ChrisWeigant.com

From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Joe Biden

[ Posted Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 12:00 UTC ]

[Program Note: While I am away this week attending Netroots Nation, I thought a blast from the past would be entertaining for my readers. In 2007, also while away on vacation, I conducted a journalistic experiment. I contacted the campaigns of all eight Democratic candidates for president and asked them for permission to reprint a transcript of the speech of their choice from their candidate. All responded, although Dennis Kucinich's campaign was unable to provide me with a transcript because he always spoke without notes (I ran one of his white papers instead).

The introduction to this series explained everything, and it is still kind of interesting to read for the inside-baseball points that it made. I should mention that as internet bandwidth improved by leaps and bounds, such an experiment was never necessary again, because by the next contested Democratic nomination, the campaign websites had not only transcripts but videos of each candidates' speeches, for everyone to see.

Anyway, this week I am reprinting five of these speeches, one each day, for your amusement. I begin with the two candidates who are also running again this year, Joe Biden and Mike Gravel. Then I'll move on to the two who lasted until the bitter end, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the candidate that I personally supported in the race, John Edwards.

What's interesting about reading these speeches again is how times have changed (all Democrats were running against George W. Bush's record, at the time) as well as how things have remained the same (the same themes used today pop up in more than one speech). So sit back and enjoy this nostalgic trip into presidential politics from 12 years ago. I may also be able to post live columns throughout the week, but make no promises on that score (time is a serious constraint during these conferences).

 

Originally published November 15, 2007

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

 

National Security and Civil Rights

Drake University School of Law, Des Moines, Iowa
4/3/07

 

Since before our founding, the United States has been set apart by its uncompromising commitment to the rule of law and individual rights and civil liberties.

The values embodied in our constitutional government have been the pole star by which the world has set its moral compass.

They have given us the moral authority to lead our allies, and to defeat fascism and communism.

In the aftermath of September 11, as the world mourned with us, we had an opportunity to lead again.

The world looked to us to form a new coalition to face the threat of international terrorism and defend the very values the terrorists had attacked.

Regrettably, the Bush Administration saw it differently.

The President accepted a Faustian bargain. He abandoned our uncompromising commitment to the rule of law and individual rights in the belief that it was the only way to secure the United States against the threat of terrorism.

My firm belief and absolute conviction is that this Faustian bargain has had the ironic effect of making us less safe, not more safe; emboldened terrorists, not dissuaded them, and diminished us in the eyes of our friends and allies.

As I said on September 11 -- the terrorists win when we abandon our civil liberties.

We need not change our national character in order to defeat terrorism. As a matter of fact, we are already defeated by the terrorists if we change our character.

As a young Senator in 1977, I remember hearing Richard Nixon, who had resigned in disgrace less than three years earlier, comment on the President's duty to obey the law. He said: "When the President does it that means that it is not illegal."

His statement was breathtaking in its disregard for the rule of law and our constitutional system of checks and balances, but I was convinced that this was the only time in my life I would hear a President defend his actions on the grounds that he was above the law.

30 years later, here I am once again with a President claiming that because it's a time of war our laws and traditions do not apply to him.

I will address today five aspects of his policy that subvert our constitutional principles and make us less safe at home and weaker abroad: the acceptance of what amounts to torture, the practice of extraordinary rendition, the operation of secret prisons, the unwarranted surveillance of Americans, and the revocation of habeas corpus.

I will argue that by redefining what constitutes torture, redefining international treaty obligations, and operating secret prisons, he has squandered the support of the world and the opportunity to lead it.

And here at home the overly broad -- definition of inherent Presidential power -- in the time of war -- has undermined the basic civil liberties of American citizens.

 

Torture

Historically, the United States has advocated outlawing torture. We played a central role in drafting the Geneva Conventions and negotiating the Convention Against Torture. And we have enacted domestic laws to severely punish those who torture.

And with good reason beyond the obvious moral imperative.

Our efforts to outlaw torture were designed to protect the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers overseas by giving us the moral authority to demand that those who are captured be treated humanely.

After September 11, the President, for all intent and purpose, abandoned our historical opposition to torture. The sophistry engaged in by the Justice Department allowed his Administration to establish two new pillars of a policy regarding torture.

The first narrowed the definition of torture to conduct that causes "serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

It created a wide class of permissible mistreatment that "though [it] might constitute cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment . . . failed to rise to the level of torture."

The second exempted the President, as Commander-in-Chief, from these laws and allowed him to use torture, even though illegal, if he deems it necessary.

Emboldened by this analysis, the President allowed his Administration to engage in practices that the rest of the world regarded as torture but he had defined as permissible.

A solider who recently served in Afghanistan and Iraq sent the following statement to a Senator: "Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States?

We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard. . . . I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is 'America.'"

The President's policy has damaged America's image, alienated some of our closest partners, and given significant ammunition to the most extreme terrorists to attract new recruits.

The President's policy has also led to inexcusable blunders.

The Administration used information obtained from detained Al Qaeda members, who under coercion, asserted that Iraq had trained Al Qaeda operatives to make and use "weapons of mass destruction."

He cited this information repeatedly to justify taking us to war in Iraq. This information, like almost all information that was coerced, was false. The source told his interrogators what they wanted to hear to stop the coercion.

And as I said earlier, the President's policy has provided fodder to Al Qaeda's propagandists and recruiters, who have broadcast images of the atrocities at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib around the world. Imagine if an American soldier were captured by Al Qaeda.

Now -- what moral authority do we have now to demand that they treat our soldiers humanely?

