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September 29, 2006

Comments on I Put My Fingers Against the Glass:
#2 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:27 AM:

This scares me. As few things have scared me.

I fear it shall get worse before it gets better, and it all hinges on the vote in November.

That's the part which scares me most.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:31 AM:

Terry, Jim and I were just saying the same thing to each other in chat.

#4 ::: Dave Lartigue ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:35 AM:

More than ever, I am embarrassed to be an American. I want to quit the country, even though I feel that it has left me and not the other way around.

My post

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:35 AM:

I'm expecting the elections to get very ugly. A lot of people with Republican connections have crossed the line at some point over the past eight years. It's been the usual tradeoff: the less money and power you bring to the game, the more exposure to risk you have to accept. They're going to be frantic at the prospect of power changing hands.

#6 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:36 AM:

I hate to bring this up, but this is exactly the kind of dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party that I felt when I voted Green way back when. Obviously, that was a decision I regret more deeply with each passing day. Ever since those dreadful days, thanks to many persuasive points made on this blog, I became a Democrat.

I gave them money, I voted for them, and I argued for them. I still feel this anger and frustration that they are not addressing the concerns that I tried to handle by being a Green party member. I am not advocating for a return to the Green Party, I have learned my lesson on that, believe me. But I'm still at a complete loss of what to do. I am not represented, there is no viable party that hews anywhere near to the line that my values tell me I must never cross. What do I do? (Besides the letters, donations, and voting.)

#7 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:50 AM:

We're in our annual recruiting season, so every morning my mailbox fills up with anxious inquiries from international graduates who desperately want to come to this country.

Invariably, despite our stated policy, they want to know if we might, possibly, just for them, sponsor them for H-1B visa status, which provides an easier path to permanent residency and citizenship than our standard J-1. I have to tell them no, but inside I'm screaming "no! don't come here! danger! it's all different now!" How long will it take before people realize things have changed in America? How long does it take to destroy a 200-year-old reputation as a beacon of freedom?

One of our current foreign students just proudly brought me her brand-new permanent residency card and announced that she would be a citizen within a year. I wanted to cry.

#8 ::: marrije ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:53 AM:

I'm sorry to bring this up (don't mean to sound dense or flip), but could someone tell me who the guy in the glasses is and why he's at the top of the post?

#9 ::: Stephen G ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:59 AM:

marrije: That's Daniel von Bargen as Sheriff Cooley from "O Brother Where Art Thou". Cooley is the Devil, or at least his stand-in, in the movie.

This is a terrible, horrible thing. How much more awful that it getting better in the short term depends in large part on the Democrats being competent at being elected.

#10 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:01 PM:

As I said in comments to one of my posts on the subject,

On my bad days, I see civil war.

On my not so bad days I see dark times ahead, and a return to sanity (which requires turning the bums out. After that I don't know what it needs to prevent their return, but that has to happen too).

On my really bad days I see neither of those.

And I keep thinking, when I ponder the first, that I don't have enough ammunition, and thinking things like that pisses me off.

#11 ::: marrije ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:02 PM:

Thank you, Stephen G. Must watch that movie again, then.

#12 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:04 PM:

Terry, I know what you mean. My wife is Japanese, I am close to being afraid to say how I feel about my government because they could lock her up and throw away the key, and I could do nothing about it.

#13 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Yeah, I heard this on the news this morning and was completely unable to believe it. This is the utter antithesis of everything America has ever stood for.

This whole thing is utterly pathetic. I remember for months following the 9/11 attacks we were told to fly and buy, that if we lived in fear we let the terrorists win. That we could not and should not let them change our way of life.
So what the hell is this?

I don't follow politics as closely as I should. I fully believed this would be the proof we had not lost our way as a nation, that we -- or more accurately our government -- had not gone completely insane. Man, was I wrong.

I am not going to re-capitulate all the arguments against torture. They've been all over Making Light for months now. But how does this happen? I figured the lack of debate was because the sane contingent felt they needn't speak up because this was so obviously wrong beyond any need for debate. AAARRRGGH!!


Sean: IMO, the answer's an easy one: Follow the example of Joe Lieberman. Vote in all the races major and minor, primary or whatever, and vote everybody out. Vote out the republicans of course, but any time there is a new democrat candidate, vote for them. Send a clear message that you're disgusted with everyone!


In other news on the same subject: I have long listened doubtfully to the debates and opinions over the plans for "lifetime-president" Bush, and the possibility that this administration is planning to (somehow) remain in office after 2008. Not that I didn't agree that they'd like to, but I didn't see any way it coud happen, and very stongly believed that most of his support would be horrified at such an action.

Lately, I'm not nearly so sure. A co-worker told me about a speech a week to ten days ago where he supposedly apologized to the nation for the condition of our public schools, and that the government had failed the people by letting godless PhDs run things and corrupt our kids, and that he apparently finished by promising he was going to get the schools back and return them to what they should be. That does not sound like the speech of someone anticipating the end of office.

This whole thing is just scary as hell ...

#14 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:06 PM:

I would note that there is one and only one decent Republican in the U.S. Senate: Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island.

(It is small comfort that both my senators and my member of congress also voted against this abomination.)

#15 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:11 PM:

We are one terrorist attack away from Marshall Law. And the terrorists know this. It's a symbiosis of fear and ruthlessness between Bushco and the Islamicists.

#16 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:12 PM:

over at firedoglake, from a thread with lots of comments on where next: 171 Peterr says:
September 29th, 2006 at 8:38 am *

'Folks, this is officially a Noble Cause.

'You want the Shrub to suffer? Elect a Democratic Senate. If you elect dems, Bush suffers. A lot. Humiliations galore! We’re talking “to the pain” here.

'Force the Republicans to defend themselves, with more than “well, some dems voted for it too.” Put a waterboard on a float, and follow them around. Get yourself a bright and shiny crown, and put a royal coronation of Bush on the next float in the parade.

'For Bush, torture is having someone point out his mistakes. For Bush, torture is having his judgment questioned - and it being found lacking. Not even his six-fingered VP can save him from that.

'So if Bush loves torture so much, let’s show him what it feels like. Iraq is a failure. Not will be, not might be, but is. Day after day after day, spotlight the media with his failures. Failure, failure, failure - the mantra of the Bush Administration. Iraq? Failure. Katrina? Failure. The list goes on . . . '

A lot of people are wondering what to do when their [allegedly Democratic] senator voted for his deciderness. Vote for them, holding your nose, but work to get a better choice next time around, seems to be the idea. Bring in the libertarians and the Goldwater Republicans, many of whom are not happy now either. (Instant results are not promised.)

#17 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:16 PM:

nitpick: 'martial law' (law in wartime or concerning war)), not 'marshall law' (law by people named Marshall) or 'marshal law' (law by marshal). [sorry, I get so tired of seeing it done wrong.]

#18 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:17 PM:

I'm really really scared, you guys.

#19 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:17 PM:

Sorry, my mid-note should read:

Sean: IMO, the answer's an easy one: Follow the example they made of Joe Lieberman. Vote in all the races major and minor, primary or whatever, and vote everybody out. Vote out the republicans of course, but any time there is a new democrat candidate, vote for them. Send a clear message that you're disgusted with everyone!


If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem, right?

And regarding Terry Karney's post, that's exactly how I feel. For the longest time I felt cetain that they wouldn't and couldn't start a civil war -- and it would.

Now, I'm not so sure. Americans at large are so complacent, and the Democrats seem so wishy-washy and afraid of doing anything because it might be wrong, that I think they might try it because they believe no one will know how to react. My personal hope is that they've forgotten it won't be their political opponents, but "basic plain Americans" who will revolt, and that they will.

On the other hand, a rather frightening poll recently showed that everything hinged on the War in Iraq: If a person felt that Iraq was somehow connected to the terrorists, then they felt Bush was right practically whatever he did.

I'm starting to have a very nasty creepy feeling of deja vu that this is not like Vietnam as so many have said for so long, but rather more like the German Workers' Party circa 1919.


God let me be wrong ....

#20 ::: LurkerD ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:19 PM:

I feel that things have already gone last past the point where we might (or should) have been marching in the street en masse daily, demanding change. Generations of [more or less] successful democracy will do this to us, I guess - bring just enough complacency to let it all slip away. We've changed into being a new kind of American left-wing intelligentsia. Scares the shit out of me. I believe many of the basic tenets our country was founded upon are already gone and will be very, very difficult to bring back.

#21 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:19 PM:

Well, I posted this in the open thread, but I think it belongs here:

Both of my Senators, both Democrats, voted Yea.

I just can't deal. I think I'm going to vomit.

I think they should both be waterboarded, subjected to hypothermia, and then sleep-deprived until they admit that they raped their grandmothers, masterminded Watergate, and are responsible for the Fall of Rome.

We're living in Vampire America. "Let's get one thing straight," said Giles, "Jesse is dead! You have to remember that when you see him, you're not looking at your friend. You're looking at the thing that killed him."

It has America's name, and its memory, and its general appearance, but it doesn't have America's soul any more.

#22 ::: LurkerD ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:23 PM:

And while I'm delurking, let me just add:

And bowed my head and cried.

#23 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:24 PM:

PJ, Thanks for the posts, and the corrections. I will continue to vote Democrat and support the only viable opposition party we have. Regarding Martial vs. Marshall, I think I was having a chocolate moment in my lizard brain. I'm craving Marshall Field's mint chocolates, it's all that can pull me out of this depression/panic.

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:30 PM:

Our forefathers gave us this freedom in hand
And we'll die in defense of the rights of the land
Derry down, down, hey derry down.

#25 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:35 PM:

On the "Rule of Law"

While I share some of LurkerD's fears, I think the fact that no one is marching en masse is not all bad.

I think (or would like to think) that most of Ammerica is playing a waiting game. On some level those who oppose Bush, this war (these wars?), torture, wiretapping, lying to the public, and, well, everything else know that Bush, Inc. has stopped listening. No, wait, has never had any intention of listening. Therefore there is little sense in marching en masse.

The choice is simple: wait for the next election, or kick him out now? Well, obviously, he and his won't go willingly, so this would really be a choice of law vs. (armed) revolt. And if those aligned against Bush are basing many of their arguments on Constitutionality and the rule of law, then obviously it would run counter to their arguments and principles to pursue an extra-legal solution when all the legal ones have not yet been exhausted.

If electing new officials does not work, then and only then will -- in the words of Patrick Henry -- "an appeal to arms and the God of Hosts" be all that is left us.

#26 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:35 PM:

What waterboarding looks like.

There is no reaction to today's news that I would consider "alarmist."

#27 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 12:40 PM:

Sean Bosker @ 23:

Never met their chocolates, but I'm considering going down to the St*rb*ck's in the lobby and getting a pumpkin scone. Maybe I'll make a schadenfreude pie sometime (not that many people I know could eat it).

#28 ::: Dan Guy ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:02 PM:

I don't understand how someone votes to allow torture with a straight face, much less a guiltless conscience. Inconceivable.

#29 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:03 PM:

As I wrote in my blog today...

