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This is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Just heard Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) come up with a new definition of the GOP:
GOP = Gas & Oil Party
The GOP is arguing against making oil & gas companies pay royalties for drilling on public land. Send a case of Valvoline Oil to the GOP Congress, they need to slick themselves up some more.
Hayden, the Spy-Master
"Clearly the privacy of American citizens is a concern constantly. We always balance privacy and security."
-General Michael Hayden at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee
"Balance", huh? Gen. Hayden uses the word in the same fashion that Fox News uses it. I wonder if, during this balancing act of his, if the General doesn't have his finger on the scale.
We used the "probable cause" standard,
What "probable cause" is there to look into the average American's affairs? What "probable cause" do you have to sneak a peek into my calling habits and internet records? What purpose could that possibly serve? The temptation and utter ease at which this "program" could be used is mind-boggling. And saying that "If you've done nothing wrong, you got nothing to hide," is okay until the "Bush SS" comes by to find out why you bought Mao's Little Red Book.
You do remember that, don't you? a UMASS student asked for, reserved, then checked out the Little Red Book to complete a paper. DHS (Department of Homeland Security) agents visited the student to find out why. Although they appeared satisfied with the answer, I wondered what would have happened to the harmless student had he said "because I'm thinking about becoming a communist" or if he said "none of you business, copper"? Would he have been whisked off to GITMO? Would he have been "Rendered" to a more "torture-friendly" nation? Maybe he would have just vanished.
By the way, I thought Communist China was our friend now. Or is it that we're just afraid of pissing off our loan-shark?
However, I do agree with something that General Hayden said when asked some questions about the agency he used to head, the NSA.
"Let me answer that in closed session."
That happens to be the right answer. That happens to be a great answer. That happens to be the perfect answer. We have elected our senators and congressmen to be our eyes and ears and our "deciders". Personally I trust them (yes, even most of the Republican ones) more than I trust "Global "W"arming Bush, Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney, Donald "We Don't Know What We Don't Know" Rumsfeld or anyone else in the Bush White House. I want them, the Republicans and the Democrats alike, in on the decisions that matter most to us. And if there's a question as to whether these decisions should be made behind closed doors, or not, I really do want them made there. I don't want the decisions that can be spun to either the Right or the Left to be made public just because they can be, and it makes for good television. I am willing to trust the two-party system enough to say that the two sides will watch out for our needs better than the White House will
The question I have is, why was this not done before? More to the point, why didn't General Hayden do it before? It would have been easy for this same General Hayden to come before the same committee (or a different one), behind those same "closed doors", to talk to the same senators and discuss the same things which he'll gladly discuss now, but he wouldn't discuss then. Is it now going to be necessary for there to be brave and selfless individuals, who will come forth, at ther own peril, and become whistle-blowers in order for us to keep our freedom?
General Hayden shouldn't become the next head of the CIA because he will do anything the president asks regardless of the law. We obey the Constitution of the United States not the commands of President Bush or his "base" of "Haves and Have-Mores". A better man would know that A Better man wouldn't have to "balance privacy and security". We are not "secure" without our "privacy". If the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party confirm someone who wouldn't seek the guidance of our representatives when he wasn't sure how to "balance privacy and security", then they simply don't have our best interests at heart.
General Hayden may be have been a bull-dog in the heat of battles past, but in the "battle" for our freedom being fought in Washington, DC, he is nothing more than the Bushies' lapdog and he shouldn't be allowed to watch over our spies.
The questions that I would like someone to ask General Hayden are "What would have done if one of your agents were outed by a member of the Right Wing Media? What would you have done if that agent was running an active WMD investigation?"
Frank Vs. Snow
TREASURY SECRETARY JOHN SNOW: Average hourly earnings are picking up. We learned from this month's jobs report that average hourly earnings have risen 3.8% over the past 12 months -- their largest increase in nearly five years
REPRESENTATIVE BARNEY FRANK (D-MA): Mr. Secretary, I agree with much of your statement, but I confess to some trouble with your citation of the rise in hourly wages. What's the CPI increase over the past 12 months? Do you know?
SEC. SNOW: Well, about 5, I think, 5.1.
REP FRANK: "OK, because you've got hourly earnings going up 3.8%, and I believe...that's not adjusted for inflation. So my understanding is that even in the past 12 months, which are your best 12 months, hourly wages have barely kept up with inflation..... But you would acknowledge that 3.8% increase in wages you're talking about is nominal, not adjusted for inflation, correct?
