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September 28, 2007

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whether the senate votes for this is immaterial. Article II is all they need for any action linkable to the war on terror. This is a meaningless vote to calm the frightened, tho it for sure is already footnoted along with the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution in the legal memo that would form the basis for the knockout of the Iranian nuclear facilities.

When you have 96 Senators voting for the Biden segregation (partition) plan, it pretty much forecasts where things are headed post-Bush. The biggest beneficiary of segregation is Iran, from the oil-rich Shiite south, and Iran is being warned to stand back. The US military is stretched so thin, I don't really think we will engage.

Sorry to see Hillary vote for it, but I think it is a sign she is comfortable with her primary lead and is now working on the Swingers.

Maybe I'm being dense here, but how does this play out?

What I mean is, if the administration holds to the position that it doesn't need Congressional authorization, then is there anything that can be done to prevent a non-Congressionally-authorized invasion of Iran?

Doesn't it come down to some combination of public outcry and court battle?

Do these statements help at all in that fight -- which, it seems, is the only one that matters?

i don't think these bills are so much legal authorization as political authorization. sure bushco doesn't think he needs anyone's permission. but it make his actions easier to justify politically to the american people if he can say that congress agrees with him that:

1) iranians are terrorists
2) iranians are killing americans
3) iranians have a nuclear weapons program
4) the iranian president is guilty of inciting genocide.

because congress has now made each of these claims.

and while we're holding the senate responsible for their actions, let's not forget the house - which if anything has been worse (see h.r.1400. h.con.res.21, and the rejection of defazio's amendment to the defense authorization bill in may)

1) blackwater are terrorists
2) blackwater are killing/murdering iraqis
3) blackwater is guilty of genocide


will american senators, or congress do anything about that? what does that say about americans, who have set up a puppet gov't in iraq to allow this to continue?

Selise is right. It is cover. But it it is strikingly significant cover and I think that is part of, and perhaps a lot of, Kagro's point. If CheneyCo are dead set on attacking Iran, they will do it. This just makes it easier, less of a war crime (at least in the US), and takes out the starch in a lot of Congresscritters reactions when/if it happens. But, as we have seen repeatedly, they gain maximum yardage from these seemingly small shifts in the playing field. That is problematic.

It doesn't too much matter what Hillary says about that vote. It was just plain wrong to vote for that amendment in this climate. It wasn't right to vote "for" the Iraq war either. I hope that she's only doing it to not alienate voters and that if she's elected she'll have more integrity in both her actions and her rhetoric. She's more than a political Presidential Candidate "playing it safe." She's a U.S. Senator at a time when the U.S. Congress is the only thing between us and a further deterioration of what this country is actually about. She knows we will vote for her no matter what, because we're sure the alternative will be worse - but that doesn't mean she's free to play chess with the crazy neoconservatives. This isn't a chess game. This is Sumo Wrestling...

I think the only thing that is preventing an attack on Iran is military resistance.

And Selise is absolutely right with this being "political authorization." As a matter of fact, for those who actually are Goldsmith fans, that's his whole point. All the President ever needs is to be politically vested.

So Senate resolutions chip away at any military resistance. Congress is basically telling the military - go die when you're told, we're ok with it. We've declared the new enemy for you.

Pretty simple. Of course Hillary voted for it - she's salivating at the power that goes with it.

This vote is just another of the Dems being bullied into voting for resolutions, so they don't "look soft". I just don't get the beltway mentality. The VERY vast majority of Americans are out here hoping like hell we don't do something stupid and belligerant against Iran, yet a few hawks are twisting their arms into declaring enemies.

The non-autorization statements are political cover for what exactly? Answering to secret corporate bosses. Playing ball but pretending they aren't? It's bullshit.

At the end of the day Bush doesn't think he need Authorization at all. If he did he could easily sell the Patriot Act giving it to him.

At the end of the day, this is going to come down to the military deciding to obey the order or not to obey the order. Military personell do sign up to put their life on the line in defense of this country. I hope a few of them realize that putting their life on the line in defiance of a rouge administration counts just the same as facing a hostile enemy.

