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Friday Talking Points [35] -- Tim Russert Memorial Edition

[ Posted Friday, June 13th, 2008 – 17:19 PDT ]

Friday Talking Points returns, after a one-week absence!

[I was on vacation last week, which is why I had no time for FTP, but I did have something ready for you anyway -- an interview with Minnesota Democratic(-Farmer-Labor) Senate candidate Al Franken. Sorry for the blatant plug, but unfortunately, due to time differences, I think it appeared a wee bit too early for my normal crowd to even notice it last week. Anyway, that's why there was an interruption in FTP service, for the record. By an interesting quirk of fate, I was only about two blocks away from where Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech last Saturday, but I didn't attend as I was instead in a museum and missed it. Well, OK, it was the International Spy Museum, and I was checking out the James Bond car, but still....]

While this week's awards and talking points section largely focuses on what Congress has been up to rather than the presidential campaign, I did want to say it's very heartening to see Barack Obama set up a website to counter the smears that are being circulated about him. These slime-jobs are only going to get worse as the summer progresses, so it's a good thing to see Obama moving to cut them off at their knees. Sure, the people who get these forwarded email attacks probably won't see his site, but the media will have a one-stop shop to refute such attacks, instead of just blindly repeating them on the air (as some of them have been doing).

This is, after all, Swift Boat season. And John Kerry showed us all what happens when you ignore this sort of thing for too long.

But enough of the campaign. Behind the scenes, Congress has been a busy beehive this week.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

It's always a good sign when there are more than a few contenders for the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. This was one of those weeks.

It started out with Bill Nelsen, Democratic Senator from Florida, offering up a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College and have the nationwide popular vote elect our presidents from now on. But I've featured him already this week, so he won't be too upset that he was edged out for the MIDOTW this week.

There were also a few committee chairmen in Congress out there fighting the good fight. Henry Waxman is threatening the E.P.A. with contempt of Congress for (once again) not producing documents. Dianne Feinstein is digging through Bush's torture mess in the Senate, as is William Delahunt in the House.

But this week's award goes instead to Representative Dennis Kucinich, for not only introducing -- but spending two nights reading in full on the House floor -- 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.

Impeachment and removal of either Bush or Cheney, it should be pointed out, is just not going to happen -- unless they're caught in a conspiracy to give Bin Laden free money and the U.S. nuclear codes. Short of that, it's just not a realistic goal. The votes to convict in the Senate do not exist, and Nancy Pelosi over in the House isn't even going to let it get that far.

So Kucinich is shouldering a lance and tilting at the windmill of impeachment, for which he has been loudly mocked.

But Kucinich feels it is his duty to bring articles of impeachment forward, and that such duty should be above short-term political consequences. Even though his effort is doomed to failure, Representative Kucinich wins Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week, for doing his duty under the Constitution as he sees it.

[Congratulate Dennis Kucinich via his House contact page to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

I have to say also that it's always a good week when I have no candidate for Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Nobody seriously annoyed me this week, so they're all off the hook for another seven days.

I will launch a pre-emptive finger-wagging, though (since I've got a spare MDDOTW award, just waiting to go), to anyone on the left (bloggers included) who can't resist the urge to be disrespectful of Tim Russert's memory right now. Tim was someone who, when alive, invited plenty of criticism (from the left and the right) over his journalistic tactics and demeanor. I'm sure that I lobbed a few of these criticisms myself, at times.

But there's no denying that he has been an icon of the punditry for a long time now. His taking the helm of Meet The Press happened so long ago, it's hard to even remember the show without him. And say what you will about the show, it is the longest-running show in television history. That's pretty impressive, even if I did disagree with him at times... and at other times yelled at him on my television screen. I (of course) am such a small fry that I never met the man, nor even dreamed of appearing on his show, I should add.

All I'm saying is have a little respect. I'm sure Tim is right now arguing with Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates about his press pass... "Look, St. Pete, I've got a taped interview from 32 A.D. showing you were clearly on the side of journalistic entry to heaven... let's watch, and then I'd like to hear your response..."

Requiescat in Pace, Tim Russert.

[NBC News has a comment board up to remember Tim Russert.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 35 (6/13/08)

 

1
   We didn't expect Republicans to give up quite so early

Good news from the upcoming Senate races for the Democrats. In one state (Arkansas), the GOP is just not fielding a candidate against Mark Pryor. And in another (Massachusetts), they tried to field a candidate, but when the deadline came to turn in signatures to get on the ballot, the guy they chose to run against John Kerry was 30 signatures short out of 10,000. More good news from the Senate campaign trail -- Talking Points Memo is now reporting that the Republicans are just giving up hope on two other seats that might have been close (Virginia, New Mexico). This means not only that Virginia will have two Democratic Senators next year, but that the Democrats start the election season with four all-but-guaranteed victories.

Democrats should resist the urge to gloat and do an end-zone dance in public, however, as that would be too unseemly (ahem). "More in sadness than in outright JOYFUL GLEE" should be the tone here...

"We looked forward to having a serious debate over the difference between Democratic and Republican Senatorial candidates this fall, but it now seems the GOP has given up on challenging us in four states. We urge voters everywhere to take notice that Republicans are already conceding states -- very early in the process -- and ask why they should even consider voting GOP if the party has publicly given up on them."

 

2
   Maybe if they didn't hire guys with sticky fingers...

The national Republican campaign committee to get GOP candidates elected to the House has sheepishly come out and admit what everyone has suspected for a while now -- the guy they hired as their treasurer absconded with a whopping $725,000.

This one just writes itself.

"The Republicans in the House can't even manage to audit their own campaign committee, and were bilked out of almost three-quarter of a million dollars by the guy they trusted as their treasurer. If this is how they handle their own campaign contributions, why would anyone vote to put them in power of the nation's budget? Vote for fiscal responsibility this November. Vote Democratic."

 

3
   Republicans love oil companies

Californian Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer has been out front in the fights in the Senate over what to do about oil companies. Once again, Democrats tried to do something about a problem, and Republicans obstructed them from doing so. That is exactly what needs to be said about the situation. Because it's really not such a big leap to tie the entire Republican Party to the oil companies, especially when there are two oil men currently in the White House.

Boxer does so admirably, and I cannot improve on her words (her whole piece is worth reading):

Today, at gas stations across the nation, the American people are paying the price for a failed energy policy.

But faced this week with the opportunity to actually do something to address high gas prices, invest in alternatives and move toward energy independence, Republicans in the Senate once again chose the path of obstruction, just as they did with historic global warming legislation last week.

