Wednesday, April 8, 2009

There Goes The Internet!


Cyber attacks pose an increasingly serious and costly threat to US government and commercial networks, a US general warned on Tuesday.

The attacks range from relatively simple attempts by teenagers to highly sophisticated cyber assaults, General John Davis, deputy commander of the joint task force for global operations, told AFP.

Although there were safeguards for military networks, attacks on commercial networks also were cause for concern, Davis said.

"Even the indirect threat is of concern to us because a lot of our systems in the military ride over the commercial infrastructure," he said.

The Pentagon several months ago was faced with "a particular worm that was concerning us that intruded into our military networks," Davis said.

Last year the Defense Department prohibited the use of external computer flash drives to counter a virus threat.

The Defense Department spent more than 100 million dollars in the past six months reparing the damage done by the cyber attacks, said Davis by telephone from a conference in Nebraska.

The money was spent on technology and technicians -- including contractors -- to respond to the cyber attacks, he said.

As an example, he said cleaning up a single affected computer cost between 5,000 to 7,000 dollars.

But Davis said it was crucial to invest in preventing the cyber attacks instead of spending money afterward.

"It would be a much wiser investment of resources to do that in a pro-active manner so we were preventing these things from being able to get into our networks."

Davis welcomed plans presented Monday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to fund an increase in cyber experts with stepped-up training efforts.

Under the secretary's recommendations, the Pentagon would aim to train 250 cyber experts a year instead of the current 80 students.

President Barack Obama has put a priority on cyber security and ordered an elaborate review of the issue.

A top US cybersecurity official quit last month, complaining in a resignation letter that US cyber protection efforts were flawed and dominated by the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA).

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

In The Mood For a Few Words From The Rude One

New Polls Reveal That Republicans Are Worthless Bags of Douche:

Sure, sure, you could look at the Pew Research Center poll that shows President Barack Obama has an 88% approval rating among Democrats and 27% among Republicans and go all apeshit like the Guardian's Ed Pilkington, who writes, "Barack Obama's promise to overcome partisan political divisions and reunite the United States has so far failed to materialize" (spelling Americanized because the Guardian Anglicized the last word in Pew Research Center to "Centre," which is just annoyingly colonialist). Yep, you could do that, essentially blaming Obama. Or you could add in a third number in the poll that Pilkington ignores: independents give Obama a 57% approval rating, which is higher than for any president at the same time in his administration since Ronald Reagan.

You could also look at a New York Times/CBS News poll that had Obama's approval rating overall at 66%, up a few points since February, and approval for Republicans at 31%, "the lowest in the 25 years the question has been asked in New York Times/CBS News polls." Yeah, it's down a few points. Approval for Democrats? 56%.

By the way, other festive shit in that NYT/CBS polls includes:
2% of respondents who think that Barack Obama's administration is to blame for the state of the economy. 33% blame George W. Bush's. 21% blame Wall Street.

63% trust Obama on his decisions on the economy. 20% trust Republicans in Congress. 61% trust Obama on his decisions on national security. 27% trust Republicans in Congress.

57% think that the Democratic Party is more concerned with their lives, compared to 22% who think the same about the Republican Party (which is also the lowest number for them in 25 years).

And 74% think that raising taxes on people making over 250 grand a year is a "good idea," with 65% thinking that the tax code needs to be changed so that middle and lower class people pay less taxes while the wealthy pay more.

Let's toss in a demographic view or two so no one can say this poll is just horribly skewed for one or another reason: 43% said they voted for Obama, 25% for McCain, 24% didn't vote. 23% consider themselves Republican, 39% Democrat, and 30% independent, with 23% calling themselves liberal, 39% moderate, and 31% conservative.

In other words, a charitable reading of this poll and the Pew poll is that Americans are actually pretty goddamn unified on one thing: they support the President. A less charitable reading is that Americans think that Republicans are fucking worthless piles of shit. But that's a unifying belief, too. Indeed, if you were casting around for who to blame for the failure of the dinner party, you'd be utterly wrong to say it's the guy who set the table. Nope. It's the fault of the invited guests who decided to blow it off.

A final note here: apparently the vast majority of Americans are socialist by the nutzoid right wing's degraded standards for that appellation. It's gonna be a mighty lonely revolution for 'em.


In Brief: Massacre-o-rama in April in America:
So the Rude Pundit just wants to get this past weekend right:

Jiverly Wong shot and killed 13 people and himself in Binghamton, New York. He had recently lost his job in November 2008 when his plant shut down, and he was tired of being mocked for his poor English. His two handguns were perfectly legal.

Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers before being arrested in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He legally owned an assault weapon and two handguns, despite being booted from the Marines for being too violent. He was afraid, said a friend, that the Obama administration would take his guns. He had been laid off from his job at a glass factory.

James Harrison shot and killed his five children and himself in Graham, Washington. He used a rifle. He was afraid his wife was going to leave him.

In all three states, you can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. It's harder in New York; it's easier in Washington.

Conservatives are running scared because the left is seeing a connection, especially with Poplawski, between the violent, apocalyptic rhetoric of the right.

Jesus Christ, nut up, right wingers. You can't say that we're heading towards revolution and that gun laws are harming America, but, hey, we don't want violence. No, you can't walk around naked with a raging hard-on, but then say you don't wanna fuck something. There's times when you don't get to decide what your words actually mean; there's times when others take your words and actions to logical conclusions whether you meant it or not. Toss in a depr/recession and a touch of crazy and, well, boom. So at least admit that you squirted a little lighter fluid onto the fire.

But, hey, at least they pried Wong's gun from his cold, dead hands.


Glenn Beck Puts Barack Obama in a Nazi Uniform in His Magazine:
At this point, we all know that Fox "news" host Glenn Beck is like a hundred pounds of crazy shit shoved in a fifty-pound bag. You get that by watching two minutes of his show, where he throws around words like "socialist" and "fascist" without having the least understanding of what they mean. Really, it's like listening to a 911 call from a brain damaged shut-in who can't figure out the can opener. And that the toaster won't stop screaming at him.

A visit to his website yields a whole new level of bugfuckery. Watch the recent video he posted titled "Sarah Palin Bikini Video," where he chastises people for searching for cheesecake photos and videos of the conservative dream date. Beck snorts and stomps that such things don't exist (except, dear right-wing masturbators, a shot of Palin in shorts conveniently sucking a straw), twitching like the weasels in his mind just took another bite of his medulla oblongata. Seriously, if the Rude Pundit was approached by someone acting like that in a bar, he'd break a beer bottle over the fucker's head and declare that he had saved everyone's life.

