Friday, May 26, 2006

What most Americans want, according to polls

Following up on my previous posting titled, "We The People aren't the 'Deciders' but here's a thought!", I have made a list of things the majority of Americans would like their Congress and Senate to take a stand on:

1) Securing all our Borders
2) No Amnesty for illegal aliens. Go after employers with stiff penalties
3) Registration of Guns & their owners
4) Getting out of Iraq
5) Healthcare for all Americans
6) Inspecting all Cargo coming into U.S. at our Ports
7) Eliminating the tax breaks given to the wealthiest of Americans and the Oil Companies
8) Take Global Warming seriously and reconsider U.S. position with world community on Kyoto protocol
9) An Energy policy that focuses on conservation and renewable sources of energy to make U.S. independent of foreign oil.
10) Reducing the Debt and becoming fiscally responsible once again
11) Using diplomacy to solve our issues rather than war and preemptive strikes
12) Focus resources on catching Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
13) Stem Cell research and funding by our government
14) Centrist politics versus politics of the extreme right and left
15) Congress staying out of personal health decisions like the Terry Shiavo tragedy
16) Paper trail for Election Ballots
17) The Bush Administration to follow the law and go through FISA Court to get authorization for wire-tapping on Americans

Too bad we will never get anyone to resolve any of these issues. It is amazing that while polls have shown that most Americans favor the list above, the political leadership has no interest in complying. The reason being is that one can easily define the Lobbyist group that would oppose the change. And it is the Lobbyists that help fund the political races and help officials get re-elected. So you can see the conflict of interest and why we can't win until we change the system. Changing the system might mean using more taxpayer money to fund campaigns, supporting changes to allow for a 3rd party or more to emerge, setting term limits at one term and thereby refreshing Congress every 3rd election, extending a term in Congress to 3 years and various other ideas needing serious consideration. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We The People aren't the "Deciders" but here's a thought!

Sometimes I have a dream/fantasy that I would love to get all the members of both Houses of Congress together and do an 4 day retreat with them. The beginning of the session would begin with each individual answering the questions below on a piece of paper, signed and dated. A copy would be made and put into a vault.

1) What do most of the American people want this Congress to do that isn't getting done right now? Make a list!

2) What would you want the Congress to accomplish on the list, if you didn't have to go out and raise any money for the next election?

3) What are the barriers to achieving these accomplishments today?

4) And what would you be willing to sacrifice to help accomplish what the American people overwhelmingly want?

5) Do you believe if the Congress enacted these desires that this would guarantee your reelection?

6) If not then why not?

Then the members would be broken up into groups of both Republicans and Democrats, Congressmen and Senators in each group with members representing all the regions of the country. Then they would discuss what is on their papers with the other people in the group with the goal of coming to consensus on areas of common interest of a particular issue, like say healthcare. Then with this prioritized list in each group, they would come up with proposed legislation. Then they would be allowed to send a representative from their group to visit other groups with instructions that they can only listen to what is discussed and not speak. Then at the close of discussions each member would go back to their group to discuss modifications to their plan that would garnish the most votes. They then would get back into a larger group and share their issues and recommended solutions. Those issues that garnished the most interest and support would be identified and the corresponding proposed legislation. They would work on the final proposal and submit it to the entire group for a vote BUT would not allow any Amendments. When this was over we would ask for a show of hands as to who would be willing to vote in favor of this back at the "office"? When sufficient hands of both Senators and Congressmen had been raised the issue would be tabled for implementation by a committee of the group with a date certain that the legislation would be ready on the floor of both Houses of Congress.

Then we would go on to the second and third issues using the same process. If just 3 -5 issues were addressed and enacted it would be more than this Congress and the Congresses of the past 20 years have accomplished.

It is nice to dream and have fantasies! But I must wake up and be angry again, as the Congress is poised to approve that the U.S. official language shall be English. Whew, now that's important!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

TRUST- Once broken can never be restored as before

I did a study many years ago on the topic of Trust.

There are 3 kinds of Trust.
Assumed Trust which is freely given by an individual,
Earned Trust and
Broken Trust

What I learned, after interviewing hundreds and hundreds of people, was not surprising. Trust that had been earned but then broken, was never ever regained back to previous levels of trust.

