Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's Hump Day! - and damn cold out to boot. Which is surprising, given that it was about 57 degrees yesterday, again, well above normal temperatures. I'll be saving my post today directly into Gmail which auto saves every couple of minutes, so we might actually get a whole post posted today around 5pm.

Two big stories from yesterday, the Washington Times' (thanks Jess E!) magazine, Insight, has it that the Bush Administration is preparing for impeachment proceedings.

The Pentagon says the army has become a "thin green line"

Oh yeah, and tucked away in the Patriot Act is a provision that would create a national police force that could arrest or search anyone without a warrant: The Secret Service Uniformed Division. If the Patriot Act is reauthorized, it looks like Bushie will get his Gestapo.

"Press 1 for existing accounts. Press 2 for new accounts" Why is this hard?

Hmm ....don't you just hate when your own administration thinks that what you are doing is unconstitutional and illegal? General Hayden is the Principle Deputy Director of National Intelligence ( here's his picture - doesn't he look kind of creepy?). Ok, so now that's out of the way, in an interview with a reporter recently, he misstated the content of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment reads

" The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Hmmm...and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause. Ok, seems simple enough, back to General Hayden.

QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use --

GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually -- the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That's what it says.

QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.

GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.

QUESTION: But does it not say probable --

GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.. . .

Ummm um um General, can you recite the Fourth Amendment for me? And this is the guy who is in charge of "over seeing the day to day operations of the national intelligence program" and he's confused about what's in the Fourth wonder we're so fucked.

Oh but there's more, and here's where it gets really fun (and I'm summarizing from Kos) - back in 2002, Senator DeWine (crotchety old guy from Ohio, currently being challenged by good ole Paul Hackett) offered an amendment to the Patriot Act that would allow the standard of probable cause to be dropped to "reasonable suspicion" for non-US citizens. The Administration's own Justice Department balked at the amendment - concerned about the constitutionality of the amendment.

To recap, the Administration thought that DeWine's amendment that would drop the standard of probable cause to reasonable suspicion, only for non-US citizens was unconstitutional back in 2002 (note that this is after 9/11 -when Bushie now claims he got all of this crazy power from the Congressional authorization to use (military) force against terrorists and while the current wiretapping scandal was going on). But now, they (and by they, I mean General Hayden, who's running the program) seems to think that the Fourth Amendment says that it's already reasonable suspicion and not probably cause. Great, just great. Lies, all lies.

"So I can buy 1 gift card at your website which isn't working?" Um, yes, but I'm on the website and it appears to be working just fine...

Here's a little blurb from MyDD about the Alito Nomination:

"From what I have heard, right now the "no" votes on Alito are somewhere in the range of 44-47, and the filibuster votes are somewhere in the range of 37-40. In other words, we are close, but not there yet. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the weak Senators are on the filibuster vote, so I can't give you any information which contacts would be best to make."

And Harry Reid's speech at the Center for American Progress was killer- and well worth a read.

At least we're openly talking about impeachment now

though this:

"Stanford University historian Jack Rakove, a constitutional expert, said breaking the law on domestic spying would qualify as an impeachable offense, but that Congress should be hesitant to pursue it. The Clinton impeachment was a major distraction for the nation, he said. Some have suggested it hurt the U.S. effort against Al-Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

is not encouraging. The Clinton impeachment was a political witch-hunt. The would-be Bush impeachment would occur under exactly the conditions that the Founding Fathers might have imagined. The president breaks the law - commits "high crimes and misdemeanors" - as such he is impeached. I don't think anyone is going to argue that the violation of thousands maybe millions of citizens civil rights is not a "high crime"

Now the Bush Administration is hampering the congressional investigation into why they fucked up so badly after Katrina -
choice excerpt:

"However, McClellan denied allegations that the White House ignored warnings about Katrina and said Bush's statement about the levees ["I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."] was referring to initial media reports that New Orleans had been spared the worst.

"There were numerous media reports saying that New Orleans had dodged the bullet, and I can pull those up for you and show you those," McClellan said, "so that's what the president was referring to.""

Great! I'm so glad that the President is basing his ideas and comments to reports off of media reports instead of the information that he receives from oh, you know, scientists.

My boss major finally talked to me about my assignment being over - and she did say that she had excellent things to say to my temp agency about me, and that if anything came up, she would be sure to ask for me. So that's all good. For anyone not yet in the know, my assignment here is going to be up on Tuesday, so I'll be unemployed again, just in time for the Disarray of teh Nation speech -- I'll be getting hella drunk playing the SoTU drinking game - rules to be posted soon. No word on what will happen to Adventures - though I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to peruse and comment on the news while being unemployed.

New girl movie!
Imagine Me & You
Check it. OOHHHHH I'm excited. It's bound to be added to my dvd collection just like Bend it Like Beckham, Kissing Jessica Stein, Better than Chocolate, Bound, and DEBS

Actually you couldn't have placed your order at this number, we don't have the capability to take orders here, we only setup and maintain accounts. "yes, i did. I called this number and placed my order- i have the account number" ok - well let me transfer you to one of my colleagues who can look that order up "no thank you, you've been very helpful" click. um, ok.

Yesterday a group of about 20 Georgetown law students protest Gonzales' speech by turning their backs on him and raising a sign that read "those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin. At least 4 of the protesters wore black hoods. Surprisingly CNN covered this story on their main page as their main story yesterday and BagNews has a blowup of the picture here

"Do you have a phone number?" i'm sorry ma'am all i have are the addresses "well, i'm in downtown orlando, are there any locations in downtown orlando?" well, ma'am i'm not really familiar with these addresses, so I would be unable to tell you which of these are in downtown orlando.

via ariela - scathing reviews for bitchy people

I think I've been sore for about two weeks now, I blame Jen E.

Great, Bushie doesn't think that Congress needs to reauthorize the Patriot Act for him to get all the powers that it grants.

I would like to go home now. One hour and 42 minutes to go.

Betting on politics

I just might wager some money on the standing O question.

Speaking of tired soldiers, here's one.


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