Fighting for our Country on the Fourth

(Stole the YouTube from Athenae)

Back before George Bush shat on the Constitution and back before I got dual-citizenship, through mr. emptywheel, in Ireland, I spent a summer studying Czech in Prague. I was in the most advanced class, which meant that (because most Americans never get much further than "pivo" in Czech) I was one of just two Americans in the class. In fact, several of the other students were people who had been born in Czechoslovakia, but had fled communism when they were kids. They were spending the summer re-learning Czech so they could, now that Czech Republic was a free country, contribute to the country of their birth.

Though the other American woman was the daughter of a Czech, she was in some ways an "ugly American." I remember, for example, when she said she could not, would not, ever live without a car, not even if she lived in Manhattan (she lived in Ithaca, NY). She was pretty jingoistic, too–America had the power and force, goddamnit, so it could do what it wanted to do.

One day, the other American woman was gone for some reason and, in the course of some speaking exercise I suggested that America wasn’t all it could be. Everyone in the class took that opportunity to express their surprise. "You’re not like other Americans" they said (this was in the period when young Americans treated Prague like an extended frat party). "I can’t believe you haven’t moved to Europe."

But immediately several of them, at once, said, "But please stay where you are, to make America better. To make America what it should be."

There have been times–after I got my EU citizenship and after Bush won the 2004 election–when I’ve been tempted to leave this country. But I always think back to that commitment I made to a bunch of Europeans (some of whom, remember, had fled communism and experienced the return of freedom to their own country) to make America what it should be again. I think back to that commitment I made to myself to make America what it should be again.

Two hundred-some years ago, a bunch of guys fought hard to make this country special. It’s our fight now, to make our country back into the leader and beacon of hope it ought to be.

May you and yours have a wonderful Fourth!

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  1. klynn says:

    Thank you EW. Back about the same time you were in Prague (a BEAUTIFUL city), I was working at the UN in Geneva as an intern. Had similar conversations with students in Buda-Pesh (Budapest) as well as students at the University of Geneva and made a similar promise that you made to your student friends overseas, to make America better, for my views, of what We the People “could be” to honor our founder’s intent(s), had a way to go…and freedom’s hope would get us there…

    Have a great Fourth EW (and Mr. EW), shining THE light of liberty and justice.

    Thanks for making your word, your word. You’re doing an amazing job keep your promise. You carry “Founder’s Pride” for the Constitution. Thanks
    Mr. EW for supporting Mrs. EW in keeping her promise.

    Off to the parade, kids, signs and…hope…

  2. PJEvans says:

    Happy 4th, EW, and may the next 225 birthdays of this country be a whole lot better than the last seven!

  3. FrankProbst says:

    Jesse Helms is dead. Start the clock–I’m guessing that the media will avoid words like “racist” and “homophobic” in favor of “controversial” and “colorful”.

    On second thought, I’m okay with “colorful”. I like the irony there.

  4. MarieRoget says:

    Two hundred-some years ago, a bunch of guys fought hard to make this country special. It’s our fight now, to make our country back into the leader and beacon of hope it ought to be.

    A wonderful & moving post for this July 4th, ew. That bunch of guys risked everything- their lives, their families’ lives, all they had & were to found the U.S. None of us can afford to be “sunshine patriots” in ‘08, any more than they could:

    From the excellent John Adams series on HBO-
    “God Damn The King!”

    Happy 4th of July, one & all.

  5. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    Well said, EW, not that that’s a surprise to me. I spent the latter part of the ’60s looking at Prague on a radar scope, and for one summer, watching Russian Bisons and troop carriers land at airports all over our range of coverage. We are nowhere near the freedom our founding fathers laid out, but we’re not yet as enslaved as the Czechs were then. The operative term, of course, is ‘yet’, and it’s up to us to make sure that that slide ends and recovery begins a.s.a.p.

    This is the best 4th of July feeling I’ve had in the last eight and I hope that this is just the start.

  6. behindthefall says:

    EW, from where this reader, at least, stands, you seem to be fulfilling your informal committment to those people (and to us) truly exceptionally. Thanks for the story, and thanks for your work.

  7. JThomason says:

    Happy 4th EW. And thanks for your leadership in critical dialog (…multilog, polylog, pluralog?). I lived in mid-town Memphis as a boy in ‘68 when Dr. King was assassinated and saw riots and martial law. I spent a couple of summers, including one July 4th, in the early ’80s as a signalman on a US Navy fast frigate in the Persian Gulf. During this time in 1980 American hostages were being held in Tehran. When I returned to college after my service I roomed with the son of one of the hostages taken in Iran whose father committed suicide shortly after his release from Tehran. I have been to Dachau. I witnessed heavily armed plain clothes policemen make random identification stops in a suburb north of Moscow last summer. And this in contrast to the profound and exceptional Constitutional rights I have enjoyed having had the good fortune to be born in the United States. I regret that many of these rights appear to be imperiled in the storms of reactionary politics and falling under the elongating shadow of statist excesses.

    And in a world of mind-numbing media I have been drawn to your work as a source of salient information and laser sharp clarity. This informed inquiring vigilance should be celebrated today. I appreciate your acknowledgment of the greater context.

  8. bell says:

    i’m conflicted on the idea of empire or nation building and the political entity of countries… on the one hand i appreciate the idea of acknowledging ones history and what it has brought… on the other i see the potential conflict it creates.. i was born and have lived in canada most of my life.. my thought is that we need to get beyond national identity and by recognizing that we are all on this planet together and share something in common with all people..we all have something more universal going on is how i see it..

    happy 4th to those who feel strongly about their nation, and happy every day to those who feel strongly about moving forward together on the planet for all concerned in spite of the political boundaries that seem to create a sense of seperateness… thanks for your all your excellent posts ew and all the great contributions from the countless posters as well..

  9. skdadl says:

    Greetings and congratulations from one of the scarlet tunics (we’re not the redcoats; the redcoats are those other guys over there).

    But immediately several of them, at once, said, “But please stay where you are, to make America better. To make America what it should be.”

    EW, I know a personal version of that logic, and I’ve sometimes been reminded of it when I’m watching one of your congressional hearings (some of my favourite shows). I start off thinking, eg, “Why isn’t Feingold running for president? He could run circles around anyone else.” But then I have slowly learned that it matters to have great senators, maybe more than it matters who the president is (unless the president happens to have a sociopath as VP, o’ course).

    With all the frustration that has been expressed in the left ’sphere about your congresscritturs, I have to tell you that some of them have me very impressed. I would vote early and often for Feingold or Delahunt (who knows more about the Arar case than do most Canadians), eg. More and better, indeed.

    Building democracy matters to us too, so it is wonderful to meet anyone who is fighting for it as articulately and effectively as you are, EW. Well: EW and friends. Thank you so much for what you have built here.

  10. billinturkey says:

    Forty-four ice-creams for Friday the fourth! (Well, Thursday the fourth, if you want to make life difficult for yourself…)

  11. bmaz says:

    Happy Fourth of July one and all. Even the Canucks, who I have great envy of right about now. It is like 192 degrees here, and my official representatives seem to have misplaced the 4th Amendment just in time for the 4th of July. That aside best to everyone!

  12. Larry says:

    Marcy: Your good heart is in the right place, if anyone’s is, but what lies behind your “Two hundred-some years ago, a bunch of guys fought hard to make this country special. It’s our fight now, to make our country back into the leader and beacon of hope it ought to be” is a form of what has been called America’s “circular civic religion” — that we have been put here to do good and should feel good (as in righteous) about doing this. The problem is that this national civic religion runs counter to our long-standing habits of ( even drives toward) pretence and self-deception along those very lines — habits or drives that will, as they ceaselessly manifest themselves, break your own good heart eventually. One can argue that our pretences and self-deceptions have at times been invigorating and necessary (or at least have been very difficult if not impossible to check — that we are, when it comes down to it, pretty much a nation of hustlers ). But don’t paens to “our country [as the] leader and beacon of hope it ought to be” serve to fuel the very notions of national righteousness and exceptionalism that by now we ought to have come to see as fairly dangerous?

    • emptywheel says:

      I don’t see it that way. I’ve been noting we can no longer sustain our exceptionalist myths for some time. But that doesn’t change that fact that 1) a lot of people look to our Constitution as a model–so we damn well better make sure the country lives up to that model and proves it is sustainable and 2) we’re big enough that we will either lead towards destruction or lead towards problem-solving or (on things like climate change) hold everyone else up because we refuse to lead–but lead we will (which is different from hegemony). Given how powerful the US is, it is all the more necessary that people strive to make it live up to its promises.

