Monday, March 31, 2008

Constitutional Calculus

I have always thought it was kind of nuts that it's always Leap Year when we have the Olympics and the Presidential Elections. It must be that we need an extra day to deal with Calculus of Events that occur at such times, and this year is no exception.

A required element for the Calculus of Events is irony, to wit:

"All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times," the department's Bureau of Consular Affairs advised on Thursday. "Hotel rooms, residences and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant's consent or knowledge."

The warning was part of an Olympics "fact sheet" that also said the threat level for terrorism against Americans in China remains low, although recent violence in Tibet is an example of how potentially dangerous events can occur in the approach to the Olympics in Beijing and other Chinese cities". Any large-scale public event like the upcoming Olympic Games could become the focus of terrorist acts or other forms of violence," the bureau said.
I find it ironic because all overseas transmissions to the US during the Olympics will be subject to FISA, and exactly under the thumb of what Russ Feingold describes here:

(Thanks to Matt Stroller et. al. from Open left for recording that.) If the Olympics were here in the US this year, every other participating country would have to issue the same warning in their fact sheets.

So far Constitutional Calculus states that "4 goes into 1." That's right. The Fourth Amendment definitely goes directly to the First. Unfounded Search and Seizure will definitely undermine your Right to Free Speech and Assembly.

But for the rest of this Calculus Lesson, the problem/question is will "2 go to the well?" You see, neither Kang nor Kodos stuck around last December to help protect the 4th amendment.

Both candidates should show up in the well of the Senate and SPEAK about how crappy warrantless surveillance is. Ditto telco immunity. And then actually vote against both. In my opinion, now is the time to get the Dem candidates to really distinguish themselves from McCain, because whoever survives the meat-grinding of the Democratic Primary season is going to run back to the center pronto. And the center these days includes not being "soft on terrorism." It's all about vote getting. Notice that they're both really in the center or right already as far as health care is concerned. Both Kodos' and Kang's programs take care of payments which you will make to for-profit coporations, not actual care you need to recieve.

Neither PA or NC primaries are all that far from DC, and based on past actions and experience, the Senate will work with all the candidates to make sure they won't be logistically screwed over as far as opportunities are concerned for being in the Senate or in the locales where the primaries are to be held. It will be by choice if neither show up and defend against these constitutional blasphemies.

Call Kodos and Kang. Tell them to show up and vote, and that you understand both Constitutional and Event Calculus. 4 goes into 1, and 2 go to the Well. After all, your and my 4th and 1st amendment rights are more important than any candidates shot at the presidency.

TAGS: , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Inherit The What?

Where to begin? OK how about at the beginning? Of the World and frikking everything?

As it turns out I learn from Tristero at Digby's blog, that wingnuts are abusing my fabulous Denver Science Museum to actually teach anti-facts and anti-reason. I could just barf, as this last fall, I along with many education oriented taxpayers I agreed to increase taxes upon myself to continue these great facilities who bring science to the people.

It's still money well spent, on science, yet I find I must point out a few things about these anti-reason-nut-wingers, so here we go. First, let's start with the footage ABC takes in the Denver Museum.

[From PZ Myers Blog, Pharyngula] ...Right there on the wall is a description of radiometric dating methods, for instance, and they turn their back on it.

Yes. They're out there, and frightening as far as I'm concerned.

There's this whole other world thing going on where religious belief is not a big deal as far as raising folks who are science, technology and results oriented, with no creepy cultural Western Bible bias. [Watch it later if you don't have the whole 8:19 to watch it right now, but it's entirely worthwhile and eye-opening]

The above video may come as a shock to some.

But there are those who color themselves under a rubric of common ground to whom the reality of 2020 and beyond is going to be far more harsh. That would be these folks who call themselves Religious Tolerance :
Believers in a young earth might argue that God created our galaxy less than 10,000 years ago, complete with light rays going in all directions from each star, in order that the galaxy would appear to be more ancient than it really is. That is, God created the universe as if it had a history at the time of creation. Also, the above indicator assumes that the speed of light has remained constant. There is no proof that this is true. [Emphasis mine.]
Um, not so fast. By one definition, and others, much less the fact the current physics, space travel, satellite management and chip manufacture depend on the constancy of the speed of light, well, there you go. Dump your internet connection, if you don't believe in it. But if you keep it, how come it works? Riddle me that.

