Thursday, June 29, 2006

In Rebuke for Bush, Court Block[sic] Trials at Guantanamo

America, as I knew and understood it, still exists.

I am relieved.

The arguments are not over, of course. Apparently, there are still some questions about the First Amendment - "some say, it's good, some say, it's a transparent but diabolical excuse for traitorer-caliphate-sympathizers - more of that debate, after these messages."

But this is still a relief.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bush's Use of Authority Riles Senator

There was a time when I would defer judgement to reporters and editors, figuring they had the experience and education to get things right. After dipping my toes into the blogopond for the past few years, I know that this deference can be a mistake.
Senators on the Judiciary Committee accused President Bush of an "unprecedented" and "astonishing" power grab on Tuesday for making use of a device that gave him the authority to revise or ignore more than 750 laws enacted since he became president.

(Emphasis added.)
This is a pretty sickening choice of words. Bush is claiming this authority, but it sure as hell wasn't given to him. There is no "except when the president doesn't feel like it" clause in the Constituion.

If you are looking for a primer on the issue of signing statements, this article is most definitely not it. Go read Froomkin, or Greenwald, or the Boston Globe guy, but not this article.
By using what are known as signing statements, memorandums issued with legislation as he signs it, the president has reserved the right to not enforce any laws he thinks violate the Constitution or national security, or that impair foreign relations.

(Again, emphasis added.)
Bush is not reserving the right to not enforce laws. He is claiming that right, in the face of any reasonable, straightforward, non-Bush-licking reading of the Constitution.

This article could be used in journalism classes as an example of the limitations of (1) waiting for a news peg to tell a story and (2) the he said-she said construction.

Everyone's a media critic now, isn't it great?!

Monday, June 26, 2006

The AG's Seven Sunni (Sonny?) Samurai

You know, the "al Qaeda" guys the FBI rounded up last week, the extremely dangerous crew of "homegrown terrorists" who walked around in hoods, stood sentry by their warehouse hideout in ski masks and combat boots, studied the Bible and watched martial arts movies, and -- according to the FBI -- was planning to blow up the Sears Tower.

Has anyone considered the possibility that this was some kind of performing arts group? Maybe they were just rehearsing for their first big break on public access television.

I would guess that they were practicing scenes from this movie, but I could be wrong.
Today's impossible moral and ethical question: Can you sink any lower than using charitable organizations and non-profit outfits for your money laundering schemes?

It used to be that when I would think about charities and non-profits, I would get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and I would be glad that there were people out there who were working for the betterment of their fellow humans, and I would just want to go out and find a cute little puppy to hug and pet and squeeze. Now, I'm gonna think about stains like Abramoff and Norquist. Great. Sorry, metaphorical puppy, no love for you. Instead, it is one more thing to be cynical about, and my list is already pretty full.

(Via TPMmuckraker)