Friday, December 14, 2007
Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.
The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.
Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to “unknowingly [pass] along false information.” In addition, recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations - would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.
The charges against Vice President Cheney are not personal. They go to the core of the actions of this Administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority support hearings according to a November 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70% of voters say that Vice President Cheney has abused his powers and 43% say that he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.
Some people argue that the Judiciary Committee can not proceed with impeachment hearings because it would distract Congress from passing important legislative initiatives. We disagree. First, hearings need not tie up Congress for a year and shut down the nation. Second, hearings will not prevent Congress from completing its other business. These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the Vice President – not our commander in chief – and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton Presidential impeachment hearings. Also, despite the fact that President Bush has thwarted moderate Democratic policies that are supported by a vast majority of Americans -- including children’s health care, stem cell research, and bringing our troops home from Iraq -- the Democratic Congress has already managed to deliver a minimum wage hike, an energy bill to address the climate crisis and bring us closer to energy independence, assistance for college tuition, and other legislative successes. We can continue to deliver on more of our agenda in the coming year while simultaneously fulfilling our constitutional duty by investigating and publicly revealing whether or not Vice President Cheney has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence – not politics – should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Part one: Greatest Drummer... I did not find fault with the list, but the researchers and producers at VH1 Classic need to do a better fucking job!!! At number 10 in the countdown, they have Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden (although he could have placed higher). What bugs me about this is that they showed the video for "Run To The Hills" from the bands "The Number Of The Beast" album. Why am I mentioning all of this information - I'll tell you... Nicko McBrain wasn't on that fucking album!! Nor was he in the video!!! The drummer for Iron Maiden to that point was Clive Burr. I could do a better job than the fuck that produced the show. It could have been easy to find out such information - Iron Maiden's website or Allmusic.com.
Part two: Greatest Bass Player... Not many problems with the list... It was fair, but Steve Harris from Iron Maiden should have ranked a bit higher... But I digress... If you're going to show a 4 part series where you're going to have people from the same band winning in the different categories, find other videos to show!!! Part one was about Drummers, so Neil Peart from RUSH is on that list and they show the live video of "Tom Sawyer" from their "Exit...Stage Left" concert, so for part two on Bass Players, Geddy Lee of RUSH makes the list and what do they show??? The same fucking video as from part one!!! I know they have more than one song and one video!!!
Part three: Greatest Guitarist... Good list, and also fair. In the Bass Player part, Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath made the list and they showed a classic video of "Paranoid" - in this part Tony Iommi made the list for Guitarist, so what do they show?? "Paranoid" again!!! Same for Deep Purple (Roger Glover for Bass, and Ritchie Blackmore for Guitar) - they showed "Highway Star" in both parts. Eddie Van Halen, of course, made the list - but in my opinion, I would not have showcased "Jump" in this category as it is so keyboard driven and really didn't highlight what Eddie can do - I'm sure they could have found something where he is actually playing a guitar throughout the whole song.
Part four: Greatest Frontman... Well rounded list, but they had a lot to choose from. Roger Daltrey should not have been number ten, though - he should have been higher... And how did they decided which Van Halen frontman to use??? David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar are from two different worlds and styles.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Senate Republicans plan to call for a congressional commission to investigate the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran and the specific intelligence that went into it, according to congressional sources.
The move, which would be the first formal challenge to the NIE, comes amid growing backlash from conservatives and neoconservatives unhappy about the assessment that Iran halted a clandestine nuclear weapons program four years ago.
It reflects how quickly the NIE has become politicized, with critics even going after the analysts who wrote it.
Sen. John Ensign (R., Nev.) said he planned to introduce legislation next week to establish a commission modeled on a congressionally mandated group that probed a disputed 1995 intelligence estimate on the emerging missile threat to the United States over the next 15 years.
"Iran is one of the greatest threats in the world today. Getting the intelligence right is absolutely critical, not only on Iran's capability but its intent," he said in an interview.
Ensign's proposal calls for Senate leaders to put an equal number of Republicans and Democrats on a panel to study the NIE and report back in six months.
"There are a lot of people out there who do question [the NIE]. There is a huge difference between the 2005 and 2007 estimates," he said.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Finally, as promised, a Special Comment about the President's cataclysmic deception about Iran.
There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr.. Bush has left us with tonight.
We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole -- or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked -- at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so -- whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.
A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.
After Ms Perino's announcement from the White House late last night, the timeline is inescapable and clear.
In August the President was told by his hand-picked Major Domo of intelligence Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking, worrying-warrior who will always see more clouds than silver linings, that what "everybody thought" about Iran might be, in essence, crap.
Yet on October 17th the President said of Iran and its president Ahmadinejad:
"I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War Three, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon."
And as he said that, Mr.. Bush knew that at bare minimum there was a strong chance that his rhetoric was nothing more than words with which to scare the Iranians.
Or was it, Sir, to scare the Americans?
Does Iran not really fit into the equation here? Have you just scribbled it into the fill-in-the-blank on the same template you used, to scare us about Iraq?
In August, any commander-in-chief still able-minded or uncorrupted or both, Sir, would have invoked the quality the job most requires: mental flexibility.
A bright man, or an honest man, would have realized no later than the McConnell briefing that the only true danger about Iran was the damage that could be done by an unhinged, irrational Chicken Little of a president, shooting his mouth off, backed up by only his own hysteria and his own delusions of omniscience.
