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mcjoan links to a typically excellent Digby post on the positioning of the House vs the Senate on torture. It's certainly true that the conference committee is one way to push things the Senate won't swallow. But in the end, members of congress need to go on record on their votes, and that's not something any congress critter wants in 2006. Fair play and moral high ground are American core values, at least in public. My view is different than Digby's - this is an issue on which Republicans lose. The reason they do is twofold.

What the President has accomplished with his bellicose media campaign is to cement the idea that torture is a Republican idea, pushed by a Republican President, with Republican backing. Democrats oppose torture to the point that there is not debate between Democrats and Republicans on the issue -there's nothing to discuss, compromise or move on. Republicans like McCain, Graham and Warner need to push an alternative if they hope to save their party from abandonment by the military. This is real and a core issue.

Nor was this a cleverly contrived media plot to allow Republicans to run away from the unpopular President (as if their votes weren't a matter of public record). That line of thinking is part of the prevelant media narrative in DC, which goes like this: when Republicans lose, they really win, because Republicans are always right. According to Republicans, aided and abetted by the media (who "know" these things), Democrats are in disarray if the Senate actually debates an issue and more than one Democrat speaks, whereas if only one Democrat speaks, then they're running away from the issue. OTOH, should a Republican disagree with another Republican, it's a sign of strength and diversity within the party, and how they own the issue. But these headlines are hardly part of the clever plan:

Bush Fights GOP Revolt Over Terror Bill

Bush rips 'logic' of GOP foes"

Bush Fires Back at Republican Rebels

You see that with national security and terrorism. The media are so enamored of the 24 hour news cycle they think that if terrorism is discussed in any way, shape or form, whether Bush gets hammered on the subject or not, they win (because "everyone knows" national security is a Republican topic).

As mcjoan also notes, the problem with that is that it's not true. It was predicted not to be true, the polls say it's not true, and the strategists say it's not true (.pdf):

Democracy Corps with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has conducted surveys before and at the very end of the president's political offensive, concluding with his very political 9/11 television address to the country.1 This unprecedented effort by the White House produced only the most modest rise in support, concentrated among conservative Republicans. The race did not tighten; in fact, it marginally improved with the Democrats now winning the named (not generic) congressional ballot by 6 points. The image of the Congress and the Republicans declined noticeably. Most importantly, Democrats continue to win the debate on Iraq and national security, even with the president's current argument, and should speak out immediately and with confidence.

The structure of the race has not changed at all; indeed, the ingredients for a change election are even stronger.

Nor does the public accept the link between the civil war in Iraq and the war on terror (except for David Brooks and other WH apologists). Nor will the public ignore Afghanistan for too much longer (the place the public feels our troops should have been).

Another variant of the Republicans Are Always Right argument is the one making the rounds that "it's okay if R's lose, that'll saddle the Democrats with the responsibilty of repairing the broken egg." Don't you believe it. Talk to anyone who ever served on the Hill... the majority never wants to be the minority. Never.

Yet another variant is that Republicans were playing rope-a-dope, allowing Democrats to become overconfident for November. Now they'll unveil their attaack and GOTV machine and waltz to victory. That one's a real gem. Do you know of any confident Dems, let alone overconfident ones?

Peggy Noonan has a final creative example. Since no one is listening to Bush, it must be because we don't need to.

I think that Americans have pretty much stopped listening to him. One reason is that you don't have to listen to get a sense of what's going on. He does not appear to rethink things based on new data. You don't have to tune in to see how he's shifting emphasis to address a trend, or tacking to accommodate new winds. For him there are no new data, only determination.

Be skeptical of what you read. On the topic of torture, Bush and the Republicans wanted to fight Democrats and not each other. So if what you're reading doesn't make sense, that's because it's probably not so.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 05:56 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So, according to Nooner (13+ / 0-)

    ...we could replace Bush with a computer, or a trained monkey.

    He does not appear to rethink things based on new data. You don't have to tune in to see how he's shifting emphasis to address a trend, or tacking to accommodate new winds. For him there are no new data, only determination.

    Government sucks. Vote for us and we'll prove it. --Republican Party Platform

    by turbonium on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 05:48:02 AM PDT

  •  Such an excellent, insightful analysis. (14+ / 0-)

    A corollary of "Republicans are always right" would seem to be "Democrats can't really be succeeding in any substantive way." I've noticed this for six or seven years on CNN (n.b. "Inside Politics," especially Candy Crowley). The media personalities talk about Democrats as if they were aliens.

    Republicans saw the savagery of 9/11 and quickly descended into savagery themselves.

    by lecsmith on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 05:52:56 AM PDT

    •  More like mentally challenged than alien (5+ / 0-)

      The condescension is infuriating.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:08:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This should be more fully developed ... (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainely49, enough, LNK, stonemason, Wary, DvCM

        ... if it hasn't been already.  I think the paternalistic, condescending posture that nearly all Repuddlers assume when talking (down to) Democrats deserves both examination and correction.  Note too that the "I know, I opine, you don't, you listen" posture reinforces the superiority they seek.  It's both part and parcel and yet another enactment of their unwillingness to engage the world beyond their own skin.  They are profoundly anti-reality.  They are walking bags of subjectivity, actively subjectifying the world with every interaction.  The only posture that is acceptable to them is superiority.  That's one of the reasons why they are so insecure, and so enamored of acting the role of the victimized ("They took my toy crown!  They did!  They did!  Stop them!  They took my toy crown!")

        The Bush Administration has allowed people to be killed under false pretense and for ignoble reasons.  I know no better definition of heinous.

        by Yellow Canary on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:24:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you mean (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bumblebums, enough, LNK, Blue in VA, Jbeaudill

          the way Wolf Blitzer said to McCain of his so-called Bipartisanship:  [you don't mind seeming to] give aid and comfort to the Democrats?

          Language straight out of Patriot Act?

          I still don't fully get it.  Did Blitzer think that was funny?

          Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

          by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:47:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I heard that aid and comfort comment - revealing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mainely49, stonemason

            I think it was a slip - of the Leslie tongue

            I heard that on my XM while I was cleaning my grill (OT - Charbroil's 99 Year warrantee is real!!)

            I couldn't believe what I heard.

            Or am I to believe the theme of substituting 'Democrats' for 'terrorists', 'enemy', etc is all in my imagination?

            Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

            by Blue in VA on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:24:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, sadly (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think this is a feature of our TORTURED imaginations (tortured by the mere listening to these people).

              I'm just getting more and more tinfoil on the MSM.  As for "fringe wingnuts" I am not so sure that ann coulter is not a freelance jeffrey gannon...  paid to verbally assasinate democrats (read: seditious people) by our tax dollars via Rove.  They keep framing up this "sedition" crap.  I trust you've poked into the ramifications of the Patriot Act - namely, that anyone who crosses the official party line can be deemed "seditious" and thus treated as a terrorist.

              CNN's framing is only furthering all of this.  And it's no coincidence, imo, that all these rightwing hatemongers are manipulating the MINORITY of churchofascists to nod their heads when democrats all are herded away into camps.

              Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

              by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:44:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "Aid and Comfort" (5+ / 0-)

            The phrase "Aid and Comfort" wasn't coined in the Patriot act, nor did Mr. Blitzer choose the phrase to remind people of the Patriot Act.

            Mr. Blitzer is invoking the Constitution directly.  The language he uses is straight out of Article III, Section 3:

            Section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.  No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. [Emphasis added]

            Wolf Blitzer is (jokingly or seriously) accusing McCain of Treason, because apparently Mr. Blitzer is thinking about Democrats being the Enemies of the United States.  Perhaps he thinks it's funny.  Personally, I don't think veiled accusations that the Democrats are the Enemy, that people who help them are Traitors, are a joking matter at all.

            •  fair, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that the language has been used before Patriot Act, but that monster is also full of such language.

              Guess I typed my brains out on the comment above this on this point.

              It's really ugly.  They're playing to the churchofascists' fears and hatred, whatever the case.

              Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

              by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:47:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Patriot Act (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yellow Canary

                that the language has been used before Patriot Act, but that monster is also full of such language.

                The Patriot Act is full of all sorts of horrid things, but it only addresses Aid and Comfort once.  In fact, this is the only time any form of the word "comfort" appears in The Patriot Act.  This is in Section 903, on pages 304-305 in the text:


                It is the sense of Congress that officers and employees of the intelligence community of the Federal Government, acting within the course of their official duties, should be encouraged, and should make every effort, to establish and maintain intelligence relationships with any person, entity, or group for the purpose of engaging in lawful intelligence activities, including the acquisition of information on the identity, location, finances, affiliations, capabilities, plans, or intentions of a terrorist or terrorist organization, or information on any other person, entity, or group (including a foreign government) engaged in harboring, comforting, financing, aiding, or assisting a terrorist or terrorist organization.

                [Boldfaced emphasis as written, underlined emphasis added]

                So, as ugly as the Patriot Act is, it doesn't really dwell on the specific point you acuse it of.

                As for Section 903, all it's really doing is reminding the intellegence community that they are supposed to be working with foreign intellegence agencies and recruiting people who can tell them things.  This is something they've better be doing already anyway.

                It's also explicitly reminding them that foreign governments are now to be examined in the framework of whether or not they "support terrorism", which is, of course, a series of diplomatic disasters waiting to happen given our double-standard definition of terrorism.

                It's really ugly.  They're playing to the churchofascists' fears and hatred, whatever the case.

                It most certainly is ugly, and they most certainly are playing to such fears and hatred.

                •  section 402 (0+ / 0-)

                  (here's one link) is the one that - maybe not in the exact words "aid and comfort" - can criminalize us all for minor things;

                  Section 402 would permit U.S. attorneys to prosecute Americans for aiding terrorist organizations even if they made donations to organizations that the U.S. government did not publicly label as terrorist groups. Yale Law School professor Jack Balkin said, “Give a few dollars to a Muslim charity Ashcroft thinks is a terrorist organization and you could be on the next plane out of this country.” Robert Higgs of the Independent Institution warns that the feds “can categorize the most innocent action”—such as “signing a petition”—as an act of terrorism.

                  Or from the excerpt I inserted into a comment:

                  SECTION 402 is titled "Providing Material Support to Terrorism." The section reads that there is no requirement to show that the individual even had the intent to aid terrorists.

                  You've got me doing homework now on that specific phrase "aid and comfort" but I think Blitzer's intent was to stigmatize Democrats as criminal in his question to McCain, joke or not.

