Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Abuse of Power by President Bush and Vice President Cheney

Let's take a look at the premise behind the President not going to the FISA Court for approval of Wire-tapping of Americans who are receiving or making phone calls overseas to or from possible Al Qaida suspects. One premise cited is that it would take too long to go to the Court and ask for the approval and that the process is slowed down. Well this was provided for within the law and the law allows for the President to go to the Court as late as 72 hours after the wire-tapping and getting post approval. That would seem like plenty of time to do it. However, let's assume it would help us if they had 5 days or 120 hours to get the approval. Why didn't the President ask the Congress for this change. He had 4 years of wire-tapping to consider extending the law but he chose not to use that approach.

There is another possibility which has not been considered. Maybe, just maybe, they are doing so many wiretaps. They are listening into ALL calls going oversees and then following up on many. Maybe this program is a lot larger than we have been led to believe. And maybe, just maybe, since they are wire-tapping Americans, there are some abuses that have nothing to do with Al Qaida. Maybe there are political Wire-taps as well from a paranoid Vice President and a President. But we know this President is led by the nose by this Vice President when it comes to secrecy and witholding of information to the public. Just remember the Energy policy that Cheney was responsibe for putting together. But when the Press asked who he met with, he wouldn't say. Why? Because he didn't want anyone to know he just met with the Oil leaders and not environmentalists. So how did that Energy policy work out? Who benefited from the policy? The Oil companies! Both Bush and Cheney were previously Oil men. And does the name Halliburton, and no bid contracts, jog something in your memory bank? OIl prices back before Cheney's Energy policy went forward were $40-45/barrel and now it is $70/barrel. Oh, and to help with prices, we destabilized the Middle East and invaded Iraq with little evidence to support the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction by Saddam Hussein, and now we learn, against the advice of many in the CIA. Hmmmm, I wonder what the plan for Iran is, given we really do know they are pursuing them without a doubt? So do I trust the President and the Vice President? What do you think?!

Getting back to the wire-tapping issue, the argument is that the NSA has requested these taps and that they determine who the "suspected Al Qaida terrorists" are, they choose who gets wire-tapped, and therefore are to be trusted. And we are suppose to trust and to assume there are no abuses of this power. If that premise is true, then how come the person or persons who blew the whistle on this program are NSA personnel who were uncomfortable with what they were doing and possibly who they were wire-tapping. They thought it was breaking the law! We have here a President and an Administration who have abused power before. Authorization and justification of the use of torture was first written by former Presidential Counsel Alberto Gonzales and current Attorney General. He has also claimed the President's right to do wire-tapping of Americans is Constitutional. Who says so? And who can trust Attorney General Gonzales? I surely don't and why aren't more people outraged that a Special Counsel has not been appointed and why hasn't the Republican Congress which has oversight insisted that Gonzales recuse himself? I'll tell you why. IT'S A CONSPIRACY AND DON"T LET ANYONE TELL YOU DIFFERENTLY. If you believe them I have some land in the swamps of Florida or the devastation in and around New Orleans I want to sell you real cheap or possibly a car that was flooded.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sen. Kerry and the filibuster of Alito

I received an email by Senator John Kerry yesterday saying that he supported a filibuster of Judge Alito and he was asking me to contact my Senator to tell them to support the filibuster also. I sent an email back to Sen Kerry saying the following:

"In all honestly and being realistic, a successful filibuster would only lead to a more conservative neo-con being put forward by Bush. In addition, is this the fight you want to have against the Republicans. I don't think we can win this one. I do believe there is more support for hearings into the President's abuse of power from Wire-tapping without court approval and oversight. I think we need to choose fights wisely. We have made the point through the vote that Democrats did not support Alito. In a way, we won that argument. If we find ourselves negatively impacted by the courts, it might spur more to vote and more to vote Democratic. We cannot rescue America from an apathetic electorate. There must be consequences for inaction. Anyway, that's my view."

The more I thought about it the more I am convinced the Democrats are splintered and haven't got a clue as to how to stand up and be reckoned with as a political party and what priorities are important to the rest of us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Google's sellout to the Chinese Gov.