The funny thing about scientists, with which I happen to agree, is that they do not need "tolerance" or "Tolerance Websites" on their side. They have these pesky little things called "facts" which really are not amenable to fading into the background. The Chinese and the Hindi nation states won't ignore scientific or engineering facts like these hidebound, religiously blinded American folks will.

Here are some exerpts of one of the comments from PZ Myers blog which pretty much says it for me:

This is what we're dealing with. This kind of crap, peddled as God's Honest Truth, coming out of the mouths of thousands of pastors, parents, and yes, teachers, all over the country. And hundreds of thousands of kids are soaking it up, well along their way in training to ignore science any and every time it suits them. Antibiotic-resistant diseases? Don't exist. Global warming? Scientists don't know what they're talking about.
It's all part and parcel of the same problem. That's why we get so upset. There are people in this country actively eroding science at every turn in this country, and they have been growing more numerous and more powerful for the last 30 years, and it needs to be stopped. [Emphasis mine.]
And how can this be stopped? That's the actual question that must be answered.

First, "Science Deniers" must be shown to be what they are; igorant of the real world and the way it works.

Second, People Of Orthodoxies must inform their bretheren. By that, I mean people who profess a faith rooted in any orthodoxy, must acknowledge that what they believe transcends what their scriptures say when there is confilct with absolute fact. Any religion informed by science, rather than contradicting it, can only prosper among its faithful. The "Earth Goes around the Sun" is a good place to start for some. It can be augmented by "The Sun Ain't The Center Of The Universe Either." You get my drift.

Getting to Evolution will be difficult for many. Tough.

But the Enlightment of Evolution needs to happen for any intelligent person of faith, of any kind of faith. Evolution is an ongoing fact, and devotees of the orthodoxies, regardless of sect, simply must face the facts and get comfortable with evolution under their skin.

Because that's exactly where Evolution is transpiring, whether you like it or not.

Under your skin.

TAGS: , , ,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Deport Me Or Kill Me - You Decide

Evidently Pam of Pam's House Blend started reporting this, then TeddySanFran did, which is where I got wind of this today.

I'll just go right to TeddySanFran who encapsulizes my reaction:

We who warn stridently that the right-wing's private army squads might sometime come for any of us in the night are often mocked: "That can't happen here!" Somehow, we are reassured, American values wouldn't allow it.

But who defends values loudest in America? Who do the media go to when looking for values validation? Who does the White House invite in for chats? Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
Watch these words come out of his mouth yourself:

"...I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society... "

While "Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran" is a little higher on the Wingnut Top 40, the above little gem ain't far behind. TeddySanFran rightfully goes on in his post at FDL to challenge McCain, to which I say bravo. But when I dug a little further, I found SlapUpsideTheHead, who informed me of a Canadian deportation of a gay-man political asylum case, a little over 2 weeks ago. Alarming to me.

I mean, really alarming.

I have recently brought up that political science concept of the "Overton Window" and I see it at work all the time and every day these days. Small, tiny nibblings at the whole truth, so that only a part of the continual political shifting is seen. A small Overton refresher so you needn't have to click out:

The degrees of acceptance of public ideas can be described roughly as:

- Unthinkable
- Radical
- Acceptable
- Sensible
- Popular
- Policy

And someone who describes the entire process of forced gay deportation and the ultimate gay holocaust is Pierre Seel. A portion of a review of his book:

After years of anguished silence, French-born Seel came out of the closet in 1981 at the age of 58 to bear witness to the Nazi deportation of homosexuals during WWII. In this brief, powerful memoir, he recalls the details of his arrest and torture by the Gestapo and his horrific experiences at a concentration camp in Alsace, where homosexuals were the most despised of prisoners. Inexplicably released in 1941, he was drafted into the German army, saw action on various fronts and managed to survive the war. Convinced by a priest that he was in a state of mortal sin, Seel set out to eradicate his homosexuality, keeping silent for years about his "pink triangle" past. But in 1981, outraged by a prominent bishop's characterization of homosexuals as "sick," he became inspired with a sense of obligation to obtain recognition for what had happened to some 350,000 homosexuals during the war, and his public statements became a cause celebre in France. Seel remains active at 72 in his personal crusade, publicly airing the long-overlooked tragedy of the homosexual holocaust. His account of his suffering and his plea for justice are heartrending in their dignified restraint.

Need more hearts be rended, no matter to whom they belong?