Over the last eight years, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their Republican allies in Congress have fallen over themselves to give oil companies huge tax breaks. They have repeatedly blocked meaningful progress toward energy independence and they have shown no interest in taking on the unchecked speculation that has created extreme volatility in energy markets and pushed oil and gas prices upward.

. . .

I believe that that it's time for lawmakers to decide whose side they are on. Are they on the side of big special interests, or do they stand with the American people and an energy policy that we -- and the world -- can live with?

 

4
   Bush just doesn't care

Democrats passed a bill in the House to extend unemployment benefits, usually not all that contentious an issue in tough economic times. They even convinced almost 50 House Republicans to vote for it. Bush, astoundingly enough, as indicated he's going to veto it, because the economy just isn't bad enough yet to warrant it.

Seriously. That's his position. It's just too darn generous a bill to those who have not been able to find work for the past six months.

Once again, Bush hands Democrats an issue on a silver platter, which will help them enormously with the public -- if they can only see it and use it.

To her credit, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quick to pounce on this one:

Today, the House voted to help 3.8 million Americans who are out of work in large part because of the disastrous economic policies of this White House and its allies in Washington.

. . .

All Americans are feeling real, serious, and deep economic pain. Yet President Bush has issued a veto threat against this legislation -- despite the fact that it will help 3.8 million Americans and in fact, the entire economy.

I urge the President to reconsider his veto threat and stand with hard-working Americans, just as he did in 2002.

 

5
   Like Ron Paul? Maybe you should vote for Bob Barr...

Ron Paul has officially dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for president. I know, I know, you're thinking "didn't that already happen months ago?" But even though the mainstream media has largely ignored his quixotic campaign after McCain got to the magic delegate number, his supporters are still out there and they're not exactly enchanted with John McCain. So why not strike while this particular iron is hot? Build a media narrative to counter the one McCain has been feeding by his overtures to disaffected Hillary Clinton voters. Make the Republicans sweat a bit -- especially when they remember how fervent Ron Paul's supporters are, and also how easy it was for him to raise money on "the internets" (which, to a large extent, mystifies Republican candidates).

Now, Democrats probably won't convince the Ron Paul crowd to vote for Obama, but they could convince them to stay home, or perhaps vote Libertarian (Bob Barr). And, especially in the South and Mountain West, this could shave a few points off McCain's total. A vote for Barr is a vote for Obama, in essence. The beauty of this is that you don't even have to prove such support exists, as long as you successfully feed into Republican fears, by re-framing the issue. For instance, when asked about "Clinton supporters for McCain," answer with:

"Well, you also have to look at a certain segment of the Republican Party who is not exactly thrilled about their nominee. Ron Paul raised a lot of money earlier in the race online, and he has now told his supporters to back Libertarian candidates. And everybody knows the Ron Paul crowd is just as fervent as the Hillary-or-Nobody crowd. So you've got to wonder how many Ron Paul supporters are going to vote for Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee... or just stay home. Because in a handful of states, this could be crucial to the outcome of the race."

 

6
   What does John McCain really believe?

So far, I've resisted commenting on the Vice Presidential race, but I have to give Wes Clark credit for being a good attack dog on John McCain this past week. First was a Huffington Post interview where he led a full frontal attack on McCain's military and national security experience. Then he went further, on MSNBC's Morning Joe program (as reported by the "War Room" column on Salon). Anyone thinking of convincing Barack Obama they'd be the best candidate for Vice President should take heed of how Clark talks about McCain:

Clark referred to McCain's "personal courage," but said, "On the other hand, he's changed his position on torture ... So what does John McCain really believe? Who is he? ... Is he just a guy who wants to be president and he'll say what's necessary to get the job?"

 

7
   Zombies? Rotting corpses?

Since it is Friday the 13th and all, and since Washington, D.C. has already had a power blackout today, here is the most unbelievable quote of the week. Any Democrat appearing on television should write this on a 3x5 card and have it ready, just in case you get a chance to slip it into the conversation.

The man being quoted is Larry Hunter, who was one of the economic brains behind Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America." Pretty sterling conservative credentials for a Republican, you've got to admit. From an article about conservatives for Obama, or "Obamacons," in The New Republic, Hunter had this to say about the Republican Party:

And, what's more important, he [Larry Hunter] views the Republican Party as a "dead, rotting carcass with a few decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version of Weekend at Bernie's, handcuffed to a corpse." Unless the Republican Party is thoroughly purged of its current leadership, Hunter fears that it "will pollute the political environment to toxic levels and create an epidemic that could damage the country for generations to come."

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

48 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [35] -- Tim Russert Memorial Edition”

  1. [1] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    Chris,

    I think too many people are forgetting that the Republican-controlled Senate didn't have the votes to convict Pres. Clinton under impeachment for getting a blowjob. That didn't stop them from investigating, and publicizing, every little thing Clinton ever did or didn't do until they destroyed the Democratic Party's chances in the coming election.

    Why, then, should we NOT impeach Bush, even IF we don't have all the votes to convict?

    It's not like there isn't PROOF that Bush lied us into a war; took away habeas corpus; trashed the constitution; ADMITTED that he was ILLEGALLY wiretapping American citizens; ....

    Whether or NOT Pelosi, or Reid, or any other Democrat has the balls to do it, it doesn't inspire faith when reporters, journalists, and PEOPLE, continue with the "but, we wouldn't win, so why try" meme.

    I bet the Republicans were soooo scared to impeach Clinton over lying about a blowjob... oh wait... and they didn't have the votes to convict, so I'm sure they hated destroying the Democratic name and winning total control of the government in 2000... oh wait...

  2. [2] 
    atomicwarbaby wrote:

    I so enjoyed your blogpost on Huffpost that I surfed on over to your website! I love the visual image you left in my aging Hippie "mind", of Zombie Rotting Corpses Republicans, it is so descriptive of THEIR "mindset". I have cultivated an intense dislike of John McCain, "The Maverick BUSH Hugger & Kisser", ever since he RIDICULED the idea of the new WOODSTOCK MUSEUM in Connecticut, which by the way, has just opened, so could you GO THERE, & give your readers a "report"?

    I'd like to also recommend my current very favorite paperback book: WORLD WAR Z: The ZOMBIE WAR. It is written with such a believability, with much of it in the form of first person "diary" accounts by ordinary American SOLDIERS on the ground, that it was absolutely RIVETING.

