Rednecks: How many is enough?
Well, well, well. The Day, a paper that endorsed this monster to begin with is NOW having second thoughts? Yeah, Thanks for nothing.
We Don’t Know This Sen. Joe
Sen. Lieberman has been too busy burning bridges to build any
When The Day endorsed Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman for re-election in November 2006 it was supporting a candidate who demonstrated a history of pragmatic leadership and a willingness to seek bipartisan solutions. We wonder what happened to that senator.
Sen. Lieberman’s open-ended commitment to military involvement in Iraq comes as no surprise. The senator made it clear when running for re-election that was his position. Sen. Lieberman wants the United States military to remain in Iraq until the war is won, whatever that means. It conflicts with this newspaper’s position that the time has come for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Despite that difference of opinion, The Day editorially backed the senator because of his experience, his willingness to put principle above politics, as demonstrated by his condemnation of former President Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and his even-handed political approach.
But while Sen. Lieberman remains experienced, he is no longer even-handedly principled.
From the New York Times(h/t John Amato at C&L)
British Memoirist Is Denied U.S. Entry
Sebastian Horsley, a British author who has written an eyebrow-raising memoir detailing a life of rampant drug use and voluminous encounters with prostitutes, was turned back at Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday as he tried to enter the United States for a book party and New York news media tour.
Mr. Horsley, whose memoir, “Dandy in the Underworld,” was published last week in paperback by Harper Perennial, a unit of HarperCollins, said he was detained by United States customs authorities for eight hours and questioned about his former drug addiction, use of prostitutes and activity as a male escort.
“I’m absolutely shattered and upset and gutted about not being able to come to America,” Mr. Horsley said in a telephone interview from London, where he had returned on Wednesday. “I was very much looking forward to meeting everybody.”
Lucille Cirillo, a spokeswoman for the New York office of United States Customs and Border Protection, said she could not comment on specific cases. But in an e-mail message, she said that under a waiver program that allows British citizens to enter the United States without a visa, “travelers who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (which includes controlled-substance violations) or admit to previously having a drug addiction are not admissible.”
WTF is wrong with this country? We have the audacity to elect an ex-Coke Head but we won’t allow writers in the country because they wrote about their previous drug addiction?
Am I the only one who thinks this is the height of hypocrisy?
Ralph Lopez sent me some information and links to some American patriots wo are attempting to hold the neocon Bush monster responsible by initiating impeachment proceedings through a litttle know rule. Sue Serpa, of the Northeast Impeachment Coalition, posted this information for those people in New Hampshire who want to help:
Our Founding Fathers actually foresaw the day when we would elect a bad president and congress would refuse their duty to impeach. So they set up a fallback: By rules of order for Congress Jefferson’s Manual section 603 another avenue for impeachment is through any State or US territory. 14-term state Rep. Betty Hall has introduced HR24 to impeach Bush and Cheney.
This goes to vote this month (not scheduled yet, but Betty tells me it will most likely be March 12th). She will bring messages of support for the petition to the NH Legislature. You do not need to be a NH resident to send words urging support. If you’d like to urge passage of this petition, email Betty at: i.support.HR24@gmail.com
To take the action a bit further, please CALL the representatives below:
Member HomePhone Email
Baroody, Benjamin C 603-622-2844 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaulieu, Jane E 603-626-1260
Beck, Catriona D 603-588-3053 email@example.com
Bergin, Peter F 603-673-1885 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brown, C. Pennington 603-679-1766 email@example.com
Brueggemann, Donald A 603-224-5548 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brunelle, Michael D 603-669-0868 email@example.com
Buco, Thomas L 603-447-4985 firstname.lastname@example.org
Burridge, Delmar D 603-352-5363 email@example.com
Butcher, Suzanne S 603-357-8383 suzannebutcherNH@yahoo.com
Butterworth, Timothy 603-363-8076 firstname.lastname@example.org
Butynski, William 603-336-7498 email@example.com
Cali-Pitts, Jacqueline A 603-431-7657 firstname.lastname@example.org
Casey, Kimberley S 603-772-8506 email@example.com
Chase, Claudia A 603-547-6278 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cloutier, John R 603-542-6190 email@example.com
Converse, Larry 603-542-2180 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cooney, Mary R 603-536-1141 email@example.com
Daler, Jennifer 603-371-0595 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dokmo, Cynthia J 603-673-0395 email@example.com
Donovan, Thomas E (W)603-542-0463 firstname.lastname@example.org
Drisko, Richard B 603-465-2517 email@example.com
Dumaine, Dudley D 603-622-2293 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dunn, J. Timothy 603-357-7993 email@example.com
Eaton, Stephanie 603-444-2604 firstname.lastname@example.org
Flockhart, Eileen C 603-778-0647 email@example.com
Foster, Linda T 603-673-6104 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gargasz, Carolyn M 603-465-7463 email@example.com
Ginsburg, Ruth 603-882-8647 firstname.lastname@example.org
Grassie, Anne C 603-332-8562 email@example.com
Hager, Elizabeth S 603-224-2060 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamm, Christine C 603-746-4919 email@example.com
Hammond, Jill Shaffer 603-547-0715 firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvey, Suzanne 603-598-0582 email@example.com
Hatch, William A 603-466-9491 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilliard, Dana S 603-343-4114 email@example.com