Once trust is earned it is a precious gift between people. Sometimes, there is a fragile moment between people when trust is in doubt, because of some unfufilled promise or something another did that rasies a flag with the other. That moment starts to bring into question whether there has been a breach of trust. If the individual experiencing a loss of trust, can question the other party and the questions are respected and dealt with in a serious, honest manner, then the trust can be saved and not broken. But if the questions are brushed off, ignored, dismissed as intrusive, or dealt with in a less than candid, honest way, then the party feeling now harmed, may indeed confirm that view and distant themselves from the other.

So what does this topic have with a political Blog? Trust has been broken with the American people by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, and this has spilled over now to those heading up all the agencies like Homeland Security, Energy Dept., CIA, FBI, the Pentagon, the NSA, the State Dept., FEMA, the Dept. of Health and Human Services and last but not least this Republican led Congress. Trust has been broken now and that is why the Republican base is rebelling. They know what is in store for them. We have come to the point where we don't believe a thing they are saying, do we? If they had been open and honest in a forthright manner with us from the very beginning, more would have been loyal. But we have been betrayed and, while it has taken 5 plus years, we are all simmering with anger for the betrayal. We know our day to vote is coming and the Silent Majority will be heard once again, this time we will make previous landslides look like like a close race. Remember the reasons why; it's all about TRUST and the lack of it, BROKEN TRUST to be specific.

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Admitting a mistake- Does anyone, anymore?

I posted an article last week, from Truthout's Jason Leopold, regarding Karl Rove's possible indictment coming on the CIA leak case. Well, it turns out that Leopold was too far "ahead of the story". What a way to make an apology for being wrong (at least so far) on the story. The lame apology wasn't even made by Leopold but by the Executive Director of, Marc Ash.

When I wrote my post on May 13th, I said after reading Leopold's post, "Right now it is all speculation and the connecting of some interesting dots." He had never stated it was speculation but was fact. I apologize for any misleading claims that you may have gotten reading my post. I'll be even more careful in the future when referencing other bloggers.

When someone makes a mistake, it is best to own it immediately. I can understand why people have not been embraced this practice. It is because the daily role modeling we see demonstrated by our elected officials, especially of the leadership and their appointed ministries, is just the opposite. They use "blaming others", as the means of educating us on the proper response when one is wrong. I am speaking here of President Bush, VP Cheney, Alberto Gonzales and Donald Rumsfeld. There hasn't been one apology from them on not finding the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, the failed winning of the peace there, the change in the definition and use of torture by the U.S. military in Abu Ghraib and the terribly wrong estimates of the costs of this war. Tony Blair of Great Britain has been more of a role model, as he has owned his errors in public amid much criticism that he is a strong supporter of George Bush. Nevertheless, my admiration for Blair is much higher than of this President and his Cabinet and most of the admiration comes from his admitting when he has made mistakes.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Stock market nervousness is real!

Investors are worrying that the Fed will keep increasing interest rates to slow inflation. I am afraid that is going to happen and the Fed will eventually cause the economy to slip into a Recession. It is history repeating itself. But this time Oil is at $75/barrel, not $30/barrel. Greenspan has created a number of Recessions in his tour as Fed Chairman. The new Fed Chairman does not want his first year to be recorded as the time the Fed let inflation get away from them. But it is evident from the recent increase in food prices, that the cost of gas is having its negative affect causing the cost of most things to go up. Compounding the problem is the fact, that the Dollar is down, relative to the EU and the Yen, making our purchasing power less than previous periods in our history. The reason for this is that our National Debt under this President has moved both as the highest rate of growth and absolute growth in the history of this nation. All the money spent on a war of choice in Iraq, inept leadership on the Katrina recovery, highest oil prices in history and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans being passed at every turn. It is a sad day in our history when we all want a different President and VP, and a different party in Congress. We are all fed up and need a change soon as many of us wonder what mischief can happen with another 2 plus years left with this President/VP in power. God help us and those that hope for a better life. Try Mexico or Europe. You won't be finding it here anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reprint: FBI Tracking journalists' Phone Calls!

