Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
February 26, 2008
The Internal Revenue Service has notified the United Church of Christ's national offices in Cleveland, Ohio, that the IRS has opened an investigation into U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's address at the UCC's 2007 General Synod as the church engaging in "political activities."
In the IRS letter dated Feb. 20, the IRS said it was initiating a church tax inquiry "because reasonable belief exists that the United Church of Christ has engaged in political activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status."
The Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president, called the investigation "disturbing" but said the investigation would reveal that the church did nothing improper or illegal.
Obama, an active member of the United Church of Christ for more than 20 years, addressed the UCC's 50th anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Conn., on June 23, 2007, as one of 60 diverse speakers representing the arts, media, academia, science, technology, business and government. Each was asked to reflect on the intersection of their faith and their respective vocations or fields of expertise. The invitation to Obama was extended a year before he became a Democratic presidential candidate.
"The United Church of Christ took great care to ensure that Senator Obama's appearance before the 50th anniversary General Synod met appropriate legal and moral standards," Thomas told United Church News. "We are confident that the IRS investigation will confirm that no laws were violated."@ UCofC News
One has to wonder if this is not a "Rovian" maneuver to begin with. When BO takes care to ensure that their are no conflicts with current law then gets slammed with this it is eerily similar to the DEA punishing doctors for prescribing medical marijuana. One also has to wonder where this issue from the IRS originated, the RNC is the likely culprit or even the WH could be involved, thats the beauty of being fascist, everything remains hidden and out of sight so as to not comprimise the integrity of the facsist right.
Now more than ever we need to throw open the curtain and see who is really pulling the ropes and levers. My guess would be the BIG MONEY interests responsible for the current reign of terror right here in the good ole USA.
They hate to lose.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Real Story Behind Kosovo's Independence
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet. Posted February 23, 2008.
News Flash: The Bush administration acknowledges there is a such thing as international law.
But, predictably, it is not being invoked to address the US prison camps at Guantanamo, the wide use of torture, the invasion and occupation of sovereign countries, the extraordinary rendition program. No, it is being thrown out forcefully as a condemnation of the Serbian government in the wake of Thursday's attack by protesters on the US embassy in Belgrade following the Bush administration's swift recognition of the declaration of independence by the southern Serbian province of Kosovo. Some 1,000 protesters broke away from a largely non-violent mass demonstration in downtown Belgrade and targeted the embassy. Some protesters actually made it into the compound, setting a fire and tearing down the American flag.
"I'm outraged by the mob attack against the U.S. embassy in Belgrade," fumed Zalmay Khalilzad,the US Ambassador to the United Nations. "The embassy is sovereign US territory. The government of Serbia has a responsibility under international law to protect diplomatic facilities, particularly embassies." His comments were echoed by a virtual who's who of the Bill Clinton administration. People like Jamie Rubin, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's deputy, one of the main architects of US policy toward Serbia. "It is sovereign territory of the United States under international law," Rubin declared. "For Serbia to allow these protesters to break windows, break into the American Embassy, is a pretty dramatic sign." Hillary Clinton, whose husband orchestrated and ran the 78-day NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, said, "I would be moving very aggressively to hold the Serbian government responsible with their security forces to protect our embassy. Under international law they should be doing that."
If anyone wants to understand the Clintons, especially Hillary, they did leave a trail of bread crumbs to follow.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Pariah or Prophet?
By: Chris Hedges
It was an incompetent, corporatized Democratic Party, along with the orchestrated fraud by the Republican Party, that threw the 2000 election to Bush, not Ralph Nader. Nader received only 2.7 percent of the vote in 2000 and got less than one-half of 1 percent in 2004. All of the third-party candidates who ran in 2000 in Florida—there were about half a dozen of them—got more votes than the 537-vote difference between Bush and Gore. Why not go after the other third-party candidates? And what about the 10 million Democrats who voted in 2000 for Bush? What about Gore, whose campaign was so timid and empty—he never mentioned global warming—that he could not carry his home state of Tennessee? And what about the 2004 cartoon-like candidate, John Kerry, who got up like a Boy Scout and told us he was reporting for duty and would bring us “victory” in Iraq?
Nader argues that there are few—he never said no—differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. And during the first four years of the Bush administration the Democrats proved him right. They authorized the war in Iraq. They stood by as Bush stacked the judiciary with “Christian” ideologues. They let Bush, in violation of the Constitution, pump hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into faith-based organizations that discriminate based on belief and sexual orientation and openly proselytize. They stood by as American children got fleeced by No Child Left Behind. Democrats did not protest when federal agencies began to propagate “Christian” pseudo-science about creationism, reproductive rights and homosexuality. And the Democrats let Bush further dismantle regulatory agencies, strip American citizens of constitutional rights under the Patriot Act and other draconian legislation, and thrust impoverished Americans aside through the corporate-sponsored bankruptcy bill. It is a stunning record.
Bush is the worst president in American history. If Gore, or Kerry, had the spine to take him on, to challenge corporate welfare, corporate crime, the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate bailouts and issues such as labor law reform, if either had actually stood up to these corporate behemoths on behalf of the working and middle class, rather than mutter thought-terminating clichés about American greatness, he could have won with a landslide. But Gore and Kerry did not dare to piss off their corporate paymasters.
There are a few former associates in the film who argue that Nader is tarnishing his legacy, and by extension their own legacy. But Nader’s legacy is undiminished. He fights his wars against corporate greed with a remarkable consistency. He knows our democratic state is being hijacked by the same corporate interests that sold us unsafe automobiles and dangerous and shoddy products. This is a battle not for some unachievable ideal but to save our democracy.
“I don’t care about my personal legacy,” Nader says in the film. “I care about how much justice is advanced in America and in our world day after day. I’m willing to sacrifice whatever ‘reputation’ in the cause of that effort. What is my legacy? Are they going to turn around and rip out seat belts out of cars, air bags out of cars?”
These corporations, and their enraged and manipulated followers in the Christian right, tens of millions of them, if left unchecked will propel us into despotism. The corporate state has rigged our system, hollowed out our political process and steadily stripped citizens of constitutional rights, federal and state protection and assistance. This may be the twilight of American democracy. And it is better to stand up and fight, even in vain, than not to fight at all.
