Friday, July 29, 2005

Herald.com | 07/27/2005 | Roberts had larger 2000 recount role

Herald.com | 07/27/2005 | Roberts had larger 2000 recount role: "Roberts had larger 2000 recount role


The role of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts in the 2000 election aftermath in Florida was larger than has been reported. Roberts helped prepare the Supreme Court case.

By MARC CAPUTO

mcaputo@herald.com

TALLAHASSEE - U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts played a broader behind-the-scenes role for the Republican camp in the aftermath of the 2000 election than previously reported -- as legal consultant, lawsuit editor and prep coach for arguments before the nation's highest court, according to the man who drafted him for the job.
Ted Cruz, a domestic policy advisor for President Bush and who is now Texas' solicitor general, said Roberts was one of the first names he thought of while he and another attorney drafted the Republican legal dream team of litigation ''lions'' and ''800-pound gorillas,'' which ultimately consisted of 400 attorneys in Florida.
Until now, Gov. Jeb Bush and others involved in the election dispute could recall almost nothing of Roberts' role, except for a half-hour meeting the governor had with Roberts. Cruz said Roberts was in Tallahassee helping the Bush camp for ''a week to 10 days,'' and that his help was important, though Cruz said it is difficult to remember specifics five years after the sleep-depriving frenetic pace of the 2000 recount.
But one thing was certain, Cruz told The Herald: ``There was no one better for the job.''"

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Judy Miller: Do We Want To Know Everything or Don't We?

The Huffington Post | The Blog: "Not everyone in the Times building is on the same page when it comes to Judy Miller. The official story the paper is sticking to is that Miller is a heroic martyr, sacrificing her freedom in the name of journalistic integrity. But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has 'manipulate[d]' and 'twisted' intelligence 'to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.' Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an 'unnamed government official'). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does. The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The story gets out."

Oil and Blood - New York Times

Oil and Blood - New York Times: "It is now generally understood that the U.S.-led war in Iraq has become a debacle. Nevertheless, Iraqis are supposed to have their constitution ratified and a permanent government elected by the end of the year. It's a logical escape hatch for George W. Bush. He could declare victory, as a senator once suggested to Lyndon Johnson in the early years of Vietnam, and bring the troops home as quickly as possible.
His mantra would be: There's a government in place. We won. We're out of there.But don't count on it. The Bush administration has no plans to bring the troops home from this misguided war, which has taken a fearful toll in lives and injuries while at the same time weakening the military, damaging the international reputation of the United States, serving as a world-class recruiting tool for terrorist groups and blowing a hole the size of Baghdad in Washington's budget.A wiser leader would begin to cut some of these losses. But the whole point of this war, it seems, was to establish a long-term military presence in Iraq to ensure American domination of the Middle East and its precious oil reserves, which have been described, the author Daniel Yergin tells us, as 'the greatest single prize in all history.'"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Is There an Extra Ingredient in Nonstick Pans?

New York Times: "THE question of whether Teflon cookware is safe has moved from Web site chatter to the courtroom. But more than nonstick frying pans are under scrutiny these days. Scientists are examining the chemical makeup of other products like food containers to gauge their potential hazards.
In each instance, the substance being questioned is perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. Studies have shown that PFOA causes cancer and other health problems in laboratory animals, and it is under scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. A class action suit filed last week against DuPont in several states, including New York, charges that Teflon releases PFOA under normal cooking use and that the company did not warn consumers about its dangers.DuPont says that while PFOA is used to make Teflon, none of it remains in the finished product, and all Teflon-coated cookware is safe.The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research and advocacy organization financed by foundations including the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Joyce Foundation, says items other than pans are likely to be the major sources of PFOA. But the group, along with many scientists, points out a different problem: an empty overheated Teflon-coated pan does pose a risk by releasing toxic fumes. DuPont does not dispute that, but there is no agreement between the company and Teflon's critics over what temperature releases the fumes. The Environmental Working Group says 325 degrees, or a medium flame; DuPont says 660 degrees."

Tick,Tick, Boom

Radar Online: "Three new studies by the Saudi government and think tanks in Israel and Britain conclude what everyone already knows: The war in Iraq has incited more, not less, terrorism. The British study, funded by the government, found that “the situation over Iraq gave a boost to the Al-Qaeda network’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising, caused a major split in the coalition, provided an ideal targeting and training area for Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, and deflected resources and assistance that could have been deployed to assist the Karzai government and to bring bin Laden to justice.”
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the war?
While the American public is paying the bad news the usual inattention it gives any scandal not involving a missing blonde chick, the Brits have gotten the message and they’re not happy. A recent Guardian/ICM poll shows that two-thirds of Britons see a link between the recent London bombings and Britain’s decision to join the war in Iraq. My conversations with locals on a recent visit to London, hours after the July 7 bombings, confirmed as much. In addition to the surprising number of people I spoke to who blamed the attacks on Britain’s involvement in Iraq, the sole cop standing guard in front of Buckingham Palace that evening, when asked why the attacks happened, told me that it was “because some people want to be free.” Imagine a Secret Service agent saying that in front of the White House on 9/11."

His goats, cows for Chelsea's hand

New York Daily News: "What is the price of loving Chelsea Clinton? How about 20 cows and 40 goats.
That's the 'dowry' a smitten Kenyan government official has offered former President Bill Clinton for his daughter's hand in marriage.
'I love her,' Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor told CNN yesterday. 'I've not met her personally, but I've seen her through the media.'
Chepkurgor made the traditional African marriage offer - which is considered generous by local standards - in writing while Bill Clinton was visiting Kenya recently.
So far there has not been any formal response from the Clinton camp."

Prosecutor in CIA leak case casting wide net - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com

Prosecutor in CIA leak case casting wide net - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com: "By Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHeiUpdated: 1:09 a.m. ET July 27, 2005The special prosecutor in the CIA leak probe has interviewed a wider range of administration officials than was previously known, part of an effort to determine whether anyone broke laws during a White House effort two years ago to discredit allegations that President Bush used faulty intelligence to justify the Iraq war, according to several officials familiar with the case.Prosecutors have questioned former CIA director George J. Tenet and deputy director John E. McLaughlin, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, State Department officials, and even a stranger who approached columnist Robert D. Novak on the street.In doing so, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked not only about how CIA operative Valerie Plame's name was leaked but also how the administration went about shifting responsibility from the White House to the CIA for having included 16 words in the 2003 State of the Union address about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium from Africa, an assertion that was later disputed."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

FLASH: Novak Sells Access

"HURRY!!!!!! Only a few seats left!!!!! Bob Novak, the Prince of Darkness himself, is selling 85 seats to people willing to pay $595 for his access to Washington's top decision-makers. An email invite from Novak went out this morning to Human Events' mailing list offering a limited-time offer to sign up attend the three-decade-old "Evans-Novak Political Forum" and get access to "The Ultimate (Secret) Source."

