library of Appalachia
has free downloads of orignal music of Appalachia.
DLA music entries are derived from non-commercial sound recordings that document much of Appalachian music's geographic, ethnic, vocal, and instrumental diversity. The several thousand presently available provide an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region's traditional musicians, many of who are no longer living.
The Roots Music Listening Room
Lots of old music downloads, originally on 78s
Old-Time Country Music from the 1920s & 1930s
White Country Gospel from the 1920s-1950s
Blues & Gospel from the 1920s & 1930s (1,600 Tracks!!)
Blues from the 1920s (subset)
Gospel from the 1920s (subset) Many new tracks.
Vintage Hot Jazz from the 1920s
Louisiana Cajun Music from the 1920s - 1970s
Irish Dance Music from the 1920s - 1970s
Folk Music from Mexico 1920s - 1950s
Luther Strong's 1937 Library of Congress Recordings
Other Library of Congress Fiddle Recordings
Cape Breton Fiddle Music from the 1930s - 1950s
Calypso Music of Trinidad from 1930s - 1940s
1940s Blues from small independent labels
Listen to Tracks from our Latest CD-Rs & DVDs
Posted by steco at 12:08 AM
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il shot 11 hole-in-ones on his first attempt at golf, according to the AP. Kim turned 64 Thursday and was offered birthday congratulations over the telephone from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
via exploding cigar
Posted by steco at 12:03 AM
Friday, February 17, 2006
Can't even get this right????
In the only publicly available, official report on last weekend's accidental shooting by Vice President Dick Cheney, a diagram of a body shows where Austin lawyer Harry Whittington was hit by pellets fired from Cheney's Italian-made shotgun.
Posted by steco at 11:58 PM
Fox News Via ThinkProgress
The Bush administration has outsourced the operation of six of the nation’s largest ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country with troubling ties to international terrorism. The $6.8 billion sale would mean that the state-controlled Dubai Ports World would control “the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.”
Some facts about the UAE:
– The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
– The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.
– According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.
– After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.
I guess this makes it easier to figure out who to wiretap.
Posted by steco at 11:54 PM
Via Pensito Review:
The most recent Fox News poll shows that voters see Democrats as better at handling an array of key issues and gaining public trust on some areas traditionally considered Republican strengths. In addition, more voters think it would be better for the country if Democrats win control of Congress in this year’s election.
The poll finds that by a margin of 42 percent to 34 percent Americans think it would be better if Democrats gain control of Congress this year. Today’s 8-percentage point edge is down from an 11-point edge last month (10-11 Jan 2006).
As would be expected, most Democrats (81 percent) and Republicans (79 percent) want their respective parties to win control. Among independents: 32 percent back the Democrats and 18 percent the Republicans, with a 39 percent plurality saying “neither.”
Posted by steco at 12:01 AM
Thursday, February 16, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday that an executive order gives him the authority to declassify secret documents, but he would not say whether he authorized an indicted former aide to release classified information
Posted by steco at 11:42 PM
or that shopping cart, or elevator button ...
Grocery shopping? Take your rubber gloves!
Feb 14, 8:21 AM (ET)
SEOUL (Reuters) - Shopping cart handles are the most bacteria-infested items among some commonly used objects while doorknobs on public bathrooms are not as bad as might be expected, according to a survey conducted in South Korea.
The Korea Consumer Protection Board tested six items that are commonly handled by the public and ran tests for their bacteria content.
Shopping cart handles led the way with 1,100 colony forming units of bacteria per 10 sq cm (1.55 sq inches) followed by a mouse used on computers in Internet cafes, which had an average of 690 colony forming units.
"The reason that shopping cart handles had so much bacteria is because the area is larger than the others and people have more space to place their hands," Kwon Young-il, an official at the consumer body, said by telephone.
Hand straps on buses were next with 380 units, followed by bathroom doorknobs at 340.
Rounding out the list were elevator buttons at 130 colony forming units and hand straps on subways at 86.
The report released this week said washing hands with soap removes almost all of the bacteria.
Posted by steco at 11:32 PM
The Carpetbagger reports that citing accuracy problems, Maryland will no longer use Diebold machines.
"In the letter sent by Maryland's Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. to the State Board of Elections on Wednesday, he declares that he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections’ ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006."
Citing the "widespread national concern about the reliability and security of electronic voting systems," the decertification and denial of certification of Diebold around the country, and the need to "get aggressive in responding to citizens' concerns over public confidence in the elections system," Ehrlich says it's time to demand paper ballots once again in the State of Maryland."
If you forgot....
After the resignation of Diebold president Walden O'Dell, who promised to deliver Ohio in 2004 for Bush, a class action law suit was filed by stockholders alledging Diebold hid financial trouble arising from accuracy problems with their machines.
Posted by steco at 12:37 PM
Accordng to this article in AdWeek
The Bush Administration spent $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars on 137 contracts with advertising agencies over the past two-and-a-half years, according to a Government Accountability Office report released by House Democrats today.
Sad thing is ... with all that money spent, his approval ratings keep going down, according to this Wall Street Journal Report Poll:
Mr. Bush's ratings are now 40% positive, down from a positive rating of 43% in January, and 58% negative, up from 56% negative.
Posted by steco at 12:29 PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows 49% of adults think Pres. Bush definitely/probably broke the law wiretapping without a court order and 47% think he did not.
That's reason to shut down the investigation. See below
Posted by steco at 4:59 PM
Washington Post reports
Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may kill it, key Republican and Democratic sources said yesterday.
Via Pensito Review
Could this have anything to do with it?
Posted by steco at 4:55 PM
Via Pensito Review
...there was no evidence Cheney was drunk — ignoring the fact that there is no evidence because the vice president waited until the next morning to allow himself to be interviewed by a local sheriff, at which point there was no point in administering a blood alcohol test. So for all we know, Cheney could have had a twelve pack of Bud tall boys in him when he pulled the trigger.
Posted by steco at 4:50 PM
Newly-Aired Video Shows Graphic Abuse
The Associated Press reports that a long-delayed shoe has finally dropped:
An Australian television network broadcast photographs and video clips Wednesday that it said were previously unpublished images of the abuse of Iraqis held in U.S. military custody at Abu Ghraib prison in 2003.
Posted by steco at 4:39 PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
From the Daily Kos
According to this post at Democratic Underground, there was a quote from the ranch owner in this MSNBC story stating:
Armstrong also told NBC News that she does not believe alcohol was involved in the accident. She says she believes no one that day was drinking, although she says there may have been beer available during a picnic lunch that preceded the incident. "There may be a beer or two in there," she said...
That "beer" line is gone now.. but google archive still has it.
Posted by steco at 10:37 PM
Plame was working on WMD in Iran, the country that actually has wmd
Via Raw Story
The unmasking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson by White House officials in 2003 caused significant damage to U.S. national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad, RAW STORY has learned.
According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.
Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program.
Posted by steco at 10:11 AM
Monday, February 13, 2006
I know... "911 changed everything" but...
This was how they felt when the threat was from ultra right wing militia groups.
Via Glenn Greenwald's Blog
From FreeRepublic.com "A Conservative News Forum"
The Secret FISA Court: Rubber Stamping Our Rights
By Philip Colangelo
Covert Action Quarterly
Seven judges on a secret court have authorized all but one of over 7,500 requests to spy in the name of National Security. They meet in secret, with no published orders, opinions, or public record. Those spied on May never know of the intrusion. Now, Clinton has expanded the powers to include not only electronic, but physical searches.
The aftershock of the Oklahoma City bombing sent Congress scurrying to trade off civil liberties for an illusion of public safety. A good ten weeks before that terrible attack, however with a barely noticed pen stroke President Bill Clinton virtually killed off the Fourth Amendment when he approved a law to expand the already extraordinary powers of the strangest creation in the history of the federal judiciary.
Read the rest and the comments that follow
Posted by steco at 9:09 PM
Study identifies genetic signatures for 3.5 million Ashkenazi Jews
About 3.5 million of today’s Ashkenazi Jews — 40 percent of the total Ashkenazi population — are descended from just four women, a genetic study indicates.
Those women apparently lived somewhere in Europe within the last 2,000 years, but not necessarily in the same place or even the same century, said lead author Dr. Doron Behar of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.
Posted by steco at 7:47 PM
Posted by steco at 7:33 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Via Daou Report
Daou makes the point that the over abundance of current scandals "has had the intended effect: overload the senses, short circuit the outrage, dizzy the opposition."
Here's a list of some things we're ignoring this week.
Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
Paper: White House Knew About Levees Early
McClellan Confronted With Abramoff Emails
Waas's New Scoop: Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information
Chief FISA judge warned about misuse of NSA spy data
House majority leader's landlord is a lobbyist
Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry
Bush's Budget Tricks
John Dickerson Speaks...And Drops Some Plamegate Bombshells
Bush's Social Security Sleight of Hand
Tom DeLay to Oversee Justice Department
Posted by steco at 11:21 PM
via the Washington Post
The report, produced by an 11-member House select committee of Republicans titled "A Failure of Initiative"
"If 9/11 was a failure of imagination then Katrina was a failure of initiative. It was a failure of leadership," the report's preface states. "In this instance, blinding lack of situational awareness and disjointed decision making needlessly compounded and prolonged Katrina's horror."
All those dire warnings about what would happen if the Democrats won. "Only the Republicans can save us." They were no more prepared for disaster 4 years after 911 then they were before.
Posted by steco at 10:54 PM
and, I'm already being visited by the gov't
via Christian Science Monitor
Little-known data-collection system could troll news, blogs, even e-mails. Will it go too far?
By Mark Clayton | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity.
Posted by steco at 12:01 AM
Friday, February 10, 2006
You really can't make this stuff up
DeLay, R-Texas, also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers.
Via Pensito Review
Posted by steco at 12:44 PM
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.
Posted by steco at 1:42 AM
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
from Insight Magazine
The White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping.
Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November.
Posted by steco at 10:12 PM
The "liberal media" sat on information that could have quite possible changed the 2004 election.
via media matters
At least three reporters involved in an October 2003 Time magazine article that suggested Karl Rove was no longer under suspicion of outing Valerie Plame, and that contained Scott McClellan's denial that Rove was involved, knew at the time of the article that Rove had, in fact, outed Plame.
Posted by steco at 1:54 AM
No conflicts here...
from Daily Kos
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who was elected House majority leader last week, is renting his Capitol Hill apartment from a veteran lobbyist whose clients have direct stakes in legislation Boehner has co-written and that he has overseen as chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee.
Posted by steco at 1:47 AM
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Wounded soldier ordered to pay $700 for missing body armor
By Eric Eyre
The last time 1st Lt. William “Eddie” Rebrook IV saw his body armor, he was lying on a stretcher in Iraq, his arm shattered and covered in blood.
A field medic tied a tourniquet around Rebrook’s right arm to stanch the bleeding from shrapnel wounds. Soldiers yanked off his blood-soaked body armor. He never saw it again.
But last week, Rebrook was forced to pay $700 for that body armor, blown up by a roadside bomb more than a year ago.
Posted by steco at 9:39 PM
The ghost of Rosemary Woods' leaned over to answer the phone and accidentally erased Dick Cheney's email.
But the prosecutor added: "In an abundance of caution, we advise you that we have learned that not all e-mail of the Office of Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system."
Posted by steco at 11:49 AM
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The obstruction of justice trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby -- the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney -- will begin almost a year from now, on January 8, 2007, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Adding an even heavier political cast to the case, Libby's trial will not take place until after the congressional midterm elections.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said, "I hate having this case linger for that long, but I guess there is no alternative."
Posted by steco at 11:43 AM
Feb. 13, 2006 issue - Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003.
Posted by steco at 11:38 AM
via pensito review
A member of the audience with the words 'Tap This' taped on her jeans walks out of the room as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, not pictured, speaks at Georgetown University Law School Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006. Answering the Bush administration's critics, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday that warrantless surveillance is critical to prevent another terrorist attack within the United States. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Posted by steco at 1:28 AM
Sen Biden asks Gonzales how revealing Bush's domestic spying harms the War on Terror.....
BIDEN: Thank you very much.
General, how has this revelation damaged the program?
I'm almost confused by it but, I mean, it seems to presuppose that these very sophisticated Al Qaida folks didn't think we were intercepting their phone calls.
I mean, I'm a little confused. How did it damage this?
GONZALES: Well, Senator, I would first refer to the experts in the Intel Committee who are making that statement, first of all. I'm just the lawyer.
And so, when the director of the CIA says this should really damage our intel capabilities, I would defer to that statement. I think, based on my experience, it is true -- you would assume that the enemy is presuming that we are engaged in some kind of surveillance.
But if they're not reminded about it all the time in the newspapers and in stories, they sometimes forget.
Posted by steco at 1:11 AM
We no longer believe there is sufficient" credible information to "conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad." The memo was titled: "In Response to Your Questions for Our Current Assessment and Additional Details on Iraq's Alleged Pursuits of Uranium From Abroad."