Nader thinks like a lot of us regarding corporatistas and their persistent pursuit of profit at all cost and although he has been fighting a battle he will never win, has never engaged the very people affected by the corporatista policies.
For that reason I believe he has dwindled to a minor bit player even though his message rings true. We all know and see what is happening around us quite powerless to change it, it is after all capitalism, the American way, and who does not like money or just plain need money whether we like it or not?
Ralphie proves one thing. If one wants to change the status quo, one has to embrace many others, it cannot be done alone. That is what Ralphie is trying to do, change the complete corporate structure, alone, just him and his enormous ego against the entire corporate structure here in the United States.
Good luck with that.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
WASHINGTON - Ralph Nader is launching a third-party campaign for president.
The consumer advocate made the announcement Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." He says most Americans are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties, and that none of the presidential contenders are addressing ways to stem corporate crime and Pentagon waste and promote labor rights.
Nader also ran as a third-party candidate in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. He is still loathed by many Democrats who call him a spoiler and claim his candidacy in 2000 cost the party the election by siphoning votes away from Al Gore in a razor-thin contest in Florida.
Do we really want to read about this???
Question marks with arrows pointing Reich, sums up Ralphies bid for the WH against all common sense and logic. Why and helping the reich fend off those evil Liberals who are trying to allow terrists to come in and blow us up!
Ralphie of Christmas story fame who coulda shot his eye out? Nope just looks like he did. Ralphie who raged about the evils of Corvairs rather than the people that manufactured them, always chasing the wrong cause at the wrong time and screwing everything up in the process, like the Energizer Bunny he keeps going and going.
Sorry Ralphie, you are too late for the party(Green?) and too late to beat those boys that beat you up the last time you crawled out from under that rock.
Please exit the building in an orderly manner, thanks but no thanks.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
A Journey Shaped by a Guitar
EVEN though Nazareth, Pa., isn’t quite the holy city its namesake is, pilgrims with a musical bent still go there every weekday in search of a potentially spiritual experience. They head to a quaint brick building, lured by the promise of taking a tour at the C. F. Martin & Company guitar factory.
More than 200 guitars are made at Martin each day, many more than when the company first opened in New York City in 1833 (it moved to Nazareth in 1839). But for any guitar player or music lover, getting to see the basic stages in the creation of a Martin moves them powerfully, putting some in touch with emotions they might have thought too inaccessible to be reached.
Martins are arguably the most coveted acoustic guitar on earth — satisfied customers include Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Freedy Johnston — and wherever pickers and grinners gather to resurrect time-honored chestnuts, from “Helpless” to “Sugarfoot Rag,” there’s a good chance that there will be a Martin chiming in. A trip to the factory could almost be considered a journey to the Lourdes of twang.
Given Martin’s humble origins, today’s factory is surprisingly large and modern, built in 1964. The barn-red Martin building replicates the facade of the first Nazareth factory, but from the outside it looks to be playing host-victim to an industrial plant large enough to churn out cars and trucks.
Inside, the Plek fret-dressing machine hums, lathes turn and sanders buzz as instruments are made in large numbers (81,000 last year). Plus, there’s a spanking clean lobby, a gift shop, a guitar museum and a sparkling white bathroom that pipes in, fittingly enough, a bluegrass radio station.
The tour itself also makes use of modern headsets, so you can hear the guide’s narrative above the impressive whine of guitars being birthed. But once the pilgrims make their way and start seeing guitars in various stages of completion, that holy look creeps back into their eyes. Sometimes, mixed with tears.
That was the case last October with Beverly Goskowski, from nearby Hellertown, whose horn-rims showed a studious side, but whose leather jacket whispered, “rebel.” Ms. Goskowski really did think of her trip to Nazareth and Martin as something, well, related to the soul.
“I came here seven years ago with my granddad,” she said. “He passed over the summer, and I guess I’m trying to recapture the fun we had when we first came. Or to say goodbye to him. I don’t know which, really.”
Ms. Goskowski said all this in a strangely amplified voice mangled by the headset. She wept a bit, removed her glasses, wiped her eyes and chuckled at the tender moment being distorted by a modern contraption.
“Granddad, whose name was George H. Giltenboth, didn’t play an instrument or anything, but he loved music,” she said. “When we went on the tour, he kept grabbing the tour guide’s arm, asking her to repeat certain facts, always calling her ‘honey,’ or ‘dear.’ He loved being here.”@ TNYT
A little something to take our minds off the political scene and the other stuff clogging our veins of late.
I truly respect anyone that can play one of these instruments with any degree of skill, I am not one of those but my admiration continues. We all have our favorite guitarists and the Martin guitar is a favorite of many of them. Still being handmade after all these years, they are a true American tradition that has been unequaled.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
scared! (for 50 years)
In this image provided by the US Navy a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie Wednesday Feb. 20, 2008, successfully impacting a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite approximately 247 kilometers (133 nautical miles) over the Pacific Ocean, as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph. President George W. Bush decided to bring down the satellite because of the likelihood that the satellite could release hydrazine fuel upon impact, possibly in populated areas. (AP Photo/US Navy)
Destroying the satellite's onboard tank of about 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel was the primary goal, and a senior defense official close to the mission said Thursday that it appears the tank was destroyed, and the strike with a specially designed missile was a complete success.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the shootdown, which came late Wednesday as he began an eight-day, around-the-world trip on which he likely will face questions about the mission.
The elaborate intercept may trigger worries from some international leaders, who could see it as a thinly disguised attempt to test an anti-satellite weapon - one that could take out other nation's orbiting communications and spy spacecraft.
Within hours of the reported success, China said it was on the alert for possible harmful fallout from the shootdown and urged Washington to promptly release data on the action.
"China is continuously following closely the possible harm caused by the U.S. action to outer space security and relevant countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at news conference in Beijing. "China requests the U.S. to fulfill its international obligations in real earnest and provide to the international community necessary information and relevant data in a timely and prompt way so that relevant countries can take precautions."
While Pentagon officials stressed that the satellite strike was a one-time incident, it certainly will spin off massive amounts of data and research that can be studied by the military as it works to improve its missile defense technologies.
