Friday, August 05, 2005


You've got to see this.

For those of you interested in History. Check out Juan Cole's site. Ronald Reagan and King Fahd and the American Religious Right laid the foundation for the "War on Terror."



THE WAR ON WHAT? From Michael Moore.

As we mentioned yesterday, the Bush administration is abandoning the "War on Terror" moniker. It's not that terrorism has been defeated and all those who hate freedom lie vanquished, just that the "war on terror" has become too loaded with bad connotations (like: we're losing it).

The best new name they've come up with for this odd war is: "a global struggle against violent extremism."

Now, that encapsulates the daunting task, the brave fight for good, and the evil enemy we face--it's just not that catchy. So we asked you, dear readers, to help Uncle Don and Uncle Dick out. Without delay, then, here are some of our favorite new names for the war formerly known as against terrorism:

* A Genocide on Fear
* Renewable Enemy Program
* The Neo-Crusades
* War for a Terrorist-Free Lifestyle
* The War with Radical Reality
* Cowboys & Evil-Doers
* Global Struggle Against Real Baaaaaaaad Vibrations
* Big Dubya's Demolition Derby (Available in Hi-Def to most residents of Iraq)
* The Hunt for the Golden Egg
* All Your Base Are Belong to US!
* Fixing the F*ck Up
* Democracy Inspiring Peace Initiative
* Islamic Bacon

The "War on Terror" is in its last throes. The time has come to set aside partisan politics and support our President. Won't you support President Bush in his global struggle to rename his war?

Editor's Note: I think they should call it HEEP the HALLIBURTON EXXON ENRICHMENT PROGRAM. Or maybe AFHE the AID for FAMILIES of HALLIBURTON EXECUTIVES. Oooh I got it they could call it RAPe! The REPUBLICAN ARMAGEDDON PROJECT!


Bush Flip-Flops: decides Kerry was right; too bad America didn't figure this out in 2004.

The consistency and steadfastness of our President. One of the right wings favorite Bush characteristics, he stands by his principles. Those of us on the left usually call that stupidity or lunacy, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But we should give Bush credit for realizing things are going bad in the War on Terror and deciding to take a different tack. Or course we can still criticize him for being a stupid jackass and a hypocrite who bashed Kerry and now appears to have stolen his ideas. If only America had been smarter during the election, maybe they would have realized Kerry was right.

No major newspapers noted that Bush had bashed Kerry with now-defunct "war on terror" term. From MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA

In the week since the press first cited unnamed Bush administration officials signaling a shift in vocabulary -- dropping the moniker "war on terror" in favor of "a global struggle against violent extremism" -- The New York Sun and The Weekly Standard have noted what major newspapers have not: that Bush has summarily abandoned a term that he and Vice President Dick Cheney ridiculed Sen. John Kerry for purportedly resisting during the 2004 presidential campaign.

During the 2004 campaign, Bush and Cheney attacked Kerry for his purported reluctance to use the term "war" to describe the struggle against terror, and cited his reluctance as evidence that Kerry failed to "even comprehend the war on terror." While no paper in the Nexis "Major newspapers" database has noted that Bush's change in terminology conflicts with his attacks on Kerry, The Weekly Standard's "Scrapbook" column raised the question: "Is it conceivable that John Kerry is owed an apology by the Bush administration?"

The accusations had stemmed from remarks Kerry made during an October 27, 2003, debate between Democratic presidential candidates and comments he made in a March 6, 2004, New York Times interview.

During the October 2003 debate, Kerry said:

I believe Americans want somebody who can defend the security of the United States. And this war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement operation. And the American people deserve somebody who can lead them to do it correctly and make us safer and stronger in the process.

The March 6, 2004, Times article quoted Kerry saying:

The war on terror depends on the most unprecedented cooperation in American history, the thing they[the Bush Administration] are worst at. The final victory in the war on terror depends on a victory in the war of ideas, much more than the war on the battlefield. And the war - not the war, I don't want to use that terminology. The engagement of economies, the economic transformation, the transformation to modernity of a whole bunch of countries that have been avoiding the future. And that future's coming at us like it or not, in the context of terror, and in the context of failed states, and dysfunctional economies, and all that goes with that.

Throughout 2004, major news outlets took notice as the Bush campaign used these remarks to attack Kerry:

* On March 5, the Los Angeles Times reported that "The president accused Kerry of treating the war on terrorism as 'far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law enforcement operation.' "

* On March 18, USA Today printed excerpts of a speech by Cheney in which he claimed, "Sen. Kerry has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all."

* On the April 30 broadcast of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, correspondent Carl Cameron remarked that Cheney had accused Kerry of being "unable to even comprehend the war on terror." Cameron's comment was followed by a video clip in which Cheney claimed that "He [Kerry] has questioned whether the war on terror is actually a war at all. Recently he said, quote, 'I don't want to use that terminology.' "

* The April 30 broadcast of CNN's Inside Politics included a similar clip, in which Cheney stated that "Senator Kerry has questioned the war on terror is really a war at all. Senator Kerry's record raises serious doubts about his understanding of the broader struggle against terror."

In The New York Sun's August 1 article, staff reporter Josh Gerstein wrote that the Bush administration's new term "global struggle against violent extremism" might signal a rethinking on its part that more closely resembles the way Kerry had conceptualized anti-terrorism efforts during the campaign. Gerstein wrote: "During the hard-fought presidential race, President Bush and Vice President Cheney hammered Mr. Kerry for allegedly being reluctant to use the phrase "war on terror" to describe the conflict facing America in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks." The Sun also reported that "some of Mr. Kerry's backers contend the recent move to recalibrate the rhetoric of top administration officials away from the 'global war on terror' and toward a 'global struggle against violent extremism' amounts to a quiet vindication of the four-term Democratic senator."

The August 8 issue of The Weekly Standard stated: "It sounds for all the world as if the Bush administration wants to fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, and--dare we say it?--more sensitive war on terror. And if you think you've heard that language before, you're right. It came from John Kerry last fall."

