Saturday, October 08, 2005
Online erotic stories host Red Rose Stories announced on its site Friday that the FBI had forced it to shut down.
According to a posting on the site’s main page, Red Rose Stories is facing obscenity charges for posting stories that allegedly involved bestiality, water sports, scat, bondage and domination, S&M, slavery, threesomes, orgies and sex with children.
According to Rosie, who runs the site, such topics have opened the door to her prosecution.
“Trust me on this. I found out the hard way. I never thought I'd be in trouble for the written word," Rosie told XBiz via email. “I had no pictures of a sexual nature on my site, adult or otherwise. [It seems] the only legal sex stories are those that involve a man and a woman consenting to missionary position sex in a dark room.”
Rosie said officials came to her house when she was not home and seized a number of items.
The men in black took all of my computer equipment and many of my diskettes, and have access to all my files and site information,” she wrote. “I am sorry to inform all interested parties that Red Rose Stories is a dead site.”
Rosie said that chat services on the site, as well as some parts to its forum, would remain open, and suggested subscribers contact the Pittsburgh FBI office if they “want to ask the feds for a refund.”
As of this writing, calls by XBiz to the office were not returned.
News of the site’s closure comes just days after the offices of Max Hardcore’s Max World Entertainment were raided under the authority of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department, and little more than a week after the FBI launched an anti-obscenity squad at the behest of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to increase obscenity prosecutions throughout the country. poster children of all failed SC Justice bids says you've made a terrible choice. I had to laugh at the headline...
Robert Bork - whose nomination to the high court was rejected by the Senate in 1987 - called the choice of Miers "a disaster on every level."
"It's a little late to develop a constitutional philosophy or begin to work it out when you're on the court already," Bork said Friday on MSNBC's "The Situation with Tucker Carlson." "It's kind of a slap in the face to the conservatives who've been building up a conservative legal movement for the last 20 years."
Friday, October 07, 2005
The offices of Max Hardcore’s Max World Entertainment were raided Wednesday under the authority of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department.
The FBI seized five video titles, Hardcore’s attorney Jeffrey Douglas told XBiz, including “Pure Max #16,” (European version), “Max Hardcore Fists of Fury #3,” “Max Hardcore Extreme Schoolgirls #6,” (European version), “Max Hardcore Golden Guzzlers #5” and “Max Hardcore Golden Guzzlers #6.”
Additionally, the FBI seized all servers belonging to Hardcore with the purpose of copying and returning them, Douglas said. It is not yet known what other office items have been taken as the investigation is ongoing.
By Thursday afternoon, Hardcore's servers had been returned and the website was active.
Hardcore was not present at the time of the raid, and according to Douglas, is presently attending a trade show in Barcelona, Spain.
Douglas said this is the first federal obscenity investigation involving Hardcore and is in any way related to 2257 record-keeping enforcement.
“Once again the government is wasting tax dollars and otherwise invaluable law enforcement resources to try to force a minority view of morality on all of America,” Hardcore said in a statement. “Five of my movies have been targeted by the federal ‘prude’ patrol. There is no indication of any crime to be alleged except obscenity. If indicted, I will fight to protect my liberty as well as the liberty of consenting adults to watch other adults engage in lawful, consensual, pleasurable sexual action. Shame on the Department of Justice. I am proud of my movies and of those who sell them.” Tom!
Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) met for at least 30 minutes with the top fundraiser of his Texas political action committee on Oct. 2, 2002, the same day that the Republican National Committee in Washington set in motion a series of financial transactions at the heart of the money-laundering and conspiracy case against DeLay.
During the meeting at his Capitol office, DeLay conferred with James W. Ellis, the head of his principal fundraising committee in Washington and his chief fundraiser in Texas. Ellis had earlier given the Republican National Committee a check for $190,000 drawn mostly from corporate contributions. The same day as the meeting, the RNC ordered $190,000 worth of checks sent to seven Republican legislative candidates in Texas.
DeLay and Ellis have so far given slightly different accounts of the substance of their discussion. Ellis's attorney, Jonathan D. Pauerstein, said that Ellis recalls that their Oct. 2 discussion did not concern or involve Texas or Texas candidates. But DeLay, interviewed last weekend on "Fox News Sunday," said that during a "scheduling meeting" with Ellis in October, Ellis said while they were leaving his office that "by the way, we sent money" to Washington
New York Named in Terror Threat Against Subways
Security in and around New York City's subways was sharply increased yesterday after city officials said they were notified by federal authorities in Washington of a terrorist threat that for the first time specifically named the city's transit system.
The measures were announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, along with Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and the head of the New York F.B.I. office, Mark J. Mershon, after an American military operation with the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. in Iraq yesterday and Wednesday, according to law enforcement officials. The operation, the officials said, was aimed at disrupting the threat.
Some officials in Washington, in interviews last night, played down the nature of the threat. While not entirely dismissing it, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security described it as "specific yet noncredible," adding that the intelligence community had concluded that the information was of "doubtful credibility."
