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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Friday, January 26, 2007

Extraordinary secrecy threatens the separation of powers, the adversary system and the lawyer-client privilege

can you recall the bush administration ever ONCE being concerned with due process and constitutionally-guaranteed rights...? oh, yeah... when it's in THEIR interest to do so... 'scuse me...
The Bush administration has employed extraordinary secrecy in defending the National Security Agency’s highly classified domestic surveillance program from civil lawsuits. Plaintiffs and judges’ clerks cannot see its secret filings. Judges have to make appointments to review them and are not allowed to keep copies.

But now the procedures have started to meet resistance. At a private meeting with the lawyers in one of the cases this month, the judges who will hear the first appeal next week expressed uneasiness about the procedures, said a lawyer who attended, Ann Beeson of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lawyers suing the government and some legal scholars say the procedures threaten the separation of powers, the adversary system and the lawyer-client privilege.

Justice Department officials say the circumstances of the cases, involving a highly classified program, require extraordinary measures. The officials say they have used similar procedures in other cases involving classified materials.

In ordinary civil suits, the parties’ submissions are sent to their adversaries and are available to the public in open court files. But in several cases challenging the eavesdropping, Justice Department lawyers have been submitting legal papers not by filing them in court but by placing them in a room at the department. They have filed papers, in other words, with themselves.

there should have been massive resistance from the get-go... it's one hell of a lot harder to mount a resistance after first rolling over and playing dead...

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Ha, ha, ha, Antonin, you're one funny son-of-a-bitch

ratifying a stolen election and initiating the quiet, creeping horror of the bushcoup d'etat is pretty amusing, you must admit...
[Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made his remarks Tuesday at Iona College in New York.]

Scalia, answering questions after a speech, also said that critics of the 5-4 ruling in Bush v. Gore need to move on six years after the electoral drama of December 2000, when it seemed the whole nation hung by a chad awaiting the outcome of the presidential election.

"It's water over the deck — get over it," Scalia said, drawing laughs from his audience. His remarks were reported in the Gannett Co.'s Journal-News.

giving a reporter the finger when you were leaving the church after sunday mass was funnier, antonin...

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Bush is lying whenever his lips are moving

loverly... just loverly...
Troops Authorized to Kill Iranian Operatives in Iraq

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials...

meanwhile, the hits just keep on comin' from the liar-in-chief...
Earlier in the Oval Office, Bush was asked about stepped-up activities in Iraq against Iranian activities thought to be fueling the violence.

Bush defended the policy, but said it is no indication that the United States intends to expand the confrontation beyond Iraq's borders.

"That's a presumption that's simply not accurate," Bush said.

how do you KNOW he's lying...? simple... when his lips are moving...

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hard-ass Darth gives the finger to Congress and the American public

what else would you expect from a man who shot his friend in the face...?
Cheney said the administration would disregard the nonbinding resolution opposing the troop increase and suggested it undermines soldiers in a war zone. "It won't stop us," he said. "And it would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops."

the bush administration has made it crystal clear since the scotus decision of 12 december 2000 officially awarded a stolen election to the r's, that they would do precisely what they goddam well please, damn the facts, damn public opinion, damn the courts, damn congress, damn the polls, damn our allies, and damn the american people... anyone who is surprised by this hard-edged rhetoric hasn't been paying attention...

i know we'll all be enormously comforted by darth's reassurances to wolf blitzer on cnn...

When Blitzer asked whether the administration's credibility had been hurt by "the blunders and the failures" in Iraq, Cheney interjected: "Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash."

In fact, Cheney said, the operation in Iraq has achieved its original mission. "What we did in Iraq in taking down Saddam Hussein was exactly the right thing to do," he said. "The world is much safer today because of it. There have been three national elections in Iraq. There's a democracy established there, a constitution, a new democratically elected government. Saddam has been brought to justice and executed. His sons are dead. His government is gone."

"If he were still there today," Cheney added, "we'd have a terrible situation."

"But there is," Blitzer said.

"No, there is not," Cheney retorted. "There is not. There's problems -- ongoing problems -- but we have in fact accomplished our objectives of getting rid of the old regime, and there is a new regime in place that's been here for less than a year, far too soon for you guys to write them off." He added: "Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes."

ah... i feel SO much better now, don't you...?

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Yes, it's hard to believe your leaders are dishonest...

and even harder to believe they're criminals...
"Over the past six years, the American people, from senators on down to the most apathetic nonvoting couch-sitter, have not done a very good job grappling with the dishonesty of their leadership.

