Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bully and His Bride Seem to be Losing Their Iron Grip

The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution on Thursday giving implicit recognition to Palestinian statehood despite threats by the United States and Israel to punish the Palestinian Authority by withholding funds for the West Bank government.

  World News NBC

More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to grant Palestine the upgraded status of nonmember observer state in the United Nations, a stinging defeat for Israel and the United States and a boost for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who was weakened by the recent eight days of fighting in Gaza.

[…]

[The] vote offered a showcase for an extraordinary international lineup of support for the Palestinians and constituted a deeply symbolic achievement for their cause.

  NYTimes

The vote, which was taken at a meeting of the body in New York on Thursday, represents a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but a diplomatic defeat for the US, with 138 countries voting in favour of the upgrade.

Nine countries voted against it and 41 others abstained.

A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.

[…]

Immediately after the results were announced, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice reiterated the US opposition to upgrading the Palestinians to a nonmember an observer "entity".

"Today's unfortunate and counter-productive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace. That is why the United States voted against it," she said.

  alJazeera


Or maybe it was because Israel leads the US around by the balls.

Another Cabinet Rice with Ties to Big Oil?

From Condi Rice to Susan Rice: Obama's likely choice for Secretary of State--

The current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Rice owns stock valued between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada, the company seeking a federal permit to transport tar sands crude 1,700 miles to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, crossing fragile Midwest ecosystems and the largest freshwater aquifer in North America.

[...]

Rice is reportedly Obama’s favorite to take the helm at the State Department next year. Clinton has said repeatedly that she plans to step down shortly after Obama’s second inauguration in January.

  OnEarth


Susan Rice, as Secretary of State, will have a say in whether or not the tar sands pipe goes through.

And that's not all...

In 2010, for instance, when Rice and her husband held at least $1.5 million in Royal Bank of Canada, the institution was labeled Canada's most environmentally irresponsible company by the Rainforest Action Network for its support of tar sands development. Public pressure from environmentalists and Canada’s First Nations tribes convinced the bank to stop funding tar sands projects earlier this year.

[...]

[A]bout a third of Rice’s personal net worth is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel -- including companies with poor environmental and safety records on both U.S. and Canadian soil. Rice and her husband own at least $1.25 million worth of stock in four of Canada’s eight leading oil producers, as ranked by Forbes magazine. That includes Enbridge, which spilled more than a million gallons of toxic bitumen into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010 -- the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

[...]

After initially indicating it would likely approve TransCanada’s application, the State Department ordered a review of alternate routes to avoid putting critical water sources in Nebraska at risk. The move, which officials said would likely push the approval process back to the first three months of 2013, was an attempt to spare the Obama administration a politically risky decision just before an election year.

Expect approval in 2013....but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Just Like Fox But Not As Good At It

[Thomas] Ricks tells the Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger that the moment wasn't planned, and he wasn't gunning for a gig with Fox News's arch-nemesis. “MSNBC invited me, but I said, ‘You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it,’" says Ricks. "They wrote back and said, ‘Thank you for your candor.’” We can't wait to hear what he says when CNN calls.

  NY Mag

backstory

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Worship the Power

Black Friday sales were up, Christmas shopping is underway, and The Good Man has the reins of power, the red button, the drones, and the kill list. All is right with the world.

In sum, we have had four straight years of a president who has wielded what is literally the most extreme and tyrannical power a government can claim – to execute anyone the leader wants, even his own citizens, in total secrecy and without a whiff of due process – and who has resisted all efforts to impose a framework of limits or even transparency.

But finally, according to a new article on Sunday by The New York Times' Scott Shane, President Obama was recently convinced that some limits and a real legal framework might be needed to govern the exercise of this assassination power. What was it that prompted Obama finally to reach this conclusion? It was the fear that he might lose the election, which meant that a Big, Bad Republican would wield these powers, rather than a benevolent, trustworthy, noble Democrat - i.e., himself.

[...]

"Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

[...]

”Though national security officials insist that the process is meticulous and lawful, the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized, a course of action that seemed particularly urgent when it appeared that Mitt Romney might win the presidency.

[...]

”The effort, which would have been rushed to completion by January had Mr. Romney won, will now be finished at a more leisurely pace, the official said."


  Glenn Greenwald

We've got another four years for secrecy and wide open kill policy, and we can assess the situation again when we find out who is likely to win the 2016 election.*  Thanks for all your votes, tools. (George and Dick are soooooo jealous.  Dick "the most evil man in the world" Cheney couldn't even have gotten away with this.  Of course, we all knew he was evil.  Now we have a Good Man - a Peace Laureate, in fact - aiming the drones and checking off the names on the kill list.) 

But, wait...

"Partly because United Nations officials know that the United States is setting a legal and ethical precedent for other countries developing armed drones, the U.N. plans to open a unit in Geneva early next year to investigate American drone strikes.”

UN? UN? Irrelevant.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

*Although, we can't even be sure that another Democrat would be so Benevolent and Good and Noble as the Peace Laureate, so maybe we just have another four years.

Where's that sarcasm font when you need it?

Israel's Latest Is Too Much Even for the British Government

Looks like we're going to be out there alone with Israel at the UN.

Britain is prepared to back a key vote recognising Palestinian statehood at the United Nations if Mahmoud Abbas pledges not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks.

Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has called for Britain’s backing in part because of its historic responsibility for Palestine. The government has previously refused, citing strong US and Israeli objections and fears of long-term damage to prospects for negotiations.

On Monday night, the government signalled it would change tack and vote yes if the Palestinians modified their application, which is to be debated by the UN general assembly in New York later this week.

[...]

The US and Israel have both hinted at possible retaliation if the vote goes ahead.

  Raw Story

Oooooh



I'm just guessing here, but I don't think Ricks will be invited back to Fox News.

(There seems to be some trouble with the player. If you can't watch it from the graphic below, click here and scroll down to the video.)



UPDATE 11/28:

A Fox News Channel (FNC) vice president has told the Hollywood Reporter that author Tom Ricks apologized privately for his comments on Monday that the network has been “operating as wing of the Republican Party.”