    I think John McCain would make an EXCELLENT Zombie, & so would BUSH; Dick Cheney is a little CHUBBY for a Zombie, so he'd make EXCELLENT Zombie FOOD RATIONS! Mmmmmmm, Dick Cheney MRE's! Yummy!

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    atomicwarbaby -

    Aging hippies are always welcome here! Wait a minute, the Woodstock museum is in CT? You sure it's not in NY? Either way, when I'm in the neighborhood I will check it out...

    As for zombies, I don't know why I keep getting an image of McCain and Cheney mumbling "mmmust... eat... BRAINS!!" while wandering around in a mall outside of Pittsburgh.

    Maybe Buffy can save us all!

    Heh heh.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michael Gass -

    Ah, but the Clinton impeachment just made him stronger, and the Republicans weaker. They overreached, and the public knew it.

    Now, I have fully supported all the investigations Congress has been running (and telling them to get on with it already! several times), and I still believe that if they ever uncovered a smoking gun that (a) the media and (b) the public got excited about, then impeachment might be the way to go. But until that happens, it's looking like we're just going to have to wait the Bush administration out, and hope he doesn't do too much damage before next January.

    But I still admire Kucinich for sticking up for what he believes in, which is why he got the MIDOTW.

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's really funny to see the Left bend over backwards in their hypocrisy..

    convict Pres. Clinton under impeachment for getting a blowjob.

    President Clinton was impeached for perjury.. Apparently Dems thought that perjury was serious enough to call for Scooter Libby to be hung from the nearest lamppost..

    I guess when a Dem commits perjury, it's no big deal. But when a Republican commits perjury, it's a crime akin to treason...

    As I said. Hypocrisy at it's finest...

    Let me lay it out for you so you can understand. There is NO CASE for impeachment.

    It's THAT simple.

    The GOP knows it.

    The Democrats know it.

    Get over it.

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    Chris,

    The GOP did overreach. Clinton's popularity INCREASED to 73% during his impeachment. But, the GOP didn't "pay for it", either. In the 1998 election, the GOP lost 5 seats in the House, yet, maintained a nice majority in both the Senate and House.

    In the 2000 election, the GOP lost 4 seats in the Senate and 2 seats in the House, but, with Democrats voting with them on issues, the GOP had control of the White House, Senate, and House. Total Control. That's hardly weaker.

    Then you had the lies to get into Iraq in 2003, and the GOP gained seats in the Senate and House in 2004.

    But, as the truth started coming out... the tides turned. They turned to the point that the Democratic Party picked up 27 seats in the House and 7 seats in the Senate in the 2006 midterms. Then, Democrats won 3 special elections in districts that were +10 GOP.

    There is plenty of will from the public to impeach Bush... there just isn't any political will.

    President Clinton's approval rating was in the 60's, and went up to 73% during his impeachment. The GOP started the "-Gates" in 1993, and was on a witchhunt every since. Yes, the public knew it, but, the GOP didn't "pay any price" for it. In fact, the GOP won it all in 2000 and solidified their gain in 2004.

    Clinton's approval rating was because he presided over a booming economy and low unemployment. The two military ventures were Somalia and Kosovo. President Bush Sr. stuck our troops into Somalia right before he left office and Clinton inherited it. Yet, the GOP were screaming for retreat with less than a 100 casualties.

    Bush's approval rating is in the dumps, hovering between 25-28%. His policies have driven the country into rising unemployment, recession, and $4/gal gasoline. He mired us in Iraq based on lies, and after 4,000+ dead American soldiers, the GOP had the balls to call Democrats "cut and runners" for wanting out of that quagmire. And, btw, the word "quagmire" was used by Dick Cheney to describe what the U.S. would find if we took Baghdad during the First Gulf War.

    After all of the non-scandals the GOP touted, they finally tried to impeach Clinton for lying under oath about a blowjob he got. And, he wasn't even convicted of that! He was ACQUITTED of lying under oath.

    Bush has lied to the nation and world about Iraq. Illegal wiretapping that started PRIOR to 9/11. Trashing the consitution. Torture. Illegal black CIA sites and renditioning prisoners to 3rd world countries to torture them. Blocking access to detainees from the Red Cross and other Humanitarian agencies. The list goes on and on...

    Nobody died from Clinton's lie... yet, he was impeached.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's exactly my point.

    If Bush was truly guilty of the crimes the hysterical Left accuse him of, then there would HAVE to be consequences.

    Employing Occam's Razor, what is the more likely and plausible explanation??

    Either Bush is a monster who is getting away with unimaginable crimes....

    Or

    The hysterical case made in the court of public opinion has little to do with reality.

    The answer is clear..

    If Bush was even guilty of a TENTH of what the hysterical Left is accusing him of, then there is simply NO WAY that the country would stand by and let him rule..

    If the Left would learn to think rationally and logically about things instead of hysterically and emotionally, then they (and this country) would be better off.

    On the other hand, if the Left DID think rationally and logically about things, they wouldn't be "the Left" for long. :D

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...just a thought or two about Meet The Press and the sudden passing of Tim Russert...

    There is no love lost between me and the media/blogosphere, generally speaking and certainly excepting this site, and neither have ever been my primary source for information. But, I am a Sunday morining talk show junkie, as they say, and Meet The Press has always been my favourite. I've been watching faithfully for almost as long as Tim Russert has been there. I have learned a lot from the guests he has interviewed, whether or not I've been impressed with his style, methods, or demeanor...as if I would be one to judge.

    Frankly, I could never understand the criticism, often quite personal, directed at Russert and his show, from all corners of the political spectrum by members of the blogosphere and media. Talk about the pots calling the kettle black...oh, man!...that took the phrase to all new heights.

    If you listened very carefully - not to the questions, per se, but to the answers and what the guests had to say, whether they answered the question or not - you couldn't help but learn something new about the guest or about the issue being discussed.

    There is one Meet The Press episode that stands out among all the others for me and that I will never forget, as long as I live. It was the Sunday following Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. The pleas from Aaron Broussard are etched in my brain forever.

    It was while watching that heart-wrenching show that I was introduced to Mark Freschetti and Mike Tidwell and to the precarious position that New Orleans finds itself in and to the urgent need to restore the wetlands and barrier islands of coastal Louisiana before it's too late.

    If it were not for that MTP episode, I would still be clueless as to what really happened in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I would have no idea how the US Army Corps of Engineers laid the groundwork - or not, as is the case - for the drowning of New Orleans. I would have no understanding of the fact that what happened in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina was anything but a natural disaster.