All Republican Congressional Representatives (and Some Democrats) Sink to Bush's Level

I've read many angry, disappointed (but not surprised) blogs and LJs out there. Other than vote the bastards out, what else could we, should we be doing? Writing is one thing, but what else?

If you don't already read Bad Astronomy Blog, Phil Plait had many useful things to say.

#30 ::: LurkerD ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:04 PM:

Pedantic Peasant:

Indeed, after participating in huge marches (SF Bay Area) protesting the Iraq invasion, it was certainly clear that Bush Inc. was not listening and will not listen.

However, I don't think that translates to there being little sense in marching en masse. Marching en masse speaks also to our fellow citizens, hopefully adding more who agree with our cause and helping folks decide not just to agree with us, but to take action.

Right now, "take action" definitely means working to elect new officials, beginning most importantly with the upcoming elections.

Speaking of marching en masse: October 5th nationwide protests are planned: http://worldcantwait.net/

#31 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:06 PM:

I keep waiting to the "Is you is, or Is you aint my constiuancy" moment, where the logic fairy jumps out with a big "Ah Ha", evil suffers, and things get put right before the curtain close.


#32 ::: dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:09 PM:

Not the only time I've been disappointed in McCain, but by far the worst. I've been pondering the words to write and tell him so. (I know, I know, I've been cautioned about him before, here and elsewhere. I guess I'm an eternal optimist.)

I am moving to the Netherlands in two weeks, for a year or so. I don't even know how to answer the comments I know I'm going to get, except to make sure people realize just how high a percentage of the American people are *not* behind our government on this.

#33 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:14 PM:

I'm trying to figure out just what my response to this will be. If it means quiting my job and going to work for the Democratic party, I am reasonably able to do that. I've got computer skills, and I know how to write well. I'm not above going door to door campaigning for a Democrat in a battleground state.

I need to act in some major way, or I am just going to fall into complete despair. For me, the time for spectating on this conflict is over. I'm ready to go to war with these bastards.

#34 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:16 PM:

I keep waiting to wake up, in the summer of 2000, and find this is all a bad dream. I'd be willing to give up all the fantastic stuff that has happened for me personally in the past 6 years (2 cats, the most wonderful boyfriend in the world, a PhD program I really like, a house, a certain amount of being comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life) to have this malignant cancer cut out of the body politic.

#35 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:28 PM:

dichroic, just say "Guess why I'm here and not there. The way things are going, I may apply to stay!"

#36 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:32 PM:

Arlen Specter, one of the faux 'principled Republicans', was quoted yesterday as saying that he believed the law would inevitably get sent back to Congress by the Supreme Court.

Even assuming that he's correct (and God I hope he is), despite the provisions in the bill limiting the jurisdiction of all judges including the Supremes, I'd really love to see the press grill him on this point.

If you don't think the bill passes constitutional muster, why did you vote for it? Why did you rush it to a vote in the first place? Why not switch to the 'con' side when it became clear that your amendments weren't going to make it in? Isn't it part of your job to vote only for those bills you believe are, I don't know, *lawful and constitutional*?

It strikes me as kind of cowardly to depend on a whole other branch of government to do the right thing and correct your mistakes, rather than even try to do the right thing yourself. Risky, too, given the current composition of the Court.

#37 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:35 PM:

"What a parcel of rogues in a nation."

I have gone well beyond fear and depression and am well into rage. If I can translate that rage into something positive, I will be out there helping elect some progressive humans. I no longer consider those in power to have any humanity left in them.

Jane

#38 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:35 PM:

dichroic,

I'm moving to the Netherlands for the long term in six months. Tell me how your move goes.

I'm moving from the UK, where I spend a lot of time explaining us as a nation. Some of it's defending us, some of it's being reasonable about criticism.

Sometimes I get so damned tired of having to choose between making negative comments about my fellow countrymen and defending the indefensible.

(And I voted, absentee, already, to make sure the ballot gets there in time. And since I'm a dual citizen, I vote here too.)

#39 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:38 PM:

Hey, it isn't all bad!

Senate Wins Fight To Lower Allowable Amperage Levels On Detainees' Testicles

SO . . . how about a page on making practical, affordable, easy-to-carry protest signs?

I spent most of the last political protest I attended in a stroller.

#40 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:44 PM:

I'd like to know what they thought they were doing when they took their oaths of office, all of them, which includes a phrase about preserving and defending the Constitution (I'm not sure about the exact words, but that's the idea).

Did they think that having their fingers (or toes, or eyes) crossed would make it less binding?

Will we get to find out what happens when someone takes a solemn oath ('... so help me God') and breaks it? (I'm hoping for either lightning or something like the Spirit in 'Raiders'. Don't look at either one.)

#41 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:52 PM:

I was starting to think, with the elections coming up, that it was looking like maybe some of nonsense was finally going to get cleaned up.

This was before the torture bill. It makes for a great wedge issue

if you're a fucking moron

and can't tell the difference between rule of law, restriction of powers on the state, and oh, say, ancient Rome.

What surprised me was the number of Democrats that failed to hold the line, failed to form a line, failed to show any backbone, and most importantly failed to LEAD.

McCain is a clown to me, now. But he seems to be able to fool enough folks as to his "maverick" status that he still has some pull. That the Dems failed to LEAD and instead put all their eggs in the McCain-basket to oppose this bill was naive. McCain wants to be president. Badly. Reeeal badly. And he isn't going to piss off his Republican masters now, ever again, or come to think of it, in the past. McCain would oppose this bill, but only to make some speech on camera and get some name recognition, some "branding", in the hopes of getting folks to notice the "maverick" senator standing up to the president. And then when the cameras leave, McCain knew he'd sign the fucking bill. I knew it. Any politician worth his salt knew it. But for some reason, the Dems didn't know it.

So they hid behind McCain, and put him up on the podium as their anti-torture spokesperson, because they were afraid they'd wither in the spotlight, I suppose. And then when McCain said "OK, the cameras are gone. Where do I sign?" the dems had no moral voice. They said "Look, McCain opposes this, so it must be wrong". ANd then when McCain signed, they would look like political hacks to oppose something that their very own spokesperson had suddenly endorsed.

What has me worried, though, is the number of Dems that voted for the bill. It makes me think of the story of the secret police who barge into a home, give a weapon to the mother, and tell her she must shoot one of her children, and the other will be allowed to live. The result being that it tears apart what's left of the family so they fight each other rather than fight the root cause, the secret police. A lot of Democrats just shot their own child. Bush handed them the gun, but they pulled the trigger. And that has me worried.

That the Democratic party, as a whole, could not come out with a statement opposing this bill, could not come out with a statement calling this bill what it is, the end of due process, and the beginning of unlimited, unrestrained torture, without any limitation of power, the end of government by the people and for the people, and the beginning of government by the state and the people submit to the state, is disgusting.

There is no longer any illusion that the Democratic party as a whole represents any sort of moral high ground, of law over barbarism, of human rights over state power. They have shot their own child.

November, in my mind right now, doesn't even matter. The parent has shot the child, and its just a matter of time before the family tears itself apart while the secret police laugh.

Unless the Democratic party can reconstitute itself as a party of security through human rights, I don't care who wins anymore.

The only thing I've got left right now is a Keith Olbermann clip that I watch over and over, hoping that more people could see it, that more people felt that way. Good night and good luck, indeed.


#42 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:56 PM:

I confess that I'm having a hard time being civil to the people arguing that this is an acceptable (if vile) setback because what really counts is recpaturing one or both houses of Congress.

First off, the Democratic side. I don't trust people who say "well, sure, I'm cowardly and useless now, but if I get the mob on my side, then I'll be brave." We have examples in the Western world of what effective opposition parties look like. This isn't it. What reason, exactly, to I have to believe that Reid and Pelosi can manage a majority any better than they can manage a minority? Depending on the issue, anywhere from a fifth to half of their folks wander off the reservation to side with the party of tyranny, corruption, and waste. Do they strip the offenders of committee posts? Do they support primary challengers? Do they make effective use of the limited media attention they can get to deliver strong simple messages rather than whining about how they need a good message? Do they hell.

Where there are challengers who seem to understand the basics of morality and good government, like Mr. Lamont, that's easy for me to support. Incumbent Democrats, who've done their part to keep the party disorganized and ineffectual? Not so much.

Second, the Bush side. People who don't read Digby's blog Hullabaloo should check out Tristero's post from yesterday and today. He nails it, I think: Bush respects no authority outside himself and his circle. Say that we got a Democratic majority in one or both houses. Say that it was even a good one, the sort of disciplined, coordinated, effective majority that I'd like to see. What the hell would it matter?

I'm serious about this. What, exactly, do we expect a Democratic majority in either or both house of Congress to matter to Bush. We've all seen him simply ignore what he doesn'tw ant to deal with. Very, very occasionally the administration will submit to some checking or staying, but then it just finds ways around it. I would assume that all of us here, like nearly everyone in the world, has the concept of "authority that is unwelcome and yet legitimate, which we heed even though we'd rather not". Bush doesn't. There is no law in his world, only the enforcable wishes of his circle and the ignorable wishes of everyone else.

I'm still going to do my part this election in the hopes that I'm wrong. But I would like to see an explanation of what good a Democratic majority is supposed to do that takes the facts of both Democratic and Bush behavior into account, rather than coasting on generalizations.

#43 ::: LurkerD ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:57 PM:

Re: making practical, affordable, easy-to-carry protest signs:

Some random howto sites (just found via google): here and here.

World Can't Wait has downloadable posters here. Many other organizations have downloadable graphics and/or posters if you poke around their websites.

My opinion is that the downloadable posters are often not ideal - too much to look at or read. I prefer a few choice clear simple words or symbols.

#44 ::: Mike Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:58 PM:

#29 - Laurie, the problem isn't that they've sunk to *Bush's* level. It's that they've sunk to *bin Laden's* level.

#45 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 01:59 PM:

Greg, apparently - I'm also reading Firedoglake - the GOP snookered Reid into going for the 'we'll let you offer amendments to the bill if you'll agree not to filibuster' bait-and-switch manoeuver. Not for the first time, either. Some of the GOP are admitting that they know it's unconstitutional and they voted for it anyway, which makes me wonder about how smart they are. (They're apparently hoping the courts will throw the law out.)

#46 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:01 PM:

#8: Looks like the "man with no eyes" from "Cool Hand Luke," to me.

#47 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:07 PM:

Late to the party, perhaps, but here's my post.

#48 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:11 PM:

Lenny, no, someone else had it right before. It's the devil from "O Brother Where Art Thou". I've seen the movie probably at least a dozen times, and would bet the standard amount on this one.

#49 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:15 PM:

Lenny, the question was already answered. Why are you providing a wrong answer?

Bruce, in fairness to Reid, you can't filibuster if you don't have the votes to sustain a filibuster. At least Reid delivered a good and impassioned speech of his own against the bill.

I'm as pissed at a lot of Democrats as anybody, but the kinds of generalizations Greg London and Bruce Baugh are making seem to me to reflect a deliberate decision to ignore plain mechanical facts about how Congress works.

