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There Goes the Republic

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Posted on Dec 15, 2011
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

By Robert Scheer

Once again the gods of war have united our Congress like nothing else. Unable to agree on the minimal spending necessary to save our economy, schools, medical system or infrastructure, the cowards who mislead us have retreated to the irrationalities of what George Washington in his farewell address condemned as “pretended patriotism.”

The defense authorization bill that Congress passed and President Obama had threatened to veto will soon become law, a fact that should be met with public outrage. Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, responding to Obama’s craven collapse on the bill’s most controversial provision, said, “By signing this defense spending bill, President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in U.S. law.” On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney claimed “the most recent changes give the president additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength.”

What rubbish, coming from a president who taught constitutional law. The point is not to hock our civil liberty to the discretion of the president, but rather to guarantee our freedoms even if a Dick Cheney or Newt Gingrich should attain the highest office.

Sadly, this flagrant subversion of the constitutionally guaranteed right to due process of law was opposed in the Senate by only seven senators, including libertarian Republican Rand Paul and progressive Independent Bernie Sanders.

That onerous provision of the defense budget bill, much discussed on the Internet but far less so in the mass media, assumes a permanent war against terrorism that extends the battlefield to our homeland. It reeks of a militarized state that threatens the foundations of our republican form of government.

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This is not only a disaster in the making for civil liberty but a blow to effective anti-terrorist police work. Recall that it was the FBI that was most effective in interrogating al-Qaida suspects before the military let loose the torturers. Under the newly approved legislation, that bypassing of civilian experts will be codified as a routine option for a president.

As The New York Times editorialized, the bill “would take the most experienced and successful anti-terrorism agencies—the F.B.I. and federal prosecutors—out of the business of interrogating, charging and trying most terrorism cases, and turn the job over to the military.” Not only has FBI Director Robert Mueller III opposed this shift in the law, but so has Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who previously ran the CIA.

What’s alarming is not just that one pernicious aspect of the defense spending bill, but the ease with which an otherwise deadlocked Congress that can’t manage minimal funding for job creation and unemployment relief can find the money to fund at Cold War levels a massive sophisticated arsenal to defeat an enemy that no longer exists.

Throwing $662 billion, plus hundreds of billions more in non-Pentagon “security” programs, at what that other great-general-turned-president, Dwight Eisenhower, condemned as the “military-industrial complex,” with its tentacles in every congressional district, is an act of absurdity in a world bereft of a serious military challenge to the United States. Not even the best-funded terrorists can afford aircraft carriers.

There is simply no militarily significant enemy in sight, yet we spend almost as much on our armed forces as the rest of the world combined, and are already ludicrously superior in military might to any rogue power, like Iran, that might threaten us. The hawks who attempt to justify Cold War levels of spending on advanced weaponry by reviving “Red China” as a formidable enemy are undermined in their argument by China’s sharply limited regional force projection. The real leverage that China exercises over U.S. policy options is not military but rather economic and derives precisely from the fact that we have gone into debt to those same communists in order to fund our irrational military spending.

Military spending is rationalized with patriotic froth, but it is driven by the unfortunate fact that it is the most reliable source of government-funded profits and jobs. It is an obviously inefficient use of resources as a means of lifting the overall economy compared with building infrastructure and training workers for the jobs of the future, but don’t count on Congress or the president to change that dynamic anytime soon. The White House’s five-year projection of defense spending aims not at the one-third budget cut initiated by the first President Bush in response to the end of the Cold War, but at a “flattening” of military expenditures between 2013 and 2017.

We had every right to expect President Obama to stick to his word and veto this bill, not as a means of forcing a much needed bigger cut in government waste, but more urgently because its assault on the Constitution’s requirement of due process represents a direct threat to the freedom of the American people every bit as menacing as any we face from foreign enemies.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By ardee, December 16, 2011 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

Well, I did ask to hear from the “Obama apologists”, and we did:

Outraged, December 16 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

From CNN:

“The responsibility lies not so much with the White House but with Congress, which has thwarted President Barack Obama’s plans to close the detention center, which the Bush administration opened on January 11, 2002 with 20 captives.

I do understand the almost impossible task presented to those whose blind loyalty refuses to see truth and continues an attempt, as this one so obviously does, to sidetrack the issues and point the blame from our fearful leader.

The almost overwhelming negative comments here show plainly that only Outrage fails to stay on point, but then, how could he when the point is Obama’s betrayals?

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racetoinfinity's avatar

By racetoinfinity, December 16, 2011 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

You wrote: 

“We had every right to expect President Obama to stick to his word and veto this bill, not as a means of forcing a much needed bigger cut in government waste, but more urgently because its assault on the Constitution’s requirement of due process represents a direct threat to the freedom of the American people every bit as menacing as any we face from foreign enemies.”

We had every right to demand this, but that’s not the reason Obama was going to veto the bill.  He was in favor of the trampling on civil and Constitutional rights in the bill; he objected to a provision that required approval of Congress for this or that police/military state action on us.  When that provision was dropped, and the Imperial power was utterly left to the President’s discretion, he gladly withdrew his threat to veto.  He has expanded Bush/Cheney’s neo-con “security state” in the name of the endless Orwellian “war on terror” which is cover for more-or-less establishing a third world banana republic, corporate-plutocratic police state.  This (and other provisions such as The Patriot Act) is a travesty of human and civil rights, and I hope it gets challenged fast in the courts, even all the way up to the 5-4 right-wing SCOTUS.

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By EmileZ, December 16, 2011 at 2:07 am Link to this comment

@ Outraged

Bend over, here comes the big one.

Keep It Greasy - Zappa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qHpWaEE2XY

And so as to not waste time and comment space…

“Outside Now” is also included.

Let us hope it does not come to “A Little Green Rosetta” or worse.

Oh wait, it already has.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 16, 2011 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

From CNN:

“The responsibility lies not so much with the White House but with Congress, which has thwarted President Barack Obama’s plans to close the detention center, which the Bush administration opened on January 11, 2002 with 20 captives.

Congress has used its spending oversight authority both to forbid the White House from financing trials of Guantánamo captives on U.S. soil and to block the acquisition of a state prison in Illinois to hold captives currently held in Cuba who would not be put on trial - a sort of Guantánamo North. The current defense bill now before Congress not only reinforces these restrictions but moves to mandate military detention for most future al Qaeda cases unless the president signs a waiver. The White House withdrew a veto threat on the eve of likely passage Wednesday, saying the latest language gives the executive enough wiggle room to avoid military custody.”

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/15/why-obama-cant-close-guantanamo/

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By Foucauldian, December 16, 2011 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

... It was to maintain FAIRNESS of the process.


Orwellian doublespeak.

There is fairness about a process that’s unfair to
begin with.

Peddle your wares on the flea market or in a five n
dime store.  This Emporium is too classy for you.

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By Foucauldian, December 16, 2011 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

... the word terrorist in this bill is really a blank
to fill in with whatever the whoever making the
arrest wants to put in the “arrested for”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Outraged.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 16, 2011 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Re: screamingpalm

As far as I could tell there was an amendment to legalize torture sponsored by four Republican Senators, Kelly Ayotte, Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, and John Cornyn, It did not pass in the senate. Again, the Republicans are INSANE, that’s proof.

Also, yes Obama wanted MORE control so that he could TRY these cases in U.S. Courts as opposed to Military Tribunals. The original language in the bill didn’t allow that. It wasn’t a power grab as has been erroneously projected. It was to maintain FAIRNESS of the process.

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By EmileZ, December 15, 2011 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, better let me try it again

@ Outraged

Dong Work For Yuda - Zappa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUlEckOm600

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By CanDoJack, December 15, 2011 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

The look on POTUS’s face says it all. It says he is
thinking, “how did a little bit of wishy washy come
to this? I am a man. I am not a black man. I am not
an Illinois Senator man. I am not my mother’s son
man. I am an AMERICAN man. And, I am no better than
anybody in Congress who voted for that bill. Look at
my face. Even I cannot pretend that Robert Scheer’s
headline is not the most succinct, brilliant, honest
assessment ever made.

“I, the Big BO cannot imagine the most stupid of all
the stupid citizens of the US not understanding that
the word terrorist in this bill is really a blank to
fill in with whatever the whoever making the arrest
wants to put in the “arrested for” fill in.

“In a situation where someone says, ‘he was not
arrested for terrorism; he was arrested for speaking
the truth’ the result will be if whatever power
wants it so, he can rot in that jail until the worms
crawl out his ears. He is a truthful terrorist. And
legally so because I signed the bill that guarantees
‘THERE GOES THE REPUBLIC’.”

Why we thought, well first they will strip us of the
right to vote. Then they will strip us of the right
to speak. Then they will strip us of this and then
they will strip us that. Plenty of time. BO signed
the bill and whoosh, we were stripped naked.

What were we thinking? Suddenly those with Gucci
shoes would not look perfectly condescending at our
worn out last pair of New Balance tennis shoes?
Suddenly the dividing line would NOT be between the
haves and never gonna haves? Surely, those good
Congress people are going to ultimately do what is
right, I mean correct?

No, you are reading the only web site I have found
today that threw down a flag on the play.

We hit the bog with this one. We have been sliding
down the hill furiously fast for a long time. What a
splash, hunh?

POTUS is thinking, “Do you know what is going to be
the worse part about entering hell? The length of
the God Damned Queue. I am going to have to stand
there forever only to find out that was the fastest
queue in all helldom.”

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By EmileZ, December 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

@ Outraged

Dong Work For Yuda - Zappa

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By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

I appreciate your comment, since I do not hate Obama, but for right now I am one of the Obama dissapointed.  Your points helpful in the fact I may be over reacting, but on the other hand maybe more details need to be brought out.

I just find Obama has not really gotten rid of the Patriot act, has increased the scope of Homeland Security, has not ended Gitmo and now this. I sort of see the chips falling into place and they do not look very good for the support of The Bill of Rights and our liberties as people of this nation.

More time must be spent reflecting on it, for as usual I may have gotten something wrong!

In the end what options do we have as people the real people of this nation it is the 1 percent why pay for what we are seeing and getting!

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By faith, December 15, 2011 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

As I looked at the list of those who supported the bill I was absolutely stunned that
Webb’s (WVA) name was there.  Our Senators and Reps need to write and explain to
us, the voters, why on earth they would support such?  It is astonishing and it is
unconstitutional.  A tragic time in our American history.  We need different
representatives and we need campaign finance reform immediately.  Might as well
throw out the USSCT as well.

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By Foucauldian, December 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

Yep, they’re preparing the ground for a permanent
state of exception. 

If you think the use of police force against OWS was
excessive, you haven’t seen nothing yet.

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By ObamaisGod, December 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Outraged

What you say is so ridiculously stupid and so easy to take apart piece by piece that you must be an Obama troll. How can anyone be this idiotic? Please, troll the Huffington Post and leave those with intelligence their space, we have so little left.

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By screamingpalm, December 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

@ Outraged:

I was trying to figure out why Obama threatened a veto considering this is the same administration that spies on peace activist groups… it didn’t add up. According to his press secretary, the threat to veto came about because the bill didn’t grant ENOUGH power to the executive branch!

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-december-7-2011/arrested-development—-one-way-train-to-gitmo

Something else not being discussed at all, is the other provision in the bill repealing the previous executive order ban on torture.

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By Byard Pidgeon, December 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Show of hands…how many actually expected Obama to veto a Defense Bill?
Folks, it’s time to put some real effort into a different political party, and the best
shot we’ve got is the Justice Party.
No, we won’t win, but we may be able to show enough strength to force the GOP-
Lite party to move left…and maybe elect some local and state officials.

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By Outraged, December 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

There is a difference between the parties.

To consider anything else is hogwash. Which party is adamantly protecting the 1% instead of the rest of us? The Repugs.

How anyone makes such ridiculous statements is beyond me. Additionally, the PROBLEM is money in political system and corruption. And there’s no reason to believe that a third party would not be JUST AS CORRUPTED if they even had a chance of being elected. You’re wishing on rainbows, the issue is we need to get the money out of politics!

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By Outraged, December 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

It appears there is much confusion and a rush to judgment. There are also inaccuracies in the previous posts, so you might want to do your own research before trusting the Obama haters.  First of all, the whole issue is being blown out of proportion, but for Obama haters that’s not surprising. Some of you may not have been aware, as I was not, that this bill is not much different from legislation ALREADY in use since 2001. Glenn Greenwald, a fierce Obama critic points this out:

“while the powers this bill enshrines are indeed radical and dangerous, most of them already exist. That’s because first the Bush administration and now the Obama administration have aggressively argued that the original 2001 AUMF already empowers them to imprison people without charges, use force against even U.S. citizens without due process (Anwar Awlaki), and target not only members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban (as the law states) but also anyone who “substantially supports” those groups and/or “associated forces” (whatever those terms mean). That’s why this bill states that it does not intend to change the 2001 AUMF “

http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/obama_to_sign_indefinite_detention_bill_into_law/singleton/

So apparently this is nothing new. This applies only to” Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces”. From what I understand no one has issues with this taking away the rights of citizens (I’m talking here of Panetta, Mueller…etc) what they are taking issue with is how this affects their capacity and AUTHORITY to investigate and indict terrorists.

“In fact, the heads of several security agencies, including the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general objected to the legislation. The Pentagon also said it was against the bill.

The FBI director, Robert Mueller, said he feared the law could compromise the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be more complicated to win co-operation from suspects held by the military.

“The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain co-operation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/americans-face-guantanamo-detention-obama?newsfeed=true

The problem here is that we are not dealing with a nation state, we are dealing with a non-state threat, hence the “war on terror”. To think that they are not serious is to deny 9/11 happened. How do you fight that and still retain your rights. The administration is fighting to keep the right of access to the courts, not deny it.  According to Reuters:

“Senior members of Obama’s national security team had expressed deep reservations about the section that broadens the armed forces’ powers by requiring that foreigners allied with al Qaeda be held in military custody even if they are captured in the United States.