Not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Bush.
The Chicken Little of presidents is the one, Sir, that you see in the mirror.
And the mind reels at the thought of a Vice President fully briefed on the revised Intel as long as two weeks ago -- briefed on the fact that Iran abandoned its pursuit of this imminent threat four years ago -- who never bothered to mention it to his boss.
It is nearly forgotten today, but throughout much of Ronald Reagan's presidency it was widely believed that he was little more than a front-man for some never-viewed, behind-the-scenes, string-puller.
Today, as evidenced by this latest remarkable, historic malfeasance, it is inescapable, that Dick Cheney is either this president's evil ventriloquist, or he thinks he is.
What servant of any of the 42 previous presidents could possibly withhold information of this urgency and gravity, and wind up back at his desk the next morning, instead of winding up before a Congressional investigation -- or a criminal one?
Mr. Bush -- if you can still hear us -- if you did not previously agree to this scenario in which Dick Cheney is the actual detective and you're Remington Steele -- you must disenthrall yourself: Mr. Cheney has usurped your constitutional powers, cut you out of the information loop, and led you down the path to an unprecedented presidency in which the facts are optional, the Intel is valued less than the hunch, and the assistant runs the store.
The problem is, Sir, your assistant is robbing you -- and your country -- blind.
Not merely in monetary terms, Mr.. Bush, but more importantly of the traditions and righteousness for which we have stood, at great risk, for centuries: Honesty, Law, Moral Force.
Mr.. Cheney has helped, Sir, to make your Administration into the kind our ancestors saw in the 1860's and 1870's and 1880's -- the ones that abandoned Reconstruction, and sent this country marching backwards into the pit of American Apartheid.
Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland...
Presidents who will be remembered only in a blur of failure, Mr.. Bush.
Presidents who will be remembered only as functions of those who opposed them -- the opponents whom history proved right.
Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland... Bush.
Would that we could let this President off the hook by seeing him only as marionette or moron.
But a study of the mutation of his language about Iran proves that though he may not be very good at it, he is, himself, still a manipulative, Machiavellian, snake-oil salesman.
The Bushian etymology was tracked by Dan Froomkin at the Washington Post's website.
It is staggering.
March 31st: "Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon..."
June 5th: Iran's "pursuit of nuclear weapons..."
June 19th: "consequences to the Iranian government if they continue to pursue a nuclear weapon..."
July 12th: "the same regime in Iran that is pursuing nuclear weapons..."
August 6th: "this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon..."
Notice a pattern?
Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.
Then, sometime between August 6th and August 9th, those terms are suddenly swapped out, so subtly that only in retrospect can we see that somebody has warned the President, not only that he has gone out too far on the limb of terror -- but there may not even be a tree there...
McConnell, or someone, must have briefed him then.
August 9th: "They have expressed their desire to be able to enrich uranium, which we believe is a step toward having a nuclear weapons program..."
August 28th: "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons..."
October 4th: "you should not have the know-how on how to make a (nuclear) weapon..."
October 17th: "until they suspend and/or make it clear that they, that their statements aren't real, yeah, I believe they want to have the **capacity**, the **knowledge**, in order to make a nuclear weapon."
Before August 9th, it's: Trying to develop, build or pursue a nuclear weapon.
After August 9th, it's: Desire, pursuit, want...knowledge technology know-how to enrich uranium.
And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that the National Intelligence Estimate this week talks of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program in 2003...
And you talked of the Iranians suspending their nuclear weapons program on October 17th...
And that's just a coincidence?
And we are to believe, Mr.. Bush, that nobody told you any of this until last week?
Your insistence that you were not briefed on the NIE until last week might be legally true -- something like "what the definition of is is -- but with the subject matter being not interns but the threat of nuclear war.
Legally, it might save you from some war crimes trial... but ethically, it is a lie.
It is indefensible.
You have been yelling threats into a phone for nearly four months, after the guy on the other end had already hung up.
You, Mr.. Bush, are a bald-faced liar.
And more over, you have just revealed that John Bolton, and Norman Podhoretz, and the Wall Street Journal Editorial board, are also bald-faced liars.
We are to believe that the Intel Community, or maybe the State Department, cooked the raw intelligence about Iran, falsely diminished the Iranian nuclear threat, to make you look bad?
And you proceeded to let them make you look bad?
You not only knew all of this about Iran, in early August...
But you also knew... it was... accurate.
And instead of sharing this good news with the people you have obviously forgotten you represent...
You merely fine-tuned your terrorizing of those people, to legally cover your own backside...
While you filled the factual gap with sadistic visions of -- as you phrased it on August 28th: a quote "nuclear holocaust" -- and, as you phrased it on October 17th, quote: "World War Three."
My comments, Mr. Bush, are often dismissed as simple repetitions of the phrase "George Bush has no business being president."
Well, guess what?
Tonight: hanged by your own words... convicted by your own deliberate lies...
You, sir, have no business... being president.
Good night, and good luck.
Monday, December 03, 2007
AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.
A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.
The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.
Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.
The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.
Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.
From USA Today:
Lakhdar Boumediene is an Algerian who emigrated to Bosnia in the 1990s and became a citizen. After the 9/11 attacks, Bosnian police picked up Boumediene and five other Algerians when U.S. authorities charged that the six had been plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
When a three-month probe found no evidence to support the charges, Bosnia's top court set the suspects free. At U.S. insistence and in defiance of the court, however, Bosnian police scooped them up again and they ended up in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They've been there ever since.