"This meeting is strictly off the record, and what is said there remains one of Washington's best-kept secrets," the email touts. At the forum "high-ranking officials openly discuss the most important topics facing the country, including national security, politics on the Hill, and the economy... You can ask them anything you want, and remarkably candid responses are given.""

The Huffington Post | The Blog

The Huffington Post | The Blog: "Cenk Uygur
Let's Be Fair To The President
I think the press has been really tough on Karl Rove and the administration over this Valerie Plame scandal, so I wanted to come to their defense a little bit. First of all, Plame might have been a covert CIA operative, but she once sat in a desk and shuffled papers around. If youre not shooting people in the field every day, then how do you go around with a straight face calling yourself a secret agent?

Secondly, Karl Rove was just trying to prevent the press from making yet another error by reporting on Ambassador Wilsons claims. Joe Wilson was lying about his trip to Niger. The Iraqis were, in fact, trying to buy uranium to build nuclear weapons. That%u2019s why we found all those nuclear bombs in Iraq labeled Made in Niger.

Sure, there was a memo circulating in the administration identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA agent. And it was marked with an S normally stands for Secret, but to be fair to Rove, he might have thought in this case, stood for Send to Reporter.

Earlier President Bush agreed that anyone who was involved in the leak of Plames identity should be fired. He said the leakers would be taken care of. But to be fair to the President, that quote is taken out of context. He probably meant, If it turns out Karl leaked this classified information, we should really take care of him. Maybe get him a spa treatment or a facial.

But wait, I think Im not being fair enough to the President, because he later clarified his remarks and said if someone committed a crime, they would be fired. That does make sense. Its a little hard to be an effective Deputy Chief of Staff while youre serving twenty to life in San Quentin.

The most severe crime related to revealing classified information is, of course, treason. You can get the death penalty for treason. Here again, Im with the President if anyone is executed, they definitely shouldnt be working at the White House. I know I wouldnt hire anyone who was executed."

The Next Replubican President Is...

The Democractic Party is weak and running scared. We Republicans are in touch with America and its values. The Democrats have failed to inspire our nation to take action and they do not value morals. The Republican party is mobilized the base - we will denounce gay marriage in every state, we will make college education available to everyone and students will be accepted not by the democratic affirmative action process, but by their scholastic merits.

The Democractic Party will fail to rise again. Hitler-ary Clinton is not fooling anyone with her shift to the middle. As evidenced by the recent election, the Democrats are slipping, their highly counted on black vote has resided. We Republicans are winning Governor elections in key states: California, Texas, New YOrk. The momentum has been carried on and it will be another 4 years of Republican poweress in 2008.

Signed,

The better America Organization

A Fork in the Rove?

Fresh Intelligence July 26 2005 : Radar Online: "As a string of foes from John McCain to Richard Clarke can attest, Karl Rove has never been shy about using personal attacks for political gain. But as the Valerie Plame scandal rages on, the Bush administration’s in-house bulldog may be forced to endure a taste of his own medicine.
Last Sunday, in a blistering column in the New York Times, Frank Rich charged that around the time the White House was leaking Plame’s undercover CIA status to friendly reporters, Rove’s office was publicly “outing” reporter Jeffrey Kofman after the gay ABC correspondent reported on the flagging morale of American troops in Iraq. Rich angrily charged the Republican rumor-monger with fostering a “pervasive culture of revenge” in Washington. Now, in the same spirit, Rove’s critics are forcing the married pol to fend off a politically motivated campaign that focuses on his own personal life.
For years, political insiders in Texas have whispered about Rove’s close friendship with lobbyist Karen Johnson, a never-married, forty-something GOP loyalist from Austin, Texas. The two first became close when Johnson sat on the board of then-Governor George W. Bush’s Business Council over a decade ago. Their friendship reportedly deepened after Bush appointed Johnson—a little-known spokesperson for the Texas Good Roads Association—to a seat on his Transportation Department transition team in 2000. The plum appointment enabled Johnson’s lobbying firm, Infrastructure Solutions, to snare such high-paying clients as Aetna and the City of Laredo. Sources say Johnson now frequently travels between Washington D.C. and Austin, where she frequently appears at Rove’s side at parties and unofficial functions.
Although there is no evidence that their relationship is anything but professional, the close association between the married White House aide and the comely lobbyist has long raised eyebrows in conservative Texas circles. Asked about the pair, a prominent political journalist who has written extensively about Rove says, “I’ve heard the stories, but I would never write about Karl and Karen. If you want to keep your job as a reporter in Texas, you make believe you don’t see them together.”
In the post-Lewinsky era, Washington’s press corps has mostly avoided reporting on the private lives of public officials. But as the political climate in the capitol grows more poisonous, Rove’s close friendship with the lobbyist has attracted increased scrutiny from opponents eager to prove that Bush’s dirty trickster is sitting on some dirty laundry of his own.
Asked to comment on Rove’s relationship with Johnson, a White House spokesman firmly declined to discuss the matter, saying that their relationship was “the business of these two individuals who have personal lives…I don’t think that’s something that the White House should comment on.” A new air of civility in Washington? Don’t count on it."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Radio Music, Illegally Paid to Play by the RIAA and its Minions

Spitzer Evidence To Be Handed Over To FCC

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein says Eliot Spitzer has given the Federal Communications Commission “an arsenal of smoking guns” to amp up federal payola enforcement.

Reacting to Monday’s settlement between the New York state attorney general and Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Adelstein tells Billboard Radio Monitor he has asked Spitzer for “everything he’s got” so that evidence uncovered in New York’s pay-for-play probe can be evaluated for possible federal violations.

An outspoken advocate for heightened payola enforcement, Adelstein says an email trail now exists to justify a full-on federal investigation.

---Fox News has more on the story at this link
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Monticello, Beethoven’s “Symphony # 9”, the Venus de Milo, Buddy Holly’s “The Strangest Fruit,” and Van Gogh’s “The Scream” have built a pathway into our collective understanding of what art is. But more importantly these musicians, artists, and creators have given us an implicit understanding of what art isn’t.

Don’t let them fool you. Don’t let them write our cultural history in the name of the dollar, don’t let them tell you what music is. You know what it is. Don’t let Britney Spears or J-Lo be your child’s “American Idol.”

