Saturday, October 15, 2005

DeLay Uses Web Site To Attack Prosecutor

News from The Associated Press

He's a real class act, this DeLay. I hope Earle rakes him over the coals. The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and this should be a doozy!

An old psych professor of mine once declared that Nixon was the right person in the right place back in 1970. For those who would listen, he explained that what he meant by this was that he felt that the American people needed to see a man like this fall from grace, because they had to see that acquisition of power at any cost was a failed mode of existence.

They didn't get it. Maybe they will this time. Maybe it will take more than one example at a time. We could be headed for the perfect storm of the high and the mighty hitting the wall of justice en masse; DeLay, Frist, Cheney, Rove, maybe even the Shrub himself.

Even if they don't get it this time either, at least it will be a hell of a show.

Papers: DeLay Group Used $100K for Races - New York Times

Papers: DeLay Group Used $100K for Races - New York Times:
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tom DeLay's political group used nearly $100,000 in corporate and unlimited donations to mail last-minute political appeals praising five congressional candidates despite rules meant to keep such money out of federal races, documents released Thursday show."

Theme from Jaws, please. And a fire extinguisher for Tom Delay's pants!

Next human pandemic "inevitable," says U.S. scientist

Next human pandemic "inevitable," says U.S. scientist - Yahoo! News:
"HAIPHONG, Vietnam (Reuters) - The next human pandemic is 'inevitable' and the world must prepare now against bird flu and other potentially deadly viruses, a top U.S. government scientist said on Saturday."

Tick, tick, tick...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Signs Bird Flu Becoming Resistant To Anti-viral Drugs, Transmitable Between Humans

Science News Article |
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The feared avian influenza virus is showing signs it can evade the drug considered the first line of defense against bird flu, researchers said on Friday.

They found so-called resistant strains in a Vietnamese girl who recovered from a bird flu infection after being treated with Tamiflu. They also found evidence she was directly infected by her brother and not by chickens, a rare case of human-to-human transmission of the virus."

It's that last sentence that worries me most. Human-to-human transmission is the last stage before pandemia. Let's see now, which horseman was pestilence...?

Rove On Spit For 4.5 Hours -- Fork Test Pending

Top News Article |
"People close to the case said Rove's unusually lengthy grand jury appearance on Friday suggested prosecutors closely scrutinized his earlier testimony, asked him to explain any inconsistencies and may have confronted him with additional information.

'Being in there that long after testifying three times before can't be viewed as a particularly positive sign,' said a legal source in the case.


Fitzgerald could send out letters to senior administration officials advising them they are targets of his probe, and bring indictments as early as next week, the lawyers said."

Hmmmm, mmmmm, mmmm -- toasty!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tennessee Guerilla Women: Prosecutor Fitzgerald Eyes Cheney

Tennessee Guerilla Women: Prosecutor Fitzgerald Eyes Cheney

Oh, yes! Now that's what I call a ballgame!

Avian Flu Reaches Turkey

Top News Article |
"The European Union's executive was also assuming that bird flu found in Romania was the same virulent strain, he said, though further tests are needed to confirm this.

'The virus found in Turkey is avian flu H5N1 high pathogenic virus,' he told a news conference. 'It's true that scientists caution us and warn us that there will be a pandemic.'"

Note that "will be" in the last sentence. Europeans are always so much more candid than we are; at least when it comes to politicians and officials.

Frist Was Subpoenaed!

Frist subpoenaed in probe of stock sales: WPost - Yahoo! News: "Frist, viewed widely as a potential 2008 presidential candidate, said last month he had no inside information about the coming profit forecast when he began taking steps in April that led to the stock sale, which was completed on July 8."

And we know this is not true, don't we?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Military's Role to Expand in Disaster Relief, Disease Outbreaks - Los Angeles Times

Military's Role to Expand in Disaster Relief, Disease Outbreaks - Los Angeles Times:
"But with 21st century threats such as a chemical and biological attacks on U.S. cities, McHale said, both Congress and federal agencies need to establish clear guidelines detailing which instances could trigger a broad U.S. military response to restore law and order.

'It may be that the very same rationale that supports the use of the military under the Insurrection Act can be applied to catastrophic events,' he said. "

Scarier, and scarier. This will be an interesting Halloween. I can see the costumes now: Old Man Death surrounded by G.I.'s and Haz-mat suits and Georgie Bush in cheerleading outfit. Oh, wait, that's not Halloween, that's "normal."

Oh, Really? You Think?! - Bush: Religion factor in Miers pick - Oct 12, 2005

Whatever happened to the principal of the separation of church and state, upon which any true liberty and justice for all rests? It's never brought up any more, because the pols don't want to upset their holy-steam-roller constituants. But somebody has to soon or the U.S. will be just another religious fundamentalist state. Only with The Bomb and a state-of-the-art military. Does this scare anybody else?

Frist's Holdings Raise Questions of Conflict

AOL News - Frist's Holdings Raise Questions of Conflict: "WASHINGTON (Oct. 12) - Over a period of four years, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist accumulated stock in a family founded hospital chain that produced tens of thousands of dollars in income - all outside the blind trusts he created to avoid a conflict of interest, documents show."

Oops! Damn those paper trails! Always crossing a crook up!

There's a poll being taken at the site of the story. Here were the results when I voted:

How would you rate Frist's political future?

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation (10/11/05)

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation (10/11/05)

Tsk, tsk. Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch....

Scalia As Example?

News from The Associated Press:
"Scalia said that the example was not a good one.

'Nobody's wacko here,' he said."

Oh, heck no! And this was during the hearing on a case concerning whistleblowing. Obviously, the justices were into other things.

Gaping Lapses in Security at Nuclear Reactors

ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: ABC Investigation Finds Gaping Lapses in Security at Nuclear Reactors:
"'The security problems exposed here offer yet more evidence that, four years after 9/11, the NRC has not done nearly enough to secure our nation's nuclear facilities,' said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the NRC."

Makes you wonder where all that money for homeland security is going, and going, and going....

Environmental Decay To Prompt Surge In Refugees

Science News Article |
"Desertification, rising sea levels, flooding and storms linked to climate change might displace hundreds of millions of people, according to the report by the U.N. University's Institute for Environment and Human Security.

'We're ringing a kind of scientific and political alarm bell,' Janos Bogardi, head of the Bonn-based Institute, told Reuters. 'We need to act.'"

We need a leader who can think globally and act nationally. Hell! We need a leader who can think and act!

The defecation is making contact with the rotary oscillator, and we have a dufus in the White House, and probable criminals running Congress.

No Kidding?

US News Article |
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the past four years, the United States has drastically cut back on its protection of waterways and wetlands, whose erosion was cited as a factor in the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

The report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, examined how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency assert jurisdiction over many of the nation's waterways and wetlands.

"Losses of wetlands in many areas in the United States are unprecedented, yet the corps is allowing many of the remaining wetlands to be destroyed, in violation of its Clean Water Act obligations, without even trying to figure out why," said Christy Leavitt of environmental group U.S. PIRG.

Navis Bermudez of the Sierra Club said, "The GAO's report confirms the administration is secretly pursuing a policy that favors developers and other industrial interests.""

Another reason Bush and his cronies need to go.

Using human embryonic stem cells to kill cancer cells, University of Minnesota

Using human embryonic stem cells to kill cancer cells, University of Minnesota:
"Researchers generated 'natural killer' cells from the human embryonic stem cells. As part of the immune system, natural killer cells normally are present in the blood stream and are play a role in defending the body against infection and against some cancers.

'This is the first published research to show the ability to make cells from human embryonic stem cells that are able to treat and fight cancer, especially leukemias and lymphomas,' said Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Stem Cell Institute and Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study."

Just a little more. I need that good news fix today.

NIAID launches first Phase II trial of a 'global' HIV/AIDS vaccine

NIAID launches first Phase II trial of a 'global' HIV/AIDS vaccine:
"A novel vaccine targeted to multiple HIV subtypes found worldwide has moved into the second phase of clinical testing, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today."

I always like to hear of some good news here and there. A little hope can go a long way.

Another case of human bird flu infection, H5N1, Indonesia

Another case of human bird flu infection, H5N1, Indonesia

"The man is the fifth laboratory-confirmed case of H5N1 infection in Indonesia. Three out of the five cases were fatal."