A great post by Joe Gandelman of the Moderate Voice. I reprint it here because it is very scary indeed.

FBI Is Reportedly Tracking Journalists' Phone Calls
by Joe Gandelman

Wasn't all of this surveillance supposed to be to hunt down terrorists? But that was SO YESTERDAY, you see...

Here's the latest example why when government is given a new power everyone should worry that they will use it in a way that was not officially proclaimed. File this in the If You Have The Power Why Not Use It As You Want Department:
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
Once again: this is something that would have been vehemently denied as a goal just a few months ago. But now it's apparently being done...because it can be done. And, politically it can be done because some of the administration's conservative supporters keep adjusting their former levels of outrage in terms of the power of big government (whatever the administration does must be OK because the administration does it):
Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers.

The official who warned ABC News said there was no indication our phones were being tapped so the content of the conversation could be recorded.

A pattern of phone calls from a reporter, however, could provide valuable clues for leak investigators.
So, kiddies, the fact is:

It's not all just being done to get the foreign terrorist evildoers anymore. Now the tools are being used to go after leakers who are blabbing unflattering stuff to journalists.

Who's next?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bush on Border Security and the National Guard

Do you really believe the President and this Administration wants to secure the borders? Let's take a look at the results. We have had no attention on this problem for 5 years. Now, with opinion polls sinking as low as the President's ankle, he says he wants to do something about the borders. Give me a break. What he really wants is for you to believe he is doing something to secure the borders while his ever important Business Lobby is looking to hear the loopholes in the plan that guarantees they still can hire those illegal aliens crossing our borders. I suggest you dissect his speech for yourself and look for the loopholes. They will certainly be there.

What a sham and a disgrace. I hope Karl Rove gets indicted sooner rather than later and hopefully this President will start to get better advice than he has for the past 5 years.

UPDATE 5:18pm PST after the speech.
Well, I found one loophole. President Bush identified the employees guilty of hiring these illegal aliens LAST in his speech. That is the expected priority rating of this Administration. In addition, the National Guard will not have the power to engage and apprehend those illegally crossing the border. So what good are they being there? POLITICAL COVER! Did you buy it?

Is it time for a viable Third party? No, not Ross Perot!

I was reading a piece today on the possibility of a viable third political party written by Dick Meyer of CBS. I wrote on this in January with a post titled, "What is it going to take to wake up Americans?" and dealt with the same issue. To see Meyer's piece click here.

In the piece on January 3rd, I wrote the following:

"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."

A comment said that McCain has become too Conservative. Well who could do it then? Please, not Ross Perot! List some candidates, in my Comments below, that you believe could help this country become whole again, as a third party candidate. My only concern is that a third party could somehow lose and have the same Republican inept Congress get reelected.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Karl Rove to be indicted!!!

According to Truthout's Jason Leopold, Karl has told the President he will be indicted by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the CIA leak case. According to Leopold, Rove's possible crimes are more serious than VP Cheney's Chief of Staff, Libbey. Could this be the straw that finally breaks the back of this Administration. Right now it is all speculation and the connecting of some interesting dots.

For example, as the plot unfolds, a few weeks after Rove's attorney spoke with Fitzgerald, Luskin arranged for Rove to go back to the Grand Jury for a 5th time in hopes of throwing the possible indictment off track. According to Leopold, "That meeting was followed almost immediately by an announcement by newly-appointed White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten of changes in the responsibilities of some White House officials, including Rove, who was stripped of his policy duties and would no longer hold the title of deputy White House chief of staff."

Leopold goes on to claim that, "Late Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning, several White House officials were bracing for the possibility that Fitzgerald would call a news conference and announce a Rove indictment today following the prosecutor's meeting with the grand jury this morning. However, sources close to the probe said that is unlikely to happen, despite the fact that Fitzgerald has already presented the grand jury with a list of charges against Rove. If an indictment is returned by the grand jury, it will be filed under seal.

Rove is said to have told Bolten that he will be charged with perjury regarding when he was asked how and when he discovered that covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the agency, and whether he discussed her job with reporters.

