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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Streisand Quoted Jefferson -- Developing a schema to deconstruct the real message behind "using a partial quote"

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Analysis: A Schema Applied to Barbra Streisand's use of Thomas Jefferson's [KWOTE] in re Patience -- Understanding communication

Purpose This note outlines a schema to analyze how a KWOTE is used, the possible interpretations, and identifies why a KWOTE as used is unclear.

This note hopes to accomplish several things: Identify a recurring problem with 'partial KWOTE analysis'; outline a framework to more rigorously analyze a partial KWOTE's use; and use the framework to identify the basis for confusion over the intended message of using the KWOTE.


Two recently cited KWOTES have raised some questions about their meaning, use, and intended message: Jefferson and Brooks

Another problem has been the failure to independently develop a method to vigorously analyze a partial quote's use using a rigorous, robust but simple method.

Further, we also have little understanding of the broad interpretations of a particular quote; nor a firm grasp on how these divergent interpretations can compound both the communication problem but the national policy making functions.

Recently, President Bush and Barbra Streisand used incomplete quotes. These have been partially dissected. The problem we run into is where we begin: Despite the interesting mental gymnastics involved in deconstructing a partial quote, we still are left with a fundamental questions: Do we really understand what they intended to say, how is their message at odds with the momentum of the time, what is the outlook of this divergence, and what, if anything, is to be done,


Streisand's use of the quote has faced a broad spectrum of interpretations ranging from fairly benign, hopeful, to being an outright attack. This note does not hope to pinpoint the true message, as this is clearly up to Streisand to clarify if she so chooses.

Rather, we build upon the "partial quotes" presented, and identify a schema to help readers understand the broad interpretations possible with each quote in the hopes of identifying how rational people could come to quite divergent views not only of the quote, but their interpretation of the speculated [not actual or intended] use of the quote.

This differentiates between whether someone intended to say something by using a quote form the listener-audience interpretation of why the speaker-writer used the quote. Bluntly, the communication problem is not new.

This note hopes to outline the basis for this divergence in the hopes of sharing with others how reasonable people could come to widely divergent views of the motivations and message of the speaker-writer.

It is only when we understand their view and intended message [not that we agree with it] that we'll be in a position to understand what to make of the message, where things are going, where we are starting, and what we might hope to accomplish together on that journey. This does not presuppose that the "right answer" is agreement, only understanding.

Spectrum of views of the quote

The next phase of this analysis is to bluntly state that reasonable people have divergent views on "What Barbra meant by stating that quote." Clearly, such a statement would seem absurd to those who "clearly know" what the intended message is.

This does not presuppose that the message was clear or unclear; only that regardless the actual intended message, there are a variety of interpretations of "what the author-speaker intended to say. IN short, until we clearly get a direct answer [which is not required, nor needed] we can simply arrive at a range of guesses of what may have been intended; and then from this spring board into a discussion of why the audience may view the intended message with a variety of reactions.

We differentiate between perspectives and factors.


A. President is evil and we will get through this

B. Despite the evilness of our times, we will get through this

C. Let's be careful and not press for extreme reactions despite the result

D. A mandate is an illusion -- the President simply has a job to do.

E. There is hope

F. Results, not hope, are important.

Discussion of the Perspective-Spectrum

We divide the list into two groups, one the intended message of the speaker-writer; and the second half the assumed message from the audience perspective.

A through C are generalizations of what might be viewed as "Barbra's possible intended objectives". Again we do not speculate as to which one was right or intended, only that these are possible intended message.

D through F are the generalizations of what an adverse audience might interpret as the "possible messages" that we might derive if we had a different perspective on the quote. This is to say that these are more likely than not unrelated to the actual message, but are derived messages from those who suggest, "Barbra got it wrong, this is really what we conclude after reading the quote."

Discussion of the perspectives. Using the above A-F options we can then speculate, if each were true, what is the nature of the speaker-writer's knowledge of the actual quote.

Applying perspectives to Streisand's use of Jefferson's' Quote

A. Possibly no knowledge of the full quote. This would be consistent with the pre-election announcement that this was, in Streisand's words, "The most important" election. Such an approach would suggest that relying on Thomas' quote at this juncture is intended to be an attack on the President.

B. This perspective assumes that the speaker-writer has possibly full knowledge of the actual quote's author, and is aware of the full quote in context of the time. This approach is a rallying cry of hope to the masses who have, despite their best efforts to defeat Bush, failed.