Even more festive is the fact that Beck is the "Editor-in-Chief" of a magazine, Glenn Beck's Fusion, an amalgam of shit available for free elsewhere by people like Bernard "Man, This Nutzoid Conservative Thing Is Making Me Shitloads of Money" Goldberg and Ron Paul. And little factoids, really, about where you can eat big piles of food (most ripped off from the TV show Man vs. Food). The Rude Pundit sucked it up and purchased the latest as a download.

This month's issue has a delightful cover. Titled "Springtime for Bailouts," it's a mock-up of a photo from The Producers where the chorus line of Nazis performs "Springtime for Hitler." Check out part of it:

In case you can't make it out, that's Alan Greenspan in the dress, Ben Bernanke in the gold suit, and Barney Frank, Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, Chistopher Dodd, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama dressed as Nazis and saluting. The Rude Pundit can't figure out the armband symbol. Again, this is the April 2009 issue of Glenn Beck's Fusion.

In case that didn't quite sink in, look at the close-up:

The punchline is that there's no actual article in the issue about the bailout or how these people are like Nazis. And the Rude Pundit hasn't figured out how the cultural reference, to the show that was supposed to fail but became a hit in The Producers, makes any sense in the context. No, the only conclusion here is that Beck saw this as the only way to put the President and others in Nazi outfits with plausible deniability that that's what he was doing. And this is on top of his mad discussion of Obama's budget while playing a newsreel of Nazi parades behind him on his Fox show.

The point here is not that Beck is not allowed to do this. The point here is that all's fair in rhetorical devices. How batshit did the right go when any blog commenter made a mild comparison between the Bush administration and Nazis? But now it's cool for a mainstream TV host to just photoshop Barack Obama in a Nazi uniform? What's good for the goose, motherfuckers, what's good for the goose.

In other words, Fox "news," one of your hosts approved this and made its publication possible, even proudly displaying it in an ad for the magazine. Do you think that perhaps an O'Reilly producer should hunt him down and demand an explanation?

Update: Rude reader RM has helpfully pointed out that the symbol on the armband is that of the Federal Reserve seal. Ahhh, yeah, now it all makes perfect sense.


A Failure of Imagination:
If nothing else, you gotta almost admire Republicans for sticking to what they know. It's almost touchingly pathetic. The budget proposal put forth by Republicans is like watching a middle-aged married couple that's long since given up on fucking because of the kids, the bills, the jobs, the mortgage, the declining retirement investments, the increasing waistline, and the drugs they take just so they can get up in the morning without killing themselves. You look at them and think, "C'mon, go crazy. Rip off your clothes and ball each other like spider monkeys on ecstasy. Sweet Jesus, give him a blow job. For fuck's sake, go down on her like her pussy's made of candy." And if it's all too, too far gone, you wanna say, "Get some fucking balls and set each other free before you just end up sneaking around and fucking the babysitter or the neighbor's husband, before you destroy yourselves." But mostly, you just gotta shake your head and think, "There but for the grace of God (or Allah or Buddha or whoever or nobody) go I."

The fact that Republican Congressman Paul Ryan can say, "Our budget does not raise taxes, and makes permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax laws. In fact, we cut taxes and reform the tax system" and that spending should be frozen or cut and he does it without killing himself shortly after is probably a sign that he has no soul and that we should all be very afraid. By the way, those "tax laws" used to be known as the "Bush tax cuts." As Ryan himself writes in the Wall Street Journal (motto: "Proudly enabling the destruction of civilization"), "In the recent past, the Republican Party failed to offer the nation an inspiring vision and a concrete plan to tackle our problems with innovative and principled solutions." Why not say his name? Do you think we forgot about him already? In other words, Bush fucked it up with our help, but, hey, you can trust us to fix it. What's that definition of insanity?

(Bonus points: Ryan voted for the Medicare prescription drug boondoggle. Bonuser points: In the editorial, Ryan says, "We hope the administration and Democratic leaders in Congress do not distort and preach fear about our Republican plan" just a few paragraphs after saying that Obama's plan would "debase our currency and reduce the living standards of the American people.")

There's a couple of things that Republicans (and, really, most Democrats, including the President) need to realize about the public right now. First off, we want some fuckin' blood. It's time to purge some motherfuckers, time to fuck up the lives of some rich bastards. Back when Enron crumbled, the only thing that stopped riots in the streets of Houston was the fact that Ken Lay was being chased like a plague rat. Firing the CEO of GM was a start. Now, as a condition of bailouts, there needs to be more public pantsing of other top execs (not low-level lackeys) in all the collapsing industries that are dragging us down into the big suck they've created. If we can frog walk a couple of 'em, all the better. Everyone from Joes that are real plumbers to Mary Janes that stock the shelves at Wal-Mart know that if you fuck up, you get fired. So it should be for Wall Street, so it should be for GM and Chrysler. You wanna restore some faith in the American economy? Consequences for actions are easy steps to take.

The other thing is that Americans, for the most part, are ready for something transformatively new, some new idea, some theory that tells us where we came from and where we're gonna go and how we might get there. Everything the administration is doing right now seems like so many pieces held together by scotch tape, chewing gum, and a prayer. While people trust Obama in an almost surreal way, the President's got to offer a controlling concept to his plans. If he has one beyond, "Holy fuck, we gotta do something," he has yet to articulate it.

For instance, what is to be done about Detroit, eh? At what point do we actually give up on the old paradigms and say, "Fine, you fucked one of the old manufacturing stalwarts of America. Now it's time to move on"? When do we take the billions being loaned and given away and instead invest it in job retraining, housing or housing assistance, maybe even actual jobs? That would be a moment of reckoning, of admitting that we are willing to move beyond rescuing what cannot be saved and into a new form for our economic relationship with each other and with the world. If you need to call it "socialism," then fine.

(This doesn't even get us into the opportunity on health care, the cost of which is, as you may know, one of the strongest chains holding back small businesses from fulfilling the entrepreneurial spirit Republicans seem so fucking proud of.)

There's a great line in the 1995 play Slavs! by Tony Kushner. It's when the world's oldest Bolshevik, speaking in 1985 about the coming collapse of the Soviet Union, says, "Change? Yes, we must change, only show me the Theory, and I will be at the barricades, show me the book of the next Beautiful Theory, and I promise you these blind eyes will see again, just to read it, to devour that text. Show me the word that will reorder the world, or else keep silent." The Rude Pundit quotes this not to condemn Obama's ideas (or to support the USSR), but to ask for the ideology beyond the notions of "change" that excited us and got us here.

