Saturday, January 27, 2007

As The World Twirls

Many good stories never make the evening news.

Mr. Bush is being excoriated on the right for acceding to the demands for court supervision of his"warrantless" wiretap program. He has not seen the need for warrants, but a court reminded him that the law does require it. Even then, he remarkably found a judge who issued him a blanket warrant for all his wiretaps. From the NYT, via TPM, from an interview with New Mexico representative Heather Wilson:
"Administration officials “have convinced a single judge in a secret session, in a nonadversarial session, to issue a court order to cover the president’s terrorism surveillance program,” Ms. Wilson said in a telephone interview. She said Congress needed to investigate further to determine how the program is run."
The world can only think that Bush has got something on the judge. He wiretapped all the judges' phones until he found one with a weakness. It's so obvious. That judge may be terribly embarrassed some day soon, as intrepid newshounds discover what weakness left him so vulnerable as to throw away his responsibility to judge each case on its merits.

It will probably turn out that the warrantless wiretap program was totally unwarranted.

Egyptians are watching a video of their police sodomizing a victim with a wooden pole. Aghast at what the camera sees. They have known all along. (Yahoo News)

Did we send prisoners to Egypt for interrogation? Oh yes, we did. Us. You and me.

In a virtualized interview session at the world economic summit at Davos, Switzerland, a protestor with a placard - in virtual form, as an "avatar" - strolled into the virtual auditorium and sat down in the computer image of the front row, holding his message. (New York Times)

Today, Saturday, January 28th 2007, tens of thousands of actual people demonstrated for real in Washington. For peace. The 2008 campaigns are gearing up. Multitudes of people versus multitudes of bucks. People vote. Bucks buy time.

The battle line between our government and ourselves over what is true and what is false came into sharp focus this week when individuals from NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, edited a Wikipedia entry about NIDA to remove criticisms of their organization. Wikipedia thought it was vandalism, so they restored the article. NIDA defaced it again, more slowly this time so as not to set off alarms. Wikipedia restored it again. And on and on for several more rounds. At this point, the government appears to have retreated in the face of continuing popular opposition. See for yourself.

Did NIDA think they were rewriting history? They were only adding their attempt to rewrite history to the history books. (The Politico)

Mr. Bush knows his new troop expansion plan is going to work! Why is he so sure? "Because I told them it had to, " he tells Nancy Pelosi. (DailyKos)

John Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, January 31st at 10:15 AM will be looking into Bush's use of presidential signing statements to contradict the intent of laws given him to be enforced. (OpEdNews)

Then there's Attorney General Gonzales testifying before Congress that he believes that the Constitution does not grant the right of habeas corpus. It just says when it can't be taken away.

Never mind that habeas corpus has been a right in English law since the year 1215. (Smirking Chimp)

He seems to think that we don't have rights unless the Constitution grants them. It's quite the opposite - we don't LOSE rights unless the Constitution takes them away.

Someone should tell him.


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