Good evening. We'll start by noting two things from Democracy Now!
Senate Votes To Remove Prisoners' Right to Challenge Detentions
On Capital Hill Thursday, the Senate voted to take away Guantanamo Bay prisoners' right to challenge their detentions in United States courts. The measure, put forward by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, would override a Supreme Court decision last year. The New York Times reports the amendment would nullify legal challenges currently filed by nearly 200 of the 500 detainees currently held at Guantanamo. Five Democrats joined 44 Republicans to pass the measure by a vote of 49 to 42. However the New York Times reports the victory may be short-lived as nine senators were absent, and are pushing for a second vote as early as Monday.
C.I. had a strong post on this at The Common Ills this morning. I did pass on to C.I. what my prof said, to take it easy on Friday and C.I. would have just done a link fest but then the articles in the Times comes along. C.I. discussed the five Dems who broke ranks to say, "I support detainment based solely on the say so of Bully Boy and I don't need no stinkin' court review!"
Here's C.I. talking about the disgusting five:
The vote passed thanks to five so-called Democrats who felt this was just the thing the country needed. Five Democrats voted for this ___. The five idiots, losers, creeps and disgusting ___s? No list of disappointments is ever complete without Joe Lieberman.
Kent Conrad's spine goes in an out. On this vote, it collapsed yet again allowing him to join the five. Ben Nelson (Nebraska) who's does the best Joe Lieberman impression in the Senate is a familiar face on lists of disappointments.
Fourth on the list, Mary Landrieu -- who apparently has tired of waking the displaced from Hurricane Katrina to traipse through shelters for photo ops and footage (which she'd be wise not to use in a 2008 campaign). If you missed it:
AMY GOODMAN: They said they didn't want to us film inside there. Has anyone been allowed to film?
WILLIAM ANSARDI: Mary Landrieu was here with her film crew.
AMY GOODMAN: The senator?
WILLIAM ANSARDI: The senator, yes.
AMY GOODMAN: Did they ask your permission to take your picture?
WILLIAM ANSARDI: They didn’t ask my permission. She came in and did showboating up there, and they took pictures of everybody sleeping about 10:00-10:30 at night. I didn't see her ask anybody how they were doing or anything. But she just come in and did her little crew. And she left. I haven't seen her since. Peyton and Eli Manning came here and they did more for the spirit of these people than what Mary Landrieu and all these other great politicians we got.
The fifth vote was Ron Wyden. I'm not sure whether it's fair to make a joke about Wyden because I'm honestly not sure he knew what he was voting for. Take yesterday:
AMY GOODMAN: Senator Wyden, we only have 30 seconds. I just want to follow up on the discussion we had earlier, you might have caught the tail end of, and that is that the President's appointment of Stewart Simonson, who is head of Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness within the Department of Health and Human Services being the former corporate council of Amtrak. Do you think this is another example of crony appointments that could endanger this country like Michael Brown, former head of FEMA?
SEN. RON WYDEN: This should be a very important hearing where he's questioned thoroughly about how he's going to act in the public interest. Too often these kinds of appointments are just skated through. Those days are over.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, he already is head of it.
SEN. RON WYDEN: Well, I think what we've got to do is look further into his background and make sure that the positions that he's going to stake out are in the public interest.
"Too often these kinds of appointments are just skated through. Those days are over." "This should be a very important hearing where he's questioned throughly . . ."
From the HHS website:
Stewart Simonson was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on April 28, 2004.
A year and a half ago Simonson took office and Wyden thinks they should question him before he assumes the position . . . that he's been serving in for over a year and half?
Like I said, I'm not sure Wyden knew what he was voting for. Maybe the newlywed's mind is on other things?
The five should be all embarrased to show their faces. They should be ashamed of themselves. We can take comfort in the fact that none serve on the Judiciary Committee since their vote is a slap to the judiciary. It's also a slap against what America is supposed to stand for.
The next item was a hard one to chose. But finally Elaine and I decided to go with this one.
Robertson Warns Town Over Rejecting "Intelligent Design" Proponents
Christian televangelist Pat Robertson is again drawing controversy for a statement made on his program "The 700 Club." On Thursday, Robertson was asked to comment on a vote in the Pennsylvania town of Dover that removed school board members who advocated "intelligent design". Robertson said: "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there." In August, Robertson was forced to apologize after he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Does Pat Robertson think that he's God? Or does he think God is Pat Roberston's puppet, there to be Pat Robertson's bidding? Pat Robertson is an idiot and should be off the air waves already.
Which reminds me of a e-mail I got the day after Halloween that I wanted to talk about already but just found the time.
Alberto lives in Dallas, TX and they have a channel there that's the urban channel. Or that's what they called it. Mainly it was just reruns of Beverly Hillbillies and The Lucy Show. So Alberto's stuck handing out candy because his wife is taking the kids trick or treating and he turns on the TV and can't find a thing to watch. So he figures he'll watch the urban channel. He hadn't watched in awhile. It turned into a fundamentalist channel with whites and Hispanics.
These two people are on there saying that Halloween is the devil's birthday and that's why it's celebrated and telling people not to go trick or treating or let their kids go. They go into this supposed history of Halloween but don't know what they're talking about and were either idiots or liars. 'Devil will swoop down and grab your kids' and other crap like that. Alberto's question was how are people allowed to lie like that on TV?
I don't know, Alberto, but Bill O'Lielly's been doing it for some time. (There's also a Bill O'Lielly item at Democracy Now! today.) But it's scary because a lot of people will believe something just because it's on TV. I'm sure some were believing that the Devil really would pop up, grab their kids and run off. People get to lie and if we really had free speech (or equal time) that wouldn't be so bad. But we don't have that so it's the freaks with money and a desire to lie that seem to get the TV stations.
Now be sure to read Elaine's commentaries because we're both using the same two items and Elaine said she was tired and wondered if I'd like to just do the thing where we each comment on a headline from Democracy Now! I like that. I like doing little essays too. I'm cool with whatever. But be sure to check out Like Maria Said Paz for Elaine's take on the above.
Everybody have a great weekend and I'll probably post something this weekend.
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