With their budget, Republicans demonstrated that they have abandoned any hope beyond holding place until what they foresee as the inevitable collapse of the nation under Obama. The President ran on making us understand that the ground was crumbling under our feet. Now he needs to show us not how to fill in the holes, but how to create a new foundation.


In Brief: Fox "news" Stalks and Ambushes Professor:
This morning on Fox and Friends, the morning show the Fox "news" network, host and resident cumbucket Steve Doocy had on "news" producer Griff Jenkins, a guy who should be beaten like a wild dog just for having the first name "Griff," to show his latest "reporting." Seems like someone discovered that a much-used American history textbook by Columbia Professor and Provost Alan Brinkley dared to not say that 3000 people died on September 11, 2001, and that it might contain (quel horreur) mildly outdated information. One might imagine there's actual news to cover out there, but if you're at Fox, you are the motherfuckin' news.

Any rational reporter might email Brinkley. Not Griff, who stalked after Brinkley like a rabid raccoon running after a particularly tasty-looking garbage truck. He followed Brinkley from the streets to a campus building. Brinkley refused to speak at all after saying he wouldn't comment. Jenkins, who you know makes all the one-legged tranny whores call him "the Griffster" before they use dildos on his asshole, kept pointing at the book, outraged - outraged, goddamnit - that Brinkley would dare dis the dead in volume 2 of The Unfinished Nation.

Why, on page 549, talking about 9/11, here's what this obviously traitorous motherfucker infects our children with: "Americans responded to the tragedies with acts of courage and generosity, large and small, and with a sense of national unity and commitment that seemed, at least for a time, like the unity and commitment at the start of World War II." Then the bastard talks about "the firefighters and rescue workers" who risked their lives and the many who died on 9/11. The old commie seditionist praises the volunteer efforts from around the nation and world, as well as the money donated to charity. He mentions how people had "open and unembarrassed displays of patriotism and national pride." But, true, he doesn't mention that specifically that 3000 people died.

In other words, as ever with the Fox stalker bullshit, there's no damn story except "Boy, isn't it funny when people look like they're running from reporters?" It's a punk ass tactic to create an aura of evil where none exists, or the opposite of a meeting with Roger Ailes. Here's some advice: if a Fox "news" person is ever in your face, curse nonstop into the microphone, talking about all the ways you think he or she should be fucked. Talk about cocks and cunts. Make it so that, if they even try to use it, it's nothing but nonstop beeps.

By the way, the Rude Pundit's been a big fan of Alan Brinkley's work for years now. An even-handed, analytical guy like him shouldn't be treated like Bill Ayers on a bender (and, of course, neither should Bill Ayers).


Six Times That Bill O'Reilly Stated as Fact That Abu Zubaydah's Torture Worked:
Now that multiple sources have confirmed for the Washington Post what Ron Suskind, the Red Cross, and others had been saying all along, that Gitmo detainee Abu Zubaydah gave up shit confessions because of his waterboarding and other tortures, it's time to play that amazing game of "Who Was a Fucking Asshole About This?" And, while we could go with any number of people, including George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, let's use Fox "news" barbarian inside the gate Bill O'Reilly as an example of how easily a deluded media could justify any act.

"If you can read then you read this article and according to the article the government official unnamed, I will admit, we don't like unnamed sources, said that they broke Zubaydah and Zubaydah gave them up all the names that they need to get to prevent further terror attacks. Now I'm going to believe that unless you can prove it differently and you can't." - Bill O'Reilly to Human Rights Watch's Katherine Newell-Bierman, September 12 2006. This was, by the way, even before we had it confirmed by the President that Zubaydah was waterboarded.

"You have the guy in the New York Times, and he's an unnamed source -- I mean, we don't have a name on this guy -- saying, 'Look, we broke Zubaydah. This is how we broke him. We made it so uncomfortable for him that he didn't want this any more, and he told us what we need to know.' Then you open Newsweek magazine. You've got Ron Suskind. OK. Now, he's a partisan, doesn't like Bush. He says that's bull. Zubaydah didn't know anything, and he didn't give them anything...What I'm trying to tell you is the average American sitting at home is not engaged on a daily basis like we are...Doesn't know what the truth is. Doesn't know." - September 13, 2006, while talking to Laura Ingraham. The ellipses are there to edit out what Ingraham says because, you know, who fucking cares? In about 24 hours, O'Reilly went from vaguely accepting the story to blind faith in it.

Prior to that discussion, O'Reilly had stated that "At first Zubaydah was defiant and evasive until the approved procedures were used. He soon began to provide information on key Al Qaeda operators to help us find and capture those responsible for the 9/11 attacks."

"There is no question the CIA roughed up Zubaydah. We already knew that. ABC's Brian Ross reported that Zubaydah was waterboarded for less than 30 seconds before he gave it up. The information he then provided led to the capture of major al Qaeda terrorists. So maybe the agency did abuse the man. But I believe most Americans would understand that. Zubaydah is an evil guy, who knew plenty about the murderous activities of al Qaeda." - December 7, 2007

"Last night on ABC News, the CIA agent who supervised the waterboarding of al Qaeda bigshot Abu Zubaydah said the interrogation method broke him...And that means the waterboarding saved lives, perhaps thousands of lives...Let's stop the nonsense here. America's not a bad country because it waterboarded Zubaydah. The Bush administration has done its job. We haven't been attacked since 9/11. The liberal press, politicians, the ACLU can't stop any wrongdoing. They're all lost in a fog of misguided indignation, crazy with hatred for Bush, but we the people must take a stand here. This isn't a game. This is life and death." - December 11, 2007

"You're opposed to waterboarding. And I disagree with you on that. I think the president of the United States should have -- just the president -- should have the legal authority to order waterboarding in extraordinary circumstances. Now, according to Tenet and to President Bush, used three times on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Nashiri, and Abu Zubaydah. All three times the men broke when they were waterboarded, and they gave out information, according to the Bush administration, that saved thousands of lives...These people gave up very good information." - May 9, 2008, in an interview with John McCain where O'Reilly used Zubaydah to counter McCain's anti-torture beliefs.

Abu Zubaydah, say the several officials interviewed by the Post, was not an al-Qaeda bigshot. And his torture saved no one. Not a good guy, by a longshot, but certainly not a major player in al-Qaeda. Jack Bauer would be disgusted.

By the way, one more quote here. It's from John McCain on Meet the Press this past weekend: "One other thing we need, we do need a select committee in Congress to look at what happened so people can--this train hit them without any knowledge. They still don't know what happened. Why did it happen? So then they would have some more confidence on, in what actions we might take in the future to prevent it from happening again." A congressional committee to investigate why it happened to prevent it from happening in the future. It's a great idea. McCain is, of course, not referring to anything to do with detainee treatment, torture, or anything having to do with Bush's "wars." It's about the economic crisis.


