Archive for the ‘right wing lies’ Category

A Genius, A Saint, and SCOTUS Agree: Conspiracies Exist!

January 28, 2008

The right wing spent the 1950s trying to convince the nation that it was threatened by a vast world wide communist conspiracy. Now the right wing is trying to convince the nation that conspiracies don’t exist at all! Right wingers have targeted Tin Foil Hatters for ridicule when it was not so long ago that the term applied better to them! Nevertheless, a Catholic saint, the world`s greatest physicist, and hundreds, possibly thousands of SCOTUS decisions and scholarly, legal articles all say: conspiracies exist!

The right wing, in fact, loves “conspiracy theories”: the world wide communist conspiracy, the world-wide conspiracy of secular humanists, the world wide conspiracy of evolutionists, darwinists, and materialists, the world-wide conspiracy of terrorists (al Qaeda), the world wide conspiracy of labor and trade unionists, the world wide conspiracy of abortionists, the world wide conspiracy of nattering nabobs of negativism. In the fifties, we were expected to believe that there was a world wide conspiracy to add fluoridation to municipal water supplies. It was about the same time that proto-Ron Paul types were warning of a world wide conspiracy of international bankers. There is still a dire threat to our “children” by those evil, secular humanists! Gasp!

We are expected to believe in al Qaeda but not to believe that there was a conspiracy of robber barons to seize monopoly control of railroads leading west. We are expected to believe that a rag tag conspiracy of failed, Arab pilots perped 911 but not that there was a conspiracy by J.P. Morgan et al to control US banking, or John D. Rockefeller to control US oil production, or a conspiracy by Andrew Carnegie to control US steel production. We are expected to believe that Saddam Hussein had conspiratorial connections to 911 terrorists, but we are not expected to believe that the GOP stole the elections of 2000 and 2003 or that the GOP had anything do with the gang of “brownshirts” who were, in fact, financed by the Bush campaign. Only the right wing gets to indulge conspiracy theories.

A “Saint” in death, St. Thomas More was in life Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. A lawyer and a scholar, More is read and analyzed today. If More were time warped to the present time, he would look around him and find in the Military/Industrial complex a familiar cabal of liars, graft-takers, and conspirators.

So God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely, without fear of losing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be.

Of the Religions in Utopia, St. Thomas More

The bolding is mine. More, some 400 years on, leaves us an accurate description of the Military/Industrial complex, most certainly, a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

The GOP must now think this brilliant genius, this Saint by Catholic reckoning, a “tin foil hatter”. But it was not so long ago that rabid righters had a different view of More. It was in the late 90s that these wing-nuts, hell-bent on impeaching Bill Clinton, dragged out the corpse of St. Thomas More. It would give their witch hunt an imprimatur of legitimacy and scholarship, lipstick on a pig! Mssrs Henry Hyde and David Schippers, were fond of quoting More but only as he was portrayed in an admittedly great film, A Man for All Seasons by Sir Robert Bolt. Here’s an example of how Kenneth Starr mangled More and, in the process, proved himself a mediocre intellect. The following excerpt from Starr’s interview with Diane Sawyer:

Kenneth Starr:

Well, I love the letter and the spirit of the law, but it`s the letter of the law that protects us all. And, you know, St. Thomas Moore, Sir Thomas Moore put it so elegantly, you know, in A Man For All Seasons. He took the law very seriously and said, `That`s what protects us. It`s not the will of a human being. It`s not Henry VIII`s will. Henry VIII is under the law. We are all equal under the law.`

Sorry, Mr. Starr, no where in the play A Man For All Seasons did the character of Sir Thomas More say anything resembling that.

In fact, More defended the obedience to “…man`s law, not God`s” [that makes More a secular humanist] and never made reference to either Henry VIII’s law by name or description. The actual exchange that both David Schippers and Starr are both so fond of misquoting is as follows:

Roper: So now you`d give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get at the Devil?

Roper: I`d cut down every law in England to do that.

More: Oh! (advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you –where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? (He leaves him) This country�s planted thick with laws —man’s laws, not God’s [emphasis mine]–and if you cut them down –and you�re just the man to do it –d`you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I`d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety`s sake.

And, in yet another memorable exchange:

Margaret More: Father, that man’s bad.

Sir Thomas More: There’s no law against that.

William Roper: There is: God’s law.

Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.

Of course, the dialogue above was written by Robert Bolt. But if you want to read the original More you will find comments equally biting, equally witty that will most certainly curl the hair of modern right wing reactionaries and intellectual gnomes! More, they will charge, is a liberal, a socialist, and (gasp!!!!) —a liberal!

