Saturday, September 30, 2006

Gonzales Cautions Judges on Interfering

Ok, what I'm reading here is the United States Attorney General is essentially telling judges not to apply the rule of law when it comes to the president. If that wasn't enough he goes on to dismiss the autonomy of judges - saying they are not immune from public pressure!!!! Judges aren't supposed to rule by popular opinion - they're supposed to apply the law. What the F***???!!!! Ok folks ---- IT'S HAPPENING!!!!!

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush's anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime.

He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president's pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. "The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime," the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University Law Center.

"Judges must resist the temptation to supplement those tools based on their own personal views about the wisdom of the policies under review," Gonzales said.

And he said the independence of federal judges, who are appointed for life, "has never meant, and should never mean, that judges or their decisions should be immune" from public criticism.

"Respectfully, when courts issue decisions that overturn long-standing traditions or policies without proper support in text or precedent, they cannot _ and should not _ be shielded from criticism," Gonzales said. "A proper sense of judicial humility requires judges to keep in mind the institutional limitations of the judiciary and the duties expressly assigned by the Constitution to the more politically accountable branches."

Number of Operations Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2787/305

Most Recent Casualties:

September 30, 2006

Army Staff Sgt. Scott E. Nisely
, 48, of Marshalltown, Iowa
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Spc. Kampha B. Sourivong, 20, of Iowa City, Iowa
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Cpl. Luis E. Tejeda, 20, of Huntington Park, Calif.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Iraq Freedom Army Spc. Robert F. Weber, 22, of Cincinnati, Ohio
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 3092
Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties
as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 3092

Show Intel

State of Denial

Exerpt of Bob Woodward's "State of Denial" slated to appear in Sunday's Washington Post, can be found HERE.

In May, President Bush spoke in Chicago and gave a characteristically upbeat forecast: "Years from now, people will look back on the formation of a unity government in Iraq as a decisive moment in the story of liberty, a moment when freedom gained a firm foothold in the Middle East and the forces of terror began their long retreat."

Two days later, the intelligence division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff circulated a secret intelligence assessment to the White House that contradicted the president's forecast.

Instead of a "long retreat," the report predicted a more violent 2007: "Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current level of violence through the next year."

Phoenix legislator supports deportations through 'Operation Wetback'

As a species, we don't evolve much, do we?

Republican Representative Russell Pearce is not known for being soft-spoken on the illegal immigration issue.

But his latest interview on a Phoenix radio station has really turned some heads.
During an interview on ''Morning Edition'' on KJZZ, 91.5 FM, Pearce said he would support bringing back a controversial program dubbed ''Operation Wetback.''

The program called for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants in the mid 1950s.

Legislating Violations of the Constitution

With little public attention or even notice, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment's separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act - H.R. 2679 - provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

A federal statute, 42 United States Code section 1988, provides that attorneys are entitled to recover compensation for their fees if they successfully represent a plaintiff asserting a violation of his or her constitutional or civil rights. For example, a lawyer who successfully sues on behalf of a victim of racial discrimination or police abuse is entitled to recover attorney's fees from the defendant who acted wrongfully. Any plaintiff who successfully sues to remedy a violation of the Constitution or a federal civil rights statute is entitled to have his or her attorney's fees paid.

Congress adopted this statute for a simple reason: to encourage attorneys to bring cases on behalf of those whose rights have been violated. Congress was concerned that such individuals often cannot afford an attorney and vindicating constitutional rights rarely generates enough in damages to pay a lawyer on a contingency fee basis.

Without this statute, there is no way to compensate attorneys who successfully sue for injunctions to stop unconstitutional government behavior. Congress rightly recognized that attorneys who bring such actions are serving society's interests by stopping the government from violating the Constitution. Indeed, the potential for such suits deters government wrong-doing and increases the likelihood that the Constitution will be followed.

The attorneys' fees statute has worked well for almost 30 years. Lawyers receive attorneys' fees under the law only if their claim is meritorious and they win in court. Unsuccessful lawyers get nothing under the law. This creates a strong disincentive to frivolous suits and encourages lawyers to bring only clearly meritorious ones.

Here is the Roll Call vote for the bill.

GOP Leadership KNEW of Foley's Inappropriate Contact With Child Months Ago - Did NOTHING

Some of us have always recognized the hypocricy of the Republicans - especially surrounding the impeachment of President Clinton.......and now what do we have here? Seems only sexual encounters between consenting adults who also happen to be Democrats are offensive to the sensibilities of the Republicans.

Six-term Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned yesterday amid reports that he had sent sexually explicit Internet messages to at least one underage male former page.

Foley, who was considered likely to win reelection this fall, said in a three-sentence letter of resignation: "I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

The resignation rocked the Capitol, and especially Foley's GOP colleagues, as lawmakers were rushing to adjourn for at least six weeks. House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

It was not immediately clear what actions Hastert took. His spokesman had said earlier that the speaker did not know of the sexually charged online exchanges between Foley and the boy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took the House floor last night to demand an investigation into the Foley matter. But Boehner headed her off, calling on the House to refer the matter to the ethics committee, which the House promptly voted unanimously to do.

When Soldiers Go to War, Flat Daddies Hold Their Place at Home

Anything that helps a family cope with the deployment of their loved one is a good thing ---- BUT this is also kind of sad and pathetic. Reminded me of an old tshirt slogan which of taken the liberty of 'updating' -- "My daddy went off to fight a bullshit war in Iraq and all I got was this cardboard cut out."

It was the first day of school, and distance not withstanding, 9-year-old Baylee Smith wanted to take a picture with her father, Mark, who is stationed with a National Guard unit in Afghanistan. Real daddy was not available, but Sergeant Smith’s doppelgänger was.

“Where’s Flat Daddy?” an excited Baylee asked as her stepmother, Jennifer Smith, pulled a large cardboard picture of Sergeant Smith, in his uniform, out of her Chevy Blazer and propped him on the bumper. The two, along with Ms. Smith’s young sons, Alec and Derek, posed for a picture with their Flat Daddy, who promptly fell down.

“Stop it Dad, that’s not funny. It’s not a joke,” Baylee said with a laugh.

The Maine National Guard is giving life-size from-the-waist-up pictures of soldiers to the families of deployed guard members. Guard officials and families say the cutouts, known as Flat Daddies or Flat Soldiers, connect families with a relative who is thousands of miles away. The Flat Daddies are toted everywhere from soccer practice to coffee shops to weddings.