Speaking of which, Sean, our system doesn't create parties that "hew to" "lines." Wishing for the American constitutional system to generate such parties is right up there with wishing for a pony.

#50 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:15 PM:

No amount of election effort is going to do anything.

The crowd you've got in now got there through comprehensive vote fraud, yes, but even more so through suppression, including violent suppression, of vote counts and through deliberate false reporting of vote results.

Even if you could arrange a completely fair, honestly conducted, and honestly counted vote, you couldn't get the results of that vote announced.

That's why media consolidation really is a very big deal, beyond the questions of the dissemination of propaganda and unstated agendas and the stifling of dissent.

The derivation of legitimacy through the consent of the governed has been repudiated by those doing the governing.

They're not going to change their minds about that.

Defeat happens in the mind; no vote, no court of law, is going to convince those responsible for the legitimization of torture that their repudiation of the consent of the governed as the basis of legitimacy of government is wrong.

Even in the unlikely happy case where you managed to wrest political power away from this appalling executive through a vote so overwhelming that the ability of the Republican machine to suppress it proved insufficient, you've still got a generational job to de-consolidate your media, replace the structure of corporations with something that isn't autocratic -- a job everybody's got, that one -- and educate the Southern Grievance Culture and pre-millennial dispensationalists out of existence.

In the much more likely and less happy case where you don't get that overwhelming vote, well, that's when sources of domestic dissent start disappearing and being tortured to death.

There will be a certain pro-forma requirement to name co-conspirators, and that will certainly see extensive political use, but, really, it'll be so everybody knows that's what happens to the bad people.

#51 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:17 PM:

#9, #9: Oh Brother is a retelling of the Odyssey. Sheriff Cooley is Poseidon.

I wish I had something to contribute to the actual topic at hand, but I quickly become incoherent with rage.

#52 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:24 PM:

I understand that neither I, nor anyone else opposed to this, has the time to engage in the luxury of despair.

And yet it has been extremely difficult to refrain from despairing this week.

It's almost as though the Republic is intent on committing suicide.

There's a battle for the heart and soul of our country going on, and the good guys appear to be losing.

#53 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:28 PM:

#43:

What is the slogan? What is the one-liner?

A protest sign with the entire contents of, say, Courage Vow won't cut it. It might be good source material, but it just won't damn well fit on a protest sign. The one bit that might is this:

I am better than them
only so long as
my principles are better.

or possibly this:

Without my principles,
the only difference
between me and the barbarians
is the color of the uniform.


We have thrown our principles on the pyre. Some of us have done so voluntarily, some gladly, and some even forcefully. And now I watch the mob dance around the flames, singing, cheering, celebrating, and I can't help but weep for the inevitable moment when the fire burns down, and another log will be sacrificed to the fire, and another, and another, until we have burned off every last principle we have, until nothing is left but embers

and darkness without end


#54 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:28 PM:

As usual, as soon as Graydon starts keening the song of Doom Doom Doom, my alarm is replaced by a determination to point out that that bad though these people are they are not ten feet tall.

A lot of countries have politics even more degraded and authoritarian than ours. Graydon needs to be a little more critical of his own inclinations to romanticize. This isn't Ragnarok, it's Graham Greene.

#55 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:31 PM:

Patrick: Sorry. Temporary dyslexia and aging braincells. Here's a photo of the man with no eyes from "Cool Hand Luke."

#56 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:40 PM:

slogans, slogans....

JUST SAY NO
to Republicans

has a certain ring to it. (I can't complain too much, both my Senators and my nearly-invisible representative voted against this bill, but they weren't out on the floor making speeches against it either.)

#57 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:45 PM:

When I was a wee tyke, and someone important got killed -- either Robert Kennedy or MLK Jr. -- one of the local (NYC) TV stations put up a slide with one word:

SHAME

That would work.

#58 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:46 PM:

a deliberate decision to ignore plain mechanical facts about how Congress works.

I was expecting no filibuster. I knew they didn't have the numbers.

I was expecting all Democrats to vote against this on the simple principle of the tyranny it represents. Even if it passed, and I was certain it would once McCain had been bought off, I expected the Democrats to hold the line against something so fundamentally wrong. To vote "nay" and have the bill pass anyway.

And that they didn't has left me feeling like I overestimated the principles of the Democratic party. Now, it could be that the Aye-Dems felt to vote against the bill would seal their doom in November because their constituents would revolt against them, which may or may not be true, but if true, would mean that I overestimated the principles of a chunk of the American people.

The only reason I'm hanging on right now is because I've convinced myself that were people to see the Bush administration for what it is, to see Abu Graib, to see the secret prisons, the torture, the innocent people mistakenly brutalized in the name of some sick definition of "freedom", that if they were to see that, then they would revolt, throw the bums out. something. I took the drop in Bush's approval rating over the last few months as an indicator that it was happening.

But if it turns out that the vast majority of Americans would gladly burn the constitution and the bill of rights and elect Bush emporer for life, then it would be time for me to leave. And right now, I'm just barely hanging on.

#59 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:48 PM:

#56, #57

except neither really brings out what principle you are standing for. It isn't enough to say "they are wrong". The idea would be to say what we stand for and why that makes us right.

#60 ::: Sarah de Vries ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:52 PM:

Dichroic and Abi, my US friends have called me the (Dutch) shopping Goddess, because if you're looking for something, I can probably tell you where to get it. Feel free to get in touch with me if you need someone to help you find your feet in the low lands.

#61 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:57 PM:

Not ten feet, and not beyond the law, slow those its wheels may creak at times:

Ashcroft Is Denied Immunity in Case

'A federal judge in Idaho has ruled that former attorney general John D. Ashcroft can be held personally responsible for the wrongful detention of a U.S. citizen arrested as a "material witness" in a terrorism case.'

#62 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 02:58 PM:

Greg, the biggest problem is that a lot of people (even intelligent ones) can't see any difference between the two parties. (Hsll, I wonder sometimes if there's a difference!) First, you get them to realize there is a choice.

Bumperstickers and buttons (which is what this is) are to get attention. So are 15 and 30-second ads. With a minute, you can get more information in, but you can't dump a position paper on them. You don't want to dump position papers on people. That's one of the reasons we're in this mess; the Democrats can't explain their positions in anything like 75-words-or-less. The GOP has people who can make slogans that (as bad as the positions might be) get attention, and then get people to vote that way. (Some of it is that they have much better databases and people who can use them.)

It would help if the Democratic Party got its collective head out of the 1960s and 1970s, though. 'Appeal to reason' is not an good option when the other side is pushing emotional buttons.

#63 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:01 PM:

Patrick,
I understand that we don't have parties that hew to any line, even when that line is the Bill of Rights. That's my lament. That's what this entire post is about, am I wrong?

#64 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:06 PM:

Oh Brother is a retelling of the Odyssey.

O Brother is a retelling of a dimly-remembered long-ago read of the Cliff's Notes to the Odyssey. But yeah: Cooley is Poseidon.

#65 ::: LurkerD ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:06 PM:

#53: What is the slogan? What is the one-liner?

A very good question. I'm fighting despair today so I hope I have time to figure it out, definitely not at my best right now. And I'm not trying to define the slogan for a movement. Just trying to decide what to write on my sign.

Right now I'm thinking along the lines of:

NO TORTURE - THIS IS AMERICA

DON'T TRASH THE BILL OF RIGHTS

EMERGENCY: SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY

There's some recognizable images of the Bill of Rights and Constitution I might also use. And, I'm going to print up copies of The Bill of Rights and the Preamble of the Constitution to hand out.

#66 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:10 PM:

Greg et al: how about STAND UP FOR AMERICAN VALUES, with a torture pic and a red circle-slash?

#67 ::: Anna in Portland (was Cairo) ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:11 PM:

I always read Making Light and usually don't post because I feel too junior to the regulars here...

I think it is simple what we are FOR. We are AMERICANS and we are for the Constitution.

The people who voted for this bill are against it.

We are the fors, they are the againsts. We are right, they are wrong.

I usually am all "shades of grey" about everything but in this case it is appallingly simple what we are "for."

#68 ::: LurkerD ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:12 PM:

Ah, just saw #59. How about this:

LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

#69 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:19 PM:

I respect the Constitution.

The problem is that it remains an intangible to many Americans.

Gas prices.

No jobs.

Terrorism.

Those are all tangibles to Americans.

Unfortunately, the Constitution remains an intangible to many.

While the Republicans have obviously engaged in some amount of voter fraud since 2000, it has tended to be fairly limited so far. It's unclear if they will feel emboldened to do it on a broader scale this November.

#70 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:27 PM:

Not ten feet tall, and not particularly bright:

Foley To Resign Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors

"Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) planned to resign today, hours after ABC questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former Congressional pages under the age of 18."

#71 ::: Jen Roth ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:32 PM:

re: #59

How about human rights and human decency?

#72 ::: KristianB ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:32 PM:

You know, of course, how intimidating a bunch you all are to us mostly-lurkers, but here goes...
Sorry for the length. This is my own translation of a Norwegian poem from 1935, that I hope you will find appropriate:

You Must Not Sleep, by Arnulf Øverland.

I woke one night from a shuddering dream,
It was like a voice called out to me,
As faint and weak as an underground stream,
And I rose, saying, what do you want of me?

You must not sleep! You must not sleep!
You must not think it was only a dream!
Last night I was judged,
The gallows wait for my neck on the dawning.
They will take me away at five in the morning!

The dungeon is filled.
And the ground is filled with dungeons, as well.
Imprisoned here, each in a stone-cold cell,
We lie here rotting until we are killed!

We know nothing of what is waiting so near us
Or who they will take when the guards come anew.
We cry and we scream, but does anyone hear us?
Is it true there is nothing at all you can do?

They let no-one meet us.
They let no-one know what is waiting to greet us.
And yet more is true:
You cannot imagine the things that they do!

You say to yourself that it cannot be true,
You think that humanity can’t be so cruel,
Surely the decent people will rise?
Brother, accept the proof of your eyes!

They said: You will give up your life, if it’s needed.
And now it is given – in vain was it ceded!
The world has left us, abandoned, betrayed -
You must not sleep this night away!

You must not retreat to your ledgers and books
Thinking only of coins and of profits, like crooks!
Do not point to your assets, your houses, and roar
“Too much - I can afford to think of no more!”

You must not remain so safe and secure
And say “How horrible, what they endure!”
You must not stand for that terrible crime
That does not touch what is yours or is mine!
I tell you while I have strength in me yet:
You are not allowed to simply forget!

Do not forgive them; they know what they do!
The fires of hatred and death they pursue!
They love the killing, they laugh at your pain,
They want to see our world in flame!
They want to drown us all in blood!
Don’t you believe it? You see the flood!

Every schoolchild on dreams of warfare thrives,
And marches, in song, in the markets and streets,
And stirred by their mothers’ silent deceit,
Will serve their countries with their own lives!