SEC. SNOW (A Ph.D. in economics, a bit flummoxed): I'll have to go back, Congressman, and check these numbers.
REP. FRANK: That's not a trick question
SEC. SNOW: I know it's not
REP. FRANK: I think it's misleading to talk about the 3.8% over 12 months when that doesn't take into account inflation, which was very close to that. I'd ask you to submit to us, what's it been over 24 months, 36 months and 48 months, because, in fact, during this recovery...wages have dropped... compared to inflation.
You can count on "Snow Job" never getting back with the real numbers.
-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane
No Guest Worker Program
Today, Senator Dorgan offered amendment #4017, to repeal the guest worker program in S.2611 (Title IV).
The Senator stated that if you read the paper or see the news, you see the new corporate strategy everywhere: export good jobs and import cheap labor.
This, he said, was probably a good strategy for profits, but a horrible strategy for America. We built the middle class with good jobs and good wages, he said.
"What if the U.S. had no immigration laws at all?" Senator Dorgan asked.
Massive numbers of immigrants would come. It is not selfish, he said, to be somewhat protective of our standard of living and our way of life. There are many voices here speaking for immigrants, but we have a responsibility to our citizens and there is precious little talk about them in this chamber these days. "Let me speak for a moment on behalf of American workers."
Senator Dorgan decried the argument that "guest workers" are needed to take the jobs Americans won't do. He argued that Americans want these jobs and are doing these jobs. The Senator criticized the 325,000 cap coupled with the automatic 20% escalator provision. He stated that this formula would result in 10 million guest workers in 10 years. He concluded that the guest worker provision of the bill wasn't about filling empty jobs, but was about "importing cheap labor." The Senator said that guest workers could more appropriately be termed "low wage replacement workers."
Thank you Senator Dorgan. So, where is Frank Lautenberg in this debate? Seems to me that just a couple of years he pledged to keep on top of temporary work visa abuse. I think he has already forgotten that pledge.
Memories are short in the world of politics.
In response to "This is a lame attempt to appease the populace. According to a recent Zogby poll, the only consensus on immigration is that the borders should be secured. Interestingly enough that was true amongst Democrats, Republicans and Independents," Rhian writes:
Focus on lame. Bush pulled an Andy. Remember Deputy Fife?
BUSH: I'll put 6000 National Guard troops on the border, as long as their guns aren't loaded and each of them have only one bullet, which they will keep in their pockets.
Meanwhile crime stats on illegals are curiously missing from the news.
A Bush Quote Via NPR
"The American economy ish shtrong and the American people have more money than ever..."
-President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush
I must be the only American in the country who just can't make ends meet. Every increase I get, is immediately sucked up by an outrageous gas hike.
I'm looking for the pinheads who do the math, plan the gas hikes that take my incremental increases, and continue to make inroads on my rent money. When I find them, pinheads are gonna roll.
Anybody know where the pinheads are?
But that would violate laws? Oh my! I guess if illegals, who can make law violations work for them, I can, too.
A Speaker Gooper Quote
"Well, folks, if you earn $40,000 a year and have a family of two, you don't pay any taxes. So you probably, if you don't pay any taxes, you are not going to get a big tax cut."
-Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
Gee, how profound Mr. Neocon Gooper Speaker. Some free hints for the Neocon Goopers:
1) You are not popular. It's not bad luck, it's not invalid polls but it is bad Neocon Gooper philosophy.
2) You not fooling anyone, even the true conservatives have caught on.
3) Get the NSA off of my phone darn it and start looking for Osama Bin Forgotten before it's too late.
The rich benefit from big tax cuts
"I want to thank the U.S. House for my $46 a year tax cut ("House approves $70B tax cut," May 11). Now I can get that prescription I've been needing at least halfway filled - maybe. Or maybe I can get a half a tank of gas!
"Either way, I sleep well knowing that all of the starving, hard-working millionaires like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears will be able to buy that $41,000 dog collar they've really been wanting, thanks to their tax breaks."
-Anthony Odom, Starkville, Alabama
-Forwarded by Jenny Hanniver
And Yet, Another Quote
"Constitution --- Defend It"
"Iraq War --- End It"
"National Health Care -- Pass It"
-Katrina Vanden Heuvel writing in The Nation
-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane
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