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Old 12-23-2011, 12:14 AM   #661
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republicans are doing all they can to make sure there's no public sector job growth, that's for sure.
republicans are doing all they can to make sure there's no public sector job growth, that's for sure.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:12 PM   #662
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so what do you peeps make of this??

The NDAA's historic assault on American liberty | Jonathan Turley | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk


The NDAA's historic assault on American liberty
By signing into law the NDAA, the president has awarded the military extraordinary powers to detain US citizens without trial

Jonathan Turley
guardian.co.uk, Monday 2 January 2012 16.50 GMT
Article history

President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.

Ironically, in addition to breaking his promise not to sign the law, Obama broke his promise on signing statements and attached a statement that he really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely (see the text of the statement here).

Obama insisted that he signed the bill simply to keep funding for the troops. It was a continuation of the dishonest treatment of the issue by the White House since the law first came to light. As discussed earlier, the White House told citizens that the president would not sign the NDAA because of the provision. That spin ended after sponsor Senator Carl Levin (Democrat, Michigan) went to the floor and disclosed that it was the White House and insisted that there be no exception for citizens in the indefinite detention provision.

The latest claim is even more insulting. You do not "support our troops" by denying the principles for which they are fighting. They are not fighting to consolidate authoritarian powers in the president. The "American way of life" is defined by our constitution and specifically the bill of rights. Moreover, the insistence that you do not intend to use authoritarian powers does not alter the fact that you just signed an authoritarian measure. It is not the use but the right to use such powers that defines authoritarian systems.

The almost complete failure of the mainstream media to cover this issue is shocking. Many reporters have bought into the spin of the Obama administration as they did the spin over torture by the Bush administration. Even today, reporters refuse to call waterboarding torture despite the long line of cases and experts defining waterboarding as torture for decades.

On the NDAA, reporters continue to mouth the claim that this law only codifies what is already the law. That is not true. The administration has fought any challenges to indefinite detention to prevent a true court review. Moreover, most experts agree that such indefinite detention of citizens violates the constitution.

There are also those who continue the longstanding effort to excuse Obama's horrific record on civil liberties by blaming either others or the times. One successful myth is that there is an exception for citizens. The White House is saying that changes to the law made it unnecessary to veto the legislation. That spin is ridiculous. The changes were the inclusion of some meaningless rhetoric after key amendments protecting citizens were defeated. The provision merely states that nothing in the provisions could be construed to alter Americans' legal rights. Since the Senate clearly views citizens as not just subject to indefinite detention but even to execution without a trial, the change offers nothing but rhetoric to hide the harsh reality.

The Obama administration and Democratic members are in full spin mode – using language designed to obscure the authority given to the military. The exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032) is the screening language for the next section, 1031, which offers no exemption for American citizens from the authorisation to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial.

Obama could have refused to sign the bill and the Congress would have rushed to fund the troops. Instead, as confirmed by Senator Levin, the White House conducted a misinformation campaign to secure this power while portraying the president as some type of reluctant absolute ruler, or, as Obama maintains, a reluctant president with dictatorial powers.

Most Democratic members joined their Republican colleagues in voting for this un-American measure. Some Montana citizens are moving to force the removal of these members who, they insist, betrayed their oaths of office and their constituents. Most citizens, however, are continuing to treat the matter as a distraction from the holiday cheer.

For civil libertarians, the NDAA is our Mayan moment: 2012 is when the nation embraced authoritarian powers with little more than a pause between rounds of drinks.

• This article was originally published on Jonathan Turley's blog and is crossposted by kind permission of the author
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #663
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obama is way too right wing.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #664
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This issue sheds light on so many things that are wrong with the system.

1. We're constantly getting agenda driven provisions "snuck" into routine Acts such as this.

2. We too often allow "patriotism", "support the troops", "terrorism" or some other spin to scare us into turning a blind eye on the erosion of civil liberties. Just look at the Patriot Act or McCartyism...

3. This will bring out the worst hypocrisy on all sides. Those that blindly supported the Patriot Act will pump their fists with rage and use this as an attack on Obama. Those that were speaking out against the Patriot Act will now oddly remain quiet about this.

Our system is broken and until we have people brave enough to do something about it people will continue to exploit some fear of ours and slowly take away our liberties.

And when I say "people brave enough" I mean Democrats, Republicans, Senate, House and President working together, not these children we have now. One president is not going to make a difference, one senator is not going to make a difference, and one activist movement is not going to make the difference. It's going to take a lot more than that...
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:19 PM   #665
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If I was an American I'd be fucking furious.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:37 PM   #666
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There are so many things to be outrage about, and yet feel helpless. It seems like not a goddamn thing is going to change no matter who we elect, locally or nationally.