Pictures That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Klonopin with a Twelve-Pack of Bell's:

That's two former employees of Wayland Chevrolet in Wayland, Michigan, brawling outside their former place of business. 30 people lost their jobs when the dealership closed. They found out this past Friday. Said one of the brawlers, "Does it matter how hard you work, because there is somebody a little bit above you that has the right to control every decision and every effort you put forward, don't you have a right to be a little bit mad when somebody says hey we're all done?" And thus another socialist is born, whether he realizes it or not. Or at least another potential union member. Because if you believe in unregulated capitalism, then, yes, Jason Stanton, somebody a little bit above you does have all that control over you. Sucks, doesn't it?

Today President Obama announced the resignation (or, to put it more properly, "firing") of GM CEO Rick Wagoner. And that GM would only be funded for 60 days more to come up with a business plan that is recognizable as a plan for business. More on that tomorrow.

You know, between the fights and the urban coyote attacks, maybe we do need to be building bunkers and wearing Snuggie blankets, the cult robes of the new apocalypse.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Obama Administration quietly expands Bush's legal defense of wiretapping program 04/07/2009 @ 10:01 am Filed by John Byrne Advertisement In a stunnin

We can only hope that he is spying on Dick Cheney and the NeoCons.

04/07/2009 @ 10:01 am

Filed by John Byrne

In a stunning defense of President George W. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, President Barack Obama has broadened the government's legal argument for immunizing his Administration and government agencies from lawsuits surrounding the National Security Agency's eavesdropping efforts.

In fact, a close read of a government filing last Friday reveals that the Obama Administration has gone beyond any previous legal claims put forth by former President Bush.

Responding to a lawsuit filed by a civil liberties group, the Justice Department argued that the government was protected by "sovereign immunity" from lawsuits because of a little-noticed clause in the Patriot Act. The government's legal filing can be read here (PDF).

For the first time, the Obama Administration's brief contends that government agencies cannot be sued for wiretapping American citizens even if there was intentional violation of US law. They maintain that the government can only be sued if the wiretaps involve "willful disclosure" -- a higher legal bar.

"A 'willful violation' in Section 223(c(1) refers to the 'willful disclosure' of intelligence information by government agents, as described in Section 223(a)(3) and (b)(3), and such disclosures by the Government are the only actions that create liability against the United States," Obama Assistant Attorney General Michael Hertz wrote (page 5).

Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing the government over the warrantless wiretapping program, notes that the government has previously argued that the government had "sovereign immunity" against civil action under the FISA statute. But he says that this is the first time that they've invoked changes to the Patriot Act in claiming the US government is immune from claims of illegal spying under any other federal surveillance statute.

"They are arguing this based on changes to the law made by the USA PATRIOT Act, Section 223," Bankston said in an email to Raw Story. "We've never been fans of 223--it made it much harder to sue the U.S. for illegal spying, see an old write-up of mine at: --but no one's ever suggested before that it wholly immunized the U.S. government against suits under all the surveillance statutes."

Salon columnist and constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald -- who is generally supportive of progressive interpretations of the law -- says the Obama Administration has "invented a brand new claim" of immunity from spying litigation.

"In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad 'state secrets' privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and -- even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal -- you are barred from suing them unless they 'willfully disclose' to the public what they have learned," Greenwald wrote Monday.

He also argues that the Justice Department's response is exclusively a product of the new Administration, noting that three months have elapsed since President Bush left office.

"This brief and this case are exclusively the Obama DOJ's, and the ample time that elapsed -- almost three full months -- makes clear that it was fully considered by Obama officials," Greenwald wrote. "Yet they responded exactly as the Bush DOJ would have. This demonstrates that the Obama DOJ plans to invoke the exact radical doctrines of executive secrecy which Bush used -- not only when the Obama DOJ is taking over a case from the Bush DOJ, but even when they are deciding what response should be made in the first instance."

"Everything for which Bush critics excoriated the Bush DOJ -- using an absurdly broad rendition of 'state secrets' to block entire lawsuits from proceeding even where they allege radical lawbreaking by the President and inventing new claims of absolute legal immunity -- are now things the Obama DOJ has left no doubt it intends to embrace itself," he adds.

Both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union say the "sovereign immunity" claim in the context of the case goes farther than any previous Bush Administration claims of wiretap immunity.

Writing about the changes to the Patriot Act last year, the EFF asserted that revisions to the Act involved troubling new developments for US law.

"Unlike with any other defendant, if you want to sue the federal government for illegal wiretapping you have to first go through an administrative procedure with the agency that did the wiretapping," the Foundation wrote. "That means, essentially, that you have to politely complain to the illegal wiretappers and tip them off to your legal strategy, and then wait for a while as they decide whether to do anything about it before you can sue them in court."

Moreover, they said, "Before PATRIOT, in addition to being able to sue for money damages, you could sue for declaratory relief from a judge. For example, an Internet service provider could ask the court to declare that a particular type of wiretapping that the government wants to do on its network is illegal. One could also sue for an injunction from the court, ordering that any illegal wiretapping stop. PATRIOT section 223 significantly reduced a judge's ability to remedy unlawful surveillance, making it so you can only sue the government for money damages. This means, for example, that no one could sue the government to stop an ongoing illegal wiretap. At best, one could sue for the government to pay damages while the illegal tap continued!"

The Obama Administration has not publicly commented on stories that revealed their filing on Monday.

Correction: EFF Attorney Kevin Bankston's comments about the government's previous sovereign immunity claims were incorrectly summarized in an earlier version of this article. They have been corrected.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Our Favorite Cowboy Is On A Roll

Usurious Bastards

by Ed Encho
The history of the last century shows, as we shall see later, that the advice given to governments by bankers, like the advice they gave to industrialists, was consistently good for bankers, but was often disastrous for governments, businessmen, and the people generally.-Carroll Quigley
As the conventional wisdom goes, the stock market is predicated on trust and as a crusty old uncle of mine once said to a young and impressionable teenager with zero knowledge of the way that the world really worked: “trust me is just another two letter word that means the same as fuck you.” Old Uncle Harvey’s words of wisdom came home to roost on this Monday morning in America when the finance oligarchs were able to use their inside juice to pull off the grandest and most audacious heist yet in this season of sleazy swindles. Obama Treasury Secretary and Wall Street fixer Timothy Geithner delivered the bacon for the bankers, gave the crack ho stock market a wonderful and intoxicating fix that sent the Dow screaming up by nearly 7 percent in a matter of hours and locked in the losses for the great grandchildren of every poor schmuck with the misfortune to be living through this period of plunder and wealth consolidation.

