Good evening. Starting a little late because I was going to grab something to highlight from The Common Ills and couldn't get anything but an error message. I was on the phone with Elaine and I asked her if it was just me but she couldn't pull up The Common Ills either. Since Ava gave me the password last week to republish so an entry didn't disappear and since it hadn't changed (I checked first), I called C.I. to ask if I could republish the site because if it gets really heavy hits it disappears sometimes until it's republished again. So with permission, I did that. Elaine kept asking "Is it still publishing?" Yes, it was. That thing takes longer to publish than anything I know. My site publishes in less than five minutes. It took over twenty minutes to publish it. Elaine said, "Fix the typos in the first entry while you're in there" so I did that too and that added 20 more minutes. While I'm talking about the community, let me pass on that Rebecca will be on a mini-vacation this weekend starting Friday. But there will be a Friday evening post at her site Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. Betty's going to fill in for her. Betty blogs at Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man and we know she's funny with her online novel there. Betty's not going to try to crack you up but she's going to talk about some stuff. "I don't know what!" she told me but I know it will be worth reading so make a point to check out Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude Friday night the way you usually would because Rebecca's chosen a great replacement and Betty'll do a great job. Now let's get to Democracy Now!
Report: Gonzales Says Bush Doesn't Need Patriot Act
The Boston Globe is reporting that Bush administration has apparently argued it is free to continue with the broad investigative powers granted by the USA Patriot Act -- even if Congress does not extend the act. The Globe says the argument comes in a footnote in Attorney Alberto Gonzales' 42-page legal memo defending the NSA spy program. According to the Globe, Gonzales wrote Congress already gave President Bush the broad investigative authority when it authorized him to use force against Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks. Despite its apparent position, the White House has lobbied intensively for Congress to re-authorize the Patriot Act.
That was in Wednesday's Boston Globe and the article's called "AG'S MEMO RAISES QUESTIONS ON PATRIOT ACT." Charlie Savage is the author. Here's a part of it:
"Under the position they are staking out in the footnote and throughout the memo, the debate over the Patriot Act is superfluous," Fein said. "The president is flailing Congress for refusing to act on a matter that he says is irrelevant to the war anyway, because he can do all of these things under the authorization to use military force."
The Patriot Act has been the subject of intense debate in Congress. It is set to expire Feb. 3 under a new deadline set last month after Congress deadlocked over whether some of its provisions violate civil liberties. Bush has demanded that Congress extend the act, warning that allowing the powers to expire could cost American lives.
Now that's bad enough but get a load of this:
Instead, the memo said, the Patriot Act simply gave the government new investigative powers to use against non-Al Qaeda terrorists and "in contexts unrelated to terrorism."
Did you read that? "In contexts unrelated to terrorism." But that law was supposed to be just to deal with terrorism. This is a power grab and it's saying that even though Americans are fighting to stop these unlawful powers, Bully Boy has them and can use them on anything he wants. "Unreleated to terrorism."
Chew on that.
US Delays Decision on Luis Posada Carriles
This news on the case of detained Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles -- the US government has announced it will delay a decision on his extradition until April. In September, a U.S. immigration judge ruled Carriles won't be deported to Cuba or Venezuela, where he is wanted for his role in blowing up a Cuban jetliner in 1976 killing 73 people. A US immigration spokesperson said the government has not ruled out deporting Carriles to a third country. Meanwhile, in Cuba Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of Cubans held a rally outside the US interests section in Havana to protest Carriles’ possible release. Venezuela is threatening to cut ties with the United States over its refusal to hand over Carriles.
Now just last week little Scotty McClellan was saying that the United States didn't bargain with terrorists but I guess we harbor them, huh. The man helped blow up a jet and 73 people died. His ass needs to be tossed out of the country. How come that hasn't happened? Who was in the CIA? No, not Bully Boy. If he'd been in the CIA he would have gone AWOL from that too. But Poppy Bush was. They're covering their own crimes.
Be sure to check Like Maria Said Paz to get Elaine's take on events.