You know of that sickening, savage refrain
Of glory and honor and virtue and gain –
You know every child longs a hero to be made,
And rushes to brandish his banner and blade.

And then to march out to a torrent of steel
And be left to rot in a barbed-wired field
For the future of Hitler’s Aryan race!
For such is life’s meaning, humanity’s face!

I did not see it. Too late have I learned.
The verdict is fair. My sentence is earned.
I trusted to progress, I trusted to peace,
To work and to friendship and suffering’s cease!
But now I see we will die together,
Or else one by one, at the hangman’s tether!

I cry in the darkness – if you could but hear!
There is only one thing you can do there:
Flee to safety, heed my call!
Save your children! Europe will fall!

The frost shook me awake, and I dressed for the cold.
Outside was the night, starlit and old.
To the east was a faint line of red-hot gold
That warned of the same as my dream had foretold.

The day that approached from beyond the earth’s frame
Rose with a light red from blood and from flame
Rose with a terror so vast and so near
It seemed like the stars themselves froze in a fear.

I thought to myself: Things won’t stay the same.
Our era is past – Europe is aflame!

#73 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:39 PM:

Sean, my point is that

(1) We don't have parties with a "line",
(2) Instead with have big fuzzy conglomerates, and
(3) This is an emergent property of our particular constitutional system, not the result of somebody's failure of will or imagination.

#74 ::: Anna in Portland (was Cairo) ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:42 PM:

Also, I don't know why everyone assumes that Americans are completely incapable of understanding something longer than 5 words.

Yes they won't make posters to carry at protests, but what is wrong with informational leaflets? Or even, persuasive leaflets?

I recently read a web-based archive of the White Rose leaflets and thought that such a campaign here would be useful. It is also in the best of our many traditions (Tom Paine et al).

I think it would be neat if the Oct. 5 people tried to make visible the T-shirts that use the "we will not be silent" slogan from the White Rose.
http://thecriticalvoice.org/order/

Also, here is the place where you can read the leaflets.
http://www.jlrweb.com/whiterose/leaflets.html

Americans are not stupid. They can discuss sports and movies in great detail. This is more important.

We don't have to dumb it down.

#75 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:56 PM:

Don't forget the overt nature of Sheriff Cooley: not which character he might be from the Odyssey.

He's the relentless pursuer of the lawbreaker who doesn't know when to stop. He will do anything to achieve his goal, armoured in his righteousness, not even hesitating to break the law himself.

If they'd thought of signing statements in his day, he would have used them.

#76 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 03:58 PM:

WE DEMAND
FAIR TRIALS

BRING BACK
HABEUS CORPUS

Would make an appropriate 2-sided protest sign. What's this Oct. 5 thing?

#77 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:10 PM:

I think the congresscritters know their constituencies better than we do, and that they were reacting to what would keep them in power. This isn't something Bush and company are somehow fooling the country into doing, it's something Bush and company are doing because they can see that it's what the country largely wants.

That's monstrous, but I think it's the truth.

#78 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:16 PM:

Hey, "Scott H" #36--I was "Scott H" first! (I think so, anyway -- first post ~Aug '05?)

For those of you to whom this may not immediately make sense, i.e. everyone not me or him, two guys have apparently accidentally chosen the same nom-de-ML.

#79 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:17 PM:

Here's my entry into the ad campaign.

#80 ::: Hal Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:19 PM:

Bumper sticker-ready:

"I Support the Constitution and I Vote"

#81 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:22 PM:

SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION
NOT TORTURE

#82 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:23 PM:

Albatross: It's what they think the country wants. And somehow they convince otherwise-rational people to go along with it.

CNN.com poll, right now:
Do you believe President Bush has been frank with the nation about the situation in Iraq?
Yes 20% 11637 votes
No 80% 45623 votes
Total: 57260 votes

The fact that things don't get reported affects what people tell their congress critters. I hadn't heard of this bill until last week. It didn't hit the front page until Wednesday here. It was a sub-head at CNN.com, most of the networks were running it as a second-line story - the headlines were the Colorado stuff.

It's a standing joke on some blogs that 'missing white woman' will get more news coverage (and faster) than 'Bush makes himself dictator'. That tells you a lot about the news these days.

#83 ::: lambert strether ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:35 PM:

Here's a lovely press release from Bush Himself at whitehouse.gov:

Bush was against torture before he was for it.

#84 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:42 PM:

The choice of a slogan is sort of beside the point; TORTURE DOESN'T WORK is as close to the truth as can be gotten in three words, but people here won't believe it. This is, remember, a country where it is possible to try an eleven year old as an adult and put him in prison for life without the possibility of parole. The culture is addicted to the punitive model, and the fact that it doesn't work, that it can be easily demonstrated that it doesn't work, is beside the point.

I can, at least, vote for my incumbant Ds: they all voted against this measure.

#85 ::: Stephen Frug ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:46 PM:

I don't know if this is a slogan -- it's a bit long -- but it's the sign I'd carry to a demonstration if there is one (as there !@#$% well ought to be):

"When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government."

Emphasis added.

(BTW: Great post title. I also liked Xopher's line about "vampire America".)

#86 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 04:51 PM:

Americans are not stupid. They can discuss sports and movies in great detail.

I agree, but I don't think civics (as in "The Constitution") is taught in schools anymore - if it ever was - and for most people, the mind has to be engaged in a subject early if it is ever to be engaged. We watch and talk about sports and movies from the time they rub the birth-crud from our eyes. We don't get adequate teaching about the foundations of American democracy at any level of school, unless we choose to study the subject in college.

My humble contribution to the "debate" is here.

#87 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:10 PM:

WE DEFEATED THE NAZIS AND GAVE THEM TRIALS

WHY CAN'T WE DO THE SAME NOW?

#88 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:11 PM:

I've been thinking about t-shirts like these, maybe with an additional "Vote against Torture!" emblazened on them. The company in that link does seem to be making a cottage industry out of selling upside-down images of the U.S. flag. And the concept violates the U.S. Flag Code; so maybe it's not such a good idea for an election campaign. But it certainly has the necessary shrillness quotient.

The Flag Code says: "176-j: No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform." I'm not clear on how that would be applied to an inverted caricature of a U.S. Flag rather than true reproduction. Wearing them would produce accusations of disrespect from Republicans -- but so will almost anything we do. I wonder whether votes picked up through the "wake up, this is important" shock value of something like this would outweigh votes lost through the "disrespect" factor.

#89 ::: Scott Harris ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:12 PM:

Sorry about that, Scott H. Guess I'll use the full name if you were here first.

#90 ::: Martyn Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:17 PM:

On a day when the United States of America has declared itself a pariah state, nobody can say that the soul of the American people has been stolen. You people represent that soul, that devotion to freedom and its greatest single statement. Yes, be outraged. Yes, it is a very black day. But be hopeful. Sixty years ago, who would have believed the Mahatma would talk us out of India? Forty years ago, black people in your country could scarcely vote, now I hear talk of Condoleeza for President (yes, she may be a quasi-fascist, but she is still black and she is still a woman) Twenty years ago,nobody expected Nelson Mandela ever to leave Robben Island.

Tomorrow is another day.

About barbarians, read CP Cafafy's 'Waiting for the Barbarians'.

About the overmighty, read Ozymandias.

#91 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:24 PM:

Terry Karney writes: "On my bad days, I see civil war. On my not so bad days I see dark times ahead, and a return to sanity (which requires turning the bums out. After that I don't know what it needs to prevent their return, but that has to happen too). On my really bad days I see neither of those."

You're an optimist.

On my not so bad days, I imagine a civil war. I imagine people I know joining a resistance effort. I imagine knowing where to go and what to do and whom to contact to do my part, my duty. (For the record, I did swear an oath.)

On my bad days, I imagine what Mr. Karney imagines on his worst days, i.e. that America will go down without a fight, to cheers and even celebrations.

On my really bad days, I imagine being tortured into confessing my personal involvement in a resistance organization that doesn't— that could never— exist.

#92 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:27 PM:

"I Support the Constitution and I Vote"

This plus references to the Bill of Rights isn't quite an invocation of principles. At least, not anymore. THe problem is that Bush has redefined the constitution and bill of rights to mean whatever he wants it to mean. So he'll say he supports teh constitution, but only because he gets congress to redefine what it means. Or, if the constitution says no "searches without warrants", then he wont conduct "searches", he'll call them "preemptive intelligence" and say that he isn't breaking teh constitution, because he isn't committing a "search". This has gotten twisted around so much that "constitution" and "bill of rights" are terms that Bush drapes himself in.

The only way I see to conteract this is to speak to the principles behind the constitution and behind teh bill of rights. to invoke 'human rights', not bill of rights. to invoke "separation of powers", rather than simply "constitution".

I'm thinking of somethign along the lines of:

"Cruel and Unusual punishment was the reason we fought the first King George"

or somethign like

"He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures."

"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power."


"For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:"


and probably my current favorite:

"the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences"

#93 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:36 PM:

Christopher Davis - I guess I will de-lurk long enough to point out that the Nazis did not get a trial in a US court with US constitutional rights. They got a special tribunal operating under its own rules.

While we were beating the Nazis, a group of them, including some US citizens, sneaked into the country. They were caught, tried by a special military tribunal, and (most of them) hung.

I am not going to defend this bill, especially as regards to its rules on "interrogation," but to say it's completely unconstitutional or unprecidented is incorrect.

#94 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:37 PM:

FWIW: there was a relay posting of the entire Declaration, including the signers, at FDL yesterday. The thread is (of course) 'When In the Course'.

#95 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:41 PM:

While we were beating the Nazis, a group of them, including some US citizens, sneaked into the country. They were caught, tried by a special military tribunal, and (most of them) hung.

I seem to recall they were tried as spies (and hanged? not sure, we didn't actually execute many people for that). (I've been told that they were turned in to the FBI by some of the people they tried to recruit.)

#96 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:43 PM:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs and trunkless legs of stone
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned. From her beacon-hand
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, cries she
With silent lips: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

#97 ::: Stephen G ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:50 PM:

#51, #64: It's not an either-or proposition, though I should have mentioned Posiedon as well. As Tommy Johnson says of the Devil, "He's white, as white as you folks, with empty eyes and a big hollow voice. He likes to travel around with a mean old hound."

#98 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:50 PM:

This is, clearly and finally, our Reichstag Fire Decree. It was coming--the radical right's grip on power was slipping and they had to do something.

I am also expecting the elections to get very ugly. One nightmare possibility has just come a step closer to reality. The radical right has been saying their political enemies are military enemies for decades and this law allows the Administration to declare candidates "enemy combatants" and dissappear them. Not any major figures, I think--unless the radicals can gin up something really monstrous. But perhaps some of the more radical candidates for the House. Why, why, why did not enough congresscritters get together and hold a strike on the Senate and House floors before this passed?

#99 ::: Stephen G ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:52 PM:

And of course, Dave (#75), you're right: The true point of having Cooley's picture up there is the nature of his character, and how well it fits the character of this administration.