Irwin, Anne-Marie 603-924-6617 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaelin, Michael A 603-654-5948 email@example.com
Kaen, Naida L 603-659-2205 firstname.lastname@example.org
Knox, J. David 603-569-2530 email@example.com
Kopka, Angeline K 603-577-5561 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kurk, Neal M 603-529-7253 email@example.com
Leishman, Peter R 603-365-0621 PRLeishman@aol.com
Levesque, Melanie A 603-672-3951 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mann, Maureen R 603-463-9990 Maureen.Mann@leg.state.nh.us
McLeod, Martha 603-823-8041 email@example.com
McMahon, Patricia M 603-927-4705 firstname.lastname@example.org
Merrick, Evalyn S 603-788-4311 email@example.com
Miller, Joseph M 603-868-1689 firstname.lastname@example.org
Millham, Alida I 603-524-1278 email@example.com
Mitchell, Bonnie G 603-532-6311 firstname.lastname@example.org
O’Connell, Timothy D 603-673-2963 email@example.com
Reardon, Tara G 603-224-0614 firstname.lastname@example.org
Roberts, Kris E 603-352-1105 email@example.com
Rosenwald, Cindy 603-595-9896 firstname.lastname@example.org
Schulze, Joan H 603-888-3380 email@example.com
Shaw, Barbara E 603-626-4681 firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaw, Kimberly C 603-882-2845 email@example.com
Wallner, Mary J 603-225-5249 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webb, Leigh A 603-934-8222 email@example.com
Weed, Charles F 603-352-8309 firstname.lastname@example.org
Williams, Robert W 603-225-9283 email@example.com
Yeaton, Charles B 603-736-9087 firstname.lastname@example.org
From lrose, this is an excellent breakdown of the Aug 2006 case against the administration on wiretapping and other law-breaking against Americans and the Constitution. This article (was written as an email) lays out how Judge Taylor holds these crooks accountable (and Bush now is awaiting his cronies to reverse the decision). But, until I read thru the following, there are several points of edification that others may appreciate, as well, and proved to me that the MSM simply is not going to consider these criminals any way except with undying admiration.
This decision is virtually a one-hundred percent victory for the plaintiffs. While President Bush has already dismissed this opinion seeking solace in his hope that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will reverse this decision, Judge Taylor has written a basic civics lesson within this decision. She explains to President Bush that the document his administration has ignored in exercising these powers, the US Constitution, is the very same document that creates the Presidency of the United States.
Unsurprisingly, this decision is incredibly well-written and well-researched. The lawyering performed on behalf of the plaintiffs in this matter must be commended, as my first-year law professor, Walt Oberer, taught the most important thing a lawyer can do when arguing his case to the Court is provide the Court with an easy peg to hang their hat on.. In light of past cases wherein the Executive branch has been able to cite state secrets privilege to carry the day, the plaintiffs in this matter sought no discovery whatsoever, no document production, no interrogatories proposed and no depositions requested. The attorneys relied solely upon the public statements of the Bush Administration to prove that the NSA wiretapping program violated the:
Separation of Powers Doctrine
Administrative Procedures Act
First Amendment to the US Constitution
Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
And the Court decision found in favor of the Plaintiffs.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND DECLARED that the TSP violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III.
Judgment and Permanent Injunction Order 8-17-06
The Court found undisputed that since 2002, NSA has intercepted international telephone and internet communications of numerous people and organizations without benefit of warrant or other judicial approval and that President Bush has reauthorized this power over 30 times in the past five years. The Court further found that the various individual Plaintiffs had been specifically harmed in their practice of law, journalism and scholarship as the illegal wiretapping program had, and continued to, substantially chill and impair their constitutionally protected communications.
From labeling the Presidential power relied upon to being from the twilight zoneto referencing the star chamber, this decision is peppered with implicit condemnations at an administration that has made a mockery of the United States Constitution, the separation of powers and Fourth Amendment.
*STATE SECRETS PRIVILEGE*
Excellent strategic decisions of the Plaintiffs helped avoid the perils of the state secrets privilege that previously doomed the claim of an individual who challenged extraordinary rendition performed by this administration. The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule developed to prevent the disclosure of information which may be detrimental to national security… the privilege belongs to the Government and must be asserted by it.
This privilege is set into two distinct categories, the espionage claim and the `reasonable danger posed to national security’ claim. If the Government asserts the privilege, then the Court must determine whether the circumstances are appropriate for the claim of privilege.
Where there is a strong showing of necessity, the claim of privilege should not be lightly accepted, but even the most compelling necessity cannot overcome the privilege if the court is ultimately satisfied that military secrets are at stake.” The Court took this opportunity to make its first slap at the administrations abuse of its executive authority and privilege,
Predictably, the War on Terror of this administration has produced a vast number of cases, in which the state secrets privilege has been invoked.
Thereafter, the Court rules that this privilege claim falls under 2nd type of State Secrets claim but fails to protect the NSA wiretapping program because the Plaintiffs have not sought any additional discovery but simply rely upon the public statements of this administration to prove the elements of their claims.
The Court notes:
The Bush Administration has repeatedly told the general public that there is a valid basis in law for the TSP.” Radio Address of President Bush.
“I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. Law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to Al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.”
In fact, Judge Taylor set out that the defendants filed both public affidavits of John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, and NSA Major General Richard Quirk, as well as “ex parte and in camera versions of its brief along with other classified information” attempting to further buttress the Government’s assertion of the states secrets privilege.
After finding that the Government had followed the appropriate procedure to assert the states secret privilege, the Court analyzed whether the `classified information’ was at all necessary to defend the claims of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs asserted that no secret information was needed to prove their claims, but the claims could be ruled upon solely based on the public disclosures and admissions of this administration.
Judge Taylor agreed:
the court has reviewed the classified information and is of the opinion that this information is not necessary to any viable defense to the” wire tapping program of the NSA.
The Court found that the administration had publicly admitted that:
(1) the (wire tapping) program exists;
(2) it operates without warrants;
(3) it targets communications where one party to the communication is outside the U.S., and the government has a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of Al Qaeda, affiliated with Al Qaeda, or a member of an organization affiliated with Al Qaeda, or working in support of Al Qaeda.
As the Government has on many occasions confirmed the veracity of these allegations, the state secrets privilege does not apply to this information… Plaintiffs are able to establish a prima facie case based solely on Defendants’ public admissions.”
The Court also found that the Plaintiffs had satisfied the need to show actual harm as well as a causal connection between the harm suffered and the program being challenged:
The Plaintiffs were able to establish that they were individually suffering `real and concrete harm’ as they were
`stifled in their ability to vigorously conduct research, interact with sources, talk with clients and, in the case of the attorney plaintiffs, uphold their oath of providing effective and ethical representations of their clients… Plaintiffs would be able to continue using the telephone and email in the execution of their professional responsibilities if the defendants were not undisputedly and admittedly conducting warrantless wiretaps of conversations.”" Again, the Court references the bad faith shown by this Administration:
the court finds Defendants’ argument that they cannot defend this case without the use of classified information to be disingenuous and without merit.” And so begins Civics 101, from a Federal Judge to a Presidential Administration that has acted as, and stated that, it operates above and beyond the law.
it was never the intent of the Framers to give the President such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The three separate branches of government were developed as a check and balance for one another. It is within the court’s duty to ensure that power is never “condensed into a single branch of government. We must always be mindful that when the president takes official action, the Court has the authority to determine whether he has acted within the law. ‘It remains one of the most vital functions of this Court to police with care the separation of powers. When structure fails, liberty is always in peril.’ Interestingly, after finding the state secrets privilege inapplicable and that the Plaintiffs did indeed present a case or controversy, Judge Taylor shows her hand in finding in favor of the Plaintiffs. Only then does the Court recite its evaluation of the substantive aspect of most of the claims. The Court follows with historical need for:
1. Congressional oversight of Governmental Electronic Surveillance;
2. the Fourth Amendment; and
3. the Separation of Powers;
while disabusing this Administration of its self-professed notion that it’s inherent powers far exceed those of Congress and the limits placed on the executive office by the Constitution.
HISTORY of ELECTRONC SURVEILLANCE
In 1967, Justice Stewart wrote for the Supreme Court,
`searches conducted without prior approval by a judge or magistrate were per se unreasonable under the fourth amendment.” Reacting to this opinion, Congress, in 1968, enacted Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control Act that required warrants and applications under oath for permission to make electronic interceptions of various communications. In fact, this statute allowed for post-interception warrants to be issued in certain emergency situations.
In 1976, the Congressional “`Church Committee’ disclosed that every president since 1946 had engaged in warrantless wiretaps in the name of national security, and that there had been numerous political abuses.”
In 1978, in response, Congress enacted FISA.
Subsequently, Title III was amended to state that
the FISA of 1978 shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance of foreign intelligence communications may be conducted.” In fact, for various emergency reasons, FISA authorizes the government to take an extension of time to conduct interception of communications before applying for post-interception authority.
FISA does not bar the administration’s NSA program. It just requires that this conduct eventually pass judicial muster through a warrant process. In fact, FISA allows these warrant applications to be posed to a secret court in order to safeguard the secrecy of the program for which the warrant is being requested.
*THE FOURTH AMENDMENT*
As the Civics Lesson continues, the Judge explains, with Revolutionary War perspective, the initial need and desire for the founding members of this great country to pass the Fourth Amendment:
“to assure that Executive abuses of the power to search would not continue in our new nation.”
Quoting Justice Powell, in what may well be a direct instruction to President Bush;
The Fourth Amendment does not contemplate the executive officers of Government as neutral and disinterested magistrates. Their duty and responsibility are to enforce the laws, to investigate, and to prosecute. But those charged with this investigative and prosecutorial duty should not be the sole judges of when to utilize constitutionally sensitive means in pursuing their tasks. The historical judgment, which the fourth amendment accepts, is that unreviewed executive discretion may yield too readily to pressures to obtain incriminating evidence and overlooking potential invasions of privacy and protected speech. Judge Taylor then hands President Bush’ advisers an easy-to-explain, four word definition for the Fourth Amendment:
reasonableness in all searches’
As well as a simple explanation of why the Executive Powers do not exceed the Constitution:
“the wiretapping program… has undisputedly been implemented without regard to FISA and of course the more stringent requirements of Title III, and obviously in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The President of the United States is himself created by that same Constitution.”
*SEPARATION OF POWERS*
Judge Taylor then has her Civics class move to the text known as the Federalist Papers.
the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Citing a historically important decision concerning executive power when the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution did not authorize the President to seize steel mills, the Court examined Executive Power:
the powers of the President are not fixed, but fluctuate, depending upon their junctures with the actions of Congress.” The Court decision explains the Executive Power in reference to three views:
President acted pursuant to express or implied authorizations:
power at maximum-zenith.
President acted in absence of Congressional authorization:
zone of twilight reliant upon only his own independent powers.
President acts incompatible with express or implied will of Congress:
power at lowest ebb, can only rely on his own Constitutional Powers
minus any Constitutional Powers of Congress over the matter.
Concluding this aspect of the civics class, Judge Taylor holds thatin this case the President has acted, undisputedly, as FISA forbids” and therefore, the President is acting incompatibly with Congressional will, at the lowest end of his powers.
These secret authorization orders must , … fail. They violate the Separation of Powers ordained by the very Constitution of which this President is a creature.”
*AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE (AUMF)*
The Court then disabuses the Administration of the notion that the so called inherent powers exceed the US Constitution.
“Although many cases hold that the President’s power to obtain foreign intelligence information is vast, none suggest that he is immune from Constitutional requirements.”
Citing recent Supreme Court precedent regarding enemy combatants, Hamdi v. Rumsfed, the Court recognized the need for defense of our Country, but not at all costs, and certainly not at the cost of the rights and privileges created by the United States Constitution.
it is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nation’s commitment to due process is most severely contested; and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad.
Concluding this aspect of the civics lesson, the Court, perhaps tongue planted firmly in cheek, states
`the Constitution of the United Stated must be followed … all `inherent powers’ must derive from the Constitution.”
This decision is concluded with a quote from Justice Warren:
Implicit in the term “national defense’ is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this Nation apart… It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of … those liberties … which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”
Who Am I Kidding? My Country Can Go Fuck Itself
When I look at that grand old flag, waving up there, big and proud in the breeze, my heart swells near to bursting, and a tear forms in my eye from thinking of all that it represents. Freedom. Glory. Tradition. For this land—the greatest on earth—is the land that I love, and may its song of liberty ring out from now until—what in the hell am I saying? This country and all its inhabitants can go take a flying fuck for all I care, honestly.
Sorry. That came out all wrong. Not what I meant at all. You see, loyalty to this nation is something I hold dear, just as my father did and his father before him, and all that shit. I mean, who cannot help but be filled with pride to think of our humble beginnings, knowing that we grew into the greatest democracy the world has ever known, even if the Browns couldn’t win a game to save their lives and you can’t get one moment of peace with all the noise these goddamn neighbors of mine are always making? You know, thinking of this nation’s past stirs something deep inside me.
Yeah. Real fucking deep.
What’s so great about this place anyway? I hate my job, I’m still in debt for a dishwasher I bought six years ago, and I haven’t had sex since the last Olympics. Land of the fricking free, huh? I spend an arm and a leg at the garage and my car still breaks down every other week. I started balding when I was 25, and no matter how cool it is, I sweat like a pig if I so much as stand up too fast. That doesn’t exactly sound like a City upon a Hill to me—what about you, huh? And at the end of the day, after all this aggravation and grief, what’s my big reward? I get to stare at something called Grey’s Anatomy that my wife just fucking loves so fucking much.
Never mind that my youngest kid’s got lice again.
All right, all right. I’m getting off track here. Sometimes I can get excited, but the fact is that this is the best country in the world. No matter what they say, it’s the truth. Ever since I was a schoolboy growing up in a small farming town, I’ve had a profound sense of honor and duty and belonging deep in my soul. Why, it seems like just yesterday that I’d doff my cap, place my hand on my heart, and recite those famous words: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of Jesus fucking Christ.
Screw America. Does America give a shit about my daughter’s dickhead boyfriend who smells like bacon fat and hair spray and probably has crabs? Hell no, it doesn’t. Does America care that a fucking battalion of squirrels is chewing through the walls of my attic and nothing can seem to stop them, not BB guns or rat poison? Nope. All America cares about is putting coffee stains on my best shirt, losing my ATM card, and giving me a defective cell phone that never gets voice mails until three days later and you have to lean out the living-room window to get rid of this stupid fucking popping sound.
I’m sorry. I’m probably just tired. In the mornings, I get these headaches like you wouldn’t believe.
Just think about the Statue of Liberty and what an enduring symbol of freedom and hope it is to the rest of the world. That’s what a good American thinks of, right? Not that shit-headed little brat who was poking me in the back as we waited to get on the ferry? No. Not that, or what assholes everyone in New York was. Or how long we had to wait at LaGuardia just to get our asses back to Cleveland where it was snowing like a motherfucker.
