Archive for June 29th, 2006

The other statewide race this election – the House race – just isn’t getting much attention. It pits incumbent Rehberg against challenger Lindeen, in another battle between a corrupt and out-of-touch DC insider and a feisty Montana Democrat with an excellent record in the state legislature.

Rehberg is a real winner. Not only has he supported Bush at every turn, he received a failing grade from the Drum Major Institute for his votes affecting the middle class, he voted against the minimum wage the same week he gave himself a pay raise, wants to eliminate the estate tax, and opposes Net Neutrality.

Rehberg’s also involved in a number of Montana-based scandals, including INSA and the Carter county lobbyist scandal; like Burns, he apparently feels that government exists to personally enrich himself and his pals.

Lindeen, on the other hand is an advocate of Net Neutrality, ethics reform, affordable health care, and energy independence, and is a strong opponent of the encroachment of the executive on our civil liberties. In the state legislature, Lindeen was an advocate of affordable secondary education.

Like Jon Tester, Monica Lindeen is a hard-nosed Montana Democrat and a lifelong native of the state. The daughter of a truck driver and a waitress, she put herself through school, started her own business – an early local Internet provider – and then served four terms in the state legislature marked by her reputation for competence, hard work, and ability to forge bipartisan coalitions.

I’ve met her personally, and she’s just the right kind of person we need in Washington DC right now. We need someone who knows how to govern, who won’t fleece the taxpayers, who won’t be influenced by lobbyists, and who will stand up to the Republican party.

And she’s got a real chance to win, too, especially if the INSA scandal breaks this summer as it threatens to do. And if she gets enough funding.

Unfortunately the House race is getting overshadowed by the Senate race in traditional media circles and here on the Internet. Rehberg as the incumbent has all the financial advantages. Monica needs our help.

Let’s turn Montana BLUE! Contribute!


Pogie contemplates Burns’ flip-flop over the Rocky Mountain Front.

Schweitzer supports Tester. He’s also quite the showman, apparently.

A Canadian weighs in on the SWIFT-press controversy: the Bush administration wants a loyal press, not a free press.

Olbermann on the right-wing press bashing.

Rumsfield on loose lips. Takes some to know some…

And it appears – from an expert’s point of view, anyway – that the SWIFT program likely was obsolete.

Are the right-wingers’ days numbered?

Insurgent groups offer to halt attacks if the US leaves. Ruse or real?

People still don’t think the economy is all that hot, despite what the Bush administration tells them! Pesky people! (Partial and complete poll results – pdf)

Hooray for the rule of law! Hooray for the judiciary, which has successfully fulfilled its duty! Hooray for checks and balances! Hooray for the Constitution!

SCOTUS has “delivered a stunning rebuke to the Bush administration” and ruled that the military tribunals that try Guantanamo detainees are unconstitutional.

The case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a 36-year-old Yemeni with links to al-Qaeda, was considered a key test of the judiciary’s power during wartime and carried the potential to make a lasting impact on American law. It challenged the very legality of the military commissions established by President Bush to try terrorism suspects.The case raised core constitutional principles of separation of powers as well as fundamental issues of individual rights. Specifically, the questions concerned:

• The power of Congress and the executive to strip the federal courts and the Supreme Court of jurisdiction.

• The authority of the executive to lock up individuals under claims of wartime power, without benefit of traditional protections such as a jury trial, the right to cross-examine one’s accusers and the right to judicial appeal.

• The applicability of international treaties — specifically the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war — to the government’s treatment of those it deems “enemy combatants.”

The ruling was 5-3. SCOTUSblog has the syllabus. Justices Stevens, Breyer, Bader Ginsburg, Souter, and Kennedy in the majority. Dissenting were Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. Roberts had to recuse himself because he participated in the federal appeals court decision upholding the administration’s position.

Surprise! Roberts and Alito are gung-ho on executive privilege! What a shocker! Actually you probably won’t be surprised, but I wrote on this topic some months ago:

These Supreme Court nominations aren’t about abortion. They aren’t about prayer in school or the posting the Ten Commandments in school, outlawing sodomy (i.e., fags), protecting the Pledge of Allegiance, or prohibiting flag burning. No. These nominations are about vesting authoritative powers in executive branch.

Luckily for this country these executive-backers haven’t achieved a majority on the bench. Yet. But this case also shows how negligent Senate Democrats were to allow the Alito nomination to sail through Congress. You remember, right? Democratic leaders wanted to filibuster Alito’s nomination. Only the usual gang of tepid lawmakers voted for cloture in order to avoid the stigma of divisiveness.

Let’s remember those Senators who did the right thing and voted for the United State Constitution and against cloture:

Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wyden (D-OR)

You can figure out for yourself who’s not on this list.

You’ll also notice there aren’t many “Rs” in the list. When the jackbooted thugs knock down your door, you’ll know who to thank.

Remember civil liberties and the rule of law aren’t just for those people we agree with or like, they’re also meant to apply to people we don’t like or we distrust.

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