Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

6/04/2005

I like Charlotte Church

For one thing, she's got a beautiful voice.

For another, she doesn't like Dubya:
Church, 19, said gaffe-prone Bush had no idea where Wales was when she met him after performing for outgoing President Bill Clinton in Washington in 2000.

“Clinton was lovely, in tune with everyone else, but George Bush just hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing,” she said, according to the Daily Record.

“He asked me what state Wales was in. I said: ‘It’s its own country next to England, actually Mr Bush.’

“If he doesn’t know the rest of the countries in Europe, he could at least know what’s in his own country. I’m really worried about it. He’s a right weirdo.”

A right weirdo indeed. (Welsh people talk funny.)

(Via Liberal Avenger.)

Help

Matt's gone off his meds again.

Hannity's Nazi pal

Max Blumenthal has the goods.

LaShawn Barber wants more black teenagers with children

Yes, that will do wonders for the black community.

I never did find out the term for a female Uncle Tom ...

6/03/2005

GOP racists

Usually, GOPers keep their racism on an implied, 'wink-wink' level. But every once in a while they fuck up and say something blatantly, unequivocally racist.

Malkin Watch catches Jesse and Michelle in the act:
Malkin titles a story about an outreach article about Metrosexuals "aimed at youth in the Arab world" as follows:
STATE DEPARTMENT'S BRIGHT IDEA: SPA DAYS FOR TERRORISTS!
Arab equals terrorist in the Malkins' mind. All future claims to the contrary are null and void.
And Oliver Willis notes this gem from LaShawn Barber:
Despite what they may say, Muslims are and have always been on a mission to conquer and kill infidels. They’ve been doing it for centuries and will continue until we’re all dead, or they’re all dead, or the world ends, whichever comes first.
Disgusting, but predictable.

Treason! part 3

To hear Mark Noonan tell it, the US is just too darn nice for its own good:

We could, of course, defeat and humiliate the Arab/Moslem world. With our military and economic power, we could withdraw to the edges, build up a massive military array, and then start at one end of the Arab world and go on to the other end...destroying everyone who chooses to resist us along the way. This would take many years, would cost untold lives, and might not actually work in the long run...with the additional threat that while we were engaged in, say, Saudi Arabia, the Iranians would detonate a nuclear device in New York City. Divide and conquer is a good rule of warfare, and we don't want to fight the whole Arab/Moslem world...we'd rather work with it, hard as that is, in order to elminate just those elements who hate and destroy.

Our problem is, of course, compounded by those within the United States who act the part of traitor by failing to understand that when they say "its all about oil" or "Bush lied about WMD's", they are playing into the hands of Islamist enemies, making them fight us longer and harder.

So pointing out the truth = acting the part of the traitor.

Well, so be it.

Or, be like Mark and believe that it's pure coincidence that Iraq is sitting on top of one of the world's largest oil reserves, and that this war was fought because Bush, Cheney, & co. sincerely thought it would make the American people safer.

Admit you fucked up, hawks

Atrios says:
At some point the "hawks" are going to have to admit they fucked up. The only credibility they'll lose is with the kool kids klub, but they need to stop caring what they think anyway.

Damn straight. The longer they put this off, the more ridiculous they look. The reality, which most people now recognize, is that the invasion of Iraq was, in addition to being hideously immoral, an utter disaster. Iraqis are no better off. Americans are no safer (indeed, they are less so). International tensions have increased.

This was a bad idea from the get-go, and it has played out even worse than the anti-war folks expected. Time for the New Republicans to suck it up and admit they were wrong.

Shut up, Ass Missile

Power Line says that "no one in the United States takes Sid Blumenthal seriously."

Fuck off. You know who no one takes seriously? People who post under handles like 'Hindrocket' and 'Big Trunk' yet pretend not to be gay.

Come on out that closet, boys! You'll feel so much better.

No easy majority

Matt Yglesias says:
Democratic performance in the past few elections has been good enough that one could envision a lot of difference paths to victory. Indeed, there's always a temptation to oversell defeats. After the Pistons last two losses to Miami, I've read a lot of articles about how Detroit needs to figure out how to contain Dwayne Wade. Certainly that would be a nice thing to do, but the reality is that they would have won with Wade uncontained if they'd just hit more free throws. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with their game -- they're just messing up some little things.