      • JThomason says:

        Please don’t forget the American historical progression in civil rights: moving beyond slavery toward integration, acknowledging and empowering labor and enfranchising women. The Constitution is a revolutionary document containing historically exceptional principles in the example it has provided and in facilitating these movements in law and society. To the degree that we surrender instinctually to tyranny and the revolution ends we are unexceptional and being human we have no inherent assurance against this possibility.

    • masaccio says:

      American exceptionalism is one thing, it means that somehow we think that whatever we do is justified by our status as the Shining City on the Hill.

      What EW is saying is totally different. When our ancestors formed this government, it was an exception in a world governed by kings and tyrants. The principles of the Founders were forged in human thought, and based on the agreement of the people, not on dynastic claims backed by force, and sanctioned by religion. We have a responsibility to our ancestors and our children to act in ways that will preserve those principles. Otherwise, this form of government will be replaced by something that looks more like Myanmar.

      The plain fact is that we received a precious gift, and we hold it for the benefit of all humans. It isn’t ours, but it only takes a few reckless fools to destroy something wonderful. We have the responsibility to protect this gift from the ignorant, and the greedy, and the fearful, and the self-righteous, and all of the other vandals. If only we had some certainty about the way forward…. But we don’t, any more than our ancestors did. Just as they did, we have to rely on ourselves and our compatriots, and their good will and good sense. I believe that our commitment to that kind of self-government is exceptional.

      • Larry says:

        And to Marcy as well. Marcy, your June 10, 2005, post was … exceptional, but “Shining City on the Hill”/”precious gift” [that we] hold in benefit for all mankind” thinking, even in the seemingly benign forms that Masaccio cites, seems to leave us with very little room for success or even maneuver. You put your finger on it when wrote in your 2005 post: “Perhaps I’ll be scolded for being a pessimist, but the time when the US could lead the rest of the world by appealing to our exceptionalism AND exert real hegemonic power is over.”

        But given that we have more of that “real hegemonic power” than any other nation and have had it for at least a century now, and exert it not only in the hands of Bush-Cheney but also just by the fact of our economic and cultural existence, how the heck do we give it up? I don’t mean “how” as in “why” (I think we agree on why), and I don’t mean “how” as in “how do we dare to try?” — I mean “how” as in “how do we pull this off hegemonic withdrawal or transformation given the democracy and electorate we now have, or any version of them that we can envision?” and also “how do we pull this off in a world of other contending would-be hegemonies?” That is, I’m with you in spirit but have grave doubts about “the way forward.” Or perhaps it’s that the only way forward for us will turn out to be determined not by us anymore but by others. If so, can this nation live with that?

        • masaccio says:

          There is a natural conflict between “hegemonic power” and democratic values, shorthand for what I think EW and I are talking about. As far as I’m concerned, the former is the outcome chosen by the crazy right wing, beginning with Goldwater and continuing through Nixon, Reagan and by the republicans ever since. Its only beneficiaries are the rich and their toadies, regardless of nationality, and its victims are the rest of us, whether here or abroad.

          The rest of the world has had to cope with our crazies long enough. Time to throw them out, drive a stake through the heart of their policies, and try to get things on a course to a sane future, under law.

      • skdadl says:

        masaccio, that is a beautiful piece of writing. If I may just add to it a small tribute to C17-C18 European reflections on their own past …

        One of the reasons I love your Bill of Rights is that it is to me recognizably a product of the European Enlightenment. Your founders, after all, were men (were there influential women as well? forgive my ignorance) of that culture, had been thinking through the problems of European history in the way of several generations of philosophes, who had slowly been sifting out solutions to problems like, eg, revenge cycles. From thinking through their own recent history, so many writers of the C17-C18 were figuring out what it would take to try democracy again. By mid-C18, everyone who was anyone could see it coming — that is just all over the literature of the time.

        But more than that, they were starting to list the basic principles and structures necessary and sufficient to democracy that were finally codified in your Bill of Rights and the French Declaration. Those documents are exceptional, but they are so because they are rooted deeply, very deeply, in many wonderful readings of actual human experience. The justice systems of every democracy, eg, are supposed to work the way they do because we want to stop the revenge cycles. By analogy, international law should work the same way, for the same reason, although clearly we’re not there yet.

        Please excuse the lecture. When I were a tad, I fell in love with Diderot and Rousseau, for such different reasons, except I could see why they loved each other for a time. Whenever I go to vote now, I imagine taking Diderot along with me. I can just see him bouncing along the street, so thrilled at the thought that people can do what he knew we could. (I save the downside for later.) And then in my bad moments, I remember J-J R — we find our best discipline when we keep remembering that we were born free.

        Actual human experience — history — is where they found the best principles, not in scholarly equivocation or in mystical notions of exceptionalism. That’s what we have to live up to, however we can.

        Here’s to the Bill of Rights.

        • MarkH says:

          One of the reasons I love your Bill of Rights is that it is to me recognizably a product of the European Enlightenment.

          Your founders, after all, … , had been thinking through the problems of European history in the way of several generations of philosophes, who had slowly been sifting out solutions to problems like, eg, revenge cycles. From thinking through their own recent history, so many writers of the C17-C18 were figuring out what it would take to try democracy again. By mid-C18, everyone who was anyone could see it coming — that is just all over the literature of the time.

          But more than that, they were starting to list the basic principles and structures necessary and sufficient to democracy that were finally codified in your Bill of Rights and the French Declaration. Those documents are exceptional, but they are so because they are rooted deeply, very deeply, in many wonderful readings of actual human experience. The justice systems of every democracy, eg, are supposed to work the way they do because we want to stop the revenge cycles. By analogy, international law should work the same way, for the same reason, although clearly we’re not there yet.

          Actual human experience — history — is where they found the best principles, not in scholarly equivocation or in mystical notions of exceptionalism. That’s what we have to live up to, however we can.

          Here’s to the Bill of Rights.

          One reason the Declaration of Independence is so great is that it’s a bill of particulars, not a treatise on ideology. They sought a solution to very specific problems. Unfortunately that also led to a complicated system. But, it isn’t formed to be pretty, but to work and it’s like the American people, a work horse. Best of all they included a provision to allow for continued revisions (hopefully improvements).

          It may be macabre, but there can be some lessons learned from this Bush era. As we look at the many ways they try to skirt the law or simply lie it away we can see how strong the Constitution and statue law is and where there are weaknesses. Curiously we now understand the positioning of the Vice President much better now and it is a hoot.

          Indeed, here’s to the Framers, the Bill of Rights and all the great thinkers whose shoulders they stood on.

          My favorite Amendment, in that it gets overlooked rather a lot, is the 9th: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” It makes clear we don’t forget our rights are not granted by the Constitution and that the complete set of our rights isn’t enunciated there either. Scalia and his ilk probably can’t count past the second since that’s the one amendment they seem to recognize.

    • PJEvans says:

      The people who wrote the Constitution saw it as providing an example of a possibly-better way to run countries. They saw us as more like a lighthouse, showing the world how it could be done, not as Saviors of Mankind.
      I suspect they were a bit closer to the ground we walk on than our current government, which sees all of us as ‘flyover country’.

      • PetePierce says:

        which sees all of us as ‘flyover country’.

        My nomination for phrase of the day. It says it all.

  13. Jkat says:

    and marcy said yesterday .. ” i didn’t serve” .. to which this old warhorse replied “you’re serving now.. they also serve who sit and type..”
    this is heavy work .. and needs be done ..

    happy fourth …

    “oh beautiful for spacious skies … for amber waves of grain … “

  14. Jkat says:

    bmaz .. many moons ago i lived in needless CA for six years .. i miss that dry heat .. it’d do my RA sooooo much good .. AAMOF .. just reading your note made me “feel” better …

    the desert is both a curse and a blessin’ … y’all take care out there ..

  15. Drumman says:

    Happy 4th EW. A pretty touching thread brought tears to my eyes and makes me proud to be an American and I feel very honored to have made your friendship. Thank you and Mr EW for all the help over the the last couple of years

  16. behindthefall says:

    “… conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that All Men are created Equal. Now we are engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether That Nation, or Any Nation, so Conceived and so Dedicated can long Endure.”

  17. PetePierce says:

    On July 4 we celebrate (musical accompaniment provided in the first link for this post) the Royal Kingdom of the Unitary Executive aka Bannana Republic USA where 1/100 citizens are in the custody of DOJ/BOP.

    The No-Fly list is approaching its one million mark. Airline costs, milk and groceries, medicine prices between $4/$5 a pill or capsule, and gas at the pump is climbing toward $12 a gallon as the Detroit Big Three see the handwriting on the wall and it is imminent the death of them. GM has closed 35 plants and 15 more big 3 plant closings will happen in the coming weeks despite Carl Levin’s most steadfast efforts to keep mpg as low as possible for the gas hog SUVs and trucks.