“The response has been unbelievable,” said Sgt. First Class Barbara Claudel, director of the Maine National Guard’s family unit. “The families just miss people so much when they’re gone that they try to bring their soldier everywhere.”

Top Washington Times Editor's Wife Confirms Racism Allegations

Besides being completely unable to understand this way of thinking ----- this kind of stuff makes me physically ill. These self righteous racist bastards should be sent off to their own isolated island. Imagine an island filled with Republican, white supremist pedophile, war mongering torturers!!!! You'd have a bunch of pale fat guys burning the crosses IN their churches of family values. Churches where there are no tithes collected because these guys won't get off a damn dime to support anything other than another war. They'd spend their days stealing from one another and lying about it while dreaming up ways to torture young boys with military hardware. That seems to be the sum total of what the Republican party has become.

The second most powerful editor at The Washington Times is a white supremacist racist who says blacks are "born genetically 15 to 20 IQ points lower than a white person" and that abortion is necessary "to keep the black and minority population down in this country." His wife, Marian, confirmed this, on the record, in an interview with reporter Max Blumenthal for the Oct. 9 issue of The Nation magazine.

Francis B. Coombs Jr., the managing editor of The Washington Times, a major media ally of the Bush administration, is described by multiple newsroom sources in Blumenthal's piece as an unreconstructed "racial nationalist" and a hater of blacks and Jews.

Terror 2016

This is absolutely CHILLING.......and a MUST read!

September 29, 2006

Aziz Huq directs the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice . He is co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in Times of Terror (New Press, 2007), and recipient of a 2006 Carnegie Scholars Fellowship. This article, originally posted here Thursday, is updated to reflect Thursday's Senate vote on the Military Commissions Act.

This week, Republicans —aided by Democratic fecklessness—bargained away both liberty and decency in the name of partisan security

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives enacted the Military Commissions Act , a law that strikes harder at American liberties and at the fundamentals of American government than any since the authorization of the Japanese internment. Thursday, the Senate passed the same bill , and President Bush is expected to waste no time and sign it today.

Because the Act gives the president almost ultimate authority to detain, degrade (physically and psychologically), and detain forever both citizens and non-citizens, perhaps Bush will not issue a signing statement. He has used signing statements in the past to signal noncompliance with a duly enacted limit on his power. But the Military Commissions Act of 2006 places no limits on his power. It is a blank check cashed in the liberties of the country's citizens and in the wasted lives of the unfortunate innocent people swept up in America's global detention system.

Here's what happens next:

* * *

Ten years after the Military Commissions Act of 2006, they came for Bobby Jaffar and his family. Officers from a Joint Terrorism Task Force, clad in Kevlar and wielding assault rifles, didn't knock: They cracked the door down. Ten-year old Bobby and his 17-year old sister were seized. His father—Brooklyn-born with roots in Djibouti—and his mother—a Yemeni Green Card-holder—were taken away separately. It was the last time Bobby was to see them for many years.

Bobby’s father, he later learned had been declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” under the Military Commission Act of 2006. Under a last-minute amendment to the MCA, the President had power to designate any person—citizen or non-citizen—as someone who “purposefully and materially supported hostilities.”

But, asked Bobby, why them?

Bobby’s parents ran a bodega in Brooklyn. They sometimes handled money transfers for members of the Middle Eastern community there. Speaking to a lawyer many years later, Bobby learned that Lebanese immigrants had used the bodega to send money back to West Beqaa, an area within the Hezbollah protectorate. Because Bobby’s father knew what part of the world the money was going to, the feds concluded he had “purposefully and materially supported hostilities.” And that was enough: He could be detained indefinitely.

Before Congress passed the sweeping legislation in 2006, a lawyer ruefully told Bobby later, “material support” had been a criminal statute. People were prosecuted. They had juries. The chance to view and challenge the evidence against them. The chance to learn whether the government had exculpatory evidence about them. But that was in the day. Now, Bobby’s father had a cursory hearing at which he barely had the chance to make his story known.

Back in the day, the lawyer laughed, civil libertarians had expressed concerns about the breadth of the criminal material support prohibition and like statutes. Indeed, mere months before the MCA passed, there had been expressions of outrage about the indictment of a Staten Island man for allegedly broadcasting an Arab TV channel owned by Hezbollah, Al Manar. Surely that was speech, squarely protected by the First Amendment?

Ten years later, the federal government wasn’t even bothering with criminal charges: Federal and state agents swept in during the middle of the night, seized a person, and transported him to military brigs in Wallabout Bay, off Brooklyn. Ten years earlier there had been only two people designated as “enemy combatants” within the United States and they too had been held in military brigs in South Carolina. (Ironically, Bobby learned, Wallabout Bay was also where squalid British prison ships had anchored during the Revolutionary War, and where more than 10,000 Americans died in wretched, fetid cells).

Bobby never did learn what happened to his mother. She was probably taken to the swollen internment camp at Guantánamo Bay along with tens and then hundreds of other non-U.S. citizens. At first, Guantánamo held non-citizens seized abroad. There had never been much fuss about the fact that the camp held many people who were not picked from an actual battlefield, but were swept in from the streets of Pakistan or further afield. Despite an increasing accumulation of evidence that many of these people were wrongly detained , the MCA had stipulated by fiat that they all were “unlawful enemy combatants.” Locking up innocent people, it seemed, won votes in 2006—at least if those people had a different color skin and came from far away.

Until 2007, Guantánamo contained no one arrested in the United States. But the MCA signed off on an executive power to seize people within the States and detain them indefinitely. Before 2006, the executive branch had only tried this in two cases, most famously against Jose Padilla —although it had considered using it against citizens in at least two other criminal investigations in Detroit and Lackawanna, New York. Now, there was statutory authorization for these detentions in the MCA.

Domestic detentions did not start immediately. The first arrest of a non-citizen in the United States came a year after the Military Commission Act’s passage. It hardly received mention in the press. Indeed, Bilal Milos—an undocumented immigrant from Bosnia—never had a chance to press his case in any court—let alone the court of public opinion. He was seized in the dead of night and carried off to Guantánamo. Thanks to the MCA’s suspension of habeas corpus , he had no meaningful way to challenge the allegations against him. He slowly rotted away with the other detainees. Once that precedent was established, the government hurried more non-citizens down the same path. Fear settled like a choking fog around Arab and Muslim communities throughout the country.