Several law enforcement officials said an investigation had yet to corroborate any of the details.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the operation in Iraq resulted in two people being taken into custody. They said a third was being sought.
Information about the threat, the officials said, came to light last weekend from an intelligence source who told federal authorities that the three men in Iraq had planned to meet with other operatives in New York.
"With so much at stake, to many of us it seems ill-advised to nominate somebody that we're then told we should have faith in, when there isn't any evidence of intellectual rigor being applied to these contentious issues," said conservative activist Gary Bauer.
To me, that statement speaks of a strong, fundamental rift in the Republican Party that may drive a wedge into party unity. Let's hope that's the case. Here's more:
Right Sees Miers as Threat to a Dream
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 7, 2005; Page A01
If there has been a unifying cause in American conservatism over the past three decades, it has been a passionate desire to change the Supreme Court. When there were arguments over tax cuts and deficits, when libertarians clashed with religious conservatives, when disputes over foreign policy erupted, reshaping the judiciary bound the movement together.
Until Monday, that is. Now conservatives are in a roiling fight with the White House over President Bush's nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the high court. They fear that the president may have jeopardized their dream of fundamentally shifting the court by nominating someone with no known experience in constitutional issues rather than any one of a number of better-known jurists with unquestioned records.
The dismay among conservatives stems partly from the fact that so little is known about Miers, a well-regarded corporate lawyer, member of the Texas legal establishment, evangelical Christian and confidante of the president. But in a deeper way, it reflects the smoldering resentment about other administration policies -- from big-spending domestic programs to fragmentation over Iraq -- and enormous frustration that a president who prides himself on governing in primary colors has adopted a stealth strategy on something as fundamental to conservatives as the Supreme Court.
"No one has anything against her," said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and one of the first conservatives to register his disappointment. "But the idea that one is supposed to sacrifice both intellectual distinction and philosophical clarity at the same time is just ridiculous."
For more than two decades, conservatives have been developing a team of potential justices for the high court in preparation for a moment such as this. They point to jurists such as Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Judge Michael W. McConnell of the 10th Circuit and Judge Priscilla R. Owen, newly sworn in on the 5th Circuit, as examples of people who have not just paid their dues but also weathered intellectual battles in preparation for reshaping the Supreme Court.
Conservatives were deeply offended when presidential emissary Ed Gillespie told a gathering on Wednesday that some criticism of Miers has "a whiff" of sexism and elitism. They said there are any number of female judges who would have drawn an enthusiastic reaction from the right, and one former conservative activist noted that Owen, a hero among conservatives, went to law school at Baylor University, hardly an Ivy League institution.
Weyrich said he had once been told by Justice Clarence Thomas it was important not just to have conservatives on the court, but also conservatives who have "been through the wars and survived." Having won the White House and captured majorities in Congress, conservatives eagerly anticipated a fight in the Senate over a nominee like that and believed Bush would have the stomach for one.
Thursday, October 06, 2005the whole thing. Here are the highlights:
I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.
How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?
I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
At first I thought the exhaustive, non-stop coverage of the O.J. trial was just an unfortunate excess that marked an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our television news media. But now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsessions that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time.
Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? And does it feel right to have no ongoing discussion of whether or not this abhorrent, medieval behavior is being carried out in the name of the American people? If the gap between rich and poor is widening steadily and economic stress is mounting for low-income families, why do we seem increasingly apathetic and lethargic in our role as citizens?
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was - at least for a short time - a quality of vividness and clarity of focus in our public discourse that reminded some Americans - including some journalists - that vividness and clarity used to be more common in the way we talk with one another about the problems and choices that we face. But then, like a passing summer storm, the moment faded.
And yet, as we meet here this morning, more than 40 years have passed since the majority of Americans received their news and information from the printed word. Newspapers are hemorrhaging readers and, for the most part, resisting the temptation to inflate their circulation numbers. Reading itself is in sharp decline, not only in our country but in most of the world. The Republic of Letters has been invaded and occupied by television.
Radio, the internet, movies, telephones, and other media all now vie for our attention - but it is television that still completely dominates the flow of information in modern America. In fact, according to an authoritative global study, Americans now watch television an average of four hours and 28 minutes every day -- 90 minutes more than the world average.
When you assume eight hours of work a day, six to eight hours of sleep and a couple of hours to bathe, dress, eat and commute, that is almost three-quarters of all the discretionary time that the average American has. And for younger Americans, the average is even higher.
But all the while, television's share of the total audience for news and information continued to grow -- and its lead over newsprint continued to expand. And then one day, a smart young political consultant turned to an older elected official and succinctly described a new reality in America's public discourse: "If it's not on television, it doesn't exist."
But some extremely important elements of American Democracy have been pushed to the sidelines . And the most prominent casualty has been the "marketplace of ideas" that was so beloved and so carefully protected by our Founders. It effectively no longer exists.
