Thursday, December 22, 2005

Missed Window

Missed Window

Missed Window (1999)

Those that would give up essential liberty in pursuit of a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.
--Benjamin Franklin

As Christmas closes in, the blog will pretty much go into holiday photoblog mode for the next few days.

But, before that, I'd like to say thanks to legislators who've been showing some gumption and standing up to the BushCo bullies lately. Although the Patriot Act got a six-month reprieve, its troublesome privacy issues are increasingly being magnified under a public microscope. And with Dear Leader claiming near omnipotent executive police powers in the name of fighting terrorists in a war apparently without end, Americans should be concerned about snoops in the wires and the bookstores and the libraries.

In fact, Democrats fought the good fight on many fronts. As reports:

Democrats prevailed in getting Senate Republican leaders to abandon the [Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] oil-drilling plan, which was attached to the defense budget. That and the six-month extension of the Patriot Act were setbacks for President George W. Bush, who had pushed for the oil provision and for full renewal of the anti-terror law. Democrats also succeeded in using a procedural measure to delay enactment of the spending cuts that target programs such as Medicaid and student loans.

I've dissed the Dems in the past for rubber backbone syndrome, but I'm grateful for their efforts in doing what they were elected to do: serve the best interests of the people -- all of the people. Again -- thanks.

But don't let up. A window of opportunity has opened, and don't let it close and be nailed shut with the usual BushCo black hole rhetoric. Rip it off at the sashes. Let light and air fill the room.

And can't you feel it? The whole crazy quilt of lies and fear and bullshit is finally unraveling. And I think the American people are ready to trust their own guts and not Bush's. The room of the country is stuffy and smells like something rotting. As John Dean once said: There's a cancer on the presidency.

The president is not above the law -- whatever grave, shadowy rationale he uses to excuse his own dictatorial behavior. As Gene Lyons acutely observed this week:

Anybody who rationalizes George W. Bush’s illegal use of secret, warrantless wiretaps against American citizens is no friend of democracy. They may call themselves “conservatives.” But they might with equal accuracy dub themselves Martians or Zoroastrians.

In reality, they are ideologues who place party over country, enemies of the Constitution and its freedoms. There’s evidently no outrage they won’t rationalize so long as a Republican’s doing it. For reasons best left to historians, the Republican right has made itself captive to a brand of callow authoritarianism that’s found its hero in this swaggering mediocrity who appears invariably to draw the wrong lessons from what few scraps of history he knows.

The last time no-warrant, presidentially authorized wiretaps came before the Supreme Court was 1972, courtesy of President Richard M. Nixon, who used the FBI to spy on political foes and famously decreed that “when the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” The court voted 8-0 against Nixonian presumption. In his concurring opinion, Justice William O. Douglas quoted his illustrious predecessor, Justice Louis Brandeis: “Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty.”


Bush and his legal enablers hold to an extremist interpretation of the “commander-in-chief” clause of the U. S. Constitution that would give him virtually unlimited executive powers in times of war -- even a “war on terror,” a metaphorical struggle against an abstract noun which theoretically could go on forever.

It’s an absurd argument. The president commands the armed forces, not the United States. The Founding Fathers meant to assure civilian control of the military, not to establish a wartime strongman.


But Bush evidently doesn’t want even a secret court to know who’s being spied on. He may have good reason. NBC News reported that the Pentagon is up to its old tricks. Papers obtained by the ACLU reportedly show the FBI gathering intelligence on a “Vegan Community Project,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers, all about as likely to launch a terrorist attack as my basset hound Fred.

So, legislators, of both parties, don't buy into the daily dose of fear and show none yourselves. Don't let the curtains be drawn. Act. Act now.

Some citizens and congressmen and women aren't waiting. And they've got the goods to back up their claims. To learn more please visit

Treason's Greetings?

and follow the links and read and think and decide for yourself. If you do, I really believe you'll come to this zen-like conclusion:

I prefer to watch.  He he he...

And you know what's the best present in my stocking this Christmas? Listening to wingnuts, now starting to fret that Bush may be on the impeachment ropes, arguing that charges should never have been brought against Clinton. Aaaah. Better than sugarplums.

From NewsHounds, who watch Fox News so I don't have to:

FOX News Legal Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, appearing on The Big Story yesterday [12/20/05], equated Bush's current predicament with that of Bill Clinton's lying to a judge over the Lewinsky affair: criminal, but does not rise to the level of impeachment. He charges that if the Democrats take over the House in 2006 they will impeach Bush because "they hate him" and want "payback."

Oh, goodness no, dude. 'Tis not personal. 'Tis not about payback. 'Tis about upholding the Constitution and enforcing the laws of the United States. 'Tis the season to be giving... out subpoenas for Rovians and NeoCons and all Bubble Boy enablers to appear at an impeachment hearing.

And that reality-based community show should keep the window open enough to flood the whole country with light.

1 comment:

Neil Shakespeare said...

I like hearing that 'I' word! Startin' to see more of it all the time. Happy Holidays, dude. Have a nice break.

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