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BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration

Amos 14 Dec 05 - 12:44 PM
Bobert 16 Dec 05 - 10:05 PM
freda underhill 17 Dec 05 - 06:47 AM
Amos 17 Dec 05 - 12:31 PM
Amos 20 Dec 05 - 01:34 PM
Bobert 20 Dec 05 - 08:32 PM
Amos 20 Dec 05 - 08:49 PM
Amos 21 Dec 05 - 11:26 AM
Amos 24 Dec 05 - 09:00 AM
Amos 24 Dec 05 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,A 24 Dec 05 - 09:14 AM
Amos 24 Dec 05 - 10:49 AM
Amos 27 Dec 05 - 07:47 PM
Amos 27 Dec 05 - 08:06 PM
Amos 28 Dec 05 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 28 Dec 05 - 11:51 PM
Peace 29 Dec 05 - 12:25 AM
Amos 29 Dec 05 - 08:34 PM
Amos 30 Dec 05 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Old Guy 30 Dec 05 - 12:42 PM
Amos 30 Dec 05 - 01:26 PM
Amos 30 Dec 05 - 05:13 PM
Amos 30 Dec 05 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 30 Dec 05 - 08:42 PM
Bobert 30 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,Woody 30 Dec 05 - 09:07 PM
Bobert 30 Dec 05 - 09:24 PM
Amos 31 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 12:13 AM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 12:45 AM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 12:56 AM
GUEST,Jack 01 Jan 06 - 02:09 AM
GUEST,Woody 01 Jan 06 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Woody 01 Jan 06 - 11:33 PM
Amos 01 Jan 06 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Woody 02 Jan 06 - 12:04 PM
Amos 02 Jan 06 - 03:08 PM
Amos 03 Jan 06 - 10:20 PM
Amos 04 Jan 06 - 01:48 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 06 - 08:36 PM
Amos 05 Jan 06 - 10:43 AM
Amos 07 Jan 06 - 10:22 AM
Amos 08 Jan 06 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Old Guy 08 Jan 06 - 12:15 PM
Amos 08 Jan 06 - 02:31 PM
Bobert 08 Jan 06 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Old Guy 09 Jan 06 - 01:34 AM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 03:10 PM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM
Amos 09 Jan 06 - 11:19 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 05 - 12:44 PM

MONTREAL - Former US President Bill Clinton told UN climate talks in Canada on Friday that the Bush administration was "flat wrong" to reject the Kyoto accord and said cutting greenhouse gases was good for business and the planet.


In an impassioned speech to hundreds of delegates and nongovernmental groups, Clinton rejected a major tenet of the Bush administration's argument for pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol emissions pact in 2001.
Clinton, whose administration negotiated Kyoto in 1997 but never submitted it to a skeptical Senate for ratification, said the belief that Kyoto would hurt the economies of developed nations was "flat wrong."

"We know from every passing year we get more and more objective data that if we had a serious, disciplined effort to apply on a large scale existing clean energy and energy conservation technologies that we could meet and surpass the Kyoto targets easily in a way that would strengthen, not weaken, our economies," he said.

Under Kyoto, some 40 industrialized nations agreed to cut emissions in 2008-12 by over 5 percent from 1990 levels, but Bush says mandatory cuts on emissions from fossil fuels would hamper growth and job creation.

Clinton said a serious commitment to a clean energy future was the solution and this would lead to jobs growth, just like the tech boom of the 1990s fueled an employment boom.

"We can create jobs out of wind energy, solar energy, out of biofuels, out of hybrid engines," he said.

Stricter efficiency standards for building and appliances would also boost jobs.

"In America, there's no telling how many jobs we could create if we just made the decision that in the rebuilding of New Orleans it would become America's first green city," he said.

Talks in Montreal are trying to take the Kyoto Protocol forward after its first phase ends in 2012 but the discussions have dragged in part because of US objections to any binding commitments on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Many delegations say efforts to curb global warming will be futile unless the United States, responsible for about a quarter of the world's greenhouse emissions, fully participates.

Clinton's speech drew applause and cheers from the audience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Dec 05 - 10:05 PM

Cheney's a dick and Bush is, too...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: freda underhill
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 06:47 AM

Bush least popular US president: survey
December 17, 2005 - 7:29AM

President George W Bush ranks as the least popular and most bellicose of the last 10 US presidents, according to a new survey. Only nine per cent of the 662 people polled picked Bush as their favourite among the last 10 presidents. John F Kennedy topped that part of the survey with 26 per cent, closely followed by Bill Clinton (25 per cent) and Ronald Reagan (23 per cent). Bush was also viewed as the most warlike president (43 per cent), the worst for the economy (42 per cent) and the least effective (33 per cent). But he was rated most highly in response to a question on who would do the right thing even if it were unpopular.

The survey was conducted by the Chicago-based National Qualitative Centres, a marketing research company, as part of research for a forthcoming book on popular preferences, one of its authors, Ken Berwitz, said.

© 2005 AAP


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 12:31 PM

Chicago Tribune:

By Maura Reynolds and Greg Miller
Tribune Newspapers
Published December 16, 2005, 9:34 PM CST

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress demanded Friday that President Bush and his administration explain his decision to permit the country's most secretive intelligence agency to spy on American citizens in the United States after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks without first obtaining warrants.

Democrats and some Republicans denounced the administration's action, describing it as another example of Bush's use of the threat of terrorism to assume new legal and intelligence powers and limit civil liberties.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would call congressional hearings. Warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens is "wrong, and it can't be condoned at all," he said.

In 2002, according to former officials familiar with the policy, Bush signed an executive order granting new surveillance powers to the National Security Agency, which is responsible for international eavesdropping and whose very existence was long denied by the government.

The president said Friday he could not talk about the matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 01:34 PM

om the Christian Science Monitor:
WASHINGTON –
   
Tuesday, 12/20/05

From a standoff over the Patriot Act to pushback from Capitol Hill on the treatment of detainees, secret prisons abroad, and government eavesdropping at home, tensions between the Bush White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have never been more exposed.
Much of the rift is over the exercise of executive power. Some lawmakers oppose the president on the values involved in harsh interrogation of terror suspects. Others are riled that they were left out of the intelligence loop.

Even Republicans who favor renewing the Patriot Act were blindsided by news Friday, later confirmed, that President Bush had authorized secret eavesdropping on international communications from people in the US with ties to terrorists.

"It's inexcusable ... clearly and categorically wrong," says Sen. Arlen Specter (R) of Pennsylvania, who was not among the congressional leaders Mr. Bush says had been briefed on the program. Senator Specter promises that the Judiciary Committee he chairs will hold hearings on domestic spying by the National Security Agency in the new year.

"We'll look at what they did, whose conversations they listened to, what they did with the material, and what purported justification there was for it," he adds.

At press time, the White House and Senate GOP leaders were still short of the votes to renew provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire on Dec. 31.

On Friday, four Republicans and all but two Democrats opposed a move to end a filibuster and vote on reauthorizing the 2001 law. Instead, they are urging a three-month extension to reopen negotiations to boost protections for civil liberties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:32 PM

Now the boy has been caught red-handed breaking the law, it's time to get on the "Impeachment Bandwagon"...

Iraq was bad enough but he left enough loopholes in case things went bad but violating federal law bacause he says we are at war is rediculuos... First of all, leaglly, we aren't at war and evn if we were where in the Consitution does it say that a president can "violate" federal law during war time????

Heck, with that reasoning, Bush could suspend the 1965 Voting Rights Act if he wanted to???

Lets get real here...

Time to seriously talk impeachment...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 05 - 08:49 PM

This is specifically against the law. Bush says political appointees in the Justice Department outlined the legal authority to get around the restrictions in our laws and the Constitution, but those legal memos are classified.

There is a a formal Freedom of Information Act request to see these documents. We need to know if the president broke the law, and where this administration thinks the line of its authority is.

You can sign on to the Freedom of Information Act request here:

http://www.democrats.org/page/petition/domesticspying/fdcysf


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 11:26 AM

The New York Times, December 20, 2005, opines on Bush's proclivity for misleading and rhetorical illogic (what some folks used to call lying, bush-wah, pettifoggery, bull, snow-jobbing, etc.):

The Fog of False Choices
            
Published: December 20, 2005
After five years, we're used to President Bush throwing up false choices to defend his policies. Americans were told, after all, that there was a choice between invading Iraq and risking a terrorist nuclear attack. So it was not a surprise that Mr. Bush's Oval Office speech Sunday night and his news conference yesterday were thick with Orwellian constructions: the policy debate on Iraq is between those who support Mr. Bush and those who want to pull out right now, today; fighting terrorists in Iraq means we're not fighting them here.

But none of these phony choices were as absurd as the one Mr. Bush posed to justify his secret program of spying on Americans: save lives or follow the law.