  Raw Story

As though after watching that exchange you could possibly think Ricks would be apologetic, it wouldn't easy enough for someone to fact check? Geez, Fox.

Ricks denied ever making any such apology.


Further on the apology.

UPDATE: 11/29

Ricks tells the Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger that the moment wasn't planned, and he wasn't gunning for a gig with Fox News's arch-nemesis. “MSNBC invited me, but I said, ‘You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it,’" says Ricks. "They wrote back and said, ‘Thank you for your candor.’” We can't wait to hear what he says when CNN calls.

  NY Mag

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bankster Punishment


Let's see....$2 billion versus $47.6 million.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Sunday

Missed it by “that much.”

In January of this year, televangelist Pat Robertson informed his “700 Club” audience that God had revealed the results of the 2012 election to him in a vision, implying broadly at the time that the Almighty was less than pleased with President Barack Obama.

[...]

'I thought I had heard clearly from God, what happened? What intervenes? Why?” Robertson said. “You ask God, how did I miss it? Well, we all do and I’ve had a lot of practice.”

In January, Robertson said that God’s message to him was, “Your president holds a radical view of the direction of your country which is at odds with the majority, expect chaos and paralysis.”

He also predicted an “economic collapse” that would devastate the country, the result of which would be a new president. “But I’m not supposed to talk about that,” he said.

  Raw Story

So now we know how long it takes messages from God to get to Pat Robertson – 4 years.

But that's much quicker than it gets to the rest of us. The rest of us had to wait until somebody who could hear God learned how to write to find out how quickly God created the Earth.

Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis of the conservative fundamentalist American Family Association, says that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was not wrong for suggesting that the Earth was created in seven days because the only “eyewitness account” is in the Bible.

[...]

“So, the only eyewitness account we could possibly have would have to come from the creator himself, and fortunately he left us an eyewitness account.”

  Raw Story

Has any King James Bible believer ever explained why God quit dictating messages for print? Maybe he was like Margaret Mitchell* and had just one good book in him.

 ...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

*Gone with the Wind   

Not to be confused with Martha Mitchell, wife of Nixon's attorney general John Mitchell, a much more interesting story.

“The Martha Mitchell effect is the process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician mistakes the patient's perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly.”  [...] Quoting psychotherapist Joseph Berke, the authors note that "even paranoids have enemies." [...] After the Watergate break-in, Martha Mitchell began contacting reporters when her husband's role in the scandal became known, for which she became known as "the Mouth of the South". Nixon later told interviewer David Frost [...] that Martha was a distraction to John Mitchell such that no one was minding the store, and "If it hadn't been for Martha Mitchell, there'd have been no Watergate."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

WWII Secret Message Is Still a Secret

A World War II code found strapped to the leg of a dead pigeon stuck in a chimney for the past 70 years may never be broken, a British intelligence agency said Friday.

[...]

[W]ithout knowing who the sender, “Sjt W Stot,” is or the intended destination, given as “X02,” it is extremely difficult to decipher the code, the agency said. Although the code books and encryption systems used should have been destroyed, there is a small chance that one exists somewhere.

  waPo

Start looking. I hate an unsolved mystery.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Petraeus Investigation - Continued

Major media, including NPR, made the David Petraeus scandal to be about prurient interests. Even Glenn Greenwald has made it to be about that when he thinks “the real scandal” is Petraeus prosecuting Obama's drone war. I have been waiting for someone to actually give us the story about why the FBI were investigating him in the first place, and to pick up the thread of Paula Broadwell's claims that we still have secret detention centers in Libya. Finally, the Washington Post is putting some of it together.

A federal investigation of how David H. Petraeus’s biographer obtained numerous classified records is focusing on whether the retired general’s staff gave her sensitive documents at his instruction, according to federal officials familiar with the inquiry.

Petraeus aides and other high-ranking military officials were often tasked by Petraeus and other top commanders to provide military records and other documents to Paula Broadwell for her work as Petraeus’s biographer, former staff members and other officials told The Washington Post.

[...]

Petraeus and Broadwell have told FBI investigators that Petraeus did not provide her with classified information, law enforcement officials said. Attorneys for the two declined to respond to specific questions for this article, as did Broadwell’s spokeswoman, Dee Dee Myers of the Glover Park Group. FBI officials also declined to comment.

[...]

Broadwell turned over her computer to the FBI in late summer, and agents discovered that it contained low-level classified material. On Nov. 12, the FBI searched her home in Charlotte and carried away additional evidence that she had classified documents, law enforcement officials said.

The documents have been described as sensitive but relatively benign. Officials who have been briefed on them said they were mostly schedules and PowerPoint presentations classified as “secret.”

[...]

One former Defense Department official said that when staff members at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul questioned Broadwell’s access to certain classified records, she assured them that Petraeus had approved her seeing the material.

[...]

Those close to Petraeus’s inner circle said Broadwell could have easily collected classified briefing materials distributed during meetings that were not supposed to leave the secure facilities where such conferences take place. Because of her unusual status, she probably would not have been subject to a search when leaving military offices, they said.

[...]

A former colleague of Broadwell’s told The Post last week that he received a disk from Broadwell that contained documents marked “secret,” including schedules for Petraeus and other high-ranking officers and military PowerPoints.

The level of sensitivity of the records Broadwell obtained is unclear. President Obama said at a news conference last week that he had seen no evidence that the release of these records “in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.”

But even low-level classified records typically cannot be kept on someone’s personal computer or in their home.

  WaPo

Obviously, however, all the way up to the Commander in Chief, Broadwell and Petraeus are being covered. If there is an investigation, Obama has just cleared them pre-trial (sort of like he declared Bradley Manning guilty pre-trial, only the reverse). Whatever happened to  “I can't discuss the case while it's under investigation”?

On Nov. 12, FBI agents searched Broadwell’s Charlotte home while she was with her family in Washington. They removed dozens of boxes of records as well as computer disks and multiple central processing units, which store the deeper memories of desktop computers. Broadwell has been cooperating with the investigation.

Two days after the FBI search at her home, the Army suspended Broadwell’s [“top secret”] security clearance.

Business Insider says it is “apparently common for clearances to be suspended during investigations.”

I'm still waiting for someone to pick up the trail of the possible secret detention centers.

Happy Black Friday

When you come right down to the bottom of the chafing dish, Thanksgiving is a holiday of great ambivalence. A day allegedly dedicated to thanking the great Whoever that enough white people survived the winter in Plymouth to kick off 300-odd years of continent-wide genocide. A day dedicated to celebrating the simple gifts that the great Whoever bestowed upon this land, yet one that we mark by going crazy over cheap, Chinese-slave-labor produced crap at 12:01 a.m. the very next morning.

  Charlie Pierce

It's our God-given right.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

As Thanksgiving Approaches...

...be thankful you live in America, where you can shop.



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

seen at Dependable Renegade

Monday, November 19, 2012

Obama on Israeli Pounding of Gaza

“So we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.” He did not say how Israel’s shooting missiles at journalists (for example) or “send[ing] Gaza back to the Middle Ages” constitutes defending itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.

He said that if the missiles can be stopped without a full-scale invasion of Gaza, “that’s preferable; that’s not just preferable for the people of Gaza, it’s also preferable for Israelis -- because if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they’re much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded.” A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Explains Shit To You.

  WIIIAI

 
 

Suddenly, They're Sane and Wise

 
 


Not that their policies need to change of course. 

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reports on Israel

From Israel:




By Western media:



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Israel Targets TV Stations in Gaza

Israel is continuing its assault on the Gaza Strip for a fifth straight day, bombarding the Palestinian enclave from both the air and sea.

[...]

An air raid before dawn in Gaza City targeted a building housing the offices of local Arab media, wounding several journalists from al-Quds television, a station Israel sees as a mouthpiece of the Hamas movement which rules the Gaza Strip.

[...]

A second media centre was targeted later on Sunday morning. Sky News, al-Arabiya, and the official Hamas-run channel al-Aqsa TV have offices in the building.

  alJazeera

Is there no crime here?

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Reflection


 
 
 
The process whereby some plants release excess moisture at the edges of their leaves is called guttation. You'll ususally see it very early on humid mornings when there is also an abundance of water in the soil. (This is not the same thing as dew.) It makes for some great photos. (Don't have an author on that last one - sorry - I lifted it from someone who lifted it from someone without attributing it.)

No Surprise Here

Former CIA director David H. Petraeus told Congress on Friday that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, was clearly an act of terrorism, but he did not resolve the question of when the agency reached that conclusion, according to law­makers who attended the closed-door sessions.

Several members of the House and Senate intelligence committees who heard Petraeus’s testimony said that he indicated he believed immediately after the incident that it was a terrorist attack. That appeared to conflict with testimony he gave them three days after the attack, when he said it appeared to have begun as a “spontaneous” assault that was overtaken by “extremists.”

  WaPo

I don't suppose anyone asked him about the Broadwell claim that the CIA has people in secret detention centers in Libya.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanks, I Needed That


Tweeter Wit

Regarding Israel

Following is an account from Dr. Gershon Baskin, Israeli, co-chair of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, and author and negotiator of the release of Hamas-held Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October of 2011.
  
Both Israel and Hamas had decided months ago not to take action on my proposed ceasefire option, which included within it a mechanism that would prevent Israeli pre-emptive actions and would enable Hamas to prove that it was prepared to prevent terror attacks against Israel. Both sides responded very seriously to the proposal, but without any signal that there was an openness on the other side, neither was willing to advance the possibility for testing it.

Several weeks ago, I decided to try once again and, through my counterpart in Hamas, we both began speaking to high level officials on both sides. A few days ago I met my counterpart in Cairo and we agreed that he would draft a new proposal based on our common understanding of what was required to make it work.

Yesterday morning [Nov. 14], hours before Israel assassinated Ahmed Jaabari [commander of Ezedin al Qassam, the military wing of Hamas], my counterpart in Hamas presented the draft to Jaabari and to other Hamas leaders. Senior Hamas leaders on the outside had already seen it and had instructed him to check the reactions to it in Gaza. I was supposed to receive the draft yesterday evening to present to Israeli officials who were waiting for me to send it to them.

That option is now off the table. Jaabari is dead and so is the chance for a mutually beneficial long term ceasefire understanding. Why did Benjamin Netanyahu do it?

[...]

In the last days there has been a lot of talk from politicians, military experts and officers to return to the policy of “targeted killings.” This, they claim, would make the Hamas leaders hide for their lives and stop shooting at us. These military geniuses failed to realize that what never worked in the past will not work now either.

[...]

I don’t believe that Netanyahu wants re-occupation. So if that is not what he wants, he must be aware that, on the morning after, we will still be living next to Gaza, which still be run by Hamas. They are not going away and the people of Gaza are not going away.

The assassination of Jaabari was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility of a long term ceasefire. Netanyahu has acted with extreme irresponsibility. He has endangered the people of Israel and struck a real blow against the few important more pragmatic elements within Hamas.

  Daily Beast

Extra-judicial assassinations, once roundly condemned by US officials, are now a symbol of the Obama presidency, as the US and Israel converge more than ever before: if not in interests, then certainly in tactics.

[...]

The US was once part of the international consensus against extra-judicial assassinations. Now it is a leader in that tactic.

[...]

In essence, what we find, yet again, is that the governments of the United States and Israel arrogate unto themselves the right to execute anyone they want, anywhere in the world, without any limitations, regardless of how many innocent civilians they kill in the process. "Rogue nation" is a term that is often casually tossed around in the discourse of foreign relations. Here, it is quite appropriate, and - when it comes to extra-judicial assassinations - clearly applies to the two countries who apply the term most frequently to others.

  Glenn Greenwald

Even George W Bush, that anal polyp foisted onto the world as an actual human being, condemned the extrajudicial solution – or at least the people in his administration who were chosen to speak publicly about it did. Dick Cheney is probably fuming about the fact that the black man after him gets to claim that right.

All Americans Are the Same

So what do you expect? So says a Talib official.

A stony-faced Taliban official burst into laughter at the mention of the Petraeus affair during an interview with AFP in northwest Pakistan this week.

