As Glenn Greenwald suggests today its going to be, The Long Hard Slog in regards to the NSA scandal. Glenn compares it to the Watergate which unraveled over years not months.
Some perspective is necessary and critically important here. The NSA scandal has only existed for two months. It arose in an environment where the President’s party controls not only the Executive Branch, but has transformed Congress into a compliant, obedient, impotent tool of the Administration. The Administration has successfully manipulated terrorism fears for quite some time, and the Administration begins with a rhetorical advantage with any measures that ostensibly involve counter-terrorism efforts. And large parts of the media are captive to the Bush world-view and resistant to the premise that the Administration may have been corrupt or acted illegally.
Thus, this scandal was never going to be the downfall of the Administration after a few weeks, and anyone who expected this was operating with wildly unrealistic expectations. It is going to take hard, focused, patient work to bring about a just resolution to this scandal. It is an uphill battle that will have to overcome substantial and formidable efforts on the part of the Administration to block investigations and they will do everything in their considerable power to ensure that they will be immunized from consequences. All of that has to be expected. None of it should come as a surprise.
I’ve since lost the link, but a year or so ago one blogger noted how over the course of several decades conservatives suffered a few defeats of both their agenda and their candidates. Whatever exaspiration they felt, the didn’t let those defeats detour them from their goals. The presidential lawbreaking that we see with the NSA scandal is only one of many issues that will require patriotic Americans to remain resolute and patient as we work toward our goals. Even the small defeats are victories. They show people like Sen. Pat Roberts and Bush, that Americans of deep conviction and values are paying attention and will not stand by while radical conservative partisans chip away at our freedom and the institutions that guard them.
Here’s a good example of people that didn’t give up, Flats verdict a “body blow” to the DOE?
The $553.9 million jury verdict in the Rocky Flats lawsuit ought to be a “body blow” to what some lawyers called the U.S. Department of Energy’s policy of denying responsibility for pollution and illness caused by its nuclear weapons facilities.
But lawyers who have taken on the DOE and its contractors in a variety of such cases doubted the verdict would persuade the government to ease its battles against homeowners and workers who contend they were injured.
“The DOE has a history of fighting these sorts of cases,” said Reuben Guttman, a New York lawyer who has represented workers at Manhattan Project nuclear weapons sites.
When did these folks start fighting government wrong doing ? How about 16 years ago.
The Rocky Flats lawsuit was filed in 1990, in the wake of a much-publicized FBI raid of the Cold War-era plant during an investigation of environmental crimes. Much of the testimony during the trial focused on the plutonium released from the plant during two serious fires and through leaking waste barrels that were stored on the site.
Are Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas and George Bush Brokeback Mountain pals or what, Doing the President’s Dirty Work
Is there any aspect of President Bush’s miserable record on intelligence that Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is not willing to excuse and help to cover up?
For more than a year, Mr. Roberts has been dragging out an investigation into why Mr. Bush presented old, dubious and just plain wrong intelligence on Iraq as solid new proof that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was in league with Al Qaeda. It was supposed to start after the 2004 election, but Mr. Roberts was letting it die of neglect until the Democrats protested by forcing the Senate into an unusual closed session last November.
Now Mr. Roberts is trying to stop an investigation into Mr. Bush’s decision to allow the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without getting the warrants required by a 27-year-old federal law enacted to stop that sort of abuse.
Mr. Roberts had promised to hold a committee vote yesterday on whether to investigate. But he canceled the vote, and then made two astonishing announcements. He said he was working with the White House on amending the 1978 law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to permit warrantless spying. And then he suggested that such a change would eliminate the need for an inquiry.
Stifling his own committee without even bothering to get the facts is outrageous. As the vice chairman of the panel, Senator John Rockefeller IV, pointed out, supervising intelligence gathering is in fact the purpose of the intelligence committee.