Because, as I was saying, patriotism is my lifeblood. My very essence. Red-blooded American patriotism. For America. America the beautiful. O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, like Ray Charles ever saw amber fucking anything. Amber waves of nimrods trying to cut in front of me at the supermarket, maybe. Yes, in the words of Francis Scott Key: “Aw, who gives a crap?” And, of course, the purple mountains’ majesty, though the last time I was in the mountains was when I visited my pain-in-the-ass sister and her clammy-handed husband and it was the worst weekend of my life.
I love America. I do! And when the proud eagle soars above all of creation, I get a lump in my throat, and everything like that. So fuck this. You know what I’m saying—democracy, loyalty, values. Et cetera, et cetera. You get it. You know the drill.
Attaturk put up a great post today that describes how the Big Money fools expect (and GET) a hand-out, yet us, the ones who are bailing these Big Money asshats out, can’t get healthcare that would take away profits from the useless health insurance companies. We can’t get a decent “bail-out” for those bogus loan deals (those of us who may have been bitten… I’m a lucky one).
The thing that amazes me is that when I travel around the SE and speak with engineers and managers and educated people, they can’t seem to grasp this. The brainwashing is so deep, that they cannot understand that it is only the Big Money corrupt rich folks, a very minute few, who gain, while the rest of us suffer in the long run.
Universal Health Care is socialism! Somewhere a white guy is complaining about welfare queens, and our $12 billion a month occupation is a battle against a foe so dangerous they always lose (especially upper management) yet can never be defeated. Because freedom rocks, and capitalism rolls.
For years now we’ve been told that socialism is the worse thing ever, it’s like a million Hitlers on roller skates, topless and singing Wagner in a new Stephen Sondheim play presented as a viral video on You Tube.
Unless, of course, you are the archetype of capitalism, then socialism is awesome!
Never do I want to hear again from my conservative friends about how brilliant capitalists are, how much they deserve their seven-figure salaries and how government should keep its hands off the private economy.
The Wall Street titans have turned into a bunch of welfare clients. They are desperate to be bailed out by government from their own incompetence, and from the deregulatory regime for which they lobbied so hard…
It’s just fine to make it harder for the average Joe to file for bankruptcy, as did that wretched bankruptcy bill passed by Congress in 2005 at the request of the credit card industry. But the big guys are “too big to fail,” because they could bring us all down with them.
Enter the federal government, the institution to which the wealthy are not supposed to pay capital gains or inheritance taxes. Good God, you don’t expect these people to trade in their BMWs for Saturns, do you?
Thank goodness while the economy sinks at our feet and we dump monopoly money into occupations that don’t accomplish crap our media focuses on the important things, like whether a black man is just too damned scary to preserve such admirable policies.
So I read in the McClatchy online edition yesterday that the Bush admin wants someone to do something about those godless liberals who spew foul language on America’s airwaves, hoping to make America a puritanical “Christian” nation, it would seem. Lord knows their spiritually pure adherance to language rules is respectable and a point to mimic… right?
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will again be weighing political punishment for dirty words, this time involving undeleted expletives exuberantly uttered by the singers Bono and Cher.
On Monday, in a nod to the Bush administration, the high court agreed to consider whether broadcasters can be disciplined for airing “fleeting” obscenities. The vividly rendered First Amendment conflict becomes the latest case pitting free speech rights against government efforts to protect innocent ears.
“A particularly graphic utterance can serve as a first blow that can cause immediate damage,” Solicitor General Paul Clement argued in a legal brief.
The Bush administration supports a Federal Communications Commission rule imposed after Bono and Cher swore briefly in separate live television appearances. Broadcasters say they should not face discipline for obscenities uttered in passing.
In January 2003, during NBC’s live broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards, Bono of the Irish rock group U2 accepted the Best Original Song award by declaring, “This is really, really (expletive) brilliant. Really, really great.”
FCC regulators initially determined that Bono’s use of what officials discretely termed “the F-word” was not indecent because the singer briefly used it as an adjective in conveying enthusiasm. The politically appointed FCC commissioners thought otherwise, concluding that the “core meaning” of the word associated with sexual intercourse was patently offensive even if used only briefly.
In a related episode, Fox Television aired the 2002 Billboard Music Awards in which Cher received an artist achievement award. The gratified singer and high school dropout from Fresno, Calif, orginally known as Cherliyn Sarkisian, took the occasion to denounce her many nay-sayers.
“I’ve also had critics for the past 40 years saying that I was on my way out every year,” Cher declared. “Right. So (F-word) ‘em. I still have a job and they don’t.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but one thing that I simply cannot tolerate is a hypocrite who blatantly does what he condemns another for. In the Bush Admin case, this is virtually everything they encounter. Libby gets jail time, off scott-free. We condemn those that torture, but we torture and some are proud of the fact. Bush blames the Dems for obstructing progress on a variety of idiotic and unlawful ideas, but is the first to veto anything that can give light and understanding to his lawlessness.
In this case, I find it the lowest bit of hypocrisy, for we have so many instances of these “Men of God” speaking in some of the worst gutter language imaginable, but they want to make sure that broadcasters (and Bono and Cher) are held accountable for EXACTLY the SAME THING they have done.
They have ZERO shame.
