Monday, March 01, 2010

Cruising the Web

If the Democrats think that they will be able to recover by election time simply by having President Obama drop in and make a campaign appearance for them, they better think again. He didn't have much of an impact in Virginia, New Jersey, or Massachusetts. And he didn't make a dent in Harry Reid's numbers when he went out there to campaign a couple of weeks ago. Sure he could raise money for Reid, but then George W. Bush could do that for candidates also. As far as moving the numbers, Obama's visit was worse than a wash.

Dafydd Ab Hugh has a good analysis of why it's going to be so very difficult for the Democrats to push through using reconciliation their votes on health care. Nancy says she will have the votes even if some of her members have to lose their jobs to so vote. We'll see how many of her caucus want to jump off a cliff with her.

The press is starting to recognize that perhaps they haven't been all that good at vetting candidates before they assume office. Michael Calderone at Politico looks at how the media just shut their eyes to what was wrong with John Edwards. They might have wondered a bit more about why he didn't run for reelection in his own state - we had figured him out; it just took the rest of the country a little longer. And Michael Goodwin admits media guilt in not checking out David Paterson when he was put on the ticket with Eliot Spitzer. It was just for lieutenant governor so why care? And how much of that neglect of Paterson resulted from a disinclination to examine too closely the first black candidate for one of the two spots in the state?

Read this profile of Mitch Daniels by Mona Charen and you'll see why so many conservatives hope that he will decide to run. He'd be that anti-Obama candidate. He has a substantive record of accomplishment; bases his success in governing on free-market approaches, and he is charisma-challenged. Maybe charisma will no longer be seen as necessary in a president. My major concern that I hope Daniels understands is that it is quite a different thing to enact the sorts of policies that Daniels has succeeded in enacting in Indiana than trying to get those through on a national basis.

Mark Steyn is absolutely brilliant in describing the crisis that Greece is going through. Just as the students rioting at Berkeley don't understand that a severe financial crunch demands everyone sacrifice something, the Greeks don't want to give up all their multitudinous benefits even if the country goes belly up.
We hard-hearted small-government guys are often damned as selfish types who care nothing for the general welfare. But, as the Greek protests make plain, nothing makes an individual more selfish than the socially equitable communitarianism of big government: Once a chap’s enjoying the fruits of government health care, government-paid vacation, government-funded early retirement, and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest; he’s got his, and to hell with everyone else. People’s sense of entitlement endures long after the entitlement has ceased to make sense.
Read the rest. It's Steyn at his best, which is quite good indeed.

Christopher Booker summarizes
why the mistakes that have been found in the Nobel-Prize winning 2007 IPCC report have not been trivial.

John Hinderaker does a great job
of fisking the increasingly delusional Frank Rich. And, if you enjoy that, head on over and read Rick Moran's fisking of Al Gore's recent venture onto the editorial pages of the New York Times.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News and Linkiest has started up a new website, Self Help Quotes, of conservative quotes where you can find quotes on topics such as politics or taxes or you can search by speaker such as Reagan or Palin. Give it a look.

41 comments:

Tacitus Voltaire said...

If the Democrats think that they will be able to recover by election time

don't be taking out a loan or anything on the strength of those unhatched chickens, Betsy

:-)

Tacitus Voltaire said...

wall st journal

On the terror front, many Tea Partiers question the very notion of a war on terror, and see some law-enforcement policies adopted in its pursuit as unacceptable intrusions on American liberties...

...In significant sectors of the broad Tea Party movement, the war on terror, and the intelligence and law-enforcement policies originally crafted by the administration of Republican President George W. Bush to fight it, arouse sentiments ranging from suspicion to hostility.

As much as anything, the Tea Party movement is animated by antipathy toward government intrusions into private lives, and for many that extends toward intrusions with the stated goal of smoking out terrorists.

On that front, the movement in some respects has more in common with libertarians than with traditional Republicans such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, tireless champion of the Patriot Act and aggressive tactics in rooting out terrorist threats.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington two weeks ago—an annual gathering of conservative activists that this year had a distinct Tea Party overlay—one panel discussion was entitled "Why Real Conservatives are Against the War on Terror."