But other brilliant folk, specifically, the greatest physicist since Newton, spoke eloquently and absolutely beyond the piss poor abilities of right wing idiots to refute:

The men who possess real power in this country have no intention of ending the cold war.”

–Albert Einstein

Conspiracy theories are most vociferously denounced by conspirators. Conspirators exist if conspiracists do not. Conspirators have a lot riding on this issue –their very lives if they get caught! Traitors to this nation’s Constitution, right-wing subversives who have, in fact, waged war on the citizens of this nation are subject to prosecution under the laws of this nation which recognize –as a matter of law –that conspiracies exist! High treason exists! War Crimes exist! Crimes against humanity exist! I have the laws of this nation, the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles to prove it! Moreover, I know and have already named the culprits on this blog!

Now –let’s put this issue to rest. Here is a specific example of how the topic of how the concept of “conspiracy” is handled by US Codes, in particular “conspiracy” in a political sense.

Section 2384. Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Section 2383. Rebellion or insurrection

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

US Codes

Who remembers the “Brooks Brothers Riot” that had the effect of stopping a court-ordered recount of votes in the state of Florida in the year 2000? That “riot” had been transported to Florida, all-expenses paid by the Bush campaign. It was the intention of this retinue to “attack” the recounters. The strategy was obvious: stop the recounts before Al Gore could pull ahead. This conspiracy of the Bush campaign was, in effect, a coup d’etat, a violation of US Codes, a conspiracy against the lawful, constitutional and orderly transfer of executive power. A case of Seditious Conspiracy? I believe that case should be made.

Conspiracies exist, OK? There is much more at: Findlaw: Cases and Codes> Supreme Court Opinions [if, for any reason, these links don’t work, search: Cases and Codes, choose “supreme court opinions”, search terms: conspiracy or conspiracies. Same below]

When you are done there, check Findlaw: Legal Articles re: Conspiracy

That�s a helluva lot of ink, time, and labor about something that does not exist.

A book pushed on the internet proposes to teach you how to “Outwit, outmock and outrage conservatives this election season!” I cannot recommend this book. Consider the following “don’t” from the book:

It�s tempting to believe there are sinister conservative forces engaged in grand, diabolical schemes (e.g., the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11, bin Laden is a CIA operative, and Dick Cheney is an evil cyborg). Don�t bother going there. There are plenty of good arguments to make without bringing in the vast conspiracy of little green men on the grassy knoll. And besides, as anyone who has worked in government will tell you, the government isn�t competent enough to pull off a decent conspiracy.

Outwit, outmock and outrage conservatives this election season!

With “liberals” like this –who needs enemies? The quote misstates every charge made against Bush, Cheney or the “vast right wing conspiracy” in general. It trivializes real crimes for which there is evidence that would stand up in court. It diminishes the magnitude of real, specific and provable violations of US Codes –capital crimes –for which there is probable cause to try George W. Bush right now! It obscures real issues by misstating them, the strawman fallacy. Normally, I ignore crap of this sort, and if I had not been so sick of fuzzy, fallacious, stupid thinking on this point, I would not bother. Whoever wrote this drivel is trying to be cute –but isn’t . For example, I have never, ever –in my life –heard anyone, at any time put forward the idea that there were “little green men on the grassy knoll”.

Now –let’s consider just one of the many holes in Bush’s official conspiracy of 911, a failed theory because it violates Occam’s Razor, raising more questions than it answers. Following is a story about how the government’s own cover up raises more questions. If the Government’s “official conspiracy” of 911 were true, the FBI would have no reason to cover up flight data from Flights 77, the Pentagon crash, and Flight 93, the flight said by Donald Rumsfeld to have been shot down by a missile.

FBI Conceals Flight Data Recorder Info That Could Confirm Registry ID’s Of 2 9/11 Planes

A December 8, 2007 Freedom of Information Act request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seeking the release of all data contained by the Solid State Flight Data Recorders recovered from the crash scenes of American Airlines flight 77 and United Airlines flight 93, has been denied. The data sought, would presumably confirm the commercial flight histories and thus the federal registry identifications of N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), already provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, obtained by a December 28, 2007 FOIA release. (See BTS release letter)

The FDR data requested of the FBI, was that which would presumably reveal the identity of flights occurring just before the final 9/11 flights (presumably matching flight history data provided by the BTS, for the said aircraft), carried out by N644AA (AA 77) and N591UA (UA 93), 2 of the 4 federally registered aircraft reportedly used to carry out the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. An appeal indicating that the requested records are unrelated to the events of September 11, 2001 and thus cannot interfere with 9/11 enforcement proceedings (indicated in refusal notice), is pending.