If anyone notices scuff marks on Senator Roberts pants knees we’ll know where they came from. Maybe this is how conservatives are defining their own narrative of truth, toady behavior becomes the right thing to do. HT to War and Piece for the link. For those that haven’t been following the conservative Goebbelization of reality, the administration and its Cult of Supporters have a tendency to treat reality like a lump of wet clay, Report: Bush Spent $1.4 Billion on ‘Spin’
DALLAS — The Bush administration spent $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars on 137 contracts with advertising agencies over the past two-and-a-half years, according to a Government Accountability Office report released by House Democrats Monday.
With spending on public relations and other media included, federal agencies spent $1.6 billion on what some Democrats called “spin.”
The six largest recipients of ad and PR dollars were Leo Burnett USA, $536 million; Campbell-Ewald, $194 million; GSD&M, $179 million; JWT, $148 million; Frankel, $133 million; and Ketchum, $78 million. The agencies received more than $1.2 billion in media contracts, according to the report.
Ketchum was embroiled in a scandal last year when it was revealed that the Department of Education had paid commentator Armstrong Williams $250,000 to promote President Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative.
In the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar, prayer leader Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi announced the bounty for killing a cartoonist to about 1,000 people outside the Mohabat Khan mosque.
Qureshi said the mosque and his religious school would give $25,000 and a car, while a local jewelers’ association would give another $1 million. No representative of the association was available to confirm it had made the offer.
“This is a unanimous decision by all imams (prayer leaders) of Islam that whoever insults the prophet deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize,” Qureshi said.
Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement. He did not appear aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures.
To paraphase a commenter at Shakespeares Sister these folks lack both a sense of humor and any real depth of selfworth. Any little insult from outside cracks their fragile sense of who they are and their place in the world. Not unlike our homegrown Christian Imans, Pat Robertson Needs To Update His Website
On August 22, Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. This appears to be in conflict with some of his earlier teachings that appear on his website:
God Almighty wants to protect life and have everyone walk the streets without fear of being murdered. — Pat Robertson
Life has become more and more cheap in the society we live in. But God says you shall not murder. — Pat Robertson
The moral foundations that taught us to value life are crumbling under our feet. — Pat Robertson
The government would never be overzealous in using its power, would it ? Policing Porn Is Not Part of Job Description
Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden.
The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words “Homeland Security.” The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.
After the two men made their announcement, one of them challenged an Internet user’s choice of viewing material and asked him to step outside, according to a witness. A librarian intervened, and the two men went into the library’s work area to discuss the matter. A police officer arrived. In the end, no one had to step outside except the uniformed men.
While one might question the judgement of anyone using public libraries to surf for racey material, for Deputy Dudley Dufuses to use that as a pretext for rosting people keeps the phrase “heavy-handed” relevant for yet another year.
How to Tell Republicans From Democrats
Democrats buy most of the books that have been banned somewhere.
Republicans form censorship committees and read them as a group.
Hell, Doc, I’ve been everything
from a hoopla man with a two-bit
carny show to a top mechanic and
bull goose catskinner for every
gypo loggin’ operation in the
Northwest till the Army taught me
what my natural bent was.
Oh, what was that?
Yeah, but you know how society
persecutes a dedicated man.
In what way?
They say I’m a habitual hassler.
Like I fight some. Sheeut. They
didn’t mind so much when I was a
dumb logger and got into a hassle.
That’s a hardworkin’ feller blowing
off steam, they say. But if you’re
a gambler, all you have to do is
spit slantwise and you’re a
To tell the truth, ever since I
found my natural callin’ I done
time in so many small-time jails I
could write a brochure…
Yes… Ah, do you know why you’re
Well, ya know, Doc…
(indicating his papers)
Doesn’t it say so there?
(looking over papers)
Well, according to the Warden at
Pendleton, you were a disturbing
influence on others. ‘It appears
that there is a potential in him
for instigating a revolt among the
(looking up at McMurphy)
What do you think of that report?
I don’t, Doc…
from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Bo Goldman, Lawrence Hauben & Ken Kesey 1975