Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is it time to start saying the F-Word?

The F-Word: A Letter the New York Times Refused to Print

by Stephen J. Ducat, author of The Wimp Factor

New York Representative Jerold Nadler, as quoted in the January 21, 2006 issue of the New York Times, appropriately and articulately drew comparisons between President Bush’s unrelenting accretion of unaccountable executive power, and some of the early strategies employed by the Nazi party to consolidate its authority. Regrettably, shortly after this bold statement, Mr. Nadler’s spokesman, Reid Cherlin, sought to retreat from this frank assessment, saying the Representative had “picked an example that he shouldn’t have.” Due in part to its careless over usage by partisans of all stripes, the Hitler analogy has become a kind of rhetorical third rail in American political discourse. But that does not mean there are not real and profoundly disturbing parallels between the prehistory and certain features of the Nazi epoch and emerging developments in our own era.

A partial list would have to include: a massive, warrantless domestic surveillance program implemented at the whim of the Chief Executive and his inner circle, and unimpeded by any oversight; the use of federal law enforcement agencies to spy on political opponents of the administration; an elaborate network of clandestine detention facilities designed to hold people indefinitely without charge or legal representation, and where suspects may be tortured and then, at the discretion of secret tribunals, executed; an executive branch of government that views the notion of checks and balances as a fusty anachronism, if not subversive; the fusion of federal and corporate power; and the monitoring of the reading habits of private citizens –- all of this done under the rationalizing rubric of national security.

It is time to call America’s incipient dictatorship by its proper name: fascism.

Stephen J. Ducat
San Francisco, CA


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Monday, January 30, 2006

Alberto! You got some 'splainin' to do!!!

The Architect of Torture for the Bush Regime has a veracity lapse? Surprise!

Gonzales Is Challenged on Wiretaps
Feingold Says Attorney General Misled Senators in Hearings

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales misled the Senate during his confirmation hearing a year ago when he appeared to try to avoid answering a question about whether the president could authorize warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens.

In a letter to the attorney general yesterday, Feingold demanded to know why Gonzales dismissed the senator's question about warrantless eavesdropping as a "hypothetical situation" during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January 2005. At the hearing, Feingold asked Gonzales where the president's authority ends and whether Gonzales believed the president could, for example, act in contravention of existing criminal laws and spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Gonzales said that it was impossible to answer such a hypothetical question but that it was "not the policy or the agenda of this president" to authorize actions that conflict with existing law. He added that he would hope to alert Congress if the president ever chose to authorize warrantless surveillance, according to a transcript of the hearing.

In fact, the president did secretly authorize the National Security Agency to begin warrantless monitoring of calls and e-mails between the United States and other nations soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The program, publicly revealed in media reports last month, was unknown to Feingold and his staff at the time Feingold questioned Gonzales, according to a staff member. Feingold's aides developed the 2005 questions based on privacy advocates' concerns about broad interpretations of executive power.

Gonzales was White House counsel at the time the program began and has since acknowledged his role in affirming the president's authority to launch the surveillance effort. Gonzales is scheduled to testify Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the program's legal rationale.

"It now appears that the Attorney General was not being straight with the Judiciary Committee
and he has some explaining to do," Feingold said in a statement yesterday.

A Justice Department spokesman said yesterday the department had not yet reviewed the Feingold letter and could not comment.

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

O'Reilly vs. King - Who's more kinky?

Bill O'Reilly verses Larry King in a battle of the kinky talk show hosts.

CNN vs. Fox.

Let's see. O'Reilly satisfies himself by making unwanted phone sex calls to intimidated subordinates while jacking off and rubbing himself with a falafel.

Larry King jumps into the sack with his own consenting wife while wearing an Indian headress and loin-cloth while she's in a cowboy hat and chaps.

O'Reilly wins the kinky contest
hands down.... really, Bill, hands down!.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Coulter... again

Ann Coulter "joked" during a Thursday speech that liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark.

"That's just a joke, for you in the media."

The funny thing is, you can never tell with Slobberin' Ann. She has wished death on a few people... like all the people in the New York Times building, or the leaders of all those she wants converted to Christianity, or, our favorite, "We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too."

While we support Free Speech, Ann Coulter is wearing out her welcome. You have to wonder how this bimbo keeps getting gigs.

Now, if they'd properly label it a comedic performance maybe we'd buy tickets.

Sorry. We saw "Big Boob" and just thought it was Ann Coulter.


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Dubya prepares his State of the Union address

"It's hard werk!"

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Separated at birth?