In a paper prepared for that event, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer now a fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance declared: "Fear has been the key to the door for expansion of government and government powers and the people in charge in Washington have seized the opportunity. It has also eroded the liberties that have defined us as a nation."

Similarly, the Web site of Oath Keepers, an organization of present and former military and law-enforcement personnel who say there are some government orders they won't follow, declares: "We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as 'unlawful enemy combatants' or to subject them to trial by military tribunal."

One sign of how these tensions can divide, former Rep. Bob Barr got a combination of cheers and boos when he delivered a speech at the CPAC gathering urging that Americans "not be seduced by that siren of security over freedom."


imagine that. signs of intelligent life in the tea party crowd!

Tacitus Voltaire said...

oh, here's the link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703429304575095441763635842.html

Pat Patterson said...

The link is not working! Could you either use TinyURL or type the link in rather than trying to cut and paste. BTW, Philip Girardi works for Rep Ron Paul who is hardly considered a spokesman for either conservatives or the Tea Pary Movement.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

it works if you copy it and paste it into the url text box at the top of the browser. but i'll make it into an href and see if that makes it clickable

wsj article

BTW, Philip Girardi works for Rep Ron Paul who is hardly considered a spokesman for either conservatives or the Tea Pary Movement.

hardly considered by who? who gets to decide who is a real conservative? ron paul got the majority of the votes at the cpac convention last week...

Dr Weevil said...

Ron Paul did not get "the majority of the votes" at CPAC. He got 31%, which was a plurality -- Romney got 22% -- but very far from a majority.

Bronwyn said...

Nancy isn't asking her members to jump off a cliff WITH her, she's asking them to jump off FOR her.

Indeed, their noble suicides are the only hope she has of winning Minority Leader in January.

Pat Patterson said...

That only goes to the Google page and there is part of the link missing from the original link. Or did Think Progress not provide the link either? Very few people voted in the poll and like the last go around Rep Paul's people are very organized and about as representative of the conservative movement as Peace and Freedom is of the Democrats. Girardi has been making fairly wild accusations for years and has not proven anything.

Plus when the straw poll vote was announced the hall was filled with boos which is hardly indicative that Rep Paul was the pick. And unlike the Democrats do nothing when racists, consipiracy theoriests and communists become noticeable the Republicans and conservatives have spent years ridding the movement of the lunatic fringe.

Pat Patterson said...

Ron Paul received a plurality of the votes cast at CPAC which is not hosted by CPAC itself. Turns out also you don't even have to be at the convention to vote but merely to sign the card and turn it in. Hardly representative.

http://tinyurl.com/ybvvd6x

equitus said...

who gets to decide who is a real conservative? ron paul got the majority of the votes at the cpac convention last week...

Apparently TV gets to decided for all of us. He's all the time telling us what we believe and what our motivations are. So why not grant him this as well?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Ron Paul did not get "the majority of the votes" at CPAC. He got 31%, which was a plurality -- Romney got 22% -- but very far from a majority.

ok, plurality.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

That only goes to the Google page

anybody else having trouble going directly to the wall street journal web page where the article is? it works fine for me

i do think that it makes an interesting point, not only that a lot of people in the tea party movement are willing to take the principle of limited government power seriously enough to object to the deterioration of civil rights under the "patriot" act, but, more generally the tendency of this movement to embarrass the republican party by exposing the gap between what it claims to believe in and what it does

it's a pretty notable trend when the republican party has so little credibility with reliable republican voters

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Hardly representative

ok, but then who can the republican party unite behind as the presidential nominee for 2012?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Somebody on one of our left wing blogs commented:

The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 runs some 415 pages.
It passed 54-44 in the Senate having barely survived a cloture vote.
The cost of the program, about $550 billion over ten years, was kicked down the road to the aforementioned grandchildren.


to which i added:

You must mean the "Save The Drug Manufacturer's Profits From People Getting The Same Drugs From Socialist Canada At Half The Price Because Single Payer Works" Act.