C. This approach suggests a complete knowledge of the full quote, and that the risks of secession are real unless these forces are restrained. This is a voice of moderation.

D. This approach questions the President's use of "mandate" when describing the election results. Rather than suggestion there is momentum that the President needs to build upon, this approach implies that we must simply trust the leader to do the right thing within the narrow confines of the Constitution, law, and international norms.

E. This approach implies that despite the contentiousness of the issues and the disappointing results, that we just need to be hopeful.

F. This approach focuses on results, actions, and the methods used to achieve these objectives in that we are measured by our measurable results not our philosophy, vision, or dreams.

Factors To evaluate the quote

1. Message

2. Meaning

3. Perspective

4. Internal values vs external reflection

5. Relevance

6. Intention

7. Goal/Outcome

Discussion of the factors

These factors can be further broken down using various criteria, some are show below.


1. Message

- What is the intended message
- What image are they hoping to create, send

2. Meaning

- What did they mean
- What is the unspoken understanding they want to convey

3. Perspective

- What are their starting assumptions
- What is their starting position
- What experience do they have related to this issue

4. Internal values vs external reflection

- What is their message in terms of core values
- How does their message reflect personal values
- To what extent are their message related to external matters

5. Relevance

- How does this quote relate to this issue
- What aspects of the quote are more/less related to the issue
- What are the drawbacks of relying on this quote

6. Intention

- What is their purpose in using this quote
- What do they hope to do, create, drive, or motivate

7. Goal/Outcome

- What is their envisioned solution
- What are their factors of success
- How were these factors weighted


Each of these 7 factors can be compared to the 6 views above along a spectrum.

These factors help stratify the above A through F options. Clearly, these lists are not all inclusive. But by comparing the factors of analysis vs the various perspectives we arrive at a simple observation: With 7 factors of analysis and 6 perspectives, we have possibly 42 outcomes, some which may or may not overlap.

The next step in the analysis would be to lay out the factors and perspectives in a 7 x 6 table, and identify similar themes through grouping and clumping.


Then in analyzing these climbs or groups we could conduct an analysis or diagnosis through questions that would differentiate the groups to identify intended messages. This would involve identifying the range of questions that would most quickly discriminate the groups. If the dialog were open, honest, and direct we might hope that the ideal outcome would be "greater precision of understanding [not agreement] with greater interactions, dialog and exchange."

Clearly, the easy approach is to simply ask. However, in cases where the speaker-writer is either not available, unresponsive, or possibly not sure we are left to speculate.

Without going into the clumping, let's assume for the sake of argument that there are somewhere between 6 and 42 different combinations. Let us further suppose that a reasonable person has one of those 6 through 42 perspectives; this implies that there are at least 5 through 41 "different" views.

In other words, a reasonable person could arrive at a single, objective "truth" of the intended message, yet be incorrect between 5/6 through 41/42 times. This means that there is a high probability of a communication problem between reasonable people.

This country if it chooses to take on the role of "we have the answers, submit and obey" should take a step back and realize that reasonable people will have divergent views. If we approach the world that "unless they agree with us they are wrong," we're going to fall into the trap that has plagued nations.

This nation has derided others who have quickly used force to resolve disputes, yet at the same time has "justified" the use of force on the basis of criteria that others do not necessarily agree. This is not to say that matters of either criminal law or treaties are popularity contests or that there exists a basis to justify cultural relativism in which morality cannot be used as guidepost to evaluate different cultures.

Rather, this is to suggest that the United States by saying to nations "rise above the violence" only to engage in violence itself inspires the very contempt we are supposedly fighting.

A broader perspective is again not to say "if others are reasonable, we must be wrong" but to say, "We understand your view and we can work on this peacefully to arrive at a common solution."

Given there are potentially 42 different perspectives on a simple quote, it should come as no surprise why 182 nations with widely different criteria arrive at a different outcome or perspective. The solution isn't to resort to force, but to simply do what we have breached to others: Understand the differences first.

Again, this is not to say that violent people need to be "understood." But until the United States shows that it puts into practice the principles and standards we have held other nations to meet, the world will simply look at the US cynically.

The United States' role is to recognize the divergent views and ensure it's approach to these difference at least meets the standards imposed on others.


Different people rely on the same quote and arrive at 180-degree opposite interpretations of "what it means" and "the intent of the speaker-writer relying on that quote."

We'd like to hear more. If this nation is going to dialog on an issue we need to understand where others are coming from first. We're not there yet. We need to dialog to understand, share, and come to a clearer understanding. Again, "understanding" is not the same as agreement.

