Archive for the ‘WaPo - Congress’ Category

W W W?

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

President George W. Bush has done it once more. He’s taken the Constitution and pretty much shredded it this time. He wiped his backside with it over wire tapping, tromped on it over the Patriot Act and pretty much stuffed it in the trash with his personal war in Iraq. For a man that took an oath to uphold the Constitution before the people on his inauguration as President he sure finds it to be a pesky little thing to deal with. Apparently, none of the photographs showed his other hand that was not on the bible had his fingers crossed. This is not my President, not your President, this man thinks and acts like a damn King!

As a lame duck President he is enacting laws that no matter who is elected the next President will have a difficult situation to change. W is back room dealing to guarantee our military presence in Iraq permanently and without Congressional approval.

Over at the Washington Post they have this opinion piece on it…

An Agreement Without Agreement

By Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway
Friday, February 15, 2008; 4:30 PM

The Bush administration is so intent on securing its legacy in Iraq that it is once again ignoring the Constitution. Without seeking the consent of Congress, it is well on its way toward a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that threatens to deepen the American commitment without the congressional support the Constitution requires.

President Bush’s plan to cut out Congress has provoked a growing chorus of criticism, joined by both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In response, the administration has begun to back-track from its vision of a sweeping military and economic agreement. Speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the agreement would not contain a security guarantee committing the country to fixed troop levels or permanent bases. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, speaking before the Senate Armed Services last week, stated that the agreement will be “like other Status of Forces Agreements,” which deal with the rights and obligations of the military when operating on foreign soil. Such agreements, the White House is quick to point out, are not usually subject to congressional approval. That is true. But this truth will not suffice, since the administration is still aiming for an agreement that moves far beyond the traditional scope of these limited military accords. We should not allow false advertising to serve as a cover for a constitutional fait accompli.

Snip the Constitution

Worse yet, the administration is keeping most of its plans secret. (Much of what we have learned comes from leaks reported in the press.) Congress has held two hearings — on Jan. 23 and Feb. 8 — on the legitimate scope of the Iraqi agreement, and the administration has twice refused to testify. While Gates and Rice have made a few reassuring remarks, they have fallen far short of full disclosure.

This is unacceptable. Sen. Joseph Biden, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is a strong critic of the administration’s unilateral approach. But if the stone-walling continues, he should make it his committee’s business to sponsor a congressional resolution declaring invalid any military agreement that seeks to go beyond the traditional limits of the standard Status of Forces Agreement. No president has the unilateral power to impose broad international obligations on the nation without congressional support. But it is especially wrong for a lame-duck president to make such commitments about a controversial policy that is at the very center of the debate among the candidates vying to succeed him. - Washington Post

What is next for W? Is he going to annex Canada because he really likes their bacon? Then he moves on to Mexico because he just happens to like taco night at the White House and we all know them brownies make the best tacos. I didn‘t coin that phrase, the Bush family did… (No offense to Mexican American’s intended… I’m on a rant). W will probably next rename Iraq Haliburtonville in one of his notorious “Screw the Constitution Signing Statements” and his buddy Dick Cheney will have a shorter commute to work from the headquarters in Dubai when they leave office in 2009.

One thing that every President of America had in common prior to Bush was faithfully taking the pledge to defend the Constitution. In doing so George Washington built the Presidency from the ground up not as a King but an office based on the greater good. Thomas Jefferson propelled our nation out of a religious based government into a man made government. To which some today think and believe is wrong but isn’t that what Iran and every Middle East government is. How’s that looking lately? Abraham Lincoln divided but united our nation in the midst of a states rights issue that cost hundreds of thousands of lives but his integrity and place in history is sound because he believed in the greater good for all. Read any news report and you can clearly see that President Bush has no intention of legally upholding the office he was elected too. Full speed ahead for Bush and damn the consequences as he lets the chips fall where they will. There is no historical value to any action he has performed as President that is for the greater good. In all of his actions he has turned the people on themselves and not for the same reasons as Lincoln. He is a rogue President and if the Congress will not reel him in then they are a body without power and Bush has succeeded in his mission.