To the best of Bobby’s knowledge, his mother was never designated an “unlawful enemy combatant” when she was seized and taken to Guantánamo. Still, she could not challenge her detention in the courts. The MCA did not just take jurisdiction away from the claims of all “enemy combatants”: It also applied to anyone “awaiting such determination.” So far as Bobby knew, his mother had waited and waited for her hearing, her hope and her sanity seeping slowly away in the withering Cuban heat.

What was done to Bobby’s mother to make her talk—well, Bobby tried not to think of that. He heard rumors. Days of confinement in a freezing pitch black cell. He heard about “long-time standing.” Innocuous-sounding enough, this technique had been pioneered by the KGB. After 18 to 24 hours of continuous standing, fluid accumulates in the legs. Ankles and feet swell. The skin becomes tense and intensely painful. Large blisters develop. Eventually, urine production ceases. Then, renal shutdown.

At least, Bobby thought, she was likely still in Guantánamo. Without judicial supervision, detainees were routinely handed over to Egyptian or Syrian hands, where they were subjected to even worse tortures. (Congress and the public ignored the warning bell sounded by the case of Maher Arar , a Canadian citizen mistakenly rendered to Syria for torture, simply because he happened to have lunch with the wrong person years before).

Bobby was baffled to learn later that most legislators didn’t even know what they were voting for when they cast “ayes” for the MCA. President George W. Bush, he learned, had barred all but a handful of legislators from even learning what interrogation measures they were decriminalizing. In the 2006 midterm elections, Republicans ran on a platform of fear and loathing. Democrats, frantic not to look weak on security, gambled away a historical heritage of anti-torture rules and accountable government, with virtually no outcry. But how, Bobby asked, can such vast and terrible powers be vested in one man—without any checks or restraints to make sure they were used wisely? Was this really how democracy was supposed to work? Did no one try to fix it?

The more he learned, the more he understood how a democracy could indeed enact laws that fly in the face of the fundamental values of fairness and decency that any law-abiding society requires. Ignorance and fear flow powerfully. It proved easy for Congress to blind itself to the facts. When a group of legislators visiting Belgium in 2009 were indicted and arrested for war crimes for their sanctioning of treatment illegal under international law, they found it harder to ignore the facts. But that was little comfort for Bobby, his mother or his father.

* * *

The final version of the MCA is as bad as this short tale suggests. Enacted out of selfish and stupid partisan motives, fuelled by fear and blind ignorance on both sides of the aisle, it is a shameful law. It will harm many innocent people and it will make the nation not a jot safer.

And any candidate for federal office who does not endorse its repeal—like every person who voted for its passage—is a candidate not fit to govern.

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.

-James Madison: US fourth president, 1751-1836

Cafferty: Torture, anti-habeas corpus, Bush-pardoning Bill

Jack Cafferty: "President Bush is trying to pardon himself... I really do wonder sometimes what we're becoming in this country." (What we've ALREADY BECOME.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Trouble Campaign In Tennessee: GOP Candidate Corker Fires Campaign Manager

Bob Corker, the Republican candidate for the Tennessee Senate seat currently held by Bill Frist, made drastic changes to his campaign leadership 39 days before the midterm elections. The DSCC is reporting that Corker fired his campaign manager and hired a new media consultant who has previously worked for President Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.

The Sexually Explicit Internet Messages That Led to Fla. Rep. Foley's Resignation

Florida Rep. Mark Foley's resignation came just hours after ABC News questioned the congressman about a series of sexually explicit instant messages involving congressional pages, high school students who are under 18 years of age.

In Congress, Rep. Foley (R-FL) was part of the Republican leadership and the chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children.

He crusaded for tough laws against those who used the Internet for sexual exploitation of children.

"They're sick people; they need mental health counseling," Foley said.

But, according to several former congressional pages, the congressman used the Internet to engage in sexually explicit exchanges.

They say he used the screen name Maf54 on these messages provided to ABC News.

Federal authorities say such messages could result in Foley's prosecution, under some of the same laws he helped to enact.

"Adds up to soliciting underage children for sex," said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and now an ABC News consultant. "And what it amounts to is serious both state and federal violations that could potentially get you a number of years."

Foley's resignation letter was submitted late this afternoon, and he left Capitol Hill without speaking to reporters.

Here is one of the exchanges. Congressman Foley's words appear in blue:

