Saturday, March 10, 2007

Did Scooter Libby Lie?

He told the Grand Jury that he first heard that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent from Tim Russert on July 10 or 11th 2003. But here is the list of people that told Libby about Plame:

VP Cheney
Bob Grenier of the CIA
Cathie Martin (Cheney Aid)
Marc Grossman (State Department)

He informed the following people of Plame's status as a CIA agent before July 10th:

Craig Schmall (CIA)
Judith Miller (NYT, on July 8th)
Ari Fleischer (on July 7th)
David Addington (Cheney counsel, July 8th)

Karl Rove lied about outing Plame as well. But he was smart enough to "remember" a day or two before he was going to be indicted. So that leaves the fall guy Libby going down for a bunch of guys who were so tough they decided to get back at Joe Wilson by going after his wife.

And remember these famous words from the "Big Guy" himself (Bush, not Cheney): "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration,"...Luckly, for Scooter, in this administration, perjury and obstruction of justice is not considered a crime.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Fair and Balanced

Nevada Democrats have voted not to sponsor this Presidential debate

Social Liberal Rudy G. (at least for now)

Could Rudy G. actually get the Republican nomination for President? Really?

What Defines a Covert Agent?

One of the biggest questions concerning CIA Agent Valerie Plame's "outing" is whether she was a "covert agent". The law only protects the identities of "covert agents" of the USA.

Under the law, the term “covert agent” means—

(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—

(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and

(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; or

(B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information, and—

(i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency, or

(ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an agent of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; or

(C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose past or present intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information and who is a present or former agent of, or a present or former informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency.

But Libby wasn't being tried for breaking the above law. He was being tried for perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation of the leak.

Was an underlying law broken? Valerie Plame was working under non-official cover for the CIA at a fake company that has now been revealed to the world. She traveled outside the USA as part of her job. Agents working under NOC by the way do not carry diplomatic passports and thus work under very dangerous conditions. I think an argument can be made that the law was broken. There may well have been other laws broken as well, it was up to the US Attorney to determine which laws were broken.

One question people should ask themselves. Why, of all the people that appeared before the Grand Jury, was Scooter Libby the ONLY person to lie about outing Plame?

Clearly, Valerie Plame was betrayed by members of her own government. I don't think that fact can be denied.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mr. Rogers

Does republican apologist Ed Rogers remind anyone else of Enid Strict, the church lady, of Saturday Night Live fame? I think it's mostly the pursed lips and the fact that he has probably never smiled in his entire life.

Dana Carvey (Aka "Enid Strict")

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Iraq 101

Read this comprehensive article on the Iraq War at Mother Jones. It's in 4 parts:

1) Find out who is who and who hates who
2) Learn about the civil war, great graphics and FAQ
3) The Cost, who's getting the money? (like for an embassy compound that's almost as big as the Vatican City.
4) The effects and aftermath. Surely there are far fewer jihadist attacks worldwide now (not)
The article is completely sourced with links. This is the perfect article to refresh your memory about the Iraq War and/or bring yourself up to speed on the effects of the war on the USA and the world.

Vermont Commies Want to Impeach Bush

So I guess we know the towns in VT in which the "commies" reside.

The impeachment resolutions have passed so far in Bristol, Burke, Calais, Craftsbury, Dummerston, East Montpelier, Greensboro, Guilford, Grafton, Hartland, Jamaica, Jericho, Johnson, Marlboro, Middlebury, Montgomery, Morristown, Newbury, Newfane, Peru, Plainfield, Putney, Richmond, Rochester, Roxbury, St. Johnsbury, Springfield, Stannard, Sunderland, Townshend, Tunbridge, Vershire, Warren, Westminster, Wilmington, and Woodbury, according to organizers.

We need to do away these town meeting things. Way too democratic.

Sen. Chuck Hagel

"The president says, 'I don't care.' He's not accountable anymore," Hagel says, measuring his words by the syllable and his syllables almost by the letter. "He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don't know. It depends how this goes." From here.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Yes, there is a GodTube! The Christian video sharing website. My favorite broadcasts are the "Chatting with Charley" series. Hear Charley explain why the earth is young and why evolution is nonsense. My favorite is when "Charley" tells us that evolution means that a rock can turn into a man and a mousetrap into a mouse. The key indicator of Charley's ignorance of evolution is when he keeps repeating that "evolution is by random chance". Specific mutations in DNA occur by random chance and provide genetic variation. But, natural selection is where those genetic variations are sorted out and chance is not involved. Charley also completely misunderstands the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. But we won't go there. Just google it for youselves to better understand the SLOT and whether evolution disobeys the SLOT.

Save the Cows!

Cefquinome is a new injectable aminothiazolyl cephalosporin derivative. It is effective against a broad range of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Now, against expert advice, the FDA is going to approve the use of this drug to treat cattle.
The government is on track to approve a new antibiotic to treat a pneumonia-like disease in cattle, despite warnings from health groups and a majority of the agency's own expert advisers that the decision will be dangerous for people.

The drug, called cefquinome, belongs to a class of highly potent antibiotics that are among medicine's last defenses against several serious human infections. No drug from that class has been approved in the United States for use in animals.
So what's the problem? Two words, antibiotic resistance.

"If a drug is used less, then less resistance emerges," said Patricia Griffin, chief of intestinal disease epidemiology for the CDC.
Read the entire article for the pro's and con's concerning approving the use of this drug in cattle.

UPDATE: Read editorial in NYT.

Debt Blogs

Reading the NYT this morning sent me to this blog. "Blogging Away Debt" is a blog about a couple that are tired of being in debt and are trying to do something about it. A brief read of the blog shows that it has some worthwhile suggestions.

Being involved with a Credit Union has shown me just how financially bad off many people are in our area. Personal savings rate in the USA went into negative territory in the 2nd quarter of 2005. People are actually spending more than they are making. Very much like most State governments and our Federal government.

It's understandable how people can fall into debt, especially inside the Blue Line. But what bugs me is the way many people will simply shrug their shoulders and walk away from the debt. Maybe that's easy for me to say. While not miserly at all (in my opinion), I tend to think quite hard before spending a dollar. "A want is not a need" is a great New England motto to live by. The best advice I can give CU members that have fallen into debt is don't walk away from your debt, it hurts you and every other member of the CU. Rather, talk and work with your CU loan officer to find out what options are available.

A couple of other "dollar related" blogs that I read include "Free Money Finance" and "The Consumerist", both highly recommended