Sometimes I think it's just that the scale of dishonesty is such that we have no framework for handling it. Even in America, where questioning our leaders is an obligation of our citizenship, we want to believe that the people we placed in charge are not deceiving us.

Even after Watergate, even after Vietnam, we find it touchingly difficult to set as our default the idea that our leaders find it necessary, convenient and even easy to lie to our faces.

We want to believe the best, and so we turn away from those who accuse the president and all his men and women of conspiracy to harm the country; we call the accusers deluded, because we don't want to see."

i would have to add that it isn't only about dishonesty... yes, that's hard enough to believe, but what's REALLY hard to believe are what i think are the even harder truths... bushco not only doesn't have the safety, security, and success of the u.s. at heart, the criminals at the helm are actively working to SUBVERT our safety, security, and success... as budowsky so clearly points out in the previous post, there is every reason for bushco to pursue an endless war, and, when framed in that light, this administration is successful beyond imagining...

(thanks to lukery at wot is it good 4...)

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Bush hates freedom and the United States

THESE two stories from consortium news, the first by robert parry and the second by brent budowsky, clearly illustrate precisely WHY there is nothing more important than getting rid of bush and his outlaw band BEFORE they destroy what's left of the u.s...
Bush's War on the Republic

In his State of the Union speech, George W. Bush made clear why his endless "war on terror" could mean the end of the American Republic. Bush has so expanded the original concept of fighting al-Qaeda and "terrorist groups with global reach" -- to instead try to drain an ever-deepening pool of Islamic militancy -- that the United States can't win the war. But the interminable conflict will guarantee the steady erosion of the nation's constitutional system by wiping out key liberties and installing a permanent, all-powerful Commander in Chief. January 24, 2007

No Longer Leader of the Free World

George W. Bush insists he's a great believer in democracy, at least the theoretical sort he envisions for a Middle East pacified by Western power and willing to elect candidates favored by Washington. But he wasn't eager to count all the votes in Florida in 2000, nor is he ready to listen to the message from the voters in 2006. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky observes the tragedy of an American President who no longer is hailed as the "leader of the free world." January 25, 2007

i don't want to hear about presidential campaigns, i don't want to hear about the successes of the dems first 100 hours, i don't want to hear ANYTHING except reasoned, tactical, informed, high-level, deadly serious discussion about removing this gang from office by the most expeditious means possible, followed by a restoration of the principles the united states was founded on...

p.s. and, yes, if i sound shrill and more and more like a one-issue blogger, so be it...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trust your commander in chief...? Get real...

senator webb is that rarest of public voices - a truthteller...
[Senator Jim Webb of Virginia] invoked his own biography, and his family’s three generations of military service, as he declared that today’s soldiers could no longer trust the judgment of their commander in chief.

not spoken but understood by all is that NO ONE can trust this man...

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The WaPo says Bush won't be irrelevant until NEXT year

oh, puh-l-e-e-e-eze...
President Bush offered the usual assurances last night about the healthy state of the union, but the state of his presidency has never been worse. He faces a Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress and a public increasingly unhappy about the war in Iraq and disenchanted with his leadership. By the time he delivers next year's State of the Union address, the primaries will be underway, and Mr. Bush's relevance will be fading. If he is to have a final chance to shape policy, this is it.

bush has been not only relevant in the most negative sense, but also immeasurably toxic to the state of the nation since his family's mafia arranged for scotus to confirm the 2000 election as stolen on 12 december 2000... as long as his criminal cabal remains ensconced in the white house, the poison will continue to drip into the country's veins, and no one in the u.s. or throughout the world should sleep easy... yet, instead of raising the hue and cry to remove them, some continue to fly the false flag of moderation and reason, two approaches that the bush administration itself has rendered both immoderate and irrational...
Nonetheless, in the new political order that will dominate the final two years of the Bush presidency, it may be in the Democrats' interest as well as the nation's to seek bipartisan accomplishment. On energy, health care, education and immigration, Mr. Bush last night offered at least a reasonable basis for further discussion. Congress should engage, not reflexively dismiss.

the wapo's call for bipartisan cooperation demonstrates the ultimate in head-in-the-sand perspective, a traditional media stance with which we are all, by now, nauseatingly familiar...

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Bush on his Iraq escalation plan

interesting observation from the wapo's tom shales on last night's presidential sotu...
Bush spoke of [his Iraq escalation] plan last night as a fait accompli, not something he wants to talk over with anybody on Capitol Hill. "We are deploying" additional troops, he said -- not "we want to deploy" or "I would like to deploy."

i wouldn't have expected anything less from this megalomaniacal son-of-a-bitch...