This is the reason why Republican’s will not see the White House in the next election. Our so called defender of our Constitution thinks it is just a piece of paper and it is not. In the same respects that our flag is just a piece of cloth, burn it, shred it, stamp your dirty boots on it will never kill or mame the meaning behind it. He hijacked our nation and his own political party to serve his own personal, political and financial gains. AKA Dick Cheney and his net worth going through the roof on a VP’s public servant salary. President Bush does not like our form of government and he has proven it over and over again and still he is not called to task for it. Both political parties should be screaming at the top of their lungs over this sidestep of the Congress ensuring our military presence in Iraq for any time the secret documents will make law. If our President is never to be held accountable then he does in fact have a monarchy. Should that fact alone inspire you to contact your representative in government with your anger?

Our Constitution is our government. That is the foundation of America no matter how we look at it from any perspective. No matter who you are as an American it still starts out with “We the People…”

W, W, W, what are we going to do with you? In less than a year there will be no problem with the door hitting him in the back side as the ghosts of Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington will be the ones slamming those doors on the White House as he exits. Thanks for visiting W. Somebody else will clean up the mess you left behind.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Feel free to link to this post or borrow it…

Miers and Bolten Going Down For Contempt

Thursday, February 14th, 2008


One of the nice things about Valentines Day is that you really get to show the love. Congress today showed President Bush exactly how much they love his tossing executive privilege around and at the Congress. President Bush has his executive privilege piled up so high around the nations capitol that it’s like a knick knack junk attack that people cherish and place up on the mantle, on top of the fridge, over the television, the back of the toilet, over the medicine cabinet, in the medicine cabinet, on top of the stereo, on the back of the headboard, all over the bedroom bureaus and on every flat surface in their home.

One of President Bush’s favorite EP’s is that not one soul past or present in service to the executive branch can be subpoenaed by the Congress no matter what laws were broken. Just for back up he made sure his Justice Department pick backed him up. Contempt of Congress only works if the Justice Department backs up the Congress, Bush pulled that chip off the poker table and put it firmly in his pocket. Snickered and winked at his opponents as he held a solid pair of deuces.

Today, Congress grabbed a trash bag to get rid of some of his knick knack EP’s and the first to go was Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolton for contempt of Congress. Over at the Washington Post they have more on it but read on afterward…

House Approves Contempt Citations Against Bolten, Miers

By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2008; 4:57 PM

The House today approved contempt of Congress citations against White House Chief of Staff Joshua A. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers for their refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the mass firings of U.S. attorneys and allegations that administration officials sought to politicize the Justice Department.

The House voted 223-32 in favor of the citations, the first against the executive branch since the Reagan administration. The vote came after a morning of tense partisan fights over procedural motions and bickering over parliamentary rules, capped by most House Republicans walking off the floor and refusing to vote. Republicans said the chamber should instead be approving a surveillance law passed by the Senate and supported by President Bush.

But Democrats said they were left with no choice but to engage in a constitutional showdown with Bush because he has refused for nearly a year to allow any current or former West Wing staff members to testify in the congressional inquiry. Citing executive privilege, the president has offered their testimony only if it is taken without transcripts and not under oath.

Snippet and here is the power punch!!!

Testifying at his confirmation hearings last October, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said that current and former White House officials who refused to testify in a congressional inquiry likely did so based on the Justice Department’s ruling that Bush’s assertion of executive privilege was proper. That meant the Justice Department could not now criminally charge someone for defying Congress based on its own prior legal advice, he said.

The resolutions approved by the House contain a second mechanism that, if Mukasey and Taylor refuse to impanel a grand jury, would allow the House general counsel to file a civil lawsuit in federal courts seeking a declaratory judgment against Bolten and Miers that would compel their congressional testimony. - Washington Post

Talk about a power punch! For the record this power punch was brought to you and the American people by one man that was fed up with all the corruption and cover up politics of Bush and Company.

Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida has been ticked off and leading this fight not just behind the scenes but right up front. This from the Super Congressman in my email box today…

Today, thanks in great part to your advocacy and persistence, the House of Representatives took a major, tangible step towards holding the Bush Administration accountable.

In a vote on the House floor, we acted to enforce the law and our Constitution, and hold former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in Contempt of Congress. (Please click here to watch my speech on the House Floor calling for contempt.)

Bolten and Miers have ignored congressional subpoenas for nine months and thumbed their noses at Congress and the American people.

Executive privilege has never permitted officials to avoid appearing altogether when subpoenaed. This behavior is unprecedented and outrageous.

Now, these two renegade officials must face up to their blatant disregard of the law and constitution.