                  Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

                  by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 10:57:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Odd discrepancies and Section 805 (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    In the Patriot Act Copy I was referencing, Section 402 (pp185-186) is titled "Northern Border Personel", which merely discusses appropriating extra funds for the Canadian border.

                    The section that matches what you are talking about appears to be in Title VIII, Strengthening The Criminal Laws Against Terrorism, Section 805. "Material Support for Terrorism" (pp 278-279).  It's an uninteligible mess of cross-references that one often finds when the author of legislation is trying to hide something.

                    It clearly seems to be the same changes your sources are talking about, but the section number is different.  I wonder why the discrepancy?

                    But anyway, here is the text of this gem:

                    SEC. 805. MATERIAL SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM.
                     (a) I<small>N</small> G<small>ENERAL</small>.—Section 2339A of title 18, United States Code, is amended&mdash
                       (1) in subsection (a)—
                         (A) by striking “, within the United States,”;
                         (B) by inserting “229,” after “175,”;
                         (C) by inserting “1993,” after “1992,”;
                         (D) by inserting “, section 236 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2284),” after “of this title”;
                         (E) by inserting “or 60123(b)” after “46502”; and
                         (F) by inserting at the end of the following “A violation of this section may be prosecuted in any Federal judicial district in which the underlying offense was committed, or in any other Federal judicial district as provided by law.”;
                       (2) in subsection (b)—
                         (A) by striking “or other financial securities” and inserting “or monetary instruments or financial securities”; and
                         (B) by inserting “expert advice or assistance” after “training,”.
                     (b) T<small>ECHNICAL</small> A<small>MENDMENT</small>.—Section 1956(c)(7)(D) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting “or 2339B” after “2339A”.

                    Section 805(a)(1) appears to broaden what sort of "terrorist" acts the government is paying attention to, it adds stuff outside the country, it adds chemical weaponry, attacks on mass transportation, sabotage of nuclear facilities or fuel, damage to pipelines.  It also makes it easier for federal prosecutors to pick a friendlier court when bringing charges.

                    Section 805(a)(2) broadens the type of financial assistance that is criminalized in what appears to be a deliberately vague manner.  It does indeed neglect to pay attention to whether or not you indend to help terrorist organizations.

                    Section 805(b) is even more of a doosey, and has been used against many people over the past five years.  It takes giving money to "designated foreign terrorist organizations" which, as a designation, has grown to include any organization with even the most tenuous connections to our government's enemies (eg. anything helping schools in Palestine is probably loosely affiliated with Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization), and makes it a form of money laundering, a racketeering charge which gives the government extra options to come down hard on your criminal organization (ie your family).

                    •  I think (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      figleef, DvCM

                      these apparent discrepancies may be the successive generations of the thing:  Patriot 1, Patriot 2, Patriot 2.5, Patriot 3... to borrow from the ACLU's habit.  

                      They keep on updating it, making it increasingly draconian.

                      For the benefit of any who might have missed it on another comment:

                      (from here:
                      A Brief Analysis of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003
                      posted 11/21/04
                      Also Known as USA Patriot Act II
                      by Alex Jones

                      The second Patriot Act is a mirror image of powers that Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler gave themselves. Whereas the First Patriot Act only gutted the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and seriously damaged the Seventh and the Tenth, T he Second Patriot Act reorganizes the entire Federal government as well as many areas of state government under the dictatorial control of the Justice Department, the Office of Homeland Security and the FEMA NORTHCOM military command. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as the Second Patriot Act is by its very structure the definition of dictatorship.
                      I challenge all Americans to study the new Patriot Act and to compare it to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.

                      Ninety percent of the act has nothing to do with terrorism and is instead a giant Federal power-grab with tentacles reaching into every facet of our society.

                      It strips American citizens of all of their rights and grants the government and its private agents total immunity. Here is a quick thumbnail sketch of just some of the draconian measures encapsulated within this tyrannical legislation:

                      SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration's "enemy combatant" definition to all American citizens who "may" have violated any provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act. (Section 802 is the new definition of domestic terrorism, and the definition is "any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any Federal or State law.") Section 501 of the second Patriot Act directly connects to Section 125 of the same act. The Justice Department boldly claims that the incredibly broad Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act isn't broad enough and that a new, unlimited definition of terrorism is needed.

                      Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person "had inferred from conduct" that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the "enemy combatant" terrorist designation.

                      SECTION 201 of the second Patriot Act makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release any information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees. It also states that law enforcement does not even have to tell the press who they have arrested and they never have to release the names.

                      SECTION 301 and 306 (Terrorist Identification Database) set up a national database of "suspected terrorists" and radically expand the database to include anyone associated with suspected terrorist groups and anyone involved in crimes or having supported any group designated as "terrorist." These sections also set up a national DNA database for anyone on probation or who has been on probation for any crime, and orders State governments to collect the DNA for the Federal government.

                      SECTION 312 gives immunity to law enforcement engaging in spying operations against the American people and would place substantial restrictions on court injunctions against Federal violations of civil rights across the board.

                      SECTION 101 will designate individual terrorists as foreign powers and again strip them of all rights under the "enemy combatant" designation.

                      SECTION 102 states clearly that any information gathering, regardless of whether or not those activities are illegal, can be considered to be clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power. This makes news gathering illegal.

                      SECTION 103 allows the Federal government to use wartime martial law powers domestically and internationally without Congress declaring that a state of war exists.

                      SECTION 106 is bone-chilling in its straightforwardness. It states that broad general warrants by the secret FSIA court (a panel of secret judges set up in a star chamber system that convenes in an undisclosed location) granted under the first Patriot Act are not good enough. It states that government agents must be given immunity for carrying out searches with no prior court approval. This section throws out the entire Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

                      SECTION 109 allows secret star chamber courts to issue contempt charges against any individual or corporation who refuses to incriminate themselves or others. This sections annihilate the last vestiges of the Fifth Amendment.

                      SECTION 110 restates that key police state clauses in the first Patriot Act were not sunsetted and removes the five year sunset clause from other subsections of the first Patriot Act. After all, the media has told us: "This is the New America. Get used to it. This is forever."

                      SECTION 111 expands the definition of the "enemy combatant" designation.

                      SECTION 122 restates the government's newly announced power of "surveillance without a court order."

                      SECTION 123 restates that the government no longer needs warrants and that the investigations can be a giant dragnet-style sweep described in press reports about the Total Information Awareness Network. One passage reads, "thus the focus of domestic surveillance may be less precise than that directed against more conventional types of crime."

                      *Note: Over and over again, in subsection after subsection, the second Patriot Act states that its new Soviet-type powers will be used to fight international terrorism, domestic terrorism and other types of crimes.

                      Of course the government has already announced in Section 802 of the first USA Patriot act that any crime is considered domestic terrorism.

                      SECTION 126 grants the government the right to mine the entire spectrum of public and private sector information from bank records to educational and medical records. This is the enacting law to allow ECHELON and the Total Information Awareness Network to break down any and all walls of privacy. The government states that they must look at everything to "determine" if individuals or groups might have a connection to terrorist groups. As you can now see, you are guilty until proven innocent.

                      SECTION 127 allows the government to takeover coroners' and medical examiners' operations whenever they see fit. See how this is like Bill Clinton's special medical examiner he had in Arkansas that ruled that people had committed suicide when their arms and legs had been cut off.

                      SECTION 128 allows the Federal government to place gag orders on Federal and State Grand Juries and to take over the proceedings. It also disallows individuals or organizations to even try to quash a Federal subpoena. So now defending yourself will be a terrorist action.

                      SECTION 129 destroys any remaining whistle blower protection for Federal agents.

                      SECTION 202 allows corporations to keep secret their activities with toxic biological, chemical or radiological materials.

                      SECTION 205 allows top Federal officials to keep all their financial dealings secret, and anyone investigating them can be considered a terrorist. This should be very useful for Dick Cheney to stop anyone investigating Haliburton.

                      SECTION 303 sets up national DNA database of suspected terrorists. The database will also be used to "stop other unlawful activities." It will share the information with state, local and foreign agencies for the same purposes.

                      SECTION 311 federalizes your local police department in the area of information sharing.

                      SECTION 313 provides liability protection for businesses, especially big businesses that spy on their customers for Homeland Security, violating their privacy agreements. It goes on to say that these are all preventative measures - has anyone seen Minority Report? This is the access hub for the Total Information Awareness Network.

                      SECTION 321 authorizes foreign governments to spy on the American people and to share information with foreign governments.

                      SECTION 322 removes Congress from the extradition process and allows officers of the Homeland Security complex to extradite American citizens anywhere they wish. It also allows Homeland Security to secretly take individuals out of foreign countries.

                      SECTION 402 is titled "Providing Material Support to Terrorism." The section reads that there is no requirement to show that the individual even had the intent to aid terrorists.

                      SECTION 403 expands the definition of weapons of mass destruction to include any activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

                      SECTION 404 makes it a crime for a terrorist or "other criminals" to use encryption in the commission of a crime.

                      SECTION 408 creates "lifetime parole" (basically, slavery) for a whole host of crimes.

                      SECTION 410 creates no statute of limitations for anyone that engages in terrorist actions or supports terrorists. Remember: any crime is now considered terrorism under the first Patriot Act.

                      SECTION 411 expands crimes that are punishable by death. Again, they point to Section 802 of the first Patriot Act and state that any terrorist act or support of terrorist act can result in the death penalty.

                      SECTION 421 increases penalties for terrorist financing. This section states that any type of financial activity connected to terrorism will result to time in prison and $10-50,000 fines per violation.

                      SECTIONS 427 sets up asset forfeiture provisions for anyone engaging in terrorist activities. There are many other sections that I did not cover in the interest of time. The American people were shocked by the despotic nature of the first Patriot Act. The second Patriot Act dwarfs all police state legislation in modern world history.

                      Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

                      by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 04:26:25 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Churchofascists? Indeed (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stonemason, figleef

                The morning news contained the gem that the IRS is seeking to investigate the tax status of a church that preached an anti-war semon on the Sunday before election day.  Amazing, isn't it, when much more active politicizing goes unchallenged.

                •  Are they investigating any churchofascists who (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  spoke out against the gay community and supported Bush?  How about Falwell and Robertson's churches which lauded Bush?  Some watchdog group should be on this to ascertain that the IRS is an equal opportunity churchofascist offender!

