The ALCU is running this as a full page ad. Copy and pass along. Link
This is a good ad. It's clear. It's not a laundry list. The message is
simple. No one is above the law. It's asking for a simple action: a
call to a Member of Congress requesting an investigation. And it calls
to something commonly understood by every American: the system of
checks and balances.
If the wingers really want to contest that
-- regardless of who says it -- well, we can truth squad 'em with their
comments regarding a certain former President and his unfortunate
choice of recreational activities. Above the law, indeed. Consensual
sex, however tawdry, is not illegal. Lying about it under oath is, and
we know the results from that. I suspect *cough cough* lying under oath
is one of the lesser offenses of which President Bush and
Vice-President Cheney may be accused.
And regardless whether we ever see an impeachment of President Bush and
Vice-President Cheney, it's important to insist that the process be
followed, with the full force and intent of the law.
For your reading pleasure, we've compiled some highlights of
Matthews's most egregious false and misleading claims, as well as his
glowing and gushing praise for President Bush.
Without further ado:
Chris ♥ George, Part 1: Bush sometimes "glimmers" with "sunny nobility." On MSNBC's Hardball, during a discussion with Washington Times
editorial page editor Tony Blankley of the effects on President Bush
and his administration of the investigation into the leak of the name
of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Matthews said "[S]ometimes it glimmers
with this man, our president, that kind of sunny nobility." [Hardball, 10/24/05]
Chris ♥ George, Part 2: "Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs ..."Insulting the majority of Americans who hold an unfavorable opinion of President Bush, Matthews exclaimed on Hardball:
"Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs,
maybe on the left," adding, "I mean, like him personally." [Hardball, 11/28/05]
Chris ♥ George, Part 3: Matthews praised Bush speech as "brilliant" even before it was delivered.Before Bush had even delivered his November 30 speech
at the U.S. Naval Academy, Matthews used variations of the word
"brilliant" twice to describe it, while deriding Democratic critics of
the Iraq war as "carpers and complainers." [MSNBC live coverage, 11/30/05]
Chris ♥ George, Part 4: Bush "belongs on Mount Rushmore."Recounting his experience at a White House party, Matthews said that he
"felt sensitive" during his interactions with the president, adding:
"You get your picture taken with him. It's like Santa Claus, and he's
always very generous and friendly." He continued: "I felt like I was
too towel-snappy with him," explaining that Bush had noted his "red
scarf" and remarked that he looked "preppy." During the same show,
Matthews stated: "If [Bush's] gamble that he can create a democracy in
the middle of the Arab world" is successful, "he belongs on Mount
Rushmore." [Hardball, 12/16/05]
Matthews on the filibuster debate: Democrats are "just sort of pouting and bitching."
Matthews weighed in on the filibuster debate in May, declaring: "I
think the Democrats started this fight. I think they did. ... You know,
I think Democrats should win more elections. That will solve their
problem." Days later, in discussing the Senate compromise agreement to
avert the "nuclear option" to ban judicial filibusters, Matthews
repeatedly espoused Republican talking points,
claiming, among other things, that because of the recent bipartisan
agreement aimed at averting the "nuclear option," Democrats can stop
"pouting and bitching ... [and] actually participate in legislation
now"; that Republicans might "get double-crossed or screwed by the
Democrats"; and that the Republican position that every judicial
nominee deserves an up-or-down vote "sounds great to me." [Hardball, 5/18/05]
Matthews repeatedly smeared Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.On April 24, Matthews attacked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) by referring to her as a "sort of a Madame Defarge
of the left." On May 30, Matthews questioned Clinton's ability to lead,
expressing surprise that retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an NBC military
analyst, wasn't "chuckling a little bit" at the idea of Clinton giving
orders to the troops as commander in chief. On July 11, Matthews said
Sen. Clinton "looked more witchy" because she criticized
the Bush administration's homeland security spending priorities on July
8, a day after the London bombings. On July 27, Matthews asked Sen.
Rick Santorum (R-PA) if he thought Sen. Clinton is a "big-government
socialist." [Hardball, 5/30/05; The Chris Matthews Show, 4/24/05; Hardball,7/11/05; Hardball, 7/27/05]
Matthews falsely claimed Democrats accused Alito of being "lenient on the mob." During MSNBC's coverage of the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, Matthews repeatedlymisrepresented
a document about Alito that was circulated by Democrats. Waving the
document around on camera -- but not quoting directly from it --
Matthews falsely claimed that the document accused Alito of being
"lenient on the mob" and made the baseless assertion that, by
mentioning a case involving organized crime, Democrats were "go[ing]
after [Alito's Italian] ethnicity." In fact, the document, available here,
made no mention of Alito's ethnicity and simply noted that he lost a
high-profile mob case -- not that he was "lenient" on anybody. [Hardball, 10/31/05]
Matthews made false claim about Jan. 30 Iraqi election.In praising the Iraqi election in January, Matthews falsely claimed
that no insurgent attacks had occurred at polling places on election
day. In fact, attacks on Iraqi polling places were widely reported
during the January 30 elections. [Hardball, 1/31/05]
Matthews distorted poll data to claim Catholics are increasingly Republican. Matthews cherry-picked poll data
to support his misleading claim that Catholics have voted increasingly
Republican since 1960. In fact, exit poll data indicate that Catholics
are actually a swing constituency: In every presidential election since
1980, a majority or plurality of Catholics have voted for the candidate
who won the popular vote, including Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and
Al Gore in 2000. [The Chris Matthews Show, 4/10/05]
Matthews's panels consistently skew to the right. Matthews
has hosted numerous MSNBC panels that contained far more conservative
commentators than progressives. In 2005, the trend was especially
prevalent during MSNBC's presidential inauguration coverage; and both before and after Bush's State of the Union address. While moderating discussion panels on Hardball, Matthews has repeatedly emphasized the liberal allegiances of progressive guests while failing to note that other guests on the same panels were Republican.
Matthews distorted Murtha's Iraq proposal.Matthews repeatedly suggested that Rep. John P. Murtha's (D-PA) call
for a redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq was inconsistent with his
record of being "known as the soldiers' friend" and "pro-Pentagon,
pro-soldier." The suggestion echoed news reports
that described Murtha as being "usually pro-military" -- implying that
his position on redeployment is not -- and a "pro-military" Democrat,
suggesting that the typical Democrat is not. [Hardball, 11/18/05]
Matthews resurrected false claim that Saddam let Sunni fundamentalists "come in for ... training."
Matthews falsely claimed that, prior to his overthrow by U.S.-led
forces, Saddam Hussein allowed Islamic terrorists to train for chemical
warfare in northern Iraq. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times
noted on June 15, 2003, the training camp, operated by Kurdish Islamic
fundamentalist group Ansar al-Islam, "was in an autonomous Kurdish
region not ruled by Hussein." [Hardball, 11/9/05]
Matthews falsely insisted that the ongoing insurgency in Iraq was unexpected.Ignoring evidence that the Bush administration received repeated prewar
warnings of the potential for a sustained insurgency in Iraq, Matthews
insisted that the continuing bloodshed had not been anticipated.
Matthews suggested that the "enduring" nature of the Iraqi insurgency
was a surprise and told viewers that he didn't "know many people who
expected it to still be going on this long." However, as reported by USA Today,
"Military and civilian intelligence agencies repeatedly warned prior to
the invasion that Iraqi insurgent forces were preparing to fight and
that their ranks would grow as other Iraqis came to resent the U.S.
occupation and organize guerrilla attacks." [The Chris Matthews Show, 9/25/05]
Matthews falsely attacked Wilson over Niger trip's genesis.Matthews falsely accused former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV of claiming during his July 6 Meet the Press appearance and in his July 6 New York Times
op-ed that Vice President Dick Cheney had sent him on his February 2002
trip to investigate whether Iraq had tried to acquire uranium from
Niger. In fact, Wilson never made such a claim in either his Times op-ed or his appearance on Meet the Press. Wilson wrote in his Times op-ed that CIA officials, not the vice president, asked him to go to Niger; discussing his op-ed on Meet the Press,
Wilson said that the "the question [of Iraq seeking uranium from Niger]
was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice president." [The Chris Matthews Show, 7/24/05]
Matthews mischaracterized Democratic efforts to complete intel probe as "disingenuous," "using crocodile tears."
Matthews baselessly assigned motives to both the Democrats' support for
authorizing the president to take the country to war in October 2002
and their recent push
to complete "phase two" of the Senate Intelligence Committee's probe
into the prewar intelligence on Iraq. Matthews characterized Democrats'
efforts to fully examine the Bush administration's handling of the
intelligence as "disingenuous," "using crocodile tears," and "trying to
climb down off the war." Matthews ignored Democrats' argument that the
judgments provided to Congress on the Iraqi threat prior to the vote
were later found to have been false or exaggerated. [Hardball, 11/1/05]
Chris has strayed so far off the reservation, that Tip O'Neil must be rolling in his grave over what Matthews has become.
Matthews' show has morphed into "Softball" with his pathetic buttsmooching of the current administration.
Like Woodward, Matthews has become enamored of being one of the
popular crowd and has sold his integrity to maintain his good standing
with Jr. and his "crew" of criminals.