Bush Without Rove Is Hard to Imagine - Yahoo! News

Bush Without Rove Is Hard to Imagine - Yahoo! News:
"If Rove is forced to resign, it would be a major blow to a presidency already reeling from low approval ratings, the war in Iraq, rising gas prices and the aftermath of two Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Some Republicans suggest the investigation has already taken a toll, weakening and distracting Rove. Some even suggest the botched early response to Hurricane Katrina and the flash of indignation from the political right over the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination might have been averted had Rove been more hands-on.

Frank Luntz, a pollster and analyst who often works for Republicans, counsels against counting Rove out based on what may look like ominous signs from the grand jury.

'Rove has always been a survivor. He's brilliant at understanding the right thing to do at the right moment. He specializes in the ability to handle a crisis. What he has done for the president, I actually expect him now to do for himself,' Luntz said. 'He'll know what to do and what to say.'"

In other words, Rove will attack the opposition, obfuscate the details, disregard common decency, bribe the grand jury members, avoid the issues, and get himself out of taking responsibility for his own actions?

Judy, Judy, Judy

Reporter testifies again in CIA case - Yahoo! News:
"An entry in her notes referred to Joseph Wilson, covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's diplomat husband.

That conversation could help federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald establish whether the White House started targeting Wilson and possibly his wife in the weeks before Wilson publicly accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence on

And of course, if this is true, then perhaps Bush, et al, knew that their charges of WMD and nuclear weapons development were false or at least suspect. This would constitute a clear case of "high crimes and misdemeanors" for impeachment proceedings.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Special Forces Suicides Raise Questions

Special Forces Suicides Raise Questions - Yahoo! News:
"They did not know each other, and they had vastly different duties.

Each, however, committed suicide shortly after returning home, all within about a 17-month period.

The Army says there appears to be no connection between the men's overseas service and their deaths, and Army investigators found no 'common contributing cause' among the three. The fact they were in the same unit is only a coincidence, Special Operations Command spokeswoman Diane Grant said at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Others are not so sure..... "

Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?

The article goes on to relate an incident where one soldier was accused of cowardice when he requested psychological aid. Many of the people involved in this war and these services would view getting help as weakness. The only way to guarantee that the people who need help get it would be to make initial screening and subsequent treatment mandatory. That will never happen because, you know, it's not really a problem.

Oh Well, We're Probably Screwed Anyway

Top News Article |
"ROME (Reuters) - Drug companies may not be able to produce enough bird flu vaccine in time to combat a human pandemic, a top United Nations official said on Tuesday as governments scrambled to contain the deadly virus.

It could take six months to manufacture adequate vaccine stocks, and current stockpiles may be useless because the flu virus has mutated, said David Nabarro, U.N. coordinator for global readiness against an outbreak.

He said 'very high priority' efforts were under way to raise manufacturing capacity so that a vaccine could be produced more quickly once a virus emerged that could cause a pandemic.

Experts say the virus is mutating steadily and there are fears that if it takes a form which spreads quickly among humans it could kill millions.

'We do not know what the genetic makeup of the eventual mutant virus will be, therefore we cannot be sure that existing vaccines that have been stored up will be effective,' Nabarro said."

We're At Phase 0, Preparedness Level 2 -- for those who want to know

HHS - National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO)

This article from Health and Human Services explains how pandemics happen. If I read it correctly, we're just one and a half steps from Phase 1, Confirmation of Onset of Pandemic. Dubya hasn't got a clue how to handle any of this. Who's sorry now?

All Bush had to do to convince the pharmaceutical companies to get on the stick with developing and producing vaccination products is to tell them they'll lose the non-negotiation clause of the Medicare drug bill if they don't. He didn't do this, of course, because he owes them too much. We'll all be sorry soon enough.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Almost There...

Think Progress » Kristol: “One or More Indictments in the Next Three Weeks”

This Is What We Do For Iraq

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.

Those accused include four other ministers from Allawi's government, which was replaced by an elected Cabinet led by Shiite parties in April, said Ali al-Lami of Iraq's Integrity Commission. Many of the officials are believed to have left Iraq, including Hazem Shaalan, the former defense minister who moved to Jordan shortly after the new government was installed."

Now we know where some of that $8 billion reported lost went. This was the U.S. selected government, not the elected one. Looks like the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree afterall.


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