Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 17, 2005
By: Shakespeare's Sister

Bob Barrs on Bushs Case....Ouch. Former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) was on CNN yesterday, debating Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) on the merits of the secret domestic spying program, and he is not pleased:

Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I dont really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us

Well, gee, I guess then the president should be able to ignore whatever provision in the Constitution as long as theres something after the fact that justifies it

The fact of the matter is the law prohibits specifically prohibits what apparently was done in this case, and for a member of Congress to say, oh, that doesnt matter, Im proud that the president violated the law is absolutely astounding, Wolf

Barr is no left-winger, hes a fire-breathing conservative who tried the case against Clinton, strongly supports the Second Amendment, drafted the Defense of Marriage Act, staunchly apposes abortion, and has been a speaker before the Council of Conservative Citizens, which has been noted as becoming increasingly radical and racist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who classifies the CCC as a hate group. Certainly not the credentials of a left wing wacko like me.

The problem isnt the spying; its the secrecy. Surely thats something conservatives can wrap their heads around, as Bob Barr seems to have done. All they have to do is substitute sex for spying, and lying for secrecy, and theyll come up with a phrase thats bound to ring rather familiar.

(Hat tips to Pam and Pensito Review.)

Shakespeare's Sister 6:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (107)

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Comments

How is this not an impeachable offense? The president not only violated his oath of office, but also the constitution of the United States outright.

Why aren't Democrats talking impeachment? I know they don't have the votes, but unless they can impress upon the public the severity of this act, people will shrug their shoulders and accept it, like every other crime this administration has committed.

Posted by: Augustus on December 17, 2005 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Look, extreme rendition is an important part of our anti-terror policy. And there's no way we can be sure who to apply rendition to if we can't listen to what they're saying. Would you rather that we grab innocent people and fly them off to Egypt to be questioned?

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Would you rather that we grab innocent people and fly them off to Egypt to be questioned?"

No, I'd rather we didn't fly anyone off to Egypt to be questioned. It's just that simple.

Posted by: Joel on December 17, 2005 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't that surprising coming from Barr. He's more libertarian than republican.

Posted by: tmartinsmith on December 17, 2005 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

"No, I'd rather we didn't fly anyone off to Egypt to be questioned. It's just that simple"

The comfort of terrorists is more important than the safety of innocent civilians.

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

tmartinsmith:

You're not exactly a libertarian if you co-author the Defense of Marriage Act and vehemently oppose abortion, dude.

Bob Barr is a firebreathing Southern family values conservative.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Look, extreme rendition is an important part of our anti-terror policy. And there's no way we can be sure who to apply rendition to if we can't listen to what they're saying. Would you rather that we grab innocent people and fly them off to Egypt to be questioned?

Why pretend it's an either-or proposition? The FISA provides for retroactive judicial clearance of the need to listen. Hilzoy was right: "They had no need to go around the law. They could easily have obeyed it. They just didn't want to."

Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister on December 17, 2005 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

See, I love the idea that liberals have no seat at the table.

But Bob Barr does and gets to argue the case. And then goes back to lynching or whatever the f--- he has been up to lately.

This is comforting, how?

Posted by: John Thullen on December 17, 2005 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

The comfort of terrorists is more important than the safety of innocent civilians.

The moral standing of our nation and the sanctity of the laws which we abide by are more important.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on December 17, 2005 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

smithy:

I'll happily fly *you* off to Egypt to be tortured.

No in-flight movie on AirCIA for you! :)

And gimme back that bag of peanuts.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

He's more libertarian than republican.

A thrice-married social conservative who has the temerity to draft legislation barring equality for gays "in defense" of marriage is no libertarian.

Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister on December 17, 2005 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Bob Barr hate America?

Posted by: Pat on December 17, 2005 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Though there are any number of impeachable acts committed by this President (and Vice President) over the last 6 years, THIS one is the first best clearly illegal action by far. It is an inarguable violation of federal law and a violation of the inviolate 4th Amendment. There can be NO justification for violating the law, particularly when the Administration intentionally avoided going through proper channels. They did it deliberately because they believe that the President can do ANYTHING he deems fit during "wartime". That is why Bush has obsessively called himself a "War President" as if that is some magical talisman for ignoring any and all laws.

The President is no less restrained by the laws of the land during wartime than during peacetime.

What we have here, literally, is an attempted coup. Why do I say this? Look at what happened over the years: "declare" a war that, by definition, can NEVER end. Claim to be a "War President" (repeatedly) which, according to the grossly erroneous "Yoo Doctrine" and the grossly erroneous judgments of Abu Gonzales, means the President has carte blanche to do ANYTHING deemed necessary to carry out the neverending war. Consciously avoid obeying the law and avoid going through Constitutional and correct legal channels to act because they feared they wouldn't get permission to act as they wanted so...IGNORE THE LAW BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT CAN DO ANYTHING HE WANTS DURING WARTIME!

This is the most impeachable act by a President since Nixon. It is FAR worse than lying about a blowjob from a consenting adult. It is even worse than the amateur breakin at the Watergate Hotel. This is a Constitutional crisis of the first order.