Maf54 (7:25:14 PM): hey
Auto response from Xxxxxxxxx (7:25:14 PM): scrounging for food...brb
Maf54 (7:25:25 PM): ok
Maf54 (7:25:35 PM): kep scrounging
Xxxxxxxxx (7:31:51 PM): boo
Maf54 (7:32:13 PM): bo dude
Xxxxxxxxx (7:32:17 PM): lol
Xxxxxxxxx (7:32:26 PM): whered ya go this afternoon
Maf54 (7:33:39 PM): i am in pensecola...had to catch a plane
Xxxxxxxxx (7:33:47 PM): oh well thats fun
Maf54 (7:34:04 PM): indeed
Xxxxxxxxx (7:34:14 PM): what are you doing in pensecola
Maf54 (7:34:21 PM): now in my hotel room
Xxxxxxxxx (7:34:39 PM): well why did you go there
Maf54 (7:35:02 PM): for the campaign
Xxxxxxxxx (7:35:29 PM): have you officialy announced yt
Maf54 (7:35:45 PM): not yet
Xxxxxxxxx (7:36:06 PM): cool cool...
Maf54 (7:37:27 PM): how my favorite young stud doing
Xxxxxxxxx (7:37:46 PM): tired and sore
Xxxxxxxxx (7:37:52 PM): i didnt no waltzing could make you sore
Maf54 (7:38:04 PM): from what
Xxxxxxxxx (7:38:34 PM): what do you mean from what
Xxxxxxxxx (7:38:42 PM): from sore from waltzing
Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): tahts good
Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): you need a massage
Maf54 signed off at 7:39:37 PM.
Maf54 signed on at 7:40:35 PM.
Xxxxxxxxx (7:40:44 PM): got kicked off?
Maf54 (7:41:24 PM): must have
Xxxxxxxxx (7:41:57 PM): ugh tomorrow i have the first day of lacrosse practice
Maf54 (7:42:27 PM): love to watch that
Maf54 (7:42:33 PM): those great legs running
Xxxxxxxxx (7:42:38 PM): haha...they arent great
Xxxxxxxxx (7:42:45 PM): thats why we have conditioning
Xxxxxxxxx (7:42:56 PM): 2 days running....3 days lifting
Xxxxxxxxx (7:43:11 PM): every week
Xxxxxxxxx (7:43:14 PM): until the end of march
Maf54 (7:43:27 PM): well dont ruin my mental picture
Xxxxxxxxx (7:43:32 PM): oh lol...sorry
Maf54 (7:43:54 PM): nice
Maf54 (7:43:54 PM): youll be way hot then
Xxxxxxxxx (7:44:01 PM): haha...hopefully
Maf54 (7:44:22 PM): better be
Maf54 (7:46:01 PM): well I better let you go do oyur thing
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:07 PM): oh ok
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:11 PM): have fun campaigning
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:17 PM): or however you spell it
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:18 PM): lol
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:25 PM): ill see ya in a couple of weeks
Maf54 (7:46:33 PM): did any girl give you a haand job this weekend
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:38 PM): lol no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:40 PM): im single right now
Xxxxxxxxx (7:46:57 PM): my last gf and i broke up a few weeks agi
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): are you
Maf54 (7:47:11 PM): good so your getting horny
Xxxxxxxxx (7:47:29 PM): lol...a bit
Maf54 (7:48:00 PM): did you spank it this weekend yourself
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:04 PM): no
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:16 PM): been too tired and too busy
Maf54 (7:48:33 PM): wow...
Maf54 (7:48:34 PM): i am never to busy haha
Xxxxxxxxx (7:48:51 PM): haha
Maf54 (7:50:02 PM): or tired..helps me sleep
Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:15 PM): thats true
Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:36 PM): havent been having a problem with sleep though.. i just
walk in the door and collapse well at least this weekend
Maf54 (7:50:56 PM): i am sure
Xxxxxxxxx (7:50:57 PM): i dont do it very often normally though
Maf54 (7:51:11 PM): why not
Maf54 (7:51:22 PM): at your age seems like it would be daily
Xxxxxxxxx (7:51:57 PM): not me
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:01 PM): im not a horn dog
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:07 PM): maybe 2 or 3 times a week
Maf54 (7:52:20 PM): thats a good number
Maf54 (7:52:27 PM): in the shower
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:36 PM): actually usually i dont do it in the shower
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:42 PM): just cause i shower in the morning
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:47 PM): and quickly
Maf54 (7:52:50 PM): in the bed
Xxxxxxxxx (7:52:59 PM): i get up at 530 and am outta the house by 610
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:03 PM): eh ya
Maf54 (7:53:24 PM): on your back
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:30 PM): no face down
Maf54 (7:53:32 PM): love details
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:34 PM): lol
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:36 PM): i see that
Xxxxxxxxx (7:53:37 PM): lol
Maf54 (7:53:39 PM): really
Maf54 (7:53:54 PM): do you really do it face down
Xxxxxxxxx (7:54:03 PM): ya
Maf54 (7:54:13 PM): kneeling
Xxxxxxxxx (7:54:31 PM): well i dont use my hand...i use the bed itself
Maf54 (7:54:31 PM): where do you unload it
Xxxxxxxxx (7:54:36 PM): towel
Maf54 (7:54:43 PM): really
Maf54 (7:55:02 PM): completely naked?
Xxxxxxxxx (7:55:12 PM): well ya
Maf54 (7:55:21 PM): very nice
Xxxxxxxxx (7:55:24 PM): lol
Maf54 (7:55:51 PM): cute butt bouncing in the air
Xxxxxxxxx (7:56:00 PM): haha
Xxxxxxxxx (7:56:05 PM): well ive never watched myslef
Xxxxxxxxx (7:56:08 PM): but ya i guess
Maf54 (7:56:18 PM): i am sure not
Maf54 (7:56:22 PM): hmmm
Maf54 (7:56:30 PM): great visual
Maf54 (7:56:39 PM): i may try that
Xxxxxxxxx (7:56:43 PM): it works
Maf54 (7:56:51 PM): hmm
Maf54 (7:56:57 PM): sound inetersting
Maf54 (7:57:05 PM): i always use lotion and the hand
Maf54 (7:57:10 PM): but who knows
Xxxxxxxxx (7:57:24 PM): i dont use lotion...takes too much time to clean up
Xxxxxxxxx (7:57:37 PM): with a towel you can just wipe off....and go
Maf54 (7:57:38 PM): lol
Maf54 (7:57:45 PM): where do you throw the towel
Xxxxxxxxx (7:57:48 PM): but you cant work it too hard....or its not good
Xxxxxxxxx (7:57:51 PM): in the laundry
Maf54 (7:58:16 PM): just kinda slow rubbing
Xxxxxxxxx (7:58:23 PM): ya....
Xxxxxxxxx (7:58:32 PM): or youll rub yourslef raw
Maf54 (7:58:37 PM): well I have aa totally stiff wood now
Xxxxxxxxx (7:58:40 PM): cause the towell isnt very soft
Maf54 (7:58:44 PM): i bet..taht would hurt
Xxxxxxxxx (7:58:50 PM): but you cn find something softer than a towell i guess
Maf54 (7:58:59 PM): but it must feel great spirting on the towel
Xxxxxxxxx (7:59:06 PM): ya
Maf54 (7:59:29 PM): wow
Maf54 (7:59:48 PM): is your little guy limp...or growing
Xxxxxxxxx (7:59:54 PM): eh growing
Maf54 (8:00:00 PM): hmm
Maf54 (8:00:12 PM): so you got a stiff one now
Xxxxxxxxx (8:00:19 PM): not that fast
Xxxxxxxxx (8:00:20 PM): hey
Xxxxxxxxx (8:00:32 PM): so you have a fetich
Maf54 (8:00:32 PM): hey what
Xxxxxxxxx (8:00:40 PM): fetish**
Maf54 (8:00:43 PM): like
Maf54 (8:00:53 PM): i like steamroom
Maf54 (8:01:04 PM): whats yours
Xxxxxxxxx (8:01:09 PM): its kinda weird
Xxxxxxxxx (8:01:14 PM): lol
Maf54 (8:01:21 PM): i am hard as a tell me when your reaches rock
Xxxxxxxxx (8:01:23 PM): i have a cast fetish
Maf54 (8:01:27 PM): well tell me
Maf54 (8:01:32 PM): cast
Xxxxxxxxx (8:01:44 PM): ya like...plaster cast
Maf54 (8:01:49 PM): what happens
Maf54 (8:01:58 PM): how does that turn you in
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:02 PM): i dont know
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:04 PM): it just does
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:08 PM): ive never had one
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:16 PM): but people that have them turn me on
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:27 PM): and if i had one it would probably turn me on
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:29 PM): beats me
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:32 PM): its kinda weird
Xxxxxxxxx (8:02:50 PM): but along with that i like the whole catholic girl
look....thats our schools uniform
Maf54 (8:03:02 PM): ha thats wild
Xxxxxxxxx (8:03:14 PM): ya but now im hard
Maf54 (8:03:32 PM): me 2
Maf54 (8:03:42 PM): cast got you going
Maf54 (8:03:47 PM): what you wearing
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:04 PM): normal clothes
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:09 PM): tshirt and shorts
Maf54 (8:04:17 PM): um so a big buldge
Xxxxxxxxx (8:04:35 PM): ya
Maf54 (8:04:45 PM): um
Maf54 (8:04:58 PM): love to slip them off of you
Xxxxxxxxx (8:05:08 PM): haha
Maf54 (8:05:53 PM): and gram the one eyed snake
Maf54 (8:06:13 PM): grab
Xxxxxxxxx (8:06:53 PM): not tonight...dont get to excited
Maf54 (8:07:12 PM): well your hard
Xxxxxxxxx (8:07:45 PM): that is true
Maf54 (8:08:03 PM): and a little horny
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:11 PM): and also tru
Maf54 (8:08:31 PM): get a ruler and measure it for me
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:38 PM): ive already told you that
Maf54 (8:08:47 PM): tell me again
Xxxxxxxxx (8:08:49 PM): 7 and 1/2
Maf54 (8:09:04 PM): ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Maf54 (8:09:08 PM): beautiful
Xxxxxxxxx (8:09:38 PM): lol
Maf54 (8:09:44 PM): thats a great size
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:00 PM): thank you
Maf54 (8:10:22 PM): still stiff
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:28 PM): ya
Maf54 (8:10:40 PM): take it out
Xxxxxxxxx (8:10:54 PM): mom is yelling
Maf54 (8:11:06 PM): ok
Xxxxxxxxx (8:14:02 PM): back
Maf54 (8:14:37 PM): cool hope se didnt see any thing
Xxxxxxxxx (8:14:54 PM): no no
Xxxxxxxxx (8:14:59 PM): she is computer dumb though
Xxxxxxxxx (8:15:01 PM): it makes me so mad
Maf54 (8:15:04 PM): good
Maf54 (8:15:08 PM): haha
Maf54 (8:15:11 PM): why
Xxxxxxxxx (8:15:23 PM): cause she cant do anything
Maf54 (8:15:31 PM): oh well
Xxxxxxxxx (8:15:41 PM): she couldnt figure out how to download a file from an
email and open it
Maf54 (8:15:53 PM): haha
Xxxxxxxxx (8:16:14 PM): and she only does it like a million times a day
Xxxxxxxxx (8:16:16 PM): oh well
Xxxxxxxxx (8:16:18 PM): whatever
Xxxxxxxxx (8:16:53 PM): well i better go finish my hw...i just found out from a
friend that i have to finish reading and notating a book for AP english
Maf54 signed off at 8:17:43 PM.

