Be very very quiet, I’m hunting wabbits

Its good to know that once in a great while some conservatives stop drinking the kool-aid and think of what is good for the United States before what is good for the Republican party, 68 Republicans break ranks, vote with Democrats on first bill of 110th Congress

A House bill (H. Res. 1) to implement recommendations suggested by the September 11th Commission passed by a vote of 299 to 128, with eight members of Congress not voting.

Just after 7:15 PM Eastern, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the bill had passed, and gaveled the end of the vote. Joining 231 Democrats were 68 Republican members of Congress.

As everyone has heard by now Senator Ted Kennedy (D) and many of his fellow Americans for that matter thinks that Escalation? It’s Not His (Bush’s) Decision to Make . It may not be as simple as that or maybe it is. Talkleft thinks that Congress would have to repeal the original Authority to Use Military Force in Iraq ( which some people interpret as a war resolution) –


(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

I think that Big Tent Democrat might be mistaken in relying too much on the Federalists Papers as justification for allowing Bush or any president unlimited powers to conduct military force against foreign powers even after a resolution like the AUMF. For one, while the Fed Papers have been used as a tool by judges to help define implicit meaning in the Constitution the Papers themselves are not law. Big Tent is most probably off the mark when he argues that Congress cannot micromanage a war. Congress has done so in the past and the Supreme Court has ruled that their actions have been in keeping with the explicit and implicit powers given to it in the Constitution, The Congress As Surge Protector

Congress Can Forbid the President from Escalating the Iraq War without Renewed Authorization

Even if the President does not submit his plan for congressional approval, Congress is constitutionally empowered to require him to do so.

The Constitution grants Congress extensive war powers – so extensive, in fact, that Chief Justice John Marshall once wrote that “The whole powers of war being, by the Constitution of the United States, vested in Congress, the Acts of that body can alone be resorted to as our guides ….” (Talbot v. Seeman (1801).) These powers include the power to declare war; grant letters of marque and reprisal; raise and support an army and navy; make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; provide for the calling forth of the militia; and to lay taxes and appropriate funds to provide for the common defense, with the proviso that no appropriation for such a purpose can be for more than two years. The President is made the commander in chief and is authorized to appoint, with Senate confirmation, such military officers as Congress may by statute create.

This structure is an intentional departure from the British approach. The King was set up, in Blackstone’s phrase, as the “generalissimo”; he was authorized to initiate and to prosecute war of any scope on his own authority. Under the U.S. Constitution, by contrast, it is Congress that has the power to initiate and regulate war, while the President is authorized to command the resulting war effort.


In the naval war with France, Congress had authorized the U.S. navy to intercept vessels bound to, but not from, French ports. In Little a U.S. navy ship, acting pursuant to a presidential order to intercept ships bound to or from French ports, intercepted a commercial vessel suspected of coming from a French port. The Supreme Court ruled the action illegal because it went beyond the military force authorized by statute.

The Supreme Court has continued to adhere to this view of the war power. In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (the famous Steel Seizure case), the Supreme Court struck down President Truman’s order that the nation’s steel mills continue operating in order to keep the troops in the Korean War armed. Justice Jackson’s famous concurring opinion (which the Supreme Court has since held to set forth the proper view of presidential power) emphasized that the Constitution does not set forth exclusive power, but overlapping or shared power. Where Congress and the President share power, as in the area of war power, the President is bound to comply with the statutes that Congress enacts.

Bush had to have the original AUMF passed by Congress to begin to take action against Iraq. If Congress amends that action the president would be bound by that too. As Think Progress points out there is ample precedent for Congress placing limits on presidential prerogatives to expand troop levels and has used Congressional powers of the purse to end or restrict military actions undertaken by the president, FACT CHECK: Congress Has Repeatedly Placed Limits On Military Deployments And Funding

December 1970. P.L. 91-652 — Supplemental Foreign Assistance Law. The Church-Cooper amendment prohibited the use of any funds for the introduction of U.S. troops to Cambodia or provide military advisors to Cambodian forces.

December 1974. P.L. 93-559 — Foreign Assistance Act of 1974. The Congress established a personnel ceiling of 4000 Americans in Vietnam within six months of enactment and 3000 Americans within one year.

June 1983. P.L. 98-43 — The Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act of 1983. The Congress required the president to return to seek statutory authorization if he sought to expand the size of the U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force in Lebanon.

June 1984. P.L. 98-525 — The Defense Authorization Act. The Congress capped the end strength level of United States forces assigned to permanent duty in European NATO countries at 324,400.

November 1993. P.L. 103-139. The Congress limited the use of funding in Somalia for operations of U.S. military personnel only until March 31, 1994, permitting expenditure of funds for the mission thereafter only if the president sought and Congress provided specific authorization.