Chris, it's not the horserace that is important! It's the substance. Good call by Media Matters for America - and not just for the above atrocities...
As Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler has consistently pointed out,
Matthews was the phoniest, fakest shill for the RNC in 2000 - his
smears of Gore were just awful. He gave a repeat performance in 2004,
giving the Swift Boat Liars credibility when they deserved none.
In a way, 2005 is not Chris's best work - that comes in an election
year, when he can smear, distort, pretent to read minds, and just plain
old make s*** up.
When I heard Matthew's story about the red scarf and the Christmas
party. It sounded like a romantic diary
entry from a teenage girl. I did not realize Matthews was ever an
actual journalist until I read it here.
The Bush administration's surveillance policy has failed to make a dent in the war against al Qaeda. This kind of shortsightedness is the reason why empires always fail to win guerilla wars:
law enforcement sources said that more than four years of surveillance
by the National Security Agency has failed to capture any high-level al
Qaeda operative in the United States. They said al Qaeda insurgents
have long stopped using the phones and even computers to relay
messages. Instead, they employ couriers.
have been way ahead of us in communications security," a law
enforcement source said. "At most, we have caught some riff-raff. But
the heavies remain free and we believe some of them are in the United
members of Congress have been briefed on the effectiveness of the
government surveillance program that does not require a court order.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican,
who was briefed by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the matter,
said he plans to hold hearings on the program by February 2006.
"There may be legislation which will come out of it [hearings] to restrict the president's power," Mr. Specter said.
law enforcement sources said the intelligence community has identified
several al Qaeda agents believed to be in the United States. But the
sources said the agents have not been found because of insufficient
intelligence and even poor analysis.
assertions by the law enforcement sources dispute President Bush's
claim that the government surveillance program has significantly helped
in the fight against terrorism. The president said the program, which
goes beyond the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, limits
eavesdropping to international phone calls.
sources provided guidelines to how the administration has employed the
surveillance program. They said the National Security Agency in
cooperation with the FBI was allowed to monitor the telephone calls and
e-mails of any American believed to be in contact with a person abroad
suspected of being linked to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.
that point, the sources said, all of the communications of that
American would be monitored, including calls made to others in the
United States. The regulations under the administration's surveillance
program do not require any court order.
new regulations don't require this because it is considered an ongoing
investigation," a source familiar with the program said.
sources said the Patriot Act was based on the assessment that al Qaeda
had established cells in Muslim communities in the United States.
obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union confirm that the FBI has
monitored and infiltrated a range of Muslim and Arab groups, including
the Washington-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
despite the huge amount of raw material gathered under the legislation,
the FBI has not captured one major al Qaeda operative in the United
States. Instead, federal authorities have been allowed to use
non-terrorist material obtained through the surveillance program for
investigation and prosecution.
more than one case, the sources said, a surveillance target was
prosecuted on non-terrorist charges from information obtained through
wiretaps conducted without a court order. They said the FBI supported
this policy in an attempt to pressure surveillance targets to cooperate.
problem is not the legislation but lack of intelligence and analysis,"
another source said. "We have a huge pile of intercepts that never get
translated, analyzed and thus remain of no use to us. If it
[surveillance] was effective, that's one thing. But it hasn't been
Could it be that Al Queda isn't doing vegan cookouts, Gay Pride marches or Quaker peace meetings?
I know it's hard to believe, but they might have other interests.
Being forced to
watch this movie for all eternity would be like finding yourself in one
of those "Twilight Zone" episodes in which the same torture keeps
happening again and again.
Before all the leftover Christmas turkey is gone, there may
still be time to have a look back at the classic Salon.com article from December
2001 concerning the central flaw in It’s a Wonderful Life—that Pottersville, the
supposedly nightmarish town that would have sprung up had George Bailey not
existed, actually looks a hell of a lot more fun than Bedford Falls, which it
replaces in George’s Clarence-inspired hallucinations. Put more succinctly by
the writer, Gary Kamiya: “There’s just one problem: Pottersville rocks!”
making a hilarious, point-by-point argument (weakened only when he
calls the taxi driver Bert—of course, the cabbie is Ernie; Bert is the
cop), the writer concludes with this salient point:
In Capra's Tale of
Two Cities, Pottersville is the Bad Place. It's the demonic foil to
Bedford Falls, the sweet, Norman Rockwell-like town in which George
grows up. Named after the evil Mr. Potter, Pottersville is the setting
for George's brief, nightmarish trip through a world in which he never
existed. In that alternative universe, Potter has triumphed, and we are
intended to shudder in horror at the sinful city he has spawned -- a
kind of combo pack of Sodom, Gomorrah, Times Square in 1972, Tokyo's
hostess district, San Francisco's Barbary Coast ca. 1884 and one of
those demon-infested burgs dimly visible in the background of a
Hieronymus Bosch painting.
There's just one problem: Pottersville rocks!
its brief but memorable appearance during that tumultuous scene when
George, who has just been bounced from Nick's Bar and is beginning to
seriously freak out, rushes down the main street. Many bartenders, after being subjected to this insufferably patronizing
sermon -- "Off with you, my lad, and be lively"? "That's a good man"?
-- on top of being ordered to make an insultingly impractical drink,
would simply reach behind the bar and bring down a baseball bat upon
the head of the offending customer. To his credit, Nick does not.
Instead, he delivers a speech that, while perhaps not as gracious as it
could have been, is a model of frankness and concision. "We serve hard
drinks for men who want to get drunk fast," he tells Clarence, "and we
don't need any 'characters' hanging around to give the joint
I have made, I believe, a definitive case that Pottersville has gotten
a bad rap and that Bedford Falls is grossly overrated. But if there are
any who are still unconvinced, I would just like to remind them of one
little detail: in the real world, Potter won.
We all live in Pottersville now. Bedford Falls is gone. The plucky
little Savings and Loan closed down years ago, just like in George's
nightmare. Cleaned up, his evil eyebrows removed, armed with a good PR
firm, Mr. Potter goes merrily about his business, "consolidating" the
George Baileys of the world. To cling to dreams of a bucolic America
where the little guy defeats the forces of Big Business and the
policeman and the taxi driver and the druggist and the banker all sing
Auld Lang Syne together is just to ask for heartbreak and confusion
when you turn off the TV and open your front door. So don't fight it. It's a Pottersville world! Welcome jitterbuggers! Get me -- (ka-ching!) -- I'm giving out wings!
The AFA believes that the Girl's Inc. "I Can" band leads to dead fetuses and wanton dykery.
A short while back the bible-beaters were up in arms over American
Girl dolls, and the line's affiliation with Girls Incorporated, which
helps young, underprivileged young women build a sense of self-respect
and self-determination. The problem is that Girls Inc. also teaches
girls about their bodies, health and sexuality. The big siren went off
The all-too-familiar bigots at the American Family Association ran a petition campaign with this message spamming out to American Girl President Ellen Brothers and Mattel Chairman Bob Eckert. (Mattel owns American Girl):
I have been made aware of your cash donation and continuing proceeds through the "I Can" bracelet to Girls Inc.
I feel American Girl and Mattel has made a tragic mistake in
partnering with Girls Incorporated, a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian
After viewing the Girls Inc. website, I am convinced your financial
support for them will cause a lot of American Girl fans and consumers
to abandon their longtime loyalty and faithfulness to your company.
I implore you to reconsider your partnership with Girls Inc. and let
me know of your decision. Your response to my concerns will greatly
affect how I choose to do business with American Girl and Mattel in the
Well, which road did Mattel take -- the Kraft
path ("screw you" AmTaliban"), maybe? No, like Ford, Mattel caved in to
the bible beaters. (CBS):
was until the Wiesners found out that the American Girl company donates
money to an organization called Girls Incorporated, which offers
support to underprivileged girls. Girls Inc. also endorses Roe v. Wade
- the right to abortion and it promotes acceptance of homosexuality.
It's an association that families like the Wiesners are protesting with
"This year, we're not going to buy any of the products for Christmas," Wiesner says bluntly.
...American Girl, which just launched its first ever major ad campaign in its 20-year history, released a statement saying it is "profoundly disappointed that certain groups have chosen to misconstrue American Girl's purely altruistic efforts."
Also Mattel, the maker of the doll has decided it will not renew its partnership with Girls Inc.which runs out this year.
I can almost guarantee you that Mattel won't do a mea culpa in the end as the automaker did. Joyce M. Roch, President of Girls, Inc., responded to the controversy on its site.
our mission to help girls develop their self-esteem and self-reliance
has become the target of false, inflammatory statements from people who
are pursuing a narrow political agenda.
Girls Incorporated stands on its long positive history. The
millions of lives we have touched speak for who we are and our values.
Thanks to all of you who believe in our mission of inspiring girls to
be strong, smart, and bold. Together, we will continue to work to help
all girls realize their potential.
