There were two big stories yesterday, one which dominated the news, and the other which seemed to slip through unnoticed by most of the MainStream Media. The one getting all the press is that Obama swept the Potomac primaries and now leads in the delegate count.
The story that was eclipsed by the primaries was the spying bill vote. Yesterday, the Senate once again gave Bush everything he wanted:
After more than a year of heated political wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers after giving legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program.
The Senate rejected a series of amendments that would have restricted the government’s surveillance powers and eliminated immunity for the phone carriers, and it voted in convincing fashion — 69 to 29 — to end debate and bring the issue to a final vote. That vote on the overall billwas an almost identical 68 to 29.
The House has already rejected the idea of immunity for the phone companies, and Democratic leaders reacted angrily to the Senate vote. But Congressional officials said it appeared that the House would ultimately be forced to accept some sort of legal protection for the phone carriers in negotiations between the two chambers this week.
The Senate debate amounted to a proxy vote not only on the president’s warrantless wiretapping program, but also on a range of other issues that tested the president’s wartime authority, from secret detentions to wiretapping issues. The discussion in effect presaged the debate over national security that will play out this year in the presidential and congressional elections.
Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, who spoke on the Senate floor for more than 20 hours in an unsuccessful effort to stall the wiretapping bill, said the vote would be remembered by future generations as a test of whether the country heeds “the rule of law or the rule of men.”
But with Democrats defecting to the White House plan, he acknowledged that the national security issue had won the day in the Senate, even among many of his Democratic colleagues. “Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties to be more secure are apparently prevailing,” Mr. Dodd said. “They’re convincing people that we’re at risk either politically, or at risk as a nation.”
We're having a Four Freedoms meet up in Washington DC on the Weekend of April 26, 2008!
Some of us will be arriving on friday evening, but if anyone wants to come for an overnighter that is fine as well!
All members of Four Freedoms are invited as well as our progressivive friends around the internets. We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge. Many have found that it may be cheaper to book a room at one of the many travel sites out there, rather than directly thru the link provided.
The 4F Blog members and Staff hope you wil join us for a weekend of discussing politics, ending this war, getting some culture, visiting history and of course, cocktails...
So, if you would like to be a part of the meet-up, tell us here!
This blog is also the place to discuss all that we want to do for the weekend, including the possibility of carpooling if anyone needs or wants, sharing a room, travel information, and directions as the weekend nears, and other logistics as they arise.
We hope to see you in DC! :peace: and :heart: Four Freedoms
What better thing to do on a Sunday then lay in bed and day dream about how much better things would be if I were in charge. So over coffee and cheese grits I’ll just jot down a few things I want changed, while the world outside me flutters and flails into the abyss of the putrid trash heap we have created.
First up. Solving the biggest problem facing our great country today: Stupidity. Our last Decider brought an abundance of the stuff. In fact, this country is awash in stupidity and decisive action must be taken quickly to halt it. The obvious solution is a tax on stupid people.
Now, I am willing to consider, should Congress balk, with a proportional tax based on how stupid a person is. For example a person that occasionally watches a game show on TV, is not as stupid as a person that doesn’t think mankind has had any affect on the planet and is therefore not in any way responsible for global warming. However, a person that stays glued to a television, watching every reality show ever made and is up to date on the current jail/rehab status of Britney, Lindsay and Paris at any given moment, is, at the very least equal to a neo-con who doesn’t believe in global warming or evolution. Subscription(s) to People and/or Star magazine(s) notwithstanding.
Of course, your Decider is not without compassion. The real kind, not the phony “I’ll-say-I-care-about-you-and-want-to-help-you-while-your-homes-and-jobs-are-washed-away-by natural-disasters-and-then-complain-aloud-why-you-didn’t-leave-or-get-out-of-the-way-sooner” kind of compassionate person. No, no, Velveeta will only tax those whose brains have the capacity for being smart, but choose not to. After all, there must be incentive for stupid people to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and rise above their situation in life - and they would thereby be rewarded by paying little or no Stupid Tax.
22 comments(Latest Comment: 02/11/2008 05:08:15 by Mondobubba)
We're doing a little better here in quarrantine this morning...fevers broke across the board in the past 24 hours, and all that generally remains now is some congestion and long-term tiredness. 'twas a tough week for many. In case you didn't see it last night on the blog, here's my commentary on the entire affair:
Comment by TriSec on 2/8/2008 9:2:25 PM Evening folks. Recovering TriSec here, instead of at my first Blue & Gold banquet as Cubmaster...
