And, yes, I DO take it personally: 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
The Attorney General is dedicated to civil liberties and is also a bald-faced liar
can anyone doubt alberto gonzales' absolute commitment to the civil liberties of the citizens of the united states...? even the most cynical will read this and be reassured...
I am here, as attorney general of the United States, to discuss how civil liberties factor into the fight at hand. I appreciate the topic of this lecture because it is critical that we never lose sight of civil liberties while we fight the war on terror, or any other war.
To achieve victory at the cost of eroding civil liberties would not really be a victory. We cannot change the core identity of our nation and claim success.
And our identity has never been in doubt - we are a free people, dedicated to liberty for the popular and the unpopular, committed to the ideal that the people govern themselves, and determined to have a government that cannot extinguish or suppress the rights that make us Americans.
with that as a lead-in, who could possibly question his sincerity...? but wait, there's more...
Free speech. Freedom of association. These values are repulsive to the radical Islamic terrorist. They fear them and suppress them whenever and wherever they can. Yet through those very means, we as a society are protective of that terrorist's rights.
This is ironic, but good. Because, as you well know, America has a unique responsibility to set the global standard for liberty and fair conduct. The world looks to us to set high standards for freedom, and we take that leadership role very seriously. Our commitment to leading by example - on issues from human rights to free speech - is strong.
ooo, gee... hang on just a sec... did he say that "we as a society are protective of [a] terrorist's rights"...? i could have sworn that he said "we as a society are protective of [a] terrorist's rights"... ah, but, never fear... even though we know those pesky terrorists don't really have any "rights," let's go back and hear abe out... he wants to make sure we fully understand just how carefully he and our government are protecting our own "rights..."
In spite of what I see as America's clear commitment to civil liberties, some critics have suggested that recent U.S. policy decisions are setting a bad example - that we are sacrificing civil liberties, and even that we are doing so in a futile effort against terrorism.
These are myths.
Some critics, pointing to the tools that are helping us win the War on Terror, have challenged them as inconsistent with our nation's historic commitment to civil liberties. I am disappointed that there are so many myths as a result of those questions, but I welcome the debate and the opportunity I have to address the facts surrounding the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the Patriot Act, as well as Guantanamo Bay and the recent Military Commissions Act - which do not directly relate to Americans' civil liberties, but which indicate how seriously we take even the rights of enemy combatants.
ok, i can't keep up the facade any longer... abe cites the most egregious violations of constitutional civil liberties this country has ever witnessed as examples of "how seriously we take even the rights of enemy combatants...?" OH-MY-GOD... these are such outright lies, it is not even possible for me to scrape together the words to communicate how appalled i am... and, even more impossible to believe, it gets worse...
The only purpose of the Terrorist Surveillance Program is to detect and prevent al Qaeda attacks before they can be carried out. It is narrowly focused in every way - by targeting only the communications of al Qaeda, by targeting only international communications, and by requiring high-level approval, as I mentioned before, approximately every 45 days.
Some people will argue nothing could justify the government being able to intercept conversations like the ones the Program targets. Instead of seeing the government protecting the country, they see it as on the verge of stifling freedom.
But this view is shortsighted. Its definition of freedom - one utterly divorced from civic responsibility - is superficial and is itself a grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people.
As Justice Robert Jackson remarked in the case Terminiello v. City of Chicago, "The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact."
Justice Jackson's call for, quote, "a little practical wisdom," close quote, applies not only to those who misleadingly attack the Terrorist Surveillance Program, but also to those who endlessly repeat the refrain that the Patriot Act is a threat to our civil liberties.
It is a myth that the Patriot Act empowers the government to be overly intrusive, giving it power that could someday be used to pry into innocent Americans' personal lives.
i could continue to excerpt from this man's horrifically twisted speech, but i can't bring myself to do it... alberto gonzales is the attorney general of the united states of america, a cabinet officer of the bush administration, and a senior official of the most powerful nation the world has ever known... and he is a liar...
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The Fifth Labor of Heracles: Cleaning the Augean Stables
now is the time, fellers (and ladies)... get your congressional asses in gear and start mucking out the augean stables... stewarding our country, serving as public servant role models, and presiding over the commonweal is what you are there for... (and, if you aren't familiar with that particular task of heracles, try wikipedia...)