Our message of accountability for Bush/Cheney is finally resonating on Capitol Hill.
Judiciary Chairman John Conyers fought hard to bring this to a vote, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself took the floor to support contempt. - Congressman Robert Wexler Email to Papamoka

This is what justice is all about. Not raising a vigilante group of thugs but taking the steps necessary and legally to take on Bush and his King like political tactics. Time for the scales of justice to tilt a little back to the center. Thank you Congressman Wexler!

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Feel free to link to or borrow this post…

Obama Really Wins Nevada

Saturday, January 19th, 2008


Popular vote aside, Obama won Nevada by one delegate to the Democrat convention. Popular vote aside, the message of Obama and hope lives on in Nevada. Hillary will get all the headlines but the truth of the matter is that the real decision of the voters is based on the delegates to the convention so Hillary Clinton’s win is not really a win. Somebody call Bill Clinton and tell him that he is about to get slapped upside the head again by the wife.

The Tsunami wave of Obama is coming to fruition all across America and it can not be stopped. His message is clear and his points are not about looking at the past but at the future of America and the outlying folks in Nevada voted for a new future in our nation. That future is full of hope and of brighter days to come that are not filled with isolationist ideology and war mongering. Out in suburbs of the big cities of Nevada they saw the difference and voted for change. Out in the suburbs is the key words there. Regular people, not millionaires, not people even making a hundred thousand dollars a year. Obama has the heart beat of the people at the bottom of the economy that always look to hope and that is someone running for President that believes that we can be saved from the plight that is corporate America’s intolerance of us. Nevada voted for hope and in that message Obama won Nevada at the convention with more delegates than Hillary Clinton.

Over at the Washington Post they have this breakdown of the Nevada election results…

Clinton and Romney Win in Nevada
By Chris Cillizza
washingtonpost.com staff writer

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton beat Sen. Barack Obama in the popular vote in the Nevada Democratic caucuses today, while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney prevailed earlier in the Nevada Republican caucuses.

With 97 percent of the vote counted, Clinton led with 51 percent to 45 percent for Obama (Ill.). Former senator John Edwards trailed far behind with four percent. However, although Clinton captured the popular vote, Obama edged her out for delegates at stake, taking 13 to her 12, according to an Associated Presss analysis.

“I guess this is how the West was won,” Clinton told cheering supporters in Las Vegas. The popular victory was her second straight, coming after an upset win in the New Hampshire primary.

The disparity between the raw vote total and the delegate apportionment is centered on the fact that Obama beat Clinton in the state’s sparsely-populated northern reaches and more rural areas — a statewide showing that left him with a narrow delegate victory if not a popular majority.

“We came from over 25 points behind to win more national convention delegates than Hillary Clinton because we performed well all across the state, including rural areas where Democrats have traditionally struggled,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. -Washington Post

Some people wonder if America is ready for an African American President and I wonder if we are ready for another eight years of another Clinton disgrace series of real legislation subdued by controversy from the first Clinton Presidency revisited. When the Clinton’s claim in deceptive words to be the first African American President I shudder at the disgrace that they propose on African Amrican’s. As a white man I can not see through the eyes of any African American and I can not say that racism is dead in America because it is not. Racism is born out of misunderstanding and hate passed down from generation to generation. Even in New England where the bluest of blue states are it is ignorance rather than knowledge that prevails. If you were blind and listened to the messages of all of the candidates not knowing if one is Black or the other is a Woman you would see the true difference.

A good friend of mine is slowly going blind, my heart felt prayers are with him and his family every single night. I beg God above that he would have his vision back because he is not of the opinion that America should be divided racially but united simply as Americans. And yet in his heart and soul I know him as a friend that would give his vision and life if he could erase the ignorance that is race relations between all people that are the melting pot of America. His heart is genuine and his soul pure of thought.

I would give my own life to find hope in America and I am not living the life of any African American, and I am not going blind.

Vision is sometimes found in the heart and not your eyes. Hope is never in the form of a question, it is a matter of belief. That is the question you need to ask when you cast your vote in the primaries.

Papamoka

Congressional Ethics Police… LOL!

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Don’t get me wrong, I love Mike Capuano from Mass A Two Sticks but he is living a pipe dream. He is proposing a regulatory independent agency to more or less police the Congress for ethics violations. The only problem with his plan is that Constitutionally this outside law force would have to be armed with feathers. Gives a whole new meaning to “Packing Heat” does it not?

I’m thinking little tiny down feathers in little tiny holsters on a lawman from the old west. Armed agents patrolling and roaming the halls of the Congress ready to arrest anyone that steps over the line of truth, justice and the American way. Stepping into the dark corners of the law and breaking the ethics rules just might get you a handful of feathers tossed in your face. Take that you wrong doer!