Its time for us to stop this behavior and comply with our international treaty obligations.

I call upon the President today to comply with our domestic law and our international treaty obligations. Mr. President, the American people and the world have had enough of the equivocations and loop holes on this subject. It is time for you to state clearly that we will abide by our international obligations and our policy will reflect our national values.

 

Extraordinary Rendition

A policy of kidnapping a suspect and transporting him to a country that we know to use torture or secret site for interrogation -- is a practice called "extraordinary rendition" -- and historically been an anathema to our national values.

And although there is a place in the war on terror for rendition to justice, where a suspect is sent to another country to face trial, the use of extraordinary rendition, or rendition to a country that we know uses torture, is out of bounds and counterproductive.

As one expert noted, "[e]very country to which the United States has rendered a terrorism suspect since 9/11 has been [recognized by the State Department as] a persistent and egregious violator of human rights."

To add insult to injury, the President has claimed that his authority as Commander-in-Chief includes the power to order extraordinary rendition and that such an order is not subject to review by our courts or oversight by Congress.

The President's abuse of rendition has diminished our moral stature and sapped popular support for the United States around the world, making it difficult to get from foreign partners the cooperation and intelligence we need to effectively fight terrorism.

Shortly after Italy indicted 25 CIA agents for a 2003 rendition, Italian citizens took to the streets to protest the expansion of an American military base.

A Canadian Government commission censured the United States and Canada has been reticent to share intelligence with us ever since. Germany issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents.

And Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the Council of Europe are all investigating U.S. renditions within their jurisdictions.

There is also strong evidence that the Administration's policy has strengthened the position of oppressive and anti-democratic security services in countries like Syria and Egypt.

If our own security services engage in extra-legal kidnapping, detention, and mistreatment, how can we criticize foreign security services that use the same tactics to suppress democratic reform?

As President, I will stop this practice.

 

Secret Prisons

Some of those rendered are not turned over to brutal foreign regimes, but are held by American security services in secret prisons or "black sites." The President has attempted to hide these facilities from the American people and from the world.

To ensure that his actions were once again beyond the reach of U.S. law, the President has located these facilities abroad.

Legal experts have opined, however, that these prisons often violate the laws of the countries in which they are located.

And after press coverage has sparked outrage, the President has been forced to close several of them.

Some who have been released from black sites and several international human rights organizations have alleged that the CIA uses brutal techniques at these sites, including "waterboarding."

What kind of example are we setting for the world with such base behavior?

The President has guarded this secret prison system so closely we still know little about it. The President only disclosed the existence of the "black site" program after the press broke the story.

As the existence of these black sites, and the techniques used in them have become known, they have become one of Al Qaeda's most effective recruiting tools.

According to unclassified reporting on last year's National Intelligence Estimate, the abuses that occur at these secret prisons and at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have stoked the jihad movement.

Mr. President, the American people are tired of half-truths. Close the "black sites" that are a black stain on the name of America, and close Guantanamo and bulldoze Abu Ghraib to the ground.

 

Warrantless Wiretapping & National Security Letters

The President's misguided policy of attempting to protect America by violating our fundamental notions of constitutional governance and individual rights and liberties has not been confined to actions abroad.

The President has also engaged in such practices here at home, including his notorious warrantless wiretapping program and his abuse of authority under the Patriot Act.

He has secretly eavesdropped on Americans without Congressional authorization or a judicial approval. We fought the American Revolution in part to free ourselves of intrusions on our privacy without probably cause.

The Fourth Amendment guarantees freedom from unreasonable government searches and seizures and permits a judge to issue a warrant only after finding probable cause.

It stands as a bulwark against arbitrary government invasions of our privacy, and the President is bound by it -- even as we fight terrorism.

President Bush appears to have no patience for the Fourth Amendment and a caviler of Americans' rights and liberties.

We won't defeat terrorism by destroying the Bill of Rights.

In 1928 Justice Brandeis warned that other instruments of executive power were "but puny instruments of tyranny and oppression when compared with wire tapping." Justice Holmes described wiretapping as a "dirty business." They were prescient.

In 1976, a Senate Committee chaired by Frank Church uncovered shocking civil liberties abuses that had occurred during decades of extra-legal surveillance.

To ensure that this would never happen again, the Church Committee recommended reforms. In 1978, as a member of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, I helped fashion the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enacted many of the Committee's recommendations. Ninety-four colleagues from both sides of the aisle voted to pass FISA.

FISA ensured that the President retained the necessary tools to protect national security and collect foreign intelligence without violating Americans' civil liberties. In other words, we created a framework for protecting national security and Americans' privacy.

FISA established a court that could examine classified evidence and issue wiretap orders. We tailored the standard for FISA wiretaps to the national security threat. Instead of showing probable cause, FISA required the government to show that the subject of the warrant was a suspected terrorist or spy.

To ensure national security, we included exceptions: one allows the President to wiretap a terrorist suspect in an emergency prior to obtaining a warrant, as long as he obtains a warrant within 72 hours, and a second suspends the warrant requirement for 15 days after a Congressional declaration of war.

We also took pains to make clear FISA was the exclusive means by which the President could conduct national security surveillance; FISA unambiguously prohibits all such surveillance not authorized by statute.

I have argued from the beginning that the President could conduct surveillance of suspected terrorists while complying with FISA.

He has chosen instead to ignore FISA's clear prohibition on warrantless surveillance, arguing that he has "inherent constitutional authority" to conduct surveillance for national security purposes.