It is not that we no longer share ideas with one another about public matters; of course we do. But the "Public Forum" in which our Founders searched for general agreement and applied the Rule of Reason has been grossly distorted and "restructured" beyond all recognition.
And here is my point: it is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas that accounts for the "strangeness" that now continually haunts our efforts to reason together about the choices we must make as a nation.
The three most important characteristics of this marketplace of ideas were:
1) It was open to every individual, with no barriers to entry, save the necessity of literacy. This access, it is crucial to add, applied not only to the receipt of information but also to the ability to contribute information directly into the flow of ideas that was available to all;
2) The fate of ideas contributed by individuals depended, for the most part, on an emergent Meritocracy of Ideas. Those judged by the market to be good rose to the top, regardless of the wealth or class of the individual responsible for them;
3) The accepted rules of discourse presumed that the participants were all governed by an unspoken duty to search for general agreement. That is what a "Conversation of Democracy" is all about.
What resulted from this shared democratic enterprise was a startling new development in human history: for the first time, knowledge regularly mediated between wealth and power.
Consider the rules by which our present "public forum" now operates, and how different they are from the forum our Founders knew. Instead of the easy and free access individuals had to participate in the national conversation by means of the printed word, the world of television makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation today.
Clearly, the purpose of television news is no longer to inform the American people or serve the public interest. It is to "glue eyeballs to the screen" in order to build ratings and sell advertising. If you have any doubt, just look at what's on: The Robert Blake trial. The Laci Peterson tragedy. The Michael Jackson trial. The Runaway Bride. The search in Aruba. The latest twist in various celebrity couplings, and on and on and on.
And more importantly, notice what is not on: the global climate crisis, the nation's fiscal catastrophe, the hollowing out of America's industrial base, and a long list of other serious public questions that need to be addressed by the American people.
One morning not long ago, I flipped on one of the news programs in hopes of seeing information about an important world event that had happened earlier that day. But the lead story was about a young man who had been hiccupping for three years. And I must say, it was interesting; he had trouble getting dates. But what I didn't see was news.
And it really matters because the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt, or both.
One of the only avenues left for the expression of public or political ideas on television is through the purchase of advertising, usually in 30-second chunks. These short commercials are now the principal form of communication between candidates and voters. As a result, our elected officials now spend all of their time raising money to purchase these ads.
That is why the House and Senate campaign committees now search for candidates who are multi-millionaires and can buy the ads with their own personal resources. As one consequence, the halls of Congress are now filling up with the wealthy.
Campaign finance reform, however well it is drafted, often misses the main point: so long as the only means of engaging in political dialogue is through purchasing expensive television advertising, money will continue by one means or another to dominate American politic s. And ideas will no longer mediate between wealth and power.
The greatest source of hope for reestablishing a vigorous and accessible marketplace for ideas is the Internet. Indeed, Current TV relies on video streaming over the Internet as the means by which individuals send us what we call viewer-created content or VC squared. We also rely on the Internet for the two-way conversation that we have every day with our viewers enabling them to participate in the decisions on programming our network.
I know that many of you attending this conference are also working on creative ways to use the Internet as a means for bringing more voices into America's ongoing conversation. I salute you as kindred spirits and wish you every success.
The final point I want to make is this: We must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Worldwide Web. We cannot take this future for granted. We must be prepared to fight for it because some of the same forces of corporate consolidation and control that have distorted the television marketplace have an interest in controlling the Internet marketplace as well. Far too much is at stake to ever allow that to happen.
We must ensure by all means possible that this medium of democracy's future develops in the mold of the open and free marketplace of ideas that our Founders knew was essential to the health and survival of freedom.
God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers
This press release is embargoed until 2230 hours on Thursday 6 October. Before that time it is only available through the link which you have been sent.
President George W. Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals.
In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a major three-part series on BBC TWO (at 9.00pm on Monday 10, Monday 17 and Monday 24 October), Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003.
Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"
Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."
The series charts the attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, from Bill Clinton's peace talks in 1999/2000 to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last August.
Norma Percy, series producer of The 50 Years War (1998) returns, with producers Mark Anderson and Dan Edge, to tell the inside story of another seven years of crisis.
Presidents and Prime Ministers, their generals and ministers tell what happened behind closed doors as peace talks failed and the intifada exploded.
Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace - Mondays 10, 17 and 24 October, from 9.00 to 10.00pm on BBC TWO. Humanity in Print, a new joint effort between Jessica of Cellar Door and myself. The site is designed as a joint reading list/book review site with a bit of a common theme, and I think it's going to be host to a lot of interesting ideas over the next few months.
I want to give mad props to Jessica for doing ALL of the legwork on this; the idea, the design (which is pretty stellar), everything, was all hers. I'm really just a piggybacker on the site, but honored to be able to participate. It'll always be located in the links area to the right-hand side, near the top of the list, and I encourage you to check it regularly as it develops.
