Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Simply Stated: The Congress Is Well On Its Way To Pissing This Nation Off In A Big Way! Partisanship, Stupidity, Arrogance And Incompetence Lead...

Simply Stated: The Congress Is Well On Its Way To Pissing This Nation Off In A Big Way! Partisanship, Stupidity, Arrogance And Incompetence Lead The Way.




A Government of Laws, Not of Men
Official Washington is shying away from holding George W. Bush accountable for his crimes, but Peter Dyer says this challenge must be embraced as a chance to restore the Republic. February 10, 2009


Right to Secrecy Trumps Human Rights?


"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then,
to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in
broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask
not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and 
may posterity forget
that ye were our countrymen!”

-Sam Adams-





Leahy Proposes Panel To Investigate Bush Era
Washington Post - Washington,DC,USA  (
ßHot Damn! Ed.)
Rob Saliterman, a spokesman for Bush, declined to comment, saying, ... Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) to impeach then-Vice President Richard B. Cheney. ...


The Problem With Truth, Reconciliation, and Commissions ...
By davidswanson 
Local: connect with Democrats.com members in your State, County, and Congressional District. Ten Reasons to Impeach Bush & Cheney. 64.4%. Ten Reasons to Impeach George Bush and DickCheney. Goal: 250000. Now: 160971 ...
Democrats.com - The Aggressive... - http://www.democrats.com/


Senate Should Pursue Truth About Bush-Cheney Abuses
By John Nichols 
The establishment of a truth commission -- first advanced by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich as a compromise short of the impeachment that George Bush and Dick Cheney so richly deserved -- is the least that Congress can do to begin ...
The Nation: All Weblogs - http://www.thenation.com/blogs/


You Can Forget Prosecutions For Torture Orders Now | Crooks and Liars
By Cernig 
This is just like in 2006 when Democrats were elected to stop the war in Iraq and impeach Bush, which they threatened to do on the election trail but as soon as they were elected, Pelosi declared impeachment off the table and the Dems ...
Crooks & Liars Video Podcast - http://crooksandliars.com/




Obama On Investigating Bush: I'm Looking Forward But "Nobody's ...
By The Huffington Post News Team 
If they IMPEACHED BUSH/CHENEY would too many voters think democrats are only good for vendetta? Obama certainly would not be President. Rock and a hard place. But others setting in motion start stages of investigations, like Leahy ...
Politics on HuffingtonPost.com - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/feeds/verticals/politics/index.xml


Left In Alabama:: "Sam Stein, Huffington Post. Where's Sam? Here ...
By Makeitblue 
You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I've said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. ... But the people that voted for CHANGE have not forgotten the misdeeds of the Bush/Rove/Cheney administration and we are still angry having to pay for it. President Obama, do not forget what and whom got you here, ...Left In Alabama - Front Page - http://www.leftinalabama.com/


Are Bush's secrets safe with Obama? | Capitol Hill Blue
By Doug Thompson 
Everyone nationwide that believes our troops who died in Iraq were murdered for the Bush/CheneyWMD lies needs to. TELL YOUR CONGRESSMAN, the Justice Department and Obama to. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR ... All Peace & Justice groups who really care about our troops should be in the streets weekly until a special prosecutor is appointed. The ALCU should (to redeem itself for failing to support impeachment) now demand a special prosecutor. ...
Capitol Hill Blue - Because nobody's... - http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/


Emptywheel » Pat Leahy Calls for Truth Commission
By emptywheel 
Two years ago I described the scandals at the Bush-Cheney-Gonzales Justice Department as the worst since Watergate. They were. We are still digging out from the debris they left behind. Now we face the worst economic crisis .... Refocusing the Impeachment Movement on Administration Officials Below the President and Vice-President: Why Not Have A Realistic Debate, with Charges that Could Actually Result in Convictions? By JOHN W. DEAN Friday, Dec. 15, 2006 ...
Emptywheel - http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/


Karl Rove Is Betting He Can Avoid Publicly Disclosing His Role In ...
FindLaw - Mountain View,CA,USA
Meanwhile, Rove has once again been subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee of the 111th Congress. Because Rove, along with Miers and Bolten, ...http://writ.newsfindlaw.com/dean/20090206.html


Sen. Leahy's and Rep. Conyers' Truth Commission Could Work but...
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
John Conyers (D-MI) for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration are potentially a terrible idea, ...
See all stories on this topic