Is Boumediene a murderous terrorist? An innocent victim? Something in between? Who knows? More than six years after the 9/11 attacks, Boumediene and more than 300 other detainees still sit at Guantanamo, all but a few with no formal charges and the functional equivalent of a life sentence.
The Bush administration says these detainees are the worst of the worst, which is meant to sound like a good reason to lock them up and lose the key. But that's what former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said before hundreds were let go, many when authorities apparently concluded there was little or no evidence against them.
More important, locking people away indefinitely without charges, even if they are not U.S. citizens, violates one of this nation's bedrock principles. The doctrine of habeas corpus guarantees the right of the accused to challenge their detention before an impartial judge. It's one of the sacred rights that for centuries has distinguished the United States from dictatorships.
Regrettably, the Bush administration has an abysmal record of using the war on terror to justify brushing aside this and other safeguards. The U.S. Supreme Court has slapped down the White House and a too-compliant Congress three times already, ruling that imprisoning detainees on Cuban soil to keep them out of U.S. courts is a ruse, that even suspected terrorists have rights, and that the courts have a role in reviewing these cases.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Las Vegas Sun's Jon Ralston:
In 2003, 2004 and 2005, Porter supported Bush 86.7 percent of the time, the Congressional Quarterly found. Porter has been a nearly unwavering backer of the president’s strategy in Iraq while rarely disagreeing with him on any major issue. He was against the SCHIP expansion before he was for it, but the second vote was a rare divergence.
But at least Porter can add SCHIP to his usual “I’m not a rubber stamp” act because Yucca Mountain has been a lame and lonely staple of that rhetorical emptiness. But Porter’s fuzzy memory of the way he and the president were back in April 2006 at (where else?) The Venetian is hardly surprising.
Porter doesn’t live in a vacuum. He has watched the parade of retirements by Republican incumbents as pundits forecast the coming GOP apocalypse in Campaign ’08. And he is in a district where Democrats now have a slight registration advantage and where he barely held on to his seat (by 4,000 votes) in 2006.
That’s why he will be even more targeted than he has been in the past — and Porter is used to being targeted by the national Democrats and now by Nevada’s Democrat Numero Uno Harry Reid, who might just believe Porter will be running for a higher office come 2010 should he survive 2008.
And so Porter — or his campaign advisers — has rewritten every line of his previous Bush fealty, which seemed so simple that day at Gondolier Numero Uno’s place, when raising money trumped any Bush albatross. Perhaps not so this time.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Then I got to thinking about music and what song would fit with this post... I'd been thinking about this for a few weeks and then it hit me while I was in the shower, with my MP3 player loud enough to hear - and one of the songs I loaded was "Word Of Mouth" by Mike+The Mechanics. (Lyrics below video). I've always liked the song and then it hit me - I was aware of what Paul Young was singing!!! His was singing about the nutjobs in the GOP (but it could be any nutjob in any political party, group, etc...) Enjoy the show.
Now the world is getting older
There’s a few things to be said
Do you believe the things they told you
Do you believe the things you’ve read
There’s a rumour on the corner
But it’s always been denied
Cause they don’t want you any wiser
You’re just toeing the party line
From the west side to the east side
From the north side to the south
You’ll never get bad information
If you believe in the word of mouth
Look out for those who still want to hang on
Look out for those who live in the past
Get out and listen to the whisper
Because the times are changing fast
From the west side to the east side
From the north side to the south
You’ll never get bad information
If you believe in the word of mouth
You don’t believe the information
You don’t believe it when it’s denied
So when you’re reading explanations
You have to read between the lines
From the west side to the east side
Through the windows I’m looking out
You’ll never get bad information
If you believe in the word of mouth
From Randi Rhodes' Website:
THE VIOLENT RADICALIZATION AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISM PREVENTION ACT:
An Act passed by The House in late October and currently before the Senate Homeland Security Committee is as bad as or WORSE than the McCarthy Era when people were labeled and jailed for anything HE deemed UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES.
Language inserted in the act does partially define "homegrown terrorism" as "planning" or "threatening" to use force to promote a political objective, meaning that just thinking about doing something could be enough to merit the terrorist label.
The act also describes "violent radicalization" as the promotion of an "extremist belief system" without attempting to define "extremist."
Full text of Bill here.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thank you for contacting me regarding recent developments in Iraq. I appreciate having the benefit of your views.
The War in Iraq is the single most important issue before Congress and the American people today. Our action in Iraq, the Middle East, and our ability to support the Iraqi government as it strives to create a democracy will have implications that last for generations to come. As a Member of Congress, and someone who has visited Iraq four times, most recently this past August, I understand the risks involved and the consequences of a hasty withdrawal. I am proud to support the brave men and women of our armed forces as they help secure democracy and ensure that those oppressed by a brutal dictator will one day achieve their dream of thriving in a free society.
As you may know, I visited our soldiers on August 24-27. I am continually inspired by their determination and dedication to the mission. While in Iraq, I met with members of both the American and Iraqi armed forces as well as members of the Iraqi government. I was encouraged to see their high morale and dedication to completing the mission. Based upon my personal visits to the region the dynamics on the ground are continuously improving. While the course is uncertain and serious challenges remain, I am optimistic.
