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March 28, 2006


Any hope at all that Feingold or one of the other Senators with a D after her or his name will actually call Bush a liar during Specter's head to head fight? Or are they all too afraid that some kow-towing spinner from the GOP will excoriate them for dissing the Prez?

I find myself increasingly pissed off at large numbers of elected Dems who continue to claim that their unwillingness to whisper a word of support for Feingold's resolution isn't a lack of principle or spine but rather a matter of smart tactics in an election year.

How much longer am I required to explain away this cowardice as essential to regaining the majority in November?

Unfortunately Bush may not have known what he thought from one minute to the next. If he was in a room with Colin Powell, he probably hadn't made the decision yet. Then if Powell left and Cheney entered, he would feel as if the decision was made and always had been.


I think all the Dems have a convenient justification akin to Specter's. Biden seemed to be the only one at Specter's hearing today (sorry guys, I know you're busy, it's only our Constitution). But he too was making a Specterish Scottishism, saying several times he didn't trust Abu Gonzales, Bush, or anyone else. But still seemed like he was interested in making the world okay for their lies.

MB nailed it. If Woody Allen is right that half of life is just showing up, the Dems are already half dead.

I sent Specter a letter asking for a thorough investigation of the domestic spying program in mid-February. His office sent me a personalized response (definitely not a form letter.) In it, Specter expressed some concerns about balancing the law with national security, but insisted on praising Bush's "candor." If I candidly confess my crime to DemFromCT's hypothetical policeman, I go to jail, while Bush...

If you put the two statements together:
a) I will make a war with Iraq under any circumstance (even to provoke Sadam).
b) It is not the case that I (the president) will make a war with Iraq under any circumstnce, which is a translation of and is logically equivalent to b') No president wants and did not want a war (against Iraq.)

It is controdictory that a) I will make a war with Iraq AND it is not the case that I will make a war with Iraq. I. e., it is aways false that a) and b).
Thus, what McLellan said, "the formal statement" and "the informal statement," although each individually taken is true, is FALSE once they were putting together. This is the precise meaningof contradiction.

There was a politician here in Oz a few years ago who got caught red-handed forging documents supposedly by his dead father. He had no option but to admit it but then turned around and claimed he was an honest man because he admitted his dishonesty! You won't be surprised that many people regarded him as a smooth, smiling, righteous psychopath.

People like this just "don't get it" when it comes to principles and whether something is "true" or not.
I hear the same sort of thinking in these statements about Bush "acting in good faith".
Either they "don't get it" which indicates corrupted thinking or they hope WE don't get it, which again, indicates corrupted thinking.

There is hope though, if you keep banging on the truth and pointing out the inconsistancies as Helen and Gregory started (but didn't finish) doing, then they will eventually unravel (in my opinion and in my experience - having had to deal with more than my fair share of psychopaths!)

I have found that to sort these people out quickly, all you need do is tune out the explanations and take note of what they do and have done and form your opinion on that.
That's basically "Occham's Razor" in action.

Or as someone else once said, "By their fruits, ye shall know them".
(I think I'm a frustrated Pulpit Pounder)

It's worth remembering that Spector invented the "Magic Bullet Theory". Now THERE'S a piece of corrupted thinking!

Emptywheel, it appears that if the issue should make it to the Courts for judicial review, the Bush Administration will argue that they should not be held liable since they were "acting in good faith" - based on the legal advice they had at the time, they believed that they were acting lawfully. A Court would presumably then have to first address the question of whether or not the Administration was acting in good faith with regard to "NSA Spying." The Constitutionality issue perhaps could be overcome by the Courts applying a "cost-benefit analysis" Whether this will satisfy both the statutory and the Constitutional issue is highly debatable. I find it to be an extremely weak argument. However, I admit that it a novel, bold and very aggressive approach with respect to executive power trumping both legislative oversight and judicial review.

Well, if I was interpreting the SCOTUS Ramdan hearing yesterday (I'm guessing 5-3 against the government, and that's with Scalia who should have recused), then it doesn't bode well for that "noval" approach.

I HOPE I was interpreting it correctly. It certainly sounded like Kennnedy was P-I-S-S-E-D mad.

If the issue somehow makes it into the courts, the issue is unlikely to be whether the administration will be held "liable." The issue will, quite simply, be whether the program was legal or not, and most opponents of the program would be quite happy to settle for such a determination. If someone wants to go further and claim that the administration should pay them damages because they acted in bad faith, they can be my guest, but good faith is irrelevant to the more basic issue of whether the law was violated.

I have predicted all along that if the NSA spying program got before the Supreme Court, as it probably never will, the administration would be lucky to get 3 votes in its favor, and even that would be rather stunning.

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