Vet Amputee Duckworth Will Slam Bush In Dem Radio Response

From TPM Cafe:

Dem House candidate and veteran Tammy Duckworth -- who lost both her legs in the Iraq war -- will slam President Bush for painting Dems as the "cut and run" party in the Dem response to tomorrow's Presidential radio address, according to an audio excerpt of the speech obtained by Election Central. "I didn’t cut and run, Mr. President," Duckworth will say. "Like so many others, I proudly fought and sacrificed. My helicopter was shot down long after you proclaimed `Mission Accomplished.'" Exclusive audio excerpt after the jump.

In Case I Disappear

By William Rivers Pitt


The Republicans in Congress have managed, at the behest of Mr. Bush, to draft a bill that all but erases the judicial branch of the government. Time will tell whether this aspect, along with all the others, will withstand legal challenges. If such a challenge comes, it will take time, and meanwhile there is this bill. All of the above is deplorable on its face, indefensible in a nation that prides itself on Constitutional rights, protections and the rule of law.

Underneath all this, however, is where the paranoia sets in.

Underneath all this is the definition of "enemy combatant" that has been established by this legislation. An "enemy combatant" is now no longer just someone captured "during an armed conflict" against our forces. Thanks to this legislation, George W. Bush is now able to designate as an "enemy combatant" anyone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

Consider that language a moment. "Purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States" is in the eye of the beholder, and this administration has proven itself to be astonishingly impatient with criticism of any kind. The broad powers given to Bush by this legislation allow him to capture, indefinitely detain, and refuse a hearing to any American citizen who speaks out against Iraq or any other part of the so-called "War on Terror."

If you write a letter to the editor attacking Bush, you could be deemed as purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the United States. If you organize or join a public demonstration against Iraq, or against the administration, the same designation could befall you. One dark-comedy aspect of the legislation is that senators or House members who publicly disagree with Bush, criticize him, or organize investigations into his dealings could be placed under the same designation. In effect, Congress just gave Bush the power to lock them up.

By writing this essay, I could be deemed an "enemy combatant." It's that simple, and very soon, it will be the law. I always laughed when people told me to be careful. I'm not laughing anymore.

In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.

That was the idea. That was the dream. It may all be over now, but once upon a time, it existed. No good idea ever truly dies. The dream was here, and so was I, and so were you.

Number of Operations Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2787/305

Most Recent Casualties

September 29, 2006

Navy Master-at Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor
, 25, of Garden Grove, CA
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Army Pfc. Christopher T. Blaney
, 19, of Winter Park, Fla.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Caualty List

Card Urged Bush to Replace Rumsfeld, Woodward Says

I can't wait to get my hands on this book!!!!!!!! Woodward, BTW, will be on 60 Minutes Sunday discussing the book.

Former White House chief of staff Andrew Card on two occasions tried and failed to persuade President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to a new book by Bob Woodward that depicts senior officials of the Bush administration as unable to face the consequences of their policy in Iraq.