On Truth Commission, Obama Is Playing Politics With Executive ...
AlterNet - San Francisco,CA,USA
The establishment of a truth commission -- first advanced by Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich as a compromise short of the impeachment that George Bush and ...
See all stories on this topic


Kevin Drum - Mother Jones Blog: State Secrets
So Obama is adopting the same expansive interpretation of the privilege as the Bush/Cheney administration, and using it in order to cover up American involvement in torture and rendition programs that have been in the public record ..... Had impeachment been successful, then law suits filed by detainees against the government and private companies would make total sense. I assume Obama used the state secrets argument to block this case because it's the only one he has. ...
Kevin Drum - Mother Jones - http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/


Bush Should Be Prosecuted For War Crimes
ToTheCenter.com - Malverne,NY,USA
Just before Bush became the forty-third President of the United States, his predecessor, Bill Clinton, had been threatened with impeachment for lying about ...See all stories on this topic


The ACLU leadership, which steadfastly opposed the impeachment of George Bush and bought the "Don't do anything to jeopardize the election of Obama" line is now surprised to find that the new executive branch is squashing its lawsuits.  Write to the ACLU and demand the president, Anthony Romero, be replaced.  He said just wait until Obama gets elected and everything will be ok.  He called it wrong and when you call something wrong that is that important you should be fired.  Power never relinquishes power voluntarily. They should not be surprised that an executive branch will always cover for another executive branch.  Shame on the ACLU for not acting on impeachment when it had the chance.  Fire Romero. Susan Serpa (Right on Susan (Ed.)


Dear ACLU Supporter, 


Yesterday, ACLU lawyers encountered a recurring -- and troubling -- obstacle in our lawsuit seeking justice for torture victims caught up in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. But this time, the objections were not coming from the Bush administration. 

To our surprise and disappointment, the new Justice Department urged a federal appeals court to dismiss our lawsuit charging a Boeing subsidiary with providing critical support for the CIA’s rendition program based on the same “state secrets” claim that the Bush administration had repeatedly invoked to avoid any judicial scrutiny of its actions. During the course of the argument, one judge asked twice if the change in administration had any bearing on the Justice Department’s position. The attorney for the government said that its position remained the same.

This isn’t the kind of change we need if we want an America we can be proud of again.

If the judges rule in the government’s favor, our clients -- who were tortured as part of the government’s rendition program -- will never get their day in court. 

We’re still hoping the court will rule in our favor and allow our case to move forward. But, in the meantime, we must do everything we can to end the abuse of the “state secrets” doctrine both in the courts and on Capitol Hill. 

Senators Kennedy, Leahy, Specter and Representative Nadler introduced legislation in 2008 to narrow the scope of the state secrets privilege -- and open the courthouse doors to people who have suffered real and legitimate harm by the government. Clearly, this legislation is needed now more than ever. 

Send a message to these members of Congress to let them know you support the State Secrets Protection Act.

This crucial civil liberties bill recognizes the need to take precautions when it comes to national security. But, it also acknowledges that courts have been competently managing the balance between the security of classified information and the right to a fair trial in criminal cases for years. And, most important of all, it makes it much more difficult for the government to abuse the state secrets doctrine to escape accountability for illegal behavior.

We can’t allow any administration to invoke state secrets to hide a reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations. 

Send a message to support the State Secrets Protection Act. 

Yesterday, the Obama administration had an opportunity to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition. But, instead, the Justice Department opted to stay the course.

Now, we must hope that the court will assert its independence, reject the government’s false claims of state secrets, and allow victims of torture and rendition their day in court. 

Thanks for standing with us as we work to pursue justice on this critical civil liberties issue.

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director

P.S. The ACLU has been working on this case for years. To learn more about rendition and the people impacted, watch our short video


No Pay Raise for Lawmakers Next Year  (How About A Pay Cut? Ed.)
Washington Post - United States
... that the leadership will be instructing the Appropriations Committee not to include a COLA for next year," Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ...See all stories on this topic


The Destructive Center| By PAUL KRUGMAN


What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?


A proud centrist. For that is what the senators who ended up calling the tune on the stimulus bill just accomplished.


Even if the original Obama plan — around $800 billion in stimulus, with a substantial fraction of that total given over to ineffective tax cuts — had been enacted, it wouldn’t have been enough to fill the looming hole in the U.S. economy, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will amount to $2.9 trillion over the next three years.