Senator John McCain, a Republican, said on Thursday that the Obama administration had “fought these provisions every step of the way,” repeatedly trying to have them stripped out.

But the White House said the revisions of recent days gave it more discretion over implementation of the law.

Lawmakers gave the president authority to waive some provisions and took out a ban on using civilian courts to prosecute al Qaeda suspects.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/15/us-usa-defense-idUSTRE7BE23X20111215

Oh and for those wondering who’ll vote for Obama, I WILL along with millions of others who will consider the facts. For the record, Scheer is correct….. the larger issue here is what is being spent on the military, and why.

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By Ralph Kramden, December 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Help, help , help. I’m too stupid: please explain to me how some one who is a philanderer ten times worse than that other clown be taken seriously? Because he is white not black? Then we have a man who is seriously advocating child labor, why is he taken seriosly? Moreover, a man who claims that “Palestinians are an invented people,” he actually said this, this man Grinch is taken as a presidential contender for president of the USA. If anyone had said anything about Israel being an invented state…But the insane, imperialist mentality just lumbers on. Rome in its decline does ring a bell, me says.

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, December 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

(Sent the following letter to some government officials, such as)

Sen. Bob Casey,

This constituent is writing to you with valid concern.

Upon taking your elected seat in our U.S. government, you took the following Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

But you recently voted “Yea” for the S1867 National Defense Authorization Act.

And now this constituent, among others, wonders why?

> Under Title X - General Provisions / Subtitle D - Detainee Matters / Section 1032 (b) (1), (b) (2):

(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.-

(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS. - The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

(((*** This requirement definition is not an occurrence restriction. ***)))

(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS. - The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States. 

(((*** This requirement definition is not an occurrence restriction. ***)))

> Under Title X - General Provisions / Subtitle D - Detainee Matters / Section 1031 (c) (1):

(c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR. - The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

(((*** But indefinite detention without trial violates the U. S. Constitution - Amendment 14 -  Section 1. ***)))

> Under Title X - General Provisions / Subtitle D - Detainee Matters / Section 1031 (b) (2):

(b) COVERED PERSONS. - A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

(((*** Is the vagueness that’s contained in the above, obscure enough to include certain CIA tie-ins and such too? ***)))

So now, how can you conscientiously pledge to support and defend our U.S. Constitution on one hand?

And then vote for a bill which contains a portion that violates a section of the Constitution on the other hand?

And how can you, in full conscientious earnestness, vote for a bill where too few are given too much loose authority?

And where the text itself is too vaguely worded, and not distinct enough for viable justice?

And where not enough checks and balances are put into place to determine truthfulness and justness, and prevent abuses of power etc.?

And, how can these questionable areas, seen by We-the-People, go too unnoticed by You, who represents us?

Sincerely,

Sally Kline

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By ElkoJohn, December 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

what’s really alarming is that the majority
of voters think there is a difference between
the two major political parties.
Big choice, Bush or Bush-Lite.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, December 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

The Shirelles - Big John

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA-wwD0jTa0

(this is dedicated to the one… a whole lot of starry-eyed people voted for)

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By EmileZ, December 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Who can honestly say that this is unexpected???

They are making plans for our not so bright future.

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By Night-Gaunt, December 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

We aren’t given much choice who to vote for as is the set up for us. Two bad choices but one seems worse than the other. But Obama has shown he can sound liberal while he makes the previous administration’s depredations wider, deeper and more permanent. Such is the Hobbson‘s choice we have been given. Where the house controls the machines and win all bets. Third parties automatically will lose. We don’t have automatic representation in all 50 states and territories. Don’t have the money and the advertising. A sure loss as predicted and set up to happen.

The game is rigged in the 1% favor because they made it that way. Small turnouts always goes to the Reich wing. They like small turnouts. We don’t. They like 3rd parties etc because it drains off the votes that would normally go to their “lesser” of two evils. But they are both evil and will do us in as a democracy.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Who on earth is going to vote for Obama?  And, if you
want things to really “Change”, then you have to
start voting for candidates that will really change
things.

Obama has done nothing for Labor. Obama has done
nothing for the environment.  Obama has given you
Ronald Reagan’s trickle down economics where he gave
all the money to the bankers and gave more of the
Dubya tax cuts for the rich.  Obama has given you
Herbert Hoover’s Sound Money policy by focusing on a
balanced budget and reduced deficits over any sort of
economic stimulus for any non-bankers.  Obama has
given you Dubya’s foreign policy and anti-American,
anti-civil liberties and anti-human rights policies.

Assuming that the people who voted for Obama wanted a
change from Dubya that made things better rather than
the worse that Obama has given us, surely almost none
of Obama’s 2008 voters can possibly vote for Obama
again in 2012. 

Of course, the system is doing the best it can to re-
elect Obama by picking Notorious Newt as his supposed
opposition, in the same way it put Obama into the
Senate by picking the ridiculous Alan Keyes as his IL
opponent.  But, people have to realize that there
will be other names on the ballot in most of the
states that aren’t the worst of the anti-democratic
states.  Please, please, please vote for almost any
of these names instead of Obama.  And, if the
opposition in this country is really smart for a
change, they’d settle on one candidate instead of the
usual three or four splitting the opposition vote. 
The best advice for voters is to look at the field
before the Nov election and pick the best candidate
in their state.  Its winner-take-all within almost
all the states, so opposition voters that want real
change has to find a way to unify to defeat both
Notorious Newt and Barack the Murderous Liar.

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By MGB, December 15, 2011 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is flatly unconstitutional!  It cannot be law.  It requires that every yea voter break their oath of office and the President that signs it.  Just because they want it to be law doesn’t mean they can make it so.  If they want to amend the constitution they have to make an amendment, which they know they can’t get passed through appropriate means.  UNBELIEVEABLE!

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By MichaelN, December 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Obama and Durbin lost this avid campaign worker in Illinois today. All my
donations will go to Occupy and similar organizations, not to corrupt politicians.
We were sold out and I’ve had it. I hung up on their campaign call to me today and
when I receive the next one will be asked to be removed from the list.

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By MikalN, December 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That’s it for me and donating or working for Obama. When I got a call today from
one of his fundraisers I hung up on the call out of despair. The next time they call
I’m going to tell them to take me off their list.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

“the insecure fatherless child clings to military might…”

These kinds of comments are not constructive and solve nothing, speak absolutely nothing to the issues, his character has nothing to do with the subject, (almost birther like)  unless you know something I do not know or for a fact? Have dictators throughout history happen to be fatherless, I am not a historian maybe we should ask Newt if he is Fatherless?

Me thinks Obama’s advisers are and have been a major problem in the asp, actually from the very beginning with Summers and Gigner, however this does not resolve him of responsibility and accountability, which would only work if he was a Republican, though I am starting to wonder!

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Spire's avatar

By Spire, December 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Now that Obama has given the 1% virtually all they ever wanted, maybe Clancy can write a story that the elite don’t need him any further. And they think of the mileage that a terrorist attack on the pres. would accomplish, as an excuse for Martial Law.