Now Rebecca beat us all with noting this from the Feminist Wire "PA: Anti-Choice Democratic Senate Candidate Casey Supports Alito:"
Robert Casey, an anti-choice Democrat who is challenging Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) in November, has outraged women's rights supporters by announcing his support for confirming Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
"It's very disturbing and should worry, I think, Pennsylvania women and civil rights advocates and people concerned about unchecked executive power to wiretap and eavesdrop on Americans," Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told the Patriot News.
Casey's decision to support Alito shows that women "cannot count on a Senator Casey to protect our liberties," Michelman continued.
On the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito was the lone judge who voted to uphold a spousal notification requirement in Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act, a bill that Casey's father, then-Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr., had signed into law. The case, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, was decided by the Supreme Court in 1992, which overturned Pennsylvania's harsh restrictions on abortion.
GET THE INSIDE SCOOP with The Smeal Report and the New Leif blogs at MsMagazine.com
TAKE ACTION Call your Senators and urge them to oppose Alito
DONATE Make an emergency contribution to the Feminist Majority's Save Roe Campaign. We must be a strong voice in this crucial fight to save Roe and the Supreme Court for women's rights.
Media Resources: Patriot News 1/25/06; Philadelphia Inquirer 1/25/06
And speaking of Rebecca, she has a great thing to read called "the struggle continues" and Wally, you bastard, you beat me to noting it! :D Scooped by The Daily Jot! I need to stay on my toes! :D
Last night, Rebecca, Fly Boy, T and Lois, and Nina and me went out and just chilled. It was pretty cool. I didn't blog yesterday and that was because, like C.I. pointed out with what I felt was laugher!, Blogger would be down at my usual blogging time. Tony saw that and goes, "Dude, you ain't blogging. C.I. called it." And I wasn't because we had plans for the evening and it was a long evening. I had to get up this morning and go to work and then school. Hope no one was too bummed. Leigh Ann and Cody wrote nice e-mails about it saying they hoped I was getting some rest. But if anyone was wondering, I planned to blog before we started our evening.
Like Wally, I think you should read C.I.'s "NYT Loses Will to Cover the NSA story" this morning and I also think you need to read Cedric and Betty's joint entry which you can read at both their sites, either go to "Alito and Inclusion" or "Found in the paper."
Last thing, and I'm rushing cause I know some might think, "Two nights! Two nights without blogging! That lazy bastard!" But you need to check out the BuzzFlash editorial "This Isn't A "Vote Of Conscience" Concerning A Filibuster; It's A Vote To Save Democracy. And If Reid Can't Cajole And Bluster 41 Democrats Into Saving Democracy, He Should Resign His Position:"
As one of our readers wrote to the BuzzFlash Mailbag, reflecting the current mood of the Democrats who vote (not the ones who are Senate careerists): "I'm getting beyond my 5 year 'blame Bush' mentality, as Bush is doing just what Bush/Cheney wants, and doing it damn well and virtually unopposed. So I blame the enablers; those with the (D) behind their names on the Senate roll. They've gone beyond disappointing their supporters. They are about to bring disgrace onto this country, and they want us all to cheer the 'No' vote they use to camouflage their cowardice."
BuzzFlash has interviewed Harry Reid and found him candid and highly critical of Bush. But talk is cheap. What the Democrats need is a passion to save democracy and the leadership to get their stragglers in line.
As we noted, in 2003, John Kerry, who would like to be president, promised to lead a filibuster on a nominee that fits Sam Alito to a "T." Then, lead, John Kerry, lead, or be a hypocrite and get trounced in the Iowa primaries. If you don't have the 41 votes, get them. If you want to be president, you better be able to secure the backing of your party caucus, because if you can't lead the Democrats, you can't lead the nation.
We haven't heard you publicly call for a filibuster or heard you announce that you'll lead one, but that's what you promised in 2003. Just read your words here, in an article entitled "Kerry says he'll filibuster Supreme Court nominees who do not support abortion rights"
And Hillary Clinton just decided this week that she opposed Alito. What's that about? She should have been leading a national campaign against him the morning after Bush nominated him following the now-forgotten Harriet Miers fiasco. Do you think that they support an imperial presidency and the dismantling of the Constitution in Omaha, Hillary?
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