Yet the centrists did their best to make the plan weaker and worse.


All in all, the centrists’ insistence on comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted will, if reflected in the final bill, lead to substantially lower employment and substantially more suffering…..


'This Is The Worst Recession For Over 100 Years'

Ed Balls, the PM's closest ally, warns that downturn is ferocious and says impact will last 15 years

By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor, and Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor

February 10, 2009 "
The Independent" -- In an extraordinary admission about the severity of the economic downturn, Ed Balls even predicted that its effects would still be felt 15 years from now. The Schools Secretary's comments carry added weight because he is a former chief economic adviser to the Treasury and regarded as one of the Prime Ministers's closest allies.

Mr Balls said yesterday: "The reality is that this is becoming the most serious global recession for, I'm sure, over 100 years, as it will turn out."

He warned that events worldwide were moving at a "speed, pace and ferocity which none of us have seen before" and banks were losing cash on a "scale that nobody believed possible".

The minister stunned his audience at a Labour conference in Yorkshire by forecasting that times could be tougher than in the depression of the 1930s, when male unemployment in some cities reached 70 per cent. He also appeared to hint that the recession could play into the hands of the far right.

"The economy is going to define our politics in this region and in Britain in the next year, the next five years, the next 10 and even the next 15 years," Mr Balls said. "These are seismic events that are going to change the political landscape. I think this is a financial crisis more extreme and more serious than that of the 1930s, and we all remember how the politics of that era were shaped by the economy."…


1000000 Strong to Strip Mormon Church of Tax Exempt Status | PEEK ...
By Tana Ganeva 
Go after them in state court if there is a provision that allows for muzzling tax exempt non-profits (i.e., Alternet, the Mormon Church, MoveOn.org**) when it comes to policy discussions. *honestly, I don't think prop 8 will stand up ...
AlterNet.org - http://www.alternet.org/ (This action gets 100% backing here and that goes the same for any Church/Religion that chooses to enter the political arena.  At that point you have crossed the Line Of Separation Of Church And State And Your Tax Exempt Status Is Forfeit! Ed.)


Nobody can sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 | Ron Paul Wins ...
By Bonhomme Richard 
the market, then someone will act to provide that product or service, even if it's in opposition to the civil law. It happened during prohibition and it continues to happen with officially-illegal drugs, despite the so-called war on drugs. .... the bill died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. While there may be a new bill filed again this year, I can assure you that it will not pass in this conservative legislature. The only reason the bill ...
Ron Paul Wins! | Campaign for... - http://www.dailypaul.com/ (On This One. This 2nd Amendment Democrat, Declaration Of Independence 1st Advocate…says: “BULLSHIT! Ed.)



You Can’t Sell News by the Slice


SOMEWHERE at Microsoft, there is a closet packed with leftover Slate umbrellas — a monument to the folly of asking people to pay for what they read on the Internet. These umbrellas — a $20 value! — were the premium we offered to people who would pay $19 for a year’s subscription to Slate, the Microsoft-owned online magazine (later purchased by The Washington Post). We were quite self-righteous about the alleged principle that “content” should not be free.


The word itself was an insult — as if we were just making Jell-O salad in order to sell Tupperware.


The experiment lasted about a year. Still, every so often the dream of getting people to pay recurs. It’s recurring now because of the newspaper crisis: they have been hemorrhaging subscribers and advertisers for their paper editions, even as they give away their contents online. In the current Time, its former managing editor, Walter Isaacson, urges a solution: “micropayments.”


Micropayments are systems that make it easy to pay small amounts of money. (Your subway card is an example.) You could pay a nickel to read an article, or a dime for a whole day’s newspaper.


Well, maybe. But it would be a first. Newspaper readers have never paid for the content (words and photos). What they have paid for is the paper that content is printed on. A week of The Washington Post weighs about eight pounds and costs $1.81 for new subscribers, home-delivered. With newsprint (that’s the paper, not the ink) costing around $750 a metric ton, or 34 cents a pound, Post subscribers are getting almost a dollar’s worth of paper free every week — not to mention the ink, the delivery, etc. The Times is more svelte and more expensive. It might even have a viable business model if it could sell the paper with nothing written on it. A more promising idea is the opposite: give away the content without the paper. In theory, a reader who stops paying for the physical paper but continues to read the content online is doing the publisher a favor.