“What a bastard! But all Americans are the same, it’s nothing new,” the official said, who did not want to be named.

The Islamists dealt harshly with adulterers during their brutal 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan, dishing out public floggings for offenders.

The traditional moral code of the Pashtuns, the main ethnic group the Taliban draw their members from, also demands severe punishment for adulterers.

“From a Pashtun point of view, Petraeus should be shot by relatives from his mistress’s family,” the Taliban official explained.

“From a sharia point of view, he should be stoned to death.”

  Raw Story

Really? How come all we ever see in reports of adulterers in those countries is that the woman was stoned to death?  In fact, I've even seen reports of women suffering brutal punishments for being raped.  I have never seen a report of the man being punished. Are they just not reporting it?   Did I miss that the floggings were dealt out to the men as well?  Must have.

Occupy Debt!

Members of a debt relief project born from the Occupy Wall Street campaign said Wednesday they have purchased more than $100,000 worth of medical debt in a second trial run for their efforts.

Thomas Gokey, a spokesperson for the Rolling Jubilee campaign, said the debt was purchased for $5,000. Earlier this year, the group bought $14,000 worth of debt for $500.

“We are buying debt that is being sold on the secondary market for pennies on the dollar,” Gokey said in a conference call. “We are doing it in exactly the same way that [debt collectors] do it, with one big difference: we are abolishing the debt as we buy it.”

[...]

A fundraising concert is scheduled to be held Thursday in New York City, with the group seeking to raise $50,000 in order to buy — and wipe out — $1 million worth of medical debt.

[...]

[T]he group could not name their allies, nor whom Strike Debt bought the debts from, in order to protect itself from being “blacklisted” by financial institutions.

  Raw Story

Now the auhorities will be feverishly working to find a way to criminalize the act. And the other institutions will be raising their price on medical debt. But, in the meantime....

Go occupy!  Click the graphic to contribute to Rolling Jubilee or learn more.

BP: Good News and Bad News

BP Plc has pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to its 2010 oil spill and agreed to pay an extra $4.5bn on top of the tens of billions it is already paying out.

The British oil company said on Thursday that it would plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect relating to the death of 11 workers, one misdemeanour count under the Clean Water Act, one misdemeanour count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and one felony count of obstruction of congress.

BP will also pay $525m to settle securities claims with US regulators.

[...]

BP will have to retain a monitor for four years, charged with overseeing safety and risk management, as well as an independent auditor to ensure compliance with the terms of the agreement, he said.

[...]

BP's penalties for the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig and subsequent leak from the Macondo oil well, will far exceed the previous record for largest criminal penalty in US history.

[...]

John Terrett, reporting from Washington DC on Thursday, said that there was no word at this time on whether any BP employees would be arrested, although sources have said that between two to four would be.

"We understand that two members of staff have been charged with manslaughter and one has been charged with lying to the authorities. But we're still waiting for clarification of this and whether they may eventually serve jail time," he said.

[...]

The company said that it was "prepared to vigorously defend itself against remaining civil claims".

  

Because those guys are unable to afford a vigorous prosecution.

Over the past two years, BP has so far sold non-core assets totalling more than $35 bn to help fund massive compensation costs arising from the tragedy. The figure is set to reach $38 bn by late 2013.

Last month, BP posted bumper profits and raised its shareholder dividend as the energy giant prepared for a new Russia adventure after being hit by the Deepwater Horizon crisis.

So, in essence, that record settlement wasn't even a dent in BP's operation. And, they'll show us … they'll take their oil deals to the Russians.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meanwhile

Rockets are flying in Israel.  And even Syrian violence is spilling into their territory.

More Hogwallop

Republicans have criticised [UN ambassador Susan] Rice for going on a round of Sunday talk shows five days after the September 11 attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi and saying that preliminary information suggested it was the result of protests over an anti-Muslim film rather than a premeditated strike.

[...]

Obama said: "For them to go after the UN ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous."

[...]

Asked why, if Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi, she was sent on the talk shows to give the administration's point of view, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told Reuters news agency: "It made sense to have Ambassador Rice, one of our most senior diplomats, speak about the critical work our diplomats do every day. "Ambassador Rice was also uniquely qualified to speak about the broader unrest in the region at the time."

  alJazeera

Uniquely? How about the President? The Secretary of State? The Secretary of Defense? The ambassadors to the region even?

So let me see if I can make some simple statements that clear that up: Ambassador Rice  (who really did have nothing to do with Benghazi) was sent out in front of the guns to tell the lie in hopes that no one would find out why the attacks really happened, and at least to keep the president or his spokesman, his secretaries of state and defense (anyone who DID have something to do with Benghazi) from being caught in the lie, and to take the fall if the truth did come out.  And/OR our intelligence is now so bad that we actually didn't have a clue and she was sent out to give those who should have known a cover.

And now we know that Petraeus' lover had classified documents on her computer that she somehow got without his assistance (if they are both to be believed), and that she was telling people the CIA still has detention centers – which Obama claims to have shut down - from which the Benghazi attackers were trying to retrieve detainees.

The House Intelligence Committee announced on Wednesday night that Petraeus would testify behind closed doors on Friday morning about Benghazi.

A little added benefit of Petraeus' resignation: his testimony will be given behind closed doors. The public hearing will include his replacement.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

D'oh!


Changing the War Cabinet

Speculation is heating up in Washington corridors about who will be crowned the new secretaries of state and defense, with veteran US Senator John Kerry, the US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and national security advisor Tom Donilon the odds-on favorites to be among the new cabinet faces.

  Raw Story

Hmmm. State and Defense. Hillaryand Leon haven't been doing such a great job? He's not happy with them? Imagine that.

Big Mouth, Big Head

Republican shock jock Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday that he accepts responsibility for Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election. “Just as I predicted, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “This election was lost because of your host, Rush Limbaugh. I am the primary reason.”

  Raw Story

But, Paul Ryan has a little different take. 

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says that his party lost the White House in 2012 because so many “urban” voters went to the polls, not because Americans rejected his Medicare and other budget policies.

  Raw Story

They lost because people voted, but not because people didn't like them. I guess people go out and vote for what they don't want these days.