So, I gathered this list from OpEdNews of Bush Admin Cursing fits. You tell me who the “Man-of-God” is:
“I can’t think of anything, any mission, more important for a political party or for our candidate than the mission of restoring honor and dignity to the Oval Office.”
- Dick Cheney, speech during a Philadelphia campaign rally, Aug. 4, 2000
“There’s Adam Clymer, major-league asshole from The New York Times.”
- George W. Bush, before a speech during a Naperville, Ill., campaign rally, Sept. 4, 2000
“Go fuck yourself!”
- Dick Cheney to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-Vt.] on the Senate floor, June 22, 2004
“You fucking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We’re not going to forget this.” - Bush to then Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Al Hunt in a Dallas restaurant in front of other diners, including Hunt’s wife, Judy Woodruff, and 4-year-old son, 1986 “When [then President Bush Sr.] became increasingly displeased with the entropy around him [during the 1992 campaign]….that unhappiness was conveyed in rather salty language to senior aides by George W.” - the late J.H. Hatfield, Fortunate Son, an excellent, revealing book that Bush tried to censor during the 2000 campaign “In the summer of 1999, [conservative talk show host Tucker] Carlson wrote a piece for Talk magazine on then-Governor Bush that wasn’t taken very well by his staff, because Carlson noted that Bush used profanity, something that apparently isn’t appreciated by [certain] voters. Bush’s campaign deputy finance chairman, Jack Oliver, called Carlson after the piece was published and screamed profanities. Carlson observed that the Bush team covered up any and all references to Bush using profanities, and many accused Carlson of lying, that Bush never says the ‘F-word,’ even though he does all the time, according to Carlson.”
- Scott Spicciati, Editor, Aggressive Voice, Oct. 18, 2003
- Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to author and talk show host Al Franken during the April 2003 White House Correspondents Dinner “In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by [Bush] who declares his decisions to be ‘God’s will’ and then tells aides to ‘fuck over’ anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration…. [Bush] who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them ‘fucking assholes’ in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others.”
- Doug Thompson and Teresa Hampton, Capitol Hill Blue, June 4, 2004
Now I don’t know about you, but if you have been washing your kids mouths out with soap for saying “shit”, what do you recommend we do with these nasty bastards?
I just love it when families get to bond at work.
from www.theonion.com posted with vodpod
From Ali at Think Progress:
In a Friday interview with the Stamford Advocate, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — one of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) foreign policy advisers — said he would attend the Republican National Convention this summer:
Friday, Lieberman said he will attend the Republican National Convention this summer, “if Senator McCain thinks it will be helpful to be there in some capacity.” […]
“I am not going to attend the Democratic Convention for obvious reasons,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman, whose Democratic superdelegate status was stripped earlier this year, also added that he’d likely support Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) against his Democratic challenger. “I am going to wait and see, but let me just say Chris Shays is a great congressman,” Lieberman said.
I harp on the doom that the Bush policies have wrought on us a good bit. I am no financial analyst, much less expert, so you can take anything I say as pure observation. But, does it take a money man to figure out that what we have been doing is devastating to our economy… an economy that was built off of our manufacturing base (specifically general industry and the automakers). These financial “geniuses” wanted us to shift our paradigm and become an “information age” and “financial sector” based economy and duped most everyone that it will work.
However, greed kills and it has killed our economy, along with countless citizens here and abroad.
There is one place where they thought some of this will be made up (military sector) and for them, boy are things “booming”:
Let’s take a hard look at defense spending
Few things in life are as predictable as cost overruns on giant new military projects. Except for maybe another big increase in the Pentagon budget.
Both happened recently, and there was little outcry in Washington or along the campaign trail. That’s troubling, given that domestic programs are being squeezed, deficits are growing and lawmakers are clashing over President Bush’s tax cuts.
But nobody tries to talk down defense spending in a time of war, even if the soaring spending isn’t due to the war.
Instead of shrugging off the relentless march of the military industrial complex, how about a clear-eyed assessment of the real threats to the country and some hard calls about what we can afford?
A good place to start would be with the Lightning II joint strike fighter, the most expensive aircraft program ever and the pride of Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. About 4,000 local Lockheed employees work on the Lightning II, a next-generation fighter that will replace the F-16 for the United States and many allies.
Last week, a government report projected that the price on the Lightning II, also known as the F-35, will grow by $38 billion and that development could take up to 27 months longer than expected. Since development began, in late 2001, the JSF’s price has grown 45 percent, to $337 billion, even while the number of aircraft to be produced has fallen.
The Government Accountability Office said the cost of developing, building and maintaining 2,443 aircraft — the number currently projected for the U.S. armed services — will top $950 billion.
That number, like the Pentagon budget request for next year, $515 billion, is hard to put into perspective.
Richard Betts, a foreign-policy expert, author and professor at Columbia University, offers a practical way to think about the subject.
“To ask whether the United States can afford higher levels of military spending is stupid,” Betts wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine. “It can, and if necessary, it would. The problem is that there are other important things that the United States wants and can afford, too, and a dollar spent on one thing cannot be spent on another.”