I say, that the logical and following step from deportation is death. That is exactly what the most reprehensible fascist regime ever known, the Nazis, did in WWII. Start here at page 54 "The Curbing Of Nazi Deportation Plans, January - February 1940" until you read enough to see that since mere deportation was expensive, futile, and a nuisance that outright murder was better, and ultimately the final solution. Applied equally to everybody who was not wanted by that regime.

But today, exactly how do they know who is gay, and who should be deported? It is by violating our privacy rights, of course. That's why I am so passionate about FISA, aside from the obvious First Amendment connections.

Regarding FISA, none of the remaining candidates for president are really good. None of them. None are on record as voting against this current nasty regime's position. None of the 3 have voted against FISA with immunity or basket warrants. By their official vote record, none have opposed the machinery of the state to violate YOUR privacy, whether you're gay or not.

Which brings me to Niemoller, who long time readers of this blog will recognize his words if not his actual name:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
So deport me or, if you find it too expensive or futile, kill me. If by chance, you become unpopular with the next regime, no matter to which candidate it belongs, you could be next.

TAGS: , , ,

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blog Against Hypocrisy

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

Arabic: مُراءٍ، مُنافِق
Chinese (Simplified): 伪君子
Chinese (Traditional): 偽君子
Czech: pokrytec
Danish: hykler
Dutch: hypocriet, huichelaar, schijnheilige
Estonian: silmakirjateener
Finnish: tekopyhä
French: hypocrite
German: der, *die Heuchler(in)
Greek: υποκριτής
Hungarian: képmutató
Icelandic: hræsnari
Indonesian: orang munafik
Italian: ipocrita

Japanese: 偽善者
Korean: 위선자
Latvian: liekulis
Lithuanian: veidmainis
Norwegian: hykler, skinnhellig person
Polish: hipokryta
Portuguese (Brazil): hipócrita
Portuguese (Portugal): hipócrita
Romanian: ipocrit
Russian: лицемер
Slovak: pokrytec
Slovenian: hinavec
Spanish: hipócrita
Swedish: hycklare
Turkish: ikiyüzlü, *riyakâr kimse

There are more languages but you get my point. Every culture understands hypocrisy, and has a word for it. What I think is an interesting question is that, if the people of the world were actually as religious as they claim, shouldn't the world be a more harmonious place than it is?

One would think so. But the damn hypocrites screw it up. If you call yourself a religious person, you should back it up with your words and actions.

The Hypocrite-in-Chief needs to particularly hear this message. But it applies equally well to any and all little petty dictators you may have in your life.

You probably know one of the following species in greater number than the other; to every hypocritical potentate in your life, give 'em the finger. To every angel in your life, give them your heart. I'm sure you can tell the difference, and in both cases, it feels good.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Don't Bogart That Park My Friend

The last time the Convention was held in Denver was 1908 - yep, 100 years ago. It's a very different town today.

So much demand, so little space. That's the position that the City of Denver finds itself during the days of the Democratic National Convention, Monday August 25th- Thursday August 28th.

It's truly an International event, and with the Convention itself tying up many resources there's a stiff competition for the remaining venues. In order to make it as fair as possible, the City decided on a lottery process vs. making selections on its own. So this past Wednesday, there was the lottery-that-was-not-PowerBall, and lo and behold, it turned out to be controversial.

Jared Jacang Maher was at the lottery itself, and I encourage you to read his take. Here's a snip that I want to draw attention to though:

When it came time for the Civic Center drawing, the R-68 representatives became noticeably edgy. Their group’s relevancy as an umbrella organizer for leftist protests hinges on their holding park permits. Central to their plans is the Civic Center, which they hope to fill with booths, food, demonstrations and a possible free concert toe entertain the tens of thousands of protesters that they insist will show up. But when longtime activist Barbara Cohen marched up to the table to inspect the cards, she found R-68’s missing from the line-up. Officials insisted that it was a simple mistake, and scrambled to search their records. (Emphasis mine)

You know why they appeared, and probably are, edgy? They already assume that Civic Center park is theirs.

Here's the location under discussion:

View Larger Map

It's worthwhile to keep 2 things in mind; 1 - the Park, for all applicants, is only available the 25th and 26th, 2 - it's SMACK IN THE CENTER OF TOWN. It's literally a choke point for the entree to Downtown.

I think Recreate '68 is up to no damn good. I think if they were awarded 1 day, they still want to bogart that park, my friend. That's just my opinion/hunch.

