Thursday, January 26, 2006

The World Today

Post and discuss

126 comments:

Marilynn M said...

Is anyone paying attention to the Supreme Court Nomination? I don't like Alito at all. He thinks the President should be all powerful. Not looking good.

Cheryl V said...

I heard that Kerry might try a filibuster, but I don't know if it's true. Maybe he found his long lost spine.

Dan/Mi said...

I just don't think it's worth a showdown over Alito. I'm not thrilled but this president will not nominate anyone better.

Marilynn M said...

I hope they filibuster. This guy is the worst. He votes something like 85% against the other judges on the Third Circuit. He would give Bush too much power. But, if they don't we can always impeach him.

deb said...

Hi!

I agree with Dan, the neocon sorting process for judges that would qualify are 1. belief that corporations should rule the world and government only ties the hands of corporations. and 2. overturn Roe v. Wade because #1 needs support of the moral majority voters and they want it overturned.

Cheryl V said...

I think Alito is worth the filibuster. Conservative is one thing, but he has got some serious problems. Confusing president with king. Power to the corporations. Limited civil rights.

If Bush can't come up with someone more middle of the road, we'll just have to stop the next one too.

Marilynn M said...

I'm not sure he could find anyone worse. This man thought it was okay to strip search an 11 year old girl. He thought it wasn't excessive force for the police to shoot a teenage boy in the head for theft. The kid was running away and climbing a fence after stealing ten dollars worth of stuff. We can't afford that kind of thinking.

John Ashman said...

Sam Alito seems like a real judge to me. He follows the law, he doesn't bend it. He said he hated having to uphold the law that allowed the 11 year old to be searched, but that was the LAW and not his to change. But that's what real judges do. They show when a law is badly written. But the outrage needs to be with the people who wrote the law, not with the man who exposed it.

Marilynn, please don't take things out of context if you're going to stake your position on it.

Cheryl V said...

He's also shown that he will lie on a job application if he thinks it makes him look better.

During the Reagan administration, he said he was a member of CAP. On his current job application, he claims no memory of ever being in CAP.

One of these statements is false. Lying on a job application is cause for immediate termination. Not only should he not be confirmed, he should be fired from his current position.

Marilynn M said...

How did I know you would like him John? How do you explain that he was the odd man in 85% of the cases he has seen during the time he was on the Third Circuit? Seems like it's a everyone is out of step but Sammy thing. Well, there is always impeachment.

Marilynn M said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skids said...

cheryl: isn't the only time he lied. He lied straight to the committee during his first confirmation hearing for the circuit court. He said he'd stay away from cases that might present him with a conflict of interest, then he took a case that involved Vanguard, where he was a customer owning a valuable fund. He did not recuse himself, and rules for himeself that this was just dandy (thus breaking the promise he made during his confirmation hearing.) Then he had to be yanked off the case by a superior, made some noise about it, but was overruled.

Nothing the guy said during the recent senate hearings can be trusted.

Christina M. Pattee said...

Just trying out this blog site. Whenever I tried to enter my username as "christina m p", it said something like "this username not available". Does that mean someone else already chose that username? This is the first time I've signed up here.

chrismp said...

Just trying out this blog site. Whenever I tried to sign in as "christina m p", I got a message saying something like "this username not available". Does that mean someone else already signed in with that username? This is the first time I've checked into this site.

Christina M. Pattee said...

Sorry Marilynn, for the repeat message -- I didn't realize it was printed the first time. I need more practice using computers.

Marilynn M said...

Okay, I went to SSB and found some of my ideas and another that I thought had merit. Now will someone else dig out some of their stuff. I don't want to appear that I'm promoting myself.

john Ashman said...

Skids, your information is incorrect. He stated the truth as it was written when he signed it. He stayed away from any conflict of interest "in the near term" (or was it first term) as I recall, but didn't deal with the Vanguard case until something like 10 years later. I saw a story on this and legal scholars and other judges said he didn't lie at all and that this would be entirely normal.

If you're going to dislike the guy, please get your facts straight. He didn't lie.

john Ashman said...

Oh, sorry, that was Cheryl's misinformation, Skids was just agreeing with it because he didn't know any better.

john Ashman said...

Deb, actually, Republicans like judges rule on the law as it is written, not make things up. Sadly, the US is too immature to live without abortion, so it will just be there. It is considered to be "settled law", so the chances of it being revisited or overturned are slim to none. Liberals won this one, can we stop fighting over it? We've got other issues that actually are in play. Stop slaying a dead dragon.

BTW, I don't like Alito, I think I might love him. He seems like a great and honorable man. And you have a guy who have actually *killed* an innocent woman stating how horrible a man like Alito is. Democrats really need to get a conscience. Alito is "the worst" but Ted Kennedy isn't?

Marilynn M said...

Sam Alito is a cold calculating pig. I'm against abortion unless someone needs one. People don't have abortions for the fun of it. Those that do shouldn't be having babies anyway. Every baby that is born in this world should be wanted and cared for. Young girls will be dying because this superior fascist will overturn Roe V Wade.

Cheryl V said...

John,
What are you talking about? I brought up the fact that he lied on his job application. Skids brought up Vanguard.

Vanguard is a valid point by the way. Just because he made a weasely promise and used a loophole doesn't mean he didn't have a conflict of interest. A good judge would have had the honesty to recuse himself without having his arm twisted.

His record is full of instances where he went out of his way to limit civil rights, and increase the power of corporations. The few times he didn't were times that he knew he would be overruled.

Anyway, he has proven himself to be someone who will say whatever he thinks needs to be said for his advantage.

skids said...

John A: I don't hate Alito. I just don't think he has the appetite for propriety that we should demand of a SCOTUS member, and that the Vanguard case and his many, somewhat varied excuses for the matter demonstrate that point.

SCOTUS is the highest court in the land, and an extremely important political post. Those that hold it should know that appearance of propriety is tantamount to keeping the trust and consent of the governed. Alito doesn't.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Would you guys please check out this address for me and let me know what you think about the concept?
http://www.ecobooks.com/books/smbeaut.htm

skids said...

christin: Some nice concepts there, but in today's environment it'll be dismissed as "hippy talk" despite the fact we know that small businesses are so much more efficient than the armada of frightened idiots that pass for a going concern in today's stock market.

Marilynn M said...
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Karen M said...

John, I would appreciate it if you left me out of your petty bickering.

There is no need whatsoever to keep bringing me up -- it doesn't hurt anybody, but it does annoy me to no ends.

I do have my own views and beliefs, both separate and similar to my grandmother's. However, the two of us are in strong agreement that you're a pompous ass.

I'll say it again: I'm not part of anything here, and you don't need to drag my name into every argument as if it's a secret strategy to a huge victory.

(And this one goes as a blanket warning to whoever said that I had better be attractive -- that was rude too)

Thank you.

Cheryl V said...

John,

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/12/1459257&mode=thread&tid=25

one relevent part:
It might be a “Don't drink the water” message if he does get confirmed to the court. This was a case where the E.P.A. took emergency action under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the drinking water supply of Lansing, Michigan -- 160,000 people -- from a toxic spill from W.R. Grace. And he provided the decisive vote in a two-to-one decision to overturn that agency action, even though the dissenting judge stressed how decisions from his court, decisions from other courts, all required the court to be extremely deferential to E.P.A., to basically uphold the E.P.A., if at all possible.

He's done that in another case, where he overturned a multimillion dollar fine imposed by E.P.A. against a polluter. So he has an overall record that falls into three categories: straight environmental cases, but also access to courts, reading the Constitution to not allow Congress to allow citizens to effectively enforce the environmental and other laws, and also, not to allow Congress to actually pass laws, including laws that have been in effect for a long time.

Marilynn M said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john Ashman said...

"Cold calculating pig" isn't hateful? Pot, kettle, black.

john Ashman said...

BTW, did anyone see Mrs Alito crying because of how her husband was being treated? That was a sad day for democracy in America.

john Ashman said...

Here's the other half of the story:

However, Judge Alito was on the side of environmentalists in a 1994 case that was a major toxic-waste-cleanup victory. That case, FMC Corp. v. U.S. Department of Commerce, forced the federal government to spend millions to help remove pollution from a World War II factory site in Front Royal, Va., that polluted groundwater.