Art is not for profit. Art by definition is a “Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.” Art, then, is aesthetically priceless and any punk or record industry attempting to put a price on it is creating something that isn’t art. They are creating ‘artists’ for profit by following a well-devised and somewhat devious marketing scheme.

Now I have always despised the typical song on the radio, not because it sucks, but because it is not art. These 'artists' also join forces to make Napster - a technological advancement that spreads music and art for free to Earth’s entirety - illegal. They fear Napster for it cuts their bottom line: their true motives for being part of the industry... this story confirms it. I just find the whole thing frustrating. Sony and the RIAA create artists, pay for them to be played on the air, which cyclically expands their popularity, then sue their young brainwashed listeners for downloading it on the internet. This is a true detriment to art, they have too much power, they must be destroyed.

Given that this is such a new arrival on the cultural scene, we haven’t really separated the new species from the original genus. Perhaps it should be called Art de facto, or Artus falsus instead of its parent ‘Art.’

But while the record industry is pursuing payola maybe they could get the courts to start heavily taxing manufacturers of photocopiers, radios with cassette recorders, and stationary-makers (some people still write by hand, right?) — after all, if we don’t stop those diabolical, villainous pirates now, when will we stop them?

The Wire : Radar Online: Morning Roundup

: "Supreme Court justice nominee John Roberts%u2019 name appears in the 1997-98 directory of the ultra conservative Federalist Society. Roberts and Republican officials have repeatedly said that Roberts has no recollection of being part of the Society, which means he really was and now wishes he weren%u2019t, or that they put one of those memory-sucking metal yarmulke things on his head and sucked his memory out. We%u2019re going with option No. 2. [WaPo]

- Even Bush-voting Republicans are getting pissed at the way the White House has responded the news that high-ranking officials leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Over the weekend, Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent took the President to task for his handling of the controversy and went so far as to dust off the old %u201CF-F%u201D word. Yes, Johnson said Bush has %u201Cflip-flopped%u201D on his statement that he would fire anyone (cough, cough, Karl, cough, cough), who leaked the Plame name. Ah, flip-flopping, back just in time for summer! [CNN]

- The US might like to pride itself on being No. 1 at everything, but we may have to share that title when it comes to presidential impeachments. The Philippine parliament has moved to impeach President Gloria Arroyo, based on accusations of vote-rigging and other unsavory acts. Such a move would cut short Arroyo's remaining five years left in office and would immediately guarantee her an invitation to all future Bill Clinton Labor Day BBQs. [AP] (MM)"

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Eight Days in July - New York Times

Eight Days in July - New York Times: "PRESIDENT BUSH'S new Supreme Court nominee was a historic first after all: the first to be announced on TV dead center in prime time, smack in the cross hairs of 'I Want to Be a Hilton.' It was also one of the hastiest court announcements in memory, abruptly sprung a week ahead of the White House's original timetable. The agenda of this rushed showmanship - to change the subject in Washington - could not have been more naked. But the president would have had to nominate Bill Clinton to change this subject.
When a conspiracy is unraveling, and it's every liar and his lawyer for themselves, the story takes on a momentum of its own. When the conspiracy is, at its heart, about the White House's twisting of the intelligence used to sell the American people a war - and its desperate efforts to cover up that flimflam once the W.M.D. cupboard proved bare and the war went south - the story will not end until the war really is in its 'last throes.' Only 36 hours after the John Roberts unveiling, The Washington Post nudged him aside to second position on its front page."

88 Egyptians Killed in Terrorist Blast

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) - Egypt's president vowed Saturday to hunt down terrorists who unleashed a rapid series of car bombs and another blast in this Egyptian Red Sea resort, devastating a luxury hotel and a coffee shop and killing at least 88 people in the nation's deadliest terror attack.
The early morning attacks, which used more than a half-ton of explosives, came just two days after the latest strikes in London and sent an already jittery world reeling again. At least 119 people also were wounded, the Interior Ministry said.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

US anti-war grannies face justice

BBC NEWS: "Elderly members of a US anti-war group called the 'raging grannies of Tucson' are due in court following a protest at an Arizona military recruitment centre.
They have been accused of trespassing after entering the centre earlier this month, saying they wanted to enlist.
The group, mostly women in their 60s and 70s, said they wanted to go to Iraq so their grandchildren could come home.
An army spokeswoman says the protesters were not serious about enlisting and were harassing recruiters.
Nine people - five elderly activists and four journalists - are due to appear in court on Monday.
The Raging Grannies, who are associated with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, have held protests outside the Tucson recruitment centre every week for three years."

Wilson revealed - Bloggermann - MSNBC.com

Wilson revealed - Bloggermann - MSNBC.com: July 22, 2005 | 10:02 p.m. ETWilson revealed (Keith Olbermann)SECAUCUS Call it the CIA Leak Investigation, or the Valerie Plame follow-up, or the Karl Rove Case. By whichever name, it may have just turned from the difficult-to-follow, and legally subtle, pursuit of someone who couldve violated a complicated law about not deliberately revealing the identity of covert agents into something much simpler.The special prosecutor may be going after Karl Rove and Scooter Libby for making false statements to the prosecutors.In other words: lying."
Read on for an interview with Wilson

Friday, July 22, 2005

Patriot Act provisions get House boost

WASHINGTON -- The House voted Thursday to make permanent most of the key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the sweeping law passed in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that expanded law-enforcement powers to investigate suspected terrorists.

Hours after the London subway system was bombed for the second time in two weeks, House members opened a daylong debate on the Patriot Act.

Supporters of the law said the London attacks underscored the importance of the act. Critics had said Congress should more thoroughly review and amend a law that they contended was passed in haste and could allow government abuses of privacy and civil liberties.

The bill passed on a largely partisan vote of 257-171 after the Republican-controlled House--over Democrats' objections--limited debate to less than half the proposed amendments.

In both the House and the Senate, which will take up its version of the legislation soon, the GOP majorities seem to be moving toward something less than the blanket reauthorization of the Patriot Act that President Bush has publicly urged.

Bush wants Congress to make permanent all 16 provisions of the Patriot Act that are due to expire at the end of this year. The House measure comes close, making 14 of the provisions permanent.

But it would limit renewal of two of the more controversial sections to 10 years: One permits phone wiretaps to apply to any telephone a suspect uses, not just a specific phone number. The other allows the government to go to a secret court for permission to search a broad array of personal records, including library and medical records.

Among the sections the House bill would make permanent is one that allows greater information-sharing among intelligence agencies, federal prosecutors and grand juries.

The Senate moved ahead Thursday with its own reauthorization of the Patriot Act, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved changes to its bill and sent it on for consideration by the whole chamber. That bill differs in key respects from the House measure and would apply additional curbs on law enforcement.

It was unclear when that measure--or a competing one, approved by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that would make permanent all 16 sections of the act--would come up for debate. Congress is in session just one more week before adjourning for a month.

House members from Illinois were divided. Voting "yes": Republicans Dennis Hastert, Judy Biggert, Henry Hyde, Mark Kirk and Jerry Weller, and Democrats Melissa Bean, Rahm Emanuel and Daniel Lipinski.

Voting "no": Democrats Jerry Costello, Danny Davis, Lane Evans, Luis Gutierrez, Jesse Jackson Jr., Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky, and Republicans Timothy Johnson, Ray LaHood and Donald Manzullo.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Welcome to MichaelMoore.com!

Ex-Intel Officers Speak on Plame's Behalf
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Eleven former intelligence officers are speaking up on behalf of CIA officer Valerie Plame, saying leaking her identity may have damaged national security and threatens the ability of U.S. intelligence gathering.
In a statement to congressional leaders, the former officers said the Republican National Committee has circulated talking points focusing on the idea that Plame was not working undercover and deserved no protection.
There are thousands of U.S. intelligence officers who work at a desk in the Washington, D.C., area every day who are undercover as Plame was when her identity was leaked, the 11 former officers said in a three-page statement."

Plame's Identity Marked As Secret

Plame's Identity Marked As Secret: "A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked '(S)' for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ice Shelf Collapse Reveals New Undersea World

LiveScience: "The collapse of a giant ice shelf in Antarctica has revealed a thriving ecosystem half a mile below the sea.
Despite near freezing and sunless conditions, a community of clams and a thin layer of bacterial mats are flourishing in undersea sediments.
'Seeing these organisms on the ocean bottom -- it's like lifting the carpet off the floor and finding a layer that you never knew was there,' said Eugene Domack of Hamilton College.
Domack is the lead author on the report of the finding in the July 19 issue of Eos, the weekly newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.
The discovery was accidental. U.S. Antarctic Program scientists were in the northwestern Weddell Sea investigating the sediment record in a deep glacial trough twice the size of Texas. The trough was unveiled in the 2002 Larsen B ice shelf collapse."



Sorry, not Atlantis this time

Report Tallies Almost 25,000 Civilians Slain

Report Tallies Almost 25,000 Civilians Slain : "Report Tallies Almost 25,000 Civilians Slain
Many Iraqis were killed by U.S.-led forces and criminals as well as insurgents between the invasion and March 19, antiwar groups say.
By Alissa J. Rubin, Times Staff Writer
BAGHDAD Violence in Iraq left nearly 25,000 civilians dead and 42,500 injured in the two years after the U.S.-led invasion began in March 2003, according to a detailed compilation and analysis of news reports released Tuesday by a pair of Britain-based groups opposed to the war.

The report came amid another 24 hours of violence throughout Iraq that killed at least 29 people, including a political leader, several police officers, a factory worker and eight Iraqi civilian laborers at a U.S. military base."

Boy, 15, wins curfew legal battle

BBC NEWS: "A 15-year-old boy has won a landmark High Court challenge to the legality of child curfew zones used to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The teenager said the use of dispersal zones in Richmond, south-west London, breached his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Unaccompanied under-16s found in zones after 9pm can be held and escorted home, whether badly behaved or not.
The Home Office said it would be appealing against the ruling.
The police and Richmond Council had argued that curfew zones reduced anti-social behaviour.
The High Court ruled that the law did not give the police a power of arrest, and officers could not force someone to come with them.
Lord Justice Brooke said: '... All of us have the right to walk the streets without interference from police constables or CSOs unless they possess common law or statutory powers to stop us."

" ... They shouldn't be allowed to treat me like a criminal just because I'm under 16"
Teenager known as 'W'

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bush's 'Big Time' Leak?

Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online
Speaking of Dicks...
"Did Robert Novaks other White House source leak from an undisclosed location? Now that Karl Rove has been outed as one of two administration sources who confirmed the columnists Valerie Plame smear, Beltway insiders are speculating the other White House big mouth belongs to Vice President Dick Cheney.
People have to understand that [Judith] Miller, [Matt] Cooper, and Novak were all Iraq War zealots starting as early as 2001, and Cheney was relentless about going to war he was ready to literally destroy anyone who got in his way, a Capitol Hill insider tells Radar.
Since Coopers recent revelation that Cheneys chief of staff,
Lewis Scooter Libby, corroborated Plames CIA status for him,
media attention has been focused further down the White House chain of command. Whoever ultimately emerges as Roves partner in crime, senior Dem officials are determined to do a little House cleaning.
dont know for sure it was Cheney, but this is an administration that won two Presidential elections by discrediting their opponents, says one Democratic congressman. If a Democratic administration had engaged in this type of behavior, the impeachment hearings would have started by now. A spokesman for Cheneys office did not return calls for comment by press time."

Bush stalls on CIA scandal firing

"US President George W Bush has said he will sack anyone in the White House who committed a crime in relation to the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent."
. . . . .
Bush, you are a dick.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Why the Leak Probe Matters - Newsweek Politics - MSNBC.com

Why the Leak Probe Matters - Newsweek Politics - MSNBC.com: "For all the complexities of the Valerie Plame case, this story is about how easy it was to get into Iraq, and how hard it will be to get out."

If Watergate Happened Now - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

If Watergate Happened Now - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com: "President Nixon left office in 2005 having proved me and the other 'nattering nabobs of negativism' wrong. We thought that his administration was sleazy but we were never able to nail him. Those of us who hoped it would end differently knew we were in trouble when former Nixon media adviser Roger Ailes banned the word 'Watergate' from Fox News's coverage and went with the logo 'Assault on the Presidency' instead. By that time, the American people figured both sides were just spinning, and a tie always goes to the incumbent."

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Submission"

On November 2nd 2004, Theo Van Gogh was brutally murdered on the street in reaction to his film, "Submission," which criticizes the treatment of women under Islam. The slain filmmaker, a descendent of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, was a provocative media trickster courting controversy during his entire career. Some called him a champion of free speech. Others, referencing inflammatory terms such as "goat-fuckers", (his preferred moniker for Muslim immigrants) found his irreverence for all things religious to be utterly repellent.
Van Gogh's killer was in that camp. Islamic Extremist Mohamed Bouyeri, 26, a Dutch National of Moroccan descent shot and stabbed van Gogh repeatedly, even as van Gogh pleaded for mercy. He pinned a note to his body addressed to writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It said that she would be destroyed, along with Holland and the United States.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament, is a self-proclaimed ex-Muslim. She escaped to the Netherlands in 1992 to avoid an arranged marriage. At age five she had undergone the ordeal of female genital mutilation, a custom still practiced in many Muslim communities. This and other grievances with Islamic practice lead her to reject her faith and seek to aid other women oppressed by outmoded tradition. Despite the threat to her own life, Ms. Hirsi Ali refuses to back down on what she calls her Islam Reform Project (IRP) "I am on a mission. And it has only just begun."

