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A petty and small minded critique of my own

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Bobby Jindal is still a GOP favorite. Athenae, over at First Draft, nails the M$M on this in her commentary today. But there's more to the menace Jindal poses than his oversold aura of "not a fat old white guy and still a staunch Republican." From the Politico piece:

Tuesday night, Jindal was playing to a friendly crowd at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual March Dinner.

“America is now seeing the greatest expansion of government in anyone’s lifetime,” Jindal said. "I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like the Barack Obama from the campaign trail."

Excuse me? To paraphrase Lambert, what a steaming crock.

The biggest expansion of government in anyone's lifetime, Bobby? Driven not by the sacred Free Trade / Free Market philospophy that's led us down the road to the current meltdown, government expansion is now the proper label for investments in the national infrastructure -- roads, bridges, railways, jobs, energy, education, health care, that the people of the US need, instead of military bases and wars on the far side of the world? Really? 'Cause, that was said of Bush/Cheney too -- from comments this morning at MSNBC's "First Read":

Someone needs to send Boehner and Jindal back to history class. The largest expansion of government took place under Bush/Cheney (both left & right experts agree), both with spending and expansion of their "Imperial Presidency" ideology. That's no surprise since Cheney is a Nixonite, who believed "When the president does it, that means that is is not illegal" (1977 David Frost interview with Nixon). Another moronic mental lapse by the GOP is they fail to mention that Bush' 2009 budget was for $3.1 trillion. Obama's is: $3.6 trillion.
Diane Reeves (Sent Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:08 PM)

to descriptions of how to behave directly after 9/11/01:

There is a dramatic incongruity between what Bush thought he was coming to Washington to do and what he is actually embarking upon. He was elected with an outsider's political agenda aimed at reducing the scope and influence of the federal government.

But now, as the ultimate insider, he is greatly expanding the reach and power of our governmental institutions in myriad ways that will affect not only the armed forces he will send in harm's way but ordinary civilians as well. As commander-in-chief, he has little choice.

The difference between the budgets Bush submitted ($3.1 trillion) and Obama submitted ($3.6 trillion) aren't so much matters of amount as matters of target, priority, and purpose. Plus, in the Obama budget, the costs of the wars we're fighting overseas aren't "off the books". I'm not a data-mining master; can anybody here find the amounts spent so far in Iraq and Afghanistan by President Obama, and compare them with any seven weeks of spending under Bush?

From that same Marianne Means column:

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has been exhorting Wall Street investors to prop up the markets because of patriotism, not profits. The Federal Reserve has artificially pumped money into the banking system, even cutting short-term interest rates just before the stock market reopened, and filling automatic teller machines in lower Manhattan with $20 bills.

His attorney general, John Ashcroft, is pushing Congress for an unprecedented extension of legal authority to spy electronically on suspected terrorism plotters, permit indefinite imprisonment of immigrants with questionable documents and use information on individuals gathered by foreign governments through dubious means that would violate our own constitutional freedoms. Many members of Congress, however, have raised concerns that the measure would create the potential for widespread civil liberties violations.

So instead of building bases in Africa and the Middle East, the new President wants to spend money in the US. First he's trying to get the banks to open up lending again. I heard him say during his appearance on Leno that he's working on finding other ways to make loans for necessities -- small business expenses, car buying -- available outside the banking industry. If that's done carefully why shouldn't it work? This mess didn't crop up overnight; like 100 extra pounds on a middle-aged body, it's not going away overnight, either, and it won't go away by wishing. To address the financial meltdown recklessly will produce the same kind of solution fad diets bring to weight loss: temporary and followed by rebound problems. What you have to do to lose and keep off excess weight is change your expectations, your behaviors, and your habits. Fixing the economy will have to come out of a similar level of effort and persistence, if it's to be a real solution.

Bobby Jindal's all about the fad diet, though. It's the same one the GOP has been pushing since Reagan. And he's just as disingenuous as any other GOP pol:

LSU Political Science Professor Jeffrey D. Sadow says the new governor's first five months can be split into the good, the bad, and the ugly. The "good," according to Sadow (who is also a registered Republican), includes budget cuts, new spending priorities and the passage of a package of ethics reforms for Louisiana politicians. If these new rules don't quite meet the "gold standard" Jindal promised on the campaign trail, Sadow said they merit a "silver."

State Democratic Party communications director Julie Vezinot said, however, that many of these reforms "were already in the works" before Jindal assumed office, while the rest "are not enforceable." The non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has echoed her second charge, and also alleged that a burden of proof change in the new ethics code will make "violations more difficult to prove." Nevertheless, the Center for Public Integrity was impressed enough to boost Louisiana's poor 2006 score on its state disclosure ranking.

Five months, before Sarah Palin was picked to stand beside John McCain, and Bobby Jindal's own party members were suggesting he had fallen short of his campaign promises during his elected tenure. Now he's ragging on a President in office seven weeks?

Okay. That's a pol in action. We know the GOP does projection well. But about Jindal that makes my back teeth itch?