By so doing, he has knowingly and willfully violated the law and Americans' privacy, offering the same arrogant justification as President Nixon -- that he is above the law.

It was only after the Democratic Party regained control of Congress that the Administration reluctantly subjected its surveillance program to FISA court review.

Through strong congressional oversight, we need to ensure that the FISA court retains jurisdiction over all the President's surveillance programs. And folks, a clear lesson can be drawn from this -- elections matter!

The President has also abused the authority Congress gave him under the PATRIOT Act to issue National Security Letters. FBI officials issue these letters without judicial review to demand sensitive financial, credit, phone, and Internet records. Last month, a Congressionally mandated audit revealed that the FBI has made frequent errors in its use of National Security Letters, sometimes getting information about the wrong people and sometimes getting information it's not entitled to under the statute.

A Biden administration would fight terrorism without destroying the very values we're fighting to preserve. I would require a United States Attorney to approve the use of National Security Letters, to ensure that the government gets the information it needs without sacrificing our privacy.

 

Depriving Terror Detainees of Habeas Corpus

Continuing with his assault on individual rights and liberties in the name of national security, the President has also deprived terrorism detainees of the most cherished right in our constitutional system -- habeas corpus. "Habeas corpus" is a Latin term, meaning to render the body.

It was conceived to prevent someone from being locked up erroneously or illegally, with no chance to contest his imprisonment. But let's be clear: It is not a get out of jail free card. And it will not result in the release of dangerous terrorists.

Habeas corpus is a judicial safeguard that predates our constitutional democracy.

It was among British subjects' chief demands of King John on the field at Runnymede in 1215, as reflected in the Magna Carta. Alexander Hamilton described habeas corpus in the Federalist Papers as among the "greatest securities to liberty and republicanism that the Constitution contains."

While the Framers relegated most individual rights to subsequent amendments in the Bill of Rights, they included habeas corpus in the body of the Constitution itself.

In a war where many of our detainees were not captured on a battlefield by U.S. forces and were not wearing military uniforms, habeas corpus is an indispensable safeguard against erroneous detention.

But perhaps most importantly, habeas corpus ensures that if the United States detains someone, it does so with full respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.

The President has nonetheless stripped detainees of this fundamental safeguard.

His efforts to deprive detainees of habeas have been repudiated three times by a Supreme Court dominated by Republican nominees. But still he persists.

As a result, nations around the world view Guantanamo not as a facility necessitated by the war on terror, but as a symbol of American disregard for the rule of law.

Our enemies have used it and Abu Ghraib to recruit additional terrorists. These prisons have become symbols of American duplicity, not beacons of American justice once again, we should raze Abu Ghraib.

We should not wait for another Supreme Court decision. We should immediately move to restore habeas and, as I have said before, we should shut Guantanamo down.

 

Conclusion

The President responded to September 11, in an effort to make us safer, by cutting deeply into Americans' most cherished rights and liberties and running roughshod over constitutional limitations on Presidential power.

But as the Supreme Court recently held, "a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens."

The President's irresponsible use of power is inexcusable. It is time for Congress to re-assert our constitutional role, and exercise strict oversight over the President's policies.

It is time to reestablish our moral stature in the world and mend our most important foreign relationships. It is time to send a clear message to our citizens, to our men and women in uniform, and to people around the world, that we are a nation of laws and not men.

That we do not choose between security and liberty, we demand both. That we neither condone torture, nor kidnap people and send them to other countries to be tortured.

Sending this message will be the first step toward restoring our constitutional balance, reaffirming our individual rights and liberties, and renewing our moral leadership in the world.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

85 Comments on “From The Archives -- 2007 Candidate Speech Series: Joe Biden”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Warrantless Wiretapping & National Security Letters

    Ha!!!! Obama brought domestic surveillance to new heights...

    Funny how no one on the Left wants to talk about that... :D

    In all fairness, CW did award Obama the LIE OF THE YEAR award for Obama's attempt to obfuscate and cover up his deeds..

    But, history proves beyond ANY doubt..

    The presence of domestic surveillance was expanded beyond all belief under Obama..

    Torture

    Let me staple the vicar... :D

    I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with torturing terrorists to glean intel that saves American lives..

    And, frankly, the thought process that someone uses to come to the opposite conclusion totally escapes me..

    Sometimes... Oft times.. the ends DO justify the means..

    I am reminded of a thought experiment that was conducted in OCS... You are an officer in charge of an artillery platoon.. You receive orders to strike a local elementary school while school is in session.. In the basement there is a missile control facility that is controlling a launched nuclear missile that is heading for New York City.. Tens of millions of Americans will be killed if you don't act... Destroying the control room will destroy the missile in flight..

    Your ONLY two choices are to destroy the school and the control room and kill all the children or DON'T destroy the school and the control room and allow tens of millions of Americans die..

    So, what do you do??

    Those who are of..er.. shall we say lesser intelligence, will try and mealy-mouth their way out of making a decision and make excuses and try to point out that the scenario is ridiculous..

    Those people are not officer/leadership material..

    Of course the scenario is ridiculous.. It's a thought exercise...

    The more enlightened members of this group will recognize this as the Kobyashi Maru scenario...

    But it stabs to the heart of the question..

    Do the ends justify the means?

    As long as the means are directly proportional to the ends, I believe that the ends DO justify the means..

    So, in order to save tens of millions of American lives, I would order the destruction of the school and the control room.. In a stone cold minute..

    So, I really can't get all emotional about torturing terrorists.. The ends justifies the means.