None of the [ethics reform] measures would overhaul campaign financing or create an independent ethics watchdog to enforce the rules. Nor would they significantly restrict earmarks, the pet projects lawmakers can anonymously insert into spending bills, which have figured in several recent corruption scandals and attracted criticism from members in both parties. The proposals would require disclosure of the sponsors of some earmarks, but not all.
not acceptable, folks... we want something sweeping, something with teeth, something that's going to stop the massive flood of u.s. taxpayer money going into the pockets of the already super-rich and those of your esteemed colleagues (present company excepted, of course)...
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Cheney translated: We are at war, and we will be forever, and the war is Everywhere, even in our Homeland, and as a result, unlimited power is vested in our Leader, who will use it for your own Good, to protect you, because the Leader is Good and he loves you.
besides being an excellent translator, glenn also never fails to provide definitive insight...
It is worth reminding ourselves -- as the Vice President just made quite clear again-- that the pathological individuals who occupy the White House do not recognize the power of the law or the power of the courts to limit what they can do. Therefore, the fact that Democrats now control the Congress will be of little concern to them, because the most the Democrats can do is enact little laws or issue cute, little Subpoenas --- but, as the Vice President just said, they think that nothing can "tie the hands of the President of the United States in the conduct of a war." And he means that.
I hope Democrats in Congress recognize that and are prepared to do something about it. This constitutional crisis will exist until it's confronted.
this is very, very serious shit, my friends... anyone, myself included, who breathed a sigh of relief following last week's elections, had better gird their loins for the battles to come, which may make the battles we've been fighting seem pale by comparison...
Saturday photoblogging: Jacarandas blooming in Buenos Aires
i've been falling down on the job in the photo department... i've been promising photos of my trip up to nw argentina and the province and city of salta and that was nearly a month ago... now, i'm back in the u.s. and already missing being in that beautiful country even though i'm headed back after the first of the year...
a friend visiting me in argentina from macedonia (yes, i left him to come here, but he's got almost three months left, so it's not TOTAL abandonment) took these on thursday in plaza san martin in the buenos aires microcentro (central downtown)... when the jacarandas bloom, it will take your breath away...
i especially love it when the falling blossoms carpet the ground...
Important stuff you don't see in the traditional U.S. media
amazingly enough, because i follow the blogs, i was aware of all of these stories except for the one on roundup, the monsanto herbicide...
Project Censored is a media research group out of Sonoma State University which tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media.
Between 700 and 1000 stories are submitted to Project Censored each year from journalists, scholars, librarians, and concerned citizens around the world. With the help of more than 200 Sonoma State University faculty, students, and community members, Project Censored reviews the story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and national significance. The university community selects 25 stories to submit to the Project Censored panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. Current or previous national judges include: Noam Chomsky, Susan Faludi, George Gerbner, Sut Jhally , Frances Moore Lappe, Norman Solomon, Michael Parenti, Herbert I. Schiller, Barbara Seaman, Erna Smith, Mike Wallace and Howard Zinn. All 25 stories are featured in the yearbook, Censored: The News That Didn't Make the News.
1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media 2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran 3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger 4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US 5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo 6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy 7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq 8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act 9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall 10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians 11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed 12 Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines 13 New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup 14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US 15 Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner 16 Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court 17 Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda 18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story 19 Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever 20 Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem 21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers 22 $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed 23 US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe 24 Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year 25 US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region
when i read a list like this and realize that, if it wasn't for weblogs, i might have never heard of most of these stories, i also realize just how fortunate we are to have the internet, and how desperately those in power must be trying to find a way to control it and cut us off from any and all sources of unfiltered news...
for me, the worst part of coming back to the united states is seeing how people are so completely enslaved by the consumer economy... this alternet article skirts around the edges of the real issue, but then wusses out...
For new college graduates and people out of school for only a few years, financial worries are enormous. Home prices, even if they are starting to fall, remain very high relative to ordinary incomes, and higher mortgage rates are no balm to money worries either. All Americans carry more debt on average than in the past but the increase for young people is most striking since young workers generally earn the least. Between college loans and car loans, people in their 20s are amazingly burdened financially compared to earlier generations, especially compared to my own generation of late-stage baby-boomer.
it ain't just young people fresh out of school, although i am watching my daughter struggling with all the above... my son and his wife, in their mid-30s, both holding good jobs with a very respectable combined income, are carrying a debt burden that i find positively staggering, and probably won't see daylight for at least 30 more years...
