Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Current Legislative Push Is Significant

The politicians are back in Washington for a flurry of activity before the mid-term elections, and Bush is out stumping for funds and to reinforce GOP tactics. While we could sit back and say that all the activity is for show, it is critical to remember that the Republicans might lose control of the House - and possibly the Senate. Such a shift in power would dramatically effect the overall agenda of the neoconservatives and the Bush administration.

Therefore, the direction of the flurry of activity in Washington and Bush's "messages" to the public, take on great significance. It had been expected that many in the Congress (for better or worse) would address the immigration issue. However, those efforts seem to have been tabled. Instead, the agenda has shifted to "the war on terrorism" and national "security."

Despite a report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee (Postwar Findings on Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism - pdf) that concludes that there was no connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda, and WMD reports were not substantiated, Bush and the administration are still trying to imply that there was such a link. Further, that Iraq is central in the "war on terrorism."

Bush has now publicly admitted the existence of CIA "black" prisons with the movement of 14 prisoners to Guantanamo for detention and "trial." That "trial" is supposedly a military tribunal, which has already raised controversy and been ruled unconstitutional. Of course it also begs the question of closing the Guantanamo facility.

Meanwhile, Bush has pushed for new legislation to legalize interrogation techniques that are torture under US, Military, and International standards. Bush has also asked for new legislation to expand his authority on wiretapping. Bush's use of wiretaps without a FISA warrant has also been ruled to be illegal, but the administration is appealing that decision.

One could argue that the current strategy is to play to what has been politically successful for Bus and the Republicans in the past - the politics of fear. However, the pressure is on to constitutionally expand the power of the President, and to constitutionally embrace questionable practices, while the Republicans still hold the House and Senate. Once formal legislation is passed and signed by the President, it is very difficult to revoke. This makes the push on legislation at this point highly significant.

So, the key areas of the current legislative session include expansion of Presidential authority, abridgement of Constitutional rights to privacy and protections, and detention and trials for those suspected as "terrorists." Additionally, legislative initiatives are underway to amend the war crimes act and thereby lessen the possibility that the administration and Bush would be prosecuted under existing law. Facing a potential shift in Congressional power makes all of these areas critical to the White House. No wonder immigration is taking a back seat.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at September 9, 2006 12:55 PM
Comments
Comment #180100

Republican politics as usual since 2000…how did those nice conservatives let this “neocon” group hoodwink them so badly?? Why do people in this country feel so insecure that they willingly and enthusiastically give up liberties guaranteed under our Constitution…and why put up with a president who has lied so badly and pulled our country to the brink of economic and foreign relations disasters (while calling the law of our land a “goddamned piece of paper”)?

Posted by: Lynne at September 9, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #180112

Lynne Lynne Lynne. Lets go over your statement first economic disaster??? 4.6% unemployent better than in the 80s and the 90s. Foreign relations??? Are you saying Lynne that the Islamic fascist like us before Bush?? Who sterred them up in 1993 attack. Bush wasnt in office. So Lynne I suggest you get your facts streight. Facts to a liberal are like light to a vampire. Its a shame that the Liberals hatred of Bush is greator than their love of country.

Posted by: Thomas Frederick at September 9, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #180113

The part I don’t understand is the huge numbers of lower and middle income people who still support Bush and his fellow republicans. I can get the upper 2% or so who have been given tax breaks and special consideration, while Bush and buddies actively work to bankrupt the country, but, the rest of us who have to work two jobs just to feed and clothe the kids, and all of the people with no health insurance , no real chance of ever being able to retire, no real hopes of a better future for their kids, I just don’t get it. Do they buy into this warped theory that invading a nation and murdering 50k of its citizens has somehow made us safer, or is it the one that by letting the richest 2% of the country not pay taxes, while unborn children are already in debt for the fiscal irresponsibility of this administration has somehow created jobs? Please someone explain I JUST DON’T GET IT!

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #180121

jim jim jim let me see the first item you say the rich dont pay any taxesd. Upper 2% pay more than 50% of taxes. (fact) next you say you hjave to work to jobs to make a living. You had the same opportunity to an education as any body else. Sounds like you opted for the union job. The world does not owe you a living. Next invading iraq would you rather be fighting them in the USA? You must be listening to air america. Sounds like you might be one of those bleeding heart liberals,your party the democratic party the party of the working man, the poor, and the elderly. Please tell me why the democratic party voted to tax social security at the rate of 50%. then went ahead and voted to raise social securty tax to 85%. On that vote your man Al Gore was the deciding vote.
50 Repulicans voted no. 50 Dems voted yes and Al gore cast the deciding vote. Please tell me jim how does that hurt the rich and help the poor folks on social securty. Jim a truth to you liberals is like garlic to a vampire.