This can only rightly end with impeachment for high crimes. Otherwise the Republic is dead by self-inflicted wound.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on December 17, 2005 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Shaky:

Hey! I just said that! :)

smithy:

Of course, the inutility of extreme rendition was demonstrated in a rather major way when one of our "top al Qaeda" recently admitted that he lied about the al Q/Saddam connection that Bush was screaming about just before the invasion -- because he wanted the Egyptians we rendered him to, to stop fucking torturing him already!

Nice.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

You all seem to be saying the same thing: we should tie our hands behind our backs in GWOT and TWOC. Well, most Americans don't agree with you.

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK
Look, extreme rendition is an important part of our anti-terror policy. And there's no way we can be sure who to apply rendition to if we can't listen to what they're saying.

Funny, Republicans dismissed the charges against Tom Delay saying "you can indict a ham sandwich".

If you honestly think it will be difficult to find some federal judge somewhere who will sign off on a warrant to allow eavesdropping on Arabs on the slightest pretext, you're an idiot.

What this behavior amounts to is an end to a large chunk of the constitution... this has almost zero to do with national security (the 9/11 commission slammed the president, giving him a series of "F" grades, for LITERALLY FAILING to take meaningful action on numerous security recommendations).

Republicans apparently believe we don't need a constituion, we just need to trust the president. Blindly. And despite all the evidence to the contrary that he's arrogant, incompetent, and incapable of recognizing mistakes and correcting them.

Really all this administration is interested in is increasing its power, decreasing its accountability, increasing the public debt, and visciously attacking anyone and everyone who ever dares to question them.

It's about time that people caught on to the new reality: Republicans are a bigger threat to the long term health and prosperity of our economy and constitution than al Qaeda ever was, is, or will be.

Posted by: Augustus on December 17, 2005 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

smithy:

No, it is *you* who keeps coming back with the same lame justifications after-the-fact.

Here, here's another piece of the Constitution. I think you missed that dingleberry hanging off your left butt cheek.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

You all seem to be saying the same thing: we should tie our hands behind our backs in GWOT and TWOC. Well, most Americans don't agree with you.

In a way, YES, we SHOULD tie the government's hand. THAT'S THE POINT OF OUR SYSTEM! To protect the ONLY thing that makes our country worth living in and fighting for: our civil liberties. Our Constitutional rights recognized, NOT GRANTED, by the Bill of Rights.

What we expect is, as a country under the Rule of Law where NO ONE is above the law, that our government act within the law in ALL things it does. THAT is more important than anything else.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on December 17, 2005 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Smithy. What part of our entire 220+ year frickin' system of government don't you get? One person doesn't get to decide which laws he follows and which he doesn't in our system. Even if he REALLY REALLY means well. That is a dictatorship. If it is really a terrorist, the can get a warrant to do a wiretap.

Posted by: Pat on December 17, 2005 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

"If it is really a terrorist, the can get a warrant to do a wiretap."

Time is crucial. By the time the court gives a wiretap order it may be too late. That's the issue here, the 800 pound elephant in the room you all are conveniently ignoring.

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Augustus:

You totally rock, bro. I am in awe of that rant.

Exactly. The Bush GOP is a Clear and Present Danger to the Republic that we love.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

smithy:

That point's been thoroughly debunked in several threads already.

They can start the listening IMMEDIATELY. All they need to do is go to a judge 72 hours after the fact.

THAT'S THE FUCKING LAW.

There was absolutely ZERO need for the Bush Junta to have done this.

IMPEACHMENT NOW !

Bob

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Posted by: Andrew Hillman on December 17, 2005 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Praedor:

You too, bro.

This makes Watergate look like a, well, a third-rate burglary.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

What about operations that require longer than 72 hours?

There are only two sides in this dispute: the ACLU/Jay Rockefeller side and the White House's side. There's no in between, none of the nuance that John Kerry loves so much. You want to play nice with the terrorists, or you want to play tough with them. I want to play tough.

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

What part of our entire 220+ year frickin' system of government don't you get?

LOL.

Time is crucial. By the time the court gives a wiretap order it may be too late. That's the issue here, the 800 pound elephant in the room you all are conveniently ignoring.

Stating that "time is crucial" is indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of the provisions of the FISA, which (again) provides for retroactive judicial clearance of the need to listen. That means you can start wiretapping as soon as necessary without court approval; you just need to get that approval within 72 hours hence.

No one is suggesting that the government had no right to wiretap etc. The problem is circumventing the laws requiring official oversight of those endeavors.

Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister on December 17, 2005 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

What about operations that require longer than 72 hours?

The court order must be obtained within 72 hours. It has no bearing on the duration of the operation.

Posted by: Shakespeare's Sister on December 17, 2005 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

smithy:

You're, naturally, not addressing the issue. You're only trying to play the Frame Game.

It won't work this time. Because the issue IS unambiguous. But not the way you'd like it to be.

Bush intentionally violated the Constitution. He *admitted* this on television.

The 72 hours is a time frame in which the investigators need to get a court order AFTER they start wiretapping.

The length of time of the investigation has NOTHING to do with it.

You're spinning, but your tires are totally bald and the pavement is covered in ice and oil.