Cudos to Atrios for the idea.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What if they gave a party and no one came?

R. J. Crane at Topplebush.com is suggesting the Democrats walk out of the State of the Union address.

Now, we at The Whirlpool think a walkout would be interesting. But, would rather have the Dems "Stand up for Democracy". Instead of walking out, they should just not sit down at all. Stand during the entire speech. The Wrong Wing couldn't call attention to the cry-baby Dems walking out. Rather, they would be panning the crowd the entire time with Democrats "Standing up for Democracy". The cameras would catch people in the gallery "Standing up for Democracy" as well. They should all be wearing their "Stand up for Democracy" buttons.

Better yet, there could be twenty or thirty different buttons! There could be, "Torture is not American" and "No spying without a warrant! "and "We got rid of King George once, we can do it again!" and many, many others. The cameras would be spending more time looking for the different sayings than watching Bush.

Let's face it. If a hooded Iraqi prisoner can stand on a box indefinately with electrodes attached to his testicles, Harry Reid can stand for a 35 minute Dubya speech.

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NBC - desperately seeking fifth place

We still haven't recuperated from the loss of American Dreams. This was an amazing show that kept The Whirlpool "hopping the Philadelphia Way" every week.

Next, the 4th place network announced the cancellation of The West Wing...another popular show and our favorite. While viewership stumbled and John Spencer's passing created an issue requiring resolution, the show was still top notch. The live-debate between Santos and Vinick was inspired.

We have heard that NBC has canceled The Book of Daniel after 3 great episodes. This in response to uber-radical Wrong Wing fundies protesting and threatening boycotts. For example:

New NBC Drama Show Mocks Christianity

On January 6, NBC began a new series entitled The Book of Daniel.

NBC is promoting "The Book of Daniel" as a serious drama about Christian people and the Christian faith. The main character is Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on her mid-day martinis.

Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus. The Webster family is rounded out by a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter. At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.

NBC and the mainstream media call it "edgy," "challenging" and "courageous." The series is written by Jack Kenny, a practicing homosexual who describes himself as being "in Catholic recovery," and is interested in Buddhist teachings about reincarnation and isn't sure exactly how he defines God and/or Jesus. "I don't necessarily know that all the myth surrounding him (Jesus) is true," he said.
This by a group called the American Family Association.

The Wrong Wing was after this puppy before the first episode. Arch conservative wanker site Newsmax branded The Book of Daniel early on.

We have a hard time taking the network seriously that will let these Wrong Wing Whackos have a voice in their programming. We would compare it to our country's policy for negotiating with terrorists. As soon as they get a taste of it, they'll never quit.

Next, they'll go after Meet The Press in order to get Tim Russert to tone down his rhetoric critical of the President.

Oh, The Whirlpool is a little late on that one. The Wrong Wing got to Russert a long time ago.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

US filmmaker Michael Moore weighs in on Canada's election

How about you Canucks pulling your collective cranial appendage from your collective anal orifice... eh?

Controversial American documentary filmmaker Michael Moore bemoaned an apparent right turn by liberal northern neighbor Canada in its upcoming general election.

"Oh, Canada -- you're not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That's a joke, right? I know you have a great sense of humor, ... but this is no longer funny," Moore complained in a commentary on his website.

"First, you have the courage to stand against the war in Iraq -- and then you elect a prime minister who's for it. You declare gay people have equal rights -- and then you elect a man who says they don't," Moore moaned.

Conservatives led by Stephen Harper were ahead of Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberals by a comfortable 10 to 12 points, polls showed Saturday, two days before Canadians go to the polls.

In "Bowling for Columbine," his documentary on gun violence in the United States, Moore heads north to Canada to flee the rise of conservatism on US soil.

"A man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper, because he's a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest?" Moore asked.

"Far be it from me, as an American, to suggest what you should do," he added. "I hope you don't feel this appeal of mine is too intrusive, but I just couldn't sit by, as your friend, and say nothing."

The link

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bill O'Reilly - harrasturbator


Noun. 1) Any person who uses another person against their will for purposes of sexual self-gratification. 2) Dysfunctional sex criminal, rapist. 3) Obscene phone caller, exhibitionist, or person who rubs themselves against others on a bus.
4) Colloquial: Impotent, angry man, object of intense derision.

Used in a sentence: The lecherous harrasturbator rubbed himself with a falafel while telephonically tormenting his subordinate.