although the socialised insurance system in canada does have some waiting time problems, one thing it does very well is control costs, which are basically half of what we pay here. this is a particularly clear point in the matter of prescription drugs, since the drugs themselves are the same drugs made by the same manufacturers. and, if you think they are being caused to not make a profit, well, nobody's forcing them to sell their drugs there

my opinion is that bush put this very expensive program in place when the drug companies started complaining about the quickly increasing number of people who had discovered that they could get the same drugs half price from canada. save the drug profits by extracting the money from the american taxpayer by force, instead of instituting real change like canada so that we could really rationalize health care costs! brilliant, george!

so that leaves, let's see - if we didn't pay such steep drug prices, the drug companies couldn't afford to do all that research - that's the comeback, right?

my answer: tough. get your research money somewhere else.

tfhr said...

TV,

You do realize that you're saying that drug prices are too high in this country because of the government, right?

And you're also saying that research funding should not come from profits, but from the government, right?

Where will the government get it's research money? Bake sales?

Pat Patterson said...

A couple of busloads of old geezers in a photo op? Plus Canada shut down cross border sales almost immediately as the Canadians thought even the possibility of subsidizing American citizens was not something there budget could afford. And guess who arranged those little bus jaunts. Why the SEIU and AFSCME.

Please could you learn how to set up links or at the very least identify the writer and where it was written.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

tfhr said:

You've been asked repeatedly to provide the name of a person that has had their Constitutional rights or civil rights violated by the Patriot Act but you have not. You've been asked to demonstrate which of your Constitutional rights or civil rights have been violated by the Patriot Act and of course you have not.

tfhr and pat patterson have both asked this question. i haven't answered it, frankly, because i'm having difficulty beginning without raising the emotional level of the discussion

the politest way i can find to put this is: gentlemen, i wish you had put on your thinking caps before you asked this question

1) if the united states government had passed a bill that said that the government could now legally confiscate any firearms owned by an american, without notice or warrant, at any time, you wouldn't have to actually have it happen to you to know that your civil rights guaranteed under the 2nd amendment of the constitution have now been degraded and effectively nullified. if the government had passed a bill that declared that it would now be possible for the government to jail somebody for criticizing the government in a public place, you would not actually have to have been arrested yourself to realize that the first amendment was now null and void

and, since the "patriot" act states that, among other abuses, it is now legal for our intelligence services to search private business records without warrant, or even informing the business owner that it was being done, in explicit contravention of the protections described in the 4th amendment, you don't need to have it happen to you to see that the civil rights of every american have now been restricted

i don't know if i can make it any clearer that if it is announced to you by the government that your civil rights formerly guaranteed under the constitution are now restricted or revoked, this means that your civil rights have been restricted or revoked

2) i remember a couple of years ago when a t.v. reporter rather belligerently asked dick cheney to describe the successes the "patriot" act could claim. cheney chuckled a bit and said something like "well, that would defeat the purpose of a top secret intelligence operation, wouldn't it?"

the government does not publish the names and addresses of people whose phones are being tapped, email read, financial records accessed (remember the retroactive telecom immunity? that involved the formerly private records of millions of americans), or businesses that have been searched, as the "patriot" act stipulates, without warrant or notification of the owner

THE DETAILS OF SECRET NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS ARE NOT PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER

Tacitus Voltaire said...

found in 5 seconds through google:

Dodd Introduces Legislation to Repeal Retroactive Immunity for Warrantless Wiretapping

September 30, 2009

As he announced earlier this week, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced the Retroactive Immunity Repeal Act, legislation that eliminates retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.

“This special protection should never have been granted to these corporations. More importantly, the protection of our citizens’ privacy and due process rights should never have been violated,” said Dodd, in a floor statement. “Put more simply, if these companies broke the law, they should be held to account for it. Whether President Bush exceeded his powers in obtaining wholesale access to the domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans is a matter for the courts – and so is the issue of whether these companies violated the rights of those Americans by providing that access.”


so congress passed a bill guaranteeing that the actions were never tested in court to find out if they violated even what's left of the 4th amendment, which declares that the intelligence agencies can now - legally - search and seize the personal and business records of americans without warrant or notice

tfhr said...