Sources close to the case said there is a strong chance Rove will also face an additional charge of obstruction of justice, adding that Fitzgerald has been working meticulously over the past few months to build an obstruction case against Rove because it "carries more weight" in a jury trial and is considered a more serious crime."

This, if true, is great reporting by Leopold. Jason Leopold spent two years covering California's electricity crisis as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. Jason has spent the last year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation, and is a regular contributor to t r u t h o u t.

So you see this is breaking news and news that will give hope to those who have been speaking out before about this Administration, President Bush and VP Cheney. There may be vindication after all but the tragedy is the price this country has paid for this inept, dishonest Administration. Do you still believe in this President and Vice President? Speak out and take responsibility for the mess because most Americans have been apathetic and it is apathy that will destroy our democracy and our eliminate our basic freedom.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today is My One Year Anniversary, as a Blogger!

Well I made it. I never thought I would be writing so much in my life. I never was much into writing as my natural talent was speaking and public speaking at that. But I have found something very interesting about the actual process of writing every other day or so and especially about a topic in which I have an emotional reaction to. I find it a release of my emotion and that has a calming effect to me.

Take today as an example. I am listening to the news as I usually do when I wake up around
5:00am each day. This morning I hear that the Bush Administration has been collecting data on every call 10's of millions of Americans have made since at least 9/11 and possibly before. This isn't the same as listening to the calls. But for example, let's use this in the CIA leak case investigation. The Bush Administration could check into all the reporters telephone calls on the story, sort any calls into or out of any government agency and determine who is leaking their secrets. They could know who lawyers are talking to in government to help their defendants and stop leaks at the source. If you let your imagination go you can think of all kinds of possibilities here. It does make me mad that once we could trust our government and now we can't any longer. Once trust is broken it is almost impossible to get it back. We are no longer innocent in a situation when the government has data on us. We are guilty until proven innocent. Democracy has been attacked after 9/11, not by the terrorists, but by our own government. This Administration should be tried for Treason against upholding our Constitution. After found guilty of this, we should turn them all over to the International Court for War Crimes.

Now I feel better. I have once again released my emotion. It proves Blogging is good for your health!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Senator Biden one year ago offered ideas on Iraq. 2nd in a series of Anniversary posts

Just 2 days before my 1st Anniversary as a Blogger, I wanted to share a posting back on June 29, 2005 that is particularly relevant today and gathered some of the best comments I have had on my Blog. I am not going to post the Comments too, but suggest you click here and read them at the bottom of the original post.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush's speech-Justifying the war or securing the peace?

Does anyone in this Administration know the difference between justifying the war in Iraq versus a plan to win the war? it doesn't appear that President Bush did last night. Or maybe there isn't anyone in this Administration that wants to be held accountable by the American public? Now here's where being a centrist can help in this dialogue. Democrats, Independents, and Moderate Republicans need to contribute ideas to elements of a plan to win the peace in Iraq. I heard one last night when Senator Joe Biden of Delaware offered up something when he said that we need to ask Nato to embrace the idea of securing the borders of Iraq. Someone needs to if we are going to stop the stream of insurgents, from countries like Saudi Arabia, from entering Iraq to join the jihad.

Now how about my readers offering up some suggestions. I throw the challenge out there to start becoming part of the solution rather than being entwined in the problem. Thanks Senator Biden for your contribution to the dialogue.

5-9-06 UPDATE:
Not much has changed from a year ago, has it, except of course the President's opinion polls are even lower because he won't listen to any critics, Republicans, Democrats or Independents.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

One year Anniversary of Blogging May 11th

May 11th will be my one year anniversary of posting on this Blog. It has been fun and in formative to me personally. I have read many other Bloggers posts who are often ahead of me, but every once in a while I write something I beleive is ahead of others. I thought it might be interesting to post again several that I had posted in May last year and fro readers to determine if they are valid today. Here is my first of the week. This appeared here on May 21, 2005.

Where are the student protests today?