Give it up while you still have a shred of dignity left.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yo, genius. They can start the operation, no matter how long it takes, and apply for the warrant up to three days after they begin it.

If they can't be bothered to get a warrant then, well, the KGB didn't need a warrant, did they?

Posted by: mwg on December 17, 2005 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Time is crucial. By the time the court gives a wiretap order it may be too late. That's the issue here, the 800 pound elephant in the room you all are conveniently ignoring.

Yeah, except the law makes provision to file for a warrant 72 hours after commencing a tap. 3 days ought to be enough time to file for a warrant. Especially, since in practically every case, a warrant has been approved by the court. My guess is that the with the current taps either the evidence was so scarce that it didn't even come close to meeting the FISA standards for probable cause, or Bush is spying on Americans for other reasons than fighting terrorism. Now there's your 800 pound gorilla (an 800 pound elephant would be calf)

Posted by: laa dee daa on December 17, 2005 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Given the blatant dishonesty of this administration and now the exposed operation to completely ignore the law it is well past time for them to be called to account. Any democratic or republican that does not get behind a motion of impeachment does not want to remain in office. To the nuclear city scare tactic to justify what can only be described as criminal arrogance is beyond the pale.

Given the number of "conservative" organizations on the take, and he even larger number not yet public in the details its well past time to dismantle this whole abominitation.

Its time for impeachment. Its time for censure. Its time to get the people who arrgrogate power for their own sakes out of power. It is now clear out current problems go beyond partisan politics. It is the ghost of Cromwell that we must now put back in the grave.

There are no excuses for the nonsense.

Posted by: patience on December 17, 2005 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

laa dee daa:

Damn good point.

Without judicial oversight, who knows WTF they were spying on, or why ... Jesus Fuck!

Anybody have a link to that story about the Quakers they were snooping on, btw?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

"No, I'd rather we didn't fly anyone off to Egypt to be questioned. It's just that simple"

The comfort of terrorists is more important than the safety of innocent civilians.

Perhaps you believe that Father George, your Glorious Leader, has some sort of extrasensory perception that enables him to identify terrorists with infallible accuracy. I don't.

Americans are not cowards - at least not most of them. In order to protect themselves from tyranny and oppression, they are willing to accept checks and limitations on government power. And they know that these limitations can in some situations leave them less safe than they would be if they had a government that was free to spy on or lock up everyone who looked funny or said something suspicious.

If you live out in the open air, rather than cowering indoors, you accept a greater chance that someone may shoot at you. If you choose to live in the open space of liberty, you accept some of the risks that attend liberty. You accept that saying "no" to fear and totalitarian government means placing your safety in a certain amout of jeopardy, along with the rest of your fellow-citizens.

It's funny how so many of the President's supporters, who like to extol the sacrifices that the War on Terrorism imposes on us, are unwilling to make the most basic sacrifice that all Americans have been asked to make in ever generation - the sacrifice of their absolute safety in exchange for freedom. But that's the only reason for many that the country is worth dying for in the first place.

I'm grown so weary of the un-American fascist cowards who have somehow come to run our country, with their hatred of the constitution, and their stables of ambitiously servile and obeisant lawyers providing opinions to protect them against future prosecution.

Posted by: Dan Kervick on December 17, 2005 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody said this administration would climb a tree to tell you a lie when they could tell the truth standing on the ground. It seems they're the same way about breaking the law and flouting the constitution to tap phones. They can legally tap a phone, and then go to a judge in a SECRET court to get the warrant by the light of day, and next Monday morning if the 'need' to tap comes up on a Friday afternoon. I think they have to renew the permission for the tap fairly frequently, but the same judge apparently sits in that court for months or years, so renewing should hardly be time consuming.

The only reasons I can imagine for going around this law are if you want to tap phones for some other purpose than national security, or you want to flout the law just to prove you can do it.

Posted by: duvidil on December 17, 2005 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

>The comfort of terrorists is more important than the safety of innocent civilians.

So, what about the safety and comfort of the innocent civilians that get mistaken for terrorists?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 17, 2005 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

MJ:

Smithy's been chased off this thread, seems like.

Hmmm ... I wonder why? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and in related man bites dog news, did everyone hear Trent Lott talking about how he was "so disappointed with the administration's response to this disaster that I'm almost embarrassed"? (Referring to the hurricanes, of course.)

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 17, 2005 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: D'oh! Serves me right for going off to eat dinner! I missed the good troll action. But, hey, it's not like they don't come back.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 17, 2005 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

ROHRABACHER: Well, I'll tell you something, if a nuclear weapon goes off in Washington, DC, or New York or Los Angeles, it'll burn the Constitution as it does.

Couldn't someone make a commercial out of this.

Posted by: Thumb on December 17, 2005 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody chased me off. I'm getting ready to go to a Christmas party. I hope that word didn't offend any of you ACLU members.

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Dear me: Dan Kervick put it murderously well. This is what the Republic is about, what 1776 was about. Yes, you can use fear to accomplish whatever. It is a very, very scared nation we are talking about. Filled with hysterical fear. When did this happen? There used to be a shining city on a hill. Even if only in dreams. We have now deserted those positions that George Washington never did. The conservatives can win every election from now to eternity, but it does not change the fact that they are base cowards. Truth are virtue are independent of power.

