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Archive for July, 2008

>Judge Bates Not Consistent? You Be The Judge

>U.S. District Judge John D. Bates recently ruled the Bush administration officials must report to Congress and testify regarding the fired 9 Federal Judges. While Democrats are applauding him for his work, it wasn’t long ago that they were seething, castigating this same Judge for siding with Bush on wiretapping and other national security issues.

Judge Bates sits on the national security court. At that time he refused to allow releasing of the documents he was convinced would reveal closely guarded secrets that enemies could used to evade detection or disrupt intelligence activities. Apparently, there were no national securities involved in his latest ruling that the Bush’s White House advisors must testify in Congress. In the prior case, the judge was more concerned with sources that could destroyed, targets tipped off and diplomatic relations damaged.

At that time the Democrats were ready to lynch this judge. “All these possible harms are real and significant and, quite frankly, beyond debate,” Bates wrote.

Of further interest, Bates was the sole judge on FISA who signed the opinion, which means that he alone may have made the decision.

Before we proceed further, should we note that Bates writes in his own official court biography, “Judge Bates was on detail as Deputy Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigation from 1995 to mid-1997.”

“Fancy that,” said angry Democrats. “If ever there was an indication of Omerta to the right wing, it was serving as a Federalist Club attorney with the Ken Starr jihad.

But let’s move on to the last few years.

When the General Accounting Office legally sought to compel Cheney to release the members of his secret energy task force, Judge Bates ruled on behalf of Cheney and against the GAO, an agency of Congress. Bates claimed that the GAO did not have “standing” to file suit against Cheney (echoes of unitary authority thinking here).

And remember that civil suit brought by Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson against various rogues in the Bush Administration? Guess who dismissed it? Judge John D. Bates. Bates claimed that the administration had the right to rebut Joe Wilson’s “criticisms.”

In 2002, Bates ruled that 32 members of Congress had no “standing” to sue the Bush Administration for unilaterally withdrawing from an ABM treaty.

I would have to say here is a judge who is in no one’s pocket. That is a good sign, for the judiciary must be independent even of the president who appointed and the Congress who approved his appointment. That’s the American way, so let’s not be harsh on him on the current ruling about the firing of lower judges by the Attorney General

>Bush Loses Court Battle

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WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Thursday rejected President Bush’s contention that senior White House advisers are immune from subpoenas. Congress is as excited and on a high, something akin to a soaring sugar spike in a kid in a candy store. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the House panel, said let the hearings begin. The sooner the better, because if it comes before the elections Democrats can make political hay.

But they should get off their political high quickly. This ruling will surely be appealed and that could take months. The Hearings would concern the controversy that the Associated Press said “scandalized the Justice Department” and led to the resignation of a longtime presidential confidant, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. It sided with Congress’ alleged power to investigate the executive branch via demanding Presidential assistants come in and tell all. If you call it a scandal it is because the liberals waved their magic wand over the media and said, “Let’s call it a scandal and get those ^^&&***&*** Republicans.”

But the ruling hands a temporary victory to Democrats probing the dismissal of nine federal prosecutors and highlights a power struggle that goes on between the president and Congress no matter who’s the chief executive.

The unprecedented ruling undercut three presidential confidants who have defied congressional subpoenas for information that Bush says is protected by executive privilege. The reason my Democrats want hearings in September is all political–it coincides with the height of election season.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House could soon vote on a contempt citation against one of the three officials, Karl Rove, formerly Bush’s top adviser.

“It certainly strengthens our hand,” she said of the ruling. “This decision should send a clear signal to the Bush administration that it must cooperate fully with Congress and that former administration officials Harriet Miers and Karl Rove must testify before Congress.”

The administration will likely appeal. They also could seek a stay that would suspend any further congressional proceedings.

“We disagree with the district court’s decision,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. With only a few months left in Bush’s presidency, there appears to be no sense of urgency to make the next move.

“I have not yet talked with anyone at the White House … and don’t expect that this matter will be finally resolved in the very near future,” Rove attorney Robert Luskin said in an e-mail.

