Saturday, February 15, 2003

The New York Press on the simple fact that conservative nominee, Miguel Estradato for the nation’s second most powerful court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has no experience as a judge.
Jeff Cooper on why it's in the Democrats best interests to fight Estrada's nomination and why he doesn't represent the views of the majority of Americans. Of course his views are not easy to pin down as thus far he has refused to give his thoughts on any legal issues...i.e. as another blogger wrote Estrada has been "Sphinx"-like.
A Hispanic Corpus Christi lawyer Jorge Rangel and a Clinton nominee for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on why charges of racial bias by Republicans is hypocritical.
Sam Heldman points out what he sees as the three biggest untruths about the Estrada nomination being passed around by the Right.

A life long Republican that voted for Bush, now thinks Dubya's in need of pyshcological help.

Friday, February 14, 2003

O'Reilly, the Faux News attack dog at work.

O'REILLY: In the "Personal Stories" segment tonight, we were surprised to find out than an American who lost his father in the World Trade Center attack had signed an anti-war advertisement that accused the USA itself of terrorism.
The offending passage read, "We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11... we too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage -- even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City, and a generation ago, Vietnam."
With us now is Jeremy Glick, whose father, Barry, was a Port Authority worker at the Trade Center. Mr. Glick is a co-author of the book "Another World is Possible."
I'm surprised you signed this. You were the only one of all of the families who signed... JEREMY GLICK, FATHER DIED IN WORLD TRADE CENTER: Well, actually, that's not true.
O'REILLY: Who signed the advertisement?
GLICK: Peaceful Tomorrow, which represents 9/11 families, were also involved.
O'REILLY: Hold it, hold it, hold it, Jeremy. You're the only one who signed this advertisement.
GLICK: As an individual.
O'REILLY: Yes, as -- with your name. You were the only one. I was surprised, and the reason I was surprised is that this ad equates the United States with the terrorists. And I was offended by that.
GLICK: Well, you say -- I remember earlier you said it was a moral equivalency, and it's actually a material equivalency.
And just to back up for a second about your surprise, I'm actually shocked that you're surprised.
If you think about it, our current president, who I feel and many feel is in this position illegitimately by neglecting the voices of Afro- Americans in the Florida coup, which, actually, somebody got impeached for during the Reconstruction period --
Our current president now inherited a legacy from his father and inherited a political legacy that's responsible for training militarily, economically, and situating geopolitically the parties involved in the alleged assassination and the murder of my father and countless of thousands of others.
So I don't see why it's surprising...
O'REILLY: All right. Now let me stop you here. So...
GLICK: ... for you to think that I would come back and want to support...
O'REILLY: It is surprising, and I'll tell you why. I'll tell you why it's surprising.
GLICK: ... escalating...
O'REILLY: You are mouthing a far left position that is a marginal position in this society, which you're entitled to.
GLICK: It's marginal -- right.
O'REILLY: You're entitled to it, all right, but you're -- you see, even -- I'm sure your beliefs are sincere, but what upsets me is I don't think your father would be approving of this.
GLICK: Well, actually, my father thought that Bush's presidency was illegitimate.
O'REILLY: Maybe he did, but...
GLICK: I also didn't think that Bush...
O'REILLY: ... I don't think he'd be equating this country as a terrorist nation as you are.
GLICK: Well, I wasn't saying that it was necessarily like that.
O'REILLY: Yes, you are. You signed...
GLICK: What I'm saying is...
O'REILLY: ... this, and that absolutely said that.
GLICK: ... is that in -- six months before the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, starting in the Carter administration and continuing and escalating while Bush's father was head of the CIA, we recruited a hundred thousand radical mujahadeens to combat a democratic government in Afghanistan, the Turaki government.
O'REILLY: All right. I don't want to...
GLICK: Maybe...
O'REILLY: I don't want to debate world politics with you.
GLICK: Well, why not? This is about world politics.
O'REILLY: Because, No. 1, I don't really care what you think.
GLICK: Well, OK.
O'REILLY: You're -- I want to...
GLICK: But you do care because you...
O'REILLY: No, no. Look...
GLICK: The reason why you care is because you evoke 9/11...
O'REILLY: Here's why I care.
GLICK: ... to rationalize...
O'REILLY: Here's why I care...
GLICK: Let me finish. You evoke 9/11 to rationalize everything from domestic plunder to imperialistic aggression worldwide.
O'REILLY: OK. That's a bunch...
GLICK: You evoke sympathy with the 9/11 families.
O'REILLY: That's a bunch of crap. I've done more for the 9/11 families by their own admission -- I've done more for them than you will ever hope to do.
O'REILLY: So you keep your mouth shut when you sit here exploiting those people.
GLICK: Well, you're not representing me. You're not representing me.
O'REILLY: And I'd never represent you. You know why?
O'REILLY: Because you have a warped view of this world and a warped view of this country.
GLICK: Well, explain that. Let me give you an example of a parallel...
O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to debate this with you, all right.
GLICK: Well, let me give you an example of parallel experience. On September 14...
O'REILLY: No, no. Here's -- here's the...
GLICK: On September 14...
O'REILLY: Here's the record.
O'REILLY: All right. You didn't support the action against Afghanistan to remove the Taliban. You were against it, OK.
GLICK: Why would I want to brutalize and further punish the people in Afghanistan...
O'REILLY: Who killed your father!
GLICK: The people in Afghanistan...
O'REILLY: Who killed your father.
GLICK: ... didn't kill my father.
O'REILLY: Sure they did. The al Qaeda people were trained there.
GLICK: The al Qaeda people? What about the Afghan people?
O'REILLY: See, I'm more angry about it than you are!
GLICK: So what about George Bush?
O'REILLY: What about George Bush? He had nothing to do with it.
GLICK: The director -- senior as director of the CIA.
O'REILLY: He had nothing to do with it.
GLICK: So the people that trained a hundred thousand Mujahadeen who were...
O'REILLY: Man, I hope your mom isn't watching this.
GLICK: Well, I hope she is.
O'REILLY: I hope your mother is not watching this because you -- that's it. I'm not going to say anymore.
O'REILLY: In respect for your father...
GLICK: On September 14, do you want to know what I'm doing?
O'REILLY: Shut up. Shut up.
GLICK: Oh, please don't tell me to shut up.
O'REILLY: As respect -- as respect -- in respect for your father, who was a Port Authority worker, a fine American, who got killed unnecessarily by barbarians...
GLICK: By radical extremists who were trained by this government...
O'REILLY: Out of respect for him...
GLICK: ... not the people of America.
O'REILLY: ... I'm not going to...
GLICK: ... The people of the ruling class, the small minority.
O'REILLY: Cut his mic. I'm not going to dress you down anymore, out of respect for your father.
We will be back in a moment with more of THE FACTOR.
GLICK: That means we're done?
O'REILLY: We're done.

