Monday, November 14, 2005

rearguard recovery

i have gotten horribly behind. just horribly. the white hare would be dismayed.

things i had been flagging include work to rescind habeas corpus in the Senate and House. to view your senators' positions on the first vote, click here. this is an incredibly disturbing step that will undoubtedly be regarded by our grandchildren with shame, much as President Lincoln's decision to do the same is currently considered by many a 'blemish on an otherwise noble war record.' in an interesting turn of events, some senators have been working on a compromise to the original legislation that gives detainees the ability to appeal results of a military tribunal.

the goal of the original legislation was to halt the onslaught of civil litigation currently flooding from Guantanamo Bay, while the Levin measure theoretically helps keep the country 'free.' given the huge problems with military tribunals with regard to limits on representation and lax witness standards, it seems highly unlikely to me that this attempt to skirt the issue will either 1. limit the amount of legislation the Justice Department faces or 2. help maintain the illusory fairness and freedom of the current justice system as applied to dissidents and ethnic minorities. in addition, given the cost of the appeal on top of the initial military tribunal, this system can only be anticipated to increase the financial burden of Bush's megalomanic and even schizophrenic manifest destiny.

one positive of this step is that the bipartisan group involved intends to campaign aggressively to tie the legislation to McCain's amendment regarding torture that Bush has threatened to veto. meanwhile, Cheney continues to further define himself as a villain straight from the Brothers Grimm with his rabid support of torture. astonishing that his polled favorability ratings are down to 19% and his job performance ratings down to 36%, isn't it?

in other news, the liberal blogosphere has done an excellent job dissecting information surfacing on Alito regarding his anti-choice position, right-wing minimization, and Alito's attempts to repaint himself as a tiger without stripes.

led by Charlie Bass, 22 Republicans have broken party line to force removal of off-shoring drilling and ANWR oil exploration provisions from the House version of the Budget Bill. they should be commended and you can do so here.

finally, the NYT runs an article on the report of the Government Accountability Office that convincingly documents meddling in the FDA's review and rejection of the OTC application for the day-after pill and supporting an illegal cover-up at higher adminstrative levels. will this change anything? unlikely. in spite of wide-spread recognition that the FDA review process has been strong-armed by Right-wing special interest groups, the Plan B review continues to be delayed beyond all conceivable or credible limits.

much like the unutterably slow and unmethodical Phase 2 Senate investigation into the initiation of the Iraq War. though even the Senate is finally showing signs of being fed up with the ongoing lack of an 'escape plan.'

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