Mr. Bush said he thwarted terrorist plots by allowing the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' international communications without a warrant. We don't know if that is true because the administration reverts to top-secret mode when pressed for details. But we can reach a conclusion about Mr. Bush's assertion that obeying a 27-year-old law prevents swift and decisive action in a high-tech era. It's a myth.

The 1978 law that regulates spying on Americans (remember Richard Nixon's enemies lists?) does require a warrant to conduct that sort of surveillance. It also created a special court that is capable of responding within hours to warrant requests. If that is not fast enough, the attorney general may authorize wiretaps and then seek a warrant within 72 hours.

Mr. Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales offered a whole bag of logical pretzels yesterday to justify flouting this law. Most bizarre was the assertion that Congress authorized the surveillance of American citizens when it approved the use of "all necessary and appropriate force" by the United States military to punish those responsible for the 9/11 attacks or who aided or harbored the terrorists. This came as a surprise to lawmakers, who thought they were voting for the invasion of Afghanistan and the capture of Osama bin Laden.

This administration has a long record of expanding presidential powers in dangerous ways; the indefinite detention of "unlawful enemy combatants" comes to mind. So assurances that surveillance targets are carefully selected with reasonable cause don't comfort. In a democracy ruled by laws, investigators identify suspects and prosecutors obtain warrants for searches by showing reasonable cause to a judge, who decides if legal tests were met.

Chillingly, this is not the only time we've heard of this administration using terrorism as an excuse to spy on Americans. NBC News recently discovered a Pentagon database of 1,500 "suspicious incidents" that included a Quaker meeting to plan an antiwar rally. And Eric Lichtblau writes in today's Times that F.B.I. counterterrorism squads have conducted numerous surveillance operations since Sept. 11, 2001, on groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group.

Mr. Bush says Congress gave him the power to spy on Americans. Fine, then Congress can just take it back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 09:00 AM

Insider Speaks Out


Col Lawrence Wilkerson, aide to Colin Powell in the early Bush regime, describes the atmospher in the power center, in todays New York Times:

"...Nearly two years later, Mr. Wilkerson, a 60-year-old retired United States Army colonel, has finally completed his journey from insider to apostate. Alone among those who surrounded Mr. Powell in the first term, he is speaking out critically, assailing the president as amateurish, especially compared to the first President Bush, and describing the administration as secretive, inept and courting disaster at home and abroad. Nor has he spared his former boss, whom he says was overly preoccupied with "damage control" for policies set by others.

"What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made," Mr. Wilkerson said in a well-publicized speech at the New America Foundation in October. "And you've got a president who is not versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either," he added in the speech.

Mr. Wilkerson has also attacked the Bush administration for allegedly condoning torture and setting lax policies on treatment of detainees that led, he charges, to the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the black eye they gave to the United States Army.

SINCE starting to speak out a few months ago, Mr. Wilkerson has become something of a Washington celebrity. He has given interviews and speeches, appeared on television, written op-ed articles and taken telephone calls from journalists and senators.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 09:12 AM

Seymour Hersh, writing in The New Yorker this month, says:

..."Current and former military and intelligenc officials have told me that the President remain convinced that it is his personal mission to brin democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious t political pressure, even from fello Republicans. They also say that he disparage any information that conflicts with his view o how the war is proceeding

Bush's closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush's first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President's religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that "God put me here" to deal with the war on terror. The President's belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that "he's the man," the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.

The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: "I said to the President, 'We're not winning the war.' And he asked, 'Are we losing?' I said, 'Not yet.' " The President, he said, "appeared displeased" with that answer.

"I tried to tell him," the former senior official said. "And he couldn't hear it."
There are grave concerns within the military about the capability of the U.S. Army to sustain two or three more years of combat in Iraq. Michael O'Hanlon, a specialist on military issues at the Brookings Institution, told me, "The people in the institutional Army feel they don't have the luxury of deciding troop levels, or even participating in the debate. They're planning on staying the course until 2009. I can't believe the Army thinks that it will happen, because there's no sustained drive to increase the size of the regular Army." O'Hanlon noted that "if the President decides to stay the present course in Iraq some troops would be compelled to serve fourth and fifth tours of combat by 2007 and 2008, which could have serious consequences for morale and competency levels."

Many of the military's most senior generals are deeply frustrated, but they say nothing in public, because they don't want to jeopardize their careers. The Administration has "so terrified the generals that they know they won't go public," a former defense official said. A retired senior C.I.A. officer with knowledge of Iraq told me that one of his colleagues recently participated in a congressional tour there.

The legislators were repeatedly told, in meetings with enlisted men, junior officers, and generals that "things were fucked up." But in a subsequent teleconference with Rumsfeld, he said, the generals kept those criticisms to themselves."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,A
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 09:14 AM

Have not been here for a long time.

Apostate, "a disloyal person" according to Webster. Can he be trusted now just because you like what he is saying?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 10:49 AM

I think he saw what he says he saw; if you read the original article you will find he has been out of synch with the power-play politicos at the center of Bush's web for a number of years.

As for apostasy, I think Bush qualifies on a much higher order.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 07:47 PM

>Pravda, of all people, contemplates the moral quagmire of the Bush Adminitration:


Victims of the darkness: Government surveillance and intimidation
12/26/2005 13:42

The Bush Administration has consistently harassed citizens who
exercise their First Amendment freedoms and voice concerns about
government policies

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both
instances there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly
unchanged, and it is in such a twilight that we must be aware of the
change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims
of the darkness." Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

Not since the notorious McCarthy era of the 1950s, when American
freedoms faced extinction, has there been such an attack against the
Bill of Rights. The recent media focus on President Bush's
authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on ordinary Americans
has brought this issue to the forefront. On secret orders from
President Bush, the NSA has been monitoring the international phone
calls and emails of Americans without warrants.

Moreover, the Bush Administration has consistently harassed citizens
who exercise their First Amendment freedoms and voice concerns about
government policies. The main weapon used in this war is
intimidation, specifically through governmental surveillance and
government agents.

Indeed, the American government has a near paranoia about dissenting
citizens. "The Administration and campaign of George W. Bush," writes
former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.), "is squelching any possible hint
of disagreement or protest at every political rally or gathering."
For example, in March of this year, three citizens were removed from
President Bush's town hall meeting in Aurora, Colo., because the car
they arrived in featured the bumper sticker, "No More Blood for Oil."

This past summer, FBI agents went to Windsor, Conn., with a document
marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the
tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George
Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one - ever - what
it said. The letter, which was on FBI stationery, directed Christian
to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and
access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library
branch some distance away.

Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut
libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for
privacy. But the vendors of the software Christian operates said
their databases can reveal the websites that visitors browse, the e-
mail accounts they open and the books they borrow. Christian refused
to hand over the records, and his employer, Library Connection, Inc.,
filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public.

This case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice
of domestic surveillance under some of the heinous provisions of the
USA Patriot Act. National security letters, such as the one issued to
George Christian, were created in the 1970s for espionage and
terrorism investigations.

They were originally intended as narrow exceptions in consumer
privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer
records of suspected foreign agents. However, the Patriot Act and
Bush Administration guidelines for its use have transformed those
letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U. S. residents and
visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

"The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a
year," writes Barton Gellman in The Washington Post, "a hundredfold
increase over historic norms. The letters - one of which can be used
to sweep up the records of many people - are extending the bureau's
reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and
financial lives of ordinary Americans." Indeed, according to a
previously classified document released recently, the FBI has
conducted clandestine surveillance on some U. S. residents for as
long as 18 months at a time without proper paperwork or oversight.

Thus, the government does not limit its attacks to actual terrorists.
Ordinary American citizens are the focus as well. Take the case of
Selena Jarvis, a social studies teacher at Currituck County High
School in North Carolina. She assigned her senior civics and
economics class to use photographs to illustrate their freedoms as
found in the Bill of Rights. One student photographed a picture of
George W. Bush next to his own hand in a thumbs-down position as a
way to express his freedom to dissent.

However, while developing the student's photographs, a Wal-Mart photo
department employee, in obvious need of some education on the Bill of
Rights, called the police. They then contacted the Secret Service.
But rather than dismissing the case, the Secret Service decided to
investigate the matter. The agents interrogated the student and
questioned Jarvis. While questioning Jarvis, an agent asked her if
she thought the photo was suspicious. Dumbfounded, Jarvis responded,
"No, it was a Bill of Rights project!" Jarvis was startled at the
claim that the student was a terrorist and called the whole thing
"ridiculous."

Why would the Secret Service, which is not run by incompetent
individuals, take the time to investigate a high school student and
his class project? It is safe to assume that the Secret Service knew
the student was not a terrorist and wanted to make an example of him
for others who might be bold enough to use their right to dissent.
After the ordeal, Selena Jarvis commented, "I blame Wal-Mart more
than anybody. I was really disgusted with them. But everyone was
using poor judgment, from Wal-Mart up to the Secret Service."

Unfortunately, this is not the only "ridiculous" case of individuals
tattling on their neighbors. For example, Barry Reingold was
questioned by the FBI after he criticized the war in Afghanistan in
the locker room of his local health club. In another case, Derek
Kjar's neighbors reported his bumper sticker of George Bush wearing a
crown with the heading "King George - off with his head." As a
result, Kjar was interrogated by the Secret Service. In both
instances, close contacts of the two men reported them to the
authorities.

And as if things weren't bad enough, the military is now spying on
us. A secret database obtained by NBC News recently reveals that the
Department of Defense and the Pentagon have also increased
intelligence collection on American citizens inside the country. This
includes monitoring peaceful anti-war groups and protests and
involves video taping, monitoring the Internet and collecting the
name of anyone critical of the government.

There is even a toll-free number for anyone interested to report on
fellow Americans to the military. And the spying even includes
religious groups such as those attending the Quaker Meeting House in
Lake Worth, Florida. "On a domestic level, this is unprecedented,"
says NBC News analyst William Arkin. "I think it is the beginning of
enormous problems and enormous mischief for the military."

Since 9/11, it has been consistently drummed into our heads by the
government, with all its alerts and multi-colored alarms, that
terrorists are everywhere and even your next door neighbor could be
one. As a result, the government's promotion of fear and paranoia has
moved us closer to an Orwellian state where citizens inform on one
another. The result is that the citizens often do the job of the
police and no longer use good judgment before reporting their
neighbors. In the process, such informing citizens are doing away
with their own freedoms.

These tactics are not new to the world. The Nazi and Soviet secret
police of former regimes were infamous for such tactics. The police
controlled the people through fear, and the subsequent result was a
totalitarian state. They turned their respective population into a
society of informers.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning author and
former Soviet dissident, once spoke of how fear destroys the will of
the people. He noted how the Russian people would kneel inside the
doors of their apartments, pressing their ears to listen when the KGB
came at midnight to arrest a neighbor who had spoken out against the
government. Solzhenitsyn said that if all the people would have come
out and driven off the secret police, sheer public opinion would have
demoralized the effort to subdue a free people. But fear and paranoia
kept the people at bay.

We should not be afraid of government agents, whether employed by the
FBI, the military or local authorities. Their salaries are paid
through our tax dollars. Supposedly, they are our servants. Truly
free societies do not function that way. Our fear of government
servants is a clear indication of ominous things to come. If citizens
are too frightened to use their freedoms, then those freedoms will
become extinct. And the darkness will be complete.


The irony of the once raucous voice of the Soviet bloc becoming a chastiser of American neglect of basic freedoms is awful, indeed. Lo, how the mighty are fallen.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 08:06 PM

Beyond the Imperial Presidency
    By Steve Chapman
    The Chicago Tribune

    Sunday 25 December 2005 (Excerpt...)


    President Bush is a bundle of paradoxes. He thinks the scope of the
federal government should be limited but the powers of the president should
not. He wants judges to interpret the Constitution as the framers did, but
doesn't think he should be constrained by their intentions.

    He attacked Al Gore for trusting government instead of the people, but
he insists anyone who wants to defeat terrorism must put absolute faith in
the man at the helm of government.

    His conservative allies say Bush is acting to uphold the essential
prerogatives of his office. Vice President Cheney says the administration's
secret eavesdropping program is justified because "I believe in a strong,
robust executive authority, and I think that the world we live in demands
it."

    But the theory boils down to a consistent and self-serving formula:
What's good for George W. Bush is good for America, and anything that
weakens his power weakens the nation. To call this an imperial presidency is
unfair to emperors.

    Even people who should be on Bush's side are getting queasy. David
Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says in his efforts to
enlarge executive authority, Bush "has gone too far."

    He's not the only one who feels that way. Consider the case of Jose
Padilla, a U.S. citizen arrested in 2002 on suspicion of plotting to set off
a "dirty bomb." For three years, the administration said he posed such a
grave threat that it had the right to detain him without trial as an enemy
combatant. In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
agreed.

    But then, rather than risk a review of its policy by the Supreme Court,
the administration abandoned its hard-won victory and indicted Padilla on
comparatively minor criminal charges. When it asked the 4th Circuit Court
for permission to transfer him from military custody to jail, though, the
once-cooperative court flatly refused.

    In a decision last week, the judges expressed amazement that the
administration suddenly would decide Padilla could be treated like a common
purse snatcher-a reversal that, they said, comes "at substantial cost to the
government's credibility." The court's meaning was plain: Either you were
lying to us then, or you are lying to us now.

    If that's not enough to embarrass the president, the opinion was written
by conservative darling J. Michael Luttig-who just a couple of months ago
was on Bush's short list for the Supreme Court. For Luttig to question
Bush's use of executive power is like Bill O'Reilly announcing that there's
too much Christ in Christmas.

    This is hardly the only example of the president demanding powers he
doesn't need. When American-born Saudi Yasser Hamdi was captured in
Afghanistan, the administration also detained him as an enemy combatant
rather than entrust him to the criminal justice system.

    But when the Supreme Court said he was entitled to a hearing where he
could present evidence on his behalf, the administration decided that was
way too much trouble. It freed him and put him on a plane back to Saudi
Arabia, where he may plot jihad to his heart's content. Try to follow this
logic: Hamdi was too dangerous to put on trial but not too dangerous to
release.

    The disclosure that the president authorized secret and probably illegal
monitoring of communications between people in the United States and people
overseas again raises the question: Why?

    The government easily could have gotten search warrants to conduct
electronic surveillance of anyone with the slightest possible connection to
terrorists. The court that handles such requests hardly ever refuses. But
Bush bridles at the notion that the president should ever have to ask
permission of anyone.

    He claims he can ignore the law because Congress granted permission when
it authorized him to use force against Al Qaeda. But we know that can't be
true. Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales says the administration didn't ask for a
revision of the law to give the president explicit power to order such
wiretaps because Congress-a Republican Congress, mind you-wouldn't have
agreed. So the administration decided: Who needs Congress?


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 11:40 PM

Secret court modified wiretap requests
Intervention may have led Bush to bypass panel

By STEWART M. POWELL
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER WASHINGTON BUREAU


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/253334_nsaspying24.html?source=mypi

Saturday, December 24, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Government records show that the administration was
encountering unprecedented second-guessing by the secret federal
surveillance court when President Bush decided to bypass the panel and
order surveillance of U.S.-based terror suspects without the
court's approval.

A review of Justice Department reports to Congress shows that the
26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap
requests from the Bush administration than from the four
previous presidential administrations combined.

The court's repeated intervention in Bush administration wiretap
requests may explain why the president decided to bypass the court nearly
four years ago to launch secret National Security Agency
spying on hundreds and possibly thousands of Americans and foreigners
inside the United States, according to James Bamford, an acknowledged
authority on the supersecret NSA, which intercepts telephone calls,
e-mails, faxes and Internet communications.
.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 11:51 PM

Amos does his mental masturbation once again and thrills to his accomplishments.

Is Bobert going to put his 2 cents in?

I would be upset if Bush was not wiretaping anyone suspected of communicating with terrorists.

Would Amos be even more upset if he was dying of radiation sickness from a dirty bomb?

That could not happen because like one of his heros. Michael Moore said "There is no terrorist threat"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Peace
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 12:25 AM

And there is Old Guy, as usual with not one thing to say. I hope the Republicans are paying you well for the job you try to do--troll and waste time. And waste more time. And more . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 08:34 PM

The NY Times for 12/29 excoriates the ambience of occlusion that has been intentionally developed around the Government by the White House:

The Mounting Powers of Secrecy
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Published: December 29, 2005
The open government law that guaranteed greater freedom of information to the public will soon be 40 years old and desperately in need of legislative overhaul, thanks to the Bush administration. The White House's sweeping enlargement of agency powers has already nearly doubled the rate of newly classified documents to 15 million a year. At the same time, the administration has choked back the annual volume of documents declassified for public access, from 200 million in 1998 to 44 million lately.

At the heart of this thickening veil are direct presidential orders and former Attorney General John Ashcroft's blanket assurance of legal defense to any agency erring on the side of secrecy in sealing off documents. This reversed the Clinton administration's "presumption of disclosure" when it came to public requests. The 9/11 commission has already pointed out that this general retreat from the intent of the law hardly discourages terrorists; in fact, it was the government's internal failure to share information that contributed to that tragedy.