    A clip from this episode has been replayed, more than a few times this weekend, but it is of Michael Chertoff's exchange with Tim Russert - funny, that part of the show I seem to have forgotten. Leave it to the media to focus on one small - very small - aspect of that memorable episode that I found to be completely forgettable. I guess that is just par for the course.

    It's hard to imagine that I will ever have the same level of anticipation before another edition of MTP. I am assuming that, from here on in, "if it's Sunday, it's Meet The Press". But, it will never be the same.

  9. [9] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    Ah, leave it to Michale to bring out every GOP talking point and ignore facts...

    In 2006, Zogby poll showed:

    "By a margin of 52 to 43 percent, citizens want Congress to impeach President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of Pres. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003."

    In July 2007, a USA/Gallop poll showed that 62% of America said that there was not enough justification to start impeachment of Bush. Yet, in November 2007, the American Research Group did a poll and found that 53% of those polled said that with the abuses of the Bush administration rose to the level of impeachment (which is consistent with the Zogby poll that was commissioned).

    And, why might citizens not take to the streets?

    Well, in April 2003, police in Oregon fired upon protesters. Then, again in October 2004, police fired upon protesters, again in Oregon. Oh, let's not forget all of the arrests for merely wearing a t-shirt that is anti-Bush! Or the fact that the Pentagon and various police agencies were infiltrating and spying on anti-war organizations.

    I mean, come on... people should be in the streets instead of wanting their elected representatives to do their jobs. (eye roll)

    And, let's look at logic:

    - Tom Delay on Clinton impeachment:

    "This nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law. Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.

    No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country."

    - Chuck Hagel on Clinton impeachment:

    "There can be no shading of right and wrong. The complicated currents that have coursed through this impeachment process are many. But after stripping away the underbrush of legal technicalities and nuance, I find that the President abused his sacred power by lying and obstructing justice. How can parents instill values and morality in their children? How can educators teach our children? How can the rule of law for every American be applied equally if we have two standards of justice in America--one for the powerful and the other for the rest of us?"

    - Dick Armey on Clinton's attack on Iraq:

    "The suspicion some people have about the president's motives in this attack [on Iraq] is itself a powerful argument for impeachment," Armey said in a statement. "After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons."

    I mean, LOGICALLY, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. That is, unless you're a GOP hack who can't come up with any LOGICAL reasoning in your argument...

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michael, Michael, Michael...

    With your every post you prove my point..

    If Bush is all so fired up guilty as "public opinion" and the Democrats say he is....

    WHY ISN'T HE BEING IMPEACHED??

    If the crimes are of such magnitude, surely political expediency cannot explain the lack of impeachment.

    If Bush was guilty of even a TENTH of what has been leveled at him, the the would HAVE to be impeached.

    It's simple logic.

    The fact that Bush hasn't been impeached speaks volumes.

    Let me put it to you this way.

    Let's say you have John Q Tuvix as the Police Chief in (oooh where can I pick on today???) Albequierky, NM... Chief Tuvix is not very popular because Albequierky is a really rowdy town and Mr Tuvix is a law and order kind of guy. At one time or another, Mr Tuvix has had to jail more than half the town for various minor offenses. So, as I said, Chief Tuvix is not very popular. Now, in this town, "Everyone knows" that Chief Tuvix has molested hundreds of children. If you were to take a poll in Albequierky, you would learn that 75% of the people in Albequierky think that Chief Tuvix has molested children. Many on the town council also say that Chief Tuvix has molested children and should be jailed. The talk is endless..

    And yet, Chief Tuvix is NOT arrested and not only is he NOT arrested, he still continues as Chief Of Police..

    Now, as a newcomer to Albequierky, wouldn't you be simply GABBERFLASTED that all these people in town "KNOW" that Mr Tuvix is guilty, yet NO ONE will step up to do anything about??

    Wouldn't you, as a logical and rational person, wonder about this? That if Mr Tuvix has NOT been arrested and jailed that maybe, possibly, perhaps that the "charges" are motivated by hatred rather than by actual events??

    No offense to anyone, but if there is one "problem" that people have in this political forum, it is that they cannot face the tough questions. The really tough questions are poo-poo'ed away as "straw men" or simply ignored..

    So, here is one of those tough questions for you, Michael...

    If Bush is as stone cold guilty as you claim, if Bush has committed such HORRENDOUS crimes as you claim, then WHY HASN'T HE BEEN IMPEACHED??

    If the answer is "political expediency" then that makes the Democrats every bit as guilty as Bush. And if THAT is the case, then the people would rise up and demand action..

    Given that, the ONLY response that makes logical and rational sense is that Bush is NOT guilty of the horrendous crimes that ya'all accuse him of.

    But I would truly love to hear your answer.

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know what would be a hilarious scenario???

    There are DEM talking points floating around the web that McCain cannot run for President because he wasn't born in the USA...

    There are Hillary Supporter Talking Points that state that Obama cannot run for President because he was born in Hawaii before it became a state..

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if BOTH candidates were disqualified from running for President?? :D

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    BLaws wrote:

    @ Michale

    "There are Hillary Supporter Talking Points that state that Obama cannot run for President because he was born in Hawaii before it became a state.."

    Well, maybe in the fantasy world many of them live in...

    Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959.
    Obama was born August 4, 1961.

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I suggest you go talk to a DA or any prosecutor. There are plenty of people walking around free who have committed crimes and are guilty as sin. But if there is not enough evidence that can be introduced in court, then the DA will not bring the case. So there is a third option, which I believe is where we find ourselves with the impeachment of Bush question. There's no smoking gun, but that doesn't prove he's innocent by a long shot.

    Hadn't realized Obama's birth was so close to Hawaii's statehood. But as BLaws points out, it's on the right side of the line. Also, I believe the Senate already voted to accept McCain as "native born" so that this question wouldn't come up in the campaign. I didn't follow it all the way to the end, so I'm not sure if the House followed suit or not. (McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, at a US military base).

    -CW

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    As to your second point, it's true that US military installations are considered USA terra firma. My wife was born on an USAF base in Spain. Ironically, we met over on Okinawa.. :D But, she is a US citizen. I am sure that with McCain, it's the same. I was just stating a funny "what if" in jest..

    As to the first, my point is that people are accusing Bush of war crimes, genocide, murder, etc etc. If Bush was actually guilty of those crimes, it is beyond comprehension that he would not be impeached and prosecuted..

    I mean, we're talking about a president with an approval rating in the low 20s!! How could he NOT be impeached, if there was just cause??

