« Fear, or loathing? | Main | Hysteria vs. hysteria »

Kos and the Martial Law Democrats

By Michael J. Smith on Friday November 3, 2006 12:07 PM

J Alva Scruggs writes:

The Kossacks are all het up about Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent, and the House with Democrats voting for it, 173-22.

Senator Leahy had this to say, a few days before the Senate acted:


We certainly do not need to make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy. It creates needless tension among the various levels of government – one can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders.

A bill that began with such promise in empowering the National Guard now increasingly appears to be shaping up as a double setback for the Guard. That is inexplicable, that is indefensible, and that is wrong. The last thing Congress should be doing is making the National Guard's job more difficult. We urge the Defense Bill conferees to adopt the Empowerment Bill and drop the ill-advised changes to the Insurrection Act.

... and then joined all his fellow Senators in approving it.

One Major Danby, of the Kossacks, has organized this site:


Here's his Kosland diary:


It is, in fact, a very bad provision of a very bad spending authorization. I am quite concerned. The Executive branch already has way too much power and the potential for abuse is immense. What bothers me nearly as much is the blindness of the Kossacks who apparently didn't bother to look at the roll call votes. All the Senate Democrats who were present to vote, voted in favor. There were 22 Democratic (and 1 Republican) votes against it in the House. The continuing acquiescence, not the perfidy itself, is the real problem. That a Kossack is leading the effort to get this overturned is a terrible joke. He and his colleagues will fold just the way the anti-war leaders did.

Comments (18)

Did you read the weak little PDF letter this guy is sending around? Hi-larious! It'll soon be adorning the circular file in many a politician's mail room.

J. Alva Scruggs:

I did. It reminded me of a butler trying to inoffensively inform Sir and Madame that there had been a grave error with his pay envelope. Little does he know, or care to know, they've been horking up lines of blow through a tube of the very same $100 that's gone "missing".


um, this from the "How Did This Happen?" page:

The conference report for the bill was released on the last day before Congress recessed for the elections, September 29. Members of Congress did not have time to read and digest the subtle changes that were imposed on the Posse Comitatus Act. The bill passed the House by a 398-23 vote; the only dissenters being 22 Democrats and libertarian Republican Ron Paul. The Senate considered the bill after midnight. No voice or roll call vote was taken; the record reads “unanimous consent.” Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act – which also contained the controversial Military Commissions Bill – was a foregone conclusion. It is unlikely that the people voting on the conference report understood what they had done. [my emphasis]

I did a virtual daisy petal pull on another site and came up: "no alarm | no hope".

See ya in the funny papers, suckers...

J. Alva Scruggs:

Mole, that vote timing trick has been pulled for ages and on almost every bit of really bad legislation in the last six years. The occurence of it is a sign that the bill in question is going to have godawful changes. The track record allows no other conclusion. There is no excuse at all for falling for it again. Moreover, 23 people managed not to be fooled, if fooled is the right description for the other. They knew better.

One of the most depressing examples of one-party rule is the Patriot Act. The measure was originally crafted in classic bipartisan fashion in the Judiciary Committee, where it passed by a vote of thirty-six to zero, with famed liberals like Barney Frank and Jerrold Nadler saying aye. But when the bill was sent to the Rules Committee, the Republicans simply chucked the approved bill and replaced it with a new, far more repressive version, apparently written at the direction of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The practice is written up extensively here. It's become the SOP.



There is no excuse at all for falling for it again.

I totally agree, and the bold-face emphasis in what I quoted was meant to express... incredulity, disgust.

Looks like "we" belong in the funny papers -- and by "we" I don't mean you all, who seem to have cottoned on to all this crap long ago...

J. Alva Scruggs:

Sorry there, Mole. I missed the significance of the emphasis.

js paine:

citizen yogi asks u

"martial law???.... agin who ???"

remember folks

your average white bear and bearess
have little
fear of their gubmint
graver then traffic lights
a belly full of booze
a higher lot value assessment
etc etc

no gun point policy needed here
so if guns are the game
must be for "sum--- body else"

okay so may there'd been
a few "cash" transactions ....
so long as they ain't dr-ooh-gs
who gives a flyin flip
surely not uncle sam

J. Alva Scruggs:

I'm not especially worried about tanks in the street, JSP. I'm worried about militarization as the first and last resort to problems that can't be addressed by it. It's a perennial concern, for which this latest idiocy is another step in the wrong direction.

Hi folks. Someone pointed me to this site. I'm sorry that you found the PDF being faxed around was "butler"-like, but honestly a higher degree of aggressiveness would hardly have made the difference. We want to get this issue on the radar screens so we can roll it back at our first chance, and if they wadded up the faxes, that's OK and not unexpected. What will matter is that we can say they were warned.

You either take this issue seriously or you don't. If you don't, good night and good luck. If you do, then listen: this is an issue where we will have to work across ideological lines. That means the likes of me and the likes of you, if I read y'all correctly. If you want to be involved in this, you can e-mail me through the finger2006.com website. Let me know that you came from this site so I'll remember the context.