CBSNews.com Report

The Movie

Man shoots postman to get jailed

BBC NEWS: "A US man shot his postman so that he would get sent to prison for life and escape his crippling medical debts, investigators say.
William Crutchfield shot 59-year-old postman Earl Lazenby in Snellville, Georgia, two weeks ago.
He greeted the postman and collected his letters before lifting his pistol and shooting him seven times.
Mr Lazenby survived the attack but the shots punctured his colon and intestine and fractured bones in an arm.
After shooting Mr Lazenby, the 60-year-old electrical contractor drove to the police station and confessed."

Birthing Under The Influence - July 15, 2005

The Smoking Gun: "Oklahoma woman goes into labor after quaffing 'Milwaukee's Best'
JULY 15--A pregnant Oklahoma woman who split a case of beer with her boyfriend shortly before giving birth last month is facing felony child neglect charges. Melissa Irene Tanner, a 37-year-old mother of seven, had a blood alcohol content nearly four times the state's .08 limit, according to the below probable cause affidavit. Tanner's baby, a girl born June 30, had a BAC of .21, nearly three times the Oklahoma limit. Tanner, who first told a nurse that she was unaware of the pregnancy, was arrested and tossed into the Washington County lockup, where she is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail. Tanner, pictured at right in a booking photo, drank a case of beer a week during her pregnancy, and apparently preferred 'the cheap stuff,' according to the affidavit. In fact, a friend quoted by cops said that after the baby was born, she asked Tanner what the girl was going to be named. Tanner, the friend told deputies, replied, 'Maybe Milwaukee's Best.'"

The Devil and Judy Miller

Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online: "Did Robert Novak rat on New York Times reporter Judith Miller? While some have suggested Miller—who never wrote a word about CIA spook Valerie Plame—was dragged into the leak probe when her name turned up on a White House call log, several beltway insiders close to the investigation say special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald learned of Miller’s involvement from Novak himself.
Though the GOP hatchetman claims he’s never spoken to the grand jury about the column, a well-known Democratic pundit tells Radar, “Novak is the media’s Joseph Valachi,” referring to the 1960’s mafia capo who was the first mobster to testify against La Cosa Nostra. “There’s no question he rolled over.” According to our sources, Miller shared Plame’s identity with her perfidious fellow neocon after deciding not to publish it herself; Novak then called his two White House sources for confirmation and wrote the July 14, 2003 column that blew Plame’s cover.
Soon after, Fitzgerald dispatched agents to question Novak about his sources and he promptly spilled the beans. The special prosecutor then subpoenaed Miller, who’s currently in jail on a contempt charge. Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson—whose Times’ op-ed triggered the leak in the first place—is open to the theory. “If Novak met with the special counsel and satisfied all their needs, they wouldn’t have any need to call him in front of the grand jury,” Wilson tells Radar. “As for what he told them [about Miller], why don’t you ask Novak?”
Repeated calls and e-mails to the Prince of Darkness went unanswered, and Times spokesman Toby Usnik would only say, robotically, that “Ms. Miller learned about Valerie Plame from a confidential source or sources whose identity she continues to protect to this day.” Noble, indeed. As for Novak, we hear fellow pariah Michael Jackson is looking for a ghostwriter.
"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Plame Game

The Plame Game : Radar Online: "Just how screwed is Karl Rove for his role in outing Valerie Plame? There’s no use asking Scott McClellan.
by John Aravosis
On Monday, during the daily White House press briefing, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan was answering a question when NBC’s David Gregory cut him off. “If you’ll let me finish…” McClellan said. Then the unthinkable occurred. A reporter didn’t simply succumb to the administration’s heavy-handed press wrangling, rolling over, as the press corps has been doing for years, letting lies about Al Qaeda links to Saddam Hussein and the motivations for the war in Iraq go unchallenged. What happened then is that the gaggle grew a pair. “No, you’re not finishing,” Gregory snapped at McClellan, “because you’re not saying anything.""

ACTION ALERT: Write Karl Rove a Letter of Support and Stand Against the Democratic Lynching of America's #1 Son! - WHITEHOUSE.ORG



ACTION ALERT: Write Karl Rove a Letter of Support and Stand Against the Democratic Lynching of America's #1 Son! - WHITEHOUSE.ORG

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Poor Little Rich World

Radar Online: "Last week's G8 summit was supposed to focus
on African debt relief. But shouldn't reform start at home?

When Live8, a series of concerts organized by arthritic rockers with weighty
geopolitical issues on their minds, gets more media attention than the G8 summit
itself, something is very wrong. The summit began with a bang but concluded with
a whimper, and it wasn't because the bigger bang of the London bombing
hijacked the headlines.
The summit in Scotland was an opportunity for the big
dogs to show their leadership, and even though they made some high-minded
statements about their mutual commitment to looking international terror boldly
in the eye, they ended up neutered, once again, by events. Indeed, last
Saturday's New York Times decided that the hobnob deserved only
lower-right frontpage status. And that was pretty much the rule. On the weekend
that The Fantastic Four reversed Hollywood's 19-consecutive-week
box office slide, the Ineffectual Eight proved not only that they aren't
superheroes, they can be beaten by Jessica Alba.
The meeting was a pitiful gesture. The two main subjects, African poverty and
global warming, are easy to think of as somebody else's far-away
problems--terrible, sure, but nothing pressing when there are bills to be
paid. The summit was just a formalized reflection of typical upper-middle-class
white guilt, a flurry of intense activity including NGO white papers and
purposeful posturing followed by global-poverty-as-usual. But at least focusing
on poverty over there does serve the useful purpose of shifting attention from
the G8's domestic problems, including unemployment, a lack of global
competitiveness, and simmering immigrant populations. If the G8 were truly
interested in Africa, as the Nation pointed out, it would 'open
up Western markets for agricultural exports by cutting subsidies to U.S. and
European farmers.'"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Chicago Officials Turn Off 'Jesus' Light!!

