Friday, May 05, 2006


Panel Challenges Internet Wiretapping, Judge Calls Government's Arguments 'Gobbledygook' - CBS News:
(AP) A U.S. appeals panel sharply challenged the Bush administration Friday over new rules making it easier for police and the FBI to wiretap Internet phone calls. A judge said the government's courtroom arguments were “gobbledygook.”

The skepticism expressed so openly toward the administration's case encouraged civil liberties and education groups that argued that the U.S. is improperly applying telephone-era rules to a new generation of Internet services.
It's going to be a very interesting year in 2007. Very interesting!

Fallout From A Falling Dollar, Currency's Decline Could Mean Higher Interest Rates, Higher Prices For Imports - CBS News

Fallout From A Falling Dollar, Currency's Decline Could Mean Higher Interest Rates, Higher Prices For Imports - CBS News:
If the dollar were to continue falling, it could have wide ramifications:

# It could imperil the economy next year because Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke might have to defend the currency with higher interest rates.

# A lower-valued dollar makes imports more expensive, possibly ratcheting up the inflation rate. But it could also stimulate U.S. exports, thus providing more jobs.

# This summer, Americans traveling abroad will feel as if everything is expensive. However, foreigners coming to America will feel as if the country is one giant Wal-Mart.


One way to keep foreign investors interested in U.S. dollars is to raise interest rates, says Chan. But the risk, he says, is that "we slow down to the point where it may even become a recession."

The large U.S. budget deficit doesn't help, says Bryson. "The U.S. is spending more than it produces, and to the extent government is spending more, it becomes a compounding factor," says Bryson.
"One giant WalMart?" Yuck! Roll back the corporate welfare grants and payoffs to the rich, and the problem is nearly solved.

Libby Denied Access To CIA Leak Data, Federal Judge Does Not Want Case To Become An Iraq War Debate - CBS News

Libby Denied Access To CIA Leak Data, Federal Judge Does Not Want Case To Become An Iraq War Debate - CBS News:
(AP) A federal judge refused on Friday to give I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby access to a wide range of information from several government agencies, saying he would not allow the former White House aide's trial in the CIA leak case to become a debate over the war in Iraq.

'You want to try the legitimacy of us going to war,' U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton told lawyers for Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff. 'I don't see how that will help us determine whether Mr. Libby lied when he talked to the FBI and went before the grand jury.'
That's right. Save the legitimacy issue for the impeachment hearings. As far as Libby's case is concerned, a lie is a lie, and that's the truth.

Stung by Election Losses, Blair Reshuffles Cabinet - New York Times

Stung by Election Losses, Blair Reshuffles Cabinet - New York Times

Tony feels the pain. Can George be far behind? Come November, we'll know for sure.

Cheney Urges Energy Export Routes That Bypass Russia - New York Times

Cheney Urges Energy Export Routes That Bypass Russia - New York Times:
"ALMATY, Kazakhstan, May 5 — A day after chastising Moscow for its use of oil and natural gas as 'tools for intimidation and blackmail,' Vice President Dick Cheney visited Kazakhstan today to promote export routes that bypass Russia and directly supply the West."

Looks like VP Sourpuss is already planning for retirement by giving Haliburton a whole new playground in which to wreak havoc. Oil, oil everywhere, but not a drop to drink!

Another One Leaves

C.I.A. Director Goss Resigns - New York Times:
"Mr. Goss's time with the C.I.A. was marked by the departure of many long-time agency officials, some of whom complained that he had been overly political in his approach to his job. Mr. Goss sometimes appeared uncomfortable in the office, as when he remarked in early 2005 that the workload was heavy and he sometimes felt pulled in different directions."

Yep, another "heck of a job" goes down, leaving behind a dysfunctional crew to pilot a rudderless boat. Better luck next time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Digby Sums It Up

That is what the leadership of the GOP believes. We are watching it in action. A president can be impeached for lying about a private sexual matter but 'morally serious men and women' understand that a president could 'shade the truth' in order to serve the common good.

Are we all clear on how this works now? Lying about fellatio leads to lethal abuse of power by the state. Flatly refusing to obey the laws he signed and lying about national security serves the common good. This is your modern Republican party in a nutshell: A dictatorship of puritanical busybodies.
It's well worth reading, so click the link above and do it.

Think Progress » What Iraqis Think: Mission Botched

Think Progress » What Iraqis Think: Mission Botched:
On the third anniversary of President Bush’s declaration of the end of major combat operations underneath a “mission accomplished” banner, a new poll of Iraqis conducted in late March 2006 for the International Republican Institute offers grim reminders of the troubles regular Iraqis continue to face.

– Less secure. The vast majority of Iraqis – 76 percent – rate their security situation as “poor.” More than half of all Iraqis (55 percent) say the security situation has gotten worse in the last three months, a 26-point increase since last fall.

– More divided. Six in 10 (62 percent) of Iraqis say that the country is more divided than in the past.

– Facing economic freefall. Fully three quarters of Iraqis (76 percent) say that wages have gotten worse in the last three months, a stunning 58-point increase since last fall.

– More corrupt. Nearly seven in 10 Iraqis (68 percent) say that corruption has gotten worse in the last three months, a 19-point increase since last fall.

When asked whom they trusted the most to protect their personal safety, a plurality said the Iraqi police (43 percent), followed by the Iraqi army (35 percent). Hardly anyone — one percent — picked the multinational forces.
We're doing such a great job, the Iranians can't wait for us to help them, too.

Bush Bungle Lengthens the "Long War"

Democrats & Liberals:: Bush Bungle Lengthens the "Long War":
It’s been reported and, more recently, confirmed by former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, that the White House squashed several Pentagon plans to hit al-Zarquari’s terrorist camp in 2002.

In the more recent story, which will be aired on ABC's Four Corners tonight, former US spy Mike Scheuer, says that in spite of providing the WH with 'detailed intelligence', include 'overhead imagery of the house he [al-Zarqawi] was staying in', the WH elected not to initiate an air strike against al-Zaqawi, who has since twice been sentenced to death in absentia by Jordan's state security court.
And why did BushCo pass on getting Zarqawi? Because a successful strike would have weakened their contention that Iraq was "connected" to the events of 9/11 and alQaeda. It was a matter of priorities, you see, and oil is the top priority, not the safety of U.S. citizens.

America's Trend to Theocracy

Democrats & Liberals:: America's Trend to Theocracy

Scary stuff. I've been concerned about the crumbling of the wall between church and state for some time now. This article and the book it mentions reconfirm my fears.

To Be Honest, Uh, We Might Be Lying

My Way News - White House Cautions on Abramoff Logs:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service's records documenting convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's contacts with Bush administration officials may not reveal all such meetings, the White House said Tuesday.

The Secret Service has agreed to turn over White House visitor logs showing when Abramoff met with administration officials - and with whom. But presidential spokesman Scott McClellan cautioned reporters from viewing the release as all-inclusive.

'I don't know exactly what they'll be providing, but they only have certain records and so I just wouldn't view it as a complete historical record,' McClellan said.
So, don't blame me later when you find out we didn't fully disclose everything, okay?


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