I am grateful to the men and women of the Armed Services that are helping to protect our country from future terrorist attacks while simultaneously working to rebuild Iraq. You can rest assured that I will continue to ensure that our troops in Iraq, and our allies among the Iraqi people, have the support and equipment they need to defend freedom. We cannot allow the nation to revert to terror and tyranny, or we risk providing hope to our enemies in the War on Terror who seek to defeat us through fear and violence.
Creating a lasting peace has not been easy. However, we are succeeding and must ensure that the Iraqi government is able to defend itself before withdrawing troops. Although, I agree that our strategy toward Iraq should be reviewed I am opposed to premature Congressional action and will continue to listen to the Commanders on the ground as they come before Congress with suggestions and adjustments in courses of action. We must be sure that we leave Iraq with the tools necessary to produce a stable and self-sufficient nation.
Most recently, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker delivered a much-anticipated status report on the Iraq War before a joint meeting of the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees. I believe that the testimonies delivered by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker were accurate, apolitical assessments which exclusively considered the facts. Furthermore, I was encouraged by the expectation that there will be substantial withdrawals of U.S. troops in the near future. It is my belief that our troop levels will decrease at a faster pace than Petraeus proposed.
Again, thank you for contacting me about this most important issue. Please let me know if I can do anything for you, your family or friends.
Jon C. Porter
Member of Congress
November 16, 2007
Washington, D.C. – Senator John Ensign made the following statement after the Senate failed to provide emergency funding for the Department of Defense:
“Our nation just celebrated the heroism of veterans and members of the armed services and this funding would have provided them the necessary resources to carry out their mission on the front lines. The funding for General Petraeus and his troops on the ground should have been provided months ago, and it is shameful that we have failed to provide it yet again. We cannot fight a war with 535 members of Congress micromanaging those on the front lines. The Democrats continued insistence on setting a surrender date undermines our generals and those selflessly fighting to secure Iraq and protect us from Islamic extremists. This is a time when we as Americans must stand behind the brave men and women in our military.”
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The U.S. House of Representatives bill (PDF), which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into signing up for monthly subscription services such as Ruckus and Napster. Ruckus is advertising-supported, and Napster charges a monthly fee per student.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) applauded the proposal, which is embedded in a 747-page spending and financial aid bill. "We very much support the language in the bill, which requires universities to provide evidence that they have a plan for implementing a technology to address illegal file sharing," said Angela Martinez, a spokeswoman for the MPAA.
According to the bill, if universities did not agree to test "technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity," all of their students--even ones who don't own a computer--would lose federal financial aid.
The prospect of losing a combined total of nearly $100 billion a year in federal financial aid, coupled with the possibility of overzealous copyright-bots limiting the sharing of legitimate content, has alarmed university officials.
The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts' "hidden costs"-- including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.
That amount is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested to wage these wars through 2008, according to the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee. Its report, titled "The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War," estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000.
"The full economic costs of the war to the American taxpayers and the overall U.S. economy go well beyond even the immense federal budget costs already reported," said the 21-page draft report, obtained yesterday by The Washington Post.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on the meaning of the story of former U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin.
It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed:
The Presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.
All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity;
All the invocations of World War Three, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets;
All the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...
All of it is now -- after one revelation last week -- transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the re-focusing of our entire nation, towards keeping this mock president, and this unstable vice president, and this departed wildly self-over-rating Attorney General -- and the others -- from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country.
"Waterboarding is torture," Daniel Levin was to write.
Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protestor.
He was no troublemaking politician.
He was no table-pounding commentator.
Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American, and a brave man.
Brave not just with words or with stances -- even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared -- or bought -- off.
Charged -- as you heard in the story from ABC News last Friday -- with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the Pandora's box that is the Orwell-worthy euphemism "Enhanced Interrogation," Mr. Levin decided that the simplest, and the most honest, way to evaluate them... was to have them enacted upon himself.
Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be water-boarded.
Mr. Bush -- ever done anything that personally courageous?
Perhaps when you've gone to Walter Reed and teared up over the maimed servicemen? And then gone back to the White House and determined that there would be more maimed servicemen?
Has it been that kind of personal courage, Mr. Bush, when you've spoken of American victims and the triumph of freedom and the sacrifice of your own popularity for the sake of our safety? And then permitted others to fire or discredit or destroy anybody who disagreed with you -- whether they were your own Generals, or... Max Cleeland, or... Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame… or Daniel Levin?
Daniel Levin should have a statue in his honor in Washington right now.
Instead, he was forced out as Acting Assistant Attorney General, nearly three years ago, because he had the guts to do what George Bush couldn't do in a million years: actually put himself at risk for the sake of his country, for the sake of what is right.
And they water-boarded him and he wrote that even though he knew those doing it meant him no harm, and he knew they would rescue him at the instant of the slightest distress, and he knew he would not die -- still, with all that reassurance, he could not stop the terror screaming from inside of him, could not quell the horror, could not convince that which is at the core of each of us -- the entity who exists behind all the embellishments we strap to ourselves, like purpose and name and family and love -- he could not convince his being… that he wasn't drowning.
Water-boarding, he said, is torture.
Legally, it is torture!
Practically, it is torture!
Ethically, it is torture!
And he wrote it down.
Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country's 43rd President: "The United States of America... does not torture."
Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush.
Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush.