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another world-class Buenos Aires sunset

i am back in buenos aires for the night before heading back to villa gesell for another few days at the beach... there was a thunderstorm in the city this afternoon, and, as often happens, it started to clear in late afternoon, producing yet another jaw-dropping sunset...

i haven't forgotten that i promised some photos from villa gesell... as a teaser, here's one of a villa gesell sunrise over the south atlantic at 5:45 a.m. this past saturday...

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Will Darth bite the big one...?

i know this is all over the media and the blogs, so nobody has to come here to read it... however, i can't resist the temptation to post it and gloat...
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald used his opening statement in the CIA leak trial Tuesday to allege that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff lied about Cheney's early involvement in the disclosure of a spy's identity.

Fitzgerald said Cheney told his chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby, in 2003 that the wife of Iraq critic and former ambassador Joseph Wilson worked for the CIA, and that Libby spread that information to reporters. When that information got out, it triggered a federal investigation.

"But when the FBI and grand jury asked about what the defendant did," Fitzgerald said, "he made up a story."

Fitzgerald also alleged that Libby in September 2003 "wiped out" a Cheney note just before Libby's first FBI interview when he said he learned about Wilson and his wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, from reporters, not the vice president.

It was not clear if Fitzgerald meant that an attempt was made to destroy the note or that Libby had forgotten about it. In any case, the note was recovered and is part of the evidence.

just think... darth is going to be sitting right behind george tonight as our prez bullshits his way through another sotu... now, THERE'S a thought to warm the cockles of your heart...

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Bush does the poll "limbo" as SOTU warm-up

yeah, yeah, i'm showing my age... who but an old fart like me would even remember the limbo*...?
On the day of his State of the Union speech, President Bush's approval rating has dropped to a new low of twenty-eight percent, and sixty-four percent "disapprove of the way he's handling his job," according to CBS News.

"Two-thirds of Americans remain opposed to the president's plan for sending more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq — roughly the same number as after Mr. Bush announced the plan," CBS News reports. "And 72 percent believe he should seek congressional approval for the troop increase."

is it too much to ask that, if he continues to drop AFTER the sotu, that he would have the good grace to resign...?
*Limbo is a novelty dance that actually originated on the island of Trinidad, though Hawaii is often confused with limbo. The dancer moves to a Caribbean rhythm, then leans backward and dances under a horizontal stick without touching it. When several dancers compete, the stick is gradually lowered until only one dancer - who has not touched the stick or the floor - remains.

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Greenwald thinks Bushco doesn't care about public opinion anymore

and he had this blinding glimpse of the obvious when, exactly...?
The administration and its allies have already begun aggressively asserting that the President does not need Congressional authorization or anything else in order an outright attack on Iran. When it comes to their war plans, they don't care about public opinion anymore. For that reason -- as was amply demonstrated by the President's now already underway "surge" plan -- merely winning the public debate over Iran will not be anywhere near sufficient to impede the President's plans regarding Iran."

i've said until i'm positively blue in the face that NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING tops the need to get bush and his cabal out of the white house...

as much as i respect glenn greenwald, this happy horse crap about bushco no longer caring about public opinion is perhaps the most disingenuous thing i've ever read, and, coming from him, it's shocking... the bush administration has signaled from the get-go that it will do whatever it goddam well pleases... yes, when it had public opinion on its side, well, that was just a nice plus...

if richard clarke didn't slow 'em down, if a free-fall in the polls didn't slow 'em down, if scooter's indictment didn't slow 'em down, if the pushback from the joint chiefs didn't slow 'em down, if the michigan court decision didn't slow 'em down, if the november elections didn't slow 'em down, if congressional r's jumping ship left and right didn't slow 'em down, WHAT IN GOD'S GREEN EARTH makes anybody think that they're gonna be stopped short of kicking their pathetic asses out the white house front door...?

i'm thrilled that the dems have accomplished their first 100-hour agenda, but, unfortunately, all it does is mask the real issue - as long as george & co. occupy 1600 pennsylvania avenue, we might as well just bend over and take it...

(thanks to lukery at wot is it good 4...)

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Agit-prop, the Moonie Times, Obama, the Bush dynasty, and outright lies

there's no end to it, is there...
If you’ve ever wondered how agit-propaganda works, you might take a look at the latest case study from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s media empire – a bogus story about Barack Obama attending a Muslim “madrassah” when he was six years old, a smear that was then attributed to operatives of Hillary Clinton.
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The shrewdness of Moon’s Insight magazine story is that it hit two enemies with one anonymously sourced stone, a strategy of slime and divide straight from the textbooks of a spy agency like the CIA.