Blair: Iran or Hezbollah involved in Iraq
LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday that new explosive devices used against coalition forces in Iraq "lead us either to Iranian elements or to Hezbollah."
"We cannot be sure," Blair told a news conference, but "there are certain pieces of information that lead us back to Iran."
On Wednesday, Press Association reported that a senior government official said Britain believed Iran's Revolutionary Guard was supplying explosives technology to insurgents in Iraq that was being used against British soldiers there.
Tehran rejected the allegation. now Falwell, are saying that they are sure she’s in line with their agenda, despite the fact that the Administration refuses to take a stand on the true nature of her appointment.
I’m sick of stealth appointments, and I’m sick of playing politics with everything. Will this Administration ever play it straight with us?
Dr. Jerry Falwell Backing Harriet Miers For Supreme Court
Dr. Jerry Falwell, during an appearance in Chattanooga on Wednesday night, said he backs Harriet Miers for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Speaking to a gathering of Baptist ministers at the annual Southwide Baptist Fellowship at Highland Park Baptist Church, he said he stood behind President George W. Bush in supporting his second nominee to the Supreme Court.
Breaking with many of his conservative allies, he called Ms. Miers a "woman of great character, and a lover of Christ."
He said he spoke with the President about the nomination and was reassured that she will be a reliably conservative justice. Mr. Falwell also stated he trusts President Bush's judgment and will work for Miers' nomination against what he sees as the hard-line Democratic opposition in the Senate, consisting mainly of Sens. Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy, Chuck Schumer and Richard Durban, who "would vote no on Jesus."
Wednesday, October 05, 2005ABC News:
Oct. 5, 2005 — Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history.
Officials tell ABC News the alleged spy worked undetected at the White House for almost three years. Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, was a U.S. Marine most recently assigned to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.
"I don't know of a case where the vetting broke down before and resulted in a spy being in the White House," said Richard Clarke, a former White House advisor who is now an ABC News consultant.
Federal investigators say Aragoncillo, a naturalized citizen from the Philippines, used his top secret clearance to steal classified intelligence documents from White House computers.
In 2000, Aragoncillo worked on the staff of then-Vice President Al Gore. When interviewed by Philippine television, he remarked how valued Philippine employees were at the White House.
"I think what they like most is our integrity and loyalty," Aragoncillo said.
Classified Material Transferred by E-Mail
Officials say the classified material, which Aragoncillo stole from the vice president's office, included damaging dossiers on the president of the Philippines. He then passed those on to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation.
"Even though it's not for the Russians or some other government, the fact that it occurred at the White House is a matter of great concern," said John Martin, who was the government's lead espionage prosecutor for 26 years.
Last year, after leaving the Marines, Aragoncillo was caught by the FBI while he worked for the Bureau at an intelligence center at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
According to a criminal complaint, Aragoncillo was arrested last month and accused of downloading more than 100 classified documents from FBI computers.
"The information was transferred mostly by e-mails," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie at the time of Aragoncillo's arrest.
Since that arrest, officials say Aragoncillo has started to cooperate. He has admitted to spying while working on the staff of Vice President Cheney's office.
Aragoncillo began working at the White House in 1999. Officials are now trying to learn how he landed the job, when he started spying, and how he escaped detection for so long.
"Of course, it is a source of embarrassment when you find out that this kind of activity has been carried out literally right under your nose," said Martin, the former espionage prosecutor.
According to friends, in addition to his work for Cheney and Gore, Aragoncillo claimed he also worked with President Clinton and Condoleezza Rice when she was the national security advisor.
ABC News' Vic Walter and Avni Patel contributed to this report.
DeLay, Successor Blunt Swapped Donations
DeLay's convention fundraising arm, part of his Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC), collected large corporate donations to help wine and dine Republican VIPs during the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia in late summer 2000. DeLay's group has declined to identify any of the donors.
Blunt's group, a nonfederal wing of his Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, eventually registered its activities in Missouri but paid a $3,000 fine for improperly concealing its fundraising in 1999 and spring 2000, according to Missouri Ethics Commission records.
Both groups - DeLay's and Blunt's - were simultaneously paying Ellis, the longtime DeLay fundraiser who was indicted along with his boss in Texas in the alleged money laundering scheme.
The DeLay group began transferring money to Blunt's group in two checks totaling $150,000 in the spring of 2000, well before Republicans actually met in Philadelphia for the convention. The transfers accounted for most of money Blunt's group received during that period.
DeLay's convention arm sent $50,000 on March 31, 2000. Eight days later, the Blunt group made a $10,000 donation to DeLay's private charity for children on April 7, 2000, and began the first of several payments totaling $40,000 to a northern Virginia-based political consulting firm formed by DeLay's former chief of staff, Ed Buckham.
That consulting firm at the time also employed DeLay's wife, Christine, according to DeLay's ethics disclosure report to Congress.