Addendum: several other cites have picked up this article. On at least one, the Findlaw searches above did not work. They work here for me. If, for any reason, they don’t work for you, please leave a comment and I will try to track down the problem.

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Exit Polls: Obama Won New Hampshire

January 11, 2008

Corporations control America’s elections with secrecy and criminal fraud. Your vote means absolutely nothing! American Democracy is dead! It’s nothing less than an insidious corporate revolution, an insidious subversion by corporatist vote snatchers. In less tolerant times, such culprits might hang. Perhaps, they should today.

Once again there is an “unexplainable” and a highly improbable descrepancy between exit polling and balloting. According to New Hampshire exit polls, Barack Obama won the New Hampshire primary 39% to 35%. In every other count, the exit polls have been spot on! Once again, questions arise about the credibility of Diebold voting machine, indeed, the credibility of the electorial process itself.

Here are the exit poll results at 8:01 PM when the polls closed and here is a chart with the final tabulation.

With voting over in New Hampshire, the big network exit poll is out and according to Fox News it shows:

Democratic candidates:

Obama 39%
Clinton 34%
Edwards 18%

Republican candidates:

McCain 35%
Romney 30%
Huckabee 13%

Both races are too close to call – and it looks like both Obama and McCain have only a slim lead based on these polls.

Guardian Unlimited, Exit polls: Obama and McCain ahead

NH: “First in the nation” (with corporate controlled secret vote counting) By Nancy Tobi 07 Jan 2008

Diebold has changed its name if not its stripes. It is now called “Premier”. Premier what? Number one in criminal fraud!! How much longer are we going to put up with this before this gang of crooks is hauled before a Federal Grand Jury to testify under oath? If Antonin Scalia could get away with citing the Fourteenth Amendment as reasons to hear Bush v Gore, then a Federal Grand Jury should begin a Federal investigation of all national elections since Bush stole the White House.

NH: “First in the nation” (with corporate controlled secret vote counting)

81% of New Hampshire ballots are counted in secret by a private corporation named Diebold Election Systems (now known as “Premier”). The elections run on these machines are programmed by one company, LHS Associates, based in Methuen, MA. We know nothing about the people programming these machines, and we know even less about LHS Associates. We know even less about the secret vote counting software used to tabulate 81% of our ballots. People like to say “but we use paper ballots! They can always be counted by hand!”

But they’re not. They’re counted by Diebold. Only a candidate can request a hand recount, and most never do so. And a rigged election can easily become a rigged recount, as we learned in Ohio 2004, where two election officials were convicted of rigging their recount. (Is it just a funny coincidence that Diebold spokesman is named Mr. Riggall?)

We need to get the count right on election night. Right now, nobody in New Hampshire, except the programmers at LHS Associates and Diebold Election Systems, knows if we are getting it right or wrong. Our state officials and representatives know this. They learned all about it when computer security specialists Harri Hursti and Bruce Odell testified before the legislative subcommittee on e-voting in September 2007 (Hursti’s testimony is shown in this video). Scientific reports about the vulnerabilities and risks with Diebold optical scanners have been available since 2003.

NH: “First in the nation” with corporate controlled secret vote counting

As News Sophisticate mentioned in the comments section, Sen. Chuck Hagel has admitted owning voting machine company McCarthy Group”. There is more information at Sourcewatch: Diebold Election Systems

If nothing is done to stop venal corporations like Diebold/Premier, American Democracy is dead! The Republic died with Bush v Gore and nothing has been done to resurrect it. We are left with a corporate dictatorship. Americans, you had been free but now you are slaves to the corporate Moloch. A revolution won’t happen –sadly –because no one has the courage or the stomach for it.

See also: If your money was in a bank which had the safe guards of a “voting machine”, you would be dead broke in a week!

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How to Succeed in GOP Politics Without Really Trying

December 16, 2007

Rule number one: lie your ass off. Mitt Romney exemplifies this perfectly when he states that George W. Bush has kept us safe for six years. Romney, a practiced GOP liar, was not caught crossing his fingers. Learn from the masters and practice in front of a mirror like Ventriloquists.

It does not matter to you that terrorism is worse under Bush as it has been worse under every other GOP regime since WWII. Your goal is to exploit terrorism and get votes. And if you’re going to exploit the issue properly check out FBI stats compiled by the conservative Brookings Institution. Those stats will prove what you, as a good gopper, must lie about: Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes. Another story you must ignore is: The Heritage Foundation Picks a Fight with the Cowboy. Learn the facts and ignore them. Think about it: if terrorism should actually decrease, how the hell are you going to exploit it? Your assignment as a gopper, therefore, is to lie about this issue.