    And please.. Don't give me that hysterical bullshit about if we torture terrorists than captured Americans will be tortured too..

    Does anyone here HONESTLY believe that terrorists honor the Geneva Conventions?? That Americans captured by terrorist groups WON'T torture Americans???

    "Oh wow.. Americans are so honorable that they won't torture our terrorist comrades, even to save lives!! We must adhere to the same code of conduct and not torture our prisoners!!"

    Does anyone here HONESTLY believe that THAT is what would happen??

    Their TERRORISTS, people.. If they had any shred of decency and honor, they WOULDN'T BE TERRORISTS!!!

    Claiming to be against torture because terrorists would torture their prisoners in response is THE most naive and ludicrous and UTTERLY DELUSIONAL position a person who still has a pulse and a brain cell could take..

    Thanx for the blast from the past, CW.. :D Always enjoy these trips down memory lane..

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Ha!!!! Obama brought domestic surveillance to new heights...

    So... you approve or disapprove?

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Noncompliance Kneecaps New Zealand's Gun Control Scheme

    As of last week, only around 700 weapons had been turned over.
    https://reason.com/2019/07/08/noncompliance-kneecaps-new-zealands-gun-control-scheme/

    You see the problem with gun confiscation??

    Even in countries that HAVE no 2nd Amendment, it doesn't work...

    People yearn to be free. And to have the means to defend that freedom...

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, responding to a horrendous crime by inflicting knee-jerk, authoritarian restrictions on innocent people proves to be an ineffective means of convincing people to obey. Specifically, New Zealand's government—which also stepped up censorship and domestic surveillance after bloody attacks on two Christchurch mosques earlier this year—is running into stiff resistance to new gun rules from firearms owners who are slow to surrender now-prohibited weapons and will probably never turn them in.

    Officials should have seen it coming.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pelosi calls for Acosta to step down over Epstein plea deal, hits Trump

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Monday called on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to step down for what she called an “unconscionable agreement” with Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged earlier with sex trafficking in New York City federal court.
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pelosi-calls-for-acosta-to-step-down-over-epstein-plea-deal-hits-trump

    Sure, Nance...

    Just as soon as you condemn Bill Clinton and his enabler Hillary for their connections to Epstein...

    Deal??? :eyeroll:

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    So... you approve or disapprove?

    Whole heartedly and utterly and completely approve..

    Increasing domestic surveillance and drone strikes were a couple of the very few things that Obama did right..

    And I said so at the time...

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Increasing domestic surveillance and drone strikes were a couple of the very few things that Obama did right..

    Also said at the time..

    My personal privacy is not worth the loss of a single innocent life..

    Ever watch a movie called THE FINAL OPTION??

    It's an eye opener to invasive personal rights. At the time, the Brits know how to give deference to national defense.. :D

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump declares state of emergency for California after major earthquakes
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-declares-emergency-in-california-after-major-earthquakes-rattle-state

    President Trump rides in to California's rescue... :D

    Will Democrats in California give him any credit for it??

    Yea, maybe when hell freezes over... :^/

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Democrat Primary has it's first casualty..

    Failed 'Avenger': Swalwell Is First to Drop Out of 2020 Race

    It turned out to be an unfortunate comparison.

    “We are all a part of the Avengers,” Rep. Eric Swalwell told voters in Iowa last month, likening himself and the rest of the Democrats running for president to those comic book superheroes who sacrifice everything to save the universe.

    The California lawmaker failed to mention how half those heroes end up disintegrating and disappearing into thin air during their final battle. And now, metaphorically speaking, Swalwell has done just that.

    “Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress,” Swalwell said at a press conference in his home state. A candidate for just 90 days, he told reporters that his team had “to be honest about our campaign’s viability.”
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/07/08/failed_avenger_swalwell_is_first_to_drop_out_of_2020_race__140730.html

    Eric Who???

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:
  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:
  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, speaking of fantasy statements..

    On the one hand, we have President Trump musing about how the colonists attacked airports in the Revolutionary War...

    And then on the other hand, we have Joe Biden claiming that Russian Interference in our Elections never would have happened under Obama/Biden's watch..

    Which fantasy statement has more relevance to the here and now??

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    “We don’t need a president who doesn’t believe in the rule of law,” Mr. Bennet continued. “We don’t need a president who doesn’t believe in freedom of press.”

    Where do these people come up with this wacky stuff?

    I have literally never seen a freer press in my life. These people are free to print and broadcast literally anything they feel like — and do! For two years, they have been spinning fantasy tales about Russian hookers urinating on beds in Moscow hotel rooms.

    And Mr. Trump somehow doesn’t believe in the rule of law? You mean, like, on the border? Where he and he alone is doing everything in his power to enforce the law?

    While the best Joe Biden and Michael Bennet’s Democratic Party can contribute is to send their most charismatic new member to the border — where she immediately spun a new fantasy about illegal aliens being forced to drink toilet water.

    What is it with these people and their obsession with the scatological? There is something seriously wrong with them. Let’s hope they get help before one of them wins the Democratic nomination.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jul/7/democrats-chances-and-their-issues-in-the-toilet/

    Funny how Democrats talk about the rule of law.. And then want to decriminalize all immigration crimes and open the US Borders to all sorts of rapists and murderers and gang bangers and drug dealers..

    :eyeroll:

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Progressive writer gives friend a MAGA hat ultimatum—friend wisely chooses hat
    https://www.thepostmillennial.com/progressive-writer-gives-friend-a-maga-hat-ultimatum-friend-wisely-chooses-hat/

    What IS it about allegedly "tolerant" and "respectful" Democrats that they are so intolerant and disrespectful???