Hartley said Blunt was unaware that Mrs. DeLay worked at the firm when he made the payments, and that she had nothing to do with Blunt's group.
On April 14, 2000, Concorde Garment Manufacturing, based in the Northern Marianas Islands that was part of Abramoff's lobbying coalition, contributed $3,000 to Blunt's group.
Hartley said the donation was delivered during a weekend of fundraising activities by Blunt and DeLay but his boss did not know who solicited it.
Concorde, derided for years in lawsuits as a Pacific island sweatshop, paid a $9 million penalty to the U.S. government in the 1990s for failing to pay workers' overtime. The company was visited by DeLay. Atrios:
Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, started calling influential social conservatives to reassure them about the pick even before it was announced. He called James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, over the weekend, and Richard Land, a top public policy official of the Southern Baptist Convention on Monday morning, said several people briefed on the calls. Paul Weyrich, the veteran conservative organizer, said Ed Gillespie, the former Republican Party chairman lobbying for confirmation, called at 7:10 a.m. to tell him the news.
In each call and in a series of teleconferences throughout the day, representatives of the White House promised their conservative supporters that as White House counsel, Ms. Miers had played a central role in picking the many exemplars of conservatism among Mr. Bush's previous nominees.
Some of the efforts evidently bore fruit. By day's end, Mr. Dobson, one of the most influential evangelical conservatives, welcomed the nomination. "Some of what I know I am not at liberty to talk about," he said in an interview, explaining his decision to speak out in support of Ms. Miers. He declined to discuss his conversations with the White House.
So yet again Bush and Rove are more content to play patty-cake with their supporters than to play it straight with the American people who pay their salaries and re-elected the sad bastard. How the hell is it that some priviledged insider gets information about a Supreme Court nomination and that information is never going to come out in the confirmation hearings? What the hell is wrong with this country? How are we not mad as hell about this and demanding accountability from the White House?
I'm so tired of them getting a free pass and everyone being okay with this.
A senior British official, briefing correspondents in London, blamed Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
He said they provided the technology to a Shia group in southern Iraq. The Iranians had denied this, he added.
While UK officials have hinted at an Iranian link before, this is the first specific allegation to be made.
They may feel there is little to lose right now by making such accusations, given that diplomatic relations are already low following the breakdown of talks over Iran's nuclear programme, says the BBC website's world affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the technology had come from Hezbollah in Lebanon via Iran and produced an "explosively shaped projectile".
Italy Orders Further CIA Warrants
Tuesday 04 October 2005
An Italian court has issued three more arrest warrants for suspected CIA agents accused of helping to kidnap a Muslim cleric in 2003.
The authorities have already ordered the arrest of 19 people suspected of being involved in the abduction of Egyptian Osama Mustafa Hassan.
The suspects are accused of abducting Mr Hassan, also known as Abu Omar, and flying him to Egypt for interrogation.
Correspondents say the case has soured relations between Washington and Rome.
Italy says the alleged operation hindered Italian terrorism investigations.
No arrests have been made. None of the suspects is currently believed to be in Italy.
What a surprise...
President, Citing Executive Privilege, Indicates He'll Reject Requests for Counsel's Documents
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 - President Bush signaled on Tuesday that he would most likely reject any requests from the Senate for documents written by Harriet E. Miers during the nearly six years she worked in the White House before he chose her to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Asked at a news conference whether he would release some or all of her legal work as White House counsel, Mr. Bush said that the principle of executive privilege was important and that any Senate request for documents would be a distraction from considering Ms. Miers's qualifications.
"I just can't tell you how important it is for us to guard executive privilege in order for there to be crisp decision making in the White House," Mr. Bush said.
Some Democrats in Congress have already indicated that they want access to documents from Ms. Miers's work at the White House. They say there is such a scant public record about her judicial philosophy and her thinking about the issues of the day that the Senate needs more information to judge her fitness for a lifetime seat on the court.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Here we go again...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush asked Congress on Tuesday to consider giving him powers to use the military to enforce quarantines in case of an avian influenza epidemic.
He said the military, and perhaps the National Guard, might be needed to take such a role if the feared H5N1 bird flu virus changes enough to cause widespread human infection.
"If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?" Bush asked at a news conference.
"It's one thing to shut down airplanes. It's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine?" Bush added.
"One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move. So that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have."
Bird flu has killed more than 60 people in four Asian nations since late 2003 and has been found in birds in Russia and Europe.
Experts fear that the H5N1 bird flu virus, which appears to be highly fatal when it infects people, will develop the ability to pass easily from person to person and would cause a pandemic that would kill millions.
"And I think the president ought to have all ... assets on the table to be able to deal with something this significant," Bush said.
He noted that some governors may object to the federal government commandeering the National Guard, which is under state command in most circumstances.
The first genocide of the twenty-first century is drawing to an end
There are no black people left to cleanse or kill
"At last, some good news from Darfur: the holocaust in western Sudan is nearly over. There’s only one problem – it’s drawing to an end only because there are no black people left to cleanse or kill.
