The Conservative Political Action Conference; gathering place for the near-Fascist right; Dick Cheney is of course their leader.
From Sadly, No!, a description of these maniacs. I’m sorry, but I don’t recognize conservatism in this stuff. It’s just sickness.
Weirdly enough – or maybe not so much – his defense of torture gets a standing ovation, but his praising of our fighting men in uniform does not.
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Continued fallout from the U.S. attorneys scandal. From The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
The state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved the payment of legal fees for Georgia Thompson, a state employee whose conviction for mishandling a contract was overturned by a federal appeals court….Senators voted 32-0 to pay $228,793 for Thompson’s legal fees; the bill now goes to the Assembly, where it is expected to pass. There was no debate on the bill, but Sen. Judy Robson (D-Beloit) said it was the “least we can do” for Thompson, who served time in a federal prison before the appeals judges ordered her released.
Of course, the appeals court’s decision to immediately overturn the case was remarkable in itself. But here you have a state legislature working to redress the wrongs of a federal prosecutor. Has this ever happened before? It strikes me as a rather unique situation.
It is difficult to believe this will result in any indictments, given the suppressive nature of the Bush administration. But it’s a sign that there is still some life in the Justice Department.
….recent behind-the-scenes activity in several investigations suggests that the issue that roiled Congress in 2007 could re-emerge in the heat of the election year. Two inquiries by the House and Senate ethics committees are examining whether several congressional Republicans, including one running for the Senate this year, improperly interfered with investigations.
As potent as the congressional probes might be, they appear to be far narrower than a sprawling inquiry launched by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Investigators from these offices have been questioning whether senior officials lied to Congress, violated the criminal provisions in the Hatch Act, tampered with witnesses preparing to testify to Congress, obstructed justice, took improper political considerations into account during the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys and created widespread problems in the department’s Civil Rights Division, according to several people familiar with the investigation.
via Glenn Greenwald:
…the annual survey of worldwide privacy rights conducted by Privacy International and EPIC has been released for 2007, and the U.S. has been downgraded from “Extensive Surveillance Society” to “Endemic Surveillance Society,” the worst possible category there is for privacy protections, the category also occupied by countries such as China, Russia, Singapore and Malaysia. The survey uses a variety of objective factors to determine the extent of privacy protections citizens enjoy from their government, and the U.S. now finishes at the bottom for obvious reasons.
Evidence that we are becoming a lawless surveillance state is abundant. But let’s forget all of that and figure out how we can best micro-manage the internal affairs of Pakistan and Iraq and Russia and Iran so that we can preserve Freedom and Democracy for the world.
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Another day, another episode of unconscionable political degradation of the judicial/legal system of the United States of America.
The Bush administration is pushing to take control of the promotions of military lawyers, escalating a conflict over the independence of uniformed attorneys who have repeatedly raised objections to the White House’s policies toward prisoners in the war on terrorism.
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There is nothing very complicated about what torture is, or why it was outlawed, or the fact that Bush authorized it. Read Andrew Sullivan today. The issue is whether or not he will be held accountable.
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No, he hasn’t forgotten. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) took a step today towards contempt proceedings against Karl Rove, two of his former aides, and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten for not complying with subpoenas related to the U.S. attorney firings.
There hasn’t been much movement since this summer, when Leahy issued the subpoenas. The administration claimed executive privilege for all documents and testimony sought, and said that Rove didn’t need to even show up for a hearing. Rove’s aides Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings appeared, but refused to discuss the firings. A subpoena for documents was sent to Bolten, and the White House refused.
Today, Leahy ruled that the claims of executive privilege and immunity were not legally valid, a necessary step toward issuing contempt citations in the committee. He didn’t say when he might do that.
The timing for this might have something to do with what’s going on in the House, where leaders have said they plan to schedule a floor vote to find former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Bolten in contempt for ignoring subpoenas there. That vote has been repeatedly delayed and is currently expected to take place next month.