When government lawyers complained about the costs to taxpayers -- the estimate at that time was as much as $78 million -- the judges didn't flinch, saying "that circumstance cannot influence our result and we cannot amend (the cleanup law) by judicial fiat."

Judge Alito also wrote a 1997 opinion in Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance v. Browner, an ozone-pollution dispute that was a victory for the EPA and the Clean Air Act. "Although we are sympathetic to the view expressed by many within the area that this rule threatens serious economic harm, we recognize that our role as a reviewing court is strictly limited," he wrote.


Sounds like he rules on the merits, not on his belief system. That's what a judge is *supposed* to do. You can agree or disagree with the decisions, but he has an obligation to go with how the law is written, not bend the law to suit his conscience. The next time a judge bends the law, they might do it against you.

john Ashman said...

"Alito will crown George King and we will be in so deep we can't get out."

Can you explain the legal basis under which this might happen? Or are you simply throwing around overblown rhetoric? How is that you go from disagreeing with someone to despising them so easily?

skids said...

John A: You must be lonely tonight :-)

john Ashman said...

Here's the actual text from the 1990 questionnaire:

Explain how you will resolve any potential conflict of interest, including the procedure you will follow in determining these areas of concern. Identify the categories of litigation and financial arrangements that are likely to present potential conflicts-of-interest during your initial service in the position to which you have been nominated.

I would adhere to the applicable standards for disqualifications, including Canon 3C of the Code of Judicial Conduct, 18 U.S.C. 207, and related regulations. I would adhere to Canon 5 to minimize the risk of future conflicts.

I do not believe that conflicts of interest relating to my financial interests are likely to arise. I would, however, disqualify myself from any cases involving the Vanguard companies, the brokerage firm of Smith Barney, or the First Federal Savings & Loan of Rochester, New York.

I would disqualify myself from any case involving my sister's law firm, Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey, of Newark, New Jersey.

I would disqualify myself from any case in which I participated or that was under my supervision in the United States Attorney's Office or in any prior position."


Now, you can read it two ways. One, this had to deal with his initial service or two, it was "forever". When it was challenged, Alito admitted to an oversight on his behalf and stepped aside and the ruling was upheld. Seems like plenty of wiggle room to me. Considering he ruled on the merits, and it was upheld, it seems to me that he is honorable enough to vote based on the law, not on his own self interest. Not that he would have gained from it, because he didn't.

john Ashman said...

"John A: You must be lonely tonight :-)"

Yep, the kids are out on the town, one's doing a dance and the other is out skating with his buddies. Gives me some free time to try to figure out what all the Alito hatred is about. I think if Bush nominated Mother Teresa to the court and people would call her a Nazi.

I mean, seriously, having a murder (okay, manslaughterer) questioning the credibility and honesty of a family man like Judge Alito is an example of just how screwed up our democracy has become. And then to have people *side* with the murderer!!!! WTF, over?

john Ashman said...

Here's another thing. I invite everyone who feels that Alito is a bad nomination to come up with a better one. People often complain about things, but give us an alternative or solution.

Of course, the President is the one who nominates, not the people. It's just the way it is. He has the right to nominate whomever he likes and the congress confirms or doesn't confirm. But the mudslinging and anger is completely inappropriate, unprofessional and, dare I say, inhuman.

I mean, really, to me, Ruth Bader Ginsberg seems to be very liberal and, actually, a bit weird. But hey, she brings a unique perspective to the court. It's why we have 9 people, not 1. Justices are human, not robots, so we have 9 to randomize things a bit. It's also how we get 5/4 decisions. But I never hated or protested Ginsberg. I didn't care, quite frankly.

Clinton nominated her and Breyer. Both of them ruled that the government can take your land if they think someone else can make more money with it or be of more financial benefit than you. A conservative judge would find no such capacity within the constitution, because there is none. That's why it's good for judges to have conservative mentalities and rule on the constitution and the law, not what they feel is "best". "Evil conservatives" like Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist tried to protect your rights to keep your property. Go figure.

skids said...

Personally when you talk about "hate" the first thing that comes to mind is psychological projection. Because I see plenty of hate in you, too, if I may say so.
Of course psychological projection may not be the case... I know it's the flavor of the month that "Democrats are meanies" ever since the Alito sobbing incident, so maybe you're just dutifully towing the line. Whatever. If you want an honest answer, which I suspect you don't, but I'll give it anyway: It's just the general hatred that is a result of this administration's sum total of atrocity, bleeding over into this issue. If they thought about it most Dems probably would decide they don't hate Alito. They don't think he'll make a good justice, and they think he's a horrible nominee, but aside from that, the hatred part is just bleed-over.

john Ashman said...

Sorry, I meant "disagree with passionately"

Cheryl V said...

John,
You don't credit your news source, but it is the Wall Street Journal.

On the FMC vs Dept of Commerce case, the article was a little misleading. The decision had nothing to do with whether or not the site should be cleaned up. The decision was whether the federal government was responsible for part of the cost.

john Ashman said...

So, Cheryl, who is a better candidate?

john Ashman said...

"He thought it wasn't excessive force for the police to shoot a teenage boy in the head for theft. The kid was running away and climbing a fence after stealing ten dollars worth of stuff. We can't afford that kind of thinking."

Interestingly, moderate justice Sandra Day O'Connor sided with Alito on this one. I don't agree with his reasoning at the time, but later, Alito cited the Supreme Court decision on this in contrast to his original thoughts. I think it would be difficult to find a judge that didn't, at one time or another, "side" with a law in a way that would seem outrageous to the average person. Obviously, the left would be outraged by O'Connor on this. Or would they?

Many people are outraged that any justice would allow for the killing of an unborn, innocent child. And yet, the same people that decry Alito are generally the exact same people that think that millions of babies can be executed every year. Does anyone not see a contradiction in this? I sure do.

Marilynn M said...

John:"But these people pretty well don't call people terrible things as Marilynn does. If she could give that up, I might actually like her. But it seems hating people with whom she disagrees (or is even in any way associated) seems as natural as breathing. Such a shame."

The shame is yours John. You are the one that started the name calling. Go back to SSB and read the blogs. I'm just better at it than you. You crossed the line when you started to include my Grandaughter. You can't just disagree you have to get personal then when you get it back you cry foul and accuse me of being hateful.
Start at the top and read your postings. You think everyone is WRONG but you. You aren't rational about Alito. You decided you love him so the rest of us must be crazy.

Alito thinks the President should have the last word on everything. Above Congress and the Supreme court. That my friend would make him a dictator. Do you reeally want that?

deb said...

Karen congrats on scoring high on your SAT's, and thanks for setting up this blog:) I have 2 daughters in college and both are smart young women, my youngest is about your age and is going on full scholarship.

What field are you interested in?

I would like to see a "media" heading on the blog. And since it's nice to get a break from *saving the world* I'd like to see an *art* heading. Christopher is an amazing writer and I think we should post links to his work. We could also put links to other cool stuff such as the Sundance festival.

Question: Can you delete out posts from hateful people?

Cheryl V said...

John,
I guess that's your way of telling me I'm right.
Changing the subject is just one step above insulting anyone you can't get to agree with you.

Marilynn M said...

john Ashman said...

So, Cheryl, who is a better candidate?

Patrick Fitzgerald! Bush nominated the Abramoff prosacutor for a federal judge position to screw that investigatioon up, so why not nominate Fitzgerald to the Supreme Court? He is looking pretty honest to me. In fact he is so honest he might end up indicting the whole top of the administration including Georgie.

Another thing John, Ted Kennedy made a terrible decision about that accident. I wouldn't vote for him for President because of it. But, he has been an excellent fight for the people Senator all his life, so get over it. George Bush is responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. Why do you idolize him?

john Ashman said...

Cheryl, I'm not sure how I changed the subject. I'm saying that it looks like, since he's been on both sides of an issue, that he rules on how the law is written, not on an ideological stance, which is how it is supposed to be done. If you have a problem with his "ecological record" rather than his judicial reasoning, that's like being against a cook because of how he ties his shoes.

john Ashman said...