Posted by: jonathan on December 17, 2005 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

This is not just an Amerikkklan problem as we had a case here where the DoDS taped local calls during the Tampa ship case. Then there was the young women in English signals intelligence who was charged after she blew the whistle on some spying on the UN.
As the trial looked to be to dangerous the charges were dropped.
Another bad sign is the spooks of many states collaborating on renditions without telling their ostensible masters. This is Echelon for ' dissapearing' or kidnapping. Very DPRK - very dark.
That ol ' one world government' bogey is real after all...only it aint the UN. It's the spooks and secret police.
On the bright side Bob Barr worked hard and helped get the bar against assassinations rescinded. Bush is only president for life. ( my 2 c for the bullet )

Posted by: professor-rat on December 17, 2005 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

smithy:

Oh we're all so terribly offended :)

But hey, being good card-carrying ACLUers and all -- we wouldn't give a flying fuck at a rolling donut if you, I dunno, sacrificed chickens in your back yard instead, or somthing.

Or even had a Black Mass where you burned Santa Claus in effigy on a pyre made of Watchtower tracts. Or, I dunno -- tried to have anal sex with a Barbie doll's head (no no no, you stick it up your ass, you see ... )

Anybody here object to any of that?

Nahh ... see? It's all just a bunch of frothing nonsense so that Pat Robertson can have a new issue to fundraise on.

We liberals are *tolerant people.* We embrace diversity! We even welcome stone-idiot like yourself into our discussions!

Can't get more liberal than that ...

Now, if you start trying to impose your beliefs on other people ... well now ... that might be another story.

Put down that barbie doll head right this minute! Your sister's butthole is *way too small* !

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, Smithy: You believe in fake WMD. You believe all the administration's spin. You beleive in the fake war on Christmas. You clearly think the war on terror is just like an episode of "24." You believe Fox News. Lemme cushion the blow for ya, buddy. Don't be TOO disappointed if Santa isn't at the party tonight. He's probably just busy with the elves up at the workshop ...

Posted by: Pat on December 17, 2005 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are between a rock and a hard place on this one. Either -

1. they continue to enable the Bush administration by nodding and yes-sirring platitudes about "protecting our country" (against Americans?) regardless of that silly Constitution...or,

2. like Bob Barr, they come out swinging in defense of the values that conservatism supposedly used to stand for in the first place - hmmm, less government oversight for instance? And they're speaking up NOW, rather than say, three years ago, because...?

Either way, they look like first-class morons. Can't you just picture the frantic meetings and emails flying about even as we speak, trying to find the perfect new talking point? Has a tipping point finally been reached?

Posted by: Mary Eliz on December 17, 2005 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

"You all seem to be saying the same thing: we should tie our hands behind our backs in GWOT and TWOC. Well, most Americans don't agree with you."

No, just the ones who died for their country. Sneer at them, creep.

Posted by: Guy Banister on December 17, 2005 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

Smithy:

You had better slink off to a Christmas party. I have seldom seen anyone so smacked around here.
Every time you made a point - wham - just as if you stepped on another rake.

But please come back, it was fun watching.


Posted by: John on December 17, 2005 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

WTF is "TWOC"?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

And they know that these limitations can in some situations leave them less safe than they would be if they had a government that was free to spy on or lock up everyone who looked funny or said something suspicious.

Less safe from terrorists perhaps. Safer from government. Which hey I thought your republic was about? Great post Dan Kervick.

Fright in America seems to have been growing as inexoribly as have the waistlines.

Posted by: snicker-snack on December 17, 2005 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

TWOC=The War On Christmas?

Posted by: mithimithi on December 17, 2005 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bingo.

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

TWOC

The War on the Constitution.

Posted by: snicker-snack on December 17, 2005 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bingo.

You know, Smuthy, that's exactly what your wife shouted at me the other night when I had her bent over the couch.

Posted by: Steve Z. on December 17, 2005 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

smithy:

You *really do believe* in a *literal* War on Christmas, don't you?

You know, you might be an idiot ...

But nobody here said you weren't useful :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

7 day wonder boys and girls.

The issue of whether Bush can do whatever the fuck he wants to whoever he wants was decided a long time ago. Most Americans of all political stripes thought it was a damned fine idea. Coming awake now to find that the US Constitution is irrelevant is itself irrelevant. You were shopping while the highjacking took place and now it's much too late to do anything about it.

Posted by: Banquos ghost on December 17, 2005 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

The real lie that Bush is pushing is this: Bush on Friday refused to discuss whether he has authorized such domestic spying without obtaining warrants from a court say that to comment would tie his hands in fighting terrorists.

Bush didn't authorized domestic spying because of terrorism - nope, not any more that the Bush administration went after Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plum for "terrorism" - it's because Bush was looking for a way to persecute those that disagree with him such an act has NOTHING whatsoever to do with terrorism.

How is it that war protestors share any correlate with "terrorism" when indeed most war protestors are pacifist.

This act had nothing to do with protecting the nation against acts of terror.

Posted by: Cheryl on December 17, 2005 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

>You *really do believe* in a *literal* War on Christmas, don't you?