Another good idea from The Freeway Blogger.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

A big "NO!" to Justice Department's Google oogle

The Justice Department suspects that kids might come across pornography if they search the internet. This comes as no surprise to anyone that actually uses the internet, but evidently Alberto Gonzales is still riding the Pony Express.

In order to bolster their case, they sought records of internet searches from Google. Google said "No".

We'll see how stident they are after several top staff are shipped off to Guantanamo for a little friendly "counseling".

In the Justice Department's defense, a few Google searches were performed at The Whirlpool. The results are shocking!

A simple search like, "Dick Cheney enjoys anal sex with Alberto Gonzales" rendered 543 hits.

Everyone knows that "George Bush Masturbated a horse" but did they know that 11,900 sites would come up with that search?

Some may think it obvious that "Ann Coulter takes it up the ass". But, few suspected the search would garner 270,000 hits.

"George Bush gave a blow job to Alito" gets 206,000.

Shockingly, "Karl Rove Pat Robertson and Ann Coulter have 3 way sex" provided 43,900 alternative destinations!

But, the big winner was "Tom Delay jacked off by Jack Abramoff" with 1,080,000 hits. This may be because of the double jack offs.

We stand behind Google for attempting to protect privacy and minimize this out-of-control government's quest for power, but share the shock and disdain in finding what is out there in cyberspace.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Hillary, you've straddled too long.

By Molly Ivins
Published 2:15 am PST Friday, January 20, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas -- I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.
Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It's about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy -- didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

I listen to people like Rahm Emanuel superciliously explaining elementary politics to us clueless naifs outside the Beltway ("First, you have to win elections"). Can't you even read the damn polls?

Here's a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes, "There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party for successful elections in 2006 and 2008."

This supposedly pits Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, emboldened by "a string of bad new from the Middle East ... into calling for premature retreat from Iraq," versus those pragmatic folk like Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.

Oh come on, people -- get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at this war -- from the lies that led us into it, to the lies they continue to dump on us daily.

You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can.

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Harry Reid blasts GOP, then on cue, apologizes for being a big meanie

The only thing missing is a two hour speech from Joe Biden suggesting an investigation into the authorship.

The man who earlier had the great line: "Putting Santorum up as the new reformer is like putting Brownie back in charge of FEMA." turns around and pisses in his boots.


WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday apologized to 33 Republican senators singled out for ethics criticism in a report from his office titled "Republican Abuse of Power."

"The document released by my office yesterday went too far and I want to convey to you my personal regrets," Reid said in a letter.

"I am writing to apologize for the tone of this document and the decision to single out individual senators for criticism in it."

Reid came under attack Wednesday over the report, which was issued by his staff on Senate letterhead, even as he and fellow Democrats released ethics overhaul proposals.

"Researching, compiling and distributing what amounts to nothing more than a campaign ad on the taxpayers dime raises serious ethical questions," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, one of the lawmakers named.

The 27-page report criticized Republican lawmakers over their ties to disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, questionable campaign contributions and other issues.


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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wanted: 40 Democrat Senators with guts!

Several spineless Democrat Senators are questioning whether or not Alito represents the "extraordinary circumstance" necessary for a successful filibuster. What?!??!

Wouldn't "not giving any answers to the Judiciary Committee" qualify as an "extraordinary circumstance"?

Doesn't "making statements in the past that are contrary to everything America holds dear" qualify as an "extraordinary circumstance"?

How about "agreeing that Checks and Balances on an Executive Branch are unnecessary"? Does that qualify as an "extraordinary circumstance"?

What is it going to take to get the "loyal opposition" to start acting like a "loyal opposition"? If they don't stand up against this disgraceful nominee now, the Democrat Senate has become unnessary and useless.

Democrats undecided on Alito filibuster - Americas - International Herald Tribune

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Still no response to ACLU's call for special investigator

The Press Release

WASHINGTON - In a formal request to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the American Civil Liberties Union today called for the immediate appointment of an outside special counsel to investigate and prosecute any criminal acts and violations of laws as a result of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of domestic targets as authorized by President Bush.

The Request from December 21st!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Clinton Says House Run Like 'Plantation'

Go Hill!

NEW YORK -- Sen. Hillary Clinton on Monday blasted the Bush administration as "one of the worst" in U.S. history and compared the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to a plantation where dissenting voices are squelched.

Speaking during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, Clinton also offered an apology to a group of Hurricane Katrina survivors "on behalf of a government that left you behind, that turned its back on you." Her remarks were met with thunderous applause by a mostly black audience at the Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem.

The House "has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about," said Clinton, D-N.Y. "It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard."

"We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence," she said. "I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."

