New Year's Madman
Sunday, January 1, 2006
It appears that not everybody was "on board" with President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush's decision to spy on his fellow Americans. In fact, the acting US Attorney General, James B. Comey, who was performing those duties while then Attorney General, John (I-See-Nothing-Wrong-With-That) Ashcroft was in the hospital, refused to give his go-ahead with the program in 2004. So when President Bush said that he gained the approval of the nation's top legal minds and lawyers, he, again, was "mistaken - or misspoke - or just plain LIED. You see, the top lawyer in the country IS the attorney general.
So in typical Bushie, whining and "I better get my way or else" fashion, then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff/ WHIG (White House Iraq Group) Chairman Andrew Card paid a visit to the bed-ridden Ashcroft in George Washington Hospital's intensive care unit to get the "okay" to "get the goods" on US, the American public.
"As the president has stated, the intelligence activities that have been under way to prevent future terrorist attacks have been approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department."
-Jeannie Mamo, A White House spokeswoman
Funny thing about that... Now that we know for a fact that Comey, the nation's chief lawyer at the time, said "no", Ms. Mamo's statement is one of those famous Bushie "falsehoods".
Actions always speak louder than words and this is the case with the White House SpyGate scandal. (Hey - I call it like I see it.) The senate is ticked off. Arlen Specter (R-PA), chairman of the Senate judiciary committee is going to go ahead with an investigation. Maybe this time Bush will appear in front of an inquiry in public, without having to hold Dick Cheney's hand for support (like during the 9/11 commission hearing). Maybe he'll even agree to testify under oath!
Prior to Mr. Comey's arrival at the Justice Department, his predecessor, Larry Thompson, Ashcroft's number two hadn't even been informed of the spy program. I guess one must be in that ever-closing Bush "circle of influence". If the number two attorney in the United States isn't asked his advice regarding spying on Americans, then who were those "top lawyers" that GW was speaking about... the ones who said that "SpyGate" was "okay"?
"This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America and, I repeat, limited. I think most Americans understand the need to find out what the enemy's thinking."
-Bush, to reporters after visiting wounded troops at Brooke Army Medical Center
"Limited" or not, there is a very specific law and a very specific, friendly court that you could have gone to for a warrant, Mr. Bush. You could have even gotten those warrants three days after the fact. You could even have lied about it, saying something like, "I thought I had more than three days to get approval" or "I thought I had approval... Oops."
IF you choose to trust the president and IF you believe that not obtaining a warrant is necessary, them you might be able to make a case for throwing the US Constitution out the window. But most (yes, most) Americans believe that President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the other members of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party leaders feel that we were tricked into going to war by these "leaders".
I ask you all to think back into the presidency of Bill Clinton. Remember the fuss that those same GOP'ers made when an FBI file was RUMORED to be obtained by his staff? These are the same guys who think it's just fine to allow Bush to break the law but were screaming for an investigation of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton.
And what of the now-retired Valerie Plame, whose undercover operations and informants were outed by others in the White House. How does revealing Ms. Plame's identity make US safer, you hypocrites?
Don't be fooled by the Bushies. This is exactly why the Constitution was written. This is exactly why the FISA (the secret court that issues warrants) wth all of its faults (it has never turned down a warrant) was created. There are checks and balances that the government must adhere to. Limiting our Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties as American Citizens puts US in the same boat that the people of the former Soviet Union were sailing before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."--
Mr. Bush... tear down this wall.
...Speaking About a Woman's Rights
(The following is from an ongoing thread in a newsgroup I belong to, I thought its author deserved more people to view her argument. -NG)
Technically speaking the fetus is totally dependent upon the mother for its survival until it is viable. It is, in effect, "parasitic" rather than symbiotic in its relationship to his mother. What I mean by "parasitic" is that it can't survive without its mother; but the mother could survive without it (i.e., not pregnant)
Nor do I think that only human life is sacred above all else on this planet We have to respect all life in general. You know the old saying, "Bacteria can live without people, but people can't live without bacteria."
I am not in favor of abortion; it is never be allowed as the ultimate means of birth control. At the same time, I think it is none of the government's business or anyone else's business to meddle in the private lives of these people.
I took full responsibility to see that I never got pregnant in the first place so that I would have to be faced with abortion.
But let me tell you a little big about my generation and my mother's generation. She is still alive today at 90.
In my mother's day, a woman got fired from her job automatically when she got married. It was assumed that the woman was going to get pregnant and raise a family, and, of course, the husband was the bread winner back them. (They also were paid well enough so they could afford to have their wives stay at home.)
In my generation a girl who got pregnant was automatically expelled from school. She could not get a job because she was an "unwed mother." Many times her family disowned her or in some cases tried to harm her for becoming pregnant. So right there, you have no right to schooling, work or in many cases your family's support.
Girls who got pregnant were sent away to "homes for unwed mothers" and were almost always forced to give up their children for adoption because they had no visible means to support themselves or their infants.
So it is also easy for me to understand why a young girl would panic and get an abortion. They were not "legal" in those days so many young girls died from septicemia. I guess they deserve such a fate for their sins.
You might want to ask yourself why these young girls became pregnant in the first place. Was there something specific about their social or economic state that made them more likely to get pregnant. Why is there no serious sex education in school. Why is it left up to the family when most families refuse to educate their children.
Why do the people who oppose abortion also support birth control. Wouldn't the latter be the purpose for avoiding the former. Let's look at it from the angle of sexual politics. Who benefits from keeping women out of the marketplace; who benefits from keeping women barefoot, pregnant and uneducated? That would be men, wouldn't it. We like in a patriarchal society, don't we. Why are most of the most outspoken leaders of the anti-abortion men? Who, in particular, benefits from keeping poor women barefoot and pregnant?
