Power To The People

Give Peace A Chance!

Not the greatest musical talent... But he sure gets the message right!
The Mike Gravel Rap:
Power to the People - Give Peace a Chance

Think. Think. Think!

Everybody talkin about politicians. Politicians. Politicians. Politicians. Politicians.
Nepotism. Patriotism.
Jingoism. Jingoism!
Phony patriotism is Jingoism!

Why won't you let me say what I want to say
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Everybody talkin about Fascism. Fascism.
Militarism. Fanaticism. Terrorism. Terrorism!
Despotism. Despotism.
Fear. Fear. Fear!
Islamofascism. American Imperialism. American Imperialism. Harms way. Harms way.

Why won't you let me say what I want to say
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Everybody talkin about pollution. Solution.
Revolution. Evolution. Evolution. Revolution.
Freedom of speech.
Freedom to be who you are.
The Constitution.

Why won't you let me say what I want to say
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Everybody talkin about corporate censorship. Corporate censorship. Party censorship. Parties in censorship. Why? Why?
Are they afraid of the truth?
Ripped off. Ripped off.

Why won't you let me say what I want to say
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Power to the people!
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Why won't you let me say what I want to say
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Power to the people!
Power to the people
Give peace a chance

Rove Gets Wingnut Welfare

Unless Rove plans on telling the truth about the lies and treason he helped orchestrate for the criminal bush administration and the GOP, Rove's book deal will be viewed as nothing more than far-right-wingnut spin:
After a three-week bidding period, Karl Rove has signed a deal with conservative Mary Matalin’s publishing imprint, Threshold Editions, to publish his memoirs. The bidding reached at least $1.5 million, but Threshhold would not disclose Rove’s final payment. When bidding began on Dec. 6, industry experts predicted Rove would get offered $3 million, though a publisher at Alfred K. Knopf said Rove “doesn’t have the personality” to land a major deal for his memoirs.

Given the fact that Rove has done nothing but spin since Newsweek offered him a spot to manufacture more bush lies, Rove's book deal is obviously nothing more than wingnut welfare.


Joe "Uncle Ernie" Lieberman

Or so Branny Boy thinks...
Is Joe Lieberman An Alcoholic Pedophile?

That's what the eccentric uncle in my family turned out to be. Of course, the internal dynamics of the "family" known as the Democratic Party are no doubt subtly different from those of my own, so perhaps not.

Still, Joe's recent remarks . . .

As he told reporters: "There's no question that at times I think some of the Democrats look at me sort of like the ... eccentric uncle, perhaps even the odd uncle at the family gatherings: 'We like him, but every now and then he says things that make us wonder.'"

. . . have got me thinking.

Fiddle about! Fiddle about!

I'm your wicked Uncle Ernie
I'm glad you won't see or hear me
As I fiddle about!
Fiddle about!
Fiddle about!

Freedom is on the march

Freedom of Information, that is:
Congress Eases Access to Gov't Records

Congress on Tuesday struck back at the Bush administration's trend toward secrecy since the 2001 terrorist attacks, passing legislation to toughen the Freedom of Information Act and increasing penalties on agencies that don't comply.

The White House would not say whether President Bush will sign the legislation, which unanimously passed the House by voice vote Tuesday a few days after it sailed through the Senate. Without Bush's signature, the bill would become law during the congressional recess that begins next week.

It would be the first makeover of the FOIA in a decade, among other things bringing nonproprietary information held by government contractors under the law. The legislation also is aimed at reversing an order by former Attorney General John Ashcroft in the wake of the attacks, in which he instructed agencies to lean against releasing information when there was uncertainty about how doing so would affect national security.

Hopefully this will make it harder for the dirtbags in the White House to continue to obstruct the many investigations into Bush administration and GOP crimes and scandals. CREW ought to be exceptionally happy about this news. BUT...

Expect another pResidential signing statement with this one, if he bothers to sign it at all? Likely, he will sign it. Just so he can try to falsely claim his right to ignore it.

