Watch Those “Dear Osama” Letters

If you’re in the habit of writing “Dear Osama” letters, you better watch out–George Bush is watching. Everyone else might have cause for alarm too. The New York Daily News reports that “President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans’ mail without a judge’s warrant.” He grabbed this power in one of those signing statements where he ignores what Congress has actually passed and asserts unilateral authority in violation of the Constitution. This has resulted in considerable protest:

“Despite the President’s statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people’s mail without a warrant,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill.

Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.

“The [Bush] signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming,” said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington.

“The danger is they’re reading Americans’ mail,” she said.

“You have to be concerned,” agreed a career senior U.S. official who reviewed the legal underpinnings of Bush’s claim. “It takes Executive Branch authority beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

A top Senate Intelligence Committee aide promised, “It’s something we’re going to look into.”

When they look into this, the entire issue of those signing statements needs to be reviewed, along with the Constitutional remedy for Presidents who routinely abuse their power.

Reality Mirrors Television

Remember the short-lived television show Commander in Chief? Geena Davis played the good female President, whose plans were frequently opposed by the evil male Republican Speaker of the House? Perhaps the show failed because they got it backwards. As of today we have the evil Republican President whose plans will be opposed by the good female Democratic Speaker of the House.

It’s Warm Here At Disney World Proving Global Warming Exists


It’s been nice and warm here at Walt Disney World this week, and I hear it is also warmer than usual back home in Michigan. It’s also quite a bit warmer than the last time I came to Orlando for New Year’s when it was unseasonably cold and the area quickly sold out of gloves and other winter garb. Last time it was far too cold to consider swimming, but today people were out at the pool here at Boardwalk (above.) All this must prove that global warming really exists. (Those who started checking embedded data in digital pictures following the picture of John Kerry from Iraq can eve verify that this is current. Incidentally, the other resort in the background on the right is the Swan. It was warm the one time I stayed at Swan, but that was over spring break when I’d expect it to be warmer than New Year’s. In the interest of full disclosure, I should also note that I personally did not go swimming, but I did get soaking wet later in the evening during late night hours at Animal Kingdom when we went on Kali River Rapids five times in a row.)

Obviously that is nonsense. A few examples such as these are meaningless in determining whether long term climate changes are occurring. Somebody should explain this to Willard Scott who apparently believes that the recent winter storms in Colorado prove that global warming is not a problem. Media Matters reports on this and other comments from Scott in which he expresses disbelief in global warming.