A spokeswoman for the White House declined to comment and referred questions to the Republican National Committee.

RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said: "On a day when Americans are focused on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Hillary Clinton is focused on the legacy of Hillary Clinton."

By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press Writer

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Glenn (I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore) Beck to CNN?

It's being reported that scumbag Wrong Wing Radio putz, Glenn Beck was signed by CNN.

One wonders why a respected network would sign a nut-job like Beck, but The Whirlpool has it figured out:

CNN signed Glenn Beck because Wolf (Deer-in-the-Headlights) Blitzer
isn't a big enough dumb-shit!

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Al Gore, ladies and gentlemen: American Hero!

Al Gore's speech on MLK Day was magnificant!

Let the Wrong Wing Whackos spin it anyway they want to, but this was a Home Run.

The Action-Steps:

"I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, and I quote: "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General to remedy the obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from investigating what many believe are serious violations of law by the President. We’ve had a fresh demonstration of how an independent investigation by a special counsel with integrity can rebuild confidence in our system of justice. Patrick Fitzgerald has, by all accounts, shown neither fear nor favor in pursuing allegations that the Executive branch has violated other laws.

Republican as well as Democratic members of Congress should support the bipartisan call of the Liberty Coalition for the appointment of this special counsel to pursue the criminal issues raised by the warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the President, and it should be a political issue in any race -- regardless of party, section of the country, house of congress for anyone who opposes the appointment of a special counsel under these dangerous circumstances when our Constitution is at risk. Secondly, new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive branch who report evidence of wrongdoing -- especially where it involves the abuse of authority in these sensitive areas of national security.

Third, both Houses of Congress should, of course, hold comprehensive-and not just superficial-hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the President. And, they should follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Fourth, the extensive new powers requested by the Executive branch in its proposal to extend and enlarge the Patriot Act should, under no circumstances be granted, unless and until there are adequate and enforceable safeguards to protect the Constitution and the rights of the American people against the kinds of abuses that have so recently been revealed.

Fifth, any telecommunications company that has provided the government with access to private information concerning the communications of Americans without a proper warrant should immediately cease and desist their complicity in this apparently illegal invasion of the privacy of American citizens.

Freedom of communication is an essential prerequisite for the restoration of the health of our democracy.

It is particularly important that the freedom of the Internet be protected against either the encroachment of government or efforts at control by large media conglomerates. The future of our democracy depends on it.

The transcript for the whole darn thing!

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Illegal Wiretaps started long before September 11th.

The President, Press Secretary Scott McClellan and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have done their best to use September 11th as the reason to violate the Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the President's authorization of illegal wiretaps.

On December 12, 2005, Gozales said in a White House Press Briefing, "Now, in terms of legal authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I've just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow -- there is -- unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence."

First he admits the FISA Court authorization is necessary and then he says Congress gave the President unilateral authority when the House and Senate rammed through the Authorization for Use of Military Force on September 14th.

Later he reaffirms the same:

Q But while you're getting an additional efficiency, you're also operating outside of an existing law. If the law would allow you to stay within the law and be slightly less efficient, would that be --

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALEZ: I guess I disagree with that characterization. I think that this electronic surveillance is within the law, has been authorized. I mean, that is our position. We're only required to achieve a court order through FISA if we don't have authorization otherwise by the Congress, and we think that has occurred in this particular case.

In the same Press Conference General Hayden added more to the ruse that 9/11 necessitated the illegal wiretaps.

GENERAL HAYDEN: "Across the board, there is a judgment that we all have to make -- and I made this speech a day or two after 9/11 to the NSA workforce -- I said, free peoples always have to judge where they want to be on that spectrum between security and liberty; that there will be great pressures on us after those attacks to move our national banner down in the direction of security. What I said to the NSA workforce is, our job is to keep Americans free by making Americans feel safe again. That's been the mission of the National Security Agency since the day after the attack, is when I talked -- two days after the attack is when I said that to the workforce."

One of the reporters got close to some juicy stuff, we find out now, but General Hayden changed the subject:

Q "What was the date, though, of the first executive order? Can you give us that? "

GENERAL HAYDEN: "If I could just, before you ask that question, just add -- these actions that I described taking place at the operational level -- and I believe that a very important point to be made -- have intense oversight by the NSA Inspector General, by the NSA General Counsel, and by officials of the Justice Department who routinely look into this process and verify that the standards set out by the President are being followed."

But, all of that was just Republican-NeoCon smoke and mirrors. Now we find out that the NSA informed the President this mission started right after the inauguration. Thanks to Truthout we've linked to the declassified document that tells all.