TV,

You said:

"i haven't answered it, frankly, because i'm having difficulty beginning without raising the emotional level of the discussion"

As if!

The reason you have not answered it is because you can't find a single name, not because you've ever resisted raising emotional levels.

You buried yourself a little more with this:

"THE DETAILS OF SECRET NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS ARE NOT PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER"

Well, first let me congratulate you on finding the caps lock key though you could probably serve your cause better with the shift key.

I only wish you were correct in your UPPER CASE ASSUMPTION. That really is something I wish were true but that has never stopped the NEW YORK TIMES or the WAPO, now has it?

It all comes back to this: The Obama administration EXTENDED the Patriot Act. Bitch at them - not at me. While you're complaining to them about the Patriot Act, put in a word for me about Obamacare, a true assault on freedom and liberty if there ever was one.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

You do realize that you're saying that drug prices are too high in this country because of the government, right?

no, i'm not

And you're also saying that research funding should not come from profits, but from the government, right?

also, no

i'm saying drug prices are higher than they are in canada because drug companies can get away with it here since consumers don't have any leverage with the drug companies to lower prices. in canada, they have worked out a system which, among other things, allows them to bargain with drug companies because canadians have, in effect, banded together so that they now have some bargaining power that matches that of the drug companies. bargaining over prices is an age old practice that is part of the capitalist system. we have mostly forgotten about it here and tend to pay the price that is posted

so, no, i am not saying that drug prices are "too" high because of the government. i am saying that they are lower in canada because canadian consumers have found a way to effectively bargain the price down

consumers. bargaining. capitalism

i don't know what got twisted up here, my words or your thinking.

as for saying the government should finance drug research, i really have no idea why you would think i am suggesting that. since you asked, i will say, no, i don't think that would be a good idea

again, please ask me before you tell me what i am saying or thinking

Tacitus Voltaire said...

here's a little thought that all of Betsy's readers might want to contemplate:

under the democratic republic form of government, citizens (sometimes known as consumers) create and operate their own government. this kind of government is constituted of citizens. it is owned and operated by citizens. it is not a foreign entity created and run by non-citizens, kings, aliens from outer space, or gigantic computers using artificial intelligence

hypothetically, when one talks about what a government constituted as a democratic republic does, you are talking about decisions made by representatives elected by majority vote of the citizens, which representatives are subject to recall by the same method, and who are also citizens

in short, the government is not THEM, is is US

um, and i believe that most of the people commenting on this website have been government employees for most of their careers. that would make them part of the government

Tacitus Voltaire said...

You do realize that you're saying that drug prices are too high in this country because of the government, right?

according to your "logic" here, tfhr, if country A instituted flood control measures and country B did not, floods in country B would be caused by the government

Tacitus Voltaire said...

The reason you have not answered it is because you can't find a single name

hello? not able to read english? news reports too difficult for you to digest?

Dodd Introduces Legislation to Repeal Retroactive Immunity for Warrantless Wiretapping

September 30, 2009

As he announced earlier this week, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced the Retroactive Immunity Repeal Act, legislation that eliminates retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.

“This special protection should never have been granted to these corporations. More importantly, the protection of our citizens’ privacy and due process rights should never have been violated,” said Dodd, in a floor statement. “Put more simply, if these companies broke the law, they should be held to account for it. Whether President Bush exceeded his powers in obtaining wholesale access to the domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans is a matter for the courts – and so is the issue of whether these companies violated the rights of those Americans by providing that access.”


what i am talking about is that before the patriot act, the invasion of privacy described above, and not disputed by anyone, would have been unconstitutional under the 4th amendment. (the issue that we will never be able to find out is if it was illegal even under the now castrated 4th amendment)

the fact that it has been made legal to abuse the civil rights of "millions of ordinary americans" does not impress me one whit. of course, as we see, the congress was very afraid that we'd go to court to test the legality of
"obtaining wholesale access to the domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans"

obtaining wholesale access to the domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans

can you see it now or are you still going to insist that "obtaining wholesale access to the domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans", is not an invasion of privacy

boy, for a so called "conservative", you sure are comfortable with the government reading your email and private business records without a warrant

tfhr said...