    Your Senate in the personage of Mitch McConnell has blocked(last week) legislation that would prevent a 10% reduction in medicare reimbursement to M.D.’s. To paraphrase McConnell and his wife, “when they get older–screw ‘em–they don’t need medical care and we can divert trillions toward killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan”

    Senate Democrats Attack Republicans on Medicare

    WASHINGTON — Democrats moved swiftly on Friday to assail Republican senators for voting against a major Medicare bill and said the Republicans should be held responsible for a 10 percent cut in payments to doctors that takes effect next week.

    And doctors, pharmacists and advocates for Medicare beneficiaries said they would step up pressure on members of Congress when they return home for the Fourth of July recess.

    On Thursday night, Republican senators blocked efforts by Democrats to take up the bill, which would have stopped the impending cut in payments to doctors.

    President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, in part because it would finance a small increase in payments to doctors next year by reducing payments to insurance companies that care for some Medicare beneficiaries.


    Bush Seeks Surplus via Medicare/Medicaid Cuts

    Some two hundred plus years later, we face a much richer, more diverse, more technologically advanced intrepid monarchy with an epicenter right in the Appalacian foothills of Christy Hardin Smith’s West Virginia where according to LHP the 4th Amendment is being gutted by the FISA bill. That’d be Clarksburg West Virginia to be exact. There are other outposts in the Kingdom:

    Also check out

    FBI Rd
    Bridgeport, WV 26330

    FBI Center Rd
    Bridgeport, WV 26330

    The NYT also has an appropriate article this morning, and it’s more geared at tracking down your puppy or youtoddler but I see an excellent application. Congress can pass a law or the Unitary Executive can just proclaim one or make one in one of nearly one thousand edicts from King George to the colonists “signing statements” that we install these into the subcutaneous tissue of every living woman, man, and child in the U.S:

    FISA Has Always Been Exclusive and Wakeup LHP! Your Former Employer Has Been Tracking Your Cell Phone Conversations and Email Long before the Obamas graduated Harvard Law

    Unitary Executives: Find Out Where Spot er Your Citizens Went

    Technology is finally trying to catch up to J. K. Rowling. This summer, a new generation of pocket-size gadgets — with names like FindWhere, Zoombak, GPS Snitch and PocketFinder luggage device — offer anyone willing to spend $129.99 or more (and $15 or more for a monthly service plan) a way to use the Global Positioning System to track the people, pets and possessions they love [or the Unitary Executive just wants to friggin’ track].

    Your biometrics are being tracked with a new billion dollar system that is 20% accurate but hey in Miley Cyrus America aka “da Homeland right–Hedda Gabler 1880’s Mikey the Incompetent Chertoff 2008″–20% is more than notin’.

    Welcome to the Headquaters of Surveillance Nation in Christy Hardin Smith’s Appalacian Foothills

    Illegally Spyin’ on You R US says FBI

    FBI CJIS Taps LHP’s, Jane’s and Christy’s Cell Phone and Email Get Friggin Used to It

    Lockheed Gets $1 Billion FBI Biometrics Contract

    FBI Monarchy Has World’s Largest Billion DollarBiometric Data Base Up and Running to Track Colonists

    The Biometric Authorizer Be Authorizin’ You

    Testimony of Assistant Director in Charge Michael D. Kirkpatrick, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, FBI or How FBI Want’s Yo Ass in Prison Now!

    F.B.I. to put 1 Billion onto biometric and Identity Gathering of U.S. citizens

    FBI wants palm prints, eye scans, tattoo mapping

    FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics $1 Billion Project to Include Images of Irises and Faces

  18. BayStateLibrul says:

    O’Neill is having a hard time being confirmed as a Federal Judge by
    Bushie….
    Can’t imagine why, he is working on a master’s degree in writing fiction –
    a perfect fit for a Bush lapdog…

    “Friends and colleagues describe Mr. O’Neill as a creative, fair and exceptionally able lawyer. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Yale Law School, and he served as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is working on a master’s degree in writing fiction.”

    • bmaz says:

      Well that masters in fiction writing ought to help the prick when he goes to write those Federalist Society love poem opinions on the bench eh?

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        If O’Neill has a masters, Yoo has a doctorate?
        Yankee manager gave a bloody tongue-lashing to those lackluster Yankees.
        Tied at 3-3, so far…

      • PetePierce says:

        They’re lying because they don’t have any problem with a black kid who grew up on BET videos and didn’t learn to read most sentences in a newspaper rotting in a BOP cynder block cube smaller than the inside of your car for 20 years because he saw the videos, saw the boob jobs hanging out of the Teddy tops while the babes danced around fine mo fo cars, and decided he wanted to get him some.

        But when one of their own, a lawyer who was in charge of getting the pricks Alito and Roberts onto the Supreme Court Bench is revealed in the national headlights to be a sociopathic liar and theif who is a Federalist Society darling, former special counsel to the Criminal Division of DOJ about the time Christy Hardin Smith and LHP were in it is revealed to be a lying stealing scum sucking pig it makes them uncomfortable when they turn the key to their Beamers and their Mercedes SUVs.

    • PetePierce says:

      Sorry I didn’t see that you already posted on the bastard O’Neill. I’m glad that people are picking up on him. He needs not only not to be confirmed he needs to become a national laughing stock. I’m surprised as great a lawyer as Neil Katyal who is at the epicenter of HamdenII (it’s Katyal’s case that could change the landscape for the Gitmo “hearings” would have supported him.

      Similarly, parts of a 2000 article by Mr. O’Neill in the George Mason Law Review bear a striking similarity to a 1997 article in the Michigan Law Review by Neal Kumar Katyal.

      Professor Katyal, of the Georgetown University Law Center, said he knew Mr. O’Neill and admired him

      Professor Neal Katyal Rides Herd on Lil Bushie Again: Hamdan II: Two Subplots in Guantánamo’s Long Legal Story

      The long legal story of the Bush administration’s effort to prosecute detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, now has two fast-moving subplots. Either one could soon write something of a final chapter.

      One plot will proceed in a federal courthouse in Washington, where lawyers for a detainee filed papers on Thursday seeking an injunction that, if granted, could be the death knell for the Bush administration’s military commissions at Guantánamo.

      The other will play out in a makeshift courtroom overlooking Guantánamo Bay itself, where military prosecutors are pressing ahead with plans for what, later this month, would be the first of the trials the administration has been seeking for nearly seven years.

      Either one could be decisive.

      “This is a critical moment for the proceedings,” said Joanne Mariner, a lawyer at Human Rights Watch.

      A completed trial would be the success the administration has sought to bolster its argument that the detainees are dangerous terrorists, and that its beleaguered system for trying them works. Pentagon officials note that charges have been brought in 20 cases.

      But critics say an injunction barring one trial, particularly after the defeat for the administration’s detention policy last month in the Supreme Court, could effectively bring the entire war-crimes system to a halt.

      “>NEAL KUMAR KATYAL

  19. Loo Hoo. says:

    Wow. What a moving post. I’m a soldier in this fight, and delighted that we have officers like you, EW.

  20. brendanx says:

    Yesterday’s post on Cindy McCain’s fortune and today’s mention of ugly Americans in Prague reminded me of this.

  21. brendanx says:

    emptywheel:

    Speaking of ugly Americans (and again sort of related to Prague), Cheney was talking to the Poles about that missile shield, and what do you know — he turned things to shit. They’re saying no.

  22. randiego says:

    Happy 4th folks. I will try to find time today to read the declaration of independence.

    bmaz- you must be the only people left in Phoenix that aren’t in San Diego today. Zonies everywhere!

  23. PetePierce says:

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish a Joyous Fourth of July to one Michael E. O’Neill, former Scottish Hagus Specter Lacky and Chief Counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee

    Meet Lying, Stealing Four Time Plaguerist Michael B. O’Neill who is now asking to be placed on the Federal District Court District of Columbia Bench.

    Who the hell is Michael O’Neill? He helped screw you to the wall for the next 30-40 years and counting.

    Currently a law professor in the arch conservative George Mason Law School (who helped make judicial junkets to litigants before federal appellate judges an art form)O’Neill was placed in charge of the nominations of Roberts and Alito by the White House. He served as special assistant U.S. attorney in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and as an appellate litigator in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Appellate Section. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and for the Honorable David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    And what did this pedigree do for Mike O’Neill and why am I wishing him a happy 4th? It taught him to lie and steal as you would expect the above mentioned venues to do.

    O’Neill has been caught buck naked with his ass in the headlights plaguerizing not one but four law review articles for several lengthy passages and paragraphs and calling them his own. He has been nailed to the wall, and as usual when a former member of the DOJ’s criminal division is caught buck ass stealing or breaking a law, he blames his conduct on “poor organization.”