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) - City officials have turned off a streetlight that drew more than 250 people to see a shadow that some say resembles the image of Jesus Christ.
East Chicago Police Chief Angelo Machuca called an emergency meeting Sunday to recommend the light be turned off in the interest of public safety after nearby residents complained about blocked cars and visitors congregating until 5 a.m.
Several arrests were made Friday night after a large fight broke out in the area.
"The city respects everyone's religious beliefs, but it's getting to the point now where it's almost too dangerous" to leave the light on, said Damian Rico, the city's public relations director.
People have flocked to the site since Wednesday, when a woman first claimed to see the image on the side of a tree. The image is only visible at night when the streetlight near the tree is illuminated.
Machuca said his department doesn't have the manpower to maintain regular patrols and control the crowd.
"The light will remain off until we can get some kind of solution," he said.

Mother arrested for driving with kids in trunk - Crime & Punishment - MSNBC.com

Mother arrested for driving with kids in trunk - Crime & Punishment - MSNBC.com: "McLEAN, Virginia - A mother has been charged with child abuse and cruelty after she allegedly forced two of her children to take turns riding in the trunk of a car on an eight-hour drive from Alabama to Virginia.Cheryl Ann Schoonmaker, 38, forced the two girls, aged 8 and 10, to take turns in the trunk July 1 because there was not enough room in the car, according to Curtis Schoonmaker, her ex-husband."

White House denials on Rove fall silent - Politics - MSNBC.com

White House denials on Rove fall silent - Politics - MSNBC.com: "WASHINGTON - For the better part of two years, the word coming out of the Bush White House was that presidential adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak of a female CIA officer's identity and that whoever did would be fired.But Bush spokesman Scott McClellan wouldn't repeat those claims Monday in the face of Rove's own lawyer, Robert Luskin, acknowledging the political operative spoke to Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, one of the reporters who disclosed Valerie Plame's name"

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Daily Dunklin Democrat: Story : Column by Gene Lyons

Daily Dunklin Democrat: Story : Column by Gene Lyons
"White House Smear Campaign"

Welcome to MichaelMoore.com!

Welcome to MichaelMoore.com!: "THE WAR ON TERROR: PROGRESS?

Four years ago this September, the world changed. George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, rose from the rubble of tragedy to boldly lead a war on all those who hated freedom. We were going to smoke them out of their caves.
We invaded Afghanistan, toppled their brutal dictators and set up a provisional government that became an elected government that will celebrate its democracy this fall at the polls.
The war there, however, is not over and was never won. The Taliban launched a spring offensive, heroin sales are booming, non-aligned war lords rule much of the outlying country, and the citizens stuck in between are feeling uneasy.
The #1 Evildoer hasn't been found--nevermind the leader of the Taliban who also vanished. Now Pakistan says Osama might be in Afghanistan. Afghanistan says he might be in Pakistan but wherever he is, he's not in Afghanistan.
Finding this guy is enough to make anyone's head spin and so we gave up and went to Iraq.
In the name of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism we toppled a brutal dictator and fulfilled the President's promise to use American power for nation-building.
More than two years into this invasion, the Iraqi people have voted for a leader, the government is drafting a plan to draft a constitution, the people often have no power, and the anti-invasion insurgency is always about to end.
Here is a look at Iraq by the numbers:Number of U.S. troops in Iraq -- 135,000;Number of coalition troops in Iraq -- 23,250;Number of Iraqi security forces -- 168,581;Number of insurgents & militants -- 16,000.
That's 326,831 coalition soldiers fighting 16,000 insurgents at the cost of $180,000,000,000.00."

Matt Cooper's Source - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

Matt Cooper's Source - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

Broken Blog

The original code can be downloaded by clicking on the title. Two days with a non-functioning blog was too long.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Web users flock to British sites for blast news

Reuters.co.uk: "LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Record numbers of visitors deluged British Web sites on Thursday as people around the world sought information from news organisations about the blasts that rocked London's public transport. News sites operated by public broadcaster BBC , satellite TV provider BSkyB (BSY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and the Financial Times (PSON.L: Quote, Profile, Research) business newspaper suffered delays on their home pages Thursday morning in London because of the traffic, according to a company that monitors Web traffic. 'There was a significant amount of turbulence in terms of performance,' Roopak Patel, an analyst at Keynote Systems, told Reuters. The BBC expects by the end of Thursday it will have had the most visitors in a single day in the history of its news Web site, though it won't have official data until Friday. 'We have had a huge surge in people using the site today,' a BBC spokeswoman said. 'We are pretty certain this is going to be our busiest ever day.'"

Bush Go Boom

The Wire : Radar Online: "This time, there was no pretzel to blame - just an unsuspecting Scottish law enforcement officer and the leaders of the free world looking on in disbelief:
"Bush, an avid and aggressive mountain biker, collided with a local police officer Wednesday during an afternoon ride at a golf resort here, scraping his hands and arms when he hit the asphalt"

An avid mountain biker? Really?
Cause he's not so swift with the balance. It gets better:

Bush, who was wearing a helmet and traveling at what a spokesman called a "pretty good speed," quickly dusted himself off. But the officer, on foot at the time, was taken to a local hospital with an ankle injury. He was released when tests revealed no fracture.
Great. There's, like, three cops in Gleneagles, Scotland, and Bush takes out one of them. Will someone take the mountain bike away from the President, please? Or put the training wheels back on the bike and the presidency, actually. (TG)
Bush Begins Trip With a Thud, Crashing Bike Into Policemen [WaPo]"

The Times Scoops That Melted - Cataloging the wretched reporting of Judith Miller. By Jack Shafer

Slate: "By Jack Shafer
Posted Friday, July 25, 2003, at 3:49 PM PT

If reporters who live by their sources were obliged to die by their sources, New York Times reporter Judith Miller would be stinking up her family tomb right now. In the 18-month run-up to the war on Iraq, Miller grew incredibly close to numerous Iraqi sources, both named and anonymous, who gave her detailed interviews about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Yet 100 days after the fall of Baghdad, none of the sensational allegations about chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons given to Miller have panned out, despite the furious crisscrossing of Iraq by U.S. weapons hunters.In a Page One Times piece this week ('A Chronicle of Confusion in the Hunt for Hussein's Weapons,' July 20), Miller acknowledges that 'whether Saddam possessed such weapons when the war began remains unknown.' But from there, she serially blames the failure of U.S. forces to uncover weapons of mass destruction on 'chaos,' 'disorganization,' 'interagency feuds,' 'flawed intelligence,' 'looting,' and 'shortages of everything from gasoline to soap.' Alternatively, she writes, maybe the wrong people were in charge of the search; perhaps a greater emphasis should have been placed on acquiring human sources rather than searching sites; and it could be that the military botched the op by not investing the WMD searchers with the power to reward cooperating Iraqi scientists financially or grant them amnesty.
Judith Miller finds everybody associated with the failed search theoretically culpable except Judith Miller. This rings peculiar because Miller, more than any other reporter, showcased the WMD speculations and intelligence findings by the Bush administration and the Iraqi defector/dissidents. Our WMD expectations, such as they were, grew largely out of Miller's stories."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New York Times Reporter Is Jailed for Keeping Source Secret

