liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure when it comes to issues like intelligence reform.
-- Sen. Robert Byrd, December 8, 2004.

There is a litany of complaints about the bill and the run-up to its passage in the U.S. Senate. Given the content of the criticisms, for example,
The 9/11 Commission recognized that its recommendations call for the government to increase its presence in people's lives, and so it wisely endorsed the creation of an independent Civil Liberties Board to defend our privacy rights and liberties. The Senate-passed bill embraced this recommendation and included additional protections to help ensure that executive agencies could not exert undue influence on the Board. This conference agreement scuttles those protections by burying the Board deep inside of the Office of the President, subjecting Board members to White House pressure
it's hard to imagine that this bill passed so easily!

The text of Byrd's critique from the Senate floor can be found here.

More hits by the "Great One-O-Eight": The Nethercutt Amendment

Then there's the Omnibus Budget Bill that was held up for two weeks because of the Congressional tax return snooping clause that wasn't supposed to have been noticed to have been inserted by Istook. Well, it turns out there are some other nasty provisions in there, only these provisions didn't get flagged before Dubya got his meathooks on it.

There's another provision in there that authorizes Congress to cut aid to allies who support the World Court authority to try U.S. soldiers for war crimes.

Did Somebody say, "Voting?"

The Baltimore Sun has the best mainstream media editorial I have seen yet on the Ohio problem.


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