Ezra Klein disagrees:

That strikes me as exactly the wrong way to look at recent defeats ... To continue on with sports metaphors, teams don't practice to gain incremental strengths, they train to become crushing juggernauts. As a football player, you may spend a day or two learning how to contain a star player or run a particular play for a specific game, but you spend the vast majority of your time trying to get so good that incrementalism is rendered unnecessary, you can just beat the other team outright. Calming ourselves with the mantra that our fading coalition could have won if only we'd had a slightly quicker reaction to the Swift Vets or a stronger answer on Iraq isn't particularly useful ... we want to figure out how to capture an easy majority.

Now, certainly that's easier said than done, but it should be the goal nevertheless. And one thing it demands, specifics aside, is to think big. Small programs and targeted appeals to specific constituencies may help bring in another percentage point, but they don't change the electoral landscape. We need big ideas and the conviction to sell them, and that means we have to stop thinking like a majority-party-in-exile and instead focus on becoming a majority party in power. Many in the party are doing that already, but such projects can always be hijacked by those promising that we're really good enough already and just need some better language for our proposals. We don't need better language or a new play, we need a new gameplan.


I tend to agree with Matt Y. here. Obviously, it would be nice if the Democrats became a 'crushing juggernaut', but that doesn't seem to me to be a realistic goal.

51% of the US electorate looked at the last four years under the Bush administration and said, "Thank you sir, may I have another?" I don't know how we can reason with these people. I don't know what 'gameplan' could possibly convince them to switch to our side.

Look at the things these people support: a blatantly immoral and unjustifiable war of aggression; a forcible, violent, and generally disastrous occupation; a blank check for whatever military adventures the Bush administration feels like embarking upon under the rubric of the totally bogus 'war on terror'; tax cuts for the people who need them least; a growing disparity between rich and poor; an all-out assault on women's reproductive rights; the destruction of Social Security; torture of innocent people for being of the wrong nationality; the denial of basic civil liberties; etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

I don't know how to reason with people who are fundamentally irrational. This is why I'm tempted to say that we should thank our lucky stars that 48% of the people recognize the insanity of a GOP-controlled government, and try to do what we can to chip off another 2-3%. Sorry, but in a country where the majority endorses the abomination that is the Bush administration, I don't see any chance of our side being a 'crushing juggernaut' or winning an easy majority any time soon.

Iraqis better off under Saddam? part 2

A little while ago, a UN survey came to the conclusion that the standard of living for the average Iraqi was worse now than it had been under Saddam. Now Juan Cole suggests that more Iraqis are dying under the US occupation than under the Baath regime:

Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank, when questioned about the Iraq war that he helped spearhead, asked, "Would you really prefer to have Saddam Hussein in power?"

But the reason for not having Saddam in power was that he had killed so many people. If not having him means that 8,000 people a year have to die, then what? And what if the number of people dying in Iraq is even higher? What if it is not 8,000 a year, as Jabr maintains, but more like 50,000? Jabr's figures are only for casualties of guerrilla actions. What about all the Iraqis who have died as a result of US bombing raids on civilian quarters of cities? What about all the murders that occur as part of political reprisals?

The Baath Party was in power for about 35 years. If it had killed 8000 civilians per year, that would be 280,000 persons. That is about what is alleged, though it is probably an exaggeration.

In other words, Bayan Jabr's figures suggest that in US-dominated Iraq, people are dying so far at about the same rate as they did under Baath rule. (If he is underestimating the civilian casualties, then it is possible that many more are dying per year than under Saddam!) In any case, Saddam's killing sprees were largely over with by the late 1990s, so the rate of death in Iraq now is enormously greater than it was in, say, 2001.

Wolfowitz should give up on the propaganda technique of just demonizing his opponents and then asking how anyone could want them in power. The real question is, are Iraqis better off under US auspices? So far, the answer with regard to the death rate is a resounding "No!"

6/02/2005

Cheney the Magnificent

Dick Cheney tries his hand at prognostication:

The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office.

In a wide-ranging interview Monday on CNN's "Larry King Live," Cheney cited the recent push by Iraqi forces to crack down on insurgent activity in Baghdad and reports that the most-wanted terrorist leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been wounded.

The vice president said he expected the war would end during President Bush's second term, which ends in 2009.

"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

Chickenhawks

This is a few days old, but it's worth reading. Steve Gilliard:
Recently, there have been calls for supporters of our folly in Iraq to enlist. Their usual reaction is to act as if we were expecting a heart-lung donation. Cries of "why didn't you enlist to support Kosovo" and other pathetic nonsense usually follows to justify their rank cowardice.