The National Islamic Front government has culled over 400,000 “Zurga” – a word which translates best as “niggers” – and driven two million more from their homes in its quest to make western Sudan “Zurga-free”. Their racist Janjaweed militias would love to carry on rampaging and raping, but the black villages have all been burned down and the women have all been raped with “Arab seed” to “destroy their race from within” – what’s a poor militiaman to do? The first genocide of the twenty-first century has proceeded without a hitch, and the genocidaires have won.
Even MORE outrageously disgusting:
The Bush administration talked tough about Darfur at first, becoming one of the first governments to publicly use the g-word. But at the same time, as the Los Angeles Times has revealed, they were sending jets to Khartoum to fly Sudan’s intelligence chief Salan Abdallah Gosh – the man overseeing the holocaust – to Washington. He was ushered into secret meetings where he was feted as a “close ally” for sharing some intelligence about al-Quaida and moving towards opening Sudan’s oil fields to US corporations. Ah well, what’s a spot of genocide between friends? The state department has even begun spouting the Sudanese propaganda line that the Janjaweed are “wild out-of-control tribesmen” not under the control of Khartoum. But how many wild out-of-control tribesmen have helicopter gunships bearing the insignia of the Sudanese army?
So that's answer: Oil. I know it's cliche, but I'm feeling it right now: fuck Bush. sinful New Orleans".
``There's been satanic worship. There's been sexual perversion,'' Graham said Monday in an appearance at Liberty University. ``God is going to use that storm to bring revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose.''
``The good news is that God loves sinners. Jesus Christ is coming back and he's alive,'' said Graham, son and designated successor of the Rev. Billy Graham.
He loves those sinners, so he either takes their friends, family, and livelihood from them or kills them in a horrible fashion! Makes sense to me!
Please read all the way to bottom. This is an introduction to one of the big tragedies of local politics in VA...
Do you live in the 13th district?
Is Bob Marshall your delegate?
YES, and my interaction with him has been...well, not so good.
If so, I believe there are a few things you need to know. (If you don't, read on anyway. . . it's an eye-opener and also a peek into how to write an effective ad!)
I published a flyer for people in VA who don't know what this delegate has been up to. It is useful because it gives citizens something to talk with their neighbors about. Below there is a link to the campaign web site. I believe everyone on this list, and any who have worked with me in the past, should give some money to help Bruce. He has a good campaign, and the whole state of VIRGINIA will benefit from the overthrow of the right-winger-gone-whacko, Del. Marshall. . . Listen to this... (The
half sheet flyer itself is available in PDF if anyone wants to see it, or wants to print copies of it:
Headlined, "What You Should Know About Your Virginia Delegate", it shouts at the bottom: "Vote Him Out on Nov 8!"
"Do you wonder why nothing is being done about soaring college tuitions, traffic congestion or crowded schools? Maybe your delegate is not concerned about the same things you are. Maybe he is preoccupied. . .
1) Imagine you’ve been married 8 years, trying to have kids, but no pregnancy comes naturally. Your delegate, Mr. Marshall, believes it is adultery to use artificial insemination to try to start a family. He wrote a book, Blessed are the barren. “Pro-Family” means encouraging married couples to raise a family. Del. Marshall seems to be Anti-Family.
2) Imagine your daughter is 15. You’ve long ago had ‘the talk’. No parent wants their teen to be sexually active. But, if she IS, and you help her try to get birth control, even in the case of rape, Del. Marshall would make you a felon. Mr. Marshall would make felons out of parents who try to protect their daughters. That is Anti-Family. Source: HB1807, 2005 General Assembly
3) Imagine the Biggest Waste of Time by a Government Official. Mr. Marshall spent your tax dollars trying to ban the distribution of contraception to adults who wish to avoid pregnancy at state colleges in Virginia! He wasted his valuable time drafting legislation for pregnant women on death row, even though there hasn’t been a woman - PREGNANT OR NOT - executed since 1912. Source: HB1814, 2005 Session;
HB1812, 2005 General Assembly
No Solutions for Traffic Congestion. . . None for Soaring Tuitions and Overcrowded Schools. Mr. Marshall is anti-family because he forgets the REAL issues that need addressing -- traffic, tuitions, and schools. Instead, he supports taking tens of thousands of dollars away from overcrowded public schools. Source: HB1811, 2005 Gen. Assembly.
Bob Marshall: Anti-Family and Out of Touch!"
VISIT BRUCE2005.ORG and donate money to contribute to a color mailer going out soon, post a yard sign if you are local, or help by volunteering.
I THANK you for helping. . . because Bob Marshall is *MY* delegate, and I am sick to death of his preoccupation with sex and morality. And, there are only 5 weeks left to produce what he rightfully is due, a defeat!
Your friend and ally,
Geri Read on...