Innocuous White House press pool reports are now subject to classification, while historians complain of yearlong delays before academic requests are even acknowledged, never mind fulfilled. Environmentalists can't see routine dam and river drainage maps in the name of homeland security. Attempts by firearm agents to keep data on illegal gun traffic from those filing public lawsuits have now been ruled improper twice by the courts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 11:40 AM

Police-State Powers Are Our Biggest Threat


By Martin Garbus, writing in the New York Observer


What has happened in this country?

The Pentagon has a secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA). The courtroom is in a windowless room on the top floor of the Department of Justice. There are seven rotating judges. The court meets in secret, with no published opinions or public records. No one, except the FISA judge involved and the Department of Justice, knows what is done. No one, except the government and the FISA judge, knows at whom the warrants are aimed. There is no review by anyone. Over 12,000 search warrants permitting eavesdropping, surveillance and break-ins have been sought by the government. Only once has the FISA court denied a warrant.

The FISA court has issued more warrants than the more than 1,000 district judges in the federal system.

The Pentagon has already expanded its domestic-surveillance activity beyond any previous time in history. It breaks into homes, wiretaps and eavesdrops at will, and builds secret dossiers on citizens while arguing that there can be no judicial review of its activities. President George W. Bush argues that there can be no judicial review of any decision he makes when he decides whether an alien or an American citizen is or is not an enemy combatant. Congress supports this; so does the judiciary...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 12:42 PM

And there is Peace, as usual with not one thing to say. I hope the Terrorists are paying you well for the job you try to do--troll and waste time. And waste more time. And more.

Peace: you are one of those people who, given enough rope, will hang themselves every time. Here's some more rope.

My message is that Amos is driven to post to his own thread as a monument to himself. Definaltely not normal though he claims to be perfectlly normal.

Another message is that all of the stuff he cuts and pasts is drivel. It is gleaned from avery Anti Bush source he can find. Then he proclaims it is the truth.

The truth is that Amos is an anarchist trying to influence others to be anarchists.

The problem is when you ask an anarchist what should be done, they have no idea of what is right, they only know what is wrong. Hence they don't know right from wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 01:26 PM

Gee, Old Guy, I am so glad you straightened me out here.

If I was posting for my own glory, I assure you I would find something more interesting to post about.

I do not support anarchy, and I think you must be kind of cross-eyed to reach that conclusion.

I do support, however, an inviolable Constitutional republic that seeks to find and disseminate better ideas, rather than to acquire power through coercion and invasion by military force. You seem to find nothing wrong with the slaughter of citizens and the destruction of cities based on a false assessment of a situation. I find it criminal. ALong with a number of other offenses which have been documented in this thread and elsewhere.

That makes me an anarchist about as much as it makes you a punk-rocker with purple and green hair, something I would dearly like to see! :D

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 05:13 PM

From The Guardian, relayed by a correspondent:


Comment
Shock, awe and Hobbes have backfired on America's neocons

Iraq has shown the hubris of a geostrategy that welds the
philosophy of the Leviathan to military and technological power

Richard Drayton
Wednesday December 28, 2005
The Guardian

The tragic irony of the 21st century is that just as faith in
technology collapsed on the world's stock markets in 2000, it came
to power in the White House and Pentagon. For the Project for a New
American Century's ambition of "full-spectrum dominance" - in which
its country could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major-
theatre wars" - was a monster borne up by the high tide of techno
euphoria of the 1990s.

Ex-hippies talked of a wired age of Aquarius. The fall of the
Berlin wall and the rise of the internet, we were told, had ushered
in Adam Smith's dream of overflowing abundance, expanding liberty
and perpetual peace. Fukuyama speculated that history was over,
leaving us just to hoard and spend. Technology meant a new paradigm
of constant growth without inflation or recession.

But darker dreams surfaced in America's military universities. The
theorists of the "revolution in military affairs" predicted that
technology would lead to easy and perpetual US dominance of the
world. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters advised on "future warfare"
at the Army War College - prophesying in 1997 a coming "age of
constant conflict". Thomas Barnett at the Naval War College
assisted Vice-Admiral Cebrowski in developing "network-centric
warfare". General John Jumper of the air force predicted a planet
easily mastered from air and space. American forces would win
everywhere because they enjoyed what was unashamedly called the
"God's-eye" view of satellites and GPS: the "global information
grid". This hegemony would be welcomed as the cutting edge of human
progress. Or at worst, the military geeks candidly explained, US
power would simply terrify others into submitting to the stars and
stripes.
....

Dr Richard Drayton, a senior lecturer in history at Cambridge
University, is the author of Nature's Government, a study of
science, technology and imperialism

Full story at:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1674184,00.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:22 PM

The following is excerpted from an editorial at Barron's, usually a big-business and Republican mouthpiece. Unfortinately the editorial itself is by subscription only.


"[...] Surely the "strict constructionists" on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law. "



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:42 PM

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Positive predictions for the year ahead in Iraq

BAGHDAD: Experts predict the formation of a new Iraqi government, following a year of political reforms, will help stabilize the country, revive its stagnant economy and pave the way for contentious measures such as privatization.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=3&article_id=21143


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:59 PM

Hmmmm, Knight Ritter jusy published a report from Kurdish Iraq where Kurds, wearing the Iraqi uniform, said they were ready to kill the non-Kurd Arabs within their own batallians, take Kurkik and Mosol and set up an independent Kurdish state...

They are just waiting for an opening... Like the US pulling out...

I have long predicted that when the US leaves the "hot" civil war will begin... I predicted this even before Old Gay came 'round here and before Bush ordered the invasion...

Now, looks very much like Iraq is a civil-war-waiting-to-happen...

Yet, the Bushites will stick their heads in the sand and say it ain't so????

It is very much so and it will be very uch so if the US stays in Iraq for another 10 years and ends up loosing another 20,000 Americans in the process...

Just like Nam... 20,000 more dioed after Nixon unleashed his "secret plan" which was so secret that even today no-one knows what it was...

Sound familiar???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 09:07 PM

aljazeera.net

Iraq economy looks positive in 2006

Wednesday 28 December 2005, 10:37 Makka Time, 7:37 GMT

Experts predict that the formation of a new Iraqi government, following a year of political reforms, will help stabilize the country, revive its stagnant economy and pave the way for contentious measures such as privatization.

Thomas Delare, counselor for economic affairs at the US embassy in Baghdad, said: "Ordinary Iraqis, domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors have all been waiting for stability, predictability and greater security,".

The 15 December general election "doesn't guarantee any of those things, but it offers the promise that now we can put it in place.", he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 09:24 PM

Propaganda...Not news...

Go talk with the Kurds, Wood-man and get the real story...

Like maybe you'd like to enligyten folks here about how poor elctricity is now compared to the bad-old-days...

Or even petro price now compared to the bad-old-days... Do you realize that folks in Iraq are waiting for a day to fill up their cars??? That's like up to 24 hours sleepiong in their cars to get gas???

Yet, you wnata to try to propogate propganda that makes Iraq this little utopia now that it has been so-called "liberated"... Seems that is nothin' more that a PR mirage...

You think you are getting the real inforamtion??? Stick yer woddy-butt on an airplane and go see fir yerself... If you'd get yer 2X4 head outta Fox fir a coupler of days you might find there's lots of folks who are not reporting the utopia that youseem to see in Iraq but quite the opposite...

Iraq is a mess and the bad news is that it going to get worse... Invading a tribally divided nation is stupid....

Yeah, go on and argue and argue but when the day is over, even yer dumbass woodyself will know it...

...but, hey, great handle and it perfectly describes you...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM

Down on the Ranch, President Wages War on the Underbrush
Bush Conscripts Aides in Tireless Pursuit of Clearing Ground
By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 31, 2005; Page A03

CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 30 -- On most of the 365 days he has enjoyed at his secluded ranch here, President Bush's idea of paradise is to hop in his white Ford pickup truck in jeans and work boots, drive to a stand of cedars, and whack the trees to the ground.

If the soil is moist enough, he will light a match and burn the wood. If it is parched, as it is across Texas now, the wood will sit in piles scattered over the 1,600-acre spread until it is safe for a ranch hand to torch -- or until the president can come home and do the honors himself.



President Bush, shown clearing cedar at his Crawford, Tex., ranch in 2002, has not lost his enthusiasm for the task during recent trips to what aides call the Western White House. (By Eric Draper -- White House)
The Fix
Chris Cillizza provides daily posts on a range of political topics, from the race for control of Congress in 2006 to scrutinizing the 2008 presidential wannabes.
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Join The Washington Post's or washingtonpost.com's political staff daily at 11 a.m. ET to talk about the latest political news.
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Politics Trivia
The House passed legislation last week to name two buildings at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta after the late civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and what other person?

Mother Teresa
The Dalai Lama
Ronald Reagan
Martin Luther King Jr.

Sometimes this activity is the only official news to come out of what aides call the Western White House. For five straight days since Monday, when Bush retreated to the ranch for his Christmas sojourn, a spokesman has announced that the president, in between intelligence briefings, calls to advisers and bicycling, has spent much of his day clearing brush.