And, no, I don't "idolize" Bush (or Alito or......), but I find myself in the uncomfortable position of defending him because the attacks against him aren't founded in truth or intellectual honesty, just simple hatred.

Marilynn M said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marilynn M said...

I Love This Common Sense Woman. M.
/Molly Ivins

I will not support Hillary Clinton for president
January 20, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas --- I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the
Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough
clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris
election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand
on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her
failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross
pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a
long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It's about
political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for
leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this
is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull
that only the truth can provide relief.

If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up
and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure
junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene
McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't
wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy --
didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to
quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the
American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that
we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want
single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it.
The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the
minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor
repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich.
The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting
domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to
protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil
companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits
tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

I listen to people like Rahm Emanuel superciliously explaining
elementary politics to us clueless naifs outside the Beltway ("First,
you have to win elections"). Can't you even read the damn polls?

Here's a prize example by someone named Barry Casselman, who writes,
"There is an invisible civil war in the Democratic Party, and it is
between those who are attempting to satisfy the defeatist and pacifist
left base of the party and those who are attempting to prepare the party
for successful elections in 2006 and 2008."

This supposedly pits Howard Dean, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi,
emboldened by "a string of bad news from the Middle East ... into
calling for premature retreat from Iraq," versus those pragmatic folk
like Steny Hoyer, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Joe
Lieberman.

Oh come on, people -- get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at
this war -- from the lies that led us into it, to the lies they continue
to dump on us daily.

You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican
machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right
now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in
Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political
reform, I give up on them entirely.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm
serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will
work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this.
Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years:
embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the
whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff
politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just
as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the
patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds
on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not,
however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns
your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog
and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could
just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them
with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point
out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as
Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight,
we'll find someone who can./

Anonymous said...

I could not find the 'abortion' area, so:

This is what I posted on SSB before I saw that people did not want to go on this topic there.

- Jennifer P. in Arkansas on January 28, 2006 - 9:42am and debbie b,

Thank you for laying it out for all to see!

People who are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade on moral grounds, who are not anti-death penalty, and who are not pacifists are simply hypocrites.

- Anonymous in Massachusetts on January 29, 2006 - 3:44pm

By the way, where is jennifer p.? She is perhaps to smart to lay down in the mud.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Loved that Molly Ivans post. I would also like to see and hear more from Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas.

Marilynn M said...

I agree with you whole heartedly. They should be few, available, and legal. I'm too old to need one, but I'm not like the old men that send kids to war. I wouldn't want to be in that place and I don't want to put anyone else in that place.

Marilynn M said...

I loved her too Christopher.

john Ashman said...

I agree with Molly Ivans. Take a big turn left. That will ensure annihilation at the polls. You know what they say - lies, damned lies and statistics. Ivans statistics are based on asking the question the right way to get the answer that they want. Most people *only* want to pull out of Iraq when it is stable. Most people are in *favor* of tax cuts (easy thing to say - keep my tax cuts, repeal someone else's). The majority of the people are *not* in favor of a single payer health care system *especially* if it increases taxes:

Four times their surveys have found 47 to 58% opposing "a national health plan, financed by taxpayers, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan," while just 38 to 44% favored it. Most recent was a July 2000 poll administered along with the Washington Post in which 38% favored such a national plan but 58% opposed the idea.

The majority of the people *do* want the government to stop wasting money. The majority of people want cheap gas and to drill in ANWR for oil.

So, I say go for it. It will marginalize the Democratic party even further, allow the Republicans to shift left or the creation of a centrist "independent" party. Please, please, please, follow Molly Ivans advice and make a hard left turn. Please.

john Ashman said...

BTW, I'd probably go along with Fitzpatrick, except that he doesn't have a lot of judicial experience. His experiences appears to be essentially prosecutorial in nature. That doesn't give him much of a paper trail.

john Ashman said...

And, of course, if Bush appointed him, you *know* what the left wing would say - "He's just doing it to get him off his ass". You know that to be true. Maybe he can be appointed to a district court and work his way up if he is interested.

Cheryl V said...

Molly Ivins is one of my favorite columnists. She always makes a lot of sense. Her books are pretty good too.

deb said...

I'm a huge Molly I fan. In one of her columns she recommended Jim Hightower's "Lowdown" newsletter. He's fun, funny, and also from Texas. Check it out:

http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/

Marilynn M said...

I like Jim Hightower too. Molly Ivans is one of the most down to earth honest people there is. Besides I don't like Hillary either for the same kind of reasons.

Dan/Mich said...

I also admire Molly Ivins and her column was terrific. But I'm keeping an open mind on all potential democratic candidates. Hillary is a women of substance who has spent her adult life fighting for progressive causes. I hope the Senator reflects on the Ivans column, stops the posturing and once again demonstrates the grit she's shown in the past.

Dan/Mich said...

I also admire Molly Ivins and her column was terrific. But I'm keeping an open mind on all potential democratic candidates. Hillary is a women of substance who has spent her adult life fighting for progressive causes. I hope the Senator reflects on the Ivans column, stops the posturing and once again demonstrates the grit she's shown in the past.

Marilynn M said...

The filibuster has started.Let's hope.

john Ashman said...

"The filibuster has started"

Do Democrats *like* shooting themselves in the foot? If they're filibustering Alito, it just makes them look bad and, to be honest, petty and uncooperative. Democrats always try to say Bush is divisive, but it, in fact, is Democrat who are. What's the message here - "We're so angry and tough we're beyond throwing a tantrum and we're going to be passive/aggressive now"? Not that I care, but why would anyone cheer political suicide? Can we finally rename them The Obstructionist Party and get a little truth in advertising?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

John, The appointment of Judge Alito poses legitimate constitutional concerns about creating an imperial presidency. This concern has been expressed by many conservatives as well. To bad it has not shown up in any of those Senators since they are so well trained to follow the party handlers.

Time Article

The above is an article from a real conservative thinker.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Well crud, yesterday that article was free and now you have to be a subscriber. This may be part of what the process will be that you are talking about in the media thread.

skids said...

Dems don't look bad to me. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

john Ashman said...

The point is, Chris, to a Republican or Libertarian, *any* liberal judge is a threat to the constitution because they want to bend the law, not referee based upon it. So, should they filibuster every nominee from a Democratic president? I bet that wouldn't sit so well and Democrats would cry "foul". Filibustering a President's choice, a "well qualified" one, over a difference in philosophy just lowers the civility of the discourse yet another notch (and, no, that's just folly to suggest that Alito will somehow great a presidential monarchy - tell me how it could happen). What comes around goes around and it will be a Democrat's turn someday (though at this rate, it will be a long time). What the Democrats are doing by filibustering is simply setting back the Democratic causes another decade. All this extremist BS will continue to haunt them because all they're doing is making the lesser of two evils seem less evil. Or at least more rational. We expect a lot of Democrats to be pretty nutty, but when the leadership acts like that, it just sets the whole cause back. Not that I care, mind you, I'm just pointing it out.

john Ashman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Am I crazy or did you delete my post about abortion? I thought there was a post from Marilyn agreeing with me? Why would you delete that and keep horrible insulting posts from clearly unbalanced and over testosteronized posters.

Calling a position hypocritical is miles from calling it moronic, assholic or other invective being flung here. Weren't you all upset that SSB was deleting blog entries. Please tell me I have forgotten where I posted it!

I was hoping this would be a good place to keep up with SSB goings on, but I am feeling pretty bad about it now.

Anonymous said...

Never mind, I just saw it.

Anonymous said...

i just tried to get my user page on SSB and it was access denied.

Marilynn M said...

Am I crazy or did you delete my post about abortion? I thought there was a post from Marilyn agreeing with me? Why would you delete that and keep horrible insulting posts from clearly unbalanced and over testosteronized posters.

You did post it, and I did reply. I don't think anyone but me can delete? Keep looking. It should be here.

About the other. I'm using the pimple on your butt therory. Pick it, and it will flare up. Ignore it, and it will dry up and go away.

Marilynn M said...

Anon, I found it on this thread. It is just lost in the middle.

deb said...

LOL Marilynn...you do present engaging visual descriptions:)

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Did the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales commit perjuy at his Senate confirmation hearings?
Gonzales Perjury?
Another example of the caliber of people the president appoints to office.

