- The Internet Clampdown [it's a dual use issue: corporations have consistently proven themselves willing to participate in government monitoring and repression (see: China)]
- “The Long War”
- The USA PATRIOT Act [and the constant clamoring to "toughen" its provisions, not to mention extralegal weakening of its few protections]
- Prison camps [To be fair, we already have the largest prison population in the world. So what's new is that someone's planning for massive new prison populations]
- Touchscreen Voting Machines [I theorized somewhere recently (it was in comments and I don't remember where) that the administration would "discover" the inherent insecurity of these machines just in time to cancel the 2008 elections and give the President perpetual emergency powers. Just a theory.]
- Signing Statements [Congress? We don't need no stinkin' Congress!]
- Warrantless Wiretapping [and other Constitutional atrocities]
- “Free Speech Zones” [doublespeak of the first magnitude, of course]
- High-ranking Whistleblowers
- The CIA Shakeup
I would drop the last two from the list and replace them with "attacks on journalists and the press" and "'with us or against us' rhetoric."
11: Increasing government claims on the national wealth and control of economic activity.
I find it fascinating that you added something to the list without quibbling the rest of it.
There's two separate components to your #11, neither of which is clearly advancing, in my opinion. The share of taxation in the GDP has been pretty stable for some time, and there's little rhetorical support for increasing it (though sometimes that does happen sub rosa). And there is a real tension between free market ideology and the control-freak aspect of police states (fascist or otherwise).
11. (or 12, I'm not fussy) A judiciary loaded with pro-executive power ideologues capable of producing rulings that argue that: "Private interests must give way to national interest in preserving state secret"
Unitary executive is going to go down in history with fuerherprincip...
And we can get to a baker's dozen by adding a lapdog Congress to the list.
"Claims" are not necessarily taxes. Wait until the baby-boomer bubble hits social security along with an increase in government retires.
I thought that the great CIC would simply declare a war (with Iran) before the end of his term, then declare that it was too dangerous to change Presidents (because of course Russia and China would be threatening, if we are lucky, or bombing us if we are not) and declare a state of emergency (which will last until at least Rumsfeld dies), in which Bush would be dictator for life. And the press would either be in jail or goosestepping.
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