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By Craig Stock, December 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

His new campaign slogan is “Finish The Job”
Beware people!

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By Joel Sjerven, December 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please don’t claim: ‘Military spending is rationalized with patriotic froth, but it is driven by the unfortunate fact that it is the most reliable source of government-funded profits and jobs.’ This is untrue and a myth that needs to be addressed rather than perpetuated. See study here:

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/12/05/382071/military-spending-job-creation-domestic-mit/

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By bob zimway, December 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

the insecure fatherless child clings to military might…

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By Ron Ranft, December 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Obama threatened to veto this bill I posted that he wouldn’t. I know he wouldn’t because Obama likes these things. He has continued the Imperial Presidency of the Bush years. This increases his power. He is nothing but a Republiwon’t in a Dimocan’ts clothing. The people eating the lotus blossoms he hands out always blame the Rethugs for everything but only because they are too enamored of their noble leader. The Rethugs know that at the very least Obama is a cowardly dog who bares his teeth then rolls over and wets himself!

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By olenska, December 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Senator Mark Udall of Colorado whose amendment preserving civil liberties failed, is drafting a bill to restore all protections of the /bill of rights. If you call his office and encourage him, it might help. His number in DC is 202 2245941

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Donna

Many of us are aware of the implications. Of course some of us consider it the potential and needed toe hold to create democracy in this country.

Rocky is the guy.

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By John Poole, December 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Jim Mamer:  “Congressional” was most likely a deleted part of Ike’s warning but
even back then to be truly inclusive you would have had another ten or so added
to the “complex” such as religious, educational, entertainment, information
media, judicial, etc etc.

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By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Well instead of me asking Obama; “What the fuck are you doing” a friend of mine wrote the following directed to the White House.

Because your administration asked that Section 1031 in the Senate bill include indefinite detention of American citizens (as Senator Levin recounts in a c-span video) and lawful residents, you could ask to have that removed.

See video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V5Oo3gzj2oc

Please ask Congress to remove that provision, which flies in the face of civil liberties that I cherish.

Thank you very much.

Friend of Leefeller

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By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Obamas plan is he will veto this, he just wanted to see if he could dare Congress into taking our people liberties away to show everyone corporations will still be people who cannot go to jail indefinitely, so he will veto it with lots of fanfare to make congress look worse than they already are, he will veto it won’t he? Tell me he will veto it!

All I can say is the Senator who is in the video is calling attention with the animated emotions of a slug and he made his point like he was afraid of waking the snoozing crowd! Geeze theses assholes in Congress are starting to make a bad name for ass holes! Where is Anthony Werner when we need him?

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By Donna Fritz, December 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Rocky definitely has the progressive creds ( See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Anderson ) and I’m
inclined to support his candidacy. Know, though, that
if Rocky gains significant traction, that would
pretty much ensure a GOP win next November. Not
trying to scare you - not trying to talk you out of
supporting Rocky. Just make sure you’re aware of the
probable ramifications of voting for an alt-left
candidate.

Progressive radio talk show host Mike Malloy, who’s
been one of Obama’s fiercest and outspoken critics,
at least on radio, surprised me last night when he
said that despite all of the failings by the
Democrats he will continue to vote Democrat because
voting Republican is like voting for Hitler - not his
exact words, but that was the gist.

I understand his sentiment, but… f^ck it. I’m done.
We’re eventually going to get Hitler anyhow. Might as
well get it over with while I’m still reasonably
young.

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By Dr Bones, December 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well now that Iraq is a free democracy, it looks like they are tooling up to do the same to America.

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By starwheel, December 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

We’re not complaining, Michael. We’re mourning. Sure, we can prolong the misery by wasting precious time, energy and resources on a remedy that is too little too late, like organizing for some unknown named Rocky Anderson(?). Or, we can take it off life support and say we did the best we could. That is what the piece of crap legislation that the President is about to sign represents. The death of America. It is now time to celebrate the life of the deceased and offer a toast. So, cheers to America. RIP.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, December 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Can Robert Scheer and all the rest do more than just complain? As in, can he publicly support

Rocky Anderson for president

Quit complaining, start organizing

Replace Obama with Rocky

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By Jim Mamer, December 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

There are a number of reports that in an early draft of President Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s famous 1961 farewell address the reference to the “military-
industrial complex” was actually more accurately labeled the “military-industrial-
Congressional complex.”

He should have left it that way.

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By twsanders, December 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Now Obama has progressed from merely disappointing those who believed and
voted for him, to betraying the core U.S. Constitution of which he is acutely
familiar with. He’s ‘progressive’ after all.

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By YoungGringos, December 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Since its inception this country has spread its unique, god-tested / god-approved form of tyranny around the globe.  America- the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

High time it came home to white, middle class America. 

Now put your head down, get back in line and buy some shit.

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By Night-Gaunt, December 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

More than likely it will be the HAE or Holy American Empire. It will be made in America even if most of the weapons won’t be. “The American Way” will have a whole new meaning in the decades ahead.

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By Steve J, December 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please! The correct term is MILITARY SPENDING, not
¨defense spending¨as much of the spending is for
aggressive, non defense uses, as well as for political
and/or corrupt uses.

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By Tuscany, December 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rocky Anderson for President is my last hope.  Does anyone agree with me?

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By Ralph Kramden, December 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels,” as Dr. Johnson said. Habeas Corpus has been dead for some time now, where is the outrage? No, we worry and salivate over the travails of Kim Kardashian. And don’t just blame the media, the citizenry also. I asked my unemployed niece if she would like to watch “Capitalism, a Love Story” and she said no, not a movie with that kind of title. So blame the citizens too. Now we have Israel leading us into a war with Iran. Try to find one, one congressman or president to criticize Israel? Recall when Sarkozy called Netanyahu a liar, Obama: “And I have to deal with him every day.” Every day? The president of the USA?These colors don’t run, that silly bumper sticker, they certainly run from corporations, Israel, and the security state. Jim Garrison, remember him? he once said that” fascism will come to America in the name of National Security.” It is here.

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By Donna Fritz, December 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

But wait! It gets worse.

From
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/14/1045331/-
Sen-Levin-Charging-That-Obama-Asked-for-Americans-be-
Subject-to-Life-Long-Military-Detention?
via=blog_683161 :

Sen. Levin (addressing Senate president): “And I’m
wondering whether the senator is familiar with the
fact that the language, the language which precluded
the application of section 1031 to American citizens
was in the bill that we originally approved in the
Armed Services Committee, and the administration
asked us to remove the language which says that US
citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to
this section?

Is the senator familiar with the fact that it was the
administration which asked us to remove the very
language we had in the bill which passed the
committee and that we removed it at the request of
the administration… that would have said that this
determination would not apply to US citizens and
lawful residents? I’m just wondering is the senator
familiar with the fact it was the administration
which asked us to remove the very language [excluding
US citizens], the absence of which, is now objected
to by the senator from Illinois?”

What does this mean for us?  This in no way excuses
congressmens’ and senators’ treasonous votes passing
the unconstitutional legislation.  What is does do is
expose the game of good-cop-bad-cop that Obama is
playing, and shows him for the two-face that he is.