The case marked the first time Congress ever has gone to court to demand the testimony of White House aides. These things are usually worked out by compromise, not in the courts. What has become of our government that that Congress is so “sue happy.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Bates said there’s no legal basis for Bush’s argument that his former legal counsel, Miers, must appear before Congress. If she wants to refuse to testify, he said, she must do so in person. That should be easy. Just go over there and refuse to testify because the matter is in dispute and being appealed. Let you attorney do it. The committee also has sought to force White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten to release documents on any role the White House may have played in the prosecutor firings.

“Harriet Miers is not immune from compelled congressional process; she is legally required to testify pursuant to a duly issued congressional subpoena,” Bates wrote. He said that both Bolten and Miers must give Congress all nonprivileged documents related to the firings.

Unfortunately, Bates was President Bush’s choice to be appointed to the bench. What’s wrong with him. He’s too liberal, by far. And he is verbose. He could have given his opinion in one page. He used 93-page to give his opinion rejecting administration’s legal arguments. No one said he isn’t independent.

He said the executive branch could not point to a single case in which courts held that White House aides were immune from congressional subpoenas.
I’ll bet if I looked long and hard I could find at lest one case. It has to do with Hillary and Bill Clinton and the death of Vince Foster…Hillary was asked to produce the file and Congress and the court gave her a pass when she said simply, “I misplaced or lost it.” Sure, you did!

“That simple yet critical fact bears repeating: The asserted absolute immunity claim here is entirely unsupported by existing case law,” Bates wrote. Not entirely, Judge. Look again and you’ll find you are wrong.

“Unfortunately, today’s victory may be short-lived,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “If the administration appeals the ruling, our congressional prerogatives will once again be put at risk.”

Like a greedy vulture, ultra liberal Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, “I look forward to working with the White House and the Justice Department to coordinate the long overdue appearances.”

Between now and September, Congress will recess for five weeks of summer vacation. Bates scheduled a conference between the litigants on Aug. 23 to take stock of whether negotiations had moved forward, as he urged in his ruling. Congress then returns to a brief, three-week session before scattering to the campaign trail. All 435 House seats and a third of the Senate are up for grabs, as well as the presidency.

Republicans said there was little reason to rush to an accommodation, noting that subpoenas will expire at the end of the 110th Congress in January.

“I’m sure it will be appealed and it will go on into next year, and it will become a moot issue,” said House GOP Leader John Boehner of Ohio.

Several Democratic officials said they expected the subpoenas to be reissued in January if their party retains control of Congress in the November elections. What are they doing wasting tax payer money on something as stupid as this. It is purely political, and part of the reason I write the Political Disconnect blog. There is a deep disconnect in Washington today, and it has to do with ultra liberals like Messers Pelosi, Reid, Leahy, and Conyers who love it when something like this comes up to turn them away from doing the people’s business. They would rather work on something as innane as this rather than finding solutions to the energy and Social Security problems.

What this battle does is drive the bloody stake of division even deeper, making it harder to do business in a civilized way between party leaders and their minions. Thus, the Political Disconnect connotation. It’s one unholy mess in Washington.

>Casio Watches

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The biggest rave today is functionality and good, rockin’ looks. Casio’s New Tough Movement Uses LEDs To Auto-Correct The Hand Positions.

The following is by Andrew Liszewski of OhGizmo.com

There are a handful of watches that combine a digital LED display with an analog watch face which makes it easier for those of us who suck at telling time the ‘old-fashioned’ way, but this new Tough Movement system from Casio actually relies on an LED ‘under-the-hood’ to keep the positions of the analog hands accurate. The watch receives time calibration signals from six different bases located around the world, and at the 55 minute mark of every hour if the time indicated by the watch doesn’t match up with the time from the signals, the position of the hands is automatically corrected. The gears for the second, minute and hour hands are actually sandwiched between an LED and a phototransistor which also allows the watch to detect the positions of all three gears at once by shining a light through a series of holes that are just 300 mum in diameter.

The new Tough Movement also incorporates metal and plastic parts in order to reduce the weight and size of the watch while increasing rigidity and shock-resistance. As a result the thickness of a 3-hand analog model is reduced by 2.26mm to 4.11mm, while the more complex chronograph model is reduced by 0.55mm to 4.9mm. The new Tough Movement system will apparently be incorporated into Casio’s Oceanus and G-Shock series watches, and the first model to feature it (the GS-1200) will be available at the end of September in Japan for about $388.