    "Anyone?? Anyone?? Beuhler???"

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    It’s the End of the World as They Know It

    The distinct burden of being a climate scientist
    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/07/weight-of-the-world-climate-change-scientist-grief/

    Apparently, some people are in serious need of a life.. :D

    No, to be fair, these are well documented psychological conditions..

    Catastrophizing... Hero Syndrome.. Doomsday phobia..

    Dissociative states where there is always an imminent catastrophe or disaster and they alone are the ones to stop it or tell the world about it..

    Everything is END OF THE WORLD serious....

    One would think that, what with all the catastrophes that were predicted and never came to pass, these bent people would get a clue..

    But, it's psychological, so they should be pitied...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course, the ONLY response to such hysterical dissociative syndromes is cold hard and objective FACT...

    The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time

    The scandal that I call “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time” is the alteration of official world temperature data by a small number of government employees in the US and the UK. Uniformly, the alterations have the effect of lowering temperatures early in the record, and raising recent temperatures, in order to create and enhance a warming trend that does not exist in the data as originally reported. The purpose of the fraudulent data alteration is to support the continuation of the “global warming” climate scare. To read the prior 22 posts in this series, go to this link.
    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2019-7-3-the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-xxiii

    So, to the hystericals, I say.. Calm down.. It's NOT the end of the world..

    Funny story about that..

    As many of you know, I am retired military and law enforcement.. A while back I used to while away my time repairing and selling laptops at a local flea market..

    There was this group there, one of those END OF THE WORLD cults who was predicting the End Of The World in about 2 months time...

    One of the guys from that booth came in and bought a laptop from me.. Normally, I give a one year warranty on all the laptops I sell.. As I was doing his paperwork, I slyly said, "OK, you got a 2 month warranty on this laptop"

    The guy was indignant and said he wanted the full 12 month warranty.. :D

    That simply re-affirmed my belief about these END OF THE WORLD cretins..

    They are utterly whacked and don't really believe their own bullshit.. :D

    True story... :D

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good cop, bad cop, and the Starbucks incident
    https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/451920-good-cop-bad-cop-and-the-starbucks-incident

    Good article...

    While it's true that these Starbuck instances are as rare as actual bad cops (very VERY rare) I can't help but feel that they are indicative of the Demcorat Party as a whole...

    This feeling is re-enforced when there is absolutely NO CONDEMNATION from the Left..

    Compare this lack of condemnation from the Left with the over-the-top condemnation from the Left during the Starbuck incident with the 2 black males who were loitering...

    It's THAT hypocrisy that is the point..

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    2020 Dems must change course now before they fall off left-wing cliff

    The term “America First” gets a bad rap, but at this point, Americans should be hoping against hope that the wellbeing of the nation makes it into the left’s top 10 priorities.

    Last week was an especially bad week for the “Dissent is patriotic” crowd — remember that post-9/11 slogan of the left? — as they managed the dissent part without any of the patriotism.

    The Pied Piper of wokeness, Colin Kaepernick?, kicked off the week by successfully pressuring Nike to recall a shoe adorned with the original 13-star American flag attributed to America’s founding mother, Betsy Ross.
    https://nypost.com/2019/07/07/2020-dems-must-change-course-now-before-they-fall-off-left-wing-cliff/

    It's funny... So many people claim to love America yet find so many ways to hate America....

    #sad

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    HA...

    Ilhan Omar admits she may have flubbed facts in dramatic story she told high school students
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ilhan-omar-admits-flubbed-facts-america-racism-injustice-story

    When President Trump does it, Omar and everyone here calls it "LYING"...

    Like I said.. If the Left didn't have DOUBLE standards, they would have no standards at all... :eyeroll:

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Judge Blocks Trump Rule Requiring Pharma Companies To Say Price Of Drugs In TV Ads

    A federal judge on Monday stopped a Trump administration initiative that would have required drug makers to reveal the sticker price of their drugs in television ads.

    Under the rule, if a medicine's list price was more than $35 a month, it would have to be stated during the commercial. The challenge opponents say is that a drug's list price and estimates of what people can expect to pay varies widely depending on coverage.

    The rule was blocked hours before it was set to take effect, the latest setback for the White House as Trump administration officials continue to search for ways to pressure pharmaceutical companies into lowering their prices — a proposal made by the Trump administration in the run up to last November's midterm election.

    The decision from U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C. ruled that the Health and Human Services Department does not have the regulatory power to make drug manufactures include the cost of drugs in television commercials.
    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/09/739770699/judge-blocks-trump-rule-requiring-pharma-companies-to-say-price-of-drugs-in-tv-a

    This is EXACTLY what I am talking about when it comes to the knee-jerk HATE that rolls off Democrats like waves..

    President Trump issues an order that Big Pharma must include drug prices in their advertisements..

    Good for the American people, transparency and all that...

    And an Obama Judge blocks it just because it comes from President Trump.. :eyeroll:

    So, basically Democrats jump into bed with Big Pharma...

    :eyeroll:

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Michale, rather that rehashing our great debate on torture here, do you know where I can find that piece? I can't even remember the year.

  22. [22] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Shocking! Absolutely shocking!!!

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hey, Michale, rather that rehashing our great debate on torture here, do you know where I can find that piece? I can't even remember the year.

    Seems CW is the only one who has it.. :D

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Shocking! Absolutely shocking!!!

    "Mr President.... uh... That is not entirely accurate.."
    "Really?? Which part??"