The sad part is that these people understand the military about as much as they understand cricket. They read some hack like Max Boot or some minor historian like Victor Davis Hanson and take them seriously. They like the war porn, but can't go beyond that.

...

One of the things which distrubs me the most about the chickenhawks is their casual use of terms like Islamofascist. A word which has no meaning. All it does is reek of trying to make this into WWII redux and it isn't. This is a political battle with some military aspects. The idea that we're stopping terrorism in Iraq is insane. We're just training new terrorists to be more effective.

...What is wrong is their cowardice, their craven embrace of violence for other people, and their unAmerican idolitization of empire. Their distorted, corrupt vision of America, one which is neither responsible nor just is a blight on all of us. When you hear a fat piece of shit like Limbaugh, or a snake oil salesman like Savage minimizing torture, their cowardly souls are exposed to the world. The problem is that there are many, many people who think this is tough talk. They think this helps matters.

...As for the warbloggers waiting for a draft: cowards, the lot of you.

Unless you're disabled, you have no fucking right encouraging others to die in your stead. If you weren't cowards, you'd be in the military, not whining about Kosovo or some other bullshit. The Army's recruiting isn't getting any better, and they need YOU. Not the kid from Wal Mart, not the ROTC grad. They need war supporters to take this seriously and walk away from their lives to serve their country directly.

But that won't happen. Because they are cowards. They hide behind the bravery of others and use it as a shield to deflect criticism. "Why if you attack my views, you don't support the soldiers."

My reply to that is "fuck you, gutless bitch." I've never heard a soldier run behind civilians to defend the war, so why are you hiding behind them.

...These people are so cowardly, so craven, they fear remembering the dead will end their fantasies of world power, as well it should.

Bush v. Amnesty International

Who do you trust?

... Josh Buermann points out that Amnesty International was perfectly credible as far as the Bush administration was concerned when it was pointing out the human rights abuses of Saddam's regime.

6/01/2005

McCain

This makes no sense. The Commons at Paulie's World:

LL's prediction: McCain will run as a third party presidential candidate in '08, in a move that may torpedo the Republicans' chances for continued control of the White House.

You know, that sounds like it's in the ballpark.


This makes no sense. Why, then, has McCain spent the last year sucking up to Dubya? Speaking of McCain, my take on this jackass is similar to that of Matt at Code Three:

A hero until he got punked by that little, weakling, draft dodging bitch George W. Bush. I kept trying to give McCain the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they had something on him, maybe he was waiting for just the right moment to strike and get his revenge, maybe he had some kind of master plan that I couldn't divine. Well, you know what? That shit ain't the truth. McCain is Bush's little bitch, plain and simple. Everytime he has the chance to get at Bush he doesn't. Even worse ... McCain is seen as the moderate conservative who gives a populist facade to Bush's ultra-right policies. But, in a way, I can forgive most of it. What I can not forgive is McCain's vote on Gonzales (that torture justifying, smug, piece of shit). After all those years of being tortured by the Viet Cong, McCain turns around and plays a pivotal role in getting Gonzales approved by the Senate?...

Fuck you John McCain and the movie you rode in on. I hope you rot in a special room in hell with Friedman, Colin Powell, Lieberman, and all the other enablers that allowed the Iraq war to happen by never standing up to the bully boy in the white house.

Indeed.

Don't trust lie detectors

If you are ever suspected of a crime, I highly recommend that you refuse to take a lie detector test, even if you're innocent. (If you're guilty, I recommend that you confess.)

5/31/2005

Bernie Sanders for Senate

I can't tell you how happy I am that Bernie Sanders is running for Senate from Vermont. In an era where Hillary Clinton is considered a radical leftist, it will be nice to have a real progressive in a real position of power.

I'm predicting a political sea change in the coming years. If the peak oil theories are even close to being correct, there's going to be a major shortage of natural resources, and I doubt that people will be willing to put up with private businesses setting the terms for their use. People may be willing to live with unbridled capitalism when resources are plentiful, but when they're not, the insanity of letting them be controlled by private interests will hit home in a major way. You know how pissed everyone gets when they have to pay more than $2 a gallon for gas? Imagine what it will be like when they're paying $10 a gallon, or more. See how long your laissez-faire capitalism lasts then.