He can no longer say “the Congress made me do it, and
they have enough votes to override my veto.”  So much
for Change You Can Believe In.

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By pundaint, December 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Maybe he is the anti-Christ

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By nikto, December 15, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Make no mistake about it——This law is all about mitigating the OWS Movement and protecting Mega-Korporations from the Will Of The People.

That is all.

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By berniem, December 15, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Mr.president and the majority of congress: You have proven yourselves to be the worst of traitors and liars beyond even your usual pathetic level of duplicity! I know that Obama figures he can do anything and still get re-elected considering the cast of blubbering idiots vying for the nomination of the reactionary mob, but be advised that you may buy your re-election with Wall St. money but you won’t get it because of my or many others’ votes. Perhaps you can get Diebold to fudge the numbers for you but none of us will believe it. You are a disgrace and an embarrassment to those of us who thought you would make a positive difference in the pitiful direction this country has followed for too long!

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By ruhullaha, December 15, 2011 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

If you think that the concept of American liberties are now just being threatened then visit my blog and realize that the threat is merely being expanded.

http://www.ruhullaha-maryamkho.blogspot.com

Regards,

Maryam Ruhullah

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By konnie, December 15, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

an amazing bloodless coup. 

we might as well change our logo to:  ussa.

united stalinist states of america…...........

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By alton grimes, December 15, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who can fathom these deep currents of lies and
deception? America seems a kind of “runaway train”. I
am intigued by Chalmers Johnson’s distinction between
the true patriots among us and “the militarists”. The
latter manifesting with a ruthless and subversive
agenda in spite of their patriotic posturings.
Eisenhower, as we know, warned us of the “rise of
misplaced power” and that this “potential exists and
will persist”. Perhaps, our president wakes up every
morning feeling the overwhelming threat and
intimidation of these forces: “sign the dotted line,
or else…“In the comfort of my easy chair,I can wax
eloquent about many things,but in the “hot seat” that
belongs to the presidency,I will most likely find
atmospheres of murderous intent. God bless America
and may God bless our president…

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By DornDiego, December 15, 2011 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

I sent the following to the White House:

I’ve been sending my representatives in the House and Senate, and a list of
friends, the following argument about your willingness to discard the notion of
habeas corpus:

The foundation of our Constitutional rights has been removed with the
provision contained within the defense authorization bill for the indefinite
arrest and detention of American citizens by the military.  This will leave all
decent citizens who oppose the outrages of modern authoritarian control at
risk of a holocaust.  It encourages dissent so that it might incarcerate the
dissenters.

Please don’t have me arrested for saying so. But if you do, know that I will be
joined by many good people in that place you might send me.

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By tapxe, December 15, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I swore allegiance to the US Constitution when I became a US citizen,

how can I possibly accept this?

I am now at war with this fascist zionist bankster vermin that controls and runs ameriKa.

IT IS TIME TO CHOSE SIDES, EITHER YOU TOLERATE TYRANNY AND THUS ARE PART OF IT OR YOU STAND FOR THE CONSTITUTION AND LIBERTY.

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

It is time to take up arms and, lone wolf style (so as not to be infiltrated), start redecorating them trees all over America to refresh Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty?

Be creative, turn sabotage into a new art form, copycats will do the rest.

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By Sodovka, December 15, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

bramdruckman, ask and ye shall receive:

Measure Number:    S. 1867
(National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 )

Measure Title:    An original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2012 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

Vote Counts: 
YEAs   93
NAYs   7

YEAs—-93:

Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Rubio (R-FL)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)

NAYs—-7:

Coburn (R-OK)
Harkin (D-IA)
Lee (R-UT)
Merkley (D-OR)
Paul (R-KY)
Sanders (I-VT)
Wyden (D-OR)

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By Night-Gaunt, December 15, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

What better person to help take down the Republic but a traitor schooled in its workings? Machiavelli as a US constitutional scholar? Close. But even he would need a large apparatus of like minded and sellouts to get the job done. And loads of patience too.

The point is that President Obama is just a cog in the wheel of the 0.01% to take us down. They live and they are one of us even if they are separate from us by wealth. They just don’t consider us a part of them. We are the hired help or in the way. They are just making another move on that chess board to win the game of life. We are poised to have another economic plunge as we did and averted in 2008. We are literally set up to fall again and we may not get up without their help. (It will be on their terms and don’t expect any rights from the Bill of Rights which will be null-an-void to them.)

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By starwheel, December 15, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

To hell with it then. We had a decent run while it lasted. Who’s up for some drinks?

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By bramdruckman, December 15, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Please print in big bold letters the names of those in Congress who voted for
this spending bill with its built-in diminishing of our civil liberties so we can
always remember who are the real enemies of this nation. The next question is
what can the average citizen do to restore our soon-to-be-lost constitutional
rights? And this President taught constitutional law! And finally. Will someone
please tell me exactly what a terrorist is. Were the American revolutionaries
terrorists? Were those Russians who protested outside the Winter Palace in
1905 and were shot terrorists? Were the French who rose up against their
imperial masters in the French Revolutioin terrorists? It appears now anyone can
be called a terrorist for any reason and be sent away for 25 years without a
trial. If those esteemed gentlemen and women in Congress who mouth such
heart-stiring partiotism feel it is in America’s best interest to curtail civil rights
and undermine the values which they claim is what is this country is all about in
the name of protecting the nation can send to prison protestors, activists,
dissidents, namely anyone who disagrees with ‘offical policy’ then it’s only a
matter of time before the firing squads ramp up along with gas chambers.
History doesn’t repeat itself. Man always does.

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By djnoll, December 15, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

I have been told that my proposal to cut back on military spending is unreasonable (see my YouTube video on National Security and Defense at “Devon Noll”).  But, as was once pointed out by someone far wiser than I, when you sacrifice liberty for security, you neither deserve nor end up with either one.  Last night when I heard that President Obama had caved once again, I did a little research.  The following may interest many of you since it is about another law passed about 80 years ago that is exactly the same as this one.  I have excerpted the write-up here and included a link as well:

“Protective Custody” Rules

Hitler induced a confused and frightened Hindenburg to sign a decree euphemistically called, “For the Protection of the People and State,” suspending all of the basic rights of citizens and imposing the death sentence for arson, sabotage, resistance to the decree, and disturbances to public order. Arrests could be made on suspicion, and people could be sentenced to prison without trial or the right of counsel. The suspension was never lifted throughout the entire period of Nazi rule, and the decree of February 28th destroyed fundamental guarantees under the Weimar democracy.

Retrieved 12/14/11 from http://remember.org/guide/Facts.root.solution.html

Please note the “disturbance of public order” clause was subject to the death penalty, and the next sentence could just as easily be lifted from NDAA.  Carl Levin should be ashamed of himself for every consenting to its inclusion in a bill meant to help our military personnel get paid and supported in the field.  It is in direct opposition to the very things that we tell them they are fighting for. 