Congress could have stood tough, not passed this absolutely asinine bullshit, and given our military officers a leg to stand on when the order comes, Instead they've increased the confusion, passed nebulous and conflicting language, and increased jepardy for officers who may choose to act with sanity and patriots in the face of tyranny.

We're all out here raising hell, the vast majority of the country is clearly with us, yet congress keeps feeding the beast. I think a few states need to impeach their Senators right now, and remind these sad fucks who the boss really is.

I only pray we can make it to election day, and roll a few heads in the primaries. We don't take this back now, and we're hosed.

BTW - a bit off topic, and

I hate to say, "I told you so" but....

This from Politico --

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will open a website by Monday in an effort to round up the $30 million in pledges that he says would be his ticket to entering the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. --

He'll get his 30 mil. It's been the plan from the beginning. And Hillary is in deep shit against Newt. Bill Richardson is in my opinion the most likely guy to beat him.

The Dem leadership is doing the same thing with Hillary that the Senators are doing with in congress - Ramming shit down our throats that we don't want, and that don't make sense.

The media is driving Hillary, clearly she's the Republican choice for our ticket, and we're falling right into the very trap they want us to.

This Newt thing has been planned all along.

Some of you are going to point to polls, and all I can tell you is watch the hell out.

MY POLLS tell me there is NO WAY IN HELL Hillary wins against Newt. I don't know a single Democrat that wants Hillary. I don't know a single Democrat that thinks she's electable. And I know a lot of LIFE LONG Democrats that will vote for an even marginally tolerable Republican over Hillary.

You guys can stick your heads in the sand all you want, but putting Hill at the top of our ticket is a monumental error. Anyone with ANY influence - you better step up. I'm a long way from the smartest guy on this blog, and I don't even try to follow every detail of every scandal --

But I travel around a lot -- I talk to people I don't know. I know people form all walks of life, from the entire economic stratus. I don't hang around in a protected circle of people who think like me.

And I'm telling you Newt will beat Hillary. I've been saying for over six months that he would enter late with a big splash, and that Hill is who they want to run against.

So go ahead folks, nominate Hillary, throw the country away. It ain't on me. And when it happens I will say -Told you so.


I have been a Democrat since I stuffed envelopes for Adlai Stevenson as a child. This summer, I resigned from the party and will not support it again.

With all three leading Dem candidates voting for war with Iran (and that is EXACTLY what they did) it makes no difference anyway. Our leaders are doing just what they did last time, and for the same reasons: political game playing in order to further their quest for power.

Hillary Clinton, who persists in the enormous and insulting lie that she never authorized war with Iraq (only voted for it, she said, to give Bush leverage), has just done it again. There is no one on the planet who didn't understand that the vote to "authorize" the invasion of Iraq would lead directly to that invasion in a matter of weeks. That Hillary continues to deny this proves that she is a liar and that she will pull the same shit again.

In one week, our Democratic representatives have managed to vote to condemn the only ad that told the truth about General Betrayus, vote to authorize military action against Iran, and, according to some press reports, have met with Bush's secret envoys and agreed to go along with his disastrous policies. Our leaders are on their knees, and they will swallow anything Bush serves up, just so that they can avoid the Republican hit squads.

This is the darkest era in our history and it is getting darker all the time. Congress will justifiably be blamed, right along with the lunatics in the White House.

I wrote Harry the weak Reid the night before the vote and said that he needed to get Lieberman's statement, on Lieberman's official letterhead, that this was not intended as a declaration of war on Iran, and to remember to remind him of that when the war crimes trials start.

Congress has lost its collective minds, or has some kind of mass Alzheimer's, to know and remember things as individuals, but not as a group.

Casey, who are the three leading Dem candidates who voted for war with Iran?

Our system, our campaign finance system is flawed, folks. The way the dems in the senate vote has as much to do with this as anything else. I am not making excuses, but the truth of the matter is that campaign finance reform is at the heart of saving our democracy.

Biden keeps saying this...and on this point, he's right. In order to win and beat the republican corporate machine, the candidates must seek and maintain corporate funding. Especially in this climate.

If we have to live with Hillary, it behooves us to ask her, beg her, and mobilize to get a finance campaign reform bill up during her tenure. Whether or not this can be accomplished at all, since it's been an issue for so many years, is a good question. Priorities should be finance campaign reform (to save our democracy-it's the corporate hold that makes and feeds the voting reform issue as well), then the war in Iraq, then health care reform.