Which now gives me an interesting observation on our new friend influenza and the alleged "vaccine".
The Waltham Public School system has been ravaged by it this week; anectodal reports indicate between 1/4 and 1/3 of students affected in the Bright, Fitzgerald, and Wittemore schools.
This has affected our Cub Pack to the same rate, roughly 1/3 of the expected participants called the chairman to cancel this evening.
And Athena has also had a rash of patients, though not at the same percentage. I have heard of at least one co-worker that has been out and has suffered to the same degree as we have on this one.
I'm surprised more by the achiness of this one...I was never really congested, never really had a cough, but my temp had skyrocketed earlier in the week (I reported 102º once, but upon further review of our inaccurate digital thermometer, that may have been as high as 104º)...and I've had such a general pain that it hurts to sit or recline in any one position for any length of time. And now I've got some low-grade abdominal/chest pains that had better damn well be muscular instead of cardio-vascular..
But in any case, Javi got his vaccine from his pediatrician; Maria got hers at the same time. Waltham Public runs a clinic for all their students, and AthenaHealth also does an annual free vaccine clinic...
So why did we all get it, and why did we get it so hard?
Either the vaccine was completely the wrong strain this year...or the formula was botched and it was completely ineffective.
Or maybe some of those predictions are right, and the virus is mutating too fast for us to react to it anymore...
Anyway...on to the news at hand. The National Libertarian Party is showing it's cojones in a clever way; they've just sent a funeral wreath to the RNC to mark the 'death of limited-government values within the Republican Party.'
Washington, D.C. - Following a solid McCain victory in the Super Tuesday primaries, the Libertarian Party has sent Republican headquarters a funeral wreath marking the death of limited-government values within the Republican Party. The wreath was hand-delivered to the D.C. offices of the Republican National Committee. "We simply felt the need to express our heartfelt sympathy for the Republican Party as they undergo this tough time within their party," says Libertarian Party National Media Coordinator Andrew Davis, who delivered the wreath.
"Given that it has become readily apparent that Senator McCain will soon be the presidential nominee for the Republican Party," reads a card that accompanied the wreath addressed to RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, "we, the staff of the Libertarian National Committee, send our condolences to you upon the death of small-government principles within the GOP."
The note continues:
Libertarians encourage competition within both the free-market and politics. Unfortunately, with the rise of John McCain and the big-spending practices of the Bush administration, the two-party system has emerged as representing only one philosophy - big-government liberalism.
With your loss, the Libertarian Party will continue to move forward to represent those American patriots who still believe in smaller government, lower taxes and more individual freedom.
"McCain's Super Tuesday win marks the death of limited government values within the Republican Party, which had struggled with its principles throughout the Bush administration," says Shane Cory, executive director of the Libertarian Party. "It is a day of mourning for the few remaining small-government Republicans."
For pictures of the wreath and its delivery to the RNC headquarters see below. For more information and interview requests, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 333-0008 during normal business hours, or at (202) 731-0002 during any other time.
The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.lp.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
The water crisis in the southeast (and Atlanta in particular) was in the news last year when it was announced that Atlanta had less than 3 months of water left. The 30 year growth boom had bumped up against Mother Nature, and Mother Nature wasn't budging. The skimpy system of man-made lakes that Atlanta uses for water was tapped out (sorry ), and the drought had not refilled them.
This is not a pretty blog today. The content is ugly and the story is not pretty.
We have a VERY serious problem. AMERICAN women are just another casualty in Bush's war on terror. In all the drama, the constant dribble of horrific stories we hear every day, the constant numbing down that we all feel, we are missing a VERY serious serial problem with one company in particular.
Halliburton/KBR ... They force employees to give up their civil rights in order to be employed. That means you as a woman have the right to be raped by your fellow workers.
No, I am not kidding. And YES, the Government is complicit.
With all of the hoopla over the Super Tuesday primaries, this story has slipped through the cracks. Perhaps the timing of the release of the story was intentional for that very reason.
The CIA used a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects captured after the September 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress on Tuesday.
"Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. official publicly specified the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them.
Critics call waterboarding a form of illegal torture. Congress is considering banning the technique.
Congress is considering banning the technique? It's already against the law (which we'll see in a minute). But first, let's take a look at this report from the State Dept about Tunisia: