Author: Kate

Pantsgate, Con’t

James Joyner: “So, he accidentally took documents more than once, and only after a pattern emerged did the staffers report him.”
Sandy Berger was National Security Advisor. What the hell was going on?
Update – Glenn Reynolds has extensive followup this morning., and on the further collapse of Joe Wilson’s credibility.
This email he recieved is enlightening:

Just to back up some of your other correspondents. I spent 27 years total in the AF – with a Top Secret clearance. I had at times, specific appended code word clearances, which are controlled on a strict need-to-know basis – because they often involve sensitive sources (say, you are getting data from a mole in the Itanian Gov. – that particular data would be graded TS and then given a code word to further identify it as very sensitive and to restrict access from those with just general TS clearances). In a nutshell, the security system from least classified to most classified was: Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret codeword). When we worked on Top Secret codeword (it might read something like Top Secret Fishhook), it was in a vault and our notes were put in burn bags. We were not allowed to take any notes out -period. We clearly understood that you didn’t screw around with Secret, much less TS or TS codeword. For us a slip-up meant the slammer. What Berger did is so far removed from accepted security procedure, that I can only see two possible explanations: dishonesty with an ulterior motive (political CYA, I would guess) Or he’s crazy. There is no way a veteran in the security business doesn’t understand the gravity of walking out with TS codeword data.
Doug Rivers

A Blog About Nothing

I’ve added A Blog About Nothing to the sidebar, proving my boundless generosity, as it appears the selfish bastard doesn’t do reciprocals.
Nonetheless, here’s why.

“I think the course of a marriage runs much like the course of The Shining. It starts out great, sure, but boy does the author have a surprise in store! You may be lost on my comparison of a wedding to a hanging, but considering 50% of all marriages end in divorce, that leaves the rest to end in death. Given the long course of a marriage that ends thusly, and all the torture that comes with it, and given the relative lack of BS during a hanging, I guess I would rather be hung.”

My Name Is Joe

(clears throat)
I’m not a lumberjack,
or a fur trader…
and I don’t live in an igloo
or eat blubber, or own a dogsled…
and I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I’m certain they’re really, really nice.
I have a Prime Minister,
not a President.
I speak English and French,
NOT American.
and I pronouce it ABOUT,
I can proudly sew my country’s flag on my backpack.
I believe in peace keeping, NOT policing.
DIVERSITY, NOT assimilation,
Molson, Coors talk union
Molson Canadian may soon become a dual citizen. Molson Inc. and Denver-based Adolph Coors Co. have confirmed they are in “advanced” talks to combine the two firms. Prompted by swirling rumours, the two beer makers announced yesterday they are working on a “merger of equals.”
Though nothing has been finalized or approved, the terms of the deal include retaining Eric Molson as chairman and Coors’ Leo Kiely as chief executive. Yesterday’s announcement wasn’t much of a surprise, noted Keith Howlett, an analyst with Desjardins Securities. “Molson has been pretty open that it is reviewing strategic alliances and alternatives,” he said. “Coors is the first one that comes to people’s minds because they have so many business relationships already.”
In addition to being roughly the same size, Molson and Coors share a similar history and share structure. John Molson started his company in 1786, and his family still controls the voting stock. Adolph Coors started making beer 87 years later. His relatives own about a third of the voting stock. Peter H. Coors, the fourth generation chairman, had decided to run for the U.S. senate, raising doubts about his succession plans. At Molson, Eric stepped down as chairman last year. However, he prevented his cousin Ian from taking over, hence the feud.

Professional Attribution

The Associated Press has already pulled this item, but not before it was saved for posterity

Police are asking for help to solve the mystery of Powell’s death.
“The public is very important, especially if they know her from a different name or may have seen her sometime before Saturday,” Ryan McFarland of the Adams County sheriff’s office said.
Investigators are not sure if Powell died where her body was found or if she was killed elsewhere, WLWT Eyewitness News 5’s most- overrated, obnoxious, annoying, stick-like, ho-bag, sperm- receptacle staff member Raegan Butler reported.

Via Outside The Beltway and Wizbang.

Job Vacancy

Sean has found his dream job. Sort of.

There are only three things standing between myself and a job like this. First, it’s only open to those living in the Ottawa and Quebec regions – not good-for-nothing Westerners like myself. Second, French is a requirement and I’ve let mine atrophy to the point where I struggle with reading my old French language Asterix cartoon books. Lastly, I’m pretty sure that my sponsor in a certain 12 step program that I may or may not belong to would kick my ass into low orbit if he even thought I was serious about applying for the position.

Salary: $61,312 to $66,287. It’s a 3 – 6 month position.
Sean, don’t give up hope. We lowly Western wine connoisseurs�may yet be able to apply for the job of cleaning the spiffy new granite curbs in Ottawa.
“Excusez moi, monsieur! Permit moi to polishez les gutter pour vous!”


President Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is the focus of a Justice Department investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings, The Associated Press has learned.
Berger’s home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI agents armed with warrants after he voluntarily returned documents to the National Archives. However, still missing are some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration’s handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration.
Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed handwritten notes he had made while reading classified anti-terror documents at the archives by sticking them in his jacket and pants. He also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio, they said.

That’s a lot of inadvertant.
Update – Notes inadvertantly found their way into his socks, too.
And, Hugh Hewitt reminds us to apply the “Rice test”.

Even if the Commission was a genuine non-partisan effort instead of a show trial designed to keep the eye off of Clinton’s indifference to al Qaeda throughout the ’90s, it would still have needed all the records, and in an untampered form. How can anyone think it was a good idea to let a potentially responsible party review the evidence against him and his colleagues?�
Had Rice been the one caught tampering with the records of the Bush Administration relating to terrorism, Rice would already have been forced by a baying press to resign, and Bush would be threatened with a Watergate-style meltdown.� But it is a pro-Kerry media, so watch for Berger’s attempted cover-up to get its own cover-up.

Another update – Berger has stepped down from the Kerry team.
Well, duh.

SIDS Gene Uncovered

A form of SIDS (crib death) has been linked to a recessive gene in Amish populations.

BBC – They looked at 21 infants who had died suddenly and came from two generations of an American Amish community. All died before 12 months of age from sudden cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Dr Stephan’s team looked at the genes of four of these infants and found a defect common to all them. All four infants had two abnormal copies of a gene called TSPYL which is located on chromosome 6.
It opens up the possibility that mutations in other genes may also contribute to some sudden infant deaths.
The researchers looked at DNA from the parents of each of the children and found the parents carried only one abnormal copy of the gene. The researchers believe having two abnormal copies of TSPYL affects the nervous system and causes sudden death by interfering with the brain’s control of the heart and lungs.

It also raises questions about the cases in which multiple SIDS deaths in a family have led to murder charges. From a Slate article on the Noe case in which 8 children allegedly died of SIDS…

…experts now believe that losing one baby to SIDS does not increase the likelihood that a family will lose another. However, Wecht points out, there have been cases of two and three unexplained infant deaths in a family in which homicide was ruled highly unlikely. Parents of SIDS babies have been wrongly accused in the past. And most troubling, as I said before, we don’t know what SIDS is in the first place. We may have lumped several different diseases together in describing the syndrome. Perhaps multiple natural deaths in a family are possible.

Indeed. A simple recessive defect carried by both parents would produce statistical odds of one in four children being affected. And as probabilities are extremely unreliable in small samplings, the chances of two or three SIDS cases from two carrier parents would be pretty good.
And those are the odds for simple autosomal recessive mutations. If there are other gene defects that predispose children to crib death that are incompletely dominant (meaning that a single copy of the mutation can cause death, but a minority of carriers are spared and survive to reproduce), half of their children would inherit the defect. If a simple recessive, such as the TSPYL gene is survivable through fetal management and monitoring, 100% of the children of survivors would inherit it.
Prediction: In recent years, the recommended practice of laying infants on their backs to sleep has reduced SIDS deaths dramatically. This may mean that some SIDS deaths are purely mechanical – or it may be that the position compensates for respiratory problems in children with a mild underlying gene defect..If the latter is true, expect a sharp increase in SIDS deaths in a decade or two, when the survivors move into adulthood to have children of their own.


Today was a little busy for blogging. But I got out the camera on the way home from town as a thunderstorm was rolling towards Saskatoon behind me. The yellow flowers are canola, and the bloom is actually beginning to wane – the colour on the fields was a little more intense last week. Driving through the countryside, canola perfume hangs in the air – subtle and pleasant. About 40% of the farmland in this region is planted with the oilseed this year. The aerial view must be spectacular.
I had almost forgotten what it was like. Three years of dust storms, unrelenting heat, grasshoppers, high wind, barren pastures and withered crops. This region of the province had a drought that surpassed that of the 1930’s – the land saved only by modern no-till cropping methods.

(Dust storm, late May 2002. The street looking west from my house.)
But this year, the rainfall has been normal, the dust storms are gone. Summer heat was slow to arrive and crops are late, but they’re healthy and catching up fast. And the cold and wet meant trillions of grasshoppers perished, unhatched.
If anyone is considering a road trip into this province, this is the year, this is the time.

UN Oil-For-Terrorism Program

NY Post

American officials believe that millions of dollars Saddam Hussein skimmed from the scandal-plagued U.N. oil-for-food program are now being used to help fund the bloody rebel campaign against U.S. forces and the new Iraqi government, The Post has learned.
U.S. intelligence officials and congressional investigators said last night that the “oil-for-insurgency link” has been recently unearthed in the numerous probes now under way into the giant U.N. humanitarian program, in which Saddam is believed to have pocketed $10.1 billion through oil smuggling and kickbacks from suppliers.
Investigators have traced some of these accounts to banks in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Belarus, where money was either laundered or converted into gold and routed back to Iraq or into other accounts.
The network of bankers, front companies, couriers and money-launderers involved in handling Saddam’s oil-for-food kickback schemes still appears to be active, investigators say.
U.S. intelligence officials believe a portion of the funds in these hidden accounts � possibly millions� is now being used to fund the Ba’athist guerrillas responsible for much of the postwar violence against coalition troops, sources said.

Yet another justification to charge Kofi Annan with war crimes.
hat tip – James Joyner

Of Botox And Girly Men

As I’ve noted in the past, Matt Drudge is so funny.
And so is the Governator.

“If they don’t have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, ‘I don’t want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers … if they don’t have the guts, I call them girlie men,” Schwarzenegger said to the cheering crowd at a mall food court in Ontario.
The governor lifted the term from a long-running “Saturday Night Live” skit in which two pompous, Schwarzenegger-worshipping weightlifters repeatedly use it to mock those who don’t meet their standards of physical perfection.
Democrats said Schwarzenegger’s remarks were insulting to women and gays and distracted from budget negotiations. State Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the governor had resorted to “blatant homophobia.”
“It uses an image that is associated with gay men in an insulting way, and it was supposed to be an insult. That’s very troubling that he would use such a homophobic way of trying to put down legislative leadership,” said Kuehl, one of five members of the Legislature’s five-member Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

Oh, boo hoo, ya whiney bunch of pansies.

Hamas Pats NZ On The Back

Via the NZ blog, Silent Running;

New Zealand has an unexpected friend in Hamas, a militant Islamic group feared in the Western world, which has thanked this country for its diplomatic slap to Israel over the spy passport scandal.
Word of Hamas’ endorsement will spread quickly throughout the Islamic world and will bolster the safety of Kiwi troops working in Iraq, according to Victoria University religious terrorism expert Jim Veitch.
Citing a statement from the Hamas stronghold of Gaza, the Islamic resistance movement’s website says Hamas “has highly appreciated the daring position of the New Zealand Government against the Zionist entity”.
Professor Veitch said: “To do something like that almost offers (Kiwi troops) protection. Groups inside Iraq are really picking off the partners the United States has… Maybe New Zealand has offered itself some sort of protection.”

Perhaps NZ prime minister Helen Clark is hoping for a few more Jewish grave desecrations to strengthen this fledgling relationship. Apparently, official condemnation from her office has been a little slow in coming.

Summer Pulse 04

The reason I sleep better at night knowing Bush-Rumsfeld are at the helm.