This might strike many Washingtonians as a curious pastime. It does burn a lot of calories. But brush clearing is dusty, it is exhausting (the president goes at it in 100 degree-plus heat), and it is earsplitting, requiring earplugs to dull the chain saw's buzz.

For Bush, who is known to spend early-morning hours hacking at unwanted mesquite, cocklebur weeds, hanging limbs and underbrush only to go back for more after lunch, it borders on obsession ...




Nice to know he has something to do with Nature, even if it involves a chainsaw. Anyone notice how much calmer it's been since he went on vacation?

In other news, oil futures prices jumped higher. So did gasoline, natural gas and heating oil contracts. And consumers can expect more of the same in 2006.

From Iraq, the news is not good:

Long lines formed at gas stations in Baghdad on Friday as word spread that Iraq's largest oil refinery had shut down in the face of threats against truck drivers.
Ahmed Khalaf, 33, said he left his home at dawn and was still in line at noon.
"After the rise in gas prices, now we have a gas shortage," he said. "I don't think I will have the opportunity to return to work today because of this long line."
At least 17 people were killed in violence around the capital, including nine people sitting along the Tigris River who died in a drive-by shooting.
The U.S. military announced the deaths of two soldiers Friday. A bomb killed one soldier when it struck his vehicle in Baghdad on Friday. The second soldier was shot and killed in the western city of Fallujah.
Their deaths brought the number of U.S. military members killed so far in 2005 to 841, five fewer than the 846 troops killed in 2004. In 2003, 485 U.S. military personnel were killed.
In Beiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad and near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, the deteriorating security situation led authorities to shut down Iraq's largest oil refinery Dec. 18, former Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum said.
As word of the shutdown spread through the country, abut 1,000 vehicles waited at one of Baghdad's biggest gas stations, known as the Jindi al-Majhoul, or Unknown Soldier station.
Ali Moussa, a 51-year-old tanker truck driver, said he and his colleagues were working in a dangerous situation. "We demand that the government provide security and protection," he said.

The oil crisis has already cost one job, that of Mr. al-Uloum, the oil minister, who was given a 30-day vacation Wednesday and replaced with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi. Mr. al-Uloum had opposed a recent decision to raise prices by ninefold.
Meanwhile, violence continued unabated.

In the most serious incident, nine people were killed in a drive-by shooting – possibly because they were drinking alcohol in public, police said.

In separate attacks in Baghdad, a suicide car bomber blew himself up next to a police patrol, killing three Iraqi civilians, and a mortar landed in a market, killing another three civilians.

Two Iraqi Army captains were gunned down in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad, as they drove home.



Extremism -- whether of greed over oil   or religous delusions -- is the ugliest human face.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 12:13 AM

From blogger:

"Let's review:

A worldwide network of secret torture prisons
Multiple secret programs to spy on lawful political dissidents
Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of civilians killed
A war based on blatant lies
The restriction of free speech protests to designated zones
An system of government propaganda and lies planted in newspapers around the world and in the United States
A general attack on liberty in the name of The Homeland
A President who declares that he is exempt from the law

Stand back and take a look. Can you not see what's going on?

What will it take for you to stand up and so no to this outrage?

What makes it okay? Is it that they haven't taken your SUV? Is it that they haven't come after you yet?

If you continue to do nothing now, will you tell your grandchildren that they have to understand that nobody knew what was going on?

You know what's going on."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 12:45 AM

Here is a link to the report by U.S. Rep John Conyers whose short title is Constitution in Crisis.

It's full title is: Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War.

An excerpt from the Executive Summary of this report:

"President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled
Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war with Iraq;
misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for
such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and
other legal violations in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of
their Administration.
There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President
and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws,
including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False
Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government
Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel,
inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against
witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning
leaking and other misuse of intelligence.

While these charges clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct,
because the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have blocked
the ability of Members to obtain information directly from the Administration
concerning these matters, more investigatory authority is needed before
recommendations can be made regarding specific Articles of Impeachment. As a
result, we recommend that Congress establish a select committee with subpoena
authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the
Iraq war detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on
possible impeachable offenses.

In addition, we believe the failure of the President, Vice President and others
in the Bush Administration to respond to myriad requests for information concerning
these charges, or to otherwise account for explain a number of specific misstatements
they have made in the run up to War and other actions warrants, at minimum, the
introduction and Congress= approval of Resolutions of Censure against Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Further, we recommend that Ranking Member Conyers and others
consider referring the potential violations of federal criminal law detailed in this
Report to the Department of Justice for investigation; Congress should pass legislation
to limit government secrecy, enhance oversight of the Executive Branch, request
notification and justification of presidential pardons of Administration officials, ban
abusive treatment of detainees, ban the use of chemical weapons, and ban the
practice of paying foreign media outlets to publish news stories prepared by or for the
Pentagon; and the House should amend its Rules to permit Ranking Members of
Committees to schedule official Committee hearings and call witnesses to investigate
Executive Branch misconduct.

The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that
their pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity
has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision
to go to war. The Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of
pre-war intelligence distortion and manipulation, while the Silberman-Robb report
specifically cautioned that intelligence manipulation Awas not part of our inquiry.@
There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal
violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of coverups
and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than
the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald.

While the scope of this Report is largely limited to Iraq, it also holds lessons for
our Nation at a time of entrenched one-party rule and abuse of power in Washington.
If the present Administration is willing to misstate the facts in order to achieve its
political objectives in Iraq, and Congress is unwilling to confront or challenge their
hegemony, many of our cherished democratic principles are in jeopardy. This is true
not only with respect to the Iraq War, but also in regard to other areas of foreign
policy, privacy and civil liberties, and matters of economic and social justice. Indeed
as this Report is being finalized, we have just learned of another potential significant
abuse of executive power by the President, ordering the National Security Agency to
engage in domestic spying and wiretapping without obtaining court approval in
possible violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

It is tragic that our Nation has invaded another sovereign nation because Athe
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,@ as stated in the Downing
Street Minutes. It is equally tragic that the Bush Administration and the Republican
Congress have been unwilling to examine these facts or take action to prevent this
scenario from occurring again. Since they appear unwilling to act, it is incumbent on
individual Members of Congress as well as the American public to act to protect our
constitutional form of government. ..."

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 12:56 AM

links to the Investigative Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 02:09 AM

Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports

November 16, 2005 | Issue 41•46

WARREN, PA—Although respondents to a Pew poll taken prior to the 2004 presidential election characterized Bush as "the candidate they'd most like to sit down and have a beer with," Chris Reinard lived the hypothetical scenario Sunday afternoon, and characterized it as "really uncomfortable and awkward."
Enlarge ImageLong-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports

Chris Reinard and President Bush try to think of something to talk about.

Reinard, a father of four who supported Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections, said sharing a beer with the president at the Switchyard Tap gave him "an uneasy feeling."

"I thought he'd be great," Reinard said. "But when I actually met him, I felt real put off."

The president arrived at the bar via motorcade close to 3 p.m. After a sweep by Secret Service agents, Reinard was asked, for security reasons, to move from his favorite stool. Shortly after he had reseated himself, Reinard said he "was pleased" to welcome the president to the Switchyard.

"Boy, it sure is a good day for a cool one," Bush reportedly told the assembled patrons, who were watching the Dolphins­Patriots game.

"When he first walked in, everything seemed fine," bartender Bob Kern said. "He told everyone 'Hi' like he was one of the regulars, then sat next to Chris."

Reinard ordered two Budweisers, but Bush interrupted him, saying he'd prefer an O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer.

"I completely forgot he stopped drinking," Reinard said.

Following the initial gaffe, Bush attempted to smooth things over, asking Reinard to call him "George." Reinard complied, but later said "it felt a little unnatural."

"I guess I was supposed to tell him to call me Chris," Reinard said. "I didn't like him calling me 'Mr. Reinard' the whole time, but I didn't know if it was okay to interrupt him to say 'Call me Chris.' And then also, it felt weird to just say it out of nowhere. Like, 'Call me Chris.'"

Bush asked Reinard if he had any hobbies, and Reinard told the president that he enjoys spending weekends with his children on local lakes in his small aluminum boat.

"Mr. Bush, I mean George, seemed to like that, and I felt that we finally made a connection," Reinard said. "But then he started telling me about this one time he was on a yacht with some Arab prince and they spent four hours landing a sailfish."

"It was a good story, but I just like catching a few bass with my kids is all," Reinard added. "I know he didn't mean to make me feel bad, but still."

Reinard told the president that he has lived most of his life in the Warren area, except for several years he spent in nearby Jamestown, where he attended community college for a year. Bush told Reinard he was born in New Haven, CT, and grew up in Texas before attending Yale University as an undergraduate and earning his MBA from Harvard, all while maintaining membership in many exclusive clubs.