    -INDEPENDENCE DAY

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hey, Michale, rather that rehashing our great debate on torture here,

    I gave you a bunch of other topics to discuss... :D

    DO you think it's a good idea that Big Pharma has to disclose drug prices in their advertisements??

    What about Oman's lies???

    What's your opinion on Kapernick's dissing of the American flag??

    Starbucks asking cops to leave the store???

    We have a whole plethora of possibilities.. :D

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't want to talk about them.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:
  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    or those, as the case may be.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't want to talk about them.

    I don't blame ya.. :D

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    There are cops that are paid enough to go to Starbucks?

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, as of today and funnily enough, Biden is still way ahead in the polls.

    But, you know, Biden's support is wide but not very deep. I heard someone on teevee say that.

    Oh, yes, and someone else made the impressive statement the other day at the end of his interview on CNN that Biden had better stop saying Barack because it's disrespectful to President Obama.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    UNBELIEVABLE!

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, yes, and someone else made the impressive statement the other day at the end of his interview on CNN that Biden had better stop saying Barack because it's disrespectful to President Obama.

    UNBELIEVABLE!

    I agree, Liz.. Totally off the wall..

    Like it or not, Biden and Obama are inexorably linked til the end of time..

    I think Obama himself is trying to distance from Biden..

    Rumor has it that Obama is backing Harris over Biden..

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of UNBELIEVABLE!!

    See if ya'all can reconcile these two diametrically opposed beliefs..

    Federal court: Trump can't ban critics from Twitter account

    NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump can’t ban critics from his Twitter account, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, saying the First Amendment calls for more speech, rather than less, on matters of public concern...

    And....

    Not even Trump is safe from being banned for tweets that go too far, Twitter says

    Twitter says it's possible that President Trump could be banned if he exhibits abusive, rule-breaking behavior on the platform.

    This is why it's IMPOSSIBLE to take Trump/America haters seriously..

    They are so blinded by hate, they take positions that are inherently contradictory...

    Yea, I know, I know.. One is a court ruling and the other is a company ruling..

    Irrelevant...

    If the courts hold that President Trump must allow ALL COMERS to his account in the interests of public concern...

    Then Twitter can't ban President Trump from their platform for the EXACT SAME REASON...

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh wow..

    Ross Perot died...

    A shame.. He brought the funniest line to Presidential Politics..

    In the 1992 debates he was saying that if anyone can come up with a better tax plan than his...???

    "Well, I am all ears.."

    Brought the house done... :D

    RIP Mr Perot....

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, he wasn't kidding!

    I loved his charts!

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, he wasn't kidding!

    He wasn't!! :D

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Like it or not, Biden and Obama are inexorably linked til the end of time..

    I like it!

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like it or not, Biden and Obama are inexorably linked til the end of time..

    I like it!

    Yea.. But "woke" Obama disciples hate it..

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    what the heck does 'woke or woked' mean?

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yea.. But "woke" Obama disciples hate it..

    Why?

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    what the heck does 'woke or woked' mean?

    woke
    /w?k/
    Learn to pronounce
    verb
    1.
    past of wake1.
    adjectiveINFORMAL•US
    1.
    alert to injustice in society, especially racism.
    "we need to stay angry, and stay woke"

    Another moronic "thing" courtesy of the Left Wingery..

    As to why Obama disciples don't like Biden??

    Because they think Biden is not "woke" enough.. They think that Biden tarnishes Obama's legacy...

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, I don't think they will ever be woke enough.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I meant tp emphasize 'THEY' but you get the point.

  45. [45] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Even more shocking!!!! Perhaps even a genuine 'shockerooni'!!!!

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hope that one day, CRS, you will understand the meaning of that phrase and know the appropriate time to use it.

  47. [47] 
    Paula wrote:

    Turns out the Seth Rich story, believed by America's idiots-on-the-right, was planted by Russian intelligence and hyped by Sean-the-traitor-Hannity and FOX News: https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Shocking. Positively shocking.

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Turns out the Seth Rich story, believed by America's idiots-on-the-right, was planted by Russian intelligence

    Yea??

    So says YAHOO NEWS...

    Without a SINGLE SOLITARY FACT to back it up.. :eyeroll:

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, you don't really think the conspiracy story about Rich is true, do you?

  51. [51] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    If the courts hold that President Trump must allow ALL COMERS to his account in the interests of public concern...

    Then Twitter can't ban President Trump from their platform for the EXACT SAME REASON...

    Except they aren’t the EXACT SAME REASONS!!!

    Trump cannot block critics or people who he dislikes from his Twitter feed. And just like with Trump, Twitter has the ability and right to ban anyone who exhibits abusive, rule-breaking behavior on the platform. Twitter decides who is banned, not Trump!

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, you don't really think the conspiracy story about Rich is true, do you?

    Do you find it strange that authorities says it was a robbery, yet none of Rich's valuables were taken..

    That he was intimately involved in the VERY documents that went missing and was killed in a mugging soon after??

    Those are questions that have no answers..

    And we're supposed to believe it's all one big coincidence??

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Twitter decides who is banned, not Trump!

    You really are a sad simple creature, aren't you??

    Using YOUR reasoning, NO ONE here should be allowed to use Chazz's filter..

    Only CW should be allowed to decide who is filtered and who is not??

    You really don't see how utterly moronic you are being, do you??? :eyeroll:

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump cannot block critics or people who he dislikes from his Twitter feed. And just like with Trump, Twitter has the ability and right to ban anyone who exhibits abusive, rule-breaking behavior on the platform. Twitter decides who is banned, not Trump!

