Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Gauntlet

George Bush has thrown down the gauntlet with his latest act of treachery, namely the use of the NSA to spy on American citizens. Regardless how many partisan hacks come to his defense claiming he has the right to do this because he is a war president, it does not change the fact that his actions are in direct violation of the FISA law. And though he is claiming legal and constitutional justification for his ongoing program of surveillance, he is most certainly aware that none exists.

This act, and his pathetic argument for its legality, is meant to exert an authority he is well aware he does not possess and to gauge public acceptance of limitless executive power. Bush’s administration has exceeded all previous presidents in exercising questionable authority and gaining acceptance of what was once unacceptable. Without the necessary checks and balances upon his powers he is unencumbered in expanding them beyond any previously conceived limits.

Congress, including bush’s partisans, apologists and water carriers, has been slapped in the face by this president who feels he is beyond their control. Those who have spoken out against him, as well as those who have spoken up for him, have been put on notice that he does not recognize their authority and is in defiance of the role of executive oversight. They must take positive action against the president now, or accept their new role as factotums with diminished capacity and heightened insignificance.

If Congress chooses the latter there will be no impediment for the president to overcome in claiming even greater authority including omnipotence. Considering the arrogance he has demonstrated thus far, it is no longer inconceivable that he would suspend elections and remain in office.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


The spiraling descent of democracy under the Bush administration has just picked up speed and now appears to be unsalvageable. We have witnessed the decline of the liberties that make our nation unique, and we have experienced a corporate coup that has changed the United States from a country governed by the people to one governed by profits. Add to this the anti-constitutional surveillance Bush claims to have the legal right to perform, without warrants as mandated by the FISA Act and the remaining vestiges of democracy are being extinguished.

Democrats are raising a fuss over these illegal acts and believe their ability to regain majority control in either the House, the Senate or both is enhanced because of the public’s objection to Bush’s miserable leadership. However, no one seems to want to acknowledge the extremes to which this administration has gone and what that might mean to Democrats chances in upcoming elections.

The Republican majority in both houses of Congress have steadfastly refused to perform their constitutional duties and have barred Democratic attempts at oversight of the Executive branch. This is in stark contrast to the over zealous oversight they insisted on during the Clinton administration for rumored offenses, mostly existing in the minds of certain Congressmen, and of far lesser importance than the well founded accusations against, and obvious extralegal activities of the current administration. The invasion of Iraq is the principal example of the administration’s use of deceit to obtain a preordained objective but, by no means the only instance in which laws were ignored and lies were employed.

Republicans have demonstrated their willingness to exploit legal grey areas, employ misleading talking points, and ignore traditional procedures to obtain a strategic advantage over the Democrats. More recently, they have engaged in less than ethical activities as evidenced by Tom DeLay’s Gerrymandering of Texas voting districts and the use of Homeland Security to hunt down Democratic legislators who left the state to prevent a quorum and block the redistricting vote. Most telling however, is their complicity in Bush’s lies and refusal to investigate his illegal actions. This is imperative for the Republicans if they intend to maintain and increase their advantage in Congress.

It is my view that the Republicans have put themselves in a position, by submissively obeying party leaders and cowing to the whims of the administration, they can not get out of nor afford to have exposed. Their complicity in many of Bush and Cheney’s illegal activities, if exposed would jeopardize their careers if not their very freedom. Neoconservative zealots within their own party have convinced many, and forced others, to go along with actions they knew were outside of the law. Now, a Democratic majority in either House of Congress would initiate investigations that would expose their clandestine activities.

For that reason the Republicans must remain in power and to do so they will continue to exercise their dominance of the electorate through the use of voting machines running corrupt software, state officials willing to usurp the voting rights of their own citizens and enacting laws making it impossible for many predominantly Democratic supporters to vote. We saw this happen in 2000 when Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court and again in 2004 when the Ohio exit polls did not match the vote outcome for the first time ever.

If we want to continue to live in a free country and enjoy the liberties of democracy then we need to take action now. Everyone who is concerned about what the Republicans have done, and continue to do, to our country need to start calling their Senators and Representatives, writing letters to the local newspapers, writing letters and emails to local and state officials insisting on a fair and transparent system of voting. Demand this as a constitutionally guaranteed right of citizenry and do not allow them to ignore your demands or play them off with some non-committal response. Organize neighborhood and citywide groups and contact your representatives as a citizens group for fair elections. Search the internet for groups doing the same thing.