Ties (and similarities) to W notwithstanding, there's his religious bigotry and his disdain for women's right to choose even in cases other Catholics, including Kathleen Blanco, consider acceptable premises to allow abortion.

Guys, we've got to get the word out. If you thought Bush was awful, just wait until it's President Jindal.

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Submitted by lambert on

One week, he's saying a line item for volcano study in Alaska is pork.

The next week, a volcano in Alaska erupts.

In just universe, that would get him laughed off the national stage.

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Submitted by vastleft on

Volcano-cooked pork!

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Submitted by Sarah on

re the volcano had gotten plenty of play without me piling on.

Apparently the Yoo thing is a long way from dead yet. Naomi Wolf talked to a constitutional scholar (not Obama, evidently ;) )

The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against U.S. citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress.

It was as if Milton's Satan had a law degree and was establishing within the borders of the United States the architecture of hell.

I thought this was -- and is -- certainly one of the biggest stories of our lifetime, making the petty burglary of Watergate -- which scandalized the nation -- seem like playground antics. It is newsworthy too with the groundswell of support for prosecutions of Bush/Cheney crimes and recent actions such as Canadian attorneys mobilizing to arrest Bush if he visits their country.

The memos are a confession. The memos could not be clearer: This was the legal groundwork of an attempted coup. I expected massive front page headlines from the revelation that these memos exited. Almost nothing. I was shocked.

As a non-lawyer, was I completely off base in my reading of what this meant, I wondered? Was I hallucinating?

Astonished, I sought a reality check -- and a formal legal read -- from one of the nation's top constitutional scholars (and most steadfast patriots), Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been at the forefront of defending the detainees and our own liberties.

So, Michael Ratner says the Yoo memos amount to "Fuhrer's Law" or law by fiat.

What those memos lay out means the end of the system of checks and balances in this country. It means the end of the system in which the courts, legislature and executive each had a function and they could check each other.

What the memos set out is a system in which the president's word is law, and Yoo is very clear about that: the president's word is not only law according to these memos, but no law or constitutional right or treaty can restrict the president's authority.

What Yoo says is that the president's authority as commander in chief in the so-called war on terror is not bound by any law passed by Congress, any treaty, or the protections of free speech, due process and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The First, Fourth and Fifth amendments -- gone.

What this actually means is that the president can order the military to operate in the U.S. and to operate without constitutional restrictions. They -- the military -- can pick you or me up in the U.S. for any reason and without any legal process. They would not have any restrictions on entering your house to search it, or to seize you. They can put you into a brig without any due process or going to court.

There's a lot more. The nut of it for me is in this quote, at the end of the first page of the three-page piece:

The military can disregard the Posse Comitatus law, which restricts the military from acting as police in the the United States. And the president can, in the name of wartime restrictions, limit free speech. There it is in black and white: we are looking at one-person rule without any checks and balances -- a lawless state. Law by fiat.

Who has suspended the law this way in the past? It is like a Caesar's law in Rome; a Mussolini's law in Italy; a Fuhrer's law in Germany; a Stalin's law in the Soviet Union. It is right down the line. It is enforcing the will of the dictator through the military.

How much of this can we count on seeing reversed now?
(and how much of this was for the benefit, not of W, but of Cheney?)

Submitted by jawbone on

believe it must be true. History will be rewritten--already Bush/Cheney barely exists for Repub pols.

Your find on Yoo is great--thank you for sticking to this topic.

Bringing down the Yoo-vian ideas of executive power in this country may be one of the most importants things to be corrected about the BushCo years. So much eveil has sprung from that thinking.

So far, Obama is not doing much to disable those power grabs. But he has brought in some strong opponents of what BushCo did, so perhaps there is hope that he will do more when he feels he's made some progress about the financial meltdown and the economy.

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Submitted by Sarah on

lambert -- apparently as late as 10/08 the Bush admin was trying to back down, but Yoo is still defending his work.
And he still has a teaching job in with a college in Orange County CA.

So from my pov ... he hasn't been indicted yet. So it's not over.

Submitted by lambert on

... on ideas to promote here; I'll take a quick OT stab here.

I was really taken with the idea of urban homesteaders (like CD in Detroit (!!)) being "pioneers" and I think that is a good label for the third branch of the left that is not finance or labor-oriented. The two words we have now for people who are marginalized (or at the margin) now are Cassandras and DFHs. These are both negative an disempowered. But pioneers are also at the margins, and they are striking out in new ways. I think that's us. Therefore, we don't need to worry about pushing anybody else's ideas (except insofar as they serve our interests and values). We need to push our own ideas, or rediscover ideas that were bypassed during the years of the Conservative ascendancy. It's pulling the Overton Window left (from outside) rather than shoving the Overton Window left (from in front of it). If that makes any sense. Here again these things are much more likely to bubble up locally. Did TX have any local currencies in the 30s?

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Submitted by Sarah on

much like we do today, Lambert.

barter included things like swapping vegetables for eggs & butter or hay & grain for a quarter of beef, etc.

and if windows are anything like rope, it's a hell of a lot easier dragging one than shoving it.