Oh. He may have a point.

And on second reading, maybe he doesn't consider urban voters to be Americans.

Although exit polls showed that six in ten voters wanted tax rates to be raised, Ryan said he didn’t believe that was what Americans really voted for.

Whew. The denial. It's as big as Limbaugh's head.

“I don’t think we lost it on those budget issues, especially on Medicare,” the former nominee explained. “We clearly didn’t lose it on those issues. I think what people want us to do is tackle the country’s problems, and what I got out of this is they don’t want only Republican ideas or only Democratic ideas, they want us to come together for common ground and to work this out.”

What Paul Ryan got out of the election:  losing doesn't mean people don't want GOP policies. It means they want Democrats to compromise with them. 

Perceptive guy.  No nuance too slight to get past him.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Really? They Didn't Notice That?

 
An ABC News affiliate in Denver says that while attempting to report on the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, the station mistakenly aired a photoshopped version of his mistress’ book with the raunchy title “All Up In My Snatch.”

KMGH-TV producer Deb Stanley told Raw Story that the wrong book cover had been “mistakenly picked up off the Internet” and aired during their 5 p.m. broadcast on Monday. Instead of displaying the actual book cover of Paula Broadwell’s Petraeus biography, “All In,” KMGH-TV aired the parody cover, “All Up In My Snatch.”

  Raw Story

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To All Celebrants of the Latest Election...

...Chris Floyd has a question for you:

Is this child dead enough for you?

Go read the article.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Petraeus Upate

Surprise. There really is more to the story.....

Paula Broadwell, the biographer whose affair with Petraeus led to his abrupt resignation Friday, alleged that the [Benghazi] assault, in which US ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed, was an attempt to free men being detained in a covert CIA annex. Speaking last month at the University of Denver, Broadwell further alleged that Petreaus knew about the secret holding cells.

[...]

In an answer to a question reading the CIA chief’s handling of the incident, the biographer said: “Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”

She added: “The challenging thing for General Petraeus is that in his new position, he’s not allowed to communicate with the press. So he’s known all of this – they had correspondence with the CIA station chief in, in Libya. Within 24 hours they kind of knew what was happening.”

The comments were recorded and posted in a YouTube clip which has since been taken down.

On Monday, the CIA was quick to shoot down Broadwell’s claims.

“Any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless,” agency spokesman Preston Golson said.

  Raw Story

I'm sure. I'm sure.

There it is.  After all, didn't our president tell us that there are no more secret CIA holding cells?

Aaaaaaaaaand...the net sweep has caught another general.

And this just breaking...

F.B.I. agents interviewed Ms. Broadwell for the first time the week of Oct. 21, and she acknowledged the affair, a government official briefed on the matter said. She also voluntarily gave the agency her computer. In a search, the agents discovered several classified documents, which raised the additional question of whether Mr. Petraeus had given them to her. She said that he had not. Agents interviewed Mr. Petraeus the following week. He also admitted to the affair but said he had not given any classified documents to her.

  NYTimes

No, dears. This is not just about a sexual affair.

Although, it appears that the FBI agent Jill Kelly sicced on Paula Broadwell had sent "shirtless photos" of himself to Kelly at some previous point.  Lawsy, Miss Scarlet.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Gonna Be Another Long Four Years

UPDATE: I'm going to change my remark that the FBI would have had to have a court order to say they MAY have to - I'm not at all sure. Warrantless wiretapping and data mining is part of our loss of civil liberties under Bush and Obama.  But it does appear that the DOJ knew about the investigation last summer.


Nutjob and House Homeland Security Chair Peter King thinks Obama knew about the Petraeus affair. I'm inclined to agree.   King's right that the FBI would have had to get a court order to look at the emails and if Eric Holder knew – which he undoubtedly did – Obama knew. They didn't want this coming out until after the election, and in that case, I'd think the FBI had to be complicit there. Well, the fact that the director of the FBI supposedly didn't tell Obama is either total bullshit or grounds for his retirement, too.

Let's face it. Obama knew.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) criticized the FBI’s handling of the investigation of the extramarital affair that resulted in CIA Director David Petraeus’ resignation. “To have someone out there in such a sensitive position who the FBI thought perhaps could have been compromised or was under the scope of an FBI investigation who may or may not have been having an affair at the time, that, to me had to have been brought to the president, certainly to the National Security Council,” King told MSNBC host Joe Scarborough Monday. “If not, the FBI was derelict in its duty.”

[...]

“This is a crisis, I believe, of major proportions,” King said. “This is not your usual political thing — we’re not talking about a Secretary of Commerce or some undersecretary somewhere.”

[...]

According to CNN [...] at least one FBI employee told Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and House majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) about the probe last month.

[...]

The New York Times reported Monday that FBI and Justice Department officials were notified about the investigation into the affair as far back as last summer, but did not push the issue further up the chain of command in part because worries over possible security breaches “did not appear to be justified.”

  Raw Story

So now the FBI and DOJ make that decision? It's my understanding that when a spy organization wants to compromise intelligence security, one of the tricks in their bag is to get a woman into the target's bed. Doesn't that automatically count as a possible breach?

And back up.  Two Republicans knew last month and didn't say anything???  Why didn't the Republican party want this to come out before the election?

Maybe this whole thing really is about nothing more than a very unwise – to say the least – affair, but I wouldn't bet your life on it.

I'd advocate disbanding the CIA if all the players wouldn't just melt into one of our other fascist agencies. Might as well have them fighting each other instead. It may at least hamper their murderous and corrupt schemes both domestic and international.

Robbing Africa


Because if they all starve to death, there won't be anybody to rob.

The world's wealthy countries often criticise African nations for corruption - especially that perpetrated by those among the continent's government and business leaders who abuse their positions by looting tens of billions of dollars in national assets or the profits from state-owned enterprises that could otherwise be used to relieve the plight of some of the world's poorest peoples.

Yet the West is culpable too in that it often looks the other way when that same dirty money is channelled into bank accounts in Europe and the US.

[...]