    If the Left could learn to tone down their hysterics and put forth their accusations in a calm and rational manner, then they might find their accusations received considerably better.

    In this regard, the hysterical Left are their own worst enemies..

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    @BLaws

    Thanx.. I really didn't research it as my post was more in jest than anything else..

    I am not really surprised with your information though. It's amazing the reaches the Hillary Clan will go to to try and derail Obama...

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Under the heading of ANTI-CLIMACTIC:

    Gore Endorses Obama
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080616/D91BCLTG3.html

    Barely a footnote on DRUDGE...

    It's amazing what a difference a couple weeks make, eh??

    I guess Gore is trying to shore up his legitimacy by riding Obama's coattails..

    Obama will lose a LOT of my support if he embraces the con that is Human Caused Global Warming...

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    Chris,

    I believe you're wrong on one point: that there is no smoking gun.

    If the actions of President Bush were legal, why did the MCA include retroactive immunity? If the warrantless wiretapping by telecoms were legal and sanctioned by FISA, why is the GOP working so hard for retroactive immunity?

    We already know, per the governments OWN reports, that the White House used public funds to put out a propaganda campaign using retired military as "message force multipliers" in regards to Iraq.

    We already know, per the governments OWN reports, that the intelligence used to invade Iraq was cherry-picked at best, and that statements made by Bush and Cheney were flat out false.

    Again, it comes down to political will, and the Democrats just don't have it. The biggest question is why, when the public is behind it?

    The only reason I can come up with is that the administration used it's wiretapping, not to find terrorists, but, to find dirt on the Democratic politicians.

    http://ooibc.blogspot.com/2007/10/america-in-clear-and-present-danger.html

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Again, it comes down to political will, and the Democrats just don't have it. The biggest question is why, when the public is behind it?

    And that's exactly my question as well..

    The only reason I can come up with is that the administration used it's wiretapping, not to find terrorists, but, to find dirt on the Democratic politicians.

    There is another explanation that is more in keeping with Occam's Razor..

    Things are not nearly as bad as you claim.

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    No, things aren't nearly as bad as we think.

    Our military isn't so stressed out after repeated deployments that they aren't committing suicide.

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/06/military_suicide_060808w/

    They aren't having to take anti-depressant drugs.

    http://www.mcleague.com/mdp/modules.php?op=modload&name=MDForum&file=viewtopic&t=821&MDPROSID=c8f4250d75bb85362bd26f92fdef5496

    Things just aren't that bad, because, YOU are sitting behind a keyboard instead of where our soldiers are... right?

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahem... I have been out where the soldiers are. Don't EVEN presume to lecture me about sitting safe behind a keyboard. How many uniforms of this country's armed services have YOU worn??

    As I said, I have been there and done that and much more... And, guess what??

    It was as bad back then as it is now. The only difference is now it is easier for the general public to know about it than before when news was delayed a day or two or more..

    But as bad as it is, that doesn't mean it represents an impeachable offense.

    You have heard the term, "WAR IS HELL"?? What did you expect??

    The point is, when viewed in a COMPLETELY objective manner (which is, by the bi, necessary when prosecuting a criminal case) the accusations made by the hysterical Left are very easy to respond to.

    Passion about science is an admirable goal. Passion IN science should be avoided at all costs
    -Spock

    If one looks at all your accusations with the cold analytical eye of objectivity, it's easy that the accusations require emotion to be acceptable.

    Take out the emotion and there is nothing there.

    Can you PROVE beyond a doubt that Bush acted in anything other than a sincere and appropriate manner as is his duty as Commander In Chief?

    Don't even bother answering because your answer will be based in emotion, not fact.

    The simple fact is, any accusation made against Bush that has ANY basis in fact can be answered quite logically and rationally with the response, "I made the best decision I could have made with the evidence I had at the time and in accordance with my duties as Commander In Chief and the authorizations given to me by the US Congress."

    Zing... Any and all accusations are immediately rendered moot..

    Because for these hysterical accusations to be applicable, the accuser has to, MUST perform one simple task.

    To PROVE the accusations true, you must have rock-solid evidence as to what is in Bush's head at the time.

    Anything less and you have nothing.

    It can be legally argued that Bush has had authorization from the UNITED STATS CONGRESS for EVERYTHING he has done.

    And THAT is why you will not see President Bush impeached. Because when Congress authorized the President to take any and all measures to safeguard this country in 2001 and 2002, they gave the President a blank check.

    "That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

    Joint Authorization For Use Of Military Force
    18 Sep 2001

    This authorization has never been revoked. The Joint Authorization Of Military Force Against Iraq (Oct 2002) is more of the same. Complete authorization for each and every action that Bush has taken.

    And that is Bush's defense.. EVERYTHING he has done can be legally argued in the context that he was authorized by Congress..

    Finit.. Impeachment case falls apart.

    Pelosi knows this. Reid knows this.

    THAT is why impeachment is nothing more than a wet dream.

    Now, you may argue that the actions taken were NOT appropriate or required. But it's not your call to make. It's the President's decision and as long as he has the authorizations in hand, it's all perfectly legal..

    You want Bush impeached?? Get Congress to revoke the authorizations and then, if Bush continues to act in the same manner, than you can have your impeachment.

    It's really THAT simple.

    Michale....

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Grrrrr I hate it when I forget to close my attributes... CW, would you mind?? Sowweee... :D

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Revoking the October 2002 Iraq resolution would seem to have been the logical next step for Congress to take for some time now, considering the fact that all of what that resolution authorized the President to do, IF NECESSARY, has been done, one way or the other. We could argue about the 'if necessary' part ad nauseam, but I am sure you would agree that life is too short!

    It seems to me that the best case for impeachment would materialize when and if the President used military force against Iran, in a limited or all out attack, without the approval of Congress - which I don't believe he would get, notwithstanding the Kyl-Leiberman resolution.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, the Kyl-Leiberman resolution is tied in with the WAR ON TERROR resolution of 2001..

    Since Congress has declared the Republican Guard a terrorist organization, Bush is fully authorized to attack their assets, especially in the case of a clear and present (not necessarily imminent) danger to US Forces in the region.

    Bush can argue that the War On Terror authorization allows him to attack Republican Guard facilities and units. And it would be a legal argument that has legs in a court of law.

    With public opinion?? Not so much.

    The only option Congress has is to revoke the authorizations.. Up until that point, Bush can pretty much do what he wants...

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As far as an attack on Iran by the US is concerned, limited or otherwise, arguing over whether or not Congressional authorization pre-exists such a decision by the President, is really a moot point.