TV,

You're still trumpeting Canadian drugs but you don't seem to understand why they are cheaper or who pays for that:

1. The Canadian government puts a price cap on drugs. "A Canadian law authorizes a review board to order a price reduction whenever the price of a drug exceeds the median of the prices in six European countries plus the United States. Since all the European countries intervene in various ways to hold down drug costs, Canada in effect piggy-backs on other countries' price controls." http://www.slate.com/id/1005389/

The author of the Slate article, John Buntin, provides a decent dissection of price discrimination for a fuller understanding of the problem. You should read it, TV.

2. "Canadian pharmaceutical companies have lower liability costs than U.S. drug companies. Canadians are not only less likely than Americans to sue healthcare providers or drug companies but when they do sue, awards and damages are a lot lower than in the U.S. In the U.S., some economists consider the cost of liability insurance for a drug company to be similar to a 'tax' on medications."
http://drugs.about.com/od/faqsaboutyourdrugs/f/Canada_cheap.htm

3. Back to the price controls: That only applies to brand name drugs in Canada. Generic drugs actually cost more in Canada than the United States. "Canadian retail prices for generic drugs, meanwhile, averaged 112 percent higher than United States prices, compared to 115 percent higher in 2006." Why? Read this:

Three reasons: (1) Canadian government drug programs direct public reimbursement to pharmacies instead of consumers which insulates customers from costs and removes incentives for comparison shopping, which would pressure companies to lower prices. (2)Generics are reimbursed at a fixed percentage of the original, brand-name drug removing incentive for retailers to compete and undercut prices. (3)Price controls on patented drugs unintentionally prevent brand-name drug companies from reducing prices on these products once a patent expires; these price controls create an artificial incentive for brand-name companies to resist competing on the basis of price with generic firms for sales of off-patent drugs.
http://www.edrugsearch.com/edsblog/why-brand-name-drugs-are-always-cheaper-in-canada-but-generic-drugs-arent/

The author(s) of the information about Canada's generics problem cited Brett J. Skinner and Mark Rovere, "Generic Drugs in Canada, Overpriced and Underused," Fraser Institute, February 2009.
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17742

They also point out that Canada's meddling with the free market system, to the harm of its own companies and more importantly, its people, is very much like what has happened in the United States. They point out that the "[US] government has been giving drug companies monopoly protection of their drugs — which they are allowed to extend for years and years by playing games with the FDA." http://www.edrugsearch.com/edsblog/why-brand-name-drugs-are-always-cheaper-in-canada-but-generic-drugs-arent/

Government intervention drives up cost, much like you suggested in one of your comments about Medicare D. You also said, "my answer: tough. get your research money somewhere else." Where? If not from profits, where does the money come from, TV? The sad fact is that Canada and other nations tweak the prices for their consumers at the expense of ours. Are you going to suggest some sort of tariff or trade war to reconcile that imbalance?

Let the free market work.

tfhr said...

TV,

Provide a name.

You should also understand that as a conservative and as a member of the Intelligence Community and the U.S. Army, I've had to give my consent to monitoring, background checks, polygraphs, etc. I call it "life during wartime".

Now I don't see a need for intrusion on the scale you imagine must be intended by the evil Patriot Act that Barack Obama has extended. I know from first hand experience that there isn't a capability to check or vet every communication we could possibly collect or enter every home. So we manage our resources by focusing on priority targets. Random entries into homes? You're paranoid.

Provide a name of an American that has been "victimized" by the Patriot Act. Provide an address that has been illegally entered, in the name of the Patriot Act.

If you can't do that, then by all means tell me why President Obama has not made it his first priority to end the Patriot Act. You don't think Obama is out to get you with the Patriot Act, do you? OH MY GOD! Do you think Cheney is controlling Obama too?!!

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Provide a name of an American that has been "victimized" by the Patriot Act

i'm sorry, we are no longer able to provide support for your reading comprehension disability

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Let the free market

if you like, you can do what i did and actually go to canada and britain and talk to people there about health care. they live under these systems which you deride without understanding, and they disagree with you

in the meantime, again, i am afraid i am unable to continue to subsidize your ignorance

buh-bye!