"I asked George how much it costs to be in those social clubs, but he said he didn't remember," Reinard said. "I think he just didn't want to say the amount. He'd change the subject on me a lot, say he did a lot of partying back then, but that was all behind him now, since he found the Lord, or whatever."

Bush asked Reinard what he did for a living, and Reinard said he runs a small carpentry business.

"He asked me how it was going, what with the economy bouncing back. I said that if things didn't pick up soon, I was going to have to close up shop and work for my uncle in Youngstown," Reinard said. "George was quiet for a while after that. Then he told me about when his second oil company was going under. He suggested using my connections to get some outside investment capital."

"I don't have any connections," Reinard added.

When the conversation reached a dead end, Reinard and Bush were silent once again, their eyes tracking the game.

"We were sitting there watching the game, and some cheerleaders were up there waving their pompoms," Reinard said. "Then George mentioned that he used to be a cheerleader at Yale. I didn't know what to say to that one, so I just drank the rest of my beer real fast."

After nearly a minute of silence, Bush drained the remainder of his O'Doul's and wished Reinard goodbye, saying that he'd stay longer if he could, but had "some business to tend to."

"He shook my hand and smiled, said he had to run," Reinard said. "Something about a conference or a summit. It seemed like he was actually relieved to go."

Reinard and Kern both estimated Bush's stay at the bar as no longer than 15 minutes. This included Kern's attempt to pay for Bush's beer. Bush only smiled and waved at Kern, and a member of his Secret Service escort pulled a $10 bill from his coat pocket and tossed it on the bar.

Reinard likened the encounter with Bush to "being cornered at a company Christmas party by your boss."

"It was like, do you act and drink like normal, or are you on your best behavior?" Reinard said. "Are you up-front with the guy or do you choose your words carefully? What does he want out of you, anyway? Or does he just want to connect with somebody, because it's lonely at the top? You just don't know for sure."

"Overall, it was okay, I suppose," Reinard said. " One thing's for sure, though—I still wouldn't want to have a beer with that stuck-up Kerry."


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:03 PM

November 11, 2005--

A Veterans' Day Message to America's Military Personnel:

'Though Durbin and Kennedy, Conyers and Dean

may denigrate missions you serve with their screams,

'though Nancy Peloci, Kucinich and Byrd

describe as a "quagmire" the mission you serve,

'though Hollywood HalfWits like Robbins and Moore

contend that your mission is wrong to the core,

'though missions your serve are maligned and defamed

by Soros, Move-On and by Not-In-Our-Name,

remember that all but a few do proclaim

how proudly (except for Amos) we thank you for deeds in our name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:33 PM

The Source of the Trouble
Pulitzer Prize winner Judith Miller's series of exclusives about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq courtesy of the now-notorious Ahmad Chalabi helped the New York Times keep up with the competition and the Bush administration bolster the case for war. How the very same talents that caused her to get the story also caused her to get it wrong.

By Franklin Foer

Judith Miller discusses post-Saddam Iraq on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.

For critics of the Iraq war, the downfall of Ahmad Chalabi occasioned a hearty, unapologetic outpouring of Schadenfreude a loud cheer for a well-deserved knee to the administration s gut. In fact, it was possible to detect a bit of this spirit on the front page of the New York Times. On May 21, the editors arrayed contrasting images of the banker turned freedom fighter turned putative Iranian spy. Here he is smirking behind Laura Bush in the House of Representatives gallery as the president delivers his State of the Union address. There he is looking bleary and sweaty, after Iraqi police stormed his home and office in the middle of the night. An analysis by David Sanger went so far as to name names of individuals who had associated themselves with the discredited leader of the Iraqi National Congress. The list, he wrote, included many of the men who came to dominate the top ranks of the Bush administration . . . Donald H. Rumsfeld, Paul D. Wolfowitz, Douglas J. Feith, Richard L. Armitage, Elliott Abrams and Zalmay M. Khalilzad, among others.

The phrase among others is a highly evocative one. Because that list of credulous Chalabi allies could include the New York Times own reporter, Judith Miller. During the winter of 2001 and throughout 2002, Miller produced a series of stunning stories about Saddam Hussein s ambition and capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, based largely on information provided by Chalabi and his allies almost all of which have turned out to be stunningly inaccurate.


For the past year, the Times has done much to correct that coverage, publishing a series of stories calling Chalabi s credibility into question. But never once in the course of its coverage or in any public comments from its editors did the Times acknowledge Chalabi s central role in some of its biggest scoops, scoops that not only garnered attention but that the administration specifically cited to buttress its case for war.

The longer the Times remained silent on Chalabi s importance to Judith Miller s reporting, the louder critics howled. In February, in the New York Review of Books, Michael Massing held up Miller as evidence of the press s submissiveness in covering the war. For more than a year, Slate s Jack Shafer has demanded the paper come clean.

But finally, with Chalabi s fall from grace so complete the Pentagon has cut off his funding, troops smashed his portrait in raids of the INC office the Times refusal to concede its own complicity became untenable. Last week, on page A10, the paper published a note on its coverage, drafted by executive editor Bill Keller himself. The paper singled out pieces that relied on information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors, and exiles bent on regime change.    The note named Ahmad Chalabi as a central player in this group.

This time, however, the omission of Judith Miller s name was conspicuous. Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated.

It was precisely her unpleasant aggressiveness that helped force the story the marriage of WMD and global jihadists closer to the top of the agenda.

The editor s note was correct: The Judy Miller problem is complicated. That is, the very qualities that endeared Miller to her editors at the New York Times her ambition, her aggressiveness, her cultivation of sources by any means necessary, her hunger to be first were the same ones that allowed her to get the WMD story so wrong.

Miller is a star, a diva. She wrote big stories, won big prizes. Long before her WMD articles ran, Miller had become a newsroom legend and for reasons that had little to do with the stories that appeared beneath her byline. With her seemingly bottomless ambition a pair of big feet that would stomp on colleagues in her way and even crunch a few bystanders she cut a larger-than-life figure that lent itself to Paul Bunyan esque retellings. Most of these stories aren t kind. Of course, nobody said journalism was a country club. And her personality was immaterial while she was succeeding, winning a Pulitzer, warning the world about terrorism, bio-weapons, and Iraq s war machine. But now, who she is, and why she prospered, makes for a revealing cautionary tale about the culture of American journalism.

On a summer afternoon in the early eighties, Judy Miller invited her exercise-averse boyfriend Richard Burt, then the Times defense reporter, to watch her swim laps in the Washington Hilton pool. Afterward, lounging in the sun, Miller veered into one of her favorite lines of conversation: Does chemical or nuclear warfare inflict the most damage? Burt, who would go on to become an assistant secretary of State in the Reagan administration, has a serious cast of mind. But even he was taken aback by Miller s dark thoughts. I remember being struck that there are not many people sitting around on a beautiful day thinking about weapons of mass destruction, he says.

Miller s dramatic way of looking at the world may have something to do with her family s show-business background. During the forties and fifties, her father, Bill Miller, ran the Riviera nightclub in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Famed for its retractable roof, the Riviera staged shows by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tito Puente. When the state highway commission ordered the Riviera condemned in 1953, Miller made his way to Vegas, proving his impresario bona fides by reviving the careers of Elvis Presley and Marlene Dietrich.

Judy Miller arrived in the Times Washington bureau in 1977, as part of a new breed of hungry young hires, prodded in part by the sting of losing the Watergate story to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post. She was unlike the other guys there. That s why they brought her to the paper, says Steven Rattner, another old boyfriend, who eventually left his Times gig to become an investment banker.

Installed amid colleagues they were almost all men who d spent decades working their way up the paper s food chain, Miller stood out immediately for her sharp elbows. While the culture of the paper assiduously practices omert what happens in the newsroom stays in the newsroom Miller is cause for reporters to break the code of silence. An unusual number of her co-workers have gone out of their way to separate themselves and their paper from Miller. Few are brave enough to attach their names to the stories, but they all sound a similar refrain. She s a shit to the people she works with, says one. When I see her coming, my instinct is to go the other way, says another. They recite her foibles and peccadilloes, from getting temporarily banned by the Times D.C. car service for her rudeness to throwing a fit over rearranged items on her desk. Defenders are few and far between. And even the staunchest ones often concede her faults. Bill Keller told me in an e-mail, She has sharp elbows. She is possessive of her sources, and passionate about her stories, and a little obsessive. If you interview people who have worked with Sy Hersh, I ll bet you ll find some of the same complaints.
More


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jan 06 - 11:36 PM

Woody:

Thanks. When you study these deeds up close you will find that however courageous and loyal to their command chain, these men are not performing deeds I think I should be thankful for.