                  In youth we learn, in age we understand.

                  by Jbeaudill on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:14:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I don't find any humor here, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I find the shift in discourse of the MSM frightening.  It's a bit bizarre to sit and watch what, 50 years from now, could be seen as the beginnings of the fascist take-over of the US, while trying to behave like a sane and rational human being.  When does all of this begin to bother the majority of Americans?

              Are they correct in trusting their government?

              Thomas Jefferson:  the price of freedom is eternal viligence.

              "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

              by mainely49 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:15:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  They like winners (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think in many ways it is as simple as this.  The working press people are, in fact, mostly sort of liberal.  But I think they have seen the Dems since Reagan came in in 1981 as sort of losers, which they resent, so they take it out on the Dems that their preferred positions aren't winning, sort of like some people here.  And they didn't like Clinton because he wasn't one of them.  

          Now they are having a hard time seeing that the R's are really, really awful and the Dems are getting better since the 2004 election, because they have become stuck in their ways. It is sort of like having a really bad sports team as your home team, so you pick someone else to root for, and don't notice when the home team slowly starts getting better.  

          "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

          by Mimikatz on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:39:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Much more importantly, they like being employed . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... and they listen attentively to what their higher-ups indicate is OK and what is not OK.  Kossacks who work in the press have agreed that almost all of the press follows the direction that their bosses set.  It is a business, after all.  The day it becomes more profitable to follow the narrative that Repuddlers are bad, rotten, corrupt, thieving, murdering, organized criminals and that Democrats represent fiscal responsibility and human decency, the for-profit MSM will start banging that drum.

            The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that the MSM is valuable to people who make money elsewhere.  They are willing to lose money in the media in order to make money somewhere else.  They are also actively involved in buying air time, either through RoveMail, corruption, pre-fab propaganda, or other PR/dog-wagging techniques.

            But it still comes down to this:  MSM decision makers might favor "winners", but they especially favor actions which bring them favors from their bosses.

            The Bush Administration has allowed people to be killed under false pretense and for ignoble reasons.  I know no better definition of heinous.

            by Yellow Canary on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:42:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, the attitudes of media people and (4+ / 0-)

          Republicans in this era we are enduring are very complex social constructions. It would be very interesting to develop it in more detail-- a kind of critique of the ideology of the media, and another one of Republican ideology, because they are not identical (unless the commentator is a Republican). On the part of the media, I think it's more complex than just subjectivity and not engaging the world beyond their skin. (Or maybe I should say, I think their insularity does reflect a lack of imagination and a kind of coventionality that do not befit people taking the role of journalists in a democracy, but it's also more is complicated than that. It is also that we have ceded one of a democratic society's very big jobs, that of producing truthful information, to corporations who have a vested interest in keeping us stupidly informed or uninformed.) But we also have a government that has effectively merged itself with the Carlisle group. (In A democracy, governments and journalism should have an oppositional relationship in a good way.)

          Republicans saw the savagery of 9/11 and quickly descended into savagery themselves.

          by lecsmith on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:36:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pointed and right. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lecsmith, trashablanca, MuffledDrum

            Three great points in two sentences!

            we have ceded one of a democratic society's very big jobs, that of producing truthful information, to corporations who have a vested interest in keeping us stupidly informed or uninformed.

            Nothing to add.  Say it again and again and then again and again again.

            We also have a government that has effectively merged itself with the Carlisle group.

            This is the single most difficult hurdle people face should they even attempt to understand the Repuddlican take-over of our government and their looting of America:  the Repuddlican Administration is not "doing" government (see, e. g.:  New Orleans, National Security, Global Warming, International Arms Treaties, etc.).  They.don'  They care about Carlyle, ChevronRice, TexacoMobil, and the rest of the Kleptocrats.  Most people with I talk strongly resist the notion that people would run for office, and govern, in order to steal.

            In A democracy, governments and journalism should have an oppositional relationship in a good way.

            Democracy is deliberately inefficient.  Monopolist chase efficiency at any cost.  The monopolists are winning.  When you have a government monopoly of one it is called a Dictatorship.  When you have a government monopoly of a group of corporations, it is called Fascism.

            The Bush Administration has allowed people to be killed under false pretense and for ignoble reasons.  I know no better definition of heinous.

            by Yellow Canary on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:55:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know. This scares the hell out of me. I think (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trashablanca, Yellow Canary

              we are in a struggle, without actually realizing it, between the ordinary people of the world and a particularly predatory sector of global capitalism that is determined to win for themselves at any cost to the world. I think there are rational capitalists out there who recognize that the following things are good things: a stable, peaceful world, with growing incomes and decreasing poverty, and an opening of opportunities. Even fighting global warming is a great opportunity for people who are smart and forward-looking; so it is not a matter of me rejecting capitalism entirely, or of capitalists always rejecting progressive values. For example, I think there is, in fact, an inherent conflict between capitalism and fundamentalist religion (because the latter want to rule out so much of human behavior). I think this last five years has hit me over the head with the fact that democracies are very weak relative to deregulated globalized, monopolistic, predatory, destructive capitalism.

              I mean, look at just one of the (probably thoughtless) things Bush has done: He has contributed mightily to the failure of the U.S. auto industry (although they themselves share a lot of the blame) and he is killing the airline industry. I can't believe that all sectors of the economy are happy with him at all.

              I have to pick up my son!

              Republicans saw the savagery of 9/11 and quickly descended into savagery themselves.

              by lecsmith on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 01:58:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  more CNN idiocy yesterday (4+ / 0-)

      when Heidi Collins was chatting with Barbara Starr about W's demands, especially his refusal to allow defendants to have access to classified info.  Collins said the risk of allowing access would be that it a defendant were acquitted, then the evidence would be out there for everyone to see, and that would be just awful.

      I couldn't tell if Starr was stunned into silence by the sheer bizarreness of the implied proposition that it would be better to convict, even if it resulted from the lack of a fair trial, than to release the info, or if she agreed with Collins.  Of course there wasn't any consideration of the point that maybe the evidence was only "classified" to prevent a fair trial in the first place.

      Why does is always seem that for every "journalistic" step forward (eg Alex Witt's interview this morning with an analyst who established that we get more info with honey than torture), there are twits like Collins who keep marching backwards?


      •  SL, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silverleaf, Wary

        Please see my comment which remarkably was typed right above yours before I saw this.

        I don't get it either.  It's surreal, how things are being framed up by the media.  Sometimes you'd think ann coulter had hired on as a CNN director.

        Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

        by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:50:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you contacted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        CNN about this, they need to hear about it!

        I've been writing to media all morning. They need to hear from us, let's not be the silent majority'--I know i am 'preaching to the choir' but I'm all pysched up by this torutre issue and reading Media Matters--I'm fired up--let it all hang out, contact the media on disturbing stuff like this!

      •  The defendents in terrorist cases should be (0+ / 0-)

        treated exactly as Timothy McVeigh, our homegrown terrorist was; there shouldn't be any complaints with that action. I wish someone would write an annotated essay showing the changes in MSM over the last ten years, which are insidioua.  Everytime I hear anyone complain of the 'liberal' media, I want to run out of the room. The MSM is far more conservative than liberal these days!!!

        In youth we learn, in age we understand.

        by Jbeaudill on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:19:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Time for the microscope of science (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainely49, stonemason, Yellow Canary

    to inspect the very sick sociology of the Merkan media.  These people resemble nothing so much as the craven little souls who wrote and pontificated for the state press in East Germany and communist Czecholslovakia.

  •  Spot on (6+ / 0-)

    One problem with Democrats is that we've domesticated the media's narrative of failure -- that is, we sometimes believe our opponents are omnipotent and there is no way we can win.

    Well, guess what folks: we are winning this one!  Speaker Nancy has a very, very good chance to gavel the House into session come January, and there is even a chance we'll get Majority Leader Reid.

    The election is coming on us fast.  It's time to get out and talk to voters, remind them the country is going to hell in a handbasket, and that it's the Republican misleadership that is taking us there.

    We can't win in November if we don't hit the streets in September.


  •  not a plan, they are losing time (5+ / 0-)

    Would they have lost the whole weekend news cycle over this if it were a plan? No way. Nope they were totally throw for loop by the Hamdan decision and are just scrambling to stay out of jail.

    maybe that's what led to chaos in the week before Labor Day, which the press glossed over.There was a revolt already underway and the untold story was the Bolton nomination shootdown. Also, The Katrina anniversary was downer for Bush, Cheney and Rummy's "facism" talk got nowhere, his Lebabon strategy screwed the pooch, without the Lebanon fight there was no way to hype "WW3," the military JAGS came out against torture a couple weeks ago.

    •  How broad would be my smile to hear ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... that the distant drums of war were actually gavels hammering the national bench, and to have appear stage left our berobed weilders of justice, beating gavels in unison -- see how they run!  Run Bushy!  Run!  Run Rummy!  Run!

      Cheney would just sit there, staining his pants and speed-dialing Addington.

      The Bush Administration has allowed people to be killed under false pretense and for ignoble reasons.  I know no better definition of heinous.

      by Yellow Canary on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:32:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ordinarily, I would agree with you... (11+ / 0-)

      ...and DemfromCT.

      And I certainly do not be one of those who gives the Rethugs too much credit.

      But then I go and actually read the McCain/Graham bill, and it is scary.  Bush's position is TOTALLY INSANE, but McCain/Graham is scary.  No Federal jurisdiction for appeal, i.e. NO HABEAS -- I remind you it is a guarantee and bedrock principle of our system of justice?  Anyone, yes even American citizens in the US, can be put before a military tribunal based on giving aid and comfort to terrorists?  Total exoneration for Bush War Crimes?

      This is scary legislation indeed, and the American public knows nothing about it.  Instead, the media is Lionizing its sponsors, McCain and Graham, for their opposition to Bush the Torturer.  How difficult do you think it's going to be to overcome this media madness after the Bush/McCain "differences" are resolved (and they will be)?  Do you think Dems will then be able to oppose the media-annointed McCain and Graham?  

      Add to this the fact that Rethugs have made mincemeat of Dems over the past 6 years by sucking all the oxygen out of an issue, suffocating the Dems, and then moving in Blitzkrieg fashion to get what they want.

      If I recall in 2002, there was a similar fracas created by those in the Bush Sr. camp who were reportedly apoplectic about a proposed invasion of a certain Middle Eastern country.  Remember "you don't sell the public anything in August?"