These bastards were spying on Americans for months prior to September 11th and now use that horrible tragedy as an after-thought alibi for their illegal activities.

If Congress still values what used to be America, they must oust these crooks. If they do not, one must wonder, why do we need a Congress?

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Steamed Rice?

Even we in The Whirlpool will come to the Secretary's defense on this one. Can someone put a bug in Pat Robertson's ear about Zhirinovsky?

Russian pol Vladimir Zhirinovsky says what Condi needs is a man.

Condoleezza Rice might want to see if there's room in one of those "black site" terror-suspect prisons for Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
The wacko leader of Russia's Liberal and Democratic Party has surpassed his earlier screeds with a misogynist attack on our secretary of state.

Speaking with Pravda this week, Zhirinovsky chastised Rice for calling on Russia to "act responsibly" in supplying natural gas to Ukraine.

The fascistic pol attributed that "coarse anti-Russian statement" to Rice being "a single woman who has no children."

"If she has no man by her side at her age, he will never appear," Zhirinovsky ranted on. "Condoleezza Rice needs a company of soldiers. She needs to be taken to barracks where she would be satisfied.

"Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men's attention," he added. "Such women are very rough. … They can be happy only when they are talked and written about everywhere: 'Oh, Condoleezza, what a remarkable woman, what a charming Afro-American lady! How well she can play the piano and speak Russian!'

"Complex-prone women are especially dangerous. They are like malicious mothers-in-law, women that evoke hatred and irritation with everyone. Everybody tries to part with such women as soon as possible. A mother-in-law is better than a single and childless political persona, though."

A State Department spokesman told us Rice would not "dignify the article with a response."

Zhirinovsky has made no secret of his insanity in the past. Besides praising Hitler and encouraging the use of nuclear weapons, he has advocated Russia's invasion and "reacquisition" of Alaska. To eradicate bird flu, he's suggested arming every Russian and ordering them to shoot everything with feathers. Perhaps we could fit him with a Big Bird costume.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Alito - The President's Man

"Your nickname is gonna be..... CAP!
Howzat? OK? It could be our little joke about that whacko group you belonged to at that yuppie Princeton school. Hey! It could also be about the silly yarmulke cap bald spot you got! Cool."

By Ruth Conniff, The Progressive

We have heard a lot from Judge Sam Alito this week on various troubling issues in his record: his assertions in the 1980s that he was a proud opponent of Roe v. Wade, and a member of Concerned Alumni of Princeton--a group then-famous for its opposition to female and minority enrollment.

Senator Leahy made a good point on the CAP issue. Perhaps it's believable that Alito was, as he said, an inactive member of the group not well acquainted with its activities when he joined. But thirty years later, when he mentioned his "proud membership" in the group on his job application to the Reagan Justice Department, there is no way he could have missed the news that other prominent alumni, including Bill Frist, had denounced CAP's retrograde positions. "You are a very careful and cautious person," Leahy said. Alito must surely have taken great care with that job application, and knew the implications of everything he put on it. Lindsey Graham had the best line on that and other instances of Alito's faulty memory: "I hope you'll understand if some of us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you'll tend to believe us."

Ted Kennedy brought out Alito's record as a federal judge upholding abusive law-enforcement officers' behavior: strip-searching a ten-year-old girl, and pointing loaded guns at an unarmed family, after breaking into a home to enforce an eviction order.

But we have still not heard Alito provide a satisfactory answer to a direct question about the most important issue hovering over these hearings: executive power.

Alito backpedaled on a phrase in his 1985 job application to the Justice Department when Kennedy quoted it to him: "I believe very strongly in the supremacy of the elected branches of government."

Alito said he regretted his choice of words. It was "poorly phrased," and in fact he believed, and always has believed, in the balance of power among equal branches of government.

But Kennedy went on, "Your record still shows . . . excessive, almost single-minded deference to executive power."

Most of the examples Kennedy gave were of law-enforcement power--the unreasonable searches in Doe v. Groody (the ten-year-old girl who was strip-searched) and other cases.

But he pointed out that the power of the executive under the Bush Administration is of historic importance.

After he was pressured into signing the McCain bill outlawing torture by American military and intelligence officers, for example, Bush issued a "signing statement" that cast doubt on his commitment to enforcing the law, asserting that the President reserves the right to act in accordance with his power as commander in chief.

