There are numerous noteworthy items, but the most significant, by far, is that the DoJ made clear to Congress that even if Congress passes some sort of newly amended FISA of the type which Sen. DeWine introduced, and even if the President "agrees" to it and signs it into law, the President still has the power to violate that law if he wants to. Put another way, the Administration is telling the Congress -- again -- that they can go and pass all the laws they want which purport to liberalize or restrict the President's powers, and it does not matter, because the President has and intends to preserve the power to do whatever he wants regardless of what those laws provide. [...]
Put another way, the Administration has seized the power of Congress to make the laws, they have seized the power of the judiciary to interpret the laws, and they execute them as well. They have consolidated within themselves all of the powers of the government, particularly with regard to national security. This situation is, of course, exactly what Madison warned about in Federalist 47; it really is the very opposite of everything our Government is intended to be: [...]
As usual, the most amazing aspect of all of this is not that the Administration is claiming these powers. It is that even as it claims them as expressly and clearly as can be, the Congress continues to ignore it and pretend that it still retains power to restrict the Administration by the laws it passes. And the media continues to fail in its duty to inform the country about the powers the Administration has seized, likely because they are so extreme that people still do not really believe that the Administration means what they are saying. What else do they need to do in order to demonstrate their sincerity?
There once was an idea that was Rome...
The UK Government is trying a similar power-grab.
FISA, on the other hand, wasn't worth a damn anyway. It provided minimal overview (FISC was basically a rubber-stamp, as I understand it), and if anything was forbidden, the NSA would just get their pals at GCHQ to do their eavesdropping for them and share the intelligence under the UKUSA pact. Of course, they'd provide the same service for GCHQ - it's only fair.
"the President still has the power to violate that law if he wants to"
When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
- Richard M. Nixon, May 19, 1977
The Executive branch can't usurp the powers of Congress -- only the Judicial branch gets to do that!
Marbury vs Madison, 1803.
Us Constitution, Article I, Section 1
US Constitution, Article 6, Paragraph 2
Where's the draft? With all these powers, you'd think the chimperor'd introduce the draft. Huh. I'm too old, I can't wait to see jwz/razorgrl in khaki :-j
I think that Bush - and the neo-cons (and Blair to a certain extent) - are acting out the "Dirty Harry" game of politics: "good guys" don't win. Playing by "the rules" means you don't win. See the FBI narrative as they say that the right to silence meant they couldn't interrogate "properly". "You can't handle the truth", right? I think writers should stop satirizing government. It only means that the bad guy plotlines pre-figure reality. The problem with "Dirty Harry" politics is the casualty rate.
I think America (and its puppets) will lose in Iraq. Bush (or, more probably, his successor) has to declare victory, and that's only a matter of semantics and spin. Whoever's left in place has only to agree to not taunt us with the result.
Then we all get blown to shit by an Islamic bomb. Good night and good luck.
I disagree. As soon as the people throw Bush and his cronies out of office, and someone has the good sense to get the army home, then everything will be fine. Let Europe figure it out. It's their back yard, and they keep begging to have more authority. Europe can set up a force of hospitals and peacekeeping forces, under the flag of any of the local nations or religions. That's the only way to restore stability in the region. Some of the other perminant security council members are already pretty close to forming a voting bloc against the U.S., as if the Republicans ever cared when the U.S. gets voted against in the UNSC, which happens quite frequently.
The conservatives need to solve their problems with fundamentalism at home before they can solve them in foreign Islam.
You won't find an argument from me about any of the points that you make. I'm all for a stronger Europe - that's if Cheney/Rumsfeld will let it be strong. As far I can work out, they don't want a stronger Europe. That would mean the US would have competition, and we all know that would be bad. Europe already has a larger economy than the US. We just need to work-out how to turn it into muscle. Dissolving NATO would be a start.
Of course, we do not have to throw him out, this is his last term, unless he decides to do something VERY bad....
With that said, there will be some other yahoo, professional politician, who will come into office, and feed on the collective population.
I believe that we need to get rid of professional politics. The government was never meant to be a career. It was originally conceived as a service, not a profession. I believe that Congress and HOR should have term limits. 2 term limits, salary provided during the term only, no lifelong salary or retirement. Voting for salary increases will be by popular public vote during normal elections. No more Congress or HOR determing their own worthiness of a pay raise. DC housing (apartment) provided, responsibility for personal expenses placed on the individual. Transportation provided only for official, sanctioned, and public trips. Trips home, to vacation, etc covered by personsl means.