and when he returned from commercial:
"I have to apologize. If I knew that guy, Jeremy Glick, was going to be like that, I never would have brought him in here, and I feel bad for his family. I really do. "
One is left wondering what his holiness O'Reilly ever did for the families of 9-11. Perhaps the self appointed spokesman for the "average" American donated part of his reported $2 million a year salary to help those families.
O'REILLY makes constant claims to be non-partisan yet repeatedly attacks Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton among others. OK, he's entitled to his point of view,yet there are afew things that should bother fair minded viewers: No one knows what his specific issue with M's Clinton or anyone else in his hateful gunsight. Futhermore, why the specious claim to being the "no-spin" zone when there is obviously plenty of spin. Why doesn't O'reilly admit he has neither the honor or integrity to present an unbiased civil discussion of the issues of the day? O Really , if you're the "no-spin" zone, where's your investigation into George W. Bush's missing year of Air Guard Service, or the connections between Carlye Co. and the Bush family and Rumsfeld. Where's your investigation into the hard numbers of this administration's budget? Where's the fair and balanced and civil discussion of a million issues facing America in the 21st century, and how your party wants America to return to the social-darwinism of the 19th century.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Make no mistake about it Saddam Hussein is not a model of humanity. While many neo-liberals like myself are not crazy about the prospects of an all out war against a man that recieved aid and financial support from Republicans and many American corporations like Halliburton (where Dick Cheney sold Saddam supplies in violation of domestic sanctions by the Clinton administration) just 14 years ago, if a war does start it'll will be justice for those that Saddam, his sons, and his loyal Republican guard have killed and tortured.

This link is to a story on MSNBC which has one of those data bases from which stories seem to dissapear after a few days. Wierd.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The Conservative Political Action Conference, has a conference and sits up a beanbag game. Guess who's the most popular target? Terrorist killer of innocent men, women and children around the world, Osama bin How about sadistic despot Saddam again. "Sen. Clinton ("She's the most popular target," said Andrea Lafferty, the organization's executive director)." It's nice to know that these folks have their priorties straight. Maybe conservatives do have a sense of's just that it's sick and demented.

P. M. Carpenter has a historical perspective on Dubya and the wing-nut crowd's yearning for the supposed good old days... W’s Voodoo Vision

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Dick Cheney was supposed to be the seasoned political veteran that would guide the glueless Bush II administration. Josh Marshall writes about how Cheney has been more of an anchor around this administration's neck. "Dick Cheney is a man of principles. Disastrous principles."

As I have written before, a case can be made for taking some kind of military action in Iraq. Though that can certainly stop short of a hell bent bomb them till they're dust path that the Bushies and freepers seem intent on. Bush has told so many lies about Iraq, his economic policies, and about his past ( connection to Enron, going AWOL from the ANG, etc.) he's lost his credibility to conduct a foreign policy that most American's can support and that our allies can respect. So why is the administration staying the course?
"because he'd rather have an easy victory in a conventional war than stick to the hard task of tracking down stateless terrorists."