Pat Patterson said...

So then TV has basically said that there shouldn't be health care reform because most people in the US are perfectly happy with the coverage they have now. It's only fair if holding up England and Canada (fairly shakey there because a majority of Canadians are unhappy with their healthcare) then the some logic must apply to the US.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Government intervention drives up cost

this is nonsensical on the facts of the case since americans have the most expensive health care in the world, and yet is the only country that does not require all citizens to participate in insurance

also, i am sure you didn't notice that there is a provision in bush's medicare drug benefit that forbids the u.s. government from negotiating down drug costs the way canada does, so that the bush drug benefit forces the american taxpayer to pay full price without the benefit of negotiating a wholesale price break

thanks a lot, george!

now, i thought your didn't want to pay more taxes - but you're against emulating the canadian government when it saves its taxpayers money by negotiating down drug prices

Tacitus Voltaire said...

MORE

On March 9, 2007, a Justice Department audit found that the FBI had "improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA PATRIOT Act to secretly obtain personal information" about United States citizens. [1]

On June 15, 2007, following an internal audit finding that FBI agents abused the USA PATRIOT Act power more than 1000 times, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ordered the agency to begin turning over thousands of pages of documents related to the agency's national security letters program.[2]... ...

Wrongful accusations under the Act

In May 2004, Professor Steve Kurtz of the University at Buffalo reported his wife's death of heart failure. The associate art professor, who works in the biotechnology sector, was using benign bacterial cultures and biological equipment in his work. Police arriving at the scene found the equipment (which had been displayed in museums and galleries throughout Europe and North America) suspicious and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The next day the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Department of Homeland Security and numerous other law enforcement agencies arrived in HAZMAT gear and cordoned off the block surrounding Kurtz's house, impounding computers, manuscripts, books, and equipment, and detaining Kurtz without charge for 22 hours; the Erie County Health Department condemned the house as a possible "health risk" while the cultures were analyzed. Although it was determined that nothing in the Kurtz's home posed any health or safety risk, the Justice Department sought charges under Section 175 of the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act—a law which was expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act. A grand jury rejected those charges, but Kurtz is still charged with federal criminal mail and wire fraud, and faced 20 years in jail before the charges were dropped. Supporters worldwide argue that this is a politically motivated prosecution, akin to those seen during the era of McCarthyism, and legal observers note that it is a precedent-setting case with far-reaching implications involving the criminalization of free speech and expression for artists, scientists, researchers, and others. [13][14]

FBI agents used a USA PATRIOT Act "sneak and peek" search to secretly examine the home of Brandon Mayfield, who was wrongfully jailed for two weeks on suspicion of involvement in the Madrid train bombings. Agents seized three hard drives and ten DNA samples preserved on cotton swabs, and took 335 photos of personal items. Mayfield has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, contending that his rights were violated by his arrest and by the investigation against him


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversial_invocations_of_the_USA_PATRIOT_Act#2007_US_Justice_Department_audit_finds_FBI_abuse_of_PATRIOT_act_powers

Tacitus Voltaire said...

NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO HAD THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS ABUSED UNDER THE "PATRIOT" ACT, AND OTHER ABUSES REPORTED

"Despite the secrecy that permeates the Patriot Act, it's clear that it has been abused and misused," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. "The government has committed these transgressions without apology or regret and has simultaneously sought to expand the powers granted under the Patriot Act. As Congress reviews the Patriot Act, we hope that it will fully examine these abuses and act to ensure that our civil liberties and privacy are not unnecessarily curtailed under the guise of national security."

"Although the Department of Justice has not been forthcoming, some abuses have seen the light of day," Romero added. "It is quite likely that there are many more abuses being kept hidden from the American public and Congress. Such secrecy is abhorrent to our rule of law."

Both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees are expected to hold oversight hearings on the Patriot Act this week. Lawmakers will only hear from administration officials at these inaugural hearings, and the ACLU has asked that members question Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller about the abuses and misuses of the Patriot Act.