"You were an early advocate of signing statements," Kennedy said to Alito, urging Reagan to use them to limit the scope of bills he signed into law. "Is this what you had in mind?" Kennedy asked, when Alito said the "President's understanding of the law" was as important as that of Congress?

Alito only answered that signing statements are "unexplored territory." And he defended himself by explaining that he was a lawyer for the Reagan Administration and what he wrote merely reflected Administration policy.

Another important point Kennedy brought up was that Bush often uses the phrase "unitary executive branch" to defend his belief in an almost all-powerful executive. Alito, Kennedy noted, has called the unitary executive theory "gospel."

Alito explained his understanding of the "unitary executive" concept by saying that the scope of Presidential power is one issue and the importance of the President within the executive branch is another. His comments, he said, referred only to the preeminence of the President within the executive branch, and not the scope of his power in government.

But Alito never squarely said what he thinks of "signing statements," or the torture issue, or NSA spying, or the limits of executive power.

We need answers to these questions, urgently.

Well, we may need the answers, Ruth. But, we're not going to get them. Stash

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Alito on Alito

January 12, 2006

New York Times Editorial

Judge Alito, in His Own Words
Some commentators are complaining that Judge Samuel Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearings have not been exciting, but they must not have been paying attention. We learned that Judge Alito had once declared that Judge Robert Bork - whose Supreme Court nomination was defeated because of his legal extremism - "was one of the most outstanding nominees" of the 20th century. We heard Judge Alito refuse to call Roe v. Wade "settled law," as Chief Justice John Roberts did at his confirmation hearings. And we learned that Judge Alito subscribes to troubling views about presidential power.

Those are just a few of the quiet bombshells that have dropped. In his deadpan bureaucrat's voice, Judge Alito has said some truly disturbing things about his view of the law. In three days of testimony, he has given the American people reasons to be worried - and senators reasons to oppose his nomination. Among those reasons are the following:

EVIDENCE OF EXTREMISM Judge Alito's extraordinary praise of Judge Bork is unsettling, given that Judge Bork's radical legal views included rejecting the Supreme Court's entire line of privacy cases, even its 1965 ruling striking down a state law banning sales of contraceptives. Judge Alito's membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton - a group whose offensive views about women, minorities and AIDS victims were discussed in greater detail at yesterday's hearing - is also deeply troubling, as is his unconvincing claim not to remember joining it.

OPPOSITION TO ROE V. WADE In 1985, Judge Alito made it clear that he believed the Constitution does not protect abortion rights. He had many chances this week to say he had changed his mind, but he refused. When offered the chance to say that Roe is a "super-precedent," entitled to special deference because it has been upheld so often, he refused that, too. As Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, noted in particularly pointed questioning, since Judge Alito was willing to say that other doctrines, like one person one vote, are settled law, his unwillingness to say the same about Roe strongly suggests that he still believes what he believed in 1985.

SUPPORT FOR AN IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY Judge Alito has backed a controversial theory known as the "unitary executive," and argued that the attorney general should be immune from lawsuits when he installs illegal wiretaps. Judge Alito backed away from one of his most extreme statements in this area - his assertion, in a 1985 job application, that he believed "very strongly" in "the supremacy of the elected branches of government." But he left a disturbing impression that as a justice, he would undermine the Supreme Court's critical role in putting a check on presidential excesses.

INSENSITIVITY TO ORDINARY AMERICANS' RIGHTS Time and again, as a lawyer and a judge, the nominee has taken the side of big corporations against the "little guy," supported employers against employees, and routinely rejected the claims of women, racial minorities and the disabled. The hearing shed new light on his especially troubling dissent from a ruling by two Reagan-appointed judges, who said that workers at a coal-processing site were covered by Mine Safety and Health Act protections.

DOUBTS ABOUT THE NOMINEE'S HONESTY Judge Alito's explanation of his involvement with Concerned Alumni of Princeton is hard to believe. In a 1985 job application, he proudly pointed to his membership in the organization. Now he says he remembers nothing of it - except why he joined, which he insists had nothing to do with the group's core concerns. His explanation for why he broke his promise to Congress to recuse himself in any case involving Vanguard companies is also unpersuasive. As for his repeated claims that his past statements on subjects like abortion and Judge Bork never represented his personal views or were intended to impress prospective employers - all that did was make us wonder why we should give any credence to what he says now.

The debate over Judge Alito is generally presented as one between Republicans and Democrats. But his testimony should trouble moderate Republicans, especially those who favor abortion rights or are concerned about presidential excesses. The hearings may be short on fireworks, but they have produced, through Judge Alito's words, an array of reasons to be concerned about this nomination.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Let's get critical... critical... I wanna get critical

President Bush accused Democratic critics of giving "comfort to our adversaries" in a typical "safe-audience" speech Tuesday.