As we approach June 4th , the anniversary of Tiananmen Square, and I reflect on our own history of student protests, it got me to wonder where are today's student protesters, as certainly there are many disturbing trends in America today, threatening the very fabric of our democracy as we search for bipartisanship in Congress and a more humble America in our rhetoric abroad and at home. But we still seem very arrogant as a nation, with little understanding of the very cultures we are trying to change. I am not talking about Iraq here. I am talking about the "Divided" States of America, that's right, the good ole D.S.A., one nation, (partly) under God, very divisible, with liberty (until we can change those Senate Rules), and justice for (a few).

There was once a time of idealism, of standing up and being taken seriously by society, a conscience for all of us. This was the time of Student protests. Students protested the Vietnam war, the May 4th, 1970 Kent State shootings, Tiananmen Square and support for democracy in China, the outrage at the Chinese Government’s reaction to the protests and some recent protests of the Iraq war in selective cities.

As a nation, we have a lot to be angry about with our government. First there was the misleading “intelligence” of the lead up to the Iraq invasion and then the letters of former White House General Counsel and current Attorney General, Roberto Gonzales, regarding new interpretations of what is and what is not torture. Then the pronouncements by our President that certain prisoners would not necessarily be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Convention. Add to this more recent assertion about additional abuse in Guantanamo and the shameless deceit to get recruits on High School campuses to enlist, and you wonder what it takes to get Student protesters engaged again. There have been some protests of the Iraq war but they fade away quickly. What captures the focus and attention of the bulk of our students today? Could it be survival, as the job market still looks bleak? Or is it just apathy? What do you think? I don’t think they care much about what the Senate is proposing in its Nuclear Option to end the filibuster and allow judicial nominations through who by the minority see as extreme in their views. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Porter Goss "resigns" - How about some others following suit?!

Porter Goss, Director of the CIA and former Congressman, "resigned" today and I use the quotes to question whether he resigned or was fired from the job. They say he was well liked in Congress by both Democrats and Republicans. Gee, I think that is a perfect reason in itself to have him "resign". The only thing that would make me happier on this Friday would be to hear that, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, also "resigned". Then maybe it might catch on like the bird flu, in which everyone starts to get the itch to “resign”. How about Karl Rove after that, followed by Rumsfeld, then Homeland Security Director Chertoff, then maybe even VP Cheney. Wow, what a nice thought on May 5th. Oops, should I say, "Cinco de Mayo" to be politically correct. :)

As you can tell, my recent theme of "throw the bums out", has no bounds. Heck, I would even like to see some Democrats thrown out too. Let's start with Rep. Kennedy from RI. What a lame excuse for a Congressman. But what's worse, what a lame statement of accountability. If he were truly accountable, he would resign from Congress in respect to those in his district and forfeit any pay due for the remainder of his term. But he's not really accountable. He is "reality TV" accountable.

From a posting on the Moderate Voice, I tracked down the Essay written by Isaiah Berlin in 1958, in which Berlin distinguished between two forms of liberty - negative liberty and positive liberty and he argued that positive liberty is politically dangerous because it tempts rulers to curtail people's negative liberties for the reason it's "for their own good." Negative liberty refers to an individual's liberty from others in power. Positive liberty refers to freedom to achieve certain ends. The problem with Positive liberty is that many Republicans and Democrats hold that they "know what is best for the rest of us" and often act on those beliefs. Recent examples of this are the invasion of Iraq, as a war of choice, because it is best to rid the world of Saddam (they know what's best for us). Even recent Tax breaks, given to the wealthiest Americans, is acting on the assumption that "they know what's best for America" even though most Americans, including those receiving the tax breaks, didn't ask for it nor wanted it. Same is true for the Tax benefits given to the Oil companies, or the bill to drill in Alaska, the meddling into the Terri Schiavo tragedy was in the belief that, "we know what's best for them". Illegal Immigration amnesty argued as real immigration reform and not amnesty by the Democrats. I wouldn't mind all this stuff but there is little if any accountabilty left in government. And as voters, we really don't get to pick our choice to run the country. The parties put forth their candidates which are chosen by a few. How many elections have you voted in where you thought, "I wish I could be voting for "X" instead but I only have one choice now."
Well, I'm tired of all this "help" we're receiving. A gridlocked Congress is the best Congress right after a 3rd, 4th or 5th political party is better than the two we have now, which is essentially one party from the left and the right, all acting like they know what's best for us. I think I know what's best for me. How about you?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mossaoui vs. Alberto Gonzales: What a waste of time!