Water-boarding had already been used on Khalid Sheik Mohammed and a couple of other men none of us really care about -- except, Sir, for the one detail you'd forgotten -- that there are rules, and even if we just make up these rules, this country observes them anyway, because we're Americans, Sir, and we're better than that.
We're better than you.
And the man your Justice Department selected to decide whether or not water-boarding was torture, had decided, and not in some phony academic fashion, nor while wearing the Walter Mitty poseur attire of flight-suit and helmet.
He had put his money, Mr. Bush, where your mouth was.
So, your sleazy sycophantic henchman Mr. Gonzales had him append an asterisk suggesting his black-and-white answer wasn't black-and-white, that there might have been a quasi-legal way of torturing people, maybe with an absolute time limit and a physician entitled to stop it, maybe, if your administration had ever bothered to set any rules or any guidelines…
And then when your people realized that even that was too dangerous, Daniel Le Vin was branded "too independent" and "someone who could (not) be counted on."
In other words, Mr. Bush, somebody you couldn't count on to lie for you.
So, Levin was fired.
Because if it ever got out what he'd concluded, and the lengths to which he went, to validate that conclusion, anybody who had sanctioned water-boarding, and who-knows-what-else… anybody -- you yourself, Sir -- you would have been screwed.
And screwed you are.
It can't be coincidence that the story of Daniel Levin should emerge from the black hole of this secret society of a presidency just at the conclusion of the unhappy saga of the newest Attorney General Nominee.
Another patriot somewhere, listened as Judge Mukasey mumbled like he'd never heard of water-boarding, and refuse to answer in words… that which Daniel Levin answered on a water-board somewhere in Maryland or Virginia three years ago.
And this someone also heard George Bush say "The United States of America does not torture"... and realized either he was lying or this wasn't the United States of America any more, and either way, he needed to do something about it.
Not in the way Levin needed to do something about it, but in a brave way nonetheless.
We have United States Senators who need to do something about it, too.
Chairman Leahy of the Judiciary Committee has seen this for what it is and said "enough."
Senator Schumer has seen it, reportedly, as some kind of puzzle piece in the New York political patronage system and he has failed.
What Senator Feinstein has seen, to justify joining Schumer in rubber-stamping Mukasey, I cannot guess.
It is obvious that both those Senators should look to the meaning of the story of Daniel Levin and recant their support for Mukasey's confirmation.
And they should look into their own committee's history and recall that in 1973, their predecessors were able to wring even from Richard Nixon, a guarantee of a Special Prosecutor (ultimately a Special Prosecutor of Richard Nixon!), in exchange for their approval of his new Attorney General, Elliott Richardson.
If they could get that out of Nixon, you -- before you confirm the President's latest human echo tomorrow -- you better be able to get a "yes" or a "no"… out of Michael Mukasey.
Ideally you should lock this government down financially until a special prosecutor is appointed -- or fifty of them -- but I'm not holding my breath. The "yes" or the "no" on water-boarding will have to suffice.
Because, remember... if you can't get it, or you won't... with the time between tonight and the next presidential election likely to be the longest year of our lives, you are leaving this country, and all of us, to the water-boards -- symbolic and otherwise -- of George W. Bush.
Ultimately, Mr. Bush, the real question isn't... who approved the water-boarding of this fiend Khalid Sheik Mohammed and two others.
It is: why were they water-boarded?
Study after study for generation after generation, sir, has confirmed that torture gets people to talk, torture gets people to plead, torture gets people to break, but torture does not get them to tell the truth.
Of course, Mr. Bush, this isn't a problem, if you don't care if the terrorist plots they tell you about, are the truth... or just something to stop the tormentors from drowning them.
If, say, a President simply needed a constant supply of terrorist threats to keep a country scared…
If, say, he needed phony plots to play hero during, and to boast about interrupting, and to use to distract people from the threat he**didn't** interrupt…
If, say, he realized that even terrorized people still need good ghost stories before they will let a President pillage the Constitution…
Well, heck, Mr. Bush, who better to dream them up for you… than an actual terrorist?
He'll tell you every thing he ever fantasized doing, in his most horrific of daydreams -- his equivalent of the day you "flew" onto the deck of the Lincoln to explain you'd won in Iraq.
Now if that's what this is all about -- you tortured not because you're so stupid you think torture produces confession -- but you tortured because you're smart enough to know it produces really authentic-sounding fiction -- well, then… you're going to need all the lawyers you can find… because that crime wouldn't just mean impeachment, would it Sir?
That crime would mean George W. Bush is going to prison.
Thus the master tumblers turn, and the lock yields, and the hidden explanations can all be perceived, in their exact proportions, in their exact progressions.
Daniel Levin's eminently practical, eminently logical, eminently patriotic way of testing the legality of waterboarding… has to vanish -- and him, with it.
Thus Alberto Gonzales has to use that brain that sounds like an old car trying to start on a freezing morning, to undo eight centuries of the forward march of law and government.
Thus Dick Cheney, has to ridiculously assert that confirming we do or do not use any particular interrogation technique, would somehow help the terrorists.
Thus Michael Mukasey, on the eve of the vote that will make him the high priest of the law of this land, cannot and must not answer a question, nor even hint that he has thought about a question, which merely concerns the theoretical definition of water-boarding as torture.