Americans get ensnared in a web of debt spun by a "credit industrial complex" that almost seems to function like a conspiracy to drive people into financial servitude.
look, let's get really, really real... it "almost seems to function like a conspiracy" because that's exactly what it is... if you're burdened by huge debt, what other choice do you have but to keep working to pay it off, supporting the same system that put you in that dilemma in the first place... this article's author, however, seems to reveal the depth of his own "consumer society" brainwashing, because he just can't resist extolling the virtues of materialism...
Americans get to their live their dreams in way few can in some other countries.
now that i'm spending the majority of my time living outside the u.s., i am stupefied at how big the trade-off of getting to "live their dreams" is for americans... while it's true that having the latest gadget is an obsession the world over, there is nowhere that is more true than in the united states... constantly, everywhere i go here, people are rushing madly about in search of the latest "thing" guaranteed to make them happy... it's impossible to avoid because those "things" are constantly in your face, everywhere, all the time... coming in from south america, three hours after landing, i am with my daughter-in-law and her mother in a hospital gift shop to rival any large store in a shopping mall... oh, it's a conspiracy, all right... don't think for one minute that it isn't...
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As Cheney said, to big, big applause from the audience of more than 600: "And I assure you, nothing that's happened in the last two weeks" -- what election? -- "will change [President Bush's] commitment to nominating first-rate talent like John Roberts and Sam Alito."
oh, gag me with a spoon... particularly when i read something like this little snippet of orgasmic praise...
Cheney's comments drew a standing ovation. "It was a great speech by a great leader," said J. Michael Wiggins, the former No. 2 lawyer in the Department of Homeland Security. "That's what's great about the vice president, having the courage to do what's right and what we're obligated to do, regardless of whether it's politically popular."
The annual three-day convention was the time to take stock of how far the Federalists have come since they set out to change the debate in America 24 years ago -- another longish game, which they are playing superbly.
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies started with a group of conservative and libertarian law professors and students in the Midwest and elsewhere who saw what they believed was a great liberal-activist orthodoxy ensconced everywhere from the classroom to the courtroom. The Federalists believed in limited government, separation of powers and, as stated in their intellectual battle slogan, that "the province and duty of the judiciary is to say what the law is, not what it should be."
Now the group claims about 40,000 members and associates, student chapters on all 180 or so law school campuses, and 70 more chapters for lawyers and judges. The budget from foundations, individuals and corporations is about $7 million.
looks like some of the repub heavyweights are using the federalist society as their bloody pulpit for telling the dems how it's going to all come down...
"International law is being used as a rhetorical weapon against us," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, a former federal appellate judge, said in a speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative policy group.
Chertoff cited members of the European Parliament in particular as harboring an "increasingly activist, left-wing and even elitist philosophy of law" at odds with American practices and interests.
But he said the same pattern could be seen in the policies of the United Nations and other international bodies.
"What we see here is a vision of international law that if taken aggressively would literally strike at the heart of some of our basic fundamental principals -- separation of powers, respect for the Senate's ability to ratify treaties and ... reject treaties," Chertoff said.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will become minority leader Jan. 4, told the conservative Federalist Society Friday not to feel bad about the Senate election results because Republicans will hold 49 seats in a body that requires 60 votes to end a filibuster and bring legislation or presidential nominees to a final vote.
If the "Democrats want our cooperation, they'll give the president's judicial nominees an up-or-down vote," McConnell said.
AND, if your gag reflex hasn't been triggered yet...
HA...! Election rigged but failed to factor in a Dem groundswell...
here's some confirmation of precisely what i thought was happening... the r's were poised to steal the election once again but didn't take into account that high voter dissatisfaction with their criminal reign would erase their pre-planned, deliberately thin, winning margins...
A major undercount of Democratic votes and an overcount of Republican votes in U.S. House and Senate races across the country is indicated by an analysis of national exit polling data, by the Election Defense Alliance (EDA), a national election integrity organization.
These findings have led EDA to issue an urgent call for further investigation into the 2006 election results and a moratorium on deployment of all electronic election equipment.
"We see evidence of pervasive fraud, but apparently calibrated to political conditions existing before recent developments shifted the political landscape," said attorney Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance, "so 'the fix' turned out not to be sufficient for the actual circumstances." Explained Simon, "When you set out to rig an election, you want to do just enough to win. The greater the shift from expectations, (from exit polling, pre-election polling, demographics) the greater the risk of exposure--of provoking investigation. What was plenty to win on October 1 fell short on November 7.
