Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Trent Lott blocked coastal preparations; why undermining Posse Comitatus is a bad ides; good news for dissent.

Democracy Now had an extraordinary show. There was the excellent news that a prosecutor's hysterical attempt to turn what would normally be charged as vandalism and trespassing into terrorism was turned back by a jury of Americans. Had the prosecutor succeeded, American law would have been irrevocably transformed. He should go back to whatever planet he came from and the jury deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom-- from an elected president. There was also a report stating that Trent Lott used his position and senatorial powers of investigation to block the appointment of a man who who might have protected the Mississippi coast from disaster by preserving wetlands-- but interfered in gambling: To accommodate the moral qualms of conservative locals, the [Mississippi] legislature relegated gambling to navigable waters,” [Jane Mayer] went on, but Browner says, “But they were huge and they were right up against the shore. If you put structures this big into an estuary, you're disrupting the aquatic life and changing the habitat and eradicating wetlands, which has a huge effect on drainage. The wetlands act like a sponge in a storm. ...they have to be kept moist like a sponge ...If they’re dried out and developed, they don’t work. The shoreline’s a very important buffer in the storm.” ...Lott was particularly single-minded in his support of casino development. She said, “I had barely taken office,” Browner said, “when I discovered there was a hold on a department nominee.” She said “I didn't have a clue on who put the hold on the nominee. Then Trent Lott called me up and said he'd done it. He told me, ‘I figured I'd have a problem with the E.P.A., I don't have one yet, but this is a warning to you.’ Then he lifted the hold but the message was clear.” The third is an interview with William Arkin: First of all, there's really nothing that prevents the President of the United States from declaring a national emergency and using the military in this type of circumstance, and second, I, for one, am extremely uncomfortable with the notion that we're going to supplant civilian authority by using the military to deal with disasters in the United States, and also as an American, I’m just incredibly ticked off with the notion that we spend $100 billion a year for a new Department of Homeland Security, and we're letting it get off the hook in terms of its responsibility for this basic function. There is also a link to Arkin's blog
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