Because, Mr. Bush, in the seven years of your nightmare presidency, this whole string of events has been transformed…
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I was born in 1968 – the year Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In began; the Vietcong launched the TET Offensive; Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated; Hair opened on Broadway; Simon & Garfunkel scored number one with Mrs. Robinson on the music charts; Robert Kennedy was assassinated; poor people marched on Washington; Richard Nixon was nominated for President by the Republican Party; the Soviets invade Czechoslovakia; there were riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis; Richard Nixon was elected President; The Beatles White Album was released; and the Apollo 8 circled the moon.
This may not have any significance to my growing up, but is does. What ever happened in the late sixties when I was born had a great impact of what was to come in the seventies where I was growing up – learning about life from people who had lived through that period. Whether it be television, radio, music, politics, or world events, they had a great impact on what I am today. I really never gave it much thought until I actually started writing this speech.
The 1970’s were different times from what we are seeing today. As opposed to the 1960’s when we were involved in a war which we had no business in – and ignoring the troops when they came home, we tuned in–turned on–dropped out, we envisioned peace and love through rose colored glasses. The 1970’s sort of left us wandering around in a haze of smoke left over from the hippie generation, which in turn, gave us a nation of greed in the 1980’s.
Our world back then was skimming along politically. We had three Presidents during that time, and the only significant event to come out of their combined terms was the end to the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975. But the question on everyone’s mind at the time was (and still today) – who really won the war?
Richard M. Nixon was involved in one of the greatest scandals of the century involving any US President. His involvement in Watergate was, in any effect, an abuse of his power as President. Mr. Nixon resigned in the office of President, in disgrace, on August 8, 1974, to be effective as of August 9, 1974.
Gerald Ford was sworn in as President as Richard Nixon left Washington, DC. Ford, in essence, was our only president to hold office without having gone through the electorate process. Mr. Ford could be considered a Lame Duck President. What he did, that people in America will never quite forget, is pardon Richard M. Nixon in September, 1974, for any wrongdoing, which may have occurred while he was in office. Former President Ford saw the pardon was in the best interests of the nation. In any event, pardoning Richard Nixon cost him the next election.
Former President Jimmy Carter could also be considered a Lame Duck President, seeing that he had no support throughout his term of office. When he ran for President, he won the Democratic ticket by popular vote – but had little or no support from members of his own party. He often zigzagged on many issues, also. But behind this quiet man, there could be found no dirt.
Also during this decade, we had the Apollo 13 disaster. This happened in April 1970. It has been made into a major motion picture in 1995. One aspect of the decade we’d like to forget is the hostage crisis in Iran, where they held our people for 444 days.
Musically, there was a diverse selection to heard from, also. Easy Listening, Bubble Gum, and a mix of Folk Music were topping the charts, while Hard Rock and Heavy Metal were in their early stages. (Later on, John Travolta’s Urban Cowboy would give Country Music the limelight for a short time). And, who can’t forget Disco?!?!! But there were many achievements made in the 1970’s that we tend to overlook.
There are many things to look at when you’re researching music of the Seventies. There are awards, charts, and individual artists. Much of what I’ve learned had my head spinning, knowing I actually owned a great deal of the record breakers. Of the top ten albums sold of all time, six of them were release in the Seventies – the other four were from the Eighties. Of the six, one was Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours LP – this album not only was one of the best sellers of the decade – it was formerly in the Guinness Book Of World Records® for most sales (until 1982’s release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller LP), selling in excess of 14 million copies worldwide. Also on this list was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon LP. This album was released in 1973 and stayed on the Billboard® Top 200™ for the next twenty years (or a total of 741 weeks) – finally falling off the chart in early 1994, but still appears there occasionally to this day). And again making resurgence because someone decided that the music fits in with what’s going on during The Wizard Of Oz. Another interesting fact was a record set by the group Boston – their self-entitled album was the biggest selling debut album, until 1985’s release of Whitney Houston’s self-entitled album. The biggest selling single for the decade was You Light Up My Life by Debbie Boone in 1977.
The top film for the 1970’s was Star Wars. The film to win the most Oscars® for the 1970’s was Cabaret, winning a total of eight awards (in 1972) – but the film to win best picture that year was The Godfather.
On television, we had All In The Family bringing forth a new dimension into our homes. Sure, we had Science Fiction, Westerns, Police Dramas, but we didn’t have Archie Bunker. What All In The Family brought into our homes was a strange bite of reality. All In The Family broke new ground when they actually used taboo words and discussed forbidden subjects, thus changing they way in which we all watched television. All In The Family can boast by being the first video taped show. It was also the first show to actually have the sound of a toilet flushing. Archie and his brood was the highest rated shows from 1971-1975. Another award winning show to come out of this decade was M*A*S*H, depicting life during the Korean War by Army doctors and nurses in humorous ways.
On the Las Vegas front, 1973 saw the purchase of the Golden Nugget by Steve Wynn. Summa Corporation owned the majority of hotel/casinos in the valley. Without Mr. Wynn as a major catalyst in the gaming industry, there would be no modern day Golden Nugget, no Mirage, no Treasure Island, or any other major strip resort – just a lot of desert and a grind joint with a very big neon sign hanging overhead (which, while standing, was the most photographed sign in the world).
It’s all in one’s perception. Regardless of how one pictures the Seventies, there are going to be critics of it, and there are going to be people who loved it. I lived through it, and I am quite happy with most of what came out of those ten years.
But to look back in perspective, it wasn’t all that bad.