    Basically you are saying that NO ONE can ban ANYONE from their own twitter feed...

    Pathetically moronic.. :eyeroll:

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I think you better brush up on the kind of critical thinking skills combined with common sense that would allow for discerning between reality and fantasy.

    And, to use one of your favourite phrases, there is NO EVIDENCE that Rich had anything to do with emails related to the Clinton campaign.

    The authorities say that it was a robbery gone bad which is why he was killed and not robbed. A former LEO would understand this, I should think.

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, to use one of your favourite phrases, there is NO EVIDENCE that Rich had anything to do with emails related to the Clinton campaign.

    Not factually accurate..

    The authorities say that it was a robbery gone bad which is why he was killed and not robbed. A former LEO would understand this, I should think.

    The coincidences are just to high.. That's what a REAL LEO does.. Look at the facts unbiased by political agendas..

    If it were a robbery, there is NO REASON Rich should have been killed.. He was wearing an expensive watch and ring.. Untouched. His pockets were not rifled thru and he had an impressive array of credit cards and cash that was untouched...

    There was no witnesses and anyone who accosted him had PLENTY of time to rob him....

    These facts all add up to something besides a robbery..

    Anyone who has even an inkling of REAL LEO duties would be suspicious..

    I am not saying that he was involved in the DNC thefts and he was killed for it..

    But there is too much REAL and tangible evidence to write off his death as a simple robbery.. It had NONE of the earmarks of a robbery..

    NONE...

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not factually accurate..

    How So?

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The coincidences are just to high.. That's what a REAL LEO does.. Look at the facts unbiased by political agendas..

    I'm sorry to break it to you, Michale, but there is no one here more biased by political agendas than yourself.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think you better brush up on the kind of critical thinking skills combined with common sense that would allow for discerning between reality and fantasy.

    As opposed to buying into a YAHOO News Report that has absolutely NO FACTS to support it, just because it meshes with a certain partisan agenda???

    I mean, all the news reports about President Trump colluding with the Russians turned out to be utter bullshit..

    But THIS report is factually accurate??? :D

    Where is the critical thinking from your side of the issue?? :D

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If it were a robbery, there is NO REASON Rich should have been killed..

    You can't possibly be serious.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm sorry to break it to you, Michale, but there is no one here more biased by political agendas than yourself.

    Of course you would say that..

    Those that are politically biased always project their biases onto other people.. :D

    But, of every American here, who is the ONLY registered NPA/Independent?? :D

    Yours truly.. :D

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone who has even an inkling of REAL LEO duties would be suspicious..

    I believe the incident was investigated by LEOs, no?

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But there is too much REAL and tangible evidence to write off his death as a simple robbery.. It had NONE of the earmarks of a robbery..NONE…

    Except that the victim of a robbery gone bad is dead.

    Come on, man!

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As opposed to buying into a YAHOO News Report that has absolutely NO FACTS to support it, just because it meshes with a certain partisan agenda???

    Actually, I'm buying into the Mueller report. You should read Vol. 1. :)

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, the SAME people who say President Trump colluded with the Russians are the SAME people who said that the Seth Rich murder theory was ALSO organized by the Russians..

    And these people have ANY credibility exactly why???

    Because it's what you WANT to believe...

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm done with you on this day on this issue. Period. Period. Period.

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Except that the victim of a robbery gone bad is dead.

    Where is the evidence it was a robbery???

    There is none..

    Actually, I'm buying into the Mueller report.

    So, you concede that President Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the US election..

    Good on you..

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm done with you on this day on this issue. Period. Period. Period.

    Hokay... :D

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One final point, if I may.

    There is no one on this issue who has more credibility than former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    I believe the incident was investigated by LEOs, no?

    No.. Higher ups made the determination..

    There was ZERO evidence to support the claim of robbery..

    NONE.. ZERO... ZILCH... NADA...

    And now the same people who wanted to convince the world that Trump colluded with the Russians, which turned out to be utter bullshit, are NOW the people who want to convince the world that Seth Rich's murder was a robbery gone bad.

    I ask again.. And these morons have credibility exactly what???

    Because it is what Trump haters WANT to believe..

    Even though there are NO FACTS to support the claim.. It's what Trump haters want to believe and THAT is all that matters...

    That's the beginning and end of the story...

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is no one on this issue who has more credibility than former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

    Fine..

    Then when Robert Mueller says that wasn't enough evidence to prove Collusion, then you should believe him, right??

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Whenever Mueller says that, I'll believe him.

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    "There was not sufficient evidence to prove President Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 Election.."
    -Robert Mueller

    So, that settles the question, right??

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    EU urges Iran not to further violate nuclear deal
    The European Union is calling on Iran to reverse its decision to enrich uranium to a level above that permitted by an international accord meant to curb its nuclear program and to not take any additional steps that violate the pact.

    “We continue to urge Iran not take further measures that undermine the nuclear deal to stop and to reverse all activities that are inconsistent with the JCPOA, including the production of low-enriched uranium,” Reuters quote an EU spokeswoman telling reporters.

    Iran announced Monday it had passed a 4.5 percent level of uranium enrichment, above the 3.67% level allowed under the 2015 deal. It has warned it could enrich uranium to higher levels if it does not receive relief from Europe as it its economy is battered by American sanctions that were reimposed after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord last year.
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog-july-9-2019/

    Iran should remember what happened at Osirak....

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [73]

    Citation?

    You can't because the special counsel never said that. I hope you watch the Mueller hearing next week.