We owe it to the world to show that we can peacefully dialog and move forward, not simply explain away why we are unable to meet the standards we have long imposed on others.

Applying the Schema to the Streisand Quote

Now we put our money where our mouth is. This portion of the analysis is devoted to applying the untested scheme to "Streisand's use of the Jefferson Quote" and evaluate the outcomes.

Success criteria

- Validity

- Insight

- Speed

- Decision support

We discuss these four factors in terms of the Streisand Quote

Discussing the Success Criteria

- Validity

It's all well and good to develop a hypothetical schema to applying in an academic sense. The real test comes when we can come to a final judgment or hypothesized intent, then compare that outcome to the speaker-writer's actual intent.

- Insight

An analysis is not useful unless we have new insight that we might not otherwise have through other convention methods.

- Speed

An analysis is only useful if the speed to which we arrive at outcomes exceeds the time and cost associated with alternatives. We could spend alot of time developing, applying a model, when the faster, no cost solution would be to simply ask.

- Decision support

Ultimately, the analysis is useless unless it helps facilitate a decision. This means simply doing something new or different at a decision point that we had not otherwise considered.


Let's apply the model to Streisand's use of the quote. We baseline this analysis today with the hopes that "somehow" we might find the 'real answer" and then later compare the hypothesized perspective with the "later perspective."

Barbra Streisand is presumed to know the quote is real, unlike the quote attributed to Shakespeare. Because of the previous experience before the DNC, we presume Streisand has carefully checked the quote's validity.

What remains uncertain is what her true objective is in writing. We are unclear of this because the quote ellipses match those not found anywhere else but in the Washington Post, implying that although Streisand knows the quote is authentic, she may not be aware of the quote's relationship to the Sedition Acts.

However, what is clear is that when Streisand cited the quote, we know that she specifically mentioned the year 1798, implying she is aware the quote has historical significance unique to a particular age, yet could also be applied to other eras.

Thus, between A, B, and C, we lean to C, but are midway between B and C.

The audience, on the other hand appears to have missed the significance of the Sedition Acts and looks at the quote as being "another ping at the President." At this juncture, the model breaks down as there are not satisfactory choices in D through E that cover this possibility.

Factor Analysis

1. Message

Assuming leaning to C, we infer the intended message is to exercise caution and calm despite the calls for action. However, this is the heart of the problem: What we do not know is whether Streisand is making this call for calm from the perspective of someone with full knowledge of the complete quote and its relationship to the Sedition Acts [in that Jefferson recognized the failings of the Union but asked the States to stay despite the election], or whether Streisand is taking another approach and say, "here are the facts and we have to live with them until 2008."

2. Meaning

On the surface it appears Streisand simply means what she says: That we need to be patient. Yet, as we dig deeper into the full quote, and compare it with the ellipses it appears as though there is some divergence between what we might speculate as the reasons; vs what the actual reasons are.

We can only assume that "her full knowledge of the quote" is as represented by the Ellipses. Although she knows the quote is from the 1798-era, the use of the copied ellipses implies that there's been no specific research into the removed portions of the quote, implying that the deeper meaning related to Sedition could be outside the intent of the speaker-writer.

We conclude that the quote was intended to mean: We realize that the results are bad, but let's be patient, arriving back at option B, not C. The divergence between the initial forecast of "leaning to C" vs the assumed option B is noteworthy in that it recognizes there is both uncertainty in the analysis, but more bluntly uncertainty in whether the public comments accurately reflect the full picture.

Let us consider the Caesar quote. Streisand knows that when it comes to quotes, she has to get it right. It appears likely that she's researched the quote and verified its authenticity. We note that in the WashingtonPost article there was no specific mention by Brazile of 1798, meaning that Streisand most likely researched the quote.

Yet, despite the research, rather than using the complete quote [including the portion that was eliminated], she chose to use the same ellipses in the WashingtonPost article. This is noteworthy in that it both implies she's verified the era of the quote, but has sought to rely on the public-version of the quote as represented in the media, as opposed to the complete quote from the historical record.

Let us compare Streisand's comments about the media and her comments in the truth alerts. Streisand is a sticker for getting details right, especially in the wake of the Caesar quote. What is interesting is that despite an apparent perspective that she is somewhat disappointed [at times] with the media [in that it fails to challenge the president], we also know that Streisand's relationship with the media is also one that is respectful in that she relies on the media for information. One can review many of her public comments and "items of interest" and find that she's an avid reader of the news and one Senator on Saturday Night Live joked he was a politician hoping to be an entertainer while Streisand was an entertainer hoping to be a politician.