New York Times: "WASHINGTON, July 6 - A federal judge today ordered Judith Miller of The New York Times to be jailed immediately after she again refused to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. operative.
Another reporter who had been facing jail time on the same matter, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, agreed today to testify to a grand jury about his confidential source on the same matter, thus avoiding jail. Mr. Cooper said he had decided to do so only because his source specifically released him from promises of confidentiality just before today's hearing.The judge, Thomas F. Hogan of Federal District Court in Washington, rejected a request by Ms. Miller and her lawyers that she be allowed to serve her detention at home or in Connecticut or elsewhere, and ordered that she be put in custody and taken to a jail in the District of Columbia area until October, or until she changed her mind about testifying.Ms. Miller herself told the court that she would not reveal her source no matter how long they jailed her."

Draft Dodgers

Radar Online: "If a military draft is really out of the question, why is the Bush administration spending so much time planning one?

No wonder President Bush devoted part of last week’s “Iraq: You Gotta Want It!” speech to urging Americans to enlist. Army recruitment was down 42 percent in April, so the Pentagon lowered the May quota, but still missed its mark by 25 percent, according to MSNBC. As a result, the army is in danger of not meeting its annual recruiting goal for the first time since 1999. And while the other services are hitting their quotas, the fact remains that of the 139,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq, about 105,000 are army.
The Pentagon is desperately trying to stop the hemorrhaging. The army lowered its academic standards last fall, and, just last month, the Wall Street Journal wrote that “To keep more soldiers in the service, the Army has told battalion commanders, who typically command 800-soldier units, that they can no longer bounce soldiers from the service for poor fitness, pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse or generally unsatisfactory performance.”
Just what we need: an army of Federlines.
"

Beating Around the Bush

Fresh Intelligence : Radar Online: "Did the president secure Osama Bin Laden’s safety with a kiss? Ever since CIA chief Porter Goss admitted to Time magazine three weeks ago that he has “an excellent idea” where the top terrorist is hiding, but can’t go after him because of “sanctuaries in sovereign states and fair play,” the chatter among Capitol Hill Democrats is that Osama Bin Laden remains at large because he’s hiding in Bush’s blind spot: Saudi Arabia.
“Sanctuaries in sovereign nations and fair play? These have never been things that this administration has been concerned about,” one Democratic congressman tells Radar, requesting anonymity. “There is a lot of evidence from what Goss has said publicly, and our President’s relationship with the Saudi Royal family, that warrants an investigation into where he’s actually hiding, including Saudi Arabia. The Democrats don’t want to appear too hysterical with this, so we’re taking our time to find out the facts.”
If the man responsible for killing 3,000 Americans is in Saudi Arabia it presents a unique problem for the petrol-rich president, the congressman points out. “Who can forget the kiss between Bush and [Saudi Crown] Prince Abdullah two months ago when they sat down to talk about ‘oil prices?’ Well, since then, oil prices have skyrocketed to 60 bucks a barrel! The Saudis literally have the President by the balls.”
"

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Compare and Contrast

"Radar Online: Over at DailyKos, the liberal, Al Franken-listenin’, latte-drinkin’ crowd has been coming up with example after example to show just how much in common Al Qaeda/Taliban members have with members of the far right in the US (what they like to call the “American Taliban”). Some of what they’ve come up with so far:

Religion in government
Al Qaida/Taliban: One and the same
American Taliban: One and the same
Liberals: Separation of church and state

Schools
Al Qaida/Taliban: Religious indoctrination. Run by clergy
American Taliban: School prayer. Religious indoctrination
Liberals: Leave religious teachings to sunday school

Women
Al Qaida/Taliban: No school, must cover entire body, no rights
American Taliban: Government control over reproductive freedoms, hostility to Title IX, hostility to working women
Liberals: Equality of the sexes

Religious freedom
Al Qaida/Taliban: ‘Think like us, or we’ll whip you and/or chop off your head’
American Taliban: ‘Think like us, or we’ll condemn you to hell’
Liberals: To each her own

Homosexuality
Al Qaida/Taliban: Eradicate them from society
American Taliban: Eradicate them from society
Liberals: Equality under the law

Torture
Al Qaida/Taliban: Torture them or chop off their heads
American Taliban: Torture them or homosexually rape them.
Liberals: No torture

A steaming plate of falafel:
Al Qaida/Taliban: Mmm, tasty!
American Taliban: Mmm, tasty!
Liberals: Mmm, tasty!
Okay, fine, we totally made the last one up."

Prosecutor Demands Time Reporter Testimony

Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - A federal prosecutor on Tuesday demanded that Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a
CIA officer's identity, even though Time Inc. has surrendered e-mails and other documents in the probe.
Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald also opposed the request of Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller to be granted home detention %u2014 instead of jail %u2014 for refusing to reveal their sources.
Allowing the reporters home confinement would make it easier for them to continue to defy a court order to testify, he said. Special treatment for journalists may 'negate the coercive effect contemplated by federal law,' Fitzgerald wrote in filings with the court.
'Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality %u2014 no one in America is,' Fitzgerald wrote.
Fitzgerald is investigating who in the administration leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, a possible federal crime. Plame's identity was leaked days after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly disparaged the president's case for invading
Iraq."

United Church of Christ Backs Same-Sex Marriage - New York Times

United Church of Christ Backs Same-Sex Marriage - New York Times: "ATLANTA, July 4 - The United Church of Christ became the first mainline Christian denomination to support same-sex marriage officially when its general synod passed a resolution on Monday affirming 'equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender.'"

Monday, July 04, 2005

Russian sues Nasa for comet upset

BBC NEWS: "Hours after a Nasa probe crashed into Comet Tempel 1, legal reverberations were felt in a Moscow court.
Judges in the tiny courtroom normally deal with matters much more mundane than space exploration.
But Judge Litvinenko opened hearings into a case which could see Nasa pay a local amateur astrologist millions of dollars in damages.
Writer Marina Bay claims that by slamming the probe into the comet, Nasa endangered the future of civilisation.
'Nobody has yet proven that this experiment was safe,' says Ms Bay's lawyer Alexander Molokhov.
'This impact could have altered the orbit of the comet, so now there is a chance that the Tempel may well destroy the Earth some day!'
This claim was brushed aside by Nasa mission engineer Shadan Ardalan.
'The analogy is a mosquito hitting the front of an airliner in flight. The effect is negligible,' Mr Ardalan told BBC News.
However, even if the comet stays at a safe distance from Earth, Ms Bay's own life, she thinks, will never be the same again.
An amateur astrologist, she believes that any variation in the orbit or the composition of the Tempel comet will certainly affect her own fate.
So Ms Marina's claims to be experiencing 'a moral trauma' - which only a payment of $300m (252m euros; %uFFFD170m) can put right."

