Thursday, February 22, 2007

While we were sleeping

Leaning heavily on the NYTimes this morning, but as one commenter in response to this story said, when Bush declares martial law, the story will be buried deep inside the section of newspaper carrying a picture of Britney's bald head on its front page.

A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration’s behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law.

...The newly enacted provisions...shift the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring public order. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.”

Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough public airing. But these new presidential powers were slipped into the law without hearings or public debate. The president made no mention of the changes when he signed the measure, and neither the White House nor Congress consulted in advance with the nation’s governors.

In response to Jane Smiley's article on the NY Times piece above, one commenter suggested, somewhat naively in my opinion, that all the terrible consequences of Bush's increased authority
is just paranoia because, as he assures, there are "mandatory congressional circut breakers built into the provision."

But one need only look at how well our congress has neglected their checking and balancing duties of Bush in protecting our diminishing rights under this administration. Somehow, I won't sleep any better nights knowing congress is our safeguard. Remember, this huge, potentially dangerous expansion of Bush's power occurred when inserted in the light of darkness into a defense appropriation bill passed in the middle of the night. When most of us are sleeping.


border explorer said...

Thanks for pointing this out, Dada! I did not get past Britney's bald head...and I missed the new provision. How many others did the same?

D.K. Raed said...

So much sheisse happens "while we're sleeping", but maybe, just maybe, not all of it bad! Thursday 2/22/07 about noon, our local congressman announced, The Divine Strake Test has been cancelled! I started looking online for current news releases until our computer went down about an hour later. I have yet to see any news on TV about this at all. I guess there's just not enough hrs in the day to let people know they are not in imminent radioactive danger when britney is busy shaving her head!

DTRA official press release language is a bit troubling: "It's time to look at alt metholds that obviate the need for this type of large-scale test". When asked if the test would take place elsewhere, the DTRA spokesman replied that no further info on futures tests was available. Utahns submitted 10K responses during the comment period & I can't even figure out if that helped if all it means is they no longer need to test here since soon they could do an actual drop in iran.

Until yesterday, most locals were convinced the test would happen in the middle of the night, unannounced, & heaven help us if the wind was blowing our way.

So, maybe it's true all news is local. If you're interested in the Salt Lake Tribune's article "Defence Agency Kills Divine Strake Test", check out:

Thanks for letting me soapbox on this, dada. I'll slink back to watch more of Nicole's fabulous corpse news now & hope our unitary preznut hasn't declared martial law while I was concentrating on protecting my airspace. ~~ D.K.

dada said...

Actually Deke, I must confess to conflicting emotions:

1.) I heard (no, make that "read") in a couple of places this morning that you had escaped the Devil's Dust. I was elated for you.

2.) I'd intended to write a small note of congratulations, but got distracted by more mundane things. Regret.

So, yes, you are mostly right...the news wasn't really out there, but it was out there but, hey, when you're competing with Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears, you lose.

Congratulations on your victory--a minor setback in the inevitability we all face of "breathe deep, the gathering doom!"?

D.K. Raed said...

now no regrets, dada, at least you noticed! and yes, with DS off the radar, I can now finally breathe deep the blathering goons (warhumpers) ... hack, cough, spit, oh man that air really reeks! ~~ D.K.

Rose said...

The Faux snooze (fake news) re pseudo divas, under the topic of while we were sleeping is quite accurate. Maybe this country would wake up **if** Mr. Bush would shave HIS head & get a tatoo?
Sending 25,500 additional troops to a 5th year of an illegal occupation, does not hold a candle to a pantiless drunken night out on the town. I can just hear the valley girl inflection "Whatever"!

Rose said...

Make that Bush tatoo a Swasticka...