Cheryl V said...

Chances are, it will be decided that he didn't precisely lie. He just mislead.

Reminds me of Edwin Edwards' famous line about one of his many charges, "It might have been immoral, but it wasn't illegal."

john Ashman said...

Christopher, are you saying that Gonzales should have outed a secret program, of which the Senate Intelligence Committee was aware, in a public hearing?
What if they asked questions like "Sir, are you aware of any top secret technology programs to defeat the terrorists?" Is someone supposed to deflect that question or just spill it out for the public to know? Why do Democrats seem to think we should give our enemy our game plan?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I am suggesting that people should not lie when they are under oath. Or has that principle served its purpose and is no longer needed?

And since Gonzales called it a hypothetical question he could have given a response to the ethics of the question asked and not said a thing about his boss' current circumvention of the law.

But then ethics may be a thing of the past too for this administration.

john Ashman said...

Christopher, are you suggesting that Mr Clinton had a more ethical administration? Or that ethics of open government is more important than saving lives?

Marilynn M said...

Answering sensitive questions are what closed sessions are for.

Yes, Clinton had a more ethical administration than Bush.

Yes, he had sex with a consenting adult. That does not make him a sex offender.

Ike, had a long standing affair with his driver.

FDR, had an affair. She was with him when he died.

GHWB, had a long affair with his secretary. Even took her on official trips with him.

JFK, was available to many.

Nixon, I truely don't think he fooled around.

Carter, is clean as a whistle except for lusting in his heart.

Johnson, was a tramp.

Truman, as far as I know didn't do anything.

Ford, anyone got any dirt on him?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Compared to the Bush administration and matters that actually affect the most lives of average Americans I would say yes The Clinton administartion beats Bush hands down in the realm of ethics and appointments to government posts. Hurricane Katrina and the Sago mine come to mind in regard to political/corporate appointees.

Did Clinton lie under oath? Yes he did and he was disbarred for that. Did it amount to high crimes and misdemeanors that rose to the level of impeachment? NO!

But guess what Clinton is no longer the president. The Clinton administration is not the sole and only goal post to judge Bush and his administration by.

I thought you were a man of principles? Isn't that what you should be judging the actions of Bush by instead of constantly deflecting the aurgument to some other irrelevent comparison.

Stand Bush up to high standards and strong principles. Then you justify his behavior. If you are not willing to do that than you are not a man of true principal.

I have something to say about the fear card too of the war on terror but I have to go now. Until the 9th I will not have much time to spend here.

john Ashman said...

Okay, Marilynn, Christopher, match this list if you can:

Whitewater:
Most of Clinton's involvement in the Whitewater scandal took place while Clinton was governor of Arkansas. Whitewater is the name given to the alleged banking and real estate scandals of Clinton and his friends. After money loss and a failed real estate venture, an illegal method to recover the losses was conceived. The scandal involves Clinton allegedly pressuring Arkansas Small Business Administration (SBA) worker David Hale into making an SBA loan to Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. The money from the loan was then funneled out with cashier checks and personal accounts (many under false names) to pay for Clinton's debts from the failed Whitewater land project. In other words, tax dollars bailed Bill and Hillary out of a financial crisis after illegal means were used to acquire them.

The President's friends and land deal associates, Fmr. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and Jim and Susan McDougal, who were involved in Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan and the Whitewater land deal, were recently convicted for their involvement in the scandal. Subpoenaed billing records of the Rose Law Firm, which Hillary Clinton worked for and which is involved in Whitewater, mysteriously showed up in the White House in January 1996. Among the finger prints on these records were those of Hillary Clinton. While this case has been open for several years, facts are still being revealed. President Clinton testified on behalf of his convicted friends during their trial. After countless trials and hearings, Susan McDougal refuses to speak on the issue, though a bailout check signed by her, and with Clinton mentioned on it, has been displayed as evidence Mysteriously, few reasons exist for her to remain silent except what many allege to be pressure and/or threats from Bill Clinton. This scandal is still under investigation. Over a dozen convictions have come from it thus far.

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Cattlegate:
This scandal involves Hillary's investment of approximately $1,000 in cattle futures. Not much later $100,000 had been "earned." In other words, Hillary invested a small amount of money and made a several thousand percent profit from it under very questionable circumstances.
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Nannygate:
An early scandal about Zoe Baird's business relations with illegal immigrants effectively stopped Clinton's first Attorney General nominee.
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Helicoptergate:
David Watkins, at the time a Clinton aide, used the presidential helicopter to make golf trips. Each use of the Helicopter cost taxpayers thousands.
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Travelgate:
The Clintons fired seven white house travel office employees in favor of hire cousins and friends. The employees were lifelong employees in good standing. After stating no other reason for the firings than the employees were viewed as disloyal to the administration, officials began to question the White House. Soon after the firings were questioned, the White House allegedly used the FBI to investigate the employees then attempted to ruin the worker's reputation by making the fact of an FBI investigation public. Travel employees ended up spending their life savings defending themselves in court against the false charges. Further investigation revealed that former travel office chief Billy Dale's FBI file was among the nine hundred plus requested files of Filegate.
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Gennifer Flowersgate:
In 1992 Clinton denied a 12 year affair with Gennifer Flowers. She taped phone calls with him but he claimed they were false. After appearing on television branding Flowers a liar and strongly denying the relation, Clinton has again changed his story. Now he has admitted to at least some of the affair. It ironically turns out Clinton is the liar (big suprise). How can we trust this guy?
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Filegate:
This Clinton scandal involves the discovery of over 900 Republican FBI files in the White House. Files of former Secretary of State James Baker, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, and Newt Gingrich's spokesman Tony Blankley were found to be on this list. Upon the discovery of these files, the White House issued an excuse claiming that the files were mistakenly requested by a White House employee working with an outdated list. They were called a simple "snafu." Investigations into Filegate revealed that not a common White House worker but the President's friend and close advisor, Anthony Marceca, had requested the files. When the presidency starts illegally compiling an enemies list it is a sure sign he is not fit to serve office and that, just maybe, a crime has been committed.
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Vince Fostergate:
Soon after Clinton lawyer Vince Foster committed suicide under mysterious circumstances, his office was cleared out. Along with his office went the Whitewater billing records and several key pieces of evidence. Evidence suggests that Clinton associate Bernard Nussbaum purposely delayed access to the office to investigators. Not to mention the mysterious suicide in which there is some hint that evidence was tampered with. Witnesses have testified they saw Clinton aides clearing the supposedly sealed office.
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I wonder where those whitewater billing records came fromgate:
Years after they had disappeared from Vince fosters office, subpoenaed Whitewater billing records appeared in the White House. In January of 1996 an aide stumbled across them sitting on a table in the White House. They couldn't have been sitting their all these years unnoticed. Hillary's finger prints were on them.
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Paula Jonesgate:
Paula Jones sued Bill Clinton after alleging he exposed himself to her in an Arkansas hotel room. After inviting her to what was supposed to be a promotion. Jones claims she was pressured by Clinton as he made advances on her. Though the administration has fought the entire way, refusing to cooperate with investigation while constantly attacking Jones's credibility, the case has been successful in revealing many more scandals of the Clinton presidency. Although the case was thrown out recently, it was successful in uncovering several other of Clinton's affairs as well as declaring that the president is not above the law (supreme court). More may come of this one with an appeal. Now that the Supreme Court has specifically defined sexual harassment, the Jones case has a good chance of coming back! Clinton has also become the first US president cited for contempt of court. His testimony under oath was ruled as both false and designed to be evasive and obstruct the course of the Paula Jones case. Clinton faces being disbarred and a potential of over a million dollars in fines due to this contempt charge.
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Federal Building Campaign Phone Callgate:
Algore made over 75 illegal phone calls to solicit contributions to the DNC from federal property yet Janet Reno refuses to investigate it further. Janet Reno launched another investigation of these phone calls. Note: soliciting campaign donations from federal property is illegal in America. Why does Algore get away with breaking the law?
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Lincoln Bedroomgate:
DNC donors were allowed to spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom for a contribution of $150,000. Make your reservations now by contacting the Gore 2000 campaign. I'm sure Bill will help out his friend on the campaign. This just proves that the White House is for sale. See the names here
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White House Coffeegate:
Another donations prize for the $50,000 range. Over 100 coffee visits have been confirmed. These visits gave the DNC over $25 million. See the names here
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Donations from convicted drug and weapons dealersgate:
The Clintons and Algore were photographed on numerous occasions meeting with drug ring leader Jorge Cabrera at fundraiser events. Other Clinton donations came from a convicted illegal arms dealer, Chinese government agents, and many other drug smugglers. Many photographs only reconfirm this data