Forget Mr. Smith Goes to Washington! Mr. Smith talked about real issues. You must never do that. Real issues are reported by terrorist loving commies and (eeek!!!) liberals like the Huffington Post that dares to publicize a fact that, as a GOPPER, you must ignore or lie about: The Rich Are Getting Richer Faster. For a gopper, that’s not an issue, it’s a birthright as an elite.

If you wish to be a successful GOP candidate, you simply must get this through your head: it doesn’t matter that the rich are not only getting richer but they are getting richer faster, presumably even faster than they did under Unca Ronnie Reagan who made them feel good about being greedy, ruthless bastards. What you really need to know to get their money into your coffers is a simple principle that even a gopper should understand: always promise more tax cuts. Clue: that’s how you buy their vote. It’s the perfect pay off. Therefore, always promise more tax cuts for the rich.

It worked for Ronald Reagan, the cue card reader, and it worked for George W. Bush who can’t even read a cue card. Unca Ronnie didn’t care that the tax cuts would not trickle down. He would be out of office or in the ground when the time came to pay the piper. Truthfully, the piper is being paid now. But Unca Ronnie is not around to take the heat, so don’t sweat the small stuff. As a GOP candidate, what you want is a vote now! Mitt Romney understands this. That’s why he repeats the same tired lie: Unca Ronnie’s tax cut caused “the economy to soar!” Now –that’s what goppers call knowing how to pull off the big lie. Learn it well and you too can be a successful gopper candidate!

Hold your nose and kiss up to the Religious Right –especially when the right is wrong. Pretend to be a God-fearin’ Christian. Be seen in church! But don’t fall asleep! If you are afraid you might, learn to sleep with your eyes wide open. It will appear that you are enraptured or having a religious experience.

Here’s a technique that GWB has down pat: pretend to pray while grimacing or pulling weird faces that convey to fundies a “profound experience”. If this is difficult, try imagining that you are constipated. This should come naturally for the mentally constipated GOP. Getting into character is the essence of method acting.

Give serious consideration to the proposition: why bother winning elections when you can steal them? Stealing an election eliminates guess work, makes your consultants look like geniuses, and gets you into a public office where you can steal a lot more than just votes! Comprende?

Subscribe to what goppers like to call a core “value”. Sure, sure, it’s all bullshit but, until you’ve looked at the research, you have no idea how many potential GOP voters will fall for it. It doesn’t really matter what sins you commit or crimes you perpetrate if you have the votes to make it all legal after you’ve already done it. That works for Bush! Larry Craig, however, requires another strategy. He must be publicly contrite so that he can get back into the stall and do his foot taping “thing”.

Don’t waste time with issues. Smear your opponent instead. Corollary: it doesn’t matter whether or not what you’ve said is true. Just keep repeating it. Eventually, you will come to believe it yourself. Goppers like to feel good about themselves even when they shouldn’t.

Appeal to the lowest common denominator. Give the unwashed masses bread and circuses on the one hand, rob them of real jobs on the other. The last thing you want is a lot of working stiffs trying to join your country club. Keeping the riff raff out depends on how you perform. Making good on campaign promises doesn’t matter as long as you can exploit a national emergency where all is either forgiven or forgotten, preferably forgotten. Make sure you get video taped in New Orleans –then get the hell outta there before you get your get your hands dirty or your feet wet.

Learn the art of lying from the master: Ronald Reagan. He managed to bankrupted the nation but millions still believe he was a fiscal conservative. Mitt Romney is still getting a lot of milage by raising Unca from the dead. It’s bound to be worth a few votes and, if Huckabee manages to out lie him, he’ll need everyone of them. Huckabee has learned his lessons well. On three occasions, he claimed to have had a theology degree. He didn’t, then or now.

It doesn’t matter that every big media conglomerate is now owned by corporate cronies of the GOP. That means that they are on your side, if and only if, you play their game, their way. Nevetheless, demonize the media! Let them take the heat for your screw ups! Put their feet to the fire. They will forgive you because they understand “the show”. They’re in on it, for cryin’ out loud. The “folk”, who don’t understand “the show”, will idolize you. With FOX on your side, who needs a PR firm?

At last, have your picture taken with Bush. If he’s not available, a cardboard cutout is every bit as good!

Finally –learn how to kiss black babies and smile!