In phase two of the ongoing SPLURGE (any similarity to the con-game called the surge that allowed us to become winners in Iraq is fully intentioned), on Tuesday night, our very own national Teflon coated bullshit salesman, President Barack Obama, the banker’s gofer and shill for the new generation began to sell it to the saps and a marvelous job he is doing. This man my friends is no new Roosevelt, he is the devil in disguise and he (as many progressives had warned) is in the bag for the establishment. What we really have is a by proxy continuation of the Clinton administration, of course Hillary was to have been the one but in the waning days of the ruinous Bush-Cheney neocon war on America it was just too tough to pimp another dynasty so the crooks who run the system found another pitchman. I cannot possibly articulate the sense of disgust and betrayal that I am experiencing as I write this, it is very difficult to restrain my gag reflex and keep from vomiting on my keyboard because once again the scum wins again and Americans have been played for chumps. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman(another Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz decried its "perverse incentives”) and columnist for the damned liberal New York Times put it best in his Monday column Financial Policy Despair:
Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration’s bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week. If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.

But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.

The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there’s something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they’re doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.

But the real problem with this plan is that it won’t work. Yes, troubled assets may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that fact.

You might say, why not try the plan and see what happens? One answer is that time is wasting: every month that we fail to come to grips with the economic crisis another 600,000 jobs are lost.Even more important, however, is the way Mr. Obama is squandering his credibility. If this plan fails — as it almost surely will — it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place.
This isn’t likely to win Krugman any friends in the Obama White House, especially with a sleazy little political gangster like Rahm Emanuel who I predict will eventually make even the Great Satan Karl Rove look like an amateur running the show and protecting the interests of his investment banker buddies. While Barack Obama may be the friendly Fozzie Bear face of this latest hostile takeover of the White House the real example of how things are really done is in this incredible NYT piece from back in January:
Early this month, Barack Obama was meeting with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and other lawmakers when Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, began nervously cracking a knuckle.Mr. Obama then turned to complain to Mr. Emanuel about his noisy habit.At which point, Mr. Emanuel held the offending knuckle up to Mr. Obama’s left ear and, like an annoying little brother, snapped off a few special cracks.
The venomous cobra that is Emanuel is of course Mr. Obama’s minder and handler, note that he was the first announced member of the new administration, the first of a reoccupation of Washington by Clintonistas. The promised change, at least to this point has been strictly cosmetic, the wars still continue, more troops are headed to Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires past, Gitmo is still open, the new administration is engaging in Clintonian language manipulation regarding ‘torture’ that invokes memories of “it depends on what the meaning of is is”, the military is getting ready to be sent to the Mexican border and there has been no serious discussion of reigning in the run amok police state and the Stasi style high tech domestic spying operations. Yep, change has come to America alright, just like “the check’s in the mail”, “this won’t hurt a bit”, “I love you” and “I promise not to come in your mouth”…and it was all wrapped up in a big bundle of stinking dogshit with a $ sign on it and parked on the doorsteps of Americans and set afire by the Geithner-Bernanke-Paulson triad with the unarguable message that you are either cops or little people.

Webster Tarpley had a good one that I heard that saving the banks is like trying to save one of Count Dracula's victims by giving the blood transfusion to the victim through the vampire when the real remedy is to just pull him off and drive a stake through his heart. Now that it has become pretty apparent that Obama is just more of the same and like Bush has his own legions of cultlike devotees and apologists we can all just take Bobby Knight's advice that if rape is intevitable relax and enjoy it because really what choice do we really have? Before it even really started the revolution has been hijacked, progressives are still getting the shaft, the Employee Free Choice Act is going to be dead on arrival, there is NO antiwar movement if the media refuses to acknowledge that there is a fucking war and even the Ron Paul movement libertarians have been marginalized by the old fool's proclivity to ghettoize himself and keep showing up at Nazi bund meetings like CPAC and regularly appearing on FOX.

The oligarchy has it's shit together, this is their homefield, they own the refs and there is no replay booth. Welcome to chumpland, when a show like HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher features Keith Olbermann as a guest and they both mock the very real detention camps by conflating their existence with the weeping, at the edge of sanity fascist basket case Glenn Beck it's a done deal that the agents have seized control of all phones and the only way out of the matrix will be in a body bag. Despite the rear guard cover that the corporate media is giving to the ongoing looting spree by laying poison bait for maxed-out marks and rubes to get back into the casino and start spending their money at usurious interest rates by rapacious banks that are fast approaching the same sort of deal that you can score at pay day lenders there are those who really get it, too bad that their observations are drowned out by Dancing With the Stars,