      We know how that went.  We know what happened in the election that year.  We know where the country went after that.  We should learn from history.

      Rethugs don't know much, but they know timing and execution (both literally and figuratively).

      I'm not saying we need to be jumping up and down yet, but we need to appreciate the risks here.  And, we need to play some chess and understand where this could go.  And we need a plan to deal with it.  And fast.

      •  The rushed pre-election vote exploiting 9-11 (4+ / 0-)

        W is strong on terror, so let's think like Rove and attack that strength: Bush used to enjoy connecting Iraq to Osama, now even he walks away from that. Let's keep reconnect terror (W's strength) with Iraq (his weakness) and remind people of how we got to Iraq.

        We got to Iraq because Bush forced a vote on invading Iraq in Oct 2002, right before the midterm elections. It passed without hearings and poof we were in Iraq. Once again, Bush is exploiting 9-11 for an election year, and this politicized pre-election vote on "terror" is exactly how we into Iraq in 2002.

        In the words of Ronald Reagan "There you go again."

        These bills are highly controversioal and there should be hearings after the elections.

        •  YES! Excellent. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DianeNYS, Wary

          I think you've come up with the response to BOTH the detainee bills and the NSA wiretapping.

          In 2002, in a similar manner, Bush pushed us into war in Iraq and look where that got us.  Our country is worse off because of that rush to judgment.

          Now Bush asks us to consider and rush to judgment on legislation that would strike at the heart of the values Americans hold dear: privacy, fair play and justice.  It is these values that our fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers have fought to protect for over 200 years.  The Democratic party will not be pushed by the Administration in its rush, just before the November elections, to so lightly cast these values aside.  Rather we will use the time-honored practice of hearings and Congressional deliberations because  we believe in the American system and the American way.  

      •  This attacking Repubs--Rovian plan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        besieged by bush, Jbeaudill

        It was posted last weekend, here's part of this plan as posted on Andrew Sullivan's blog:

        Next week, I'm informed via troubled White House sources, will see the full unveiling of Karl Rove's fall election strategy. He's intending to line up 9/11 families to accuse McCain, Warner and Graham of delaying justice for the perpetrators of that atrocity, because they want to uphold the ancient judicial traditions of the U.S. military and abide by the Constitution. He will use the families as an argument for legalizing torture, setting up kangaroo courts for military prisoners, and giving war crime impunity for his own aides and cronies. This is his "Hail Mary" move for November; it's brutally exploitative of 9/11; it's pure partisanship; and it's designed to enable an untrammeled executive.

      •  Is this a case of Bait and Switch? (5+ / 0-)

        I've read the latest draft of the McCain alternative and it is disconcerting, to say the least.

        McCain is coming out looking like a hero on this. He is being positioned to become Bush's successor to the throne.

        In addition to the points mentioned above about judicial review, both Bush's and McCain's bill prevent an individual from raising the issue of any violation of the Geneva Convention. In other words, only the individual's government can raise the issue of violations of international law. One can readily surmise how well that would work in protecting individual's rights in cases where the United States has invaded a sovereign country and deposed that individual's government.

        And, what's to prevent Bush from signing whatever bill that comes from Congress, then issuing a signing statement whereby He decides that He can run His commissions anyway He wants under His Inherent Powers as Commander-in-Chief?  For example, do we really know whether or not warrantless wiretapping has stopped as per the Federal Court injunction?

        •  Does Congress have a counter-move (0+ / 0-)

          to Signing Statements?  I honestly don't know much about this tool.  This seems to be a huge, gaping hole in the system of checks and balances.

          "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

          by mainely49 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:21:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From what I understand only the Judiciary (0+ / 0-)

            could take on the legality of Bush's more than 800
            signing statements and he has them in his pocket.
            We have lost our checks-and-balances.  

            In youth we learn, in age we understand.

            by Jbeaudill on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:28:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Check / Check-mate (3+ / 0-)
            The only counter-move available to Congress is impeachment.

            Under Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution, the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed..."

            Failure to do so may be considered a high crime and misdemeanor by Congress, which may remove the President from office under Article II, section 4, Impeachment.

            However, the Republican Congress seems more intent on changing the law to conform with Bush's conduct than on holding Bush accountable for violating the express intent of Congress as codified in laws passed by Congress and signed by the President.

            It is important to note that had Bush refused his assent to a law, it would have gone back to Congress to either be rewritten to accomodate His objections, or enacted into law over His objections with a Congressional veto override.  These signing statements nullify the Congressional veto override proceedure. And so long as Congress is unwilling to exercise its power of impeachment, we have a de facto dictatorship.

            •  We had a Democratic Congress (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maxschell, besieged by bush

              with Democratic Presidents, and Democratic-appointed Supreme Courts in the 60's...there was no dictatorship then.  

              There must be some way to circumvent the current players.

              How can the importance of the upcoming mid-term elections be explained to the average (non)voter?  And what about those Diebold machines?  

              What a mess.

              "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

              by mainely49 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 10:23:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  you are on the mark (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maxschell, besieged by bush

        and have framed the issue perfectly. whatever position the Dems have, and BTW has it been officially published because I have not seen it, will be compared to the worked out Rethug compromise and be seen and promoted as light on terror. As far as I can see this is a very slippery slope for the Dems. Getting into the discussion before a Rep agreed to official torture policy is announced is critical but I don't claim to have the strategy. One idea - during any publicly televised senate debate on the subject, a thorough discussion of waterboarding, exactly what it is, and what it induces - in graphic detail - would be a good idea.

      •  Thank you for calling this out ... (0+ / 0-)

        I suspected but had not looked into it.

        Have you diaried specifics? I would recommend.  

        Feed the mill for LTEs and otherwise.

        I think that you are spot on here.

        9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

        by besieged by bush on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:26:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's the aMNESTY stupid! (n/t) (0+ / 0-)
    •  Big media buzz today is (0+ / 0-)

      That the Repubs have an 'up tick' in the polls--of 2%--well, Bush does, that is, and that he will keep on climbing, this is the 'big one' that will get him out of the doldrums--I kid you not.

      Republicans are campaigning on TORTURE--that's so pathetic!

      Bush's alleged 'up tick' of 2% is still in the margin of error, so there's no change' the only thing they can say is 'better to go up two than down 2'

      Repubs are claiming it's gone up 2% in two weeks--not so, it's been seven long weeks to get there.

  •  Why doesn't anyone mention (7+ / 0-)

    to the President that you don't need "clarification" of where the line is regarding torture unless, that is, you have already crossed it or else come really, really close to that line.

    •  Because the line was crossed years ago... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainely49, Yellow Canary, Wary

      as for Bush stating Article III is too vague, it would not matter how it is rewritten as he still would not understand it.....absolutely most moronic person (word used reluctantly) ever to be in the Oval Office.

      For Impeachment of George Bush!

      by Retiredgrunt on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:05:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If he really believed Article 3 is... (6+ / 0-)

      ...unworkably vague, this would not be about the detainees: it would be about treatment of ALL prisoners of war.

    •  Bush was too cleaver for his own good here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why doesn't anyone mention to the President that you don't need "clarification" of where the line is regarding torture unless, that is, you have already crossed it or else come really, really close to that line.

      It seems to me that if our president is going to put the nation on notice that he has been ordering something that might be considered a war crime and wants congress to rule that it is not, then he has to be willing to tell us in some real detail what it is he wants us as a nation to approve of.

      If the CIA is unwilling to do that then they just have to accept that the nation will not be willing to put its imprimatur on what it has been doing and will need to either live with uncertainty or change the "program".

      Of course this is not a new problem.  The usual answer is that if something can not be made public (or at least presented in detail to many members of congress) it will not be possible to ask congress to act. But Bush's advisors have decided that this was such a cleaver way to out Democrats as swishy ACLU types that he decided to ignore the problem and just insist that congress act right before an election. 

      Lucky for us that some key Republican senators (who probably have a much better idea what the CIA does than most people) are not standing for it.  There are things so important to who we are that  even though some Republicans will play politics with them some of the time they can't count on all Republicans all the time, and they were in such a hurry to play this game that they didn't check it out with people like Warner, McCain and Lindsey Gram -- now that General Powell has jumped in they really have a problem.

    •  Precisely. So, Bushy Bush, master of the ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, LNK

      ... universe, leader of the flee world, decider of things that be needing decided, commander in chief, torturer in chief, kidnapper in chief, murderer in chief, liar in chief, obfuscator in chief, Mr. holier than thou chief Cheney puppet:

      How many people have you kidnapped?
      How many days have you kept them secretly?
      How many people have you tortured?
      How many people have you killed?

      Case closed.

      The Bush Administration has allowed people to be killed under false pretense and for ignoble reasons.  I know no better definition of heinous.

      by Yellow Canary on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting thing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainely49, LNK

        about these: it's so easy to tie them directly to Bush.  They're not the result of some abstract policy, they're the result of Executive Orders.

        He personally signed off on it.  He cannot blame it on anyone.

        Henry: "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
        Republicans: "Give me liberty, or ...not. Just don't let them hurt me."

        by Marc in KS on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:05:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is the prehistory for all of this.  They've been all holding their noses for over a generation.  And guess where it's all been developed?  Right under McCain's watch.

      Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

      by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:55:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why always "Terror"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katchen, turnover, stonemason

    The media is constantly parsing this as a terror bill, or terror legislation, or a debate on terror.  It's not.

    It's a torture bill/legislation/debate.  Why is that so hard for them to say?

    •  Nothing new, really. (0+ / 0-)

      The media has bought into the GOP framing for years now - at least since 1980 or so.

      "Now the thing that I call living is just being satisfied with knowing I've got no one left to blame." - G. Lightfoot

      by turnover on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:02:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The media exists to sell ads. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Never doubt it, and never forget it.

        They were forced to provide socially useful (and profitless) programing for some years, but that pretty much ended in the '80s.

        The Bush Administration has allowed people to be killed under false pretense and for ignoble reasons.  I know no better definition of heinous.

        by Yellow Canary on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:46:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Framing the argument; this is exactly what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Howard Dean advised Dems to do and we don't seem to do a good job of it, sadly.  Every liberal spokesperson and we Kossacks should refer to Bush's "terror" bill exactly as getagrip has stated here... correct reporters, friends and enemies...rephrase and rename it as "Bush's torture" bill, or even better Bush's right to torture bill; put this in all letters-to-editors etc.

      In youth we learn, in age we understand.

      by Jbeaudill on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:41:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush Lies on Torture Bill demonstrated. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, carolinacal

    Bush says his version of legislation needed to clarify Article 3 of Geneva Convention.

    Article 3 is vague. It basically says, "no inhumane treatment" without setting forth specific banned methods.  So Bush's brillian means to clarify Article three is legislation stating that there will be no "serious violations" of Article 3.

    Bush actually adds another layer of ambiguity in determining  "serious" in addition to a violation: if it's hard to figure out what consititutes "a violation" of Article 3, figuring out what constitutes a "serious violation" is doubly difficult.

    Ambiguity is, in fact, Bush's best friend.  It allows him to sling bullshit, since he, as executive, is in all practical terms the first person to "interpret" the law, and the appellate cout decision is going to land in his successsor's term.  

  •  You said something important (9+ / 0-)
    buried away there in this interesting analysis, when you ask "Do you know any confident Democrats, let alone overconfident ones?"

    I've been hammering away at this with people I know who keep insisting I need to be more pessimistic, lest I convince Democrats they don't need to work/vote because we "have it in the bag." In fact, almost daily I have conversations with Democratic friends who are so demoralized and so frightened of what the Republicans might have in store, that they can barely bring themselves to think about actually working on a campaign. I get a lot of "Why bother? We're screwed." This, despite the fact that polls in our state (Ohio), as well as their own behavior, show pretty much that it's the Republicans who are going down to overwhelming defeat.

    Some people think I'm an overconfident Democrat, but I just spent ALL my grocery money for the next two months on a fundraiser with Bill Clinton for the Strickland/Fisher campaign taking place today that I now have to go get ready for. I will then head out to the state Democratic convention to cheer on the candidates I'm working for. I'll probably spend most of the next six weeks actually working on the campaign. So what different does it make if I'm "over" confident?

    BTW I love the way you've framed this issue. i think it's a winner for Democrats. Almost everyone I know is appalled that THIS is what Bush and Cheney want to go to the wall for.

    •  Good for the state convention (0+ / 0-)

      being now (in a way) as it is usually an energizing experience and will get some people out working on campaigns..that's the only thing that counts..working on campaigns..phoning, walking, Voter

      Would you rather stay the course or get back on track? 'tamifah'

      by philinmaine on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:11:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  demoralized Democrats? You meant Republicans? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

        Where do you find demoralized Democrats? I talk to people who are under the gun, certainly, but the phrases "bankruptcy bill", "minimum wage increase", and "universal health care" perk them right up. The younger Democratic supporters I meet are worried, but talk of the numbers prior to the 1994 'revolution' as compared to today perk them right up, and they're too young to know about the fifty seat change in 1974, which really perks them up.

        Now the Republicans I talk to, unless they're completely hypnotized by Faux News, they're demoralized. They can, at best, assume a defensive posture on a corner of the Bush patch, and a gentle push will get them right off it. Morals? Well, torture isn't so moral, is it? Defense? Nope, Iraq is a breeding ground for extremism we didn't need. Financial responsibility? For that one I laugh like a circus clown with a lung full of nitrous and they look at the ground because they know how screwed we are with $300 BILLION in adventure debt from Iraq.

        I'm late on rent. I'm overdrawn. I have a little bit in Paypal and I sent this to Tester's campaign last night.

        Not as nuts as it sounds at first - I own the business, lots of receivables on the way, so I'll be able to pay vendors, operating expenses, guys that work for me, and myself next week. It just kills me that I don't have the $11,200 or so that is due in my hot little hands today, because I'd put $500 in donations into ActBlue right now. I don't deal directly with those who get paid minimum wage, but my customers sure do, and a $2.00/hour increase will roll right down and pump up my business. Universal health care makes those minimum wage guy's lives much easier, and that rolls right down to my business, too.

        I'm white, middle aged, business owner, gun owner, and I'm from a rural area. I am voting and donating blue. There are many more like me and the Republican party should be VERY afraid.

      "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" - U.S. Constitution author and fourth President James Madison

      by Iowa Boy on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:49:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The flailing of the lost and more lost/why we are (0+ / 0-)

    The gyrations and flip flopping are almost daily. It's like watching a spasmodic robot dance. Notice lately how every narrative be it 'war of the ages' to any discussion is coming from Nazi lovers to we're fighting the rough equivalent of what could be Nazis to jsut saying the word terrorist over and over just falls flat. My hunch is the famous frame we all talk about has changed. For most (not all, not everywhere) but for Most of the voters unless someone is talking about how we get Out of Iraq they don't care what someone says.

    Talk about staying the course is a turn off. War of civilization and staying for years, off the frame, fight them there or we fight them here, pinggg. People want it to Stop, they've had enough. The reason John Murtha's plan resonated out there is it fits the frame. Keep that sort of stuff up and we win.

    We will have a pretty good idea by mid October at the latest how the House is going. The Senate will need an upset or two to take but the House is clearly in play (and we're leading). IF we win, which will depend on Hard Work and a real VOter ID/GOTV effort, then the real work starts. A 100 day , positive progressive domesti agenda: Minimum wage hike, shift tax to wealthy and increase student loans and military medical, fix Pharma Part D, pro-active energy bill, stuff that Bush cannot not sign or makes life even worse for him, establish the Dems creds for Results adn then go after Iraq.

    Would you rather stay the course or get back on track? 'tamifah'

    by philinmaine on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:08:45 AM PDT

  •  Too bad 'Liar' and 'Torture' are verbotten words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elwood Dowd

    For the media (Fuck, we can say what we want here :)

    Notice how most media trip over 4-40 words describing what the PrezNut wants? They find it so hard to make the case clearly - unlike the Dem Vs Rep narrative as you so elequently describe it

    Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

    by Blue in VA on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:09:30 AM PDT

  •  Legalize torture (0+ / 0-)

    then make the torture obtained "evidence" a secret so the accused may be convicted by it with no recourse.

    That's the Bush answer, and Americans aren't buying it anymore.

  •  Tony Blankley was on the (5+ / 0-)

    Diane Rehm show yesterday.  Some of the talking points that he was evidently given are: 1) There's a difference between torture and the coercive techniques we are using in the war on terror; 2)Torture really does work to get useful information; 3)The CIA has been using torture but we have to decide if it is right to use what the CIA has been doing on our war on terror prisoners; 4)Geneva Conventions are not followed anyway really and are quaint notions.

    This must be what the Bush administration has come up with to try and nuance the discussion.  First, I'm not sure we want to just change what we call torture and use a fake definition to justify torture.  Second, torture doesn't get reliable info, which has been proven by some of the bad intel we acted upon in the war on terror.  Third, the CIA isn't supposed to be torturing either and pointing to them as an acceptable exception to torture rules is just wrong.  Fourth, the rest of the world must be dismayed to hear us call one of the most important tenets of international wartime law "quaint."

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:11:33 AM PDT

    •  Torture doesn't get us out of Iraq (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Torture just reminds Americans that things are going badly. Jsut the fact they are running away from the word shows that. You can see the people in  their Luntz focus groups when they use the word Torture, the dial spins left.

      Would you rather stay the course or get back on track? 'tamifah'

      by philinmaine on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:13:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Billboards (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainely49, stonemason, mrgardon

    (Name of Republican Rep) Supports Torture

  •  Republicans are always right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philinmaine, Silverleaf

    no matter what they say. If one of them said something different yesterday, well, heh, heh, that was true yesterday. This is what's true today. So, see, that true yesterday, this true today. We're always right, right?

    Truth never damages a cause that is just.-Gandhi

    by RagingDem on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:14:15 AM PDT

  •  Olberman guest last night - a first (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, Fabian, Uncle Moji

    I don't remember his name, but an Olberman guest last night was discussing the Bush rant.

    Not a direct quote, but an accurate paraphrase:

    On one side of this discussion you have McCain/Powell et al and on the other you have Cheney/Rumsfeld et al. Now who are you going to believe? (opening his hands wide)

    That's the first time I have seen such a blunt show of disdain for anything said by this administration.

    George W. is NOT an incompetent liar, he's had waaay too much practice for that. (-2.25, -2.56)

    by EclecticFloridian on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:15:19 AM PDT

  •  And "the Dems have no plan" theme (0+ / 0-)

    I was thinking about that one this morning.

    The only new ideas I hear on an approach to Iraq are from Democrats. Biden says we should consider a three-way split: separate governments for Kurds, Sunnis, and Shia. The artificial nation created by the British after WW I just isn't sutainable without a dictator, he argues.

    Is that the best approach? I don't know -- there are a lot of questions about economic viability of the three separate regions. But, it is new and bold thinking -- and the media narrative ignores it.

    •  "War, spend, lose, spin" (0+ / 0-)

      Is this a possible reply to the Rethug's "Cut and Run?"

      George W. is NOT an incompetent liar, he's had waaay too much practice for that. (-2.25, -2.56)

      by EclecticFloridian on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:23:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but Dems aren't selling it effecitively, AND (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know how do it.

      maybe they gotta people dressed as chickens, I do NOT know.

      However, I am not paid zillions of dollars to do message, AND

      I did not apply for the job.

      Dems have spent hundreds of millions of dollars every 2 years for many years,

      why can't we have kick ass message that buries the

      "dems ain't got message" stuff?


      by seabos84 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:54:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a structural problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's blindingly obvious, so much so that I heard a pundit acknowledge it in passing, after the standard 'no message' dismissal.

        Political parties really don't have a mechanism for adopting a positive party line on the most controversial issues of the day, except when they hold the Presidency or have just nominated a Presidential candidate. And that is a good thing in many ways -- it allows more ideas to get aired.

        Parties can unite in opposition -- we did so very effectively on Social Security. But uniting to propose an alternative policy on a major issue is almost impossible -- Senators and Representatives answer only to their voters, not to Dean, Reid, or Pelosi.

        LBJ was famously effective as Senate leader -- but his big battle was getting civil rights past Southern Democrats, not crafting alternatives to Eisenhower policies.

        •  w/ message critical, structure needs fixing (0+ / 0-)

          it isn't 1965 ;)

          there are tens of millions of us working out asses off to make less than 70 or 60 or 50 grand a year,

          and every year our health security and retirement security and retraining security and and and

          gets worse, IF you have it.

          there are a few hundred people, outta 300 million, elected to make things better,

          and making things better also = beating these fascist bastards.

          It is THEIR job to fix the stuctural problems,

          just like it is the job of millions of cooks or waiters or teachers or nurses

          cook the food or serve the food or educate the kids or take care of the sick.


          by seabos84 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:49:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Repugs like it or not have the elevator pitch (0+ / 0-)

          What you say to someone about what you do if somenone asks you in the elevator. You need to be able to explain it by the time you get to your floor (usually not too long).

          They say Republicans are for lower taxes, strong defense, and personal responsibility.
          (Not sure about that 3rd one).

          Every time Dems get together and try to come up with something its like 3 pages long and puts everyone to sleep.

          How about, Democrats are for Effective Government, world leadership, and national unity.

          Drive anything you want into that garage.

      •  I liked Lie and Die for Repubs nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  The Biden approach involved a special respected (0+ / 0-)

      commission to divide the oil profits amongst the three separate governments. Need to know more on this.

      In youth we learn, in age we understand.

      by Jbeaudill on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:50:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your thoughts are supported here... (0+ / 0-)

      Actually the media is not ignoring it.

      Several major news shows (Hardball, Situation Room, Meet The Press, Face The Nation, This Week, Fox News Sunday, The Today Show) and several major newspapers (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Houston Chronicle, etc.) have covered this over the past two months.

      Op Eds have been written supporting the plan.

      I think it's that a good portion of Daily Kos bloggers don't give a rat's ass for anyone besides Wes Clark, and anyone who is not Wes Clark doesn't rate their attention.

      At least Joe Biden shows up for work every day in the Capitol, and does his best to write, sponsor and vote on legislation to help the American people.

  •   For him there are no new data, only determinatio (0+ / 0-)

    Another sign of intellectual impairment?

    At the dedication of his Gubernatorial portrait, GWB thanked his audience for "Taking the time out of your day to come and witness my hanging"

    by wrights on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:21:42 AM PDT

  •  But torture IS terrorism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stonemason, mrgardon

    [the media seems to think that] if terrorism is discussed in any way, shape or form, whether Bush gets hammered on the subject or not, they win (because "everyone knows" national security is a Republican topic).

    That is the idea, but the problem is that torture is terrorism in its most pure and personal form and everyone understands that that is what Bush is talking about (even though the CIA seems to be taking the position that if they told us exactly what they do then they would have to kill us).

    And if they try to say that they are really just talking about things that simply might be considered "offences to human dignity" and that is way too vague -- the first image that jumps into everyone's mind will be those fake homosexual dog piles that our troops produced and documented for the world in Iraq.

    So even though the polls say that the Republicans "win" on terror it is because of a perception that they are stronger against terror than Democrats.  If the issue is presented in a way that has Republicans on the side of the most personal and direct form of terror -- torture -- then the numbers don't work the way they used to and in fact Republicans start to lose the larger issue.

  •  DemfromCT, what about? (0+ / 0-)

    What about the fact that Bush threatened to stop protecting America if he didn't get his way on the torture resolutions being considered? Bush says that these measures "protect" America. Then he says he will let them lapse unless he gets the language he wants. There it is. The Dems should run with this as Mr. Populist diaried awhile back. Bush has just handed the Dems a "bone", in Mr. Populist's lingo.

    The Moe Sizlak Experience, featuring Homer Simpson.

    by lepermessiah on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:26:25 AM PDT

  •  I like to think that you're right but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Repugs are absolutely diabolical.

    I think we should exploit thsi as much as possilbe, but what needs to be made clear is that what Bush and Cronies want is a way for the people who do torture to avoid prosecution. What they are not saying is that standard will apply to the other side as well.

    And the argument that the Geneva Convention is too ambiguous, it was meant to be broad so that it included all forms of torture.

    Posted by the Lemming Herder at Don’t Be A Lemming!

  •  this is where the Cat Killer goes nuclear (0+ / 0-)

    He will see it as a way to jump start his 08 campaign.  And not to have to do it over the next S Ct nominee.

    They would take 51-50, I guarantee it.

    We have to start hitting at this Now.  If we wait until the 30 secs come out that say "(Tester)(Brown)(Webb)(McCaskill) wants to play kissy face with Khalid Sheikh Muhammad" then we have lost.

    Trying to be provocative, not offensive.

    by jimsaco on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:42:24 AM PDT

  •  IF (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    McCain has such high standards on torture, why are the torture training camps - indeed, the location where the torture training manuals have been written since School of the Americas - ALL in his home state, being done under his watch?

    Arizona is torture grand central in the US.

    Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

    by stonemason on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:44:21 AM PDT

  •  This push isn't about November (0+ / 0-)

    Because of the Supreme Court ruling, Bushco moved the 14 terror suspects that were in the dark prisons to Guantanamo.

    All prisoners at Guantanamo have access to the Red Cross. It is widely expected that the Khalid Sheikh Muhammads of the world will report that they've been subjected to forms of torture such as waterboarding and induced hypothermia.

    Bush is making this push to retroactively declare such forms of torture "legal" to get out in front of the outrage that will erupt over the issue. It's going to be incredibly ugly regardless, but by giving himself a loophole, he can avoid punitive measures from a hostile democratic house of congress. There's no chain of command to throw this one down, a la Abu Ghraib, it goes straight to the top.

    Otherwise, there's no reason to push a bill that's as divisive as this one with his own party this close to midterms.

    •  It's about potential indictments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bush and Company have committed war crimes, which per the War Crimes Act of 1996 are federal crimes and capital crimes if "death results to the victim."  But they don't want to be indicted.  Thus war crimes have to be legalized going back to 9/11.

  •  I fall into these same traps (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    myself--thinking that the Republicans must have something up their sleeve anytime they seem to fall out of lockstep. And I have worried that if the Democrats do take back the House (and possibly the Senate now) they'll wishy-wash all over and let Republicans blame them for everything, possibly even ancient land wars in Asia, and ruin our chances for a Presidential victory in '08.

    Your diary is reassuring--maybe all my paranoia is wrong! Thank you for the insightful analysis.

    I am beyond your peripheral vision, so you might want to turn your head. -Alana Davis

    by Rachel in Vista on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:49:35 AM PDT

  •  and further. (0+ / 0-)

    why there is not a single reporter who will stand up at a news conference and ask "Mr President, do you think waterboarding is torture?" baffles me.

    I want to hear his answer, for posterity.

    Trying to be provocative, not offensive.

    by jimsaco on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:49:42 AM PDT

    •  We heard it this week (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crooks and Liars has video, even. Check out the interview with Bush and Matt Lauer. Matt asks about torture, and Bush says, "I can't discuss the alternative methods we've been using." And then he said the same thing in the Rose Garden yesterday.

      To Bush, waterboarding isn't torture, it's an "alternate method." And he can't discuss it 'cause it's classified - heheheh.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:49:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA3 is actually too clear for Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For those following Bush's campaign to legalize war crimes, two superb must-read articles got posted this morning:

    "Behind the Debate, Controversial CIA Techniques: Interrogation Options Seen as Vital"
    By R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post Staff Writer (16 September 2006)

    "Getting with 'The Program': Clarity Through Obfuscation"
    By Marty Lederman, Balkinization (16 September 2006)
    [based on Smith's article]

    Both get at the irony that Bush complains of the vagueness in CA3's prohibition on "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." But Bush admits that CA3 clearly rules out the CIA's "alternate techniques," which according to  "CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described" by Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, ABC News (18 November 2005) include:

    1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.
    1. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.
    1. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.
    1. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.
    1. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.
    1. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt. [...] According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.

    Therefore Bush would "have to shut the program down":

    You can't ask a young professional on the front line of protecting this country to violate law. Now, I know they say they're not going to prosecute them. Think about that, you know. "Go ahead and violate it, we won't prosecute you." These people aren't going to do that.

    Bush now wants flexible context-sensitive standards wherein the legality of a technique depends on how badly the information is needed.  Ironically, he sees such flexibility in McCain's Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which did not succeed in criminalizing the CIA's secret prisons or the techniques used  therein.

  •  Media in Cahoots/Lazy, BUT, Blown Dem Message (0+ / 0-)

    Opportunity, again.

    Excellent choice of headlines to demonstrate how well the media echos the thug talking points and aids and abetts the thug stratergery.

    However, I could find this same kind of behavior during the 1980 or 1984 or ... Presidential elections, AND

    I don't buy the excuses from the Dems about lame or non existant message cuz of corporate media and/or the fairness doctrine and or consolodation andor ...

    the Dems did control various branches of the congress, or the casa blanca, in the last 26 years.

    I REALLY hope your points are correct, or

    if they aren't correct, the thugs still lose for any reasons, HOWEVER

    in my NOT humble opinion,

    every news cycle that goes by without Dems effectively defining these bastards as what they are,

    and there are a lot of different ways to define them as bastards cuz they bastards in every way imaginable,

    every missed news cycle jeopardizes this Nov.,

    and other than muzzled/ignored Howard & Conyers & some others

    too many of the current crop of DC Dems need to be Lamonted.


    by seabos84 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:50:51 AM PDT

  •  You are the first I have read here (0+ / 0-)

    that boied it down to this:

    "Republicans like McCain, Graham and Warner need to push an alternative if they hope to save their party from abandonment by the military. This is real and a core issue".

    I believe that you will see a major shift in the military if tat fool on the hill continues his push for torture. It was enough to finally awaken Powell from hibernation although he could be doing alot more.

  •  Give our troops Geneva protections. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, everhopeful, Uncle Moji

    Our troops lives are at issue here, today and in future conflicts.  Do want your son or daughter to enjoy Geneva protections against torture as soldiers have for the last fifty years?  Do you want to scrap good international law that has served the US's interest well overseas since WWII?  Without Geneva conventions, what sort of treatment will we recieve overseas, both military and contractor security services?  

    If we establish that anyone not strictly in uniform is somehow not deserving of Geneva protections, than our increased reliance on private security firms is also at risk.  We will scrap the rule of law at our own risk, as well as for any humanitarian interest we have in protecting the dignity of combatants or suspected terrorists.

    Does torture even produce solid results in interrogation?  Is it a useful tool, and can we point to any evidence that torture of individual suspects has led to any useful intelligience that has saved lives?  I am doubtful that tangible results can be gotten from "waterboarding", and other tactics.  If the information we glean from torture can be gotten through interception, GIS technology, or solid investigation tactics, then we have less threat to our troops, and actually more solid material evidence with which to make military strategic decisions.