Streisand also knows the value of the media. She has a website and makes frequent updates on the site, going so far as to discuss issues in private with Matt Drudge before they reach the public arena. We shall not speculate on the nature, depth, substance timing of these conversations.

Based on what we know [not much] the unspoken understanding which Streisand appears to desire to convey is one of patience not just for the President, but for the times we live in. This means enduring the troublesome nature of the public dialog.

It appears less likely that she's specifically admonishing someone for speaking of secession, but rather cautioning people to not lose hope despite the unfortunate results. Thus, on this factor we land squarely on B.

3. Perspective

Streisand has assumed that the Electoral College has already been decided. Despite the allegations of voter fraud with the voting machines, Streisand appears to look at the results as a done deal. Thus, any discussion related to "reversing the election" appear to have been sealed not so much with the final vote on 2 November, but with the concession speech on 3 November.

Thus, turning back to the Bush speech, we presume that the writer-speaker is approaching the issue from the perspective of "more of the same." Yet, this is the troubling part. Recall prior to the election many were discussing the importance of the election, going so far as to suggest this was the "most important" election of our time.

Also, referring back to the Caesar quote, we find textual evidence that there were concerns with the momentum of the times. It appears Streisand is not concerned so much about where we are, but where things are going; yet despite that concern, she is not calling for outrageous action, but calm.

On this count we fall somewhere between B and C, yet given the lack of evidence to support she's aware of the quote's relationship to Sedition, and has not mentioned specifically the Sedition efforts, we might be inclined to defer to C.

However, here's the twist. We do know that the writer-speaker is intelligent, has full access to the independent media, is savvy, astute, and well aware of the issues. Putting aside the issue of whether or not they know the complete quote, or the relationship between between the Sedition Acts and Jefferson's letter, its well within the scope of reason that some unknown people have seriously raised the issue of secession with the writer.

This is not to say that Streisand is being ingenuous in her remarks. Rather, it is to recognize that because she knows the seriousness of the election, that it well within the scope of reason that she's had some serious discussions on the issue. Indeed, she posted the comment about Jefferson.

Also, we know from the Caesar quote that she has a number of close friends she relies upon for insight. Thus, at this juncture we speculate that this close circle of friends is the source of the concern to which she understands and perhaps is also speaking with the quote.

Thus, although torn between B and C, we presume the unspoken understanding is with C.

4. Internal values vs external reflection

Jefferson to Streisand appears to command great respect, not only as a Founding Father and author of the Declaration of Independence, but as a source of objective insight.

Again, the issue floating around the 2004 election was more of "what do we rely upon for a source of comfort." To history. To times when we had great perspective. When the distant times, however removed, have bearing on today.

The core value is not simply freedom, independence, but the core idea of liberty and choosing ones destiny. We are at a cross roads. One path is inviting to the President: To use whatever means, even do nothing in the face of war crimes, and create a climate of fear and subservience in the name of "freedom." The other path is actually doing what we practice.

Streisand fears the President is choosing the wrong path, despite the "popularity of that decision." She is starting form the perspective of "these are our core values going back to Jefferson, and he spoke of a similar challenge." The goal of mentioning Jefferson was not only to reassure, but to highlight the very monumental nature of the decision.

The external world is one that is not immune to independent action, but is one that is linked. This is not to say that Streisand supports the President's notion that "the world is for us to create in our own image," but the opposite: that the world is there for us to engage in terms of actual values, not simply parroting words.

Thus, we land squarely on C.

5. Relevance

The issue is which way is forward. This quote squarely mentions the seriousness of the flaws and the monumental nature of the issues involved.

There is the dichotomy between the full quote and the ellipses. By relying on the shorter version of the quote despite knowing it was from 1798 suggests that the writer-speaker is squarely on C, but wants to appear to be on B. Again, this concern was at the heart of the Jefferson postscript, and it is likely Streisand knows the seriousness of the quote both in history and today.

6. Intention

The quote is a warning for the country to heed history, but also remain reassured and comforted that just as we got through previous struggles so too will we get through this struggle.

Thus, we conclude once again that we are on C. For the issue is not so much what is happening, but how will we resolve these issues. The next step is likely to be one of "what can we learn from history to ensure that, despite the President choosing the wrong path, we do not find ourselves with fractures and ills so deep that our destiny is 1860. Streisand sees the quote as a warning of what is possible, but is also hopeful that we can cross the divide despite the momentum.