Over at the Washington Post they have this to say on it…

House May Add Outside Watchdog For Ethics

By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 20, 2007; Page A27

House task force yesterday recommended creating an independent Office of Congressional Ethics that would have the power to initiate reviews of lawmakers’ behavior. The new office, whose creation requires the approval of the full House, which reconvenes in mid-January, would be the first in either chamber to allow an outside body of nonmembers to examine alleged ethical misdeeds.

“It breaks the appearance of the good ol’ boy network,” said Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.). Capuano headed a task force that spent a year trying to craft a compromise for the new ethics office in the wake of the lobbying scandals that helped sweep Democrats into power.

But some ethics watchdogs warned that the office, if approved, would not be strong enough, particularly because it would lack subpoena power. - Washington Post

Keystone Cops mentality all over again…

Not to mention the fact that any Congressional member could at any point in time, when under fire for ethics violations, recite the Constitution and then express a raspberry with their tongue.
For those in the Congress not knowing what a raspberry is, you insert your tongue between your lips, gently press down with your lips and exhaust air from your lungs in a rapid exhale. Not through your nose People! Take two. Insert your tongue between your lips, gently press down with your lips on your tongue, and exhale rapidly through your mouth. Not through both your nose and mouth Congressman. This is going to take some practice. Most of these folks have not lived in reality for a long time so you might want to check back later. When you do come back could you bring about four hundred pair of underwear. That last try had some of the older members of the House in a most discomforting position. That’s a first isn’t it!

Oh screw it, they could just lift up the middle finger, close the rest of their fingers and show it to the Congressional Police. No, No, NO Congressman. You close your thumb too! Everyone knows that is how you hail a cab for a F’n ride. This is going to take a long time to educate these folks about how American’s really live. When you come back with the underwear would you bring some coffee too.

Speaking about how American’s really live, when we have corrupt leaders in our government, if they do not police themselves, the voters can fire them at the polls. For Congressional members that happens every two years, President is every four, and Senators every six years. Then again there is this whole whacky thing called freedom of the press that sometimes can shame SOME people in our government into resigning from office.

I applaud the attention that Congressman Mike Capuano has put into this but I fear that any outside influence on the Congress would be the first step in finally killing the Constitution. That is something as an American that I could never accept. Neither should you and that is why we all should vote based on our own personal ethics. Democrat, Republican or Independent political mindset, if you see a wrong then right it with your vote. It is as simple as that.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Bite Me Big Oil!

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

For the first time in 32 years the Congress is actually doing something about the real energy crisis here at home in America. I’m not talking about supply and demand. I’m talking about the reality that our nation is ruled by OIL. All hail his Majesty the King paid for by a generous donation by Exxon Mobil, Texaco, Chevron and Shell etc, etc.

America has a demand problem and as the largest market user of all oil based products in the world there is a market to manipulate when the ones producing the product are netting mega billions a quarter. I’m funny that way, billions of dollars in profit’s a quarter, hmm do you think they are using that profit for the greater good? I don’t think so either. Trillions are to be made on the open market and when you have billions of dollars piling up quarter after quarter it posses a ledger problem that becomes an accountants nightmare. If it isn’t spent on “Research and Development” or other purposes investing in the corporation then those profits are taxable. Then again, maybe not given all the subsidies to the oil companies under W.

In a recent post here titled Saudi Arabia… Screw you Wall Street I talked about this very issue. Saudi Arabia has the ability to supply the market and the facts were revealed in the linked story that they can produce a barrel of oil for just $2! Supply is not the problem! Saudi Arabia is pissed that Wall Street is pointing the finger at them. Then again it’s a far stretch from $2 to the current market price of oil isn’t it? Who want’s to be the bad guy in this latest news buster, the guy in the white robes or the guy in the nice dark blue or black business suit? Frankly, it’s a toss up there but two guys in whatever form of dress mugging you is still a mugging.

American vengeance is a funny thing and when you as a President threaten our pockets with a veto on legislation that will only hurt the billions of profits of your base big oil supporters then we have a problem with King George once again. Two hundred and some odd years forward of the original American Revolution.

House Brushes Aside Veto Threat, Passes Energy Bill
By Jonathan Weisman and Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 6, 2007; 5:24 PM

The House today brushed aside a fresh White House veto threat and handily approved a sweeping energy bill that would raise automobile fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years while mandating the generation of electricity from more renewable energy sources.