Monday, February 10, 2003

The following is from a newsletter called NextDraft, follow the link if you'd like to subscribe.
"It's in some ways hard to believe that much of
the world seems prepared to launch an attack
on Iraq (or let's be realistic, to watch the U.S.
do so on CNN International). It's hard to believe
because the arguments made for such a move have been
anything but consistent. The neo-conservative movement
has long wanted another crack at Saddam to finish
the job left undone in the early nineties, to alter
the geopolitical landscape in the region, to secure
the flow of black gold from what would hopefully become
an at least somewhat dependable host, and yes, to
prevent the continued buildup of weapons of mass destruction
and send a message about just how much the world's sole
superpower will and will not put up with. So it makes
complete sense that those with such political leanings
would see 9-11 as both a confirmation of previously held
beliefs and an impetus for military action.

But what about the other side of the argument? There
is a missing (or at least muted) voice in this historic
debate. To be sure, there is a large and growing anti-war
movement. But to some extent, the message of that movement
and certainly its messengers (always worry about policy
papers with names above the title) has left a not-all-that
talkative, left-leaning, eye-rolling plurality uninterested
at best. There is a wave of people in this country
who are not buying the administration's call to action,
but who at the same time find themselves unable to step to
the microphone and yell "Stop."

These people are the neo-liberals. The voice of the neo-liberals
has been less than thunderous because while they want to
(need to, really) point out the flaws and missing elements
of the ever-expanding Bush doctrine, they also happen to want
Saddam Hussein's head on a stick. For the neo-liberal
disarmament is nice, but punishment for the thug and liberty
for a people is really what this is all about.

The neo-liberal voice (often heard groaning about the ritual
mispronunciation of the word nuclear) cannot help but to
point out some of the inconsistencies of the Bush argument -
which ignores some long held motivations while dealing out
others with the randomness of cards dealt from a seven deck
shoe (jokers included). The neo-liberal cares about the
U.N. to a certain extent, but wouldn't necessarily want
to wait around for approval in every situation. The neo-liberal
couldn't care less what the French think. While they can
make a day long argument against the neo-conservative hawkish
(pole) position, they can never come quite out and say we should
not do this. Yes, the neo-liberal is concerned about world opinion
about the lurching forward of a policy that clears the way for
pre-emptive strikes, about economic realities, about long term
impacts, about civilian casualties - but the neo-liberal also finds
it impossible to fend off the blush-red mouth corners that
involuntarily rise when television generals speak of three
thousand cruise missiles as part of an initial and massive attack.

Why? Because above all else, the neo-liberal hates a bully.
Guys like Saddam and Kim Il Jung cannot be allowed to stand
because they put up statues and wallscapes of their images
throughout their countries-turned-political-prisons. In the neo-
liberal view, you're not allowed to abuse your own people.
From the neo-liberal perspective, the first Gulf war resulted
in the deaths of thousands of those held captive while leaving
one of the world's sickest wardens unscathed.

The neo-liberals are not foolish enough to believe in a panacea
where the U.S. is most concerned with democracy and freedom
in the new Iraq (as opposed to the priorities of stability
and flowing crude). But megalomaniac bullies cannot be permitted
to stand. It's a policy that the neo-liberals know
holds little water in the geo-political sense, but it is
so central to their beliefs, so core to their view on
right and wrong, that they're willing to hope for the best
in a post war-Iraq. They're willing to focus their Bush-related
attention on the fact he hates these thugs too. They're willing
to put off policy debates until after Saddam finds himself
permanently buried in the rubble of an underground bunker."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Well it's not to late to impeach Bush, but can you impeach a president who was not elected?
As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in opposing the stay, Bush "failed to carry the heavy burden" of showing a likelihood of irreparable harm if the recount continued. In other words, the Court never even had the legal right to grant the stay. "Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm," Stevens said. "On the other hand, there is a danger that a stay may cause irreparable harm to the respondent [Gore] and, more importantly, the public at large because of the risk that the entry of the stay would be tantamount to a decision on the merits in favor of the applicant. Preventing the recount from being completed will inevitably cast a cloud on the legitimacy of the election."

Part of the transcript from NOW with Bill Moyer interviewing Chuck Lewis(Center for Public Integrity) regarding what is being called Patriot Act II:
MOYERS: You mean that if it were not rolled out and discussed publicly until the United States has had war in Iraq, people might not pay as much attention to it as they would now.

LEWIS: They wouldn't pay as much attention and you know, our worries and our fears are gonna be different than they are now. And there will be less of — all these things will melt away. These are nice concerns about liberties but we'll be at war. And we'll have presidents and attorneys general and other government officials telling us things. And I just see a — I see that it wouldn't work quite as easily for them if it comes out in the next few weeks as opposed to then.

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the govenment's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
-- Louis D. Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice, Dissenting, Olmstead v. US, 277 US, 438 (192