Sunday, July 02, 2006

"If our enemies know what we're doing, why can't we?"

The buzz about the New York Times revealing the Bush administration's spying on financial transactions reached entirely new levels of preposterousness in the week since the story was published.

Glenn Greenwald discloses the many conservatives who have gone beyond being offended to summoning Nazi-style thuggery against the people who wrote and published the story. His post reveals details that are simply appalling to everyone who values democracy. If someone gets injured as a result of these lunatics inciting violence, God help them.

But the reaction from the MSM has been more than pushback; they are hitting back -- hard.

Richard Orr, a blast from my personal past, is responsible for the headline above. He continues:

Correct me, but in all the stories I've seen and read on the Times' "exposure" that the government has been dogging al-Qaida's financial network, I have yet to see one concrete example of who or what is being harmed by it.

What's more, the 9-11 commission has publicly said such surveillance is necessary to choke off the money that feeds their terrorist operations.

So if al-Qaida wasn't aware their financial transactions are being tracked, we have nothing to fear from them. They're too stupid to worry about.

What we do have to fear are the mindless calls for prosecuting the news media for informing us of what the most secretive administration in memory is doing in the apparent belief they're running a private corporation instead of a democratic republic that requires an informed electorate.

They're the same cries that went up with publication of the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon era - the exposure of which led to the revelation that Nixon operatives had broken into a psychiatrist's office to find damaging personal information on Daniel Elsberg, the man who exposed what the administration was up to in Vietnam and elsewhere.

In Watergate, Nixon argued that the Pentagon Papers and the tapes from the Oval Office, if made public, would compromise national security when, in fact, it was national embarrassment and the fear of prosecution that really concerned them.

If our enemies know what we're doing, why can't we?

And this morning on Meet the Press, Dana Priest crushed Bill Bennett like a peanut -- with the Moral Gambler sitting right next to her. If you want to see it, McBlogger has it.

Update (7/3): Greenwald follows up. The right-wingers have disgraced temselves once again -- not that this atrocious display will stem their bile.

Chris Bell has Courage

In the Mapchangers contest (click also on the link at the top right) Bell has endorsed the man challenging Lamar Smith in CD-21, John Courage:

Now as we start the final round, there are ten candidates from across the country vying to win a fundraiser with Governor Warner. Voting runs through July 10th, and you can only vote for one candidate. It's a testament to the strength of the Texas netroots that we have two Texans into final ten, and we'll need every bit of that strength to bring Mark Warner to Texas. That's why we need to work together to make sure we do not split our votes.

I've talked with John Courage and we've decided that, in the spirit of Texas unity, and on behalf of all Democratic candidates and activists across Texas, we will ask all of our supporters to join together:

Please vote for John Courage in this contest.

Our new field director, Glen Maxey, is working with activists and campaigns all across the state to build a website at that will offer netroots organizing tools that will help Democrats win in November and beyond. If we can put John Courage over the top, he has agreed to use the first $15,000 raised at the Mark Warner fundraiser to underwrite the development of these tools and this website. These tools will help us across the state for years to come, and they will only get better as we build and improve on them.

The web site is under construction and is being developed as a open access site with lots of organizing tools for candidates and activists to use to register and turn out Democratic votes. It will be open for the use of local, state and federal candidates. It will be open for the use on any individual wanting to help the Democratic ticket or a candidate.

That's why winning this contest is bigger than John Courage or me. It's about what all Texas Democrats can accomplish if we work together. By voting for John Courage in the Map Changer contest, you will be helping all Democratic candidates in Texas.

Unity is a wonderful thing. You'll see much more of this kind of synergy among candidates and campaigns in the coming days. Oh yeah, the Texas Progressive Alliance is the official online endorser of this blogswarm.

So many Funnies this Sunday

I had to put up three editions:

Cut and Run

So much to laugh at

Not quite so funny

Happy Independence Day weekend. Try not to shoot anyone in the face.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Republicans making chicken salad

And they're using chickenshit again to make it:

Republicans yesterday looked to wrest a political victory from a legal defeat in the Supreme Court, serving notice to Democrats that they must back President Bush on how to try suspects at Guantanamo Bay or risk being branded as weak on terrorism.

In striking down the military commissions Bush sought for trials of suspected members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the high court Thursday invited Congress to establish new rules and put the issue prominently before the public four months before the midterm elections. As the White House and lawmakers weighed next steps, House GOP leaders signaled they are ready to use this week's turn of events as a political weapon.

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's comment Thursday that the court decision "affirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system." That statement, Boehner said, amounted to Pelosi's advocating "special privileges for terrorists."

Similar views ricocheted around conservative talk radio -- Rush Limbaugh called Pelosi's comments "deranged" on his show Thursday -- and Republican strategists said they believed that the decision presented Bush a chance to put Democrats on the spot while uniting a Republican coalition that lately has been splintered on immigration, spending and other issues.

As usual, there's so much that's so ridiculous that's it's difficult to know where to begin, but let's start with their own words:

The right to a fair trial as guaranteed in the Constitution, described by the House Majority Leader as "special privileges for terrorists".

Rush Limbaugh calling someone -- anyone besides himself -- "deranged".

You know, it's just beyond even their standard-issue bullshit. The sad thing is that there are actually people -- some in the media -- who will swallow this. Tom Tommorrow's cartoon about the shit sandwich describes this mental deficiency perfectly.

And their supporters, who have been crying for months as the GOP's political futures have swirled the drain, can now latch onto this as a brave stand for America. 'Bold', they will say.

Fascists, I say. Xenophobic to the point of paranoia.

Of course there is some benefit to the nation in this course of action by the Republicans, and that is that they will be marginalized once more as a political party. Removed permanently to the minority, where they belong.

There are already too many of their former majority who refuse to be terrorized by them any longer.