What should we do? Take to the streets? Shit, even that gets politicized or taken over by groups who want to co-opt it for their own purposes.

OWS should have been something EVERYONE could agree on, expressing outrage over the mess that had been foisted on us. But no, it's "us vs them" and taken over by people who would prefer to try and wipe out capitalism altogether.

I'm sure the exact same thing would happen if people tried to demonstrate their outrage over this.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVS View Post
This issue sheds light on so many things that are wrong with the system.

1. We're constantly getting agenda driven provisions "snuck" into routine Acts such as this.

2. We too often allow "patriotism", "support the troops", "terrorism" or some other spin to scare us into turning a blind eye on the erosion of civil liberties. Just look at the Patriot Act or McCartyism...

3. This will bring out the worst hypocrisy on all sides. Those that blindly supported the Patriot Act will pump their fists with rage and use this as an attack on Obama. Those that were speaking out against the Patriot Act will now oddly remain quiet about this.

Our system is broken and until we have people brave enough to do something about it people will continue to exploit some fear of ours and slowly take away our liberties.

And when I say "people brave enough" I mean Democrats, Republicans, Senate, House and President working together, not these children we have now. One president is not going to make a difference, one senator is not going to make a difference, and one activist movement is not going to make the difference. It's going to take a lot more than that...
Excellent post .

I've always been against the Patriot Act and I'll be among the first to say that this latest endeavor fucking BLOWS.

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Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post
What should we do? Take to the streets? Shit, even that gets politicized or taken over by groups who want to co-opt it for their own purposes.
And nobody takes it seriously anymore. Everyone's been on protest burnout for a long time, and if one side does it, they're nothing but damn hippies or troublemakers who can't just support our country or whatever.

But if another does it, they're simply good, patriotic Americans exercising their First Amendment rights. And then you have the jackasses who loot and break things, and of course, those are the ones who get put on TV, and any chance for a proper protest movement to be taken seriously dies at that point.

So yeah. I definitely think something should be done about this, but what? I don't have any sort of money to throw at the problem. I've protested before and would happily do so again, but nobody listens to protests anymore, no matter how hard you try. I vote, but there's shit options in general anymore.

The whole thing just sucks.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:38 PM   #668
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Wow, if this article is accurately representing what the law contains, I'm deeply concerned.

It sounds as if it just kind of upended some key provisions of the Bill of Rights!

I definitely would like more information on this.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:04 AM   #669
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Respect My Authoritah - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 06/15/10 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Also:

Quote:
No oversight included in Patriot Act renewal

Updated: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 | By David G. Taylor

On May 26, 2011 President Barack Obama signed a bill that reauthorized key elements of the Patriot Act. The bill called for a four-year renewal of some of the most controversial provisions of the surveillance legislation. While the bulk of the Patriot Act is steadfast law, there are certain measures that Congress must periodically reauthorize or else they expire. Among them is roving wiretaps, i.e., the ability of law enforcement officials to track targets if they change phones without law enforcement first consulting a judge.

The Patriot Act, passed shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, granted law enforcement increased surveillance powers to prevent additional terrorist incidents. Since its conception, the Patriot Act has been mired in controversy. Civil rights advocates argue that the law is a violation of Americans" privacy rights. Key members of Congress, including both liberal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans, have attempted to amend the Patriot Act in order to protect Americans from potential privacy rights violations.

The expiring provisions of the act came up for re-authorization in late 2009. Despite months of congressional debate and a delayed vote, President Obama ended up signing a re-authorization that included no changes in early 2010.

This year-long extension came up for renewal again in early 2011. In this year"s re-authorization battle, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sponsored an amendment that would have increased congressional oversight of these renewed provisions. Yet the Leahy-Paul Amendment was never brought to a full vote. Ultimately the Patriot Act was reauthorized without any sort of additional oversight included in the final language. By reauthorizing the Patriot Act, President Obama guaranteed (barring any judicial action) that the law will live on in its current form until June 1, 2015.

"The extension of the Patriot Act provisions does not include a single improvement or reform, and includes not even a word that recognises the importance of protecting the civil liberties and constitutional privacy rights of Americans,” said Sen. Leahy.

Michelle Richardson, legislative council at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the Patriot Act has not changed since President Obama took office.

The conservative Heritage Foundation, which expressed support of the Patriot Act in its current form, agreed that there have been few changes since its implementation. "President Obama probably did revisit the PATRIOT Act when he became president and realized that it was extremely helpful to investigators and already contained the needed oversight to ensure that is was used in way that was consistent with the law and U.S. Constitution,” said Jena McNeill, Senior Policy Analyst of Homeland Security at the Heritage Foundation in an e-mail interview.