The President should be voted out of office if he signs this bill - but because the Republicans offer the very kinds of candidates that would take this to the next level and enforce it blindly, we may be stuck with this President…unless we vote in people to Congress and state legislatures who are going to repeal this portion of this law, and stand up for Americans.  PLEASE, people, consider running small localized campaigns against incumbents and get yourselves elected with real policies for real Americans.  We must reverse this path and find another.

http://www.weeeevoteamerica2012.org
http://www.devonnollforpresident2012.org
Please follow my videos on YouTube under “Devon Noll” as I talk about what I would do if elected, but more importantly, what you can help get done if you are elected.  Thanks.

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By Sodovka, December 15, 2011 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I keep going back and forth (since about the time Rick Warren gave the invocation at Obama’s inauguration) between deciding to vote for Obama or say “fuck it” and vote for whoever is playing Ralph Nader in 2012. Newt is terrifying, but how much better is Obama when he is willing to give away the Constitution? Perhaps more disturbing is the 46 Senators who voted Yea. Franken, Leahy, Kerry, Boxer, I’m looking at you!

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By kazy, December 15, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Doubtom:  Blah, blah, blah. Yes we know how evil the Israeli Lobbyists are - but no more than all the other evil forces out there who are out for their own interests. Foreign and domestic.

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By gerard, December 15, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

All signs prove the necessity of supporting the continuation and development of OWS as the last best hope for the United States of America.

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By Jim Yell, December 15, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama has now caved on what he had said he wouldn’t cave on and this has been a pattern of his Presidency. He is posing as a Liberal/Progressive, while carrying out the wishes of the Military-Industrial Comples and the anti-democracy policies of the Republican Party and Corporate America. We have two choices which are the same, either a pretense at democracy or outright Fascist Government, sadly not being one bit of difference between either one.

Obama has proven himself a dissembler and an outright liar, which clinches his credentials as an occult Republican.

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By felicity, December 15, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

At least Nero just fiddled while Rome burned unlike
Congress which divides it’s time between fiddling and
stoking the fire while America burns.

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By MK77, December 15, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

We can thank all those espousing the philosophy of “lesser evil” for this and other turns of events in this country.

For the last 6 or 7 election cycles Americans had the choice to vote third party, but instead many, including Robert Scheer’s colleagues at The Nation, thought better of it, offering up such blather as “this election is just too important to waste your vote on a third-party candidate.”

As Ralph Nader once said, “Accept the terms of the system, and you get the system, on its terms.”

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By Anon, December 15, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Senator Levin stating and re-stating that it was the President that demanded that US citizens NOT be exempted from indefinite detention.  The bill they passed in committee exempted citizens, then the administration asked them to remove the exemption, and they did.  So correction to paragraph 2.

http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-detention-defense-levin-635/

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By TheEnd, December 15, 2011 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

It’s the Bradley Manning for all provision.

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By lstuler, December 15, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

What everyone needs to understand is that since the “New Deal” the federal gov’t has been operating as a bankrupt entity (to the bankers) under the foreign commerce clause. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) was written in the mid-1930’s to evidence the jurisdictional connection back to the Constitution of the statutes (laws) in the United States Code (USC). Title 11 USC, “Bankruptcy”, is implemented by title 11 CFR, “Federal elections” - all we Americans are voting on now is a bankruptcy “administration”.
  Since the federal gov’t has absolutely no jurisdiction over intrastate commerce (human action), the bankers had to design a way to make all Americans pay the interest on their counterfeit money loans to the gov’t. The final nail in America’s sovereignty was the creation of Social Security. The Form SS-5 that one uses to apply for a S.S.# is actually a federal employment form. The applicant becomes a “taxpayer” - a member of the Merchant Marine (26 CFR 2.1-1(a)(5)). Now as federal employees we have no rights other than those granted to us by our all powerful gov’t. Only a federal employee is liable for federal employment taxes.
  But this bankruptcy was planned for long ago. Although Great Britain lost the Revolution on the battlefield, it sent in its bankers to slowly and deceitfully destroy American sovereignty. Royal families have absolutely no regard for freedom - they presume to be able to take whatever they want from whomever they like.
  It was in the War of 1812 that Great Britain was impressing our Merchant Marine into service for its Navy. Now with the scam of Social Security, we Americans are now being impressed into service for Great Britain’s bankers.
  What about the 16th Amendment (the income tax) that the Supreme Court held to be constitutional you may ask? The Supreme Court decisions all stated that no new jurisdiction was granted to the federal gov’t - of course there was no new jurisdiction since “all men are created equal”. The Supreme Court also held that it always had the power to impose an income tax - yes it did under its limited jurisdictions.
  The three commerce jurisdictions are listed under title 28, “Judiciary and Judicial Procedure”, chapter 85, “District courts; jurisdiction”. These sections are what give the courts jurisdiction from the Constitution’s commerce clause. Section 1336, “Surface Board Transportation orders”, which was renamed from “Interstate Commerce Commission’s orders” in 1995, is the interstate commerce jurisdiction. Section 1362, “Indian tribes”, is obviously the trade with the Indians jurisdiction. Section 1340, “Internal revenue; Customs duties”, is the foreign commerce jurisdiction.
  Great Britain’s bankers are now in control. This is why the new law discussed above concerning detaining U.S. citizens without due process is constitutional, but only under foreign commerce. The legislative draftsmen that actually write the laws must always conform to the Constitution. A “U.S. citizen” is a legal fiction that declares a person to be born in one of the States who then acquires U.S. possession citizenship (the U.S. possessions are treated as foreign countries within the Internal Revenue Code). - You have declared to be a “U.S. citizen” on your birth certificate - thus a foreigner.
  The combination of the terms “U.S. citizen” and “taxpayer” is known as a “U.S. resident”. Your school taxes, property taxes, and Census questionnaire were all addressed to “U.S. resident”.
  Go to http://wp.me/pCW6e-3g to see the actual statutes and regulations for “resident”.
  Go to http://wp.me/pCW6e-7h to see “The Bankers’ Blueprint to Destroy American Sovereignty”.
  Go to http://wp.me/pCW6e-3Z to see that internal revenue jurisdiction is foreign commerce.
  Go to http://wp.me/pCW6e-3a to see all the Supreme Court decisions concerning the 16th Amendment.
  Go to http://wp.me/PCW6e-E to see the entire Social Security Scam.

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By justin dignant, December 15, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Isn’t it time to cut the crap and call this bill what it really is: TREASON.

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By MARKUS, December 15, 2011 at 10:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is simply no militarily significant enemy in sight, yet we spend almost as
much on our armed forces as the rest of the world combined, and are already
ludicrously superior in military might to any rogue power, like Iran, that might
threaten us. The hawks who attempt to justify Cold War levels of spending on
advanced weaponry by reviving “Red China” as a formidable enemy are
undermined in their argument by China’s sharply limited regional force projection.
The real leverage that China exercises over U.S. policy options is not military but
rather economic and derives precisely from the fact that we have gone into debt to
those same communists in order to fund our irrational military spending.
  You wrote this too soon Robert!  Did everyone see the new Aircraft Carrier on
the high seas?  An old Russian Carrier bought by China and refurbished.  Not a
major threat today, but what’s down the road????