If the only effect of the Internet on newspapers was a drastic reduction in their distribution costs, publishers could probably keep a bit of that savings, rather than passing all of it and more on to the readers. But the Internet has also increased competition — not just from new media but among newspapers as well. Or rather, it has introduced competition into an industry legendary for its monopoly power.


Just a few years ago, there was no sweeter perch in American capitalism than ownership of the only newspaper in town. Now, every English-language newspaper is in direct competition with every other. Millions of Americans get their news online from The Guardian, which is published in London. This competition, and not some kind of petulance or laziness or addled philosophy, is what keeps readers from shelling out for news.


Micropayment advocates imagine extracting as much as $2 a month from readers. The Times sells just over a million daily papers. If every one of those million buyers went online and paid $2 a month, that would be $24 million a year. Even with the economic crisis, paper and digital advertising in The Times brought in about $1 billion last year. Circulation brought in $668 million. Two bucks per reader per month is not going to save newspapers.


And the harsh truth is that the typical American newspaper is an anachronism. It is an artifact from a time when chopping down trees was essential to telling the news, and when you couldn’t get The New York Times or The Washington Post closer to your bed than the front door, where the local paper lies, sopping wet.


The Times, The Post and a few others probably will survive. When the recession ends, advertising will come back, with fewer places to go. There will be a couple of surprises — local papers that execute their transfer to the Web so brilliantly that they will earn a national readership (like the old Manchester Guardian in England). Or some Web site might mutate into a real Web newspaper.


With even half a dozen papers, the American newspaper industry will be more competitive than it was when there were hundreds. Competition will keep the Baghdad bureaus open and the investigative units stoked with dudgeon. Competition is growing as well among Web sites that think there is money to be made performing the local paper’s local functions. One or two of these will turn out to be right. And then, who will pay even a nickel for the hometown rag?


Michael Kinsley is the founding editor of Slate magazine.


WikiLeaks Helps Open CRS



Last week, WikiLeaks published 6,780 reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), an agency given millions of dollars per year to act as Congress' analytic arm. Despite the fact CRS is funded by taxpayers, the public is not assured access to the reports it produces. Bills to open CRS reports to the public have been introduced in almost every session of Congress since 1998, but the agency remains exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and continues to make its work only available to Members of Congress and their staff as a matter of policy. The newly-released reports have also been merged into the collection at OpenCRS.


Let’s Close Things Out With A Little Humor…Thanks To Denny Roberge –Ohio-


An ad on Craigslist...

To the Guy Who Mugged Me Downtown (Downtown, Georgetown )

I was the white guy with the black Burrberry jacket that you demanded I hand over shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my wife .  You also asked for my wife's purse and earrings.  I hope you somehow come across this message.  I'd like to apologize.

I didn't expect you to crap your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket.  Truth is, I was wearing the jacket for a reason that evening, and it wasn't that cold outside.  You see, my wife had just bought me that Kimber 1911 .45 ACP pistol for Christmas, and we had just picked up a shoulder holster for it that evening.  Beautiful pistol, eh?  It's a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head, isn't it?

I know it probably wasn't a great deal of fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge flopping about in your pants.  I'm sure it was even worse since you also ended up leaving your shoes, cellphone, and wallet with me.  I couldn't have you calling up any of your buddies to come help you try to mug us again.  I took the liberty of calling your mother, or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, and explaining to her your situation.  I also bought myself some gas on your card.  I gave your shoes to one of the homeless guys over by Smiths resturant, along with all of the cash in your wallet, then I threw the wallet itself in a dumpster.

I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell.  They'll be on your bill in case you'd like to know which ones.  Alltel recently shut down the line, and I've only had the phone for a little over a day now, so I don't know what's going on with that.  I hope they haven't permanently cut off your service.  I was about to make some threatening phone calls to the DA's office with it.  Oh well.

So, about your pants; I know that I was a little rough on you when you did this whole attempted mugging thing, so I'd like to make it up to you.  I'm sure you've already washed your pants, so I'd like to help you out.  I'd like to reimburse you for the detergent you used on the pants.  What brand did you use, and was it liquid or powder?  I'd also like to apologize for not killing you and instead making you walk back home humiliated.  I'm hoping that you'll reconsider your choice of path in life.  Next time you might not be so lucky.  If you read this message, email me and we'll do lunch and laundry.  Peace!  - Al

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