The reason I bring this up is that, as many of you know, Bernie Sanders self-describes as an 'democratic socialist'. I've been advocating the 'rehabilitation' of socialism, in the acknowledgment that with the exception of extreme right-wingers, we are all socialists to some degree. As Paul Rosenberg wrote about a month ago on My DD:

If the word "socialism" had not been so successfully demonized, it would be a lot more easy to talk about solving some of our most pressing problems. Such as our health care system, which leaves 40-some million people uninsured, and spends more money on paperwork than Washington ever dreamed of.

We need to keep this fundamental reality in mind when ProudUnionDem posts a diary saying:

Bernie Sanders isn't one of these politicians that the wingnuts of the Rep party call a socialist. He calls himself a socialist! He claims to be a "proud" socialist. The last thing we need is to be associated with this nut even though he does often vote correctly.

He is saying that we ought to buy into the hysterical demonization of socialism. That we ought to help spread it ourselves. That we should become part of the very problem that is destroying informed rational self-government in our nation. He is saying we should be part of that problem, rather than fighting those responsible for it. Rather than letting Bernie Sanders perform a valuable public service--not just the ordinary service of public office, which he has performed excellently--but the further service of helping to detoxify the label of "socialism" so that we can think and talk about our political problems and possible solutions in a much more sane and balanced way.

I couldn't agree more. The election of Bernie Sanders to the Senate could be a historic event, the beginning of a new era of saner political discourse.

If you want to donate to Sanders' campaign, you can click on the image below to go to his campaign website.



For more about Sanders, take a look here.

5/30/2005

The artists' Wittgenstein

From the Times Literary Supplement:
Wittgenstein had no time for the notion that philosophy was a set of propositions about the world; it was more a demystifying practice or therapeutic intervention than a system of doctrines. Like the Freudian analyst, its task was not to make propositions but to elucidate them. The Investigations seeks to disabuse us of the illusion that we use language primarily to describe, represent and inform; but it also achieves this end by its performative rather than propositional style, which, like a work of literary fiction, tells tales, floats hypotheses, stages imaginary scenarios, wonders aloud and asks us questions that may or may not be on the level. Like a work of art, then, its form and content are at one. The Investigations contains empirical propositions, but, as with empirical facts in a novel, they are there as elements in a rhetorical design, not for their own sake. Wittgenstein’s technique, like a novelist’s, is to show rather than to say, allowing illumination to dawn upon us gradually, by drawing us into a complex play of scenes and voices. As with any effective dramatist, we are not always sure which of these voices is his own. Like the Freudian analyst, we suspect that the author has a few answers but is keeping them up his sleeve for the moment, forcing us into the work of self-demystification, genially inviting our collaboration, but running the odd ring round us at the same time.

Woman sues Yahoo for publishing nude photos

From the Times Online:
A woman is suing Yahoo! for $3 million (£1.6 million), alleging that the web portal, content and search-engine company has failed to remove naked pictures of her posted by her former boyfriend.

In a lawsuit filed in Oregon, Cecilia Barnes, 48, claims that her former boyfriend began posting naked pictures of her in Yahoo! profiles, with her e-mail address and work telephone number, in December. She says that the photographs were taken without her knowledge.

The lawsuit says that the former boyfriend posed as Ms Barnes in online discussions in Yahoo! chat rooms and directed men to the profiles. She says that she learnt about the postings when men began contacting her at work.

“Due to these profiles and online chats, unknown men would arrive without warning at the plaintiff’s work expecting to engage in sexual relations with her,” the lawsuit states.

Ms Barnes says that she sent a letter to Yahoo! in January, saying that she did not create the profiles and asking for them to be removed. She claims that Yahoo! did not respond to the letter and failed to remove the photographs.

Additional attempts to get Yahoo! to remove the profiles in February and March also failed, the lawsuit claims.

Key to Ms Barnes’s case, however, is a spoken promise that she says she received from a Yahoo! spokeswoman in late March. Ms Barnes says that Mary Osako, Yahoo!’s director of communications, told her that the profiles would be removed, but the pictures are still there.

Under US law, internet companies are broadly protected from being sued over information that is published by third parties, so Ms Barnes’s lawyer says that she has pursued a breach of promise claim instead.

5/29/2005

I scare libertarians

At least, I scare one libertarian.

I guess a blogging wooden head could seem kinda scary to most folks.