BOSTON --The campaign to end gay marriage has found traction in the state's churches, with thousands of Catholics and other worshippers lending their signatures to a petition drive seeking to abolish same-sex unions in Massachusetts.
With the backing of the state's four Roman Catholic bishops, opponents of gay marriage set up shop at more than 200 churches across this heavily Catholic state, and some Protestant churches also joined in the effort.
"It just seems so strange for me to stand here today and preach what I think is so obvious: Marriage is between a man and a woman," said the Rev. Walter Waldron, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, who used his Sunday homily to rally support for the ballot initiative.
"It's not just our faith," he said. "It's for the good of society."
Organizers said they had collected about 25,000 signatures since Sept. 21, The Boston Globe reported Monday, including thousands gathered at churches over the weekend. They must collect more than 65,000 signatures before Nov. 23 for the question to qualify for the 2008 ballot, but sponsors hope to gather double that number to protect against a challenge. “extreme end” of the pro-life movement:
"She is on the extreme end of the anti-choice movement," said Lorlee Bartos who managed Miers' first and only political campaign and said they discussed abortion once during the race.
"I think Harriet's belief was pretty strongly felt," Bartos said Monday. "I suspect she is of the same cloth as the president."
Bartos said Miers told her she was "pro-choice in her youth" but underwent "a born-again, profound experience" that caused her to oppose abortion.
Seems like a stealth candidate. I'm hoping the Dallas City Council kept good records about her term there, as well as the Texas Bar Association. The only way we're going to be able to sort out what she brings to the table is to look at the trail.
I think we know where the conservatives are going with this: tossing Roe out, and having abortion recriminalized. If it does happen, we’ll see a backlash against Republicans by average Americans (a large majority of whom, despite some misgivings about abortion itself, clearly want the right to it to remain legal), but that’s pretty cold comfort for having the reproductive rights of women stolen away by people who think they know better.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we have to be diligent in watching these Supreme Court nominees because the basic freedoms of our country are at stake; nothing less, and you know the old cliché about eternal vigilance. Here it rings true.
Monday, October 03, 2005Governor of Alabama.
Okay, listen close, Alabama. Here's your chance to show the rest of the country that you're not as insane and backwards as you're portrayed to be. You can show us that you don't oppose the basic rights and tenets of our nation, and that, hey, that whole inbred hick thing? Just a stereotype. Seriously, you guys can do it.
Please? Like Kos said, I wasn't even aware there was a second grand jury. But am I happy. Oh, boy, am I happy :) getting interesting. I can't wait to see where this is going.
Harriet Miers Nomination = Bush's AbdicationOctober 03, 2005 12:09 PM EST
Let me say from the outset: Harriet Miers COULD turn out to be a great justice. But the doubts far outweigh the optimism. President Bush has squandered his opportunity to fulfill his promise to name justices in the mold of Thomas & Scalia. Bush's approval ratings have sunk, not because there are more Michael Moore, Al Franken Liberals. There will never be more than 43% of those loons. His approval has sunk not because of waning support for the Iraq War, though there has been some move from uncertainty to opposition. No, his approval has declined because true conservatives are getting TIRED of the President's frequent failing to stand up for their values. He was elected by them because they felt he'd champion their cause, yet he has failed to show the backbone to stand up for them on anything but the War on Terror and Tax Cuts. Conservatives have been left shaking their heads over spending, over border security, etc.
What might now be the final straw in the President's seeming surrender to the Left is the nomination of Harriet Miers. a name floated TO him BY Harry Reid!! WHY would he nominate someone so acceptable to the opposition?? No offense to Ms Miers. but given the field of EXCELLENT KNOWN STRICT CONSTRUCTIONISTS - why would he choose this "stealth" nominee with no paper-trail and questionable loyalties, on the suggestion of the opposition?? Why won't he stand up like a man and give us a nominee that conservatives can simply FIGHT FOR!
Though I doubt that our Republican Senators would have the fortitude to do it. I'd like to recommend that they stand strong together and refuse to support Ms Miers - forcing Bush to send up another nominee. They should send the message to the White House in no uncertain terms. "Give us a known quantity, strict constructionist, judicial restraint nominee and we'll fight to get him/her thru. Send us a brokered choice 'acceptable' to Harry Reid - and we can't stand by the nomination!" Then they should invoke the so-called Nuclear Option. The right needs to exhibit some stones and flex the muscles they've been ELECTED to use.
My fantasy scenario: Bush names a REAL conservative like Janice Rogers Brown. The Senate rules are changed invoking the "nuclear option". Bush stands tall and demands his choice be approved, pulling out his unused VETO pen - and promising that lots of line items are going to start getting struck from appropriations if his nominee fails. But, alas, it's a fantasy. The President is too "wet-noodle-spined" to veto ANYTHING. The Senate is filled with RINOs who won't stand strong against liberal opposition. And if Miers doesn't get confirmed, Bush will nominate another "acceptable" choice for the left. One is therefore left only to hope that Miers herself make the shift to the right that the President himself has been unwilling to make! Daily Kos:
About once a month since 2001, Grover Norquist has invited a top Bush administration official or a Republican congressional leader to dine with him and some 20 or 30 corporate lobbyists who help subsidize Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax group that Norquist heads.