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh com'on Liz..

    I have quoted the Mueller report enough that you know that, even though it's not the exact words, it's what Mueller said.

    Are you really going to make me dig it up when you know it says that Mueller stated there was not sufficient evidence to prove President Trump colluded..

    This dancing on the head of a pin ill suits you..

    Yes, I am going to be watching...

    Mueller has stated he is going to read from the report when Democrats ask their questions..

    But there is a bunch of stuff NOT in the report that Republicans want to know.. And Mueller will be under oath so he will have to answer the GOP questions about the malfeasance and incompetence of the Obama lackeys and the Trump/America haters..

    It's going to be a grand show that will only help President Trump and hurt the Democrats..

    Grade A entertainment...

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    We should also be seeing the DOJ IG report that is going to devastate the Democrats for their actions in this Mueller witch hunt con...

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mueller's own words...

    Second, while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal. And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meeting and WikiLeaks's releases of hacked materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation. Further, the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.
    -Mueller Report

    If Mueller says it and you believe it, then the matter of whether or not President Trump colluded with the Russians is settled...

    He did not..

    Now, those same people that STILL say President Trump colluded with the Russians are the SAME people who are now saying that the theories regarding Seth Rich's murder was orchestrated by Russians...

    And yet, as with President Trump and Russia Collusion, these morons offer ZERO in the way of facts to support their claims..

    So, I have to ask again..

    Why do you find that yahoo report credible??

    The same reasons you found all the reports against Justice Kavanaugh credible.

    You WANT to believe...

  79. [79] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Michale

    I don't think it's nearly so much of a case that "There was not sufficient evidence to prove that pres Trump colluded with the Russians". After all, he did it on public TV for Gawdsake, and also in Trump tower, with a lot of people looking! How much more evidence than that could Mueller possibly need???

    I'm betting what's really going on there is that "collusion" (aka TAlKING TO PEOPLE") is not even a crime!

    If you were to criminalize 'getting political dirt on your opponent from other people', every Gawdam politician in DC would ahve to be locked up.

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't think it's nearly so much of a case that "There was not sufficient evidence to prove that pres Trump colluded with the Russians". After all, he did it on public TV for Gawdsake, and also in Trump tower, with a lot of people looking! How much more evidence than that could Mueller possibly need???

    I know.. It depends on how someone defines "collusion"...

    In this case, all the Trump/America haters define "collusion" as anything President Trump does that they don't like..

    What's so hilarious is that President Trump did a LOT LESS than Hillary did with foreign sources...

    Yet, Trump "colluded" but Hillary didn't..

    That's what proves beyond ANY doubt that their position is solely, completely and utterly a partisan agenda based position...

    If you were to criminalize 'getting political dirt on your opponent from other people', every Gawdam politician in DC would ahve to be locked up.

    Word.....

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    Second, while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal. And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meeting and WikiLeaks's releases of hacked materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation. Further, the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.
    -Mueller's own words..

    "There was not sufficient evidence to prove President Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 Election.."
    -My Concise and Accurate Assessment of Mueller's own words..

    Now, if anyone can point to any difference in what Mueller said and what I said Mueller said..

    "Well, I am all ears"
    -Ross Perot RIP

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No Michale, you are twisting Mueller's words and replacing one word for another.

    Collusion is not a crime. How many times do I have to tell you this.

    Deferring to President Putin over the consensus of your own intelligence community is also not a crime but I believe a president should be thrown out of office for that sort of behavior and I think he will be thrown out by the people next year.

    That is much better than impeachment at this point.

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    So, as I said..

    In your mind, it's OK for Occasional Cortex to block her Twitter followers, but it's NOT OK for President Trump to block HIS Twitter followers..

    Your hypocrisy is blatant and disgusting..

    Trump uses Twitter as his main way to address the public, citizens have the right to follow him in order to stay informed.

    Just as AOC does...

    Your hypocrisy is blatant and disgusting..

    And, of course Obama blocked his Twitter users too and you said nothing..

    Your hypocrisy is blatant and disgusting..

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    Collusion is not a crime. How many times do I have to tell you this.

    And how many times did ya'all claim President Trump was "guilty" of Collusion prior to the release of the Mueller exoneration??

    Hundreds, if not thousands of times..

    No Michale, you are twisting Mueller's words and replacing one word for another.

    No, I am not..

    I am simply condensing a long legaleze paragraph into easy to understand english..

    BOTH say the exact same thing..

    Deferring to President Putin over the consensus of your own intelligence community is also not a crime but I believe a president should be thrown out of office for that sort of behavior and I think he will be thrown out by the people next year.

    When your own intelligence community has PROVEN that they are out to nullify a free, fair and legal election...???

    "When your own government turns against you, sometimes the only logical recourse is to find aid with your enemy."
    -Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu, MY ENEMY MY ALLY

    That is much better than impeachment at this point.

    Yea.. But you and I both know that ya'all won't get either..

    At this point in time, there is simply no way that President Trump won't be re-elected..

  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Let's try to hold two thoughts in our minds at the same time:

    Collusion is not a legal term and it is not a crime. The Trump campaign colluded with the Russians quite a bit in an effort to win the presidential election.

    While there was some evidence that the Trump campaign engaged in an illegal conspiracy with the Russians to win the US presidential election, that evidence was not sufficient to bring charges against the campaign or anyone in it. Mostly because witnesses in the conspiracy investigation lied to investigators and withheld information for which some were in fact charged.

    Hope that clears it up for you!

    1

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