But major newspapers have yet to note that the Bush administration's re-christening of the "war on terror" conflicts directly with Bush's 2004 campaign rhetoric.

Editor's Note: Due to Criticism of the new Moniker for the War on Terror/G-Save (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism) Bush Flip Flopped back into old rhetoric yesterday in response to a questions about the video released by Ayman al-Zawahiri. "The comments of the No. 2 man of al-Qaeda make it clear that Iraq is part of this war on terror, and we're at war," Bush said yesterday in Crawford Texas. (This comment is actually the rarely seen MULTI-LAYERED QUADRUPLE FLIP FLOP, criticize kerry, then take his position, the go back to your old position, which contradicts your position when you landed on an aircraft carrier and proclaimed mission accomplished, then two years later proclaim that the war is ongoing.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Funny Stuff


The Federalist Society: What a bunch of Hacks. I really think we should just call them by their real name: The Republican Party.

From the Federalist Society web page:

Our Purpose: Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

This may be one of the most poorly written pieces of tripe I have ever seen. Let’s break it down: “Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society.” First note: there are currently 181 accredited law schools in the United States. The idea that they are “strongly dominated” by a liberal ideology is a joke, American law schools and their individual cultures vary widely. In addition one has to wonder who this “legal profession” is that is so easily lumped in with lawschools? The number of legal professionals and the groups they belong to number in the hundreds of thousands. To casually lump the “legal profession” into some type of “liberal” conspiracy is not only factually inaccurate it's just a fucking stupid thing to say.

This “liberal ideology” also “advocates a centralized and uniform society.” What kind of ideology advocates a centralized and uniform society? Let’s see there could be an ideology that advocates equal rights and equal protection… that type of ideology would want a centralized and uniform society. They couldn’t be talking about THAT kind of society they are opposing… so it must be something else. Ahh here we go, another ideology that advocates a central and uniform set of beliefs…. Christianity. No wait, they couldn’t be talking about a society with a set of centralized and uniform beliefs and founding based upon a belief in god… Like when Scalia and the religious right say American has a uniform common Christian heritage and that America is a Christian Nation. They can’t be opposed to THAT kind of centralized and uniform society could they?

I guess the vagueness of the Federalist Society explains why Carolyn Kuhl, nominated by Bush for an appeals courts seat said, "I did not participate in writing the mission statement. (of the federalist society).” "Therefore I am unable to opine," she said. When asked about the philosophy of the Federalist Society. (Just for the record, I didn't write the mission statement of the ACLU, but as a member I sure as hell know and understand their guiding philosophy.)

Jeffrey S. Sutton, another member, who won a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, said, "I have no idea what their philosophy is."

Mr. Viet D Dinh, who left his Justice Department position in 2003 and now teaches law at Georgetown, said he answered candidly at his confirmation hearing. "I did not know, and still do not know, what the society stands for because it has no stated philosophy other than the exchange of ideas," he said. "There's no evasion in that. It's just as straightforward as it gets."

So why would someone join a group of which they know nothing? One has to wonder why you would join a group who has no claimed central philosophy and pretends to be no more than a debate club? A debate club in actuality would be open to all points of view, but the Federalist Society carefully chooses which points of view are presented, negating the idea that they are a debate club. No central philosophy and not a debate club. What possible service could membership, or non-membership play in one’s career? Possibly as a Litmus Test for advancement under a Republican Administration?

For starters, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee, 15 of the 41 appeals court judges confirmed under Mr. Bush have identified themselves as members of the group. The rest of Bush’s nominees, like John Roberts, have said they are not members of the group, but this has later been clarified to say they are not dues paying members. This leaves open the possibility that they WERE members, just not DUES PAYING members. But who’s counting.

Federalist Society members have also played some significant roles in American politics of the last 15 years. For example:

In the 1990's, three Federalist Society lawyers, Jerome M. Marcus, Richard W. Porter and George T. Conway, played important but covert roles in helping Paula Corbin Jones sue President Clinton for sexual harassment. They also worked behind the scenes to disclose Mr. Clinton's affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel whose report led to Mr. Clinton's impeachment, is a prominent member of the society. (You remember Kenneth Starr, he's the guy who was appointed to investigate a failed land deal in Arkansas {Whitewater} and ended up doing a $40 million dollar report on a blowjob. I'm still waiting for a conservative to explain the link between Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater.) Another member is Theodore B. Olson, who successfully argued Bush v. Gore, the case that stopped the Florida recount in 2000 and ensured Mr. Bush's election.

The mission of the Federalist Society was confirmed when Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said "I am on the board of advisers of the Federalist Society, and I am darn proud of it," Mr. Hatch called the society a group of lawyers "who are just sick and tired of the leftward leanings of our government."

It turns out that the Federalist Society is really just the Republican Party. Let’s not try to hide it. It’s a group of lawyers who wanted to ban together to oppose the Democrats but wanted to pretend they had another motive. They are the same type of people who are now pushing intelligent design in schools but pretending not to be Christian Fundamentalists. They are propagandists and stooges for the Republican Party, which explains why they have no principles and apparently no shame.


This week's Top 10 Conservative Idiots

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 208) from

August 1, 2005
National Insecurity Edition

It's Top 10 time again! This week John Bolton (1) is leading the pack as George W. Bush prepares to shove his recess appointment down America's throat. Meanwhile Sen. Pat Roberts (2) is doing his part to help the cause by stalling investigations into Bush's misuse of WMD intel while simultaneously investigating Patrick Fitzgerald's treason probe. And speaking of Rove, this week we found out exactly what George W. Bush (3) is doing to punish him. Elsewhere, Jean Schmidt (5) demonstrates her support for the troops, Joe Braun (6) waxes poetic, and Fox News (7) are getting ever-desperate. Bringing up the rear we find The Bush Administration (8) winning the "war on terror" and Ann Coulter (10) admitting what we all already knew. Enjoy!

