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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Meanwhile In The Other Washington…

Posted by on September 28 at 12:01 PM

It’s no post about a homocidal homophobe, so it won’t generate the heat our recent basher-bashing has. But in Washington D.C. the Republican-dominated U.S. Senate is preparing to shred the U.S. Constitution.

From the Washington Post (via Kos):

The legislation before the Senate today would ban torture, but let Bush define it; would allow the president to imprison indefinitely anyone he decides falls under a wide-ranging new definition of unlawful combatant; would suspend the Great Writ of habeas corpus; would immunize retroactively those who may have engaged in torture. And that’s just for starters…

Today’s vote will show more clearly than ever before that, when push comes to shove, the Republicans who control Congress are in lock step behind the president, and the Democrats—who could block him, if they chose to do so—are too afraid to put up a real fight.

Read about it and weep here, here, and here.

Then kneel at the casket and have a laugh…

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What I don't understand is this: Are the Democrats just hoping to run out the clock, while not looking "soft on terror" (because the session ends tomorrow, right)? and if this thing passes, can it be undone if the Dems take back eithor or both houses of Congress?

This isn't about "following Bush" or Democrats versus Republicans. This disgusting thing is destroying 900 YEARS OF LAW. The Great Writ of Habeas Corpus is the bedrock foundation of ALL of our law; it is the principle that started the whole process away from the Divine Right of Kings (and shithead prodigal sons). Everything up to now has been chiseling away at the edges of the Constitution; this knocks it down and carries it away. I'm just sick: I think this bill if passed is literally the worst thing that has ever happened to the United States. It is worse than a thousand 9/11s.

The Democrats have got this one chance, and after that, nothing. God damn them all.

So how is this bill constitutional? I don't put much faith in the Supreme Court undoing it, but, unless the Repubs try to get this passed as an amendment, it's not legal.

Just got through e-mailing Sens. Cantwell and Murray urging a filibuster of this dog.

This really is the final nail in the coffin if it passes. It removes the last checks on absolute presidential power. We appear to be a few hours from having a king.

I was going to post something critical of the Red House, but then I realized that if this passes into law, they can hold me at GITMO as a US citizen for an indefinite time and waterboard and make me listen to country music for decades without allowing me to speak to a lawyer or be charged with anything.

And I don't want to be Alexander S writing a book in the American Gulag.

Honestly, this is one of those things that makes me feel like I just might lose it. I've been feeling this way continuously since that horrible day when the Supreme Court gave the presidency to this moron.

I want to shout, kick, punch, cry, anything that will get people to care. But they don't. I talk to people about this (and other horrific actions of King George) and write about it constantly, but no one seems to give a shit. People seem to think that America can't change; it will always be the land of the free. They're blind, deaf and stupid. Things have already changed....and they will only get worse unless we get off our obese asses and do something about it. My hopes aren't high.

I too just wrote Sens. Murray and Cantwell. If you don't write your congressfolks on this, don't come crying when you get carted off to Gitmo to get electrodes attached to your genitals. Not that I have much faith that it'll do any good, but it's now the responsibility of all Americans to scream at their representatives to keep this atrocity from happening.

We get the government we deserve.

This is so awful it's difficult to even think about, much less write about intelligently. I can just ramble, ramble, try to ramble the bitterness out of my mouth.

Of all the terrible things we have had to suffer through since this administation took power, this is far and away the worst. It hurts so bad to think this is happening anywhere. For it to be happening in America is just too much to bear. I have nothing but hate and scorn for the politicos who are letting this happen. No good can come of this.

Napoleon & David,
Post the letters you wrote to the Sens. It will help those of us who are tongue-tied to write a meaningful letter to those bitches.

Crap, well, I didn't save the letter, I entered it in a web form on their websites. I did write different letters for both senators though. Something to the effect of:

Sen. Cantwell -

Please, please, please stand up to Bush and the Republicans on the detainee issue now before Congress. I understand that you're concerned about your re-election, but I assure you, there's no better way to mend bridges with your Democratic base than to protect this cornerstone of all Democracy for the last 800 years, the writ of Habeas Corpus. If we can't count on you to take a stand when our very democracy is at stake, why exactly should we send you back to Washington DC?


-and something to that effect, though without the re-election stuff, for Murray. I'll admit it's a little strident but if ever there's a time for that tone, this would be it.

No can do. As I know both Senators (i.e., attended fundraisers for, shaken hands with, given money to) my e-mails contain a little too much personal info that might compromise my mild-mannered alter ego (and get me hauled off to Gitmo).

The links:

And for other states, you can find contact info at senate dot gov.

I love the High Low culture mix in The Stranger. A post about Washington Politics followed by something about local drag queens. It's really all Hegel's dialectic in motion.

Politics, breast implants, drag show's, football games they are all the same.