    Poor organization is correct, but it’s a diagnosis that is psychiatric out of the pages of DSM IV (i.e. Personality Disorder, Sociopathic or or meeting the ICD-10 Criteria for Dissocial Personality Disorder

    O’Neill now wants to be a district court judge in the District of Columbia, shifting the balance of little Bushie federalist automatons formerly drawing paychecks from DOJ even further.

    His plaguerism is about to become front and center in Senate Judiciary Committee or let’s see if former US Attorney Sheldon (ah might wanna be in da) Whitehouse has the balls to hit this lying bastard like a NY Giants cornerback should.

    July 4, 2008
    Copying Issue Raises Hurdle for Bush PRICK Pick

    Last year, a peer-reviewed legal journal, the Supreme Court Economic Review, issued a retraction of an article by Mr. O’Neill in 2004. “Substantial portions” of the article, the editors wrote, were “appropriated without attribution” from a book review by another law professor. In addition, at least four articles by Mr. O’Neill in other publications contain passages that appear to have been lifted from other scholars’ works without quotation marks or attribution.

    In an interview on Thursday in the dining room of his home in Chevy Chase, Md., Mr. O’Neill was contrite about the duplications, blaming “a poor work method.” He said he often mingled research materials and his own work in a single computer file. “I didn’t keep appropriate track of things,” he said. “I frankly did a poor and negligent job.”

    AKA “My sociopathopathy fucking stole from other law professors four fucking times and once you taste the fruits of power by being a Supreme Court Kingmaker you feel like you can get away with any fucking thing you want and still sit on the federal court bench. Fuck all of you.”

    “To me, it all sounds generic and plain. I didn’t catch it.”
    Translation: [”Fuck all of you. I’m a wimp who has to steal from other law professors because I see this as a game to be gamed and nothing I learned from Clarence Thomas or at DOJ taught me honesty has anything to do with the fucking law–and fuck you again.”]

    Deborah L. Rhode, an authority on legal ethics at Stanford, said the retraction by the Supreme Court Economic Review was “extremely unusual” and amounted to “a textbook case of conduct that casts doubt on someone’s fitness for judicial office.”

    “That’s a serious form of misconduct in an academic career,” Ms. Rhode said. “I would think it would be viewed equally seriously in a judicial career. In my judgment, that would be disqualifying.”

    In an interview, Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee until last year, said he had known for some time about the questions concerning Mr. O’Neill’s scholarship.

    “I heard him out on it and put it in the balance of everything else I knew about him,” Mr. Specter said. “I believe he is an excellent prospect for the district court.”

    [In other words, if you were one of Specter’s pets, you can lie and steal as many fucking times as you want and Specter adds a Merry Fuck all of you in flyover country too.]

    Long passages in the 2004 article are virtually identical to the book review, which was published in 2000 in the Virginia Law Review and was written by Anne C. Dailey, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.

    The flawed 2004 article was not an isolated incident. Passages in the other articles by Mr. O’Neill, now an associate professor at George Mason University School of Law, also bear striking similarities to other scholars’ work.

    Shown a copy of a 2000 article by Mr. O’Neill in the Brigham Young University Law Review, Gerald M. Caplan, a former Justice Department official and former dean of the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, said it included a verbatim reproduction of a passage from a 1985 article he wrote in the Vanderbilt Law Review. Mr. O’Neill did not quote or cite Professor Caplan.

    “Well, he’s got me word for word,” Professor Caplan said.

    “And there is some evidence that it’s not innocent or inadvertent,” he added, referring to the nature and extent of the duplication.

    “It shows him to disadvantage,” Professor Caplan said. “If I were on the Judiciary Committee, I would want to know more.”

    I would want the Senate Judiciary Committe to grow, lease, or borrow a pair of balls and tell this lying, stealing, former DOJster sonfabitch he’s not ever getting onto the federal bench.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    There’s an interesting parallel, albeit in a potted history, between Bush, and in limited but still distressing parts, Obama’s view of the Constitution and the history of other powerful institutions like the Catholic Church.

    In replacing imperial Rome with itself, the Church excised the “Old” Testament prophets and Jesus’ “New” Testament egalitarianism, becoming the Church of the urban, imperial Christ instead of the village Jesus. That required silent amendment to the teachings of prophets and sages.

    Instead of climbing the ladder at night on two legs instead of four to change the Farm’s rules, rewritten written in whitewash on the side of the barn, the Church held meetings of its bishops, accompanied by legionnaires. Among the founding principles, some became more equal than others.

    Wealth became essential, necessitating compromise with Jesus’ exhortation to leave aside worldly things, to found a community only with what one could carry or borrow. Those who adhered to the original meanings became “radicals”, a dreamy “far left” fringe. Franciscans were quaint: useful in the village, but incapable of extending the Church’s reach or maintaining its orthodoxy. Defending against apostasy and heretical beliefs became paramount. It required a new, improved, more mobile soldiery, the Jesuits. Their inquisitorial style lasted for some time.

    Oddly, only in the waning days of the Church’s earthly power, long after it had lost its battles with the Renaissance, Luther, the Enlightenment, only in the final battle with modernity and the modern state did Rome retreat into its last redoubt – papal infallibility. Trust me, in matters of Church doctrine, I can do no wrong.

    Governments, the Church, corporations, outsourced telecommunications or “intelligence” services providers all share the institutional mandate to obtain power and avoid accountability. When that goes too far, it’s a sign that the leadership is running things for itself and not for its members. Today would be a good day to re-read the Declaration of Independence and the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/ea…../text.html
    http://www.earlyamerica.com/ea…../text.html

    • PetePierce says:

      What exactly is

      Obama’s view of the Constitution

      I have been vocal on his dispicable stance on Fisa and urged anyone with feelings on it to put them in the inbox of the architect of the stance:

      Greg Craig at [email protected]

      But I don’t know that his cowardly stance adopted from Craig on FISA is a complete window to Obama’s view of the constitution. It is hard for me to control the rage I feel at these Senate and House bastards capitulating and to use P.J. Evans’ phrase viewing us all as “flyover country.”

      I just don’t think we have enough information based on the all important lack of FISA leadership from Obama that should be out in front of Dodd and Feingold leading the charge to equate his view of the constitution to someone whose views we have been able to sample significantly: Bush, Cheney, Yoo, and Addington.

  25. PetePierce says:

    I seem to notice that it is a strategy of the Republican 527s and drug addict Rush Limbaugh who bought his way out of prison who just signed a $400 million dollar contract with Clear Channel to struggle from paycheck to paycheck to profile Obama as an exotic elitist.

    Thanks to DKos for this link to view the McCain humble trappings via Google Earth where “Le Cindy cuckold the ex-wife” hangs her 3 Grand German Escada suits and throws her Blahnicks and Jimmy Choos as she tries to become the First Lady who understands what it is to claw in the mud for a can of soup.

    Life Styles of the Rich and Out of Touch: McCain’s Nine Cribs Complements of Sugar Momma

    And hey hey a girl’s gotta buy botox, boob jobs, facelifts and Lancome once in a while so layoff Sugarmoma’s $500,000 a month credit cards.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The point of my parable, I guess, is that institutional priorities quickly dominate personal ones, they acquire their own logic and urgency. They become the tide.

    Obama has become King Canute in his seaside chair. In front of his adoring public, he orders the tide (eg, FISA immunity) to hold back, knowing that it will not, in order to teach his followers that the world works according to rules they cannot affect or change or sometimes comprehend.

    In technical terms, that’s a load of bollocks. Obama is a politician, not a scholar or king. In electoral and policy matters, the Constitution, like Humpty Dumpty’s words, means what he chooses it to mean, neither more nor less.

    His practical allegiance is to those who fund his work and influence his image. Still, he is an amalgam of beliefs that make him far more likely to listen to progressive wants than is John McCain. But it’s our job, like any other pressure group’s, to make him listen, or as FDR put it, “make me do it”, which means enabling him to do it. He’s just told us what we’re up against and how hard that’s going to be.

    • PetePierce says:

      I found your parable very entertaining and interesting, and your references to medieval European history evoke my professors saying I’ve cramed 5000 medical books and more journal articles into my head and shame on me for not remembering more of Crane Brinton’s World History and Palmer’s World History but they forgot to tell me about Brinton’s Ideas and Men which is one of books I treasure.

      I know Canute is a descendant of ole Harold Bluetooth, his grandfather, who has now been imortalized as people try to free up their peripherals and other electronic toys.

      You’ve expressed yourself and the situation extremely well and I look forward to seeing how Obama performs and the evaluations of these insightful and prescient commenters like yourself.