"The findings raise urgent questions about the electoral machinery and vote counting systems used in the United States," according to Sally Castleman, National Chair of EDA. "This is a nothing less than a national indictment of the vote counting process in the United States!"
they won't be so cocksure in the 2008 presidential elections, you can bet... now is the time to act to make sure our election process is given back to the people... no time to waste...
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The rumors that chief White House political architect Karl Rove will leave sometime next year are being bolstered with new insider reports that his partisan style is a hurdle to President Bush’s new push for bipartisanship. “Karl represents the old style and he’s got to go if the Democrats are going to believe Bush’s talk of getting along,” said a key Bush advisor.
[O]ne top West Wing advisor ... said that Rove is aware of the situation and that a departure might come in “weeks, not months.”
get his fat ass OUT of the west wing and make it impossible for him to come within 10 miles of any position of political power for the rest of his misbegotten life...
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Let's drop the Rove as genius or not-a-genius argument
eric boehlert in media matters via alternet has an extensive de-bunking of the karl rove genius "myth," excoriating the media for its karl rove "love affair" and his status as an "organizational genius..."
let's get a few things straight... karl rove IS a genius, but i do not use that word with any connotation of either "good" or "infallible..." rove is extremely smart and has demonstrated formidable brain power for his entire career... whether or not rove's strategy was able to carry the day in this past election is beside the point... even though rove is passionate about winning, losing does not make him any the less dangerous... why is rove still dangerous...? it's the same reason he has been dangerous all along... rove embraces evil... rove revels in darkness... rove has been the principal driving force behind the total debasement of political dialogue in this country... as long as he is in a seat of power, whether or not he's winning or losing elections, we are all at risk...
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i hit ground in the u.s. about two hours ago, after more than four months away... i'll be spending the holidays with family and then returning to argentina...
i am curious to see what, if anything, has changed in the mood of the country post mid-term elections... so far, i have only sampled the air here in the los angeles airport while clearing immigration and customs, checking in for my connecting flight, and negotiating security under the new carry-on rules... to all appearances, everything is the same - lines at starbucks and the usual collection of people in american-style dress, the same sweatshirts, jeans, and t's that have become the standard uniform... a mom sitting across from me is holding her cell phone up to the ear of her little boy in the stroller so he can hear grandma say hi... i'll take that as a sign of good things to come...
As long as Karl Rove is in the West Wing, none of us are safe
what rove can do OUTSIDE the white house interests me not at all... what he can do while still INSIDE the white house interests me a great deal...
Administration sources said Mr. Rove has sought to stay with Mr. Bush until the end of his presidency. The sources said despite pressure on the president to reshuffle his staff for 2007, Mr. Bush wants Mr. Rove by his side.
"He knows too much," a source said. "The last thing the president wants is another published memoir and book tour of life inside the White House."
The sources said Mr. Bush was unhappy with the failure of Mr. Rove's election strategy, which focused on national security. They said the GOP defeat would probably lead to a different relationship between the two men.
as long as karl and he-who-must-not-be-named are kicking around, playing their dark, evil games, i will have no peace of mind...
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well, if THAT was the case, karl rove would have made an excellent choice...
One former senior aide to the National Security Council, who wished to remain anonymous, offered a different perspective, saying "They are doing cartwheels in the E ring and could not care who was nominated so long as Rumsfeld resigned. They would not care if Satan replaced him."
The "E Ring" is Defense Department lingo for the outermost offices of the Pentagon.
I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:
1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.
2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift.
3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.
4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.
5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.
6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.
7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.
8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.
9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.
10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.
11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.
12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.
I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans -- and for the rest of the world.
Senator Joe Lieberman, forced to run as an Independent to win reelection, will be retaining his leadership position in the Democratic Party and become chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, MSNBC is reporting.
After meeting with his party colleagues today, Lieberman told the press that he was pleased with the warm reception he received. Lieberman had faced a tough election battle against challenger Ned Lamont who beat the 2000 vice presidential nominee in the Democratic primary.
"Obviously, I've been changed by the election, so now I'm an independent Democrat, but everybody was very warm and welcomed me back," Lieberman said today. "I look forward to working with them."