Card made his first attempt after Bush was reelected in November, 2004, arguing that the administration needed a fresh start and recommending that Bush replace Rumsfeld with former secretary of state James A. Baker III. Woodward writes that Bush considered the move, but was persuaded by Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, that it would be seen as an expression of doubt about the course of the war and would expose Bush himself to criticism.

Card tried again around Thanksgiving, 2005, this time with the support of First Lady Laura Bush, who according to Woodward, felt that Rumsfeld's overbearing manner was damaging to her husband. Bush refused for a second time, and Card left the administration last March, convinced that Iraq would be compared to Vietnam and that history would record that no senior administration officials had raised their voices in opposition to the conduct of the war.

Foley resigns from Congress over e-mails

Another day, another Republican scandle.

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., resigned from Congress on Friday, effective immediately, in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former teenage male page.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent," he said in a statement issued by his office.

The two-sentence statement did not refer to the e-mails and gave no reason for Foley's abrupt decision to abandon a flourishing career in Congress.

Foley, 52, had been a shoo-in for a new term until the e-mail correspondence surfaced in recent days.

His resignation comes less than six weeks before the elections and further complicates the political landscape for Republicans, who are fighting to retain control of Congress. Democrats need to win a net of 15 Republican seats to regain the power they lost in 1994.

Iraq government declares complete curfew for capital

The government of Iraq declared an immediate complete curfew for the capital city Friday night through Sunday morning, the prime minister's office said.

Sherrod Brown & Mike DeWind on MTP Sunday

For the first time on national TV, Sherrod and Republican incumbent Senator Mike DeWine will face off this Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.

Click here to find Meet the Press air times in your area.

Moderator Tim Russert gave his take on the current state of the race while visiting Ohio last week.

"If [Democrats] do not carry Ohio, they will not retake control of the U.S. Senate," said Russert. "Both the Democrats and Republicans I talk to privately in Washington believe that Congressman Brown has a slight advantage at this point over Senator DeWine. But they're the first to acknowledge from both parties that outside events could intervene."

Abramoff and Rove Had 82 Contacts, Report Says

A bipartisan Congressional report documents hundreds of contacts between White House officials and the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partners, including at least 10 direct contacts between Mr. Abramoff and Karl Rove, the president’s chief political strategist.

The House Government Reform Committee report, based on e-mail messages and other records subpoenaed from Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying firm, found 485 contacts between Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying team and White House officials from 2001 to 2004, including 82 with Mr. Rove’s office.

The lobbyists spent almost $25,000 in meals and drinks for the White House officials and provided them with tickets to numerous sporting events and concerts, according to the report, scheduled for release Friday.

Former President Carter says U.S. in more danger of terrorism because of Iraq war

Former President Jimmy Carter said major policy changes are needed because the Iraq war has divided the nation "almost as much as Vietnam."

"So there's no doubt that our country is in much more danger now from terrorism than it would have been if we would have done what we should have done and stayed in Afghanistan," he said Wednesday on the campaign trail with his son, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Carter.

Now, Even Allen's Apologies Are Getting Him in Trouble

Sen. George Allen can't seem to win: first, he apologizes for addressing an Indian American with a racial slur and acknowledges that many view the Confederate flag as a hate symbol. Now, the Sons of Confederate Veterans want him to apologize, too.

As he fights Democrat James Webb for a second term in the Senate, Allen has spent the last six weeks battling charges of racism after calling a young Indian American man "macaca" and later being accused of having used a racial epithet toward blacks.

He has vehemently denied ever using the "N-word." He has apologized profusely for saying "macaca." And he has insisted that he has moved far beyond his youthful admiration of controversial symbols like the battle flag.

"What I was slow to appreciate and wish I had understood much sooner," Allen told a black audience last month, "is that this symbol . . . is, for black Americans, an emblem of hate and terror, an emblem of intolerance and intimidation."

Now, even that statement is getting him into trouble.

Junking Checks and Balances?

"Checks and balances" has a nice ring. But it's a currency that doesn't go a long way in Washington today.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, of MCA, passed by the House and Senate and likely to be signed by the President tomorrow is a wholesale assault on the idea of a limited government under law.

It will be taken by the Bush Administration as a blank check to torture, to detain indefinitely without just cause, and to trample the values that win America respect in the world. From tomorrow, counter-terrorism is the "land of do as you please" for the President and the wise men of the Defense Department--those savants who brought you Iraq, the gift that keeps on giving (at least if you're a jihadist).

Gingrich urges overriding Supreme Court

Supreme Court decisions that are "so clearly at variance with the national will" should be overridden by the other branches of government, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.

"What I reject, out of hand, is the idea that by five to four, judges can rewrite the Constitution, but it takes two-thirds of the House, two-thirds of the Senate and three-fourths of the states to equal five judges," Gingrich said during a Georgetown University Law Center conference on the judiciary.

Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq

The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter and author. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war.

The warning is described in “State of Denial,” scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: “I don’t want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don’t think we are there yet.”

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq — a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon — and so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls. The American commander for the Middle East, Gen. John P. Abizaid, is reported to have told visitors to his headquarters in Qatar in the fall of 2005 that “Rumsfeld doesn’t have any credibility anymore” to make a public case for the American strategy for victory in Iraq.

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say Iraq in civil war

Nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed consider Iraq to be in a civil war, a CNN poll said Thursday, and more people view the three major architects of the U.S.-led operation there unfavorably than favorably.

Democrats See Strength in Bucking Bush

The Democratic vote in the Senate on Thursday against legislation governing the treatment of terrorism suspects showed that party leaders believe that President Bush’s power to wield national security as a political issue is seriously diminished.

The most vivid example of the Democratic assessment came from the party’s many presidential hopefuls in the Senate. All of them voted against the bill, apparently calculating that Mr. Bush’s handling of Iraq has undercut the traditional Republican strength on national security and will insulate them from what are certain to be strong attacks from Republicans not only this year but also in 2008.

Democratic opponents of the legislation said their political position was driven by a substantive determination that the bill, which creates rules for interrogating and trying terrorism suspects, is fundamentally flawed and a dangerous departure from founding American principles.

“The only reason to worry about the politics of it is if you don’t understand it and don’t have the guts to stand up and defend your vote,” said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, who is considering a presidential race.

