Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kickin' It Old School

I'm beginning to think that there are many in this country that think post 9/11 mindset means that 1776 is highly irrelevant. Just in case you can't remember 3rd grade or were checkin out that person in the desk next to you in high school civics....Here's the rules.

Now, here's what's happening with the patriot act:

Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates.........But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law....Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "

You know, some of this I understand as to national security and all but it should be a very little amount of information and not reams. It needs to be that way so ONE person does not have too much power. The very essence of our nation and why it was formed the way it was.

The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law.
After The New York Times disclosed in December that Bush had authorized the military to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans' international phone calls and e-mails without obtaining warrants, as required by law, Bush said his wartime powers gave him the right to ignore the warrant law.
And when Congress passed a law forbidding the torture of any detainee in US custody, Bush signed the bill but issued a signing statement declaring that he could bypass the law if he believed using harsh interrogation techniques was necessary to protect national security.
Past presidents occasionally used such signing statements to describe their interpretations of laws, but Bush has expanded the practice. He has also been more assertive in claiming the authority to override provisions he thinks intrude on his power, legal scholars said.....One Democrat, Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, has gone so far as to propose censuring Bush, saying he has broken the wiretapping law.

Wow! I bet he got an 'A' in history and civics. He knows his stuff.

''The signing statement makes clear that the president will faithfully execute the law in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. ''The president has welcomed at least seven Inspector General reports on the Patriot Act since it was first passed, and there has not been one verified abuse of civil liberties using the Patriot Act." doesn't. It says the president will decide who gets to know what and if the president does it it's not against the law. How will we find any abuses under those conditions?

''On the one hand, they deny that Congress even has the authority to pass laws on these subjects like torture and eavesdropping, and in addition to that, they say that Congress is not even entitled to get information about anything to do with the war on terrorism," Golove said.

Here's more with some interesting comments at the end of the piece.

The Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee submitted detailed questions to the Bush Administration regarding the NSA program....... There are numerous noteworthy items, but the most significant, by far, is that the DoJ made clear to Congress that even if Congress passes some sort of newly amended FISA of the type which Sen. DeWine introduced, and even if the President "agrees" to it and signs it into law, the President still has the power to violate that law if he wants to. Put another way, the Administration is telling the Congress -- again -- that they can go and pass all the laws they want which purport to liberalize or restrict the President's powers, and it does not matter, because the President has and intends to preserve the power to do whatever he wants regardless of what those laws provide.

I am shocked that the righties are so boldly hypocritical. When a judge(who arguably has the power) "interprets" the law it is "judicial activism". When the president "interprets" the law it is well within his constitutional powers. How ignorant of the facts does one have to be to buy this malarkey. There is a power grab in this country that is jaw dropping and totally subversive to what this country is all about. Yes, that's right. I have just called them subversives and I think it not hard to imagine.
Regardless, for the people that spew that bush hater, just so consumed with hatred for Bush crap, maybe this will help you understand the bad feelings.
I have little respect for the democrats who fail to stand up and beat the living hell out of this issue. This is about our Republic for Gods sake! Please DC stand up and lead or get out of the way for someone who will give us our country back like it is suppose to be.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Reading Room

Digby is as confused as many of us as to the I'm a Democrat. I'm neutered mindset:

Clift wrote:
"there is a vacuum in the heart of the party's base that Feingold fills, but at what cost?"

Cost?If the Democrats lose in November, I'm sure she'll find plenty of reasons to blame Democrats, but it won't occur to her that the reason people didn't vote for the D's was because the party listened to people like her and campaigned like a herd of neutered animals instead of listening to their hearts, their minds, their constituents and their leaders who were prepared to take a stand for what we believe in. No, they'll blame the "extremists" who want a safety net and a sane terrorism policy --- and leaders who defend the constitution. It couldn't possibly be that their tired, stale reflexive passivity is to blame when half the base fails to turn out because they just. have. no. hope.
Here's more

Osama bin Laden may be dead? Good news for Republicans: They got bin Laden! New tapes prove bin Laden is still alive? Good news for Republicans: It reminds people of the threat of terrorism! Democrats don't criticize Bush? Good news for Republicans: Democrats are timid! Democrats do criticize Bush? Good news for Republicans: Democrats are shrill!
That's basic marketing 101, no matter what happens it's good for your team. It shouldn't be surprising to anyone that the media has internalized this so thoroughly they don't even know what they're doing..

Here's a big suprise

Our future?

US President George W. Bush has described Belarus as "the last dictatorship in Europe" and Western powers accuse Lukashenko of rigging Sunday's vote by stifling independent media, arresting activists and manipulating the electoral apparatus....

Also note: Sunday's vote is a landmark for Lukashenko, as it follows the abolition of a two-term limit on holding the presidency at a controversial referendum in 2004.
He enjoys support in large segments of Belarussian society for ensuring that pensions are paid on time and maintaining economic stability.

Moving the world forward as water becomes an issue.

In Mexico, host of the international forum, farm water disputes are the among the most sensitive issues in its relations with the United States.
In 2004, farmers in Texas were outraged when Mexico failed to let billions of gallons of water flow into a border river under a 1944 treaty.
Texans also accused Mexico of growing alfalfa — a water-hungry feed crop — in desert areas. One state politician suggested that the United States retaliate by reducing its flow into another border river, the Colorado.
Mexico went to court last year to stop the United States from lining one of its irrigation canals with concrete. Mexico claims its farmers had become dependent on water seeping out of the earthen canal, located near the two countries' border. The case has not been resolved.
Europe also has its conflicts. Spain would like France to share some of its water, but Rocard, France's former prime minister, said the French are reluctant to do so until the Spaniards improve their water management.

Just pertectin us, at least we had better hope so

But in a little-noticed white paper submitted by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to Congress on January 19 justifying the legality of the NSA eavesdropping, Justice Department lawyers made a tacit case that President Bush also has the inherent authority to order such physical searches. In order to fulfill his duties as commander in chief, the 42-page white paper says, "a consistent understanding has developed that the president has inherent constitutional authority to conduct warrantless searches and surveillance within the United States for foreign intelligence purposes." ..........
In justifying the NSA's warrantless surveillance program, Gonzales has argued that the review process required for a FISA warrant is too cumbersome for a program that is of "a military nature" and that requires "maximum speed and agility to achieve early warning."

I see, that rule of law thing is just to combersome..all that paperwork you know. Basically you are too lazy to do your job. I for one would like to verify your "personal responsibility".

Blame shifters

In a prelude to a possible courtroom defense, Libby's lawyers also suggested in a court filing late Friday night that it's the State Department - not Libby - who's to blame for leaking Valerie Plame's CIA identity to the news media.
The court papers underscore the possibility that a criminal trial of Libby could turn into a major political embarrassment for the Bush administration by highlighting the ongoing debate over whether the White House manipulated intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.
If the jury learns the background information about "fingerpointing," and also understands Libby's additional focus on urgent national security matters, the jury will more easily appreciate how Mr. Libby may have forgotten or misremembered "snippets of conversation" about Plame's CIA status, the defense lawyers stated.