Officials had expressed cautious optimism that the missile would hit the bus-sized satellite, but they were less certain of hitting the smaller, more worrisome fuel tank.
In a statement released after the satellite was shot, the Pentagon said, "Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours." But a short time later, several defense officials close to the situation said it appeared the fuel tank was hit. One said observers saw what appeared to be an explosion. Those officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the results had not been formally documented at the time they spoke.
Because the satellite was orbiting at a relatively low altitude at the time it was hit by the missile, debris will begin to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere immediately, the Pentagon statement said.
"Nearly all of the debris will burn up on re-entry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days," it said.
A bit of science reality to counter the McNobrain blather currently occupying all of the blogosphere news this AM.
The Lunar Eclipse also was here and there around cloud cover while KO was prattling for a complete hour over and over, ad-nauseum, about certain indiscretions of a certain Senator and a certain K-Street marm. Looks to me like someone just got their butt shoved in front of the campaign bus. With the numerous favors granted to lobbyists by Mc it is no wonder they want to drop him like a hot potato.
War hero one minute, tabloid star the next, what a country!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Interesting discussion regarding the wiretapping and the proof you have been.
Technically if this was held to bear, wiretapping is NOT happening.
The only one that even knows who is tapping who is the NSA, FBI, or another acronym of the government, and they are not telling.
Quite the legal limbo. The twists and turns keep coming and instead of a Ferrari, we are in Yugos.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Message from the Commander in Chief
Last Friday, February 15, I promised you that in my next reflection I would deal with an issue of interest to many compatriots. Thus, this now is rather a message.
The moment has come to nominate and elect the State Council, its President, its Vice-Presidents and Secretary.
For many years I have occupied the honorable position of President. On February 15, 1976 the Socialist Constitution was approved with the free, direct and secret vote of over 95% of the people with the right to cast a vote. The first National Assembly was established on December 2nd that same year; this elected the State Council and its presidency. Before that, I had been a Prime Minister for almost 18 years. I always had the necessary prerogatives to carry forward the revolutionary work with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.
There were those overseas who, aware of my critical health condition, thought that my provisional resignation, on July 31, 2006, to the position of President of the State Council, which I left to First Vice-President Raul Castro Ruz, was final. But Raul, who is also minister of the Armed Forces on account of his own personal merits, and the other comrades of the Party and State leadership were unwilling to consider me out of public life despite my unstable health condition.
It was an uncomfortable situation for me vis-à-vis an adversary which had done everything possible to get rid of me, and I felt reluctant to comply.
Later, in my necessary retreat, I was able to recover the full command of my mind as well as the possibility for much reading and meditation. I had enough physical strength to write for many hours, which I shared with the corresponding rehabilitation and recovery programs. Basic common sense indicated that such activity was within my reach. On the other hand, when referring to my health I was extremely careful to avoid raising expectations since I felt that an adverse ending would bring traumatic news to our people in the midst of the battle. Thus, my first duty was to prepare our people both politically and psychologically for my absence after so many years of struggle. I kept saying that my recovery "was not without risks."
My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That’s all I can offer.
To my dearest compatriots, who have recently honored me so much by electing me a member of the Parliament where so many agreements should be adopted of utmost importance to the destiny of our Revolution, I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire to nor accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief.
In short letters addressed to Randy Alonso, Director of the Round Table National TV Program, --letters which at my request were made public-- I discreetly introduced elements of this message I am writing today, when not even the addressee of such letters was aware of my intention. I trusted Randy, whom I knew very well from his days as a student of Journalism. In those days I met almost on a weekly basis with the main representatives of the University students from the provinces at the library of the large house in Kohly where they lived. Today, the entire country is an immense University.
Following are some paragraphs chosen from the letter addressed to Randy on December 17, 2007:
"I strongly believe that the answers to the current problems facing Cuban society, which has, as an average, a twelfth grade of education, almost a million university graduates, and a real possibility for all its citizens to become educated without their being in any way discriminated against, require more variables for each concrete problem than those contained in a chess game. We cannot ignore one single detail; this is not an easy path to take, if the intelligence of a human being in a revolutionary society is to prevail over instinct.
"My elemental duty is not to cling to positions, much less to stand in the way of younger persons, but rather to contribute my own experience and ideas whose modest value comes from the exceptional era that I had the privilege of living in.
"Like Niemeyer, I believe that one has to be consistent right up to the end."
Letter from January 8, 2008:
"…I am a firm supporter of the united vote (a principle that preserves the unknown merits), which allowed us to avoid the tendency to copy what came to us from countries of the former socialist bloc, including the portrait of the one candidate, as singular as his solidarity towards Cuba. I deeply respect that first attempt at building socialism, thanks to which we were able to continue along the path we had chosen."
And I reiterated in that letter that "…I never forget that ‘all of the world’s glory fits in a kernel of corn."
Therefore, it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer. This I say devoid of all drama.
Fortunately, our Revolution can still count on cadres from the old guard and others who were very young in the early stages of the process. Some were very young, almost children, when they joined the fight on the mountains and later they have given glory to the country with their heroic performance and their internationalist missions. They have the authority and the experience to guarantee the replacement. There is also the intermediate generation which learned together with us the basics of the complex and almost unattainable art of organizing and leading a revolution.
The path will always be difficult and require from everyone’s intelligent effort. I distrust the seemingly easy path of apologetics or its antithesis the self-flagellation. We should always be prepared for the worst variable. The principle of being as prudent in success as steady in adversity cannot be forgotten. The adversary to be defeated is extremely strong; however, we have been able to keep it at bay for half a century.
This is not my farewell to you. My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas. I shall continue to write under the heading of ‘Reflections by comrade Fidel.’ It will be just another weapon you can count on. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I shall be careful.
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 18, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Democratic political professionals worry that former President Bill Clinton is "out of control" and "destroying his wife's campaign" after he reportedly slapped a heckler at a rally in Ohio and got into a shouting match with another.
Party insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that the former President's hair-trigger temper is surfacing more and more as he campaigns for his wife and his actions are "detrimental to the party and the Senator."
"We're looking at a man out of control," says one Clinton adviser. "He won't stay on message and too often seems like a madman on stage. He has to be stopped or removed from the campaign."