#100 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:55 PM:

P. J. - "spy" is not a legal term. The Geneva Conventions are very specific about who is a combatant. It talks about things like uniforms and insignias.

The infiltrators weren't wearing uniforms, and were therefore not under Geneva protections. Therefore, military tribunals as "unlawful combatants" and a hanging.

Yes, the FBI was involved in rounding them up - and they were handed to the military without civilian court involvement.

#101 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Why did some of them vote for it? It was attached to the defense appropriations bill or some such. They weren't willing to filibuster, they weren't willing to stand up and say no, they weren't willing to risk villification and libel and slander and worse from the PSP's thugs.

Profiles in cowardice, profiles in abasement, profiles of domestic turkeys in a rainstorm staring upwards at the sky and drowning.

Compared to the US Government, the bred to be stupid Future Dinner on Feet (Happimeals on feet, but much stupider than Spike's prey--Spike enjoyed the chase, raisers of domestic food animals don't...) domestic turkey, fat, stupid, fed on grain, and slaughtered by the millions for festive dinner, are geniuses and decent sophonts.

======

Craig Newmark of craigslist who's one of us (it wasn't until I saw a picture of him and heard his last name that I realized, "Oh, right, I know him and have been seeing him at conventions for years!") got interviewed at http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/biztech/09/28/craigslist.reut/index.html

saying

'"Finding a good cause is incredibly hard and time-consuming," he said, adding that he and Chief Executive Jim Buckmaster agree on not cashing in.

'"We both know some people who own more than a billion (dollars) and they're not any the happier. They also need bodyguards," he said.'


The Congressslime however take their perks and privileging seriously and mostly looked at what they risk if they object to the PSP agenda, and decided they didn't want to get the treatment that Teddy Kennedy's been getting for decades, that Kerry got, that the Clintons have received, that McCain got when he was standing however briefly against the Lout until caving, that the parapalegic targeted former member of the US national legislature received... if not averse for their own hides, they're averse for the sake of their families.... there is apparently no limit to the depths that Rove and his fellow ghouls will dive to, no limit to the ignominy that Fux News and the media conglomerates and the PSP apparatchiks and spinmeisters and goon squads and astroturfers etc. etc. etc. will engage in on behalf of their agenda and goals.

#102 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 06:10 PM:

Chris Gerrib: Spy is a legal term.

Geneva Conventions Act
SCHEDULE V
PART III: METHODS AND MEANS OF WARFARE COMBATANT AND PRISONER-OF-WAR STATUS
SECTION II — COMBATANT AND PRISONER-OF-WAR STATUS

Article 46 — Spies

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Conventions or of this Protocol, any member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict who falls into the power of an adverse Party while engaging in espionage shall not have the right to the status of prisoner of war and may be treated as a spy.

2. A member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict who, on behalf of that Party and in territory controlled by an adverse Party, gathers or attempts to gather information shall not be considered as engaging in espionage if, while so acting, he is in the uniform of his armed forces.

3. A member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict who is a resident of territory occupied by an adverse Party and who, on behalf of the Party on which he depends, gathers or attempts to gather information of military value within that territory shall not be considered as engaging in espionage unless he does so through an act of false pretences or deliberately in a clandestine manner. Moreover, such a resident shall not lose his right to the status of prisoner of war and may not be treated as a spy unless he is captured while engaging in espionage.

4. A member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict who is not a resident of territory occupied by an adverse Party and who has engaged in espionage in that territory shall not lose his right to the status of prisoner of war and may not be treated as a spy unless he is captured before he has rejoined the armed forces to which he belongs.

For reasons having more to do with the problems of their being citizens and resident aliens, the tribunals were created. Mostly so they wouldn't have to be tried in civil courts, because they hadn't been caught in the act.

The Conventions of 1928 (those in operation at the time) were just as clear as the present conventions, in the definitions of spying, and the
need for them to be caught spying. Since they had the word of people who hadn't seen them, and there was some question as to the nature of things; and people didn't want to see them get off on a technicality, the rules were changed.

j h woodyatt: You worst days are part and parcel of mine. My worst days see us sinking into the sort of totalitarian state I couldn't imagine. The sort of place were simple verities of life; such as taking active part in the politcal process, were risky, and could lead to being sent to camps, or worse.

To a world of the informer, the gulag and Lyubianka.

To be honest, I've always thought, though I hoped against it, that to be a more likely thing to happen than a civil war, but I can hope.

#104 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 06:29 PM:

Jefferson would probably have been surprised at how long the Constitution governed the USA before the misanthropic dismantle the Enlightment influence fascist theocrats seized power and evicted those who dared stand against them.

"We'll all hang together" has turned into "Be corrupted/bought off/misled/picked off one by one." What did happen to Paul Wellstone's plane, anyway....

#105 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 06:54 PM:

Paula --- no, it was not attached to the Defense Appropriations bill. It was a standalone bill in both the House and the Senate.

The House version was HR6166. The Senate version was S3930. There was no logrolling here.

(I can't link to them because I don't understand how to get thomas to generate permalinks, but the full text of both is available at thomas.loc.gov.)

#106 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 07:19 PM:

Here's a note to ride home from work on: Court Challenge to New Detainee Law May Come In "Days"

#107 ::: Yarrow ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 07:47 PM:

What is the slogan? What is the one-liner?

Depose the Torture Party

#108 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 07:52 PM:

Gingrich Urges Overriding Supreme Court

September 29,2006 | WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court decisions that are "so clearly at variance with the national will" should be overridden by the other branches of government, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.

"National will?"

Excuse me?

How the hell do you define that? Whatever the Talk Radio ranters and grandstanding pols are shrieking about at the behest of Karl Rove and Cheney?

#109 ::: Cathy ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 08:22 PM:

There are nationwide protests (115) scheduled for October 5, 2006. Details to find one near you are at worldcantwait.org. I'll be marching in NYC. Its time to step away from the keyboard and stop traffic.

#110 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 08:36 PM:

My one-liner is "Republican values, not American values," with a photo of that hooded prisoner at Abu Ghraib.

#111 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 09:08 PM:

Lenny Bailes #106 links: Court Challenge to New Detainee Law May Come In "Days"

After reading this, I'm not very optimistic about getting the Great Writ back with a court challenge.

#112 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 09:23 PM:

Yes, the possibility that the SCOTUS might actually affirm that travesty is a hair-raising one. So is the possibility that Congress might strip the Court of power to hear the case at all.

#109: At the risk of sounding like an apathetic killjoy and getting flamed for it, I'm very skeptical of that march doing any good. Mass protests of late have devolved into street theater, with too many juvenile chants and too many single-issue groups piggybacking on ("Free Mumia!") - makes it too easy for the MSM to dismiss it. If that RAINBOW group is organizing this one, forget it.

And scheduling it on a weekday isn't very bright: I don't think the outrage and anger have reached levels where enough respectible working class and professional class people will join up. And, yes, we *do* need them.

The only street action that will have any effect at all would be one that (to paraphrase John Galt, of all people) "stops the wheel of the country." That means millions shutting down entire cities, being ready and willing to camp out for days.

#113 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:01 PM:

"Four score and seven years ago...conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal..."

That's not what the PSP thinks.

#114 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:03 PM:

Anything short of armed rebellion is meaningless. You have 65 senators who just voted to destroy habeus corpus and to authorize torture?

Do you think a slogan will change them?

Do you think a march will change them?

The explict policy of the United States is now Oderint Dum Metuant. They're not going to give a flying fuck about your march, unless they have some new crowd control weapon to test.

If you aren't willing to bleed and die, stay home, because nothing short of that is going to mean anything.

#115 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:07 PM:

There's a graphic up at Firedoglake that shows Jesus on the cross, except the figure of Jesus has been replaced by an Abu Ghraib prisoner hooded, with electrodes trailing from his crucified hands. I want that on a poster, with the words "NO TORTURE."

#68, LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL -- I'd take one of those, too.

Both my senators and my representative voted against the bills. I've given money to Democratic candidates in states/districts not my own. (My congressman's George Miller -- one of the best.) Now I have to figure out another way to help my local or not so local Dems: volunteer, but where and how?

If we lose in November, we'll need to talk about other kinds of actions. But Patrick is right, they aren't ten feet tall. They can be stopped, if we have the will. But we have to do it -- we can't wait for someone else to act.

Stefan at 108, I heard an interview with Gingrich in which he stated that it was appropriate for the Supreme Court to be overruled by other branches of government when it involved "the national will". Chilling. It recalled the Nazis, frankly. And it PISSED ME OFF that the interviewer didn't say immediately, how about Brown vs. Board of Education? Should that have been overruled?

Who discerns "the national will?" George Bush? Fox News? Rush Limbaugh?!

On my bad days, I think, we are so fucked. And then I get mad.

#116 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:25 PM:

I feel physically sick over this. I'm terrified that the majority of people who vote in November will vote for republicans and they'll stay in control (Must Stop Gay Marriage), in which case I will want to leave this country, and I don't know where I'd go or what I'd do.

All I can do is come here and be comforted by the knowledge that there are other intelligent people who feel the way I do.

#117 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:31 PM:

The water supply in the town I live in is from the Concord River, downstream from That Bridge.

#118 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:34 PM:

#87 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 05:10 PM:

WE DEFEATED THE NAZIS AND GAVE THEM TRIALS

WHY CAN'T WE DO THE SAME NOW?


A shorter version, for protest signs:

EVEN NAZIS WERE TRIED OPENLY

A few other idea for signs:

JEFFERSON IS WEEPING

(this one is a bit long, but...)
IF BURNING A FLAG IS BAD,
WHY IS SHREDDING THE CONSTITUTION GOOD?

(and the quote for this one came from an unconfirmed news story, but can anyone here NOT believe it...?)
THE CONSTITUTION:
"Just a goddamned piece of paper."
-- George Bush

"INALIENABLE RIGHTS" HAS NOTHING TO DO
WITH SIGOURNEY WEAVER

WATERBOARD YOUR CHILDREN
THEY WILL SAY THEY LOVE YOU

#119 ::: Cathy ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 10:58 PM:

#109: At the risk of sounding like apathetic.....I don't think the outrage and anger have reached levels where enough respectible working class and professional class people will join up.

You're apparently assuming that my outrage and anger comes from beneath the level of the respectible (sic) working class and professional class people?

I'm willing to use a vacation day. Feel free to stay right in your chair and pound that keyboard, my respectible (sic) working class/professional class friend.

#120 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:34 PM:

Stefan # 108: yes, I heard Gingrich on NPR this morning trying to explain how something can be "the national will" and still not have enough votes for a constitutional amendment.

What an asshole.

#121 ::: amysue ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:36 PM:

And I am reminded of a day or two after 9/11, in my local supermarket when some asshole spat on the ground in front of my then 3 year old son (adopted in Cambodia) and said "couldn't you get an american?" My beautiful children, so bright, so full of promise and I fear that when they are older the son of that fool can point his finger and have them hauled off because they don't look like they really belong.

And in the here and now? I am sickened that we are condoning this, that we let it happen.