1 John Bolton

Last Friday Scott McClellan told reporters that "We do need a permanent representative at the United Nations. This is a critical time and it's important to continue moving forward on comprehensive reform." McClellan was strongly hinting that George W. Bush will bypass the Senate and make John Bolton ambassador to the U.N. via a recess appointment.

But last week the State Department admitted that Bolton lied to the Senate on a questionnaire during his confirmation hearings. It turns out that when Bolton was asked if he had been interviewed for or testified to a grand jury in any investigation during the past five years, and he checked the box marked "no," he actually meant to check the box marked "yes."

Bolton had in fact been interviewed by the State Department's inspector general, who was looking into the Bush administration's screw-up over the false claim that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy uranium from Niger.

Which brings us, somewhat unsurprisingly, to the Valerie Plame affair, in which Bolton appears to be deeply involved. There was widespread speculation last week that Bolton may not only have testified before the grand jury, but may in fact be Judith Miller's source - the source she's in jail for refusing to reveal. At the very least, Bolton was up to his neck in the Niger story.

So I say go ahead, Dubya, appoint this guy against all the objections and disturbing evidence against him, and let the chips fall where they may. Best of luck - you might need it.

2 Pat Roberts

Hey, remember when the Sen. Pat Roberts and the Senate Intelligence Committee were going to hold an investigation into whether the Bush administration deliberately misused intelligence reports in order to get their war on in Iraq? You don't? Allow the Boston Globe to refresh your memory:

The dispute over the committee's investigation goes back to last June, when it completed a report criticizing the intelligence gathering and analysis of the CIA and other agencies, citing errors that contributed to the mistaken belief by top US government officials that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

But over the objections of Democrats, the committee declined to address questions of how Bush and his top aides used the intelligence. Roberts said those questions would be answered in a second phase of the committee's investigation, to begin shortly after the election to avoid the appearance of political motives in the investigation.

So, uh, where's the investigation then? Don't get your hopes up - it turns out that Pat Roberts' promised investigation is "on the back burner" because "other issues have more urgent claims on the committee's attention" and "the committee could better concentrate its resources on future threats."

And Pat Roberts has certainly identified an urgent issue which could pose a future threat... not to America, but to the Bush administration. Apparently the Senate Intelligence Committee - which can't find time to conduct the investigation that Pat Roberts promised - is instead going to "review the probe of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the Plame case for nearly two years."

Yes, well, I'm glad Pat Roberts stalled his original investigation because he wanted to "avoid the appearance of political motives." Perish the thought...

3 George W. Bush

While we're on the subject of Karl Rove and the potentially criminal leaking of classified national security information, let's do a quick update on where the case stands so far.

In October 2003, Scott McClellan said, "if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration. This is a very serious matter. The President made it very clear just a short time ago in the East Room, and he has always said that leaking of classified information is a serious matter. And that's why he wants to get to the bottom of this. And the sooner we get to the bottom of it, the better."

In June 2004, George W. Bush affirmed that anyone who was involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity would be fired.

In July 2004, Time reporter Matt Cooper confirmed that the covert identity of Valerie Plame was given to him by the senior advisor to the president, Karl Rove.

And last week George W. Bush demonstrated his commitment to honesty and integrity by not only not firing Karl Rove, but giving him a $4,000 pay raise.

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated, America?

4 John Roberts

We noted last week that Our Great Leader's Supreme Court pick John Roberts worked for Team Bush in the Florida recount debacle of 2000 - and yet, funnily enough, Jeb Bush only had a "fuzzy" recollection of his role in the proceedings.

Perhaps Jeb had accidentally taken some of his daughter's illegal prescription painkillers at the time, because it was revealed last week that "John Roberts played a broader behind-the-scenes role for the Republican camp in the aftermath of the 2000 election than previously reported," according to the Miami Herald. Roberts worked as a "legal consultant, lawsuit editor and prep coach for arguments before the nation's highest court, according to the man who drafted him for the job [Ted Cruz, now Texas' solicitor general]."

You know, I think that if there's one thing that this country definitely needs in this time of partisanship and division, it's a Supreme Court justice who was actively fighting on one side of one of the most controversial and partisan Supreme Court decisions ever. Yeah, that should do the trick.

But that's not all - it turns out that John Roberts was also "a significant backstage player in the legal policy debates of the early Reagan administration," according to the Washington Post. Apparently Roberts "presented a defense of bills in Congress that would have stripped the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over abortion, busing and school prayer cases; he argued for a narrow interpretation of Title IX, the landmark law that bars sex discrimination in intercollegiate athletic programs; and he even counseled his boss on how to tell the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow that the administration was cutting off federal funding for the Atlanta center that bears his name."

And there are plenty more documents where those came from. Just one problem - the White House won't release them. Gee, I wonder why?

5 Jean Schmidt

On Tuesday August 2, voters will go to the polls to decide a special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District. The main contenders are Jean Schmidt (R), who despite being embroiled in an ethics investigation has happily accepted the maximum donation from ARMPAC, the political action committee belonging to the king of ethics scandals, Tom DeLay.

Her opponent is Paul Hackett (D), a retired Marine colonel who, despite disagreeing with the war in Iraq, voluntarily returned to the military in order to fight there. He saw action in Fallujah, among other places.

So what's an ethically-challenged Republican to do when faced with a real live Iraq war veteran opponent? Why, smear him, of course! After the success of the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth," Schmidt's supporters have been attempting to use similar deplorable tactics on Hackett.

A local conservative radio host questioned Hackett's service, a reporter asked Hackett, "Some say that this was all a plan on your part. To go to Iraq and come back with this great story while running for congress," and Republicans have been "calling into talk radio across the district saying things like, 'Paul wasn't really a Marine Corps Major in Iraq,'" according to Swing State Project. Voters have also apparently started receiving mysterious automated phone calls ragging on Hackett's service.

So there you have it - once again, the Republican smear machine leaps into overdrive to attack a military veteran. So much for "support the troops." And people wonder why we're having a recruitment problem? "Hey, go fight for your country - but when you come back, make sure you don't run for office as a Democrat, or we'll slander you senseless. PS. Thanks for your service. Now shut up."