I'd like to blame Hillary. I really like Edwards, but it makes sense to me that Hillary is the front runner from a corporate perspective.

I think until we have campaign finance reform corporate america will have more power than the american people!

OT a bit, but one thing I haven't seen covered well is a critical look at the "evidence" of Iranian "meddling" in Iraq. I guess the meddling evidence is in three areas--EFP production, 240 mm. artillary rockets, and training/equipping fighters by Quds and/or others.

1. It is my understanding that the copper or brass disks critical to EFPs have actually been found in manufacturing sites in Iraq, and that these can be made perfectly well at the 'cottage level' of craft production.

2. I've seen nothing yet that positively places these large-ish artillary rockets as clearly Iranian.

3. I've seen no compelling evidence of Iranian training/supplying of fighting groups in Iraq. All I've seen are claims of same by Administration and legislators.

Where's the actual evidence?

I absolutely agree with Katie re: campaign finance. I believe many folks do. But don't expect Hillary to budge on this. She is a status-quo beltway insider. Not a reformer.

I think only Hillary voted for this, among the Senators running for the Democratic nomination. Obama missed the vote but says he would have voted no. Dodd and Biden both voted no, too. And, of course, Edwards isn't in the Senate at all.

So answer me this why is Liberman allowed to cacus with the Dems. I was outraged with the Clintons when they supported Liberman instead of Lamont. its been years since I studied PS but seems to me Dems would be better off without Liberman he always votes with the WH, probably a mole for the WH.

KJ - I am not sure how big of a chance it is, but there is a chance, that Hillary as President would make a push for campaign finance reform. I say this because it is something that Bill Clinton harps on constantly and clearly is genuine in his strong feelings. I would bet that Hillary herself would not go for it in much of a big way until she is safely elected to a second term, but it is possible, maybe probable after that. I don't personally think this is a good enough reason to vote for Hillary; but I think Bill Clinton really does have a bug in his butt on getting the big corporate money out.

Darclay, I wrote on that question here.

Katie, Been yelling that for years, couln't agree more. Corporate control of the media was the coupe de gra for American Democracy.

The fist is closing around us, bad days to be a bug.

Bmaz, I disagree only to the extent that I think Hillary should be pushed in her first term. The grass roots should form a million signature petititon telling her she will not be elected to a second term without REAL campaign finance reform.

That being said - I don't think Hillary will be ever be president. Thus, my ealier rant.

"The President has constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations."

'suspected'?

Shouldn't that say 'who was involved' or 'who is harboring and supporting'?


"The President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11. "

'whether or not they can be linked' to 9/11?

WTF?

Why not just let him attack new Guinea or Mongolia or something. I mean if all it takes is suspicion, then he might attack Minneapolis or New Orleans.

"This isn't a chess game. This is Sumo Wrestling..."
Posted by: Mickey | September 29, 2007

ROFLMAO funny!

Are you fund raising? There's no fund raising in sumo wrestling!

[ weak rip-off of Tom Hanks in League of Their Own ]

Okay, today Newt says "campain finance reform" has set up a situation too restrictive for him to run. I'm not buying it, but we'll see.

The man is certainly not so dumb as to have learned something new since thursday. Not sure what kind of shell game he's playing, either a tease, or a shot against CFR of some sort.

In any event, we haven't seen the real Republican candidate yet, and this latest twists intrigues me.

Fascinating email Q&A between TPM's Spencer Ackerman and DNI Mike McConnell's spokesperson Ross Feinstein. http://tinyurl.com/ypbxm6

Perhaps it's AIPAC that needs to be asked whether or not the original "Kyl/Lieberman" amendment was intended to authorize war with Iran, considering that at least one reporter has sources claiming that AIPAC itself drafted the amendment:

But its huge margin of approval, which some observers said was boosted by this week's controversial visit to New York by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, helped demonstrate once again how responsive members of both major parties are to the so-called "Israel lobby", which has made the sanctions bill its top legislative priority this year.