The dinners at Norquist's Washington, D.C., home aren't cheap: The lobbyists pay ATR between $10,000 and $25,000 a year for the privilege of attending several of the intimate get-togethers, which have featured the likes of White House political guru Karl Rove and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, according to several lobbyists who have attended.
From time to time over the years, the K Street crowd has been joined at the dinners by other ATR supporters, including the leaders of some casino-owning Indian tribes who were top clients of one of Norquist's oldest friends, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Representatives of the Saginaw Chippewas of Michigan, the Louisiana Coushattas, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians were among those who either attended or helped to finance some of the Norquist-hosted soirees that were advertised as tax policy events. Moreover, some of these same tribal representatives also attended brief meetings at the White House with President Bush that Norquist has organized annually since 2001 for dozens of state legislators who have pushed anti-tax measures or signed anti-tax pledges.
The Indian tribes' participation in the ATR dinners and the White House visits underscores the long and successful political partnership that Norquist and Abramoff have maintained since the early 1980s, when Norquist managed Abramoff's successful campaign to be chairman of the College Republicans. all kinds of messed-up. Not only have they concluded that the killing of a man who was on his way to gas up and take his daughter to the swimming pool was justified, they paid his family the same amount they paid for the car: $2,500. What does that say about the value we're placing on their lives and their nation?
That's right, Wonkette has dug up some information on Miers, but it's pretty small stuff. She really doesn't seem to have any experience on the bench, and I'm wondering if Bush only selected her because she's female and inscrutable. At this point, I wonder if she's even going to understand the questions that will be asked of her. From Wonkette:
- She has dated Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht "over the years." [NOTE: Absolutely no other article online mentions this fascinating fact.]
- She's nit-picky micromanager who failed upwards at the White House: "She failed in Card's office for two reasons," the [former White House] official says. "First, because she can't make a decision, and second, because she can't delegate, she can't let anything go. And having failed for those two reasons, they move her to be the counsel for the president, which requires exactly those two talents."
- Not even the president can think of much interesting to say about her: In 1996, at an Anti-Defamation League Jurisprudence Award ceremony, Bush introduced Miers as a "pit bull in Size 6 shoes," a tag line that has persisted through the years, in part because colorful anecdotes or descriptions about Miers are notoriously difficult to find.
- We're not even that excited about her being gay.
And man, is Bush looking old or what? Geez... Brownie?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush nominated White House counsel Harriet Miers on Monday to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Bush announced his choice in a televised Oval Office event saying, "For the past five years Harriet Miers has served in critical roles in our nation's government."
If confirmed by the Senate, Miers, 60, would join Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second sitting female justice on the bench. O'Connor became the court's first ever female justice in 1981. (Watch: Miers has little judicial experience -- 2:30)
Miers, who has never been a judge, was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association. She also served on the Dallas City Council.
Here's a White House question and answer from last year, doesn't really shed much light on her, but does show her as a goose-stepping Bushie. I did laugh at this one:
Our reforms were designed to challenge what the President calls the "soft bigotry of low expectations," and the early results show that we're making incredible progress.
Yes, I'm sure Mr. Bush invented that term. Good on ya, W.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Laura Ramirez and include the following information:
- Contact Person
- Organization (if applicable)
- Street Address (NO PO BOXES)
- City, State Zip
- Phone number (for delivery only)
- E-mail address
- Number of Voter Guides desired
- Specify whether address is a business or residence
BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A U.S. militia group will launch a month-long sweep for illegal immigrants along the border with Mexico this weekend, stepping up a campaign that has raised fears of violence.
Volunteers plan to gather at seven sites between San Diego, California, and Brownsville, Texas, throughout October to scour the deserts for illegal immigrants and report them to the U.S. Border Patrol so they can be arrested.
The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps began their controversial patrols in Arizona in April and spin-off groups later held similar operations in California.
Now, for the first time, the Minutemen are taking their protest to all four U.S. states along the porous 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border with Mexico beginning on Saturday.
The Minutemen, who take their name from an American Revolution militia, are keeping the specific locations secret for fear they might attract protesters, who clashed with breakaway militia patrols in California.
"It is being very tightly controlled this time because the opposition has blatantly said that they are going to direct violence at our volunteers," Minuteman founder Chris Simcox told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The other news is that the leader of these assholes is now running for Congress. I don't know enough about Orange County. Does this guy have a chance? If so...Jesus.
James Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, has thrown his hat into the ring as an "American Independent" for the seat in Orange County being vacated by Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) who accepted the job as SEC Chairman. Gilchrist is a veteran marine who received a purple heart in Vietnam.