    • PetePierce says:

      I would have loved to see Joe Biden become President, as would my friend who took a leave of absense from teaching at Harvard Law to help with his campaign.

      I wonder why Joe Biden isn’t also leading the charge against this FISA fiasco now. Biden would have been an interesting and infinitely better administration than what we have or so I believe.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        My guess is that like scores of others, Biden is hoping for his share of the Obama booty. Secretary of State, perhaps. Discretion is the better part of ambition.

        • PetePierce says:

          Biden v. Condi Rice given several years of state. I see him as infinitely more competent than the lying Rice and Powell who killed hundreds of thousands of people and pissed away trillions of dollars.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The reference to Canute is also deeply ironic for today’s discussion because his inability to command the tide was fundamentally to show that there were laws that bound even the king. Mr. Bush and his domesticated Congress, it seems, have found a way to hold back the tide.

  27. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    several of them, at once, said, “But please stay where you are, to make America better. To make America what it should be.”…
    There have been times–after I got my EU citizenship and after Bush won the 2004 election–when I’ve been tempted to leave this country. But I always think back to that commitment I made…

    If the American Founders did one thing well, IMHO, it was to think as clearly as possible about the nature of ‘human nature’; how susceptible we are to foolishness, sanctimonious hecktoring, to indecision, to priggish vanities, to lies, greed, envies, lusts, and revenge.

    Their clarity about human nature and the human condition helped them design a system of government constrained by human nature.

    We are, after all, only human.
    But that is no small thing.
    EW and commenters, thanks for your insights and commitment in treacherous times.

  28. PetePierce says:

    The Israeli agressors are at it again. The peace loving Palistinians just wanna have a little fun and exercise their manifestation of the Americans’ “my thing is bigger than your thing–and I drive a Hummer in case it isn’t.”

    All the Palestinian wanted to do was to drive a Catapillar front end loader through cars, buses and was on his way to plow into a croweded popular market.

    The nerve of the Israeli police officer who brutally shot the Palestinian driver of the catapillar out for a little recreational drive playfulling slicing up cars, buses and people. Yet another example of Israeli aggression on this blog. The Israelis sure don’t have an appreciation for a little fun with a Catapillar front end loader. This goes on all the time on 5th Avenue and in Central park as well as the Upper West side.

    Less than four months ago another East Jerusalem Palestinian, Ala Abu Dhaim, killed eight students at a Jewish seminary in West Jerusalem. The attack led to calls for harsh action like the demolition of the attacker’s home.

    Three Palestinian groups claimed responsibility, including Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a group affiliated with the mainstream Fatah movement led by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. But it was not clear if any of the claims were credible.

    The Israeli chief of police, Dudi Cohen, said Wednesday that the attacker appeared to have been acting spontaneously and alone.

    Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza and which recently agreed to a temporary cease-fire with Israel there, said it did not carry out the attack but nevertheless praised it, according to The Associated Press.

    Witnesses said they saw the vehicle, a large Caterpillar front-end loader, set off close to midday from a building site at one of the busiest intersections in the predominantly Jewish, western half of the city, between the central bus station and the popular Mahane Yehuda market. The hulking vehicle turned onto Jaffa Road, which runs through the city’s commercial downtown area, immediately slicing through the drivers’ cabin of a small white van and flipping a silver Chevrolet on its side.

    Continuing along Jaffa Road, the driver used the loader’s serrated scoop to overturn a bus from the Egged public transportation company and leave a swath of tangled wreckage about 300 yards long, as it mowed into several other cars and collided with a second bus.

    The police said they believed the driver might have intended to plow into the crowded market.

    “It could have been a lot worse,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

  29. PetePierce says:

    What could be more American and family friendly than NBC Universal and GE showing hours of

    To Catch a Predator Raw Unseen Tapes 5

    Warning: Any YouTube Searches you have made or make have a strong probability of now being disclosed. Now in Surveillance Nation not only is your every move being watched by your Govmint but what you watch is being watched by your Govmint. Welcome to the Fourth.


    Court orders YouTube to give Viacom video logs

    NEW YORK (AP) — Dismissing privacy concerns, a federal judge overseeing a $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit against YouTube has ordered the popular online video-sharing service to disclose who watches which video clips and when.

    U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton authorized full access to the YouTube logs after Viacom Inc. and other copyright holders argued that they needed the data to show whether their copyright-protected videos are more heavily watched than amateur clips.

    The data would not be publicly released but disclosed only to the plaintiffs, and it would include less specific identifiers than a user’s real name or e-mail address.

    Lawyers for Google Inc., which owns YouTube, said producing 12 terabytes of data — equivalent to the text of roughly 12 million books — would be expensive, time-consuming and a threat to users’ privacy.

    The database includes information on when each video gets played, which can be used to determine how often a clip is viewed. Attached to each entry is each viewer’s unique login ID and the Internet Protocol, or IP, address for that viewer’s computer.

    Stanton ruled this week that the plaintiffs had a legitimate need for the information and that the privacy concerns are speculative.

    SDNY has no respect for your privacy. Now it’s on to the very Conservative Second Circuit. Aren’t they all?

      • PetePierce says:

        Yep and think of the paralegals for Viacom’s lawyers who could be tasked with parsing these lists, organizing them and reading them. 12 million books is definitely more than a Playboy in the john.

    • PJEvans says:

      I wish them joy (but not success), looking for the few needles in that very large haystack.

    • Mauimom says:

      What could be more American and family friendly than NBC Universal and GE showing hours of

      To Catch a Predator Raw Unseen Tapes 5

      I have a competing candidate: just discovered that I missed a marathon of episodes of “Cheaters,” or a “Cheat-a-thon,” as they termed it.

  30. JimWhite says:

    Thanks for living out your pledge, Marcy. When they signed the Declaration of Independence, our founders pledged to one another “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”. We would all do well to contemplate those words and actions today.

  31. WilliamOckham says:

    On this July 4th, I’m pondering the al Haramain decision. [Insert ritualistic acknowledgement of lack of legal training on the part of the author here] I think I’ve found a sliver of hope for the plaintiffs. The judge has left open the possibility that they can establish their status as “aggrieved persons” without referring to the inadvertantly disclosed secret document. If they can do that, he’ll allow discovery on the document. Here’s how I think they can do it.

    The FISA definition of an “aggrieved person”:

    “Aggrieved person” means a person who is the target of an electronic surveillance or any other person whose communications or activities were subject to electronic surveillance.

    Compare this to the language allowing for civil liabilities:

    An aggrieved person, other than a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a) or (b)(1)(A) of this title, respectively, who has been subjected to an electronic surveillance…

    The two phrases I highlighted are crucial because they don’t mean the same thing. They aren’t even the same parts of speech. In the definition of “aggrieved person”, the phrase ’subject to electronic surveillance’ serves as an adjective modifying ‘communications or activities’. This adjectival phrase means that if the government has authorized electronic surveillance of your communications or activities, you are an aggrieved person whether or not you have been surveilled. Here’s an example from another of the government’s law-breaking programs. According to John Yoo, all al Qaeda detainees are subject to waterboarding. On the other hand, Michael Hayden claims that only three suspected al Qaeda detainees were subjected to waterboarding.

    Under FISA court orders, there’s little substantive difference between targets and being ’subject to electronic surveillance’. If you’re the target of a FISA order, you become ’subject to’ electronic surveillance when the order is issued. If you aren’t a target, you can be ’subjected to’ electronic surveillance if you communicate with a target, even though you aren’t ’subject to’ electronic surveillance.

    Under the Bush-Cheney regime’s warrantless surveillance, the distinction between ’subject to’ and ’subjected to’ becomes important. When Bush announced his warrantless surveillance program, including “the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations”, he created a set of aggrieved persons whose communications are ’subject to’ electronic surveillance. When the government designated al Haramain as a specially designated global terrorist for supporting al Qaeda, they clearly included the organization in the set of “aggrieved persons” under FISA.

    Because al Haramain and its directors are already “aggrieved persons”, they can avail themselves of the procedures under FISA 1806(f) to move “to discover or obtain applications or orders or other materials relating to electronic surveillance” as suggested by the judge. There are whole sections of FISA that make a whole lot more sense when you realize that it was designed for exactly the situation that al Haramain and others are in.

    • bmaz says:

      WO – you are on a roll lately. A good one though. A mighty good one. I have sent your analysis and thoughts to al Haramain’s attorney Jon Eisenberg as well as EFF. Very nice.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Thanks, I appreciate that. Judge Walker seemed to be looking for a way to grant the plaintiffs the “aggrieved person” status. Also, Roger Shuy and the rest of the crew at Language Log have been writing a lot about linguistics and the law lately. That inspired me to take a hard look at the definition of “aggrieved person” and I noticed the missing “ed”.

