Leahy: “I have given the White House’s claims of executive privilege and immunity careful consideration,” wrote Leahy. “I hereby rule that those claims are not legally valid to excuse current and former White House employees from appearing, testifying and producing documents related to this investigation. Accordingly, I direct Mr. Bolten, Mr. Rove, Ms. Taylor and Mr. Jennings to comply immediately with the committee's subpoenas by producing documents and testifying or face possible contempt citations.”
Nov 29, 2007
Perino: WH Does 'Not Seek Permanent Bases in Iraq'
General Lute said on Monday we'll negotiate them. Ali al-Dabbagh wouldn't rule them out. But at the White House press gaggle today, Dana Perino denied the Bush administration's interest in long-term U.S. military bases in Iraq. From AFP:
"We do not seek permanent bases in Iraq," spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters after Lieutenant General Douglas Lute said Monday that the flashpoint issue would be part of negotiations to decide the future of US troops in Iraq.
Nov 28, 2007
State Department official Iraq update is really compilation of plagiarized major media articles
11/28/2007 02:43:00 PM ET
Kind of pathetic when the official report from the US State Department on what's "really" happening in Iraq is actually just a bunch of plagiarized paragraphs from the major media in the US. To wit, the following analysis an anonymous friend just sent me. I just checked it out and he's right. State outright plagiarized much of the major media in making its "report." And what's really funny, they even stole a number of paragraphs from a New York Times article when, as I recall, the NYT is the newspaper that George Bush refuses to read because it supposedly has such a "liberal bias."
Nov 27, 2007
Seriously the door on that paddy wagon is a little disturbing.
Police officers arrest a student during riots in Amsterdam. Police clashed with high school students in several towns and cities in the Netherlands, on the second day students went on "strike" to protest government plans to increase the number of hours they must remain in school. At Amsterdam's Museum square, riot police used water cannons against some of the 1,000 demonstrators and charged them on horseback after students pelted them with apples, eggs and bottles. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
(November 26, 2007)
Nov 26, 2007
U.S. Navy steps up fuel deliveries to Gulf forces
Here's the story.
LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. military has stepped up chartering of tankers and requests for extra fuel in the U.S. Central Command area, which includes the Gulf, shipping and oil industry sources say.
A Gulf oil industry source said the charters suggested there would be high naval activity, possibly including a demonstration to Iran that the U.S. Navy will protect the Strait of Hormuz oil shipping route during tensions over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) has tendered for four tankers in November to move at least one million barrels of jet and ship fuel between Gulf ports, from Asia to the Gulf and to the Diego Garcia base, tenders seen by Reuters show. It usually tenders for one or two tankers a month to supply Gulf operations, which include missions in Iraq.
Remember, the big ships are nuclear powered, so they are good to go.
So what are they bringing in?
The fuel includes JP5, jet fuel, for the carrier-based aircraft. Does this presage increased aerial activity? Like maybe against Iran?
On a personal level, I would pay good money to see Carlos Ray Norris kick the stuffing out of any of the debate participants any time they stretched the truth.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appears to be milking cult hero Chuck Norris' endorsement for all it's worth.
The former Arkansas governor told reporters on a conference call Monday morning that the “Walker Texas Ranger” star will be joining him at the CNN/YouTube debate this Wednesday night.
"[He] will be part of that experience," Huckabee said. "So it will be fun and hopefully very substantive."
Norris officially endorsed Huckabee last October, hailing him as a "respected and fearless leader" and one who's "not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs."
Nov 19, 2007
Nov 16, 2007
A statement from Senator Harry Reid:
The Senate will be coming in for pro-forma sessions during the Thanksgiving holiday to prevent recess appointments.
My hope is that this will prompt the President to see that it is our mutual interests for the nominations process to get back on track.
While an election year looms, significant progress can still be made on nominations.
I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me half way.
But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.
As Democratic leader, I recommend nominees to the President for many important commissions like the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
These independent agencies are required by law to have Democratic representation.
As a result, the President has a statutory obligation to honor my recommendations and move on them in good faith.
And, up until recently, the President has generally discharged that obligation.
In the last several months, however, the administration has been stalling progress on Democratic appointments.
This problem existed before the August break.
In an effort to solve it, I worked hard to confirm over 40 administration nominees in exchange for a commitment by the President to make progress on a number of important commissions.
When we reconvened after August break, I also worked to quickly move on the President’s new Attorney General.
I did this despite my own opposition to that nominee.
Even with all this hard work on our side, the commitments the administration made to me before August break were not met.
In the almost three months since that break, we have received no Democratic nominees to full-time commission positions.
For some, in fact, absolutely no discernable progress has been made.
With Thanksgiving break looming, the administration informed me that they would make several recess appointments.
I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments.
They would not make that commitment.
As a result, I am keeping the Senate in pro-forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track
Saudi Arabia is creating an independent 35,000 strong force specifically to guard oil infrastructure. Here's the link via The Oil Drum.
The kingdom started recruiting and training the industrial security force a year ago, after a failed al Qaeda attack on the world's largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq in February 2006.Look at the trouble in Nigeria (not to mention the stellar production records for Iraq for the last few years.)
