Wednesday

Political Tidbits 5/3/06

Carl Bernstein and Deep Throat. Apes as humans? A "pre-emptive disaster declaration"? The CIA leaker and some truth about Hugo's Venezuela.
Pic of the Day
Colorful Hot Air Balloons




Quote of the Day
One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks."
-- Jack Penn



About Golf:
  • Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child. Just how childlike golf players become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five. ~John Updike
  • If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is. ~Horace G. Hutchinson
  • They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. ~Gardner Dickinson
  • If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt. ~Dean Martin
  • Man blames fate for other accidents, but feels personally responsible when he makes a hole-in-one. ~Author Unknown
  • Golf and sex are the only things you can enjoy without being good at them. ~Jimmy DeMarret
  • May thy ball lie in green pastures .... and not in still waters. ~Author Unknown
  • The difference in golf and government is that in golf you can't improve your lie. ~George Deukmejian
  • Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes out of a bagpipe. ~Author Unknown


  • Political Tidbits

    CIA Leaks

    Last week the news broke that a CIA agent leaked classified data to the WAPO's Dana Priest. I'll not dwell on all the details here because there's reams across the Internet.

    The leaker has been identified as one Mary McCarthy, a spook in the CIA's IG office. As of this writing McCarthy is denying she did any leaking though all the CIA press release said she failed two lie detector tests and confessed. The spin doctors are all out and about and declaring this lovely lady to be naught but a misunderstand whistle-blower.

    Oh, and the lady contributed, on a government employee's salary, almost $7,000 to Democratic campaigns.

    From the LA Times
    Dana PriestWASHINGTON - The CIA has fired an employee for leaking classified information to the news media, including details about secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, officials said today.

    A federal criminal investigation has also been opened.

    CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said an officer had been fired for having unauthorized contacts with the media and disclosing classified information to reporters, including details about intelligence operations.

    "The officer has acknowledged unauthorized discussions with the media and the unauthorized sharing of classified information," Gimigliano said. "That is a violation of the secrecy agreement that everyone signs as a condition of employment with the CIA."

    Citing the Privacy Act, the CIA would not disclose any details about the officer's identity or what he might have told the news media.

    However, a law enforcement official confirmed there was a criminal investigation under way and said the CIA officer had provided information that contributed to a Washington Post story last year saying there were secret U.S. prisons in Eastern Europe. The law enforcement official spoke only on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

    The Post reported that the CIA had set up a covert prison system after Sept. 11, 2001, that at various times included sites in eight countries. The story caused an international uproar, and government officials have said it did significant damage to relationships between the U.S. and allied intelligence agencies.

    Chernobyl Update

    April of 2006 marked the twentieth anniversary of the Russian Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown. Last week I
    posted a tidbit about the teeming wildlife that now abounds in the human abandoned area around the destroyed reactor.

    Nuclear reactors in the United States (and elsewhere I think) are covered with a thick reinforced concrete dome. This is done to protect the surround in the event of a meltdown but also to protect the reactor against enemy attack.

    Only Chernobyl didn't have such a dome over its top and after the meltdown, one had to be quickly constructed over the dying reactor to keep damage to the environment to a minimum.

    Now we are to understand that the hastily built concrete sarcophagus is crumbling, that rain water pours through the faults in the concrete dome, then flows down through the damaged reactor, and mixes with the area's groundwater.

    The international community is being asked to assist in the building of a new, more secure concrete dome.

    From Yahoo.com:
    Chernobyl's coffin is cracking. Birds and rainwater have gotten inside the steel-and-concrete shelter hastily built over the reactor that blew up in 1986, and officials worry about what is getting out.

    The "sarcophagus" over reactor No. 4 is reaching the end of its life span. A multinational $1.1 billion project to build a new shelter - a giant steel arch designed to last 100 years - is still on the drawing board.

    How Far Will $20 of Gas Get You?

    In light over all the hysteria over gasoline prices, came across this web site.
    The site illustrates , by country, how far a tank of gas will get you. For example, $20 worth of gas will get you 127 miles in Germany, 147 miles in Japan.

