Monday, March 07, 2005

Police State Counter: 70%.

A scary comment on our democracy from""It's truly amazing", [Senator Henry] Waxman said, "that so many people still think that this place is on the level". He explained that ever since the Republicans gained the maioritv in the House in 1994. the House leadership had been changing Rules -- eliminating the possibility of debate when one of their own bills comes to the floor for a vote, routinely giving the Democrats as little as twelve hours to read 800 pages of small and treacherous print. No Democrats were invited to the House and Senate conference considering last year's intelligence bill; nor were any Democrats allowed to propose an amendment to the medical prescription bill. Congressional requests for information from the executive agencies of government -- from the Pentagon about the cost of weapons, from the Justice Department with regard to its policies on torture and the detention of "enemy combatants" -- may or may not receive the courtesy of a reply. In the absence of answers to their questions, Congressional Democrats lately have been forced to file lawsuits in order to discover how the government for which they're held responsible conducts itself behind soundproofed doors.As an instance of the strong-arm methods deployed by the Republican leadership in the House, also of the majority's contempt for the due process of law, Nancy Pelosi mentioned the new rule, passed with no chance of amendment on the first day of the 109th Congress, that rendered meaningless the name and purpose of the House Committee on Standards and Official Conduct. Evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, the Committee henceforth will investigate no charge of moral or financial wrongdoing unless at least one of the Republicans present provides the enabling vote, an event as unlikely as a descent on Washington by the armies of Napoleon."

To be fair, the Democrats have run their share of tight ships and even tighter key subcommittees, but I think there's something qualitatively new here in terms of the sheer audacity of the neo-cons...


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