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GOP Schemes to Steal Social Security Exposed

September 6, 2007

The GOP hopes that you have forgotten the shot that was recently fired across the bow. Elite George Bush partisans teamed up with Wall Street insiders, called “my base” by George Bush, to “fix” the only government scheme that isn’t broken –Social Security. As the Iraq war continues to steal headlines, the GOP, to be sure, is still at work on evil schemes to break Social Security so that they can fix both it and you –for good!

The GOP would have you believe that if Social Security is not broken now it’s about to be, the year 2018 to be precise! As Bush told reporters: “(Social Security) can’t sustain that which has been promised to the workers. Many times, legislative bodies will not react unless the crisis is apparent, crisis is upon them. I believe that crisis is.”

What the GOP will not tell you is that Social Security is the only Federal Program that “turns a profit”, that is, the cash flow is positive, taking in more than it pays out, just as intended. If that were not so, the federal government could not routinely raid the mythical “social security trust fund” to pay current obligations.

A Crisis in 2018? Privatizers claim that as soon as Social Security needs to use some of the interest the trust is earning, the treasury just won’t be able to come up with the money. Oddly, the Treasury has borrowed billions for every other reason; why not to pay back the Social Security it owes us?

But the clincher is this. Private accounts would divert between 1/3 and 1/2 of Social Security’s payroll-tax income, normally used to pay retirees, and put into private accounts. This would stop the money now flowing into the trust so some interest would need to be withdrawn the first year this started, and more would be needed each year.

Is There a Social Security Crisis?

Bush taylors his message to his audience. Those over 55 need not worry, he says. It’s only those expecting to retire in 2018 who will find nothing in the fund for them. That’s because Bush will have spent it murdering people in Iraq –a heinous war crime for which he should be tried for capital war crimes and high treason. If SS should go broke, it will be because George W. Bush would have both his war of aggression and his tax cut benefit only America’s dwindling elite.

FDR Signs Social Security

Contrary to what Social Security opponents will tell you, Social Security actually turns a profit, or, as Paul Krugman puts it: “Right now the revenues from the payroll tax exceed the amount paid out in benefits.” The Social Security program is a success and the positive cash flow proves that it is operating just as its architects intended. Social Security, in fact, may be the government’s only success story.

Because it is a rousing success, the revenues are coveted by what Bush himself calls his “base”, a tiny elite, less than five percent of the populace, who own almost 90 percent or more of the nation’s total wealth. These folk will not admit to you or to themselves that the danger is not the imminent demise of SS, it is, rather, the ultimate bankruptcy of the United States itself.

America is in a very grievous and trepid situation. Any number of isolated incidents could touch off a financial firestorm that burns our house to the ground. When a company goes bankrupt, it is seldom advertised in advance.

Its customers, shareholders and debtors are invariably in a state of shock when the bankruptcy occurs, even though hind site shows that there were ample evidences of impending bankruptcy.

So it is with America: There is evidence everywhere of what is happening to us, but there are few eyes to see it nor ears to hear it.

–The August Review, America Plundered by the Global Elite

America’s elite, of course, have an escape hatch –offshore accounts and investments never taken into account by the partisans of trickle down theory. America’s elite will have played a key role in America’s demise. They’ve already swarmed to pick over the carcass.

He actually wants to do the opposite. If he manages to privatize Social Security, he’ll try to privatize Medicare next. He’ll try to strip away guaranteed health care and turn it into some kind of system of individual health accounts. The right says that what we need is more choice, more competition. But every piece of evidence suggests that health care is an area in which privatization actually raises costs. If they succeed at dismantling both Social Security and Medicare, then you’re pretty much back, on domestic policy, to the days of Warren Harding — which is exactly where they want to go.

–Paul Krugman, Rolling Stone

Thus, in a very short article, we can only sketch the vaguest outline of a vast conspiracy that has changed little in several hundred years. Modern GOP tactics were written about in Utopia by a man who is now called a Saint. Please tell Sir Thomas More that conspiracies do not exist!

The rich men not only by private fraud, but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the poor some part of their daily living. So whereas it seemed before unjust to recompense with unkindness their pains that have been beneficial to the public weal, now they have to this their wrong and unjust dealing given the name of justice, yea, and that by force of law. Therefore when I consider and weigh in my mind all these commonwealths, which nowadays anywhere do flourish, so God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.

–Sir Thomas More, Utopia

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US Census Bureau Data: Bush Policies Victimize Children and Working Families

August 28, 2007

Carlin: "They Gotcha by the Balls!"