But the ACLU's Richardson noted that while there have been no additional legislative oversight measures passed during Obama"s presidency, there have been some put in place in the executive branch. Most notably, the Justice Department decided to implement several measures that were originally included in the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2009 - a failed oversight bill proposed by Sen. Leahy.

In response to a letter from Leahy in December 2010, the Justice Department said it had:
• Implemented a requirement that, when library or bookseller records are sought via a Section 215 order for business records, a statement of specific and articulable facts showing relevance to an authorized investigation must be produced;
• Adopted a policy requiring the FBI to retain a statement of facts showing that the information sought through a National Security Letter (NSL) is relevant to an authorized investigation, to facilitate better auditing and accountability;
• Adopted procedures to provide notification to recipients of NSLs of their opportunity to contest any nondisclosure requirement attached to the NSL;
• Agreed to ensure that NSL recipients who challenge nondisclosure orders are notified by the FBI when compliance with such nondisclosure orders are no longer required;
• Adopted procedures for the collection, use and storage of information derived from National Security Letters, which were approved by Attorney General Holder on October 1, 2010.



Leahy also said that DOJ had agreed to work with Congress to determine ways to make additional information publicly available regarding the use of FISA authorities.

"I still believe that these important oversight and accountability provisions should be enacted in law, but I appreciate that by implementing key measures in the bill, the Department of Justice has embraced the need for oversight and transparency," Leahy said in response to the Justice Department's action.

Where does that leave us? President Obama has spoken in the past in favor of more oversight and Attorney General Eric Holder supported the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2009. Nonetheless, the president signed a reauthorization that included no additional oversight. However, the DOJ has implemented key components of Sen. Leahy"s bill. Whether this decision qualifies as "robust oversight” is in the eye of the beholder. Without legislative action, this oversight can go away with a change in administration. Nevertheless, because of these executive actions, we rate this promise as Compromise.
PolitiFact | The Obameter: Restrict warrantless wiretaps

And Obama's wiretapping stand enrages many supporters - The New York Times

I really can't imagine why anyone would be surprised. The Presidential choices are staggeringly depressing.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:33 AM   #670
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I've decided to start feeling depressed again so I'm gonna try and stay up with this thread's news once more.

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and? i'm just talking politically here. i agree with you.

but this is how unemployment has always been measured.

and republicans are doing all they can to make sure there's no public sector job growth, that's for sure.
I wonder what the last few years would look like under that measure? Which certainly sounds like an accurate one, but just because Unemployment is "actually" 11 percent it's not necessarily a negative thing if it was "actually" 12 or 13 percent in 2009 and 2010.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #671
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I definitely would like more information on this.
From where?
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:54 PM   #672
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Some guy totally just argued with me that Obama is actually only a citizen of Indonesia, not America. That aggravated the hell out of me, and I'm conservative. Facts are for unpatriotic heathens, apparently.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #673
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David Brooks: Obama is ‘certainly more liberal than I thought he was’
Daily Caller 01/05/12

Just days before President Barack Obama was sworn into the the presidency, Washington Post columnist George Will hosted a party attended by several prominent conservative pundits — CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot and New York Times columnist David Brooks, among others.

Brooks’ apparent impression after that party was that Obama was “a Burkean” — and not a strict ideologue — that understood the “organic nature of change.” Aside from perhaps admiring the crease in Obama’s pants, nearly three years to the date after that party at Will’s house, Brooks admits he had the president completely wrong.

On Thursday’s “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Brooks said he still admired Obama, but conceded the president was more liberal than he originally thought.

“Yeah, I still like him — admire him personally,” Brooks said. “He’s certainly more liberal than I thought he was. And he’s more liberal than he thinks he is. He thinks he is just slightly center-left. But when you got down to his instincts, they’re pretty left. And his problem is he can’t really act on them because it would be political disaster. And so that means, I think he is doing very little — proposing very little.”

Brooks warned that Obama has a more fundamental question to answer — how to save a country that people perceive as being in decline.

“This is a country worried about decline,” he said. “I think this whole election is about if we are in decline and that was really what you heard in Iowa. We’ve lost something as a country. That’s a pretty huge problem — you better have a pretty huge answer. And some people may not like Mitt Romney’s answer, or Rick Santorum’s answer, or Ron Paul’s answer. But they’re pretty big. They’re as big as the problem. I don’t see anything like that coming from Obama.”
I know the statist utopians here will not agree but President Obama is, by far, the most liberal president to reside in the White House. And he's in big trouble when even the New York Times' token "conservative" is on to him.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:20 PM   #674
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Why would we "statist utopians" disagree?
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #675
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Well that's it, I'm sold. Aren't you?
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