Posted by: Thomas at September 9, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #180127

Thomas,Thomas,Thomas, you condescending prick, number one I am a US vet. who used the GI bill to go back to school, at this time I have three different computer and network certifications. Number two I installed computerized cash registers in a Kohl’s last week and in the thirteen hours I spent there I watched as at least one hundred people came in and applied for a department store job, see the thing is the 4.6% unemployment you quote only counts people who are drawing unemployment checks and there are many who have already collected all they can or weren’t eligible in the first place, but they are still unemployed, just not counted. Number three this 50% you quote is what the upper 2% are supposed to pay not what they actually pay. Number four you should either learn how to spell or learn how to use spell check…You dumb ass prick!

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #180131

Jim: watch your language. Please read the board posting rules.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 9, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #180134

Thomas

What grade level did you complete?

Posted by: mark at September 9, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #180138

Well Thomas, I guess you would call it fourteen plus as I am a high school graduate with two plus years of college, but, I have had enough of you as I refuse to argue with ignorance.. and womanmarine I apologize for using the A.. word, but, I in no way apologize for the statement, and Lynne I felt you made some very good points. Have a nice day!

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #180143

Mark, I most humbly apologize, I see that I answered a question that was directed at Thomas, not from Thomas directed at me, again sorry, I am also cooking dinner right now, so I was a little distracted.

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #180145

No problem Jim, what’s cookin? Sure am curious about Thomas’s education.

Posted by: mark at September 9, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #180146

Well Mark, tonight we have homemade pizza with sausage, pepperoni, and ham, and a ton of cheese, my wife is a nurse who works three twelve hour shifts a week Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, so I try to make her a hot meal on those evenings if I am not working. As far as Thomas is concerned even if he answered the question there is no way to know if he would be truthful. One thing that gets me is that this is a liberal and democrat chat room, but, anytime a liberal statement is made there are people like Thomas to call the author a fool or a bleeding heart liberal, or worse. I have never been in the republican chat room, I would be curious to know if there are democrats and liberals in there, doing the same to them.

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #180147

Beware of the trolls, Jim. And fill free to put your 2 cents worth in on the Rebublican site(They need it).

Posted by: mark at September 9, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #180148

“Facts to a liberal are like light to a vampire.”
“Jim a truth to you liberals is like garlic to a vampire.”

This is the same guy who got canned from this site a while back for being a prolific troll. I know this because he used to make the same exact vampire comments as those listed above every single time he posted.
Do not feed trolls. EVER. One must Ostracize them. The only way to get rid of a troll is to make them bored and/or embarrassed over the fact that no one will ever reply to them.
Remember, a troll is never interested in a debate or in having a real discussion. They are only trying to stir up your anger and animosity. This may lead some of you to get angry enough to break the WB rule by telling a troll exactly what they are, and where they can get off.
Don’t do it! Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #180151

jim, yes you will find liberals posting on the conservative side of this blog and in the center column as well. Everyone mixes it up here in Watchblog. That is it’s charm — that we are interacting and debating with each other, rather than keeping separate. In fact, I believe that’s what makes this blog much more representative of America than most others out there.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #180152

I hear ya, but I am not really into arguing with narrow minded people, talk at you later, time to munch.

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #180153

I see, thanks for the input, Adrienne, gotta run talk to you later, jim

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #180154

Jim needs to read the posting rules. Attack the message, not the messenger.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 9, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #180155

“Thomas,Thomas,Thomas, you condescending prick…”

Man, it’s a good thing he didn’t call him a moron.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 9, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #180159

Womanmarine, why is it all right for Thomas to insinuate that I am uneducated, to tell Lynne that she hates Bush more than she loves her country or to state that to all liberals, facts are to you as light or garlic to a vampire, while I understand what you are saying attack the message not the messenger, you seem to be awful one sided about the rules.

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #180161

Jim:

Thomas insinuated, you outright used direct language at him, not his ideas. I’m not one-sided, please don’t be so quick to take offense when your post was offensive.

Then, of course, Tim had to repeat it. Whatever, it’s up to the watchblog manager, but it certainly doesn’t help any dialog.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 9, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #180165

womanmarine, do you actually call what Thomas said dialog? I had already apologized once for using the a.. word and his statements to both Lynne and myself were very condescending and “prick” well that is just my personal opinion of him. I did not realize that I was not allowed to voice my personal opinions, and yes if the watch blog manager feels that I have said something wrong let me know and I will consider it and apologize if I think it is warranted. Also you are right when I feel as though I am being attacked I respond in kind, thats just me, no offense intended.

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #180166

Jim:

I’m not going to argue semantics with you. It’s up to the watchblog manager to judge your post’s appropriateness.

I will just say that how you express yourself says much about you and whether or not I read your posts and ideas.

