Thursday, March 1, 2007

Libby Trial: Still Waiting--An Update

The below posting was filed this morning. On Thursday afternoon, Judge Reggie Walton called the attorneys for the government and the defense in the Libby trial into court. Why? The jury had sent him two requests. The jurors asked if they could cut out early on Friday at 2:00 pm. They also asked for a dictionary. The judge said yes to the Friday escape. He said no to the dictionary, explaining to the jury that if they had any questions about the definition of any word used in the instructions or the evidence they should consult with him, not a dictionary.

The meaning of all this? The jury is plowing ahead. And the jurors seem to be presuming they will not be done on Friday. As the judge said to the lawyers, "I assume they will not have a verdict tomorrow." But they are not yet stuck. Most of the jurors actually looked happy when they appeared in court. They did not appear frustrated, fed-up or upset. So the bottom-line hunch: they have a plan for reviewing the evidence and rendering a verdict--and there will be no resolution until next week.

Posted by David Corn at March 1, 2007 05:22 PM


capt said...

"If for decency, progress, order and liberty in the community and nation we cannot rely upon the character, sentiments, allegiances, and moral habits of the people, upon what, in heaven's name, can we rely?" Charles Beard 1874-1948

". . .government is instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people, and not for profit, honour, or private interest of any man, family, or class of men. . .the origin of all power is in the people, and they have an incontestable right to check the creatures of their own creation, vested with certain powers to guard the life, liberty and property of the community. . ." Mercy Otis warren 1728-1814, poet, historian, patriot, and advocate of the Bill of Rights

"I would be better to trust the many than the few, who are infected with the plague of self-interest and selfishness." Tom Paine, 1737-1809, from "The Rights of Man".


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Americans Have Lost Their Country

The Bush-Cheney regime is America’s first neoconservative regime. In a few short years, the regime has destroyed the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, the Geneva Conventions, and the remains of America’s moral reputation along with the infrastructures of two Muslim countries and countless thousands of Islamic civilians. Plans have been prepared, and forces moved into place, for an attack on a third Islamic country, Iran, and perhaps Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well.

This extraordinary aggressiveness toward the US Constitution, international law, and the Islamic world is the work, not of a vast movement, but of a handful of ideologues--principally Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Lewis Libby, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Zalmay Khalilzad, John Bolton, Philip Zelikow, and Attorney General Gonzales. These are the main operatives who have controlled policy. They have been supported by their media shills at the Weekly Standard, National Review, Fox News, New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page and by "scholars" in assorted think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute.

The entirety of their success in miring the United States in what could become permanent conflict in the Middle East is based on the power of propaganda and the big lie.

Initially, the 9/11 attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden, but after an American puppet was installed in Afghanistan, the blame for 9/11 was shifted to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who was said to have weapons of mass destruction that would be used against America. The regime sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to tell the lie to the UN that the Bush-Cheney regime had conclusive proof of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Having conned the UN, Congress, and the American people, the regime invaded Iraq under totally false pretenses and with totally false expectations. The regime’s occupation of Iraq has failed in a military sense, but the neoconservatives are turning their failure into a strategic advantage. At the beginning of this year President Bush began blaming Iran for America’s embarrassing defeat by a few thousand lightly armed insurgents in Iraq.


*****end of clip*****

Another good piece from PCR.


capt said...

Selective Service Studied Rapid-Fire Draft Plan

The Selective Service System last year studied whether it should revert to a Cold War-era plan of being able to draft people within 13 days of a crisis, compared to its current goal of carrying it out within six months. But the agency ultimately decided not to make such a major change because of opposition from within the Selective Service System.

William Chatfield, the Selective Service System director, ordered the Arlington, Va.-based agency to study how the organization would shift to what is known as "emergency mobilization." The agency defines emergency mobilization as being able to conduct a lottery of young American men and delivering 500,000 of them through the doors of military processing stations within 13 days from the start of a draft.

The last time the agency was geared up for an emergency mobilization was in the 1980s, when the U.S. and its NATO allies faced a numerically superior Soviet Union during the Cold War. The 13-day draft option was officially eliminated in 1993.

Since then, the Selective Service System has had its current, less aggressive mission of getting draftees to the military in 193 days-or a little more than six months-in the event of a draft. "Nothing has changed at all," Chatfield said in an interview, adding: "We are taking a look at all different kinds of scenarios."


capt said...

Does the Israeli Tail Wag the American Dog?