The 235-181 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where Republicans hope to strip it of tax hikes on the oil industry and renewable electricity mandates before a final version goes to President Bush. The White House objected strongly to the bill on multiple fronts, saying Bush’s advisers have recommended a veto.

But with energy prices soaring, lawmakers from both parties expressed strong support for dramatic action, especially on auto efficiency standards that have not changed since the 1970s. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called the package”nothing less than our nation’s declaration of independence from foreign sources of energy.”

Snippet and flick it…

The bill also includes appliance and light bulb standards that would effectively phase out the incandescent light bulbs invented by Thomas Edison by the middle of next decade.

To finance tax incentives for hybrid cars, ethanol production and renewable energy development, the bill includes $21 billion in revenue increases , including a rollback of $13.5 billion in tax breaks for the five largest oil companies. - Washington Post

King George and his cronies are looking at the death of big oil just decades down the road and they are having to change their shorts. Even though King George Bush has said over and over again that we need to raise the CAFÉ standards he must have done so with his fingers crossed behind his back. It is official with this up and coming veto that this President was never an American President. He has been nothing but a puppet of his friends and screwed his own people for the sake of a dollar. Not his personal dollars but he got to have a neat office that his Daddy had once, nice car, and all the benefits of being the Deciderer in Chief. Vacation benefits are huge too. Take the first seven years off and work the last one. He only has to work the last year because he by accident found the United States on a freaking map finally! He circled it with a Crayola burnt umber if you were wondering.

I laugh at people that say that the price of oil is market driven. While two people at the gas pumps each spit on the pumps, one a Democrat, the other a Republican, one of them is right and the other is just pissed at the market. Both are making the same wage and both are spending more than they can afford just to put gas in the car to get to work. One voted for a Democrat that wanted change eight years ago and the other voted for a self proclaimed American King in disguise. Both have a son in uniform in Iraq. Both are on the edge of losing their homes. It does not matter what either one thinks anymore because we have all been sold out by the King.

Market forces in any field without control will rape all of the people without political recognition no matter what party you vote for in the middle and lower classes. There was a reason why the Democrats held control of both houses for so long. They never sold the middle and lower classes out as well as President Bush has done in two terms. They never trashed the Constitution and used it to wrap the days catch down at the lake because it was yesterdays news.

If maybe really but not for real elected twice President Bush, veto’s this energy bill and his veto is not overturned, then we will all know whom is voting for your future families energy needs. Look to the political Right side of the aisle to find the millionaires club that could care less about you as an individual person coming up with excuses why we still do not need a realistic energy policy. Then check out the largest contributors to their past campaigns and as always follow the damn money.

It all points back to the fact that the Republican servants in our American Congress will protect the money flow from big oil. It’s a huge amount of cash to swallow your pride. George Bush has proven the fact that his time in the White House is a precursor to a President in the steps of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. With so many lost under the footsteps of the Bush millionaires now running our nation it is inevitable that this will scenario must change come the next Presidency. It has too! That is why we all must vote.

Just keep repeating $2 to produce a barrel of oil! Voting Republican next election?

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Fred Thompson Anti Church Going Kills his Campaign

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I’m so sorry for saying this but Fred Thompson just ended his campaign with this one speech politically. Not being a political genius, even I know that the worst thing to say while campaigning for the highest office in the land is to state that you do not attend church even somewhat regularly is a NO NO! Somebody fire off a flare because the Thompson campaign just sank on its maiden voyage.

Did anyone tell the actor and former United States Republican Senator that our nation is kind of religious? Did anyone tell him that he should be courting the Evangelicals and religious right who are still seeking a candidate to back? Umm, I’m guessing and I could be wrong but he just popped the Fred Thompson is us balloon or the me too Fred for President grass roots campaign.

Baptist, Lutheran and Protestant Ministers across the bible belt are admonishing themselves for stating out loud “Holy… and it begins with an F and ends with UCK and it isn’t FIRETRUCK!