He points to the State Department, whose role in foreign aid and peacekeeping missions is growing more vital today, and says it’s been “comparatively starved.” Its $42 billion budget is a small fraction of Pentagon spending.
“These numbers appear badly unbalanced,” Betts wrote, especially when many of today’s threats stem from political and economic instability and anti-American sentiment.
From 2001 to 2008, spending on defense and related programs grew at an average annual rate of 8 percent after adjusting for inflation and population, according to a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington.
That compares with average annual growth of 2 percent for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the research group says. And domestic discretionary spending rose just 0.3 percent annually during the period.
Discretionary programs include education, highways, transportation, biomedical research, law enforcement and public health services.
People might assume that the rapid growth in defense spending stems from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and from fighting terrorism. But that’s only part of it. Those initiatives are funded in supplemental bills and outside the Pentagon; strip them out, and, the center says, defense outlays have still grown 4.8 percent annually in real terms.
Many big weapons systems, including Lockheed’s F-22 aircraft, aren’t factors in the current conflicts, but military leaders are always pushing for more. The Air Force, for instance, has been arguing publicly for more F-22s even as the defense secretary says enough are in the pipeline.
It doesn’t make sense to hit the brakes on the F-35, because the U.S. needs to maintain air supremacy in anticipation of threats that aren’t evident now — and aren’t known to the public. But that goal shouldn’t preclude us from reconsidering the number of aircraft needed, especially after the impact of 9-11.
Last year, a study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington said that current conflicts raise “fundamental questions about the need” for the F-35. It noted the emphasis on ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it said that more long-range aircraft will be needed to address potential threats from China and Russia, often cited as the rationale for big defense programs.
“There is reason to worry,” the report said, that F-35 costs will crowd out competing programs.
The report went to some lengths to say it’s not proposing specific changes on the F-35. Rather, it wants to promote a dialogue about ways to reduce costs and still add the plane’s important new capabilities.
The report evaluated the benefits of the Air Force’s halving its order and the Navy’s canceling the special model it needs, which is most expensive. It says fewer F-35s are needed, in part because today’s guided missiles allow multiple attacks from a single sortie.
Co-author Steven Kosiak said few members of Congress or the military embraced the idea of exploring F-35 options. One reason is that all eyes are on Iraq and its supplemental funding of $189 billion.
When presidential candidates talk about saving money on defense, Iraq is the biggest target and the most important political issue.
“We’re in a hot war, and there’s not a lot of precedent for cutting defense,” Kosiak said. “When the country is at war, even a discussion of future systems won’t get that far.”
We deserve better, because there may be a much better way to do this — to balance present and future military needs and national defense and domestic programs.
Maybe next year.
The Republican Party is so very tainted. Notice how those that are retiring can loosen their collar and speak truth, but those who are not ready to retire (or see the writing on the wall that they are about to lose their seat… BIG) are still defending the indefensible.
There are those of us that have seen this deterioration right before our eyes and for the life of me, I cannot understand why their very own self-protection doesn’t kick in and they begin to point out what the Bush Doctrine has done to their party.
To put it plainly (and as the politicalscribe expressed to me), the THUG Party will be a non-entity, really, until, at least, 2016. The fact that they have been too stupid to realize what was being done to them and to head it off proves that it is party affiliation that is president over patriotism and love for country. Dems are little better, but they have not allowed themselves to be totally taken over (there are still people like Kucinich, Wexler, etc, thank goodness). They need to purge the likes of Pelosi and Reid and all the other capitulating Dems, but that is another story.
So listen for the bitching to begin from those that some semblance of realization to their party’s plight. Too bad, dickheads.
“The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they’d take it off the shelf,” said retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III(Va.), who chaired the NRCC for four years earlier this decade.
The Washington Post (h/t Steve Benen at C&L) has an article up where it breaks down this slow realization that the THUGS are arriving at:
Republicans See Storm Clouds Gathering
Week of Bad News Highlights Difficult Challenges for GOP in Fall Elections
While all eyes were on the presidential campaign and the demise of New York Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer (D) last week, Republicans on Capitol Hill were suffering a run of bad news that could hold dire implications for the campaign season.
It started with the loss last weekend of the seat held for two decades by former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert
(R-Ill.). It got worse when Republicans lost potentially strong challengers to Democratic senators in South Dakota
and New Jersey
, and failed to field anyone to oppose the reelection bid of Sen. Mark Pryor
(D-Ark.).The latest blow came with the revelation that the former treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)
had allegedly diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars — and possibly as much as $1 million — from the organization’s depleted coffers to his own bank accounts.
If Republicans needed any more evidence of how difficult this fall may be, the past week had it all, analysts said. The Illinoisrace demonstrated new levels of disaffection, the party’s efforts to go on offense elsewhere were thwarted by recruiting failures, and the NRCC scandal will divert campaign resources and could frighten off badly needed contributors, they said.
Then the “money quote”:
It’s no mystery,” said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). “You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He’s just killed the Republican brand.”
What is obvious to me and most “real” political analysts is that it is so far gone that they can’t do anything to save themselves. This is the height of stupidity, but the best thing that could happen to America at this point in time. Now, if we can stop the Dems from becoming what they replaced…
Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan analyst of congressional politics, said: “The math is against them. The environment is against them. The money is against them. This is one of those cycles that if you’re a Republican strategist, you just want to go into the bomb shelter.”