A quarter century ago, the executive director of AIPAC —the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—established an analytical unit inside the organization to write in-depth advocacy papers for policymakers. The year was 1981, the president was Ronald Reagan, and AIPAC had just lost a hard-fought battle in Congress over the sale of AWACS surveillance aircraft to Saudi Arabia. The AIPAC leader was an energetic former congressional aide named Thomas Dine, who used the setback to build AIPAC into a formidable political force. Over the next few years, Dine quadrupled AIPAC’s grassroots membership as well as its budget and aggressively expanded contacts with Congress and policymakers. He set out to supply politicians with analyses geared toward advancing Israeli interests, in the stated belief that anyone who wrote papers read by policymakers would effectively "own" the policymakers.

This was a seminal moment in the decades-long growth of the lobby’s influence on US Middle East policy, often to the detriment of US national interests. Many have characterized the relationship between what the United States does in the Middle East and what the lobby wants it to do as a case of the Israeli tail wagging the US dog. Israel and its US supporters, although constituting the junior partner in the relationship, are seen as virtually dictating policy to whatever administration and Congress are in power. There are myriad examples of this dynamic, most notably Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which dragged the US into a disastrous intervention, and Israel’s invasion of the West Bank in 2002, during which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon openly and repeatedly defied President George Bush’s demand for a withdrawal. Others maintain that the tail-wagging is the other way around: that the United States, as the superpower, patron of Israel, and its major aid donor, is unmistakably the senior partner and the dog that wags the tail. The question, therefore, is which is the accurate assessment, or is the cynical view of Israeli commentator Michel Warschawski correct, that "there is neither a dog nor a tail, but one global war of re-colonization, and one aggressive monster with two ugly heads"?


*****end of clip*****

Sounds like an old Corn-blog metaphor. UGH!


capt said...

Enzyme Finding Sheds Light On How Memories Are Made And What Goes Wrong In Brain Disorders

The function of an enzyme in the brain -- strongly linked to a number of major brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder -- has been identified for the first time by researchers at the University of Bristol, UK.

These findings, published today in Neuron, will help in the understanding of how memories are laid down and what goes wrong in these disorders.

The research showed how controlling the activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) might prevent a memory being erased by improving the strength of connections between neurons in the brain, thus allowing better consolidation of new information.

Professor Collingridge from the University of Bristol said: "While GSK3 has previously been implicated in major neurological disorders, until now its role in normal neuronal function has been largely unknown. Our new understanding will help pharmaceutical companies develop drugs to inhibit it when things go wrong."

Professor Graham Collingridge and his team, with colleagues from the University of British Columbia, revealed that the activity of GSK3 facilitates a form of 'cross-talk' between the two major forms of synaptic plasticity in the brain.

Synaptic plasticity is the strength of a connection between neurons and forms the basis of learning and memory.


Saladin said...

If people need this trial to determine whether impeachable offenses occurred within the bush administration, they need some serious therapy. The trial is just more spoon-fed bullshit. How many scandals have been touted as possible justification to do away with these psychos? More than I can keep track of. And they all went straight down the memory hole, as will this.

Saladin said...

Friday, March 02, 2007 -

US and Israeli officials opened talks Thursday on a new multi-year plan for US aid to the Jewish state, which could seek additional funds to meet evolving threats from Iran, Syria and Islamic militants. The negotiations, announced jointly by the US State Department and Israel's embassy, aim to replace a 10-year US aid program that runs out in 2008 and saw Israel maintain its position as the biggest recipient of US assistance. -AFP
While America suffers with an outrageous poverty level, millions without even basic health care and our disabled troops eating out of dumpsters, doing without medical treatment and living in the street, we send even more billions to that terrorist state of Israel. When are the people going to snap out of this stupor???

Saladin said...

Carbon credits - the new indulgences

...It took no time at all for the story of Al Gore’s energy consumption to spread round the internet and, particularly, the blogosphere. The information came from an independent institute, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, which issued a press release having seen and analyzed the Gores’ publicly available energy bills:

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

We are not even counting his other homes, the use of his various cars (all environmentally friendly, of course) and that private jet.

But, as the Tennessean pointed out, Gore was buying his indulgences:

Gore purchased 108 blocks of "green power" for each of the past three months, according to a summary of the bills.

That's a total of $432 a month Gore paid extra for solar or other renewable energy sources. . . .

"They, of course, also do the carbon emissions offset," she said.

That means figuring out how much carbon is emitted from home power use, and vehicle and plane travel, then paying for projects that will offset that with use of renewable energy, such as solar power.

Well that’s all right then. The Gores can pollute the atmosphere all they like, causing untold harm and warming the globe but their sins will be forgiven because they have spent all that money on projects that use renewable energy, whether successfully or otherwise.