Indeed the West even provides the getaway vehicles for this theft, in the shape of anonymous off-shore companies and investment entities, whose disguised ownership makes it too easy for the corrupt and dishonest to squirrel away stolen funds in bank accounts overseas.

[...]

A few years ago rich [diamond] deposits were discovered [in eastern Africa] which held out the promise of billions of dollars of revenue that could have filled the public purse and from there have been spent on much needed improvements to roads, schools and hospitals.

The surrounding region is one of the most impoverished in the country, desperate for the development that the profits from mining could bring. But as [Zimbabwean journalist Stanley] Kwenda found out from local community leader Malvern Mudiwa, this much anticipated bounty never appeared.

[...]

Why cannot the resources for aid be directed into fighting this obvious problem? Is it not about time that something was done to stop those stealing our wealth, and those helping them steal it, from evading responsibility [and being prosecuted] for their crimes?

  alJazeera

Well, that's just not the way it's done. The “obvious problem” only exists in the minds of the powerless. It's quite the opposite to those who could do something about it. It's their business solution.

It's Not Sunday

...but Amen.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a national inquiry into the Catholic church's responses to child sex abuse after a series of scandals involving paedophile priests.

Gillard made the announcement on Monday in the wake of claims by a senior policeman that a Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales destroyed evidence and silenced investigations.

"There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil," Gillard said. "I believe in these circumstances that it is appropriate for there to be a national response through a royal commission."

[...]

Meanwhile, Cardinal George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, has said he supports the inquiry but added that the church had worked hard to stamp out abuse.

"Critics talk as though earlier inadequacies are still prevalent," he said, adding that it was unjust for anyone to suggest crimes were being, or had been, committed, without producing evidence.

  alJazeera

Inadequacies.

Petraeus Affair, Part 2

FBI officials said the congressional committees weren't informed until Friday, one official said, because the matter started as a criminal investigation into harassing emails allegedly sent by [biographer/affair partner Paula] Broadwell to [ Jill Kelley, 37, who lives in Tampa, Fla., and serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military's Central Command and Special Operations Command are located.]

Concerned that emails Petraeus exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with him directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.

  Yahoo

I can't tell yet whether this is supposed to be the official story about why the FBI was investigating Petraeus, and if so, whether it's a smoke screen for whatever they really were investigating.  Possibly we'll never know.

And, having just watched a documentary purporting to show George H.W. Bush's involvement in the assassination of John Kennedy (something I'm not finding all that difficult to believe), I'm left to wonder why people have such a difficult time with the idea of conspiracy but no problem with the idea of cover-up, when they're the same thing, just on different ends of an event.

And when oh when will people in and near sensitive positions learn that emails don't stay private? How stupid is Paula Broadwell?

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Taxes? It's the Interest That's Killing You

The rich get progressively richer at the expense of the poor, not just because of "Wall Street greed," but because of the inexorable mathematics of our private banking system.

This hidden tribute to the banks will come as a surprise to most people, who think that if they pay their credit card bills on time and don't take out loans, they aren't paying interest. This, says Dr. Kennedy, is not true.

Tradesmen, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers all along the chain of production rely on credit to pay their bills. They must pay for labor and materials before they have a product to sell, and before the end-buyer pays for the product 90 days later. Each supplier in the chain adds interest to its production costs, which are passed on to the ultimate consumer.

[...]

In 2011, the US federal government paid $454 billion in interest on the federal debt - nearly one-third the total $1.1 trillion ($1,100 billion) paid in personal income taxes that year. If the government had been borrowing directly from the Federal Reserve - which has the power to create credit on its books and now rebates its profits directly to the government - personal income taxes could have been cut by a third.

Borrowing from its own central bank interest-free might allow a government to eliminate its national debt altogether. In Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link, Bernard Lietaer and Christian Asperger, et al., cite the example of France. The treasury borrowed interest-free from the nationalized Banque de France from 1946 to 1973. The law then changed to forbid this practice, requiring the treasury to borrow instead from the private sector. The authors include a chart showing what would have happened if the French government had continued to borrow interest-free, versus what did happen. Rather than dropping from 21 percent to 8.6 percent of GDP, the debt shot up from 21 percent to 78 percent of GDP.

[...]

Globally, 40 percent of banks are publicly owned, and they are concentrated in countries that also escaped the 2008 banking crisis. These are the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - which are home to 40 percent of the global population. The BRICs grew economically by 92 percent in the last decade, while Western economies were floundering.

[...]

The only US state to own its own depository bank today is North Dakota. North Dakota is also the only state to have escaped the 2008 banking crisis, sporting a sizable budget surplus every year since then. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the lowest foreclosure rate, and the lowest default rate on credit card debt.

  Truthout

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

They're Not Happy Over at Black Agenda Report

The rulers had, at long last, found our Achilles Heel, the weakest spot in African Americans’ political armor. Our reflexive racial solidarity (actually, an aspect of Black nationalism), which had served us so well, for so long, short-circuited our progressive political instincts. We became fodder for Obama, the slicker-than-Slick-Willie corporate guy with the brown face.

[...]

Dutifully, Black folks set aside the last vestiges of their vaunted distrust of Power. Henceforth, African Americans would consider themselves as a Palace Guard – the antithesis of independent political actors. Thus was Obama empowered to become the “More Effective Evil.”

With little resistance on the Left, and virtually none from organized Black America, Obama has worked miracles for the resuscitation of the Lords of Capital and their imperial apparatus – feats that only a Black corporate Democrat could accomplish.

[...]

Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect. There would be no penalty. Black folks had convinced themselves that Obama needed our protection; it never occurred to most of us that we needed protection from him – not during the primaries, when he praised Ronald Reagan’s reaction to the “excesses” of the Sixties, or when he refused to endorse even a voluntary halt to home foreclosures (while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards endorsed “voluntary” and mandatory moratoriums, respectively); not in the last weeks before his inauguration, when Obama announced that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all “entitlements” would be “on the table” for chopping under his administration.

[...]

President Obama has attempted to render international law a dead letter. No nation has any rights that he feels bound to respect. Obama, with his drone armadas and multiplying Special Forces troops, represents a far greater threat to global civilization – which must be rooted in law! – than the failed conquerer George Bush (who actually negotiated the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq).