According to reports, the Patriot Act has been used to:

* Secretly search the home of Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim attorney whom the government wrongly suspected, accused and detained as a perpetrator of the recent train bombing in Madrid.
* Charge, detain, and prosecute a Muslim student in Idaho, Sami al-Hussayen, for providing "material support" to terrorists because he posted to an Internet website links to objectionable materials, even though such links were available on the websites of a major news outlet and of the government's own expert witness in the case.
* Serve a National Security Letter (NSL) on an Internet Service Provider (ISP) so coercive under the provisions of the NSL statue that a federal court struck down the entire statute - as vastly expanded by the Patriot Act - used to obtain information about e-mail activity and web surfing for intelligence investigations.
* Gag that ISP from disclosing this abuse to the public, and gag the ACLU itself, which represents the ISP, from disclosing this abuse to the public when ACLU became aware of it, and from disclosing important circumstances relating to this abuse and other possible abuses of the gag, even to this very day.


http://www.aclu.org/national-security/patriot-act-abuses-and-misuses-abound-aclu-says-disclosure-comes-congress-begins-r

...according to a report to be made public Friday by the Justice Department's Inspector General.

The report, in classified and unclassified versions, remains closely held, but Washington officials who have seen it tell ABC News it documents "numerous lapses" and describe it as "scathing" and "not a pretty picture for the FBI."... ...The officials say the inspector general found the FBI underreported by at least 20 percent the use of the controversial provision, known as National Security Letters, NSLs, in required disclosures to Congress.

The Patriot Act gave FBI agents the ability to demand telephone, bank, credit card and library records by issuing an administrative letter, bypassing the need to seek a warrant from a federal judge...The inspector general's report reportedly found "systemic" failures in the issuance, tracking and accountability of the controversial NSLs


http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/03/exclusive_repor.html

Tacitus Voltaire said...

ok, it turns out to be easy, unlike i thought, to find the names of americans who have been abused under the "patriot" act

and tfhr has now put himself in the position of arguing that american taxpayers should pay as much as possible for prescription drugs when they are bought under medicare, since he thinks it would be bad for the government to save us money by bargaining down the price

Pat Patterson said...

If TVs first two citations are indicatie of the others than my and tfhr's question still stands. Mayfield was indeed put through the grinder owing to a false positives on a finger print sample but the searching of his house and the wiretap were at the behest of a warrant issued by FISA. Sami Al-Hussayen was held originally for immigration violations for which he was eventually deported while the terrorism charges were not proved. Mayfield subsequently lost his 9th Circuit Court appeal and had to settle for an official apology from the FBI and a boatload of money. While Al-Hussayen was ultimately put on a plane and sent back to Saudi Arabia. And again still hasn't grasped the fact that the links he has posted are broken.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

but, the whole idea of the question of whether or not you need to actually name somebody who had their civil rights violated under the "patriot" act, as we see it is all to easy to find

IS INCREDIBLY STUPID

apparently, subtlety and politeness are wasted on you guys

because:

THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY ANNOUNCED THAT THE 4TH AMENDMENT IS EFFECTIVELY REPEALED

read the 4th amendment again:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

THE "PATRIOT" ACT STATES THAT THE GOVERNMENT NO LONGER NEEDS A WARRANT TO READ YOUR PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS AND BUSINESS RECORDS

i really can't imagine what disability of cognition is preventing you gentlemen from allowing this fact to penetrate into your brain

Pat Patterson said...

Gee, I missed the press release that "THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY ANNOUNCED THAT THE 4TH AMENDMENT IS EFFECTIVELY REPEALED." And as tfhr and I have tried to explain the only time the government can listen on a conversation without a warrant is when a call is made by a suspect from overseas to a number in the US and that to wiretap the receiving number the government must go to a FISA court. And the continued evasion of specific examples of warrantless wiretaps simply means either they didn't happen or you simply have an axe to grind, over and over again.

tfhr said...

TV,

I see Pat Patterson has already taken care of your failed attempt to demonstrate abuse of any American under the Patriot Act.