    Can you even begin to imagine the consequences of a US military attack on Iran? The president would have to be out of his mind to even be considering such a course of action...wait a second...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Can you even begin to imagine the consequences of a US military attack on Iran?

    I can...

    Just as I can also imagine a nuclear armed Iran...

    Out of the two possibilities, which do you think is more detrimental to the region and to the world??

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    To further explore.....

    Not only a nuclear armed Iran, but a nuclear armed Rebublican Guard. A nuclear armed Hamas. A nuclear armed Hezbollah..

    Now, which would be the better of two evils??

    Michale.....

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's a tough one, Michale...NOT!

    After the kind of neocon-inspired incompetence we have witnessed over the last seven years, I would be far more concerned about THIS administration, in particular, initiating a military strike against Iran than I would be if Iran developed a nuclear weapon. I shit you not!

    Even if the RG, Hamas, AND Hezbollah were alla bout to become nuclear-armed, God forbid...that would not change the fact that this adminstration wouldn't have the first clue about what would be required to stop it or how to implement it if they did!

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...ahem...could we get an edit function around here...you know for morons like myself...

    Of course I meant to say "...this administration WOULDN'T have the first clue..."

    ...and "alla bout" was simply a freudian slip, nothing more!

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...and, please substitute RG for RC, everyone...for God's sake!

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    We'll just have to agree to disagree then, uneditables notwithstanding. :D

    A nuclear armed Iran would all but guarantee a nuclear conflict in the middle east in our lifetime.

    Iran bombed back into the stone age??

    Not so much..

    Let's just say that I have more faith in our own President than I do in the psychotic Ahmenjihadist...

    Michale....

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's just say that, thankfully, both of them will be gone from the world stage before hard decisions like these will need to be made.

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The big problem with the impeachment is not so much the impeachment, but who is bringing the impeachment. Unfortunately, it is not so credible because Kucinich is the chief sponsor.

    Why not just send an invitation to Republicans to bring up the "loony left"?

    Now I don't agree that this characterization is apt. But Dennis should be smart enough to realize that if he can't garner more support for his cause, introducing it, I think, can only hurt the cause unless he can find a way to frame it so it doesn't fit into the Republican narrative.

    The Republican narrative is: the left is obstructionist and out to get us.

    I know. I know. It's a narrative. But set aside the truth of the statement for a second.

    You have to take into account the power of this narrative and either have a better answer for it, or realize that what you are doing may hurt your cause.

    Now the Republicans can say "look how loony he is". No one agrees with him.

    Again, I'm not arguing against the validity of impeachment because I think a case can be made, but I am arguing for more effective methods. Until these exist, I don't think it's really news.

    Best
    Dave

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    @akadjian

    I agree...

    Not so much that a case for impeachment can be made.

    But, I agree with you that IF a case can/should be made, the way it's being attempted is a detriment.

    Which has kinda been my sub-point. The hysterical accusations, the far-fetched and totally unbelievable statements coming from the Left HURT their case more than it helps..

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    @Elizabeth

    Let's just say that, thankfully, both of them will be gone from the world stage before hard decisions like these will need to be made.

    You hope...

    Michale.....

  35. [35] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Elizabeth and Michale -

    Editing done. You're welcome.

    And Elizabeth... ask and it shall be given...

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/index.php/2007/10/01/the-day-after-we-bomb-iran/

    Note, this was last October, so the scary numbers for oil prices are a bit dated, to say the least.

    -CW

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is one way to offset the oil issue in an attack on Iraq.....

    Local off-shore drilling...

    Wait... That's been in the media recently...

    Hmmmmmm

    Personally, I am for all the drilling we can do for a short term fix... In 1976 (when I got my licence) gas was 93 cents a gallon...

    Would love to see that again! :D

    Note that the wife and I are avid SCUBA Divers and would hope such drilling could be accomplished with a minimum of environmental impact..

    But, if it's a choice between having to move our favorite dive spots and being able to prevent a nuclear Iran... Well, I think we can make the sacrifice...

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx for the editing, CW :D

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I was under the impression that the Bush-CHENEY regime were the experts on offering up the false choice. But, I have good news for you. You don't have to give up your favorite dive spots to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran! Seriously!

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thank-you, dear editor, thank-you very much.

    I can't believe I didn't add my two cents worth on that blog post! I must have been otherwise preoccupied...trying, in vain, to prevent a fiasco in Iowa.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    @Elizabeth

    What about .93 cents a gallon gas??? :D

    Michale.....

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Let me just say that, in the not so distant future, $4 a gallon may look pretty darn good. Be happy!

  42. [42] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    And as the truth comes out, we learn more and more:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/41394.html

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. military hid the locations of suspected terrorist detainees and concealed harsh treatment to avoid the scrutiny of the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to documents that a Senate committee released Tuesday.

    "We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC is around. It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques," Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, a military lawyer who's since retired, said during an October 2002 meeting at the Guantanamo Bay prison to discuss employing interrogation techniques that some have equated with torture. Her comments were recorded in minutes of the meeting that were made public Tuesday. At that same meeting, Beaver also appeared to confirm that U.S. officials at another detention facility — Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan — were using sleep deprivation to "break" detainees well before then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved that technique. "True, but officially it is not happening," she is quoted as having said.

    A third person at the meeting, Jonathan Fredman, the chief counsel for the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, disclosed that detainees were moved routinely to avoid the scrutiny of the ICRC, which keeps tabs on prisoners in conflicts around the world.

    "In the past when the ICRC has made a big deal about certain detainees, the DOD (Defense Department) has 'moved' them away from the attention of the ICRC," Fredman said, according to the minutes.

    So... to recap... Bush/Cheney and their Pentagon cronies made sure that the International Red Cross couldn't find detainees, which, ensured that the world wouldn't know about the abuses occurring.

    And what was their "guideline"?

    "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong"

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    So???

    What's your point???

    "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong"

    I like my version better..

    "If the terrorist dies, you're doing it right."

    I am seriously concerned about this overt compassion for scumbag terrorists..

    Do you HONESTLY believe that these detainees are in there because they stole someone's milk money or didn't pay a parking ticket.. These are some very VERY bad people..

    Don't you think your "compassion" is misplaced??

    Oh yes, sure. There may be one or two that are completely innocent. The possibility does exist. Just like in any criminal prosecution, the possibility always exists. Does that mean we throw out the entire criminal justice system, just because it MIGHT convict an innocent person??

    I know, I know. Your response will be, "but the criminal justice system has safeguards to prevent innocent people blaa blaa blaa."