Editor's Note: Ohio voters chose Jean Schmidt over Paul Hackett on Tuesday. Smooth move Ohio!

6 Joe Braun

But guess what? It turns out that Jean Schmidt isn't just a smear-artist: she's a first-rate hypocrite. In her primary campaign, Schmidt's platform included "promoting family values." But last week it was revealed that her campaign manager, Joe Braun, is not exactly your conservative family-values type.

DailyKos diarists discovered that some emails unintentionally bounced back from the Schmidt campaign showed that mail addressed to was actually being forwarded to his AOL address, After some intrepid Googling, it was revealed that showed up on two intriguing websites: the first was the Scioto County Ohio Republican Party, and the second was, "the largest BDSM community on the planet."

Deanofcorn's listing appears to have since been removed - but never fear, (Editor's Note: they have a screenshot at

Yes, it turns out that Joe Braun is apparently an experienced Dom seeking a sub for long term exploration and training. His specialities include collar & cuffs, wax play, and medical exams. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. It just seems a tad odd considering he's the campaign manager of a family values Republican who is currently engaged in a a smear campaign against an Iraq war veteran. Although now I come to think of it, it's actually not that odd at all.

7 Fox News

I normally wouldn't watch Fox News if you attached electrodes to my testicles and made me stand on a stool with a bag over my head (although the way things are going, this may be the way that we dissenters will all watch Fox News in the future). Fortunately though, somebody else watches Fox News for me - otherwise this piece of rank conservative idiocy would have slipped through the net.

In the wake of last week's fatal shooting of an unarmed Brazilian man in Central London, British police called the incident a "tragedy," apologized to his family, and admitted that he was innocent.

But apparently that's not good enough for Fox News - see, it interferes with their all-terror-all-the-time carnival of crap. Why, the police don't make mistakes. How could you possibly think such a thing?

So thanks to Crooks and Liars, here's an as-yet-unidentified Fox News guest to explain it to you:

It wouldn't be out of the question for them [Al Qaeda] to pick on someone who may not be Middle Eastern but who may look Middle Eastern. Say, someone who is from South America, someone who is from Central America, and, say, you know, we know they're racial profiling us, so we're going to try to get some public opinion on our side. Let's dress this guy up, tell him to act suspicious, and if the police approach him, tell him to run away, and when the police catch him, then he appears to be innocent, so, you know, in essence, they start sending out decoys.

Got it? If you're feeling a twinge of concern that the police are essentially executing innocent people on the streets of London, have no fear. In the world of Fox News, the guy was probably working for Al Qaeda anyway. Hey, he was brown and suspicious-looking... what more proof do you need?

8 The Bush Administration

The war is over! Huzzah! Or perhaps, "Mission Accomplished," if you will! Yes, the "War On Terror" is officially over. Don't get too excited though - this doesn't mean that we'll be pulling troops out of Iraq, or that terrorists will stop blowing the crap out of people all over the world - you see, the Bush Administration has simply decided that it's time for a corporate re-branding.

So henceforth the "War on Terror" is now the "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism." Don't look for any administration officials to use the word "war" any time soon, unless it's a slip of the tongue. Instead you'll all be hearing about the "struggle" against terrorists, or the "struggle" against extremism, or the "struggle" against violent ideologies, or whatever. See, a "struggle" just sounds so much more, I don't know - winnable - than a war which has been going on for some years now and which the American people have now decided we ain't winning.

And let's not forget the ongoing military recruitment disaster. Hey, what would you prefer to sign up for - a "war" in which you might get your legs blown off by a rocket-propelled grenade, or a "struggle" where the worst injury you might reasonably expect to receive is from a noogie, or perhaps a Chinese burn?

But whatever you want to call it - "War on Terror," "Struggle Against Extremism," "Vietnam Part Deux," "21st Century Oil Grab," or "Crusade Against Brown People," I think I'm still going to stick with my old favorite, "Clusterfuck of Epic Proportions."

9 The Pentagon

Here's a curious story right out of the Clusterfuck of Epic Proportions, I mean War on Terror, I mean Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism... well, you know what I mean. I seems that two recent U.S. military news releases about two separate attacks in Iraq contained strikingly similar quotes from a single Iraqi gentleman.

Here's the relevant excerpt from the first release, from July 13:

The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. "They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists."

And here's the relevant excerpt from the second release, from July 24:

"The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists," said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified.

The Pentagon referred to the curiously-similar news releases as an "administrative error." Which seems a little odd, since the quotes are not identical, but have clearly been rewritten. The Pentagon can't be making up quotes and putting them into news releases can they? Surely not. I mean, only other person who's going around calling the Iraqi insurgents "not religious" is White House press secretary Scott McClellan:

"Those who carry out these kind of attacks and espouse such a hateful ideology are not religious people. They have no regard for human life..."

Hang on a minute.

10 Ann Coulter

And finally, it doesn't happen very often, but occasionally a right-wing nutcase will accidentally slip from the script and utter the truth. For years now conservatives have been drilling the lie that the media is liberal into the American psyche, even though they know the real story - but sometimes they reveal a little too much information. Brit Hume said of the 2002 mid-term elections, "It was because of our coverage that it all happened. We've become so influential now that people watch us and they take their electoral cues from us. No one should doubt the influence of Fox News in these matters." Even Rush Limbaugh once said that "the traditional liberal media monopoly doesn't exist anymore," even though he continues to lambast it daily.

And now it's Ann Coulter's turn. Last week on the Sean Hannity show she argued that Bush should - and more importantly could - nominate a more extreme right-wing Supreme Court justice than John Roberts. How could Bush get away with this? Because, Ann explained, "it's a better Senate than it was then [when Clarence Thomas was appointed] and we have the media now."

There you have it - straight from the horse's mouth, as it were. So next time your conservative neighbor starts droning on about the world's problems being caused by the "liberal media," tell him Ann Coulter disagrees. That should at least confuse him into silence. See you next week!