    You will be surprised at how far a tank will get you in America compared to other countries.

    Pulitzer Political Cartoon


    Somebody Tell Hugo Chavez His Citizens Are Unhappy

    I had the chance to share some email with a Venezuelan citizen. His tale was shocking. Yes, Venezuela is the home of the lovely Hugo Chavez, whose illegal election was certified by none other than Jimmy Carter, peace lover and liberal.

    Chavez is yet another thug who has endless amounts of money from oil revenue. A bad combination as these types tend to do anything to hold onto that amazing power. Money is often the weapon of mass destruction.

    This time it seems that Chavez has a very corrupt administration with only police loyal to his royal nothingness hired. Crime is out of control in that country. Last week Venezuelan university students what college students here, all busy hiring and/or raping strippers, are too cowardly to do. They gathered a crowd some 67,000 strong and they laid down on Venezuelan streets. That 67,000 is the number of unsolved crimes in Venezuela in the past year.

    Destroy the country's middle class, that's the ticket. Chavez is not interested in making his country a better place. In fact, we just heard today that the lovely Hugo plans to ship some of his surplus oil to our own New England states.

    Maybe he ought to stop trying to buy America with the oil wealth of his country that rightfully belongs to his citizens and solve the rampant crime problem in his own country.
    From Flickr.com:
    Protests in Venezuela "Acu├ęstate por la vida" ("Lie down for life"), is an event organized entirely by the students of the main universities of Caracas, in protest for the over 67,000 murders in the past 7 years, while the government promotes nothing but impunity. The goal was to gather an equal number of people and have them lie down in the streets of Caracas, to show what 67,000 dead people look like.

    Who Knew California Had Levees?

    Here's an interesting tidbit. Seems California has some levees and they are greatly in need of repair. It also seems that there's some behind-the-scenes deft manipulation to try and blackmail the administration for what is termed "a pre-emptive disaster declaration" to obtain federal funds to repair the levees.

    Which Bush refused to do and which he well should have. Start making this new invention of a language-twister-this "pre-emptive disaster declaraton"- and soon every state with a Governor will be demanding the same thing. Look around long and hard enough and every state has something requiring immediate attention if one only predicts a catastrophe with enough vision.

    The final arrangement is a bit confusing. Seems the Army Corps of Engineers, which do such things, will take money from California to make the needed repairs. How this works is a bit over my head but for now, take heart that federal money will not be forthcoming based on predicted disasters.

    We also note Arnold's reference to the New Orleans' levees. Which makes one suspect that California is trying to cash in on an opportunity.

    This is not to suggest that California's levees aren't in need of repair. And I'll admit to not knowing at all how such things are maintained beyond having heard that millions of federal dollars were given to the Louisiana levee board through the years and much of it was used for anything but repairing the levees. This makes me assume California too got federal money for their levees.

    However it all happens, I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that allowing state governors to declare disasters before they happen all for the benefit of federal funds is a sure way to have fifty states go into disaster mode.

    From SignOnSandiego.com:
    SACRAMENTO - Federal officials still are not taking seriously the threat of a failure in California's aging levee system and are risking another New Orleans-style disaster by failing to provide funding for repairs, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday.

    During a visit to California last week, President Bush turned down the governor's request for a pre-emptive federal disaster declaration. Instead, he issued a rare directive letting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers help with badly needed levee repairs.

    Schwarzenegger also met privately with Bush, but he said Tuesday that the message isn't resonating with the administration. He did not mention the president by name.

    "The federal government still is not getting the message," the Republican governor told business leaders during the annual California Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

    "They are spending $100 billion in New Orleans right now because they were not acting fast enough. And here is the time for them to redeem themselves, to go and say, 'We made a mistake before; let's not ever make that mistake again.' And again they are missing the boat."

    Bush officials have said the kind of declaration Schwarzenegger was seeking would require that a disaster already occurred. Pre-emptive disaster declarations have never been issued except when a catastrophe was imminent.

