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It’s All About Power

The average American worker has 50 5-day workweeks, 250 workdays a year. This latest session of Congress didn’t even make it into triple digits. It spite of this, the American people would have been better off if they had spent even less time in Washington.

As Steve notes, before the media switched to 24/7 coverage of political pedophilia, there were new laws being passed that were blatantly unconstitutional.

The Bill of Rights had already been abridged by USA PATRIOT Act 2.0, with its requirements that people provide records to the government in secret based solely on the discretion of the Justice Department and other outrages.

Before leaving the House found time to pass the Public Expression of Religion Act, which basically says that if a government decides to promote religion, anyone who sues to stop the practice cannot be awarded attorney’s fees when they win. So much for the prohibition against the government establishing a religion.

Finally there was the passage of the Military Commissions Act, which does its very best to emulate the government practices of Josef Stalin, with the minor difference that Stalin never pretended that what he was doing was legal, only that it was “necessary”.

This little gem pardons all of the criminality and war crimes committed by agents of the US since the passage of the War Crimes Act.

It gives the President the power to decide what is and what isn’t torture.

It gives the President the power to declare anyone an “enemy combatant” and thus, guilty until proven innocent.

It removes the right to a writ of habeas corpus from defendants, preventing judicial oversight.

It allows coerced testimony and secret evidence to be used.

It removes the right to face your accusers.

In general, it overrides all of the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights, creates a Star Chamber court, and allows the President to do anything he or SHE wants.

Given the current state of the Republican Party, they may want to consider what they have done. Who do they have to run for President in 2008? Are they really going to be happy giving all of this power to a Democratic President? Do they remember their “Line Item Veto” and who got to use it? Do they really want another President Clinton with this kind of power?

Republicans may want to think about this as they try to convince voters they don’t know and have never been associated with former Representative Mark Foley or any member of the House leadership, and have never talked to pages.


1 Barb { 10.03.06 at 8:39 pm }

I know. I’ve been thinking about this all day. Way to divert attention from the fascist bills being signed today. Sometimes I think that they were pretty sure they’d lose the house in November, anyway, so they threw out a couple of sacrificial goats (Foley & Hastert) to distract everyone for a few days while they signed our lives away.

2 The CultureGhost { 10.03.06 at 9:02 pm }

George Clooney says he likes to date lots of people. ABC says so; it must be important then.

3 Bryan { 10.03.06 at 10:16 pm }

They are so political, Barb, nothing would surprise me, but I think their world is just crumbling before their eyes and the media finally has a story they can understand that will drive ratings with the advertiser approved demographics. The media was never going to give these bills their proper importance, because they are too difficult to explain in a couple of minutes.

CG, the media have the attention span of 4-year-olds at a birthday party. I personally believe that cat toys are too complex for most television editors and producers to deal with.

4 Barb { 10.03.06 at 10:52 pm }

Yes, I agree. I’m sure you are right. I have outrage fatigue. I thought it started when they impeached Clinton, I couldn’t believe it. Then the election was stolen before our eyes in the state where the brother of the candidate is governor & the secretary of state was chairperson of the George W. Bush Florida campaign. Then for the first time in history the president of the United States was appointed by the supreme court, some of whom had been appointed by his daddy & owed him big time. From there it was all downhill, outrage after outrage. I’ve followed them all, big & little. If I’m wrong about the Bush campaign chairperson position, forgive me, I have outrage fatigue, but I know KH was some big shot in the republican party. Outrage after outrage. Like my bumper sticker says, wake me up when it’s over, all this outrage is exhausting.

5 Bryan { 10.03.06 at 11:11 pm }

You are correct, Barb, as Secretary of State for Florida and responsible for elections, Katherine Harris was the co-chair of Bush’s Florida campaign committee. The real crime is that after all we went through in 2000, the legislature still hasn’t fixed the campaign law. It still disagrees with itself is several important areas, and if there is another close election, the same problems will pop up.

“Cruella de” Harris is a real piece of work, and her cousin Adam Putnam isn’t much better, but he is a bit saner.

As a voter in the state of Florida, I definitely know what you mean by outrage overload.

6 John B. { 10.04.06 at 6:37 am }

Speaking of the “average American worker” yesterday was a very dark day for them. The Bush-rigged NLRB issued a new ruling that likely is the coup de grâce for collective bargaining. Jordan Barab at Firedog Lake has a pretty good summary under the title Bush’s NLRB, Supreme Court Declares War on Unions

7 Bryan { 10.04.06 at 1:57 pm }

They continue the outright assault on working people that Ronald Reagan began with the Patco strike. If you aren’t a campaign contributor, you don’t exist.