  32. pdaly says:

    Thanks, emptywheel, for the post and for staying here to make this country better.

    I’m pleased to read in this LA Times article that Bush was emotional while visiting Jefferson’s home Monticello to swear in new Americans. Maybe all the books on the walls frightened him.

    It was especially heart warming to learn protesters in the crowd called Bush a war criminal and demanded his impeachment.

    Happy Birthday, America.

  33. 4jkb4ia says:

    Happy 4th, EW! Perhaps it is inspirational that we were in the vicinity of the Old Courthouse today. This is where Dred Scott began its trip to the Supreme Court, and IIRC the Missouri state court system got it right. This can be a forceful reminder that the 4th of July is the anniversary of the beginning of the quest. No one generation has had it perfect.

  34. 4jkb4ia says:

    I am making chicken fricassee, one of the oldest recipes in Jewish Cooking in America. (I need to turn on the PC to get the recipe)

  35. PetePierce says:

    It’s intriguing to me that while Obama has taken a terribly wrong course on the FISA bill, that so many people who know better are insouciantly and disingenuously pretending because they are pissed off that Hillary is through that things would have been any different. They neglect to note however, that not only has Hillary Clinton done nothing in her life to stop the FISA sellout juggernaut, but that her butt is not ensconsed in the US Senate nor will it be on Monday yet she continues to draw her fat paycheck and benefits.

    Exhibit A:

    Ms. LHP of FDL fame:

    Yet in a reply to all those THOUSANDS of active Obama supporters who created a stop the FISA bill group on the Obama campaign website, General Election Candidate Obama stonewalls his decision to reverse the postion he took when he was Primary Candidate Obama with this pathetic justification:

    Actually LHP some of us had more sense than to waste our time there. We emailed with Greg Craig making the salient points on FISA and we know he opened the email. We don’t have neurological access to his motor cortex and calcerine fissure to know if his brain activity indicates he read our email.

    Note that there is not one scintilla in LHP’s post scolding Obama scolding Le Absent one-two hundered million dollar heiress Le Hillary Le Clinton who is so selfish she wants Obama supporters to pay her lousy parking valet eleven million buck campaign debts.

    Note there is not one scintilla in LHP’s post commenting on Le Hillary Le Norma Rae in back of Le pickup truck for the last time in her life who is anywhere but in the U.S. Sentate where she is an absent employee.

    No one is arguing LHP’s points as to the hypocrisy of the FISA bill, but we should point out that she has two Senators from her perch in Manhatten and they ain’t doing jack shit nothing to stop the FISA hypocrisy she is pointing out and they both don’t have a clue on the implications of Judge Walker’s opinion, and what the 9th Circuit or the Supremes might do to his little Fed Supp. memorandum.

    And the beat goes on at on at the Lake.

    And Rev Dev quickly chimes in:

    Keep it up; obviously the attention of Obama is critical. Thanks

    I agree but all the Lakester Firepuppies seem to have forgotten that LHP has two Senators in New York: Le Chuckie Schumner and Le Hilary Norma Rae Clintonista, she of the 200 million secret bucks from registered sex offenders like Jeffery Epstein. How convenient to forget them and lash out very selectively.

    Of course this is Obama’s worst moment in his quest to be President thus far. But there are a helluva lot of Senators who have turned tail and elected to be rather silent including Chris Dodd, and relatively silent–Feingold–”at this juncture.”

    LHP continues on:

    I was flabbergasted by his response to his own supporters. They are trying to lead him back onto the right path and he literally said “if this is a dealbreaker. That’s OK”

    Not only is he doing the wrong thing, he seems to be trying to dare his own followers to abandon him. Just crazy

    One wonders what kind of “gasted” was she at her candidate Hillary Clinton who is so special she does not even have to show up on the floor of the US Senate weeks after her ass was roundly and fairly kicked out of the race by the DNC process with LHP purporting to be an election law specialist?

    It isn’t just Obama who is being disingenuous. It’s every frigging one of your US Senators and US Congresscritters and the leadership of both Houses. Let’s remember that and get that clear.

    • selise says:

      It isn’t just Obama who is being disingenuous. It’s every frigging one of your US Senators and US Congresscritters and the leadership of both Houses. Let’s remember that and get that clear.

      this, i think, is quite wrong. there are about 30 members of the house of representatives who have been fighting the fisa debacle all year. they even won two fights – against their own leadership and without much support or even recognition for their efforts.

      please, let’s not write their efforts out of the history of this year so quickly.

  36. PetePierce says:

    I do give LHP credit for calling Jamie Gorelick “stupid as shit.” It wasn’t just that one memo–Gorelick has always been systemically disingenuous, and stupid as shit in her capacity as DAG of the United States, pushing for an anti-terrorism law that had not a damn thing to do with terrorism but was meant to foreclose on the flow of appeals from inmates, (AEDPA) and has been actively taking money for lobbying for the Telecoms for years.

    There were in fact, and LHP either knows or should know this a gamut of “wall memos” that have been generated in DOJ for 20 years before Gorelick moved from DOD after Clinton appointed her.

    The Gorelick wall, as has been written everywhere including Wikipedia, was one of the obstacles in seizing Zacarias Moussaoui’s hard drive.

    And shades of the Clintons, wiki goes on to underscore that

    However, the “Gorelick Wall” barred anti-terror investigators from accessing the computer of Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, already in custody on an immigration violation. [6] “During the time of Ms. Gorelick’s 1995 memo, the issue causing the most tension between the Reno-Gorelick Justice Department and Director Freeh’s FBI was not counterterrorism but widely reported allegations of contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign from foreign sources, involving the likes of John Huang and Charlie Trie.” [7] Mr. Trie later told investigators that between 1994 and 1996 he raised some $1.2 million, much of it from foreign sources, whose identities were hidden by straw donors.

    Gorelick is also serving as a member of the defense team for Duke University in its capacity as defendant from law suits of the falsely accused students (47 to be exact).

  37. PetePierce says:

    From LHP:

    The lunacy is that he is bringing all this upon himself. He had a winning formula, people were buying his positions on issues (even the screwed up health care plan) all he had to do was stick with those platform planks. It was a winning platform.

    Why he thinks he needs to fix what ain’t broken is beyond me.

    I anxiously await LHP,MD’s thoughts on what is a coherent “health care plan” based on her years of seeing many patients a day and participating with all spectra of insurance, HMO, PPO, and trying to get them to stop delaying payments.

    I didn’t see any coherence that would apply to the real world (the devil was in the details) of any candidate running for office in the last several years and certainly Hillary’s 15% uninsured figure was pure bullshit. LHP and HIllary have equal medical experience.

  38. bobschacht says:

    “Two hundred-some years ago, a bunch of guys fought hard to make this country special. It’s our fight now, to make our country back into the leader and beacon of hope it ought to be.”

    Man, are those two great sentences! Thank you, EW!

    Bob in HI

      • kspena says:

        “One must probably find the humility to admit that the time of one’s own life is not the one-time, basic, revolutionary moment of history, from which everything begins and is completed. At the same time humility is needed to say without solemnity that the present time is rather exciting and demands an analysis. We must ask ourselves the question, What is today? In relation to the Kantian question, “What is Enlightenment?” one can say that it is the task of philosophy to explain what today is and what we are today, but without breast-beating drama and theatricality and maintaining that this moment is the greatest damnation or daybreak of the rising sun. No, it is a day like every other, or much more, a day which is never like another.”

        “The question I raise between the reflexivity of the subject and the discourse of truth is: How can the subject tell the truth about itself?”

        from “How Much Does It Cost for Reason to Tell the Truth” Michel Foucault

        • JThomason says:

          Its a point well taken even in the context of personal indulgences. That’s really the basis of the argument that Habermas makes critiquing the limitations of “hegemonic liberalism” prescribed only by its self-contained ethos and which legal process would guard against. In other words “hegemonic liberalism” a foolish, disinterested and dangerous posture given the the certainty of decline even in the nobility of its foundation. His argument is for a narrow convention of international participation in the context of unjust war and human rights. And these may yet be grand enlightened interests.

          The destruction of time is really much like the destruction of history though, isn’t it. And it was against this tendency the Korzbyski so strongly reacted in understanding that information could be clearly bound in time. But of course this is advocated in the context of a neuro-linguistic scale on not a philosophical one. Perhaps he was shoring up the soft edge of humility.

          Chomsky admits his limitations in ascribing beneficent qualities to human nature and to his calculation that the risk of accepting these is, in his mind, a necessity. Foulcault might could just as well be casually observing his mother had died today, but his realism is certainly an acknowledge component of constitutional design that accounts for adversarial interests, is it not? In such a case would he not be haunted by hidden muted laughter down in the shadows of the canals as he walked the streets of Paris or Amsterdam? I mean not to be rhetorical, but who is he really putting down?