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Buddhist Templegate:
Algore attended a money funneling event/fundraiser for the DNC at a buddhist temple then claimed he never knew about it being a fundraiser. Buddhist monks were used in a money funneling scam to the DNC. This could be big
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Web Hubbell hush moneygate:
This scandal involves what seems to be extra income from a mysterious source. Web Hubbell supposedly received certain payments after he had been convicted for crimes in other Clinton scandals. Though much of this remains to be investigated, some theories tie the Lippo Group into this scandal. Though this one is in early stages of investigation, knowing the Clinton administrations past history, anything could come of this. Keep on the lookout for more on this one.
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Lippogate:
The term given to the illegal foreign donations to Clinton from the Indonesian Lippo group. A total of $452,000 in illegal donations was given to the DNC. Other evidence suggests that the Lippo group has ties to Clinton friend and convict Web Hubbell. John Huang, a Clinton cronie and former Commerce department official with top level FBI clearance - even for several months after his dismissal from his post - pled guilty to funneling Lippo group and Chinese donations. Unfortunately for Bill, foreign campaign contributions are illegal.
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Chinagate:
Attempts were made by Communist China to funnel money to the Clinton campaign and influence elections in 1996. Charlie Trie, one of Bills trusted DNC fundraisers, attempted to funnel this money. When faced with indictment he fled to China for refuge. Another money funneler for the communists and Clinton campaign, Johnny Chung, is now in jail. The funds came from divisions of the Chinese army, one of which had been caught only months earlier while attempting to smuggle AK-47's to LA street gangs. This is the government of RED CHINA - definitely a serious matter. If any scandals do catch up with him, which probably will happen, this is by far the worst. Amidst the sex scandals another DNC fundraiser scandal, Johnny Chung, openly admitted to knowingly taking funds from the Chinese government. Chung also testified that the DNC knew the source of this money was communist China. They accepted it anyway. The money is said to have been funneled through Chinese government official Liu Chao-ying then Chung and then to the DNC. Even more revealing was that Liu Chao-ying, daughter of Liu Hauqing (recent head of the Chinese military and top official of the Chinese communist party) and a Peoples Liberation Army and Chinese space agency official, attended a DNC fundraiser. Here she was photographed with Clinton. Chung also visited the White House over 45 times. Chung took several thousand dollars from commies and contributed them to a partisan candidate for President of the United States and leader of the free world. Chung was only a powerful campaign contributer/supporter with ties to the DNC and White House. Johnny Chung testified under oath to Congress on his admitted relations with the Chinese Commies and the ties to the President. Ironically Chung is one of a very small number of people who had greater White House access than Monica Lewinsky! Chung is said to have made over 50 visits compared to Monica's 39! Even better, only a week later Charlie Trie entered a guilty plea for his fundraising crimes and agreed to talk with investigators! Who next? Well it happened to be John Huang! Huang, another Clinton cronie, pled guilty to funneling Chinese funds less than a week after Trie! Well, at least we know the commies endorse Bill Clinton for president.
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IRS Tax auditgate:
Though the IRS has long been a political tool, major abuses for political reason have a link to the Clinton presidency. Remember that this is a presidency that at one time was compiling an enemy list with 900 illegally requested FBI files - all of which were of Republicans. Several conservative groups have been subjected to IRS probes in recent years. The strange part arises, however, when comparison is made to groups of the left. These "random" investigations, almost all of which produced no results, included many conservative groups and no liberal groups. Some organizations targeted by the probes were the NRA, a political foundation of Oliver North's, and The Heritage Foundation. Many other groups and businesses have alleged that they were monitored through devices such as phone taps. Though it may seem skeptical, I would not put anything past this administration. Oddly enough, the democrats get away with millions in illegal foreign campaign donations. It would seem the IRS would find at least an opportunity in this area!
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Zippergate/interngate - the Lewinsky affair itself:
Monica Lewinsky made 37 visits to the White House AFTER she left to another job. She admitted in taped phone calls to a long affair with Bill Clinton in the oval office. Her account has only been reinforced by an immunity agreement in which she gave testimony of the affair. Also suggested was that Bill Clinton gave her instructions to hide the matter. A Secret service agent testified of escorting her to Clinton. Lewinsky turned over a stained dress from which DNA has positively traced the stain to Bill Clinton. Also turned over were answering machine tapes and a photograph. Bill Clinton admitted to a relationship, one he long denied, on August 17, 1998. In doing so he destroyed his credibility and let down all who had spent the previous seven months defending him. It takes a great arrogance to think of oneself as above the law. Bill Clinton has been impeached for lying in grand jury deposition and for obstruction of justice in attempt to coverup as a direct result of this scandal.
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Perjury and jobs for Lewinskygate - the aftermath:
Along with the Lewinsky scandal comes evidence that she was instructed how to hide the affair by Clinton and offered a job by Vernon Jordan - as an "incentive" to remain quiet. It's kind of stretching it to think of this as all a mere coincidence. Clinton was impeached for obstruction of justice surrounding the job offering.
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Willeygate:
Lifelong Democrat Kathleen Willey has directly accused President Clinton of fondling her in the White House then attempting to hide it. Why would a Clinton supporter attack Clinton? She did appear on national TV and accuse the leader of the free world of fondling her and then pressuring her to lie about it. It's the word Bill Clinton, a president who has a reputation for lying, verses the word of Kathleen Willey, a Democrat and enthusiastic Clinton supporter who would have little reason to attack him (not to mention the word of several others with whom the president has been accused by).
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Web Hubbell prison phone callgate:
This scandal surrounds Web Hubbell, former bureaucrat, ,Clinton friend and partner, and convicted criminal. While in prison, Hubbell was taped making phone calls in which methods to achieve pardon and evidence on other Clinton scandals was discussed.
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Selling Military Technology to the Chinese Commiesgate:
Essentially, Bill Clinton has given military technology to Communist China. This information included satellite guidance technology and enough information for communist China to modernize their nuclear arsenal. Reports suggest that China has missiles positioned to where they could attack us. Chinese missile weapon technology has greatly improved due to Clintons "gift." Keep in mind that a guidance chip was also found missing from an American satellite that crashed on take off over China. The military is investigating who removed it since the crash site was blockaded for several hours following the crash - restricted to Chinese officials. Launching our satellites on Chinese rockets from communist China? Another Clinton policy. Remember also that this all came out just as Clinton and the Chinese dismissed investigations into the "China Scandals" as groundless. I think Johnny Chung proves otherwise. Many investigations are underway with the most recent being the Cox report which revealed that China was actively spying on the United States and had been stealing top secret nuclear weapons plans for two decades. Worse, Clinton was informed of the espionage problem months and years in advance of it breaking to the public yet did absolutely nothing about it and even continued to transfer other technology and pursue close relations with China! Maybe the commies finally received something in return for all the campaigning and donations they made to Bill's reelection. This is yet another to keep your eye on.
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Illegal Funds for Advertisementsgate:
On Janet Reno decided investigate evidence that Bill Clinton wrongly used DNC funds to bypass spending limits on 1996 campaign advertisement. Again Reno faultered to pressure from Democrats by refusing to appoint an investigator. This matter needs to be investigated but it is up to Congress now. Similar measures involving Al Gore are also under investigation.
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Coverup for our Russian Comrades as Wellgate:
This recently revealed "snafu" involves a CIA memo that was sent to Algore's office. The memo included evidence of major corruption in Russian leadership. It was returned with little more than a post it note telling the CIA that Gore didn't want to here about it right now. The reports included charges that former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin used many illegal means for personal gain. Chernomyrdin is said to have charged $1 million for a meeting with a German businessman. The CIA set aside the evidence that this event occurred because of Gore's dismissal of the earlier reports. So power is being sold by the same guys we give massive aide checks to? Then again selling power is not a crime according to the Clinton administration. I don't see any difference between this incident and the '96 coffee breaks.
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Wag-the-Dog-gate:
This applies to the repeated use of the United States military to draw attention away from the presidential impeachment and expulsion proceedings. Please make no mistake. All of the listed actions are fully justified. Their timing, however, has been manipulated to suit Bill Clinton's desire to use them as a political bailout tool. Three incidents where Clinton has used military action to divert press attention have occurred. The second was simply a use of timing as given. The first and third actions were manuevered to occur when they fit Clinton best politically.