"In addition, since 1992 Girls Inc. has provided over $1.8 million
in college scholarships to girls who have become leaders in all walks
of life and has played a crucial role in advancing girls' rights
through supporting legislation such as Title IX and the Violence
Against Women Act. Recently, our mission to help girls develop their
self-esteem and self-reliance has become the target of false,
inflammatory statements from people who are pursuing a narrow political
I have to agree with Senator Barack Obama
-- this is silly. These people are boycotting American Girl because
Girls Inc. wants to see women succeed outside of the home. Women can be
whatever they want! Organizations like Girls Inc. don't need to
encourage women to be homemakers -- there have been hundreds of years
of encouragement ingrained into our culture. And the "Christian"
churches advocate baby-making and homemaking more than enough.
I find dangerous in all this is that these "Christians" are trying to
co-opt "feminism." I'm a glutton for punishment, so sometimes I listen
to Relevant Radio
-- the "orthodox" Catholic talk radio station. They've talked about how
we should view women in light of the gifts God has given them. (Which
is code word for uteruses.) They argue this is the new feminism --
respecting women for who/what they really
-- or rather, what God made them (i.e. baby-factories). Unsaid in all
of it is the view that God created women to be mothers. The consistent
absence of a discussion of what God created women to be is incredibly
CHICAGO--With winter's onset driving the demand for surface coal to
record-high levels, the mineral's cost is now beyond the reach of low-
and middle-income Americans who wish to punish their naughty children.
"Coal in one's stocking is meant to serve as an admonishment or
warning, not as a dependable grade-B investment," said William
Menchell, a commodities adviser for T. Rowe Price. "In today's market,
children should only have their stockings stuffed with lumps of coal if
they have been studious and obedient, and show an interest in long-term
investments in the energy sector." For more affordable punitive
options, analysts point to the relatively stagnant switch market, which
could soon go the way of coal if demand increases for combustible
A good question was raised by a caller on TOTN (Talk of the Nation)
yesterday. she asked if this technology was used by the administration
during the 2004 election to spy on the kerry camp and peaceful
protestors of the administration (i'm paraphrasing). without FISA/FISC
oversight, and without any transparency, how can this be trusted? The FBI already missused such powers against civil rights leaders (including MLK).
When the NSA wiretapping story
first hit the pages of the NYT a few days ago, there were clearly a
huge number of unanswered questions. Is the wiretapping that the
President has authorized illegal under the FISA act? Is it
unconstitutional? If it's illegal, does the President have the
authority to violate the law if he's acting in the best interests of
the republic? And then there's the question of why the NYT sat on this
story for over a year before going public with it.
I'm not really going to make any attempt to answer questions of
legality and constitutionality, because the Internet is full of
armchair constitutional scholars right now who're fighting tooth and
nail over these questions, generating much heat but very little light.
Instead, I'd like to point your attention to some later developments in
this case that clearly indicate that there's much more going on here
than we initially assumed. When the truth comes out (if it ever does),
this NSA wiretapping story will almost certainly be a story not just
about the Constitutional concept of the separation of powers, but about
To return to the last question in the first paragraph, let's take a
look at the NYT's own answer. The quotes below are from NYT executive
editor Bill Keller's statement on the matter:
A year ago, when this information first became known to Times
reporters, the Administration argued strongly that writing about this
eavesdropping program would give terrorists clues about the
vulnerability of their communications and would deprive the government
of an effective tool for the protection of the country's security...
As we have done before in rare instances when faced with a
convincing national security argument, we agreed not to publish at that
"We also continued reporting, and in the ensuing months two things
happened that changed our thinking... Second, in the course of
subsequent reporting we
satisfied ourselves that we could write about this program --
withholding a number of technical details -- in a way that would not
expose any intelligence-gathering methods or capabilities that are not
already on the public record.
(Emphasis in the above quote and in all subsequent quotes is added.)
So the NYT sat on this story for a year in part because they were
concerned that they wouldn't be able to report it without revealing
some crucial technical details of how the program works.
Now let's take a look a statement of former senator Bob Graham (D-FL),
who was one of the few senators to be briefed on the program. From a
new Washington Post article:
"I came out of the room with the full sense that we were dealing with a
change in technology but not policy," Graham said, with new
opportunities to intercept overseas calls that passed through U.S.
Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly has rounded up
a few more quotes like those above (including the NYT quote), that also
help make a very good case that what's at issue here is some kind of
new NSA surveillance technology:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales,
telling reporters why Bush didn't simply ask Congress to pass a law
making the program clearly legal: "We've had discussions with members
of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could
get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely
to be - that was not something we could likely get, certainly not
without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore,
killing the program."
answering questions at Monday's press conference: "We use FISA
still....But FISA is for long-term monitoring....There is a difference
between detecting so we can prevent, and monitoring. And it's important
to know the distinction between the two....We used the [FISA] process
to monitor. But also....we've got to be able to detect and prevent."
Senator Jay Rockefeller,
in a letter to Dick Cheney after being briefed on the program in 2003:
"As I reflected on the meeting today, and the future we face, John
Poindexter's TIA project sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern
regarding the direction the Administration is moving with regard to
security, technology, and surveillance."
This last quote above, the one about TIA, is especially telling. TIA
was a massive electronic intelligence gathering program designed to
mechanically sift through phone calls, emails, and other electronic
communications in order to build pictures of how individuals fit into
larger networks. We covered TIA here on Ars, but of all the coverage I
think Caesar's initial take on it seems the most directly applicable to
the current situation:
This system's purpose would be to monitor communications and detect
would-be terrorists and plots before they happen... This project is not
interested in funding "evolutionary" changes in technology, e.g.,
bit-step improvements to current data mining and storage techniques.
Rather, the amount of data that the directors are anticipating
(petabytes!) would require massive leaps in technology (and perhaps
also some massive leaps in surveillance laws). According to DARPA, such
data collection "increases information coverage by an order of
magnitude," and ultimately "requires keeping track of individuals and
understanding how they fit into models."
"Massive leaps in surveillance laws" indeed. TIA became public in
2002, and Congress quickly put the kibosh on it. This is right about
the time that Bush secretly signed the executive order authorizing the
new NSA wiretap program.
So, are TIA and the NSA wiretapping directive related? That probably
depends on what you mean by "related." I doubt seriously they're the
same thing, but it's entirely possible that the undescribed new
technology used in the NSA wiretapping program was also going to be
deployed as a part of TIA's massive data collection efforts.
My main point in bringing up TIA is twofold: 1) TIA-like efforts are still going on (Defensetech catalogs some),
and 2) the government has been trying to use new technology, like
database tech and voice recognition, for domestic surveillance for a
long time. And when I say a long time, I mean well before the current
administration came into office.
The domestic electronic surveillance ball really got rolling under
the Clinton administration, with the 1994 Communications Assistance for
Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). CALEA mandated that the telcos aid
wiretapping by installing remote wiretap ports onto their digital
switches so that the switch traffic would be available for snooping by
law enforcement. After CALEA passed, the FBI no longer had to go
on-site with wiretapping equipment in order to tap a lineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬ï¿½they could
monitor and digitally process voice communications from the comfort of
the home office. (The FCC has recently ruled that CALEA covers VOIP services, which means that providers like Vonage will have to find a way to comply.)
CALEA opened up a huge can of worms, and PGP creator Phil Zimmermann
sounded the alarm back in 1999 about where the program was headed:
A year after the CALEA passed, the FBI disclosed plans to require the
phone companies to build into their infrastructure the capacity to
simultaneously wiretap 1 percent of all phone calls in all major U.S.
cities. This would represent more than a thousandfold increase over
previous levels in the number of phones that could be wiretapped. In
previous years, there were only about a thousand court-ordered wiretaps
in the United States per year, at the federal, state, and local levels
combined. It's hard to see how the government could even employ enough
judges to sign enough wiretap orders to wiretap 1 percent of all our
phone calls, much less hire enough federal agents to sit and listen to
all that traffic in real time. The only plausible way of processing
that amount of traffic is a massive Orwellian application of automated
voice recognition technology to sift through it all, searching for
interesting keywords or searching for a particular speaker's voice. If
the government doesn't find the target in the first 1 percent sample,
the wiretaps can be shifted over to a different 1 percent until the
target is found, or until everyone's phone line has been checked for
subversive traffic. The FBI said they need this capacity to plan for
the future. This plan sparked such outrage that it was defeated in
Congress. But the mere fact that the FBI even asked for these broad
powers is revealing of their agenda.
Read the quote above carefully, and see if it doesn't ring any bells
for you. The salient points that Zimmermann makes are these:
In 1995, back when the Pentium Pro was hot stuff, the FBI
requested the legal authorization to do very high-volume monitoring of
There's no way for the judicial system to approve warrants for the number of calls that the FBI wanted to monitor.
agency could never hire enough humans to be able to monitor that many
calls simultaneously, which means that they'd have to use voice
recognition technology to look for "hits" that they could then follow
up on with human wiretaps.
