S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Outside of awareness and outside of the law

The current facts -- As of February 25, 2008 the DoD has confirmed 3972 military fatalities in the Iraq Coalition. As of a few minutes ago, the estimated cost of the war in Iraq stands at $498, 517, 678, 500+. And there are 325 days, 13 1/4 hours until we have a replacement for our current president (OCP). It is high time, because the man is standing outside too often. He sometimes is abysmally unaware, or operating outside of the law. Here are the latest episodes. It is important to keep up with such things in order to remind others that the man who wants to replace him, Senator John McCain could be similarly afflicted. More on that in a subsequent post. Meanwhile . . .

Outside of awareness -- Bush: I'm 'focused' on gas prices but unaware of $4 gas, reports Think Progress. The blurb has the video and a transcript:

QUESTION: What’s your advice to the average American who is hurting now — facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline, a lot of people facing –

BUSH: Wait a minute. What did you just say? You’re predicting $4 a gallon gas?

QUESTION: A number of analysts are predicting $4 a gallon gasoline this spring when they reformulate.

BUSH: That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.

QUESTION: Yes, sir. […]

QUESTION: Any restrictions on who can give? Will you take foreign money for this?

BUSH: Yes, probably take some foreign money, but don’t know yet. We just haven’t — we just announced the deal. And I, frankly, have been focused elsewhere, like on gasoline prices and, you know, my trip to Africa, and haven’t seen the fund-raising strategy yet.

And so, the answer to your question is really I can’t answer your questions well.

OCP claims that he is unaware of his approval ratings of 19%?! That may be. But he seems pathetically needy for praise and acceptance, as noted in this story about his recent visit to Kenya.. To quote:

"And so when a reporter during a joint news conference with Bush today asked Kikwete about African enthusiasm for Obama's candidacy, he diplomatically played it down and heaped praise instead on the president who just gave him a five-year, $698 million aid package.

"Of course, people talk with excitement of Obama," Kikwete said. But he added, "For us, the most important thing is, let him be as good friend of Africa as President Bush has been."

As for Bush, he did not seem all that thrilled at the notion of being
upstaged in his moment on the world stage. "It seemed like there was a
lot of excitement for me -- wait a minute!" he said with a laugh.
"Maybe you missed it."

Outside of the law -- "Contempt takes the next step" by Kagro X at DailyKos contains the full text of an important letter by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to the Attorney General of the United States. To quote from the Speaker's letter to AG Mukasey:

According to the testimony of your predecessor, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and your recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department intends to prevent Mr. Taylor from complying with the statute and enforcing the contempt citations against Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten. You claimed that "enforcement by way of contempt of a congressional subpoena is not permitted when the President directs a direct adviser of his... not to appear or when he directs any member of the executive not to produce documents." Hearing on Oversight of the Dep't of Justice Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. 87-88 (Feb. 7, 2008). You purported to base your view on a "long line of authority," but cited no court decision that supports this proposition.

There is no authority by which persons may wholly ignore a subpoena and fail to appear as directed because a President unilaterally instructs them to do so. Even if a subpoenaed witness intends to assert a privilege in response to questions, the witness is not at liberty to disregard the subpoena and fail to appear at the required time and place. Surely, your Department would not tolerate that type of action if the witness were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury. Short of a formal assertion of executive privilege, which cannot be made in this case, there is no authority that permits a President to advise anyone to ignore a duly issued congressional subpoena for documents.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is the law of the land. "My lawyer," Glenn Greenwald is an attorney who specialized in Constitutional law. I trust him to tell us when the law is being broken. Here is an index of his most recent articles on the subject of domestic surveillance lawbreaking and corruption by OCP and his administration, as well as how Congress and the courts also got involved.

  1. A.J. Rossmiller: "Still Broken." -- 2/25/08 "An intelligence officer with the DIA volunteers to go to Iraq, leaves the job after two years, and writes a superb new book detailing firsthand the wholesale corruption of the intelligence process."

  2. McConnell/Mukasey: Eavesdropping outside of FISA is "illegal" -- 2/23/08 "In their latest fear-mongering letter, the Terrorist-combating duo let slip an odd admission."

  3. The Courts and Congress affirmatively conceal and protect lawbreaking -- 2/19/08 "The Supreme Court's refusal today to rule on the NSA spying program means that the telecom lawsuits are the last remaining hope for finding out what happened and determining its legality."

  4. The Leader isn't protecting us and keeping us safe -- 2/16/08 "George Bush warns of the grave dangers from allowing the Protect America Act to expire, even though he is the one who single-handedly ensured its expiration."

  5. Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms -- 2/12/08 "The Senate's actions today in permanently protecting Bush officials from clear lawbreaking illustrate how far we've tumbled from the Church Committee of the post-Watergate era."

  6. The WSJ lies about our surveillance laws -- 2/11/08 "As is true for most advocates of telecom amnesty, the WSJ editors conceal the fact that telecoms broke numerous federal laws for years."

View my current slide show about the Bush years, "Millennium," at the bottom of this column. It is a good reminder of how far outside these past seven plus years have kept our nation.

My links:

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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The Future Was Yesterday said...

Any person who "stands outside the law", for even a minute, whether it be Bush, or I, has just said "there really is no law, because I think I can do what I want to." Because you follow a few that pleases you, doesn't make you a law abiding person.

Carol Gee said...

Future, you have said it correctly. It is my opinion that OCP was not raised well. He was not forced by his mom to understand consequences. He always "skated," always.
At some point you and I did not. I'd rather be in that place, I think, on the side of the law.