Three days following a disastrous attempt at apology on August 17, 1998 Bill Clinton launched a missile attack on several facilities in an attempt to halt terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Though this attack was neccessary, Clinton seems to have purposely delayed it for political reasons. The attack on Bin Laden had in fact been proposed over a week in advance but was delayed by Clinton. Clinton then acted when he felt it was politically appropriate.
The day following a settlement with Paula Jones, Clinton made an aborted strike on Iraq. Though the timing of this event was probably the least manueverable of three incidents worthy of pointing out, Clinton did act at an excellent time for press coverage. He successfully kept the Jones settlement off the news for an entire weekend.
The third incident is the most blatantly obvious manipulation of power. One day before he was to be impeached, Clinton called an uncharacteristic suprise air attack on Iraq. Though the stated reason was refusal to allow UN weapons inspections, one must note that Saddam Hussein acted no differently than he had in the preceding six months. Though Hussein's actions have long warranted a military strike, Clinton prevented any action until the time suited him. To delay his inevitable impeachment, Clinton put American lives in the line of fire by striking Iraq. This action alone constitutes among the lowest forms of manipulation and abuse of power that America has ever seen.
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Jaunita Broaddrick Gate:

Yet another female indescretion from Clinton's Arakansas history! Jaunita Broaddrick, a former Clinton campaigner in Arkansas, appeared on national television and accused Clinton of raping her in the late seventies. Again we have the word of an ordinary citizen with past allegiance to Clinton as a campaign worker faced against a proven perjurer and chronic liar with a long history of adultery and womanizing. Congratulations to the Democrats in the Senate! You just acquited an apparant rapist!
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PBS-gate:

The most recent in a series of scandals involving PBS soliciting donor lists to liberal activist groups directly involves the Clinton administration. In at least three cases it has been discovered that PBS recieved donor lists to solicit directly from the Clinton-Gore 1996 campaign, a violation of federal law. This issue alone has greatly damaged PBS's credability while placing the question of federal funding for PBS under severe scrutiny. As of now, the administration has refused to answer any questions about the matter
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Email-gate:
The Whitehouse email system apparantly contained a glitch that allowed thousands of emails to escape record, many of which were evidence to other Clinton scandals. The nature of this glitch was allegedly undisclosed so as to hide email evidence from investigators
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Vandalgate:
Before leaving the White House, members of the Clinton administration, particularly the Vice Presidents office, are reported to have vandalized the Whitehouse as a "prank" on the incoming Republican administration. Democrats have tried to downplay this scandal and dismiss it as false, but the fact remains that several pranks did occur including the removal of "W" keys off computer keyboards. This prompted office supply companies to donate replacement keyboards and keys. Elsewhere the Clinton staffers wrote lewd messages on door nameplates and left their trash including pizza boxes (perfectly fitting for the Clinton administration) in the offices.
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Looter-gate:
Bill and Hillary Clinton left the Whitehouse with their pockets full - full of silverware, furniture, and pretty much everything else they could grab that wasn't theirs. Included was a multi thousand dollar furniture set belonging to the interior department, which the Clintons had tried to claim as a gift before being forced to return it under pressure and outrage.
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Pardongate:
On the night before and morning of his departure from office, Bill Clinton made several controversial "midnight" pardons. Aside from pardoning political allies and scandal co-conspirators such as Susan McDougal, Henry Cisneros, and his brother Roger, Bill pardoned fugitive criminal millionaire Marc Rich. Rich was charged in the early eighties with several felony offenses but fled to Switzerland to avoid facing trial. Among Rich's crimes were oil deals with Iran during the hostage crisis and ties to arms smuggling. Amazingly, Clinton completely disregarded pardon protocol in the Rich case and failed to properly inform many authorities in the justice department of Rich's fugitive status. The story becomes more interesting considering that Marc Rich's ex wife Denise, who fought for his pardon, is a close Clinton friend and DNC donor. Denise Rich gave $1 million in contributions to the DNC, $450,000 to Bill Clinton's library fund, and $70,000 to Hillary Clinton's senate campaign according to the Washington Times (2/22/00). The Rich pardon appears to be a political pay off and, though the president may constitutionally pardon anyone, it appears he abused his authority in a quid pro quo pardon in exchange for political donations. Clinton's pardon of Rich has prompted criticism from even the most liberal Clinton defenders and several prominent Democrats. Former President Carter called the pardon "disgraceful" while Senator Tom Harkin and even Rep. Barney Frank criticized it!
But that is by no means all. Hillary Clinton's brother Hugh Rodham was paid over $400,000 dollars for successfully fighting for pardons and commutations for criminals Carlos Vignali and Almon Glenn Braswell, two included in Clinton's last minute pardons and commutations list. Upon the eve of this story breaking, Hillary and Bill denied any knowledge of Hugh's involvement and, under pressure, called on him to return the money. Translation: they got caught.

Cheryl V said...

So Bush's claim to fame is "I'm not as bad as the other guy"?

john Ashman said...

Cheryl, with most politicians, "not being as bad as the other guy" is a huge upgrade. Sad, but it's what we've got. I just think it's hypocrisy of the highest order for Democrats to call Bush a "liar" and "scandal-ridden". Not to mention the fact that Democrats try to be pro-Clinton and pro-woman at the same time. I voted for Clinton and while I thought he was a pretty decent, moderate president, many of his failures didn't come to roost until he about to leave or had left office. But I was horrified that a president would cheat on his wife during his tenure in the White House. It shows a man of very weak character that shouldn't be anywhere near national politics. I never believed the earlier stories, assuming that it was all made up, but I guess I was wrong. Had I believed the stories to be correct, I'd have not voted for him at all and probably shouldn't have. And, yes, I voted for him because he didn't seem to be as bad as the alternatives (ineffective GHWB or crazy Howard Dean-like Perot).

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Are you or are you not a man of principles John? Do you expect each and every president to have certain standards of behavour?

Or do you just argue for the sake of arguing?

What do you think of the appointment by GW Bush of "Heck of a job Brownie"?

What do you think of an abstinate alcoholic and coke user?

If you are not willing to address the topic which at this point is the CURRENT president then I will just move on.

Dan/Mich said...

John A.

I thought for a moment I stumbled on an issue of the National Inquirer. John, I presume you're just trying to stir things up. You've contributed to many fine discussions on these blogs, and you're too intelligent to be repeating this kind of garbage.

john Ashman said...

"Are you or are you not a man of principles John? Do you expect each and every president to have certain standards of behavour?"

Yes and yes. But, while Clinton didn't live up to my expectations, Bush has. I don't agree with him, but he has taken principled stand with which I disagree, but he is unwavering in his commitment to them and I admire that, even while I disagree. Most presidents don't have that kind of fortitude. And Mrs Bush seems like one heck of a sweet lady. You'd think she'd leave a guy that's so stupid and dishonest.

"Or do you just argue for the sake of arguing?"

No, I just want the argument to be about facts, not hate speech.

"What do you think of the appointment by GW Bush of "Heck of a job Brownie"?"

I think it was, obviously, a bad one and smacks of a pulled favor. But to act as though that was the first bad appointment by a president or that Brown was the primary problem with the Katrina issue is a bit disingenuous. If the locals had done the job right, Brown would have looked barely competent, not like a complete idiot.

"What do you think of an abstinate alcoholic and coke user?"

I think anyone who has a problem with alcohol and can give it up and become president of the US is an impressive thing. The coke use, however, has no proof at all behind it. If there were, he'd have never won the primary or the election. You can't just go around calling people "coke users" based on "some guy who knew some guy who heard from his brother that......."