During a talk show interview this weekend, Lieberman floated the idea of participating in Republican caucuses if he felt unwelcomed by Democrats. But with Lieberman in a leadership position, the party can maintain its 51-49 Senate majority.
This is not a case of someone being detained on a battlefield or even overseas, nor is it the case of someone who entered the country illegally. He was in the U.S. legally and was detained while sitting at home. And just as he was about to start his criminal trial, the President essentially canceled the trial and ordered him detained indefinitely and incommunicado.
The denial of habeas corpus rights is the most Draconian aspect of the MCA, as it authorizes detention for life with no real review and no meaningful opportunity to prove one's innocence.
As Israeli bombs fell on Lebanon for a second week last July, the Rev. John Hagee of San Antonio arrived in Washington with 3,500 evangelicals for the first annual conference of his newly founded organization, Christians United For Israel.
At a dinner addressed by the Israeli ambassador, a handful of Republican senators and the chairman of the Republican Party, Mr. Hagee read greetings from President Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and dispatched the crowd with a message for their representatives in Congress. Tell them “to let Israel do their job” of destroying the Lebanese militia, Hezbollah, Mr. Hagee said.
He called the conflict “a battle between good and evil” and said support for Israel was “God’s foreign policy.”
Mr. Hagee is an author of several books about the interpretation of biblical prophecies. He says he believes the Bible assigns Israel a pivotal role as a harbinger of the second coming. Citing passages from Revelation and Ezekiel, he argues that conflict between Israel and Iran may be a sign that that time is approaching.
this i know unequivocally... god does not support "destroying" anyone, for any reason... these people may THINK they're committed to christian principles, but they are sadly mistaken... there is nothing in god's universe that calls upon people to kill other people... nothing...
something else to keep in mind... the new testament and the teachings of christ were intended as an antidote to the anger and violence woven throughout the old testament... for all their avowed allegiance to "christ"ian principles, these people are remarkably un-christ-like...
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No rights... Why...? Probably because they're sub-human...?
and here ya have it... this is the guts of the evil that bushco represents... this is why the repubs had their asses handed to them last tuesday... this is why bipartisanship is a crock of shit... this is why the dems have no goddam business treating these people as peers...
this isn't about finding ways to cooperate... this isn't about compromise... this isn't about coming to a meeting of the minds...
The Bush administration said Monday that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have no right to challenge their detentions in civilian courts and that lawsuits by hundreds of detainees should be dismissed.
In court documents filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Justice Department defended the military's authority to arrest people overseas and detain them indefinitely without access to courts.
It's the first time that argument has been spelled out since President Bush signed a law last month setting up military commissions for the thousands of foreigners being held in U.S. prisons abroad.
Bush hailed the law as a crucial tool in the war on terrorism and said it would allow prosecution of several high-level terror suspects.
Human rights groups and attorneys for the detainees say the law is unconstitutional. Prisoners normally have the right to challenge their imprisonment.
The Justice Department said Monday that the detainees have no constitutional rights because they are being held overseas. Giving military detainees access to civilian courts "would severely impair the military's ability to defend this country," government attorneys wrote.
"Congress could have simply withdrawn jurisdiction over these matters and left the decision of whether to detain enemy aliens held abroad to the military," the Justice Department wrote.
ah, leave it to garrison keillor to frame the question in such a way that even a complete dunce could understand it...
Garrison Keillor wonders: "So now we have thrown some rascals out and left some rascals in power and sent some new folks to Washington to learn the art of rascality, and what in the end, after all the hoopla, will really change? Or will the town drunk continue to run the municipal liquor store?"
Ordinarily, the elevation of a gaggle of corporate bagmen, spine-free time-servers and craven accomplices of tyranny and aggression to the control of Congress would not be a cause for rejoicing. With a few notable exceptions, the Democratic Party has displayed nothing but cowardice and cluelessness over the past five years, betraying the interests of the American people at every single gut-check point in the long march to the self-proclaimed "Unitary Executive" dictatorship of George W. Bush. Whenever it really counted – Supreme Court nominations, tax cuts for the rich, the class-warfare nuclear bomb of the Bankruptcy Bill, the appointment of sleazy, third-rate officials such as torture-enabler and Constitution-gutter Alberto Gonzales to high office, and of course, the eager goose-stepping into the war crime of Iraq (which was, let us remember, approved by a Democratic-controlled Senate) – the Democrats folded, would not even go down fighting.