It is entirely possible that the NSA technology at issue here is some
kind of high-volume, automated voice recognition and pattern matching
system. Now, I don't at all believe that all international calls are or
could be monitored with such a system, or anything like that. Rather,
the NSA could very easily narrow down the amount of phone traffic that
they'd have to a relatively small fraction of international calls with
some smart filtering. First, they'd only monitor calls where one end of
the connection is in a country of interest. Then, they'd only need the
ability to do a roving random sample of a few seconds from each call in
that already greatly narrowed pool of calls. As Zimmermann describes
above, you monitor a few seconds of some fraction of the calls looking
for "hits," and then you move on to another fraction. If a particular
call generates a hit, then you zero in on it for further real-time
analysis and possible human interception. All the calls can be
recorded, cached, and further examined later for items that may have
been overlooked in the real-time analysis.
And here the key is not so much persistence as it is agility. It's a
quicker trigger. It's a subtly softer trigger. And the intrusion into
privacy -- the intrusion into privacy is significantly less. It's only
international calls. The period of time in which we do this is, in most
cases, far less than that which would be gained by getting a court
This sounds pretty much like what I've described above. And yes,
this kind of real-time voice recognition, crude semantic parsing and
pattern matching is doable with today's technology, especially when you
have a budget like the NSA.
The "softer trigger" here is a phrase that's on a watch list, or a
call with an abnormally high volume of a certain type of vocabulary.
The "agility" bit is a reference to the technology's ability to move
from call to call, taking small slices. That's also probably what's
behind the claim that the technology is less intrusive than a
traditional wiretap, because the time slices are very short.
Finally, I know a lot of people are bringing up Echelon here, and
Echelon is indeed relevant. However, the relevance isn't in how the NSA
program is connected to Echelon - it probably isn't - but in the fact that
Echelon is yet another example of a government-run, high-volume,
automated intelligence gathering project that looks for certain words
or phrases in samples of electronic communications.This really goes to the crux of the matter. Any "terrorist" worth his
salt would certainly have better tradecraft than to use any kind of
"plainly spoken" phrase that would be picked up by the government
filters. After all, we trained a lot of the people who trained these
people during the Soviet war in Afganistan, and I can't imagine the CIA
wouldn't teach them these simple principles of tradecraft.
might catch some of the "stupid" ones. Or the non-trained ones. Or the
home-grown ones not connected to a "professional" terrorist group. But,
you could probably catch those people through legal means too, and not
risk impeachment and public outrage. So, if not for terror (which seems
to be the administration's "stock" response for everything since 9/11),
The neo-con stated goal of ensuring Republican control of the country seems a likely candidate to me.
The implication of this type of surveillance is that you monitor
everyone. Or at least a huge chunk of them. Whether you think that is
right, wrong, justifiable, etc. it's obviously a massive change which
dictates a public discussion. But I suspect, or at least hope, that a
significan number of Americans would be genuinely opposed to such a
change in surveillence techniques. In my thinking, the fact that it
might be computers listening instead of people doesn't change the
nature of the privacy invasion. If anything, it makes it worse because
what would have been impossible with humans (listen to every single
phone call) because possible with computers.
Even if the article
is wrong in guessing that this is what's behind the current tiff, I do
think that this type of approach is coming if not already here. Take
for example 'roving wiretaps'. I haven't seen any discussion of how
exactly that works. It could very well involve tapping all phones in an
area a scanning for the voiceprint of the wiretap subject.
example of late. The story about the student who got a visit from the
government for requesting a book by Mao for inter-library loan. If you
assume that the student was not already under surveillance, the only
way for that to happen is if the governement is monitoring all
inter-library loans. Which would certainly explain why they are so
tight lipped about the library record provisions in the Patriot act.
So to take a stab at making a "real world" layman's example of this
technology: This is basically like cops going around neighborhoods,
opening up your front door, and glancing around real fast to see if
there's anything suspicious. If they don't see anything, they move on
to the next house. If something doesn't look right, they hang around
and check things out more closely.
Sound about right? If that's
the case, then yeah, I can see why they
A) wouldn't want to go to
Congress to ask for a change in the law, and B) wouldn't want to try to
get a warrant for these.
In both cases, they'd be told to go fly a
kite. So, if this is the case, it's probably what I expected when the
story first broke. It's another case of "they might say no, so let's
Election officials spooked by tampering in a test last week of
Diebold optical-scan voting machines should be equally wary of
optical-scan equipment produced by other manufacturers, according to a
computer scientist who conducted the test.
Election officials in Florida's Leon County, where the test
occurred, promptly announced plans to drop Diebold machines in favor of
optical-scan machines made by Election Systems & Software, or
ES&S. But Hugh Thompson, an adjunct computer science professor at
the Florida Institute of Technology who helped devise last week's test,
believes other systems could also be vulnerable.
"Looking at these systems doesn't send off signals that ... if we
just get rid of Diebold and go to another vendor we'll be safe,"
Thompson said. "We know the Diebold machines are vulnerable. As for
ES&S, we don't know that they're bad but we don't know that they're
Thompson and Harri Hursti, a Finnish computer scientist, were able
to change votes on the Diebold machine without leaving a trace. Hursti
conducted the same test for the California secretary of state's office
Tuesday. The office did not return several calls for comment.
Information about the vulnerability comes as states face deadlines
to qualify for federal funding to replace punch-card and lever machines
with new touch-screen or optical-scan machines. In order to get
funding, states must have new machines in place by their first federal
election after Jan. 1, 2006.
Optical-scan machines have become the preferred choice of many
election officials due to the controversy over touch-screen voting
machines, many of which do not produce a paper trail. Optical-scan
machines use a paper ballot on which voters mark selections with a pen
before officials scan them into a machine. The paper serves as a backup
if the machine fails or officials need to recount votes.
The hack Thompson and Hursti performed involves a memory card that's
inserted in the Diebold machines to record votes as officials scan
ballots. According to Thompson, data on the cards isn't encrypted or
secured with passwords. Anyone with programming skills and access to
the cards -- such as a county elections technical administrator, a
savvy poll worker or a voting company employee -- can alter the data
using a laptop and card reader.
To test the machines, Thompson and Hursti conducted a mock election
on systems loaded with a rigged memory card. The election consisted of
eight ballots asking voters to decide, yes or no, if the Diebold
optical-scan machine could be hacked.
Six people voted "no" and two voted "yes." But after scanning the ballots, the total showed one "no" vote and seven "yes" votes.
Diebold did not return several calls for comment.
Thompson said in a real race between candidates someone could
pre-load 50 votes for Candidate A and minus 50 votes for Candidate B,
for example. Candidate B would need to receive 100 votes before
equaling Candidate A's level at the start of the race. The total number
of votes on the machine would equal the number of voters, so election
officials wouldn't become suspicious.
"It's self-destroying evidence," he said. "Once ... the machine gets
past zero and starts counting forward for Candidate B, there's no
record that at one point there were negative votes for Candidate B."
Thompson said a second vulnerability in the cards makes it easy to
program the voting machine so that it thinks the card is blank at the
start of the race. This is important because before voting begins on
Election Day, poll workers print a report of vote totals from each
machine to show voters that the machines contain no votes.
"The logic to print that zero report is contained on the memory card
itself," Thompson said. "So all you do is alter that code ... to always
print out a zero report (in the morning)."
David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory and chair of California's Voting Systems Technical
Assessment and Advisory Board, said that programming software on a
removable memory card raises grave concerns.
"The instant anyone with security sensibility hears this, red flags
and clanging alarms happen," Jefferson said. "Because this software
that is inserted from the memory module is not part of the code base
that goes through the qualification process, so it's code that escapes
The vote manipulation could conceivably be caught in states where
election laws require officials to conduct a 1 percent manual recount
to compare digital votes against paper ballots. Parallel monitoring, in
which officials pull out random machines for testing on Election Day,
might also catch vote manipulation.
But Thompson says machines could be programmed to recognize when
they're being tested so as not to change votes during that time. And a
manual recount that only examines 1 percent of machines might not be
"The question is, if you have altered a memory card in just one of
the polling places or even just on one machine, what are the chances
that the machine would fall under that 1 percent?" Thompson said.
"That's kind of scary."
Considering the responses of Bill Kristol, the Wall Street Journal, and others
to President Bush’s affirmation of warrantless domestic spying by the
NSA, perhaps it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff in this
America. The Rude Pundit believes a new "contract" of sorts is needed
between the government and the American people. Howzabout this:
(the undersigned) believe President George W. Bush when he says that
the United States of America is fighting a 'new kind of enemy' that
requires 'new thinking' about how to wage war. Therefore, as a loyal
citizen of President Bush’s United States, my signature below indicates
my agreement to the following:
"1. I believe wholeheartedly in
the Patriot Act as initially passed by Congress in 2001, as well as the
provisions of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act. Therefore, I grant
the FBI access to:
"a. my library records, so it may determine if I am reading material that might designate me an enemy of the nation;
my financial records, including credit reports, so it may determine if
I am contributing monetarily to any governmentally proscribed
activities or organizations;
"c. my medical records, so it may
determine if my prescriptions, injuries, or other conditions are
indicative of terrorist activity on my part;
"d. any and all
other personal records including, but not limited to, my store
purchases, my school records, my web browsing history, and anything
else determined as a 'tangible thing' necessary to engage in a secret
investigation of me.