I am thankful for the small handful of officers in Iraq who are teaching more than shooting, organizing for production, and making things better there. I am thankful for those who defend the citizens from their own extremists, wishing our government would do as much for us.

But the slaughter of innocents and the destruction of families, the maiming of citizens and children, which you so bravely ignore, is something I will never give thanks for no matter who does it. If you ever get your head out of your dream world, you will find this sort of violence is no blessing, and is not a gift, but the sad end of a long warped political chain of failure.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Woody
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 12:04 PM

The Word on "Turd Blossom" - The Redolent Gaseous Effluvia of the "Boy Genius"
By Dr. Gerry Lower
Jul 20, 2005, 21:57

Do an innocent Google search for the term "Turd Blossom" and you will be treated to 61,500 results, literally page after page, with not a thing about "turd blossoms." No, its all about Karl Rove. The implications of this outcome are not good when America's favorite search engine can't come up with word definitions because it can't get around all the references to Karl Rove.

That term, "Turd Blossom," of course, is not some liberal putdown, but the "affectionate" nickname coined by George W. Bush in referring to his left brain and chief political strategist, his Karl. Helen Thomas traced the origins of the term to "several years ago when he [Rove] started getting accolades from political writers as the mastermind behind Bush ... the president is known to have bristled."

According to Thomas, Bush "once told a journalist that he did not like his aides getting 'star treatment.' So, he started calling Rove 'Turd Blossom.'" Thomas suggested that the term "refers to the so-called cowpie splat made by bovine waste when it hits the ground"

Those who lack honest and intelligent comprehension typically make their sales through glad-handing, with one hand over your shoulder and the other hand down in your pants, Bush's signature approach. Adding insult to injury, Bush tops that off by being jokingly self-deprecating. He doesn't mean it at all, of course. After all, he is the "war president." But, as a result, when being upstaged or criticized, Bush has no problems with deprecating others. It runs in the family.

The Bush administration's relationships with the English language and with empirical reality, however, are not only mindless but legendarily so. Cheney announces that the Iraq insurgency is in its "last throes." Rove rewrites history by announcing that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." It makes one's head spin, but then that is what "spin" is designed to do, so that the people stick with the party line. It is the Rovian basis for government of, by and for the people.

In other words, one can never be sure just what the Bush administration means because it so seldom knows what it is talking about, because its outreach is so full of conjecture and concoction. As a direct result, the Bush administration seldom knows what it is doing (Eugene Robinson, Syntax, Disassembled, Washington Post, July 12, 2005) (2). Theses people are, after all, not experienced diplomats and learned statesmen, but more a conspiracy of businessmen trying to make a sale.

Bloggers and columnists alike have attempted to more precisely define Bush's oxymoronic term for Rove. One suggested that "the use of Mr. Rove's nickname is probably due to his [Rove's] ability to make something very unappetizing (cow patties) into something attractive (a flower)" (Dick Brandlon, Lotus Media, July 13, 2005) (3). Julian Borger, with the Guardian, suggested that a turd blossom is "a Texanism for a flower that blooms from cattle excrement"


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 02 Jan 06 - 03:08 PM

From Today's Papers (Slate):

The Bush administration's decision not to seek new funds in its congressional budget request next month signals the winding down of the rebuilding effort in Iraq, says the WP. Less than 20 percent remains of an $18.4 billion rebuilding effort. Half was spent on the insurgency, the criminal justice system, and the trial of Saddam Hussein. Billions that were initially supposed to go to rebuilding Iraq's decrepit infrastructure went to new security forces and maximum-security prisons and detention centers. Bringing reliable electrical, water, sewage, and sanitation services to Iraq will require tens of billions yet, but, as one brigadier general put it, "The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq."




Yet another failure to deliver . Going in, the PR was all about reconstruction, billions to restore the infrastructure. Turns out half the dough was spent on prisons and war-fighting. I am a little perplexed where the money that was earmarked for military operations went -- kind of like a shell game where you lose sight of the pea, huh?

Who wants to bet whether or not the amount of ACTUAL rebuilding equals the amount of destruction compared to pre-invasion status? Hmmm? I dummo -- just raising a question, here.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 10:20 PM

A concerned Mexican American citizen writes to the San Diego Union-Tribune:
        
      
Letters to the editor

January 3, 2006

U.S. in no position to advise Mexico


Regarding "Poor relations / Five goals for Mexico in the new year" (Editorial, Dec. 26):

You've got to be joking. Saying that Mexico should not meddle in another country's affairs is totally without credibility from a country that invades countries to gain land (the invasion of Mexico in 1846) and has a long history of pariah politics for its own self-righteous reasons.

The United States invades a country to settle the score on Sept. 11, 2001; Iraq wasn't involved. No, wait, it's to find weapons of mass destruction; none found. No, hold it, it's to fight terror; there's more terror now than ever. No, here's the latest reason: to promote democracy; President Bush and his administration are far, far from democracy. No, it's to – who knows what Bush and his corrupt administration will make up next?

The credibility of the Union-Tribune is less than zero when it does everything possible (in two languages) to discredit and slam Mexico every chance it gets. Once the United States stops exporting the demand for drugs (80 percent of the world's illegal drugs consumed by Americans), ruining the environment (35 percent of world environmental damage is caused by the United States and U.S. companies), stops helping to create terror (Bush policies have created more terror cells than ever), stops taking from the world (the United States consumes 30 percent of the world's natural resources) and continues to meddle in the world with a total disregard for human rights and so much more, then and only then can the United States or the Union-Tribune even consider giving advice to other countries.

For now, impeach Bush and let's honor world treaties, starting with treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo....

ENRIQUE MORONES
San Diego


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:48 PM

The Onion


December 28, 2005 | Issue 41•52

Elected President Of Iraq




BAGHDAD—In a vast outpouring of gratitude to the man they call "Our Great Savior From The West," the people of Iraq flooded the polls during yesterday's first free elections, voting overwhelmingly for President George W. Bush as their first democratically elected leader.

Bush, who spent nearly half a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money on his campaign, received a concession call from Abu Musaiya at 11:30 EST last night.

After the Bush landslide was announced on Al-Jazeera, ecstatic crowds chanted in the streets throughout the recently liberated nation: "Hail George Bush, the president of Iraq!"

"May Allah bless him and his children to the seventh generation!" shouted free Iraqi citizen Abdullah al-Hallasid, firing his gun into the air repeatedly and injuring seven U.S. soldiers. "At last, we are free!"

Bush, who surged in the polls after all of the other candidates were killed by either coalition forces or insurgents in the final week leading up to the election, characterized his victory as the dawn of democracy in the Middle East, and proof that the system works.


See image of Georgie in his new uniform on this page: Bush Elected President Of Iraq.

The above information has not been evaluated for any correspondence with the real world.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:36 PM

Hey, Amos, not only has BUsh pulled the plug on funds to fix the stuff that he broke in ordering the invasion of Iraq but it looks as if he's telling the Afgani's to "pack sand" as well...

Rebuild v. Tax Cuts for the Rich...


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jan 06 - 10:43 AM

Bruce Reed, writing for Slate, remarks:

"President Bush has the rest of his life to apologize for what he has done so far. He would be better off devoting the three precious remaining years of his presidency to what historians of tomorrow and Americans of today might both applaud: better policies and better results.

One historian tells Sanger that the Bush White House has its eyes on the Truman legacy, perhaps because Truman and Nixon are the only two presidents ever to surpass Bush in unpopularity. But the great thing about history is that it all comes out in the wash. Anybody can spin the press corps, but not even Karl Rove can spin the historians. In the long run, everything leaks."





Reed's article, Plea Bargain with America is an interesting analysis of the current Republican power-wedgie.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 10:22 AM

The Washington Post offers a report indicating that legal claims for Presidential authority for all the high-tech eavesdropping are probably bogus, weak at best. If they are found legally to be erroneous and not a legal defense, then those actions are criminal and impeachable.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 11:48 AM

The TImes for today (a Sunday) has a fascinating, well-reasoned study by Noah Feldman on the growth of "presidentialism", the expansion of dominance of the Executive, and what to do about it.

The article is here and merits a careful read.

Bush's administration, as Feldman points out, has pushed executive power far beyond any limits within which it previously operated. But the trend has been on-going since the Luisiana Purchase, and has fundamentally altered the nature of the American Constitution.

Feldman is insightful and coherent in his sense of the historical pattern, and offers some good suggestions about remediation.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 12:15 PM

This is an example of how Amos tries to pass of bullshit as the truth and Bobert can't tell the difference.

Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 01:48 PM

The Onion

December 28, 2005 | Issue 41•52

Elected President Of Iraq

BAGHDAD—In a vast outpouring of gratitude to the man they call "Our Great Savior From The West," the people of Iraq flooded the polls during yesterday's first free elections, voting overwhelmingly for President George W. Bush as their first democratically elected leader.