>Movado Watches Are Stylishly Functional

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Some of the most sophisticated and smart people are turning to a product that is anything but new in watches called Movado. They have every function imaginable look like a much more expensive watch. Even the minimalist design that dominates their line is attracting attention, but that’s not the only model they make. Quite a few have normally calibrated dials, some dressy, some sporty.

From what I can tell, Movado has been in business continually since the 19th century, having only changed hands once when Gerry Grinberg acquired the company and formed the Movado Group.

According to my research, Movado has over 100 patents to its name and has won some 200 international awards.

Companies change over time and sometimes marketers try to cash in on brands that have gone defunct and sell junk under those names in certain discount outlets. I can find nothing to support the idea that this is the case with Movado.

Maybe a blogger can help here. I haven’t even been able to establish what movements they use, except that the watches are Swiss made.

I thought perhaps that the company relied too heavily on quartz movements, but they do produce watches with automatic movements.

A friend owns an ESQ watch that is as beautiful in my eye as any watch I’ve ever seen, and he thinks so too. “I admit that for a long time I was leery of the brand, but when I saw the Quest chronograph at the price it was selling for, I could not help myself,” he said.

He also reports that it is a very accurate timepiece, as it’s currently about five seconds fast and he set it on November 30, 2007. Yes, it is quartz.

>Rolex Watches

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There was a time in this country that you could buy the best Rolex for under $1,000, but that was long ago. Today, cool heads plunk down enough money to buy a shiny new foreign or American car. Check some of the prices and you will see we’ve in the twenties and thirties. When advertisers put out an ad, they are perfectly aware of snob appeal in their offerings. if you have something that will endure–and Rolex Watches last almost forever–and look and operate like no other watches, the asking price is yours to make. There are good web sites today where you can get big discounts on big name watches, even on a Rolex.

>Smart Watches

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A surprising lot of people like to show off their watches. It doesn’t have to be as $5,000 to $37,000 Rolex. It can be very simple or complex. People like to show off their watches, especially if they are complex and crammed full of functionality and features. Simple Independent Retrograde Dualtime watches from Citizen above have their own unique appeal. The watches come in either a polished stainless steel (the ITR21-5053) or IP gold and black (the ITR21-5051) finish and both feature an analog watch face with a digital typeface for the hours, as well as a unique L-shaped 24-hour clock at the bottom. They’re both available from Tokyoflash with the stainless steel model selling for about $242 while the IP gold and black is just a bit more at about $271.

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Here’s the latest from the McCain Campaign

New TV ad: Celeb

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:07 PM

From:

Add sender to Contacts

To:
dusanotes@yahoo.com
McCain Team –

The campaign has just released a new TV ad and we wanted you to be the first to watch it. Please take a minute to view the ad, “Celeb” by following this link.

Watch Now We agree that Senator Barack Obama may be the “biggest celebrity in the world.” But as you and I know, simply attracting large crowds of fans with empty rhetoric doesn’t prepare a person to lead a country. The more we get to know the real Barack Obama, the more he shows that he is not ready to lead our country.

Gas prices are at an all-time high, and Senator Obama has become the “Dr. No” of energy. He says no to off-shore drilling, resulting in an increase in our dependence on foreign oil. In fact, his solution to our energy challenge is to raise taxes on electricity. Hard-working Americans can’t afford Senator Obama’s energy policies in the White House.

You and I know that our country is faced with great challenges and Americans need to elect a true leader as our next president, a leader who puts country first. That leader is John McCain.

Throughout his entire life, John McCain has put his country first. Often called a “maverick” because he believes in solving problems with real solutions, he’s prepared to lead our country in a new direction and he needs our help to get elected this fall.

We need your help and we need it now. There are only 97 days left until the election. Please follow this link to watch our latest TV ad and after watching, I’m asking that you make a donation of whatever you can give to help us air this ad for millions to see.

As always, I thank you for your time and your continued support.