Think Progress Complains About Progress

Apparently a study on C-Span coverage of think tanks says Think Progress' mother ship, CAP, is center-left:
A new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research “finds that right-wing think tanks got 51 percent of C-SPAN’s total coverage in 2006, while left-of-center think tanks only got 18 percent of their coverage (a mere 5 percent of which were ‘progressive’ think tanks). The other 31 percent of coverage went to centrist groups.” As TAPPED’s Kate Sheppard points out, this is at odds with C-SPAN’s stated aspiration of “a balanced presentation of points of view.”

Oddly, the study incorrectly lists the Center for American Progress as “center-left” rather than “progressive".
Yes, the imbalance tilted towards wacko right wingnuts' views on C-Span sucks. No big shocker there...

And no offense to the fine work Think Progress does, but IMHO you are center-left. And I mean that in a good way. The Overton Window has been so far to the right for so long and the right wing would love to continue to label you as pinko-lefty-liberal-socialist-commies.

While I find it interesting that many left and right leaning centrists choose to identify with the progressive label more these days, and most liberals just stick to the term liberal. Neither is a bad moniker, and both tend to deal with the reality of today’s politics as opposed to the frames of the right wing echoed in the media.

There are many of us working our asses off to drag the Overton Window back to a place where places like Think Progress will be counted as “center-left." Please don’t undo all of that hard work and smile and take that label. We’ll know the country is back on track to recover from the failed “Great Republican Experiment” when they call you center-right or moderate conservatives… Until then, STFU and take the center-left label for the cause, Damnit! :) lol


Dodd on FISA Victory

We won this battle but the GOP war against The Constitution and The Bill of Rights is still on. Meanwhile, Dodd sends a message to the hundreds of thousands of people that supported his efforts:

There is only one other Presidential candidate that has taken these Constitutional battles as seriously as Dodd by actually walking the walk. That is Dennis Kucinich, with Kucinich leading the charge on the Impeachment front and a myriad of other liberal/progressive issues. Other candidates merely pay lip service to these issues, or fall in line after the real leaders break ground on these issues.

Matt over at Dodd's Blog points out the obvious:

One of my recently discovered favorite blogs is Lead or Get Out of the Way. It's authors write under pseudonyms pulled from Revolutionary era patriots - their goal is to help promote more and better Democrats. One of the coolest features of their site is that they use two tag clouds to sort out who is leading the most and who most needs to get out of the way.

Take one guess who they see as leading the most?

Chris Dodd.

Remember that we must step up the pressure on Congress critters if we are ever going to effect real change. Send a message of thanks to Dodd here and/or fiscally REWARD outstanding behavior here...

As a side note: Here is some coverage of the other liberal New England Senator, Ted Kennedy, that was caught doing something good on this issue as well. And here is another Senator's personal take on the battle, as Russ Feingold Blogs over at TPM Cafe.


Spy VS Spy

OR spy agency vs spy agency... Via Talking Points Memo:
The Washington Post gets a retired FBI agent on the record who contradicts much of what former CIA agent John Kiriakou had to say last week about the capture and torture of Abu Zubaydah. Who to believe?
Via TPM Muckraker:

Abu Zubaydah was:

A) A high-ranking Al Qaeda operative who largely confounded U.S. interrogators with his literary and tactical genius until they submitted him to waterboarding and other forms of torture. After that, he provided key information that likely preempted future attacks.

B) A low-ranking and mentally ill Al Qaeda operative who provided valuable information under gentle questioning, but whose confessions made under torture were useless. Much of the threat information he provided was "crap."

A is the CIA's version (and the President's). B is the FBI's. And in today's Washington Post, Dan Eggen and Walter Pincus walk through the competing profiles. Zubaydah, remember, was one of the two detainees whose interrogations appeared on the destroyed CIA tapes.

It's clear off the bat that the version of events provided by John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who launched something like a PR blitz last week, is not quite right. In his telling, Zubaydah held out until waterboarded; after only 35 seconds of that, he gave in and "from that day on, he answered every question."

By contrast, both CIA and FBI agents tell the Post that he provided valuable information before he was waterboarded. And there wasn't just one session: "Instead, [other former and current officials] said, harsh tactics used on him at a secret detention facility in Thailand went on for weeks or, depending on the account, even months."

And then you get to the real discrepancies.

Meanwhile, the destruction of the CIA torture tapes that sparked this inter-agency battle likely violated a court order concerning evidence of torture:

A federal judge has ordered a hearing on whether the Bush administration violated a court order by destroying CIA interrogation videos of suspected terrorists.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy rejected calls from the Justice Department to stay out of the matter. He ordered lawyers to appear before him Friday morning.