Lt. MJ, 5th ACLU Battalion, reporting from the front. We've come under heavy fire from scattered elf partisans, supported by reindeer-mounted artillery. Per standing orders, we are cutting off pointy ears and antlers to confirm enemy body counts. Casualties are light, and we are pressing the attack towards the main target, nicknamed BIG RED ONE.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 17, 2005 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

That's Bob Barr putting yet another nail into the coffin. They should have made him ambassador to some out of the way country and given him something to do.

Payback is such a bitch, isn't it?

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 17, 2005 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Should be "code named" not "nicknamed".

Although, "nickname", in this case, does seem appropriate.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 17, 2005 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Smithy,
The NSA has just seen an email sent to you from Al-Jezzera.
It was spam, but still... NSA pushes to monitor YOUR email traffic to see if "maybe" you are a sleeper. NSA sees more Middle Eastern background chatter behind this email and decides to upgrade you to "probable". Next is an examination of your "internal" email traffic to LOOK very closely at every aspect of your life!
Just like an accusation of juvenile sexual abuse, once you get on the "list , you are on the "list". That you can't see the abuse this is ALWAYS going to lead to speaks to your utter lack of a Bullshit Meter.

Posted by: P.C.Chapman on December 17, 2005 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

No, no, no! The problem isn't the secrecy, the problem is the complete violation of the balance of powers that's at the absolute core of the Constitution!

This kind of thing has ALWAYS been secret. It's no less secret the way he's doing it now than it is when it's done through the secret FISA court.

There's no question what he's doing here, he's repeatedly establishing precedents for abolishing any and all controls over the executive branch. If it isn't stopped and held to account, he will have established an imperial presidency in the U.S. for generations to come.

This is a case where the actual principle involved is absolutely critical, far more important than the thing itself.

This must be stopped!!

Posted by: jeshawks on December 17, 2005 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

MJ:

*snickering helplessly* ...

Get ready men! Baby Jesus seems very meek and mild, but we know what kind of mighty power he's capable of ... we'll sneak into the manger under the cover of darkness, when he's done meeting with those three Eastern sector al Qaeda agents who've handed off the bioweapons disguised as holiday gifts ...

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Where's DougJ to tell us that Jesus told Bush43 to save America by listening to the phone calls of the heathen so that the righteous could be defended?

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 17, 2005 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

I am DougJ

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

smithy,

Yeah--too ashamed to post under your old handle anymore?

You know its bad when the trolls flip their handles...

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 17, 2005 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

ROHRABACHER: Well, I'll tell you something, if a nuclear weapon goes off in Washington, DC, or New York or Los Angeles, it'll burn the Constitution as it does.

Ah, so we can put you in the, "The Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper!" crowd then?

The Constitution is the ONLY thing. Without it we do not exist. It is the ONLY thing that military personnel and ALL government officials take an oath to uphold, protect, and defend. Not the flag, not the country. The Constitution. You toss the Constitution, for any reason and you throw out MY reason for being in the military. You set me free to take action to protect it apart from the official government...in order to fulfill the oath.

I take that military oath very, very seriously. Serious unto death. That's the point. The Constitution is dropped for political convenience or expedience over my dead body.

Get it?

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on December 17, 2005 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

That wasn't me. I'm being spoofed. Typical left-wing trickery

Posted by: smithy on December 17, 2005 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

There he is, men! Herbie the Dental Student Elf disguised as a plainclothes GOP Patriot, trying to melt into the civilian population. Be very careful ... he's armed with unconventional weapons. One whiff from his Stupidity Cannister and you'll be useless for the next 48 hours ... I say we surround him from three sides. Pale Rider, you take the first assault while I cover you with my rebuttal carbine. MJ, hang back and snicker at him loudly the minute he opens his mouth.

On your marks ... One ... Two ... Three ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Praedor:

Exactly. And that's what sets the true, noble patriots of this country apart from the pseudo pieces of shit.

What was it that Franklin said about people who value security over liberty deserving neither?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 17, 2005 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Despite all these rationalizations about violating our civil liberties for national security, we are NOT safer. Thus, it is a bogus premise. Any one of us can become the next Jose Padilla.

Posted by: Mazurka on December 17, 2005 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry for the dual post, but I am so shocked at the lack of outrage of this clear Constitutional violation that I am left breathless!
The power and elegance of our Constition is in it's seperation of powers clauses. No one branch can override another. Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. President G.W.Bush can not tell us what he wants done that is in violation of the the "inclusions" of the other two branches.
The realm of Kings is the idea that I know what is best for you. I know more and have more information, therefore I can make superior decicisions. This idea was "hopefully" killed in 1786. But we have to be ever vigilant!

Posted by: P.C.Chapman on December 17, 2005 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK
Articles of Impeachment

RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanours, and that the following articles of impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:

ARTICLE 1

Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purpose of these agencies.