[...]

Statutory authority to imprison Americans without charge or trial was beyond Bush’s reach, and he knew it. But Obama guided a bill through the Congress with very little Democratic opposition. He is the more effective secret police warden.

Now Obama has won another “mandate,” which he will use to finish the projects he started: wider wars, a more profound government subservience to finance capital, and that “new legal architecture” on national security that he warned about on the Daily Show, a few weeks ago.

[...]

African Americans have made themselves irrelevant – not just for the second Obama presidency, but possibly deep into the future. “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” and Black folks have failed to demand even elementary respect from this president, much less concrete programs, or peace.

  Black Agenda Report

 
 

Inspired by Donald Trump, No Doubt

Cleaning Up After Sandy

New York City Council is expected to file a lawsuit against Mayor Bloomberg Tuesday, seeking to stop a new law that would require homeless adults to prove they have no other options before receiving shelter.

  Huffington Post

Yeah, how do you do that? Prove you have no other options?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s food police have struck again!

Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

  CBS

Unbelievable.

Hey, New Yorkers – what you need is some tar and feathers and a 10' log pole.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Not Another One!

What goes around, comes around.

US tech giant Apple has dished out 20 million Swiss francs ($21 million, 17 million euros) to compensate Swiss national rail operator SBB for using its famous clock without permission, a Swiss daily reported Saturday.

  Raw Story

All the while pressing suit against Samsung for “copying” the iPhone.

What are we on? One Apple lawsuit every week now for a month? Something like that. Good thing they won that sham against Samsung, because they've lost the other three.

...but hey, do what you want...you're Apple.

It's Sunday

Many Republican icons follow the P.T. Barnum motto of business: There's a sucker born every minute. But maybe the most shameless is Glenn Beck.

[In] the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election, Beck had repeatedly said that God was orchestrating Republican nominee’s path to the presidency. Speaking to his radio listeners in September, he insisted that Romney’s poll numbers had fallen as a part of a plan from God to make it obvious to the American people that divine intervention was responsible when Republicans took the White House in November.

The conservative radio host later speculated that Romney had lost the final debate because he was “being guided” by God to be “less contentious” and agree with President Barack Obama.

[...]

During his radio show t[the morning after the election], Beck told listeners that he had realized Romney was going to lose while praying before the polls opened on Tuesday.

“Man, sometimes God really sucks,” the radio host lamented.

  

Ooops. Must have gotten carried away with himself.

Not that he's wrong.

A man whose leg was amputated after an accident involving a 600-pound crucifix is suing the Hudson Valley, NY church that owns the cross. According to the Associated Press, church volunteer David Jiminez was cleaning the edifice when it fell on him and injured his leg in May of 2010.

White Plains attorney Kevin Kitson, who is representing Jimenez, said that his client volunteered to clean the crucifix at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church after praying to it for his wife’s recovery from ovarian cancer. When it appeared that his prayers were answered, the grateful husband offered to perform the duty as a show of thanks to god and to the church.

Now Jimenez, whose injuries were too extensive for his leg to be saved, is suing St. Patrick’s for $3 million. The church claims it is not liable for the mishap.

  Raw Story

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Election Message to the GOP

Democratic commentator James Carville noted that some in the South say, “‘You know, in order to get that boys attention, you got to hit him upside the head with a two by four.’ Well the sound you heard on election night was pine on skull."

  Raw Story

Petraeus Out

There is a huge story here, but it's not the one we're being fed. The FBI investigating the head of the CIA is the story.

David Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, has abruptly resigned as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair.

The affair was discovered during an FBI investigation, according to officials briefed on the developments.

[...]

Petraeus' resignation shocked US intelligence and political communities. It was a sudden end to the public career of the best-known general of the post-9/11 wars, a man credited with salvaging the US conflict in Iraq and sometimes mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate.

His service was effusively praised on Friday in statements from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

  alJazeera

While it might have derailed a bid for the presidency, I cannot believe that the real reason Petraeus resigned is because of an affair.

The resignation comes at a sensitive time. The administration and the CIA have struggled to defend security and intelligence lapses before the attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three others.

[...]

It was unclear what the FBI was investigating or when it became aware of the affair.

And therein lies the real reason.  One we're not supposed to know. 

[Petraeus'] management style was recently lauded in a Newsweek article by Paula Broadwell, co-author of the biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.

[...]

NBC News reported on its website on Friday, quoting US law-enforcement officials, that Broadwell was under FBI investigation for improperly trying to access Petraeus' email and possibly gaining access to classified information,

Broadwell had extensive access to Petraeus in Afghanistan and has given numerous television interviews speaking about him, the report said.

Broadwell could not be reached for comment, NBC News said.

No, I bet not.  And by the way, the other woman is....Paula Broadwell.

For the director of the CIA, being engaged in an extramarital affair is considered a serious breach of security and a counterintelligence threat. If a foreign government had learned of the affair, the reasoning goes, Petraeus or Broadwell could have been blackmailed or otherwise compromised. Military justice considers conduct such as an extramarital affair to be possible grounds for court-martial.

Failure to resign also could create the perception for the rank and file that such behavior is acceptable.

  Chicago Tribune

Sure. Now, just why is it that the FBI was investigating in the first place?

At FBI headquarters, spokesman Paul Bresson declined to comment on the information that the affair had been discovered in the course of an investigation by the bureau.

I see.

 

 Another hint.

UPDATE:  There's another woman (whom we're still not sure about since she seems to be connected to another general - wow this is getting complex), and, oh...there's more to the Benghazi story.

Rocky Anderson's Post-Election Plea

Our campaign was a call for the people of the United States to take charge – because they must be the leaders, and we must build a broad-based powerful movement, if we are to

> overthrow the plutocracy – government that is up for sale to the highest bidder,
> end the imperial presidency,
> restore the rule of law and the most fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution,
> end the two-tiered economic and justice systems and achieve a republic where no one is above the law,
> respect civil and human rights, here and abroad,
> end the empire-building that serves only the interests of multi-national corporations and plutocrats,
> end poverty in a nation where our presidential candidates won’t even discuss it,
> end the corporate cronyism that has caused economic devastation for the vast majority of American people,
> end the deprivation of basic health care for tens of millions of people, and finally bring to an > end the strangle-hold the two corporatist and militarist parties have on our electoral system and our government.