It wasn’t so much the word mind you (check out my ID), but the direction of the post, which to my understanding is against the posting policies which exist to make this place a place of dialog and exchange of ideas, not a barroom brawl.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 9, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #180168

womanmarine-

Excellent! It does seem that the first response of some of our bloggers on this side and the other side is to call names, use gutter language and attack the person. We can only assume that is because they can’t refute the message.

BTW- the 50% figure for the top 2% of taxpayers is based on returns, not estimates. Google it if you don’t believe.

Actually, getting back to paragraph one, although I dislike the language some of our bloggers use, I believe they only hurt their cause when they indulge their petty little diatribes. And, they probably turn off many people to their message.

Civility should be the watchword in discourse and logic and facts should be the foundation for any reasoned argument. Unfortunately, these are foreign terms to many of the contributors.

Posted by: John Back at September 9, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #180170

Good, lets drop it then, enough said, and it is time for my evening game of catch with my dogs, so you have a great evening.

Posted by: jim at September 9, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #180215

“Thomas,Thomas,Thomas, you condescending prick…”

“Man, it’s a good thing he didn’t call him a moron.”

I was leaning towards “you ignorant slut”, just for nostalgia.

Posted by: Observer at September 9, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #180216

“BTW- the 50% figure for the top 2% of taxpayers is based on returns, not estimates. Google it if you don’t believe.”

The reason the top 2% pay so much is because they make ridiculous amounts of money. This has little to do with reinvestment and job creation as they are not corporate profits, they are personal and usually used to one up the neighbor with a even bigger yacht.
If you want, as bush claims, to encourage the rich to invest and create, then give the tax breaks specifically for that.
BTW, anyone notice our resident posterchild for keeping the estate tax alive got a DUI yesterday in her $400,000 Mercedes?
Yeah, she really deserves a tax break.

Posted by: Observer at September 9, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #180258

What a shame that COMPLETELY IDIOTIC REMARKS with no foundation in truth have sidetracked an excellent post by Rowan Wolf.

Yes Rowan, this IS a telling legislative push aimed at the mid term elections. I won’t even hazard a guess at how the push will turn out or how it will affect the elections because clearly the republican party has been bad for America, in my humble liberal opinion, and yet it had been given the reigns to continue in the last election.

Sooner or later, one has to ask oneself if the general American voting public is really that stupid. Judging from the IDIOTIC comments that derailed this thread, it may very well be that we are a suicidally stupid voting public. I don’t intend that as hyperbole. I truly believe that the course the republicans have set us upon, between antagonizing burgeoning and historic world powers and running the national debt to historic depths, will certainly doom our society.


(for those who don’t know, THAT is how you attack the message and not the messenger… even the posters of such IDIOTIC remarks can read between the lines)

Posted by: Thom Houts at September 10, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #180280

Some people will never learn. I hate to say this but trying to talk to any one on the right is a waste of time they all believe that every word out of Bush’s mouth is the gospel truth. This nation is on the path to destruction thanks to these people. They just don’t get it they can see yet they are blind. For the record and I am not proud of this but we all get to make at least one big goof. I voted for Bush in 2000 so I am a long ways from being a left winger. I saw the truth even befor 9-11. Watching Bush inability to make even a simple decision on that day was more than enought for me.The lies that he has told since then have been ridiculous. I often wonder what it would take to wake some people up. As for the economy. It is not good the growth has been so so wages have fallen folks are losing their health care and pension. The tax cuts which do in fact favor those who don’t need them have created massive debt which will have to be paid for, and look out when China wants paid back. The man has failed at everything he has done except for one thing helping out his buddys at the expense of the rest of us. Here I go again trying to talk sense to the right even I don’t learn that lesson or do I hope that maybe some day They will get it.

Posted by: Fedup at September 10, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #180299

Dear Thomas Frederick:

You never actually read my post, did you…what you did was see certain specific words and wrote a knee-jerk reaction.

1) Many Republicans wonder how their party got so far away from clear conservative values…like small government and balanced budgets.

2) Propaganda has been at its height in the current Bush regime…especially those lies that killed 2600+ and maimed 20,000+ of our children.

3) The “economy” is good as an abstract, but not for real working people in the U.S.

Try these figures:

Middle and Lower Classes not sharing in “good” economy

3) In what context is it a good thing for the sitting president, who twice swore an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution to call it a “goddamned piece of paper”???

4) How close are our allies to us? While they desire to keep terrorism at bay, they do not defend U.S. tactics (which, in turn, have provided more growth in the numbers of terrorists than any other factor). Our foreign “relations” are in shambles.

5) How does Condie’s statement that “we’re safe…well, we’re safer, but not yet safe” declare any real progress against terrorism? You can’t fight ideologies with weapons and soldiers…those wars on drugs and porn and gangs are coming along about as well as our “war” on terror.

Posted by: Lynne at September 10, 2006 11:41 AM
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