Do not stand by and watch totalitarian miscreants, like Cheney and Bush, disassemble the most successful democracy known to mankind. Do not mistake the agenda of those opposed to democracy for less than what it is, an assault on our freedoms. Do not under-estimate the conviction of those in power to do ANYTHING to remain in power.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

We don't need no stinkin' warrant!

The media’s response to the astonishing news that the Bush administration has been, and continues to, spy on American citizens, has been less than stellar. In fact, some members of the press are expressing the view that only liberal extremists are speaking of impeaching the president and that these views hold no credibility. Of course, this denies the fact that Republicans enthusiastically lowered the bar for impeachable offenses when Bill Clinton was in office.

What is even more telling about the media’s incompetence, or perhaps its actual complicity with administrations criminal activities, are even more under-reported stories that point to the politicization of the NSA by Bush & Company.

The first is a report by Raw Story that points out that NSA documents now show that then Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice authorized “President Bush’s and other top White House officials plan to wiretap the home and office telephones and monitor private email accounts of members of the UN Security Council in early 2003 to determine how foreign delegates would vote on the UN resolution that paved the way for the U.S. led war in Iraq.”

The other is a dairy entry from Lapin, a contributor to the Dailykos website. The report states that the NSA spied on then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Joseph Biden. It started with information requested by former Under Secretary of State, John Bolton. “It was revealed by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) during Bolton's Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing that Bolton requested transcripts of 10 NSA intercepts of conversations between named U.S. government officials and foreign persons. However, NSA insiders report that Hayden approved special intercept operations on behalf of Bolton and had them masked as "training missions" in order to get around internal NSA regulations that normally prohibit such eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.”

Bush and Cheney have committed felonies by using the NSA to perform espionage activities upon American citizens. Now it is also evident that they used the NSA to gain political advantage over members of the UN Security Council to ensure there would be an Iraq war. And they have used the NSA to spy on members of the opposition in Congress, powerful Democratic state leaders, and even members of their own cabinet like Secretary of State Powell.

The only way to end this tyrant’s misdeeds is to ensure Congress does their duty by impeaching him, removing him from office and trying him in open court where he should be easily convicted and sent to prison for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Voted....So What!

An insider with Diebold Election Systems has come forward with information about the touch screen voting systems that have been such a great concern to the American voting public. According to the whistle-blower known as “Dieb Throat” an environment of corruption exists within Diebold and little if anything is being done about it.

If you followed the Ohio and Georgia voting stories, you’re aware that all indicators pointed to a result of those elections that was not even close to the result the Diebold machines rendered. In Ohio, a continuous stream of scandals has been reported by the Toledo Blade, involving election officials, bribery and illegal influence by outsiders. Yet, few in the main stream media (MSM) have bothered to follow up. California decertified their Diebold voting machines because the vendor had broken state election laws. They later tested the systems away from public scrutiny and claimed a failure rate of only 3%, an unbelievable improvement from the 30% failure rate reported previously.

Since our right to vote, and have our votes count, is elemental to the democratic system of government we are supposed to have in this nation it does not seem possible that any meddling would be tolerated by the public or its elected officials. So why have so many questions been raised regarding Diebold and ESS voting systems that have been ignored, falsely justified or hidden from public scrutiny? Why are our elected officials not charging around the halls of Congress demanding reform or initiating investigations into accusations of voting manipulation?

I believe the answer can be ascertained by an honest review of our government since George W. Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court. Under his leadership a cabal of radical conservatives has assumed top level government positions and has had immense influence within the administration. These are the Neoconservatives whose agenda has been held in check by previous, more responsible administrations. Bush is an extremely weak leader with no practical experience and very limited imagination, so it has been relatively easy for Vice President Cheney and others to maneuver him in the direction they themselves want the country to go. Cheney, being a complete Big Money whore and totally owned by and vested in corporate interests, does not have the slightest concern for justice, fairness or equality. He is operating as a completely unethical Chief Executive without having to worry about concealing his activities because the pathetic Justice department is under his thumb and just as involved.

The number and frequency of abuses and outright criminal acts that have been committed by this administration on behalf of corporate interests would be near impossible to conceal when the next administration takes over. It is, therefore, imperative for the Republicans to maintain control of the White House preventing any Democrat from being in a position to uncover misdeeds and conduct an honest investigation that could result in the imprisonment of many Republican officials, expose the depth of corporate corruption, and stem the flow of largesse to which these officials have become accustomed.

The solution for the Neocons was obvious. If you can’t afford to loose an election, you must be willing to pay any price to win. In this case the price is not only monetary cost, since the money will come from our taxes anyway, but the loss of democracy as the electorate looses its voice in government to the pre-determined outcomes of elections orchestrated to satisfy the corporate masters.