    My answer to that would be,
    A> Do those safeguards always work??

    and

    2> The system at Gitmo also has safeguards. It's simply that those safeguards are not as stringent and rightfully so.

    In your run of the mill criminal case, if a prosecutorial mistake is made then some guilty wife beater or druggie is released. OK, not the best scenario, but it happens.

    But, if you have a scumbag terrorist accidentally released from Gitmo, guess what?? Many MANY innocent people die. It's already happened once that was reported. How many times did it happen that it DIDN'T get reported??

    Look, I get it. It's fun to be compassionate. It's a thrill to stand up for the "little guy", the poor innocent farmer who was swept up in the nasty storm trooper nets of the evil George Bush and the bad bad USA. It makes you feel good that you can attempt to right a alleged wrong.

    But you have to realize that the people you are fighting for would just as soon slit your throat as spit on you.

    I have asked many many times and never got an answer.

    Whose side are you on??

    Do you WANT terrorists to be released so that they can kill again??

    Do you WANT to see your fellow Americans and fellow human beings butchered and killed in cold blood??

    Are your principles and ethics worth an innocent person's life???

    Imagine the defense lawyer down at Gitmo arguing, pleading and begging for the release of his client down in Gitmo, Achmed Bin Terrorist... This lawyer makes in impassioned plea, saying all the things you are saying, all the alleged atrocities, zero evidence to support anything, all the BS that has been spouted by bleeding hearts.. This lawyer is so passionate about it, that he impresses the Supreme Court and the SCOTUS frees Achmed...

    3 weeks later, Achmed Bin Terrorist is sitting on a busy street corner in Boston MA and blows himself to bits, taking 36 innocent men, women and children with him. Body parts are strewn for blocks and a corner of a Boston, Mass street is covered in blood and entrails..

    Now, I ask you.

    How does that lawyer feel??

    How would YOU feel if you were that lawyer??

    Hell, how do you feel just knowing that you WANTED this terrorist released from Gitmo??

    "This ain't no game, Slick"
    -Bruce Willis THE LAST BOYSCOUT

    This ain't no game. The people you want released from Gitmo are, for the most part, bad bad people. The fact that there MAY (emphasis MAY) be one or two innocent ones is unfortunate. But to want to release them all, SOLELY based on the completely unproven allegation that there might be ONE or TWO innocent ones is foolhardy. It is irresponsible..

    Hell, even if it can be proven beyond ANY doubt that one or two are completely innocent (it just can't be ascertained which one or two) it would STILL be foolhardy and irresponsible to release them all..

    This is the reality of the world we live in..

    Tis sad, tis true... Tis true, tis sad.

    Michale.....

  44. [44] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    While it can get truly boring refuting the GOP talking points that Michale always trots out... someone has to do it:

    - "Do you HONESTLY believe that these detainees are in there because they stole someone's milk money or didn't pay a parking ticket.. These are some very VERY bad people.."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/28/60minutes/main3976928.shtml

    (CBS) At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America's shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.

    Oh yes... everyone in Guantanamo are the worst of the worst and wouldn't be there if they were actually innocent... (eyeroll)... especially since a McClatchy investigative report released three days ago, stated:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/38773.html

    "An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men — and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds — whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments."

    Ummm... what did you say? Do I believe it? Not only do I believe it, but, officials in many countries believe it. Why?

    "McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees, more than a dozen local officials — primarily in Afghanistan — and U.S. officials with intimate knowledge of the detention program. The investigation also reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. military tribunal documents and other records."

    "This unprecedented compilation shows that most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals. At least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants, according to Afghan local officials. In effect, many of the detainees posed no danger to the United States or its allies."

    Here, let me highlight that part... "INNOCENT AFGHAN VILLAGERS". Truly, you're right-wing GOP talking points have been debunked over and over and over and yet, here you are, repeating them only days afterwards.

    - "Oh yes, sure. There may be one or two that are completely innocent. The possibility does exist. Just like in any criminal prosecution, the possibility always exists. Does that mean we throw out the entire criminal justice system, just because it MIGHT convict an innocent person??"

    It is not a "belief" that there are innocent people in Guantanamo; it is a FACT. And, an "entire criminal justice system" even... that would be laughable if it wasn't so wrong.

    The tribunals at Guantanamo are not a "criminal justice system", it is a "military tribunal system". And, it was a system that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court before the Military Commissions Act was passed. The Supreme Court has now ruled three times that anyone who is held can challenge their detention in federal court. Why was this necessary? Why was it necessary to rule THREE TIMES for the same thing? Because Gitmo trials are not fair, open, or free of prejudice.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_02/013163.php

    "I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process," Davis continued. "At which point, [Haynes's] eyes got wide and he said, 'Wait a minute, we can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions.'"

    Who is Haynes?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/17/AR2008061702862_2.html

    "Among those questioned yesterday about decisions was William J. "Jim" Haynes II, a former Defense Department general counsel who acknowledged pressing for more aggressive techniques but said the decisions were driven by the administration's fear of more terrorist strikes."

    Why, he was a person who wanted "more aggressive techniques", ie, he wanted to torture detainees. And, his testimony???? As reported at Crooks & Liars blog:

    Over the course of just a few minutes, Haynes said, “I don’t recall seeing this memorandum before and I’m not even sure this is one I’ve seen before…. I don’t recall seeing this memorandum and I don’t recall specific objections of this nature…. Well, I don’t recall seeing this document, either…. I don’t recall specific concerns…. I don’t recall these and I don’t recall seeing these memoranda…. I can’t even read this document, but I don’t remember seeing it…. I don’t recall that specifically…. I don’t remember doing that…. I don’t recall seeing these things.”

    He got "Gonzo disease"! Go figure THAT!

    - But, if you have a scumbag terrorist accidentally released from Gitmo, guess what?? Many MANY innocent people die. It's already happened once that was reported. How many times did it happen that it DIDN'T get reported??

    Why, yes, imagine that... if you scoop up everyone you can in a dragnet, innocent or not, hold them for YEARS in indefinite detention, TORTURE THEM... innocent or not... and then, they get set free because they weren't terrorists, guess what Sherlock... you've MADE a terrorist! And you figured it out all by yourself, albeit, years too late!!! Of course, like always, the grown-ups knew this years ago:

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/news/2005/06/wwwh60521.htm

    Oh yes, and then you run right back to the right-wing meme:

    - But you have to realize that the people you are fighting for would just as soon slit your throat as spit on you.