Google's decision to change its search engine offered in China is a big mistake. I know the financial reasons for doing it but that doesn't make it right. Does the word "complicity" mean anything to you Google guys. Haven't you personally made a lot of money already that you don't need to accommodate the Chinese. All you are doing is promoting their lies to their people. You derive the benefits of freedom to make money, live the life you enjoy without worrying about any censorship on what you like to do or what you want to write about. The people you are hurting with this decision are the ones that need the most help and are defenseless. Rethink this policy. You are doing a disservice to your country and benefiting the Chinese government. What have they done for us and you lately? I'll tell you, NOTHING!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ken Lay - Justice delayed is justice denied

What do these two people have in common? We know the fate of one of them today. Will the other be treated similarly and the punishment fit the crime? Or will money and power win out?

I usually comment on political issues but today I am turning my attention to the topic of justice. Back in February of 2002, Ken Lay, after having refused to testify before Congress over the Enron debacle, sat and listened to lawmakers tear him down. But now after 4 years of delay, his trial is set to start on January 30th. Justice delayed is justice denied. And in the case of Ken Lay he has enjoyed his freedom, where others of less means would be in jail serving their time.

In my local paper this morning, there was a 1/4 page article titled, "Couple get prison terms in Wendy's finger case." The woman, Anna Ayala, and her husband (who plead guilty to the crime of putting a finger in a bowl of chili in hopes of extorting Wendy's insurance company with a false claim) were sentenced to 9 years and 12 years, respectively, for their crimes. The judge in the case said, "Greed and avarice overtook this couple" adding that the pair had, "lost their moral compass." The couple must pay $170,000 in restitution and the judge ordered them to pay nearly $21.8 million to Wendy's and JEM Management, which owns the restaurant.

Isn't it also true that, Greed and avarice overtook Ken Lay and his team and that they collectively lost their moral compass too? So the moral of the story is this: if you are rich you can plead not guilty and cost the government, and us taxpayers, million and millions of dollars in prosecuting your case and delay going to jail for years. And I hope, in all sincerity, de Lay is going to jail for years!

Let's see who gets stuck in this case. Will Lay, and the delay, cause Americans to be uninterested in the trial? Will Lay get off the hook by blaming his lower level executives and claim he knew nothing about this? Will Lay be allowed to keep most of his $20 million wealth after the case is over, no matter what the verdict? Remember the Finger-in-the-Chili case if it comes to pass and what sentence these people got by comparison. And remember the uncanny similarity in the sound of these two names from Texas who are both crooks: DeLay and Lay. Coincidentia? I think not.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Video Link to Al Gore's speech

Here is the video link to Al Gore's speech from You can read my summary of Gore's recommended actions below. (You will need Real Player to see the linked video.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Zogby poll cites majority support impeachment

A new poll out today by Zogby International cites that a majority of Americans favor impeaching President Bush over the wire tapping of Americans if he wiretapped without a judges approval. The poll found that 52% of respondents agreed with the statement: "If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

Poll numbers regarding impeaching Clinton were much lower and this new poll shows Americans are not buying Bush's outrageous claims that he has the power to wiretap Americans without a warrant. In a Zogby poll conducted June 27-29, 2005 of 905 likely voters, 42 percent agreed and 50 percent disagreed with the identical statement asked about in this recent polling. See full poll data at Zogby International.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Al Gore calls for Special Counsel to investigate the President and Administration over wire tapping

In what appears to be Al Gore's best speech ever , the former VP having spoken at the DAR Constitutional Hall in Washington, DC. this morning, has called on Attorney General Gonzales to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the President's bypassing of the FISA Court in authorizing Wire tapping on Americans. Gore 's main call was to wake up Americans to the intrusion and grab for power by this President and Administration. In summary, his impassioned speech called for the following actions:

• A Special Counsel, like Special Prosecutorr FitzPatrick, who continues to investigate the CIA leak, be appointed and investigate the abuse of power of this President with regards to the wire tapping authorization and bypass of the FISA Court.

• Whistleblower protection bill be approved by Congress for those government officials that come forward and have come forward in telling of this and other illegal actions by this Administration.

• Congressional hearings that are meaningful and bi-partisan be established to investigate these abuses.

• Congress should deny special powers asked for by this President in the Patriot Act.

• And that any company that has assisted the government conduct these illegal wire taps should cease and desist all operations in helping the government do this. Freedom within the Internet must be preserved.

• And lastly, this issue should be part of the discussion for any person running for office in the coming elections to where they stand on this issue.

