Category Archives: Bushiness

Welcome Obama, Goodbye Loser

I've been waiting a long, long time for Bush to finally exit from the Presidency. If I had to sum up how I feel right now, I would say it's something like a stab victim feels after the stabbing stops. It's a relief, but a very shallow one.

What I and the rest of us need now is to see whether "Dr. Obama" really has the qualifications and smarts to fix up the hemorrhaging. And while healing is the most important thing, like any other victim, I would also very much like to see the perpetrator brought to justice.

Let's hope that lack of limelight doesn't let Bush and his inept crimes slide into darkness forever.

Bush Determined to Be Evil to the Very End

You would think that Bush would try to do something to help his popularity at the very end in a desperate and mostly futile attempt to make people, the world, and history hate him a little less. Instead, he's busy at work further eroding our privacy, liberty, and the balance of power between gigantic unfeeling corporations and the little guy. He signed into law a piracy act that was not needed and gives more power to the RIAA to do their dirty work.

Thanks Bush!

(H/T to Digg.com for the link)

Petition to Remove Nancy Pelosi For Taking Impeachment “Off the Table”

I found this online petition to remove Pelosi for failing to do her job and being a political hack. Even if Congress couldn't pull an actual impeachment (which I believe they could for trying to block investigations of the White House staff alone), then they could still do something.

Make sure you also support Dennis Kucinich's petition for impeachment hearings for Bush and Cheney!

Schneier And U.S. Government Policy for Seizing Laptops at Borders

Schneier covers the recently released US policy for laptop seizure:

The U.S. government has published its policy: they can take your laptop anywhere they want, for as long as they want, and share the information with anyone they want

Oy. So what does it take to end this horrible trend? Obama? McCain (not likely)? Or something else entirely, and, if so, what?

Why Congress Won’t Prosecute Bush

Here's a take that I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't considered: Members of Congress may be protecting Bush because of votes they made previously that might seem to have supported his illegal activities. While it might not end in prosecution, it could end their lucrative Congressional careers.

So, of course key Congressional Democrats who were made aware of these illegal torture and surveillance programs are going to protect the Bush administration and other lawbreakers. If you were Jay Rockfeller or Nancy Pelosi, would you want there to be investigations and prosecutions for torture programs that, to one degree or another, you knew about? If you were Jane Harman, wouldn't you be extremely eager to put a stop to judicial proceedings that were likely to result in a finding that surveillance programs that you knew about, approved of, and helped to conceal were illegal and unconstitutional?

(H/T to Digg.com for the link)

Telecom Immunity Passed. Liberty Dies a Little More

In Senate debate, Patrick Leahy (D-VT) argued strongly against telecom immunity, because it would make it almost impossible to ever find out what really happened and "the American people ought to know who in the White House said, 'Go break the law.'"

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) noted that, "We're considering granting immunity when roughly 70 members of the Senate still have not been briefed on the president's wiretapping program. The vast majority of this body still does not even know what we're being asked to grant immunity for."

These were the protests that smarter senators made before the vote. They were ignored. The "FISA update" including immunity was passed yesterday.

"I sit on the intelligence and Judiciary committees, and I am one of the few members of this body who has been fully briefed on the warrantless wiretapping program," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), another prominent opponent. "I can promise that if more information is declassified about the program in the future, as is likely to happen . . . members of this body will regret that we passed this legislation."

Retarded Congressional Neanderthals Mess Up Big

Warning! Warning! You have found a RANT. Articles in this section are sounding boards for my frustrations. They usually (more like always) lack impartiality and may include arguments and "facts" that may not be supported.

With time I may calm down and make this a real article, but for now, you have been warned...

Breaking news, Congress is full of quarter-witted imbeciles and corrupt sychophants. Wait… we knew that already. What is new is that now we have a roster of the members of the House who either have no clue about what's going on or have gone to the dark side (cue Darth Vader-like breathing).

