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Archive for November 15th, 2007

Senator’s Feinstein and Schumers DOJ Monster is Loose!!!

by GEF @ 1:58 PM MST

From the Department of I told you so comes a tale of Democrats who are easily misled by the GOPs…


Senator Dianne Feinstein & Senator Chuck Schumer

New Attorney General opposes changes to wiretap law

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In his second day on the job, Attorney General Michael Mukasey leaped into the political fray, telling a key Democratic senator he opposes his electronic surveillance plan and would recommend the president veto it if it is passed.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on the eve of crucial committee votes to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Mukasey was adamant in opposing Leahy’s plan for changing the law.

Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell co-signed the letter released Wednesday night by the Justice Department.

“We strongly oppose the proposed substitute amendment. If the substitute is part of a bill that is presented to the president, we and the president’s other senior advisers will recommend that he veto the bill,” they said.

Leahy last week introduced his substitute to a FISA modernization bill already approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee. That effort, led by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., won wide bipartisan support and is backed by the administration. It includes retroactive immunity to legally protect the telecommunications companies which cooperated with the administration’s classified warrantless surveillance program.

Leahy, who had opposed Mukasey’s confirmation last week, is adamantly opposed to the immunity provision.

Mukasey and McConnell listed nearly a dozen other provisions or omissions in the Leahy plan which they said “would not provide the intelligence community with the tools it needs effectively to collect foreign intelligence information vital for the security of the nation.”

The White House, meanwhile, released a statement calling Leahy’s plan “a step back for our nation’s security.”

Leahy and many of his Democratic allies back provisions which they believe provide essential civil liberties protections against excessive government intrusion and potential abuse.

The veto threat adds to an already testy atmosphere in which the highly partisan Senate Judiciary Committee has struggled unsuccessfully to reach a consensus on how to update the 30-year-old FISA law, which they agree has been overtaken by dramatic changes in technology.

– CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden

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Alberto Gonzales Defense Fund Begins

anthony @ 17:50 GMT

Washington Post   |  Dan Eggen   |   November 15, 2007 08:58 AM

Supporters of former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales have created a trust fund to help pay for his legal expenses, which are mounting in the face of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into whether Gonzales committed perjury or improperly tampered with a congressional witness.

The establishment of a legal defense fund for the nation’s former chief law enforcement officer underscores the potential peril confronting Gonzales, who is one of a handful of attorneys general to face potential criminal charges for actions taken in office.

Read the entire story here.

Click here to find out where and how the Alberto Gonzales defense money is being collected.

Read the latest news and blogs about Alberto Gonzales on the Huffington Post.

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The Grand Delusion – The Two-Party System

Sudhan @13:35 CET

The Grand Delusion

By Joel S. Hirschhorn

 

11/14/07 “ICH ” — – With an endless, futile and costly Iraq war, a stinking economy and most Americans seeing the country on the wrong track, the greatest national group delusion is that electing Democrats in 2008 is what the country needs.

 

Keith Olbermann was praised when he called the Bush presidency a criminal conspiracy.  That missed the larger truth.  The whole two-party political system is a criminal conspiracy hiding behind illusion induced delusion.

 

Virtually everything that Bush correctly gets condemnation for could have been prevented or negated by Democrats, if they had had courage, conviction and commitment to maintaining the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution.  Bush grabbed power from the feeble and corrupt hands of Democrats.  Democrats have failed the vast majority of Americans.  So why would sensible people think that giving Democrats more power is a good idea?  They certainly have done little to merit respect for their recent congressional actions, or inaction when it comes to impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

 

One of the core reasons the two-party stranglehold on our political system persists is that whenever one party uses its power to an extreme degree it sets the conditions for the other party – its partner in the conspiracy – to take over.  Then the other takes its turn in wielding excessive power.  Most Americans – at least those that vote – seem incapable of understanding that the Democrats and Republicans are two teams in the same league, serving the same cabal running the corporatist plutocracy.  By keeping people focused on rooting for one team or the other, the behind-the-scenes rulers ensure their invisibility and power.

 

Keep reading . . . 

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Sudhan @11:50 CET

Image of a US soldier guards a position at the site of a powerful explosion

More American military veterans have been committing suicide than US soldiers have been dying in Iraq, it was claimed yesterday.

At least 6,256 US veterans took their lives in 2005, at an average of 17 a day, according to figures broadcast last night. Former servicemen are more than twice as likely than the rest of the population to commit suicide.

Such statistics compare to the total of 3,863 American military deaths in Iraq since the invasion in 2003 – an average of 2.4 a day, according to the website ICasualties.org.

The rate of suicides among veterans prompted claims that the US was suffering from a “mental health epidemic” – often linked to post-traumatic stress.

Keep reading . . .

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