7. Goal/Outcome

Relying on this quote is simply to ensure that the prosperity of the nation continues, that we remain viable and strong, and that our nation is one that is respected. Of concern is the momentum driving our trade deficit, dollar, and relative standing around the globe both militarily and financially.

We may have the most powerful army, but if that army is not disciplined and fails to conduct all its affairs according to the rule of law, we have lost much. Abu Ghraib highlighted for many how poor oversight can take us down the wrong path; the ends do not justify the means; and documents and treaties are signed because they are to be respected and preserved not explained away.

Success, ultimately lies in preserving the Constitution against those who dare to use "freedom" as the banner to destroy that document. Thus, we arrive squarely at C, with the hoped-for public reaction being A. Again, we note the divergence between the public issues and the private concerns, the primary catalyst for posting the quote.


We conclude that Streisand is well aware of the quote and is relying on the ellipses to mask the core issues of secession that are real and alarming. This nation prides itself on principles that it selectively applies. It is disturbing that, despite these clear principles, the time required for judicial intervention is long thus permitting abuses to spread despite their illegality.

The quote is a challenge to all to keep faith in the constitution despite the passing winds of ill health most abhorrent to all that our founding fathers feared and also discussed.

This nation will survive, but it will be a great struggle between those who are fighting for freedom and those who are fighting for the Constitution. They are not separate, but they are different ends relying on different paths.

The fear is that the nation will choose the path of freedom and destroy the Constitution; more troubling is the prospect that the masses are doing the very thing this nation's founding fathers feared: That the tyranny of the majority will destroy the protections of the minority.

Thus, we arrive at C, and have no doubt that the core values are deep, pronounced, and destined to become more pronounced and adverse. The only saving grace will be judicial intervention to Check the President, a task which Congress has failed.

The hoped for audience is the learned, wise within the judicial system who can rise above the political banter and truly mandate that the constitution be preserved however imminent a security threat might be. There is a doubt whether, despite their independence and being free from intervention, that the courts will retain their independence when most needed.

The electorate failed to choose the constitution. It is now up to the courts to do what the population has been unable and unwilling to do: To fight for the constitution. The recent rulings in re Guantanamo should give comfort, but should not let anyone rest as the pressure to adjust back onto the constitutional path will be a difficult struggle. We have seen in history that principled people can and will fight for reasonable principles. One loses, one wins.

Let us hope, in the end, regardless the loser, the constitution ultimately prevails. It is the post Civil War judicial orders in re martial law that we find comfort: They were found illegal.

But ever vigilance is required as, despite the post Civil War judicial findings, we saw in the WWII era that a time of crisis will invite executive action most abhorrent to our founding principles. For the masses also re-elected FDR three times, despite the courts finding some of his decisions unlawful. It is likely these unlawful acts and adverse results are at the heart of the writer's concerns.

  • New Insights

    The issue becomes: What is to be done when the executive takes actions that are unconstitutional, but the courts do not provide a timely response to remedy.

    We arrive where we started. The quote. The edited version. The goal is to remember why we are here: The constitution and any discussion of secession will destroy that document. Streisand prefers B and wants her friends to move from A to C.

    For she can only advocate attack the President when all other options are unacceptable. The goal is to motivate the population to recognize the seriousness of the issues, but work to advocate for change despite the apparent bleakness of the situation. Attacking the President may have short-term payoffs, but it can become extreme--taking people into a place where, despite their love of the constitution, they create an enemy that will put them down. This is not desired.

  • Preliminary Evaluation of the factors


    We can make a preliminary assessment of the model, outline the known weaknesses before the "real results" are known.

    - Insight

    We've come to understand the core issues driving those who use this quote. With time we might rely on this model for greater understanding. Useful.

    - Speed

    We may have arrived at an outcome, but it remains unclear what to expect. We might have a better perspective into the issues driving the undercurrents. It remains to be seen how these trends manifest themselves. Marginal, to be seen.

    - Decision support

    This is problematic. This model doesn't do much to arrive at a set structure or decision. This is the major flaw of this approach in that it doesn't, in itself, drive a consensus toward action. Rather, the quote does far more in achieving this objective with far less time and words. Failed.


    This analysis fell down in a major way: The outcome diverged from the original quote in that the subject of the analysis ended up being more prudent than the outcome. This is related to poor success criteria, and a methodology loosely linked with clear, definable factors characterizing the nebulous decision point.