They may re-arrange the display a little, but they are not going to upset the golden applecart. So while we may see a slight goosing of the minimum wage, we will almost certainly not see a major rollback of the relentless rightwing assault on the rights, protections and well-being of working people and the poor. We can hope for some modifications of the bizarre and punitive prescription drug "reforms" imposed by the Bush Party; but we won't see anything resembling a national health insurance system, despite the majority of Americans in favor of one. We won't see a reinstatement of the safety net that was gutted, pre-Bush, by Democrat Bill Clinton. We won't see major reductions - or indeed, any reductions - in military spending from a party that has faithfully approved every cent of every "special spending bill" that Bush has submitted to finance his off-the-books wars. We won't see a lessening of international tensions from a crew that has spent most of the past year bashing the Bush Administration for not being bellicose enough in threatening Iran, and for not larding Israel with even more deadly weaponry to carry out its aggression in Lebanon and its increasingly frenzied decimation in Gaza. We will not see an immediate withdrawal from Iraq; at best, we will see a few tentative timetables based on unreal and unrealizable "benchmarks" produced by some grandly gassy "bipartisan agreement" based on the face-saving formulas of the "Baker Commission." There is going to be no impeachment of Bush, even if the Democrats get hold of the Senate. There is going to be no criminal prosecution for the principal architects of the war crime in Iraq (and probably none of small fry either). There will be little or no rollback of the draconian strictures of the Patriot Act, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Democrats, or the many other measures - "national security letters," warrantless surveillance, etc. - introduced hugger-mugger by the "Unitary Executive." Indeed, we will be very lucky if the new Democratic leadership even revisits the Military Commissions Act.
this is why i'm so leery of all this talk about "bipartisanship..." it sounds so good and, with these people, is a totally empty sentiment...
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Why would the NYT put "bipartisan" in quotation marks?
could it be because they, along with goddam near everyone else, realize that, for bushco, "bipartisan" = "bullshit...?"
President Bush’s call for the lame duck Congress to pass pending “bipartisan energy legislation” before it leaves Washington forever is a very good example of why the House and Senate should limit their work in this final session to as few measures as possible.
The terrain during a lame duck session is notoriously treacherous. Our suggestion, therefore, is that Congress take a deep breath and postpone any energy legislation until next year.
bush obviously thinks that using that word is like music to soothe the heart of the savage beast... anybody who falls for it deserves everything they get...
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As Both Parties Face Unresolved Questions and Internal Disputes, the 2008 Campaign Looks to Be a Crucial One
oh, yeah, the 2008 election "looks to be a 'crucial one,'" all right, but not because the landscape is "blurry..." au contraire, mon frere... it's CRYSTAL CLEAR... we still have criminals occupying the white house, and bush just set one of the major ones free last week who, god willing, will be brought to justice sooner rather than later... no, dan balz, it ain't blurry at all...
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Bipartisan, cooperation, common ground, common good
which two words in the headline of the above post are worth paying attention to...?
Govern, Don't Gloat By LEON E. PANETTA In the wake of this election, the Democrats and the president face the same choice: gridlock or cooperation?
Holding to the Center, Losing My Seat By LINCOLN D. CHAFEE I hope the new Congress and the administration that received, in the president's words, "a thumping," can find common ground for the common good.
"common" and "good" are the only two words worth a shit because cooperation, common ground, and bipartisanship have been rendered all but impossible by the radical and criminal actions of the bush administration... the more i read about the need to BRING EVERYONE TOGETHER, the more i want to puke... i've spent the last six goddam years staving off outrage-induced heart attacks from the damage that's being done to my country and NOW we should all WORK TOGETHER...? kiss my ass... all i want to see is things done for the common good of ALL the people of the country, not for the common good of the two parties sitting across the aisle from each other...
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a friend in from macedonia, creamfields last night, feria de mataderos today, and a welcome break from obsessing over the state of the world, particularly as reflected in the goings-on in the u.s... not to worry... i'll be back to obsessing soon...
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but, then again, few people do... regardless of what happened this past week, rove is still there, still dark, still dangerous... whether he's up or whether he's down, whether he's winning or whether he's losing, whether he's regarded as a genius or as an overblown hack, karl rove is one of the darkest forces on the planet... as long as he's in the west wing, no one is safe...
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