    Bush's directive allows the Corps of Engineers to accept $23 million in California money for repairs on 29 sections of the levee that state officials have identified as critically weak.

    You're Gonna Love This One

    It would seem, silly us, that Spain should concentrate on protecting its subways and trains. For that country did suffer one terrorist attack at which point they promptly withdrew their troops from Afghanistan and proceeded to elect a Moonbat as their leader.

    Now the party of their beloved President Zapatero is introducing a bill to give apes and other monkeys the same right as humans.

    Pardon me a second. Isn't Spain the land of the bullfights? The "sport" where a bull is teased inside of a ring and before an audience by a vaunted matador? With the bull ending up bloody and beaten to the cheers of the crowd? And let's not forget that silly running of the bulls in Pamplona.

    We understand there's also a motion to be introduced into the U.N. to recognize the apes as human. Whatever that means. Except give an ape the same rights as a human and I guarantee they will ALWAYS vote Democratic.

    Thanks to LittleGreenFootballs.com:
    The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings." The PSOE's justification is that humans share 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas, and 96.4% with orangutans.

    Another Has-Been Nothing Calls for Bush Impeachment

    Carl Bernstein is a man with bad skin who wants to ascend to his glory days of Watergate. Now just who the hell is he to call for an inquiry into the presidency of Bush? A reporter? A Washington Post reporter? Ah. The paper where they get Pulitzers for printing lies.

    From no less a journal of such political gravity of Vanity Fair. By all means, Carl, let us stop the congress and start investigating on your own fine word.
    from Shoutwife.com:
    Senate Hearings on Bush, Now
    In this VF.com exclusive, a Watergate veteran and Vanity Fair contributor calls for bipartisan hearings investigating the Bush presidency. Should Republicans on the Hill take the high road and save themselves come November?
    By CARL BERNSTEIN
    Worse than Watergate? High crimes and misdemeanors justifying the impeachment of George W. Bush, as increasing numbers of Democrats in Washington hope, and, sotto voce, increasing numbers of Republicans-including some of the president's top lieutenants-now fear? Leaders of both parties are acutely aware of the vehemence of anti-Bush sentiment in the country, expressed especially in the increasing number of Americans-nearing fifty percent in some polls-who say they would favor impeachment if the president were proved to have deliberately lied to justify going to war in Iraq.

    John Dean, the Watergate conspirator who ultimately shattered the Watergate conspiracy, rendered his precipitous (or perhaps prescient) impeachment verdict on Bush two years ago in the affirmative, without so much as a question mark in choosing the title of his book Worse than Watergate. On March 31, some three decades after he testified at the seminal hearings of the Senate Watergate Committee, Dean reiterated his dark view of Bush's presidency in a congressional hearing that shed more noise than light, and more partisan rancor than genuine inquiry. The ostensible subject: whether Bush should be censured for unconstitutional conduct in ordering electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant.

    Speaking of Deep Throat

    Heh. The old goat who betrayed this country, Mark Felt, has a new book. Yeah, right. He wrote a book while deep in the grip of Alzenheimers.

    Like Rush Limbaugh pointed out, why shouldn't Felt get his share of the Watergate pie as Woodward and Bernstein certainly made some bucks from it?

    And golly, how perfect is this timing? Felt's "book" comes out right after another American traitor goes around revealing secrets.

    From Yahoo.com:
    Deep Throat-Felt SAN FRANCISCO - The man who revealed himself as Watergate's "Deep Throat" says in a new memoir that he saw himself as a "Lone Ranger" who could help derail a White House cover-up.

    In the memoir, which hit bookshelves Monday, former FBI second-in-command W. Mark Felt explains what motivated him to become the key source for Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during the Watergate investigation.

    Felt said he was upset by the slow pace of the FBI investigation into the Watergate break-in and believed the press could apply some much-needed pressure on the administration to cooperate.

    "From the start, it was clear that senior administration officials were up to their necks in this mess, and that they would stop at nothing to sabotage our investigation," Felt wrote in "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, 'Deep Throat' and the Struggle for Honor in Washington."


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