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By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

I tried to call the Whithouse and ask Obama; “What the fuck are you doing?”  Well I did not get through… but the Whithouse operator told me Obama has a plan where he is lulling the Republicans into thinking he is going to do what they want, by doing what they want!

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By rpmirage, December 15, 2011 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

I agree but is it possible that Obama would rather be alive than brave and confront the hawks on this isssue?  You remember what happened to JFK and eventually RFK when they tried to wind down the Viet Nam war. Read “The Unspeakable” and you will understand the power commanded by the military/industrial complex much better.  I believe it’s called self preservation in the present and work within the system to eventually change the system for the better. Also, think what would happened to the unemployment figures if you tried to reduce the defense budget right now. The game is much bigger than one man claiming he can fix it if elected, it will require generations to reverse this ugly American legacy.

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By Doubtom, December 15, 2011 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Witness the miraculous emergence of Eric Holder, our dauntless Attorney General,
(whose real rank should be corporal) to do battle with the forces that threaten our
voting mechanism.  This new found zeal for actually doing his job has more to do
with protecting the mechanism (politics) that insures his continuation in office,
than it does with protecting the nation against illegal war criminals in the highest
offices of this rogue government.  Holder reveals himself to be what most
suspected, a political hack, who has no interest in upholding the law unless his
interests are involved.  Meanwhile Bush/Cheney sail off into the sunset on their
money-laden ships, free to re-write history in their books to shape their ‘legacy’.
Their legacy is “lying to the public” which is being utilized by the current war
mongers in their push to involve us into yet another war, this time with Iran.  Liars
and hypocrites we have aplenty!

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By greenuprising, December 15, 2011 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Yes, there goes the Republic.  Again.

But Sheer misses the point in focusing on the bogus war on terrorism.  We have set up the military to protect the one percent against the 99%.  That is what is going on and has been going on through all the manipulations of the national security state since Bush took (stole) office.

It has been clear for years that there would be a reckoning for the economic decline of middle America and the power-grab by the rich.  Our fearless leaders have fearlessly led the way in enhancing the ability of the State to strangle any revolt.

There goes the Republic.  Welcome to our Brave New World.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

What do you mean by ‘we’ Heir Obama?  Lets see now, you did not repeal the Patriot Act (quite an act is is) you have increased the size of ludicrous Homeland Security, (obviously only ludicrous in me mind) you did not close Gitmo and now you will not veto the dictator like Military Act of indefinite detention by the military of American Citizens on US soil and world wide?

Usually fascism is a conservative authoritarian practice, but now we have the alleged touted from the right socialist president who is apparently tilted right of center appeasing the radical right?  I cannot wait for the likes of Newt to become president, looking forward to Newt and I will love his divisive authoritarian government with its religious indefinite detention persecutions making it so much more entertaining! Welcome to the 4th Reich! Heil, mein Obama, Heil, mein Newt?

We are so screwed completely from the right and now it appears from the so called left?

Just call me a radical centrist!

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By ocjim, December 15, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

I never quite get to the point that I can defend Barack Obama against most criticism, even right-wing conservatives. His only strength is the totally radical Republican opposition. It is like choosing between a slow protracted death and a quick death of democracy.

Obama can soar in rhetoric but you can always bet he’ll hit the cesspool in policy and bargain us into destitude in any negotiation with Republicans.

We need a strong alternative to miscreant Republicans and cowardly Democrats, although Obama is below coward.

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By grokker, December 15, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

The mindfuck being perpetrated on the American psyche is nothing short of criminal. On the one hand you have the astronomical amount of money being spent on non-Pentagon security programs and a covert war now being launched against Iran. On the other hand you have a speech given by Obama on Dec 7, in which he revisits the themes of FDR and rebuilding the nation. This slight of hand magic act is getting really tiresome to say the least, giving Obama apologists just enough rope to continue hanging themselves. One of the last lines of that speech is telling. “The fundamental rule of our national life,” he said, “the rule which underlies all others – is that, on the whole, and in the long run, we shall go up or down together.” Guess which way we’re going, folks!

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By Miko, December 15, 2011 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rand Paul isn’t a libertarian.  He doesn’t claim to be
one and no libertarian claims him as one.

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By Doubtom, December 15, 2011 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

Yes, ‘god is twaddle’ both your name and your statement are true, but we at least
had the semblance of democratic control though the operation of the local “town
meetings’ which still operate in remote areas like the state of Maine.  It is true that
money has always had a larger voice than humans; the Supreme Court has merely
codified it by dredging up a Court clerk’s “opinion” as adequate precedent to
justify their opinion in “Citizen’s United”. 
Our current situation does serve to remind us that the “LAW”, in all its majesty, has
always been used to serve the interests of the few; the people are now becoming
more aware of it through the marvel of rapid and total communication so that now
we also have an aroused and thoroughly pissed off public with which to contend.
Time to park the cynicism and join one side or the other.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, December 15, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Obama will make some fine speeches, with soaring rhetoric in the days to come….

But they are only meaningless words, designed to manipulate, and indoctrinate
Americans, with more self delusions. 

He swore an oath to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and
domestic, and that includes the senate and congress. But that oath was betrayed by
some ready rationalizations, too easily. Not only is he a corporate shill but a coward as
well, and undeserving of his title.

And he wants another term? 

Shame on him and every member of the senate and congress who voted for it and
especially John McCain.

They are all enemies of freedom, and all Americans everywhere who have sacrificed so
much.  Sold out to greedy corporate criminals all of them. They belong behind bars
themselves.

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By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

From what I understand only 9 Democrats and 1 Independent voted against this, I can say with a clear concession and bowling ball shoved up me ass, we are doomed!

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By Doubtom, December 15, 2011 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

I note as well that this “otherwise deadlocked Congress” has no difficulty passing
legislation involving the annual donation of our depleted funds to Israel despite
their awareness that there are countless areas of real need within our own nation.
Would that indicate to any thinking individual that the Israeli lobbies do in fact
control our government ?  Or should we believe foreign lobbies like AIPAC, that
this is merely an unfounded rumor?  How long will the American people continue
in this ignorance, while outside forces or cabals exert their control over our nation
and further their interests at the expense of our own? 
How long before this same group of traitors manage to lie us into another war
with Iran based on concocted BS about Iran being an immediate nuclear threat,
when many credible experts have openly stated that this is pure fabrication? 
It’s not bad enough that our government is “bought and paid for”, we have the
additional pleasure of knowing that a foreign nation has quicker and better access
to our Congressional whores than we do. 
This has gone too far to expect that some facile trick of election fraud will correct
the situation; the only solution is REVOLUTION.  We’re either free or we’re slaves; 
free people should not be puppets dancing for the benefit of tyrants.

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By peterjkraus, December 15, 2011 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

How long will we continue to say “yes,
but…”?

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By the worm, December 15, 2011 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

What struck me Robert ( and Im embarrassed to say it took so long) is that when
ever you get a ‘partisan solution’, it almost invariably means the Democrats and
Republicans have been brought together by corporate interests to pass something
in the interests of the corporations and at the expense of the voters.