Since then, the Berlin wall has come down, giving world wide democracy a chance to live and breathe. There’s no longer a United Soviet Socialist Republic, no more Czechoslovakia (who separated peacefully), and no more Yugoslavia (but has been war torn in the name of religion). The only major communist power that are left are China, Cuba, and North Korea. The US is trying to have diplomatic ties again with Vietnam. The only wars or invasions we’ve been involved in had to do with the protection of Big Business for US corporations having foreign subsidiaries.
In comparison, there were good times back then. Down-sizing was not an issue, unions were strong, and people were not afraid to leave their house. Lovers didn’t have to be fugitives of the bedroom – AIDS was not in existence.
People make fun of the music that came out of the Seventies, but fail to realize that a good proportion of the hits on the charts now are synthetic – the synthesizer was in its early stages, but it never replaced a real musician.
If there was a choice for me to live in any decade, it would be the Seventies – sure people were for themselves, but they were much easier to get along with.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from the 1970’s, it would be to simply say to you — “Have a nice day!!!”
Saturday, November 03, 2007
“Watch What You Say”: The Post-9/11 Dixie Chicked:
* Like truth, comedian Bill Maher was an early casualty of war. Discussing 9/11’s skyjackers on the Sept. 17, 2001, episode of “Politically Incorrect,” Maher stated: “We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly. Stupid maybe, but not cowardly.” Maher’s remarks prompted Bush’s then-spokesman Ari Fleischer to warn: “Watch what you say.” The Disney-owned ABC network canceled Maher’s show in June 2002.
Friday, October 26, 2007
He also complained that the Senate has not yet confirmed Michael Mukasey as attorney general and scolded Congress for failing to approve more money for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
And now, The Moody Blues performing "Question".
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Rep. Doggett: “I assume, by Mr. Ryan being here, that every member of this panel, including every Republican member on that side of the aisle where all the seats are vacant, received notice about this hearing about the cost of war in Iraq?”
Chairman Spratt: “I’m sure they did.”
Rep. Doggett: “And when was this notice of the hearing sent out?”
Chairman Spratt: “Seven days ago, as required by the rules.”
Cheney and his band of flying monkeys have pressured MSNBC to drop stories, FixedNoise is a the communications department for the Bush Crime Family and so many newspapers are falling to large corporations like the Review-Journal in Las Vegas. If The Las Vegas Sun was not distributed with the RJ, I would cancel my subscription as this is the only place one can get non-slanted opinions.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3773, the Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective Act of 2007 or RESTORE Act of 2007. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.As you may know, my colleague, Representative John Conyers (D-MI), introduced the RESTORE Act. This legislation seeks to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to provide that a court order is not required for the acquisition of communication between non-U.S. persons who are not located within the United States for collecting foreign intelligence information, whether or not the communication passes through the United States or the surveillance device is located within the United States.The RESTORE Act would also require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Attorney General (AG) to jointly apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for an order, or the extension of an order, authorizing for up to one year the acquisition of communications of persons outside the United States who are non-U.S. persons. One of the more controversial provisions in this legislation concerns retroactive immunity. This legislation does not provide for retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP).Presently, the RESTORE Act is awaiting the completion of action in the House of Representatives. Please know that I will be sure to keep your views in mind when this legislation is addressed by the full House of Representatives. (in whose universe??)Again, thank you for writing. Please feel free to contact me in the future with any additional comments or concerns you may have.Sincerely,Jon C. PorterMember of Congress (Hopefully not for another term!!!)
"It was a mafia-like tactic. And the idea of going after your family, even in Washington, was an outrage. Nobody went after Karl Rove's family. Nobody went after Scooter Libby's family. They went after my family," Wilson says.
"But in all fairness, Karl Rove's wife doesn't work for the CIA," Couric remarks.
"How do you know?" Wilson says.
"Scooter Libby's wife doesn't work for the CIA," Couric says.
"How do you know? How do you know?" Wilson asks.
"I don't know for sure. But I think it's a safe assumption," Couric replies. (Note: You know what happens when one "assumes")
Says Wilson, "Yeah, you don't know. And we don't know what they did because nobody went after their families. And that's the way it should be. That's the way it would be. However you wanna play the game, the idea of going after somebody's family is an absolute outrage."
"You are still seething," Couric says.
"Oh, I think - absolutely," Wilson admits, laughing. "Absolutely. I'm seething because it was first and foremost a great betrayal of the national security of the country."
Friday, October 19, 2007
Desultory, that is, until Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) grumbled at Republicans: "Youdon't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to
blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It’s not always easy to figure out what the American public will think about a particular issue or scandal, but we know how they feel about pets.So they must have been thrilled — thrilled — when Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) issued a press release criticizing Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), a veterinarian, for his stance on an issue related to Medicare.“Sen. Ensign should go back to practicing medicine on animals as he was trained, not on senior citizens,” Stark said in a press release.For Ensign’s office, it was like Christmas.Spokesman Tory Mazzola quickly retorted in an e-mail to the Hill that just because Ensign has gotten support for his proposal “doesn’t mean you have to attack doctors that care for our puppies and kittens. I may be wrong, but I’d say veterinarians have a higher approval rating than Nancy Pelosi’s Congress,” Mazzola said. (My response: Boo-Hoo!!)
