Saturday, July 21, 2007

Executive Orders to the Nth Degree

This past week, George W. Bush made it absolutely clear what he thinks of the US Constitution and the "separate but equal" branches of government.

As reported in the Washington Post, Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday [July 19, 2007] in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

Uh, excuse me? Well I guess I didn't realize the Justice Department worked for the White House... oh wait, IT DOESN'T. But Gonzo does.

...Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration's stance "astonishing."
"That's a breathtakingly broad view of the president's role in this system of separation of powers," Rozell said. "What this statement is saying is the president's claim of executive privilege trumps all."

This comes on the heels of the latest executive orders, which state that the government can seize your assets and block "property of certain persons who threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq" without prior notice.

What does that mean? And who gets to decide what the definition of "threatening stabilization efforts" is? Is it protest? Does it mean dissent of White House policies? Can Hillary Clinton's or Barack Obama's assets be seized for vocalizing anti-Iraq war sentiments while they campaign? And the topper is that anyone who attempts to aid someone who is in this situation can have their assets frozen as well. So if I am deemed a threat to stabilization efforts in Iraq due to this blog, I can have my assets frozen. If my friend lends me money to pay my mortgage so I don't default on my loan, he can have his assets seized as well.

In his latest speech on July 24th in South Carolina, W. mentions "Osama bin Laden" 23 times and "terror" or "terrorists" 39 times in a twenty-nine minute speech. This from a man who admitted he didn't "spend that much time on [bin Laden]" only 6 months after the 9/11 attack. It seems the only time he mentions Osama bin Laden is at a local Bush supporter rally to further his ill-fated ideological cause. Bin Laden is not important to W. unless his name can be used to frighten the public at hand.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Johann Hari: Ship of Fools

Hate to the nth degree. I knew there are people like this out there, but this is staggering. This article is a must read for all of us.


The Iraq war has been an amazing success, global warming is just a myth – and as for Guantanamo Bay, it's practically a holiday camp... The annual cruise organised by the 'National Review', mouthpiece of right-wing America, is a parallel universe populated by straight-talking, gun-toting, God-fearing Republicans.

I am standing waist-deep in the Pacific Ocean, both chilling and burning, indulging in the polite chit-chat beloved by vacationing Americans. A sweet elderly lady from Los Angeles is sitting on the rocks nearby, telling me dreamily about her son. "Is he your only child?" I ask. "Yes," she says. "Do you have a child back in England?" she asks. No, I say. Her face darkens. "You'd better start," she says. "The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they'll have the whole of Europe."

It only gets better.

You Want A Filibuster? You Got A Filibuster!


Forcing his Republican colleagues to put up or shut up on the notion of an up-or-down vote, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just moments ago announced that he will immediately file a cloture motion on the Reed-Levin troop redeployment bill and, if Republicans follow through with a filibuster, will place the Senate in a prolonged all-night session Tuesday to force a true continuation of debate.

Senator Dick Durbin bitchslapped Minority Senate Leader Mitch "Jowls" McConnell on the Senate floor today regarding his obfuscation and defense of Bush's failed policy in Iraq. Bring in the steel cage! There's a filibuster in the Senate!

Here's New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez explaining the situation:

UPDATE: Bob Geiger: Reid's Nine-Hour Protest Against Senate GOP In 2003

"...Reid's surprise move to hold the Senate in session all night tonight if Republicans block yet another Iraq-redeployment bill certainly took the political world by storm yesterday, [but] Senate watchers know that Reid is no stranger to holding the Senate open to take a stand and make a point."

Read more.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Christian "Activists" Disrupt Hindu Prayer in Senate

From The Times of India:

WASHINGTON - Christian activists briefly disrupted a Hindu invocation in the U.S Senate on Thursday, marring a historic first for the chamber and showing that fundamentalism is present and shouting in the U.S too.

...three protesters, said to belong to the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America, interrupted him by loudly asking for God's forgiveness for allowing the ''false prayer'' of a Hindu in the Senate chamber. "Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight," the first protester shouted. "This is an abomination. We shall have no other gods before You."

...they continued to protest as they were headed out the door by the marshals, shouting, "No Lord but Jesus Christ!" and "There's only one true God!"

So much for America's "Melting Pot". Here's the video:

...Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the incident showed the intolerance of many Religious Right activists.

"They say they want more religion in the public square, but it's clear they mean only their religion." Americans United Executive Director Rev. Barry W. Lynn, said.

"America is a land of extraordinary religious diversity, and the Religious Right just can't seem to accept that fact," Lynn said. "I don't think the Senate should open with prayers, but if it's going to happen, the invocations ought to reflect the diversity of the American people."

Just goes to show that fundamentalists are out there in every facet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

An Open Letter to CNN from Michael Moore

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dear CNN,

Well, the week is over -- and still no apology, no retraction, no correction of your glaring mistakes.

I bet you thought my dust-up with Wolf Blitzer was just a cool ratings coup, that you really wouldn't have to correct the false statements you made about "Sicko." I bet you thought I was just going to go quietly away.

Think again. I'm about to become your worst nightmare. 'Cause I ain't ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. "The Most Trusted Name in News?" I think it's safe to say you can retire that slogan.

Read the rest of the letter here.