Anyway the Convention should have protesters. It should be free, fair and peaceful for everyone. Somehow, I'm thinking that it's not going to work out that way. The do-over for the lottery is today, and I'll update this post when there is news.

The madness starts 158 days from today.

TAGS: , , ,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

End War Now!

5th Anniversary. WHY? The results are horrid. Should there be a 6th Anniversary? Not only NO, but HELL NO!

The last major Peace Rally here in Denver was a little less than 5 months ago.

We need more and to keep the pressure up on the Candidates and the Government. It sounds banal to say but the shear COST! In lives and money they are both too much to bear.

Let's all do our part and make sure there isn't Anniversary #6.

TAGS: , , ,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good News on the FISA Front!

No Immunity for Telcos, and Greater Oversight of the Administration! Here's the vote via Jane Hamsher: 213-197-1

emptywheel and mcjoan deserve a ton of credit, along with Glenzilla and Kagro X. Here's how it played out:

Kagro X on procedure:

The House passed an immunity-free bill, H.R. 3773

The Senate passed a bill with immunity in it, S. 2248

The Senate stripped out the text of H.R. 3773 and substituted in the text of S. 2248, then sent the amended H.R. 3773 back to the House

Conyers and Reyes have an amendment to H.R. 3773 (as amended by the Senate) that would strip out what the Senate put in (the text of S. 2248) and put in its place the new, immunity-free language.

CORRECTION: I originally wrote "Long story short that means it's the end of the line. This bill does not go back to Conference or the Senate. (This needs clarification; Glenn says it must go to the Senate.) Chimpy signs it or not. Either way, immunity is GONE." Evidently this bill does have two more steps; back to the Senate and then another Conference Report to reconcile any differences.

Marcy and mcjoan both note that some Blue Dogs who were typically going to vote with the Republicans, came back and voted the right way!

Glenn sums up nicely what I also have some hope for; a sea change:

It's hard not to believe that there's not at least some significant sea change
reflected by this. They have seen that they can defy the President even on
matters of Terrorism, and the sky doesn't fall in on them. Quite the opposite:
an outspoken opponent of telecom amnesty, warrantless eavesdropping and the Iraq War was just elected to the House from Denny Hastert's bright red district, and before that, Donna Edwards ousted long-time incumbent Al Wynn by accusing him of being excessively complicit with the Bush agenda.
Also via Glenn, the youtube of Rush Holt

and some fine talkin'

TAGS: , , ,

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kabuki and Behind the Curtain

ka·bu·ki - popular drama of Japan, developed chiefly in the 17th century, characterized by elaborate costuming, rhythmic dialogue, stylized acting, music, and dancing, and the performance of both male and female roles by male actors.

An alternative definition in Greater Left Blogsylvania - elaborately staged responses and accompanying rituals of Lamestream Media Pundits and Politicians in response to issues or people of the day, to generally hoodwink the population that those actors really care, when they don't. They just want their way, their sense of outrage or opinion to prevail, really. See also "SHAM."

There are two major kabuki plays going on right now. I call the first one "The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether." (If you like, you can hear the song of the same name here.)
The kabuki goes like this: one Dem candidate cannot win the primaries without (recoil in disgust) SUPER DELEGATES! The Horror! That candidate should quit for the good of the party! Behind the Curtain: since Super Tuesday, no candidate wins without SUPER DELEGATES.

And frankly, more of the Blogosphere is playing into this than the MSM. Unless one of the candidates bows out of the race (highly unlikely in my view) imagine the shock most folks (read non-bloggers) in the country will have when they actually wake up and read in the paper or see on their teevee one day "BROKERED CONVENTION - SUPER DELEGATES BREAK TIE!" And that's a generous enough. Surely the kabuki will kick in, and it will more along the lines of "CANDIDATE STEALS NOMINATION!"

The candidates stated policy positions are about within 90+% of each other, and I think that's why the race is so close. As of today's writing, they're around 100 pledged primary delegates apart out of more than 4,000 total available, and less than 1 Million popular votes apart out of about 130 million folks of eligible voter age, with millions more expected to participate. A reason that it's important to ordinary schlubs and the pundits is the need to feel that their person won! It's a horse race after all, and dammit my pony better win! My pony is shinier and nicer than your pony. But when the Super Delegate fix comes in, tons of people will be outraged and pissed off.