    The public and leadership need to understand this "mandate" -- at this juncture it is being paraded as "evidence", but it is not clear that the public spoke for a specific outcome, only that it merely chose a leaders to make decisions. But this leader is not a tyrant nor a despite, but must assent to the rule of law, the courts, and the constitution however "dire" the situation. The path forward is to compel the executive to assent to the constitution, not allow the executive to further trash the document.

    It is hoped that we use this time to clarify:

  • Do we understand our own position, values and those of the majority;

  • What do we hope to accomplish;

  • How will we be better off; and

  • How will the constitution be preserved regardless the path taken?

    Jefferson clearly wrote of the unfolding challenges. It was only 62 years later that things came to a head. Today, we are on a faster timeline, in that despite the dire warnings pre 9-11, we are rapidly approaching 1860.

    To this end, the public has much to learn, and the basis for executive handwaving to obscure this momentum. Thus, we turn to history as to speak of today's events so clearly is often too painful.

    Thus, the reason for relying on Caesar's quote not so long ago, and Jefferson's quote today. The message needs to be heeded, if ignored, much will come unglued. We can do better. And we owe it to the world to show that we can arise to the occasion despite the turmoil and not descend as we did in 1860.

    It will take great leadership within the judicial branch to adjust the momentum. Let us hope they, the ones who are in the position to check the Congress and Executive, are up to the task. Let us hope they read the founding documents, Federalist Papers, and letters sent as well as they read caselaw.

    There is hope. C.

    Other Comments

    In this case, the clumping was around C. In other situations, the results might be quite different. This approach theoretically works, but was not demonstrated; nor do we have a demonstration of the questions to quickly identify and discriminate the highest priorities in the analysis. The analysis is not complete.

    Also, there is no consideration given to D through F, raising the question, "What happened" and "Why is the audience even mentioned." This was partially addressed in the factor analysis, but not directly discussed or analyzed.

    Plus, the decision criteria was unclear and nebulous. It's unclear what viable options are "more visible" now that we've gone through this analysis.

    Hope as a course of action may seem prudent, but does little to point to a specific "doable action" that the population can now turn to. We've seen signs of hope in that government will "eventually" get around to doing the right thing; but let us recall that this did not occur because of government, but because outside information about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo was putting pressure on the IGs to act where they were otherwise not willing to act.

    We will have more information after reading the CIA IG 800+ report, and a better accounting by Congressional Committee chairman of "what was going on" as the information comes in.

    We might have labeled the various "perspectives" with a single phrase to simplify them. This was considered but rejected on the grounds that the "single phrase" would label what was otherwise a loosely defined characterization; further, there's no need to rely on labels when we are hoping to acquire precision and solutions, not accentuate the polarization arguably not self-evident but an undercurrent driving the reliance on the Jefferson Quote.

    Also, we have not used the above schemas against the President's use of the Phillips Quote.

    The "future action" are not clearly related to the analysis, but are thoughts on what really needs attention; yet, the above analysis solidifies our conviction these hoped for goals are part of the solution which would address the issues raised by the Jefferson quote.

    Future action

    There needs to be some considerable effort in reforming the Congressional Committee oversight of the Executive. We need timely reviews. The "three years and maybe the courts will do the right thing" is not satisfying. Checks and balances implies joint oversight and responsibility, not a few seconds to ask a cursory question.

    Staffers also need to be held accountable. The days of "legislative immunity" needs to be revisited in light of Congressional oversight responsibility in re war crimes. There is no legislative immunity when Congress fails to timely ensure that executive agencies are conducting their affairs in accordance with Treaties and Laws. There need to be effective outside mechanisms that allow the courts to engage directly when Congress and the Executive fail to act or are actively refusing to exercise leadership.

    Let's put the energy into strengthening the oversight ability of the judicial branch and permit more timely resolution of these matters. The unconstitutional acts were passed and enforced three years ago. It is not satisfying that only now are the needed corrections occurring.

    The distraction of foreign adventures allows the systemic problems to fester. Alot has happened, and there is much momentum building toward 1860.

    Next Step

    More information, discussion, and "unfolding events" will shed light on the above. We await confirmation or feedback whether the above analysis has merit.

    We'll find out in time, and then we shall be in a position to assess the true merits of the above approach, or whether something else needs to be devised to understand the mysterious use of partial quotes.

    More to follow.