Tax Cut and Spend Conservatives; who's going to pay for it? YOUR CHILDREN.

GOP lawmakers embrace their spending side Congress finds way to skirt its own budget restraints
By Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post
Updated: 12:03 a.m. ET Aug. 4, 2005

GOP leaders this week sent House Republicans home for the summer with some political tips, helpfully laid out in 12 "Ideas for August Recess Events." Drop by a military reserve center to highlight increased benefits, the talking points suggest. Visit a bridge or highway that will receive additional funding, or talk up the new prescription drug benefit for seniors.

Having skirted budget restraints and approved nearly $300 billion in new spending and tax breaks before leaving town, Republican lawmakers are now determined to claim full credit for the congressional spending. Far from shying away from their accomplishments, lawmakers are embracing the pork, from graffiti eradication in the Bronx to bridges to nowhere in Alaska, from $277 million in road projects for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to a $200,000 deer-avoidance system in New York.

When the year started, President Bush made spending restraint a mantra, laying out an austere budget that would freeze non-security discretionary spending for five years and setting firm cost limits on transportation and energy bills. But now, as Congress fills in the details of the budget plan, there is little interest in making deep cuts and enormous pressure to spend.

Lawmakers have seen little to fear from a political backlash, some acknowledge, and Bush has yet to wield his veto pen. In fact, the White House has proved itself largely unable to overcome the institutional forces that have long driven lawmakers to ply their parochial interests with cash.

When lawmakers return in the fall, they are almost certain to vote for more tax cuts. They also will vote on a huge new defense spending bill. But proposals for cutting entitlement programs including Medicaid have yet to pick up much support.

‘Sorry state’

"If you look at fiscal conservativism these days, it's in a sorry state," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), one of only eight House members to vote against the $286.5 billion transportation bill that was passed the day before the recess. "Republicans don't even pretend anymore."

Last week, Congress approved transportation and energy bills that burst through the president's cost limits. Annual spending bills are inching above caps set by Congress itself in its budget plan for 2006. And a massive water projects bill passed by the House last month authorizes spending that would exceed current levels by 173 percent.

"You have to be courageous to not spend money," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), "and we don't have many people who have that courage."

Indeed, Congress has exceeded the allocations or assumptions in its budget resolution four times -- and the year's legislative work is far from complete. According to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, those budget violations have raised spending through 2010 by roughly $2.2 billion above Congress's limitations and tacked $115 billion onto the federal budget deficit through the end of decade, including $33 billion in 2006 alone.

That $33 billion may be tantamount to a rounding error in a $2.6 trillion budget, but it is 10 percent of the $333 billion budget deficit the White House has forecast for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

"There's a rising level of frustration with the disconnect between where the vast majority of conservatives are in this country and how Congress is behaving," said former representative Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), whose Club for Growth political action committee finances the campaigns of conservative candidates. "There's going to be a wake-up call sooner or later."

‘Transparent gimmick’
For now, Congress and the White House are locked in a pattern of skirting their own constraints. In 2004, Bush demanded that no highway bill exceed $256 billion. Under pressure, he increased his limit to $284 billion this year. Congress responded with a five-year, $286.5 billion measure, but even that figure may be deceptive, Flake warned. The bill actually authorizes expenditures of $295 billion but assumes that on the last day of the bill's life, Congress will rescind $8.5 billion in unused funds.

"Nobody believes that's going to happen," Flake said. "It's frankly a pretty transparent gimmick."

Bush set a firm cost limit of $6.7 billion for tax breaks in the energy bill. Congress then approved breaks worth $11.5 billion over 10 years in an energy bill that will cost $12.3 billion overall. In late June, the White House hastily requested an additional $975 million to finance unanticipated veterans' health care costs for 2005. The Senate responded with $1.5 billion.

So far, Congress has completed only two of 13 annual spending bills, but both -- one primarily financing the Interior Department, the other funding Congress -- busted lawmakers' prescribed spending caps, by $134 million. The House and Senate have passed spending plans for the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education that exceed Bush's request by billions.

And on July 14, the House overwhelmingly approved a major water bill that authorizes projects worth $10.3 billion over 10 years -- $4.4 billion in the first five. In 2000, Congress approved a similar act worth a fraction of that, $1.6 billion over five years.

To fiscal conservatives, it is not just the total cost of the bills but also their content. At 1,752 pages, the highway bill is the most expensive public works legislation in U.S. history, complete with 6,376 earmarked projects, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. Kern County, Calif., home of powerful House Ways and Means Chairman Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R), snagged $722 million in projects, or nearly $1,000 per person. Los Angeles County, with clogged highways and 10 million people, will receive barely $60 per resident.

Even before the bill was signed, Kane County, Ill., leaders showed their faith in Speaker Hastert last week by unveiling blueprints for a $120 million bridge, financed largely by the federal government.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Rick Santorum is a Fucking Idiot


Here is a very long, thoughtful, fact-filled, reality-based, historically, sociologically, psychologically and anthropologically accurate treatise that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is a complete fucking idiot.

enjoy... ~somadude

August 2, 2005

Rick Santorum Flunks "The History of the American Family"

By Walter C. Uhler

Readers of Senator Rick Santorum's book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, should examine it closely, including its concluding "Bibliographical Note." Then they should ask themselves: "Is there any evidence in the text or bibliographical note to suggest that Mr. Santorum has ever read a serious, comprehensive history of the American Family?"

This reviewer found no evidence whatsoever. Yet lack of comprehensive knowledge doesn't prevent Mr. Santorum from pontificating about the current crisis of the American family by sketching "the past forty years of American history in light of our founders' vision." [Santorum, p. xi] Yet, even if one assumes that Mr. Santorum has mastered both the past forty years and the founder's vision (which he hasn't), there's still early Colonial history and some 185 years of American family life after the American Revolution that he ignores.

Knowing little about the history of the American family, Santorum stuffs the gaping holes with bogus nostalgia and right-wing extremist ideology. Yet, does he really believe that Pennsylvania's intelligent voters will swallow such generic assertions as: "The village elders dislike the traditional family because of what it instills in children and society—traditional values." [p. 17] Such prattle befits an imbecile!