What makes the difference to me is that neither candidate has true progressive values. They are both centrist pragmatists and politicians of the species politicus normalus, vulgaris. In the last eight years, neither has blazed any truly bright trail, and in some cases have been part of the damage done. They both have a notable absence on the final FISA vote. Restore the Constitution much? Evidently not.

Which brings me to the second kabuki, that plays after Dr. Tarr etc. I call it "Circumstances - Plus ça change, Plus c’est la même chose"

Once we get past poo-flinging primary season, the outrage etc. and there's a solid contest set up for November, barring anything totally and cosmically breathtaking, I'm of the opinion that the country will repudiate Republican rule. As commenter Dave of the Jungle often says "Prepare for the Landslide Punitive Election of 2008." There will be some predictable kabuki running up to November like the "Dems Are Weak On Terra" play, and the "Dems Will Tax You To Smithereens, Including Taxing Your Death" play among others, but since we've seen that on cable so many frikking times, I think folks will turn the channel.

This kabuki is still a little foggy in the Unconventional Crystal Ball, since anything can happen and who knows who the next Democratic President will be, but let me make a few guesses in the form of question. And you have to apply a little theory tool called the Overton Window.

...Delivering rhetoric to define the window provides a plan of action to make more acceptable to the public some ideas by priming them with other ideas allowed to remain unacceptable, but which make the real target ideas seem more acceptable by comparison. The degrees of acceptance of public ideas can be described roughly as:

- Unthinkable
- Radical
- Acceptable
- Sensible
- Popular
- Policy

The Overton Window is a means of visualizing which ideas define that range of acceptance by where they fall in it, and adding new ideas that can push the old ideas towards acceptance merely by making the limits more extreme.

So think "Bell Curve" and move whatever you think the Overton Window limits are around the distribution of people's current political thinking since the electorate has been quite conditioned by the Overton Window. Think of any past President ever being able to get away with saying "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper." See? By the use of rhetoric according to the Overton Window theory, that behavior moved from Unthinkable to Acceptable. Is it on the way to sensible? I digress.

Behind the Curtain: April 30th, 2009 will mark the new President's 100th day in office. (Harken back to the heady days of re-taking the House and Senate Majority, and remember those first 100 days for a comparison.) How many troops will have been withdrawn from Iraq? After all the 6th anniversary of occupation will have passed by then. How many Executive Orders by Bush will have been withdrawn, or for that matter, any of the previous legislations signing statements? How stalled will any health care legislation be in Congress? And by the way, both candidates plans are sweetheart deals mandating coverage, not actual care. Will there be any criminal investigation into former administration officials? Insert you own list of questions, for that is what the candidates chould be asked for in detail. What day for beginning withdrawals, which EOs will you rescind, which signing statements and by when?

But none of those lines of questiong are acceptable in kabuki. This is the most powerful kabuki that they have going, because it's true: the more that things change, the more they stay the same. You have to remember, kabukis are plays. And plays need producers and production money. They're called Lobbyists and Special Interests. There's no budget for a pony for you. I know. I asked the Magic 8 Ball.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Reason why I say that is, presto, change-o, the Super Delegates will come to our rescue! That's right. In a race which has done it's job, i.e. trounce the chances of true progressives (Kucinich, Dodd, Edwards) the race fixers have another card to play, and I ain't talking the race card.
It's the Very Serious Grownup Card. The Party knows what to do, since you hicks can't get further than 600,000 or a 1,000,000 popular votes apart (depending on who you ask)
So I offer this little bastardized ditty:
Could be anti-democratic and abomination
just the frikking sound of it does give me constipation

(Um fiddle fiddle fiddle, um little lie
Um fiddle fiddle fiddle, um little lie)

One candidate was doing well but he was just lad
The other had some baggage but was really not so bad
In races they came very close, so we shall now be had!
The Dems will tell you who you'll have, just like your Mom and Dad!