Only in this case, it is not the CIA planting black propaganda in a foreign publication to undermine some U.S. enemy. It is Moon using his media outlets subsidized by his mysterious foreign money to manipulate and distort the U.S. political process, again.

The Insight “madrassah” story also turned out to be false. As CNN reported on Jan. 22, the Indonesian school that Obama attended as a child was not a “madrassah” where sometimes extreme forms of Islam are taught, but rather a well-kept public school in an upper-middle-class neighborhood of Jakarta.

just give me the straight scoop, for a change, please, and stop trying to grease me up so it will go in easier...

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Bushco gets the "silent treatment" from China

well, gosh... i guess two can play at that game...
Bush administration officials said that they had been unable to get even the most basic diplomatic response from China after their detection of a successful test to destroy a satellite 10 days ago, and that they were uncertain whether China’s top leaders, including President Hu Jintao, were fully aware of the test or the reaction it would engender.

bushco's use of the silent treatment has made a shambles of u.s. diplomacy and created damage in our relations with the world community that it will take decades to heal... is it any wonder that we are being dealt with in kind...?

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Pathetic, deeply disturbing, and, quite possibly, insane

our president is, quite clearly, out of control...
Brace yourself. Bush's Iraq escalation, euphemized as "surge," sends just over 20,000 more troops into that bottomless pit, and flirts with an invasion of Iran. But because Iraq has depleted our armed forces -- and recruitment levels plummet as our population wises up -- Bush's plan requires still more: the entire Army active-duty force must swell to 547,000 over the next five years (an increase of 39,000), and the Marine Corps grow by 23,000 (to 202,000).

Constitutionally, Congress must approve or disapprove the expansion -- but one never knows whether this particular executive branch recognizes that the legislative (or judicial) branches exist.

Meanwhile, Bush simply changes the rules to suit his mad plans, raising the enlistment age to 42, and removing the cumulative limit -- 24 months active duty in any five-year period -- for National Guard Reserve units.

Furthermore, the military will now mobilize units, not individuals, so soldiers who've completed their duty tours, but, perhaps, transferred to a new unit, will still be eligible. Never mind how destructive this is to "family values" or a "sound economy."

Then there's the still-astonishing "moral waiver" -- employed to produce more cannon fodder. In 2005, already desperate for fresh recruits, the Army started increasing, by nearly half, the rate at which it grants what it terms "moral waivers," permitting recruits with criminal records, emotional problems, and weak educational backgrounds to serve.

Afterward, if these recruits survive, they'll be called heroes and released back into society. One returned hero, who credited the military with having "properly trained and hardened me," was Timothy McVeigh. According to the Pentagon, waivers in 2001 totaled 7,640, increasing to 11,018 in 2005.

i have a quote from a dean koontz book that i will post when i get my laptop back on the internet and am not restricted by an internet cafe... more than anything i have read recently, it describes bush and cheney's psychological pathology perfectly...

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rove has always been a creature of the dark

it didn't take newsweek's revelation to know that rove continues to stir his bubbling cauldron...
[B]ehind the scenes, according to administration officials (anonymous in order to discuss White House matters), Rove has been laying the groundwork for Bush's State of the Union address and mulling how the GOP can regain momentum in 2008. Earlier this month Rove showed up at a weekly meeting of influential D.C. conservatives, surprising attendees with his bubbly demeanor after weeks of rumors that he might be headed out.

rove allied himself with darkness well over thirty years ago, but more likely during his teenage years... he's not about to go quietly into that good night...

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God, I'm turning into a one-issue blogger

but, folks, george and his criminal posse HAVE GOT TO GO...!
First, Mr. Bush and his aides say his actions are so vital to national security that to even report on them — let alone question them — lends comfort to the terrorists. Then, usually when his decisions face scrutiny from someone other than a compliant Republican Congress, the president seems to compromise.

Behind this behavior are at least two dynamics, both of them disturbing.

The first is that the policies Mr. Bush is trying so hard to hide have little, if anything, to do with real national security issues — and everything to do with a campaign, spearheaded by Vice President Dick Cheney, to break the restraints on presidential power imposed after Vietnam and Watergate. And there is much less than meets the eye to Mr. Bush’s supposed concessions.

Generally, they mask the fact that he either got what he wanted from Congress or found a way to add some other veneer of legitimacy to his lawless behavior. The campaign to expand presidential power goes on, at the expense of American values.

absolutely NOTHING else going on in the u.s. right now is a tenth as critical as getting this gang out of office... why, why, why, why, why can't people see that...? every single day they're in the white house, our country deteriorates a little bit more...

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