"I agree that I do not need to be notified
if my records have come under scrutiny by the FBI, and, furthermore, I
agree that no warrant is needed for the FBI to engage in this
examination of my personal records. Additionally, I agree that the FBI
should be allowed to monitor any groups it believes may be linked to
what it determines to be terrorist activity.
"2. I believe that
the President of the United States has the power to mitigate any and
all laws passed by the Congress and that he has such power granted to
him by his status as Commander-in-Chief in the Constitution as well as
the 2001 Authorization of Military Force, passed by the Congress, which
states that the President can use 'all necessary and appropriate force'
in prosecution of the war. Therefore, I grant the United States
government the following powers:
"a. that the National Security
Agency, under the direction of the President, may tap my phone lines
and intercept my e-mail without warrant or FISA oversight;
that the President may hold me or other detainees without access to the
legal system for a period of time determined by the President or his
"c. that the President may authorize physical force
against me or other individual detainees in order to gain intelligence
and that he may define whether such physical force may be called
"d. that the President may set aside any and all laws
he sees as hindering the gathering of intelligence and prevention of
terrorist acts for a period as time determined by the President,
including, but not limited to, rights to political protest.
agree that the Judicial and Legislative branch should be allowed no
oversight of these activities, and that such oversight merely emboldens
the terrorists. I also agree that virtually all of these activities may
be conducted in complete secrecy and that revelation of these
activities amount to treasonous behavior on the part of those who
reveal these activities to the press and the citizenry.
Finally, this document is my statement that I believe the President of
the United States and the entire executive branch, as well as all
departments and agencies involved, as well as all of its personnel,
will treat these powers I have granted them with utmost respect. I
believe that these powers will not be abused, nor will any of the
information I have given them permission to examine be misinterpreted.
However, should such abuse or misinterpretation occur, I agree that
such actions are mere errors and no one should be subject to
investigation, arrest, or employment action as a result.
"My consent freely given, "(Your signature)"
Michelle Malkin, Byron York, John Hinderaker, and all the rest of you
good Bush lovers. Sign on up. Send it in to the White House. Let 'em
know that you have nothing to hide. Or nothing you don't care about
Earlier Resignations on Principle --Lest We Forget
These fed-up Bush officials so disagreed with administration policies
that they preferred the uncertainty of the unemployment line to toeing
the party line.
Other Resignations on Principle Ariana Huffington
published these letters of resignation from the Bush House on principle
(along with her interpretations, omitted here), back in 2003. It's
clearly time for Ariana to update this ever-growing file again,
starting with Judge Robertson.
Mike Dombeck, Forest Service chief, resigned March 27, 2001, after four years on the job.
What he wrote in his resignation letter: "It was made clear in no
uncertain terms that the administration wants to take the Forest
Service in another direction ..."
John Brown, Ph.D., was a Foreign Service officer for nearly 25 years,
having served in London, Prague, Krakow, Kiev and Belgrade. He resigned
March 10, 2003.
What he wrote in his resignation letter: "I
cannot in good conscience support President Bush's war plans against
Iraq. The president has failed to: explain clearly why our brave men
and women in uniform should be ready to sacrifice their lives in a war
on Iraq at this time; to lay out the full ramifications of this war,
including the extent of innocent civilian casualties; to specify the
economic costs of the war for the ordinary Americans; to clarify how
the war would help rid the world of terror; to take international
public opinion against the war into serious consideration."
Bruce Boler, an EPA state water quality specialist, resigned from his
post Oct. 23, 2003, because his bosses at the EPA accepted the findings
of a controversial study that concluded that Florida wetlands discharge
more pollutants than they absorb.
What he wrote in his resignation letter: "... ultimately the politics
of southwestern Florida have proven stronger than the science ..."
Isam al-Khafaji, a member of the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Counsel, resigned July 9, 2003.
What he wrote in his resignation letter: "I feared my role with the
reconstruction council was sliding from what I had originally
envisioned -- working with allies in a democratic fashion -- to
collaborating with occupying forces."
Eric Schaeffer, director of the EPA Office of Regulatory Enforcement, resigned Feb. 27, 2002.
What he wrote in his resignation letter: "I can not leave without
sharing my frustration about the fate of our enforcement actions
against power companies that have violated the Clean Air Act ... We are
fighting a White House that seems determined to weaken rules we are
trying to enforce."
John Brady Kiesling, a 20-year veteran of the Foreign Service, whose
last job was that of political counselor, U.S. Embassy, Athens,
resigned on Feb. 27, 2003.
What he wrote in his resignation letter: "Until this administration it
had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my
president, I was also upholding the interests of the American people. I
believe it no more. I am resigning because I have tried and failed to
reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current
administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is
Karen Kwiatkowski, office of the undersecretary of defense, Near East Bureau, resigned on July 1, 2003.
What she wrote in her resignation letter: "While working from May 2002
through February 2003 in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense
for Policy, Near East South Asian and Special Plans in the Pentagon, I
observed the environment in which decisions about post war Iraq were
made ... What
I saw was aberrant, pervasive, and contrary to good order and
discipline ... If one is seeking the answers to why peculiar bits of
'intelligence' found sanctity in a presidential speech, or why the post
Hussein occupation has been distinguished by confusion and false steps,
one need look no further than the process inside the office of the
Secretary of Defense."
...I remember the lump I felt in my throat back in 1973 when Elliot
Richardson resigned his Cabinet post rather than acquiesce to Richard
Nixon's demand that he fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox.
...As Richardson told Nixon: 'Mr. President, it would appear that we have a different perception of the public interest.'
'Girls Gone Wild' Creator Probed About Police Record
The creator of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series was barraged with
pointed questions in court this morning designed to counter his claims
that he was the victim of robbery, kidnapping and extortion at his
Bel-Air mansion last year.
Joe Francis, 32, who made a fortune persuading young women to bare
their breasts for the camera, testified that an armed intruder stole
cash and possessions and then forced him to make a humiliating,
Francis identified his assailant as Darnell Riley, 28, who is accused
of six felony counts of burglary, robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and
In Los Angeles County Superior Court today, Riley's lawyer fired back at Francis, grilling him on his own police record.
Defense attorney Ronald Richards asked Francis about a theft arrest in
North Carolina, and a case pending in Florida alleging that he filmed
minors for one of his videotapes and was charged with racketeering,
prostitution, obscenity, child pornography and possession of an illegal
"Is it true you have a 47-count indictment against you in Florida?" asked defense attorney Ronald Richards.
"I cannot answer any questions about this case, per advice of counsel," Francis answered.
Francis declined to answer half a dozen times more, citing his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.
Under questioning by Richards, Francis acknowledged in the past, he had
accused four other people of extortion. But he said those cases, about
which no details were available, were separate from today's charges.
"Nobody else broke into my house and put a gun to my head," Francis testified.
Francis testified that after he returned home from a night of partying
Jan. 22, 2004, Riley broke in, pulled a gun on him and videotaped him,
seminude, making sexually humiliating comments about himself. He then
threatened to distribute the video unless Francis paid him $300,000 to
Riley has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His preliminary hearing is expected to end today
Police were tipped to the case by tabloid magnate and socialite Paris
Hilton, Francis' former girlfriend, who heard discussion of the alleged
plot at a party.
Over prosecutor Hoon Chun's objections, Los
Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bernard F. Kemper on Monday allowed
the media to film portions of the partially obscured video when it was
presented in court, but banned broadcasters from televising Francis'
Francis said Riley took his watch, $1,100 in cash
and his cellphone but demanded more. "He said, 'I need $100,000 in cash
right now or you're going to die,'" Francis testified.
Francis was unapologetic this afternoon following his testimony.
"Even if you think I'm a bad guy cause I do 'Girls gone Wild', it
didn't give him (Riley) the right too break into my home and rob me and
threaten me," Francis told reporters outside the courtroom.
"I don't want attention from this in my life," Francis said. "To relive this is even more painful."
President Bush Presents A Clear And Present Danger To The Rule Of Law
Ok, the guy who wrote this column,
Bruce Fein, was a Justice Dept official under Ronald Reagan and
recently wrote a piece for the Wash Times about how Alito is fabulous
because he's just like Scalia and Thomas. This guy is no liberal in
conservative clothing. In fact, he's a constitutional scholar. The
conservative wing of the Republican party is clearly not happy with
what Bush is doing, and thank God. We may have some surprising allies.
Forget our base. We ought to be targeting THEIR base:
President Bush presents a clear and present danger to the rule of law.
He cannot be trusted to conduct the war against global terrorism with a
decent respect for civil liberties and checks against executive abuses.
Congress should swiftly enact a code that would require Mr. Bush to
obtain legislative consent for every counterterrorism measure that
would materially impair individual freedoms....
