Archive for July 20th, 2007

by GEF @ 7:22 PM EDT

Old-line Republican warns ‘something’s in the works’ to trigger a police state

By Muriel Kane
Jul 20, 2007, 10:09

For Thom Hartmann’s interview with Paul Craig Roberts, go to the end and click on ‘found here’

Thom Hartmann began his program on Thursday by reading from a new Executive Order which allows the government to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies.

He then introduced old-line conservative Paul Craig Roberts — a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan who has recently become known for his strong opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq War — by quoting the “strong words” which open Roberts’ latest column: “Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.”

Roberts final suggestion was that, in the absence of a massive popular outcry, “the only constraints on what’s going to happen will come from the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military. They may have had enough. They may not go along with it.”

A lot of Americans know now what Bush is planning next and Craig Roberts is only saying what we’re all thinking…The difference here is that Roberts was a GOP insider, a powerful one at that!

Meanwhile Congress is over there hiding under a rock instead of holding Impeachment proceedings for Cheney and then Bush.

Congress is ignoring their responsibility under the Constitution. If Bush declares Martial law and takes us into a Police state after staging False Terrorists attack here in America, then we will all know that Congress, the Pentagon, and the Judiciary Branch of Government are all Complicit on this because they let it happen! – GEF

Go Read It—>

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Evening Jukebox… We Will Rock You

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:45 PM MST

Happy Friday Justice Bloggers and have a great weekend!  😉

Queen-We Will Rock You

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Mike Jones on Ted Haggard and Hypocrisy

by- Suzie-Q @ 3:44 PM MST

The former escort who blew the whistle on Ted Haggard’s homosexuality explains why he felt morally compelled to come forward, what the fallout has been and what he feels is the real tragedy of the situation.

Click here to listen to this interview and subscribe to the podcast.


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by- Suzie-Q @ 2:00 PM MST

When Congress issues a contempt citation, it gets referred to the local U.S. Attorney for action. Today, though, in what the Washington Post called a “bold new assertion of executive authority,” the Bush administration has announced a brand new exception to this rule: If the president has asserted executive privilege, then no U.S. Attorney will be allowed to pursue contempt citations against administration officials for refusing to testify before Congress.

So what happens now? Here are two possibilities. The first comes from Orin Kerr:

My amateurish guess is that this just adds another layer of litigation to the coming legal battles: it means that after the U.S. Attorney refuses to prosecute, Congress has to file a civil action seeking an order compelling the U.S. Attorney to refer the case to the grand jury. Courts then have to deal with that issue first, which could take a while as it works its way through the appellate process.

And the second from Karen Tumulty:

Where does that leave Congress? Barred from taking its case to court through the Justice Department, it may turn to its “inherent contempt” power to hold its own trials and even order officials to jail. The procedure was widely used in the 1800s, but hasn’t been since 1934.

Marty Lederman, who predicted a couple of weeks ago that this would happen, has more details on pursuing these options here. Mark Kleiman, by contrast, thinks Congress should just start defunding the “non-essential” parts of the White House: the press office, the political office, and the White House Counsel’s office. Says Mark: “Clinton won his [1995 budget showdown with Newt Gingrich] because Gingrich tried to shut down the government. Punishing and crippling Bush doesn’t require shutting down any activity the public cares about.”

Washington Monthly

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by- Suzie-Q @ 11:38 AM MST

The Gavel:

As noted earlier, Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law Chairwoman Linda Sánchez ruled to reject the White House’s privilege claims as a basis for refusing to comply with the Committee’s subpoena for White House documents, and the ruling was upheld by the Subcommittee. Full Committee Chairman John Conyers has just written a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding informing him of the ruling and warning of consequences to come should the White House not comply by 10 a.m. on Monday July 23, 2007. Read the letter here…

C & L

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REPORT: Iraq War To Cost $550 Billion By October

by- Suzie-Q @ 11:28 AM MST

According to a new Congressional Research Service report, the war in Iraq has cost $450 billion to date. Further, if Congress approves the Bush administration’s latest supplemental funding request, the total cost of the war will exceed $550 billion by October 1 of this year — fully ten times greater than the Bush administration naively predicted in February 2003.The report also details the costs of the war in Afghanistan — $127 billion — and other Department of Defense War on Terror expenditures — $28 billion. The CRS also notes approximately $5 billion dollars that cannot be “allocated.” In total, the “Global War on Terror” has cost $610 billion.

Other notable findings of the report:

Costs Rose Sharply In 2007: “[W]ar appropriations rose steeply in FY2007. DOD received $165.8 billion for war costs in FY2007 — about 40% more than the previous year. … VA medical costs for [Iraq/Afghanistan] veterans will be about $1 billion, according to CRS estimates” in 2007.

$12 Billion Per Month: “For the first half of FY2007, CRS estimates that [Defense Department’s] average monthly obligations for contracts and pay are running about $12 billion per month, well above the estimated $8.7 billion in FY2006.”

Rising Cost of Troop Deployments: “Since FY2003, the estimated average cost per deployed troop has risen from about $320,000 to $390,000 per deployed troop” and of the “1.5 million individuals who have deployed for Iraq of OEF, about 30% have had more than one deployment.”

Redeployment Could Cut Costs In Half: “[T]he Congressional Budget Office estimated that war costs for the next 10 years might total about $472 billion if troop levels fell to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fell to 75,000 by about 2013. Under such assumptions and adjusting for the FY2007 Supplemental, total funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and the GWOT could reach from about $1 trillion to $1.45 trillion by 2017.”

The CRS report also highlights the administration’s continuing reliance on “emergency supplemental funding requests” to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that “much of the funding would not seem to meet the traditional definition of emergency — as an urgent and ‘unforeseen, unpredictable, and unanticipated’ need.”

You can read the entire report HERE.

Think Progress

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by- Suzie-Q @ 9:25 AM MST

By Max Blumenthal, HuffingtonPost.com. Posted July 20, 2007.

From Iraq to homosexuality and abortion, a visit with the next crop of Republican leaders reveals the utter hypocrisy and delusional thinking that sustains GOP politics.

This video is a production from the The Huffington Post.

On July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war’s most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called “war on terror” as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Republicans why they were not participating in this historic cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. “Medical reasons.” “It’s not for me.” These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them “over there.”

Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP’s next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

Along with videographer Thomas Shomaker, I captured a vivid portrait of the hypocritical mentality of the next generation of Republican leaders. See for yourself.

Watch the video/ AlterNet

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Executive Privilege: Agency Says Bush Has Overreached

by- Suzie-Q @ 7:39 AM MST

A report earlier this month by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan agency that studies policy and legal questions for Members of Congress, found that President George W. Bush’s recent assertions of ‘executive privilege’ to fend off Congressional investigators were dubious.

Morton Rosenberg, a Specialist in American Public Law at CRS, said that the assertion of privilege recently attempted by the White House went beyond restraints found in recent legal decisions.

“[R]ecent appellate court rulings cast considerable doubt on the broad claims of privilege posited by [the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel] in the past and now by the Clement Memo,” Rosenberg wrote in the July 5 report.

‘The Clement memo’ refers to a document published by the White House and written by Paul Clement, the Solicitor General at the Justice Department, who must serve as ‘acting Attorney General’ for all matters dealing with the US Attorneys controversy.

Rosenberg wrote that a pair of Clinton-era federal court rulings, the so-called Espy and Judicial Watch cases, “arguably have effected important qualifications and restraints on the nature, scope and reach of the presidential communications privilege.”


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