But if Tupac keeps coming out with albums, I can write a blog.

Futurology?

From The Observer:
2050 - and immortality is within our grasp

Aeroplaneswill be too afraid to crash, yoghurts will wish you good morning beforebeing eaten and human consciousness will be stored on supercomputers,promising immortality for all - though it will help to be rich.

Thesefantastic claims are not made by a science fiction writer or a crystalball-gazing lunatic. They are the deadly earnest predictions of IanPearson, head of the futurology unit at BT.

'If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine,so when you die it's not a major career problem,' Pearson told TheObserver. 'If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you'repoor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine.We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology ismoving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT.'

He believesthat today's youngsters may never have to die, and points to the rapidadvances in computing power demonstrated last week, when Sony releasedthe first details of its PlayStation 3. It is 35 times more powerfulthan previous games consoles. 'The new PlayStation is 1 per cent as powerful as a human brain,'he said. 'It is into supercomputer status compared to 10 years ago.PlayStation 5 will probably be as powerful as the human brain.'

Theworld's fastest computer, IBM's BlueGene, can perform 70.72 trillioncalculations per second (teraflops) and is accelerating all the time.But anyone who believes in the uniqueness of consciousness or the soulwill find Pearson's next suggestion hard to swallow. 'We're alreadylooking at how you might structure a computer that could possiblybecome conscious. There are quite a lot of us now who believe it'sentirely feasible ... it's my conclusion that it is possible to make aconscious computer with superhuman levels of intelligence before 2020.'

Hecontinued: 'It would definitely have emotions - that's one of theprimary reasons for doing it. If I'm on an aeroplane I want thecomputer to be more terrified of crashing than I am so it doeseverything to stay in the air until it's supposed to be on the ground.

Wow. That's stupid.

Treason! part 2

Seriously, wingnuts: you've got to stop accusing people of treason because you don't like the shit they say. It's making you look ridiculous. Andrew Sullivan's 'email of the day' comes from someone who claims to be a soldier in Iraq:
I would hope to see you over here in theater running your pie-hole about your calls to remove Marines from their post for the 'New Testament' inscription on the main battle tank. You would be buried with your insurgent 'friends' that you support, through your criticism of our men and women dying for this mission with a bulldozer.

For your safety, I would not even be around soldiers, airmen, or marines. Treason is a high crime and misdemeanor and the price is quite high. Your actions border on treason. You could not survive the long days, enemy in-direct and direct fire, and high demands that our soldiers today execute in 100 degree weather. You would have to have a rucksack full of Vagisil for your clam pal to make it a week here.

Most of us are Christians and will continue to support our faith in any way we see fit. Do the right thing: support us or STFU !!!!!!!!!!
Look, if treason were prosecuted the way some right-wingers would have it, 48% of the US population (the percentage that voted for Kerry) would be thrown in prison. (I can hear the wingnuts thinking to themselves: "Fine by me!")

Treason is defined rather ambiguously in the Constitution (Article III, Section 3):
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
What they meant by 'adhering' to the enemies of the US, or giving them 'aid and comfort', is anybody's guess. Plus, the last two clauses ("or in adhering ...") are somewhat ambiguous; is "adhering" to their enemies supposed to be tantamount to "giving them aid and comfort"? Is the latter phrase supposed to be analogous the second clause is a sentence like: "He divorced his wife, leaving her to raise their children alone" ?

The Supreme Court case of United States v Haupt interpreted treason as anything that
strengthens or tends to strengthen the ability of the enemies of the United States or which weakens or tends to weaken the power of the United States to resist such enemies.
This is an extremely ambiguous statement, though, and it is capable of being interpreted in all sorts of ways. People like Sullivan's letter writer would obviously be inclined to interpret it very liberally, saying that any speech in support of the enemy, or disparaging the US military, helps to 'strengthen' the ability of the enemy, or to 'weaken' the US campaign against that enemy.

A saner interpretation of the treason clause in the Constitution is given by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Wimmer v. United States case:
Treason is "adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Both adherence and giving aid are necessary. To "favor or support" is, very likely, to "adhere"; but it does not carry the idea of giving aid and comfort, unless by a rather remote implication. Hence it may well be said that adherence by words only is an offense quite distinct from treason.
On this interpretation, one presumably would have to give some tangible, specifiable 'aid and comfort' to an identifiable enemy before he could be convicted of treason. So speaking out in favor of the Iraqi insurgency wouldn't be treason, but donating money to them would be.

