State of the Union Preview

presented by the Upright Citizens Brigade, LA.

funny stuff. (watch).

UPDATE: From Radio Open Source, your invite to Blogs of the Union (If you don’t have a blog, feel free to write yours here):

Write your State of the Union ? a paragraph, a post, your description of how America?s doing ? and include somewhere the acronym ?BOTU.? Leave a link in the comment thread below, or we?ll find it on Technorati.

Words and Phrases you may not use:
Bush, Administration, Iraq, Liberal, Conservative, Progressive, Republican, Democrat, FISA, Abramoff, Culture of Corruption, Culture of Life, Cultural Inheritance, Inheritance Tax, Treason, Kerry, Rove, Israel, Palestine, Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Shari?a, Gore, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, MSM, CIA, FBI, Dean, James Frey, Kanye West, Katrina, Fox, Liberal Bias, Mehlman, Delay, Unemployment, Interest Rates, Housing Starts, Schwarzenegger, Kennedy, Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, Red State, Blue State, Shriver, Darwin, Cindy Sheehan, Freedom on the March, Cut and Run, Boots on the Ground, Michelle Malkin, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Flyover States, East-Coast Elite, Middle America, the American People or Synergy.

For further shits ?n? giggles, truthout presents the Bush Speech Drinking Game:

Drink a beer after every lie. Drink a beer every time Bush says ?freedom,? or talks about September 11 as if those attacks had anything to do with Iraq. Drink two beers after every wildly unrealistic assessment that has no basis in fact. Drink a beer and a shot every time he says ?Nukular.? Two beers, a shot and a kick to the head every time he thanks the troops around him for the sacrifices ?we? know must be made.

Hijacking Democracy (updated)

I can’t help but fault BushCo’s misconception of “democracy” and how incredibly difficult and unnatural it is to force it upon the complex, old world societies of the Middle East.?

Did the administration not read up on their history? Democracy can never thrive if its open to all. Islamic radical movements have historically exploited democratic elections to gain theocratic power. See Iran and Algeria in the 80’s, among others.

Mubarak has wisely resisted political reforms despite the nudging of the U.S.?– the recent Egyptian election displayed wide support for candidates affiliated with the muslim brotherhood.

Likewise, Bush cannot encourage democracy while allowing for racist or terrorist candidates in the vein of Hamas or say, the KKK or David Duke.

Perhaps he’s subconsciously realizing his inabilities to uphold the basic tenets of democracy?

I definitely felt tinge of hypocrisy when Rice said democracy and terrorism don?t mix. The so-called “Quartet” more formally addressed this issue today: “?there is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia activities and the building of a democratic state.”

But just last summer in Cairo, she said: “Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspiration of all people?.”

No, Abbas doesn’t have to step down? but consider him powerless hereafter. Especially with Fatah taking it to the streets.

Hamas won because of it’s ability to allocate “blood money” to social welfare and religious community causes. Can they tame themselves?

U.S.: Female Iraqi Detainees Freed…. No Connection to Jill Carroll

The U.S. does or does not want to free journalist Jill carroll? Argue all you want, journalists in Iraq shouldn’t be martyred as heroes more than soldiers…

Truth, however – soldiers aren’t heroes because they dissappear, they do not return in flag-draped coffins as far as the public can see…

Sounds like Ms. Carroll did just fine on her own — why release Iraqi detainees and claim no connection to the still detained Carroll… is it a “negotiating with terrorists” taboo from the same government that gave birth to quasi-enemy Hamas???

Friday’s Guardian:

The US military freed five women detainees in Iraq yesterday, but officials denied any connection with the demands of kidnappers holding the American journalist Jill Carroll.

The women freed yesterday were among about 420 detainees due to be released after a US-Iraqi review panel decided there was no reason to hold them. “The case of the women detainees is a legal case and it has nothing to do with the case of the American journalist,” an Iraqi justice ministry official told al-Jazeera television.

Palestinian Elections

Democracy was on display in the Middle East Wednesday, as Palestinians voted for the first time in over a decade, but Washington is hardly embracing the outcome.

Hamas is claiming victory Thursday morning, and the current Palestinian Parliament has resigned. Election results reveal that the Islamic militant group has won a convincing majority of seats in the Parliament, in what President Bush considers a ?wake up call.?

Former President Jimmy Carter observed the elections and reiterated the United States’ stance against Hamas, a terrorist group that is in no hurry to lay down its weapons for peace.

The U.S. government has said many times that it will deny Palestine any further funding should Hamas enter the government.

Blog-breaking News

Big-time kudos to Glenn Greenwald who, as I mirrored yesterday, reported at his Unclaimed Territory on the inconsistencies in the administration’s 2002 stance on FISA and “probable cause” and what they are saying now.

Thursday’s Washington Post, Knight-Ridder, are among the media outlets crediting this blogger with breaking the story.

UPDATE Thurs Afternoon: Greenwald’s got more?

my post from yesterday, bumped up:
General Michael V. Hayden claimed on Monday that the government was forced to circumvent FISA formalities because of the burdensome “probable cause” standard necessary to constitutionally allow for wiretaps/eavesdropping etc.

But as Glenn Greenwald wrote today,when Mike DeWine proposed a 2002 bill that would reduce the standards required for “probable cause,” the Republicans voted it down. Is it because they really do know the fourth amendment, or had Bush and Cheney already decided it would be easier to just carry on spying, tapping into their “mandated” extraordinary power to circumvent Congress, the judiciary, society.

As evidenced by this cutting down of the proposed bill, as stated by James Baker, the DoJ attorney who supervises FISA requests, on behalf of the administration:

thanks to Congress’s passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, we have been able to use our expanded FISA tools more effectively to combat terrorist activities.

Does this insinuate that FISA was all they needed to combat terrorism in 2002, or does it reveal once again that the Bush Administration had taken the PATRIOT Act as a license to do as they please?