American Idol
and the rest of the standard bread and circuses that placate the masses of asses. Some very excellent work has been done for those with an inclination for the truth by alternative media types and dissenting with the official state line experts who have been consistently right about this catastrophic clusterfuck from the outset. The gold standard in calling out the great robbery and financier's coup d'etat has to go to Matt Taibbi whose piece in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine entitled The Big Takeover is a must read. I excerpt a few pieces of this long but brilliant expose:
It's over — we're officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.AndPeople are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — "our partners in the government," as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers.AndThere are plenty of people who have noticed, in recent years, that when they lost their homes to foreclosure or were forced into bankruptcy because of crippling credit-card debt, no one in the government was there to rescue them. But when Goldman Sachs — a company whose average employee still made more than $350,000 last year, even in the midst of a depression — was suddenly faced with the possibility of losing money on the unregulated insurance deals it bought for its insane housing bets, the government was there in an instant to patch the hole. That's the essence of the bailout: rich bankers bailing out rich bankers, using the taxpayers' credit card.The people who have spent their lives cloistered in this Wall Street community aren't much for sharing information with the great unwashed. Because all of this shit is complicated, because most of us mortals don't know what the hell LIBOR is or how a REIT works or how to use the word "zero coupon bond" in a sentence without sounding stupid — well, then, the people who do speak this idiotic language cannot under any circumstances be bothered to explain it to us and instead spend a lot of time rolling their eyes and asking us to trust them.That roll of the eyes is a key part of the psychology of Paulsonism. The state is now being asked not just to call off its regulators or give tax breaks or funnel a few contracts to connected companies; it is intervening directly in the economy, for the sole purpose of preserving the influence of the megafirms. In essence, Paulson used the bailout to transform the government into a giant bureaucracy of entitled assholedom, one that would socialize "toxic" risks but keep both the profits and the management of the bailed-out firms in private hands. Moreover, this whole process would be done in secret, away from the prying eyes of NASCAR dads, broke-ass liberals who read translations of French novels, subprime mortgage holders and other such financial losers.
In addition to Taibbi's magnum opus on the greedy pigs who have destroyed the economy I would also recommend Thomas Georghegan's treatise on the legalization of usury in the latest Harper's entitled Infinite Debt: How Unlimited Interest Rates Destroyed the Economy, the same April issue has Daniel Brook's article on the payday lending industry Usury Country, a piece in Washington Monthly by James K. Galbraith that calls bullshit on the 'the worst is over' folderol being foisted upon us by the high-rollers, the looters and the banksters where he speaks the forbidden heresy of No Return to Normal:
The most likely scenario, should the Geithner plan go through, is a combination of looting, fraud, and a renewed speculation in volatile commodity markets such as oil. Ultimately the losses fall on the public anyway, since deposits are largely insured. There is no chance that the banks will simply resume normal long-term lending. To whom would they lend? For what? Against what collateral? And if banks are recapitalized without changing their management, why should we expect them to change the behavior that caused the insolvency in the first place?The oddest thing about the Geithner program is its failure to act as though the financial crisis is a true crisis—an integrated, long-term economic threat—rather than merely a couple of related but temporary problems, one in banking and the other in jobs. In banking, the dominant metaphor is of plumbing: there is a blockage to be cleared. Take a plunger to the toxic assets, it is said, and credit conditions will return to normal. This, then, will make the recession essentially normal, validating the stimulus package. Solve these two problems, and the crisis will end. That’s the thinking.
But the plumbing metaphor is misleading. Credit is not a flow. It is not something that can be forced downstream by clearing a pipe. Credit is a contract. It requires a borrower as well as a lender, a customer as well as a bank. And the borrower must meet two conditions. One is creditworthiness, meaning a secure income and, usually, a house with equity in it. Asset prices therefore matter. With a chronic oversupply of houses, prices fall, collateral disappears, and even if borrowers are willing they can’t qualify for loans.The other requirement is a willingness to borrow, motivated by what Keynes called the "animal spirits" of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. In a slump, such optimism is scarce. Even if people have collateral, they want the security of cash. And it is precisely because they want cash that they will not deplete their reserves by plunking down a payment on a new car. The aforementioned pieces by Taibbi, Geoghegan and Brooks all merited appearances on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now the past three days but perhaps the greatest statement of all was made by former Reagan administration Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts who in his latest column, Is the Bailout Plan Breeding a Bigger Crisis? is coming very close to actually endorsing - GASP - Socialism! Roberts mentions that ugly little story that flew below the radar that our number one creditor China is starting to make noises about dumping the dollar as the world reserve currency:
Rome eventually understood that its imperial frontiers exceeded its resources and pulled back. This realization has yet to dawn on Washington.More budget savings could come from a different approach to the financial crisis. The entire question of bailing out private financial institutions needs rethinking. The probability is that the bailouts are not over. The commercial real estate defaults are yet to present themselves.Would it be cheaper for government to buy the shares of the banks and AIG at the current low prices than to pour trillions of taxpayers’ dollars into them in an effort to drive up private share prices with public money? The Bush/Paulson bailout plan of approximately $800 billion has been followed a few months later by the Obama/Geithner stimulus-bailout plan of another approximately $800 billion. Together it adds to $1.6 trillion in new Treasury debt, much of which might have to be monetized.Could this massive debt issue be avoided if the government took over the banks and netted out the losses between the constituent parts? A staid socialized financial sector run by civil servants is preferable to the gambling casino of greed-driven, innovative, unregulated capitalism operated by banksters who have caused crisis throughout the world.Perhaps the Federal Reserve should be socialized as well. The notion of an independent, privately-owned Federal Reserve system was never more than a ruse to get a national bank into place. Once the central bank is part of the state-owned banking system, the government can create money without having to accumulate a massive public debt that saddles taxpayers’ and future budgets with hundreds of billions of dollars in annual interest payments.
Roberts has been ahead of the curve since his early realization that the Republican party had been taken over by drooling brownshirts in the early years of the Bush-Cheney nightmare and he consistently serves as a reminder of that bygone era when some conservatives actually had principles, ideas and a respect for intellectualism way back back before Joe the Plumber became the man.The DOW was up 174 today, it's morning in America again, time to pull yerself up by those good ole star-spangled bootstraps, go shopping... but if you look around you will notice that gas prices are creeping up again too since speculation is back in vogue, it could crack 8000 tomorrow when Barack Obama goes to give a progress report (grovel) to his banker bosses. But that's not important, hey, didja hear the one about the Michigan dude who just got 90 days for being caught with his dick in a car wash vacuum cleaner?Move Along, Nothing to See Here...

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Netanyahu: A second Chance.....

But at what? Destruction or peace? Sorry, it is hard for me to trust anyone who would throw his lot in with the religiously insane of the U.S.A.

The new Israeli government led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has raised many conflicting feelings among those concerned about the fate of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Will Netanyahu scuttle the little progress that was made under his predecessor Olmert, or will he engage the Palestinians anew? Questions about whether he will resume negotiations with Syria, how he will tackles Iran's nuclear threat, and if he will get along with President Obama remain unanswered. Yet given the right political environment created by the Obama administration and supported by the leading Arab states and the Palestinians, Netanyahu has the potential to advance the peace negotiations significantly, and may end up surprising everyone in the process.

On the positive side, those who know him well suggest that Netanyahu has matured considerably since he was first prime minister (1996-1999). He is well aware that he may never be given another opportunity as prime minister and that he now stands before an historic crossroad. Netanyahu understands the requirements for peace from being at the negotiating table many times before. He appreciates the Israeli public sentiments and is certainly not oblivious to what the Obama administration expects from any Israeli prime minister at this juncture in a region laden with multiple crises. Moreover, the eyes of the international community are fixed on him and he is only too aware of the burden he has just assumed and the limited time he has to demonstrate sound policies. Netanyahu has said he wants peace with security for his country. He argues for strengthening the Palestinian economy and engaging in the peace process, while not excluding making progress on the Syrian front. Iran still poses the largest security threat to Israel, and Netanyahu insists that it must be neutralized.

There is nothing from his tough campaign rhetoric that precludes the establishment of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. While the appointment of the right-wing Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister may have signaled to many a shift away from any peacemaking efforts, it is likely that Netanyahu will use Lieberman strategically for his tough rhetoric to satisfy the more hawkish Israeli constituency. When it comes down to the bargaining table though, once Netanyahu feels he has an honest shot at peace with security he will not let Lieberman get in his way. Persuading Labor to join his coalition government and Ehud Barak as his Defense Minister also shifts the balance of power toward moderation. His coalition may well signal that the future peace process will be anchored in tight security arrangements, and that he and Barak can offer the toughness and leverage needed to secure such a peace. Netanyahu and Barak are capable of negotiating simultaneously with both Syria and the Palestinians. Though the peace negotiations with the Palestinians will be painstaking and take much longer to conclude, a steady progress can still be made aggressively while pursuing the Syrian track.