But there are no
checks on NSA errors or abuses, the hallmark of a rule of law as
opposed to a rule of men. Truth and accuracy are the first casualties
of war. President Bush assured the world Iraq possessed weapons of mass
destruction before the 2003 invasion. He was wrong. President Franklin
D. Roosevelt declared Americans of Japanese ancestry were security
threats to justify interning them in concentration camps during World
War II. He was wrong. President Lyndon Johnson maintained communists
masterminded and funded the massive Vietnam War protests in the United
States. He was wrong. To paraphrase
President Ronald Reagan's remark to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev,
President Bush can be trusted in wartime, but only with independent
Mr. Bush acclaimed the secret
surveillance as "crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to
detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our
friends and allies." But if that were justified, why was Congress not
asked for legislative authorization in light of the legal cloud created
by FISA and the legislative branch's sympathies shown in the Patriot
Act and joint resolution for war? FISA
requires court approval for national security wiretaps, and makes it a
crime for a person to intentionally engage "in electronic surveillance
under color of law, except as authorized by statute."
president maintained that, "As a result [of the NSA disclosure], our
enemies have learned information they should not have, and the
unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security
and puts our citizens at risk." But if secrecy were pivotal to the
NSA's surveillance, why is the president continuing the eavesdropping?
And why is he so carefree about
risking the liberties of both the living and those yet to be born by
flouting the Constitution's separation of powers and conflating
constructive criticism with treason?
What's the point of being a rubberstamp judge when BushCo can't even be bothered rubber-stamping any more?
Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that
Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless
surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally
questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.
You know why? Integrity. We need more people in this country to walk their talk.
But wait - Bush said he had consulted NASA! What did NASA say about all the wire-tapping?????
Curiously, they are silent on the matter. Hmmm. What does this mean?
It's a great night for good news: Abramoff ready to squeal, FISA judge resigns, and the wire taps weren't just to overseas locales.
Tomorrow should be something when the mealy-mouthed MSM wakes up to this.
evaluates the promiscuity of the subject you enter by comparing the
number of Google search results with and without "safe-search" enabled.
A complete slut would return unsafe results and no safe results.
Alternatively, a clean name should produce the same number of safe and
unsafe results. The "promiscuity" percentage we give you is calculated
Negative Promiscuity? Huh?
If you're wondering why some subjects have a negative promiscuity,
well, you're not alone. In general, this happens when the number of
safe results is greater than the number of unsafe results (or if there
are no unsafe results whatsoever). We're not quite sure why this is the
case, but we believe that Google is not telling us the truth.
Results for "Earl Bockenfeld's Radio Weblog": Promiscuity: -38.11% (287 / 753)
Hat tip to Majikthise: Promiscuity: 6.02% (130000 / 2160000)
The president was so desperate to kill The New York Times'
eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper's editor and publisher to
the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national
don't think I've ever read anything as scathing as this from the
mainstream media. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter lays it on the line and
spells out a damn good case for impeachment, which I suspect is what he
Bush came out swinging on Snoopergate—he made it seem as if those who
didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it
will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its
story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American
citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration
say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
No, Bush was desperate
to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had
already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would
reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law.
And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary
force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military
intervention.It did not scrap the
Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any
area in the name of fighting terrorism....
This time, the
president knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and
trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reason—and less
out of genuine concern about national security—that George W. Bush
tried so hard to kill the New York Times story.
In the meantime, it is unlikely that Bush will
echo President Kennedy in 1961. After JFK managed to tone down a New
York Times story by Tad Szulc on the Bay of Pigs invasion, he confided
to Times editor Turner Catledge that he wished the paper had printed
the whole story because it might have spared him such a stunning defeat
time, the president knew publication would cause him great
embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for
that reason—and less out of genuine concern about national
security—that George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times
Bush today was saying, he took the oath of office to uphold the Constitution. So whatever
he says or does therefore upholds the Constitution. That makes barroom sense, I
quess. This is government of drunken fools, the rest of us be damned. Apparently.
Bush had his "I AM NOT A CROOK, moment when he said "I am not a dictator!" I don't know if he quipped, "But I play one on TV."That's the one that goes in the history books.
Americans have been stunned at the recent news of the abuses of power by an overzealous President.It
has become apparent that this Administration has engaged in a
consistent and unrelenting pattern of abuse against our Country's
law-abiding citizens, and against our Constitution.
I continue to be shocked and astounded by the breadth with which the
Administration undermines the constitutional protections afforded to
the people, and the arrogance with which it rebukes the powers held by
the Legislative and Judicial Branches.The President has cast off federal law, enacted by Congress, often bearing his own signature, as mere formality.He
has rebuffed the rule of law, and he has trivialized and trampled upon
the prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizures guaranteed to
Americans by the United States Constitution.
I am reminded of Thomas Payne's famous words, "These are the times that try men's souls."
revelations about the bending and contorting of the Constitution to
justify a grasping, irresponsible Administration under the banner of
"national security" are an outrage.Congress can no longer sit on the sidelines.It
is time to ask hard questions of the Attorney General, the Secretary of
State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the CIA.The
White House should not be allowed to exempt itself from answering the
same questions simply because it might assert some kind of "executive
privilege" in order to avoid further embarrassment.
The practice of domestic spying on citizens should halt immediately.Oversight hearings need to be conducted.Judicial action may be in order. We need to finally be given answers to our questions: where
is the constitutional and statutory authority for spying on American
citizens, what is the content of these classified legal opinions
asserting there is a legality in this criminal usurpation of rights,
who is responsible for this dangerous and unconstitutional policy, and
how many American citizens' lives have been unknowingly affected?
Dick Durbin, Senator from Illinois said "Senator Byrd's speech should be read by every American...."
The despicably vile Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps finally met
his match in a large group of military veterans armed with the
collective roar of over 100 motorcycle engines in Chelsea OK during the funeral for Sgt John Glen Doles. Too bad the motorcycles were not present in Topeka KN but the 500 friends of Sgt. Dominic Sacco held their own against the vile Crypt Keeper, Fred Phelps.
TOPEKA, Kan. - The
widow of Army Sgt. Dominic Sacco, killed last month in Iraq, says she's
grateful that people stood up to anti-homosexual pastor Fred Phelps'
protest outside her husband's funeral service.
About 25 Phelps followers protested during the Dec. 2 service, but
some 500 veterans and other supporters lined both sides of the street
outside the funeral home to show their disgust for Phelps and his group.
"The support alone on the day of my husband's funeral was enough for
me," said the widow, Brandy Sacco. "I was extremely impressed. All I
could do was cry. What do you say?"
She had endorsed the idea of a counter protest when Phelps vowed
that backers of his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka would picket the
funeral. Phelps and his followers have protested more than 60 funerals
of soldiers across the country, claiming their deaths are part of God's
wrath against the United States.
Brandy Sacco said the turnout in Topeka illustrated the public's distaste for Phelps' tactics.
"If they need to protest, go to Congress and the White House," she said. "Don't protest a fallen soldier."
There have been offers to baby-sit her children, infant son Anthony
and 4-year-old daughter Elissa. Neighbors brought food. They offered
condolences, sometimes struggling to put into words the sense of loss.
"I've received over 200 sympathy cards," the widow said. "People I
don't even know, or know Nick's parents, have donated thousands of
dollars to my son's memorial fund."
Sacco, 32, grew up in Albany, N.Y., and had been stationed at Fort
Riley since 1997. Assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 13th Armor, he
was killed during a firefight Nov. 20 at Taji. It was his second
deployment to Iraq, and he was the 59th soldier from the post to die in
At least 2,150 members of the U.S. military have died since the
beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated
I give the Phelps' spawn a lot of leeway to spew their garbage
because they were horribly beaten as kids, they've had a rough life.
Poppa Fred is apparently a real monster who went after his wife and
kids with baseball bats, axe handles, mattocks, etc. This is all well
known in Topeka, where Fred has been operating his "church" (actually
just him and his extended family) for many years. You can read all the
sickening details investigated by a local newspaper and included as
Exhibit A in a legal document here
Warning: it's not for the weak of stomach.
Does God Hate Fred Phelps? We don't presume to speak for God unlike a lot of other people.
What we do know is that we are gay, straight, bi, Latino, Southern,
Asian-Americans, of German ancestry, Boston Irish, forty something, twenty
something, Catholic, Atheist, Jewish, heavyset,
athletic, legally blind, hearing-impaired, tall, short, masculine,
gender-neutral, feminine, transgender, polyamorous, monogamous, married,
single, parents, children, professionals, students, singers, dancers,
web designers, janitors, teachers, artists, aspiring rock stars,
taxpayers, sisters, brothers, neighbors, friends, and lovers, who won't
stand for intolerance, hatred, and violence against the people we love.
Atkins was the 50th female soldier to die in the Iraq war since 2003. Forty-eight were from the United States.
Atkins was stationed at Ford Hood, Texas, her father said. He said
he spent time with her at Fort Hood when he went there for training
before his National Guard unit was sent to Iraq. She was travelling with SGT Horn and SPC
Linville. SGT Horn suffered minor head injuries. SPC Linville
suffered shrapnel injuries to his legs. Both will be sent to Germany
for further evaluation.
There's controversy over how the military is transporting the bodies of service members killed overseas, 10News reported.
local family said fallen soldiers and Marines deserve better and that
one would think our war heroes are being transported with dignity, care
and respect. It said one would think upon arrival in their hometowns
they are greeted with honor. But unfortunately, the family said that is
just not the case.
Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.
in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners --
stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo.