Over all, 32 Democrats voted against the measure while 12, including some of those in the most difficult re-election fights, backed it. Among the latter was Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, whose perceived support for Mr. Bush has brought him political trouble at home.

Action Alert

In the 2000 and 2004 general elections, voters in Florida, Ohio and other states were caught up in electoral debacles that led to major problems on Election Day and voter distrust of our election system today.

Butterfly ballots, hanging chads and long lines of people being shut out at the polls have undermined confidence that our votes will be fairly and accurately counted.

And despite all the talk and promises of voting reform and improvements, major election issues remain unaddressed, and voters continue to question the integrity of our elections.

The latest problem is the electronic voting machines which were supposed to be part of the solution. These machines leave NO paper record of our votes! They provide no permanent documentation that could prove that votes are being counted accurately. In the world's greatest democracy - a democracy that in recent years has been plagued by faulty elections that undermine voter trust - this is just unacceptable.

Take action! Click here to call on Governor Bush and Governor Taft to require verified voting in the critical states of Florida and Ohio!

The bottom line is this: We should demand that states using electronic voting machines use only machines that provide voters with a paper receipt -- so that they can verify their vote. This crucial change would improve confidence in our elections and help assure that every vote is counted.

And the first steps need to be taken in Florida and Ohio, where so many votes appear to have been mishandled in recent elections. The integrity of the Ohio and Florida election systems is not just an issue for the voters of those states. It is an issue for all voters everywhere because - as was the case in 2000 and 2004 - voters in these states could again determine the outcome of future presidential elections, as well as which party wins control of Congress in 2006!

That's why every American has an interest in making sure that all votes in these states - as well as in every other state - are counted fairly and accurately.

Will you join me in calling on Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and Governor Bob Taft of Ohio to set an example for all states by requiring that any electronic voting machines used in their states provide voters a paper receipt.

Click here to send a letter to Governor Bush and Governor Taft to ask them to require a paper receipt for every vote cast on election day

Voting problems could happen again this November, when an estimated 40% of American voters will use an electronic voting machine to cast their ballot, receiving no paper record of ever having done so.

Diebold - the company that has cornered the market on electronic voting machines - has, to say the least, a questionable track record on voting security. This situation must be addressed.

Every ballot should be counted exactly the way each voter intended it to be. And to get things moving in the right direction, Americans should ask Florida and Ohio to be at the forefront of a national effort to assure proper verification of elections.

Send a letter to Governor Bush of Florida and Governor Taft of Ohio to urge them to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that every vote counts!

U.S. voter turnout is already notoriously low, partly because Americans lack confidence in the voting process. We have to make sure that those who turn out on Election Day have their voices heard -- it's not just the democratic way, it's the only way to increase and inspire voter confidence.

And once you have taken action, please forward this message on to your friends and family so that they can send a message of their own. If you have relatives in Florida or Ohio, I encourage you to make a special plea: ask them to pass this message on to their neighbors so that voters in those states have every opportunity to express their views.

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector

-Plato: Ancient Greek philosopher (428/427-348/347 B.C.)

The End of the American Ideal

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a bill setting rules for interrogations and prosecutions of foreign terrorism suspects, sending it to President George W. Bush to sign into law.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New U.S. top court term has abortion, race cases

The U.S. Supreme Court's new term has cases on abortion, the environment and racial diversity in schools, some of the country's most contentious social issues for a court primed to shift sharply to the right by President George W. Bush's conservative appointees.

The nation's highest court, with Bush's two appointees, could decide to limit or overturn recent precedents upholding abortion rights for women and programs to foster a racially diverse student body, legal experts said.

"The term is going to be a bellwether on the shift in the court's ideology. The court is revisiting a series of profound issues," said Tom Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who closely follows the court.

Maureen Dowd on Clinton interview fallout & Bush's wars

Number of Operations Iraqi Freedom & Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 2787/305

Most Recent Casualties

September 28, 2006

Marine Lance Cpl. James Chamroeun
, 20, of Union City, Ga.
-Operation Iraqi Freedom

Complete Casualty List

Lott: Bush barely mentioned Iraq in meeting with Senate Republicans

HUH? U.S. Soldiers are getting killed and being attacked an average of every 15 minutes, Iraqi's are being killed by the HUNDREDS and this arrogant bastard comes out and says that while the majority party meets with the Commander in Chief the war in Iraq i isn't discussed? Oh, and by the way - those of us who think it should be discussed are obsessive?!!!! I'm sorry - one would EXPECT that the majority party AND the Commander and Chief would be obsessesed with the war in Iraq. Should be their #1 priority. Good God! What is wrong with these people? We obviously have a bunch of self absorbed dumb asses running the government. .... and that's the nicest thing I can think of to say about them.

President Bush barely mentioned the war in Iraq when he met with Republican senators behind closed doors in the Capitol Thursday morning and was not asked about the course of the war, Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said.

"No, none of that," Lott told reporters after the session when asked if the Iraq war was discussed. "You're the only ones who obsess on that. We don't and the real people out in the real world don't for the most part."

Lott went on to say he has difficulty understanding the motivations behind the violence in Iraq.

"It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people," he said. "Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me."

NY Times Editorial: Rushing Off a Cliff

NY Times Editorial 9/28/06

Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws — while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.

Republicans say Congress must act right now to create procedures for charging and trying terrorists — because the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks are available for trial. That’s pure propaganda. Those men could have been tried and convicted long ago, but President Bush chose not to. He held them in illegal detention, had them questioned in ways that will make real trials very hard, and invented a transparently illegal system of kangaroo courts to convict them.

It was only after the Supreme Court issued the inevitable ruling striking down Mr. Bush’s shadow penal system that he adopted his tone of urgency. It serves a cynical goal: Republican strategists think they can win this fall, not by passing a good law but by forcing Democrats to vote against a bad one so they could be made to look soft on terrorism.

Last week, the White House and three Republican senators announced a terrible deal on this legislation that gave Mr. Bush most of what he wanted, including a blanket waiver for crimes Americans may have committed in the service of his antiterrorism policies. Then Vice President Dick Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.

These are some of the bill’s biggest flaws:

Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.

The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published.

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.

•There is not enough time to fix these bills, especially since the few Republicans who call themselves moderates have been whipped into line, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to have misplaced its spine. If there was ever a moment for a filibuster, this was it.