Even the dullest of Santorum's fellow conservatives might want to ask: (1) "Can you identify those terrible village elders?" (2) "Specifically, what do you mean by 'traditional family' and when did it come into existence?" and (3) "To which traditional values are you alluding?"

Yet, except for a feeble attempt to identify and describe traditional values—and a very poor treatment of "virtue"—the reader will not find specific and complete answers to these questions in Santorum's book. But, he's undeterred by such lack of precision. Thus, Santorum asserts: "I will argue that the unit that most efficiently, effectively, and naturally builds and replenishes capital in every aspect of society is the family." [p. 9]

Santorum's con begins with his book's title: It Takes a Family. For he does not mean just any family. His definition of "family" frowns on single parents, wouldn't contain cohabiting parents and most definitely cannot abide same sex parents.

No, Mr. Santorum's family is the "traditional" family "consisting of a mother and father who have committed themselves to each other in lifelong marriage together with their children." [p. 28] But there's more. In Santorum's "traditional" family, "men and women and children have natures," especially gender, which are unchanging and delimiting. "Nature is nature, and the freedom to choose against the natural law is not really freedom at all." [p.29]

Yet, slippery Santorum doesn't specify when this "traditional" American family came into existence. And although he attempts to link it to our Founding Fathers and the American Revolution, his religious beliefs about fixed "natures" expose him as an ideologue and charlatan.

After all, anyone familiar with the history of the American family knows that society in early Colonial America looked upon the "natures" of its members quite differently than did society after the American Revolution.

Had he read, for example, the book by Steven Mintz and Susan Kellogg, Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of the Family, Santorum would know that, in seventeenth century Colonial America, marriage was primarily a business arrangement that required parental approval. It seldom originated from love. The family was an agricultural work unit in which the father dominated. Children were thought to be sinful and depraved by nature. After the age of two, it was the father's responsibility to break the willfulness of his children.

And lest parents become too soft in the course of raising them, children in their early teens were sent to live and work for other families. Finally, remarriage after the death of a spouse might result in the "fostering out" of all children from an earlier marriage. [Steven Mintz and Susan Kellogg, Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life, pp. 13-16]

Marriage and family scholar, Stephanie Coontz, believes that the seventeenth century American family was traditional, when compared with European families of earlier centuries. But is this the "traditional" family and are these the "natures" that Mr. Santorum had in mind? Although he never specifies, I suspect not.

By the late eighteenth century, as economic changes undermined the leverage of fathers, marriage became more intimate and children "were increasingly viewed as special creatures with unique needs." [Mintz and Kellogg, p. 21] Less a place of work than in the seventeenth century, the home became a place of privacy and shelter from the competitive economic pressures of the outside world.

By the early nineteenth century, child-rearing manuals ceased being directed at fathers. And women—who until the mid-eighteenth century were widely viewed to be devious, sexually voracious, overly emotional and physically and intellectually inferior (by nature) —came to be seen "as inherently more virtuous and less selfish than men." [Ibid. p. 55] Thus, they were seen as better equipped by nature to provide the nurturing that children now required by nature. Perhaps this was the "traditional" family and "natures" to which Mr. Santorum alluded.

According to Ms. Coontz, writing in her new book, Marriage: A History, "in the eighteenth century people began to adopt the radical new idea that love should be the most fundamental reason for marriage and that young people should be free to choose their marriage partners on the basis of love." [Coontz, p. 5]

But notice the immediate impact on Coontz's "traditional" family: "No sooner had the ideal of the love match and lifelong intimacy taken hold than people began to demand the right to divorce. No sooner did people agree that families should serve children's need than they began to find the legal penalties for illegitimacy inhumane. Some people demanded equal rights for women so they could survive economically without having to enter into loveless marriages. Others even argued for the decriminalization of homosexual love, on the ground that people should be free to follow their hearts." [Coontz, p. 8]

As Ms. Coontz goes on to explain, "there was a crisis over these questions in the 1790s [when the Founding Fathers still held sway], and another in the 1890's, and yet another in the 1920s," [Coontz, p. 8] before "things fell apart in the 1970s." [Ibid]

Santorum's book is silent about these earlier crises. Which allows him to demagogically blame anonymous liberal "village elders" (presumably still living) occupying the equally anonymous "Bigs," (big institutions attempting to control our lives) for the current crisis. Like an ignorant child (or an Ann Coulter), Santorum blames liberals for "trying to build bureaucracies to aid the poor and marginal in our society, while ignoring the central importance of families." [Santorum, p. 27]

Santorum's ignorance of the full history of the American family also serves his demagogy when he contrasts today's "toxic combination of the village elders' war on the traditional family and radical feminism's misogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect," [p. 95] with an "America in previous generations" that was "rich in social, cultural, and moral capital" and supported and nurtured families. [p. 27] But, given the earlier crises, we know Santorum is dead wrong.

After all, as Ms Coontz explains, "the real question…is not why things fell apart in the 1970s but why they didn't fall apart in the 1790s, or in the next crisis of the 1890s, or in the turmoil of the 1920s, when practically every contemporary observer worried that marriage was 'on the rocks.' And the answer is not that people were better partners in the past or better able to balance the search for individual self-fulfillment and the need for stability. The reason is that for the most part they could not yet afford to act on their aspirations for love and personal fulfillment." [Coontz, pp. 8-9]

Readers of Charles E. Lindblom's extraordinary book, Inquiry and Change: The Troubled Attempt to Understand and Shape Society (Yale, 1990) would recognize Santorum's game. Lindblom's concern was individual "impairment"—much of it resulting from the pursuit of narrow, job-related knowledge—and how it prevents Americans from solving the country's social problems. He succinctly captures such impairment with a quote from the renowned physicist Leo Szilard: Americans "were free to say what they think, because they did not think what they were not free to say." [Lindblom, p. 63]

