Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The Bush administration’s steady garroting of American liberties – already strangling the right to a fair trial and protections against warrantless searches – is now tightening its chokehold around the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press and respect for Congress as a co-equal branch of government.
Over the past weekend, George W. Bush and his Justice Department signaled to the U.S. press corps and Congress that they are not beyond the reach of Bush’s “plenary” – or unlimited – powers as Commander in Chief or his authority as “unitary executive,” deciding what laws to enforce and how.
On May 21, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told ABC’s “This Week” that news organizations like the New York Times could be prosecuted for publishing classified information about the “war on terror,” such as the disclosure of Bush’s secret program of warrantless wiretapping inside the United States.
ENVIRONMENT -- BUSH URGES AMERICANS TO 'SET ASIDE' GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE:
President Bush was asked yesterday if he will watch former Vice President Al Gore's new movie on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth
"Why should we set aside the global scientific consensus," Gore responded
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The president's job-approval rating is actually quite high, but you wouldn't know that from the flawed polls conducted by the liberal media. Thankfully, Fox News Channel has conducted a "fair and balanced" poll, which shows that Americans overwhelmingly approve of their president. Some of the findings:
---Almost 70 percent of 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll think President Bush is doing an "excellent or pretty good job" of dressing himself. The other 30 percent approve of the suits he wears, but would prefer not to see him in tight jeans.
---More than 50 percent of respondents say that if the 2004 presidential election were held again, they would not change their vote. Yes, they'd still vote for the same guy and we all know who that guy is.
---When given several choices and asked to rank them in "likeability," 90 percent of respondents put President Bush first, finding him much more likeable than enemas, rattlesnakes, and telemarketers, in that order.
Former Border Patrol sector chief and Border Patrol Academy director (and former Bush supporter) William King told THE NEW AMERICAN that the president “may put some National Guard down there for a little while, but he’s already saying that they won’t be allowed to do anything substantive. So they’ll be put there for show for a few months before the election. President Bush has shown over and over again that he’s very good at making promises to secure the border, but also very dependable on breaking those promises.”
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are so wrong for us in so many ways...
Ironically, this is precisely what President Bush has pledged to prevent. The national security doctrine that Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have proclaimed in public rests upon a determination to discourage any combination of countries from mounting a challenge to the United States. By building a military force so awesome that no cluster of countries could even hope to match it -- and by demonstrating a willingness to stay clear of constraining international treaties and obligations -- administration hardliners planned to intimidate all potential challengers into meekly accepting Washington's dictates.
But after five years of trial and error, it is clear that the Bush doctrine is having the opposite effect. Instead of inciting awe and submission, the policies associated with Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration hawks are motivating countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, and Latin America to seek channels for cooperation against US hegemony.
"At least Bush has dropped his infernal references to slacker Americans when talking about illegal immigrants. In his speech Monday night, instead of 47 mentions of "jobs Americans won't do," Bush referred only once to "jobs Americans are not doing" -- which I take it means other than border enforcement and intelligence-gathering at the CIA.
For the record, I'll volunteer right now to clean other people's apartments if I don't have to pay taxes on what I earn.
Also, someone must have finally told Bush that the point about America being a "nation of immigrants" is moronic. All nations are "nations of immigrants" -- as Peter Brimelow pointed out brilliantly in his 1992 article in National Review on immigration, which left nothing for anyone else to say ."
To read the entire article, click here...
Monday, May 22, 2006
It's shocking enough to read that 1 in 136 Americans is incarcerated, according to AP
U.S. Prisons, Jails Grew by 1,000 Inmates a Week From '04 to '05; 1 in 136 Residents Behind Bars
Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.
But to read on and find out it's because the untried are swelling the ranks takes your breath away:
The report by the Justice Department agency found that 62 percent of people in jails have not been convicted, meaning many of them are awaiting trial.
Sixty-two percent! Still in the category of "innocent until proven guilty," yet doing time. Why that's starting to sound like ... a certain American-run Cuban detention center, spread out within our own borders.
This speaks to such a sweeping failure of society on so many levels, it's hard to know where to begin. We can start, I suppose, with funding the justice system adequately so that "right to a speedy trial" is something more than a pipe dream. Next we could take a look at how many of these arrests are due to the "war on drugs" and how that little PR adventure can be feeding people who are no danger to others into an overcrowded and clearly dysfunctional system - yes, dysfunctional. If close to two-thirds of people imprisoned in this country haven't even been found guilty, you've got yourself a system that is inarguably not working.
This is a great cartoon highlighting the manner in which the Republicans have used the gullible press to work their magic for the past 6-years. Click on the image for a larger view. If that is still not big enough to make out, roll your mouse pointer off of the picture, then back on to the picture - then pause for just a few seconds. A small graphical icon should pop up in the lower right corner of the image - click on this icon and it should blow the cartoon up to full size.
There's been quite a bit of discussion, for the past six years or so, both in the blogs and in the news, about the irregularities in the Presidential votes. There were issues in Florida in the 2000 elections, to begin with. Then there was news in New England of Republicans blocking phone calls being made by Democrats in the 2004 elections (a couple of folks were just convicted) and there are phone records linking those involved with the White House. There were also reports of gross irregularities in 2004 in both Florida and in Ohio. There have been a number of reports of Diebold voting machines that were tampered with and other Diebold machines that have back-doors in them which would allow anyone with a computer and access to alter the vote.
Don't you just wonder who REALLY won the last two Presidential elections and just how crooked are the Republicans REALLY?
Saturday, May 20, 2006
But now there are some among us who no longer wish to protect some factions of our society - they wish to single them out, harrass them and segregate them from the rest. In high school these same people were the bullies who preyed on the weak. Assholes.
From the Center for American Progress - click here to read more....
Friday, May 19, 2006
The Tip of the Iceberg
President Bush is top recipient of political funds from phone companies that turned over calling records of millions of Americans. AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth gave Bush $511,955
If there were any justice in the world, federal agents would appear at the White House and arrest President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their lackeys tomorrow morning for multiple violations of laws protecting the privacy of Americans and their rights against illegal search and seizure. But given that Bush’s attorney general Alberto Gonzales is using Nazi lawyer Carl Schmidtt as his role model, that is not likely to happen. As for me, I’d settle for even a modicum of Congressional oversight of a presidential administration that appears to be careening dangerously out of control.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
“It is true that our most immediate national security need is to secure our southern border. However, we cannot ignore the risks posed by a three thousand mile-long, largely unsecured border to our north. While our attention is diverted to the southern states, thousands of Al-Qaeda terrorists could be quietly slipping into America disguised in moose or squirrel costumes, forming sleeper cells in unsuspecting towns like International Falls or Fargo. The threat is real, and must be met.”
Today, I am calling up our brave young Americans in Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops all along the northern tier of states, from Washington to Maine. Scout units will be stationed along the Canadian border at designated intervals for four-week rotations. The Scouts will be issued BB guns, slingshots and Swiss Army Knives with which they will secure our borders and allow Americans to sleep easy in their beds.”
Some of you may ask, ‘Is sending a nine-year old child out into the Northern woods with little more than Ritalin, a dull knife and a backpack full of Snickers bars a good idea?’” I say, give our children more credit. Sure they’ll miss their TVs and their mommies, but they know what it means to wear a uniform and that sacrifices are necessary in the war on terror. “
The first Scout units will be in position shortly after the end of school in June. Scout Masters will receive field promotions to full colonel and receive all respective benefits. All scouts will be given photocopies of known Al-Qaeda operatives, and they will be issued shoot-to-kill or really-really-hurt-bad orders.”
My fellow Americans, I know what it means to serve one’s country in uniform and the sacrifices that are required. I spent countless days away from home and family in strange nightclubs and at parties where I didn’t know a soul. It’s true. But America’s young people today understand that freedom isn’t free, and that everyone must do their part in the war on terror. All I can say is God bless them, and God bless you.”
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.
by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
By not including network neutrality protections, the COPE Act upholds a 2005 ruling from the Federal Communications Commission that allows Internet service providers—telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon and cable companies like Comcast—to charge Web content creators a fee to make their sites readily accessible.
For example, take a filmmaker who wants to produce a documentary and distribute it to the public on his Web site. Under this new legislation, a service provider like AT&T would be able to charge the filmmaker for making his content available to their customers. Or, if AT&T did not approve of the documentary, it could refuse to let its customers access it all together—thereby allowing corporate censorship of a medium now characterized by the freewheeling exchange of ideas. In effect, the legislation allows the telecom industry to become the tollbooth operator on the information superhighway. The Internet will begin to look like cable TV, where viewers can only choose from available options.
The Republicans have begun to understand - as has the entire bi-partisan ruling class - that Dubya and his entourage are a pig in a poke. On May 15, the conservative Moony sheet, The Washington Times, published an editorial by Bruce Fein, wherein he quoted (of all people) then-Congressman Porter Goss, the recently fired Director of Central Intelligence whom Hayden is designated to replace. The 2000 quote, from the floor of Congress as then-chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, stated:
"The NSA General Counsel's Office contended ... that its legal opinions, decisional memoranda, and policy guidance, all of which govern the operations and mechanisms of that federal agency, are free from scrutiny by Congress. This would result in the envelopment of the executive branch in a cloak of secrecy that would insulate the executive branch from effective oversight. It would also undermine the intent of the 94th and 95th Congresses to establish stringent oversight of the intelligence community. This outcome would seriously hobble the legislative oversight contemplated by the Constitution."
Jack Kenny knocks this one
[T]his is the government that paid scant attention to a report, reaching the president’s desk barely a month before the 9-11 attacks, that Al-Qaeda was planning a major attack in the United States. Now it is protecting us from terrorism by scrutinizing the calling records of some 224 million conventional and cellular phone customers. The Bush administration’s idea of how to find a needle in a haystack is to order more hay.