We don’t blame the Democrats for being frightened. The Republicans have made it clear that they’ll use any opportunity to brand anyone who votes against this bill as a terrorist enabler. But Americans of the future won’t remember the pragmatic arguments for caving in to the administration.

They’ll know that in 2006, Congress passed a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

A Half-Truth in the Florida 22nd

When you can't run on your record ---- you lie about your opponents record.

Republican Rep. Shaw falsely implies his opponent lied about being a lobbyist

Republican Rep. Clay Shaw, defending the seat he has occupied for a quarter of a century, attacks Democrat opponent Ron Klein for being a lobbyist who has "sold influence to developers, insurers, [and] government contractors." Shaw's ad even shows a picture of Klein's "lobby/law firm" located "steps away from the Capitol" to insinuate the state senator wasn't truthful when he denied lobbying fellow legislators.

While Klein has registered as a lobbyist in Palm Beach County, he has not registered to lobby the state legislature and Shaw has produced no evidence that Klein did so.


The Shaw campaign released "Registered Lobbyist" Sept. 23. The ad falsely implies that Democratic challenger Klein had improper dealings with the state legislature.

Zogby poll: Lieberman leads Lamont by only two points

The latest Zogby poll shows Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman leading Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont by only two points, well within the "margin of error" .

"Joe Lieberman's lead over Democrat Ned Lamont narrowed again in the latest poll and is now well within the margin of error," reports the Wall Street Journal at its website.

Bush Admin Cover's Up Extent of Violence Against U.S. Troops in Iraq

From Think Progress:

The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward is set to release “State of Denial,” the third in his series of books documenting the inner workings of the Bush administration. Woodward will discuss some notable revelations in the book this Sunday on 60 Minutes. Key highlights:

Bush is covering up the extent of violence against U.S. troops in Iraq:

According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. “It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That’s more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,” says Woodward.

Dispute on Intelligence Report Disrupts Republicans’ Game Plan

The dispute over a newly disclosed National Intelligence Estimate has threatened a pre-election script in which the White House had sought to put Democrats on the defensive on national security.

As the White House saw it, this was to have been the week in which Republicans seized the advantage by pushing two antiterrorism bills through Congress over the objections of recalcitrant Democrats.

Instead, on Wednesday for the second day in a row, Democrats seized on the intelligence report as confirmation of their case that the Iraq war has in fact compounded the global terrorism threat.

Republicans responded by saying Democrats were distorting the findings or were exploiting important intelligence information for political gain. In Congress, the Republicans appeared to give up on passing one of the two antiterrorism bills, the one on surveillance.

Blasting A/C in the Arctic

They never used to need air conditioners up in the Arctic.

But earlier this year, officials in the Canadian Inuit territory of Nunavik authorized the installation of air conditioners in official buildings for the first time. Artificial cooling was necessary, they decided, because summertime temperatures in some southern Arctic villages have climbed into the 80s in recent years.

Inuit families in the region never used to need to shop in grocery stores, either. But the Arctic seas that always stayed frozen well into the summer have started breaking open much earlier, cutting off hunters from the seasonal caribou herds on which their families depend for sustenance.

and more signs of change....

  • Ice-covered areas of the Arctic seas have been declining at the highest rate in a century of recorded observations.

  • Mosquitoes were sighted in Resolute Bay last year for the first time.

  • Experienced Inuit hunters are falling through the ice along routes they once traversed with ease.

  • Polar bears are hungrier and venturing more frequently into Inuit villages.
  • 40 tortured bodies found in Baghdad

    The bodies of 40 men who were shot and had their hands and feet bound have been found in the capital over the past 24 hours, police said Thursday.

    All the victims showed signs of torture, police Lt. Thayer Mahmoud said. They were dumped in several neighborhoods in both eastern and western Baghdad, he said.

    New Hope for Democrats in Bid for Senate

    Six weeks before Election Day, the Democrats suddenly face a map with unexpected opportunities in their battle for control of the Senate.

    In Virginia, a state that few expected to be seriously competitive, Senator George Allen looks newly vulnerable after a series of controversies over charges of racial insensitivity, strategists in both parties say. In Tennessee, another Southern state long considered safely red, Representative Harold E. Ford Jr., a Democrat, has run a strong campaign that has kept that state in contention.

    Elsewhere, Democratic challengers are either ahead or close in races in five states held by the Republicans: Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, according to political strategists in both parties and the latest polls.

    All of these races could shift direction in a matter of days, let alone six weeks, and Republicans are counting on their superior finances and large blocks of television advertising to hold the line. Democrats also have their own vulnerabilities, particularly in New Jersey, where Senator Robert Menendez is in a tight race with his Republican challenger, State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr., according to recent polls.

    Democrats must win six Republican seats to regain a Senate majority, meaning they would have to win nearly every close race. Even the most optimistic Democrats acknowledge that such a feat would require a big anti-Republican wave, a lot of money and a lot of luck.

    The Iraq conflict has become the ’cause celebre’ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.

    Excerpt from National Intelligence Estimate 4/06 - released 09/26/06

    Keith Olberman Nails it Again with "A Textbook Definition of Cowardice"

    I moved this post forward from yesterday because it's that good!!! A MUST see. From Countdown, Keith Olbermann's special comment on the Clinton interview/ambush by Chris Wallace. From

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    Jack Cafferty sounds off on Afghan war failures

    On CNN's Situation Room, Jack Cafferty lashed out at President Bush for failures of the war in Afghanistan.

    Key Race Updates

    The rating on the Tennessee contest for the seat of two-term Republican incumbent Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, has been moved to No Clear Favorite from Leans Republican.

    In Virginia's U.S. Senate race, a new SurveyUSA poll finds Sen. George Allen (R-VA) with a slight edge over challenger Jim Webb (D), 49% to 44%.

    Arkansas Democrats are on their way to a sweep of all statewide offices, according to a new SurveyUSA poll.

    In California's gubernatorial race, a new SurveyUSA poll finds Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) leadings challenger Phil Angelides, 52% to 38%. These results are unchanged from last month's poll.

    White House refuses to release full NIE report

    The White House refused Wednesday to release in full a previously secret intelligence assessment that depicts a growing terrorist threat and has fueled the election-season fight over the Iraq war.

    Translation Provided as a courtesy to those who believe everything these people say: "We only release the parts which we believe are politically advantageous to us and support our view of the world. Release of the ENTIRE document would show the entire picture which might be politically damaging. Best to keep the messy parts secret."