Dubya doesn't seem to understand what America is all about. Teddy Roosevelt did:

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency
in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

A few Dems are standing up and, hopefully putting Bush in his place:

"Patriotic Americans will continue to ask the tough questions because our brave men and women in Iraq, their families and the American people deserve to know that their leaders are being held accountable," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

"From its inception and continuing to this moment, the absence of open and honest debate has been one of the hallmarks of this war," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

"The Bush administration's attack, distract and distort tactics reflect a Nixonian paranoia that is un-American. It's shameful that once again the Bush administration resorted to attacking the patriotism of fellow Americans rather than answering legitimate questions surrounding the president's failures in Iraq." Democratic National Committee communications director Karen Finney

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Who is the most Activist Judge?

Heard at the Alito hearings:

We don't want an activist judge. That's not what we want in this country. By activist, I mean a judge who allows his personal views to overcome a commitment to faithfully following the law; following the law as it is, not as you would like it to be, good or bad, following that law.
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama

What is an "activist judge"? It seems Senator Sessions would define an activist judge as "a judge that will rule contrary to the will of the legislature. Who will vote to overturn Congressional Law."

Paul Gewirtz and Chad Golder of Yale, compiled this list of the most activist judges on the Supreme Court based on how they voted on 64 Congressional provisions:

Thomas 65.63 %
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O'Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %

Al Franken on Air America suggested: "So we'll replace the top 4 with clones of the bottom 4. Fair trade, Senator."

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Monday, January 09, 2006

He's Watching You!

Sneak inside my bedroom Brother
Put me on your lists
Watch me while I’m sleeping Brother
Help me keep my wits

Spy on my seclusion Brother
Tape record my scorn
Wiretap my movements Brother
Catalog my porn

Eavesdrop on my protests Brother
Debase me in your data
Analyze my sperm count Brother
Sterilize me later
Catch me in your crosshairs Brother
Brand my critiques treason
Categorize my distaste Brother
Pretend you need a reason

Bathe me in your mistrust Brother
Fear my supposition
Paranoid my passions Brother
Terrorize my suspicion


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Friday, January 06, 2006

Maybe Bush really had a plan?

From The Bulletpoint

Now here's some good planning: a new Ottoman empire
Things to do today:

A. become president
B. allow 9/11 to happen
C. use it as a pretext to invade Iraq
D. oops, no WMD
E. oops, no 9/11 connection
F. So.... we'll bring democracy to Iraq.

After three years of occupation and brutality, Iraqis voted for a shiite theocracy? Go figure.

Now that we've set up an Iran-friendly Iraq, let's attack Iran.
World Peace Herald

Do they work at being stupid or does it come naturally? They're making us safe by uniting Tehran and Baghdad into a new Otttoman empire, focused on us.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Abramoff only bought 6% of Bush!

Abramoff raised over $100,000 for Bush, but he will give back $6000.

At the press conference we think we heard Scott McClellen say something like, "The President is convinced that Jack only bought 6% of him. The other 94% The President did for free and the money was just a coincidence. Besides, we're at war. The President can do whatever the fuck he wants when we're at war! Ya'll bite me!" Much to the surprise to the Washington Press Corp, as he was leaving the Press Secretary mooned them.

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The Constitutional Crises of 2006

By Geov Parrish

In 2005's waning days, Washington, D.C., Beltway developments pointed to 2006 as a pivotal year for American democracy.

The most far-reaching of these was George W. Bush's aggressive advocacy of his program of secret domestic spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). The only way the program can't be construed as a clear violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is if the president has the authority to override any law. And this is precisely Bush's claim.

Given that Bush and his cabal have predicted that their War on Terror may last up to 100 years, the president is actually claiming that the rule of law need not apply for several generations. Bush is proclaiming the right as "wartime president" to do anything he likes. Anything. Hey, why not disband Congress? (Hmmm.) Why not suspend the 2008 election?

This is deeply alarming.

A Dec. 23 Boston Globe story, essentially confirmed the next day in The New York Times, suggested that the NSA surveillance has operated by creating search terms and using computers to monitor not only suspected Al Qaeda operatives' but all Americans' international calls, e-mails, and faxes. If particular terms are a match, the communications are automatically culled and referred for follow-up.

This would certainly explain why Bush didn't use FISA courts to obtain warrants—no court would countenance surveillance upon countless millions of Americans. Even if the monitoring is automated, humans still must select search terms or target individuals. Done in secret, with accountability only to a highly politicized White House, there is absolutely nothing to prevent Bush and his cronies from using the NSA to illegally spy on anyone of their choosing.

The NSA scandal is not the only crisis looming. On Monday, Jan. 9, the Senate begins confirmation hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito, a radical conservative who, in a just-exhumed 1984 Reagan administration memo, advocated exactly the sort of warrantless domestic spying now being conducted by Bush. In his federal bench years, Alito has been a rabid advocate of expanded executive branch power and an emasculated Congress. Adding Alito to the Supreme Court would doom Roe v. Wade, but beyond that, it portends a massive expansion of corporate and state power at the expense of ordinary Americans.

Also in January, Congress must finally address the Patriot Act. For the last few months, news has been overflowing with the Bush administration's large and small abuses of power: NSA spying, torture, CIA rendition, a gulag of secret prisons, U.S. citizen and "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla, warrantless use of nuclear radiation monitors outside Muslim-associated sites in Seattle and five other cities, a Swedish report that there are now 80,000 names on the secret federal air travel "watchlist," the gutting of habeas corpus for secret overseas prisoners. . . . The list is seemingly endless and begs the question of what further abuses of government power remain hidden from the public eye. Congress must decide whether any of it matters.

The 2006 constitutional crises are not simply confined to the executive branch. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff's plea agreement this week will assure his cooperation in the corruption investigation of members of Congress and their aides. More than four dozen members of Congress accepted large donations, gifts, or travel from Abramoff at the time they took legislative action favorable to him or his clients. That's only one lobbyist out of tens of thousands within the Beltway. The Abramoff scandals threaten to unveil the ugly but usually "legal" ways in which bipartisan Capitol Hill bribery works. It's democracy for the highest bidder, a profound crisis for democracy, and it comes at exactly the time that a Republican-dominated Congress and a Republican-stacked Supreme Court are the only political institutions that can rein in the lawless excesses of the Bush administration.

The year 2006 brings many urgent problems: an illegal, immoral, and futile war, our criminal failure to act on global warming, the imminent death of a major American city and the fate of its refugees, a health care system spiraling out of control, and so on.

But these are symptoms. The underlying disease is the escalating inability of American democracy to respect the rights and needs of ordinary Americans, with a political process that cannot solve serious problems because it is wholly owned by enormous corporate and political interests. Power is concentrated in a handful of people who owe their power to those interests—plus, at the top, a lying, murderous president who claims the right to break any law.

The only real solution is a clean sweep. Congress must reject Alito, and if Congress is (in the words the Bush White House once reserved for the United Nations) "to remain relevant," it must impeach Bush and Dick Cheney. In both cases, citizen outrage will be needed to force a corrupt and reluctant Congress to act. And in November, regardless of party, we must replace corrupt lawmakers with candidates who are truly responsive and accountable to the ordinary people who elect them.

It's either that, or by 2007 we will be living in a de facto dictatorship. It's our choice.

Seattle Weekly

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

What to do about Bush? Go to Republicans for the answer.

Constipatriotic: The puckering of the anus that occurs when you hear too much Flag and God thrown into a speech in order to appease the masses and make political gain.

Where Are These Voices Today?

“No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That’s the principle that we all hold very dear in this country.”
- Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), October 1998

“As John Adams said, we are a nation of laws, not of men. Our nation has survived the failings of its leaders before, but it cannot survive exceptions to the rule of law in our system of equal justice for all.”
- Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas) December 1998

“The rule of law protects you and it protects me from the midnight fire on our roof or the 3 a.m. knock on our door. It challenges abuse of authority… There is such a thing lurking out in the world called abuse of authority, and the rule of law is what protects you from it. And so it’s a matter of considerable concern to me when our legal system is assaulted by our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the only person obliged to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.”
- Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Illinois) December 1998

“The framers of the Constitution devised an elaborate system of checks and balances to ensure our liberty by making sure that no person, institution or branch of government became so powerful that a tyranny could be established in the United States of America. Impeachment is one of the checks the framers gave the Congress to prevent the executive or judicial branches from becoming corrupt or tyrannical.”
- Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), December 1998

“[A] nation of laws cannot be ruled by a person who breaks the law. Otherwise, it would be as if we had one set of rules for the leaders and another for the governed.”
- Rep. Richard Armey (R-Texas) December 1998

“No one is above the law, not even the president.”
- Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Connecticut), December 1998

Pensito Review

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