[snip]

In fact, the first call for cross-border attacks on Iranian targets was made by the Senate's "independent" Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, who is regarded as particularly close to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Indeed, it was Lieberman and Republican Senator John Kyl - an honorary co-chair of the pro-Likud Committee on the Present Danger - who co-sponsored the Senate amendment naming the IRGC as a terrorist group in an effort clearly designed to help tilt the internal balance within the administration.

As introduced, the amendment, which according to several Capitol Hill sources was drafted by AIPAC, actually went considerably further, deploying language that some senators argued could be interpreted as authorizing war against Iran.

[snip]

Still, the fact that the amendment was approved by a significant margin - and with the support of key Democrats, including Clinton and Majority Leader Harry Reid - is certain to be used by hawks within the administration as an indication of bipartisan support for a more aggressive policy toward Iran.

Http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/II29Ak01.html

To add a little more clarity for those wondering how this specious, reckless, ill-considered and provocative amendment made it to the Senate floor in the first place, here are some Congressional Record excerpts, with their accompanying pdf URLs:

First, from Friday, September 21, 2007:

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, Senator McCain and I have had discussions with our leader, and I assume on their side, and this course of action has been cleared. Here is what we are proposing to do: The Biden amendment is going to be laid down today. There will be perhaps an hour or so on that amendment--perhaps more; there is no time limit on debate today. There will be no more votes today, as the leaders announced. But on Monday, we will make an effort--let me go back. On Tuesday at 10 o'clock, we are going to have a unanimous consent agreement that the Biden amendment will be voted on at 10 o'clock on Tuesday. That is going to be part of a unanimous consent agreement that is being prepared.

In addition, in terms of the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, there will be some debate on that today, and on Monday, and we will make an effort to see if we can't agree on a time certain on Tuesday, after the Biden amendment is disposed of on Tuesday. But we can't commit to that now. We will make a good-faith effort on Monday to set up that time on Tuesday, after the Biden amendment is disposed of.

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I think we are headed in the right direction. We may have to drag that vote--not drag it but set it for 10:15. We usually don't come in on Tuesdays until 10 o'clock, so would 10:15 be OK?

Mr. BIDEN. I know this is unusual. Mr. President, if we could start that at 10 and we didn't drag it, it would be better.

Mr. REID. I would say to my friend, on Tuesdays we don't come into session until 10 o'clock. There are meetings going on in the Capitol and people can't be here until 10, but we could set the vote for shortly thereafter, 10 after or something like that, but it takes a little while.

Mr. BIDEN. OK. That is not a very senatorial response, but OK.

Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, could I say I thank Senator Levin, Senator Reid, and Senator Biden. Senator Lieberman and Senator Kyl will be discussing their amendment, which is a very important amendment concerning Iran so that everybody will have a good idea, and they will be discussing it again on Monday--or debating it. I would hope, as the distinguished chairman has said, that we could probably vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment very shortly after the vote on the Biden amendment, yet we are unable to put that in concrete. There may be a side by side, there may not be.

I wish to remind my colleagues again, if I could, this is the 13th day of debate now, and we have had 79 hours of debate on this bill. The Wounded Warriors legislation is still waiting, the pay raise, so many other things that are vital to, I believe, the men and women who are serving and the security of this Nation. What I hope--and I know Senator Levin who is managing this bill would agree--is that once we finish the Iraq issue, we should be able to move through the other amendments rather quickly.

We are obviously running out of time. The first of October is upon us. So I hope we can finish the Iraq amendments as quickly as possible and move on to the 100 or so amendments we have on the bill itself. I thank the chairman for all of the cooperation and hard work he has done on this bill.

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I agree with my good friend from Arizona on the need to move forward. We have literally hundreds of amendments we are working on. At some point next week we are going to have to find a way to end this. We have made efforts with unanimous consent proposals to cut off on amendments, but they have been objected to, and then more flood in. We have to get to an end point.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S11924&position=all

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S11925&position=all

Their little plan didn't quite work out the way they anticipated, however, for which I give enormous credit to Jim Webb, who bucked not only his caucus leadership but the Israel Lobby to give his well-prepared and very sincere and serious speech on Tuesday morning, no doubt disrupting the to that point seamless flow of the AIPAC-driven McCain/Kyl/Lieberman/Levin/Reid brigade's agenda. In addition, Dick Durbin also had the guts to speak out about the "military instruments" language of this amendment on Tuesday afternoon, while Lieberman was on the floor. So the Biden and Kyl/Lieberman amendments did not make it to the floor on Tuesday after all, as Harry Reid came to the floor that evening, Tuesday, September 25, 2007 to explain:

Mr. REID. Mr. Chairman, there will be no more votes tonight. We have tried to work something out on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment and the Biden amendment. We have been unable to do that.