Think Progress points to this full report by The Center for American Progress, Congressional Limitations and Requirements for Military Deployments and Funding

The escalation of troops in Iraq is counter productive on its own, but especially so in light of events in Afghanistan, Afghan war needs troops – Taliban expected to push against thin U.S., NATO forces

U.S. Army Gen. Dan K. McNeill, who takes over as the top allied officer in Afghanistan next month, will command the NATO troops and roughly 17,000 U.S. troops in the field with about 36,000 Afghan soldiers. But they are stretched too thin across this nation of jagged peaks and wind-scoured desert to occupy the roads and towns cleared of Taliban, American officers said.

“You leave and they return,” said the intelligence officer. “The thing is to be able to stop that from happening, and that is why General McNeill has asked for more forces here, particularly in Helmand and Kandahar provinces” in the south.

Now for the comedy portion of our show some rabid rants from Republican dead enders. Conservative site Wake up America Posted by spree at 6:29 PM makes it convenient by gathering up snips of the right-wing echo from various blogs,

NewsFlash Teddy Boy, you can’t. Troops will be marching into Iraq on Jan. 31 and as Stop the ACLU says so elequently:

Whether you think this is the right strategy or not, its gonna happen so you might as well get behind our troops and start cheering for victory.


Someone buy Teddy another drink, but this time, please take the keys to his car away from him!!!!!

Note how Bush’s policy is the same thing as supporting the troops. The ultimate way to support the troops that Wake up America and Stop the ACLU would like to see used as simply as another “comma” would be to get them a courageous and intelligent commander-in-chief. Now as always the Right sees the troops as future martyrs, sacrifices for the Conservative Cause. They have always seen the military as simply pawns in the grand political game, in a choice between saving the troops and saving bad conservative policy they have and will always side with saving their asses policies. You have to love the aside to Senator Kennedy’s past drinking problems when they support a president that was an alcoholic and cocaine user. If Ted would just put the holy “R” after his name all would whitewashed by the Right. Riehl probably got spittle all over his official 101st Fighting Keyboarders monitor when he wrote this unhinged tirade,

Dan Riehl is a tad pissed off at Teddy and personally I cannot blame him. The man is a disgrace to that name.

Video via Hot Air of fat, drunk and dumb with a last name, but who has never accomplished anything on his own, Teddy, the drunken, rapist, murdering, Kennedy calling Iraq Vietnam. How would he know? He was probably stoned throughout the Vietnam era.

Kennedy embodies everything that’s wrong with politics today. He’s unaccomplished, a failed man who never lived up to half of what his Brothers “might” have been … and Massachusetts can’t stop getting hard for a last name that hasn’t meant anything to American history for decades. Grrr… how I loath that fat drunken dirt bag.

Come on Dan…tell us how you REALLY feel!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheney couldn’t be bothered to fight in Nam, while Bush ducked into the Guard and still hasn’t accounted for his missed duty. What does all this have to do with Bush escalating a war that has taken longer to close the books on then it took FDR to defeat the entire German Army. Nothing. They couldn’t be bothered to come up with even the slightest Constitutional or moral argument so they did what all great Conservative bloggers do, substitute insults for depth. It is another day of right-wing chain links. They just link to other right-wing blogger’s knee jerk response. IN one of the most important decisions facing the nation they couldn’t be bothered with either the legal or moral issues, that would just get in the way of the circle jerk.

A Disputed A.P. Source Turns Up, but Bloggers Are Not Appeased

After weathering six weeks of criticism for quoting an Iraqi police captain whose existence had been called into question, The Associated Press had some relief last week when Iraq changed its story and acknowledged that, yes, Jamil Hussein did work there.

Iraq’s interior ministry confirmed Thursday that Mr. Hussein was an active member of the police force, assigned to the Khadra station, according to The A.P. Mr. Hussein had been a source for an article in November about six Sunnis being doused in kerosene and burned alive by Shiite attackers — a report that the ministry, among others, had denied.

The confirmation did not halt the mud fight between conservative bloggers and the wire service. Bloggers had accused the news agency of gullibly quoting a dubious source, or even fabricating one, to exaggerate the violence in Iraq. This week, unmollified, they shifted their criticism to the fact that The A.P. itself was the source of the article acknowledging Mr. Hussein.

Linda Wagner, an A.P. spokeswoman, said that the confirmation from the interior ministry vindicated the reporting methods and standards of traditional news organizations. In a reference to a memorable swipe that Jonathan Klein, CNN’s head of domestic operations, once took at bloggers who work from their living rooms, Ms. Wagner wrote in an e-mail message: “Our reporters are not ‘pajamas media.’ ”

…[ ] The good news for The A.P. was bad news for Mr. Hussein: a warrant for his arrest has been issued, since he had not been authorized to speak to a news organization.

“Be very very quiet, I’m hunting wabbits” – Elmer Fudd