It is too late to write a letter. It's on the floor of the Senate right now. You can call your senators and register your opposition if you like. I just did. The nice staffers told me calls were pouring in: Patty Murray's regional office in Seattle is (206) 553-5545. Maria Cantwell's is (206) 220-6400.

It looks unlikely that the Democrats have the votes to stop a vote on procedural grounds but call anyway. They need to hear from you.

Thank you David.
Napoleon you coward.

As you all may have noticed, the Spector amendment, which would have preserved the right to Habeus Corpus, was killed about 2 hours ago in the Senate. Both Cantwell and Murray voted to support the amendment.

The record of each senator's vote is here:

They expect a vote on the full bill tonight. Those mother fuckers. Those dirty mother fuckers.

I'm a coward for e-mailing my Senators and urging a filibuster?

Ohhhhh. . . .I think not.

Maria Cantwell: 202-224-3441

Patty Murray: 202-224-2621

I never thought I'd see the day when the US Congress would legalize war crimes, disappearances and torture. Conservatives in the past would go berserk when discussing how these practices were used against people in China or Soviet Russia, now they're the biggest proponents. This whole situation is not unexpected, but sick beyond belief. Don't people know that at least half of these prisoners are innocent?

I just called Patty Murray's office, and one of her aides told me she will vote against the bill and the filibuster option is off the table.

Maria Cantwell has not stated her position yet, so please call and let her know she has your support to oppose the bill.

It's only a matter of time, probably after the next terrorist attack, until they start arresting and torturing US citizens. This has to stop now!

Has our country really stopped even pretending to live by its supposed values?

No, you're a coward for making up some weird story about why you can't help your slog-mates to do something important. You sent a letter with your real name to members of the U.S. Government but you can't post the same letter anonymously to some obscure blog? Huh?

And if you're worried that some slog-watching narc may "compromise" your "alter ego," just send the letter without the brown-nose bits, duh!

Anyway, It's not about you or me, and I don't meant to attack you or anyone else on this thread. It's the sick twisted psychopaths in government that have got me all messed up. David's post post gave me plenty to start from and I have already launched my missives at our 2 Senators who will, no doubt, find every reason to ignore them.


I'll be ignoring you, now.

Well, it looks like America came in with King George and we're going out with King George. Those boot-licking conservative Supreme Court justices probably won't use judicial review either. I bet Thomas Jefferson is doing a 900 in his grave.

I know the Hitler comparison is cliche, but think about it. Hitler was "democratically elected". In fact, he rose to power with more legitimacy than Bush. And at least initially, he had broad support of the German public for his early escapades. Over time, I'm sure the German public became aware of some of his atrocities, and no doubt some of them opposed him. Not enough of them opposed him strongly enough, but some tried.

I wonder if those Germans who opposed Hitler felt like I feel right now? How can we be so blind to the long term damage this policy will cause? Is there nothing we can do to stop this lunatic?

Catalina (@1), No. If this passes today, and Bush signs it, it is law until it is either found unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court (a process which could take years), or is repealed. It cannot be simply "undone" if the Dems take back one house of congress. To repeal it, both the House and Senate would have to vote to repeal it, and Bush would have to sign it (unlikely, to say the least). This would require that the Dems retake both houses of congress with enough of a majority to override a Bush veto. So as a practical reality, if this passes, we are stuck with it for at least a couple of years, minimum.

But don't give up all hope. We've passed incredibly stupid laws before. Prohibition only lasted 13 years (1920-1933).

We can expect this headline any day:

US Building Vast Detention Camps.

Yup, Senate passed it.. by a relatively wide margin, too.

Just like Oktoberfest, I guess the October Surprise came earlier than expected.

We already are. You just aren't cleared to know that yet.

KXLY TV reported the detention camp story in 2003. Google it.

Oh. My. God.



Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

By Peter Dale Scott

A Halliburton subsidiary has just received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to provide "temporary detention and processing capabilities."

To date, some newspapers have worried that open-ended provisions in the contract could lead to cost overruns, such as have occurred with KBR in Iraq. A Homeland Security spokesperson has responded that this is a “contingency contract” and that conceivably no centers might be built. But almost no paper so far has discussed the possibility that detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law.

Google it.

Depends on your definition of 'almost', Andrew. But I'll still help you find your way out.

Where are all the protests, like what happened with Vietnam? We need a revolution!

I'd say move to Canada, but Stephen Harper is in love with Bush. Luckily he only has a minority government - he can't push laws through without opposition support.

I think this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

No one is going to protest because all of this drama is currently confined to a little box in someone's room to most in this country.

If there's ever a draft, then you'll see actual momentum to the outrage.

But there is no draft. This is why this is not like Vietnam.

Moving to Canada is actually not a bad idea, as long as you don't grow old there. Refugees get more pay-out from the government on a periodic basis than Canadian retirees do.


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