Yesterday the House passed a FISA amendment act which includes a provision shielding telecommunications companies from any liability. In the coverage of the situation by Ars Technica, they were able to quote Nacy Pelosi as being an idiot:

(Bold text in parenthesis is mine)

The most extended apologia came from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who urged that the compromise be judged by comparison with the Senate bill, which she characterized as the only realistic alternative (So we can't ask for a good law, only a less bad one? That's a great standard to live to). She outlined several ways in which the current legislation is preferable to the Senate's version. First, the compromise bill reasserts that FISA is the "exclusive means" for conducting electronic surveillance, which would require the president to ignore such language twice in order to launch an extralegal surveillance program, rather than only once, as under traditional FISA rules (So if the President breaks the law, now it would violate two laws instead of just one. The next time someone breaks a law, I wonder if it will result in jail time if it only breaks the law "once"). Second, it preserves prior judicial review of surveillance authorizations, except in "very, very rare" circumstances, such as when the attorney general asserts that waiting for a judge would entail delay (I think that recent history has shown how much we can trust to the "rarity" of the Attorney General approving anything a president might ask. Has she even been awake in the last decade?). Third, it contains specific provisions barring the use of authorizations targeting parties abroad as a pretext for targeting U.S. persons, presumably to be enforced by a board of psychics. Finally, it provides for an internal investigation of the extent of past surveillance, which Congress will act upon with the same legendary zeal for civil liberties it has displayed over the past seven years (Brilliantly summarized. Ars has some great writers.).

So in one day, the House voted to expand powers of the Judicial branch that they didn't need and shield their conspirators from liability against justice.

Don't get me wrong, if I got a letter from the Attorney General of the United states that required my company to do something and my lawyers said to do it, I would have and maybe that's what happened to the telcos. But if there is no accountability for the Attorney General, the President, and the involved Agencies, then the whole things tastes like Congress cooked us up some chili made of poo.

If You’re Sad to See Bush Go, Vote McCain!

McCain is cut from the same cloth as our great friend, president-george-w-bush. He too would support warrantless wiretaps and telco immunity.

Best of all, he's of the same philosophy that the President can do whatever he damn well pleases during a "time of war" which is funny since we're conveniently in a "War on Terror" that's sure to end as quickly and decisively as the "War on Drugs".

The Article II citation is key, since it refers to President Bush's longstanding arguments that the president has nearly unlimited powers during a time of war. The administration's analysis went so far as to say the Fourth Amendment did not apply inside the United States in the fight against terrorism, in one legal opinion from 2001.

That would be just great. Yeah… Let's have a president that continues the vicious downward spiral of American stability, freedom, and public opinion… Let's do that.

Extra, Extra! Congress AND Bush Did Something Right

It's amazing and I promise it's no joke, but both congress AND Bush did something right by drafting, passing, and then signing into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Some provisions of the law include:

– Prohibiting group health insurance plans and issuers offering coverage on the group or individual market from basing eligibility determinations or adjusting premiums or contributions on the basis of an individual's genetic information. Insurance companies cannot request, require or purchase the results of genetic tests, and they are prohibited from disclosing personal genetic information.

– Prohibiting issuers of Medigap policies from adjusting pricing or conditioning eligibility on the basis of genetic information. They cannot request, require or purchase the results of genetic tests, or disclose genetic information.

– Prohibiting employers from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating with respect to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment. Employers may not request, require or purchase genetic information, and they are also prohibited from disclosing personal genetic information. Similar provisions apply to employment agencies and labor organizations.

So much for the future shown by the movie Gattica.

Note that McCain would have probably vetoed it based on what I heard about him the other day.

(H/T to Slashdot for the link)

Audit Shows Even More FBI Abuses

The agencies that are supposed to protect us turned against us. It's depressing that more hasn't been done about this and sooner.

Of course, you know why Bush isn't defending them the same way as some other agencies? Because he didn't authorize it and therefore doesn't need to shield them to cover his own butt. That's my guess anyway.