Sources say an angry and abusive Clinton routinely chews out campaign staffers and even members of his Secret Service detail.
Reports The Associated Press:
A Barack Obama supporter claims former President Bill Clinton slapped his face after he repeatedly heckled him during a speech in Ohio.
Robert Holeman made the allegation after he chanted Obama’s name as Clinton campaigned for his wife at a rally in Canton yesterday.
As soon as Clinton finished speaking, the Canton native darted to the ropeline to give Clinton a piece of his mind.
“This is the last hurrah. After March 4, Hillary Clinton will be out of the race for good, and Obama will take the commanding lead,” he said.
“She should back him with her delegates immediately. That’s what Im asking them to do,” Holeman heckled.
Holeman told MSNBC news that Clinton was “irate” and jabbed his finger at him. “I think he even hit me in the face with his hand,” he said. “He did give me a little pop.”
Clinton could be seen pointing at Holeman, but it was unclear whether there was any physical contact.
In Steubenville, Clinton got angry at another hecker. Reports The National Journal:
A frustrated Bill Clinton angrily raised his voice in response to heckling from pro-life protestors at a rally (in Steubenville tonight.
When protestors first held up signs reading "Abortion Kills Children," the former president responded calmly, outlining his wife's past policies to help children and mothers. But when interrupted a second time by a more vocal heckler, Clinton shouted in response and stabbed his finger at the protestor.
"I gave you the answer. We disagree with you," he said impatiently. "You wanna criminalize women and their doctors, and we disagree."
"If you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother as an accessory to murder in prison," he continued, as the crowd applauded its support. "And you won't say you wanna do that because you know that you wouldn't have a lick of political support."
"This is not your rally," he concluded, still agitated. "I heard you. That's another thing you need is a president, somebody who will stick up for individual rights and not be pushed around, and she won't."
@ Capitol Hill Blue
Judging from the comments after the story, there are not too many people fond of the Billary Bunch. Going to have to duct tape the ex-prez to the seat on the tour bus before he makes a mess of things on the road.
One thing pointed out on Bill Maher Friday was the fact that Obama has remained calm cool and collected throughout, while Bill runs his jaws and ole hill turns on the waterworks for effect.
I'll go with the most stable individual for the most demanding job in the country.
Go Obama, a pillar of calm in a looney filled race!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The Preamble to our Constitution states that one of our highest duties as public officials is to "provide for the common defence." As an elected Member of Congress, a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I work everyday to ensure that our defense and intelligence capabilities remain strong in the face of serious threats to our national security.
Because I care so deeply about protecting our country, I take strong offense to your suggestion in recent days that the country will be vulnerable to terrorist attack unless Congress immediately enacts legislation giving you broader powers to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans' communications and provides legal immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the Administration's warrantless surveillance program.
Today, the National Security Agency (NSA) has authority to conduct surveillance in at least three different ways, all of which provide strong capability to monitor the communications of possible terrorists.
First, NSA can use its authority under Executive Order 12333 to conduct surveillance abroad of any known or suspected terrorist. There is no requirement for a warrant. There is no requirement for probable cause. Most of NSA's collection occurs under this authority.
Second, NSA can use its authority under the Protect America Act, enacted last August, to conduct surveillance here in the U.S of any foreign target. This authority does not "expire" on Saturday, as you have stated. Under the PAA, orders authorizing surveillance may last for one year – until at least August 2008. These orders may cover every terrorist group without limitation. If a new member of the group is identified, or if a new phone number or email address is identified, the NSA may add it to the existing orders, and surveillance can begin immediately. We will not "go dark."
Third, in the remote possibility that a new terrorist organization emerges that we have never previously identified, the NSA could use existing authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor those communications. Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the FISA Court has approved nearly every application for a warrant from the Department of Justice. In an emergency, NSA or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may begin surveillance immediately, and a FISA Court order does not have to be obtained for three days. The former head of FISA operations for the Department of Justice has testified publicly that emergency authorization may be granted in a matter of minutes.
As you know, the 1978 FISA law, which has been modernized and updated numerous times since 9/11, was instrumental in disrupting the terrorist plot in Germany last summer. Those who say that FISA is outdated do not understand the strength of this important tool.
If our nation is left vulnerable in the coming months, it will not be because we don't have enough domestic spying powers. It will be because your Administration has not done enough to defeat terrorist organizations – including al Qaeda -- that have gained strength since 9/11. We do not have nearly enough linguists to translate the reams of information we currently collect. We do not have enough intelligence officers who can penetrate the hardest targets, such as al Qaeda. We have surged so many intelligence resources into Iraq that we have taken our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result, you have allowed al Qaeda to reconstitute itself on your watch.
You have also suggested that Congress must grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. As someone who has been briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past actions of telecommunications companies are immunized.
The issue of telecom liability should be carefully considered based on a full review of the documents that your Administration withheld from Congress for eight months. However, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to say that we will be vulnerable unless we grant immunity for actions that happened years ago.
Congress has not been sitting on its hands. Last November, the House passed responsible legislation to authorize the NSA to conduct surveillance of foreign terrorists and to provide clarity and legal protection to our private sector partners who assist in that surveillance.
The proper course is now to conference the House bill with the Senate bill that was passed on Tuesday. There are significant differences between these two bills and a conference, in regular order, is the appropriate mechanism to resolve the differences between these two bills. I urge you, Mr. President, to put partisanship aside and allow Republicans in Congress to arrive at a compromise that will protect America and protect our Constitution.
I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.
We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.
Member of Congress
Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Looks like the House is going to be the place where the chimp meets his Waterloo.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Yesterday the House of Representatives took several historic steps towards protecting our system of checks and balances. First, by a vote of 223 to 32, the House passed resolutions referring criminal contempt citations for former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, as well as authorizing civil actions against them should the Justice Department refuse to prosecute. Second, we did not succumb to the White House political pressure concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Yesterday's contempt vote upheld the simple Constitutional principle that no one is above the law. If an ordinary citizen could not ignore a subpoena without facing severe consequences, the same must hold true for the White House.
As the morning's papers covered this story, many of them recount the Judiciary Committee investigation that began a year ago. They talk of the fired U.S. Attorneys who testified, the thousands of pages of documents produced by the Department of Justice, and of the subpoenas ignored by the White House.