Hat tip to Jack Large, the poet laureate of the Redstate Revolt who saw this at the Huffington Post and without any B’Man rants:
Obama’s Minister Committed “Treason” But When My Father Said the Same Thing He Was a Republican Hero
When Senator Obama’s preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father — Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer — denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.
Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father’s footsteps) rail against America’s sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the “murder of the unborn,” has become “Sodom” by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, “under the judgment of God.” They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama’s minister’s shouted “controversial” comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.
Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation’s sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father’s sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our “stand” by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American.
Consider a few passages from my father’s immensely influential America-bashing book A Christian Manifesto. It sailed under the radar of the major media who, back when it was published in 1980, were not paying particular attention to best-selling religious books. Nevertheless it sold more than a million copies.
Here’s Dad writing in his chapter on civil disobedience:
If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]… then at a certain point force is justifiable.
In the United States the materialistic, humanistic world view is being taught exclusively in most state schools… There is an obvious parallel between this and the situation in Russia [the USSR]. And we really must not be blind to the fact that indeed in the public schools in the United States all religious influence is as forcibly forbidden as in the Soviet Union….
There does come a time when force, even physical force, is appropriate… A true Christian in Hitler’s Germany and in the occupied countries should have defied the false and counterfeit state. This brings us to a current issue that is crucial for the future of the church in the United States, the issue of abortion… It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God’s law it abrogates it’s authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation…
Was any conservative political leader associated with Dad running for cover? Far from it. Dad was a frequent guest of the Kemps, had lunch with the Fords, stayed in the White House as their guest, he met with Reagan, helped Dr. C. Everett Koop become Surgeon General. (I went on the 700 Club several times to generate support for Koop).
Dad became a hero to the evangelical community and a leading political instigator. When Dad died in 1984 everyone from Reagan to Kemp to Billy Graham lamented his passing publicly as the loss of a great American. Not one Republican leader was ever asked to denounce my dad or distanced himself from Dad’s statements.
Take Dad’s words and put them in the mouth of Obama’s preacher (or in the mouth of any black American preacher) and people would be accusing that preacher of treason. Yet when we of the white Religious Right denounced America white conservative Americans and top political leaders, called our words “godly” and “prophetic” and a “call to repentance.”
We Republican agitators of the mid 1970s to the late 1980s were genuinely anti-American in the same spirit that later Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (both followers of my father) were anti-American when they said God had removed his blessing from America on 9/11, because America accepted gays. Falwell and Robertson recanted but we never did.
My dad’s books denouncing America and comparing the USA to Hitler are still best sellers in the “respectable” evangelical community and he’s still hailed as a prophet by many Republican leaders. When Mike Huckabee was recently asked by Katie Couric to name one book he’d take with him to a desert island, besides the Bible, he named Dad’s Whatever Happened to the Human Race? a book where Dad also compared America to Hitler’s Germany.
The hypocrisy of the right denouncing Obama, because of his minister’s words, is staggering. They are the same people who argue for the right to “bear arms” as “insurance” to limit government power. They are the same people that (in the early 1980s roared and cheered when I called down damnation on America as “fallen away from God” at their national meetings where I was keynote speaker, including the annual meeting of the ultraconservative Southern Baptist convention, and the religious broadcasters that I addressed.
Today we have a marriage of convenience between the right wing fundamentalists who hate Obama, and the “progressive” Clintons who are playing the race card through their own smear machine. As Jane Smiley writes in the Huffington Post “[The Clinton's] are, indeed, now part of the ‘vast right wing conspiracy.’ (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-smiley/im-already-against-the-n_b_90628.html )
Both the far right Republicans and the stop-at-nothing Clintons are using the “scandal” of Obama’s preacher to undermine the first black American candidate with a serious shot at the presidency. Funny thing is, the racist Clinton/Far Right smear machine proves that Obama’s minister had a valid point. There is plenty to yell about these days.
Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of “CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back
|Dear Common Dreamer,
If you’re like me, you want to make sure your vote doesn’t support torture.
A growing group of legislators wants Congress to take a stand against Bush’s use of torture – and give voters the information we need to ensure America is never disgraced by torture again.
Let’s force Congress to take a stand! Urge your representative to co-sponsor and promote the American Anti-Torture Act.
Since the War on Terror began in 2001, detainees in the “care” of American forces have been urinated on, doused with phosphoric acid, sodomized with batons, had their lungs forcibly filled with water, shipped abroad to even more brutal regimes, and so much worse. That’s not my America. My America Doesn’t Torture!
A vote on the American Anti-Torture Act would restore our ideals and reputation in the world – and would identify proponents of torture for all voters to see. Any member of Congress who refuses to actively oppose torture has no place in Washington – and no place on a ballot.
We must ensure that no Administration – present or future – allow torture to disgrace us again. Help us recruit more co-sponsors in Congress today!
Congress failed its duty to check and balance the White House, but our representatives cannot ignore their duty to listen to the voters. Let’s remind them. Please, act today.
Pass this email along to your friends to multiply your impact. Thank you for your actions.
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