Gore was superb and better than I have ever seen him. He has been revitalized. He is not afraid to remind us of how we are losing our democrac freedoms a drip at a time. The audience gave him a standing ovation after his 1 hour and 5 minute speech shown on C-Span this morning.

He gave me hope that someone has the courage to speak out against what has happened to our freedoms. He also spoke eloquently about how our Founding Fathers conceived of 3 co-equal branches of government and that no one branch was above the others. He said we must stand up as involved citizens and call upon our elected officials to act on our behalf and for us all to speak out or there will be little freedom left.

See this speech or get a transcript of it. It should be out shortly and I will post where you can get it later.

UPDATE: 11:30am PST Jan. 16th
If you go to C-Span you can see the speech using Real Player. It is much better to hear this speech than to read a transcript. Much is lost of Gore's passion about this, by just reading it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pat Robertson apologizes for his comments on Sharon

Pat Robertson apologized to the son of Ariel Sharon for his comments about his father. We finally got an admission that he was wrong, as I said on a previous post on this Blog 2 days ago. What isn't surprising is why he apologized. MONEY WAS INVOLVED. Read this article by CNN today.

I got a bunch of comments by his Christian Right followers all trying to make excuses for Robertson. I said then that they still didn't get it. Well maybe they do now!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Judge Alito and his testimony and UPDATES

There's something about Judge Alito and the way he answers questions that just doesn't have that "feel right" quality. I have played poker with guys like him, and beleive he isn't lying, but you can just tell he's not sincere and is playing back a well scripted non-answer. Hopefully today someone will get him to give an emotional answer on something that drops the veil.

The best questioning of the day of Judge Alito was done by my own Senator, Diane Feinstein. She went back to the testimony of Judge Roberts and read each Q&A between herself and Judge Roberts. After she read Alito the questions she asked, "what differences would you have with Judge Roberts or do you agree with his statements?" The major revelation by Alito was that he could not say that Roe vs. Wade was "settled law". So in my opinion, when Alito states he has an open mind on the issue, he is "open" to revisiting that settled law and considering it was a mistake to make Abortions a legal right of a woman. There should be no doubt after that testimony as to where he stands. Democrats must not confirm Judge Alito as a matter of principle.

UPDATE: Jan. 12, 2006 at 8:00am PST
This morning Sen Biden's questioning of Alito was very useful regarding Judge Alito's views on Executive Power and the President's claim to be able to most anything including wiretaps and even Declaring War without the approval of Congress. In these days with the Adminstration seeking greater powers, I did not see Alito step up to the plate and say anything of use in response to these questions except to leave me very concerned that he will be confimed and we may lose many rights we currently have. The Judiciary Committee is well represented Biden and Feinstein. I will be interested to see if they approve him or not. It is a matter of principle.

UPDATE Jan. 12, 2006 at 9:00am PST
Questioning by Russ Feingold was also quite revealing this morning. Alito can see a possibility where there is a Constitutional question regarding Executuve Powers of the President. Alito can see a statute being passed by Congress where the President under his Commander-in-Chief powers could nullify the law and issue directives counter to the intent of the laws of Congress. Verty troubling views in my mind. America WAKE UP!!!! Schumer followed up with a question on NSA wire tapping and asked if this was found Constiturional for the President to do, could this then lead to searches in homes also being Constitutional without approval by Congress? He didn't answer the question again.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pat Robertson's shameful display of religious arrogance

Well, it wasn't a long time since his last pronouncement that got him into trouble (see my post dated Aug 24, 2005), where he now has said that God has dealt a blow to Sharon for giving land in Gaza back to the Palestinians. I was so furious I couldn't wait to send him an email before posting this and so I did. Here below is my email to him and the response I got from the Christian Broadcasting Network.

" Subject: Sharon

Your latest comments about Sharon and God's will
must mean that God doesn't want you up there,
cause you're still here! You should practice more the
religion that you teach. Go look in a mirror and ask
God's forgiveness for your proclamations in His
name. I will pray for God to forgive you, again. Don't
you wish you could take back some of the
inappropriate comments you have made like this

Here is their response to my email:

"We appreciate this opportunity to serve you on behalf of Pat Robertson, and apologize that he cannot reply to you personally.

