Please read this blog and follow the links she has. Much more is happening and more is at stake than they are reporting on the news, unless you've been watching Keith Olberman (which I strongly suggest you do -- past commentaries by him are on youtube.com and he has transcripts at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ )
On the same day he signed the Military Commissions Act, which allows American citizens to be arrested, imprisoned and tortured without due process, Bush signed into law a provision which revises the Insurrection Act, allowing the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
He did this without any news coverage whatsoever. None.
Both the MC Act and the Insurrection Act provision were signed into law illegally, because Bush sat on them for longer than ten days beforehand, which is the maximum amount of time according to the Constitution. After ten days without signing, that's considered an automatic VETO, that is, a pocket veto. Bush thinks he can get away
with this, because it's part of his ongoing process of dismantling Constitutional law. The question is, who will call him on it?
You might also read Sunfell's blog at http://sunfell.livejournal.com.
It is very possible that Bush has no intention of leaving office. With the signing of these legislations he now has his final plank of what some bloggers are referring to as the Bush "Enabling Acts". (Do a google search on that.) -emphasis mine: BK
A youtube blogger who signs himself ImpeachKingBushII writes: "We are now one "national emergency" and martial law declaration away from the suspension of our constitution and the dissolving of Congress. He now has all the power under the law to become sole judge, jury and executioner - and dictator."
You might think that this is all so abysmally wrong that everyone else will recognize it and go to the polls next week and begin the process of taking our country back, so you don't have to vote. Guess again -- you ARE "everyone else".
In order to control Congress, the Democrats need 7 more seats in the Senate and 15 in the House. They're not going to get it if we all just sit on our rears and watch it on TV. You have to take voter fraud into account -- Republican dirty tricks, the terrorizing of minorities, the ongoing ratfucks designed to keep potential voters away from the polls. Party leaders know what's at stake as much as you do.
Now, we have no illusions about the Democrats. We know they're not going to Save Us. In fact, we tend to agree with Gore Vidal that America doesn't really have two parties, but one party with two right wings. There is no real voice for the left. However, what twistedchick says about the Democrats makes the most sense to me, and I'm going to reprint it here.I realize that a lot of people have hot-button issues, things that they feel they must vote for every time. If you're a one-issue voter, this time around, I beg you to look at the larger picture. I realize that many of the Democrats in office are not sterling examples of progressive thinking, including a few in my own state. Many of them are Bush enablers. Very few have had the personal integrity to stand up to the White House these past five years. However, laws are not made by individuals but by party politics, and power in the Congress comes from having a party majority. We have suffered greatly under this Republican lock on power for a long time, and it's time to break it by putting Democrats into the majority.
Your personal Democratic Congressman or Senator may not support gay rights or abortion rights or green issues or good sense on immigration -- but you're a whole lot closer to getting somewhere with a majority of Democrats because you can use them to lean on each other to get things done. Do you really think that keeping Republicans in office will take you one inch closer to equal rights for gays and lesbians or a woman's unhindered right to choose when to bear children? I agree that sometimes the choice is not good -- but once the Democrats are back in office we can do a lot to push them into more progressive directions as a majority than we can do now individually.
And there's the larger picture to consider.
We are losing people every day in Iraq. There is no front 'line', no rear support area. It's all front. We went in three years ago to deal with Saddam Hussein -- and since then our military has caused more damage to that country than Saddam did. Osama Bin Laden is either dead or in permanent hiding; my guess is that he's dead. It's time to get out of there, bring the reserves home, put the regular military elsewhere, and find some good diplomats to try to regain some of the respect from other nations that the Bush Administration has drop-kicked into the sewer.
The economy is way, way behind where it should be. We are still reeling from the millions of jobs that were exported, the thousands of factories that closed. People are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet, don't even think about saving money, and the bankruptcy laws were tightened punitively so that there's no way out but more debt for many, many people.
This country has always been a land of multiple cultures, multiple languages. Anyone who doesn't understand that or doesn't agree is trying to sell you the Republican kool-ade. We are not monolithic. We are many, we are complicated, and we have to not let anyone turn this multiplicity into ethnic or racial conflict. I see the possibility of that with the white supremacist groups like the Minutemen on the southern border, and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in wealthy suburban areas -- Republican areas.
We have lost our Constitutional rights. We have lost our civil liberties. We have lost habeas corpus, which puts us back legally to 1214 and the time of King Johnny Lackland, Richard Lionheart's little inadequate brother. I have documented all this in this column in the past few years, for anyone who doesn't remember.
We have a president who issues executive orders as if they were take-out pizza orders, who talks only to people who agree with him, who has grabbed power like a two-year-old in the candy shop, who cares nothing for the wellbeing of Americans. He and his enablers lie, cheat and rationalize it away. They waste American lives, they torture prisoners and deny them their human rights, they break treaties, and they are doing their best to turn a democracy into a dictatorship and a free republic into a police state.
The only way to remedy any of this is to get Republicans out of office. We need a Democratic majority this time.
(You can read the whole thing, along with her
guidelines on what to do when you vote, at http://twistedchick.livejournal.com/1476457.html.)
I did. It was worth it. A reminder to us all that we need to remember that LiveJournal exists, and there are important voices to be found there.
tag: Military Commissions Act, Insurrection Act, National Guard, due process, internment of civilians, twistedchick, pocket veto, enabling acts, impeach