    •  Bush sacrifices US Soldiers for the CIA (0+ / 0-)

      Excellent post.  Bush says he is doing this for "the brave young men and women in the CIA who are just doing their jobs protecting America" or some such...BUT what about the brave young men and women who are captured in Battle and held as Prisoners of War who will pay the price for his "clarification" of torture?

      Olbermann and Turley discussed Bush's very hysterical and bellicose "clarification" as a way to avoid potential claims by the Red Cross (they are scheduled to interview the 14 high profile US captives soon) that Bush (and his brave CIA operatives who torture) may be prosecutable as War Criminals. If he gets the Repo Congress to change US law, then he may still be prosecutable by the World Court but he can drag the US government in with him as his legal shield.

  •  It's a loadable question: (0+ / 0-)

    As in "When did you stop beating your wife," we can ask, even amongst Repubs that are trying to distance themselves from Resident Putsch, "When did Republicans change their position on torture?"

    That you have to ask alone is damage enough,- it inevitably forces the opponent to invoke the fallacy of the ticking time bomb.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:08:37 AM PDT

  •  But, what if OUR troops are captured? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I couldn't believe how Matt Lauer missed his chance to nail Bush after George's ominous remark that the terrorists might "adjust" to something like water boarding.  

    Excuse me--adjust to being drowned?

    Mr. Preznit, aside from the insane implications of your remark, consider the repercussions.  If you give the impression that Americans torture their prisoners, then what might happen to our own troops if captured by one of the innumerable enemies you have made for us?

    Oh, that's right.  Bush doesn't care about that, either.  By the way, how many hospitals has Bush visited since he invaded Iraq?  How many military funerals?  Zero.

    •  Waterboarding = Salem Witch Trials (0+ / 0-)

      By no account can waterboarding be defined as anything but torture.  Those who believe it does not constitute torture should have their heads shoved  underwater in a bathtub or toilet (your choice), panic, swallow water, begin to suffocate, pass out... get revived, and do it again, and again...

      It didn't produce "High Value Intelligence" during the Salem Witch Trials... and, guess what, it doesn't.  

    •  Matt Lauer interview (0+ / 0-)

      I like Matt, but the Today show has traditionally treated Bush with kid gloves. I would not be surprised to hear that Matt was told by producers not to push Bush.

      Katie Couric's interviews have the same problem. They ask a tough question, get some half baked, illogical wingnut answer, then they move on with no tough follow-up.

      "What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?" Padme

      by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:59:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Meredith get the next Bush interview - she's a lib, right? And former 60 Minutes reporter. Of course, they'd never give it to her.

        But, just the fact that she's there on Today now means she will undoubtedly get some administration/republican interviews. I'm eager to see someone on Today not softball these thugs.

    •  You are right about 'water boarding' (0+ / 0-)

      That term makes 'simulated drowning' sound like you're just splashing someone with water to annoy them.

      I've heard the term many times over the past few weeks and did not know what it really was until I read this discussion. That is well within my definition of torture.

      "What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?" Padme

      by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:07:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Quotations (0+ / 0-)

    Theme of Republicans are always right...I couldn't find the exact quotation when Bush said he knows in his heart that the Death Penalty reduces crime (even though actual statistics show he's wrong), but you might want to tuck some of these others away:

    "Please,don't kill me"
    George W. Bush, his lips pursed in mock desperation, openly mocking Karla Faye Tucker's pleas for clemency, in an interview with Talk magazine.

    I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death
    Republican Candidate Gary Bauer about Bush.

    He's the world champion executioner. He is a horrible symbol of your mania for the death penalty.
    Former French justice minister Robert Badinter

    What we know about the new president, is just two things. He is the son of President Bush, and he has sent 150 people to their death in Texas, including the mentally ill.
    Claudia Roth, German member of Parliament

    Evidence of innocence is irrelevant.
    Mary Sue Terry, Att. General Virginia, 1986-94 (replying to an appeal to introduce new evidence from a prisoner sentenced to death)

    It is abundantly clear that the Texas clemency procedure is extremely poor and certainly minimal.
    A flip of the coin would be more merciful than these votes.
    U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, about the secretive clemency process in The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

    And scroll to the bottom right of the page for a photo
    On August 6, 1890, William Kemmler was executed by electrocution. Southwick was present and is reported to have said "There is the culmination of ten years work and study!! We live in a higher civilization from this day.”

  •  Missing The Point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curt Matlock, Jbeaudill

    Whether or not Rove scripted the intra-GOP combat ahead of time is beside the point. (And fwiw, it's not at all clear to me that this whole thing isn't scripted-- I emphatically agree when Digby writes in her excellent post: "I'm so jaded about those so-called independent Republicans, particularly Huckelberry and McCain, that I have a strong feeling that this is some sort of Kabuki."

    Whether they got there by design or otherwise, the political choice for the GOP going into the mid-term elections is: 1) get creamed on Iraq, or 2) make lots of noise on Terra, torture and wiretaps for 3 weeks or so, during which they let endangered Republicans "courageously" oppose Bush. Here's how they hope the movie ends: Endangered and purple-state Republicans team up with Saint John McCain to stand up to the WH, the WH pushes back for a bit, then McCain (and Shays and Chafee and Arlen Specter etc etc) "force" the WH to accept a "compromise" that the MSM (quoting from the WH press release) declares is a victory for both civil liberties and the War on Terra at the same time. Breaking chutzpah records, the GOP's brave protectors of the Geneva Conventions accuse Dems of being too weak to stand up to Bush, let alone take on the Evildoers. Iraq? Never heard of it.

    If that isn't working by October 7 and it looks like they're really going to lose the House? The only October surprise will be if they aren't bombing Iran at that point.

    The point for Dems is: FIGHT! Don't sit on the sidelines, don't let Rove get inside your head, FIGHT! Prominently and emphatically, FIGHT!

    Democrats need to be in the fight, not on the sidelines. And they need to remember that McCain is not their friend. He's not going to carry their water. He's not trying to tank the GOP. He's positioning himself as an Agent for Change for his race in 2008 -- which is the only way he's going to have a shot post-Dubya. Right now, a lot of Republicans are looking for a way to cast themselves as agents for change -- or at least as not in lockstep with Bush -- and McCain is giving them coattails to ride.

  •  Chickenhawks in the Bush do not support troops (0+ / 0-)

    Those with military experience know how to protect troops.  Chickenhawks don't care if troops are endangered as long as troops die in  chickenhawk's sponsored wars.

  •  If they attack us, it's the Dem's fault...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been intrigued by how Bush has managed to use this line for the last five years...  

    ie. "I (alone) am the reason there hasn't been an attack...if there is an attack, it's because of you..."   (ie. Heads I Win, Tails You Lose.)

    No one seems willing to stick a pin in Bloat-o and call him on his pomposity... Okay,

    "You win, there hasn't been an attack solely because of you...if there is an attack it's solely because of you."


    "There hasn't been an attack because of us, and if there is an attack it's because of us."  

    We rise, we fall, we get back up, together.  Wasn't this supposed to be the less on of 9/11?

  •  Panic mode (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stephdray, TruthOfAngels

    Despite all the talk about Republican superiority and the media's virtual fellating of everyone with a magic R behind their name, I really think the Repubs and their supporters are in full blown panic mode.

    That press conference yesterday by Bush was NOT scripted.  There is no way to script that.  I'm sure elements of it were.  For example, right after David Gregory when Bush looked like his head was going to explode, someone tossed him a softball question which allowed him to regroup himself.  However, he's shitting bricks.

    The reason is they know they're gonna lose come November.  When that happens they're all in deep shit.  

    Hamdan implied Bush is a war criminal and that what he is doing is clearly illegal.  He wants this more than anything because it's his ass on the line.  Now that these prisoners will no longer be in secret prisons Bush can't keep them hidden from us and the Red Cross.  Their stories will get out as some already have.  Regardless of whether or not they're terrorists, WE DO NOT TORTURE.  The first 9/11 bombers are all in jail for 3-4 lifetimes.  Good police work caught them and our own judicial system sentenced them.  Justice was served.  Now all of a sudden Bush says everything is dfferent and it's okay for him to commit war crimes because the way we did things pre-9/11 didn't work?  

    Others are frightened of Conyers and Nancy Pelosi.  Sean Hannity even said that preventing Nancy holding the gavel is something worth dying for.  John conyers investigating Republicans and the rampant corruption that has gone on in our country unchecked for 6 years makes them all shit in their pants.  Their time is over and they're calling in all troops.

    That is why we had to see the Path to 9/11, which was a crappily produced hastily thrown together mocudrama.  That is why they're throwing out the nazi and appeaser names.  That is why we're seeing more mistakes on their side than ever before in the last 20 years.  Also, that is why we'll see more blatant attempts to steal elections than in recorded American history and why we'll see the dirtiest campaigns ever.

    It's no coincidence.

    SAY NO 2 JOE. VOTE 4 NED INSTEAD!!! -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:59:14 AM PDT

  •  New frame (0+ / 0-)

    One justification for the nvasion of Iraqwas human rights violations, of which tourture is one of the most serious violations.  Why would we implement the policies of Saddam Hussain?

    9/11 was a Faith-Based Initiative - Bill Maher

    by glazeone on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:00:01 AM PDT

  •  Torture is for Cowards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I continue to believe that casting torturers and torture apologists as cowards is the most effective attack.

    They are so afraid of Osama and terrorists that they'll not only throw out the Geneva Convention prohibitions against torture, they'll throw out the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well. As torture apologist Ted Olsen put it on a recent Koppel show:

    You can't have civil liberties if you are dead. There's a civil liberty of life.

    True that. But patriotic Americans who came before lived by another creed:

    Give me Liberty or Give me Death!

    Republicans today wimper:

    Take my liberties sir. Just keep me safe!


    Republicans seem to believe that anything is justified to keep us safe and because of their hysteria their wisdom has been thrown out the window. We aren't made more safe long-term by torturing our enemies. We aren't made more safe long-term by giving unfettered power to the President and to our Government and weakening our civil rights.

    Patrick Henry realized that.

    Thomas Jefferson and George Washington realized that.

    Countless American soldiers who gave their lives for their country realized that.

    But current day Republicans are too craven and cowardly to stand up for American values we've held sacred for more than 200 years! Let's be bold and call them out to the American people for what they are. Cowardly authoritarians who love their own life more than they love America and the freedoms for which generations before have died.