According to a Tennessean blogger, Bill Hobbs, Gore buys his carbon offsets through something called Generation Investment Management, which he had helped to found and of which he is the chairman. Could that be called clash of interests? Not for Al Gore, it would seem.

Gore is chairman of the firm and, presumably, draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper. In other words, he "buys" his "carbon offsets" from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself. To be blunt, Gore doesn't buy "carbon offsets" through Generation Investment Management - he buys stocks.

And it is not clear at all that Gore's stock purchases - excuse me, "carbon offsets" purchases - actually help reduce the use of carbon-based energy at all, while the gas lanterns and other carbon-based energy burners at his house continue to burn carbon-based fuels and pump carbon emissions - a/k/a/ "greenhouse gases" - into the atmosphere...
Mr. Hobbs has some other interesting observations as well. How did I know that all this fear mongering boils down to the haves and have nots? The do as we say, not as we do politicians are going to wreck their own cause with this hypocrisy. How many people can afford a 1.25 a mile driving tax? Somethings gotta give.

Saladin said...

Kucinich introduces bill to immediately end Iraq occupation ...

Posted by Joshua Holland at 1:37 PM on February 28, 2007.


Short, unelectable and right

This is from a press release:

Kucinich Introduces HR 1234 To Immediately End the U.S. Occupation of Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 28) - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced HR 1234, a bill to immediately end the United States occupation of Iraq, in the House of Representatives today.

"This is the plan that will get our troops home the fastest. It is workable and achieves the goals of ending the war and enabling our troops to come home," Kucinich said.

HR 1234 is a plan for the United States to use existing money to bring the troops and necessary equipment home and transition to an international security and peacekeeping force.

"I drafted this with expert advice from those involved in international peacekeeping missions, the United Nations and the U.S. military," Kucinich said.

Kucinich first introduced a withdrawal plan from Iraq three years ago when he proposed that the United States hand the United Nations control of Iraq, including its oil resources and contracts for rebuilding.

"I have given more than 140 speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives, speaking out against this war. I have been one of the most active and vocal Members of Congress on this issue," Kucinich said.

Kucinich led the effort to challenge the Administration's war in Iraq in 2002. In advance of the Iraq war resolution in Congress, he organized 126 Democrats, two-thirds of the House Democratic Caucus, to vote against the resolution. He has constantly challenged the Administration's war against Iraq.

Kucinich has been circulating the plan with Members of Congress for two months and recently had it put in legislative form. He will be speaking to Members of Congress to gain support for the bill in the coming weeks and months.

Joshua here:

Obviously, this will go nowhere fast. But isn't there something almost surreal about living in an ostensible democracy in which a piece of legislation favored by the majority of Americans is considered to be on the "fringe."
The dems are living in the same bubble with bushco.

Saladin said...

Why No One Could Have Predicted The Collapse Of WTC 7
Building was specifically designed to have floors removed without collapsing.

Building 7, otherwise known as the Salomon Brothers building, was intentionally designed to allow large portions of floors to be permanently removed without weakening the structural integrity of the building.

In 1989 the New York Times reported on this fact in a story covering the Salomon leasing of the building which had been completed just two years earlier.

Salomon had wanted to build a new structure in order to house its high-technology operations, but due to stock market crash in 1987 it was unable to. The company searched for an existing building that they could use and found one in Larry Silverstein's WTC 7.

The Times reported:

BEFORE it moves into a new office tower in downtown Manhattan, Salomon Brothers, the brokerage firm, intends to spend nearly two years and more than $200 million cutting out floors, adding elevators, reinforcing steel girders, upgrading power supplies and making other improvements in its million square feet of space...

In some office buildings, that alteration would be impossible, but Silverstein Properties tried to second-guess the needs of potential tenants when it designed Seven World Trade Center as a speculative project.

''We built in enough redundancy to allow entire portions of floors to be removed without affecting the building's structural integrity, on the assumption that someone might need double-height floors,'' said Larry Silverstein, president of the company. ''Sure enough, Salomon had that need...

MORE than 375 tons of steel - requiring 12 miles of welding - will be installed to reinforce floors for Salomon's extra equipment. Sections of the existing stone facade and steel bracing will be temporarily removed so that workers using a roof crane can hoist nine diesel generators onto the tower's fifth floor, where they will become the core of a back-up power station.
But the best they can come up with is that a few minor office fires "weakened" the building? Or, when the collapsing tower fell it took a couple chunks of # 7 with it, so THAT'S why it completely collapsed? And there are actually people gullible enough to swallow that? no brain, no headache.

capt said...

New Thread!