...Al Qaeda's Saudi-born leader, Osama bin Laden, has called for it to take aim specifically at oil.
"There is a new threat to oil installations from terrorists that has to be confronted," Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told Reuters.
Nov 15, 2007
Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.02
Family recipe: Mutton dumplings
Someone posted this link over at The Oil Drum.
What the world eats
Go take a look.
It's a picture essay of families around the world surrounded by a week's worth of food. Light but interesting reading. I would like a per capita cost and calorie/nutrition breakdown but still the pictures are worth several thousand words.
Overnight rainfall totals included .14 inch at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, .21 inch at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and .28 inch at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Approximately enough water to wet 52% of your whistle.
Nov 14, 2007
During today’s House oversight committee hearing on State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, “Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) dropped a bombshell: Krongard’s brother, former CIA Executive Director A.B. ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, sits on Blackwater’s board. Blackwater, of course, is a State Department contractor.” Under questioning by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Krongard denied that his brother worked for Blackwater and said he would recuse himself from Blackwater investigations if it’s true.Coverage at Think Progress and TPM Muckraker. Oh, Henry!
Sh*t, I though Governor Perdue was praying for a brain.
(DKos reminded me of this story.)
More than 250 faith-filled Georgians joined Gov. Sonny Perdue outside the Capitol this morning to pray for the rain needed to end the area's historic drought.I should become a rainmaker. I can do at least as well as Perdue.
Perdue asked them to "reverently and respectfully pray up a storm."
Gil Watson, senior minister of Northside United Methodist Church, prayed, "Lord, have mercy on your people, have mercy on us and grant us rain. Oh God, let rain fall on this land of Georgia."
Nov 13, 2007
Bush to be interviewed on Fox.
Yesterday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino held a news briefing aboard Air Force One where she went over President Bush’s media schedule. His two upcoming appearances? Fox News and Fox Business Channel.I am afraid I will have to pass. I can barely stomach reading about Chimpy
Nov 12, 2007
Disclaimer: I grew up in Atlanta and spent a lot of time at my aunt's house at Lake Lanier. So this stuff is especially interesting to me.
Florida backs away from water war truce(more here)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/09/07
One week after it appeared Georgia, Alabama and Florida had reached a temporary truce in their latest fight over water, Florida notified federal officials that it objected to a proposal to keep more water in Lake Lanier.
On Thursday night, Florida sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, opposing the short-term plan to reduce releases into Florida from Lanier.
The corps, which proposed the reductions, said stemming the flow downstream could help extend metro Atlanta's water supply by as much as two years. That could be long enough to get the region through the historic drought that started in spring 2006.
But Florida's objection to the proposed cuts could be moot.
The final decision still rests with Fish and Wildlife, which has until next Thursday to determine whether federally protected mussels and a fish species could survive with less water. If the service approves the changes, the corps could begin phasing in the reductions immediately.
Florida would then have the option of asking a federal judge to keep the waters flowing from Lake Lanier at their current levels.
For metro Atlantans, the stakes are high: If drought conditions don't improve, the state could be forced to take steps, such as rationing water, that haven't been seen even in the arid West, such as Southern California or Las Vegas.
Nov 9, 2007
Nov 7, 2007
Nov 6, 2007
Update: Bastards. I have learned that sending Kucinich's bill to the committee is tantamount to burying it in the seventh chamber of hell. Loyal reader and all-round smart person PiNY tells us that Conyers is beholden to Pelosi. (She phrases it differently, but that's what she means.)
They are NOT going to table Kucinich's resolution to impeach!
I'm listening to the play by play.
From Raw Story:
(Update at bottom: House poised to kill impeachment resolution, vote to table likely to pass)(And Dewey Defeats Truman)
This is getting interesting the rethugs changed their votes to allow the resolution to go ahead. What are they thinking? I think they are trying to do too much second guessing....
UPDATE: It's going to the judiciary committee! Go Conyers!
Update: See PiNY's comment. Conyers and the committee w0n't do a d*mned thing.
Nov 2, 2007
From Raw Story
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced he would move to force a vote next week on his resolution calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.Finally, ripples in the pond. Now if they will only grow into waves.
“The momentum is building for impeachment,” Kucinich said in a statement on his Web site. “Millions of citizens across the nation are demanding Congress rein in the Vice President’s abuse of power.
Kucinich said he plans to introduce a privileged resolution, which would have priority for a House floor vote, on Nov. 6. A vote on the measure would be required within two days.
Nov 1, 2007
I'm sure the folks over at the Heritage Foundation are still toweling themselves off.
Bush: ‘war on terror’ critics are ‘disingenuous or naive.’Today in his speech at the Heritage Foundation, President Bush attacked critics of the term “war on terror,” saying that “people who deny we are at war are either being disingenuous or naive.” He added, “We are at war — and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending it does not exist.” ...
I would pay good money to see some one ask him, "What does disingenuous mean?"
Possible response: "Well it means, won't get fooled agin while our childrens is learning."