"When someone dies in combat, they need to give them due respect they deserve for (the) sacrifice they made," said John Holley.John
and Stacey Holley, who were both in the Army, made some calls, and with
the help of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Matthew was greeted with honor and
respect."Our familiarity with military protocol and things of
that sort allowed us to kind of put our foot down -- we're not sure
other parents have that same knowledge," said Stacey Holley.
The Holleys now want to make sure every fallen hero gets the proper welcome.The bodies of dead service members arrive at Dover Air Force Base.From that point, they are sent to their families on commercial airliners.Reporters
from 10News called the Defense Department for an explanation. A
representative said she did not know why this is happening.
Barbara Boxer For President! This
is not about the dead soldier; it's about the family. The soldier is
dead and doesn't know his body is being treated like so much
merchandise. It's the families, who are alive and in indescribable pain
already at losing a son or brother or dear friend, and then have to
deal with the anger of knowing their government doesn't care enough
about the soldiers to treat their bodies with dignity and respect in
Yeah, I think this also demonstrates amazing disrespect for the troops, made
all the more ironic by the fact that the current going argument that we
should continue to fight in Iraq to honor the sacrifices already made.
If we're honoring the sacrifice, being put in a cargo hold next to golf
clubs and baby strollers ain't cutting it with me.
John Gilmore is suing the government because he doesn't think he should
be required to show ID before boarding a commercial flight. But he claims that the government says the ID requirement is necessary for security but has refused to identify any actual regulation requiring it. What's this with SECRET LAWS?
an early employee of Sun Microsystems and co-founder of the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, says the answer should be "no." The libertarian
millionaire sued the Bush administration, which claims that the ID requirement is necessary for security but has refused to identify any actual regulation requiring it.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seemed
skeptical of the Bush administration's defense of secret laws and
regulations but stopped short of suggesting that such a rule would be
"How do we know there's an order?" Judge Thomas Nelson asked. "Because you said there was?"
Replied Joshua Waldman, a staff attorney for the Department of
Justice: "We couldn't confirm or deny the existence of an order." Even
though government regulations required his silence, Waldman said, the
situation did seem a "bit peculiar."
"This is America," said James Harrison, a lawyer representing
Gilmore. "We do not have secret laws. Period."
Harrison stressed that
Gilmore was happy to go through a metal detector.
On the courthouse steps after the arguments, Gilmore said he felt
confident about the case and welcomed a verbal concession from the
Justice Department. "I was glad the government admitted it was
'peculiar' and Orwellian to make secret laws," Gilmore said.
The Justice Department has said it could identify the secret
law under seal, which would be available to the 9th Circuit but not
necessarily Gilmore's lawyers. But any public description would not be
permitted, the department said.
WTF? Call me naive, but I've never heard of a secret law. I've heard
of secret courts and secret evidence — which are bad enough already —
but not secret laws. When did this happen?
And another thing. How could it possibly harm national security to
identify the text of the law that requires passengers to show ID before
boarding a plane? Maybe someone with a more vivid imagination than me
can come up with something, but I can't.
What is this? Congress
is passing laws that the American public isn't allowed to know about?
Any of us might be prosecuted under one of these laws that we don't
know exists? Courts are being asked to interpret laws they've never
seen? This gives Kafakesque a very chilling and newly concrete meaning.
Coulter Wows 'Em At U Conn No, she wasn't explaining why she appears on The O'Reilly Factor so
much. Instead, she was mocking UConn students for making her job even
easier than it usually is.
STORRS, Conn. -- Conservative columnist Ann Coulter cut short a
speech at the University of Connecticut amid boos and jeers, and
decided to hold a question-and-answer session instead.
"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the crowd of 2,600 Wednesday.
cutting off her speech after about 15 minutes, Coulter called Bill
Clinton an "executive buffoon" who won the presidency only because Ross
Perot took 19 percent of the vote.
prompted protests from several student groups. About 100 people rallied
outside the auditorium where she spoke, saying she spread a message of
"We encourage diverse opinion at UConn, but this
is blatant hate speech," said Eric Knudsen, a 19-year-old sophomore
journalism and social welfare major who heads campus group Students
It wasn't the first time Coulter has had
trouble at a university speech. In October 2004, two men ran onstage
and threw custard pies as she was giving a speech at the University of
The UConn Undergraduate Student Government paid the controversial
pundit $16,000 to speak -- and DC's own Clare Boothe Luce Policy
Institute kicked in untold thousands as well -- but Coulter lasted only
fifteen minutes before using chants of "You suck, you suck" as an
excuse to cut her speech short and go straight to the Q & A section
of the evening.
Sample Q & A:
One student asked what she would do if she had a child who came out as gay.
Coulter replied: "I'd say, `Did I ever tell you you're adopted?'"
After a half hour of that, Coulter went back to her hotel room,
counted her cash, and licked a Diet Newport for dinner. If she had
better legs, we'd swear she was the new Don Rickles.
TODAY: A tragic day in history, December 8, 1961 is the birth day of Ann Coulter.
Lieberman yesterday: "It is time for Democrats who distrust President
Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander in chief for three more
critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential
credibility at our nation's peril."
Murtha today: "Undermining his
credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?"
MURTHA:Now, you remember, I wrote to the president in September 4th of
2003. I got a letter back in April 6th, 2004. The president didn't
write back. I received a response from a deputy undersecretary --
paints a totally rosy, unrealistic picture, saying 200,000 Iraqis --
now, hear what I'm saying -- 200,000 Iraqis under arms, reconstruction
projects and 70 percent of Iraqis feel -- or 2,200 reconstruction
projects -- 70 percent of Iraqis feel life is good.
The irony is that this was the month with the most U.S. deaths; 137 were killed. But that's what they wrote to me. Then we have Abu Ghraib that very year.
Most politicians "are interested not in truth but in power and the maintenance of that power", the 75-year-old ( Pinter )said.
Politicians feel it is "essential that people remain in ignorance, that
they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own
lives". "You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical
manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for
Referring to Blair's support for the US-led war on Iraq, Pinter
described the "pathetic and supine" Great Britain as "a bleating little
lamb tagging behind (the US) on a lead".
He called for President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to be "arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice".
MURTHA: Twenty years it's going to take to settle this thing. The
American people is not going to put up with it; can't afford it. We
have spent $277 billion. That's what's been appropriated for this
operation. We have $50 billion sitting on the table right now in our
supplemental, or bridge fund we call it, in the Appropriations
Committee. They're going to ask for another $100 billion next year.
MURTHA: But the problem is they're just as vulnerable. The biggest
vulnerability we have in Iraq is the convoys. Every convoy is attacked.
When I was in Anbar, at Haditha, every single convoy was attacked that
goes there to bring the logistics and supplies that they need. That's
the most vulnerable part of our deployment.
And if you have
half the troops there, you're going to still have to supply them,
resupply them on the ground and they're going to be attacked.
I said we can't win a military victory, it's because the Iraqis have
turned against us. They throw a handgrenade or a rocket into American
forces and the people run into the crowd and they -- nobody tells them
where they are.
I am convinced, and everything that I've read,
the conclusion I've reached is there will be less terrorism, there will
be less danger to the United States and it'll be less insurgency once
And yet the National Guard commander called me and said we need a
billion dollars in the budget to take care of activities like Katrina.
They didn't have radios, today, at four years after the attack of 9/11,
didn't have radios to talk to the regular Army in the United States.
visited four bases, or three bases earlier this year -- Fort Bragg,
Hood, and Stewart. The commanders told me the troops going to Iraq,
because of lack of ground equipment, were the lowest level of
readiness. And now when they got over there, they'd get more equipment. We have a $50 billion backlog of equipment that has to be recapitalized and rehabilitated. So you can see, I'm so concerned.
MURTHA: I have had 12 senators call me -- mostly calling about information.
One senator, I said -- you know, they're all running for president --
but to one senator I said, "This is a watershed event for you, Senator.
You'd better get off the middle ground. And that senator did not like what I said.
MURTHA: Well, he was obviously a Democrat. Were they all Democrats that called you?
MURTHA: No, no. They weren't all Democrats. But
one of the other things I said to this one Republican senator, I said,
"You know, I shouldn't have criticized Cheney. He's a good friend of
mine." He said, "My wife loved it."
It looks like they lied in order to make this seem a "heroic" death the day Bush was giving his "victory" speech. Pathetic
NEW YORKWhy did the U.S. military mislead
the media and the families of ten Marines killed near the Iraqi city of
Falluja while "on patrol" last week about how they were killed? The
military announced on Tuesday that it actually happened at a
"promotion" ceremony and they were not on foot patrol as initially
Families of the victims immediately raised questions
about the incident and it was unclear whether the site had been
properly swept for explosive devices.
The Marines were in a disused flour mill on the
outskirts of the city to celebrate the promotion of three soldiers, a
military statement said on Tuesday.
As the ceremony ended, the Marines dispersed and one
of them is thought to have stepped on a buried pressure plate linked to
explosives that caused the devastating blast.