    I was in Iraq twice. Amazingly, few of the Iraqi people I met wanted to slit my throat, much less spat at me. But then, I treated them as human beings.

    - I have asked many many times and never got an answer. Whose side are you on?? Do you WANT terrorists to be released so that they can kill again?? Do you WANT to see your fellow Americans and fellow human beings butchered and killed in cold blood?? Are your principles and ethics worth an innocent person's life???

    Oh my... the outrage... the crying... the "you can't be patriotic if you want your fellow Americans to die"... blah blah blah...

    It sounds nice, packaging it all up into a nice neat ball, but, the grown-ups know that it isn't that simple. Wanting to treat everyone to a fair trial, with real evidence, and let an impartial jury decide their fate, is separate from a patriotic duty to keep people safe from terrorism.

    You see, terrorism has been around for centuries. It will not go away unless you subscribe to genocide. Do you? Do you believe that it is right to jail or kill EVERYONE who opposes your thought process???? Because, like all the right-wing nuts, you sure sound like it!

    The WTC was attacked in 1993. The perpetrators are in prison for their crime. The WTC was again attacked. We have invaded a country based on lies, imprisoned tens of thousands of people, killed hundreds of thousands more, displaced millions, and guess what... we WILL be hit again. So, the ONLY question here is WHAT ARE YOUR ETHICS???? Do you back the rule of law, or, the rule of slaughter?

    And, you run to the "fear mongering", another right-wing nut tactic.

    Except, you miss, like all the right-wing nuts, miss the point; if the person was actually innocent, and tortured, and held for years, and turned INTO that terrorist BY OUR OWN AUDACITY... that nightmare could have been avoided BY SIMPLY FOLLOWING THE RULE OF LAW.

    Here is the REAL WORLD:

    *** Achmed is swept up and detained. The evidence against him isn't there, and, the prosecutor, without political bias, without fear of political retribution, releases the man back to his family and Achmed goes back to his former, non-violent, life.

    Here is what Gitmo brings us... YOUR scenario:

    - 3 weeks later, Achmed Bin Terrorist is sitting on a busy street corner in Boston MA and blows himself to bits, taking 36 innocent men, women and children with him. Body parts are strewn for blocks and a corner of a Boston, Mass street is covered in blood and entrails..

    Why? Because Achmed wasn't a terrorist. He was simply an innocent man who was imprisoned. But, since we imprisoned him for YEARS, since we KNEW he was a terrorist and TORTURED him, and then, YEARS later, after his wife, his family, was destroyed by his absence, he BECAME that terrorist YOU FEAR.

    And, you again run to the right-wing talking point:

    - This ain't no game. The people you want released from Gitmo are, for the most part, bad bad people. The fact that there MAY (emphasis MAY) be one or two innocent ones is unfortunate. But to want to release them all, SOLELY based on the completely unproven allegation that there might be ONE or TWO innocent ones is foolhardy. It is irresponsible..

    Now, get this straight and through that hate-filled brain of yours: NOBODY IS SAYING RELEASE EVERYONE. NOBODY.

    What we are saying is GIVE THE PEOPLE AT GITMO THE FAIR, OPEN, HEARINGS THEY DESERVE BASED ON REAL EVIDENCE... NOT HEARSAY... NOT TORTURED CONFESSIONS... NOT SECRET EVIDENCE NOBODY CAN EVER SEE... BUT THE FAIR, OPEN, NON-POLITICAL TRIALS THEY DESERVE... AND IF THEY ARE INNOCENT, LET THEM GO... IF THEY ARE ACTUALLY GUILTY, THEN THEY ARE GUILTY.

    But, you see... after YEARS of torturing people... after YEARS of secret detentions... after YEARS OF THIS ILLEGAL SYSTEM THAT YOU AND OTHERS LIKE YOU SUPPORT... you know that you can't DO THAT now. So, all you can do is continue to support these practices, lest, all of you be shown to the be the idiots you truly are... and you prove my point by your last statement:

    - Hell, even if it can be proven beyond ANY doubt that one or two are completely innocent (it just can't be ascertained which one or two) it would STILL be foolhardy and irresponsible to release them all...

    Yes, because after you've supported torturing innocent people... after you've supported a system that wants to kill these people for doing absolutely nothing... you'd really hate to be shown to be an idiot by having that person finally be proven to be innocent. And, heaven forbid, that innocent person NOW want some payback because YOU were too stupid to follow the rule of law from the beginning.

    The fear for you isn't that there are terrorists that will be released. The fear is that the lies will finally be told... but, that is happening anyway... and, because of it, you, and those like you, are being shown for the idiots you truly are.

    Keep bringing the right-wing talking points... it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, I had started a whole list of points that completely negate everything you posted..

    But, due to your childish attacks and your incessant
    immature name-calling, I figured why bother.

    By attacking the messenger, you have fully conceded the message..

    I could not refute you better than you have refuted yourself.

    Why don't you come back and talk to me when you can grow up..

    Michale.....

  46. [46] 
    Michael Gass wrote:

    Yes... because it is really hard work being Preznit, er, to refute facts with GOP talking points... so, like any good wingnut, you merely claim victory after the facts have destroyed your talking points... because up is down, right is wrong, black is white... and darnit, you claimed "FREE" first!!! Want your lolly now?

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thank you for your concession, Michael..

    While it is not needed, and is completely irrelevant, I feel that it would be rude of me to not at least acknowledge your complete and utter lack of rational argument..

    Michale.....

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of Privacy...

    How many of ya'all would be against this???

    Payment Card and Third Party Network Information Reporting. The proposal requires information reporting on payment card and third party network transactions. Payment settlement entities, including merchant acquiring banks and third party settlement organizations, or third party payment facilitators acting on their behalf, will be required to report the annual gross amount of reportable transactions to the IRS and to the participating payee. Reportable transactions include any payment card transaction and any third party network transaction. Participating payees include persons who accept a payment card as payment and third party networks who accept payment from a third party settlement organization in settlement of transactions. A payment card means any card issued pursuant to an agreement or arrangement which provides for standards and mechanisms for settling the transactions. Use of an account number or other indicia associated with a payment card will be treated in the same manner as a payment card. A de minimis exception for transactions of $10,000 or less and 200 transactions or less applies to payments by third party settlement organizations. The proposal applies to returns for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2010. Back-up withholding provisions apply to amounts paid after December 31, 2011. This proposal is estimated to raise $9.802 billion over ten years.

    Anyone?? Anyone?? Buehler??

    Michale.....

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