Thursday, February 16, 2006

Your time is gonna come...

when George Will is smacking you around:

And if, as some administration supporters say, amending the 1978 act to meet today's exigencies would have given America's enemies dangerous information about our capabilities and intentions, surely FISA and the Patriot Act were both informative. Intelligence professionals reportedly say that the behavior of suspected terrorists has changed since Dec. 15, when the New York Times revealed the NSA surveillance. But surely America's enemies have assumed that our technologically sophisticated nation has been trying, in ways known and unknown, to eavesdrop on them.

Besides, terrorism is not the only new danger of this era. Another is the administration's argument that because the president is commander in chief, he is the "sole organ for the nation in foreign affairs." That non sequitur is refuted by the Constitution's plain language, which empowers Congress to ratify treaties, declare war, fund and regulate military forces, and make laws "necessary and proper" for the execution of all presidential powers . Those powers do not include deciding that a law -- FISA, for example -- is somehow exempted from the presidential duty to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

Yes, indeedy. It's good to have a prominent conservative saying what so many of us have been saying, that the president is not the big dog, it's Congress. Read the whole column, it's a gem, and it's very coherent in showing the fallacy of the administration's argument.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hackett's out

And a sad day it is. The Democratic leadership really mishandled this one. They wanted him to drop down to a House race like Bryan Lentz did, but they pressured the outspoken Hackett in a way that he didn't appreciate, and he's dropping out of 2006 altogether, which is terrible. He didn't want to run the House race again because he gave his word to the other candidates he wouldn't, and that apparently means a lot to him.

I hope he reconsiders, and I hope the other Democrats in the race step aside voluntarily and urge him to run. He is a real hero, unlike the wannabes on the GOP side of the aisle, like Tom DeLay, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, etc. It would be a shame to lose someone of his integrity.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Greenwald layeth the smacketh down

Glenn Greenwald, clearly emerging as one of the most intelligent and thorough critics of the Bushican Party.

Read this, then this.

Bush and World War I

As I've been reading the famous book by Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August, I've found several passages in the World War I history that mirror exactly what our President is doing. If he is repeating the failed lessons of that brutal war, then he is more xenophobic than we've thought.

First off, and this one is a doozy, "If they are not with us in this war, then they are against us!" Guess who said that before George W. Bush? Kaiser Wilheim II, the king of Germany, who launched the first European Civil War. Boy, that's the guy I want to be emulating.

Secondly, when Czar Nikolay II of Russia banned vodka sales to soldiers to prevent the drunken mess during mobilization for the Russo-Japanese war, a member of the Duma, Russia's parliament, remarked that governments during wartime always are imposing levies and taxes to increase income, but "never since the dawn of history has a country in time of war renounced the principal source of its income." That's right, kids, George Bush and Russia's repressive monarch are the only two leaders to throw away massive amounts of income during war. Can you say top one percent tax cuts?

So, in short, we have our President following the lead of two of the most incompetent monarchs in modern history. Given the domestic spying revelations, among others, one could say he's gone from incompetent president to joining that club of incompetent monarchs. I know he disdains academia and all, but can someone get him this book, let him read it, see how all these great preplanned ideas with no flexibility blew the hell out of Europe. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Thanks for making us repeat this war, Mr. President.