One comment on "everyone going along with this." This is a bill that pretty much had to pass, and certainly would pass, and everyone knew it. The votes against in the House were based on opposition to the Military Commissions Act, which was part of the same bill (the 2007 NDAA.) House members didn't even know about this. They were given the conference committee bill -- over 1000 pages -- five hours before the vote. They had been told that the objections of the National Governors' Association had been addressed -- a lie, so far as I can tell.

As for the Senate, read thomas.loc.gov for H.R. 5122. As someone kindly quoted from our site, it was considered after midnight, early on September 30, and there was no recorded vote. Instead, it passed on what is called "unanimous consent" -- you may know that as "Any objections? Hearing none, so ordered!" Many of the Senators were gone -- I don't know if Pat Leahy was even in the room, or if there was even a quorum -- and as a practical matter there was no way to stop this juggernaut. The bill had to pass. The damage was done in the conference committee -- at the behest of the Executive advisors who drafted this language.

We'll be looking to incorporate FINGER as a non-profit, so we can start holding some feet to the fire on this, and will be looking for people from across the spectrum to be involved. If that interests you, write me. It is, indeed, "a very bad provision of a very bad spending authorization," as Michael puts it, and we damn well all should be "quite concerned." We probably can't turn this back without you and you probably can't turn this back without us -- just like with net neutrality. So, if any of you are interested in working with an organization like this, you know how to find me. If not, good luck with whatever else you're doing here.

No offense, but I doubt if I'll be visiting this site unless someone gives me a head's up that there's reason to do so; I have plenty else to do. Again, you have my address.

Greg ("Danby")

"...this is an issue where we will have to work across ideological lines..."


"You 3rd Party-ites, Indies, and other miscellaneous freaks better drop everything and help us secure posts for a clot of oligarchs too spoiled, lazy and stupid to wipe their own asses. We don't care that you neither like nor trust these people and would rather eat glass than help them. That's not the point. It's your duty to serve people who don't give a shit about you unless they can get you under their thumbs. That's the American way, and if we're happy to do it, what the fuck is YOUR problem ? Do you want the terrorists/Bible-thumpers/devils to win ? Of course you don't !!

"Later, we will continue to treat you with utter scorn while either ignoring or cheering on the oligarchs in question as they continue to connive with Republicans to deny you any seats at the table of power whatsoever. IRV ? Proportional representation ? Yawn. God Bless America. Oh, and kiss my ass, you stupid freaks."

J. Alva Scruggs:

It's okay, Ms. Xeno. You see, magic pink unicorns will touch the excuse-makers with their horns and infuse them with bold resolve, not to mention genuine leadership. But first we have to believe in the unicorns (and not think of elephants).

js paine:

"I'm not especially worried about tanks in the street, JSP. "

oh there'll be tanks already
out on the mean street of amerika

just not 'round here

the brass knuckles
are always on call

for" urban upsets"

like la and miami
as well as new orleans
experienced in recent times

just not for use
in low rent whitey areas

"our" trash will never self ignite

they never get that burned
in the trailer parks

Yeah, that's the patented Major Denby Care Bears Theory of Politics. Send a bunch of passive-aggressive servile faxes to the uberlords and they'll magically transform themselves from the placeholding empty-suits they are into Defenders of Democracy. And all you Independent getts better file on in line or Satan will win and it'll be all your fault!

Somebody mail this guy a Saul Alinsky book.

J. Alva Scruggs:

Let me put it another way, just to be clear. There are already military checkpoints, military back up for police raids, military surveillance across the board, armored vehicles used to intimidate protesters, soldiers in transportation hubs -- fat bastards, some of them -- and Posse Comitatus has never meant much to begin with. I don't think there's going to be a nationwide declaration of martial law that will be noticeably different from what already exists.

js paine:

ms xeno

"better drop everything and help us secure posts for a clot of oligarchs too spoiled, lazy and stupid to wipe their own asses..."

very nice prose

then again
out rage at kos
can exhaust the dignity of protest

my thought:

a snotty
ridicule will scorch em best

and if that tastes wrong
a gently mocking pleasure
at their absurdity
is in order

js paine:

j alva

".. don't think there's going to be a nationwide declaration of martial law that will be noticeably different from what already exists..."

we sing together in perfect pitch my lad

Strength in diversity of expression, my dear Mr. Paine. Strength in diversity...

Dammit, Major:

The. Bill. Did. NOT. "Have. To. Pass."

Have I made it clear enough? I am so sick of the duplicitous whimpering of Kossacks . . . "oh, gawsh, folks . . . wasn't OUR fault . . . we didn't KNOW about it."

The real problem with this cynical political obfuscation is that it's gonna get a bunch more of us killed and the rest locked up in some corral in Montana.

Wrong finger, pal.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Friday November 3, 2006 12:07 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Fear, or loathing?.

The next post in this blog is Hysteria vs. hysteria.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31