  •  any legislation is a solution in search of a prob (0+ / 0-)

    lem i am happy with geneva the way it is and anyone with a 6th grade reading level sould be able to tell what is permited and what is not.

    The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. -Bill Hicks

    by waitingforvizzini on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:12:30 AM PDT

  •  It's funny (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how fast Outer Wingolia is unraveling. Not too long ago, they actually got some mileage with rhetoric like...Dems want the terrorists to win (or some such drivel) Even though many saw it for the simple bully tactic it was, enough people bought into it to form 'a base'. That seems to have shifted though.

    In the last few months, I've seen several wingnuts in watercooler/barstool say things along these lines, only to be laughed down. No argument, just out and out laughter. (And does that ever make them shrivel up and slink away!)
    The repub attack tactic only works when there is doubt. People will listen if they think the repubs might possibly have a point. Bush and his rubber stamp congress have made such a spectacular mess of everything they touched, that the necessary doubt no longer exists. They've gone from bullies to laughingstocks without realizing it.

    The repubs built a movement on whining and victimhood. It was the glue that held them together. But since they now control everything, there is nothing of substance to whine about without it landing on another republican's lap. Their problem boils down to running out of enemies, while only knowing to fight.

    I'm now expecting the repubs to fall into further disarray as the midterms near. The terror card isn't the magic shield it once was. If anything, they are now the terrorized - terrorized by a Dem majority with the power of subpoena. They know they need to launch a fight, but the only meaningful enemies are other repubs. Pass the popcorn. This is looking more and more entertaining by the day.

  •  Jonathan Turley on Olbermann (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, notimportant, craigb, Jbeaudill

    Good post by DemFromCT - have to agree that this is probably legitimate a battle and not WWF-style posturing by Republicans.  As noted above, the military connections of the Republicans in apparent opposition to the Bush administration cannot be ignored.  However, one far more sinister factor that is that the administration is fighting this so hard because they are more fearful of the criminal than the negative political/military aspects, and are engaged in some major CYA by retroactively defining our country's interpretation of the Geneva Conventions.

    EclecticFloridian perceptively noted the guest (I can't remember his name either and the transcript of the show is not available until Monday) on Keith Olbermann that pointedly compared McCain/Powell's trustworthiness on the torture issue to that of Cheney/Rumsfeld.  A later guest on Countdown, Jonathan Turley (GWU professor), pointed out that the Bush administration, which already has realistic criminal problems with FISA, may have similar but much more far-reaching problems (as the world would view it) with the Geneva Conventions.  I don't know how much Mr. Turley knows, but he indicated that the Red Cross will be visiting the 14 detainees that were just transferred to Guantanamo from the secret CIA prisons, and that the waterboarding, etc. may become known by the world at that time.

    Obviously all hell will break loose.  Whether it's this time with the Red Cross or later, the blood-curdling truth will come out in the not too distant future.  I know Bush acts like the stereotypical surly, spoiled rich kid on a regular basis, but when (not if) the truth does come out, yesterday's press conference will be viewed in retrospect as an administration in panic mode.  Even the fact Bush deigned to meet the press at this point in time makes one wonder.  I think we may be seeing in Powell and the few Republican senators examples of John Dean's conservatives WITH conscience seeing the handwriting on the wall and opposing the ones WITHOUT conscience.

    •  I saw this interview too (0+ / 0-)

      and was almost thrown on the floor when he mentioned the Red Cross/waterboarding connection. Even my cynical husband said "why isn't everyone in America watching this right now?" But he said something later that was smart. he went to notice that olberman obviuosly has a mandate or he could never get away with this, and we all our very grateful he does. I agree that he must have some form of mandate within the upper ranks of MSNBC and that includes Gates. I can't get the thought of making waterboarding more real to the public at large - how to do it - is there a simulation video anywhere out there - because if people could see it - as in Olberman airing it - then this debate which is already intense will reach another level.

  •  2 (0+ / 0-)
    Things going on here:

    1. Torture,
    2. Rewriting/writing retroactive laws.

    2 is being clouded by 1 when 2 is clearly the most important issue.  Yesterday Randi Rhodes made a good point that a commited CIA officer will torture when necessary and face the consequences like a man.  She also said the reason we're not in this situation is because Bush has been having grunts do the torture on a large scale and now the grunts need protection or they're gonna turn on dear leader.

    Bush would look like a total stud if he caught Osama.

    by LandSurveyor on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:38:21 AM PDT

  •  If George Bush has such (0+ / 0-)

    a problem knowing what 'outrages upon personal dignity' are maybe he should stay awhile after his Sunday Church services and attend a Sunday School Class or two.

    If a CIA interrogator has a problem with the concept maybe he should find a new line of work.

    AND what's so wrong with 'shutting down the program'?  Why do we need foreign prisons, rendition and all these other moral outrages?

    It's GW that's having a problem being called a war criminal!

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. --Edward R. Murrow

    by craigb on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:42:48 AM PDT

  •  Oh, they are right all right... (0+ / 0-)

    ...right of Papa Doc Duvalier.

    Integrity is the doing what is right in the absence of witnesses and with no other gain in mind.

    by Bobjack23 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:45:42 AM PDT

  •  Support a Republican (0+ / 0-)

    I have sent a short note to Senator McCain simply stating I support his stand on detainee treatment.  Since he mentioned all the mail he's been getting from those that support the president, I thought 30 seconds of my time to support him was the least I could do.

    If you are so inclined you can do the same here.

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. --Edward R. Murrow

    by craigb on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:51:05 AM PDT

  •  So are ANY Dems speaking out about this? (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats are in disarray if the Senate actually debates an issue and more than one Democrat speaks, whereas if only one Democrat speaks, then they're running away from the issue.

    I realize it's quite possible that numerous Dems are daily criticizing the whole idea of violating or 'clarifying' the Geneva conventions from the floors of the two houses of Congress, but that the MSM just isn't reporting on it because it doesn't fit into their narrative.

    But is it happening?  ARE any Dems speaking out against torture and kangaroo courts?

    "It means that we can't be scared out of who we are. And that's victory, folks." -- Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift

    by RT on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 08:53:23 AM PDT

    •  there won't be Dem statements (0+ / 0-)

      until the Senate debate next week over the bill that came out of committee.

      As to whether the media covers them, that's another story.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 09:09:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rove lost this round. (0+ / 0-)

    His plan, voiced by Bush, to change the Geneva Conventions, was fought by his own party.
    This is an issue that he hoped to pound the Democrats with.
    The opposition is going to eliminate the need for a filibuster, which would energize the conservative base.
    It's really nice to see Rove's plan blow up in his face for once.

  •  Bush thinks he's smarter on Torture than Powell? (0+ / 0-)

    If there was ever a need for a daily drug test in the whitehouse the time is now.

  •  The old adage holds true: (0+ / 0-)

    Fear just doesn't do the job, after a while, unless you add a whole lot of confusion.  "I'm afraid" needs to be supplemented frequently with "I'll never understand, so I'll let the grown-ups deal with it."

  •  LYING LIAR (0+ / 0-)

    The headlines should read:


    To put it mildly, he is a disgusting piece of crap, who in no way wants what is good for America.

    He terrorizes America through fear tactics just to always get his own way.



    Americans are NOT supposed to think, just go along with Bush on anything and everything and never question.  By in large, that would make you a republican.

    Let's see if the maverick republican senators stick to their guns down the road.

  •  you know (0+ / 0-)

    I actually agree with what Noonan says. There's no reason to pay attention to the prez because you already know what he's going to say--it's just a matter of how creatively he'll manage to "torture" the English language in order to spit out the same old garbage. So many times I've tuned in, ears pricked to the wind, decoder ring in hand, waiting to see if I can discern some kind of subtle shift, some conciliation to reality. But it never comes. It never comes. And it never will. That people, especially the media, can convince themselves to take the prez seriously indicates a deep intellectual sickness on their part.

    Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. --Marcus Aurelius

    by arb on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 10:16:25 AM PDT

    •  I agree with much of the column (0+ / 0-)

      Americans don't really know, deep down in their heads, whether this president, in his post-9/11 decisions, is a great man or a catastrophe, a visionary or wholly out of his depth.

      What they increasingly sense is that he's one thing or the other. And this is not a pleasant thing to sense. The stakes are so high.

      She's talking about Republicans, however. Democrats and independents already know he's a catastrophe, a man wholly out of his depth, a complete and miserable failure. Republicans will have their own demos to exorcise after this misbegotten misadventure with one too many Bush.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 10:42:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •   (O/T) trawling for Somerville Residents (0+ / 0-)

      IIRC, you're in Somerville, MA -
      I'm trying to get people to lend me their support at some upcoming Zoning meetings. Please email me at addy in my profile.


  •  torture is terrorism (0+ / 0-)

    I still think that has to be the way to approach this.  

    If we don't want to be called terrorists we can't tortue.

    What is wrong with this approach?

    Can anybody come up with comments against?

    Tell me.

  •  Waterboarding was a Spanish Inquisition torture (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Briseadh na Faire

    A form of waterboarding called toca or tortura del agua was used during the Spanish Inquisition. The appropriate paragraph in Wikipedia states:

    The methods of torture most used by the Inquisition were garrucha, toca and the potro. The application of the garrucha, also known as the strappado, consisted of suspending the criminal from the ceiling by a pulley with weights tied to the ankles, with a series of lifts and drops, during which arms and legs suffered violent pulls and were sometimes dislocated.[25]. The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had impression of drowning.[26] The potro, the rack, was the instrument of torture used most frequently.[27]

    So for Bush to claim that waterboarding is just another harsh interrogation method doesn't pass the smell test, much less the history test. If we make torture like this legal, then we are doing just what the extreme Islamic fundamentalists want us to do and have descended to their level. It is not the honorable way, the moral way, or the American way.

    Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should be changed regularly and for the same reason. -- Gerry Brooks (Toronto Globe & Mail)

    by dewtx on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 02:12:54 PM PDT

    •  Well, as Condi would tell you (0+ / 0-)

      Nobody could have expected we'd need a kind of Spanish Inquisition!

      One on't guv'ment branches gone owt askew on treddle, wot?

      Government sucks. Vote for us and we'll prove it. --Republican Party Platform

      by turbonium on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 05:55:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You'll Laugh At This (0+ / 0-)

    This was in this morning's Seattle P.I.

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