Tonight the President suggested again that if only he had tapped all Americans phones he would have prevented the 9/11 attacks. That’s why, he says, he needs this nationwide surveillance program. You’ll remember that for years he has been saying “no one could have foreseen the attacks.” In fact, maybe we would have been better off if the President had been reading his Daily Intelligence Briefs the summer before the attack, which had more specific warnings. He wants us to believe that only bad guys will be watched and listened to. The kind of police states where the government knows no restraint begin with the government saying it only restrains bad guys, but who decides who are the bad guys– a functionary at the NSA, or worse, a political appointee at the White House? That’s why we no to demonstrate probable cause before a judge, but the President refuses to do that. Because suspects are always suspect– until they later turn out to be completely innocent– law enforcement, investigative, and intelligence forces must be subject to careful constraints.
AS a scientist I’ve been urging for years that we do more in the area of science and math education. The coments of the President tonight would sound good if you did not know the history of his budgets and legislation. Last year Republicans provided less than one-third of the promised investment in the Math and Science Partnerships for K – 12 students. Republicans have shortchanged by one-third the Tech Talent Program which helps kids learn computers and technology. They have failed to enact the recommendation of the John Glenn Commission to increase the number and training of science teachers. Now he says he will provide more teachers and now students will start performing better.
President Bush seems to be talking about a different nation than the one he has been leading for five years.
In his speech he says public officials need to speak with candor, but he refuses to acknowledge that the war in Iraq a preemptive invasion has only stirred up a hornets nest that makes Americans less safe. Osama bin Laden and al Zawahiri have been at large for 1603 days and that is where the President’s attention should be– not conducting a preemptive, warrantless spying program on Americans that has seen the Defense Dept and FBI spy on environmental groups, animal rights groups, anti-war groups, rerligious groups, Arab American groups and other innocentcitizens with no connection to al Qaeda or it surrogates.
The tunnels out of the capital are blocked off for a few moments while the President leaves. The Congressmen have to go through a press gaggle at Statuary Hall. We recently heard from the Congressman and he is on his way…
UPDATE: Rush Holt is at the DCCC and he is having some computer problems. It’ll be about 5 minutes. Good thing we’ve got a rocket scientist working on this… 🙂
Discuss amongst yourselves, and if you haven’t done so yet, stock up your fridge.
Update: If you’d rather not watch, you can read the full text of the speech which I’ve included below.
It may be hard to see, but that’s a sock hitting Bush in the face in the photo below…
Who will Bush be talking to tonight? Will he tell us about the rosy state of his and his cronies’ Union, or the real state of Our Union where wages are down, gas prices are up, health care costs are soaring, Republican corruption runs rampant and our military remains stuck in Iraq without sufficient body armor as the country inches towards civil war? Take a wild guess, or read the excerpts from his speech below.
From the Inside Edge:
Tom Kean’s U.S. Senate campaign took a shot at the Democratic incumbent for voting against the confirmation of Samuel Alito as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: “Today, Bob Menendez sent his message loud and clear — partisanship is more important than the people of New Jersey. Instead of fighting for Judge Alito, he chose to embrace the political bitterness that is dividing America.” But on the same day, Kean voted against the confirmation of Zulima Farber as Attorney General of New Jersey.
He wasn’t my guy, and I wouldn’t have backed him if I had been asked, but ya gotta give credit when credit’s due, and he acquitted himself admirably in his first outing, commenting on the Alito appointment, I would say.
Video (here) and transcript courtesy of PFAW:
Bush kicked Abramoff’s prosecutor upstairs last Wednesday offering him a judgeship, after he’d been on the case for two years.
Regarding Corzine and Lautenberg’s involvement, from HuffPo: Proof that Bush’s removal of the Abramoff prosecutor was a political deal to scuttle the investigation
On Friday, January 27, immediately after Bush announced Noel Hillman the federal Abramoff prosecutor was leaving his position to become a federal judge, I wrote that it was a political deal to stop the Abramoff prosecution. I posted an article on Huffington Post on January 29th.
We now know there was a political deal between the Bush Administration and New Jersey Democrats to get rid of the Abramoff prosecutor, Noel Hillman, by offering him a federal judgeship in New Jersey.
It’s a deal that had been in the making for over a year.
Mayor Jun Choi gave a State of the Township message last night to about 100 people.
He addressed the issues of police department reform, overdevelopment, and the town’s $10.1 million budget deficit. He also addressed community division and ethnic diversity.