Posted by steco at 12:57 AM
Monday, February 06, 2006
But, We support the troops.
via The News Blog
'Nightline' Investigation: Wounded Soldiers Told They Owe Money to Army
Troops Face Financial Crises After Learning Army Overpaid Them During Hospitalization
By BRIAN ROSS
Jan. 31, 2006 — - It was one of the thousands of roadside bombs in Iraq that paralyzed Staff Sgt. Eugene Simpson.
"My first instinct was to jump farther back into the Humvee, you know, for protection," Simpson said. "But in doing that, I opened my back up to all the scrap metal and debris, which hit my spine and severed my spine, paralyzing me."
He was soon on a plane home.
Fast-working, skilled Army doctors saved his life, as they have so many.
Slow, bumbling Army bureaucrats would make his life miserable, as they have so many.
Posted by steco at 9:19 PM
via a welsh view
A mourning daughter watched in horror as a woman desecrated her father’s grave — by urinating on it.
A row broke out as an unleashed dog being walked by the mystery woman and her partner ran riot across the grave.
The yapping mongrel then cocked its leg on a floral tribute reading “Granda” from Lauren’s kids Chloe, six, and Elliot, two.
Lauren, 26, said: “My mum said to the woman, ‘Your dog . . .’ But she shouted back, ‘Let my f***ing dog p*** where it wants.’
“I said, ‘That’s my Dad’s grave — he’s only been dead three weeks.’
“Then she said, ‘I’ll f***ing p*** all over your dad’s grave, will that make you happy?’ - The Sun
Posted by steco at 12:13 PM
via a welsh view
The Sun: Knife trick killed pub chef
Pub chef Mark Hunt accidentally stabbed himself to death after a knife trick went grotesquely wrong.
The ex-Para told a teenage kitchen porter to watch, promising him: “This has got to be the best one!”
Mark, 40, intended to plunge the knife towards his stomach, before reversing it at the last second — making it appear as if he had stabbed himself.
But an inquest heard he mistimed it and thrust the 12-inch blade in so deeply it severed his spinal cord.
He screamed for help and his girlfriend Margarita Lima and boss found him slumped over a sink mumbling: “It slipped, it slipped.”
Posted by steco at 12:08 PM
The Phrase Finder
Know the Ropes
To understand how an organisation works.
Nautical origin, where sailors had to learn which rope raised which sail.
Posted by steco at 11:52 AM
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Via Editor and Publisher
A new Gallup Poll, conducted in late January, reveals that just 39% of Americans approve of the way President Bush is handling Iraq, with 58% disapproving.
Over half (53%) now say the administration "deliberately misled the American public about whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction," with 46% disagreeing. Gallup notes that this finding is "essentially reversed" from one year ago.
read the rest here
Posted by steco at 6:27 PM
via a welsh view
Cairo, an Italian mastiff puppy, was introduced as a playmate to 10-week-old Koza, a lion cub whose twin died, at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Playtime included sharing a bit of food, Cairo nipping on Koza's ear, some frolicking and some quiet time.
more pics here
Posted by steco at 12:56 PM
via think progress
The Guardian reports a newly-disclosed British memo provides evidence that Bush had made up his mind to attack Iraq almost two months prior to the war:
A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme.
and this from crooks and liars
"In the few weeks before its fall, Iraq's Ba'athist regime made a series of increasingly desperate peace offers to Washington, promising to hold elections and even to allow US troops to search for banned weapons. But the advances were all rejected by the Bush administration, according to intermediaries involved in the talks... Mr Perle was travelling in Europe yesterday and unavailable for comment. However, he told the New York Times he had been told by the CIA not to pursue contacts with the Iraqis.
Posted by steco at 11:52 AM
Senator Russ Feingold writes on the daily kos
This administration reacts to any questions about spying on American citizens by saying that those of us who stand up for our rights and freedoms are somehow living in a "pre-September 11th, 2001 world."
In fact, the President is living in a pre-1776 world.
Go read the rest
Posted by steco at 3:04 AM
Friday, February 03, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
"Like a caribbean cruise
except without the water the chicks or booze.
If you dont make it at least you'll make the news, on around page 8 or so.
You'll help fill out the ranks, so we can all fill up our tanks.
A yellow ribbon will be all the thanks you'll get from us you know
Down in Iraqomo"
Watch the whole thing on freewayblogger
Posted by steco at 10:15 PM
Republicans in the House of Representatives narrowly won passage on Wednesday of a controversial bill to trim about $39 billion from domestic spending over five years, capping a year-long push to cut health care for the poor and elderly and other programs.
they have to find a way to pay for the "$70 billion in proposed Republican tax cuts
Posted by steco at 2:41 AM