#122 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2006, 11:51 PM:

#114: Anything short of armed rebellion is meaningless. You have 65 senators who just voted to destroy habeus corpus and to authorize torture?

Erik: the following is a recycled version of my reply to a similar comment you made at The Sideshow.

Not voting for Democrats means that cowardly, malleable Democratic sheep will be replaced in Congress by more intractable Republican assholes. If the sheep perceive themselves to be in the majority, they might be herded in the other direction and check the worst excesses of the Republicans -- no matter what the recent Senate and House votes tell us about cowardice and lack of common sense.

In the long term, a majority of intractable Republicans might be removed by a desperate, angry populace that's been stung by too much "heightening of contradictions." But I don't want to wait that long. Surely, it makes sense to try herding sheep in Congress to uphold law (in the short term) before abandoning our tax dollars, the U.S. Military, and our stockpile of nuclear weapons to a plurality of wild boars.

If you aren't willing to bleed and die, stay home, because nothing short of that is going to mean anything..

We may very well find ourselves called to block trains and airports with our bodies, before the bloody carnage that you feel is inevitable arrives. The probability of orders to go ahead and run us over being executed is considerably higher, now, than it was in the 1960s.

But before that, what do we lose by trying to replace the plurality of pigs in Congress with sheep? If we get enough of them in there, they may start following the progressive bellwethers.

#123 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:03 AM:

Lizzy L @ 115. Post that first paragraph over there and somone - darkblack? - will probably do it. Right now they're having a wonderful time with Rep. Foley's problem. Which, it seems, Boehner and Hastert's office were informed of last winter. And sat on it until it came out today. They're wanting someone (Pelosi, for a start) to ask for censure of Boehner and Hastert, just for sitting on it, since pages are the responsibility of Congress.

#124 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:08 AM:

"The main thing I am trying to say in this book is that . . . Tragedy is not our business. Too much preoccupation with tragedy is bad for our mental health. Tragedy is a real and important part of the human condition, but it is not the whole of it. Some people try to make a tragedy out of every aspect of modern life. In the end their mental state comes to resemble the attitude of another famous character of modern fiction:"

Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water. Pathetic," he said. "That's what it is. Pathetic." He turned around and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again. "As I thought," he said. "No better from this side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that's what it is."

"The Eeyore syndrome is somewhere deep in the heart of each one of us, ready to take over if we give it a chance. Anyone who has to deal with mentally sick people will be familiar with the voice of Eeyore. Those of us who consider ourselves sane often feel like that too. The best antidote that we have against the Eeyore syndrome is comedy, comedy in the new-fashioned sense, making fun of ourselves, and also comedy in the old-fashioned sense, the drama of people like Odysseus and Amundsen who survive by using their wits. Survival is our business, and in that business it is the heroes of comedy who have the most to teach us."

-- Freeman Dyson, "Weapons and Hope," 1984

#125 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:14 AM:

Lizzie L #115: Now I have to figure out another way to help my local or not so local Dems: volunteer, but where and how?

Blue America is a good place to provide financial contributions. You can contribute to any or all of their candidates individually, or provide a donation to be split equally among them all. If you want to work, then the candidate list is a good reference point for whom you might check in with.

#126 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:30 AM:

******* O'Reilly is on the Tonight Show, now claiming that the Lout had "a good [plan] on paper for Iraq..."

WHAT

And now the stinks-worse-than-dead-skunk is saying "Senator Biden has a good plan [to partition Iraq into three pieces].

And now the ******* is claiming "Chris Wallace is fair and balanced..." WHAT???

And now the ******* is dumping on "secular progressives... How many nutty professors...."

"I'm not saying that the SPs are evil... I don't want to live in a country they designed. We traditionalists want to [keep America the way it is].

May the ghosts of Franklin and Jefferson and Madison and Washington and the Adamses and John Hancock etc. pay him visits....

#127 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:39 AM:

This is looking like a better time waster day by day...

http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/georgie.htm

#128 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:41 AM:

Bruce at 125, thanks, but I've already made my contributions thru ActBlue, and I'm at my limit: also, I want/need to do more than give money. It's time to stuff envelopes, make phone calls, whatever I can do given my personal limitations.

I really do want that poster. The crucified Abu Ghraib detainee with the words LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL underneath the picture. It says everything I feel about where we are as a country and it goes back to the principles that matter most to me.

#129 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:50 AM:

Lizzy #128: I should have looked more carefully, and told you that at the link I provided, there are, for some but not all of the candidates, buttons for "Volunteer" that when clicked lead to various forms to tell the candidate's organization know how you are willing and able to help them (some are web forms, some are pages that need printing/snail mailing). Activities from Charlie Brown's letter, for example, include "volunteer", "help with mailings", "make phone calls", "be a precinct captain", "host a house party", "send Dear Friend cards", and several others. Is that closer to what you were looking for?

#130 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:55 AM:

Let's put the blame where it belongs. This is the Republicans' doing.

As one blogger put it, do you honestly think that something this egregious would have come out of a committee headed by a Democrat? Of course not. The Democratic leadership is in the minority. The Republican leadership is to blame.

This is a huge, disgusting letdown. But let's not scapegoat the people who are not in the position to defeat this sort of thing.


-l.

#131 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:59 AM:

Re #110

Linkmeister - you almost have it, but not quite.

All you need is the picture and the slogan - "Republican Values"

Remember when generating slogans, mottos, etc., two rules.

Short is good.

Funny is good.

Short and funny is best. (for funny, think witty)


If you're not sure about this, think about commercial slogans.

"Just Do It"
"Supermarket to the World"
"Where do you want to go today?"
"You're in Good Hands with Allstate"
"Where's the beef?"
"Connecting the world"

#132 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 01:20 AM:

Here's one (slightly rearranged) from one of the Seattle PI's comment pages:

Betray Your Country - Vote Republican!

#133 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 01:29 AM:

Bruce Baugh:

What, exactly, do we expect a Democratic majority in either or both house of Congress to matter to Bush. We've all seen him simply ignore what he doesn'tw ant to deal with.

Power of Subpoena. Currently, with both houses having a majority of members in the same party as the President, the Democrats can't get any investigations going: for example, the follow-up investigation in Congress to go after those responsible for screw-ups that lead to the events of 9/11. The head of that committee is a Republican and won't let the investigation start.

A better example would be the Truman Committee of WWII: While the Democrats were in the majority, Truman was enough of a historian to have read up on the Congressional Committee that hounded every one of Lincoln's decisions during the war and realized that a bipartisan committee to investigate possible profiteering, graft and corruption was needed. Sadly, there is too great a resistance by Republicans to a similar committee being formed for this war: with the proportionally greater amount of money being spent on contracts now I suspect graft that's world's beyond the damage done by Curtiss shipping defective engines until Truman threatened to cancel every contract the company had, or the scores of employees he found featherbedding in crawlspaces during inspection tours.

If you go back to Watergate, there was a Democratic majority in Congress which was why the Watergate committee was formed and why Impeachment proceedings got as far as they did.

#134 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 01:33 AM:

They're not ten feet tall, they have feet of clay, and they have . . . stuff in their closets.

Karl Rove has Abramoff's fingerprints all over him, and it looks like the Republican house leadership knew about Foley's Live Boy last spring.

* * *

The most effective weapon of the bully and the Mean Girl isn't a fist or sharp nails, it is their ability to inspire fear and despair and humiliation in their opponents. Their victims remove themselves from the social milieu.

Don't fall for it.

#135 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 01:53 AM:

Margaret @#131

Actually I have the photo up at my place with the original phrase I proposed. See comment #79.

#136 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 02:02 AM:

Hmm, Foley resigns on Friday so that the work week is over and it comes out on the weekend, the better to do damage control and stop the spread of taint and cries of "Coverup!"

Just look at how long the Catholic Church in the USA hid the priest abuse scandals and how much was swept under the rug and how all those decades.

#137 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 02:24 AM:

Whee!

http://clerk.house.gov/members/electionInfo/Florida_16th/index.html


Office of the Sixteenth Congressional District of Florida
Formerly the Office of Representative Mark Foley

The Washington, D.C. office and the district offices of the Honorable Mark Foley will continue to serve the people of the Sixteenth Congressional District of Florida under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Representative Foley resigned effective close of business September 29, 2006

No moss gathered there Whatever used to be there, is gone!

Hmm what does Googlecache have?

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:BrHuWwp6qmwJ:www.house.gov/foley/+Rep+Foley&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

hmm, NOT THERE!

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:hQhjjgNp5hwJ:thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/%3F%26Db%3Dd109%26querybd%3D%40FIELD(FLD003%2B%404((%401(Rep%2BFoley%2B%2BMark))%2B00396))+Rep+Foley&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2

Yields some results. What nasty legislation he promoted...


"To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to restore the 80-percent deduction for meal and entertainment expenses

26. H.R.4813 : To amend the Defense Production Act of 1950 to improve national security and clarify congressional intent with respect to the review process for certain mergers and acquisitions, and for other purposes.
20. H.R.2804 : To amend title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to require, as a precondition to commencing a civil action with respect to a place of public accommodation or a commercial facility, that an opportunity be provided to correct alleged violations.


8. H.R.919 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat certain publicly-traded debt issued or guaranteed by Federal, State, or local governments as qualified nonrecourse financing.
Sponsor: Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16] (introduced 2/17/2005) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 2/17/2005 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. H.R.920 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the treatment of qualified restaurant property as 15-year property for purposes of the depreciation deduction.
Sponsor: Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16] (introduced 2/17/2005) Cosponsors (63)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 2/17/2005 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


-------------------------

10. H.R.1010 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow certain modifications to be made to qualified mortgages held by a REMIC or a grantor trust.

#138 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 02:26 AM:

"National will? [...] How the hell do you define that?" It triumphs. (It's late & I've had a really bad day.)

Slogans: what about "Republicans: the anti-democratic party"?

#139 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 03:00 AM:

How about Prescott Bush illegally did business with the Nazis, and the US Government censored that information for 60 yars. His grandson's at even worse, abrogating the Constitution itself, not merely breaking ordinary federal law.

#140 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 03:02 AM:

So, who are these folks who are being held without the right of habeas corpus, who are being tortured until they confess?

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The road to the Guantanamo Bay detention center begins in Pakistan, according to a report by rights group Amnesty International.

The report details how Pakistan has abducted hundreds of people and detained them illegally for the sake of cooperating with the U.S.-led "war on terror."

Pakistan routinely abducts so-called "terror suspects" and transfers them to Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, north of Kabul, or secret U.S. detention centers elsewhere, said Claudio Cordone, senior director of research at Amnesty International.

The report also details how bounty hunters -- including police officers and local citizens -- have captured individuals of different nationalities, often apparently at random, and then sold them into U.S. custody.

More than 85 percent of Guantanamo detainees who were arrested by the Afghan Northern Alliance in Pakistan were taken initially when each "terrorist" handed to the United States fetched a reward of up to $5,000, the report alleges.

Taken at random for a $5,000 reward.

Every one of them, I promise, has confessed to being a terrorist.