Could be anti-democratic and abomination
just the frikking sound of it does give me constipation

(Um fiddle fiddle fiddle, um little lie
Um fiddle fiddle fiddle, um little lie)
I just hope Ms. Poppins is around to clean up Denver after the wreck that it could concievably be post-Convention.
One more thing; don't you think that it's time to substitute the Village Elders' wisdom for our own? Once this damn contest is over, Democratic party reform is most definitely in order, and I think we should start with the Speaker Of The House.
UPDATE: Not on this blog's current thread, but from others I am reading there is a LOT of misconception out there.
A - Some folks are calling out for Super Delegates to endorse already. Well, why should they? If they do, they could have the effect of disenfranchising folks who haven't voted in a primary yet. And if I was John Edwards in particular, there is NO WAY I would wade into this fray. He can't be right for about most of the folks who are calling for him and other past candidates to endorse.
B - Lots of folks are claiming that the prevailing wisdom is that SDs will vote along the popular vote trends, OR that the Supers could put an end to this "tearing the party apart" crap now if "they had the balls." DOH! Wrong! Supers were made to REVERSE the popular will if the aforementioned Village Elders think that the populace has been hoodwinked by populism for starters. So calling all Rahm Emmanuels, keep your motor running! Secondly, the critters ain't voting, just endorsin' until the Convention. So literally, just keep your pants on.
Unless you're in the Mob's comment section. Pants are optional, and the pant rack is on the LEFT, on your way in the door. Long live Sans-Culotte!

TAGS: , ,

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Abuse of Your Privacy Rights: New and Improved!

It's not only your phone calls and emails that are subject to warrantless abuse. They're reading and tracking your snail mail too.

H.R. 6407, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which reiterated a prohibition on opening first class mail without a warrant, was hardly controversial. There's just one problem with it; the accompanying signing statement, liberally dosed with the commonplace-but-should-be-horrifying Unitary Executive language.

The ACLU said in a press release at the time "Instead of referencing the narrow exception in the postal regulations, the president’s signing statement suggests that he is assuming broader authority to open mail without a warrant."

So this little doozy is in the signing statement:

The executive branch shall construe subsection 404(c) of title 39, as enacted by subsection 1010(e) of the Act, which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail
otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum
extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances,
such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the
need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign
intelligence collection.

As well as this one:
The executive branch shall construe sections 3662 and 3663 of title 39, United States Code, as enacted by section 205 of the Act, not to authorize an officer or agency within the executive branch to institute proceedings in Federal court against the Postal Regulatory Commission, which is another part of the executive branch, as is consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and the constitutional limitation of Federal courts to deciding cases or controversies.
He's the Decider all right. No stinking Court is going to tell him what he can and can't do. By George, with that signing statement he just neutered Congress. Before I continue into more of why this matters the complete list of the 157 signing statements challenging over 1,100 provisions of law can be found here. (And kudos beyond mere thanks to Joyce Green for documenting these.)

So let's sum it up to where we are today. This administration wants:

  1. To read your snail mail

  2. To tap your phone

  3. To read your email

  4. For you to "trust them" since they're fighting the war on terra

  5. To immunize telcos for illegal activity, which wouldn't be illegal if they got warrants like they're supposed to

Well, that's only partly right. As far as bullet #2 is concerned Marcy, and others, uncovered that they're not as interested in your phone calls as much as your emails. As far as #5 goes, dday at Digby's place steps back and basically says "Wait, let's have another look at FISA immunity. The administration really just wants to cover their own tracks."

This is all about Abuse Of Power, which Glenzilla sums up nicely here. Read it. It brings me to the point.

I call on the Democratic Party candidates to "reject and renounce" signing statements. I call on them to reject the concept of Unitary Executive. I call on them to repeal the previously made signing statements by the Bush administration. In short, I call on the Democratic Party itself, to make it part of the planks and party platform, that the dismantling of the checks and balances in our system of government be restored, that the damage to the Constitution be repaired, particularly in regards to the gutting of the 4th Amendmenet vis-a-vis the "Patriot Act" and the "Protect America Act." I call on them to close Guantanemo and restore Habeus Corpus. It's basically the ultimate Divorce Pact: "Let all men put asunder what King George hath wrought."

Do I think they'll do all that? No. I'm not some bright eyed Pollyanna. Plus, those things aren't sexy, don't lend themselves well to soundbites, not easy to campaign on. After all there is the "Idgit Factor."

In The Know: Candidates Compete For Vital Idgit Vote

Nonetheless, considering that there is such a mess about Florida and Michigan primary voters being potentially disenfranchised, and a "Brokered Convention" possibility here in Denver in August, there is a likelihood that it is possible to turn many an "Idgit" into a informed scold.

Maybe not as eloquent, knowledgable and well spoken as this guy.

But at least as outraged.

TAGS: , ,