August 25, 2007

Discovery Institute, Free Republic Pimp Intelligent Design, Attack Their Own Strawmen

August 21, 2007

Bush Losing Conservative Support, Faces "historical obliteration"

August 20, 2007

The Free Republic advertises itself as a forum for a “grassroots” conservative movement. As such, it has been the source for much odious GOP, conservative ideology and propaganda. These are folk who still believe Saddam planned 911, even though Bush himself blamed al Qaeda. But when contributors to Free Republic start using words like “historical obliteration”, Bush’s hard core should pay attention.

TheHill | July 11, 2007 | Dick Morris

Are they traitors or prophets, these Republicans who have jumped ship and called for Bush to begin pulling out of Iraq

Sens. George Voinovich (Ohio), Richard Lugar (Ind.), John Warner (Va.), and Pete Domenici (N.M.)? More likely the latter. A look at the political map and the electoral calendar tells us that GOP Sens. Arlen Specter (Pa.), Norm Coleman (Minn.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Gordon Smith (Ore.) are probably not far behind them………….”

If you haven�t been counting, that comes to 11 Republican defections �enough to force a vote even if the Dems lose Joe Lieberman (Conn.). A veto override? Add in the likes of marginal-state GOP senators like John Thune (S.D.), Kit Bond (Mo.), John Ensign (Nev.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and a handful of others and it�s possible. Retiring Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) might just do his party a favor on his way out.

The Republican senators are coming to realize that Bush needs to begin to pull out to save his party, even if it puts Iraq at risk. With the president�s favorability down to 29 percent in the USA Today poll, and 26 percent in Newsweek, the party leaders are coming to realize that they are not planning to join Bush in retirement � at least not yet � and that unless he begins the pullout, the GOP cannot hold on to the White House.

Bush will have to pull out of Iraq, or face historical obliteration

And here –a soupcon of conservative disillusionment.

Bush is the biggest problem of all. He doesn�t look or sound like he�s in charge. The American people can sense a vacuum of leadership. I stuck up for Bush for many years on this, but my gut tells me there will be some juicy books written about this period that reveal how much influence Cheney had over this process.

The tide has turned-big time. Ask the troops on the ground. There are marine units whose biggest problem now is boredom!…

Testy, are we?

I’m also worried about the next generation.

Yeah right. That’s why you wanna hightail it out of the very place that Al Qaeda has identified as the central front in their war against us.

And the following I post with my refutations:

The long term ramifications for the World�s major powers are too great to just shove the Middle East aside. Oil is the life line of ours and their economies.

Therefore, we must suppose, it’s OK to commit mass murder and steal the oil. More evidence in support of my thesis: “conservatism” is a mental illness. In theological terms: it is evil.

The War was never about winning but about prevention.

Indeed, it was. The “prevention” of peace.

Even if the Dems win they will have problems withdrawing from the Middle East.

Conservatives will then blame Democrats for Bush’s war. Democrats, meanwhile, would be better off supporting the worldwide movement to bring Bush and his conservative co-conspirators to justice for war crimes.

The issue that you should look at is how the war is being fought. Up until now the war and the politics were handled very poorly. It appears that some real progress is being made.

Indeed, there has been “progress”. The civilian “kill count” is over one million and counting. Conservatives call this “progress”.

Bush has not really explained what is going on and how it affects our true interests( or a very poor job of it).

There is a rational explanation. The man who read “three Shakespeares”in one weekend cannot put two words together meaningfully.

Islam is a religion of the sword that could easily dominate the whole region- they have done it before so they believe they can do it again.

Nevermind that it is their region. If Islam is the religion of the sword, then Christianity must surely be the religion of the nuke. Is there a difference? Perhaps, the body count.

It sounds so cool to cut and run.

A contradiction in terms. Nothing said by a “conservative” sounds cool. Still –cutting and running is preferable to staying, stealing and murdering.

If America fails who will be there to pick up the pieces( China, Russia, India)?

America is falling and the pieces are being picked up as we write. Thanks to the conservative idiots who were suckered by Bush.

Here’s a gem:

Our politicians pulled out of Viet Nam and Cambodia and didn�t have to answer for it because the horror was not in your face 24 hours a day.

When we pull out of Iraq, it will be.

The horror of it is in our faces 24 hours a day now! But, I suppose that not having horror in your face makes it OK but only if you are of the “conservative” persuasion. The bottom line: even when conservatives are ocassionally correct, it is for wrong and immoral reasons.

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A List of Right Wing Traitors Wishing for More Terrorist Attacks Against the US

August 12, 2007

How Power Without Responsibility Poses a Threat to the World

August 9, 2007

Following is the complete text of an excellent article by Aziz Huq for The Nation, reprinted by CBS News. The very crux of the following article is a theme sounded many times on this blog i.e, the mission of this administration “the transformation of limited government into a government that is not accountable to anyone.” There are two words to describe this. Dictatorship! Tyranny!