This stuff practically writes itself.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 17, 2005 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Dan Kervick on December 17, 2005 at 7:52 PM

*APPLAUSE*

This was one of the best comments dealing with the abuse Bushco has committed using 9/11/01 as the tool for it as well as for shutting down dissenters with the stigma of unpatriotic/treacherous for a while now. What has most disturbed me about the last four years is what Americans, especially all those anti-government types for decades, suddenly creating a security state more intrusive than most any other democracy. Regardless of political affiliation I always thought there was a very solid core percentage of the American people that would vocally and actively resist such intrusions on their lives by their government without strict protocols/laws being followed. That the Constitution while not being a suicide pact is also not just another piece of legislation to be amended and discarded as one sees fit. That while secrecy is necessary to fight in wars, one should always strive to keep to the minimum necessary and not the maximum to get the job done.

What the Bush Presidency has shown in America is that for all the words said about respecting and believing in the Constitution and the Rights it has described therein, these days it is more lip service than reality. I cannot begin to say how much I find that disheartening. I am hopeful as of late though that this is finally starting to be recognized by those whose only real fault was to put too much trust into a President/politician. To believe that anyone that held the office was deserving of the benefit of the doubt, especially after such a horrific trauma as 9/11/01 was to the American psyche. I do not say that to excuse these Americans so much as to recognize the reality of what happened as well as just how shocking that was for all.

That we are seeing more Republicans like Bob Barr coming out like this beyond the traditional moderate Republicans is a hopeful sign at the beginning of the mid term political cycle. Whether this picks up steam, and how much it divides the GOP is anyone's guess. However with the Abramoff scandals and the webs it is exposing along with the Plame treachery and DeLay's disappearance from the House leadership it could be a very fractious time to be a Republican. About time, and if the Dems cannot manage to profit from this then they don't deserve to hold any power. This is the biggest political perfect storm to come along in a few decades at the minimum.

The America Dan Kervick describes is the one her friends and allies thought they had. The damage this has done in that arena regarding how the American people are regarded as opposed to the government has yet to fully be understood, and it is only by exposing Bushco for what they are and repudiating his works can that damage be healed/repaired. Hopefully 2006 is the year that gets started, and the following two years are the impeachment of GWB, because if any American President ever deserved/demanded impeachment, it is George Walker Bush.

Posted by: Scotian on December 17, 2005 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

To Scotian: Hear! Hear!

Posted by: Mazurka on December 17, 2005 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Barr is one of those strange creatures who generally believes in libertarian principles, but doesn't think they'll work unless white Americans are involved.

Posted by: thehim on December 17, 2005 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

thehim,

You forgot "heterosexual" and "Christian" among the qualifiers.

In other words, "Liberty for me, but not for thee."

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 17, 2005 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Not surprising coming from Barr. The person who posted this must have slept through the 1990's. Barr, despite his odious stands on many issues, was actually on the correct side of many issues dealing with government encroachments on individual rights -- and protested the erosion of those rights under Clinton (though of course Clinton was nowhere near as bad as Bush has been). Nat Hentoff had kind words to say about Barr in the Village Voice.

Posted by: donnylaja on December 17, 2005 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Rohrabacker needs to join the President and be impeached with him. It is beyond astounding that government officials put NO stock into their oath's of office. THEY TOOK A GODDAMNED OATH! The WILL fulfill their oaths or be impeached and imprisoned.

I don't give a flying fuck if a US city gets nuked, the Constitution STAYS PUT. I demand that these cowards and asshats fulfill their oath fully and faithfully. Anyone who thinks the Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper is NOT a Patriot no matter how many flags they drape around their shoulders. They are traitors.

NO ONE is above the law. NO ONE is above the Constitution. The ONLY thing that has held this country together for 220 some odd years is the Constitution. Without it this isn't a country at all and it certainly isn't a place worth defending. It becomes a place worth defending AGAINST.

I cannot begin to express the outrage, the disgust, that I feel towards anyone and everyone that acts upon the false belief that the Constitution is just a piece of paper or that ANYONE is above the law. I don't care who they are or why they do it, the law and the Constitution applies.

Impeachment is the only option here. Bush admitted to violating federal law and the 4th Amendment in front of the entire world. Impeach the traitor.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on December 17, 2005 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

impeachment requires political will and muscle. There is no will on the part of the Republicans, and they own the US government right now, and there is no muscle among the Democrats.

Posted by: chris on December 17, 2005 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis, rmck1: Your reports from the battlefronts of TWOC may be the cleverest writing I have yet seen on a WM thread. I am in awe. Not just laughing out loud, but trying to read aloud to family members. We're talking guffaws, snorts, and tears in eyes laughing.

The trolls don't stand a chance.

Posted by: PTate in MN on December 17, 2005 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, you guys know the only reason you're getting so epilpetic about this is that you hate Bush so much. If this had happened under Clinton, you'd be shrugging it off.

Posted by: Elinor D on December 18, 2005 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Elinor:

This woudn't have happened under Clinton, period.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 18, 2005 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

What about all those FBI files they went through during Travelgate? What would call that?

Posted by: Elinor D on December 18, 2005 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

Elinor:

Not this.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 18, 2005 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

If this HAD happened under Clinton I'd have been absolutely horrified. It was bad enough he couldn't stay away from younger ladies while he was in office, a big enough embarrassment as it were. Shredding the Constitution under the guise of fighting an illusory war? Come on I would hope you have a bit more confidence in the intelligence level of most of the people on this site.........................