Still think the hidden agenda really isn't about sexual politics.
How can anti-abortionists claim they are pro-life when many of them support the war in Iraq, the death penalty, euthanasia. Why just the concentration on fetal rights?
And by the way the rich could always find a doctor to perform a safe abortion.
I believe The Netherlands has legalized abortion but has one of the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy any out of wedlock pregnancy. The answer, it appears, is that they teach a no nonsense realistic sex education program in their schools beginning at an early age. They teach the unvarnished facts so that the students are fully informed so that they can make responsible choices.
"Abortion Mills" - Planned Parenthood. Yes, I know Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist. But what many people forget is that Planned Parenthood is one of the few groups that still provides inexpensive OB/GYN care for poor women.
Interesting how all those "compassionate conservative" anti-abortion folks in the government won't fund Planned Parenthood International by using the excuse that they perform abortions. Abortions are only a small part of the services they provide. By cutting aid to Planned Parenthood under the "abortion ruse", the government can justify a "moral excuse" for denying aid that would normally go to the poor women of developing nations. (Keep them poor, uneducated and pregnant and you have female serfdom.
Pat Robertson recently stated that he supported China's forced abortion program to limit their population and stated that "regrettably" it was an "economic" necessity. I bet he wouldn't say this about white fetuses.
Lastly, if you are pro-life, then you are pro-life across the entire spectrum; you don't just pick and choose to fit your world view. You can't support a government that has killed over 1 million innocent Iraqis (mostly women and children) and then seriously expect me to believe you when you say you are "pro-life."
The Uzbekistan Connection
Blair and Bush have been caught red handed using Uzbekistan to "render" (outsourced torture) suspected "terrorists". This is a nation that tortures people by boiling them alive. Without a doubt, they are one of the most barbarous regimes in the world. Roll back the clock and read a letter from Kenny Boy Lay, former Enron CEO, to Governor George Bush in 1997 where he concludes:
I know that you and Ambassador Safaev (our representative in Uzbekistan) will have a productive meeting which will result in a friendship between Texas and Uzbekistan.
They are talking about Enron's involvement in a natural gas pipeline that originates in Uzbekistan. As always, it's all about money and power with these people. Human rights and democracy don't matter at all to them.
Bush Approval Rating Falls
Bush tumbles from 42% approval in last week's CNN/USAToday poll to 41% in new CNN poll out today!
Have you noticed how selective Republicans are about poll numbers? They talk endlessly about polls that shows good results but ignore the rest . In general, the CNN/USAToday poll has measured an approval rating of 40% since August.
I don't think that the Iraq PR campaign made much of a difference. The positive effects of an election are already wearing off as the violence continues. Both Sunni and secular Shiite groups still claim that there was election fraud. They want a new election supervised by the United Nations.
-Forwarded and Commented by Robert Scardapane
All for Show
You all remember the rule for budget reconciliation bills, don't you? Sure you do. The basic agreement is that they can't be filibustered (gotta pass a budget, after all) but that the bill can only include things that actually have an impact on the budget. Otherwise congressional leaders would just toss everything in the world into each year's budget bill in order to avoid the possibility of filibuster.
Today, Mark Schmitt explains how the Republican leadership managed to figure out a way to stuff increased work requirements for welfare recipients into this year's budget bill:
Let's say, for argument's sake, that we all agreed that the work requirements for welfare recipients should be even tighter than they are. You could increase them somewhat, all states would comply, and people on welfare would work more. But that would have no budget impact. You couldn't get away with sneaking it into budget reconciliation.
Or, you could increase the requirements to a ridiculous level, where states would find it easier to pay a fine than to spend what it takes to get people working....The result: Now you have a budget impact and you can sneak welfare reauthorization into the budget reconciliation bill. But welfare recipients in those states that don't comply won't work more. In fact, they'll probably work even less than they would under the first plan.
Charming, isn't it? Republicans deliberately tightened the requirements so much that they knew lots of states wouldn't comply. Result: they get to look tough on welfare, they get to use budget reconciliation rules to pass a bill that has nothing to with the budget, and they end up having less actual impact on work requirements than if they'd taken the whole thing seriously in the first place. It's as if they wanted to reduce speed limits in Washington DC and decided to reduce them to 15 mph solely because that would generate lots of fines and would therefore have a budget impact.
Your Republican party at work.
-Forwarded from Kevin Drum with comments by Victoria Brownworth
Latest Harris Poll:
12/18/05 to 12/14/05. 1,961 adults. MoE +/- 2% -
Feb 2005 Results in parentheses.
"Do you believe that the following statements are true or not true?"
Saddam Hussein had strong links with Al Qaeda
True: 41% (64)
Not Sure: 24%
Declined to Answer: 2%
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded
True: 26% (36)
Not Sure: 22%
Declined to Answer: 2%
Several of the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11 were Iraqis
Not Sure: 31%
Declined to Answer: 3%
Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001
True: 22% (47)
Not Sure: 30%
Declined to Answer: 2%
The "Kenny-Boy" Lay Quote of the Day
I'm a victim of a ''wave of terror,''
''We must create our own 'wave of truth,'"
"I believe the return to sanity has begun.''
-Ken "Kenny-Boy" Lay, former chairman of Enron
A wave of terror. In this time when 3,000 Americans have lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks; and many more have been killed in our allied countries of Spain and England from similar terrorist attacks; and there have been about 2,200 American troops murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ken Lay, one of GW Bush's staunchest supporters and closest friends has the audacity to equate his trial for being a simple (yet accomplished) thief as his being a victim of terror.
How dare this public menace, "Kenny-Boy" Lay equate himself with the young men and women who are giving their all in the middle east. How dare he soil the memories of those lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
First, Mr. Lay, enjoy your time in jail. Next, have a nice stay in hell.
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