Whether it’s an insurance company subsidy passed off as ‘health care reform’, a
non-reform of the financial system, a mega-military budget, etc.

“Non-partisanship” has come to mean corporate control of both parties resulting
in legislation at the expense of the voter.

This is what “Change You Can Believe In” has come to signify.

The Congress and President, Republicans and Democrats will “agree” when
corporations tell them too, and they’ll call it ‘the new bi-partisanship’.

Watch the Ryan-Wydan ‘health care’ proposal - They ‘agree’ in a ‘bi-partisan
approach’ and we’ll be the worse off for it.  The stories in the media will stress the
‘across the aisle agreement’ and will never cover the disastrous results for voters.

Same with the military scary stuff - the bi-partisan bill got signed ! hurray !
something got done in DC ! ‘across party lines’

But little in the media about the consequences for voters, aka ‘ordinary
Americans’, who effectively now have fewer rights.

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By bob zimway, December 15, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

I am not bringing this up to agitate, but to elucidate. We will never understand
why Congress, the President and the military are forting up with martial law
until we face, and factor in, the events of 9/11.

Put simply, a coup inside the Bush administration planned and executed the
controlled demolitions of three World Trade Center buildings on 9/11.

Obama inherited the coverup, and by choice he owns it as well. The
Government is petrified that the public will grow to understand this treacherous
attack on innocent Americans.

This and only this explains the harsh treatment of Occupy Wall Street through
the police (especially the NYPD), and other steps to suppress dissent, such as
the odious NDAA.

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By Honest1inVA, December 15, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have never heard of ONE REAL PERSON WHO REMEMBERS OBOZO AT THE SCHOOL HE CLAIMS TO HAVE ATTENDED AND I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT HE EVER REALLY TAUGHT CONSTITUTIONAL LAW!
IF HE DID, IT OBVIOUSLY WAS NOT THE US CONSTITUTION BUT HIS DYSFUNCTIONAL, FOREIGN BORN, MARXIST FATHER AND HIS TWISTED MOTHER’S,VERSION THAT THEY COOKED UP WITH THEIR RADICAL, MARXIST/COMMUNIST COHORTS!
ANYONE WHO DEDICATES HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY TO A WORLD REKNOWN COMMMUNIST SHOULD NOT HOLD ANY OFFICE!!!

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 15, 2011 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Robert Scheer:

“What’s alarming is not just that one pernicious aspect of the defense spending bill, but the ease with which an otherwise deadlocked Congress that can’t manage minimal funding for job creation and unemployment relief can find the money to fund at Cold War levels a massive sophisticated arsenal to defeat an enemy that no longer exists.”
___________________

The (R) & (D) gangster government controlled Corporate States of America manufactures enemies to perpetually have enemies to private profitably hunt and kill/capture… at public expense.

This designed to never end Long War began with the Carter Administration’s response to Soviet decline, by moving on to Brzezinski’s “Best & Brightest” idea for a new improved external threat — non-state terrorists, who can be manufactured in whatever numbers needed, whenever needed, wherever needed… and then disappeared in whatever numbers, whenever, to wherever.

The corporate state’s production of terrorist threats most usefully makes the external enemy an internal enemy too — an external enemy that might be anyone anywhere, and able to strike any place at any time — an external threat produced that easily persuades the weak minded and weak willed to surrender all their rights and eagerly embrace the police state.

The corporate party’s retrograde Republicans regularly herd “intelligent” liberals into the claws of the corporate party’s progressively more deeply depraved Democrats. In the existential fight between good and evil, the nuanced approach liberals choose collaboration with and capitulation to evil.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By Rixar13, December 15, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“the cowards who mislead us have retreated to the irrationalities of what George Washington in his farewell address condemned as “pretended patriotism.”

Congress needs to be voted out in 2012….

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By jack pratt, December 15, 2011 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The United Fascist States of America.

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By balkas, December 15, 2011 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

vast numbers of americans have not espied the fact that a vast number of them
never were americans.
nor were some american peoples ever been equal with some other american
voelker.
the cause in differences is meritocracy. and it causes also all wars, arms
manufacture, poverty for some, riches for others and all ills on intrapersonal,
interpersonal, interethnic levels.
so, as long as we accept meritocracy [or personal supremacism] we can expect
more wars, ‘better’ weapons, bigger army, more poverty, torture, jailings, crime,
etc. tnx

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By ardee, December 15, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

“Now lets hear from those Obama apologists.”

Not this time Ardee, enough is enough….but first, the whole system is rigged, Congress, the courts and not just the Executive Branch. 

Yes, of course that statement is truth, Lee but recognizing such is only a first step. The crux of my argument lies in what can be done to alter the reality you express. In my own opinion, and as I have expressed on so many occasions, one begins by breaking away from the allegiance to either established political party. Both are wedded to corporate monies, both are inurred to the voice of the people, and anyone who has actually worked within the grassroots level of either political party knows full well the top down, shut up and do what we tell you to do, heirarchy.

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By Dr Bones, December 15, 2011 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nothing surprising at all.  Congress and the President are working for their constituents.  They work hard to funnel trillions of dollars to the banksters and the military/industrial complex. 

And when you are throwing tens of billions at DHS, of course they are going to find threats like…. concerned parent for clean drinking water against fracking,  gray grandmas for peace, WikiLeaks, the local Amish farmer who sold unpasteurized milk.  Certainly some in the OWS are designated potential terrorists.  Most likely all those asking for justice for war criminals and financial fraudsters are considered enemies of the US.

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By balkas, December 15, 2011 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

it is assumed or even evaluated as true that only the supreme justices interpret u.s constitution.
the reason i say that justices “interpret constitution” is because no constitution can be understood.
i affirm that all three branches of u.s governance interpret u.s constitution or any other event; includes what’s
happening in iran, russia, china….
and no president is going to do anything of great import to the dictatorial minority unless s/he’s assured that
congress and judiciary make it legal.
and 99% of columnists, cia/fbi agents, army echelons, judges, plutocrats wld also affirm it legal and necessary.

thus making ever ‘better’ weaponry; retaining wmd, bases, huge army; occupying iraq, afgh’n; issuing threats to
some lands; imposing sanctions is of much importance to THE DIKTATORSHIP and the diktatorship wld always
say that all of that is a constitutionally ok or even a constitutional command.

and as we all know, the members of that diktatorship are even increasing their wealth in spite of enormous
expenditures. tnx

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 15, 2011 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

This military budget has been real low on the media radar, not a surprise, I am glad Robert Sheer called it out!

“Now lets hear from those Obama apologists.”

Not this time Ardee, enough is enough….but first, the whole system is rigged, Congress, the courts and not just the Executive Branch. 

We started with Homeland Security, then the Patriot Act and now this Indefinite Security on American Soil crap by American Military.  The striking similarities to Hitlers Germany are what can I say,... damn striking!

Next the Military can develop the USA version of the German SS! .... Hale to the Chief now has a new meaning!

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