  Rocky Anderson

Yeah, it's not going to happen. Not if this story is accurate.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Holy Cow

A new poll conducted by Harris Interactive offers a particularly chilling measure of just how passive and accepting citizens have become to the new realities of our internal security system. The poll found almost one third of American adults would accept a “TSA body cavity search” in order to fly.

  Jonathan Turley

And I can only imagine that they need one - to locate their heads.

The fact is that there has always been a sizable group of Americans who accept and even relish a dominance by authority. There are some who simply favor more authoritarian measures and readily embrace the loss of freedoms. However, if accurate, this poll is a chilling measure of the erosion of the expectations of privacy and rights by average Americans in the expanding internal security state.

Sad, sad, sad.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

The Real Mitt Romney

From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.

Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.

  NBC

He not only fired “the help” he stranded them.  Think they'll wake up now?

Me neither.

Fire Your Lawyer Son

Something you should have done over a year ago.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

A US army private facing court-martial for allegedly leaking secret documents to the WikiLeaks website has offered to plead guilty to less serious offences than those with which he has been charged, his lawyer said.

In a blog post, David Coombs, attorney for accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, said late on Wednesday that Manning was not actually pleading guilty to charges filed against him by military prosecutors. The private faces life imprisonment if convicted of the charges.

[...]

Instead, Manning is "attempting to accept responsibility for offences that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses," Coombs wrote.

  alJazeera

That's lawyer speak, or as we call it on planet earth: bullshit.

Are there no lawyers out there - perhaps in the ACLU - who would have taken this case and given Manning an aggressive offensive defense?   Not enough money in it?  Opponent too scary?  No public support?  Granted, this is not the country it was 50 years ago, but still....

Tom Toles Stole My Cartoon

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.


Tom's 11/9/2012:

 
 
Mine several times in the last four years:
 
 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Get Ready, Granny

If there were an actual liberal - or even an actual Democrat - in the White House, the election would have been more than just symbolic.

[With Tuesday] night's results, one can choose to see things two ways: (1) emboldened by their success and the obvious movement of the electorate in their direction, liberals will resolve that this time things will be different, that their willingness to be Good Partisan Soldiers depends upon their core values not being ignored and stomped on, or (2) inebriated with love and gratitude for Obama for having vanquished the evil Republican villains, they will follow their beloved superhero wherever he goes with even more loyalty than before. One does not need to be Nate Silver to be able to use the available historical data to see which of those two courses is the far more likely one.

[...]

Consider the very first controversial issue Obama is likely to manage, even before the glow of his victory dims, literally within the next couple of weeks. It is widely expected - including by liberals - that Obama intends (again) to pursue a so-called "Grand Bargain" with the GOP: a deficit- and debt-cutting agreement whereby the GOP agrees to some very modest tax increases on the rich in exchange for substantial cuts to entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare, the crown legislative jewels of American liberalism.

Indeed, Obama already sought in his first term to implement sizable cuts to those programs, but liberals were saved only by GOP recalcitrance to compromise on taxes. In light of their drubbing last night, they are likely to be marginally if not substantially more flexible, which means that such a deal is more possible than ever.

In other words, the political leader in whose triumph liberals are today ecstatically basking is likely to target their most cherished government policies within a matter of weeks, even days. With their newly minted power, will they have any ability, or even will, to stop him?

[...]

If history is any indication, [what they will do is follow the] standard pattern of self-disempowerment used by American liberals to render themselves impotent and powerless in Washington, not just on economic issues but the full panoply of political disputes, from ongoing militarism, military spending and war policies to civil liberties assaults, new cabinet appointments, immigration policy, and virtually everything else likely to arise in the second term.

  Glenn Greenwald

JEREMY SCAHILL:  "And when you [Dennis Kucinich] put forward legislation in the Congress, that [...] said that the president does not have the right to unilaterally authorize the assassination of a U.S. citizen without due process, only six of your colleagues signed on to that legislation. I mean, to me, that’s one of the sort of enduring symbols of your legacy in Congress, the fact that you were one of only half-a-dozen members of Congress—not a single senator—to simply state on the record that American citizens have the right not to be assassinated by their own government without due process."

[...]

Outgoing Congressmember DENNIS KUCINICH: "I expect that the Obama administration will continue their policies of drone strikes, which have killed hundreds of innocent people and have put to death, through drone strikes, thousands of individuals who were just determined to be combatants, often because they happened to be the wrong age. This is repugnant to morality. It’s morally depraved, this drone strikes. And whether you’re a Democrat or Republican doesn’t matter. This is about what kind of human beings we are

[...]

"The drone situation is abominable. By the way, I’m going to have a briefing in Washington on November 16th on the drone policies. We’re going to be bringing some of the top people in the world who have something to say about this and could be considered experts, on civil liberties and other matters."

  Democracy Now!

Good luck with that.

Oh, Apple

Yet another lawsuit.

But in this one, Apple is the losing defendant, and it seems it's a case with grounds very similar to those Apple took Samsung to court over.

Apple has been ordered to pay $368 million for patent infringement in its use of Facetime, an application that allows for video calls on mobile devices, the plaintiff said Wednesday.

Security software firm VirnetX said in a statement the jury in a federal court in Texas ordered the payment “for infringing four VirnetX patents” and that the court will hear post-trial motions in the upcoming weeks.

  Raw Story

All these contentious and public lawsuits in such a short time can't be good for Apple's image. Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave. The minute he's gone, Apple goes all bankster.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Avalanche on Bullshit Mountain



About four and a half minutes into this clip, there's footage of Karl Rove on Fox News that's hillarious. Brian Williams made the comment on election night about Donald Trump that he "has driven well past the last exit to relevance." And I'm thinking Karl Rove was in the passenger seat.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Really?



If it was, it took  more than 20 minutes to get to the good part.  That's when I gave up on it as more blah, blah, blah, we're great, blah, blah, blah, we're really, truly great.