Over at the Washington Post they have a little bit more to say about this issue regarding Fred Thompson and his run for President…

‘Right With God’ But Not Churchgoer Says Thompson

Chalk it up as another quirk of the 2008 GOP presidential field: The top-tier Repubican who entered the race as the supposed godsend for socially conservative voters in the Bible Belt who are dissatisfied with the other candidates is someone who does not attend church on a regular basis.Asked about his religious beliefs during an appearance before about 500 Republicans in South Carolina yesterday, Fred Thompson said he attends church when he visits his mother in Tennessee but does not belong to a church or attend regularly at his home in McLean, Va., just outside Washington. The actor and former senator, who was baptized in the Church of Christ, said he gained his values from “sitting around the kitchen table” and said he did not plan to speak about his religious beliefs on the stump. “I know that I’m right with God and the people I love,” he said, according to Bloomberg News Service. It’s “just the way I am not to talk about some of these things.” - Washington Post

Freddie can kiss Iowa goodbye and New Hampshire. For that matter most of the South Bible voters goodbye during the primary elections. Me thinks he surrounded himself with bad folks and advice or his own revelation was the first and last nail in the coffin of his campaign.

I’m a realist and for that matter honest with myself and the working of our nation. America is a very religious nation and that is a fact no matter how you psychologically try to break it down. Republican or Democrat we believe in God and worship regullarly, well most of us do and that is what it is. In elections, the majority rules. Politics is about surviving in the media and one mistake can end your campaign and Fred Thompson just stepped on the foundation of not just Republican voters lives but many Democrat voters as well.

Common sense would tell any campaign to look at Main Street America and see that on every other corner is a church. Hello Freddie? The life of any candidate for President is or should not be an open book in my opinion. If the former Senator had said simply that his religious belief was not up for discussion that would have been appropriate. He didn’t. Nobody in America has to defend their religion and yet in politics you have to take a stand and Fred Thompson chose his ground. It probably will not work out well for him in the Republican primaries but he was the one that spoke on his religious commitment.

I find it ironic that the people that want to run our nation have to run from their belief in God at all. In my life, in my faith, I find it to be my own comfort and saving grace when I need it most. For the record, if anyone asked me about my church going activities I would have told them that that is between my God and I and not for publication.

America has freedom of religion. In politics however there is no freedom of religion. Bad move Fred.

Papamoka

Cross posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Terror Database catches few terrorists but does catch Anti-war Activists very well.

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

Almost 20,000 people ended up, for whatever reason, in the govt’s terrorist database. That..is a lot of people wouldn’t you say?

Get this…the govt wants to ‘open up’ the list to private entities. You know, we contract so fucking much of our needs out these days, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the fuckwits wish to make all sorts of lists, like the airline passenger list, available to people outside the govt. From the WaPo article:

A range of state, local and federal agencies as well as U.S. embassies overseas rely on the database to pinpoint terrorism suspects, who can be identified at borders or even during routine traffic stops. The database consolidates a dozen government watch lists, as well as a growing amount of information from various sources, including airline passenger data. The government said it was planning to expand the data-sharing to private-sector groups with a “substantial bearing on homeland security,” though officials would not be more specific.

 

Of course they wouldn’t be specific..please..its all a big freaking secret don’t you know? Over half of the folks ‘detained’ were collared by the folks at Customs and Border Patrol. Another snippet of the WaPo article here:

Slightly more than half of the 20,000 encounters last year were logged by Customs and Border Protection officers, who turned back or handed over to authorities 550 people, most of them foreigners, Customs officials said. FBI and other officials said that they could not provide data on the number of people arrested or denied entry for the other half of the database hits. FBI officials indicated that the number of arrests was small.

 

So, if the number of arrests are small..why keep all this information on everyone? It’s a valid question. It makes one wonder what qualifies someone to be included on this damn list. It makes one wonder who’s civil rights are being violated and what is the determining factor for all this bullshit.

David Sobel, senior counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy organization, said the numbers “suggest a staggeringly high rate of false positives with respect to the identification of supposed terrorists.” He added that “this really confirms the long-standing fear that this list is inaccurate and ultimately ineffective as an anti-terrorism tool.”

(more…)

Congress Approves Homeland Security Bill in 2 Strong Votes

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Congress gave final approval yesterday to legislation that requires tighter screening of air and sea cargo, and shifts more federal anti-terrorism grants to high-risk areas such as New York and Washington, delivering on a pledge by Democrats last fall to implement additional recommendations of th…

House Passes Homeland Security Legislation

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The House gave final approval today to a Democratic bill that implements recommendations of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, mandating tighter screening of air and sea cargo and shifting more federal security money to high-risk areas such as New York and Wash…

House Passes Massive Farm Bill

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The House yesterday passed a far-reaching new farm bill that preserves the existing system of subsidies for commercial farmers, but adds billions of dollars for conservation, nutrition and new agricultural sectors.


Fish.Travel