As a seafaring friend of mine once remarked, an aircraft carrier is not really listed on the books as a “ship,” but as a “strategic asset.” And when a country starts to move 7 out of 12 of these assets around on the global chessboard, it might betoken something more than just a summer ‘exercise.’
Indeed, if this were wartime (What? It is? Who knew?) moving this much killing power out onto the seas would be thought of as a fleet surge.
Truman, Enterprise, Stennis, Washington, Kennedy, Reagan, Kitty Hawk. It could all be, of course, just prudent planning and practice. On the other hand, given the various signals being sent by Homeland Security, the nearness of the Olympics, and the advent of the elections, it may be a case of “Fortune favors the forward deployed.”
Oh, did I mention that another carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln is listed by the Navy as underway as well?
It’s also interesting that the same page: U.S. Navy – Status of the Navy tells us that 92% of our surface ships are currently underway or deployed, and that 91% of our submarine fleet is either underway or deployed.
This is a lot of activity.

hat tip- Stephen Green who has this too.
update – By way of contrast, this item courtesy Pol:Spy

The Canadian navy will sit out the war on terrorism for one year in an effort to give exhausted sailors a chance to recuperate. HMCS Toronto left the Arabian Sea and the American George Washington Carrier Strike Group July 4 with a broken Sea King helicopter on deck.
And the navy has quietly decided against dispatching a replacement ship until spring 2005 at the earliest.
The Sea King on HMCS Toronto has been grounded since June 25 after particles were discovered in its gearbox.
Naval Capt. Bruce Belliveau, Toronto’s commanding officer, said the Sea King was available to hail foreign ships during 80% of the six-month deployment. It broke down during the frigate’s preparations to leave.


Pickup Lines; The Winners

I promised this on Friday, but I was indisposed. So, belatedly – the speed dating winners;
First: Jeff Goldstein“Are you beansprout toward the walkway antelope? Or is it? Because it’s hard for me to sleep trunk ebony, you know?”
Runnerup: Lisa – Walk up to him. Look him straight in the eye and say, to no one in particular, “Have him washed and brought to my tent.”
(I’d offer a week of guest blogging to the winner, but I think I”ll just link him profusely instead. )

The Incredible Shrinking Budget Deficit

There’s a pattern in the mainstream Democrat-cheering media these days. Just like the poll numbers that go unreported when Bush is ahead of Kerry, they remain curiously muffled on economic good news.
Larry Kudlow, at NRO;

If it’s not bad enough that rapid economic recovery has neutered Sen. Kerry’s principal domestic criticism of President Bush, now comes even worse news for the Democratic campaign: The budget deficit is starting to substantially shrink.
The latest budget numbers show a $19.1 billion surplus for June, $3 billion higher than the $16 billion Wall Street expectation. It seems that a flood of new tax collections, spurred by fatter employment payrolls and corporate profits, is rapidly reducing the federal budget gap. Tax receipts from businesses rose an astonishing 38 percent over the past twelve months and personal income-tax collections increased almost 9 percent. What’s happening? Could it be that stronger economic growth from lower tax rates is producing more tax receipts? I believe it’s called supply-side economics.
Just as the 1.5 million new jobs created since last August has terminated talk of a jobless recovery, the chatter over widening budget deficits will end. The fiscal-year 2004 budget deficit now looks to come in around $435 billion, less than 4 percent of GDP. This would be almost $100 billion below early-year estimates from the Office of Management and Budget and about $50 billion less than Congressional Budget Office forecasts. The administration is also getting its arms around federal spending. Fiscal year to date, domestic discretionary program spending has slowed to 2.7 percent from 6.8 percent a year ago.

This will come as surprising news to Canadians, who have been sold on the notion that tax cuts undermine revenue. Or, at least it would if there was a snowball’s chance in Hell that they’ll hear about it.
hat tip – The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Storm Warning

I just caught the taill end of the *beep beep beep* of a weather warning, and got to the TV in time to read “DO NOT WAIT FOR FURTHER WARNINGS. TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY”.
Unfortunately, the station covers a warning area a few thousand square miles in area, so I don’t know who they’re talking to. Not us at the moment – the sky is clear overhead. But it sure isn’t clear to the north and east. The skies over Saskatoon, 25 miles to the northeast, are a million dollar light show at the moment.

(A photo I took a couple of years ago)
Methinks some grain bins are going to be rolling cross the prairies like bowling balls tonight.
ooops… as I finish this, another warning. Caught it this time. It’s for us as well as most of the area surrounding. Too bad it’s so dark – there are sure to be some freaky photo opportunities.