Rove's "I Did Not Inhale" Defense

The Huffington Post | The Blog: "Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, had his holiday weekend ruined on Friday when I broke the story that the e-mails that Time delivered to the special prosecutor that afternoon reveal that Karl Rove is the source Matt Cooper has been protecting for two years. The next day, Luskin was forced to open the first hole in the Rove two-year wall of silence about the case. In a huge admission to Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times, Luskin confessed that, well, yes, Rove did talk to Cooper. It is a huge admission in a case where Rove and Luskin have never, before Friday, felt compelled to say a word about Rove's contact with Cooper or anyone else involved in the case.
Luskin then launched what sounds like an I-did-not-inhale defense. He told Newsweek that his client 'never knowingly disclosed classified information.' Knowingly. That is the most important word Luskin said in what has now become his public version of the Rove defense.
Not coincidentally, the word 'knowing' is the most important word in the controlling statute ( U.S. Code: Title 50: Section 421). To violate the law, Rove had to tell Cooper about a covert agent 'knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States.'
So, Rove's defense now hangs on one word- he 'never knowingly disclosed classified information.' Does that mean Rove simply didn't know Valerie Plame was a covert agent? Or does it just mean that Rove did not know that the CIA was 'taking affirmative measures' to hide her identity?
In Luskin's next damage control session with the press, let's see if any reporter can get him to drop the word 'knowingly' from the never-disclosed-classified-information bit."

REDFORD URGES JOURNALISTS TO INVESTIGATE BUSH

: "LATEST: ROBERT REDFORD has urged journalists to investigate US President
GEORGE W BUSH's administration - because he sees strong similarities between
Bush's government and the events leading to the Watergate scandal which forced
President RICHARD NIXON to resign.
Redford starred in 1976 movie ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN alongside DUSTIN
HOFFMAN, as The Washington Post journalists BOB WOODWARD and CARL BERNSTEIN,
who brought about the events that led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.
And Redford wasn't surprised when the identity of the mysterious 'Deep
Throat' character who sparked the Watergate scandal was recently revealed to be
former deputy FBI chief MARK FELT.
But the shock revelation has reminded the actor of the power of the media
and the similarities between Bush's secret cover-ups and the Watergate
affair.
He says, 'There are deep similarities going on but where is the press?
where is the press?'
'There is stone-walling, not telling the truth, getting people under
wiretaps. The US public continues to be told things that are not true and what
worries me is that we have these brave young American guys risking their lives
everyday.
'When Deep Throat was revealed, the press came to me and wanted to know
what I thought. I said, 'Well, it's interesting that his name came out but is
that the point?'
'My contribution was to come at a time when journalism was at its high
point and the role I played was to save a testimony to the freedom of speech.
The media have changed, we see the ethics have changed. The press is more, I am
sorry to say,
celebrity oriented.'"

Girth of a Nation

New York Times: "The Center for Consumer Freedom, an advocacy group financed by Coca-Cola, Wendy's and Tyson Foods, among others, has a Fourth of July message for you: worrying about the rapid rise in American obesity is unpatriotic.
'Far too few Americans,' declares the center's Web site, 'remember that the Founding Fathers, authors of modern liberty, greatly enjoyed their food and drink. ... Now it seems that food liberty - just one of the many important areas of personal choice fought for by the original American patriots - is constantly under attack.'It sounds like a parody, but don't laugh. These people are blocking efforts to help America's children.I've been looking into the issues surrounding obesity because it plays an important role in health care costs. According to a study recently published in the journal Health Affairs, the extra costs associated with caring for the obese rose from 2 percent of total private insurance spending in 1987 to 11.6 percent in 2002. The study didn't cover Medicare and Medicaid, but it's a good bet that obesity-related expenses are an important factor in the rising costs of taxpayer-financed programs, too. Fat is a fiscal issue. But it's also, alas, a partisan issue."

Friday, July 01, 2005

Even Deeper Throat

The Wire : Radar Online: "USA Today got its own Deep Throat to hand over an early peek at Bob Woodward's
book on Deep Throat, his super secret source for stories that helped eventually
bring down the Nixon White House. Okay, so USA Today's Deep Throat was a dim
witted Fairfax County, Va., store manager who let copies of Woodward's forthcoming book, The Secret Man, sneak on to shelves before its on-sale date next Wednesday. A USA Today reporter just, well, bought it. Nevertheless, the paper was able to beat everyone to the punch and quote from the yet-to-be-released revelations. Most interesting, according to USA Today:
The garage where Woodward and Deep Throat met, which was portrayed to
dramatic effect in the movie All the President's Men, is 'behind and underneath'
1401 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, Va. The entrance is at 1820 N. Nash St. Until now,
the specific location of the garage had not been known.
And now, you'll never get a parking spot there again. Thanks, Woodie. "

The High Cost of a Rush to Security

The High Cost of a Rush to Security: "The money was spent in the name of improving security at the nation's airports:
$526.95 for one phone call from the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago to Iowa City.
$1,180 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee -- $3.69 a cup -- at the Santa Clara Marriott in California.
$1,540 to rent 14 extension cords at $5 each per day for three weeks at the Wyndham Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.
$8,100 for elevator operators at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
$5.4 million claimed for nine months' salary for the chief executive of an 'event logistics' firm that received a contract before it was incorporated and went out of business after the contract ended.
Those details are contained in a federal audit that calls into question $303 million of the $741 million spent to assess and hire airport passenger screeners for the newly created Transportation Security Administration after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The audit, along with interviews with people involved in the passenger-screener contract, paints a rare and detailed portrait of how officials at the fledgling agency lost control of the spending in the pell-mell rush to hire 60,000 screeners to meet a one-year congressional deadline.The audit, performed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency at the TSA's behest, spotlights scores of expenses: $20-an-hour temporary workers billed to the government at $48 per hour, subcontractors who signed out $5,000 in cash at a time with no supporting documents, $377,273.75 in unsubstantiated long-distance phone calls, $514,201 to rent tents that flooded in a rainstorm, $4.4 million in 'no show' fees for job candidates who did not appear for tests."