Posted by: robbymack on December 18, 2005 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Robbymack: believe me, this and worse happened under Clinton.

Another question for those who are so upset by the wire taps: why does this bother you so much when Saddam's police state in Iraq didn't bother you? Obviously, that was much, much worse, yet many of you preferred that he reamin in power. Explain that to me.

Posted by: Elinor D on December 18, 2005 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Weren't the FBI files mostly people that wre under consideration to be part of the administration? As I hear Joe Conason say it there wasn't a single Republican operative of note anywhere in the files that were looked at?

Posted by: robbymack on December 18, 2005 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

PTate,

Thanks :) Just doing my part to stamp out the enemy that is St. Nick and his minions. Can't talk now though, I'm trying to get a location fix on Santa's "workshop" so we can call in some Daisycutters.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 18, 2005 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

but... but... [allcaps] CLINTON!!!!! [/allcaps]

Posted by: Illiterati Trolletarian on December 18, 2005 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

P.S.

but... but... [allcaps] SADDAM!!!!! [/allcaps]

Posted by: Illiterati Trolletarian on December 18, 2005 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

Elinor D Not to belabor the obvious, you answered your own question : Saddam's police state was in IRAQ.

Posted by: opit on December 18, 2005 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

You want to play nice with the terrorists, or you want to play tough with them. I want to play tough.
smithy

OK - so play tough. The terrorists 'hate our freedoms' - right? So, let's fuck them over by defending our freedoms to the death. That'll show 'em.

Agree with all the Barr comments; nevertheless, fine smackdown of Rohrbacher, the surfin' Taliban.

Posted by: adios on December 18, 2005 at 5:54 AM | PERMALINK

Get off the grass now will you!

You're, naturally, not addressing the issue. You're only trying to play the Frame Game .

It won't work this time. Because the issue IS unambiguous. But not the way you'd like it to be.

Bush intentionally violated the Constitution. He *admitted* this on television.

The 72 hours is a time frame in which the investigators need to get a court order AFTER they start wiretapping.

The length of time of the investigation has NOTHING to do with it.

You're spinning, but your tires are totally bald and the pavement is covered in ice and oil.

Give it up while you still have a shred of dignity left.

Bruce McAvaney

Posted by: Kelly Davis on December 18, 2005 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

...Waiting to be filled in by Elinor D on the "this and worse" under Clinton. Judging by the depth of her argument CLINTON etc. SADDAM etc. we might have to bring out the lawn chairs.

Posted by: DiscoStu on December 18, 2005 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

"Thanks :) Just doing my part to stamp out the enemy that is St. Nick and his minions. Can't talk now though, I'm trying to get a location fix on Santa's "workshop" so we can call in some Daisycutters."

You liberals can't resist making fun of TWOC, can you? I knew that was coming from you -- the anti-Christmas jokes. I guess that's what you have to resort to when you're faced with having to explain why you're against wire taps but you were for Saddam.

Posted by: Elinor D on December 18, 2005 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Elinor D is Alice-Patton.

Posted by: Pat on December 18, 2005 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

>You liberals can't resist making fun of TWOC, can you?

When faced with overwhelming stupidity, I am indeed unable to resist making fun of it.

>I guess that's what you have to resort to when you're faced with having to explain why you're against wire taps but you were for Saddam.

My compliments on a fine, subtle snark... truly a trollio ad absurdum.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on December 18, 2005 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Bush is a genius defending us.

As he said the terrorists attack us because they "hate our freedom."

By his action circumventing the Constitution and nullifying 500+ years of Western progress toward limited government, he has removed that which in his own words is the reason the terrorists are attacking us.

Ergo, he is defending us against terrorists.

(See: to save the village we had to destroy the village)

Posted by: CurtisE on December 18, 2005 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

The big defense the Buhshills are using, including Condi this AM as grilled with reasonable flair by Punkinhead: The President is justified because of his powers as "Commander in Chief." Bunk. The CIC role simply means he is supreme authority over the armed forces, nothing more about any other powers w.r.t. the rest of us. Why do they think they can get away with such crap? Enough dopey basists, enough media enablers, enough compromised conservative "intellectuals."

Second, as per informing the bad guys: they would already know that they could be spied on if court order obtained, so already on guard. The difference was, as Levin made clear on MTP, was that Bullsh didn't even ask most of the time. He thinks he is indeed above the law - a true imperial president, and not at all legitimately "conservative" - do you get that, Al, tbrosz, Alice, Patton, et al?

Posted by: Neil' on December 18, 2005 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still waiting for Barr to explain why it was O.K. for his wife/girlfriend to have an abortion, but there is no right in the Constitution for any other woman to have one.

Same thing for George W. Bush, regarding the 15 year old girl he impregnated when he was 22...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on December 18, 2005 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Not surprising coming from Barr. The person who posted this must have slept through the 1990's. Barr, despite his odious stands on many issues, was actually on the correct side of many issues dealing with government encroachments on individual rights -- and protested the erosion of those rights under Clinton (though of course Clinton was nowhere near as bad as Bush has been). Nat Hentoff had kind words to say about Barr in the Village Voice.
Posted by: donnylaja on December 17, 2005 at 10:24 PM

Agreed. We get so locked into our ideological prisons that we find it hard to admit that people whose political beliefs differ from ours (though I'm personally anti-abortion, that's about all Barr and I have in common) can be correct. At least he's on our side where this is concerned.