According to Lindblom: "The whole history of humankind reads in some large part as a history of impairment of inquiry: ignorance, superstition, barriers to inquiry, exile and execution of dissenters, the many intimidations of tyranny, illiteracy, the steady impositions of peer pressure, and the use of the media for propaganda, among mass manifestations. This undeniable point invalidates the careless claim that contemporary attitudes, beliefs, values and volitions are on the whole a rational product of a winnowing out process through which, over millennia and centuries, humankind comes to know what is true and valid." [p. 69]

Senator Santorum traffics in such ignorance and superstition, yet possesses the certainty and petulance of Jose Ortega y Gasset's "learned ignoramus." Thus, Santorum assures us that intellectual formation "is all about conforming our minds to the truth." [p. 388]

Forget for the moment that Santorum's "truth" includes "faith" in the virgin birth (ignoring that the Hebrew word "almah" [young girl] was mistranslated as the Greek word "parthenos" [virgin] in the Septuagint) and spiritual leadership by an infallible Pope. Has it never occurred to him that Albert Einstein never would have arrived at E=MC2, had he "conformed" his mind to the scientific "truth" as it was commonly understood at the time?

It didn't occur to him, because Santorum is an intellectual thug who allows his religious faith and political ideology to create and order his facts and conclusions. For example, Santorum claims "morality…derives from the objective reality that lies at the very heart of being human." [p. 392] Yet, in his "objective reality," abortion is immoral and merits some thirty pages of the book's attention [pp. 239-268], but the occupation of Iraq and the killing of Iraqis merely constitute the bringing of "order" to freedom there—and, thus, merit just one sentence. [p. 202]

Neither do corporate greed, corporate welfare nor tax cuts for the rich merit much attention in Santorum's morality based upon objective reality. Thus, neither Enron nor Halliburton merit a word of scorn. Yet Santorum waxes indignant about the welfare programs, which liberals supposedly foisted upon America's poor and needy. Consequently, Santorum's "morality based upon objective reality" has no credibility. Yet, he seeks to impose it upon you as conservative America's "common good."

Finally, Santorum's extremism borders on the dishonest when he asserts, "the courts have slowly strangled religious freedom." [p. 108] And is it really true that college professors are much more liberal than America's general population because "tenured radicals" from the 60s now fill so many departments. Or are professors more liberal because they read more serious books?

More significantly, isn't it just a bit disingenuous, if not dishonest, to write a book titled, It Takes a Family, but totally ignore the devastating impact on American families caused by the "creative destruction" of unbridled capitalism?

Is it merely an accident that Santorum's readers will never learn, for example, the warnings contained in the 1880 Census: "The factory system necessitates the employment of women and children to an injurious extent, and consequently its tendency is to destroy family life and ties and domestic habits, and ultimately the home." [Mintz and Kellogg, p. 85] Or is patent intellectual dishonesty at work?

Unfortunately, the best one can say about Senator Rick Santorum's terrible book is this: "Not every assertion within its pages is wrong and few of his many errors merit the contempt he richly deserved and received for linking "liberal" Boston to child molestation by Catholic priests." In a word, the book is slick Rick the ideologue, not sick Rick the ideologue.

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

Tuesday, August 02, 2005



Published on Monday, August 1, 2005 by
Trouble in the Land of the Free
by John Atcheson

Well, it's official; there's trouble right here in the land of the free.

Mr. Bush can not only use taxpayer's money to set up Soviet-Style propaganda events, but he can have US citizens kicked out of these public meetings by strong-armed stooges impersonating Secret Service Agents. That, at least, was the conclusion last week by the US Justice Department Attorney who said there was not enough evidence to prosecute an unnamed man who kicked three people out of one of Mr. Bush's "town hall" meetings in Denver this past March. The White House, by the way, refuses to release the mystery thug's name.

And here in the good old USA no one seems to give a damn.

Hundreds of billions of dollars and nearly two thousand American dead to bring democracy to Iraq, but no need to go overboard with that freedom stuff here at home, thank you.

Apparently, after years of government funded "Mission Accomplished," propaganda events, government-produced fake news casts, government-funded journalists/shills, and a phoney reporter planted into the White House press corps, we're just fresh out of outrage.

A series of fake town hall meetings in which First Amendment Rights are violated just isn't the stuff of headlines anymore.

So now, the Bush machine routinely sets up stages with fake props and Soviet-style backdrops, invites only registered Republicans; excludes anyone who might – just possibly might – not be an ardent supporter; pre-screens the questions; then hires goons to patrol the audience and strong-arm and illegally arrest anyone who doesn't look ... well ... right (as in Right wing), trampling the First Amendment in the process. These taxpayer-supported campaign events they call a town meeting.

The only thing missing is the Brown Shirts.

But here in the land of the free, nary a peep of protest is heard, nary a discouraging word is printed or uttered by the Democrats or the press.

For the last four years, the Democrats have been doing their best deer-in-the-headlights imitation, and the press has been chasing various White House wag-the-dog stories or faux terrorist alerts that just seem to crop up when the spotlight focuses on their lies, deceptions, or their gross incompetence -- or when an election is in the offing. In short, the American press has been either fooled or intimidated, and the Democrats have been dazed and confused.

If you want to see democracy in action these days, you've got to look to Europe.

Recently, British MP George Galloway road into town and gave Norm Coleman and his fellow neoconservative propagandists a public spanking. Coleman and the rest of the right wing whackos have had such and easy time manipulating the press and intimidating Democrats for the past four years they must have felt like they'd been mugged.

But Mr. Galloway showed the Democrats how to confront demagoguery – with a strong dose of the truth. No head down, poll driven spins, or weak-kneed attempts to appeal to both sides. No deer-in-the-headlights stares, or weeks of Bob Shrumm inspired contemplation. He called a liar a liar and he set the record straight in plain, but eloquent language. Then he called a spade a spade – the UN food for oil "scandal" has always been a smokescreen, an attempt to besmirch Kofi Anan and the UN for no other reason than that neocons hate the UN. He pointed out that our own national contribution to sleaze, corruption, mismanagement and sheer greed in Iraq dwarfs anything the UN has done.

Hopefully, the Democrats were taking notes.

Mr. Galloway isn't the only European showing how a free people act.

For example, when the White House tried to set up one of their pre-scripted propaganda events in Germany this past February the Germans would have none of it.

A "town hall" meeting with the German people in the town of Mainz was supposed to be the PR highlight of the President's February trip. The White House had spent a week talking it up, but when the Germans –a people who know a bit about the corrosive effects of propaganda – refused to allow Bush's handlers to review and screen all questions in advance, the White House quietly dropped the event, according to Spiegel.

Mr. Bush and the American people got another lesson in how a free people act on his recent trip to Europe in May to celebrate the defeat of the Nazis. A group of students in the Netherlands showed just how gloriously cantankerous a free people can be. At a meeting near Maastricht, Mr. Bush tried flying without a net, in an unscripted question and answer session with the Dutch youth. After a half hour of tough questions, worried White House aids cleared the room of reporters before allowing the session to continue. No transcript of the remaining questions was kept, no summary was released.

And it took an Irish journalist to show our spin-dried press how a real free press acts. In July of last year, Irish TV journalist Carole Coleman was granted an interview with George Bush just prior to his trip to Ireland and the US-European Summit meeting. There in the White House map room, Ms. Coleman did the unthinkable: she asked tough follow-up questions when Mr. Bush gave canned non-responses. She had the unmitigated gall to point out that "... the world has become a more dangerous place because you have taken the focus off al Qaeda and diverted [it to] Iraq," and when Mr. Bush raised the specter of WMDs she did what no American journalist has seemed able or willing to do – she interrupted him to point out there were no WMDs found in Iraq.

Imagine the nerve of this woman, expecting the leader of the free world to answer tough questions, stick to facts not fantasy, and to be accountable for his actions. Well, of course, when the interview was over, an outraged White House lodged a formal complaint with the Irish Embassy. Now, as Molly Ivins likes to say, let's pause a moment and wrap our minds around this – the leader of the free world lodged an official complaint with the Irish Embassy because ... one of their journalists asked him some tough questions, expected him to respond, and applied a standard of factual accuracy to his answers.

Apparently the White House believes this free press stuff is fine in theory, as long as it's not practiced.

Here again, contrast this with our press, who act like sheep on prozac when given the opportunity to question the President.

There is trouble here in the land of the free. It starts with a cowed opposition party that's forgotten that honesty and integrity are moral values, but spinning, poll watching and pandering aren't.

It extends to a press that's forgotten that the First Amendment Rights they were given come with a codicil – the requirement to relentlessly pursue the truth, and a commitment to tell it.

And it ends with a public content to be fed a steady diet of J-Lo/Jacko non-news, wag-the-dog wedge issues, and infotainment talk shows in lieu of the truth.

But Mr.Galloway and his European friends may have shown us that politics doesn't have to be a boring and predictable Kabuki dance – practiced with integrity on all sides, it's more engaging than the runaway bride or the latest missing damsel (whites, only please) in distress.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Mass Scrapings of Bush Bumper Stickers

Here in Western Kentucky about one fourth of all vehicles displayed some sort of Bush/Cheney bumper sticker for the past five years. That changed this week. Over the weekend I noticed that the numbers had dropped significantly, and it seems that most are being meticulous about it. These are not half-assed scrapings, but attempts to totally eradicate their previous support for this administration.

I guess that even rural Kentucky Republicans have decided that this Administration has lost all credibility. And if you remember the whole Clinton blowjob scandal, these people don't take kindly to being lied to...

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Mayfield's Patriot Act Attack Update

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled on Thursday, July 28 that Muslim Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield's suit against the federal government for using the secret search warrants provided for under the Patriot Act may go ahead denying the government's motion to dismiss saying that Mayfield does have a cognizable legal claim. The government must also provide a complete, detailed listing of all of the information they obtained in spying on Mr. Mayfield. While admitting that they made a mistake in targeting the Mayfield Family, the government continues to fight Mayfield's suit claiming that revealing the information that was gathered will expose secret search techniques to would be terrorist. As I said before, Mayfield has a long fight on his hands.


Reagan Appointee Chastises the Bush Regime for Un-American Activities: We don't need no stinkin secret military tribunals

On Wednesday, July 27, 2005, U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour sentenced convicted terrorist Ahmed Ressam to 22 years in prison for attempting to bomb LAX. However, that is not what this story is about. During his sentencing of Ressam, Judge Coughenour criticized the Bush Regime's call for Americans to sacrifice their civil liberties for a negligible increase in security. Judge Coughenour proves that even conservatives with a brain can see that giving up your rights so that the government can protect you is idiotic and perhaps unpatriotic. Coughenour's remarks are even more impressive since Judge Coughenour was appointed to the federal bench by conservative President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Here are Judge Coughenour's remarks:

THE COURT: Okay. Let me say a few things. First of all, it will come as no surprise to anybody that this sentencing is one that I have struggled with a great deal, more than any other sentencing that I've had in the 24 years I've been on the bench.

I've done my very best to arrive at a period of confinement that appropriately recognizes the severity of the intended offense, but also recognizes the practicalities of the parties' positions before trial and the cooperation of Mr. Ressam, even though it did terminate prematurely.

The message I would hope to convey in today's sentencing is two-fold: First, that we have the resolve in this country to deal with the subject of terrorism and people who engage in it should be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of their life in confinement.

Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.

I would suggest that the message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections.

Despite the fact that Mr. Ressam is not an American citizen and despite the fact he entered this country intent upon killing American citizens, he received an effective, vigorous defense, and the opportunity to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of 12 ordinary citizens.

Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.

The tragedy of September 11th shook our sense of security and made us realize that we, too, are vulnerable to acts of terrrorism. Unfortunately, some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete. This is a Constitution for which men and women have died and continue to die an which has made us a model among nations. If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.

It is my sworn duty, and as long as there is breath in my body I'll perform it, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

We will be in recess.

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