After enduring weeks of blistering criticism for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ inartful elisions about the National Security Agency (NSA) spying activities, the Bush administration has successfully forced on Congress a law that largely authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans’ overseas phone calls and e-mails. How did they do it?

The Protect America Act of 2007 � the title alone ought to be warning that unsavory motives are at work � is the most recent example of the national security waltz, a three-step administration maneuver for taking defeat and turning it into victory.

The waltz starts with a defeat in the courts for administration actions � for example, the Supreme Court’s extension of the rule of law to the US military prison at Guant�namo in the 2004 case of Rasul v. Bush, or its striking down of the military commissions in 2006 in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The second step does not follow immediately. Rather, some months later, the administration suddenly announces that the ruling has created a security crisis and cries out for urgent remedial legislation. Then (and here’s the coup de gr�ce) the administration rams legislation through Congress � the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, or the Military Commissions Act of 2006 � that not only undoes the good court decision but also inflicts substantial damage to the infrastructure of accountability.

This time, the sordid dance began with a bad ruling for the government, a ruling that demands some context to be understood.

In January the administration suddenly announced that it was submitting the secretive NSA “terrorist surveillance program” to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, a closed judicial process established by the 1978 FISA law to handle search warrants for foreign intelligence purposes. The move came as federal appellate courts in Ohio and California seemed on the cusp of ruling the NSA’s domestic surveillance efforts illegal as violations of FISA and possibly the Fourth Amendment. It seemed a way to forestall defeat in those cases.

But in early summer, a FISC judge declined to approve part of the NSA’s activities. While the ruling remains classified, it apparently focused on communication that originated overseas but passed through telecom switches in the United States.

Modern telecommunications work by breaking communications into packets of data and routing them through a network of connected computers. Messages do not travel in a linear fashion: A message from Murmansk to Mali might be routed through California. Many of the largest switches routing international data are located in the United States. As USA Today reported in May 2006, the NSA is already tapping those switches. And since January, the government appears to have obtained “basket warrants,” allowing it to trawl this data freely, without any judicial or Congressional oversight.

It seems likely that the judge objected because the NSA was collecting calls that originated overseas but ended in the United States. The NSA can generally get a warrant for such communications � unless there is no evidence that the person under scrutiny is a terrorist. A broad-brush NSA surveillance program, especially one that generates its leads through data-mining, the science of extracting information from large databases, might have exactly this problem.

The second step in the waltz came several months later, with administration allies such as House minority leader John Boehner invoking the FISC ruling on Fox News as justification for a new law. As usual, the administration and its allies had no compunction about using classified information � such as the ruling � when it helped them politically. And as usual, the administration artfully concealed the full details of the ruling even while insisting on it as a spur to immediate action. By waiting for the last week of the Congressional session, the administration in effect cut off the possibility of meaningful debate.

The third step of the waltz has a grim familiarity about it: enactment of a law that is in no way limited to addressing the narrow “problem” created by the FISC ruling. Rather, the Protect America Act is a dramatic, across-the-board expansion of government authority to collect information without judicial oversight. Even though Democrats negotiated a deal with Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell that addressed solely the foreign-to-foreign “problem” created by the FISC ruling, the White House torpedoed that deal and won a far broader law.

To those who have followed this administration’s legal strategy closely, the outcome should be no surprise. The law’s most important effect is arguably not its expansion of raw surveillance power but the sloughing away of judicial or Congressional oversight. In the words of former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, the law provides “unlimited access to currently protected personal information that is already accessible through an oversight procedure.”

Like the Constitution’s Framers, this administration understands that power is accrued through the evisceration of checks and balances. Unlike that of the Framers, its mission is the transformation of limited government into a government that is not accountable to anyone.

On Monday, the administration defended the Protect America Act as a “narrow” fix and rejected accusations that it authorized a “driftnet.” To see how disingenuous these claims are requires some attention to the details of the legislation.

The key term in the Protect America Act is its licensing of “surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States.” This language has a superficial reasonableness, since domestic surveillance has long been understood to raise the most troubling abuse concerns.

But the trouble with this language is that it permits freewheeling surveillance of Americans’ international calls and e-mails. The problem lies in the words “directed at.” Under this language, the NSA could decide to “direct” its surveillance at Peshawar, Pakistan � and seize all US calls going to and from there. It could focus on Amman, or Cairo, or London, or Paris, or Toronto. Simply put, the law is an open-ended invitation to collect Americans’ international calls and e-mails.