Any workable definition of treason would have to exclude the mere act of criticizing the US military. 'Aid and comfort' cannot reasonably be interpreted as the 'psychological comfort' of Iraqi insurgents that (supposedly) comes from knowing that they have sympathizers within the borders of the US.

'Miliblogger' Dadmanly, a soldier in Iraq, makes what I take to be a paradigmatic conservative argument that members of the media, through unfavorable coverage of the military, are guilty of treason--though, and this is important for me to note, Dadmanly doesn't actually use the word 'treason' in this post (though he has elsewhere). So I want to make it clear that I am not attributing to him the view that the media are traitors. However, that conclusion is often drawn from arguments like the one he makes:
As a member of the U.S. Military in Iraq, let me say something very clearly to Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, CBS, ABC, and any other media organization of any integrity.

You are creating greater risk for me personally. You are creating incredible hostility in Muslim countries due to incessant negative reporting out of context and ignoring orders of magnitude of good news in doing so ...

You create added danger for my soldiers. You feed into enemy (yes, enemy) propaganda efforts in yielding unlimited access to pre-staged voices with calculated intent ... You diminish and demean our service.

...Your vain and callous search for what you indignantly claim as objectivity is really nothing more than neutrality in the face of absolute evil ... you are accomplice in its result.
These claims are basically unverifiable (this is not, in and of itself, to say they are untrue). The harms Dadmanly points to are essentially intangible. To prosecute for treason based on these kinds of claims would be a completely unworkable policy. So Republicans, even if their claim that the media has an anti-military agenda is true, need to stop accusing people of treason. Opposing the Bush administration is not treason. Opposing the US war in Iraq is not treason. Even opposing the military itself is not treason.

Soda/Pop

Mansfield Fox says that the key to understanding the dynamics of the American electorate is knowing where soda is called 'pop', where it is called 'coke', and where it is called, of course, 'soda' (which Mansfield Fox correctly identifies as the proper term).

Speaking of Soda and Pop ... remember Soda Popinski?

Liberal Quicksand is making some sense

You heard me! From LQ:
Why the Patriot Act is Unconstitutional

... Bush 43 signing this into law was the most treasonous act imaginable ...

"For those who think only a liberal would make a stink about government overreach in as noble a cause as the war on terrorism, Barr offers five reasons why conservatives should be leading the charge against the Patriot Act.

  1. It knocks the stuffing out of the Fourth Amendment which mandates the maximum respect for the sancitity of a citizen's home and personal property. It establishes the rights of the individual are equal to the power of the government.
  2. It allows secret searches of homes and offices without timely notification to their occupants and permits the secret seizure of private property. These are police state tactics.
  3. It permits the government to employ secret courts to collect data on the private lives of citizens, ranging from library check-outs to gun purchases, without judicial checks and balances.
  4. It defines terrorist activity so broadly it could be applied against all manner of political dissenters.
  5. The power of the Patriot Act does not expire with the Bush administration. Some Republican conservatives may trust that GWB 43 will not misuse the extraordinary powers bestowed by the Patriot Act. But will they feel as comfortable when a President Hillary wields them?"
My fellow Americans, our freedoms are almost gone - thanks to both of our main political parties.


We now return you to your regularly scheduled wingnuttiness.

Truce, not a treaty

Mark Noonan:
Constitutional Option Still on the Table

So says Utah Senator Orrin Hatch:
The judicial filibuster agreement reached by a group of 14 Republican and Democratic senators may be a truce, but it is not a treaty.

It remains to be seen if the Senate’s tradition of up-or-down votes for judicial nominations will be re-established. And make no mistake, every tool for returning to that tradition remains on the table. As Majority Leader Bill Frist and even some signatories to this agreement have acknowledged, this includes the constitutional option.
I've been hearing that a couple of the Supine Seven got an earful from the conservative base after their deal with the Democrats and they may be amenable to reason on the issue; Senator Hatch's article tends to confirm this view.

This compromise is not aging well. I, for one, don't see how it really solves anything. A truce is a good metaphor; this is just a temporary cease-fire to allow votes on Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owens.

If this is correct, that means our side got basically nothing. The nuclear option is still a possibility, and they get their judges. True, they didn't get their ban on filibustering, but they don't need it for the time being--they got their judges. They can always hit the 'nuke' button next time around.

Shit.

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