In June 2005, Kennedy ordered the administration to safeguard “all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.”


Take Gavel From Childish Joe Neocon Lieberman

Via TPM:

Marc Ambinder and Mike Allen are both reporting this afternoon that Joe Lieberman will appear in New Hampshire to endorse John McCain's presidential campaign.

A source familiar with the endorsement said that the two will appear of NBC's Today Show tomorrow morning and at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.

The endorsement could help McCain with independents in the state.... The move will heighten speculation that McCain might ask Lieberman to join his ticket.

A few thoughts. First, this news hardly comes as a surprise. As far back as January, Lieberman said he would consider backing the Republican nominee in '08. Obviously, given that McCain and Lieberman have been joined at the hip in support of Bush's Iraq policy for five years, I would have been more surprised if he didn't endorse McCain.


This is the natural evolution of an embarrassing senator who lost his way quite a while ago. It's unlikely, in a 51-49 Senate, that the Democratic leadership will punish Lieberman for this (by, say, reevaluating the decision to give him a committee chairman's gavel he never uses), but it's hardly an unreasonable move given the circumstances.
Previously brewed in New Milford:

Help Wanted: Prestigious Senate Career Opportunity

A prestigious opportunity for career advancement in the Senate:

The Democratic party is in search of a new Chairman (or chairwoman/chairperson) for the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Moderate Senators need only apply.(1)

The Chairman's responsibilities and Jurisdictions will include real oversight concerning failures of the Bush administration in providing security to our nation during times of war, illegal invasions, ongoing occupations, and natural disasters, as well as overseeing the bloated budget and operations of the largest branch of government ever to be created in the US governments' history through legislation authored under the Republican controlled Senate and House, and signed by the Republican pResident of the time.

Your main and immediate responsibilities will include holding the needed hearings, directing sub-commitees and legislation needed to avoid repeating the previous disasters, corrupt practices, and failures that will be found with the proper direction and oversight of a NON-PARTISAN and ETHICAL Senate leader.

Send all applications to Senator Harry Reid(2)

(1)Minorities such as moderate Republicans having no ties to far-right-wing radical organizations like the Neoconservative movement, the American Enterprise Institute, The Heritage Foundation, Energy Corporations, or the Bush administrations most recent policy proposals that are doomed to failure, are encouraged to apply to Senator Harry Reid for any consideration concerning this soon to be available position.

(2)Note to applicants: Please mark the subject of the Email as "Homeland Security" and refer to this x-posted Blog diary in the opening paragragh of the application. You will be contacted shortly before I post an "I told you so!" diary covering the flawed positions, election statement lies, and propaganda of the far-right-wing radical Neoconservative Joe Lieberman.

ReReBlogged Since this position
has yet
to be filled by a qualified,
ethical or sane candidate.


Conyers asks YOU to support Dodd on FISA

Support Dodd's Filibuster:
Dear Friend:

The Senate will soon consider legislation addressing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I emailed you about this issue recently responding to inaccuracies in the press about Democratic efforts to improve protection of civil liberties. I am writing you today to update you on the current state of the bill and to ask for your help.

One critical question being considered in the Senate's FISA bill is whether to offer telecom companies retroactive immunity for any actions they undertook in the wireless surveillance program. The Bush Administration has claimed that this is necessary for national security reasons, but I am skeptical.

If the Administration was serious about arguing for this immunity, I suspect they would take steps to demonstrate to Congress the extent of this surveillance program and what role the phone companies played. Yet they have refused to share even this information with the House. Clearly, it is a bit much to ask for immunity from prosecution without explaining why it is necessary.

Because of these reservations, the House-passed FISA bill did not include the immunity the president sought. In the Senate, however, it is becoming clear that a tough battle will now ensue over this provision. Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut has been a vocal opponent of telecom immunity and has promised to filibuster any FISA legislation that includes this provision.

Senator Dodd needs your help right now. Please visit his site and lend your support to the filibuster now. Your help can make a difference at this important juncture.

Thank you again for your continued support for a better democracy.

Your Friend,
John Conyers, Jr.