Further, the law does not limit the collection of international calls to security purposes: Rather, it seems the government can seize any international call or e-mail for any reason � even if it’s unrelated to security. Indeed, another provision of the law confirms that national security can be merely one of several purposes of an intelligence collection program. This point alone should sink the administration’s claim to be doing no more than technical fiddling. While the FISA law limited warrantless surveillance absolutely, this law licenses it, not only for national security purposes but also for whatever purpose the government sees fit.

Of further concern is the “reasonably believe” caveat. This means that so long as the NSA “reasonably” believes its antennas are trained overseas, wholly domestic calls can sometimes be collected. And since the NSA uses a filter to separate international calls from wholly domestic calls, it need only “reasonably believe” that it’s getting this right. It’s this new latitude for error that is troubling, especially because this isn’t an administration known for its care when the rights and lives of others are at stake. It remains deeply unclear how much domestic surveillance this allows.

The problems created by this loosening of standards are compounded by the risibly weak oversight procedures contained in the law. Rather than issuing individualized warrants, now the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General can certify yearlong programs for collecting international calls. The program as a whole is placed before the FISA court, which can only invalidate those procedures and claims that are “clearly erroneous.” The government thus has to meet an extraordinarily low standard, in a one-sided judicial procedure in which the court has no access to details of the program’s actual operation.

Congressional oversight is even more laughable. Attorney General Gonzales, that paragon of probity and full disclosure, is required to report not on the program’s overall operations but solely on “incidents of noncompliance.” Of course, given how weak the constraints imposed by the law are, self-reported noncompliance is likely to be minimal.

Finally, some advocates and legislators have taken comfort in the law’s six-month sunset provision. But this means that the act will be up for authorization in the middle of the presidential campaign, an environment in which the pressures to accede to administration demands will be even higher than usual. And the law doesn’t really sunset after six months: The provision is artfully drafted to allow the NSA to continue wielding its new surveillance powers for up to a year afterward.

The Protect America Act, in short, does not live up to its name: It does not enhance security-related surveillance powers. Rather, it allows the government to spy when there is no security justification. And it abandons all but the pretense of oversight. The result, as with so many of this administration’s ill-advised policies, is power without responsibility � and it is by now all too clear how wisely and carefully this administration wields power in the absence of accountability.

One coda to this story is worth adding. The Justice Department is unlikely to take action against Representative Boehner for his partisan invocation of classified information on network news. Newsweek reported this week that former Justice Department lawyer Thomas Tamm is being investigated apparently in connection to leaks of information about the NSA’s domestic surveillance. So goes Gonzales Justice: Politicized manipulation of classified information gets the green light, while hardworking career officials become targets for speaking out when they see the law being violated.

Power Without Responsibility, Aziz Huq, Reprinted by CBS with permission from The Nation.

There is increasing bi-partisan support for impeachment. Of course, impeachment must begin with both Bush and Cheney to be followed with a wholesale housecleaning of the most corrupt administration in American history.

Is that enough? No –unless Bush’s assault on the Constitution is undone, impeachment is a complete waste of time. Unless Congress reasserts its sole power and authority to wage war and unless Bush’s sorry rewrite of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is undone, impeachment will simply bestow dictatorship upon a successor. It’s not about Bush anymore; we all know him to be an evil fuck up! This is about the kind of nation we will have after Bush is brought to justice for capital crimes.

Rome failed to restore its lost republic. Will that be the story of the US?

News items from Bush’s repressive regime:

Kent officer tickets man for ‘Impeach Bush’ sign

That’s an outrage, of course. We have a right to carry any damn sign we please! But, I have long ago stopped trying to “cover” every outrage against the Bill of Rights, indeed, the very rule of law. Under Bush, they are legion. It is Bushco’s strategy to move against freedom on so many fronts, that it is beyond the ability of media or watchdogs to chronicle every outrage, every abuse, every subversion of law or the very rule of law itself.

Our Un-American Government

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses different definitions of what it means for a practice or belief to be “un-American,” as defined by American figures ranging from Joseph McCarthy to Bill O’Reilly to Donald Rumsfeld. Mariner notes that even after Rumsfeld described the torture perpetrated at Abu Ghraib as “un-American,” the U.S. has continued to condone torture. She argues that in the end, the term “un-American” should be defined in opposition to that which is best in American life — including our regard for human rights. She encourages readers to sign a pledge to this effect, opposing what, she argues, are truly un-American practices such as indefinite detention and other rights violations….

Additional resources.


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