We are sorry for any offense you may have felt at Pat Robertson's comments on The 700 Club. In regard to Prime Minister Sharon, Pat said, "I am sad to see him in this condition". He also said, "This is a tragic situation". More personally, Pat shared that Sharon is "a very likeable man", "a good friend", and "a very likeable person".

Pat is an ordained minister and Bible teacher, and has been a life long supporter of Israel and has continually expressed grave concern over dividing the land of Israel. He pointed to the book of Joel in the Old Testament to show a biblical perspective of God's view of Israel and efforts made by people who try to divide God's land:

Pat said, "In the book of Joel, the prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, 'divide My land'. God considers this land to be His. [When] you read the Bible, He says 'This is My land'. And for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he's going to carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No, this is Mine'."

Pat was reminding viewers of what the Bible has to say about efforts made to divide the land of Israel.

Please pray for God to bless this ministry with His divine wisdom, discernment, and guidance, that everything we do would glorify Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God bless you.

The Christian Broadcasting Network
Website -
The 700 Club Prayer Counseling Center - 1-800-759-0700 "

They just don't get it at all at the Christian Broadcast Network, explaining it away like this is an insult to anyone's intelligence. He would best retire or get a psychiatric exam to see if he should continue to "preach"! He is a danger to himself and others. He should be required to reread the Bible and go back to school to learn to be respectful of others, especially those he has called "a good friend." I'm glad he's not my friend. With friends like that who needs enemies!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bush's attempt to circumvent the torture ban new law

Jeremy, over at Chargingrino has posted a story the past 2 days on what this President and his Administration are doing to bypass the recent law which was overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers. The 3 Senators who sponsored the Bill, McCain, Graham and Warner, are all well respected Republicans and friends of our military. The links on chargingrino to the Boston Globe cover the story details. It is definitely worth the read and support.

Watch this story get legs, to use a wine metaphor, over the next few days.

Thanks to Jeremy Dibbell for bringing the focus back on this issue, and especially Charles Savage of the Boston Globe.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ariel Sharon and fate

It was just announced that Ariel Sharon had a major Stroke and has brain hemorrhaging, most likely from the blood thinners he was taking. It seems coincidental that yesterday I devoted my post to his courage in forming another party that was away from the Right Wing Likud party, and he was expected to win the elections scheduled for March in Israel.

It seems to me every time in my lifetime there appears to be a hope that things will change, some major event happens threatening the hope. I remember Kennedy, both John and Robert, Martin Luther King, Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin, Sadat of Egypt, and the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan which failed thank God.

Let's all hope and pray that Sharon makes it through this latest medical crisis. The Middle East Road map that was proposed by President Bush with a 2 State solution, was embraced by Sharon. The idea of a future Palestinian State hangs in the balance. If not Sharon, then who? It is amazing that 2 weeks ago when Sharon had his first stroke, they didn't even have a succession plan in the event Sharon was too sick or worse, died. Since that stroke on Dec. 18th, they set up a succession plan, thank God.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What is it going to take to wake up Americans?

I have recently been amazed by the political courage of Israel's Ariel Sharon, who is forming a centrist party and turning his back on his Right wing party. He sees it as the only hope to diffuse the politics of both extremes from the far right and the far left. Time will tell if it works but it was definitely a brave move. Maybe the approach would work here as well. But there are major roadblocks to consider.

The question I pose is this, Do we have a courageous senior political figure, for example, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who has the courage here to do the same? It certainly is what America needs. The political parties, both Republicans and Democrats, have failed us and the country. What we need is to break up both party's hold on the country and shake up the thinking here, so that people get more involved in the political process, as our founders had wished, and our country puts its best people in the race for the Presidency. The primary system leaves us with choices that have already been determined by a small group of people, all with their own self interest and influence paid for. They have these candidates in their pockets, and not working for the good of all people.

What is it going to take to wake up Americans? You might want to read this article by Dr. Paul Roberts, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, former associate editor to the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor to the National Review and currently is John Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. This article should give you pause and possibly wake you up, before it is too late!


I have received a lot of emails in regards to my naming someone like John McCain as a person could be courageous enough to run as a 3rd party candidate. Those comments summarized paint McCain as too conservative a candidate to merit their serious interest. Maybe the country has had enough time with Conservatives and what they have done to the country in the past 5 years to yearn for a more liberal candidate this time around. I definitely got the impression that change is in the wind. Thanks everyone that wrote to me.
Technorati Profile