"If you are not willing to address the topic which at this point is the CURRENT president then I will just move on."

I'm perfectly willing to address the topic in a logical and rational manner. You?

john Ashman said...

"I thought for a moment I stumbled on an issue of the National Inquirer. John, I presume you're just trying to stir things up. You've contributed to many fine discussions on these blogs, and you're too intelligent to be repeating this kind of garbage."

No, I'm just hitting a fly with a sledgehammer. I don't mind if people want to complain about Bush administration problems, but to act as though the Bush administration is scandal-ridden (let alone more so than the Clinton administration) when, in fact, relatively scandal-free, isn't a good starting point for the discussion.

skids said...

Not for the disparaged:

http://auctionhouse.tpmcafe.com/

Marilynn M said...

Congressman John Murtha (D-PA), the decorated Veteran who has been widely attacked by the GOP for vocally turning against the Iraq war, was on CNN yesterday with Wolf Blitzer and took President Bush apart on some of his ridiculous State of The Union assertions.

On Bush’s insistence that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would leave the country in the hands of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, Murtha said this:

“There’s only 750 to 1,000 al Qaeda in Iraq. Now for him to mischaracterize what’s going on in Iraq – and he continues to do this – the fight in Iraq is a civil war. The terrorism is in Afghanistan, it’s a worldwide fight. My argument is that we have to redivert our funds. We’ve been spending $234 billion in Iraq during the civil war where our troops are the targets.

“They’ve diverted their attention away from terrorism to Iraq, to the war in Iraq, which is a civil war. The Iraqis themselves will get rid of al Qaeda once we get out. 80 percent of the [Iraqi] people want us out. 47 percent – a new poll – say it’s OK to kill Americans. That’s Iraqis. Iraqis are the ones attacking us. So I don’t know how he can say a ‘brutal enemy’ because they’re Iraqis and they’re the ones we’re supposed to be helping.”

Murtha then reinforced that we are in the middle of an internal struggle in Iraq that can only be solved by them and not by us.

“There’s no question in my mind that the Iraqis need to take care of this themselves. They have to have an incentive and that incentive is an exit strategy. His [Bush’s] policy is an open-ended strategy with no exit strategy. If we start to withdraw, if we tell Iraqis ‘look, you folks take care of this yourselves,’ whoever wins will have to live with it.”

On Bush’s point that decisions on troop levels will “…be made by our military commanders and not politicians in Washington, D.C.”

“Well let me tell you something, Wolf. Is he a politician? He’s a politician. He made the decision to go to war, he’s got to make the decision to redeploy. And my argument is that it’s not a fight against terrorism. He’s mischaracterizing what’s going on in Iraq. What’s going on in Iraq is a civil war between two factions inside the country and we’re being diverted. In the meantime, Iran’s making decisions…. China wants us in there, al Qaeda wants us in there, Iran wants us in there. The longer we stay there, the more we deplete our resources and the more we hurt the future of the military.”

Finally, Murtha addressed the stinging rebukes he got for saying recently that he would not enlist today under the current circumstances and allegations that he was damaging both recruiting efforts and the morale of those serving in Iraq.

“I admire the people who are serving. They’re doing a tremendous service for this great country. But I personally would not enlist now. What is damaging to the morale of the troops, what’s damaging to recruiting is when they’ve being deployed four times… When they go into a battle without the battle armor. When they don’t have the upper-armored Humvees… When they’re misled and don’t have a clear mission and don’t have an exit strategy – that’s what’s demoralizing. They had a recruitment problem long before I said this.”

You can catch the full clip Crooks and Liars.

Now, if we could only get Congressman Murtha to quit being polite and using terms like “mischaracterizing” for Bush’s statements and call them what they are – lies.
http://bobgeiger.blogspot.com/

Marilynn M said...

John said: "Yes and yes. But, while Clinton didn't live up to my expectations, Bush has. I don't agree with him, but he has taken principled stand with which I disagree, but he is unwavering in his commitment to them and I admire that, even while I disagree. Most presidents don't have that kind of fortitude. And Mrs Bush seems like one heck of a sweet lady. You'd think she'd leave a guy that's so stupid and dishonest."

So If he was in a car speeding toward a cliff, and went over you would be proud of him for staying the course? I think that Sweet Lady is cut from the same cloth as Barb. They stay the course for whatever reason. Money? Fear? Stupidity? Laziness?

Marilynn M said...

Gotta love that Bush, to the point you insult anyone that is smart enough to see him for what he is.

Anonymous said...

John, I think you should read this idea I found while voting:
http://www2.sinceslicedbread.com/idea/8004

Marilynn M said...

I guess you are right John. I don't have all the information you have. I don't watch Fox news or listen to O'Reily, Limbaugh, or even Pat Robertson. I have to depend on PBS, Air America, Mother Jones, The Nation, and resaearch on the Internet. Silly me. I've probably got the wrong idea about Bush. Me and 70% of the people in the country are all wrong. Forgive me.

Judy B. said...

I believe tht this has the potenial
to mobilize the middle east more than the war...what do you think??

February 5, 2006
Embassies in Syria Are Burned in Furor Over Prophet Cartoon
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAMASCUS, Syria, Feb. 4 (AP) — Thousands of Syrians enraged by caricatures of Islam's revered prophet torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus on Saturday — the most violent in days of furious protests by Muslims in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In Gaza, Palestinians marched through the streets, storming European buildings and burning German and Danish flags. Protesters smashed the windows of the German cultural center and threw stones at the European Commission building, the police said.

Iraqis rallying by the hundreds demanded an apology from the European Union, and the leader of the Palestinian group Hamas called the cartoons "an unforgivable insult" that merited punishment by death.

Pakistan summoned the envoys of nine Western nations in protest, and Europeans took to the streets in Denmark and Britain.

At the heart of the protest: 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad first published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten in September and reprinted in European media in the past week. One depicted the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse. The paper said it had asked cartoonists to draw the pictures because the media was practicing self-censorship when it came to Muslim issues. The drawings touched a nerve in part because Islamic law is interpreted to forbid depictions of Muhammad.

In a statement Saturday, the White House condemned the attacks on the embassies, saying, "We stand in solidarity with Denmark and our European allies in opposition to the outrageous acts in Syria today." At the same time, the White House criticized the Syrian government for not protecting the embassies better.

Denmark's prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has said repeatedly that he cannot apologize for his country's free press. But other European leaders tried Saturday to calm the storm.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said she understood Muslims were hurt — though that did not justify violence. "Freedom of the press is one of the great assets as a component of democracy, but we also have the value and asset of freedom of religion," Mrs. Merkel told an international security conference in Munich.

The Vatican deplored the violence but said certain provocative forms of criticism were unacceptable. "The right to freedom of thought and expression cannot entail the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers," the Vatican said in its first statement on the controversy.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain, who has criticized European media for reprinting the caricatures, said there was no justification for the violence in Damascus.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Morning Judy. I think the cartoon issue is being used by those who wish to foment violence for their own purposes. Islam may prohibit depictions of God and the prophet and they are free to abide by their own rules. The crucial issue here for western societies is do we or do we not believe in freedom of speech and a free press and is it worth standing up and fighting for. Muslims who live in a western society have an obligation to live by the rules of that society just like westerners in the middle east must follow the laws when in their countries.

Andrew Sullivan has blogged quite a bit on this subject. Scroll down through his blog to see all the entries about this issue.

Andrew Sullivan

Judy B. said...

Agreed Christipher...
And don't mistake what I said to mean that i believe that we should give up our right to a free press..

Only stating what seems obvious to me... there are elements that can use this as a mean to an end... and they know how to politicize, manipulate and propagandize from this one cartoon that was in poor taste and poor judgement...

the free world needs to watch our backs!!!

Marilynn M said...

Did anyone else hear that the new budget eliminates the 255.00 Social Security death benefit? Can't let those old people get away with anything can we?

Cheryl V said...

Yeah the budget cuts out all kinds of "fat". Today they give more tax cuts to the rich.

dan said...

Marilynn,

"Did anyone else hear that the new budget eliminates the 255.00 Social Security death benefit?"