There isn't much to add to what he said but can you please provide a link for this great moment in BDS history:

"THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY ANNOUNCED THAT THE 4TH AMENDMENT IS EFFECTIVELY REPEALED"

Did Robert Gibbs put that out? I never heard that but I never listen to Gibbs. Wait, do you suppose Cheney did some sort of Jedi mind trick and made Gibbs say that when Obama extended the Patriot Act? Or are you using your forehead to hold down the shift key again? Maybe you should stick with lower case from now on. You lose control when you scream.

Now moving back to the health care scam issue:

I lived in the UK for three years and let me tell you there are plenty of people there that are very unhappy with the care they receive and the cost they incur for it. Ask your friends what a difference a postal code makes.

I've been to Canada many times but I think it's more important for the sake of comparison to ask the Canadians that have made the comparison themselves and come here for their health care, such as Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams* who preferred to put his heart in the hands of American medical care or Liberal MP Belinda Stronachº, afflicted with breast cancer and traveled to California last June for an operation.
*http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article
/ALeqM5h0QC7bditrEb3wYz_6_b-gsGGDxA

ºhttp://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070914/belinda_Stronach_070914/20070914

What does that say to you, TV? These are two Canadians that have obviously done the comparison you've never done. Do you like rationing? The premier didn't. How long are you willing to wait for cancer treatment?

I guess you feel that price controls are the answer when it comes to drugs. It's not rationing but it's still an artificial and harmful impact on drug costs. Even though you know Canada and other countries cap prices and the difference gets dumped back on our own consumers, you still see no problem with meddling in the free market. Employer paid medical insurance is a big reason we have such expensive care now. Why? You do realize that that particular benefit came into being because the US government wanted to keep wages under control, don't you? Talk about unexpected consequences! They could've let the free market return itself to balance but they didn't. "We're here from the government and we're here to help - say 'aaaahhhh'!"

I suppose you feel that drug companies should operate at a loss. How long will they be able to do that? How long can your business operate at a loss? You should also consider what I said about Canada's generic drugs costing more than America's. If you were willing to do that, you might even consider what I provided for you with regard to liability and tort reform and their impact on drug costs. Nah, you wouldn't want to offend a lawyer, would you?

I guess you decided on the blue pill a long time ago. Did you take it because it was cheaper or because you preferred to not be burdened by having to make more choices?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

And as tfhr and I have tried to explain the only time the government can listen on a conversation without a warrant is when a call is made by a suspect from overseas to a number in the US and that to wiretap the receiving number the government must go to a FISA court. And the continued evasion of specific examples of warrantless wiretaps simply means either they didn't happen or you simply have an axe to grind, over and over again.

except neither of these statements are true

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Do you like rationing?

somebody like yourself who has gotten free or subsidized medical care for 20+ years doesn't realize that all the millions of poor families in the u.s. that don't have medical insurance are already rationed

conservatives love to talk about rich people in canada who can afford to jump the queue and come to the united states any pony up $100k to get cadillac medical care. duh, of course you would do that if you had that kind of cash lying around

I guess you feel that price controls are the answer when it comes to drugs.

no. bargaining is not the same as price controls

I suppose you feel that drug companies should operate at a loss.

yet again, no

are you so bereft of answers that you are habitually resorting to putting stupid ideas in my mouth, now?

tfhr said...

TV,

"...you are habitually resorting to putting stupid ideas in my mouth...?"

Dude, you don't need my help for that.

Pat Patterson said...

Can you cite one example of where an American citizen was the victim of a warrantless wiretap? You can't because it never happened as those wiretaps on that person's phone still had to have a warrant. The difference was that after the Patriot Act those groups monitoring overseas calls did not have to immediately stop listening to calls coming into the US. But if they wanted to put a tap on the receiving end of that call they had to get a warrant. There are no and have been no exceptions.

Plus the difference between tfhr's healthcare is that he enlisted and served the country. Comparing him then to a "deserving" poor family is simply an appeal to emotion. They do not have the same claim as he does. He is being rewarded for his service while you seem to arguing that the poor deserve the same simply because they are poor.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Dude, you don't need my help for that.

what, are you doing imitations of 7th graders now?