I hope that as you read those stories, you will remember that the path to today's contempt vote did not begin with just a subpoena, or a hearing, or even the firings in December, 2006. Rather, it began with the Bush Administration's politicization of Justice and its refusal to submit to congressional oversight. I commend my 232 colleagues who joined me in voting to hold the Bush White house accountable and who stood up for the rule of law.
I also want to commend the Democratic Leadership for standing up to the White House yesterday and refusing to succumb to political pressure concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Last August we allowed ourselves to be jammed by the Senate and the White House. Yesterday, we stood up in the face of the pressure and let the President know that we intend to do our jobs as legislators and not hastily pass the flawed Senate bill with retroactive legal immunity for the telecommunications firms.
The White House, of course, has complained bitterly about the contempt vote as they have with many oversight actions Congress has taken. I have linked to some articles that show breadth of this bluster.
Much more remains to be done, but this week, we made real progress. With your help, we all made a difference, and the nation and our constitution are stronger for it. Thank you.
Thank you again for your continued support for a better democracy.
John Conyers, Jr.
Wow! what a roller coaster ride eh? The Senate is full of bozo-fascists while the House still seems to have it's stuff together, thank goodness!
Stay tuned for more!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Another 'better buy me flowers' day is upon us so all you men, do your duty and lavish your love with stuff to make her sneeze, itch, or get a stomach ache, it's your job so get to it or you will be in deep doo doo.
Meanwhile our Gub-ment will show us the love as only they know how by monitoring those Valentine messages. Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Why McCain provokes paranoia on the right
Not only does the Arizona senator mock conservative orthodoxy, but, even worse, his pro-immigration think tank took money from George Soros and other frightening liberals.
By Joe Conason
Feb. 07, 2008 | John McCain's gleeful proclamation on Tuesday evening that he is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination could only have intensified the despairing rage of his party's far right. For months the zealots have watched helplessly as the Arizona senator, who built his maverick reputation by taunting and tweaking them, clambered back into contention by humbling their would-be champions. Suddenly, the conservative cause found its last hopes reposing in the likes of Mitt Romney, a dubious convert, and Mike Huckabee, a suspect populist.
That desperate situation, which displayed the political disarray of their movement, only got worse for conservatives as McCain moved inexorably closer to victory on Tuesday night. And now they will have to listen to his claim that he is a legitimate heir to Ronald Reagan and decide whether to line up dutifully behind a man they have despised for a decade.
Certainly there will be many elected officials, bureaucrats, officeholders and assorted pork-choppers who will fall into the McCain ranks without much protest, out of personal interest or partisan loyalty. If conservatives could persuade themselves to accept Romney's professions of the true faith despite his record of support for abortion rights and gay rights, then why not believe McCain when he promises supply-side tax cuts?
As Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, James Dobson and their lesser imitators furiously explain, they have strong reasons to distrust "straight talker" McCain, who straddles and shifts incessantly to advance his contrarian political strategy. He has so casually disrespected them and their opinions over the years, showing up routinely on the wrong side of so many of their issues, from climate change to gun control to campaign finance reform to the marriage amendment to the Bush tax cuts to judicial nominations, that endorsing him now would look like a wholesale abandonment of principle.
McCains last hurrah. Chances of winning? Somewhere around a snowballs chance in hell.
HucKKKabee just does not know when to quit, people of a religious nature tend to wear out their welcome being God's servant till the end. Maybe he thinks an old dude like McCain could croak at any minute and as such is biding his time. Or it is McCains last chance at the big chair. The repugs know they have NO chance of winning unless they declare martial law beforehand and appoint deadeye dick to the big chair.
Whether McCain is this or that is water over a broken dam. He has more skeletons in his closet than the Addams Family. Starting with kicking the Native Americans in AZ off their prized land because underneath it is a rich coal deposit and going down from there. Once more for the Gipper.
Hold yer nose!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Dodd: And the idea that this body would grant retroactive immunity in the face of these challenges and deny the courts an opportunity to determine at the mere request of a president….the major companies for years on end can sweep up—vacuum up to use the Church committees language, every telephone conversation, every fax , every email of millions and millions of Americans is a precedent I don’t think we would want to have left as part of our heritage in coming generations. And believe me they will look back to us…Constitutional lawyer and author Glenn Greenwald expressed the high stakes this way, Mr. President and I quote:
‘The Bush administration will be gone in eleven months, but in the absence of some meaning accountability all of this will remain. If these theories remain undisturbed and unchallenged. And all of these crimes go un-investigated and unpunished, that will have a profound impact on changing our national character and further transforming the type of country we are.’
Watching Chris last night on C-Span (H/T to Carey) I wondered why no one else was there.
Is not the future of America important enough to take a stand against the MOB goons willing to trash all that is good to save their media pals from losing millions of dollars for breaking the law?
20 hours down, Chris finally wrapped up his truly patriotic defense of the Constitution and the rule of law. I wish everyone could have seen and heard the passion in his voice toward his country, defending it rightly against the attack of the WH Mob Bosses.
It says a lot about where we are as a country when we allow torture, warrantless eavesdropping, unlawful detention of 'enemy combatants', extraordinary rendition and the rest.
I remind you that these markedly illegal actions are from one source, the WH Mob Bosses.
So to sum it up, the WH and certain members of Congress should be charged with TREASON and nothing less and brought to trial for their indiscretions, NOW!
Kudos to Senator Dodd for being the textbook definition of a true Patriot and doing what he swore an oath to do, defend The Constitution from our 'domestic' enemies.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Because They Said So
The New York Times | Editorial
Sunday 10 February 2008
Even by the dismal standards of what passes for a national debate on intelligence and civil liberties, last week was a really bad week.
The Senate debated a bill that would make needed updates to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - while needlessly expanding the president's ability to spy on Americans without a warrant and covering up the unlawful spying that President Bush ordered after 9/11.
The Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, John Rockefeller of West Virginia, led the way in killing amendments that would have strengthened requirements for warrants and raised the possibility of at least some accountability for past wrongdoing. Republicans declaimed about protecting America from terrorists - as if anyone was arguing the opposite - and had little to say about protecting Americans' rights.