Can you believe wasting tax payers money and 4 full years of a trial just to keep this guy in jail. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales failed us again. This is the same guy that tried to bend all the rules on torture, holding prisoners without trials and had the ear of President Bush, as a close friend and confidant. Bush & company can't do anything right. Don't blame the jurors. This is incompetence of the highest order, led by an Administration that has excelled and taken this country to incredibly new lows.

Can't wait for November to vote and "throw the bums out!"

Why the Geneva Convention distinction between military tribunal or competent tribunal

I promised some information on just what is contained in the Geneva Convention as it relates to those held at Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants. My investigation on this topic yielded some little known facts on the evolution of the document.

At Geneva, in 1949, it was proposed that to help be more precise in language, the term "responsible authority" should be replaced by "military tribunal". This proposed change was based upon the the view that decisions which might have the gravest consequences should not be left to a single person to decide. The matter should be taken to a court.

However this suggestion was not unanimously accepted, as it was felt that to bring a person before a military tribunal might have more serious consequences than a decision to deprive him of the benefits afforded by the Convention. A further amendment was therefore made to the Stockholm text stipulating that a decision regarding persons whose status was in doubt would be taken to a "competent tribunal", and not specifically a military tribunal.

Article 5 reads:
"The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.

Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."

One issue before our country, is whether the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and by their directives to Rumsfeld, President Bush, VP Cheney and Attorney General Roberto Gonzales, have violated the Geneva Convention by their directives, as to how these prisoner's status was determined. A case could be made, and probably will someday, that they have violated the spirit and letter of the law, signed by the United States, as a major party to this treaty in Geneva.

Much has been written on the topic and for those interested in pursuing the topic further go to
this web page.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sen . Biden's fresh approach to victory in Iraq

Sen. Joe Biden yesterday gave the first plan I have seen that has a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Iraq. He gave a speech to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. He proposed a 5 point plan:

1. One Iraq With Three Regions
The central government would be responsible for border defense, foreign policy, oil production and revenues. The regional governments -- Kurd, Sunni and Shiite -- would be responsible for administering their own regions.

2. A Viable Sunni Region With Shared Oil Revenues

3. More Aid, But Tied To The Protection Of Minority And Women's Rights

4. Maintain Iraq’s Territorial Integrity And Engage Its Neighbors

5. A Responsible U.S. Drawdown And A Residual Force

To read the plan see the speech by Sen Biden here.

He does not call for immediate withdrawal as some Democrats have called for. What I like especially about the speech is that it sounds like it comes from an interested individual who has explored all the alternatives, the pro's and the con's and said, "If I were President now, what would I do?" Now that's leadership, the kind of leadership we are all craving for! It is that kind of courage to give away the best ideas to this President in hopes that this country can see, that the sacrifices our brave men and women in the Armed Forces have made, have not been in vain. I strongly urge you to help America get back on track and support a new approach, as Sen. Biden has suggested. Contact your Senators and provide the link to his site, or information of his speech and approach to the problem. Bravo Senator!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bush and What Law? Bush challenges hundreds of laws

This is scary stuff, so much so, that I have copied and pasted the first few paragraphs from the Boston Globe, unedited. PLEASE READ:

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006

"WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Former administration officials contend that just because Bush reserves the right to disobey a law does not mean he is not enforcing it: In many cases, he is simply asserting his belief that a certain requirement encroaches on presidential power.

But with the disclosure of Bush's domestic spying program, in which he ignored a law requiring warrants to tap the phones of Americans, many legal specialists say Bush is hardly reluctant to bypass laws he believes he has the constitutional authority to override.

Far more than any predecessor, Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone as the head of the executive branch or the commander in chief of the military."

This is enough to turn my stomach and probably yours but if it hasn't, please read the entire article by clicking here.
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