Alternatively, left to his own ideological convictions and without American pressure, Netanyahu can easily retreat back to his old ways. Palestinian disunity and internal struggle within the Arab states will make finding a partner for peace extremely difficult. He will likely expand the settlements, respond harshly to Hamas' violent provocations, and focus exclusively on Iranian threats while relegating the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to the back burner. He might even ignore Syria's overtures for peace, especially because Damascus is not in a position to regain the Golan by force. It is possible Netanyahu will only attempt to pay lip service to the Obama's political agenda in the Middle East, and will cooperate only on matters of national security.

These are the two sides to Netanyahu, though they are not necessarily contradictory. He can lean either direction depending on the level, intensity and consistency of the American involvement not only in trying to mediate an Israeli-Palestinian peace but engaging all other regional players in conflict resolution. To enlist Netanyahu as a partner for peace, President Obama must be specific and clear about what must and can be done to advance the peace process while addressing Israel's main national security concerns, starting with Iran.

The Obama administration needs to heavily cooperate with Israel over Iran's nuclear program, and must demonstrate greater sensitivity to Israel's concerns over this existential threat. Whereas a diplomatic course with Tehran must be fully explored by the US, it must commence immediately so that any possible resolution to the nuclear impasse can be found within 2009, a timeframe that is considered safe before Israel contemplates taking matters into its own hands.

While President Obama must support Netanyahu's plan to build a strong economic base for the Palestinians, he must at the same time insist that a political progress is also being made especially in the West Bank. In that connection, George Mitchell and the Obama administration must be clear with Netanyahu that all illegal outposts are dismantled and a temporary freeze on all settlement activity is enforced. These actions have almost no security implications for Israel, but they create conditions that must exist for the Palestinians and Arab states to take the negotiations seriously.

As Mr. Obama recently embraced the Arab Peace Initiative when he met with the Saudi King Abdullah in London, he must now lean heavily on the leading Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria as well (now that Washington and Damascus are talking) to exert whatever pressure necessary on Hamas to moderate and join the political process. They must resolve now to rein in Hamas and establish a Palestinian unity government with the Palestinian Authority that can speak in one voice. Moreover, the Obama administration must take every measure necessary to prevent future smuggling of weapons to Gaza. Otherwise, as long as Hamas has weapons and continues to violently resist Israel's existence, it will provide Netanyahu with a valid excuse to freeze the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

President Obama must also openly call on Netanyahu to put the Israeli-Syrian negotiations on the fast track and be prepared to become directly involved in the process. By engaging Syria, the Obama administration can re-contextualize the peace process and give it the comprehensiveness that has been lacking. Peace between Israel and Syria is within reach and could have broad regional security implications serving both the United States' as well as Israel's national security interests. Moreover, without Israeli-Syrian rapprochement, the task of dealing with Iran will be simply insurmountable.

To be sure, Netanyahu knows that this is his second and likely final chance to advance the Arab-Israeli peace process, but he is not prepared to undermine Israel's legitimate national security concerns for the sake of claiming the peace. As long as President Obama discerns those genuine national security issues and addresses them effectively with Netanyahu, he may find the new Israeli Prime Minister a willing partner for sustainable peace.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Bush: Murder, Tyranny, Treason

Bush Accused of Tyranny and Murder

Star witnesses, legal scholar Bruce Fein and former
LA District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi. M. Collins cc [1]

House Justice Committee Hears Kucinich Resolution

Direct from the hearing

Michael Collins [2]
"Scoop" Independent News
Washington, DC Part 1

Today's hearing on the abuse of presidential powers before the House Committee on the Judiciary turned into a devastating political ambush by Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), committee Democrats, and the extraordinary panel of witnesses.. At least 12 Democratic Committee members were present plus the Chairman while only four Republicans bothered to show up.

Belying their casual appearance in the committee chambers, the Democrats presented a well coordinated, hard hitting case against President George W. Bush. This led to a double climax in the form of surgically erudite testimony by conservative legal scholar Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration official, and former Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi's stunning summary statement. The best the Republicans could offer was inappropriate humor by Rep. Dan Lungren (D-CA) and a request to clear the chambers when the audience cheered Mr. Bugliosi's remarks.

The hearing resulted from the non stop campaign for the impeachment of President George W. Bush by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). That effort received an overwhelming endorsement last week with the votes of a 238 majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 229 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted to refer the single count impeachment bill to the House or Representatives Committee on the Judiciary chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).

The Kucinich Resolution - H.R. 1345 [3] outlines the case for the impeachment of President Bush. Specifically, as president, Bush:

"Deceived Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to fraudulently obtain support for an authorization for the use of force against Iraq and used that fraudulently obtained authorization, and then acting in his capacity under Article II, Section II of the Constitution as Commander in Chief, to commit US troops to combat in Iraq."

There was speculation prior to the hearing that the Republicans might scuttle the entire process due to House rules that prevent disparaging comments about the president. Apparently they failed to read the entirety of House Practice, Sec. 25 [4] which lists a number of negative comments that House members have used in the past and makes clear that they're available in the present.

"Few Issues More Important"

Chairman Conyers opened the hearing by noting that there are "few issues more important" than the actions of Congress to curtail the abuse of presidential powers. As a member of the House committee that heard the Nixon Impeachment case, he speaks with a certain authority. He listed the various abuses of presidential power by Bush laying out the case that his fellow Democrats would elaborate. The senior member of the committee, Republican Lamar Smith (R-TX) responded that he'd seen a lot from this committee but today's hearing was like "hosting an anger management class."

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), a strong advocate for the hearings, responded by pointing out that given the evidence of high crimes, this isn't a Democratic or Republican issue, it's an American issue. The Democrats continued the theme of gravity with Cong. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) referring to Bush as "the worst president our country has ever suffered"

Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) returned to what would lead to the most devastating and startling charges of the hearing - the basis for the invasion of Iraq and the disregard for civil liberties through the torture of foreigners and the domestic assault on privacy. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) responded that the hearing was nothing but "a do-over that amuses our terrorist friends."

"If lying about casual sex" is an impeachment issue, "then certainly lying to the American people about invading Iraq" is, responded Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), another strong supporter of impeachment, continued the hard hitting attack

The Republicans were still not taking the hearing seriously when Rep. Lungren resorted to nothing more than wise cracks in response.