Bush, who spent nearly half a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money on his campaign, received a concession call from Abu Musaiya at 11:30 EST last night.

After the Bush landslide was announced on Al-Jazeera, ecstatic crowds chanted in the streets throughout the recently liberated nation: "Hail George Bush, the president of Iraq!"

"May Allah bless him and his children to the seventh generation!" shouted free Iraqi citizen Abdullah al-Hallasid, firing his gun into the air repeatedly and injuring seven U.S. soldiers. "At last, we are free!"

Bush, who surged in the polls after all of the other candidates were killed by either coalition forces or insurgents in the final week leading up to the election, characterized his victory as the dawn of democracy in the Middle East, and proof that the system works.

The above information has not been evaluated for any correspondence with the real world.

A
------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 06 - 08:36 PM

Hey, Amos, not only has BUsh pulled the plug on funds to fix the stuff that he broke in ordering the invasion of Iraq but it looks as if he's telling the Afgani's to "pack sand" as well...

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rebuild v. Tax Cuts for the Rich..."The Onion® is a satirical
The Onion® uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental."

"this Publication is tasteless and destructive of our shared values" Al Gore


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 02:31 PM

A study reported in the TImes today reveals that Army and Marine Corps bureaucracy and possibly a lack of demand from above has contributed to many of the service deaths in Iraq through inadequate individual armoring, totally aside from the HumVee armor catastrophe which Rumsfeld so gallantly dodged (in late '04, if memory serves).

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 06 - 09:46 PM

Well, Old Guy, in the last week Bush has told both Iraq and Afganistan to "pack sand" when it comes to any more dought in rebuilding their infastructues... Both artickles appeared on the front pages of the Washington Post... Google washingtonpost,com fir details....

Hmmmmmm??? Seesm that's becoming the Bush standard answer for anyone wanting anything outta the money that Bush collects from the working class thru taxes, ahhh, with the exception of rich people and anyone who paid enought into Bush's election campaign (think major drug companies and defense contractors here)...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: GUEST,Old Guy
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 01:34 AM

Now Amos is posting things from Blogs because he is running out of Satire to post.

If Bobert knew what he was talking about I would respond.

AINA, CA - Jan 6, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Jack Reed, finishing up a two-day visit to Iraq on Thursday, said the raging debate in America over withdrawing troops hadn't dampened morale among the soldiers he met.

"I frankly did not pick up any of that," Reed, D-R.I., said during a conference call from Iraq with reporters on one of the deadliest days in Iraq since the war began. "All I got were soldiers who were committed to their mission."

The senator met with members of the Rhode Island National Guard as well as other troops and officials. He said he hopes some of the longest serving forces can get a break.

"That stress eventually takes a toll," Reed said.

Reed is a member of the Armed Services Committee and a former Army Ranger who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He has emerged as a leading Senate critic of President Bush's handling of the war. But unlike some of his Democratic colleagues, Reed has not urged an immediate pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq.

The senator said he was about a mile or two from a suicide car bombing in Baghdad on Thursday that killed three Iraqi soldiers. He said he only learned of the blast after it happened.

"We were not in the danger area," he said.

The bombing was among a rash of insurgent attacks across Iraq Thursday that killed more than 130 people.

"It reminds you it's a very dangerous place," the senator said.

Reed also heard the crackle of small arms fire while he was in the city.

The future of Iraq now hinges on the success of its new government, Reed said. The U.S. needs to provide more civil reconstruction aid to help Iraq's new leaders provide basic needs for its citizens, he said.

"The struggle in Iraq is about the future or Iraq in the hands of Iraqis," said Reed. "This is a critical moment."

Reed was making his sixth trip to Iraq. He is expected to visit with troops and officials in Afghanistan on Friday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 03:10 PM

AUSTIN, Texas -- The state's highest criminal court on Monday denied Rep. Tom DeLay's request that the money laundering charges against him be dismissed or sent back to a lower court for an immediate trial.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied the requests with no written order two days after he announced he was stepping down as House majority leader. DeLay had been forced to temporarily relinquish the Republican leadership post after he was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges in September.

(Jan 9, 2005)



Old Guy,

Thrash, kick, yowl and slander.

1. I have enjoyed the Onion's satire for several years. As I pointed out to you elsewhere I have no problem recognizing the difference between reality and satire; sometimes I wonder if you share the same abililty. I expect those who read these threads to have aminimal literacy about such well-known websites as THe Onion, but if it is a new wonder to you, that does not give you the right to make even more scurrilous remarks about my character and intelligence -- remarks even YOU do not believe in fact...

2.   I asked you once why you were so bitter as to levy these personal ad hominem and slanderous attacks on me, and your only reply was that if I were normal, I would know. That is a bit juvenile, but in any case I am not "normal". I am better looking than average. So enlighten me.

3. You repeatedly, as yourself and under other underhanded guises make snide remarks about Dianetics and Scientolgy. I don't mind what you think of these subjects, but I think I made it clear to you that these organizations are not part of my world-view, despite my earlier association with them over 25 years back. Your latching onto this linkage and altering it as though it were some secret in my misty past is erroneous, and does not do you credit (never mind me!). I would be as justified in accusing you having a kindergartner's mentality because I tracked down the fact that you were once known to habituate a kindergarten as a card-carrying member. Slander is easy. Honesty and real thought are much harder. Give them a try.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 10:33 PM

From Sunday's WP:

"Bring 'em on."

-- President Bush on Iraqi insurgents, summer 2003

Who's Blogging?
Read what bloggers are saying about this article.
The Boring Made Dull
Austoon Daily
Running Scared

Full List of Blogs (40 links) »

Most Blogged About Articles
On washingtonpost.com | On the web


The insurgency is "in its last throes."

-- Vice President Cheney,

summer 2005

" . . . there are only two options before our country: victory or defeat."

-- President Bush, Christmas 2005

The administration's rhetorical devolution speaks for itself. Yet, with some luck and with a more open decision-making process in the White House, greater political courage on the part of Democratic leaders and even some encouragement from authentic Iraqi leaders, the U.S. war in Iraq could (and should) come to an end within a year.

"Victory or defeat" is, in fact, a false strategic choice. In using this formulation, the president would have the American people believe that their only options are either "hang in and win" or "quit and lose." But the real, practical choice is this: "persist but not win" or "desist but not lose."

Victory, as defined by the administration and its supporters -- i.e., a stable and secular democracy in a unified Iraqi state, with the insurgency crushed by the American military assisted by a disciplined, U.S.-trained Iraqi national army -- is unlikely. The U.S. force required to achieve it would have to be significantly larger than the present one, and the Iraqi support for a U.S.-led counterinsurgency would have to be more motivated. The current U.S. forces (soon to be reduced) are not large enough to crush the anti-American insurgency or stop the sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife. Both problems continue to percolate under an inconclusive but increasingly hated foreign occupation.

Moreover, neither the Shiites nor the Kurds are likely to subordinate their specific interests to a unified Iraq with a genuine, single national army. As the haggling over the new government has already shown, the two dominant forces in Iraq -- the religious Shiite alliance and the separatist Kurds -- share a common interest in preventing a restoration of Sunni domination, with each determined to retain a separate military capacity for asserting its own specific interests, largely at the cost of the Sunnis. A truly national army in that context is a delusion. Continuing doggedly to seek "a victory" in that fashion dooms America to rising costs in blood and money, not to mention the intensifying Muslim hostility and massive erosion of America's international legitimacy, credibility and moral reputation.

The administration's definition of "defeat" is similarly misleading. Official and unofficial spokesmen often speak in terms that recall the apocalyptic predictions made earlier regarding the consequences of American failure to win in Vietnam: dominoes falling, the region exploding and U.S. power discredited. An added touch is the notion that the Iraqi insurgents will then navigate the Atlantic and wage terrorism on the American homeland.
...



The bogus arm-waving is kind of similar, innit?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 11:19 PM

By the way, Old Guy, these excerpts are not from Blogs but from the on-line edition of the Washington, D.C., Post which also has links to surveys about blogging going on, which is why you see those phrases. I'da thought that might have been clear from context, but in any case, they're from the WP proper, not a blog.

But the IMPORTANT news is this, which I haven't verified, forwarded from a discussion list:


Link to article

or
http://news.com.com/Create+an+e-annoyance%2C+go+to+jail/
2010-1028_3-6022491.html?part=rss&tag=6022491&subj=news

"Create an e-annoyance, go to jail
Published: January 9, 2006, 4:00 AM PST

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a
prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail
messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog
as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small
favors, I guess.

This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet,
is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of
Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and
two years in prison.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv
Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else." "


-------------------------------------------------------------------

I am perfectly capable of learning from my mistakes. I will surely
learn a great deal today.

"A democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding on what to have for
lunch. Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the results of the
decision." - Benjamin Franklin


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