#141 ::: kathryn from sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 03:33 AM:

I was looking at the protest website.

Why do the protests have to be so teal? An average color of 500nm, not a hint of violet. Protests in towns famous for protests. Protests where protests are easy. Protesting to the choir.

Remember, every time you shut down the streets of San Francisco with your protest, George Bush gets a good belly laugh. The time and money spent on that protest was never going to go to him anyways, he thinks.

The US is purple. ("the amount of red on the map is skewed because there are a lot of counties in which only a slim majority voted Republican.") So who is having a polite purple protest- one which everyone who hates this recent bill can join?

Polite like a funeral, because people stop for funerals.

Polite because swearwords ruin the message, and is how you say it more important than what you say?

Purple so that as many people as possible will come. So no mentions of Bush being Htler, because a side-corollary of Godwin's Law is that once you invoke Htler, people stop listening to you.

#142 ::: Scott Miller ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 07:17 AM:

Martyn and Stefan, thank you (for #90, #124, and #134). I try not to get frightened, but it happens anyway, from time to time. It's nice to get a shot in the arm.

You can't let these people scare you. Fear is their best weapon. Mock them, deride them, relentlessly point out their mistakes (and don't forget to vote against them, either).

Wallowing in despair is no good. I'm sure it only heartens the bastards.

#143 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 10:43 AM:

They are not ten feet tall.

They have feet of clay. They have ears of tin. Their hands are covered in blood, and they are starting to reach into places that they cannot go without starting to raise suspicions in people who were their supporters

(It's been amazing to watch some of my die-hard conservative friends start going 'hey, wha? No, that's not conservatism, compassionate or otherwise, that's fascism.' - and these are folks who thought the Patriot Act was a little extreme, but not totally beyond the pale. I don't know if they will vote Democrat - but I suspect they will not be voting Republican in November.)

The Fourth Estate is finally starting to wake up - fitfully, ungracefully in many cases, but people besides Indymedia (who have their own problems) and NPR are starting to ask questions.

Is it too late to settle things peaceably? I don't know.

I do know that Jefferson is weeping today.

#144 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 10:46 AM:

In Case I Disappear by William Rivers Pitt:

In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.

#145 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 10:54 AM:

The best antidote that we have against the Eeyore syndrome is comedy, comedy in the new-fashioned sense

Ok, so some slogans that point to principles and are funny.

How about a bunch of people dress up like Native Americans, carry some cardboard boxes with the word "Torture" written on the side, and dump some enviromentally compatible (don't want to get fined for polluting) symbolic thing for Torture into Boston Harbor?

The Boston "T" (T for Torture) Party.

#146 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 11:09 AM:

Jefferson's action wouldn't be weeping, not given what he did and wrote.

"We'll all hang [if caught by the British authorities, as traitors]" was not hyperbole. The Continental Congress formally declared independence and fielded an army. The armed rebellion and the conflict were already in progress. There are these sites in Lexinton and Concord and Bedford and Billerica and Arlington and Canbridge and Boston etc. Some of them are even National Historical Parks, others have various historical markers ranging from plaques to letters engraved on rocks or quarried granite, to larger monuments (e.g, the Minuteman statues)conflict had already started.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary... which Jefferson et al were signatories to, sealed their fates as traitors to the British Empire and put death warrants on them until and unless such time as the rebellion succeeded in creating a new country, formally recognized by the British government, which country their were citizens of, and no longer British citizens. The Loyalists whose allegiance stayed with Britain had a tendency to decamp to Canada or Europe (the future Count Rumsford (Rumford? one of those two)whose profile is on the cans of baking powder in honor of his practical work as a scientist and endowment of a chair at Harvard in addition to all his other contributions to world society), the treatment they received from the rebels was not polite and not tolerant. The future count Rumsford got essentially run of town in New Hampshire, decamped to Boston and fled on a British ship (which ships were embargoing Boston) clear across the Atlantic_.

#147 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:09 PM:

Re #51,64: If Sheriff Cooley were Poseidon, he should not have been caught by surprise by the flood.

Not to argue with your mapping (O Brother Where Art Thou → Odyssey); just goes to show this literary allusion thing is a tricky business.

I think Chris's comment (O Brother is a retelling of a dimly-remembered long-ago read of the Cliff's Notes to the Odyssey) is apt.

On the serious side of things, I was happy to see that my representatives (Senators Schumer and Clinton, Rep. Slaughter) voted “no”. Speaking as a resident alien, unhappy with the vote total.

Is this the sort of thing that could be fixed by an executive action; i.e., could the 2008 opposition candidate campaign on “restoring liberty”? If we have to wait that long, can we be certain there will be a 2008 election?

[To answer my own question, I'm sure we'd at least have something that looks like an election; probably won't be any more fair and true than 2004 and 2000.]

#148 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:27 PM:

Lest anybody think I am under some Rovian mind-control ray, click my name to see a full view of my political views.

#149 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 12:31 PM:

Rob, I am pretty certain that if the Democrats don't get the House back in 60 days, whatever election we do have in 2008, if we even have one, will be completely a sham. If the Democrats get the House and Senate back I will feel seriously hopeful.

We must have the House. If we can't get the Senate outright, perhaps we can change the numbers so that we can at least control what happens there, filibuster, etc.

But that won't be the end... Constant vigilance is the price of liberty.

Oh yeah. Go Mets!!

#150 ::: Pantechnician ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 01:27 PM:

Each time something like this has come up, I've thought this is where it'll end, this is something nobody with a shred of humanity left in them could support. I have been repeatedly surprised.

#151 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 02:09 PM:

the dream was born with flaws but hope awoke
slavery inequality injustice all were there
now torture's been made sacred at a stroke

the framers were corrupt yet honest folk
they sought to build a system that was fair
the dream was born with flaws but hope awoke

the president's nose is no longer filled with coke
he looks upon the world with a long stare
now torture's been made sacred at a stroke

upon our shoulders we have laid the yoke
the monster at the core is now laid bare
the dream was born with flaws but hope awoke

the fires of hatred faded now we stoke
to terror we have turned out of dumb fear
now torture's been made sacred at a stroke

once we spoke freely now we barely croak
our rulers now for justice do not care
the dream was born with flaws but hope awoke
now torture's been made sacred at a stroke

#152 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 02:39 PM:

How about a bunch of people dress up like Native Americans, carry some cardboard boxes with the word "Torture" written on the side, and dump some enviromentally compatible (don't want to get fined for polluting) symbolic thing for Torture into Boston Harbor?

Right. Of course, it would be gallon jugs of bottled water. And the obvious reference would be water-boarding, which would be dumped into the harbor.

Can you get fined for pollution or some such thing for pouring bottled water into a harbor or public waterway? Not the bottle, of course, just dumping out the water.

Shall we say next Saturday? October 7, around 2 pm? Nationwide event open to any site that has a large body of water?

#153 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 02:44 PM:

Shite. I'm totally booked Oct 7.

Closer to election day, maybe?

#154 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 06:03 PM:

Whatever day you schedule it for, make sure you have people with video cameras available to cover all of it. Cell phone cameras are also good, especially if sending to someone outside the immediate area who can record it and distribute it further. (This is called 'having witnesses'.) Don't bet on the local news mentioning it, if you can't provide pictures for them. Although things may be starting to change....

#155 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 06:10 PM:

They're not ten feet tall, they have feet of clay, the skeletons are coming out of the closet, another wad of feces is about to impinge on the rotary air displacement device, and you can bet that a lot of their dreams about cheering crowds at the dedication of airports and libraries and office buildings being named after them are being replaced with pajama-soakers about having to face THIS . . . .

#156 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 07:41 PM:

This is the real fall of Camelot - not when Kennedy was shot, but from the Modred of our generation.

#157 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 07:44 PM:

Instead of Boston Harbor, do it at the corner of the Boston Common across from offices of Fux TV in Boston... big flashy noisy demonstration, and a march to Boston Harbor from there...

And placards condemning the "news media" for being quislings and collaborateurs with war criminals. Placards with big pictures of things in Iraq and Afghanistan showing torture, Abu Ghraib, New Orleans flooded out and the Lout saying "You're doing a great job, Brownie!" and blown up pictures of two dimensional rows of coffins draped with US flags on the tarmac with more coffins coming off a big transport planes and the word "CENSORED" printed out it in bigt heavy ugly trapped letters...

#158 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 07:54 PM:

Paula & Aphrael (at 104, 105): there were multiples versions of the bill in the Senate. Frist managed to tack on what was essentially the entirety of S 3931, I think it was, as an amendment (SA 5036) to the Secure Fences Act (HR 6061, don't remember its Senate number). [Submitted on Monday concurrent with its cloture vote, typical Republican MO nowadays.] For some reason I still don't understand, SA 5036 was slated to hit the floor on Wednesday but didn't; instead, they simply brought S 3930 out the following day and had a straight vote on it after the Specter-Levin Amendment (and other Democratic amendments) were defeated. So there had been a little logrolling earlier in the week, but aphrael's substantively correct: this was essentially a straight vote on torture and untrammeled executive power, and it went through 65-34.

#159 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 07:58 PM:

In regards to ad buys, here's another possibility:

LEADERS WHO HAVE AUTHORIZED WATERBOARDING

STALIN
KIM IL SUNG
POL POT
GEORGE W BUSH

and maybe a separate ad detailing the horrors of Tuol Sleng (?) concluding with: "This is what George W Bush wants for America."

[Plus, I'm going to continue to plump for groups of people travelling the country, offering $50 to anyone who can stand more than 20 seconds of waterboarding. Now there's some political theater in the making.]

#160 ::: little light ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 10:55 PM:

Nitpick first, since 'Marshall Law' was already called out: "It's a symbiosis of fear and ruthlessness between Bushco and the Islamicists." I'm an Islamicist--a scholar who studies Islam. The ill-conceived word you're looking, commenter, for is Islamist.

That said, I think it's finally time to remind people that this is a moral issue. It's time, along with your slogans and protest actions and letters to congress, for some good old-fashioned preaching. All of us who are orators have a responsibility, now, as do all the writers, all the artists, above and beyond--because what will you use your talents for, it this thing goes further? What is all this we've protected for, if we can't stand up for each other now?

I've heard people say that this was just a cynical stunt that none of them expect to get past SCOTUS; well, I don't care. They still prioritized that stunt, then, over taking a stand for humanity.

I'm reminded of something chilling a colleague once told me back in late 2003, a man who was a veteran of the fight against South African apartheid--that in all of his years of hiding from his government, running from the police, in the streets, in jail, he never felt more frightened than he does travelling through America today.
We asked him why, of course. His answer: that in the bad old days, if the police kicked down your door and locked you up under trumped-up charges, your friends and family would know you were innocent, and fight, however futilely, for your freedom. If the same thing happened in America, your own family would say, well, maybe we didn't really know him. Maybe the government knows something we don't...

We were all quiet for a while after that.