          • JThomason says:

            Way to many typos. Do over:

            Its a point well taken even in the context of personal indulgences. That’s really the basis of the argument that Habermas makes critiquing the limitations of “hegemonic liberalism” prescribed only by its self-contained ethos and which legal process would guard against. In other words “hegemonic liberalism” is a foolish, disinterested and dangerous posture given the the certainty of decline even in the nobility of its foundation. His argument is for a narrow convention of international participation in the context of unjust war and human rights. And these may yet be grand enlightened interests.

            The destruction of time is really much like the destruction of history though, isn’t it. And it was against this tendency the Korzbyski so strongly reacted in understanding that information could be clearly bound in time. But of course this is advocated in the context of a neuro-linguistic scale and not a philosophical one. Perhaps he was shoring up the soft edge of humility.

            Chomsky admits his limitations in ascribing beneficent qualities to human nature and to his calculation that the risk of accepting these is, in his mind, a necessity. Foulcault might could just as well be casually observing his mother had died today, but his realism is certainly an acknowledged component of constitutional design that accounts for adversarial interests, is it not? In such a case would he not otherwise be haunted by hidden muted laughter down in the shadows of the canals as he walked the streets of Paris or Amsterdam? I mean not to be rhetorical, but who is he really putting down?

            • kspena says:

              Thanks for your thoughts. Chomsky and Foucault had quite different projects; I don’t think Chomsky understood what Foucault’s was about. He probably does now but clearly he didn’t back then.

  39. MadDog says:

    Totally OT – Henry has all those cute lil’ ol’ US Government emails and suchlike up at his site regarding the Administration’s explicit collusion with Hunt Oil in pillaging Iraqi Oil:

    Letter to Secretary Rice
    Email from Laird Treiber
    Email from David McDonald to Ken Topolinsky
    Email from Commerce Department
    Email from State Department in Basra
    Letter from Hunt Oil to PFIAB, July 12, 2007
    Letter from Hunt Oil to PFIAB, August 30, 2007
    Letter from State Department to Chairman Waxman

    Gotta take care of those good ol’ boys from Texass, doncha know?

    ‘Cause how else is Junya going to refill those coffers of his?

  40. rxbusa says:

    What a wonderful and inspiring post! thank you Marcy for all you do and especially for your commitment. May you continue to inspire us all.

    R

  41. yonodeler says:

    Having a bright view of the current system of government in the USA is made more difficult by the diminishment of government transparency and by the realization that we are restricted from access to much of our personal information. Pessimism becomes harder to avoid as the perception grows that time may not somehow usher in a rebirth of transparency and functional privacy, that we may be stuck in a plight that will not improve.

    The notion that the evolution of information technology makes the weakening or destruction of constitutional rights inexorable should be debunked.

    • PetePierce says:

      Consider your data held by the US government one big collective external hard drive where the data got lost and no file recovery software known to man works.

      And now morons in West Virginia will be biometrically profilling you with a system that is 20% accurate. Welcome to Yokels R US USA.

    • MadDog says:

      And if you are interested in what happened to the embedded photographer Zoriah Miller as a result of his posting of those photos, here’s his update:

      A few hours after posting my story on the suicide bombing in Anbar Province, I was woken up by a young marine who took me to receive a phone call. A high ranking Public Affairs Officer told me that they were requesting that I remove my blog post immediately. I asked on what grounds, as media rules state that wounded and killed soldiers may be portrayed in images as long as their name tags and identifiable features are not shown. I made very sure my images followed those guidelines, and questioned a large number of soldiers on base to see if they could find anything at all that would identify the dead. I did this primarily out of respect for the families.

      After the post was online, I was told that the Marine Corps would not allow even the pants or shoes of a injured or killed Marine to be depicted in images. This was a rule I had never been told or even heard of. I refused to remove the blog post. It seemed insane to me that the Marines would embed a war photographer and then be upset when photographs were taken of war.

      A few minutes later my embed was terminated and a convoy was arranged, despite a fierce sand storm, to bring me to Camp Fallujah where I would wait for the first flight out of the Marines area of operation and into the Green Zone.

      I still wait for my flight out one day later. Apparently they fear that someone is angry enough to do me harm, as I now must go to the chow hall with two armed escorts. However, I have had five or more Marines approach me on base and tell me that the images were the best and most powerful, real photographs of war they had ever seen, and that they supported my choices 100%…

      And because the MSM is part of Junya and Deadeye’s GWOT War Machine, photos and tales like this “never happened”.

      It must just have been his, and our, imagination.

      • PetePierce says:

        Nice pickup MadDog. I don’t remember seeing this on any of the TV stations. I must have missed it between several hours of MSNBC, NBC Universal and GE’s informative and incisive “Predator Raw: The Unseen Tapes” that had me glued to my TV for 24 hours–the apex of culture and entertainment in informed puddin’ head Bannana Republic USA.

  42. strider7 says:

    happy fourth
    Bob Dylans 115th dream

    I was riding on the Mayflower
    When I thought I spied some land
    I yelled for Captain Arab
    I have yuh understand
    Who came running to the deck
    Said, ”Boys, forget the whale
    Look on over yonder
    Cut the engines
    Change the sail
    Haul on the bowline”
    We sang that melody
    Like all tough sailors do
    When they are far away at sea

    ”I think I’ll call it America”
    I said as we hit land
    I took a deep breath
    I fell down, I could not stand
    Captain Arab he started
    Writing up some deeds
    He said, ”Let’s set up a fort
    And start buying the place with beads”
    Just then this cop comes down the street
    Crazy as a loon
    He throw us all in jail
    For carryin’ harpoons

    Ah me I busted out
    Don’t even ask me how
    I went to get some help
    I walked by a Guernsey cow
    Who directed me down
    To the Bowery slums
    Where people carried signs around
    Saying, ”Ban the bums”
    I jumped right into line
    Sayin’, ”I hope that I’m not late”
    When I realized I hadn’t eaten
    For five days straight

    I went into a restaurant
    Lookin’ for the cook
    I told them I was the editor
    Of a famous etiquette book
    The waitress he was handsome
    He wore a powder blue cape
    I ordered some suzette, I said
    ”Could you please make that crepe”
    Just then the whole kitchen exploded
    From boilin’ fat
    Food was flying everywhere
    And I left without my hat

    Now, I didn’t mean to be nosy
    But I went into a bank
    To get some bail for Arab
    And all the boys back in the tank
    They asked me for some collateral
    And I pulled down my pants
    They threw me in the alley
    When up comes this girl from France
    Who invited me to her house
    I went, but she had a friend
    Who knocked me out
    And robbed my boots
    And I was on the street again

    Well, I rapped upon a house
    With the U.S. flag upon display
    I said, ”Could you help me out
    I got some friends down the way”
    The man says, ”Get out of here
    I’ll tear you limb from limb”
    I said, ”You know they refused Jesus, too”
    He said, ”You’re not Him
    Get out of here before I break your bones
    I ain’t your pop”
    I decided to have him arrested
    And I went looking for a cop

    I ran right outside
    And I hopped inside a cab
    I went out the other door
    This Englishman said, ”Fab”
    As he saw me leap a hot dog stand
    And a chariot that stood
    Parked across from a building
    Advertising brotherhood
    I ran right through the front door
    Like a hobo sailor does
    But it was just a funeral parlor
    And the man asked me who I was

    I repeated that my friends
    Were all in jail, with a sigh
    He gave me his card
    He said, ”Call me if they die”
    I shook his hand and said goodbye
    Ran out to the street
    When a bowling ball came down the road
    And knocked me off my feet
    A pay phone was ringing
    It just about blew my mind
    When I picked it up and said hello
    This foot came through the line

    Well, by this time I was fed up
    At tryin’ to make a stab
    At bringin’ back any help
    For my friends and Captain Arab
    I decided to flip a coin
    Like either heads or tails
    Would let me know if I should go
    Back to ship or back to jail
    So I hocked my sailor suit
    And I got a coin to flip
    It came up tails
    It rhymed with sails
    So I made it back to the ship

    Well, I got back and took
    The parkin’ ticket off the mast
    I was ripping it to shreds
    When this coastguard boat went past
    They asked me my name
    And I said, ”Captain Kidd”
    They believed me but
    They wanted to know
    What exactly that I did
    I said for the Pope of Eruke
    I was employed
    They let me go right away
    They were very paranoid

    Well, the last I heard of Arab
    He was stuck on a whale
    That was married to the deputy
    Sheriff of the jail
    But the funniest thing was
    When I was leavin’ the bay
    I saw three ships a-sailin’
    They were all heading my way
    I asked the captain what his name was
    And how come he didn’t drive a truck
    He said his name was Columbus
    I just said, ”Good luck.”

    Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

  43. yonodeler says:

    I wish Bush, Cheney, and all their policy shapers had suffered under a relentlessly rigorous philosophy teacher while in their formative years.

  44. bmaz says:

    As the 4th of July draws to a close, I would like to reflect on what this holiday, and indeed this country is about. It is about a nation that is of law and principle, not mere men. No man is more important than the principles and edicts that are within the four corners of the Constitution, and the actions of Obama, and those who would rationalize them on the odious FISA bill, are an affront to the founding fathers, the Constitution they crafted, the ethos of America and the legions of men and women that have fought and died to protect and honor the same since the time of this country’s birth. It is time for politicians to cease and desist putting their petty political fortunes ahead of the the principles and rules of law we are founded on; that is the “change” this country is desperate for, not more craven political posturing for individual electoral gain.

    Mr. Obama sold us a bill of goods with the “Audacity of Hope”, then baited and switched us by delivering the Bogosity of Nope. Then he has the gall to tell us “that’s okay”. It is not okay.

    • yonodeler says:

      Notice how, in Obama’s recent defensive explanations, something other than his position has always changed. He’d like us to believe in him, not worrying about his means-to-electability “compromises” as a Senator, and to trust that he and the appointees he’ll install will eliminate any problems posed by bad, even unconstitutional law that he countenanced or voted to pass. That thinking runs along the lines of a government of men rather than those of a government of laws, even when it comes from a constitutional lawyer.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Hunter Thompson labeled the entertainment business as “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run free and
      good men die like dogs.”

      Perhaps, the same is true of America’s dark side of politics, where
      lobbyists and power brokers engage in whore-like trade offs, covered
      with laws, that evade the truth and meaning of our Constitution.

  45. freepatriot says:

    you was thinkin of abandonin us ???

    to be fookin Irish ???

    WTF ???

    I don’t think you could pull it off, even if you dye your hair red

    you’re pretty fiesty, you gotta mean left, an some fancy footwork …

    but you don’t look Irish to me

    that’s a step up in the ol “weight class”, dontchathink ???

    and btw, Ireland ain’t green cuz the sun shine there a lot …

    (wink)

    I know I been workin on my “Canadian” act, but that’s just a “last resort” kinda thing, honest … besides, who would ever believe I’m Canadian, I think Moosehead sucks …

    • emptywheel says:

      Actually, my hair is pretty red all by itself. And 7/8 of my ancestors are Irish. So I’d do alright.

      I’ve long said the only place I’d ever run for elected office is for EU parliament out of Sligo. Cause in Ireland, no one expects their politicisns to be tactful.

  46. freepatriot says:

    here’s a piece of advice for everybody:

    I’ve heard that Napoleon’s genius was his ability to “See The Opportunity Of The Terrain”

    so whatever you do, always look for the opportunities offered by whatever situation you find yourself in

    we didn’t ask for it. We didn’t want it. But we got a chance to remake our country for the better here

    OPPORTUNITY, people

    we got an OPPORTUNITY here

  47. PJEvans says:

    For a lawyer, and a con law teacher, I expect Mr Obama to have a better understanding of this piece-o-crap bill. I also expect him to pay more attention to the solid legal analysis here and at other blogs than to the proven liars running Congress and in the WH.

    (I ordered several of that ‘bumpersticker for the rest of us’ that I mentioned way upthread. ‘Get disappointed by someone new’ indeed.)

    And I just had to quote Feingold’s points elsewhere, at someone who’s bought into the line about additional protection for Americans overseas. (My first response was a bit more heated.)

    • PetePierce says:

      I expect both Clintons who graduated Yale, to understand the nuances. I believe Obama does, and he’s just taking a ridiculous stance and pretending not to. I guarantee Greg Craig and a number of his collegues and one I know who has won cases 9-zip at the Supreme Court and was the brains behind Clinton’s defense understands the nuances that have been parsed here.

      The Clintons have remained silent on FISA. I have neither heard a hiccup or a burp out of Hillary Clinton who has yet to return to her job we pay her for in the Senate on FISA.

      Correspondingly, I haven’t seen a hiccup or a burp by any commenter on the lack of leadership from all other Senators, from Clinton, from Bill Clinton by any commenters on EW or FDL as well.

      Hillary immediately flunked the D.C. Bar, and never had the guts or solutions to go back or the Norma Rae fighter to go back and take it again as she often has told everyone what a fighter she is (she didn’t have any fight in her to go after her flunked bar) and yes I know there is zip correlation betwseen bar exams, medical exams and clinical or legal competenence.

  48. JohnLopresti says:

    The Homeland Sec Dept is holding a post passage of neoFISA celebration public workshop on “Implementing Privacy Protections in Government Data Mining” in late July 2008 and is accepting related comments from the public by July 17.

    Perhaps people have seen Aftergood’s posted link to the 100pp June 2008 CRS study of concordance between House and Senate versions of neoFISA.

  49. PJEvans says:

    Pete, I know you have a point somewhere in there, but it’s getting lost in all the invective.

    • PetePierce says:

      No invective whatsoever and I know you know my point. My point is that FDL and the EW commenters have gone nuts on Barack Obama’s disingenuous ridiculous stance on FISA as if he were the only one fucking up. There is a lot of blame to spread around.

      You’ve had employees or have them. And when they stop showing up for weeks without a good reason do you pay them and turn tail and pretend everything is fine? Hillary Clinton is a US Senator. She hasn’t shown up for weeks for no good reason. She and her husband are having the leadership of the party pried out of their cold dead hands.

      There are all kinds of Senators and Congress people who have turned tail on FISA and ignored their constituents, that is the small percentage of them who have a clue that their has even been a FISA and privacy struggle of any kind.

      The reason there is so much kvetching here and on other blogs is that these Congresspeople and Senators have taken a calculated bet that the voters are composed largely of dumbasses who don’t have a clue about issues and that calculated bet is right on the money. Therefore they do whatever they like to protect their asses and the Bush administrations.

      Why aren’t you up in arms over your Senators, and no leadership or no peep out of other Senators and other Congresspeople over FISA?

      Here’s a question: Why the fuck isn’t Hillary’s fat pant suit disingenuous lying ass back in the Senate–or in another sense I guess we’re better every day the phony is absent. I dlon’t hear a peep from Schumner, from members of Senate Judiciary on this, and posting on Obama’s site is a complete waste of time–it’s as usefull as a constituent writing their congressperson or Senator.

      I’ve watched people throw invectives around like LHP with “Obama’s lousy health plan” and I haven’t seen a scintilla from LHP as to what she (as if she had a clue) proposes is a sound health plan or where the hell she got her experience wrestling day to day with health plans.

      The 15% figure from Mark Penn has always been bullshit. All Penn knows is that with millions of bucks in the bank in NYC he can get health care for his fat ass and his wife althought his doctors haven’t gotten throught to him on cardiac risk have they?

      And Russert with all his money and connections got much less than state of the art cardiac care as well.

    • PetePierce says:

      There isn’t any invective; I just posed the question why anyone isn’t questioning anybody but Obama anymore on FISA. FISA facades that defy any logical reason have been the name of the game for two years. They didn’t originate with Obama and he’s just one of hundreds of elected officials who capitulated to them. He happens to have won the Democratic nomination. As far as I know, he had competition for it even after Peurto Rico closed it’s pose in a very dramatic memorial service for the loser.

      This brought a smile to my face though. LHP in flinging invectives at Obama over the Lake proposed that the convention could nominate someone else, and that someone else would be Hillary. This isn’t about to happen, but there is another suitcase that no one wants to touch including the Clintons or the Fire Dog Lakers and that’s the 3 Pandoras suitcases that were already posed to the Clikntons numerous times in Hillary’s failed quest to be on the ticket as VP.

      That suitcase that the Clitons are sitting on has

      1) 2007 income tax returns
      2) Foundation contributors
      3) Library contributors

      One of the large contributors is newly annointed registered sex offender Jeffry Epstein.

      I don’t think any of this is nuanced abstruce constitutional law PJ. It’s not a brief in a Diversity case or a Supremacy case with 35 amicus’s to brook–it’s plain fact.

      Let me know if you still want the wardrobe inventory of your Congressbabes and Senatoresses. I can produce it–it’ll just take a bit of time.

  50. JThomason says:

    Let me know if you still want the wardrobe inventory of your Congressbabes and Senatoresses. I can produce it–it’ll just take a bit of time.

    This confirms my suspicion of your affinity for fabrications.