Traitor in Chief

bruce_schneier has a good, long article and collection of links on the latest antics: The Security Threat of Unchecked Presidential Power.

[Yoo's memo is] a dense read and a terrifying piece of legal contortionism, but it basically says that the president has unlimited powers to fight terrorism. He can spy on anyone, arrest anyone, and kidnap anyone and ship him to another country ... merely on the suspicion that he might be a terrorist. And according to the memo, this power lasts until there is no more terrorism in the world.

This is indefinite dictatorial power. And I don't use that term lightly; the very definition of a dictatorship is a system that puts a ruler above the law. In the weeks after 9/11, while America and the world were grieving, Bush built a legal rationale for a dictatorship. Then he immediately started using it to avoid the law.

This is, fundamentally, why this issue crossed political lines in Congress. If the president can ignore laws regulating surveillance and wiretapping, why is Congress bothering to debate reauthorizing certain provisions of the Patriot Act? Any debate over laws is predicated on the belief that the executive branch will follow the law.

And isn't it nice that the New York Times sat on this story for a full year before publishing it? They knew about this before the election! And earlier this month, when they finally decided to run the story (and only decided to do so to avoid being scooped by a book by one of their own reporters!):

On Dec 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president's desperation. [...] Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story -- which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year -- because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker.
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Stupidity Leak!

Ghost Rider teaser trailer. This is going to be bigger than Catwoman, I can feel it.

The only good thing about Ghost Rider is the awesome lyrics to the Rollins Band song on the Crow soundtrack:

Ghost Rider motor cycle hero
Ghost Rider motor cycle hero
Baby, baby, baby, baby, he's a blazin' away
Like the stars, stars, stars in the universe, yeah!
Baby, baby, baby, baby, he's lookin' so cute, yeah!
ridin' around in a blue jump suit, yeah!
Baby, baby, baby, baby, he's screamin' the truth!
America is killin' its youth!
cause he is cryin', dyin', chokin', drownin'
Going to jail, going to jail, going to jail
I see him dyin'! Dyin'!! Ohhhhhhh
He's ridin' through town with his head on fire
He's ridin' through town with his head on fire!!
head on burnin' eyes all tired
head on burnin' eyes all tired
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider!!
keep ridin'
never stop ridin'
don't forget to burn, don't forget to burn
burn....with fire!! with fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!
with fire!!!

That just about covers it right there.

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Paul McCarthy:

See also: "Within 60 days you will receive over 50,000 inches of PENIS."

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King Kong is pretty good. It could have done without most of the first hour (it really drags until they get to the island) but the fight sequences with the dinosaurs are fantastic. Most of the effects are pretty good. Kong himself is consistently convicing. When he's picking up or tossing around tiny humans, they are consistently unconvincing. Also the "stampede" scene wasn't very believable. But overall, pretty impressive effects. All of the human actors are decent, except for Jack Black, who is as intolerable as always. (I haven't liked him in anything but High Fidelity, and I probably would have hated him in that if I'd seen him in anything else first. He only ever plays the same dickhead.)
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