We have been very close a few times, but we have just been informed that Senator Biden will not have a vote anytime in the near future. There will not be a vote on the other one anytime in the near future. We hope tonight will bring more clearness on the issue.

But right now, I think it is fair to say there will be no votes tonight.

Obviously, Harry Reid's typically imprecise vocabulary considers "anytime in the near future" to mean in the next couple of hours: Reid made that statement at mid-evening Tuesday, and his other remarks seem to make it clear that he was only referring to any further action later that evening, as opposed to the following day or week, contrary to much confusion via Think Progress and elsewhere because of his imprecision. [There is obviously a story here about significant internal debate on this issue, that took place almost-entirely behind closed doors, but I doubt we'll ever learn about it.]

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S12041&position=all

Finally, and suddenly, at about noon the next day, overcoming whatever internal objections held this matter up as long as they did, the deal was done and was immediately rolled out, bringing the Kyl/Lieberman amendment to the Senate floor by unanimous consent, despite still-firm opposition from Jim Webb.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007:

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate now resume consideration of H.R. 1585 [the FY 2008 Defense Authorization Bill], and immediately after the bill is reported the debate time be 2 minutes equally divided and controlled between the leaders or their designees with respect to the following pending amendments: Biden amendment No. 2997 and Kyl-Lieberman amendment No. 3017; that each amendment be modified with the changes at the desk, and that no amendments be in order to either amendment prior to the vote; that upon the use or yielding back of time, without further intervening action or debate, the Senate proceed to vote in relation to the Biden amendment, as modified; that upon the disposition of that amendment, there be 2 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled prior to a vote in relation to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, as modified; that each amendment be subject to a 60-vote threshold, and that if the amendment does not achieve that threshold, it be withdrawn; and that the second vote in this sequence be limited to 10 minutes; further that upon disposition of these amendments, the next amendment in order be Coburn amendment No. 2196.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?

Mr. KYL. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I want to make an observation and thank all the people who were involved in this effort. For our colleagues who might be listening, the reason there is an agreement and there will be no objection is because people on both sides of the aisle were willing to make some concessions to the others with regard to the wording of these two resolutions. I would hope they would be both strongly supported.

I have no objection.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I also would give notice that it is our intention, since we are alternating back and forth, that the next amendment we will attempt to call up will be the Webb amendment No. 2999 [the new Truman commission proposal, I believe, which was later agreed to], but that is not part of the UC agreement.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S12092&position=all

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S12093&position=all

And then the deed was promptly done:

AMENDMENT NO. 3017

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to amendment No. 3017, offered by the Senator from Arizona.

Who yields time?

The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.

Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, very briefly, this amendment is a sense of the Senate introduced by Senator Kyl and me. The findings document the evidence that shows that Iran, working through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has been training and equipping Iraqi extremists who are killing American soldiers--hundreds of them.

This sense of the Senate calls on the administration to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, allowing us to exert economic pressure on those terrorists who also do business and to stop them from killing Americans.

Because some of our colleagues thought paragraphs 3 and 4 of the sense of the Senate may have opened the door to some kind of military action against Iran, Senator Kyl and I have struck them from the amendment. That is not our intention. In fact, our intention is to increase the economic pressure on Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps so that we will never have to consider the use of the military to stop them from what they are doing to kill our soldiers.

[snip of Biden statement that wasn't made on the floor]

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.

Mr. WEBB. Mr. President, I have grave concerns about this amendment. I spoke at length on the floor yesterday about them. We have never characterized an entity of a foreign government as a foreign terrorist organization. If we are saying that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is conducting terrorist activities, what we are saying, in effect, is that the Revolutionary Guard is conducting military activities against us. This has the danger of becoming a de facto authorization for military force against Iran.