#161 ::: Ken Burnside ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 10:55 PM:

First - I don't post often on political threads; based on the tenor of this thread, I'm farther to the right than most of you. I consider myself an "aggressive moderate"; by the standards of discourse here on Making Light, I'm probably about two steps shy of being a goose-stepping Bushite.

That being said, I'm willing to try to act as the "Loyal Opposition". I'm no fan of our Great and Glorious Shrub. I'm horrified at how we've gone from "two parties that compromise" to "two parties that villify".

This being said, your response to waterboarding and other torture techniques illustrates EXACTLY how the Democrats lost the '04 elections.

It's fundamental salesmanship.

Tell the customer (voter) how their lives are going to be tangibly improved by making this choice one way or another.

Give me a candidate who actually stands for something - and has some sense of a vision that isn't a series of gibberish promises contingent on his poll numbers - and I'll vote for him, either party.

Which means - how do you turn this issue into something where Democrats can show leadership and resolve?

#162 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 11:21 PM:

It's fundamental salesmanship.

Civics is not salesmanship, and treating it as such leads to certain doom. At best politics degenerates into bread and circuses, at worst politics becomes a contest of who lies the best.

There are quite a number of reasons why the Democrats lost both the 2000 and 2004 elections; given the closeness of the votes a number of things could have shifted the outcome one way or another. I will grant you that one of those reasons was that too many people in this country have abandoned community for opportunity.

What the voter "wins" by opposing granting the president the ability to detain and torture people indefinitely is not having a government that tortures people. If that is insufficent, behind door #2 we have not being legally tortured by your own government in the future. That these two benefits are controversial is a source of anguish for many.

Give me a candidate who actually stands for something - and has some sense of a vision that isn't a series of gibberish promises contingent on his poll numbers - and I'll vote for him, either party.

I give you Pat Buchanan, who stands for remaking this country into the white country he grew up in.

Not that I'm defending the Democrats tonight, but there really is more to governing than picking a position and sticking with it come what may.

#163 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2006, 11:26 PM:
Slogans: what about "Republicans: the anti-democratic party"

I favor: "The Republican Party: Speaking Power to Truth"

#164 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 12:23 AM:

Kerry said some positive things and had a plank, the news media avoided reported them/it, and repeated salivatingly the calumny/lies spread far and wide by the Rovian fellowship and the so-called Swift Vets.

Basically, the PSP got control of the language and terminology and the new media, and used it to disseminate the (warped from veracity) messages and images it wanted burned into the brains of the US public. It's called "mindshare" and "perceptions" as opposed to "reality."

#165 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 12:25 AM:

Regarding Anarch's commentary about waterboarding--Anarch should also get a fullsized or larger cutout figure of the Schmuck Smiling, and set in up benevolently standing over the dunk booth...

Images have a lot of power. The PSP has been using them very manipulatively...

#166 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 02:22 AM:

I am a little stunned to find myself wondering if the Republicans are going to lose the House not because they are pro-torture and anti-civil-rights, but because Rep. Tom Foley turns out to have sexually harassed young teenage men, and the House Republican leadership covered it up.

I'm still looking for words for how I feel about that.

#167 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 10:26 AM:

Paula: So does video.

#168 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2006, 10:57 AM:

Anarch: video is imagery.... all the word "video" really means, is displayed images, from the Latin for to see. It's a word that technically is highly ambiguous, because when someone says "video" it could be any of but not limited to:

- RS-343 output onto a monitor (generic)
- NTSC broadcat
- PAL broadcast
- NTSC closed circuit
- NTSC playback
- computer display output
- what's showing on a radar display
- pre-recorded content files on DVD, on videotape, on CD, etc. for playback on computer or some type of monitor
- the equipment involved in any of the above
- various digital formats for e.g. HDTV
- Hi-Band 8, VHS, Beta, Betamax, DV, mini-DV, 1080i, 1080p, and I forget what else...

And it's ambiguous about whether there's audio attached. Strictly speaking, there isn't, that's why the term "AV" exists for audio-video denoting that there is also audio attached along with the display/signals-and-or-recorded-signal-or-file(s) for reconstruction to display on an display device of e.g. a CRT, LCD panel, LED display, plasma display, computer monitor, TV set, surveillance monitor, etc.

Basically, video is imagery over time/motion imagery. For e.g. NTSC it's 29.97 fields per second...

#169 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2006, 11:14 AM:

Paula: did you click the link?

#170 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2006, 04:30 PM:

This pretty much sums it up.

http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/pccartoons/archives/sherffius.asp?Action=GetImage

(You may have to go to 9/30/06 and hit "get image" to get the right one, the link isn't working right.)

#171 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 03:59 AM:

The bloodless slimeball who impersonates our Attorney-General, a human slug by the name of Philip Ruddock, lately delivered himself of the opinion that sleep deprivation was not torture. His is the office to which our Federal Police and intelligence agencies report, may God forgive us.

I wrote to the papers expressing outrage, expecting that there'd be a cataract of others. And yes, the letter was published - along with two others from looney tunes to the effect that of course terrorists should be tortured, the government is always right, and what sort of treasonous bastard would think otherwise?

And nothing more. No groundswell of public incredulity, shock and horror that the senior law officer of the Commonwealth thinks we should emulate the Gestapo. No demands for the bloke's resignation, or his head on a stick. I can't believe it.

I wrote to my local member, too. No reply. Nothing.

There's a horrible dream I have from time to time, where people that I know and love do not recognise me, look right through me, seem not to know I'm there, no matter what I do or say. I look at my country, and I'm having that dream.

#172 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 09:24 AM:

Randolph, I learned back in my adolescence, when Richard Nixon was having his issues, that there were a lot of people who weren't willing to make the effort to really look at and consider what had been done by him and the people in his administration. I am not happy that so many people are so unwilling to make the effort (either then or now) but they are what they are.

As for the implications of Foleygate for the Virtue Party--I am grimly amused.

#173 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 09:26 AM:

Mr. Luckett, I look at the US Bill of Rights as a document designed to keep us from doing what we'd like to do. It helps to keep me from screaming that way.

#174 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 04:17 PM:

...weren't willing to make the effort to really look at and consider what had been done by him and the people in his administration.

If we had, if Cheney and Rumsfeld had gotten jail time back then, perhaps we wouldn't be in the situation we are now.

#175 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2006, 06:20 PM:

This post may be a little incoherent, because I am jet-lagged. And because I am jet-lagged, it strikes me that some of the people who say that sleep deprivation isn't torture are comparing it with their experiences of being jet-lagged, and thinking that it's a bit unpleasant but, hey, anyone who isn't a wimp knows that it's not torture. There's an inability to understand that sleep deprivation that goes on and on is something a lot nastier than that.

#176 ::: Serge sees more boring spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 07:40 PM:

Good... This recent spate of spam is so boring and unimaginative.

#178 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2007, 10:26 PM:

Folks, if you see spam, please say "spam." When I'm doing a search through the last thousand comments, those are the four letters, in that order, that I'm searching on.

Yeah, I know, it gets boring saying "spam" all the time, but "Hormel Meat Product" isn't going to register.

#179 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2007, 07:33 AM:

The rule should be, delete the comment about the spam the same time the spam is deleted. Otherwise, you have these threads with comments about particular spam messages no longer in evidence.

#180 ::: Stasi whistleblower ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 12:17 PM:

What perturbs me more than the administration is the almost equivilant criminal naívité posed by those who put any faith in the Democrats. The party system is a joke, they're the same! Just look at Kerry v Bush in 2004: it was Skull vs Bones, Alien vs Predator. Both parties are socialist corporatist hacks. They're bought and paid for, every last one. There's a few vanguard constitutionalists & libertarians in the Ron Paul, maybe even Kucinich strain but they are going to go the way of the Wooly Mammoth if we don't get people who love liberty and respect the Constitution. That said, ANYONE who voted to authorize the Patriot Act, Iraq War authorization, Real ID Act is a criminal unfit for office. It scares me that the media thinks that a cross dressing gangster attorney and a war mongering woman are in the spotlight for presidential eleciton. Picking between cold shit and hot shit is no choice for all. If you don't see a strong libertarian/constitutionalist on the ballot, write them in or better yet, don't legitimize a criminal government by voting at all. Go to your local Big 5, they have sales on the peashooters we're still allowed to purchase. You'll need to pour boiling water on them to remove the cosmoline preservative, then your ready to take you liberty or die trying.

#182 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 01:50 PM:

Weirdly, the phrase "cross dressing gangster attorney" (or "crossdressing gangster attorney") doesn't appear anywhere else on the google-indexed web.

Points for originality!

#183 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Awww, that's not spam. It's good old fashioned crankwackery.

#184 ::: Spam deleted ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2008, 04:39 PM:

Spam from 78.37.45.203

#185 ::: Gayle B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2009, 12:43 PM:

You are invited to our Tea Party July 4th.
Imagine my astonishment to find there WERE dissenters at least as far back as 2006 positng comments on blogs! And not just among the Democrats! We need people who can think for themselves and don't mind speaking out. I'm tired of "politically correct" bull. We need to throw all the bums out.

#186 ::: Jon Meltzer sees teabagging spam on ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2009, 12:49 PM:

We drink coffee here.

#187 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2009, 05:19 PM:

Not spam, astroturf.

"Gayle B." up there is either a far-right-wing astroturfer, or a dupe of far-right-wing astroturfers.

Remember, when you go to a Tea Bag Party, to keep with the "tea" theme you should always wear a brown shirt.

#188 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2009, 05:22 PM:

Jim Macdonald #188 ...and if asked to speak declare you are but a hoarse vessel?

#189 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2009, 08:59 AM:

But remember, they know tomorrow belongs to them.

BTW, this whole phenomenon is pretty unknown and undiscussed in Australia. The W*k*p*d** section on 'T** P*rty' is rather bemusing. I'd be grateful if anyone could point to any quick shallow skims across actual descriptions of just what's going on, rather than my assembling impressions from hints and allegations.

#190 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2009, 09:19 AM:

The "tea parties" or "tea baggers" (a name picked by someone who didn't know what it meant), so-called because they were sending tea bags to politicians by mail, are a bunch of right-wing dupes holding public protests, whipped to a frenzy by talk-radio, astroturf, and Fox News. They're protesting the idea that Bush's most recent (poorly-thought-out and unaffordable) tax cuts, that don't even affect them, will be allowed to expire, putting taxes back to the same level they were in 2006.

They're pretending that they're the heirs of Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty who, back before the American Revolution, dumped a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor (the Boston Tea Party), under the slogan "Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny." The modern "Tea Baggers" apparently don't like taxation with representation either.

If they succeed in tarnishing Independence Day (aka The Glorious Fourth) with their nonsense I will be vexed.

#191 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2011, 07:46 PM:

And Rupert has been ... questioned ... about his phone hacking scandal.

#192 ::: David Harmon sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2012, 06:32 PM:

They're hardly trying...

#193 ::: Naomi parkhurst sees spam again ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2012, 09:03 AM:

Stale, flat, and unprofitable.

#194 ::: Stefan Jones suspects spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2012, 07:00 PM:

CNN link, nonsensical message.

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