Posted by: Vincent on December 18, 2005 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

impeachment requires political will and muscle. There is no will on the part of the Republicans, and they own the US government right now, and there is no muscle among the Democrats.

Posted by: chris

It also requires an impeachable offense of which you lefty fools only have wild-eyed speculation. There is no evidence other than accusation that the wire taps were done illegally. Some members of congress have been given this information on a regular basis and have not come out with any of these claims being espoused by you left wing nuts. So like most of the claims made by you lefty fools there is nothing here but hot air. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on December 18, 2005 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Vincent: thank you. I'm glad you pointed out that we get so wrapped up in a left versus right world that we forget that it is not an all or nothing proposition--that it is insane to think that you're either a lefty or righty and your beliefs are have to be 100% consistent with the side you have chosen. The world is WAY more complex than that. Bob Barr, while obviously holding many beliefs antithetical to mine, shows that you don't have to be so wrapped up in your "side's" ideology that you ignore common sense (at least when it comes to the constitution and our civil liberties). As a lapsed Catholic liberal, who happens to believe in God, I find that the vocal minority of lefties who ridicule all religion and/or faith is ALMOST (but not quite) as repulsive as the right-wing nut evangelicals in their absurd stances. Still, I am willing to put up with it because my views are more consistent with the left than the extreme right. There are many examples on both sides. My point, I guess, is that let's keep this dialog going and do our best not to be "stereotypes." Thank you Kevin Drumm for this wonderful forum.

Posted by: A Liberal in Carlsbad on December 18, 2005 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I almost forgot, Fat White Guy... you are an idiot. Do you realize that the power that GW is claiming for himself is exactly the kind of power that people like Fidel Castro have, that the People's Republic of China employs, that corrupt leaders in countries like Brunei, Haiti and Venezuela use against their political enemies? While we haven't seen for certain that Bush IS using his powers against his political enemies, you have to admit that it is more likely than not. Don't you want to find out?

I'm sure this bit of dialogue from "A Man For All Seasons" will resonate well with many of you (if you haven't seen it already).

Wife: "Arrest him!"

Sir Thomas: "For what?"

Wife: "He's dangerous!"

Roper: "For all we know he's a spy!"

Daughter: "Father, that man is bad!"

Sir Thomas: "There's no law against that!"

Roper: "But there is, God's law!"

Sir Thomas: "Then let God arrest him!"

Wife: "While you talk he's gone!"

Sir Thomas: "And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law!"

Roper: "So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!"

Sir Thomas: "Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?"

Roper: "Why, yes! I'd cut down every law in England to do that!"

Sir Thomas: "Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it, Roper!--do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?"

"Yes," Sir Thomas concludes: "I'd give the Devil the benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!"

Posted by: Liberal in Carlsbad on December 18, 2005 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

John Yoo is as responsible as anyone for this outrage!
Following is an (unanswered) letter.
Dear Professor Yoo,
> As a graduate of Yale law, I am sure that you had to
> pass contract law and are aware of the legal concept
> of fraud. I am certain that you could make a very
> good
> case against Yale, in that money was exchanged in
> return for an education in the law and that you
> received a diploma without said learning.
> At the most basic level, laws are not written to
> prosecute the guilty, they are written to protect
> the
> innocent. A clear enumeration of proscribed behavior
> is done so that an overreaching prosecutorial arm
> cannot sweep up anyone with, for sake of argument,
> "disturbing the common good".
> I am sure that you are much more conversant with
> modern South Korean history than I am. Irrespective
> of
> whether the student demonstrators under Park were
> "communist agitators" or "dupes' or caught up in the
> crowd, being swept up and never heard from again is
> hardly a fate that someone with your sterling Bill
> of
> Rights record would want to see copied here.
> That you have championed positions for an unfettered
> executive, able by fiat to countermand legislative
> aims and immune to judicial review, is not found in
> my
> Constitution. I think you need to contact Yale.
> Sincerely, P.C.Chapman

Posted by: P.C.Chapman on December 18, 2005 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives have the perfect mindset for dictatorship. They hero worship their leaders and follow blindly with their heads cut off. I'm surprised they don't waive W's picture and build a statue of him to worship in front of. They believe all the group-speak coming at them from talk radio, and refuse to read sound journalism. Our democracy is definitely in trouble with 30% of the population so ill-informed.

Posted by: Janice Taylor on December 19, 2005 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

***
All they have to do is substitute sex for spying, and lying for secrecy, and theyll come up with a phrase thats bound to ring rather familiar.
***

Or "Bush" for "Clinton" keeping all the other words exactly the same, and that's all you need to know about why this will not be a scandal for the president. Somehow, lack of executive accountability about which Americans the government is spying on doesn't seem like such a big deal if it is the Republicans who are doing it.

The only cheer I've ever given Bob Barr, and continued revulsion at my own party for having no stomach to call the president a liar and a crook in public.

The President of the United States is a liar and a crook.

Posted by: mere mortal on December 20, 2005 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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