We have not had one hearing. I recommended yesterday that the amendment be withdrawn so we can consider it in the appropriate committees. I oppose passage at this time in the hope that we can get further discussion.

I yield the floor.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.

Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There is a sufficient second.

The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The clerk will call the roll.

The bill clerk called the roll.

Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Illinois (Mr. OBAMA) is necessarily absent.

Mr. LOTT. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator from Arizona (Mr. MCCAIN).

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. MENENDEZ). Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?

The result was announced--yeas 76, nays 22, as follows.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S12095&position=all

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2007_record&page=S12096&position=all

Clearly, in the present environment, a wise and sober approach to foreign policy would counsel that our Legislative Branch of government ought to exercise its inherent Constitutional authority and affirmatively prohibit the use of military force against another nation not actively hostile to our territorial integrity or to our peacefully-stationed troops overseas, unless and until Congressional authorization for force under the War Powers Act and Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of our Constitution has first been obtained.

Despicably, what the likes of Steny Hoyer and the 'prayerful' Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid do not understand, or wish to ignore, is that we, the people must be the sole decision-makers as to whether to declare war and peace (except when under sudden attack) for any claim that this is still a Constitutional republic to remain standing.

Good faith Legislative Branch stewards of our interests and of our Constitution would have long since acted to unilaterally (under Section 8, Clause 11, as opposed to legislatively with an accompanying presidential signature or veto override under Section 7) declare our occupation of Iraq at an end - affirmatively - in order to call the bluff and to reveal the unConstitutional hand of this Executive Branch [and to settle that Constitutionally-clear but politically-unsettled question in the Supreme Court if the unilateral Congressional decision was not allowed to stand unchallenged]. Such a debate and vote ought to be timed to coincide with the passage of an appropriation of funds for a mandated and orderly withdrawal of our forces from Iraq.

It is desperately important that the check and balance exerted by a proud and principled Legislative Branch of government be restored and reasserted to mitigate an Executive Branch that is led by those who have been actively trying to substitute their imperial ambitions for the will of the people as (formerly) represented by our Legislative Branch of government (which is the only Constitutional 'captain of our ship of state' in matters of policy, and particularly in matters of policy concerning war and peace) in open defiance of and contempt for our nation's Constitutional principles and proscriptions.

Exactly right.

Cheney, AIPAC, and all those who support the neocon/oil "strategy" for the Middle East, are in La La Land. They've said it themselves -- or at least someone representing their position said it -- they are not "reality-based." They claim to "create new reality." There are two mechanisms by which they seek to do this. One is by "perception-management," i.e. propaganda. And the second, which can only be fueled by perception-management, is by creating "facts on the ground" that alter the situation in such a way that there's no turning back. -- However, neither of these mechanisms works any more. The majority of Americans are sick of these assholes and their war, and know they are liars, criminals and perverts. Obviously, what we're seeing with AIPAC and with Congress are attempts to repeat the runup to Iraq. What else are they going to do? That's their modus operandi, I don't believe it will work because no matter how much pressure is put on Congress, and what kind of stupid resolutions they vote for, they don't have the support of either the people or the military, who are the ones who actually have to sacrifice. Like many other things in American politics today, the whole process has become a meaningless, symbolic kabuki dance. The military, which for the most part is reality-based, and has to be, is not going to destroy itself and this country for an administration that is clearly not. What I'm trying to say is that they have reached the limits of the game they have been playing. Reality is not endlessly malleable, it has tangible limits.

casual observer, you make the mistake of thinking proof is necessary... as was shown in the lead up to war in iraq, flat out lies and smear was all that was necessary... we have the same set here as we move towards war with iran.. you can thank all the slimeballs in gov't who need to get the financial backing of the same scoundrels who feed off war for this.. it is very rare for a politician to bite the hand that feeds it.. without a closer examination of this dynamic, the reason politicians do what they do will forever remain a mystery..

I'm reading Orwell's 1984 right now. Never before has it been so remarkably relevant. Not the just the spying, actually the main thrust of the first half of the story is Big Brothers continual reinvention of the news - creation of reality. And always the protagonist is stunned at how easily people swallow it.

If you haven't read it in a while, there's never been a better time.

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