Murder & Tyranny

The peroration came from conservative legal scholar Bruce Fein's testimony about the Bush administration's descent into tyranny. Had Bush showed up at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, he would have been barred at the door by George Washington, Fein said with confidence. He made the comment in a fashion that betrayed contempt for any defense of the Bush administration's behavior. Bush was labeled a tyrant from one of the best and brightest of the United States' legal establishment.

The finale was the testimony of former Los Angeles District Attorney, Vincent Bugliosi. As DA, Bugliosi tried and convicted Charles Manson of first degree murder gaining a death sentence even though the state admitted that Manson was never at the seen of the murders. In the past, Bugliosi has said that preparation is the key to winning cases and that he knows that he's won after the opening statement. With only five minutes, he had a tall task but the syllogism he established was air tight.

On October 1, 2002, President Bush was told that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD). On October 7th, Bush clamed that Iraq was a threat to the United States due to the possession of WMD. He then used this claim to justify the war in Iraq making him guilty for the death of over four thousand U.S. soldiers and over 100,000 documented deaths of Iraqi civilians.

There were other members of the witness panel, including the author of today's hearings Dennis Kucinich (D-O), Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC). But it was the patient and cagey Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, his supporting cast of Democrats and the two star witnesses, Fein and Bugliosi who made charges of rule by tyranny and murder - charges that will not be easily forgotten no matter how much the mainstream media and politicians choose to ignore this issue.

See Part 2 tomorrow

Link [5]

Permission to reproduce in whole or in part with attribution of authorship, a link to this article, and recognition of image credits

See AfterDowingStreet.Org for video links and updates [6]


Michael Collins [7]

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Where are we headed now?

I hate to say it, but I sometimes believe that the only hope for us is the total collapse of the rotten, corrupt system we have lived under for decades.

It's all image, no substance, and the vast majority still buy into it.

Obama cannot fix, overnight, what it took years to create.

by Stephen Fleischman | April 7, 2009 - 10:26am | permalink

Does Barack Obama think he can stop the collapse of an economic system by throwing money at it? That's what he's doing in massive amounts, in stimulus packages, budgets and bailouts, and it's our money.

It seems to be having little effect. With job losses at the rate of 600,000 per month, 660,000 last month, the economy is slip-slidin' toward a 1930s type depression.

The official unemployment rate is now 8.5% but, according to economist Peter Morici at the University of Maryland, the real unemployment rate is closer to 17% when discouraged adults who have left the labor force and part-time workers are factored in.

» article continues...

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Let The Green Revolution Begin!!!!

Let the Revolution Begin:

House Produces Huge Climate Bill to Cap Emissions and Reduce Energy Dependence

April 6, 2009
In a week in which President Obama at the London G-20 meeting drowned out all else in the media, a comprehensive draft of an energy bill quietly emerged in the House and was virtually ignored. A 648-page “discussion draft” titled the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, it would mandate alternative fuel use, set efficiency standards, introduce a cap-and-trade mechanism and unleash a host of green initiatives.

A collaboration between Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chair Ed Markey (D-MA) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA), its four parts encompass clean energy, energy efficiency, global warming pollution reduction and the support for the industries and workers who would bring about a transformed future.
With a Democratically-controlled Congress and a President who has made energy reform one of his trinity of objectives, along with health and education, the draft portends that the nation may finally be poised to take action against foreign oil dependence and climate warming after eight lost years of obstruction and backsliding. Highlights:

On a rising curve starting in 2012, electric utilities will need to produce 25% of their output from renewable fuels by 2025.
Demonstration projects for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) would be funded as an attempt to find a way for the continued use of the nation’s vast coal reserves in producing energy.
Click to continue

More Bad News for Detroit:

China Intends to Own the Electric Car Market

April 6, 2009
As America obsesses over whether or not to bail out Chrysler and General Motors or let them slide into bankruptcy, along comes an announcement that brings Titanic deck chairs to mind. The government of China wants it known that their nation intends to become the pre-eminent producer of all-electrically powered autos within three years.
The New York Times broke the story, but it could be seen in the tea leaves when in December the Chinese company BYD unveiled an all-electric car with a battery it claimed was two years ahead of the competition. BYD (it stands for “Build Your Dreams “) started as a battery company making rechargeables for phones and laptops. In the sort of rapid metamorphosis now common in China that the U.S. hasn’t seen since the overnight conversion of its car plants to making tanks in World War II, the company is
Click to continue

Ready for the Revolution II:

With Cars Going Electric, There's This Roadblock: The Battery

March 24, 2009
While there have been many positive developments in the search for new energy technology, alternative fuels and more energy efficient products, the single most attractive source of power, electricity, has two major drawbacks: Power loss during its transmission and the limited storage capacity of current batteries.

Though the former may be resolved through an improved national electric grid or by reducing transmission distance by generating power locally from solar, wind or geothermal sources, current battery storage

technology, however, is still inadequate.

If we want to switch to green power, that is electricity generated from clean sources — solar, wind and perhaps, wave power — then we need to improve on its transmission to consuming centers as well as develop a means of storing power until it is needed. From a generating perspective, both solar and wind power are either intermittent or limited by daylight and location. They are also handicapped since the most ideal locations for generating
Click to continue

The 1% Solution:

Wind Power: Increasingly Viewed as "The Most Cost-Effective and Scalable" Renewable

March 10, 2009
The wind-power industry presently generates about 1% of all electricity worldwide. The wind turbines now in use have a typical capacity of around 1.5 to 2.5 megawatts, have rotor diameters as broad as 100 meters (see photo on inside page), and rotate around an area roughly the size of a football field.

Public opinion is divided about these devices. Many feel that they are majestic symbols of new energy sources; others reject them as an eyesore—a distraction from the beautiful landscape.

The wide availability of wind power and its renewability are its most attractive attributes.

In theory, wind is so readily available throughout the world that it could meet the world’s current energy needs. Stanford University energy researchers recently found that global Click to continue

By 2020 More on Volts Than Gas?

Shai Agassi’s Audacious Plan for Electric Cars

February 27, 2009

He aims to spark nothing short of an automotive revolution, whole countries at a time. Former software executive, Shai Agassi, a 40-year-old Israeli transplanted to Silicon Valley, has so far been invited to 30 countries to propose his radical plan for converting to all-electric vehicles.

What has caught their attention is less about the car than about its support system. Car makers have focused on how to build electric cars, which for Agassi is the wrong way round. For him the quest is how to run a country without oil, and that means putting infrastructure ahead of cars: the facilities out on the road that tend to the cars’ batteries. If the support platform is built “after people buy the product, people just won't buy the product". Click to continue

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.