But CNN, for example, reported four days ago, based on
military reports, that the dead Marines "were conducting a nighttime
foot patrol when a roadside bomb fashioned with large artillery shells
Misreporting up the chain of command led to the incorrect reporting of the location to the media, Marine officials said.
The death toll was the largest suffered by U.S. soldiers in Iraq in a single incident since August.
Last Friday the Marine Corps had announced that the 10
Marines were on foot patrol and hit in an ambush on Thursday by a
roadside bomb, an improvised explosive device, or IED, "made from
several large artillery shells," the Marines said, according to the
Associated Press dispatch. Eleven Marines were wounded in the
The attack came was just a day after President George
W. Bush had given a speech outlining his strategy for Iraq and saying
he would settle for "nothing less than complete victory."
Do they ever tell the truth? They lied about Jessica Lynch and all her
buds, they're still lying about it. They lied about Pat Tillman. Who
knows how many other stories of soldiers and Marines they've
fabricated, lied about? Who knows?
For what it is worth, I saw one of those military analysts on CNN or
MSNBC, not sure which, who said that that type of ceremony would never
be held anywhere except a secure military base. And certainly not in an
abandoned flour mill.
I don't buy the "promotion ceremony" thing either. It's just wrong.
They were not there for a "ceremony" in hostile territory. It's still
FOX NEWS:"Is the "war on Christmas" hurting your portfolio?"They had a segment on that said (I kid you not)"The liberals attack on Christmas would cause the stock market to drop and ruin the American economy"I
was floored. They even had "experts" on the show to explain how bad
liberals are and how bad the economy would be if there was no Christmas.
"Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for
being born. Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far
less profitable; more than enough reason for businesses to be screaming
Merry Christmas." Bill O'Reilly
I always thought Jesus
wanted people to give away all their money rather than spend it. I find
Bill O'Reilly and his so-called "war on Christmas" blasphemous and
Everytime I see the right try to take advantage of
religion I keep thinking about the one time where the gospels showed
Jesus show any anger: when merchants and others were trying to take
advantage of the synagogue for personal gain.
What would Jesus
do? Probably tear apart Bill O'Reilly's set. Nah, Jesus would never
have anything to do with the rich and the powerful. They were never his
CPT confirmed on 11/29 that the 4 human rights workers went missing in Baghdad on 11/26. CPT is a program of Brethren, Quaker and Mennonite Churches (USA & Canada). Rush Limbaugh went on his radio talk show talking about how "part of me is glad" they were kidnapped to show those hand-wringing do-gooders a little reality.
I can see all the war-loving Christians piling on right now. "We're
no do-gooders. In fact, do-gooding is bad where we come from. We're
flag-waving, Arab shooting, yellow-magnetic-ribbon sporting,
gas-guzzling car driving, whoring, snorting Christians! Screw those
Christians who believe in peace. Unlike Rush, the CPT is praying for the safe return of their hostage members who are ACTUAL REAL Christians Kidnapped in Iraq in this Peacemaker post at Fuzzy and Blue.
"We were very saddened to see the images of our loved ones on Al
Jazeera TV. We are deeply disturbed by their abduction. We pray that
those who hold them will be merciful and that they will be released
soon. We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the
result of the actions of the US and UK govts due to the illegal attack
on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people. CPT
has worked for the rights of Iraqi prisoners who have been illegally
detained and abused by the US govt (read CPTers letters here documenting their good works).
We were the 1st people to publicly denounce the torture of Iraqi people
at the hands of US forces, long before the western media admitted what
was happening at Abu Ghraib. We are some of the few internatls left in
Iraq who are telling the truth about what is happening to the Iraqi
people We hope that we can continue to do this work and we pray for the
speedy release of our beloved teammates." While it is sad that anyone
is kidnapped and/or murdered by their kidnappers in Iraq, this
kidnapping is doubly sad because these are people who truly try to live as
the 4 Gospels (that detail the peaceful, tolerant and loving Ministry
of Jesus of Nazareth) ask them to live.
Jesus would be with the old, the sick, the poor, the
troubled, the sad and the sinners. He'd be in the loneliest places with
the lonliest people, in the cold and in the worst part of town. He'd be
with the forgotten people, under a bridge, drinking wine with the
UPDATE 12/06/2005: Media writer Neil Gabler, a regular Fox news panelist, asserted that Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and John Gibson
are "demagogues" who seek to "rally the masses" with their talk of a
purported effort to suppress public recognition of the Christmas
holiday. On the December 3 edition of Fox News Watch, Gabler
said of those making such accusations: "They'll do it every Christmas.
They did it last Christmas; they'll do it next Christmas." Later in the
segment, Gabler stated: "The media, particularly Fox media, has been
pumping the hell out of this thing."
Jesus was all for tolerance. And to have -- Bill O'Reilly has made this
WAR a huge issue. He's obviously getting a lot of feedback. John Gibson has
a book about it, another Fox anchor. I think this is largely a
fund-raiser for Jerry Falwell to pick up on some run-amok PC.
Via Kevin Hayden--who's known the victim all her life--this truly degrading holiday story
about a 17-year-old girl went to police at the urging of her friends after
she was allegedly gang-raped by three men, including her boyfriend. The
men testified that the act was consensual. After reviewing all the
information and statements, prosecutors decided they didnâ€™t think they
could prove a rape allegation, and so declined to prosecute the case.
Instead, they later prosecuted the victim for filing a false police report.
Their stories didn't match up, and of course they also didn't match up
to the story she told, which was that they raped her. There were
"inconsistencies" in the stories that she and each of the three alleged
rapists told. Note that "The three men testified Thursday that the acts
were consensual"--that is, they don't deny that they all three had sex with
her--they just claim that she consented. To sex with all three of them.
He also said he relied on the testimony of a Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not act traumatized in the days following the incident.
This is obviously pretty troubling. If everyone agrees there were
significant disputes over the facts, how was it possible to conclude
beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman's version of the story was the
false one? The Oregonian provides only this brief explanation:
Peter] Ackerman explained his decision, saying there were many
inconsistencies in the stories of the four, but that he found the young
men to be more credible. He also said he relied on the testimony of a
Beaverton police detective and the woman's friends who said she did not
act traumatized in the days following the incident.
The woman, who is 19 now, could be sentenced to 30 days and a $1,250 fine.
Kevin Hayden, who was present at the trial, made the following comments.
She had a public defender. The guy was formerly a prosecutor. He really
seemed to be on the ball to me, better than most PDs I've ever seen or
the young woman went to the police, she told everything, even things
about herself that weren't flattering. Had she been trying to frame the
guys, wouldn't it be reasonable that she'd leave out such details and
cast herself in the best light?
Other things the detective found
odd: she did not shower for two days after. The detective said most
overshower because they feel dirty afterward. So why did this woman not
Because she was afraid to be naked. Why's that so hard to believe?
more like that. Some of her version does sound unusual to me. But
nothing she said sounded beyond belief. I came away wondering how and
why her credibility was so questioned, as there really was no evidence,
just lots of opinions. only to have the judge turn around
and convinct her of filing a false report because there were
"inconsistencies" in the stories that she and each of the three alleged
P.S. Oh, and as to "not acting traumatized"??--yuh, well, one of the
hallmark symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder is--numbing. Is there supposed to be a "Rape Profile" for Police to test for credibility?
The inmates are SO running the USA asylum.
And btw, I believe this is what you'd call an activist fucking judge.
"There's a lack of trust that the president has in Cheney and it's connected with Iraq," a source said.
what a coincidence... I don't trust the Bush regime with anything anymore, and thats connected with Iraq too.
Wasn't it Nixon who said of Barbara Bush, "She really knows how to hate"? Kind of makes a person wonder what she has in store for old Dick and
CO. We are so lucky to be living in such times you can't pay for
entertainment like this.
Barbara Bush is allegedly TICKED off at Dick Cheney, Karl
Rove, Andy Card, nearly all of them -- except Karen Hughes -- for how
her boy is faring in the hearts and minds of Americans.
The matriarch of the Bush clan is colder than North Pole ice right
now to those around her son who she thinks have undermined him. I'll
tell who my sources are if Patrick Fitzgerald gives a call and makes me
-- but the sources are very close to Poppa Bush (41), who has been
traveling a bit with some of his old entourage, including Brent
Scowcroft and others of the first Bush regime.
role of Vice President Dick Cheney as the administration's point man in
security policy appears over, according to administration sources.
the last two months Mr. Cheney has been granted decreasing access to
the Oval Office, the sources said on the condition of anonymity. The
two men still meet, but the close staff work between the president and
vice president has ended.
influence has waned not only because of bad chemistry, but because the
White House no longer formulates policy," another source said.
nothing to input into. Cheney is smart and knowledgeable, but he as
well as Bush are ducking all the time to avoid the bullets.
Cheney may be tougher to dump than Don Regan, but then again,
Barbara Bush is one of those wonders of nature (we hear) who knows no
limits and can easily surge beyond category 5 hurricane winds.
Should be interesting to watch the role of the First Mother in the
coming couple of months. Watch for a lot to change right after the
State of the Union address.
Cheney and Chimpy's mom in a cage match -- until only one of them walks out. Any bets on who would win?