We saw a ray of hope when the head of the Central Intelligence Agency conceded - finally - that waterboarding was probably illegal. But his boss, the director of national intelligence, insisted it was legal when done to real bad guys. And Vice President Dick Cheney - surprise! - made it clear that President Bush would authorize waterboarding whenever he wanted.
The Catch-22 metaphor is seriously overused, but consider this: Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Congress there would be no criminal investigation into waterboarding. He said the Justice Department decided waterboarding was legal (remember the torture memo?) and told the C.I.A. that.
So, according to Mukaseyan logic, the Justice Department cannot investigate those who may have committed torture, because the Justice Department said it was O.K. and Justice cannot be expected to investigate itself.
As it was with torture, so it was with wiretaps.
After the 2001 terrorist attacks, the president decided to ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and authorized wiretaps without a warrant on electronic communications between people in the United States and people abroad. Administration lawyers ginned up a legal justification and then asked communications companies for vast amounts of data.
According to Mr. Rockefeller, the companies were "sent letters, all of which stated that the relevant activities had been authorized by the president" and that the attorney general - then John Ashcroft - decided the activity was lawful. The legal justification remains secret, but we suspect it was based on the finely developed theory that the president does not have to obey the law, and not on any legitimate interpretation of federal statutes.
When Mr. Bush started his spying program, FISA allowed warrantless eavesdropping for up to a year if the president certified that it was directed at a foreign power, or the agent of a foreign power, and there was no real chance that communications involving United States citizens or residents would be caught up. As we now know, the surveillance included Americans and there was no "foreign power" involved.
The law then, and now, also requires the attorney general to certify "in writing under oath" that the surveillance is legal under FISA, not some fanciful theory of executive power. He is required to inform Congress 30 days in advance, and then periodically report to the House and Senate intelligence panels.
Congress was certainly not informed, and if Mr. Ashcroft or later Alberto Gonzales certified anything under oath, it's a mystery to whom and when. The eavesdropping went on for four years and would probably still be going on if The Times had not revealed it.
So what were the telecommunications companies told? Since the administration is not going to investigate this either, civil actions are the only alternative.
The telecoms, which are facing about 40 pending lawsuits, believe they are protected by a separate law that says companies that give communications data to the government cannot be sued for doing so if they were obeying a warrant - or a certification from the attorney general that a warrant was not needed - and all federal statutes were being obeyed.
To defend themselves, the companies must be able to show they cooperated and produce that certification. But the White House does not want the public to see the documents, since it seems clear that the legal requirements were not met. It is invoking the state secrets privilege - saying that as a matter of national security, it will not confirm that any company cooperated with the wiretapping or permit the documents to be disclosed in court.
So Mr. Rockefeller and other senators want to give the companies immunity even if the administration never admits they were involved. This is short-circuiting the legal system. If it is approved, we will then have to hope that the next president will be willing to reveal the truth.
Mr. Rockefeller argues that companies might balk at future warrantless spying programs. Imagine that!
This whole nightmare was started by Mr. Bush's decision to spy without warrants - not because they are hard to get, but because he decided he was above the law. Discouraging that would be a service to the nation.
This debate is not about whether the United States is going to spy on Al Qaeda, it is about whether it is going to destroy its democratic principles in doing so. Senators who care about that should vote against immunity.
Why tap your phone, why read your e-mail. Well to make sure their sinister plans are not revealed before they have a chance to pull them off thats why, oh and remember Uncle Bernie, he needs help with his stock picks, plenty of reasons and why do YOU want to know anyway? If you are not doing anything wrong why do you care?
I tell ya, there are a multitude of reasons we DO NOT need our phones tapped, listening in on hot steamy phone sex, making arrangements to get our girlfriends to the right motel, hooking up to our dealers and pimp daddies, you know, the American way. We Americans like to live on the edge of legality, whether it is speeding or screwing we want our privacy to do so and it isn't none of Pervert Boy in the WH's bizness! Get your own hookers peeper boy!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Stole this from C&L, thought you guys might like it too, except Gerald of course but it's a free country. BIG O seems legit to me and as far as I'm concerned can have the job right damn now! Get that lying cheating bunch of mafia wannabes the hell out of DC!
McCain ain't looking so good lately, seems over-torqued on the campaign trail. He is old and if he isn't careful could pop a vessle and HucKKKabee would be number one. At that point Micky Mouse could run against them and win.
Keep pulling for BIG O to make it to the top slot, he's a shoe-in.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
A Strike in the Dark
by Seymour M. Hersh
Sometime after midnight on September 6, 2007, at least four low-flying Israeli Air Force fighters crossed into Syrian airspace and carried out a secret bombing mission on the banks of the Euphrates River, about ninety miles north of the Iraq border. The seemingly unprovoked bombing, which came after months of heightened tension between Israel and Syria over military exercises and troop buildups by both sides along the Golan Heights, was, by almost any definition, an act of war. But in the immediate aftermath nothing was heard from the government of Israel. In contrast, in 1981, when the Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, near Baghdad, the Israeli government was triumphant, releasing reconnaissance photographs of the strike and permitting the pilots to be widely interviewed.
Within hours of the attack, Syria denounced Israel for invading its airspace, but its public statements were incomplete and contradictory—thus adding to the mystery. A Syrian military spokesman said only that Israeli planes had dropped some munitions in an unpopulated area after being challenged by Syrian air defenses, “which forced them to flee.” Four days later, Walid Moallem, the Syrian foreign minister, said during a state visit to Turkey that the Israeli aircraft had used live ammunition in the attack, but insisted that there were no casualties or property damage. It was not until October 1st that Syrian President Bashar Assad, in an interview with the BBC, acknowledged that the Israeli warplanes had hit their target, which he described as an “unused military building.” Assad added that Syria reserved the right to retaliate, but his comments were muted.
Despite official silence in Tel Aviv (and in Washington), in the days after the bombing the American and European media were flooded with reports, primarily based on information from anonymous government sources, claiming that Israel had destroyed a nascent nuclear reactor that was secretly being assembled in Syria, with the help of North Korea. Beginning construction of a nuclear reactor in secret would be a violation of Syria’s obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and could potentially yield material for a nuclear weapon.
The evidence was circumstantial but seemingly damning. The first reports of Syrian and North Korean nuclear coöperation came on September 12th in the Times and elsewhere. By the end of October, the various media accounts generally agreed on four points: the Israeli intelligence community had learned of a North Korean connection to a construction site in an agricultural area in eastern Syria; three days before the bombing, a “North Korean ship,” identified as the Al Hamed, had arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus, on the Mediterranean; satellite imagery strongly suggested that the building under construction was designed to hold a nuclear reactor when completed; as such, Syria had crossed what the Israelis regarded as the “red line” on the path to building a bomb, and had to be stopped. There were also reports—by ABC News and others—that some of the Israeli intelligence had been shared in advance with the United States, which had raised no objection to the bombing.
@ Common Dreams
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Disowned by the Ownership Society
by Naomi Klein
January 31, 2008
Remember the “ownership society,” fixture of major George W. Bush addresses for the first four years of his presidency? “We’re creating…an ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property,” Bush said in October 2004. Washington think-tanker Grover Norquist predicted that the ownership society would be Bush’s greatest legacy, remembered “long after people can no longer pronounce or spell Fallujah.” Yet in Bush’s final State of the Union address, the once-ubiquitous phrase was conspicuously absent. And little wonder: rather than its proud father, Bush has turned out to be the ownership society’s undertaker.
Well before the ownership society had a neat label, its creation was central to the success of the right-wing economic revolution around the world. The idea was simple: if working-class people owned a small piece of the market—a home mortgage, a stock port-folio, a private pension—they would cease to identify as workers and start to see themselves as owners, with the same interests as their bosses. That meant they could vote for politicians promising to improve stock performance rather than job conditions. Class consciousness would be a relic.
It was always tempting to dismiss the ownership society as an empty slogan—“hokum” as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich put it. But the ownership society was quite real. It was the answer to a roadblock long faced by politicians favoring policies to benefit the wealthy. The problem boiled down to this: people tend to vote their economic interests. Even in the wealthy United States, most people earn less than the average income. That means it is in the interest of the majority to vote for politicians promising to redistribute wealth from the top down.
So what to do? It was Margaret Thatcher who pioneered a solution. The effort centered on Britain’s public housing, or council estates, which were filled with die-hard Labour Party supporters. In a bold move, Thatcher offered strong incentives to residents to buy their council estate flats at reduced rates (much as Bush did decades later by promoting subprime mortgages). Those who could afford it became homeowners while those who couldn’t faced rents almost twice as high as before, leading to an explosion of homelessness.
As a political strategy, it worked: the renters continued to oppose Thatcher, but polls showed that more than half of the newly minted owners did indeed switch their party affiliation to the Tories. The key was a psychological shift: they now thought like owners, and owners tend to vote Tory. The ownership society as a political project was born.
Across the Atlantic, Reagan ushered in a range of policies that similarly convinced the public that class divisions no longer existed. In 1988 only 26 percent of Americans told pollsters that they lived in a society bifurcated into “haves” and “have-nots”—71 percent rejected the whole idea of class. The real breakthrough, however, came in the 1990s, with the “democratization” of stock ownership, eventually leading to nearly half of American households owning stock. Stock watching became a national pastime, with tickers on TV screens becoming more common than weather forecasts. Main Street, we were told, had stormed the elite enclaves of Wall Street.
Once again, the shift was psychological. Stock ownership made up a relatively minor part of the average American’s earnings, but in the era of frenetic downsizing and offshoring, this new class of amateur investor had a distinct shift in consciousness. Whenever a new round of layoffs was announced, sending another stock price soaring, many responded not by identifying with those who had lost their jobs, or by protesting the policies that had led to the layoffs, but by calling their brokers with instructions to buy.
Bush came to office determined to take these trends even further, to deliver Social Security accounts to Wall Street and target minority communities—traditionally out of the Republican Party’s reach—for easy homeownership. “Under 50 percent of African Americans and Hispanic Americans own a home,” Bush observed in 2002. “That’s just too few.” He called on Fannie Mae and the private sector “to unlock millions of dollars, to make it available for the purchase of a home”—an important reminder that subprime lenders were taking their cue straight from the top.
Today, the basic promises of the ownership society have been broken. First the dot-com bubble burst; then employees watched their stock-heavy pensions melt away with Enron and WorldCom. Now we have the subprime mortgage crisis, with more than 2 million homeowners facing foreclosure on their homes. Many are raiding their 401(k)s—their piece of the stock market—to pay their mortgage. Wall Street, meanwhile, has fallen out of love with Main Street. To avoid regulatory scrutiny, the new trend is away from publicly traded stocks and toward private equity. In November Nasdaq joined forces with several private banks, including Goldman Sachs, to form Portal Alliance, a private equity stock market open only to investors with assets upward of $100 million. In short order yesterday’s ownership society has morphed into today’s members-only society.
The mass eviction from the ownership society has profound political implications. According to a September Pew Research poll, 48 percent of Americans say they live in a society carved into haves and have-nots—nearly twice the number of 1988. Only 45 percent see themselves as part of the haves. In other words, we are seeing a dramatic return of the very class consciousness that the ownership society attempted to erase. Class is back. And the free market ideologues have lost their most potent psychological tool.lei
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
ABC News: Results At a Glance [IPB]
I thought I would try this and see how it worked out. Click the link and see State results by clicking on that particular State.
Total Delegate count from MSNBC(so don't yell at me if the numbers are wrong):
*Clinton=582, Obama=485, Edwards=26
*McCain=516, Romney=207, Huckabee=142
BIG STORMS with tornado's ripped up the mid-south marring the election results and killing 45 people in the process, YIKES!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
By Matt Stearns | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — To hear Hillary Clinton talk, she's spent her entire career putting her Yale Law School degree to work for the common good.
She routinely tells voters that she's "been working to bring positive change to people's lives for 35 years." She told a voter in New Hampshire: "I've spent so much of my life in the nonprofit sector." Speaking in South Carolina, Bill Clinton said his wife "could have taken a job with a firm ... Instead she went to work with Marian Wright Edelman at the Children's Defense Fund."
The overall portrait is of a lifelong, selfless do-gooder. The whole story is more complicated — and less flattering.
Clinton worked at the Children's Defense Fund for less than a year, and that's the only full-time job in the nonprofit sector she's ever had. She also worked briefly as a law professor.
Clinton spent the bulk of her career — 15 of those 35 years — at one of Arkansas' most prestigious corporate law firms, where she represented big companies and served on corporate boards.
Neither she nor her surrogates, however, ever mention that on the campaign trail. Her campaign Web site biography devotes six paragraphs to her pro bono legal work for the poor but sums up the bulk of her experience in one sentence: "She also continued her legal career as a partner in a law firm."
The full truth doesn't fit into the carefully crafted narrative the campaign has developed about Clinton, said Sally Bedell Smith, the author of "For Love of Politics," a study of the Clintons' partnership.
"She wants to be seen as someone who has devoted her life to public service," Smith said. "I suppose if you say it enough, maybe you can get people to believe it."
Plenty of rotten eggs in her basket. I have been trying to dig up dirt on BIG O but other than his voting record he seems to either be some sort of miracle worker or he can hide stuff really good.
Grab your keyboards and see if you can dig up anything.
I have to get to work.
Monday, February 04, 2008
The thick plottens!
See what happens when AHnold goes to the FOOTball game without his lovely wife?
Yup, Maria gave her endorsement to BIG O. Must be some interesting stuff flying around the Schwarzenegger household today. It's Super Monday so lets listen real close, hear that? the sound of the polls humming away in a mad attempt to say, 'who's on first?'
BIG O might wipe out Ole Hill, Mc-nobrain is all thats left of the repug gameplan, it's fourth down and goal to go, will they go for it, or attempt the field goal?
We will see on Super Tuesday, stay tuned!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Hey thats why I watch it, the commercials, remember herding cats? Yea baby bring on the BIG buck advertisement.
This years featured entertainer for the halftime show is Tom Petty who is one of my personal favs.
Who is playing again? Oh yea the Patriots against the Giants. Sweaty men fighting over an odd shaped ball with guys in striped shirts throwing yellow rags around and blowing their little whistles, how quaint.
Being a motorsports fan, not a ball-sports fan leaves me relegated to eating munchies and drinking beers waiting for the ads to come on between skirmishes and whistle blowing.
I am NOT a NASCAR fan however, repeated left turns make me yawn repeatedly. Must turn left AND right to qualify as real racing, the only exception being straight line drag racing.
But back to the foot ball game, some of our biggest corpratistas will be touting their products in 30 second outrageously priced spots with the real BIG boys going a full minute, I suspect Exxon might get the full minute to show all how they are doing nature a favor drilling oil out of the ground all the while raking in massive profits. The beer folks will find more ways to make me want to go to the Liquor Store by waving their products in front of me.
At the end of the day one team will be declared the winner and we will move on to Super Tuesday which will declare more winners in a different game.
Enjoy the Super Bowl you football fans, I'll enjoy the commercials, Tom Petty and my own concoctions of fine liquors.
DON"T DRIVE IMPAIRED!!
Saturday, February 02, 2008
John F. Kennedy
The Federal Reserve
John-F-Kennedy.net Message Board
On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. The Christian Law Fellowship has exhaustively researched this matter through the Federal Register and Library of Congress. We can now safely conclude that this Executive Order has never been repealed, amended, or superceded by any subsequent Executive Order. In simple terms, it is still valid.
When President John Fitzgerald Kennedy - the author of Profiles in Courage -signed this Order, it returned to the federal government, specifically the Treasury Department, the Constitutional power to create and issue currency -money - without going through the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank. President Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 [the full text is displayed further below] gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury." This means that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury's vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation based on the silver bullion physically held there. As a result, more than $4 billion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. $10 and $20 United States Notes were never circulated but were being printed by the Treasury Department when Kennedy was assassinated. It appears obvious that President Kennedy knew the Federal Reserve Notes being used as the purported legal currency were contrary to the Constitution of the United States of America.
"United States Notes" were issued as an interest-free and debt-free currency backed by silver reserves in the U.S. Treasury. We compared a "Federal Reserve Note" issued from the private central bank of the United States (the Federal Reserve Bank a/k/a Federal Reserve System), with a "United States Note" from the U.S. Treasury issued by President Kennedy's Executive Order. They almost look alike, except one says "Federal Reserve Note" on the top while the other says "United States Note". Also, the Federal Reserve Note has a green seal and serial number while the United States Note has a red seal and serial number.
President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and the United States Notes he had issued were immediately taken out of circulation. Federal Reserve Notes continued to serve as the legal currency of the nation. According to the United States Secret Service, 99% of all U.S. paper "currency" circulating in 1999 are Federal Reserve Notes.
Kennedy knew that if the silver-backed United States Notes were widely circulated, they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve Notes. This is a very simple matter of economics. The USN was backed by silver and the FRN was not backed by anything of intrinsic value. Executive Order 11110 should have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level (virtually all of the nearly $9 trillion in federal debt has been created since 1963) if LBJ or any subsequent President were to enforce it. It would have almost immediately given the U.S. Government the ability to repay its debt without going to the private Federal Reserve Banks and being charged interest to create new "money". Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S.A. the ability to, once again, create its own money backed by silver and realm value worth something.
Again, according to our own research, just five months after Kennedy was assassinated, no more of the Series 1958 "Silver Certificates" were issued either, and they were subsequently removed from circulation. Perhaps the assassination of JFK was a warning to all future presidents not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money. It seems very apparent that President Kennedy challenged the "powers that exist behind U.S. and world finance". With true patriotic courage, JFK boldly faced the two most successful vehicles that have ever been used to drive up debt:
1) war (Viet Nam); and,2) the creation of money by a privately owned central bank. His efforts to have all U.S. troops out of Vietnam by 1965 combined with Executive Order 11110 would have destroyed the profits and control of the private Federal Reserve Bank.
The Fed has taken our gold and given us paper Monopoly money.
Twisting their arms with economic distress has them dropping interest rates to keep their game going, such worthless souls willing to do whatever it takes to retain their foothold. JFK challenged them and paid the price, after all their is NOTHING money cannot buy.