Lets be fair Marilynn. The Republicans reluctantly took this action only after their internal studies showed far too many of our nation's poor abused the system and died just too collect their windfall.

deb said...

Thanks for the laugh Dan:)

deb said...

I had the opportunity to go to France a couple of years ago. It was a real eye opener. They don't have it all completely figured out, but they are doing better than us.

Firstly, they are not socialists. They have free markets and rich and poor people. I was talking to one of my friends and he said that they had at least 1 million living in poverty, it was such a concern to them. The have 65 million living there...I thought that getting the poverty level to 1 in 65 was impressive.

I had an ear ache one morning, called a doctor and got in that afternoon. It cost E35.

Their children either go to college for free or go to a trade high school and are employable right out of high school. The young people typically take a "gap" year to travel out of high school. They stay in hostels all over europe and do grunt work (farm worker, dishwasher, etc.) to support the traveling. They also grow up and learn to depend upon themselves.

The villages are self-sufficient, each small village has a bakery, meat market, fish market, vegatable market, pharmacy (medicine only), tobacco shop (similar to a drug store here, without the drugs). The wealth is spread among many instead of a giant superstore where people named Walton get all of the wealth.

My daughters and I rented a car and a map came with it. The map was made by McDonalds and listed all of the McD's in the country. There were maybe 10 McD's in the whole country.

One of the things that stood out was the amount of pristine countryside. They live in cities, towns, or villages surrounded by the farmland which typically doesn't have houses. It is quite beautiful. They don't have the "junk" on their roads that we have. I still have no idea what they do with their junk cars.

Speaking of cars a middle class family might have ONE, but doesn't even use it to get to work. Each major city has a local train or subway. They are automated. You buy a ticket on the honor system. Get on the train which is unmanned, and someone randomly checks to see if you paid. If you are caught not paying there are very stiff penalties.

When you are in public you are on video. If a crime happens then they have the persons' picture, then go about finding out who the person is. Basically, it is the citizens job to handle most situations. In a fender bender your insurance pays to have your car fixed...you don't call the police.

They are a mixed society. Not quite as much as us, but a little of everybody lives there.

Things I really liked were that "kids" had the right of way on village streets, if they were playing ball the cars would stop until the kids moved out of the way. Many villages didn't allow any car traffic at all, just a parking lot at the edge of town. People walked a lot and were fit, with fresh looking faces.

They a pretty picky about their food. Organic food is typical, and the food there is awesome.

The houses and cars are smaller, and they don't have all of the gadgets that we do, but all in all I'd say that they are healthier and happier than us.

Marilynn M said...

Could it be that they have all that because they don't feel the need to spread Democracy (control the world) everywhere. I'm jealous.

dan said...

Deb,
France sounds terrific. What a great experience it must have been for your daughters.

deb said...

Dan: My daughters have been to Europe more than me. I *finally* got to go, and my husband still hasn't been. I'm hoping to go with him next fall. One of my daughters' best friends' Dad is an airline pilot and she gets to fly on a buddy pass. She's been 4 times and spent the whole summer there when she turned 20. The other has been twice and spent 5 weeks there last summer.

We had a French exchange student a few years back and between our student and her friends we had 5 families that invited us to stay with them. Having places to stay makes it very affordable, also they showed us around their areas.

Having exchange students is much easier when you have teens at home already. I wouldn't do it now that my kids are in college. But, by having exchange students, you are guaranteed to be invited to visit their homes.

deb said...

Sorry to keep on about Europe...

I hope I don't sound like an uncaring mom by letting my kids trek all over Europe. I did a lot of research and found out that it is safe over there. Virtually no violent crime. They went with friends, stayed in youth hostels where all the females bunk in one room and all of the males in another, or they stayed with friends.

Pick-pockets are plentiful and they are very good, but I gave my girls an ATM card and credit card. Those, along with their passports they kept in a pouch that is worn around the neck and down the shirt and all are replaceable. They only kept enough cash to get by for several days at a time.

After seeing it for myself I realized that any fears I had were unfounded. It really is safe over there. I believe our country could learn quite a bit from how the northern european countries have addressed most of the issues we have been discussing.

Anonymous said...

go vote
http://abrij.org/ssb/

dan said...

Deb,
"...I hope I don't sound like an uncaring mom by letting my kids trek all over Europe..."

It took courage and love to allow your daughters such wonderful treks.

Patty (my wife) and I had only two brief trips to European cities, but we saw enough to share your enthusiasm.

America's mistreatment of France over the Iraqi war must have broke your heart.

Marilynn M said...

I think it was a great thing to do. My niece was an exchange student in France. She went and saw everything on Euro Rail. I wish we had something comparable here.

deb said...

Dan, I watched every minute of both UN conferences on C-Span prior to going to war. France had a very eloquent speaker that said that France supported letting the UN inspectors in Iraq do their jobs. That war was too serious to jump into. That the inspectors were doing a very good job.

Most countries also agreed, including the German speaker that said basically the same thing.

Why the American media decided to pick on France completely baffles me. Maybe it is because we have so many military bases in Germany and if we started picking on them they would kick us out.

When we liberated France during WWII we actually owed them...if it weren't for France we would still be singing "Hail to the Queen" instead of the "American National Anthem". Anyone studying history knows that we would have lost at Yorktown had the French not saved us.

dan said...

Deb,
I also watched the whole thing unfold. France & Germany desperately warning us that war was unnecessary and would be a terrible mistake. Tragically, our leaders had set their course long before and could not be swayed.

deb said...

If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. ~Thomas Paine~ (1737-1809)

dan said...

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
Mahatma Gandhi

deb said...

Dan,

Someone at SSB had given me a link to an Iraqi blog that is essentially a young Iraqi girl's diary. I couldn't read very much because it is so depressing. One of the things that I noted was that many of the so called insurgents were just ordinary Iraqis' that are seeking revenge for the deaths of their family members. They would have never been soldiers if war hadn't come to their country.

Thanks for posting the Gandhi quote. I just don't get how Jesus, Gandhi, ML King and other peaceful people are revered and respected in cultures worldwide yet we don't live according to those teachings.

dan said...

Deb,
I've been making links easily tonight so I'll do one more. Amnesty International resently sponcered an event where Noam Chomsky gave a speech. I don't reccomend reading it until you have some time since it's lengthy and, I think, profound.

War On Terror

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Dan, here is another link for you. You said you came back from Vietnam and opposed the war. There is a group of Afghan and Iraq Vets doing the same. This is their blog.
IAVA

dan said...

Christopher,
Thanks for bringing that blog to my attention. IAVA also started a PAC to support Iraq & Afghanistan veterans who run for public office. There experiences should enrich the public debate over those wars.

Wes Clark spoke in support of the group.
Wes Clark on the IAVA Pac

Cheryl V said...

The Iranians have renamed Danish pastries because of the cartoons.

Back in this country, the Freedom Fries guy decided last year that the French were right after all. It was a mistake to invade.

It's amazing how alike we really are.

deb said...

Interesting observation Cheryl. How is it we (as a nation) can't *see* these things in ourselves?

We have sanctions against Cuba because they are communist, but communist China is our bank for the deficit we've run up since w took office. I hate increasing the deficit, but owing it to China boggles my mind. w is asking for another 67 bil. for the war...guess that will come from China also.

I wish for the good old days of the Clinton administration...Peace, Prosperity and free entertainment;)

Judy B. said...

this article from the NY Times is about China and the auto industry..

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/17/business/17auto.html?th&emc=th

Anonymous said...

BUSINESS / YOUR MONEY | February 19, 2006
Economic View: The Case for Fewer but Stronger Currencies

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/business/yourmoney/19view.html?ex=1141102800&en=7b2b0f007b8dd7af&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Judy B. said...

Oil and the currency market...are we paying attention

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/18/international/africa/18chad.html?th&emc=th

dan said...

Todays NY Times editorial talked about Bush's recent nuclear deal with India.

Iran's Best Friend

deb said...

I saw a cartoon strip (lost the link) that showed w holding a paper that said "Iran, No Nukes" in one hand and signing "India Nuke Proliferation" with the other hand...sheesh...

dan said...

George W. is a cartoonist's gift from God.

dan said...

Molley Ivans new column talks about Bush's foreign policy:

Molly