Friday, October 12, 2007
Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary on global warming, won an Academy Award this year and he had been widely expected to win the prize."His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change," the citation said. "He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."It cited Gore's awareness at an early stage "of the climatic challenges the world is facing.The committee cited the Panel on Climate Change for two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming."Members of the panel, a network of 2,000 scientists, were surprised that it was chosen to share the honor with Gore, a spokeswoman said.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
But who am I?? In her eyes, I'm just a dirty fucking hippy!!!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Via Raw Story:
The proposed House bill offers some concession to the administration, and it includes fixes in surveillance that Democrats and Republicans agreed were needed, such as a clarification that no warrant is required to spy on strictly foreign-to-foreign phone calls and e-mails.
Under the new law, the Attorney General or Director of National Intelligence would be authorized to receive blanket warrants to eavesdrop on several foreign intelligence targets who could call into the United States, but the bill would restore FISA court reviews of targeting procedures and steps taken to "minimize" Americans' exposure to surveillance. If an American is to become the "target" of surveillance, intelligence agencies would be required to seek an individualized warrant from the FISA court.
The American Civil Liberties Union said that concession would allow "blanket warrants" to authorize the National Security Agency and other US intelligence services to gather information on untold numbers of Americans who may not be suspected of doing anything wrong.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Q How can the President justify spending billions for a war and denying child health care sanctions in this country, where the needs are there?
MS. PERINO: Well, there are obviously very [sic] two different issues. The President is for the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. He wants to extend it by 20 percent for the next five years. There are those in Congress who want to expand it even further. And what we see -- we see that as a step towards more government-controlled health care. That is a policy difference that the President has.
MS. PERINO: Good afternoon. I have a statement on Burma, before taking your questions.The President and Mrs. Bush remain concerned about the reports of violence and intimidation that continue to come out of Burma. The United States is pleased that U.N. Special Envoy Gambari was able to see Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr. Gambari remains in Burma in order to see the top junta leader, Than Shwe. We think it is important that they meet and that a process of national reconciliation can begin.The United States is committed to working with countries around the world and especially those in the region to move Burma to a peaceful transition to democracy. President Bush had a good meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang last week. And today Jim Jeffrey, the Deputy National Security Advisor, will meet with Chinese Ambassador Zhou to the United States to further these discussions.I think it's important to note comments made on Friday night by Chinese Premier Wen. He said that China is very much concerned with the situation and hopes that all parties show restraint, resume stability through peaceful means as soon as possible, promote domestic reconciliation and achieve democracy and development. The Chinese Premier said that China will continue to work with the international community to actively facilitate the proper solution to the problem.I'll take your questions.
Q Do you have any reason to believe that junta leaders will meet with the U.N. Envoy?
MS. PERINO: I don't have any reason to believe one way or the other. We -- he is there waiting to meet with him and as soon as we have an update, we'll provide it.Q And the protests, themselves, seem to have been stilled. What do you make of that?
MS. PERINO: Well, unfortunately, intimidation and force can chill peaceful demonstrations. And reports about very innocent people being thrown into detention, where they could be held for years without any representation or charges, is distressing; and we understand that some of the monasteries have been sealed. Now, obviously, this has, again, a chilling effect on protestors, but we would ask that everyone show restraint and allow those who want to express themselves to be able to do so in Burma.
Maybe the way people in other countries view us has something to do with Porter's enthusiastic support for the war in Iraq. Make no mistake, Porter was for the war before he was for it. Not only did he support it from the beginning, he's supported every funding bill, cheered on the surge and is now squarely positioned as one of the administration's go-to guys for the Iran message.If Porter didn't believe his own calculation that the "war on terror" plays well in his suburban district with lots of military families, he wouldn't be so stuck on his support for ongoing occupation.The way he puts it, the Middle East needs us there to keep the world safe. Oh yeah, and Israel is over there, too. Porter will do whatever it takes to win. That may mean forsaking so-called Republican principles of small government and low taxes.That may mean claiming support for the troops, or the children, or whatever else
is politically palatable.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I'm old, so this song came to mind by The Carpenters:
Thursday, September 20, 2007
By the vote:
Today, the Senate voted 72-25 to approve Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) bill criticizing MoveOn.org’s Gen. David Petraeus ad in the New York Times. The “sense of the Senate” resolution “strongly” condemns the “personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus.”
Harry Reid (D-NV): Endorses free speech
John Ensign (R-HeadUpAss): Hates free speech
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
It took just eight decades but H.L. Mencken's astute prediction on the future course of American presidential politics and the electorate's taste in candidates came true:
On July 26th, 1920, the acerbic and cranky scribe wrote in The Baltimore Sun: "...all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily (and) adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
I don't understand... You support Mr. Bush and his failed war policies, yet you don't support restoring Habeas Corpus. Where do your priorities lie - with party or country??? With the way you vote, it seems that the answer is party. Have you no shame, Mr. Ensign???
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Washington, D.C. – Senator John Ensign released the following statement tonight after President Bush delivered his speech to the American People:
“After hearing from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, the President tonight outlined to the American people the best way forward in Iraq. Unlike some, he has listened to the recommendations of our troops engaged in the battle in Iraq. The bottom up approach and getting basic infrastructure needs in place has helped quell the violence in many of Iraq’s provinces. Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, believe the war in Iraq is the central front in their war against the West. It is critical that we listen to our generals and troops on the ground in order to achieve success in Iraq.”
Someone should remind him that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda before we invaded and occupied it. I'm still waiting for my CongrASSman Jon Porter to issue a "supportive" statement to "Dear Leader"...