As bad as we thought the Bush presidency was….

we may find out it was worse.

It is definitely worth reading this memo from the Bush justice department.  Recently released by the Obama administration, after being held secret by the Bush administration.  The memo leans heavily on resolutions from the Nixon administration and from three days after the attacks in 2001 to justify the president having extremely broad powers to take any action almost any where on the planet.

“Further, the President has the constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations. Finally, the President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11.”

Reading the memo, it seems like the author continually goes to lengths to remove any restraint on the office of the president.  The focus does not seem to clarify the power of the presidency, it really seems it is to justify any action of the president as long as it can be remotely connected to countering a terrorist threat.

“Third, it should be noted here that the Joint Resolution is somewhat narrower than the President’s constitutional authority. The Joint Resolution’s authorization to use force is limited only to those individuals, groups, or states that planned, authorized, committed, or aided the attacks, and those nations that harbored them. It does not, therefore, reach other terrorist individuals, groups, or states, which cannot be determined to have links to the September 11 attacks. Nonetheless, the President’s broad constitutional power to use military force to defend the Nation, recognized by the Joint Resolution itself, would allow the President to take whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.

Read the entire memo, here. Definitely interesting. You’ll probably still read it before Bush does.


Bush quotes relating to religion

I don’t know which disturbs me more, that so much of his understanding of the world is based on mythology or that much of the time he makes no sense at all.

The word according to Dubya: 50 religious insights from George Bush Collected from: Dubya Speak

Most Frightening: “I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did. ” Sharm el-Sheikh August 2003

Most Obtuse: “I don’t think you order suiciders to kill innocent men, women, and children if you’re a religious person. ” Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Jul. 14, 2004


By the numbers

Last night while stretching before Karate, the conversation turned to the situation in Iraq (as it often does). I made the gruesome, and probably tasteless, joke that at least the travesty we’ve created there can’t go on forever. Since the civil war, our actions and the ramifications to health and welfare will decimate the population to the point where there’s no one left to fight. To this a friend, more knowledgeable and cynical than I, replied, “How do you know that the birthrate is below the death rate?” I don’t.

Today, I read the following headline, “US-led forces killed 32 suspected militants in a raid on the Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad, the US military said today.” Thirty two dead on suspicion.?  Why is it that we don’t react to this? Apparently, 9 civilians were also killed, although it may not have been important enough to distinguish if they were part of the 32 or additional.

I don’t remove myself from the callous crowd, I feel like I’m just as bad. I’m just popping my head up to look around.


Like Jon Stewart without the funny…

Saw this today on DailyKos which has been getting lots of great press lately, thanks to Bill O’reilly being such a loud-mouth jerk.

Lots of good points in a very straightforward format. I think that’s what we need more of, without the visceral talking heads putting on a show. People like O’reilly
and Hannity and Colmes really do nothing for the discourse.
I think it’s great, give a listen: