Greenwald: Obama DOJ Adopts Bush Legal Theories On Illegal Surveillance

Glenn writes it up. It looks really really bad. I'll need to read it more closely but at first blush, it looks really bad.

When I get a chance to read the brief, I'll add to this post.

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    Terrible News (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:48:41 PM EST
    From EFF:

    "President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston in the release. "But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration's cover-up of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a 'secret' that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again."


    "The grounds for this motion [to dismiss]


    is required because information necessary to litigate plantiffs' claims is property subject to and excluded from use in this case by the state secrets privilege and related statutory privileges," Hertz and other trial attorneys for the Justice Department wrote.

    The Justice Department also holds that the lawsuit can't proceed because of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They assert that the US government has "sovereign immunity" against statutory claims that it illegally wiretapped or accessed communications data.

    Well, he did vote for the FISA revisions (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:48:47 PM EST

    And, if we didn't understand why (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:13:12 PM EST
    he did so, it's all our fault.

    Now, now (5.00 / 11) (#32)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:33:40 PM EST
    -- why, I was told on this site just a few days ago to stop bringing up FISA.  It's so ODS of us, you know.  It's never really about FISA when we bring it up, y'know, or that we care about our civil liberties, or so we're told.

    That, or, if you're going to give up your (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:36:28 PM EST
    civil liberties, who better to give them to than Obama? :)

    Oh yeah - wow - okay that's (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:47:14 PM EST
    way creepy.

    So my civil liberties are not (none / 0) (#63)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:13:56 PM EST
    disappearing -- they are just going to Obama.  Okay, I feel lots better now, thankyousoverymuch.  

    Always a pleasure to help (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:17:10 PM EST
    where I can :)

    You should (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:53:17 PM EST
    because as we are repeatedly told, he was a professor of constitutional law, so we can trust him. But not verify, unfortunately.

    I wonder if the MSM will even bother with the story. I would bet they don't.


    Well, I just don't understand why you (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:52:27 PM EST
    can't drop getting royally screwed over the first time :)  I mean, you haven't even forgiven the first violation of your rights, and now you'll be building vendettas :)  But if you get too carried away with what you are building never fear because Big Brother will know all about it and be able to act accordingly :)  As for me, because there isn't anything that I can fathom at this time that they could use my phone sex with my deployed husband for, it's exactly like they aren't really listening.  I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    To quote that great philospher (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:55:11 PM EST
    Clayton Williams, who unsuccessfully ran against Ann Richards (may she RIP) for Texas governor, who said:

    As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.

    Still really aggravating. Keep bringing it (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:36:43 PM EST
    up--especially in light of the positions of the Obama DOJ here.  On point.

    The day of the FISA vote (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:44:37 PM EST
    was a terrible day, right up there with some of the other days in the Bush years that just made me want to run screaming into the streets to stop passersby and ask them to PLEASE pay attention.

    Other days?  The day that the Magna Carta (habeas corpus) was trampled.  The day that I read on the blogs what really was going on in New Orleans.  The day . . . well, there have several in recent years, but I could blame them on Repubs in power.  The day that Dems flipflopped on the FISA vote was the beginning of the end for me being a Dem, as I knew the Dems would not have flipflopped if they really thought a Repub would win again.  It's all about power, and none of it is about power of or to the people.


    Some Dems flip-flopped. (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:46:25 PM EST
    Some didn't.

    Okay, 18 Dems voted against (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:01:39 PM EST
    my civil liberties, giving the measure 68 votes.  And one was one of my Senators, half the Dem Senate votes in my state.  So that started my questioning of my lifelong allegiance to the party . . . and soon, I wasn't a member of a party anymore.  The vote showed that neither party really pledges allegisance to my Constitution.  When that many Dems make up more than two-thirds of the Senate voting against the most basic principles, they might as well be in the same party with the Repubs.  I can only look at individuals and their actions now.

    Mine didn't vote against mine (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:23:37 PM EST
    as I recall, "someone" was smiling when they voted for it . . .

    I agree except for one thing... (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:02:13 PM EST
    It isn't me or you who has got the definition of what it is to be a Democrat wrong here.  Hell, I'm pretty sure we're right on target on what it means to be an American.

    It's probably not a good sign (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:12:38 PM EST
    when one's head is on course to explode as often under Obama as it did under Bush.  And for principally the same reasons.

    I could only read the first part of Glenn's post - I had to put it aside; maybe after a nice, stiff drink I can read it without wanting to scream.

    He spares us nothing. (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:13:48 PM EST

    forget a stiff drink (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:17:01 PM EST
    get a paralyzing one and save yourself the flailing in agony.  it's REALLY not good.

    Eek (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by nellre on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:20:55 PM EST
    While I don't want Obama to fail as president, I reserve the right to dislike him.
    I'm not sure we didn't get a McSame in the issues I most care about.

    How dare anyone say President (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:30:56 PM EST
    Obama is weakening our national security?  He's on it, man.

    he lost my vote on fisa (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:11:09 PM EST
    and the rest of my confidence today.  

    at the rate he's going, (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:17:03 PM EST
    i think i'm going to start referring to pres. obama as "bush lite".

    Give it a little more time (none / 0) (#68)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:20:02 PM EST
    and you can probably drop the "lite" part

    just join us PUMA types and (none / 0) (#95)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:17:08 PM EST
    call him bush III.  Then find your space under the bus.
    okay it is hyperbole, but only a tiny bit of hyperbole.

    DOJ, banks, FISA, torture memos. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by oldpro on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:36:48 PM EST

    Only two months and I'm hopelessly depressed by these wolves in Democrats' clothing.

    Not a lawyer, but if the US has (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by coast on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:54:59 PM EST
    "sovereign immunity" against all claims for illegal acts associated with wiretapping and other act permited by the Patriot Act, what need is there for the government to obtain warrants at all?  Can't they simply eavesdrop on anyone so long as they do not "willfully disclose" the information.  Is there a definition for "willful disclosure"

    Illegal survellaince in EU goes forward (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by DFLer on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:23:11 PM EST

    Net firms start storing user data

    Details of user e-mails, website visits and net phone calls will be stored by internet service providers (ISPs) from Monday under an EU directive.

    The plans were drawn up in the wake of the London bombings in 2005.

    ISPs and telecoms firms have resisted the proposals while some countries in the EU are contesting the directive.

    Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said it was a "crazy directive" with potentially dangerous repercussions for citizens.

    Sweden has decided to ignore the directive completely while there is a challenge going through the German courts at present.

    The British (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:54:39 PM EST
    make Post-9/11 America look like a libertarian paradise, the CC network in London comes very close to be truly Orwellian.

    I was very surprised last summer (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:21:16 PM EST
    to have my photo taken and that self-same photo appeared on screen at the next security check point.  

    The British had a lot of practice (none / 0) (#104)
    by DFLer on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 08:58:49 AM EST
    with these kinds of abuses, inc. habeus, detention without charges etc, in dealing with the IRA during the "Troubles".

    odwinked and bamboozled comes to mind (4.50 / 6) (#87)
    by glennmcgahee on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:27:48 PM EST
    and I hope that many are finally going to ask some questions. He had a free ride by the corporate media and talking heads. Obvious links to him, records from schools, links to Ayers and Columbia University during turbulent times. His religious views whether through Trinity or the religious nuts handing around him now. Questions were raised, but racism was yelled back. As for the press conferences, more talking points to make the headlines the next day with no facts or actions, just alot of smooth feel-good talk. I said on CSpan when I first heard him that he was just a preacher. But not a pastor.

    Um, just going suggest you self-edit a bit (none / 0) (#89)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:51:57 PM EST
    "links to Ayers and Columbia University during turbulent times."

    Which were as substantive as "The Clinton Death List" or links between McCain and the NVA, etc. seriously, that's some whacky PUMA-level crazy right there.


    nonsense (none / 0) (#97)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:19:39 PM EST
    look again.  

    Power Expands (3.50 / 2) (#1)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:48:00 PM EST
    I honestly can't remember the last President to role back executive Power- Carter perhaps, but in my lifetime its been one steady march to an increase in the power of the Presidency.

    Excuse me (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:50:31 PM EST
    But surely you can find it in yourself to criticize Obama for this instead of providing the comment you just did.

    Let's make it plain - Clinton NEVER made the claims Obama's DOJ appears to have made in that brief. NEVER.


    And (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:02:11 PM EST
    according to Greenwald not even Bush made the claims the Obama administration is claiming.

    Seems when Obama (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ChiTownMike on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:14:34 PM EST
    was calling McCain More Of The Same it was also a head fake away from himself being More Of The Same.

    I am so glad I didn't vote for this guy. When it comes to reversing direction on your campaign promises this guy is The Champion.


    Yes, well, that (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:17:04 PM EST
    head fake pattern was noted and watched by many. They also didn't vote for him. But, we've got him and now that's what we need to stay focused on. How do we fix what's wrong?

    There's (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:21:30 PM EST
    no way to fix it unless you start a movement to remove Obama from office. He's not going to listen to anyone. This is what comes from not being able to criticize him during the primaries. Obama will literally say anything but you have to watch what he does not what he says. He's much like Bush in that respect.

    For god's sake (2.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:44:58 PM EST
    he has taken criticism and even responded to it- look at what happened with the CIA director appointment, its not like he's in a bubble ala Bush he'll end up holding more press conferences by the 2010 mid-terms than Bush held in his 8 years.

    Then he will be worse than Bush. (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:51:25 PM EST
    The Bush Administration thought that governing was all about press conferences too.  Making public appearances and spinning does NOT equal good goverment.

    I swear (2.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:38:09 PM EST
    he can't win with some of you people, he doesn't hold press conferences- he's ignoring the press and in a bubble, he does hold them and he's doing the wrong thing as well, seriously, some people on here are going to hold nearly anything Obama does against the man simply becuase of who he is in much the same way that some people on Kos are going to back anything he does.

    "simply because of who he is" (5.00 / 5) (#75)
    by aeguy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:44:34 PM EST
    What does that suppose to mean?

    it probably means (none / 0) (#100)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:24:30 PM EST
    you are a racist.  All people who do not like Obama are racist. Even black people who don't like Obama are self hating racists.  

    The gospel according to Obamaites


    No. (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:52:08 PM EST
    FISA, privacy and that pesky little document called The Constitution of the United States are very big issues for me and he can hold as many press conferences as he wants and spin, spin, spin and if he is going to continue those Bush policies, he is going to provoke my ire over those issues.

    See, I don't actually care about who the hell he is.  I care about what he does.  When he does something that I feel is undermining our Constitution, I'm not going to sit quietly by just because he is a Democrat, Obama or any other irrelevant excuse some fool would come up with in order to deflect legitimate criticism.

    There are people who are his detractors because they are pre-disposed to being so - and plenty who are cheerleaders too - but I am not one who could be counted among either group.

    And your response to my comment that public appearances does not equal good government is sorely lacking.  If you can - I suspect you can't - tell me how exactly the number of press conferences corrolates to good governance.  You can't because it is not the number - it is the substance that matters and the quality of the substance of a press conference directly relates to the quality of the actions the press conference is meant to promote.


    Frankly (5.00 / 10) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:00:59 PM EST
    I don't know what you're talking about w/r/t to the press conferences. I could care less whether he has press conferences once a day or once a month or once a year. Who he is? Do you really think people dislike him because of "who he is"? Frankly, my complaints with him are mostly based on his actions and if you don't see anything wrong with his actions then that's certainly your right.

    iokiyad (none / 0) (#82)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:04:31 PM EST
    eieio (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 09:20:26 PM EST
    Yes, the CIA director appointment... (5.00 / 9) (#74)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:44:17 PM EST
    he backed down, only to slide Brennan into a position for which he did not need Senate confirmation.  Gave a whole new meaning to the term "lube job," if you will pardon the image.

    You're going to have to explain to me how that was responsive to the objections people had about Brennan.


    I hope you're wrong (none / 0) (#22)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:23:41 PM EST
    Do you think Obama wouldn't back down if the crowds were carrying sticks and screaming for him to change direction?

    He is great when the crowds are swooning and fainting, but we haven't seen yet how he will respond to angry, truly angry victims of this mess.


    I suspect he will lecture (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:25:35 PM EST
    in the case of angry crowds . . .

    I'm sure he will try, but I would also (none / 0) (#24)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:27:41 PM EST
    think that would make the angry crowds elevate their mood to furious.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:28:51 PM EST
    he knows that people are about to get out their pitchforks and skewer Geither but his answer is that he supports Geither and trusts him. So you tell me, do you think that the pitchforks would change anything? I'm thinking not. He only cares that the masters of the universe support him and give him money. Do you recall how he treated 1/2 the party calling them names when they had legitimate gripes? He thinks people will just show up and vote for him and he obviously doesnt understand accountability.

    Can you blame him? (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by aeguy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:51:22 PM EST
    "He thinks people will just show up and vote for him."

    He ran a nasty (in my opinion) primary campaign, trashed the Clinton administration, and he still got the vast majority of Clinton support in the general (mine included). Voted for FISA, but the so-called liberals still loved him and even justified the vote (see Keith Olbermann's ridiculous FISA loophole special education comment).

    He's an amazing campaigner. So he knows he can do just about anything and his unthinking, unconditional supporters will still enthusiastically support him (see the DailyKos). It's this confidence, if you will, that is driving his political decisions. Accountability doesn't mean much anymore.


    I was checking the orange satan (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:58:21 PM EST
    for any mention of this and thought for a moment I had found one tiny one in an open thread but it turned out to be a link to a story about Cheney hoarding his VP records.

    Glen Greenwald hates Obama (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:59:35 PM EST
    But did he win a Nobel Prize? (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:00:27 PM EST
    No, but his hamster worked (5.00 / 5) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:07:28 PM EST
    for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    Reading quickly and thought for a minute (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 09:36:04 PM EST
    you were checking out the Orange Stain.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:57:05 PM EST
    I don't disagree in many ways. No one held him accountable in the primaries, much like the GOP did Bush in 200, and this is what you get: a President who thinks he can do whatever he wants.

    Yes, I recall vividly. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:32:00 PM EST
    He still hasn't been faced with crowds that are truly angry at HIM, crowds bigger than any he has seen before, and crowds that could shake his world if they decided to demand he resign. He's never been in such a position, so I honestly don't know what he would do.

    Well (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:35:11 PM EST
    if there were literally crowds and crowds of people demanding his resignation and his approval ratings reflected that I think the party would make him resign much like the GOP did with Nixon.

    Not talking resignation (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:37:15 PM EST
    But I think just a small angry crowd  at a stop say, oh, in Detroit, and he wouldn't be able to handle it.  He never has. He has done well with friendly audiences and friendly press, but if they ever really turn on him, it will be "waffles" all over again.

    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:39:23 PM EST
    think he'd be able to handle it either. He talks in circles so much that he'd try to talk to them but only make them madder probably.

    Or "bitter knitters" (5.00 / 5) (#73)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:41:20 PM EST
    clinging to their guns and religion.

    I'm still not over him expressing, with deadpan affect, looking like his pulse was barely 45 bpm, that he "was as angry as anyone" about the AIG bonuses...that's "angry?"  Could have fooled me; looked more like "I'm saying it, but I don't really give a damn."

    And Cheney's probably somewhere doing his version of the happy dance over this.

    This is all just so, so wrong.


    Waffles? (none / 0) (#40)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:41:30 PM EST
    fire him (none / 0) (#99)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:21:17 PM EST
    I'm so glad I'm not a Dem anymore (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:18:32 PM EST
    What a freakin' wasted opportunity.

    Oh My! (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by ChiTownMike on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:48:11 PM EST
    I mentioned Obama's head fake. Now I read over at Greenwald's that Obama is claiming no lawsuits against the government unless there is "willful disclosure".

    So one good basketball analogy deserves another. From head fake to No Harm No Foul.

    "Willful disclosure". I got five Benjamin's that says he coined that one himself, no writer needed.

    On the upside of basketball - Go Spartans!


    well there *is* a difference (5.00 / 7) (#67)
    by Jen M on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:18:34 PM EST
    between more of the same and same only more.

    Ouch. Well done. (none / 0) (#70)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:27:06 PM EST
    President O'Same only more.

    How so (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:39:53 PM EST
    he's gone back on some which has been disappointing, but he's also pushed a lot of them through, I don't see what makes him any worse than other presidents in that regard. Again I will fully admit the guy has disappointed here and on some other issues, but its not like he hasn't also delivered in a lot of areas.

    I need, I really do need (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:16:32 PM EST
    a boost, and I was thinking just today that it would be good to have a list of all the repeals of Bush practices that Obama has done, all the other good actions -- not "just words" -- that he has done.  I have a few, but please provide yours.  I really do need to feel that we are going to crawl out of the morass of the last eight years.

    Partial List (2.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:51:48 PM EST
    Repeal of the Global Gag rule
    Release of Presidential Records (seems minor but actually a massive thing- one of Bush's stealthiest actions that undermined America)
    Stem Cell Research (and general return to science be it NIH and NASA or in foriegn aid via Condom restrictions in Africa)
    Begin reversing politicization of Justice Dept. (strangely the Stevens case is the best example of this- imagine a Bush era DOJ doing the opposite abandoning a conviction against a Dem, say Siegelman)
    Begin push for drawdown in Iraq
    Not a progressive decision necessarily but- reasses and reinforce Afghanistan including solicitation of increased assistance from NATO allies.
    Lobbyist reform- a mixed bag, but the EO about Lobbyist Gifts was a good start, he was saved here by Daschle being a cheat.
    Increase NEA funding (debatable importance but a progressive goal for some)
    Stop raids on Legal Pot Clinics (basically obey federalism here, Holder has moved on pot where he can though but not in a way that overrides state laws to my knowledge)
    He's moving on Gitmo but needs to accelerate there
    End use of torture (but hasn't moved to act on past cases- though this might be impossible, especially at a time where government needs to function).

    Thanks, but see, that's (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Cream City on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:17:58 PM EST
    the problem -- it's this bill that really was the work of others, or that step that still is at best "beginning," because the actions are not backing up the words.  He really earns credit for only a couple of the items on the list, then, and while at the same time he is not living up to his promises to do so many other things on Day One.  And I understand that the economy has taken up more time, but so have many hours and days devoted to activities that were at best unnecessary and sometimes just frivolous.

    I really hope the report card is better by Day One Hundred, because his own repeated self-comparisons to FDR mean that Obama is going to be scrutinized very closely then.  And that's really not many weeks away now.


    Lots of low hanging fruit there! (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by hairspray on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:19:11 PM EST
    Mmmm (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 08:37:16 AM EST
    Stem cell research.....not so much. All the fanfare about his executive order lifting Bush's ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, but there wasn't much press about the Omnibus Bill for FY2009 signed after that, which  includes a provision that bans federal funding of stem cell research.  It's been in every budget for 19 years.  When Obama signs the FY2010 budget bill, I expect it will be in there as well.

    Here's the provision:

       SEC. 509. (a) None of the funds made available in this  Act may be used for:

            (1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos
            for research purposes; or

            (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero under 45 CFR 46.204(b) and section 498(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289g(b)).

            (b) For purposes of this section, the term "human embryo or embryos" includes any organism, not protected as a human subject under 45 CFR 46 as of the date of the enactment of this Act, that is derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from one or more human gametes or human diploid cells.

    It's called the Dickey-Wicker amendment.


    I do find this troubling (2.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:02:21 PM EST
    and wrong, but if you follow what I'm saying about the expansion of executive power, then it should be pretty clear that the Clinton DOJ wouldn't claim what the Obama DOJ has- it was an earlier time and the limits on acceptability hadn't shifted that far yet, let's not pretend the Clinton Admin wasn't about expanding the executive (as I stated all Admins since Carter have pushed this- though most have had moments of sanity as well such as Reagan's EO prohibiting assassinations) they issued the EO authorizing rendition for heaven's sake.  

    How about (5.00 / 7) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:12:53 PM EST
    we criticize the guy in front of us, like we did Bush - or are you just a jersey color guy after all?

    No, no (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:16:35 PM EST
    Apparently no one has gotten worse press coverage or criticisms than Obama since Nixon, hadn't you heard? At least, that's what some people around here think....

    The comment you are referring to (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:19:02 PM EST
    takes blind adoration to a new high.

    I don't want to carry this over from the other (none / 0) (#26)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:29:56 PM EST
    thread but I never said Obama has gotten harder press than anyone since Nixon, I simply pointed out that your premise that Obama was given some sort of unprecedented "free pass" is ludicrous, and has been so for over a year. Post-inaugaration Obama has gotten much the same treatment Clinton (Bill, Hillary got the Gore/Kerry treatment she was a technocrat lacking her husbands charisma and thus was treated as the "nerd", better of course than the Edwards/Kucinich treatment- ignored when not being riduculed) recieved- the Villagers snipe at him because they are as a whole a conservative bunch who view the Presidency essentially as the rightful privelege of the Aristocracy- there four ways to explain there attitude-
    they hate Dems
    they osciallate between hypercritical and hyperobsequious and we just happen to catch then in critical
    the GOP has trained the Press and thus the only listen to criticism from the right and try to win the approval of the cons who they have been fooled to accept as the "real americans"
    They dislike the poor- (hence the press being harder on Presidents from self-made backgrounds- like Obama, Clinton, LBJ, Carter, Ford and Nixon than they were on guys like the Bushs and JFK- with Reagan being the exception who was the "cool movie star so we accept him"

    I'm not (none / 0) (#17)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:18:43 PM EST
    and I do think this is a huge misstep, what I'm stating is that quite simply- no American president since Carter has moved to rollback executive power, but rather has built upon that which was granted him by his predecessor- this is disturbing but on a whole not entirely suprising- Obama has tempered many of the Bush Admins excesses but its apparent now, that he wont break from the pattern I've been trying to elucidate- a pattern which for the most part has further polarized the legislative branch thus justifying in the eyes of the executive even greater power grabs in order to achieve their desired ends.

    Well (5.00 / 7) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:22:45 PM EST
    I had to pull the critique out of you and you had to put it "in context."

    Let me retort - FDR did a despicable thing with the Japanese detainment camps.

    No need to put it "in context." It was singularly bad.  He did many GREAT things but he also did many bad things.

    Try it without the "context" next time. You'll find it makes for more effective advocacy for Obama when you agree with him imo.

    That has been my experience anyway.

    Of course, more importantly, you will be arguing for your OWN views, as opposed to a pol.


    Which is exactly why (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 12:04:38 AM EST
    not at least attempting to impeach Bush dealt damn close to a death blow to what America was supposed to be.  If Bush had so much as suffered an impeachment procedure, even if it failed, I doubt very much Obama would be doing this now.  And if Obama gets away with it, which is almost certainly will, there is no hope of any kind of restraint on exectutive power in this country ever again.  Just imagine what the next right-wing president will claim for himself.

    Honestly, I'm glad I'm 60 and won't have to live to see very much of the next half century.


    But consider, if you will, the (5.00 / 10) (#92)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:20:52 PM EST
    Barack Obama from the campaign, who railed against the Bush executive orders, promised to roll back some of the more egregious Bush encroachments on rights, swore his would be a more transparent, more accountable administration.  And what have we seen?  More of the same, abandonment of those promises, comfort with power.  Should we simply dismiss this as a "pols will be pols" thing, or do we have the right to have expected more respect for the rule of law and the principles that underpin the democracy than it appears we're getting?

    I get what you're saying about the power issue, and that, in my opinion, should have been the most compelling argument for impeachment in the Bush administration: to draw the line - or at least a line - on executive power.  But the short-sighted couldn't bring themselves to protect the future, and so here we are.

    It's crushingly disappointing to see this happening - not so much the ease with which Obama is settling in with the vast power at his disposal, but the abandonment of whatever commitment he had to core principles that many of us feel are crucial to the survival of the democracy; at this stage, I am afraid my suspicion that he lacks a solid core seems justified.

    And that does not bode well for us on a number of levels.


    That (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:03:39 PM EST
    was Gerald Ford that did that EO.

    Which one (none / 0) (#28)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:31:08 PM EST
    Extradordinary Rendition or the Assassination one?

    The (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:32:47 PM EST
    assassination one.

    Are you sure (none / 0) (#41)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:41:52 PM EST
    I thought Reagan did it- or perhaps something like it as a way to deflect attention during Iran-Contra.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:11:32 PM EST
    Gerald Ford signed executive order 11905 in 1977 in response to the US involvement in the assassination of foreign leaders.

    I found a list of his executive orders by googling. It made me think that this country has lost all common sense in the last 30 years. His orders were so ordinary and useful and nondamaging to the country.


    on that subject (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    Turkish security services have arrested a man of Syrian descent who was planning to assassinate US President Barack Obama during his current trip to Turkey, the Saudi daily Al Watan reported Monday.

    Man (none / 0) (#78)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:53:21 PM EST
    if history's any guide Syria better watch out if Sasha or Malia gets elected in a few decades.

    So how many years will it take (none / 0) (#30)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:32:43 PM EST
    for us to end up in a strict dictatorship?

    And as far as the Clinton-era EO authorizing rendition, if that's your best example, that's pretty weak tea if your argument is about executive power.  Rendition for better or worse has a legal foundation stretching back to the 19C and was also used by Reagan.  

    I don't see the Clinton era rendition EO as a power-grab in the same way that denying habeas corpus to detainees is, in the same way reserving the right to determine what is and is not seen in a courtroom is.


    to clarify (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:39:47 PM EST
    I do not agree with rendition.  But to see it as a part of a "steady march" in the expansion of executive power doesn't seem right to me.  When Bush arrived, executive power's expansion did not "steadily march" - it leapt to unheard of heights.  And Obama's institutionalizing this stuff is scary - again, unprecedentedly so.  Obama was elected at the very least to dial down Bush abuses - not to support them.

    Why is it your opinion Obama (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:43:29 PM EST
    was elected to dial back the Bush admin. abuses?  Obama's FISA revise vote led me to believe he wouldn't dial back re privacy concerns.  

    If change means anything (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilburro on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 04:53:26 PM EST
    (I thought) it was to push the pendulum back to the left (which he has done when it comes to torture.  And um, that's about it?).  I hope Bush did not push us so far to the right that he broke the pendulum.

    Well, in 2012 when the economy is no (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:05:34 PM EST
    better and in fact for average Americans is many times worse, lots of longterm jobless, displaced, and hungry.........and that crazy effing Mexico......one more Republican ought to do it.  Ya know........I really don't believe this for a minute but when I give it more than a minute of thought it seems plausibile.

    Greenwald's post emphasizes (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 05:10:35 PM EST
    the new absolute immunity defense put forth by the Obama DOJ in this brief.  BTD's title isn't as harsh and what the brief advocates.

    I have no life experience when it comes (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 06:09:25 PM EST
    to this stuff.  I drive on and off a military post where I have no rights if they say so and nothing horrible has happened to me.  I'd have to say that I've had a sort of charmed life when it comes to my rights of privacy and what could happen to me.  It troubles me though when people that I know who have worked within the legal system get visceral about these issues.  Intuition tells me they become so because they have to deal with what happens to those who haven't had my so far charmed existence.

    The only live rock concert I ever (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 11:18:52 PM EST
    went to was Eric Clapton.  Years before 9/11.  I was a prosecutor at the time and rather immersed in the law of search and seizure.  So, to get into the arena, each male was patted down and each female was "wanded."  All bags searched, etc.  Nary a murmur that I heard.  Did make me wonder why the smell of MJ was soooo strong up under the rafters where I was sitting.

    I went to a George Bush speech once (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 07:37:23 AM EST
    during the first year of Iraq when he was running about on all the bases and posts relishing being the testosterone CIC.  I wanted to hear what he had to say for himself not having a weapon of mass destruction in hand.  I left still wanting.  That secret service search was my worst search experience so far, they seemed like they were so angry and they had no respect for my middle class bag or my middle class camera.  Who knows, maybe having to following Dubya every place he goes just pisses you off.